Stories for me never started with a king and a queen who had a lovely princess. ‘Once upon a time,’ this phrase lost its meaning, when kids started to spend more time in their living rooms, watching intently the extremely simple, yet so convoluted stories of the soap operas. With this, I guess it was the end to the stories that grandmothers tried to keep fresh in their memories, for those sunny afternoons, when schools were shut, and the scorching sun, did not allow us to step out of our houses.
Minu, never had imagined, that the carefully woven urban life would tear apart like this. Being the only child of the Pathak’s, she had the luxury to think of relationships, and master the art of urban living. When, her friends like Shibu, had to work hard to scrape some food to her plate. Minu, had spent a lot of her time, trying to re-conceptualize what the small town, with its un-smitten smell of rotten, thatched roof had taught her. She had managed to manipulate, all that she associated with her bare foot childhood. She thought she eventually had fit in, to this whole plethora of junk that people guiltily called ‘Urban.’
The crowded streets, with its sleek cars, ready to knock any one, in an outrage of heavy traffic, had intrigued her. The bright neon lights at the costly malls, with people flaunting the luxuries, she never had seen, amused and attracted her. The fancy eateries, the avenues that presented itself at every other corner, tempted her to reach out to her long locked, famished capitalist self. She was overwhelmed, how people could be so distant from each others lives, while back at home, shead explain, to not just her family or her neighborhood, but to that of her mothers, about anything she did. She for once had started to feel like the woman, the free bird she had wanted to be. She often dreamt of herself, wearing the red, flimsy gown, standing on the car, like Marlin Monroe. Since, the first glances of the city from Madan uncle’s, cramped car, she had wished hard to try and adopt all that a city had to offer. She practiced hard for an year or two, picking up every bit and piece she could, while her city-bred friend made fun of her naïve and endearing trials.
Amidst the giant buildings, which intimidated the village girl that she once was, she was now happy to be a part of the top floor office, and loved the exorbitant atmosphere, with keyboard keys beating like hear-beats, coffee machines replacing all it could and there she learnt to loose the innocence amidst contorted faces and illuminated screens.