The history of a new city is always a tale which I wanted to embrace within. This rushing curiosity running down the veins have led enquiries and unwanted invitations of silliness into oneself. I’ am an owner of a small gumti outside the college. I have been here since a couple of months and now know the timings of student’s classes’ dismissals.

I have been reading students and their needs, for now, to catch a good selling product.It was early in the morning and I was all set to work. New students were arriving for the college and then halted the bus. There were series of bus backing up in line. The weather was quite not welcoming, it was raining heavily. The buses were emptied in few seconds. Some students went running into the campus who cannot get late for their first class. Few ransacked into other nearby gumtis. There alighted a girl who ran past all other students and dodged her way into my shop. Though my shop is not that high values big place yet people come for a cup of tea and a smoke. She looked confused and nervous as every other new commie. I felt she was a lost person whom everybody gazed, all the unfamiliar faces. She had a look on her face which said she was with people with whom she does not prefer to be with. She was searching for a place inside my chaotic shop full of people who wanted the same thing which she did, as if her battle with people had always been in a go and never at stay.

In this rush, there included a boy. He looked not their batch and seemed adapted to the locals. He was slender and tall. He was wet already and looked pale. As they say,” you can always know a man by the kind of shoes he wears”. He wore beautiful brown shoes.The girl and the boy had an eye contact. Though she looked interested yet he dint seem to notice her beauty. He came to me asking for a cigarette. He held it between his fingers taking a puff. She was looking at him in one concentration forgetting all her battles. She looked amused. The eye contact again and she looked away into the rain this time. He had big noticeable eyes. He did not care for the people around; he was immune to the sickness already. He was in a different world, the world of smoke which was like a cure to his body. As if his paleness was fading out bit by bit by the intake of the smoke which seemed like a fresh air to him. For the first few seconds he took himself into curing his paleness as if it was the last and only medicine for a living dead person.

The unfortunate piece of addiction has already seeped into his sleek body which was desperate for the smoke. She was still in awe, looking at him. He was out figuring everyone around. She realized she was doing the same ‘out figuring everyone but him’. He had this energy around him which made her be alert for his instant whereabouts.He was in a place where the smoke dominated, the only blur vision he wanted to live in. He looked her with his half closed eyes but to him she was what everyone else were at that time ‘A nobody’. Irony is the fact, he was fresh in smoke. She could not stop looking at a person who contrasted in every action. In few minutes the mother of fate for him disappeared. Meanwhile outside, the rainfall showed some mercy but that wilderness in his eyes did not.

I wonder what connection they built up that day. Did they meet again?



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