If nesting was a deserted geography the longing must have been a buried civilisation for him. He wiped off the unsolicited moisture anchoring his spectacle and switched off the air conditioner. The inevitable question flashed over the LCD screen like every third day and it was fair enough- “So, are you single or married?” Abhimanyu thought of typing a ‘yes’ for an easy pack up but he remained silent and lit a cigarette instead. Had the coffee-maker been functioning he would fancy a mug of bitter coffee. There was a time he never left any conversation until its very dead end… now he fumbles. It’s a tough grind in itself to sort out what he wants from things. Does he have to be purposeful in everything that comes across and brushes his chin? Certainly not, Abhi rebuked himself for being painfully guarded needlessly contemplative. He remembered Lisa would be waiting for him … hardly a couple of months left before her board exams… he needs to keep her motivated.
“Well Niv, it’s normal… as it should be…” Abhi typed in the chat window and then felt it stupid as he read the line himself.
Few familiar smileys were expected but nothing such turned up, instead, a brief moment of silence followed. You never know when you assign face values to your computer screen and two people from two different corners of the world stare at their screen with firm beliefs of savouring the mutual silence with equal compliance.
“Abhi, what are doing?” Nivethana broke the ice.
Abhimanyu felt it dry… perhaps he wanted her to complain, to nag or curse him for his poverty of reciprocation… he couldn’t remember when he last encountered such delicious confrontation.
They usually talk on myriad things ranging from spirituality, economy, laws of attraction to the dark side of the moon.
Fingers kept bopping over the keyboard to make him realise every second he was no vegetable as yet, till 2 o’ clock midnight, when they finally agreed to sleep. Something holds his tongue back whenever he feels like wishing ‘sweet dreams’ to her but Niv does it daily… either her life is simpler or she exercises better control over her life. Abhi wished the latter to be true.
His sleep deprived eyes looked like dead oysters over the sand… he has been spending too much time with the computer of late, due to those two pending publications which he has to send to the university before the end of this calendar year. Bonsais in the balcony shared the nicotine fumes with Abhimanyu once more. Not a single windowpane of nearby quarters seemed to glow… Abhi relished the crazy salsa of few thousand insects circling the visible halogen. The wristwatch showed half past two… i.e. around 9 o’ clock in Lisa’s place. She must have finished her supper… anytime she would ring… he is no chain smoker, yet lit the lighter sloppily, while staring at the distant mountain ranges peacefully snoozing under the dark quilt of his butterfly hours…