Friday, June 28, 2013

Till Death do us Apart

                It was Saturday evening. Tanmay was looking forward to this small get-together planned by his friends. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just his close friends were meeting for drinks and dinner. They had planned to meet at their regular hangout. This had been their way of life before marriage. They would drink and dine and then spend the night at one of their houses. Slowly everyone had started settling, changing jobs and getting married, which left little time for a boys night.
                He was at his second drink. On the other side of the room, women were already getting the plates ready for dinner. He looked at his friends who were resigned on the bean bag or watching TV. They appeared to be having fun but Tanmay still felt guilty for spoiling their plans.

                He had not expected Meera to throw such a fit when he told her about his weekend plans.
                "Great! I wait all week for the two days I can spend with you in peace and you plan a boys nightout!" she had made him feel miserable.
                "Meera, I did not plan this but I want to go. We stay together right? What will happen if I m not around for a day?"
                " Why don't you just say that this marriage is suffocating you now? You are tired of me. That is why you try to avoid me." She was getting hysterical. She went to the bedroom and started crying.
                 He took pity on his wife. She was lonely and he felt responsible for her sadness. They had been married for 5 months now. For the first two months they lived in perfect bliss. It was everything that they both had wished for. Their's was a love marriage. Meera's parents never whole heartedly agreed to the match and it was taking a toll on her relation with her parents. Meera had to leave her city and settle with Tanmay in a new place. She was struggling to come to terms with the changes and she was peerless here. HE felt selfish now about thinking of a night over. He went to Meera to pacify her.
                He cancelled on his friends. Vignesh, his best friend, figured out the reason of Tanmay backing out. He was the one who suggested they all bring their spouses along. Venue had to be changed. It was now Vignesh's house. His wife Sumitra was welcoming about the sudden plan.
               Tanmay was relieved and could guess that Vignesh was behind this plan. Meera was happy and Tanmay thought it would be great if she bonded with Sumitra. She seemed to like Sumitra and they hit it off well.

               "Who are you chatting with?" she peeked over his phone.
               "Uh..oh . It is Sumitra. She is inviting us for dinner next weekend."
               "Tell her we have plans." She gave a flat response
               "What plans?" he asked, perplexed.
               "Give me the phone, I want to see the chat." she snatched his phone and herself typed the reply.
               "I thought you both got along well." he mumbled.
                Meera had stormed out of the room by then.

              " I want to join a gym." She said out of the blue. They were watching a movie at home. IT caught him off guard. Yes, she was putting on weight in the last few months but never made any effort to get into shape.
              " Well, have you thought of any gym?" He had learnt to not refuse her outright. It enraged her. She wanted him to listen to what she had to say first and then comment.
              " Yes, I want to join StayTrim."
              " That's far away. Why don't you join nearby?" he asked.
              " I don't want to." Again a flat response.
              "Wait, doesn't Sumitra go there?" It suddenly clicked him that Vignesh lived in vicinity of that gym.
              "Oh, so you know where she goes to gym!" she smirked.
              "What is that supposed to mean?"
              "Tanmay, don't think I m a fool. I saw the way she looks at you. She told me you were friends before she got married to Vignesh."
              "Ofcourse! Vignesh introduced her to all of us. We knew her before their marriage. They too had a love marriage if you don't know!" he was getting irritated with her.
              "You loved her. Didn't you?" her eyes flamed with anger.
              " What is wrong with you? I loved you and married you. Where does Sumitra come into picture?"
              "She was in your life before me. She was close to you. Vignesh married her and so you looked for someone else. You keep comparing me with her. You wanted her but you have to make do with a substitute." she kept crying.
              "Meera, everything you are saying is nonsense. You know it too that I love you. Sumitra is nowhere close to you. Stop getting harassed over it. You are the only one in my life."
               This seemed to calm her. She never joined the gym.

              They had invited Tanmay's cousin, Shreyas, for dinner. He was a playful, humorous person. Having him over meant nonstop PJs, riddles and continuous blabbering. He kept praising Meera for her cooking and she seemed to be in good spirits. She was receiving his jokes sportingly.
              "You know there was this lady who was extremely suspicious about her husband. She checked his clothes everyday for a strand of hair or a lipstick mark. One day she found nothing and went up to her husband and said, You have become so shameless that you are now having affairs with a bald woman."
               He thought he cracked a good one but both Tanmay and Meera were quite.
              "Ok guys, you didn't like it." HE said. He had a call and went to receive it.
              Meera glared at Tanmay. When Shreyas returned he could hear only clanking of spoons and chewing sounds. It was uneasy. Something was amiss. Tanmay had been reserved but never this silent. Meera seemed to have extreme mood swings. By the time he left things had become normal.

              "So you have now been ranting about me. He tried to humiliate me with that joke."
              "Meera there is a limit to everything. When do you think I went up to talk to him?" he asked. She had been watching him like a hawk all the time.
              "Don't you understand that everyone here hates me. They want to break our marriage. Sumitra lures you. Your friends instigate you against me. You cousins humiliate me. What have I done? Why are they stealing you away from me?" She shouted.
              "Meera no one is taking you away from me. I promise I won't go. Be calm. Your blood pressure is shooting up." He held her as she was fainting.
               He set her on the sofa and brought her a glass of water. She had fallen asleep by then.

              "Sir, there is Mr Shreyas wanting to meet you."
              "Let him in."
               "You look like a ghost!" Shreyas said as soon as he entered.
               "Please Shreyas, I m not in a mood to kid around." he cut him
               " I came back yesterday because I left my bag on your shelf. I heard everything." he said grimly.
               " Oh.. That was nothing. Meera is a good wife. She was just low yesterday." He dismissed the topic.
               "Tanmay, does she do all this normally or only when she is very angry?" he asked.
              " What has that got to do with anything?" he asked. He hated talking about his personal life.
              "Once in a while, it is okay if someone speaks like that in mad rage. We all tend to say things we don't actually mean. But when someone really means what they say without seeing any reason to do so, it spells trouble. If she feels  like this all the time, she is not well."
               "She is fine ok. I don't need your expert advice about my wife." He retaliated.
               "You need my expert help. I suspect she is suffering from morbid jealousy."
               "You shrinks just think every scuffle is sign of some mental illness."
               "What you are doing is going to affect you both. She is losing control and you are becoming a victim. She is isolating you from every one, she is guarding your every move, she is accusing you of imaginary affairs, she is constantly living in fear that you will leave her for someone else, she is jealous of people who even talk to you! You think this is normal? You feel giving up everything is going to satisfy her?"
              "That girl gave up everything to be with me. I will do whatever it takes to make her happy."
              "You are not responsible for this. No one is! If you get hurt, you treat it. You don't go around hurting others to cure yourself. Get my logic? If she doesn't get therapy, she will affect you."
              "You want me to ditch her in an asylum?"
              "Which century are you living in? You can take her to therapy and get her home everyday!" he reasoned.
             "And you really think she will just happily hop along? She will be broken if she gets to know that I m taking her to a shrink. She will feel I m trying to prove her mad so that I can marry someone else."
             Tanmay broke down. Shreyas was convinced that Tanmay knew about the situation well before him but was only not ready  to face it. He would have to first counsel Tanmay and then Meera.

            "Man and wife found dead in Nira apartment"
            The headline shocked everyone who knew Tanmay and Meera. It was said that the couple died due to rat poison. It was suspected that it was mixed in their porridge. Shreyas had given statement that Meera was melancholic and her depression coupled with her aggravated mental condition could have let to this extreme step. Besides, she was the one who cooked for them. Rat poison was bought long before their marriage and it looked like an impulsive decision. No foul play was suspected.
            No one would know that it was Tanmay and not Meera who had added the poison. He seeked freedom but he also could not leave her. It was their way out..

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Be in my shoes

            "You can't actually be in love with him" Alisha reasoned
            " I know it is unexpected, but isn't that the beauty of it?" Nisha tried to convince her sister.
            "Nisha, think about it. He is your patient."
            " Not anymore. I just certified today that he has completely recovered." Nisha smiled.
            " Nisha I have never told you this before even though I m not exactly a fan of your choice of men. Please take it really slow. There is something about this man that gives me creeps."
            " Alisha, trust me there is nothing to worry about. I have known him for 3 months now. You have met him just once and should I remind you the circumstances under which you met? He had just lost his family and was himself recuperating."
            "Alright. I can't win an argument with you but I sure can protect you. You are all I have. I just want you to be safe." she had tears in her eyes.
            "Aww, I will be fine. He is a nice man. You will like him when you get to know him. But no hurry." She wiped her sister's tears.
            They truly were all they had. They had lost their mother when they were too young and their father a few years back. She understood Alisha's plight. She herself had been apprehensive when Alisha had started dating someone. Alisha was the naive one and Nisha had always been protective of her. Nisha was almost always a good judge of people. She really thought Arnav was a good man. He was a bit reserved initially but had opened up to her. He was a painter and had that air of a recluse in him. She would keep talking to him and he would look at her like she were some exquisite work of art. It had flattered her when he had painted her. She had never had men who did that to her. She somehow intimidated men. Arnav was the first one to break the wall. Alisha, on her part, was always a charmer.
              4 weeks later

           "You did what??" Alisha shrieked on the phone.
           " I moved in with Arnav" Nisha said calmly.
           "Are you out of your mind? I m gone just one week for a work trip and  you move in with that loser?"
           "Alisha don't you talk about him in such a way." Nisha warned.
           "Oh, so this man is more important than your sister of 26 years?"
           "Alisha, he has had an accident. There is no one to look after him. I had to stay with him.Just try to be in my shoes and think" she tried to make her understand
           "Wow! How does he manage to get injured so many times?" she taunted.
           "Ok that's enough." Nisha was irritated.
           "You listen to me. The moment he is able to manage for himself, I want you out of his house. You get it? You move back in before I reach there or else forget you have a sister." she shouted
           "This is ridiculous!"
           "Do you promise?"
           "Okay fine!" she snapped the phone shut.
          A month later

      Alisha came home famished. She plundered the fridge but there was nothing to eat. The house looked untouched for weeks. So Nisha had lied. She hadn't yet come back. She was furious. She picked up the phone and dialed her number.
        "Alisha! Thank God you are here." Her voice cracked on the phone.
        "Nisha, where are you?" her anger gave way to hysteria. What was wrong with her sister?
        "Alisha just come to my office in an hour." she whispered
        Alisha took a quick bath. Her cupboard was a mess as usual. She picked up Nisha's neatly folded office wear . Thank god she hadn't taken all her clothes! Alisha often wore Nisha's impeccably folded and ironed clothes when in a hurry. Her stomach was grumbling and she felt faint with fatigue. She wore Nisha's heels too. They were a perfect fit. She set out for Nisha's office. She would order something from their canteen, she thought.
         Nisha folded the papers she had found and stuffed them into her purse. She was horrified and her heart was throbbing against her ribs. She had to get out before Arnav came out of the shower. She picked up her keys and was about to set out. She thought of telling Arnav she was leaving. He would be suspicious if she didn't.
         "Arnav! I m leaving for work. Some emergency." she knocked and shouted.
         She walked out of the door and shut it behind. She wasn't coming again!
        She had reached early. She waited for Nisha. The office boy had brought in some snacks and coffee for her. She was nibbling at the last pieces of the crackers when she heard footsteps. It was still 15 minutes to 9.
        "I knew I would find you here." he smiled, opening the door wider and entering in.
        He closed the door behind him and walked towards her.
         She was stunned to see Arnav. What was he doing here and where was Nisha?
        He paced the distance quickly and put his hand on her mouth, suffocating her.
        "Bitch, I loved you so much but that wasn't enough huh? You had to go prying on my past!" his eyes flamed with anger.
        "Now that you already know, you will leave me too" he acted depressed.
         It was chilling. The way he smiled after that... He pulled out the knife he had been hiding and stabbed her multiple times. Alisha was numb with fear to feel it go inside but as he withdrew the weapon, blood and screams gushed out. Screams that no one could hear..
        She had first gone to the investigating officer. That was why she had called Alisha in an  hour's time. She had met ACP Tripathi who was investigating the double murder.
        "How did you get these papers?" asked the officer
        "I have been living with him." she was disgusted to say.
        "This says he was being treated for his violent behavior. Your report does not mention any violent streak."
        " He is a smart one. He was acted like a typical case of depression and shock over the murders. He is a bloody good actor to have gone undetected."
        "What makes you think he killed them?"
        " Because he stabbed his pet the exact same way he stabbed his mother and girlfriend."
        " Any idea why?"
        " His report says his cat went wandering and he was mad at it. I have no idea why he would kill his mother and girlfriend though."
        " You have his photograph?"
        "Yes, why?"
        "Because if he is smart enough, he is already missing. You brought his secret and he knows it by now."
        "Oh my God! He is going to come after me. His photographs are in my office."
        "We will give you protection. Let us first go to your office."
        "Madam, you are here! Then who is in with Arnav sir?" the office boy was shocked.
       "Oh my God, oh my god! Alisha!!" She ran to her cabin with the ACP and office boy in tow.
        Alisha was lying in a pool of blood, dead. Arnav had made it in time and had escaped. The office boy was new. He had no idea that it was Alisha and not Nisha that he had served. They were exact replicas. One couldn't tell them apart. They were identical twins.They had the same trim figure. They had the same fair complexion. They had the same wavy shoulder length hair. They had the same dark brown eyes. They had the same faint eyebrows. They had the same curved lips and they had the same smile. Only Nisha always wore heels which made Alisha look shorter. However, that fateful day, Alisha bridged that difference. She was in Nisha's shoes..
        Nisha cursed herself. She should have known better. Arnav was her patient and she was a psychologist..


He was holed up in a cottage, unknown to any of his acquaintances. He needed his space, which also proved an abode to hide now.
The newspapers and news channels were splashing his photos.
He had made a mistake! He had killed the twin. Anyway she deserved it. She always was against him.
The world was against him. Even his mother was against him.
What was the need to warn his girlfriend about his past? They would have lived happily if his mother had not told her about his history of violence. He had heard them talking and had boiled in rage. She would have left him if he had not killed her.
Nisha too deserved to die. He would make the kill.. Only when things cooled down, he would resurface to get his revenge..

Thursday, June 20, 2013


                        He sat at a table diagonal from where they were sitting. He could see him staring at her while she placed the order for them. As if catching his gaze, the guy turned towards him. Quickly he hid himself behind the menu card. The guy ignored the man ducking and carried on with his date. 
                        The waiter came on to his table. The waiter was a young man who did not miss the fact that this man came to dine whenever the couple on the earlier table visited. This man always ordered what the man on the other table ordered. He thought it was strange how he eyed the couple every time but never once strike a conversation. It appeared that the man knew them but he was a waiter and he had no business interfering.
                         He saw them holding hands and talking. She blushed every few seconds when he spoke something. She touched his arms as they bantered. Pangs of jealousy rose in him. She pulled his cheeks when he gave a puppy look and acted upset. Acid bile came up in the throat of the man sitting across. He gulped down the glass of water in front of him. His eyes full of hatred and hurt was blurred with tears. He was addicted to the pain that unleashed each time he saw them together. He came back to savor the suffering every time, wanting for more. He lay awake at night, relieving those moments of hurt. The film reeled in this mind all the time, all week, until it was time again to get a fresh wound. He came to get an eyeful of his love. Like his love, his pain refused to end. He refused to let it go. 
                         She knew he was staring. She was wary of his presence. What could she do? He never talked or gestured or did anything to provoke her. He just watched them in silence. That isn't a crime right? Yet she felt uneasy being aware of him. What did  he want? Why wouldn't he just leave them alone? She felt her partner squirm. So he noticed too! Would he confront him? Would he create a scene here? She worried about the consequences. Her man was far too well built to take on the guy on the other table. It calmed her a bit even though she did not want any violence.
                         He thought about the older days. When they would spend hours with each other. They were best friends. They would always be there for each other. They would understand each other without ever saying it out aloud. He hesitated to let his feelings known. Afraid of being shunned by the only person he loved so much. His love had  become an obsession. He started getting possessive and did not like to share his friendship with anyone else. It created tension, yet they always stuck together. Until a third person came along and swept his love away from him. He hated the intruder. 
                        He was getting infuriated. He had tried his best to ignore the man on the other table. The man was relentless. He had been tailing them for last three months. He was aware that his girl was finding it creepy but he had been putting it off for too long. Not anymore. This was getting out of hand. He had thought he had it under control but sense seemed to be evading the man. If he continued to act resilient then this man would take it as a license to keep spoiling their dates. They kept a show of being cool but they both were getting bugged by his intrusion.
                      He had been drunk that night. He had stood outside the house of his love. Waited for a glimpse of that face which blew all his worries away. Instead he had seen silhouette of two people kissing on the terrace. One of them was his love. He knew the contours well enough to get that right.
                    He was mad with rage. He had thrown the beer bottle at the window. They both withdrew from each other's arms. They looked at him in shock. He had shouted out his love. They had closed the curtains and ignored him. He stood there all night  like a fool. In the morning, they had him driven out. 
                    " I think we should leave" she said
                    " No. Why should we?" he asked
                    " Because you have been staring at my head all this while. I know he is distracting you."
                    "What nonsense!" he frowned
                    " Admit it, he's been bothering you. It feels scary."
                    " I will set it straight then." he got up saying.
                     "What the hell is your problem?" he asked banging on the table
                     "She is my problem." he replied coolly pointing at their table
                     "Leave us alone. I will report you to the police!" He shouted at him
                     " What for? For dining at this restaurant?" he asked curtly
                     "You know what? You are sick." he turned back.
                      "That bitch is sick. You will realize soon." He shouted back.
                     That moment spelled doom. The people at other tables stopped eating and had their eyes glued on the two men. The woman he was referring to left her chair and picked her bag. She wanted to pull her man out of a scuffle and head home. The enraged man turned back and slapped the other man hard. The impact of that slap was fast and unexpected. The man who had been still as a rock all these days was a volcano within. A volcano with a loaded gun.
                     He pulled out his gun and shot at the woman . She was just about to hold her man's hand and collapsed on the floor right away.
                     "You sick bastard!!! What have you done?" he was hysterical.
                     They had driven him out. He had pleaded to be given one chance to talk but they had refused. The woman had been nagging her man to cut ties with his friend. She was uncomfortable with the friendship. So much possessiveness was unhealthy. The night's events had convinced her that there was more than what met the eyes. 
                     "I love you.. I love you very much. Please don't do this to me." he had begged
                     " You are sick and you need a doctor. Don't you ever come to me again. You disgust me." His best friend had said. His best friend had closed his door on him.. For a woman..
                     " One day she won't be between us!" He had promised him.
                     "Get lost!" He had taken it lightly.

                       "I told you, one day she won't be between us" he smiled like a maniac..

Sunday, June 9, 2013

WeConnect on WeChat

              College days are the best days of life. Or so they say. You make friends for life, you live a carefree life, you could give anything to go back to that time. I didn't even want to think about my college. I pushed back those memories to the remotest corner of my mind. Each day I walked further away from those thoughts. So far away that I thought it would never come back to me. Not in this lifetime.
              That afternoon, I sat by the window watching the patterns the rain made on the glass panes. It was that hour of the day that I had to myself. That precious time which I used to ponder over the simple joys of life. To look at the lush green that adorned my garden, to feel the wind in my hair, to smell the roses I nurtured. It was in those moments of simplicity that my mind wove complex tales. Tales which when turned to paper earned me my bread and butter. It was ironic how that professional college churned out a writer.
              "Mummaa, see what I installed!!" my son came running from his room. This gadget freak son of mine! My smart phone had apps that I  had no idea about. I would fidget around with basics of the phone and he would master it in no time.
              "No more games! Did it charge you anything?"
              "It's a free app Mumma. Its WeChat. Didn't you see the advertisement? Now you can chat with anyone, anywhere. You can even leave voice messages." He started explaining how the app worked.
              "You know I don't chat with anyone. Let me delete this." I said
              He looked crestfallen and I had no heart to delete it looking at his face.
              I was working on the weekly column when the phone beeped. It was a voice message on WeChat. It was my dear husband sending me a "I love you". So my son had installed it on his phone too. I quickly typed "I love you too" as I didn't have time to figure out how to send a voice message. I saw some notification on that app. I clicked to see what it was. The names made me nervous. They were recommended friends. Friends? No way!
              " I think you should talk to them." My son Daan was peeking over my shoulders
              "What did I tell you about not reading other's messages Daan?" I tried to ignore his remark.
              "Oh come on Mumma, you never talk to any of your old friends. Start now."
              Before I could think of anything, he quickly clicked the "Add" button. There it all started!

               "OMG!!! Is this you Maithili?? Really!!" Manasi pinged the very next second.
              "Hey Hi.." I replied, my hands trembling.
               She started Live Chat.
               "Heloo! Where are you?" She asked in her usual chirpy tone. We used to often tease her about her  voice. I still remembered the way she sang the Vicco turmeric jingle as a part of our first year introduction challenge.
               "Right here. How are you?" I mumbled. It was strange to start a conversation like that. We never really asked anything like that as friends!
               " I m good. You became a writer I heard. Not that you had to "BECOME". You always were. But I was kind of hoping that I would get to know it from you. You know I always thought we were meant to last till the end. Have those girly parties and keep talking for hours and hours and hours" She kept on blabbering.
               "Manasi make sure she hasn't slept." A soft velvety voice intervened. Instantly I knew it was Akshata. The singer in our group. The years hadn't taken away the charm of her vocal chords.
               " Why did you not come to the reunion?" It was one person I could not bear to hear. Nupura. She joined too when Akshata added her.
               "Isn't it clear that she didn't want to keep contact with you guys?" a male spoke. Vihaan..
               "Or maybe she didn't think we would ever forget that night." Karan joined the conversation.
 No matter how much I replayed this scene in my mind, I could not keep from crying. The 5 people I loved so much. The 5 people who took away everything from me. The 5 people from whom I hid for 10 long years.
                "Why are you guys asking me where I was? Did you ever care? Did you all even think about the consequences of your actions?" I shouted in fury. How dare they blame me for evading them?
                 Nupura: Did you care about what you did to me?
                 Me: I have told you a million times that I did not do it purposely. I was drunk! Don't you get it?
                 Nupura: You kissed him right in front of me. What do you expect me to say?
                 Karan: That entire wild night before the farewell was a bad idea. It was my fault that I got her drunk Nupura.
                 Nupura: That guy was a jerk. He wasn't drunk to do that. But you were my friend. It hurt me and you of all people should know that I don't talk until  I have healed.
                Me: Not just you but the entire gang isolated me. Why? Because I confessed, in my drunken boldness, what I thought of him? I fancied him alright. With Manasi and Akshata being so close and Vihaan and Karan being like peas in a pod, I just had no one I could talk to about it. I could not confide in anyone and then you all get me drunk and I spill my heart out. What do you guys do? Leave me all alone.
               Manasi: It was weird. We didn't want to take sides and mess up but we couldn't handle it either.
               Me: You all ignored me on the farewell and I was kept aside. No one even noticed me walking away. My friends just dumped 4 years of friendship for one mistake.
              Vihaan: We could have come around Maithili. We would have. Didn't your walking away make it worse?
              Me: What would anyone do if they were blamed for the suicide attempt of their best friend? There was contempt in your eyes. I felt like a murderer. My friendship was hanged without any trial. I had no chance to justify or defend myself. I endured my punishment in silence but did that help? No! The entire college treated me like I had blood on my hands.
              I could hear her sobbing  as soon as I completed my sentence. There! I was the bad guy again.
           Nupura: I admit I was weak. I shouldn't have taken that extreme step. I could have reacted better but I wasn't the tough one. I broke down emotionally with that heartbreak. I did not have it in me to accept it and move on right then. That relation kept slipping through my fingers. I could see that he was hitting on you. I could see he was no longer into me. I could see his wandering eyes and yet I chose to IGNORE it. You having feelings for him was the last straw. It blew away that secure shack or whatever it was. 
            Me: I m relieved that you at least see now  that I did not steal your guy.
            Nupura: I m glad that I walked tall and didn't go behind him. I m in a much happier place now.
            Manasi: Oh! How could I forget to tell you this? Do you know that I m married?
            Me: Haha I did not hope for any less. Who did you marry huh? (Trust her to ease the tension!)
            Manasi: You know him already. Make a guess.
            Me: I hardly remember anyone other than the 5 of you. Oh wait! Are you telling me he is among us?
            Manasi: Yes!!!
            Vihaan: Its me, Vihaan!
            Me: What??? Vihaan? Seriously? How? Why?
            Manasi: What do you mean why? 
            Me: I mean why did he fall in love with you so late :P
            Vihaan: Correction. I just told her late. I thought I had no chance. What with all her dreamy notions!
            Me: Well this is a huge surprise. What about the rest of  you?
            There was no response and I understood that the idiots were all trying to press the talk button at the same time. Some things never change.
             Akshata: I married Pratz last year. We stay in Mumbai. I work in Andheri now.
             Me: Wow! Why am I not surprised? Its just how you always wanted. Well done and congrats!
             Karan: I m still single and working in US. Pretty chilled life here..So yea going good.
             Me: You know I always thought Vihaan will land up like that and you will become a professor.
             Vihaan: Destiny swapped. Our college has the coolest professor ever. 
             Me: I need to pinch myself now. You and professor! Wow, now this is a shocker.
              Manasi: I almost fainted when he told me he is going to stay with me. We studied together in US and came back to work in academics.
             Me: Aha! Noble deeds!
              I hesitated to ask her. Someone had to break the ice, but who?
             Nupura: I married a chef! His name is Nirav and he works at Trident. We have a daughter. 
              I was thankful that she initiated this conversation. After the havoc that broke out last time we discussed relations, I could not muster the courage.
             Me: That is..that is just mind blowing. Chef's wife.. wow.. What's your daughter's name?
             Nupura: Mili
            There was an awkward silence. Mili was my pet name... within the group... and she kept her daughter's name after me! My emotions choked me to say anything further until Akshata broke the reverie.
             Akshata: What about you? You took every body's interview. Where have you been hiding?
             Me: The hills. Like I always wanted to.
             I knew they would understand what hills meant. It just meant I followed my passion and became a writer.
             Nupura: Married? 
             Me: Umm yes. Right after two  years out of college. I have a son. Daan.
             Manasi: You know this whole thing is great but I would prefer us all siting face to face. You all know how bad I m with technology. I must say this app is much better to use. 
             Me: I m talking to you all sitting in one corner of the world and that is just awesome right now.
             Manasi: Listen, I m carrying twins.
             Me: I just cannot believe this. All those conjoined strawberries you ate! They worked!!!
             Manasi: You can say that they are fruits of our labor. Well jokes apart, next month is the baby shower. Karan is coming home for holidays. The rest HAVE to be there. You better bring yourself and your family here. 
             Me: I will try my best.
             Daan shouted in the background, "We will come!"
             My boy was getting excited to meet the five people I thought I will never miss. I knew I had to make this trip for them and for us...
            This is my entry for Indiblogger's contest with WeChat