I turned left then right then again left. I covered myself with a blanket. I turned on the lights and then switched them off. How could someone be like that? I read maybe fifty of his short stories and other posts in an hour or so.
Each one with a negative ending. Each one ending at a dramatically tragic note. Practical? I certainly doubt that. They were good. They were provoking. Each one was filled with suicides, breakups with miserable misunderstandings, the ‘never met again’ scenes, distances from everyone. And the extracts of the love stories he wrote; In all of them ‘he’ loved holding her hand or ‘she’ loved hugging him and love just justified but they broke up and the miserable misunderstanding I talked about was nothing, they really didn’t stand a reason.
I read a lot. And I am habitual of crafting an image of the writer and his point of view by traveling with him deeper in his words. Touching the edges of his story from his side. But this time, as I kept on reading his blogs, I found myself amidst chaos. I failed to draft an image. For once a ‘shattered, drunk, depressed and desperate’ kind of author was what I thought of him. Then his lusty side appeared in all those poetry. I sensed a desperate anger and a desire. But I really was unable to know what the desire was. And the last extract I read was about cigarettes, ‘Cigarettes and the Smirk’. And that drove me to sleep. Coincidentally (now I’ll say, unfortunately) my phone beeped. He posted something new. His book ‘Thrice I’ve died’ was launching tomorrow and the event was here, in Jaipur. I booked a ticket to attend it.
There were a handful of people. Some photographers, few reporters, and audience. He climbed on the stage. I have seen his pictures earlier but he looked quite different from them. Although he was around 28 or 29 years of age but looked no less than in the forties. He was tall and thin but with broad shoulders. Only his eyes and lips were visible on his face and rest covered with thick beard. His hair was shiny and was of shoulder length. He held the mic and without any greetings just said a sentence ‘I’ve died thrice is not about death’ and took a seat beside the stage. The editor of the book (as I guessed) was handed over the mic who described the characters. But nobody told the storyline. And of course, it wasn’t the thing I was interested in. I stood up suddenly and my purse, the notepad and my cell phone what all was lying on my lap fell on the floor. Everyone looked towards me and the editor became quiet. I ran to him. But he didn’t look shocked or surprised at all. He looked up, towards me. ‘Why are you like this? ‘ was the only thing I could murmur. And to my horror, he smiled, stood up and questioned me if I liked his writings. ‘Of course, I like them’. He smiled at my answer and whispered in my ears while everyone was muttering and grumbling from behind “because I am not alive” and he left the hall. I still read his blogs and posts but we never met again.