All in black mood, he rushed out towards the road from the dingy apartment where he lives with his wife. The road so crowded but none of his people to be seen.
While walking on those pavements, strolling through those parks, eating roadside vada-pav, he only had one thought in his mind-London. No, it didn’t just spring up from somewhere and took seed in his mind, but it was his home.
“Will you please stop fretting over everything!” His wife implored over phone. “It’s not that you are in India for the first time. This was your home for thirty years.” She added.
He was in no mood to discuss cum argue over anything right now; let alone this India-is-your-country thing. He disconnected the call with her words still in mid-way. This loss of connection, he could easily blame upon the network towers here in India, just the way every other tower, building, and multiplex around here had been at the receiving end of his blames. After all it’s not London!
“Can you please get aside?” A lady had to push him aside to find her way while walking behind him.
He was so much into his past that it made the present tough for the people around him. After all nobody likes to get stuck behind a medium-build tall man, who has either an extremely weird clothing sense or whose wife probably forgot to wash his white shirt which he would have worn over those black pants instead of bright red colored t-shirt that he was wearing now.
If it were some young, charming man girls wouldn’t have minded his blocking their ways. But unfortunately here we had not-so-young Jayant.
He looked around for a bench, a clean one. But damn it! It’s India. Not London.
Around were few children, suffering from malnutrition, playing football with a plastic bottle. His face drooped as if he was a sunflower and those children were just symbolizing darkness. If only it were London, there would be real football instead of a stupid bottle!
After futile efforts of finding a desirable bench to sit, he gave up to a rusty bench in the extreme corner of the park. Something is better than nothing, he thought.
He rummaged in his bag to find it; he explored every pocket of his backpack but it all went in vain. London, in past seven years, had made him chronic to have a chewing gum in his mouth (almost) all the time. He embarked on a quest to find a shop. Thank God, he said under his breath; this probably was his first time in India since his comeback that he was thanking God instead of whining. I don’t have to walk over another dusty road to find the shop, a thought similar to many that had crossed his mind in past two weeks.
“Please give me that packet of chewing gum.” Jayant asked pointing towards a box kept near the left arm of the shopkeeper.
Oh! The accent. “You not from India?” Shopkeeper asked out of curiosity.
Jayant, who would be the last person to get involved in such kind of conversation, tried to smile really hard to not to look rude. “I am.” I was. “No, I am not.” What is it with his English? Anyhow.
“Oh! India nice place. You like it.”
Why is he not giving me that damn packet? These people, I tell you, are testing my patience. “How much for one packet?”
Jayant gave him the money, took the packet and without making any eye contact to avoid any further unwelcome conversation with the shopkeeper rushed towards his rusty bench of the park. But to his luck, the bench was already taken by someone else.
He popped in a chewing gum in his mouth and started towards his home, or an old yellow building, which he preferred to call it.
On reaching the mid-way, still lost in the thoughts of London, he stepped on something gummy. “Aagh! If only I were in London, nothing of this sort would have happened. A filthy country this is.” He cursed.
While on his way back to the building he threw the wrappers of biscuits dumped in his bag, and also spit the chewing gum on the side pavement to pop in a new gum.
“Dirty country. Huh!” He said while entering into the building.
IF YOU ARE A FIRST- TIME VISITOR OF MY BLOG, DO REFER ‘First-Timers‘. IT WOULD HELP YOU IN EXPLORING THE PLACE.
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