Monday, November 28, 2005

Rusted. Or is it nostalgic?

I'd written this when I was 18. Or it could've been at 19. Found it a couple of days ago, while at cleaning out my inbox.

I don't know if I could write something like this today. But it still remains something I've written.

"The traffic was a mess and they were caught up in the jam. It was already late and she had to get home and make dinner. The line was inching by slowly and her husband was irritated. She looked out of the car having nothing better to do. The place had changed in all the years that she’d gone away…More buildings, more vehicles, more people and more pollution. But it was still the place she loved with all her heart and the place she’d be always, given the opportunity.

This was the place where she was born, where she studied and where she felt was home. A marriage, a husband and trotting all over India... Finally after years of wishing and hoping they were back home!

She breathed the air happily…even it seemed so familiar. The oft shifting had made her accept it as part of life and she’d become adept at it. They had only moved in a couple of days back and there was still quite a lot to do. So much more shopping, cleaning, arranging- spiced with bouts of nostalgia …

She looked out of the window of the car, a perfect smile hanging on her face…

It was then that she saw him…She caught her breath. After all these years… he…he hadn’t changed all that much. Consciously she looked at herself…a little weight at the maximum. Love handles, her husband called them. A few gray hairs which the regular visit to the beauty parlor took care of. Not much of a change in her too, she told herself. She looked out and her eyes frantically searched for him…the few moments she had taken her eyes off for a glance at herself, she had lost him…. This was the second time, she thought….

They were the envy of all in college…scarily compatible, best of friends, perfectly happy with each other. Then what went wrong…? Nothing did actually. Everything did actually.

He went in for higher studies and she waited. But time did not- a proposal from somewhere turned up which her parents accepted immediately. She’d had no say- he could not take her with him – well, she didn’t know to date if she would have had the courage to walk off on her parents…

There he was…. He still looked as good-looking as always. She’d always loved the way he smiled and he was smiling now…Smiling at a woman who was with him.

A surge of emotions welled up inside her.

He smiled at her and then at two little kids with them. They must be his- she thought. She looked curiously at the kids. One was about eight years old and the other was in her early teens…. The older one looked so like her- an exact replica- a very good-looking girl indeed, she mused. The younger one was a mix of both them- a very striking looking child, a grudging concession.

Strange feelings flooded over her- would the child have looked like her had she married him- she wondered. Would he be as happy as he now looked- could she have kept him so happy? Would they have had two children or more? How would the younger one look- a combination of both of them….? All these thoughts raced through her mind and for a moment she felt a pang of regret- did she miss something in life…?

With a start, she realized that her husband was beside her. Guiltily she looked at her husband who was still waiting patiently for the line of cars to move. Did he notice the myriad of emotions that flashed through her- had it reflected on her face? How would he have reacted had he guessed what went through her, she panicked. She’d never told him about her little romance; harmless romance- didn’t feel the need to. He’d never asked her about her past. “ Would I have told him had he asked”, she’d wondered many a times. Her answers never satisfied her. So she took satisfaction at the question he’d never asked.

He caught her looking at him while she was thinking all these jumbled thoughts…. He smiled an affectionate smile at her- a smile full of love, a love that had grown with time, a love that was discovered over the years, a love coupled with respect and admiration for the woman in her.

No, the pang of regret she had earlier disappeared immediately and was replaced by a feeling of guilt. How could she – after all they had been married 16 years….

She leaned towards him and kissed him on the cheek. To say he was shocked would be the understatement of the year. He looked back immediately to see if their children had seen the apparently shocking thing their mother had done some time back. But they were fast asleep. These few days had been hectic for them…

He then smiled at her and ruffled her hair and pulling her closer kissed her back. It was her turn to be shocked. But not at the act. It was more because of the person who’d done it. Unlikely. Unlikely but it was nice.

She turned around and looked at her children. Her daughter looked just like her and her son… well, at least not like her neighbor.

Both of them were fast asleep at the back of the car which was caught up in a traffic jam and which had their very irritated father at the wheel while their mother had a little romance with memories all by herself…"


Blogger ashish said...

u were not so young at 18 :P

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, very matured for an 18 yr old....I must say...I hav fallen in luv with your writing...utterly sublime....:)

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

holy chowmein!!!
" least not like the neighbour!!!"
man!!!hats off to that 18 yr old mind of yers ;p
btw...U forgot something important! :o(

12:13 AM  
Blogger Thulasi said...

i hope that u published ur first book.

2:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

EVEN I FELT LIKE CRYING OUT LOUD! Naive, can be believed when said that was written at 19. Words: Ripe of the age! :) Eventhough I don't know how old u r now, I defenitely can say something, without doubts in my mind...You Have Grown Up! :) This time, I won't say it was good...probably because even I have grown up! :)
Expecting more! :@)Dhanya!

3:40 AM  
Blogger Lazy strokes said...

Apologies first for commenting here without reading the post. Am just on my way. And in the meantime, felt like saying, you are so hopelessly romantic! :)

3:54 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Ashish: I don't know. I wrote something terribly 'tragic' at 15! Its there somewhere on my blog!

Anon: Sublime! :)

Sharat: I am so so sorry! Happy Birthday! You know how I am with stuff like that! :(

Thulasi: My first book?! God- that's a long way to go!

Dhanya: Am 25!!!! Listen to what someone wrote to me after reading this post: "I think you're posts haven't changed much - the themes, the emotions explored have become more complex, and stronger.
but the blueprint, the dna remains the same."

Lazy strokes: Lol! Oh yeah- hopelessly romantic! Can't seem to help it in my writing!

7:38 AM  
Blogger Arun said...

Rusted but varnished just in time. Nostalgic for sure.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Shaleen said...


10:06 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Arun: Ah! Flatterer!

Shaleen: Oh yes. 18/19; but somewhere there.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oooops! did u get my words wrong? i think so. never meant anything blasphemous! just wanted to say that "You have grown up"...which i think just menas the same as the good friend of urs who gave u the comment! :)

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


ps: u will be the first one to see it, i guess! mostly the posts which were here before, i wanted a revamp! and this is a complete one!

12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suresh: Innocence!!!



3:41 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Dhanya: Sure will check it out. Nope- didn't get you any wrong!

Suresh: Innocence which I never had!

7:33 AM  
Blogger aks said...

hey love....i simply loved this one...good one...simple yet intense...

3:23 AM  
Blogger Praveen said...

Good one! You say you wrote it a few years back, but your writing is as good as it is now :).

5:43 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Aks: Thank you sweetheart.

Praveen: Thank you!

7:25 AM  
Blogger Lost in trance... said...

i'm all J. honest.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Lost in trance: I sure hope you didn't mean the green eyes monster!!!!

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey...last time I read it, I guess I missed the 'not like the neighbor' bit...Gosh poornima, U have ME thinking of an affair now:P!!! You are a bad influence on devoted,married women:D!!!

9:50 PM  
Anonymous kerabyte said...

men sre from mars , women are from hell

10:05 PM  

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