Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Rajat sits alone in a room.
Rajat is happy.
He is remembering his walk in the woods with the girl. He just calls her the girl. She has a name but he doesn’t like to use it, as that is what everyone calls her. And for him, she is special.
She laughs at him when he avoids taking her name. He says he would give her a nickname just for his personal use except this is 2013 and that would be considered seriously corny.
The girl smiles. Says a nickname would be nice. They walk on in silence. It’s a beautiful day. Blue skies, green grass, birds singing. And the monthly bills haven’t come yet.
Rajat is holding the bills now. It was a good walk while it lasted.
Now Rajat is thinking of the second thing that happened earlier today. That was good too.
His best buddy Amar met him in the cafeteria. They talked. They discussed walking out doors for a smoke. It was so difficult just having a quick smoke these days. Walk the corridor, take the elevator, walk out of the building, find a corner, light up and then the blackberry pings and you need to crush it underfoot and rush back up. Sigh.
Then Aman looked at his watch. Said oh no, it was already 9:45 and he was late for an appointment.
Rajat is now puzzled.
The girl had looked at her watch during the walk too. And exclaimed that it was 9:45 and she needed to go back inside and finish her work.
But Rajat was walking with her before he went home, changed, carried his duffel to the car, drove to the office building, hit the gym, finished his work out and was having a juice at the cafeteria before showering and going to his desk.
So how could it be 9:45 then, and then again?
Wait. Now Rajat remembers another thing that had happened today.
He was running on the treadmill, the sweat running down his back. He was tiring. The lactic acid forming in his calves. He lowered the pace of the machine and started to slow down. But the gym hand – couldn’t call him trainer, he was just a helper but he behaved like a trainer – walked up to him, raised the machine speed and said, pointing to the clock: 15 minutes more? Ok? Right up to 10a.m. And he pointed at the big clock in the gym. Which said 9:45a.m.
Now Rajat is confused. He is no longer happy.
He looks at the bills in his hand. The first is the water bill. He unfolds it and stares at it. The amount is Rs. 945.
Rajat looks around wild eyed. He checks the walls to see if they are padded. He checks his wrists for a tape, his ankles for restraints.
He gets up and opens the door. Peeps out, wary, hesitant.
There is a big wall clock on the corridor wall. Rajat collapses just outside his door. The clock says 9:45.