Monday, December 17, 2012


I once participated in a 3 sentence story contest. Don't think I have pasted it here...

It was a windy night, with the wind howling in the narrow streets and banging on grimy glasses of closed windows.

The little child walked slowly through those narrow streets but her occasional sobs audible inside the homes with paper thin walls had no effect on the families inside, for food was scarce for their needs as well.

No one saw the mad old lady living in a tent at the end of the street giving her only piece of bread to the hungry child, but everyone saw the child crying over the old lady’s body the next morning.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Cold feet, Goosebumps all over and a thin veil of smoke around me. These were the least of my worries… more important was the dread - icy cold, lead heavy dread that slowly wraps itself around my heart. Its tentacle like fingers advanced when I was absorbed elsewhere and when they had the whole pulsating thing in their grip, they gave it such a major squeeze, I never recovered from it. That cold dread had become a part of my days and the evenings and the nights. I waited for the inevitable, because I knew it was coming. Even on days when it did not come, there was no respite. It was not an end, a mere break. What solace was to be derived from the postponement of misery? Especially when you know the misery will be back the next day, stronger and more forceful. The first time he struck me, I cried for hours on end. My eyes were red and puffy the whole day afterward and I pretended conjunctivitis at work. The dark glasses hid my eyes, the pain, the hurt, the sadness in them. What they could not hide was the strain in my voice. So I spoke little – very little. Those who cared did not get to hear my voice and those who heard it did not care. I hid behind a self created smoke screen, telling myself that there will be flowers and an apology waiting for me when I get back home. I’ll be angry for a while, but give in when he professes his undying love and devotion to me.

Today, I laugh at my naivety, my optimism and my inane belief in the goodness of mankind – especially of mankind. But there’s no way I could’ve known. I was young, not worldly wise enough and ridiculously woven into ideas of romanticism. Blame a protected childhood and hordes of Mills & Boons for that. What waited for me back at home was an evil shadow monster armed with a leather belt and spiked buckle. The welts on my back stung for years – they never healed. Every evening, he’d rip open the partly healed flesh, drawing fresh beads of dark crimson blood. He stopped wearing that belt after 2 days – it stank of blood and sweat soaked leather. He hung that belt proudly in his almirah and soon his clothes began to emit that smell too. No matter how much of Brut or Axe he showered upon himself, he was always enveloped in the perfume of stale blood and rotting, decaying leather.

The beatings wore him out usually and he downed 2 cans of pepsi after them. Ironically, he was a teetotaler and a non smoker. He was a well educated, highly placed professional in a reputed MNC that I had chosen as my life partner, almost against my parents’ wishes. “No vices” was the phrase I’d used to describe him to mum. No vices indeed. He didn’t need a plural. He had but one vice – to flag his wife everyday. But that took over everything else, a thousand times over. Husbands who smoke, drink or cheat on their wives can still be forgiven. But those who derive their satanic pleasures from seeing blood dripping across their wives’ flesh are not meant to be forgiven.

It was a matter of weeks in which I began to hate everything he did, everything he touched. I would shudder every time he stood close to me. The involuntary shiver of disgust was perceived as fear and his satisfaction bolstered his confidence, fanning the flame of monstrosity. Every belief he upheld in public began to seem like a façade, every word he uttered was laced in treachery. The very language he spoke seemed repulsive. That’s when I switched to Hindi. The first time we had met, he spoke to me in English and we had continued with the language even though both of us came from primarily Hindi speaking families. My switch from English to Hindi seemed to infuriate him and he was more brutal the evening I refused to answer him in the Queen’s language. He saw my action as a taunt and a vertebra bore the brunt. That evening I ended with a broken rib. I moved through my agony, as if nothing had happened. I knew he could batter my body, but would not break it. He was careful to land his blows where the world could not see them. After all, he had a reputation to protect. And since I had most nearly walked out on my family when they opposed our marriage, returning to them was out of question. I called it a quirk of fate, this suffering I had to suffer.

I vividly remember the day he was promoted. His friends demanded a party and he promptly threw them one. He arranged for everything himself – the food, the décor and the booze. I was informed an hour before the first guest arrived. I had to rush home from work and be ready to entertain his elite visitors. I was expected to be the perfect trophy wife – reveling in her husband’s new found success. That evening I saw his old self again, the one that had charmed me. He was an embodiment of charm - his words, his actions, his glances; his touches were all just perfect. He was the perfect doting husband. But the rose tinted glasses had been ripped away from my eyes long ago. I could see the knuckled fist when he had to be polite, the flared nostril when he uttered an endearment. I could feel the pressure on my arm when he held it. His hands were itching for his belt – his ever faithful belt, hanging in his almirah and waiting for his loving caress just before it scorched my skin. After the party was over, I received a verbal lashing for not being the perfect wife, for not displaying enough affection. While one part of me covered in fright, the other spat out in disgust. How could this man expect me to partake in his gross scheme after what he did to me, was still doing to me? He gave me a look, shook his head and disappeared inside. I waited for him to come out but he did not. I was frozen to the spot and dared not move. In the two hours I spent there, I passed through every emotion from self pity to disgust to intense hatred for the man whose snores now reached my ears. When I did get up, my hand brushed a bottle and it rolled on the ground. I leapt to pick it up. My hand clamped over it and the noise stopped. I waited for the sound emanating from the bedroom. The sound of his rhythmatic breathing, his snoring, a ruffle of sheets. There was none. None of these. The sound that greeted me was the soft creek of his almirah followed by muffled footsteps as he crossed the carpeted floor. I was frozen for the second time. The footsteps stopped. I knew he was standing right behind me. I could sense him and smell his belt. I closed my eyes, bracing for it to come crashing down on my back. It didn’t. Instead, he ordered me to pick up the bottle and stand. I did. He turned me around harshly and took the bottle in his had. It was a bluish tinged bottle with a clear liquid in it. The label said Bacardi. He read it and smirked. “Bacardi Nights” he said and thrust the bottle back in my hands. “Drink”, he whispered with a devilish glint in his eye. I looked up at him, slightly confused, unsure whether I heard his command correctly. “Drink” he said once more. I raised the bottle to my lips and brought it down, merely wetting my lips. Infuriated, he grabbed the bottle with one hand and my jaw with the other. Forcing my mouth open, he poured the rum into my mouth. I tried hard to not swallow it, allowing it to fill my mouth and fall to the sides. He kept pouring. I kept resisting. Finally, he left my mouth and punched my stomach. I gulped and the liquid burned through my insides like an acid. The horrible taste made me want to throw up, but the alcohol went straight to my head. Within a minute, I felt braver. I knew he would beat me and that I couldn’t do anything about it, but the fear had flown. The blows had started and I was not even aware of it. I felt something tickle my side and laughed. He, who was jabbing his finger at sides, was maddened. I don’t recall much after that, except for the fact that I woke up the next day with a headache. I had long since stopped noticing the pain in the other parts of the body. I knew I could not live with the awareness of that pain every moment. If every breath served as a reminder of the horrors of my life, I would die. And like each organism on this planet, the will to just be alive kept me going. I still do not know the reason I did not wither and break then. That would have been easier perhaps than to endure what I did.

Alcohol became my aide after that evening. I would already be high before he returned home from work and his beating would be a lot less painful. The mornings that followed were much worse, but I was willing to pay the price. I discovered the cigarette soon after, realizing it allowed me to get through the day. Dependant that I was on booze, I never took it before evening. I knew its role in my life, and was determined to keep it that way. There were only so many things about my life that I could control, I wasn’t about to relinquish that. In the evenings, I would often smoke before I drank. Holding the cigarette in my left hand, its unburnt end touching the side of my engagement ring. It looked out of place in my long shapely fingers, adorned by the wedding ring but felt just right. It felt as if it belonged. For him, flogging me had become a routine, something he did out of habit – like brushing his teeth or shaving his overnight stubble. But try as I might, I could not look at this as a routine. Perhaps it was this one thing that kept me sane then.

Today, my nightmare is over and I can’t believe it. No, I didn’t kill him… but I didn’t save him either. Last evening was another deception party – a gathering of a few elite officials and their wives. The Wasabi restaurant at the Taj was brimming with people and our table faced the entrance. I waited for him to take a place first and then proceeded to sit on the other side, wanting to put as much distance between us as I possibly could. He had his back to the door and when the mass of the bodies parted, I had a broken view of the entrance and the gallery beyond.

I heard the noise before I saw them - the gun yielding maniacs who open fired at everyone in view. The people shouted and tried to run helter-skelter. People on our table scattered and tried to duck below the tables. He was left standing as he looked around, tried to gauge what was happening around him. I saw the gunman turn, bringing his gun back in firing position. I was less than a two feet away and could have pulled him under the safety of the table. Perhaps he could have been saved. Any other wife would have done that, but I watched with bated breath. Every fiber in my body willed the gunman to shoot and the bullet to pierce the heart of my tormentor. The gunman lowered his gun once more. Perhaps he was looking for someone and the man left standing was not him. But then, another gunman entered. His face was contorted with a rage much stronger than his partner. He looked around the room and not finding his target, roared in anger. He opened fire at every person in sight, one lucky bullet finding its way where I had wished.

I have vague recollections of running, hiding and being rescued by black uniformed men after losing all sense of time. Others called it shock, I called it ecstasy.

I am back in the flat now, perched in front of the television, watching endless debates and the political drama around what the media calls 26/11 attacks. A bottle of Bacardi sits on the table nearby and a cigarette dangles from my fingers, touching the engagement ring yet again.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Meeting - Ep 3

"Last night, while watching a comedy show on TV" he said. "But that isn't good enough for you now. Is it?"

"No. It isn't. Whatever happened to letting yourself go and laughing?"

"Whatever happened to self control?"

"Self control? In laughing? Why should there be any? What is it about a laugh that needs someone to practice restraint?"

"It is not just about laughter"

"Then what is it about? And why is it not about laughter? We were talking about laughter. Right? That’s your problem Rishi, you go and mix issues where that is just not required" Rishi saw that Sasha's nostrils had flared up the way they always did when she was angry. Her temple was creased and her fingers trembled lightly. If she got any angrier, her voice would shake and then crack. Her BP would rise and the migraine could attack. He had seen it far too often in their short marriage, no in their short period of togetherness. So he changed his stand.

"What’s gone wrong Sasha?" he asked her softly. "We never fought when we were friends. And look where we've come to. We meet after ages and can't converse ten minutes before getting into an argument. Why did that happen?" there was pain in his eyes, his voice a mixture of sadness and regret. He was asking questions that he had dared not ask for years. Not even to himself. He had quietly accepted their separation as destiny and moved on, forcing his mind to not wander towards her, towards their relationship. It took an enormous amount of effort, but he managed to sever himself so completely, that he never bothered to learn about her whereabouts. A big thing, considering he regularly kept in touch with her parents. Rishi had fit very well into Sasha’s little family – Sasha, her parents and her granddad. He had bonded especially well with her grandfather and the two were even pen pals. After he and Sasha separated, he was hesitant of calling up her parents. They must’ve guessed it, so it was her grandfather who called him one day and chatted on like before. He gave no sign of anger, not even a resigned acceptance of his children’s fate. That’s when Rishi realised that nothing had changed between them and would not till he wanted it to. They talked about everything under the sun, but they never talked about Sasha. That’s where Rishi drew the line; perhaps grandpa guessed it and he never ventured into that ground.


Rishi’s soft voice seemed to have calmed Sasha as well. She lowered her gaze and then picked her cell phone from the table and started fiddling with it.  Rishi imitated her actions. Though he was glancing through the mails on his handheld, his thoughts were elsewhere. He remembered their first real fight after marriage. The blissful training was over and they were thrown into the thick of the corporate world. The trainee bunch that joined the Delhi office consisted of Rishi, Sasha and 3 others from their training batch. They were put into different within days of joining. For the first couple of weeks, they kept in touch. All 5 waited for each other and went for lunch together, even if it meant a cold lunch at 3:30. They called and IM’d each other and had the evening tea together. But then work caught up with them and one by one they began to drop out. It was easier to coordinate with a team member than 4 others from another department. To give them due credit, Sasha and Rishi and tried their best to wait for each other. It kept getting more and more difficult and then they made a pact to eat together 2 days in a week. They stuck to this for exactly 6 days. And decided there was no point being sentimental about it. After all, they ate dinner together everyday. Office was not the place to proclaim undying love to your spouse. But then, the love wasn’t undying… 

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Meeting - Ep 2

“So what else has changed?” Sasha asked.
“Well lets see… My city, my job, my field…”
“Your weight”
Rishi cringed at the last one. Years of living off the pizza and sandwiches had begun to show in now. Despite his regular jogs and walks, his girth had begun to expand. He let that one pass with a smile and asked her, “So what’s changed with you?”
“My profession”, she said with a faraway look in her eyes. “I am a business reporter with News Biz”
“News Biz?”
“That’s an upcoming news channel for business news”
“Ah, planning to eat into CNBC’s business?”
“No. We are planning to gobble it up whole”
They burst out laughing at that and the sound of it took Rishi to yet another memory tucked away in the corner of his mind.

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon during the training. They were sitting in the lounge downstairs and watching reruns of Friends. A couple other colleagues were hanging out with them and suddenly Sasha declares she is so fed up of watching old season rerun. They should do something fun, like head out into the backwaters and go boating & swimming. Everyone agreed to the idea and they all left to get ready. Sasha was still sitting on the sofa with her legs tucked under her.
“Come along pup. You’ll be left behind”, Rishi tells her.
“That’s the idea”, Sasha says with a grin. “The crowd was boring me. They were making too much noise. So I shooed them away” and she burst out laughing.
Rishi looked at her, a little surprised, a little amused but absolutely glad of being alone with her. The afternoon and the rest of the day that followed were put to good use by the two of them. The next morning when they walked sleepy eyed to the training room, the crowd threw meaningful glances at them. Of course from then on, their colleagues left them to themselves quite easily – a feat that was difficult to achieve till then.

“What are you thinking Rishi?” Sasha broke into his thoughts.
“Nothing, just one of those times you’d laughed like this before”
“At the supermarket?” Sasha smiled
“No, the lounge when you sent everyone off to the backwaters” He smiled back. “But the supermarket was good too. Everyone thought we were crazy”
“Thought? No, everyone knew we were crazy!”
“Yeah, you certainly were. Demanding a ride in the trolley along the supermarket aisles”
“Oh, come on. That was fun!”
“It must’ve been considering how you kept raising your arms above your head and laughing and asking me to run faster on top of it all”
“Yeah, you did go fast and so fast that we dashed into the manager when he tried to stop us!”
“Oh yes. That fatso took two whole minutes to get up after that! And three people had to pull him. No less. And you kept laughing all that while too”
“Hey, I was not the only one. You were laughing too. Don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy it.
Sheepishly, Rishi had to admit he had. “Maybe it was the Bacardi”
“Maybe it was me. You wouldn’t have any fun if I didn’t goad you”
“That’s not true”
“Really, have you had fun after we separated? When was the last time you laughed carefree?”

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Meeting - Ep1

It lasted for just a fleeting moment. A chance meeting of two strangers’ glances. But that one fleeting moment brought on a flood of memories. Because she was not a stranger. No she wasn't. Couldn't be in at least this life. And this was something Rishi had to acknowledge. He couldn't deny it. Finding Sasha at the check-in queue ahead of him had been a shock. They had drifted apart years ago, and neither had bothered to keep in touch. They had been absolutely unaware of each others whereabouts, which is why this chance meeting shook him a bit. After all, Sasha was still his wife!

The last ten years of his life came back to him in an instant. A mind-boggling array of memories & events, big and small, insignificant and life changing. Meeting Sasha in class 11th and falling in line with her long list of admirers. Befriending her, a comfortable friendship that got uncomfortable as his feelings deepened and then finally gathering courage and proposing to her. It was the last month of college and 6 years worth of suppressed feelings found an outlet in an auditorium full of people! During the farewell party, he had gotten to the stage and proposed to her in front of all students and teachers. Even the Principal had his mouth hanging open; for he hadn’t just said, “I love you” he had proposed marriage. Sasha then had coolly walked upto him and said, “Yes, I will”.

Rishi smiled as he remembered his wedding. It was held in the very same college auditorium for the lack of any other venue, barely a month after the initial proposal! The parents thought they were rushing, but Rishi and Sasha had been adamant. Their honeymoon had been in the college library, where they spent entire days preparing for the final exams. They had both been placed in the same software company and knew that the real honeymoon would be the three month long training they would attend in Kerala. And what a honeymoon it was! Perhaps the best period in their married life. No, not perhaps. It was the best period, said Rishi. When all the people standing next to him turned to look at him, he realised that he had spoken it out loud. And perhaps too loud. He had turned all red with embarrassment when Sasha turned, looked up to him and said, “Yes it was. Wasn't it? The backwaters were beautiful”. Rishi could only gape at her as she finished the formalities of her check-in and moved aside to give him way to the counter. When Rishi handed his ticket to the counter, Sasha asked the attendant to allot him a seat next to her. “You wouldn't mind, would you?” she asked him. “No” he said, shaking his head and went on to collect his boarding pass. “Your flight is delayed by an hour sir”, declared the counter attendant as the two moved towards the airport lounge.
They walked in silence next to each other, the way they had done countless number of times. But that seemed a lifetime ago.

Another life when they were younger and so full of hope for a fantastic life of togetherness. He remembered the trouble they had both undergone to be put in a single room during the training period. The guest house was a large multi-storey building with 2 bedroom apartments. Rishi and Sasha had to get their marriage registered urgently so that they could get a single flat allotted. The training in-charge had refused to accept Invitation card or pictures as the proof of marriage and demanded the legal, marriage registration certificate!

“Good afternoon sir, please make the entry for your lounge passes”. The lounge hostess' voice broke Rishi's thoughts. He fished out his gold credit card and handed it to her. She looked up at Sasha, waiting for her card perhaps. “She’s my…” he began and hesitated. “Wife”, she finished it for him. It has been a split second hesitation on his part, but she had sensed it or perhaps she had pre empted it. She had a knack for such things. “She hasn't changed at all”, thought Rishi. Neither has the way she looks. His eyes settled on hers. Still lined with kohl. It was only a little subtler than the heavy kohl lines she would wear back then, and smudge it all over his face every night. But that was not the only time Sasha's kohl smudged. He vividly remembered the dark crooked lines on her cheeks left behind by a river of tears. Remnants of their first bitter fight and perhaps the point where things started to fall apart. After merely sixteen months of togetherness.

“I’d like a coffee, black please”, Sasha was instructing the butler. “And what about you Rishi? The usual strong tea?”
“No, I’d like something cold. A lemon tea please”
“Still the invariable tea drinker?”, she had a hint of a smile now
“Yeah, only the form has changed”, he replied quietly.

to be continued

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The love story that never was

If your jaw drops in surprise - Well, thats Anks for you! I got so inspired by Ricky that I completed this one today. A short story - very short by my standards - it runs to 3 word pages in font size 12 and has just about 1482 words.

The love story that never was

"See... I told you na ke iss hum tum ki jodi kabhi nahi ban sakti.... :'("

I read the message from my friend Kunj once more. I had just come out of a grueling two hour meeting and was surprised to see five missed calls and three messages. Kunj's message was the first I read, and it didn't make any Sense to me. I read the other messages. One was from Prachi and the other from Vidya. Both college friends. Both wanted me to call them. Four of the five missed calls were from them. The last call was from my boss and I promptly returned it, only to be told to rush to another meeting. It was late afternoon when I emerged from the second meeting and like before, there were calls and messages from Prachi and Vidya. I dialed Prachi and she answered before the first ring was over.

"Where have you been?" She sounded excited and loud enough to be heard even without using the phone.
"Busy in meetings yaar. Kya hua, both you and Vidi are going bonkers"
"Arre, bahut achchi news hai. Guess kar"
"Prachi, mujhe bahut bhookh lagi hai. I've been in meetings since morning and am really pissed at some people."
"Oho, madam is in one of her famous moods"
"Ok. Ok..... bataati hoon. Bhavna is getting married"
"Yeah, shaadi fix ho gayi uski"
"Oh, kab hai?
"Kal?", I nearly screamed "Kal Shaadi hai?"
"No baba, shaadi 6 months ke baad hai. Kal sirf engagement hai."
"Oh", I said quietly. A feeling of shock and anger came over me. Shock at the suddenness of things and anger at getting the news so late.
"When did this happen?"
"Last week. The guy is an NRI. Came down to meet her last saturday. They met and now tomorrow is the engagement. Cool na?"
"Yeah, cool"
"What happened to you?"
"Nothing, I gotta go. Got a big campaign coming up. Haven’t had last weekend off. Will have to work tomorrow as well."
"Oh, then how will you come?"
"For the engagement"
"In case you haven't noticed, she didn't invite me.", my voice was seething with sarcasm, and a silent anger. An awkward silence followed, and Prachi wasn't sure what to say. I knew she wasn't at fault, and I shouldn't have snapped at her. So I apologised.
"Sorry, I shouldn't have said that. But I am really hurt Bhavna didn't call me."
"We were trying to call you. Me and Vidya and Bhavna in a conference."
"Oh, ok. But still yaar, can't come."
"Ok, take care. we'll catch up one of these days"
"Yeah. Bye"

I walked into the canteen and looked around for something to eat. The food was over, all that was available was cold samosas or sandwiches. I ordered for two grilled sandwiches and sat down to eat. It was then that Vidya called me.

"Hi madam"
"Hi Vidi.... main call karne waali thi tujhe"
"Yeah yeah, I know... Prachi called me after she talked to you"
"No, I'm not going"
"Why not?"
"Am busy this weekend. It’s not like I don't have a life of my own and am simply sitting around waiting for someone to call me at the last moment and I’ll jump up and go.”
I could see that she was angry. As angry as I was. “What about you”, she continued in the same stream “what will you say?”
And that’s Vidi for you- always presumes things and presumes them right.
“I have a pitch coming up. Can’t go even if hell breaks loose.”
We chatted for a minute about this and that, with the same question running in both our minds – Why had Bhavna not informed us?

While nibbling through the sandwiches, I thought about Kunj’s message. It made a lot of sense now, and behind the deliberate tone was a lot of hurt. I could see that. I decided to call him.

“Hello ji. Kyaa haal hai aapka?” There was a tone of false cheerfulness in his voice.
“Kunj. I just heard. Am sorr” He broke in between saying “Arre, why are you sorry re? Tu kuch kar sakti thi kya? Dekh Ami, sympathy mat dena mujhe. I am very sad for myself. But happy for her. Ladka achcha hai. Bhavna khush rahegi. That’s all I want yaar. And you are one of the three people who know my feelings for her and the only one who knows the whole story. Don’t just tell anyone. I am closing this chapter of my life”
“Arre, chill kar re”
“Yeah. Best of luck. And hope you find a girl who’s even better than Bhavna”
“Nobody can be better than Bhavna yaar. But it’s ok. I’ll be fine”
With that the call ended. I thought of the brave front Kunj was putting on and the intense disappointment in his voice when he’d said “Nobody can be better than Bhavna”

It was about six months ago when I learnt of Kunj’s feeling for Bhavna. An idle evening being whiled away on the net, resulted in a heart-to-heart with Kunj, a classmate of mine in college. I was never very close to him and knew him only through Bhavna. Bhavna, Prachi, Vidya and I were pals. And close ones at that. That’s the reason I was irked more than ever by Bhavna’s attitude towards us. For the last one year, she had broken off all contact with me and Vidi. The calls were unanswered and messages ignored. It was during this time that I had my conversation with Kunj. He wanted Bhavna’s contact number – for the one final time when he wanted to tell her of his feelings, instead of throwing about hints as he had been doing.

It wasn't love at first sight. Kunj saw Bhavna on the first day of his college. He was one of the sixty who began their college education and like the other fifty-nine, wasn't thrilled about it. Reason - he was stuck in this jail of a college. He had wanted a better college, but like thousands of students, he too had been forced to choose between a so-so college and a course of his choice and a good college and an uninteresting course. He had chosen the former and landed in St John's technical Institute, as a first year wishing to get a bachelor of Engineering degree in Computer Science. And that’s where he met Bhavna and Sarita and Pari and Neelam and Poonam and Lipi and a lot of girls who were all first years in his college. When he learned that Bhavna would be in his class, he was pleased. She was a pretty and petite girl, who had a cute smile. They got talking, and suddenly she asked him.
“Are you a gujju?”
“Yes, why?”
“I am one too”
“Yeah, guess it takes one to spot another”, she laughed at her little joke and Kunj joined in. From that day, they always talked in Gujrati, even when a horde of friends surrounded them.

Bhavna wasn’t mindblowing. She was a gentle girl and it was her sweet disposition and naturally caring nature that made Kunj fall for her.

“She really cared about me Ami” Kunj had told me “Always helped me with assignments and journals. Even allowed me copy in the tests. And you know what, she would also check if there were mistakes in the papers I had written. Imagine, if she cared so much about my studies, how much she would care about my life, my family?”

I didn’t have the heart to tell Kunj that she was like this with everyone. She had a natural mother goose instinct. And didn’t exactly understand his reasons for falling in love with her. Maybe he wasn’t telling all. But, I didn’t press him. I just heard him tell me of the times when he tried to tell Bhavna of his feelings for her. Long lines on the chat window – Kunj’s story in his own words.

“I really like you Bhavna” I told her one day. And she said “So do I. We should always remain friends. Don’t forget to call me for your wedding”

This to my mind was the clearest indication of Bhavna’s feelings. Kunj was a classmate, a friend. Maybe to Kunj’s mind there seemed a possibility. But then, love is blind. I’d given Kunj Bhavna’s number and mail id when he’d asked for it. I knew that he’d called her, but I don’t know what that conversation came to. Kunj didn’t tell and I didn’t ask. I’d thought of him often for I knew Bhavna and Kunj weren’t together. Prachi would’ve told me and Vidi if this was the case. And now Bhavna was getting married. A heartbroken Kunj was putting on a brave face – It’s a love story that never was.

Friday, July 14, 2006

It tastes yuck - a 55er

"Uhh, I've had this before, and this one I don't like"

"Try this M'am. Its called Raspberry delight"

"What do you think Aman? Should I take this one again?"

"Not this Jaanu. It tastes yuck"

Red-faced, she replaced in the hands of an equally embarrassed salesgirl, the tube of lipstick she was planning to buy.

the end