Monday, March 5, 2012


The wandering eyes of an impatient passenger- waiting for his train, restless in his brain.

They rotate in their lobes faster than those of a chameleon.
Shifting themselves as soon as they focus on something.

As soon as they focus on the beggar with his bandaged half-leg's lying on the cold floor of the railway station, while flies hover all over them.

As soon as they focus on the clueless grin of the mad woman, who is wandering as aimlessly as themselves.

As soon as they focus on the great indian graffiti, much less objective and much less artistic, pervasive on the walls of every public place in India.

As soon as they focus on those blue eyes of a young woman, sitting two benches away from him.

But they return to these blue eyes, moving as restlessly as themselves, teasingly hiding behind some loose tendrils of hair.

They return to the white, angular face, crowned by silky black hair but cruelly eclipsed below the eyes by a checkered scarf.

They look at those eyelashes, starting from the end of her eyelids and curved upwards, looking like an array of doormen, standing with their chests out and guarding that beautiful palace.

They observe those eyebrows, the shouting messengers of those muted eyes, yelling silent expressions of their master, varying from eagerness to calm, from anger to pleasure and from surprise to expectation.

They plunge into those blue pools, and look at a better reflection of the surrounding world in them than it's real self, till they find those mirrors looking back at them.

They watch her eyelids, the sliding doors of that beautiful palace, falling down and hanging in midway over the eyes, half in shyness and half in fear of his long stare.

But the shutters open up slowly and look back at their observer, like a scared animal, initially retreating from human touch, but then allowing it.
They size him up in different aspects and on different scales- a quick process of evaluation of opposite sex, rigorously trained and continuously practiced from teenages.
They are impressed, but more so by the look of total admiration that they are still receiving.
They widen themselves while the eyebrows contract, questioning the bold stare but not threatening it. Admonishing his audacity but relishing it at the same time.

She watches him take out a pencil and a paper from his bag, and grows more curious.
Is he writing a note? Oh.. why is he so mischievous ?
But she watches him make a gesture of  pulling back some loose hair in front of eyes.
She smiles behind her mask and obliges him, giving a steady pose, but her heart throbs and flies.
Few minutes later, she looks at 'her eyes through his eyes' in his portrait.
Her eyebrows shoot up in fascination, and she gives him a gesture of appreciation.

But he continues to draw, leaving her perplexed and mesmerized.
After a while, he shows a portrait of her full face, with his imaginary nose and mouth below her eyes.

Her compressed eyebrows expand suddenly and there is a distant look in her eyes.
What is it that is blurring her sight? Is that water in her eyes?
What is it that is blocking her thoughts? Is that realization in her mind?

A train stops in front of her, and she quickly jumps into it.

An angel walks into his life, and disappears before he could realize?
What was the change in her expression, was it the fear of some malice?
Should he let their fleeting moment of affinity end in a misunderstanding's disguise?
Should he let his love at first sight leave, and regret for the rest of his life?

He catches up with the running train, and gets into her compartment.

Sometimes she stands, sometimes she sits, to keep away from him, but all in despair.
Because, even after closing her eyes she can feel his piercing stare.
She wants him in her passion, but she can't in her reason.
She would look back at him in her imagination, but shan't in reality.

She gets down at an unknown station, with turbulent thoughts and him following her.
He loses her in the crowd, and loses his sanity in her quest.
He clutches his hair like a mad person, becoming one with the insanity he had observed in disgust before.

There she is... walking briskly down the road, running away from him, and trying to run away from herself.

He rushes to her as fast as he can, and catches up with her, catching his breath while he catches her hand.

She turns back and receives the questioning look of a young child given to his sullen friend.
He looks in her eyes, and receives the penitent look of a guilty convict given to his victim of crime.

He moves his hand forward to disrobe the scarf from her face.
She catches his hand in the middle and shakes her head with moist eyes.
But the will of the hammer proves too strong for the grit of the frozen ice

The expression on his face when he removes the scarf is more horrible than the face behind the scarf itself.

With that expression glued to his face, he remembers,
That Valentines day, when she was walking down the road, hand in hand with her boyfriend, to fulfill the rituals of their teenage love- yes, childish and silly but yet innocent and pure.

She has no idea that the fanatic masked by a red scarf, who stopped in front of her on the bike that day, was him.
She has no idea that the hands which sentenced her to life by throwing acid on her face, were his.

Mistaking his expression for the look of disgust she weeps, but
She has no idea that the pallor in his face is not shock, not disbelief nor disgust but it is the guilt of a culprit realizing his crime.

Covering her wet face with trembling hands, she runs away from him.

When he comes out of his stupor, in the blurred sight of his watery eyes, she is already a dark spot on the horizon, fast diminishing....

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