5

MADE for EACH OTHER

Made For Each Other

The screeching ringtone of my Nokia 3310 rattled me off my sleep…I disconnected and went back to sleep. The phone rang again… this time I made an effort to check who it was. With one eye closed and with the other one half opened…I tried to ogle at the name in the fluorescent green background. It was mom. I sprang up and sat at ninety degrees to the bed. I checked the time and it was 5 30 in the morning. I wondered why mom was calling me at this time. I answered the call… mom’s voice was shaking. “Please come to Ambala…he wants to see you”, was all she muttered in a feeble tone. I immediately realized that now is the time to go as his condition was very serious.

Mom was in her maternal home, Ambala. He was struggling with his life after a serious of paralytic attacks and prolonged illness. Mom didn’t talk for long but it was clear that the time had arrived for me to be there in his last days. I was at home in Lucknow during Holi break of 2005 and it was due in another three days. My father was still out of station. I informed my sister about the conversation with mom and told her that I will have to leave immediately. I, without even getting confirmed reservation…boarded a train to Ambala. It took me twelve long fretful hours to reach there.

My parents had parted ways some three years ago…and hence it became more so important for me to be around him in those days. As soon as I reached Ambala…mom came running towards me…started crying…hugged me…and immediately took me to his room. I saw a longing in his eyes…as if he was waiting for something…or I should say ‘for someone’. Mom told me that, “off late he has developed this habit of looking towards the entrance in anticipation of your father”. “He is really worried for me and wanted to see you before he finally rests in peace”, she continued. “He thinks that your father will have a change of heart and will surely pay him a visit in his last days”, she added. The doctors had given up any hope of recovery and they informed us that he barely had a week with us. He was my maternal grandfather.

The next day as soon as I woke up… I was at his bedside… and decided to spend all my time with him. He wanted to speak continuously but because of his medical condition he was struggling with words. I advised him not to talk a lot but he kept on insisting. His eyes guided me towards a packet of candies which was kept on an old small wooden table near the bed. He told me that he distributed candies and sweets every day without fail to kids after my maternal grandmother had passed away. People made monuments…wrote books…donated money…did many extravagant things in their lover’s memory…but this was his way of remembering and paying a tribute to his love, my grandmother. I was moved by his love…and don’t know how but ended up blabbering, “How did it all start between you and grandma”?

He glanced towards me and then turned his gaze towards my grandma’s picture that was hanging on the opposite wall. With flickering eyes…trembling hands…quivering and broken words he began…

I was born in Plassi village near Nangal in Punjab on 28th august 1932 to Sardar Shyam Singh and Kushal kaur. My father was a railway engine driver. We were financially quite well off compared to other fellow Indians in those days. We had a good home accompanied by large farms and real estate properties. My childhood was decent and got educated up to eighth standard, which was considered fine especially in the pre-independence era. It was not long before I was asked to marry, as the practice of child marriage was very much prevalent in those days. I was just eleven years old when I married your grandmother, Bibi Charan Kaur.

These days you people have all kinds of communication mediums, from telephones to computers…from emails to SMSs. You people at least meet each other…get to know each other…try to understand each other… before you get married. Can you imagine my plight, a boy who is yet to reach his teens…who is yet to even understand what is right and what is wrong…who is in sixth standard…who doesn’t even wear any undergarments (he told me frankly that he didn’t wear any undergarment till he got married) is asked to marry some stranger. Honestly, I didn’t feel anything…I was too small to. I was simply delighted to get the amount of attention and pampering that I was getting and the sweets and the ‘laddoos’ that followed. Everything happened so swiftly that by the time I realized what was actually happening, I was married to a girl whom I had never ever seen before.

I don’t remember the exact date but I recollect that it was around 9:30 am on a Thursday that we got married in a nearby ‘Gurudwara’. I was not even dressed properly for such an occasion. I was wearing an off-white shirt with brown vertical lines and dark brown trousers with a turban of the matching colour. She was dressed in a dark pink ‘Patiala Salwar-Kameez’. Her face was not visible but from her hands I was able to guess her complexion. “I was actually fairer than her”, he said with a naughty smile. If today I have to describe her then I would say that, even before her adolescence, she was looking very pretty and cute as if she was a ‘Punjabi Barbie’.

She was about eight years old when she tied the knot with me. Till today, I don’t know what was her exact birth date…all I know is that it is somewhere around 1935. She was also from Nangal in Punjab. Her father, Sardar Bachint Singh, was a ‘Lambardar’ (a term that doesn’t exist today but in those days it was related to panchayat). She was the lone survivor of the thirteen children that her mother gave birth to and hence she got lots of love and affection from her parents. The first time when I laid my eyes on her face, obviously after marriage, I saw that she was very naïve and innocent. As the days passed by I noticed other virtues that she possessed. I felt she was very tender and caring. She was a very hard working and dedicated family woman. She was brave and courageous but at the same time she respected everyone and obeyed everything what my mother ordered. She was an awesome cook too and prepared meal for the whole family without any help. I loved the ‘Gulabjamuns’ that she specially prepared for me.

We were too little to understand friendship or love of any kind leave alone the whole concept of marriage. But I must admit she really helped me through this. We started spending time together…began to know each other…I shared whatever I did in the whole day…she listened to whatever I had to say. She never complained about anything…just carried on with her daily chores with total devotion and then had an ear for me whenever I needed her. My mother never used to like her…she had a sense of dictatorship to her and she was always tetchy about one thing or the other. She was abusive and sometimes even hit your grandma…but a lady like your ‘Bibi’ (we all used to call her ‘Bibi’) enriched with virtues…suffered through everything…swallowed every abuse and punishment that was dished out at her without even uttering a single word. No one ever heard her raised voice against anyone…she didn’t even share all this with me then and it was when she was about to leave me for heaven that I came to know about all this. Soon we became friends…good friends.

From day one, my mom was extremely cruel to her. When I now think of it…I end up smiling as there were some incidents when your Bibi got the better of her, without even taking a single step against her. Bibi was incredibly fond of tea but my mother always deprived her of that too. Just to cope up with her addiction Bibi used to swallow tea leaves and sugar and consume hot water after that. This maddened my mother even more. It was normal for women to be confined and restricted in those days… but my mother was simply too much for anyone.

I still remember clearly that day…I guess two to three years into our marriage. I was done with my studies as my mother wanted me to take care of farms and help in farming. We (Bibi, my mother and me) were at one of the farms and working. It was late in the afternoon after the lunch that my mom started abusing her on some issue. She kept on hurling abuses at Bibi and her family but she didn’t even say a single word. This infuriated my mother even more. Before I could intervene…In the fits of fury she got hold of a thick bamboo and thrashed Bibi’s head with it. There was blood everywhere…her head was busted…and soon she fell unconscious. I, along with other farmers, took her to a nearby medical facility. This event was the biggest twist in our love story…actually you can say that this is where the seeds of our timeless love were sown.

(Just about then my mom entered and asked me to have lunch with my grandfather. She thought this way he will have something substantial for the medicines, as he was not having proper meals due to illness. He barely managed to have one chapatti. I asked him to take some rest for a while. Around 5 in the evening…he again continued from where he left off…)

Her parents took her home along with them after that incident. They wanted to end all ties with us because of my mother’s never ending brutality. By this time we developed a special bond between us and we were beginning to understand each other. I became a kind of rebel and revolted against my mother. My father loved me very much and was always supportive of your Bibi. He motivated me to leave the home…get a good job… and become someone of reputation on my own. I decided to leave home and go to Ambala in search of a livelihood and to try to get her back with me. When I was moving out of my parents shadow, I never realized that my biggest test…or I should say our relationship’s…our marriage’s…our love’ biggest examination was yet to come.

She decided that she was not going to leave me alone in this battle and made up her mind to support me in whatever manner she possibly could. Her parents were adamant not to let her go this time, so it was all left up to her to help me save money. In order to cut down on my expenses… she stitched clothes for me with bare hands, I hope you know that sewing machine had not yet reached Indian homes. She made suits, shirts, trousers, sweaters and what not… all without anyone’s help…with her bare hands. She tried to save every single penny that could have been saved.

There were days…and weeks…and months when we were not able to meet or hear from each other… and then there were seconds…minutes…and precious moments which we did get to spend with each other after all the limitations that were put on us and especially on her. My friend, Karam Singh, and her friend, Karamjeet, helped us a lot during those struggling days. With Karamjeet’s assistance she came to one of her farms… and waited for me… sitting on a tree for hours ‘n’ hours. When I did finally arrive, Karam Singh and Karamjeet kept a close careful watch to make sure that we were never caught. It was during these seldom meetings that I began noticing how beautiful and wonderful she actually was. I never really mentioned it to her that during these instants I literally thanked God for actually making my parents marry her. She was an illiterate but she was still as brilliant as an engineering graduate today with abundance of boldness and commonsense. During those days only I realized that our unique bond was now tied with ubiquitous love which made us inseparable.

By then India was granted Independence but our country was left in a very corrupt state. I decided to go to Delhi and stay with my cousin and look for some job. You won’t believe when I’ll tell you that I walked barefoot two hundred kilometres from Ambala to Delhi. There I applied daily for various job positions but since I had nothing to pass under the tables or anyone to vouch for me, I returned empty handed every day. One fine day I was noticed by Hari Kishan Shastri. He walked up to me and asked me about my whereabouts and my purpose of everyday being there. When I told him about the entire situation… he understood… and took matters in his own hand. He made me meet Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was the railway minister then.

Her prayers… her efforts… my hard work… my knowledge… and our love did pay off and in the spring of 1954, I was appointed as a train clerk in Ambala for a meagre salary of rupees 60 by Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri. It might sound very less but it was more than enough for me to get my life… my love…my Charan back.

Time flew and few years passed by…

By 1960, she had given birth to our third child. I knew that it was time for me and my salary to get a raise… but for that I needed some decent educational qualification. She encouraged me to go for studies but to leave the job at that time with three kids would have been like committing suicide. She came up with an idea. In those days there was a new concept of night classes. She got me registered to one such class and made me sit with children half of my age. She was the sole motivation for me to study further and I did. With the help of those night classes I successfully cleared tenth standard. I know you will be laughing after hearing this…but in the sixties, just to pass tenth standard or to be able to put a signature in English or moreover to even understand English was considered an achievement and it surely fetched me respect in the society.

Difficult times lasted longer while merrier times just came in short spurts but they surely existed. We were huge fans of the movie ‘Mughal-e-Azam’. It was an epic in itself and the kind of romance that was portrayed in it surpasses the best what today has to offer. I am not sure but I would have watched it more than twenty times with Bibi. I used to go the cinemas even at 4 am just to be the first one in the ticket queue and still found people standing there earlier than me. But let me assure you, none of the shows would have been so much fun and joy if she wouldn’t have been there with me in them.

I didn’t speak to my mother for twelve years but during each of Bibi’s pregnancies I always wished her to be there. I cannot even describe what all pains she took to raise my children… to take care of them… to take care of me. She gave birth to a child in the morning… then by the evening she was again busy with the daily chores. Whether good or bad, my mother received every news about us through our relatives but somehow after all those years… her hatred towards Bibi never shrivelled.

(Mom brought the dinner but he refused to have it and wanted to continue telling me the story)

Five more kids later and some ten years down the lane…

During the 1971 Pakistan war, I simply saw a different quality in her. I knew that she was valiant and fearless but I could never imagine that she could go to such an extent. Because of an emergency she had to travel to Nangal. It was a four hours train journey from Ambala. I was astonished and shocked to see that she travelled all alone in that train as people refrained from using public transport vary of the Pakistan bombardments. It, even to this day, gives me ‘Goosebumps’ just to admire and accept this feat of hers.

After the war in the early seventies everything went quite smooth and okay. But destiny as always had some other plans. In 1975, I was transferred to Bhatinda. I was the sole earner of the family with a loving wife and eight kids. She asked me not to go to Bhatinda and stay with them. I was suspended for not obeying the orders. She said we could start something of our own but you don’t have to leave us and go to Bhatinda. She purchased two goats and started selling their milk. The money was slow but sure. In few months time… we had a herd of cows and buffalos. I was not contributing much; in fact I became a reason for most expenditure and because of me they kept on increasing. I fell severely ill during the summer of 1976. On her own only, she kept me and my family going. I realized that my love towards her increased several folds… and I actually began respecting her which was not how women were treated in those days.

In 1977, due to some turn of events and our good fortune I got my job back and that too in Ambala. I got my daughters married and invested in my children’s studies. We went from strength to strength. From a struggling poor household we now had good income sufficient enough to fulfil each and every of my child’s dream.

His eyes began to glitter…and suddenly they turned moist (I saw). He continued, “I guess it was 1987 or 1988 when she suffered from an unknown disease”. No doctor was able to cure her; they even failed miserably at identifying the disease itself. Her body became dead from below the waist. Her legs became numb forever (and the tears touched his pillow). It was as if God wanted me to take care of her and do my little bit for what all she gave me…and did for me. I read newspaper to her…washed her clothes…bathed her…fed her…and did everything possible in human limits to make her feel alive and cheerful. But I guess it was too much for her, she had suffered enough. She was born just to take care of others…love them…make them strong and above all believe in themselves. Her love gave me courage…was my support…and strengthens me even till today. If it was not for her…then I would have died long back. On 8th July 1992, she left me all alone forever. You know, till the day she was alive, she made it sure that we had dinner in the same plate and that is the reason why I hate having dinner without her.

I got up wiped my tears…wiped his tears…kept my hand on his forehead and requested him to please go to sleep. I don’t remember when I, sitting next to him, fell asleep.

Ref: 123greetings.com

Ref: 123greetings.com

I felt a hand rubbing my hand. It immediately brought me to senses. He asked me what time it was…I replied it was 3 am…I enquired if he needed anything? He gently smiled…took a pause…and whispered… “Ikk Gulabjamman khila de” (get me one gulabjamun). I resisted…but his weak eager eyes made me get one for him. He had it like a six year old…wished me ‘Happy Holi’… looked at Bibi’s picture… and with a smile on his face… fell asleep. At about 4:55 am on 24th march 2005, he left us for heavenly abode to be with his love…his best friend…his everything…his Charan.

For all those who love their Grandparents,

For all those whose grandparents have such a story,

For all those who have grandparents still with them,

For all those who don’t have theirs with them,

For all those who miss them,

And

For all those who want a story like this for them

It’s not a GOODBYE…

But it’s a GOOD BYE… aur han go to your grandparents and ask if they have such a story to share with you.

Manas ‘SAMEER’ Mukul

24

The ‘CURLS’ Next Door…

The ‘Curls’ Next Door…

“Mom…Mom…Mom…please listen to me…I have told you so many times that I am over it and I am not looking forward to marrying anyone. I beg of you not to talk on this topic every day. I am fed up of it. I have decided for sure…that I won’t get married all my life” were my last sentences before disconnecting the call. I was still standing on the balcony of my newly rented apartment in Chandigarh when it started raining. I quickly put the mobile in my pocket and stuck out one hand…to feel the raindrops. The weather suddenly went from dull, humid and sticky to awesome. That fresh smell of the soil…the first rain of the season…was more than enough to get the mood going for the rest of the night.

My flatmate shouted from inside, “Oye!!! Pakode and Chai ho jaye”. I was not able to see him so I shouted back, “Bilkul”. Just as I was about to go inside…God had another plans. I saw a figure emerging on the balcony of the adjacent flat. Although the light was very dim but it was sufficient enough for me to carve out her figure in the darkness. Her face was not visible…she was wiping off the rainwater from her face…her hair with the help of a towel. It seemed as if she had just arrived from work. She was in formal attire. The more I gazed in the darkness towards her balcony…the more I was able to figure her ‘figure’ out. 😉 . I won’t exaggerate anything but I had a good side-on view…remember she was wet.

She was averagely built…I mean…it was not as if she had ‘huge’ asset value but was not bad either. You know that perfect kind of body 😉 . After scrutinizing her from top till wherever I could possibly see (because of the balcony wall) my gaze was somehow stuck at one point (wipe off that dirty smile of your face…). I was not able to take my eyes off her hair. The sight of her amazing hair was like…aaaahhhhhhhhh…soothing and not horny. They were curly and at the same time free flowing…less like kangana ranaut’s and more like urmila matondkar’s. That monsoon rain…that petrichor smell of the soil…those ‘Curly’ hair…for a moment made me regret what I just said to mom about not marrying anyone.

For the next few days…I don’t know how and when it became a task from a general curiosity to just get a glimpse of her…and her curls. I finally got a GOOD view of her. She was in the same organization for which I worked. She was standing, with her bunch of friends, outside the food court…enjoying a cornetto. I was hungry and in hurry but my sad and lonely ‘Heart’ got the better of my ‘stomach’…it wanted to amuse itself. I bought an orange bar for myself and started sauntering near that ‘bunch’. Unlike the other girls…for whom it took a herculean effort to even giggle…she had a terrific smile…infact laugh. It was as if she never held back once she started laughing. Her curls…her not-so-perfect round face…her never-ending smile…made her face glow as if it emitted light.

Her positive attitude…her energizing smile …her ‘bubbliness’…the great aura around her made all the negativity…of anyone…disappear. Wherever she went…wherever she stood…to whomsoever she spoke…she charged them with her electrifying attitude, to an extent that I never saw anyone dull near her.

I was beginning to spend more time on the balcony than the entire time I spent in the apartment. In the mornings…I found her coming to the balcony only to hang her towel and tiny unmentionable pieces of clothing to dry. There were occasions when I wondered as if they (4 neighbours including her) only washed these clothes…and purposely hung them on this balcony just to seduce us (me and my flatmate). In the evenings…she used the balcony to avoid her flatmates when she was conversing with her boyfriend on phone. Yeaaahhhh I knew she had a BF but it was not good enough to discourage me.

I began making special efforts to get her to talk to me…to somehow become friends with her if not anything else 😉 . Every time I heard them/her lock her door from outside…I was ready with a mop to clean my bike. If she made an eye contact…I found myself unnecessarily smiling at her and if she was close enough then saying a ‘HI’ knowing that I would hardly get any response. Some efforts went in vain…some paid a little off. From a complete ‘no-no’…I started getting a smile a week or an undirected Hi here n there. I knew that it was high time and decided to make a move.

The same monsoon weather but no rain…the same huskiness to the soil…my flatmate and I were enjoying a chilled and freshly opened pet pack of coke. My flatmate saw it in my eyes that I was upto something. I emptied my glass of coke as if it was a peg of Vodka…hoping that it would intoxicate me…hahaha. I stood up and went to her door. My flatmate got anxious and started peeping from the window. I knocked at her door…and prayed to God (that she and only she opens the door).

God again had a plan this time. To my surprise and happiness… she was the one who opened the door. It was about 10 30 pm and it looked as if she was cooking. In one hand she had a piece of ginger while two green chillies in the other one. She inquiringly looked at me. I, with my hunky looks and a Brad Pitt jaw line…naaaaahhhhh…let me write it again. I, with my boiled egg looks (that’s better) moved a little closer…looked straight into her eyes…and asked, “Will you please accompany me to a disc”?

Her face had a mixed expression…shocked…with that effervescent smile of hers. She replied, “Are you serious”?

Yes…is all what I can mutter.

“I don’t even know your name”, she laughed. “I don’t go to disc with strangers…Ass***e” (she might have thought 😀 ) but she refrained from such profanity and handled it quite well by saying, “May be some other time…I hardly know you” (All this while she had that constant sparkling smile on her face). She went inside…I stood there for a while…thinking about those curls n smile…and then went back to my flat…took another glass of coke…went to the balcony…and it started raining again.

For all those who have such neighbours,

For all those who have a crush on them,

For all those who love ‘curly’ hair,

For all those who want to grab their attention,

For all those who love such bubbliness,

And

For all those who still want to go to disc with them…

It’s not a GoodBye…

But It’s a GOOD BYE…aur han I am still waiting for her to accompany me to a disc… 😉

MANAS “SAMEER” MUKUL

21

THE FIRST 100 KISSES…

THE FIRST 100 KISSES… 

I offered her water because to my surprise it was more than 6 hours that she last had it. We (Paplu, She and me) were traveling from Ghaziabad to Lucknow in Gomti Express. Kanpur arrived… Paplu left …aur meri Fattee. I was left high and dry with the daunting task of taking her to my place and from there helping her to reach Varanasi (her home). I was beginning to feel numb and was getting deprived of any new thoughts. So I again offered her water…which saw the same fate as my last attempt. I couldn’t resist the temptation…and asked her… why was she avoiding any fluids and that too for so long? Initially she avoided by looking outside the window of the coach but I persisted. She finally replied, “Haven’t you seen ads on TV?” I know you didn’t get this one…actually I; on the first place was left clueless, what was she talking about?

She sensed it… and decrypted it by saying,” Haven’t you seen ads on TV related ‘only’ to girls?” Now here was my clue… and this time it didn’t take me so much time to understand that this was ‘that time of the month’ for her. “I am without any protection”, she exclaimed. I was left dumbstruck… since we were just acquaintances from college…not even friends… and for the first time in my life…a girl was conversing with me on such an intimate subject. I did not utter a single word till we reached Lucknow. She requested,” we will get down once everyone in the coach has left. I tried to guess her mental state and hence complied with what she said. She took the big bag by herself and asked me to walk just behind her and……not to look ‘there’.

We reached home around 1 30 am and to my surprise…my father and sister were still awake. I signaled 😉 to my sister to behave as if it was my custom to bring girls to my place at this time of the night. I could sense my father’s emotions and sentiments…but really appreciate the way they welcomed her. After dinner everyone went off to sleep… at least everyone pretended to.

The next morning my father left early for office, she was still fast asleep. At 11:00 am my sister’s friend came over…by this time Ma’am was awake and had had her breakfast. I was sitting in the TV room…fiddling with the remote…preoccupied with thoughts of yesterday’s events…what would be going through my father’s mind…what my sister would be thinking of me n all. Right then…Ms ‘unprotected’ came to the room and sat on the other side of the bed. Because of what happened a day ago…I could say that we were now friends. Suddenly, she crawls across the bed…sits right next…close to me… too close for comfort. Out of the blue she questioned,” Manas!! What is the difference between a Kiss and a Smooch?” (You should have seen my expression 😀 :D)

A guy with no prior experience of ‘any’ kind with a girl was asked such a question. Expressionless…I stammered, “Have you seen the movie Black? What Amitabh does to Rani was a smooch and the rests are classified as kisses.” Ma’am was far from satisfied. She leant forward…kept her head on the pillow in my lap…facing me…whispered, “Karke batao”. I simply FROZZZZZZE. Failing to come up with the next move, I got up and left the room…and the house.

I returned in an hour or so and straightway went to the computer room on the first floor. Ma’am came to the room, accompanied by my sister. As soon as I saw her, I said, “The bus to Varanasi leaves in 2 hours…please be ready”. My sister left and went to the kitchen. ‘The Ghost of kissing’ came back to life once again. More desperate this time, she kept on insisting…I lost my temper…slapped her right across her face (not joking). She started weeping uncontrollably. I was in a muddled situation…with my sister downstairs…a girl weeping in my room…what will my sister make of this scene…I was beginning to fear the worse…and that is when I decided to give in.

I was getting ready for my ‘SEMI CONSENSUAL RAPE’ (I coined this term especially for this) … moving backwards…finding no more space to go…stood upright against the wall…closed my eyes…tight…and muttered, “Ek karlo…Jaldi se”. She came within an inch of me…so close that I was able to feel her breathe…my eyes still closed…she took my face in her hands…and slowly planted a kiss on my lips…before sliding her tongue. I instantly came back to my senses…eyes wide open…pushed her back. There was no stopping her…Ms ‘Puchhi’ was far from over; she pushed me to the bed…pounced on me…tasting and salivating…my lips…tongue…ears…and face…as if I was a piece of ‘Black Forest’. I was beginning to realize that it actually was not bad…a sexy, sultry gal was busy licking me (my face 😉 ) and I was feeling guilty … feeling sorry for no reason.

The time was right for her to put the final nail in the coffin. For a brief…we parted…she didn’t take a second and dropped the hydrogen bomb… I love… … Mr. A. I, on the other hand who was still gasping for breathe, being so naïve in those days, couldn’t understand what all was happening. The covetousness in her was yet not satisfied and before I could have got hold of the situation…she resumed to her wild and passionate ways. Realizing that we won’t be able to be like this in college, she said, “Let me make it up for you for the coming four years…we will complete a century”. Returning back to the business…she started kissing…and I was counting 😉 and we kissed A HUNDRED TIMES.

We boarded the bus from Lucknow bus station to Varanasi. In a way it became my obligation to drop her safely to her home…the one who gave me my FIRST KISS. She even went on to saying that, “Mere Solah Somwar ke vrat Tumhare nam”…and being the chu*** that I was…I actually believed her. Once the college re-opened she simply ignored me….never ever spoke to me…except for the time when she came to tell me that we don’t have a future. Within three days…I went from being accepted…to being loved and kissed by someone…just to be left SHATTERED.

For all those who have been kissed,

For all those who have kissed,

For all those who were betrayed,

For all those who were left shattered

And

For all those who were kissed a hundred times…

It’s not a GOODBYE…

But it’s a GOOD BYE…aur han a few years later she did apologize to me for my semi consensual rape.

MANAS “SAMEER” MUKUL

21

The SHORTEST story of my life…

The SHORTEST story of my life…

Bzzzzzzzzz…bzzzzzzzzzz… the phone rattled on the side table… bbzzzzzzz… bbbzzzzz. From the corner of my eye I checked the time. It was still 2 am. I turned my face the other way and again went back into my dream. The vibration never stopped. Irritated, I got up and checked who the devil was….who was not letting me enjoy my dream. ‘Ghonchu’ calling was flashing on the screen. The name itself was more than enough to make all the irritation and anger evaporate.

She was breathing heavily, and even before she could utter a word I was able to make out that she had been weeping for a long time. I was taken aback because of her shrieking and cracking voice. I knew something was terribly wrong and immediately sprang to my feet. I made all efforts to calm her down but to no avail. I knew her habit of never listening to me and so I went ahead and asked,” why are you crying… what happened!!!!”? There are surprise gifts as well as emergencies but her reply was neither of the two. In fact she never gave a reply…instead she came up with a question of her own, to which I don’t have an answer even to this date. Will you marry me??? … was her SIMPLE question and if this was not enough she gave me only an hour to come up with my reply, which would have been my biggest decision, answer or whatever you may call it, till now.

I immediately disconnected the phone and washed my face. I was in no position to believe that everything that was happening was happening for real. One of your bestest (I know it’s wrong English) friend…calling you up at 2 am and asking you to marry her or I should say asking you whether you’ll marry her and not even giving me time to discuss it with my mother and family( in India usually everyone is fast asleep at 2 am). I composed myself and cleared off all the thoughts and called her back. “Sali….kamini… Ye kya majak tha”? (This was our way of greeting each other on NORMAL days … and nights too). She was still weeping and was barely able to speak. She whispered,” Chabu! You heard it right…I just want to know whether you can marry me or not and I want the answer right now because by morning it will be very late”. “I have told my parents that I am in love with a guy and want to spend the rest of my life with him”, she continued. “Papa has ordered me to leave the home immediately or marry according to their wishes and forget you forever”, she added.

With a grin I simply uttered,” Meri jalpari! Tumhe kisi ko batane ka nahi hota hai ki tum usse pyar karti ho aur ussi se shadi karna chahti ho….maa baap ko batane se pehle (I hope now you can make out why I named her ghonchu 🙂 ). I requested her to give me time till 6 am, at least by then mummy would be awake and I’ll be able to have a discussion with her.

I never knew those three hours would be the most difficult three hours of my life because more than me it was someone else’s life which was at stake too. I thought and thought, remembered each and every moment spent with her. Flashbacked every scene….recalling every word I ever said to her. For me her smile is as fresh as the morning dew….she is as bubbly as the newly opened coke….with a heart as soft as a feather and eyes as deep as the ocean….wait a minute….am I comparing her….sorry folks….my mistake. I forgot to mention she is incomparable. Her charm, her sweetness, her caring attitude ….even if I take out a dictionary, there will be fewer adjectives than her virtues. I remembered how she celebrated with me on every success that I had…even the tiniest ones, how she took care of me when I met with an accident and broke my left hand, nose and skull bone….from washing my dirty hands to helping me with my socks’…from writing my assignments to spoon feeding me food…and there won’t be any end to this list.

I never realised when I allowed her to come so close to my already wounded heart. She waited and waited but I could not muster the courage to call her and when I actually did….she already knew the answer. I am sorry ghonchu, is what I can ever say. But I know your pain is unexplainable. I never stood with you, held your hand and said that you are mine but let me assure you one more time… I never backstabbed you; I never wanted to hurt you 😦 .

The irony of my life: “Jisse chaha usne kabhi pyar na kiya, Aur jisne pyar diya usse kabhi chah na saka”.

There are people in your life who are your parents, relatives, brothers, sisters, best friends and so on and then there are those people who are equally important and somehow you find it hard to give a name to the relation or the bond you share and SHE is one of them.

And if there is something as rebirth I’ll surely be yours.

For all those who have been hurt in love,

For all those who know they’ll never get them,

For all those who still love them,

For all those who still hope they will come back,

And

For all those who have a Ghonchu in their life,

It’s not a goodbye,

But it’s a Good Bye….aur han she wanted this title because she believed she was the shortest story of my life.

MANAS “SAMEER” MUKUL

31

Most PRECIOUS GIFT of God…

Most PRECIOUS GIFT of God to me

In the summer of 1987, God consecrated me with his best creation. I felt blessed with his Gift. I don’t remember the actual events but I do remember the moment I touched her tender soft hands…I felt alive. She was as beautiful as a mermaid; her marble cheeks with a tinge of redness would have made even the mermaids jealous of her. My father was the happiest…he always wanted a girl…yes it’s no mystery now that I am talking about my little sister.

Meri BITTI when she was just 6 months old

Her round face, flat nose, the toothless smile, soft n little hands, tiny feet…made it hard for everyone to resist loving her. I still remember whenever anyone came to pick her up I would not let it happen and start shouting ‘Meri Bitti’ ‘Meri Bitti’. My parents named her ‘SHRADDHA’ and her nickname was ‘Nidhi’ but for some reason it was always ‘Bitti’ for me. I guess it was because papa called her bitiya and this was the best I could pronounce. All these years she just had one name for me…BHAI…from a creaky little googly woogly voice…to a more confident and firm…but it never changed to anything other than BHAI.

For an infant she was very lazy. She was hardly heard crying…one always found her napping. When she started crawling she would somehow make it to ten feet…then doze off for 30 mins…again crawl…again doze off. When papa slept she would come across and bite his right foot thumb…just to let him know that she was there…he would very happily take her to his chest…where she would again doze off.

Years passed…we grew up together…quarrelling over the tiniest of issues…while laughing over the bigger ones. There were days we won’t speak to each other…knowing that we can’t live without talking too. I was always unhappy of the fact that I never went to school on bicycle as it was my responsibility to go ‘to n fro’ with her and she, even to this day, doesn’t know how to ride a bicycle. But, now, when I look back…I think it made our bond even better and stronger.

There is no Diwali…there is no Holi without her…and if she is around, no day is less than a festival. Her heart is as pure as the sacred Ganges, filled with warmth even for her enemies. Over the years…sometimes she showers the blessing of a mother…loves you like a girlfriend…takes care of you like a wife…is always there for me like a true friend…even does the irritating and painful job of reviewing my articles…but nothing can beat the innocence with which she fights with you like a sister…and then start weeping.

Today (18th june 2011) when she is about to embark a new phase in her life…when she is about to befriend a foreign land…when she is about to begin her career…I won’t let my tears become a shackle…I won’t tell her how much I’ll miss her…I won’t let her know what she means to me and my life. I know I am very poor with emotions …in fact ‘hopeless’. Her words still bring me to reality, “Bhai…you have a heart of stone…you don’t shed tears…you heart is even dried of any emotion.” To which I just have one reply…“BITTI….YOU ARE THE MOST PRECIOUS GIFT OF GOD TO ME”.

Dedicate this to you brothers and sisters….if you find it hard like me to express emotions.

For all those who love their siblings,

For all those who have quarreled with them,

For all those who worry for them,

For all those who are over protective like me,

For all those who care for them,

And

For all those who are stone hearted like me.

Its not a GOODBYE….

But it’s a GOOD BYE….aur han express your love to them.

Manas “SAMEER” Mukul.

10

The ‘GHARHI’ INCIDENT – Incomplete Friendship Part -2

The Gharhi Incident – Incomplete Friendship Part-2

City Montessori school was a place where you could find , if not all, most of the beautiful gals in Lucknow, One reason why I was always thankful to my parents for sending me to the Temple of Knowledge, for there were numerous Deity’s to whom I wanted to bow down. Well actually what I wanted was more, coz they seemed really hot to me then and somehow these girls have managed to become hotter now. Well any ways the point was there was too much of challenge for one to have kept sane. The already struggling minds of adolescent were thrown more obstacles everyday.

The hero of our story is a guy with geeky looks, low confidence, hesitant and reserved. The type who thought they were smart and intelligent but the truth was known to the world in a better way. However he was considered genuine and decent, unlike me, by all. Let’s give him a name, Mr. Decent….actually this name was given to him by our physics teacher, Leena Ma’am.

Mr. Decent then was a student of CMS. So unable to cope up with the daily conflict, our hero reconciled, by our support, that he was in Love with one of the most powerful and admired deity of our class, Ms. BPL….can’t mention the real name (on special request by her)…frankly speaking after I coined this name many of the admirers never came to know her real name…and this became the household name for us all. The name itself has a story to it. One day she suffered from ‘Low Blood Pressure’ and hence the name BPL was coined (akhir kuch to code word rakhna tha….nahi to bahut mar padti 😉 ).

Ms. BPL…..ohhhh ab kya bataein inke bare me…..her hair were ‘boy cut’ then….or a ‘wedge cut’ as she pointed out to me this morning, it were golden brown. Well to be very honest its today that I find myself comfortable conversing with her but back in those days I found orating in front of 500 people easier. She was beautiful but it was her smartness that blew people’s minds often. But for Mr. Decent it was always like she stood with a HALO as if an angel from Indra’s kitty. Her skin was flawless, Silvery with every mole in the right place. I’m sure every time He saw her, his heart sang…. ‘chandi jaisa rang hai tera sone jaise bal…’. She was always drenched in excessive attitude which was flaunted by her killer looks….which made some of us grumble….,  “apne ap ko Ms.India samjhati hai kya???” Her smartly fitting shirt….knee length skirt and the list goes on n on…

And the fate unfolds.

CMS made it compulsory for everyone to take part in extra co-curricular and we were always game for it. It was one such event at the Sahara City and we (Mr. Decent, Ms. BPL and of course ME etc etc) were part of the ‘Bhartiyam team’. Mr. Decent approached me and expressed his desire to speak to her. Me being the expert in the subject instantly agreed to help. I told him to wait for my signal.

After one of the practice sessions I asked Mr. Decent to hand over his watch to me and go to Ms. BPL to ask for time and this way he can crack a conversation (ab saala us samay yahi sab ideas aate the… 😀 ). His desperation got the better of him. He immediately snatched his watch off his wrist and handed to me. I waited for her to be alone and as soon as she was…..i gave the Thumbs Up to Decency. He like an obedient follower obeyed my instructions….step by step, brimming with confidence…or I should say Overconfidence, he moved towards her. One final glance he gave to me and this time I had my both Thumbs UP.

Mr. Decent (mesmerized): Hi…eeeeee….excuse me…..

Ms. BPL (attitude overflowing): han …. Kya hai???

Mr. Decent (taken aback by her cruel affection): mmmmmm…wwwww…what’s the time???

Ms. BPL (thinking): Tumhara to acha nahi lag raha…

TABHI…..hum prakat hote hai (I appear)

Me (with a smirk): abe Decency tum apni gharhi mujhe deke kyu aaye ho mere bhai…

Me (looking towards Ms. BPL): kahi ye tumse time poochne to nahi aaya????

Mr. Decent’s face became pale…..yellow…..n then what all happened can’t be mentioned here…..

But on a serious note his crush, infatuation, genuine liking or LOVE (I don’t know what it was) grew over the years for her….and I guess still carries with him. Hope she understands it one day. I can today just say, “I am sorry bro”.

For all those who were my classmates,

For all those who were schoolmates,

For all those who gave nicknames to girls,

For all those whose crushes were crushed,

For all those who had a AH friend like me,

And

For all those who still carry there childhood love….

It’s not a GOODBYE,

But it’s a GOOD BYE…..aur han HAPPY BIRTHDAY (10th june) Mr. DECENT.

Manas ‘SAMEER’ Mukul.

18

THEKE pe THOKA…..Love, Blood and Desire….

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Theke pe Thoka…..Love, blood and desire…

Tip …tip…tip….one by one the tears started rolling down her cheeks…. I rolled across the bed to her…..held her in my arms….brought her real close to me….and slowly …..and slowly…licked her tears. She snuggled right into my chest….like a small kid….and started punching me with her soft hands……’you can’t go ….Jaan…you can’t go’. (I got posted to the dangerous valleys of Drass as emergency was declared in the region following tension with the neighboring country).

‘Pehla nasha pehla khumaar’ was on the radio…..I caressed her hairs….she brought her face close to mine….looking straight into my eyes….and said,” Nonu!! You can’t leave me like this….i become very alone when you are gone….i feel very lonely when you are not around……before I could respond….she planted a full-on kiss on my lips. I checked the clock from the corner of my eye….it was 3:00 am…I still had three hours before I leave. We separated….i saw the naughtiness in her eyes….hence I checked one more thing….and realized, I was worked up for another round of wild, passionate and steamy carnal love or in easier terminology….sex. The wave of emotions never made me realize when the tiny pieces of clothing that were left on us…..came off…..and we melted into each other.

I tied the shoe laces and it was time to take leave. She was still fast asleep. She was glowing with the golden morning sunrays that were falling on her beautiful face. The streaks of hair that were on her forehead made her look like a goddess. Ohhh!!! I was in love…..waise after two rounds of practical of the biology lessons taught in school….everyone feels that he is in LOVE….. :-D. I bent forward….removed the hairs from her forehead….and gently kissed her without breaking her sleep. Bye Mithu…I whispered and left.

Time passed.

She was beginning to feel that the loneliness was eating her up after he was gone. It was about a month ago that they made love on that night…..she remembered finishing her coffee. She was never sure….. Was this love or was this just her physical desires that made her fell for him? She decided its best to concentrate on work till he returns. She was an Airhostess in a leading airline….so most of her time was occupied by traveling to places.

She was traveling to Bangalore and carrying out her usual duties. The light flashed….it was a call from an elderly lady seated on seat 29F. She took a glass of water with her in case the lady needed. On her way she entangled herself in her high heels …… misbalanced….she fell in his (Mr. B) lap with the glass of water. There was a complete silence……” Does this airline serve ANGELS as well??? You should be a terrorist…..you can kill people with your looks ma’am” he said wryly. He was in total awe of her smoking hot beauty….she was 5’10”….with an asset value of Pamela Anderson on the top and her bottom could have given J’Lo a run for her money. The white shirt which hugged her to millimeters of her perfection and the short skirt…..which everyone wanted to be more short….added more value to her luscious seductiveness.

Gaining composure …she rubbed against the musk of his cologne. She was captivated by the raw masculinity he had on offer…..chisel jaw line….stubble…..ray ban…..bulging biceps….He looked as if he was the Prince of Persia. For the rest of the trip she couldn’t resist the temptation of looking at him again n again….every time she found a chance she intentionally brushed against him….she tried to gain control over her but to no success. The flight captain announced their arrival to Bangalore….as he passed her on the exit…”thank you sir …have a happy stay” she said with lust overflowing her eyes. He winked and abruptly blurted ….. ‘Your place or mine’.

The door unlocked…..they entered….without uttering anything they started ripping off….with lips locked….she realized how correct she was on the flight about him….his huge……arms..(khali gandi baat hi socho tum log…). She found it stupid to let go the craving on offer and let herself enjoy and flow in the wave of passion. They did the foreplay….post play….and every kind of play that they could have tried. Both exhausted and spent….she lay on his 44” chest….realizing what she was missing for these days……blushed on the thought that she was yet to ask his NAME.

Knock knock….knock knock…..she wrapped herself in the blanket and opened the door. She felt as if the roof has fallen on her head….each and every single drop of lust vanished….it was Mr. A on the door and Ms X who just had sex….was left stumped. “WOW….what a surprise…” he exclaimed…as she was wearing just a Blanket….noticing a striking resemblance in the atmosphere and in her as well…he entered…..by now she was trembling with the fear that the only piece of clothing they had was that blanket and Mr. B was sleeping without any covering.

Mr. A entered the bedroom to find a nude sleeping beauty…the only problem was that it was a male which didn’t go according to his likings. His eyes turned red with rage….she tried to explain but to no avail. By this time the sleeping beauty was also awake trying to cover him up with whatever possible he can. Mr. A slapped her hard….she fell on the floor….Mr. B ran for her. Mr. A’s anger reached its boiling point….he picked up a vase…and in the fits of fury he hit the back of Mr. B’s head. Blood spurted….and he fell on the bed. The raw masculinity had now turned into a raw DEAD BODY. She screamed….and fainted.

Coming back to senses….she sat holding Mr. A’s hand. She goofed up stories and made him believe that it was all Mr. B’s fault…and she knew how easy it is to make a fool out of someone who is madly in love with you. But it was not that easy….she resorted to her old evil tricks…as she knew that men are weak between their legs. Devilish looks….killer body….a Deadly combination….and it was time for this terrorist to drop another of her bombs. She dropped the blanket….took him to the bed….their ANIMAL INSTICTS took over them…..they made love in that pool of blood….beside his dead body.

This is my first short story…..i hope u all like it…;-)

For all those who are loyal to their partners,

For all those who cheat their partners,

For all those who opt for infidelity,

For all those who love sex,

For all those who have killed people,

and

For all those who are yet to get that awaited oppurtunity….

Its not a GoodBye…

but its a GOOD BYE…Aur han this is a true story…

MANAS “SAMEER” MUKUL

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