Coffee and a renewed friendship

“Hey! Hi, how are you?” She asked as she saw me sitting on the stairs of the Concert Hall.

She was Akshara. I met her last year at the same Hindu Literature Festival. We mostly attended all the events on a day together and spent the day really well. I did not get her number and Wait! She didn’t too. I forgot her face, but as the advertisements for this year’s festival popped up, she came to my mind first. I even thought of searching the Likes of the event’s Facebook Page. But from 26,000 I don’t even have the slightest chance of finding her name, even before the next event.

“Hi, Akshara Right?” I told. “Yes, Barath, without the second ‘h’ ” she remembered my name, the actual name. “So you’re a volunteer this year?” I asked. “Yes, wanted a clear picture of the event. So signed up as a volunteer. No one would see the show better than me. I am at the front, passing Time Prompts to the moderators” she told, in what seemed like a proud and happy tone. “So, you were the one, who was actually tapping on the stage when Kanhaiya was speaking,” I asked. “You saw me already! Why didn’t you talk to me then” she answered with a question. “Dude I was on the Balcony and how do you expect me to get your face and I hated you a lot, How can you ask people to end such Good Shows. I hated you a lot”. “That job was for the Iron-Hearts, someone who can stand so much Hatred, but it’s not that serious. Everyone understands the situation” she told completing the sentence with a smile.

“Had your lunch?” I asked. “Yeah Man! And don’t tell me skipped your lunch again”. I nodded. “Grow leaner and leaner,” she said. “I’m lean and healthy” I replied instantly. Before she could begin her sentence, I asked her, if she wants a coffee. We started walking to the Coffee Place. Being a crazy coffee aficionado I told her about that brewery’s coffee “This coffee is one of the good coffees in Madras. Its 50 years old” I completed a little louder. “Really!” she asked in a rather dragging tone. “Barath, last time I ordered a coffee, got it and in 15 minutes the coffee turned cold. 50 years doesn’t sound good” she told looking at me. I started walking back. She caught me and turned me back simultaneously laughing at me and telling, “Ok! Ok! I won’t talk”.

We got our coffees and I suggested we sit on the stairs with the View of the Entrance. She nodded and we walked slowly and carefully, fearing the coffee might dye someone else’s dress. We care for our strangers you know.
“So Akshara, What do you think about the festival?” I told and took the first sip. She completed her first sip. She looked like she liked the taste, told “Hmmm, Cool Man. Better than last year’s show. More People! Learned a lot”. “The decor is heavenly, little things with so much beauty. You changed the place altogether, It’s going to be harder removing all this and getting this back to normal” I told. She replied “They hired a team for it. It’s going to be hard for them.”

As we were talking a woman passed by us wearing a White floral Printed Frock and Neon-Orange Puma Shoes. “Look at that fashion sense Akshara!” I told her pointing the direction with my eyes. “Get used to it Barath. This might be a big fashion statement in 2 years” she told. “But would you do that?” “Definitely not” she was confident and I was happy. “So many new faces right? This year” she asked. “Not just faces new Skin tones, dresses, and way of life. I have not seen this kind of an Intellectual English crowd before. These people are the Elites of MADRAS. You get a chance to look at them only in a Few Sabhas, Secluded Cafes, and temples. I have seen a few of them. But seeing all these people together puts me in a state of a Cultural Shock. But in a good Sense. I mean I just admire” I told. “How good it would be to live like them! But sometimes I think it would be boring with too many responsibilities. What do you think?” she asked and took the last sip of the coffee. “It would just be a pain in the ass, for you and me. I am very sure” I told and we both started laughing. Happily, unhurtingly judgemental!

We turned towards the entrance still smiling and spotted Rishi Kapoor Ji, some 10 steps ahead of us walking casually amidst few organizers.


-© just Barath.
Happy Life!

P.s. – Purely Fictional. I went to the festival (The best lit fest I have been to!). But met no one like Akshara. I started reading my old works and missed writing so much, getting back little by little. It’s hard to get the first word out and even harder not writing. So long!


From ‘Coffee?’ to ‘You know how it ends!’

I asked as I ran into her just like another day. She remained silent. I shook her back from her trance. She looked straight into my eyes. I realized something was not right. I took her hand held it together and stared at her. A stare that tells I am listening and I’ll do it, don’t worry”. I think that at some point a girl needs it. She was still struggling to get the first word out. I was kicked out of my comfort zone then. Different things started to run in my stupid mind. It’d better if I won’t tell all that.

The first word. “Barath!” she told and took a breath. “Yes” I stammered (Whoa! What am I into now?). “Dad had seen us at the café, yesterday noon” she completed. Truly, I was happy she talked. I did not wanna show my fear out. I replied with a sound “So?”
“Dad was mad at me. He started shouting at me and God! I had to talk back to my dad for the first time of my life. I had never got scolded by my dad, even when I landed him in trouble. He closed the door even before I could convince him” she spoke out.

“Honey! It’s Ok” I told. “No, it’s not” she told almost spontaneously. I expected that. A few minutes of silence to the mouths, but loud, loud voices inside my head.

I cleared my mind and without much ado I asked her, “Honey! What did you tell your dad about us”? My words were crystal clear. I was contented with it. “Barath. I never had the chance to talk to him clearly. I started that we were in a relationship.. and then he started shouting. All I could do was shout few ‘No Dad’ and ‘Dad it’s not like that’ here and there. He closed the door in the midst of the words. I was pleading sorries to the door”. She did not complete the last words. Tears welled in her eyes. Two drops fell on her book below. Her hand pushed her locks behind her ear and she turned away from me so that I could not see her crying. I walked before her, knelt down before her chair. Now I looked straight into her tear filled, starting to become red Eyes. I held both her hands together and kissed it, just to make her feel better. She stopped crying, took a few deep breaths. She stopped crying that’s all she did. But she looked beautiful than ever. She looked stronger than anyone.  That look that a girl has at a moment like this is addictive, is the greatest drug (A good one). I wanted to see her smile back at me now.

I told “Look at me! I want you to listen now. Not like how you listen in your language classes (I know it’s the lamest joke!)”. But she smiled. Whoa! Whoa! I closed my eyes and literally gave up my mere existence on this planet to live in her smile that moment. She was everything. I came back to my senses (The little I had). With my superpower replenished, I told,” Try talking to your dad today, If not today tomorrow. Just tell him what I’m telling you now. He’ll be convinced. If he is still not convinced. I’ll talk to him”. “Yes” she said. She believed, believed in me.

“Tell him, Dad! You want me to be happy throughout my life. Like I am with you. You want all my wishes to be catered like you gave me my wishes. He’ll do anything for me. You remember that birthday Mom scolded me and I cried, but when you looked at me I stopped crying, because you would act like crying. That first Scooter you bought me, which I hit on a car, the very next week. The issues that we had to face throughout paying the monthly installments and some loans you had to take. Again you looked at me once then and I stopped crying. That joyous tears you shed seeing me on my Boards Result Day. That got mom laughing at you, calling YOU a child” *She had a gaze filled with love* “Dad, he remembers everything I had told him about us, he knows you like I do know about you. He likes mom’s cooking and sometimes he would pretend like he really likes them. He completes me Dad. *another pause* and maybe tell this too… Dad he got placed as a Senior Reporter at BBC and his PayCheck is also heavy” I finished and raised the envelope with BBC’s initials on it.

She got up all of a sudden. So did I. I had to ‘because I was holding her hand. I started to say something (Something like I missed my lunch honey!). She sent those words back in. You know how…

Start Dreaming! Happy life └(^o^)┘
-©just barath.

P.s.- Purely fictional!. Good to be back writing. Guess you got the ending of this scene?