Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Back to home!!

(This is the first part of a new short story series. Hope you guys like it. Do leave your feedback and comments. They really inspire me :) )

Trring.. Tring.. Whose that at this time.. wondered Arul rubbing off his sleepy eyes.

It was from his home. He let it ring. I will call them later.. He pulled the blanket over his head and tried to go back into his beautiful dreams.

The mobile rang for the second time. Oh God! My mom.. She will never let me sleep..

“Hi Amma… Why calling me so early?”

“It already 9 in the morning pa.. Get up..”

“Mom.. you don’t understand.. It’s a Saturday… and Saturdays are only there for us to sleep..”

There was complete silence from the other end. Suddenly his dad spoke, “How are you.. ?”

Arul sat up.. It was unusual for his dad to speak to him.. “Is everything alright pa?”

“No problems here.. Just that..” his voice trailed off

“What appa.. tell me” inquisitively replied Arul

“Can you come home this Diwali? It’s been 6 years since you left for US.. Amma and I want to see you..” his voice choked.

Arul could feel the situation in his home. “I will try pa..”

He could hear his mom say, “Let him not come at all if he is not coming now”. Arul felt suddenly felt a surge of anger creeping into his body and then immediately cooled off. Perhaps I should go to India.. Perhaps I can avoid her.

“I will speak with my boss and get back to you..Is that ok?”

“We are waiting for you..” replied his dad.

“Bye dad.”

Arul tried to get back to his sleep. Something disturbed him about the last call. He could no longer sleep. He dragged himself out of his bed, half awake and headed for the bathroom. A couple of splashes of cold water completely woke him up. He made some omelets and ginger tea. Finishing his breakfast, he put on his track shoes and gathered himself for a short run. He usually ran half a mile to his best friend’s home. It was a weekend ritual for him.

After running hard for 45 minutes, he reached his friend home. His sweat poured from the back of his head and kissed the collar of his shirt. He wiped off the sweat on his forehead with his hand band and rang the doorbell. 

“Vaanga sir.. Long time no see..” spoke Anu as she called Arul him.

“Pick up that New York times paper also na?”

Arul bent down to pick up the paper and he could see an article about India on the front page. So many things reminding me about India today..

“Dosas for breakfast.. Ok for you?” spoke Anu as she thrust a towel at Arul and asked him to wipe off the sweat.

“No Anu.. I had breakfast..”

Anu glanced at him angrily “How many times I have asked you not to eat at home.. You will never listen..”

“So what is the problem. He will have a plate of dosas now also..” Anu and Arul turned in the direction the voice came from. Rajesh, Anu’s husband came out to the hall. He continued “Enna sir.. will you eat?”

“Aye Aye hitler..” spoke Arul and they all started laughing

As they started eating, Anu spoke up “Poor Arul.. He gets to eat good food only when he comes here”

Arul winked at her and spoke, “I am going to India soon..”

“Super da.. When are you going?”

“In 1-2 weeks Anu” replied Arul.

“Have you booked your flight tickets?” questioned Rajesh. Arul nodded his head saying no. Anu had been Arul best friend for 15 years. After her marriage, even Anu’s husband Rajesh became Arul’s best friend.

“Ask your amma to search for a good girl for you.. High time you got married” laughed Anu.

“Oh Anu.. not again” sighed Arul.

“What is wrong with that machi? You should get married now..” spoke Rajesh firmly.

Arul just thought about it but didn’t speak anything.

As Arul walked back to his home, he thought about how life around him had changed. All his friends were married. No bachelors party anymore I guess.. Arul was very firm that he would never marry a girl.. in fact never love a girl again.

He searched for iPhone from his pocket and dialed his boss’s number.

“Hey Steve..”

“Hey Arul, Wassup man?”

“Sorry to disturb so early in the morning.. I have a small request”


“Could I take a short holiday from next week?”

“And how long would you be away?”

“About a.. a month”

“Take 2 .. my boy.. you have been working quite hard lately. It’s my gift for you” laughed Steve.

“Thanks a lot Steve”

“No mention. Do update Seeni regarding your tasks and project updates”

“Sure Steve. I will”

“Alright.. Have a good day..”

“Thanks and same to you” Arul feel a whole new excitement creeping into him. Lots of shopping to do..

“Seat I-10 is to the left sir..” spoke the air-hostess as she guided him to his seat.

These plane rides take a hell lot of time.

Arul deposited his hand baggage in the space above the passenger seats and sat down in his window seat. He was feeling very cold. He hugged his jacket and looked out of the window. The Newark airport stretched far and wide and he could see 4-5 runways far ahead.

Bored of peeking through the window he turned to his left to see the people boarding and moving in towards their seats. There was an old grandma struggling to place her baggage in the baggage space. Arul quickly got up and helped the grandma. She thanked him. He then turned to take his place and pleasantly surprised a see a cute girl take his place.

“Chinmayi.. Come this side.. that’s uncles’ seat” ordered her mom.

“Amma.. please..” replied the girl. Her mom gave her a stern look.

“It’s ok.. Let her sit in the window seat. I will sit next to her”

The little girl’s mom thanked him and sat on the other side of the aisle.

Arul took his seat and watched the little girl curiously. He could see her fidgeting with all the books and the TV system in her seat. He smiled at her. She smiled back.

“Hi, I am Arul” as reached out his hand.

The little girl shook his hand and spoke “I am Chinmayi..”

“Which grade are you in?”

“3rd.. In Cayle school. You know where my school is?”

“Oh yeah.. It’s up on Campbell street”

“You are right” replied the little girl and she took out a big harry potter book from her bag.

What a cute girl.. A pony tailed hair dressing.. Hmm.. Arul thoughts went to his past.

“Come back Arul.. You have lots to study. You are not a small kid. You study in 7th grade.. remember that” Arul’s mom cried out.

“I will come in 1 hour” spoke Arul as he picked up the cricket bat and climbed up the stairs. Then he saw her.. A cute little girl.. pony tailed hair..

“Stop Arul” his mom’s voice boomed as Arul tried to hurriedly put on his slippers and slip away.

“Your mom is calling you” spoke the little girl.

Arul just smiled at her as he climbed up the stairs of his building. He could see Ajay and Deepak waiting for him at the terrace.

“We have been waiting for 2 hours for you now” spoke Ajay.

“Who is the new girl da?” questioned Arul as he tried to catch his breath.

“Which girl?” spoke Deepak.

“Oh! The new girl. Her name is Meera. She came recently to our building” spoke Ajay.

“Oh ok. Ok guys, time to play”

She has beautiful brown eyes..

Ajay had been waiting n the terrace for a long time. Arul slowly climbed up the stairs and joined him.

“Macha, you are always late..” complained Ajay.

“Sorry macha.. Had some work. This stupid professor gives so much work”

“Stop all this college work. Get a girl friend macha.. You are in 3rd year of college. Remember??”

Meera is all I want. I will tell him when I propose to her.

“Girls will come and go da. Sari, when is the cricket match on Saturday?” Arul tried to divert the topic.

“At 6am. At least come at right time for that”. The two friend chit-chatted throughout the evening.

Arul was busy studying for his exams in the terrace. Suddenly he could hear some footsteps. His heart raced and he waited with bated breath. It’s her.. Meera..

Arul tried to act as if he was studying.

“Don’t you act in front of me” a voice came from the far end of the terrace.

Arul looked up. There she was.. The most beautiful girl he had ever seen. It was like an angel standing in front of him in a white chudidhar. Beauty personified. Arul gazed into deep brown eyes. He sat there speechless.

“Enna boss.. no reply..”

“Aa.. hey.. no buddy.. trying to atleast study now for the exams”

“You will always say like and then get great marks”

Arul just smiled. Meera wondered what Arul would be thinking about her last statement. She knew it was true. He was very brilliant.

“You have to help me with these math problems. Would you have some time?”

Arul immediately kept his books aside and took the Math book from Meera’s hands. Always the first priority..

“Thanks” spoke Meera as she sat near him. Her hand accidently touched his and he shivered like a small kid. His body tightened up.

“Why are so afraid uncle?” spoke the little girl. Arul had clutched his seat belt very tightly.

She continued “Hold my hand if you want to”

Arul felt a little embarrassed. He managed a meek smile.

True to his prediction, the flight was damn long and it seemed to him that he would never reach India. 19 hours direct flight is always tough..

He picked up his baggage at the airport and headed towards the exit. He could see his mom and dad standing at the exit.

As he approached the exit, his dad came forward and hugged him. As he hugged his dad he could see his mom standing about 5 feet away and tears rolling down her cheeks past her spectacled face. Arul slowly moved past his dad and hugged his mom. Amma.. I am sorry.. he spoke inside his heart.

“It’s ok da.. you are back now right” spoke his mom, pretty much amazing him. He hugged his mom even tighter. He could see from the corner of his eyes that his dad had picked up his baggage and was moving towards the exit.

After some really good food and a good day’s sleep, Arul became completely refreshed. In the evening, he climbed the stairs leading to the terrace. He reached a small attic which lead to the terrace. He gently touched a heart shape scribble in the wall. My first kiss..

He could not stop thinking about Meera. It had been about 6 years now. Suddenly the air around him lit up with a Jasmine smell.. It cannot be her.. He turned his head slowly not really wanting to see her. There was no one around.

Arul was a touch disappointed. He quietly walked back home. As he entered his home, he could see his mom and dad whispering something to each other. On seeing him, they stopped their conversation. He felt something mysterious.

“What is it dad?” questioned Arul.

“Nothing.. Just some things”

“What are the things” stressed Arul.

“Tell me him pa..” spoke his mom. “It was a marriage proposal for you”

Before Arul could respond his mom continued “We have kind of rejected the idea. We will not pressurize you and lose you once again”

Arul was stunned by their assumption. The silence in the room settled down.

“I will marry amma..” he spoke finally to satisfy his ego and to prove his parents wrong.

He was amazed to see his mom and dad shaking their hands.

“I told you this plan will work” spoke Arul’s mom excitedly to her husband.
They immediately sat near Arul and spoke about the girl “She is from tirunelveli and her name is Anjali… and.. “ and conversation continued for hours. Finally I have got my son back.. thought Arul’s mom.

Arul had never seen a huge congregation of people. Even though it was a huge ancestral home, 100 people was way too many. People cramped themselves in all sorts of positions and he could feel all 100 pairs of eyes fixed on him. He was growing very uncomfortable.

His mom felt his uneasiness and asked if the girl could be brought to the main hall. Anjali came in a beautiful brown saree and bowed to the whole gathering.

Arul looked at her. She is very beautiful..She looked back at him.
Oh no.. Those beautiful brown eyes again..The girl smiled at him. It instantly made him very conformable. He turned to his mom to ask her if he could speak with the girl alone and was surprised to find his mom conveying the same to one of the relatives even before he spoke anything. She understands me so well..

A couple of relatives led them to a huge verandah. Arul really liked the old home. When they were alone, he opened his mouth to speak..

“Do you drink beer?”

Arul was stunned.. He nodded his head saying no.

“You smoke?”

He nodded his head again.

“Any girl friends?”

This woman is asking so many questions..

Arul gazed deeply into her brown eyes. They were beautiful. The girl somehow felt she had asked too many questions. She kept staring at him.

“You have beautiful eyes.. You know..” Arul tried to charm the girl. He had immediately decided that she would be his wife.

The girl laughed sheepishly. They both spoke about half an hour and both of them pretty much liked each other.

It was a Diwali morning and Arul had never heard so many crackers burst. Chennai had changed a lot ..

Arul was enjoying his mom’s delicacies. He was literally gulping down all the sweets. His mom and dad watched it with all enthusiasm. They were thrilled as well.
Arul’s mom brought him a green colored and placed it near him “I found this when I was cleaning your cupboard”

Arul nearly dropped the sweets in his hand. He looked angrily at him mom “Who asked you to touch these?”. He grabbed the bag and went inside his room.

He slowly opened the bag. It contained his most precious jewels. He took out the beautiful red colored greeting card which read “Seven reasons why I LOVE YOU”
He hugged it closely to his chest and eyes became moist. He opened it and saw a pair of beautifully drawn eyes.

“What are looking at dude?” Meera waved a hand near his face.

Arul could hardly take his eyes off Meera. He looked absolutely gorgeous in her yellow saree which she had worn for her senior’s farewell.

“Nothing” Arul tried to hide his smile.

“You are laughing at something.. tell me na.. this is the first time I am wearing a saree.. am so nervous..”

Arul looked at her “You are perfectly alright buddy..” he smiled again.

“And I love you a lot..” he uttered those precious words.

Meera was absolutely stunned to hear that. “You are just kidding right?”

“No Meera. I really love you. Perhaps seeing you in the saree, I just.. I just spoke my mind.. please..” his eyes pleaded. He knew Meera liked him a lot.

“No Arul..” Arul heard a deafening sound as if somebody hard slapped him hard. Meera continued “I am your best friend.. but I cannot love you” and she left quite angrily.

Tears started to roll from Arul’s eyes.

“One bad news pa” spoke Arul’s mom as she entered his room.

Arul looked up.

“Anjali has refused to marry you..”

Arul literally dropped to the floor..



Friday, November 20, 2009

A Love-ly Night..

(This is the last part of the short story series. I would like to thank my friend, Tarun Bansal for providing me the plot for this part. Please read the 1st, 2nd and the 3rd part also)

Part 1 - Lonely Night

Part 2 - The Accident

Part 3 - The Siamese


“Remember me?” spoke Janavi’s lover.

Anusha recovered from her mini shock and replied “Ya.. I am good. How come here?”

Janavi’s lover looked at Janavi and spoke “I came to see my sweetheart!!”

Anusha could see her sister’s eyes light up. She gently moved forward asking her sister to come out and closed the door.

Janavi’s lover was a little surprised and spoke “Are you going somewhere?”

“Ya.. My husband has met with an accident.. Both of us are going to meet him in the hospital”

Janavi’s lover became little concerned. “Can I come with you?”

Anusha looked at Janavi. She could see her sister’s eyes pleading for the permission to take her guy along with them.

She smiled at her sister and turned to Janavi’s lover “Ya.. You can come”

“She is back..Your wife” the nurse spoke as she exited from room 302. “Don’t try too hard with that.. be careful”

Anusha asked her sister and her lover to stand outside the room. Anusha entered the room and was pleasently surprised to see her husband standing up on a crutch. He is getting better now.. I hope he is not much shocked to see Janavi..

“Come in Janavi..” spoke Anusha. As Janavi entered the room, Rajeev looked at her and screamed “Ya..Yamini..” and fell to the floor. Anusha quickly grabbed him and balanced his hand on her shoulder.

Janavi’s lover came into the room hearing the noise. Rajeev looked at him and his face went pale. He passed out!!

“Move away everyone” ordered the nurse as she checked his pulse and sprinkled some water on the patient’s face. “Low on energy.. ” she declared. The nurse looked at Anusha and advised her “Give him some good food and water. He will be alright”

Anusha nodded her head. Rajeev looked around. He still could not believe his eyes.

As soon as the nurse left the room, Anusha went near her husband spoke gently to him. “She is Yamini’s twin sister. She is my sister too. You did not see her during our marriage”

Rajeev was more interested in Janavi lover. Why is he surprised to see her lover? thought Anusha.

“Machi.. How are you da?” spoke Janavi’s lover to Rajeev.

“Where were you so long? No calls.. No mails..” replied Rajeev.

Anusha was totally confused. “Do you guys know each other?”

“He is my best friend.. Vignesh”

Anusha and Janavi were shocked!! What a coincidence..

“How come you both together?”

“That’s a very long story.. You get well.. I will tell you later.”

The next day Rajeev got discharged and Anusha, Janavi and Vignesh accompanied him to their home. They all sat together in the main hall. Rajeev was still confused and wanted to hear the full story from Vignesh.

As they sat on the sofa.. Rajeev could not take his eyes off Janavi. It’s like Yamani sitting alive in front of me.. I loved her so much.. his thoughts recollected to the last few minutes of that horrible accident. He closed his eyes and lay back.

“Coffee..” his thoughts were interrupted by Anusha’s voice. As he took the cup of coffee from Anusha, Vignesh spoke “You ok machi?”

“I am ok da.. Where were you machi? What happened to you after college?”

“You remember that after Yamani’s death all of us were shocked. None of us could come back to our normal life. Then both of us somehow got through our campus interviews.”

“Ya da.. I remember you got into IBM..”

“Ya..” Vigensh sipped his coffee as Anusha and Janavi intently listened to their conversation. “After college, I went to my hometown..”

“Kalladai Kurcuhi” Rajeev interrupted.

“Yep. As I enjoyed there, roaming around the city with my friend, I saw her” Vignesh looked at Janavi.

“When I first saw her, I was shocked. I just could not believe that Yamani was walking alive right in front of my eyes. I was too shocked to speak with her.”

Rajeev sat there trying to absorb every word of this conversation.

“I then searched for a week and found her name and address. I was about to call you when I found out that she was not Yamani, but her twin sister Janavi. The more I started following her the more I started liking her.”

Janavi blushed a little.

“She would stay indoors mostly and I had absolutely no chance of meeting her expect on the way to her college. One day it so happened that I entered her college in a rush of adrenaline. There was a major reshuffle in their classes as there had been some strike in that college some days back. I quickly went into her class pretending to be a student.”

Anusha could scarcely believe that. She didn’t know this. “So you stayed the whole day in the college?”

“No. I would be there for first 2 classes and then would come out by jumping the wall. I was in there for only a week before I gave the love letter to Janavi.”

Janavi started blushing a lot more. Anusha also felt a tinge of blush. I wish I had such a love story.. wished Anusha.

“Then suddenly Anusha called me that evening and everything happened so fast that I was in no control of the situation.”

“What happened?” questioned Rajeev ignorant of the incidents which followed later.

Anusha quickly filled him with all information regarding the failed love incident. Rajeev got shocked on hearing that.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” spoke Rajeev angrily to Vignesh.

Not one more time in my love life da.. thought Vignesh. “Illa machi, you were down and hurt. So I didn’t want to disturb you”

Rajeev just nodded his head. In that situation he had been he would not even have attended Vignesh’s call.

“How come you married so soon?” spoke Vignesh.

“My grandmother was unwell. My mother who knew about the whole story arranged for a life partner for me thinking that it would be good for me. She forced me to marry. But I still don’t know who told my mother all the incidents about Yamini.”

Vignesh felt a tint of guilt strike his heart. He had told Rajeev’s mother everything thinking that his mother’s love and affection would help get over his problem but he least expected it to result in his marriage.

As they all sat in the hall in silence, everybody felt destiny striking them in their face. They were all amazed to see how one person had brought all of them together.

“We are going to Kalladai kuruchi today..” Vignesh spoke breaking the silence that had enveloped the room.

Anusha turned towards Janavi and questioned “What about your job?”

Janavi just smiled at her. Anusha understood that it was a lie.

“She came here to give you the green diary and to see you. She realized you could have some problems after reading the diary. I got her number after she left from Chennai. So I took the next train to your place.” clarified Vignesh.

I wish my husband could do something like that..

Rajeev spoke up “What diary?”

“It’s Yamini’s diary” replied Anusha looking at the diary on the table.

“Get me that..” ordered Rajeev. Anusha gave him the diary.

“How did you get this?” Rajeev questioned Janavi.

“I was staying at my uncle’s place where Yamani had grown up and so I happened to read it one day”

Rajeev nodded his head and started reading through it. He was startled to see so many references about him. He quickly came to the last page.

“Tomorrow is my biggest day. Rajeev had apologized to me a week ago. I am not angry with him now will I ever be. I will be meeting him at the Spencer at 10am tomorrow. I have asked Vignesh to bring him there somehow so that we both can shock him. Rajeev is not a big part of my life.. HE IS MY LIFE.. I love him..

Rajeev saw a big heart symbol next to it. A tear fell from his eyes onto the diary. He had got his answers as to why Yamini loved him so much. Rajeev clutched the book close to his heart and closed his eyes.

Vignesh spoke up “Our train leaves at 7 pm”.

Rajeev hastily came back into reality, “That’s 6 hours from now..What will you tell your and Janavi’s parents?”

“I will handle them” Vignesh spoke confidently.

Quite brave.. thought Rajeev.

“Can I go to the station?” Anusha requested Rajeev.

“Yeah. I have to catch up with some sleep also.” Rajeev was still amazed to see Janavi. He felt as if he was sitting with Yamini.

Soon the three of them left to the station. After all the luggage had been loaded, Vignesh left the two sisters alone and went to get some bottles of water.

“Forgive me for everything..” Anusha cried as she hugged Janavi.

“Akka.. I knew you were jealous of me..” Anusha was shocked to hear this.

Janavi quickly continued.. “You are my first and only sister. I trust you more than anybody else. Your decisions have always been correct in my life. I will miss you so much akka..”

Vignesh came back clutching two bottles of Bisleri water and saw the sisters hugging and crying. Soon they all heard the train horn and Anusha quickly got down to the platform. A few minutes later she waved off to her sister and her husband’s best friend.

“Super food!!” exclaimed Rajeev. “More payasam for me..” he ordered to the cooks.

“Eat less.. You have become so fat..” spoke Anusha as she teased him for his growing waistline.

“Let sir eat everything he wishes madam” spoke the cook.

She is so beautiful in the silk saree.. thought Rajeev looking at his wife.

“Eat fast.. the marriage will be over by the time you eat” spoke Anusha’s mom sitting next to them. It was three months since Vignesh and Janavi left Rajeev’s home. After a lot of struggle they managed to convince their parents to agree for their marriage.

Rajeev and Anusha finished their breakfast as quickly as possible and headed to the marriage hall. They could see Vignesh and Janavi beautifully dressed, sitting in the marriage pedestal. A thick smoke emanating from the pooja kundali hung through the air.

Rajeev took some pictures from his digital camera. Needless to say, he took many pictures of his wife.

As the priest spoke the sacred verses.. Mangalyam thantunaena.. Vignesh tied the sacred thread around Janavi’s neck as everybody in the crowd showered them with flowers and blessings.

Then it was time for the family picture.

Rajeev stood next the groom and everyone in the family huddled together. As the photographer completed his shot everybody turned around to leave, when Rajeev whispered into Vignesh’s ears. “So what number is she?”

Vignesh was stunned! He is going to destroy my life again..

“Just kidding da.. Whatever is her number.. she is forever yours.. Take care of her..” Rajeev hugged Vignesh as he congratulated him. Vignesh smiled at him and thanked him.

It was dinner time and Rajeev and Anusha sat in a corner of the marriage hall talking with each other. Just then two kids came running up to them. Rajeev lifted the small girl while Anusha lifted the cute little boy.

“What is your name?” questioned Anusha looking at the boy.


“And yours?” Rajeev looked at the girl.


Rajeev hugged the girl after hearing that name and looked at the small girl and spoke “You know what.. I loooooove Anusha a lot..”

Suddenly both the children wriggled out of Rajeev and Anusha’s hands and ran.

“Wait..” Anusha ran behind them.

Rajeev watched everything with amusement. About half an hour later, on not seeing Anusha anywhere, he called the small girl and asked her about his wife. The small girl pointed to the terrace. Rajeev climbed the stairs quickly to see his wife standing and watching the moon.

He gently hugged her from the back. He could hear her crying. He turned her around and looked into the teary eyes.

“You still love her right?”

Rajeev understood the problem. “I loved her before I saw you. If I had seen you I would have proposed to you directly..” Rajeev replied as he tried to hug Anusha.

“Don’t lie..” Anusha gently pushed him away.

“See.. love is not about our feelings.. That happens only in story books and movies. True love is when you find somebody who reciprocates your love.. I have found you and I truly love you..”

Anusha hugged her husband for she had found her true love and so had Rajeev. The moonlight shone brightly, blessing them for a happy married life.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Siamese.. (Part 3)

(This is the third part of the short story series. Please read the 1st and 2nd part also)

Part 1 - Lonely Night

Part 2 - the Accident

This is not true.. Anusha stood up shaking her head. She dropped into the bed and started thinking. How come.. my sis.. I don’t believe this..

Slowly she closed her eyes and began thinking. Suddenly the thought.. the realization hit her. She opened her eyes and saw the photo. Could it be Yamini? I guess it is her.. but.. Rajeev..

She got confused again. Finally she understood the whole story. She had seen too many movies not to understand the plot. She took the photo and gently ran her fingers on it. Her eyes swelled up thinking about Yamini. She could still remember the loud wails of Yamini’s mother and father when she had gone to their home to attend her funeral.

In the silent walls of her bedroom, she could distantly hear her mom’s voice call out Anusha. That’s was about fifteen years ago.

“You care about your two adopted daughters, not me” complained Anusha.

“Who is there for these two girls except for us? Don’t get jealous ma” consoled her mom.

“Come her both of you” beckoned her mom to both the girls.

“You two girls are the most beautiful twins in the world”

“Ya akka.. Both Janavi and Yamini are so beautiful. I would have never got such a beautiful girl if not for you” spoke Anusha’s uncle.

“It’s all god’s grace” replied Anusha’s mother.

Anusha could still remember the day when her adopted sister came home. She had heard that bad times come in double packages but that was the first time she felt that.

“Why did you bring her home?” questioned Anusha.

“I and your uncle went to this orphanage. We liked a girl so much. We wanted to get that girl for your uncle when her twin came up to me and called me amma” tears flowed in Malathi’s eyes. She continued “I just could not do anything but bring her home. So we decided that Yamini will stay at your uncle’s home in Chennai and Janavi will stay with us”

Anusha had started hating Janavi a lot and now she had to deal with the double trouble whenever Yamini visited her home also.

Anusha could still remember her Chennai trip five years ago. She had hated to meet her sister’s twin. But unlike what she thought Yamini was such a nice well-behaved girl, but she was a little stubborn though.

Trriinng.. Trriinng.. Anusha’s thoughts were disturbed by a call. She looked up her mobile. It was Janavi calling her. She hesitated for a second. She finally picked up the call.

“Hello akka.. How are you?”

“I am good da.. How are you?”

“I am fine akka.. One good news.. I have got a job and I am coming to Gurgaon in two days”

“What.. When.. “ stammered Anusha.

“What happened akka? Any problem”

“No no..” Anusha spoke as she steadied her voice. “When are you coming?”

“Two days later akka.. I actually wanted to surprise you, but finally I thought that I might as well inform you”

Bad surprise.. “That’s ok da.. Come here. I will make good food for you”

“How is your husband?”

“He is.. he is good”

“Give my regards to him. Ok akka.. I have to go..Lots of work to do before I leave.. bye..”

“Bye” Anusha suddenly realized that she had not asked about her mom and dad. She wanted to call again but then realized that she had to give Rajeev the food and the CD soon. She quickly prepared lunch and left for the hospital.

Anusha could see that Rajeev was much better today. He was still in a state of semi-consciousness. He couldn’t move his leg or his hand. The doctors had later recognized a hairline fracture in his left hand. Rajeev cried out in pain occasionally. Anusha didn’t know what to do. She wanted to help her husband but she didn’t know how he would react. The nurse came in for her periodic checkup. She cleaned up the medicines on the table and changed the sheet hanging at the end of patient bed.

“Give him a hot towel bath” instructed the nurse as she started leaving the room.


The nurse looked at her curiously “Yes you..”

“Could you please give that?” requested Anusha.

“Who is his wife.. You or me?”. The nurse chuckled as she left the room.

Anusha slowly went near her husband. God save me.. She kept the hot towel on his forehead and Rajeev screamed out. She got scared and jumped back. Rajeev opened his eyes. He saw his terrified wife standing the corner of the room. He gently smiled at her. He asked to come near him and took her hand gently and placed it on his forehead.

Two hours later it was lunch time. “I have never eaten such good food in the last 6 months. You learned from your mom?”

I have been making this food for the last one week.. he realizes it only now.. Anusha just nodded her head in affirmation.

“Awesome.. make more good food like this when I come home..” Rajeev spoke after Anusha had helped him eat the last morsels of his delicious lunch. She wiped off his mouth with her saree.

Rajeev suddenly looked around a little tensed up. Anusha wanted to know the cause of concern. Rajeev quite shyly spoke up “Where is the restroom?”

Anusha smiled and looked to the left of the room. She gently helped him to the restroom.

“So towel bath done?” smiled the nurse as she came into the room.

“Ya ya..” blushed Rajeev as Anusha looked on as to how life had changed so much for her in a span of few days.

The next two beautiful days passed very quickly. Anusha had never seen Rajeev speak so kindly and openly to her. He would tell her about his strange stories of adapting to the new place to which we was transferred. She kept listening patiently to everything that he spoke. He is really a nice guy..

“Actually I didn’t want to marry you”

I know everything.. Anusha raised her eyebrows pretending to not know anything.

“But I feel I have done the right thing”. Anusha could see the gratitude on Rajeev face. “And I have not told this to you before.. You are .. you are very beautiful”
Anusha blushed. She really had started liking him. “Thank you.” She was thinking on what response Rajeev would give her if she asked him about Yamani’s photo. She gathered all her courage and was about to ask him but just then Anusha’s phone rang. She saw a call from her sister’s mobile.

“Hello” spoke Anusha as she moved towards the hospital window to get a better signal. Rajeev could see Anusha speaking to her sister.

“Ok.. I will come in one hour” spoke Anusha as she finished her call. She looked at Rajeev and she could see him nod his head in affirmation. She had not even told a word to her husband but he understood everything. Speaking with eyes.. hmm..
“Janavi is here.. I will receive her at the station and come back soon. If you need anything call me”

Rajeev looked at her. A nod again..

“You will be pleased.. in fact surprised to see my sister” spoke Anusha as she closed the room door and started towards the station.

“Yes..Yes.. Note down the address..” spoke Janavi hurriedly.

Anusha waded through the crowd in the station and saw Janavi speaking with somebody on the phone.

“Janavi..” waved Anusha.

Janavi immediately cut the call and waved back. Anusha rapidly walked towards Janavi and gave her a big hug. I missed her so much. They had become very close after Janavi’s tragic incident. Anusha took one of Janavi’s bags and both of them headed for Anusha’s home.

“This is my beautiful home” Anusha proudly spoke to her sister as they entered the home.

Janavi was pleasantly surprised how beautifully decorated the home was. She sat on the sofa.

“Take a shower while I prepare your lunch” instructed Anusha.

“Ok akka.” Janavi gently rose from her chair and went up to her sister’s marriage photo which hung on the wall.. I have seen him before..

“Go and get ready fast..”

“Yes akka.. yes yes..” Janavi went to get refreshed.

After the lunch, Anusha informed Janavi that her husband had met with accident and was in hospital.

Janavi was shocked “Is he ok now?”

“Ya ya.. Nothing to worry. He will be discharged tomorrow. I have to go now to hospital.”

“Oh ok akka..”

As they started to leave, Janavi took out a big green diary and gave to Anusha.
Anusha could see that it was a very old diary and could see the words “My Diary” written on it.

“Whose is it?”

“Open and read it” motioned Janavi.

Anusha gently opened the book and could see Yamini’s name written inside. As she flipped inside she could see everything.. Everything that had happened in Yamani’s life was written inside.

There was a reference to a temple trip that they had all made together fifteen years ago and she also saw some words written about her.

“After ten years, I saw my other sister today. She was so sweet to me. I have never spoken to her before. We went to the beach and Satyam theatre together…..”

Anusha read through the whole part. She then flipped through a couple of pages more and suddenly found Rajeev photo stuck in one of the pages. She was a little shocked.
Anusha looked up at her sister. Her sister nodded her head and asked her to read on.

“It was my first day in college today. I was horrified of ragging. After our bus dropped us off in our university, I and my friend started walking fast towards our class. We didn’t want to get caught by our seniors. But unfortunately for us a small gang of seniors caught us. I was horrified and started praying. They asked us our names and asked us to sing. My friend sang but I refused. One of the seniors got very angry and walked towards me… I just kept staring at him. He kept coming towards me and I shut my eyes tightly vowing not to open it. “Macha..” I could hear a voice. I looked behind to see my senior hug a boy. He smiled at me. I smiled backed knowing that he had saved my day. I quickly rushed back to class. I could see the same guy who helped me sit behind me in class. I thanked him for his help today and he just waved his hand accepting my gratitude. A nice guy..Rajeev”

Anusha flipped through the next couple of pages. Everything that was written in the diary after that was all about Rajeev. Rajeev .. Rajeev and only rajeev..

Anusha was reading through the diary when her phone rang. She saw her husband’s number on it.

“Where are you?”

“I am just coming.. I will be there in 20 minutes”

Anusha gently placed the diary on the table and asked Janavi to come to the hospital. Janavi was a little skeptical to come but Anusha forced her.

Rajeev will get the shock of his life when he sees Janavi. But few seconds after she opened her main door to leave, she got the shock of her life to see a person standing in front of her home.

I have a seen him somewhere.. Her brain was scanning through images of all the people whom she knew. Oh ya.. It was Janavi’s lover..

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Accident.. (Part2)

(This is the second part of the short story series. Please read the 1st part also)

Part 1 - Lonely Night

Rajeev was sweating all over following the recollection of that horrible accident. I killed her.. His thoughts ran wild.

He picked up himself and opened the fridge and drank some cold water. He could feel his heart racing fast and the throbbing headache which had troubled him all day returned back. He gulped down a couple of Anacins and lay on the sofa couch. Soon he was fast asleep.

Rajeev was woken up by the alarm on his watch. It was 6 am.. He dragged himself up and checked the bedroom. Anusha was still asleep. Rajeev remembered his telecom meeting at 8 am with the client manager. He quickly took a shower and got dressed up. He made some omelets’ and hot ginger tea. He poured the extra tea into a flask and placed it beside his sleeping wife. He gently touched her hair. He really liked her and felt guilty for not speaking much to her. He had been going through some really horrid time in his work and also in his personal life. I will take her to a movie today..

He quickly walked down the road. His office was a 20 minute walk from his home. One the way he could see some people crossing the road in a hurry. He shuddered looking at them. His thought once again went back to his past.

Rajeev was horrified to see the car crashing into Yamini. He quickly crossed the road, jumped over the divider and went close to Yamini and picked her up. There was blood splashed all over the place. He checked her heart beat.. No sound.. His heart started beating fast. He quickly gathered her in his arms and called for an auto. Yamini’s friend ran and stood beside her. He gently carried her into the auto and asked her friend to inform her mom and dad and directed the driver to go to the nearest hospital.

“Yamini..” he gently slapped her. “Hello… speak up.. Yamini..” tears started to flow out of his eyes. He had never cried in his entire life. His father had told him that it was unmanly for a man to cry. But for the first time in his life, he was crying. He wished Yamini could see him and could hear him calling out for her.

“You are alive.. I know that.. open your eyes Yamini.. Please… Please..” Rajeev started crying really badly. He felt that he was losing the battle.. the battle of death. He could see blood sputtered all over her face and blood was also oozing from the back of her head. He could see her beautiful face very pale... Please god.. SAVE HER!!

The auto reached the hospital. Rajeev quickly got down and shouted for the doctor as he entered the hospital. Immediately two nurses present there helped him and took Yamini to the ICU. Rajeev walked along with her holding her hands. “You will be alright.. Yamini.. You will be alright..”. He had to leave Yamini’s hands when she entered the ICU.

He came to front of the hospital and paid the auto driver. Everybody down there was looking at him strangely. He checked his shirt and it was completely blood stained. He went inside the rest room and tried to splash water and cleaned his shirt. He went back to the ICU. Many doctors had gathered outside ICU. He spoke to one of the them.

“How is Yamini, doctor?”

“I am extremely sorry.. She is dead..”

A thunderbolt had struck Rajeev. He slowly leaned onto the wall. He closed his eyes and tears once again started rolling down his eyes. He could hear Yamini’s parents voices. They came running in and questioned the doctor about their girl. Rajeev slowly started walking towards the nearby window. I need some fresh air.. Rajeev was nearly fainting now. As he moved towards the window, he could the loud wails of Yamini’s mother. He turned back and saw her father slowly bending down towards the floor.

With tears streaming down his eyes, he reached the window sill. I HAVE KILLED HER.. It’s all my mistake.. She is gone.. gone forever..

A shriek honk brought Rajeev back from his thoughts. Rajeev froze in the middle of the road. He could see vehicles all around him. Thinking about the past accident, he had literally stopped in the middle of the road with traffic flowing all around him. He twisted, moved and rotated to avoid all the cars and motorbikes. Suddenly he felt something hit him very hard and he went flying onto the pavement.

“Are you Rajeev Shivganesh’s wife?”

“Ya, What happened?”

“I am sorry to tell you ma’m.. Your husband has met with a small accident”

“Accident?”shouted Anusha. She was sweating completely now. He could hardly hold the phone.

“It was a small accident. Please don’t panic. Please come to Leelavati hospital immediately..”

Anusha noted down the address, changed her dress and rushed to the hospital. Her mind was rapidly thinking about what would have happened to her husband. She went to reception and asked the receptionist about her husband. On getting the information that her husband was admitted to room 302, she climbed up the stairs and immediately rushed to room.

She could see a doctor coming out of the room 302. She went to the doctor and spoke

“How is my husband?”

“He is fine. Just a minor accident. Are you his wife?”

“Yes doctor”

“Please come with me”

She followed the doctor to his office.

“Your husband is fine. A motorbike ran into him and threw him onto the pavement. He has fractured his leg. He should be fine in a week.”

Thank God. “Thank you doctor. Can I see him now?”

“Sure. But he is on sedatives now. Don’t disturb him.”

“Sure doctor..”

She went into the room. Rajeev lay on the bed with his leg bandaged and hanging from a rod. She quietly sat in the sofa beside her husband. Her heart was still
beating fast.

Please god.. Forgive me for what I have done.. Please spare my husband.. prayed Anusha.

She took her mobile from her purse and scrolled to her home number. She wanted to speak with her mom. She dialed the number.. she cut the call.. and let out a deep sigh.

She didn’t want to disturb her mom and dad. As she deposited her mobile back into her purse, a photo fell out. She picked it up. It was her family photo. Her eyes swelled up thinking about her family.

She wanted to hug her mom and sis and cry. She missed her town a lot. She had grown up in the small beautiful town of Kalladai Kuruchi. It was a beautiful town with lots of trees and temples.

Her parents showered her with all the love till the small devil came by. She could clearly remember that incident which had happened on her 4th birthday. Her mom’s brother had come to their home. She could remember the conversation between her mom and her uncle. Her uncle had no children and was worried about it.

“So what is the problem? Adopt a child..” advised Anusha’s mom.

“Adopt a child.. hmm” her uncle thought out loud.

“I will come with you and your wife. Don’t worry, it will be alright.”

She could remember that shocking day. Instead of choosing a child for her brother and his wife, her mother also brought a small baby girl to their home. Anusha was very excited and loved her sister, Janavi. But as time went by her parents started showering more love and affection on the youngest member of the family.

Anusha became jealous of her so called sister. She started hitting and pinching Janavi. Her mom and dad thought that it was a normal sibling fight. But Anusha never forgave Janavi for snatching away her rightful parental love and affection.

As time went on, Janavi adored Anusha but Anusha just HATED her sister and would miss no opportunity to insult or hurt her. She wanted that devil out of her home. She got a big opportunity a few years later and she didn’t miss it.

Anusha and Janavi were studying in same college. On a clear Friday morning, they both were standing in the bus station. The bus station was pretty much empty with only a few passengers waiting there. Suddenly a young guy suddenly ran up to them and gave a piece of paper to Janavi and ran away. Anusha was stunned!!

She questioned Janavi as to who that person was. Her sister complained to her that the person was following her for a long time and that he studied in her class. Anusha took the love letter from her sister’s hand and read it and saw the guys’ phone number on it.

In the evening she called that person and spoke with him. Over the next few days, she tried to convince her sister to accept the proposal. Initially Janavi was surprised and very confused, but soon came to believe that her elder sister was doing well for her. However, Janavi knew that her father would never accept a boy from another caste and kept refusing to accept the proposal.

“He is good guy, Jan. Accept him and he will keep you like a princess.”

“No Akka.. appa will never accept him”

“That’s not a problem.. elope with him somewhere.. marry him and come back.. I will convince appa by then”

Despite Janavi’s protest, Anusha convinced her to accept the proposal and helped them elope. However, the parents of Janavi’s lover found it out and caught them eloping away. Janavi was sent back to her home with a strong warning and she was devastated. Meanwhile, her lover got depressed and drank poison and was admitted to the hospital.

“He is in very serious condition” spoke Janavi with tears in her eyes.

Anusha realized that she had spoilt her sister’s life and repented for it. Things had gone far too ahead for her to do anything. Things became worse when one of her aunt came to her home. Anusha overheard the conversation between her mom and her aunt.

“See Malathi, I understand your family is going through a bad time. Send Janavi to your brother’s place. A change of place always helps”

“Ya. I was also thinking about it”

“There is an old proverb that you have to do something good when things go south. Anusha has completed her degree. Get her married..” Anusha was shocked to hear this. She didn’t want to marry now..

“With all that has happened.. who will marry her?” anxiously spoke Malathi.

“You leave that to me..I will find the groom”

Over the next few days Janavi was sent to her uncle’s home and a marriage alliance was fixed for Anusha. All her pleas went unnoticed. Her mom and dad were bent on marrying her off. ‘It was her time to face the music.’

Janavi was told not to attend the marriage as all the relatives knew her love story and were angry with her. After all her protests went in vain, Anusha decided the see the positive side of life. She changed her attitude and was very curious to know whom she was marrying.

Strangely, the groom was in no mood to speak with anybody and was very angry.

“Hi, Can I speak with you for a minute” requested Anusha.

“Ya sure” spoke the groom, Rajeev.

Anusha tried hard to think about any topic to speak but her mind was very tensed up. It was the first time she was speaking to her life partner and she was completely stuck up for words.

Rajeev curiously looked at Anusha and spoke “So finished you B.Com?”

“Yyaa..” stuttered Anusha.

Rajeev then received a call and excused himself and took up the call. Those were the last few words Anusha spoke to Rajeev before their marriage.

Their marriage started as frosty relationship with Anusha trying to speak with Rajeev openly but ending up speaking very little. She would get terribly upset by it but thought that things would improve as times went by. She had to move to Gurgaon as Rajeev worked there. I miss my home and mom so much..

“Can you get these medicines?” questioned the nurse.

“What??” spoke Anusha trying to come back to the present situation.

The nurse was little irritated and repeated her sentence “Can you get these medicines?”

“Sure.. sure..” Anusha took the list from the nurse and went to the pharmacy and got the medicines.

Anusha stayed up awake all night to help her husband, if ever he would any help.
The next morning, Rajeev’s boss came up to meet him. He wished him good health and asked him for his project CD.

Rajeev called Anusha to his side and spoke in a feeble voice “The CD is in my brown suitcase which in the second rack of our bedroom. Bring it here and my colleague will take it to office” Anusha just nodded her head.

She went to her home, ate her breakfast and got ready to leave for hospital when she remembered about the project CD. She went inside her bedroom and searched for the CD in the brown suitcase. She found the CD and also found something else.

She saw something that surprised her. She took the postcard and read it. “I love you.. I wish you could be mine forever..”

She flipped the card over and saw a photo of a person whom she knew most. She couldn’t believe it!! It was Janavi’s photo.


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Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Lonely Night.. (Part 1)

This is a new story... I hope you guys like it..


She hugged her shawl even more closely as the wind gently blew through the cold November night. Anusha had just been married to Rajeev and moved into a completely new city – Gurgaon. It so cold and I am stuck with a person who does not want to speak with me.. Wish I had been at my native place watching some good serial on SUN TV thought Anusha as she tried to pace up with her husband. She could see Rajeev walking looking down on the pavement with his hands in his pocket.

Rajeev had been working for an IT firm in Gurgaon and Anusha had to move from her beautiful town, Kaladaikurchi into this buzzing city. I don’t understand what people speak.. where am I stuck up.. Anusha felt a tinge of hunger biting her.. It was dinner time. She jumped 2 steps and started walking along with her husband.

She disturbed the long silence “Can we eat somewhere? I am hungry..”

Rajeev’s thoughts were disturbed and he looked at her strangely. I have not asked for a diamond necklace.. just a dinner... thought Anusha. He then looked behind her and moved past her and started crossing the road. She was confused for a moment and then looked back to see a small dimly lit restaurant. She crossed the road and joined her husband at the door of the restaurant.

Suddenly a big burly guy wearing a purple turban shouted Rajeev’s name and came and hugged him and spoke “Rajeev Bhai.. Kaise ho? Bahut dino se dekha nahi..” Rajeev spoke back something in Hindi. Anusha could hardly understand anything. She stood there blank. Completely blank.. The turbaned man then folded his hands in front of her.. she did the same… I need to learn Hindi fast..

The Sikh then led them to a corner seat inside the restaurant. Rajeev then ordered some dishes. The Sikh man took the orders and left off.. I wish I could have something that I like, to eat..

“Can I have a plate of idlis?” Anusha spoke up.

Rajeev looked at her. He smiled. “No Idlis’ here.. They have only chappati and naan”
He smiled at me.. wow.. “A plate of chappati then..”

Rajeev ordered some chappatis.

They ate in silence. Anusha wanted to speak a lot.. but she could never gather her courage to break the silence.

After the dinner, they started walking to their home. Anusha could not bear the silence around her. She remembered her mom’s words that people start speaking a lot more after having some food.

“So how was your day at office?”

“It was good.”

Just a short answer.. Now what do I ask..

“So what did you do?”

“Nothing much. Some work.. and some meetings”

Anusha could take it no longer. She burst out.. “If you don’t want to talk with me.. you should have not married me..”

Rajeev stopped walking. He looked at her.. shook his head and started walking.
I am never never going to speak with that person again.. decided Anusha.

She hugged her shawl even more tightly and started walking rapidly towards their home.

Rajeev opened the door with his keys. Anusha followed him into their home and went to her bedroom and banged the door shut. She fell on her bed and hugged the pillow. Tears streamed out of her eyes.. Where have I got myself into.. I wanted a simple husband who would just talk with me.. Is this the punishment for the sin that I have done in my life.. Save me god.. Save me..

Rajeev was pretty upset with what had happened. He had too much on his head to worry about anybody else. He wanted to divert his thoughts and switched on the TV. He watched all the news channels. Half an hour later, he got up and opened the bedroom door. He could see that Anusha had fallen asleep but the bedroom lamp was still on. He quietly changed into his night dress. He gently lifted her and laid her properly on the bed. He took a bed sheet and gently slid it over her. He looked at her for a second, switched off the lamp and then came out of bedroom.

He sat in his easy-chair and closed his eyes. His thoughts wandered into his past life. It has been a year since tragedy struck his life…

“Machi, dum iruka?”

Rajeev looked at Vignesh. Vignesh was his best friend and college mate. Rajeev fumbled into his bag and got a pack of Wills. He lent it to Vignesh.

“Illa machi.. Vaendam da..” Rajeev looked curiously at Vignesh, but Vignesh was looking somewhere else. What the…

Suddenly she walked past by.. Now Rajeev could understand the whole story. He took out a cigarette and lit a matchstick.. Rajni style.. and puffed.

“Cigarette smoking is dangerous to health” spoke Vignesh. Rajeev gently slapped Vignesh on the back “Smoke if you want to… Don’t act in front of girls..”

The beautiful girl stopped and looked at Rajeev and smiled. He could see her beautiful eyes twinkle. She is an angel man..a very beautiful angel..The girl then walked to her college bus.

I like her.. but she is too high for me.. in beauty and in academics thought Rajeev.

And he had also heard of her stubbornness.. Some of her friends even complained that she would not listen to anybody.

“Machi, It is ok to smoke in front of girls da.. but.. not in front of THE most beautiful girl on planet earth..” argued Vignesh.

“She is not beautiful and neither are you Mr.Handsome..” lied Rajeev. He turned back and started his Pulsar. “You coming? Or do I have to go alone?”

Vignesh rubbed his back and sat on the bike. Vrroom.. they sped off.. Rajeev could not help but think about those beautiful eyes.. Wish they were mine..

Rajeev was the king of last bench. THE undisputed KING.. and Yamini was the perfect good girl aiming for the gold award in studies for 3rd consecutive year.

It was a boring day in college. The Data Structure ma’m had not turned up for class.. Everybody was chatting or doing some work..Rajeev glanced at Yamini. She was writing something down. Vignesh looked at him in surprise. Rajeev just nodded his head and smiled at him and then put his head down on the bench. Just then a piece of paper reached him. It was a long poem. He recognized it as one of the Shakespeare’s love sonnets. He could find some letters underlined in it. He turned the page and found ..”from Yamini”. He looked at her in the first bench. She just smiled at him.

He scratched his head.. Vignesh was even more surprised than him. “Machi, enna da..?”

“Don’t know mams..” Rajeev then wrote down all the letters that were underlined. They were all jumbled.

“Let me help you..” Vigensh spoke up.

“Thanks.. I can decipher it alone..”

Rajeev worked through all combination of words. He thought it would be over in 5 minutes. But it took him 2 hours to figure out the first 2 words. He worked though all evening, even missing him gym and guitar classes. He tried many combination of words and finally got it.. He could believe what he had figured out.. He realized that he might have made a mistake. He wanted to clarify the issue with her. He couldn’t sleep the whole night.

He got up all excited in the morning. His mom had never seen him so enthusiastic before going to college. He rode his bike to his college. As soon as he entered his class, he noticed Yamini sitting on the first bench. She smiled at him. He didn’t want to let her friends know what he had deciphered. He could have made a mistake and he could be the laughing stock of the class. He went up to Yamini and cleared his throat and spoke.. “Can I speak to you for a minute?”

Yamini stood up and walked out of class. Rajeev followed her. Outside the class, he handed the paper to her and questioned her with his eyes. She took the paper and wrote.. “It’s true”

Rajeev was even more surprised. He had deciphered the message which read..Hi Darling, I love you.. Rajeev pinched himself.. It was not a dream.

“So where are we going on our first date?”

“Whhaatt.. Date??”


“See, we don’t even know each other.. I have not even agreed to what you have told me..”

Yamini frowned. She never envisaged that Rajeev would say something like that. “Do you like me or not?”

“I do.. but..”

“But what..?”

“I don’t know what to say.. Give me sometime..”

“You need time?? wow.. I just cannot believe it.. All the guys in the class would be on cloud nine if I told them this..”

“Then please tell them this..” Rajeev then turned back and walked into the class. He could see a horrified look on Yamini’s face. Beauty or no beauty.. that girl has got a big head weight…

He went and sat in his place. He could see a visibly stunned Yamini enter the class. She gave him a cold stare as she sat in her place. Vignesh took the paper from Rajeev’s hand. He was shocked to see what Rajeev had deciphered and even more shocked to see what Yamini had written on it.

“Congrats machan..” Vignesh tried to hug Rajeev.

Rajeev shrugged off the hug. “I didn’t say yes to her”

Vignesh literally dropped on the floor. “What.. You didn’t accept?? What
craziness..?” he shook his head.

“You are crazy.. she is crazy.. What makes you think that I would have accepted?

“Machan, she is the most beautiful and studious girl that you can ever see in your life da..”

“And that is precisely what I fear.. You know about me la da..”

Vignesh could now see some reason into why Rajeev had refused the proposal. Rajeev had just 5 arrears and was not the most handsome guy with his big beard and moustache. In fact he looked like a local don and he did behave like one.

“Let’s not speak about this anymore da”

On the way back home, Vignesh wanted to stop at a place to meet somebody. Rajeev stopped at a tea shop near the place and ordered for a cup of hot tea. Sipping the hot tea, his thoughts still went back to the day’s event and he could not stop wondering as to why such a beautiful girl would want to love him. A really mad girl..

Just then a girl came on a black scooty and stopped near his bike. She smiled at Vignesh. Rajeev saw her and thought I have seen her somewhere.. hmm.. oh ya.. she is the first year student.. what is she doing here…

Vignesh looked at Rajeev. “I know you don’t like love and stuff.. but I wanted to tell you something.. I love this girl..”

Rajeev literally laughed out.. Both Vignesh and the girl were stunned. He placed his hand around Vignesh and took him about 10 feet away as he sipped his tea.

“How many gals have you proposed before her?” chuckled Rajeev.

“Dei.. I brought her to show you my love and you are making fun of me..”

Rajeev didn’t understand the seriousness of the situation and continued joking, “See.. Love does not come on seeing hundreds on girls.. It’s a feeling dude.. ok leave all that.. Is she number 6?”

“Am I number 6?” spoke a voice from behind.

Both Rajeev and Vignesh were stunned to see the girl standing right behind them. Vignesh tried to pacify her.

“Tell me Vignesh.. tell me now.. Am I the sixth girl you are proposing to?”

“No da.. see..” Vignesh tried to calm her down…

“Yes or No?”


“You guys simply don’t understand what love is” fumed the girl as she turned back and started her scooty and sped off.

Vignesh was very angry now. He looked at Rajeev. “You never know what love is.. machan.. I have proposed to many girls.. But has any girl accepted me?” Rajeev stood there thinking…

“She was the first girl who accepted me and she is gone now.. Love is not about our feelings and stuff.. that’s only in movies and story books.. real love is one when you find somebody who reciprocates your love.. You better understand that..”

Vignesh's scathing words really hurt Rajeev. It was as if a bolt had struck him from the sky. He called out to his friend but Vignesh just kept walking away from the place. He was visibly shaken from the day’s events and really started thinking about love and this thoughts on it. His opinion on that slowly started to change. Its all about the right person who reciprocates.. hmm.. These thought continuously ran through his mind.

Vignesh did not attend a whole weeks’ classes. Rajeev really missed his friend and went to his home and apologized.

In class, the next day.. He wrote “I am sorry” on a piece of paper and gave it to Yamini. She looked at him and just shook her head. He really had learnt his lesson. He really started liking Yamini.. but she was still angry and would not look at him.

It was a cool Saturday morning and Vignesh had called him to Spencer plaza to meet his girl again. Rajeev got ready as quickly as possible. He really wanted to get there fast. He searched for his bike keys and then remembered that he had given his bike for service. He quickly grabbed his valet and ran towards the bus stand.

He sat in the bus stand for about 15 minutes. I wish I had my bike.. I would have been there in no time.. He could see lots of cars and buses and many people crossing the main road. Suddenly he saw somebody familiar cross the road. He saw Yamini with her friend cross the road. He desperately wanted to speak with her and shouted her name waving his hand. She saw him and stood there right on the road while her friend crossed the road. Just then something happened.. something he had never dreamt off in his wildest dreams.

I one swish of a second.. a car crashed into Yamini..

Nnnoooooo… Rajeev fell off his easy chair and onto the floor.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Expected..

(This is the last part of the short story series. Please read the 1st , 2nd , 3rd and 4th part also)

Part 1 - Unusual Train Story

Part 2 - Ultimate B'day Gift

Part 3 - Last Message

Part 4 - Second Time


“How is he, doctor”, spoke a worried Tarika.

“He is good. No need to worry. I guess he got pretty emotional for something and
that pulled him down” assured the doctor.

“Oh ok. Thank you Doctor. Can I see him now?”

“Yes sure.. He is on sedatives now.. Don’t disturb him..”

“Sure doc.”

Tarika went to Sam’s room. She saw him sleeping peacefully. She went near him and gently ran her fingers through his hair. I have learnt an important thing from Sam thought Tarika. Sam moved his head a little. She took her hand off his hair and smiled at him. A nice fella.. thought Tarika. She gently closed the door behind her and sat down in the chair outside the room. Ram had come up to see Sam and saw Tarika sitting outside. He went inside the room and came back and sat near Tarika after 5 minutes.

“What is up with Sam… What happened?”, enquired Ram.

Tarika explained that Sam had come to her home and they were speaking about India and home and how Sam and she missed their home very much when Sam suddenly fell to the floor.

“Hmm.. I guess it’s better for Sam to go home now.” Spoke the ‘Major’.

“Can I also go, Ram? It’s been a year since I came here” politely requested Tarika.

“Hmm.. How can I replace two great resources?” Chuckled Ram. “Ok. You can start in a week after the transition is over”

“Thanks a ton Ram” Tarika smiled at him. Ram smiled back.

“Put on your seat belt..” Tarika spoke to Sam.

“Yeah. Will do”, replied Sam. He looked out of the plane’s window and could see the beautiful mountains. His thoughts wandered into those mountains and into his past life.

“So do you like the mountains?, questioned Madhu looking at the beautiful mountain picture on the wall of the Coffee Day shop.

Sam looked at the picture.. “ I prefer cities and beautiful girls to mountains” chuckled Sam.

Madhu also laughed. Sam and Madhu had been meeting every week after their first meeting. Sam wondered why Madhu had really wanted to meet today. He also had to tell her something important today. Something VERY VERY important!! He felt like a volcano which was about to burst from inside any minute, but Sam restrained himself and acted in a calm manner.

He spoke again, “What special about today?”

Madhu smiled at him. “It is my birthday today”

“Wow!! Many many more happy returns of the day..” spoke Sam trying to fool Madhu that he didn’t know about it. He knew that it was Madhu’s birthday and that is why he had made all arrangements and brought her here.

Sam winked at the waiter and he came to their table. The waiter had a big box in his hand. Sam winked again at Madhu. Madhu was very excited to see it.

“Open it”, spoke Sam.

Madhu opened and saw a small three deckered cake in that. On top of it was a beautiful girl sitting with a violin in her hand with her head slightly tilted. Madhu was all excited and she just looked at Sam with all gratitude. Sam winked again at the waiter. More tricks to follow.. thought Madhu. All the waiter came up to their table and as Madhu cut the cake and they sang happy birthday in chorus. After sometime, all the waiters went back to their work.

Madhu wanted to speak but her voice choked with emotions. Madhu finally spoke “I.. I want to thank you for all that you have done.. But I know no words can explain the happiness you have given me now.. I feel so so happy now..”

Sam listened to this and smiled. “What would you say if I were to tell you that I would want to give you this happiness all throughout your life?” Madhu looked startled. She regained her composure. Sam waited with bated breath for the answer.

“I have liked you from the first year of college.. I just cannot believe that it took so long for you to propose to me.. I LOVE YOU, Sam”

Sam took her hands into his.. “I love you too darling.. and I promise you that I will keep you happy all my life”. Madhu blushed..

“Happy all the time”.. Sam thought and smiled sarcastically at himself. He turned his head and could see Tarika reading a book. He really had no words to thank her for helping him go back home.

The 28 hour flight was pretty long journey. After helping Tarika pick up her bags, Sam turned towards the exit. He hadn’t informed his home about his arrival. He wanted to surprise them. But he got a big surprise when Tarika caught his hand and took him to a call taxi. She would not tell him where they were going. Sam intuition told him that he might be heading for more trouble. His troubled mind began thinking.. What is Tarika thinking about me? Hope she didn’t think bad about me when I collapsed.. but I don’t think she has thought bad about me.. else she would not be talking with me.. Sam’s thoughts paced hard as they both sat silently in the call taxi moving towards their destination.

Shekar was very disappointed with himself. He had made a big mistake. He had agreed to the marriage proposal for Madhu under pressure from Ganga. He had thought that sending Madhu to his brother’s home US for a month would help his daughter forget her past. But he was completely wrong. She had come back in week from US and was not speaking about her sudden arrival. She was becoming pale and thin day by day. All he wanted in his life was his daughter’s happiness and he knew he was not doing anything good to help her. He felt really guilty about himself.

His thoughts were disturbed by a phone call. He could hear Ganga picking up the call and suddenly she was shouting for him. He ran from his bedroom to the hall.

“Our girl.. our girl..” Ganga spoke as tried to catch some breath. She was completely tensed up.

“What happened to our girl?” asked Shekar.

“She.. She..”

“Speak up..”

“She has met with an accident and she has been admitted in ICU in Malar hospital”

Shekar dropped into the sofa putting his hands over his head. After five seconds he looked at Ganga. “Lets go..” He grabbed his car keys and rushed towards his car. Both Ganga and Shekar drove to the hospital, fully tensed up, not knowing what would have happened to their daughter. Shekar and Ganga tried to call to Madhu’s mobile. It kept ringing… and ringing..

On reaching the hospital, Shekar ran to the reception and enquired about any accident patients admitted in the last hour. Malar hospital was famous for attending many road accident victims and therefore the receptionist could not provide much information as there were many people who were admitted in the last hour in the ICU. Shekar and Ganga ran up to the second floor to enquire from the ICU receptionist.

Shekar spoke to the receptionist.. “My daughter.. aged 24.. we got a telephone call that she met with an accident and has been admitted in here.. can you please check your list?”

The receptionist quickly checked through admittance sheet and nodded her head n disapproval for any name called Madhu. Shekar spoke.. “Please check once again..”

The receptionist ran though the list once again.. Still there was no person admitted with Madhu characteristics. Shekar also checked through the list. Both Ganga and Shekar heaved a sigh of relief. Shekar then looked at Ganga and spoke, “Is it surely Malar hospital?”

A horrified look on Ganga’s face told the story. Shekar then quickly ran along with Ganga and they both visited all the major hospitals in Chennai. Not being able to find their daughter in any of the hospitals they came back home. On reaching home, Ganga picked up Madhu’s dress from her closet and hugged it and started crying. Shekar sat in another corner of the hall looking dejected.

Sam could sense something was wrong when the taxi screeched to a halt in a place familiar to him. He got out of the taxi and looked around and was horrified to see that they were standing right in front of Madhu’s home.

Sam turned around and gave a sharp glance at Tarika. “Where the hell have we come..? Do you know how much problem is going to happen now?”

Tarika calmly replied, “Nothing will happen. You come with me”

They took their baggage from the taxi and Madhu led Sam inside the front court yard and rang the main door bell. Sam was completely tensed up. All colorful butterflies were flying in his stomach. I am gone man.. My last rites will happen here soon..

Shekar opened the door and was surprised to see Tarika and Sam. He motioned them to come inside. On seeing Sam, Madhu’s mother jumped from her sofa and grabbed his shirt.

“Where is my daughter?” she shouted at him. Sam and Tarika had a bewildered look on their face.

Shekar tried to come in between Ganga and Sam.

Ganga shot an angry look at Shekar. Still holding Sam’s shirt.. she shouted again.. “What have you done to my girl? Where have you taken her? Why don’t you leave her?”

Her grip on Sam’s short loosened and she slowly slid to the floor and pleaded “Please give me back my child.. I am sorry for all the things I done to you.. Please give me my child…”, she begged.

Sam was astounded by the turn of events and he came back to his senses quickly and was about to reply when he heard a voice from behind. “What is happening here?”

All of them turned around to see Madhu standing at the doorstep. Ganga quickly got up on her feet and hugged Madhu and kissed her. Shekar too followed and hugged his daughter.

All of them settled in the hall and they all understood that the phone call was a hoax call. Ganga asked Sam to forgive her for what she had done and also for the way she spoke to him on the phone a few months back. But all of them were curious as to who would have done such a thing.

Shekar then looked at everybody and spoke. “I only asked my friend to give that hoax call” Everybody sat in the hall with stunned faces. Ganga could not believe that her husband would do such a thing. She finally recovered from that shock and asked “Why?”

“The reason is you, Ganga” Shekar spoke looking at Ganga.. “You.. your stubbornness.. you don’t know how much you have destroyed our girl’s life.. She does not smile.. she does not talk.. she has become a living dead..”

Tears streamed down Ganga’s eyes. Madhu looked at her dad in amazement. Shekar continued “I did this to make you understand the value of life.. to make you understand that love and life are more precious than your so called religion or caste..”. Tears started rolling down Madhu’s eyes also.

“This boy, Sam.. He loves her.. She loves him.. Who are we to stop them.. It is their life.. They have as much independence to lead their lives as we had..”

Madhu hugged her dad while Ganga looked down towards the floor. She was ashamed of what she had done. Shekar continued “I don’t want to hurt you Ganga.. But please.. for my sake.. let Madhu live her life and let her be happy”. Ganga stood up and came to Shekar and sat by his legs and put her head on his lap. She spoke in a cracked voice.. “I am sorry Shekar for causing so much problem.. Please forgive..” She cried once again.

Shekar was very happy at Ganga’s change of heart. He asked Sam to come closer and took Sam’s and Madhu’s hands and was about to bring them together when Madhu slipped her hand off and spoke “Appa, I don’t want to marry Sam anymore”

All of them were shocked. Sam was lost again. His weak body combined with the long journey and many shocks and amazements had made him little tizzy but he didn’t want to show his weakness and tried to stay calm and composed.

Madhu continued “He is not the guy I wanted in my life. He does not listen to anybody nor does he understand anybody’s feeling. I don’t want to live with him”. Sam heaved a sigh and turned his head away after listening to what Madhu had to say. An arrogant girl..

Shekar understood the ego problem between them. He quietly winked at Tarika to take them out to some place. Tarika took the car keys and caught Sam’s hands and led him towards the car. Shekar and Ganga caught Madhu’s hand and gently nudged her towards the car.

When all three of them sat in the car, Tarika spoke “So where do you guys want to go?” Getting no response, she drove to her favorite place, Coffee Day, Nugambakkam.
They drove in complete silence and reached their destination in 15 minutes.

On reaching there, Tarika pulled them out and made them sit next to each other in a corner seat. Both of them were not ready to look at each other. She looked up at them and spoke “I am giving you 5 minutes of time while I get some coffee for you.. that is all the time I can give you both before I come back and bug you..” She smiled at both of them and went off to the counter. She could see from the corner of eyes that they were still not talking. She whispered some words to the waiter. She then looked around to see somebody standing near the corner seat talking with Sam.

“Hey dude, when did you come back man? And you guys are back together? Wow!”, spoke Bharath.

“Just came today da.. How come you are here”, spoke back Sam trying to avoid any conversation that included Madhu.

“I was just driving around and I saw you guys. Great to see you both together after all that had happened”. Suddenly he heard a voice familiar to him. He turned around to see Tarika. HE FROZE!! Tarika smiled at him and hugged him. Bharath also hugged her. Sam and Madhu’s jaws dropped..

“I missed you so much.. I am so sorry that I left you..” continued Tarika. “I love you..” she spoke as she kept hugging him.

Sam collected himself and spoke.. “What is happening here? Bharath, do you know her?”

Bharath slowly released Tarika and spoke excitedly.. “Ya machi.. We loved each other in undergrad and we had a fight and she went away from me. This is the first time I am seeing her in 3 years. I am so sorry.. I should have told you about her before”

All the four of them sat down and Tarika could see that Sam and Madhu were smiling now. Tarika spoke to Sam, “If it had not been for you, I would have never wanted to come back to Chennai to meet Bharath.. When you collapsed on the floor screaming for Madhu , I understood your love for her.. At that point, I felt how badly Bharath must have missed me also.. So then I decided to come back for him”

Madhu eyes became moist. She looked at Sam and spoke “You cried for me?”. Tarika looked at Madhu and told her the whole story. After hearing the story, Madhu started crying. She held Sam’s hand and begged for forgiveness. Sam had a big doubt in his mind about the person who spoke to him when he had called her before. He asked her about it and she told him the story about how she had lost the mobile in the bus. All of them were laughing now. The waiter came near their table and put down a box on the table.

Tarika pushed the box towards Sam and asked him to open it. He opened and was very happy to see ‘Happy B’day’ written on it. “It’s a small gift for what you have done for me” Tarika winked at Sam.

Madhu hugged Sam’s arm and motioned him to cut the cake. Sam cut the cake and gave the first piece to Madhu. Bharath gave a piece of cake to Tarika also. Sam then looked at Madhu’s eyes. He had missed her for so long. Madhu felt all her joys returning back to her.

Sam then looked at the picture on the wall and spoke.. “Do you want to live with me in the mountains?” he joked.

“I will live in anyplace, if you are there with me” replied Madhu and smiled gently. Tarika and Bharath also smiled at them.

“And I will keep you happy forever!!” spoke Sam and hugged his angel and she was forever buried in his heart and in his arms.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Second Time..

(This story is a continuation of the 3rd part of the story. Please read the 1st 2nd and 3rd part also)

Part 1 - Unusual Train Story

Part 2 - Ultimate B'day Gift

Part 3 - Last Message

“Stop crying dear. He has just gone to US. Don’t worry. We will meet him soon”, consoled Shekar looking at his teary eyed daughter. Never had he seen his daughter cry so much in life. They drove back quietly to their home.

On reaching home, they were quite surprised that the hall lights were switched on. I had switched off the lights before I started to the airport.. Hope Ganga has not woken up.. She will create a big problem.. Shekar’s thoughts wandered randomly.

Shekar opened the main door and saw Ganga sitting in the sofa with her arms crossed. Madhu stopped crying after seeing her mom.

“Could somebody explain to me what is happening here?” questioned Ganga.

“Its nothing big.. I will explain in the morning...” explained Shekar, trying to calm things down.

“Tell me now..”, demanded Ganga.

Not seeing any options for escape, Shekar told her what had happened till now.

As soon as Shekar started speaking, Ganga’s eyes widened and she sat back upright.
She was completely awake from her sleep. Ganga was visibly shaken at the events that had happened. When Shekar finished, Ganga stared at Madhu and then looked back at Shekar and spoke, “Shekar, what has happened to you? What have you done? Did you really understand what you were doing? You did not bother to tell me anything..”

Shekar kept mum. Ganga turned towards Madhu and spoke, “Do you want me to live anymore?”

Madhu stared at her and tears rolled down her cheeks once more. “Amma..”, she started to reply. Ganga raised her hand. She spoke in a low voice to Madhu, “Just because I scold you a lot it does not mean I don’t understand you”. Madhu’s eyes lit up. Ganga continued, “But if you ask me what is more important to me.. my religion or my daughter, you know my answer.”

Madhu waited with bated breath for her mom’s decision. Ganga continued, “It’s my religion”, Madhu sunk back into the sofa. Shekar was unmoved. He had known Ganga for far too long to expect something different.

Ganga got up and spoke to both of them, “ I am telling you both about this one last time. If you want me to live, stop all this crap”. She looked at Madhu, “You don’t want me to die.. do you?”. Madhu nodded her head in disagreement. “Good then”, Ganga spoke.

She looked deep into Madhus' eyes, “You know I mean it..” and she went inside her bedroom and slept off. Madhu and Shekar tried to sleep but could not. Shekar hugged his precious child and they both slept off in the Sofa.

“Please put on your seat belts, the flight will take off in 10 minutes”. The airhostess voice disturbed Sam’s thoughts. Sam went back to his thoughts. Who is that guy who spoke in the phone. Will Madhu ever think about me.. She must be hugging her dolls and sleeping..

As the flight took off, Sam could see the lights, the roads and the beautiful river that criss-crossed his beautiful city. I miss you Chennai.. I miss you Madhu.. You will be forever in my thoughts and my soul..

Sam was exhausted after the 28 hour long journey. He joined a big queue at the immigration office.

“What your name?”, spoke the officer.

“Samuel Jackson”

Sam then completed all the enquiries and had his I 94 attached to his passport.

“So first time in US?”, questioned the officer.

“Yes Sir. I am going to miss my family”, replied Sam.

“Don’t worry young man.. You will be alright.. who all in your family?”

“Dad, mom, my sis Rebecca and Madhu”, replied Sam without thinking. Quickly re-thinking he said, “Just dad, mom and Rebecca”

The officer looked at him and smiled. “Good day Sir”

“Thank You”

Sam started towards the main exit. No signs of any person from onsite he wondered.

“Hi, What’s up dude?”, came a voice.

Sam turned back and saw Mr. Sundaram. He replied, “Hello sir, how are doing?”

“Good man.. Long flight?”, smiled Sundaram. He grabbed a bag and led Sam towards his car.

After about half an hour into the drive, Sundaram spoke, “So how are you finding the place?”

“It’s good sir, but very very cold. I am seeing the snow for the first time in my life.”

“You have come in the middle of winter dude. And please don’t call me sir.. call me Ram”

“Yes sir.. I mean.. yes Ram”

“Good. I have asked my associates for your accommodation. You can stay with them. I am married man.. no place in my home..”, chuckled Ram.

“That’s fine Sir.. I will be good”

The reached their destination and Ram stopped the car and got down. Sam also followed him. Ram introduced him to all the other employees staying in the home. Ram looked at Sam, “I know you are going to have a great time. Sleep and eat well. You should be at the office at 8 am sharp. No delays. Gotcha”. Ram waved good bye to everybody and left off.

“So Major Ram firing full shots now itself”, chuckled Vishal. Major.. he he.. All of them started laughing.

After a good night’s sleep and after having some good food, Sam went to his office the next day. His day went way too hectic. He had never done so much work in his entire stay at offshore. He got his mobile a week later and spoke with everybody at home. He called up Bharath and he froze when he heard the whole story. His eyes became moist.

He then called up Madhu’s mobile. Not being able to reach it, he called up her landline number.

“Hello, Is Madhu there?” spoke Sam.

“May I know who this is?” came a reply.

Recognizing Madhu’s moms’ voice Sam replied, “I am Sam. Aunty”

There was silence at the other end. “So you are the person for whom my daughter ran off..”. Ganga then hurled abuses at Sam. She started shouting again, “If you ever try to call my daughter, you will have me directly speaking with your mom and dad
and the police.. You got it?”

Sam just listened and then replied ,“Ok aunty” and hung up. There was one hell of bitterness in his heart. Even my mom and dad have not scolded me in decades. What a family.. dad, daughter and now mother.. everybody scolds me.. This is definitely the last time.. I will speak to any of them..

His days became even busier with lots of work from office. Being on 24x7 support is damn tough. But Sam liked it. It kept him away from his thoughts of Madhu and his home.

After 9 months at the New Jersey office, Sam was buried under tons and tons of work. The 16 hour work shifts coupled with no entertainment or good food slowly robbed him of all the excitement in his life. With each passing day, he was very desperate to meet his mom and dad. He tried hard not to think about Madhu but no matter how much ever he tried, he could not keep his thoughts away from his angel.. his soul.. He sometimes repented having taking such a stupid decision to leave Chennai.

It was a fine Monday morning and Sam sat half asleep in the meeting hall along with team mates. ‘Major’ Ram was giving instructions on their new assignment. They were missing their client who was supposed to attend that meeting.

Ram looked at his team and questioned, “Where is Adam? Any ideas?”

“I know sir. He has gone to meet Eve..”, came a joking reply. The whole team started laughing.

Sam was fully awake now and saw a beautiful girl sitting towards the left end of the table. Such courage.. to joke in front of the ‘Major’.. hmm.. cool..

“No jokes here”, came the reply. Ram smiled at her gently.

Soon after the meeting was over, Sam went up to that girl’s desk. “That takes a lot of courage to speak like that”, he spoke to the girl.

“Not much I guess”, came back the reply.

“I am Sam. I work for Answers Interactive project”, Sam extended his hand for a hand shake.

“Hey cool.. I am also assigned to the same team. My name is Tarika”
Tarika.. hmm.. good name.. good girl. Sam smiled at her and went to his desk.

Soon Tarika and Sam became good friends. She was also from TamilNadu and spoke Tamil. They bonded well and started roaming the city together, eating outside. Suddenly Sam seemed to enjoy life much more.

“What are you doing tomorrow?” questioned Tarika.

“Nothing yaar.. Just at home. Some special pooja” laughed Sam.

“I know about all your poojas. I am going to Nigara Falls tomorrow. You have to join me”

“Ok dude.. Done!!”

However Tarika had to change her plans and she called him up later at night and spoke, “Sam, my best friend is coming here from India. I have to pick her up from the airport tomorrow. So we will not be able to go to Niagara tomorrow. Is that ok with you?”

“No probs dude”

“Hey, do you want to join me for the drive to pick her up?”

“Yeah that should be fine. What time?”

“I will pick you up at 8 in the morning”

“8am .. too early.. but I will come”, Sam sighed.

“Common dude.. get up early and work more.. lazy guy”, taunted Tarika.

“Ok madam..” Sam laughed, “take care..bye..”

“Bye sweetheart”, came the reply.

They reached the airport at 9am. Sam was in really good mood and was cracking all sorts of jokes. Tarika requested Sam to get her a cup of coffee while she waited for her friend near the exit. Sam jogged to the nearest Barista, got some hot chocolate for himself and coffee for Tarika. He walked back to the place where Tarika was standing. Her friend stood a little far off calling somebody on a mobile with her back facing them.

“Here is your coffee..and hold mine too while I tie my shoelace”, Sam handed Tarika the two cups. Sam bent down to tie his shoelace.

“Sam, I want you to meet my best friend”, spoke Tarika.. and her friend turned back.. “She is Madhu.. and Madhu.. This is Sam.”

Sam looked up.. and was SCHOCKED!! Madhu.. his angel stood there.. right in front of eyes. I thought I had missed her forever.. I know God.. I know you are kind.. I know you will send Madhu to me somehow.. but what has happened to Madhu.. She is not the angel that I left off in chennai.. Why is she so pale and sick.. He just kept staring at her as Madhu stared back at him.

“Hello.. You guys know each other?”, interrupted Tarika.

“.. Nnn. No..”, Sam spoke as recovered from the shock of his life. “Where is the baggage?” Sam tried to change the conversation and picked up the baggage walked ahead. He could see from the corner of his eyes that Madhu was still staring at him.

He dropped them home. He was restless the whole day. He could not sleep properly at night. He got a call from Tarika the next day morning.

“Hey Sam, we are going to the Central Park. Want to join us?”

Sam thought hard. If I go Madhu will keep staring at me if I don’t then I will miss the last chance that god has given me to speak with her. I still love her. I have to go.. now or never…

“Yeah.. will join you guyz..”

Madhu and Tarika were sitting on the Central park bench. Tarika spoke, “What is the problem Madhu? You are a ghost of what I saw you last time. You don’t eat these days nor do you speak? What is your problem?”

“Nothing yaar. Mother is not feeling well.. That’s why..” her voice trailed off.

“Ok if you don’t want to say then fine.. oh there he is”

Madhu turned back to see Sam jogging in. He had two roses in his hand. Tarika grabbed the roses from him. “Thanks.. my man..”

Sam was speechless. He had intended to give each one a rose. He really could not do much when Tarika grabbed the rose from his hand. I hope Madhu does not get angry with me.. He kept quiet and and as expected Madhu got really angry with him.

“Oh.. come on fellas..”, Tarika jumped up.. “you guyz can keep staring as we walk”.

Tarika caught Sam’s hand and motioned Madhu to come. Madhu shot an angry glance at Sam. Sam wriggled out his hand. Tarika felt something was going on here. There is something between both of them but I am very sure that both of them will NOT tell me about it. I perhaps know what it is thought Tarika. She then caught Madhu’s hand and all three of them went for a walk. I am just not able to talk with her.. One chance and everything should be ok.. just one chance I need my lord.. thought Sam.

Sam could see Madhu talking on the phone with someone. He desperately wanted to know who she was talking to all the time. Could it be that guy who spoke to Bharaththought Sam.

“I am fine dad.. I am all ok with it.. I have some invitations here.. I will distribute.. Is mom alright? Take care”, Madhu hung up on her dad. Sam was not able to talk with Madhu with Tarika around all the time. After the walk, Sam reached his home while Madhu and Tarika went back to their home.

Sam could not work properly next week. Tarika was amazed as to how Sam had changed from a cool happy guy to a person who was always lost in deep thoughts. She invited him home the following Friday. Sam was happy that he would be able to meet Madhu and speak with her and tell her everything he wanted to tell her. He reached home and rang the door bell.

Tarika opened the door, “Come in Mr.Hero, want some tea?”. Sam nodded and went inside expecting to see Madhu.

“Where is your friend… Madhu?”, Sam questioned.

“She has left to India.. She came here for a small work..She has gone back”

Oh no!! not again.. Sam sunk back into the sofa and shifted his head back and closed his eyes in disappointment. He had lost his final chance. Tarika looked curiously at him.

“You OK?”, questioned Tarika.

Sam opened his eyes slowly and spoke, “Yeah..some tea please..”

Sam saw a yellow colored envelope lying on the table. He opened it and saw a brightly decorated card. He read it and his head started spinning fast.. “Madhu..”, he screamed and tried to stand up and then.. suddenly he fell flat on the floor..

Tarika rushed towards him and checked his heartbeat.. “Sam, you hear me??” She pressed her ears over his heart expecting to hear a feeble heartbeat, but she could not hear anything.. She took the card from Sam’s hands and read it ..“Madhu Weds Venkat”

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