Birthdays - Love Days

Tomorrow is October. Where did the past 9 months go? Phew, this year sure did swoosh by quick. Real quick. August and September have been wonderful. The Leo and Virgo months represent mine and Cal's birthdays respectively. Needless to say these are the months that I look forward to every year. Our birthdays this year turned out to be mind blowing. Mostly because it was our first birthdays, after marriage. Here is how we went about it, this year.

August 8th - Mine: Cal had already planned that we needed to be away from the city for my birthday. Since we have had an overdose of beaches, we decided on hills. So tickets to Munnar were booked and our bags were packed. The previous night we boarded our bus and at the stroke of midnight he wished me with a kiss. After I finished accepting a few calls, we both spent the whole night talking until finally we drifted off to sleep just before sun-rise. He woke me up early, with a brilliant smile and a beautiful view. Green mountains encapsulated by the clouds. It was like a dream come true. The air smelt fresh and we reached our destination and made it to our hotel. The view from our window looked like heaven and the warm chill gave me the thrill. Since we were in a new city, I did not expect anything extravagant on this day. I was more than happy that Cal had managed to whisk me away from a stressful routine and all I wanted to do was soak in the ambiance and relax. But I was in for a surprise.

It all started off as a treasure hunt. With chocolates and cards pouring out of my luggage. I had packed our bags, I don't know how and when he had sneaked all those inside. It felt wonderful. After a few more discoveries we freshened up and decided to explore. We had a guide there who had already planned the places to cover for that day. Cal was very clear on one thing. We wanted to go only to a few places and spend good time there. Not rush through a zillion of them. And the guide obliged. We set out to explore the tea gardens and drove up the highest tea mountain. When we were about a thousand feet above sea level, I decided to get off and click a few pictures. The view was fantastic. We were surrounded by mountains and a lake in the center. A thin water fall tricked behind us and the air was cold and warm at the same time. I was just drinking in all of this and tried to capture as many moments as possible. 

When I looked back finally, I did not know what to say or do. I stood spellbound. Cal stood there holding a cake with a bright pink candle. The guide was grinning from ear to ear, and left for a walk to give us some privacy. How on earth Cal had managed to pull this off I don't know. So, I entered my 27th year, by cutting my birthday cake at about a thousand feet about sea level, surrounded by intoxicating nature holding the hands of the man I love. Nothing ever would come close to this. Ever. At that moment I fell in love with him a thousand times more and I knew that I had married the right man. As I'm writing this, I feel the rush within me. I am unable to find words that would do justice to that moment. It just remains as my favorite memory etched in my heart forever.

Cal promised that the next year shall be much better than this. Don't I have the best husband in the world? 

September 15th - Cal: Unfortunately for me, September was the toughest month at work. With a project release on the 13th, I did not have any time to plan anything, out of the city. Or anything big for that matter. It hurt me to the core. So, as and when I found time in between I went to stores to buy things for him. I believe in personalized gifts. So even if I buy cards, I buy them with minimal writing. I write my own poems and wordings in them. This time I even managed to get a tiny bottle with a personalized message inside. So, I now had these things and did not know where to hide them. The thing is that I have an extremely supportive and understanding husband who helps me with every tiny chore. So he knew all the areas of my cupboard too. Somehow I managed to hide to hide them somewhere. No way I'm saying where, cos I know he will read it and the next year I would have to struggle again. The rest of the gifts were purchased thanks to online shopping. My mother in law and brother in law collected and hid them. I would not have been able to pull this off without their support.

The day before his birthday was a Saturday and he was at work. So all my other planning had to be done then. I could have easily got a cake made for him from outside. But like I said before I always like a personalized touch. I made a two tired vanilla cake with fresh chocolate butter icing and sugar pops. His eyes popped out the minute he saw it. That was exactly what I was looking for. I also made some beautiful chocolate truffles and he devoured them with joy. It was hard to believe that he was turning 29. He looked like a 9 year old with chocolate smeared all over his face. At 12 am, we cut the cake and it tasted really good. He was a proud husband that day. 

Once we woke up, I took him to a Ayush. An ayurvedic massage center. He had been over worked for about five months and I wanted him to de-stress. The smile on his face once he came back from the massage still remains fresh in my mind. He looked relaxed. Very fresh. Later, we set out to our most favorite place. The place where our love life started. We spoke at length and refreshed our memories. It was a brilliant day. He couldn't stop thanking me for it. When I told him that we were going to the Hyatt for dinner, he lost his mind. He thought I was joking, I clearly wasn't. I had already booked three days in advance. So, the day ended with a glass of wine and a yummy five star dinner. Cal was a happy man and me a satisfied wife. With the little amount of time I had, I some how had managed to make him feel like the most important person in the world. 

Having said all this, Cal and I never find solace in materialistic things. For the outside world, it is about the expensive gifts and the posh dinner, but for us it was about being with each other. We do exchange gifts, but thoughtful and sentimental ones. Probably something we wanted for a long time, but couldn't afford it then. Or something small that was unavailable. Its all about remembering those small wishes and expectations of the partner. The cake I made for Cal was his favorite gift amongst all the other extravagant purchases I had made. See, its the emotion behind a gift that counts. Big or small, doesn't matter. No one else can help you with that. It all depends on the love and understanding that you share with your partner.

And that is the reason why Cal is my soul mate.

~ Soumya

A Way of Life

Today, I was organizing the music in my system by putting them in particular folders and creating a play list to listen to everyday. And then started, the trip down memory lane. Each and every song brings back a hidden memory. Some songs take me back to those age old happy days and some remind me of a turbulent phase. Some songs remind me of the people whom I have sent out of my life and some songs remind me of the wonderful people I have in my life today. Some songs trigger a lost memory of an old lover and some remind me of the good old days spent with my husband. Music along with reading is one of the best hiding places. Music takes you back to a place which no one else is aware of. Music holds the secret of all emotions and is the best escape ever. Safe and wonderful, music for me is a way of life.

Nothing changes when it comes to music. Not the lyrics, not the emotion. Its just a momentary phase, which probably ends right after the song, but for those four to five odd minutes you are just transported back into a distant memory. Nothing like music to trigger nostalgia and nothing like nostalgia to initiate the flow of words. Its a cycle right here. So the next time you are suffering from a writer's block, put on some music and let the mind flow. If not anything else, you will at least feel like writing a post about some of the crass lyrics used in the songs these days.

No matter how modern a girl I am, I still prefer the old music. Enigma, The Cardigans, Bryan Adams, Timbaland, Enrique Iglesias, Kylie Minogue and all of the 90s. Today every Tom(read Miley Cyrus), Dick (read Justin Bieber) and Harry (read Selena Gomez) think that they are God's gift to music. They all sound like noise to me. Lady Gaga and Katy Perry still make some decent music, but are overshadowed by their hideous clothes in the videos. Just listen to their music and you actually find bliss at times. Same with Hindi music. The olden days of Rafi and Mukesh were definitely the golden days. The problem with me is that I listen to the lyrics, more than the song in entirety. The lyrics are the soul of the song and now a days hardly any song possess it. Even if you ignore the videos, the audio is more painful. The recent song from Zanjeer "Pinki hai paise waalon ki" takes the cake.

Honestly, I do like item numbers. Some. One of my many alter egos is an item girl who wants to dance like no one is watching. I do that and occasionally my husband joins in too with his two left feet. Chikni Chameli, Fevicol Se, Lungi dance, Ghagra and Hookah bar gets my foot tapping at any time of the day or night. But when I'm plugging in my ear phones just to relax and de-stress I cannot tolerate these songs. I prefer slow songs for that. Vishal Bharadwaj for example, is an excellent music director and singer. 'O saathi re' from Omkara still remains my favorite song. The lyrics blow my mind every time I listen to it. You don't have to watch the movie to know that it revolves around a powerful man and an innocent lady who loves him insanely. The essence of the movie is brought out beautifully by this song alone. 'Naina thag lenge' from the same movie is another masterpiece, in terms of music and lyrics. Have you heard the title track of 'You, me aur hum'? Its the best love song ever. Listen to the lyrics and your eyes will well up. It explains the journey of love in a single song. Unfortunately nothing else apart from this song, is good about the movie. Today, I'm just tripping on 'Main rang sharbaton ka' from 'Phata poster nikla hero'.

Some of the other Hindi songs that I absolutely love:

~ Oh re Piya : Aaja Nachle
~ Tujhe bula diya : Anjaana Anjaani
~ Tune jo na kaha : New York
~ Jhonka hawa ka : Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
~ Mere pass hai tu : Taal
~ Tera hone laga hu : Ajab prem ki ghazab kahani
~ Pehi baar mohabbat (the slow version) : Kaminey
~ Aaoge jab tum saajna : Jab we met
~ Chup chup ke : Buntu aur Babli
~ Rasiya : Kurbaan
~ Bhare naina : Ra.One
~ Ambarsariya : Fukrey
~ All of Lootera

So what is the memory associated with your favorite song?

~ Soumya

A Real Dabba

After a really long time, a movie is compelling me to write a post, solely about it. I know that I am the millionth person writing about it, but I just could not stop myself. But before I continue, let me tell you that I did not love the movie. I liked it, a lot. I sure was impressed by it, but somehow felt that it was incomplete. I know I'm going to get a lot of hate mail or comments about this, but this is my honest opinion about the movie. The movie was wonderful in its own way, with aptly cast actors and an exceptional screenplay. The underplayed humor, the screaming silence, the emotions welling in the eyes are beautifully executed. Ritesh Batra - An almost unknown director comes out with a near masterpiece that would certainly tug a cord in the coldest of hearts. Is it good enough to be sent to the Oscars? Yes. Considering the other choices made until now (read 'Paheli' and 'Eklavya'), 'The Lunch Box' has already won the Oscar in my head. The Gujarati movie 'The Good Road' seems to be causing trouble for it I hear. I haven't seen it, so I would not comment on it.

Back to 'The Lunch Box'. This is what I would call reality cinema. That is what impressed me the most. The story flows at its own pace leaving the audience to drink in the poor but effective ambiance. The opening shot of the leading lady is when she is getting her daughter ready for school. Messed up hair and untidy clothes. Who would have thought of this? Nimrit Kaur perfectly cast as Ila, the ignored house wife, manages to hold her own in a story over shadowed by Irrfan Khan as Saajan Fernandes. His face tells an entire story in itself. We all know that the story is about a wrongly delivered lunch box and how the leading pair exchange notes through it. Instead of dwelling much into the story I would like to talk about the environment in which it is based. And the mind blowing characters.

The House wife: She is clad mostly in cotton salwar kurta's, sans a dupatta. Which is obvious because the veil is more often than not an hindrance to the constantly working house wife. I liked the fact that she changes back into the same clothes that she wore in the morning once she comes back in the evening after picking up her daughter and meeting her mother. Her eye brows haven't been shaped in months and it shows. She hardly has any make-up on her face and dresses up only when she expects her husband to compliment her on her cooking. The disappointment in her face is very evident when he doesn't notice it. When she finds out that her husband is having an affair by smelling his clothes, she doesn't react in surprise. She just accepts it, almost like she had always known but chose to live in denial. She doesn't even confront him. When she tries to entice her husband into bed to conceive another child, she dresses up in an old garment that she wore on her honeymoon, hoping to trigger some feeling in him. Doesn't work. The kurta she wears is white, but the bra underneath is black. Which is right, because it does not matter for a house wife. She walks away in disappointment feeling the clothes hung in the passage, checking if they are dry or not. This, is the perfect house wife.

The widower: He hardly talks and reeks of loneliness and monotony. His dusty balcony where he smokes standing at the same spot, wearing the same house clothes everyday, overlooking the big fat happy family dinner scenes in his opposite building. The unsaid pain in his hands as he empties a plastic packet filled with dal into a bowl gets to you. The emptiness in his eyes and his slavery to routine shows in every frame. This is until he receives the first letter from Ila. After that, the change in him is obvious. He even begins to smile. 

The Lunch Box could be about anybody. A busy husband having an affair. A lonely house wife talking to a never seen neighbor. An over enthusiastic fresher trying eagerly to impress the senior he has to replace. The innocent daughter playing with a lone toy. A frustrated mother taking care of her sick husband. A lonely man behaving rudely with kids, because he has never had any. I mean, if this is not real then what is?

Almost every scene in the movie triggered an emotion in me. But these are my favorite scenes in the movie. They are simple, honest and realistic.

~ Ila's laugh, when she reads the letter where Saajan mentions that someone touched him in the train. Down there.

~ Saajan's feelings in his eyes when he lays his eyes on Ila for the first time. Without letting her know that he was around.

~ Ila's mothers dialogues when her husband passes away. This is very true and hard hitting.

~ Saajan's smile when he sees the cooked aubergines in the lunch box. His favorite.

~ The dabba waala talking about the Harvard waala.

~ Shaikh's happiness regarding the scooter that his in laws are giving him.

~ The pride in Saajan's voice when he calls Ila his girlfriend for the first time.

~ The shock in Saajan's face when he hears that a woman jumped off a building with her daughter, and the relief on his face when he smells his lunch box that day.

~ His restlessness when he doesn't smoke for a day on Ila's insistence.

~ The mehendi stain on Ila's nails.

~ The desperation in Saajan's face when he sits with the dabba waala's in the train.

WOW! No other movie has been this real until today. The movie is confident and stays with you from frame to frame. The direction is fantastic and the movie sticks on to its soul till the end. 

This is simplicity at its best, do not miss this movie.

~ Soumya


A hiding place
Crimes plotted
Dark and wild

Dark and wild
The lion brings
Dinner home

Dinner home
Ill mannered child
Sent to the den

This Haiku is written for Haiku Heights #298 ~ September Heights Day 25. Prompt: Den.

~ Soumya

The Moth and the Lamp

(Pic: The Moth and the Lamp, Cesar Santos )

Strewn apart, I look for you
With tattered wings I fly slow
I'm a moth, shy and ignored
In you shade I shall grow

Our names are tied together
There is no you without me
The light in you might dim and fade
But with you I shall always be

If your beam is taken away
In green I shall be forever dyed
Tie me to yourself
I shall just hang by your side

You can never be far from me
Together we form the perfect frame
If you are going to burn bright
My noose shall be your flame

Written for The Magpie Tales: Mag 187.

~ Soumya

The End

And before I knew it, I had hit ‘Send’
I did not mean it, it was only to vent
I just wrote it to let go and feel light
Delivery report then said 'Successfully Sent'

I called her back immediately
She did not answer the phone
Before I could redial her number
I heard my phone's message tone

"Its all over", the calligraphic text read
I could not believe my eyes
"I hate you" was written all over
Not once or twice, but thrice

I apologised for my folly
Yet she did not bother to reply
I sat there clutching my phone
Screaming inside wanting to cry

I loved her more than anything else
Her recent cold behaviour I couldn't take
The frustration that I had penned down
Was sent to her by sheer mistake

All the anger was just on the spur
I still loved and wanted her
If I lost her, I wouldn't forgive myself
My vision slowly turned into a blur

Another beep, I wiped away my tears
This juvenile episode I intended to mend
"I love someone else", the message read
And before I knew it, it all came to an end

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

~ Soumya


To have it all
Too good to be true
A mere fascination

Life gets spent
Vying for perfection
The absolute myth

This Haiku is written for Haiku Heights #293 ~ September Heights Day 20. Prompt: Myth.

~ Soumya

Hypocrisy in Reality

So a girl of Indian origin wins the Miss America title and the whole world goes berserk. I'm surprised it make it to the front page of yesterday's news papers. India is rejoicing alright, but would she have won if she was based in India. I mean, when was the last time you saw a dusky girl lift the Miss India crown? The others are calling her a terrorist, an Arab and what not. The best part was that Times Of India had the audacity to print the hate tweets in the first page. Do you think the same would have happened in America? And who were the judges? Hardly an Indian in the panel I'm sure. I have already written about India's obsession with fair skin here. Four years ago. Till date, I don't see any change regarding this. She wins in a different country and India rejoices. In India, she would be dismissed like another aspiring girl in the ferocious world of fame. If this is not hypocrisy then what is? I wouldn't be surprised if she is signed up for the next 'Fair & Lovely' ad. Just for the 'before' part. And photo shop the picture for the 'after'.

'Shudh Desi Romance' was promoted keeping in mind the mindset of the Indian audience. Stats were produced and cited quite boldly. Apparently, quite a high percentage of Indian youngsters want to experience a live-in relationship. And I hear the movie is highly about it. No, I haven't watched it yet. I don't have to. I'm sure the movie is not faring that well. Of course the young guns would have watched it, behind the backs of their parents. Living in sure is an interesting concept. For those who are able to handle the repercussions that come with it, its even better. Living in with a person shows you the entirety of the person. Their small habits, their major flaws. Their mood swings, their crankiness. Its an exposure to the gist of married life. But society plays the villain here. Oh, living together means you are having sex before marriage. All I want to ask the society is, what guarantee you have that the children staying with you are not having sex. Sex just needs a place. Permanent or temporary. Hotels or cars. You need not have to live together to have sex. Period.

Did your parents explain the concept of sex to you? Or did they just change the channel or ask you to fetch water every time a sex scene or a condom ad came on TV? Parents still feel that its a taboo to talk about sex to their children. After a certain age, children go on to explore their lives. If parents think that sex is not a part of it, then well ignorance is bliss. A lot has been said and debated about the importance of sex education in schools but hardly any of it has been implemented. Still, people shy away from talking about sex, birth control, menstrual cycle etc. These are the most natural things in the world. Science teaches us that sex is only for pro-creation. Well, hello there! The recent issue of Femina, had a problem where in a mom wrote in asking for advice. She said that her 16 year old daughter is having sex with her guy, how could she stop her from it? Really sorry madam, nothing in the world can stop her from it. Wouldn't it be better if you told her about birth control and trust in the partner instead? Its hard for any parent to accept that their child is indulging in sex at a very young age. You cannot stop them from it, at least prepare them for it. Better safe, than sorry. Pre-marital sex happens in reality, accept it.

Homosexuality is another taboo here. People know it exists, but still ignore and call it a disease. We love Neil Patrick Harris and Jim Parsons, but how would you treat a gay friend or son? A lot of parents get their 'sick' sons to perform lots of pujas and get them to marry an innocent girl. Two lives ruined just because someone else is living in denial. Is it worth it? Is reality that hard to accept?

BJP, Congress or any other party. Doesn't matter. India shall only improve when each and every citizen stops being a slave to society. And it begins at home. No where else. 

~ Soumya


Corrupt leaders
Unknown tomorrow

Life or death
White room
Fingers crossed

Slave to society
Begging for bread

This Haiku is written for Haiku Heights #290 ~ September Heights Day 17. Prompt: Dread.

~ Soumya

Nonet: Love

Way too many descriptions till date
None seeming to make any sense
Could not understand its depth
The true meaning of it
I looked everywhere
But could not find
Then I saw
In you

P.S: This is my first attempt at a Nonet. And its for my husband. It was Cal's birthday yesterday. We had a brilliant day and this is just a small tribute to him.

~ Soumya


An ill omen
Small and tender
A black cat

Innocent metal
Horse shoe 

This Haiku is written for Haiku Heights #286 ~ September Heights Day 13. Prompt: Superstition.

~ Soumya

The Bitch Herself

No matter what you do
Life always comes a full circle
You cannot try to escape it
This is life's vicious cycle

Every single thing you do
Surely comes back to you
Good, bad, contrived or ugly
Age old or something fresh and new

When you dig a grave for someone
Just make sure you dig two
They might have a chance to escape it
But fall into it, sure will you

Karma is waiting for you
As you sow, so shall you reap
Your selfishness will take you down
Dragging you to the gravest deep

Luck is a word devoid of sense
Good karma might be the cause
Its easy to brush it of as a one timer
But within you, you know its your loss

Rich or poor, king or peasant
You need to pay for what you do
Good deeds come back ten fold
Sadism quickly multiplies too

Your thought sows the seed
Your actions regularly water it
It can either grow into a beautiful plant
Or just remain as a stagnant pit

Goodness paves a stairway to heaven
Sins dig a tunnel to hell
By what is happening to you today
I'm sure the difference you can tell

Karma is present with you
Along with the wonderful free will
Its like an invisible mirror
It shall either love or kill

If you are going through a bad phase
Every thing you touch is breaking apart
Think about what you have done in the past
And who was stung by your poisoned dart

Don't confuse Karma with fate
Its the former that builds the latter
Just do good, stay away from evil
In the end, every small thing shall matter

~ Soumya

The Home Maker

Alone she stands
Stirring and washing
Kitchen - Her abode

Kitchen- Her abode
A dish her trophy
A mother - The home maker

This Haiku is written for Haiku Heights #283 ~ September Heights Day 10. Prompt: Kitchen.

~ Soumya

The Great Indian Adventure

Nate and Nadia walked slowly admiring the beauty of the airport. Delhi International Airport, looked no less than a high end mall. Both of them were American citizens and this was their first trip to India. And Delhi, was their first destination. As they waited for their luggage to arrive, they could see hordes of people through the glass outside.

Nate laughed. "I guess half of India's population is present here."

"Oh come on, honey. It is a beautiful country and I can't wait to explore it. Taj Mahal, here I come." Nadia said with a smile.

"But lets beware, remember all the warnings we received back in the States?" Nate warned.

"Hmm.. I'm sure its not that bad. Not all Indian's are thieves." Nadia said as she watched her bag arrive.

Nate looked at her and frowned.

Nadia giggled. "Don't worry Nate. You won't be mauled by a tiger either."

Nate gathered both their bags and placed them in the trolley. Nadia held his arm and walked out of the airport. The heat hit them instantly and they put on their sun glasses. They walked two feet and were welcomed by a crowd of taxi drivers.

"Salaam saab, Salaam memsaab. Welcome to India." A taxi driver said with folded hands.

Nate held Nadia's hand tightly and walked on ignoring them.

"Namaste Sir. First time here? Taxi want you?" Another driver walked with them.

"No, thank you." Nadia refused politely.

"Namaste Madam. You want hotel? Big place, nice place I take you." Another one spoke in the crowd.

Nate laughed. Nadia squirmed.

"See! Thank God, Sheila and Raman had warned us. Like I said, these people are hooligans. Its only because of you I'm here. God knows, why you wanted a holiday in India." Nate scowled.

"Relax. See, Raman is there to pick us up. If we are careful, everything will be fine." Nadia said waving at Raman waiting with a car a few yards away.

Nate and Nadia turned back to look at the crowd of drivers behind. They were busy hounding a group of foreigners now.

Nadia smiled and walked towards the waiting car.

Their great Indian adventure had just begun.

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

~ Soumya


I held you in my arms
As you slowly slipped away
Life came to a standstill
In the month of May

I understood the disease
I knew you had to leave
But when it actually happened
I just couldn't believe

You had prepared me for this
Asking me to stay strong
All that seems to have rolled back
With life, I can't seem to get along

I sat staring at your face
But they carried you and left
I wanted to scream out loud
But my lips were entangled in a cleft

I count the seconds and the days
Its been five months since you've gone
I have been killing myself slowly
Even though I promised that I'd move on

I have no emotions anymore
All I am is a lump of iron
Trying to get past each day
Constantly for you I yearn

Life doesn't owe me anything
I have lost the race and cancer won
Accepting it has been tough
From two, how I have become one

No one ever can replace you
I am not even going to try
Its only you, who was sent for me
So don't bother asking me why

I have stood where you left me
Without moving, covered in dust
In your memories I shall survive
Even if I later spill into rust

Written for Poetry Jam.

~ Soumya


Seema saw him coming in. A smile developed on her face, she knew he would be here today. He stopped to speak to someone at the door. Seema stared at him. He had lost a little weight, and his hair was cropped. Dressed in a complete black suit, he looked gorgeous. He caught her stare and she felt embarrassed. He was just about to walk towards her, when someone held his arm. Seema felt a deep pain down her gut. The lady by Dev's side looked stunning in a little black dress and complemented him perfectly. She held his hand in pride and looked around.

Seema looked away. So, Dev really had got married. To someone else. Seema and Dev had been in love for four years, but when the time had come for Dev to commit, his parents had stood in the way. They did not want a girl from a different caste in their family and Dev had to give in to the emotional blackmail of his aging parents. Dev could not commit and hence Seema had left him a year ago. Dev had vowed to stay single instead of marrying someone else, but later had to give in to his parents drama. Seema had not believed it when she had heard of it first, but now the truth stood in front of her. The love of her life Dev, with his wife.

Today was the wedding party of their common friend Tej and Seema had decided to come. She wanted to meet Dev and tell him that she still loved him. She still was single and was waiting for him. But now looking at him and his wife she felt broken. She rushed to the wash room to dry her tears.

Meanwhile Dev was searching for her in the room. Tej walked towards him.

"Dev! Hey buddy." Tej screamed.

Dev hugged him.

"Congrats Tej, I'm really happy for you." Dev smiled.

"Won't you introduce me to... Ehm..." Tej winked.

"Of course.. Meet my wife Nina. Nina, this is Tej." Tej and Nina shook hands.

Seema slowly walked out of the washroom, hesitant to meet Dev now. How would she react? What if she breaks down in front of him? No, she decided. She would be strong and pretend that it did not bother her. She went back to the washroom to correct her make up. She re-did her kohl and applied fresh mascara. Her eyes were her best feature and she wanted to make sure she looked normal. Having touched up her lipstick, she brushed her hair and walked out of the washroom confidently.

She walked to the bar and got herself a drink. A couple of other friends joined her and they made small talk. With the corner of her eye, Seema looked around. She saw Dev talking to Tej with his hands firmly around Nina's waist. Seema's heart ached and she tried to hide the tears waiting to drip down. The pain was unbearable and she regretted coming here today. She gulped down her drink and ordered another. The vodka some how seemed to help her and she remembered the first time she had tasted it.

"Not much Seema, you might not be able to handle it." Dev had said.

Today as she saw him across the room with his hands around another woman she felt she would need it, to get past this evening. With the glass gracing her bright red lips, she looked at Dev intently. He looked really happy as he showed off his new wife to all his friends. Nina looked like a poised woman. She greeted everyone with a smile and people loved her instantly. Dev and she kept smiling at each other as she tightened her grip on his arm. Something within Seema was breaking as she drowned drink after drink to help herself. Dev turned and looked at her. Her eye caught his eye. She wanted to look away but couldn't. She could hear her heart beat loud. Dev excused himself from the group and walked towards her. She just sat there, simply watching him approach.

"Hi Seema." He said and ordered a whiskey at the bar.

It took Seema all the strength she had to put up a facade. Every part of her was hurting, but for Dev she was smiling.

"Hello, Dev." She said nonchalantly.

He did not reply. He just kept looking at her face as if drinking in her ambiance. She kept looking at him too. The bartender interrupted their moment.

"Your drink, Sir."

Dev took it thanking him.

"So how have you been?" He asked taking a seat beside her.

"Good. What about you? Great, I'm sure....." She cursed herself for saying those last three words.

He just smiled.

"So what are you up to these days? Still with the old job?" He took a sip of his drink.

"Yeah, I like it there. Peaceful." Seema signaled to the bartender for another drink.

"Hey take it cool Seema. You might not be able to handle it." He said sounding genuinely concerned.

Seema raised her eyebrows in awe.

"The last time you said that, I had a whole bottle." She laughed.

"You sure did." Dev nodded.

"Your wife's pretty." Seema said pointing towards Nina.

Dev looked at his wife for a second too longer. Seema was turning green inside.

She was the total loser here. She left him because his parents did not want her to marry their son. He did not fight for them and instead stopped all contact with her. She stayed single, in his thoughts hoping destiny to turn somewhere in her favor. But what had he done. He had married someone else within six months of their split and looked totally smitten by her. She had lost him a year ago, but today she had lost everything. She felt empty inside. The pain was unbearable. She grabbed her drink from the counter and gulped it down.

"I'll be right back." Dev muttered and went back to join his wife.

Seema wanted to scream out. Asking him not to leave. She wanted to tell him that he could never come back to her now. Never. She wanted to run away. She wanted to die. She looked at the empty seat next to her, wanting to cry out loud. When she looked up, she saw Dev approaching her with Nina on his arm. Seema was startled. She turned back and drained her eye drops on her tissue and steadied herself.

"Seema, have you met my wife Nina?" Dev voice filled the air around her.

With a proud look she turned and gave a bright smile.

"No, I haven't. Hi Nina, nice to meet you." Seema said without any emotion.

"Darling, Seema is an old friend of mine. We used to work together." Dev said and planted a kiss on Nina's head.

A hiccup escaped Seema and she wished that she was dead at that minute.

"Hi Seema, nice to meet you too." Nina said with a pretty smile.

Dev asked Nina to sit on his empty chair as he stood next to her with his arms around her shoulder. Seema's head was throbbing now.

"A drink, honey?" He asked his wife.

"Wine please." Nina smiled.

Dev asked for a glass of wine and a refill for himself.

"So Seema, are you alone tonight? You haven't brought a guest?" Nina asked rather inquisitively.

With blurry eyes Seema managed a smile.

"My fiance had to work today. He shall be picking me up." She lied.

"That's nice. I'm glad we get to meet him. Isn't it Dev?" Nina said.

Dev was lost in his drink and did not reply.

"Isn't it honey? Dev?" Nina repeated.

"Oh, of course. Yes, yes. Sorry love, didn't hear you before." He slightly bent himself and gave his wife a hug.

Nina brushed him off and sipped her wine. No one said anything for the next two minutes. Seema hoped that the earth would just swallow her.

"What does he do?" Dev blurted out suddenly.

Nina looked confused. "Huh?"

"Not you darling, I'm talking to Seema." Dev said.

"Hmm.. He has his own business. Automobiles." Seems lied confidently this time.

Somehow this lie was giving Seema a hold within herself as she kept spinning tales in her mind. It was easy to lie and get away than too accept the truth and look like a loser.

"Arranged marriage right?" Dev snickered.

"No, love." Seema said proudly.

Dev coughed and spilt his drink on Nina.

"Oh, I'm so sorry darling, let me clean it up for you." He said and started wiping the drink spilt on her thigh.

Nina felt uncomfortable and excused herself to go clean up in the washroom.

"You need to have a control on you drink, Dev. You are a married man now." Seema said angrily.

"Ah, Nina doesn't mind. She's an awesome woman you know. I love her so much." Dev said ordering another drink.

It was too much for Seema to handle. She excused herself and walked away as Dev stared at her back as she walked.

When Seema entered the washroom she heard sobbing. She turned to see Nina perched on the couch, blowing into a tissue. Her eye makeup was spread all over her face. Seems rushed towards her.

"Its okay Nina. It was only a mistake. Nobody noticed, don't worry." Seema said with concern.

"Thanka Seema." Nina gave a pale smile.

Seema sat next to her and patted her shoulder.

"You're a lucky lady. Dev loves you a lot." Seema said sadly.

Nina burst out laughing. She stands up and continues laughing through her tears.

Seems looked confused now.

"How stupid are you Seema? Can't you see through it?" Nina said in between laughs.

"See what?" Seema asked angrily.

"Dev still loves you. This is the first time ever he has touched me. He gives a damn if I'm alive or not." Nina said sadly.

Seema sat quietly, completely startled.

"We have been married for six months now. I know he married me out of pressure from his parents. I loved him, so I married him. His parents died in an accident a month later. And now he's stuck with me. He doesn't want to admit that he made a wrong decision by listening to his parents. He wants to show you that he's happy. Its all a pretense." Nina sobbed.

"I'm sorry." Seema said.

"No, no. I'm so glad that you have moved on Seema. Perhaps Dev will do the same now and maybe he will start loving me some time. Trust me, if you were not engaged, I would have given up Dev for you. For his happiness. But now, I have hope that he can be mine someday and that is enough for me." Nina said and walked out.

Five minutes later, Tej's wife entered the washroom and heard someone sobbing.

~ Soumya


I feel blue
Looking up at the sky so clear
Everything in life sorted out
Absolutely nothing to fear

I feel red
As the wine seeps through my vein
I sip on to my happy drink
Splashing in the intoxicating rain

I feel yellow
Life has never ever looked this bright
It did teach me one lesson though
In the end, everything becomes alright

I feel white
When I feel the peace in my mind
As it splits into its colors
In it, happiness I find

I feel black
For all the people I shut out
You did not deserve to be a part of me
You only filled me with confusion and doubt

I feel pink
Every morning as I wake up with a kiss
It makes life worth living
In small things I find my bliss

I feel orange
As the butterflies flutter by
Today I'm as free as them
I'm growing wings to fly

I feel green
Not with envy, but with pride
Anything that comes my way now
I shall take it in my stride

I feel purple
It reminds me of the hatred I let go
With all the colors in me now
Holding life's hand, I shall just flow

P.S: Hopefully this explains the new look of the blog. Like it or Nay? Do let me know.

~ Soumya