Photograph by Katherine Gu on Unsplash
The Audacious Car Park In The Middle Of The Road And The Eye Smiles 🔗
I was coming back from fetching my car from someone who had borrowed it for a trip, early in the morning. About 10 minutes away from my home, at a small T intersection without traffic lights, an audacious driver — without a hint of brakes — came and stood right in the middle of the intersection. I could see her mind saying
Teri aisi ki taisi, saale itni kya jaldi lagri hai tum sab ko, khada ni jaata 2 second bhi? Ruko mai dikhaati hu.
I was in the first line of vehicles that braked because her car was blocking the whole road. She was waiting for the other side of the road traffic to clear. We waited for her. Just like that our eyes met, and usually I would have put my eyes away because of the awkwardness that comes from staring a complete stranger for more than half a second. But instinctively, I just gave a wide nice smile and a bow that said
That's okay! Good work done. Good day to you!
Caught by pleasant surprise, she could just begin to smile before she realised that people had started becoming impatient. She put her feet on the accelerator and took off. As her car passed by mine on the other side of the road, I caught a last impatient glance — as if to finish the smile we had started, which lasted a split second before we crossed and moved in opposite directions.
I'm sure both of us smiled widely in our own cars for a while after that.
Such a wonderful thing no? A smile with no motive, no reason but to just smile, could be so contagious!
Eavesdropping Posture Of A Pensive-Relaxed Walking Woman. 🔗
I ignored what seemed like a tolerable ankle twist and the swelling that came with it and took it light. Didn't nurse it. The swelling largely remained over weeks and I didn't bother myself with it, until a doctor told me that I shouldn't leave it unattended, since it could lead to permanent muscle and ligament damages.
I was just done with massaging my feet with a special inflammation oil and was wrapping the feet with crepé bandage when I saw a girl from my ground floor window — in what seemed like a purple dress in the overcast draining weather — having the most pensive / relaxed stroll walk I have ever seen.
It was unusual because in Bangalore's hustle and bustle, people are always in a rush. On a weekday, in a weather just about to rain, watching a person walking, taking her own time, was intriguing and cathartic. As she approached my window, walking on the cemented pathways in between grass on the podium level, making her way through from the nearby playground, I could see she was thinking.
Walking a little further up from the window, she stopped, turned her head around and looked above as if towards 13th - 17th floor balconies. She had a smile which suggested that she was in a process of letting go of something and was taking the company of the wind and the rain that was about to happen, to ease into it. Slight rain started and she was unfettered by it. Her next step on the ground sprung the knowledge in her smile that she was going to walk in the rain now.
I instantly decided that I was going to go out and ask if I could walk with her. I found my umbrella and shot out of my front door. Two things stopped me.
The downpour was thrashing with wind splashing drops all over the body no matter which direction umbrella was put up. A stormy rain in Bangalore. Huh.
I remembered her face again and recognised that whatever she was going through, she intended to be out alone.
And I left it at that and came back in and wrote this.