Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Chapter 8: Nostalgia

If something doesn’t go your way do you get grouchy and sad? It’s very difficult to accept what is not in our favor and move on with the fact that “Our Time will come”. Instead of accepting things, the way they are and positively changing them, we tend to react instead of responding.
One, who learns the art of responding to situations, is someone who knows the art of keeping himself/herself happy all the while.
***
RJ was in a bad mood. She hated lies. She also wondered what had gotten into Rafey that he hid his identity. She wanted to hit him hard and ask him the reason why wasn’t he truthful.
Retrospectively, she realized, why was he actually hiding his identity. She thought, whether the Pizza delivery boys were asked to use different names, or was he trying to use his father’s name as a good luck?
She wondered whether Rafey knew about her, and he was worried of his mediocre job and status. What was it that made him lie, RJ wondered, but she did not get any answer.
Her show began the next morning and she decided to drop hints to Rafey, considering he would listen to Radio every morning.
“Good morning junta.. How have y’all been? Yesterday, I saw a dream. A very distinct old dream. I wonder why it didn’t occur all these years. I used to see it when I was, say 5. I used to talk about it to my friend, my best friend then, because what I said wouldn’t make sense to Mom”, RJ reminisced.
“There was this huge Gulmohar tree in the park near my house, in Meerut. I would climb up the branches that hung low. My friend would climb up higher, and shake the branches. The beautiful orange flowers would fall on me and I in turn would try my best to shake the branches near me, but nothing happened”, RJ went on.
“I saw the same dream last night. It’s been a while I’ve spotted a Gulmohar tree around the city. Do you know one?”, RJ asked the listeners.
“If you know any Gulmohar tree around your place, call me and let me know. I am giving another chance to myself to my dream. You do it too. So, talk to me and tell me what’s your dream?”, RJ asked.
“Let’s talk about dreams today.. Send me an SMS on 22 22 22 with your name, and I will call you back”, RJ pepped up the city.
“Until then, listen to this wonderful song ‘I have a dream, a song to sing’”… RJ said, and hung the mic.
GK entered her cabin and signaled whether the mic was on mute. RJ affirmed and talked out loud, “Yes, GK, come on in”
“What’s with you, girl. You are making the junta think early morning. Dreams and all..huh?”, GK smiled.
“Yes GK, there are so many meaningful English songs, which can indeed be correlated with so many topics. These songs give me a reason to talk on such subjects. What do you think, am I going good?”, RJ asked.
“Of course. You are doing amazingly well. We don’t have anyone as good as you. We all know what amazing song collection you have, you are well read, you can empathize and reach out to people’s heart”, GK said.
“And RJ, you can play songs on any occasion, Dammit”, Dexter came in.
“Thanks Dex. You know I am a Rockstar”, RJ did a little guitar thingy and boasted her image.
GK smiled, as he realized that the two would now start a useless argument.
***
Rafey smiled as he heard RJ finish her update and play the song. He realized that RJ knew that he was Rafey. He had been listening to the radio since the day he found out that Raji was RJ RJ. He did not appreciate English Music, but he loved listening to what Raji spoke.
He would have further inputs, which he imagined he would share with her once they got talking.
He wondered whether he should send an SMS or not. He thought he knew one Gulmohar tree, and if Raji was so nostalgic, he could help her find one near her place. Rafey wondered how he could now confront Raji, and accept all that was left unsaid all this while.
Rafey’s candid thought process was broken, as he realized that RJ had shut her door on his face last night. He found himself in a quandary as tried to gauge the situation.
Mansoor saw him standing and staring into the oblivion. He interrupted, “Rafey Miyaa, you want me to feed you all your life or what? Have you left your job, or the rascals have thrown you out for your innocence?”
“Chachu, I have a second shift today?”, Rafey said.
“So you are starting to find reasons to stay out during the night, huh. Don’t I know what 22 year old boys want, you Dog”, Mansoor teased him.
“Chacha jaan. You know I am not like that”, Rafey defended himself, smiling and realizing that Mansoor was pulling his leg.
They both stood side by side, looking at the morning sun. Rafey began, “Chachu, I met Raji again”
“I see. So did she recognize you?”, Mansoor asked carelessly.
“I thought she hadn’t. So I hid my identity when she asked me my name. She only read Abba’s name on my badge and thought my name is Shareeq”, Rafey said.
“Ok.. So?”,Mansoor sounded confused.
“She actually knows that I am Rafey. And she asked me my name yesterday, so I lied and told her it was Shareeq”, Rafey said.
“I still don’t get you!”, Mansoor said.
“Listen to the radio, Chachu”, Rafey said.
***
After a series of advertisements, RJ spoke again.
“The first caller for the day is Isha. Hi Isha, where are you calling from?”, RJ sounded disappointed, as she expected a male voice to respond.
“Hi RJ RJ. I am calling from Market Yard. I am such a big fan of yours!”, the listener sighed.
“Ok, Isha, so tell me, do you know any Gulmohar tree around your place?”, RJ asked.
“I don’t know what it looks like. But there is a building called Gulmohar apartments, and there is huge tree there with orange flowers”, Isha said.
“Oh, then that might just be a real Gulmohar tree then. So what is your dream Isha”, RJ asked.
“I want to go to Ooty once, and stay at my Grandma’s house, which is now abandoned. I want to revive it”, Isha said.
“What a wonderful dream. I wish you all the best and pray that your dream gets fulfilled soon”, RJ said and hung the call.
She continued, “You may ask, what is so special about the Gulmohar tree. Why am I talking about it so much? Have you ever tried to eat your lunch under that tree, rather under any tree, watch the sun set and feel the shade of the tree cover your head? Have you ever hugged a Gulmohar tree trunk? It’s all beautiful and nostalgic”, RJ said and pondered for a while.
“Ok, so Let’s listen to Isha’s request on Angrezi hits – One love”, RJ concluded.
***
Rafey looked at Mansoor, and Mansoor looked back at him.
He said, “The girl is desperate and mad both. You should make her feel better”, Mansoor said and patted Rafey’s back.
Rafey picked up his cell phone and sent an sms saying “RAFEY” to 22 22 22.

…to be contd..