Crazy Tale Of A King and Queen

‘Customer is king and kings never bargain’ was the first thing I noticed written on a board as we entered the store. We went for shopping today at Rasta Peth, Pune. This is going to be interesting, I thought. My brother was looking for a pair of jeans. Me and mother were helping him. I was just standing over there, pretending to help. A couple with their two kids, a girl of nine and a boy of five entered. Another guy, aged twenty something, seemed like a brother of a woman, accompanied them. They were in the store for buying a shirt for that guy. A salesman joined them.

Little siblings started running around, making noises, and their father asking them to behave themselves. Their mother was busy with her brother in choosing a good shirt. Kids refused to behave decently. So the father gave his phone to play games. Both of the kids sat on staircase. The girl was playing game and the boy was looking into phone. Then the father engaged into helping them choosing.

The guy tried two or three shirts, chose one, and her sister asked the shopkeeper for price. The shopkeeper offered 10 percent discount and refused to reduce price more than than. They were disappointed and didn’t buy anything. Store manager tried to convince them on their way out that the price was fair, but they didn’t listen and rushed out of the store. We were busy in choosing a pair of jeans. And a chattering noise came after few seconds. It was from the staircase. The kids were still there, engrossed in a game. It was almost 30 seconds since their parents left. We all were startled. One of the salesmen informed them that their parents had left. They were so engrossed, they didn’t respond. The parents hadn’t returned yet for their kids.

The salesman raised his voice to get their attention. The kids realized their parents had left. They descended staircase hurriedly and rushed out. Our eyebrows were raised and jaws dropped when we listened what the store manager said, ‘I hope their parents wouldn’t return if they loose them and blame us for not keeping an eye on them.’

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When Fate Makes The Call

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After the hastiness of whole day of shopping, Mayur’s family arrived at a bus stop. Mayur, 20 years old, being an introverted person, he could not hold on for much time around the people. His affinity for being alone was the reason for getting desperate to reach home as soon as possible. But, they missed a bus as he was in himself and lost the track in the crowd with his family for a moment.

“Because of you, we missed that bus. Next bus is after 25 minutes. Where are you?” complained his mother.

“Yeah, he is too slow. Always lost in his world,” quipped his brother.

Mayur neglected their complaints and sat down in a queue at the bus stop.

“Ohh, we forgot to buy a Tiffin box for me,” said brother.

“Now?” questioned mother.

“Now, we have to go again in the market,” ridiculed brother by looking at Mayur.

“No way, I am going to come again,” opposed Mayur giving an anguished cry.

They both laughed noticing Mayur’s annoyance.

Next to them, three girls and an old woman were chuckling. The girl in the middle who was refusing to take the money for tickets from another girl, grabbed his attention. Same alluring eyes, same generous smile, same liberal and considerate nature, same simplicity, same elegance, same grace. She reminded him of his crush of college days, Deepika, whom he secretly admired; but never dared to talk in two years. For the past three years, he had been following her profile on social media, fantasizing to have a date with her.

He sat there, reminiscing about her, smiling alone, blaming himself for not approaching her, concealing his true feelings. At that instant, he saw a couple trying to find a bus. He envied them, thinking he will never have the same fun.

After 5 minutes, with the frustrated mindset he stops thinking about it and starts observing people, peddlers, drivers and conductors who were passing by. A bus of another destination leaves the depot. As soon as it leaves, he saw two girls, one on the bike and another standing, talking to her. His eyes broadened. He wasn’t able to see her face, but as she looked sideways, he was dumbfounded. She was Deepika. His eyes were popping out. The alluring eyes for which he secretly admired, the generous smile which he always wanted to see, the simplicity which he thought everyone should has, the grace and elegance for what he always was speechless.

But at the moment, his chest, throbbing; his forehead, full of sweat, his mind; blank. Staring at her, he started thinking about what just happened, was she really there or he was imagining all this. He looked at the girl in the middle of three, and then back to Deepika. Was his imagination an augury of its manifestation? He couldn’t understand what was going on.

She said goodbye to her friend and coming towards the same queue as Mayur. His thoughts entangled, she will be in the same bus, then will she remember him, if yes, then what will he talk about, his family is with him, should he express his feelings towards her, or he should avoid himself from getting noticed.

Deepika was coming closer. Mayur looked around to avoid any eye contact. And suddenly, she turned towards depot office. He observed that she asked something to depot manager, looked at her watch, stood still and then went away. Apparently, his hopes dwindled as she disappeared. He could no longer see her. He never anticipated that excitement, astonishment, uncertainty will be vanished instantly. For one moment, he fantasized about what he might talk about in bus and in next moment, those things had proved meaningless, because they were never coming out. Was it just a coincidence of his imagination about her and she was appearing in front of him, or was the missing a bus in the first place meant to lead something, he found no explanation. He never believed in fate or destiny, but this made him rethink about it. So, he strived to find an explanation or justification for whatever is happening, why does it happen?

The inscrutable equations of life were out of his mind’s capability. On his way to home, those 10 minutes were looping in his mind, but all his efforts to find an explanation for that were in vain.

The crazy fact is, when fate makes the call; regardless of, in whose court the ball is, no one gets the point.

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{Image courtesy of  Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net}