Down the memory lane.....

by rekhanshiraghava

Just seeing the name
of the native very little city on the highway sign brings on a wave
of sorrow. My concentration
got lost; I allowed the automotive to cut down. A automotive blasts its horn and
passes Maine angrily creating some unpleasant
gestures. I returned my
attention to my driving and pull into
the center lane so the
slow inner lane, and, while not ever
having created a aware call, be a part of
the access road to depart the highway. I glanced at the dashboard
clock. It was solely four-twenty. There’ll be many time, if I attempt to see my native
place. While not giving
second thoughts I made a decision to
enter the entrance, with a
board speech communication ‘Welcome
to Merut’.



My initial impression is that it’s much smaller than I remember it and implausibly run-down. It
wasn’t much once I lived
here. It wasn’t this bad. massive sheets of ply board area unit nailed across the windows of half the outlets in the High Road, the wood nearly hidden by tattered layers of fly-posted
advertisements; shells of abandoned vehicles clutter-up the car park of what we have a tendency to accustomed call the ‘new flats’. Not a lot of new about them now. Crude graffiti covered on the concrete
walls, grey laundry slumped along improvised lines on the balconies
and walkways, a few mean looking youths leaning on their
motorcycles at the opening to
the subway. I roll down my window and looked
around briefly. There was
some acquainted smell
of food around; I could recall
my childhood days. Though I never liked this place and was forever shameful about belonging to it; however still I will be able to forever be related to my home city.



I take a left hand turn into an old natural system of restricted back avenues
and ease back to a walking pace for a decent look. It's no better. Chipping
paint, refuse heaped in the greater part of the front yards, rusting autos held
up on blocks, litter floating tenderly along the asphalts on the night breeze.
The chip shop is shut and covered, the sign board in the front roughly painted
out. Passing near the toilets at the back of the nearby market I get a whiff of
pee and twist up my window. Did it ever look any better? It was hard to recall.
I ease back to a stop straightforwardly outside its entryway. This is the place
Sakshi and I used to meet; tuning in to old works of art. Why does it influence
my heart to yearn just to consider it? Where is the contempt I used to feel for
these dingy streets and that shabby inept teenager that was me, back then? Haven't
I transcended this? What's off with me? I am by all accounts feeling emotions
that I don't get. I'm transforming into the sort of individual that I used to
disdain.



I
move off gently 
and turn one more corner before
parking-up 
during a huge area across the road from Sakshi’s house.
It’s silly to 
call it
that, she 
must have
left here decades 
past. The home is still here after alland appears the same. I doubt if the woodwork has even been painted since i used to be last here. I fastidiously lock the automobile and make my way across to the
building. 
There was no
sound, 
light or
movement from 
within.
realize it hard to believe that anybody
still lives here. 
After a short pause I gather comfortable courageousness to push my way through the weeds and rubbish to the window of
the 
sitting room.



 



I
wipe the clean from the sheet with the side of my hand and gaze in. It's Sakshi's
old room. The net blinds make it troublesome however I can see the state of the
scruffy couch where we so frequently grasped, or one much the same, exactly
where it used to be before the gas fire. I lost my virginity on that couch, the
first occasion when that Sakshi welcomed me back. I've never known any other
individual who appreciated sex so much, who was so casual about it. My heart is
by all accounts hustling, I don't know why. I'm not that worried youngster with
his seething hormones any more, damn it! I recall every one of the
circumstances we sat there, tuning in to the rain, or the trains passing on
hold behind the house. I recollect her face, and her body. I feel a dull aching
– for Sakshi, and for my childhood. I recognize how frequently I've envisioned
about that room, those days and evenings, her face, her body, this town…



‘Excuse
me, can I help you?’ The voice is mild, but I am startled and embarrassed as I
turn to the middle-aged woman standing by the front door. 



‘I’m sorry. I don’t think anybody live here. I was just passing through and I
knew somebody who lived in this house. I just wondered if it had
changed…’ 



‘You don’t sound like somebody from here.’ 



I was embarrassed. The years spent carefully cultivating metropolitan accent
flash before me. ‘I live in Delhi now,’ I offer feebly. 



‘This friend who lived here,’ she enquires, ‘what was his name?’ 



‘It was a girl, actually. A woman I suppose I should say. She didn’t own the place;
she just rented a room here.’ 



‘It must have been Sakshi then.’ 



I smile. ‘Yes. Do you remember her?’ 



‘Not really. I moved out when I was sixteen. It was Mom who took in the lodgers.
I remember the name though. And Mum only ever had the one female lodger. The
others were all men’ 



‘Oh. So… you moved out, and then you must have moved back again.’ 



‘That’s right. Mom needs me now. She’s not keeping well.’ 



‘I’m truly sorry to hear that. I don’t remember her when Sakshi lived here. We
always seemed to have the place to ourselves.’ 



She nods. ‘Look, Mister, I can tell you about Sakshi. I know a little bit, not
very much. Would you like to come in and talk about it?’





‘Oh, I wouldn’t want to bother you or your mother…’ 



‘Aren’t no bother.’ She steps aside and I find myself guided firmly through to
the hallway.



‘Thank
you.’ Soon we are sitting together on the ancient sofa with tea and biscuits on
a tray between us. 



‘Mum stays upstairs,’ she explains. ‘Makes it easier for the toilet.’ I nod.
For a moment we sip our drinks and nibble our biscuits. ‘It looks like you did
pretty well for yourself down in Delhi,’ she enquires. 



‘You’re right. My father worked on the railway. Our family was nothing special.
I lived the cliché; I was the first one in my family to get into University.
Then I went into politics.’ 



She seems excited. ‘Politics. Are you famous then?’ 



I smile. ‘Evidently not as famous as all that. No, I had quite a good career at
the beginning. I was a junior minister in my early thirties. Then… I made a
mistake. I was famous for a little while then, I… was accused of Corruption.
That’s the way it is in public life.’ 



‘But you were innocent, right?’ 



‘Why do you think that? No, I wasn’t innocent. I haven’t been innocent for a
long time. Not since the last time I sat on this sofa, I should say.’ 



She appeared to be truly stunned. A great many people when they catch wind of
my past consider it to be bringing about a punishment in a kind of amusement.
Be that as it may, this lady really minded. I had overlooked the fact that
individuals like this existed. I want to legitimize myself. 'I implied it when
I said we were only a normal family,' I responded. 'Truth was we were a ton
more awful than common. My mom was rationally sick and my dad worked like a
crazy person to continue everything together. They quarrelled over cash
constantly. When I got into University I saw an alternate sort of world, one
where individuals had decent houses and occasions abroad and sent their
youngsters to tuition based schools and spoke truly about craftsmanship and
science and thoughts. I needed that world. I was resolved I could never
transform into my dad. Life could never get like that for me. I would be a win,
some person critical, someone with cash and power. What's more, for quite a
while that was all that made a difference. The defilement allegations were
simply a part of it. A simple approach to arrive, I thought. Perhaps the main
way. Whatever it took, that was my disposition. So don't mix up me for a
pleasant man. I'm not a pleasant man. I'm a horrifying man. I saw the higher
way and picked the lower. That is my identity. I wasn't generally similar to
this however it's what I moved toward becoming. I'm not going to lie about it?'

She shakes her head. ‘I can tell, you’re not a bad man. I’ve been with bad men.
I know them when I see them. What’s wrong with you is something different.
What’s wrong with you I think is that you don’t like yourself very much; that’s
how it seems to me.’ 



I nodded.



‘You
aren’t old,’ she adds, ‘you can start again; some other line. Anyway, you aren’t
done so bad, have you?’ 



'No, you're correct. I could discover approaches to profit. I had contacts. All
I truly lost… was my sense of pride, I assume and my better half. In any case,
that is an alternate story; and perhaps maybe a couple different things. Like
my vision in life.'



 



'Ridiculous
heck, most society around here would give their correct arm to have what you
have. Wager you got a pleasant house, and servants to do your cleaning, and
cash to go to favour eateries, and abroad, and a major plasma TV set… "



 



I
gesture. 'Truly. You're correct. That was precisely the sort of thing I needed
when I cleared out here. What's more, it's actual, I have them now; and a
couple of rich sounding hard up companions who'll follow alongside me inasmuch
as I'm paying the bills. It's an awesome life, rich and satisfying. So what am
I doing back here, I ponder. That is the thing that I ask myself.'



 



She
grins. 'I like it. It's sentimental. You've returned to discover the young lady
you abandoned.'



 



I
grin and laugh for a minute. 'No, not at all like that. I know the contrast
amongst dream and reality. The street forked in those days, and I've strolled
much too far down this one; most likely the wrong one for me. It is great to
see her again however; just once perhaps. I could disclose to her that I'm sad
for vanishing with my stuck-up University companions, and for not composing
when I said I would; and for being a crap, essentially. She was a great deal
happier without me at that point regardless she is currently. I might simply
want to see her once, and inquire as to whether she ever considers those days.
Since I do, increasingly it appears as they escape. I think leaving Sakshi was
my first huge error, greater even than the corruption thing. I'd get a kick out
of the chance to have the capacity to disclose to her that. Not give her a heap
of reasons in light of the fact that there aren't any. I think I owe it to her.
That is all I need.' I understand that I'm giving self-centeredness a chance to
gain power of me again and respite to pull it together. 'You said that you know
a tiny bit about her. May I ask you what that is?'





She
puts down her glass and looks at me without flinching. 'Barely nothing truly.
She was harmed when you vanished down to Delhi; it was awful. At that point she
moved out. Mom said she went to Lucknow. You can make an inquiry or two; it's a
little place you will discover about her.'



 



'I
think I've given you the wrong impression. I'm not doing some sort of
investigation work to track her down. I just halted here on the grounds that I
saw the name on the sign on the motorway.'



 



She
is tranquil for a minute. 'I don't have any acquaintance with you extremely
well. I can just judge by what I see, right?' I gesture. 'All things
considered, appears to me, I imagine that you have incomplete business with
that Sakshi and you won't be content until the point when you get together with
her again and get her forgiveness. That is what you're truly after, would it
say it isn't?'



 



'Forgiveness?
Is it?' I start to feel amazingly silly. Why am I gushing so much individual
stuff to a total outsider? I look down at my watch, ensuring she sees me do it.
'Oh God! Take a gander at the time. I won't be back in Delhi till midnight.
You've been fantastically kind yet I truly should go ahead… "



 



'Is
it accurate to say that you will accept my recommendation? Disclose to me
reality.'



I
hesitate. ‘No, I’m sorry, I don’t think so. It would probably turn out to be a
terrible mistake.’

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