Friday, April 22, 2011

A Heart-Beat Away!! (First Part)

(Hi Guys, I guess it’s Story time. Happy reading folks and please do post you comments. They motivate story writers a lot!! :) )

A smooth silence pervaded in the air around me. I looked around to find a pure white field filled with white roses and a path-way leading to a huge white door.

A soft Uillean Pipe blew sweet music into my ears. I could hear a voice from far-off calling out to me.

“Sirrrrrr” shouted a person into my ears nearly deafening me. “Don’t worry, we will get you out soon” he comforted.

I tried to move my head to face the man, but I was stuck. My vision was very blurred. Where am I?

Oh no… Is she safe?

I tried gently pushing my head back and forth to manufacture some space. A drop of blood trickled from a cut on my upper nose onto my forehead and disappeared into my freshly gelled hair.

I had just met with an accident and my car had been turned upside down.

I could hear more people gathering around my car.

But first, I must check her.

“Shres..” I gently called out. “Shres, you there?”

Her silence combined with the glass shards poking in my left cheek hugely irritated me. I maneuvered my head to see my love, my life.. Shreshta.

I released my left hand from the seat belt and moved my fractured middle finger and adjoining finger up to the base of her neck and checked for her pulse.

My heart skipped a beat.

“Shres, say something.. please” I pleaded. My hopes were rapidly diminishing…

Oh God.. Please kill me too!!


The best thing about summers in New York is pleasant weather and long sun-lit days. As I picked some steam to finish the last part of my lap around the Central Park, I couldn’t help but notice a beautiful girl sitting on a bench at the far end of my destination. With more enthusiasm, I quickly ran up to the bench where she was sitting and stretched out my left leg of the wooden bench to tie my undone shoe laces.

Through the corner of my eyes, I could see her staring at me. She looked stunning in the purple chudidhar and a matching scarf around her neck.

“Do you always jog here?” she asked politely.

Not wanting a second invitation to start a conversation with a very beautiful girl, I responded with my eyes still concentrating on tying my shoe laces.

“Yeah. We usually cannot do much in winters, so these 3 months of summer are the only bliss for us”

“Us?” the girl looked surprised.

“We are a group of joggers. Unfortunately my friends have moved to California for their project”

As I finished speaking, I turned around to have a good look at her. She was the most beautiful girl I have ever seen after a long time. Her eyebrows lined up perfectly to match with her doe-shaped eyes. A little pink lipstick adorned her thin lips. Her skin color matched tone between pure milky white and lemony yellow.

As my eyes stared deep into hers, I could feel some connection.

“Hi, My name is Spandana”, she interrupted my thoughts.

“Er.. Hi..” I responded, perhaps a little dumbfounded. She raised her eyebrows as if to ask my name.

“I am Aarya.. .. Aarya Janarthanan”, I spoke after a pause. She gave me the look of an immigration officer. Speak as much as necessary!!

She nodded her head silently. She slowly turned her head to check out a cab that had been honking loudly.

“How about a cup of coffee?” I blurted. What the heck? I had just asked a girl for a coffee. I bit my tongue as the words tumbled out of my mouth.

She head swiveled to face me. A wry smile broke on her lips. “Is that a date?” she enquired.

“Nah..” my brain was freezing to provide any answers to my sudden knee jerk coffee proposal. Relax Aarya!!

“Just a cup of pure unadulterated coffee. That’s all!!” I responded thanking my lips for responding with the correct words.

Her smile turned out into a laugh. She checked her watch.

6:37 PM

“My uncle will be here in thirty minutes” she declared.

“Thirty minutes is good enough time” I smiled. Thirty minutes with a beautiful girl is like thirty seconds.

As we both walked off towards the nearest Starbucks on the intersection of 17th and Park Boulevard, I could help but feel a sense of excitement. I had just asked a complete stranger for a coffee date.

As I opened the door for her, I could help but notice the shop was completely empty. A petite African-American woman came up to the counter to take the order.

“One hot chocolate with no whipped cream.. 2% milk” I ordered. She nodded her head and I looked back to see what Spandana was ordering.

Her big black eyes scanned through the list of options available and it was if she was seeing the options for the first time.

“Do you like Chai?” I tried to help. She nodded meekly.

“One Chai Latte with no Whipped cream” I ordered for her and reached out for my credit card.

“I will pay for myself” came a polite request.

“It’s ok” I replied.

“No, I will pay for my Chai”, she strengthened her tone.

I raised my hands giving up the argument. There is nothing much you can argue with a beautiful girl.

As we both collected our hot drinks, we chose the table lined up by the window. It was beautiful New York late summer afternoon, with the slight hum of some cycles paddled on the streets. The huge intersection usually jam packed with traffic was amazingly empty.

It was so strange. No customers and no cars.

I looked at the petite African-American waitress and spoke “Is there any special event today?”

She slowly raised her head from the task she was performing, “Actually there is kinda a cop shootout, happening 15 blocks away and that’s scared the shit outta people. I say.. People relax.. But who listens.. everybodyz frightened. But don’t ya guys worry. Nothing will happen to ya guys”

I gently nodded my head. Perhaps it was the wrong time for coffee date. But then when will you get a chance to sit with a very beautiful girl in an empty shop.

I smiled reassuringly at Spandana. I could see the fear glooming in her eyes.

“So what do you do here?” I tried to start a conversation.

“I guess I have to leave soon” came an irrelevant reply.

“Listen. Everybody gets scared for something. Seriously speaking, there is no problem with cops here” I reassured her.

Seeing her hands shake a little, I gently placed my hands onto hers. She quickly retrieved them back. Oops!! Mistake..

“So what exactly do you do here?” I tried changing the topic to cover up my stupid act.

She gulped some chai and looked sharply at me, “I have come here for an operation”.

“What operation?” I burst out with a perturbed question. I have had enough liaisons with operations and medicines.

As she was about to answer when her phone rang.

“Hello uncle” she spoke. She then nodded her head for about thirty seconds and then hung up.

“My uncle says, it’s not a good idea to stay here. The police have given a general warning to clear the area, it seems”

“Okies, lets walk back to the park” I suggested.

As we started our small walk back to the park, I noticed the roads were utterly deserted. As we reached the pedestrian crossing, I could hear the siren on the cop’s car wailing loudly coming directly at us.

Suddenly in a flash, one of the cars that the cops were chasing went out control, flipped and landed on a turtle back, precariously close to both of us. My heart just skipped a beat..

AJ.. Don’t leave me!!


The light struggled to burst through my closed eye-lids. I slowly opened my eyes and looked around and saw a pure white room. Shresta was sitting next to me in a golden chair reading some novel. I cleared my throat to speak but words would not come out. Shres dropped her novel in her bag and stood up next to me, gently pushed my hair away from my forehead and kissed me and whispered, “I shall always be with you AJ”.

I broke up with a sweat and got up immediately. I looked around to find Spandana reading a novel. I tried to move myself into a better position but my head hurt even though the soft pillow cushioned my ache. I scanned the place around and it looked like a hospital room.

“Don’t move” cautioned a soft voice.

I looked at Spandana little confused. “Where am I?”

“First you tell me, who’s Shres?” replied Spandana.

I smiled weakly not wanting to reply to her question. “How did I get here Spandana?”

She just shrugged at my attempt to cover up. “The police were chasing some gangsters and shot at their car’s tire. The gangsters lost control and the car flipped upside down and landed at our feet”

“Oh my God! What happened after that? Did they shoot me?” I spoke up perturbed.

A sarcastic smile crossed her face. “You..” she paused and her smile faded “You fainted”.

“What?” I questioned her to hear those words again.

“You called out somebody’s name called Shres and then you fainted with your head banging nastily on the side-walk” she repeated.

I shook my head in disbelief. It has been two years since I had thought about her and the gruesome accident. She had remained ingrained in my soul.

“I replied to your question and it’s time for you to reply to mine. And what is that steel rod doing in your ankle?”

“No.. Its nothing” I tried to cover my ankles with the bed sheet. I had only met Spandana for less than an hour. How could I ever tell her my secrets.. But I felt a urge to tell her everything..

“Oh Com’on” her eyes pleaded with me. “My uncle will take an hour to come and I am all ears for your story”

“It’s not a story” I spoke angrily.

“I am sorry. I didn’t mean it that way. Just wanted to tell you that you could share anything you want with me” she toned down her request.

I nodded my head and let out a sigh. “She was a very beautiful girl” I started.

“Who.. Shres?” intercepted Spandana.

“Yeah. It was three years back when I met her”, I dug back into my memories to start the tale. The pain was still alive in my heart!!

“Where? Coffee shop, mall, theatre, college?” intercepted Spandana again.

Such an impatient girl like her!! I nodded my head in negative.

“It was a ..” I could see Spandana craning her head for the last word “MISSED CALL”


He was the sickest, manipulative and jollu-vittufying lead I had ever seen and I was just waiting outside the conference room to have a discussion about my quarterly rating. I damn cared about my ratings, but I didn’t want to listen to his crap of ‘Aarya, the company and team needs more from you. You should take proactive measures.. blah .. blah.. blah

My phone buzzed. I quickly took it out of pocket expecting to see a forwarded sms but instead I saw a call with my number, flash on my mobile.

My number.. wait.. Nine digits were similar to mine except that the last one was a number 6 instead of 7. I saw my lead walking in from the other conference and I quickly cut the call and stowed my phone away in my pocket.

I opened the conference door for my lead but my lead motioned me to get in first. Sivaji padam Office Room machi..

“How are you doing?” my lead started the conversation.

“Quite well” I replied getting ready for the mokkai dialogues to follow. My lead placed a set of printed copies detailing my quarterly goals. Oh No!!

My phone buzzed once more. I sat down on the chair and quickly pulled out my mobile and cut the call. Damn.. Same number..

And in the next 15 minutes, I received 20 calls and my lead pretty much knew that I was paying no attention to him.

“This is your problem aarya” finished my lead. “I am going to rate you as 2 this quarter”, he fired his last salvo.

3 was ok. But 2.. was not!! A host of options including leaving the company ran through my mind.

“But I can make it a 3”, his words hung in mid air “If you switch off your mobile”. I quickly switched off my mobile. Who would want to lose a rating for a stupid call.

As the meeting-bashing finished, we came out the conference room and he patted on my back. “Well I could have given you a 4 but you never follow rules you.. Do you?”. Your rules.. say that.. damn!!. I quietly nodded my head cursing him and the person who had called me 20 times.

I quickly ran up to the break room and dialed the number. “Hi, I had received a call from this number”

“Are you nuts?” spoke a girl angrily.

I should have been angry at the person who disturbed me so much. But it was a girl and so the emotions tempered down. “What?” I replied.

“How will anybody contact you in an emergency?” she shouted.

“Why? What happened?” I spoke anxiously fearing the worst for any of my friends or family.

“I was just saying how anybody might contact you” she lowered her voice.

“What do you want?” I responded.

“I need 1000 rupees from you” she requested.

“What? Why should I give you 1000 bucks”, I replied.

“Actually..” her voice suddenly dropped so low as if she was speaking from the depths of grand canyon and I had to strain hard to hear it, “I had wrongly recharged to your number while I had to recharge to my mom’s number”.

I quickly checked my inbox and found a re-charge of 1000 rupees.

Stupid Girl!! She commits a mistake and shouts at me.

“That’s not my problem” I cut the call.

As I was just walking back to my desk, I felt my phone buzz again and it was her. She was definitely not going to leave me.

“What do you want?” I spoke angrily.

“Please.. Help me na” she spoke sweetly. It was the sweetest voice that I had heard till now.

“Are you nuts” I spoke trying to obtain higher ground. “You want a favor from me and so you call me and then shout at me. Why the hell would anybody pay you if you speak like that?” I questioned.

“No Yaar, I was waiting in the hot sun outside the Airtel shop, pissed off about the shop owner wrongly re-charging to another number which I didn’t tell him at all. I was so angry that I was not able to reach you for half an hour” she pleaded her case.

I felt sorry for the girl and I too had planned to re-charge my phone. “Ok. I will re-charge to your mom’s account. Tell me her number”

“Actually.. I got tensed and re-charged for her taking some money from my friend, otherwise I would have been fried in my home by now” she giggled.

A sweet smiled crossed my face. All the angry thoughts of my review meeting vanished from my mind. “So what do you want me to do?”

“If you can give me 1000 rupees in cash..” her words dragged on.

“Hmm.. Ok.. Where shall we meet?” and I listened to the time and place where I was to meet my love.


I bent low on the protective railings on the first floor of phase two of Spencer Plaza and scanned the crowd for a girl in yellow chudidhar. I checked the time once again.

11.12 AM

She was supposed to be here by 11AM. Has she decided not to come? Nah.. She would never leave me without getting her money.

Suddenly somebody tapped me from behind. A girl wearing a yellow chudidhar and about 3 inches taller than me and about twice as fat stood gigantically in front of me. I stood little shocked perhaps as a result of my own expectations.

“Hi, I had spoken to you. Can you give me the 1000 rupees?” she spoke in a half-manly voice.

Something seemed fishy. The girl who spoke to me had a really sweet voice.

I gave the fat girl a quizzing look, dialed the girl’s number and could hear a dial tone, but nobody attended the call.

I shook my head at the girl trying to con me and started to walk off. Suddenly I could hear the fat girl calling somebody on her mobile and from no where entered the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. Her round face, milky-white toned skin, beautiful braided hair, Britney Spears perfume, cute little diamond bindi and her beautiful pink lips transported me to a heavenly dreamland.

“Hi” she spoke sweetly. I didn’t have to heart to cross-check such a beautiful girl and immediately my hands went towards my purse to give her 1000 rupees. As I finished my job, I quickly turned around and started walking towards the exit with an amazing feeling of meeting an angel.

I heard a sweet voice calling out to me, “Don’t you want a treat?”

Shit!! I didn’t even know her name. I turned around to see the angel and her friend walk towards me.

“Hi, I am Shresta” she raised her hands for a hand-shake. And as soon as my hands made contact with hers, a certain strange feeling creeped into me.

A small meeting at the small coffee shop in Spencers turned into a date at the different theatres, beach meetings, Saravana Bhavan lunches and Mayajaal rides.

And about two month later, I got a call from Shresta asking me to meet her at the same Spencers coffee shop where we had met at first.

As she walked towards me in the distinct maroon colored chudidhar with a green collar and matching duppatta, I could feel my heart miss a beat.

“Hi, waiting for a long time?” she enquired.

“No no. Just for two hours” I spoke little angrily.

“Oh, I am sorry. I had to drop off my friend” she apologized.

“That’s ok. Shall we go inside and have something to drink?” I suggested.

“AJ” she spoke softly as we parked ourselves in the corner most seat. She used to call me AJ which stood for Aarya Janarthanan. It was a special feeling to hear somebody call you that way. I leaned close to her.

“I want to ask you something” she started off slowly. “Do you like me?”

“I like you..” I paused “as a good friend” I replied truthfully.

She eyes sulked and she looked down. After a few seconds, she looked up “I love you, do you love me?”

Her blunt words took me by surprise. I should have guessed the missile hurling my way. Suddenly the waiter came up with two cups of hot coffee and placed it between us.

I utilized the silence and sipped the hot coffee, trying desperately to avoid her kohl applied eyes.

“AJ? I asked you a question” she spoke again after a few minutes.

“Shres, I like you a lot, but I cannot love you” I spoke watching the horror of my word’s effects on her beautiful face.

(To Be Continued...)



Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Best Friend’s Wedding ( Last Part)

(Hi Guys, I guess it’s climax time. Happy reading folks and please do post you comments. They motivate story writers a lot!! :) )
What do Arun and Mridula do from here? Does Vinoth support them? Do they finally end up together?
“OOTY??”, exclaimed a excited voice.

I quickly turned around to see Mridula grinning from ear to ear. However, Arun’s reaction was quite the opposite.

This was in sharp contrast to her earlier reactions in the day, when her eyes were like a over-flowing dam threatening to burst out at even the smallest mention of her family. Whether it was fear or sadness of missing everybody, God only knew though I strongly suspected the former.

“Why are we going to Ooty?”, Arun spoke in a low voice to me, not wanting to disturb his darling’s mini-celebrations.

I placed my arm around him and spoke “Coz when I went to the ticket-counter and the earliest train ticket I could get was to Ooty”.

Giving a sharp chilly look, Arun shrugged off my hands around his shoulder. He was perhaps feeling quite the opposite of what he was feeling yesterday morning when I told him I would accompany him to the end of world.

I knew that it was not a time to joke in a tensed up scenario. Before I could tell him the real reason of why we were all heading for Ooty, a sharp whistle from the TTR pierced our ears and we could see that it was a signal, requesting all passengers to board the train, which had only a few minutes left for the start of its journey. The three of us loaded our bags into the train and dragged ourselves into the carriage.

Mridula quickly took the window seat. Are we going on a Picnic? Perhaps a eloping away from her home was not so bad for her, but I could see that Arun was not quite happy.

“Dude, one my very close friend’s brother lives in Ooty. That’s why we are going there”. These words pacified him so much that he came over to my place and hugged me. Not a good option in front of your girlfriend!!

And so we eloped on a fairy tale journey expecting the best from our future but little did we know the lows of our eventual downslide journey was just about to unfold!!


“What the heck?? Have we reached Ooty so early?” hissed a sleepy Mridula.

I was wide awake by the time the train halted in Ooty. The absolutely freezing winter chill was starting to show its effect.

5:37 AM.. I checked my watch and also closely spied on for any policemen around. I didn’t want the next day news paper to carry the story of an eloping couple with a lone friend. Quietly we made our way to the bus stand.

“Macha, Mridula has never travelled in a private bus da” spoke Arun quietly. Mridula who was lazily walking behind us did not hear that.

These girls want to travel on clouds always!!

I hired a nearby Taxi and dragged the entire luggage into the trunk. Where is Arun and why is he not helping me? I titled my head over the metal cover of the trunk to find him consoling Mridula. Damn.. she has started off again.. Cry babies.

I slid myself in the front seat and Arun cajoled his princes into the back seat. The cold air blowing outside was freezing our bones. The chilling reminder that the search for us would have started in our homes rang another chill through my spine.

“Anna.. Kollimalai poganum?” I spoke to the taxi driver.

The taxi driver was in his late fifties and eyed us suspiciously. “Sari thambi” came a swift reply and the next thing we knew we were heading towards our new home.

As we all dragged our luggage out from the taxi, Arun and Mridula proceeded to sit on the small porch in front of a beautiful looking home.

“Evlov Anna?”

“Three Hundred and Fifty” came a reply that chilled my spine. Oh my god!! I might end up spending all that was suttufied from my home today itself.

I quietly paid the taxi driver and strode angrily past Arun and went up to thefront door and knocked.

“Hey Vinoth.. Come on in” spoke a gentle voice of a very good friend of mine. Raghu was not only my friend’s brother, but also my very good friend and advisor.

Seeing Arun and Mridula stand at the entrance, Raghu invited them into his home and provided all of us with hot tea.

“Well guys, this is my wife Reema. We both eloped like you guys” he chuckled, much to the dismay of his wife who looked quite stern.

“We unfortunately don’t have much space, so you guys have to adjust in that small room till you want to move to a new home”

Move to a new home!!
Mridula and Arun shot quizzing glances at me. I turned away to ask Raghu where our room was.

We sat down exhausted after the long taxi journey. Mridula quietly slipped into Arun’s lap.

“Macha, how much did the Taxi cost?”

“Three Fifty bucks dude” I replied scornfully. We had a long journey in front of us with no means of earning any money.

“Why didn’t we come in a bus then?” quizzed Mridula as she got up. Her right eyes had swollen quite big. I shot an angry glance at Arun. Stupid Fella!!

Arun quietly took a soft kerchief out of his pocket and started blowing hot air and puffing it up on Mridula’s eye.

“She got hurt while coming out of station and that’s why we were not able to help you load the bags into the taxi” spoke Arun softly.

They both had noticed me staring angrily at them and it was my turn to feel a little ashamed.


“Macha.. we are running out of money dude..” spoke Arun alarmingly. I knew we would face this situation but never expected that Mridula swollen eyes would eat all the money we brought from home. Raghu’s wife was also pissed off with her guests as our only job was to eat and watch TV. Mridula was also feeling quite bored and pissed off as her eyes itched on continuously.

“I will speak with Raghu and get us a job. We will also have to move out soon from this home”

“Move out??” Arun’s eyes quizzed me. “Where will we go in this freezing weather with Mridula’s injury”

“Dude, Mridula’s bruise is a small one and then we also have to earn” I explained slowly.

After a few minutes of discussion, I came back quite dejectedly. I didn’t know things would go south soon.

“What macha?” Arun placed a hand on my shoulder.

“It seems Raghu has got transferred to Chennai and that we have to move into a small home beside this one tomorrow.”

“How small?” Arun questioned.

“Well.. “ I dragged not wanting to give them the bad news. “It’s a.. a hut actually”

“Hut??” Arun eyes boiled dramatically. “I get to bring my princess here and we are taking her to a hut?”

“Dude.. chill macha..Its for a short time. Once we get some job we will move a bigger home and also there is a problem getting a home for lovers dude. Think about it man”

Arun silently got up, shook his head, shook his fists, slightly banged his head into the wall.

MONEY was what we wanted.. desperately!!

“Would this much be enough for us to survive for next three months?” came a soft voice from the corner of the room.

Shit!! I thought she was sleeping..

“We cannot take any money from you dear” spoke Arun.

“Its our money” replied the soft voice humbling me like never before. She was indeed a princess.. at heart.


Once you leave the safety of your protected environment called home, life is a MESS!!

The initial few days were absolutely pathetic where we would all sleep without having anything to eat. I and Arun, would somehow manage to scrap the last few rupees to get something to eat for Mridula and she being the gem of a girl would always make sure that we shared our food. The first two months saw struggling for everything. Clothes, home, job, freezing winter and of course the most important part of life, food.

As time went by Arun became more and more restless, but Mridula became the composed person among the three of us. Not only did she adjust through the entire journey of the two months but she was earning more than us as an unofficial primary school teacher in an unrecognized school while we worked as daily wage laborers in a nearby vegetable market.

Pathetic as it sound, but we were getting along well until one day, tragedy struck.

Arun had left the day a little early as he was not feeling well and as I didn’t want to disturb the love birds, I stayed on a few more hours late that day at work.

As finished up with my work and neared my home, I saw a huge posse of policemen around my home. My heart skipped a beat!! Have they found us? Are we going to be arrested? Has something happened to Mridula or Arun?

“Vinoth Nagarajan?” spoke the police inspector reading out from the piece of paper.

“Yes sir” I replied.

“Sir, we have caught both the guys” radioed the inspector to his higher authority. The inspector nodded his head and then pushed both of us into the police jeep.

“Where is Mridula?” I whispered to Arun.

“I don’t know dude” he spoke wiping the perspiration off his forehead.

We got off the vehicle and entered the police station. Nothing could prepare us for what we were about to see there!!

Arun’s parents were standing along with my parents in the corner of the police staying hissing angrily at both of us.

Mridula, who was sitting on small wooden bench, stood up and ran up to Arun and held his hands. As Arun father stepped forward to cause some damage to Arun, the police inspector intercepted him and shook his head.

Suddenly a higher ranking official entered the police station and all the policeman stood up and saluted.

“I am South Indian operations head of CBI” spoke a voice commandingly. Behind him was Mridula’s best friend, Niveditha. Everthing was clear now.

“Appa” whispered Mridula softly.

WHAT THE HECK?? I stared around at Arun. We were plunging fast into a huge black hole. “Dude, is he not working in ONGC?” I hissed at him.

“I didn’t know that also dude” he whispered back strongly.

“Sshh” the inspector silenced us. “Sir, what section do you want me to book these kids. IPC 154,177, 198 and …?”

My legs trembled at the barrage of numbers rolling out. Arun stood numb while Mridula tightly held onto Arun’s hands with tears streaming from her eyes.

“Mridula, come here” ordered a stern voice.

“Appa, I wont leave Arun alone” she cried.

“Mridula, I am giving you a last chance to redeem yourself. Leave them and come here”

“No pa” spoke Mridula cladding her fists tightly around Arun’s hands.

“Sir..” I tried interrupting the situation.

“Don’t speak unless you want to spend the rest of you life in jail” came the sharp poison laden words.

“Whatever you say I have to speak sir” I spoke gathering all my courage. “I have never seen two people love each other so much”. I had perhaps lied a little. Mridula’s love was more strong and truthful than Arun’s.

“Please give them a chance” I begged.

“She will die rather than loving this coward who kidnapped my daughter” spoke Mridula’s dad.

“Sir, I didn’t kidnap your daughter. I love her!!” declared our hero who had closed his mouth for ages now.

“Mridula??” came a more stern voice.

“We both will die if you separate us” threatened Mridula. I stood shocked and stunned at the girl’s courage. She was standing for us against her father. That statement had even shocked Mr. Nagarajan as he stood helplessly watching his own daughter turn against him.

Suddenly a thin tall bald man walked into the room and stared at all the people who had converged in the room.

“You kids should really die”, came a sharp reply from the bald man. Now it was our turn to be stunned into silence. The silence in the room was magnified by the creaking sound of the overhead fan.

“What is the use of three kids who can add no more name, money, pride and good name to the family? I don’t know if you can see that you are ruining the input of your father and mother who have poured all their hard earned money into growing you guys up.”

The silence between the sentences echoed louder and hit us hard.

“Love is not a crime, but it certainly is at your age, if you cannot support and keep the other person whom you love happy”.

The bald man moved towards Arun and gently placed a hand on his shoulder. “How many times have you felt that you could have kept Mridula more happy with more money?”. Tears started flowing from Arun’s eyes on hearing the truth.

“I am not against love or love marriage. Nobody in this room is. All that we want is for you kids to be successful in your life. Then you can do whatever you want…”

He then went near Mridula who was loosening her grip on Arun’s hands.

“Chellam, we have brought you up like a princess. We cannot see you suffering” spoke a very gentle voice.

“Mama..” her voice choked.

“If your love is true, study hard, earn big and then get married ten years later”. Well some words change the way of life and last few words were one amongst them.

Arun desperately shook his head and clutched onto Mridula’s loosening hand. He wasn’t a person to let go of things.

“Macha, the words of uncle should be thought off carefully”, I spoke trying to make Arun understand that leaving Mridula was the only way life would be normal again. We were no match to the might of a CBI head.

“Let go of her dude.. You will surely stay in heart forever. Let goooo”.

Tears that were absent for many years, flowed rapidly out of my eyes and all those who had gathered in the small police station.


Arun did let go, not only of Mridula, but his smoking, laziness, carelessness and just went on to finish as the top scorer in our board exams and as a gold medalist in our college. He just went to finish his MS and PhD in MIT and just won the scholarship for developing a hand held googling device which just sold around $10 billion in its first year of launch. On the other hand I lead a brilliant life of an extraordinary programmer in a not so distinct Software company along with hoards of other smart looking young professionals. But as much as I tried to be with Arun, fate cruelly had separated both of us and also Mridula from Arun. Arun never spoke about her in the last ten years.

I started choking with the marriage homam smoke entering my wind pipe. I needed fresh air. With no sign of the bride coming onto the stage and with no sign of the marriage happening soon, a thought of a quick fag entered my mind. I quickly walked out the marriage hall and as I was about to leave the hall I noticed the thermacoal board.


The words drove a dagger through my heart. All our past pains and thoughts came rushing back to me. Everything we had suffered had been a waste!!

I took few deep breaths…

10 years was a long time. People break up in a week’s relationship. It was too much to ask for from my best friend and his ex-girlfriend to stay together. But Mridula was one gem of a girl I had seen in my life. Trustworthy, patient and very much accommodative. Arun will miss her for the rest of his life!!

I finished my fag quickly and returned to the hall. The visibility was quite low and the smoke from the homam engulfed the entire hall.

I hope the marriage is not over yet.. I blindly dashed upto the manamedai.

“Mangalayam thantunanaena..” voice and the getti melam sound pierced through my ears. As I struggled to see through the smoke, two people placed hands on my shoulder. As I turned back to my left to see who it was, a few drops of some liquid dripped on my feet. Stopping my half turn behind, I quickly turned my head down to see her touch my feet.


Mridula in a maroon colored silk sari had bent down to touch my feet. I felt nearly choked to death.

“Won’t you bless me anna?” she spoke without bending up. The entire crowd of people was watching this dramatic spectacle.

I gently lifted her and spoke “May you always be happy and have a prosperous married life”.

“These are the first words you have spoken to me” she quipped. I turned around to receive a big hug from Arun who was standing nearby. Mridula father and mama who were standing behind me also hugged me. A look at Niveditha explained everything of who had re-joined the couple.

I turned around to see the board behind the marriage hall. Chinmayi (Mridula) Venkatesan Weds Arun Vasudevan!!

I was the MOST HAPPIEST person in the world!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Best Friend’s Wedding (Part 1)

(Hi Guys, I guess it’s time for a short sweet story. A big thank you to my friend Poorvaja, who has helped me edit this story. Happy reading folks and please do post you comments. They motivate story writers a lot!! :) )

You look awesome.

A little appreciation was overdue as I finished applying the last bit of gel onto my curly hair. It was a big day.. The day I had been waiting for years now.

Should I really go there? Will they accept me? The sweet tune of Hosanna song interrupted my thoughts. It was my mobile ringing and on the call was my best friend.

“Mr. Vinoth Nagarajan?” the caller spoke with a sense of urgency.

“Yes sir?”

“The marriage will not happen without you boss” spoke a really serious voice. I bet he was joking.

“I know that, mate” I laughed slightly “and I’d be coming there soon to make sure you have the best time of your life,” I replied.


As stood admiring the beautifully decorated thermacoal board adorning the name of my best friend and his fiancé.

Nothing will remain the same after a couple of hours.

It is my best friend’s wedding today. It is not everyday that you get a friend like Arun.. We have been the best of pals ever since ages. We first met in our Pre-KG class and from then on there has been no looking back

As time passed, things changed but initially we both hadn’t spoken to each other for nearly 2 years and it was only when Ie had been able to help him fight two bullies in class that we got talking. We ate, played, studied together and perhaps spent most of the day together. I still remember the day he’d walked out of the cricket team just because his best friend, I, wasn’t selected.

Oh! Those good ‘ol days! Where have those days gone? Time passes so quickly.

I knew in my heart of hearts that he was a true sportsman and didn’t want to stop him but he had decided that he either played with me on the field or stood on the boundary along with me doing nothing and finally he played with me in the team.

Whether it was our first fag or the ragging of juniors in college, we always were together. We spent almost all of our times together; good or bad! And bad meant standing outside our sottai princi’s office for our stupid pranks! It makes me laugh even today when I think of those crazy days! We were a team! Bros for life!

But the tides were changing slowly and little did we know that our lives would never be the same. As much as I adored him, I realized that from that eventful day, a girl would own him as much as I do.

“Dei Mama..” came a sharp voice.

I turned to see Arun draped in his vaeshti with its edges being embroidered in gold and an impeccable white silk shirt, he walked with great difficulty holding all the pieces of his traditional attire together.

“Macha.. Congrats da” I gave him a tight hug.

“Stupid fellow” he gently shouted.

I looked at him surprised.

“How long do I have to wait for you man? And why be this formal? You should have been here two hours before and beside me. You are my best friend and you are forgetting that” he spoke strengthening the bonds of our friendship.

He took my hand authoritatively and led me through the staring guests in the marriage hall.

“You must meet her. She would be very happy to meet you.” He spoke and blushed at the mention of his fiancĂ©.

“Machi.. ippovae blushing aa” I tried to tease him.

“He he.. Macha, I think she’s getting ready. We’d have to wait for ten minutes” he spoke after enquiring from one of her aunts.

“No probs dude. I guess they are calling you on the manamedai. I will wait for you here dude”

“You better be with me man” he spoke.

“Macha, I am more comfortable here da”, I lied. I actually felt very uncomfortable standing with his relatives. His mom and dad must be damn angry with me!!

I picked up an orange juice can from counter that had a variety of different flavored juices stacked together in the corner of the hall. Both of us liked the Orange juice and it was our favorite until beer took over.

As I turned around, I could see some of Arun’s relatives was pointing their fingers at me and talking in hushed tones. Perhaps I deserve much better than this talk behind my back.

I overheard the conversation of a teenaged girl and a boy talking just behind me.

“Give me your hand. I know astrology and I will tell you how many marks you will get in your board exam” spoke the boy invitingly.

The girl smiled and shook her head.

“IDIOT”, came that spicy word from her mouth.

She got up and walked off to join her friends sitting little faraway and the boy moved on to the next girl sitting besides hoping for some better luck this time.


IDIOT. That sure struck a chord from the past….

My eyes popped out in sheer amazement perhaps feeling the stupidity of Arun for the first time in our friendship.

Love was not just blind but deaf too.

“Macha..” Arun shook me.

“Are you sure she told you that?” I gave him a quizzing look.

“Macha, she really did!”

“She called you an idiot and you are smiling” I spoke even more puzzled.

“He he.. those are the first love words dude. You won’t understand” he spoke slightly shaking his head.

I didn’t understand love but I did know that Mridula disliked him from the bottom of her heart.

“Dude, we have to study for our quarterly exams man. The 12th classes are pissing me off a lot” I spoke trying to change the topic, but Arun was in his own world.

Things had changed.. a lot after she came into his life..

Three months ago both of us saw a petite, fair girl walk past us as we sat on the small wall near the assembly hall, rating all the girls passing by. A single glance of Mridula was enough to make Arun go crazy.

I really didn’t know what he saw in her but the moment he’d see her, he’d started following from one class to another and so did I along with him. I’d sometimes thought of him as a horse with blinders on!

Somehow the days’ conversations meandered along what color hair clip Mridula
Wore or what she brought for lunch or what perfume she wore and Arun, without any guesses, did most of the talking about the obvious.

“Macha.. I think I love her” he spoke after a long thought during our lunch break.
“What?” I blurted out with half the food inside my mouth.

“Yes macha.. I love her”

Infactuation. Pure infactuation..

I knew it but I didn’t have the guts to darken his dreams. Perhaps I should have.. perhaps I could have stopped everything.. all the bad things.

“Macha..” I spoke trying to collect my thoughts on how to try and make him understand. “We don’t know anything about her”

“Name: Mridula Shankaran, Address: 4th cross street, KK Nagar, Dad’s Name: Shankaran working in ONGC and mother’s name: Gowri, she is a house-wife. She is the only daughter loves drawing and listening to music and is a state champion in Chess. She had earlier studied in Vidya Mandir and she has joined just now in our school”

“Whoa!! Where did you get all this information from?” I nearly choked.

Arun beamed with pride. His detective work had really thrown me off track. “I did tell you that I had been visiting a temple a lot lately, right?”

I understood the rest of the story. For the first time I had been fooled by my best friend.

The more Arun tried to follow her, the more she would run away and I would bear with all the crap he talked about all the very more.

But all that changed one day. As we stood near our favorite hangout place counting the beautiful girls, and Mridula showed up from nowhere.

She gently smiled and opened the history book she held in her hands. She took out a beautifully well preserved peacock feather and handed it to him. He took it gently and slid it into his shirt pocket.

They both stared into each other for a few seconds.. I almost felt like I was invisible to the two of them.

She smiled and started walking inside the school. He had started to follow her, but I quickly caught hold of him. I wanted to know what the heck was happening. And now!

After that magnetic presence, leaving Arun alone, I gathered all my thoughts wondering what could have happened in a single day.. or I should say night.

“Macha.. You kissed her?” I blurted out.

“What?” a sharp shooting glance from him told me that I was completely wrong.

“Then.. how.. did.. she..” I shook my head.

“Secret dude.. Anyways you never liked her. So I guess it’s ok if you didn’t know” he laughingly teased, as he started walking towards the assembly hall.

“Macha.. macha.. please da.. sollu..” I followed him pleading all the way to the assembly hall.

As the princi hushed us all into silence, my head spun out the various combinations that could have happened. Not a kiss.. hmm.. Perhaps a big present.. to her mom.. nah.. he is not that stupid.. perhaps.. perhaps.. oh.. he did that.. oh my..

As I walked close to my best friend on the way to our class, it dawned on me how he had done it.

“Chess?” I asked him.

“Macha.. you are my best friend always” he hugged with ferocious intensity that all our classmates eyed us as we proceeded inside the class.

Simon was our computer science teacher and he was always a pain in the ass. He never let us talk in his period.

I tore out a piece of paper and wrote ‘How?’

He flipped it back and wrote ‘You know I won the district championship in chess. I knew that my best way to get her was to ask her to duel in a game of chess. Told her that if I won she has to love me or I would not disturb her and also polish her shoes that day. Made it into a game of best of three!! Knew I would lose, but it still gave me a chance to speak to her’

I tore one more piece of paper.. this was getting interesting.. ‘Polish her shoes?? CRAZY.. So she accepted the challenge and you won?’

‘I wish I did man. I lost the first game badly that she asked me if I knew how to polish shoes. I still continued with the second game and as luck would have it she played really bad and I won by the scrap of it’

‘A win!! Wow ‘and did you win the last game?’

‘I.. wanted to.. but seeing how tensed and pathetic she looked on playing with her losing position, I lost to her, deliberately’

Adra sakka..

As Simon made his way out of the class, I hugged Arun. He had finally found his life partner.. Or had he??


It had been 2 days since I last spoke to him. As I picked up my phone and dialed for the 10th time.. I hoped I didn’t get a busy caller tone now…

“Hello macha..” I spoke in a hurry apparently happy to finally get the connection going.

“Hi Vinoth, this is Arun’s father. How are you doing son?”

“Oh.. hi uncle.. am fine.. is Arun there?”

“He has just left somewhere.. was on the phone for a long time.. now he is gone.. are you guys studying well for your half-yearly exams?”

“Yes.. yes uncle. I think Arun must have started to my home only. I will call you later.”

Where the hell was Arun?
Perhaps for the first time I didn’t know where he was!!


“Dei macha.. stop crying da?” I tried to hug Arun and console him. Did he deserve all this. Perhaps he did.. And now he is alone and crying in the middle of the night under the faint light emanating from the fluorescent lamps at our street corner.

He pushed me away and started running. I ran after him and caught up with him near the splattered garbage cans and dragged him to a stop.

“Dude, you cannot run away from your problems man. Tell me what happened?” I asked.

“They know everything about me and Mridula.”


“Both our parents. Mridula’s father had met my parents and told them that the next time I try to meet her, they will call the police. My dad beat me up and my mom’s threatening to commit suicide.” he sobbed.

I knew the eventual problem of love but didn’t know it would happen so fast for him. “Macha.. relax.. Everything will be alright. Did you speak to her about this?”

“She wouldn’t even speak to me,” and burst out crying once again.

Oh my god!! Why the hell should this happen to my Best Friend. Perhaps girls should never be trusted at all!!


A few weeks later, things started slowly returning to normalcy. Both of them never spoke to each other and I too didn’t try patching them up for I thought it would do a world of good to both of them.

But then as all love stories go, they strike you when you are least prepared for it.

It was on one fine Friday morning that we were sitting in Simon’s class and the whole class was silent.

“Macha, will you give your life for me?” he whispered.

“What?? Why?” I answered quite shocked.

“Will you or will you not?” he whispered fiercely.

“Macha, anyday” I spoke with re-affirmed passion.

“Ok listen. Mridula and I have planned to..” the next few words would change all our lives, either for the better or for the extreme worse!!!