19

Let’s Walk


Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

 

Take 1:

Come my dear let’s walk
Let’s walk together to forever
I know you fear but let’s walk
Let’s walk and defeat it together.

We might never be ready
Or we are ready now
Let’s tie our will together
And let’s walk to see it goes how

My mind is wide open
To see all the possibilities
I am yours and you are mine
Let’s walk together to the end of time

Take 2:

From far across it was coming back
The memory of a broken past
In fear, I hide and stay
Waiting for this storm to pass

They tell me to face it now
That I will never be ready otherwise
But how do I be brave
What amount of courage will suffice

How do I save what’s damaged
How do I mend a broken tie
How do I live life with hope
When within all wants to die

My will is shattered my faith all gone
All I see is an endless night
Bring me some star bring me some sun
Don’t wake me up if there is no light

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

So which ‘take’ you liked the most 🙂

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

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25

The UGLY Teddy

Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

 

Once upon a time in a far-off place, beyond the snow clad mountains, within a mesmerizing landscape, where nature was in its purest form, where the freezing streams originated there was a picturesque land known as ‘Teddyland’.

In Teddyland everyone was a teddy bear. From adults to children, from stout to tall, from brown to pink to red to orange, everyone was a personification of a teddy.

In teddy land there lived J, the most jovial of all of them, a teddy that was the center of everyone’s attention. Wherever he was he would always be surrounded by other teddies that would be laughing out at his tales of witticism, puns, and gags. Female teddies drooled over him. Anyone who got an opportunity of his cuddles never forgot his feel.

What made him unique was his appearance to go along with his nature to make everyone laugh at all times. He was surely different than any other teddy of the Teddyland. He had no fur on his head…he was bald. To make matters worse he had misplaced teeth and no jawline. With humor came a lot of sarcasm, which won him a lot of accolades, but the fate seemed to differ when it came to love.

One day a female teddy, S, from the neighboring village came. She was in the market when she heard a loud laughter erupt. She got curious to know what it was. The moment she laid her eyes on J, she was in love with his imperfect smile. Somehow none of J’s imperfections mattered to her.

She confessed her love to J. They started seeing each other. Met, ate and danced together. The moment she cuddled J, her love for him deepened. They became inseparable.

They decided to take a step forward in their relationship and get married. S was very skeptical of her parent’s response. Her mother knew of J, she had seen him perform many of his gigs. She liked his performances but never approved of his looks.

When S discussed about J to her mom, she outrightly rejected him. Her mom told her that she belonged to a royal family with grace and splendor and possessed beauty for which others are ready to kill. How can she stoop down to this ‘Ugly Teddy’?

S never wanted to disappoint her mother, as she was the sole reason for her existence. She knew all the hardships her mother had faced to raise her. But she was in too much love to let go off J either.

She tried to convince her mom but their love was defeated.

In the end, the respect for a mother won over the love for an Ugly Teddy.

Many years later, S was visiting Teddyland with her husband and children. They were taking a stroll by the stream. She heard an eruption of laughter. All of them went to see what the commotion was all about. There was J, right in the center of the action, a little balder and fatter with wrinkles beginning to sketch out, doing the only thing he knew – to make others laugh.

He instantly recognized S. He brought a couple of cotton candies, handed them to the kids, hugged them one by one, wished and blessed the couple and disappeared into the crowd of teddies.

For all those who want to live in Teddyland,

For all those who believe love is beyond looks,

For all those who want cuddles

and

For all those who love Teddy Bears…

It’s not a Goodbye,

but it’s a GOOD BYE.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

Wow Prompt

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

27

She can be Forever

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

She can be Forever…

She can be extremely wild…

She can be utmost patient,

She can be just a moment…

And then She can be forever.

 

She can be the love of a partner…

She can be the squabble of a sister,

She can be the joy of a daughter…

And then She can be the caring lap of a mother.

 

She can be irritatingly jealous…

She can be childishly innocent,

She can be vaguely mysterious…

And then She can be intelligibly clear

 

She can be a sorted corporate tycoon…

She can be a puzzled simple housewife,

She can be the first teacher…

And then She can be the last lesson.

 

She can be a sparkling stream…

She can be a tranquil lake,

She can be a single drop…

And then She can be the complete ocean.

 

She can be harsh lonely winter…

She can be warm crowded summer,

She can be fertile flooding monsoon…

And then She can be flowering fresh spring.

 

She can be the meditating mountain…

She can be the wavering wave,

She can be the misty dew…

And then She can be the picturesque nature.

 

She can be feisty fire…

She can be the quenching water,

She can be oxygenated air…

And then She can be the complete earth.

 

She can be a distant twinkling star…

She can be a nearby beautiful moon,

She can be a milky white galaxy…

And then She can be the entire universe.

 

She can be the pinching of thorns…

She can be the tickling of feathers

She can be the sorrow of death…

And then She can be the bliss of life.

 

She can be just a moment…

And then she can be forever.

 

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

#MyFriendAlexa #ContemplationOfaJoker #CirqueDuJoker

1

A Carnival of Life

I take on the Baton of Blogchatter EBook Carnival from Nausheen whose ebook ‘Blogging Basics 1.0’ is also part of the mix. 
About Nausheen’s ebook: Blogging Basics 1.0 gives basic insights about blogging. It includes topics that bloggers struggle with. It is based on Dr Bushra’s 2 years blogging experience and tries to keep it simple and give clear ideas. It is the first part of a Blogging Basics series.

 

A CARNIVAL of LIFE

Our lives are sometimes marked by events that literally alter the course of its journey. For some people such moments are blessings like your first job, first love, marriage, birth of your child and many more. I am of a little unfortunate kind. August of 2017 made the biggest impact in my life. It took my first coach, my lifelong friend, my mentor, my biggest critic…my father away from me.

My father always wanted me to pursue my passion, something, which brings happiness to me. Till his last I knew, he was unhappy with the fact that I hadn’t figured out my path. Six months down the line and I was still busy with the things left scattered after his sudden demise. Innumerous visits to government offices, banks, court, etc. had started taking its toll on me and more so on my creative abilities. The fear had started surfacing that I would never be able to write again.

Then something happened which gave a new leash of life to my writing. I got an email from Blogchatter for an Ebook carnival, where one was supposed to come up with a book for self-publishing on their platform. I had previously given self publishing a lot of thought, but sometimes because of lack of conviction, sometimes content, sometimes simply the ‘will’ it never saw the light of the day.

This time, with a more resolute will, I had to do it for my father and more importantly for me. I knew I had to take the plunge come what may. But the bigger question that loomed was where is the content and on top of that I had only twenty days for submission. I knew I wouldn’t be able to come up with something afresh. Finally, I decided to edit and compile the existing top blog posts from my blog ‘The contemplation of a Joker’ and give this activity a real chance.

Today I can proudly say I am an author of a ‘self-published’ book. I get goosebumps every time I remember the emotions and the sensations that ran through me when the cover page was unveiled. It got an unimagined overwhelming reaction. I know there are, many loved ones out there who have urged me on to take this step from a really long…long time.

There are a few people without whom this compilation wouldn’t have come through. They have been duly acknowledged in the book and for that you have to download a copy 😀 .

Blogchatter Feature – Click to download my ebook

I would definitely want to take this moment to thank Blogchatter for giving me this delightful opportunity with all the blogging community and marketing magic to go along with it.

I want to highlight a definite change that this carnival has brought in me. For the first time in my life I am reading as much as I am writing, and to my surprise and benefit, I am relishing this change. This activity gave my writing a good exposure and helped me in forging new friendships along the way. The journey from a blogger to a published author has been a real rewarding one. I got some great reviews along with constructive feedback for me to work on and improve my writing. The value of which is immeasurable.

No amount of words can express my gratitude towards my Sister who has been involved with my writing long before this blog was even conceived. From every critical review to hearing my point of view patiently, from grammatical corrections to helping me with vocabulary she has been there in every inch of the stride that I took and it would have been impossible without her.

For all those who have read my blog,

For all those who have downloaded my book,

For all those who have read my words,

For all those who have reviewed my work,

For all those who urged me to publish,

For all those who gave me a platform,

And

For all those who are yet to download and read,

Its not a goodbye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE…aur han… Keep downloading, Keep reading, Keep reviewing and Keep sharing the Love.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

You can download my book HERE

Some of the reviews:

From Sona Grover: read here

Sitharaam Jayakumar: read here

Souravi Paul: read here

I pass on the Baton of Blogchatter EBook Carnival to Mahak whose ebook ‘Diary of a Baby’ is also part of the mix. 
About Mahak’s ebook: Have you ever wondered what goes on inside your baby’s mind? “Diary of a Baby” is a candid, witty take on life from a baby’s perspective written as diary entries, followed by an interpretation phase of baby’s life from the author’s own parenting experience
17

The Curious Case of TINDER Girls

The Curious Case of Tinder Girls…

Boy swipes right…Girl swipes right…It’s a MATCH!!!

Tinder boy: hey! H r u

Tinder girl: hiiiieeeee…I am good…u tell

Tinder boy: what are u looking for…here…

Tinder girl: nothing much…just friends…

Friends…Friends…Friends…

The boy would be friend-zoned here as well!!

Are you single?

Are you fed up of your single status?

Do you want to date someone?

Are you on tinder?

Have you ever tried any online dating apps?

Have you never ever found anyone online?

Then this one is for you.

For everyone’s benefit I would just define what tinder is; it is an online dating app where you can like or dislike someone just by looking at their pictures and a small bio. If that person also likes you…then you become a match…and you can proceed to chat with each other and in that process hopefully get to know and fall in love with each other.

I won’t lie and shy away…but I did try the app myself. Unfortunately I lucked out in finding anyone who can find my pic likeable enough to swipe right on me 😀 but I was fortunate enough to come across a number of profiles after every 12 hours and here are the types of girls the joker saw there.

Emma Stone is on Tinder! (Stop using a celebrity pic)

The Celebrity DP

I really request to all the girls out there who really want to try out tinder (or for that matter any app) for dating please upload your real pictures. That would help. I mean that would seriously help. We definitely know that Emma Stones and Alia Bhatts of the world won’t be using Tinder to date or find love. Lets assume even if they are, do you think that we don’t know how we look that we will fall in your trap? 😀 So stop using a celebrity pic. Just remember you are beautiful in your own way and the right person will like you the way you are. Anyway…there are many (guys) who swipe right (Like) on all the profiles.

The less the merrier (DP with four other girls)

Talking about display pictures, there is a certain section that, I don’t know why, uploads DPs with more than one girl in them. I mean I know that I would love to date more than one girl, but again it will be of great help to know which one is actually you…to whom the profile belongs out of that selfie, which contains four beautiful damsels. No offence…but I would whole-heartedly try to convey to them that even if you feel that you aren’t that attractive…you don’t have to hide behind a group. Just be you.

The Quotation DP

The landscape or the quote girl

Then there is this third kind who will end up putting quotation or landscape pic or no pic as their DPs. I totally believe that, I wouldn’t want to date a landscape or a quotation…I guess you can understand that this sentence even doesn’t make any sense. You simply miss the logic of the dating app, which is based on the likeability (read hotness) of someone’s face/body and how can someone be interested in you when you don’t even put a picture, which even showcases a face. Please…you need to understand that we guys have a limited quota of free likes and in the rush of liking everyone…we don’t want to like a landscape.

It’s a simple bio not an essay

These apps definitely give you a chance to redeem yourself, if you aren’t able to attract someone just on your face value. There is a small bio (about me) section where you can write things about yourself…your likes and dislikes…hobbies and other related stuff. Some girls just take this section too seriously. They will end up putting a 300 words essay as if to compensate on what they didn’t achieve during their boards exam. Do you seriously think that boys really read that much…did I say that much…actually boys hardly care what you have written in your bio…especially if it is this long. The ironical part of these long bios is that most of them usually have a last line saying I don’t want to write much here. The guy is almost dead by then.

Everybody is a traveller

Choose one

I am of a kind…who usually goes through the bios. I believe the most overused term these days, which you might end up reading in almost every bio, is that they are ‘travellers’ (for this one I am including the boys as well). Firstly it is already a misunderstood term but that’s not important here. The laughable part comes when you actually chat with them and you come to know that they might not have travelled ever in a train/plane or worse…they would have not even left their city ever and still they have the audacity to call themselves travellers. I wonder how can someone highlight transporting in metros and local buses as travelling.

The Sapiosexual kind

One incredible advantage of skimming through these bios is that your vocabulary is definitely going to improve. You will come across all kinds of jazzy fancy intellectual words. One such word, which actually stands out is ‘Sapiosexual’. Off late I have seen this word being used a lot in bios, which literally makes me laugh. For people who don’t know, sapiosexual means one who finds intelligence sexually attractive or arousing. Ma’am you really think you are sapiosexual then stop swiping right for it virtually and go seek the truth in reality. I guess when you write a word like Sapiosexual in your bio on an app which focuses on face value…I don’t know whether you find intelligence or not but it definitely speaks a lot about your intelligence quotient.

Just looking for friends (P.S. I am not looking for dating/hookup)

One interesting line you are going to see in about 70-80% of the bios is that they are just looking for friendship. And on top of that they will explicitly mention that they aren’t looking for dating/hookup. I literally fail to understand that, then why ma’am why…why the hell are you on a dating app on the first place. I hope there are enough friends already in your life and even if they aren’t…tinder isn’t a place to find one. Just for one moment think about that poor guy…who is serial victim of being friend-zoned by every girl he know out there in the physical world. The only resort left for him is to try these dating apps and you are not going to spare him there also. I don’t know about you but he definitely didn’t sign up on tinder to be friend-zoned there as well. Right!!

What to make of profile like these

Entertainment or promotion or simply validation

A study says about 20% of the girls on tinder aren’t there for dating and about the same amount are there just for entertainment. These kinds of girls are there for the simple purpose of entertainment. I have come across many of my friends as well who end up saying that they are on tinder just for fun (not that kind of fun 😉 ). They used it because they were getting bored and instead of doing anything else they like swiping on tinder. Some of them are there just for the sake of validation of their current hotness…whether people are still finding them likeable and how many people have swiped right on their pics. Then there is this lot…that likes to promote them. In their bios you will find their instagram ids, their snapchat ids and all the possible social media ids on which they have a profile. Poor guys!!!

The ones who want their business to flourish (pro-fess-titutes)

Sometimes I feel that on Tinder there are more of those kinds, who want to make a quick buck rather than actually looking for dating or friendship, especially in metropolitans or in international locations. The moment you have their profile on your screen you know for what purpose it is there. Some awesomely hot pic with negligible clothing with their prices in their bios. I let you know one comical thing how these workingwomen…put out their contact numbers. They will never write like 9876 it will be mostly like nine eight seven so that their profiles are not caught in algorithms preventing such profiles.

The guy angle

Then there is this epidemic problem where the guys will have their profiles in the girls section. I wonder how difficult it is to select the correct gender out of just two options. And how can you expect other guys to swipe right on your profile unless they themselves are seeking the same gender. There will be some who will pose as girls themselves. These guys don’t know that we already have this instinct that the moment a profile matches to our profile 99% of the time we assume it to be a fake profile. I mean we see ourselves daily…how can somebody swipe right on us. If somebody swipes right we would go to any extent to find out the genuineness of that profile. Plus I don’t understand those guys who pose…because if we match…what do they get out of a romantic conversation with other guy assuming that the other might be straight. 😀

I know I know I have used a lot of stereotypes in this one. But all you feminists out there before you just decide that this guy shouldn’t have a right to live…or simply want to pick up your gun and shoot me…this was all in good fun.

For everyone else I would say if you are using an online medium to find date or love. Just be you. Say things and behave in the manner you would have in a real physical world. Smile please and happy dating.

For all those who are on tinder,

For all those who date online,

For all those who date in the physical world,

For all those who are too shy to go out there,

For all those who are seeking it online,

And

For all those who have found love online…

It’s not a GOODBYE,

But its a GOOD BYE…aur han…Keep swiping…you never know what you find out there.

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

 

36

A KISS that never happened

A KISS that never happened…

“Will you be my Dance Partner for Life?” was all I could muster. She cautiously mentioned, “I need some time to think as I am not sure what exactly I am looking for”. 

Some days back while I was in Dubai…

I: See my intentions are very clean and pure for you…but I guess we are not on the same page…at least at this time and point in our lives. You are on my mind and thoughts always and I am not saying this to flatter you. It is really the case.

She: I think we should sit and talk about this. I would want to settle down for sure but I don’t know what I am looking for and even if I say I will think about it I am uncertain how will you take it plus I am skeptical about what I want.

I: Okay then lets sit and talk.

I came down to her town. Was there for about a week and tried to reach out to her everyday and plan a meeting. She was either too busy or too busy, but all in all didn’t meet me. I was hurt and on top of that she forgot my birthday. The only thing that came to my mind was it’s all about the priorities and my name wasn’t on that list. “When she has her priorities cut out then why are you busy trying to woo her”, the mind questioned. The mind understands and takes a stand but the poor heart gives way.

When the meeting finally took place

I drove to her place and from there we went in her car to a Gurudwara. Just before leaving She had washed her face and forgot to put any makeup. Her kohl-less eyes were really piercing. Her face was looking simplistically amazing and serene just like the face of a newly born. She wrapped around a ‘duppatta’ (Indian Scarf) around her head before entering the premise. I am not finding any words to describe her. It’s in my memory and every time I close my eyes I can see her. She was looking like the perfect wife that I always dreamed off. She herself was not at peace from within but for the first time I noticed that there was a lot of calm on her face, which was actually getting transferred on to me. In fact the peace returned to the Gurudwara once she arrived. After she prayed we sat on a bench inside the premise.

She began, “I guess you are not planning to shave off your beard anytime soon”. “I celebrated a very dear friend’s birthday in January and that was the last time I shaved”, I said mischievously. She interrupted me mid sentence, “yayayaya…I know I know…it was my birthday only”. I smiled sheepishly and began:

You said that you are looking for someone who is mature…who is elder to you. My question to you is what is the guarantee that a person who is elder to you is definitely more mature and a guy couple of years younger wont be. A guy who has shouldered a lot of responsibilities and seen a lot in his past and who has tried to do justice to each one of them would have some level of maturity and understanding to do it.

All this while I have loved you…the form might be different. I never judged you for you being you. I never judged you for your scores, I never judged you for your lifestyle, I never judged you for how you dress up, I never even judged you when you went after other guys, I was always with you…but now I believe I should be given a chance to prove my worth. How can I convince you to be mine?

Her puzzled look conveyed that she wasn’t ready with an answer and the talkative me continued.

I love the way you are. The complete you…not a percent here and there. I guess I have fallen for this imperfection. I love your innocence and at the same time your carelessness. I love your smile and at the same time your temper. I love your giggles and at the same time your anger. I love your warmth and at the same time the way you shun people away. I love the genuine friendliness in you and at the same the difficult being that you are. I love your dance and at the same time the flaws. 

he found peace and solace

What my heart felt

I believe love is binding together of all perfections and imperfections of two souls. If it’s too perfect then it can’t be love. That way it would be become too boring and the love will slowly find its death. The beauty of it lies in it only. What’s the point of happiness if there is no sorrow…what’s the point of day if there is no night…what’s the point of good if there is no bad. Imperfections bring a sense of realism to everything. The most important thing would be how we use all these to our advantage…to our bond…to our relationship.

“I feel there isn’t any spark. We don’t have that connection and on top of that I am myself not sure what I am actually looking for”, she reasoned.

Irony of my life would be our relationship getting burnt when there was no spark in it 😦

I Continued, “It took a lot in me to bring back to life that part which died 3 years back and I decided that I wont consider anyone to be my soul mate ever again. But with you I can see a future, I can see a way and above all I can see a life. If I can do that so can you. In any case you are going out to screen candidates for a perfect arranged marriage. In the first couple of meetings can you imagine kissing someone, that spark might be there…but how would you make sure of his nature, behavior and his real self? At least with me you don’t have to make any guesses. You know who I am or is it going to be another case where a guy who is friends with someone for so long, will lose out just because he was a genuine dear friend.”

I thought people seek someone who never asks them to change and accepts them the way they are. I have heard many of my friends complain that they have found a husband and he loves them but they haven’t found a friend in him. I totally believe that if there is love and no friendship then a marriage might flounder but if there is a strong bond of friendship between a couple where they can share each and everything with their partner without the fear of being judged, a marriage can withstand any storm.

“You do not understand my point of view. I can’t force myself to love you or even like you”, she was beginning to sound desperate. I listened to her reasons but they weren’t making sense…I guess for the first time I was finding it really hard to decrypt the fairer and better gender.

I tried to reason her out, “See in 99% of the cases when two people fall in love with each other, its always that one person falls in love and then woos and convinces the other.” We fall in love with our puppy or the recently gifted sapling. It’s all in the mind. It just takes one thought to be in love with someone.

I could sense that she was now very edgy and was beginning to lose her patience. We got up from the bench and headed towards the car.

You won’t believe but this year whatever decisions I have taken were totally based on us. I have not been able to make the next career move because you are not sure how you want us to proceed.

I am ready to love you with all what I have…with all what I am. And if you don’t know it I am already in so much love with you. I want us to dance together, to travel to see the world together, to laugh together, to fight together, to make each other feel safe, to complete each other and to grow old together, and in the process to love each other so that our bond of friendship grows forever.

“I cannot imagine kissing you”, she shouted back irritatingly while putting car in the top gear.

There was silence in the car after that. After a while she said in a dejected tone, “Now you will go quite”. I shyly mentioned, “I am thinking…”

We reached her place. I chose its better to bid goodbye and let her be happy the way she wants to be. I leant forward placed a safe kiss on her forehead, tightly hugged her and whispered; ”All I wanted was a chance and I really wanted this to work…anyway…this is the final time that we are seeing each other”.

I turned around…got on my bike…with moist eyes…had a joyless smile on my face, which echoed with my broken heart…rode away.

Image Ref: Poetry Language

Image Ref: Poetry Language

For all those who have suffered heartbreaks,

For all those who are with their love,

For all those who are friend zoned,

For all those who still can’t convince her,

And

For all those who smile in that pain…

It’s not a GoodBye…

But It’s a GOOD BYE

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul

 

12

The LAST BENCH

The LAST BENCH…

It was the start of summer of 1997, and I had successfully completed sixth standard and got myself admitted in seventh. Usually the session began from April and all the new admission happened by then…but there were a few who would join the session a bit late sometimes in May and some even later than that after the summer vacations got over.

Our class had a rotation system, in which every row of student got to sit in the front row once in a week. By then most of the class knew my ways…I had the last row just to myself…with no one ever asking me to rotate.

The Place where it all began

The Place where it all began – Image Ref: Neha Uttam Kumar (www.craftoon.in)

It was a sunny morning and we had returned to our classes after the morning prayers. My south Indian Class Teacher who happened to be our English teacher was taking the roll calls. She had reached midway only…when a female voice interrupted her, ‘Ma’am!! May I come in’? She was another of those late admissions. Hardly had I known then that this girl would turn out to be one of closest friends I’ll have for two decades. (Yeah you heard it right…TWO DECADES).

‘Ma’am!! May I come in’, she asked for the permission again. The sound of a girl’s voice was more than enough for all the students to gaze towards the entrance especially the boys from all the rows…from first to last…and hence my vision was also scanning her. The first thing I noticed (which I remember) was her free flowing golden brown hair on an unusually tall girl for a seventh grade. Modern would be the wrong word to use here, as she looked more urbane than others. When the length of other girl’s skirts tip toed with their matching socks’ she stood out with just knee length ones. Her tall, waxed (I should not mention here but was uncommon in those days) legs added to the allure.

The teacher gave her permission to enter the class. She got her name registered in the attendance register and started looking for a place to sit. Unfortunately for her the girl’s row was full (Yeah we had a separate girls row  ) and Fortunately for me I was the only one sitting on my Last bench. She walked between the girls and the boys’ row and everyone from the first seat to the last followed her with their salivating stare till she reached my bench. I was no dud either but never…ever had any girl asked me, whether she can sit next to me…and hence with my unprepared nervous look…I nodded. That’s how my last bench friendship started…

The girl with the brown hair - Image ref - and-beautiful-blue-drawing-favim-com-1624755.jpg

The girl with the brown hair – Image ref – and-beautiful-blue-drawing-favim-com-1624755.jpg

She came across as a brat to me and would carry the fanciest of things you could imagine…from glitter pens to different type of colorful pencils…from unusual hairpins to…colored covers for the notebooks. There was a child in her who decided never to grow up even to this day. She was careless at times…was extremely pampered and amusingly clumsy with things and at times with herself too. The more I got to know her…the lesser that feeling got, ‘where it was a big thing to sit next to a girl’ and in no time we were like buddies and had our gang.
Giver her height, she took the utmost advantage of it…she was an athlete and played a lot of sports. When other girls were busy chitchatting and playing stupid games she would be around us on the field or on the basketball court. This made our bond stronger. Whether it was recess or sports period or just chatting in the canteen we were everywhere.

All this gave a tomboyish feel to her. There would be occasions when we would be standing in the canteen and she would have her arm around my shoulder and it was the onlookers which made me realize that it’s time to take that arm off from there. She hardly gave a damn about those kind of people and that was the most likable thing for me in her. She knew what was good to her and always followed that…though that can’t be said for the bad ones.

Slowly the standards n years passed…the gang got bigger…and we were something BIG back in those days. From academics to extra-curricular…from dance to sports…from good to bad…our group had a presence.

I was always worried for her as she was a bad judge of friends…she was very poor in knowing people’s intentions behind their smiling faces. And more often than not she ended up in tears…which infuriated me a lot.

At times she found scoring marks a little hard in the science subjects and hence opted for commerce stream as our sections changed. She found new friends…newer interests…and newer connections. Our time together lessened…some of the recesses went in just waiting for her…and soon the group began to decrease in size. Meeting her on rare occasions…seeing her happy…enjoying and having fun with her buddies…made me realize that it was in her best interest that we don’t force her to join us.

Though we were still in the same school but the last two years passed with the minimal of interaction between both of us. We knew we were still good friends…she knew I would be there for her every time she needs my help and the same was for me…but sadly the ‘fizz’ was gone from the bond.

As it happens in most of the cases the people who were best buddies in their school time…hardly are in touch after that. The same happened with us. We both were busy pursuing our own bachelors in different cities…we hardly spoke leave alone meeting, as the era of social media was yet to begin. Just an occasional visit to her house on festivals or public holidays and it was still not a guarantee whether I would see her.

Image ref: Google.com

Image ref: Google.com

Some two years later we were accidently in the same city and decided to meet up that evening in a mall…but on one condition that I will have to drop her home as it would get late by then. It was our chance to catch up on those lost years and to put a dressing wherever the cracks had begun to appear in our sweet special bond.

She shouted out a long ‘Hiiiieeeeee’ with her ever-sparkling smile the moment she saw me. She was wearing a white ‘Punjabi’ salwar ‘n’ kurti and was simply looking flawless. A small ‘bindi’ amplified her beauty many folds. In fact this was the first time I was noticing the feminine qualities hidden in her. She was more confident and surer of herself both in her looks and talks. For the first time I saw a beautiful girl in her and not the tomboyish brat who sat next to me.

I still remember, after about eight long years, each and every word she spoke…the conversation we had…where we sat…what we ordered. After the initial hi and hello…we began opening up about our lives…the harsh realities that she encountered during the last few years. I could see and sense the matureness, though it was not a lot, in her. She was not the same careless kid anymore. I personally believe, no matter how rich or happy you are…but the meaning to one’s life add only when they have had their share of the bitter truths.

Listening to her story…sharing my own…saw her eyes brim with tears…my heart went out to her and just wanted to hug my old buddy with whom I once shared that bench. But I refrained…don’t know why. We spoke for hours and then I dropped her home. She hugged me while I was still on the bike (such an idiot I am). My mind couldn’t detach itself and my thoughts kept on lingering with what all she told me.

We met a couple of more times after that, in fact on one occasion I met her with my girlfriend. But again the years passed…I left the country…she went back home…changed cities…changed professions. This time luckily the technology had taken the leap and we were in better interactive stage than last time.

Recently I got to see her again, this time on a promise of a Royal Enfield ride back home. We met at a café where she reached before me. Dressed casually in a jeans and top with a tinge of reddish color to her hair…she was looking cool. It being lunch time and the café not serving any intoxicating beverages…we opted for a pizza and ice teas. We chatted and chatted about…life…jobs…not getting married…parents…pressures…everything. Her eyes brimmed a couple of times and I refrained and restrained myself again.

It gave me goose bumps when I realized how time flew and it’s been like two decades when we first shared the bench together. For a moment I felt as if we were those kids back from the school days. She told me about how she enjoys her single status by learning all kinds and forms of dance and how it has made her a dance freak…that I actually love.

The sun was about to set and she had a dinner plan…so finally we got on my Royal Enfield and headed home. I did not make any efforts to prove that I am lesser of an idiot now and again hugged her while sitting on the bike. Gifted her some chocolates, which I got from my eurotrip for her. While hugging her, my cheeks accidently felt her cheeks, which were already being kissed by her hair. For the first time I felt like kissing her…felt as if that moment should remain forever. She crossed the road and went inside her home…I was still standing in that moment…wishing her to come back. Would have got down from my bike…removed the hair strands playing with her face…embraced her nicely…looked into her deep dark eyes…made a promise to them that no tear of sorrow will ever hug them…all your worries are mine now…and…would have asked, “Will you be my Dance Partner for Life”?

For all those who were back bencher,

For all those who were first bencher,

For all those who still can’t convince her,

For all those who had a brat as their best friend,

For all those who never had any,

For all those who love her smile,

and

For all those who want her as their dancing partner for life

It’s not a GoodBye,

But it’s a GOOD BYE…aur han Happy Women’s Day to her and all the women out there as everyone is special and beautiful in their own way. Cheers!!!

Manas ‘Sameer’ Mukul