The Dilemma…

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She sat by the mirror and looked at her reflection.

She remembered the time when he had put a beautiful necklace on her neck he had purchased with all his savings.

She looked at the reflection of her flawless face.

She remembered all the times he had kissed her.

She looked at her beautiful white wedding dress.

She remembered all the times they went shopping together.

She looked at the reflection of her beautiful brown eyes.

She remembered all the silly poems he had written for her.

She looked at the reflection of her hands.

She remembered all the times he had kissed them and held them every time they had gone for a walk.

“If you loved him so much, why did you leave him?” The reflection asked her.

“I had no other choice.” She replied.

“Liar! You are one big liar.” The reflection squealed.

“I am not. And now it doesn’t even matter because I am getting married to someone else in ten minutes.” She said with a fake smile on her face.

“Yes, you should get married with him. After all you love ruining lives. You will ruin his along with yours.” The reflection grinned.

“That’s what you think.” She didn’t know what to say.

“It’s not a thought. Its reality.” The reflection turned away its gaze.

Tears welled up in her eyes.

Hey, they are waiting for you.” One of the bridesmaids knocked on the door.

“I..I am coming in a minute.”

She felt it impossible to stand up and walk towards the door.

A dilemma had set in her.

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Whispers in the Dark…

“You realize there is no one in the entire apartment except you and me. Then why are you whispering?”

She asked him.

“You want me to stop?”

He said in a fake angry voice and looked away from her.

“Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! Finish the story. What happened next?” She pulled his hand.

“Now the boy started on his journey in search of the golden bird…”

She loved listening to stories. And he told her a new one every single night before going to sleep. He was waiting for his novel to get selected by one of the many publishers he had sent his manuscript to. She was a fashion designer.

“Your feet are so cold. Rub them against mine.” He stopped.

“You are really amazing, you know that?” She said in her sweet voice.

“I know.”

“Okay Mr. Amazing! Continue with your story.”

“And then he met the princess…”

“And she fell in love with him? Right?”

“Do you want to tell the rest of the story?”

“No, no, no… Please continue.”

She suddenly remembered the day he had proposed to her. Her mind drifted away to the time when they had met for the first time. She always knew in her heart that he was the one for her. So when he had proposed to her that rainy day, instead of saying yes or I love you too, she had kissed him.

“And they went back to the village and lived happily ever after…”

“That was wonderful!” She kissed his cheek.

“Only you think my stories are wonderful.”

“Give it some time dear.”

“I am tired of waiting. Eventually, one day even you will grow tired of my stupid stories.”

“That day will never come. But one day you will miss me and I won’t be there to listen to them.”

Tears rolled down his face. His lips quivered.

“Shut up! You are going nowhere. And I will never miss you because you will always be there with me.”

He found her fingers on his face. She wiped his tears.

“Let’s go to sleep. It’s going to be a long day tomorrow. We should wake up early tomorrow so that we can go for the chemo therapy in time.”

She kissed him.

“I will make you the most delicious breakfast you have ever tasted.”

He remembered all the days he had spent with her trying to master the art of cooking.

“I love you.”

She whispered in his ear.

He hugged her.

“I love you too…”

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SHUT UP…

I was waiting for the tram when I saw the girl and the guy for the first time. They were trying to cross the tram line and there was no sky-walk or foot bridge that time. I guess they were going for some movie, as the movie hall was just on the other side of the tram line. They were holding hands and started running as soon as they spotted a tram coming from the opposite direction. They crossed the tracks safely.

But after sometime I saw the girl return and she was looking for something near the tracks.

“Leave it! I will get you a new one.” The guy tried to persuade her.

“Shut up! You don’t understand. My grandmother gave that necklace to me when I was little. And nothing can replace it.” She looked pretty agitated.

“Hey! Come on. We are getting late for the show.” The guy put his hand on her shoulder.

SLAP.

The next moment the guy was on his knees and searching for the necklace along with her with one hand on his crimson face. Some of the people waiting for the tram with me started laughing and jeering. After sometime the guy managed to retrieve the lost necklace. The girl looked relieved and went away with the guy.

# based on a true incident & yes, slaps work! Have a wonderful weekend !!! 

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Too Afraid to Lose You…

I elbowed my way through the thick crowd. I checked my watch. I was late.

“The Mysore express is leaving platform number nine.” Damn you announcement lady!

I jumped over someone’s luggage and nearly fell face down on the platform. But I didn’t stop and kept running towards the platform number nine. I could see the train leaving.

“Just a little more… I can do it!” I couldn’t stop thinking.

Now I ran along with the train. But I could see the end of the wretched platform ahead of me too. The train had picked up its speed. I peeked inside the coach nearest to me. But I couldn’t find her.

I stopped running. I cursed myself. She was gone.

“Abhishek…..” I recognized the voice. I looked up. I saw her wave her hand. She was leaning off the door of a coach. She was crazier than me. And maybe that’s the reason I love her so much.

I waved her good bye. It was one of those moments when I felt like laughing and crying at the same time. 

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I opened my eyes. It took me a moment to realize that I was dreaming. She was staring at me and smiling.

“Nightmare?”

“I won’t call it a nightmare. But I just realized I am too afraid to lose you!” I looked straight into her eyes.

“You won’t…”  

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An Unexpected Date…

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“Sir, your coffee.”

I thanked the waiter and took a sip. I looked outside. Raindrops rolled down the glass pane. I could see people walking by with colourful umbrellas and children running in rain coats. I returned my gaze back to the novel I was reading.

The very next moment someone snatched the novel out of my hand. A girl with sky blue umbrella looked straight into my eyes and said, “I had to change two buses to get here and you don’t even feel like getting up for me?”

“I am sorry…”

“Yeah, yeah I know, you are sorry and everything.” She slammed my novel on the table and sat on the chair opposite to me. I had no idea who she was and why she was talking to me.

“I think you are mistaken…”

“You are Abhishek right?” I was amazed by the amount of confidence she had.

“Yes I am Abhishek. But…”

“I am Anindita. We have been talking for almost a week now!” She had beautiful brown eyes and her eyes expressed her anguish very clearly.

“I think I may not be the guy you intend to meet today!” I tried to extend my hands towards my novel on which she had kept her wet umbrella and equally wet handbag.

“You are wearing the black t-shirt just like you told me you would.” She whacked her umbrella on my hand. I withdrew my hand and looked at her in horror.

Damn it! Some idiot, with the same name as me, decided to date a psychopath on this very day and decided to wear a black t-shirt just like me. Now I was getting pissed but not because of the fact that there are more people like me but, there are nincompoops who chat with girls but don’t share their pictures. That’s insane in so many levels that I cannot even start explaining.

I imagined that somewhere in the rain the real guy was stuck maybe in the traffic. And here I was sitting with his girlfriend, who was giving me stern looks and had no idea that I wasn’t the guy she was supposed to meet. Also she had a weird habit of not allowing me to complete my sentences so I stopped trying.

“So how’s everything at work?” She relaxed a bit. Also, she no longer seemed interested in stabbing me with her umbrella. I wondered what she housed in her hand bag.

“I…I am doing great. I might get a promotion very soon.” I had no idea what I was saying.

“I thought you said you were a painter!” She arched her eyebrows. She had sharp features and she looked pretty amazing in her black coat.

“Yeah, a freelance painter. Just got a job offer from a big advertising firm and they liked my work and now they are giving me a promotion.”

“Weird!” She looked at the menu and called the waiter and ordered a cappuccino.

“So, how’s everything going in your life?” God! I felt like slapping myself.

“Boring as usual.” She looked at me while answering and took a sip. This is the first time I was feeling uncomfortable because a girl was staring at me. I was known for being cool around girls. But she was no ordinary girl.

“So let’s cut to the chase. Where are we going with this thing?” She appeared more fearsome now.

“I…I…I don’t know!” I really didn’t.

“Give me a proper answer Avi. Come on!” I prayed to lord that she wouldn’t threaten me with the unlicensed gun she might have kept in her hand bag.

Before I could blurt out anything, her phone rang.

“Finally, getting some signal.” She looked at her phone and color vanished from her face.

She looked at me and then at her phone.

“You are not the one I am…”

“Yes, yes, I have tried telling you that before. But then you wouldn’t allow me to finish.”

She looked pretty much embarrassed by then.

“I…I…I am so sorry.” She grabbed her umbrella and handbag and escorted herself out of the cafeteria.

I paid the bill, collected my novel and quietly exited the place.

I don’t think she will ever show her face in that coffee shop as long as she lives.

Paper Boats…

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I was waiting for the company bus, in the bus stop for around ten minutes. It was two in the afternoon and I was wiping sweat every now and then. The streets had nearly gone empty.

“Baba kuch paise dedo baba!”

[Sir, please help me with some money.]

A beggar had appeared before me. He was old, frail, slightly stooped and walked with a limp. He was wearing a dirty dhoti and looked famished and tired.

I put a ten rupees note in his hand.

He bowed before me with folded hands and muttered, “Bhagwan apka bhala karein.”

[God bless you.]

He started walking away.

“Itni dhup mein ap bahar kyu ghum rahein hai?”

[What are you doing outside in the afternoon?]

I couldn’t help but ask.

“Ab kya karein sahib, agar raat tak kuch paise ghar nai le ja saka phir baache bhukhe soyenge.”

[What to do sir! My children will sleep with empty stomach if I don’t bring back some money by nightfall.]

He smiled sheepishly and went on his way. The bus arrived and I got up.

I used to have tea from a shop run by an old lady. There was something wonderful about that five rupees tea that made me walk every day and have it. And I used to religiously visit her shop and talk with her. The tea and the conversation completed my day. I used to call her ‘Mashi’. It means aunty in Bengali. She would sometimes run her wrinkled and frail hand over my head and ask me how my day was and would make faces when she couldn’t understand a thing, when I used to tell her about soft wares and how the company was doing in the global market.

That evening I reached a little late. She looked worried.

“Meyer biye ar kichu diner por. Jani na ki hobe.”

[My girl is going to get married in a few days. Don’t know what will happen.]

Tears welled up in her eyes.

“Darao ektu, ami ekhuni aschi.”

[Wait, I am coming.]

“Arey cha ta kheye jaa!”

[Hey, have your tea first!]

I didn’t listen to her and ran towards the nearest atm.

“Amake deko kintu. Nachbo sobar saathe.”

[Do invite me. I will dance with everyone.]

I put five thousand rupees in her hand when I returned. She hugged me. I hugged her back. She sobbed like a child.

I reached my apartment by nine. It had started raining. I saw the kids of the neighbors playing in the rain. They jumped in the puddles filled with rain water.

“Dada,dada, ajke amader saathe bhristi te bhijtei hobe!”

[Today, you have to get wet in the rain with us!]

A little guy tugged at my jeans. He used to play video games with me every weekend.

“Acchaa chol!”

[Okay, let’s go!]

We made little paper boats that night.

Our lives are like paper boats. They are made out of a weak thing like paper, yet they float so easily over water. Even if they turn and get wet, we can make them float again. Some sink faster than the others. Others reach the edge of the puddle.

Have a wonderful weekend… God bless…

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From a Rainy Night…

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Mid night.

Hostel roof.

Rain.

Bottle of beer in one hand.

A beautiful girl to talk to.

Her breath was like the caressing breeze. She smelled like the wet earth. Her words were like the pitter patter of the raindrops.

She danced around me and sang a beautiful song.

“Tell me, everything.” She kissed my cheek and sat in front of me.

“I told you everything already.”

Thunder.

“Tell me your story tonight.” I put the bottle down and looked into her eyes.

“If you insist…” She put her icy cold hand on my face. I closed my eyes.

……………………………….

College fest.

Loud music.

People dancing.

Empty corridors of college building.

“Why did you bring me here?” The girl looked agitated.

“I have something important to tell you.” The guy looked nervous.

“What is it?”

“I…I love you.”

“Took you long enough to propose me. But I am glad you finally did it. I love you too.” She kissed the guy.

They went away hand in hand.

———————————————

 

Restaurant.

Dinner.

“Happy valentine’s day dear.” The guy put a beautiful bracelet on her hand.

“Wow. I love it.” The girl smiled.

“Anything for you…”

“I love you. Let’s get out of this place.” The girl winked.

“Love you to. What about the beach?”

“Great idea.”

——————————-

 

Roof.

Sunset.

“It’s not working out.” He looked away from her.

“This is not like you.” Tears rolled down her cheek.

“I am sorry.”

“Was I only a source of entertainment for you?”

“No. I can’t explain it.”

“It’s because you don’t want to explain anything to me.” She collapsed with her face buried in her hands.

“I am sorry.”

———————————

 

Lightning.

I opened my eyes. I could see the rope marks on her neck for that instant.

“You shouldn’t have.” I said after gulping down whatever was left in the bottle.

“Shut up!”

She got up and started dancing and singing again.

I am not scared of ghosts anymore. I hate them. Because they taunt me all the time.

Also they have better stories to tell than me.

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Promise…

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I flipped the page of the novel I was reading for the past ten minutes. I loved reading in the park.

A red rubber ball touched my left shoe. I picked it up and looked around. A little girl appeared before me.

“Here you go.” I tossed the ball towards her. She caught it effortlessly. But she didn’t run away. On the contrary she came near me and sat on the bench.

I closed the novel and looked at her. She had a pair of beautiful brown eyes and her face was flawless with florid cheeks and rosy lips. She had curly hair and she played with her locks every now and then.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“Anjushri, what’s yours?” She asked almost instantly.

“Abhishek.” I smiled. “You can call me Avi.”

“Avi, what are you reading?” She had an adorable voice.

“It’s a story book.” I showed her the cover which had a picture of a beautiful sunset.

“What is it about?” She was more inquisitive than me. I chuckled.

“I have just started it but I can tell you this much that it’s about a girl who goes to a distant land for adventure.” Her eyes gleamed with excitement as I spoke.

“Wow! Avi, have you been to Disneyland?” She came closer to me.

“Nope!” I replied.

“Me neither. I had asked mommy to take me there. But…”

“Where is your mother? She must be worried.”

“She is taking rest. She is over there.” She pointed at the other end of the park.

“So what were you saying?”

“Avi, will you play with me?” She jumped off the bench.

“Sure dear.” I couldn’t refuse the plea of a sweet little girl.

“Yeyyyyyy….” She ran ahead of me with the red ball in her hand. She turned around once and said, “Catch me if you can!”

She had the most beautiful and innocent smile I had seen in my life.

We played for nearly half an hour. Her face had turned crimson by then.

“Let’s have some ice-cream.” I suggested.

“I love ice-cream.” Her face could light up an entire house.

We walked towards the ice-cream stand just outside the park.

She finished her ice-cream in no time. She jumped with joy when I purchased her another one.

“Avi, I want to go home. It’s over there.” She pointed towards an old building. It had a huge board over the entrance.

‘MOTHER TERESA ORPHANAGE’

“What about your mother?” I was shocked beyond belief.

“She is resting.” She smiled bleakly.

Suddenly, everything became clear to me. I had seen the cemetery adjacent to the park before.

We started walking towards the orphanage. She held my hand.

“Promise me you will meet me in the park tomorrow.” She tugged my little finger.

“I promise.” I smiled.

She left me. Suddenly I felt lonely. I stood outside the orphanage till she was no longer visible to my teary eyes. I walked away with a heavy heart.

Anjushri. It means dear to one’s heart…

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The Night of a Lifetime…

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The sky was surprisingly clear, displaying the playground of stars.

She looked at the crowd again.  All she could see was smiling faces.

She took a long sip out of her glass.

“I shouldn’t have come.” She couldn’t stop thinking.

She struggled with her dress again.

“I have to cut down with the ice-cream.” She made a mental note.

She looked at the couples dancing on the dance floor.

“Lucky them!” She sighed.

“Would you like to dance with me?”

Some guy had extended his hand towards her. She looked at the guy.

Her heart skipped a beat.

The next moment she found herself among the lucky ones.

“Is this really happening to me?” She felt her heart would explode if it beat any faster.

“I… I thought you were joking when you asked me to dance with you.” She was blushing.

“I wasn’t.” There was something enchanting about his voice. She smiled sheepishly.   

He twirled her. She felt ecstatic.

He pulled her towards him.

Suddenly she found a pair of brown eyes looking straight into her eyes.

“You look beautiful.” Her face was barely inches away from his.

Time stopped.

“Folks, it’s time to move this party to the next level…” The Dj put on a dance number.

 

[Woke up on the right side of the bed

What’s up with this Prince song inside my head?

Hands up if you’re down to get down tonight

‘Cause it’s always a good time]

 

Never in her dreams had she imagined that she would be dancing with her crush that night. Suddenly she had forgotten about how uncomfortable her dress was. With no effort she took off her high heels and tossed them away as she danced with the guy of her dreams. For a moment she forgot about all the problems of her life. She didn’t care about the people or the world around her anymore. She felt alive again.

[Slept in all my clothes like I didn’t care

Hopped into a cab, take me anywhere

I’m in if you’re down to get down tonight

‘Cause it’s always a good time]

 

She remembered the first time she had seen him in the college.

“He is way out of your league!” The words of her best friend were still fresh in her mind.

She had cried that night.

“Why did you make me like this? Why God? Why?”

She had lost a lot of weight by final year. And that didn’t matter now.

 

[Good morning and good night

I’ll wake up at twilight

It’s gonna be alright

We don’t even have to try

It’s always a good time

Whoa-oh-oh-oh Whoa-oh-oh-oh

It’s always a good time]

 

They danced for some more time.

“I am exhausted.” She tugged his hand.

“Let’s get you back home. It’s getting late.”

This was new for her. But it felt special in its own way. He put his coat around her.

“I had a great time, thanks to you.” He winked.

“My God, I was going to say that to you!” She couldn’t help but smile.

They walked close to each other. They occasionally looked at each other but neither of them spoke anything. Finally they reached outside her hostel.

“I will take my leave now. Good night.” He smiled and started walking away.

“Hey, what about your coat?”

“Give it to me tomorrow, when we go for coffee.” He waved her good bye.

She stood there till he was no longer visible.

She looked up with closed eyes and a big smile on her face.

“Thank you God!”

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Loving Someone #3

Someone kicked on the door.

“Who is it?” I asked in a grumpy voice.

“I need your help!” I got up and opened the door. I wondered why the cultural secretary wanted my help.

“What help do you need at five in the morning? I don’t have cigarettes or lighter.” I gave him an annoyed look and went back inside my blanket.

“Dude, it’s her birthday and I forgot to wish her last night. Help me!”

“How could you forget your girlfriend’s birthday?” I opened one eye and looked at him.

“Dude, ask questions later. Now rescue me from this situation.” He was getting more and more impatient every passing moment.

“There is a way out. I am not sure if it will work. So, are you up for it?” I asked him while putting on my glasses.

“I will do anything. Just tell me what I have to do!” His face brightened up a bit.

“Go wake seven more guys. I think some of them must be up by now. There is a cricket match at five.” I asked him while putting the red sparkly toothpaste on my tooth brush.

“And do you still have those big alphabet cuttings from the fest last week?”

“Yes, I do. Why?” He gave me bewildered look.

“Reach girls hostel in ten minutes with the other guys and bring those cuttings too.”

Ten minutes later, I reached girls hostel.

“What’s the plan?”

We huddled together like a rugby team before kickoff.

“Hello…” She answered half asleep.

“Hey, it’s me.”

“Wrong number…”

“Hey, hey, hey wait… I know you are angry. I am sorry I didn’t call you last night.”

“I waited till three in the morning. I don’t want to listen to any excuses. Let me sleep.”

“Please, listen to me. I am sorry about last night. But will you come to the balcony once?”

“Why?”

“You won’t regret it. Trust me!”

“God! I feel like stabbing you right now. Wait.”

She was rubbing her eyes when she reached the balcony. She looked down to find eight guys holding big I-L-O-V-E-Y-O-U cuttings in their hands. We started singing the birthday song. No, not the 2 Chainz version.

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“So you still want to stab me?” He smiled as he looked up and waved his hand.

“Oh my God! I love you too…” She screamed in excitement.

“Run, run, run…” I was holding the ‘I’ and I saw the blood shot eyed security guard running towards us before everyone else did.

“Dude, I owe you one.” We reached the boys hostel and went back to our rooms as if nothing had happened.

“Anything for a friend.” I smiled. Mission accomplished!

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