I was proud to be a nocturnal being during my college years. Me and my buddies would look at them larks and laugh our asses off. I can count the number of times I was up for breakfast on the fingers of one hand, one finger for every first day of the academic year, I detested the sun and embraced the dark. I looked worn out all the time and I couldn’t give a damn. Graduation happened, job was acquired, and troubles too. I couldn’t drag myself out of bed in time and was late to the Office much of the time, much to the boss’s chagrin. I tried placing the alarm at an arm’s length, I tried placing the alarm at beyond an arm’s length, I tried asking my colleague to give me a wake-up call, nothing seemed to help. Then I picked up the habit of smoking. Now I face no trouble in waking up the instant the alarm goes off, I haven’t pressed the snooze button in years, all it took was the incentive of reaching for a cigarette. The minute I start the day off with a smoke, I know it’s going to be a punctual one.
Giny was the girl who lived across the street. She was blessed with a bony face and that drove Mark crazy with desire. He was aware of her working hours and made it a point to find something to do at the anointed hour in his front yard so as to sneak a glance and maybe a conversation. This vacuous exercise of his, however, made him excessively self-aware and awkwardly shy. He couldn’t even muster a ‘Hi’ when their eyes met, and she found that sad. Days passed by. Mark grew increasingly disheartened by his incapacity to pick up courage and stopped going out to the yard with the punctilious punctuality he had first exhibited, Giny, for her part, had begun to notice the absence of the shy neighbor and let herself be disappointed by the loss of an admirer. Then one autumn evening, she spotted Mark standing taller than ever smoking at peace peering over with charming directness and a wide inviting grin. They were hitched the following year and can now be seen smoking together on what was once Mark’s front yard of solitude.
You are cruising down the highway, you got your newly bought shades on and can’t stop checking yourself in the rear-view mirror, you are racing against the beautiful vistas of the setting sun set directly against the visor, even the shuffle stumbles upon the song you are presently obsessed with, you tap the tune on the steering wheel out of sheer delight, you don’t have the top down as your car doesn’t have the facility, you aren’t exactly cruising either as buffaloes keep appearing at regular intervals like speed breakers in a residential area, you aren’t driving with one arm on the wheel and one arm across the tender shoulders of your lover, you are simply transporting your incontinent grandfather. He makes a sound, the moment of bliss brought about by the confluence of the music and the time of the day and the desolation of the highway is lost forever. He repeats the sound, you realize he’s asking you to pull over. You reluctantly comply. He hobbles off into the bushes, you watch on ruefully as cars zip by, you grow impatient, you check your watch, you check for your incontinent grandfather’s return, you adapt the teapot, you discard the teapot, you reach into the back pocket, you retrieve a cigarette and start puffing away. You forgive your grandfather, bless his incontinence, lean against the car, personify nonchalance, catch the sight of female strangers giving you admiring glances from within the cars passing by. You think to yourself everything’s perfect with the world.
*More success stories to follow.