Saturday, January 13, 2007

Mail From Lalitha

What I am going to write about now is something that happened some time back. There are many instances in ones life when the worlds seems to be against you. You may be very much convinced about your efforts and your path, but the person next to you doesn't feel the same. Not only that they try to prevent you from going ahead. Sometimes you back down, sometimes you go ahead. You may succeed or you might fail, but at least you have the satisfaction of going creating your path. This choice is of path entails lots of tests where there is no hope of light, in such situations a few words of support can work wonders. What I am going to narrate here is one such incident in my life which gives me strength to keep my resolve in testing times.

I must be around 12years of age when I resolved that I will not litter the surroundings with waste, but will put what ever waste I generated in a dustbin. I strongly believed and believe to this day that if every one puts their dust in the dustbin, we will be a spic and span society in no time.

Now all you out there think this is an easy enough task or a silly task. Never mind, just try it for half a day and you will notice how difficult it is. I was ridiculed by every one around including my parents, friends and all the people I could think of. During outings and many occasions I used to collect waste from them just because they don't care to take responsibility for it. It was not an romantic task to perform but I stood by my resolve.

It continued for years and years, I could not make a dent in the thinking of one person around me. Years later I had a big fight with a friend of mine, I was upset, very distressed with the way things were going between us. I was so down that I questioned every action of mine. I who was so conscious of littering started to behave like normal people.

Such were the times when one day I got a mail from Lalitha. She is a friend of a friend. I met her a few times during my stay in Mumbai. A nice and friendly girl, I haven't stayed in touch with her after I moved out of Mumbai. What she wrote in the mail has changed my outlook at life for ever.

After the initial greetings she said that she was really moved by my practice of not littering places but to put the waste in a dustbin. She did not end there, she mentioned that she herself started to practice this, and wished me that I could bring about I continue doing it.

Boy! It never happened in my life. Many people appreciated my efforts in the past, but no not one had said I am going to follow it. I felt as if I was vindicated. My values could bring about a change in at least one person. This small mail made me think over about my life in a different vein. If you can effect change in one persons life then you bring about a change in a thousand other lives. But for that to happen you have to walk the talk. Suddenly what Gandhi did and spoke came before my life, not in mere words but as a 3D picture. Some of his preachings made perfect sense.

I faced innumerable situations where I had to choose a path, I think of Lalitha's mail and ask myself will someone be inspired in to take my path. If the answer to this is Yes, I go along the path. In times of doubt, it inspires me to say hold on to this there are is someone out there who is to follow you, show them the way.

I never got to thank her for the mail. But thanks to the mail, it changed the way I look at life.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Mystery of the Black Envelope

The Mystery of the Black Envelope

Akaash Verma no subject Tue 26/07/2005 03:00 AM 4KB

The above line flashed across my mail client. Akaash has seen me off at the airport a couple of hours ago, must have reached his house a few minutes before the time he sent the mail. I was curious as to what was in the mail. The mail was sent using black stationary, and nothing in it. I powered of the screen, and looked at the azure sea beneath. The orange ball in the east lit up the sky to red; the birds were flocking in its direction as if to reach it. Slowly I slipped down to the events that started unfolding almost two years ago.

It was eight in the evening, I rise from my nap to answer the door bell, “Hi, I am Akaash, Akaash Verma, moved into the flat next to your's. Thought I would just let you know.” There was this tall, lean guy with professor’s glass on his nose, and a pleasant demeanor. There was this intelligent air around him.

“Hi, I am Raj, Raj Aryan”, I replied. “Why don't you come in”, I said moving aside to make way for him.

“Got to unpack lot of stuff, will come some time later”

“Sure!, can I be of some help.”

“No, Thanks, I will let you know when I need some”, saying this he left.

Over the next few days, I came to know that he is one among those countless software engineers who moved to Bangalore in search of greener pastures. We stuck an instant rapport in many areas be it be booze we drink, the sea foods we like, the books we read, and the biggest of all a hatred for Bangalore traffic. Things went on fine for about six months.

One evening I was passing by his door, and found him worrying too much over something. “Another Business Man Murdered”, read the heading of the newspaper in his hands. The article went on to explain that this was the sixth murder in the last eight months and police were yet to solve any of these. I looked at him puzzled and said “Hey, nothing to worry man, such things were common in a city like Bangalore”. He gave me a envelope which he was holding in the other hand. Except that it was black there was nothing in it, or nothing special about. I returned back quizzed at his behavior.

“You may think its crazy, but I am sure there is some relation between this envelope and the murders”.

“Come on Akaash, don’t be silly”

“No Raj, I am serious I have four black envelopes from the last six months, and all four of them, I found in my mail box. This time too, I found this envelope a week before this murder.”

“It must be a coincidence; I don’t think you should worry much about it.”

“Ok, ok I too thought the same, but can you explain where these black envelopes are coming from, why is it that each time I find them, there occurs a murder of a noted person in the city. This is way too much to be a coincidence.”

I was a bit disturbed; there is something to the questions he put, if not truth. “Don’t you feel you are being way too imaginative?” I said.

“I feel I am on to something”, he replied.

“Ok boss, up to you!, I wish you success in the mission ”.

It was some time before I could catch up with him on this front. One day he turns up and says “Raj! I told you about the black envelope sometime back, now I am sure it has a lot to do with the murders going on.” Sighting a heading in the newspaper he continued, “I have one more black envelope and here you see within a week, we have this murder in the city, my detective work makes me feel I am on to something.”

I was impressed with his argument, but decided to act as if I had no keen interest in the proceedings. “Hey, Take care man, if this stuff is for real you may find your self in a soup. Better take some police help.” “Oh! Nothing to worry, I am talking to inspector Jacob, and gave him all the circumstantial evidence I had; we think we know who the criminal is. He suggested I don’t reveal the thing to anyone until the issue comes up in court” he shot back with enthusiasm. I was waylaid; I did not see the issue of the black envelope as more than imagination, and now I see that he was infact right.

“That’s absolutely great, but how in the hell did you do that?”

“I came here to tell you just that, the hearing in the court is next week and I have to give my testimony, why don't you drop in once and you can get to know the story behind this.” he continued with excitement “You will be surprised to know who the culprit is”.

“You! Serious, all this has something to do with that black envelope”

“Yes! Yes!”

“Oh Man! That’s awesome, you are too much. Hey but I am relocating to Africa next Monday night.”

“My goodness, you never told me this, any way the trial is on Monday, just make sure you take some time out. I will help you with the travel stuff.” “You never told me this?”

“Sorry Akaash, I was actually busy with the arrangements for the relocation and thought I will let you know once things are done. Count me in on Monday; I will not miss the trial for anything in the world”

The court room was charged with anticipation of who the gruesome murderer was and how a seemingly insignificant pattern gave way to the criminal. To give a brief history of the murders, they were all committed in a meticulous manner, no single clue at the site of the crime. There was no apparent pattern among the victims except that all were from affluent families. The Bangalore police had to face the wrath of public for their negligence in this issue, but how does the public understand that this was not a simple case. Infact from what I heard of the case from Akaash, the murderer has not left a single clue in nine murders. If not for his extraordinary imagination, god knows how many more murders were waiting to happen.

The room was packed, the media, the families of the victims, onlookers like me, and many others whom I could not categorize. The proceedings started with the prosecution presenting its case, the defense presenting why the prosecution is wrong. The most surprising thing to me was that the criminal was none other than the person who stayed in the flat opposite to me. I have never seen him in over one and a half years of my stay in the flat. Then there were scores of witnesses. The evidence from police, it seemed this guy was a big smuggler too, about 4kg of heroin was found in his flat. This guy was not from Bangalore but he visited the city often. The police had strong circumstantial evidence sufficient to link him up to the crime. The defense could not prove anything and finally the guy was convicted to life term imprisonment for nine murders, selling drugs and other charges.

On my return back home, Akaash was there with me. I said, “To say I am impressed would be an understatement. How could you proceed with just the Black Envelope?”

Akaash started explaining, “After I talked to you that day about the envelope, I started reasoning, who is putting the envelope in my mail box? I had to have an answer for this if had to move further and also to convince myself that the murders have something to do with the black envelope. I reasoned that it can mostly be the work of postal department. I went to the local post office and talked to the postmaster as to who delivers the mails to our locality. Then I talked to the post man, but there was no clue from them. I was disappointed and almost left the issue. One fine day I came across the Z courier in basavagudi, an area very far from this place. The interesting thing about it was I saw black envelope similar to the one in my mail box.”

He continued, “I talked to the person if he delivers any mail to our locality, initially he was reluctant to divulge any information, but later agreed that he delivered mail to one particular address in our locality. And imagine my surprise when I realize that it is to the flat opposite ours.”

“But how is this related to the black envelope in you mail box?” I interrupted.

“Hey wait man; I am coming to that, this guy who delivers the mail, used to deliver the mail last at our locality. When ever he put the mail in the opposite guys mail box, he used to put the black envelope which he used as the base for all his mails, in my mail box.”

“Then what did you do?”

“It was straight forward from then; I became suspicious of this guy. I informed inspector Jacob of this and requested his assistance in keeping a watch on the guy. And sure enough he walked into our trap.” “ Last month when you were on tour was when we caught him red-handed. Once more I saw the black envelope, this time around I informed the police immediately, and as you know the rest is history.” he stopped.

“That was some excellent piece of work. You did a great job Akaash. I am proud to say that you are a friend and neighbor.”

That night he saw me off at the airport. I saw his mail again, switched of my notebook and closed my eyes. I could see Akaash going back to his house, finding a black envelope, not an empty one this time. I could see him opening it with suspicion; I could see a big “Thank You!” I drifted into my sleep with a grin on my face.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Swaying Conch

The Swaying Conch

Splash! Splash, came rhythmic beating of waves on the rocks. It was a beautiful evening on the sea shore, the sun in his prime among the picturesque mountains, the moon patiently waiting with a smile on, the waves enthusiastic to meet the shore, the moss covered rocks gently rocked by the lyrical waves, the dazzling lights playing frivolously on the sea, the gentle wind singing for the thee, the horizon dotted with vessels and among this setup of heavenly abode, me on the rocks with the sun charming the sea over my shoulders, trying to cope with the cruelties of life.

“Hello Surya, What is this that I heard about Nishant?”
“Hi! Ansh, yeah it happened last Monday, he was in a soup of a situation and then this”
“Hey but what is the situation which made him take the extreme step?”
“You know right! His ambitions were different from the rest, a few setbacks and he was depressed.”
“Surya! I don’t believe this, I know Nishant better than many and he is not one to bow down to these hurdles, there must be something else.”
“Yeah! It seems like he had many affairs. One of the girl with whom he carried on for a long time got married last year. She gave birth to a baby which was not fathered by her husband. It was proved that Nishant was the biological father. All this became too much for him to bear, which may have caused him to take this decision”
“Hey! You tell me as if, you never knew of his affairs.”
“No Ansh! You mean, you knew of this earlier”

Meanwhile there was this strong wave, and a sudden gleam among the rocks. I ventured forward to find a beautiful conch wedged between two rocks and swaying to the intermittent wave that succeeds in reaching it. For some one seeing it from far it was a beautiful conch on the rock bed. Only those who go near it may feel that it was in a delicate balance that could go against it. The conch seemed to assure that it was very comfortable and in control of its stature and only a few drops of water and the presence at least one ruler of the sky will ensure a spark among the otherwise dull morbid looking monstrous stones on the sea bed.

“I will call you later, we can chat on this when me meet”, saying this I put down the call. It was not that I was busy or I did not have anything to speak with him, it’s the revelation that even he did not know of Nishi’s (as we used to call Nishant) affairs that surprised me.
There was a monster wave that came, the conch rocked and rocked; I did not realize that another such wave will ensure it will not see another day.

My thoughts went back to the ping on YM!, from Nishi, the day before this incident that he wanted to talk to me on something important, but I asked him to wait as I was busy and later did not get back to him as I thought the issue could wait for two days when I plan to see him.

I slipped back into my memories of Nishi. He was my classmate in school. If there was one person with charisma in my class, it was Nishi. He was the center of all the activities, be it sports, studies, cultural programs, mischief and what not. He was sure he would be a famous playwright in the future. After 10th he moved to arts stream and me to sciences. Though I had some idea of where he was, and what he was doing, I did not meet him after that.

One fine day, seven years after I last met him, I was on my way from Hyderabad to Mumbai. The train was at 5pm, I was there by 4pm which was quite unusual for me, as I had this habit of reaching the station in the nick of the moment and getting into a moving train. I wondered what people do when they have to wait all alone for an hour at a station, and now I was there with the same prospect. I wished some one whom I knew would turn up to see me off. As it happens many of the times when one thinks of the devil the devil presents itself. No sooner did I wish for the presence of a sympathetic soul a hand reaches for my shoulder. I turn around and gasp in a shrill voice “Nishi!”, in the process managing to get a stare from the people on the platform.

Nishi or Nishant has changed in his physical appearance only to look more handsome. The oval face with bright black eyes adored with curvy eyebrows, straight nose ending sharply over a trimmed mustache, long hair just short of toughing the shoulders, he was a 5’7’’ in his early twenties.

He was on his way to Vizag from where we hail. Godavari the train he is to take was already on the platform and we go to his coach. In a span of half an hour we live thorough the childhood we spent together the good olden days when we were still innocent, unaware of the vagaries of life. In the short span we struck a chord which I found surprising as in such chance encounters with many of my other school mates, words were at loss to come from me. His train started and we parted our ways not before the exchange of the mail ids.

That was the rekindling of a long forgotten spirit in our friendship. The times we spent in on the Vizag beach, the long drives along the coast, and the competition on who will drive the slowest and what not. He was doing his masters in commerce and was aiming for a course in film making abroad. The determination with which he worked to achieve this was tremendous. We were in regular touch over mail and phone.

The Conch was swaying beautifully in the wedge. How it managed to get there was beyond my imagination.
Nishi had a way with girls, I am sure there was no girl who knew him and was not charmed by him, a born Casanova he was never careful with them. I doubt if he himself had any count of his innumerable affairs many of which were quite intimate. I never approved this and often warned him to take care.

Not surprisingly, he had a few problems with the girls and their families, but was always handled them with an aplomb which defies my imagination. The issue which Surya mentioned to was one which surfaced some time back, at that time I had a long chat with Nishi on this. For the first time since I knew I saw him concerned, after a long chat it was apparent to me that he was sick of his ways and was moving in with a singular focus on his career.

Since then I got busy with my own work, working day in and day out without much thought for my family or close friends. Work was the only thing that would strike a chord in my mind. Nishi also was busy with his admission procedures and stuff. Some time passed by before I called him, when I knew that he could not manage an admission this session. He did not seem to mind the failure, was his cheerful self and confident that he would make it in the next session. “Don't worry ra, I will make it for the next session” was what he said last.

The sun was crimson red; the light through the water drops on the Conch was playing on me, I blissfully unaware of the rising tide. A large wave rocks the Conch, and I keet staring at it.
For over a month I was again in my cave. It was time for me to go to Vizag, when on the day of my journey; he leaves me a message asking me to call. “It can wait for 24hrs, the first thing I will do is call him once I go home”, I say to myself.

“Hello! Can I speak to Nishant”
“May I know who is speaking?”
“I am his friend Ankush, is he not at home?”
“He has committed suicide in the morning”
“What………!” click. I hang up.

A strong wave which has come up when I was deep in my thoughts topples me from the rock I was sitting on. Gathering myself from my fall, I look out for the Conch, so beautifully set a moment ago, and now waned into the depths of the ocean. I walk back in the direction of the resting sun. A tear trickles down my cheek, and thought trickles down my mind “May Be”.

Friday, October 15, 2004

The Farmer

Once upon a time, long long ago when none of us were born there lived a farmer called Raju. Raju was very hard working and had a good reputation among the villagers as a fair and friendly person. He never cared about much of the politics going around and did his farming diligently. Apart from being hardworking Raju was also an innovator. He was not the kind of herd mentality, instead of practicing agriculture the way everyone does, he has brought some changes into his way of farming which with time were showing the effects on the output.

Raju’s crop was at least twice more than the second highest producer in the village. All this without putting any extra input or effort. Only difference is he used different methods. Everyone in the village praised him for the output, but he put down all the accolades by being overtly modest, and attributed all his success to Lady Luck.
All the villagers congratulated him and wished that the divine lady show some consideration on them.

Pawan his neighbor though was not very intelligent, was smart. He was not convinced by the theory of luck. He started following the practices of Raju. Raju was very happy to share his methods with Pawan. This season, both of them had a very good produce. However, Pawan did not downplay his success, he informed the villagers of the new practices he used in farming and how these methods helped in increasing the produce. He attributed his success to Raju. However, Raju once again downplayed his role and praised Pawan for his efforts. He was happy that people came to know of his methods and will prosper.

From that day onwards people started pouring in to Pawan’s house for suggestions on the new methods of farming. Whatever doubts they had, they would approach Pawan. He in turn would approach Raju, who would solve the problems. This went on for a time and slowly Pawan got a hang of the methods to be used and the concept behind the success of this system over the old one. Also his stature in the village has grown, not only people from the neighboring villages but also people from all over the state started consulting Pawan. Slowly his visits to Raju also decreased.

Raju though happy initially, was troubled by the popularity and fame Pawan was achieving. He began to feel cheated, since all the fame and attention due him was going to Pawan, someone whom he had let know of the practices. Though he was improving on his farm produce over the years, he was not getting any recognition. Whereas, Pawan went on to become advisor to the king on the agricultural practices. This very much irked Raju, as he got no credit in all this.

Raju went to the king's court and put his case before the king. He narrated all that happened and pleaded the king for justice. The day of justice was fixed and the king ordered both the parties Raju and Pawan to be present for the judgment. Once again the king hears the version from both the parties. He is perplexed on whom to do the justice, should Pawan be punished for popularizing the new practices which helped millions of people, or should he favour Raju who developed the methods. He was in confusion.

Now I leave it for you to come up think what must have happened, what would be a fitting end to this dilemma.


Many a times, I have gone deep into my mind trying to analyze what incidents were responsible for what I am. Had I not made a particular choice, my life would have been on a very different course. Every moment of life I made a decision, which has resulted in me being what I am now.
Now how and why do we make a decision? That depends on the history of the decisions, and how we perceive it would affect our future. Sometimes a series of seemingly disconnected events shape the way you think and in a way your destiny.


This afternoon, I was thinking of the events that might have had some part to play in the making of me. Slowly I drop down asleep.

“Ramu, its time for the bus, wake up, you have been sleeping for 4hrs”, said my mom. I had a look at the clock and packed myself out of the bed to gear up for trip to my native place. It’s a small village on the banks of Godavari. Nature is at its best in this village; with its serpentine banks, the coconut palms standing tall with pristine pride of the natural beauty, and of course the innocent people. I have never loved a place more.

I wanted to take a break, just after my class 10th exams, before entering this big bad world, full of enthusiasm and confidence that I can make a difference. It was an arduous overnight journey for many people, but not for me, to whom this has been a part of life. I got to the bus stand just in time, only to find that the bus has been delayed by an hour. Having nothing to do, I started to look around the place and observe the people around. There was this beautiful girl with black curly hair, in a simple yellow frock, a smile on the face, eyes playing as the evening sun. I took an immediate fancy for her, and wished she were to travel in the same bus as mine. Alas, only on boarding the bus did I find out that she had come to see off her relative, hard luck they say.

In the mean while a young man in his early twenties walks up to me and introduces him self as Mahesh, we chat on things in general as two co passengers chat. Slowly, Mahesh lets me know of his intentions. He is from a near by village. He has done his masters and has come for an interview in Vizag. On his way back he lost his money and all the contacts he knew in this place. Now he had no way to go back home, he wanted me to help him monetarily, so that he can go home. “The Umbrella Man” a short story by Roald Dahl, I doubt the veracity of this persons cause and let him go off taking advantage of my age as the handicap to help him, knowing very well that I could have helped him if I wished.

The journey was mostly uneventful, except for the brief cameo by the girl at the bus stand when she got into the bus to fix the luggage of the relative, a thin old fellow, who looked disgusting. I slept through the rest of my journey and woke up just in time to get down at Jaganapet junction. This place is 1hr from my village by a Tonga. Though these days there are innumerable auto rickshaws swarming the place, those days it was the only mode of transport. The air in the village is sufficient to infuse life into my otherwise tired body. I got down at the entrance arch to the village and made my way to the house through all the fields, wallowing in the mud and having a go at the mangoes in the mangroves, a chat with all the people on the way; before, dropping down in the arms of my grand ma. It was a feeling which is difficult to explain in words.

I was in my village for over a fortnight, I had the time of a lifetime, with all my childhood friends, most of whom I have never seen again. Infact it was the last time I ever stayed there for more than two days. I somehow had a gist of this at that time and thus lived as if those were the last days in my life. All through this one thing that was there on my mind, was Mahesh. However, hard I tried I could not push him out of my thoughts. His convincing voice, the vulnerability in his tone, his story of impoverishment and my coldness to his situation kept haunting me.

No better example can be found of how time flies by. Hey, may be I am wrong in this, when my girl friend is around the time flies by even faster. Any way it was time for me to go back to Vizag, reluctantly I bid good bye to the place and people who are my life, knowing very well that this was the last time I will ever spend my time with them.

The way back was without any event, and I landed at the crossroads, on an early Sunday, morning. My dad was there to pick me (or should I say the luggage), and I reached home. On reaching home I found that my cousin was coming that day. I was thrilled to the core on hearing this. We are best of pals; she has always supported my cause in all my mischief and is my mentor. Sitting by the gate, I was engaged in the local news, when I hear a beggar asking for alms. Being an inconsiderate fellow as I am, I ask him to go away and swear him in English. “If you don’t want to give don’t; but don’t swear unnecessarily”, were the words he said before turning back. He was in rags, tattered clothes, unkempt hair, years old beard, I doubt if he had a wash in weeks. I called him and inquired of his past. He was a post graduate in English and found it difficult to find a job matching his qualifications. He lost his family in the mean while, frustrated with all this he took to begging. “Ramu, call for you”, that was my mom, hearing that I ran inside leaving the beggar, without a name standing outside the gate.

While I was on the phone, my dad sent him away, and I came back only to see the dust in the air. Somehow I thought of Mahesh.
Meanwhile my cousin came, I have a good time with her, we discuss all the possibilities of where I will do my +2 and the various strategies on tackling the JEE. As is our habit we chat on everything under the sun and of course beyond it. She left in the evening, me back at the gate bidding her good bye. My thoughts go back to that nameless beggar from the morning. Suddenly, I think of Mahesh. I think of all the down trodden, I have come across, how many of them are educated and yet fail a decent living. I think of all those Mahesh’s who turn into nameless beggars. I will make a difference, I resolve.

The alarm rings, I wake up to find myself in a chair, and the lights just coming up. Below, outside the window, I see someone in ragged clothes, I see him in tatters, I see he’ s not had a bath for days, I see him as I saw him half a decade back, did I make any difference? Can I make a difference? Will I make a difference? Only time will tell.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004



“Tink Tink, Heads!!”, I opened my eyes to see Raj tossing the coin which he took from my closet. “Tatha tatha give me this coin, please ra tatha”, he asked me, with the coin in his hand. I took him in my lap and the coin into my hands. It was long since I had any use with this coin, now my 10 year old great great grandson has dug it out of no where, bringing back a lot of pleasant and not so pleasant past. I tossed it……………………..

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Pearl Drops

Pearl Drops

"Archana don’t go there into the rain" shouted her mom. I looked in that direction; it was this small little four year old girl playing with her new puppy in the first monsoon showers of the season.

The sky was pitch black, with the sun trying his best to get a peep of this beautiful lush green carpet which draped the earth like a baroque silk sari drapes a beautiful lady. I was enjoying a hot madrasi capi sitting in my easy chair and drooling over the childhood I spent there. When, I hear her voice.

She was complaining, "She will catch cold, and that stupid dog that she has got, if anything happens to it, I have to take care, that too in this village where there is nothing, why did I ever come here"

I didn't say anything, I got used to this tuffs between the mother and the daughter. I loved to watch her play in the mud and the rain. I was like that, and watching her I relived my childhood days. She knows me very well, and always complains that I am pampering Archana. But am I, its only I am letting her live what she and all her friends cannot imagine in the concrete jungle that we have created for ourselves.

But, then her nagging at least makes me call "Arch! Get in dear, your mother is in a mood to make chutney of us"
Arch looks at me a bit confused, and goes back to what she was doing. Feeling that the situation may go out of control I go to fetch her out of the mud.

Voila what a great climate, the rain filtered through the coconut palms, the drops playing hide and seek with the rain. At that instant I was taken back a quarter in my past, I started to jump in the rain and play in the muddles that as so characteristic of the place.

"You are coming or not!” were the only words she said. I was in no mood to be disturbed, as soon as she turned back (god knows what), I with Arch. and the new entrant the puppy, did a hajmola on her.

And that was it, we drenched her with mud and all the muddle water, arch., and the puppy wallowed in muddles to their hearts content. I was so happy with her also in the picture, and she was numb with what she could never even imagine can happen to her.

She goes back in very upset. I heard her say "why did you leave me? I should also have come with you, why did you do this to me?"

A lighting strike, it was beautiful. Sensing that it was beyond limits Arch. and I get back to the place where she is. The puppy diligently follows its mistress.

For her age, I am surprised to see Arch., take her mothers head in her lap and console her. "Sorry ma, i will not do anything that makes you sad. Smile na good girl na!!”

I got near them and wanted to hug them and give all the love I have. I touch her cheek with my palms. Except for a strange reaction there was no response from her. I put my hand through Arch, hair but no, there’s no reaction. I shout at the top of my voice, but it doesn't have any effect on them.

I get mad, I get out of the room furious, only to bump into a poster on the wall. I am breathless, speechless, it is my obituary, I died an year back, when a lightening struck.

I turn back to see a house, to see a family, to see her, to see Arch., to see the poster disintegrating in the heartless drops that are no more pearls.

My Story

My Story
"No!!" I shouted at the top of my voice waking up from a bad dream. It was cold outside, and I was freezing to death. But I could hear only a squeak. I tried harder to hear my voice; all I could hear was just another squeak.

I was restless, unable to move, unable to turn. I was surprised to feel how soft my body has become. It was tender like a leaf adored with pearls of dew.

However, the feeling of tenderness was no consolation to my immobility. I tried in vain to lift myself up; not one of the body parts supported me. The eyelids shut my eyes, which were keen to see the light. I shouted in frustration, but I could hear nothing but a cry of agony and pain.

Out of blue came a hand, it was the touch for which I have waited all my life. It was she, I was sure it was she, if only I can open my eyes. The hand took me close to her warm bosom; her soothing touch had made me forget all the pain. The cold, which woke me up, disappeared in her warmth. I didn't want to open my eyes; least I should be deprived of this comfort (How selfish of me).

Then came an interesting thought to me, where am I? Why is she here with me? What happened to me? This thought process took me back to, what I remembered last.

It was a bright Sunday morning; I had planned for a long drive along the coast of Bay Of Bengal with her. I met her a year back at book festival. There was this book on cocktails, which I wanted as a present for a good friend of mine, however I got the reply that it was already chosen by an young lady who was browsing the stack at some distance. She was plump and had a silky black hair. Dressed in fair looking salwar suit, she was pouring over the books like a ravenous wolf. With the book in hand, I walked up to her and said, "Excuse me madam, will you mind if I take this book".

She turned,the silky hair breezing past my face, and said "What?” I was shocked; I knew I was in love with this girl. It was not new for me to fall in love, but this time I was head on in love with this girl. The large playful eyes added what I call "kala" to an already enchanting face. Its was not just the face that I fell for, it was the grace in her look and moments, and when I came to know her better, I just couldn't believe my luck, for such a wonderful individual was she.
"Forget it" pat came the reply, thud I came back to earth. I pleaded her and persuaded her and cajoled her to let me go with the book, reluctantly she agreed.

Thus started a new phase in my life, when I have decided upon my life partner, only hitch was she was already engaged.This didn't dampen my spirits as I always believed that I"m"possible.

And that Sunday afternoon, it was about six months since she accepted me. We reached Rishikonda, with its beautiful sun kissed beaches and unexplored wilderness offered an apt place for couples like us looking for hours of seclusion.

At 5 in the evening dark clouds broached the sky gobbling up the sun in the process. We decided to leave, as there were ominous signs of an impending storm. Driving by the coast road with the wind on the face was a beautiful experience. Without any warning there was this boulder, which rolled over from the adjoining hill, triggering a landslide unknown in this part of the world. I felt a bang on my head and that’s it, I woke up to find my self in the arms of that beautiful lady whom I love as much as I love myself.

With these thoughts I dropped to sleep.

Commotion around me brought me back from my slumber. I felt warm in my blanket, relluctantly I opened my eyes when I felt her taking me into her hands, for a moment I was shocked I couldn't believe what I saw. She took me into her arms from a, "cradle".