>> Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It had been a whole week since I had noticed the boy in the park for the first time. It almost had the manner of a routine for him. He would stride down at around eight p.m., throw down the satchel with an almost drunken force and sit down on the bench opposite mine. He would squirm in his chosen seat for half an hour, get up, pick up his bag and leave. By the end of the week, I had begun to time my watch according to his movements.

He was, if shadowed street lamps ever facilitate guesses, a school boy, definitely not more than fifteen. He never looked sad, which surprised me. Most people who sit in the park after sunset are desperately unhappy people in search of shadowlands. Sitting there gave him no peace of mind, rather, it made him more irritable still. He disliked the weeping old man in the bench next to him, disliked the streetlights alighting his side of the park,and definitely disliked waiting there in the park, day after day.

For I had made up my mind that he waited there. I had not really made up my mind about what. The idea of a girlfriend seemed cliched. Perhaps for something to get over. Perhaps for someone to come out from the house opposite. The idea of he being a detective did not seem inconceivable. Was not Jupiter Jones about the same age? It was possible that he was stalking someone while pretending to be a lovesick youngster waiting for his beloved in a park.

Thus, it came as a surprise when I saw him seated on my favoured seat a week later. I stopped in my tracks, swore under my breath and turned away in search of a new bench. Which is when he called me.

"Hey, is this yours?"

Never having been very comfortable speaking to complete strangers, I immediately froze and panicked. Probably unnerved by my complete silence, he ventured again,

"This bench, do you usually sit here?"

I turned to look at him. In the shadows, he seemed younger and slightly guilty, like a boy caught doing something wrong.

"Yeah, well, no, I mean, it is ok, hardly my seat," was what I managed to mumble out.

"I found it today. It is completely hidden by these bushes," he ventured.

"Yes, er, that is the point of it," I mumbled again.

"Ah, good find of yours then." By now, both of us had hardly any idea what we were talking about, we were too busy trying to pretend we were not park regulars.

"Yeah, well," said I and went back to ogling the grass.

After doing the same for a bit, he tried again with a casual, "Come here often?"

"No, yes, sometimes."


I tried to raise an eyebrow, realized belatedly that raising an eyebrow was not one of my accomplishments, went back to nervous gulping and inanely replied, "It is a nice park." I may have sounded slightly defensive. I do not recall now.

"But, of course."

Silence reigned again as I wondered why I was rooted to the spot, answering the questions of a pimply teenager. The pimply teenager, now almost lawyer-like in being, coughed slightly.

"Ever seen me here?"

"Sometimes. You used to sit right opposite." I wondered if I had sounded accusing enough. He was the person who sits in the bench opposite. Why was he shifting benches? Why was he taking over mine? Could he be so completely unaware of the unofficial park bench rules?

"You like this park, do you?" I decided it was my time to ask questions. If the fifteen year old boy detective meant to detect me, I did not see why the fifteen year old girl detective in me could not respond.

"Oh no, I dislike it intently. Never hated a place more."

"Oh." I probably looked puzzled. I did feel puzzled. He was a detective. He was not supposed to have any emotional leanings towards the park. It was just one more place he could observe criminals from.

"A girl broke my heart here last week," he confessed, his tones awkward and embarrassed.

"Oh," I replied, a few dreams dying inside me

"Yeah. I come here and pretend I am murdering her after she does that."


"Good way to get it out of the system."

"Very sensible," I reply mechanically.

"Ever been in love?"

"Not really," now wondering whether I was caught in some Greek tragedy.

"Pity. Nothing better."

"So one hears."


Another one of those silences fell, wherein I debated with myself whether leaving now would seem rude and he stared at the bench opposite, expressionless.

"In college, are you," he asked unexpectedly.

"Yes." Then tired of my laconic answers, I rushed into speech. "Was, actually. It got over last month."


He went back to studying the bench opposite. After sometime, he looked up at me and coughed again. An apologetic, embarrassed cough.

"Listen, I am sorry about taking this bench. I will go back to mine from tomorrow."

I, now feeling immeasurably foolish and small, squirmed and replied hurriedly, "Hey, no, it is, I mean, hardly my bench. Really. It is fine. Whoever comes first gets it."

"Sounds sensible, yes well, let that be the deal then."

"Yeah," I nod along, privately resolving to find a new spot to fight demons in, one which did not involve fake boy detectives committing fake murders.

It was obvious now that the conversation was at a close. I left the park, without looking back at the boy, the bag or the park where fifteen year old hearts broke. I knew the shrubs would hide him cleverly from view. That was the point of those shrubs anyway. To create a sanctuary. One which a young boy with a school bag had stolen from me that day.


>> Thursday, February 12, 2009

Perspective is a very curious thing.


More tags- ho hum

>> Thursday, February 05, 2009

I want to write something down. Things have been happening and they are most certainly not the kind of events I want to swallow down and never mention to any living being. However, things being what they are, I seek refuge in a tag, which I do not know whom I am borrowing from, since everyone else has done it. So here is another tag for the annals.

1. What does your user name mean?
It means a person who does as she wishes to do. It is not an actual word. It is based on the French word ad lib. I am glad I did not keep the name Helena Hairbushed as I had planned to once. That would have needed some explaining.

2. Elaborate on your user photo:
It is a fish. That is because the title of the blog has a fish in it. I do not go for allegories or hidden meanings much.

3. How many comments do you have?
Do you require an average? I do not know. 3.5?

4. What's your current relationship status?
The guy I pretend I like does not know I exist. The guy I think I like is, well, Jude Law. The guy I know I like, oh, Johnny, darling Johnny, do not marry her. I love you.

5. What exactly are you wearing right now?
Is not that a dirty question?

6. What is your current problem?
Yeah, ok, this will be worth a couple of blog posts by itself.

7. What do you love most?
Stuff. Bubble wraps. Mountains. Scientific calculators. My hair.

8. What makes you most happy?
Buying books.

9. Are you musically inclined?
I have no idea. I did learn the art once. Now, the most I do is buy better earphones.

10. What would you do if you woke up one morning and found out you were on cocaine?
Wonder how I actually managed to contact anyone who peddles the stuff.

11. If you could go back in time, and change something, what would it be?
Not go to an afternoon Maths class in class ten. Or take an auto there. Or just look out of the auto for a brief, maddening, heartbeat stopping moment.

12. If you MUST be an animal for ONE day, what would you be?
A cat. I would make a very good cat.

13. Ever have a near death experience?
Yes. Plenty of times.

14. Name an obvious quality you have?
I can roll my tongue into an 'o'.

15. What's the name of the song that's stuck in your head right now?

16. Are you happy today?

17. Who will cut and paste this to first?
Everyone else has done this tag. Perhaps someone with a mole on their neck.

18. Name someone with the same birthday as you:
Buddhadeb Bhattacharya

19. Do you have a secret crush on someone?
I do not know about it being a secret. Everyone else knows about it but them.

20. Do you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen sink?
No idea.

21. Have you ever been in a fight?
I have a sibling. So, yes. I have scratches all over to prove it

22. Have you ever sang in front of a large audience?

23. What's the first thing you notice about the OPPOSITE sex:

24. Whats your biggest mistake?
Compulsive eating when depressed?

25. Say something totally random about you?
My hair is growing longer and straighter. Yay!

26. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?
The nose. Always the nose. Indira Gandhi's nose.

27. Are you comfortable with your height?
No. The cutest, richest guys in the class stopped growing after 5 feet 5 inches.

28. What is the most romantic thing someone has ever done for you?

29. What is your favorite smell?
Cake. Wet earth.

30. What's something that really annoys you?
Cockroaches, my Statistics teacher.

31. What's something you really like?
Almost the same as Question 7. I shall add here my books.

32. Do you give random hugs and kisses?
Not really. Any sort of physical contact makes me nauseous.

33. What's the longest you have ever stayed up?
3 days. Ah, the University exams.

34. Have you ever been rushed to the emergency room?

Now I shall go back to reflection regarding why I do stuff like this. Then sleep.


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