It was a stuffy Sunday night somewhere in Mumbai. I was sweating like I had waterfalls running from each of my pores, more so because of the stiff cotton sari that I was wearing to the event where I was at. And also because it was, well, Mumbai, where out of the 12 months of the year, you were sure to sweat at least for 10.
Oh God, will this man stop droning already, I screamed in my head, as I took the millionth sip of water. Anymore H2O and I could turn into a fish. Why had I even decided to come to this event, I didn’t know anymore. A month back I had received the following invite –
≡≡≡≡ Blogger’s Meet ≡≡≡≡
At Belinda Hall, Bandra, Mumbai.
On 23rd April, 2031.
“Oh wow! They remember me?”, were my first words as I read the invite. It had been 10 years since I left blogging… wrtiting actually. I had done okay for sometime, but then it tapered. Life took over and I stopped writing altogether.
Do I even have a working WP account still? I had struggled to remember my used id and password, because I had logged out and never returned years ago. I don’t know why I could never muster the strength to delete the account. Maybe because a part of me liked to remember how it was when I would write… the thrill of it, the comments, the friends I had made… and lost.
So anyway. My Husband had encouraged me to attend this meet. “Get out, meet people. Our daughter isn’t too young anymore. She can do without you for a few days. Get a life”, he had said.
And I caught that Metro from Pune to Mumbai, invite and memories, clutched close to my heart.
But it wasn’t what I thought it would be. Of course, hadn’t I known that? I mean, what was I hoping to find? I had gone underground, like a blind mole. Obviously I wouldn’t know anyone who came to this meet. Correction… no one would know me. I still recalled a few names, though the faces may have changed, but they didn’t know me.
“You’re Pradita right?”, someone said to me, and I turned my head up to find a middle aged man, in a crisp white shirt and a friendly grin staring at me. He looked familiar but I couldn’t say yet who he was.
“I am, yes”, I smiled back. Finally, someone talked to me, “And you are…”
“Savio, I’m Savio Paes, from Goin’ the extraaa mile?”
I have to admit at first I couldn’t recall who he was. But a feeble bell in my head sounded and then images came up. WP comments that we had exchanged over our blog posts. And I remebered him, “Savio from Goa?” I laughed as I finally recalled. I laughed because it was a relief to connect to someone finally in this dreary place.
“Ah, yes! Savio, from Goa”, he pulled himself a chair and sat down beside me. “Long time, right?”
“Yes! Funny how we bumped into each other… here of all places… How’ve you been? What do you do?”, I asked him in genuine curiosity.
“Funny it is, yes. As for what I do, well, I’m mostly a writer, but I also teach at a few universities across the world”, he said without a shred of arrogance.
I was impressed, like anyone would be. Across the world! Wow!
“And how about you? What are you doing these days?”, he asked me.
“Nothing…” I answered without offering anything else because I had nothing more to offer in terms of a reply.
“Nothing? Are you a homemaker or…”
“Yes, I am, still one”, I gave him a short reply followed by a wide, plasticky smile.
“But you used to write… what happened? Suddenly we could see nothing from the Pradita Chronicles anymore. You wouldn’t even reply to the comments people left you on your posts”, he searched my face for an answer and all I did was keep smiling.
“You let it go…” he guessed and then became sombre. There were several seconds of awkward silence between us. We had only one topic in common, the writing, and I’d left that, so there was nohing else to talk, unless one of us tried conversing about other things. He did that, “Well, I won’t ask you why. It must have been a personal decision, no doubt, for an important reason. But you clearly didn’t like the choices you had to take in life.”
I was surprised by his frankness. Was my discontent so easy to read?
He carried on, “But I will say this… I liked what you wrote. Some of us did. You should have continued. You still can.”
“No, it’s too late for me to start anything now. Not everyone is meant to be a writer, Savio.” I gave him another plasticky, bitter smile.
Just then the host of the show announced that Savio was to read an excerpt from his new book. Savio rose up from his seat beside me to leave for the stage. But before he left, he looked staright at me, gave me another of his broad, genial smiles, and said
But everyone is supposed to try. Don’t stop trying…
And he left, his words hanging in the air, buzzing in me ears. And it is then I found the courage to try again… in the words of a friend.
This short-story was in response to the You & Me Tag that I was nominated for by my fellow-blogger Savio. Savio is everything I’ve decribed in the story above, and more. He is a wonderful, warm human being and his blog reflects just that. Be sure to go over and check out his blog, The Extraaa Mile. Thank you Savio for this opportunity. I realise I’ve posted this rather late, but better late than never, right? I had FUN doing this. Thanks again 🙂
As part of the Tag rules, I was to craft a story about me and Savio (since he’s the one who nominated my name). The story could be anything – fiction, thriller, fantasy, whatever, but it’s supposed to be about two people. I was also supposed to Tag others to carry on this game.
So here are the nominees –
I hope each one of you crafts a story of two people. It doesn’t have to contain me. But it should be your own.
Thanks for reading, folks! 😀 😀
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