“Hi Gilly!” said Ken, “Hello! You here after a long time, I see.” “Yup. What you been up to? All this time.”
“None special, the routine workplace, the shitty people and the spartan life.”
“Adjectives, eh?” smiled Ken and sat around the table where the girl sat putting orange marmalade on toasted bread and offering him on a ceramic plate, with a glass of juice. Ken took a bite and looked out of the window at his side, a scene of a murky, dark, dampened shack stared back at him a with a huge laden tree in its garden, and the street shone with the mustard yellow off the lamp, shining for the damp on the road, which was dark wet bitumen, and a dog and a drunkard barked there, rhyming with each other, jamming together making a delight and adding to the gloom of the rain-washed eve.
“Yeah, don’t you like them?” She replied, having her salad hanging on the fork.
“They’re beautiful, the adjectives.” Ken supplied.
“Yes, they are.”
“They and the dog and the man outside. And their barking. Its music.”
“Ken you’re mad. But ya, so the tree and the shack”, Ken nodded with his mouth full. “You know, I wanted to tell you a lot of things to watch and read…” said he, after gulping down with a pint of juice. “Yeah? Is that what you been doing lately.” Said Ken, helping himself with a bit of more drink, “Somewhat.”
“Go on then, tell me where you’ve wandered these whiles, that I too shall succumb to the utopian dreams and be lost and lose myself and be free from the mundane.”
“As you like it.” said the man surveying her over the glass to his lips.
“You read that? Shakespeare, right?”
“Right, but I was just saying as you like it, I did not mean to enlist.”
“Imagine humans becoming computers, eh?” wondered the girl, looking up at the ceiling, as if she could look through it.
“Yeah, pretty shitty.” “Oh, that rhymed!” he chimed.
“So, did you watch any of these I say of? I bet you didn’t. Maybe for the rating.” He began.
“I do watch all kinds of rated material.” An indignation lurked behind the sweet, sly tone. “That’s not the intention.” Ken looked sorry.
“Intentions? Intentions can change during the course of an action.”
“Can they? Do they? Whatever.”
“Kill your darlings, it’s about the Beats, you know them?”
“Never heard of.”
“In the ’60s I guess. “the libertine circle” as he quotes, are they and in that they matter. Watch it, but I didn’t watch On the road, yet the the girl’s fantastic in it.”
“Of course, the side-effects of internet!” She snorted.
“Yeah, and then In Bruges, the greatest tragicomedy I watched yet or ever will. Thanks to the artist.”
“And who’s that?”
“He’s one, he’s only one. That is the artist.”
“You are too abstract, Ken.” Wearied the beautiful contours of that lovely face.
“So is existence.”
“Existence? What do you know of it?”
“I? Not much, been existing for a long while, but know really none fact. Though reading Conrad’s Lord Jim, go for it, too.”
“What’s with that English of yours.”
“You have it, girl– its my English.” Both them laughed.
“And what else you been up to?”
“Oh, ask not the Devil his deeds! Opiate shit I’ve been doing! Also, Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi, it’ s a must-watch. You see sometimes, this chaos all makes sense all of a sudden and in that moment of awakening you live a life. This is all is rot and yet good the same time, all the world creating and destroying in the instant and that reminds of Donnie Darko– Graham Greene’s The Destructors is mentioned there. You tell me yours.”
“I told ya already, the job I took, its something to get going. And life– its fun if you make it.”
“Yeah, or a hell or a purgatory.” Ken sighed.
“Purgatory?” Gilly asked faintly looking outside, the now silenced dog, finding shelter for the cold he felt— the man yet shouting, the moonshine not cold still, after which he’d lay somewhere, somewhere on the street. But he slept too, so like the dog on the earth, or the lady in the softest linen, or the porter on the hard wood or metal, he slept deeply, like the inhabitants of the grave, like all his fellows did.
“Watch In Bruges. I don’t want to foil the suspense for ya.” Ken told her bringing her back.
“And? How about Macbeth, Ardh Satya, Arth?”
“Right.” She said, “As the job’s not hard enough so I read Macbeth! Right!” she’s good at sarcasm. “And what the rest?”
“Some of the best Hindi movies. And Shakespeare’s the best thing you can read anytime, girl.”
“But since when did you start professing that, exactly?”
“That’s not important. And I think I’m done and it’s time to go. It gets late. And I better get going before it’s too late.” smirked he, was that the devil, or a playful child?
“You can stay if you want, it might rain.” She smiled a mother’s smile.
“It’s fine, rains help.” said he, she shook her head, disbelieving.
“Goodnight!” said she at the gate, where in the distance the drunk chased the cars with half a brick in his one hand and a long slender, nearly empty bottle in another, crying “Sarfaroshi ki tamanna…”
“’Night” waved Ken at the porch, and went on for the bus, his coat billowing in the icy breeze and she stood by the light in the porch, watching him turn the street, and out of sight.