Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Steel Stud

He woke up, on his bed, bathed in sweat. The nightmare was tiring. He could actually feel that he had been running. He lay still for sometime, and then, he reached out for his cell, to check if there was anything. Silly of me, he thought. There hasn't been anything for a long time.
He dragged himself out of the bed, and went to the wash-basin. He stared at the man there. The sweat beads on his forehead, running down the side of his face, a vein in the temple, throbbing visibly, and his Adam's apple going up and down in restless jerks. He wanted to scream his lungs out and smash the mirror and tear his organs apart, one by one, with his own hands, with the sharpest piece of glass. Shut up, and stop it, he told himself. Don't be dramatic.
He splashed water on his face, and washed his mouth thoroughly. He didn't like the smell of the toothpaste, it was too fresh. He looked at the food his maid had prepared, and then a churn in his stomach, drove all his appetite away. Hungry that he was, he hated the very sight of food. Forget it, and just go to work, he kept muttering under his breath.
He didn't change, he just wore his slippers, and grabbed the wallet and went outside. No cellphone, no keys. I have nothing to hold on to, nothing to let go. He didn't need to plug in headphones, there was always a song in his mind, a song that would plague his sanity all day, every day.
He walked slowly, pausing before every next step, and taking in the air, the colours and everything around him, as if, everything hurt. Every face he saw, hurt him even more. Every eye that looked at him, seemed to pierce him with the glance. Even the breeze was smirking at him, trying to fool him by running through his hair. It's not her fingers, I know, he retorted back to the wind.
He walked to the station, and bought a ticket. There was a steel stud in the coin pouch of his wallet. He touched with tenderness. It was the button of someone's long-discarded pair of jeans. He felt the pang, and squinted, he didn't want it there, but didn't know how to get rid of it. He put the ticket inside his pocket and walked away. The trains were too painful.
He bought a Coke, and a packet of cigarettes, and took a cab to his office. The song was still there on his mind, he needed to get rid of it. He asked the driver to turn on the radio, and borrowed his lighter.
The song inside was deafening him. He shifted from the left window to the right window of the car; there were too many people on the left pavement. Too many people, too many stories, he thought.
He closed his eyes. He was running. The same road, the same city, the same route. They always met there. He was always late. He always ran to her. Only this time, he couldn't find her. But he kept running, and running, throwing his bag away, not noticing that his wallet has fallen out of his pocket, he just kept running. He was out of breath, but not out of faith.
The cab reached his office and stopped. He opened his eyes. He had to pay. He put his hand into his pocket, and searched. There was no wallet. Only a steel stud came out of his pocket.
Then, he remembered.


  1. perfect imagery i must say..but inception hangover? I don't know, but i like it..leaves something to the imagination..

  2. It is very simple. (You don't wonder now about dreams anymore-Turbulent- Its woven into our psyche)
    Hopes? Faith? Even when she is not there where she is supposed to be? So you run and run forward with faith. And you are jolted back to just a piece of memory. No hopes. No Faith either is it?
    But there would be always someone you know in the office who would give you the money and you can pay him/her back later. But the steel stud remains.
    That also doesn't mean you can't run again further from the previously set point- which you have already crossed once, with faith. With inputs that are not your own perhaps, you can run and bump into a pair of nice jeans with a steel stud which looks so different but interesting to you. So, he runs and runs and when he bumps into her- he wakes up and finds that the cab was a dream, and this face is unknown but something draws him. He says sorry and picks up her bag and she says its okay. She is sorry too, she was walking on the path of a man who was running- she was so lost in her world. Would he know the way to the new park that is somewhere near Nandan? She hasn't been in this city for many years now so she just can't figure out. He says yes, it can be reached in about 20 minutes from here, but in the direction he has been running and if she goes her way, it would probably take her 40 minutes. She turns around and smiles a beautiful smile- I choose the 20 minutes. He can't help but smile.He says, I can walk you. She says, Oh but- you are in a hurry..He says, its okay, I have nowhere to go, so I choose to walk to the park. She smiles a grateful smile and has a sudden twinkle in her eyes. "Okay.."

    They start walking...he puts his hand in the pocket..the steel stud's there in his pocket, but he dismisses it, he finds his wallet, he takes out money to buy some Peanuts from the street vendor he sees a few metres away...he is hungry...

  3. Right. But, there's a "but".
    I don't want to run into the new girl at the same place. It would falling back into love with the same person, with a different face.