Action Replay - February

And so February bids a slow good bye. For some reason, this month was a very emotionally draining month. No, nothing bad happened, just that February has always been a pathetic month for me. My mental stress was at its peak this month and I became cynical about this dreaded month. But I did not give up, I fought hard with all my strength and got past it. Towards the end, the sun rose on this month and things were bright and shiny again. But, I might continue with my cynicism for this month. Its a hell hole.

The highlight of this month was Valentine's day, which clearly was the best one of my life. Cal is such a loving person that I fall in love with him more and more everyday. I woke up late on 14th, as usual, and found my room to be covered with post-its. Each bit had a clue and I had to find all the clues to get to the gift. Sleepy eyed I ran about the house trying to find them. I completed the treasure hunt in flat ten minutes. Yay me! Next, when I reached office I found a box of chocolates and red roses at my desk. Cal had managed to get in touch with a colleague of mine to make this arrangement! Awesome ain't it. Am I lucky or am I lucky?

This month has been extremely boring otherwise. I completed a release last month and was totally free at work this month. Although it gave me ample time to write and read, I missed working. Funnily enough I have never asked for a break from work ever. Not even craved for it. My love for Cal and my work is the same. He understands it too and lets me be. Every time I'm at the precipice of being a workaholic, he brings me back. So when I was idle all month, I was driven to crazy levels of boredom. Seriously, how much of Facebook and browsing can you do for a day? February made me realize the importance of work in my life. And I suddenly thought of those who just come to work, listen to music, do nothing and stay happy; getting paid for no reason. They are perfectly satisfied. I wonder what it is like to be in their shoes? I shudder actually. I've made a promise to myself to never get there. Work is worship, and it shall remain that way.

On one of these boring days I was introduced to P. G. Wodehouse. I realized that I had three of his e-books and began reading them. I was hooked from the first sentence. The language used was lust worthy and the grammar was orgasmic. I cursed myself for not discovering his works earlier. Well, better late than never right. I watched 'Highway' and did not enjoy it as much as I expected to. Well, the concept is amazing but the screenplay was a huge let down. Alia is going to be giving her contemporaries a run for their money. The scene in which she sits on a rock in the middle of a pouring river and cries and laughs at the same time, hats off to her for that. The emotions were right throughout the movie, but the sloppy story line drowns it somewhere. I've never been a fan of Randeep Hooda, more so after 'Bombay Talkies', but he has done a commendable job in this one. However, the USP of the movie remains its music. The lyrics of 'Phataaka Guddi' and Rahman's voice still tickles my soul.

Next month, I'm gonna finish a year of marriage. Yeah, you read that right. After all the anniversaries that Cal and I have spent, we are all set to celebrate our first ever wedding anniversary next month. Our tickets are booked to a place which I have been wanting to visit since a child. As usual, the love of my love is fulfilling it. More on that, next month!

Like I said before, February gave me ample time to write. Which explains why this is the twenty second post in a twenty eight day month. The only days I did not write were weekends! Well, I'm glad somehow it managed to make up for the sucky start it had. And somewhere deep in my heart I'm glad that February is ending. February and July have always been jinxed months for me, since at least the last five years. I don't know why but something always finds its way during the month to ruin my peace. Every single time. 

Am I being cynical here? Or its just a psychological feeling? What do you guys think? Do any of you have your own issues with some months?

~ Soumya

The Dream Catcher

It can be a hidden secret
Or maybe the ghosts of the past
I shall unravel the mystery
I can read your dreams loud and fast

I know what your sleep tells you
I can see the hallucinated tale
With eyes closed you paint a picture
Feeling it like a complex braille

But I know the truth behind it
The highs, the lows and the pain
I know what you see and why
I know the truth of the recurring chain

Sleep my friend, snore and dream
At your solace let others pelt stones
Do not be disturbed by their angst
They are oblivious to your slumber tones

The book that you are resting on
Shall be the next big episode
Your dream shall show you the future
Where thoughts and words shall explode

The dim light above you
Shines on your face turning it pale
Through it I can read your dream
I shall help your scenes smoothly sail

Do you see what I want you to see
I'm giving you the gist and the hint
You are meant for something wonderful
Your dream has that sparkling glint

Of course there are others thoughts too
But I do not let them get to you
Worthy thoughts are always a few
You see only what I let through

Go ahead and achieve your dreams
Move on to the greener pasture
Watching you keenly from afar
I'm the vigilant dream catcher

Written for The Magpie Tales: Mag 208.

~ Soumya


They asked me to abandon her, they said that she was the devil's child. Some cursed and some pitied my state. My husband had left me some months ago and now my daughter was born with no limbs. It did not matter to me, as I had already lived with her for nine months. She was my sunshine, my only reason to survive.

This five sentence fiction is written for the topic 'Sunshine' at Lillie McFerrin Writes.

~ Soumya

Challenge Accepted

"You are not going to find anyone like me."

"Don't challenge me."

"No one will ever love you like I do."

"I shall find someone and show you."

He did not realize that, that wasn't what I meant.

Written for Trifecta: Week 103.

~ Soumya

Search For Innocence

Yesterday I was at a cafe which my husband and I frequented every weekend. Its a simple cafe with a cosy environment. Every weekend Cal and I promptly go there, sit at our corner table with the bench and chat for hours over the best iced tea in the city. It has been our routine since a while now. And I look forward to it every single time. Yesterday as we sat there talking, I was constantly distracted by a young crowd in front of me. Well not distracted, disturbed would be the right word to use. To start of, they were sitting at our usual table while we had to sit elsewhere. But that was not the only thing that was bothering me. Till now, I do not understand as to why I was so disturbed.

It was a group of four. One guy and three girls. None of them could have been over sixteen. The guy included. The guy was seated on the bench with one girl on either side and the other in front of him. All of them spoke in the local language and tried to behave normal. But to my eyes, there was nothing normal about them. They were kids, whiling away their free time in a cafe; but that was not what it seemed to me. The first girl, the one with a mole on her right cheek, kept swallowing one ice cube after the other from a glass. When I looked at their table I saw that it was loaded. With Appy fizz, Diet coke, some sandwiches and packs of cigarettes. There also was a tall glass filled with ice cubes and nothing else. The girl kept popping it into her mouth one after the other and the glass was empty within the next ten minutes. Is that normal?

The second girl, with the bright pink lipstick on her dusky face kept fondling the guy and kissing him. Before I could crib about over enthusiastic PDA, the third girl with the chubby cheeks leaned forward to kiss him. I almost dropped my drink in horror. The guy seemed to be enjoying all of it. At least, his smile said so. The first girl then lights a cigarette and lets the smoke out right into the guys mouth which is now open wide. I smelt the smoke, it was normal cigarette smoke and not dope. Well, thank God for small mercies in life. See, I have no problems with smoking. Girls or guys. I have tried all of it too a while ago, just to see what the whole hype about it was. In my early twenties, I just tried and then let go. But the scene in front of me was something else altogether. Excuse my use of words, but the first term that came to my mind when I saw the scene was 'Gangbang'. 

I did not see any phone around at their table. Nor did anyone fish one out of their bag. Soon all of them lit up cigarettes and kept passing it from one person to another. Yeah, just like passing the parcel, but with every player having a parcel of their own. They laughed and spoke at length as the guy's hands shifted from one girl to another. None of the girls seemed to mind though. They were all dressed decently. Why, the third girl wore a salwar kameez and had oiled hair. They did not make excessive noise or laugh out loud. No, nothing suspicious. But something about them was not right. The first girl suddenly butts her cigarette and sits up straight and pulls her T-shirt at her back to make it super tight in the front. The guy immediately feels her breast as if measuring its size as the other two girls looked on with a wide smile. My eyes popped out that minute. The look on the guy's face said it all. He felt like a hero.

She straightened out her T-shirt as the guy proceeded with his measuring act on the other two girls. They obliged with glee. More cigarettes were lit and passed and more ice cubes were consumed. Just when I thought that the act was finally mellowing down, the second girl puts her hand inside the guys shirt and starts feeling him. The third girl puts his fingers into her mouth. The first girl rests her face on his lap. Face down. I was too scared and shocked to notice as to what she was doing there. All this in public, mind you! Well the compound of the cafe would not let the passersby on the street see it, but the whole of the crowd inside the cafe were witnessing their sutra act. After more cigarettes and kisses, all of them walked out after paying their bill. They went Dutch, I noticed. Their body language was free and unapologetic. As they walked away I could see the hard bound notebooks inside their bags and their pencil boxes. I said a silent prayer.

I do not know what was happening there. I did not know how each of them were related. I do not know what they were talking about. In the forty five minutes that I watched them, I felt sorry for their parents and the non-motherly instinct in me got stronger. Maybe the generation gap has got wider since I passed my mid-twenties. Or maybe the world is moving too fast. I do not know what it is, but one thing is for sure. 

With everyone wanting to be a part of the "in" crowd, innocence has somehow lost its way today.

~ Soumya

Behind Closed Doors

I tried to make it look like a suicide. She had heard me talk to Dev on the phone. She did not say anything at first, but later confronted me. I agreed to it and begged her not to tell it to Surjan, my husband. She agreed. But every time she needed a favour, she threatened me. A stinky maid, threatening the royal princess? I was not someone to take blackmail so easily. So when she was alone, I strangled her and pulled the fan down in her room.

I had an affair with Dev, the second prince. While my husband was away with the chief courtesan. Dev loved me whole heartedly and I did too. But no one would understand that. 

I watched her being lowered to the ground. She had to die, for my love to survive. Even if it was behind closed doors. I was filled with regret and anger. For what I had done. Various emotions flooded me and I did not know how I would handle being a murderer in my mind. But a part of me, felt free. 

The only solace being, the secret remained.

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

~ Soumya

Too Late

"So? What do you say Asha?" He asks brimming with hope.

"No, Rohan." I say clearly.

"But why? You love me right? I know." He holds my hand.

"I'm getting married tonight. Chetan is the right guy for me. Not you." I say pushing his hand away.

"For God's sake Asha. You know this Chetan guy since like what? Two months?" He looks away with disgust.

"You can react all you want. I'm marrying him. I've made a commitment and I intend to keep it. Also, you will not believe this, but I love Chetan. I do." I say and walk away covering my face with the bridal veil.

Rohan watched me leave. I did not know what he was thinking. It did not matter to me. Sure, I had loved him in the past. But he left me, because he did not want to be bound in a relationship. After two years he came back, asking me to marry him. On my wedding day.

He was too late.

This post has been written for Write Tribe's Wednesday Prompt - 7.

~ Soumya

The Honest Post - Phase 7

Cal dropped me to the airport as I was all set to fly to Colombo on work. I was coming back after four days, only to fly back to Accra the next day. That was for an entire month. I have always wanted to travel and see the world, when I was single. But look at the irony, the chances came when I met the love of my life. I hated to leave him and go, but he understood how much I loved my work. It's not like he did not miss me, but he did not want me to miss out on the opportunities of my life. We sat at the coffee shop for a while and soon it was time for me to check-in. I carried my bag, kissed him goodbye and walked in. I turned to see him looking at me through the glass door with love and tears in his eyes. Oh, that was quite a moment. It was like one of those movie scenes where the couple is separated by a glass door and they just keep looking at each other. Well, that is what happened. I can just close my eyes today and feel that moment. It still is fresh in my mind and soul. Shall always be.

I waved and blew a kiss and boarded the flight. SriLankan Airlines is one of the worst airlines ever. So far I had only traveled in Kingfisher and Emirates, so this came as a surprise to me. It was small with closely placed seats. The only saving grace was that it was a short journey. 90 minutes later, I was in a different country. I checked in to the Taj, with a room facing the ocean. I was in heaven. Alone. I wanted Cal to be around and experience all this with me. Tragedy hit when my phone refused to catch any SriLankan network. I quickly opened my laptop and made a VOIP call. To Cal, of course. Not my parents. I told him to inform my folks that I had reached safe. We spoke for a while and then I hit bed due to fatigue.

The next four days passed by in a jiffy as I was busy with my work. We had meetings at the Hilton and slowly I was beginning to get used to luxury. I told Cal about it. He told me that together we will make all our dreams come true. One of the best things that happened during my visit to Colombo, was Cal informing his folks about us. Since we were related, we did not know how to inform the family about us. No, we were not scared or embarrassed. We just wanted our relationship to be taken the right way. Earlier when we had decided to tell someone about it, we had decided on my cousin sister and his uncle's wife. Because we thought for sure that they would understand us. But when a lot of background talk started gaining weight, we decided to not use the peons to get to the manager. He straight informed his mother about it. She was shocked at first but happy nevertheless. Cal's mother is my dad's sister's daughter; so she obviously knew me as her cousin. It would have come as a shock to anyone! Coming to think of it now, even if Cal and I were more closely related we would have still gone ahead with our love. People could think whatever they wanted to. That was the last thing on our minds anyway.

Cal's mother had had a love marriage herself, marrying outside the Mallu clan. She fell in love with an Tamilian Iyer Brahmin and married him. Just like how I had fallen in love with her son now. She understood his mad love for me and gave us her blessings. His father too did not have any issues. So things were clear from his side. Since I was away I could not talk to my folks about it. I was sure I would, once I was back there for good. But when Cal called my parents to inform them, that I had reached safely, a seed of doubt was sown in their minds. I had always informed my parents about the guy I was dating, they are pretty cool about it. But they did not know about Cal as I myself was not sure about my relationship with him for quite a while. Four days later, I came back and Cal was waiting for me at the airport.

We spent some quality time together and I gave him the Ralph Lauren perfume set that I had picked up from Colombo duty free. He was thrilled and emotional at the same time. Sitting in the same coffee shop we spoke at lengths about everything that had happened in the past four days. I felt like I was seeing him after a lifetime and at the same time it felt like I had never been away. I was experiencing love of a different kind and I was loving it. It sure was the most amazing phase of my life. I had been in love before of course, but with Cal it felt like everything around was new. I was new. He had brought out the best in me and groomed me into the person I was today. Every minute with him felt magical and I was getting transported into a new wonderland.

The next day, I left to Accra for a month.

To be Continued.

~ Soumya

To Let

(Pic: Universal Studios Lot, Instagram by sessepien )

Letting go of all the memories
Now you are vacating the place
Are you sure this is enough
Elsewhere will you find solace?

Putting up a board on the house
You have made the options clear
But what about the clutter in your mind
What are you going to do about that, my dear?

You can let go of everything materialistic
But the memories shall continue to grow
You need to make a tough decision here
What to hold on to and what to let go

Think about what the future holds for you
Free yourself from the thoughts of him
If he occupies rent free space in your mind
The chances of you moving on are dim

You can let go of all his things
Just like this house and everything else
But if he still captures your soul
His thoughts shall come with reminder bells

You need to make room for someone new
Its hard but not impossible to forget
Its not the house that should hold the board
It is your heart that should say 'To Let'

Written for The Magpie Tales: Mag 207.

~ Soumya

L For Loser

"Let us add this one too!" He exclaims as he copies the photo into a folder named 'Upload'.

I squirm at the idea.

"Ram, not this photo please." I voice my opinion.

"Oh come on Sakshi, look how pretty you look in this." He zooms in.

"I know that Ram, but this picture is too intimate to be shared. It's from our bedroom for God's sake." I say shyly.

"So what? It shows how happy we are right?" He browses the other photos of our honeymoon.

"I'm not too comfortable with it." I say looking down.

"Oh, stop your village mentality Sakshi! You don't know about this. You do not even have a Facebook account for God's sake." He blurts out angrily.

"Yes, I don't. I do not understand these things. You married me knowing all this. Right?" I say with tears.

"Sure I did. But dare not stop me from doing what I want to do." He got back to copying the pictures.

I did not understand this at all. Everywhere we went, he insisted on taking intimate pictures. Most of them selfies and uploaded them immediately on Facebook. On our wedding day, he took a few pictures of us on his phone and immediately uploaded them on Facebook. Even before the ceremony was over. But today was too much. Our honeymoon pictures? It's so embarrassing. He had even clicked us kissing. Concentrating more on the camera, of course. Not wanting to create a scene just a week after the wedding, I quietly go to bed, leaving him in the study with his laptop.

"These will do for now." Ram mumbles under his breath as he creates a new album on his Facebook account and starts uploading the photos.

Ten minutes later, it is done. He does not bother inserting a description or location, or adjusting the privacy settings.

"I want you to see them and burn Neha. I want you to turn green with envy. You have blocked me from seeing your profile, but this you shall see I'm sure." He says with a wicked grin.

He didn't know that Neha was so busy living her own life with her husband, that, she had deleted her Facebook account.

~ Soumya

Lifting Spirits

"I don't think you have the strength to lift it", he says and laughs out loud along with his friends.

"Why, because I'm a girl?", I ask looking at the gang of five people in the gym.

"Because it is a 50 kilo dumbbell, used by weight lifters; and because you are a girl too", he continues to laugh.

I lift it with my index finger and turn to look at their startled faces. Next, I pounce on their leader and suck the blood off his neck, before I could proceed to the others.

This five sentence fiction is written for the topic 'Strength' at Lillie McFerrin Writes.

~ Soumya

Double Love

"First Aid Box. Check. Knife. Check. Spectacle Case. Check." I mumble as I pack my daughter's picnic hamper.

"Mommmm, you make it feel like I'm going to war." My twelve year old Tanya shouts.

"Trust me, you will need them." I argue.

"First Aid box I understand. But why the knife?" She asks with a cute expression on her chubby face.

"Think." I say and sit quiet.

Tanya pretends to think for a while and then gives up, shaking her head.

"Well, I have packed apples. How will you eat them without cutting it?" I smile.

She laughs out loud.

"Mom, why don't you cut and pack it instead? Else, I shall just bite into one and eat it." She says appearing to ease my tension.

"No. Apples when cut lose their nutrients and turn black. And if you bite into an whole apple without sharing it with Meera, it is rude." I keep the bag aside and pick up a comb from her pink dressing table.

"Aren't you worried I might cut my hand?" She looks alarmed.

"No. I know Meera's mother will do it for you. I have spoken to her already." I say as I comb her hair.

"And why the spectacle case? I'm wearing my glasses anyway." She turns to look at me through her round pink glasses.

"Where will you keep them when you go swimming? I do not want you to toss it somewhere as it will get scratched." She says calmly.

Tanya turns back to hug me.

"Mom, what would I do without you!" She says kissing me.

"You will understand this when you are a mother, my dear." I kiss her back.

"That's why you are my mother and father, na?" She says slowly.

"Absolutely!" I smile as I think about Tarun, her father, who left us ten years ago.

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

~ Soumya

Just An Excuse

You wake me up with a kiss
And that bright charming smile
When the day starts that brilliantly
Its effect lasts for a long while

Your thoughts flow in my veins
Your love is my mantra to live
I do not fear anyone or anything
When in you, I believe

You have given me everything
Most importantly a new lease of life
I knew everything will be alright
From the day I became your wife

You believed in me more than I did
Held my hand through ups and downs
You give me reasons to smile every day
Leaving no room for any frowns

Of all the wonderful things that I have
You are the best thing I can call mine
Your aura completely envelopes me
That feeling is holy and divine

Life with you is a fairy tale
As we travel on a magic carpet
Let us paint our colors on it
Make it as beautiful as it can get

Holding hands we have come so far
We know its just the beginning
If we stand by each other
Every battle we can easily win

I love you in more ways that one
You drive me crazy every single day
Valentines is just an excuse
For everything that I have to say

~ Soumya

Kiss Me Once More

Come soon, my dear husband
My naked frame longs for you
Lust and love swirled together
As we become one from two

The long hours we spend apart
Makes me feel like a lonely soul
Your thoughts help me get past it
As passion ignites like burning coal

Your fedora understands my plight
As I sing to it our love tale
The ring on my finger knows it too
That this story shall never get stale

Oh my love, what is keeping you
The sun too has now gone away 
Here I am waiting for your steps
Like I patiently do so every day

How do I tell you what I feel
You drive me crazy with every touch
I'm fighting a sense of longing
Oh darling! I love you so much

I miss you with every passing second
Your love has now plagued my core
Tomorrow morning before you leave
My honey, just kiss me once more

Written for The Magpie Tales: Mag 206.

~ Soumya

The Misfit In The Puzzle

Its 11.45 pm and Rajat and I are still stuck at office. This patch needs to be delivered to the client by 9 am tomorrow and I was the only one working on it. My eyes are drained completely and my body is slowly giving up. Rajat arrives with two mugs of piping hot coffee.

"I'm glad at least these coffee machines work at night." He says as he settles down beside me, offering me a mug.

"I'm so exhausted man. I cannot even see properly now." I say grumpily as I slowly sip the black coffee. I grimace immediately.

"What? You need more sugar?" Rajat asks.

"Of course! This tastes like an ayurvedic potion." I say with disgust as he offers me two sachets of sugar.

"Control your sweet tooth Mallika. Take tips from Nisha." He says proudly.

Nisha was his girlfriend of a year. He loved her like crazy but she hardly cared about him. He pampered and showered her with love and gifts and she was a satisfied recipient. She treated him like dirt stuck to her shoes and he bought her more shoes. Everyone apart from Rajat could see the reality of their relationship. He was my best friend and I had tried umpteen times to make him understand, but he was too blinded by love or whatever it was.

"Yeah right. Like she would even talk to me." I look away.

"Come on Mallika. Nisha is a very nice girl. Once you get to know her, you will like her I'm sure." He explains.

"No thanks. We all knew how nice she was the minute she walked into office a year ago. Only you did not see the obvious. No wonder you fell in love with her." I add another sachet of sugar to my coffee.

"You are only saying that because you love me and I love her. You are angry with me actually, not her." He raises his voice.

"Oh stop it. My feelings have nothing to do with her. At least I loved you genuinely, unlike her." I stare back at him.

Our argument is interrupted by a Skype call on my system. It was Mahesh, our on site team member. I look at Rajat as he grabs his coffee mug and leaves. I shake my head and put on my ear phones. The call with Mahesh lasts for thirty five minutes and he agrees to take the patch forward from where I had finished. After thanking him profusely I end the call and go looking for Rajat. A few employess are still around in the bay busy typing away on their laptops. A few look up at me with a feeble smile. I cannot help but feel sad for them. But that was IT life. Sigh. I do not find Rajat in the pantry and I guess that he might be in the smoking area. I slowly walk towards it and see him through the glass door. I open the door and a gust of cold wind hits me.

"Wooo... Its cold in here." I say as I rub my hands together.

"Here, you will now feel better." He hands me a cigarette and then lights it for me.

After two puffs I feel better and reach for his hand. He looks at me sadly.

"I'm sorry Rajat. I did not mean to hurt you. But I shall never be okay with Nisha. I seriously feel that she is using you." I say with concern.

"But she makes me happy Mallika. I think she is worth all the money I spend on her." He says.

"She is pretending to love you only for that. Why don't you understand? Or do you just want to ignore what others say just like the way you ignored my feelings for you?" I say with frustration.

"I did not ignore your feelings Mallika. Its just that I love Nisha. And she loves me too." He says without flinching.

"How can you be so sure?" I say feeling hurt.

"My life has always been bits and pieces of a puzzle. When one piece fits, the other doesn't. You showed me the clear picture I agree, but it is Nisha who is helping me put piece by piece together. She wants a luxurious life for us and is helping me get there." He says in between puffs.

"I can help you do it too, if you let me." I say welling up.

Rajat comes closer and wipes the tear of my face.

"I'm sorry Mallika. I really am." He says.

"The picture of your life has always been clear Rajat. It is us. You know it too. But I do not know why you are breaking it into pieces for Nisha." I say sadly.

"That's your take Mallika. I see a picture with Nisha. I know only that." He lights another cigarette.

"Then why are you here at 12.30 am. With me?" I ask.

"I'm here to take you home safely. You are my best friend and I did not want to leave you alone. That's it. Please do not read much into it." He says and looks away.

I butt my cigarette and try to hide my tears.

"Fine. I am done. Can we leave then?" I ask.

"Sure. You pack up while I finish this and come." He says pointing the burning stick at me.

He does not speak a word as he drives me back home. I stay mum too. He drops me home and leaves.

I understand Rajat's pride. When the entire floor was trying to woo Nisha, she chose him. His ego doesn't let him believe that she loves his money and not him. So be it. I loved the person he was before she came into his life. Now, he had turned into a person who was going out of his way to prove his love for her. I realized that I was a misfit in the imaginary puzzle of Rajat's life. I decided to move on with my life. Which I did soon. The picture of my life was clearly put in place when Sagar arrived. A distant relative and an awesome person. Before I knew it, I was in love with him and we decided to get married. For reasons best known to him, Rajat did not attend my wedding.

A month later Nisha dumped Rajat in front of the entire office crowd. Nobody knows what happened. But she was seen leaving the office premises with a senior manager later that night.

This post has been written for Write Tribe's Wednesday Prompt - 6.

~ Soumya

People Science

People fascinate me. All kinds of them. The lady who cribs about her mother in law all day but rubs her feet at night, the toddler who is fascinated by cars but hates noise, the hard worker who chooses to be a recluse and has a relationship with his computer, the loner who can't speak a word to girls but dreams of a fairy tale, the powerless leader who is forced to lead his country, the mysterious writer who only spins tragedy, the dynamic personality who oozes of ego concealing his bankruptcy, the delicate teen who is a misanthrope, the curious man who can only walk at right angles and the gorgeous TV star who eats tic-tacs only in pairs. These are only a handful of examples. People are more interesting than any story book. Every soul is fighting a battle and every battle has a unsaid story. It is the story that I am interested in.

"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance" - Confucius

I've always believed that situations mould people to what they are today. I want to know the reason behind every emotion of a person. Believe me, it is fascinating. I have always been interested in people and their behaviour. I want to know every story that make a man. I want to read every face that has a hidden tale. I want to remove the veneer and see the truth inside. I want to understand people and their antics. I do not want to judge based on the external appearance, I want to know the saga behind a beautiful face or a scarred body.

Having being wanting to take up a Masters in Psychology since like forever, I came upon the concept on 'Behavioral Science' by accident. But I was hooked on to it the minute I read the first sentence.

"Behavioral science is a rapidly growing area for policy and business with fascinating insights into human behavior and wide-ranging practical implications."

A single course called 'Psychological and Behavioral Sciences' covers all aspects of psychology making it the perfect course for me to invest my money in. Upon more research, the University of Cambridge turned out to be the stepping stone that I was looking for. If given a change to go abroad and pursue a Masters in any subject of my choice I would close my eyes and land up all prepared at the University of Cambridge for a Masters in Psychological and Behavioral Sciences. It would give me the opportunity to study cognitive, social, developmental and biological psychology within the broader context of the behavioural sciences. 

"Knowledge is love and light and vision" - Helen Keller

I remember pretending to be a psychiatrist as a child and listening to people's problems with the anticipation of solving them. As luring as it sounds, I do not want to be confined to a room now. I would use my rich experience in more research and come out with thesis, white papers and books addressing some of the most common but unspoken issues of the world. This course would cover cognitive psychology, psychopathology, language, brain mechanisms, gender, family relationships and influences, personality, and group social behaviour. The University also offers a research project and a dissertation that would enable me to study in greater depth the topics that interest me the most. In addition, the University is known to have a large number of books in their departmental libraries amounting to around 50,000 books and over 150 periodicals. As well as other resources and computing facilities. Could a people enthusiast and a voracious reader ask for more?

"Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge" - Khalil Gibran

Like Plato said "Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind", I do not want to do something that people around me are expecting me to do. Since I write, people expect me to take up Literature. Since I have a good business sense, people push me towards Business Administration. I want to do something that I have a passion for, something that my soul craves for. I do not want to be over ambitious and try to save the world with my acquired knowledge. I want to satiate my inner thirst for knowledge by finding answers to the below questions.

What determines whether people are impulsive, take risks, or cooperate?
What factors influence behavioural change?
What influence do different cultures and societies have on human behavior?

"Doubt grows with knowledge" - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Since my Bachelor's was done in Technology, I was skeptical about colleges allowing me to take up Psychology. Turns out, Cambridge does not ask for any pre-requirements for pursuing this course. This three year course would teach me everything that I have ever desired to know. Experimental Psychology from the second year course has already scored a special place in my brain and I've started reading up on it. My eyes grow wide with every word as I soak in brand new information with every paragraph. Ever since I've started looking up information about Psychological and Behavioral Sciences, I've started understanding people better. I also tend to not judge them and I'm more willing to accept them as they are. I cannot wait to take this up soon and turn my fascination into a fully fledged career.

"Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future" - Brian Tracy

This is my entry for the Knowledge is Great contest on Indiblogger in association with the British Council.

~ Soumya

The Eyes Speak

"I know you still love me."

"How can you say that?"

"I can see it in your eyes."

"What do you see?"

"Love. Pure love."


"Yes, I see love mixed with madness."

"You are right. Love and madness indeed."

"I knew it!"

"No, you don't."

"What do you mean?"

"It sure is love and madness. But its not for you."

~ Soumya

Destined For Closure

Its funny how I forgot myself
Remembering everything about you
I forgot all the old parts of my life
With you I began spinning life anew

You played along beautifully
Committing to me without a promise
You cleared my doubts with your smile
Answered my questions with a kiss

I was lost in your hypnotic spell
Hungry for your touch to be whole
You never let me inside your web
I was left thirsty for your soul

You loved me in more ways than one
But your hesitation pushed me away
You wanted me all for yourself
Yet for me, you never paved the way

You were stuck among your demons
I could have helped, if you'd let me
You shunned me away from everything else
You love and passion was all I could see

Your madness reached crazy heights
I remained captured in your maze
You were turning into a stranger
Our love story became a blurry haze

Slowly I started forgetting you
I brought 'me' back in the foreground
You were reduced to a distant memory
In letting you go, myself I found

No more hunger, no more thirst
I feel wholly satisfied and content
Your love for me was an illusion
Which left on my heart a deep dent

Today I kill you in my thoughts
I'm moving on to a better tomorrow
You are better left buried in my head
Like some long forgotten sorrow

Now that I think of it
I do not know how we came closer
One thing I'm sure of is
We were destined for closure

This poem is written for Theme Thursday's theme 'Thirsty'.

~ Soumya

Feel It For Me

I know it is hurting every part of you, but I want you to feel the ache I am feeling in my heart. I want you to think of all the happy moments we spent together, those times when we sang and danced, those times when we smiled and laughed, those times when we kissed and made love, those times when we promised to stand by each other no matter what. Now, think of those times you took refuge in the arms of another man behind my back, the times when you told me a zillion lies, the times when you pulled yourself away from me. Can you feel the blood slowly leaving your body, baby?

Do not worry, in a while it shall all be over; just like you and me.

This five sentence fiction is written for the topic 'Ache' at Lillie McFerrin Writes.

~ Soumya

More Than Friends

Best friends they called us. Some even called us inseparable, just like the Jai and Aditi type. I remember how hard Monty and I had laughed when we saw that movie. Friends falling in love, the jealousy, the possessiveness and other blah. We were sure we would never get there. We did not. Still, we had laughed. Together.

"Tell me seriously Rags, do you love me? Lets make it clear right now." Monty had teased me and I had punched him.

His name was Manav but Monty to me. I was Ragini, Rags to him. And to all the others. We were not that kind of friends who used dialogues like "Only I can call him/her that." A group of eight we were, but the others always saw a group of six. And us. I don't know what they saw about us that we both did not. They were sure that we would end up together, get married and have babies. Almost everyone we met thought that we were an item and the giggles of our friends did not help. Our friends had named our babies and decided on the color of our bedroom curtains. While we were content talking about Rafael Nadal and discussing Formula One.

No, I'm not the tom boy cliched type of a girl. I'm a very feminine girl with a zest for life and everything in it. I loved music and played the guitar. He did too. We joined classes together. I love baking. He did too. We baked together. I loved sports of all kind. He did too. We watched them and played together. Two people can have similar tastes. Why not? We did not find anything unique in that. We were more than happy to be together and that was it. Our relationship had all the fizz of a love story, but we could not see it. He had his girlfriends but they never took priority over me. I had my share of relationships but whenever he wanted me, I was there for him. We met everyday, at least for an hour. The relationship was platonic in every way, but apparently our friends could sense the sexual tension between us. We had laughed over it too.

We were friends for six years, worked in different places but always came together for a quick chat. We spoke about everything under the sun, our work life, our love life, our sex life, our fears, our achievements and everything else in between. No one judged the other. He always asked me one thing and I replied with the usual.

"You are happy na Rags?"

"Yes, Monty. I'm very happy."

"Then, that's all we need."

I did not understand why others tried to call our relationship with more than one term. Nor did he. Both of us did not think much about it, until the day I decided to get married. Mayank and me were in a relationship for two years now and he had popped the question. I obviously was head over heels in love with him and had said a yes. Our parents were more than happy too. Typical family friends and all that jazz. I met Monty that night to tell him this.

"Hmm.. Am I supposed to feel something? Now that you are getting married to someone else?" He had asked.

"I don't know. Are you?" I had questioned back.

We both laughed till our stomach hurt. He helped me with all the wedding arrangements and chauffeured me around the city from the parlor, to the dress fitters, to the florist to the bakers. He was a part of every activity that revolved around my wedding. Mayank understood our friendship, which surprised me at first. May be I was too dedicated to him or may be he was too much in love with me, I do not know. But the fact that he understood it, was amazing and easy for Monty and me. They both got along very well and that made me happy. It all felt beautiful and pleasant. I knew I was a lucky girl to have such a great friend and an amazing husband. Two different people of course.

Today is my wedding. Mayank would be arriving in about an hour to make me his bride. I am all dressed in bright pink and gold. I look into the mirror and feel satisfied. I am a vain person and I looked beautiful today. I had chosen this particular beautician after three trial rounds. My straight hair was curled into a bun and hidden behind the veil that covered my head. Fresh jasmine strings surrounded the bun and were left loose to caress my shoulders. My mehendi stood out bright and smelt fresh. I was in ninth heaven. I could not believe my luck for having such a perfect life. I hear the door open and Monty enters looking all dapper.

"Woohoo. Look at you." I smile.

The off-white and silver sherwani shone on him just like his smile.

"I know, I look awesome!" He raised his collar.

I mockingly punch him and look behind him waiting for his girlfriend to appear.

"Where is Megha? Don't tell me she is not coming." I jump into a conclusion. As usual.

"Nope. She is not." He says casually.

"What happened?" I'm concerned now, especially after Monty and I had spent an entire day with her, finding her the right dress.

"Leave it Rags. I'm here na. Woooo, you look super duper!" He gestures with his hand.

I laugh and feel something poking my back. I grimace.

"What happened?" He rushes towards me.

"I think some pin is poking my back. Damn, its hurting." I cringe in pain.

"Wait wait, let me check." He says and before I could say anything, he had pushed my veil to the front and was checking all the safety pins.

As his fingers trail my back, I feel a chill down my spine. Monty had touched me before of course, but this time it was something else. We had hugged a zillion times and he had massaged my feet every time I had an injury while playing tennis. I had not felt anything back then. His fingers slowly cupped my waist and I did not feel the pain anymore. I was transported to a different world. I felt a strong sting and Monty pulled out the culprit.

"Here he is." He said proudly holding the safety pin in his hand like an achievement.

"Hmmm.." I manage to say.

"I shall pin it back carefully, wait, we do not want a strip tease on the mantap." He teases.

I cannot hear him anymore as I feel his sensitive touch on my back. Something is happening within me and I do not understand it. I feel like I'm swimming in a pool of ecstasy. I'm going crazy by the second and the shock of this happening is only adding to my frenzy. I feel the safety pin secured back in it place and I expect Monty to say something but he does not. My back is facing him and I do not know what he is doing. I stand in shock without reacting. Soon, I feel his fingers trailing down my nape and driving my crazy. I feel goosebumps all over me as I clench my fist tight. Just when I want to turn back, I feel his lips on my neck, delicately kissing them. Oh God, I was drowning in the madness. The feeling was awakening my very core as I wanted to surrender to him. In every way. He holds my arms and turns me around. I'm too afraid to look and I close my eye. He kisses me on my forehead as I open my eyes.

The look in his eyes was something that I had never seen before. There was some kind of passion in it that burnt my eye. He trails his fingers down the curve of my cheek and I lean forward. His lips soon find mine and he kisses me with a passion that I have never known until today. He embraces me and has his hands all over me as I try to pull him towards me. I do not want this feeling to end, I do not want this madness to end. It was intoxicating. I wanted more. I wanted more of this. He kisses me constantly as if quenching his life long thirst. His hands are going down my bare waist and I shudder to his burning touch. I wanted him to possess me. Every part of me was yearning for his touch and I remembered nothing else after that.

The loud noise of the band, jolted us from our sojourn. He let go of me as we stood facing each other in shock among other feelings. My lipstick was all over his face and my makeup had stained his kurta. His hair was disheveled and my veil was fallen on the ground. We stood in silence as the over powering music crowded our thoughts. I did not know what to say, but there were tears in his eyes. I feel a tear drop down my cheek too. We remained motionless as if soaking in this moment for ever and drinking in the frame of each other. I broke the silence.

"Monty, I ....." I whispered, but he interrupted.

"So this is what all the others were saying?" He looks away.

"Maybe." I say slowly.

He shook his head as the music grew louder and the fear on his face grew deeper.

"I broke up with Megha. I did not want any other woman to replace you in my life after your wedding." He says, pausing every word.

"Oh.." I manage to say.

"I don't know why I felt that way. I don't know." Tears trailed down his cheek.

"What is this Monty? Why is this happening?" I shiver as I say this.

The music outside grows louder and we are barely able to hear each other. He looks around the room at all the arrangements. He looks at the bridal set and the tastefully decorated gifts on the bed. He looks at my packed luggage on the floor and tears flow down his cheek. He wipes it with the sleeves of his kurta and looks at me with red eyes.

"Nothing Rags, its nothing. Please dress up, Mayank is here." He holds my face between his palms and stares at it for a while. Then he plants another kiss on my lip and walks away, closing the door behind him.

I slowly pick up the veil and stand in front of the mirror to adjust it. I pin it up carefully with a blank look on my face and redo my make up. I smelt of Monty and it was troubling me. I pull out the body spray from my drawer and spray its entire contents on me. I throw away the bottle in frustration as the music finally stops. The groom was here. Mayank was here to take me away. Before I walked away from my room, to be his bride, I had all the answers in front of me.

It was love. It always was love. It shall remain love.

~ Soumya

The Morning After

I woke up feeling complete
Curved along his sleek frame
It felt like a poetic painting
As I now shall share his name

I married the man of my dreams
My wide smile sings a happy soprano
I feel tickled by the strings of the guitar
Kissing the flute and dancing on a piano

Last night our souls entwined together
From this morning, love shall only grow
I look at his face and thank my stars
As the magical symphony caresses my toe

Written for The Magpie Tales: Mag 205.

~ Soumya


It had been a long time since I had thought about him, but today it was all about him. Every breath of mine smelt of him and his thoughts plagued my body and mind. We were inseparable five years ago, but now, we were tied to different people. I don't know why his thoughts refused to leave me today, as if soaking me and pulling me down to the past that I had pretended to have forgotten. 

In a split second, everything within me froze, my soul in particular, when I flipped the page and saw his face in the obituary list.

This five sentence fiction is written for the topic 'Frozen' at Lillie McFerrin Writes.

~ Soumya