The Love Hate relationship with stories

There was a time when I used to write stories. They made me realize myself. I must admit that I was a part of almost all stories I wrote, love stories that is. Some were based on a leaf out of my own life or some were inspired from people I knew. There were people who loved it. And there were people who criticized it. But there were always people who read it.

I got carried away. I started writing because people read it. I wrote for the audience. I tried to sensationalise, materialize stories. I also thought of commercializing the stories by publishing a book. But then came a point when the whole world collapsed with a thud. My romance with love stories ended and sank without a trace. When I read some of the stories I wrote, I hated myself for trying to do what I shouldn’t have thought. It is that day and today, I’m still devoid of inspiration.

I hope it reverses some day. I hope it does very soon. I want to write stories again.

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Anniversary Special: “The Junior”

Anniversary day special story

Any wait is always troublesome. And if it is for the arrival of the new born… it becomes excruciating!

They all had become extremely impatient since the start of the April month. It was after all the ninth month of her pregnancy. Her sister would jump with a ‘Chaley Kya?’ conclusion at every ‘aah’ and ‘ooh’ cry she let out. But the time was not there yet. They had been monitoring her pregnancy week by week. They had read in several websites and books about the likely hood of the delivery after 36 weeks of pregnancy. They all hoped she was one of the few cases. But junior had different ideas… and so did god! Continue reading

GPPW: I do

Anniversary week special love story (guest post) by Pallavi Walia

I do! Do I? I do! Do I? I do! Do I? I do! Do I? I do! Do I? I do! Do I? …..Maya was typing away these words. After a point she realized the exercise was futile and just pulled her head down and hid it behind her hands.

“I love you hands Maya, they are the softest I have ever touched and kissed them lightly.” These words from Karthik were buzzing in her head when someone tapped on her shoulder. It was her colleague Neha who laughed looking at the computer screen and said, “Is this a new innovative method to sort out confusion in the head; punch in rather pluck petals”. Ignoring the question, an exasperated Maya just kicked aimlessly in the air and cried out why it is so difficult for me to utter the word Yes? Continue reading

L21: The Way you love me Part II

Please read the part I here –> The way you love me

A 21 year old Laxmi was drying her long hair in the second floor balcony of the Palatial bungalow of the Naik family in Nigdi, on the outskirts Pune. Her fair skin was glowing in the soothing sunrays coming from behind a rain cloud. It had just rained a few hours back and Laxmi pulverised the dullness in the clouds with her charm. So busy was the beautiful maiden in killing the approaches from the nature that she didn’t realise her cell phone was ringing continuously. When the sunrays were sufficiently charged with her radiance, she came back to her room.

As a kid, Keshav used to stand in front of Laxmi after she  came out of the shower. He would love to have the water droplets of, what he called mini shower, sprayed all over him. Every family was jealous of the lovely relationship this brother and sister shared. And all of them despised the animosity their parents had between them. As a child Laxmi had no one but Keshav to look upto. He was her elder brother and the only one she could share her life and stay happy. Her fatehr hardly had time to spend with them and her mother hardly came out of her social circle. Both the Naik siblings always hated being born in a high profile family.

Laxmi casually checked her mobile phone. 14 missed calls 1 sms, it read. Must be Ankit, she thought. Besides being a beautiful girl, Laxmi was also a very good badminton player. She had picked this legacy from her father, Sudarshan Naik. So naturally she endured a fan following, especially amongst guys. Ankit was one such stalker. He was a niceguy, rich and qualified. But Laxmi wasn’t interested. She hated being associated with a guy. She had seen the love marriage of her parents fall apart like a pack or cards. She had seen her mother remarry to a guy who hated a person she loved so much, Keshav. She had seen her father succumb to alchohol. She hated marriage!

It took her only a split second to register that the calls were actually from Southern Command. Oh so Keshav was already here? She thought. May be Keshav was already in town and was coming to meet her. May be not. “This is Maj. Veerwani from Southern Command. Please call immediately. Regarding Keshav.” Read the message. Laxmi’s heart began to pound heavily.

“Hello… Major Veerwani? … Yes this is Laxmi… Yes… Sorry? Come again?……” … and Laxmi almost fainted.

The next thing she remembered was being on a flight to Delhi. Keshav was her only support and to say, only family member here and she was not prepared to let him slip away. Laxmi was still very young when the fights between her parent started to grow wilder. She remembered Keshav holding her tightly and sitting under the table while their parents fought on a trivial issue. She remembered the long fought battle over the custody of her and Keshav during her parent’s divorce. She was just 10 and Keshav was 14 and a half. The judge calledit split. Laxmi had to be hospitalised for dehydration, for she had cried so much. She remembered how Keshav would sneak in to meet her at her house or her school… and how some guys had roughed him up during her college days thinking he was her boy friend.

Keshav had lost lot of blood due to explosion. Moreover his right fibula and the joint with the knee were badly damaged. The Army medical facilities at Srinagar were not sufficient to deal with it. And Keshav had to be saved. They shifted him to AIIMS in Delhi. The department of Orthopaedics had taken 11 hours flat to bring the bone back in shape. When Laxmi landed in the ward 121 reserved fro Army Jawans, she was greeted with a stinking smell of spirit and blood. Orthopaedics ward is not meant for weak hearted patients. Laxmi was no exception. But all the fear vanished when she looked at Keshav, speeping in a two bed room. His leg was all plastered and his face looked considerably withered.

“Dada!”

Keshav pulled all his energies to raise a hand, as if he was saluting her. Laxmi’s emotions knew no bounds that day. She wept inconsolably that night.

The doctors had given up hope on Keshav. He was too weak and had lost to much of blood. But what happened in the next few weeks was more than a miracle. Laxmi worked relentlessly to get her pillar back in shape, so that she could again rest on him. Keshav had fully recovred in 3 months flat. Although he was now unfit to join the active posts in the Army any longer. He was offered a post to be an instructor in Khadakvasla in the National Defense Academy. He is still there and is considered the toughest guy in the regiment.

Laxmi mean while, gave away to Ankit’s advances and married him. But the way she loved her brother has now become a story to tell in the entire Army circles and others.

L20: The Way you love me

At 11,000 feet above the sea level, manning a bridge to prevent terrorist attacks is certainly not a good job to do. But Keshav was upto the task and doing it diligently. It had been more than a year that he was in Dras, a small section in Kargil district of Kashmir and probably the coldest place inhibited in India. Month of July was approaching its end. It was one of the warmer periods in Dras with temperatures going as high at 20 degrees on some days. So Keshav wasn’t complaining. There were other times when he had fought for snatching the Tiger hill back from the infiltrators in sub zero temperatures. But the war was over now… at least for some time and Keshav was happy about it. Finally he had a chance to go home. He was going to meet Laxmi.

Laxmi and Keshav had spent all their childhood together before a tragedy struck and they were separated. But they still managed to sneak time to meet each other. It was difficult, especially considering the trouble between their parents. Never the less it couldn’t stop them. Sitting on the watch tower with a Tavor TAR21 in his hand, he remembered how difficult it was to control Laxmi when he broke the news of joining Indian Army. Keshav always had this attraction of guns and ammunitions. Though as a child he never knew what are they really used for and what catastrophe they create. But he liked them anyway and always dreamt of getting into the Army ranks. Laxmi on the other hand was a very sweet little girl. She liked poetry more than bombs. She cherished chasing the butterflies in the garden whereas Keshav enjoying hunting them down so that Laxmi could preserve them in her note books. They were opposite ends and they attracted each other like any thing.

Keshav alerted the security when he saw a tourist jeep approach the bridge. From distance it looked like a white colored Gypsy. Although the vehicle was at least a kilometer away, dwindling down the road, with the help of his Fujinon AR-SX 6×30 binoculors, he was pretty sure it was a Gypsy. As he downed the cross hair, he remembered how he and Laxmi used to watch stars in the night through the astronomical binoculor his father owned. Laxmi would get facinated by the stars and would want them all in her lap. Keshav would often get upset for he couldn’t shoot them down the way he shot the butterflies. One day, he thought, he would take Laxmi to the sky and show her how beautiful it is from the top.

The vehicle was now clearly visible. Keshav was wrong, it was not a Gypsy but a Toyota. This brand was not sold in India. Some thing was really fishy and Keshav’s heart was now pounding. He immediately shouted on the microphone and alerted the command post. They men on ground immediately pulled extra barricades and waved the vehicle to slow down. The Toyota instead increased the speed and was now cruising towards the bridge. Keshav’s mind began to race. What was that? A suicide attack on the bridge? Yes… probably yes! He had to act and act very quickly. He immediately threw his bino off and pulled the Tavor in position. Another few seconds passed. There were no signs of the vehicle slowing down. He aimed the cross hair on the front tyre and fired. Missed… shit! He fired again. This time it was on target and the vehicle began to swivel. But the vehicle was still on course. He now aimed at the wind screen and fired multiple shots. The screen crashed and he could see two bearded guys inside. He had to avoid the vehicle to come any closer. By the time even the ground platoon was ready and firing. Both men couldn’t take the barrage of bullets and the vehicle lost control. It swiveled some more and to Keshav’s horror, banged right on his watch tower. Keshav didn’t remember many things after that, except that he fell to the ground with a thud. A large iron block followed and fell on his right leg. Looking at the sky with a diminishing vision, he prayed god. He wanted to be home for Raksha Bandhan.

Looking at the sky, remembering Laxmi, he closed his eyes.

To be continued…

L19: The Tune of Love

Disclaimer: This is fictitious story and has no resemblance to the truth, what so ever.

In the green room of the hotel, Vijay as getting ready for yet another performance. He donned his red colored best looking band suit and now was trying to buckle his complicated coat. He had complained to Prady, his boss, mentor and a good friend so many times that the dress looks much like other ‘band walas’  and that he was a musician and not a street smart trumpet player. But the truth was a little different from his imagination and about similar to what his father had predicted. He was indeed the lead trumpet player in Maharaja Band, one of the most sought after bands in Parel, Byculla and Dadar put together. They were called today to play at a wedding of some high profile businessman at ITC grand central, a 5 star hotel. That was indeed big and a relief from playing only at the ganeshotsav mandals and substandard marriages. Vijay thought he had come a long way.

His story actually started 8 year ago when a 21 year old Vijay ran away from his father’s home in Raver, a small town in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. He never took interest in his Father’s pulse milling business. They supplied pulses to the oil mills around. This meant his father had to be travelling most of the time. When he was 13, his father brought him a small trumpet. Young Vijay was so fascinated by the small instrument that he mastered the art within no time, much to the disliking of his father. They were Patels and his father wanted Vijay to learn the roots of business just like other kids in their caste did. However Vijay had other intentions. He often missed a class or two and practiced playing melodies on the trumpet. As he grew up, he started getting some money from his parents as a pocket money. He saved enough and one day with some help from his mother, Vijay bought a second hand picolo trumpet. He struck a good bargain with one shrewd scrap dealer. His happiness knew no bounds that day.

His love for music grew over the years. As he reached adolescence, cupid struck him right in the middle of the heart.Vijay was popular amongst his friends because of his gifted ability to play trumpet, mouth organ, flute and almost any instrument he could play with his mouth. That attracted lot of attention from girls and boys alike. Anjali was no different. She was at least 4 years younger to Vijay. But her aesthetic sense was way beyond other listeners, he thought. She was sweet and very naughty too. Slowly their friendship grew and Vijay’s public performances steadily started getting private. Vijay had a pressure from the family to attend colleges and Anjali was still in school. So the only time they could find to meet and water their plant of love was during the breaks and on their way home. Vijay composed tunes for her and she would drool over his melody. This continued for a year or two. One day Anjali’s brother caught them hand in hand in a neighborhood farm. Vijay was beaten and summoned to Anjali’s father, a Choudhary of the neighboring village. Vijay did all he could to convince him. But the fact that Vijay did not earn or do any thing for living went against him. On learning about his family back ground, Anjali’s father contacted Vijay’s father and narrated him the entire essay. On hearing them out and fearing that his reputation was at stake, a shrewd businessman he was, Vijay’s father offered to marry them in future on a condition that Vijay leaves his trumpet behind and joins him in his business. The choice was easy. Vijay chose his first love.

On the same night on being thrown out of the house, Vijay left Raver for Mumbai. Like any other starry eyed charmer, he landed in the city of dreams. He thought talent could work its way up and he will be appreciated here as much as he was loved in Raver. But soon the harsh realities surfaced. He blew his trumpet every where. From Shankar Mahadevan to Bali Sagoo and from Jatin Lalit to Vishal Shekhar… all turned a deaf ear to him. They were inaccessible. Soon the scarcity of money began to pinch him. Financial troubles meant he played wherever he could earn some money. But he was prepared for it. He loved his trumpets more than any one else in his life. During one such performance in a night club, Vijay met Prady, aka Pradeep Ghosh. Prady was a musician turned small time band owner. He earlier was associated with certain music director Shantanu Moitra. But Prady accused him of stealing his idea for some song. He was now in search of some one who could play wind instruments. Vijay fitted that bill perfectly. With two more associates they went on to form a Maharaja Band, a one of its kind. Mixing latest songs to suit the street smart audience, Maharaja band grew from Night clubs to parties and from small time ganeshotsav mandals to now playing at some of the biggest weddings. They indeed weren’t acclaimed musicians. But they were good and people loved them where ever they went. Their association for 7 long years was extremely fruitful and the love of music had come a long way.

Vijay had been practicing the song ‘Tumse hi…’ from the latest movie Jab we Met, which they had mixed on a banjo and a flugelhorn trumpet. It sounded amazing. And now Vijay was struggling with the buttons on the coat. As much as he loved music, he hated being called a ‘bandwala’. Once he was done, he looked at himself in the mirror. He wished if he could wear a black Armani suit instead, which the groom was wearing in the hall next to him. He thought of Anjali for a moment. Since he had left Raver, he had regularly written letters to her. Initially Anjali replied, begging him to come back. But later she understood what his trumpet meant to him. Her letters began to dry. The last time Vijay had heard from her was about an year back. She had written that her father had now aggressively started searching for a suitable groom. And Vijay didn’t know if he was suitable. A knock at the door broke his stream of thought. It was Prady calling him for the performance.

The wedding rocked to the tune of the Maharaja Band. They were mind blowing. Especially the song ‘Tumse hi…’ on flugelhorn and banjo was a super hit. While dining after the performance, a rugged looking guy came to them and asked who the boss was. Looking at the guy’s prudence, other three pointed fingers to Prady. He took Prady away saying some one wanted to meet him. While they joked around, Prady came back huffing and puffing as if they made him run a marathon race.

“What heppened?” Vijay asked.
“Do… Do you know… who called?”
“Who?”
“Loo… Looks at this card!” and Prady handed over a card to them.
“Anurag Kashyap?”
“Yes. He wants us to…”
“Anurag Kashyap, I think I have heard this name before.”
“You fool… Anurag Kashyap the director. He has called us to his office tomorrow. He wants to give us a chance.”
“Anu… oh my god! Anurag Kashyap?”
“Yesssssss! He will introduce us to Amit Trivedi, his music director. He wants us to compose a song for him”
“What………!!!”

“What happened?” Vijay asked.

“Do… Do you know… who called?”

“Who?”

“Loo… Looks at this card!” and Prady handed over a card to them.

“Anurag Kashyap?”

“Yes. He wants us to…”

“Anurag Kashyap, I think I have heard this name before.”

“You fool… Anurag Kashyap the director. He has called us to his office tomorrow. He wants to give us a chance.”

“Anu… oh my god! Anurag Kashyap?”

“Yesssssss! He will introduce us to Amit Trivedi, his music director. He wants us to compose a song for him”

“What………!!!”

What was going to happen was history. They were offered to compose a song for Anurag Kashyap’s new movie Dev.D. They had no idea the song ‘Tauba Tera Jalwa’ they were going to make will become a cult success. Vijay had no idea he was going to go back and marry Anjali.

L9: Head over Heels, The Story

Taking the story of my friend ahead, continue from hereà L8: Head over Heels, The Build Up

Cut to Early November 2008; a chronological narration of how it happened

One fine Sunday morning, dada (my father) found this guy, thanks to the matrimonial pullout in The Tribune. (Didn’t I tell you? This is an age old tried and tested formula). Since I don’t live with them, I cant prevent them from looking at the news paper. Anyway, he read the profile of Mr. A (name changed to protect his identity). I will still name him A, because it is my favorite letter and this guy’s name also began with ‘A’.

Anyway, so after a few telephone calls between A and my parents, they fixed a date and time to meet. Next, the horoscopes were matched; our pictures were exchanged and approved. The whole world including my mother’s sisters, my sister and brother in law (who are in Switzerland), my uncle in the US, in short the whole world knew about it except me. Beat that! I got to know this by chance. Dada has a habit of speaking with me every morning, but that day he didn’t. When I called to ask where he was, he said he will call me back. I knew something was fishy???

Cut to November 30, 2008- Sunday evening 7.30 pm: Dad calls me and tells me about A and his family. 27 yr old, 5 feet 11 inches, electrical engineer, MBA from a reputed college, works with a big Indian IT giant and currently posted in London. He gives me his email address so that I can write him an email. I suppose similar routine was carried out at A’s house.

Being what I am, my questions was why should I write, why can’t he simply call me? Well… I’ll tell you, parents are good at emotional blackmail. This was followed by two quick calls from my brother in law and my Uncle, both said the same thing- be mild, talk nicely, you have to do it and don’t get emotionally involved. Ya… Ya, right! I am going to talk to this guy about marriage and not get emotional about it. Hmmm… I always told my parents please don’t expect me to agree for a matrimonial match after one meeting with the guy, like my sister did. It worked wonderfully well for her but who knows? I’m not taking it. And anyway, it was first time for me to actually talk marriage with a guy whom I had never met or talked to.

Next day, Monday- December 1, 2008; I couldn’t believe I was going to do something like this. My work does involve talking and meeting strangers. But this was different. Yet, I went ahead and wrote to him. In the mean time me and my best friend also checked out his profile on orkut (comments- profile, interesting, pic could have been better. When I told him later about it, he got a little upset that I was checking him out.) Actually when I wrote him, I had prayed that he shouldn’t reply. But I guess the others were praying harder because he replied. Not bad, because it began with an apology for the delayed response.

It was exciting yet fearful.  But hang on… why was I feeling scared and claustrophobic? Everyone was on me, asking for updates. I tried to enjoy it but never imagined the whole thing could be so stressful, my sinus was at its worst (please don’t ask me why). Yet, I pretended to my family that I am also excited. And gave only 4 adjectives to describe A- nice, sweet, sober and no nonsense person. Too much praise could have been interpreted as a yes.

A did write nice, warm and long mails. Was I liking it? I think I was. I surprised at me completely. I never knew I could do this. While we shared our histories, likes, dislikes over next two days. My fears began to creep in; some silly some serious ones. If I move from Delhi I will not be a call away from my family, will he love my family like his own? Take-2, he might be the one.

A week later, Friday- Dec 5, 2008: I was a total nervous wreck- filled up to the brim. In the mean time we also had exchanged our pictures (PERFECT- one word to describe him). I think it was not easy for him either. ‘A’ wanted to discuss and take his sisters opinion about me but he was afraid of sharing his perspective with me. He thought, a yes might mean a yes for marriage with me. I think, no I know I did overreact but we were not able to explain our state of minds to each other.  Another revelation; I am not the most mature person when it comes to taking a decision about marriage- but it was my first time. I was on my all time low, and finally I broke down, cried like a baby. A still continued to diligently reply my mails and endless list of questions. But I thought what the point of exchanging mails is when we are not sure about it so I told him to discuss it with his family and then get back to me. He said he will do it by the weekend or by Monday morning.

Cut to Sunday- Dec 7, 2008: I always loved my Sundays and wanted them to be never ending. But this Sunday was different. I couldn’t take the stress. I had to go for a Sunday Brunch at ITC Sheraton, and I managed to scrap through it. Dad called and told me, his mom wants to meet me. Meet me? God, why? Dad said A’s mom told him that she had discussed it with her son and that’s why they wanted to meet me. Did that mean a yes from A? I wanted to wait for him to tell me that he does want to take things forward. I was desperately waiting for a reply which did not come and all kind of crazy things were going on in my head (I told you he chooses to be silent when he is not sure of things).

Next day, Monday- December 8, 2008: I didn’t have a reply from him till about 1 pm. Maybe I was a little disappointed because he told me no matter what my decision is you have every right to know. But he did not write, so I did it- wrote the toughest mail of my life and made the hardest decision. I communicated by NO in not a very polite mail to this really nice guy. I did hate myself for doing it. Of course I don’t have to add that everyone was disappointed with me.  My main and only reason of doing it was to get over the tension and stress. I don’t know how I could be so impatient. I have been in more difficult situations. I thought till this episode that I was Miss Manage-it-all. But now I know I am not. He didn’t reply and we did not exchange mails for about two weeks till I penned down my experiences. (I have this strange habit of writing down what I feel) I sent it to him too because he was the inspiration behind it. He loved reading the story. I was happy he enjoyed reading it and he gave me his take on my story. What he felt and other things. Of course I replied back and finally asked him if he too had said no. Because I wanted to know his reason for backing out. But very smartly he avoided answering that question and then the pieces of the puzzle fell in place. He did not say no in first place so how could he gave the reason? It was my foolishness that pushed him back. I felt like kicking myself. I so badly wanted this to work out. He then said ‘why don’t you give a take on what he wrote’ and well we were exchanging our thoughts again about marriage and life in general. I was hoping it would lead me somewhere with him. Just one chance to meet him and I would tell him that I fell head over heels for him, even if it didn’t matter now. Albert Einstein once wrote ‘you cannot hold gravity responsible for falling in love, you just fall in love!’ he was so right. I just wanted him to know what I felt and was waiting for him to call me so that I could meet him and just say it. I didn’t care if he thought I am mad and even if he didn’t reciprocate it. Anyway, I don’t think that is going to happen, he is going back to London and I think he has found his Miss Right. In the last mail he wrote to me, it had a line ‘what goes around comes around’ … So will, lost love come around in my life too? I hope it does. And it happens soon because now I know it is a beautiful feeling.

Why I wrote this- Simple, I keep telling my colleagues that sometimes you don’t have to commit mistakes to learn from them you can learn from others experience. Here is my experience, you learn from it.

“Real love is always fated. It has been arranged before time. It is the most meticulously prepared of coincidences. And fate, of course, is simply a secular term for the will of God, and coincidence for His grace.” Joshua Harris