All Alone

Yes, this is the first time I have set my foot on a foreign country.. I am going to experience an enjoyable change in my daily routine..

I have so many plans lined up for treasuring moments before I leave back to my native. Bally Money tops the list.. Though it was eerie looking in the pic taking during the night time, the pics taken during the morning time was simply awesome..

Even before landing in Ireland, on seeing the pic, I felt like going for a slow walk all alone in that pleasant environment surrounded by mist, where I could just get mingled with nature and enjoy the chill weather which was quite impossible in my native.

I decide to go on an adventurous trip to the Bally Money alone that too during the night :P…

The fact is that, after watching a horror movie at home, I do not leave my mom’s hand till I fall asleep for at least 20 days..I know what is going on in your mind… Fate some times drives you crazy to follow your heart in the path you never even dream of..

I reach Bally Money at 7 pm.. It is slightly dark at that time.. I feel pretty bold right now… I am happily listening to all the cool romantic breezy songs that I have loaded in my mobile along with the cool breeze. I start singing in a loud voice as no one can tease me that ‘I am not even fit to be a bathroom singer…’

I notice the time only when I get bored of listening to the songs that I have loaded and switch to the FM Radio… When I check the time, it is 9.30 pm…

It is spooky dark.. That is when fear started growing in each and every cell of my body… To add fuel to the fire, the song that is being played in the FM is that of the horror movie Pizza…Even a minute pin dropping sound would have made me afraid of my own shadow, that is when my friend Revathy woke me up asking me to get ready to visit Bally Money 🙂

Don’t you DARE

January 23rd at 8 pm:

A group of guys were thrilled to see Rachel. She was impeccably dressed. She had long, thick wavy ebony-black hair which plunged over her shoulders. She had chocolate brown eyes with velvety eyelashes and slender eyebrows. With a straight nose and full lips, she was stunningly gorgeous. She looked like a decade younger than her actual age. She sat in the Starbucks cafe, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. The blood stained knife lay next to her handbag, covered with her blue silk scarf.

They entered the cafe and could not trust their eyes when they noticed the knife. They felt totally disturbed.

A ten member group in the cafe, was busy gossiping about her. A girl from the group quipped “I heard that she had an ex-lover who was stalking her for a while. She might have killed him.” A guy sitting next to her added “I thought she got married recently but had a turbulent married life because of her secret lover. She might have killed her husband.” Finally a girl concluded “Let’s wait until the media comes up with a detailed coverage on this.”

A guy who was in his mid-twenties took photos of her with the knife and posted in Facebook. The post attracted thousands of likes and comments within minutes. Soon the news spread like wildfire. Not just the customers but even the baristas were worked up due to this.

An old couple was least bothered about the flurry of activities around them and was happily enjoying their coffee.

She watched the mirror next to the window and silently made a note of the gossips and the expressions. She found it hard to hide her mischievous smile and enjoyed every moment of what she was going through. She ordered a Milk Choc Chunk Cookie and just enjoyed every bite of that.

Taking note of the events unfolding around her, she quietly wiped off the blood using a tissue paper and tucked the knife and the scarf inside her handbag and left.

As soon as she left, the cafe came to life with boisterous conversations about how she had kept her cool after having committed a cold blooded murder.

January 23rd at 7.26 pm:

Lily Gardens was a redbrick baronial apartment in the countryside surrounded by lawns, flowerbeds and shrubs. The peaceful life of the people at Lily Gardens was interrupted by a shrill scream from the fifth floor.  The guy next door was alarmed and rushed to Remo’s place. He tried to open the door with kerchief in his hand, but the door was already opened. He cautiously stepped inside and found a maid in her late fifties with a pale face.

He was shocked to see Remo in a pool of blood and felt sick to his stomach. He went on the lookout of the murderer but he could find none. He went back home and informed the police immediately.

The police arrived at the scene after fifteen minutes. Inspector Mark was a tall, well-built man in his mid thirties. The maid was still panic-stricken. He started enquiring her about the victim. She gave detailed information about her owner, the renowned actor Remo.

Remo had been living in that house for more than 3 years with his wife Ria, who was then at her mom’s place after delivering their first baby few months back. The maid had been appointed two and a half years back. She generally came at around 7’ o clock and she was given an additional key to their home to carry on with her work when Remo was not available. Only Remo, Ria and the maid had access to their home. She had come around 7.25 that day, when she saw Remo lying in a pool of blood.

Mark checked the entire home to confirm whether the motive of the murder was burglary. He also instructed the maid to check if there had been a burglary. She checked and confirmed that most of the things were in place.

Mark asked her to leave for the day but informed her that she might be called for enquiry over the next few days. She returned home terrified. He ordered his subordinates to collect all the incriminating evidences and meet him at the station. A useful fingerprint was lifted from the entrance to the portion in which the murder had taken place. The weapon used for murdering Remo was missing.

Mark noticed that there was a CCTV camera installed at the entrance of the apartment.  He checked with the security and got the detailed video of the visitors on that particular day. He observed that the maid had left the apartment before 11 am. Other than that, he saw a lady carrying a handbag enter the apartment covering her face with a blue scarf at around 6 pm. The silhouette of a lady of similar height was seen exiting the apartment at 7 pm. She also had something draped in a cloth. Mark was on the lookout for something extra, but the minimal lighting in the lounge ensured that he had his homework cut out.

The reporters started rushing to the place to collate the sensational development about the murder of the famous hero. Any additional information on the case would set up a rewarding career for the young journalists. Mark provided information about the CCTV footage and the lady with the blue scarf and informed them that the investigation process was on.

January 24th:

The papers had the photo of the victim and the lady with the handbag and blue scarf. The news rang a bell to the guy who had the thought of flirting with Rachel in the cafe the previous evening. He immediately called the police and provided the detailed information of whatever had happened at the Starbucks cafe.

When Mark received this information, he was reminded about Remo and Rachel’s recent interview where they had displayed intimacy. He checked the CCTV footage again and the height of the lady in the video matched with that of Rachel. His suspicion grew stronger. So he decided to land up at her place to enquire her. She wore a dress which sat on her body as if it had been made for her. Its satin folds hugged her figure following her curves and the deep blue colour was gorgeous against her ivory skin. The moment he saw her flawless face and innocent-looking chocolate brown eyes, his heart skipped a beat and he was overwhelmed with remorse for having to enquire her. But being a conscientious cop, he did not let his personal prejudices impede his duty.

Mark informed her about Remo’s murder and Rachel was shattered. When he showed Remo’s photo, she squealed and dropped the photo. He was her cousin Ria’s husband and what a wonderful pair they were. He had been by her side, whenever she needed him. She could not quite digest the fact that Remo was dead. Mark wanted to gather some more background before enquiring about the handbag, blue scarf and the knife that she had with her the previous night at the cafe. She gave an unconvincing reply and Mark found it hard to believe that a famous writer could carry a blood-stained knife to a cafe for the sake of her next story. He told her that he would require her to come to the police station for collecting her finger prints and other evidences and escorted her to the police car.

She was still coming to terms with what she just heard and felt terribly embarrassed about being in the eye of the storm. She had planned to write her next novel based on real time experience and it had been fantastic to draw together people’s reactions instead of just trying to visualize the events. But she never thought that it could change her life drastically. She was totally helpless, as she could not convince the cops that all she had was a knife dipped in blood from a butcher shop. She resigned to the fact that there was no escaping the gallows.

Her entire body started trembling as it was the first time she was going to step inside the police station. She watched scared stiff as police officers were whipping people with sticks half the size of their bodies. She had written stories with characters getting hammered in police stations but never ever dreamt of becoming one. She wondered whether they were going to thrash her in similar fashion. There was a silent tear which she tried to hold back and somehow managed to project herself as a brave woman.

When she was questioned, she could hardly speak, her throat went suddenly dry. She felt pathetic and was unable to even open her mouth. She signalled that she needed water. She had been used to drinking bottled water all her life and here was a guy who put his soiled hands inside the glass of water that was fetched from what seemed like a ‘stink tank’. She felt like throwing up immediately. But she had no other option than drinking that ‘substance’. She regained composure after ten minutes and answered the questions that Mark had for her. They took her finger prints, photo and recorded her oral statement. She now had a firsthand account of the treatment meted out to criminals and she loathed herself for going through this.

After around two hours, Mark allowed her to leave home with two policemen to keep tab on her. This had been the most humiliating day in her life. As soon as she entered her apartment with the policemen, people gave her a repugnant look. Her heart sank. She was eagerly waiting to get rid of the policemen and be alone to come to terms with the day’s events. As she entered her empty apartment, she had a better companion in solitude.

She was not allowed to leave her house the entire day. She took an oath that she would never ever try something stupid like this again in her life. Playing pranks would look good in a story but not in reality.

January 25th at 5.30 pm:

Mark came back to convey that her fingerprints did not match with the sample collected at the crime scene. When he was about to leave, he saw her chocolate brown eyes brimming with tears of joy conveying how appreciative she was for the news. She briefed him about how supportive Remo had been. When he explained the details of the case, she suggested that she might get a clue if she could have a glimpse of the CCTV footage. She was shaken on seeing the lady in the footage. She was not able to cork up her emotions. Before she could stop herself, she mumbled “It is Cathy” and tears started flowing down her eyes. She started sobbing and she couldn’t keep things to herself any longer. She decided to bare her heart to Mark.

A decade ago:

Remo, Ria, Rachel and Cathy did their schooling together. They were bosom friends and were the ‘Famous Four’ of their college. They did not have an iota of doubt about Remo and Ria falling in love. Rachel was hurt that Ria did not discuss this with her. It came as a bolt out of the blue sky when they declared their intention to get married.

It was one of the best marriages Rachel had ever attended. The couple was made for each other. Ria had been a loner from her childhood and Rachel felt really happy for her as Remo was the only one who could make her mingle with people.

Few months after the Marriage:

One day, Cathy came to Rachel’s place intoxicated. She was taken aback on seeing Cathy in such a pathetic condition. Cathy started sobbing inconsolably and swore that she will kill Remo for marrying Ria. Rachel had the shock of her life but was quite confused when Cathy behaved absolutely normal the next day. Since Cathy had been pretty normal ever since, Rachel never bothered about that incident.

January 26th at 6.30 am:

Mark got dressed and sprung into action. He reached on time with his subordinates before Cathy could leave her apartment. He ordered his subordinates to thoroughly check her apartment. One of them returned excitedly with a blue scarf resembling the one in the CCTV footage. Mark carried on with his usual investigation process. Cathy was asked to wait till they got the results of the fingerprint analysis.

Cathy started thinking about the wonderful time she had with Remo during her college days. He had been the most handsome guy she had ever met. She had tried in vain to subtly express her love for Remo during several occasions. When she came to know of Remo’s love for Ria, she wanted to kill him somehow for betraying her.

That was when she had decided to meet Remo in his apartment. He was happy to see her after a long time. But she was seething in rage. When he gave her a friendly hug, she stabbed him in his back. Giving vent to the flurry of emotions, she stabbed him erratically in all directions shouting “Why the hell did you marry Ria?”.. After cruelly murdering him, she returned home happily in the hope of never being traced.

Little did she realize that one of her long term friends Rachel would prove her wrong!

Princess of my life

She willed herself to not check her phone to see if he had replied. It had been about three days now. She hated that she was constantly checking his ‘last seen at’ status and yes, he had logged in just five minutes ago. Yet she couldn’t stop herself. This sinking feeling to find absolutely no communication from him was becoming unbearable, almost torturous.

And then, just as she sat down in her chair, her phone vibrated. With her heart thudding in her ear, she unlocked her phone and stared at the screen. Finally! It was his message.

But when she opened it and read it, she nearly stopped breathing. She didn’t know if he was joking or not. What was this?

The message was – “I met a Princess. Do you want to talk to her?”

The memories came flooding in her mind. She had never thought that her marriage decision would happen just with ten minutes of conversation with a guy she hardly knew! She never thought that she would be loved and celebrated by husband.

But all these happened, though hers was an arranged marriage. He was a kind of a man, who wanted to treat his wife as a queen. Her marriage was an elegant one, completely arranged by him. He had carefully decided their honeymoon spot and discovered few romantic spots which only few could know. He wanted to surprise her every second of their honeymoon. He wanted to see her big eyes, becoming even bigger as the surprises get revealed one by one.

 

During their honeymoon:

 

She was excited on seeing that he had booked a large cosy cottage, which she had always dreamt of. She felt shy that she was going to be alone with a guy for the first time. He held her hands and took her inside, she felt electric. As soon as he closed the door, he held her face “You are the most beautiful girl I have ever seen” and gave her a neat kiss. She blushed and ran away.

She took bath and started cooking their breakfast. As soon as he entered the kitchen, she blushed. He immediately assured her “Hey Reethi darling, am not here to kiss you, but to help you with your cooking. Give me all those vegetables, I will cut them. We will finish the breakfast soon and then have fun ;).”

Once they were done with their breakfast, they went to the beach.

In the beach:

They played in the water. First he took water in his hands and splashed on her face gently.

They looked at each other brimming with love!!!!!!

He wrote “I love you” in the sand.

She wrote “I am crazy about you darling.” And it went on till there was no space in the sand to write…

In the evening:

He took her with her eyes tied with a scarf. Once he opened her eyes, she saw the most romantic place ever seen. They got into a boat. While they were riding, she saw that it was a river which was between Mangroves forest where the fireflies had settled on the trees like stars in the Earth. It was a mesmerizing ride.  When they were mid-way, he took her hand and kissed it. She smiled. He gave two rings to her, they exchanged the rings.

He held her hands and told “Listen Reethi, this is quite serious.  I was not interested in love before marriage. But I had always wanted ever-flowing love in my marriage life. If you do anything that hurts you, let me know immediately, instead of keeping things in your mind and in turn hating me. I will do my best to keep you happy”

She replied “Kishore, I do not want gifts like this, expensive hotel stays, tours, car or bungalow. I just want you completely for me.”

He replied “Reethi, don’t worry. I am always for you”.

At night, when he was sitting in the lawn,

She went near him, hugged him tightly and gave him a kiss on his cheeks…

He bit her cheeks and made her sit on his lap and they spent time happily enjoying the beauty of the moon.

Their love for each other started growing day by day.

One day, she came back early from office and was searching for one of her novels when she found his diary. She eagerly checked the contents, it had the following line in it – I am the wealthiest man on earth because “A good wife and health is a man’s wealth”.

She got a silent tear of happiness. But she never knew that all this would come to an end because of the arrival of a new character in her life.

After two months of her married life:

One day, she suddenly fainted when she got up from the sofa. He got nervous and immediately rushed to the clinic. The doctor smiled on seeing his anxious face. Once the urine test results came, she informed him that “He was going to become a father soon”. His joy knew no bounds.

He called and informed his parents. His father asked him immediately “Is it a boy child? It has always been a boy child in our family. I won’t be happy if it is a girl child my boy.”

He replied “Don’t worry dad. If it had always been a boy child in our family, how would I give birth to a girl child?”

He started behaving as though he was the first person in the world to become a father. He started thinking about which school his kid would study, which shop he should look for his kid’s clothes and toys.

Every day, he massaged her to ease her pain. He gently caressed her with a flower to make her sleep. Prepared nutritious dishes for her and ensured that she had every bit of the food he prepared.

Whenever she got a craving for a particular type of food, the food would be there for her within an hour. Even her mom would not have taken care of her like that. She was in a blissful state.

Three months after she had got conceived:

He excitedly told her “We will soon find out the gender of our baby”

She gleefully told him “Dear, I would like to have a girl baby who would unconditionally love us”

He replied back seriously “No, I do not want a girl child. Let it be boy child or no child”

She was taken aback by his reply. She started getting stressed out worrying about the gender of her child.

At the scan centre:

The nurse shouted “Reethi’s attendant, Reethi’s attendant”

Kishore jumped from his seat in excitement and anxiety to know about his child’s gender.

Doctor “Reethi and Kishore, you are going to have a lovely girl child”

She was terrified and he was devastated.

He told “Reethi, I do not want this child. Abort it.”

She retorted “No I can’t. I want my first child.”

“Do you want me or your child”, he was adamant in his stance.

She begged “I need both of you”

He decided and shouted in a firm voice “You have only one option. Tell me it is either me or your child”

She voiced “I cannot kill my child for sure”

He hysterically shouted back “So, you do not want me. Ok am leaving, bye.”

*—————————*—————————–*

The door closed with a loud thud, as he furiously came out of his home. On his way, suddenly something dashed on him and he fell down. Then only he realized that a small girl had dashed on him.

The girl’s head was bleeding severely. The girl was murmuring “Daddy daddy daddy, it is paining a lot, please help me”. He could not bear seeing the small girl’s anguish. He immediately called the ambulance and rushed her to the hospital.

Before she became unconscious, she lifted her arm but since she did not have strength, it fell straight on his hands. She clutched his hand and cried “Daddyyyyyyyyy”. He felt as though his unborn child was pleading “Daddy please save me”. He sensed tears flowing down his cheeks.

He saw that the kid had several bruises on her body. He could not see her condition and turned away with tears-filled eyes. He felt guilty that God has punished this innocent girl to make him realize the significance of life, be it a girl or a boy.

He snivelled to God with anger “Why do you have to punish this little princess, why can’t you just hurt me. After all, I had done all the misdeeds. I do not know how you do it, but save this girl, please.”

He lost track of hours and days, and kept on praying for the girl to recover. He had nothing other than saving the girl as his goal.

As an answer to his prayers, she opened her eyes after three days of silent struggle. She meekly called out “Daddy, daddyyy”. He gently patted on her hands and assured her that she is safe. He silently thanked God for saving her. She innocuously smiled at him. At that moment, he realized that he never wants to miss such a smile in his life. He instantly pulled out his mobile and messaged her – “I met a Princess. Do you want to talk to her?”

Devastated

I stepped inside my once beautiful house. I was shattered on looking at the scattered valuables. One of my treasured gifts given by my love Sri was tattered and shapeless. I could not control my emotions when I touched the gift.
I was drifted to the past when she had surprised me with this gift. It was my 23rd birthday. I was the kind of guy who rarely used to remember my birthday. It was about to end like any other normal day, I little knew that it was going to be life-changing day.
I was sitting under my favourite neem tree enjoying the graceful breeze and reading Digital Signal Processing (DSP – Degree Stopping Paper). I was sincerely taking notes in the attempt of maintaining my status to be “without any history of arrears”.
I suddenly felt as though someone was blowing hot air on my neck. When I turned my head, I saw my best friend Srividhya, a cute innocent girl with chubby cheeks, dimple chin and rosy lips, standing behind me. She looked at me in a way which I could not decipher. She asked me to close my eyes for ten minutes. I could sense that she was clearing the books from my lap. She then placed something on my lap. She closed my eyes with her hand, when I started opening my mouth to ask her what she was doing, she gave me a neat smooch.
I could not understand what was happening around me. She had not even sat near me till now, now she has smooched me. I did not know how to react. What did she mean by kissing me? She opened my eyes, took her lips from mine and ran inside my home with a shy smile which I have never seen before.
Before me, was a birthday greeting card with the text “Happy birthday to my love Sudhakar” which gave a clear indication that she did love me. Do I love her? I was not sure. She was always with me right from my 1st standard. I had always felt special when I was with her, but had never got a feeling that I love her. Below the greeting card, there was an album. I was shocked to see the contents. She had taken pics of me without my knowledge, it had photos with all my emotions. It also had photos where we had given several cool poses. Another shock for me – there was another album with whatever things I had given to her, including a band aid which I had applied when she had got hurt!
What else will a guy do after seeing all this? Obviously I feel in love with her after seeing her being so crazy about me. I went inside my home in search of her, she was sitting in my room looking nervous waiting for my answer. I sat near her and turned her face towards me. She was still shy and did not look at my face. I snapped my fingers to invite her attention. She looked at me for a second and immediately turned her face.
“Sri, I want to give you my reply, please turn and look at my face”
“Sudha, I cannot bear if you are going to say that we can just be friends and that you are not interested in love”
“No dear, I love you, would you be by my side till I die?”
“Shut up, I will be by your side till I die”
I kissed on her cheeks and she laid down on my shoulders for few seconds.
*——————————————*
Now on seeing the frayed album, I thought about my frantic efforts in reaching her mobile phone. Because of the network failure, I was not able to call anyone. Leave alone Sri, not even the emergency contact numbers for getting food. I still remember each and every dreaded second of the past three days.
I was having a lovable chat with Sri, she was on her way from her office. Suddenly, she cut the call as it had started raining heavily. That was the last call I could make on that day. I tried calling her again after an hour, when the network was not available. I kept the mobile in a place where the network strength would be maximum. Still there was no trace of mobile signal. So I tried calling from my landline, landline connection was dead.
Having no other option other than waiting for her to call, I started watching television. I was watching my favourite song “Munbe va en munbe va”, thinking how lovely it would be if she comes before me at that moment. Suddenly there was a power cut. I got vexed with all communication to the outside world cut. I could not even go out, as it was raining heavily. I was wondering she reached home safely, when there was an announcement “The nearby lake is going to overflow now. Please take your valuables and shift to a safer location”.
My family was shocked. Before we could react, water started coming inside our home. It came with such a force that we were unable to collect things and had to immediately shift to the first floor. The only valuable that I had picked was my mobile as I wanted to check Sri’s status.
In the first floor, we did not have any facilities for cooking. We spent the entire night without food. We were unable to sleep without power. Suddenly water level started rising and water started coming inside the first floor also. We had to immediately shift to the second floor. The next two days our life was a hell, we were terrified that the water level might increase till the second floor. Without food, my parents started feeling giddy. I felt terrible as I was not able to help them in this crucial moment. The network connectivity was still not available. I started shouting from balcony for help, when my neighbour helped me out with a biscuit packet and water bottle. We thanked them from the bottom of our heart.
*————————————————-*
After the water level got restored, I was the first one to enter our home. I felt devastated on looking at the condition of my home. But on seeing the shattered gift of Sri, I totally lost track of things around me and had concern on nothing other than Sri.
My network connectivity was not yet restored. I checked the landline, it was in a terrible condition. So I decided to surprise her by visiting her home. On the way, I was dreaming about the shock on her face, on seeing me after a month.
When I reached her home, a huge crowd was standing outside. I wondered what function was happening inside! When I went inside and saw her body on the floor, I could not believe my eyes. I did not want to believe what was in front of my eyes. I wish all this was a dream.
I tried pinching me to come back to the real world. But unfortunately, I was standing in her house to witness the most tragic moment of my life. She was electrocuted on her way to her home. I went and hugged her and cried ignoring the crowd that was gathered around her. My future had crashed before my eyes. The loss that happened in my home was nothing when compared to what I was facing here.