17 November, 2008

The Hangover...

The head throbbed in the morning and the tongue felt like sandpaper. Groggily reaching out for a bottle of water by the bed he just tumbled off losing balance with his legs awkwardly tangled in the bed sheet. Cursing he got up and went to the kitchen and gulped down four glasses of water. Images started to come back into focus as his body re-hydrated. He cursed the previous night’s session heartily. He could always hold his drink but the mornings after were invariably hell.

Red eyes stared at him from the chipped mirror above his wash basin as he splashed water on his face. Almost woozily he brushed his teeth and fixed a tea while still brushing and searched for something to eat. He was famished. A Parle-G biscuit pack, half opened and going soft was the only thing left in his tin. Without much enthusiasm he started on it , sipping his tea. He felt almost human now.

How did he land up at the session? Then it came to him. He had bumped into Ismail Parkar, a friend from high school accidentally, who looked completely demented. Ismail had been jilted wanted to die. That’s how he had agreed to give him company, rather Ismail be dead drunk then just dead was his kind thought as they entered Kashmira Restaurant & Bar. Ismail was always falling in and out of love, so what brought this sudden decision to die? It had him puzzled. It was out of character. Apparently it was an old flame who had reached out to him they had been serious for a while, till the family found out his faith. Ismail was an educated and presentable guy earning respectably too but could do little about the problem he encountered.The split had been acrimonious and had hit him hard.

They had finished three quarters of Old Monk rum between them as Ismail discussed his affair. He remembered that when Ismail started his shayari’s all will be well,on his way to have come to terms with his loss, he would be a new man again the next day. Ismail started off, after wolfing down some sukka mutton and taking a long pull on his drink , that she just cut off contact. And now refuses to speak to him. She has forgotten him again. And he said those were beautiful times but even his memory was fuzzy now, and launched into a Urdu couplet by Javed Akhtar

तुम्हे याद न रहा, और मैं भी भूल गया,
वोह लम्हा हसीं था, पुर फिजूल गया

Wow he is back.. now would come the shocker before we moved on and on cue he ordered our next quarter. His eyes were pained & he struggled with his equilibrium. Another sip and he lit a cigarette. It was lovely, the poetry, always sublime,quite unlike his situations. As he rendered an old Sahir Song … Ismail faltered, mumbled and the words slurred..but he repeated them with explanations when the Urdu couldnt be understood by yours truly

तारुफ़ ( jasbaaat, feelings ) जब रोग बन जाये, तो उसे भूलना अच्छा
तालुक ( नाता, relationship) जब बोझ बन जाये, तो उसे छोड़ना अच्छा
व्हो अफ़साना, जिसे अंजाम तक , न लाना हो मुमकिन
उसे एक ख़ूबसूरत मोड़ देकर, छोड़ना

Remembering the words , he wondered what’s it about love lost that it turns men to drink and out of the pathos spouts beautiful poetry. All this as he finished the tea and biscuits and went for his bath.

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