The other day I came out of the lab, humming Ghalib’s couplet,

Mohabbat me nahi hai farq jeene aur marne ka,

Usi ko dekh kar jeete hain, jis kaafir pe dam nikle.

My mind was sort of fixated on one particular memory, in the sea of recollections that engulf me these days.I had not, till now, been able to figure out my internal enigmas.


Smiling faces never disappoint me, and I saw one at the corner of the coffee shack.And as usual, I too smiled to myself, oblivious of the circumstances which had made that face smile. The smile seemed to communicate.

It was not an unusual happening. Even though at the age of twenty four I have seen very little of the world, I hummed my favourite Ghalib line and proceeded to catch the bus. The tum-tum.

Baazecha-e-Atfal hai duniya mere aage

Hota hai shab-o-roz tamaasha mere aage.

(Bazeecha-e-Atfal is a child’s playground, loosely)

It was raining, and since I was not holding my umbrella properly, one of my sleeves had got wet. I entered the tum-tum, and as is my wont, looked straight into the faces of a few individuals.

People feel quite uncomfortable when you do so. And in the meantime I started humming,

Unse nain mila kar dekho

Yeh dhokha bhi kha kar dekho

The tum-tum sped on, and I do not quite recollect what I was thinking till I got down at (what our scholars call) the  three-legged intersection, just a few metres from my hostel.

I called Satam, then. Because, there was no one who could listen to the random (bullshit?) that was going through my mind. We talked about his taste of classical music, and books.

I told him something randomly, but quite in sync with my mood. I recollected the last lines of The Solitary Reaper for no apparent reason. And then proceeded to have lunch.

I do not like the predictability of mess-menus. Still, I decided to be unpredictable, and eat in the mess. The food was good.

I have been building a background, but there is no main story. Perhaps, I should stop here.