Jack & Rose

(Pic: Autumn on the River, 1889, John Singer Sargent )

You got me aboard the floating plank
Although you remained in the freezing cold
It was difficult to even breathe
Just hold on, you repeatedly told

I was ready to give up and die 
You held on to faith and my hand
I just believed in your belief
I was sure we would reach land

I laid down and hummed a tune
As you froze, holding on to me
I dreamt of our future together
I believed that we were meant to be

I had given up everything I had
All I wanted was to be with you
This calamity shall soon be behind us
We shall start life afresh and new

I heard the faint sound of a whistle
I knew they would come back for us
With a smile I tried to wake you up
But you had left without a fuss

Even though I knew you had gone
I cried asking you to come back
How was I supposed to live
I was nothing without you Jack

Your promise I shall honor
I shall live, like you wanted me to
I said my silent goodbye to you
And then, the whistle I blew

They took me back on a boat
I looked at you for as long as I could
Our love ship was broken and gone
On whose deck we once stood

I got to land in a while
Feeling completely torn apart
I knew I will hold on to myself
For you were alive in my heart

I moved on, like I promised
But its you, that my heart once chose
A lot of years have passed since you left
Yet, I shall always remain your Rose

Written for The Magpie Tales: Mag 195.

~ Soumya

Revenge


Vijay, my ex-lover, pointed the gun at my husband's head. I had left Vijay three years ago and he was thirsty for revenge. Tarun closed his eyes, but opened them when he heard the shot. Vijay lay dead before him. My hands were shivering as I slowly dropped the gun.

~ Soumya

Love, Again


Do you remember that fateful night
As we stood under the rain and lightning
Remember how tight I held on to you
As the noise was rather frightening

The small roof above our head
Barely concealed your single frame
I entwined my body around yours
As you passionately whispered my name

Do you remember how we felt
When we were stranded together
We got lost away into our world
In that brilliant romantic weather

The tension filled heat between us
Complemented the chill in the air
I wanted to confess my love for you
As you played with my wet hair

Do you remember the thrill
Of being caught up in love and passion
We had been friends for really long
Yet we couldn't ignore the obvious attraction

My kohl had dripped down my face
As you gently wiped it away 
When I wanted to pour out my feelings
"I love you", you did say


Do your remember the look I had
On my face as you kissed me
The lightning brought me closer to you
God's plan it was, I could see

We just looked at each other
As the torrent rain reduced to a drop
We wanted to stay there forever
The rain then finally stopped

Do you remember that last minute
As you dropped me back to my place
I did not want to leave you
Wanted to be locked in the embrace

As I slowly walked away from you
My heart was smiling and flying high
Love sure is a wonderful feeling
I knew it would last till I die

Do you remember the days after
The moments we together created
Those sly smiles and stolen kisses
The silly times that we debated

Today we sit here together
Holding hands and watching the rain
The thrill and smiles remain intact
As we fall in love again


Written for Poetry Jam and Theme Thursdays.

~ Soumya

The Parents get it Right


Being a huge fan of Shahrukh Khan, I remember asking my mother to buy the 'Sona Chandi' Chyawanprash instead of the Dabur one. I might have been about eight years old then. My mother just ignored my take and told me that the Dabur one was the best ever. I fought, I remember shedding a few tears too. Today when I look back I do not see what was the big deal. Its not like Shahrukh has a mind blowing body then that I wanted to become like him. Which would have been plain crazy, because I'm a girl. Still the flashy golden orange bottles of 'Sona Chandi' Chyawanprash did not leave my mind, even when the advertisements left TV. Ah, that innocence of childhood. As children you would want to do anything and everything that your super hero did. Buy the toys they endorsed, lick the chocolates they pretended to eat, harass your parents until they took you to watch their latest movies and what not. Some parents cave in, some restrict their children from getting sucked into the blingy reel life. 

Like they say, parents always know what is right. Probably I would disagree on it now and only in some matters, but when we are young they were always right. 'Don't eat this beta, you will fall sick' they said. Yet no, we went and ate the raw tamarind like no tomorrow and woke up with a swollen belly and a worried mother. 'Don't jump from the stairs' they said. Yet we tried to slide down the rail in style and ended up with a twisted ankle or a sprained thigh. All this while the mother would have only one look on her face. The 'I told you so' expression. Our parents gave us the medicine, they gave us the tablets and syrups, they carried us to hospitals, they cried while we were getting injections, they stayed up all night to look after us. Aren't they awesome? Oh yes they are. Yet, there are quite a few of us out there who treat them like dirt once we are all grown up. Just remember, what you do today is what comes back to you, in the form of your kids.


Today you stand all tall and built, but would that have been possible if your mother hadn't fed you right while you were young? What if she had refused to breast feed you, worrying about the changes it would bring to her slim body? What if she had ignored all the vaccinations that your doctor had prescribed? What if she had forgotten to keep the timer and feed you that bitter syrup along with a heaped spoon of sugar? What if she had left you to dry by yourself after you had peed all over yourself? What if she had not given you her home remedies each time you came back with an ache from school? What if your father had not taken you along for his walks? What if he had not stood in line carrying you for hours to get you those precious two drops of life? What if he had ignored that first headache of yours? A lot of what ifs could be added to this list. Our parents made us immune to all the diseases and disasters around. But some of us have made ourselves immune to their cries and suffering today. 

So you get married and have a baby. The baby is dutifully placed in the arms of your parents, while you go away on tours with your better half. Because you know for sure that your parents will take very good care of your child. Come on, they had you and you turned out perfect, so why worry right? Now just imagine if your parents refused to take care of your children, what would you do? Your ego would obviously not allow you to ask them for advice, so you go about caring for your kids the way you feel is right. Are you doing good or bad, you would never know. Let us see the difference here.


Food
You: Kellogs chocos for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, burger for a evening snack, noodles and ice cream for dinner.
Your Parents: Milk and omelettes/paratha's for breakfast, pulao for lunch, fruit for an evening snack, chapati and dal for dinner.

You load your kids with instant food while all they are doing is increasing the waistline of your child. Childhood obesity is one of the scariest diseases these days. I mean children lose their self confidence and are the main subject of ridicule among the school mates. Immunity is far away, just imagine what this is doing to the self respect of your child. They grow aloof and stay depressed most of the time. Lack of friends will keep them in a corner and they add more fat to their body, as you try to erase your guilt by feeding them more chocolates. The result? The child appears more tired, dull and scores low in academics. Sports are out of question.


Physical Exercise
You: You remain glued to your laptop and give your precious iphone 5S to the child to play with. 
Your Parents: They take your child for a walk around the park, and watch them go higher and higher on the swing. 

While the tot is busy killing the birds with a phone inside an imaginative game, he/she is killing his immunity within too. Since they are not used to being outdoors, the minute the cold air hits them they fall sick. Sunlight then leads to migraines and any eatable from a push cart will cause diarrhoea. If the child is exposed to some sort of physical activity out in the open, then there will be no harsh surprises. Make your child strong, from inside and the outside. Let them be tough and in a position to adapt to any situation.


Mental Health
You: Too busy to notice the activities. As long as your child is doing well in school its fine. If not, then the severest of punishments will be served in a silver platter. 
Your Parents: They notice the difference in behavior and try to set it right. They talk and make the child understand and they understand the child. 

Most parents fail to notice the difference in behaviour of the child. A child, especially in the growing years constantly needs the support of at least one parent. Grandparents will remain, but they can never replace the parent. A child needs to feel comforted every now and then. Bad grades? No problem, next time. The worse thing you can do to a child is to hit him/her. This remains as a mental scar forever in them. A child should react to a parent with love. Not with anger or fear. 


Sleep
You: Let the child sleep in his/her own room, watching TV until the sun rises. Then drag him out of bed by 4am if there is an exam.
Your Parents: Sleep with the child, waking up every now and then to check on him/her. 

Most of our growth happens while we are sleeping. It is then that the system slows down and gets rebooted. Imagine installing updates after updates on your computer and not restarting it? Probably now you get the drift. Letting a child be on his/her own is good. After a certain age maybe. But during their growing up years, you need to keep a constant watch on them, to make sure they are getting sufficient rest. Lack of sleep, causes more diseases than one and is one of the major culprit for diminished immunity.


Comparison
You: Compare your child to your best friend's children. They have Complan so you forcefully pour it down your child's throat.
Your Parents: Stick to what they know and give your child Ragi malt or Barley water.

Everyone wants their child to be the best, that doesn't mean you compare him/her to everyone around. Your child is an individual and no two individuals have the same needs. Just like what is good for you, may be bad for me, what is good for your neighbor's son might be bad for your child. All it takes is an hour or two to understand the nutritional needs of your child. Try some home made remedy and stick on to it. Do not try everything under the sun in the anticipation of results in a fortnight. Everything in the world takes its own course of time. 


Smart Pills
You: Get your child to pop vitamin pills, energy tonics, memory boosters.
Your Parents: Soak almonds overnight in milk along with a handful of raisins and serve it along with breakfast.

A lot of "energy" products are doing the rounds these days. Some promise strength, some energy and some better immunity. You buy and stock up every fancy bottle the chemist offers and the next thing you know your child is suffering from its side effects. A handful or almonds or a single spoon of chyawanprash is enough to give the child enough energy to get through each day peacefully. But we are too deluded by the colorful posters the other fancy products come up with.


Ambitions
You: Try to live your ambitions through your children.
Your Parents: Let your child make their own ambitions.

Parents normally ignore the person inside their child and try to make him/her the person that they want to see. Imposing rules, restrictions, your ambitions on your children will make then mentally weak and stressed. Stress is known to kill immunity, one strand at a time. And before you know it, your child is depressed and falling sick very often. A child is very tender and is just learning with every second of his/her life. Let nature take its course, let nature transform the child. That was how it was intended to be.


Immunity is as important as breathing, we all know that. Vaccinations, cleanliness, nutrition etc is only the beginning. The most important thing in a child is mental health. If this is up to its mark, then nothing can stop him/her from becoming an achiever. Treat your parents and your child as a fragile part of you. Both of them need the love, the support and the immunity to survive. All it needs is a little understanding from you.  Is that too much to ask?


This is my entry for the Immune India contest on Indiblogger in association with Dabur.

~ Soumya

The Forgotten Queen


Quietly stuck in a corner
I watch people read my inner word
They think I am blind and deaf
But its my voice that is heard

I carry emotions within me
Hopping from one post to another
I just smile and move ahead
In any situation and any weather

I'm hardly noticed most of the time
Some people just tear me apart
I'm the messiah of any news
But I too come with a heart

I was powerful a while ago
Digital media has pushed me away
I was in control since decades
Making and breaking other's day

My lustre has become dull and dim
For the next generation I remain unseen
Nobody shall read me again
Now I am the forgotten queen


~ Soumya

Inked Memory


"Did you get hurt?" Maya rushed towards her son on seeing his bandaged arm.

"No ma. I got a tattoo done today." Manav said proudly.

"What? What is wrong with you? Shekhar would you please look at this?" Maya yelled at her son and her husband of seventeen years.

Shekar was busy staring into his laptop. Maya rushed towards him.

"Look at what he has done. Why don't you say anything?" Maya closed his laptop.

"Its okay Maya, he's sixteen now. Stop treating him like a kid." Shekar says absentmindedly.

"Thanks dad. You are awesome." Manav grins at his mother and walks to his room which has 'Enter at own risk' written in bold on the door.

Maya shakes her head and sits down with her magazine.

The next morning Manav comes down for break fast. The bandage on his arm is half removed now. It revealed the stalk of a rose wound around something. The rest of it was still under the bandage. Maya observed the tattoo as she laid out the plates along with piping hot poha on the table. She then stopped in shock and almost dropped the jug of orange juice she was holding. She looked at the tattoo again. She had seen that tattoo before! If only she should remember where.

"Stop staring at it ma. I'm not in pain, don't worry." Manav said taking the jug from her.

"How much did you pay for it?" Shekar asks looking through his rimmed glasses.

"Dad, I had saved enough for it. I won't ask an advance on the pocket money." Manav chides his father.

Shaker just nods and goes back to his coffee while Maya sips on to her green tea, deep in thought. Maybe, if she saw the whole tattoo she would remember where she had seen it.

"When will the bandage come off?" Maya asks with genuine concern.

"I was hoping you could help me take it off now. I can't do it with just one hand." Manav sheepishly grins at his mother.

"So now you need my help. Finish breakfast quick. Lets get it done with before I get to office." Maya gets up from the table.

A while later, armed with scissors, cotton and a sanitizer, Manav approaches his mother. Maya wears her glasses and slowly cuts the bandage on one side. A drop of blood oozes out. Manav winces in pain.

"What was the need for this tattoo stuff I do not understand. Now bear the pain." Maya reprimands her son as she dabs a cotton ball on the wound.

"This design has been on my mind for years now ma. I have always wanted it as a tattoo." Manav says slowly.

Finally the entire bandage comes off and Maya stares at the tattoo for a while. It was a stalk of rose wound around a sword. She definitely had seen it somewhere.

"You like it?" Manav asks with a smile.

"Have you put up this design in your room somewhere?" Maya asks her son.

"No ma, I created it on my computer. Why?" Manav asks, admiring his tattoo.

"I have seen this before. I do not recall where though." Maya looked confused.

She got to office in an hour and switched on her laptop. She was the editor of 'Fashion 365' a popular fashion magazine and loved her job thoroughly. She had continued her work even after Manav and Mansi were born. Shekar had supported her throughout. She was blessed to have such a wonderful family.

After checking her mails, she logged into LinkedIn. Her company was looking to hire fresh journalists and she thought LinkedIn was the best place to start. Just before she could enter her search criteria, something on her home page caught her attention.

'Arnav Singhla now has a new designation. Arnav is now Vice President - Sales, Diva Magazine.'


Maya's eyes remained glued to his name. And before she knew it, she was opening her Facebook account and searching for Arnav. He was not on her friend list. She gave the global search. Too many Arnav Singhlas. The last she had heard, he was in Noida. 'Arnav Singhla Noida' she searched. She clicked on the first profile that popped up and looked at the profile picture.

"This is not him. Damn." She entered the search again.

The fourth profile she opened seemed to be right. She clicked on the profile photo. It was a side pose of a guy with a breathtaking view behind him. The guy in the photo was in glasses, she couldn't recognize if he was Arnav or not. But again, she hadn't seen him since the past seventeen years. How could she recognise him? She clicked on the next button. The next image was a close up shot. Most likely a selfie. Maya laughed. She recognised the eyes, this was Arnav. Her Arnav. She looked at him for a while.

How madly she had been in love with him since she had joined the company. Arnav was her senior then, who had almost all the girls in the company swooning over him. He did not give Maya a second look even. It had taken almost two years for him to talk to her. It was at a colleagues party and he was very drunk. He had kissed her after a brief intro. Maya had lost her senses and had spent the night with him. The next day, he had left her apartment as if nothing had happened. He casually apologized in office. Maya was shocked and shattered. The next day, she quit Diva.

A phone call brought Maya back to the present.

"Ya?" She said.

"Madam, the meeting is in five minutes." Kiran, her assistant reminded her.

"Thanks, will be there." She hung up.

She clicked the next button again. And then the familiarity hit her. Arnav looked dynamic in the photo, striking a pose, holding his cap with his left hand. On his arm, graced a tattoo. It was too bright to miss. Maya looked closer. It was a stalk of rose wound around a sword. She closed her eyes and was taken back seventeen years. Arnav had dropped her home that fateful night. Maya had invited him inside for a while as it was raining outside. And then the most inevitable had happened. She had noticed the tattoo as he was taking off his shirt, but did not ask anything about it. She fell in love with him more as in those days tattoos were rare and it was considered super cool to have one. She was completely smitten and happily let him take over her.

The phone rang again. Maya took a deep breath and answered.

"Yes?"

"Madam, we are waiting for you in the meeting room." Kiran said urgently.

"Coming." Maya stood up.

She took a last look at Arnav and closed the Facebook window. She then looked at Manav's photo on her desk and smiled.

"Like father, like son." She said and walked away to attend her meeting.


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

~ Soumya

The Last Word


Situations had driven us apart
But I had not forgotten him yet
He remained etched in my memory
It had been years since we had met

I knew he still loved me
He'd never move on he had said
Slowly he had pushed me away from him
Then forever from my life he fled

I tried my best to get him back
He seemed to have gone without a trace
I was filled with hurt and anger
Yet him, I could not replace

I always felt his eyes on me
I could feel his presence every where
He seemed to know all about me
I did not understand why did he still care


I spent all my life waiting for him
I loved him forever with all my might
Days and nights I yearned for him
Why couldn't he understand my plight

Finally I decided to let it go
My love was overpowered with anger
He lad left me in the lurch
In my heart he had plunged a dagger

I then decided to forget him
Making room for someone new
Just when I was falling in love
He came back for his due

I did recognise his voice
Said he wanted to meet me now
With my new love in front of me
To his request I did not want to bow


He pleaded and begged for it
All he wanted was some of my time
My hidden feelings starting coming up
Our heart beats still seemed to rhyme

I met him some time later
With a heart filled with love and hope
When my sight fell on him
I felt my heart break and mope

His body had shrunk into half
His shiny mane had gone bald and dry
His eyes still shone with love for me
Holding my hand he began to cry

I looked at his pale and wrinkled face
I wanted to speak, yet no words came
He fell and collapsed in my arms
His last word was my name

Written for Poetry Jam.

~ Soumya

No Kidding


Its just been eight months since I got married and almost everyone I meet is expecting me to have a baby bump by now. From the pujaris who got us married to the owners of a eatery whom we frequent regularly. Wow. Just wow. And the best part was that, some people thought that I was getting married so early because I was pregnant. Well people, eight months gone by and no sign of a baby or the bump. I'm sorry, but I'm deriving immense pleasure in disappointing you. If I ever wanted to have a baby, I would have had one long ago. Whether I was married or not. And to those who think that babies are a compulsion after marriage, well, I pity you. And to those who think sex is only for procreation, well, I'm tempted to kill you.

I'm probably talking about this very early, but this post by Nisha made me want to express my opinions about this topic. I'm still child free after more than half a year of marriage, unlike a lot of people who declared "We're pregnant" with a fake smile plastered on their face a week after marriage, leading everyone to guess when did they actually conceive. I don't know why it is any one's business, apart from the couple involved. They probably are upset enough that their protection failed and then others burden them with their own speculations of date and time. My friend's sister conceived on her wedding night as the condom tore and was confirmed pregnant two weeks later. She was hesitant in telling people about it, as she feared that they might think that she had got pregnant before marriage. Why did she care, I don't know. Whether she wanted the baby or not, I don't know. Today the baby is a happy and pampered girl of three.

Cal and I have discussed this topic. While we were dating, we were so lost and awed about each other that we could not wait to see how our offspring would be like. We even had names chosen for our kids. But once we became man and wife, we do not feel the need to have kids. Not for a long time at least. We believe a child should come into this world when it is wanted and not because the mother missed a pill or because of an ancient condom. The feeling of not wanting a child yet bearing one would be pathetic. We have seen a lot of first time parents cursing their new born. For clearly what is their own fault. You need to be safe. Very safe.


Now it comes to why we do not want to have a child. First, we don't think that the world is a nice place, to bring up a piece of yourself. Also, there are a lot of kids out there who deserve a good family. Why add on to the population when you can give someone existing a life. Second, I think Cal and I still have a lot more to give each other before we begin sharing our love with some one else. We have been in love since two years and are still crazy about each other. Our madness reaches a new peak everyday and we still do not feel saturated. I wake up everyday wanting to give him more love. I'm sure he does the same. How ever rude this might seem, both of us clearly believe that we do not have the space for a baby in our lives. Third, we are selfish. We love our life and independence way too much to be bogged down. We want to follow our passions, travel the world and fulfill all our desires before we are expected to cater to the need of someone else. Yes, I do not have the maternal instinct in me. Even if I have an ounce of it, the only person whom I feel it for is my husband. I don't think that would ever change. Cal protects me like a father and having someone else to replace me is not acceptable to him too. We already are parents. To each other.

The main reason why we do not want to have a child is that we don't think that we would be able to handle the pressure that comes along with parenting. I am not the one to give up on my work and ambitions and happily settle for motherhood. I might curse my child and my life if I did. I do not want to get there. Cal would not let me give up on my ambitions too. Nor would I want to put a full stop on his. Also, taking care of a child should be the responsibility of the parents. We do not want our parents to become maids for our children. They are old and it is our responsibility to take care of them, instead of adding more work into their retired kitty. We have seen so many couples hurrying to work dropping their children at their parent's place. The old lady who can barely walk is expected to run after the kids and the poor man with hardly any sight left is expected to keep an eye on the scampering toddler. We do not want our parents to go through all this. It is better to be selfish than to be callous. Believe me when I say this. 


One of the most important reason as to why women unwillingly "settle" to have a child is because of the biological clock. A lot of my friends are hell bent upon having a baby before they turn thirty. They say having a child is a blessing. Since when did blessings shower upon people according to age? Once the baby is in their arms, they crib about everything under the sun. Lack of sleep, lack of free time, the pain, the smell, the responsibilities etc etc. I swear I'm exhausted listening to all kinds of parenting rants. They add on to my repulsion of having children. If I don't want a child, I don't want a child. It is as simple as it is, irrespective of whether I am 27 or 35. In case we feel like having a child later, we will try then. If it does not happen, then well so be it. We might adopt or sponsor a bunch of children instead. Living a life with my husband is enough for me.

We might have to listen to questions like "Who will take care of you when you grow old", "Don't you want to carry on your family name" and all other blah. First of all we do not belong to an Ambani family to carry on the name and next, we do not want to raise children so that they can take care of us tomorrow. Some parents neatly pass the burden baton to their children for no fault of theirs. Some parents give up on their dreams in order to raise a child and try to enforce their dreams on their children. That is absolutely unfair. We'd rather pursue our dreams and not have children instead of having children and pushing our ambitions into their tiny minds. We have a lot of friends who live miserable lives trying to realize their parents dreams. Its a pathetic state to be in as the people who brought you into this world do not let you live the life you want to. It is better to be childless than to have a child hating you.


Everything said and done, we do like kids. We do not love them nor feel the need to have one. We totally adore the children of our friends and would do anything to make sure they lead a peaceful life. But for now and the near future, we do not have room for a child in our life. We have more than enough happiness in our life, and do not need to rely on the happiness a child brings to a family.

We do not want to have a child. We want to want a child. Then maybe perhaps, we'd be happy parents.

Oh, almost forgot. Happy Children's Day!

~ Soumya

Just Dance

(Pic: Danseuse ajustant sa bretelle, 1895-96, Edgar Degas)

dream or reality
shouldn't matter
just dance

forget the steps
feel the music
its your chance

throw it out
all the emotions
tap your feet

make a rhythm
follow the waves
groove to the beat

do not worry
no one watches
inside of you

dance heals
its a pleasure
known to few

get up and stand
strike a cord
rap or trance

a form of life
a blessing
is to dance

Written for The Magpie Tales: Mag 193.

~ Soumya

11-11-11: Our day of Love


The first sign of love is always the best. That phase when you feel a rush every time you see or think about him. That feeling of the world going still when you are talking to him. The coy smiles and the goose bumps. The thrill of uncertainty and the pleasures of certainty. The thumping heart and the breathlessness. The touch me not skin and the revealing eyes. Oh yes, that phase. That beautiful phase.

11-11-11 is a date that everyone believes to be special. But it remains the most special day in my life. That was the day when he and I spent our first night together. Don't get ideas now, hear me out first.

We were not in a relationship. Yet. We had started meeting regularly and thoroughly enjoyed it. Both of us could feel the hint of something brewing but chose not to dwell in that thought. Both of us had had our share of relationships and were cynical about everything that was related to the dreaded 'L' word. Both of us were aware of it and hence we did not even talk about it. On the evening of 10-11-11 we decided to meet up for a drink. Our regular place and our regular drink. We spoke about everything under the sun apart from what we felt about each other. It was not a conscious effort, still it did not happen. Four rounds of drinks later, the waiters announced that it was time to close the place. Four hours had passed by in what seemed like minutes. We knew we had to go separate ways but something held us back. We just wanted some more time with each other. For what, I did not know then. Nor did he.

After a few minutes of brain storming, we decided to take a drive to the airport and spend the night in a coffee shop there just talking. Sounds stupid doesn't it? Well, that is exactly what we did. You see in Bangalore, the airport is a good two hour drive from the city and the cab service is really good. A cab arrived in fifteen minutes and we set out. I did not know why I was doing this, but something about it felt right. He seemed to smile more and was over enthusiastic about the night ahead. We spoke continuously throughout the journey that we did not realize that seamlessly we had entered the next day. Together. I do not recall what we were talking about. Most likely about James Blunt, because I totally remember him humming "You're Beautiful". No, I'm not gloating, its just that I have one hell of a memory.


It was 11-11-11 by the time we reached the airport. We slowly walked to the lone empty table in the coffee shop and sat down. The winter chill was biting, but I was more than glad to be there. With him. Not the usual idea for a night out, I agree, but somehow this seemed magical. The crowd around added to the musical notes in my mind as we got lost in the crowd in our own world. Over cups of coffee we continued to talk. I watched him in awe as he spoke about his fears to me. There was no embarrassment or insecurity in his tone as he spoke. I could see the glint in his eyes as he spoke about his passions and ambitions. It made me want to be like him as I was stuck in a monotonous job with room left for nothing else in my life. Somehow he had managed to sneak into it though. And now he was filling it up with things I knew existed but had chosen to ignore. He was showing me the real me and I loved and hated him at the same time for it.

Its not very easy to have a straight face when someone deciphers you in front of you. I usually debate when some one else talks about my personality traits, but when he did I wanted to listen. I sat there mum, occasionally sipping onto my coffee, without uttering a word. I don't recall breathing either. I was that engrossed in listening to his take about me. We had known each other for just a month and he already seemed ready to write a book about the twenty five years of my life. Wow, does this happen to every girl? Not one I have heard of. We did not notice the sun come up, until we heard the honk of the first bus ready to leave the airport. I looked at my watch, 5.45 am. I looked around in amazement and I felt fresh as ever. Sleep deprived I was, but I did not feel it within my body at all. I had just spent close to twelve hours with a man, without being bored for a second. And he hadn't even made a move on me, let alone touch me. Wow, this definitely was a first time for me for a night out, of this kind.

As we sat in the bus to come back, I check my phone and see the date and smile. I tell him its 11-11-11, a special date. He tells me, it sure was special in spite of the date. I slept on his shoulder until we reached the city, with a bright smile on my face. I knew this was love. 

(Our engagement rings)

A year later, he slipped a customized platinum ring on my finger promising to love me for eternity. The diamonds shone reflecting the glow on our faces. Our love shone more. A few months later we became man and wife.

We have had millions of moments together and every day has been a day to remember. But nothing can ever cross the bar, the day I fell in love with him, has set. 11-11-11, our platinum day of love.

Today, 11-11-13, we celebrate the anniversary of our platinum day of love, promising to stay in love and dwelling in the madness for ever. 

Like I always say, "Falling in love is not important, staying in love is."

This is my entry for the Platinum Day of Love Contest on Indiblogger.

~ Soumya

The War Wives

(Pic: Resurrection Reunion 2, 1945, Sir Stanley Spencer) 

The most difficult thing ever is
To be the wife of an army man
With every breath there is a fear
That life might cut its span

The wait never seems to end
Every call sends tremors down the spine
We knew a day like this would come
When tragedy would strike without a sign

Today we stand shedding our tears
Our nightmare just came true
They fought valiantly all say
But ended up paying their due

Victory does come at a price
With our love, they had to pay
A hundred of them saved million lives
Even though now lifeless they lay

It is a gallant day for the nation
The war finally has come to an end
The flag stands bright and tall
While our lives are left to amend

Our children shall know their fathers
We shall not dwell in this pain
We shall carry their name forward
Shall not let their deaths go in vain

As we watch them being lowered
With their white scarfs held in our hands
We stand with our head held high
And shine along with our wedding bands

Let us fulfill all their dreams
For their efforts we shall strive
They gave their soul for the country
In all our hearts they shall be alive

Let us resurrect them this day
With our respect minus the cries
Every year this day let us join
And proudly celebrate being the war wives


~ Soumya

Red Veil


I reached the temple just on time. My hands were dyed in henna and the red veil flowed from my forehead to my hips as I waited carrying twenty three years of my life in a single bag. He was my future now. Thirty five minutes later, he called. "I can't do this, I'm sorry."

This is a fifty five fiction piece. A story in 55 words.

~ Soumya