Saturday, May 30, 2009


Moon Das couldn’t have been more vacillating-between-thoughts than she was today. She still didn’t seem to weigh the moral grounds of what she was doing or rather going to do. For alternative seconds, it seemed wrong and for some it seemed right.

It seemed ages waiting for him. She remembered Mrs. Chatterjee’s words. He was the best she was sending. “The best”…Moon thought whether Chatterjee had been with others as well. She had been lately confiding into Chatterjee a lot. After marriage Arun had been out on business tours lately. And marriage to Arun had catapulted her from a middle class background to an uber rich one.

Maybe he was nice, caring and all that but they’d never spent any quality time together after marriage. Something she had always dreamed about. There was something amiss.

“Look Moon, I know this feeling of helplessness, this emotion of not knowing where-I-am., whom-to-go-to. The worst part about loneliness is that it makes you feel more forlorn. Instead it should make you want to come out, talk to everybody, enjoy life. Instead it pushes you back deeper and deeper, into this really secluded corner where you begin to enjoy this solitude. Don’t let it happen to you. Enjoy life. Let me give a suggestion…” Chatterjee blurted out nonchalantly.

Chatterjee had coaxed and cajoled until every word of hers soaked into Moon’s mind and everything had seemed reasonable enough to be done. One night was innocuous. How would that matter? Besides, Arun wouldn’t come to know.

A soft knock brought her back. She opened the door with an incubus of thoughts.
“Hi”, he said smiling.
She gave him a furtive glance. Maybe he sensed that to which he said, “Hey you can look at me. After all you are gonna pay me for being with you tonight.”
Somehow his proximity made him appealing and repelling at once. He stared at her and said, “Well…..”
And something in her mind told her to stop. Something really strong.
Moon said, “Can we just…errrr….talk?”
Moon had expected a surprise, but all he said was, “Okay, if that’s what you are paying me for!”

Moon heaved a sigh of relief.

“So, what do you want to talk about?”, he asked.
“Oh, nothing…I mean anything in general.”, she replied. She was never a great talker with strangers. And with a stranger like that it was impossible to think about anything.

“Okay. So what makes you call me here. I mean a married woman calling a gigolo?”
To moon, it sounded harsh. But it was practical, a rational question that Mrs.Chatterjee had answered for her, not herself.

“I really don’t know. I mean I never wanted to. But something just happened to me. I was so capricious. It has something to do with solitude….my loneliness…maybe…I…I…really don’t know.” She stammered.

“Why do people make such a big fuss about their loneliness and then use heavy words like “solitude” and “desolation”, I will never know.”, he replied.

Moon almost thought, he was here to mock her. But she had at least come in terms of talking to this “gigolo”.

“Why re you so preachy? I never thought someone of your profession could be so thoughtful.”
“Madam, aren’t we human beings? And as far as profession goes, let me tell you about myself. I am a student. In a good reputed college, mind you. And I like to do things which normal people do, read books, write, play….etc.”

“Normal people don’t sleep around with girls for money.”

“So now you get the point. I am doing this for money. To be honest, I am a money freak. It’s a burning desire you know, to get rich.”

“So that’s how…you are here…but there are other ways too where you can earn money. Why chose this?”

“Easy money. Quick. And I don’t need any extra skill for that.” , he chuckled and gave her a teasing look.

“Ya but somehow to me, it doesn’t feel right, what you are doing.”

“To each, his own. Every profession demands you to do something bad. And tell me one thing. What exactly is bad about my profession?”

She gave him a thoughtful look. Somehow, she didn’t find an answer. A valid answer.

“It’s unethical.”
“There are so many things which are unethical! I believe wasting electricity, cutting trees…is much more unethical than what I am doing right now.”
“You know, an intelligent guy like you…..I mean this just doesn’t suit you. To be here.”
“And neither to a woman like you.”
“I meant. Your profession.” She cast him an angry look.
“Okay. Can we stop all this verbal duels! So tell me, ….”

And they talked and talked for the next 2 hours. Something Moon hadn’t done with a man since years. She didn’t know what to make out of this. It was all weird. A gigolo…a married woman and ‘just talks’. Who would believe this! As far as the guy was concerned, moon thought of him as a thought catcher. He would just pick up her thoughts and interpret them and leave her speechless. Maybe that was because he was around women…

“Okay…time to take your leave mam!”
“Ya….thanks, you were a great company.”
“You still amuse me… I mean I am so delectable and irresistible..” he gave her a wide grin.

“Ya an irresistible….. talker…yes!”
She couldn’t remember when she was so comfortable with any one whom she had met for the first time. Maybe this was because of the fact that she knew they wouldn’t meet after that. And she wanted to pour out her feelings, to someone unbiased, someone who hadn’t known who she was….some one who could judge her purely on the basis of what she was “now”, not on what she had “been”.

“A penny for your thoughts.” He filliped his fingers.
“I was just thinking… know you really shouldn’t be here. You are a good guy.”
“No comments. But you take care! Don’t be confused the way you are….and the solitude thing just chuck it off…..”
How could he know more about her than herself in just these short moments? Or did she take them convincingly because nobody had ever judged her feelings or even tried to? And he had sounded so soothing and mainly so sure of himself…so justified…
Something that seemed immoral to her suddenly made sense…maybe this one rendezvous could change her outlook…she could think and act upon what “he” had said. That would keep her happy. She thought as she saw him trail off….

Maybe Arun wasn’t that bad. Why did she have so many expectations from a man who never even had time for himself. After all, he was doing this for “them” and not him alone. He had his own ways of showing love which she thought wasn’t enough for her. And she had always complained to Arun about this. And he never did. Almost never.. And did something called loneliness really exist. Or it was just another creation of mankind! After such a long time had she felt she existed as “moon”….bright, casting away darkness….

And it took a stranger to do that…
It was a revelation…about her…an epiphany…