Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Waiting

She was number 58, in the queue.
And he, 59.

As a metallic voice solemnly intoned 'Token Number Twelve', they glanced at each other, distractedly.

And, settled down, for a long wait.

The clock ticked on.

The fans, above, whirred noisily.
But, the oppressive heat, still, weighed heavily on them.
Sweat beads glistened, on her nose.

And, his brow.

Shakira's Hips Don't Lie, suddenly, rends the air.
A cellphone!!

With a sigh, she leaned forward, for the day's Economic Times.
As did he.

Their hands met.
Two pairs of eyes, widened in surprise.
And, then, furtively, slanted towards the other.
Only, to stare straight, into each other's eyes.


Their eyes fell.
On the square of paper, on the table, between them.
Two hands twitched, aching, to seize it.

Once more, they sneaked a glance, at the other.

Caught, again!

He harrumphed uneasily, as, people tend to,in moments of extreme awkwardness.

She leaned back, slowly.
The ET in hand.
Her eyes riveted on the table.
And, her hands, plucking at her sari in nervousness.

He, did not, move an inch.

Moments crawled by, in agonising slowness.

A young boy walking by, dropped his book, in front of them.
As he bent over, to pick it up, his gaze fell on the square, between them.

A wide, gleeful grin split his face.
With an exclamation, he swooped on it.

The man and the woman, looked up at him, thunderstruck.
And, then, at each other, in consternation.

The metallic voice announced Token Number Nineteen.

The boy, looked, once more, at the paper, in his hand, and, marched purposefully, towards the counter.
Still smiling.

He throws, a crumpled bit of paper, over his shoulder.
Which lands, between their feet.

The two, look at it, involuntarily.
Number 60, bold and black, stares back, mockingly.

With a deep sigh, they, settled down, once more.
For, a long wait.


  1. Rekha Dahl

    Nice anecdote.. it kept one intrigued till the end. I wondered whether there was a bit too much of embellishment in your attempt to create the atmosphere.. but if asked "What should have been left out, I would be at a loss!" Have you seen Amadeus, the movie on the life of Mozart .. it has a scene in which someone comments about one of his composition saying there are too many notes and he retorts " Which notes would you like to remove?"

    That's my quandry too .. but it made good reading!

  2. Dahl? Mozart?
    :) :)
    Am beaming wider than the proverbial cat which got the cream.
    This piece was an experiment of sorts. And, I must confess,I am not completely happy with it either. As you said, there is a little too much in there, but, I haven't been able to put my finger on it either. Hopefully, one of my innumerable tweakings will work!

  3. Impressive..had a nice haiku-ish touch.

  4. Thank you Nautankey, for stopping by and the comment..
    Looks like my last tweaking worked better than I thought...

  5. Hello Reks,
    U have a gud vision and I think U can direct a good film.U can be a good film director.


  6. Shail, thank you for that :) :) :)

    *grin just got bigger*

    Manu, thank you...