A lazy Sunday afternoon, there she sat in the remote corner of the rich state Library of Bangalore with the book “A knight in shining armor” spread on the library desk.
After a long tiresome week she had decided to free herself from the clutches of the lethal office and home rut by losing herself into a romance novel and opened the list of 10 most romantic novels on the internet. In the list the title “A knight in shining armor “caught her special attention and had almost pounced at her mind with a question mark. “?” A big question mark that had been bawling in her mind since time immemorial. “Where is my knight in shining armor??”… She couldn’t answer the questions raised by her own tormented self but she surely could delight her strained mental faculties by reading this surreal saga. And so she reserved her Sunday at the State Library for this fascinating read. She retired to bed after uttering her usual ritual prayers and swamped by gratitude of having been able to find something to engage herself in.
Outside, the grey clouds scudding across the sky were in sharp contrast to the semblance of order prevailing inside the vast hall lined with book racks and with seats occupied with the readers. One such ordinary reader’s rushed eyes rummaging through the aisles for the best book that could come to his rescue for completing the report due tomorrow, fell on this carefree damsel rapt in some seemingly arousing novel. He could almost read the open pages from far with the aid of the expressions on her face. With her two brows furrowed and forehead creased with lines of anxiety she was a book easily readable to this reader at least in that second of time. She seemed to be pondering hard over the difficult answer to some easy question.
Driven by an urgent inexplicable desire to find out the question that seemed to be etched in every line of this pretty face he advanced towards her seat with an air of casual sociability and sat in the vacant seat across hers. He spread the book in his arms on the table and started reading through the pages, intermittently taking his eyes off to scribble in his notepad. His eyes on one such flight from the notepad to the book managed to steal a view of that face with surprise and questions written all over.
The story on the open pages is to this effect:
“Help me,” she whispered, her hand on the marble hand of the sculpture. “Help me find
my Knight in Shining Armor. Help me find a man who wants me.”
“Sitting back on her heels, with her hands covering her face, Dougless began to cry harder.
After a long while, she slowly came to realize that someone was near her. When she turned
her head, a stream of sunlight coming from a high window hit metal and so blinded her that
she sat back on the stone floor with a thud. She put her hand up to shield her eyes.
Standing before her was a man, a man who appeared to be wearing armor”
……..“Well, witch,” the man said in a deep baritone, “you have conjured me, so what now do
you ask of me?”
And then as though in extension to the story, she heard the boy seated across the table say “hi, what’s going on??” to her, to which she replied…”Oh she ‘s finally got her knight in shining armor..” At this his lips twitched into an admiring smile, then parted to introduce himself to the lady..“
“I am Arjun”
Smiling she replied “Priya ”.
And then she suddenly put her hand up to shield her eyes from the sunlight flooding in through the windows.
Smiling, Arjun said , “looks like the sun has driven off the clouds…”
Dazed by the coincidence of the events of the day and those in the book, Priya arranged her features into an evasive smile and dropped her eyes back to the book on the desk.
As though in response to some silent words , he said “ Carry on please, I won’t detain you from this interesting read any further”.. And waited for a second to have his eyes meet hers… but they seemed to be too glued to the pages to give so much as a passing glance to this boy who seemed to be as interested in her as she was in the story.
The light of the afternoon started fading into the dimness of the dusk as the two stories advanced , with the creaking of chairs heralding the close of the day.
“Hellooo, wind up .. fast…
we’re closing ..”
The strident voice of the library attendant snapped the only two readers left in the vast hall, out of their respective remote worlds.
Arjun and Priya slammed their books shut and rose from their seats in order to leave. In the process his eyes met hers again, and found them as blank as a white paper now.. Everything that was so clearly written in them was gone with the slam of the covers of the book.
Just when her lips started parting to say bye… the sound of his words interrupted her, “ So how was the book?”
She replied evasively “ very good, thank you”
He smiled at her , she gave a brief concluding smile too, a smile that left him wondering about the riveting maiden , hidden behind that mask of cool civility, that appeared so well covered and yet so persuasive and alluring…
He’ll have to find out..
To be continued.....
P.S: That's my first attempt at writing a story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Let me know through your comments if you like it.. I may write further ;)