Whatsoever resemblance to any living or whosoever dead is INTENSE-NULL

Saturday, August 21, 2010


December 17, 2009
09:00 pm

Rajdhani Express was green-signaled. Sanjeet rushed into the railway station with a suitcase in his left hand and a bottle of water in the other. Unusual traffic blockage often led to such improbable and exasperating situations.  

Sanjeet was a Computer Engineer from N.I.T. Jamshedpur. His family business Tathastu, one of the leading software consultants of the eastern region held over 5000 employees but he was a greenhorn yet. So before he could take on his father, it was required that he be exposed to various managerial skills, emerge well poised to handle the multitude of his company’s workforce.   

Although he was gasping, he ran towards the train in his full capacity and boarded before it got too late. The next day he was supposed to attend a seminar in MDI Gurgaon on the rudiments of Business Management. So missing it was not an option for him.

The train had picked herself by then. Sanjeet let his hair down on the attendant’s seat to pacify his pulse; kept the suitcase on the floor, uncapped the water bottle and quenched his overdue thirst. After a sigh of relief, he took out the ticket from his pocket and looked for the coach number.

“How may I help you, sir?” The attendant stopped by him.

“Which way can I get to AS8?”

“It is AS4, sir. Yours is this way through.” The attendant pointed towards the entrance.

Crap! Yet another long tread.

Sanjeet looked cheesed off. He picked up his suitcase and entered the compartment. His eyes rummaged around for beautiful faces that he was fond of. He barely found any. So, he quickened his steps.

Sanjeet was an aesthete since his teenage. His wall was collaged with the cuttings of glamorous photographs hunted from magazines. He was an ardent fan of Drew Barrymore so the walls were largely occupied by her posters. Her cutest smile was radiant from each corner of his den. Amitabh Bachchan was his role model when it came to acting so he loved imitating him.

Apart from movies, he fancied painting, skating, reading novels and chatting. His writing skills were par excellence so most of his friends had their love letters done from him and so with the passage of time, he turned out to be a big flirt. Even look-wise he was well turned-out; his clothing had an urbane touch.

Sanjeet traversed through the bogies in little less than 10 minutes but the train was singularly empty. In fact, his own compartment held only one other traveler - a lady in her early twenties dressed up a la mode in a lavishly embroidered pink salwar suit, seated on the berth opposite his. A thick cluster of black curls eclipsed each ear. She was spectacled and was busy biting her nails over a novel, her head into it and thus, her face hardly noticeable.

No wasting time. Sanjeet smiled at the thought. He kept the suitcase beneath his berth and rammed it further to seek her attention. But she remained unmoved, only that she stopped biting her nails. It was appalling so he interrupted.

“Interesting novel it seems. Who is the….”

“Dan Brown. The Da Vinci Code.” She was prompt, and very well estimated his desperation. Sanjeet was able to read her ignorance in those black and white pages which she preferred over knowing a stranger.

“Ohh…Brown.” He spoke as if he personally knew the author. “He is a genius. I have read most of his masterpieces. You read Deception Point? It was such a big hit. And Digital Fortress. Wow! It enthralls me. It was a multi-million-copy bestseller.” His elation upon reminiscing the plot was quite evident from the smile edging on his face. But something else was on his mind so he changed the topic straight away.

“Do you mind if I sit here?”

He wanted to draw her into some chinwag. But, was she getting annoyed?

She also understood his apprehension so she finally looked up. She adjusted her beamless spectacles from mid of her nose, tucked her hair caressing it from the hairline to the ear posterior and spoke to him.

“Yeah. You’re right. But…” She lulled at once. At either end, there was silence.

The trees through the sun-tanned glass were running past them madly. Sanjeet couldn’t bat an eyelid at the sight. Her deep sea-like bluish eyes were dive-impelling. Her ears pierced with a pair of scintillating diamond-studded earrings waited a bite and her cheeks blushed by the slaps of the cool breeze urged a kiss. The necklace that adorned her beautiful neck sparkled in brilliance. Her cranberry lips bruised each other and her speckless flickering skin crossed all barriers of speculation. She looked like one of those fairies of the fables that the kids usually hear from their grandparents before going to bed. In short, her beauty could not be verbalized at once.

Sanjeet was speechless, his jaws denying falling back. On the other hand, she looked dumbfounded but a smile edged on her face gradually. “Hey Sunny. I don’t believe this.” She kept aside the novel and offered him to sit. But he stood absent-minded and motionless. He just couldn’t help staring at her. 

“Are you here, Sunny?” She spoke avid, even waved. But it didn’t work, so she wobbled him. “Where are you lost, young lad?”

“Yeah. Ahh…..nothing.” He was confused and spoke hum and haw. “I mean I am here. In fact, I must be here. I am not lost.”

“Then sit down.” She was no more annoyed, her face beaming with joy. “Don’t you remember me?”

Sanjeet sat down and clearing his throat, spoke in an innocent tone. “No, it isn’t the matter. Actually…”

“Actually what?”

“Nothing really. But did I tell you my name?” He grazed through his head stirring up the memory. “I think I didn’t.”

“Then I assume you do not remember me. How dare you?” Tanya was outright. Her demanding tone surprised Sanjeet and it surfaced with his expression.

“Anyway, try and remember if we met before.”  

“Met before? Really?” He itch his head groping for some misplaced memory file. “Maybe we met some place but I can’t recall. By the way, what’s all this?” He tried to pull her away from the topic. “I mean, look at you. Who does all this make-up in a train journey?”

“This should not be a problem. All are imitations, say.”

“Well and good then. But anyway we can be robbed off. All thanks to you, you have set the probability high.” He winked at her, pointing towards the necklace. “So, tell me. Have you been to Jamshedpur?”    

“What? No but why do you ask?

“I mean, have you been there recently?” His gestures were flirty. He further probed into. “May be during Utkarsh. Cultural fest. N.I.T. Jamshedpur? Does any of it ring a bell?

“No dear. As far as I remember I have never ever attended any such fest. Not even in my college.”

Unintentionally though, his mind was puzzled. The different shapes of information did not help him to solve the jigsaw. “One minute. I can tell you.” Sanjeet broke into. His tone was gratifying. He paused for a while and soon after, crafted an astute gesture. “I have seen you in my dreams.” There he was where others usually failed – flirting.

“Stop your nonsense, Sunny. We met on yahoo chat. Now you remember, Mr. sunny_dude? We even exchanged pics. And now, don’t you say you don’t chat?” Her demanding tone grew with each piece of information coming up. “I never knew you were such a heedless person.”

“Yeah, I remember. I am so sorry. I was trying to make sure if you…” Sanjeet paused, finding it difficult to trick her into an excuse. He looked up in desperation. “Actually, I am so glad to be in the memories of a sweet, melodious and spurious lady like you. I never knew yahoo rooms had visitors like you, Akshita?”

“Akshita? Is that what you remember? And we also discussed to meet someday. Ahhh…” Tanya was losing her solace, her stupendous expressions indicating her prick.

Sanjeet estimated the heat of the moment. It was like being thrown at once, out of the frying-pan into the fire. He plunged into his chat history, and somehow recollected who she was. Then he cooked up a fine tale, turned away from her and thumped his dramatizing hammer again. “I was just checking your patience and optimism. Now I see that you are short-sighted. In fact, dull-witted.” He shrugged his shoulders, cleverly posing his fake innocence. “Akshita is a friend from my neighbourhood and you…..” He paused at once.  

“Is that what you think about me?” Discontent lay bare on her face. “So, Akshita is your neighbor and just good friends. Right?

“Just good friends. I think I already told you about her. Don’t you remember?”

He was pushing too hard so he feared that his creativity may queer over his pitch. So he made up with it at once. “Listen, I didn’t mean what I said. But then…..” He paused again. For a moment he sat motionless and then he turned towards her. “Okay, I am sorry for being indifferent and also for lying.”

“Do not be a humble pie now. Is that what you are trying to be?” She spoke in a disagreeing tone.

“It isn’t like that Tanya, unless you do not want to believe me at all.” He did artifice all fair and square in one go.

“Then why were you trying to fool me? You looked obfuscated. And you are at once being so stately. Anyone can get confused in such a situation. It is you who must take the sole responsibility for framing the conundrum of unknowing the known.” Her words fell short of any leniency but were rightly put, given the situation.   

“Fine. You have the liberty in your life. But, do not chafe off me.” He spoke angrily but he knew he was being stupid. After a minute spent in dead silence, he turned temperate and with the very promptness of his brain spoke to her in a soft, decorous tone. “Forgive me.”

He held her hand and caressed it. Gradually her anger vanished, for his modest expressions and alertness impressed her. She smiled coyly and jerked his arm in desperation. “So, friends again?  Drawing nearer, a little of the color tiptoeing back to her face, Tanya looked at him with a certain amount of interest and curiosity. Sanjeet shook his head in yes.

At the same time, few waves crossed his mind demanding an explanation. He always had believed that falling into some serious love was a poisoned chalice. But now he was changing, gaining his amour-propre, his eyes closed in some serious thought. He was turning courteous and considerate, and his ways of perceiving relationships were now refined and exacted. 


  1. Liked the story build up, narration , character though the end was not that satisfying :)

    Interesting write up :)

  2. thanx Anuradha, I loved your comment.

    About the end part, I forgot to mention that it is the first chapter of my maiden novel. Actually, I posted it for reviews.