Monday, March 30, 2009

The Reluctant Loner

She sat alone reading “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” and enjoying her solitude. The life had come to a standstill in the quaint cafe and the world seemed to soak positive energy all around. The setting was perfect, the absence of human company, the cinnamon-maple toasts, the smell of fresh cakes, the nice cuppa earl grey tea and the intriguing book. She explored the pages with increasing interest till three men ascended upon the landing and started conversing in the cafe mistaking it to be a noisy pub. She recognised one of them as someone she had one debated against and lost to at a national debate. Strange how we remember defeats far more easily than our victories. The exit of the men left her to herself again and she could once again be numb in her reading, but she chose to step out for a smoke instead. She felt a hand on her shoulder which startled her. The man just stared at her for no apparent reason and when she asked as to what she had invited his pat; he smiled in amusement and said “to the loss of your recently bought book”. He handed her the book she had been reading, flashed the whites again and waited, probably for an apology or a word of thanks. What he got instead was an offer to smoke with her... She noticed his light brown eyes and the peaky nose more closely than she had before. He seemed to always replace what she had lost. The losses were the crevices in the heart which were being slowly filled back in.


Vibhor said...

2 morbid and melanchonic (sic) mid-reads currently captivating my imagination:-

1. 'the alchemy of desire' tarun tejpal
2. 'the inheritance of loss' kiran desai

and gimme a kafka any grey day...

J said...