There is this soft fluffy cushion stationed at my balcony for the last few days now, chrome yellow in colour, if you need any further specifications in the colour, I am sorry. My vocabulary ends with yellow, chrome, and lemon. Red, I am a little more aware of, red, magenta, hot red, vermillion, maroon, scarlet, mahogany, burgundy. That’s it. I am sure there are many more shades of red but my knowledge exhausts here. They say women are more aware of these specifications, I am sure you must be, some men must be too. I am not. So, I sit on that cushion everyday, so much does that place hold my presence that it has adapted the shape of my body. A small subdued hole of everything.
Most of these times I have coffee or tea with me, and none of them are a part of any challenge going on all over the world. I have yet to fall into the bored category where I have to go and try different sarees on. But there is tea with me, or coffee and one book titled A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. The volume is so huge that sometimes I am just tired of holding it. Mind it, holding it not bored of reading it. As I turn pages after pages, my reactions change, sometimes bringing nostalgia, unwanted tears, laughter and a dull drab echo of an Indian family, of an Indian girl. I relish in every tiny font of a 1400 page book and when I get tired, I turn to Becoming by Michelle Obama, and when I tire of listening to her voice, I pick up my kindle, read poetries after poetries.
But there is only so much a person can read and there are twenty-four hours in a day and there is again, only so much a person can talk and chat and eat with the people they live. But you have to do it, I have to do it, everyone has to do it. It is as simple as that. And so there I am, sitting on that soft cushion which has adapted to my presence easily, drinking coffee and looking outside, having strained my eyes for better or for worse.
It is then, that very moment in the evening when I am having these anxious thoughts about everyone, about my loved ones, about my future that Mr. Coffee Hater swishes and swirls and lands just at the curb of my balcony, flashing his green clothes, chirping his incessant squabbles and rubbing his freedom in my face.
I smile. It is inadvertent. Absolutely natural, and without any effort on my part, it just happens, he does that to me. A slow soft smile spreads through my features every time, under any circumstance, be in any mood, whenever he lands his unwanted bum on my area.
Coffee? I ask.
“How can you drink that?” He asks for the millionth time.
I take a sip, just to show him.
He smiles. Rolls his eyes. “No thank you, I am good.”
“So, how have you been coping up?”
Since tomorrow, you mean?
“The last I remember is you wanted to have pizza or pasta or something. I guess that’s still not going well.”
Am I that obvious? I think.
Yeah, but I am doing well without it, and as a matter of fact, I am making it tonight for dinner, care to join? I say.
“As much as your offer is enticing, I’ll pass.” He pokes his tongue at me.
Why are you here?
“Such a nice host you are.”
Since when have you become a guest?
I don’t know, you tell me. You are the one roaming around.
“Yeah but I am here to talk about you.”
Oh my! Such honour.
“Yeah so tell me how is the poetry month going?”
Wow! You remember?
He winks! “Written any new poems so far this month?”
We have been in it only four days, okay five!
“So what? Last year you wrote 30 poems in 30 days. It gave you a book this year.”
Yeah, I know. But it is not going to happen this year. I have written a few pieces but I am not posting them.
“Yeah, about that. What is this with you? Why the inactivity on your blog why the sudden disappearances from social accounts?”
I uninstalled facebook last year. What is new in that?
Again, rolling his eyes, “Okay, so what about instagram. What about this blog? And what about that friend who has been persistently asking you to join Snapchat?”
I limited my use. October, November, I don’t remember. I just stopped being active. I am interacting with a few people though. And snapchat? Don’t even let me start on that.
Seriously! I have also made up and planned things for my blog. Since I have been absent, I decided I’ll make time for it, not everyday but once every week. I have four topics that I will write on every month and I will write short reviews on insta stories. I will do it. I just don’t have the patience to post everything, taking pictures, detailing, you know I have never been good at it.
Hey, you asked for it!
“What about the next book?”
What are you, my mom!
“O your coffee spills.”
Okay, entirely theme based. No general poems. A short one but working lazily on it.
“You are useless.”
I know. Thank you.
He looks. I stare.
Why are you here?
“Why are you here?”
It’s my house!
Is it your only mission to make fun of me?
You have done your job for today. You can go.
“What a host!”
Again, I did not invite you.
“You say that everyday.”
And here we are, just as everyday. No self-respect or what? Leave me alone!
“Do you not know how to take care of people visiting you?”
What do you want? I have coffee, that’s it!
“I don’t like that thing.”
You don’t want anything, you will go away just as I get up to get something.
“You know me so well.”
It has been months.
“Not my name though.”
I have told my friends you are Mr. Coffee hater and that’s that.
“But that is not my name.”
That’s what you get for never telling me your name.
“But I don’t hate coffee.”
Then drink and prove.
“Okay, get me a cup.”
“Yes, and remember….” He just smiles and lets it go.
I smile a half smile, go and get some coffee in a small cup and as soon as I come back, woosh! No one, nothing, nada, zilch!
Just as usual Mr. Coffee Hater has disappeared, leaving the space empty, giving me another coffee to drink, drowning in the absence of his words.
“Until tomorrow.” I think and take the fresh cup of coffee trying to find the suitable boy for Miss Lata Mehra.
There is progress with me and this so called Mr. Coffee Hater. He sometimes does drink a little coffee with me, we fight less and I don’t ever flinch when he suddenly lands too close, and sometimes even when I get too close without his knowledge, he doesn’t fly away! What can I say! I am likeable I guess. Okay, before he comes again to roll his eyes at me, I will sign off.
A little more about this friend here:
A little more weird tales having no head, no tail:
Okay, so ready to meet this friend of mine?