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Friday, April 28, 2006 

The Road Much Travelled

The first time he had travelled this road, he did not know the way. And neither did he stop to ask for directions. One revelled in such randomness then. The joy of the engine’s roar, the smooth road, and the sunshine, they all reflected his mood. He did not know what lay ahead; he just knew he was going to love it.

He remembered those times the next time he went by this road. The tin-shed panshop by that turnoff. One waits sometimes, knowing it’s a matter of time. And sometimes, you wait because there is nothing else to do. But waiting is a decision in itself. It’s like baccarat, when you have a five in hand. Waiting is the third card, the one that can push you to that magic nine, or just tip you over the edge into certain loss. He waited here like that, rebelling against the safety of the five, the certainty of compromise. He waited, daring that third card, and it rained.

He disdained the panshop’s inadequate protection; he didn’t want to get wet by drops leaking through the tin roof. He’d much rather feel the sting of the water, suck on a sodden cigarette cupped in the hand. Then that went out, and he just sat there on the bike, face upturned to driving rain, eyes closed. The fact that the spirit was getting recharged allowed him to admit that he was tired. That was how she saw him as she walked past on the other side of the road without stopping, though he didn’t know that till later.

The next time they were on that road together. She pointed out the bus-stop where she would get down everyday, and said “Nothing Goes Right In”, pointing to the acronym of the government organisation there. “Not easily, not the first time, no”, he deadpanned, and her mouth formed an O as she chided him for being crass. “Need Another Seven Astronauts”, she then said, and they laughed, though both knew that they had heard it before. She hummed, randomly connecting; a habit he was to pick up from her. He used to love connecting the dots between her lines and the conversation. “Carrie”, she hummed, almost in an undertone, and he said “Final Countdown”, rather pleased with himself. She nodded, and then hummed more audibly

“ Things may change, my friend, … Carrie, Carrieeee

Maybe we’ll meet, again ….”

He taught her to say goodbye; a gift that he passed on, armour that he donated, leaving him awkward and bumbling at all farewells from that point onward.

He passed by that road again today. The car’s tinted glasses and noisy AC drowned out the outside world quite effectively. He listened to the jabber about electron beam cross-linking and how it made for better fire-resistance. Nodding to worries in squeaky tones about the loss of flexibility it entailed, he looked out, at this road he had never really learnt about. As the turnoff approached, he tensed; flattened his face against the glass, moved to the edge of the seat. Even the driver noticed, slowing the car tentatively. Cigarette, he gestured, motioning toward the panshop, and the car glided to a halt.

“Classic Milds”, he said. As he smoked, he saw the road anew, this time knowing it did not matter. Roads did not matter anymore, he was now driven by alien, sure hands towards known destinations.


On the move meself. A-travellin' we go. Miss me?

Peccavi : Berlin ?

Me : Along same lines ...Out along the edges, always where I burn to be ?

memories... the places, the location...

In umr se lambi sadakon ko, manzil pe pahunchte, dekha nahin
Bas daudti phirti, rehti hain,humne toh teherte, dekha nahin
Is ajnabee se sheher mein, jaana pehchaana, dhoondta hai ...


But take Hope.


==> Big one for inside jokes.


better you are without any jaana pehchana on those roads much travelled, fewer 'Classic' memories to confront, eh?

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