I looked into her eyes and knew she had secrets, the kind that if exposed could definitely ruin reputations of a lot of people in that crowded room. Not for once did I catch her attention though. Her gaze was fixed upon the ice cubes in her glass as if they held the window to the whole wide world and if only she could escape this darned party she would be getting herself lost in one of its wonders. She was beautiful and successful. Exactly the kind of lady I would like to be one day.
That day was long ago. I don’t even know where Neepa aunty is anymore. Once I had read about her in a magazine. I think she had recorded an album. I remembered her having a remarkable voice and Nazrulgeeti’s always suited her better than Rabindra sangeets. They were my favorite too. And today here I am, neither beautiful nor successful but with only one thing in common – the urge to get away from this crowd into the wilderness of that unknown world of wonders.
I have secrets too. Secrets that have nothing to do with others but myself. About things I’ve done, people I’ve loved, things I’ve witnessed and felt, things I’ve written. And I want to sing too - about all those things unsaid. But instead, I smile at known and unknown faces alike and ask the bartender to pour me another whiskey, this time on the rocks and comply with my host’s request to sing a ghazal.