Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Touch of love

                  It was late into the night and the four of them were still talking. Niharika covered her mouth as she yawned for the nth time. Suraj looked at her with a frown. She tried to sit straight and listen to what he was talking. She had had a busy day and had an early appointment the next day. She had just been ready to drop to bed when the doorbell had rung. Suraj, who was still working on his laptop, had got the door. They had been shocked to see Suraj's brother, Abhinav, with his girlfriend Priya.

                  Priya sobbed continuously which was getting on Niharika's nerves. She wanted to shout at the girl to act her age. At 25, she was behaving like a teenager! Why couldn't she just gather herself and be responsible? Abhinav, on the other hand, was behaving like a love lorn boy of the sixteen. To think that the two of them had just eloped and landed at their house!

                 "Abhi, this isn't the right thing to do. You both are adults. Convince her parents and if they don't agree you can think of registered marriage."
                 "Dada, they will marry her off to someone else. Didn't you take away bhabhi because of the same reason?" Abhi asked.
                  " Just because we did it, does not make it right" Suraj reasoned.
                   Niharika was wide awake at the mention of their marriage. Of course it wasn't right. Suraj had now made it known to her. He regretted their marriage.

                  Niharika and Suraj had been in a relationship for 2 years before marriage. They had been head over heels in love with each other. Different communities, different lifestyle, nothing had mattered. They couldn't keep their eyes and hands off each other. They were just perfect together. When their parents had refused their match, they had run away and gotten married. After marriage, their romance had reached new heights. Then, everything went for a toss!

                 Suraj decided to quit his job and start a company of his own. His new venture took all his time. Dates had been replaced by meetings and birthday and anniversaries had little time. Soon the distance had started seeping in. The conversations were getting shorter. TV time was no longer the same and movies were altogether avoided. Talks became nagging and discussions became arguments. Everything had become partitioned. Bed space, bathrooms, bookshelves. They were hardly a functional pair. Niharika too started spending longer hours at work. They were making a good living but hardly living it.

                 "Abhi, we are dropping Priya home. We will think of something else but right now this is the sensible thing to do" Suraj asserted.
                  Priya, who had finally stopped crying, had fresh tears streaming down. Niharika pitied the girl. How hopelessly naive she was!

                  Niharika took to the wheels. Suraj sat beside her. Abhi and Priya stood outside. He was wiping her tears.
                  "Why are you forcing them?" she asked Suraj.
                  " I don't want them to make the same mistake that I made." He said with a straight face.

                   She fought back her tears as Abhi and Priya got into the car. Suraj stayed emotionless. She parked the car outside Priya's house. Abhi accompanied her to the gate. They stood there holding hands. Watching them made Niharika aware of her own loneliness. How long had it been since Suraj had held her, caressed her or walked hand in hand with her? How beautiful their relation was once and how distant they had grown!

                  She started the car. Suraj watched her in amusement. She had left Abhi behind! A few blocks away, she stopped the car to a side and walked out. She just couldn't take it any longer.

                  He had been watching her since they left the apartment. Usually the one to never show any weakness, Niharika was acting vulnerable. She always smirked at those who cried or acted weak. Only the day they had eloped, she had hugged him and shed tears. She was at her most vulnerable, afraid of the big step and unsure of the future.

                 He went after her. She stood behind the car, her eyes swollen with the crying. Oh! It was just the girl he had taken away for himself. He held her hand just like the day 3 years before. Her hands felt just as moist and soft as they had felt then. It rekindled the madness that had made him pay no heed to anything and run off with her. Where had he lost this girl?

                "It's over isn't it? I was a mistake, right?" She asked him with fear.
                 He took her into his arms.
                 "You aren't a mistake."
                 "But you just said.."
                 "I don't want them to run off.  I don't want them to be shunned by everyone. I just want everyone to accept them. I know cutting you from your parents has been taxing. I don't want Abhi to do that to Priya. Atleast they can give it a try. That's the mistake I made. I should have tried harder to bring our families together."

                She looked at him, smiling and hugged him again, breathing in his smell, feeling loved by his touch.
                "Shall we go home?" she asked.
                "No, let's not go home. Let's just run away. Let's take a holiday no one knows about!"

                 The touch was back. The touch of love, the touch of madness.

                
 This post has been in written in collaboration with Parachute’s                    #BringBackTheTouch campaign. You can find more details here: http://www.pblskin.com/ Do check out their beautiful video below
 
 

                
               

               

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Childhood revisited

                 
               For the last couple of years, a new trend has been catching up on social networking sites. Everyone has been flashing the toothless grin of childhood on facebook for Children's Day. For once, the duck face and pouts are given a rest. Like everyone else, I too  had my profile picture changed to a cuter version of myself. Poring over the pictures makes me transported to another time. A time of carefree abandon and innocence.

                When I was in primary school, Children's day was celebrated with much  gusto. We were allowed to wear "any dress" as against the boring school uniform and it used to be a half working day. Regular classes weren't conducted and we were made to read essays about the relevance of the day. Music and games occupied us.

                 I never liked going to school. I wasn't the one who cried everyday on the way to school, yet it was something that was a chore that had to be ticked off. On one particular day I just put my step down. I just wasn't in the mood to go. That day happened to be an important day as we were going to be photographed for the school id card. So I was dropped to school against my wish. I entered the compound and decided that I don't care about the id card! Off I ran on to the streets with two school guards at my heel. Thankfully, my aunt hadn't left already and she took me back home, crying all the way. Don't get me wrong. It was she who was crying. I was happy to go home, leaving the guards panting at the gate. I faced the music in the evening when Dad came to know of my behavior but that is another story.
 
                The only part about going to school that I liked was, stationary. It was much later that I enjoyed the company of humans! Stationary was my treasure. The fresh stock of non dust erasers, the smell of new notebooks, the neatly brown-covered textbooks, and the long, red and black stripped Nataraj dark pencils. I had an obsession with pencils. I loved and kept them sharp at all times. My pencil boxes usually turned black very soon with all the lead I was sharpening!

                 The best days of my childhood were the ones I spent at home. Sundays were the days I looked forward to, for that was when my parents were  home.

                Things as simple as watching Jungle Book on Doordarshan or comprehending Malgudi days together was a high. Cable often was unsteady and Doordarshan brought in some of the best series of those times. How could I forget Shaktiman which had my friends in awe. Personally, I thought it to be an idiotic series but I kept mum. I have no knowledge of cartoons or superhumans. For me Malgudi Days, Jungle Book, Lion King, Hocapontus, Zorro, these were the series!

                How happy and content childhood is! Perhaps a lack of choice made it all so enjoyable. We did not have 100s of channels to surf and yet had good series to entertain. We did not have various cream biscuits endorsed by superstars. On a lazy evening, nothing felt as good as dipping Parle G biscuit in a hot cup of tea while having a friendly chat in person.
             
                When the only game we played was- OUTSIDE!

                When the only time we shopped was- Birthdays and Diwali

                When we knew no brands and everything new was valued.

                When commodities were limited and emotions endless..

                                                
                                                photo credit- google
               

P.S :  First time, I haven't written a story for WOW prompt. The three words just brought so much of childhood memories that I couldn't help but write it down :D

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.
             
             

                 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dear Ma

Dear Ma,

It feels strange writing to you. Now, after so many years of silence between us. It must be equally awkward for you to open a letter addressed to you. In the times of smartphone, I had to choose this mode to reach to you. I am sure both Keshav Da and Shobit da call you often. How long has it been Ma? Do you even remember my voice? I could not muster the courage to call you up and have you ask me, "May I know who is speaking?"

By now you must be wondering why I have written to you. To be frank, I have no idea. I have come a long way from home Ma. I live in the city of dreams that is constantly on the move. The hustle of the city is just what I needed to comfort my vagabond soul. I have always been looking to belong and in this city where no one cares about anybody's business, I finally belong. My job is taking me places and I am constantly surrounded with people. Yet on days when I have had a tiring schedule and try to sleep, I have a hollowness in me. It feels like a hole that is deep in my chest and it refuses to cease. I toss and turn in darkness, trying to draw happiness from the past and all I can see is you.

I see Baba and dadas playing in the garden and you sitting at the doorstep, sometimes cleaning the rice. Remember the day when Keshav da was hit by my ball? You rushed to pick him up and nursed him, giving a cursory glance at me. I thought you would shout at me but you walked away with him. Yet another day when I was playing by myself, I slipped and hit my head. You saw me hurt but instead rushed inside. It was Baba who took me to a doctor. Did you hide away purposely Ma? Did you think I would die and you would let that happen? I was just 6 years old then and that day, while my wounds were being taken care of, a larger one had cut through me. I wondered if I was adopted!

I know I am not adopted Ma. No one could make that mistake. The uncanny resemblance of our grey eyes, the pointed nose, and that grin which so rarely broke in my presence. No, nobody has so much of your features other than me. In a way, I always had more of you in me than Baba. Maybe it was our similar traits that led to the detachment. You kept your distance from me, and although I ached for your love, I obstinately waited for you to melt. It was pointless. You lacked the warmth that a mother would possess for a child born to her.

I often went on a self evaluation trip to identify what was it that was making you repel me. I excelled at studies, but while the teachers were full of praise, you sat grimly through the open houses. You never came to any of the functions where I was performing. While the crowd cheered at my dialogues, my vacant eyes searched for you among the spectators. I erupted into spurts of jealousy when you bestowed your attention of Dadas. Many a times, I thought that you had exhausted your source of love on them. What had they done to possess that?

I know I am burying out dead facts. It will not bring those days of my childhood. The childhood, that I spent deprived of motherly affection. The childhood that I spent devoid of emotions from you. Baba was never the one for words. It made him awkward to express feelings. Even though he did everything in his capacity to give me a normal childhood, I knew he was as clueless about your indifference as I was. With Baba's death, the chord had snapped. I could no longer live in that house where I was not welcome. When I decided to move out, I had a bleak hope that you would hold me back. What a fool I was! I could hardly control my tears all the way towards the station. You stood stone like, with no word. When did you actually stop talking to me Ma? I don't even remember! Perhaps as early as I started school!

There is a lot that I could talk about but 25 years of silence is hard to bridge. I am all set to start a new life here. I have chosen my life partner and I have been lucky enough to have someone who loves me with all her heart. Perhaps the burden of past would make it impossible to step into a fresh tomorrow. How will I ever be able to explain my relationship with you? It would be a nagging question in all I do. Why was I the abandoned one?


I want a closure to this Ma. I know it is too late for things to change. I have convinced myself that you will never be receptive to my pleas. A mother knows it all, but do you Ma? Do you know what I went through? Do you feel my pain? I want to know what made you this way? I do not want to hold any bitterness back. Writing this is making me feel lighter in a way. The truth would finally put my wandering soul at peace with itself.

                                                                                                                                   Your son,
                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                     Mohit


Her hands trembled as she held the letter. What could she answer? She fed the letter to the fireplace.

He would never understand. He did not need to know. 

She had never wanted another child. She had done all she could to abort him. She had consumed all the household remedies and had been relieved when she bled. Yet, 4 months later, the bump showed and she felt the kick. She was in for a shock when she discovered she was pregnant. She was bleeding courtesy the side effects of the herbs she was taking. Her child was unharmed, alive and kicking! 

It took her a long time to accept the truth. When he was born hale and hearty, she scrutinized his every move. She knew something was wrong with him! How could he be so healthy, after all the ways she had tried to abort him. She had never come to accept him as her own. He was like a monster who had fed on her. She was convinced that something would claim his life sooner or later and she was not ready to face it. Knowing that she would be responsible for the abnormality. In a twisted way, she had felt she would be spared if she was detached. 

He did not need her, No. But she did love him. Unknown to him, she checked on him every night. The day he fell, she was scared to death. She had run away to fetch the first aid. It did not occur to her to pick him up first. When he returned with his father from the dispensary, she had been on her toe all the time , unable to sleep. When he left the house, she was frightened about the world he was going to be exposed to. She wasn't the one to hold back. Not him. He deserved all that she had tried to deprive him of. 

As the last of the paper turned to ashes, she closed her eyes. If only she could start over again. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Memoirs of darkness

     ( Fiction written in first person)





                "Don't worry darling, I am there in the next room" he patted my cheeks affectionately. I had urged him to keep the lights on. Darkness terrified me. Terrified was an understatement. Darkness crippled me. He reassured me, like every night. He pulled the sheets over me and before he closed the door, he gently switched the light off. I shut my eyes tightly. I could hear him sitting on his table in the other room.

                       I tried counting like he had told me to. One..two.. three.. Each count was an effort.

                     Within me, the darkness crept. I felt entangled in a web, unable to breathe, unable to move. I had no control over my limbs. Each muscle felt heavy and every reflex ceased. It was that time of the night when darkness devoured me. I could feel it slithering up my legs, panting and moving over me. It covered my mouth and left me gasping for air.

                     I could never recollect what made hurt me so much. Why my thighs ached every morning, why my body felt so sore. My dreams were vague, like murky pictures retrieved from old albums. I could never see darkness. In my mind's eye, it was a figure dark and over powering. I felt duller than the day before. I pressurized myself to remember what it looked like.

                    Father never understood. He woke me up every morning with a glass of lime. It made the headache better. When I told him about the aches, he simply gave me painkillers. When I spoke of my nightmares, I felt him pull my hair with more force than he usually does while tying my hair for school. He did not like me talking to anyone about nightmares. He told me every child has nightmares and it goes away with age. He felt that it was my imagination and if I put in positive thoughts, it would all stop.

                    I wished Mother was alive. She would not have panicked so much on seeing blood on my skirt. Father did not talk to me for days. He was embarrassed. Kathy told me that fathers don't discuss about these things. It is always the mother who talks about it. Kathy was my only friend at school. Other kids found me weird. They bullied me for being weak in studies. Kathy helped me study and in that way she was the only person I talked to other than Father. Kathy's mother was a teacher at our school.

                   Father was right. Nightmares did go with age. I did not encounter them much after I started bleeding. I felt more enthusiastic about life and sharper. I slowly began to feel more energetic and my body was turning more agile. I did not feel sore so often.

                  I began to hate milk. Father forced me to drink milk every day after dinner. He would get very cross if I skipped it. I would do it to please him earlier but milk made me feel nauseous. I began to avoid it and it resulted in argument with Father. I did not understand why he made such a huge fuss out of it. It was normal for kids my age to assert themselves. Kathy's mother told me that teenagers don't often gel well with their parents. It was just a phase and I would no longer be as close to father as I had been. It was my hormones and nothing else. I seemed to get into a fight with almost everyone except Kathy. I was no longer bullied. It gave me a strange sense of confidence.

                 One night, I fooled Father into believing that I had finished my glass of milk. I had drained it down the sink when he had gone to attend a call. I started doing it every night.

                 Just like every night, Father came to tuck me in. I heard him sitting on his desk and the tap on his keyboard. Sleep eluded me. I counted one..two.. three.. I was nearing on two hundred when I dozed off.

                I felt the darkness settle over me. The warm slithering along my legs, to my chest. I woke up with a start. I thought my muscles would not move. I forcefully kicked my leg. I heard a sharp cry. My legs had worked! I ran and switched on the light. Darkness was my father...

              My father! Oh how I had forgotten, my step Father. The respectable Doctor who had fought for my custody against my drunken biological father. The Father, who had made me drink the numbing milk for so many years and made me suffer.

              I left the home to live in another city. I never saw him again. Once a year, I got a sum of money that mother left behind. Perhaps I should have taken an action. I did not. I could not face the man who was my father by the day and darkness by the night.

             Darkness numbs me. My body becomes rigid, unable to move. Only this time, they are really nightmares..
                     

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Too busy?

                   A few days back, I got a text from a friend of mine asking me, "Do you get no time at all for blogging? Just 3 posts in last 3 months!" I had just switched on my phone after a long day at work and did not know what to reply to it. Not having access to phone at work is a boon and a bane at the same time. I am completely switched off from the world outside for 10 hours everyday. Watsapp no more opens with 300 messages from 5 contacts. It is hardly 5 or 6 messages of some relevance. Small chats are things of the past. 
                 Another friend asked, "What happened to your writing" and I knew it was time to write something lest it spread the message that I have given up writing! No, everyday work cannot deter the spirit of writing! 
                 What have I been up to? For starters, I work in the second shift. Getting up is a struggle and putting on the running shoe is an every day effort. For last 2 days, the sun has been coming up earlier than usual marking the end of a season. When it is not running, it is a 15 min workout that happens with as much motivation as I can gather. Exercise has become mandatory after the recent health issues and sedentary life style. 
                 While work has been taking a large chunk of my life, books are back in my life. Reading had been slow in the past few months but travelling gives me lot of time to catch up on my reading. My love affair with books is at an all time high. The good part of earning is that you can buy the books. The library subscription is temporarily cancelled as I am finding more and more books that are for keeps! I am currently reading the Memoirs of a Geisha and I cannot thank Pradeeta enough for listing this book. I am totally engrossed in this book.
                 Writing has taken a back seat, with only the monthly post I do for Life Monthly magazine. Stories need plotting. A few ideas are brewing. What happened to my writing? I have never been the kind of blogger who can write posts on a go. I need time to put it all together and I never write unless I feel like it. I have tried posting for the sake of updating the blog and those stories haven't lived up to my own expectations. To be fair to my own levels, I do not write unless it has shaped up already in my mind. On that note, I hope to be back with stories very soon.
                  I am clueless about what is happening on blogsphere. Blog hopping has gone down considerably courtesy no access to phone. I have stopped bothering about contests for now. I am waiting to read the blogs as I see some interesting posts up. 
                  Until then, happy blogging

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Love that lasts

                She glanced at the clock for the 7th time in 15 minutes. Her eyes were fixed at the door when she wasn't checking the time. Dressed in a starched purple sari, her hair combed and styled into a bun, a red bindi on her forehead, she personified elegance. I had never seen her going about with disheveled hair or unorganized in anyway. She was always poised and calm. The house reflected every bit of the character of people living in it. They had minimum furniture- just a cupboard, a coffee table, a bed, 2 chairs and a computer table. Colorful cushions were placed neatly on the bed, the sheets matching with the cushions and pillow cover. A TV was fixed on the wall. An old radio, placed in a wall unit, played hymns or old soulful songs. Books were orderly arranged in a shelf which was frequently dusted. The kitchen was always spic and span. Everything about the house was in sync with the people living in it.

                She sprang to life as the door bell rang. He stood at the door, completely drenched. They both burst into laughter. I missed the joke. Never once did she shout at him for not being on time or not informing her. She was just relieved and genuinely happy to see him. He went to dry himself. Humming an old song, he came back from the kitchen with three cups of coffee. She blushed. She blushed like a 16 yr old just asked for a date by her crush. She was 67 that year and he was 73. They had been married for 50 years!

                "Were you both always like this?" I asked shyly. The question had been on my mind for many months. She was my teacher and the couple had taken a liking to me. Even after she had stopped taking classes, she had continued teaching me. We talked about so many things but I refrained from asking this question. I wondered about it every time I saw her accompany him to the door when he went out. They would hold hands sometimes at the door. In the midst of our class, he would sometimes bring coffee or lemonade. I often thought it was just his excuse to see her as she was busy explaining the context of a prose to me. Some evenings I would find them watching an old movie or simply playing snake and ladders. They were like the epitome of harmony.

               "No. You would be shocked to hear our story" he said.
               "I was actually married against my wish." she eyed him.
                I was all ears for the story!

              She was 16 when her parents fixed her marriage with him. She was furious at her parents. She cursed her relatives, who had mounted pressure on her family to get her married. She did not want to go to another village and cook and clean for a stranger. She was one of the few girls who had completed school. She wanted to spend her time reading and teaching. She wanted to experience love like those in the books. All  her dreams were shattered. She cried and pleaded to cancel the wedding. To console her, she was even allowed to see the man. An old picture of a lanky teenage boy with hints of moustache was presented to her. It only added to her woes. On the day of her wedding, she cried like no bride ever cried!

             She was petrified of what awaited her. On her wedding night, she waited in a dark room, with only a small lamp. It was that night when she saw her husband for the first time. He was taller and more muscular than the picture that she had seen. His face looked matured and she had to admit he was handsome. He did not strike a conversation with her. Perhaps he had sensed her regret. He went out of the room and did not return until the next morning.

            The house was full of guests for days. Summer had stretched for a long time. She kept herself busy with housework. Her husband stayed aloof and even though it had initially relieved her, it was now making her curious. Wasn't she pretty? Why did he not want to talk to her? Her in-laws had started commenting already. Distant relatives went as far as to blame her entry as inauspicious. Rains were delayed and fields were dry. She resented her husband for not being there to support her.
             
           The floor got hotter as the day passed. It was impossible to lie on the floor in the afternoon after the chores were done. She would sit under the large banyan tree and read. He would come in the afternoon for his meal, his clothes dirty with all the work in the fields. He would too sit under the tree to eat and then join the younger cousins in their games. They sometimes spoke, almost always arguing about something. She began looking forward to his company and stealthily saw him playing with the kids.

           She was fuming since the news reached her. She was his wife! How can she not know it yet? It was his mother who told her that he was going to the city. He was leaving her back. She did not know why she was so mad at him. He did not come in the afternoon. Every minute, that she passed without him, was making her more angry.

           "Why did you even come home?" she shouted at him when he came into the room at night.
           "What happened?" he was shocked to hear her tone.
           "Oh, nothing!" she turned her back.
           "Will you tell me what the matter is?"
           "No, just go away. Go away and don't come back. Leave me all alone here." She was sobbing.
            He was amused by this whole sequence.
            "You don't care about me. You go to the city and make a new life. Go away right now."
            "I m going away right now. My train is leaving in an hour."he said softly.
            "What? When were you going to tell me?" She felt an unknown ache.
            "I could not say goodbye to you. I haven't felt this way before. I have to go to the city and look for a job. The fields are not going to suffice anyway. I know you want to read. I would like it if you study further. I m not going to be a hindrance to you anymore."
            "What if I tell you I don't want you to go?" she asked, blood rushing to her cheeks.
            "I will have to go."
             In that one hour, they were more man and wife than they had been in the months since their marriage. And that night, it rained. He promised to write to her every week and send for her as soon as he was settled. With a heavy heart, they parted.

             The year that followed was the toughest year of their lives. She was no more isolated in the house. The rains had washed away the talk of bad luck around her. She took active interest in the house and pleased everyone. She religiously wrote everyday and waited for the postman for letters. He worked day and night to make a living. The only solace, were the letters. Their love bloomed and for that one year, she was living the life of a novel character. And there was nothing that she hated more! Every day of an ordinary life with him was more eventful that the drama of separation. Perhaps it is that one year of desperation that made them skeptical in each other's absence in years to come.

             There was no letter from him that week. She was getting restless and beginning to worry. There were no telephones then. The monsoon had been merciful that year.
             He came home without any hint. She was not at all prepared to meet him. She looked like a beggar as she had dressed in old clothes to clean the storage room for grains. She was embarrassed when he looked at her. She had read that city women dressed well all the time, like in the movies. Here he had come to see her after a year and what a state she was in! Since that day, she always woke up early and saw to it that she always looked like the lady of the house.

            She was waiting for the talk with family to get over so she could have him all for herself. She cried as he hugged her. Things were going to be fine. He promised her that they would no longer be apart. A promise that he held on to, diligently. They had never been apart even for a day after that. He always took her along if work needed him to travel. They moved to the city the next week.

            A lot had happened in the 50 years. She completed her studies. She took up a teaching job. They had two daughters. He switched jobs. They faced harsh times. They prospered. Their daughters got married. He and she, both  got retired. The only thing that remained constant was their companionship. And it continues to be. A story that started reluctantly and continues in the twilight years.

                                         

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

                                        

             
               

Monday, June 30, 2014

Food makes me happy

             I was on the 9th episode of House M.D, when the phone rang. I jumped to get the phone. For last 2 weeks, I was waiting for a call from the company. Days rolled by, but there was no news about the joining date. I had decided to divert my attention from the whole issue by watching TV series one after the other.
             The number flashing on the screen was unknown. I picked it up, hoping it was THE CALL.

            "Hello" I said calmly.
            "Hey! What's up?" said the female voice on the other side.
            "Who's this?" I said in a disappointed tone. I knew this was not the call I was waiting for.
            "This is Shruthi, you idiot! I m calling from Mom's phone. No balance in mine, as usual."

            The plan was made. I did not want to talk about all that was happening. I simply wanted to take my mind off it. She suggested we all meet for pot lunch.
            "What is a pot lunch?" I asked ignorantly.
            "Well, pot lunch means we all get food from our homes and meet for lunch. Each one brings a special dish and we all finish it up."
            "Oh! Well, I will do the baking stuff. Who else is coming?"

             It was too humid for June. With our food bags, we walked gingerly down the narrow lane that took us to Dalia's apartment. Our clothes stuck to our backs. Malavika, Shruthi and I were too fatigued by the time we were at her door. We had been up early to get the dishes ready.

            We settled on the sofa as soon as we entered. The air condition seemed like a divine blessing. Dalia's parents were away so it was just the four of us. Dalia, who had disappeared into the kitchen, came back with a tray containing four glasses and large jug.
         
           The jug was crystal clear and the sparkling drink inside was making me even more thirsty. The mint leaves and lemon slices had settled at the bottom of the jug and ice cubes were melting away. The vision was refreshing.
          "I tried to make virgin mojito at home" Dalia said gleefully.
           I offered to pour the drink. I was surprised by the lightness of the jug. It looked heavier that it was!
   
          As the flavor of mint and lime made us cool and relaxed, the fatigue was getting away. She had even added a little jaljira.
          "Wow, this is just like the one we get at KFC!" remarked Shruthi.

         When the four of us meet, there is no limitation to what we talk of. Weird facts, movies, clothes, lingerie, actors, college romance, tv series, books and everything under the sun is discussed. Time just flies!
       
         " I m hungry. Let's get the dishes out." Malavika said.
         "Oh crap.. I had kept the pizza out like that. The cheese must have melted away" Shruthi panicked.
         "Don't worry. I put it in the fridge" Dalia said, as we followed her into the kitchen.

          The kitchen was spic and span. Definitely her mother's work! A clear glass gourmet, containing biryani ,was on the counter. Dalia put the gas on and placed the gourmet on it.
          "Dalia!!! Are you supposed to heat that way?" Malavika shrieked.
          "Don't worry. This wont break or anything. It is borosil."
          "What? You mean borosilicate? Type 1 glass that we use for injectibles!" I was amused.
          "Yea, yea I know you know pharmaceutics. This is that type 1 glass. Can withstand temperature and won't leach. Totally safe." she added.
           "Duh! I know type 1 glass is safe. That is why we use it for injectibles!" Shruthi said.
           "Enough of pharmaceutics guys! This thing is just so convenient! You can cook in it and heat in it and best thing is that you can see what is in it from outside. I can see all the layers of biryani! Looks yummmy!" said Malavika.

           Malavika had brought pasta. Dalia put it in a set of bowls and put it in the microwave. Out came the pasta, hot and delicious. It was fusilli pasta, spiral and in colors of green, red, and white. It looked mouth-watering. Malavika grated cheese to use it as a topping.

           Dalia retrieved the pizza from fridge. She had put the 2 pizzas in plates.
           " Put it in the microwave pan for sometime." Shruthi suggested.
           " These are microwavable plates. I will put these directly in the microwave and we are ready to eat!" Dalia quipped.
           "This is superb! I made the dough myself. I think this plate can be used to make even the pizza dough, right?" Shruthi was in awe of the pizza plate.
           "Yes. You can make the dough in the plate, use the plate to serve and even reheat in the same plate."
            "Saves a lot of dish washing!" joked Malavika.

            My stomach was grumbling already. The food looked so irresistible, adorned in those beautiful crockery. Borosil was adding on to the aesthetic value of food.
         
            The tangy, saucy, savory pasta was finished effortlessly. The rich flavors of biryani was relished slowly. The biryani was exotic with the right amount of spice and tender meat and served with raita. The scrumptious pizza, with cheese dripping through it, was ambrosial. The virgin mojito kept company throughout the meal. It was a good thing that she had made it in excess because we were totally mad over it!

            After the meal, I took out my special dish. Brownies! I had made it a little hard with walnut in it. We ordered vanilla ice cream from a nearby shop. Dalia had chocolate sauce in the house.
            We put the brownies in the little katories and added a scoop of vanilla ice cream and topped it with chocolate sauce. It was heaven for the sweet tooth! The brownie had turned out rich and chocolaty. A little coffee powder, that I had used, had given it a great aroma and the vanilla and chocolate sauce were a great combination with brownies. Those little katories were the cutest of the borosil variety I had seen that day!

           Great company, delicious food and beautiful crockery had made it  an awesome pot lunch.

           "We should do it again!" Malavika said.
           "Definitely. Before that, I want to know where you got this mind blowing crockery from?" I asked.
           " Ordered it online! Go to www.myborosil.com and you can get a range of microwavable, trendsetting utensils and also appliances." Dalia said.

           I came home that day, a lot happier and full. I checked out the site and indeed it was tempting to purchase all of their products!

          Won't you love it if you got your virgin mojito in a jug like this?

                                           


          What could make a biryani even more sumptuous? Maybe a gourmet like this?
                                             

           Can pizza seduce the taste buds more? Maybe a pizza plate could! 

                
                               

           I would love my desserts in this. Won't you?

                                   
        


               Bon appetit says the bowl





This post is written for My beautiful food contest held by Indiblogger and Borosil

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My father, my role model

             From the time I have been able to comprehend speech, I have been told that I am his carbon copy. I would take great pride in being my father's replica. Of course, he was the cutest person in the family and his complexion was unmatched. Short necked, dimple chinned, chubby and fair, I had his features to the T. He is the first person I ever tried to emulate.
                                                     
            A role model is someone who constantly makes you want to keep your standards high. My father is that person for me. I could never bear to be bad in front of him. From Monday to Friday, I would be in care of my grandparents. My father would come to pick me up on his way home. He would carry me in his arms, be it rain or storm, and listen to my endless chatters and answer my unending questions. Sometimes my grandparents would complain to him about how naughty I have been through the day, but he would never believe it. In his care on Saturdays, I would be the most well behaved and disciplined kid ever!
                                             
            On Saturdays, he would take me to a restaurant and make me eat dosa with spoon and fork. It was my first lesson on table manners. Saturdays were also the days when he himself cooked, bitter-gourd being the vegetable of the day. Of course, wasting food was the biggest No in his presence. I gulped down even bitter-gourd. I would get rewarded in the evening, when he would take me to see an elephant or take me to the park and let me play to my heart's content. I learnt to respect food early in my childhood due his rules.

            If it were left to me, I would have never opened a book. It was he who made me sit and study for the spelling test. I was so petrified of being asked questions that I would sometimes hide in the bathroom. He would know my tricks and get me back to study. Those forceful hours seemed too less when I would come back home with a 10/10 in my spelling test. The red stars along with the 'very good' written by my teacher would make my father so happy. Soon I developed a liking for praise and the zeal to excel in studies. The coming years saw me as a topper in most subjects. All through the years, one thing would ring in my ears. My father's words- "You can create miracles if you put your heart to it."

           My father personifies perseverance for me. For about a decade he gave exam for promotion but when you are from general category and not in the fittest form, you can give up hope. He tried every year with equal interest. Sometimes we would get fed up of him spreading his books around and trying to read every holiday. His patience paid off and today when I flash my white pass while travelling, it fills me with pride and respect. It is the fruit of his hard work that today he is a gazetted officer with the railways, and every time I say that my father is a law officer, I think of all those years he tried!

          I get often teased for being too sincere and not being the one to bend rules. My father had instilled a deep sense of responsibility for duty and civic behavior in me. His dedication to work has rubbed on to me. He is a man of honor. Never in his years of service has he been tempted to take to unlawful ways. He often tells," It is easy to make money through wrong means and then lose it all through bad karma."

         My father has always given importance to the upbringing of me and my brother. Both of us owe our humility and manners to him. If it hadn't been his fear in us, we would have not been the way we are. No matter how much he loves us, he would never let go of his principles and never spare us the rod. His stare would be enough to have us correct ourselves.
                                               
shades darker now :P 

         Role models have a considerable effect on self-confidence. My father inculcated in me a feeling of self-worth. He encouraged me to form my own views and voice them without fear. He taught me to be an independent thinker and not give in to pressure. My choice was always given importance and because of that, today, when I stand in front of people and speak, I do not fear the eyes that bore into mine. I can look people straight in the eye and talk. It is now that I have joined the corporate world that I realize the importance of this trait.

        Role models give you strength and courage. They have your back even when they aren't always supportive. My career choices have been like that. I have erred, I have faltered, I have given in to depression, I have fought back and stood strong. I can proudly say that I held strong when the temptations were too forceful. I have held on to my integrity and individuality when the pressure to mix was too high. It was all because I knew that no matter what happened, he would be on my side.

       He has a few mantras which he always follows.

       1. A family that eats together, stays together.
       2. No matter how late you get, always come back home.
       3. Talk to the family.
       4. Be there to listen to your loved ones.
       5. Don't be in a hurry to get anywhere.

      There is a reason why role models are called role models. They actually shape us into what we are. They give us dreams and aspirations and hope. It is everything that my Father contributed in my life and continues to do.
     
     I am writing about #MyRoleModel as a part of the activity by Gillette India in association with BlogAdda.com.
     
            

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Magic

 The kind of love that makes you give up everything, only to realize what you truly want.
 The kind of love that plunges you down the valley of depression, only to see the rebirth of hope.
 The kind of love that drains the life out of you, only to run passion through your veins.
 The kind of love that defeats you, only to make you stronger
 IT was that kind of love and a little more.
 And yet she lost herself to it, only to find a little more of herself..


  She wrote the status and clicked on post. She was in the happiest phase of her life. She had been through a lot in the last 7 years, and now life was finally smiling benevolently on her. She had, at one point of time, given up hope of happiness from relationships. She dreaded to trust anyone. It wasn't like she had a huge group of friends. She had always restricted her inner circle to a handful of people. She was cordial and helpful but when it came to depending on anyone, she took a few steps back. Life had taught her a harsh lesson. She wouldn't risk placing herself at the mercy of another person. She wouldn't ever give anyone the licence to destroy her peace. Sometimes, one person is enough to teach you all the lessons of life and for her, it had been her best friend.

The last time she met her, she had freed herself from all her feelings. No more would she wonder what went wrong. No more would she feel incompetent to handle friendships. No more would she feel that pain. She had played the scene so many times in her mind. It was a rehearsal that kept revising every time she learnt something new. When she had finally met her once 'best friend', she had melted. She had wanted to go back to the old times. She wanted nothing more than having a 'best friend'. How lucky are the people who can claim that they have a best friend! 

Today, as she got so many likes and comments on her status, she was suddenly filled with a void. This was not how she had once dreamed of her life. Her life had always included her best friend. How she had imagined that her best friend would be by her side when she got married! Human bonds are so fragile and yet the memories are so relentless. They would keep coming back, long after you decide to dump them. For 7 years she had managed to live without pouring out her feelings to anyone. Why did she long for a quite evening on the terrace with her best friend? Why did she think of those long walks they had, discussing life's weird questions? Perhaps there was something that she couldn't replace nor forget.


In a forlorn cyber cafe, she read the status and smiled. "Always the lucky one," she thought to herself. She wondered if she missed her. She had done her wrong and no amount of regret would ever do her right. What had possessed her to feel animosity with her? What had made her want to hurt her best friend so much? She had known it all along that she would have been hurt but the degree of damage that she had done was unimaginable for her. The last time she met her, her words had been a tight slap on her face. Every word filled with emotion had been a whip on her heart. Her own problems and insecurities had seemed trivial in front of the wound that her friend had so openly shown her. But then, emotions and words had always been her forte. She, on her part, had been tongue tied and confused. She had left her side and life had spiraled down ever since. 

They had been best of friends. She had felt that life had always been a little more favorable to her best friend. She was the one who had to struggle for everything while it came easy to her friend. Her friend got good grades without much efforts because she had an higher aptitude, while she toiled day and night to get a distinction. They both read a lot and yet the gift of words was with her friend. No matter how much she read, they wouldn't come to her. It was like magic. Her friend could conjure words like magic. She had the right words for every occasion. She called on words like they were her servants. She attracted people with the way she talked. It had been genuine admiration at first, which turned bitter with every passing day. Her friend hadn't been very attractive and yet when she fell in love, the object of her affections felt equally attracted to her. She had been happy for her friend but had felt alone. What was it about her? What was the magic that she possessed? 

When it had gotten too much for her to bear, she had withdrawn. The more she pushed her away, the closer she tried to come. She was suffocated and irritated and then one fine day, she simply broke all ties with her. With that, the magic ended. She was deshielded right then, but never realized. It was a downhill path from there. From flunking her year at college to falling in the trap of online chats. She made one mistake after the other. Without giving it a thought, she befriended a boy from another community. Without thinking of the consequences, she went ahead with dating him because he was the first person to show an interest. Just like that she ended up marrying him. Life had turned topsy-turvy. Who was to guess that she would one day be living in such poverty? Who was to ever imagine that she would have to face such adversities to feed herself two meals a day? 

"It's close to one hour, do you want to extend your session?" the bored owner of the cafe asked. 
"No," she answered and logged off.  The monthly visit to cyber cafe was a luxury she allowed herself. 
It had dawned on her what the magic was. The magic was love. The magic was friendship. How lucky she had been to have a best friend! If only she had not parted her ways, she would have been basking in that magic. Her friend attracted people not because she was good looking or had the gift of words, but because she loved a lot. Her last meeting had made her think. Had she hurt her so much that she had forgotten her magic? Perhaps not. She still loved and trusted at least one person. Her status had made that apparent. 

Indeed, the magic was love. Even after knowing everything, her friend had tried to call her back. She wanted her to go back to the magical world of love. She wanted her to go back to her parents and start afresh. She wanted to listen to her friend, but the magic was lost on her. Things were much more complicated and beyond her control. The best thing that she could do was to stay away from her best friend. Time washes away the hurt, but the memories stay on and in such memories, the magic lives on. As if by magic, she felt somewhere that her friend was missing her too. 


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.






Monday, May 19, 2014

SOS

                When I started this blog, I had no great aspirations about the blog or my future as a writer. It was just a corner where I could explore my imaginations and play with words. Even then I had been clear of one thing- this blog would be largely about creative work than my own outbursts or views. It had been a deliberate move to keep away the real me while I step into multiple lives and characters.

                I think I owe it to the readers who have constantly encouraged me to keep writing. I think the best people I could turn to would be the ones who know my writing and who can help me overcome this state of inertia. I have this intense urge to write. To write something that relieves me. I have been struggling with ideas and nothing is more frustrating than not being in sync with your most prized possession. Maybe I m overworking myself. Maybe I m looking for an inspiration. What I need right now is an insightful comment or suggestion about how to tackle this. SOS!

               On the other side of life, I m done with my final year. All four  years of it for God knows what purpose! Taking life as it comes, I will start training with TCS today for no pay :( The whole month is going to drag on and the only solace I seek is blogging.

             

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Unlocking happiness :)

            "Sorry madam, there is no train to Mumbai from here."
            " Will I get a bus?" she pressed on. The man at the counter gave her an irritated look. It appeared that someone had pulled him out of bed for an emergency duty and he had more things on his mind than answering her.
            " There is no direct bus. You will have to wait for the morning bus to take you to the city. From there you can take a bus to Mumbai."
            "Morning!! What will I do all night here?" She asked him
            "You can wait in the goods room." Before she could ask him another question, he rose up to answer the phone in the small office.

            Dalia was on the verge of tears. No, no, she must not cry. She must not show fear. She headed towards the goods room. It was dark and swampy with only a single bench. A few unclaimed goods lay on the floor, eaten in bits and parts by the rodents infesting the room. How was she to stay there till dawn? Her phone battery had died and there was no charging point anywhere on the station. It was not even a station where passenger trains halted. It was just a goods train station and by a cruel twist of fate she had landed there!

            "This is my last chance to go Goa on a college trip. This time I want to go at any cost!!" She had stormed off to her room after an argument with her parents.
            The trip to Goa happened every year in summer or early monsoon. Twice she had been denied and once a plan with her best friend had also been stayed. She had become adamant and more than her own wish to go, it was about getting permission to go alone! It would have been different if her friends had been with her. It would have been fun and safe to let go with them. They had all moved out of college and started working or gone for higher studies. If only she hadn't got that stupid drop in a year... IT was futile to think of what could have happened. She had caught up on her grades and had worked very hard. She deserved this break. The friends in her new class weren't as close but there had been some bonding this year. IT would be an altogether new experience of exploring places and people. She so badly had wanted to go and finally her parents had relented!

           Excited and thrilled, she had boarded the train to Goa. As she had thought, it was rather a smooth and enjoyable journey. Her classmates, of course, had their own groups but they had easily included her. The night journey passed in a jiffy with all the card games and dumb charades and early in the morning they had reached Goa. The dampness in the air, cheerful mood of her companions had added to the pleasant atmosphere.
                                                         
        Goa was everything that she had imagined it to be. The beaches, the food, the visit to pub and ofcourse lots of freedom. It was totally worth the trip. She couldn't believe how fast the 3 days rolled and it was time to leave. When their names were announced as per the train they were booked in, she was disappointed. Her name was not in the same train as her new made friends. If it was her group she would have adjusted somehow. The other train was already packed and the one she was allotted was to leave earlier so she had no time to think. She got into the bus for station with students from other colleges. She was exhausted with all the sight seeing and as soon as she settled on her seat, she was fast asleep.

        She was shaken awake rather rudely.
        "Wake up wake up.. We need to get out of this train" A male voice was shouting at her.
        She struggled to open her eyes.
        "This is an emergency. Passengers are requested to alight from this train and catch a bus to another station."
         His words rang in her ears and she skeptically began to grab for her bag and jacket. He was already striding ahead and she followed him out. The crowd outside was swarming the exit and she lost him in the sea of people. She was pushed out of the station towards the buses. She somehow got into the bus that was relatively less crowded.
        "This bus will go only till city!" the driver shouted from his seat.
        "Whaaattttttt??? This was going to other station right?"
        "Madam I have been shouting for half an hour that other buses are going to station, this will go to city."
        Frantically she pulled her bag and jumped out of the bus. The other buses had already set in motion and she ran after the last one but in vain. She was left stranded on a goods station all alone.

        She heard foot steps outside the goods store. She panicked. There wasn't anyone on the station other than a few homeless people. The door creaked and she jumped out of her skin when she saw a male silhoutte. She was numb when he entered the room. A beam of light fell on her face. 

      "What do you think you are doing here." 
      She saw his face and it seemed oddly familiar. The torchlight of his cellphone was directly on her. 
      " Why the hell did you get into that bus?" He asked her.
      "Ummm.." she didn't know what to answer.
       "Well this place stinks. I know of a better place." He picked up her bag.
      She pulled it back. With force.
       "Who are you?" She asked him.
       "Aarav and I know you are Dalia.. now lets go before it starts raining." 
       "Wait.. How do you know and where are we going?" 
       " See it is lightening outside. There's a village right outside the station, I m sure it is a much safer option to ask for shelter there than wait here. The last man on duty was leaving when I came here." 

         His words scared her. How could she trust him and just go with him? What if he was right about there being no official on station? 
        "I know it is difficult to trust but you have to. I climbed down from a freaking moving bus and I don't want to get drenched." He pointed at the ceiling which had begun to leak. It was already raining! 
        They walked out together, she pulling her bag with him and he leading her with a torchlight. His backpack was outside his windcheater and was sagging. Her own clothes stuck to her in the slight drizzle. She had an umbrella somewhere in her bag but she dared not search it now. They made it to the village just before it started thundering. The first door she knocked did not open. On she went to the second. It was the fifth house that agreed to take them in. 
         They sat in the outer room in the candle light. The lady of the house helped them get comfortable and offered sheets. She sat on the cot while he rested on the mat. She observed his face for the first time. His boyish face with full lips, his curly hair and his soft eyes. He was wide awake.

         "What? You need anything?" He asked when he caught her staring.
         "What happened to the train?" She asked him
         "Oh the train ahead of us had an accident near the tunnel and it is an emergency right now. All trains on that route are cancelled but ours halted mid way." 
         "How do you know me?" 
         "I don't know you, although I would like to. I just know your name. I was in the same hotel as you guys. I was on work. I have seen you plenty times in the hotel with yours friends. That reminds me, where are they?"
         "In another train.Why did you come after me?"
         "What else was I supposed to do? It was destiny that you were in the same train and it was me who woke you up. I had to take responsibility for what happened in your drowsiness!" He laughed
         She felt easy and relaxed and all the tension from the last few hours drained with that laughter.
        " Can you give me your cellphone? Mine is dead and I   have to call parents." She remembered how anxious her parents would be! 

         She couldn't sleep and Aarav was more than willing to give her company. They talked through the night about so many topics and it really amused her the way he took most of her comments. He actually enjoyed her company and same was true for her.

          Next morning they took a bus to the next station. Mumbai was just 4 hours away from there. The journey was the best she had so far. When they exchanged numbers, she knew this was going to go far.. She had new things to look forward to..

         Once in  a while one has to break away from the norms and do what scares us a little. To go on a journey that opens new doors to friendship and experiences. To face life and then live it a little more. When she started the journey she was full of excitement and when things turned bad she was full of regret. She had missed her friends as she sat on that bench in that stinky store room, she had questioned her decision to come on the trip and blamed her fate for landing her in such a situation, felt frustrated at her own lack of judgement. Life has strange ways of unlocking happiness. An unexpected tragedy, a little set back, a little loneliness as your comfort people move on, a little lump in the throat for what was undone may eventually be life's way of leading you to bigger and better things..

        P.S

I hope you liked this story Dalia :)
   

             

Friday, January 3, 2014

Chained

             It had been three years without any word. The friend's request on facebook had come out of the blue. It had puzzled her more than his disappearance. Mishti stared at the screen, unsure of what her response should be. Should she just ignore it and congratulate herself on successfully snubbing him? Should she just accept it and let him see what an awesome life she was living without him?

            It didn't matter to her that he had tried to reconnect. What good was it after all that had passed between them? She would just let him rot in some corner of her friend's list.
                                              
            No photos! Did he make a profile just to find her? There was  no other friend in his list, no photograph, no life events. Then it struck her. He had never been on social networking.

           No, she wouldn't start any conversation with him. She didn't need him anymore.

           An hour after accepting his request, she was back on his page. He had uploaded a photo. She opened it and saved it on her system, zoomed it and analysed it. He had not changed at all. A little paunch maybe but he hadn't grown fat. The background of the photo looked like a house. She wondered if it was his house.
                                         
           He went through her photographs. She looked even more beautiful than he remembered. She had lost a lot of weight. It appeared that she travelled a lot. He was amused to see that she had the the kind of job that required moving around. She had always seemed more content being home, having a stable routine, enjoying little things in life and the kind of girl who would effortlessly settle down in life. The girl he saw in pictures looked ready to take on the world, confident to go any place, hopping from one country to another, exploring the outside world and having fun. A lot had changed since he had seen her last.

        "Dadddy, see my nails" his two year old daughter Keya called him excitedly.
        He logged out and went to Keya's  room.
        His wife was applying nail polish to Keya's small toe nails.
        "See Daddy, I will look like Mumma."
        "It's not as good as your naturally pink nails Keya." He made a small face and Keya burst out laughing.
                                    
        When he found her alone, he confronted her. The nail polish had brought hateful memories.
        "Pia, I do not want you to expose Keya to any make up."
        "But Vishal, it looked pretty on her."
        "I do not want my daughter to become as vain as you are."

        She watched listlessly as he shut the door behind him.

        He opened the facebook account. She was online! His pulse raced as though she was near him. How he missed those moments when she would just sit with him and his whole body seemed electrified. He had never known that he was capable of such passion. His kind of people treat the matters of heart very carefully, not trusting anyone with their emotions, not even themselves. It was magical how she had awakened that thing called love in him. He had floated in those silky nights, whispering sweet nothings to her on phone, he had seen dreams that he once thought happened only in movies, he had found meaning in songs that were just mindless lyrics once. How he missed his heart beating wildly in anticipation of her kisses! How he had just thrown every thing away for the sake of honour.

       Would you even say anything? She wanted to shout at him. Why the hell did he even come on facebook if he didn't want to even explain why he had ditched her? Was he still the idiot who would never start the conversation fearing her temper? Why was she even bothering? What did she expect? What was to gain from a facebook chat that would leave her asking for more?
      No, she didn't want him to stir what had subsided long back, only to leave her all broken. That night she had refused to believe him when he had come to call off their engagement and she had sat on the stairs all night just hoping that he would come back. She had seen his car disappear, never to return.

      She put Keya to sleep and lay down beside her. Pia hadn't shared a bed with Vishal even once after Keya was conceived. When they had been wed, Vishal lived in a 2 bedroom but they had shared a room. He did not come close to her. He kept to his own. Soon they had shifted to a bigger house and Vishal had sent her home for her delivery. She thought he would forgive her after seeing Keya. Vishal doted on  his daughter but nothing had changed in their marriage. She had just married the father of her child.

     She was used to getting anything that she wanted. She was the only daughter and was pampered a lot by her parents. She had set her eyes on Vishal when she had seen him at a social function. Their parents were distant relatives. She had thought it would be a piece of cake to woo him. To her dismay, she had found that Vishal paid no attention to her advances. She had wondered if he was normal. How could a guy not be impressed with her? She put on the best of her clothes, did her make up with best of the products, she had a figure to envy, she had a number of admirers of her beauty. One day, she had been waiting for her friends outside a park when she had seen Vishal in the rearview of her car. He was with a girl who was nothing in comparison to her. The girl was a little chubby, dressed in pair of jeans and T-shirt and very ordinary looking. She had decided that day that she would get Vishal away from this girl.

    What was he doing? Why was he digging out the old memories? What had happened was his fault entirely. He had been too drunk at the Mehendi function of his cousin and that night had changed the course of his life.
    He was feeling tipsy and had been a fool to come out alone, finding his way to the room upstairs. The women were on other side of the hall, getting their hands designed with mehendi. He somehow climbed the stairs and was about to enter the room when she had dashed out suddenly, smearing her wet nail polish on his kurta. She had asked him to come inside so that she could wash it off. One thing had led to another and he ended up in bed with her. He had vague memory of that night. He had no memory in fact. He had woken up when it was still dark and found himself alone in bed. The music in the house was still on and he had a terrible headache. He went back to sleep again and next morning he was surrounded by cousins who were snoring blissfully by his side.

    All during the ceremony he avoided her. He did not want to accept what he had done. He had been ashamed of what had happened and wanted to forget that incident. Once the ceremonies were duly done and he had returned to his house, he  talked to his parents and they fixed his engagement date with Mishti's parents. He did not want to lose her.
    It had been a jolt when Pia broke the news that she was pregnant. What was he to do about it? He had panicked and asked her to abort it. He did not want a bastard! She had been adamant and gave him an ultimatum that either she will birth the baby or she will kill herself. He would be responsible for whatever action she took. He had been trapped!

     It was plain blackmail. He knew that Pia could easily abort the child. It wasn't even 3 weeks of pregnancy. He also knew Pia was not the kind of women whose life would revolve around their child. Bringing a child into the world was not her dream. She was just manipulating him. He hated her but it was equally true that he was responsible for it. Why should the child be a bastard? It was his child after all. What if she would commit suicide and name him responsible?
    With a heavy heart, he called off the engagement. He would never forget the look on Mishti's face. She had thought it was a joke at first and it had taken all his strength to not break down and tell her the truth. He had seen her sitting on the stairs in his rear view mirror and had let the tears flow down his eyes..
                                          

    Pia had no idea that Vishal would be so drunk. She had simply asked him to take off his kurta so she could scratch the nail polish off. He had been shy and handed it to her. She had closed the door. He sat on the bed, his gaze fixed on the carpet. She had touched him. He had pushed her away at first but she had pursued. She had claimed what she had wanted but all her joys had dashed when he had called her , "Mishti". She had wanted to avenge Mishti for the love that Vishal had for her!
    That was the only time she had him. He let her, thinking of her as Mishti. Since that day, he had never let her into his life. She had only been a mother to his child. She was frustrated with her life. This was not what she wanted. She wanted to travel the world, party, hop from one place to another, explore the world out there. Even though she loved Keya, she felt the responsibilities were a burden. Her parents too were not very supportive of her and Vishal was hardly the man she wanted for herself. Vishal would never love her. She could not steal him away from Mishti. She could not steal love nor could she force love. She was just chained to him.
                                                      
    She decided she did not want him back, even on facebook. She was happy being herself. She would find someone better. Whatever little hope that his request had aroused was not meant to be. IT would crumble down. Only, she didn't want to be waiting on stairs any more.. She clicked on "Unfriend".

    He had no right to go back into her life. He was destined to waste his life with Pia. He deleted his facebook profile and went to bed, another night cursing Pia.

   
      This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

      

This time your entry must contain the three words rear view mirrornail polishand awesome.