A tap on the shoulder   Leave a comment


Accidents happen in a heartbeat, in a single flash, a throbbing moment

I am going to initiate this with a cliché. Bombay; a city of dreams.  That statement has been said septillion times and still does not sound insipid. A city so bipolar in nature that it harbours the Queen’s necklace and Dharavi, the Worli sea link and Golibar; having a portable cigarette store to a mall like High Street Phoenix, it’s all in its heart. It’s a city where people travelling in suave cars sometimes take longer to reach their destination versus the people walking the streets. That is Bombay

And yes… I call it Bombay

It’s a “go to city”. A city that people come to make a life, build a career. Most of them manage to achieve their dreams, but sometimes in all this they lose themselves. People come to Bombay city from small and big towns alike, with a common thread of dreams in heart. They dream to make it big. Some make it big some manage a survival and some more than that

This city is multifaceted, bipolar. But the one thing this city lacks is in the variety of seasons. The only season change Bombay ever sees is hot, less hot and then the most awaited and generally avalanche of monsoon. What is mentioned below is just one such day….

Bombay city…. A scene straight out from the diary of a rainy day

Rains light up Bombay city. The freshness. The smell of wet mud. The traffic snarls. The indignified potholes. The sudden sparkle. The shine the blaring horns. The multi-coloured range of umbrellas. The thundering. The beautiful and calm grey sky. And above this all the sudden romance in the air… it’s all the result of the avalanche called Bombay rains

It was one such a rainy evening. One of the initial showers that my city experienced.  The initial shower also brings with it the unpreparedness for Bombayaites. On a “business as usual” day everything becomes different with a special mention to the evening traffic, which comes to an expected stand still. And if we are lucky, it would be a tortoise’s pace

This evening was no different and there was no dearth of traffic on the roads. I slowly edged towards the fluctuating and sometimes meaningless signal light with the hope of managing to beat the red colour every time I saw the green. However reality sometimes has nothing to do with hope and wishful thinking

I let the clock tick sometimes by just twiddling my fingers on the steering wheel of my car or sometimes humming and sometimes going ballistic with the music playing from the collection of the close to 200 songs from various genres. But mostly I looked out and enjoyed the site of rain drops on this crowded street. As I did this, I noticed the person on the bike in front of me. He sat on his motorcycle in that downpour, wearing a jacket while waiting for his turn against the odds of the red signal to turn green. He juggled from one foot to another as he balanced his motorcycle while the rain busily feel on his broad shoulders, which did not seem to be of any worry to him. Juxtaposed, he seemed to be enjoying it. Occasionally looking up, not to see the patter of rain drops, but the newly launched metro that was running overhead every three minutes

Unlike him she was dark and lean with a smooth skin, not even close to being rugose, she stood at the corner of the road. Her rain drenched hair falling almost to her right bare shoulder. She was prudent. She looked at her signal and waited for it to glow the green man. Her eyes were expressive and large. They evidently had multiple stories to tell. Wonder if there were any takers to listen to her story. As she waited patiently with her bag held close to her chest, suddenly the red man vanished and gave way to green. As this happened she carefully started to cross the road in front of the hefty biker, who was still awaiting his turn. As she crossed him he juggled his bike to the other foot and adjusting his jacket his hand brushed her shoulder accidently almost like a tap. She turned her large eyes towards him; now fear in them out of the sudden touch and doubting his intent at the physical contact. He seemed to apologise with a nod and she slowed her pace until she almost stopped to stare at him. Evoked by this reaction he reached for his wallet and removed a twenty rupee and handed it over her. She gratefully took that piece of paper which evidently was of higher value to her than to him. The look in her eyes was more of gratitude now. He nodded again as his signal changed colour and put his bike in gear and crossed the signal to inch closer to his destination while she crossed the road and walked to what may be construed as either her temporary or permanent destination and sat under the depleted building which currently sheltered her from the pouring rain

The ephemeral interaction between the two may not be remembered in the next moment, but in my mind it raised a question- does a tap on a shoulder mean anything at all? Does a human interacting with another have a prewritten destiny and fate or it is construed as just another interaction with no repercussion or influence in our being

Was this just an incident that occurred on a rainy day in Bombay or something else??

My personal belief is in a theory of moments and it goes such- who we are and what we are is defined by small incidences that occur in our life, people that touch us in our life span. We are like molecules and these moments our atoms

We all take away something unique from all such moments and I did

“Everything you can imagine is real”- Pablo Picasso


Posted September 29, 2014 by nidhi khanna in My experince

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