Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sometime in July, I was being driven back to Gurgaon after a weekend spent at a runaway resort near Delhi called Neemrana.

The car I was traveling in was noisy, with the music blaring at an ear-shattering decibel level. And to add to that, Leon and Preetika were arguing about whether to make a stop for cigarettes or not, and both of them were trying to outdo not just each other, but the speakers as well. I really should have taken my car because right that moment, instead of the hard rock and the unnecessary argument, I could have been listening to something I enjoy a lot more. Silence.

Leon won, obviously, because he was the one driving.

We stopped.

That's when I got an SMS from my boss telling me that I would have to be in at work at eight the next morning and all of a sudden I realised things were going from bad to worse. The stress I had spent the last 48 hours trying to get rid of, was slowly crawling back up my spine. The entire setting was becoming familiar again. One of noise and chaos.

I was unhappy.

I spent the next two minutes staring at my mobile phone screen, desperately trying to key in a genuine excuse which would fit into 160 characters. To add madness to misery, I had to do this without using SMS lingo because I have this obsessive compulsive disorder which does not allow me to use abbreviations in any form of written text.

That's not all. As I sat there in my moment of madness, a couple of kids, beggars I guessed, came and stood RIGHT outside my window. I figured they would go away in a while, but they didn't.

That's when I lost it.

As I looked up and yelled "Kya Hai?," this is the sight that I saw:

Yes, my heart melted. I may not be nice, but COME on.

That's when I clicked the picture and asked them what they wanted, to which they replied "Ek Rupaiya." I obliged and gave them one one-rupee coin each. Preetika promptly handed them a bottle of Coke as well.

They ran off looking delighted and I went back to my mobile phone screen. As I punched in the letters, I couldn't help but think about the look on the faces of these boys. It was a look vaguely reminiscent of something I used to feel in a time I have now long forgotten. The look of contentment.

A couple of minutes later, once the cigarettes were bought, Leon got behind the wheel and we drove off. I gave Preetika a quick smile and went on to look out of the window in the direction of the setting sun.