Friday, August 8, 2014

Just A Story series: JAS2: Lost & found (or Dream de la dream)

While crossing the Theater  road-Cathedral road  junction and  pushed by a large on-rushing crowd; I was guided past the junction into a deserted semi-lit street off it. I  found myself alone on a street looking at  what seemed like the closed-down Central Services Club (CSC) situated off Belvedere Road where most of my childhood evenings & Sunday mornings were spent. But then this was not the weed-covered dilapidated CSC building but a wide three storied palace of beige-coloured walls  and brown-coloured parapet-edges.
Curious; I go inside the main entrance, travel along the side-lanes, climb a few stairs to get on a long corridor that oversees a lush-green garden on one side and line of rooms on the other. A woman  in the garden seemed to be playing with and calling for a child who is invisible to me.  Just as she sees me, I call out to her, “Madam,  I lost my way here. Can you please show me the way out?” She shows no surprise but comes forward to usher me . She is beautiful  looking , wearing a printed sari with dark-green blouse. Her long hair open , she seemed as joyous as I had spotted her  a few moments back and replies that it’s common (to lose one’s way) here. I tell her that I had never spotted this palace, off Cathedral road, before. She smiles silently.  A sense of calmness radiates from her as she takes me past the numerous rooms inside of the palace. I marvel at the grandeur of the architecture & the ornate decorations of the walls.

We come to a landing where she steps down to meet her half-silhouetted father  sitting  on a sofa with his back towards us in  the middle of a large hall.   I shudder as I follow her because the steps down is at least a ten-feet drop.    Before I could gather courage to jump down the drop , I hear her father calling out to her, “Riya, show him the steps.” Riya then takes my hand and helps me to move along with her past the hall into a narrow corridor where a small bodied man dressed only in his loin-cloth is positioned near the doorway  sitting on his right knee; his head bowed in reverence and holding a spear in his right hand. 
I sense the moisture in Riya’s hand and get  a faint whiff  of her body-odour as we come out of the main door , hand in hand, to the bright world outside that is carpeted by a lush green and covered by a blue-white parabolic top.

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