A letter to my 16 year old self

Hey!

Heard you just turned 16th. I know you are overwhelmed by the surprise cake your friends bought into the class. And your secret crush just wished you and you were all red. I know it looks all glittery, you love your friends, your parents, and secretly you hate that boyfriend of your best friend. But, you know what,  it’s not always the same as it looks like. You have a bunch of friends , you gel up with everyone so well. Of course you will have!

But let me warn you not all will stick by till the end. Some you just think are your friends, some just hang around and only some understands you truly. Some will stab at your back, some will hurt you, some will bitch about you and some will just pretend to be there for you. But don’t worry darling you will be fine. You will get through it all just like I did. You will realize it’s not about having a large group when you go out. It can be just 3 people who will really stick by and at the end you will be happy who left and happy for who stuck by. You will face many competition and sometimes your ego will get hurt. But do for yourself not for others. Do because you want to do not because others think you are not worth it. We are not worth always what comes in our way but just for one.

 The boy you think about the whole day and obsess over may not be just your one love. We all are not lucky to just obsess and stay with one person throughout our life. Don’t be sad if they left you or it didn’t work out. There is always something better we can look out to ahead. You will not really know what ‘love’ is in a one committed relationship. It takes many to go and realise what it is truly and what you want. Don’t sacrifice yourself too much and don’t let the other sacrifice for you. And if you really hurt someone in the process. Don’t blame yourself for the entire life and don’t soak yourself in the guilt. We all are in the growing process , we may not be always right , we are humans and we do mistakes. All we have to do is learn and move on. And when you are really tired someday just go to your mom and dad . No one can love us as any other. Yes, we cannot always share what’s going on. But being with them makes it a little easy.

And in everything don’t let your teenage days get wasted, live in the joy and fun, you are supposed to do until adulthood strikes you.

With love and care,

An elder You.

Destiny …. I believe in you

“Sonu chai de aa bahar…Mamaji aaye hai ..jaldi neeche aa” (“Sonu bring some tea Mamaji is here “), my sister Soni shouted.

I was on the roof playing with kids.

To inform my readers, tomorrow is her marriage and my Mamaji (probably my mother’s third or fourth cousin brother whom I had never seen) and his family has come to attend the marriage and my house is full of guests. Coming to the point directly  I  heard someone saying that Mamaji has two daughters and the elder one is very pretty.

I ran downstairs and went out to offer tea to Mamaji who was sitting with other male members of the family. After offering tea, some tea was left in the pot and something clicked in my mind. “Why shouldn’t I go inside and offer tea to Mamiji and her daughters, I’ll get the chance to see her as well”. Although I knew that by now they must been served but say it my excitement, I went inside. Damn! She was very pretty. Straightened hairs. My sister understood my actions. She poked me. “Did you see Parul?” I answered no pretending as if I have not seen her. Yes Parul was her name. I said no and went out. This was the first time I saw her and according to the saying “I fell in love with her at the first sight”.

Mamaji and his family was to live for two days and this was my only chance to impress Parul. As all cousins brothers and sisters were together we decided to play pillow passing game at night. I was playing suddenly I saw Parul coming with tray filled with glasses of milkshakes for everyone in the game. This was my chance. I looked at her. As soon our eyes met I moved a little creating a space for her to sit beside me. Yes! she saw that . She came distributing the glasses and handing the last glass to me she sat beside me.

Although I knew her name, I didn’t had that guts to go and directly speak to her. Anyhow I gathered some and asked her whereabouts. I was surprised to know that she already knew my name and my whereabouts which seemed a pretty good sign. We talked for a while and  I was successful in making her laugh with my sixth sense (sense of humour). She was a really cool girl and I was happy to meet her. It was night already so we went to sleep.

Next day was wedding day. I was busy with all the rituals being performed and making arrangements for the “Baaratis” in the evening.  Although I was busy, one thing kept popping up in my head, “Parul”. I really wanted to see her again, say her how I feel about her, literally I wanted her to be my girlfriend. All the ladies in the house were busy with the mehandi thing including her so I could not ask her out. I also had to keep in mind that I belong to a Bihari family where love marriage is considered to be a crime.

It was evening and my desire kept growing. Lights started glowing. The house was decorated like a bride. The Groom came along with the Baaratis, there were fireworks all around. Everyone was happy even me but something inside me went on saying “go and talk to her”. My eyes were in search of the one whose one glimpse could make me happy.

Suddenly my phone beeped. There was a message from an unknown number. “Someone is all wet serving the Baaratis and looking for someone quite desperately” it said. My heart gave a pump with a smile on my face. I looked up on the terrace. There she was alone. I ran up leaving everything and within seconds I reached the top. I could not blink my eyes. I had never seen a beautiful girl like her in my life so far – in blue saree, hairs opened, a small bindi and a really cute “dimplewala” smile. I could hear my heartbeats. Breaking the awkward silence she offered me a glass of cola which she had already brought( I think for me). I had the best night that day. We talked, we laughed at silly jokes, in fact i was laughing to see her laugh.

The ceremony ended at 3 a.m and it was time for us to go to bed. She got up bidding me goodbye. I just wanted to give her a hug but I controlled myself. It was a tiresome day and I really needed some rest. As there were a lot of guests I went to sleep at my uncle’s house.

The next morning I woke up at 10a.m. and the first thing came to my mind was Parul.  I got ready, had tea, and started looking for her. There was still a lot of work to do but I didn’t care. I just wanted to get a glimpse of Parul. I could not find her. Curiously I went to my sister( the only one who knew about me and Parul thing). “They left at 8. Mamaji had some urgent business meeting”. I ran out for my cellphone. There was a message waiting.

“I’ll miss every moment I have spent with you. Thank you for giving me the best memory till date. I have met someone special whom I’ll keep in my hearts forever. I came to meet you but seeing you sleep I didn’t wake you up. Please promise me that you won’t call or message on this number. It’s my dad’s phone. I don’t have my own and i don’t want them to find it out. I believe that someday we will meet and then maybe we can carry our story further. I believe in Destiny. Do you?”

“Yes, I do”. I could only say that with my eyes flooded. Something inside me broke down that very moment.

I did call  her every time expecting her voice but every time I ended up saying “Sorry wrong number”. Every time there is a marriage ceremony in my cousins house my eyes keep looking for someone about whom I can’t even speak to anyone. I have given her a permanent room in my heart.

– Gajanan Tiwari

About Gajanan :

A student at KIIT University he loves to read and write stories and blogs . Although he is looking forward for writing ahead.

You can follow him at : https://www.facebook.com/gajanan.tiwari?fref=ts

MY SISTER PAINTED MY WINGS WITH THE COLOR OF HOPE.

I have always been close to my sister. She’s the one who encouraged me to read and write. She is the one I would hug when the demons tried to destroy my fantasy world. Most parents have to force their children to play and be together. In our house, it was just the opposite. I loved sleeping in the kids room with my sister and brother.

I recently got my 12 grade marks and I passed with 87% percent. It will be a lie if I tell you that I earned these marks on my own. My sister was the one who made it possible. In the most crucial year of my life, my sister, my protector shifted to another country. She married the man of her dreams and flew to London, her dream place. I thought I would now have to face life on my own. But she taught me the meaning of family and selfless love. She was the one who managed housework, office work and taught me economics and secretarial practice on skype. She prepared huge time tables, sacrificed her sleep and wiped my tears with her smile. On the day of my first exam, she woke up in the middle of the night just to wish me best of luck and her voice gave me strength. For some, exam is not a big deal but I am one of those people who cry even at the name of exam. Without her I would have never been able to score a good percentage. She taught me that family is the most important thing in the world. She taught me the meaning of sisterhood. India and London didn’t seem as two different countries when we shouted the Economics answers together.

She is the one who believed in me, who never gave up on me.  Life really is about living for others. If you see a weak person, give them some of your strength. Give them the gift of hope and when they fly, they will paint your name on their wings. My sister did this for me and today I fly with the help of the wings she gifted me.

– Priyanka Hasija

About me:

I am just a teenager who finds happiness in words. Coffee and books are my essentials. It is my dream to write a bestseller.

You can read my writings on my blog: thepandawhowrites@wordpress.com

And on Instagram: priyanka_hasija

Ecstacy

I started playing flute quite late for the standards. After my school that is. Although before I would play little bit of straight flute it was quite basic. One day a friend asked me “You play flute, so why don’t you learn Classical Music? I know a person who lives near my house who is a student of Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia “. I had never really thought about it, So I said “Ok, sounds good, but will he teach me?”  The flautist said to bring me to him and I started going for lessons.

This guy -The Flautist, was an astonishing chap. In the very second lesson he played Raag Chandrakaunsa and boasted  : “See..! The moment you play Madhyam you should feel like being on Moon! What rubbish you keep playing; try this now!”

Wow! Here I was just a beginner. I couldn’t even hold the flute properly, nor could get proper sound! Where was I going to find that Madhyam on the Moon! He got fed up with me in a couple of weeks – meaning about 4 lessons, and then told me ” Don’t come from tomorrow. You are just wasting my time. You will never be able to play flute in your life.” He was quite encouraging.

Meanwhile in the college – Fergusson College of Pune – there was this art club called as Aavishkar. I went and met some intimidating girls there, they told me I didn’t have any place for me there and only good musicians were accepted. On one side my friends said they liked my flute playing and on the other side it were these rejections. That was quite boring really!

Every year Fergusson held the most prestigious college competition of Pune – ‘Insynch’. Already running for a decade or so, it was an inter-collegiate competition and almost all colleges, more than 150-200, from Pune region used to participate in it. [There are more than 80-90 just Management colleges in Pune] There used to be internal selection competitions for deciding who will represent Fergusson. Now this was a great news as I could directly get into playing. I was chosen and I entered the Indian Classical event. I practiced very hard and very well. I had perfectly set the same Raag Chandrakaunsa from an LP of Pt. Hariprasadji and had learnt it by heart very well.

There in Fergusson we have a fabulous century old Amphitheatre and the classical competition was held there. The time given to me was 15 minutes and when I walked on stage the amphitheater was packed with students. They were all there mainly to support the Fergusson entry – that was me ! As the compere announced ” And now the next entry is of Fergusson College – Milind Date ” There was a huge noise I heard from the audience side of the theatre while I walked on stage. Now I had never seen audience from the stage. This was my very first walk on any stage. They were all shouting and screaming to cheering me up.

I thought I was very brave, but in reality I was quite nervous. As I started playing everyone went quiet, intensely listening to me. Now I was very confident about what all I had remembered – that Raag Chandrakaunsa. But I had not expected all that audience and all that shouting and cheering from them. I very quickly forgot everything what I had ‘mugged up’ and the only thing I could do was to play my own version of it. Which obviously sucked.

Within 3-4 minutes I started sweating so badly that my flute was slipping from my lips and often no sound was coming at all. That wasn’t enough, so god knows why, but after 7 -8 minutes I suddenly turned my back to the Tabla player – a very dear friend of mine Ajay and went completely away from the microphone. Now no one could hear anything from my flute at all. I just somehow played the rest of the given time and got up walked off the stage while the audience was once again shouting and screaming. They would cheer up anything from their own college. Of course there were folks from other colleges too, but perhaps they were booing.

I stood 4th in the competition …. Because there were only 4 competitors.

Soon after this episode I got lucky and I met Pandit Ajit Soman a great flautist in Pune. I started learning from him. He was a genius teacher and I became so much better within just 5-6 months that I even started playing on semi-professional stages out in the city. It was some kind of mutation I believe.

On this background one day I was sitting in the canteen playing flute. Suddenly a senior – Rahul came and snatched me away in a very ruling way. I didn’t know why he was taking me away, but I went with him. Didn’t have many options, did I? Fergusson has acres of campus with a big hill, a canal passing through, two huge grounds and many buildings dotted amongst innumerable enormous trees on it. Rahul, followed by confused I, walked to a faraway, dilapidated old building on the campus. It was quite separated from the rest of the buildings. Neglected too.

There on the steps sat some of his friends. They had long hair and were wearing some wacky T shirts with some skulls printed on them. They were smoking too. One of them also had two funny little sticks in his hands which he kept turning round and round in some expert fashion. Rahul excitedly announced “I have found us a cat – Bossss ! We are going to win this year. You just listen to this guy Man, he is a monster !” Because the sentences were amply dotted with different variations of ‘F’ words; they had become thrice long.

‘What! I am not a monster’ , I thought !

A quick peeped in the room which revealed the presence of a couple of guitars and a drum kit. Ah! So this was the college Rock Band then, I was slightly at ease. Mind you, this was way before mobiles or internet. So the life was quite different then. [We actually sent handwritten notes hidden in books ] I had never ever seen a rock band before. Not even in a photograph. I was a simple guy coming from an orthodox Marathi family, listening to film songs and classical music. Last year Insynch was so disastrous for me, that I simply had stayed at home the rest of it.

Rahul gave me a tape. Said “Here, Take this. Listen to this song.” He beamed at me” There is some crazy shit flute there. You have to play that. And you better play it well… Otherwise…” He just left his sentence in half…

I went home and put the tape on. It was some amazing music I had never heard. The song was Locomotive Breath by Jethro Tull. Some wicked flute playing was there. It took 4 to 5 days to figure out what he had played and almost another 20 days to play it ! It was really insane. Once I got it right, I went back and caught Rahul in the canteen. Canteen was the real activity centre. Everything happened there.

“Rahul”, I said, “I think I am ready with the piece”. “Not here, let’s go out” He said. We just walked around the canteen. “Play it”, he ordered. I played the piece for him. Before even I finished that complicated piece he let out a screaming scream! Rahul went totally berserk. He started dancing and shouting and running around everywhere. After 5 minutes of his native dance, once again he took me to his friends and they all heard it from me. They had similar reaction, but additionally they shot inside that broken down room and picked up their guitars and started playing while screaming in extreme loud volume. It was quite fascinating as well as shocking for me that time. I was sternly warned not to say a word to anyone about it.

Couple of months later came the Insynch. This year I was much more confident. I had a real Guru after all. I participated in 3-4 different music events. Competitions of Indian Classical, Hindi Film, Instrumental music and Rock with this Band. The very first day of Insynch was this Rock competition. Rahul had taken lots of special efforts on me. I was way too junior to him and to other band members too. They had to teach me everything. How to go on stage, how to take out the flute and how to wave my hands after I finish playing – the Goat Skull and all those things! We were well rehearsed, At least I thought so. They kept telling me inspirational stories of Pink Floyd and Deep Purple too!

The D-day came. There were 6 bands competing in the finals. I didn’t play in the elimination rounds as it was decided to keep me as a secret and a surprise. We were to play 5th in the sequence and my song was 6th in our list. Every group had 45 minutes for the performance.

Other colleges, especially BMCC and Wadia had some phenomenal guitarists, and BJ had a couple of fantastic vocalists. Fergusson too had a genius vocalist Vrushali. To tell you the level and devotion of the guys participating in Insynch; about 30 of them competitors are professionally active today as composers, lyricists, comperes, instrumentalists, Sound designers and such. Some future bollywood actors and actresses too participated in the mono act or such events. All in all it was the best cultural era for us.

Also, that made the competitions very, very tough to win.

Behind the high elevated stage, we all sat listening to the other bands keenly and passing some comments. Some were smoking. Also so many girl friends of the seniors were there. They were making me a bit nervous, but some of them were quite eye catchers and whatever. And then they were wearing quite different clothes than normal. Definitely a bad distraction for the music I thought. I was wearing a huge blue coloured Mexican hat. A shawl to look like a poncho, also had a toy gun on my back and the pants were shabbily folded. It was a part of my dress code that day.

In front of the big stage, there must be easily about 10,000 guys and girls in the audience. All screaming and cheering to their own college rock bands. Some thunderous LOUD sound system was blasting the music and it was just incredible. Simply out of this world experience! Adrenaline was at its highest. Certain amount of tension was building up.

Then we got our turn on stage. Song after song our band played the audience went on louder and even louder than ever. It was going all very well – as planned. As my song and my part came, I just jumped on the stage and the powerful stage lights straight went straight into my eyes blinding me. There was so much smoke from the smoke machines on stage, you couldn’t see things clearly. There were cables running from guitars and amplifiers and you had to avoid them while jumping around on the stage. I found my microphone, just closed eyes and played my part. Did all what I was taught and jumped out. I didn’t really understand what happened and what I played. I was too zapped by the lights and sound and the ocean of excited faces looking at us.

We finished and all were happy with our and my performance. Our rehearsals were done in quite secretively, so most friends too didn’t know I was playing and they were stunned. They were flocking to see us behind the stage and it was all highly exhilarating. Somehow the funnily dressed girls were attractive and inviting and weren’t so much distraction after all! Last band was yet to perform and the results would be announced. We waited and waited for the judges to announce the results.

Finally the time had come everybody was waiting for. We were all ears. After the best Vocalist and best drummer etc prizes, just before the last prize to be declared – the Best Rock Band Prize, it was the turn of The Best Instrumentalist prize. Guitarists always steal the show of a rock concert. We didn’t have any hopes for our guy as we all knew there were far superior guitarists in other bands. But we were curious to know who won it. And there was the announcement – The Prize for The Best instrumentalist goes to……. A long pause… Milind Date of Fergusson. I had won the Best Instrumentalist Prize. UNBELIEVABLE !!! Something I had never ever dreamt it in my life had happened. Rahul’s gamble had paid off.

There were 6 rock bands in the finals; all guitarists were there on stage playing all those shredding guitars for 45 minutes each and I had played in just one song. Boy ! Was I happy! It was a new life for me. The band lifted me on their shoulders and ran around everywhere. At the end they simply dropped me on the grounds and I went around jumping , dancing and hugging all my friends. The happiest moment in my life was that. It was pure ecstasy! That night campus celebrations went on till early morning and I never went home … and the next four night as well. In the coming four days of Insynch I won all the competitions I competed in. And since then I have never lost a competition in my life!

Eventually I would learn from Pandit Ajit Soman for another year before the Legend Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia would accept me as a student. Incidentally, in my last 3 decades with Guruji I have never seen or even heard the name of the first bogus student of Hariji ! –

The guy who told me I would never be able to play flute in my life was a total fraud !!

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Milind Date with some of his fans in his earlier days.

Milind Date is a world renowned Bansuri player and composer from India. He has performed more than 3000 performances all across the world. He has worked with some of the greatest musicians from India and abroad. Milind has also composed music for many albums, films and documentaries. Besides his music, Milind is also known for his photography and writing. Over the period of a decade, hundreds of his articles and interviews have been published in publications like Times of India, Indian Express and several others. He has won several photography competitions as well.

More information about Milind can be found at –
http://www.milinddate.com

Milind’s Other World … !

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milind_Date

Trying

I am fed up of trying.

I am fed up of running after you.

I am fed up of getting no replies.

I am fed up of the blank stares you give me.

I am fed up with your face that don’t answer my question.

I am fed up with this stretching over months.

I am fed up with you.

I am fed up of trying.

What do I do ? Trying hurts.

And not trying too.

I am fed with this question that has no answer.

 

The little girl in me

The little girl in me
Never wants to grow up
I live it again when
Drops of rain falls
On my open palms
When I scream
To Cheer a team
When I go downstairs
Jumping the stairs….
The little girl in me
Never wants to grow up
And I live it again
When the taste of
Raw mangoes fantasies me
When the dark sky
The moon romanticizes me
When a splash of water
Brings out the smile
The little girl in me
Never wants to grow up
And I live it again
When I enjoy hopping
As Much I love shopping
When I relish ice creams
And When I enjoy my dreams
The list goes on and on…
And I live it again and again
                                                    -Nitha Ghoda
About Nitha :
 She’s a  full time homemaker and a mother of two  . She loves darkness, solidarity  and rain. She has started developing a passion for writing lately.
“Writing gives me satisfaction, I have longed ever ..”-Nitha

Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow

Those moments I define as bliss,
The mountains were there to kiss,

River flowing by,
Our bunch rowing by,

Pictures we had clicked,
In the heart of the holy water we had dipped,

Ate maggi on the rocks,
Saw one of us flow away all shocked,

The tent we took shelter in,
At dinner time the lights were dim,

Our game we had played,
All night up we had stayed,

It rained at the perfect time,
All heavens justified our crime,

And as the morning peeped,
It was time for our car to beep,

We came towards the end of the trip,
Which was a three day stint.

Till today,
The memory replays in my mind, like it happened yesterday,
And there is a hope in my heart to meet our squad tomorrow.
                                                                                                        – Pragati Goel

About the Blogger:

A wordoholic . Dreamer. Hobbyist. Pursuing CA. She loves playing with weird words. And her journey from basics to hipsters continue! This is 95% of Pragati Goel. 🙂
Follow her at :

The Separated Siblings

Reshma, was walking towards her home after working for a whole day. After cleaning the house, baby sitting and little oil -massage to oldies her day was complete. Everyday, she would walk by the roads that’s directed towards her home contentedly and noticing every single movement that’s going on- the street vendor’s child that always cry, the lady that is always there at the Gol-gappa stall stuffing puchka’s in her mouth, the sound of the wooden blocks that are being cut by the carpenter, the clinking of the metals and the children that play and fight over one thing or the other every single day. Reshma rejoices the activity that gives her company while she walks the road to home.

But, today none of the things could catch her attention. The sound of the daily buzz seems to have no effect on her.

************************

Day before yesterday

“Reshma”

“Reshma”

“Yes Ammi .What happened?”

“Your brother is coming tomorrow.” she exclaimed with enthusiasm.

“What? Krishna is coming ? Who told you?” her eyes gleamed as she speaks.

“Your uncle called up. They are coming tomorrow.”

Reshma will be going to see her brother after 14 years. The last she saw him was when he was a toddler a 6 months old. Reshma was 9 years old back then. Her father was a Hindu and mother, Muslim. Her father and mother fled from home because none of their family members were ready for their inter-caste marriage and they settled in Midnapore. Belonging to a not so financially stable background, her mother went to different houses and did their daily chores and while his father used to work in a factory, she used to take care of his little brother. They were a small happy family, finding happiness in small little things. It was only until, her father passed out after suffering from Dengue.

Her mother was broken after her father’s death. Crying all throughout the day and the bills were taking a toll on them. Few days later, his father’s brother and his wife arrived they wanted to take Krishna with them to U.P, they were financially stronger and they promised Krishna a good education and future. Her mother earned little and could not afford sending him school so, she send her little kid along with them. While, they were taking her little brother away from her Reshma cried and ran after them long till the car vanished in the long never- ending- road. Krishna was brought up in a Hindu community and practiced Hinduism while Reshma followed her Ammi’s Islamic culture. She never heard from him brother again. She only imagined his brother growing up and listened from their relatives. Even if the relatives came home sometimes, they never brought Krishna with them.

14 years went by and she collected all the 14 Rakhi’s in her tiny box with Krishna written on top. The box had some letters for him, which she wrote when she missed him the most and rakhi’s. Each Rakshabandhan she would see sisters tying thread on their brother’s wrist and feel sad for herself.

While she was engrossed Ammi’s voice broke her chains of thought.

“Reshma, go and buy sweets for them and also buy some chocolates for him” Ammi said.

“Yes, Ammi”

She quickly went to the market and brought all that was on the list. She imagined on her way to home how she would talk to him, how she would narrate her days to him when he would be here. Her happiness was already at its peak. She slept that day with all her good imaginations in her head.

“Get up Reshma, its 9 o clock. Get up. They must be coming.”

“It’s 9 o clock! What? “, she woke up with a jerk.

She was all ready by 10 and was fervently waiting for them to arrive. Finally the bell rang.

Her uncle, aunt and Krishna were there. He was tall, his face resembled his father, he was dressed in a shirt and pant and had a teekha on his forehead. Seeing him, his mother embraced him.

“Maa”- Krishna spoke recognizing his mother.

“You have grown up, you were so little when I last saw you” her voice became heavy. There were tears in her eyes after seeing her child after so long.

“Didi”-he said touching Reshma’s feet.

“No ! No! Don’t touch my feet.” Reshma said.

Reshma hugged him and there were tears in her eyes too.

Everyone sat on the couch and all were talking of how days went by without Krishna. Krishna felt a little odd in the environment among people he don’t much about all that he knew was they were tied by blood and were their own. Krishna walked up to explore the house. Seeing picture frames that were put up on the wall of small rooms, some were of him as a baby and some of the years he missed out. He then entered a room which looked like a Puja room to him, but was quite different from his. A plain room peace coloured ,few curtains and there were two mats that lied on the ground and a Quran in front.

“Come Krishna, Ammi’s calling for lunch. She has cooked biryani for you.” Reshma said entering the room.

“Yes I am coming. But, didi what is that book? “he said pointing to a book.

“That’s Quran. “

He looked confused. No one told him his sister followed different religion.

“Yes. I follow Islamic religion.”

Krishna wanted to speak something when he was interrupted by their mother.

“You both can talk later. First have your lunch.”

After having their supper, Reshma took Krishna with him and gave him the gifts and the little box she kept for him. Krishna felt good and happy but there were still questions in his mind which no one can answer.

Seeing him lost, she asked “What happened? You need anything?”

“No. I am absolutely fine.”

“Krishna, do keep coming whenever you get time. Ammi’s getting old. She misses you a lot.”

“Yes. I will come till she is there.”

“Till she is there? And when she is not, you won’t come?” his answer hit her hard.

“No, I can’t come. You are a Muslim and I Hindu. I can’t come to your house.” he exited saying this.

She was taken aback by his answers. The brother she longed for so long, now don’t want to see her.

Firstly, separated by distance and now religion.

**************

Reshma reached home, while entering her room she picked up the photo frame which had a picture of her and Krishna and smiled seeing it.

“You are small now to understand this gap we have. One day you will be grown up and realize what you said. The differences in our religion is just a name which you see. You are my brother and I your sister till the end of life. And we cannot be separated from each other. And you will also see how much I love you.”  she thought.

Until Doomsday

Sundays, to me Sunday in Kolkata means I am going to spend my entire evening sitting on the roof top of my house with my childhood friend, Akriti. The thing about Sundays are we get ample time to talk about everything in the calm and hushed atmosphere and seeing the whole locality from top. And today was no different. Today was a perfect weather, the sky a little cloudy and the cold wind brewing in. The locality a little silent than the week days ,all the shops closed, less car horns and less rush in streets and few kids passing by with their cricket kits on their back to the nearby field.

“So what about him?” I asked.

“He is good. He is a CA student just like me and he loves me. We have late night conversations, he supports me throughout and we spend time on weekends and whenever we are free from our articleship and tuitions. ” Akriti said smiling.

It was her third relationship. Her phone beeped and it was Jai’s text. It read “I will love you forever.”

“Forever?”

“Yes! ” she said smiling.

“But are you sure? Didn’t you promised your last two for -a forever? How can you certainly say it’s going to last forever, when what we know is just present.”

Her face dropped. She got no answer to it. And, even i did not knew the answer to it then. So, not stretching the conversation much I let that question go.

It was daytime and I was juggling with my assignment papers to submit to the professor and my phone beeped.

It was from Akriti.

Akriti : He broke up.

Seeing her text, it reminded me of our Sunday conversation a year ago when seeing a “forever” from Jai made her face glow and how when I asked her “forever?” and she had no answer to it.

This gave me all my answers.

Forever“, a word which we use often to define our- happily ever after.

I will love you forever.

You are my best friend forever.

You are my forever.

How many times have we said this and did not fulfil it years later? Specially, in case of relationships. How many of us has not said this and then few years later moved out of that relationship. But, what about that forever promise? Don’t we feel guilty?

We all want our happily ever after. The future, though uncertain looks almost like perfection. There’s nothing wrong with lusting after forever. If we love something, we want it to be with us always. We do everything in our capacity to keep it with us. Compromise, make adjustments, work hard to make sure our forever is exactly how we want it to be. But, we cannot merely stay because we promised. To stick only for the sake of forever is more damaging. It’s like a coffee without milk and sugar. Bitter and tasteless ! We should learn to accept that forever can’t exist and so does our feeling for someone or something. We can have it before we screw it up and some of us are lucky enough not to screw up. We basically end up getting so immersed in planning and preparing for that forever that we forget about the present and the future, there is a major possibility that all our planning can go down the drain in a sole life changing affair.

Your best friend, the love of your life and your career. Nothing is permanent. And you cannot have power over it until doomsday. One single life loop is enough to tap you out and bring you back to square one. One fight with your best friend, one misunderstanding with your love, one mistake in your career can change everything you ever had.

Forever is where we get tangled upon and caught up. Now is where we love and do. Now is the only place where we can taste the sweetness.

Now, that your forever is a little shattered. You should realise that forever-is right Now !

Cappuccino

“Hello Aryan. How are you ?” – I was typing this message for the fifth time in a row , again deleting and again typing.

It’s been four years since school. Does he still remember me ? Does he remember what we were like? or I am now a mere name among those sixty students of our class whom he hadn’t been in touch since the last day? So, many questions were revolving in my mind. Finally, after giving many thoughts of what could be and what could be not I let that enter key go.

Last seen 10 minutes ago.

“Will he reply to my message ? ” I murmured hoping him to reply.

It’s been four years I haven’t contacted him. But, I have been keeping track of his whereabouts. So many times through the years; in all those school reunions and the alumni meets I have thought of him, hoping to see him somewhere or to bump into him every time I pass by his lane. I knew by some school mates that he took admission in Jaipur after a year drop. I felt happy for him. I should not have left his side when he needed me a lot, it was my mistake. But, he also did not tried to get in touch with since that incident. Why ? I have so many unanswered questions or perhaps he must be having too. He always told me I am his good friend. I have seen how much I meant to him. I still remember how much he tried to cheer me up after my first breakup. I sobbed for a week and more and he was all time by my side uplifting me up. Calling me for hangouts in the evening so that I don’t cry, when no one was home. I remember how infuriated he was when he found out that my boyfriend cheated on me and went to beat him. I remember him teaching me C++ for Re-exam, a day before the exam, as i was so unprepared and I knew nothing. He was my first guy friend I trusted the most back then. He so much used to annoy me when I used to sit in front of him, pull my hairs and the next few minutes went by me shouting on top of my voice and my one hand holding my hairs and asking for the rubber band. I miss our numerous coffee breaks from tuitions when we would rush to the nearby CCD for a cappuccino and ended up getting late by ten minutes for the class. I have relived the happy memories and time we shared.

Turning my laptop off I went to sleep hoping to get a reply in the morning.

You cheated on me Aryaan. You dated while you were in a relationship with me. You lied to me.” Srishti said . And I couldn’t sleep. Those lines still resounded in my ears. I still remember the day. Last day of school ended separating the couple I adored all my school life Aryaan and Srishti. I still can’t believe what Srishti said in front of us all was true. Whenever a finger pointed at me Aryaan would abruptly defend me, be it anyone. A pillar for me, he was there all time. And when Srishti put up this blame on him in front of everyone I couldn’t believe my ears. The Aryaan I know of will never do this. He can never do this. It was only years later I came to know that it was Srishti who was cheating on him , and did so we can be on her side. And her plan worked. The blame game worked. But, then why he kept quite that day. Why he did not said anything in his support or why he did not came and explained when i was just looking at him for explanation. Every story has two sides and this too was not an exception. And with the incident I was left to choose one, as it happens with many of us when our friends break up we are left to chose a side. And it’s often we choose without knowing much.

It was the last day of school when all this happened. Not all of us got separated but he got isolated. No one trusted him. No one took his side. We were happily clicking pictures and enjoying the moment when we saw them yelling at each other. And within minutes when Srishti started crying , we all were on her side without even listening to Aryan’s version of story.

After that Aryan took a year drop. All of us got admission to a good college and was excited for our new life into a new city. He deactivated his facebook account. No sign of him on whatsapp. Phone numbers changed. No pictures of him in recent hangouts. He just disappeared. It was only a few months ago I saw his photo with Tanmay, his best friend since school time. Glad, someone did not leave his side like me.  I lived my life happily with my new friends and acquaintances and hiding him in the folders and albums of my school memories.

Years later here I am trying to get my friend back.

I was awakened by warm light entering through the window. Waking up, the first thing I did was checking if I got some reply or not. No, there was no reply.

Last seen 10 hours ago.

I made myself coffee and was going to get ready for my college. When suddenly my phone vibrated, quickly i went for my phone.”It’s him.” I said smiling

“Hello Neha. How come you remember me after all these years?”

“I know . I left your side back then but now I know you were not wrong. Back then why you never explained to anyone?”

“You all chose her side. So I kept quite. I did not feel like explaining myself and I was already heart-broken. And even you trusted her, I thought you will at least not believe her .”

“I have missed you all these years, at that moment I could not believe what I heard. ”

“It’s okay. I am all past it . Where are you now ? In town?”

“Not yet will be coming tomorrow.”

“Wanna grab some cappuccino like before or you don’t like it now ?”

“How come I will not like it now ,it became my favourite.”

“Then See you.”

“Yes. See you. :)”

Throughout my journey to home all I was thinking was – What am going to say? What i am going to speak ? What he will be like now ? What if he is angry on me ? So many things hovered around my mind.

It was 6 o clock when I went to the CCD in the evening. I haven’t seen him all these years. I was still glancing at my watch and looking here and there, waiting for him to come when my eyes met the familiar brown eyes I have seen long ago.

And , there he was dressed in jeans and a collared T-shirt. He still looks the same. He got better spectacles now. He looks smart just like before. Just a thin than before. Rest all same. He haven’t changed; not even a bit. I was happy, to be exact I was overwhelmed and my eyes started to water.

“Hey” Aryan spoke.

“Hey” I said in a quite low-tone as I was in half tears.

“Are you going to shed some of your happy tears now? ” he teased me.

“No .No absolutely no” I said half-smiling.

Then we sat down.

We sat there for more than an hour talking, laughing at old school days, how stupid we were back then and so many things have changed. Sharing our adventurous stories of hostel , our recent dates and the talk went on. We were back like before. We moved on to fraction of the stories that made up these many years. It was just like always … friends again. Nothing changed. There was not even a gap , no awkwardness. Nothing.

“Would you like to order something sir, mam?” the waiter interrupted.

“Yes! A cappuccino” we said in unison and again burst out laughing seeing each other.

There is no end to a true friendship. We may not talk and exchange pleasantries and be with each other all the time, but what we had was true, our friendship was true. Its often that while our life starts and we live our dream, people starts fading away from our thoughts. Seeing him again. A smile was etched to my face. I realised one thing which I should have realised a long time ago. Many a times surrounded by misunderstandings and bad situations we don’t judge it the right way. And talking of our innocent school days while we all were growing up, unable to decide what is wrong and what is right, we take few wrong decisions. But, it’s never too late to reach out the long-lost-friend we all have. It just takes a few laugh and few memories to assemble the broken pieces of friendship and sew a new and strong bond.

Have you ever reached out to someone you lost years ago? Have you ever wished for a long lost friend to come back into your life? Take the leap and try! Have a cappuccino 🙂