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The Ruskin Bond Experience I Never Had

About Abaneeta

Abaneeta is just a random walker and a storyteller.

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Prologue

‘The Eyes Have It’ was part of my School Curriculum.
For those who haven’t read the short story by Ruskin Bond, it is about a chance encounter between a young man and a young woman in a train compartment. Our hero, conscious of the young lady’s presence strikes a conversation with her and tries to get to know more about her. He plays a little game to prevent her from understanding that he was blind and indulges himself into thinking she may be a wee bit interested in him as well. Anyway, she gets off the train after a while and he is informed by another passenger that in spite of having beautiful eyes, she was completely blind herself.

Part 1

The brief journey, spent in anticipation and consciousness of an attractive fellow traveller had a wonderful, honest feel. This poignant story of two blind young people trying to make a favourable impression on each other had touched my young heart. Obviously, it was written in sweet reminiscence.

Much in line with this plot, my fertile imagination continues to entertain me during my brief, otherwise boring journeys. If I so much as have an interesting male fellow passenger, the life in my brain becomes more exciting than my real life. Only that the ending is never romantic, hardly touching and mostly comic! Sometimes I often feel my life is a running Sunday strip.

Take an example of the other day.

I was at the airport a little early for my flight. After buying myself a cup of tea in the waiting area, I was delighted to get a call from a romantic interest. I passed my time merrily chatting sweet nothings with him in a mellow tone. I wouldn’t be surprised if I were blushing, just a little and making it rather obvious that it wasn’t a regular call. I may have chatted with him for a good 20 minutes. I was walking all the while and when I finally sat, opposite me, was this really good looking guy.

I felt his piercing gaze. Yes, I was certain he was looking at me, almost trying to communicate. I felt a little conscious and turned my gaze away. After about a few minutes of trying to avoid his eyes, mine finally met his and he reached out his hand to give me something. It was a piece of paper! In the midst of my engaging conversation and his stretched out arm handing over a piece of paper to me, my muddled brain tried to interpret the hand-out. It had something printed on it. CHAKRABORTY A Ms.!!!

Wait a minute – It was my boarding pass, how could it possibly…?! Not only was I thoroughly embarrassed, I was also amused to realise that he had been sitting patiently all this while, waiting for me to finish my chat. Who knows he may have been watching me intently all the while. There he was now, handing over the pass to me when I was finally ready to lock my gaze with him. I found the entire thing quite exciting and without hanging up, thanked him matter-of-factly.

I waited for the boarding announcement so as to avoid any conversation. Once the announcements began, he stood up (tall, I thought) and started walking towards the queue. This time it was my time to freeze my gaze. Much like Sushmita Sen on the ramp, he glided in his effeminate manner and proceeded to board. I remember this encounter vividly for sure – not so much with a tug at my heart as much as with a sigh. If I had to name the story – it would be ‘the gait had it’ – Oh well!

Part 2

About a year later, when I was boarding again, I noticed a really well dressed man with salt and peppered hair (let’s call him S&P) waiting right at the end of the line. The laid-back attitude, the patience to board as compared to the rest of the crowd who seemed to be in a terrible hurry, impressed me.

Undaunted by my now one year-old- disappointment, I marked his gait properly and allowed my mind a little bit of wandering. I had booked an aisle seat and was delighted to see that he had booked the window seat on the same row. The setting was just perfect – there was another passenger in between us and we could afford to be perfectly conscious of each other’s presence without actually feeling the tension of sitting next to each other! It was a late flight and dinner was being served. I wanted to have a biryani but the idea of having to pour warm water over ready to eat biryani was a dampener. I ordered a sandwich instead.

S&P ordered for the Biryani. What telepathy I thought, he almost read my unsure mind. So far so good. After the meal I enquired, ‘Hey how was the Biryani, I wasn’t sure if I should order it’. A long thoughtful pause and he answered – ‘Actually it was pretty good by flight standards. I ordered it because it was the only warm thing they were serving. You should definitely give it a try the next time’. It could have been a brief ‘pretty good’, but it wasn’t. I almost smiled to myself.

I went back to my book happily. The flight was pretty pleasant so far. There were no garrulous groups talking, no crying children, no smelly neighbours. I could almost afford to doze off but I was enjoying my book so kept reading until I thought I heard a very disagreeable noise coming from my right. It almost shook up the plane and shook me up for sure when I realised it my charming S&P was snoring away. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if I said my ears were being drilled into. My immediate neighbour, whose presence I was thankful for, actually shook him awake requesting him to not sleep off as his snoring was becoming unbearable.

He was dropped from my list of interests as promptly as he had featured into it. If I could, in all my kindness, I would have recommended a homeopathic medicine that I knew was a cure. A romantic possibility however, died another premature death. I scurried out of the airport, never once glancing at him. If this was to be titled it would be – ‘the nose had it’. Suggestions are welcome.

I travel often, hoping each time to relive a Ruskin Bond moment, never giving up. I am just hoping someday I can write something as beautiful as the story I read as a young girl. It taught me to be a romantic – a way of life that teaches me to enjoy every day, the way it greets me and makes interesting, every character I encounter.

‘The Eyes Have It’ was part of my School Curriculum.
For those who haven’t read the short story by Ruskin Bond, it is about a chance encounter between a young man and a young woman in a train compartment. Our hero, conscious of the young lady’s presence strikes a conversation with her and tries to get to know more about her. He plays a little game to prevent her from understanding that he was blind and indulges himself into thinking she may be a wee bit interested in him as well. Anyway, she gets off the train after a while and he is informed by another passenger that in spite of having beautiful eyes, she was completely blind herself.

The brief journey, spent in anticipation and consciousness of an attractive fellow traveller had a wonderful, honest feel. This poignant story of two blind young people trying to make a favourable impression on each other had touched my young heart. Obviously, it was written in sweet reminiscence.

Much in line with this plot, my fertile imagination continues to entertain me during my brief, otherwise boring journeys. If I so much as have an interesting male fellow passenger, the life in my brain becomes more exciting than my real life. Only that the ending is never romantic, hardly touching and mostly comic! Sometimes I often feel my life is a running Sunday strip.

Take an example of the other day.

I was at the airport a little early for my flight. After buying myself a cup of tea in the waiting area, I was delighted to get a call from a romantic interest. I passed my time merrily chatting sweet nothings with him in a mellow tone. I wouldn’t be surprised if I were blushing, just a little and making it rather obvious that it wasn’t a regular call. I may have chatted with him for a good 20 minutes. I was walking all the while and when I finally sat, opposite me, was this really good looking guy.

I felt his piercing gaze. Yes, I was certain he was looking at me, almost trying to communicate. I felt a little conscious and turned my gaze away. After about a few minutes of trying to avoid his eyes, mine finally met his and he reached out his hand to give me something. It was a piece of paper! In the midst of my engaging conversation and his stretched out arm handing over a piece of paper to me, my muddled brain tried to interpret the hand-out. It had something printed on it. CHAKRABORTY A Ms.!!!

Wait a minute – It was my boarding pass, how could it possibly…?! Not only was I thoroughly embarrassed, I was also amused to realise that he had been sitting patiently all this while, waiting for me to finish my chat. Who knows he may have been watching me intently all the while. There he was now, handing over the pass to me when I was finally ready to lock my gaze with him. I found the entire thing quite exciting and without hanging up, thanked him matter-of-factly.

I waited for the boarding announcement so as to avoid any conversation. Once the announcements began, he stood up (tall, I thought) and started walking towards the queue. This time it was my time to freeze my gaze. Much like Sushmita Sen on the ramp, he glided in his effeminate manner and proceeded to board. I remember this encounter vividly for sure – not so much with a tug at my heart as much as with a sigh. If I had to name the story – it would be ‘the gait had it’ – Oh well!

To Be Continued…

‘The Eyes Have It’ was part of my School Curriculum.
For those who haven’t read the short story by Ruskin Bond, it is about a chance encounter between a young man and a young woman in a train compartment. Our hero, conscious of the young lady’s presence strikes a conversation with her and tries to get to know more about her. He plays a little game to prevent her from understanding that he was blind and indulges himself into thinking she may be a wee bit interested in him as well. Anyway, she gets off the train after a while and he is informed by another passenger that in spite of having beautiful eyes, she was completely blind herself.

The brief journey, spent in anticipation and consciousness of an attractive fellow traveller had a wonderful, honest feel. This poignant story of two blind young people trying to make a favourable impression on each other had touched my young heart. Obviously, it was written in sweet reminiscence.

Much in line with this plot, my fertile imagination continues to entertain me during my brief, otherwise boring journeys. If I so much as have an interesting male fellow passenger, the life in my brain becomes more exciting than my real life. Only that the ending is never romantic, hardly touching and mostly comic! Sometimes I often feel my life is a running Sunday strip.

Take an example of the other day.

I was at the airport a little early for my flight. After buying myself a cup of tea in the waiting area, I was delighted to get a call from a romantic interest. I passed my time merrily chatting sweet nothings with him in a mellow tone. I wouldn’t be surprised if I were blushing, just a little and making it rather obvious that it wasn’t a regular call. I may have chatted with him for a good 20 minutes. I was walking all the while and when I finally sat, opposite me, was this really good looking guy.

I felt his piercing gaze. Yes, I was certain he was looking at me, almost trying to communicate. I felt a little conscious and turned my gaze away. After about a few minutes of trying to avoid his eyes, mine finally met his and he reached out his hand to give me something. It was a piece of paper! In the midst of my engaging conversation and his stretched out arm handing over a piece of paper to me, my muddled brain tried to interpret the hand-out. It had something printed on it. CHAKRABORTY A Ms.!!!

Wait a minute – It was my boarding pass, how could it possibly…?! Not only was I thoroughly embarrassed, I was also amused to realise that he had been sitting patiently all this while, waiting for me to finish my chat. Who knows he may have been watching me intently all the while. There he was now, handing over the pass to me when I was finally ready to lock my gaze with him. I found the entire thing quite exciting and without hanging up, thanked him matter-of-factly.

I waited for the boarding announcement so as to avoid any conversation. Once the announcements began, he stood up (tall, I thought) and started walking towards the queue. This time it was my time to freeze my gaze. Much like Sushmita Sen on the ramp, he glided in his effeminate manner and proceeded to board. I remember this encounter vividly for sure – not so much with a tug at my heart as much as with a sigh. If I had to name the story – it would be ‘the gait had it’ – Oh well!

 Continued in Part 2

About a year later, when I was boarding again, I noticed a really well dressed man with salt and peppered hair (let’s call him S&P) waiting right at the end of the line. The laid-back attitude, the patience to board as compared to the rest of the crowd who seemed to be in a terrible hurry, impressed me.

Undaunted by my now one year-old- disappointment, I marked his gait properly and allowed my mind a little bit of wandering. I had booked an aisle seat and was delighted to see that he had booked the window seat on the same row. The setting was just perfect – there was another passenger in between us and we could afford to be perfectly conscious of each other’s presence without actually feeling the tension of sitting next to each other! It was a late flight and dinner was being served. I wanted to have a biryani but the idea of having to pour warm water over ready to eat biryani was a dampener. I ordered a sandwich instead.

S&P ordered for the Biryani. What telepathy I thought, he almost read my unsure mind. So far so good. After the meal I enquired, ‘Hey how was the Biryani, I wasn’t sure if I should order it’. A long thoughtful pause and he answered – ‘Actually it was pretty good by flight standards. I ordered it because it was the only warm thing they were serving. You should definitely give it a try the next time’. It could have been a brief ‘pretty good’, but it wasn’t. I almost smiled to myself.

I went back to my book happily. The flight was pretty pleasant so far. There were no garrulous groups talking, no crying children, no smelly neighbours. I could almost afford to doze off but I was enjoying my book so kept reading until I thought I heard a very disagreeable noise coming from my right. It almost shook up the plane and shook me up for sure when I realised it my charming S&P was snoring away. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if I said my ears were being drilled into. My immediate neighbour, whose presence I was thankful for, actually shook him awake requesting him to not sleep off as his snoring was becoming unbearable.

He was dropped from my list of interests as promptly as he had featured into it. If I could, in all my kindness, I would have recommended a homeopathic medicine that I knew was a cure. A romantic possibility however, died another premature death. I scurried out of the airport, never once glancing at him. If this was to be titled it would be – ‘the nose had it’. Suggestions are welcome.

I travel often, hoping each time to relive a Ruskin Bond moment, never giving up. I am just hoping someday I can write something as beautiful as the story I read as a young girl. It taught me to be a romantic – a way of life that teaches me to enjoy every day, the way it greets me and makes interesting, every character I encounter.

The End

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