“Hey.. this is how they sit during psychology experiments in a laboratory.. at right angles!”
“Er.. this is also how they sit in coffee shops.”
Very, very funny.
A month-long stint with theatre had made me wary of social scripts. The art of conversation. Rules that were painfully brittle.
I turned the pages of my memory and pulled on the brakes when the sight of Khokada, our liftman, descending in the newly renovated elevator reminded me of a rockstar in a stage performance and alternatively of an angel. I had a headache. It was cold outside. The elevator emanated a soft, dim glow attracting myriad winged creatures. So yeah, maybe I did imagine the halo around his head.
The day began with sniffles. The hint of a sore throat. Smelly socks that clung to my feet like the phlegm inside my nasal passage. Yeah. Ugh. I know.
The geyser. The maid. The songs on my laptop. Chapattis. Cauliflower. Eggs. Raw tea. Erich Fromm’s psychoanalysis. Slanting rays of the sepia sun shining through the shade. Tongue twisters for the mindfucked.
Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.
Pangs of possessiveness as you realise that your past has left your side.
And then, celebrations as the thermometer set me free.
Arriving at Priya cinema hall in a blur of yellow. Buy two tickets. Sell off one. Who said it’s gonna be easy?
“Sixty bucks.. sixty bucks.. you’ll like what you see.. I can assure you of that.. internationally acclaimed.. it’s the real thing.. just try it once.. oh you’ve been there already? Come on, give it another try.. would I lie to you? I was hoping you’d be the one!”
You might have been at Deshopriyo park. But you might have also been in a red light area. You can’t bear the thought alone. You share it. You burst into giggles. You have to, lest you feel the undercurrents of the truth in what you just joked about.
The universe has the last laugh. You find a client in a handsome babyface. You know why he bought it from you and not that nice old lady in the corner who came to sell off a ticket for a nice balcony seat because “my husband’s cheeks have swollen up all of a sudden!”
When you watch Rituparno Ghosh’s “Abohomaan”, you wonder why Mamata Shankar and Dipankar Dey still haven’t got the Nobel for chemistry.
But the movie does so much more to you that you compensate for it. You believe them.
It ends in a coffee shop.
You stop looking for a solution. Between the tears glistening in her eyes and the light reflecting off her eyeliner, your shimmering bubble blows bigger and bigger in all its kaleidoscopic colours. You aren’t just happy because you pretended to be the guy in her life and held her quivering hand in yours. You aren’t just happy because you found someone who agrees that snakes are lonely, misunderstood creatures. You aren’t just happy that you got to use your debit card after a long, long time.
You see, you’re happy because you realised that you’re free. And that you aren’t escaping from it.