Oh what a relief it is to settle down atlast at the desk and write to you. I miss you so, it’s hard to cope with strangers, it always has been but this is a whole new world to me, i wish you were near.
I managed to make friends with a couple of boys though (i don’t know if i should use the word ‘friends’ in such a casual fashion, we are only aquainted for 6 hours now), both of them are my roommates. They are out of the campus for the evening, i guess they went to a liquor store which is, they said, very near from here. I’m glad they went (not that i don’t like them), i couldn’t hear myself think with all the talk and noise all day. I wished for a little peace, and looks like i’ve got it.
My legs are aching from all that travelling i’ve done for two days, it was a tough journey, i guess it’s my ever growing luck of picking the wrong seats. The books i brought with me, i thought of not wasting my time with idle window staring and get some reading done, but as you know me, thats what i did, the window staring. I did try reading a book i picked from father’s study, a book called ‘The speech i made before dinner’ by Gregory Mason, i knew nothing of it, thought it was an interesting title. I didn’t see any connection between the title and content, may be in the end it would’ve made sense, but i stopped 80 pages short.
As soon as i arrived here (I luckily found the bedside window,not much of a view, but you know, a window’s a window, a corner bed would have depressed me to death. I unpacked and changed quicker than you’d guess), both my ‘friends’ (Daniel and Ralph) dragged me to a neighbouring movie house, quiet an old and small one i thought. I liked them instantly, they said it’s too late for introductions, the show was about to start and i should definately not miss it, not to worry about the tickets, they can get one for me. I didn’t see any choice so i went, by walk, rather a fast walk. We were only introduced to each other with our names by the time we were in the hall.
The movie was no relief, it seemed rather long and boring. It was called ‘The arc of life’, directed by a russian, Dimitri Yaichnikov. A man gets released from a prison(it never gets clear as to why he did time, i’m guessing a case of bigamy) and bumps into his ex high school sweetheart in a store for woolen ware. Then on, they keep bumping into each other, quite miraculously (for as big a country as Russia) . Then one day he sees her in a famous toy store, wiping windows, he goes in and buys a barbie doll for i don’t recall how many rubles and declares quite daringly that it is for the baby girl they will be having after they both marry each other, then the girl’s response is quiet amusing, she grabs back the barbie from him and hands him a brand new Tarzan toy, getting all red in the face. It’s that silly and absurd all the way. They get married in an old, small renaissance chapel, she gets pregnant after some months, her mother gets sick and lies on death bed for rest of the movie, the guy takes up drinking from a friend and bar tender, Christopher. I thought they were gonna divorce in the end, they get into long rows for every silly reason. The shouting was the tough part to stand. Her mother never dies. Christopher dies of cirrosis and the hero gets heart broken and gives up drinking. In the very end they both (wife and husband) kiss with tears down their cheeks, with her mother watching them (she’s in tears too) from behind, lying on a creaky bed with the newly born Mira Arbatova in her hands. Sad story, i wasn’t moved by it though, atleast not as much as my friends. I thought it was more like a hollywood film than a foriegn one. They liked it tremendously and confessed that they both cried silently when the bar tender died.
As to my train journey, instead of those bad seats, i felt unusually peaceful all through it. I didn’t talk much with any of my co-passengers, i spent it all with quiet a straight face. I was in a thoughtful and philosophic mood through out my journey, not quiet out of it yet in fact.
Oh what did i think about? Nothing like a train of thoughts , nothing like a pattern to it, i’m never used to thinking logically or in an organised way, well i remember thinking of you when a tree passed by, after the first station. A long leafy tree. That ofcourse reminded me of your name, and how tall you are. O dear, i miss you walking around me, tall and beautiful and your hair, your hair ofcourse, now thats more than worth comparing to tree leaves, so i won’t do so. I always think of you from the back when i think of you, with your pony tail hopping along with you. Its funny you seldom turn around in my dreams, it’s also sad ofcourse. I wish i had a picture of you with me, like a pocket photograph or something, like those war heroes in the movies, that way atleast i could see your face whenever i want to. Oh whats the use of all fussing, it only makes me sad.
I think i should add here one little gross detail. As always, my stomach interfered with my sleep all along, oh that was the most irritating part of the journey, but i didn’t quiet mind not sleeping, despite my body, my mind always manages to enjoy travelling. I decided to visit a doctor tomorrow, it’s rather serious than it sounds. If i’m happy it’s alright, i can manage the irritation but oh dear now that i’m in a kind of sad mood, it’s killing me. I hope to god it’s nothing serious, nothing as serious as a gastric tumour. Oh yes, you’ll think i fret unnecessarily, i know but, i like to keep all the possibilities open and clear in my mind, i can’t stand any big shocks now, not about my health, not in this new and strange world.
Well, enough about my morbid stomach. Something really interesting happened yesterday evening, at one of the stations, when the train was halted for a while.
I woke up from a little lasted nap with the scream of a pop corn boy in my ears. “Get a load of Mclean’s pop corn, get a load of Mclean’s pop corn sir, hullo sir, why dont you try this delicious pop corn sir, fresh from the can!”. I was obviously irritated and sent him away with a wave of my hand. Train was gonna stop atleast for half an hour, so i thought i could walk around a little and get a little still air. There was this really hefty lady with a small white pomeranian with her, whom i saw at the home station getting into the train, while I was getting in to the train. Now i saw her again goin out of the station, rather hurriedly, while i was about to climb down. I immediately felt like a big old detective and decided to follow her. I managed to catch up behind her, almost three feet distance, after a little running.
The dog was really irritating the lady, ‘Lola’ she called her. Lola was visibly excited by the traffic and the sounds of people, after a long dull day’s train journey why shouldn’t it be?, rather a crowded road it was. Matter of fact i was excited too, matter of fact the lady was apparently even more excited, she walked fast, lifting up her gown higher and higher, setting tight her hat, screaming at lola, like she was up to something, something that has to be done with, before the train leaves. I grew more and more curious as i walked (‘ran’ perhaps) behind them. Lola was particularly amusing to follow behind. She’d go around this lady right and left and between her legs sometimes, barking in a strangest bark you ever heard at the pedestrians. All the way she was looking for something this side and that side of the road ,the lady that is, and atlast she found what she was looking for, something like a miniature saloon it was, all it said on the board was ‘ Mark’s ‘. She went right in, lifting lola into her arms, she was smiling now and not at all worried about lola’s incresingly loud screams. She went right into the darkness and showed no sign untill almost fifteen minutes later (I just stood there all the time looking at the glittering sign board changing colurs on alphabets saying ‘ Mark’s ‘), she then walked out with lola walking behind her, hurried back towards the station again. I suddenly remembered the train and panicked for a second. Before i run to the train i had to go in the saloon and find out the secret. I went in, it was not as big as i thought , it was narrow and small, you have to go straight and turn right and there i found a bald headed short guy with a big gap between his upper molars.
I said “excuse me” , he excused me, then i inquired as hesitatingly and as overpolitely as possible about whats his trade and what can one buy or get coming in there. He just sharply spurted out “Tobaccum!”. I said “ oh! Thats it? “. he said “ yeah! That and some other little things!” .. “I see..” i said “ well, how much do they cost? Those other little things?” . “ what they cost, you ain’t got!” he said with a raised eyebrow. “ well how can you be so sure?”. “ what do you want cute boy, trouble or tobaccum?” he said standing up furiously. “ well, ok i just want to know one thing, wh..wh..whhat did that fat lady with thhe puppy buy here? Common tell me, it’s important to me.” . “The fat lady? Ohh she’s just a sugar pie, howz that your buisiness?” . “ Sugar pie?! Well i can’t explain why it’s my buisiness but do tell me please, what did she buy? “ . “ Sugar pie buys sugar, you lollipop, whatelse!, now get outta here , this is enough” . “ sugar?! Oh commonn tell me, is it.. is it illeagal stuff?” . “well this is just it! You poop head you, scoot or i’ll shoot the hell out of ya!” he reached under the table and obviously for a gun i think. “ oh man! I i i just..” i perspired, salivated and probably would have micturated too if i hadn’t run like a dog towards the light, out of the saloon.
I was out of danger and dizzy. Now i had to run for the train, and without a thought i set to the mission. I ran like crazy, i was almost sure the train was gone. In no time i was at the gate of the station. I could see the train still on the tracks, waiting, not yet started. That was a relief, So there on i walked slowly, gasping for air, and finally got in and settled in my seat.
This morning when i was getting my luggage down i saw that fat lady again at the rear end of the train. She had a big bag in one hand and lola in the other. She was standing on the platform with some overdressed woman who looked overjoyed to see our fat lady. I saw them both laughing and hugging repeatedly like from then on they will be the happiest beings in the world, like they wouldn’t ever have trouble in their lives, if they want it. That just took everything out of me, i grew depressed watching them laugh, i gave up thinking about what she possibly would have bought or got in ‘Mark’s’ last evening . More over my stomach started making annoying sounds and that depressed me further more. In that towering depression i took a cab to the campus.
Come to think of it, that movie my friends took me to, i think that actually helped. I was a little modest about it earlier. I don’t feel all that depressed now, this could be the effect of that movie. Anyway thanks to my friends, my stomach is feeling ok now, one of them had a pill for stomach trouble and other gave me a syrup which magically worked on a stubborn system like mine.
Oh dear!, i feel a little sleepy now and i think thats great. I was worried i couldn’t sleep in a new place for a while. That used to happen all the time to me. I could tell you more about the tedious events and details of past three days but, i think i better spare you the trouble. I’ll just go kick the sheets. I had dinner down in the canteen, i went to eat and came back while i was writing this letter. I don’t think my friends will be back soon, they said ‘i don’t have to wait for them if i want to sleep, it’s saturday night and it’s no use doing that’. Well, i’ll end this on one obvious note. Oh Darling, I terribly miss you…. and i’ll be thinking of you all the time i’m away from you.
Good night my dearest.
P s : a kiss on your tender, tender lips.
Your’s ever lovingly,