A lot can happen over a plate of momo

They say, “A lot can happen over a cup of coffee”. I say, “A lot can happen over a plate of momo.” It is a story of a plate of hot piping momos and how it had become one of the good vibes of my life. My city was truly busy enjoying the sudden 9°C temperature; the crazy north winds shivered my bones, a multicolored muffler protected me from cold, a glass of hot ginger tea from a roadside tea stall gave me some comfort, the swarming crowd near Esplanade metro made me realize the presence of strenuous Monday and then, adventitiously you appeared before me when I just ordered a plate of chicken momo. God knows, why you had to come on the same stall to have the momos.

You are not my parallel, not my almost, not my ex, but something I can’t name. You looked at me whenever you got slightest opportunity, I even caught you smiling when I passed by on office corridor. Sadly, you never made any move to talk to me; probably you were happy just seeing me there just like people enjoy an elegant piece of art in a museum. I was stupid enough to believe, you were in love, in love with me; but I was so wrong.

“Hello Jinny” your sudden voice made me look at you; you are in a brownish yellow jacket and black jeans. You were looking really handsome.
“Hi” I responded slowly.
“How are you?”
This time I had to smile, “Like you care!” I felt some spots of guilt in your face as you looked at the billboards to avoid my intense gaze. A few minutes had passed without any words from any side. I patiently waited for the momos to come. I was astounded to realize we just talked for the first time.
“I do care…and stupid enough to realize things very late.”
I had to laugh at his words; a man calling himself stupid is a nice thing to watch.
“Thank God, you realized…sooner or later!” I sighed throwing my words; he too sighed. I saw a strange kind of pain in his eyes but soon he turned it into an awkward smile. Then, a comfortable silence clinged us into a nameless thread. Perhaps, time stood still for a while and we too. I didn’t feel uneasy; he didn’t feel any urge to look away. I didn’t notice when we both started having the mouth watering chicken momos.
“The momos are really delicious, aren’t they?” he said to break the silence. I just nodded. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want him know my helplessness, my loneliness. Probably he was eager to say ‘you look beautiful’, or ‘remember me’ or ‘let’s exchange the numbers’; I was eager to say, ‘let’s stay in touch’ or ‘let’s go for a walk’. Sadly, we ended up saying “goodbye”. We moved away without exchanging phone numbers, without looking back, with a constant effort to behave like a normal person. And once again head won over heart.

©Joyee

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Went to Venice
wore the Venetian masks,
enjoyed gondola ride,
kissed against the bridge railing…

Went to New York
counted the skyscrapers,
walked down Times Square,
dreamt “Maid in Manhattan” kinda love,
cried over Twin Towers…

Went to Paris
enjoyed French opera,
ate macaroons,
kissed under the Eiffel Tower

Went to Amsterdam,
tied love-lock in the bridge,
threw the key in the water

Went to London
enjoyed the vintage charms,
took selfie in front of Big Ben,
loved the city from London Eye,

All of these happened inside our heads over Whatsapp texts.

©Joyee

PALOMA AND ME

Some people enter into our lives to make us change the day we listen the doorbells or a very old melody. And quite often we change the way we see a rose or a bird. Paloma Lopez made me realize the beauty of roses in a new way.

I used to know rose as a flower, an emblem of love, a must-have for Valentine’s Day and to keep in your pocket to look cool or orthodox…whatever! I was walking alone nonchalantly to celebrate the cold winds and she adventitiously appeared before my eyes. I saw an woman in long, flared, flowery, floor-length skirt and a small top; her bun was adorned with fresh, aromatic red roses; she was dancing to the music of her street-musician fiancé or husband. She was a proper brunette with mesmerizing eyes. On seeing my messy look she just glowered and it took my breath away. Her lover kept of playing the Spanish music instrument, and she kept on dancing to its tune. I don’t know Spanish but their attitude confirmed, it was a really sad love note. I saw some greedy eyes devouring her but she was so easy and flowing.

The evening was pinkish, the city lights were yellowish and people who circled Paloma were in bluish dresses; she was like a true red rose in the street and everyone swarmed around her like honey-bees. When the dance stopped, I came to her and said “Hi.”

“Hola,” her eyes were curious.

“You look beautiful.”

“I know…anything else?”

“Where is your home?”

“Andalusia, Spain.”

“Nice to meet you,” I saw a hand coming for handshake; it is her husband. He is Sergio. I loved how protective he was to his wife. I got to know Andalusia, a province of Spain, is famous for cathedral, mosque and cuisine.
“Guess what, we both were theatre artists; sadly the theatre is now closed because of some legal issues and we don’t know anything else to earn our bread.” Sergio revealed; I saw his eyes glittered with teardrops; cautious Sergio didn’t let them fall.

I looked at Paloma, her eyes were also moist. Still, she tried to smile. She is so glorious even in minimal make-up; her sweet face, pouty red lips, lean waist, flared skirt made her a true rose. However, not all roses get what they deserve. Some stay in queen’s bouquet and some bedeck the traces of a harlot!

Before biding them a goodbye, once again I looked at her, her rose-donned bun, her brown locks and I thanked God for taking my breath away!

©Joyee

‘A Walk to Remember’ in Calcutta

“I am the man with the tambourine…”

It was a steamy summer night. The humidity level reached a new high and Calcutta was all wet in sweats. Everyone was praying for rain.
Suddenly I got a call from Esha. She is my childhood friend and my friend Asmit’s fiancé. When she said, “Let’s go for a walk” I was quite surprised.

“Is he busy? Or you guys had a quarrel once again?”

“We called it quits” She chirped.

“How dare you?” I was astonished!

“Just for tonight, let’s forget that I have a boyfriend, let’s forget that you just broke up with Emilie; let’s forget the outer world and chat like there is no tomorrow…as we used to…before this Asmit thing happened.” I used to know her crazy nature, so I had to agree. I came out from my ‘uncle’s cabin’ and she came out from her ladies’ hostel.

We didn’t go for sophisticated ice cream cones or tubs decorated with chocolate bars and Oreo biscuits. We simply slurped our desi “Kulfi malai” and it was truly my own ‘A Walk to Remember.’

“You are still a mental.” said I.

“You must appreciate me for being a mental.” she chuckled.

And we talked and talked; we gazed and gazed at each other with a smile on lips and glitter in eyes. I saw the city lights less lucrative than her eyes. For once, I forgot she was not mine.

She described how she loved watching the sunsets and blowing the dandelions, how she adored Chinese cuisine, how she took weeds to get rid of frustration, how she watched clichéd romantic Hollywood movies to believe in love, how she matched the steps with a Latino dance teacher, how she spent nights reading Paulo Coelho, how she spent days reading erotica, how she spent nights at Park Street bars, how she met a handsome Irishman at the Irish pub, how she tried to make a documentary on Armenian culture of Calcutta, how she rode bike in full speed and how she kept her boyfriends totally unaware of these.

I felt she is a silent scream; I felt her really addictive. I didn’t want her stories to end.

“Thanks for sharing things with me” I greeted.

“And you didn’t interrupt a single time.” She poked my nose.

I poked her belly, “One should not interrupt the storyteller.”

“The kulfi is tasty, isn’t it?” She chuckled and I came back to reality; I saw my kulfi has already melted a lot and I forgot to slurp.

“Now it’s your turn”

“My turn? No way”

“Yes…you have to.”

She pleaded like anything but I didn’t agree. I just loved to look at her without a blink and she twittered the whole time. I was flooded with emotions and words. Before leaving, she gave me a ‘goodnight peck’ on the cheek. I was happy and startled!

“You are not mine, but I’m a bit yours today!” I murmured myself and returned home.

©Joyee