Kasturba and that twinkling evening..
She loves her office. Her little cabin beside the window. During the daytime its mostly crowded but in the evening, the city lights twinkle. The world is going to end because of these high rises and its superficial form of beauty, but even when it will, Kasturba didn’t think the survivors (if any) will regret. This bad world gave us a lot, she thought. This bad world gave us complexity, it made us defensive against our own of way of life, it gave us meaning beyond the text books, arousing sub cultures and so much more, this bad world asked us the questions we could have never thought of. Kasturba never wanted to live this life. She never wanted to sit in a plush chair of a 20 storey building, wearing formals and black stilettos. She never wanted a six figure salary and the satisfaction of buying anything she wants. Not anything, of course. She did not dream of being ambitious. She did not aim to be where she is. She never needed any of it. And yet she has them all. And she is happy. She is against her own ethics, complaining that is not what she wants, but yet, she is happy. And she questions herself everyday, looks into the mirror, not knowing where she belongs. Maybe she belongs here. Its just that she doesn’t want to.
She looked around the room. There were people who had what she had, but they were not happy. They wanted more. Her satisfaction with life made them jealous – in a good way. They liked her. For the first time, she felt people liked her. She was something. Maybe that is what makes her happy. These dumb people, who think life is made of money, who can argue incessantly about a good and bad life and still know nothing about it. She was popular among the dumb and she knew it. And she did not know what mattered more – being dumb or being popular. Its like a curse when you know that. Its torture to be with people you respect and who look at you with pity in their eyes, because they know you want to be like them.
It was evening now. Even though it meant going back early, she preferred working some more. Her colleagues called it “over time” with a scowl on their faces. But that sounds so much of work and she didn’t do any. She just did some file work, checked case studies, wrote something unimportant and stared into the world of twinkling lights from the corner of her eye. That was the favourite time of her day’s work – waiting for the evening to come.
“Hey” Someone whispered loud enough behind her.
“Oh. hi” Kasturba looked up at him, this time smiling a bit too much.
He stood there for sometime, staring at her and then he smiled. It was more of an amused smile.
“You wanna go and watch a movie?”
She stopped smiling, looked down and fidgeted over her files and papers and the mouse connected to her lappy. “Hmm. I am actually a little busy.”
“So. After work?”
She looked at him blankly. What will he, wait for me? She thought.
He understood her expression and clarified her doubt very subtly. “I am not gonna wait for you. I will be at my place or you be at yours and one of us can drop by.”
“To watch a movie, right?”
“Oh! I thought you were talking about that going for a movie like in a theatre or something.”
“On a date you mean?” He gave his stupid smile. Kasturba liked it, but she preferred not to think about that.
“No. Not on a date. I thought you meant with other friends.”
“Ah. Yea. I might have meant that. But since you wanna do your OT, we can’t do that. And so we can do this instead.”
“Hmm. So you think its a good idea to watch a movie, just the two of us after 8 or maybe 9 cos I have a lot of work to do today.. Yea. So you think that’s a good idea?”
“Why.. Yes, I do..”
“You are nuts.” She laughed and turned to her desk, checking some useless files on her desktop,
“I know. So you in?”
She stopped typing and sat staring at the screen for sometime. “No, Jack. I am not in.” And saying this, she looked up at him and stared into his eyes and said, “I am sorry.”
He stared back, his black eyes burning her brown ones. He did that deliberately.
“You won’t someday”. And in a jiffy he picked his blazer from the table, tucked it under his arm and left.
Kasturba, turned to her lappy, unaffected. She didn’t care. No, she didn’t. She stared out into the night, the sun was setting, she felt like being a part of a movie set and sighed, thinking.. I won’t fuck up this time.
To know more about Kasturba, click here.