I have been absent…. absent…. absent….. for a long long time….. But my absence in this virtual world was marked by my real presence in the real world…. the real, real world! You might have already noticed the recurring of words in my sentences…. don’t misconstrue my disposition… I am not drunk.. I’m not!!! This is how I talk these days…. and I am loving the way I am being profound in expressing my thoughts in this twitter struck world where expressions are limited to 140 characters to the max!

Lot of things befell in the past 2 to 3 months….. IPL extravaganza, Shashi Tharoor stepping down from power, Lalit Modi’s downfall, Indian cricket teams ouster from T20 WC, Kerala Congress (Mani & Joseph) merger to become Kerala Congress (Johny) :-), Sania- Shoib wedding, Laila cyclone, Cochin IPL team, Maoist attacks, IPad launch, 3G auction, Bhopal Gas Tragedy verdict, Vishy becomes World Chess Champion, union of Ambani bros, and lots more….. I wanted to write about all these….. but a bigger twist occurred in my life which shook me from head to toe!!!! I got engaged to get married!!!!

Strange are the ways of matrimony…. or say arranged marriage…. your parents find your partner…. you start talking to this complete stranger with the strange motive of falling in love…. you plan your life with that person… in the course of time that person becomes close to you…. and you fall in love… arranged love! I never believed in this strange method but now I am a part of it… and soon started basking in it! But much depends on your partner.. his/her character, the way he/she carries herself/himself etc etc… so far it has been a joy ride… though with highs and lows, ups and downs… but end of the day we realize that we exist for a reason and with that realization we wipe our tears, leave everything behind and walk through the beautiful meadows and pastures…… towards the aeonian horizon… hand in hand…. and you whisper in each others ears…. love is here, life is here!!!

Pic courtesy- internet

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It has been months and years since the derailment… Unquestionably it had some immediate casualties but in the long run everyone associated with it.. survived!! Looking back, it was a tale of love, passion, lust, deceit, mudslinging, lying, hurt, infatuation and what not…. It was an episode which proved to be a learning experience…. though it took an arduous course…. it was worth learning!!!

It was a gruelling task to forgive, forget and to move on because it was overshadowed by the feelings of guilt, revenge and hatred. The errands through proven paths bore no fruits…. and the paths less travelled by yielded no different results either. It was like a bootless effort going awry. Soon it took its toll on the toter and like a pallbearer he carried the coffin of his own misdeeds.

As time passed by…. the tidings of a growing life, beyond all hatred, echoed the blood pumping walls of the holder. Though he was no longer a part of this evolving life… his hatred started dethawing without any ails. The light of forgiveness illuminated his conscience as he grew out of his unwarranted loathings.

Now he wish that the Apostle spreads the light of love all around, that the curse of his bygone hatred would never let its pangs on the bearer!!!

Realization can dawn at anytime….. and now he understands that….. even angels can make mistakes!!

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”- Mark Twain

“Daddy…. I want bangles!!!” little Surumi yelled as she shook me up from my afternoon nap.

I felt irritated but tried to  smile so that she wont notice my irritation. She was our only kid and I wanted her to be happy. I tried to fulfill all her wishes and she grew up as a spoilt child. Even my wife was against my way of handling Surumi and she blamed me for the little one’s temperament and mood vacillations.

“Daddy….. bangles!!!!” she said softly, realizing that I was awake.

“Why do you need bangles now my dear…. I will get it for you in the evening when we go out for shopping” I said trying to pacify her.

“No….. I want it now!!!!” She shouted twitching her lips and I knew she was at the beginning of a sobbing spree.

My wife who was listening to our conversation gestured me not to cave in for her demands.

“Ok baby… I will get it for you” I said as I got up from the sofa. I looked at my wife and she pulled a face at me showing her displeasure on my contrary intentions. I ignored her stare as it was easy to endure than Surumi’s glumness.

I dressed up to go to the kids store and one my way out I asked Surumi “Are you coming with me?”

“No dad…. I will stay with mom and watch pokemon on cartoon network” she said.

I knew that she was interested in the latter part than the former. I smiled at her and went out.

The bangles section in the kids store was like a museum of colours. Bangles of all colours…… Green, blue, yellow, violet, red, white, black, magenta…. you name a colour and they have it. I selected two sets of bangles…… a set of green and another set of blue. The shop keeper smiled at me as he knew very well that my presence in his shop was coerced by Surumi’s mood swings. He neatly packed the bangles in a box and handed it to me. I paid him and left the shop feeling contended for finding the best stuff for my daughter.

As I opened the door, Surumi came running to me, screaming at the top of her voice. Screaming was her dearest way of conveying happiness. She grabbed the box from my hand and tore open the cover. The bangles fell on her lap and she picked one and looked at me with wide eyes.

“Dad… What is this?” She asked.

“Bangles.. my dear… green and blue ones” I explained.

She turned to my wife and said “Mamma….. this dad doesn’t know anything. I wanted ‘Bangles’ video game and look what he have brought…”

She threw the bangles on the floor and it broke in to a million pieces….. green and blue!!!!

Ritz Plaza

Room No: 263

I opened the teak finish wooden door of Room No: 263 and held it open for her to walk in. She softly brushed past my body and I slowly followed her in, locking the door from inside. The room was small but bore an expensive look with the white satin bed cover, matching pillow covers and embroidered curtains. As I walked in, I looked around the room. A wooden cot, a wardrobe with mirror, a coffee table and two chairs were the only furniture in the room.

Worth Rs 1600“, I thought, recollecting the advance I paid to the fat feminine guy at the counter. I had thoughtfully ignored his inquiring glance when I signed the check-in register.

I stood at the doorway admiring the worthiness of the money I spent and completely forgetting the presence of another person in the room. She was comfortably seated on the bed with her hand resting on her bag. I looked at her and realized how beautiful she looked in the peacock blue salwar and light blue shawl. I remember the day when she wore it for the first time. It was on her 21st birthday and her father had gifted this dress to her. That was two years ago and she still looked the same- cute and beautiful. She is Sruthi, my landlord’s daughter.

I couldn’t believe that I was with Sruthi in a hotel room and that too in her home city. It was just one hour before when I got a call from her. I was in the office preparing for a client presentation. She said she wanted to spent some time with me in the evening and I readily obliged because she never had the habit of making such wishes. I made up some reasons and left the office to meet her. She was waiting for me at the bus stop near my office and in fifteen minutes I picked her up from there.

She was unusually silent when she sat next to me in the car. I asked her whether she had some plans for the evening. She shook her head and said that she had left her home in the afternoon saying that she was going back to her hostel. She was doing her Post Graduation in a college which was 100 Kms from here. Since it was already getting dark, there was no chance of her travelling 100 Kms at this time. That was it. She wanted to spend the night with me and I have to make arrangements now. I cannot take her to my place because I was living on the 1st floor of her own house.

Lesson: Don’t fall in love with your land lord’s daughter because you won’t have your own space to spent time with her. I always learn things in the hard way.

I had to find a place stay… a safe place to take her with me. I called a friend to ask his opinion and made up some stories saying that my friend and family are visiting the city and I have to arrange for their stay. He suggested to check in at Ritz Plaza which is beyond the city limits and on the way to the beach. I thanked him and thanked myself for calling the right guy.

It was drizzling as I drove in to the parking lot of Ritz Plaza. I went straight to the fat feminine guy at the counter and motioned Sruthi to occupy the vacant couch at the lobby. I paid the advance, signed the register and silently cursed the rules for making me enter my full name and address for checking in. The front office guy looked straight at my face as he gave the key to Room No: 263.

“Rahul, where are you?” Sruthi quizzed. I was awakened from my thoughts and Sruthi was standing near me.

“Oh yeah. I was just thinking” I answered.

“Thinking about what?” She asked.

“Why did you cancel your trip today?” I asked eventhough I knew what her answer was. But I wanted to hear from her.

“I wanted to spend some time with you and to talk to you” She answered.

“Ok. But why so urgent?” I enquired just to make her lose temper.

“Why? Did I disturb you?” She asked and made a face.

“No, No. But see where we ended up….. in a hotel room” I said mocking displeasure in my voice.

She remained silent.

We had our rare intimate moments together in her house when her parents were not around. I used to take leave from office on those days during her vacation when her parents were not in the house. So being together was not a new thing for us. But that was in the safety of her own house unlike this hotel room. And I need to confess that this was my first experience staying in a hotel with a girl.

My last question had an inverse effect on her and she remained silent for another couple of minutes. I went towards her and sat beside her on the bed. I put my hands around her and gently pulled her towards me. She rested her head on my shoulder as I kissed on her forehead. I looked at her and saw her eyes gleaming. Did I see a tear drop…???? No… I guess!

“Do you love me?” She asked.

“Yes my dear. I love you” I said and kissed her quivering lips.

She clung to me as we descended on the bed and made love.

It was after midnight when I came back to my senses. She was lying on my arms and I had a bad cramp due to her weight. I tried to pull my hand without disturbing her but in vain. My action woke her up and she crawled away from me. I got up from the bed and went to the bath room and had a warm shower. When I came back she was sitting on the bed crossed legged and motioned me to sit beside her. I obeyed her like a child. She pulled me towards her and I rested my head on her lap. She had done this before….. whenever she had to discuss something serious. So I was all ears for her.

“You know Vinod?” She asked.

“Who?” I enquired.

“Vinod….Sankar uncle’s son who is a Doctor in State Service. You have seen him when they visited our home, right?” She asked.

“Yeah. Whats with Vinod?” I quizzed.

Silence followed. And after a couple of minutes she said

“My parents have fixed my marriage with Vinod”

“What?????” I sprang up from her lap and shouted. “You never told me….”

“I had told you that something is fishy…..when they came to visit us last week. It wasn’t a usual visit. I had smelled a rat and had informed you. After that visit my parents were explaining to me a lot about that guy as if I don’t know him. They even asked me whether I like him or not” She explained.

“And remember what you said….. you said that it was just my feeling and there was nothing wrong????” She continued.

“Yeah. But how did it all happen so suddenly?” I quizzed.

“My parents went to Sankar uncle’s place today morning and came back with this happy news” She said sarcastically.

“Vinod has to go for an official trip to Turkey and they wanted this marriage to happen before that” She continued.

I was hell shocked and was walking up and down in the room. I was devastated. I never knew I would have to face this so soon

“You want me to talk to your parents??” I asked.

“Its so late. My father have already given a word and he wont differ. Only way left is to elope with you. Which I cannot do since I don’t’ want to my parents to be unhappy and suffer because of me.” She said.

“What about me? What about our happiness? Will you be happy without me?” I shouted.

“You will forget me soon. Same might be the case with me as well” She said.

“But…” She cut me short.

“Anyway you never wanted any commitments, right? You always wanted to be a free bird and now why are you reacting like this?” She questioned.

“But I love you and I was feeling so complete with you……” I tried to explain.

“Lets not talk about it Rahul. Its Over and I wanted to let you know” She said.

There was a long stint of silence before I talked conveying a false sense of guilt.

“Why didn’t you tell me this when we met today? You should have told this when we came in to this hotel at least”

“No. I wanted you today and I realize that I wont have you anymore. I wanted all the happiness together and wanted you to experience that too. I wanted our relationship to be complete lest I regret in the future” She explained.

The conversation came to a dead end. There was no more questions and explanations. It was like everything came to a stand still.

I looked at my watch. It was 5:30 in the morning. I got up from the bed and dressed up and she followed. We vacated the room and got in to the car.

“Where should I drop you?” I asked.

“At the bus station. I am going back to college” She said.

I didn’t reply.

After a brief silence I asked “When is your wedding?”

“End of this month” She said.

So soon….. I thought. So these are the last few moments. In five minutes she will be on her way and I wont get another chance to call her back. I was feeling the pangs of losing my love. But my inner self was forcing me to remain silent and I obliged.

“Dad will personally invite you and you should be there to bless me” She laughed sardonically. But I ignored her sarcasm.

Soon we reached the bus stand and I stopped the car. As she got out of the car I asked

“Where is the venue of your marriage function?”

“Oh Sorry. I forgot to tell you. Its in the banquet hall of the same hotel Ritz plaza” She smiled and walked towards the bus station.

“When you fall in love, you fall for a mirror of your own most present needs” – Deepak Chopra

A very old poem….. just a fond remembrance!!!!

Ennum ennum ente kinaavil
odi ethunnu nin mukham

thazhuki ozhuki aa thaazhvarayil
ninte maathram pon mukham

unarenda aa kinaavil ninnum enne
unarthalle madhura swapnathil ninnum

sundaramaam aa thaazhvarayil
ente nizhalaayi nee ninnu

sundariyaam nee enne
karavalayathil pothinju

ente praananaayi nee
aathmaavil kudiyirunnu

ennum ennum ente kinaavil
odi ethunnu nin mukham

thazhuki ozhuki aa thaazhvarayil
ninte maathram pon mukham…!

The red ornate meat at the left side of my body is pounding heavily. I could feel the throb and the tireless flow of hot fluid……… doctors term it as hypertension. Quite strange….. hypertension at this age… very uncommon!!!!!

I have felt this throbbing before, when I was with my love….. long back in school. That was a delight… a feeling of joy but now….this is disturbing.

Wish everything is back to normal and that the throbbing happens only for love and not by any somatic disorders!!!!!