Attempted Flash Fiction:-
|belongs to rightful owner, PC- Google|
There are days when I fall under spells; today was one freshly lit afternoon that had charmed me. I was seated on my coarse blue seat and looking out of the window. I was under two spells. My feet rested on the empty seat opposite to mine, my black slippers cowering under its vacant space in the shadows. The green outside was rushing past my vision and the sunlight was making it hard for my eyes to keep staring outside for long. It was one of those days when rain had wiped off the dirt from sky and the smell of wet earth was numbing all other senses except the olfactory glands.
My fellow passenger on right was fast asleep; her toes curled in dreams, her knees pulled to her swollen chest and her face half hidden in white dupataa, blocking the sunlight. As the train kept gushing on her tracks, I saw her body getting swayed softly on the blue berth. The mauve kurta and jeans she was in highlighted her outline on that seat she was sleeping peacefully. We boarded the train from same station; an afternoon train always offered a comfortable journey for close destinations, she was similar to me I had a feeling.
Before she decided to go for siesta she requested me to keep an eye on her belonging if I remained awake. I smiled and nodded my head to assure her that I would. Her eyes were tired and I felt she was in desperate need of that nap. I could never refuse a pretty face like her. A black laptop backpack stuffed with bottle of mineral water and clothes sat in the corner of the seat opposite to her. Every now and then when the sunlight burned my eyes I looked at her bag and then outlined her with my eyes. We were carrying same baggage; I too had a laptop backpack, stuffed with clothes and a mineral water bottle sticking its neck out. The only difference we had was her bottle was unsealed and mine was kissing me for five months now.
Maybe she was a student like me, younger or older I could never guess. I could always check out the white paper pasted outside on the compartment, I could learn her name, her age, guess her religion and caste as well and find her expected station too. If she woke up before my platform became visible I could strike a conversation with her. She lay in her position breathing evenly and the shadows created from my window’s bar caged her. She looked like a mermaid caught by heavily webbed fishing net spread out in some distant golden ocean.
The hawkers passed me, offering jhaal muri, sweetmeat, cucumber but I craved for tea in the earthen cup and my eyes kept fluctuating between the bright green outside and the figure on the seat on my right. She trusted me enough to keep a watch over her solitary bag, her brown shoes were vibrating towards me and would soon be victim of the stampede at next station's arrival. I lowered my right leg and softly kicked them towards similar vacant darkness under her berth. It was strange ride, our compartment was unusually empty, there were hardly seven or eight bodies travelling in it. Majority of them had been asleep like her, trusting someone awake like me or trusting their sleep senses to alert them when something felt off, all of them drifted in a swaying dream.
My cell-phone vibrated thrice and I refused to check it, I was too comfortable at gazing out and voyeuring in. Her dupataa slipped and the sunlight pinched her eyelids. She woke up next moment, sat up straight blinking her puffed eyes at me few times, she needed that siesta, finally adjusting her vision on me she smiled. I smiled back at her. She fixed her hair and wrapped her dupataa around her neck like a person suffering from acute bouts of cold.
As her smile broadened the chaiwala finally appeared miraculously. I waved my hand and he looked at me. I indicated him for a cup with my finger and she turned around, her hair still messed, tangled and from my location appeared dry. I looked at her; she definitely wanted a cup of tea too. I gestured her that I was doing the talking with him, she worded a soft thank you. I showed two fingers and the cups arrived five minutes later. Before I opened my moneybag she had already given a crisp ten rupees note. The chaiwala assuming us to be travelling companions walked away before I could call out his steel kettle waving at me. She smiled again with warm eyes.
She sipped her tea, she seemed immune to the first assault of heat, her soft fingers held the earthen cup in a firm grip. Her lips did not leave the cup once, she sipped her brown drink staring at some form invisible to my eyes on the dirty artificial mosaic floor. I blew air on my cup, but she slurped her drink calmly she seemed unfazed by the drink but dazed by something inside her head. My eyes met tiny familiar houses speeding past my window.
I gulped my burning tea, as my destination was fast approaching. I stood up. Her cup was empty. I slung my backpack handing her five rupees and took her empty cup. “I will dispose them” I spoke. “Thank you again” she did not protest now her eyes focused on mine. I placed the cups together, above each other and walked towards the door I turned once to look at her ordinarily pretty face. Once the train stopped I stepped down, the station was taking a nap too. My eyes scanned for a dustbin first then I turned around, she was on the seat I had left my warmth on.
She waved her hand at me.
I wanted to go and see the white paper pasted besides the door. I could have found out her name, her age and her destination. Maybe I could have initiated a talk. So many maybes popped in my head. I waved her back with my empty hand and the train began to move and soon disappeared into the wild green around me.
I turned around and went towards the kangaroo shaped dustbin. I dropped my tea cup in it. I was keeping her's as a memento for an enchanting afternoon ride, for those few hours she did cast a spell on my soul with her repeated "thank you". But some books are better left unfinished; this book was called Siesta Girl’s tea cup.
P.S- The End
thanking you to bear with me