Wednesday, July 26, 2006

In the beginning of the middle



Train travel always does that. You carry unwanted smells from one place to another. The smell of rust and iron, of grime and dust, of sweat and boredom, of anticipation and tiredness.

She'd refused her early morning tea. She never drank it without brushing her teeth. He pretended to do the same. Slightly angry with her for his pretence, he bought the newspaper which he barely read.

"We get down at the next stop. Be ready.", her new husband said.

When the train pulled in at their station, she read the black letters on the yellow background. They spelt a new life.

Her silk saree in a state of great horror at being treated so- by the same woman who would take it out and sigh fondly into it, rebelled by crumpling some more.

She didn't have too much time to contemplate her first step. She always had a problem with right and left and in the fluster of embarking from a train, she lost which it was. It didn't matter too much anyway. Her mother of customs and traditions was almost one day and a night away.

What were those queer things? Those half-covered, rickety contraptions?

"We'll be taking a cycle rickshaw to get home", his pompous voice sounded again.

Ah, cycle rickshaws!

He couldn't bargain with the beedi smoking guy who pedaled the vehicle that would take them home. He didn't want to sound cheap in front of his new wife.

The pedals moved rhythmically. With each roll of the wheel she was taken a step ahead in her new world.

What were those things up there? High above every house?

He noticed her eyes look up. He read the unasked question in them.

"Do you know what they are?"

She nodded her head in the negative. And the new wife, remembering the request from the night before said, "No"

Pleased, he pointed to the television antennas and replied, "They hang clothes on them to dry."

His new wife nodded her head in understanding and wondered at how tall the people of the place must be to hang clothes so high up.

He laughed at her. She laughed with him.

It did something to him, that innocent laugh of hers. Taking her hand in his, he promised to himself that he will be kind to her.

Blushing at the act of her husband's, she thought, "Perhaps there will be swings"

20 Comments:

Blogger maddy said...

Pretty good, your writing and I notice that you like Ayn rand!! well well, just today I wrote about her..anyway keep doing it, i.e taking a snapshot of the world around us in some words...

4:57 AM  
Blogger Dev Nair said...

"With each roll of the wheel she was taken a step ahead in her new world"- I like this sentence.

5:28 AM  
Blogger SilenceKilled said...

Sometimes I wonder how can u put in words all those emotions that others ignore...........
:)Reading ur blogs is a real treat.....

5:42 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Maddy: Aye aye sir! :)

Dev: Hmmm...

SilenceKilled: But why was silence killed?

6:02 AM  
Blogger sp said...

Ok. So the story continues. I like it this way. In instalments, like all good things in life.

N yes, a long train journey does leave you with its smell. My train journeys have mostly been long, atleast 30 hrs from the southern peninsula to the dreary desert sand in my hometown. And when I get off and reach home, there is that unmistakable smell of the train in my clothes and person - I think its the rust and iron like you said - alongwith the inertia of the train's rocking, as a take-away from the journey I had just undertaken.

You know what, the most redeeming feature of your writing is the attention to the finer details and the insight into the character's minds. This is the hallmark of any good writer and should stand you in good stead and the characters' personalities will come out well-sketched in your book.

8:12 AM  
Blogger sparsh said...

I like train journeys, more so at nights, and if you are on Konkan railway route, you can see the reflections of the diyas in the backwaters of kerala. Like Diwali throughout the year:).

8:50 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Prasanna: Your comment made my day! :)

Sparsh: I've loved travelling by train at nights and esp along the West coast. Kerala is a beautiful place.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Pritika Gupta said...

Nice going.. i njoyed this second part also..

1:23 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Pritika: I hope you'll say the same about the others! :)

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Aparna said...

Cool...Seems like this might turn into a mega serial!
Oops!! wrong analogy. Mega serials are boring.

Awaiting your next part

cheers..

4:35 PM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Aparna: I'll run out of patience and grow quite bored with the characters soon you see!

9:59 PM  
Blogger Shinu Mathew said...

Waiting for the next chapter.

10:02 PM  
Blogger SilenceKilled said...

Silence was killed because someone chose to speak up.............
Well,I have read all ur blogs till now..........
I like the blogs related to ur childhood.....
I like the blog about how the Vase was broken....
I like the blog when u said u were trying to enjoy rock show but actually u knew u were not enjoying it.......
I like the blog where u couldn't put liner properly because u were consicious.....
I like ur blogs because they say abt all those phoney things which ppl do and don't like it themselves....
I like ur writing for ur honesty.......
I like them because u respect emotions.....Leave apart how trivial they may sound to anyone.....
Thanks for making me realize there are still people who give importance to emotions....

11:00 PM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Shinu: Next week! :)

SilenceKilled: Am humbled by what you've written!

6:50 AM  
Blogger mathew said...

deadly..u have a unique style..

3:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

part deux!
whenz the next?! :D
have loads of input for ur earlier storyboard btw...remember the one am talkin abt....Paris beckons!;p

3:55 AM  
Blogger A.G.Sudarshan said...

Innocence personified...

Eagerly awaiting the next one..

5:37 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Mathew: He He! :)

Sharat: It beckons me too! :)

Sudarshan: Still in office I am. tell me, when do I write?! :(

7:50 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

WOW!!! That captured the sights,sounds and smells of India sooo prefectly...Combined with the emotion involved this is a brilliant piece of work!!! ;o)

9:35 PM  
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5:59 AM  

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