Wednesday 15 April 2015

Post # 13. Memories, to rest ? #atozchallenge

“ He called me today, Rosh,” Shreyasi told her friend that evening.

“ Did he ? What’s it now ? Dinner again?,” Roshni asked. She was rearranging the clothes in her shelf.

Shreyasi recounted the conversation to her.

Roshni listened to her patiently. She smiled as Shreyasi admitted that she loved Aagney.

“ You’ve never really taken him away from your heart, Shreya. I know that,” she said.

“ How can I, Rosh ? He was everything to me,” Shreyasi answered.

“Was ? Or is ?,” Roshni teased her.

“ Ok, IS, it is. You know everything, Rosh. I might be angry with him, but I can never hate him,” she said.

“ Then tell me, why are you so adamant and angry when he speaks to you ? Why don’t you just go with him, spend some quality time and be happy ?,” Roshni came to sit next to her on the bed.

“ I don’t know, Rosh. I’m not healed yet. Every time I think of those days, I’m getting more and more restless,” she answered.

Roshni took her by the shoulders and turned her towards herself.

“ See, Shreya, you’re one of the most sensible women I’ve seen. We , I and our friends at college, have always been so proud of you and your womanly ways. I know most of what you’ve gone through since childhood. But this one thing, I’ve always just listened to what you said. There are many things which you haven’t told me ,I feel,” she said.

“ I myself feel that I might have missed to understand some things,” Shreyasi shrugged.

“ You came here to find him. You have. He knows you’re here. You know he still loves you. You still love him. Then why don’t you both throw away the past and be happy ?”, Roshni asked again.

“ I agree, Rosh. But I need to put to rest those memories. I need to convince myself that I’ll not lose him , ever. He needs to understand my truth. I’m not ready to commit unless and until that happens,” Shreyasi spoke, calm but firm.

Theek hai. I get your point. But how will that happen if you hide in your cocoon ? Get out of it.  Go, meet him, talk to him, bring the topic around and ask him straight on his face. You know him more than anyone else, don’t you ? There’s no point in reliving those memories anymore, Shreya. Not when you can take the plunge and solve it , ” Roshni spoke , her voice strong with conviction.

“ I do. I will do it. I know, I have waited enough ,” Shreyasi said , getting  up from the bed , and opening her book shelf.

She had spoken with a new-found firmness in her tone. She hadn’t faltered. Her tone hadn’t quivered.

Roshni smiled to herself.

She knew Shreyasi , her friend, was sensitive, though very much mature in her thoughts. She had grown up alone, with just the trustees of the orphanage to guide her.

She knew most of what had transpired between her and Aagney. She had been troubled by the misunderstanding. Shreyasi had just been so sensitive to the whole thing.

But she couldn’t be blamed. She had been so lonely for a major part of her life, that scars could easily form on her heart.

She looked at her friend, lost in a book.

She knew it was not the book she was lost in.

She was lost in her memories. 

But she would heal soon.

Meeting you was for me, the best present
Life afterwards became sweet and pleasant

Music for my pining soul, love for my heart
Little did I dream then, that we’d drift apart

Miracle is what I waited for, all these years
Magic is what I needed to allay my fears

Medicine for my inner wounds is what I seek now
Memories, to be put to rest, is my new vow !

To be contd....


This post has been written for the A to Z Challenge 2015.

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Post # 12. Late, but better than never ! #atozchallenge

“ Shrey, can we talk for sometime?”, he asked over the phone.

Shreyasi had just walked in to her clinic, and changed into her uniform.  Her first patient of the day, three-year old Liara, was waiting on her bed. She beamed in happiness when she saw Shreyasi approach her with her usual smile.

And that was when he had called. 

This was the second time he was ringing her up, the first one being his invitation to dine out.

“ Not now, Aagney. I’m at work, and I can’t use the phone much. We’ll talk later,” she said.

“ When do I call you then ? I don’t have your mobile number either. How can I contact you  then ?,” he asked.

“ I’ll call you when I’m free, Aagney.  That should be fine, right ?”, she asked, looking at Liara, and making a puppy face at her.

“ Fine, Shrey. I have no choice , right ? You seem to be in a hurry.  I’ll wait then, bye”, he said, hanging up.

Shreyasi returned the cordless to Ruby and reached Liara in a minute.

“Sorry to have kept you waiting, dearie,” she said, as she started with her exercises for the session.

She called Aagney on the number which she had retrieved from the Callers List on the office phone.

“ Hi Shrey, I was waiting ,” he said, as soon as she greeted him.

“ What is it all about, Aagney ? What did you want to talk ?”, she asked, coming to the matter quickly.

“Why are you always so stern with me, Shrey ? I never knew you were so tough to talk to,” he said, irritated at the way she plunged into the conversation.

“I was never like this, Aagney. Yes, I know I was soft and all that. You’ve yourself told me that I could melt you with my voice. But not now, anyway. I’ve lost it,” she said, her voice mellowed a little.

“ Why so ? Are you….. are you still angry with me, Shrey ? For all that happened ?”, he asked, caution lining his tone.

Shreyasi didn’t answer.  I have every right to be angry, even though you might blame on my over reactive female hormones, Aagney, she thought.

“ Shrey, will you give me a second chance ?” he asked.

“ What for ?  To repeat what you once did ? ”, she wanted to know.

“ Shrey, please. I know I’ve been on the wrong side of things, I’ve not tried to understand you properly. I agree.  I want to make amends”, he spoke fast, as if he didn’t want her to interrupt him.

After so many years, she thought.

“ What kind of amends will you make, Aagney ? We have lost this much time between us. What can be done to get that back?”, she asked, warming up.

“ I admit I’ve been wrong. But not that I didn’t try to set things right. I did. At least I took an effort to. But you weren’t there , were you?”, he asked.

Ah, just as expected .

She knew it.  Her presence could’ve altered things back then.

“ No, I wasn’t  and that’s my mistake, I agree,” she said, calming down.

“ See, Shrey, I want to have my life back, as I had dreamt it,” he said, his voice a hoarse whisper.


“ Can we get back our lost love, can we ?”, his question fell on her ears as a soothing balm.

“ Do you hate me, Shrey ? Do you think you can’t love me anymore ?,” he continued.

Shreyasi could feel her heart sing out to her. A soothing, melancholy refrain.

“ No, Aagney. I have never hated you, I can never do that,” she said.

He remained silent on the other side.

“ I have never grown out of my love for you.  You’re always the one for me,” she said, as tears streamed out of her eyes.

“ But it will take time, I still need a lot of answers to heal myself,” she continued.

“ You’ll get them, Shrey. I just need your assurance that you’re mine,” he said, calmness lacing his voice.

“ All things destined to happen will happen. Life’s like that, isn’t it ? There is no assurance,” Shreyasi said.

“ May be, but you can tell me whether your  love will flow to me, can’t you ?”, he questioned.

Shreyasi sighed.

She loved this man.

She was ready to be his, in all senses. 

She couldn’t explain how she had stayed away from him for so long.

Or, was he the one who had been away from her ?

“ Yes, Aagney. I still believe, we have a future together,” she said, her lips twitching in a faint smile.

Life had never been a nice card game
Happiness in life, I could never claim

Light was what I was looking for,
To pierce the veil of sadness I wore

Love was the magic you wove around me,
That was the happiest place for me to be

Lend me your shoulders, let me cry
Extend your fingers and wipe my eyes dry !

To be contd....


This post has been written for the A to Z Challenge 2015.

Monday 13 April 2015

Post # 11 the Knight, and a keepsake ..... #atozchallenge

The sound of the hooves echoes across the hall.
It is dark all around, except for the faint streak of light that falls like a beam on the floor, forming a silver line.
He’s on the horse, controlling the reign with his left hand.
With every passing moment, he seems to come closer.
He has a sword in his right hand, high up in the air.

And from nowhere, a voice sings…

 The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,  
And the highwayman came  riding, riding, riding,
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door….

Is this the highwayman ?

No. He’s the knight. Her knight in the shining armour.

He stops near her, and alights , his left hand firm on the reigns.

He puts his sword in its case, and extends his right hand to her.

A flash of lightening.

And she looks up at him,  from where she has fallen on the floor.

On his extended hand is a piece of paper. It falls on her as he drops it, and she sees the words written on that.

She gasps, as another flash of lightening blinds her out.

Shreyasi woke up with a start.

She checked the time. It was ten minutes past three in the morning.

She got up from the bed and drank some water. Roshni was stirring in her sleep.

She switched on her bed lamp. In the faint yellow glow cast by it, she opened her book shelf, and took out her favourite book.

The Kite Runner.

She flipped through the pages, searching for something.

And she found it where she had left it, safe and sound.

The keepsake.

Her eyes glistened, as they welled up against her will.

“ What’s it, Shreya ? Reading , at this time ? Not sleeping ?”, Roshni asked, her sleep disturbed by the light.

“ Nothing, Rosh. Just…. just woke up, and took this,” she replied, keeping the book back in its place.

Roshni looked at her for a whole minute before speaking.

“ Dreaming, Shreya?”

Shreyasi shrugged, switched off the light and lay down on her bed, facing the wall.

Kith and kin, I had none,
Into the hollow, you walked in as one

Knitting together thoughts and notions,
We were bound by our emotions

Kindled in us were passions new,
Which we grew up to, as time flew….  

Know, that you’ve been a boon,
Though we lost each other so soon…

To be contd....


This post has been written for the A to Z Challenge 2015.

Saturday 11 April 2015

Post # 10. Just the friend in need...... #atozchallenge

A week had passed since the dinner date, and  Roshni could see that her friend was disturbed, even though she denied it and tried to act normal.

"She's not been herself since that evening at Fusion," she said  to herself as she prepared dinner one evening. She was making rotis, and egg bhurji to go with it. Shreyasi had informed her that she would be late, as she had received an extra case that day.

It was time for the daily news bulletin , so she switched on the TV, and sat on the sofa, with a tall glass of fresh Mango milkshake that she had prepared that evening, having finished her work in the kitchen.

 She smiled as she thought of the very few occasions when they had bunked the classes to visit the ice cream parlour near  their college, which served amazingly sweet milkshake. That had been Shreyasi's favourite.

Those were the very few moments, when Shreyasi let loose her mask of seriousness.

At college, she was more of a silent girl. Everyone liked her, because she tried to help them in whichever way she could; it was hard not to like her beautiful smile.

Her gentle behaviour won her many admirers, though she never took any  of them seriously.

The simple, humble, girl , who never bothered to line her eyes with kohl, or visit the beauty parlour to get herself a new haircut.
Always clad in simple, neat clothes, which never boasted of fashion,

She laughed a lot, sang in her soulful voice and recited English Poetry in perfect diction.

Her recital of 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes had won her the 'Literary Queen ' Award , when she had tied with another student Zoya in the rest of the literary competitions.

Her friends respected her for her qualities, more than her beauty.

Because they knew, that being orphaned at six, and having to spend one's life in an orphanage wasn't an easy thing to handle.

Roshni had always been her best friend, though. She knew her in and out, and could sense her impulses.

She owed her life to Shreyasi.

Shreyasi was the one who had saved her , the day she met with a life threatening accident, by taking the initiative to take her to the hospital from the site of the accident, and donating blood.

Her blood now flowed in Roshni's veins. In a way, they were related by blood !

That incident had given birth to their friendship, which had been strong since then.

Three years of Graduation, and two years of Post Graduation flew away at an astonishing speed, and when they parted, everyone expected Shreyasi to enter the Civil Services, because she had the calibre.

Roshni had flown to Calcutta, where her dad was working then. She had remained in touch with Shreyasi over emails, and occasional phone calls.

And two years later, one evening, she had opened her door to find Shreyasi before her.

Tired, and broken.

A sudden ring of the calling bell broke her reverie.

She opened the door to let Shreyasi in.

"Have a quick bath and come fast, I've made your favourite egg bhurji for dinner, " she said, as Shreyasi smiled and went into her room.

Just because of the day, you brought me back,
Without letting me rot to black...

Just for the moment we turned friends,
To remain the same till the world ends....

Just for these years we've spent together,
And stayed happy, as light as a feather...

Just for all these memories, my dearest,
I'm sure, in the end , you'll receive the best !

To be contd....


This post has been written for the A to Z Challenge 2015.

Friday 10 April 2015

Post # 9 . Invisible, Intangible..... #atozchallenge

“How did it go ?”, Roshni asked her, as soon as she entered their home.
She had been waiting for her to return, anxious to know how the meeting had progressed.
“Fusion is a good restaurant. Let’s go there on your birthday,” Shreyasi said, throwing down her bag and taking the water bottle from the refrigerator.
Arrrrey, I’ll kill you now. Who’s asking about Fusion ? What did he say ? How’s he ?”, Roshni asked, throwing a pillow at her.
Shreyasi giggled and took a gulp of water.
“ Just as I had expected. He wants me to understand him. And bring back the old sparks,” she said.
“ I don’t know why it is always you, dear. He himself could’ve tried to understand something. Somehow, it is always the women,” Roshni answered, her voice laced with irritation.
She just sighed.
“Aren’t you disturbed, Shreya? I can see you are,” Roshni placed a hand on her shoulder.
“ Not really. I’ve seen greater difficulties, haven’t I? I have a lot of faith, Rosh. If my destiny can carry me this far, I’m sure I can move ahead again. Just that all this feels so surreal at times,” she answered, squeezing her friend’s hand.
“ Still, I have my concerns, Shreya,” Roshni said, as they got ready to rest for the night.
Shreyasi kept on playing and re-playing the whole evening in her head over the next few days.
He had admitted his immaturity. His strong-headedness. He had been lonely, he’d said. With no one to turn to.
I was very much there, Aagney. Only if you had tried to reach out.
 I didn’t run away, Shrey.  I was forced to, he had said. What did that mean?
If he hadn’t run away, then who had  forced him to? What was the authority he was speaking of? She hadn't asked him that. 
For the first time, she felt there were some missing links. Or some links, which she didn’t know. Or may be, which she had ignored. Or left out inadvertently.
Had she understood everything wrong?

No, that couldn’t be. Hadn’t fate made her play a part in it?
She wondered why she felt drawn to him again, despite having gone through all that she didn’t want to remember anymore.
The invisible thread of attachment!
That was something she felt afraid of. She feared the bond, the intangible, yet strong bond of love that brought people together.
The  invincible power that bound us to each other, entangling us in a loop of emotions, the more we tried to free ourselves.
She closed her eyes, and after a long time, let the tears flow.

Insults and injuries, I can no longer bear,
I’m sure I’ve had more than my share!

I’m no island, I seek love
Blessings and boon from the world above….

In just  my dreams, I’ve seen my life
Free of worries, fights and strife!

Is it the high, distant sky that beckons?
If it is, I’ll not waste even the seconds!

To be contd....

This post has been written for the A to Z Challenge 2015.

Thursday 9 April 2015

Post # 8 Hope.... #atozchallenge

As she took her portions of food, she was aware of Aagney looking at her.

“ You still don’t eat much, do you ?”, he asked when he saw the amount of food there was on her plate.

“No. Just for the hunger, that’s all. Not much concerned ”, she said.

“ Dieting? Beauty conscious and all that ?”, he teased her, trying to lighten the mood.

“ I’ve always eaten less. We’ve always had measured portions, see? And I’ve never been beauty conscious, whatever that means. I’ve just wanted to live and be alive, in all senses ”, she said, her tone silently fierce.

He looked at her, taken aback by this reaction.

She was looking at him, her gaze intent. For a moment, a flame seemed to take birth and die in her eyes.

That was when he saw it.

The scar.

“Hey, what’s this ?”, he asked, outlining the scar, with his finger barely touching her cheeks. “ How come I haven’t seen it before?”

“You haven't. It wasn’t there back then. That’s a gift I received later”, she answered, concentrating more on the bowl of tomato soup on the table.

“Very faint. I didn’t notice it that day at the Mall either”, he said.

“ That’s not surprising. I didn’t expect you to, either. And how would you? You were busy with the eyes and lips, weren’t you ?”, she spoke, taking care to sound casual.

He chuckled.

“Yes, I remember telling you, ‘delicious lips’. I honestly don’t know why and how I said that. I was that nervous”, he said and bit his tongue.

“ You used to say my lips resembled cherries. I remember perfectly”, she said, not looking at him this time.

“Yeah, of course”, he fiddled with his spoon and grew silent, the smile suddenly fading from his lips.

The onslaught of memories.

She glanced at him stealthily, from the corner of her eyes, and continued to eat.

“ You never told me how you knew about my friendship with Fr Varghese at the Church”, she said, when the silence continued for five minutes.

“ Ah, well, I told you I had seen you at the Aquarium. I’d seen your friend also. And later one day, I saw her at one of their showrooms, where I’m a usual customer. I knew Ancill, the Store Controller at  that showroom personally, so I enquired with him about her casually, telling him that she reminded me of one of my friends.”

“ That’s about Roshni.  How about me, my job and all that ?”, she interrupted him.

“ I’m coming to that.  This guy Ancill is a friend of mine, and he takes part in a lot of social gatherings and all that. While we were conversing, he showed me the snaps of an event he had attended some days back. A pep talk or some similar seminar for kids, at which he had been a volunteer.”

Shreyasi remembered. Some young boys known to Dr. Mathews had been there, bringing in donations from known quarters and helping with the arrangements.

“ And in one of those snaps, I saw you. With Fr Varghese. Handing over a Memento, or something like that.”

She kept quiet.

“ I knew Fr Varghese because I used to send donations to the Church, and I’d usually receive a personal note from him, thanking me. Somehow, that kind of inspired me to write that note, and I approached him and asked him whether he knew you personally enough.”

“What did he say ?”, she asked, eager to know.

“ He kept quiet for some minutes, and then he said that he knew you. That you’d been to the Church once. And then, I gave him the note sealed in an envelope and requested him to hand it over to you the next time you both met. I just hoped that you’d come to meet him again.  I’m thankful he considered my request. On the day of Easter, he informed me when I rang him up to wish him.”

Shreyasi smiled to herself, silently thanking Fr Varghese for his discretion.

“Shall we go now?", he asked. He’d paid the bill.

She nodded, rose up from the seat and moved out of the cubicle.

The car was waiting for them at the entrance.

“ I hope this is a new beginning, Shrey. I sincerely wish,” he said, as he drove out onto the road.

There’s no new beginning, until the old one ends, Aagney. But yes, there is a hope. Always.

She stared at the dark road ahead, smiling at the lights along the path.

Hard is my goal, harder, life’s course
Yet I plod on, with no time for remorse….

Heart speaks the most, but head rules over
Warning me at times, to take it slower…

Hope pulls me hard, keeping me strong
Faith stops me from doing things wrong…

How do I deny, that I find the world sweet!
It’s as sure as this moment, my goal, I shall meet !!

To be contd....

This post has been written for the A to Z Challenge 2015.

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Post # 7 . Green Signal, is it time yet ? #atozchallenge

Aagney came to pick her up at 6 p.m. sharp. 

Shreyasi was dressed in a Green Salwar, that hugged her body like  skin.  She hadn’t thought much about the attire, but Roshni had insisted.

“ You’re meeting him after a long time, Shreya. Dressing up a little would do no harm, would it ? And anyway you’ll be dressed in your uniform all day. Surely, you don’t want to go dining in your white overalls, do you ? Just take a few minutes after your work, and change into something colourful”, she’d said  when Shreyasi didn’t answer her query about the dress she was planning to wear.

And Roshni herself had chosen the Green Salwar with a Sequined Dupatta for her .

Her shoulder-length wavy hair brushed well, and a small bindi adorning her forehead, Shreyasi was ready in a few minutes after her shift got over.

“You look good,” Aagney said, when she got seated next to him in the car. She smiled at him, and adjusted her seat belt.

“So, off we go”, he said , driving out of the Clinic premises on to the main road.

“ Why don’t you speak to me, Shrey ? Have I become so much of a stranger for you ?", he asked her, when, even after ten full  minutes into the drive, she remained silent.

“ There’s nothing like that, Aagney. All this is happening so fast. I’m finding it a little difficult to believe”, she said, turning her face to look at him.

You have no idea, Aagney. You don’t know how much I want to say.

“ I know, Shrey. I know how difficult it is. I’m grateful that I met you again. I’m happy for that,” he said.

She just looked at him, and kept quiet. A faint smile began to play on her lips.

 “ You’re fine with this dinner, aren’t you?”, he asked, his tone not masking his hesitation.

“ Well, you didn’t actually give me a choice, did you?”, she asked, raising her eyebrows questioningly.

“ Oh ! No, I didn’t. I’ve been confused ever since I saw you. Everything came to haunt me back, Shrey. I’ve always wanted your company, and you know that. I didn’t think you’d deny me the pleasure”, he said, sounding apologetic.

She chuckled. “It’s fine, Aagney. Just teasing you,” she said.

When have I been given a choice ?

“Here we are, Shrey. Fusion, one of the best restaurants here. I’ve booked the seats for us”, he said, as  he stopped the car at the entrance. They got out of the car , and he handed over the car key  for Valet Parking Services, and gave them his visiting card.

The private cubicle which he had booked for them was well lit, with enough space for four.  There were tiny perfumed candles in glass chandeliers on a table inside. Once seated and comfortable, they got the menu card.

“ What would you like to have, Shrey?”, he asked her.

“ It’s your call, Aagney. I’m fine with anything”, she said.

He looked at her for a few seconds before placing the order.

“The food is good here, Shrey. Awesome. We have our corporate parties here usually,” he said, trying to continue the conversation.

“Seems a good place to me too. Nice to know you’re doing well,” she answered.

“Destiny,I guess”, he said.

“What is it that you wanted to talk to me about, Aagney ?”, she asked, after the waiter had brought them the starters.

“Shrey, there’s nothing much that you don’t know. I’ve been lonely all this while. With no one to turn to. With so much that had happened. Back then, I was so strong headed. So immature,” he said, his voice faltering.

“ That’s not an excuse for running away at that time, Aagney”.

Shreyasi had spoken before she could check herself.

“ I didn’t run away, Shrey.  I was forced to.  I’d had no other option. I couldn’t resist authority then”, he said, his eyes pleading.

She remained unmoved, though her eyes focused on him.

“ I want you to understand, Shrey. Please. I’m sure you will”, he said, taking her fingers in his.

Shreyasi looked at him for a long minute.

Inner turmoils, I’ll deal with you later.

And then she smiled. 

“I’m sure I will, Aagney. I’d like to, rather. Though, it’s a long way to go ,” she said, squeezing his hand.

“Thank you, for the Green Signal, Shrey”, he spoke softly.

Glimpses of the past, dance before the eyes
Clear as they are, not in disguise

Goodbye to those old days is a tough task
Though, it shall never be much to ask

Going with the flow of time, sure, is the best
Let’s be warm and cozy in our sweet nest

Gates of love and happiness  always remain open,
Enter the heaven, don't wait for the omen !

To be contd....


This post has been written for the A to Z Challenge 2015.

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Post # 6 A Formal Call, the First of many to come..... #atozchallenge

So he had seen her that day, at the aquarium.

Then why hadn’t he spoken to her at that time ? What had stopped him from confronting her then ?

She buried herself in these questions and many more, as she spent her next few days at work and home.

She could finally name the feeling that she’d been nagged with ever since the first day she saw him at the aquarium.

Restlessness. The unsettling feeling that arises in you when you know your goal is getting closer day by day, yet something stops you from going ahead and conquering it.

She had so much to do. To accomplish, rather. But she felt she had to wait. The time wasn’t ripe yet.

In the meantime, he had found her out, spoken to her and written to her.

She had shown the letter to Roshni that evening after returning from the Church, and she’d read it silently, before asking, “ So, what next ? ”

“ Destiny shall play again,” Shreyasi had answered, “ I have faith.”

And it did.

As a phone call.

Shreyasi rarely got personal calls while at work. Most of the calls were from her patients, or their relatives, who sought her advice. That was on the separate helpline they operated. Dr Mathew hardly spoke to her on phone. All their conversation happened in the mornings, when they met before Dr Mathew began his work. 

Roshni usually messaged her; she never called her on the phone as she knew her nature of work.

And there was no one now at ‘Aashraya’, who would call her , even though that was the only place she called ‘home’.

The only other person she spoke to, from either her clinic or from the Kids’ Home was Fr Varghese. That was usually in the afternoons , when she felt threatened by laziness. So it was a surprise for her when Ruby, her helper at the Clinic , brought her the cordless, signaling that it was call for her.

“Hello, Shreyasi here.”

“Hi , Shrey”.

She froze for a moment. She recognised the way of addressing. Only one person called her Shrey now.

“Hey, chill. How are you?”, he spoke again.

She swallowed her shock, and replied, “ I’m fine, Aagney. How about you?”

“ Fine. Shrey, relax. I just wanted to speak to you. I know you’ve read that note which I sent you. I’m sorry I couldn’t talk much that day at the Mall. Honestly, I didn’t expect to see you there. And believe me, I was nervous too, seeing you after a long time. ”

She remained silent. Yes, he hadn’t spoken much that day. But he had conveyed much in the few words he said.

Pretty girl. Big blue eyes. Delicious lips.

“What is it that you wanted to speak about, Aagney?”, she asked, her tone not giving away the tremors she felt inside. You have so much to know and learn.

“ I want to meet you again, Shrey. And talk to you. Like how we used to. I want the spark back,” he said.

She didn’t answer. Instead, she closed her eyes to stop them from burning more.

 “ Shrey, will you join me for dinner ? Tomorrow ? Please ?”, he asked, his tone smooth, anxious.

“ Why, Aagney ? What do you think it is going to change?”, she asked, her voice firm this time.

“ There’s nothing that time can’t heal, Shrey. I told you, I want the good times back”, he replied.

She knew she had to answer. She waited for a few seconds before speaking.

“ Yes, Aagney. We can talk. We’ll meet. Where are you taking me for dinner this time ?”, she spoke, calmly.

“ Thank you, Shrey. Thanks a lot. I’ll pick you up from your Clinic tomorrow. At 6 p.m. We’ll go to Fusion, at Al Jaddaf ”, he said.

“ Ok, Aagney. I’m disconnecting the line here. I have patients waiting,” she said, and hung up, without waiting for him to mouth a ‘bye’.

“ He wants to dine  with me . Tomorrow. Details later,” she messaged Roshni ,as she walked into her washroom, his voice ringing in her ears.

A date. With him. After a long time.

She flushed her face with cold water, and looked at herself in the mirror.

At those big blue eyes and delicious lips  he had spoken of.

And the scar that ran from her temple on the right side of her face, down her cheeks, right to her chin.

Faint, yet visible.

Like all those memories.

Fading away is never a choice,
Stay bright and speak out  your voice….

Faith works wonders, they always say
All that happens is just God’s play

Fate brings us together again,
I still feel it’s a boon, not bane

Fills me with hope to conquer the goal

That’s the way I can soothe my soul !

To be contd....


This post has been written for the A to Z Challenge 2015.

Monday 6 April 2015

Post # 5 Eagerly, Easter ….and Espionage ! #atozchallenge

Though she remained numb for a long time that day, and a bit moody for some days that followed, Shreyasi felt  a sense of relief wash over her.

“I met him, Rosh, after all these years,” was her answer to Roshni’s  repeated questions. Roshni didn’t ask more. She knew Shreyasi would tell her when she was ready to.

Yes, she had met him.

The much awaited , yet dreaded meeting. One of a kind.  It left her a lot more disturbed than she had expected.

Because it awoke the memories she had so deliberately put to sleep.

She smiled at the thought of the words he had uttered.

He still seemed to be thrilled by her beauty.

Or, was he trying to charm her ? But, why would he ?

She couldn’t think more. She was now more aware of his proximity.

As days sped by, she tried to concentrate more on her work, increasing the number of patients she handled in a day, and spending her free time at the Clinic’s  Library  where medical journals from across the world were available, which she enjoyed reading.

The more she ran away from the thought, the closer it seemed to come. 

He was near. He was near.

What else did you come here for ? A feeble voice asked inside her, which she ignored.

What puzzled her all the more was that he had seemed so casual when he spoke.

 As if he hadn’t been surprised at all. As if it had been an arranged meeting. As if he had expected to walk into her that evening. As if he knew.

She was absorbed in this thought, when she got a call from Fr Varghese.

“ Hello Father, how are you ? No service today?”, she asked, trying to sound cheerful.

“ Hi. Yes of course, I’m getting ready for the Holy Mass. I just rang up to ask you if you’re free this Sunday”, he said in a pleasant tone.

She looked at the Calendar.  Sunday, 20th April, was her day off.

“ Yes, sure. Any events coming up which I can help you with ?”, she volunteered.

“ It’s Easter. I thought of inviting you over to the Church. We’re having special Holy Mass and later the Easter Eggs distribution at the Church. Come along, you’ll enjoy it.  You can take some away for the kids at your Centre too,” he said.

She smiled. That would be fun. 

“ Sure, Father. I’ll be there in the morning,” she answered , before bidding him goodbye.

On Sunday, when she entered the Church, the Holy Mass had just begun.  She joined in, silently praying to the Resurrected Son of God.  At the end of the Mass,  she watched the people receive the Holy Eucharist,  as calmness enveloped her.

She smiled at the thought of kids running around with their Easter eggs, as she entered Fr Varghese’s office ten minutes later.

“ Here’s your gift, dear. A whole lot of Easter eggs”, Fr Varghese said, handing over a  nicely wrapped big box to her.

“Thank you, Father,” she smiled, keeping the box on the table and sitting down for a conversation.

Fr Varghese waited for a few minutes for her to speak.

“ I met him, Father”,  she said, looking at him.

“ Ah, well, that explains this. I have something for you here”, he said, taking out a white envelope from his desk drawer and held it out for her.

She took it from him, and tore it open.

Inside it was a paper, neatly folded into three. She opened it, her hands trembling in excitement.

It was a hand written letter. From Aagney.

Dear Shrey,

So, we meet. Again.
I know you’re  still surprised at our meeting. You might be wondering how I walked in from nowhere, just like that. Right ? Ah, I know you so well.
It’s not entirely by chance. There are some things I do by choice too. Like spotting you at the Mall that evening, and choosing to talk to you.

See, as I always say, some things are destined to be.

Yes, I hear your silent questions.
Did I know you were here in the UAE ? Wasn’t it a surprise for me ?
Yes. And no.
How and why ?
You are sharp enough to guess. Still, let me give you a clue.

Any idea what made my book fall down that day at the Aquarium ? No ?
Well, the glass panel you were facing, as you sat with your back turned to me .
Where I saw your face reflected, when my attention was diverted for a moment from what I was reading.
You may not have noticed that paneling on that side of the wall.
But I did.
I noticed you, and your friend, who was on the phone a little away from you.

And yes, how do I know that you are in touch with Fr Varghese ?
That’s a story for another day.

As much in love as before,


P.S : I love to write notes too. 

Her hands still trembling, she looked at Fr Varghese.

“This came with this month’s Charity Cheque , with a special request to hand it over to you when you came ”, he said.

As she bid goodbye to him and walked out on to the road, she felt her heart go light.

Her mission was progressing.

Ever since I knew you were close by,
I’ve felt light, I know not why…

End of the path seems reachable now,
Though I don’t know when and how….

Easy, the road ahead, doesn’t seem to be,
In patience, and hard work lies the key….

Exciting days wait to happen, I’m so sure,
As I smile away my day, at the way you allure…….

To be contd....


This post has been written for the A to Z Challenge 2015.

Saturday 4 April 2015

Post # 4. Dilemma, Drama and……. Dumbstruck ! #atozchallenge

The pep-talk session organized for the kids was a success. Fr Varghese had a way with his words, and he oozed positivity when he spoke. One couldn’t help liking him. He engaged the kids in a clever way, making them learn new things through games and plays. At the end of it, they wanted more events of the kind.

Dr Mathews appreciated Shreyasi for having played a good role in making the event successful.

Shreyasi was happy that she had found a friend and a confidant in Fr. Varghese, who smiled every time he saw her. She spoke to him over the phone when she found time.

Days were withering away, and monotony had begun to set in. There were days when Shreyasi was crazy enough to feel that that she would like to stop time. As the clocks ticked, she was getting more and more restless.

She knew he was here ; she wanted to meet him. True, she’d come quite close once, but she hadn’t been prepared then. Now that the fact had sunk in,  she wanted to come face to face with him. Then again, she wasn’t sure how she’d face it if it happened.

Not that she didn’t know how to reach him. She knew that the key to meeting him was with Fr Varghese. But she wanted to do it alone. 

She was wary of going out alone. Or even with Roshni. Always jittery, she was constantly worried that he would see her on the road, or in a mall, or while she ate at Mumbai Masti with Roshni, or worse, when she went to the Church to meet Fr Varghese.

Somehow, she was at peace when she worked, because most of the time she was inside her room in the Healthcare centre, and attended to only two patients at a time. No one was allowed to come in other than the patients.

Once or twice she fancied she’d seen him again, and was grateful that she’d made a mistake.

Two weeks sped by, and on a Friday, Roshni asked her to accompany her to Dubai Mall.

“ Our store is reopening post renovation. Come na, we’ll go. I’ll get a good staff discount also. Let us buy something,” she said. She worked for Al Arij,  an Arab Company, a  retail chain that dealt in Perfumes, Cosmetics, Accessories and other luxury goods of international brands.

“ No re. I’ll stay home. Read something,cook dinner,” Shreyasi said.

“Come on, Shreya. It’s a rare chance. Guess who’s coming for the event there ?  Gwyneth Paltrow. Hollyyyyywoood,” Roshni emphasized on the last word.

“ No dear. You go. Enjoy. I’m better at home,” Shreyasi replied, taking her book and sitting on the sofa.

“ You are coming. Theek hai na ? Come. Get ready. I won’t go alone,” Roshni made a face and sat opposite to her, waiting for her to act.

Shreyasi waited for a minute, and gave up. She couldn’t say ‘No’ to Roshni, and in five minutes, they were out of the home, heading to Dubai Mall.

There was quite a crowd at the showroom,  and the actress left after the Opening event. Roshni was busy checking out some new Dolce and Gabbana Perfumes,  and Shreyasi wandered to Dorothy Perkins, the fashion store for women. She just wanted something to keep her amused till Roshni finished her purchases and Selfie sessions with her colleagues.

And then she saw him.

Dressed in a plain white shirt over deep blue jeans, head tilted to the right side, hands in his pockets, he was walking confidently.

Towards her.

She froze on her feet, not knowing which way to turn. He had seen her, and she knew there was no escape.

He came near her,  paused for a second, checking her out from top to bottom.

She felt herself flinch under his gaze. Or, was she blushing ?  She couldn’t say.

She was dumbstruck. Shocked to her bones.

After what seemed an eternity, he spoke.

“You’re pretty much the same. Time hasn’t brought any change in you. Just the same pretty girl with big blue eyes.  And delicious lips.”

That was it. A short, crisp statement, and he was gone.  

She regained her composure to see him walk into the men’s restroom at the far end of the corridor.

Dazed, she traced her way back to the Al Arij showroom where Roshni was finishing her purchases.
Her heart fluttered at the thought of the unexpected meeting.

Don’t kill me with your gaze,
For me it’s still a craze….

Days have gone by at a rapid pace
And I’ve not yet come out of the maze

Destiny brings me to you,
To paint our lives  in a different hue

Do you know what it’s going to be ?
At the end, it’s just you and me !


This post has been written for the A to Z Challenge 2015.

Friday 3 April 2015

Post # 3. at the Church, a Confession #atozchallenge

“ I’ve heard of Dr Mathew. I believe he visits the church on and off,” Fr. Varghese told Shreyasi in the course of their conversation.

“ He does, Father. But not as much as he’d love to. He told me so. He’s at work even on  Fridays. Hardly takes a day off. He comes when he can,” she replied.

Shreyasi had spoken to him that morning over the phone, and he had welcomed her warmly to the Church. He stayed in the small room next to the building that served as the Church, and it was here that he chose to meet her and talk. He was enthusiastic about the seminar that was to be organized at the Kids’ home, and agreed to do it.

Just when the conversation steered to topics like her work, the inmates at the Kids’ Home and the lack of funds for the daily activities of the Church , Robert, Fr Varghese’s assistant, came in with an envelope.

“The cheque is here, Father. Their office boy just brought it in,” he said, handing over the envelope to Fr Varghese.

“Thank you Robert. Can you bring me a new bottle of ink ? Mine’s finished. I want to  write a ‘Thank You’ note now itself,"  Fr Varghese said, opening the envelope with a smile.

Shreyasi looked amused. Someone writing a ‘Thank You’ note in this age of sms and Whatsapp !

“ I always write a short note thanking our benefactors, there’s a charm to the written word that printed or typed words don’t carry. Right or not?”, Father asked her, when he spotted her looking at him with awe.

She nodded.

Robert brought in and kept a new bottle of ink on Fr Varghese’s table, and left as quietly as he had come.

“ A moment please,” Fr Varghese said, as filled his pen, took out a neat letter pad, and started writing something.

She couldn’t stop her eyes from wandering to the cheque that he had kept safe on the table.

A cheque for Twenty Five Thousand Dirhams. Beneath the amount was the signature of the patron.

There was no mistaking it. Neither the ‘A’, nor the ‘C’ in capitals , the letters in between indecipherable from the scribble.

She knew it. She had seen it almost everyday of her life for a very long time, for it to be etched indelibly in her memory.

Aagney Chatterjee.

Fr Varghese cleared his throat when he saw her looking at the cheque. “ One of our greatest supporters, a nice guy ,” he said.

He summoned Robert, and asked him to send the Thank You note to the ‘donor’ and deposit the cheque in the bank.

Shreyasi got up from her seat, as Robert left.

“ I’ll leave too, Father.  I’ll soon get back with the dates for the event and other details. Thanks for all the help”, she said.

“Sure , young lady. Be in touch. And let me know if you need help with anything,” he shook hands with her.

Nodding and smiling, she turned to go.

She took a  few steps , and stopped.

And then, without knowing what made her do that, she , as if in doubt, turned to look at Father again.

“Father, can I ask you something ? ”, she asked.

Fr Varghese had a kind smile when he signaled her to go ahead with her question.

“ Will it be ok if I make a Confession ? I mean, I’m not a Catholic, and I don’t know if only Catholics are allowed to confess. I’d like to confess , even though I wouldn’t know to follow the procedures they usually follow in your religion. Can I  ? ", she asked.

Fr Varghese thought for a moment before answering.

“ We’re open to all, dear. You can confess, by all means. What you tell me there will remain a secret forever. I believe you have something important to share with me ? ", he asked.

She nodded. I need to speak now. I need clarity. I have so many thoughts plaguing me right now.

“Let’s go to the Confessional, then," he said, taking his robe from the hanger and moving out of the room.

She followed.

She knelt down in front of the Confessional, and spoke to him through the curtain that hid the view. She spoke at length, all that she wanted to.

As Fr Varghese blessed her at the end of it, she was sure she’d seen his eyes had a new wave of compassion in them.

As she walked out of the Church, she was clear about one thing - she would succeed in her mission.

Chase me not, my ill fate
I’ll not always swallow your bait

Can you always pull me down ?
Replace my smile with a frown ?

Can’t you see I’m happy to be
Reciting always, ‘I pray to thee’….

Colours are what I’m aiming to get
In life, I’ll win soon, you bet !

To be contd...

This post has been written for the A to Z Challenge 2015.