Rain Pain

On a rainy day I saw him. Again. It was 8.30 pm and I had stayed back in office to attend a meeting. Cursing myself for having forgotten to carry an umbrella I stepped out of my building to be welcomed by a strong gust of wind infused with rain. My hair blew in all possible directions as I tugged on to my dupatta. Slowly adjusting my hair back in its place I looked around. There were quite a few people stranded below the asbestos sheet which clung diagonally to the building. The rain made loud pitter patter noises as it hit the sheet. Some people were making small talk with their neighbors and some were just busy on their cell phones. Some were stretching their hand out to test the rain and some were cursing under their breath. I decided to go back inside, sit in the reception and listen to some music. As I turned to get back inside, I saw him.

He was standing leaning against the last pillar cluelessly glaring at his phone. Dressed in complete formals and his trademark black jacket, he was still the good looking charmer he always was. But what was he doing here? He had left four years ago. The last I had heard he was still working at the Hyderabad office. I did think of him once in a while, but seeing him today in flesh and blood brought back some emotions inside. How madly I was in love with him at one point of time. I smiled at the thought. College sweethearts we were. It seemed like ages ago now. The days of bunking college to hang out together, holding hands in the parking lot, stealing looks in our common classes, waiting to be left alone at home to call the other, those quick make out sessions, those long walks, those.... Well, the list seemed endless as everything flashed before my eyes. I somehow had missed him a lot. After college we were placed in the same company, in the same city and we seamlessly continued our relationship from campus to corporate. But one day, everything had come to an end. It all broke in front of us as we watched helplessly unable to react. He had left to Hyderabad immediately and I had stayed back and continued with my life. I was seeing him after four long years and I just stood there staring at him and devouring every movement of his.

A tap on my shoulder distracted me. I looked behind.

"Excuse me, does this belong to you?" A man said.

I looked down to see him holding my ID card. I must have dropped it on my way out.

"Thanks." I said and took the card and put it into my bag. I turned to look back at him.

Now, he was walking towards me with a smile on his face. I stood there motionless, wondering what to do next. He came closer, my heart was thumping. I fiddled around with my hair and smiled back at him.

"Neeta. How are you?" He said and shook my hand.

"Hi Rohan." I smiled back.

We stood looking at each other for a whole minute and slowly the crowd around us began to disperse. The rain had turned into a drizzle and people were rushing to get back home.

"I need to leave Rohan. I might not get an auto later. Are you back here?" I said not wanting to address the question directly.

"Yes. Back for good." He said, staring at me. Almost like wanting to read the reaction on my face.

It took me all the strength I had to not show my happiness. I just nodded and collected my belongings, adjusting my dupatta over my head to avoid the rain.

"You're leaving?" He questioned.

"Hmm..." I nodded again.

"You still stay at the same place? Can I drop you?" He asked.

"Same place, yes. But no, I don't want to spoil your plans. I'll find an auto I'm sure." I said and began walking.

"Don't be stupid Neeta, its almost 9 pm. Please let me drop you, I'm going your side anyway." He insisted.

"Fine." I said and walked with him towards the parking lot.

We reached his bike as he put on his helmet and handed me a cap. I shook my head and tightened my dupatta. He sat and carefully adjusted his backpack to his front to make room for me to sit. Like the way he had done it a million times before. I put my hand on his shoulder and sat behind him. I felt a current rush through me. Yes, I had missed this. The smell of him pierced me as I was beginning to lose my mind. All the love, all those feelings were coming back. I struggled to understand the present as I was drifting away to some unknown land.

"Comfortable?" He interrupted my thoughts. Thankfully.

"Yes, lets leave." I said.

We had just crossed the tech park and were on the main road when it began to rain heavily. I was almost completely wet and was shivering behind him. He stopped the bike and we ran towards a closed shop for some shelter. I lay my bag down and started rubbing my hands to generate some heat. I was freezing. He stood at a distance looking at me without saying a word. I was struggling with my wet hair and the cold was killing me. He finally came closer, took off his jacket and handed it to me.

Too cold to notice or say anything, I grabbed and wore it hurriedly. After feeling some warmth I looked up at him. Through his well fitted shirt, I could say that he was working out. He was a fitness enthusiast anyway. I looked at him with my eyes wide open. He stared back at me. I wanted to rush towards him and drown in his arms. I still loved him, I knew that. I had evaded that fact for a long time but today I wanted to accept it and surrender to him. I had left him, because he had to move to Hyderabad for a permanent assignment and I did not want to have a long distance relationship. He had tried to reason with me but I was stubborn. He left and I was shocked over the fact that he had chosen his work over me. I did not return his calls or reply to his messages. Slowly he stopped. A part of me hated him for leaving but a major part of me still loved him. The very fact that I had stayed single until today proved it.

The rain was not subsiding and my mind was working over a lot of things. Should I tell him how I feel? Should I just let go and embrace him? I did not want to lose him again. I had never loved a man as much as I had loved him. No, I had never loved anyone else as much as I had loved him. I stood there staring at him, wondering what to do as he fiddled around with his phone. He looked up and smiled and pointed towards me. I looked at him confused. He came closer and pushed a strand of my hair behind my ear. I felt fireworks through my body. I smiled and thanked him.

"Rohan... " I started.

"I think we can leave now Neeta, the rain has slowed down. Lets make sure you get home before its too late." He said as he wore his helmet.

"Why do you still care for me so much Rohan?" I asked obviously sounding pleased.

"Why? Shouldn't I?" He smiled. That smile sent a dozen shivers down my spine.

I stood there motionless, looking at him.

"Neeta, come on lets go." He said and held my hand.

I was just going insane. I wanted him so badly that nothing else was making sense to me now. Why did we have to go home? Why couldn't we just stay here for the night? Why couldn't he just kiss me?

He sat on his seat and I slowly sat behind him. Subconsciously I wrapped my hands around his waist and rested my head on his shoulder. He didn't say anything. He just kept riding focusing on the flooded road.

My mind was working nonstop. I shall ask him to come back to me. We'll settle down now. When he had asked me to marry him and go to Hyderabad with him, I had said no, stating that I was too young then. But that was not the case now. I shall marry him and go anywhere with him. He had given me a choice then. A choice I had refused. For my selfish reasons. But now I did not want to let it go. He was back for good anyway. I shall speak to him about it tomorrow I decided.

He stopped the bike. I looked up to see that we had reached my place. I got down.

"See, we got you home safe. Bye Neeta." He said with a smile.

"Why don't you come in for a while? We can talk." I asked eagerly.

He looked at his watch and frowned.

"What happened?" I was worried.

"I'd love to Neeta, but my wife is waiting for me at home. Maybe some other time?" He said.

Each word hit me like a million knives. It pierced through my heart and slit my soul. The pain was unbearable and tears flowed. He mistook it for rain, waved a goodbye and sped away.

I stood there in the street, feeling lifeless.

And then it began to pour again.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

~ Soumya

Being Aditi

So, 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani' crosses the much coveted 100 crore margin. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. No, the story sucked. And just because you wear glasses, doesn't mean a girl is nerdy. And no, a college topper doesn't walk around carrying a text book all the time. The music of the movie is decent enough. 'Badtameez Dil' is my husband's favorite song to shake a leg to and I enjoy the beautiful chime of 'Ilahi'. Nothing more to the movie. YJHD feels like 'Ram Gopal Verma ki Aag' when compared to 'Wake Up Sid!'. But still I loved the movie. Why? For Aditi.

As soon as Cal and I walked out of the theatre, I told him one thing. I loved Aditi. This is Kalki at her best. After playing the innocent Paro and the bitchy Natasha, it is a pleasure to watch her sink her teeth into Aditi. She blends in so beautifully that soon you begin to forget that she is actually the ugly toothed girl. And then you start empathizing and sympathizing with Aditi. At least I could, because I'm exactly her, barring a few choices she makes.

This article by Shobhaa De brings out the essence of Aditi beautifully. And that put me in the thought mode. I don't know if I can call myself "one of the boys", but I sure know that I shall not call myself "one of the girls". Both my mom's (mom and MIL) keep joking about the fact that how I was supposed to be born a guy and God decided to change me the last second. Probably, you never know. 'Tom boy' is the word most people use to describe me and I do not take it in offence, nor do I take it in pride. It is who I am and I have no problem with it. Growing up, I was much closer to my brothers than my sisters, I played cricket, climbed tress, jumped from one house to the other, very well knowing that I'm a girl. Nothing and nobody could take away that fact. Most of my friends have been boys and they feel a sense of comfort to share their feelings with me. No, not because they consider me as one of them. Only because they feel that I could understand them. Because I was sensible. No strings attached and I never shied away from discussing any topic. When the boys became men, they did not ignore the fact that I had become a woman. Maybe I lucked out. Poor Aditi didn't.

I am not a feminist, yet I fight for my rights. That doesn't make me a man. I can't smooth talk and I use the F-word more often than not. That doesn't make me any less of a lady. I wear jeans and shirts, most of the time. That doesn't mean I have the body of a man. The people who know me, know that. Most of the male friends I have(had), have asked me to marry them. Very well knowing the fact that I'm not a typical airy girl. I might have been "one of the boys" but my identity as a girl was never lost. So what if I do not like pink or purple. It’s a choice, that's it. So what if I wear shorts and ganjis, that doesn't mean I am a guy. It only means that I have the body and the confidence to carry it off. See, that is the problem here. In our country, only men are allowed to be confident and headstrong. If a woman is the same, then well you either are a feminist or a "Tom boy".

On the day of my wedding I had a huge argument with my makeup artist who wanted me to wear an orchid in my hair. I did not want to, because I don't like it. She then yells, "Why are you so like a tom boy?" Hello? And why? How on earth is that even related. Like everyone, even I have my share of likes and dislikes. I'm as comfortable in a saree or salwar kameez as I am in my jeans. Just that I prefer denims due to its versatility and toughness. So? I have been a part of the 'Bharat Scouts and Guides', hell yeah I actually am a 'Rajyapuraskar' guide. When I expressed a desire to join the NCC, people raised eye brows. Reasons best known to them. Being the younger of two girls and a Leo at that, I have a tendency to defend and protect the people I love and care about. Are only men supposed to do that? If protecting the people I love makes me a Tom boy, then so be it.

There is a scene in YJHD where Aditi sends Ranbir aka Bunny a video message, inviting him for her wedding. She says, "See, I'm dressed in a short dress, high heels and even have a French manicure, so please at least now pay some attention to me." I was fascinated by this line mainly because I thought it was a whole carton of bull shit. I have been asked out by my friends when I'm in jeans, sneakers and messy hair. No, I do not look like Avril Lavigne or Kristen Stewart. I have had men love me the way I am and when I have loved them back, I've had butterflies and all that jazz. Probably the butterflies and the saxophones did not pay heed to the clothes I was wearing. I am not in your face sweet, but I don't worship blasphemy either. 

Aditi settles for a fat, good hearted man with an Ambani like lifestyle. An arranged marriage they say. Only because the man she loved in her hay days, did not even consider her to be a woman. Let alone fall in love with her. As I'm typing this, I'm reminded of the scene in 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' where Shahrukh's eyes pop out when he sees Kajol's waist as her saree conveniently flies in the air. He probably did not give her a second look when she spent all of her college life with him wearing jeans and jerseys. What an irony. And there is a gargantuan list of movies that preach the same.

I married a man who loves me in my pajamas and who wouldn't give two hoots if I wear shorts or if I wear a saree. He knows the person I am underneath all of it. No, not anatomically. I am like this ever since I can remember. I did not decide to be like this, just so that I could be popular with the guys. And the fact that I was popular with the guys does not mean that it was because of this. Even if it was, I don't give a damn. I've always stuck to what I believed in and shall continue to do so. I haven't lost out on anything, being the way I am and the men in my life have loved me for the way I am. "You are different", this is something I've heard from most men and when I have insisted on just being friends they go like "Now, where do I find another girl like you?". You read that? Girl they said. Just because I'm not the conventional frilly, lacy, squeaky girl, doesn't mean I'm not a girl in entirety. 

I have no qualms being an Aditi, because I know that I still am me.

P.S: I'm now on twitter. Follow me @soumyaprasad. See you guys there.

~ Soumya

Wet Moon - Monsoon Memories

It started with a tiny drop
And then it started to pour
But we wanted to see each other
Temptation striking the core

In the pouring torrent
I reached the place all wet
Sitting there waiting for you
In the wonderful romantic set

You arrived five minutes later
Soaking wet but smiling wide
I could then see the love lorn man
As well as the innocent child inside

As we snuggled under the orange umbrella
Sipping our coffee piping hot
Your hand remained entangled in mine
Everything else then seemed the unnecessary lot

Our first tryst with monsoon shall always be the best
Where we were trying to understand the other
It was a steady ramp up since then
As the rain and love brought us together

The heavy rains continued to pour
It sure was a very wild season
Yet we couldn't stay a day apart
Getting caught in a downpour was not enough a reason

As we paddled our way through hours
An effort not once it did seem
Being together was the common goal
As we became the peers of our realm

Day after day we still met
In spite of the tearing and crying cloud
We didn't let anything stop us
Looking back now, I feel so proud

Be it standing under the shelter of a tree
Or you hurriedly zipping my jacket up
You've held me tight to prevent me from the chill
When I looked cold like a lost wet pup

During last years rain, we were lovers
This time we get wet together as man and wife
As I watch you dance in the rain
I know God has given me the best ever life

Even though we had a mid summer wedding
Special shall remain the beautiful monsoon
The sun can shy away and hide
As you kiss me, under a wet moon

This is my post for the topic 'Monsoon Memories' on Darlings of Venus.

~ Soumya

WeChat - To make India a better place

I hate noise, but the subtle beep my phone gives out when it receives a message always brings a smile on my face. But, this time the beep was not for a message, it was a notification.

'Rahul Bose invites you on WeChat' it said. I was stunned. Who? The actor? The marathon runner? The guy whom I have been crazy about since I saw 'Mr and Mrs Iyer'? I was confused.

WeChat is a robust and comprehensive text and voice chatting app with photo sharing! With WeChat, you can chat with one or more friends, and find people around. It is available for iOS, Android, Symbian and Windows Phone platforms, and supports English, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese. I had just downloaded the WeChat application and was awed by its features.

Another beep. "Hey amateur writer, I want to talk to you. Can we?"

Still startled and with shaky hands I pressed the add button and texted, "Hi Rahul. I'm a huge fan :)" And that's how the most important conversation of my life began.

Rahul: Can we talk? I just finished a rugby match and my hands are still wobbly. Can I initiate a live voice chat? WeChat allows that. Lets use it.

Me *silently cursing the horrible husky voice I'm blessed with*: Sure.

Rahul: Here we go! Can you hear me lady?

Me *sheepishly*: Yes sir, I can.

Rahul: Oh please call me Rahul. Naam toh suna hi hoga.. Ha ha ha.

Me *in an angry tone*: Look Rahul, no digs at SRK please. I've been his fan since Baazigar. I have immense respect for the man.

Rahul: Oh you do eh? Say hello to him then.

Me: Eh? What Rahul? Hello what?

Rahul: Speak up woman, I just added your Shah Rukh Khan to the chat. WeChat allows you to add people as you talk.

Me: Oh what? Really? Thank you so much Rahul. I still can't believ......

SRK: Hello Rahul bhai, what's up? Not seen you since the last KKR match yaar.

Rahul: Which one Khan bhai? The one you lost on the 15th or the one you lost on the 18th? Or the one you lost on the 24th?

Me *trying hard to conceal a laugh*: He he he.

SRK *sniggering*: Arey, don't laugh Rahul. Its just a game after all. Just about two percent of my earnings.

Rahul: Yes yes, its always a game when you are on the losing side. Anyway, that was not me laughing. Meet Soumya, an amateur writer. She is a huge fan.

SRK: Ha ha ha. You have fans? Social service karti hai kya?  Ha ha ha ha.

Me *offended*: Hello Shah Rukh, that was uncalled for. I'm a fan of his as much as I'm a fan of yours. I mean have you seen 'Mr and Mrs Iyer'? Or even the 'Japanese wife'?

SRK *conveniently choosing to ignore the rest of the sentence*: Acha, so you are my fan. Wait, are you the one who purchased the Ra.One goodie kit?

Rahul: Soumya, he means the only one that got sold. He he he.

Me *confused*: No SRK, I did not. I'm your fan yes, but I'm not foolish.

Rahul: He he he.

Suddenly there is a screech and a loud voice cuts in. "How dare you make fun of Shah Rukh. He's the star of Bengal."

Rahul *whispering*: Who is this?

Me *whispering*: No clue. Is it Karan Johar?

The voice: Karan Johar? Why can't you all think beyond Hindi cinema. Bengali cinema also is very good.

SRK *with respect*: Yes didi, totally. I'm doing the cameo you asked me to do. Pakka.

Rahul and Me together: Didi?

SRK: Useless idiots. You are talking to the second pride of the nation. First being me of course. I'm the king you know. Baadshah main baadshah.....

The voice: Oh Shah Rukh, you are too much. Thanks for adding me. My first ever WeChat invite. Sniff.

SRK: Now now, didi, relax. Bade bade deshon mein aisi choti choti baatien hoti rehti hai...

Me: Senorita...

Rahul: Not again. Soumya, lets talk about why I wanted to talk to you in the first place. Can we?

Me *thrilled*: Sure sure... But who is this didi?

The voice: Arey, hum Mamtha hai. Mamtha Banejee, the pride of the nation.

SRK *clears his throat*: Ahem.

Didi: Haan haan theek hai. Second pride of the nation.

Rahul: Arey didi aap. Ke mon naacho?

Didi: I'm good. Good. Thank you. Finished your race kya?

Rahul: For the last time didi, its not a race. A marathon is for creating awareness about some thing important. Like the girl child, for PETA, for.....

SRK: Oye, like your MARD waala campaign too na. When is the race for that?

Me: No SRK, the MARD campaign was your friend Farhan Akthar's initiative. Didn't he tell you?

SRK *angrily*: No. Don ko nahi bataya saale ne. Wait let me ask him.

SRK is searching for Farhan to add him on the list. Meanwhile.

Didi: Rahul ji, who is this other person apart from Shah Rukh baba?

Rahul: Baba my ass. Didi, this is Soumya. A writer from Bangalore. I wanted her to write some articles for my website.

Me *shrieking*: Oh my God, oh my God, seriously? Wow Rahul, thank you so much.

Didi: Acha so you are a writer. Tell me the name of your book and I shall read it. I shall order it from my new i-pad that baba gifted me.

Me: Actually...

Rahul: No didi, she does not have a book yet. Still trying. Her articles are good though, thought provoking.

Didi: Oh, struggler hai? Then never mind.

Me *sulking*: Not fair.

Farhan's voice fills the air. "Rock on don! Wassup bro?"

SRK: Bro ke bachche, how could you not tell me I'm a mard?

Rahul and Me: He he he he.

Didi: How dare you make fun of Shah Rukh. He's the star of Bengal.

Farhan: Don, what happened? And who are the others here? Please introduce.

Rahul: Rahul Bose. Actor, runner, rugby player and social activist.

Didi: Mamtha Banerjee, Chief minister for Bengal. The pride of the nation.

SRK *clears his throat*: Ahem.

Didi: Okay. Second pride of the nation.

Me: Soumya. Writer from Bangalore.

Didi *clears her throat*: Ahem.

Me: Alright. Struggling writer from Bangalore.

Didi: Ab theek hai. Aap kon?

Farhan: Didi, its me Farhan Akthar. Actor, singer, writer, director and now Mard.

Didi: Acha, Javed Akthar ka beta na. Ok, hello.

Rahul: Farhan, congrats on the Mard initiative bro. Nice to see you come out....

SRK: Come out? Arey don't talk about Karan here yaar. Back biting is not good.

Rahul: No Khan bhai, I'm talking about Farhan. It was nice to see him come out and support women. You see, MARD stands for Men against rape and discrimination.

SRK: Acha? How come I haven't heard about it?

Me: SRK, you have. The mooch waala symbol remember?

SRK: Oh yeah yeah I know, I know. Thank you Sonia.

Me: Its Soumya.

SRK and Didi: Same same.

Farhan: Thanks Rahul. I love the work you are doing too. At least you are contributing in improving the country. Nice effort mate.

Didi: Kya mathlab? I am not contibuting kya? Arey KKR won the IPL last year. How can you forget that?

Me: Yes didi, I'm sure SRK doing cartwheels on the field showing his underwear improved the market for black underwear. Thanks.

Didi: Then what? Huhhhh.

Rahul and Farhan: He he he. Totally agree didi.

Didi *pleased*: Thankoo.

Farhan: And you the writer, what did you say your name was?

Didi and SRK: Sonia.

Me *irritated*: Its Soumya, Farhan. S.O.U.M.Y.A.

SRK and Didi: Same same.

Farhan: Rock on! So you are the chick with the Lioness blog eh? LOL something something.

Me *pleased*: Yes Farhan, LOL: Life Of Leo. Have you read it?

Farhan: No. Zoya, my sister has. She liked your fiction work and told me about it. How about writing a script for our next movie? Its a sequel to Talaash.

Rahul *angrily*: No way Farhan, I found her first. I want her to write articles for my website regarding social activities. She is not interested in writing scripts anyway.

Me: Act..ua.lly. I kinda am.

Farhan: Ha ha ha. See!

Rahul: Nonsense. Since when?

Didi: Arey she is a struggling writer yaar. Scripts or book, what difference na.

Me: Come on yaar Rahul, how can I say no to Farhan's production house. They are the best.

SRK: Then what about my production house Red Chillies? Is it not the best?

Me: Hmmm yours is more about masala films SRK, like bling and color. Farhan's has more of a message and real life. I think my honest writing will help there.

Farhan *excitedly*: Yo high five Soumya. Spot on!

Me *blushing*: Thanks Farhan.

Rahul: Great, everyone totally forget art cinema. Horrible I tell you.

SRK: Art cinema can't even come close Rahul. That's like comparing Sachin and Sreesanth. Ha ha ha.

Rahul gets offended and decides to add Sreesanth to the chat. Since he doesn't have his number, he goes to check the directory.

Didi: Sonia, bengali film script also can you write?

Me: Ohh....

SRK: I don't think she knows Bengali didi. Not everyone is versatile like me you know. After all main hoon don.

Me: Listen...

Didi: Oh yeah, my mistake. Never mind eh.

Farhan *facepalming*: Its only a script. How does it matter in what language it is? Just the story anyway.

Didi: Means what?

Farhan: Arey didi, once the story is ready you can make it into any language na? Bengali or Gujrati, no difference.

SRK: Oh yeah, how come I did not think of this. Ra.One was made in many languages too.

Me: Probably that was the problem SRK.

SRK *angered*: Enough Sonia, I shall come slap you now.

A new voice comes in. "No, no, no more slaps please. No no."

Farhan, SRK, Didi, Me: Huh?!?

Rahul: Stop overacting Sreesanth, that episode is long over.

Sreesanth *sniffing*: But the pain still remains Rahul bhai. On my cheek and in my heart. Sniff.

SRK: Arey who got him here? Rahul, what nonsense this is.

Rahul *cheekily*: But you were the one comparing him to Sachin, Shah Rukh bhai.

Sreesanth: Shah Rukh is here? Sir, sir can I please play for KKR next year. Please sir. I swear to lord Guruvaiyurappan that I shall stay away from towels forever.

Farhan, SRK, Didi, Rahul: Guru who?

Me: Actually Guruvaiyurappan in Malayalam means Lord Krishna.

Farhan: Cool.

SRK: Thanks Sonia.

Didi: Acha Sonia.

Rahul: Thanks Soumya.

Sreesanth *awed*: So many people talking to me. Wow. First time ever. Thank you WeChat for this.

Rahul Bose completes the introductions.

Sreesanth: But what is Mamtha Banerjee doing in Bengal. Narendra Modi quit or what?

SRK: And they say Kerala is 100% literate. Ha ha.

Me *offended*: Kerala is still the most literate state SRK, barring Sreesanth ofcourse.

Farhan: Yes bro, I have read about it.

Rahul: Ditto.

Didi *angrily*: Bengal is literate too ok.

SRK: I sent my son to London you know, to study.

Me: I know SRK, I follow all your activities. I saw your pictures when you went to drop him to the airport.

SRK *pleased*: Dekha na?

Rahul and Farhan *coughing*: Bloody stalker.

Sreesanth *cutting in*: So Soumya, you are also a Malayalee eh?

Me: Yeah. But I was born and brought up in Bangalore.

Sreesanth: Damn it, my parents never let me out of Kerala ya. I haven't seen the world at all. Only through cricket. But now... Sniff. Sniff.

Rahul: This guy just needs a reason to weep. Khan bhai, make him happy, add him to your KKR squad na.

Didi: Yeah, he already wears enough gold chains. So I don't have to give him one if we win the cup again.

Farhan: Ha ha, high expectations didi.

Rahul: Ditto.

Me: Ditto. Anyway, Sreesanth are you feeling better now?

Sreesanth *still sniffing*: I'm better, still thinking about bhajji though.

Farhan: Yaar, kitna khayega?

Rahul: Seriously. And you don't run marathons also. Waste of life.

Me: Guys, guys, I think he means Harbhajan.

Didi: Which bhajan?

SRK: Nahi didi, Harbhajan Singh. That Mumbai Indians lad.

Didi: Oh, the one who is having an affair with Mukesh Ambani's wife Tina?

Me: Mukesh Ambani's wife is Nita, didi.

Didi: Same same.

Rahul: And no, they are not having an affair. He just lifted her once when their team won a match.

Didi: Oh is it? Baba, you no lift me only when we won. Very bad eh.

Farhan, Rahul and Me: He he he.

Sreesanth: Didi, take me in your team and I shall lift you after every match I promise.

SRK *sneering*: And then they'll think its another match fixing technique for our loss.

Farhan: So confident of losing eh don?

Rahul: IPL is useless guys, why don't you all watch rugby instead? Or even run a marathon?

Didi: What is rugby?

Sreesanth: And you say Bengal is literate? Ha ha ha.

SRK: Hey don't make fun of didi.

Farhan: Enough don, stop this nonsense else I shall kill you in the next sequel.

Me: Oh sequel to a sequel? Don-3? When when?

Farhan: Shut up lady. This guy doesn't even know what being a mard is.

Me: So what? I still love him. I have since Baazigar.

Rahul *yelling*: Okay stop everyone.

Suddenly there is pin drop silence.

Rahul: I started this conversation. With Soumya. So lady, will you write for my website or not?

Didi *confused*: What should I write?

Rahul *irritated*: I'm talking to Soumya. Not you, didi.

Me: Yes Rahul, I will. Only if..

Rahul: Only if what?

Me: Only if you continue with your hard work and determination for social causes.

Rahul *proudly*: Sure I will.

Farhan: Will you write a script for us Soumya? A sequel to Talaash?

Me: Sure. Only if you come up with more initiatives like MARD for the betterment of our society.

Farhan: Cool. Rock on!

Didi: Hai Sonia, write Bengali script also na please.

Me: Only if you increase the safety of women in your state. No more news of rape or murder from Bengal.

Didi: Will try huh.

Me: And my name is Soumya.

Didi: Same same.

SRK: Sonia darling, you write for all of them and not for me eh? How can you say no to the don?

Me *blushing*: No way SRK. I shall write anything you ask me. But promise me, no more Ra.One sequels.

SRK: Okay yaar. Done.

Me: No Ra.One prequels too.

SRK: Damn it. You are smart. Muje junglee billiya bahut pasand hai. Ok fine.

Me *proudly*: So today you all have contributed in making India a better place. Thank you all. And a special thanks to WeChat for allowing us to make this contribution.

Rahul *proudly*: Thanks Soumya.

Farhan: Cool. Rock on, WeChat!

SRK: Hmmm. Main hoon don and WeChat is Don-2 now. He he he.

Didi: Dhanyavad.

Sreesanth: Huh guys, I'm still here.

Rahul: No hope what so ever from you dude, go home and sleep. That's the only way you shall improve the country. See you all.

And Rahul Bose ends the conversation. Followed by Farhan, didi and SRK. 

The last thing I heard before I ended the conversation was sniffing.

This is my entry to the WeChat with Anyone, Anywhere! contest on Indiblogger. Brought to you by WeChat.

~ Soumya

Guilt Kills


"I told Kris. He knows now." Seema slowly read the message. Beads of perspiration dripped from her forehead. She wiped it off with her light blue dupatta and sat down on the sofa. She re-read the message again and sat staring at her veil, which had now turned dark blue and was soaking wet.

She had received the first message a few weeks ago while she was at her first anniversary celebration dinner with Kris. Krishna, her husband was a corporate lawyer with a big firm. He was a very busy man and Seema found it adorable when he managed to take out some time from his schedule just for her. Somehow over the past year, she had begun to love him dearly. An arranged marriage was not what she had wanted, but when Naveen left her pregnant, she had to bow down to her parents wishes. Within a fortnight, her wedding was confirmed with the son of her dad's best friend and within a month they were married. Seema had known Krishna for a long time and she was glad to have him as her husband even if she did not love him then. She knew that he was a nice man. As much as she wanted to tell him the truth about her pregnancy, her mother did not let her. Bound by her promise, two weeks after the wedding, Seema announced to Krishna that she was carrying his child. Though a little shocked, Kris and his family were thrilled. They helped her cope up with it and pampered her through her journey. During her fourth month of pregnancy, Seema slipped in the bathroom and lost her baby. Kris was heartbroken, but Seema was glad. At least now she did not have to live with a reminder of Naveen for the rest of her life. She now felt that her past was buried and she could finally start a new life with Kris. And that's how she had begun to love him.

On their first wedding anniversary, Seema had found out that she was pregnant again and wanted to surprise Kris with the news. They were out for dinner when her phone beeped. She had decided to ignore it, but Kris insisted that she read it.

The message read, "You killed Naveen's child. You are a murderer." Seema froze in her seat.

Kris was busy looking at the menu to notice her reaction. Seema felt her gut churning. Excusing herself, she rushed to the washroom. After relieving herself she checked the message again. Unknown number. She couldn't even call back. She could hear her own heart beat in the empty washroom. It was thumping heard. She was sweating profusely and breathing hard. Then she felt a warm sensation between her legs. She looked down to see her favorite Satya Paul saree dripping wet. Quickly, she put the phone back in her bag and tried to clean herself. One step forward and she was hit by a bout of nausea. Her legs felt weak and she could no longer balance herself. She sat down on the floor and puked all over herself. Unable to sustain any longer, she passed out.

When she woke up, she was back in her bedroom. She looked around, the room smelt fresh and clean. The curtains were drawn apart and she could hear the faint chirping of birds. The crystal vase on the night stand was now holding a bunch of purple orchids, her favorite. The flowers gleamed as the morning sun rays fell on them. She smiled and looked at herself. Kris had somehow managed to bathe her and change her into a black silk night gown. She tried to get up and sit but was feeling week. Presuming it to be under her pillow she tried to reach for her phone, but couldn't find it. Just then the door opened and Kris came in carrying a tray of freshly brewed hot coffee in two mugs. He seemed relieved to see her and gave her his widest smile. Seema started at her husband. He was the most good looking man she had ever seen, with strong arms and a blessed physique. He came closer, laid the tray on the coffee table, next to the newspapers and sat on the bed by her side.

"Good morning!" He said chirpily as he kissed her forehead. Seema smiled and tried to sit up. Kris helped her by propping her carefully against two pillows.

"Don't worry my love, its all fine. Doctor says you are pregnant, so you better take care of yourself now." He smiled as he pushed a strand of her hair behind her ear. Seema felt emotional and leaned forward to hug her husband. He held her tight kissing her head every now and then. Kris then helped her back to rest and fumbled for something in his robe pocket. Seema looked in anticipation as he pulled out a small velvet box and placed it in her hand.

"I couldn't give this last night. This is for all the happiness you have given me over the past year." He looked away to hide his tear.

Seema opened the box to find a huge diamond ring in it. She was used to extravagant gifts from her husband, but this was something more special. Apart from the ring, there was a tiny card too in the box. She opened it. It read, "Nothing can change the love I feel for you. Love, Kris."

Kris was now looking at her like an eager puppy. She leaned forward and kissed him on his lip. He looked into her eyes for a minute and was overwhelmed. He then handed her a cup of coffee and took his. Both sipped happily as they spoke about their future child to come. Seema decided to forget all about that message and concentrate on her baby now. The baby room was ready since her first pregnancy and she asked Kris to take her there.

He shook his head, "Later, not now. You need rest darling. Lie down for sometime, while I go and arrange breakfast." He said, as he took the empty cup from her hand and placed it back in the tray.

Kissing her forehead, Kris left the room after having tucked Seema in a soft blanket.

Seema suffered from severe morning sickness the following days. A week later, she managed to muster up some strength and was able to walk around. She asked Kris for her phone.

"Oh, I switched it off that day and left it in your bag. Your mom kept calling and the doctor was here, so I had to... you know... switch off.." He said apologetically.

Seema stood staring at him.

Kris was confused. "Honey?" He came closer.

Seema hugged him. "I love you Kris, I love you so much." She wept.

"I love you too my baby." Kris embraced her more.

After Kris left to work, she took the phone out of her bag and switched it on. When it sprang to life there were continuous beeps. Sixteen unread messages. She sighed. Most of them from her friends congratulating her on the good news. Amidst these messages she saw an unknown number. Fear gripped her. With shivering hands she slowly pressed the 'Open' button.

"Kris needs to know the truth. I shall tell him." It read.

Slowly she laid down on her bed clutching her phone tight. Who could this be? No one knew about her and Naveen apart from her old college friends. And she was not in touch with any of them since the day Naveen left her. In fact no body even knew that she was married to someone else now. Then who could it be, she wondered. Could it be Naveen? But why would he blackmail her when he himself left her? Maybe she herself should tell Kris the truth and be free. But its been more than a year now, he would feel betrayed she thought. But something had to be done. Maybe she could offer this blackmailer some money. But she had no news about the person. No number to call, nothing. Should she tell her mother? She decided against it as the whole family was celebrating the arrival of her baby. Telling Kris now, would mean the end. He loved her so much that knowing that she had been with someone before, might be too much for him to take. Even if he might accept that fact, he would never accept the fact that Seema has hidden something this vital from him. He would leave her, she was sure.

Naveen. It has to be Naveen. Thinking about it, with heavy eyes, she slowly drifted off to sleep. This was two days ago.

Today, Seema stared at the message again. "I told Kris. He knows now." A tear drop fell on the screen of her phone and almost immediately the phone began to ring. Kris. Reluctantly, Seema received the call.

"Kris?" She said slowly.

"I'm coming home now, we need to talk." Kris said.

"Okay." Seema nodded slowly and hung up.

She walked to the tastefully decorated balcony of her bedroom and looked out. The weather was beautiful and the view was serene. Light breeze just before sun set. Perfect she thought. Maybe she and Kris could have dinner up here tonight and then later make passionate love. She blushed at the thought. Bright orange sky stood before her and she stared at it blankly. She climbed up the railing and slowly let go off her feet. All that was on her mind as she waited to hit the ground from the ninth floor was, "Why didn't I tell Kris about Naveen before I got married to him?"

Meanwhile, Kris was smiling to himself as he drove. On the seat next to him lay a big box of chocolates and a bouquet of purple orchids. He stopped at a corner and took out an envelope from the back seat and stepped out. He walked to the nearby dustbin, tore the contents of the envelope and spoke to it, "Your past never bothered me Seema. I love you for what you are. Let it all end here." He walked back to his car and continued to drive. He looked at the seat beside him. Underneath the box of chocolates lay a book titled 'Baby Names'. He looked at her photograph placed next to the Ganesha idol and said "We need to decide the name of our baby today, it might be too early but I want two names ready. One for a girl and one for a boy. I shall get a customized crib made then. Oh, I'm so excited. Seema honey, I just hope you like the names I've picked." Adjusting the flowers for a last time, Kris turned right and entered the gate of his suburban apartment complex only to be welcomed by a crowd.

~ Soumya

Celebrations Galore

So, who all noticed the small bright badge just above the followers list? :D

Yes, yes, my beloved LOL, made it to the 'Directory of top Indian blogs' for the year 2012-13. This is such an awesome feeling that I have no words to express it.

When Meoww posted on Raj cheta's wall that his 'Fuck Love' had made it to the directory of top Indian blogs, I just clicked on the link to check out the other wonderful blogs in the list. Not once did I expect my blog to be in it. I read the page for about half an hour and I scrolled down to the 'S' section. There I saw my name. I couldn't believe it at first. I clicked the link, it re-directed to my blog. And then I screamed! I ran downstairs to inform Cal and my in-laws. Then we all screamed together. In joy. Yeah, we are one crazy family. They understand the pain and effort I put into writing and respect me for it. They all read my posts and thoroughly enjoy it. That was a victory in itself. Next came the blog award. Next, I got published. Next, I made it to the above mentioned list. Wow, life just couldn't get better.

I started writing four years, two months ago. This was my first post. Silly eh? Then started my poetry. The first ever poem I wrote was this. My second post. When I go back and read it, I still feel the same emotion I felt then. The person for whom it was written has changed, but the feelings still remain the same. Love. My USP. That, and honesty. And I'm never ever changing it. Looking back, I see that almost all of my posts have been surrounded by this emotion. Its been four years and it still survives. I must be doing something right then. Right?

Today, I see the way my blog has grown. Why is this relevant you ask? Because I have grown as a person alongside her. Yes, my blog is a female. What else did you expect a Lioness to be anyway :P. I have given birth to her and have nurtured her like a mother. She has been the reason for my survival all these years and she is someone who has taught me the importance of life. However this was not easy. More than me having seen her journey, she has seen mine. From a carefree, confused girl to a spirited, strong woman. From a misanthrope to an extrovert. From a reader to a writer. From a heart broken soul to a happily married woman. Yes, the journey has been awesome. And no regrets ever. Not on the blog, not in my life. And it continues to be the same.

For some, a personal blog might mean different things. For me it means just that. Personal space. This is my life out here and I write exactly what I feel and exactly what I go through. Apart from the fiction and a very few fantasy posts, not one sentence is made up. Not once sentence is a lie. Everything, and I mean every single thing, mentioned here has happened or continues to happen. And that's the reason it finds a mention here. When I decided to start a blog, everything was vague for me. Only one thing remained solid. The title, 'LOL: Life of Leo'. And I wanted to do complete justice to it. If it says it is about my life, then that is what it is. My life. No one else'. And why would I have to make up something like my own life. I might not be completely mentally stable (we all have shades of insanity, don't we?), but I definitely am not schizophrenic. I'm also not the one to live in denial and ignore aspects of my own life. I have written about my past, because it was a part of me. I have accepted it wholly and that's the only reason why I have moved on today. Again, past not only being limited to love life. I could have easily ignored the grey areas and highlighted only the colorful ones. After all its my blog and its up to me as what I want to write. But no. I had a conscience to answer to.

Then came the most obvious debate. Why put out a personal life on the Internet. One answer. 

Out of a zillion Internet users, the probability of people visiting my blog is less than a minute 0.000001%. Also, I don't expect the entire world to wake up every morning and click on my blog link. After putting up a few posts, I sent out my blog link to a limited number of friends. Then came my first follower, then the second and so on. Slowly, the blog link spread and more people started visiting my blog. Many people could identify themselves with my life and that's exactly what they mentioned in their comments. Not that I was looking for appreciation, but I felt motivated. Slowly, my viewers increased and the follower list went from 10 to 25, 25 to 50, 50 to 100 and then from a 100 to 200. Today with about a 240 odd followers and more than one and a half lakh views, my first baby still stands tall and proud. She is my dream and she is my reality. The only reason why LOL still survives is because the blog remains what it used to be. Honest, simple writing about life. My life.

As much as I was appreciated, I was criticized as well. And I always take responsibility for what I write. Good or bad. Someone termed my blog as monotonous as I only write about love and life. I think you need to understand love before you read about it. Or at least you need to be loved. If that's not the case, obviously you will not like it. What am I to do about it? One guy told me that my blog was too honest. I seriously don't know what he expected from my blog. Lies? Or sugar coated truth maybe. Its a pity I don't know how to implement both. Some people got offended reading what I wrote assuming its them. No, not only the recent spat but I've had other random people calling me to ask why have I written about them. I've had it up till here (holds hand above head) and honestly I couldn't care less. Like they say, assumption is the mother of all fuck ups. Fighting about themselves being mentioned on my blog, means they accept that they are that. Good, acceptance is the key to a good life they say. Suppose tomorrow's headline in Times Of India reads "A girl from Indiranagar, Bangalore is actually a witch." If I call TOI asking them how dare they talk about me like that, what would that make me? Its always nice when people can relate to my writing, half the battle is won right there.

Like they say "Under my roof, under my rules". Precisely. Normally when I start reading a book and don't like it, I close it and push it to the back of my book shelf. Need I say more?

A little sweet, a little salty and a little spicy. This is how my journey of blogging has been. Not to forget the fact that I've made so many awesome and faithful friends here. Some of whom I haven't even met in person or even spoken to. Yet, we understand and support each other. No other means of social media has ever given me that. I'm overwhelmed by the support I've got on my recent posts. It feels so nice to know that I have the right people backing me up. Writing is survival, I've said it before. Nothing else gives me more satisfaction than opening a blank page and typing out my thoughts into it. Every other pleasure falls flat in front of it. Believe me. The appreciation and followers that come with it is the cherry on the cake, but not the base. The base was, shall and will always remain me and my life.

Oh man, this post got really long. Didn't it? Couldn't help, the nostalgia kept pouring out. I'm really proud of myself and I'm not going to make any attempt to hide it.

Here's to many more accolades. Cheers people, thank you for making the journey worthwhile.

~ Soumya