Shady memories


Mumbai rains can be sometimes exasperating. The water meets the filth and garbage and you can see everything floating around. 

I was watching this through the BEST bus which happens to be the govt transport buses that ply across Mumbai. It was a long day and rains did make it a disaster. I would have sat in that stupid office of mine and used the internet rather than sticking to wet people here in this bus. While such thoughts ran errands in my mind, I could see the number of people going on the two-wheeler’s, soaked. That’s life in Mumbai for you.

I was delayed than usual. I reached the bus-stop and now I had to take an auto-rickshaw. On a normal day I would walk and my house is only ten minutes away, but not in the rain. Especially not without an umbrella. Finding an auto-rickshaw was never hard and also they have this term called sharing, which means you share the ride with other passengers. On the other hand, you only pay quarter the price than the normal fare. You are actually sharing the ride and the price.

On one such ride I jumped in and waited for someone to come and throw themselves beside me. There was no chance that the rickshaw would empty. There was no shortage of people around. My eyes wandered outside. It was only slight drizzle now as opposed to the heavy rains earlier.

I might need to wash the clothes today or it will start to stink. I hope that all the electricity lines are fine and there is still electricity at home. Woah… water is ankle deep, hope I don’t have to swim to the office tomorrow…

By then somebody sat beside me. I sensed it but didn’t bother to twist my head. Couple of minutes later, the auto started moving and with sudden jerks you know that the driver is shifting gears, but yet going slowly through those crowded streets made overfull by every little thing on the road.

I shifted my gaze to the interiors. Next to me sat a lady, then a guy. There was one another guy hugging on to the driver, thus making it four passengers altogether. I looked straight and looked sideways again towards the lady. The light from another vehicle from opposite lit up the face of the man sitting next to her on the far end. The light held it’s spot for couple of seconds before disappearing.

One glance at him and I could identify him. I knew the man pretty well. I knew him for most of the time of my life as a friend and as a brother. I was there with this random girl in between and all I had to do was call out his name. He would have looked back and maybe we could have kicked started our friendship again.

I just kept mum. Just hoped that if he finds me, let him.

He didn’t find me. He got down where he had to while I was seated and the ride continued. Later I got down where I had to. The drizzles weren’t very heavy and my apartments were few footsteps away. I decided not to jog my way in but walk slowly. Drizzles just didn’t wet my clothes and my body but my spirits also. Today is definitely one of the worst day in my entire life when life proved that it got the better of me and my ego and I laid something, that once was a valuable asset, to rest.

My friend from childhood, my classmate, my college mate and finally strangers. Today when it feels gay to even travel in a lift with a stranger who happens to be a man, I remembered those days. We had shared our bed more than once in college. It felt perfectly alright to do that. We were friends, brothers. He would light a cigarette and I would borrow it from him and thus both ending up smoking the same cigarette. We ended up sharing an auto-rickshaw ride after 8 years, but in the most shameful manner.

I opened the door of my lonely apartment and walked in. The lights were off but the curtain was offset by a few meters letting in some light from the neighborhood. Pushing the door back, I walked to my table and in the bottom-most shelf I had a packet of cigarette which was left for god knows how long. Getting the matches from the kitchen, I strike the match on to the flint and light the cigarette.

‘Today I can have a smoke. I have managed to see the death of an old relation. Hence I today will counter balance it by reviving a long killed vice.’ 

The match stick stroke on the flint a few more times…



45 thoughts on “Shady memories”

  1. When I had first shifted to Mumbai, I used to be very tired of the non stop rains throughout the week. Remembered those days after reading this. The story seems to hint at something deeper though about the journey of life in which we travel with known / unknown people and then each person goes his own way. Nice read Anoop.

    1. Mumbai rains to be honest are the worst. I cannot stand the rainy season at that place. I am a rain lover but I love it better in my village and for Mumbai, winters would be fine if I had to choose a season.

      Though it was written casually, I did add them characters and the ride with other aspects in mind. Glad you picked them up Somali 🙂

      Pleasure to know you enjoyed the post. Thank you!

      1. Hey Anoop..U have combined your imagination with real facts,the serious mood inside with the sombre nature..loved to read it…hope to cross each other again and again.

      2. Hello Soumi 🙂

        First of all, that is a beautiful name you have. Read the logic behind your name as well. 🙂

        Thank you so much for the comment and about crossing each other, we definitely shall. I am following your blog so that I definitely see your future posts 🙂

        Take care!

    1. Do you think I have got wiser? 😛 Naah.. I was always wise.

      Btw, this was not the original story I intended. I was in no mood to write anything more so I modified it and made this. 😛 I will sell the rights of the original story to someone. hehe

      Thank you so much for liking my work 🙂

  2. We have a part to play in someone’s life and when it’s over, we secretly slip out of their lives without any information. Maybe the destiny didn’t wanted you to meet your friend because it knew that his part in your life was over.
    Okay, I went too deep nai ?!? 😛
    But on a serious note, it was a good read, nostalgic is the word. 🙂

    1. This one is also an imaginary post. Again I didn’t mention it … My bad 😛

      Though it has actually happened, I have ended up meeting people and saying a hi and then moving on. This story should have been something else and I shortened it cos I wouldn’t be able to write a bigger one today. Feels exhausted. 😀

      1. Don’t worry, I got that this time, I commented thinking the same. 😉
        And if you’d have written the original story, it wouldn’t have left that much of impact this story did. Great thoughts! 🙂

  3. Hey there! I’ve nominated you for the Versatile blogger award and the Creative blogger award.For further info check my recent post.
    Thanks. 🙂

      1. no definitely long as you meet and build up the relationship …nothing else should matter..let not guilt make you do things you may regret later..

      2. In real life the scenario was different 😛 but you have a point there. Actually you are very right, it’s not at awkward to speak after 8 years. You can always start fresh. I will consider that if I happen to meet a female friend 😀 😀 (just kidding)

        It was an imaginary short story Saya… nothing real life related in this one 🙂

  4. I love rain ( probably you know from my writings) and, I love Mumbai 😀 So, two plus two…:-P

    BTW, I especially liked the way you have introduced the guy to the readers…” The light from another vehicle from opposite lit up the face of the man sitting next to her on the far end. The light held it’s spot for couple of seconds before disappearing.” ..A very perfect description..:-)

    And, I think it happens with all of us..we tend to forget old relations and are afraid of building a new one… 🙂

    1. I know you are a pluvial person 😛

      You are right. We end up with no one in the end cos we forget old ones and we are afraid to build new ones. Sad state of affairs 😀 😛

  5. ‘Today I can have a smoke. I have managed to see the death of an old relation. Hence I today will counter balance it by reviving a long killed vice.’ – great sentences! I have been there and it was a weird awkward feeling 😦

    By the way, four passengers in auto-rickshaw 😀 – gosh, you should take a picture! And I am sorry to hear about the rains and floods, hopefully it’s not getting worse.

    1. I have managed to talk to the people, get their numbers and never call back 😛 What an achievement!!! lol

      Indian…second largest population…so everything is crowded there. This is an imaginary story but I will definitely click a picture cos it is common in Mumbai anyways 🙂

  6. This was one of your better narratives! Very very restrained and tight. And you know something, this happened with me a few days back. In the bus actually. A batchmate with whom I had spent two years but now I did not feel motivated enough to look up and say hello. Just went on with my book…


    1. Hi Prajakta,

      This has happened to me a couple of times but I did meet and greet. I am not sure if I should call it sad.

      Thank you for the compliment btw 🙂 I am glad you liked my little post.

  7. I have been in Mumbai like born and brought up there and college too and got so nostalgic at the mention of rains and the ply of commuters. I loved your post more more reasons, for it was unpredictable Anoop, when light fell on the passengers I thought it would be the beauty of the woman that would be captivating but no…it pleasantly well not sure if pleasantly is right but it surprised me with a smile on my face. Awesome post!
    Now i have a problem too, I have subscribed but don’t get a notification when you post….I am surely missing out a lot 😦 well I can come and check daily though.

    1. I was also a Mumbaikar. That’s how I got my perfect description. It was a happy place and I always remember the place with a warm smile. Great people as well.

      My posts will most probably be void of any love stories 😉 But I should someday write something about love as well …. It is always a pleasure to know that someone liked your work (if you could call it a work)

      Did you try the email subscription thing? I don’t know why it’s not working. Usually there are couple of people outside WP who uses email subscription.

  8. Very very well written narrative Anoop. Loved it. It may be imaginary, but this particular imagination seemed to have come straight from the heart. 🙂 😛

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