They threw away destiny, as if it were a bauble for the vitriolic, and embarked on a “Let’s See” experiment somewhat believing they had been moving all along towards each other… like cosmic dust. However, reality is no such rose garden. It is a stodgy, painful, slow movement towards everything one never wanted for oneself; a struggle for hope. Naina and her maudlin ways, often trap to her own fervid imagination had little space in Rob’s overly compartmentalized life. Yet, it was Rob’s perseverance and Naina’s hope for deliverance, that saw them come together and remain mutually affected.
It started with an auto ride and a back rub that lasted well into the night over some expensive dark rum on the rocks. Naina and Rob had just stepped out of a theatre after watching a classic epoch about hobbits when the skies opened up in abrupt fury. Naina’s flimsy white kurti was drenched immediately, leaving very little for the imagination. In desperation when she looked at Rob for cover, a sliver of awareness passed through them. For just that moment, friendship was left behind, and an inevitable sense of irony made its mark. They wanted each other but preferred to keep things platonic. You see, Naina wanted security and Rob didn’t have any to offer.
That rainy afternoon, when according to lore the crow and a sparrow make love to each other behind a truculent sun, two unlikely friends made a dash for an auto. The auto drove through narrow streets, deserted now by people but their cars and bikes still haphazardly claiming space. Soggy dogs skunked in dirty corners of khaka shops and departmental stores. The roads gleamed, the auto driver angst-ridden speeded James Bondish through blurs of buildings, street lamps and potholes. All the while poor Naina could not control her shivers or shame. In hope of being buffeted by Rob’s warmth, she moved closer with a plea that was answered immediately.
Regardless, Naina’s home came in thirty minutes and the lovers-to-be let go with a pang while pretending to be more concerned about their sodden clothes. Rob in Naina’s over-sized tee and shorts, and the lady in her harem pants, were dry, thirsty and looking for comfort. Irony was sighing heavily again and Naina was skirting around vague plans of seduction. So Rob decided to wait for the amber rum on the rocks to spike truth to the floor, where it could writhe and wriggle in it nakedness, and make converts to its martyrdom.
All grey was soon suspended, and their black and white world took on a vaseleen-like hue in the back rub that Rob gave Naina. Their eyes pleaded with each other, to stop this madness and relieve them of the terrible pain of yearning. But what does truth care about your inner, worthless struggles? Make peace, make peace with your inevitable death, it said. So when Rob lowered his plump lips to Naina’s half-done ones, irony won, death gloated and apparently love slyly walked in.