Thursday, October 18, 2012

Shame of Haryana !!!

A week ago, I was engrossed in a cup of tea with my office mates in the cafeteria, when a headline captured my attention. “16 year old girl gangraped in Haryana”. The reporters were questioning the victim, Reshma(Name changed). She had covered her face with her dupatta and was holding her mother’s hands. As the interview went on she kept answering slowly with her head bent down and she did not once look up. “I have to move on, maybe leave the village,” Reshma said. “I have to study; I have to become an Indian Police Service official.” She continued. It took me a while to digest what I had just seen. The plight in her eyes and the helplessness revealed it all and deep inside I wished that this girl should become a public servant one day.

I went back home and was busy surfing the net when a news article took me by surprise. It was relevant to what had disturbed me that morning. Iwas shocked to see another rape incident in a span of two days and coincidentally in the same state of Haryana. It started to become a little tormenting.

This story continued for over a week,
Fifteen-year-old mentally challenged Dalit girl raped in Rohtak.
Thirty-year-old married backward caste woman gang raped inside her house by three men with guns.
Class XI teenage girl gang raped by four men in Gohana town.
Sixteen-year-old Dalit girl gang raped in Jind district
Class VI girl raped by the fruit vendor outside her school.

Each day a new story came into light and each day a victim lost her self-pride. I remember that earlier the victims would commit suicide when such incidents happened to them. However, these days it is the parents who decide to end their life. Eventually and sadly, the rapists spoils an entire family.

There is an epidemic of rape that has sprung out, an epidemic that is incurable especially in a country like India which is bitten by the sting of corruption, backward rural life, ignorant officials and money frenzy politicians. This epidemic, god forbid would take ages to be cured and by then who knows Haryana would have only once gender present, “Males”.

As I was following the entire news update everyday on this issue, I realized that this heinous crime has been torturing Haryana since long, but only recently has it come into light. Any guesses on what could be the reason, “A new topic to show concern upon and win the elections” But, wait a minute; no one in Haryana has actually spoken on punishments to the rapists or any positive improvements in the lifestyle of woman. It is shameful that the officials and politicians are caught making statements, “90% of the rape cases are a result of consensual sex”. Ridiculous isn’t it? I kept wondering that how can a rape case be consensual?
If it was, then it wouldn’t be called “rape”, it would be merely “pleasure”.

There has been a series of constant outbursts emanating from various political leaders. In one case, it was said that this entire story is a conspiracy against the Haryana government.

And to make matters worse, the khaps sent out a diktat which said that the marriageable age for women should be reduced to 16. It was a few years back when there was a debate that the marriageable age for women should be increased to 21. Is India actually going backward?
To stop the number of rape cases a solution is being pondered upon which would push a girl into the valley of marital rape. Well, in some ways, the life of a woman in Haryana is equivalent to living in the fire of Hell. Traps are set to kill her even before she comes into this world and by luck if she gets a chance to open her eyes and live, I guess she would think that the trap set earlier was better. Haryana boasts of the lowest sex ratio in India - 833 women to every 1000 men. Reason being the atrocities they are burdened with.
I was going through each story of the victims when one story caught my eye. It was where a sixth class girl was raped by the fruit vendor out of her school continuously for three months. It was more ironic to read that she and her sister were expelled from the school for a crime in which they were the victims.
In many cases, the police are not ready to lodge a complaint against the criminals. This in fact arouses them to freely roam around and happily spoil the lives of young women.

We are talking about increasing the economy of India, going nuclear, reaching the space, becoming a developed nation but I guess this has become restrictive to the elite population or rather the urban crowd. The upliftment of a country lies in its overall development which includes the rural and the urban crowd. Where does change come in? And who would bring it about? Do we still keep pointing our fingers at one another and start being penetrators of the crime or will we react? If Haryana and similar states would still be curbed by the local panchayats and village heads, it is evident that the crime rate is going to increase.

Paying compensation to the victim’s family is what the government has been doing since years. And keeping quiet is what the victims are doing for quite a long time. It is a pity that in our country every crime has the tendency to increase than to decrease.

Instead of bringing about a law to punish the criminals and penetrators of the crime, I think it would be better to educate the victims and give them a strong support in fighting with the society which shuns them.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Will she be mine ??? - Part 3

Present Day:
Ek panni ka bottle do, bhaiya”, Vivan bought a bottle of water from the shopkeeper. His throat
was dry and his thoughts still lingered around her.
The chilled water soothed his throat and calmed his restlessness. It was 9.30 PM now. There
was still no clue of Nidhi. “I will be there by 8.30 in the evening Vivan. I want to see you once
before I go back”, Nidhi had called him up that evening. Vivan was shocked to see her call. He
had promised her a month back that he wouldn’t disturb her again. But as her call beeped on his
mobile, it stole his senses. “Nidhi, why do you want to meet me?” he tried asking her, but she
had cut the call by then.
You always hid your feelings Nidhi…..” he started speaking to himself as he had always done from the day she had stopped talking to him. “It was the same then and today, didn’t you trust me Nidhi?” he questioned helplessly hoping to get an answer. He banged his fist on the bench in disgust. The situation that surrounded him was pitiful.
Nidhi has suffered a lot……..” Nidhi’s aunt’s voice rang in his ears and he was lost in the
cacophony of voices.

“What happened with Nidhi was really dreadful, behenji”, Nidhi’s aunt was conversing with
Rohan’s Mother, Sushma.
“What was so dreadful ji? Even I noticed Nidhi would be smiling and laughing and then all of a
sudden she becomes quiet. Is there something that troubles her?” Sushma enquired.

“Kya Bataaon? What do I tell you? There was a person in Nidhi’s life. Everything was going
smoothly and Nidhi was going to get married to that person…..” She went to the cupboard and
picked a photo from the drawer and continued, “Sushmaji, This is the photo of Nishant. Nidhi
and Nishant…..They both looked so good together. Sab kuch thik tha…. Until that grievous
evening…. It changed our poor Nidhi’s life” She held the photo and started weeping.
Sushma tried to calm her friend down.

Nidhi’s aunt was still sobbing; she wiped the tears with her tissue and controlled herself.
“It was just a week before the wedding,” she went on.
“I remember the date, 18th of April” she picked up the photo and continued, “Nidhi and Nishant were on their way back from shopping. They were travelling on a highway, the night they met with an accident. Nidhi was in the seat next to Nishant. A foolish lorry driver who was drunk hit Nishant’s car from the rear. The car toppled and screeched towards the divider. “ Her hands started shivering as she explained the accident.

Sushma was shocked to hear this. With her mouth open and her hands covering them, she
continued to listen.
“Nishant was hit on the head and he expired on the spot. Nidhi survived the accident……” Aunt
dropped on the sofa as she recollected every minute.
“Nidhi wasn’t able to sleep for days. There was a time when her presence would fill the house
with laughter, but now no one knows even if she is standing behind you. This was the reason
why she left Delhi and came to stay with us. She is my husband’s pet. And he couldn’t see her in
that pathetic condition. We are happy now behenji, she started going to office and has begun to
recover slowly”, her aunt spoke without a pause.
“Please don’t share this with anyone. Nidhi does not like to be pitied upon”, She pleaded to

(But little did she know that Vivan had heard it all :( )

Vivan had gone to meet Rohan at his place. While entering Rohan’s house, he overheard the
conversation and the minute he heard Nidhi’s name, he stopped. His heart started pounding as he
heard every word come from Nidhi’s aunt’s mouth.

“So this was the reason, Nidhi?” He started walking up and down trying with his hands pressing
his head and brushing through his hair.
“Nidhi, I am so sorry !! How can I console you, Nidhi?” He kept asking himself. Rohan opened
the door of his house coincidentally and found Vivan standing there.
“Vivan, what’s up Bro? Where you waiting for Nidhi to come and open the door? :P” He
chuckled, teasing Vivan.
Vivan ignored the small talk, “Nothing Rohan, I wanted that book on data structures from you.
Can you lend it for a day?”
“Sure vivan, why are you being so formal? By the way “bet” ka kya hua? Did Nidhi say a yes?
I mean you 6 months duration to woo Nidhi and get her head over heels on you is almost over
Vivan” Rohan was puzzled at the way Vivan spoke and tried to ask him about the bet.
“Rohan, can’t you just talk about something else other than the bet?” Vivan snatched the book
from Rohan’s hands and left.
“Arre Vivan…..” Rohan kept calling him but Vivan had run down the steps to the ground floor
by then.

The clouds had opened up hard in Mumbai. It was raining like cats and dogs and every channel
on TV and radio kept requesting everyone to stay indoors. Vivan stood at his window wondering
what was happening in his life. Five months back, Nidhi had entered his life like a flash when he was never serious. Her existence had itself made a difference and he had started losing himself slowly to her.

He opened his window to hear the rain drops. He looked at Nidhi’s balcony wondering if she
would come and stand there. Till today it was all about a bet for him. It was all about defeating
Rohan and winning Nidhi over. But her past had changed everything.

“Am I feeling bad just because Nidhi has had such a horrific past? Why is it hurting me so much
when I got close to her just because of a bet? “ He picked up the jug of water that was kept at his
table and drank water directly from it.
It was quiet late at night at Vivan was still struggling to sleep. The events of the day had made
him restless. He closed his eyes trying hard not to think about her, but she had taken a toll over him. He got up and sat on his bed, “Nidhi, Have I fallen in love with you? Do I really have feelings towards you or is it out of sympathy?”

Present Day:
I didn’t know Nidhi…..I didn’t know that I had fallen for you… I didn’t know that you were
going to be the girl for whom I was willing to make a hundred sacrifices”, His complains went
Kaash….. I wish I had realized it earlier. Then I wouldn’t have hurt you. I just wish things were
not the way it turned out to be.
Wish I had the chance to tell it all before you came to me that evening……… “His voice had
chocked by now….
“Vivan, how come did you wake up so early, Beta?” Vivan’s mother
He hadn’t slept the whole night and he finally decided that he would tell Nidhi about his feelings
towards her.
The day had never been so bright for him and he was trying all the possible ways to meet Nidhi
in person. Nidhi was however lost in her work and she seemed to be busy.
“Bandra Bandstand today?” Vivan sent a text to Nidhi
“No I am busy” Nidhi replied after 15 long minutes which almost seemed like a hundred years
for Vivan.
“It’s urgent, just 15 mins” Vivan urged her.
“I don’t wish to see your face Vivan”, Nidhi replied arrogantly.
Vivan was surprised to hear this. Nidhi had never been rude to him since they started spending
time together.
“Kya hua?” Vivan text her back. But, Nidhi did not reply.

“Nidhi, ek minute….” Vivan saw Nidhi going to the cafeteria and called out to her.
Nidhi stopped and looked at him in frustration, “Vivan, Please this is office….. I don’t wish to
talk personal things here. And by the way I don’t wish to talk to you at all. Why don’t you just
leave me alone?”
She virtually slapped him with her words and walked off.

“How could you do this, Vivan?” Nidhi kept asking herself. Nidhi reciprocated on the
happenings the previous day.
“Did Nidhi say a yes? I mean you 6 months duration to woo Nidhi…….”, Nidhi had overheard
Vivan and Rohan’s talk the previous day.
“Vivan, I trusted you!!!!” Nidhi sat in her office restroom, crying. She was shattered.

Two months passed by and Vivan was still unaware of Nidhi’s sudden change in behavior. He
tried asking her a couple of times, but everytime Nidhi shunned him arrogantly. His 6 months
duration for the bet was over and Rohan was elated that he had won the bet.

“Vivan, I had told you….. Nidhi is not like the other girls.” He exclaimed trying to console

“Yes Rohan, Nidhi is not like the others and that was what made me fall in love with her. It
took me 5 months to realize that and now when I can’t live without her, she does not even want
to talk to me…….” Rohan was surprised to hear Vivan.
Present Day:
I wish you had heard me out Nidhi. I was helpless”, Vivan murmered looking at her photo kept
in his wallet.
He walked out of the station now. It was still raining.
I know you would come, Nidhi…. Just like you had given me a surprise that day” He hoped and
remembered one of those evenings with her

“Alone today, Vivan?” Vivan was shocked to hear Nidhi call his name. Like every Friday
evening, he was standing at Bandra bandstand. He knew she would meet him one day there and
he would be able to ask her the reason for her hatred.

“Nidhi……. What a surprise? How are you, Nidhi? What is wrong with you, Nidhi?” He kept
burdening her with questions without even taking a break to breathe.
“It hurt you…. Right Vivan?” Nidhi adjusted her dupatta that was falling off her shoulders
because of the intense wind.

“But…… wait a minute… Logically… hmmmm”, she tried to play it sarcastically.
“Logically it shouldn’t hurt you Vivan. After all I was a game right that you were using to win a
cheap ‘BET’”, her words fell like a hard hammer on his ears.
“ BET??????” Vivan was shocked to hear that Nidhi knew about this.

Vivan couldn't believe his ears.
"Nidhi, wait a second, please give me a chance to explain. Please hear me out." He went close to
Nidhi to hold her hand.

"Don't you dare touch me, Vivan. Stay away" her anger was at its high. Today was the first time
Nidhi's eyes spoke the truth. The moment had come when finally Vivan could read her eyes, alas
today those eyes were filled with hatred for him.
"I had judged you the first day I saw you near the lift. But I thought that appearances can be
actually deceptive…… No…… Vivan…. In your case this wasn’t the truth….” She screamed
and kept moving away from him.

Vivan tried to hold Nidhi’s hands asking her to let him talk.
“Nidhi…. What you heard was correct. I do not wish to lie to you. But there is another truth that
I don’t wish to hide” He tried to walk behind her and finish the unfinished words of his heart.

“Nidhi… Please wait”, he tried to race her and stopped her from the front.
“I…… “, he panted as he spoke, “I never wanted to tell you the feelings of my heart this way…..
But I really love you….. Nidhi I know it all started with a bet….” He tried convincing her but
she cut him like a sharp sword…

“And it still...... is a bet, Vivan. You can never be truthful with anyone and give me one damn reason why I should trust you”
“Nidhi, I know what you have been through. I know everything about you and Nishant….”
Slaaaaaap….. Nidhi hit him hard across his face as he said the word, Nishant.
“You do not deserve to speak about him” She left leaving him perplexed.

Present Day:
“I deserved that slap Nidhi…..” he held his face as he remembered the incident.
“I just wish you give me a chance today….. I just wish I can convince you”, He tried to search
for her in every train that left the station that day.
The following days were filled with agony for Vivan. Nights and days had become one and his
guilt kept on increasing every minute his thoughts confronted Nidhi. He tried avoiding her to
give her peace of mind. Whether it was office or home he tried not to disturb her. That was the
best he could do as a penance.

A month had passed and 5 members from their team at office were sent for a 3 months training to Delhi. The weekends at Delhi were often spent in sight-seeing. Since it happened to be Nidhi’s hometown, she was the one playing the role of the guide. “Nidhi, you won’t join us in the car, right?” her colleague questioned on one such evening. “Arre, Nidhi ab car mein travel karti hai. Hai na Nidhi?” Anusha her colleague
replied saying that Nidhi has started travelling by car these days.
“Really? Nidhi how did that fear go?” Her friend questioned. Nidhi stood their quietly staring at
Vivan who had heard the conversation and was looking at her too.
Their eyes had met after a long time and Nidhi kept gazing at him with multiple questions in her
“Nidhi, come inside”, her friend pulled her inside the car.
Delhi was filled with lights in the evening. They visited various places and everywhere they
went, Vivan tried hard to stay away from Nidhi. But after a long time, Nidhi remembered Vivan.

“I actually got out of my fear because of you Vivan” she told herself.
“Why did you break my trust, Vivan? You were such a great friend”, she continued to think
about him failing to pay attention to her friend who was calling her from a distance.
“Nidhi Come here… Why are you so lost”

There was a shopping center were Nidhi went searching for earrings. She picked up one and put them
on. “Arre, Bhaiya reduce the price na?” She requested the shopkeeper. He did not budge and
walked out of the shop leaving the earrings.

Present Day:
The white stones sparkled in the moonlight. “You looked so pretty with these earrings, Nidhi”
He held the earrings in his hands and played with the drops.
“I had brought it that day for you with a hope that I would gift it to you someday……. Would
that day be today?”


“Nidhi is getting engaged, Vivan….” Rohan broke the news, the day after he had returned to Mumbai from the training. Vivan who was still not able to forget Nidhi was shattered and smashed the minute he heard the news.

“She is leaving next month to Delhi…. I am sorry Vivan. I tried explaining to her how much you
love her but, she is not ready to give up her anger” Rohan patted on Vivan’s back comforting
“It’s okay Rohan. It was my fault” Vivan didn’t find words to speak.

Nidhi on the other hand was preparing for her engagement. She remembered the minute her
father had sent the groom’s photo to her. The moment she opened it a strange thing happened.
She closed her eyes to perceive a vision and she saw Vivan’s face in it. She opened it instantly
telling herself, “Nidhi, what’s wrong with you? Why did Vivan come in front of you?” She
closed her laptop and walked out of the room.

(Was Nidhi attracted to Vivan???? Did Vivan have a chance??Where the doors really not
closed on him???)

The day for the engagement was nearing and Raj uncle and his family had made preparations to
leave for Delhi a week before the incident. He had sent Vivan and Rohan to buy some important
articles to Colaba and had been waiting for 5 hours for them to return.
He kept walking up and down in the porch. “Uncle, Kya baat hai? Why are you looking so
“Nidhi, this Rohan and Vivan have not come back yet. Its worrying me”, he replied and picked
up a phone call as his mobile rang.
“Hello…….. What? ……. Yes, I am coming”, Raj uncle spoke in a worried tone.
“What happened, Uncle?” Nidhi kept walking behind Uncle as he searched for his car keys

“Nidhi, Rohan and Vivan met with an accident near Marin drive, They are admitted in Fortis”,
He ran to the lift replying to the worried Nidhi.
Nidhi couldn’t believe what she had heard. At that instance she remembered her accident after a
long time. The fear had relapsed in her and her hands began to shiver.

“Nahi, Vivan… I won’t lose you as I lost Nishant….. “, she screamed standing in front of a picture of Lord Krishna in her room.
“I am sorry, Vivan. Please come back to me. I can’t lose you”, her thoughts went back to all the
minutes she had spent with Vivan. Unknowingly, in those moments of fear she realized how
much she longed for the person whom she had shunned months back.

(It was later confirmed that the accident wasn’t a major one and both Vivan and Rohan were
safe. Obviously, it was a sign for Nidhi that she should tell Vivan her feelings)

The day had finally arrived when Nidhi was travelling back to Delhi for her engagement. She
packed her suitcase still wondering if she had taken the right decision. She scanned her laptop to
take backup of her important office related stuff and happened to look at a folder named “Vivan”

“It was fun when you were around Vivan”, she thought to herself.
“Your one smile would lighten up my day….. I started living because of you”, she continued to
“Did you invite Vivan for the engagement, Nidhi?” Her aunt questioned her and Nidhi tried to
close all the photos that she was viewing.

“Yea, I guess Rohan must have told him” She left the room trying to avoid the conversation.

She picked up her phone and dialed Vivan’s number. “I will be there by 8.30 in the evening
Vivan. I want to see you once before I go back” She spoke and cut the call……..

The noise and clatter at Victoria terminus made Nidhi clumsy. She looked at the clock. The clock
now showed 10 pm.
"oh Shit !!!! Am late. I couldn't avoid the traffic Vivan. Hope you waited for me " she kept
pushing people and ran to the std booth. She looked around hastily but Vivan was not to be seen
" Vivan have you left ?" She pulled her duppatta and started searching for him like a mad person.
She lost all her energy and sat at the same bench where Vivan had sat waiting for her. She closed
her eyes with her palm covering her stream of tears.

"Nidhi........" A voice called her from behind.
"Vivan....." She looked back to find him standing behind her.
"Vivan waited for me? " she ran and hugged him.
It took seconds for him to realize what was actually happening around him.
(First of Nidhi had come, next she was crying, then she ran to him and hugged him and last but
not the least she wasn't ready to leave him .... Poor Vivan .... :P he still thought it was a dream )

" Stop crying, Nidhi... Please tell me what happened is anything wrong ?" Vivan held her face
between his hands and asked her.
" I am so sorry Vivan..... Only going away from you made me realise what you mean to me ..... "
A drop of tear rolled from Vivan's eyes. (was he actually going to hear what he wanted to ? :) )
"You know how scared I was after Nishant left me .... " Vivan wiped of her tears as Nidhi tried
to compose herself to explain.
"I thought I would never be out of it but then you happened..... You helped me out of it ....." She
held his hands for the first time....
"I was angry when I knew you played with me.... I guess deep inside I really wanted you to love
me for real :)so the entire bet thing..... It made me mad " She smiled as she let out her feelings.

"I love you Vivan......" She went close to him and whispered as he kept holding her.....
Vivan, couldn't breathe... He felt as though it was all an illusion...
His dream had come true... His Nidhi was finally his forever.

He pulled his hands from her face and moved two steps behind..Nidhi was amazed watching him.
He pulled out something from his pocket and kneeled before her avoiding the crowd that was
staring at this wonderful couple.
"Earrings? " Nidhi giggled as he knelt holding the earring in one hand in a pose as though he was
proposing her.
"Sorry Nidhi I had got these for you that day in Delhi...... Will you marry me and spend your
entire life with me ? " he went on with a big smile on his face....
She accepted the earrings and replied, "Wearing these earrings ? " she smiled naughtily....
" YES I WILL " she ran into his arms to celebrate their togetherness....

The crescent in the sky flashed on their faces and Nidhi's earrings were dazzling away... They
had come to bandra bandstand from the station to witness their first date....
They were together never to be separated again......

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Will she be mine??? - Part 2

Vivan woke up before everyone else in the house. It had been ages since he had woken up before the sun rise. He walked to the table calendar and picked up his marker and scratched on August 14th exactly a week after Nidhi had got an offer from his office. 
"Finally it's the 7th day and the end of my week long wait", he told himself.
He picked up his phone and dialed Rohan's number. "Rohan, mere bhai, Nidhi is gonna join my office today...." He stood on top of his bed behaving like a small kid and screamed. "I am not too far from winning my bet Rohan", he smiled sarcastically.
Rohan pleaded him to let him sleep and Vivan hung up.

Nidhi was excited to start her first day at her new office. She wore her new mustard colored salwar and light pink chudidhar and decked herself with minimum accessories as she had to be formal. Raj uncle blessed her before she could leave and offered to drop her to office. 
"No uncle. I will take care. Please don’t worry." She replied.
"I will drop you safely Nidhi, we will go by car", her uncle insisted. Nidhi who was smiling all along became dull. Her aunt who was serving breakfast said, "Nidhi beta you travel the way that is comfortable for you"
Nidhi turned to her uncle, "Uncle I will travel by bus." She tried to hide the gloomy look on her face with a slight smile.
Her uncle nodded in agreement.
"She still hasn't forgotten it" Raj uncle was talking to his wife after Nidhi left for work.

Vivan watched Nidhi enter the office gate while parking his bike. She looked splendid. He kept questioning God, “Kyun? Why did you make her so pretty? I keep losing myself a million times each moment I see her J Nidhi walked past him without noticing him.
 Vivan wasn’t surprised by this fact as he had got used to her ignorance. He knew that either she hadn’t noticed him or she had behaved as though she didn’t notice him.

“Oh my gosh!!” Nidhi exclaimed to herself. “That Mr. Flirt works here L.” Nidhi had noticed him while entering into office. “Of all the offices in the world Why God? Why did you give me a job here” Nidhi was arguing with God much to her agony. But God had different plans for her. Was Vivan a part of his plan? Well, only time could tell J

A week passed and Nidhi was placed in the same project as Vivan. (Well this was what Vivan wanted J Same project!! Same team!! More time to get close to Nidhi !! )
While he had tried a dozen times to talk to her, she had tried equal number of times to avoid him L.They sat in diagonally opposite cubicles. This gave Vivan and extra advantage to watch her. Rohan at the other end kept reminding Vivan of his bet. Another month had passed away and Vivan's attempts were futile. He had started to loose hope when something hysterical happened.

 It was the 16th of September, a friday and with not much work on the floor Nidhi went down to have tea at the cafeteria. She looked around to search for company but no one was around. She picked up her glass of tea and went and sat with her group of friends. In a hurry she failed to realize that Vivan was also present at the same table. (“Oops!!” She reacted by spitting drops of tea which she had just sipped :P)
“Hey Nidhi, glad to see you at the café! Kya hua? Done with your work?” her colleague enquired.
Before Nidhi could answer, Vivan started a conversation, “Arre yaar. Nidhi is a fresher, she has to be impressive at the beginning itself. Hai na Nidhi??”, he looked at Nidhi questioning her and continued, “ Every fresher is like Nidhi in the beginning, a very hard worker and gradually the fresher becomes like me, a smart worker J :P !!!” He chuckled and gave a hi-five to his friend who agreed to him.
Nidhi who had already developed pre-conceived notions about him, now had decided that he was a complete jerk L.
“Only time will tell if I continue to be me or turn into you, Mr……”, She tried gazing at his ID card for his name, “Mr. Vivan”
Picking up her tea cup, she excused herself and walked out of the café leaving Vivan embarrassed. (I think it was time Vivan should increase the duration of his bet. Nothing was actually working out for him. He tried to strike a conversation with Nidhi, but she totally misunderstood him L Poor Vivan)

Vivan spoilt his first conversation with her. He realized that his carefree attitude was something that Nidhi hated. For the first time, he wanted to be responsible and prove to her that he was worth talking atleast.

“Sushant, Wait up. ”  Nidhi ran from the first floor when she saw the HR walk by.
“Sushant, I needed some details about the policies for claiming my medical bills”, She enquired. 
“Hi Nidhi, good to see you on the floor. I shall mail you the details today”, He replied.
“Thank you Sushant. Thanks for finding me suitable for the job too J, She waved and turned to leave when Sushant stopped her.
“Nidhi, you don’t have to thank me. I found you capable so I chose you. But yes if you do want to thank someone, it’s got to be the person who recommended you. I hope you thanked him!!”,
“Recommended me #$@??? I never asked anyone for recommendation Sushant. Who recommended me?”, she asked him in amazement.
“Vivan….. Your team mate… Didn’t he tell you?? You know him right?”, Sushant was confused now.
“Oh Vivan!!!”, Nidhi pushed a few strands of her hair backward nervously and replied, “Yes, I think he is just trying to be modest J

"Why did Vivan help me?"She kept asking herself and failed to realize that he was walking exactly in the opposite direction. Both of them didn't notice each other and Nidhi was lost in her thoughts and Vivan was fiddling with his mobile. There came a point when they were going to hit on each other when Vivan noticed her and stopped.
"Nidhi, What's wrong?? Look ahead and walk....", he spoke stunned to see her standing so close to him. 
They were standing so close that he could almost feel her breath.
"Oh..." Her voice trailed and she wiped the sweat on her face. "I am sorry Vivan. I didn't notice you coming" She spoke and left from there. 

That evening Vivan was happy that finally Nidhi had responded to him. He was happily driving through Bandra bandstand. He parked his car and went for a stroll along the waters. Bandra bandstand was filled with uneaven stones and during high tides the water would hit hard on the stones.Vivan loved to stand at the edge of the stones and watch the waves come and fall over him. There were many couples sitting around him that evening J.

A wild thought suddenly passed his mind and he dreamt of sitting on one of the stones with Nidhi beside him. He wished to see her smile in the moonlight J. Lost in his dreams he had almost closed his eyes. He opened them closely to find Nidhi standing in front of him.

“Enjoying the scenery??” She smiled at him.
“Nidhi….. Is that you or am I dreaming?” He asked her with his eyes open wide.

She waved her hand in front of his eyes to make him realize that she was actually present there.
“Vivan I wanted to thank you.” She sat in one of the stoned near the waters and patted on the stone next to her indicating that she wanted him to sit there. He sat next to her maintaining distance as he was scared to fill the gap.
 “Thank me? Why Nidhi? I thought you hated me and you never liked to talk to me”, He enquired adjusting his shirt.
“I hated you Vivan. That’s true…… And I still don’t really like you.” She tried to make movements with her hands and speak. Vivan kept looking at her eyes as she spoke.

When their eyes met Nidhi tried to look away. She started feeling a little uncomfortable and suddenly got up.
 “Nidhi……??” Vivan looked up with inquisitiveness in his eyes
“Look Vivan. I came to Mumbai 3 months back and it was really difficult looking out for a job. But you recommended me without even knowing who I was. I just wanted to thank you for it. It was very kind of you to do that for me.” She finished the conversation abruptly and picked up her bag.
“Bye Vivan”, she left the place before letting him speak anything.

Present Day:
It had become 9 in the night and Nidhi was nowhere to be seen. Vivan had got up from his bench and tried shifting 5 benches. She was still not to be seen anywhere. His thoughts went back to that evening at Bandra bandstand. “Why did you get up, Nidhi, the minute our eyes met?” He thought. There were a million times this thought had crossed him. But he could never find the answer to it,....... only Nidhi could tell..... L.
“Nidhi….. “ He called her name in a whisper. “Nidhi What were you trying to hide that evening? Why did I become so mad about you when I knew that I was only playing a game on you?” His thoughts went back to the past.

Vivan ran behind Nidhi as she got up to leave. “Nidhi, why don’t you come with me? I shall drop you home”
“No thanks Vivan. We are not so close enough that I can travel with you in the bike”, He spoke hurriedly and started to move.
“No Nidhi!! I have a car today. I can drop you in it” Hearing the word CAR!! Nidhi’s facial expression changed.
“Car!!! No Vivan. I am convenient with buses. Thanks for your thoughtfulness”, She continued to walk towards the bus stand.

Nidhi waited for half an hour and there was no bus around. She started biting her finger nails in nervousness wondering when she would reach home. A few minutes later a car came and stood in front of her. The window slowly opened and Vivan called her,
“Nidhi. I know you don’t wish to travel with me but it’s quiet late”, Nidhi was still not convinced.
He walked out of the car and came close to her, “Nidhi see… let me put it this way, Why don’t you take this as a way to repay my kindness?”
 “What gesture Vivan?” Nidhi was frustrated.
“I gave you a recommendation and solved your problem. So now I am asking you for a ride with me. You can repay me this way right.” Vivan smiled thinking he had hit on the goal.
“Alright Vivan. I am in”, She gave up and went and sat in the car. He started driving and noticed that Nidhi had closed her eyes tightly.
She held her dupatta tightly as though she was in some roller coaster............ it worried Vivan. “Nidhi, I noticed that you get nervous when you have to travel in the car. Even the other day at office, all of us went in the car to the theatre but you travelled by bus. And even now you have closed your eyes”, She suddenly opened her eyes and started looking around.
“Vivan, I don’t wish to answer every question of yours. I am sorry if I am rude but can we just go home soon”, She looked outside the window trying to avoid a conversation.

Vivan didn’t speak another word after that but yes he kept thinking to himself, “I recommended Nidhi because I wanted to impress her and win the bet, but she.... she took it is such a right way.... You are good Nidhi!! J(For a change Vivan started thinking straightJ)

A few days passed and Vivan began to get friendly with Nidhi. On one hand Nidhi started changing her perspective towards Vivan while on the other Rohan got worried that Vivan would win his bet. For Vivan, it had all started as a game. But his feelings gradually changed. He started to enjoy spending time with Nidhi. Almost every Friday they met at Bandra bandstand. Sometimes it was just the two of them or sometimes it with a group of friends.

Raj Uncle and aunty were amazed to find a change in Nidhi’s behavior. She started spending time with others. They remembered the day Nidhi’s parents had called them up and told them about the incident that changed Nidhi’s life. It had been a long struggle for her. The girl who was gloomy, the day she had landed in Mumbai was totally different today.

The reason was Vivan!! J He, would make Nidhi smile, crack stupid and insane jokes. But everytime he looked at her eyes, he could find a quietness in it, a sadness lingered in them. He wished to see her smile through her eyes. He wished to see her laugh her heart out. He had dreamt to see her that way. Many a times he tried to break the wall around them but Nidhi wouldn’t open up.

He thought he would never ever find out the reason behind it her nervousness, her sadness, her quietness until one day he heard Rohan’s mother’s conversation with Nidhi’s aunty…

Present Day: “I wish I had only known it before Nidhi” , He kept apologizing to her in his loneliness. But she was not before him.
 “I wish I knew the reason for your sadness Nidhi, I would never had got the cheap idea to play a game with you”, He spoke to himself and folded his fingers tightly. He was angry on his attitude, on his behavior, on the way he had made a cheap plan to win her.

“Come back Nidhi, Please come once before me? I swear I will make everything fine”, He prayed to see her before…

What was the conversation about? Would Nidhi give Vivan a chance to prove his guilt????

To be continued.....

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Will she be mine??? - Part 1

The big round black and white clock struck 8.00 in the evening. Two trains to Kolkatta had arrived and departed in the past one hour. The station was filled with crowd from all the parts of the country. Mumbai, the place that plays host to people from all walks of life had been the city where Vivan was born, brought up and felt the most beautiful feeling in the world, "LOVE"

Even though Victoria Terminus was filled with noise, whispers and clatters, Vivan felt he was lonely. He sat at the STD booth which was where she had asked him to wait. So many a times had they passed through that place together. He could hear her silent giggle surrounding him.

"Will she say a "YES"? Will she be mine forever?"

It had been raining since morning that day. The rains had always been lucky for Vivan. Everytime the sky cried it had brought him hope. And he wished the same happened today. She would be there in no time and her answer would change his entire life. For the first time he had become responsible for someone, for the first time Vivan had changed for someone, but would this someone be his? His future and destiny was separated by the wall of an answer from her.

A year had passed since it had all happened. A year since he was trying hard to prove something to someone. What was it that had changed a person so adamant? Who was the real Vivan?

June 30th, the day a bright flash of light had entered his life.

"Vivan, wake up Son. You will get late to office." Neena Sharma, Vivan's mother yelled as she entered his room. "Maa, please 5 minutes, 5 minutes" Vivan murmured in his sleep trying to cover his ears with his pillow. He tried to avoid his mothers comments and went back to sleep.

"A girl in a beautiful blue salwar with long hair and a few flicks falling over her face came close to Vivan. He was amazed at her and opened his mouth to say.... "Tring Tring" Vivan's phone rang and he realized that it was his dream.

"Hello, Vivan!! Today's my turn to drop Dolly to school. My bike it punctured yaar. Can you drop her please???" It was Rohan, Vivan's childhood buddy who stayed in the apartment opposite to this.

He tried to pull his blanket and remember his dream but it was Rohan again. Rohan had spoilt his dream the second time. He gave up his fight with his dream and got ready to drop Dolly to school.

"Rohan Bhaiyya, Vivan Bhaiyya aa gaye"Dolly came screaming out of the house.
Vivan sat at the porch of Rohan's house scanning through some magazines when Dolly came and sat on his lap complaining about the boy in the opposite house. She kept pointing her fingers in that direction and Vivan glanced at the house. He could see the door ajar and also a shadow of a girl near a couch.

 He tried to shift his head to take a slight glance when he saw the door open slightly so that he could see her duppatta and her sandals. She was sitting close to the couch trying to do something. Just when Vivan tried to shift his chair a little to take a closer look, Dolly whispered into his ears which startled the engrossed Vivan, "Bhaiyya, that rude boy stays in that house. I think his Didi is tying his shoe lace"

"Didi????" Vivan gave a inquisitive look.
Vivan looked at the clock and it was time to drop Dolly but his heart was beating fast as he wanted to see the girl. He had never been so desperate in noticing girls. Being a charming person with good looking features it had never been difficult for him to lure girls. But she was special he thought. Dolly held Vivan's hands and walked with him to the lift. "Bhaiyya, Woh ladka, I don't want him to come now", she prayed.

But Vivan prayed the opposite. Just as he opened his eyes, the door opposite to him flung open and a bright light shone towards him. He was confused if the sun was shining brightly than before or had an angel dropped down from heaven before him.

 She was dressed in a blue salwar and her hair was long and fell beautifully over her shoulders. A few locks covered her eyes and she managed to brush them aside. 
Vivan gazed wondering if his early morning dream was actually coming true. She walked fast in the direction towards him, She came and stood exactly next to him and he was speechless. "Vivan don't be stupid, Turn to the other end Vivan", he tried scolding himself feeling embarrassed. But it was his mind that was speaking and Vivan preferred to listen to his heart. Lost in his fantasies he failed to realize that he was actually waiting for the lift.

"Couldn't you hold the lift?" the little boy screamed at Dolly
"Oye, if you were in such a hurry, you should have come first and called it", Dolly retaliated.
"Kukoo, Can't you be quiet", She finally spoke to calm down the boy.
"Dolly never mind, we will call the lift again and all four of us can go it. Okay, Beta?" Vivan comforted Dolly while she gave him a stare.
Dolly kept fighting with the boy and Vivan was still gazing at her till the lift reached the ground floor.

"Bhaiyya, why were you friendly to that boy, He is the same guy whom I hate", Dolly screamed at Vivan.
Vivan tried to make Dolly quiet saying, "Dolly beta, you should forgive people who make mistakes. That boy is so sweet and his Didi she was even more sweet :p"
Vivan was in his own world defiantly realizing what he actually spoke. 

Vivan waited for the evening to enquire about her to Rohan. "Rohan...... Rohan...... Wait up Rohan", Vivan had parked his bike in a hurry to catch up with Rohan on the same evening. 
"Arre Vivan, Hey buddy how was the day?" Rohan kept his office bag near the porch of his apartment entrance and wished his best friend.

"Rohan yaar, what do I tell you? The day was just amazing. I reached office and she was in front of me, I ate lunch and I felt she was feeding me; I came out of office and OH freak!!! She was waiting for me on my bike. Oh my Gosh!!! Rohan yaar what is wrong with me? I can only see her continuously....", Vivan spoke non-stop and Rohan kept on trying to stop him with a 'who's-that-girl kinda look.

"Hey Rohan!! Do you mind if I start lining with you in your room? :P" Vivan didn't realize that his statement projected a different meaning. Rohan was totally confused by now. 
"Vivan, Relax . Calm down and tell me who is she. And what the hell are you blurting out?" Rohan finally got a chance to speak.
"Arre the girl opposite to your house. Who is she yaar? I mean she is just mind blowing, her hair that falls over her face, her simplicity, her uniqueness......", He started describing her by moving his hands and Rohan knew his friend had totally lost it !! 

"You mean NIDHI, Dolly's enemy's cousin. She is Raj Uncle's niece. She just landed two days back from Delhi. Raj Uncle's wife had all praises for her. She was telling Mom about her and that was when I overheard it." Vivan thanked his friend for so much information. At least he knew how to call her now. He had been trying different names to call her but nothing suited her. "Nidhi", was special. She was special just like her name. 
"I think I am going to fall for her Rohan." Vivan screamed in excitement. 
"Hey Vivan, she is not of your types. She is very simple and she is here to look out for a job. She is not like one of your so called ex-girlfriends" Rohan gave him a sarcastic glance.
"Rohan, mere brother.... I know she is not like my ex-girlfriends, which is exactly the reason why I want to make her mine. Why not we keep a bet? Just give me 6 months time and she will be mine.." Vivan sounded very sure.
"Vivan, Don't play with her feelings Vivan" Rohan warned him.

An hour later Vivan was lying on his bed. It was a full moon day and its brightness fell across his face. Nidhi's thoughts were still in his mind. He hadn't thought of anything else since he had seen her in the morning. He looked at the moon and wondered why she was so beautiful. Closing his eyes he wondered if he would dream about her but only one voice flashed his ears, "Don't play with her feelings Vivan!!!"

Nidhi was busy drying clothes in her balcony. She looked lovely to him. Vivan had got up today without any fuss and had been eagerly waiting at his balcony for over an hour to just have a glance of her. 
Nidhi had noticed him right from the time he had seen her with a wide-open-mouth expression. And now he was at the balcony noticing her. She hated boys who flirted out in the open without even bothering that it portrayed girls with a wrong image. 

Vivan was busy gazing away at Nidhi while she was busy scolding him in her heart. Would six months be enough for Vivan?

A week passed and there was one thing Vivan didn't miss to do, "Wait for Nidhi at the balcony". He tried a million ways to talk to her, through Dolly, her enemy, through Rohan, but alas nothing worked. Nidhi was one strong girl who didn't budge.

"Rohan, I finally found another person more adamant than me" As usual Rohan was the guinea pig whom Vivan had lately caught to hear his complains.
"This Nidhi, She does not pay any heed to me. She looks at me so dangerously as though I tried to kill her. I only look at her and have tried to talk to her yaar", Vivan kept blabbering.
"Vivan I think this time you are going to loose your bet!!!" Rohan teased him.

Nidhi on the other hand had attended a dozen interviews and to her bad luck, nothing had clicked. "It's going to be fine Nidhi!! Something big is waiting for you.", She consoled herself.
Her nights were spent in the job portal websites to check if any new jobs were posted that day and her mornings were spent in either rushing for an interview or glancing through the "Ascent" column in The Times of India. She had come to a position where she was ready to compromise anything for a job in the IT industry.

"Nidhi, did you go through the morning newspaper? There seems to be a walk-in at Inautix systems. Why don't you give it a try?" Raj Uncle was updating Nidhi.
"Okay, Mamaji. I will give it a try." Nidhi got ready and headed for the walk-in.

"Vivan, you left you office tag", His mother came running with it to the door.
"Thanks Maa", Vivan wore the tag and left in a hurry. He was late as usual.
"Don't the people in your office know that you work for Inautix, Vivan. Why do you have to wear this tag everyday?" His mother kissed him on his forehead and bid him goodbye.

Vivan parked his bike at his office parking and took the stairs to rush up. It was just another normal day for him until he saw someone. Who else could it have been? Nidhi was filling a form at her counter. Vivan hurried to his cabin and found out from his colleagues that a walk-in was going on at his office.

“This is the right time Vivan, Chal go and help her and start talking to her”, He told himself.
His not so brilliant mind however charged him with another thought, “No Vivan, ask Sushant to help you out. What if she does not talk to you?”
Sushant was the HR who generally interviewed at Walk-ins and incidentally he happened to be Vivan’s close friend.

It had been a long day for Nidhi. She walked out of “Inautix Systems” with a file in one hand and her handbag and Umbrella in the other. Her mobile rang and she struggled to hold her stuff together and answer the call. “Haan Raj Uncle”, she tried to converse loudly. “I cleared the interview, Uncle. I have to join next week. Bahut baarish ho raha hai. I will talk to you after I reach”. It was raining out and Vivan was standing at a distance watching her open her umbrella and enjoy the rain.

He walked out of his office and felt the rain drops touch him softly. At a distance he saw Nidhi playing with the drops of water. He walked close to her without her noticing it. Standing at a sufficient distance so he could watch her closely, he gazed at her. There was a spark in her face as the sky roared but there was something that made him wonder. She was smiling and she was happy but her eyes, they told a different story. There was a silent sadness hidden in them,
The clouds had opened hard to shower the earth with water and he felt as though his first step to talk to her was going to be successful soon. It was going to be a week long wait for this to happen.
Will Nidhi speak to Vivan? Will Vivan win his bet or would he loose his heart?