Love story

Dedicated to – “She” wanted happy love stories.

The speaker blared the song in the rickshaw. It was an old 80s romantic song ,Reema felt a giggle built inside her. It was quite an irony she and her 4 colleagues squeezed in a auto rickshaw were going to a wake of their now Late boss Sumeir Shukla.

The song ignited her rusty old feelings for her boss and she felt a bit sad at the thought that this would be the last time she would see his flesh…dead & cold.

The bunch of colleagues stopped outside a gigantic bungalow surrounded by huge False Ashoka trees. They stepped inside the living room, where it was filled with mass of people wearing white color  clothes of varying shade. Mr.Sumeir shukla’s body was laid down the ground, covered with a white shroud, and only his face was visible. He looked unbelievably calm, poised & alive. The only sign which gave away that this was just a dead body, were the nostrils filled with camphor scented cotton balls.

Reema & her collegaues walked up to the body of their boss to pay their last respects. His whole immediate family was sitting around the corpse. The whole atmosphere was of a sombre nature, filled with fragrance of rose incense sticks, servers were fluttering between the hall and kitchen to serve water and juice.

Reema stood beside the dead body & studied it. Her boss, a 55 year old man, didn’t actually a look age above 50. She could still remember his persona and his heady perfume, of course his short-temperedness came free with other traits. God bless his family, Reema said a mental prayer for the family & stepped aside a bit to make way for the others. Suddenly she felt a push from behind amidst the crowd and Reema fell on the dead body.

She was face to face with her dead boss, except his eyes were closed. She had imagined this many times, but didn’t know her wish was going to come true in a inexplicable manner. There was a hush in the room.

Reema tried to get up, but she fell again on the dead body. The force made the camphor cotton balls flew out of Mr.Sumeir Shukla’s nostrils and he coughed. He opened his eyes slowly & looked at Reema. Reema stared at him with shock and her colleagues finally helped her to get up.

Mr.Sumeir Shukla slowly got up and sat on the floor. His wife and his kids came rushing to him. “you” he looked at his wife and barely said- “I want a divorce.”

His wife crumbled onto the floor and let out a loud wail. Divorce is another kind of wake.

But this is the story of Mr.Sumeir shukla & Reema. We’ll concentrate on Mrs.Shukla some other time.

Mr.Shukla said to Reema “You..” he pointed at her. “report after one week at work. Paid leave. Now go.”

After one week, when Reema reported to work, Mr.Sumeir Shukla. The atmoshpere at work still had a festive nature about it, since Mr.Sumeir Shukla literally did come back from death.

Reema went inside Mr.Sumeir Shukla’s cabin. “Sit” Mr.Shukla said in a grouchy tone. Reema looked slyly at him.

“Thank you for being saving my life.” Mr.Shukla said.

“Thank you, sir..I would’ve never been able to sleep with you under any other circumstances, while you being alive. ” Reema blurted out..

“what..” Mr.Shukla said and looked at Reema.

“I am really sorry, I didn’t mean that. ” Reema said & slunk back into the chair. Mr.Shukla studied her “very well” he began again.

“Don’t expect any raise..you did save my life, but you will have to earn your raise.”

“Yes Sir, I’ll work for my raise.” Reema said and began to get up.

” Wait..” Mr.Shukla said “Would you, do you..”he stammered. “Would you like to come with me for a cup of coffee, today evening after work?”

“Ok sir.” Reema said & beamed at the thought. She walked towards the door, when Mr.Shukla called out again “Reema, concentrate on work please.”

Some bonds are too strong to break, no matter what. One of them being when someone saves your life.

Reema was 30, when she first took up job as an auditor in Shukla & Shah . It had been 7 years, since Reema now well versed with the firm, worked as a chief auditor for the firm. She was still single and her parents were religiously hunting for the groom. Her on & off relationships, didn’t work out for her, because most of the time she gave too much and lost everything. Her only main constant thing in her love life was the buying of lingerie when a man entered her life & her boss Mr.Sumeir Shukla who topped her crush list. Things  looked different now for her in that horizon, when she accidentally saved her boss’s life.

Reema was early & waited for Mr.Shukla at the cafe. She played with the spoon absentmindedly, while Mr.Shukla walked in through the door.

After his sudden death & even more surprisingly his resurrection, Mr.Sumeir had put on weight, but it suited him. He sat opposite Reema & they both settled comfortably over a cup of coffee.

“Thank you seriously for saving my life. “Mr.Shukla Said.

“What happened was just a coincidence.”Reema begin

“No..this is some twisted fate..” Mr.Shukla interrupted.

“what actually did happen to you.” Reema asked.

“you remember that accident, right ?” Mr.shukla said

“yes, i do .” Reema said.

“After heavy loss of blood, I begin to drift in & out of consciousness My vital organs were not supporting me that much & I went into coma….”He paused for a while..He suddenly laughed,”well the doctors gave up hope on me too soon & pulled the plug..but you saved me..So i am at loss of words after this…” Sumeir looked at Reema expectantly.

“I well..I never knew that i was going to save your life..Someone pushed me from behind..and I just fell on you.” Reema said and looked down at the cup.

“Do you like coffee ?” Sumeir asked suddenly. “yes i do.” Reema said “its like coffee runs in my veins, rather than blood. ” and she laughed.

“I have to go now..” Mr.Shukla said and got up..”Bye” Reema said.

“and Reema..” Mr.Shukla said..”Concentrate on work please.”

This story is between a cross of willow -o-wisp love and platonic relationship. Its hybrid relationship, where the two colleagues have not crossed any lines..And why do we say that in love we need to cross lines or boundaries..love is not a race after all.

The days went by, Reema & Mr.Shukla’s story blossomed. It blossomed partly because, Reema had saved his life & Mr.Shukla was feeling free, after the committment of divorce to his wife.

From boss & a suboridnate, they went to being amiable colleagues and from Mr.Shukla to Sumeir, from Reema to Reema.

“Why were you attracted towards me?”Sumeir asked.

Their little coffee shops dates had found their equivalent in long walks by the sea. In the dark so that no one can see them. They had hardly even touched one another & after 6 long months, they were still chaste but not in their minds.

The friction between them was a respectful one. They still couldnt be lovers. It was something of a byproduct. Sumeir was there, because Reema saved his life. Reema was there , because for her the dream came true.

Sumeir’s enigma perhaps came a little off, when Reema came to know him layer by layer. He was an ordinary human being after all. No super powers. There were fragments of jealousy in their minds, but it never did last long.

So this afternoon, when they had finally planned to get their mutual beast of carnal desires out of the way. They went away to a town by the sea, booked themselves a room in a hotel and laid down by each other.

“Why were you attracted towards me ?” Sumeir asked. “Not were, i still am.” Reema said and smiled.

Her hair, swirled around her face and she looked to Sumeir. To lie down beside Sumeir was a dream come true..for now

“You wouldn’t even have liked to look at me in my younger days. ” Sumeir said.

” I think, i would have liked you just the same.” Reema said.

” Love is blind. Lovers are not.” Sumeir said.

“Thank fully, we are not lovers.” Reema said and kissed slightly Sumeir on the cheek.

She laid back on the bed and looked at the ceiling.

” I always wondered, how was it to love a 50 year old man.” Reema said.

“So am i one of your experiment?” Sumeir asked.

“No, Jesus..” Reema said and kissed him lightly on the mouth.

“Is this one of the scene, where you will take off your clothes and we’ll make some mad love.” Sumeir asked.

“No, you have been watching too many porn movies…i think i just want to lie down with you. This is more sacred than sex. This is not even love. this fucking thing what we have is the pedestal where love is worshipped.” Reema said

“yeah, love is over rated, anyway” sumeir said.

” Thank you  for making me what i am today. Thank you for not loving me..if you had, i would have lost myself again and again. thank you for finding me. ” Reema said and looked into the honey brown eyes of Sumeir.

“Thank you for saving my life. No other bull shit. And thank you for making me realize that freedom is so important. “Sumeir said.

“We are saying lots of thanks, today. ” Reema said and laughed softly.

“And we don’t even celebrate thanks giving in India.” Sumeir said.

They both holded each other for a while .

“This is it..” Reema opened her eyes & moved away a bit.

“When are you leaving ?” Sumeir asked.

“Tomorrow night.” Reema said.

“well..be safe, work hard and save more lives..just don’t trip around dead bodies anymore.” Sumeir Said.

“May all the sunshine in the world with be us. May you find freedom, May i find love, May we both be happy. ” Reema Said

“Amen.” Sumeir said.

Reema walked out into the late evening , basking in the last rays of setting sun. The sky  was covered in beautiful pastel hues of orange, yellow and a slight hint of lavender.

There was new life waiting for both him and her. They had both saved each other’s lives unknowingly.

The art of perfect murder

It was just another day to work. My daily routine is to commute to work via bus and stare out of the window to watch the highways and fields.

And just as all stories go, I was looking out of the window, where my eyes suddenly fell upon a lady perhaps in her 60s, sitting a little tensed behind the wheel & driving a sedan like a devil possessed. And mind you, the bus in which I travel, is not less than a beast. Sometimes I think we all need two safety belts in that bus, while the driver maneuvers through every twist and turn, dodging every vehicle, animal and almost flying off the bumps. It skews perhaps all the hormonal balance in my body and I am almost tempted to tell the driver that to ram the bus for once and for all, so that his cravings for speed comes to a forever end.

As much I like to be, this story is not about me or the beastly bus. I am narcissistic by the way. This is story about Mrs.Sheila Vaibhavi Sahane, the old lady behind the wheel, driving the sedan , like she might miss the one way ticket to Noah’s Ark. And how do I know about her. Well I have a secret, sometimes just sometimes I have a insight into other people’s mind & I can see, I can hear to what they are thinking.

Here I was, beside her, like a little fly sitting quietly inside her head and watching  her life.

Mrs.Sheila Vaibhavi Sahane had committed murder of her husband, Mr.Sahane . Well, technically he died in his sleep. Oh, but the sweet road to death was paved by Mrs.Sheila. Such is the bond between husband and wife, that sometimes they cant live without each other & sometimes they want to kill each other. Well, Mrs.Sheila succeeded.

Every married woman, for once in her life has this morbid thought to bump off her life partner. Its easy to think, but so difficult to do. Mrs.Sheila Vaibhavi Sahane  had this noble thought when all her 3 daughters flew her nest and settled in their own homes.

With the only company of spouse, whole day was indeed spent in bantering, bickering & squabbles. It had been a roller coaster ride for both of them. It had been 37 years of marriage with its usual ups and down. More down recently, since Mr.Sahane retired and offered his opinion on almost everything.

His opinion, though not always welcome was always hammered on Mrs.Sahane, who used to take his useless banter from dawn to dusk. It was only when he went out for his evening walks, the house was empty  & silent. Mrs.Sahane would then switch on her radio and begin preparing for dinner.

37 years ago, when Mrs.Sheila Vaibhavi Sahane had arrived in her new home. She was demure, coy with a beautiful heart shape face without any wrinkles or crease on her forehead. With the years gone by, she had a permanent scowl expression on her face, her once lush black hair had metamorphosed into a thin plait. One thing had remained consistent was her constant complain of acidity and her petite frame. Mr.Sahane , a civil engineer by profession had married Mrs.Sheila because he liked her name and his family liked her family. During the rare initial courtship days, he would say that he found her name poetic. It was only during the latter years of their married life, where he found her name to be a common place name.

Her constant bickering and his husband’s constant taunts had marred their relationship. In the last few years, his husband had tamed down a bit but still preferred arguments over a cup of tea.

Mrs.Sahane was tired. Every argument didn’t led them anywhere. They were still trapped in their dusty homes and arguments finally made the couple tired and they went to sleep.

However as old habits, die hard, Mrs.Sahane couldn’t help but nag. She constantly prayed, hoped that her husband would pass away suddenly, run off with another woman, but such occurrences & prayers were never granted immediately.

Mrs. Sahane was an avid reader and one fine day she came across an journal, which mentioned that constant nagging, bickering and quarreling can also cause death of your spouse.  What a brilliant idea , Mrs.Sahane thought, which detective is ever going to detect that the cause of her husband’s death was due to constant bickering, which apparently stressed his heart & finally killed  him.

It was a strenuous job. Its constantly tiring to fight with someone. Even wars end. But Mrs.Sahane’s mind was fixed on her goal. All she could picture everyday was a house empty, devoid of her husband, she can play radio and go to sleep whenever she wanted to. Although, she was a pious woman, it was here where the devil befriended her and they both devised plans to quarrel with her husband.

It took years. It took, innovative new ideas from Mrs.Sahane to quarrel with her husband. she had became an evergreen waterfall of venom. But on that day, when I saw her driving her husband’s sedan, was the day she got lucky.

Mr.Sahane had quietly died in his sleep. She checked on him early morning, he was sleeping. She tried to wake him up gently, but he didn’t.  Mrs.Sahane cried a little in her solitude. She would be alone now, she will miss Mr.Sahane but finally she will be home alone after 37 years.

She went to the kitchen, had her cup of tea added 2 teaspoons of sugar extra as a part of celebration. It was still early morning though & she rushed to drive to her daughter’s place , who was married in the same city. She wanted the maid to find the body and discover his death.

She spent a quiet early morning with her daughter. The excitement was almost transparent. She knew her daughters were close to their father. But unfortunately or not, she was not close to him anymore. Mrs.Sheila Vaibhavi Sahane almost doubled at the joy, that finally all her husband’s wealth will be finally hers, including the house she was staying in & of course their vacation home in Shimla.

Finally during mid morning, her maid called and gave the news. Mrs. Sheila Vaibhavi Sahane slumped down in her chair, fainted for couple of minutes, got feverish and stared blankly at the wall. She cried , no wailed in her daughter’s bathroom. It was a masterstroke performance. Oscar worthy, if I might add.

Mother-daughter duo rushed to her marital home. They both rushed to Mrs.Sahane’s bedroom, where they found Mr.Sahane lying down quite peacefully on the bed. Everyone was informed & all her daughters came down to home by late evening.

The Sahane daughters suggested to get their father’s body to be checked once by the doctor for cause of death. They couldn’t get to the terms with the fact, that their very healthy dad passed away quietly in their sleep. Mrs.Sahane wanted to retort back, how do you wanted him to die-fighting goons and elephants. Mrs.Sahane did agree to one thing though, that even if Mr.sahane was an imperfect husband, he was a perfect father. She had to agree to that.

The doctor arrived in the afternoon .He conducted routine tests, took a blood sample and told the family that he will come with  results after 2 to 3 days.

After 3 days, when I came back to visit Mrs.Sahane’s mind again, what followed totally shocked us all & Mrs.Sahane the most.

This was mentioned in the Doctor’s report. He died of a fatal heart failure which was caused to an advanced state of untreated syphilis. It was a shocker to everyone.

Their sex life was next to nil. But she had never cast a doubt on her husband. What hurt her the most, that he didn’t die due to her constant nagging or emotional torture, but he died due to a STD, which proved that he had an affair with someone. The only advantage Mrs.Sahane could see out of this, she could seek out sympathy with everyone, if she ever wanted to.

After 15 days, once all the rituals & the family obligatory and visits were over. Mrs.Sahane was basking alone in the winter sun . Life after Mr.Sahane was dull, but it was peaceful. The only cherry to complete her rosy life , was her husband’s missing will.

Just as an actor, who is waiting for his cue, the postmaster came to Sahane Home with a thick envelope, which was Mr.Sahane’s Will.

The contents of Mr.Sahane’s will changed Mrs.Sahane’s rosy world to a grayish world forever . This was stated in the will – “In the event of my death, all my wealth, property, any disclosed or found wealth shall be in the name of Mrs.Laxmi Pratap. Without her my life & my evening walks would have been incomplete.

To my legal wife of 37 years who had mastered the art of nagging & who managed to keep me alive all these years with bitter gourd & bottle gourd, i bequeath her Rs.5000/pm for the time she is alive.

To all my 3 daughters, a lump sum amount of Rs.500000/- each.

In case of any event, where Mrs.Laxmi Pratap doesn’t claim all the property & Bank balance bequeath to her within 7 years then all the wealth & property would be transferred to my legal wife Mrs.Sheila Vaibhavi Sahane.

This was the only ray of sunshine, in the will for Mrs.Sahane. She would have to find Mrs.Laxmi & kill her. Perhaps then she would feel at peace and go & reside in their vacation home. May be this time she will not take a long route, to kill someone with nagging , which failed apparently. She will perhaps take a direct route and come up with a resourceful plan. The art of perfect murder.

And now my dear readers, if you are wondering who the narrator of the story is. Someone who has this uncanny insight into someone’s life, then my name is Mrs.Laxmi Pratap. Pleased to meet you.

Tina’s story

Now, Tina was a angry young girl. She used to get angry for infinite silly reasons. When she came out of her mother’s womb, her crinkly little pink face was all wreathed in anger and she refused to open her eyes for whole one day, because she was finally getting used to the comfort zone of womb & someone took her out of it.

She grew up into a tall, lanky lass, her round wired spectacles perched on her nose. The power of being angry gave her happiness.

It was kind of an exhilarating moment to see, when she was angry actually. If the gentle kind reader will imagine with me, she turned into a little engine, steam huffed and puffed out of her ears as she gathered all her energy to curve her eyebrows and turned her bulbous nose in shining red ball.

At first, it all looked cute when she was young, she just looked like an angry fur ball sans the fur, but once when she grew up, it made her look ugly.

She learned from somewhere, probably an idiot box called television, to throw things out of the balcony, she threw spoons, plates, books & Tantrums.

Her mother quietly watched her and worried about her. She didn’t have any idea about what to do with her. She herself wanted to be angry and scorn at the world. But making ends meet at home, didn’t allow her that so she laughed & defused her anger.

Tina’s father ran away with another man when Tina was a 1 year old baby. while the statistics and economics of marital life didn’t bother Tina much, but it surely did affected her mother. She bottled up her anger perhaps on the empty kitchen shelves & swallowed the bitter after taste of staying alone and facing the shame of her ex husband leaving her for another man. Had it been a woman, sympathy would’ve been gained, but a man…

Sometimes when Tina’s Mother couldn’t sleep at night, she wondered how did they make a baby. It was a miracle, Tina’s mother thought.

Nearby Tina in another room would dream that her anger is finally destroying the world & she look happy young girl while sleeping.

But day by day as Tina grew up, her anger issues multiplied. It was not that she threw tantrums because she wanted something, she threw tantrums because she liked it.

Tina actually got tired, once when the anger act was over. The color would drain out of her face, she would calm down and go to bed.

Oh, but dear gentle readers , we have never discussed for what she got angry so much for. If the toast was too hot, she would get angry. If her shoes were missing from the shoe rack, she would get angry. There was a green worm in the pea pod & she would get angry, the television wouldn’t air her favorite program and she would get angry. In fact the whole world made her angry.

And i must tell you, being angry all the time plasters a permanent expression of grumpiness on your face and its a tiring job, lets admit it. A frown never wins anything.

That’s why, Tina’s mother, home schooled her.

One fine day & Be patient my dear readers, the story is coming to an end. When Tina was angry for reason that only God could fathom. It started out as an anger fest, she started by throwing cup, spoons, plates, fork, knives to the floor. Next she ripped the table cloth, pulled down the curtains, she hurled the chair across the room and almost broke TV.

Her mother had finally lost all the patience. They both stood at the opposite each other in the hall room and stared. “I’ve had enough” her mother said. “you are going to clean this room & your room. Then you are going to redo the kitchen and cook us a decent meal. And if you feel like getting angry again, then go outside and empty the garbage can.”

“Mom..” Tina began. Her eyebrows started to curve and the bulbous nose started to grow pink. “No, Tina” her mother interrupted.

“I have had enough of it.” Tina’s mother said again. She threw a book towards Tina and said. “you will be allowed to get angry ,but first finish read this book. ”

Tina gingerly picked up the book & read the title- Matilda by Roald Dahl.

Perhaps this was not a story about a little girl getting angry, It was just a story about a 10 year old girl, who had not yet discovered joys of reading.

I clearly don’t know, what happened to Tina in future. But i can assure you, that books must have made world a better place for her to live in. After all, being angry doesn’t get you anywhere.

Till we meet in another story, be kind.

 

Story spinner-1

I wrote by mistake or high level sleep induced hormones the title for this post..Story Sinner.

While it sounded like a good first post title, I had zero content to post for it.

Things are also almost the same with this title too, Story Spinner.

But with new affirmations, will and internet facility at work, i will be able to spin something with words.

So with sun (tan) in my face & wind (& Dandruff ) in my hair, let us start.

My first curiosity as to articles, stories, fiction, novels, novellas, non-fiction & all forms of written siblings and their cousins, is how do the writers source their titles.

Do writers sit at their desk & ponder over what titles to choose for their work.

Or do they first choose their title and then work around it ?

As for me, good titles have always deluded me. Not that i am much of a writer, but a good title is a next valid step to success and of course more viewers and readers. I am sometimes intrigued by the ingeniousness of some writers..actually all.

I am undoubtedly curious,in awe and of course jealous of how George Saunders, J.K.Rowling, Joshua Cohen, Stephen King come up with such awesome titles and stories. And of course who can forget Tolkien, Douglas Adams..On homegrounds-Arvind Adiga, Upmanayu Chatterjee, Ashok Banker, R.K.Narayan.

On this sultry afternoon, where my hair is slowly getting drier day by day by the blasted air from the A.C..i know i am losing out on many things in life-age, hair, opportunities, perhaps good relationships too..

But i am here to keep one thing intact & that being my non-existent, almost negligible sense of humor. I want to make you smile, i want to make myself smile .

I will try to spin a story everyday, short and funny, naive, innocent, funny, heart-breaking, noir , anything and everything. Let words be our guiding light, our source in darkness & our song when we are without any words or rhyme..our stepping stone whenever we tumble down.

Just a parting shot- Whats a good story, but a lie told well ?