Thursday, December 8, 2011

Strangers who knew each other too well

Smoking was something Roshni never indulged in, yet today she laughed uncontrollably every time she tried making rings of smoke. Almost every time she tried, smoke came out looking more like smoke from Aladin's lamp, and in her current state she laughed and waited for the djinn to come out and join them on the terrace.

All this while Arvind just stood in a corner, the ice cubes slowly melting in the glass, smoke slowly escaping out of his amused smile. He had tried his best to teach her, but today wasn't a day when success would have come to him easily. He stood back and looked at her, but saw nothing. It was a space filled with his past, filled with remorse. Looking at the perfect arches of now redundant yet iconic Ellis Bridge beyond the curls of her hair, he tried to keep his mind from wavering

Without any warning, Roshni came close, stepped on his feet and blew the last sleepless, shapeless smoke ring directly on his face. Taken by surprise he held her back and slowly turned her around towards the river so they both faced the bridge, the peaceful and sleeping river, the life lazily passing by. They had so many of their memories centered around the bridge, of the many vacant evenings spent strolling on it. It was one public space they could secretly call their own...

It was late in the night and with a few lights to disturb their view, they could clearly see the city beyond the river and its numerous bridges. Instinctively Arvind lightly wrapped his arms around her and smelt the fine fragrance of her hair. It was beautiful, more beautiful than anything else he could imagine at that time. She turned around, reached up and lightly brushed her lips on his, stroking his hair with her fingers, leaning against the terrace wall, her cold fingers curling around on his ears. None of them knew what was going on, none cared.

Arvind moved back as he heard the sound of approaching footsteps; no one came up from the party going on in the open verandah of the old house, no one saw them there. He offered her another cigarette, this time she refused. The spell was broken, the moment was gone. He went back to his glass of whiskey, while she looked on towards the bridge, playing with the rings of her hair.

While other guests at the party were still asleep, some drunk while others high with the smoke of marijuana, he walked her back to her house in the wee hours of the new day. The laughter was lost, the silence between them had become overbearing. They both wanted to go back to those few seconds of intimacy, yet knew it would never happen again. She had pined for his touch for so long, and knew that it was the last time she would see him. Her mind kept going back to the few beautiful, rushed days they had spent together years ago, to the moments that were fading fast from her memories.


Walking alone in the slowing awakening pols of the old city, Arvind took the last drag from the last cigarette on him. His insomnia was back, he knew the memories from last night won't let him go back to his life again anymore. Stubbing the cigarette, he finally made up his mind and decided to go back to Roshni. It was an end to a life long struggle for him. Finally.


Later she sat alone on the balcony as the sun lazily rose across the river, oblivious to the golden light filtering through the rich flora. A long journey awaited her, a place called home was calling her back. She decided to let go of the struggle inside and move on. Arvind was past for her. Finally.

image source:


  1. Its beautiful..the way you've written it <3

  2. nice but expected much more...u can write much better than this....

  3. Ah this thing called memories..and how you have to fight them so that they dont end up taking over your senses.
    Great story...u capture minds...
    Loved it!

  4. It feels incomplete somehow, or is that what you meant it to be.

    I could almost feel the smoke curl in the air and bitterness of broken feelings on my tongue, though:)

  5. Just as I was bracing myself for separation and hurt, you sent Arvind back to Roshni! Yess!!!

    Do you sketch?

  6. @theothersideofme: Thank you :)

    @vishakha: I am glad that you think so :), I shall try better stuff next time...

    @Maithili: Thank you...Good to see you here after a long time :)

  7. @RedHanded: I agree, memories can be dangerous...we struggle to keep them alive even when we know that they hurt us...

    @PeeVee: I tried ending it at a stage where things remain ambiguous. If free, do read the end again, I refined it a little bit...

    @Purba: I am not sure if its a conventional happy ending...and explaining how I perceive it might not make any sense here!

    And I do sketch, I am a designer after all :)

  8. Nice buildup and good ending. The description of the smoke was well done.

    Looks like your story also has a happy ending with a girl named Roshni, just like mine does! :-)

  9. i loved the ending..:)...
    are you always peaking into the dark human psychology ?,always?

    nice potrayal!

  10. @Krishnapriya: Thank you :)

    @DarkKnight: Happy ending, maybe yes, but certainly not a conventional happy ending :) Only happy because of the possibilities...

    @Stuti: Thank you, and maybe you are right. I guess I do that even more in real life, my friends suffer from lifelong paranoia when I have long conversations with them :)

  11. Ah! The dispute, the decision-making followed by more dispute and more decision making!

    Love is so silly and yet so meaningful sometimes. Sigh!

  12. :) You know how to kill someone by writing...and am not complaining...

  13. @Express: I agree, love is often so confusing and so often nonreciprocating and unfulfilled. And of course extremely silly...

    @Chintan: Hahaha...thanks a ton! I wish I could actually kill by writing...that would be so much fun :)

  14. Right from the title to the end of it, this post hit the nail.
    I was pretty set for a sad separation too, like Purba, glad it wasn't so.
    Me likey, super likey!

  15. I am glad you liked it Crystal :)

    However, if I were you, I won't assume a 'happy' ending. Simply because the guy decides to go back to Roshni, doesn't mean she is willing as well. They may cross paths, but maybe to separate once again...

  16. I like how it ended. I really did. You are an inspiring writer.

  17. Scenes come out of the writing and play in front of you. They hang there and invite you to be a part of it. But, you are so engrossed, you don't care. You are happy seating where you are, and you enjoy their story... This is your writing... :)

    Beautiful story...written in a beautiful way.

  18. I like how it ends now.. P.S i like the part of how she steps on his feet... that reminds me of me!!

  19. @Zeba: Thanks a lot...its so good to read nice stuff from you about these fiction posts :)

    @Jon: Thank you :)

    @Kunal: What a really nice thing to say man! Thank you so much :) I am inspired to more with comments like this :)

    @roshni: Wow madamji so good to see you here :) I am glad you like the ending now...thanks for the feedback :)

    Plus I am glad you relate to a bit of it, especially because you are the actual heroine here :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...