This is my first attempt official attempt at writing a short stories. So first with the disclaimer.

Any name or instance quoted here is purely fictional and resemblance to any existing person is completely coincidental.

Feedback of all types is appreciated!!

Having said that, let me start. Enjoy!!

Monday, November 11, 2019


Sometimes we do things which we aren't supposed to do..despite promising someone you love that you wont do it but you somehow do it. Not once ..not twice but many times!! That's what Raj did..something he shouldnt have done inspite of his promise made to the love of his life. Twice she had agreed to believe in him

It is not as if like they were on a break like Ross & Rachel were, he was deeply in love with a committed relationship with her! However that one night he indulged in that act of immorality  (an erotic chat with a stranger) without thinking about the promise he had made to her to not betray her trust not knowing that karma is a bitch and someday it would catchup to him. He was foolish to think that he could escape from it. Life has its own way of balancing such acts of betrayal and yes they do catch up!! Karma had caught up!!

She felt miserable..helpless..not knowing what to do!! She thought of him as his life partner..her soulmate...someone she would build and decorate her house with...someone she would grow old with him and here he was betraying her trust once again...She didn't know what to do..she had stumbled upon his act..he had betrayed her again and again...she was hurt...she was in pain...

He was genuinely sorry..he had made a had been so many years and he had thought he was over it but it wasn't (he shouldnt have done the erotic conversation with the stranger)..he had relapsed on it once!! Vowing never to do it again..he apologized to her but then what would his word mean to her..nothing...It was zilch...

But he still loved her..he wanted to make things right...he wanted to try again..for their sake..he wanted to do everything that would make her happy! He had erred and it was absolutely wrong of him to go back on his word!! He was sorry!! Sorry for breaking his word!! Sorry for causing her hurt! Sorry for breaking her trust!! Sorry for causing her pain!!  He himself was in pain!!

Like her, he had also cried to sleep every night since then...maybe his tears weren't visible but his heart was crying...he didnt want to lose her...he loved her...He loved her more than anyone else in the world...

He was sorry and he just wanted to know if there was a way to tell her and convince her that he loved her. If only he could!!  Sorry he said to her in his heart !!

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Mundane Walk

The Mundane Walk

“Stop Stop Stop, stop the bus god damnit”, I shouted at the bus driver as the burly bus driver just slowed the bus down to about 5km/hr but didn’t bring it to a complete halt at the designated bus stop.

 If I was of the fairer sex the bus would have come to a gentle stop by now and the driver would have waited till I stepped down completely and moved a few paces above from the bus but alas, being a guy seemed like a curse right now. Taking God’s name with a quiet breath I jumped out as the next stop was 3 km’s away.  I ensured that I run backward after landing from the jump to balance the effect of Newtonian laws on motion, in lay man’s terms, this would ensure that I don’t fall face front on the road.

After having I stabilized my walk, I took a few deep breaths to calm my down from the excitement of jumping from a moving bus. I started to walk back home which was about 2 km’s away from here.

The way to my home was similar to a treasure map trail you would see in a lot of Hollywood movies. One would have to traverse through a posh up-market colony, a children’s park and a slum before reaching the huge rusted broken gates to the chaotic middle class colony where I lived with my family.

I call it chaotic because that was one factor common to everyone living in that colony. There was chaos of living standards as everyone wanted to be one step ahead of their neighbors. There was chaos of vehicle parking as everyone had more cars or two wheelers than the parking space allotted to them. There was chaos of essential supplies as almost everyone had illegal power and water connections to meet the demands of the slightly rich middle class of this city. There was constant chaos of driving faster than the rest on the small narrow lanes of the colony. So, everywhere you would turn your head there would be some chaos or the other. I had started walking toward the chaos.

As I was walking through the first posh colony, along the road dotted with bungalows the size of palaces, my eye caught the sight of two teenage girls playing badminton. They were playing badminton in the car parking in front of their bungalow.

“These guys must be really rich if they can afford such a huge car parking outside their bungalow”, I said to myself. I stopped to see them play a few strokes. Since I was still dressed properly from my day at work, I wasn’t sneered at to move on.

I was amused to see the way they both played badminton. It was totally “prim and propah” as the British would say, with delicate and deft strokes. “If Saina Nehwal would have seen this, she would have quit playing badminton”, I chuckled to myself.  Along came a gust of wind and the shuttle cock got stuck on an adjacent tree. Both the girls looked cluelessly at the shuttle cock on the tree, then at the trunk of the tree and finally at each other. Had they made the effort to shake the tree together, the shuttle cock would have fallen down on its own, after all it is feather weight literally but then two spoilt rich girls putting in the effort to shake a tree was a big NO. I was looking at all this with certain amount of amusement was I wanted to see what brilliant idea they would come up with. In my mind, I imagined one of them come up with an idea and shout “Eureka” like Archimedes did centuries ago. Finally they turned and looked for help, and unfortunately they spotted me looking at them. I quit smiling and looked towards the side so that I could portray that I was not watching their game but then I had lost that moment.

“Excuse me, can you please help us in getting the shuttle cock down from that tree”, said one of them as she took a few paces towards me.

“Sure”, I said not knowing what else to do.

I walked towards the tree and assessed the situation from a closer spot. The tree trunk was not very thick and a few shakes would ensure that the shuttle cock falls down onto the ground. I got down on the task ahead and shook the tree. Amazingly the shuttle cock fell down in just one shake. Seeing that, both the girls jumped with joy, picked up the shuttle cock and went inside their palatial home.

“No thank you, nothing, what a bunch of ungrateful people”, I snapped at them in my mind and started my walk again. Soon I crossed the sea of Audis, BMWs and Mercs of all sizes and shapes.

As I entered the children’s park, I felt a cool breeze hit my face. The park was well made some swings and a small football ground for the kids to play in.  The cool breeze made me feel relaxed. The effect was so strong that I forgot about the weight of the laptop bag with heavy office files I was carrying on my shoulders. My boss had given me some work to complete by tonight and hence the heavy office files were part of my take home today.

A few kids were playing football as I walked by the football ground. They were mostly 8-9 year olds and so full of energy. They were running after the football together with all the energy that Boost /Bournvita/Complan or Horlicks may have given them. It was such a pleasant sight to see the kids play in the park as otherwise they mobiles and dating hardly give them the time to experience any extracurricular activities.

“Uncle please give the ball”, shouted the kids in chorus. I hadn’t realized that one of them had kicked the football towards me by mistake. I quickly went towards the ball and gently kicked it back to the kids.

“Thank you uncle”, they said and got into a huddle to see who could kick the ball first.

I smiled and started walking towards home.

As I crossed the park, I saw the final frontier ahead of me, the vast slum. The road to chaos was built along the periphery of the slum. The slum was inhabited by mostly Bangaldeshi’s who had come to the city to find a decent job and in turn had ended up working as maids and servants in the nearby colonies.

The slum was an abode for drugs trafficking, illegal liquor sales and a safe haven for the petty thieves of the area. Walking on the road alongside the slum at night, all alone, is scary enough to keep all the humanly possible senses on their tip toes. Thankfully, it was just evening and the darkness hadn’t completely engulfed the road. However the daily drinkers not that of tea or coffee at this evening hour, but of the country made liquor had already started to line the footpath along the road with their 170ml bottles and pouches. Dressed in vests and pants or torn, dirty shirts and pants they sat, drank their magical elixir, gossiped amongst each other, rolled around on the pavement and kept the vicious cycle going on.

As I was walking on the road to my home, I saw a familiar face coming towards me on a bicycle. The man was cycling hard considering the cycle was not only carrying his own weight but also the weight of the 4 milk cans attached in a 2 by 2 formation on either side at the back of the bicycle.

As he neared me he said “Hello, Rajveer sir” with a gentle smile.

“Hello, Suresh”, I greeted politely.

Suresh was one of the official milk suppliers to our colony. He was the most honest amongst the dishonest lot of milk suppliers who existed there, as he only mixed 15% water in the milk he supplied whereas the adulteration of water in the milk ranged from anywhere between 25%-30% of water for the rest of the milk suppliers cartel.

“Have you given the milk at home?” I asked.

“Yes sir, I am coming from your home only. I just gave fresh buffalo’s milk full of healthy cream at your home sir”, he replied with a big smile.

“Ok Ok, very good. I hope you didn’t mix any water in it”, I said knowing that it was already adulterated with about 15% of water.

“God swear sir, I don’t mix anything in the milk. I am an honest guy”, he replied with a slightly fake look.

“Ok Suresh. Thank you”, I replied and looked towards the road.

“Thank you sir, thank you very much”, he replied and started cycling ahead.

I had walked a few paces when I heard a loud crashing sound behind my back.

I turned back and saw that Suresh had collided with one of the slum kids trying his hand at cycling a toddler cycle.

The collision was so severe that it led to the fall of Suresh and his heavily loaded country ride while the kid picked up his toddler cycle and made a run for his home to the safety of his mother in the slums.

I walked back to help Suresh get up and as I neared the accident site, I was left speechless.

One of the containers on his bicycle had opened up due to the fall and wet the surface of the road. The surface of the road had just become darker instead of white, as the liquid that had spilled out was water and not milk.

I started at Suresh with flaring nostrils. I didn’t give a damn about whether he was hurt or not. I was angry, he had just told me that he wasn’t adulterating milk like a gentleman. I still believed him knowing that he was lying but since I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I still believed him. Now I knew, he was adulterating milk and it pissed me off.

He saw me staring at him angrily; he quickly got up, closed the container, picked up his cycle, got onto it and paddled as fast as he could to safety.

The way he made a run for his life, was so hilarious that I lost all my anger and ended up laughing. After all, this is something one sees mostly in Jackie Chan movies, where the bad guy makes a run on cycles in the narrow streets of Chinese towns.

I turned back, looked up at the skies, wondering what was in store for me next, took a deep breath and started walking.

Finally I reached the gates of heaven, rusted iron gates, more like hell I would say but then I had made my peace with that.

Standing on either sides of the gates were two guards. Tall, slim, with long flowing hair, dressed to kill were all the stuff one would want to associate with them if the gates were to heaven but reality was different. Both of them were short, ugly, almost balding men with huge beer bellies. They were constantly chewing tobacco and spitting it all over the place. The wall next to the gate seemed as if a bloodbath had taken place there but it was the red colored spit of the tobacco which had bathed the wall.

I made my way inside the gates; my home was a few paces inside the colony.

“Stop them, Stop them, thieves”, shouted a lady

“Stop them, they have stolen my purse”, she shouted again.

The shouts were coming from the deserted market street on my left. I turned to see a lady probably in her mid thirties running behind a motorcycle with two men on it. They had stolen her purse and were now making a run for it.

I saw them coming towards me, and I looked around to see what would be their exit route as surely they wouldn’t exit from the main gates and then I saw it, about 10 metres from the gate, there was a small gap in the wall, big enough for a small motorcycle to go by.

The guys on the bike pressed on the accelerator so that they could run away with the bounty through that gap. I looked at the security guards; even if they were slimmer they wouldn’t have made it to that gap to catch the thieves.

“Stop them Stop them my purse my purse”, she shouted again.

I looked around, there was no one else who could have helped the lady.  I don’t know what came over me and I quickly walked near the gap in the wall.  As soon as the guys came neared the gap, I swung my laptop bag in the face of the guy riding the motorcycle. Not knowing what hit them, they lost balance of the bike and fell down on the road while the bike collided in the wall.

I quickly picked up the purse of the lady. In the meantime, the guards had managed to come to the accident scene and caught hold of both the thieves.

“Well done Rajveer sir”, said one of the guards.

“Thank you so much, these two thieves have been creating a lot of havoc here”, said the other one.

“Call the police and hand them over”, I said in a stern tone.

“Yes sir”, they both said in a chorus and took the thieves towards their cabin.

“Thank you son”, said a ladies voice from behind me.

I turned back and saw that the lady whose purse had been stolen had made her way toward me.

“Here is your purse madam”, I said with a gentle smile while handing over her purse

“Thank you son so much, you are an angel”, she said smilingly.

“In today’s times no one comes to help in such situation. I thought I had lost all my money and important documents today. You are a good man. Thank you once again”, she said.

I felt like as if I was superhero from an action comic who had just come to the aid of an innocent helpless woman in a crime infested street.

“No problem madam, good people are still there, don’t worry. Please take care of your belongings and be extra careful”, I told her reassuringly.

She put her hand on my head and showered blessings on me.

I bowed, accepted all the blessings, smiled at her and turned to walk towards my home, my superhero abode. I was on a cloud nine, I had done a good thing, I felt like a superhero but just that my home didn’t feel like it was a superhero’s abode. Only if it was like a Bat Cave, I wished to myself with a chuckle.

Finally, I made it to my home, greeted my mother and went to my room to change after all I had pending work to complete for my boss.

After changing I sat down on my bed, opened the laptop to work on the presentation.

My mother came to the room and handed me over my cup of tea and went back to her kitchen.

I held the cup and said to myself  smilingly “Cheers!! Finally a relief from the daily mundane walk, hopefully tomorrow will be better”.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Jogging Track

 The Jogging Track

Yeah baby, come on, one more, one more, damn it, come on, come on, yeah baby one more, I murmured to myself, with all the sweat pouring from my body as I pushed myself to go for another round. Doing this was so blissful, so fulfilling, after all I would have burned almost 500 calories running those 10 rounds of the jogging track of the newly built park in the vicinity.

The new park was made about 700 metres behind the deserted part of the colony. It had a lush green carpet of fresh grass which had recently been planted. The grass was evenly cut and if any Briton would have seen it, would have claimed it to be “prim and propah”. The jogging track was very neat and clean. Being on that track did make one feel like a celebrity. The path made up with red sand and the golden border formed by marigold plants on both sides made the track resemble the red carpet at Oscars. 

I was about to finish the last 400 metres of the 9th lap of the 900 meter track; pulling away my 80kg body in an endeavor to lose another 5 kgs before my cousins wedding which was a month away; when my ears caught some sound, a very faint sound, behind me, in the distance of heavy breathing.
It was past 7.30pm on a cool November night and darkness had engulfed the park. 

“Who could it be?” I questioned myself. 

The breathing, which sounded more like heavy panting resembled that of someone burlier than me trying out their luck at jogging and inevitably at shedding those extra pounds. 

I stopped in my tracks to see who it was as I remembered that other than me an aunty was the only on the jogging track and she had also left the track 20 odd minutes back before it become dark. 

My eyes searched for the mystery jogger on the track in the darkness but found nothing; again they looked for the jogger in the grass turf in the park and again came back with a negative search result.

“Hmm, maybe there was no sound at all”, I quietly said to myself and started jogging again with effortless huffing and puffing.

I had done 100 metres when I heard the heavy panting more clearly. I stopped dead and turned back to see a burly 6 foot tall man wearing jet black t-shirt, track pants and shoes trying very hard to jog.

“He must be more than 100 kgs”, I guessed in a whisper myself.

It was the all black attire, similar to the kiwi rugby team, which fooled my eyes, after all searching for black attired people in pitch darkness isn’t the easiest task for the human eyes.

“The only way I could have known definitely that a person was there behind me was if I had the nose of the bloodhound”, I told myself with a chuckle.

I waited for him to catch up with me. I could use some company and seeing by the way he looked, I realized that we had the same goal, to lose weight and shed those extra kilos trying their best to burst out of our respective t-shirt.

“Hi”, I said as he caught up to me and I started jogging along with him.

“Hello”, he said breathlessly.

“Trying to lose some weight secretly”, I questioned him with a smile and some breathlessness.

“Yeah, what else!” he said a little irritated, after all talking and the jogging simultaneously was leading to more breathlessness for him. 

“Good, keep it up”, I said to motivate him.

I completed by 9th lap and decided to do a brisk walk for my final lap.

I had just started the 10th lap, when he shouted, “Hey hang on”.

I slowed my pace and waited for him to catch up.

He jogged the distance and came next to me and stopped. I too stopped. 

He bent down, put his hands on his knees and took gasped for breath. In that moment, it seemed as if he would inhale all the oxygen from the air around us, something you would generally see genie’s doing on cartoon shows.

He took a gasps and then stood up straight. He then took a few long deep breaths. This helped him normalized his breathing a bit. His heart which would have been racing at almost 120 beats per minutes, slowed substantially to about 100 beats per minute.

“Hi, I am Raghav”, he said extending his hand.

“Hi, I am Rahul”, I said shaking his hand, which was very sweaty. 

We started to walk briskly to complete the laps, so that we could still burn the calories and at the same time not get all huffed up.

“So where do you stay?” he asked me as his breathing became normal.

“Nearby only, 2 blocks away”, I said.

“What about you?”, I asked

“Next block”, he said

“Cool, so do you come here regularly?” I asked him politely

“Yeah, try to make it almost every day, rather night” as you can see”, he said looking up to the sky.

“Ha ha, true it is almost night time”, I said and looked at my watch, and it was getting to 8pm.

After a moments of silent walking on the track, I turned towards him and asked “So what do you do?”

“I work as a real estate agent”, he said

“My office is in about a km from here, in A block”, he added.

“Ah cool”, I said.

“What about you?” he asked

“I work as an investment banker with D & Z at Gurgaon”, I said smilingly with a proud chest, after all it was my dream company at campus and I felt proud to work there.

“Very good, it is one of the most respected I bank”, he said and I beamed with joy and my chest inflated 2 more inches with pride.

We spoke and chatted for a couple of minutes when I realized that we had almost completed the lap and only the last 100 metres were left.

“I am done for today”, I said with a deep breath of relief.

“Great, I will do 2 more laps”, he said.

“Oh ok! I guess I will catch you tomorrow here again”, I said to him.

“Sure, see you tomorrow”, he said

“See you tomorrow, bye”, I said and started walking towards the exit gate of the park which was about 50 metres away.

I entered the cabin of the park’s security guard to record my log out entry in the park user’s register.

“Hello” I said to the guard as I opened the register on the table and scanned towards the last page to record my logging out time.

On reaching the last entry, I saw that the last entry was of the aunty who had left the park earlier when I was still doing my laps. There was no login entry of Raghav in the register.

“Excuse me”, I called out to the guard and signaled him to come to the desk.

Slowly the guard, an old man of over 50 years came to the desk.

“Yes sir”, he said in a manner which showed his obvious irritation at being asked to move from his plastic throne set in one corner of the cabin.

“Why is there no entry of the person who recently came in for jogging?”, I asked him as the park authorities were very strict on security.

“Which person sir?”, he asked me with a quizzical look in his eyes

“Raghav, that big fat man? In black clothes, he comes here daily? , I said to him.

“Who Raghav sir?”, he said with an innocent look

“Black tshirt, track pants, the one who stays in the adjacent block, big, huge person, real estate person!!?, I snarled back at him with irritation

“Oh, Mr Mishra, I did not know his name was Raghav sir”, said the guard.

“Sir, but he passed away today morning sir”, he said with a calm sad soft voice.

“What”, I yelled with a shocked face

“You must be mistaken”, I told him

“No sir”, said the guard, “now I remember, he had come to the park yesterday, after you had left, in the same clothes you just mentioned”.

“He passed away today morning, due to a heart attack, the morning shift guard told me before he left”, said the guard.

I stood there stunned in silence with a shocked look and my eyes as wide open as that of an owl. The color of my skin turned white as the blood drained out from my face.

It seemed as if time froze, and I was lost.

I felt myself shiver; it was scariest thing that had ever happened to me. This was something you would generally see in Hollywood movies.

“Sir what happened, why are you shivering?”, asked the guard as he shook me.

The shaking by the guard brought me back to reality. 

The reality that I had just jogged with a dead man!!

I quickly turned, came out of the cabin and ran toward my home the fastest I had ever run; never to return to again to that jogging track.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Goa Express

Goa Express

“Hurry up, Hurry up!!” I yelled at the autowala as he zigzagged his way around the narrow streets of Nizammuddin area to get to Hazrat Nizammuddin station.

My train was scheduled to leave at 3pm, I was still 300 metres from the station and it was 2.50 now!! “Only 10 minutes to go”, I said to myself while nervously wiping the sweat of my forehead with my right hand with my eyes fixed on the digital display of my Armani watch on the left hand. 

Thankfully, the autowala found some space on the road, and sped through the last 200 metres in a way that even a formula one driver like Michael Schumacher would be proud of! 

I handed him over the half sweaty 100 rupee note and ran up the stairs of the station without even looking back once. If I had turned around, I would have found the autowala waving to handover the change of Rs 30 to me but then today was his lucky day. 

So here I was running up the stairs of the station, jumping over alternate steps, banging my bag into strangers, pushing them away from my path, shouting at the top of my voice “get aside, get aside, move you bugger, move” to clear the way just so that I could get to the platform to board my train before the nick of time.
Wow what a run it was, I had never run so determined in my life before I think, but then I was happy, I felt like a hero, a bollywood hero, I had boarded my train , THE GOA EXPRESS !! To be honest that is how the hero catches the train in these movies, just in the nick of time and that too almost the last coach always. 

I went inside the coach, stood against the wall and caught my breath, sweat was pouring down my face as if a torrential downpour was taking place over my head and then it hit me, I had boarded S10, the last sleeper coach and I had to go A2, 11 coaches away if I included the pantry. “damn it, @%$%$^$”, I punched the wall of the coach as I tried to muster the energy to carry on the next task of walking through 11 crowded coaches.

Finally after a trek more treacherous than a battlefield full of landmines I reached my destination,A2. “Yes, Yes Yes”, I pumped my fists as if I had destroyed an enemy tank in a battle. I opened the gate to my air-conditioned heaven for the next 25 hours. I saw uncles, aunties, single uncles, businessmen seated on their berths gossiping away with each other or on their mobile phones and then I saw her. 

She was standing in the middle of the coach, trying to arrange the bed sheets on the side upper berth allotted to her. Clearly she was struggling with it, as everytime she tucked one side of the sheet in, the other would come out. I just stood there watching her try all permutations and combinations to fix the bed sheet and then she turned, she looked at me staring at her. Her expression was that of irritation, I mean why wouldn’t it be, here she was struggling with fixing a simple bedsheet on the berth and on top of that some random stranger was staring at her go through the struggle. Immediately, I turned and asked the uncle sitting behind me “where is seat no 45”.

“Go straight ahead, it is after 3 compartments”, he said. 

To save myself from anymore glaring stares, I hurriedly moved forward towards my berth, my private sitting area, where I could sit, lie down, sit cross legged or do anything I wanted to do in public domain.

After walking 3 compartments, I found my berth, tucked by luggage underneath it and sat down and then eventually I lay down.  I didn’t even realize I dozed off.

“What will you have for diner sir?” shouted the pantry vendor assigned to my berth.

“What do you want?”, I snarled back at him, rubbing my eyes which were still full of sleep.

“I need the diner order sir, it is 7 pm. Do you want veg or non-veg diner?”, he said.

“Non-veg and bring it at 9 pm”, I said and signaled him to go.

I lay down again, took a deep breath and rubbed my eyes for a few minutes. The train slowed down and came to a halt at Gwalior station and along came a family of 3, an aunty and her 2 small kids to occupy the remaining berths in the compartment. They tucked in their luggage and sat down on the berth opposite mine.  The kids looked at me and I looked at them.

“Son, when will this train reach Kolhapur?” the aunty asked.

“Tomorrow evening 7pm, aunty”, I replied back politely.

They smiled and I smiled back at them. Then they looked at each other and I looked left, right and then down.  I didn’t know what to do, so I peeped out of the compartment to see what the pretty girl who was struggling with the bed sheets was doing. I saw her reading a magazine, flipping through pages and then keeping it aside. Her face was in my full view now. She had the most beautiful eyes I had seen, a nose as cute as rabbit and lips to just kiss for. She looked bored and before she could catch me staring back at her, I sneaked back into my compartment. The 2 kids were now troubling each other, pulling each other’s hair, slapping each other on the face and their mom was struggling keeping them away from each other. 

Sitting there, watching the fighting kids was getting on my nerves now, so I got up to go out. Before I turned to go to the door, I once again turned back to steal a look at her.  She was looking straight at me, and I quickly turned and left to go and stand at the door. 

I opened the door of the coach and cool wind from the vast agricultural lands came gushing in. This is one feeling to die for. The cool, clean and fresh air gushing straight into your face is so refreshing. The way it runs through your air, makes you feel like you are on a different planet altogether. After standing at the door for 15 minutes, I thought I would head back, and then came the sinking feeling again “not those little brats again”.  I sat down on the steps of the train and just kept staring at the darkness outside not knowing what I was looking for in the night. 

“Excuse me, can you please close the door, I need to wash my hands”, said an angel’s voice. 

I turned back to see her standing near the basin, unable to wash her hands as the door was blocking her way.  The wind was blowing her hair in front of her face, and it just made her look so pretty. I quickly got up and closed the door so that she could complete the task. I moved aside and she stepped to rinse her hands. She cleaned them thoroughly and I was looking at her spellbound as if I was attending a church sermon by the Pope himself.

“Can I stand at the door for sometime if you don’t mind?” she asked.

I snapped back to reality and fumbled “umm...sure, but be careful...the train is moving pretty fast”.

I opened the door for her like a trusty valet would and stepped back. She came to the side of the door and stood just a few inches behind it.  I stood a few paces diagonally behind her, I was worried, I didn’t want anything unwanted to happen.  She had closed her eyes, and was feeling the wind blow into her face. Her beautiful silk like hair was flowing back with the wind. She seemed to be enjoying the moment.

“Would you please sit next to me on steps? I am afraid to sit here alone” she asked.

Caught by surprise, “You want to sit here with me?” I asked.

“Yes, you seem like a nice guy, and I am not too confident of doing it alone but nevertheless I want to do it, so will you?”

“Sure”, I said. Somewhere in some world I was smiling away to glory, jumping with joy and pumping my fists in victory as if I had won the FIFA world cup. 

Without showing any of that delight on my face, I sat down on the steps. She stood next to me, wanting to sit down but not being able to do it.

“Keep your foot on the step slowly, hold the railing with your one hand and slowly lower yourself to sit down”, I told her.

She followed my instructions step by step and succeeded in sitting down.

She relaxed, took a deep breath and smiled.  A nice, warm and comforting smile. A smile that showed her trust in me while I guided her to sit next to me.

“Hi, I am Rajveer”, I said smilingly

“Hi, I am Simran”, she replied with similar expression.

I felt like Shahrukh Khan from DDLJ, sitting next to Simran, the only thing I didn’t have was that stupid mandolin and his charming looks of the 90’s.

“So where are you going to?” I asked

“Pune”, she replied, “and you?”

“Pune too”, I said smilingly.

She smiled too, a little blushingly though and then we both looked down at the same moment. We looked up and somehow nature had ensured we look at each other again that very moment and we did, and again we smiled, with a lot more blushing from both sides.

After a few moments, I asked her “so you are studying in Pune?”

“Yes, at AFMC, I am doing my MBBS from there”, she replied beamingly. 

“That’s pretty cool, it is one of the best medical college’s in the country”, I reverted.

“Yes it is, and what about you, what do you do in Pune?” she quizzed me pleasantly. 

“I am a final year cadet at NDA”, I said with my chest standing out proudly. It is a moment of great pride for me when I tell anyone of where I am studying and what I intend to do with my career after all as they say “It is a Gentleman’s life”.

“Awesome, NDA, so we both will be in the armed forces, this is so cool”, she said.

“Yes it is”, I replied back with a radiant smile that could light up the darkness outside.

The conversational spark had been ignited and the fire was now warming up. We kept talking and time just flew by. We spoke about our colleges, the discipline of the armed forces, our families, our likes, dislikes, hobbies, Pune the city, our lives etc etc. We kept on chattering for hours together and by the time we looked back at the watch, it was almost 11 in the night. 

“I think I will go and sleep now, it is late”, she said.

I so didn’t want her to go, I was enjoying the time I had spent with her. How often does a cadet get to talk to a girl heart to heart for so long in the 3 years spent at NDA, probably never! 

Not wanting to impose, “yes you should, it is late”, I said.

Slowly she stood up by taking support on my shoulder till she was well inside the coach and then I swiftly got up.

“Good night Raj”, she said smilingly.

“Good night Simran”, I replied with an equal joyous smile.

She slowly walked back towards the compartments. In my heart and mind I was saying to myself “turn turn turn turn turn turn turn” and then she did, turn she did, smiled, blushed and went inside.  

“Yes Yes Yes” and I jumped in the air for I felt like Shahrukh khan did when Kajol turned back to look at him before boarding the train at one of those European stations in DDLJ. 

Now I knew, bollywood can also inspire real life events!!

I went back to my berth and sat down. My diner was kept on my berth, cold like an iceberg now. The fighting kids were sleeping together hugging each other like cute babies. They seemed so beautiful. “God don’t wake them up till morning”, I prayed, for I wanted to sleep peacefully. I kept the diner plate under the berth and lay down.

I closed my eyes and saw Simran’s smiling face and recollected the various conversations we had, it all made me smile and before I could realize I slept off, peacefully and rather blissfully.

“Raj wake up, Raj wake up, cmon Raj wake up”, said the angel’s voice.

“Get up Raj, we have reached Pune”, the angel spoke again.

“Huh, what? What time is it now?” I questioned her while I got up and stood to attention as if I was under an inspection at my hostel.

“1pm, Raj, we have reached Pune”, she said anxiously.

I looked outside the window; the train was at the Pune station. We had to de-board before the train started again. I quickly gathered my stuff and we ran towards the door.

I helped her get her stuff and I quickly got down. I pulled my luggage out and kept it on the platform. 

We looked at each other, she was perfectly made up, her hair was tied and her dress was arranged properly and here I was looking like a total mess with my hair going in all directions. Damn it, I hadn’t even gotten a chance to brush my teeth. If I spoke, I would have stunk heavily. So I kept quiet.

“So we have reached here on time”, she said.

“Yes on time performance”, I joked back.

“Time to go, my friends are coming to pick me up, how will you go?” , she told me.

“I will take the bus to Khadakwasla”, I said.

“ok cool, oh there they are”, she waved at her friends. They were a few paces away.

I wanted to ask her number but I couldn’t muster the courage. I had never done that before, give me a rifle to fire and I would never hesitate but asking for her number, I was frozen like an orange candy fresh out of the freezer.

“Great, so have a good time”, I said to her, trying hard to hide my desire to ask her for the number but not being able to do so.

“Yes, sure you too”, she said, lifting her bag. 

She slowly started to walk towards her friends.

“Will you have coffee with me next Sunday?” I blared out, all of a sudden, not knowing whether I would get slapped next or what.

She stopped in her tracks, slowly turned back and smilingly said “Yes, for a moment I thought you would never ask”.

“Here is my number, give me a call on Saturday and let us fix up the time for Sunday”, she handed me a piece of paper with her number.

“Thanks, I will do that”, I said to her glowing like the sun at noon.

“See you soon then, bye”, she said and walked off towards her friends.

I was smiling to myself; I picked up my bag and started to walk towards the station exit.  The engine of the train blew and I stopped, turned back and looked at the train, high fived the train, my lucky train, The Goa Express.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Night Out


2am!! God damnit, why can’t I get some sleep, I cursed myself (my friends call me NB)
I tossed myself again and tried to sleep with the pillow between my legs but alas sleep still kept evading me. I had no clue why he could not sleep that night, but being a diligent student I believe I was, I kept trying hard to get it. In a remote part of the country my parents had prayed to their deity before going to bed in blissful sleep to give some "akal" or common sense to their son so that I could complete the MBA course at I.F.T.I Delhi with flying colors like a diligent student.

Kicking the bed sheet from over me, I moved my hands over my slightly protruding belly, a result of the beer evenings and nights to let go of the stress of a B school, I felt it making some noise, in fact it was growling, it had been 5 hours since I had fed something to my poor stomach. It needed some nutrition so that it could stop making those noises. I got up and put on a t-shirt to cover up my not so muscular upper body, picked up my helmet and the bike keys to my Pulsar 220, a gift I had gotten from my parents on getting admission at I.F.T.I, a premier MBA school in "Dilli" or Delhi, the capital of the country.

Being a P.G. at a house in Kalu Sarai, a not so posh area in South Delhi, I tiptoed down the stairs to reach the ground floor. My bike was parked outside the gate of the house. I carefully pulled down the latch and slowly moved the gate back so that it would not make any noise, I didn’t want to disturb the landlord but alas, fate had other plans. The gate creaked, the old rusty hinges made their characteristic creaky sound. "#%$%$$" again, I cursed myself. I quickly went out and closed the gate again. Fate was a little kind to me; the landlord seemed to be in deep slumber tonight and did not wake up. I looked up and thanked my stars. I unlocked my bike and dragged it out to the road, to start it on the main road, so that no one in the P.G hears me go out at this late hour of the night in Dilli.

Once I hit the main road, I kick started the bike, wore my Ninja helmet, worth Rs 1000, raised its wiser and sped of to the 24X7 dhaba (eatery) near the call centre, 2 buildings away from my institute. "God, I am so hungry, i will have that paneer parantha with butter", I said to myself while licking my lips. Within, 5 minutes of vrooming at 100kmph, I reached the friendly neighborhood dhaba (eatery). The place was brimming with the call centre crowd, who had come down for the ciggy break. I parked my bike and shouted, "Oye chotu, 2 paneer paranthe with makhan (butter) and ek chai (one tea)". I sat down on a wooden stool and looked around to see if there were any familiar faces there.  I scanned once, twice, thrice, looked left, right and centre and found no one. Resigned at my fate, I looked down and waited for chotu to bring my yummy night snack.

“Chotu, Ek chai lana”, sang a nightingale, I was taken aback, I raised my head up to see the songstress, and there she was, pulling a chair next to where I was sitting. She was tall, about 5”5 in height, fair, a very pretty face with sharp but very feminine features, with her hair covering half of her face. She sat down and puffed a smoke, holding a Marlboro light in her dainty feminine hand.

I looked at her in disbelief, was this truly happening, I thought to himself. She was a goddess, a dream girl every college guy, for that matter even an MBA college guy would fantasize about. “Damn, she is so hot, she would look amazing on the cover of Sports illustrated in a two piece bikini or on the cover of Maxim or Playboy”, I mumbled to myself lost in my dream world. “Sahab, here are your paranthe and chai”, said chotu handing me my plate.

“Where is my tea”, said the pretty girl in a slightly agitated voice.

“it is getting made madam, it will take 10minutes, I gave the last ready cup to sahib here”, replied back chotu in a very apologetic manner to the goddess in front of him and sitting next to me.

“Here take mine”, I said to her, holding the cup of tea towards her, “I can wait for mine as I am still eating my paranthas”.

“Thanks”, she said and took the cup of tea, surprising me with the boldness of the act. I was hoping that she would decline and I would try offering it to her again but again fate decided against that plan.

She had this slight arrogance about her, but then if you are so beautiful then you should have it it. It is only fair, I thought to myself.

“So do you work here?”, she asked me while taking a drag of her cigarette.  Whenever she did that, I couldn’t stop staring.

“No, I study in I.F.T.I, two buildings away from your office”, I said , I had seen the office ID card sling around her neck with the ID turned towards her to safeguard her name against unwanted attention and hence I had known that she works there.

“Oh cool”, so you are an MBA student, you must be really smart”, she commented.

I smiled a little and said “yes I am, than most people”.  She smiled back and I beamed up like a Christmas star the top of a church on Christmas eve.
“Madam, your tea”, came the apologetic sound of chotu.

“Give it to sahab”, she said and took another puff of her ciggy. I took the cup from Chotu and sipped the tea. This made my throat feel better as it was very slippery due to all the butter I had consumed with the heavy paneer paranthas.

“So is that your bike”, she asked pointing toward the Pulsar.

“Yes that is mine”, I said beaming with pride.

“Can I ride it”? she stumped me.

How could some girl be so bold and upfront? How could a girl ask to ride the bike of a stranger at 3am in the morning in Dilli? My mind was confused, it was running around in circles and I was left spellbound.

She took another puff and asked me again “so can I ride it”?

“Umm sure, if you know how to ride it”, I said with a wicked tone.

“Yes I do, my ex-boyfriend taught me, he had a Karizma”, she said with a wicked tone now and winked at me.
“So hand me the keys, lets go for a ride”, she said to me.

It was freaking 3am in the morning, this was not short of a miracle in a dream. Here I was dressed in an unkept tshirt and boxer shorts out to have a snack at a dhaba, and I was now being asked by a hot beautiful girl no less than Aphrodite herself to ride my bike? I looked up and asked “God , am I in heaven”.

“OK”, I said to her nervously and handed her the keys.

She kept the tea cup down , and threw away the ciggy. She then sat on the bike, while I kept standing 3 feet away like a statue still trying to run my mind like a supercomputer to figure out what just happened.
“Are you coming or not or should I go alone?”, she asked me. I didn’t need another look and I quickly hopped on as the pillion.
She kick started the bike, “chotu, here take the money” and threw the money at him which he barely caught and then, we sped off.

We drove for about an hour, taking numerous turns of India gate, Connaught place, and all around Lutyen’s Delhi. All this while, she had a radiant smile on her face, a smile that you get when you feel free of all constraints, her hair kept coming on my face and I could smell the floral fragrance, intoxicating!! And all this while, I had kept on holding to the handle above the tail light so that I don’t fall down while she is happily smiling to glory!!

Finally, we came to a stop, inside a residential colony called Defense Colony in posh South Delhi. She stopped the bike near a big bungalow. It looked no less than a palace to someone like me from a small town. The bungalow seemed big enough to occupy the same amount of space as two tennis courts combined would occupy. I wondered to myself, why does a girl so rich have to work at a call centre?

“so you live here”, I asked

“yes, I do” she said

“so why work at the call centre?”, I asked her.

“just like that, I like being independent” she said

Yet again she me amazed me. Wow, this girl is so cool, I thought to myself, once again.

“ok I have to go now, it’s 5am and my cab drops me home by this time”, she said

“oh ok, so when do I get to see you again?” I asked 

“umm, I don’t know, I just quit my job today and I am getting married tomorrow, so I guess never”, she said smiling back

I was sitting there on my bike with my jaw open as if someone had given me a 440W live wire. I was shocked to the core. My mind was again running like a supercomputer to get some pattern out to interpret this situation.
Out of nowhere she leaned forward and kissed me on the lips and said, “thanks for the ride”.

Before I could react to what had happened, she started walking back towards her home.

“What is your name”, I asked her with a desire to know her like never before.

She stopped, opened the gate to her house, I thought she hadn’t heard me. Suddenly she turned back and said “Aphrodite”, winked at me and then disappeared inside her Godly abode.

Sitting on my bike, I was reliving the moment she kissed me, it was just a perfect ending to such an amazingly weird night and I was in seventh, eighth or probably ninth heaven if it existed. 

I looked up at the sky and said “thank you God, you are so amazing in your own ways” and kick started my bike to head back to my P.G.