Friday, October 04, 2013

The moment

'With my best friend's wife.....  Yes ! I did it!', Shekhar sighed, tension evident on his forehead. He was tired of brooding over it.

 His eyes looked strained and his hair messed up. He was totally confused. He was in a situation where he always wanted to be, but never thought he would actually be!

'But that was just a moment. I had resisted it so so well until the last moment. And then....', he went on trying to explain himself.

'...and then what? You failed? You chose betrayal over loyalty. A man like you is nothing but a sad chunk of selfishness', she exclaimed.

Rina was not behaving the way she should have. She yelled. Not just decently, but with an air of disgust.

'Do you even know how Tarun would feel, if he came to know?', Rina questioned authoritatively. 

'I have no idea', Shekhar randomly replied not understanding what Rina had asked.

'Rina, there is a reason I am here. Not to be yelled at, but to be understood. Do you understand me?', Shekhar pleaded calmly.

'I wish I could. How do I understand you at all? You bowl me over again and again with your acts', she said.

'Oh come, on. That's not what I want to hear right now!', Shekhar said. He wasn't sad, he just wanted to have a reassurance.

'I thought you were.. I thought, you... Anyway', she left the sentence hanging. 

'Yes. I am here, in this situation. I want you to listen to me, not as a friend who'd judge. But as an unbiased listener. I need to get this out of my system', Shekhar stared around not looking into Rina's eyes, and wondering how could he turn back the time and undo what he had done. 

'Meet me at the clinic today evening. We'll talk about it', Rina said. Rina was a family counsellor and Shekhar's confidante.

***

There are times when you ask for an apple and you get an apple muffin instead. You enjoy it anyway. After enjoying it, you realize  perhaps an apple would have been better. But then, it's too late. Somebody made a muffin of that apple and offered you, and you ate it too. So the story is almost kinda over, and there is nothing much that you can do about it, than just enjoy the taste. Or perhaps, next time, you can be very sure that if you get a muffin, you'd say no. Because you've wanted an Apple, the fruit - Apple, all the time. Not a muffin! But there is NO NEXT TIME!

That's where Adam and Eve failed. And Newton discovered Gravity. All so interlinked, strangely so, but interlinked nonetheless. Did I mention, about gravity, attraction, being discovered and apple playing a pivotal role. Well, yeah! Needless to mention! We allll Knoww! 

***

'Shekhar, you should eat something, before we start', Rina offered him a box of cookies. 

'You know what happened last weekend?', Shekhar began.

'Ok, you want to start right away? You look very drab. Take a bite of this, here...and coffee... take a sip and we'll talk', Rina offered him coffee, as he stared into oblivion. 

'The captain knew I was not a defensive player. We had to make 120 runs. and I had to stick', Shekhar started talking. 

'Ohkay, and Tarun? His wife?', Rina questioned.

'Tarun knows it. I told him..', Rina looked a littled startled. 'I made 45 runs. I told him', Shekhar went on.

'6 wickets down, we had to make 120 runs. We had overs in hand, but no wickets', Shekhar started explaining every detail.

Rina couldn't help but wonder what was going on. She wanted to conclude that Shekhar had lost his mind. He was turning into this mad man, who couldn't forgive himself for making out with his best friend's wife. 

'I was asked to play defensively. I am not this person, you know, Rina', he looked at her.

'I don't play defensively. I am striker. I hit or I leave the crease. Get out. Bowled. Caught. Stumped. But I don't defend', Shekhar said.

Rina was surprised but she pretended to listen intently. She knew Shekhar played cricket, she also knew he was very good at it, but she had no idea, why he was talking about it.

'But, captain told me to take it slow. It made sense. It really did. I wanted to take it real slow. Stay there win the match. We had overs. But I had to stay there.. just hang in..If I got out, we would lose.', Shekhar slipped into the past. 

Rina had heard the cricket stories before too. She had seen a few matches as well, and she knew what an aggressive player Shekhar was. When he was narrating the instance, she realized  he was trying to make a point. It intrigued her further. 

'And then?', Rina asked Shekhar to go on.

'I played well. I scored a decent 45. And after a patient wait, we were down to last wicket and 6 runs to win', he said, tension reflecting in his eyes. 

'When the bowler paced towards me, I knew, I had to take it slow, but then...then.. he tempted me to no ends', Shekhar stuck right there. 

'Then?', Rina asked.

'Something, something triggered, Rina, and I went for a big hit. I wanted to hit it out of the stadium', Shekhar.

'So, did you win or not?' Rina sounded intrigued.

'No! I was bowled! We lost! All the efforts I took to build up the score, all lost because of my impulse', Shekhar gasped for breath.

'The last few minutes. Those last few minutes, I gave up all that I built patiently', he said and looked thoughtful.

'That's bad', Rina exclaimed. 

'That one moment Rina, that one moment. I wished I had put in a little more thought', Shekhar sounded angry.

'That's what happened with her, you know. I knew she was Tarun's wife. I knew this was wrong. I knew I had to act sane and not heed to any of her demands. I knew Tarun is my best friend. But....', he stopped thinking about something.

'She approached, and that moment, I gave up all the patience i had built. I lost the match! This is not what was supposed to happen. I wish I could undo all of it', he said.

Rina heard him out. 

'What do you want to do next, Shekhar? Have you thought about it? ', Rina asked.

Shekhar picked up his phone from the table, dialed a number and left the room.. 

Rina smiled. She exactly knew what the guy was upto. She was reaffirmed of the fact why she was still friends with Shekhar. 

She picked up a cigarrette, lit it, and reclined in the chair, smiling, thinking about how easy life becomes when you learn to bare it all... 

The fags created a halo. Evil, but honest halos.