10 minutes

Posted: January 18, 2014 by Ankur in Writes...

If it wasn’t for the board outside, you wouldn’t want to have another glance at it. There weren’t what you call the ordinary rooms in it. The denizens preferred to call them-their coops. It was in these coops that they found a love each morning, lost it by night, and woke up the morning after lamenting.

The walls were so thin you could be a part of your neighbour’ lives on either side and they yours. I don’t even know what it will take you to believe? So I rather not mention these coops’ dimensions . Mary Jane was so potent that it had the nine of us gracing the floor of same coop as we listened to the owner rant about his lady-love who we could all hear, professing her love to another just next door.

I wondered what I was doing there? One had to wait for one’s hour of departure and one’s mother had the innate ability to phone them when they were to be found in their most deliriously brazen states. Somehow I braved mine and assured her that if she were to fly there right then, she would have done so in vain only to find me at the platform and as to why she couldn’t hear the usual backdrop voices I pointed out the vices of technology “It’s the phone,mum” and she bought it in half a heartbeat.

I stood outside for a while, breathing in the damp air, spiced by cheap cologne, tobacco and weed. I noticed I had two different slippers on but my gaze went beyond the sight of my ugly toes and fell upon a copperish curly-haired head. My eyes pried further till she might have felt two inebriated eyes boring her. That’s when she looked up.What met me was a pair of two hauntingly almost tealish beautiful eyes tinctured in sunken kohl-rimmed sockets. She smiled and I threw back the best I could manage.

Must be a college kid, though what is she doing in a place like this ( no one really points the finger at one’s own self). I had most definitely seen her back in college but what damned nook of that dreary building that I couldn’t recall. Ah it struck me like the first snow storm ; the library. I had seen her in the library, those same eyes buried deep within a novel. One of capote’s was it?

The chain of thought might have carried me further down the rabbit hole had it not been the fading effect of green and the gruff un-gentleman who had just entered the scene. Think of an image of the most macho man you have ever seen, add to it a protruding beer belly and a moustache that started from his nostrils and it was hard to differentiate it from his chest hair which if woven into a comforter could easily cover a california king and now hold onto that image for a while.

He held her by the arm in the most blood boiling way and whispered in a potential rapist’s steely voice “ 10 minutes!“. That face , those scared eyes and those words stayed with me for a long time and so immense was the combined effect of all, that I almost missed my train.

Dimple Negi

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