Action Replay - January


The new year just started and January is over now. Wow, just when I was thinking that it was 2013 that went in a flash. Time is moving so fast and I'm trying my best to travel with it. January has been an interesting month for me. In all ways. Personal and professional and every thing else in between. The most important thing that this month and the new year taught me is understanding people. Various kinds, of which some qualify to be called humans and while some stand far away from that very word. While the whole world was busy talking about AAP and the tragic comedy of RaGa, I was busy observing people and their antics. I've always wanted to pursue a M.A in Psychology. To understand the human mind and why they behave the way they do. Some people are seriously hopeless. And by hopeless, I mean hopeless. The first month of the brand new year gave me a lot. In terms of learning and in terms of inspiration.

First, I was hugely praised for my performance at work which gives me the inspiration to strive more. Its nice to be rewarded for the effort you put in day in and day out. So now, I have set my goals higher and charted out a plan on the professional front for the year. I know I shall get there, I'm not the one to have unrealistic expectations from life. Or anything else for that matter. Zero expectations should be the mantra of life and then everyone shall be happy. So many people live a disappointed life attached by expectations. The sad thing is that even when they realize their folly, they continue to do the same. Maybe some people are built that way, or they choose to live that way. Expectations lead to disappointments. Period.

January also showed me how blessed I am to have a best friend, lover and husband like Cal. That too at the very beginning of the year. We were at a party on New Year's eve and the mixed alcohol did not agree on me. Just so you know, tequila after rum is a very bad idea! So, we had planned on a long drive to the airport after the party and spend the night there talking about the past year and us. I already had a throbbing headache while we boarded the cab and half way through the drive, my gut gave way. Before I realized what was happening I was puking my ass off all along the roads. Can you believe it? On the first day of the new year? Thank you Murphy! The cab driver would have thought that I was a dumb blond who couldn't handle new year's eve. Soon, we made the much needed U-turn and headed back home. The regular stops and puking continued and I was overcome with the awesome feeling called guilt. Imagine, the first new year we spend as a married couple and this happens. But Cal did not say a word. He held my hair up while I was emptying the contents of my stomach, from the wrong side. He washed my face and fed me water. When you are a tall person and let out things from the mouth it tends to splash on you. My shoes were covered in vomit and muck! Yeah, God's way of wishing me happy new year. Cal poured water all over it and helped me back into the cab as I craved for some sleep. After about three such stops, we finally made it home.


I expected him to yell and get angry, but his face was enveloped with worry. He helped me clean up and put me to bed pacifying me. All night I remained plagued with guilt for ruining the first day of the year. I know it is not entirely my fault because I had had a long day of work before we left for the party. Still, what happened was the last thing I had expected. But when I opened my eyes to a smiling husband I knew that there was nothing to worry. I have never felt that happy before. He just held my hand and told me to not feel guilty. He told me that we had a whole day to make up for it, and boy, we did paint the town red that day. Just when I think that I cannot love him more than I already do, something happens to prove me wrong. Well, I'm not complaining. I'm blessed truly.

The month also showed me different kinds of people. I do not want to talk about the huge list here, so I'll stick to two kinds for now. The ambition less breed and the sloth moths. How can any person not have an ambition? How can a person just get past everyday for the sake of living. I mean these people just exist. Not live. They are more than happy with their mundane existence and get past each day without any achievements or loss. I get extremely angry when I think of such people. I get more surprised when they are more than happy to live that way. What I do not understand is that, if there is nothing to look forward to tomorrow, what is the point of waking up every morning? Am I the only one who thinks like this? Please correct me if I am wrong.

Do I even have to talk about the sloth moths? I'm angered as I'm typing this. Enthusiasm less freaks who just hibernate in the coven without lifting a finger. I hate lazy people. An occasional lazy weekend is allowed for people who work through the week. And then, there are this breed of people who come in to work and laze around like as though sipping on to Pina Colada while lying on a hammock. I do not want to talk much about them as the words I would use next would be enough for people to report abuse against my blog. Especially when there is a big bunch of people waiting for that to happen.

The Actual Pin Board :) )

This January, Cal and me put up our yearly pin board too. A board which has all the things that we need to do in 2014. Travel, music, cooking, saving, loving etc etc. It came out fantastic and is the highlight of our room now. Fingers crossed to achieve all of it. We will, I know. I watched a wonderful movie this month, 'The Wolf Of Wall Street'. Mind blowing it was. I also watched 'American Hustle'. It sucked to the core and I have no clue as to why it has been winning all the awards this year. Hindi movies, the less spoken about, the better. After 'Ram Leela' and 'Dhoom 3', I dare not even ask Cal to take me to a Hindi movie. I hear 'Dedh Ishqiya' is excellent, but I'm not willing to take the risk. I'll torrent it and watch maybe. I saw the promos of Kangna Ranaut starrer 'Queen' and it looks fantastic. The music is good too. Speaking of which, isn't it time Aashiqui-2 songs went off air. Almost all channels are still playing it back to back. The music is awesome I agree, but everyone has a saturation level and I have hit mine.

I shall try to write a monthly summary post every month. Hopefully I shall have enough things to write about at the end of each month. If you guys do not like rants, then, you are free to skip this post. Although it is to late now, for this post.

~ Soumya

It All Happens For A Reason


I caught him staring at me from the corner of the bar. For the fifth time. I was amused and irritated at the same time. He wouldn't look away even when he met my eye. Instead he smiled. My friends were busy with their gossip and I was dutifully nodding along sipping my Cosmopolitan. The guy was distracting me though. For reasons unknown, my attention kept going back to him twice a minute. This time I observed him clearly. He was tall and well built and I could almost see his abs through his black snug shirt. His denims were patchy and torn at the knee and his shoes shone in the dim light of the setting. His hair was neatly gelled and he had a day old stubble. It somehow gave a chiseled look to his face. His smile revealed a dimple and I found myself smiling back at him.

"Anya, what do you say? Do you agree?" My friend Neeta interrupts my fantastic moment with a stranger.

The music suddenly went loud and soon almost everyone gathered on the dance floor. I turn to look at him, but he seemed to be lost in the hyper active crowd.

"Anya? Are you with us?" Neeta pinches my arm.

"Ouch." I react in shock.

"Whom are you searching for? Or do you want another drink from the bar?" Rita asks.

Rita was the most talkative girl I had ever met and she talked non-stop without pausing between sentences. Rita, Neeta, Saira and I, were close friends since college. We all had just joined our respective work places and had come in here for a party with our first salaries. It was Saira's idea to dress in black. Yes, all of us. We had diligently obeyed her orders as she always was the fashion queen of our group and our college. I had finally decided on a mid length single piece dress that shyed away at my knees. It had a steep neckline at the back and I had to scrub my back thrice before I was confident enough to wear it. Finally with a touch of bronzing lotion, I was done. I decided to go for kitten heels as we had planned on dancing. Struggling with stilettos while dancing was a big no for me. By the time all four of us were done, we looked like a bunch of divas.

"Tell na, stupid girl." Rita asked again.

"Oh yeah, I need another drink." I say as my eyes search for him in the crowd.

"Fine, I'll get it. Who else is in for another round?" She asks and she disappears to the bar when all agree on another.

She is soon back with a tray of drinks and some nibbles. I was just about to take my first sip of my second drink when I hear a voice behind me. I turn around and find him standing there with that dimpled smile.

"Hello.." His voice is rough and deep.

"Hi...." I say softly.

"Would you like to dance with me?" He stretches out his hand.

I am surprised by his direct approach and turn to look at my friends. They all are staring at him now with their mouths open. Even Rita could not find words to say.

"Hmm... not now." I hesitate.

"Just one dance, please." He makes puppy eyes.

"No, I don't......" I'm cut off before I could complete.

"Goooooooo." My friends yell in unison. I'm embarrassed and angry. I turn to give them all a stern look.

"See, you better listen to them." He says with a wink.

I laugh and place my left hand on his. I can hear my friends hooting as I walk with him to the dance floor. The music is splendid with mild beats and trance coming together. It automatically made me groove.


"Great, you dance really well." He says coming close to my ear.

I smell his cologne and feel transported to another place. The musk was intoxicating and I was more drawn to him now. The music was already playing with my mind and now he was. I did not want to give in easily.

"You tell that to every girl I'm sure." I say laughing in my head as I realize how cliched it sounded.

"Some. Not everyone." He teased.

"What's your name?" I ask.

"Subramanian Rajashekar." He says proudly.

I slip at the right minute and stand frozen.

"Hahaha... All okay?" He gives a wicked look.

"That's really your name? Its longer than the Bandra sealink." I say, still trying to come to terms with it.

"No. I'm Abhay. But, what's in a name, right?" He smiles as he displays his dancing skills.

I'm amazed and slowly try matching his steps.

"You are? Now don't say Subhalakshmi or something." He laughs.

"Anya. I believe a lot lies in the name." I say, meaning it.

He nods and pulls me closer for the soft trance. I wanted to reprimand him for getting too close, but my body language said otherwise. He held my waist, as I raised my left arm to reach his shoulder. He slipped his left hand into my right and looked right into my eyes.

"You know, I think I'm in love with you." He says with a straight face.

I laugh out loud.

"Try something less cheesier." I say.

"I mean it, Anya. It was love at first sight!" He explains.

"Oh come on, we hardly know each other!" I was getting worked up.

"Why do you think we met here? It was God plans." He gets philosophical.

"No, it was my plan along with Rita, Saira and Neeta." I point out to my excited friends who are still watching us intently.

"You know, everything happens for a reason. This did too." He waves out to them.

Rita almost jumps off her seat and starts waving frantically. The others are busy trying to get her seated.

"I know that. But...." He doesn't let me finish.

"Believe me my lady, five years later, we will be dancing together. Right here." His confidence shone in his eyes.

"Yeah yeah, dream on." I put my tongue out.

The music stopped and a balloon burst above us, showering us with confetti. Our friends gathered around us.

"Happy Anniversary!" They all yelled.

Abhay and me looked at the clock, 12 am. He pulled me closer and kissed me.

"Didn't I tell you?" He winked.

I smile and kiss him back, holding him tight. We had managed to recreate the scene, when we met for the first time, after five years. On our first wedding anniversary.


He was right, it all happens for a reason. I believed him then, I believe him now.

~ Soumya

Useless


Beautiful face
Poisoned heart
Sheer waste

Pessimistic road
Moving ahead
Hopeless stride

Millions saved
Fatal disease
Useless penny

This Haiku is written for Haiku Heights #319. Prompt: Useless.

~ Soumya

Sparkling Victory


She was surprised when he welcomed her with a smile. He clearly had forgotten about the argument they had had in the morning, regarding her affair. He asked her to make a cup of tea and she gladly obliged. She turned the gas on and was soon engulfed in flames as he watched her burn from outside with a victorious grin. 

It had all started and ended with a spark.

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

~ Soumya

Life Line

(Musician in the Rain by Robert Doisneau)

They call this the poor man's street
Every body here is looking to survive
The sun might shine bright or shy away
For a simple meal we all have to strive

The man behind me paints his pain
The lady at the other side begs for alms
She sits with tears and a worn out cloak
Her wailing son just stretches his palms

We all are strangers at this place
Even though we have a common goal
We might not talk to each other
But there is a hole in each of our soul

My lone friend here is this cello
I call her Jenny, after my wife
She left me a long time ago
Leaving me with a crumbling life

I chose not to give up hope
I started a new life with her name
I just want to get past each day
Because hunger strikes like a burning flame

She is my prized possession
For her I shall give up myself
Her tones earn me a bowl of soup
She is my ever helping elf

I might survive this cold wet day
But I want her symphony to shine
A dose of medicine shall help me
I want her to be safe, my life line

Written for The Magpie Tales: Mag 203.

~ Soumya

Online Therapy With Cashkaro.com


I have always found shopping to be therapeutic. We all do right? But I have a problem. I buy one thing and that is enough therapy for me. I absolutely loathe going to a million shops and looking at million things. Every time I go shopping, I have two things in mind. The budget and the store. I straight go to that particular store, buy it and come back. I do not like walking around streets and peeping into shops looking if there is something that I could buy. The term window shopping does not exist in my dictionary. Also, I hate shopping in malls. I would any day prefer to walk into a stand alone shop and pick up my stuff. A crowd makes me nauseous. And scents trigger migraine for me. So I stay away from crowded places as much as possible. Today, I prefer to shop from the vicinity of my office desk or from home. Online. It is a boon, that I had not realized until now. *hangs head in shame*

I started shopping online only after I got married and mostly due to lack of time. I'd rather sit at a cafe and have a mind blowing conversation with my husband instead of dragging him from one store to another. Online shopping always meant uncertainty to me. You never know how the product would turn out to be right? What if the shade in the picture is different from the actual one. What if it is damaged during shipping? What if it is not worth the price? The paranoia in me kicked in every time I wanted to buy something online. Believe me, I did not even want to buy books online before. I'd rather travel up to Crosswords or Gangarams and pick it up. Foolish much? Yeah I agree.


When my husband asked me to try it once, I decided to first buy a book. It came to me in perfect shape. Then I ordered a hair straightener. It came safely too. The cloud over my head slowly disappeared and before I knew it I was hooked to online shopping. No, I'm not an addict. Materialistic things never appeal to me anyway, but online shopping gives me a lot of time to do other things. I even ordered a phone online and I'm more than happy with it. The only thing that I go and buy in person is jeans and lingerie. I have a terrible OCD when it comes to jeans and I shall only pick it up after several trials and fitting sessions. I'm yet to order lingerie online. I soon shall though because I hear that there are very good and reliable sites out there for them alone.

Of course I have my own preferences when it comes to online shopping. I prefer a few sites over the others. Flipkart has remained my top favorite though. Most of the deliveries is done by the same person and he knows my address perfectly now. Not a damage, not an issue. Be it books, clothes, electronics or phones. I'm a Flipkart loyalist and shall continue to be so. Another site I was unaware of was 'Cashkaro.com'. I hadn't even heard of a it. But when they approached me to write a review for them and even offered me money to shop, I decided to give it a shot. And boy, was I glad.


For the uninitiated, Cashkaro is India's number one cash back and coupons site. This is how it works. Cashkaro.com features a large number of shopping sites. So instead of going directly to the site you want to shop from, what you do is, go to it via Cashkaro.com. You will need to create an account with Cashkaro before this or you can login via Twitter or Facebook. Then you search for your destination site and shop normally like you would do. What is the benefit you ask? Well, for every purchase you make, Cashkaro promises a cash back. For example, Cashkaro gives you a cash back of Rs 180 for every purchase above Rs 499 at Myntra.  All you have to do is visit Myntra through Cashkaro and make your purchase. The cash back amount will be added to your Cashkaro account in about a week. This will be in your pending cashback account. Once Myntra provides their commission to Cashkaro, they add it to your confirmed cash back account. Once your confirmed cash back amount reaches Rs 250, you can transfer it to your bank account via NEFT. In this way, you can earn while you shop. It is awesome and hassle free. Only that now you will be going to your shopping sites via another site. Nothing else changes apart from that.


Pros: Easy and simple. One click and you are taken to your site for your shopping. Cashkaro also offers restaurant offers and product deals. The process of shopping still remains the same. Cashkaro has a tie up with almost all the popular shopping sites and you are mostly likely to find what you are looking for here. The accumulation of cash back gives you a joy as you think you are spending money shopping while you are also earning it back. 

Cons: The cash back is added to the pending account almost after a week of purchase. But by the time the cash back gets confirmed you would have forgotten all about the purchase. It took about a month and a half for my cash back to get confirmed. It shall eventually get confirmed I know, but it would have been more appealing had it been more quicker. But we cannot blame the Cashkaro guys for it. As they have to wait for the commission from the respective dealers before they can confirm it. Sooner or later, the cash back will be added to your account. I mean that's all that matters at the end of the day. Right?


Shopping just got more therapeutic. So go ahead, shop and start saving!

~ Soumya

Mistress Of The Night


I blush looking at the mirror. My first thought was to remove the heavy ornaments that adorned the half of me. But I decide to wait for him to remove it instead. I blush again. I have thought about this moment like for ever. And I would do everything I could to make sure it goes perfect. I had the fresh glow and the coyness came naturally to me. I look into the mirror again and smile. The red lipstick skillfully coated on my lips would be smudged soon. As so will the vermilion on my forehead. It would be like a scene out of a daily soap, I think. The thought turns me on. I feel a thrill inside my gut and my breathing gets heavy. I laugh out loud at the anxiety I'm going through. I need to wait for him to arrive, so I save all my feelings for him. After all I had saved myself for him all these years. Just a few minutes to go and I will be completely his. In body. He had earned my soul the minute I had set my eyes on him. I walk towards the door and hear hushed noises. I know a crowd has gathered outside our room to chide us. Maybe to make some money in the bargain too. I wondered how much he would pay to come to me. Senseless ritual it was, but I suddenly wanted to know. I sit on our marital bed and am quickly transported to the fragrance around. Delicate rose petals were scattered all around the white mattress and I longed for him even more. The noise outside increased and I realized that the crowd was growing. Waiting for him to arrive. Just like me.


He remained scooped in her arms, naked. His legs dangling out of the tiny bed as he played with her hair. He swirled his fingers around her ringlet curls and watched her smile in joy. His heart blushed every time she smiled. She took him to a world beyond pleasure. A world from which he did not want to return. She teased him and surrendered to him, making him feel like a powerful victim. She owned every bit of him and he was more than glad about it. He opened his eyes with her thought and went to bed with her every night. She was the purpose of his life and she was the achievement. She had painted dreams with him and he had provided more canvas. He added in a few of his shades too. She was content being with him and he was proud of having her in his life. He wanted to show her off to the world, but she wanted to remain a secret. She was content in being the mistress of the night. She had not asked him for anything else. He had offered her a ring, but she had refused to take it. His family had finally managed to get him married elsewhere. She knew about it but it didn't matter to her. He proved that he belonged to her, in every way possible. He had stepped into her life one fine night, with a wad of cash on him. From the next night, he was a regular. 

Their relationship survived on one rule. They were soul mates in the dark. In light, they belonged to some one else.


~ Soumya

Faith & Fear

(La Jument, off the coast of Brittany, photograph by Jean Guichard )

The torrent ahead doesn't scare me
I have seen worse and got past it
When you hold on to faith and hope
Everything diminishes bit by bit

The violent waves excite me
Reminds me of all my achievements
If everything comes easily to us
Will we have the same fulfillment?

The splashes of water on my face
Remind me of the tears and pain
The troubles that I have endured
Did not let me down or go in vain

To be the successful person I am today
I have tried and worked very hard
I have won some and lost a lot
I've healed as well as scarred

I still want to remain the humble being
I do not want success to envelope me
I know that one day it shall all go away
A blank page then it shall be

This place gives me everything
It shows me both faith and fear
But it is the silence in the roaring scream
That always brings me up here

I come here every alternate day
To remind myself that I'm a mere mortal
If the sea and wind could have they way
I would be reduced to their tiny morsel


~ Soumya

Maya - Concluding Part

Read Part-1 here, Part-2 here, Part-3 here


Present day - 1.45 pm

I almost spill the orange juice on my dress as my mind and body is trying to adjust to the revelation in front of me. I feel a million things going through me. I wanted to walk away, but my legs wouldn't give way. I wanted to yell, but no voice came. I wanted to cry, but tears remained frozen. I wanted to feel angry, but felt emotionless. I slowly placed my glass on the table and stared into nothing. Mom was wiping her tears on the tissue now, leaving trails of kajal on it.

It is too much to take, I know. Sorry.” She said in between sobs.

I look up at her and feel the world spinning. I hold my head right in between my palms and look down. I feel an arm on me soon after.

Here, have some water.” My mom stood next to me.

I gulp down the entire glass and hand it back to her staring coldly into her eyes.

So, dad is not my father?” I manage to ask.

He is your father in every way. He loves you more than I do. You need to understand him.” She walks back to her seat.

Then my biological father is?” I give a blank look again.

Not important Maya, he left. He doesn’t even know you exist. Varun has been your father for twenty years. That is the truth.” She picks up her spoon.

Does dad know this? Or did you….” My eyes open wide in shock.

Mom drops her spoon in anger.

You think I would do something like that? Varun knew it, that’s why he married me so that I would not face any humiliation.”

Why didn’t you both tell me this until now?” I question.

We wanted to Maya. But Varun was worried that you might not understand us.” She says sadly.

I’m twenty, Mom. You should have told me, before deciding to leave.” I argue.

Mom looks away without knowing what to say.

Tell me Mom, why did you not tell me the truth?” I clench my teeth.

Would that have made any difference? Tell me Maya, now that you know the truth, is Varun no longer your dad?” She wipes her tears again.

Of course he will always be my dad. But still….” I stop to take a deep breath.

I know it’s a lot to happen in a day my darling. But, Varun being your father or not is not the question here.” She pours me another glass of juice.

Her risotto is all dried and pasty now. She moves the plate aside and pours herself a glass too.

What do I do now mom? Tell me. I’m so confused.” I ask.

Nothing. I cannot stay with a man who could not fall in love with me for twenty years. I’ve waited a lot Maya. I cannot see him struggle for his lost love anymore. I cannot bear it anymore…….” Her voice trailed off.

I go sit next to her now and rest my face on her shoulder.

Why is all this happening?” I ask slowly.

May be this is how it was supposed to end Maya. Varun couldn’t move on, but I’m going to try to move on.” She puts her arm around me and I can suddenly smell her fragrance. I realize how much I have missed her as I hug her tight.

What about me Mom? Where am I supposed to stay?” I feel my voice choke.

Varun needs you Maya. You are all he has. You need to stay with him.” She fondles my hair.

You? You do not need me?” I look at her angrily.

That’s an unwanted question Maya. You know better than that. I have your grandma and grandpa. Varun has no one. Of course, I shall come and visit you often. Just that, I would not be staying there. Nothing shall change between us and you Maya. Only our relationship with each other shall change.” She explains.

You lived twenty years with dad without him loving you back?” I feel a tear drop down my cheek.

Mom wipes it away and smiles sadly.

Not his fault Maya. He never got out of his first love. He still is living there. I moved on, he didn’t. I can’t blame him.”

Will you be able to forget dad?” I rest back on her shoulder as I ask this.

I shall try my best to. I’m just 40 now, I think I can move on. Right? Unless you get embarrassed or something.” She chuckles.

Mom, you are awesome. I’m so proud to be your daughter.” I hug her tight.


We just hold each other and sit in silence, with tears flowing down both our cheeks. The people around look at us weirdly, but we do not care. We remain locked in a forever embrace.

Present day - 4 pm

When I step in to the house, I’m welcomed with darkness. Dad was not back yet and I could smell and feel the emptiness in the house. I open the curtains and let the sunlight in. I can still see the two coffee mugs on the balcony. I take a deep breath and walk into my room. After a quick shower I change and put another pot of coffee on the stove. When I go to the balcony to collect the coffee mugs I hear a car honk. I look down to see my dad’s white Honda City entering the basement parking lot.

Good, he’s here.” I say to myself.

Soon enough, I hear the doorbell ring and I rush to open it. Dad stood there and is surprised to see me.

So, you’re here! Thank God!” He hugs me as if he is seeing me after ages.

Why? Where should I be?” I question.

He walks in and feels the smell of the freshly brewing coffee. He smiles wide.

I thought after knowing the truth, you might not come back to me.” He says plainly.

Before I open my mouth to answer, he interrupts.

Let me go freshen up. Pour me a cup, will you?” He says pointing to the kitchen.

I nod and walk towards the kitchen and I realize that I’m hungry. I open the fridge and take the pink and peach cake out. The strawberries on the icing looked tempting and I was amazed as to how good a cook my mom is. I slice the cake and it looks more tempting than ever. It was a white sponge with pink layers. I was drooling by the time I cut the second slice. I place two slices in a saucer and walk out to the balcony. I come back and take fresh cups of coffee and settle it down on the table in the balcony. The giant Buddha statue in the corner seemed to smile at me. I look at it in awe.

What are you smiling at?” My dad’s voice filled the air.

Nothing, dad. Just like that, you know.” I am embarrassed.

He picks up the coffee mug and the slice of cake. He bites into it and open his eyes wide.

This cake is amazing. Your mom is a genius cook.” He takes another bite.

I do not understand your relationship at all. Mom says you are amazing and you say she is. Yet, you guys do not want to live together.” I shake my head.

Come, sit next to me.” He pats the empty seat next to him.

I oblige and sip on to my coffee waiting for him to speak.


She sure is amazing Maya. We respect each other. But we cannot survive on respect alone. We need love too.” He takes a long sip of coffee.

Can’t you try to love mom?” I ask slowly.

He looks at me with his eyebrows raised.

It doesn't work that way. I tried, believe me. But I couldn’t forget my previous love. I can never forget her. It’s difficult Maya.”

But mom could. Why can’t you?” I argue.

He left her pregnant. Cheated her. It was easier for her to forget.” He explains.

What made you marry mom, dad? Especially when you knew she was…. you know…” I pause.

It just felt like the right thing to do. I had just lost my love and she was lonely. Plus she had you. We decided to start a life together around you. For you. Without any expectations. But your mom wanted more. I couldn’t give that to her. She has all the right to move on today. I’d be happy for her.” He says.

I watch him in admiration as he says this.

Thanks for coming back Maya. Even after knowing the truth. When your mom called me to tell that you know it now, I was worried.” He sounded upset.

I snuggle up close to him.

No matter what happens, you shall always be my dad. And mom is right, you are an awesome person.” I say happily.

So are you. Now finish that slice or shall I?” He teases me.

I grab it and start nibbling on it as he sips on to the coffee.

Dad, what about her?” I manage to ask.

Whom, darling?” He questions.

Your first love. Where is she now? Why did she leave you then? Why can’t you find her now?” I was spewing out questions.

I can’t Maya. She’s dead. She died in an accident when we were together.” His voice breaks.

Oh, sorry dad. Did not mean to hurt you.” I hold his hand.

It’s okay my child, I've accepted the truth. But I want to live in her memories. And die with them.” He wipes a tear from his eye.

She must have been a great lady eh?” I chide him.

He laughs.

Oh yes. She was. Just like you are now.” He pulls my ear.

What was her name, dad?” I wanted to know.

He looks at me for a long time before his lips break into a smile.

Maya.”


~ Soumya

Being Bold


Ever since I have started by blog, the word that is most associated with me has been 'Bold'.  I know it is the first word in my description, but that has been from my point of view. I did not know that others also will perceive me to be bold based on what I write only. Maybe they are right, may be not. Even when BlogAdda interviewed me, they asked me that if I had to face any hard situations because I come across as a bold person. I was startled by the question, but I think I replied what I felt then. I still feel the same now too. I am a really simple person. I wouldn't fall into the argument of being an optimist or a pessimist. I am a realist. Call me blunt or practical, but that is who I am and that is why I'm so happy today. I live life on my own terms and face the consequences myself. I am strong enough to do that. If that is called being bold, then so be it.

I do not believe in God much, although I know that there is a super power. I do not frequent temples or pray. I have been this way for the 27 years of my life and I have faced no problems because of it. I have certain other beliefs and I stick by it, no matter what. Honesty. Its the first thing I look for in any person I meet. That is the most important think in my life and shall remain. If by being honest in life, I'm being bold, then its a good thing. Right? Someone once told me that I was a coward. I was amused. I laughed for a while and then got it out of my system. People have their opinions, I have mine. Not having to defend or justify the truth, is what I believe. If that is being a coward, then please google the word. If I had lied, then hell would have consumed me by now. I spoke the truth and stuck by it. That is my definition if being bold. I'm not trying to be a Mahatma here by preaching honesty, its something that I follow and shall continue to follow. Others can make their own assumptions about it.


I do not do things just for the heck of it. I shall only do things, if I want to do it. And once I start it, I make sure I put in all my effort and passion into it until I complete it successfully. Be it cleaning, cooking, painting or writing. Also I shall only write about things that I believe in. I do not want to be a hypocrite myself. Just because it is a contest with awesome goodies to be won, I will not write if the topic is something that does not matter to me. Like for example, there was a contest where the prize was a Lenovo tablet and I had to write about a day I spend with it and how it helps me. Personally, I hate the idea of a tablet itself. Be it an ipad or a kindle. I need a phone and a laptop. Nothing in between. Hence, I did not take part in the contest. Same with the recent Sunsilk contest where you had to write about how your life will be recharged if your hair is recharged. Maybe it makes sense to some people but for me it absolutely did not. First, I have awesome hair and do not find the need to recharge it. Second, I do not believe that recharging your hair will change your life in any way. I mean, people actually thought it would? I could be bald and still successful and do all the things I want to. Maybe just talking about this will term me as bold too.

(Yes, that's my natural hair!)

I believe in being true to myself and loving myself before anyone else. Probably that makes me a narcissist and I'm totally fine with being called that. I need to love and embrace myself before I can love others. I need to be confident within myself before I can go out and meet new people. Am I the only one who believes in the 'Love Yourself' phenomena? Does that mean I'm doing a bold thing? Wow, probably I deserve more accolades than I get. Nonsense. I talk about my past freely because I do not regret it. Cal knows about my past and doesn't care two hoots about it because he believes in me. A friend of mine once told me to not tell "everything" to my husband to be. Of course I did not pay heed to it and opened my life in front of him. He fell in love with me more because of it. He must be bold too right? The next thing we know people will be calling us a bold couple, almost making it seem like we are doing drugs and parading around naked in the neighborhood.

Just because I hold on to my drink and can walk straight after a quarter, doesn't mean I am bold. It means I am someone who can hold on to her drink, how difficult is it to understand? Just because I fight with the rickshaw driver regarding extra fare, doesn't mean I am bold. I am someone who works really hard for money and do not like to waste it on greedy imbeciles. Just because I do not join the sycophancy group, does not mean that I am bold. It means that I have my own opinions. Just because I wear shorts on a vacation doesn't mean I am bold. It means that I am on a vacation and seriously what else would you wear on a beach? Just because I choose to live my life the way I want to, doesn't mean that I'm bold. Wait, on second thoughts it actually means that. It takes a lot of guts to do what you actually want to do and I make sure I do it. Without bothering about what others would say or what the society would think.


I refuse to be a slave to prejudice and society. If that means I am bold, then please call me that. 

Loud.

~ Soumya

The Chosen One


Alia looked at her husband, sleeping peacefully on their bed, and thought of her lover waiting downstairs. She then looked at the framed picture on the wall where her family posed happily around them at their wedding. She put back her luggage in the closet, switched her phone off and tucked herself under the blanket.

~ Soumya

The Promise


We shall pass through a million phases
Some might be colorful, others may be blue
No matter how tough the times are
I promise, I'll be there for you

Everything now seems to be fine
The old comforts and we welcome the new
When new beginnings may not start right
I promise, I'll be there for you

A lot of things may be thrown at us
If situations get difficult to get through
My hand will remain entwined in yours
I promise, I'll be there for you

Some people may not trust you sometimes
When fingers are pointed and suspicions brew
I shall negate all of them in a blink
I promise, I'll be there for you

If you are broke and totally clueless
If a day comes where you have nothing to do
I shall give you all I have
I promise, I'll be there for you


When your mind is baffled with piercing questions
When you have no one to speak to
I shall help you break the shackles
I promise, I'll be there for you

If our kids do not listen to what you say
Failing to see your point of view
I'll stand there nodding to your every word
I promise, I'll be there for you

If we are neglected by our own family
To it, if you want to bid adieu
I shall pack our bags together
I promise, I'll be there for you

When we grow old, things shall be difficult
It shall be tough to dye your hair or chew
I shall help you get past all with a smile
I promise, I'll be there for you

When we are all wrinkled and almost blind
Of our life, we shall remain the two people crew
Till the day I shall be laid to rest
I promise, I'll be there for you


~ Soumya

Broken Bubble


"Madam, which one? Red or pink?" The beauty parlor assistant asked me.

"Aren't they both too bright?" I squirm.

"Neon nail polish is the current trend now." She smiles.

I sigh deeply and choose the pink one. I was new to all this. This was the first time I was pampering myself to this extent. I had got a deep scalp massage, a fruit clean-up and a gold facial done. My skin had never felt this supple before as I closed my eyes and leaned back on the most comfortable chair ever. The assistants scrubbed my feet and polished my nails delicately. Two hours later, after procuring a huge dent in my pocket, I walk out feeling completely rejuvenated and awesome. I walk up to my yellow vespa and look at myself in the rear view mirror. I did look nice. I smile and strike a pose for a selfie. It turns out to be real good and I decide to post it on Instagram later. I place my hands carefully on the handle and ride back home.

Today was the day. After three whole years Jai had finally asked me out for dinner. Oh, how madly I was in love with him. Jai was my best friend and everything I have ever wanted. We had met at a common friend's party and had hit it off instantly. By the time he dropped me home that night, I was head over heels in love with him. I never confessed this to him, nor did he say anything. We stayed best friends and I continued to hide my feelings fearing that something might go wrong. But last night, he had called me in a sense of urgency.

"Wassup Jai?" I asked cheerfully.

"Samira... There is something I have been wanting to tell you." He paused with every word.

"Tell na then." I chide him.

"We have been best friends for so long. I want you to know this...." He stopped.

My heart skipped a beat. I felt goosebumps through out my body and my breathing got heavy.

"Yes Jai, continue." I whispered.

"Not like this. Can we meet for dinner tomorrow?"

I wanted to do a somersault in the air right then.

"Sure. Where?" I grinned from ear to ear.

"Some place nice. Hmmm... Olive beach?"

I almost died and went to heaven that minute. Olive beach was a place I had only seen in magazines and TV. It was a posh place and the food they served was said to be top class. I had expressed my desire to dine there during one of our casual conversations. I could not believe that he had remembered that!

"Wow, great!" I said happily.

"Good. I'll pick you up at 7 then."

"Done." I said and hung up.


I couldn't sleep a wink last night. Today morning I woke up with a smile. After lunch, I had rushed to the parlor. I checked myself in the rear view mirror again and I was pleased. I reach home soon and rush to my wardrobe. I look up at the clock. 6 pm. Great, I have plenty to time to get ready. I choose a black dress with a pink bow at the waist. Matched the nail polish perfectly, I thought. The straps of the dress sat snugly on my freshly scrubbed shoulder as I rubbed on some body glitter. I look into the mirror. I decide to let my hair loose and do my eyes boldly. After a third coat of mascara, I'm satisfied. I decide to keep my lips simple and just dab on some strawberry lip balm. I check the time again. Ten minutes to seven. After a final spray of my favorite perfume, I wait for Jai to pick me up. I hear the car honk soon enough. Since no one was at home, I lock the door, take a deep breath and walk out confidently in my black heels.

Jai is visibly pleased to see me. He watches me open mouthed as I feel a sense of pride.

"Wow, you look awesome." He smiles.

"Thank you!" I say feeling delighted by his reaction.

He opens the door for me and we set out to Olive beach. We make small talk throughout the commute and I see that he is enjoying himself. He looked different today. I see that he also has worked hard for today. He even wore cuff links! I sure was a lucky girl, I thought. We reach there soon and I learn that he has booked a pool side table. I'm thrilled as he pulls a chair for me. I feel like a princess as I settle down and watch him look at me.

"So? What is special?" I ask with a wink.

"You will know in a while." He assures me.

The waiter brings up two glasses of wine and it tasted like heaven. I said a silent prayer inside for making this happen.

"Samira, how long have we known each other?" He holds my hand in his. I reciprocate.

"Three whole years." I see something in his eye that I have not noticed before.

"So, do you trust me?"

"I'd trust you with my life, Jai" I meant every word of it.

"Oh Samira, how do I tell you this?" He fumbles.

"Let me help you. I feel the same Jai." I hold his hand tighter.

"What are you trying to say?" He gives a confused look.

"The same thing you want to say Jai." I say with a straight face.

"So you know?" His eyes open wide.

"Of course I do!" I say with a smile.

"And you are happy?"

"Obviously dude, I'm thrilled!" I'm tempted to kiss him now.

"Oh Thank God!" He heaves a sigh of relief.

"Are you happy?" I ask him.

"Of course Samira! I'm in love, what else do I need." He smiles happily.

"Its an awesome feeling right?" I reach for his hand again.

"Oh, you bet! Let me go get her then. She's waiting at the reception." He gets up to leave.

"She?" Its my turn to look confused now, but he has already left.

In a minute I see him walking towards me with his hands around Sheena, my younger sister.


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

~ Soumya

Millennial Party


An Idea!
I wake up in the morning to a beep on my phone. Sleepy eyed I look at it and a huge pop-up stares back at my face. "Vote today" it says. I hurriedly rush to the bathroom, quickly finish my routine chores and sit back on my sofa with a cup of coffee in my hand and my phone in the other. I open the app "Indian Elections - 2014" and go through the candidate list. Each candidate has his background information, educational qualification and almost every detail that Google has about him. All this held within the palm of my hand in a single app. Being a lazy bum, I do not want to travel to a certain location, stand in queue and then cast my vote. Hence, I go to the 'Vote Now' feature of the app and with the click of a button on my phone, I cast my vote. The minute I cast my vote, the app disables itself. That way it ensures that only one vote per person. The app then is put into use for the next elections. Easy right?

Have you all heard of the term called 'Millennials'? I guess most of us can be called millennials. Millennials are the generation Y kids born after 1980. 93% of the social media and social app users are millennials. In 2012, 63% of the smart phone users were millennials. 75% of Facebook users are millennials. More than 50% of the users on Twitter are millennials. Any question? Any suggestion? Any situation? Millennials only look for answers in the social media these days. And it shall continue to be the same for a long long time. Marketing wizards are targeting millennial minds to boost their sales. Because once a gen Y hooks on to something, he makes sure the people around him know about that. Thus engaging a whole mass within the area of interest. Social media has become the go to spot for anything and everything.


57% of Indians are millennials. The Indian youth as we are popularly called. After Arvind Kejriwal took over the powerful seat of Delhi, the whole nation is expecting changes to happen over night. Why, even I am one of them. While passing by a pothole laden street, I curse the government. While I see buses carrying twice the capacity of people it should, I curse the government. While I see a traffic policeman collecting two hundred rupees from a biker without issuing a receipt, I curse the government. I can think of a million instances, where in I have done it. So have many of my millennial buddies. After the evolution of many social apps, voting has only become a pride factor to show off the ink mark on our fingers by posting pictures of it on Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp etc. Our responsibility towards our country has come down to just that. A measly photograph. If you do not want to be a part of 'Choosing the leader' process, then you have no right to curse or get angry at the government. Most of us think that we are only one person and how will one vote make a difference? If everything thinks like that and votes, won't there be a difference? It all lies in the mind.

The 'Aam Aadmi Party' comes with a lot of expectations. Every single day in the news paper I see someone wearing a Gandhi cap and carrying a broom wanting to be a part of the most talked about party. How they want to change the country I don't know. But at least I'm happy that they are wanting to be a part of the change. Our parents and their parents might cast their vote based on the oldest party that they have been following since eons. They might not even know who the current candidate is, yet they would want to cast their vote to that party only. It later becomes a hereditary trend and people just expect their next generation to carry on the same. I wouldn't call it foolishness, I'd call it ignorance. While times have changed, how can people not? When technology has improved, why still stick to the same old process of canvasing and begging for votes. 


Indians are inherently lazy people. These are the people who want their daily bread and magazines dropped to their doorstep. Expecting them to research on candidates or walk two miles to cast a vote is clearly not done. Its the instant generation now. People want everything to be done in a wink or in a click. Millennials, as more than half the population of India, can bring out this change. When there are apps like 'How to impress a girl', 'How to bake a cake', 'How to french kiss', why can't there be more useful apps that actually make some sense. It will at least bring out the curiosity in gen Y, if not involve in it fully. A youngster gets the hang of it and soon we will see a whole bunch of millennials following the trend. The only way to get the youth to participate in something these days, is to bring it to them. So let us do that.

Put on your thinking caps India. Create an app that shall house every single detail of the current elections. Primarily, every single detail of the candidates. If they expect the people to choose them as their leader then the people have all the right to know about them. From their childhood, to their education, to their hobbies, to their family life should be put out for the people to see. How educated are our politicians today? Do we know? Do we care? The first thing that comes to all our minds when the word politics is mentioned is 'Under the table money'. Is that all? Reminds me, the criminal background too should be mentioned as part of the candidate profile. People should be able to use their brains and see who can take care of our country better. An educated candidate, or a candidate with a strong backing party. Like I said before, it all lies in the mind.


Gen Y can check out the candidates, have a discussion on them on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter or on social apps like WeChat and Whatsapp. Everything already exists today, all we need is the right integration. The app should be a one time app. Install, check out the candidates and vote. Boom! The app is disabled immediately. All the government has to do now is to collect the data and count. Yes, I agree it might be a tedious process, but I'm sure it is much simpler than the already existing one. You want the youth to vote, you need to entice them with something new and something that is said to be "in" with today's technology. Asking the gen Y to take a step back can be termed as blasphemy. Talk to them in the language they understand and then you can see the results. The curious mind, is always known to do wonders. Seduce the mind, and there you have the most engaging audience ever.

The millennial party has the right to choose a leader and create a nation. Give them the platform and they will show you the results.


This post is written for the 'Indian General Elections 2014 with social mobile apps' contest on Indiblogger in association with WeChat.

~ Soumya