Saturday, October 24, 2009

U & I

“Hi there, my best friend”, Geetha was all smiles standing in front of Kunal.

“Phu pheu, what a figure!” Kunal blew a short whistle on witnessing the sight.

“Oh…” Geetha blushing with pride said “you noticed: I have been working out”.

“Not you fatso! Look there!!” Kunal pointed. Indeed a hot girl was taking her luggage from the bus and arranging them on the platform.

“Wow! ... the way she bends down to count each one of her bags … I did die to be one of them to get that view”.

“Enough Mr. Pervert, remember that you are talking to a girl! And also try to remember that our bus is in the next platform and it’s about to leave any minute now!!”

“Chill. Lets go, she is leaving anyways.”

On entering the bus Geetha asked, “hey Kunal…”


“What’s our seat numbers?”

“Just a sec, let me check it out; hmm … it’s 21, 22”

“Ah! Here they are: a window seat and another aisle, so …”

“Don’t! even think about it …” Kunal exclaimed; pushing Geetha aside he continued “… the window seat is mine!” and dashed for the seat.

“Kids!!” Geetha remarked and settled down next to him.

“And how long do you intend to enjoy the beauty of void?” Geetha remarked, perplexed over Kunal’s silence today. “What happened to you today? Why are you quiet?”

“What? … oh … yah”

“Any problem?”

“No no … tell me”

“You are the extrovert here and you are asking me to speak?”

“No, I am such a gullible boy” Kunal chuckled.

“Hmmm … I c. Hey what gift did you buy for the wedding? Geetha asked trying to start a conversation.

“Actually, I thought why waste 5k on such trivial things, for our special friend deserves something with a personal touch” Kunal winked.

“Continue …”

“So …” started Kunal, with a smile that comes only when you explain something that you feel is ingenious and continued “I wrote a small piece on the couple, for them to cherish it for their lifetime.”

“WTF! Okay Mr. Father of Navajot Singh Sidhu, we don’t need a paper filled with all the words from Oxford Dictionary!”

“Hey, no personal damages okay! I did … err … buy a beautiful painting. But tell me, from when did you start listening to commentaries?”

“Why? I shouldn’t?”

“I thought you watch them only for the men in it” chuckled, Kunal.

“Shut up. I observe the match too okay.” Geetha in reply said with a blushing smile, then turning straight faced which later settled into a smile, she continued “ not like someone who is not fit enough to be the 16th man!”

“Oye! I bowl well”

“And who will do the rest? Like say stopping the ball?”

“Do you want to know what the painting is all about or not?” Kunal demanded, attempting to direct the conversation into safer zone.

“Yah tell ... sorry”

“Hmm…” Kunal took out his cell showed her the photo of the painting. She had a weird look on her face while looking over the painting so he started describing it. “It’s basically a wonderful scenic location covered with greenery with a river that runs through the middle, dividing the land into two. There is a guy on one side of the shore and the girl at the other … waiting.”

After a long pause Geetha asked, “That’s it?”

“Why? Isn’t that enough?”

“You were talking about personal touch and all but …?”

“Ah!! Now this is where things get more exciting” With a smile which brings all the smartness to the fore, Kunal asked “what else do you see in the painting apart from what I just told you now?” She tried viewing at different angles, she even rotated the mobile in bizarre directions but Kunal cutting short her analysis said “Open your vision my dear just an open eye won’t do good. If you look at the left patch of land can you see that it resembles the shape of ‘7’?”

“Hmm… yah”

“Now look at the other patch … what do you see?”

“I don’t know. With all the trees I can’t fix my thought on something.”

If you notice properly, the river at one end flows in a near straight line, but the other shore which seems to look like down stream has many sub-rivers; exactly four.”

“Hey yah … like a ‘W’”

“Good. Now tell me … what’s the oldest saying for love?”

“Love is blind?”

“No, only you are! … Love is in the air! Okay… look at the clouds, do you see anything peculiar about it?”

“Well … there are two clouds; one is a disfigured circular cloud and then a … hey wait a minute, I get it. L-O-V-E”

“Finally!! The painting symbolizes love connects people even when they are separated by land.”

“What about – ‘the reach of love is beyond boundaries’?”

“Good to see my creation has many dimensions to it”

“Your creation?”

“Well yah … but the actual painting was done by a friend of mine. I gave the money as his remuneration btw.”

“Nice idea” said Geetha with a genuine smile. They both looked at each other again and a sleepish smile broke into each face as they went on into their own world.

Some other day, moments before sleep, the moment where the rambling thoughts that’s been swallowing your mind enters the dream form while you are still having control of your thoughts…

Am I loosing my senses? Why the hell am I trying her number for the “how many I donno”th time? So what if it’s her birthday – do I need to wish at midnight itself?

“Hi” What’s wrong with you! Can’t you pick your phone? Idiot! “Hey I was talking to a friend in landline… apparently he couldn’t get through my cell. It’s busy it seems, now I know why” Get lost. How dare you attend to someone else first! Goodbye! - Why does this happen only to me! Why? Why? Y? …?

Don’t you think that girl will be perfect for me? She seems to be a nice girl. What expressive eyes she has! She speaks intelligently too …But I donno, I feel there is something amiss … what do you say? “What do I have to say?” – A sweet voice said with a forced ignorance. “Only you should decide”

I can’t do it Geetha! - I told her with a heavy voice at the verge of breaking down. I can’t concentrate. How am I supposed to pass my exam tomorrow?

Calmly, the sweet voice said, “Look Kunal, you may have had great feelings for her but she is history. It’s not like she left you for a mistake of yours. It was because she didn’t understand you. You were the one who told her the truth that, when she came for you, you went along with a mixed feeling. But then after experiencing it and knowing her you really fell for her. What does she expect anyway? A Mr. Perfect? When a nice girl comes for you which guy won’t accede? Yet you only said maybe. Can’t she be happy that the person now is really hers? Anyway it’s over, so before your life gets over get your act together and start preparing! I will check on you every one hour!!”

Geetha broke the silence after what felt like hours and asked Kunal, “Have you ever thought this day will come in our lives? You just happened to scrap a junior, we chatted, one thing let to another and what do you know, we became friends; and all the while we didn’t meet”

“Yah, like an idiot I even had a crush on you during those days. To top it, I even convinced you that you had it on me”


“But I won’t say it was a mistake. It was a genuine mutual interest after all. I had troubles with my ex and you like a guardian angel did console and counsel me. I do owe my sem marks to you, you know.”


“It’s good that, that episode was over in a matter of few days. Only after that we got close right?”

“Yah, close enough for you to not bother speaking about the curves of your classmate to me! Fatto! Speaking as if am some guy”

No no … I do know you are a girl”, Kunal passes for a moment to look way below her eyes and continues “that’s why I speak about yours too”

“Shut up! Aren’t you ashamed?”

“Why should I be ashamed when am speaking only with you? Anyways am not speaking something which you dono!”

“Always be ready with some answer!”

“Hey what’s your problem now? Reacting as if, it’s something new!”

“To tell you frankly, I am fed up of being taken for … granted.”


“Nothing …”


“hmm … I feel am being used up with no care in return for me.”

“Hey I don’t get you. Who is using you? Anyway don’t I care for you like no other person does? From listening to your cries and help solving your problems to practically checking on you every day after day after day; come-on I do care and I have been there for you always.”

“So was I and will do!”

“That’s what I am telling fool!”

“No Kunal, let’s not encourage this. It was mistake on my part. We were not meant to be like this; we are better off as friends. We are not in the right age to decide on this too. I feel this is the right decision.

Friends?” – saying this, a hand emerged from the sweet voice.

He raises his hand in the dark and reaches for something; it turns out to be the hand of Geetha resting on her lap. “Hey what happened” – Geetha asked, concerned.

“Plz, I feel better this way” – saying this, Kunal joined his hand to hers.

After the marriage:

“Kunal, where are you taking me now?”

“To a place untouched by human destruction in the queen of hills”, Kunal said, with a grin.

They arrive at a narrow path covered with greenery; a long pathway bordered by two mountains, rising as tapered walls to reach the peak. As they went into the path and moved forward the dew seemed to be increasing in intensity that the rocks felt soaked in water. The pathway too was getting water logged and it was turning difficult to find a safe area to keep the legs and move ahead. It later occurred to her after few more steps that it’s due to a small stream of water that’s running from the top. The water in the ground in that area seemed to be very high leaving only a small safe to proceed ahead. He let her go first. She crossed the running stream of water with a quick jump landed on the dry area and turned behind only to see him still standing there. He raised his hand pointing to something above her head. She turned back to see nothing. He gestured her to look by her side, towards the wall on which she was leaning on. She did notice the stream of water running down as before, but what caught her attention now was the bare rock in the middle of the stream. It looked like the water was being bifurcated at the middle in the form of ‘V’. The two streams of water did eventually join like a ‘V’ to run down as a single stream. But the shape it formed was striking. She looked at him, his arm fully stretched in an obtuse angle to his body, pointing to her and the striking image the stream was creating. She understood.

CREDITS: Selvaraghavan for AMAV, Baddeli

Thursday, May 14, 2009


“Hello who is this?” questioned Nakul.
“Am glad, at least you haven’t changed your number.” –a voice on the other side beamed.
“Sorry am bad in memory… may I know who this is?” Nakul replied irritated.
“I still remember the days you stood near my place wearing the only blue shirt you had...” stated the voice.
“It’s a girl alright, one of my crushes… vanitha? Deepika? Saakshi? Nah... They are all college crushes… hmm… She must be from my school days…” As Nakul was squeezing his tiny brain, the familiar voice broke the silence by chucklingly saying “Is your hair still facing the sky?” “Oh… it’s you… so how are you shylaja?” queried Nakul with a straight voice as usual, without expressing any element of surprise. “Yah am fine.” Shylaja replied and continued “Actually am back in Chennai now, so thought will catch up with all you people. Unfortunately only you haven’t changed your number…” “Unfortunately, as in?” -intervened Nakul. “Nothing. So if you are free why don’t we meet up by eve?” –suggested Shylaja. Nakul looked through his imaginary scheduler and thought of saying he is busy today, but decided against it. “Yah am game.” He heeded to her request.

Years together he was under her charm. Such was her aura that he failed to look deep into her heart. So blind was he in love with her, without knowing what really is love that he hoped she will reciprocate, for he was sure that his kind heart and his never ending love can win over her. But the last few days had opened his eyes that she may not after all understand him. Blame it on the glam world and the sweetness & romance that a Rahul or a Raj brings alive on the silver screen; she was determined to fall for them alone. Yet he couldn’t come over of her. So he decided to express his love; after all what is love without expressing it.

It was the summer that ensued the public exams, the last time they would meet. He decided now or never. Neither did he have a rose, nor a sugary letter; only three blurred out words. That said it all- he meant it all, hoping she might understand what it really means. He expected anger, fiery anger as she had rejected the most handsome guy of the class earlier. But what came was something more than that.
“What do you think of yourself? A romantic hero? Just like that you will come and propose and I have to accept? Who do you think I am!!”
She clamored like hell without giving any chance for Nakul to express himself. The summer, that dawned to dry off the lands, has dried the smile off this face forever. Dejected he started moving away from her. “Hey look… look I am sorry ok?”- Shylaja spoke “I was kinda not in the right sense of mind…”- trying to bring back normalcy. “Let’s not move on like this. Friends always?” saying this she gave her hand for friendship. Shaking hands, she smiled and said “Fine … bye.”

She never knew why she called him for a coffee. She was prepared for spending the evening alone, but he came- as normal as always. With a faint appearance of what could be termed a smile he greeted her. Taking the seat he straight away poured into the menu and asked, “So what shall we order?”
“I would like a cappuccino… what about you?”- She asked in turn.
“Can you make that two?”- He told the attender and as he walked away taking the order she gave a smile of approval and asked, “So how are you? Do you have contact with the rest?”
“Well…sort off. I have their numbers … but to tell you frankly not in close contact as such” –he stated.
“Oh… fine … we should all meet up once.”- Shylaja asserted.
“Yah sure…” -Nakul replied sure that, that wont happen. He then asked, “So tell me … what’s your story after school?”
“Well … I did my computer engg. and during the course fell in love with my classmate. So after completing MS I married him.” After a pause she continued, “Initially I was working, but after we got settled I left the job.”
“Nice … must be a hell lot of money offering job I guess” Nakul commented.
“Yah… so what about you?”- Shylaja prompted.
“I did my civil engg. and now working as designer. My work basically deals with designing the offices and high profile homes for the elite. Very tedious yet engaging job for the challenge it offers.” Nakul beamed.
“Then you must have racked up fortune by now”-Shylaja commented.
“Not exactly … I charge less when compared with my competitors. I take up only select projects which are not run of the mill, as I get bored easily even though I could multiply my customers and revenue with those projects.” And he added, “After all life is always not about money you know. It’s satisfaction that matters the most. Only that propels one further and not overflowing account.”
“What about your personal life?” seeing his bewildered look she corrected, “I mean, are you married or into any relationships?”
He replied, “Neither …” “… but why?” As she asked this, their eyes met and he immediately looked down and answered, “No one after … well leave it.” He ended. Both were in moments of silence recounting the past. The buzz sound of the phone brought them back.
“Excuse me; I have a call” – said Shylaja and answered the call, “Hello” “Hi honey, having a nice time with your friends?” without waiting for any reply from her he continued with his usual buttery style, “Anyways you know you ought to be at home by 6 right? Mama and Papa will not like it if you reach later. I am running late for the meeting, so …bye.” He hung up.
“Sorry… it was my husband”-Shylaja apologized while looking down in pretendence of keeping the phone back into her bag. While doing so, she removed a tissue paper and bent down to adjust her sandal, but instead touched her face with the tissue and then finally spoke.
“Yah … so are not into relationship… but you would have certain ideas about how your girl should be right?”
“Every guy has a dream and so do I. She must be someone who is independent in thinking...” All this while she was looking down, but when he mentioned ‘independent’ she immediately looked up. Nakul meanwhile in his own thoughts continued, “… you know I always like brave girls. And as for as matching is concerned, if she falls in love with me, everything else will follow suite.”
“But what about marriage?” – Shylaja asked, getting more interested by each passing second.
“See marriage I feel is an institution which can be run smoothly only if the couple sternly believe in the concept of better half. You may be a conservative introvert, but when it comes too your spouse, even if you cant say things as and when, you do have to share things ultimately at some point of time. Silence can retain love, but can’t sustain marriage.”
She intervened and asked, “Then do you think woman should go for work while her husband lends her support in every way possible?” She was very apprehensive about what he would reply.
“Obviously! With all due respect to you, I dono how you educated girls leave all your dreams and aspirations for marriage…”- he said.
Shylaja was watching his eyes the whole time seeing fiery passion in them all the while, combined with a smile at times like a passing shower bringing pleasantness to the atmosphere. “… as for as help is concerned, it should be mutual and equally shared: both mentally and physically. That’s where the romance between the couple lies. Which girl wouldn’t like a dream date where her husband in a Sunday morning cooks her favorite dish and then dine in a beautiful lonely garden, romancing.”
She prompted him question after question like a teacher examining a student trying to understand the person in front of her. Each question made her ask another and then another for which all he answered dutifully.

“See it all depends on…” “I know this is a boring job no matter how much I try to reinvent it. But it pays well and it promises more too…” “… how well you care for each other…” “Why are you worrying much about what I do? All you have to do is lay back in the house and enjoy everything I give you my dear” “… consoling, sharing …” “When am there to support you for life why do you need to work honey?” “… independent …” “a long holiday, all day at home and a wife to grant all my wish” “ … helping each other, mutual understanding …” “Hi honey, having a nice time with your friends? Anyways you know you ought to be at home by 6 right? Mama and Papa will not like it if you reach later. I am running late for the meeting, so …bye.”

“Sorry what were you saying?” – Shylaja asked coming back to her senses.
Nakul replied, “I was saying husband and wife should be like the sea waves and sand, the sea can roll over the sand how much ever it wants, draw the sand in and the beach looks beautiful until … until the sand mixes with the sea and spoils the beach.”
She looked at him and said, “Did you realize we have never spoken this much before?” and before he could think she asked, “What do you notice at the girl over there? That couple only”
Nakul gave a good glance at her and said, “Well… she looks young … from her dress, hair style, lip gloss and all, I could see she is trendy too…” glancing at the bag near her he continued, “she has a drafter too…. Could be an engineering student, may be even a first year… cell phone … look they are actually holding hands… settled now itself … Hmmm”
Shylaja said, “Do you know what I see?” and continued, “I see a girl with long hair- no coloring, dressed in traditional clothes, yet has everything that can be defined trendy … wealthy lifestyle … homemaker, cut off from the world of knowledge and knows only doing chores for the people she loves.” Saying this she stood up and walked past the gates her hair dancing to the tunes of her swaying sari end.

Unable to comprehend what just happened, Nakul pays the bill and stood up. A msg beeps in his mobile.

“I wish I could go back in time when you said those three words.”

CREDITS: Hum Tum, Bachna e hasino, An article titled "the new tamil cinema"