Library and Caffeine

Library and CaffineSherlock Holmes walked into the library. He had heard it was a nice place to hangout. A friend of his recently told him that it was a place for intellectuals. Sherlock knew he had to go.

‘Finally a place, when there is no case’. He thought. ‘Poem I should try’

The place was really nice. It was more than a library. He adjusted the collar and tilted the hat to cover his entire eyes and most of his face. He walked in wanting not to get recognized. If someone had recognize him that moment, then it should have been without seeing the face and just with the silhouette. Had that happened, Sherlock would have got a quarter of his regular dosage of pride. But sometimes people are not good at spotting other people.

He memorized the path he had to take, to get to the section with the nice table. He could see it from the entrance. It was visible, yet far from the entrance. There was a woman, whom he will not mention to Watson. He purposely did not read what section it was. It had beautiful cushion on the sofa-like chairs by the table and the woman on one of the chairs. He walked blind with the tilted hat. He was well aware of the memorized path.

The section had books on feminism. The woman had no need to read. She can write a book again on feminism. Actually she could do that (again) for any -ism. She was intellectual, beautiful, and uptight when she sat. Had so much degrees of education, which she always chose not to use or write behind her name anywhere. Everyone knew she hated to introduce people about the education she had had, and the prestigious institutions she obtained them from. And no one ever wondered how they knew every detail about the education she had had, and the prestigious institutions she obtained them from. She always introduced herself as a woman and nothing more, yet people always knew who and what she was. That was how it was in India.

The blind, well-informed and aware Sherlock, switched off his blindness by removing his hat. He sat opposite to the feminist. She was actually a lot of -ists.

“This is a nice chair. Fabric from Mumbai, and through Chennai and then to London, I deduce from the-” He was interrupted in the middle of his ice breaker.

And she did it with the with the words “You deduce it from…” and she completed his deduction in her voice. Holmes was shook, but serene outside. He instantly knew who she was, he had not caught a proper sight until then. He had not looked at her for effect. And when he did, he knew. She was the woman from the TV talk shows. She made men commit guilt-suicides, and women do push-ups crying.

‘What is she doing in this town? I am sure no one other than me streams Indian television. No one knows her here.’
Sherlock can act like he deduced everything, when he feeds her some of her own portfolio. Actually he could deduce, just by a look at her. And he chose to actually deduce. Only then he realized he did not need the knowledge first place. He broke down to the tiniest details just by a ten second observation.

And he finished his deductions “so that is you. And no I am not interested in the coffee you are going to offer.” And it seemed like he picked a random book from the rack behind. It was out-of-place. The positioning was a mistake by a reckless user. Sherlock chose not to think bad about the stranger. Because it read ‘The science of deduction’. That is why he chose the place. Not the girl, not the chair. He had not read the section’s name, but noticed the book on the shelf.

He had told everything about her. Not by the knowledge but by deduction alone. She should react the way everyone had done when they are deduce-profiled. And she did react, but a bit different.

“Wow! That is so cool. Do you know me? Are you a fan of my blog?” the big O in her happy mouth fixated. She was proud someone recognized her. And the someone was tall and looked strong and smart. She was happy. The someone was not even Indian. She was delighted. She did not know him. She was in pink clouds of heaven.

‘She does not know me’ he thought. He placed the book in front of her and told that he was the author, Sherlock Holmes. She had not given much notice to the book, or his words, or his name. Anyway she did not know Sherlock Holmes. She was not from London. He deduced her ignorance, and chose to explain.

“I deduced all those things I told about you from…” He continued. Talking about the shoes, the direction she faced, the mobile phone she held, the mark in her nose, the way her lips are, the tissue she reused, the section she sat, her confidence, the stare, the voice, the eyes. Everything contributed in deducing things about her. He had even praised her a little on the course of his explanation. His mind changed, he would take the coffee she is going to offer when he finished with the Science of deduction on her. She was beautiful, and a person like Sherlock can see more than what other people could see. Yet she remained beautiful.

It was a performance he realized. Which was usually more than enough for a human being to offer coffee. Science, statistics and history suggested the same. Also he was in his best shirt that day. Long time since he had coffee with an intellectual like her. He smiled at her when he finished, her face changed from sweetness and surprise to…

“Judgmental bastard” she said. “Stupid snap judgments on women you don’t even know about.”

Splash!

The great Sherlock had missed to notice the cup of cappuccino on the floor. He noticed the coffee only when it hit his face.

He wiped his face, did not look around and continued reading his own book. She had walked out. He drank the little coffee that was left in the cup. He began reading his own book. It was not snap judgment but deduction, and not a bit was wrong as he had his own memory of the newspaper articles and interviews he had seen, to compare it with. But she choose to give him some cappuccino and disgrace him for the alleged judgment. The worst curse word of the century. And if one reads a chapter, after wiping his face off thick frothy coffee, before getting up to leave, it is not seen as disgrace.

A chapter he read before he vanished from the library.

No one in London knew how he felt that day, or if it was one of the reasons he chose to make the fall, because this was just an urban legend. They just knew for sure that Sherlock stopped deducing random, intellectual, female strangers, since the visit to a library.

In The Darkness, As a Light

In The Darkness, As a Light

Aristotle says there are only 36 plots that can be narrated in stories. It is true that no stories have been told apart from these 36 plots in literature theatre, cinema, and narratives. I seriously reject his theory and I believe stories can be narrated that are fresh from these thirty six plots and one day I would love to see myself doing it. On the first hand, apart from indulging into the true false debate of Aristotle’s theory, here a deep introspection is required. To introspect just think what differences you could find between the content of Vietnam colony (1990’s Tamil movie), Avatar (2009), and Embrace of the Serpent (2016 Columbian film)

Avatar is the story about a group of humans trying to colonize Pandora, a moon inhabited by humanoid tribal alien species called Na’vi, by waging a war against them to acquire a unique resource, a rock unobtanium. To gain their trust for this a human, the protagonist is sent, with the mission of getting himself accepted by them as their own. He is given a new identity for this.

Vietnam colony speaks about a group of corporate trying to acquire a colony from its people. ‘Hero’ is sent on a mission to gain their trust, and make them accept him and finally convince them to give up their land to the corporate.

A part of Embrace of the serpent deals with an American agent posing himself as an enthusiastic traveler to a native Colombian tribe, but actually this agent is on a mission to check the possibilities of colonizing the place for its resources.

Aristotle seems to have a point, right? I fear and prevent myself from a restrictive thought, generally any thought that narrows down the liberalities of stories. I think due to the same reason great storytellers reject the concept of genres in stories. If genres become path pavers for a storyteller when creating stories then their stories will get into confinements. Genres are only for the viewer or reader to pull him in to the story. So, genres are not needed to be worried about by a writer when writing a piece. Then what they need to worry about. For this, take the case of the above three movies. These movies speak about colonization of native places by a foreign body for resources through sending an agent to earn the natives’ trust and check the possibilities of colonizing. But the differences start emerging when timeline and space of the stories come into play. According to the timeline and space, the science, geopolitics, economics and every worldly aspects change altogether to speak different philosophy of the world in which the story is happening. So, the characters’ traits, attributes change altering the thought process and eventually the motive of characters. This motive affects the decision taken by the characters at different points and course changes. Then, journey which the piece offers differs to give people different experience. That’s why the above taken movies give people varied experiences though bearing thematic and plot similarities. These worldly characteristics and characters play a Permutation Combination game to yield rhythmic narratives that are contextually different and vast to manipulate the emotions invested on it. Every art has its own rhythm but especially cinema vows much to music as both art forms, with their rhythmic nature of visuals and sounds commands the audience and embark them into a journey of emotions by tone and mood easily. Yeah, stories in novel also set the tone and mood by choice of words for a particular context, but cinema and music are much more related. Speaking about this rhythm, it gets constructed as a whole and called ‘structure’. Also, contexts do come together to choose its own medium of narrating the story that is ‘form’. Structure and Form are like amoeba, whose shape or outlook can have infinite possibilities. I think this nature of stories make them unique and vast as sky.

Generally, Form and structure are dictated by the voice or views of auteur narrating stories. To make clear this point I take the example of a recent Tamil film’ Visaaranai’. Visaaranai voices against the ‘Strong eat the weak’ instances that are happening in a democratic society. It speaks about Human Rights of people in lower spectrum with no voice of their own being exploited by people at higher level in hierarchy. Misuse and selfish use of Power, Control by a system’s higher authority lead to exploitation of those who do not adjust with the ‘morals’ proposed by the former. This voice of the filmmaker is evident in the film’s form as the first half of the movie narrates voiceless immigrants who were working day and night to meet their means [one of the character in the film works day and night, is also against ‘Human Rights’ but he doesn’t know that he is exploited for work] with no identity become vulnerable to a crime trial that they were in no way related. They were abused by the stronger police officials to admit the crime that they never committed who enjoy unquestionable power to do anything they want to solve a case. Then, the latter half explores the intricate nature of ‘hierarchy levels’ in Police department and its own ‘inside’ exploitation of power. These two prisms being thematically connected investigates the different trials that come together in film’s form and structure to serve filmmakers’ voice against ‘Strong eat the weak’ nature of the system. Try yourself by taking big epic like Mahabharata to small short stories. Then, the vastness will be understood.

What is seen is different but the form and structure with its rhythm call for an intellectual debate and makes us to get connected spiritually thus giving a transported experience. I think that’s why Stanley Kubrick once said

“FILM IS NOT WHAT YOU SEE, BUT IS WHAT YOU FEEL FROM IT”.

May be. Also, I don’t reject the concept of content or plot entirely. If Content is to be seen as the ‘Parameter’ of an art then Form, Structure and Rhythm are the ‘Metameters’ that are to be felt. I think these ‘Metameters’ are the variable for an art form to reinvent itself in evolution of mankind with changing time.

Personally, as a cinephile, this understanding of form and rhythm struck me hard by watching films of great filmmaking auteur Mr.Abbas Kiarostami.He is born as an Iranian but the whole world of filmmaking vows to him. With his stories that are simplest eventually becoming truest to life has invented the form and rhythm through his deep vision. For example, his Docu-Fiction ‘CLOSE UP’ blends the form of both documentary and fiction greatly to give an unforgettable experience. His stories are socially responsible and he had the intention not to mislead any viewer by glamorizing morally bad values. Great auteurs return to moral stories at one point of time but Abbas Kiarostami from his start narrates stories with highest sensibilities for morals. By seeing his films, I wonder if love is the universal communication and connect between different people at various parts of the world with numerous differences then stories are also universal communication and connect between people, with Form, Structure and rhythm being the medium to express. On being universally communicative, the Master Kiarostami says-

“In order to narrate stories that are Universal, you need to be rooted to your own culture”

Letter to My Ex-Best Friend

Friend

Dear Ex-best friend,

Yes, I called you that! 2 years ago if someone had told us that this would have been our future, they would have received a punch on their face. But today, here we are embracing the harsh truth of reality.

Today morning on my way to the office I saw three kids engrossed in a conversation, which I couldn’t help eavesdrop. They were crazy, they had the same amount of craziness that we once had. And, then it struck me maybe somewhere we did not take enough efforts to save our friendship. We went to the same college, the same office and then what happened? Something went a different way. We did not mind balancing things. And that’s how three became two.

I wish I could say I miss you, but I don’t! Strange that I just said that, but I really don’t. Given that, I sometimes stalk your facebook profile to see how you’re doing. And, I see you with all your new friends in a far off land and then I realized that it really doesn’t matter to me who you are with anymore. Because you’re not that girl who urged me to bunk classes with you, you are not that trouble maker for whom I would do anything. You are now this whole new person now, the one I really don’t know.

You have changed so much, so much that I am really finding it hard to recognize the new person that you have become. Everything inside you has turned into plastic. You have changed so much that you wouldn’t even tell me that you were leaving town.

When was the last time we spoke? I still remember the phase of our life where we couldn’t go a day without exchanging as much as a pointless text. So much has happened since we last talked and I’ve wanted to tell you about it all, but you’re no longer the person you promised you would be.

Do you even understand how any of this feels? We were supposed to be friends for eternity, we were supposed to be planning my wedding together. We were supposed to go on a world tour together. We were supposed to torture and haunt people together. We were supposed to be making memories. Instead, you are somewhere and I’m here trying to avoid  people who ask me why things are not like before.

It sometimes drives me crazy to know that all these years of our friendship meant nothing to you. All the vows that we took have become nothing but words. I wouldn’t forgive you for that. Not today, not any day. We both had to choose a path in our lives and I wish mine never intersects yours. Not anymore!

Not hate, not love either,

Me

Mother (Women) India

women

Disclaimer: Not for or against to whomsoever it may concern.

“Thaaye un peyar sollumbodhe idhayathil mellisai paayudhey…” goes the lyric of a famous song about India. But the topic in discussion is nothing related to the inspirational and eternal history of the country, rather it is about the part of the society whose pronoun is used to address the country as a whole. While ‘Mother India’ or ‘Bharat Maatha’ is beginning to lose her value across the world, the ‘mothers’ and ‘maathas’ in the country have never been valued, let alone losing it. The appreciation and salutations of women have been restricted only to literature.

Hitler quoted, “Women are nothing but child-bearing machines!”. Here, the basic difference between an average Indian male and Hitler is that Hitler was brave enough to tell it out. Even in mythologies and History, the ladies who were described to be ‘powerful’ were more or less inferior to one male or another. Kannagi burnt a whole city, but she was helpless when she came to know her husband had a secret affair. So why are women projected weaker than a man? The answer is very simple, Indian society is male-chauvinistic!

When the Government announced a 33% reservation for women a couple of years back, it was a surprise for people all over the country because, we people, in our head never believed that a woman would not dare get into public and handle power. But the bitter truth is that for a decade now, even in Board exams, the percentage of girls clearing it, is more than that of the boys! And then suddenly, the country began to encourage (or more precisely, ‘hyped’) the female society. In every field, may it be sports, politics, research and even cinema, females were given more importance. This was and is the problem of our country, we either over-rate something (or someone) or under-rate them.

Old, conservative country was drastically replaced by a newer and more modern country (only physically). Women were made to wear ‘exotic’ and sexier attires to make others believe they were no less to a man (‘lesser’, attires to be more precise.) This change was accepted only by certain parts of the society. Entertainment industry and politics used it as a strategy to gain familiarity. But, middle and lower middle class found it hard to accept.

Even now, though women are given equal importance in education, the crime against women has constantly been rising. The famous ‘Nirbhaya’ and ‘Swathi’ incidents were just a sample of what’s happening in the country for many centuries now. It’s of no use talking about development and empowerment when the very existence of a part of the society is questionable.

This violence against women can be minimized only by strict laws and instant justice. That said, it is only in people’s hands to bring about a change, however trivial and philosophical it may sound.

Again, not all men in the society are cruel or evil, but then, there is a theory in statistics which states ‘The behavior of a population can be determined from its samples’ and the samples we choose determine the society. Respect the other gender and you’re already pronouncing the ‘D’ of Development!

The Current State of Being

being

I was reading Siddhartha Mukherjee’s “The Gene-An intimate History”, when I decided to take a break and sit outside my hostel. An old couple live nearby guarding the hostels and herding their sheep. When I sat down on the stairs, I looked at a boy lying down outside the hut, while the old woman was sound asleep. The boy was waving something in his hand, that seemed like a pen to me, as I thought why would a woman be sound asleep at 6:30 in the evening, when I was paranoid about wasting my time and doing something productive. My thoughts took me to Jared Diamond’s “Guns Germs and Steel”, where he explains why countries and people have turned out the way they are today. I thought about this big imbalance in shift of living conditions between me and the old couple, which enabled me to get an education, and let me ponder on atoms, genes, bytes and my own existence. Contrastingly, their conditions have made them anchored to the most primitive needs as food for dinner, and eventual thoughts of earning money to get them their next day’s meal.

I am in a midst of this point in my life where, most of them around me are concerned about job placements and salary packages, and me, being a passionate filmmaker wanting to take the course of hard way, projecting myself to nearby future of taking odd menial jobs to support myself as I gain contacts to make a feature film. At that point, I think of myself waiting to meet a friend who has not been in touch for a while, with this inherent taken-for-granted idea that he would buy me lunch which would save me some money.

At each point in life, it has taken me a few seconds to jump into thoughts about my future self of me having a passionate encounter with a sexy lady, which are more recurrent these days. In both my instant projections, and in the woman’s sleep, I see a form of escapism. Of losing touch with reality where instead of me projecting myself into fantasies, I could ground myself back to reality by writing, or drawing a comic, or reading, or taking a photograph or at least making up mental footnotes of the philosophies of patterns observed in a crowded place with a lot of different dynamics. My assumption about the woman in a nap being an escapist could be wrong, and she could have been sleeping of sheer exhaustion. Yet, I can project herself worrying about money for next day’s meal, which would again make her escape into some sort of a medium, again getting hit by the ground hard reality and this vicious cycle continuing. But, the state she is in is an exact reflection of the state I am in, except I am more intellectually mature compared to her when it comes to dealing with my problems. She seems to be this walking pond with clear water, reflecting my own pattern of existence, not trying to interfere, just like we infer ponds to be. Rivers change courses, shapes stones and pathways, but to us ponds are docile just like lonely ants. Then, as I walk on the road, I see many ponds walking opposite, along, sideways, discussing grade sheets, movie production issues, thesis papers, stock markets, hike in salaries, looking at each other, but never interested in observing their reflection in others, as I recall my childhood walking along roads observing people, wondering the vastness and uniqueness of everything around me, conscious of the passing second grazing my hand, as I call it “the current state of being”.

Selfless Souls

Plato and Aristotle

Over the years, we have had one or many favorite teachers at a point of time. Even if we get stuck in an asylum-like college, there will always be one life-saving, cool teacher who instantly becomes our favorite. If you haven’t had one yet, wait-for-it.

But in all honesty, how much do we know about these people? To be honest, not much. Of course we get to know about some of their family issues now and then via some of the honest, rambling teachers. But do we really understand their feelings?

We pass out of our respective schools or colleges, partying with our friends, celebrating with our beloved parents, make the customary phone calls to relatives we meet only during family functions or reunions, but we don’t bother to even make an effort to go see the teachers who played a big part in what we are today.

We may make fun of them, criticize them and even go to an extent where we swear at them. But like it or not, we are indebted to them in some way or other. I consider imbibing knowledge in others as a godly deed. They may fail to impress you at times, but be reminded that at some point of time they taught us something. It may have been somethingwe should follow or an example of what we shouldn’t become.

I remember when I was a little boy, one of my school teachers once saying these exact words when I refused to listen to him, “You will become a teacher, this is my curse!” in a funny way of course. Although it tickled my funny bone back then, but now I understand the depth of what he said. We will never know what they go through unless we are in their position.

Why am I writing this all of a sudden you ask?

This was called for again by one of my teachers. First day of a new semester in college and I sat as usual waiting for the new teacher to arrive. He did eventually and asked us about our performance in the finals. The mundane “Not bad sir” echoed across the classroom. He then asked us if any one of us went to the respective teachers to tell them how he/she had done or informed about the results. As expected the answer was a big fat zero.

He sighed deeply and said the words which prompted this outburst of mine, “We don’t expect you to come meet us with large sweet boxes or ask for parties. All we expect is a small conversation telling us about how you fared, be it good or bad. We don’t expect a thank you. We just hope you remember us after we part ways, academically.”

Although he said all this with a small smile on his face, there was genuine pain in his words. So next time you finish an exam, go meet those selfless souls, it will definitely make their day.

I would like to quote Alexander the great here,

“I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.”

And do you know who his teacher was? The great philosopher, Aristotle.

How Oil and Nuclear Energy are Dictating the World?

Nuclear Power Plant

“Oil Politics is World Politics”, said someone near me while I was on a bus, travelling. The return journey had to be by train and obvious choice was to buy a newspaper to pass time. I did. Being much involved into economics and business after skimming through the headlines I turned back to the Business page. It read,”Crude oil prices hit all time high, Indian economy set to suffer a big blow”. Everything suddenly struck chord.

As a Chemical Engineering graduate I knew a bit of economics behind crude oil dictating the world economics. Let me try to explain it in layman terms.

The picture below is the ever humble demand-supply curve. The blue curve tells you that when the demand for quantity for a product decreases, the price of the product increases. The green curve tells you that when the quantity of supply of the product increases, the price of the product increases.

Demand-Supply

How are these curves related to crude oil price?

After an oil rig(Oil rigs drill into earth and extract crude oil) is build, the cost of production of crude remains the same whether the rig is operated at 100% of its capacity or 60% of that. When the demand for quantity of crude oil is low the producers of crude oil are forced to operate the rigs at a lower capacity but since the operating costs remain the same they are required to increase the price of crude oil produce to cover up the costs. Also when prices shoot up due to low demand for quantity, the producers are forced to supply(or produce) more oil to cover up the costs. Thus increasing the oil price. Demand and Supply dictate crude oil prices

What does increase in oil price do?

It does a lot. A rise in oil price means that the nations spending money into importing oil are forced to spend more money increasing the price of the end products such as petrol and diesel. What happens when the cost of petrol and diesel increase? the cost of any form of transportation increases. Logistics sector gets hit. Cost of bringing that 1 kg of tomato to a market near you increases thus the cost of tomato increases (However oil prices are not the only factor with which tomato prices are fixed). You know what happens when the cost of a kg of tomato shoots up. Bonkers! Bonkers! everywhere. Tomato is just one such example.

Crude oil is set to rule everything around you for many more years to come. Something that is similar to crude oil and currently one of the kingpins is Nuclear Energy. Dividing Nuclear Energy into two, Weapons and Electricity. Electricity from Nuclear Energy has been one of the most efficient ones to have been discovered. A major quantity of energy that India produces is from Nuclear plants. And almost similar to it is Nuclear weapons. Nuclear Weaponry has been a back bone of National Supremacy. World nations conduct nuclear tests and show the world their supremacy. Indigenous nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon launchers are built and tested to alert the other nations. These tests protect a nation from being attacked by another with the fear of being counter-attacked. Thus dictating the world.

While Crude oil economically dictates, nuclear energy strategically dictates the world. Both of them combined are current rulers of the world.

 

As it Happened

whitegown

What’s happening in Sara’s place? I saw flashes of light this morning. Ambulance arrived.

This is something out of my control. I think it is him. He is the one for me. He is the one I was waiting for a long time exclaimed nineteen year old Sara. Yes, you are right! It is Sara that tall, bubbly, dusky … Siddhartha’s ‘Ex girl friend’. “We were strangers until my friend introduced him to me. I experienced that opposites attract is true when I met Siddhartha. We were hi and bye friends before we officially talked for a reason. ” recollects Sara.

Sara: So are you interested in playing this role in my play?

Siddhartha: Yes. Actually I like the script. It’s nice dude. Did you write it?

Sara: (he wasn’t listening to it I know that) Yes it’s mine.

Siddhartha: I need clarification in the climax. Can you please repeat it?

Sara: yeah! See the plot is like you want to go to…

(Siddhartha was just watching her playing with the pen, expressing the story in the best way through her eyes. He saw her passion for theatre. He liked her for the drama queen she had been.)

So you become what you wanted to be. Lights fade… lights off.

Siddhartha: Now I get it. When do we start practice?

Sara: Probably Monday! Okay I got to go.

Siddhartha, he is my first crush. I told you we were opposites. His favourite colour was black, mine was white. He loves and has a dog, I hate dogs. He was an automobile freak. I know nothing about them. He hates Chennai especially its traffic. I love Chennai no matter what people say about it. He doesn’t like the institution we study and as usual we were opposites. I loved the place, the people, the weather, the monsoon rains, the greenery, my department; it’s weird when I recollect saying of course I liked a few subjects. He on the opposite had no friends, made no friends, hardly talked to people and wasted a semester in FIFA, DOTA and GTA. That’s a brief introduction about us.

“Next monday we have internals let’s start at least this Wednesday” I told him over the phone. He said yes but never did. “Sara! It’s me. Hey I want your notes to study for tomorrow’s exam” pleaded a voice over the phone. I had never helped anyone in this situation instead I made them cry for not asking me in advance. But this guy is someone I could never say no to.

I liked him. He even did. I woke him up every morning after a battle of seven- five minutes he asks for before he gets up from bed. Between I get dressed up, skip my breakfast to meet him for a morning coffee and then we went to class. I sit in the third row second column and he at the fifth row third column. I started falling for him. I often made eye contact with him, took all his practical works, records, assignments and made him free so that he talked to me a little longer after college hours. I always put an extra effort towards everything. In particular, studies. “Love always takes you in the path of success and if it doesn’t it’s not love”. I read this quote in Facebook. I wanted to prove that it’s love. So I did.

We now started understanding each other well. I convinced myself to like dogs. I wear black frequently now. I also search about the release of new cars in Google. I have transformed myself to a person whom I never wanted to be. He on the other hand stayed the same. Again we were opposites. I gathered courage and confidence to propose him before he left for his 20th birthday to his hometown. He said yes the next week. Now ours has become an unusual love story with usual stuff in between. The usual long night talks, text messages under the table, frequent lunch dates at canteen, gifts, surprises and fights. But, something in me said it is not going to last long.

I was no longer able to resist being that person he made me. To be precise, I made myself for him. I started realising; apparently thinking that I have changed so much for him. On the other hand he has done nothing for me and this induced that spark of battle in our love. I often quoted this and made every petty issue big. “I never asked you to love me, or change yourself for me. Honestly I don’t love you because you are not the person I loved. It was just a mask” he shouted. He started avoiding me. I tried calling him to meet but, ended up leaving voice messages. My status said “Love stories are written to be felt, not to be read”. His status replied “I hate love stories”. When mine was “What’s more painful than being hurt by the one who loved you the most?” His read “no pain no gain!” Was this intentional? I didn’t know. I always had a smile when I thought of him. This time we are not opposites. He felt the same. His ego stopped him from talking to me. My self-respect asked me not to. And, Time separated us.

‘I saw him with his family recently in the alumni meet and I was talking to his wife. She was beautiful. She has exactly the same ideologies, wishes, aspirations as that of him. She must have been the one for him. They are so perfect together. And now I realise “opposites just attract but only like dissolves in like.” After a hard day of struggle I gained the courage to talk with him. I saw him with his friends. He was coming to me. I smiled. He smiled. Not every smile leads to a happy ending. We shook hands, said bye! And again we became strangers but this time with memories’. She cried.

Yesterday I saw him offering condolences to her family, placing her favourite white gown over her tomb, crying at her funeral. I suddenly noticed that it is the same white gown she is wearing now and my Ouija board burned to ashes.

A Coffee Meeting

wait

“Wake up, Charvi!”, mother called out. 6.30 A.M. Mom’s voice as wakeup call was so much solace rather than the alarm tone that would ring on working mornings at my apartment. It was supposed to be a happy weekend for me at home. I was one another from the corporate world that loved the job she does but awaits weekends to get a break from assignments and projects.

But that was not going to be just another weekend!

There is another very special reason why I awaited this day. I smiled at the sun that was being generous by not throwing strong rays on my face. I wanted to look beautiful today. I did not want to do anything. I was just waiting to hear his voice. Yes! Aayush had said we shall talk today.

It had been a really long time since I caught the light from his beaming eyes, laughed at his simple jokes, held his warm hands and had a walk out on the beach side.

I met him during my third year at college, not even knowing he existed before. We both seemed to be the ‘keep it simple’ kind of people. Extroverts, both. Always analysing life. No wonder we liked each other, that later grew to be a relationship.

I was elated when we both got placed in the same company during campus recruitments. Ended up being offered projects at the same place. My joy knew no bounds! I totally loved having him beside at office. He liked it too. But in due course, I was able to sense that he smiled only because I wanted him to. It shouldn’t go this way for long, I decided.

This was our conversation:

“What is that you are not telling me, Aayush! What is bothering you?”

“This is not what I am Charu, I don’t find any meaning by typing codes all day. It feels like I am living with machines, killing literature. I just want to go away. Find my life!”

That was when I could feel my temples throb. It was hard for me to swallow. But what I cared more for was his life. I wanted him to love whatever he does, like me.

After passing educational and physical fitness exams with really good results, Aayush joined the Army. I have never seen him so full of life since we took our software projects. And now he comes home only during annual vacations.

We all might feel a little insecure about his career. But Aayush felt, to him, this is perfect.

I was waiting at the table for his arrival with a steaming hot coffee by my side. I wanted to etch every moment with him in my mind since our meetings were reduced to countable times a year.

There he was, finally, with that light in his eyes, sturdy build, reassuring smile.

“Hi Charu! Wassup? Looks like you a long conversation with the moon?”

“Yes. Was catching some of its radiance when you weren’t around!”

Our conversations were always unusually interesting.

I felt like he was all that was real, unmindful of what was happening around me. I could feel myself becoming more alive as the conversation built on. It brought me so much happiness to look right at him, sitting opposite to me. We spoke for 2 hours, time didn’t seem to exist.

Soon it was time for him to go. “Bye Charu, Don’t bore the moon and miss me too much.”, “Haha! You take care, fighter”. I wanted to see him until he left the room, the way he would turn to go; his bold, quick walk. But those little hopes were dead as soon as I saw “Call Disconnected” on the Skype window!