lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


It was a dark and stormy night. You were so gallant, walking me home.

There were gusts of rain, occasional thunder and those puddles we threaded our way through as we sang snatches of the evening's best in unmusical splendour. Frogs croaked in the ditches on the sides of the lanes. The rickshaw-wallahs at the corner of my street took notice of us and decided that one of them doesn't have to sober up enough to go fetch 'baby' back home from the concert.

I'd seen you before, of course, many times. On the campus, where they spoke in awe about how brilliant you were; at concerts, where we began nodding and smiling at each other; and then that Season. You seemed to attend most of the concerts I did. I had a season ticket, I assumed you did too.

We spoke in the canteen over bad coffee. It was a bad year for the Season, what with the rains and the cyclone. Nevertheless, the concert hall was within walking distance, so I attended all the concerts: the lecture-demonstrations, the afternoon concerts of the hopefuls trying to break into the scene, the evening performances of the stars, the late night concerts of the in-betweens.

It turned out we were both waiting to listen to the late night artist. You asked me how I'd get home. I said my rickshaw-wallah would turn up; if not, I'd walk, no sweat. So at midnight you walked me home.

And we kissed. You were tall and lanky I raised my arm to cup your head and woke up. The crook of my elbow shielding my face as I slept was heavy.

Last year we met again in a bookshop. You seemed prosperous, not exactly overweight but getting there. You said I hadn't changed at all.

We spoke over decent coffee. You suggested lunch. I hadn't much else to do, so I accepted. I was out of touch with the music scene, and you seemed indifferent to it. Authors and books didn't occupy much of conversation time either. You talked discontentedly of your wife who seemed to spend her life in spas, and your corporate angst.

You said you remembered that night. I thought of the dream. I nodded and launched into a discussion of that artist's career. You wondered if I had more free time. I smiled no and walked away.



Blogger Chenthil said...

That's quite a distance from Academy to T Nagar. You walked all the way? :-)

Great writing as usual.

1:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were other Venues in the Season that had concerts too. Even in T.Nagar.

4:49 am  
Blogger dipali said...

Lovely story, Lali:)

10:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful. And naughty!

6:27 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Thank you folks. The long silence is explained in the next post.

6:09 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a terse rejection post! I thought it was a fun post what with the beginning.

9:11 pm  

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