Monday, April 02, 2007

The Night - A Sojourn

Have you ever wondered why in the journey of life often we find our self in midst of such a crowd where we seem to be misfit, an odd man out? Despite being in the crowd why there is so loneliness and lost a feeling? Yet there may be someone who is for me, like me but may be far from me. We never know what treasure life has in store for us in every turn. It is only the most unexpected which happens all the time and whatever happens it is for good. Don’t you to agree? Life is too long to brood over the sorrows and faults of yesterday but too short to live to the brim today and think for an even brighter tomorrow. May be a little faith and love for life can give us more than what we asked for.


It has been a long week for Aryan with lots of pending works done. Above all managing the fussy boss made him eagerly looking forward to the weekend. It’s the time to relax. Hoping to have some time for himself and expecting a quiet weekend holiday all for himself he called it a day at 6 in the evening on Friday. With the engine of his black sedan car roaring he made a rather speedy exit from the parking lot towards his home.
Thank God! At last it’s time for me only. I needed it man.” he thought to himself.
But little did he know that it is going to be the time which will bless his life to a new ecstasy and elation.
Now I guess Aryan should be more known to the dear readers. He is a typical urban character who from his very birth has grown up in a cosmopolitan environment. His demeanor reflects the sophistication and simplicity both at the same time. He may fit to the bill “tall, dark and handsome” but there is always a mischievous grin on his face and that made his appearance somewhat more elegant but not too solemn.
Though he grew up in din and bustle of urban environment yet within him there was another Aryan who craved for unfussiness and somewhat calmness in life. The only resort he found was his flute. Aryan does not claim himself to be creative or a person of arts but his interest is in playing flute but never made it public though. The night sky studded with stars always fascinated and enthralled him by the virtue of its vastness and fathomless mystic manifestation. He always found a safe haven in the cradle of night. The darkness never gave rise to apprehension in him but a sense of harmony. It is at this time his flute becomes more vocal than him. Lost in the pure bliss of the serenity of night Aryan plays flute only for himself. The passion to reach perfection was more an obsession than obligation.
Friday night was exception for Aryan. He wanted his flute to be more vocal than ever. The expression of him wanted to be revealed in that. But as usual one of his friends soon called him up for a party.
Hey Aryan. How is it going?” The voice belongs to Ronny on the other end.
Nothing much. It’s time for me to relax after a total week of work.
I have a great idea of relaxation you know.
Oh come on. I know what it is. Another party. That’s not for me.
Don’t be a spoilsport man. It’s gonna be great I assure you.
Yeah! I know how boring they are.
Boring?” Ronny sounded quizzical, “With those beautiful and sexy girls around, you find the party boring?”
Beautiful girls are ok. But why don’t they have at least something in their head?
Nay. It’s good for us.” Ronny replied chuckling.
Great! Then go along. But leave me yaar. I am not coming.
Oh come on Aryan. Anthony, Sunny – all are coming. You have to. Else we will go to your house and just pick you up.
You guys are simple impossible. Ok. Just now I have returned from my office. May be I will be a little late.
Sounds great now.
But tell me where the party is.
Oh. Didn’t I tell you? It’s at Anthony’s place. Few of his office colleagues are also coming. See you there buddy.
See you.
With those words Aryan disconnected the call.
Another boring party where I will be in a crowd but all alone.” sighed Aryan to himself.
But he knows that if he does not go his friends will just march into his apartment and without a word would drag him along them to the party. Ronny, Anthony and Sunny are three dearest friends of Aryan. They four grew up together in school and then college though with different stream of study. Yet their friendship has only gone from strong to stronger with bonds deepen as time passed.
Reluctantly he got up and tried to get himself in the mood for the party. Though at the moment his inner self is vehemently reluctant and protesting yet he knows he has to go. He doesn’t want to be a spoilsport though in the party. The idea of putting up a fake enjoying smile and presenting himself in utmost civil way he just loathes. But that’s what life is. Life has taught him always may not be it’s his time. With proper attire on himself he headed for Anthony’s place.


Lavender’s life revolves pretty much around her work. Being brought up in a fast paced life-style she has known work to be the supreme. Owing to her hard-working and perseverant nature she has achieved what she wanted to be in life. She is a medical professional which she dreamt of becoming from her very childhood. Her caring attitude, soft spoken personality and above all the cherubic smile she always bears on her lips made her popular among the patients as well as other personnel in the hospital. It has always proved to be a boon for Lavender to speak less and listen more. She learnt a lot about people she worked with, their problems, agony, and frustrations alongside their dreams and aspirations and hope. She is always been successful in cheering up people from their morose state and pessimistic outlook. She somehow had a natural flair of making people see the dream of a new day ushered in with hope and optimism.
But deep down her heart Lavender is a lonely person. She could have never made friends easily. It was very difficult for her to make herself expressed. Often she found her to be misunderstood by people. But out in the world there are always some people who can make friends without any complicacy and complexity. They are blessed and good for Lavender. One such friend of Lavender was Rimjhim – her best friend. She was the one whom Lavender finds everything to confide in.
Hey Lavender.” the bubbly voice on the other side of telephone was Rimjhim as usual.
Hi Rimjhim.” replied Lavender.
Are you done with your work?
Almost. After 2 hours my duty hours will be over. I am just going out for my last round of visit to the patients before I leave for the day.
Great. Today Ronny called me up sometime back. At Anthony’s place there is a small party. We are going ok.
Rimjhim. I may not come because………” she was cut off by Rimjhim.
I am coming to pick you up at 7 sharp. I don’t care whatever condition you will be at that time. I am just going to take you with me. It’s time for fun.
Ok. And yes, thanks for inviting me.
No problem.
And with these words the conversation ended.


Hey. There’s Aryan.” Sunny pointed out.
You are late buddy.” complained Anthony.
I was just a little tired. So it took some time. I hope you did not mind.” Aryan tried to sound apologetic.
Hey buddy. It’s alright. Now that you are here, let’s rock man.
You guys carry on. I am here for the support.” Aryan quipped.
All the guys went in and Aryan found new faces as well. And many were unknown to him. Sunny and Anthony introduced Aryan to many guests. But still Aryan was finding the way to get out of here. He does not need to party now. It’s time for him to be with him and only him. It’s time to be alone and feel the mystic nature in the darkness with its full glory.
Hi baby.” Ronny greeted Rimjhim by placing a peck on her right cheek.
Hi sweetheart.” Rimjhim responded.
You remember Lavender, don’t you?
I do. Hello Lavender. Come on in you two.
Hello Ronny. It’s nice to see you again.
Let me introduce you to my other friends.” said Ronny.
That sounds good although I know all of them.” Rimjhim said with a little chuckle.
It will be good for Lavender. She might find someone to talk to and I will get you for a little more time.” Ronny winked at Rimjhim.
Great idea! You deserve some prize for this brilliance.” Rimjhim winked back too.
Hey Anthony and Sunny. See who’s here.” Ronny addressed his two friends.
Hi Rimjhim. It’s great that you have come. Ronny could not even sit in a single place quietly.” Anthony backed a little because Ronny was about to punch him.
Hi sis. It’s after a long time we met right?” Sunny is Rimjhim’s cousin brother.
Yeah. What are you up to nowadays? Come home sometime.
Rimjhim has always been affectionate for her two day younger cousin brother.
Oh! I almost forgot to introduce to you my friend Lavender. She is a doctor.
And pointing towards Anthony and Sunny, Rimjhim introduced them as well.
Hi Lavender. It’s nice to meet you. Enjoy the party. Please feel free here.” Anthony tried to sound like a good host.
Don’t worry. I will be comfortable.” Lavender said softly.
It’s a pleasure to meet you Lavender. I hope you enjoy the place as well as the party.” The words were from Sunny.
I am sure.
Nice to meet both of you.” spoke Lavender with her usual simplicity and softness.
Where is Aryan?” Rimjhim glanced around to find him.
I guess he is in the balcony.” Anthony replied.
What is he doing there?” Ronny sounded little bewildered.
May be counting the stars.” jokingly Sunny made the comment.
Let me introduce Aryan to Lavender and then I will be back guys.” Rimjhim took Lavender to the balcony.
Aryan was talking to another person about sports. The recent debacle of the Indian team in the world cup and the subsequent loss of enthusiasm and interest in the game was the topic of discussion.
“Excuse me for a moment.” Aryan told the person he was talking to as soon as he saw Rimjhim.
Hi Rimjhim. How are you doing?
I am doing well. What about you?
I am all fine.
Meet my friend Lavender. She is a doctor.
Lavender. This is Aryan. He plays flute so excellent that you have to listen to it to believe.
I will gladly do so.
Hi Lavender. Glad to meet you.
Aren’t you two going to have drink?
I will but she will not.” Rimjhim answered this time.
Actually now I realize that you two have much in common.” Rimjhim’s voice indicated something – probably to both of them.
Would you mind explaining it a little more? I am confused.” And Aryan really was.
Like neither of you drink. And also none of you like much of partying but a quiet evening. And for the rest just talk and find yourself. I need to be excused.” With these words spoken Rimjhim left the balcony leaving Aryan and Lavender together.
So you don’t drink?” was the first question from Lavender.
I do but only water and coca cola. Nothing else.” Aryan replied smiling.
A hint of smile appeared on Lavender’s lips too and she felt a thrill may be.
Both being quiet persons and that too Lavender being too much introvert it may be assumed that conversation would not go too far. But there was a thirst in both the hearts to know each other. It was definite that both liked each other and wanted to be a friend of each other. Who doesn’t if comes to know a person with similar tastes and passions?
Have you brought your flute with you?” Lavender asked.
Yes. But not here but it’s in my car.” Aryan replied.
Oh!” Lavender sighed.
Are you disappointed?
May be a little bit.
You see. Here it’s no point in bringing the flute. The music is so blaring. I hope that the neighbors do not complain later.
It’s a way of enjoying to some. You may not be in that group.
Surely am not. Even I was too tired to come. But my friends said they are not going to spare me. So I am here.
Same here too. And I can never turn down Rimjhim.
One more common point here I can see.
We both care for our friends too much. Right?
There was a little pause and both felt how comfortable they are in the company which seems to never happen before with neither one.
What kind of music you listen to generally?” Aryan tried to keep on with the conversation.
I like mostly soft numbers. I am not too much into classical. I really do not understand it.
Do you like instrumental?
Sometimes. In fact, there I prefer semi-classical.
What is your favorite instrument?
It’s not flute. I am sorry.
That’s absolutely ok. You need not be apologetic.
It is sitar.
I like it too. But my favorite has always been flute as you can guess.
At this point Anthony interrupted them. He came in the balcony to call both of them for dinner. The food was served.
Dinner was not much of an event. Many of the guests were by then not exactly in the state to actually feel the taste of the food. But there was no untoward incident. And finally came the time to hit the dance floor.
Anthony. You need to excuse me now. I am really tired.” Aryan was about to leave.
Hey Aryan. How can you leave now? It’s just the beginning.
Anthony. I need some rest. I am really tired. Please believe me.
Ok. As you wish. We will catch up later.
Lavender too was too shy to dance. She now wanted to go home too.
Rimjhim. When will you leave?
The party is just beginning Lavender. It’s time to hit the dance floor.
Rimjhim. You know that I am not into it. And also I am tired from the day’s shift. May I go?
Ok. Let’s talk to Anthony and see what can be done.
Anthony was little disappointed to hear Lavender leaving.
Anthony. I can’t think of someone who can drop Lavender at her place.
Wait a minute. Aryan is leaving now. May be he can drop Lavender.
I will feel much better if it’s Aryan who’s dropping off Lavender.
Hey Lavender. See you later ok.
Enjoy the party Rimjhim.
Thank you.
You are welcome.
While they were talking to each other, Anthony called Aryan and asked to wait as Lavender is coming with him too.
He is downstairs just outside the elevator waiting for you.” Anthony told Lavender.
Ok. Thanks for the party and food. I really enjoyed my time.” Lavender spoke as she pulled the elevator doors.
My pleasure. See you again.” Anthony’s voice trailed off as the elevator moved down.


Seated in the car Lavender suddenly remembered that Aryan has his flute in the car.
So where is your flute?
Huh?” Aryan at first could not comprehend the question.
You told me that your flute is in the car. I wanted to see it.
Oh! Ok. It’s here.” he took it out to show Lavender.
When can I to listen to it being played?
Do you want it here?
Not really. Someplace more quiet.
I can suggest a place but I don’t whether you want to go there at this point of time or not.
Where is it?
Generally I go by the side of the river. It’s really calm and quiet there.
I don’t mind going there.
If you say so.
Aryan’s car took a turn and headed straight towards the designated place. The place is just beside the river. The only sound you can listen to is the water flowing. The fresh breeze pleases your ears with murmuring of the leaves. The bank has steps where one can sit and see the other side of the city all lit up. It’s all lit up above too. The sky is studded with stars making you remember the rhyme you heard long back – “twinkle twinkle little star” – especially where it says “like a diamond in the sky.” The lights from the civilization reflected in the flowing water, unblemished cool air with wetness from the river created an atmosphere need not be necessarily described by words. It can only be felt. A place in side the world yet out of it somewhere far in the universe where one wants to get lost and feel one’s inner self. The straight railway tracks going along the river on its bank are another mystery. They seem to have no start and no end but only it’s a path. Just like life – no one knows what’s ahead. It’s a journey which you have to take. The silence was like a magic blanket wrapping you. It’s perhaps a sin to break that silence. It’s divine, celestial.
I have never been here before. It’s a beautiful place. Thank you very much.” Lavender was ecstatic.
I always come here when I need to relax. The soothing breeze and the soft music flowing of water are heavenly.” Aryan almost whispered fearing he would break the moment.
Will you play your flute now?” Lavender was too eager to wait.
Sure. Let me take you to my favorite spot.
Aryan is an artist. He is romantic. So is his “favorite spot”. It is a protruded portion of the bank on the river. When you sit on the edge of it you can see the water beneath flowing. Not turbulent but a stream – tranquil and unruffled. There is no sense of busyness, any hurry but only simplicity of the flow. Transparent to deep down, reflecting the stars as a mirror the water has its own captivating charm. It’s fascinating and mesmerizing. Perfect for an artist to have his passion blossomed to its capacity.
Aryan and Lavender sat beside each other on the edge. Aryan took out his flute.
I will try my best.” Aryan started after these words.
His flute became vocal with semi-classical music. Exactly what Lavender said she likes. Aryan did not know why he was intrigued to play semi-classical but he did. Unknowingly they were drawn to each other’s magnetic yet so simple outlook of life. To them it did not seem to be the first time they were meeting. They felt they knew each other for long to trust, confide in, divulge. Within inner self was provoked a rouse that was never felt before. After an hour Aryan’s flute stopped. By this time Lavender was into another world – the world of mystery, magic and translucent thoughts. She was deeply engrossed into the magical spell the music created in the serenity.
Did you like it?” Aryan questioned Lavender.
Now it’s Lavender’s turn to be amused. She could not comprehend for a moment what has happened.
What did you say? I am sorry I could not get it.” Lavender spoke but still in somewhat trance.
I asked whether you liked it or not.” Aryan repeated.
“I did. It will be less if I say I only liked it but I loved it.
Aryan could not see Lavender blushing in the darkness but he felt complete.
Can we have a walk together along the tracks?” Aryan asked.
He wanted to spend more time with Lavender. Finally he has found someone with whom he can connect to. Lavender is the person with whom Aryan can feel at ease, talk what he wants. He did not want the moment go so soon. Little he did know how Lavender also felt the same way. Lavender did agree to have a walk. They started walking side by side.
I played flute for you. You should do something for me.
I don’t know what to do.
You may sing a song.
I am really a terrible singer. Believe me. In my childhood my father wanted to teach me music but I failed miserably.” Lavender chuckled a little remembering those days.
So your father used to sing?
He used to sing but only for his passion. Not for fame or money.
Quite interesting.
When from did you start playing flute?
Perhaps from the age of 5.
Wow. Long time back.
Yes. And still I feel passionate about it as I used to. It’s my life.
While walking sometimes they were so close that their hands were brushing against each other. That momentary touch sent shiver through spine for both of them. Never did they realize before so much longing for each other. Hitherto unknown feelings in heart making it sink in anticipation. Slowly Aryan took Lavender’s hand in his. Lavender did not disapprove or showed any annoyance. Silence was the best form of communication between them. The night, the darkness brought them closer. The veil of unfamiliarity gradually faded away between them.
You know Aryan? When I was a little girl, once we went to a small town for vacation. There also we found a rail track like here.
And I always used to walk just over the tracks. And my father used to walk by my side. Here again I feel like walking on the tracks.
Go ahead.
Can I?
Sure. I will not think anything else. It’s always refreshing when you relive the memories of your ever cherished childhood.
Lavender started walking on the tracks and Aryan by her side. Suddenly Lavender tripped but Aryan was alert enough to get her hand. But by the intensity Lavender completely fell into Aryan’s arms. The very moment they realized what happened.
I am sorry.” Lavender tried to regain her composure.
You need not be. It’s no big deal.” Aryan tried to comfort her.
Still do you want to hold my hands?” Lavender asked.
In fact forever I am ready to hold to your hands if you wish.” Aryan sounded serious.
Lavender placed her hand on Aryan’s palm as he closed it. No words needed to be spoken. No words needed to be uttered. Both of them understood each other. It’s only an emotion which can be felt. It’s only a sensation which can be absorbed. It’s only a passion which can be experienced. It’s just a state of mind – perhaps this is love.