Saturday, December 16, 2006

COFFEE AND CIGARETTES

We no longer noticed the colourful lights wrapped around the Gulmohar. Sometimes they blinked at us and sometimes we stared at them to hide from another conversation. We know the words that surrounded us and they know our replies. Nobody really cares. It’s just a cup of coffee and the chatter is only for company.

We had stopped recognizing the faces.
We had begun to read minds.
We did not miss the winters gone by.

The cup of coffee was an excuse to escape from the regular until caffeine became regular.

The conversation was flowing, the laughter was infectious and winter smelt of nicotine rather than smog. She walked by as the eyes recognized her while the body ignored her.

Must have been her golden skin, or her wild, curly hair. It was her unattractive face made pretty by the ugliness around.

Now, she was leaving.
I walked upto her.

“Hi”

She looked right through me. I knew she recognized me.

“Oh, I am sorry, Please finish your call.”

I wanted to go back to ignoring her, rather than being ignored.

She returned and we talked.
Small talk.
Another meaningless chain of sentences constructed with the intention of making them the last.

She expertly rolled a joint without breaking eye contact and offered me a drag that was refused politely.

The conversation continued and soon I was staring at the Gulmohar.

I knew I will remember her after tonight.
She was not the girl I never knew all those years ago.
She is the girl, I will be years from now.
The shapeless exchange ended abruptly when she rode away on her bi-cycle with a shiny bell.