Saturday, February 21, 2009

untitled

This is the story i wrote for the contest hosted by Kirti.

"Ruko!" she shouted as she ran behind the bus. "Stop!"
But it was of no use, the bus sped off, leaving her huffing and puffing in a cloud of dust. She stopped, sighed and threw her bag on the road. How would she get to work NOW?!
"Madam! Handbag you want? Sandal?" a little urchin asked with a cheeky grin.
"Nahi nahi, paise nahi hain. No money.", came her automatic response. She was used to these beggars and peddlars by now.
"Madam ji, aap se paise maange kya maine? Aap item toh dekho."
She took a closer look at the cart in the child's hand. It seemed to contain an assortment of oddities. One golden sandal, a blue handbag with no strap, a shiny purple button, a frayed piece of ribbon...
She looked at the boy refusing to believe the presence. Without another glance she walked fast, so fast that she could feel her heart beats racing. Sweat covered her fore head in the winter morning.
Tamanna closed the door and fell in her bed in one swift move. She looked pale. Memories flushed in and she couldn’t control her tears.

*******************

"muskaan... beta kaha pe ho tum? muskaan.."
Muskan closed her eyes tight hiding behind the cupboard. She always believed that if she closed her eyes, no one could see her!
Muskan was the cutie of the village. She had the love of the entire neighborhood. She lived with her mom and dad in their small yet beautiful house at Kannauj. Her dad worked with the village panchayat and saved every penny he got for the education and well being of his lovely daughter.
"muskan.. beta school ke liye late ho jayega.. kaha ho tum.."
She giggled and made a quick peek to know where her mom was. This was a routine. Every day her mom had to struggle to make her get ready for school. She would run through her small house and hide when her mom takes her bright red ribbon to tie her hair. She loved the ribbon, it was fun to play with her mom!
She passed out her matriculation with flying colors. It was time to choose a career. Her dad seemed more concerned those days. There were no proper colleges in their village and he was not willing to stop her studies. He wanted to see her prosper in her life. He wanted her to achieve the heights which he or his fore fathers could not even imagine. He was proud of his daughter.
The decision was taken and she had to leave the village for good. She got admission in a city but she was already in tears. Staying away from her family was like death to her. Whom would she play with? Who would tie her hair? Who would tell her stories? She realized that she loved her mom more than ever. She cried bitterly on the day she was destined to leave. She felt as if jumping off the train before it started its journey. She waved her hands at her village till she could see them as a dot. Destiny had different plans for her!
She was a bright student. But the fast life around her fascinated her. The vibrance and the music made her addicted. By the time she finished her graduation she was slowly getting converted from Muskan to Tamanna. She was too embarrassed to speak about her village and people there. Now her friends knew her as Tamanna, the new fashion statement of their college. She was the most sought after girl, extremely good at studies, hyper active and mingled with the crème layer of the campus. Kannauj remained as a faint memory, rather an unpleasant one.
Tamanna got placed as a consultant even before she wrote her final exams. The exams were over and it was time to go back to her village. Initially they planned for a vacation abroad, but her friends persuaded her to visit her village instead. The reason projected was sensible. "We shouldn’t be forgetting the scenic beauty our land offers. It was a fast paced life altogether, lets slow down before we start the race again"
Their return was celebrated as a festival in her village. Some how Tamanna was disturbed all the while. She felt embarrassed when ever her mom or dad interacted with her friends and the reason - her parents couldn’t speak English! She felt ashamed when her mom talked to her friends about her childhood. She already hated the idea of visiting her village with her friends. Her mom on the other hand enjoyed every moment of her daughters success. She was extremely happy for her growth and the level she has reached. She was happy for her friends. She took every effort to make sure that none of her friends felt away from home. She poured in all her love not knowing that her daughter was resenting her actions.
Finally, as a relief for Tamanna the day arrived when she was supposed to return to her new home - the city. They were packing their bags when Koyal found a beautiful suitcase carefully placed in the lower portion of the cupboard. She was very curious on what was so precious inside that. Tamanna had no idea on where to find the keys and hence called her mom. Her mom smiled and opened the suitcase. There were a collection of toys and frocks which Muskan used and that beautiful red ribbon. Her mom was so excited that she started explaining the small fights she had with Muskan, her hide and seek games and all those funny incidents. Tamanna was so embarrassed that she became furious. She called her mom to an inside room and shouted at her. She said she would not return to this house where no body gave respect to her "identity". She was no more a kid whom they loved, she is a grown up and no body had any right to embarrass her like this. She burned that ribbon which gifted her mom memories and comfort all these years.
She has never gone back to her village. Five years have passed and she forgot the past and moved on with the flow of the crowd. Today when she saw the same ribbon in the cart held by the boy, she was taken aback. She was speechless and suddenly she missed her mom.

*******************

"Bebo, look at the time now. Where were you all this while? Do you even think of me and how concerned I would be?"
"What's the problem with you Raj? Why are you acting like a freak these days?"
"Freak?? I am acting like a freak? You said you had a bad head ache yesterday night. You said you din feel like going to office in the morning. Your log off time is six in the evening. From then on I’ve been trying to reach you to know if I should be coming to your place to pick you up. Its two in the morning now! I haven’t heard of you till now. Your mobile was switched off! None of your colleagues knew where you went. And you are telling me I am acting like a freak!!"
"Stop being over protective. You know I don’t want to be treated like a kid. I went with my friends. Do I have to take permission every time I want to go out? Stop being possessive Raj"
"Yeah, right. I am being possessive now! Its been two years that we are living together now and I don’t even have the right to know what’s happening with you. You know what’s your problem Bebo? You are with that stupid crowd of people who have nothing else to do other than gossip and brain wash you. Did you go to that rave party again?"
"Enough Raj. You have got no authority to comment on my friends. They are far better than you. What difference does it make on where I went with them? You are jealous Raj. Jealous of me enjoying this life when you are screwed up with you work and you family. Get real. I know to look after myself. Leave me the way I am."
Tamanna stormed to her bedroom leaving Raj near the front door. They have been in a live-in relationship for more than two years and things were not going smooth these days - days after she got this new set of friends who took her to rave parties and introduced her with dope. She was changing day by day. She was no more the soft brilliant girl Raj has known. She has become more wild and rude.
Raj sank into his sofa. He gazed towards her room. He felt helpless and numb. "I’ve got to do something" he thought. He loved Tamanna and couldn’t see her like this. She was a different person after she took dope, wilder and harder to control. In the morning she was much tender.
"Dev, I might loose her. I don’t know what to do."
"She took it again?"
"Yeah, she is not good health wise. I can’t see her like this any more."
"Raj, don’t loose hope. You got to take this risk. Come and meet me at my clinic this Sunday. Make sure she doesn’t know where she is going and why."
"Ill try Dev. Ill try"
Dev was one of the very close friends that Raj had. He was a psychiatrist and worked with the city's largest rehab. He had a regimen in mind and he was sure he could rescue Tamanna from the clutches of disaster.
"Where are we going Raj?"
"Bebo, I told you right? One of my friends is getting married. We can’t attend his wedding. So I thought we could go and meet him today. From tomorrow my new project starts, I wouldn’t get time."
"Okay. Does this look good on me?"
"You look like a goddess babes. I love you"
"I love you too" Tamanna told with a smile. She was a totally different person when she was in her senses.
They reached the rehab in less than two hours.
"What is your friend doing in a rehab? Getting ready for the marriage?" she teased Raj.
"He practices here" Raj replied with a smile.
"Hello bhabhi, how are you doing?"
"This is Dev" Raj introduced Tamanna to Dev.
"Congratulations Dev. What’s the girl doing?" Tamanna asked while sipping the orange juice.
"She is a doctor here in the rehab. We have been seeing each other for quite a while now. Now, we thought its time to give the relationship a formal name" Dev explained.
Tamanna felt dizzy. The medicine mixed in the juice was showing effect.
When she woke up, she found herself in a room with wires connected to her hands, a saline drip running, and monitors around her. Dev smiled at her.
"Kaisi ho bhabhi? You slept for 24 hours. You are under observation and things are just fine. Relax"
Tamanna felt deceived. She wanted to break free. The urge to take the powder was killing her. She wanted the wild music and the intoxication her friends gave her. She missed those injections which gave her "life". She shook her hand vigorously only to find them tied.
Raj entered the room and was shocked to see her reaction. Though he has seen her rude, this was something new to him. Her eyes turned red. She looked like a lunatic. She yelled at Raj and cursed him.
Dev was talking to the nurse.
"We need to shift her to another room. Her instincts are controlling her. She needs medication now" Dev told to raj as the nurses took about the wires and the saline drip from her body. She was shaking uncontrollably.
After a month of treatment she left the rehab without informing anyone. She left the city and the memories of Raj. She wanted freedom from his thoughts and his over protective arms. But those last moments with Raj was unforgettable.
She yelled at him. The nurses found it hard to hold her.
"You cheat, you lied to me. You wanted to see me bed ridden. You were jealous of me enjoying my life. You ruined my life. You deceived me" Tamanna held Raj's shirt and pushed him hard. His shirt tore. Something hit her on her forehead; she caught it - a shiny purple button. The nurses took her to the medication room. She threw the button towards Raj cursing him, crying, her eyes red.

*******************

"It’s been 45 minutes that you’ve gone in there? Are you still taking bath?" Koyal yelled.
"You wanna come in and check?" the door opened a bit and Tamanna asked with a smile.
"Yeah right. As if you are my boy friend. Come soon, the movie would start in an hour" Koyal returned the smile.
Tamanna and Koyal knew each other for almost seven years. They were best friends and shared the room in the city of dreams.
"The movie was such a waste of time! What a way to spent a hard earned weekend" They were out of the cinema and doing window shopping. Tamanna was such a shopaholic and Koyal loved her taste.
Koyal was looking at the accessories when Tamanna pulled her to another section. Her eyes locked to a blue bag. Koyal looked at the description. COACH BLEEKER PATENT BLUE LEATHER FLAP 12372 HANDBAG.100% Authentic. Water Resistant. Blue Fabric Interior. Polished Brass Buckle and Hardware. Full length exterior slip pocket. Matching Coach Leather hang tag with charm. Adjustable Shoulder Strap.6" - 10" Drop Handle .Inside zip pocket.2 Multi-function slip pockets. D-ring to clip an accessories or keys. “Wow, its beautiful. Are you gona buy this?” Koyal was excited.
“I wish I could” came the answer. “Check the price tag. It says INR.7500/-. I can’t afford that, not now!” Koyal could see the disappointment in her voice.
“That’s okie, we shall look for it next month when we get our salary slip. Cheer up.”
Weekend was soon over and they moved on with their work. The financial year ending was fast approaching and work place seemed to be hell. They hardly found time to have conversation. Both carried official laptops to their room and would sleep and wake up with that. On a Thursday Tamanna lost her sleep to the annoying alarm. She had slept early the other day since she had to leave early today. Clients were visiting and she had to do a presentation. Cursing the alarm, she opened her eyes with difficulty. Koyal was not to be seen. It was hard to believe that it was morning so soon. She felt tired and weak. She checked her phone for any messages or miscalls. Suddenly she noticed the time: “00.02”. She was wondering why Koyal put the alarm to midnight. Or did she put it by mistake. More thoughts running in her mind, she started searching for Koyal. In the dining table she saw a bright red cover. She took it and opened it. There was a card and a gift pouch. The card read “Happy Birthday Sweetheart”. With a smile of surprise she opened the pouch to find the blue bag that she had seen in the mall. She stood speechless, tears in her eyes. Koyal hugged her from behind and whispered in her ears “Happy birthday honey. Did you like my gift?” Tamanna was crying now, tears of happiness.
Tamanna loved Koyal more than anyone in this world. The same with Koyal. She lost her parents when she was in the elementary school. All she had was a distant relative who looked after her family business. She hated the idea of going to their place. She preferred to spent time with Tamanna. They gelled so well that one could easily complete the other’s sentences. Tamanna approved every decision that Koyal made, except for one – the idea of having a boy friend. Rahul was a cute guy, but Tamanna hated him since he shared her love. Tamanna was obsessed with Koyal. The very thought of some one taking her away from her would make her feel insecure. Koyal knew this and she had tried talking to her regarding this, but in vein. Even Rahul tried to convince her, but she wouldn’t hear.
It was a bright sunny morning of April and Tamanna heard the news she dreaded to hear. Koyal was getting engaged to Rahul. She felt numb with grief. She was in a way happy that Koyal’s dream came true. She din want to loose her. Suddenly she felt lonely. She felt deceived. Koyal left her alone. She couldn’t forgive her friend. She was so sad that she wouldn’t go to office for days. Koyal was at her place for preparations and hence Tamanna’s life got more miserable. With no one to take care, she was left starving and insane. Every day she slept tired of her thoughts and woke up with wet eyes. Koyal tried to reach her many times through phone, friends and mail – but in vein. She locked herself up. It seemed like she was punishing herself for all the sorrow. At times human mind makes no logic. Emotions make one’s actions insane. It might make no sense to a second person, but for who goes through it. Tamanna was loosing herself. She became hysteric and one disturbed moment burned all the things in her room which reminded her of Koyal.
Its one year now that their relationship is broken. She still sees her at work but act as a stranger. She knows that Koyal is deeply hurt. Time has lessened her anger, but her ego wouldn’t allow her to go and talk to Koyal. She left her when she needed her. Why should she go and talk to her.
Today, she opened her cupboard and looked at the bright red cover. There was a faded strap which told the stories of surviving a burn. The remains of the blue bag she loved. The only physical remain which showed Koyal’s love for her. She held it close to her, tears failed her eye lashes.

*******************

In her tears she realized how lonely she really was. She had every one – a beautiful family, a loving boyfriend who could be a wonderful husband, an amazing girlfriend. What more could she ask for. Yet today she faces this world alone, in her tears. Why? The reasons maybe different for different personalities, but for her she chose her destiny. She took decisions and there was no going back now. She had to face it all. The urge to live was back in her. She wanted to set things right. No more time to be wasted. She took her phone and dialed Koyal’s number.
Another hour gone and Koyal as at her place. The confrontation was tough, but she lived through it. The pain and the lost hours where put up with tears. Its been long that Tamanna had felt the warmth of a friendly hug. Happiness knew no bounds. There were more things to do. She had to talk to Raj, but she was too scared to talk. After all what are friends for? Koyal talked to Dev. Raj was still single. He was recovering from the pain life gifted him. Words failed Tamanna when she spoke to Raj. It was time to make things happen. It was time to re arrange her life. She planned to go and meet Raj first and then together they would go to her village, back to family.
If some one wanted to paint happiness, they just had to portray her smile. She thanked God for all what happened and suddenly she thought of that little urchin. She ran back to the bus stop. The boy was not there but she saw his cart lying in the same place where she saw him in the morning. She went closer. There was no ribbon, no shiny purple button and no blue handbag. All what remained was a pair of golden sandals and a tag which read “Happy Journey”!


76 comments:

Scrawler said...

I'll read..and shall post my comment later.Okay?

Btw i don't need eclairs..i need only coffee bites :-)

the pink orchid said...

read this one published on Ki'S blog and there was a power cut at my place.. so undoubtedly this one has an electrifying effect.. ! i loved it :D

sawan said...

Scrawler, >#< , i promise u a coffy bite on ur book releasing ceremony :P

sawan said...

Kajal, that was really sweet of u :)

Scrawler said...

You miser... someone in our gang gonna sponsor our first meet(if it happens)and u didn't even offer a coffe bite for reading this long story..Bad Boy :P

ANWESA said...

a sweet story!!!kudos!!!

sawan said...

Scrawler, i said i wud give u a coffee bite :P

sawan said...

Anwesa, thnx dear :)

Freya said...

wow, that's a good concept. Making the urchin like her guilty conscious.

In the mid-way, i felt as if you are writing about a girl suffering from a serious case of multiple personality disorder. Lol.

Mithe said...

honestly sawan, it was lovely. I had tears in my eyes...
beautiful..beautiful. Can I copy and keep it on my laptop?

yamini_meduri said...

wow...thats beautiful Sawan...

tears rolled down...but still had a smile at the end ...nice write..!!!

keep the good work going dear..!!!

Ria said...

a beautiful story Sawan. U write really well buddy,

Vinnie said...

Sawan saar, u rock, man!!
every bit so interesting...one thing i loved - "They gelled so well that one could easily complete the other’s sentences." :):)

u deserve a blogger booker prize in short fictional story category!

Scrawler said...

Good One Hero! when are u gonna post ur next short story?

Scrawler said...

btw..why untitled?

Pretty Me!! said...

it was perfect ,,,, and a it hard hiting... its something we see all around ur fail to take not for ourself sometimes ... pleasure reading this ...

Amrita~Ams said...

beautiful story .....but i didnt get the title ;)

Kartz said...

Wonderful, mate. Just wonderful... But why *untitled*?

Good luck with competition, bro'..!

Peace. Have a nice day.

sawan said...

Freya, lol @ multiple personality disorder.. i have seen people moving from villages to city getting lost in the brightness the city offers. many finds it easy to forget their roots. ive met some people in villages who are really proud of their loved ones who have moved to cities and earned a respectable life. its sad that the vary same loved ones finds it easier to forget the love from the village.

sawan said...

Mithe, your words bring honor to me.. you are welcome to save a copy. m so happy you liked it :) u take care.

sawan said...

yamini, youve always been kind to me. thanks a lot dear :)

Riya said...

Hey.. Great story.. Really beautiful and nice.. Hey.. Well.. I wrote on my blog about what three tings i asked god.. Was busy so didnt get time to post earlier.. Do check it out..

sawan said...

Ria, thanks dear.. your words mean a lot to me..

sawan said...

Vinnie darlin, blogger booker prize u said.. o m g.. i am already flying :P thnx a lot for your words dear :)

sawan said...

Scrawler, thnx a lot chechi.. from the feel that i get from office, i think it wud take a long time :P

sawan said...

Scrawler, chechi, this story was written for a short story contest right. the contest din give any name and i couldnt find any name for it.. and hence untitled :P

sawan said...

pratzi, glad u liked it :) thnx dear :)

sawan said...

Amrita, thanx yaar.. about the title : this story was written for a short story contest right. the contest din give any name and i couldnt find any name for it.. and hence untitled :P

sawan said...

KArtz, thanx bro :) this story was written for a short story contest right. the contest din give any name and i couldnt find any name for it.. and hence untitled :P

sawan said...

Riya, would check it now.. and thnx for your kind words :)

Scattered Thoughts... said...

Sawan - I guess you have already read my comment on ki's blog about it and we are still on talking terms :P Though I doubt as you didnt visit my blog from quite long :-/

Scrawler - did you say SHORT story ;)

Scrawler said...

@sawan....scrawler or chechi?me confused!!!

without a title how wud u qualify for the BBP(Blogger booker prize)??

But why u choose Blue Hand Bag?it should have been pink or Red either..so that Raj could gift her such a beautiful hand bag on her b'day!

@ST...didn't u see my comments posted earlier?i said long story!
My concluding comments were a sort of hint to sawan..to cut his story shot ..rather to write a short story at least next time ;-)

Scrawler said...

@ST..me too have the same complaint about our lil Hero! not visiting us ! Seems he has got a huge fan followers :P ...Loads of hugs and kisses pouring from everywhere...:P

Scattered Thoughts... said...

scrawler - oh yeah.. short is the word ;)

complaint!! hmmm.. never mind yaar.. we are the foundation stones.. where no body appreciates the beauty but they have the most significant role :)) straight from the essay book from 8th standard ;)

Little Girl Lost said...

Man, you are going places... you are really going places...
this was a delicious story... loved it ...

Saranya said...

Hey I haven't read this yet, need a good time to sit and read. Will be back soon with my comment on it :)

Scrawler said...

'Angel' mila aap ko? sure,u will get one...I Hope this story is gonna gift u an angel :P

sawan said...

ST, bro, we are very much on talking terms :P apologies for visiting u late.. but many a times we take our loved ones for granted, dont we? :P

sawan said...

Scrawler, Chechi, "Scrawler" so that every one knows whom i am talking to and "chechi" addresing u :P
i cudn change the color of the bag since kirti put a begining and i was supposed to take the story from there.. u cud check the contest rules here : http://may-i-live-happily-ever-after.blogspot.com/2009/01/write-me-story-and-win.html

Akshat said...

Hey the story was very good...but why untitled?? You need a title....???

Take Care

sawan said...

Chechi, nothing like that :( i was so busy at work that i din get time during week days :(

and i wanted the story to be this long.. some how i cudn think of any part over here which could be cut short.. maybe cos i wrote it emotionally :P

sawan said...

ST, of course you guys are the foundation stones and your beauty is much appreciated :P

sawan said...

LGL, thanx a lot friend.. glad u loved it :)

sawan said...

Saranya, come back soon, i would be waiting :P

sawan said...

Scrawler, chechi, aapki muh mein ghee shakkar :P

sawan said...

Akshat, thanx bro. this story was written for a short story contest right. the contest din give any name and i couldnt find any name for it.. and hence untitled :P

Margaret said...

Hi Sawan, I'm so glad I took the time to read ur story.
It's wonderfully written and makes you think about the values in life and how easily they can be lost.
I liked the concept of the urchin with his cart of reminiscence.

Lots of luck with the competition...

Cursed♪♫ said...

Hi!
I read this. I liked the ending!
Lovely post :)

Luscious Sealed Lips said...

Fuck! This was gorgeous.

A simple common story narrated so well that it makes the reader feel the pain and the guilt.

Kisses.

swati said...

it was beautifully written sawan..n u truly deserve an award for this..may i have your permission sir to save it in my lappie :)
but why was it untitled??
take care buddy..

sawan said...

Margaret, uve always been kind to me :) thnx for the support shown. luv ya.

sawan said...

juhi, glad u liked it :) thnx for your words :)

sawan said...

LSL, thnx for your words :) m happy you had the patience to read it :P many said they dozed off in between .. lol

sawan said...

swati, u have the permission dear :) this story was written for a short story contest. the contest din give any name and i couldnt find any name for it.. and hence untitled :P thnx for your words :)

Simply Sur said...

Wow!! Now that was amazing!! I left all that I was doing to complete reading this first!
Great! U shud write mystery too!! :P

Pri said...

just one word---WOW!! :)

loved the story..u could direct an entire movie on this...beautiful!

ash89 said...

omg...this is a beautiful story!

Arunima said...

Long & interesting story.
I really like the way it spirals off to back flash.

Lots of emotions weaved in it makes it pleasurable 2 read.
Good work Sawan!
I shud praise ur imaginative skills!

karmanna said...

wow!!
sawan ... :)
thats a big story to go through ...
will come back in the evening and go through it .;)
take care

sawan said...

SS, oo, thats such an honor :) [all smiles]. thnx yaar..

sawan said...

Priyanka, thnx a lot for the good words dear :) wish priyadarshan read this story :P lol

Nidhi said...

62 shouts???? baap re famous hogaya tu. Ab toh MTVindia.com main bhi.. baap re

sawan said...

ash, thnx dear :)

sawan said...

Arunima, thnx a lot dear.. thts a lot good words :)

sawan said...

Karmanna, u din come back in the evening.. :( come back and read :)

sawan said...

Nidzie, friends over here are kind enuf to leave an impression after their visit :) mtv india??

SMRITI said...

Finally read and it...wowow...LOVED IT!!

Choked up as I read parts of it...and believe it, it happens rarely with me...Beautiful...

Do keep writing such beautiful stuff... :)

Hugs!! :)

sawan said...

smriti, ooo, words of praise :) luv ya :P glad u liked it :)

athi said...

nice... :)
Bt i kinda felt it went overboard at times..too many simultaneous plots..can happen, but becomes to much of a mess. Perfect for a book, but a short story outta be easy on the mind, strong on the heart.

sawan said...

athi, i never thought it wud be so big :) and after i wrote it, i din feel like cutting it short :) thnx for ur views :)

karmanna said...

haha!!the evening i suppose to read this i landed up in chennai...
life is unpredictable....

soul touching story ...
do write more ....
god bless!! take care :)

sawan said...

karmanna, thnx bro :)

ARUNA said...

OMG, it took me 20min to read the story and absolute worth spending that much time.....gr8 work!

sawan said...

aruna, just 20 mins?? it took me four evenings to write it :P thnx dear :)

bondgal_rulz said...

Whoa....beautiful story...and vety well knit. :)

I'm so glad that I came back. :)

Keep writing.

Cheers

sawan said...

bondgal, thnx dear:)