He was almost dozing off trying to finish another page. There was no electricity, as usual, and he read in the dim light of a candle. He had a stock of candles now, along with a stock of maggi, cigarettes, cheap red wine and books, both technical and english fiction.
His hand brushed against the candle flame as he was about to yield himself to sleep, and he was all awake the next second, bruised and in pain. He licked his burn, unable to admire its intensity for the lack of light. “Let there be light” he shouted, his head raised high, as he lit his cigarette lighter, and burst into a deeply sarcastic laughter which only he could understand. He picked up a cigarette, lighted it and switched off his lighter. “So much for God”, he said, and walked to the sliding window that overlooked a wasteland. He slid the right window slightly, heard the rain pouring wildly and took a deep drag.
He knew clearly he was missing something, or someone. He tried not to think about what is it thats slipped his mind even when he knows it has. He didnt like the feeling too much, and took another deep drag, deeply contemplating the need for a diesel generator or an invertor. He couldnt afford it now. He didnt need to afford anything anymore.
He stayed alone at the apartment. The aparment wasnt that bad, it was just the city. Power crises in a semi-industrial town might sound like a joke, but its a reality in these quarters. He finally decided to get rid of the dark, picked up the candle from the floor and lighted it. “Damn”, he said as his back clunked when he bent too fast to pick it up.
He started looking for his cell phone, he needed to see the time. Here, in his sanctum, he had made a world where he didnt need anyone, didnt care for anyone. His cellphone was in the walkman mode, and he didnt make or receive any calls. This was the third day he hadnt spoken to any other human. This was the third day since he had been online. This was the third day since he quit his job. It was 4 am on the 25th of October.
A week back back, he was walking to work as usual. The roads to his office were all dug up, it took him thrice as much as normal days if he took the other road, so he walked instead. As he walked, with maiden playing loud in his ears, he failed to notice a red scooty coming straight at him. He was shocked and fell to the floor when she hit him. He raised his head to offer the customary curse, but when he saw the girl who drove the culprit vehicle, all he could say was “Thanks. I am Monkey”.
She was exceptionally shaky, and tried to lift all of the bulk of his 80 kg from the slush, but he refused to budge and kept staring at her longingly. When he finally came back to his senses, he told her she could have killed him. She said , “Yeah, with a scooty running at 10 km an hour”. They both smiled, he asked for a lift. She dropped him near his office, and he somehow had the guts to ask for her name and number. “I’ll need your name and number, miss, in case I broke any bones.” She smiled and told her he could call her a Lioness, if he is a monkey, and her number was 9867******.
The rest of the day was like the rest of the days. In the evening, he went to a doctor, who told him he had not broken any bones, gave him a few injections and charged him a 1000 bucks. He called her and told her he was at the same place.”Come and hit me, I have medical insurance”.
He stood there for half an hour, smoking flavoured cigarettes and drinking diet coke. She didnt hit him, neither did she come. He decided to pay a visit to the nearest liquor store and get some rum. She was way out of his league.
As he was about to turn towards the store, he saw a red scooty bang head on with an icecream man.
“You sure can drive, L. Whoever gave you a driving license hates humanity !”
“Okay, now if you can please cut off the sarcasm and help the poor guy I just banged, I would be really grateful”
“So you banged an icecream wallah? Nice for a desperate hot chic”
He expected this to be the last conversation with her somehow, his tongue had once again got the better of him. It was just the beginning, though.
When she said shut up, he failed to notice her smile. Hegot too embarrassed when he said something he felt he shouldnt have. He stood there, like a moron, an icecream man on the floor, and a girl picking up her scooterette.
“Hey!Hello! Are you gonna sleep standing only? Dumbo!C’mon, I’ll give you a lift”
“Do whatever you want to me, just dont ask me to ride with you. I am quite young, and I am a virgin for the last 18 months”
“Cool, you drive. You can drive, right? Anyone can drive better than me….”
“Okay, that sounds like an agreeable idea. Lets go somewhere. Lets get drunk out of our skulls, pick some hot girls and bang their brains out”
“Hellow! I am a girl, and I am not into girls. How about we just go out and watch a movie for now?”
“A movie ? Lemme see my appointment list. Hmm…18th, 6pm-12 pm – Nothing.”
“You keep an appointment list? You must be one busy guy”
“Yeah. All the entries say “Add New Appointemt?” ”
They rode together, without helmets, her faced covered with a stupid bandana Pune girls seem to love. A fine drizzle struck his face, he could see a rainbow towards the horizon. “Look, a rainbow” , she screamed. He felt alive after a very, very long time.