Thursday, April 30, 2015


For the last day of Napowrimo, I wanted to share a poem very close to my heart. I had written this a few years back but I've reworked on this again before sharing it today.

 HUSH! My baby boy is asleep and

I sadly creep to the mirror.

Marriage makes your head roll.

Childbirth takes its toll.

I came to see what I lost

From what I was in the past…


Long black cascading tresses are now a bun- small and staunch;

Narrow swiveling hips have become a paunch.

As I view my rear, in dismay,

I realize my callipygian days have gone away.

Sleepless nights with an infant’s cries and gurgles

have framed my shiny eyes with dark circles.


No, long painted nails – I can’t have thee

As you might hurt my darling baby!

I looked at my lips in alarm -

Its months since I applied lip balm.

Don’t cry, my dear rough feet,

I can no longer pedicure every week!

Shadows have filled my mind.

I turn and see my husband behind.

He looks into my eyes with a love so new,

“Our son is so beautiful… he is just like you!

Each day, you are growing prettier dear!”

He said, kissed and pulled me near.
Thank you friends for reading and encouraging all these amateur poems. You have given me tons of confidence to work on and improve.

Z: Zucchini


“There is something I need to tell you. It is better we speak about such things before the wedding,” Robert sounded so serious. “When I was a kid, must be around 10 years of age, we had been to my father’s friend’s house.” Cathy held her breath. She was sure this was going to be a story of horror and abuse. They were just engaged and she didn’t want anything to disrupt her happiness.

“Were you abused there?” she asked. She couldn’t wait patiently for the slow build-up of the story. Many times, she wondered if it was actually advisable to marry a writer. He created stories out of nothings.

“Yes. Kind of,” he said.

“Do your parents know?”

“Yes, and they made sure I never get abused that way again.”

“Oh. How terrible! Are you still affected by it?”

“A lot,” he said. Cathy’s eyes watered. Will her life be alright marrying this guy? She loved him terribly but marriage is a different game altogether. There are other lives to consider. “Did something fall in your eyes, Cathy?”

“No, no.” Cathy wiped her eyes with her handkerchief.

“So, remember, I don’t want you abusing me that way too,” he said. “Let’s be clear on this. I hate zucchini. I can’t stand it. You will never buy or cook it in our house.”


“Yes. That fat man forcefully fed me a spoon of zucchini and I can’t get over it still. So…”

“Aaargh,” Cathy screamed. “You are so infuriating. You scared me so much.” Robert burst out laughing. Cathy stared at him. “You know what I’m going to do to punish you. I’m going to cook zucchini for an entire full month, once we are married.”


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Y: Yesterday

I am writing a poem today for the Napowrimo and the A to Z Challenge. Napowrimo has given the prompt of 'bridges' and A to Z has the letter Y, the penultimate post for the challenge. As I was wondering what to write on, I came across this 7-7-7 writing prompt in We need to pick up the 7th book in the bookshelf, turn to page 7, scroll down to the 7th line and start a poem with that. Finally, all problems solved. I wrote a poem encompassing all the prompts and challenges for today. :)


Nothing is more enjoyable than writing a 100 page thesis
is what that ex-valedictorian will try to make you believe.
Don't trust him.
It is not true.
It is just that he crossed that bridge yesterday
and now wants to do it again and again.
All that sweat, all that strain,
was shed in company of friends,
and that pain became a sweet gain.
He is filled with memories.
With his wife, he shares those stories,
but some bridges are one-way.
You just cannot cross them back.

(By the way, the seventh book on my bookshelf was 'The Rule of Four' by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason. The 7th line of the 7th page of that book is the first line of the above poem.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

X: Xtremes

The hay(na)ku is a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words. You can write just one, or chain several together into a longer poem.



Chocolate ice-cream

With fried rice.


are friends.

Can’t help it!


Love them,

Don’t judge them.


Become extraordinary.

Support those weirdos.


Hay(na)ku - Time

The hay(na)ku is a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words. You can write just one, or chain several together into a longer poem.



ticking clock,

Need more time…


have lots

more to do.


You can’t?

Then, I can.


Will stop

and love life.


Monday, April 27, 2015

W: Wasted


Fridays were always a nightmare at work. Dinonster (Hari’s boss – a person huge like a dinosaur and who behaved like a monster) made him work harder to compensate for the weekend. Hari drew the sales report for the week again. Dinoster always wanted more details, annexures, forecasts and all the works. It was already nine by the time Hari stepped out of office.

His wife, Sujata, had already called him five times in the last four hours. Their little baby girl was not well. She had an upset tummy and Sujata wanted him home.

“Don’t go today, Hari. Please. Tara is not well and I am so tired. Come home please.”

“You know this. We have spoken about this, even before our marriage. Fridays are the only evening I have for myself. I need to go to the bar. Don’t stop me. Don’t call me too, unless absolutely necessary.”

Hari could sense Sujata’s displeasure. He shrugged his shoulders. He cannot compromise on this. He drove to ‘Lucky Duck’. His palms got sweaty and he wiped them on his pants. He removed his tie, opened the first button of his shirt and folded up the long sleeves. The Sony folks were expected today. It could be the break he had been waiting for all his life. He picked up his guitar from the backseat and gave it a kiss. He closed his eyes in reverence and then jumped out of the car.

Fridays made it all worth it. Giving up his music to study MBA, getting a job to look after his widowed mother, working his ass off for some MNC – all seemed worthwhile, because every Friday, he played his heart out here, to seduce the music industry icons. They scoured this place looking for the next big talent. Someday, he will get his chance and then, life won’t seem so wasted.


Driving through Mumbai

Gentle twilight hour
Crows pecking garbage
Opaque art on wall
Water flowing hard
Two sparrows peck
Children cry and beg
Sick dog crawls
Auto men in rage
Construction and damage
Kite in barbed wire
Creepy baggage… Bomb?


I wanted to capture all those images and thoughts that flash in front of you as you drive in your car. Jean from my Poetry course read this poem and told me, "There is a staccato feel to your poem as if you are firing out the words using a machine gun. It creates a certain tension in the poem, and so the ending makes sense, and fits with what goes before it." Now, that was definitely not intentional but I think that is the magic to poetry. It just happens.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


War Hero
War is calling me,
to defend cause I distrust.
I don't want to fight.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

V: Valentine's Day, over the years...


We had not yet tied the knot. Neither did I receive a bouquet of flowers nor did I receive any precious gift. It was just another day. The only highlight was he took the initiative to give me a call, for a change, but forgot to wish me. We chatted for some ten minutes. Before he hung up, I wished him, "Happy Valentines Day!"

“Oh, yes! Thanks! Wish you the same,” he said. Was I disappointed? Anyways, since I knew my guy was hopelessly decent and hated to tarnish his 'good guy' image before my parents, I forgave him. Back then, it was a taboo to get too friendly with your fiancé before marriage. So, I decided to wait for the 'after-marriage' Valentines Days.
I did not want to take any risks this time. I made an elaborate cross-stitch pattern of his favorite pussy cats on a huge pillow cover. Also, I gave him the gift a couple of days before Valentine’s Day just to make sure he remembers it and gets me something in return. Can matters get worse? Yes, they did!
He thanked me for the gift and promptly forgot to get me anything. I sweated over that gift for an entire month and he didn't give me anything! I blew my fuse. I shouted, screamed and cried in anger and disappointment.
 I accused him of not loving me. I told him he had changed after marriage. (What did I mean? He didn’t get me anything before marriage too!) Finally, I gave up and went to sleep.
10: 00 pm I was worried sick about why he is so late. Normally, he is home before eight. Even if he is delayed at office, it maybe only be by half-hour or so. His mobile was not reachable too. I cried and prayed he was fine.
Finally, after some half-hour, he arrived tired and drained. It was another hectic day at office. After that, he had gone gift-hunting and got me a sweet present. He mustered all his strength to kiss and wish me. Do you think I was elated? Definitely not! I felt ashamed to trouble him so much.
That night, he was so tired that he drifted off into snores immediately while I lay awake for long. Did my love depend on the sheer gift? What right did I have to evaluate his love on such a flimsy basis? A few tears rolled down my cheeks as I realized my folly.
We both forgot it was Valentine's Day. We remembered it, after two days, and wished each other.
My son gave me a card made by himself, proclaiming his undying love for me. We were so touched and the conversation that ensued became the highlight of the day.
"Amma, I will marry you," he said.
"But I'm already married," I said.
"Who did you marry?"
"Your appa."
He threw around a few toys, shouted a bit and then, thought about it. "No problem. I'll marry you. I'll marry only you."
I reminded him of his decision to marry me. He was okay about it. He behaved as if he had no choice but to keep his word.
I told him about how he had wanted to marry me. He was flabbergasted. "No chance. I would never say that. How can anybody marry their mother? Impossible." There, that's life for you!
The second one, my little one, has decided that he wants to marry me. And, life goes on...


Dying Fish
Fish swimming in grace,
caught by a fisherman's ace and
dying face to face.

Friday, April 24, 2015

U: Umbrella


“What is more important? You better decide it now – your religion or an umbrella?”

K__ sat with his head in his hands. Every monsoon is either too soon or too late, and the crops are destroyed. Last monsoon, he not only lost his crops but his six year old daughter L_ too. She had succumbed to pneumonia. She had not played in the rain. She had only walked to school in the rain, and had remained there all day in her wet clothes. She did not heed her father’s advice to miss school. She had wanted to become a doctor.

M__ sat next to her husband. “Darling husband, listen to me. Religion is for the rich. We poor need umbrellas. These people are promising umbrellas, raincoats for kids, evening milk and free hospitals too. What else do we need? How bad can it be, this changing religion? Let’s just do it, for the sake of our children.”

“What will everyone say?”

“Did anyone help us when L__ was dying? Why should we bother about what they say? Three kids are dependent on us. See S__’s life now. How happy and well-fed he and his kids are now? Decide soon. If another of my kid dies, I die with them. You can live alone.” M__ burst out crying.

K__ got up and nodded his head. “Don’t cry, woman. I understand. Life is more important than religion. Let’s go and collect our umbrellas tomorrow.”


Haiku - Summer

Summer Love
Sweet lovers kiss,
glistening grass, chirping birds -
Summer love is here.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

T: This is where I belong…


            L___ is my country. Neatly whitewashed with a pretty garden and a big oak tree, my house stands tall in Market Street. My grandfathers and their grandfathers have always lived here. We were a huge happy household long back. Just like the oak tree. Slowly, its leaves frittered away and so did our family. Aunts got married, Uncles went abroad, Oldies passed away and all that remained was me, my hubby, Atif, and my son, Saif.

            One secret I never want Saif to know is that I never finished school. I know to read a little, write a bit and do some sums but I never read newspapers and books. That is why I was so ignorant about all that was happening around me.

            One fine Tuesday afternoon, I got the first inkling of it. Rita, my friendly neighbor, came running to tell me a hurried good-bye. It seems she was returning to her native country, India, immediately.

            “A war may break out soon. So, I thought it is better to get back to India. I miss my country and my parents, too. This will be the best choice for me,” she said.

            I agreed with her, “Never leave your motherland again because that is where you belong.”

            “Take care!” she said anxiously. Her words seemed pregnant with a lot of meaning.

            Very soon, it happened. Yet, I was happy and safe. Why should I worry? Everything remained the same in my life. I continued to walk up to the market and pick up the groceries, one hand clutching my purse and the other around my son sitting on my hips. I brought back the bulging bag on my shoulder and cooked a wholesome meal. My husband came home every afternoon and we ate together. At times, we even playfully fed each other. I nursed and played with six month old Saif and snuggled into bed with my darling husband at night. Yes, war had not affected me.

            The school which I detested as a kid still remained. The oak tree from which I fell and fractured my arm stood tall. The hotel where I met my husband for the first time still catered. The hospital where I delivered my son still functioned, though it seemed to be filling with burnt and hurt patients now. My world was safe.  

            The first quake which shook the foundations of my heart came when the hotel was bombed. As soon as I heard the news, I recalled that brown square wooden table beneath which me and Atif secretly held hands for the first time. I cried and ran to that spot where the hotel stood. Nothing remained except the charred remains, ashes and volunteers. I picked up a small piece of burnt brown wood. I kissed it and cried once again.

            That night, I showed it to Atif. He was very angry that I went to such a dangerous place. He forbade me to step out of the house. From the next day onwards, even the groceries were bought by him. I felt stifled and imprisoned. Can I never again walk on the street with my son on my hips, swaying and playing with him?

            Atif is a happy-go-lucky guy and I loved the way he made me laugh. But, he changed after this incident. He became silent and withdrawn. He stopped coming home for his afternoon meals. He stopped playing with Saif. He came home late in the nights and dropped into bed without his usual glass of milk. I crept silently into the bed and slept beside him. He never hugged me. In the middle of many nights, I caught him staring blankly at the ceiling. I was worried, 'did Atif ever eat or sleep?'

            Almost immediately, the school and the hospital were bombed. Without Atif’s knowledge, I visited each site after the bombing. That night Atif’s shop was also burnt down. I thanked God that he was not in it at that time. All our friends and neighbors had fled to various places. In a few days, our entire lives had been shattered.

            Then, we were evacuated to a camp in an open field. Food and water packets were thrown from helicopters above. Life became torturous.

            I have always been a shy and modest woman. I have not been without a shawl draped around my shoulders - even before my mother. Now, everything has changed. Privacy is something we cannot even think of. We have our bath in a common women’s toilet whose latch never works. I have to nurse my son before all the prying eyes at the camp. Beggars cannot be choosers. Still, I never realized this miserable life could get any worse but it did. My house…my home also succumbed to the fury of the bombs.

            I remember that day clearly. Mustafa was the one who brought the news to us. Me and Atif wept bitterly. Can all the palaces of the world replace the love you feel for your childhood home?

            Me and Atif were childhood pals and neighbors. We enjoyed countless hours playing hide-and-seek in the winding passages of my huge house. We loved that house even before we fell in love with each other.

            “Atif, I love this house and cannot bear to leave my poor old Dad in it alone. I love you but I cannot marry you, unless and until you agree to live with us here... please, will you?” We were on the open terrace of my house when I uttered those words to Atif.

            He took my hands in his and told me, “I am ready to travel across seven mountains and seven seas to marry you. To live in this beautiful house is a blessing.” Though, all acquaintances and relatives dissuaded Atif from residing in his wife's house, he turned a deaf ear to them all.

            We lived two wonderful years in that house and now, it was gone!

            After sometime, Atif went away to meet somebody and I went to Mustafa's mother with Saif. She was also evacuated and lived in a tent near us.

            Mustafa's grandparents were a homeless couple who knocked our doors for help on a cold night. From that day on, they had stayed on at our place and served us for all these years. They cooked and cleaned and looked after the house. I told her our house is gone. We hugged and wept together. War is a great equalizer too!

            “Ma, Will you please look after Saif for sometime? I want to see what has happened to the house... please!”

            “Carry on but be back soon,” Mustafa's mother said, “Atif will be very angry if he knows you disobeyed him.”

            I ran along the road fast – too fast, slipped and fell flat on my face just near the gate of my house. I lifted my head up and saw the first sight of my house demolished. All my senses failed me. I couldn't get up. I put my face flat on the ground and banged my head. My hands and feet were thumping up and down in desperate fury and hopelessness. The hour slipped by and I returned back to the camp, a small piece of the oak in my hands.

            That night, my husband told me there was no reason for us to continue to stay at L___. He urged me to pack whatever little we had. He told me we were going to leave this country tomorrow morning. My head was whirling. I mentally argued with my husband’s words but my mouth remained mute.

            'People don’t stay in their motherland for any ‘reason’. They stay in their motherland because of love, bonds and memories that are so strong. They stay because this is where they belong.'

            The next day, I packed all that we had into a little bag. I collected some food and water packets for the journey. As I was waiting for my husband to join me, I took a deep breath and savored the air of my country. I then saw Saif sleeping on my lap. He smiled blissfully in his sleep.

            Someday, I will tell my son about the proud country where he was born. I will tell him about the oak tree, about the school from which I played truant, the hotel where I met his dad, the hospital where he was born, the house where we lived and the Market street where we roamed. Better still, I will show him all this.

            Unknown to my husband, I have some burnt sovereigns in my bag and each will tell a story to my son. Maybe, one day, he will come back here and rebuild this nation.

©Copyright ArchanaSarat2008
















Yes. I think this is going to be a haiku week. :)

People will trample
if you take it for too long.
Respect yourself first.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


This is a little better than the previous attempts.

This is certain.
The only thing totally certain -
Life is uncertain.

S: Snake


Six year old Shwetha ran to her mother. “Mummy, there is a snake near the tap. I shut the door of the bathroom. It is inside.”

“Oh, no. I’ll call the watchman,” she told her daughter and dialled on the intercom. “Security, there is a huge poisonous snake in our bathroom. Come immediately.”

The security told his supervisor. “There are 2-3 huge cobras in Flat 908. Call the snake catcher immediately.”

The supervisor called the snake catcher on his mobile. “Please come immediately. Lots of huge poisonous cobras have entered an apartment here.”

The snake catcher, with his full paraphernalia, along with a troop of others, entered the apartment. Shwetha and her mother huddled in a corner. He cocked his ear to the closed bathroom door, to find out where the snake could be. Then, he opened the door gingerly. The black thread, which holds her mother’s pyjama to her waist, lay coiled around in a corner.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

R: Respect

“I cannot imagine your father can buy such a cheap quality of rice for this house. Doesn’t he know we only eat basmati?” Gangamma had started her refrain. Nothing done by her daughter-in-law Revathi and her family was any good. Revathi’s father had visited them yesterday. He had come bearing gifts of rice, pulses, sweets and savouries. Gangamma had found fault with everything.

It was a month since Revathi had entered the house. She decided it was time to move on to Plan B. Plan A, comprising respect and tolerance, had proved to be a complete failure. Her father-in-law had no backbone to stand against his wife, though he passively disapproved of her actions. Her husband had no time for all ‘this nonsense’. She had to stand up for herself.

Next day, after the men had left, she locked the door to her room. She could see Gangamma’s shadow beneath the closed door. She was eavesdropping, as usual. Loudly, Revathi spoke into the phone. “Balu Anna, this lady is a pain. I can’t tolerate her anymore. You need to finish her off, just like last time. Just like how you chopped off Lalitha’s mother-in-law.” Revathy gave a small pause. “Hmmm. I’ll wait for a few days and then tell you when we can go about it.”

Neither was her brother Balu an assassin, nor did they chop off Lalitha’s mother-in-law. Lalitha’s mother-in-law were murdered by thugs for her gold, and Revathy decided to use the accident to her benefit. Even, if Gangamma complained about this to anybody, no one will believe her. Revathy smiled to herself. She is bound to get some respect now.



I love haiku and I'm trying hard to write one. This is another poor attempt made.

Love Birds
Love bird chirping away,
missing his heart back in cage.
Love is universal.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Funny Haiku

It was a bad day to do zumba - insanely hot! I ended up with a bad headache and this is what I could manage for Napowrimo today.

Summer Exercise
Blasting music on stereo

Sweat dripping down my hot head

Too hot to exercise


Q: Queue


The sharp needle of the compass in Sunita’s hand found its mark perfectly. A small red blotch of blood spread on his white shirt. She couldn’t control her chuckles. He gave a loud yelp, looked at her in astonishment and walked away quietly. She could have danced there, right then. She was sure he would never again trouble her, in the queue, at the bus stop.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday morning

Groggy summer Sunday morning

Dogs are still asleep

Foamy waves kissed our feet

As cold as ice cream.


Waiting for the harsh sun

Waiting for its burn

No longer could we bear its tension

Went into the café air-conditioned.


Enticing smell of coffee

Sand still stuck to my tee

Noisy chatter all around

Let the kids be.


Roasted whole beans packet

Hot south Indian filter coffee

Lazing on the royal sofa

A summer morning well spent.



Saturday, April 18, 2015

Cost of Coffee

A Tropical Iceberg at Coffee Day
was a treat in those days.
It was just a quarter cup of coffee,
that is coconut flavoury.
The rest three-fourths was just ice
and still we thought it fabulously nice.

It cost two ten rupee notes
that we stringently saved by many routes.
Fifteen years have flown by
and the menu card is now a lie.
It tells me I need to shell out
a 120 bucks flat out,
for the very same Tropical Iceberg.

Money doesn't grow on trees.
Isn't water supposed to be free?
Can ice too, cost so much more?
Coffee Day is such a bore.


P: Prawns


The prawns had been slow fried such that the exterior batter was crisp. I imagined the interior must be still juicy. It looked so tempting. I picked it up. Aargh! It was so hot. I bounced it around in my palms and dropped it into the plate. I picked it up again slowly and tenderly sunk my teeth into it. The juices melted in my mouth. It was so perfectly done that I realised only after half an hour that I had eaten more than two dozens of king size prawns – wiping out an entire extended family within 30 minutes.

It felt divine, as long as it lasted. Then, came the after effects. I felt as if I had taken a neat glass of vodka after a bottle of brandy. The world was swimming and my eyes longed for the pillow. I was not just feeling dizzy but also tizzy, dippy, ditsy and tippy. I lay down on the bed. Then, I realised all those round little prawns were actually swimming inside me, just below my throat. I had to get up.

I sat up on the bed and patted my tummy. Out came a burp so loud that my hand instinctively tried to cover my mouth. That was relief. As the air moved out, the suction pulled in all those fishes right into the tummy. I smiled and lay back on the pillow. ‘Men are better cooks,’ I thought to myself, ‘and things do taste better when it is the husband who makes them.’ After that, I slept on peacefully as the digestive juices won the war.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Baby Girl (Terzanelle - NaPoWriMo)

(This poem is in the form known as the terzanelle. A hybrid of the villanelle and terza rima, terzanelles consist of five three-line stanzas and a concluding quatrain. Lines and rhymes are chained throughout the poem, so that the middle line of each triplet is repeated as the last line of the following triplet (or, for the last triplet, in the concluding quatrain). The pattern goes like this:
fAFA or fFAA.)
Baby Girl


Sweet little baby girl,

Messing up her bib-

Soft hair with a curl.


Tickling her rib,

Playing with Papa,

Messing up her bib.


Day long, she said ‘gogo-gaga’

Crawling around the house

Playing with Papa


Scaring the house mouse

Squealing like a bat

Crawling around the house


Slipping on the door mat,

Consoled by Mama,

Squealing like a bat.


Consoled by Mama,

Consoled by Papa,

Sweet little baby girl

She kept the house in whirl.


O: Outing

Shreya watched the little drops of water that splashed upon the glass and trickled down. Café Coffee Day was the best during the rains. Wrapping her hands around a warm cup of cappuccino, Shreya had spent many a rainy day here with Krishna. The outlet at Adyar was their usual meeting place. It was far away from his hospital at Nungambakkam and her college at Anna Nagar. So, no known faces are likely to spot them.

Shreya toyed with the locket around her neck. It was a pure silver one with an intricate pattern of the Lord Krishna as a chubby crawling baby. Krishna had gifted it on her birthday. “Wear it always. Will you?” He had asked. “I want to be touching your heart always.”

‘How could he have done such a thing?’ She wondered. As she sat with her chin resting on her palm, Krishna entered the place. Her lips had another sip of the cappuccino while her eyes caught sight of Krishna. Before she could stop herself, her entire face smiled. It was only Krishna who could do that to her. He could make not just her lips but her eyes, cheeks, hair and everything smile.

The entire world seemed brighter and more cheerful to Shreya. Krishna oozed confidence right from his dark brown eyes, broad shoulders, muscular arms and shining black shoes. He had enough to make a woman swoon and he seemed to know it.

Krishna’s eyes spotted Shreya and he beamed. ‘She is so beautiful,’ he thought. ‘Wow. I am lucky.’ Shreya wore a simple pink cotton salwaar kameez that accentuated her fair translucent skin. Her lovely long black hair came down in wavy layers and framed her face. Even her beautiful long earrings seemed to be yearning to touch and caress her white shoulders.

 “Hi darling,” Krishna said. “Good morning.”

‘He is smiling and happy while I am burning. The idiot!’ She thought. In a sarcastic way, she said, “it has not been a good morning for me.”

“What happened?”

“How can you do such a thing?” Shreya asked. Her eyes widened in anger.

“What did I do? Disturbed you in your dreams again?”

“Don’t act all so innocent. You went out with Nalini yesterday. I saw you.”

“Really! Then why didn’t you join us?”

“Don’t… don’t… Your parents want you to marry her and now, you are going out with her too. So, have you fixed the wedding date yet?”

Krishna laughed out. “Don’t be so jealous, dear.”

“Jealous… you call me jealous… not just Blue Diamond, I saw you seat her on your bike too after that. Can you deny that?”

“No. why should I?”

“You lied to me,” Shreya said.


“You never told me of your secret outing yesterday,” Shreya said.

“Hey, it was a sudden plan, Shreya, and my mobile conked out. I couldn’t call you.”

“So convenient,” Shreya said. “You know that I don’t trust her single bit. Then why?”

“But now it seems like you don’t trust me. Tell me, do you trust me or not?”

Shreya thought for a moment. “Men are undependable.”

Krishna lost his smile. “Don’t generalize. Do you trust me or not?”

“After yesterday, I am not so sure. Why did you go out with her yesterday?”

Krishna sat back in his chair and folded his arms. “I don’t give explanations to people who don’t trust me.”

“Then there is no meaning in prolonging this thing,” Shreya said. With that, she picked up the locket along with the chain above her head and removed it.  She pulled Krishna’s hand, pressed the locket in his palm and left the place without another word.

As soon as she stepped out of the Café, she got into an empty auto rickshaw. “Anna Nagar,” she told the driver. “Andal College.”

The auto sped across the terrain splashing drops of rain on her feet. She pushed aside the rubber screen and peeped out. She closed her eyes and allowed the rain to mingle with her tears. Her heart beats normalized.

Krishna’s handsome face came to her mind. His dark brown eyes had glistened when she had removed the locket. His smiling lips had frozen. His strong shoulders had drooped. Maybe, it was she who was wrong.

‘I never gave him a chance to explain. After two years of being with him, he deserves at least that,’ she thought. “Sir, please, can you turn the auto to Nungambakkam? I need to go Life Trust Hospital,” she said to the driver.

The driver nodded and turned back the auto. While the auto purred and panted through the traffic, Shreya prayed and hoped that Krishna was there.

The auto reached the gates of the hospital and Shreya jumped out and walked towards the watchman. “Is Doctor Krishna back? Has his car come in?”

“No madam,” the watchman said.

Shreya’s eyes started watering. ‘Krishna must be still in the café waiting for her to come back. I should rush to him,’ she thought.

“I need to go to Adyar urgently. Please,” she said to the auto driver.

“What is this madam? You are running from one corner of the city to another. I have some other work.”

“Please, please sir,” Shreya said and her voice cracked. Tears poured down her cheeks. The auto driver decided not to ask any more questions.

Shreya reached Café Coffee Day after 40 minutes of zigzagging through the heavy traffic. She ran inside and looked around. One of the waiters, Vijay, who usually served them, waved out to her.

“Has Krishna left, Vijay?” Shreya asked him.

“Yes. He has gone to Anna Nagar to your college. He told me that he behaved like a fool with you and that he is going to apologize.”

Shreya hit her forehead with her palm. “It was my mistake. My entire mistake,” she said.

“Good. Very good,” Vijay said. “You both are made for each other. Go catch him.”

Shreya’s mobile rang out just then. It was Amrita, her college classmate.

“So finally we have seen him. And, wow, he is so smart. So tall and so muscular. Hmmm…”

“Amrita, is he there now?” Shreya asked.

“No Shreya, he just left. He told me his patients will be waiting for him. He asked me to tell you to meet him at 10 tomorrow morning at your usual place.”

“Thanks Amrita,” Shreya said. “Catch you later.”

“Hey, you coming to college now?” Amrita asked.

“No. I cannot wait till tomorrow to see him.” Shreya cut the line and turned around. The auto driver was standing behind her.

“Please pay me, madam. I have to leave.” He said.

“You have to take me to Nungambakkam now, please…”

“And you will cry if I say no. I should have known this journey has not yet ended,” the auto driver said.

Vijay showed her a thumbs-up sign and waved out to her. She waved back to him and left.

As the auto grunted into the traffic once again, Shreya’s heart beat madly. ‘I love him and he loves me back. That’s all matters.’

The rains seemed to have eased up. She rolled up and pinned the rubber curtains allowing the strong wind to throw her hair around. Every passing second increased her guilt and agony. ‘So what if he had gone out with her? It might just be a spoof to fool his parents.  Even Krishna’s parents are doing the right thing. How long can they wait when they don’t even know that we are in love with each other? Just six more months for college to get over and then they needn’t keep the engagement a secret.’

Shreya touched around her neck searching for the locket of her favorite God. She always held him whenever she was scared. Now, she missed it. ‘My mistake,’ she thought. ‘If Krishna wanted to just fool around me, he wouldn’t have hung around for three years. He could have easily ditched me long back. Even now, after I made a fool of myself, he still wants me back.’

The same watchman stood at the hospital gate. Shreya ran to him. “Is Doctor Krishna back?”

“No madam,” he said.

The words struck like a blow on her head. Her knees gave way and she was about to swoon on the ground. A strong pair of arms caught her.

“Shreya, Shreya.”

The voice felt familiar to Shreya. ‘If only I could open my eyes. Is that…?’

A bottle of water was pressed to her lips and she sipped on it. Slowly, she opened her eyes.

“Shreya, what happened? The watchman tells me that you were already here before.” Krishna’s eyes were filled with concern.

“Krishna, I am sorry,” Shreya said. “I love you and I don’t want to know anything more.”

“Idiot, you came all the way to tell me that. I know it and I love you too. In fact, Nalini called me out yesterday to tell me that she too is in love with someone else. She wanted me to break it gently to my parents and cancel whatever wedding plans they have. Now, nothing stands between us except your last semester exams.”

Shreya jumped up in joy and hugged Krishna tightly. Suddenly, a voice disturbed them.

“Madam, will you pay me at least now?” The auto driver asked Shreya.

“No. You have to take me back to college now!”


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