Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Whispers of the shadows

He was a thief. He stole magic from the night. He wrapped himself in the invisible velvet so tight, that every touch of his mesmerized, tantalized, caressed... He tempted life to surrender every sense to his bidding. He was addiction- of the worst kind.

She never wanted to let him go.

She had let him paint imaginary stars on the dark canvas of her wounded dreams. She had known, even then, that when she would wake up, the stars would disappear taking him with them. But she had indulged him nevertheless. How could she not? She was spellbound, wasn't she? Captivated by his presence, enamored by his existence.

She had known it was too good to be true.

He had led her and she had blindly followed. Their dance a final performance on the stage of life. She wanted the dance to last forever. She could not miss a step, for a missed step would ruin the perfection of their moment. Yet with every step, she was closer to the moment the curtain would fall.

To dance or not to dance?

His smile made his lies so believable, for some moments she pretended with him that they were true. With his smile he created a new world for her. A world he would soon leave. But he never told her that. His smile just asked her to believe in that which could not be.

And she did.

Without a noise, the magic ended. All it took was the meeting of his lids. He closed his eyes on his world and hers, leaving her all alone.

Like she had known all along he would.






Saturday, November 6, 2010

La Belle et la Bête

A Halloween night was not the best of times to give up the familiar confines of Hard Rock Cafe and end up venturing to some upstart lounge bar called Enter The Dragon in Koregaon Park, he decided over a sip of Jack Daniels. Of course, the fact that Celine Deon was trying to be haunting while singing 'Beauty and the Beast' might have had something to do with it. But in his heart he knew he would have enjoyed it, had he been with Pragya.

He kept thinking of their times together. Those knotted fingers, not ready to leave each others' comfort even when an upright septuagenarian of the society would clear his throat loudly every time he passed by on his evening walk. Those stolen kisses, that seemed to start for a moment and lingered on forever.. It was kind of funny thinking of those times in this environment- the romantic images providing a stark contrast in his mind to the visual inputs he was receiving at the moment, surrounded by devils, vampires, death eaters and what not!!

"Pragya!" He called out as a silken touch on the back of his neck brought him out of his trance like state.

"Oops! I am so sorry"
This was a woman in a black, off shoulder gown who was dressed up as a vampire.

"It's ok" He muttered as she floated away towards the bar.

This girl was interesting, he thought. She was not really a mirror cracking beauty, though she had an exquisiteness in features few others could have hoped to match. Her cheekbones were the defining feature of her face, or were they? The blue of her eyes stood out in contrast to her fair to a fault complexion. But there was something that struck a jarring note. Her face seemed pale, almost chalk white. But what was the point thinking about her, and he returned to his drink.

"Would you mind terribly if I shared the table with you?" Again the same girl. "There is no table which is vacant, and since you seem to be alone....." She trailed off.

"It would be a pleasure" He somehow stammered.

Now that he had an opportunity to study her, he tried to take her details in without ending up ogling at her. His attention was drawn to the ring on the middle finger of her left hand. The ring was made of silver, perhaps. But it was not the material which fascinated him. He was hooked up by the design on the ring. It was small, yet intricately carved. It could not have been a demonic beast, could it??

"Umm... I am Bella" She was saying.

"Oh! Hi, I am Vivek."

"So you are not really deaf. I have told you my name four times in the last ten minutes..."

How did I end up in this place, he was thinking. As he lay between the sheets after a night of passion, their bodies pressing together, he could really not recollect what led to what and they ended up at her place. What he did recollect, though, was an array of figurines of beasts of all kinds of ferocity in the hall, in the living room and here in the bedroom too..

Now, she was asleep, and he could study her at length. But still, he was fascinated by the beauty of the ring... He took her palm in his hands. It seemed so delicate, so... fragile. He looked at the ring, and the beast in the ring seemed to be looking back at him... It gave him an awkward feeling. Pragya's face flashed in his mind. But he willed those thoughts away.

The ring seemed to glide down her finger as he tried to take it off. She seemed to be waking up. On an impulse, he decided to put it on, knowing it would never fit him. Why, his little finger would be larger than Bella's thumb! But the ring fit, snug!

Bella turned towards him, and gave him a kiss on the forehead. Strangely, the kiss seemed to leave a cold sensation. He tried to speak, but could not.

"Vivek. That is your name, right? I think you would fit well on my V shelf. As such, there are only three of them there."

He could not move, he could not say anything. He seemed to be losing all his senses.

"Thanks a lot for one more year of youth, sweetheart. And you were not too bad in the bed, either!"

Friday, October 29, 2010

Drunken Experiment

Its not like me to get personal on this space. Normally it is my imagination which springs wings and takes flights of fantasy into the unexplored world of human emotions. Words just splash themselves on an invisible canvas and a new love story begins with the tender laces of black and white.

But that's what usually happens here.

Usually, when I am not tempted by goofy possibilities. When my natural instinct to write overrides my basic instinct to be me. And today is definitely unusual!

For the very first time, I have turned to the keyboard in a sense of blissful stupor. Some might call it being drunk, I think of it as being alive. All my sensed working beyond their optimum capacity. Its a little after midnight. I can hear the clock eerily ticking above the annoying clacking of my keyboard. Like the mighty hands are ticked off at being subdued by the incessant click of the puny keys. I, though, am silently pleased. I dont even want to count the number of times that horrid ticking has kept me awake at night, fueling my imagination with nightmarish thoughts!! Serves them right! Go tick away!

There is a slight wind blowing right outside my closed window. And I swear I can actually see it move. Its like angels have dressed in black and crept out of the high heavens for a midnight fiesta outside my window. Their noiseless feet move gracefully across my rusting balustrade and every now and then I can hear a giggle or two.

I am not imagining it!

The winds ought to be cold at this time of the year. There is a definite drop in temperatures. A cold chill runs down my spine as I summon this thought. Goosebumps taint my dry skin. But I swear that guy in the red T-shirt standing next to his black CRV has sweaty palms as he helps his drunken date into the apartment. I can almost smell his thoughts.

And gag on them.

Yuck!

I can hear him too. Waiting for me to join him as we close our eyes on another day together. I can hear him getting impatient to fold me in his arms and let me loose only when a new day has dawned upon us. I can hear him waiting to tell me, that tomorrow is another chance to create a lifetime together, so lets hurry up and seal today!

I love listening to things he never says!

Unfortunately I hear them best only when I am drunk!



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dancing in Dreams

Thick eyelashes rested gently upon the silken smoothness of her creamy cheeks. The night winds stilled to coordinate their dance to the rhythmic rise and fall of her slumbering chest. Invisible angels guarded the doors to her dreams, lest some unwanted warrior thoughts break the spell of this dream.

This dream which repeated itself every month on the same night. For on this night, twenty four months ago, she had turned her back on the one she loved, without realizing that she had indeed loved him. And every day since, with the streak of veal announcing the departure of a cumbersome night, she had woken up knowing that she had lost on love. The agony of life was painted with invisible ink in the form of scars on her memory. Moments which refused to be erased with the advent of newer ones. Incidents which embedded themselves with startling clarity in the soft creases of her shaken mind, and which sprang forth unannounced, taking her by surprise. Pain laced with knowledge reminded her she could still feel.

This dream was a respite. When unwittingly she slipped from reality into the arms of love. His arms. She knew exactly how she would feel once in his embrace. Like a million butterflies had carried the golden dust of an autumn sun on their velvet wings. And he would hold her like that for as long as she wanted him to. She wanted to be held forever.

Yet even in her dream, she knew that this dream was bound to end. Clutching desperately at his shoulder she would lift her eyes to his face, daring all the love she held for him to shine through her eyes. She never spoke in her dreams. Words could shatter a spell. She willed him to understand her love. She willed him to forgive. She willed him to realize that she would never love again.

“Wrong again, my love,” he whispered. She fluttered her eyes in confusion. Why did he sound so different? And wasn’t this supposed to be a silent dream? Why did he talk then?

Before she could part her lips to speak, he rested a feathered finger on her lips. Through the blinding halo which surrounded his angelic face, she sought his eyes. The strength of his halo blinded her. She blinked. Then she squeezed her eyes shut. The butterflies were flapping their wings in such agony that their flapping sounded like the thunder ready to split the sky.

“Once again you make the mistake of loving but not knowing that you do,” he whispered as he lowered his cold lips to hers.

And then he was gone. So were the butterflies. But the sun-kissed warmth lingered behind. She searched her dream high and low, she even called his name. But this time she found herself all alone.

Maybe not.

If she stretched her dream little more, she could envelope the hazy silhouette dancing on the fringes. The silhouette was dancing hypnotically. Like it had a song of its own which the world wouldn’t know. She moved towards it. It was a man. Dancing alone to the songs of broken love and a heart forlorn. Yet he was happy. Happy to be dancing to a tune of his own.
She walked towards him, her own feet as light as air. Her left foot already tapping a rhythm in sync with his. He did not stop, but he took her hand in his and together they danced under strawberry skies and honeyed winds. They danced for love. Lost and won. They danced for life. The one gone by and the one just begun.

Two strangers, not so strange anymore, dancing in dreams, dancing to dance some more.

The angels left them to their dance. The skies were changing color, the night was taking leave to go. They hesitated for a moment and then kissed her sleeping form. They had a feeling they might need to guard her dreams no more.

He followed their kiss, with one of his own .

She fluttered sleepy eyes to his loving face as he whispered, “Good Morning, love.”

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wood Logged

“I have to be totally insane to be doing this!” she giggled as she pulled the sheet over her breasts. He leaned over and nibbled at her soft earlobe. She giggled again.

“Either that,” he said as he trailed kisses down her slender neck, “or insanely in love!”

“That too,” she purred as she let go off the sheet and wrapped her arms around his neck to pull him closer.

“I don’t believe you haven't told anybody about this!” he said as he traced her collarbone with the tip of his tongue. She arched herself towards him, encouraging his explorations.

“You were right,” she purred, “nobody would have approved.”

He dug his hand into her thick black hair and tilted her face towards him. With his thumb he traced the outline of her lower lip, “So everybody think you are attending a conference in Milan?”

In response she wrapped her lips around his exploring thumb and sucked on it. It was his turn to smile. “And what do people at work believe?” he asked mischievously.

“That,” she leaned closer to him, her lips a breath away from his, “I have a family function to attend.” With that she sealed any further conversation by taking his lips firmly between hers.

The eerie stillness outside the wooden cabin was a striking contrast to the roaring passion inside. The trees stood in silhouetted dread against the morbid background of a starless grey sky. Despite the chill, there was nothing to stir the pointed leaves which ached to flutter to ground and bury themselves in the same dirty soil they once rose from. For miles around there was nothing but a thicket which stood as dead as a cemetery. And an everlasting chill.

A thin sheen of sweat highlighted their abandoned passion. They lay down beside each other, staring at the ceiling. Minds devoid of all thought and bodies alive with the sensation of being loved.

“That’s weird,” she said breaking the silence. “I don’t even hear a cricket!”

“It’s too cold for the cricket to be making noises,” he explained.

“What are we doing out here, all by ourselves, cut away from this world, in this cabin of yours?” she smiled and snuggled closer to him.

“Rediscovering love,” he wrapped an arm around her. “You know that was a dangerous thing to do,” she said seriously.

“What was?” she asked staring at him in confusion.

“Coming here without telling a soul about where you were going to be,” he explained. She scoffed. “What if I was a serial killer or something. And this cabin was a place where I got women and then murdered them.”

“Are you?”

“Let’s say I am!”

“Then when you murder me, would it be like a gruesome form of murder, or would you make it painless.”

“Oh I would keep it gruesome. I would torture you and get off on that expression of naked fear in your eyes. It’s how serial killers operate. Didn’t you know?”

She raised herself on her elbows and looked at him. “Ok now you are scaring me,” she laughed nervously.

“The scared you are, the better for me,” he eyed her steadily.

“This is absurd!” she got off the bed and pulled the sheet around her. “You think this is a joke?” she shouted at him. “You get me all the way here, to some godforsaken place and start talking all this psychotic bull shit with me!” She exited the room.

He shook his head and laughed. He got off the bed and pulled on his boxers. “Sweetheart,” he shouted to her, “ You know I was just kidding! I love you !” He followed her to the kitchen. “Ok, I am sorry. I know I took that joke a little too far. Talk to me…”

She turned around with the meat knife grasped firmly in her hand. A small sad smile danced on her just-kissed lips. “Look,” he reasoned with her, “I am no serial killer and you don’t need to get that defensive. Put that knife down.”

“Ok!” she laughed and struck the knife in stomach.

“Ok!” she laughed again as she pulled the knife out. His eyes widened as he registered the blood flowing through the fingers of his clasped hands.

“Ok!” she laughed as she plunged the knife into his chest.

“Ok!” she laughed as she plunged the knife through his ribs.

“Ok! Ok! Ok!”

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

All Is Well That Ends Well..

The chill in the air was freezing... Reaching his bones and icing his marrow.. And after a long day's work in which his only respite was a cup of rancid coffee..

The day had started off bad.. Missed breakfast as there was no way he could have made it to the office in time after getting up so late... Got stuck in a traffic jam due to the fog.. Reached an hour late for a presentation to the client.. An hour late!!! He knew the loss of the client will be squarely blamed on him, when the presentation itself was pathetic and could hold no client interested even if there was Shakira doing a belly dance on the tunes of Waka Waka for them after the presentation...

In the cafeteria, an over-zealous cleaner cleaned his tiffin dabba off the table before he could taste a morsel of the aloo parathas the PG aunty had packed for him, while he had gone to pick up a spoon.. Disgusted, he decided not to eat anything at all..

And then, the dressing down in the office of the boss!! As expected, the morning debacle was blamed squarely on him... And what was more, he was assigned one more report to make and submit by the next morning.. And the stupid phone had to ring at precisely the moment when the boss was just about seeing the merit of his arguments vis-a-vis the presentation.. How he hated these Bajaj Allianz insurance people at that point in time!!!

So, being the last one out of office, correction last but one before the guard, he was trudging his weary way back home in the late evening hours... Once back to his room, he picked up the newspaper and was about to call the PG aunty for dinner when he saw the stick on pasted on the smiling photo of Sachin Tendulkar on the front page that told him to fend for his own dinner that night as aunty had to go to some stupid wedding!!!

He just picked up the newspaper and started going over it, from one end to the other... And somewhere inbetween the advertisements for a "personal massage at your home" he found something that made his day!! Or rather, his night!!

Immediately, he set down on the task at hand.. A few punches of some buttons on an otherwise meaningless jumble of wires and chips later, he was ready... And boy, was it as good as promised?? Precisely two minutes later, as he opened the door, the aroma wafting into his nostrils made him go weak in the knees... The sight was, if possible, even more delicious.. Could anything on this earth give a single man more joy?? Surely, this must be the best creation God could have ever come up with... So smooth, so enticing... As he opened his mouth to taste the forbidden fruit, so to speak, he literally felt he was in heaven itself...

Inbetween his umm's and aah's, the only other thing he thought was - He was lucky to have with him on this winter night, a packet of Maggi...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Trapped

He was the first one to wake up as usual. He rubbed the sleep off his eyes and padded into the kitchen. Sherman, the calico cat they had picked off the street, dutifully rubbed herself along his pajama clad leg. Smiling he bent down to stroke her soft fur. No matter what time he woke up, she was always pleased to see him. He opened the fridge to fetch the carton of milk. She clung on to his pajama and climbed up to his shoulder. She stay poised there as he fetched her old orange bowl and poured out a decent helping for her. She then promptly forgot about him, shut her eyes and greedily gulped the milk.

Morning routine phase I over. He sighed tiredly the smile crumbling from his face. He scooped coffee into the filter and turned on the coffee machine. He looked around their tiny kitchen. From the window, just above the granite platform on his left, he could see the garden and the clear skies beyond. It was a perfect autumn day. Pink laces decorated orange tinged clouds. The sun was beginning to look lazy and the warmth was being gradually replaced by a gentle chill. The gurgling water called his attention back to the coffee machine. Right behind the pot was the note to fetch croissants from the local bakery.

“How could I forget?” He mumbled as grabbed his jacket and draped it over his white T-shirt. “Croissants on anniversary day!” He walked the brief five hundred meters to the bakery at a brisk pace. He hated croissants. Not that it had ever mattered. She loved warm croissants with the butter still melting on their glazed surfaces. So croissants it had been for every anniversary breakfast.

They had married for love. Or so they believed. He would do anything she wanted, just to see her happy. She knew what she wanted in order to be happy. The equation was complete. Yet ever since they had gotten married, he had been restless. With every passing year the restlessness just increased. It was like something was wrong, something was out of place. And the last week he had figured out what it was.

He reached the bakery. The warm aroma of freshly baked bread engulfed him and lifted his mood by a thousand notches. The smell of warm bread would always remind him of her. Not his wife. But her. The girl with a crescent dimple who lived one door away, on their right. He had bumped into her a couple of months ago. She had hurried into the bakery clad in pink pajamas, with a white fluffy shawl pulled tightly around her shoulders. She stood in the line behind him and darted shivering smiles at him. For a week they did not speak to each other, just smiled their acknowledgments.

Finally on the eighth day he had asked, “Are you new around here?”

“About a month old,” she grinned back.

And just like that they had gotten talking. She lived with her brother and his wife. Both were doctors, while she was an artist. She painted. She had graduated with a degree in commercial arts and was working out of her own studio for the past five years. She was spending some time at her brother’s home, helping him do his house up by lending them her creative inputs. They invited her entire family for dinner. Soon get-togethers became a part of all their lives.

He looked forward to having her over. She was vibrant. Everything she did, she did it with a passion. She even listened to what you had to say with a passion. He found himself discussing things with her. Things he would have never dared discussed with his wife. His wife did not have the temperament to listen. He also discovered that with her, he could be himself. Say things he wanted to say, do stuff he wanted to do and be assured that she wouldn’t be quick to judge and quicker to condemn.

And just like that on a bright Wednesday afternoon, as he watched her walk down the road in front of his house, his heart had squeezed with an aching to reach out to her. The feeling was so strong that it numbed everything within him. He could not move. His wife had walked into the kitchen and scolded him for leaving the eggs unattended. Her voice registered in his head, but his senses were attuned to the lazy walk of that figure crossing the road. Sensing his gaze, she turned and looked towards his house. Seeing him standing on his doorway, she cracked a smile. That crescent shaped dimple dented her left cheek and he was lost again. She lifted a hand and waved at him. Reflexively he waved back. She turned around, her hair flapping in the wind and walked into her house. He just stood there.

After five years of marriage he had fallen in love.

He sensed her before he saw her. She had slipped in behind him at the line at the bakery.

“Hello stranger,” she smiled at him.

He smiled back at her. In that moment the world was a nice place to be in. The line moved and it was his turn to order the croissants. She ordered for bread. They paid for their purchases and started walking back together.

“Croissants!” She said with delight. “What’s special?”

“Anniversary,” he shrugged with half a smile.

“That’s wonderful!” she beamed. “Happy Anniversary! Are we celebrating?”

“Do you want to?”

“Do YOU want to?”

“If it means you are coming. Yes.”

“And if I am not coming?” she asked.

“Then I’ll let her decide what she wants to do,” he replied honestly.

“Well then let her decide!” She announced still smiling. “It is her anniversary too after all!”

“I think she would love to have you guys over. She loves throwing a party!”

“Are you sure?”

“I have been married for five years!”

“Of course!”

“Will you come?”

“Maybe,” she stuck her tongue out at him and left him standing at his door. Inside he could hear the coffee still boiling. He looked at her back for a long moment, but then remembered his wife did not like her coffee too strong. He headed inside to fetch the coffee and melt the butter on top of the croissants.

“Happy Anniversary!” He mumbled.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Understanding Love

“Was it worth it?” she asked as she tucked her feet beneath herself and settled more comfortably on the rocking chair. Everything around her was a complete contrast to her deceptively serene stance. Angry raindrops slapped against the window panes, threatening to crack their fragile existence. Lightening slashed he already bruised skies like a murderer’s blade. Winds howled and waged a war against the sheets of water. Any attempt to blow them away was met with a brutal resistance. The heavens had gotten in touch with their dark sides.

Inside the twelve by twelve bedroom, a different kind of chaos reigned. Her room mate buzzed around like a bee with a short term memory loss. She picked up things – clothes, shoes , books, pen stands, photo frames walked to the big bad spread open on the tiny bed, dumped them in only to pull them out again and scatter them all over the room. She walked briskly to the dresser and grabbed the perfumes, lipsticks and her favored artificial jewelry and dropped them into the bag instead. She stood there for a moment thinking and then upturned her entire bag on to the floor kicking viciously at the jewelry and scattering it everywhere along the marble floor. It was a good thing she had decided to sit with her feet off the floor.

She watched her room mate’s tear stained face. Fresh tears mingled with the mascara coated old ones, leaving ugly black streaks along her fair and slightly reddened cheeks. Unlike the cheeks, her nose had no compunctions sporting a bright red right on its buttoned end. A small amount of water ran down her nose. She valiantly tried to sniff it in, before her body rocked with another bout of heart wrenching stops. She stopped mid-stride in her pacing, to let the sobs flow out of her body. Then rubbing her nose on the sleeve of her three thousand rupees top, she started hurling things into the bag once again. She seemed to be undecided on whether she wanted to leave or stay.

“Was what worth it?” She sniffed and tried to gather the scattered clothes in her shivering arms.

“Being in love,” she said simply.

She paused her gathering and turned her beautiful wet eyes to the window. “Depends on what IT is,” she whispered finally.

“IT being all this pain,” she explained panning her hands to accommodate all the scattered items on the floor. “Was being in love worth all this pain?”

“How can anything be worth this pain,” she howled. She threw her armful of clothes back on the floor and the hurled herself on the bed and gave in to a fresh bout of scalding tears.

“Then I don’t think you are or were ever in love, “ she leaned back in her chair and smiled even as her friend continued to sob.

“What do you mean? “ she asked biting back a sob and sitting up on the bed. “I should forgive his every lie? Pretend that I am not hurt? Give US a second chance?” disbelief laced itself through her high pitched agitation.

“I never suggested that,” she closed her eyes and sighed. It was a happy kind of sigh. “All I was trying to say was, if being without him hurts more than being with him, then the pain of being with him is worth it. That would be love.”

For a moment everything stilled. The heavens gasped. With that gasp the rain shattered into a million dews and scattered along every shiny surface. The winds stilled and whistled with gentle awe. The lightening suspended somewhere between the sky and the unknowns beyond. Like a lazy victor the sun stretched its warm fingers and caressed the smile he so loved.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Toilet Seat That Changed It All

Well, this is not fiction. And surprising though it may sound, this blog has two authors. That too, two founding authors. Of course, by now the intelligent reader, by comparing the flowing and entertaining (and mushy) writing style of Beauty and the Beast (hereafter referred to as beauty, and deservingly so) that makes the world seem full of sunshine and happiness with the dry and bare method of yours truly, would have come to know that it is not the keyboard of beauty that is churning out these words.

Now, the aforementioned intelligent reader might also wonder as to how the intelligent person that beauty is, fell into the evil company that she evidently has in the form of this co author. This post shall attempt to elucidate upon the same.

Way back in times of yore, beauty used to write in some other corner of blogsville. Yours truly chanced upon her blog. I may be anything but no one can dispute the fact that I appreciate good literary skills, and even more so if the author (rather I guess it should be authress, if indeed such a word exists) is a pretty young woman who has wits to boot. Now, by some funny quirk of fate and a practical application of the Principle of Six Degrees of Separation, yours truly had the honour of being a slight acquaintance of the almighty beauty.

In all this, the intelligent reader might be wondering how the toilet seat (the same one which is referred to in the title of this post) comes into play. It would be slightly difficult for me to explain the precise physics, mechanics and dynamics of the same (the seat, not the post) for the simple reason that I have not yet had the pleasure of interacting with it (again the seat, not the physics et al). But the first post written by beauty on which I commented, and hence placed the first brick of the edifice of our friendship, concerned that toilet seat. And the rest, as they say, is a mixture of history, Gutenberg, Alexander Graham Bell (telephone) and George Bush (petrol for bike).

And it was one learning experience in life. Till date, yours truly has been treating toilet seats of various types, shapes, sizes and states of cleanliness with a new reverence.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Raindrops of Love

She closed her eyes and let the cool drops of water lick her face. Love can be such a cruel thing, she thought. At one point it consumes your very existence and at the next it ceases to exist completely, leaving behind an emptiness that cannot be defines. An emptiness echoed hollowly by the pattering drops of rain. She stuck her tongue out to taste the cold which wrapped her. She tasted nothing. Raindrops, she decided, were a lot like love.

Somewhere in the distance she could hear the loud sirens of an approaching ambulance, or perhaps it was a police car, who could tell the difference? They both wailed in the same unappealing manner. The loud patter of drops as they splashed against the puddle at her feet buffered that annoying plea. Her pink toenails looked like they were sprinkled with the tiniest of diamonds. She wriggled her toes in the water washing away those diamonds. They adamantly reappeared.

He had loved her feet. He said they were sexy and just looking at them turned him on. Liar, she smiled. But he lied well. She had believed him, hadn’t she? She had also believed him when he had said he loved her. And she had foolishly loved him back. She had made him the center of her existence and had planned every moment of her life around him. But she would no longer do that. She no longer loved him. How could she love him when he was no longer there?

All she felt right now was empty.

She stepped out of her red and white slip ons. The water from the puddle wrapped around her feet and lapped at her soles like a loyal dog. He had been anything but loyal. He had thought he could wake up one day and tell her he did not love her. Didn’t he know love was eternal? Love was not supposed to end! You cannot ‘stop’ loving someone. You either love someone or you don’t. Which would then mean he had lied to her about loving her at all.

She hated liars.

She took in a deep breath and opened her closed fist. The heavy knife slipped from her fingers and splashed into the puddle. It clattered with a muffled groan and landed a few inches away from her. The raindrops dutifully dropped on its glittering blade and started making splashed in the deep red edged along the bald. She watched unfeelingly as the red mixed with the water to turn a faint pink and finally dissolve into nothingness. Just like his love had. Just like her love had. Leaving behind nothing, but this feeling of emptiness. Emptiness felt hollow. It was like a space which was waiting to be filled. She did not like waiting. She did not like feeling empty. Another small smile tugged at her lips. She could hear very faint traces of people talking behind her. They must have arrived, either the paramedics or the police. She had called both, hadn’t she? It would have to be one of them.

She spread her hands like an eagle about to take flight and took in a deep breath. She could still smell him. His spicey after shave. It filled the emptiness within her like a hungry fire. Every part of her was suddenly alive with him. It was like he wasn’t gone, but he was right there with her. Inside her. This was true love! She thought. She lifted her feet off the ground and let her body react to gravity. She did not open her eyes on her flight twenty three stories down. It took a little more than a couple of seconds. A couple of seconds which would immortalize a love which was larger than life.

Or so she thought.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pretty Petty

“But it will be so perfect!” She insisted as she waved the copy Dogs&Pups under his nose. Once again. Once again he wriggled his nose and scowled with disgust as if it was a pair of smelly socks instead of a harmless magazine with cute puppy pictures on it.

“It will be a pain!” He huffed.

“Imagine that feeling of bliss when you muzzle him and run your hands through his silky fur. Imagine coming home to this absolutely wonderful feeling of being loved unconditionally for who you are! How can you not be moved by the intensity of such feelings?” She pleaded with soulful eyes.

He groaned inwardly and pulled her onto his lap. He playfully nuzzled her neck and nibbled at her ear. “You do all that for me, baby. I like petting you and running my fingers through your hair. I love coming home to the feeling of being completely loved by you! You, sweetheart, are my pet!”

She sprang to her feet and glared at him, “Did you, in that roundabout way of yours, just call me a bitch?”

“Sorry?”

“How could you compare me to a dog?” She demanded.

“I did not compare you to a dog!” He replied helplessly.

“Didn’t you just tell me I made you feel like the owner of a dog?” She challenged.

“It’s not the same!”

“I like petting you and running my fingers through your hair. I love coming home to the feeling of being completely loved by you! You, sweetheart, are my pet!” she mimicked him. “Did you or not say that!”

“Yes, but I meant it differently!”

“What’s the difference? That I don’t bark and wag my tail!”

“No, you don’t bark,” he placated.

“So it is my fault that I don’t bark!”

“I don’t want you to bark!”

“So can we got a dog which barks then?” She asked simply.

“I don’t want a dog which barks!”
“Yeah you want a bitch you does not!’ she huffed.

“I did not call you a bitch!”

“A female dog!”

“I called you a pet!”

“So what would you rather I was? A hyena?”

“You’re impossible!” He threw his hands in the air. “What’s the point?”

“I want a dog who wags his tail and barks!”

“Fine!”

“Really?”

“Will that convince you that I did not call you a bitch?”

“Totally!”

“Fine then.”

She laughed and threw her arms around. She rubbed her nose against his and smiled into his eyes. “You know, I sort of like that you love coming home to me.”

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Birthday Wishlist

Dear Mom,

Remember how you helped me make my first birthday wish list when I was going to turn three? Add thirty more years to that number and what do you get? An expert birthday wish list writer! With three growing children and their wishes to cater too, I hardly find time to think about what I want. A week before my birthday, however, I think of all that I really crave and very obediently pen it down on paper and send it to you. Because ma, nobody has ever really cared about what I want more than you.

Here goes the list:

1. Golden Pixie Dust: We both know how incomplete my life is without it! I wish I had some golden pixie dust which I could sprinkle all around me and things would magically set themselves right. Golden pixie dust; which would enable me to fly high towards the skies and kiss the rainbow and stretch out and lie down on the white fluffy clouds. Even if just for a while. And then when I run out of all the magical dust, I wish I had some more!

2. A chocolate house: Imagine all the cooking it would save me! And it had better be in a cool place, where the chocolate does not melt. I don’t want to spend all my time cleaning up the mess left behind by molten chocolate. And the chocolate had better be the good nutritious kinds. I know my kids are going to never tire of licking those kind of walls. And let the topping please be primarily strawberry. I like the heady smell of strawberry and cocoa. Oh and in Anshika’s room, please have a gem plastered wall. That girl is crazy about gems. Oh and I don’t mind a cocoa bath. My masseur tells me its heaven for the skin! Do we have to pay a house tax for chocolate houses?

3. Glass Slippers: The kinds which Cinderella had? I wish I had a pair of those. A pair which would fit only me and no one else. And when I put them on I want to be transformed into this beautiful princess. They would cover my cracked heels and make my feet look like straight out of a shoe advert. And then I wish I misplace one of those and Ravi pulls heaven and earth together to find it for me.

4. Mice Friends: The ones who would scamper around and gather things for me! When I am exhausted and fall dead on the bed, they would clean and cook, just to surprise me! And they would sit and hear me dole out my woes and come up with imaginative fairy tale solutions. Wouldn’t that be perfect? Oh please ensure plague free mice. I just cant handle any medical expense at this point! And think about the children??!

They seem like such simple wishes, don’t they ma?

I wish you were here with me. Anshika tells me one of her fairy tales explains that when a special human being dies, he or she goes to heaven to become God’s special fairy.

You are very special ma. So when I come to heaven I am going to look around for the most beautiful fairy and in her arms I know I will find all my wishes come true.

Till then its back to baking scones for a girly tea party!

Miss you.

- Me

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Confusion

Once a woman turns thirty it is quite catastrophical. The world suddenly jumps and starts spinning on a different axis. There are a whole new set of expectations to live up to and the ones that you have gotten used to delivering don’t count anymore.

At least in the mind of the woman who has just turned thirty.

She turned thirty today and she felt the brunt of being thirty. She felt old, jaded and unappealing. Thirty years of her life had passed by in a blur and all she had to show for it was her office id announcing her as the Assistant Manager of her firm. Oh and the big fat gold band which rested on her ring finger.

Romance in her life was dead. Buried under five years of planning, scrounging and some more planning. She sighed and tapped her mouse aimlessly. Why did romance walk out on relationships?

“Hey dreaming glory!” Rekha demanded her attention. “Look what just came in for you!”

She turned around to face the perfect crimson-kissed velvet bouquet she had ever seen. About a hundred roses, molded from romeo’s bleeding heart, arranged themselves cheek to cheek to cheek. Enchanting dew shivered delicately on the wine drenched petals.

“Oh my god!” she whispered. Words could never describe the strange sensation pulsating through her.

“Beautiful right?” Rekha smiled wistfully. She nodded.

“Are you sure its for me?” She asked unable to take her eyes off the bouquet.

Rekha flipped the tiny card hanging from the delicate satin binding the bouquet. “Happy Birthday Tarangana!” She read from the card. “Yep its for you!” She announced grinning.

Tarangana snatched the card from her and read it again. “It does not say who it is from,” she noted.

“Who cares?” Rekha grinned. “For a bouquet like that, I am ready to turn thirty for every single day of the rest of my life!”

Tarangana grinned too. “But its curious, who would send me a bouquet?”

“Your husband?”

“The last time he gave me a flower was…. Wait! He has never given me flowers! He think they are a complete waste of money. Why spend on something which withers away in three days. There is no investment value…”

“Stop!” Rekha pleaded dramatically. “Don’t stab the romance out of this heartbreaking beauty! Ok! I get it! Your husband did not send you the bouquet.”

“Who then?”

“Maybe you have a secret admirer in office!” Rekha offered excitedly. They did a quick sweep of the office, then looked at each other and shook their heads. Nobody in office was either romantic or creative. “Maybe its someone you met online.”

Tarangana chewed on her lower lip and thought about it. Had she shared her office details with any of her online acquaintances? Was she close enough to someone, for them to have taken the effort to remember her birthday and send her flowers? She thought for a couple of seconds and then shrugged. No one came to mind.

“You know you cant take the flowers home,” Rekha said wisely, still eyeing the bouquet.

“Why not?”

“What are you going to tell you husband? That someone gifted you a hundred red roses, but you don’t know who? Yeah I can very much see him believe that!”

Tarangana scowled.

“He will just think you are cheating on him and insulting his intelligence by feeding him foolish lines like ‘I don’t know who gifted me a hundred roses!’ Think woman. Think! It does not take much for a man to be jealous. Do you want to ruffle feathers, when you don’t even know who sent you the roses! Yours will be the first marriage rocked by an anonymous!”

“You’re right,” Tarangana sighed. “its wise not to take the roses home.”

***
“Isnt it Tarangana’s birthday today?” Lokesh asked as he downed his beer. He nodded and took a swig from his own mug. “Then why are we sitting on the bar stools of a rather empty bar, guzzling beer? Shouldn’t we be out with her?”

“We fought,” he spat.

“Why?”

“For the past five years, all she has done is nagged me for being unromantic!” He complained.

“So do something romantic then!”

“I did.”
“What?”

“I sent her a hundred red roses!”

“What?!” Lokesh was completely baffled. “Dude, don’t you ever get romantic again. Please. You are raising the bar for the rest of us married guys!”

“What’s the point?”

“What do you mean by ‘what’s the point’?”

“She did not even acknowledge it. Not once! Not even a thank you!” He thumped his empty beer mug loudly on the table. The bartender hastened to refill it.

“That’s impossible!” Lokesh claimed. “Maybe she didn’t receive it.”

“That’s what I first thought. So I checked with the delivery boy. He assured me it was delivered.”

“Then why?”

“Beats me,” he mumbled. “I thought maybe she was waiting to thank me personally. You know, have a kinky surprise waiting for me when I got home?”

Lokesh waited patiently for him to continue.

“When I got home, she told me there were still people in the world who believed turning thirty was not the end of a romantic phase of someone’s life and that I was the most unromantic man she had ever met!”

Lokesh shook his head and patted him on the shoulder.

“I did not want to stand there and fight with her on her birthday,” he continued. “So I walked out!”



Sunday, March 28, 2010

Beautiful

“They are going to be here in like fifteen minutes,” he hissed at her. “How can you still be in the kitchen!”

“I have had to cook for a gathering of twenty on the short notice of six hours,” she gritted through her teeth. “We did not order in, because you didn’t want to spend money on futile stuff like that, remember?”

“You are not even dressed to greet them!” He scolded. “How come Natasha manages everything with such flair?

“Because Natasha has two cooks and a manservant,” She almost shouted. “Not to mention at least two days of advance notice.” And a husband who loves her, she added silently.

“Never mind,” he mumbled as he headed out of the kitchen. “I suppose even they are used to you appearing unkempt and froppy. And frankly, its not like it would make a world of difference even if you decided to put in that effort to look good.”

Her dishrag dangling from her half-forgotten hands, she watched as slapped his feet on the linoleum flooring and headed to the hall. Where had she gone wrong? She gave herself a mental shake and hastened to finish mopping the granite. She really had less than fifteen minutes to get ready.

She eyed herself critically in the mirror. The red and blue saree, complimented her dusky complexion. Did she look presentable? She wasn’t vain or stupid enough to think she looked beautiful. She had not felt beautiful in a long time. But there was a time when she really believed she could be beautiful.

He made her believe she was beautiful.

She often recollected glimpses of time spent with him. Like that time, when they were sitting behind tall glasses of chocolate fringed cold coffee – he had said something which had made her laugh.

“You could create a traffic jam when you laugh like that,” he smiled at her. She rolled her eyes. “No. Seriously. Your eyes get that unique hint of sparkle and your cheeks get tinged with this faint pink blush… it’s mesmerizing!”

Or that time when she had dragged him shopping with her and had asked his opinion on the red and black stilettos she was trying out. “I am blushing,” he said with a straight face.

“They are that good?” she asked eyeing the stilettos dubiously in the mirror.

“Your ankles are sexy,” she rolled her eyes again. “No. Honest,” he continued. “You should stay away from guys with foot fetishes. One look at those and they’ll begin stalking you!”

Her favorite one was when they had gone to the disc together. She was eyeing the crowd wearily. She hated being pushed against strange bodies. Maybe coming here was not a good idea after all. But the music was good and she was in a mood to dance.

“I don’t like crowds,” she confessed. “And the dance floor looks crowded multiplied by two.”

“Dressed like that,” he looked her up and down. “All you have to do is step on the dance floor and the crowds will part for you!”

She had felt beautiful.

She needed to feel beautiful now. She needed that bit of confidence to face her husband’s office crowd downstairs. And him. He would be there too. Did he think of her as often as she thought of him? Did he know she thought of him that often? How could he? Nobody could even guess what she thought! She had successfully pulled off the farce of a happy marriage for two years. She had to continue doing that for the next couple of decades.

She saw him the minute she stepped into the hall. Their eyes met and for a brief second, she felt incapable of looking away. She then nodded her head acknowledging his presence and smiled briefly at him. She shifted her gaze to seek her husband.

It wasn’t difficult to spot him, considering he was heading her way.

“You are late!” he hissed as he wrapped his fingers around her arm and almost dragged her to meet the guests. After a couple of perfunctory smiles and handshakes and ‘how do you dos’ she found herself alone with her husband.

“You should have tied your hair,” he instructed through the fake smile plastered on his face. He wasn’t even looking at her. “You look so silly with your hair let down like that. For once, you could have put your heart into looking close to presentable.”

She swallowed the lump of tears, forcing its way up her throat.

“Hey,” he smiled at her and then shook hands with her husband. She smiled at him and looked around for something to occupy her attention. If she looked at him, she would definitely cry – for everything that could have been and everything that wasn’t.

“What?” her husband fooled around with him, “No gorgeous model is clinging to your very available arm?”

“Didn’t want her ego to take a bruising,” he laughed.

Her husband smiled and looked around, “I don’t see much of a competition here,” he winked at him.

“Maybe you’ve gotten used to it,” he said.

“I don’t get you,” her husband frowned.

“The only way you haven’t noticed how stunning your wife looks in that particular shade of blue, is because you have gotten used to seeing such beauty everyday,” he smiled.

She wanted to throw her arms around him and laugh, and cry. “It is very unbecoming of you to flirt with a married woman,” she told him instead.

Monday, March 15, 2010

cheat sheet

She had been up all night. He could see the faint circles the shadows of the dark had etched around her eyes. She dragged the wicker chair further away from the table and plopped on it. Her pink lips opened in a delicious O as she sucked in a yawn.

“You need some sleep,” he observed uselessly.

In response, she put her feet up on the table and slid further down in the chair. Her eyes were fixed on her unpainted toe nails. She wriggled them and then seemingly satisfied with their response, crossed one ankle over the other and closed her eyes.

“Thankfully we can afford a bed,” he smiled as he settled in his chair and flapped the creases of his newspaper. She did not grace him with a response. The breeze ruffled his newspaper. He ignored it. Annoyed, it moved on to flirt with her hair, lifting them off her shoulders and splashing them across her serene face. The sun giggled, struggling hard to balance its delicate position between the elegant V of the soft green leaves.

A couple of birds chattered about politics high up there.

“Honey,” she mumbled without opening her eyes, “what if I cheated on you?”

“Are you?” he asked without looking up from his paper.

“Am I what?”

“Cheating on me?”

“Would you believe me if I said I am?

“No.”

“Why?”

“Because if you were cheating on me, you would not tell me.”

“Why would I not tell you?”

“Because if you told me and did it, how does it qualify as cheating?”

She snapped her eyes open and smiled, “I never thought of it that way!” She grinned.

“So, to successfully cheat on you, all I would have to do is tell you. Because that way though I would be cheating on you, you would never believe it! It’s brilliant!” She said excitedly.

“This is by far one of the most enlightening Sunday morning conversations,” he drawled.

She stood up, knocking her chair off balance. “You bet!”

“Why did you want to know?” He peeped over the newspaper.

“Know what?”

“All about this cheating business?”

“Oh! Needed some help with new story I am working on!”

“You know you could drive any sane man up the wall,” he mumbled as he returned to his news.

“You are still sitting quite cozy on your ass!” She pointed out affectionately.

“The day I married you, I was declared insane!”

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dream Realities

Sweat trickled down her bare back. She flicked a tongue over her dried lips. Her panic stricken eyes darted left and right. She tucked a stray strand of disheveled black behind her ear. She limped to a halt. Her bosom heaved with the effort of breathing. She gulped once, twice and then parted her dried lips to pull in more air. With one hand she shielded her eyes from the brazen onslaught of the sun.

He could not help but notice how beautiful she was.

Her pink and black saree hugged her slender frame like a lover lost in the throes of passion. The silken material curved sensuously around her thigh and disappeared amidst the folds, where her hand crumpled the fabric in a death grip. The fair skin of her waist looked like it was sprinkled with diamonds of the afternoon soon. It shivered deliciously with every painstaking breath. The saree molded itself beautifully around the curve of her perfect breast and moved rhythmically to the melody of life within her.

The very life he was about to take. He did not want to kill her, but he would have to. It was who he was. She had known that and despite the knowledge, she had taken the risk of being with him. Stupidity always had a price to pay.

She must have sensed him, because with a quick flick of her elegant neck, those panic leaden brown eyes were boring straight into him. She took a step backwards. She tripped and struggled to regain her balance. Her eyes never left him. A spatter of blood marked the spot where her bare feet had been just seconds ago.

“Don’t do this!” She pleaded brokenly, as tears mixed with the sweat on her face.

“You asked for it,” he replied as he took a step towards her.

“You love me!” She gasped.

“I loved you,” he corrected, “Till you cheated on me!”

“I did not cheat on you!” she sobbed.

“You are lying,” he shook his head as he drew the knife out of its sheath. He stared at the gleaming edge of the steel he was holding. Soon a shade of deep crimson would steal its shine. Soon crimson would cover the beauty of being alive.

She started to run again, but he grabbed her by her arm and spun her around to face him. He plunged the knife in her heart and with a wicked gleam looked into those brown eyes. Shocked. Disbelieving. And he realized he was the one who had lied. He still loved her.

He wedged the knife out of her heart and tried to stem the fountain of blooding forcing the life out of her. “Don’t leave me!” He sobbed. “I forgive you!”

“Karan?” Her voice floated to him. He felt her cool fingers on his cheek and smiled. “Karan?” She called worriedly. He was shaking. It must be all that silent sobbing. “Karan?” She called again. He was still shaking. Somebody was shaking him. His vision began to blur as the shaking got more intense. Her voice seemed to calling from far away. He was slipping into a welcoming darkness. He closed his eyes and for a second everything went blank.

A splash of cold, had him snapping his eyes open. He blinked tightly and then blinked again.

“Are you alright?” She asked. He looked at her with confusion. She was right there beside him draped in her pale blue night gown. She was kneeling on the bed beside him, her hands caressing his cheek, her brown eyes looking at him with concern. He looked around. He was in his bedroom, sprawled on his bed, his clothes were slightly damp with perspiration.

“Bad dream?” She asked as she stroked his forehead. He let out a deep sigh. That’s all that it had been.

“Did I wake you up?” he asked apologetically. She smiled. She spread out beside him and rested her cheek on his chest.

“You heart’s still working over time,” she said with a smile. He smiled and turned off the bed lamp. He ran his hand lovingly through her hair. He then gathered her to him and closed his eyes. What an insane dream it had been!

Hours later when the sun was once again conquering the blue spotless skies, she lay on the same bed as last night. She remembered his violent reactions to the dream he was having and shivered. He pulled the sheet tighter around their naked bodies. “You ok?” he asked.

She looked at him and smiled. She wrapped her arms around him and buried her head in his chest. “Do you think Karan knows about us?” She asked after a while.

“Not a chance,” he confirmed, as he stroked her back. “Its been two years and he hasn’t had a clue. Why do you ask?”

She looked at him with confusion clouding her beautiful eyes, “He said the strangest things in his dreams last night. He said – don’t leave me. I forgive you.”

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sherlock recapped

2:54 PM
The Sage:
hey
Beauty and the BEast: hey!! wasssup??

The Sage: nothin much... just back from office...
what about you??

Beauty and the BEast: just finished reading the script for a movie called The Princess Bride!
ever seen it?

The Sage: nopes...

Beauty and the BEast: you should...
I should..
I must see if I can get it...
saw sherlock holmes btw
did u see it??

The Sage: yup...
dint like it though...

Beauty and the BEast: I think robert downey jr deserves to come to my living room

The Sage: lol

Beauty and the BEast: I liked it.. amd I totally loved him.. sigh
the brit accent ... uff
sigh

The Sage: he he


Beauty and the BEast: *all dreamy*

The Sage: pfaah

Beauty and the BEast: common
it IS like a turn on of sorts
...

The Sage: it was a stupid movie...


Beauty and the BEast: who cares??
all u had to do was see him and hear him

The Sage: the characters were entirely twisted... ac doyle would have been rolling in his grave...


Beauty and the BEast: worth the money I tell you..
oh yeah that I agree

The Sage: though the irene adler woman was good looking


Beauty and the BEast: I kept telling these guys it was a neo james bond take on poor ole holmes

The Sage :LOL! hahaahahahahahah


Beauty and the BEast : yep hardly noticed her though :P

The Sage : but she wasn't there on the screen nearly


Beauty and the BEast: thank GOD!! :P :P :P

The Sage: the only thing which could have saved the movie from the depths of utter boredom was her


Beauty and the BEast: nope... HIM

The Sage: guy richtie is mad... and this was more than a confirmation

Beauty and the BEast: I could watch him for another three days at a stretch without getting bored
who cares?? the casting director did a good job basis the script

The Sage: but the actual director should have kept irene on the screne much longer...
in fact, throughout the movie...

Beauty and the BEast: wud have been a major bore in that event ...

The Sage: not at all...
i could hardly keep my eyes open in the theatre last night...
that would not have been the case had she been kept on the screen more..


Beauty and the BEast: ah thats because u were tired and not because.. of whatever else..

The Sage: no no...


Beauty and the BEast: oh puhleez she was quite ordinary

The Sage: i was resting through the day...

Beauty and the BEast: I think they cud have used someone with more oomph and stuff

The Sage: and rd jr was way below ordinary

Beauty and the BEast: considering they were using Jude Law as watson

The Sage: violet smith was a major turn off, though


Beauty and the BEast: given in - he is the latest ooomph factor swamping the female minds

The Sage: *violet

Beauty and the BEast: Who the F*** is violet?

The Sage: the female who was watson's interest

Beauty and the BEast: ah she was quite weird I give in

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Midnight Masquerade

She was beautiful. And she was a little high on champagne. They were not celebrating anything particular; except perhaps their new found love for each other. They had dined at the ‘Casablanca’. A very expensive retro restaurant with the food as outdated as the décor. Yet, those who moved in circles similar to those of hers, frequented this place. The champagne though, had been good. She had wanted to drink some more, “I am high on life!” She had announced on a bubbly giggle.

He had stopped her. He didn’t want her drunk. He wanted her happy and alive and very aware of everything that was happening to her. He wanted her to glow with the happiness he was bringing her way. He told her as much. Her smile had wavered and then vanished. A fresh sheen of tears had appeared in her heavily made up almond eyes. “I don’t believe anybody can love me so much!” She whispered brokenly. She had then leaned across the table and kissed him.
He had been embarrassed. He didn’t like being the center of attention. He particularly hated the thought that a kiss, in a place as public as the celebrity-frequented ‘Casablanca’ could easily become tomorrow’s headlines. But he didn’t tell her that. He smiled into her eyes and watched as she settled herself on the white couch again. Her red skirt, rode a little higher up her thigh. She followed his gaze and then smiled mischievously.

He told her he stayed close by, so they decided to ditch the taxi and walk through the park which separated the two blocks. The black carpeted sky was smudged by a cloudy silver moon. The white light made her pale skin glow . She looked almost angelic. But even the moonlit sky could not soften the toughness within her. Her firm mouth, slightly wrinkled at the corners from all the smiling and her strong nose which highlighted her determined stance, looked tough always. He liked the strength in her more than the softness which defined her feminity.

She walked two steps ahead of him, her face turned skywards, soaking in the rays of the moon. Her hands were neatly folded behind her back. Even in that moment, away from the world, just with him, she could be nothing but perfect. He followed her, her red jacket draped on his arm. Her silk shirt was transparent thin and he could trace the outlines of her bra with naked eyes. He felt himself go hard with need. But he maintained his distance.

They stepped out from the shadows of the trees. The marble girl who held the fountain, looked funny as she just stood there shouldering nothing but thin air. He found himself turned on enough to trace the curves of the stone girl as well. He was so lost in looking at the lifeless form that he didn’t notice she had stopped, till he bumped into her. He mumbled his apology and stepped back.

She smiled at him and stepped closer. “Have you ever kissed in moonlight?” She asked him huskily, bringing her mouth closer to his. “I have always wanted to…” she planted her lips on his.


***

Her skin was perfect to touch. Soft, like unused velvet. She was kissing him with the abandon which only one secure in love can display. He returned her kiss with practiced expertise. He wanted her to moan in pleasure. He wanted her to be really happy. He wanted to take her to dizzying heights of ecstasy, so that all she would ever remember was him. She would always remember him anyway.

He laid her flat on the concrete bed of the fountain and began stripping her clothes. The park was quite and the only whispers were of the wind rustled trees. Emboldened by the alcohol in her blood stream and excited by the thought of making out in the open, she matched his passionate pace. He removed his shirt and used it to tie her hands behind her back. She struggled against the knot, dying to put her hands on his skin. She was writhing with pleasure and he was getting more and more excited.

Finally he stripped his trousers. He was hard and erect. She wanted to touch him. She made an attempt to get up, but he pushed her back. He began stroking himself and watched her eyes droop with desire.

“Take me in your mouth?” He asked huskily.

“Oh yes!” She pleaded.

He just continued stroking himself refusing to give in to her pleas. He was enjoying her longing. He wanted her to long for him. She was strong, yet now she was weak with a need for him. Adrenaline surged through his body at this feeling of power. He started stroking himself faster. He was panting with pleasure. This was no longer about her it was about him.

“Take me now!” he commanded as he pointed his penis towards her.

For the first time, her eyes snapped open. He watched as fear crept slowly into them. She tried to free her hands again. She tried to move her legs, but they too were firmly pinned under the weight of his. He dug into her hair and snapped her head back. She winced her eyes in pain.
“Stop!” She screamed. He used that chance to thrust his penis into her mouth.

Her eyes widened in horror. He smiled into her eyes. A very malicious smile. He thrust himself further. He could feel her throat make way for him. And then she began to gag. Her eyes began to water. The look of fear turned into plea. She tried to shake her head. But his hand held her firmly in place.

He thrust deeper. Her throat revolted and he could feel her spit enveloping his penis. He threw his head back and groaned in pleasure. He continued pushing. She made gurgling noises. He drowned them with his moans.

And suddenly there was just him. Her body went limp; her mouth still around him. Her flailing feet stopped. She stopped struggling with her knots. Her eyes were still wide open and staring at him. He watched as her black irises stared at him and then slowly ascended to hide under her open eyelids.

And then he had an orgasm.

***


He was sitting on the concrete slab beside the fountain. The ACP had been right. He had retched. He was now nursing coffe from a plastic cup, trying in vain to banish images from his mind. The forensic team had taken the body, or the head or whatever you could call it away and was now gathering possible clues.

He knew they would be a dead end. Just like Kirti Shah’s case had been. That was like two cases in a row. Everybody knew this ought to be a serial killer. But only three murders could classify a case as a serial killer. They would have to wait for one more. Would that be another seven months?

He took a sip of his still hot coffee. He remembered seeing photographs of Shivani Mehta in newspapers. She was beautiful. But somehow that was not how he would remember her. He would always remember the head.

It was clean shaven. The job of a perfectionist. Her head had been stripped off all hair. Her unseeing eyes were wide open. The tear path down her face had been traced by a black marker. Her lips had been painted red and sticking through her mouth was a brown dildo. It was about ten inches long and deep inside her. White liquid had crystallized around her mouth, making it appear like semen spurting from the dildo.

The white marks ascended down to her neck to merge with the red of the blood. And that was all there was. There was no body. Just a head severed from its body. A hunt of the park had revealed no body.

Where was the body?

In the same place at the body of Kirti Shah.

And nobody had a damned clue as to where that was!



Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Following a Dream

She pressed down on the horn and forced her car to scream at the high horsepower vehicles screeching to a snail’s pace. She hated the early morning traffic almost as much as she hated being bothered by inconsequential dreams. Why had he popped in her dreams out of the blue? When had she last seen him? Twelve years ago? If she thought about him now, she could still see him as that awkward, bespectacled geek who glared angrily at her from across the class.

She allowed herself a tiny smile. Egos flared higher than the New Year eve fireworks those days. He had expected her to apologize for ruining his concentration by whispering non-stop during the science class and she had asked him to go fish! They had never quite mended that rift.

Which is why it unsettled her to see him float across her dream last night. He was no longer a kid. He was still thin, his cheeks drawn, his spectacles perched over his long nose, his face unsmiling. But it was his eyes which spoke to her. They had not been glaring at her. In fact he was not even looking at her. He was looking away from her at something she could not see. Suddenly he turned to look at her.

His eyes were vacant. The emptiness eclipsed the hope in his eyes and pushed their sparkle to an almost invisible existence. He looked at her and recognition dawned. She watched transfixed as the fast slithering hope suddenly gathered force and fought for a space in the hollow of his dimmed eyes. The struggle was brief and lasted only for a few seconds. From behind the fingerprinted glass of his over-used spectacles, his eyes shone with a radiance which would put the best of solitaires to shame.

But that’s where the transformation ended. He had not moved, even his lips were set in a rigid line as if determined not to smile. His lips quivered and she realized he was trying to say something. She leaned in closer to hear better. He let out a loud piercing, painful scream.

She woke up with a start.

She darted angrily between two cars and stepped on the gas pedal. Why had he figured in her dreams? She had not met any old friends to relive school memories, she hadn’t looked through old photographs, she hadn’t even thought about school. So why had her sub-conscious dredged him out of some buried grave and retouched his existence in her dream?

She passed the old school gates like everyday. The school had changed locations. They needed bigger buildings and larger playgrounds. The small space she remembered as school was not big enough to accommodate the increasing demands of an educated world. Weeds had sprung all over the playground. The building itself cracked at the walls and sported wayward branches of wild trees. She was tempted to pull to a halt and visit her childhood just once again.

There was a meeting scheduled for nine to review the progress on the Birla project. There was interview scheduled for ten. She really did not have the time to stop and pander over the past. But she was tempted.

“What the hell!” she thought as she eased her car to a halt near the curb. Everyday was loaded with meetings and things to do. It would be alright if she got late one day. She had so buried herself in her corporate climb that she had never found time to get together with who she was or who she had once been. Now seemed like a good time.

She crept through the half open gate and gently found her way around the twigs and grass to where she remembered her classroom to be. Her heart thudded so loudly that it threatened to shatter the early morning peace of this deserted space. What was she so excited about.

She emerged in a small clearing and was surprised to find that she was not alone. The blue dupatta fluttered carelessly in the breeze as her unidentified companion continued staring ahead. A twig snapped beneath her three inch heels and the girl with the dupatta turned to see who it was.

The two women smiled at each other. Their differences apparent in their common circumstantial existence.

Jigyasa,” she smiled, as she introduced herself.

Tamanna,” she smiled back.

“Did you study here?” Jigyasa asked, tempted to linger on in her childhood just for a minute longer.

Tamanna shook her head and pointed ahead, “My husband did!”

Jigyasa followed her finger to see a man sitting some distance away on the stairs of the main hall. She could not see his face. She watched Tamanna lovingly watch her husband who seemed lost in a world of his own in this private space.

“He must’ve loved school!” Jigyasa smiled.

“No,” Tamanna laughed, “He hated it! The only memories he had of school were of being bullied.”

“Oh!” Jigyasa frowned.

“I know,” Tamanna said, “ beats me too. Yet for the past two days he insisted he had to come here. He would not tell me why. Said he could not explain the reason in words. He just had to. So here we are!”

“That’s sweet of you to accompany him on his flight of fantasy,” Jigyasa joked.

“It didn’t feel like a flight of fancy,” Tamanna said seriously without looking at her. “You see, my husband has lukaemia. Everything has been tried and tested. Nothing seems to work. We are left with one option. A bone marrow transplant. Yet, it is not an option at all! Nobody can seem to be the donor. Everybody, brother, sister, cousins, aunts…. The most remotest of friends have had their blood tested. The bone marrow is just not the same!”

Tamanna’s voice cracked as she struggled to control her tears. Jigyasa just stood there unable to move and yet with no idea of what she ought to say.

“He said he hadn’t lost hope yet,” Tamanna continued, “ he said, if he came here, he would know just what to do.”

That moment the man looked up.

Jigyasa stood frozen in her dream. She watched transfixed as he looked at her with the same intensity of her dream. She watched as his lips quivered with the effort to say something which would match the renewed hope in his eyes.

She gasped and took a step backward. Tamanna frowned and looked at her. She followed her stare to meet the hopeful look in her husband’s eyes. She looked from Jigyasa to her husband and back. She could feel the air stir with some undefined emotion.

Jigyasa turned on her heel and fled. She jumped into her car and zoomed towards work. Her mind was a crazy riot of thoughts. She didn’t want to sort them, she couldn’t. She wished she could stop the million questions from choking the sanity out of her mind.

She pulled in the parking lot of the hospital. There could be only one supernatural explanation for everything. She walked to the reception and asked for him. Tamanna was waiting for her.

“I think we should get my blood tested,” Jigyasa announced.

Three weeks later Tamanna called Jigyasa to let her know the transplant had been successful.

“Why did you come there that day?” Jigyasa asked

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” Tamanna sighed.

“Let me guess,” Jigyasa said seriously, “ You followed a dream.”