Tuesday, March 11, 2008
"Kya baat hai maedaem ji rosy day hai ke aj??", the remark followed by raucous laughter made him turn in his overcrowded seat and crane his neck to look at the source of the commotion.
At first it was just the mammoth crush of bodies indistinguishable from each other, so often found in a crowded roadways bus. Then he saw it.. a slender hand rising up from amidst that falling circle of a loose maroon sleeve, a hand with long sculpted fingers, a hand meant to create art, a hand which was an art in itself, and in that was clutched the most beautiful rose he had ever seen. He could see the sun from the nearby window glinting on the cellophane sheet wrapped around the rose. He could see it slide like honey onto the smooth skin of the hand he couldn't take his eyes off. he had this sudden urge to taste the honey slithering down that hand, to catch it before it slid down to the circle of filth gathered around it. He became aware of the callous mirth on the faces surrounding the hand and the rose... his rose.. they were like weeds slowing crawling in around his rose, ready to drown it in their wicked canopy, to strangle his precious ruby into a piece of burnt coal.
The bus lurched to a stop. The hand disappeared under the fallen crowd, to emerge a minute later, twisted and harassed, but with its delicate cargo still safe. Something licked at the back of his head.. what was it the boys had said ..."rosy day...". His half closed eyes snapped back open with a sighing "Oh!", it indeed was rose day.. It wasn't his rose.. it was a rose that girl with the artist's hands was taking for a lover. But of course! the perfection of the softly enfolding petals, the deepness of the deepest red like the blush of young love, the protectiveness of the hand's stance, for who else but the truest lover. He sighed softly, to his surprise, and closed his eyes again letting the music from his headphones drown out the fishmarket sounds of the yellow and green bus, and to soften the immutable sense of disappointment he inexplicably felt at the realization.
He had dozed off without even realizing it. It was the feel of warm honey against his arm that woke him with a jolt. He saw the lips move, lips that rivaled and matched the rose to a T. He saw the other one of those pieces of art move up to discipline a stray snaking strand behind on ear, and then pointing towards his. "oh! I am sorry I err.. forgot to remove this.. sorry err.. I errr.. couldn't hear you", with an embarrassed grin he tucked the earphones out. "were you err.. saying something to me?".
She lowered her eyes slightly taking in the loose T-shirt with a nirvana logo, the baggy beige pants and the MP4 player with the headphones still hanging from it, almost reaching the ground, and she looked up and smiled slowly.."I was just wondering if you could help me put my bag in the carrier, I errr.. would have done it myself, but I really don't want to spoil this rose".. "Ya of course! "he said half heartedly getting up to lift her bag and putting it in the over head carrier with a louder than necessary thump. "By the way that's the most beautiful rose I have ever seen, You must have woken up real early to get one like that on rose day, and I saw how dearly you protected it there in that circle of rascals.." He said, lookin down into her eyes as he got ready to sit back " your boyfriend is a very lucky guy, I hope he knows it", he added rather wryly and quickly turned his face away from her, sitting down, to hide the unexpected expression that had risen out of no where in his eyes. What the hell was wrong with him?? Had he gone nuts? feeling jealous for someone he had barely met.. "phew!! get a life dude!" he said to himself.. "err.. boy friend?" She asked.. He could hear the embarrassed confusion in her voice.. "well, it is Rose day.. and you are taking this for your guy right? I mean err.. are you married? I am sorry its just that you don't look like it.. hey I really didn't mean to offend you lady..", he stuttered in a single stream. She shook her head from side to side slowly at his words, her hand reaching up to her hair again, to hide her embarressement, "no, no, U kind of have it all wrong, I don't have a boy friend and I am certainly not married..". "Then the rose...??" "Oh! this.. its for my mom, she is not well, so i decided to take this for her, it completely slipped my mind until those embarrassing comments by those guys by the door.. I mean.. if i had any idea today was rose day, I would never have made a fool of myself like this... " She laughed self consciously.. and he joined in with all his heart, he swore he saw the mist lifting from around him as he sank back in his seat with a smile on his face and a rose coloured twinkle in his eyes.. "so, what did you say your name was again?.."
he asked, inclining his head towards the girl with hands like art that held a rose just as perfect..
This had been lying unfinished in my drafts since rose day, I loved the concept, but I am not entirely satisfied with the end result.. wish I could have done better justice to it. I invite any of you who would like to take it up to use the concept and come up with a better story.. do post it on your blog and leave the link in the comments.. take care