The e=mc2 story

So everybody knows how Einstein waited for 10 years to prove his energy mass theory. I am not going to go in and tell everyone how they should stick to their guts for as long as they are not proven wrong face first. I will also not talk about education, its importance non importance, or the importance of a curious mind. I am going to talk about the fact that  the whole theory  was a hunch. He waited ten years on a hunch because the numbers were matching. It could as easily be wrong. He guessed! HE GUESSED! It was a good guess,no doubt but a guess nevertheless. I wonder if he lay at nights, sleepless having nightmares about it all being wrong and the world laughing in his face. I wonder if he would’ve shot himself if he had to face that embarrassment. I would’ve. What I don’t understand is the faith, the absolute faith which just let him hold on. One could call it arrogance too, he was too proud to think he was wrong. Either ways, he was right and he got a place in history and eventually in our science books.

The stakes of the experiment were too high, one would say, Or, were they? Let’s step back, relax and think about this. Had Einstein failed, the world would still have an unanswered question, which means the purpose of Einstein’s life was still unfulfilled(or so to speak). He would have gone back and tried idea #2. I mean think about it, nobody spends ten years in hope of a successful experiment without a plan B, or C even D. In fact, I think he had this unbelievable , infallible faith in his theory because he took ten years to disprove his own work, coming up with reasons why something didn’t fit. Why Plan B was not as good as e=mc2. He was just waiting to see if it fails, what parameter did he leave behind. I feel Einstein could  probably have been a little disappointed when the experiment didn’t fail and he had nothing to figure.

You must be wondering why I am bringing this up, where is the epiphanic thought intended for this post. Well, I have been going through an existential crisis. Everything is good, in fact according to some, I have nothing more I can ask for. However, I feel unfulfilled. I feel I am not using myself for the potential I am meant. Where is my e=mc2. If I ever make a guess will I have the power to stand by it without feeling pressurized to change my opinion because well its just a guess. When I heard Einstein’s story. Twas not about how he was dedicated, it was about how he could take a guess with the same conviction as though he had proven it already. It doesn’t show me genius but courage to be able to guess and then accept the fact that it can be wrong…but what if, it’s not. This ‘what if’ has changed lives! so take a chance, make a guess! Find your e=mc2, and be the next well…you!

The problem is we take a chance and we want it to work almost immediately and when it does not, we start losing faith. We start imagining our doom and take the next chance before we give it a chance to materialize. Confused? I am too. Einstein waited ten years for a chance, a guess to work out. Let’s take my example. I made a decision almost a year and a half ago; to leave the comfortable life I led in a multi national as a mediocre employee and register myself as a student for my masters. Now, just after a year, I feel I am not doing anything much different than what I was back home. In fact, I think I have gone back two years now. I felt mad at myself, angry at the decision of wasted time and more importantly money. Then I came across this story, and I thought wow, what if Einstein took another chance and told everyone not to waste time on it. It was probably wrong. He would be so mad at himself later, when it was proved right. It’s simple. Explore every opportunity, and keep your eyes open for more. Nothing is a mistake. Everything teaches you something, so its vital we do that. I am going to tell you exactly what I decided for myself. Give it time to work out, disprove your theories and remind yourself why did you make that guess in the first place.

Everything you do is an important chapter in the story of life… Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or be curious! If you do…don’t be afraid to try to answer it and then stand by your answer until proven otherwise. The world owes you that!

Something About Her, Chapter 5

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, its age-old pain,
Its ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

—Rabindranath Tagore

Smitha woke up in a bathtub filled with water, spewing in her own fragrance. She had a splitting headache and had never felt such tiring force, keeping her still. She slowly opened her eyes, and tried to remember where she really was. The surrounding did not look familiar to her, the porcelain WC and the hancrafted mirror. Inspite of the fact that she couldn’t remember this place, she felt a weird familiarity in the taste with which the drapes and linen were chosen.

She got up unsteadily, and spotted the towel she could wrap around herself. IT was difficult for her to walk, she was uncomfortable and yet she didn’t feel surprised. Slowly, she remembered everything. The travel back to her own time, the loud thud, her entire trip. She walked out the door and found a bathrobe in a corner of the bed. She wrapped it gingerly around herself and walked outside the bedroom.

It was strange how she had never seen this place before, yet, knew exactly where the kitchen was. She walked towards the kitchen to find herself a glass of water but found something else, rather someone else. As she stood in the kitchen doorway,her joy knew no bounds. How was it possible? Had she done something in the past to change her life so much! Was it possible? Her questions quickly melted away when Vinod turned around and scooped her up in his arms.

‘You took forever…’,did he know! ‘I thought, you were never coming out of the bathtub.’He planted a long wet kiss on her mouth. Suddenly it made sense to her, he knew what was coming in future so he never started his life with supriya. She didn’t remember much,but she didn’t need to. Maybe it was not so bad altering the past. He kissed her all over while she was lost in all the thought.

He whispered in her ear,’I know you know, and now, I know too. I  ordered pink paint for the nursery. See, I was right all along.’

She smiled, which slowly widened, as it dawned up on her.

The End

 

Something About Her, Chapter-4

To love someone that cannot love you back
To be loved like no other when you are ready to collapse
Pouring into another the utmost devotion and grace
Waiting so patiently for their effervescent waters to flow so you can taste

Life restored to the veins of memories past
Broken hearts mended from the love you gave but were not asked
An aura of love surrounds me and gives me comfort within its perfection
What a fine day that we met just out of chance of which I will question

No need for complements or airs of pretension
You give the highest level of love from a friendly reaction
To say I do not love you would be treason
My utmost, who fearlessly loves me without reason

—Rebecca Maiese

Vinod entered the room with sweat breaking inhibition. He was very aware of what he might do. This feeling had never left him, he felt a certain tug, no, a known pull. He couldn’t bring himself to knock the door. Finally, he did, and when he did, she opened the door for him and it all went back to normal. She was not dressed proactively or in any way exposing parts she shouldn’t. Very simply dressed in Pjamas and a sweat shirt, it seemed she covered up all the more for the occassion. The room looked normal, and no eerie feeling caught him. He sat down, she had old Monk on the table. Of course, by now, he was used to her knowing things about him.

One peg loosened him up enough to strike up the courage to ask Smitha questions other than the whole bizarre affair of time travel.

‘So, tell me something, why would someone like you, love, someone like me?’,He asked.

‘I don’t have any reason why I love you. I mean there are a million reasons why I like you, but I can’t tell you one reason why I love you. err. The future you.’

‘hmmm’, he accepted the response, even if he didn’t quite understand it. He got up to get another peg. She pulled a Classic Milds.

‘I didn’t know you smoked’,he was curious.

‘I smoke yeah, but in future, wanted to keep the habit at bay for as long as I could.’,Smitha was slightly reddened with embarrassment.

‘I couldn’t have told you everything! It’s impossible that I tell anyone everything. I don’t tell anyone everything!’,Vinod could hear himself talk and chuckled at the thought.

‘Okay, go on ask me whatever you think is your deepest darkest secret.’,Smitha accepted the challenge.

‘Fine…’Vinod said, amused,’ have I ever told you of having done something extra ordinary in college, like…’

‘Dating two girls at the same time as part of a dare’, Smitha interrupted.

Vinod was shocked, no one and absolutely no one knew about it except his college friends.

‘My first book, that I ever read. The one that pulled me in the world of books!’,Vinod bombarded another one.

‘The Lord of Flies by William Golding’, Smitha was enjoying this game.  Vinod was stunned, only his 4th grade English teacher knew about that.

‘If I had to pick between Seth’s An Equal Music and A suitable boy, which would I pick?’

‘you prefer An Equal Music, but I could never read it, and you took offense at that. I love A suitable boy. I think they are both equally good. An Equal Music is a little more technical wrt love and music. But they are both pretty great.’ Smitha was lost in the memory of Seth’s books.

When Smitha returned to reality from her thoughts, she looked at Vinod who was just looking at her.

‘I can’t believe you, honestly! What is it that is so terrible that you have to travel back in time to fix.’,Vinod had a very gentle concern in his eyes.

Smitha closed her eyes, she saw it everyday in her head, like there was only one channel stuck in her head and only one show kept repeating itself. The night when Smitha dropped Vinod home later in the future, and Supriya was standing there holding their son at gun point. The quarrels, apologies, shots! She killed the ten year old boy in cold blood, shot Vinod in the head twice and finally killed herself. The memory was so intense for Smitha, she couldn’t help control her tears and Vinod had to shake her back to the present time and hold her, for she was shivering.

She broke down in Vinod’s arms. The tears that were never shed before, when she saw them take his body, the tears that were never shed during the sleepless nights for the next few years. the tears that were never shed once, because who was she to cry. For the world, Smitha never existed for Vinod. It was just him, she just existed for him, to him.

Vinod overpowered by the sense of something very powerful, kissed Smitha on the forehead. He thought it would help her, but it helped him instead. He kissed her again to feel something. Like he had been waiting for her, his entire existence and it finally came through. He crushed her in his arms and recreated her. It was a long night and they both, in a state of trance, just kept completing each other’s rhythm.

The sun broke into the room and woke Vinod up. Smitha was all dressed and ready to leave. She sat down beside him, softly grazed her hand on his cheeks and spoke with such gentleness, ‘Remember what I told you, it is imperative that you do what I told you. you will know who I am, when you realize it, just go away.’

She said it, and left the room. What she didn’t notice was the look on his face, for if she had seen Vinod’s face. She would know, that it was already too late. He was already madly in love with her.

 

Something About her, Chapter 3

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

—William Ernest Henley

 

‘Oh, that’s it?! Believe you me I don’t want to know you!’,Vinod was talking, but somewhere he knew he didn’t mean it.

‘That hurt! But I guess I have earned it. Listen, it might sound easy right now, but there will come a time when you won’t be able to…well…resist me.’She said in a slight smug way.

‘Is that it? Is that all?’, Vinod asked, calmer now.

‘Yes…I guess my work here is done.’,smitha knew what was coming next.

There was an awkward silence. Nobody knew what to do or what to say. Smitha was the one to break the silence.

‘So,  I am going to go back in my time now. See if what I did, made any difference.’,Smitha picked up her bag.

‘Wait, listen, I know I have been very rude to you. Not welcoming at all. I am curious what is it that happens in the future that you are trying to avoid.’Vinod asked.

‘I can’t tell you that’, She smiled. ‘But we can spend time just talking maybe’.

For some reason Vinod wanted to stay and figure out this beautiful, mysterious woman who was looking at him like she knew him. The fact that she knew everything about him, and still looked at him with adoration, baffled him. He thought nobody who actually knew him could like him, let alone love him. Here she was, beautiful, intelligent, witty and clearly, in love with him. The way she looked at him, with fierce protection and belonging. Like it was something so obvious, like it was the rule that she loved him, and anyone he knew who didn’t was so foolish. Supriya could never see Vinod like that, with utter confidence, unconditional love, especially after Josephine.

Smitha clicked her fingers to snap Vinod back to reality. ‘You can ask anything apart from what I am about to avoid’.

‘Okay then, how is the future, you know, for me?’,Vinod asked.

‘It’s pretty amazing. You and Supriya have a boy, you guys are really happy. You land nice jobs in the future, and become the supervisor Technical Head in Infocomm. It’s all rosy. Except for one problem.’

‘What?’

‘Me…’,Smitha laughed but it was a hollow laughter.’Can I make a request? I have a hotel room booked in my name, Can we have a few drinks together before I leave? Inside the room, nobody would recognize you, can you do that?’

Every bone in Vinod’s body wanted to say yes…but he knew what that might cost him. He had promised himself, never again. yet, something was just not right about denying the offer. He thought maybe a few hours, what difference can it make.

He decided to go with her. He could, afterall, handle a few drinks.

Something About Her, Chapter 2

In fact, to be frank and fair,
It can be a little bit scary.
It’s getting worse,
The fear; it’s getting worse,
Year on year.
Time was, when I was young,
Wide eyed
And impressed, the fear
Didn’t frighten me
Much at all.

—David Windle

 

It took 16 hours, 4 days and numerous attempts for Vinod to convince himself of the reality. She hadn’t yet told him of their love affair. His cheating and for whatever it is worth, he hadn’t asked her. There were so many thoughts and so many unanswered questions. He was honestly just scared to ask them, give words to those thoughts. Like a beautiful aroma wafting from the dark deep woods which he couldn’t or rather didn’t want to decipher.

‘I can see you are taking it too well…I don’t know if its the age or you are not able to process the information.’ She said, trying very hard to resist the urge to smoke.

He sat down next to her, folded hands, eyes looking directly at her. It always made her nervous. ‘So, you are saying, you travelled back in time to a point seven years ago, and have waited since then till date to come see me?’

‘More or less… well, I thought if I were to do this, might set a few things straight in life, and work hard enough to get into IIT Madras this time.’ She smirked.

He didn’t look amused. It couldn’t be a joke, he couldn’t discuss it with supriya, he couldn’t tell her that he had been secretly meeting a girl who claimed to have come from the future. The knowledge she had about his life was so uncanny. She knew where he was born, his school friends, all his school shenanighans, college friends…even Josephine. Not one person knew about everything she had said. She would have to literally meet all his friends who ever existed to gather all that information. Unless, of course he was the one who told her.

‘Let’s assume for a minute, you are right. Why are you here? Why do you want to meet me?’ Vinod asked, exasparrated.

‘I am here to ask you for a favor. Something that might not make sense at all.’She replied.

‘Don’t be cryptic! I have had enough of your puzzles and word games’. Vinod blasted.

‘Fine. I’ll be straight with you. 10 years from now, when you meet me, and you will know it, trust me. When you meet me,’it seemed she was choking on her own words, because she couldn’t come up with any. She continued, ‘When you meet me, don’t talk to me. Ignore my mails, whatever urge you have, whatever binding force you feel. Whatever you feel.’

Moh-Maya

“What the hell is going on between my husband and that bitch?” Maya’s patience was at its lowest ebb and she was ready to burst.
Sanjay knew that she was serious. “Look, Maya. There is nothing going on between the two of them. Just a little bit of healthy flirting, I’d say.”
“Flirting? Healthy flirting? Really Sanjay . . .” she rolled her eyes in disgust. “That’s what you men call it? There is nothing healthy about flirting, Sanjay, not for a married man.
Healthy flirting is a term introduced by perverted men who want to lend legitimacy to their extramarital dalliances. Flirting invariably has a sexual connotation to it.”  She got up from her seat and walked around the room gesticulating and muttering something to herself. Suddenly she stopped, turned back, looked at Sanjay and asked, “Did my husband sleep with her? You are his friend. Did he ever tell you anything about it?”

Sanjay Knew with every passing hour, his composure was at the helm of breaking… this was the fifth time he had come over to Mohit and Maya’s place at this hour, with no sign of Mohit around. More importantly, this was the third time he had rescheduled a date, rather, the date. She was so not going to pick his calls again. Come to think of it, Rita was slightly desperate. Having been rescheduled for a simple drinks date thrice already, if she was still ready to forgive him and come over to his place on Sat, she would be his bitch!

“There you go again! You cannot get out of this by day dreaming!” She snapped her fingers and with that his very lucid Rita dreams. “Tell me Sanjay… I know he is your friend but I am your friend too”

Maya was crying now, not in a quiet sob-by kind of way, or even in the more conventional teary kind of way, she was screaming and tears were rolling down her mascara laden eyes, making her look like a very real threat. Sanjay decided to call his friend while his wife threw stuff on the ground, he should probably lock up all the liquor.

Dial Mohit Office. Ringing. No answer. He probably left office for the place early. Should he tell her? No, it would too embarrassing. Only Mohit should tell her. Damn, he could still not help chuckling at the memory of the first time Mohit mentioned it. You always hear of such things, and see them on the TV but, for it to happen to somebody you know so closely.

He watched the mad woman throw expensive vases and get on and on about how she left everyone to be with Mohit and this was what he gave to her in return. That extremely well maintained body, the neckline of her dress flaunting her cleavage. The diamonds clinging to her neck, she was indeed beautiful. He tried to reach Mohit and couple of times but failed. He finally decided it was time to leave, and went to her. By now, Maya had exhausted herself and was just lying on the sofa, smoking a cigarette.

“Hey, I should be going, it’s really late and I shouldn’t be here. I will talk to Mohit alright? Now, don’t drink too much and just try and get some rest.” Sanjay started walking towards the door, somehow his steps were heavier today and it took what felt like forever to reach the door knob.

“Sanjay wait!” Maya’s voice was barely audible. “Can you please stay here tonight, at least till Mohit gets back, I don’t want to be alone.”

Sanjay smiled, this was the moment he had been waiting for all evening. He turned around and looked at her, what a mess she was. “Okay then, let me inform my cook that I won’t be coming back tonight.” He smiled at her. He stepped outside on the porch and lit a cigarette, there was no cook. He bemused himself at how little Maya really knew about him. He took a puff and called Mohit Cell and disconnected after the third ring. This had been agreed upon.

Mohit called back.

“Is everything like we planned”, “yes Mohit, things are exactly how we planned it”.

”are you still at the Reiki place”? “Just got over, needed a few extra lessons for today”

“When do I see you then?” “How long do you think it will take?”

“I don’t know, by what you told me about her, might take a while!” Sanjay chuckled and disconnected.

He went back inside the house. As expected, Maya had dimmed all the lights keeping only a few of them on, so as to make it look romantic. He looked at her again, and didn’t see the beautiful daughter of the richest motherfucker in town, but a wounded lioness, ready to hunt again, he knew why she was doing this. She wanted to get back at Mohit. She could stoop to any level just to make him realize his mistakes. What a cold heartless evil bitch!

“you deserve it”, he muttered. “Why, that looks very romantic”, he said out loud. Maya smiled her best smile and offered him some wine.

“I thought, if he is out with that bitch, why should I be moping around the house. I have good wine and a good company, let me just take advantage of that.”

“I could use a wine”, Sanjay said and took the glass from her. All the signs were right there. She looked at him different, lingered her fingers a little longer on the glass than required. She was laughing and filling his glass up, he was flirting, the healthy kinds. She was responding and before long she was pressing her chest against her arm. After that what happened is a little hazy in Sanjay’s memory. She kissed him and they went upstairs, he undressed her…

 

Part –II

A few months before the night of Maya’s explosion, Sanjay and Mohit had met at a bar nearby, a place not too far but far enough so they didn’t bump into anybody they knew. Mohit was sweating profusely.

“Wow, you have a had a rough day, it seems”, Sanjay looked at him.

“You have no idea” ,Mohit replied.

“No, I mean literally. You have marks all over your neck… obviously the good kinds ”, Sanjay winked.

“Dude, it’s not even funny anymore. She is crazy! She wants me to fuck her all the time. She wakes me up with a blow job and asks me to fuck her twice before I go to work. She comes to my office at lunch, asks me to do her in the car! IN THE CAR man! It was good fun in the beginning, I liked the excitement but now, I am just tired mostly. I hate it, I want to sleep! And if I am not doing her, I should be dirty talking to her. There is no room to say no! That crazy woman, would give an everyday slut such competition! She always wants to know how good she is in bed! And now, it’s gotten out of hand. Vijay sent me some kinky video about strapping and tying up and shit. You know Vijay! She saw it, and from then on, it’s only been that! She wants me to tie her up and do anal! She hits me, she likes to hit me blue black and fucking bite me everywhere! It’s not fun anymore. She is sick! Sick fucker  ”

“So, tell her you are into this weird shit! ”, Sanjay tried very hard not to burst out laughing.

“It’s not just that”, Mohit continued, “She loves to treat me like her dog! You should see her man… she kicks me around and in the politest of ways! She makes me run around like her spot boy whenever her friends come over! Belittles me, god! I hate every waking moment with her”

“Leave her” Sanjay got serious now.

“She is rich god damned, I like the money I get to splurge.” Mohit said matter of factly. “I am screwed.”

They met a few more times before they found the perfect way to eliminate Mohit’s problem. He stopped going home at night, just went to change and bathe. Spoke to Maya, only when absolutely required. Left little proofs that he might be cheating. But he wasn’t. He was taking Reiki classes, the magic healing. Touching and pressing the right nerves. People took years to hone this skill to perfection. Mohit needed only a few months, for he had to perfect only one skill. After the class, he went to the same bar every day, ordered the same drink and the same side, , always the same spot, facing away and no one was to disturb him. He left anonymously and always left a hefty tip. This went on for about three months before the final phase of the plan took place.

Mohit was waiting outside the house at the designated time. Sanjay had met him at the bar only a few minutes ago, he went in from the backdoor and found her exactly how he wanted to see her for so long. Ties up, spread eagled naked, slap marks and whip marks. She made him buy all those things. Sanjay had done her good. He smiled, she opened her one good eye half shut, and screamed, “oh baby! That Sanjay did this to me. I just wanted to spend some time with him. Oh god! Look at me, he defiled me!”

“Shush”, Mohit said politely. “Maya, you know, I really want to kiss you today…”  and he did, he kissed her and untied her, quite some blood had been lost, he took her to the bathroom, cleaned her up. She couldn’t understand, why was he not calling the police, why was he not taking her to the hospital. He wiped her dry. Then, he wiped the floor and then he filled the tub. He asked her to get in. “This will soothe you my dear”. She was obedient like a child. Priceless feeling. He asked her, “How did it feel” ?

“How did what feel?”, she was shocked.

“The whole episode…did you enjoy it? Oh come on, I know what happened.”

Now was the time of the grand finale. She started crying softly. “Oh Mohit, I am sorry. I didn’t know this would happen! I was mad at you and then, I wasn’t thinking.” But Mohit was not listening. He was looking at her neckline and the diamonds that were still there, Sanjay had asked for them, as a souvenir. So he touched her diamonds. He moved two fingers around her necklace, her neck, her beautiful neck where the one nerve resided which was connected directly to her heart.

Part III

Neighbors had put up a “Welcome Back” sign at the door. Mohit was in police custody for 30 days. Maya’s dad had accused him of killing his daughter, but there was no court case. They had settled out of court, since the Bartender vouched for Mohit’s presence every single night in the bar till about midnight, and the murder happened around 10 30 in the night. The neighbors said, they always heard screaming noises  and saw weird things if by mistake either of their drapes were left open. She was spoilt and nobody really liked her. It was only a matter of what will become of you reputation, if they get to know that your daughter was into this kind of nymphomaniac stuff and that she had betrayed her husband. There was no need of a court case. But if there was one, Sanjay had skillfully taken Mohit’s place at the bar, always the same spot, facing away and no one was to disturb him. He left anonymously and always left a hefty tip, Sanjay was more generous because it was not even his money.

 

Mercy

He sat there looking at her. She looked so pretty in the bridal attire. The Henna laced palms, her full lips in scarlet red, the bindi on her forehead shining like a star, her silky long beautiful neck adorned with diamonds. But, most of all, his attention was hogged by her eyes. He had never seen such intense eyes, like fire. There was more to the eyes, her lips sealed in a quiet smile…but her eyes were talking.

He moved the gaze to where her eyes were fixed and saw another guy, not very comfortable, he had a look of constant concern on his face and anyone could tell by the look on his face, that he was the girl’s dad. Now, to understand this statement, you will have to understand Indian weddings. See, its not enough to give your beloved daughter to a complete stranger (who could be a maniac, for all you know) for just as long as life, you also have to make them more than comfortable all the time and well, we have stopped taking dowry here, but who can say no to a few expensive gifts!? Oh, and if something goes wrong, it will be a question you might just have to answer not just to your daughter’s in laws, but also, to your own brotherhood. Strange but that’s family, eh? Nothing beats blood.

He knew she was worried about her dad, he was a heart patient and he hadn’t slept in a long time. Earlier this morning, he was found unconscious on the floor of the bathroom. Nothing serious, everybody blamed the pressure and lack of sleep. She was worried.

He saw the anger in her eyes when they asked her to pose for a picture and she could see her father literally going on his knees for some relative on the groom side.

He felt a pang of pain in his chest. He had lived for 32 years and loved her for 15 years of that wretched life. He had lived next doors to her for 15 years, and 15 years, he had ached for her. But this pain was different, it was more than a longing, it was as if she had decided to die and he was looking at her putting gasoline on herself.

His concentration was broken when his wife called out for dinner. He wasn’t hungry. She asked him again, before giving up on her ever-so-silent husband and joining the line of the snacks-hogging Janta.

He felt relieved to have gotten his bubble back. This time when he looked at her, he saw her looking directly at him. Their gazes were locked for a second and then broken off by the guests who had come on stage to congratulate them. But somehow, they were connected. He knew she was looking at him, if not with her eyes.

“I love you”

“I know, you never said it”

“I couldn’t, m sorry. But why are you doing this”

“Isin’t this exactly what was expected of me”

“But you were more than this” “you are more than this”

“It’s okay, maybe that is how it had to be. Vishal might just be a very nice partner.”

“He might just be the best. Do you want it? Do you want to have somebody else’s identity imposed on you before you even start making your own?”

“It might just be for the best”

“It might just be”

Suddenly, there was a loud thud, and the connection broke. The blaring music came back in his ears and he got up to see what had happened.

Her father had hit the ground again, he was unconscious. I looked at her. Her face was ashen with panic, Her to be husband, Vishal, sat there unperturbed telling her, its probably pressure and lack of sleep. He hated his gut at that time. She looked at him, and he looked back. Then he saw something, he had seen a long time ago. A time,which skipped his memory at that time. A time, he couldn’t recall, yet, remembered vividly. He saw, in her eyes, the girl he had fallen in love with.

She stood up and walked down the stage. clicking tongues and sighs. She didn’t look back. She went up to her father and sat beside him on the ground. Clicking tongues and sighs. She didn’t look back. She said something to him in his ears.Clicking tongues and sighs. She didn’t look back. She stood up from there, and started walking not towards the stage, away from it. Clicking tongues and sighs. She looked back and looked at him. For only a second, but it was enough for him. She turned around and left the ground and nobody had any clue what was happening.

He saw her again, 3 years later, in her own boutique entertaining a customer. Her father was sitting at the counter calling her out for lunch. She looked at him through the window. He waved. She smiled, through her eyes. He knew at that moment, that the point of his entire life was this moment. He had had to come to this moment, to see her smile like that. He turned around and never looked back.

MINE!!!!

Lately I have developed an acute dislike for whiners. Not that I had any soft corner for them before, but these days, I have zero tolerance for them. Nothing against anybody, its just annoying how some people can never be happy. Then again, I think, I shouldn’t be too judgmental, all of us are dissatisfied mostly, so much so, we have started to call it human nature.

So is it? is it human nature to be dissatisfied and unhappy? Because if the answer to the aforementioned question is yes, the world is a very depressing place to live in. Question is do we really never get what we wan’t or are we just expecting too much and then getting disappointed for the same? No, I don’t mean here that we should be happy with what we have or look at what others don’t have…no! That’s a different dimension all together.

What I mean is do we really never get exactly what we desire from the world? In the same size and shape and color and look we wan’t.

Because if we don’t then, honestly, all of us are living a lie. Running towards a future, we have already compromised on. working for a life we know will only satisfy us partially. Even if we have the balls to pursue what we desire, most often than not, we think of the road not taken.

So, maybe the problem is not us expecting more or not knowing when to stop. Problem is defining happiness and expectation and satisfaction.They are called abstract  for a reason.

These feelings are as and when they come, so why are we so afraid of just venturing into them without looking twice to see if something will hit us. How dare we blame our damage on the world when we don’t have the strength of taking life as it comes.

Why are we so busy defining our feelings when we could just live them. Why are we entangled in the white and the black, the yin and yang, when we could just make our presence felt in the lives of those around us.

But, guess, if life was that simple, we’d call it football. Or maybe, simplifying it is a very complicated task in itself, something to ponder upon! 🙂

I sure was…

When I was born, I was a believer. I had faith, immense faith. I believed in nature’s goodness. The just balance of a higher power. I believed there was a quota of everything. My quota of good, my share of bad, wisdom, stupidity, love, hatred. While growing up, my parents taught me to judge myself, only myself. I remember they told me, if anyone else judges you , check yourself and subject yourself to the highest degree of assessment. If you measure up, don’t listen to them. If you don’t, ask yourself what would you wan’t to do about it.

What goes around comes back around, so don’t hurt people. You might not be able to live with the regret. I never asked them, what if they hurt me? I should’ve. I believed in patience, that what I did was my business, what others did, would be theirs and so would be the consequence. I believed in being friendly to whoever I met. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Welcome people with open arms. To that I received a cold shoulder, they thought I was either too desperate  for attention, or I was simply overwhelming.

I waited for the people who hurt me to apologize, I had decided to forgive them, the moment they did. They never apologized. I still forgave. I was told to take the higher road, for my clear conscience. I did, but now I cry at nights, because I can’t seem to understand how they sleep at night.

I gave, and gave more when I saw it was required, hoping I would be, if nothing else, acknowledged for it. I was taken for granted. People took from me and never looked back. They said things and never felt bad. I told myself, it’s okay, I know I am a good person. I didn’t judge them, I knew they were just lost and they would come around. No one did.

I have a clear conscience because I apologized every time I hurt some one. I helped people in need and didn’t mind if they didn’t say thank you. I forgave people who hurt me. I let go off them, when they asked me too, even if it ripped me apart.

I have a clear conscience, but I don’t believe anymore.

Now, people ask me, you are too young, how can you lose faith already? I don’t know what to tell them.

Maybe now…

It had been a tiring couple days, I was up for 40 hours straight. Not that I hadn’t done that before. Being a software engineer for a big ass multinational, I had dedicated more hours of sleep to my work, but this, this was different. Those sleepless hours were constructive, building towards something… swiftly gliding me towards better promotions. How I wish, it all ended soon and I could go back to my old life of ‘work is worship’. Why did they need so many ceremonies anyway, all just a big waste of money.

Out of nowhere, a hand came and settled on my shoulder. It was my dad’s hand. He was saying something but I could only get bits and pieces because of all the noise around. “smile”, “are you hungry”, “everybody”, “for you”, “your bride”.

As soon as I heard the last words fall out of my dad’s mouth, my face involuntarily moved in the direction of his eyes. I saw a huge crowd of ladies (every age, I believe) piling up on this one lady (my to be wife) clad in red. Clucking tongues, chanting small prayers to ward off the evil, cameramen trying to get the best shot of the entire entourage. The rest of the ceremony was painfully boring and really long, lots of hands changed, there were pictures and old ladies trying to hurl down ladoos my throat. When it was finally over, my back screamed of pain, my knees had given up and my mouth felt extra dry.

We came home eventually, the crowd that was waiting at home was definitely thinner than that at the wedding, but, big enough for me, nevertheless. The girl (my bride) was being ushered to a room. I knew what would follow, teasing tones, money demands or worse, dispensing of free advises. It ALL happened. When I was finally alone in the room, the light was dim (romantic, I guess ) and it took a while for my weak eyes to adjust to the setting of the room. This was the room I had spent 18 years of my life in, but right now it looked strangely different. My bride, sorry, Alka was standing by the window looking outside, but not really at something.

That’s when it hit me. I was married. It didn’t seem that big a deal until now. A big blazing RED siren went off in my head, the room was too hot, there was cold sweat on my forehead. Never, even in the direst of interviews had I been so nervous. I realized she was looking at me. It was different the way she looked at me. Before, I was worried I would be making a fool of myself in front of the lady I was supposed to spend my entire life with, but something steadied in the way she held my gaze, it was protective, and, exaggerated as it may sound, very slowly, the look in her eyes instilled confidence in me.

“Why don’t you freshen up?” , I said, barely a hush. She kept looking at me, then at her belongings and moved towards the bathroom, all her bangles and jewellery clinging to each other in a synchronized harmony.

She took an awful long time inside, midst which I dozed off.

It must be four in the morning or five, I couldn’t see clearly. The hullabaloo outside had ceased to a quiet lull. What woke me up was the sound of somebody typing on a soft keyboard, and every now and then tapping fingers on the desk. I looked around, there was someone sitting on my desk with a laptop on. It all came back rushing now, I had gotten married the last night, and the ‘someone’ was my newly wed bride. There was a coffee mug staining my mahogany desk. She moved and instinctively, I turned around to pretend I was still asleep. I realized She had changed into a more revealing, perfectly fit night dress, which, to be honest, made me a lot more nervous. How I wished upon those times, when my guy friends would urge me to go out with them and socialize with girls. Not that, I had a problem talking to girls, I had tonnes of female colleagues, juniors  and seniors, and I had an excellent rapport with them, but this was a different situation. She disappeared in the bathroom an I cashed the opportunity to get a closer look(I know that sounds really cheap but I couldn’t help myself) at what she was doing. The command prompt was on and she was coding. There they were, all the flags and pings. I heard the knob turn and the jump I took next would make Javier Sotomayer proud.

Unfortunately, as soon as I landed on my bed and pretended to be still asleep, the thought mill in my head churned. There were a lot of thoughts, surprise, no shame in admitting, was the basic element of all. Wasn’t She an HR manager somewhere, I should’ve taken the time out before marriage to know things about her. She drinks black coffee, I hate black coffee, too strong for me, I always prefer my coffee white. Up until now, I was taking solace in the fact that I could give this relationship time and effort and if something doesn’t work out, I could go back down to my safe space of JAVA and C++ and Php. But how would I begin things with this chick who was unbelievably hot, had the technical know-how and was oozing with confidence. The night eventually slipped away, and when I woke up, the sun had filtered through my room. I got up, freshened myself and went out of the room. I couldn’t see Alka anywhere. There were so many people around, I cut my way through the hugging frenzy and loud cheerful notes of “congratulations” to the kitchen. Swati was making tea, I asked her for some coffee. She took me by my elbow to a corner and gave me a shrill taunt, ” for as long as I can remember, you gave me grief about how I put less milk in your coffee, and in less than 24 hours after your bride arrives, you are drinking black coffee.” For a split second, I was confused, but the next split second I figured out that Alka must’ve asked her for coffee saying I needed it. Out of nowhere, I asked her how did she sound like? “Ohho, like you don’t know. Oh so you need my opinion huh? She sounds exactly like she looks, beautiful”. I came out of the kitchen, not needing the coffee anymore. She lied, I thought, and didn’t even tell me about it. No, that was pretty clever, or maybe I was biased. Was it a good thing? She sounds beautiful.

The next few hours just vaporized right in front of my eyes. I did spot Alka eventually, she looked at me with relief and what I thought , a hint of apology.  “She needs to go back”, my mom said. WHAT!? It was only coffee mother, it is no big deal. She is wonderful, you will see. I haven’t even heard her voice yet. “For the pagh-pheras,you have to drop her and then get her back by the nightfall. Don’t forget, you guys have a flight tonight.” Oh thank god, I hadn’t spoken any of my thoughts aloud.

So it was done then, my sister, a helper boy, Alka and I were to make a car journey to her house, a 30 minute drive. 30 minutes of silence which I somehow, enjoyed so much, that when Swati started cracking some of her stupid jokes, I wanted her to shut up. The environment at Alka’s house was no different than mine. Relatives flocking in, pushing me towards the dinning room, offering me different delicacies and asking me if I was comfortable, every second minute. Swati motioned to me. I had to take her shopping (some important stuff, i don’t even remember) while Alka stayed home and then we would pick her up and go home. I asked the helper boy to come with me. With over enthusiastic farewell, we left the street and into the market. Swati kept moving from shop to shop, asking my opinion on some cloth material or a particular cutlery set, I kept giving her nods here and there, kept making affirmative noises so she wouldn’t know that I was still stuck back in my room where Alka had held my gaze for the first time.

The shopping finished, and I asked (rather, pleaded) Swati to take the helper boy and go home on her own. I got them a cab and hence, began the first part of my well laid out plan. I was a little late to fetch Alka, on purpose, actually. I counted the seconds while she bid her goodbyes, some teary eyed goodbyes, some hopeful cheerful teasing goodbyes.

Finally She sat in my car, and we started driving. No body spoke. She was too busy playing with the corner of her saree, when I stopped the car and held the door for her.

“How about some of that coffee you like so much, before we go home?”, I said, trying very hard not to sound nervous. She looked overwhelmed.

We went inside the shop, there were quite a few people sitting already, lost in their own respective stories.

We took a corner table, I ordered a cappuccino for myself, and an espresso for the lady? I looked at her quizzically, She nodded.

The silence that followed now, was not that comfortable. I broke it. “I have never had a girlfriend before, not that, I expect you to not have had any boyfriends, I am not that kind of a guy, but you know, I am just saying… ” , I blurted.  Maybe I shouldn’t have broken the silence.

She looked at me. The waiter came with our order thankfully, and filled the gaping graveyard lull.

“So, you have never had a girlfriend, like not even a crush?”, She said in, what I still believe, a magical voice. She had a playful smile on her lips.

“No”, I said embarrassed. She started laughing lightly at first, then I looked up and joined her in the laughter, It went louder and suddenly, the quiet corner of the coffee shop was the most happening one. At that instant, I knew that I had fallen victim to the most conniving predators. LOVE.

“How did you manage to convince Swati I wanted black coffee, I hate black coffee”,I said, her hand in mine, gliding our way to the car.

“Exactly, the way I will convince you in the times to come”, She winked.