And the clock struck 12

Presenting “Cinderella and her two hours love story” The wonderful exchange of mails between cinderella and the prince before the clock struck 12 .

On one of the regular sad days of her life Cinderella opens her mail box to find the following, Prince Charming’s 1st mail – 

Dear Cinderella

To cut through the crap this mail’s connection can be traced to the “Best (Fake name) poets” and your sudden sphinx like silence. considering that that the esteemed forum has banned any sort of personal interaction as also spelling mistakes I am making this overture.

My incidental identitly matches yours if you remember i.e. lawyer. What are u bout and where. Please do reply.

Prince Charming (Hence forth referred to as PC)

——————————————————–

C’s quick response, her 1st mail to PC 

Dear PC

My silence on ‘best’ is kinda forced, i somhow don’t identify with the way the list works…i mean its ok to say that personal communication is not allowed on the list but to object to a welcome message and ban it as too personal was a bit too much for me. I am talking about a mail RJ (fake) wrote to me and also cc marked you. I was kinda pissed off with that mail.

Besides that I find the poets on Best as a bunch of guys not so humble and kinda suedo…disagree with me as much as you can and want…the point is Best just didn’t click with me. May be my level of poetry is not as high as the Bestians…

Me a lawyer as for now in corporate, still struggling to make a mark in my career, still suffering from identity crisis as to whether I am a social activist or a corporate bitch (u can read my blog on that) or just an ordinary girl…have worked for a while in a women’s rights organization then did some research activity in a strange place (will explain later) and now working with Fortis Securities Limited (wholly owned by Ranbaxy). No we don’t make medicines and don’t supply security guards. We are a stock broking company. Me a part of the Legal and Compliance Department.

Why am I on Bestpoets? I follow another mailing group that of the bloggers of which RJ too is a part. He had put this post about a “Best poet meet” last month which I attended for some reason still unknown to me. As a reward for attending the meet he added my name on the Best Poet’s list. As far as poetry is concerned I do sometimes write some crappy lines which are found to be great piece of writing by people who are not part of Best or any other poetry circle (which explains), but have never dared to post any thing on the Best list except this one translation of a short para from Tagore’s Shyama…you must have read it in case you were a part of the mailing list then…

What about you? Research or Litigation? How long have you been a lawyer? Why are you on Bestpoets? You from delhi?

That’s it for today…

(I know you would) reply (just dunno how) soon

bye

————————————————–

PC’s 2nd mail

Of course I would reply. very very caught up today. cannot write much. but i agree with you. Best is not up my creek too. Too literary and all that kind of thing. I like my poetry hard nosed and my poets should be more in touch with the world. This dreamy soppiness is not my idea of fun.

I litigate in Delhi for the last about ten years. From Defence Colony. I am a litigating lawyer.

Write more about you.

Bye
PC

——————————————

C kept the exchange of mails quite active, her 2nd mail.

Dear PC

Hi, well you are so much senior to me. I have been a lawyer for the past 3 years. been in delhi for the past 21 years..here in R K Puram. So you have a law firm or something?

you had asked to write more about me, well i think I already wrote too much in reply to your couple of lines in the last mail…and your reply to my long mail is again quite concise…so I am not too sure what to write in this one.

And more particularly given your seniority I am not too sure in what direction should our conversation go, so would highly appreaciate if you write me in more details about yourself.

So do write in

Bye

———————————————–

The conversation gets really interesting this mail onwards, PC’s 3rd mail:

Hi Cinderella

Ha Ha Ha!! This is so funny.. So u think that u are being entrapped by some libidinous, pot-bellied, skirt chasing, pan chewing vakil whose favourite past time is neatly divided between arguing rent matters in cloistered sweaty court rooms and going to seedy pubs and drinking himself silly over cheap whisky and doubtful soda.

U know I had really thought u to be cool and bindaas. It was reflected in the way u wrote ur mails. was I wrong? I hope I was right.

What is this “much senior to me”, “considering ur seniority”? God! am I corresponding in shaadi.com or something?!

My practice is in the High Court. I have my office in B4-20, Self Defence Colony (Fake) where I work with another two pals (we are not partners just share office space). I am a lawyer who does a lot of matters relating to contract, property and matrimony (or whatever remains of it by the time my clients reach me). I was schooled in DPS and did my law from CLC. I started practice in the year 1995.

I was concise earlier as I did not have the time. there is not much to say anyway.

My dad was in the Army. He is retired now. I live in NOIDA. I shall write more. provided u do not start calling me sir or something as horrible as that!

Don’t mind my jest. Have fun;
Bye PC

—————————————————–

Cinderella quite liked this guy by now, some befitting to her own style, she thought. She responded with splendid wit: C’s 3rd mail

Well Well PC,

How could you underestimate my skills to comprehend a human mind so easily, that you assumed, that I am assuming you to be some libidinous, pot-bellied, skirt chasing, pan chewing vakil whose favorite past time is neatly divided between arguing rent matters in cloistered sweaty court rooms and going to seedy pubs and drinking himself silly over cheap whisky and doubtful soda> On the very contrary, to begin with, for your not so bengali nomenclature I had assumed you to be a smart and street smart (u r a lawyer) intellectual (u r a bengali) well read (u are in Best). That was before when you first mailed in Best.

The second impression that’s after reading your prev mail, I assumed you are this rich, successful workaholic Attorney somewhere in your mid 30s kinda like Richard Gere in Primal Fear and quite a few more movies of his. Since I respect my own profession too much and believe in maintaining the hierarchy I thought its not a good idea to be the kickass me which I generally am…and you know something particularly after that incident on Best with Mr. M I am so damn ashamed of my mindlessly rude behavior…I mean what if you are another person of stature as high as Mr. M (assuming you have read his bio)…so I was acting reserved.

Finally the third impression, which was formed just moments ago…I am too cool for you…:D kidding. You must be in your early 30s (31-32), single, cool fun loving, u like reading, traveling, music, don’t chew pan but smoke classic regular, drink Royal wine and whiskey at the hottest restro bars in Delhi etc.etc.

How do I assume all that Coz most men can be categorized…and i just put you into one of the few. Don’t mind my rudeness you preferred me to be cool and bindaas right? Lemme know how good my categorization was (I wish I am wrong coz I don’t like conventional, usual and predictable) and also ask me whatever you wanna ask

Till then Bye, Cinderella

——————————————————-

And the cheerful amazingly fresh intelligent and witty mails kept coming, PC’s 4th Mail –

Marlboro lights my dear and not Classic Regular (those wretched foul smelling cigarettes). Always wanting to quit but can’t. A cigarette or two a day can’t harm u surely. The good life- wine (a nice Californian Chard) or single malt occasionally has not harmed humankind as much as idle gossip or research on fissile pyrotechnics. Wot say thou?

Yes men can be slotted/categorized. What about women then. This film crazy, 25, talkative, over articulate, pleasant looking woman (with trendy specs?). this non-litigation lawyer, provocative in her words but cautious in her conduct, misunderstood easily by the shallow and the wretched, who speaks too soon and then repents in leisure, outwardly very confident but slightly insecure otherwise. this femme of glorious contradictions this classy babe – this Sanjukta (with apologies to William Shakespeare -refer Richard-III).

I do not think u are rude. If people do not like a bit of provocation then I pity them :-).

Who wants to communicate on the basis of bio-datas. Can communication be turned into language of inter-departmental memos??? Forget this bio data of Mr. M – I frankly give a damn.

I have hated hierarchy all my life. Have u read the “the Peter Principle”. It is a hilarious essay on something that is called hierarchiology (the study of hierarchies). The main principle is that all human beings in a hierarchy finally rise to their level of incompetence. I found it to be so funny.

Ur categorization was interesting. Was it right?? Well u forgot to add “substance abuse” (i love cocaine) and that embarrassing twitch on the right side of my face, which has made me, face contempt proceedings before the Hon’ble Court so many times. And what about my fetish for wearing silk bandannas on Thursdays and my craze for handcuff when making out on the back seat my snazzy black Jaguar. Hey – I am just fooling around. But what I want to say is that to be unpredictable or different is not that great in all situations. There is a comfort in being regular and sound. Any thoughts on this???

So u have long hair??? Tell me how precise was my above categorization of you.

PC

Btw I loved being compared to Richard Gere but on a more critical self-assessment I think I look more like Johnny Depp ;-)

———————————————————
“The second paragraph of the above mail is the best way any body has ever described me”, C thought. She was hugely impressed by this guy and could smell romance in the air. But this was also the time she started getting worried. She wrote this on her blog one of those days.

Yesterday’s Dream

She finally found him. He lives in Mars and she in Venus…he has always seen her over the stars…she has always known him over the galaxies. One day she heard a knock on her doors. There was standing an angel, carrying a message from him to her, a message that was lightened up by the glitz of those million galaxies, which it crossed before reaching her. It carried the smell of the flowers that blossomed in his heart when he was writing it…it carried the smile that was there on his lips and the glow that he had in his eyes. She lost herself in that one splendid moment when she took the envelope in her hand…she wanted to sing a song, she wanted to write a poem, she wanted to take a rocket and fly to his planet…

To be continued

She couldn’t think beyond a certain point coz she was aware of her unpredictable ‘tomorrows’. She kept the mail conversation going, but started being apprehensive.  C’s 4th mail

hi

Its been a long wait I know…c’mon don’t tell me you were not waiting eagerly for my reply.

Surprisingly the rest of the assessment which doesn’t form part of my physical appearance (talkative, over articulate, non-litigation lawyer, provocative in her words but cautious in her conduct, misunderstood easily by the shallow and the wretched, who speaks too soon and then repents in leisure, outwardly very confident but slighly insecure otherwise) is freaking correct…How did you know???

So the round of introduction, building, laying and imposing and impression and general prediction is over…what next? Hobbies and interest I guess…’Change’ that’s what I am interested in and that’s what my hobby is. I cant tell you my hobby is to sing coz I would soon change my hobby…but music have been quite persistent a pastime for me. The two personalities within me gives a wide range of choices from… [some names of music artist not forming part of this story edited…]

Bye

Till then

——————————————-
As an author I am snipping one mail from PC here but Cinderella’s parawise reply would make the context clear… C’s 5th mail.

[PC wrote]”Hey hold it. Don’t jump to conclusions please. An emotional Bong aren’t u. Who in the dickens has said I won’t reply. U forget I was the one who sent the first mail out of the blue. Do justice here mon cher”

‘Emotional bong’ what exactly do u mean by this? Which part is not acceptable to you ‘emotional’ or ‘bong’. I am none and yet both…I don’t know under which sign I was born but I think it would be water…coz that’s what I am.

[PC wrote] “Was away to Bangalore for a case the entire last week and have just returned today. I was so god-damned busy with custody battles, guardianship issues, wailing spouses, frowning judges, screaming lawyers, stubborn court procedures that I do not think I even called my mother more than once. The question of replying or even accessing my mail did not arise for me.”

Wow, you have some flair for writing…even a courtroom can be poetic it seems.

[PC wrote] “Now I do not even know which of the two mails of ur mails should I reply to. Both, as u shall appreciate, are of decidedly different flavours.”

And that was just tip of the iceberg. I have many more flavours and colors within and don’t make me start with when and how frequently shall I change them…like I said before…Change…aah such a beautiful word. To give u an example I just arranged an independence weekend trip to haridwar rishikesh along with my school time friend. When everything was all set I decided to change my mind and am now going to a leisure trip to Hotel Clark Shiraj in Agra at the company expense. My only defense “I am selfish, opportunist and a miser”.

“Btw I read ur blog just now. How I thought of ur non-physical attributes was matter of guess work. Just to keep u guessing. Perhaps I am somebody u already know. Working in ur office or something like that. Perhaps I have been stalking u for the last month or so. That shady lukin’ guy who follows u over the distance every morning when u leave for work. ha ha ha But I did get the glasses right. U do wear glasses don’t u? My taste in music is different. For me music is not a carefully acquired taste. I listen to whatever and wherever. A part of my very promiscuous personality ;-). What do I like. I shall tell u some day.

Ok am waiting…

Bye

PS. I don’t like silence much
——————————————————
PC’s 6th mail:

C

In law we call it a para-wise reply in seriatum. So though u have certainly made out a strong case for ur unpredictable predilections (which is so very fascinating), ur method to express it remains very common law i.e. traversing each and every assertion in order to set out ur defence(offence??). There was a patent mistake in my mail though (which I am sure was ignored only because of ur graciousness ) – there is nothing like “mon chic”. It ought to have been “mon cher”.

As advised I shall not hazard guesses on ur persona. But I like selfishness or did someone call it enlightened self interest. Its nice to know that u have so many flavours and colours. U sound a bit like a fancy ice cream counter. Iridescent, cool, tempting and simply delicious ;-). I do adore rum and raisin. Do u have it in u??

I would have liked a holiday too. Agra shall be hot. But knowing u I guess u shall be either at the pool or at the bar or then perhaps attending a conference.. But frankly u sound slightly guilty about ditching ur school friend. Ur bravura, if I may say so, sounds a bit too brazen. I don’t think that u are the one to walk over corpses. U overestimate urself there.

My kind of music is listening to myself sing when it is raining and I am driving and a cigarette smolders and the destination is far far away. Just kiddin’. I am neither that poetic nor self obsessed.

I shall certainly sms u. Even if u are selfish, opportunist and a miser. so what. I guess its high time that I had some friends with such decent virtues.
PC

—————————————

C’s very fascinating mail where she shares her worst fears very tactfully. By now she could see that this PC has made a beautiful image of her’s in his mind and she knew it would be shattered when she meets him. Read on her 6th mail

Dear PC

GB Shaw said, “the perfect love affair is one which is conducted entirely by post”. I can never find more apt words to describe most of my love or whatever affairs and this is exactly what I would tell you if you had romance in your mind when you wrote the first mail to me (I would have serious doubts if you say you didn’t have). I like people who know what they want and can confidently ask for it without creating many verbal traps for the listener. So if you have romance in mind do confess…if you ask me I can smell romance every where and I could smell romance in all your mails and have tried my best to put that same essence in all my replies. Now, coming to the significance of the quote. Look, frankly speaking by the way you write, the words you use for me, in my mind you are someone no less than Shakespeare’s Romeo (assuming you have seen Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet) (I am a little more dreamy than I should be) and the way you describe the sanjukta that is there in your mind she is no less than Juliet either…well a more intelligent Juliet may be. But we both know that we could be dangerously wrong in our perceptions you could be Nana Patekar and I could be Mayawati (I could seriously be, mind you)

To cut the crappy story short whenever I have started something on net it has come to a bad end becoz either romeo or Juliet has been hazardously disappointed once they came out of the virtual world and met in person. Offlate I have completely deleted dating and romancing from my life for various reasons which I may tell you or may be you’ll read them in my Autobiography. Until Friday I thought you would be restricted to the virtual world only and that’s why I didn’t pick up your phone. I didn’t want to give a human voice to my fantasy. But then I thought over it. I should get real I gotta come out of my dream land.

So before I walk any further in my dreamland let’s both of us give each other an opportunity to get the real picture and avoid bigger disappointment. May be next Sunday provided I finish of the tasks I scheduled for yesterday on the next Saturday… :D. But if you think we need not meet and can continue to be some kind of email friend do lemme know it will be fine by me.

My Agra trip was good but not great, like I said I didn’t know any body besides my own dept. I still don’t know them. Either they were not very friendly or they found me unfriendly. I mostly spent time with myself, which wasn’t that bad I did miss a special someone’s company though. Particularly when I was burning the dance floor without a partner. More than 3 hrs…wonder how will it be with a partner…drinks weren’t a part of the luxury trip and there was no time to go to the bar or order room service…

Anyways, that’s it for today

—————————————-

 PC’s 7th mail

Cinderella

I shall not enter into a parawise reply. It is boring. So I shall try to be spontaneous. My heart rebels against explanatory emails and I would rather flirt around or talk mischievously but something in ur mail has made me sit up and inspired me to talk straight ( a thing which I hate doing ).

When I wrote the first mail I was intending to include provocation in my life. In other words – cut through the boring claptrap of day to day existence. But I am not a romance hunter. That is not to say that I do not like the idea of romance. But I do not think that one can imagine a romance with a person one has not even seen. Disembodied communications do not make for romance. It takes a visual effect to give any credence to such a strong feeling.

Why I mailed u was simple. I was delighted by ur chutzpah and ur spontaneity in that cess pool of high culture -“Best poets”. Remember the – “i sometimes say what I mean but sometimes I mean what I don’t say” mail to the Best poets collective??? In other words I found u interesting. There was nothing less and nothing more. When I parodied Shakespeare’s “King Richard the Second” I was not comparing u to Juliet. The take off was on John the Gaunt talking about England when he says – this pearl set among silver seas, this beautiful land, this England – or words to similar effect. So my take off was rather secular and had nothing to do with schmaltziness. It was a mail of a person impressed with the words of a woman and not her beauty; at least not yet :-). So this Johny Depp or Cleopatra conundrum was a mere tongue in cheek exercise and nothing more.

I could be Nana Patekar yes. and u could be Mayawati (no no – no one can combine crassness with superlative ugliness like that woman) but how does it matter. I may be a romantic but I am a lawyer too. A divorce lawyer who has seen the rather seamy side of the product of foolish romance – marriage, a bit too often to be having any rosy ideas..

Do I have romance in mind – NO! I have something better in mind. The joy of meeting an exciting person. I have no doubt that we have to meet. I cannot speak for u but I have no doubt that I shall be very happy to meet u. I feel it in my bones that we are people who are meant to meet up but have been separated due to the chance factor of an erratic destiny. Its time to undo the error.

when to meet up. As I keep on saying whenever. Sms me and I shall be there (unless I amy dying or some f**k**g client is wanting to kill me with his litany of sob stories).

Will it be a disappointment. Your best buddy could be right. Perhaps yes. Perhaps not. But I do not disappoint. And it is not because I look like Johny Depp, its because I am PC with all my flaws etc.

See u soon
PC

————————————
The above chain of mails started on 24th of July. The last mail from PC was on 12th August.

I, Cinderlla in the above story, suddenly decided to meet him one fine day. I was with Manoj and was hanging around PC’s office area, Defence Colony. I called him up and asked if he’d like to meet up over a cup of coffee though Manoj would be there. He quicky said sure….we met….Nothing after that.

I have once smsd asking “hey whatever happened to our knowing each other more? are we even gonna be friends or not? Yes is my answer tell me yours.” “yes, absolutely.” He replied. Well then ask me out you silly I thought in my mind, but he didn’t. Since then no call, no sms, no mails. I bumped into him couple of times in High Court and would see him again there someday…

I shall conclude this story by wrting this

The Sequel (to yesterday’s dream)

Let there be no sequel
Life is so much better if there is no tomorrow
If there is no after and no before
If only there was only that moment one
she was living
Her heart pounding, pulse rating higher, thinking, could this be him?
Dreaming of her dream once again thinking, this is him.
Tomorrow, there is no dream
Tomorrow she is suspicious, apprehensive
She can’t reach out
She dares not to expect
Tomorrow is truth, she knows bitter
Future was never faithful to her present.

5 thoughts on “And the clock struck 12

  1. its smartly structured, and tautly edited. i really enjoyed reading it, dear sanjukta. in spite of the fact that it was primarily letters back and forth. i wud have put in dates of individual mails and messages, with times. what say u?

    Like

  2. what do i say? you always write and glorify things related with heart breaks…cant you write about those men who you have hurt :-D it would be so much of an ego boost…

    Like

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