The Days That Never Were


If they were not meant to meet, he wouldn’t have met her really. This constant struggle to submit to fate or luck was an unacceptable idea to him. Nothing infuriated him more than the phrase “If it is meant to be it will be” because he was of the belief that if somebody really wanted it they would make a play for it. Then again was the parallel that if everyone was so magical about controlling their own lives then why were they whining about it? Neither did they have any control nor did they want to submit and that was the story of their lives. As for him he just wanted to talk to her irrespective of whom or what was in control of today. He couldn’t imagine where he was and he couldn’t imagine what day it was, nor did he possess an intellect to contemplate about however someone did reach here where he was. More important was the pertinence of her being here.

It felt like a fading winter of late February but of course he had no way of knowing that. It could be late morning of a winter in February for North India or the early morning chill of South Indian November. He glanced at his watch to grasp meaning and it told him that it was 2 am in the morning. His watch couldn’t stay loyal to him it seemed, like so many other things. He could have claimed that it was a road that he had known, but the buildings were not four storied as he remembered them to be. They were duplexes. There were memories where these duplexes were possessions of luxury and in another, dream of being together. He was standing beside a streetlight which looked like an imitation of the Toronto tower. It was in the middle of the road, the grass around it was damp with due. A street leading to this light post which was surrounded with grass, quite simply a place where she would have asked him to meet.

The three roads which met at this post would look uncannily the same if you stood on one of the roads and looked ahead. Something which his mother had hated about these colonies was that all the houses looked the same to her. But if one were to stand beside the post, each had its own imprint. The roads met him there with their invite and she wouldn’t tell him where they were going but lead him on anyway. It could have been the road where he could see the cottages surrounding a park. It looked like an unusually empty park which he could have sworn in another time of being an abandoned gift from somebody. It could be somebody who had seen him being scolded for breaking somebody’s window on the street and had been generous enough to gift him a playground for children’s day.

The question right now although was, which road would she appear from?

“Who are you looking for?”

“No one.” He smiled.

She of course knew it to be a blatant lie, one which he too knew was caught the moment he thought of it, let alone speak it. She had been agitated with this childish way because she was aware of the truth that everybody was nobody and each one of us was looking for somebody. She knew he had come there because of the cruelly passive comment she had made the other day by not making any at all! stretching the silence of the hiatus which he had created and she refused to acknowledge simply because he would refrain from speaking on it to her. She was furious because if you couldn’t really express your mind and if one was to befriend the winds to know the weather in another’s heart, then one should be unpredictable like the weather itself and be spontaneous in raging the storms.

He knew that she was mad, not because he could read her face but because she had braided her hair into a neat knot. It was something she would never do in winters unless she had something going on in her head. The blunt knives she would torture him with were only evident with her facing him with her arms folded across her chest and opinions she so generously doled would turn dry when he warranted them from her. He had never desired to be the protagonist whose throes of passion were so legitimately justified that the only sense prevailed was in his own words and his own paint. In fact he relished the arguments against him and his belief was that if he had to speak to defend his idea, the idea itself wasn’t strong enough to dismember the attacks on it.

This impasse was of course not new to either of them when each had their own ways of whispering past it to leave no footprints of it behind. Both of them would refrain in vain every time they reached the impasse to be haunted in anticipation for when the silence will finally be broken and haunted again to what painful valediction will the other take them through, knowing all too well that condemnation to suffer the fate was a paralyzed choice indeed. They had grown past the time when they would let such acts of silent ignorance turn to unspeakable acts of arrogance and really the precursor to those stretched hours of unheard threats for lengthening of these times. Instead of disowning each other to lead the slow consumption and again recuperation and sewing the fleshes with thicker needles they had now learned to invade and involve with or without wishes to fall into the dynamic place of peace for the heart.