Tuesday, March 09, 2004


Sweaty Saturday late afternoon,
and I’m in a strange city,
going to the airport.
It’s been a lousy day.
My presentation had gone bad.

I had also prayed for a
chilled beer in the afternoon, before
the presentation. It hadn’t happened.
And then the presentation
had to bomb…

To add to the hurt,
I am being driven to
the airport,
on a road by the seaside.

Having been essentially
a land man,
I HATE the sea.

Give me a mountain to climb,
any day. But I won’t wade into
the sea, even if the most provocative
nubile mermaid were to offer
me my wildest wishes
coming true… or,
even if it meant I’d die
on land.

And as if it had finally got its chance,
the sea vicariously rubs its salty
wind on my multiple
wounded ego…

The airport is still an hour
and a half away.
Only one thing I know, that
can put me out of
my present state of misery …
I pull out a fat book
of short stories from
my bag, to drown
my sorrows in …

The story I read is so,
so good, that it lights up my
dampened spirits.
I feel high. My spirits, that,
half an hour ago,
were drowning in the
depths of the pits,
are now
soaring in the sky...

I remember about a
character who once claimed
why she was a teetotaler,
because “… the intoxication
that one gets from reading
a written word
is far more ethereal and satisfying
than that obtained from
any brewed liquid..”

Now I felt exactly what she meant !

I ask the driver to stop beside
the seemingly never
ending beach.
Ah, I might as well
try to get over it, I feel.
I remove my shoes and socks and
carrying the tome of a book, walk by the
seashore. The early evening crowd
is enjoying themselves.
The breeze cools
my sweat and balms
my wounds.

Cautiously, with great trepidation,
I touch the waves,
with my toes.
They seem like giant
undulating tongues
of a green monster
trying to lap me up..
I scramble out in a hurry.
Maybe some other time,
I will overcome my fear
of the sea.

I give a friendly smile to
the people on the beach.
Me smiling? Me happy !!!
I shock myself !

The driver waves out,
pointing his watch out to me..

I feel invigorated and,
I am ready to take on whatever
is left of the day.

Well, just goes to show
that words do make a
day, for some people…


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