A Bazaar Meetup



The majestic skyline in the backdrop is looking down at me. I have always enjoyed the shade of the concrete jungle and living here is like dream come true. Its Thursday and being a creature of habit, I start walking towards the weekly street bazaar. I have not bought anything here per se. It has been years since Whole Foods has been looting my whole salary, but the Gyros and Pretzels are really to die for and incentive enough to want to venture onto the streets. Besides, all the dope stories I keep hearing about people having some really paranormally ludicrous experiences, a couple of them from my friends and colleagues about how something happened right here, in this very bazaar which left them aghast, have me intrigued and so I return back to have my own!




It has been almost two years of these weekly walks and each visit has only furthered my belief that there is some correlation between the stories I have heard and the Marijuana legalization wave, which swept the world about half a decade ago. Nevertheless, I still like coming here, the noisy and crowded streets, smells so overpowering that you lose the grasp mundane things have on you, the marvelous wonders of modern architecture on the real world canvas, people in suits and people in rags, bargaining alike with the vendors thereby diminishing the fine lines that society carries, for a brief moment. There are times when I question myself and my senses for having this place as my so called happy place. To me, it is the best and worst brought together, a place which reminiscent of the first paragraph from ‘A tale of two cities’.

Walking down my path of habit, the path I have walked each Thursday, giving a polite nod, a couple of 'Hey!' and a couple of 'How you doing?' with my train of thoughts speeding by, the unexpected suddenly happens! I am surprised at the sight of what lay before my eyes! By the curb of the coffee shop across the street, I see her. She is sitting alone, a cup of joe sits in front of her on the round table, right by her laptop, her scratchpad and pencil lying casually sprawled too. Her gaze fixated on the laptop screen, I don’t know if she’s tensed because she has a deadline to cope up with or she just saw something grotesque on the web. It could be a life threatening issue, cure for cancer or maybe just some calculus assignment for all I can tell. As I stare deeper, I
find myself lost to the thought that may be the expression she carries is like that feeling of elation we get when the passing wind hits us with nostalgia.

Everyone has a unique definition for what a perfect person is like for them. To me, I see it now! They say life is lived in moments, not in hours, minutes and seconds...and I am having my moment now, as I see the sun’s rays glistening in her hair. What adjective can I possibly use to describe this moment?!

Should I shout out her name? No, that is for grown ups! I’ll just walk by her and hope she also looks at me and I act shocked and play along! SERIOUSLY? BRO! Grow up! This is not some script you wrote. Just walk up to her table, say hi and she'll recognize you.

Determined, I start walking towards her. A wave of thoughts flooding my head, chaos so loud, I can’t hear above it! How did Lord Baelish plan on climbing it is beyond me. I start questioning whether it is in my best interest to face her again, may not have been awkward if we had not grown apart over the years. Had we not been this estranged as time ticked ahead, she would have definitely let me know that she was visiting. If I walk over now, there's a fifty percent chance that I'll handle it well but also another fifty percent says I’ll shred it to bits and cause permanent damage, more than what already exists anyways. I do not want the coolest person I think I know to have an uncool image of me stuttering on the street. All this while, my eyes have been fixated on her and my mind has captured her every expression. She is reading something, her eyes are flickering on the screen, moving from one end to another, her gaze moves from the screen and I start getting that mini heart attack in my kidney probably. With my instinct telling me that I’m about to be busted, I quickly force myself to turn the other away.

In a state of predicament, I start walking away slowly, telling myself its for the best. For the first time ever, I felt my mind go blank, my muscles close to spot paralysis! I am thinking about all the times all those years back. Dealing with past has never been my area of expertise let alone a trip down the memory lane with someone who was a part of it! I’d rather stay a stranger to myself and blind, deaf, mute to whatever it is that I feel. As, I stand at the crosswalk, waiting for the signal to turn its color to favor me, I feel a tap on my shoulder. Holy Moses! I knew it! This is how it ends, as an embarrassment! She saw me? Are we finally going to talk??!! Am I ready for this? Oh god! I hope it isn't her. Screw this, I hope it is her!

When you expect something, be it happiness, sadness or even pain, the latency period has these feelings that cannot be put to words. Everything in between of ‘when you know you’ll feel something any moment now’ and ‘when you finally start feeling what you had anticipated’ is so intensified. I can feel my heart pounding, the blood pumping out in my veins, the adrenaline rush! or is it just me?

Summoning all the gods and calling for their strengths, I turn around and watch her lips form a curve, a pout? she is saying something but I have to focus more to catch on with her. Reality hits me, I start hearing what she is saying, “Move, you idiot! The crosswalk is to walk, not wait! Stop blocking our path, some of us have work to get to!” Hollaaaa! It isn’t my Ms. Perfect. Its some woman who has somewhere to get to and damn she seems angry or is it just hungry? I step aside and start jogging back to the coffee shop. Was it just a sordid manifestation of thoughts I have run from all along? Was it just a daydream? To my relief, the coffee shop is real but the table by the curb is no longer occupied.

I still am not sure, what actually happened here and what part of it was fictional or real. My thoughts had me so engrossed, I skipped reality for moments combined to know what's real and what's not. Man, watching all these dark shows have really messed me up, I'm not going to watch another one ever again! Anyways, this was the incident, my spooky experience at the Bazaar. Hope you liked it!

Aaaand hit POST ARTICLE!

It has been a couple days since I last posted on the blog. There was a knock at my front door. I open it thinking its the the scheduled maintenance visit. There she is, standing in front of me. Before I find the words to say out loud, she starts rambling in her ultra fast speech speed, something she has always done when she wanted to speak her mind before she changed it. I hear the words coming out of her mouth, clear as crystal - "We did plan a meetup right! Before you get mad at me, I am sorry about not trying to contact you or anything, and just showing up at your doorstep. I somewhat had the same thoughts like you do and am not able to wrap my head around what it is that I want to do. Last Friday I was at the coffee shop and going through your blog and saw your post about the bazaar coffee shop, it indeed was ‘bizarre’. Nice wordplay there! I read it and knew that the person you wrote about was me. Presumptuous of me? I don’t know but well I had to know, like how can I not know? So, I cleared my head of all the thoughts, imagined it all to be true only to realize how bad I would have wanted you to wave at me! Not just wave by the way, you could have come over and say hi too.... and after reading your post, a little bit of messaging people on Facebook and a week later here I am! You can go ahead with the hi you planned to say!"

"Hi! So you really were there at the coffee shop on Thursday too?" I blurt out.

*****Interactive Article******
Option 1: "Yes"
Option 2: "No"
Read for the option you wish to go with!
*****************************

Option 1:

"Yes"
"Let's go get coffee at the same place, we sure have a lot to catch up on, but first I need to cancel the flight tickets I booked to come see you. I mean, I had to too, right?I wasn’t sure if you were a fragment of my imagination or reality, but it was worth a shot to try a surprise visit, right?"

And with that. Here we are.. me blogging about a blog in a blog. Honestly, enough of mindfu...
Thank you for reading! Au revoir!
Also, who has the best editor??

**************************
Option 2:

"No.” She replied. “I landed here Thursday evening and was at the shop on Friday".
Having heard this, my mind was flabbergasted and there was an onset of a million different theories in my mind. I made sure I shut up before blurting something idiotic! "So I wrote about seeing you on a Thursday and you read it on a Friday and guessed that it has to be about you and not someone else?" I say.
"Why? I have seen your work and most of all I know you. Fiction or not there was a glimpse of subtext right there. Did you not want me to read it?"

"Yes there was. Let's go get some coffee and talk about better things than my lame blog."
This is the whole story, a continuation of my previous post.

**************************

What is fiction anyways? And what is subtext?
I seriously cannot tell the difference as I write this sub-textual fictional piece with some subtext about fiction which has some subtext.
As for the character, he's better off thinking of it as a puzzle which came with a few missing pieces. He can move on and relish his happy moments.
And for me, time to snap out of this maze, apologize for the rusty writing and snooze off back into my writing hiatus! Au revoir!
Come again, who has the best editor?? (Reply: Wrote this shiz in three hours and editing took a month :/)

P.S: Though I have been a lot busier recently and been trying to explore new places and activities eventually having almost no time to write, I did write an article on LinkedIn recently. Do give it a visit on the link below:)
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/internship-experience-fanatics-akash-barve/

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