Rumination amidst solitude

But with a twist

Published by purplepinkbliss under on 2:19 AM
Her final year graduation exams were on and she was exhausted already but Pratima had two more exams to go. Political science was the subject that she dreaded the most and the bitter cherry that did not compliment the cake was having to study what other thinkers thought of politics and society. In short to Pratima it was an excruciating ordeal.
She tried to read through. It was simply impossible. She tried to memorize. But no! She left her room and headed out for the garden. She watered it. She played with her dogs for a while. She went back to her room and tried to study again but it was simply impossible. She shut her books and decided to get back to them tomorrow.
The next day, she made a serious effort. However, she simply could not chew and digest political science. Worry seeped into her mind. She started jotting the points down as the last resort. Boredom barred her from studying further.
As she attempted to go through them again, a better plan struck her. Now these were apt to serve another purpose. She did not have to memorize them. These scribbling well folded could aid her during the exam!
Pratima did fairly well in college. Though not the best student she was one of those students who was immensely capable of surprising her teachers and all around her with outstanding marks. Being extremely popular, she maintained a certain set standard when it came to studies and everything else and she stood parallel to the studious lot in class. Apart from her known talents like dancing, writing and painting, her hidden one was copying. She had a great flair for it. She could copy right from under the nose of the invigilator without handing out a percent of doubt. Hence, her study time was put to good use.
On the day of her exam, Pratima woke up with little fret. She glanced through whatever she bothered to study. The rest, she simply had a last look at her chits. As she carefully folded the four A4 size papers into small cubes, she memorized the order of which topic lay in which paper. AT 11:30 am, Pratima after brunch set out for the afternoon that gave her the experience of a lifetime she did not foresee. Pratima walked tense as she was conscious of the chits hidden at her shoulders. She was least bothered of the outcome of her strange, risky and adventurous plan as the seating arrangement was beneficial to her. She sat at the second last bench in the very long hall with a single invigilator who spent most of his time at his desk in the front reading a paper during her previous exams.

On reaching the examination center, she met her friend Anjana. Anjana looked extremely tensed.
“Hello Anjana. How have u been? Sick paper this is. I can’t wait to get done with it.”

“OH hello Pratima! I only hope I get through this unfair ordeal”
“I wish you all the best! Now let me run along and revise a bit”, said Pratima.

“Hey!” called out Anjana. “Our seating arrangement has been changed. We are to be in the other block. Come along. I’m on my way there.”
Pratima was dumbstruck. However, she did not bat an eye-lid. On reaching the allotted classroom, Pratima gasped as she looked for her roll number on the desks. To her utter bewilderment, her number was on the first desk placed on the righthand side of the classroom. A wave of anxiety swept her. She wanted to be alone to hold herself together. The situation seemed grave and this exam was important as her graduation depended on it.
Soon the first bell rang. Pratima along with others left their study materials outside the hall. Before the invigilator stepped in, she checked for the chits placed at her shoulders. To her utter alarm, the one on the left shoulder was missing. She gasped at the marks she could lose. The invigilator ushered the girls engrossed in last minute revision outside to hurry in and get to their seats. Pratima closed her eyes and prayed to the almighty to get her out unscathed. The last bell rang and Pratima was still in prayers. She opened her eyes to behold a very young invigilator handing out the answer sheets. He looked at her straight in the eye and she looked back and then at her answer sheet and said “Thank you”. He did not reply and he looked at every other girl in the room straight in the eye as he handed out the papers. Pratima realized she was in fire as she would have to avert his glance most importantly through out her copying. He handed out the question papers to all in the room.
A quick look at the questions helped Pratima realize that the lost chit was of no use. After entering her name and hall ticket number, she started answering. The first two essays, she carried on her other shoulder. The two other chits, rested peacefully in the fancy case of her specs.
The invigilator being young literally gaped at every female in the room. Hence, Pratima had to multitask. She had to take a quick look at the chit before anyone saw her, write it down before she forgot and had to evade the glance of the invigilator staring at her. For a minute Pratima regretted having not studied.As a result, she took an hour and a half just to complete two essays.

She started with the first paragraph question as the invigilator came closer to her desk. His eyes fell on the fancy case of her specs. He put his hands on it and tried to open it. Pratima's heart beat at the fastest rate. He figured out how to open the fancy thing. He left it open and walked to the back. She sighed of relief.
The next instant he walked back to the case and opened it fully. Using his fore and middle fingers, he took out a chit. Pratima was frozen but pretended she was not a part of anything happening. He tapped Pratima's writing right hand with the chit.That was when she looked up at him.
He asked sternly but with a smile, “What may I ask is this?”Pratima managed a winsome smile and tried to look as calm as possible as she said, “I don’t need it.”
He was amused and taken aback at her cheeky but confident attitude. He looked straight into her eyes and she looked back and held his glance for two seconds before she slowly lowered it and resumed writing again. He walked away with the chit in his pocket. Pratima could not write anything that made sense.
All she scribbled were terrible nothings when he was looking her way and she crossed them when he wasn't looking.
She pretended to write but actually gasped for breath. Most of them in class had noticed some quiet commotion going on at her desk.
Perhaps he was irritated and not quite done with the situation at hand, he came back to her desk and had a second look at her case. This time he pulled out the second chit and opened it into its complete A4 size.
“You have quite some of them don’t you. I suppose you heard the authorities debarred three students this year for copying with manuscripts. You sure have a fat round chance for being the fourth. Is this your last exam?”
Pratima respected him for his monotonous mumbling loud enough only for her to hear. By now, the rest of the girls knew something was wrong.
She respectfully replied “No Sir. I have British History the day after. That is the last one.”

“You want to be the fourth one to be debarred? Shall I take these to the authorities?
Pratima looked straight into his eyes as he asked the question. She tilted her head to the left in a startled yet coy and casual manner and said “No!”
She held glance the same way for a couple of seconds and slowly lowered them only to resume scribbling her sweet nothings.
He smiled to himself and looked away. The moment he drifted away to his desk. Pratima gasped and choked silently. She looked to her side and saw her friend Reni watching everything from a distance in worry. She had seen him take away her chits. Soon the entire class knew and all those who possessed chits cast them away.
A peon appeared at the door and he stepped out to speak to him and stayed out for around 4 minutes making Pratima uneasy. Was he talking of her? Was he going to get her to trouble? If only she could be out of this!
Pratima decided to leave things to its own course. She tucked away her chits and decided to do the answering sans copying. He returned and went to her desk and glanced at her hall ticket and he took down her address. For the rest of the exam, he did not leave her side much to the preference of the other girls in the room as he hovered above Pratima leaving the rest to do as they pleased. This irritated her as she found it difficult to write with someone peeving all the time. Just to assure him that she was not copying any more, she arranged her papers and held them upright, battered them against the desk to show him that she had nothing within the sheets. She asked him for additional sheets and this impressed him as she still had things to write despite not having chits. There was just another half hour left. She tried her level best to put to all she knew to paper. She was confident that she would get through though it felt bad, as it was obvious that she would not top in this paper due to her own folly. She felt weird. The bell was sounded and every girl handed him the answer sheet according to their roll number and walked out.
As Pratima handed her answer sheet, he said, “Wait I need to talk to you. Stay right here.”She was desperate to go and felt uneasy.
She signd to Reni and Anjana to wait for her. He sorted out the papers and made sure every girl left the room. Pratima was tensed as she stood there anticipating a talk on honesty and integrity.
Once he sorted out and set the answer sheets, he walked close to her and asked“Your spectacles… are they meant to cure long or short sightedness?”
Pratima was baffled, as this was not the question she expected. She smiled, as she answered, “Neither. It’s to keep away a mild headache.”
He further asked,” What does your father do? Do you have siblings?Pratima desperately wanted to know where all this was headed.However, she answered him politely.
“My name is Sudhir. I work here as a lecturer. May I know where do you stay?”She was still in shock but she answered him as timidly as possible.
“What do you intend to do after your graduation?Now Pratima wanted to run away as she answered.
"May I have your phone number?”At this question, she was startled.However, she gave it, as she was grateful to him for not getting her debarred.
He read her qualm and answered, “I don’t intend to hurt or disturb you. I would like to talk to your father for your hand in marriage.Saying this, he walked away.Pratima stood there with her mouth wide open and she watched him walk away.After she got back to her senses, she looked around the corridor and suppressed her laughter.
Soon she saw Anjana and Reni approaching.On seeing them, she could not hold back.She exploded into a peal of laughter as her friends kept asking her about what had happened.All her friends burst into laughter as she recollected what had happened in the hall.
“Pratima, don’t marry him! Imagine your kids telling others how mum met dad.”
After a nerve-wrecking day, this was exactly what she needed, a good laugh! Pratima went home in a mood to party!

Angling Wrath

Published by purplepinkbliss under on 9:56 AM
Long blades of grass glistened in the subtle morning sunshine. The anglers of the tiny riverbank called Parappuram began their work for the day. A Fine February morning was just what Parvati and Shankar needed to kindle romance. In this almost non-existent hamlet of Kannur (Kerala), people fished, made beedis or did nothing at all. Hence, they had ample time to discuss politics and politicians, gossip about their neighbors and to think of ways to bolster the commiseration of the Marxists towards them.They looked at the bourgeois with derision.

Shankar and Parvati were to meet in the morning at 9 am. Parvati chose the meeting spot for the day. As Shankar drove through unfamiliar narrow bumpy roads, he wondered whether people in this vicissitude ever saw a car as people who passed him by paused to stare with exclusive interest. He came across a huge hump on the road and as he tried to get his car across as slowly as possible without scratching the lower portion, cronies gathered at the shelter on the right hand side of the road watched with their mouths wide open much to his irritation.He managed to get it unscathed and before he resumed driving, he called aloud to the cronies and asked,“Is there a human corpse underneath this huge hump?The middle-aged cronies laughed loud and one of them replied,“You are free to find out for yourself!”
“He is new to this place,” they whispered amongst themselves.
Shankar reached a tollbooth made solely out of bamboo that led to a bridge. He hardly drove 30 seconds further and he beheld the most serene scene. He simply had to stop the car, step out and enjoy. He looked down from top of the bridge to gaze at the calm river bordered on either side with rows and rows of coconut trees. This bridge overlooking the river was where they were supposed to meet. Shankar arrived 20 minutes earlier. He let the whole quietness and tranquility sink into him. He leaned on to the concrete railings surrendering to the harmony.The workers in the tollbooth joined by another crowd kept surveying him from a distance:“Who could he be? “Definitely, he is a rich father’s son.”
“Look at his car and clothes.”
“From abroad I guess.”
“Maybe from Dubai and he is home on vacation.”
“I wonder if he is married.”
“ If not he will surely get a rich father-in-law.”

He loved to visit his hometown and he was on a two-month leave for a special reason. His marriage with Parvati was fast approaching. Shankar stood there waiting for her. He had been eager to see her since he set foot in Kannur three days ago. In another 3 weeks, they would soon a couple.Their parents arranged their marriage and Shankar left for Mumbai a week after their engagement. This was their first rendezvous after six months of long distance courting over the telephone and e-mails. He was madly in love with her.
He looked at his watch and it was sharp nine. He heard a honk and looked towards the tollbooth and there she was paying the toll. She crossed the bamboo gate and parked her old Ambassador right behind Shankar’s car. She stepped out of the car and locked it before she turned to face him.
She smiled from a distance and he reciprocated. Shankar was spell bound as she approached him in a black sari matched with a red blouse. She kept looking at him and he did the same sans the smile. Immediately she looked away. He did the same.
“I have been waiting here for the past 20 minutes,” said Shankar.
“It is not my fault that you arrived 20 minutes early,” ridiculed Parvati with a smile.
“I think it is that grandpa Ambassador of yours that got you delayed.”
“Excuse me! That’s the first car that came into the family and I’ll keep using it as long as I can,” said Parvati with effected airs.
“Fine with me as I don’t trust women driving, especially my new baby you see there. I guess my future father-in-law and I share the same view when it comes to women driving. That’s why he lets you drive Ambi grandpa there.”
Parvati hit him on his arm playfully and the both of them laughed at his comment. He put his arm over her and they walked to the railings to lean on them. Parvati’s heart skipped a beat when she felt his arm.
“How did you even think of this little hamlet? How did u know that there existed a place like this?” asked Shankar.
Parvati pointed out to the left hand side of their view to a walled plot and said, “You see that walled piece of land by the river bank? That belongs to daddy.”
“Oh lovely,” said Shankar. We should have a nice bonfire barbecue with the entire family sometime post marriage.”
Meanwhile, the number of people at the bamboo tollbooth kept multiplying. They gawked with their mouths open. This was simply food enough for the day. Amongst themselves they said, “Hey that girl… I have seen her before.”
“Ah, she is the daughter of the man who owns that walled plot!”
“Oh ho! What nerves to be out with a boy in broad daylight!”
“She usually comes here with her parents and brothers. But what guts.”
“Her father is a Friend of Raghu’s. We should report the matter immediately.”
Parvati and Shankar were lost deep in their own world. To their utter bewilderment, they heard the loudest honk right from behind them. Shankar withdrew his arm from Parvati’s shoulder. They turned back to behold a gigantic lorry that seemed to not get past the bridge due to their cars parked on the side.The lorry was full of youth, both men and women dressed in red holding red flags. Every pair of eyes looked at the couple.
Parvati said, “I know Shankar, there is enough space for the lorry to pass. Let it be. Let us park the car yonder, post the bridge.”
Saying this, she nudged Shankar by his arm and led him to his car. She got inside her own and followed Shankar’s vehicle to the end of the bridge.The lorry passed and every pair of eyes kept gaping at the couple until they lost sight of them.

“I can’t believe this!” resented Shankar. “Why did he have to do that?”
“Well, firstly, we didn’t have to park the car on the bridge. Secondly, probably he didn’t like two beautiful people like us having a cozy time.”
Shankar smiled an honest smile. “So you are having a cozy time eh?”Parvati smiled and tugged her open hair behind her ears. She fished her handbag for a butterfly clip to draw her hair back. Instead, she got keys to her father’s property.“Hey you want to check out the property?”

“I’d love to,” said Shankar.He put his arm around her waist. This time she felt comfortable.They walked past the weeds and coconut trees.
“You have paunch, don’t you?” gagged Shankar.
Parvati stopped walking to face him.She tugged at his belly to point out a small paunch and she said, “No fret. My cooking post marriage will get rid of both our paunches.”
Shankar laughed again. Parvati opened the gate that led to their property and Shankar was enthralled. In exhilaration of the peace and tranquility, Shankar walked a few paces ahead of her to that part of the land that opened straight into the river.Parvati let him be.
After a moment of silence, Shankar asked, “What does your dad intend to do with this beautiful land?”
“To build a vacation home and rent it. He hopes to turn this into a home away from home and it’s open to anyone in the immediate family,” answered Parvati.
“Lovely! You can team it up with ayurveda, a houseboat, a tree house and all that God’s own country has to offer.”
“Speaking of GOC”, broke in Parvati, “You want to have fresh toddy?”
“Oh God! Don’t tell me that you drink Parvati,” ridiculed Shankar
“Ah, I see that my suitor is old fashioned much to my liking. Don’t women in Mumbai drink?”

“What the women of Mumbai do is not my concern. I’m just a little surprised to know that my soon to be wife is open to drinking.”
“Why Shankar? You seem to have a problem with it.”
“No I don’t. Just took me by surprise and yes! I would love some toddy. Where do we go for it?”
“I don’t drink, Shankar! Just asked because that’s the first thing we ask our guests when we bring them here.”
“Not that I have a problem with women drinking. Let me sum it up by saying, I’m a chauvinist but I was just joking earlier. If you can take care of yourself please feel free to do as you please.”

“I would say the same to you,” said Parvati.
The locals of the locale peeved, pushed and heaved to see the couple all alone. The word got around about the land owner’s daughter doing rounds with an unknown man!
Parvati finally found her clip and was about to pull her hair back when Shankar said, “Let it be. You look beautiful with your hair left open.”
Parvati put it away elated. Shankar sat close to her arm in arm. To their utter anguish, they heard the crackling of a twig behind them. They turned to look behind and they saw a young man in a dhoti and brown shirt. He removed his slippers and tied his dhoti up, climbed the coconut tree and plucked a coconut without uttering a word.
Shankar was astonished. “You know that guy? Are you sure that this is your father’s property?”
“It sure is!” said Parvati.
“The jack ass and a half!” roared Shankar.
Parvati politely said, “Wait Shankar. There is a better way to deal with this. This is a Marxist area. He is probably a laborer a member of the party. It is better we deal in a different way.”
The youth hopped down in five swift hops with the coconut and walked away.
“You call him a laborer? You have laborers in starched white dhotis here? The nerve to get into another’s plot and pluck a coconut that in no way is remotely his and the nerve to walk right past the owner without the slightest courtesy saying nothing? Parvati, one has to be a saint to be living amongst these rogues,” exasperated Shankar.
Raghu, a middle-aged man approached. She got to her feet and said, “Hello Raghu Uncle!”
“Hello, Parvati!”
“Uncle, meet Shankar, My fiancée.”
That was when Raghu brightened up.“Hello Shankar.”
“Shankar, This uncle is very close to dad. He is a farmer who sells organic vegetables.”
“Oh, I see! Lovely to have met you, said, Shankar.“When are you getting married?” asked Raghu.
“On the 9th of next month. We hope to have you on the wedding and the reception.”
“My pleasure! What can I get the two of you? Shall I ask for some toddy?”
“Oh we would love to have them. I have asked Thilakan to get some. Uncle, a young man walked in right now, plucked a coconut and walked away without saying a word,” said Parvati.
“Can you recognize him?” asked Raghu. “Such insolence should not go unpunished.”
Raghu walked away and was back in around 7 minutes with the youth in a brown shirt.
“Is this the lad?”
“Yes!”-said Parvati.
“Say sorry you imbecile!” roared Raghu.
“Sorry! I did not know that this place belonged to you,” said the youth.
Shankar began, “Unless the property is your own, you have no right to …”
After half an hour of Shankar’s evocation on integrity, Raghu and the youth left and the toddy arrived. Shankar sipped the fresh sweet toddy and said,
“This certainly is God’s own country but with devil’s children in it!” They sat arm in arm until sunset. Parvati's phone rang and it was her mother.
"Parvati! I got a call from Raghu..."
She held the receiver far from her ear and told Shankar, "Amma on the phone! I'm going to have it from home today."
Shankar snatched the phone to say, "Amma, I'll see to it that she is home soon. It was her idea to meet before marriage..."
Parvati whacked him on his elbow saying, " Excuse me!"
Shankar put it on the loudspeaker and her mother could hear both of them loud and clear.
" I was the one, eh?" shouted Parvati.
Parvati's mom laughed to say, "Come home soon. It's getting late."
"Yes Amma!" said Shankar and switched off the phone."Now none can disturb us."
"I rather be running home." Saying this, she stood up and Shankar followed suit.

Conformity Burns

Published by purplepinkbliss under on 6:10 AM
Secretly, the verve of love and expectancy rippled across her nerves. The root of this unvoiced reveling was a phone call she attended early in the evening while at home. The “Hello” voiced from the other side of the line belonged to Vikram. She followed her first instinct and hung up. Before she could return to her room the phone rang again and when she answered it, Vikram said, “It’s me again.”
“I’ll speak to you later or my father will kill us both,” whispered Nila warily but with a smile so difficult to supress.
“I love you,” said Vikram before she managed to get away from the phone.
The ring was that of a local call. It implied he was in town.
“Who’s on the line?” called out her brother from downstairs.
“Just another wrong number,” replied Nila trying to sound as casual as possible.

For the rest of the evening, Nila stayed in her room unable to do anything but think of Vikram. She lay wide awake in the dark late in the night looking at the moon surrounded by the stars that waited on her through the window. The next morning she helped her mother around the house with chores and as she had breakfast with her parents and brother she asked her brother, “Can you buy me some jasmine flowers now?”
“Now?” he looked at her.
“I have a function today at college and the post graduate students have been asked to dress up in a Kerala sari. I thought some flowers would go along with it fine,” said Nila.
“Of course I will” said her elder brother Jatin.
“He will have the flowers here by the time you dress up in your sari,” said her father.
“What function are you going to?” asked her mother.
“Oh it is just another song and dance day to celebrate the presence of another Swami coming from the Arya Samaj College’s board from the north. It is just a half day and I’ll come home on my own as soon as the function is over. No need to pick me up during the day. It might interrupt all your schedules.”
“Not a bother. You give us a ring when the program is done with. No one is too busy to make time for you here,” gleamed her father approvingly at his only darling daughter.
“Now get dressed quickly. We’ll leave in forty minutes,” said Jatin.
She left the table and hastened to her room. For a moment she wished the whole world knew about her and Vikram. If only she could be honest to her parents of this one thing she kept closely guarded. She feared their loss of faith in her and nothing else for she revered her family deeply.
Nila was elegant and she dressed up really well and her tall and graceful figure rendered her as extremely attractive. She was everything a well brought up girl should be. Despite the family’s wealth and status every member of the family was humble and soft spoken. Nila was the kind of girl that was fit for a prince and on the other hand, she was proficient at housekeeping and she was an excellent cook too. Her charm was conspicuous and her speech was divine.
As she left her home for the day her father remarked to her mother, “She looks so captivating in that crème sari. You think she will get married soon?”
“She must. Girls should get married by the time they are twenty. She is a year older. I hope she gets the right proposal soon,” ruminated her mother.

Nila was extremely popular in college both amongst the tutors and students alike. She was often referred to as the best dancer in college. But soon after graduation, her group members got married one after the other. Nila felt uncomfortable with new groups and she felt every other group lacked the coordination and luster. Thus for functions Nila stayed away from performing and she helped with organizing events or more often than not she went to back rows to enjoy and hoot along with the others. She was a girl that liked to have fun. But she was conditioned right from childhood to keep her unruly streaks if any low.
Again, covertly she detested living a life characterized by restraint. In their small town namely Kannur, everyone knew everybody else and people of the same caste were often related to each other. People kept an eye on each other and hence people carried an air of vain ostentation and wore their ball-roomed sized egos on their sleeves. Nila despised the constant pedantic scrutiny with its penchant for ones flaws and the joy they derived from it.
As she helped a junior backstage with make up, the vice principal asked her a favor. The middle aged yet buxom lady with spectacles on her nose said, “Nila, I need your help. Can you please deliver this envelope to Mrs. Deepa Joseph, the principal of Vidya Mandir? It is kind of urgent and she is expecting it within an hour and a half.”

“Indeed.”

“Thank you dear and we still have time. You can ask the watchman to let you out of the gates with this chit here. Thank you again.”
Nila finished with the makeup and looked at the chit. The events on stage bored her and decided to go on the errand. The Vidya Mandir was just around the corner and it was a school rather tolerant as opposed to her Arya Samaj Women’s College. The gates of the college closed at ten in the morning and then opened at three in the evening. Leaving the premises between the hours needed a chit signed by the principal or the vice principal. The road connecting the institutions on the same street was deserted in the early afternoon. The silence was disturbed by an occasional Romeo during recess on a motor bike or rarely a car while the anonymous Juliet graced one of the four floors overlooking the main road. The dress code was restricted to a pink and grey salwar and khameez. It took an occasion like the flower carpet competition nearing the festive season of harvest called Onam or the annual day that allowed the cocoons to burst out into beautiful butterflies. But students doing their Masters got to wear saris once in several months on the arrival of a Swami from the missions’ centre. Thus Nila and her batch mates were allowed the delight of wearing a sari occasionally.
Nila felt light and she wanted to be away from the din right away. She adjusted her sari and stroked the flowers in her hair before she headed out for the errand. She handed the chit to the watchman and walked onto the street looking ahead while seeing nothing as all she could think about was Vikram.
He worked in the UAE and came home for a month annually to Kannur in December. Vikram had a stint with modeling during his college days in Bangalore. He was six feet tall, well built and had a clean shaven and sharp featured look. When he walked into a room heads turned to behold a good-looking reticent young man who was probably rich. He was deep and never complained of Nila’s reluctance to spend time with him or be seen with him in public. It fueled his longing all the more.
There is a passion in love untainted by reality that fosters the feeling of a rose tinted happy ever after. All one can see is the beauty and virtues in a beloved. Love in such a stage could be a trap for a lifetime or maybe a door that could lead to extreme joy. One never knew what awaited them unless they savored marriage. This toxic stage was where Nila and Vikram were stranded.

Vikram was seriously contemplating marriage with Nila and his parents were in a search of a suitable bride. But since Nila belonged to different caste things seemed complicated enough to even present the matter to his parents. Vikram’s brother who was older got married eloping with a girl from a different caste as his parents denied consent and his sister-in-law was not accepted by the family until she gave birth to a son. It was a much talked about alliance and was a gruesome phase for the family. Having witnessed his parents’ agony Vikram wanted to spare them the misery of another controversy. But how would they go about it? He had no clue. They wouldn’t elope for certain. They had to convince their folks. That was the only way out.

Feeling lost Vikram decided to accompany his friends Ajay and Sumit to the temple in the premises of the Vidya Mandir. The school was run by the temple authorities and it stood in a corner of the vast temple.
Ajay drove Vikram’s car and Sumit occupied the front seat. Vikram was propped up in the back. As they headed straight to the temple amidst frolic shared amongst friends meeting after a long time, Sumit astonishingly remarked, “Look at that dame!”
Ajay with a start slowed down the vehicle to see the girl and said, “Indeed!”
Vikram uninterestingly looked out through the glass and said with a start, “Nila! I must speak to her at once."
"Who's Nila?" asked Sumit but none answered him.
Ajay took the car right in front of Nila and stopped there. Nila was startled and jerked back. Vikram got out of the car. Nila was perplexed and needed a second to realize what was happening and Vikram was standing right in front of her.
She was dumbstruck. So was he at this chance encounter. It was after a couple of seconds Nila managed to say, “Hi”
Vikram was drunk in her beauty. He managed to smile without blinking. She felt his eyes bore into her and she looked away. She came back to her senses and realized that they were out on the street and definitely attracted attention.
“I must go,” she said and took a step away
Vikram took her by the arm and got into the car. She huddled up next to him before she could even realize what was going on. Ajay pressed the button that shut all the windows automatically and parked the car to a side and then both Sumit and Ajay walked out of the car to the temple.
“I must go Vikram. I’m terrified,” said Nila turning to walk out. But Vikram gently pulled her to him. He put his arm around her and took her hands in his and asked,
“Terrified of what darling?”
She could never answer that question of his. For a moment his words soothed her anxiety and she felt protected in his arms.
“Where you going far?” asked Vikram.
“I was asked to deliver this envelope to the Principal there” said Nila.
“Perfect timing then isn’t it? How have you been darling?
“I am good. How are you? I couldn’t speak to you yesterday. When did you arrive?
“I got here yesterday at 9 in the morning. I was getting restless at home thinking of you. That’s why I thought of coming to the temple with Ajay and Sumit.”
”What were you thinking of?” asked Nila.
“I was thinking of how tired I am of this secrecy. The two of us having to crouch into a car to even say “hello”. Rather pathetic don't you think?" I want this to materialize Nila. I want to be with you and I want you to be with me sans the fear and worry.”
“If only it were possible right now Vikram!”
He lifted her face and looked straight into her eyes. The proximity of their physical closeness triggered a passion so intense that Nila let him kiss her and soon he was kissing her with his tongue. Nila let go of all her restraint until she heard his phone ring. He let her lips slide off his reluctantly and he groped the pocket of his jeans for his mobile.
It was his sister. She had come all the way from Ernakulam to see him. She was older to him by 6 years and they were inseparable. He spoke to her for around 3 minutes.
It was more than enough to help Nila to snap out of the fervor she was engulfed in. After he hung up she freed herself from his arms and said “I must get going now. I hope no one saw us together.”
“Relax Darling! We are being a little paranoid here. My sister has come home with my nieces.”
“See you Vikram. I must go now on my errand.”
Vikram drew her closer to him. Before he could kiss her once again she managed to put her fingers between their lips and said, “No”.
“I love to listen to your ‘no’. It is the word ‘Yes’ expressed a thousand times over sealed with a single ‘no’, said Vikram.
Blushing she said, “I may lose myself. Like you said I don’t want to be scared anymore. The moment we are assured of our union I will greet you with a kiss.”
“Agree!” He took his arms off her.
“See you soon,” she said opening the door and stepping out. She walked towards the school and Vikram stared on until he could see her no more. Ajay and Sumit returned to the car and asked Vikram with mocked fury.
“Why didn’t you tell us? How long has it been since you have been seeing each other?”
“Oh! I am so sorry for not saying anything. It has been four years. We thought of sharing it post an engagement.”
Sumit winked and said, “Pardon the comments. I was just being myself.’
Vikram laughed out loud and said “Pardon granted.”
“Are you not going to the temple?” asked Ajay.
“I rather go home. My sister has arrived.”

Vikram spent a delightful afternoon with his sister and his nieces. After lunch when the girls were put to sleep he spoke to his sister of Nila.
His sister was a warmhearted mother of two who had content adorning her face. She looked every inch a Nair heiress with her smooth and extremely fair skin, curly hair and a once slender but presently plump physique.
“But Vikram,”she said. “You know how Amma and Achan regard these caste issues. You remember what happened with chettan don’t you? They would like you to marry well from amongst our lot. I think Amma as a girl in mind.”
“No Mini oppol,” said Vikram gravely. “It has to be Nila and no other.”
“But what shall we do?”

The siblings shared a moment of silence. Then Mini spoke. “I know what we should do. No body turns a deaf ear to tradition. But I know a stronger loop hole. We should check your horoscopes. If they match 55% of the hurdle is thin air. They won’t take it lightly if the horoscopes are a match.”
“Yes. It seems so. I will try and get her horoscope as soon as possible.”
Nila was in a maze and it was growing difficult for her to pretend that all was well. She hated lies. Yet here she was lying about her delay, lying by omission of what she just did and above all she hated to play the dainty lass to her parents. After her errand she went home on her own and stayed up in her room throughout the evening. She was happy, restless, quiet and irritant all at the same time. She stepped out of her room and noticed that her parents and brother were taking their tea in the garden. She grabbed the occasion and called Vikram.
He knew that she would hang up as soon as she had called him. Hence he lost no time in saying, “I think we should check our horoscopes. If it matches then I’m sure either family will agree to an extent.”
“I think so as well,” said Nila. “But how will we go about it?”
“You must post a copy of your horoscope as soon as possible. Perhaps it could be done tomorrow?”
“Yes.”
“How have you been darling?”
“Miserable, excited, shiftless and dreary is how I have been.”
“The effects of my kisses I suppose?”
“Yes, but also because I have to pretend to be the best daughter and what if my parents found out what I did when I had the slightest freedom to walk the streets?”
“You don’t have to be guilty. It was me.”
“You mean everything to me. But to everybody else I was an unmarried girl alone with a stranger in the car with pitch-black tinted windows. What if someone saw us?”
“We will sort it out this very week!”
Nila hung up as she heard footsteps inside the house. She went to her mother’s desk and took a copy of her horoscope and put it into an envelope she found. The next day at recess she handed the envelope to a friend who was a border at the hostel near by who posted it on the way to lunch.
Vikram received it within a day. He lost no time. He took Mini oppol and went to the nearest astrologer.
“The horoscopes are good. But they are not meant to be,” was the first verdict.
As they left the astrologer Mini oppol declared that the astrologer wasn’t proficient enough. She wanted to pacify her brother and it was easy to render the astrologer worthless than mulling over the unfavorable verdict.
“Let us go to another astrologer,” said Vikram
They drove to another astrologer 35 miles away from where they lived. This astrologer had a reputation for being brutally honest and precise in his predictions. Despite the crowd waiting to see him they decided to wait. After an uneasy and sweaty hour it was their turn and they stepped into his office. The old astrologer with his forehead smeared with ash didn’t even look up. He just extended his hand and his assistant whispered to Mini oppol to hand over the horoscopes if any. Vikram handed over the horoscopes and after a fixed expression of intense scrutiny he looked up to say, “Promising horoscopes.”
Vikram sighed of relief and Mini oppol smiled.
“But they shouldn’t be matched as it would be a disastrous and unhappy marriage.”
Vikram battled with uneasiness again. After a silent drive back home Mini oppol said, “I am going to book an appointment with Poduval. Let us take one last opinion.”
Two days later they were in the office of an astrologer who was regarded the best of all. He was rather curt and dismissive. He rudely said “Don’t waste time over the horoscopes.”
Turned off completely by the astrologer’s attitude Vikram demanded to know, “why?”
“I want an explanation. Why shouldn’t they be matched?”
“If you want a life of extreme complication and hurdles with no children and trying domestic scruples please go ahead with this match.”
Seeing Vikram’s extremely sad face the middle aged man mellowed down. He said, “The horoscopes are good and are meant to experience extreme prosperity and good times but not to be matched. Wish you good luck.”
Vikram’s face fell. The siblings went back home dejected.
“Now what chances have we? Knowingly I cannot let you settle for an unhappy future. I’m afraid we’ll have to put an end to your plans with Nila.”
“Oppol!” exclaimed Vikram. “You are not serious are you?”
“I am. You heard the astrologers thrice yourself! It may end up a disaster. Do you want to get into something with a total knowledge of an unfavorable outcome?”
“Why did we even check it out? Now our parents will never agree!”
“Vikram. I am sorry I cannot help you in this matter further.”

It had been two days since Nila spoke to Vikram. She was eager to find out about the horoscopes. Anxious and terrified as she was she called him from her room using the cordless.
“Hello,” she called out as she heard his voice. “Tell me! Did you get the horoscope?”
“I checked them up with three different astrologers. They don’t match at all.”
Nila was silent.
“Nila, What should we do? Elope?”
“No!”
“I see no other option here!”
“We won’t elope.”
“I spoke to my father today afternoon. He is dead against it.”
“But what did the astrologers say?” pleaded Nila.
“About an unhappy and disastrous union is what they all predicted. I am lost.”
“I will speak to my mother,” said Nila.
“I will be waiting for your call.”

Nila decided to speak to her mother who was more poised than her father. They sat down on her bed.
“I’m in love Amma. I want to marry Vikram.”
Her mother was dumbstruck.
“I thought so. But I wasn’t sure if it was love. What does this Vikram do?”
“He works for a bank in Dubai.”
“What does he do in a bank and which bank does he work for?”
“He is a credit analyst and he works for Grindlays.”
“Is he from Kannur? What about his parents? Where did he study and what did he do?”
“He is from Kannur and his parents are basically from Calicut. His father owns estates and his mother is a housewife.”
“Siblings?” asked her mother.
“Yes. An elder brother and sister both married with kids.
“Where is the sister in law from?”
“Kannur”
“Where do they have estates?”
“Coorg and Munnar is where they are situated!”
“What does his brother do?”
“He manages the estates in Munnar.”
“His sister, what does she do?”
“She is a homemaker with two kids settled in Ernakulam.”
“I am glad that you know a good deal of his family. But tell me is his sister in law from a family we are acquainted with?”
“She belongs to our caste!”
“What does that mean?”
“He is a Nair. The sister in law is a Thiyya.”
Her mother twitched with despair for her daughter.
“I’m afraid I cannot help you dear. You will never be accepted there. You can give birth to hundred sons but they will always whisper of you belonging to a different caste.”
“What if our horoscopes match Amma?”
“Maybe there is a small chance.”
“But Amma Vikram has checked them and our horoscopes don’t match! I love him Amma. Please speak to Achan for me.”
“About a boy from a different caste and that I know that your horoscopes don’t match? What do I speak to your father about?”
“It sounds terrible and hopeless when you put it that way.”

They spent half an hour in the room until her mother was summoned downstairs by her father.
Seizing the chance again, Nila called Vikram.
“It is not working Vikram.”
“Let’s meet up tomorrow.”
“Ok. In the cyber café. During recess I will be there what come may.”
Thus they decided to meet the following day a Wednesday.

Who did ever think of cabins in a cyber café? It served more than its purpose of surfing the net. It is the coziest place to meet one's lover. Cafes with cabins were often full of lovers. Nila in her uniform managed to slip out during recess. She stepped in not knowing if Vikram was there. It was just then Vikram arrived and they went into the cabin in the farthest corner.

He sat on the chair placed right in front of the computer and she sat on a three legged stool placed next to it. It was rather cramped up. But it didn’t matter as long as it offered a safe meeting spot.
“Hello Darling! How did you manage to slip out?”
“Being the class representative I have the permission to get photocopies if necessary.”
She looked at his watch and he saw her look
“How much time do we have?” asked Vikram.
“Another forty minutes.”
“Good! Nila I have something really important to discuss.”
“So have I”
“I think its best that …”Vikram couldn’t complete his sentence.
“I think its best that we don’t see each other anymore?”
He was silent.
“Not to worry. I was prepared to hear and express the same thing.”
“Nila I would never wish the slightest misery in your life.”
“I know and I want you to be happy no matter whom you get married to.”
“This is very very difficult for me. God save anybody else of this agony.”
She took his face in her hands and said, “We will learn gradually to think ourselves out of it. But I request you of this one thing. Please don’t ever try to contact or meet me again. Because I might be tempted to pursue our love even if I have to burn social barriers and all of the occult. "
“Nila!” exclaimed Vikram.
She was her poised best void of any visible emotion.
She kissed him on his forehead as he writhed in agony. She said “Bye! I really mean the word bye. It means God be with ye.”
She smiled and walked out of the cabin door.
Vikram couldn’t move.
Nila walked as fast as she could and she took the longer route to college. She walked fast enough to stop the tears from flowing and to exhaust herself from anything else than sorrow.
Vikram decided to cut short his trip and go back to Dubai.
Nila went home excusing herself and she looked terrible. Her mother brought Nila's lunch to her room and found her sobbing uncontrollably. She held her dear daughter in her arms.
Amidst sobs Nila managed to say, “We put an end to it.”

When We Cannot Meet...

Published by purplepinkbliss under on 9:23 AM
I don’t expect diamonds or pearls.
Nor must you be one among barons or earls.
We need nothing other than ourselves
To cuddle in our tiny world equal to castles.
Being yours makes me the world’s wealthiest woman,
For your goodness like alchemy makes you a perfect man.
Just being with you carries me to blissful heights
And when with you I stack all wrongs and rights.
To me, no precious gift can match our meetings
And no wave of fate can sweep away my feelings.
Even a billion miles cannot keep us apart.
Though you’re far away your always in my heart.
I feel empty when you are not with me,
For absent are my life’s love, zest and glee!
Now faith in you is my only peer…
Sweetheart, if only you were near

Wedded Bliss

Published by purplepinkbliss under on 6:58 AM
My work for the day is done
And here I am on my own
Waiting for you to come home.
I spend my days literally doing nothing.
But I’m busy when you are home.
I love your smile when you like something
And your boyish grin when you aren’t happy.
I simply love those long talks at night
As we lie in each other’s arms in delight
I love to see you grope for your things
And the way you call out to me for them.
These are your ways of telling…
How you can’t go on without me.
We’re far away from where we belong
And I have to deal with many things alone.
But I have never been so content and happy.
I can’t go back to where I used to be.
Let’s keep it this way for eternity

My Man (Written at 18)

Published by purplepinkbliss under on 6:52 AM
Everyday many a man passes me by
But I seldom look, I do not know why.
No man has so far appeared appealing
In order to arouse any sort of feeling.
Some men are dark, some fair,
Some mediocre but none worthy of care.
The world is flowing with men so attractive,
But no man bids my heart submissive.
He need not be handsome to look at,
But should be sober and compassionate.
The person should bring out the best in me
And sprinkle the world with tranquillity.
Many dandies make the street colourful.
Street-side Romeos make the roads pitiful.
Doctors are busily engaged in saving,
Architects are engrossed only in building.
Many other men roam around.
I am aware of all sorts walking this ground.
But my man who is he,
Hope he too is on the look out for me.

Thinking of you as I see pink and blue...

Published by purplepinkbliss under on 5:54 AM
I have never lived my life in such anticipation.
The world is at my disposal.
Despite it,Void is all I feel as I sit here thinking of you.
You have grown on me.
I never want us to stay away this long.
But since its best for the moment,
A ray of hope keeps me in spirits
As I deeply await the moment
We are soon to be three.
I sit here wondering…
Which color do I fill my room with?
Pink for an angelic girl
Or blue for Mamma’s boy?
Sweetheart, I have no words to express
What the subtle movement within me
Invokes. It simply doesn’t matter.
Nothing matters.
But I wish we were together
Arm in arm to share this sweet delight.
In anticipation, here I am all yours…
Come home to me soon

As You Sleep

Published by purplepinkbliss under on 5:51 AM
Sleep
As you sleep my little angel
I simply gaze with sweet silence
For all the bliss is bound to knell
The deepest love in my hearts abyss…
My beautiful angel, what can I say
For my senses are numb with emotion
As my darling baby in my arms lay,
Rendering me humbler at this elation,
I think to myself as I see you in pink
What is it about my arms that soothe you?
What about my voice and presence sinks
You into assurance ushering forth smiles anew?
Darling, darling, the most revered part of me
My darling who expects nothing of me
Let me take pleasure in this precious moment
A phase sans expectation, sans judgment,
To relish what technology cannot capture
And time cannot arrest but hold in my heart and cater
This moment most beautiful than all art or melody-
Me a young mother with my beautiful baby…

Intermittently

Published by purplepinkbliss under on 5:45 AM
I sit here like Queen Moon in the heavens
With people stars waiting on me
And I seek rays of love, care and hope
To fulfill my sense of purpose and be merry.
What is the moon's purpose?What is my purpose?
To look beautiful and light up the night sky?
Perhaps help people mark time in life?
Through girlhood,wifehood and motherhood
I've been waiting, I have been searching...
For that which is as good or perhaps better
Than what I have known only from you.
It gives me hope,It hurts beyond words...
I try to put it behind me, intermittently...
And I know I will always just keep waiting, keep looking...