Living next door to Brishti...

He was sitting on the porch
On one indolent spring evening...
Tomorrow would be the 'dol jatra' and
He felt the air of the evening already carried the smell of abir...

Furthermore, a little distance away, from where he sat,
A few people had gathered under the canopy, near an old temple, singing bhajans...
He could hear them sing bhajans of love and devotion...
Simple and chaste hindi songs full of vigour...
That brought before him Lord Krishna's yearnings of love at the sight of his Radha;

'Hi!'
He heard someone calling from behind
And the familiar tone did not make him to be stirred by surprise...
'She must be Brishti...'
He thought and lethargically turned his head...

But the moment he saw her,
He was left speechless...
For, Brishti, his childhood buddy, his next door friend, had come dressed in an orange colored kurti
With curious shiny red borders and laces...and as he looked more carefully...
He found her looking resplendent by the light of the bulb hanging overhead...
He found her looking extraordinarily handsome...as if...
As if she was a flower which had bloomed that evening only!

'Hello! Brishti! you look so wonderful! going somewhere?'
He asked, impromptu,
As he looked at Brishti...
Her flowing hair,
Her lips aglow...
Her brightest smile...
And the small red bindi on her forehead...

'Yes! Came to ask you to give me a ride tonight...'
She said, almost quipped...
'Oh!'
He said...still looking at her...as if he was seeing her for the first time in his life!
'Hey! Why looking so strangely to me? Am I looking that much startling?'
She remarked casually and pulled him out of the chair...
'But...but Brishti...'
He mumbled,
'What?'
She turned her head and her flowing hair...(like those heroines of silver screen, you see...)
'I heard you're going out of the town next week?'
He asked...somewhat cautiously, as if he was going to put his feet and words into a very accident-prone slippery zone;

'Yes...I am going out of the town...and probably would never return...'
She said, looking at the people who were sitting under the canopy, near the old temple and singing bhajans of love, swinging their heads...
'So...what's the need?'
He asked...hurt;
'The need is more so...dear...to give you something before I go away...forever...'
Brishti quipped, smartly...

He thought
Even after living twenty four years next door to Brishti,
He knew nothing about her...
He never knew her!


(inspired by  'Living next door to Alice', by Smokie)









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