Monday, October 26, 2009

The Song of the Sea


“The sea returns whatever it takes from you “– that’s what people say. And that’s what Aman believed in the last days of his life.

Aman – 28 years old, a scholar from IIT and an MBA from IIM- A, had everything in life. He was smart, educated, rich, had a great job at a foreign bank, and was the most eligible bachelor in town. But above all, he had Avantika – his childhood love. For him, she was the most beautiful girl on the face of the universe. They were family friends and their relation dated back to almost more than a decade. It was the kind of love story which is written in Heaven.

“Avantika – short, plump and innocence personified.” Aman thought.

He sunk his feet deep into the sand and felt them escape through his toes as the waves retreated.

This was the very place where he saw her last, heard her voice for the last time, felt her warmth and smelled her tears. This was the place where he had promised her that they would meet again – in some other world …

The thoughts came gushing along with the waves. Each wave brought a fresh memory along with it, her contagious smile, her kohl eyes, her frizzy hair, her tantrums, her agony, her death.

“Huh!” Aman let out a deep sigh.

“How could I ever forgive myself?” he questioned himself.

Everything was the same. The sea, the coconut tress, the hotels, the star studded skies, the smell of dried fish – Everything but Avantika!

One mistake of his and things changed like day changes to night.


Aman was in USA for work. It was in the month of January, last year. He was almost freezing to death, with the mercury plumetting down to -13.

He picked up his cell phone and managed to dial a number with his numb fingers, which he felt had been cut off from his hands.

“Hey Aman!” answered a girl in an American accent.

Well, that was Christine, the only good friend cum guide, Aman made on his 3 months official tour.

“Hey yourself, Chrrr-istine” Aman stammered. “How do you guys survive here?” he asked.

“We drink silly, silly!” Christine jeered back.

“So, what are you waiting for? Come over to my apartment and don’t forget to bring the thing which keeps you guys warm” Aman stammered again.

That was it, a small private party, music, wine, popcorn, a movie and then - THE MISTAKE.


Next morning, Aman woke up with a heavy head but was still feeling warm. It was a clear morning. Christine was gone, but had left a note.

“Sorry Aman, it should never have happened.” The note almost shouted out the truth.

The entire night replayed itself clearly in his mind and Aman’s lungs filled with guilt. All of a sudden, he couldn’t breathe.

“Oh! Avantika” he gasped.

He picked up the phone and dialed her number.

“Hello” Avantika answered in her sleep.

“I love you baby” Aman said almost choking and fighting his tears back.

“Baby, its 2.00 am in India”

“Oh! Right, I just wanted to tell you that I love you”

“I love you too honey. I need to sleep, have an early morning presentation”

Aman tried to hold back his tears with all his might. He knew that Avantika had this magical ability to read his mind, even if he sat on some other planet in some other galaxy.
And under no circumstance, could he succumb.

“Good night, honey, see you soon” Aman switched off his cell phone.

That day, he decided that he would never mention this to Avantika. She would be shattered, and the thought of losing her was already shattering him to pieces.

“Ouch!” something pricked him.

A crab was biting his toe. May be even the crab was trying to bring him back to the present. Tears rolled down his cheeks.

“I have killer her” he shouted to the sea.

“I gave it to her, gave her the virus”

“Take me to her please”

He shouted at the top of his voice.
The sea seemed to respond back. The sizes of the waves doubled.

“Why did you take her away? She didn’t even know anything about it” Aman sobbed.

Aman clenched the sands in his fist with all his power. But, he was drained off all of it. The sand escaped from his hands, just like Avantika escaped from his life.

He was in the last stage fighting against the deadly virus. A year back he was detected HIV positive.

But he had already passed it to Avantika and pushed her towards death by then.

Aman plunged his hands inside his shirt, and slowly pulled it out - A picture frame.

Avantika was smiling through it as Aman was trying to make a funny face.

Her smile was infectious, he always thought. The smile which had swept him off his feet, which could make his heart stop beating, which became so difficult for her during her last days.

She loved the sea. She used to say that the sea had its special song for everyone and for every mood.

“Listen to the song of the sea” she would tell Aman during their happy days.

She wanted to die here – on this beach. That was her last wish

“Don’t let me die in a hospital room” she had pleaded to all.

“Please let me watch the waves, smell the salt, hear the song of the sea while I end my journey” she requested Aman, when he tried to protest.

And just before breathing out her last breath, she had shut all her pains in her eyes and just had one question written all over her face- distorted with lesions.

“Why Aman?”

He bowed his head and looked into the picture. A tear dropped on her smile.

“I hope you have forgiven me by now” Aman spoke through his tears.

“I’m coming to get you my baby” he said firmly.

He rested the photo frame, face down on his chest and lied down on the sand.

The waves washed over him……. The sea sang its last song.

Friday, October 23, 2009


This is the story of three friends – ‘I’, ‘Me’ and ‘Myself’ - Three inseparable souls at childhood.  But then ‘I’ died of chronic depression and nothing was the same anymore.

Well, let's take you back to the time when 'I' was born. ‘I’ was this fair, cute bundle of joy born to a beautiful couple. ‘I’ was everything her parents wanted their child to be. She was smart, clever, cute, naughty, and adorable and every good thing you can think of. God seemed to have made her with great care.

Her parents gave her a great upbringing and were proud of the way she was shaping up as a human being. She had a heart of gold. She laughed with others in joy and cried with them in their grief. She loved to love and be loved back. She was a bundle of happiness and energy. Her mere presence lit up a party and was sheer bliss to all - family, friends and even strangers.

Her parents gave her all that they could afford - The best of education, the best food and the best dresses. She wore pink frocks with frills and laces and looked like an angel. A few American tourists begged her parents for a photo shoot with “I” on her first day out . They had never seen such an innocent beauty in their lives.

'I' met 'Me’ and ‘Myself’ when they barely started walking. They became very good friends as they grew older. ‘Me’ was smarter than 'I' in many aspects and 'I' kind of hero worshipped 'Me'. 'Myself' on the other hand was a bit shy. An introvert, she was scared of facing the world. She preferred ‘I’ to 'Me' for her innocence and simplicity.

In no time they grew up to become beautiful women.

‘I’ was the homely kind, who dreamt a lot with wide open eyes. She dreamt of a fun filled utopic world, one of those fairy tale existences where a prince charming would come and plant a true-love-kiss and sweep her off her feet to live happily ever after. She stayed away from discord of any kind.

'Me' teased her and called her Peter Pan.‘I’ was still this child at heart. She said that she hated growing up. 'Me' was smarter than that. She knew the rules of the world and abided by them. She wanted to reach the zenith of her dreams. She got a degree, fulfilled her own and her parent's dream and started working for a software firm.   She chased and got what everybody wanted - Fame and wealth.

 'Myself' was the slow and steady type. She took things gently at her stride. She cared more about what the rest of the world thought about her. She put more stress on other's opinions. She always wanted to live up to others’ expectations and hardly managed to succeed.

It was a rainy night when ‘I’, ‘Me’ and ‘Myself’ were having their tea. ‘I’ heard a puppy screaming on the streets. She rushed downstairs, almost killed herself, rescued the pup and brought it home. ‘I’s father was not an 'Awwwww, such a cute little dog' kind of person. No sooner had he set his eyes on it that hell broke loose. He ordered her to leave the pup at some local market, where it could fend for itself.

‘I’ didn't budge. She was perplexed. “Always show mercy on needy ones!”- her dad taught her when she was a little girl."Was that all for the heck of it?" she thought.

"Listen to your dad” 'Me' told her.

"You should always listen to your elders" joined 'Myself'

"Even if they are wrong?" asked 'I'.

"YES" chorused 'Me' and 'Myself'.

The young and unsure 'I' didn't have the audacity to fight against so many. She had to give in to her dad. And the puppy was gone.

It was too much of a shock for ‘I’. She loved her family and thought that parents were always right. But that day she woke up to another reality…The virtues she had learnt as a child could be a vice as an adult, she realized. It was a difficult transition.

 “Everyday life virtues needed to be practiced selectively,” 'Myself' explained to her.
“You need to understand that the biggest virtue required for surviving in this BIG BAD WORLD is to know when to use which virtue, or if to use them at all...”

All these were too much for 'I' to understand.

She pondered, brooded and mulled over it. She even tried to change and become like 'Me' 
or 'Myself'. But, she couldn’t.

Something had snapped within her and her health deteriorated overnight. She knew her end was near. During her last few days, she even refused to see her parents, she loved so much. She didn’t want to talk to 'Me' who had become too mercenary and practical.  ‘Me’ somehow did not understand her anymore.

On her deathbed she only asked to see ‘Myself ‘. She whispered her last wish in her ears…

“Remember me always, not the way you want to, but the way I want the world to remember me."

“Remember me in the rays of sun
  Remember me in bliss and fun
 Remember me in an innocent smile
Remember me where there’s no guile”

And 'I' died.

'Me' forgot 'I' in no time. But 'Myself' didn't, rather couldn't. The last words of 'I' had made a great impact on ‘Myself’s life. She always tried to keep the essence of 'I' alive within her.

If you are wondering, who ‘I’, 'Me' and ‘Myself’ were, well let me tell you they all are the same. They are all a part of me.

'I' was, as I was born - The one who suffered at every juncture of life, and experienced devastation at the hollowness of life. That part of me which got torn into pieces, which no matter how hard I tried,  “I” couldn’t get back together.

'Me'  was the more practical me, as I grew older. Warped by the rules of the society, chasing the unknown whether I liked it or not. It was that part of me that willingly joined the rat race - That part which had to undo a lot of childhood learning in order to survive - The smug, selfish, self-centered creature born out of societal pressure.

'Myself' - hmmm.... Well it was a struggling remnant of 'I' – A part of me that grew up to fulfill the expectations of people who mattered. That part that tries doing things ‘Me’s way, but can never forget the 'I'.  How can she ever forget ‘I’, the very reason of her existence? “I” will hopefully continue to live within her in the last vestiges of innocence and goodness buried deep in her in “I’s” fond memory.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


There's just one thing, on the face of the universe, which gives me the creeps.

U can say, I'm just phobic to it. The small hairs, at the back of my neck stand erect, I almost stop breathing, thinking that even the sound of my breath can draw their attention towards me. The sound of anything fluttering, in no time, draws an image of them in my head. I am simply a maniac.

Oh! I haven't mentioned it , right ? I hate saying their name, as if it's an omen, like Voldemort.

COCKROACHES ..... I hate them to the point, where if I see one, I will not be satisfied until I know I have killed it( someone kills it for me, technically), and if I see one at night, I won't sleep until I know it's dead.

God! I simply get hysteric, if I get to locate one, even a kilometer away from me. I scream at the top of my voice, for help and can't budge an inch.I get glued to whichever position I was, before setting my eye on that beast. Once, when I was a kid, no one was at home, except me and a roach. I screamed for help so loud that my neighbors came to rescue me, thinking that some real disaster had befallen me.

There was another incident, which happened, not a long time ago. We were celebrating Holi at a friend's place. That too happened to be in Central Kolkata. I was taking my bath in the almost stone age bathroom. There, it was! On the door, looking at me, sensing me with it's antennae and warming up it's crispy brown wings for flight.

A cockroach, which too looked to have come from the Stone Age. It was fat, dark brown and almost the size of a pen-drive.

I was at the verge of a thrombosis. I called out for help from within as I couldn't reach the door, coz that horrible thing was sitting on the very bolt of the door. So, Aunty had to come inside and save me from it. She cought it with her bare hands and simply flushed it down the commode - It was that easy for her. I was standing there in a towel, devoid of all shame, soaked with fear from head to toe. I had grown numb.

Now, I teach this small boy. He stays in one of those crumbling houses of North Kolkata. The house is almost 200 years old and a habitat of almost millions of cockroaches. Every day I go there, and I stand outside, on the streets. From there I give the boy's mom a missed call on her cell phone. She comes down everyday, and escorts me upstairs.

I do this, as zillions of cockroaches move around at the entrance. It's like Joe's Apartment. They almost make me pee in my pants. I had even thought of quitting, but the mom won't leave me. She's dependent on me for her son's education. Yesterday, I almost drew out blood in her arms as she tried to shield me from the roaches. She acts as a human shield.

It's funny to people, that how can such a small insect scare a 5 ft6 " so much? Many think that I do this for seeking attention. But, it's me alone who knows what they do to me. I am even thinking of consulting a doc. It's abnormal, is it?

Everyday, I feel like bunking the tuition only because, I don't want to be subjected to that torment. They even haunt me in my dreams. God! i must have been one of them in my previous birth and probably had betrayed them.

Just, thought of sharing my fears with the world. If anybody out there have similar fears, and thinking of ways to work it out, do post.

I might have to leave for Mumbai for a new job. I have never been away from my family, from my guy. But they hardly bother me. The only thing that's bothering me is, what if I am alone in the house and there's a cockroach in my room ? Who shall kill it for me? No Dad, no bf, no Gramps =( .....

And trust me, it's cockroach alone that is delaying my decision and I am just a cockroach away from my dream career.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Well to start with - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME =). I have stepped into 26 just day before yesterday.

Age has always been just a number in my life. I don't seem to grow old(mentally off course). Many of my friends have got married, some even have kids and few are waiting for their turn. But, I somehow feel that I am still that small girl of 15 or 16(not trying to tempt any of you there =) ).
My mom is almost fed up of asking me to grow up. She keeps reminding me my age, but like I said, age is just a number for me.

I really don't understand the meaning of growing up. I mean , how can someone grow up against ones will? I am probably like Peter Pan in Neverland - A mischievous boy who could fly and magically refused to grow up. I still like roaming around in my hot pants, love watching kiddy movies and adult issues seems to disturb my mental balance.

And I am so much in love with the kid, still alive within me. I cannot do away with it no matter how harsh a circumstances I am put into. I don't know if this is a disorder , but that's Me.

Now , let me give a small example. I used to work for a Software Company for the last 2 years (looking for a new job now). There, I was pretty sincere with my work. I was happy with the kind of work I was entrusted with, but the office culture didn't suit me. The people around me were so rude and cruel. They always tried to find faults with me and said that I still carried my college going attitude. I was so sick and tired listening to that crap. I used to feel alienated there among a host of so called grown ups.But, thankfully I had a group of friends there who were my partners in crime. =)

This year I had to pay a heavy price for getting old. Guess what? I didn't get any gift. Everybody around me is broke after the Durga Pujas. My boyfriend had skipped office and said that, that was my gift =( . I guess , grown ups think that way. My mom was busy with her work all day. So was Dad. So, we went out for dinner and that was their gift to me. I met my friends the day after and they too came without a gift. But moms are moms. She gave me 500 bucks to get myself a dress. And my boyfriend said that my gift is due for next month.

But, I think I am growing up too. I haven't squandered away the 500 bucks yet. I have saved it for paying off my credit card bills. Is this a part of growing up ? Knowing your priorities, getting more responsible towards life and not taking life for granted ? I guess.

I have somehow realized how important it is to grow up, when you are surrounded by so many, who wants to kill the child in you all the time. I am kind of prepared for this journey called life now.

So, Happy Birthday to me once again and Hey ! I am broke too right now, so this blog is my gift to my own little self who still refuses to grow up.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Hey ! This blog is exclusively for myself. I had got immensely addicted to blogging for the last couple of months.But, I don't know what's wrong with me , I just can't write anything anymore. I mean I am feeling so damn incomplete, without a goal in life, like an aimless rudderless boat.

A few days back, I had been on an errand for my mom to Rabindra Sadan(1 of the most busiest and buzzing places of Kolkata). I went by Metro. After having finished the work, I felt hungry. And, trust me , I did what I thought was impossible for me - I had my grub alone.

I could never imagine that such a day would come when I would me sitting at some eatery and gobble away my food. I cat never eat alone. I need somebody to accompany me. Sitting on a table of four, all alone, and having this queasy feeling that everybody's ogling at me while I'm putting that huge burger into my mouth was something which I literally dreaded until that day.

I was somehow feeling very lost that day. Wanted a change in life. In one word I was feeling frustrated. I walked staight into the eatery with a seating capacity of around 250, and there I ordered for an Iced Tea and a Veg Sandwich. I occupied the least visible seat in a secluded corner (probably meant for love birds). Tried calling up my boyfriend, so that atleast I could get some company over the phone. But, bad luck ! He was in a meeting :(

So had to have my grub all alone, seldom looking up from my platter and checking out who's checking me out, from the corner of my eyes.

I had devoured the sandwich in no time and I very much regretted my decision of trying to act smart.

It was time for me to come back home. I wasn't feeling like boarding the underground tube, was feeling kinda claustrophobic. Got on a bus and occupied a window seat. It was probably the best journey I'v ever had. The weather was lovely - cloudy and windy. I plugged the earphones of my cell phone into my ears and started the radio.

I was going through the same route that I take almost every day. But, it was different that day. Something had changed inside me. I was feeling happy all of a sudden. My city was looking so beautiful irrespective of the stench, the pathetic long signals, the litter and garbage. I started clicking odd photographs on my cell. Others who were travelling with me, probably thought that I had lost my mind.

And then, finally D moment arrived. It started pouring. The rain came down like a white curtain of water. There was 0% visibility. People in the bus started pulling the windows down. The conductor came to help me with the window, but I resisted. I was simply enjoying the rain. The water, cold and fresh was hitting my face with a pleasant force. After 1 week of unbearable heat and sweat, the city seemed to welcome the rain with open arms. And so did I.

I felt one with Kolkata. Not making much sense , am I?

I got down at my stoppage. It was raining cats and dogs. I walked all the way home - almost a kilometer from the bus stand. The FM station somehow can read our minds i guess. They were playing my favourite and the most apt song for the moment -"Mitwa".

Reached home completely drenched and happy.

This happened a week back. And I was thinking the best way to voice it out. But, somehow my happiness evaporated away with the rain and I was back to square one - dull and aimless. And, i was left with a huge void inside me.

I thought that, in this blog I'll be writing that I cant write anymore. But, whoa ! I have already written so much. This space never betrays me. Thanks !