Respire

She ran as fast as she could. The pain burned her body and soul. She wanted to look back, but fear stopped her. She saw a fleck of light at the end of the road. She could hear the noise of the metal wheels. She ran faster. The darkness ahead of her way comforted her but she still yearned to reach the light at the fag end of her road of hope. The metal wheels shrieked and suddenly a bright light made her blind. The night refused to end.

Her soul respired, her body knitted and her heart ached. Her blurry eyes saw his teary eyes. She could see his smile between the smelly tears. The salty kiss made her realize that she was alive because he was her destination, he was the gospel truth of her existence and he was her man.

Their love wiped the slate clean and when she looked out of the window the Sun was already up and shining in their life.

 

Love,Lust and Bubble

“Diya! You there?”,Vidya banged on the door.

“Let’s go?”, Anu pinned up her dupatta and asked Vidya.

“Diya is still not up”

“She must be tired from the trip. Let her come for the second hour. It is Malathi’s class. She will not let us in if we are a minute late. Come… Come…” Anu dragged Vidya.

Vidya again banged on Diya’s door during lunch break. Vidya stood in front of the door and tried calling Diya’s phone.

“Vidya, what happened to Diya? Is she too tired from the trip that she can’t even come for the class?”, Shalini laughed loud.

“Listen, I know it was you who spread the news about her trip.”

“Of course, it was me. Tell me one reason for not doing it.”

“Past is past.”

“Then what I had told about her is past too.”

“Diya, just open the door!”, Vidya yelled at the closed-door and banged on it.

Students flocked and they asked Vidya so many questions. Vidya gave up and told everyone that Diya is sick.

During the class, Vidya told her concerns to Anu. Diya’s phone is switched off; her parents have already called Vidya thrice; nobody has seen her after trip.

“Don’t worry; this is not her first time. Or on a happy note, may be they must have made out too many times that she is tired.”

“But still, can’t she at least open the door?”

“We will do one thing. Let’s bunk the next class and then go to her room.”

“OK. Let’s do that.”

When they reached Diya’s room, it was latched from outside.

“She must have gone to the toilet.”

“Let’s sit inside the room.”

They waited for an hour chatting each other.

“Diya’s guts! appreciated.”

“I don’t feel that she has done anything great.”

“But, again how did she make it? Aren’t her parents very pestering and strict?”

“Sigh! She told her parents that she is going to Kodaikkanal for the class trip and then went to Ooty with Deepak.”

“Whoa! She has brains to handle her parents. But still, I would have shivered to death for going on such a date. That’s why Ramesh and I date only inside the campus and I chose him over Naresh because Ramesh and I are from the same caste. I can’t handle complications. It is very difficult to sleep with one guy and then marry another one. I kinda feel disgusting.”

And Diya came holding her bucket in one hand and toiletries in another hand. She looked terribly tired. Eyes looked droopy and face looked pale.

Vidya and Anu sat straight eagerly waiting to hear the stories.”Diyaaaa”, they called teasingly.

She didn’t look at them but stood next to door opening it wide. Vidya looked at Anu and then looked at Diya.She was still standing there holding the opened door.

Shalini was sitting in the mess and Vidya purposely avoided looking at her.

“How is Diya? Her phone is switched off.” A text message flashed in Vidya’s mobile phone. It was from Deepak. She immediately called him but he didn’t pick up the call.”*******”, Vidya told herself.

Then Anu came running to mess and dragged Vidya out.

“Looks like there is some problem.”

“What?”

“Ramesh told me that there is a rumor that Deepak was just idling time with Diya.He is not serious.”

“Oh that, even I knew. I don’t think even Diya is serious about the relationship.”

“Then who cares. Let them **** how much ever they want. I was worried that Diya was cheated.”

“No, Anu. She isn’t that kind of person. She knows well that any guy would fall for her charm. So if not Deepak, then somebody else.”

“I seriously want to know the art of being a *****.Guys come and go just like this in her life. Phew!”

“LOL!!”

Four days passed and nobody saw Diya in the class. For two days Vidya and Anu checked on her before going to class but then they got busier for the cycle tests.

During the first test,Diya came to class.She looked terrible.She had dark circles.Her hair was messy.Her lips were dry.The entire exam hall looked at her but she walked slowly to her seat.After ten minutes,Diya walked out of the exam hall.Anu leaned and looked at Vidya and she looked equally clueless.

Vidya and Anu ran behind Deepak after the test.

“Hey,listen,is there any problem between you both?”,Anu asked in stern voice.

“No.What problems?”,Deepak asked innocently.

Deepak joined his friends, laughed over some boys joke and cycled away.

Vidya slightly pushed the door and it opened. Diya was lying down on her bed. Anu also got inside the room and closed it from inside.

“Diya, wake up.”

Diya got up and hugged Vidya tightly. She screamed blue murder.

“What happened?”Anu whispered.

Diya cried. She cried uncontrollably. In two minutes, there was a pool of tears on her.

“Did you see Deepak?”

“Yes, we met him after the test. He looked normal. What happened to you?”

“He has a girlfriend in Delhi.A relationship approved by their parents.”

“WHAT?!!??”,both Anu and Vidya exclaimed.

“Yes,she had called me few days back.She shouted at top of her voice.I didn’t know what to reply.”

“What did Deepak say?”

“He told me that going to Ooty was my idea.Now the blame is on me.”

“Huh!”

“Actually,why did you go with him?Anyway you were not serious and he was also not serious.”

“Who the hell told you that I was not serious?”

“So you were serious? Oh my God!”

“Of course I was serious. Otherwise why would I weave such a big story and tell my parents?”

“So, what is next?”

“I don’t know.”

“Coming for lunch?”

“No!”

Anu and Vidya walked over to the mess and Anu said, ”What goes around comes around. This is the punishment for snatching Shalini’s boyfriend last year.”

“Don’t talk nonsense.”, Vidya joked,” punishment it seems.”

Days passed and the cycle tests were over. The weekend came. Diya and Anu had gone home. Vidya was bored watching movies and sleeping over books. She went to the mess for evening tea. The mess was deserted, so she stretched her legs and kept it on the chair on the other side of the table. She enjoyed the hot elachi tea and went for one more cup.

“Is Diya going out with Ashish?”

Vidya looked back to see who it is. She smiled at Shalini.

“No. I mean I don’t know; I don’t think so.”

“Hmm”

“By the way,which Ashish?”

“Ashish — Deepak’s roommate; Rakhi’s boyfriend.”

“Oh!”

“I saw Ashish and Diya in the railway station on Friday night when I went to see off my friends.”

“Oops”

“What is she up to?”

“They must be the new friends.”

“Rakhi told me that Ashish broke up with her on Thrusday night.”

The elachi tea tumbler fell down from Vidya’s hand.

Sunday night,Anu texted Vidya — “TTE caught Diya and Ashish from train’s loo. It is a chaos here.”

Vidya looked at the text message and then deleted it.

 Next day while going to the class,Vidya knocked on Diya’s door.She was lying down and crying.She hugged Vidya tightly and cried.

“Why did you do this?”

“I don’t know.”

“Leave it.Get ready.”

Before reaching the class,Diya got a call.Both of them stopped their cycles.

“I am bunking the class.”

“Why?”

“Manish wants to talk to me.”

“Diya! Don’t do this.”

“Bye.I will come for the next class.”

Vidya said nothing and cycled to the class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cabbage

Priya stretched her right hand to touch Saahil.

Saahil“,she called him pulling his hair,”Saahil,calling bell;maid“.

He rolled over to the other side and snored.Priya patted him on his bum and got out of the bed.She yawned and tied her robe’s ribbon.When she opened the door,Akka stood there with a bag half-filled with vegetables. Akka’s forehead showed the daily frustration of waiting in front of the door.

How many times have I told you to give me a spare key?“,Akka murmured and went to the kitchen.The noises of vessels falling into the sink released her irritation.

Priya went back to the bed and crawled inside the quilt.She hugged Saahil from behind and bit his left earlobe. Saahil chuckled and rolled on top of her. Priya laughed and Saahil passionately kissed her.

***************************************************************************************************

Akka,all ready?“,Priya stood at the kitchen door and asked.

Muaah! Bye“,Saahil kissed Priya on her cheeks and sipped the milk and rushed to the front door.

Lunch!“,Priya shouted.

Team lunch today“,the voice came out from somewhere down the staircase.

Akka,tomorrow buy some chicken.It has been a while.

That guy owes Rs.20.He is an asshole.

That’s OK.No problem.

Please pack my lunch too Akka,I am already late.

Then who will wash the dishes?

Don’t shout.I will pack it.

Priya went to the room and brought her hand bag.She took out a smelly lunchbox and smiled at Akka.

Sorry,forgot to wash it.

Huh!Give it.

Priya grinned.

Wait,why did you buy cabbage?Haven’t I told you not to buy cabbage?

Today,plantain was not there,so I thought I will buy cabbage and shred it.

Don’t ever buy cabbage.

Why?

Priya said nothing.

Akka,let’s go.I am already late to office.” 

Akka came out holding the garbage bag in one hand and a cloth bag on the other.”Dish wash liquid is over.Mustard and jeera are over.

OK.You buy them tomorrow.Keep this.”,Priya stretched out a Hundred Rupee note.

After driving for a while,Priya stopped the car and breathed heavily.She opened the door and puked on the road.She searched for the bottle and gulped lots of water;but,again puked.She closed the door and turned on the air conditioner.She turned the blower on to her face and swallowed air.

5.30 AM.The alarm rang. Riya woke Priya up and went to the toilet.

Riya! Did Priya wake up?“,Mom asked from the kitchen.

Priya dragged herself from the bed and leaned on the toilet door.

I don’t want to go to school today.

As if I want to go.”

“It is because of our school bus.The class starts at 8.45 AM and for that we need to start from here at 5.30 AM.

What to do?

Why can’t you tell parents to send us in public bus?Then we need to start from home only at 8.15 AM.

We are too small.

You?Small?Aren’t you in 6th standard?

But,Parents will not agree.And,yeah at least today please don’t puke.

What will I do?They smoke up the bus with foul-smelling agarbathis and I feel suffocated.”

Today also cabbage“,Riya opened the steel lid and smirked at Priya.

Amma!”,Priya shouted.

I know but what can we do.There is no money.I will tell Dad to buy something else tonight.Few more months — once our new house is built then Dad will have money with him.

Amma,you don’t know anything.Rice and cabbage for breakfast,rice and cabbage for lunch and rice and cabbage for dinner.Do you know,I vomit daily in the bus?

“Ayyo,what happened Priya?” “Riya,is it true?”

Riya said nothing and continued eating.

Yes,Amma.I am telling the truth.I feel suffocated inside the school bus.The agarbathis smell churn my stomach.This cabbage never digests for me and I puke until I reach school.Two days back when I puked,rice and cabbage came out and boys made fun of me telling that I eat rice for breakfast.Friends always tease me saying Amma knows to cook only rice and cabbage.

Amma said nothing.That day,an hour after getting inside the school bus,when Priya burped,smell of cabbage prevailed in the air surrounding her.And she knew,it is time to run to the door.The bus driver braked upon seeing her next to his seat.She ran to the nearby bushes and puked her soul out. Riya sat in her seat without acknowledging the happenings.

Can’t you tell your parents to buy some medicine to stop vomiting?“,driver showed all his disliking in his voice.

Are you pregnant?“,asked Vijay and his boys gang.There was a big laughter when Priya walked back to her seat.The taste of undigested half-cooked cabbage lingered inside her mouth for the entire day.

Madam,ID card?

Priya flashed her ID card through the car window and drove off to the parking lot.That day when she opened one of her lunch boxes,she saw fried,yellow colored shredded cabbage.She smelled it once and then ran to washroom.

Hello,My Dear Wrong Number

Samson sat up on his mattress and looked at his roommate. Ajmal has been walking from one end of the room to the other end for past ten minutes.

Are you walking to compensate for your evening walk?

Ajmal turned his head towards Samson and said nothing. He continued walking clutching his fists. Samson got up and stood in front of Ajmal blocking his way and asked, “What the **** are you doing?”

Ajmal again looked at Samson and continued walking. Samson sighed and went back to his bed. He pulled his bed sheet over him. Ajmal is tensed.He walks inside the room like a maniac only when he is too tensed. Nothing unusual has happened in office today except that the office beauty Pinky Sharma was absent, and we were slightly down. There wasn’t that emotional boost to work today. Then in the bus, both of us got to sit next to college girls.Huh, in fact the day was almost perfect.But, why is he tensed?

“Oh no!!”

Samson pulled off his bed sheet and jumped out of the bed and ran to Ajmal.

“You went for the Dinner?”

“Yes”

“Vivek Kevin?”

Ajmal looked at Samson and said,”Yes”

Samson rolled on the bed holding his stomach and laughed.But, got up after a minute and asked,”Oops! But this case is serious. You actually liked the girl; also the family liked each other.”

“Err, that’s the problem“, Ajmal sat on the bed and fell flat on it.

Where did you meet her?”

“Sizzlers”

“Then?”

“Then, what!! The same Vivek Kevin problem”

“Tell me, what happened?”

“You have no clue how much I had to talk to her Father to get a permission to meet her for dinner. I wanted to meet her before I meet her with my family”

“Grr…Tell me what happened”, Samson sat irritated.

“I had booked a table for two and reached fifteen minutes early.I sat waiting for her and she was bloody thirty minutes late.”

…”Aah, she came late. It happened right after I said Hello to her.I said Hello Pinky”

“What the!!! Again”, Samson burst out in laughter and continued, “I thought you had problems only with Vivek that you always ended up calling him Kevin and with Prasad that you call him Prakash.Oh yes, then with Sandhya,you call her Shanthi”

“No! I can’t help it. My tongue slips all the time.”

“So, now what are you going to tell your parents? Do one thing, call your parents and find out whether the girl’s parents have informed any news”

“Good idea”

Yes,Bro!!”

“No, Bro, there was one more problem”

“What?”

“The bill came around Rs.2500 and that restaurant’s card machine wasn’t working”

“WT*, Then?”

“Then what? She paid the bill”

Samson died laughing hard.

“Shut up, you ************”, Ajmal threw a tumbler on Samson’s face.

Phone rang. Ajmal ran to the table and picked up his cell phone.

“Hey,Samson…Pinky is calling”

“What??!!??Why is she calling you?”

“I don’t know”

Didn’t I tell you that day that she has a soft corner for you?”

“Insha Allah, if she has a crush on me, then I will celebrate. No! Wait, then what about Shehnaz?”

“Who cares? Now pick up the call before she cuts it”

Ajmal cleared his voice and said, “Hello Pinky, what a pleasant surprise!”

Samson showed action to Ajmal encouraging him to ask Pinky why she was on leave today.

“Hello”, Pinky replied.

“Yes, Pinky”

“——“

“Pinky?”

The call disconnected after 30 seconds and Ajmal stood like a statue. The phone fell down.

“What happened?”,Samson asked excitedly.

“Pinky and Shehnaz are roommates”, said Ajmal and sat on the floor.

“So?”

“It was Shehnaz who called from Pinky’s phone”

Ajmal continued walking from one end of the room to the other and Samson covered his face with the bed sheet and said in the mind, “Oh,God! Thank you, Now Pinky is mine”.

 

When Pain smiles at You

Nobody looked at me. Tears flowed over my cheeks while I walked. I folded and held my hands close as if hugging myself. I badly needed a hug. My heart burned inside me. The early morning rays of Sun burned my already embarrassed skin. The pain ate me like a hungry lion. My inner soul was disintegrating and I could only helplessly watch. I walked and walked more. People commented me, some others ignored me and few others rolled eyes at me. In three days, I had gone so weak that even walking against the wind seemed difficult. My eyes pleaded me to stop crying but the only relief from the pain was to cry. I supported myself against a tree and vomited. Brown acidic fluids came out of my mouth and I fell down. The lady sitting in front of the auto stand with flowers ran towards me. The innate ego didn’t come out and I let her lift me. My eyes looked anemic and my mouth dried up when I tried to talk.

The lady looked at me and I understood her confusion. She found it difficult to ask such a question to a girl in denim blue jeans and an expensive sleeveless cotton shirt, which reminded me that I haven’t eaten for past three days. How could I eat something? The pain choked me every second. Tears made food salty. My inner system had called off for a strike that I threw up everything that I ate. I gave up. I wasn’t thirsty so didn’t drink water too. The lady put me in an auto and told the driver not to charge me. How did she understand that I have no penny with me? The apartment stairs looked never ending and I finally reached my door. The smell in the room suffocated me. A shattered cell phone blinked at me and white face tissues spread moldier smell in the room. The curtains laid on the floor and the chairs laid upside down.

My sleep deprived eyes again flooded and I wiped them with my mucous smelled shirt – collar. I lay down on the couch but I couldn’t. The pain was too much to handle. I touched my left side of the chest to find out whether I can cure heart ache by a light massage. Every time I tried to lay down, the pain suffocated me and I sat in the darkness thinking what to do next. The room is dark. The soul is dark. The life ahead is dark.

Tears flowed and I wanted to cry loud, but the darkness and the emptiness in the house scared me even to breath. The night passed without knowledge, the Sun again rose bright and shine and the traffic gave background score for my barren life, but I still couldn’t sleep or eat. I walked inside the house like a mad woman. There were a lot of things that I wanted to think, say and do. Nothing seemed working in my life. The noises of traffic stopped, Sun went to its home and I still walked from one end of the room to the other. The darkness prevailed both in the room and my life.

I sat on the couch and bit my wrist to get a relief from the pain. Suddenly, a bright light creaked inside the unlocked door. He was at the door. I ran to him and hugged him tight. After five days, I cried loud. I cried loud that the walls started shaking. I cried loud that the pain subsided. I cried loud that my tears went dry.

That night I slept. Hours and days passed but when I woke up from my sleep, he was still there beside me. He smiled at me and I realized that the pain is gone.

 

Conversations

The calling bell shrieked and Saahil knew that it was Maya outside the door, and she was irritated. His guess didn’t go wrong when he saw sting faced Maya standing and venting out her frustrations by pressing the switch of calling bell .She looked at his face and stormed to the kitchen. Saahil laughed and closed the door. He sat on the couch hugging the cushion and asked jokingly her, “So what is the new gossip at the kitty party?“.

She came out of the kitchen holding a tumbler and stared at him.”Yes, you laugh. Only I know how I feel when hear such things”, she said and dropped the tumbler in the kitchen sink. The noise made Saahil get up from the couch. He hugged her from behind and kissed on her shoulders. She continued, “Do you know Krishnan is taking Rithika to some island in Malaysia to celebrate their wedding anniversary? Also, she told us that he is planning to surprise her with a diamond ring. Looks like she saw the bill from jewelry store in his pocket.

What??!!??“,Saahil responded.

Why? What happened?” she asked curiously.

May be the Malaysia trip is true but the diamond ring is not for her.

Then?”

Listen, it isn’t a good idea to mix what men talk at the pub and what women talk at kitty party.

Maya hugged Saahil and said, “Thank you” and kissed him deeply on his cheeks.

He wiped her saliva from his cheeks and asked her “Why are you thanking me?

She shouted from the bathroom, “because I can sleep well tonight“.

Saahil stood outside the bathroom and sighed.

 

Rented Happiness

Her fingers are clutched refusing to open to feel my fingers. Her curly hair slightly waved in the mild gush of the wind coming through the window. She looked calm yet stubborn showing reluctance to know her new world. I mildly played with the fragile curls of hair without letting her wake up from sleep. The serenity created by the nature to put a baby asleep made me wonder about the mysteries unknown to human beings. Her foot looked like a strawberry pastry with tiny toes as almond slices. Her fragile body made the mother inside me blow off completely.

I looked at her closely to find whether she has any of my traits. She looked exactly like her Father inheriting every physical feature of him. She has a broader forehead, tiny pointed nose and narrow chin exactly like her Father’s. Her fingers are long and thin. Every time he touched me with his long and thin fingers, they gave shivers of pleasure and happiness. His hands are strong and his chest is warm. The only thing she took over from me is the habit of sleeping on his chest tightly hugging him. I leaned over her and softly kissed on her cheeks. Did she smile in her sleep when I kissed or was it just an illusionary prejudice?

“Ragini, how many times I have told you not to sit next to the baby in your dirty clothes?” Her Mother shouted at me and my smile faded away in air.

“Go to kitchen and do your work.” She held the door opened for me to walk out of the room. I looked back at the baby once and slowly walked away.

He stood outside the room and said nothing. I didn’t want to look at him.

And that night when he knocked on my door, I lay down as if I didn’t hear any knocks.

 

A Phone Call

Aditi:  I wish you were not married.

Ayan: Three years back I called you up to propose you but, you cut my call the moment you heard my voice.

Aditi:  I never knew that you had called me up to do so.

Ayan: Even I never expected that you would wait for me this long.

 

Moral of the story: Think twice before you cut a phone call.

 

Entangled

 

She partially opened her eyes.The noises around her banged her ear drums.She wanted to reach for her phone but she was all numb.When she opened her eyes,she saw a man lying next to her and his eyes were filled with rage.They looked deep into each other’s eyes and stories were told.

Priya – 24 hours ago

She looked herself in the mirror a million times and sighed.His parents are not going to like her.She is dusky,short-haired and free-spirited.She stood closer to the mirror to check whether she has any traits of a so-called family-type-girl.She looked ravishing and ultra-modern;a look which her friends raved about during college days.Changing poses in front of the mirror made no big difference but only made her more depressed.Her face showed strokes of uneasiness in a tight salwar suit.

She made sure not to take her car while going to the restaurant to meet the supposedly future-in-laws for dinner.She was sure that they would loathe her if they come to know that she drives a car,that too alone at night.He came running to welcome her but his parents didn’t even look at her or made an attempt to move from their seat.She expected them to acknowledge her presence but they were busy talking to each other.

Even under the coolest air conditioner,like the advertisement proclaims,she sweated profusely.She breathed like the earth was out of oxygen.She said “namaste” to both of his parents and sat down opposite them.He sat next to her and squeezed her hands.His mother talked about another girl who is his father’s friend’s daughter.She fell for that girl’s charm and culinary skills and craved for bringing her as the daughter-in-law.He stared at his mother throwing expressions conveying not to talk such matters now.His mother looked at her and asked how dal is made.She looked at him,looked down and then looked at his mother.He cut through the glances and asked whether it was an interview for a maid happening there.It was very evident from his voice that he was too ashamed about his mother’s behavior.No further talks were made and they ate in complete silence except his father’s burps.

Sahil – 24 hours ago…

He knew that something was fishy in his relationship.He sensed it since she started lying to him.He again dialled her number but there was no response.

Yes,he is arrogant and short-tempered but he has loved her sincerely.The thought of leaving her was never in his mind,even though he fights with her round the clock.

It happened when one of her school friends got a transfer to the town.He had warned her not to meet him because she had told him once about this guy who pestered her with proposals during school days.Once when he took her to a pub,they met her school friend.It was obvious that he still had a liking towards her.His eyes blinked with love and lust that he refused to leave her hand after the handshake.

He never thought that she would have fling despite his emotional torture and being in a live-in-relationship.The changes in her were sudden.She put up fights with him,stopped picking his calls while in office and made excuses when he wanted to have sex.It was then once he saw somebody similar to her sitting behind a man on a bike.It was a mere glimpse and he was half drunk.So he didn’t make an attempt to chase down them.When he got back home,she was already asleep.

Within a month,the house turned upside down due to fights and arguments and she moved out of the house.

Priya – 12 hours ago…

She didn’t want to pick up his calls.The embarrasment that she underwent the night before was more than enough to hate him.Finally she picked his call and heard him saying a thousand sorry.She remained silent and listened to all that he wanted to explain her.Before disconnecting the call,she told him that she doesn’t fit in his family and touched on “End Call”.

Sahil – 12 hours ago…

He woke early that day to wonder that he still has the talent to do so.He went to her house and found it locked.He tore off a notice from the near by wall and wrote a note for her on it.He slipped the document through the door vent and then slammed on the door.

Priya – 8 hours ago…

Her phone was flooded with his phone calls.She didn’t pick up the calls because she didn’t know what to tell him.She loved him dearly but she didn’t want to manipulate herself for his parents.Suddenly she got a call from the office security in her extension phone.She guessed that it would be him when the security told her that a visitor is waiting for her.When she walked to the reception her mind was blank.She saw him sitting on the couch and his hands badly supporting his head.She went to him and stood in front of him.He didn’t even look at her but reached out for her hands.She melted when he held her hands.

She sat next to him and they hugged each other.He held her face and she couldn’t control her tears.She cried in his hands like a baby forgetting that she was in office.He assured her that by evening,they would make a decision.

Sahil – 8 hours ago…

Though he went to office,he was very restless.He went even more restless when his friend informed him that some guy has been dropping her at home these days.

He cooked up a story and asked his manager for permission to leave the office.The manager was surprised to see him as an insominiac and readily nod for the leave request.

He drove to her office and got to know that she was on two days vacation.He was now sure that she has moved out of the relationship fooling him wonderfully.

Priya – 4 hours ago…

She looked at her phone without blinking and she was tensed as he was not calling her to let her know his decision.She couldn’t work or eat her lunch.Her heart beat faster making her breath heavily.She lied down on the desk and kept her phone next to her.She slept off.

Sahil – 4 hours ago…

He went to her house and sat down at the stairs adjacent to the gate.He lit a cigaratte and smoked up his worries.It was difficult for him to make him believe that she has not played around.He decided that if whatever he saw,thought and believed were mere illusions,then he would promise her to love her more and be nicer with her.

Priya – An hour ago…

Her phone had to ring a couple of times to make her wake up from sleep.She immediately picked up the phone and said sorry.He didn’t wait to listen to her but told her to listen to him.What she heard in next ten minutes was one of the best conversations they ever had in the relationship.He told her that they will register the marriage tommorow so that in a month’s time they can tie the knot.He told her to move in with him.Her joy saw no boundaries and she cried out of excitement.He told her to pack her things and wait for him at the metro rail station next to her house.She didn’t waste even a second.She ran out of the office and got inside an autorickshaw to reach the metro station.She felt that the auto moved very slowly and told the driver the to drive fast.The driver gave her a weird look but she was too happy and excited to bother about it.

Sahil – an hour ago…

He sat and sulked waiting for her arrival.When he checked his watch,he realized that he did sleep soundly for more than two hours.

Priya – 30 minutes ago…

She sent him texts pouring all her love for him.She didn’t want to call him as he must riding his bike.Her face was brighter than moon and the joy on her face made even the strangers smile with happiness.She waited for her station to reach and looked outside smiling at infinity.

Sahil – 30 minutes ago…

A bright light made him close his eyes and when he stood up to see the vehicle,he saw a red car coming towards him.He saw her in the front seat with her school friend in the driver seat.His blood flushed with anger that he went up to the car and open the door for her.He wanted to pull her out of the car and slap her but back in his mind he hoped that she was innocent and her schoold friend is just another friend.

He took her hands and helped her in getting out of the car.She refused to get out of the car.He was furious and he could read her mind clearly now.He pulled her out of the car and shouted at top of his voice.Her school friend jumped out of the car and tried to compromise with him.He punched him hard and again turned to her.He clenched her arms and looked deep into her eyes.Her eyes were lifeless and he saw little love for him in them.

Priya – 2 minutes ago…

She got down from the train and ran out of the station.She couldn’t find any auto rickshaws so she planned to walk further to get one.

Sahil – 2 minutes ago…

He looked at her for the last time and asked her “Why?”.Without waiting for her answer,he got on his bike and rode away.

Priya – 42 seconds ago…

She walked,then walked faster and then she ran.She just wanted to reach home,take her things and then be with him for a lifetime.

Sahil – 42 seconds ago…

He was dejected.He couldn’t handle his emotions.Tears flooded his eyes making them difficult to hold back and flowed freely on his cheeks through his stubbles.

Priya – 5 seconds ago…

She wanted to text him so she looked for her phone.

Sahil – 5 seconds ago…

He was furious and he wanted to kill her.He couldn’t believe that she actually moved on with somebody without even breaking the relationship with him.

Priya – 2 seconds ago…

She took her phone and looked the screen to begin texting.

Sahil – 2 seconds ago…

He turned his bike to kill her.

1 second ago…

Even before Priya could lift her head and look straight,a bright light made her go blind.Sahil raced his bike in anger that he raced it on to hit Priya.

Now…

She partially opened her eyes.The noises around her banged her ear drums.She wanted to reach for her phone but she was all numb.When she opened her eyes,she saw a man lying next to her and his eyes were filled with rage.They looked deep into each other’s eyes and stories were told in the noisy road.

Priya saw nothing except some vague images.Somebody lifted her and she wanted to tell them to inform her guy waiting for her but her voice evanescenced in the air.

When people came to lift Sahil,he was muttering that he hates her.

Inside the ambulance,when they looked at each other,Priya didn’t see any rage in Sahil’s eyes.Blood flowed from his forehead(or head) and it got mixed with his tears.He looked into Priya’s eyes and attempted to tell her sorry.But even before he opened his mouth,her eyes closed for ever.

He closed his eyes and he saw no light again.

 

 

A Text Message

Aanadhi pulled the pallu of her saree and wiped her face and neck.She was sweating profusely.The time is 1 am and all the buses from Bengaluru to Trichy has already left.She looked at her watch again and again.She has been trembling in fear and tension since she got a text message from her daughter Arthy who is studying in Trichy.

Aanandhi ,a single mother, has been very proud and happy since her daughter joined one of the prestigious colleges in the country.She threw a party at her office to celebrate her daughter’s academic success.Her life was like a candle burning for her only daughter.Only last weekend she had visited Arthy at her college before the classes started in full fledged.

She again looked at her watch and it showed 1.15 am.She cursed herself for being alone in life.There is nobody to call out during an emergency.She closed her eyes when a bright light flashed on her face.When she opened her eyes,she saw the taxi driver with an ambassador car.She jumped into the car and shouted “Go as fast as you can.I need to reach Trichy soon”.

She again looked at her cell phone to read the text message from Arthy.It read – Maa,I got raped.It was sent at 00.18.47 am.

She cried like a mad woman.Memories flooded her heavy hearted mind.Arthy’s childhood,school days,teenage days flashed in her mind in random order.She felt that she may faint in tension.She again tried calling Arthy but nobody picked the phone.She tried calling the hostel warden’s number but she didn’t get any answer from that landline phone.She was devastated and aghast.

Madam,we are reaching the college…Wake up,Madam“,said the taxi driver.

Aanandhi opened her eyes to see the surroundings and wiped the mucous and saliva stained face.She told herself that she will do anything to punish the one who tortured her daughter.

After reaching the girls’ hostel,she threw the money to the driver and ran to the security guard office.She filled the visitors’ register and sprinted to the block C of the hostel campus.She climbed the steps like a mad woman and stopped running only after reaching the room no.325.She banged the door and there was no answer.After two minutes,which went like two hours for her,Arthy’s room mate opened the door.Arthy’s roommate,Niya,was shocked to see Aanandhi at the dawn of the day.

Where is Arthy“?,asked Aanandhi in her fatigued voice.

She is not there in the room.I think she must have slept in her friends’ room.”

When did you last see her?Do you know?Somebody raped her last night.”

What??!!??”

Yeah,look at this text message from her.She is not picking up the phone too.”

“But her phone is there on her bed.Aunty,you please drink some water and relax.Let me check with my friends.As today is Hostel day,people were practising until early morning.So most of them will be sleeping now.Please sit here and I will come back in few minutes.”

Aanandhi sat on Arthy’s bed and saw a Mill and Boons book,her cell phone with 28 missed calls and a red saree which she was suppose to wear for the hostel day.She took the saree and wept badly.

Maaaa“,Arthy dashed into the room to see her mother.

They hugged eachother and Aanandhi kissedall over Arthy’s face.

Who did such a heinous act to you,baby?”

Maa,what happened to you?I’m perfectly alright.Did you see any bad dreams?Do I look like somebody who was raped last night?”

Then why did you sent me such a text message?Don’t you know that we are staying far from each other?”

Arthy took her cell phone and checked her sent folder.

It read – “Maa,I got raped.”

She thought for a while and then hugged her mother.This was the greatest blunder anybody could have ever done in their life.She sat next to her mother and explained what had happened last night.

Everybody was busy with the practice sessions for the hostel day.According to the tradition,all girls have to wear a saree on the Hostel day.But Arthy had no saree to wear and has been nagging her mother since two days.A senior came out to help Arthy by lending a red saree last night.As Arthy got the saree only at late night,she didn’t want to wake her mother from sleep and tell the news.Instead she sent a text message saying “Maa,I got saree”.But in her phone,she was using the T9 dictionary mode for typing the texts faster.Little did she realize that the first prediction text what we get when we type saree is raped.Without noticing this,she sent the text message, threw her phone on the bed and went for the practice session.

Aanandhi danced with joy though Arthy was on the verge of crying.

“I knew that nothing must have happened to you.I am so happy“,said Aanandhi through her tears flowing through her cheeks.

“Sorry Maa.I love you…Sorry“,Arthy tightly hugged her mother and wept.

 

 

 

 

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