The Promise In The Bag

I was all alone with myself while coming back from work last night. The new music I downloaded during the day was keeping me company. Kaaya had already ignored my call and I was doing what I do whenever I am alone, iThink.

I was thinking about the man who was sitting next to me and talking with his friend so loudly that his voice was piercing through my headphones, disturbing my moment with myself. I raised the volume to the maximum, closed my eyes and tried to divert my attention from his high pitched tone to the contents in my bag. It happens with me at times that I end up doing the most unexpected things. Most of the time I am spared because I do not share my thoughts. Who thinks about what is there in his bag and what is not? iDo.

Anyway, coming back to my bag. i bought it from Flipkart in May 2013, got it delivered at  Kaaya’s address as I don’t have a permanent address in Delhi yet. She is sort of my PO Box. My bag has beige colour with brown leather strapping on the shoulder strap. It has a hidden inner pocket where I keep my passport and my business cards. The bag also has four small pockets in the front.

The pocket on the lower right corner contains two broken birthday candles. We couldn’t light them up on my birthday this year because my mood was suddenly spoiled at the apt moment. The kind of person I am, I don’t try to maintain my balance, mental balance that is, as per the situation or the person. So the mood spoiled, the candles were not lit and were put in the lower left front pocket of my bag where those candles will stay for atleast seven years, that is when Kaaya will turn 28 and we would finally be able to light those candles.

There is a lot of stuff in the lower right pocket. I put anything and everything in that pocket. The reason for the excessive use of this pocket is very simple. It has an easy access. I like to keep my jeans pockets empty, so all the change, bus tickets, business cards, pen drive, WiFi connector, room keys, restaurant bills, chewing gums, phone charger and walnuts are stuffed in that pocket.

Sometimes, I laugh on my own idea that the lower right front pocket is the perfect example of the state of our country. Chaotic, or else, unity in diversity.

The other two upper pockets are empty and are available for rent.

The back pocket contains multiple copies of HT Mini which is distributed free of cost at the various metro station entrances across the city. Each copy, otherwise, has a price tag of Re 1. Yes, there is no free lunch but there is lot of free crap to go through. As you read it while walking from the metro station entrance to the train at the platform, by that precise time, you feel that all the news printed in HT Mini were already brought to you by Twitter, Facebook, Barkha Dutt, Arnab Goswami and Rajdeep Sardesai. Yet, there is something in HT Mini that you will not find any where else. It is the “Dil Se” column on one of the last pages. Trust me, confessions can’t get crappier than that.

Done with the front pockets, back pockets and the secret inner pocket. Now comes the bag, which is also a pocket actually, the biggest one. The biggest pocket of my bag contains lots of air, to begin with. It contains a card as well, sent by my sister on Rakhi. The card has a very beautiful photograph of she hugging me sideways while wearing my shades. There is also a beautiful message written for me and that message will remain a top secret. There are pens, four pens. Three blue, one red. I haven’t used the red pen in a long time. It reminds me of my English teacher in school who used to mark my bad handwriting.

At this moment, I would like to thank Mr. Steve Jobs for inventing Macintosh Computer and true type fonts. iDont use pens anymore to write stories. iType.

There is a handmade notebook, just the size of my palm in which I write what I observe. There is my wallet as well which contains 25 rupees neatly placed in a transparent pocket. My first earnings!

There is a 500 GB hard disk drive which has a pictorial database of my life since 2008. There is 200 GB of free space available in the disk, again for rent.

Lastly, there is a notebook. Black hardcover with blank white pages, This notebook contains my hard work over the past six months. It contains the draft of a book and ideas for many more books. A few days ago, my boss asked me why do I carry my bag everywhere when I don’t even put the company’s stuff in it, when I don’t even carry a lunchbox? I said its habitual, iLied.

In another time, in another place, I used to keep a similar kind of diary which contained my poetry, stories and much more. I used to keep that diary in the drawer in my room, back home. That diary was torn to pieces and burnt. I lost all my thoughts back then and eventually I lost my home too.

But there is a dream I have. That in a better time,  and at a better place, I am gifting a parcel to my mother. I visualize her opening that parcel and looking at a hardcover book in it. The book has a title she readily recognizes. She shows the book to my father who does not react, because of the attitude he possesses.. She says she will read it. I know she will.

I carry her promise in my bag, the promise she will always keep and the promise she is yet to make.

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