Sunday, July 27, 2008

Basket Case

"What am I supposed to do? You tell me."

"Just wait. Have some patience. Let things take their natural course. One can't rush love."

He looked at her with desperate eyes, making no effort to hide the desperation. Was she toying with him? He could not read any malice in her eyes. Hazel eyes, with the sure glint of star fire. Perfectly set in a face that cannot possibly conjure even an hint of malice.

Bhala-manda dekhe, na paraya na saga re,
Naino ko to dasne ka chaska laga re.

"But you had said after you get the job, you will tell me. And now you want to study more?"

"Yes, I did. Didn't I? Well, I've changed my mind."


"I thought you were different from other men. I thought you would understand. Am I supposed to give up everything I have worked so hard for, just because you want me to? You are all the same. I hate men."

"I am... I did not want to... it's not what I meant."

Chauvinist. So that is today's basket. Every time she changed baskets, he felt the cold chill strumming the guitar on his spine. He could not possibly wait for ever. Yet, he would. He gladly would, wouldn't he? His worst fear was not the waiting. It was that she would run out of baskets some day. He tried to peer into her eyes. Eyes, he had read somewhere, are supposed to reflect the true secrets of the heart. Alas, all he could read in them were his own insecurity.

Naino ki jubaan pe bharosa nahi aata
Likhat-padhat, na raseed na khaata.


"It's an Ivy League business school! And you are the first person I am telling it to because you are sooo special."


"Isn't it great! Dad has been wanting me to go there since years. It's where he got his MBA from. Oh tell me you are elated! Tell me. Tell me."

"I am happy for you."

Naina raat ko chalte chalte swargan me le jaaven,
Megh-malhar ke sapne beeje, haryaali dikhlaven.

She is going away. For only two years. For ever! How can she? After so many years of waiting. It is what she has always wanted. I thought she has always wanted me. Has she ever said that? Has she ever said otherwise? I will... I... this is wrong! I can't breathe. I must breathe. I must...



"What did you say? Come again."

"Don't go! Don't go! I... cannot... do not want you to go."

"Took you long enough, didn't it!"


"To speak up. It took you long enough to speak up. I am not going anywhere. Idiot! Neither are you, for that matter. I have told Dad about you. He is waiting to meet you, downstairs."

Oh my God! The basket of all baskets - husband! I was not ready for this. Are my feet shaking? Am I ready? Did I really want this? Why is it so cold suddenly? Why am I sweating? Did she say yes? Should I ask her again? Just to be sure. What if she changes her mind again? Marriage - who said anything about marriage! What if she does not change her mind! Oh my God!

Bin badal barasayen sawan, sawan bin barsatan,
Naina bavra kar denge.


"Naina Thag Lenge" is a haunting song from the Vishal Bharadwaj film Omkara. It is sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, with lyrics by Gulzar. You can listen to a live performance version here.

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