Love is all we need

All we need is love right? If we love each other, we can overcome all difficulties, all problems, all crisis, right didi? she asked with wonder in her beautiful eyes.

Didi would know. After all she had married for love, inspite of jiju not being so rich, not fulfilling their parents criteria of a perfect husband.

Her didi looked at her, started saying something and stopped herself. She is young right now. She looks at the world with rosy eyes. In some years, life will teach her that love is not that pink she imagines it to be. Love is not the answer to everything. Just like it taught her.

She was crazy about him and had the same views about love as her baby sister. He was still struggling and getting by. Marrying him would mean sacrificing all the luxuries of life she was used to. Yet, it did not stop her. Love will take care of everything, she thought. And it did initially. As years passed by, life started becoming mundane. There was space for everything but love. The face he used to praise to the moon had started becoming boring for him. There were subtle and not so subtle hints of another woman. There was no romance left in their life. Her thirst for intimacy had drawn her to another man’s arms.

Yes sweetie, she replied. All is required is love, she smiled and hugged her baby sister.

Will you read my book?

He was tired of seeing the same crap dished out by the movie industry. There were so many new stories to be told in so many new ways! Only once in a while there would rise a director from the mediocrity and give hope to genuine movie lovers. Movie lovers who were sick of the love stories or the vendetta stories. There would be stories of a little boy lost in the jungle or the story of a girl enchanted by an umbrella. There would be classics enacted on the big screen, reviving the era of glamour and opulence! There would be stories of horror, of a gory mudereress. The stories of ordinary people, ordinary things, told in an extraordinary way! Making heroes out of commoners!

He was the one who could make his stories reach to everyone, in a way that they delighted everyone, at the same time scaring the daylights out of them! With this hope, he sent his book of horror stories to this famous director. It was 5 years since then. Not a word from the director. The director would be bombarded with manuscripts, he thought. No chance for an ordinary writer like me! He gave up on the dream of watching his stories unfold on the big screen.

He used to go from office to office to showcase his work, getting rejected mostly & getting false hopes a few times. One day, a legend spotted his talent and gave him an opportunity to work with him. Rest as they say, was history. He was a successful writer and director now and his movies were reason of envy for many. He continued getting scripts from hundreds of people, begging him to look at their work and somehow make them famous too. Usually his assistant dumped most of the scripts in the bin & saved the best amongst the lot. Today, he was looking at the saved scripts and books. He was looking for something fresh, something different. His movies were getting predictable & he wanted to change that. While browsing, he came across this book. It was a compilation of spooky horror stories. He kept reading the book. The writer was not famous. Infact, this was his only published work. The tales of macabre were interesting to say the least. As he finished, he exclaimed, Yes! This is going to be my new movie! He didn’t wait for his assistant & sent an email to the writer immediately. He was a nobody too once. He owed it to himself to make another nobody a somebody!

 

Grumpy and Bubbly

She was the quintessential bubbly girl. Wherever she went, happiness followed. The grumpiest of people smiled when she was around. She was dreamy and a hopeless romantic. Destiny had yet to let her meet her Prince Charming. Yes, that’s what she dreamed of mostly. Prince Charming, Knight in Shining Armour, the un-kissable frog, the unfriendly beast or even the ugly ogre!

He was the King of Grumps. If someone looked at him, they would think, he is carrying all the burdens of the people residing in the world. No one had ever seen him smile.

And one day they met. It was a corporate meeting set up. She was bored and was looking around at the bunch of strange people, from different departments, trying to make sense of the crisis the company was facing. Her eyes landed on his face and smiled. Her fertile imagination started plotting a story. He being the Grumpy hero and she being the Bubbly princess.

They kept meeting, sometimes near the water cooler, sometimes in the cafeteria and more often in the elevator. These meetings would hardly be co incidences. They were carefully planned as he could not forget the charming face who had made his heart restless. She had stirred something deep within his soul. One day he could resist no longer and asked her out, for coffee. She was waiting for this moment! They grew closer day by day and realised how beautiful a contrast they were and yet how they seemed meant for each other. On her birthday, he had taken her out on a beautiful yacht. It was a beautiful day. The sun was setting, they were in the middle of nowhere, sitting on the beautiful deck, just enjoying each other’s company. Suddenly, he rose and said, Lily, Miss Lily..

She woke up with a start. She had dozed off dreaming about Mr Grumps. She looked towards him and blushed slightly. He continued, Miss Lily if you don’t have anything to add to this discussion, can you move out of the meeting room?

She dragged her feet out of the room, towards her desk shamefully. The story of Grumpy and Bubbly had not ended well. She herself was feeling slightly grumpy.

She plonked on her chair and looked at the Disney Princesses poster on her workstation. Her grumpiness melted and she happily carried on with the remaining work at hand. There would be another story, on another day!

Eye Witness

Murder of a teenage girl had created too much sensation in the city! The police had no clue regards to who could be the murderer. The needle pointed at the parents but no one could imagine someone killing their own child so brutally. Theories of who could be the murderer were the talk of the town.

People were divided in their opinions. Half of them were on the parents’ side, defending them. The other half said parents killing children wasn’t something new. Look at the cases of honour killing in the country, they said. But these were educated, professionally qualified parents. They could never kill their only child like this! The other half retorted.

The case was in court for trial. The evidences were only circumstantial. Just then someone entered the court and said he was an eye witness to the murder and knew who had killed the little girl. This was unprecedented! No one would have guessed that someone like him could be an eye witness. Everyone present in the court were spell bound. The camera men of various news channels had their camera pointed on him.

When the judge gave him the go ahead, he began his story. His name was Bunny. He met Raina, the murdered girl, when she was 4 years old. Their friendship grew over the years and it made them inseparable. He had seen her growing from a bubbly baby to a charming teenage girl. In the past one year she had changed a lot though. He was not her only companion anymore. Raina’s parents had hired a man, Basant, to take care of the house and Raina. They had started to spend more time together. He didn’t like that. But he had no other option than to watch silently.

On the night of the murder, Basant and Raina were in her room as usual. Raina’s parents had gone out to watch a play. When they returned, they saw a beam of light peeping out of Raina’s room. The door was ajar and they both entered wanting to chide her for being awake. They were stunned at what they saw. In the fit of rage, the father strangled Basant with the pillow. Raina’s mom had shut Raina’s mouth with her hand. The parents strangled Raina’s neck too.

Bunny was scared and watching everything from behind the cupboard. It was his favourite hiding place nowadays. Once the parents cooled down, they probably realised what they had done. The father went to his room and brought some instruments with him. They both slit the throats of Basant & Raina carefully and cracked the skull with the golf club. They dragged the body of Basant outside but he couldn’t see where they had taken him. They arranged Raina on the bed as if she was sleeping and no monstrosity had touched the child.

Bunny had heard people flocking over to Raina’s room talk about her murder. No one knew who had killed her as they had no witness. Bunny realised it was time to speak up. Time to tell the truth. He was not only a stuffed toy for Raina. He was her best friend.

Amidst huge uproar by the people gathered in the court, the judge sentenced Raina’s parents to life imprisonment.

 

Disclaimer: Only the murder part is inspired by a true story. Rest all is my imagination.

Faces

They said it is not news when a dog bites a man but it is news when man bites the dog!

They weren’t wrong but not right either. Dog biting a wealthy businessman’s wife had become news of the day! Everyone was wondering how a pet dog could bite his mistress? The dog was termed to be mad and put to sleep. The media went gaga over the story! There was a touch of romance! The companion of 10 years was sacrificed for love!

They were also keeping a tab on the wife’s health. Her face was so badly mutilated that she had to undergo plastic surgery! Money was not a problem anyway. But if everything went hunky dory, what would be life, eh? There was a terrible glitch in the operation & in the process the doctors gave an entire new face to the wife!

After the wounds of the wife were completely healed, the couple returned home. The husband had not left her side even for a day! They were tired of giving bytes to the media. Once home, they heaved a sigh of relief! The husband smiled at his wife and hugged her, whispering “Glad no one checked for your fingerprints”

 

Disclaimer: This story is based on a real life incident of a dog biting Raj Thakrey’s wife. Everything else is my imagination.

Dreams of Sunshine and Rains

It was the 100th time she was trying Rohit’s phone & it was still unavailable. His assistant had no idea where he had gone to after work. She couldn’t believe Rohit would do this on their anniversary. Anniversary of the first time they had met. The date was etched on her heart forever. 10th June. They both loved rains & it always amazed them that destiny had chosen that particular evening for them to meet.

The city was caught by surprise with the sudden rains. It was pouring cats & dogs & there was no auto-rickshaw in sight. On top of that she wasn’t even carrying an umbrella. The love for rains had temporarily been replaced by the worry of how she would reach home. As she stood there thinking, a car halted in front of her. A guy popped his head out of the window & asked if she needed a lift. She was horrified at the thought. Lift from a stranger? She straight away said no. He nodded his head and drove away.

She started walking towards her home hoping she might get some transport on the way.

It had started raining as soon as he left office. Thank God he never forgot to carry an umbrella as soon as June approached. A habit, which had helped him, to meet Madhavi 10 years back. He still remembered the day vividly. As if it happened yesterday. He was standing at the bus stop waiting for the bus, when it started pouring heavily. He saw people scampering around in search for transport or shelter. The sudden rains had caught everyone unawares. After a while, as the crowd dispersed, he saw a girl still standing in the middle of the road. She was completely drenched & looked lost. Her innocent face pulled a tug in his heart & he felt like helping her out. It seemed he was not the only one though. A car approached her & the driver started talking to her. She knew the driver perhaps. He knew he should avert his eyes, but he wanted to keep looking at her. He breathed a sigh of relief when the car drove off without taking her. But then she started walking away. His heart said no no no no.. you can’t go so soon! I don’t even know how to find you again! And he rushed towards her.

Excuse me, she heard someone speaking to her. She looked up and saw a handsome looking guy with the nicest eyes she had ever seen. He was asking if she needed the umbrella. Somehow she felt like trusting him. She refused saying she was already drenched. The guy looked disappointed. And she didn’t like it! This was so unlike her! He then asked her which way she was going & if she liked he could walk with her as it wasn’t safe to go alone. She nodded her head and started walking again. It was a long walk & talking was the only option to make the journey less tiresome. They didn’t know then but they had fallen in love with each other by the end of the journey.

That was then & this is now. She sighed. Rohit had changed after all. Since some days he had started working late, grabbing his phone if she went anywhere near it & today was the limit. There was no sign of him anywhere! She started thinking all sorts of things that could have happened & started feeling uneasy.

As if on cue, the door bell started ringing. She hoped it was Rohit & was ready to blast him with curses. As soon as she opened the door, she saw an open umbrella, with the collage of all pictures they had taken over the year on 10th June. She couldn’t help smiling. She took the umbrella from his hand & kept it aside & embraced Rohit with the tightest hug possible.

The sun awoke her from sleep & she looked outside the window. It had rained last night. The entire night actually. And right now the sun was shining brightest. Just like their love.

Future Perfect!

She was returning to her city after 15 years and was amazed at the changes in the landscape. Tall buildings had replaced tall trees, gardens had been replaced by malls. Everything was shiny & bright but the simplicity and innocence seemed to be replaced by a strange uneasiness.

Sudden halt of the car brought her back from her reverie. After inspection, the driver told her that the car had broken down and would require some time to fix it. The journey from the airport to her parents house was already tedious & the thought of spending more time on the road made her scowl. She looked out of the window to know where they had reached. She moved out of the car & called up her mother to inform about the delay. As she was walking around, her eyes noticed a familiar sign. It looked like the same tea stall they used to frequent back in the golden days when she was still working in this city. She looked around and realised it was the same place. It had transformed so much that she had failed to recognise it. In those days, there was only one factory and couple of commercial buildings around. There was more green cover than now. The green cover was lost, replaced by buildings. The area had more options for food. Earlier there was only this one tea stall which catered to all types of people. She was amazed to be here in the same place on the same date she had been 15 years back.

She went to the tea stall and asked for a cutting tea. The tea stall owner was staring at her. Her clothes and demeanor didn’t gel with the rest of the crowd. She noticed the tea stall owner, or Anna, as they used to call him and gave him a smile. She enquired about him in the same style she used to. Looking at his puzzled face, she introduced herself & told him that she used to work in this area some years back. Anna recollected soon & they started chatting like old friends. She enquired about her old work place and her colleagues specially Mohan. He pointed to the new office & shared stories of people who had left and were still working here. Mohan was now at a big post but still came over for a cuppa!

Talking about Mohan made her remind of the time spent together. The fun at work, sharing of food & outings on Sundays all came back to her. She remembered how she had fallen in love with him and how nervous he used to make her. She had never hoped to have a chance with him as he always seemed to be surrounded by pretty women. On her last day she wanted to share her feelings with him but somehow words never reached her lips. She wondered what his personal life might be now. He would have married one of the beauties and would be father of adorable kids. She forgot all about her husband and kids and was consumed by the desire to meet him.

She informed the driver to wait for her as she was going to meet old friends and moved towards Mohan’s office. She hoped he also would be excited to meet her after all these years. When Mohan’s secretary informed him about who wanted to meet her, he rushed out of his cabin. He looked ecstatic and that made her happier!

They went to the office cafetaria and started chatting. Both seemed to have lots of questions for each other. She told her about her marriage, her shifting abroad and her kids. He talked about work and promotions and plans for future. She hesitatingly asked him about his family life, whether he was married. He was speechless for a moment and replied in negative. She was surprised and wanted to know the reason. He took a deep breath and looked into her eyes and said “I was in love with you but never found courage to tell you about my feelings” 

She was shocked to say the least and almost fainted. She could hear him call her name. His voice seemed to be coming from far. Suddenly she felt water being splashed on her face. She opened her eyes and blinked. Everything looked different. Gone was the cafetaria. She and Mohan were seated on a bench near the tea stall. She was again a carefree 27 year old. She realised she had been dreaming while Mohan had gone to fetch tea for both of them. Mohan asked her what had gone into her. She looked at him and decided this time she wouldn’t wait for 15 years to know what future she could have had. She told him that she loved him deeply and the thought of being away from him had made her emotional. She lowered her eyes afraid to know his reaction. He held her hand and lifted her chin and asked “what made you think I would let you go away from me?”

She smiled her brightest smile! She had done the right thing. She had made her future perfect!

Guardian Angels

He sighed for the fifth time. It was very distracting. She looked up from the book she was reading & observed him closely. His back was slouched and eyes looking out of the window. He seemed too much in pain.

Water? she asked him. He refused. She poured a cup & handed to him anyway. Drink up, she said. He couldn’t refuse. Did you eat anything? she asked. He shook his head dejectedly. Not hungry, he said. She fished out a chocolate bar from her purse & handed it to him. There was a firmness in her eyes. He couldn’t refuse. He chomped off the bar. He was feeling better already.

He looked at her. She was observing him with keen interest. He could read curiosity in her eyes. He thanked her for the water & chocolate. It made him feel better, he said. There is one more thing that can make you feel better, she replied. He was amused. A smile formed on his lips. He wondered what possibly she meant by this statement.

You can talk to me about what is bothering you, she said. He looked appalled. How could he share his life story with a stranger? She read the expression in his eyes. How does it matter? It is not as if I am gonna meet you again. He shrugged and started pouring out everything. His entire life story compressed in two hours. She kept listening without uttering a word. Without changing her expression. Her listening intently had a calming effect on him. Unloading of his story had lightened his heart. He felt relaxed. First time in years probably.

It was five years since that incident. He was a changed man now. He was writing stories for children & content with his life. One thing that didn’t change in these years was memory of those beautiful mesmerizing eyes. They were the guarding angels of his life. Whenever he was in a dark spot, they watched over him, silently guiding him to move on and start over.

Colours of Change

7 AM Wake up

7.30 AM Make Tea

8 AM Leave Home

9 AM Have Breakfast

9.30 AM Reach office

1.00 PM Have Lunch

4.00 PM Have Tea

5.30 PM Leave Office

7.00 PM Reach Home

8.00 PM Have Dinner

10.00 PM Sleep

This was his daily routine. The only change was on Sunday when he didn’t have to go to work. Work would be replaced by reading newspapers & more sleep.

He was tired of this drab existence. It felt like his life was a big grey cloud. There was no hope for any colours.

She was kicked off the traffic signal by the policeman. She had recently started working on the signal on his way home. When she approached him, he was hesitant. But finally relented to the temptation. He got down near the shop near his home to complement his purchase.

His existence wasn’t drab anymore. His house was filled with colourful flowers.

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Once upon a time!

Once upon a time, a fairy tale was in the offing.

She was the girl next door. She was average, nothing special about her. She was told not to expect any fairy tales as fairy tales happen with princesses & not with ugly ducklings. She couldn’t blame them. No one had proved that wrong yet. She wouldn’t even know if there was anyone to prove them wrong. Citing her flaws, she would keep away from any probability of finding love.

He was a stud, a charmer, a heart breaking Casanova. He had no time for love & relationships. He thought they were waste of time. He didn’t believe in fairy tales. They were for kids. Some would say he was commitment phobic.

Until the day he met her.

She forgot her flaws. Nothing felt more right than being with him.

Being with her was the best thing that happened to him. He had never felt more at peace.

She realized we don’t look for perfect people, we look for people perfect for us.

He realized with the right person, labels don’t matter.

And when they are that special for someone, fairy tales do happen, even with ugly ducklings, even with non believers. ❤ ❤ ❤

An apple a day…

After having his dinner, Dr. Atul felt like having some dessert. Being health conscious, he would fulfill his dessert cravings with fruits. Just when he was ruing the fact that he forgot to get some this week, he remembered the pani puri seller getting apples for him. He was not very hygienic & Dr. Atul asked all his patients from refraining to get pani puri from this particular vendor.

The downfall of his business had probably made him mend his ways. The pani puri seller had come to his clinic & promised him that he would serve his customers the best pani puri. He could himself come visit his stall to verify. He had accepted the apples reluctantly & assured him of his visit.

Next day the neighbourhood was abuzz with news. The young doctor was killed because of eating a poisonous apple.

Shankar listened to the people talking about it while they devoured the pani puri. This was the best thing he had learnt in school. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Candies Candies Everywhere!

It had been a hot summer afternoon & Hazel thought a walk in the park would help her be comfortable. Her mother was sleeping when she had snuck out of her home. While roaming around the park she came across a cave like structure. It looked unexplored, covered with vines. Fallen leaves surrounded the entrance.

The entire atmosphere looked like they describe it in fantasy novels. She entered the cave carefully. She kept walking, looking around the cave, removing the huge cobwebs that swept across her face. The passage seemed never ending. She could see a hint of light coming from the west side of the cave. She moved towards the light. It was coming from what looked like the exit of the cave. The exit opened up to a forest. It was an amazing sight. There were huge trees lined up on both sides while a lake gleamed in the center.

Hazel suddenly started feeling thirsty. She moved towards the lake, enchanted with the water. As she moved, the lake seemed to move further. It was getting dark. She looked back & could see nothing but darkness. She sensed danger & wanted to go back home. Her mother would have woken up & would be looking for her. She couldn’t locate the direction of the cave. Trusting her instincts she walked back. She was tired, hungry, thirsty & mostly scared. In the confusion she took a wrong turn. Ahead of her was a hole covered with leaves. She fell in the hole & went spiralling down.

As soon as she fell on the ground, she was expecting her bones to be broken into thousand pieces. Instead she bounced back on her feet. She rubbed her eyes & looked around. What she saw amazed her. Her mouth opened & eyes popped out! She pinched herself to check if she was dreaming. The land was covered with soft velvetty grass & strewn with trees full of goodies! Different types of candies hanged out of the trees. There were red candy canes, Heart shaped candies, Ball shaped candies. Just looking at the candies gave her a sugar rush. There were also tiny plants from which pastilles, chocolate bombs & gummy bears were hanging . She started picking up the candies from the bush & trees & ate greedily. As she walked ahead she saw a milky white stream. She ran towards it & had her first sip. It was milk. But not an ordinary one! It was the most delicious milk she ever had!

Hazel forgot her worries completely & kept eating candies & drinking milk alternately to her heart’s content. After some time her eyes started to droop. Tired from all the walking & eating, she was feeling sleepy. She started looking for a place to sleep. On the bank of the milk river, a mile away was a huge tree. It was not filled with candies like other trees, Hazel thought that would be a good spot to rest. She walked along the distance & found her feet were getting heavy! She looked at her feet & screamed. They had turned into giant candy canes. Her hands started feeling sticky. She looked at them & screamed again! Her arms had turned into jellies. Her entire body was transforming into multi flavoured candy. She screamed for help but there was no one around!

She fainted on the ground. As she fainted, she could hear someone calling her name.

“Hazel, Hazel! Wake up!! her mother said. She sprinkled water on her face & tried to wake Hazel gently. Hazel opened her eyes & looked around. She was on her bed, in her home. She looked around her room. There were no candy trees, no milk river. She looked at her hand & feet. They were perfectly normal. She checked her phone. She had one notification.

“You have full lives now. You can continue playing Candy Crush”

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Always & Forever!

He woke up with a startle, looked at the watch & heaved a sigh of relief. He still had some minutes left. He looked at their photo on the nightstand & then at the pretty face lying on his left & smiled. He traced his fingers on her cheeks careful not to wake her up. He kissed her lightly on the lips & whispered goodbye. She smiled & he was scared for a moment. She turned her back at him & he realised it must have been a dream. Wishing he knew what she was smiling about, he dressed up & moved out of the house. This was one ritual which he abhorred. His only consolence was he could return when the day was cold & the sun had retired for the day. He had to return to fulfill his promise, a promise to wake up by her side always & forever!

The alarm buzzed, waking her up from the sweet sleep. She opened her eyes & looked out of the window. The sun was up & smiling at her. She caressed the sheet on her right as if caressing Paul’s back. She hugged his pillow tight & took the photo frame on the nightstand to give him a kiss. Even if Paul was dead, the ritual had to be kept alive. Just like he kept it alive. Ever since they had buried his body, she had dreamt of him waking up in the morning, looking at her lovingly, caressing her cheeks. He never knew she used to pretend to be asleep when his lips grazed hers showering her with love as soft as morning dew on a rose. The thought made her smile sometimes. Just like today. She would always treasure that love in her heart. Always & Forever!

Birthday Everyday..

 

Shaina gave one last glance to everything – the house was decorated, the snacks & drinks were ready to be served, the cake was on the table with the cute teddy candles on it. The little guests were all excited & so was the birthday boy. She looked at him wistfully remembering the day he was born. How quick the kids grow, she thought! Only thing missing was the boy’s father, as usual stuck at work.

As the minutes ticked away, the kids got restless. There was no point in waiting any longer. She had to get the kids back to their home before 8. She asked Robbie to cut the cake. Robbie wanted to wait for his daddy but understood the appeal in his mom’s eyes. The birthday celebrations began with the cake cutting, playing games & ended up with the snacks & drinks being gorged on 🙂

Ray arrived just as she was cleaning up. She was ready to give him a showdown for his callous behaviour but she stopped herself. After all she had promised her son there would be no fights between mommy & daddy today, that’s the only birthday gift he wanted. She smiled at Ray and instead shared the happenings of the party. Ray was surprised but went with the flow. After many months, there was absolute peace in their household today.

Shaina went to Robbie’s room to check on him. She heard some sounds from inside the room. Curious, she quietly stood outside.

Robbie was saying, “God can I please have birthday everyday? Then Mom & Dad will never fight!!”

 

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