Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Perfect Summer Romance

He raised the accelerator of his bike and raced away leaving behind dust particles on my face. I walked the whole way home wondering if I had a second chance to save my relationship. But I knew it was over. The answers that I would have to give my parents were lingering in my head.

“I told you to be careful”, my mother would say.
“How would I search another suite for you?” my father would accompany.

Making up my mind to face everything bravely, I walked into my house and sat in front of my parents.

“Beta, Kyahua, why do you look so upset ?” My mom asked me lovingly. (I knew her love would go to ground zero when she would get to know my answer)

“Maa, paa, Rahul rejected me, He says I don’t look as beautiful as I looked in the photo that was sent to him a few days back. He says it would be shameful for him to go out with a dark skinned girl like me.” I said this and heaved a sigh of relief.

“I told you to take care of your skin, you are always playful. Tomorrow I will send your photo to another boy and he will also reject you. This is what you want right?. You never listen to me”, my mother screamed. (Exactly as I had thought and in the same tone)

“It’s ok beta, you compose yourself, I don’t think he is a suitable boy for you”, my dad convinced me.

I went into my room, locked it and stood in front of the mirror. I touched my face and thought, “Had it not been for the trip to Goa, my skin would not have got tanned and Rahul wouldn’t have rejected me?” Thread of thoughts got entangled in my brain when my phone rang.

“Hey  Meghna, wassup? How are  you girl?” It was Kyra on the call. (We had become friends on my trip to Goa.)“Hey Kyra, good to hear you. How are you doing?” I enquired.
“Well, good !!! But you don’t seem to be good what’s wrong.” Kyra smelt something fishy in my tone.
I narrated the entire incident and said, “You know ! Kyra, the sun in Goa was bad and I got totally tanned. Wish Rahul gave me a second chance.”

“Chuck it girl. You will have better options. I got a ticket extra for a trip to the Andamans. Join me na. It will be a great experience. And don’t you be reluctant because of your tan. I’ve got a special magic for you.”
She gave an idea for an exciting adventure and hung up.
“Hey Kyra”, I caught a glimpse of her at the airport terminal in the Port Blair (Andamans)
“So good to see you Meg, I am so glad you made it”, Kyra hugged me and introduced me to the other members of the group.
“So where are we going first” I enquired
“We are going to check-in to the hotel and then drive to Corbyn beach” Kyra announced.
And we checked into the hotel  whereKyra and I shared the same room. We freshened up and started to get ready for the beach.

It was a 15 minute ride to Corbyn beach and on reaching the beach my excitement had died down. The hot sun shone brightly and I was all the more reluctant to step out of our car. Seeing me in a state of “Whether – to-get-out-of-the-car-or-no”, Kyra asked, “What’s wrong with you , Meg? Aren’t the waters inviting?”
“No Kyra, I am scared to get out in the sun.You know the whole Rahul thing right?”, I replied.

Kyra came close to me trying to take dig for something in her handbag, she said, “You remember the other day I spoke about a magic, this is it. She came and handed over the magic.”
“Lakme Sun expert?” It read on the outside. “Yeah this is my magic. You know why everyone calls me a sunshine girl? You know, Why I love travelling even in the hot sun? Its because when I have this magic with me, why worry about petty things like skin tanning?” Kyra concluded.

 Assured with Kyra’s faith in her magic potion, I applied Lakme Sun expert for the first time.  The evening sun fell on my face and to my astonishment it hardly pricked. “Was I imagining or was the magic actually working”

We were enjoying in the water when something caught my eye. “Coconut Water!!” I screamed.
“What happened Meg?” enquired Rohini, a member of the group. “My grandma always told me that the best way to beat the heat is to drink coconut water” I suggested. “That’s a good idea Meg”, Kyra replied.

We gulped the water and discussed out plan for the next day. We went in for a oil massage too to keep the body cool and not suffer from a sun burn.
Ross Island was our plan for the next day. Situated in the Andamans, we had to take a boat to reach this island. Water was the only medium of transport. Tall trees, dilapidatedchurches, a museum were the adorning features of this island. (That’s what I thought, but little did I know that there was something else unusual that was going to happen)We had some Amla that was sold in that island. Again this was my mother’s technique to save myself from the heat.

The sky roared and suddenly it started pouring like cats and dogs.Me, Kyra and the entire group found shelter under the shade of thatched coconut tree leaves.We were playing with the drops of water falling from the shade of dry coconut trees. Our vision was blinded due to the fierce rain but something very unusual caught my eye. In the shade next to ours stood another group similar to us and amidst the rain I heard a voice which had once been very close to my heart, saying “Kritika, come and join us, it’s fun.”

My heart skipped a beat when I heard him. I turned to see him holding the hands of a girl and calling her.
“Kyra, see that’s him”, I pulled Kyra’s arms pointing my finger in Rahul’s direction.

“Oh, that’s Rahul, he is a stud though. Well, who’s  the chick with him, trying to miss the fun”, Kyra retorted. Thoughts of Rahul and the girl lingered in my mind when I heard someone call me.

“Meghna”, A young man waved his hands towards me.
“Yes”, I replied turning to see someone wave at me, whom I hadn’t seen before.

“MeghnaSahai, the high spirited girl, the topper of school, How have you been?” He spoke in a flow. Taking a closer look I realized that it was Akash, my best buddy at school. (who had been my childhood crush too)
“I am doing good Akash, It’s been so long. What a pleasant surprise to have seen you inthis paradise”, I replied.
Akash and I caught up onold stories when he happened to introduce me to his friends and that was when I saw Rahul again, “Meg, this is Rahul, my friend from office and this is Kritika, his fiancé..”
 Turning to Rahul he said, “Rahul, this is Meghna, my school buddy”, He introduced me to the person who had lost his identity in my life. I ran searching for Kyra to tell her what I had heard and I tried not to cry all along.
I sat with Kyra in our hotel room still filled with memories of the evening when my phone beeped. It was Akash. I felt my pulse take a hike seeing his call. He said he wanted to meet me and hung the phone saying, “Meg, I have something to say. Will tell you when I meet you in person”

I looked at the mirror with another fear of dejection. Kyra enquired on what Akash had said and she tried to soothen my negative thoughts, “What is Akash loves you, Meg? What if he proposes to you tomorrow?”
I had no answer to give to Kyra and slept off hearing “KabhiKabhi mere dilmein……” on my ipod after having a glass of butter milk
Akash had said that he would meet me at Jolly Buoy island. It was 1 hour ride in the ferry from Port Blair. Kyra dressed me in a knee length white dress with a noodle strapped shoulder. I didn’t forget to use the miracle(Lakme Sun expert) that Kyra had given The miracle had worked over a period of time and I realised that the tan because of which Rahul had rejected had actually gone.Akash stood near a coconut tree on the island and I had seen him while getting down from the ferry.

“Man you look gorgeous Meg” He walked towards me. “Thank you”, I blushed.

“Meg it’s been in my heart since we were in school and when I saw you yesterday I decided that this time I won’t let you go. I was crazy about you in school Meg but never had the guts to say it to you. While packing my bags for this tour I never thought I would meet you. But you know how lucky I am to stand in front of you today and to actually tell you my feelings. I love you Meg and It has always been only you and no one else. Will you marry me?”

 I heard this, paused for a while and hugged him accepting his proposal.
Kyra was sitting beside me in my flight back to Mumbai. I looked at her and thought, “Had it not been for her, Rahul would not have rejected me, My trip to Andamans would not have happened, The miracle of Lakme would not have worked for me, and finally I would not have met Akash, the love of my life.”
I sat back smiling and turned to Kyra and winked at her, thanking her in my heart( of course Kyra was wondering about my wink J)

This post has been written as an entry to the contest Lakme Diva Blogger Contest . If you are a part of Indiblogger, please vote for my post

Monday, May 21, 2012

How are you ?????

Here is another post from my German Diaries. When I published my previous post from my German diaries (Where is your partner #@%#@% ), one of my very good friends called me and said that my post was quite informative. And hence I decided on sharing any information I get to know from my German tutor.

Who knows one day the information you read here may help any of you if you land in Deutschland J ?

So here goes my post J J.

This week my tutor started the class by telling us that he had missed out on something very important. And he went on to say, “How would you greet a person in German?”I was smiling J as I knew the answer but alas the question being too easy the entire class responded, “Guten Tag!!” (meaning “Good day”)

And what would you say for “How are you?” my tutor questioned the class. All of us immediately(like sincere students :P)  started translating the three words “how”, ”are” and “you”. We were successful in translating it into, “Wie Sind sie?”

“Wie meant how”, “sind meant are” and “Sie meant you” in German. The tutor asked one of us to write it on the board. My friend wrote, “Wie sind Sie?” on the board.

“So when someone askes you ‘How are you?’ how would you respond?” enquired our tutor. My friend Ravi responded, “I am good.”
“Ravi can you translate it into German and write it on the board?” the tutor requested.
“Ich bin gut”, Ravi had translated it from English. “What could be the alternate answers for this question?” our tutor questioned.

(I was keeping my fingers crossed. “My tutor should not ask me” but as you know luck generally does not favour us Land I was asked to give the alternate answer)

“Ich bin sehr gut”, I wrote it on the board which meant, “I am very good”

“Ich bin nicht gut”, was another alternate answer given which meant, “I am not good”

My tutor went to the board and said, “You can never translate a language completely into another. How are you in English means ‘How is it going for you’ in German and hence your question should be, ‘WiegehtesIhnen?’ “

Well, we were all surprised with this explanation but somewhere we thought so what yaar  if the question that we translated was wrong, the answer ‘Ich bin gut‘ is correct J . Alas we were wrong L. My tutor went on to explain, “If you go to a German speaking persona and say, “I am good” in German it means you are telling him, “Hey I look good or hey my physique is good” or “Hey I look very good “

The entire class burst out laughing. And I think everyone must have reminisced the third answer in their mind “I am not good :P” That second I wrote in my diary, “I think I should blog about this”.(Good idea wasn’t it J )

So dear readers, next time you visit Germany or meet a German speaking person think twice while saying “Ich bin gut” or “I am good.” Or even asking “How are you?” in German………………J

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Just a click away...... :)

“Wheeesh”, Sushma opened the curtains of her bedroom window early in the morning. The rays of the morning sunlight fell bright on her face and her fair skin glittered. Opening the window she closed her eyes and smelt the fresh air. She breathed in and out and tried to save the fresh breathe in her chest. This was her meditation as she had a long day ahead.

“Beep beep”, rang her mobile, she smiled hoping it would be the person she loved and picked it up to check.  “Good morning dear, Have a nice day. Last day to pay the electricity bill”, it was her husband, Raunak. He was out of the country on an official visit and Sushma had to manage the entire house on her own. She wondered “This Raunak does not even ask me how am I, he directly reminded me of the bill” She sulked as she hated standing in long queues to pay bills and this department of household chores was Raunak’s.

“Okay will take care of it darling ”, she messaged back to Raunak.
Sushma turned to see the clock, it was 7.00 AM. She made her morning tea and went to open the door for her newspaper. She was always a freak when it came to news. Her mornings were incomplete without her newspaper. But alas today there was no newspaper. “Oh my, yesterday was a national holiday, I totally forgot”.

She sat on her couch and suddenly it flashed her mind. “So what yaar, I have a TOI app on my mobile, cool I can check out the latest happenings on it”, She picked up her mobile and started reading the headlines. She got lost in her morning tea and taaza khabar.

 “Oh my god, I got to wake up Rohan”, she screamed looking at the time. Rohan was her 8 year old son.

She was making breakfast and waking up Rohan at the same time when she received a message on her Whatsapp messenger, it was her boss, “Sushma need you in office in an hour with the client presentation, I forgot to inform you last night that the meeting has been advanced and it is going to be at 10.00 AM.” Sushma couldn’t believe what she was reading. The presentation wasn’t ready and she had to reach office in one hour after getting her son ready to school.(And yes we forgot, dear Sushma had to pay the electricity bill that her dearest husband had asked her to do :P)

She told her auto-driver to race to the electricity office and then to Rohan’s school. As bad luck would have it, the queue was even longer than she had expected.
“Oh God, If I wait here, I am sure I will be sacked from office today”, she told herself.

 “Bhaiyya, take me to Lovedale school”, she told the auto-driver.
“Maa, why don’t you pay the bill through internet on your mobile, that day my friend was saying that his mom uses the internet for paying bills as well”, Rohan gave his mother an idea that Sushma couldn’t deny that it was a bad one.
“Hey Rohan beta, that’s a wonderful idea”, she patted Rohan’s head and logged in to the website where she could pay her bill. It took not more than 5 minutes and Sushma crossed her first hurdle for the day.


Rohan got down at school and Sushma's office was a half an hour long drive“How am I going to complete my presentation in 45 minutes, I just don’t know”, she kept blabbering. “I think I can inform my junior, that’s a good idea Sushma :P”, she patted herself but her time to praise herself didn’t last long when she realized that her junior was on leave today. Disheartened she kept fiddling with her android phone trying to figure out some solution. She missed her husband. He had been out only for two days yet it seemed a whole year for her.

On the same day a month back she remembered an incident. It was their 10th wedding anniversay and Raunak had surprised her with something special. She opened her eyes that morning to see a parcel waiting for her. Opening it she found that Raunak had gifted her a smartphone.
"Wow Raunak, I so needed this ", she screamed and hugged him.

"Did you like the surprise baby?" Raunak asked.
"Oh yes dear its lovely", Sushma said in excitement. 
Raunak continued to describe the features of the phone, " It has an 8 megapixel camera, an android mobile, you can check mails, it has the best internet connection of Vodafone, it makes presentations.........", her thoughts suddenly stopped and she drifted back to the present seeming to be baffled.
 “Oh yes, why didn’t I think of this before, I can make the presentation on my mobile. Raunak had told me. How could i forget!!!!”

“I hope this product would bring equal appreciation to your firm as well as ours”, she stood in front of her client and her manager and completed her presentation.

"Thats a great work Sushma, you did it in such a short notice" Her boss congratulated her for giving an amazing presentation. She looked at her mobile, blinked and thanked Raunak deep inside for having given her an awesome gift.

Relaxed that the presentation was successful she returned to her cabin. She sat on her desk when someone knocked at the cabin door."Hey Sushma, i wanted some details about Ramnath Engineering College, your friend is a professor there right", Riya, Sushma's colleague enquired.
"Yeah you are right, I do have a friend but i have lost touch yaar.", she replied reluctantly feeling bad that she couldn’t help Riya who was very depressed lately.
"Oh that's sad, I relied on you for that yaar. I am leaving for admissions for my son and I was confused between Ramnath and another college." Riya spoke continuing, "Wait a second, is she your friend on Facebook?"
"Yeah Riya she is, I can contact her right away through my mobile", Sushma sent a message to her friend and got the information for Riya in no time. Providing the message to Riya she got back to her office work. It was a long day ahead and Sushma got lost in her work when her boss knocked the door of her cabin.

"Yes please", replied Sushma.
"Sushma you have to leave immediately to a site to get the details for the next project, I hope you get the deal sanctioned", ordered her boss.
She left off to this remote village where she had to sign a deal with the client.
"Oh my I left my laptop in office, how can we view the documents regarding the deal?" exclaimed her client
Sushma remembered her boss's words that she had to get the deal sanctioned.
She picked her mobile to see if she had coverage and yes, :) she did have. Her client logged into her mailbox and the deal was sanctioned. Sushma returned to office and was astonished to see her entire team congratulate her on the deal. :)

The clock struck 6.00 PM and Sushma was ready to leave office when she received a call. "Sush, what's up, How are you?" It was her cousin Sonia on line.
Sushma was very excited to hear her, "Haan, Sonia tell me? How are you? I am doing good."
"Hey I am in town, and very close to your house. I am dropping home thike", Sonia told Sushma and hung the call.

Sushma who had been very excited about Sonia coming to meet her a few minutes back, suddenly realised that she hadn't made anything for her dinner. She rushed back home from office. On her way she picked Rohan from tennis classes which he attended after school and also did something very useful. She logged into a famous Punjabi restaurant's website and ordered the food online all for her dear cousin, Sonia who loved Punjabi food. 

Sushma and Rohan welcomed Sonia and relished the dinner with her. Sonia was delighted to have her favourite food with her favourite cousin. After dinner Sushma and Sonia sat on the couch discussing their life and work when Sonia received a call.

"That's so bad, I will catch the flight right away and come there, you dont worry." Sonia answered the phone worriedly.
"What happened Sonia? Is there any problem?" Sushma consoled Sonia.
"Yeah Sushma, my mother-in-law has been admitted in the hospital for chest pain. I have to leave for Mumbai immediately" Sonia replied
"Oh that is insane Sonia, don't you worry. I will check for the tickets", Sushma told Sonia to get ready while she booked the ticket for her through her mobile. Sonia thanked Sushma for all the help and left to catch her flight. Sushma prayed for Sonia's mother-in-law.

Sitting on her bed alone, thinking of Raunak she decided to give him a call.
"Hello Sushma, I've missed you, How was your day?" Sushma was relieved to hear Raunak's voice.
"I missed you too sweetheart. There is so much to tell you." She went on to tell him the happenings of the day.
"I must say your anniversary gift is awesome Raunak. My day would have been so different if not for my phone. I can't imagine how my day would have been without my phone"
She thanked Raunak and lay on her bed pondering. Her mobile suddenly beeped and she had received a message.
“Thanks a ton Sushma for the timely help. Admitted my son in Ramnath. Feeling so relaxed.:)” Riya had messaged and Sushma was smiling.

Sushma heaved a sigh of relief and switched on the television. To add to the events of the day she saw the advertisement of VODAFONE, it displayed at the end,"Wherever you go our network follows". It was so true. If not for the network and the internet connection on her mobile would she have survived the hurdles in the day.
She wondered with deep thoughts,
"Would my day have been the same without the INTERNET ON MY MOBILE???????"
She had the answers to all her questions. ”I paid my electricity bill, I completed my presentation, Facebook, Newspaper...... The entire world is in a palm sized instrument called a mobile phone. Thanks to Vint Cerf and Alexander Graham Bell. I no longer have to rely on wired cables and desktops to finish my work. I do not have to worry about anything when life is ---- "JUST A CLICK AWAY...."

This post has been written as an entry to the contest "Internet is fun on Vodafone"". If you are a part of Indiblogger vote for my post here

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dancing to the beats of life - Part 3

“Whooooooosh, broom, zoooooooom raced the wheels of Bolero SLX”, the backlights of the huge vehicle flashed on Sushant’s face as he tried to follow it. 
“Shucks, What the…….” Sushant wailed as he hit a stone and fell down.  His conscience was urging him, “Don’t leave them Sushant, get up Sushant, run……” His legs hurt, he could barely keep a step further.

He felt something vibrating in his pocket. Drops of sweat were falling from his forehead; he wiped it and tucked his hand into his packet. 
“Maa calling”, displayed on his mobile as he pulled it from his pocket with his shivering hands.
 “Beta, leave them, come home please, Jaane do unhe”, his mom pleaded crying on the phone.“Maa but…..” Sushant’s voice trailed off.
“I can’t explain the situation here, beta, I can’t handle this”,he could hear his mother’s voice filled with worry and anxiety.
“Thike maa, I am coming, please take care of yourself”, Sushant replied.

A few minutes earlier his mother had opened the door hearing the bell ring. On hearing her scream Sushant ran out. Sushant saw a boy push a girl outside from the Bolero.He ran towards her, lifted her to see her face and shouted, "Maa........". Sushant chased the Bolero which sped off in seconds and was still chasing when his mother had called him. He then took an auto back home after his mother’s call.

He ran out of the auto-rickshaw into the porch where his parents were sitting. His mother ran to Sushant as he entered. "See beta, she is just sitting without responding to anything.",she tried to explain to Sushant as he tried to caress his mother.

He went closer and sat next to her.  Her eyelids were closed, lips dry and hair messed up. Her dress was tattered and she was barefoot. Sushant went closer to hold her face when he realized that she was unconscious. He picked her up with his hands; he had picked her up the same way when she was born. He was holding the girl whom he loved more than himself, his sister, “Rakshita”. She lay motionless.

 Laying her on the bed in her room, Sushant caressed her forehead and consoled himself and thanked god to have finally brought her back home. He turned to his mother who was standing leaning on her husband’s chest.
“What has happened, Sushant? Why is she not replying to anything?”  His father questioned worriedly.
 “I don’t know papaa, let her sleep for now, we will wake her up in the morning”, Sushant requested.
“I will sit with her, you both go and sleep.” They left to their room and Sushant sat next to his sister gazing towards the stickers of stars that Rakshita had stuck on the ceiling.
He tried to reminisce and his thoughts ran back to the happy days with Rakshu. “Bhaiya, I am your angel na, so these stars show you that I live in my celestial world”, Rakshu had jumped like a kid when she was amazed to see the radium stars in her room,“Yes Rakshu, you are our prettiest angel”, Sushant had replied and Rakshu had hugged her brother.
Drop of tears fell from his eyes when he saw her lay motionless in front of him. He tried not to make himself weak as he had to take care of his family at these grievous moments. He caressed her forehead and said, “Don’t be afraid my child, your bhaiya is near you and he will take care of you”. The chimes that had made Rakshita sleep once, played a soothing melody and Sushant got lost in his sleep.

{Around 100 kms away from Rakshita’s house, two boys were discussing about the happenings. “I don’t think what you did was right”, exclaimed the boy with a French beard. “No she deserved it, how could she deny something that I wanted so badly”, replied the other guy who had a small scar in the right side of his forehead.}

 The clock struck 6.00 the next morning and Rakshita’s mom was in the kitchen trying to cook something, but her thoughts ran around her daughter. She kept the milk to boil and didn’t realize that it had spilled over, until her husband came and switched of the stove.
“Leela, what are you dreaming about?” enquired Pranoy in an angry tone.
“What else ji? About Rakshu only.” She began to talk and her worried face showed lines on her forehead, “What must have happened to her? I hope it is not what I am thinking.” She began to say something and Sushant who had entered the kitchen hearing the conversation spoke up.“No maa, nothing would have happened, I have called a doctor home to check Rakshu”

 A white maruthi swift sped into the compound of Rakshita’s house and a young woman in her 30’s stepped out of it. She had a white coat on one hand, a stethoscope around her neck and a black bag in her other hand.
“Hello Doctor, thank you so much for coming”, Sushant came running outside to receive her.
 ”Take me to Rakshita, I want to see her”.Sushant took her to Rakshita's room. On seeing her condition the doctor gave a worried look and turned to Sushant and said, "Mr. Sushant can you leave us alone for a few minutes?"

Sushant agreed politely and left the room to join his parents outside. 
 It was a 15 minutes long wait and the doc finally came out.“I am sorry to say this Mr. Sushant, Your sister has been raped. Her internal organs have been shattered and I am afraid she can never give birth." 

Sushant and Pranoy were baffled to hear this. Leela burst out into tears and closed her face in Pranoy's arms. 

“I understand what you all must be going through. But you are the only strength she has. I would say you are blessed to have got her back alive. I will take care of all the medical treatment that will heal the wounds that are visible. But the wounds that she has received mentally will take a lot of time to heal.” The doctor explained and patted on Sushant's shoulder trying to console him.

As the doctor had said it took almost 5 months for Rakshita to be healed from the internal and external physical wounds. The best medical treatment had been provided to her. However, in these 5 months Rakshita had never spoken about what had happened to her that month when she went missing. Raveena would visit her every day and try to make her talk, but all Rakshita would do is try to change the topic or start screaming at her.
At times she would get nightmares and scream in her sleep, “Leave me please, I beg you, leave me.”
(Her mother could not bear to see her daughter in this situation. How a mother’s heart wept to see her daughter in this state.)
Sushant who was equally worried now beseeched Raveena for help,“Raveena, we have to find out what exactly happened to her in that one month. Only when we find that out we can help Rakshu”. Sushant knew Raveena was the only person who could help him. “Bhaiya, you had the video of Rakhita’s dance performance at the International dance competition right? I think dance is the only way we can help her. Dance is her meditation bhaiya”, Raveena had given a brilliant idea and Sushant ran to bring the DVD of Rakshita’s dance.
 Rakshita watched the DVD almost every day. At the beginning, she would cry watching it but later slowly she started getting out of the bed and performing a few steps. She started leaving her room and walking around the house.
Raveena’s idea had worked when one day early in the morning rakshita came to Sushant’s room and said, “Bhaiya, I am going to participate in the International Dance competition this year too”Sushant  was flabbergasted hearing this.
 He got up from his couch and hugged his sister. “Yes Rakshu, you can and I am sure you will do well this year too”
Rakshita smiled and said, “Thanks bhaiya”, and walked back to her room. From the next day Raveena took care of Rakshita’s practices. Rakshita found it difficult in the beginning to dance with the grace the way she did before but later she picked up fast and day by day started improving in her performance. She started smiling again and gathered herself to face the world again. Deep inside she was still suffering from all that had happened to her.
“Rakshu, I know you are trying your best to get back to your normal life. I also know that this won’t be possible till you don’t share what is in your heart. Tell me Rakshu I promise you will feel better.” Raveena pleaded.
Rakshita who was sitting next to Raveena all this while, got up in anger and screamed, ”What do you want to know Raveena, How was I raped? I do not have the strength to recollect it all Raveena. It will be like living those moments again if I start telling you”.
Raveena got up and went to Rakshita, stood in front of her and held her face between her hands, “Rakshu, listen I want to know what happened that night after the competition, calm down and tell me. I know this is going to be hurting but it is the only way you can forget everything”.

“That night I came searching for you in the parking, you were no where to be seen, I walked to the other end and saw you facing the opposite side.”, Rakshita started crying as she said this. 
 “I started to call out your name when someone came and held me from the back and put me into a huge vehicle. I tried to scream, we crossed you, but you didn’t notice us. 
I tried to wrestle with them but they blindfolded me. After travelling for around 5 hours they took me to a house in some remote village."
Rakshita's voice choked as she continue to reveal, "One of the guys came and pulled me out of the vehicle and led me to a house. It was when they opened the cloth around my eyes that I realized that it was Varun who had bought me here. "
"What!!! was it Varun?",Raveena enquired shockingly.
Rakshita continued, "Yes Raveena, At the beginning for a few days he would come and warn me that if I didn’t love him the way he did, he would assault me. I was scared initially but I tried explaining him silently that I did not have feelings for him but he never seemed to understand."
She took a pause before continuing, "And finally, 3 days before he could bring me here he raped me everyday........ every single day Raveena,  for 3 days continuously.”, she finally revealed everything and collapsed on the bed.
“Rakshu, I am sorry I made you speak, but I had no choice.”, Raveena tried to console her. 
 “Raveena you wanna know the reason I was quiet so long. If I hadn’t kept this pain inside me I wouldn’t have had the guts to stand on my feet and dance again. I will come up in life again Raveena and live my normal life. I have taken a long time to be strong and I won’t fail easily”, Rakshita replied and went back to practice.
Meanwhile Raveena went and told Sushant everything that Rakshita had said. He was filled with rage and anger. He immediately went to the police station and lodged a complaint against Varun. The police spent no time in tracing Varun’s whereabouts from the information given by Rakshita and finally hunted down Varun and his French bearded friend who had accompanied him in this entire plan.
Varun finally gave up and agreed to have raped Rakshita. He also agreed on dropping her outside her house on the 26th may early in the morning.  Varun was imprisoned on charges of rape, assault and abduction. 

30th of April finally dawned, Rakshita got up and prayed. She switched off her morning alarm and went to take bath. Her clothes for the performance were kept on her bed. She came and sat on her bed and touched her costume. She thought of her dream to make it to the exchange program. She got dressed and walked out. Her family and Raveena stood outside to wish her. Her mother walked with the Aarti thali and blessed her, “Be happy child, May you get all that you desire”. Rakshita touched her mother’s and father’s feet for blessings and went to her brother.
“All the best my angel, God bless you”, Sushant hugged his sister and said this.

The stage was set and as always Raveena and Rakshita’s family sat in the second row to watch her Dance. She finally walked in and everyone was surprised to see her perform after everything that had happened. News had spread about her rape which made them even more surprised to find her perform. She danced in more elegance and style than before. The confidence on her face gave her an extra advantage to perform better. As soon as her performance got over the entire auditorium was quiet. A woman in the crowd got up quietly and started a small clap. Seeing her, the person next to her joined her and to everyone’s amazement the entire crowd was standing and applauding.
Rakshita knelt in appreciation and looking at the sky said, “I have finally won the first battle.”

Present day Rakshita stood at the Delhi international airport. Yes she had been selected for the foreign exchange program. She was going to live her dream at “Julliard School” in New York.Wearing a light blue T-shirt and denim, she looked perfect and beautiful; Sushant was accompanying her to New York. She had succeeded in dancing to the beats that life had played; now, she was going to dance to the beats of music.

She turned back and waved her hand to her parents and walked into the airport smiling to start her whole new life.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dancing to the beats of life - Part 2


The banyan tree near Rakshita’s window was swaying mildly in the night breeze.  Rakshita changed to her night wear and sat on the bed gazing towards the stars that she could see from her window. Thoughts were running in her mind like the waves of the sea that can never be stopped. She was scared with the happenings of the day.  His husky voice still rang in her ears, the voice that had the hunger to own her. It irritated her, it make her feel uncomfortable. Turning right and left on the bed she knew this night is going to be long. 

“Did I take the wrong decision of sending him to jail? Is he really a bad guy like I think? What if he really loves me?” for the first time she thought something positive about him, yet she wasn’t satisfied. There was something in him that made her hesitate.
The chimes above her bed where playing a sweet melody, thanks to the breeze. She got lost in the rhythm and slept off in no time.

Varun leaped near Rakshita’s bed, she looked even more beautiful in her sleep. A strand of hair fell over her eyes and her pinkish cheeks invited him. He went closer and kissed her on her cheeks.

Rakshita felt the kiss and sat upright, her hands were shivering, she wondered how he got into the room, she was thinking of shouting and calling her brother.
“Rakshita, I need to talk to you. Don’t get scared of me, my love”, Varun sat near Rakshita’s bed, holding her hand he was questioning her.

 Trying to loosen her hand from his hold, she gathered courage to finally speak.

“Varun what are you doing here? Please leave my hand and dare you come close to me”, she pleaded but to no avail. Varun got up and sat on her bed and came closer to her.
“You sent me to prison Rakshita, but don’t think my love for you is going to be less.” He went so close to her that she could hardly move anymore, she was at the edge of the bed.

He held her face gently and lovingly between her hands, “Don’t you realize the reason why I do all this? I love you Rakshita, why are you making me take wrong decisions. I don’t mind dying for you too. Sending me to prison is not going to keep me far from you”. Rakshita had, had enough now and she screamed her heart out.

Hearing the scream, her brother and mother came running and opened Rakshita’s door. Rakshita was sitting on her bed alone.  Her heart beats were racing faster than the speed of light; she could hear her heart beat “Dhak Dhak Dhak Dhak”.

 “Rakshu beta, what happened”, her mother asked her worriedly. “Nothing maa, it was a nightmare”, Rakshita replied looking around the room. No one was there, she had dreamt of him there, it was her subconscious.
“Rakshu don’t worry about anything, your bhaiya will take care of you”, her brother assured her. Her mother sat next to her till she fell asleep.

The next morning Rakshita woke up and went straight to her brother’s room. “Bhaiya can I talk to you for some time?”. Sushant was immersed in his morning newspaper that barely did he realize Rakshu entering the room. He folded the paper and removed his reading glasses and pulled the chair close to him and asked Rakshu to sit there. Rakshita adjusted her skirt and sat on the chair.
 Her brother held her hands and spoke. “I know Rakshu, you are worried about that boy. Don’t worry he has got what he deserved and he won’t trouble you anymore.”
She replied, “I know bhaiya, but I am worried. Did we take the wrong decision of sending him to jail?”
Sushant assured her that he would take care of her and said, “No Rakshu, he deserved it. I had warned him, yet he continued to disturb you. I had no choice”.

 Rakshita went to class the next day and for obvious reasons tried not to bring Varun in her thoughts.  Raveena however was interested in his whereabouts just because she was asked by Sushant to take care of Rakshita all the time. Varun never returned back to class. No one knew where he was. 3 months had got over and the computer course was also over.  Rakshita had come out from her trauma and had gone ahead in life. She resumed her dance and was ever more dedicated to it. The scare of Varun was there somewhere; however her courage had overshadowed it.
  26th April finally dawned. The day Rakshita had waited for since long. She was going to perform in front of international audience who had come to choose few classical dancers from India for an exchange program.  Rakshita had been preparing for this from quite long. She had got up earlier than usual that morning and started packing her costume and stuff for the program. Her mother came with the aarthi thali and kept a tikka on her forehead. She bent and touched her mother’s feet for blessings. “Be happy child”, her mother blessed her and kissed her on her cheeks. 

 Rakshita was wearing her Bharatnayam costume which was dark blue in color with a red and golden border. She was never nervous when it came to dance. It was what she loved to do. Her name was announced and she went to perform. She could see her mom, dad and brother sitting in the second row that was reserved for the guardians of the participants. On finishing her performance the entire crowd got up to clap and cheer her. The judges were amazed to see her dance. She had the perfect blend of beauty, grace and charm. And her moves and mudras were more perfect than the experienced ones. 

 “Bhaiya I will come home with Raveena, you go home with mom and dad”, screamed Raskhita from the back-stage waving to her brother. 
“Ok Rakshu, come safe”, Sushant went to the car to leave for home.

 “Raveena calling”, Sushant’s display blinked an hour later after he reached home. 
“Bhaiya, Rakshita is missing bhaiya.” Raveena was taking long breaths as she was panting and crying,
“Her phone is also switched off, after you left, she asked me to wait at the parking. I waited for sometime and called her after a while”, Raveena started crying all the more.She stood in the parking all alone and was informing Sushant.
“When I called her, I couldn’t reach her as her phone was switched off.”
Raveena continued rubbing her tears with her duppatta and told Sushant everything, “I decided to go in and check where she was. The back-stage was empty and everyone had left by then. I am getting very scared bhaiya. I hope she is safe.” 

“You wait there Raveena, I am coming”, Sushant rushed to the door with his bike keys and went to the dance academy. He searched the entire place but to no avail. Raveena who had been crying all along called up a number of her friends to find out where Rakshita was. It was all a futile attempt to search for her. Sushant finally decided to give a police complaint.

  “Sir, my sister is missing since evening. “, Sushant complained to the police at the booth. The inspector recognized Sushant and asked him a few questions about where he saw her last and lodged his complaint. He assured him that they would do the needful in searching her. 

Sushant got up to leave, when the inspector stopped him, “Sushant Sir, do you suspect anyone behind this?”
“Yes Sir, you know whom I would suspect”, Sushant was referring to Varun. The inspector said he would let him know the proceedings the next morning. Sushant dropped Raveena at her house and went home.

The road had never been so dark before, his thoughts ran back to Rakshita. He hoped she was safe, he wished she was fine. He screamed sitting alone in his car and cried for his sister. He remembered her as a baby when his mother kept her in his lap for the first time. He had taken her responsibility ever since. He was filled with rage and was worried if Varun had not done anything to her. He prayed, prayed to all the God’s he could think of.

 “Beta, where is Rakshita”, Leela came crying when Sushant entered home.
“Maa, please take care of yourself. Papaa I have informed the police and they said they will let us know the proceedings by tomorrow morning”, Sushant tried to soothe his parents.His dad who was trying to assure his mother was also in a state of shock and could barely realize what was happening around. That night no one slept in peace. They waited for the morning sun so bring their daughter home. 

“Ding dong”, rang the doorbell and leela ran to open it, she prayed to see her daughter standing at the door. But to her disappointment, inspector Tiwari had come with two constables.
“Is Mr. Sushant at home?” he questioned Leela.
“Inspector Saheb, did you get any news about our daughter?” Leela pleaded. Sushant came and held his mother and asked the inspector to come inside their house.
“Sushantji we have some bad news, Varun that scoundrel is also missing since yesterday evening, we are suspecting him to be the reason behind the disappearance of Rakshita, we will inform you if we get to know anything”, Tiwari spoke and got up to leave.

Days passed by, and there was no news about Rakshita. At times Leela would sit in the bench outside her house and see girls of Rakshita’s age . She would go and strike a conversation with them,”Betaji, How are you? Even I have a daughter like you. She dances like a princess you know. But my daughter has gone out somewhere, I don’t know where but I am sure she will be back soon.” At times she would walk aimlessly on the road and wander in search of her daughter. The mother’s heart was in pain. It longed to see the flower of her family.

Rakshita’s father left no stone unturned in his search for his daughter. He tried all the authorities he could to enable faster search. But it was pointless. One day they received a letter  from International dance academy which stated that Rakshita has been selected for the exchange program. All at home dint’ know whether to be happy about it or to be sad. Rakshita’s dream had come true but she wasn’t there to witness it. 

 On 26th May exactly a month after Rakshita went missing, Leela who lay awake in her bed early morning at 4.00 AM was still thinking about her Daughter. She remembered her last performance. Suddenly the doorbell rang. Leela got up wondering who it could be at this hour. She got up and walked to the door. Opening the latch making as less noise as she could, she opened the door. She screamed seeing something and Sushant came running, “Maaaa………………

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dancing to the beats of life - Part 1

Thaka dhimi Tha, Thaka dhimi Tha”, her legs moved gracefully to the beats of Bharatnatyam music. Her hands swayed in elegance and the Mudras that she portrayed were perfect. Her eyes were mesmerizing and had the power to reach the soul of everyone who watched her dance. The air blew her luscious locks that were pitching black in color. The beautiful hair just added more grace to her entire being, which was that of a damsel that had just come down from the heavens. When she danced, she did it with all sincerity and devotion. Dance was her religion; it was her passion, a prayer that she never forgot to practice every day.

Rakshita, a 20 year old Arts student from St. John’s college was a fine Bharatnatyam dancer. She had excelled in academics as well and had joined fine arts out of her interest in dance.

“Good Morning, Rakshita, Wake up sweetheart” This was her self-made alarm that woke her up every morning at 6.00 AM sharp.

“Rakshita, coffee is ready; I’ve switched on the geyser. Take bath soon”, Rakshu’s (It was her pet name, which Rakshita hated :P) mother yelled from the kitchen. Her mother, Leela, in her early 40’s was a serene and a beautiful lady, no wonder this was from where Rakshita got her beauty. Leela was a home maker and her lives revolved around her Son, Sushant and daughter, Rakshita.

Sushant was a handsome young lad who had followed his father, Pranoy Malhotra in becoming a  CA in a famous organization. Like every brother Sushant was very protective about his sister. Rakshita had always taken advantage of this and would call her brother no matter where he was if she wanted a lift. They shared a very beautiful bond and each of them respected the other. Radhika’s life was perfect just like the icing on a cake. She was 6 years younger to Sushant which meant that she was a pet to everyone at home.  

Ya coming maa, I’m going to be late from college today, I have practice”, Rakshita replied and went to get ready.
Raveena calling”, displayed on Rakshita‘s mobile and she ran faster than the wind to face another very important person in her life.
“Rakshita,  bahut jaldi aa gayi tu”, screamed Raveena(her closest buddy), into her ears. Ravs hated it if anyone made her wait.
“Rakshita, my father is behind me to join computer classes on weekends and you know my weakness yaar”, complained Ravs.
“Yeah, yeah, now you want me to join you to right? Is this not your weakness my sweetheart?” Rakshita understood what Ravs was upto.

The following week, Rakshita and Ravs were attending their first computer class at “Zeal academy for Computer Education”. “JAVA” was written on the blackboard. “R&R”, Rakshita was busy scribbling this on her notepad ignoring the lecture. “Rakshita, do you have any idea about this?” her tutor pointed to the blackboard in a hoarse tone. Rakshita stood up holding a pen in one hand and biting the nails of her other hand, trying to ponder over the question.
“May I come in sir?” entered a newbie into class. Rakshita thanked God for the distraction and turned behind to see her savior for the day.
“Yes please, take your seat and be on time from the next class”, replied the tutor bluntly.

He had fallen in love with her the moment she turned her face. Many girls had the looks that drove him crazy but this time it was different. Her eyes had a beauty that made him loose himself in it for a few seconds. Strands of her hair were covering her eyes due to the mild breeze and she pushed them behind her ears.

Varun Singhal, the new student in class had a boy-next-door kind of looks and was smart enough to lure any girl he wished. (That was what he thought. But the future had something else in store for him)

The stairs of the academy were steep and every step that Rakshita kept, Varun followed her, trying to keep pace with her and not losing his focus. That day the wheels of his bike followed her till her house.

“Rakshita, isn’t that the new guy who entered class today?” Ravs confirmed with Rakshita.
“Yeah, I guess, but why is he following us?” Rakshita seemed worried.
“Chod na! hoga tera koyi deewana”, teased Ravs saying it must be one of Rakshita’s fans.

Varun followed this almost every day. At the beginning Rakshita tried to avoid it but later it started irritating her. At times he would stand in his bike opposite her house and smoke. He started following her to college, her dance academy and all this started frustrating Rakshita. And her level of toleration increased when one day…

“Rakshu, Do you know that guy standing opposite to our house?” amused Sushant.
“No bhaiya, I don’t know who he is”, replied Rakshita and picked up her sandals from the shoe rack to leave for her dance classes.
“Wait Rakshu I will drop you”, Sushant smelt something fishy and decided to be more protective about Rakshita.

“Ravs, yesterday bhaiya noticed that guy and started questioning me. I have to put an end to this. I am going to question him today. This is it”, Rakshita was walking up and down and kept that worrying grin on her face while discussing the situation with Ravs the next day during class.
“Even I think that’s a better option. I will accompany you when you go to talk to him.” agreed Ravs.

As usual Varun followed Rakshita at the stairs after class and when they reached near the parking varun was taken aback when Rakshita turned back to face him. He moved a few steps back and was surprised when she came up to him. He could feel his heart beat faster than before and his pulse rise as she spoke to him for the first time.

“Listen Mr. whoever you are, do you know me?” Rakshita raised the tone of her voice and spoke to varun.
“Yes, Rakshita Malhotra. You live at 10, Konark Terrace, New highway, New delhi -6. You have an elder brother and you love dance. “, Varun spoke speedily and started to walk closer to Rakshita. She started getting cautious about his action and moved a little behind. The smell of cigarrete was still fresh in his odour and Rakshita found it choking her breath. Varun went ahead, “You are 5 feet and 5 inches tall and your brother is getting too protective about you I guess. I have fallen in love with you Rakshita and I can’t take my eyes off you.” Rakshita couldn’t believe the guts of this guy but she had no feelings for him. She hated the way he was, she hated the way he spoke as though he owned her. “You are mad, please stop all this nonsense before it gets late” Rakshita left from the place.

Inspite of her warning, his stalking still continued. And now it had increased from just following to trying to get close to her. At class he started taking the seat behind her and tried to touch her hair when she was not noticing. Once when she slipped off the stairs he came to her rescue and whispered onto her ears, “How I wish I could hold you every day and night!” Rakshita couldn’t tolerate it anymore and she decided to tell it to her brother.

On hearing the entire story, Sushant who was initially angry on Rakshita for not informing her earlier, comforted her that he will take care of it and she need not worry about this. The next weekend he dropped Rakshita for classes and saw Varun. He went ahead to talk to him.

“Varun, I am..”, he went ahead to complete his introduction when Varun cut him in the middle and spoke. “Yes brother-in-law, you are Sushant Malhotra, Rakshita’s brother. I know you very well”. Sushant got angry on his reply and warned him. “Varun you better stay away from my sister, she is very young and I don’t want you to distract her or even touch her anymore”

However, Varun was not among those people who could be easily convinced and warned. He repeated his acts and one day while Rakshita was walking home he went to speak to her. 

“Rakshita, baby why don’t you understand my love, I really need you, I want you and I can’t live without you”, Rakshita was scared as it was a little dark. She started walking fast and Varun followed. He pulled her hand and went close to her and tried to kiss her. At that minute Sushant who was crossing by stopped his bike and went running to rescue his sister. He slapped Varun across and took Rakshita and went to complain in the local police station.

The police heard them and arrested Varun on charges of eve teasing. Varun spent a whole night in prison, behind bars and all he could think of was Rakshita, her smell, her hair, her lips, her face. He was filled with lust for her and anger that she had made him spend a night in prison. He decided to teach her a lesson. Holding the black bars of the prison door, he planned his next movement……