HAS ANYONE OF YOU READ RUSKIN BOND’S THE NIGHT TRAIN AT DEOLI? I’m quite sure many of you have and many of you have not. For those, who have they can relate to what I am going to ‘pen’ down now. I have a dream to explore the whole world; but Paris, that place will be special. There, I want to sit outside a small street café, have a cup of coffee, sharing it with a total stranger; she or he, doesn’t matter.
There, I want to sit outside a small street café, have a cup of coffee, sharing it with a total stranger; she or he, doesn’t matter.
We will talk about the books to buy, when to shop at the local grocery store, to shop for tonight’s dinner and how my stranger like having their coffee! As for me, it will have to be pure, black and steaming hot, no sugar, no nothing; blank, yet rough. Then a light drizzle will start to fall and we will hurry inside the small street café, take our seats by the big glass window and hear the rain drops knocking on the glass, as if to join our conversation, but meekly, soothing. We will notice, at the same time a big brown cat crossing the road to the other side and an old man smoking a cigar, the smoke will whirl from the lit tip and ascend to the grey clouds; mixing, adapting, vanishing.
We will notice, at the same time a big brown cat crossing the road to the other side and an old man smoking a cigar, the smoke will whirl from the lit tip and ascend to the grey clouds; mixing, adapting, vanishing.
There will hardly be any pedestrians on the road outside and the night will slowly began to wrap up the city. The electric light bulbs in the street lamps will flicker and will become stagnant, one by one, in a row. The sun will set in the horizon without being conspicuous and the queue of cars with their head lights in the front and in the rear will merge into a blur, congested, yet peaceful. No sound will reach us, the big glass window will protect us, and the small street café will protect us. My stranger will look at the watch, smile at me, will say, “IT IS TIME FOR US TO DEPART”, but no words will form in his or hers lips. I will rise from my seat and my stranger from hers or his. We will shake hands, leaving indelible marks in our palms and hearts and its beats.
We will shake hands, leaving indelible marks in our palms and hearts and its beats.
I will come out of the small street café and stride down those cobbled paths of Paris never looking back. The sounds of the heels of my boots will reverberate the empty foot-paths, the empty street with now, no cars but with the still lighted lamp-posts. And back to now, empty and closed, the small street café. I will be walking with now a reduced pace. I will remember the woman with her dark nail-paint which did not seem even a bit acrylic and her pristine bluestone ring. Or else the man with deep wavy brown hair and a black muffler wrapped tightly around his neck. As for the rest of the attire and other facial and physical features, they have not formed yet, they lay in wait in the distant future. They are now grey, in a grey zone. A blood red umbrella will be raised above my head, its shiny wooden handle clasped tightly in my gloved left hand with its glossy smooth black leather. My mind will tell that, maybe you are no soothsayer but this is the first and the only time you will be setting eyes on your stranger’. My eyes will drop, I will hold my tears back. I will still be hearing the rain drops hitting my umbrella from above.
My eyes will drop, I will hold my tears back. I will still be hearing the rain drops hitting my umbrella from above
THE DRIZZLE HAS NOT STOPPED YET.