Thursday, December 30, 2010

Red Rose

Look... isn't it pretty?

She held out the most beautiful flower she had plucked. And there it was - the red rose in all its glory. A shade of crimson so intense, the flower seemed to have been stained in blood. The delicate petals so smooth, it was better than silk. The fragrance so rich and ever-pervading, as if it were gently carried by the air, like a bride in a palanquin.

She held it out with all her love. He took it from her hand. She smiled.
He examined it, twirled it. Plucked out each petal and crushed it in between his fingers. And he threw 'em all in the air. The petals pirouetted and bit the dust. He walked off.

The crushed petals left a heavy blanket of aroma in the air. The best of the rose was released when crushed. Its soul was liberated at the expense of its annihilation.
A silent tear rolled down her cheek. That was more than her little heart could handle.

Years later, she gave him her heart.

Maybe the rose was still better off.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


She kept staring at Rita's photo on Facebook. Who was she?

Funny, how life turns. She couldn't believe this is her best friend from school; rather was her best friend...

She remembered that rainy June morning like yesterday. It was her first day at the new school; and at nine years of age, that's quite a scary prospect. Her tensed eyes scanned the classroom for a friendly soul and rested on Rita's. There was a certain sense of warmth and security that emanated from her angelic face. She'd hurried to the empty seat next to her, afraid someone else might rob her of it. Rita smiled again. And she'd felt that all was fine with the world.

Their friendship grew over days, months and years. Their names were always taken in the same breath; it was never just 'Rita' or 'Tina'....they were a pair. Partners in crime. Always. They bunked their first day at school together. They discussed their crushes with each other. They took up music and dance classes at the same place. Their tuition centres were the same.... and so were their study groups. Rather, they were the only two in their study group.

They had nurtured their little seed of friendship and it had flourished to become a tall and majestic tree. A tree, which gave them shade and kept them safe. A shade they would rush too, in times of trouble. There was no doubt... this friendship was to last a lifetime. They hardly had the need to say they are 'best friends'. It was understood.

Tina was still going through the album on Facebook. Rita at a party with friends, her trekking adventures, at her college...

She still remembered how terribly upset she was, on the day Rita was leaving town to pursue higher studies. They had been mourning for days; what would they do without each other? As the time for Rita to leave approached, they reassured each other with promises to keep in touch and update each other on their lives. Hugs and tears, wishes for a bright future... and so much more unsaid. Rita's car went around the kerb, and she kept watching it, till it disappeared.

Life had moved at jet speed since then. Rita was busy with her fashion designing course, and Tina was busy with her engineering course. They didn't even realise how their boats took separate paths in the stream of life. The calls, messages and mails trickled down to nothing. Suddenly, it was as if they were in different, mutually exclusive worlds. And they did not realise that they had not only grown up, but also grown apart.

Who was she? As she looked at Rita's photo again, she couldn't answer this nagging question. Hidden somewhere in this face, was the Rita she'd known years earlier; someone who was her confidante, her best friend. She searched and searched, only to realise that the Rita she knew was long gone. Or had she herself changed? Or maybe both?

 She then stumbled upon her wedding album. Rita's married!

She felt a sudden jab of pain at not having known it. She browsed the album, saw Rita beaming and happy, with her man in tow. 

Should she comment on the pics?

Tina smiled. She wished her best friend the very best, in her heart. And then she signed out of Facebook.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Misadventures and Me

Two weeks back

One fine evening, a bird decided to make my head its target object of practice. Yes, you guessed right. The bird realised that its potty was my head!

It goes something like this. One sleepy evening, as I alighted from the bus, something landed on my head. Sigh. At precisely the second my foot hit the ground, the shit hit my head. I dismissed it as probably something else falling under the influence of gravity. But my wandering hand confirmed otherwise. Holy shit!
When I reached home, I washed it off, but didn't dry my hair quite well enough. That's how I caught the cold. After a week of trying to put my immunity to test, I reluctantly gave up and decided to cave into the miracles of medicine. And one such day, when I finally had the medicine, was drowsy and thinking of sleep-walking the rest of the day at office, I realise that work's knocking at my door. Since then, almost every day, I've had to stay back till 9 pm to do my work. Don't get me wrong. It's not the volume of work to do. Just that I can only do mine after 5:30 pm or so. Net result: spending almost 10-13 hours in office! Highly insane! I could go late to office daily; but that's a risk, given that the project is in a critical stage. And given my luck, I am sure that the day I decide to cool my heels, something will turn up to upset the smug plan. 

Last week

I thought that my tryst with bird droppings were only a one-off misfortune till the rest happened.

I lost one of my white gold earrings, last week. Work kept me late at office that night. I reached home and was washing my face, when I realised that my earring's gone. The next day, I came to office and got the cap (i.e. the piece you put from behind the ear) from the keyboard. I searched the entire area here; I even got the Facilities people to track who cleaned my cubicle premises. They apparently searched everywhere, including the disposal bins and they say they didn't find anything. I could have as well lost it on the way, or in the night cab that I took. And what's more, since it was white gold (it looks more like silver), people might not think it's valuable. If it was gold, it would atleast mustered attention. Sigh. So that's one loss to the list!

Come Friday night, and there's another story. The Awards for Excellence ceremony was to happen at the Mangala DC (the 2nd Infy office at Mangalore). I had work to do, and it could only begin late into the night. So I decide to attend the ceremony till I can begin my work. I was watching the live performance at the amphitheatre there. I was seated on the side railing. I was expecting a call/message to intimate me that I can begin my work. I had placed my mobile ON my bag. Halfway through the show, I forgot that it was on my bag. I instead, lift the bag, thinking it's inside.... and..... whatdya know?

The mobile falls down, and conveniently through the narrow gap, into the drain!

Just beneath where we were sitting was the gutter/drain, covered by concrete slabs and cemented in place. And when my phone fell, it fell right through the narrow gaps between the slabs! I go numb for a second. I stand up and keep peering down the drain, as if there's some treasure waiting to be unearthered. I am sure that gathered some fair amount of attention. Not knowing what to do, I ask the girl next to me if she has a torch. She had one on her mobile, and as I flashed the light down the drain, I see my own reflection.... on my mobile screen! Phew! It was not a wet drain, and hence not much damage had happened to the phone. But I don't know how to retrieve it. In my desperation, I run to a bhaiyya from Facilities, standing close by. He's seen me in action by then. Even before I could complete my request for help, he tells me, "Kam se kam ek hafta lagega... cement ko nikalna hai aur slab ko uthana hai..."

As this message telegraphically registers in my head, I'm already composing a eulogy to my 3-month old phone. I could already see it... my sister and mom going on the "look how careless she is"- mode, my colleague trying to contact me regarding work... I shake myself out of that reverie, and plead to that bhaiyya to take a look. His friend also comes along and tries inserting his hand in, to see if he can pick it. But he can't insert it further that his forearm. Desperate that I am, I suggest to him to get a ladle or tong or something from the Food Court, so that the phone can be scooped or picked from the drain. He gets a brainwave, goes and gets a rake, inserts it, picks it and.... voila! My phone lives to see another day! Barring a small, teeny-weeny scratch and a slightly bigger, not-so-teeny-weeny dent, my phone was unscathed. So thankfully, I didn't lose my phone; I only almost lost it.

And if you thought that was the end of it, there's one more. It was Saturday night, and my sister and I were going about the business of making dinner. I had to light the stove to make chapathis. As I turn the knob.... whatdya know?

The knob's in my hand! Yes, I managed to flex my muscles and rip that off! I immediately turned off the gas supply from the cylinder, and with whatever I could manage, I stopped the gas leak from that burner. So, now that burner is defunct. Have to get it repaired....

I am seriously trying hard to lose the losing streak here. Any tips?

Friday, December 17, 2010


Intense pangs of loneliness. He had never felt so lonely in his life.

Amidst all the lives jostling around to make it through to another meal, another day and another routine, he felt detached. Like he did not belong to the here and now. Or to the people. Not that there were no people in his life. He had them all; a small family, a close network of friends, colleagues at work... And yet. He was alone.

Did he choose to be alone? Or was that the only way it could be? The routine grind had gotten to him. His work kept him late at office, and things weren't better at home. He felt like he was moving from one set of troubles to another. Troubles, nevertheless. He had forgotten the last time he had strummed his guitar, or took his favourite Bullet on a long drive. They remain at home, like pieces in a museum; grim reminders of his past and his passion. And yet, he couldn't resume playing guitar or go on long drives. Why? Because he just didn't feel like it. Sounds silly, but he couldn't make himself do it. He had lost the will to even try. And he couldn't figure out why.

"Mera jeevan kora kaagaz, kora hi reh gaya.... "

As he walked the bylanes of the city, he heard this song over the din; apparently, even the radio at a small shack shared his sentiments. He fought back desperation banging at the walls of his heart; threatening to take over his mind and soul. No, he was feeling lonely, but he wouldn't let it get the better of him.

He walked on, aimlessly.


Thursday, December 02, 2010


Memories, sweet memories.

When it breaks,

These little pieces of glass

Cause grave wounds;

They stain,

They pain.

And yet I hold on

To these broken pieces.

Should have learnt

To let go before.

But I still hold on...


Image courtesy:


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