Metro Diaries - The Last Kiss (Part #1)

Rahul stood at the station waiting for his train with extreme patience. All of 27 Rahul had spent most of his life waiting and hence was very used to it. Born to very successful parents his childhood was spent in waiting for them to come home. His teenage got lost as he waited for them to notice him. And now that he was grown up he waited for trains and planes to keep running away from his so called life in an attempt to find life. 

The busy railway station suited him perfectly as it provided enough fodder for his thoughts. All around that he saw he noticed stories in various forms. He smiled remembering his boss’s words few weeks ago, “Rahul we are a newspaper and not a publishing house. We cannot publish everything you come across. We need things that grab eye balls for us. For the umpteenth time I am asking you to keep aside the story teller in you and channel the journalist more.” 

Little did his boss know that there were hundreds of such stories Rahul had come across in last few years as a journalist which never made it to his desk. They lay hidden neatly wrapped in words delineated in photographs somewhere in his cupboard away from the rest of the world. Those stories were what brightened up his nights especially when he was on one of his self-introspective moods. They reminded him why was he here – to tell these stories to the world and he knew someday he would. 

Today Rahul was going to cover yet another eye-ball grabbing story. He was visiting the famous red light area of the city. With the recent changes in the power, there were talks of removing these areas completely and ensuring those girls got a decent source of income hereon. Just like every other political agenda even this one had set lot of tongue wagging as there were people who believed it all to be hogwash just to increase their vote bank. Rahul was sent to investigate the truth behind it all. Prostitution was something that always fascinated Rahul, not because of all that was but because of all that wasn’t. For him it denoted the loneliness analogous to his life. He had had friends who frequented such places and came back with glorified details of their escapades. Rahul would have none of it. Somehow he never felt inclined towards it too. Like they all would say, “It was all in his mind!” 

Rahul had grown up with a dysfunctional set of parents who were constantly at logger heads with each other over petty things. He couldn’t recollect a single peaceful moment spent together laughing and enjoying life as it came. All the while growing up alone Rahul concluded that any kind of attachment always leads of pain because everyone around here is selfish. Love camouflages lust, friendship camouflages love, and lust camouflages emptiness. The very thought that someone might know his weakness and witness his emptiness was enough to scare the wits out of him. Love just wasn’t worth all the risk. His emptiness was only for him to bask in, it was a restricted zone for everybody else. 

Even his best friends couldn’t claim to know him well for there was one corner of his which was always dark, just like this childhood memories. He had hidden away the pain he gathered over the years somewhere in those dusty corners. Those moments when he was scared listening to the loud voices of his parents but didn’t have anyone to pacify him. His birthdays where the best of the world was laid out in front of him but there was none standing next to him as he entered that world. Victories in school which though minuscule meant the world to him when the whole school cheered for him but back at home there was pin drop silence when he walked in with his trophy. 

All the money his parents earned sadly could never buy a moment’s peace for any of them as they kept drifting away like lost constellations into the space. Together they surely were in a way, but light years away in every manner. There was absolutely no connection between them. They just were like every other thing that existed in the universe… the oceans, the sky, the earth, the stars, the sun and the moon. You couldn’t change anything about them even if you didn’t like the way they were. Rahul sighed in an attempt to pull his mind back in place from those forbidden lanes of no return where they had wandered away. 

The nasal twanged announcer broke his chain of thoughts by announcing the arrival of his train. He got up from the bench and moved towards the train holding his satchel closely all the while. The next 115 minutes were spent with the Rolling Stones for company. Music along with reading and writing was a part of his existence. He was always surrounded by at least one of them at any given point of time and his satchel had one book, his music player and a notebook along with his camera always. Today Murakami was not needed for his mind was already in a contemplative mood. He wanted a distraction from the melancholy of life that reminded him of his grim past. Rolling Stones was just perfect!

-To be continued

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