Friday, November 19, 2010

Coffee break!



Have you been waiting for long?

Not much. Just for 20 yrs. Ha ha...

Huh?! Mahesh! Well I am sorry you had to wait, the traffic was horrible.

Hey, that's okay. I have been here only for five minutes now.

You haven't changed a bit. You are still that funny old guy.

Well, what did you expect?

I expected a pot bellied, balding middle aged man. And look at you. At 48 you still look charming.

Ha ha... As always! Even you too look pretty. Yeah you have put on a bit of weight and your hair is greying at the temples but you don't seem to be any different.

Remember this place, when you first took me out? It was a small restaurant. With may be 10 -12 tables? Now this has become one of the hi-fi restaurants in this city.

Yeah, you are right. So what would you like to have?

Arabian coffee.



It's the same coffee that you ordered that day.

I know.

Excuse me! One Arabian coffee and one southern Indian Brew, please.

You too ordered the same.


So? Hows your husband?

Deepak? Good. And your wife?

Anitha is fine. She has gone to her native. Kids?

Yeah! Two. Elder one, Mrunal, is 17 and is in twelfth standard, and the younger one, Madhusha, is 12 and is in seventh standard.

Why are you torturing your kids?

What?! What do you mean! How can sending to school be torturous?

Who said anything about school? look at their names. Its difficult than their syllabus!

You incorrigible old man! Stop sniggering! Tell me about your kids.

I have only one daughter, Nisha. 14 yrs old. In school.

I hope she has taken after her mother.

Yeah she has taken after her mother in dumbness.

Come on. Will you ever be serious?

Yes I have been on many occasions.

Tell me the last one!

The day I got married. I was so serious I didn't talk to any one.

God! Ha ha ha ha... Seriously dude... oops... you are too old to be called a dude.

Hey! I am still young okay!


Why? You doubt? Look at the women at the other table. They are looking at me.

Yeah, and probably wondering who that cranky old guy is!

They are jealous of you. I can see it in their eyes.

You live in a world of your own, don't you? And why should they be jealous of me? They should have Anitha on their list. Don't you think?

But for now, in their eyes, you are my partner. So you also enjoy.

Yeah right! I am happy to be with Deepak...

Oohh! Good! Oh well the coffee. Have it before it turns cold.

Mmmm... the coffee just tastes nice, like it was that day...

Hmm... Is it the coffee or the company? eh?

I think... both...

So, tell me... How is your life?

Good. Wonderful husband, beautiful kids, nice house and good job.

And you?

What me?

Happy you? You didn't add that with the train of adjectives.

Me... uh... Isn't it understood that if all these things are right then I should be happy.

Hmmm... Yeah. You are correct.

You were trying to hear something else?

Nah... You want to say something else?

Ha ha ha... what is this? Some kind of kids play?

No no. Just thought, I saw something else in your eyes.

Oh... So tell me about your self.

Me? Just like you. Beautiful wife, wonderful kids, dream job and lovely house. What else could I need?

Really Mahesh, never thought that I will meet you here in Mumbai. I mean, I am in Delhi and all our old friends are in different places. This is just a good surprise from fate.

Yes... Even I didn't think that you will be coming down here, even for a day. When you called I was not sure what to do. I mean the only time that we have "officially" went out was 20yrs back. After that I am meeting you today. And then suddenly one day you told me you are getting married. I didn't know how to react to it.

Huh? My news of getting married evoked reaction in you?

I guess so...

What did you feel?

I think I was upset.


Yes why are you surprised?

I thought it wouldn't bother you.

Even I had thought so. But that day, somehow..

Why are you smiling?

Nothing... To think about it now, seems funny.

Yeah, I know.

So ever thought of me these twenty years?

You think if I hadn't thought of you I would have called you today to meet?

Good point there. Oh here the bill has come. You have Five rupees with you?

Ha ha ha... I wish I had.

Huh? What's so funny?

Remember that day after the coffee, while paying the bill you asked me to give you change for a five rupees note?

No.. I don't remember. What about it?

I had kept that note with me for long.


I dropped it into the temple box the day my marriage got fixed.


Why that reaction?

I never thought you had feelings for me.

What difference would that have made? You never were serious about relationships.

Who knows, may be if I were given a chance I would have become serious?

Yeah... Yeah...

Well past is past. We have come all this way. Now lets go further... I know it's a lame dialogue.. Ha ha ha... Gather your bags, lets leave. By the way, where is your cab parked?

On the other side of the road.

Okay come. Be careful when you cross the road. Remember you are 46.


Why are you smiling?

That day too we had to cross the road and you held my hand tenderly first and then gave it a press. I acted as if I didn't notice.

You are some kind of a woman, do you know that! And all this while I thought you were so innocent!

So here is my cab. Guess it's time to say good bye.

Yeah. Keep in touch.

Don't you think we have been? Else hows is that even after 20 yrs we still share the same chemistry.

Hmmm... But this time lets actually keep in touch. And more thing... Your eyes are still the same. Beautiful and always smiling. And the moist in them is just... you know...

Yeah... Bye... Take care.

You too... Sigh!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Your Voice

A soundless creak on my face,
A painless prick in my heart,
A mindless rush in my nerves,
When I hear your voice..

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Why blame Satan,
when the fruit itself is tempting?
Our minds would have long lost its chastity,
while we are still virgin!
Temptations so many around,
We can hardly resist.
We wait at the threshold,
Watching others, while we salivate.
Gutless, spineless, envious,
Teaching them the 'ways of honest lives'.
While we crave to be them.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fall of Honour

“We should throw these bastards out of our country! They have spoilt our culture. Our ancestors took pity on them and let them stay. And look what they do. They kill our brethrens; and rape our mothers and sisters! Don’t spare theirs’! Let their entire breed get terrified and not step out of their holes! This country needs your help my brothers, rise to the occasion, heed the call…” blared the recorder on my father-in-law’s desk. This was one of the speeches of his ‘Sanskaar Rakshak Samiti’ who considered themselves to be the saviours of our culture. They believed that India’s future lay in the hands of those sexagenarians and not in their younger generations’.

My five year old son woke up to this daily dose of crap. His grandfather was his idol, hence he considered himself to be a liberator too. I was sick and tired of this. I tried to reason with my father-in-law once. But it fell on deaf ears. That night my husband threw me out of our room for ‘being an ungrateful daughter-in-law’. I quit... Thereafter, I kept my opinions to myself.

Today was a bleak day. It rained incessantly. And the speech gave me creepy goosebumps. At that moment our doorbell rang. I opened it and saw one of those saviours outside, wet and dripping. He introduced himself as Krishnakanth and asked for my father-in-law who had gone to the temple. It was an unsaid rule that his friends were to be treated as family. So I invited him in, offered him dry towel and fresh pair of clothes, and asked if he would like to have something.

I went to the kitchen feeling awkward. No one was at home and I was alone with a stranger. Nevertheless, I started to prepare tea for him. My father-in-law treated his ‘friends’ with special home made cookies. It was in the upper-most shelf where I couldn’t reach. I tried to, but lost the balance and fell. Hearing the commotion, Krishnakanth came running to the kitchen. “Child, are you alright?” he asked from the doorway. I nodded. He came to me, caught my hand, and grabbed at my waist where my sari had come down. I recoiled and pushed him away. He said, “I was trying to help you.” I retorted, “I can manage, thanks!” He moved closer with a wolf like smile saying, “It’s okay, no one will know”. He was almost on me. I had sprained my ankle and couldn’t stand. Yet I dragged myself up and tried to run. He caught me from behind and rubbed his cheek and lips between my neck. I freed myself and ran out. He followed me. But before he could seize me, my father-in-law’s voice drifted in. He shot me a look of warning and went inside as if nothing happened. Smoke was coming from the kitchen. Our house stank of the charcoaled tea. I rushed in forgetting my pain.

My father-in-law walked in, followed by my husband and son, shouting, “What were you doing? Why is there such a mess? Focus on what you do instead of wasting time. What would be our guest thinking? He is the leader of our committee, whose speech we listen to every morning. You will bring disgrace to our family! Parth, control your wife before it’s too late!” saying so, he stomped away. My husband looked at me and shrugged. His eyes telling, “What am I to do with you?” He too walked away, with my son behind him, leaving me alone to fight my insult, injury and tears…

Capturing the wild

If someone told you that life is a series of memories strung together, would you agree?
You definitely would if you looked back at the instances when you have deeply wished to
yourself: ‘if only I could have captured this moment!’

Photography is an art of composing images built of a mass of light. A recipe for a good
photograph not only includes a good camera, but also a sound technical knowledge of
the equipment, a detailed understanding of the object in focus, and the ability to judge
the light, both natural or studio, to which the object is exposed to. An experienced
photographer first visualizes the image and then captures it as per the picture in his mind.
There are different forms of photography – nature, fashion, forensic studies, and so on.
Yet, no matter how diverse one type is from another, they have one thing in common: the
desire to capture the unique and the brilliant.

Wildlife photography is one of the most challenging forms of photography – a form that
pushes its pursuer to untold extremes to get the ‘perfect shot’. The result includes times
when we have look at an image and gazed at it in amazement, wondering how such a
beautiful sight could ever be captured in a photograph.

Imagine the picture of a tiger meandering through a low maze of dry grass at a sunset or
of a lazy python basking in the sun on a fallen branch. An image of such intensity is not
work of chance, but of a passionate person with patience, who knows exactly what he/she

To capture the wild, one would need sound technical skills, like the ability to judge the
light and exposure correctly and good field craft skills. For example, some animals could
be difficult to approach or the condition could be such that the slightest hint of intrusion
could ruin the desired image. In such an instance, the photographer will have to conceal
himself in a way that the animal doesn’t detect human presence.

There are no set rules, which state that to capture a wildlife photograph you need a high-
end camera. In many cases, even basic equipment can serve the purpose. But in certain
instances, one would require specialist equipment, such as macro lenses for insects,
long focal length lenses for birds, and underwater cameras for marine life. Digital and
automated cameras have proved to be a boon to the photographers. Now all it takes is the
need to be at the right place at the right time.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I'm sick
I'm tired,
I have prayed,
I have not strayed.
May be I'm over-reacting?!

I'm alone,
I fear,
No one to hear,
Only darkness near.
May be I'm over-reacting?!

I whine,
I pine,
You are tired,
You don't understand.
May be I'm over-reacting?!

I want an ear,
I want a heart,
I want your part,
To begin from the start.
May be I'm over-reacting?!

I'm paranoid,
I'm in corner,
No guts,
And it cuts.
May be I'm over-reacting?!

No faith,
Can't think straight,
Bad fate,
Which I hate.
May be I'm over-reacting?!

You cant see,
you cant feel,
You cant hear,
you are not near.
May be I'm over-reacting?!

May be I'm over-reacting?!

A clown,
In town,
People laugh,
I cry.
May be I'm over-reacting?!

An arm,
An ear,
A lap,
Is all I ask.
May be I'm over-reacting?!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My love... that you will never know...

Would you ever realise
That you are 'The One' for me?
Would you ever know
That you are 'The Love' I need?
Would you ever see
That my eyes are full of you?
Would you ever hear
That my heart beats for you?
Would you ever feel
That my breath is filled with your smell?
Would you ever find
That my skin is longing for your touch?
Would you ever get
That my lips are parched and waiting for yours?
You are next to me
A touch away
You are beside me
A hug away
Your breath is on my skin
But not for me
Is this how it's meant to be?
I love you and want to scream
To the world around I see.
But will you ever understand
That you are my elixir to live?
If I could, I would have snatched you,
from every love that came your way,
To make you mine, only mine.
But do you even know that I exist?
For you we are strangers,
But for me you are my desire,
My need, my want, my reason to live.
I love you and that's all for now I need...

To you

Am I still the one that you knew-
Or somebody different?
Am I still the name you take-
Or just another in the card?
Would you know me if I wear your shadow-
Walking behind you?
Would you see me if I were hidden-
In your heart from the world outside?
Would you still love me if I'm not what you want-
But an individual with free will?
Am I still the one-
Or somebody else...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Why are words on strike today?
Why do they refuse to flow?
I wont be what I am
if they let me go...
I'm made by them,
For it's them, that have given me my soul.
My feelings expressed through them,
My ideas through them show.
I know people through them,
And the world through them I know,
If they go,then I'm gone,
I wont be what I am, any more...

Monday, June 14, 2010

What god proposed and what man and woman disposed...

I have always heard that God created two amazing creatures - Man and Woman! And he also put a marvellous plan in place i.e., to create more of the same species, these creatures have to come together. The trouble is – to get them together… into a bond!

If Adam and Eve are our ancestors then I might be my husband's or boy friend's n-th generation sister!!! But then who cares? Even if you swear that you don’t need a guy to live on, your parents, siblings, relatives, neighbours, colleagues, and sometimes even friends (phew!!!) are desperate to get you laid! I think more than the parents it’s the aunts and cousins who have this itch that –‘Hey why is this one roaming free, when we all are screwed?! Let’s get her to kiss her happiness and freedom good-bye’. And these pile of 'well-wishers' stream into your house under the pretext of sympathy and rub a kilo of salt on your parents' cuts, wounds, bruises, scratch, and any damn opening in their body. If they find that these people are not wincing, then goes all the masala and tadka. Yikes!!!!

And the heat begins. Frantically your parents start searching guys for you as if there is going to be a great flood and all the male specie will be extinct after that. And in front of the society, it’s only their daughter who is roaming alone and virgin (so they think!), while all her friends, their friends’ daughters and the neighbours’ daughter are married with a bloated tummy! Lord! What a curse! So the main motive is to get rid of that curse. It begins with – a decent looking guy, with a decent background, good job and family. After a long search when the patience begins to lick the door of cold grave, the search pattern turns to - what the heck! Anyone is fine, as long as the doctor has certified that this creature is a man (!).

Now starts the grind. Matrimonial sites, greedy brokers, pestering aunts, concerned neighbours, nonsensical astrologers, blah blah blah, all compete with each other to make your life miserable. Every night you will crawl into bed after a battle with yourself, your sanity and insane parents who by now are convinced that either something is wrong with you or with your stars (poor souls, why cant people allow them to roam peacefully in their orbit?!!!). Funny as it may seem, for, when you see any guy’s profile your intuition says – uh oh… not this guy baby. You are wasting time pursuing this – But try putting this across to anyone, even the walls turn deaf! Your crying, cajoling, emotional blackmailing will all be attributed to the cursed time you are going through. All of a sudden the Gods take vacation, stars have a ball and your astrological chart turns astro-illogical. Every animal that you would have seen in zoo and in your fifth grade science text book attains holy position in your house. Each and every tree, stone, grass, mountains, and every shrine become your parents' favourite hangout. And there wouldn’t be a part left in your body which will not be carrying a holy thread or amulet.

You are dragged into a new phase, where you meet guys, which you despise. But for the sake of peace you succumb. You are hardly given a chance to say no, even to the ugliest pig on the block, and you are expected to gracefully swallow the insult of ‘checking and trashing’ that every 'eligible' guy you meet will do. The best thing? Yeah, your relatives mumbling under their breath – ‘how will anyone like her? Have you seen how she behaves? She is an arrogant useless woman! She doesn’t have any wife-like quality in her! And to top it she has high hopes! She should learn to compromise (which they will never allow their kid to do, even if he/she wants to).’ Tell them that you don’t want to stand in front of any guy ‘like a maal’ they would say ‘but beta that’s how it is. You know Meera aunty’s daughter met 20 guys before she got married. But now what? She is married to a good guy. He works in London.’ And you think, with your jaws touching the ground in your mind, WTF!

After fifth meeting your self respect starts waning. And your family’s discomfort will be on rise. To add fuel to this fire we all have a lion’s share of aunts and neighbours. So the hunt goes on, in full swing. And the rejection points keep adding to your list of ‘to-be-improved’ (and you complain why nobody likes you!) –
• ‘Oh, the girl is good, beautiful, but she will not be compatible with our son.’ And you have half the mind to say – ‘do you think that bugger even deserves me?!’
• ‘Oh the girl is short’- you think – ‘then marry Sushmita sen!’
• ‘Hmmm… She is good. But a bit on the heavier side’ – you think – ‘your son is no Salman. He will give complex to Adnan Sami or Walter Hudson’
• My favourite has and will always be ‘She is perfect to be my bride. But… she doesn’t know how to walk and sit’ – You think- ‘You want to marry or get me to walk on ramp!’
You fail to understand what your parents want. And especially the guys! Many a time I have heard my friends telling - men are from Mars and women are from Venus. If so, who the hell is from earth? Dinosaurs and eunuchs? May be. The former being the prospective in-law and latter, the guy you meet.

Your parents are confused and you are disillusioned. They go to every astrologer in sight, like an aids patient, who is fully aware that there is no cure for his/ her disease. This great man would be living in rags but predicts of your riches. One look at your parents’ faces and he knows – good, these people have a useless daughter who could not hook a guy till now- He closes his eyes, opens and runs them through your astrological chart, scratches his head because in front of a prospective client he cant scratch elsewhere and in a grave voice he will say – Her planets are dating the wrong planets in the wrong orbit. And their laying position is completely wrong (huh? - you think- will the 'congress of the crow' do?)! This is all because of her previous birth!’ Your previous birth history will be dug out from the grave, where your old body will be tossing and turning impatiently because of this nonsense. You will be made to feel sorry for something that you are not even sure if that existed. And even if it did, funniest part is, your parents of this birth will be paying price for what your parents in last birth did.

Well the fun continues. Every guy on the street now becomes your parents’ prospective son-in-law. Given a chance they will hang a board outside their house ‘Marry our daughter and avail a beautiful surprise offer. Hurry offer valid till our daughter lasts’. They start talking philosophy while you are losing your psychology. They ask you to bring someone but are scared what if you actually do. All possible doors are knocked, windows yanked, peep hole looked through, to find you a perfect match.

Finally the day comes. The guy meets the girl, the girl meets the guys, both like each other; the guy likes the girl and her family. Her family likes him too. The girl likes the guy and his family and his family too reciprocates. But the families fail to like each other!

Now begins another battle!

I think... God must have really been crazy when he created his two most wonderful creations...

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Sleep, I shalt not fight thee,
cause thou art the only one,
who flies me to the land of dreams,
who keeps me away from miseries
and who embraces me to comfort.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Letter to Ashley

Dear Ashley, Date: 28-04-11

For long I wanted to tell everything that I had for you in my mind. But gutless I am, I kept it locked. In these final moments I open my heart to you... only you. Hope you will understand what you mean to me. Please don't judge me by this, but accept that you had someone, who loved you with pure emotion and spirit.

Ashley, I'm a man trapped in a woman's body. I had never realised it, until your laughter tickled my senses. Those were days of madness. I agree I was never interested in guys, but then I was not interested in women either. And then one day I heard you, in the cafeteria. You were sitting there with your friends oblivious to my presence. And I was totally lost in you. What, why, how... I cannot answer. For me my first love, at first sight were you. When I realized it, I was scared and confused. I didn't know that I would ever feel this emotion called love. And that too for a woman. I couldn't accept it. I felt weird. I couldn't sleep the entire night. Your face and voice haunted me. Every musical strain reminded me of you. I hated that feeling. I felt like throwing up.

But then next day, you joined us at our office. You were given the cubicle next to mine and I knew I wont be able to help it anymore. I let my heart fall... deep into the pit that would only end with me.

I started looking forward to seeing you everyday. I loved your presence, your smell, your voice, your laugh, the sound of your breath, the way your hair curled, I loved your everything, I loved you... Your tears used to hurt me, when you turned pale my heart dipped. When I saw you low, I wanted to grab you and envelope you in my embrace, cover you with kisses and keep you safe from every vice. I felt like killing John for giving you flowers, but when I saw your smile, I melted. I was addicted to it. It kept me going but it also kept me off my sleep.

How many silent nights have I cried thinking of you. How many times have my heart broke when I saw you with John, hugging him, teasing him, even kissing him. It pained. All that which could have been mine was somebody else's. I used to fight with god, ask him why...why was I in a position that I couldn't ever profess my love to you? Why couldn't you be mine? Why... why... why???

Today I saw you walking down the aisle, with your arms in John's. I wished you to be happy, wished you everything good but also wished that you be mine in the next life if there will be one.

So, here my love, while I fly down these 30 stories, I open my heart to you. I have written my feelings in the air that's around me. Hope it will reach your soul with your breath and that my love for you will get a place in your heart.

Darling, for one last time- I love you now and forever :)

Yours Mary.

As written in news paper 29-04-11

"Thirty years old Mary, ends her life, by jumping down from a thirty storied building. The reason for suicide is unknown. According to her neighbours and colleagues, she was a loner and has no family, friends or any relation to call her own..."

Size does matters

The leaner you are,
The meaner you are seen.
The fatter you are,
The sweeter you seem.
The taller you are,
I look up to you.
The shorter you are,
I look down on you.
The bigger you are,
I'm scared to death.
The smaller you are,
You better beware!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A twinkle

Was that twinkle in the sky?
Or was that in my eye?
In my eye or in my smile?
In my smile or in my heart?
In my heart or in my soul?
From where is this sudden burst of light?
Is it love?
Or is it just me?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A chance...

Give me a chance and let me fly,
far away from this jungle and cry,
let the wind guide my wings,
and let it touch my heart and my mind...
the nest i seek is far away from here...
far away from madness...
far away from tears...

For peace

Destiny where are you taking me?
I'm afraid to hold your hands.
What if you leave me all alone?
What if I get lost in no man's land...?
And then this sleep that's hovering on me,
with the shroud of blackness,
While I fight in it's embrace,
I search for peace...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


A whirlwind in my head,
A storm in my heart,
I look ahead,
I look around,
And all I get to know -
is that I'm lost...
I broke up with my best friend
I broke up with my love
When push came to shove
I broke up with the God above.
And all that i get to know -
is that I'm lost...
I want to reach out
To my mind and heart
But I'm shooting arrows in the dark
And sadly I get to know-
is that I'm lost!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

with time..

Upon the wings of time
I sing, i dance, i fly
I laugh, i smile, I cry
I breathe, I gasp, I sigh
I walk, I run, I fall
I kiss, I hug, I crash
I learn, I live, I die
Upon the wings of time
I lay waiting for the final turn
of the wheel of fortune

Friday, January 22, 2010

The face of the voice...

It was just another busy day in my office life. Meetings with clients, internal meetings, briefing sessions, deadlines and deliveries, preparing proposals, the list was endless. I knew that it was going to be a long day at work.

I was at my desk when chief called me inside for the briefing session. I carried my notebook and pencil and drove my flock of creative team towards his cabin. This was a new project that had come across. The deadlines were short but the visibility through this project was extremely great. We all wanted this project to work out best as that would eventually lead to more business and further towards our target of achieving a crore a quarter. We all settled down and chief started to give us gyan on the new client and the new project.

As the briefing continued in heated discussion (which is our way or brain-storming) I heard my phone ringing at my desk. I cursed under my breath as I had left it there instead of carrying it along with me. Being in client servicing it was understood that half your day will get blown up in attending calls. But the worst is when you get from home!

I excused myself to answer the phone. And with a light irritation I realized that it's my mom calling. Usually when she calls I would cut her call and call her back to save her, her money. But I was in hurry to get back, as a whole team was waiting for me to return. I barked "hello! Is it urgent? Can we have this call later?" Without getting affected my mom replied,"Yeah it is urgent. We have got a proposal for you. He is interested in your profile and has liked your photo. Would like to talk to you. Can you? Are you free?" I felt like screaming. I controlled my emotion and said patiently, “Look mom, I’m in middle of a meeting. I really don’t have time for this. I-", "arrey tell me if it is okay for him to call you. I will give him your number." my mom cut in. Fighting with myself I said, “Okay you know my conditions. If he matches it ask him to call me. Right now I don't have time. I have to get back to that meeting. I’m cutting the call. Bye" without even waiting for her reply I punched the disconnect button and went back to chief's cabin.

The rest of day as I had expected was stuffed. I hardly had time to catch my breath. It was 8.00 pm before I could wind up. I shut my work station and walked towards the parking lot. It's then that I remembered what my mom had said. "Alright a guy was going to call me any moment now." I had butterflies in my stomach at the very thought because I knew what my parents would have wanted me to do. While I was engrossed in this thought my phone rang. My heart leapt. I pulled the phone out of my pocket to see my mom's name flashing on the display. I cursed again as I knew what this call was going to be about. "Yes mom?" I said. "Nothing, just wanted to know if he called?" asked my mom. I answered in negative and from there she went on to say, don't say anything stupid to the guy, don't talk too much, answer to his queries but you don’t ask any question...blah blah blah... When I heard this, only thought that ran though my head was what nonsense is she saying? I'm a complete city girl with an independent soul and spirit. Well capable to take care of my-self. I don’t want a man to take care of me. And then if he cannot put up with my nonsense now how was he going to spend his whole life with me? I had decide that I will do what I feel is right. After all I was 26! Till now I had listened to what my parents had to say. But now it was time to take the decision of my life. But I never shared these thoughts with my mom. I was snapped back into the present when my mom asked "understood?" I said, "Yeah yeah, will take care". So saying I pulled my bike out of parking lot and zoomed back home.
I was in Bangalore and my parents in Mangalore. I stayed with my friends in a two room house. One of them was a very close friend of mine who always gave me lecture on practicality. She shared room with the other girl who was our hostel mate too. Luckily I had a whole room to myself, the place which I could only share with one person in the whole world, my best friend Kirti, who had gone on an official trip to America. I missed her. And that too after this call I missed her more. I needed somebody to speak to about this whole issue. My parents are the last in list here. They will never understand what I wanted to tell them. For they still believed that I can’t decide what is good for me and what's not. I don’t know who put that idea in their head, that they have to do everything for me even take my decisions for me. May be I was too lethargic in my life to notice that they had gotten used to doing so all the while and I just woke up from my damned slumber to see that I had lost the pitch!
Anyway, I thought, let me talk to this guy and see. I waited till 10.30 pm and didn't find any call. While waiting I realized I had never asked my mom for his name. I took the phone to dial her number to find a message on the screen. It was my dad's. It read "Krishnan Namboodiri" followed by his phone number. I thought namboodiri? Interesting! I saved the number. And I went to my friend's room to wish her good night. At that time my phone beeped to indicate new message and it was from Krishnan. I opened the message it said, “I Neha, this is Krishnan. Sorry had a busy day in office. Let me know when I can call you." I replied, "Any time is okay with me." Five minutes later I was in conversation with this guy. He called me to apologize and fix a time for next day. Since we both were busy we decided that we will talk in the evening. So saying we wished each other good night and I proceeded to close the day.
Next day mom called me up in the morning. Asked me if he had called. I replied in affirmative and said I was impressed with the fact that he had courtesy to call up say that he was busy and that he couldn't call earlier. We have decided to speak today. Mom was relieved to see that I was okay about the guy. As I got ready to go to office I received a message from Krishnan asking if we can speak. I apologized and said since I’m on my way to office and I would be driving the bike it will be impossible for me to talk to him, but I can call him as soon as I reached office. He answered with an Ok and I rode to office.
I called him while entering the office just to hear him say, “Sorry Neha got a customer at my desk. Will call you in the evening." We hung up and I waited for the day to get dark. Krishnan called me at the scheduled time. That was our first real conversation but it never felt like that. I was in complete ease talking with this guy. I had no jittery feeling. He sounded as if he was my long lost friend who happened to get my contact number on face book. We spoke and spoke about each other, our likes and dislikes and the time wore off. After two ‘short’ hours we realized that we had actually been talking for a long time. He asked me worriedly, “isn’t it time for you to sleep?" I wanted to chat with some body. I missed Kirti. I wanted to talk to somebody and this guy had put me at ease. I said, “No. I will take some more time before I retire to bed." But then sensing that it was really too late I told him it's better if we end our call now. Before cutting the call he asked me, "if not a problem, can I call you tomorrow?" I said smiling, "yes. Will wait."
Before I could close my eyes I realized that I had not seen his profile which my father had sent across. I logged on to my mail and went through his details. His photo was also there. He looked chubby and cute. Had a baby innocence on his face and he was educated with a good job and an impressive family background. What else. I decide to try this out.
Next day again he called. We casually chatted about our profiles. And he said, "Know what? That photo in the profile is very old. It was clicked in 2003. I don’t look like that now. I have put on more weight." I was struck. Not that he was over weight. At his honesty. I have all throughout my life respected people who are honest. And this was just what he had. He scored his brownie points. I playfully told him to send me his latest image otherwise I will be looking over his shoulders when he would come to see me, hoping to meet some other Krishnan.
Every evening I used to look forward for this call. Easy one and half, two hours would go in this chat. I had almost decided that this is the guy. We had lot of likes in common. Our vision on life was same and the best was what our zodiac sign match said. These two signs' match is made in heaven. Angels sing when they come together and they are just perfect for each other. The match is 10/10. It just fueled my decision.
From the second call on I used to subtly or directly hint him to send his photo. He used to say yes but then never sent. I asked him once if we could do a video chat. He was open for that, but again gave me reasons of why not today, why not tomorrow. My parents started asking me when he intended to meet me. I had no answer. My dad after having lost his patience called his parents up. They said Krishnan till now has been fine about this proposal but will need few more days to decide.
That's it! My parents lost their interest and calm. They asked me to ditch this profile and move on with life. I was not game for it. I wanted to give Krishnan a chance as I was interested in this. Meanwhile my parents got me a new profile. I out right rejected it! I said I was ready to wait for Krishnan to say yes or no. Till then I don't want to see any more profile.
Krishnan's indecisiveness and my parents call started driving me crazy. I found it too much to contain. I called up Kirti, fought back my tears but poured my heart out. She could sense my pain. She said, “for once you have to take your decision in life. I know your parents want the best for you. But their displeasure now will only lead to happiness when they see that you are happy in life. And Krishnan. I don’t think that it's a guy worth waiting for. If he can't even send you his photo then he has got some problem." And somehow I knew what it was. He was insecured of his looks. He felt he was fat and he had lost his hair. In short he was bald and fat. This came out when I spoke to Krishnan and told him of my dilemma. I told him how my parents had got a new proposal and that the horoscope over there matched and the guy and his mother wanted to meet me. It was put on hold only because of Krishnan. For that he replied, "you go ahead and meet him, may be you would like him and you would get somebody slimmer than me". That day I lost my cool and almost screamed," Do you think I will reject you on the basis of your look? Do actually think I'm interested not in the person you are but how you look? Then let me make one thing clear. I have decided what I should do. My final decision will come on the day that I see you even if that is on video chat. I am tired of speaking to a faceless voice. I'm tired of thinking how you look. When I speak I speak with a blank mind. I go out and if I see a guy who is heavy I wonder if you would like that guy. I tired of playing this game. If you don’t decide then my parents will drop this and force me to move on. My deadline is one week from now. I don’t want to blow this last chance that I have. That's the reason I'm asking you. They want to get me engaged by next month!" Krishnan lost his calm. I could clearly feel the stress in his voice. I tried to soothe him down. But was actually feeling nice that he now felt the heat. He said he will discuss with his parents and let me know. Kirti complimented me for taking the right decision by putting my foot down. I was fed up of the whole nonsense of indecisiveness.
He called me next day to say that he was traveling to Malaysia with his brother and his family for four days. His company had chosen him as the star performer in the country and has sponsored to and fro tickets to any destination of his choice. And he chose to travel with his bother to Malaysia. My heart sank. I knew this was going to be another week of nothingness. I wished him good luck and chewed on my finger tips.
This was just too much to take. I decided I will follow the deadline of one week. The day after he comes back and if he still is indecisive I will drop this whole thing. I had planned to meet my parents during the weekend. And I knew this time it was going to be hard. On one side it was Krishnan, whose profile they had asked me to drop on the other it was the other profile which I had rejected and they were willing to take it ahead.
Krishnan's day of travel came. He called me to say bye. I mentally bade him good bye forever. Wished him and others happy journey and waited for my turn to go home. I was traveling next day. I had nothing to carry this time other than books and a heavy heart.
Friday 8.30 pm, I was at station waiting for the train when dad called me up to see if I had reached the station on right time and if the train had come. While talking he said he had his relatives visiting him from Mumbai. It pained, because Mumbai was Krishnan's home town. And these relatives of my dad knew Krishnan. I mumbled Okay and disconnected the call. I could feel my mind rewinding the last two weeks conversation with Krishnan in my head. I wanted to shut that voice off. I was not mentally committed to him but then waiting and shooting into nothingness was unbearable. Nobody understood what I went through. I had lost weight in two weeks. Thanks to Krishnan and my parents. I wanted to talk to Kirti and cry my heart out but that was impossible. She would get unnecessarily worried. It was while I was caught in this whirlwind that my mind stuck on one particular dialogue that Krishnan had said. I had wished Krishnan to have a good and enjoyable journey. He was apprehensive as he had got a news that due to bad weather 21 flights were cancelled. He was worried if one of it would be his. I assured him saying buddy you will make it. And eventually he did. He called from international airport to say he was catching his flight for Malaysia. I said, “see my wish has come true for you". He said, "Yeah. Thanks. This indicates that I should bring you into my life as soon as possible to enjoy more good luck." I smiled and replied, "You bet? That's the only reason I’m asking you to hurry up. This is a limited edition. Won’t wait for long. Only lucky ones can get it." He laughed, “you are being modest now." and I coyly replied in a very soft voice, "am I?" I had never made note of this exchange between us. But strangely before I boarded the train his line vibrated in loop inside my head and heart.
I shook that off and thought,"well this is not going to work. So let me just forget it. Guys can say many things. But they will never stick to it."
I dozed off to get up next day morning half an hour before I reached my stop. I called my father up to inform him that I was just half an hour away. At 8.30 am I reached Mangalore central. My dad was there to receive me. We both headed home in our car.
When I reached home I found mom was in her morose mood more because I was clinging on to Krishnan's profile and had rejected the other proposal. I was pained heavily. I was meeting her after a month and she was in no mood to talk to me. It has always been a rule with me that when I feel pained I pull out my walkman later ipod, plug the head phone in my ears and play the song in full volume. I spent rest of the day in front of the computer to avoid facing my parents lest some arguments flare up.
By the time it was evening my father walked to me and said," Neha get ready. We are going out to Sandhya aunty's place. I told you about those relatives right? They are coming over there." I had half a mind to say I'm not in mood. But I wanted some breath of fresh air so got ready to go.
Sandhya aunty is my mom's cousin and stays very close to our place. We walked down to her place. The minute I entered Ashwini my cousin rushed towards me screaming, "hey Neha... how are you lady? Long time? No calls or messages? Why you are not getting time is it?" I glared at my dad and mom for having shared Krishnan’s details with Sandhya aunty and family. Ashwini caught my look and sheepishly backed off. I was notorious for my dark foul mood and with the things that were happening I had a smoldering volcano inside my heart that would burst open with even a slightest prompt. I smiled weakly at Ashwini and went inside. Everybody greeted me and I just nodded my head towards everybody. My mom smiled and talked to everybody as if nothing had happened. My heart bled more. I wanted to cry but fought my tears back. I felt as if there was a lump stuck in my throat. I couldn't swallow. I was chocking within. But the world was happy.
At 6.00 pm the guests arrived. A middle aged couple with, two young guys one in mid thirties and other in late twenties and a young lady with a baby. I was literally not interested in meeting them but manners are something that you cannot forget no matter what. They were meeting me and Ashwini for the first time. So we both were introduced to them. But my dad as usual didn’t introduce them to us.
After the formal greeting I excused myself and went to terrace to lick my wound. Ashwini wanted to come but I silently forbade her. I went up, the wind was cool but my whole self within was hot with hurt. I sat there listening to the winds rustling through leafs; I opened my mind so that the wind could cool my senses. I got lost in the darkness with gratitude.
After sometime I heard a foot step behind me. My foul mood came back. I didn't want anybody to disturb this tranquil moment. I waited for Ashwini to say something for I was sure it was her. But nothing happened. I silently mumbled, "Go away. I want to be alone for sometime." to my relief the foot step moved only to be shocked later at it's owner's audacity as it moved closer to me. Before I could scream the voice spoke. "Hi Neha, this is Krishnan. Should say you look better than your picture." God I can't explain the anger which had been lying dormant and which had now seeped out of my bone into my tongue and on my face. I couldn't bear to think that my parents had got some moron to meet me when I had clearly said I want to see what decision Krishnan was going to take. I turned around to face the voice. It was the guy in the late twenties. He had a smile on his face. His eyes twinkled with familiarity. I cringed. Through my gritting teeth I asked, "Who are you? And what are you doing here? I'm sorry but right now I'm not ready for this and I'm not interested in this meeting." I scowled as the smile still remained unfaded. He calmly repeated, but I felt he was suppressing his laugh, "I’m Krishnan. Krishnan Namboodiri. Remember? The guy from Mumbai?" I thought I was imagining. I got confused. I couldn't comprehend. While caught in this quagmire I heard some more foot steps and that was of mine and this guy's families'. I looked at them. Everybody was smiling. But me? I was frowning. I had failed to realize that I was hearing the same voice which had put me at ease and then pushed me into distress. I had failed to realize that the voice in my head had finally come with a face. I failed to realize that it was Krishnan standing in front of me. It slowly sunk in. I didn’t know what to do. Cry, laugh, scream, tear my head apart, jump down the building...what the hell should I do?
Krishnan came forward and repeated again, “I’m Krishnan Neha. The same insensitive, indecisive guy, who put you in an embarrassing situation with your family. I have come to meet you and ask you if I can take you into my life and improve my luck. Can you be my lucky charm?”
I looked lost. All through the last two weeks I wanted to see him and when finally he came I had gone numb. But as it became clearer I knew what was happening. I asked him, "but you were supposed to be in Malaysia right?" He laughed lightly and said," yeah should have been but then nobody actually travels with out the lucky charm you see. I didn't go. I had planned to meet you. But then I wanted it to be a surprise for you. What joy would it be if you knew that I was coming? And what joy it would have been if you had seen me earlier also? I wanted to see you as you are. I had told your parents not to tell you. We secretly planned this." I just stared at him. I didn't know if I should believe or not. Or if I were dreaming. Even worse! I looked at mom and dad. They stood in baited breath.
I sat down clutching my head in my hands. Krishnan called my name. But I refused to look up. He sat next to me and whispered, "Are you alright?" Yes that was the prompt. The volcano inside me burst open and I bathed him in its hot lava. I screamed, "you moron, you have the audacity to ask me if I'm alright? Do you have any idea how bad this last week was? How torn I was? The pain of waiting and making my parents understand? How many times have I pictured murdering you? Or skinning you alive? Of kicking you black and blue? I used to think why couldn’t you understand what I was going through? I wanted to cry but didn't, thinking that would make me weak. I was fighting with my feeling all throughout. And you were planning behind my back giving me all the heart burns?" He said in his soothing voice, “you have a whole life to punish me for this. It's an interesting proposition. What say?" I barked, "Yeah that's what I'm going to do. Kick you life long for putting me in this situation." It took a whole minute for everybody to understand what I was saying. There was a cry of jubilation from mine and his family. Everybody got busy hugging each other while Krishnan leaned and whispered into my ears, “have to say, you look sweet with moist eyes. I think I actually fell for you now." I punched him on his upper arm, whispered back, “Asshole!” And let my-self lean against him while enjoying the moment and the happiness of my family. He slid his fingers into mine and locked them for eternity.