The Exhibition

She was hit by a flood of happiness when her dad had said, “We’re going to the exhibition today!”. The remainder of the day, spent in wait for that evening, was all a blur. Lessons taught in school were heard but not understood. Food was eaten but not savored. The hot topic of the day was her exhibition plan and she told it to everyone who greeted her. Every time she told someone, her excitement seemed to grow, proportional to the number of people she had enticed.

 

“Samyuktha! Tell me what’s 4 squared two?” She blinked for a second, regaining her senses as she reeled back into reality. But it wasn’t long before she answered. She was a topper. “Concentrate” her ma’am said sternly and she sat down embarrassed. She wanted to listen, so she did. Five minutes pass, and Snap! She was dreaming again.

 

The vast expanse of the exhibition was vivid in her imagination. The entrance was modeled after the ‘Taj Mahal’, which symbolically tried to suggest, that the exhibition resonated with the grandeur of the monument. Petite shelters were lined up at the entrance and were glowing in pink. Kids surrounding the stands, outstretched their hands over the counter in want of feather like cotton candy. Crowded lanes were all tangled up giving, every passerby stuck in the maze, the impression that the place was way bigger than what it really was. The relentless cries of hawkers and the humorless banter of customers, kept the place lively and abuzz.

 

What little solitude was left in the place, was gobbled up by the squeals of excited passengers on amusement rides. This was the second best attraction at any exhibition, and it was only next to shopping.

 

She imagined herself on every one of the rides. In her fantasy, she had the guts to get on the roller coaster. She was tall enough to drive a bumper car. She had the time to admire the city lights from the vantage point when the giant wheel reached it’s zenith. She would’ve imagined a merry-go-round but the continuous spinning makes her nauseous.

 

Food savored at the exhibition was always the same. Typical. It was always Pav Bhaji, Chole Bhature and Cutlet Ragada. It never got better, but it never got boring either. What happened after that wasn’t quite clear. She didn’t imagine anything beyond the fun part, maybe because she didn’t want it to end. But it had to. Cause the time had come for her dream to come true.

 

She wanted to make sure that she’d do every single thing she had imagined. Like a mental checklist. She filled her head with expectations and her heart with excitement. She couldn’t contain the enthusiasm any longer. The school’s final bell rang. She didn’t have to.

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The Mesmerizing Rain

The breeze outside turns chilly and the sky hints of precipitation. She sits inside, completely engrossed in her phone, while the bus continues on it’s mundane journey.
 
She stopped texting momentarily, when a familiar scent of rain kissed soil wafted in through the window. She looks outside. Looks down at her phone, then looks outside again, this time longer. She sees buildings drenched in rain. Asphalt glistening like a black panther. Trees that look livelier than ever, fresh and green. Little plants droop, as if surrendering to it, as the rain pelts down on them.  Headlights of cars light a conical section of the rain, making it glimmer. 

She opens the window fully and puts her head out. She unclips her hair and lets it fall loose. Her bouncy tresses take a shower in the rain, turning moist and mellow. Raindrops trickling down her face rejuvenate her. For the first time in a long time, she feels alive. 

She’s reminded of her childhood days as she began to reminisce how she used to play in the rain. She vividly remembers one wintry night when she’d woken up to the sound of rain and thunder. She walked to the balcony and looked outside. Flashes of lightning lit the entire neighborhood, exposing all nocturnal life. The sound of the rain was unrivaled and melodious. She sticked her hand out and let it get soaked in the rain. She draped herself with her bedsheet and sat up all night staring outside, mesmerized. 

All these memories got her thinking, about the way her life had changed. She almost forgot what it is like to be wowed by nature. Watching it for herself, in person, felt so much better than viewing it on the phone. 

She put her phone away for the day and just sat by the window looking outside. Her hair now drenched with rain and her heart with nostalgia. 

The Pleasant Bus Journey

I stick my head out of the window. Wind gushes past my hair. I experience a soothing sensation of nirvana. A wide smirk smears across my face. I close my eyes to shelter them against the wind. Nothingness engulfs me momentarily and I’m detached from everything and everyone. Black. Empty. Serene. I like that.

 

I open my eyes and look up. Street lamps pass in successions. One by one. All identical. The light isn’t glaring, it’s soft on my eyes. And I like that.

 

I slowly lower my gaze, and stare off into the horizon.  A humongous matte white cloud drifts slowly in the sky. Ashened by the dark of the night, it looks like cotton dipped in light coffee. I cover miles on the road, but the cloud doesn’t seem to budge. I don’t imagine fancy shapes in it. I never see anything. I just continue to stare and admire the beauty in it’s simplicity. I like that.

 

A song rings in my ear which is in perfect resonance with my situation. I hum the song and mouth the words. I leave everything behind, pushed off to the back of my head.

 

I’m going too fast. My longing for that feeling seems to be longer that the moment itself. A tiny snippet of pleasure that is barely satisfying. I wish it could slow down. I wish the road was endless and the moment timeless. But would all that still make it priceless?

Hands in my pocket, I’m off on a lonely stroll,

Accompanied only by the whims of my heart, and the voice of my soul;

 

The thoughts, they twirl and fog my mind,

As I tread forward, I leave them all behind;

 

A flickering streetlight, struggling to stay,

Although clouded by leaves, fights to light my way;

 

The asphalt rests in the calm of the night,

Glinting shyly in the tangerine light;

 

These streets bring about a tranquil mood,

Offering a cordial welcome, not once they’re rude.

 

And if I maintain quite, I think I hear,

The innocent stories of my yesteryear;

 

The streets on which I laughed and played,

Hold sweet memories that never fade.

 

I’m lost in a world that seems so pure,

A little child again; with curiosity galore.

 

I snap back to reality, I heave a loud sigh,

I take a deep breath and look up at the sky;

A snowball in pitch black, the moon shines bright,

I wonder if it knows that it’s not its own light;

It scans the ethereal sky; but not a single star it finds,

Least it knows; it’s a polluted world, with polluted minds.

The Beautiful Monsoons

Drops of silver splash on the mud, splattering on the leaves that make them sway in rhythm. Birds chirp away their tensions, announcing the rain to far away places. The front yard is lush with bright green leaves that glint in the faint sunlight filtering through the clouds. The sweet smell of wet soil diffuses in the air. Little channels of water slither away to find pools of muddy water. Paper boats sail their way down the stream that blankets the road.

I sit by the window, and witness the magic unfold. It never seems to get boring because every scene happens to be unique. Although these events aren’t unprecedented, their randomness keeps my idle watch interesting. Rain, I feel, has a way of beautifying things.

Cloudy overcast gets me excited. I enjoy reading a novel by the window while sipping hot tea. I occasionally look out while flipping through pages. I put on my headphones and listen to songs sometimes. There’s always a conflict while choosing between the two pass-time activities.

At times I end up gazing aimlessly. The moody atmosphere makes me crave for tranquility. Random thoughts swirl in my mind. Memories surface, triggering nostalgia. It makes me poetic and rekindles the author in me. Hence this thought journal.