I refuse with a nod. He smiles again. I continue with my tread.
This is a long stretch of road. From our room to the Chowk. A slope. We have to descend it around a thousand times in a day. Thos who have motorbikes, don’t count the number of times. Those who walk, like me, do it. A thousand times, when we do.
I feel terribly bored as I walk down this road. So I usually take a pillion ride with someone who has a motorbike. But there is no one today to take me.
I walk lazy steps. There is nothing to catch my view on either sides of the road. Some grocery shops. Two sweet mart-cum-snack bars. People flocked there. I blew smoke. I see the visual signs of Chowk approaching. Fruit Sellers, Fruit Juice stalls. Tea stalls. Pan Beedi Shops. Vada Pav. These shops. Those shops. Shops. Shops. Shops.
I wave to the poster seller, sitting with posters spread on road. He waves back. He knows me, since I regularly buy posters fro him. He sells posters of almost every imaginable entity on the planet. Someday I think, he’ll also sell a poster of my Dad. Then Mr. Karambelkar. Whomsoever he is. There will be his poster too. I throw a quick look at them. There is famous Indian female tennis player’s print there. I stare at it for a moment. I can’t get my eyes off the thighs. Those are gorgeous. Enormous. Marble white. They carry a solace in them. They extract the weariness out of the exhausted bodies that walk past them. Their whiteness flashes before the eyes. It reaches deep within and enlightens the darkness inside. No. There is no moment in the pubis. There is a coolness that soothes the soul. Those souls burning in heaven seek it. For it is their only respite. I walk past.
They all know me. All the hawkers. I have communicated wit each of them at least once in these six months. And waved to them or smiled at them later. Just like that. If or if not I am going to buy anything. I do smile at them. Who does? Who smiles at them? I have no answer. So I create one myself.
I look around just for the sake of it. No sign of Harshad around. I knew he wouldn’t be there. If he would’ve waited, I wouldn’t be there. That is a sort of rule of nature between us. It’s meant to change. Maybe it is the rule of the world. Amongst two people meeting, one always has to wait. That could be a law. A law by my name. Like Murphy’s Law.
I stand near the newspaper stand. I usually stand here when I am waiting for someone. Even for a bus. This place never bores you. If reading doesn’t bore you of course. I stand there reading headlines. But the there’s another interesting thing to gaze at. The Hindi film tabloid. It’s got
I am done reading their thought bubble revealing their inner secrets in a single line. Harshad hadn’t yet arrived. I bought another cigarette and began smoking it. I didn’t want to. But I had to deal with stagnancy closing in. I am going to die soon smoking. With cancer. Lung cancer. And I am going to hold Harshad and such bastards responsible for it. I am writing a letter after I return back to my room holding them responsible for my death.
To whomsoever investigating my death. I am suffering from lung cancer due to excessive smoking. And I heold my friends responsible for it. Either by boring me or by making me wait for hours. In case of my death, see to it that they are bored to death by law or are made to wait till they drop dead.
I see Harshad. Fuck him!!!