When A Thought Slides By

It’s funny how some memories come unbidden. There are things I would love to remember clearly – my brother’s face for example. How we used to fight. Long physical fights. Scrawny me. And big muscular him. I remember it. But it’s like being at the back of a very fuzzy lens. You try to focus. Sharpen the picture. But it’s always watery around the edges. Memories like that are frustrating. And then there the ones that stay in your mind. You are never sure why. But they creep up on you when you least expect it.

Like today, for instance, I was watching the cricket match. And reading. I was reading more than watching. The phone was switched off. And then it suddenly flashed. Me walking into an office on Old Madras Road, Ulsoor. I had taken the bus there. From Koramangala. The office of a few months old magazine called Bangalore Trends. Thick and glossy it was. I wasn’t sure how I obtained the interview. Did I apply? I don’t remember. But I walked in to the office. I met a guy there. We spoke. For a while. He was the editor and publisher. I wasn’t sure about the job. Clearly, he wasn’t impressed with me. I remember him saying ‘right, we will get back to you.’ That time, I honestly thought that means they will get back to you. I exited his cabin, and there was this girl waiting for me. By her desk. She stood up as I entered. She was everything I could never hope to be at that stage in my life, fresh from graduation. Smartly dressed in a chic salwar with a matchingly chic haircut. Dark green. That was the color of the salwar. “Don’t believe him,” she said, startling me, referring obviously to the man I just met. “He just has lots of promises. Talks a lot, but doesn’t pay. He has not paid us in two months. Don’t join,” she said, half smiling and half challenging me. I don’t remember what I say. Perhaps I just nodded in shock.

I left the building. And really, at that point, decided not to take up the job if it ever came. It’s a rather useless memory to have – I would rather have clearer brothers – but isn’t life just still as wonderful. Maybe we need to give space for these memories – for the memories of loved ones – they don’t exist in our minds, anyway.

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