The Addict – A Short Story

If you are living in Mumbai, you certainly know the importance of time and the importance of being in a hurry unnecessarily. Yes, unnecessarily! Walking on a crowded road, getting into an empty train or walking around in a grocery mart. A mumbaikar always tries to be ahead of the person in front of him. I am no different.

In a hurry to get home, I was waiting for an autorickshaw to take me along. I prayed to God… Oh please, For once let me find that three wheeler without uttering swear words.

Adjacent to me, there were many more people waiting. Among them, was this guy eager to get into an auto rickshaw. 6 feet tall, lean built, white T-shirt, rugged jeans, clearly in his early 20s stepped back and forth wishing for an auto rickshaw to come along. My gaze stayed on him for a while and then moved on to an empty auto rickshaw. Wohooo jackpot! I ran towards it and yelled M.G road. There he came shouting out the same.. M G. Road. His lean body hadn’t yet left my sight, and here he is, sitting besides me in an auto rickshaw. I couldn’t say a No for such an handsome guy. For a second, this created a bubble of doubt in my mind. Did he purposely do this? Saying the same destination as mine. Well may be. But now all I could do is be alert. I simply waited for my destination to come. But it didn’t look like my destination will come with the vehicles lined up for quite a long distance. A minute after entering the 3 wheeler, the bubble of silence broke.

He asked, “Where do you stay?”

I kept my reply short, “Nearby MG road”

Then came a long explanation about his home, his evening plan, parents, “ I also stay close by. Actually I stayed in blah blah, but now we have shifted here. We have 2 houses. Both are though empty. I stay in a hostel. My dad is a doctor. I am going to a friends place. I’m a graduate student. I can’t study a lot. I got into MBBS, then left.”

I don’t know why, but I said, “Good you left MBBS. The fees is a lot”

He replied, “Fees is OK. Not big deal”

I guessed. He’s a guy born with a golden spoon.

While the auto rickshaw stuck in traffic jam, his conversations went on and on. And the driver happily heard whatever we talked.

“I have to collect few clothes from my friends place .. Blah blah blah blah….”

After few minutes, I hardly heard his conversations. My eyes were all over him. Drowsy eyes. Long neck. Long fingers. His iPhone moving from one hand to another as he talked. Back slightly bent as he tried not to hit his head on the top. The world had halted. I could hardly see or think of anything else. With a slight smile on my lips, I kept staring.

Soon I realised its time to say goodbye. His destination had arrived. He got down giving his share of rickshaw rent. My mind was figuring out whether it will be right or wrong to ask for his phone number. But before it came to any conclusion he was gone. Being single since quite a long time I thought this could have been the chance I could grab. But i ignored my shyness and blamed destiny. If he is in my destiny we’ll meet again.

Chucking my not so important thoughts I directed the driver to move on. In the next minute, the driver started chit chatting. I wondered why is every stranger chit chatting with me today. But what he said next crushed my belief of destiny and thought of meeting the guy again. He said, “Ladka achha hai. Maa Baap bhi ek dum sidhe hai…” I raised my eyebrows surprised if he could read my mind.

“… Per charas leta hai”

I stayed silent for few seconds. Then asked him “Accha! Aapko kaise pata?”

He replied, “Main jaanta hu usko. Dekha hai usko aur uske dosto ko charas lete hue udhar galli me”

I couldn’t ask anything more. The handsome lean built guy was totally out of my mind after hearing this.

I could only thank for my shyness and not asking for his phone number. Being single is better than being with such an addict.

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