The Vagabond  

The Vagabond  

He says, “Flip a coin and decide,”

“Are you out of your mind?” I reply. “This is my life, not a chocolate or ice cream choice.”

He rummages into his pockets, stuffed with an eclectic mix he picks up while roaming the city. 

He finds his coin and grins, “Try it!”

I look at the waves coming one after the other. It’s a high tide. Soon, it’ll touch our feet and force us to leave. Or is it inviting me to enjoy the ride? Am I ready to take on the tumultuous sea? Look at the Sun! Even he can’t avoid drowning! Bleeding the sky! Getting lost in oblivion!

He! Heh! He! Ravi! The Sun, one and only one! And I? A street star like many millions.

He nudges my elbow and asks me to make a choice, “Heads or tail?”

I ask, “What if I don’t like It?”

“It doesn’t matter. We’ll choose the best of three or five.”

I laugh, “Are you insane? It means I’ve already made a choice. The moment the coin is flipped up, we know what we want.  We just need assurance from God to proceed. If we succeed, it’s great. Otherwise, God’s choice, destiny! So many people to shift the blame.”

“What if the coin doesn’t let you make a choice? Flip the coin three or five times. If it always lands on the other side. What’ll be your decision?” He asks.

“I think I’ll go with, what’s right,” I reply.

“Not the coin?”

“No! No coin! Let me think! You leave!”

He leaves me hanging with my thoughts. Leaving his footprints, momentarily on the sand, washed away by the next wave.


I, Kanika, had met him at a movie set. I’m a background dancer. Ravi was part of a crowd gathered to watch the shooting of a dance sequence. I spotted him in blue jeans and an expensive white t-shirt. There was something peculiar about his eyes, “Ah! Rat eyes!” 

Thronging crowds were good for Ravi’s pickpocketing business, a craft he loved to practice in the mind-boggling rat race. No one ever suspected him of the crimes. Ravi was a charmer, handsome Adonis with a killer smile. 

I missed my step when Ravi stealthily picked a pocket. 

The choreographer yelled, “Hey, you! Pay attention or get out!!”

He met me afterwards to apologise. 

“I saw you!” I spoke.

“I know,” He mischievously smiled.

“Will you have coffee with me?” Some magnetic pull allured me beyond rescue.

Ravi flipped a coin and said, “Yes!”

“What do you do besides your antics? Your looks defy your proposition,” I asked.

“I turn dreams into realities.”

“Movies? Real estate?” 

“No! I’m an explorer, a free spirit. I live each day with a flip of a coin.”

“Great! I love adventure, travelling.” I quipped.

“Where are you from? You must be rich!” I was intrigued.

“Don’t ask!” His face showed impatience, twisting a bit, and then recovered to an endearing smile, “I’m a nomad.”

“Your family, parents?” I asked.

 “Are you taking an interview? I’m leaving,” Ravi got up.

“Okay! Sorry! Your place or my place? I asked. 

Ravi flipped a coin, “Your place.”

That night changed into days, days into months.

I was having a fabulous time with Ravi. Amorous, lusty nights and days spent in exotic locations.

Ravi would flip a coin for everything. From selecting a city to choosing his next target. Kanika became his accomplice.

“Yeah! We conned.” The excitement, the fun afterwards, the adrenaline rush, the lovemaking was Splendid! Awesome!

“Ravi, let’s get married. We have enough money to settle down.” I asked.

“Hey! I’m a vagabond. Don’t you ever harbour any silly ideas!” He replied nonchalantly. There was no love, no emotion in his eyes.

I was aghast, “But! Is this what you want to do your whole life? Now, you flip a coin and decide. I leave or stay?”

He flipped a coin without a second thought and said, “Leave.”

Tears flooded my eyes! Earth spun! I held on to him to balance. How ironical?

He said, “Relationships are a trap. We’re having a good time. Enjoy the moment!”

His demeanour was spell-binding. We made love.


“Kanika seemed promising. I did a thorough background check.” Ravi thinks.

He looks back; Waves goodbye, “Everything is transitory in this world. Why give so much thought? Thank Goodness! I didn’t fall into her trap?”

He flips the coin. “Heads, I win. Good riddance!”

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