“Dead ends” are not end of life..

Another weekend and Veer was as usual fiddling with his drink at FuzzyHead, all by himself. Visiting lounges; bars across NCR had become his weekly routine, and rarely he had any company during such so-called ‘outings’. Quite a few regulars there exchanged smiles with him but nothing beyond that, ever. At some of his frequently visited places, bartenders and other serving staff now know his preferred drinks very well depending on what time of the day it is. They look forward to his visits as he was one of those rare ‘no fuss’ kind of a guy, even after few drinks. All he needed was his drink, good food..a little space to sit and get engrossed in his phone, writing something all the time.

At 37, Veer was Offshore Director at one of the Fortune 500 IT services firm operating out of Gurgaon. For past 15 years he had spent most of his time on office work, moving up the ladder at a great pace. He had no time for family, friends and women….except for few short lasting flings. With good looks & ample bank balance, it was quite unusual for a man his age either not having a girl friend or be married by now. For him, life was almost a “Dead End”…

Engrossed in his phone and sipping the drink, Vir heard a woman talking loud over a call. She was sounding a little drunk, and almost shouting at someone. He turned back but was not able to see her face. Call continued for few minutes and as soon as it was over, he felt a tap on his shoulder. He looked back, and froze for few seconds..

“You?”

“Hiiiiiiii” said the woman.

“Hello. Are you ok? Need something?”

“Yes, need a smoke. You have one?”

“Of course, not sure if this is your brand” said Vir while handing over his cigarette pack.

“Who cares about brand after few drinks” and she winked while laughing.

“Light please” and Vir obliged.

“Do you mind if I join you, can’t keep sitting in this strange position”

“Sure, I will finally have a company after months”

“Really, are you such a boring guy?” asked Kriti while moving to Veer’s table.

“Probably, what about you?”

“I come here only when I am very depressed and today is one of those days”

“Hmmmm…”

“What hmmm? You are supposed to ask a lady why she is so troubled, needs any help….looks like chivalry has died.”

“Ok, tell me. Why are you so sad and depressed. Though I find you high in spirits, is it because of only alcohol?”

“Mr ….Veer. Right?”

“Yup…”

“Veer!! What kind of name it is? Very old fashioned.”

“I know, goes well with me. You tell me what is troubling you today?”

“Nothing much, just that I feel so lonely . It’s my B’day and have no one who remembers it. It’s just my son who called me up early in the morning and wished me.”

“Called you, where is he?”

“With his father, in Mumbai. We separated two years back and court granted Arthav’s custody to his father.”

“Oh, sorry to hear that. And a very Happy B’day.”

“Thank you and you don’t have to be. We are happy with this decision, and living in peace. I get to meet my son every two months, and he spends half of his summer vacations with me. His father is a rich man and able to take good care of him, sends him to the best of school in Mumbai. What else I need, have no other desires.”

“Hmmm….” that’s all Veer could utter…

“What about you?”

“By the way, do you remember that interview, when you asked all stupid questions and rejected me? To the day I have failed to understand why?”

“Sorry, but I just wanted to be at a distance from all distractions. There were major projects we had won and successful delivery meant I moving to Director’s position. Which I actually did, it’s been three years…must say you have a great memory.”

“So, how does it feels to be a Director Mr. Veer” Kriti said while getting a little tipsy.

“Great!”

“Really? and  this race to reach at the top has left you lonely…in your own company. Trust me, there is life beyond it…”

Veer had no words, in a way what Kriti said was right. He has a huge bank balance but almost no friends or family. Everyday he is all by himself after office, burning fuel and just killing his time at various pubs.

“Do settle my bill as well today Mr Veer, you will feel better.” said Kriti tapping his shoulder while getting up and moving away.

“And let’s meet at Rajiv Chowk Metro station tomorrow same time in the evening.” all Veer could hear still absorbed in his thoughts…

Third and last story in sequel to – “U” turns can lead to dead-ends!Life does have “U” turns..

गुड्डा

“माँ, मुन्ना कब बोलेगा और मुझे गले लगाएगा?” सोनू ने कपड़े के गुड्डे को गले लगते हुए माँ से पूछा।

कमला रोटी बनाते-बनाते एक पल के लिए रुक गई और खुद को संभालते हुए बोली “शाम को पिताजी से पूछना”

खाट पर बैठी सोनू की दादी ने मुँह बनाते हुए कमला को घूरा।

“माँ, तुम कहती थी की जल्दी ही भाई लाने वाली हो मेरे लिए जो मेरे साथ खेलेगा। तुम उस दिन अस्पताल गयी पिताजी के साथ, गुड्डा तो ले आईं पर ये सोता ही रहता है?”

कमला चूल्हा बंद कर रोते हुए घर से बाहर निकल गई….

(Originally posted at https://aajsirhaane.com based on a picture cue under 101 word stories category

Link:

https//aajsirhaane.com/2016/06/11/week-18-gudiyon-ke-bazaar-mein/)

बड़ी बहन

दीपू शांती से एक साल छोटा था, लेकिन जिंदगी के थपेड़ों ने उसे उम्र से पहले बड़ा कर दिया। बाहर की दुनिया के लिए वो शांती का बड़ा भाई था, उसके हर सुख-दुख का ख़याल रखने वाला।

माँ-बाप की सड़क पर काम करते हुए मौत हो गयी थी। शांती पर काफी लोगों की नज़र थी, मगर दीपू दिवार बनकर खड़ा था उसके और दुनिया के बीच में।

आज भी जब दोनों खाना खा रहे थे तो मंगल आया था, लेकिन दीपू ने हाथ में खुखरी उठाकर शोर मचा दिया। और उसको भागता देख शांतीे मुस्करा उठी।

(Originally posted at https://aajsirhaane.com based on a picture cue under 101 word stories category

Link : https://aajsirhaane.com/2016/03/19/week-12-zindagi-inki-bhi/)

शाँति..

मृदुल आज कुछ समय अकेले बिताना चाहता था, सुबह घर से आए ख़त को पढ़कर वो दुखी था।

पिताजी गुज़र गए थे, वो मृदुल की खराब आदतों से काफी परेशान रहते थे। आए दिन मृदुल के पुलिस थानों के चक्कर लगते, हद्द तो तब हो गयी जब मृदुल ने अपनी ही बहन की इज्जत पर हाथ डाल दिया और उसने आत्महत्या कर ली। उस दिन से मृदुल मृदुल ना रहा, दुनिया भर शांति की तलाश में भटका।

वो असीम शांति उसे यहां पहाड़ों में छोटे से गाँव में मिली थी, और गाँव वालों ने उसे भगवान् का दर्जा दे दिया।

(Originally posted at https://aajsirhaane.com based on a picture cue under 101 word stories category

Link : https://aajsirhaane.com/2016/05/21/week-17-kitne-buddh/)

Breach of trust…

It was a bright sunny afternoon of December; their weekly date day and she always looked forward to it. He was a top notch TV News anchor with India 24×7 News and she was still a low rank Sub editor of one of the English dailies in Delhi. They met during one of the Award functions few months back, where Avijit received Most popular news show anchor award for his talk show; consecutive for the 3rd year. She was one among the huge fan following he had. Post award distribution ceremony, there was a dinner party thrown by the organizers. And no media party is complete without alcohol being served, so it was after down with few drinks she had the courage to reach out to Avijit, congratulate and tell him that he is the best. She also spoke at length about her favourite episodes and how he grilled a particular Politician guest. All this time she was the one who keep talking and he was listening to her peacefully for almost 40 minutes before an almost 50 something guy pulled him to one corner. Avijit had good 10 minutes animated discussion with him before he left, all this while she was looking at him rather staring at him. He rushed towards her, took out a business card from his black blazer placed it in her hand and left saying “Call me tomorrow at 11 am. I would like to hear more from you. Right now, I have to rush to break a very important story.”

Rohini was taken aback by this gesture of him; she didn’t expected Avijit to even care about her opinion.

“Avijit, the Avijit Mistry wants to hear from me. Wow!” she blurted while gulping down the entire glass of her favourite drink, Vodka with orange juice in crushed ice.

She switched on the television as soon as was inside her apartment and put on the channel NEWZ 24×7. And it immediately became clear to her why he rushed from the party to studio.

“Defence Minister of India alleged to have indulged in the corruption while placing order for latest fighter jets for the India Air Force from France. We have got exclusive documents and some audio clips which prove him guilty”. Avijit was literally shouting from the studio of NEWZ 24×7.

She spent next 1 hour in front of the television till the time Avijit covered entire story, unfolding evidence he had in front of him. And Rohini just loved how he covered every story with conviction and confidence; exactly opposite to her. She was good at writing and editing but when it came to putting her point in front of others; she always finds it difficult to go beyond few sentences and is short of words”. That’s probably why she was stuck in her current job for past 15 years which was her first as well; she didn’t have too many aspirations and was at peace with her life. With all these thoughts floating like clouds in her mind, she dozed off and woke up with the sound of her cell phone ringing. She checked time; it was 6:45 am and accepted the call.

“Hello My Sweetheart. Good Morning!”

“Hi Mom. How are you?”

“I am surviving somehow without you beta.”

“Mom, just 2 more years and I will be back in Delhi. After that I will not go anywhere, will spend all of my life with you.”

“Okk, so shall I start looking for a young man who can leave his family and adjust with two of us.” Rohini said laughing.

“Mom, please don’t start this again…I don’t want to get married. You know that.”

“Ok, ok. We have enough time with us to discuss this more. Are you not getting late for the class?”

“No, I have 5 minutes. I called to tell you that we have our vacations starting 23rd Oct for two weeks. I am so excited already to be with you.”

“Rishu, there are still 2 months left so focus on your studies. I will be there on 22nd afternoon to pick you up.”

“Ok, Mom. Bye & love you.”

It has been 4 years since Rohini admitted Rishu to a boarding in Shimla because of her work schedule, and there was none to take care of her. She had separated from her husband the very next year of her marriage, while 6 months pregnant and her ex-husband never ever cared to even find about the child. Her mother passed away about 5 years back and for 1 year she tried her best to take care of Rishu all by herself. But it was not working out and Rishu’s education was getting affected, so with a very heavy heart she had to take this decision. She chose the best of boarding school for Rishu in Shimla and used to visit her every second month for at least 2 days. She was happy that this decision of her turned out very positive, as Rishu topped in all her exams and extra-curricular activities.

While she was submerged in her thoughts, there was a beep at her phone. She knew it was an sms, ignored it and tried sleeping for some more time as her work shift this week starts at 2 pm. There was a beep again in about 30 minutes and she finally picked it up to check it.

“Sorry to disturb you so early in the day, just wanted to inform you that I will not be able to speak at 11 due to urgent work. Call me between 9:30 am – 10:00 am if you are free – Avijit.”

For a moment Rohini thought she was dreaming and read the message again. It really was from Avijit, she verified his cell number from the business card he had handed over to her last night. But how did he have her number? She was surprised and felt quite amused at him digging her number and dropping messages. Was it really that important? It wouldn’t have made any difference if she was not able to speak to him. Anyways, she finally dragged herself out of the bed and switched on the television again. Same news was being played and she was not able to take her eyes off Avijit, without paying any attention to content of the story. What is it she thought?

Anyways, she called him at sharp 9:30 am and as if he was also waiting for her call. She congratulated him for breaking the Defence Minister story and appreciated how he covers every story on his shows. He was again most of the time listening to her and thanked her quite a few times in between. At the end of the entire conversation he asked her if she can meet him for a quick cup of coffee at Connaught Place in the evening. Rohini agreed without even thinking that she had her office till 10 pm in the night. She could manage, Bhalla ji would come to her rescue here. Mr Bhalla has been a very supportive and helpful colleague for past many years now and she could rely on him in case of any emergencies.

They met for coffee at Starbucks café at Outer circle, and what an evening it was; at least for Rohini. It has been years that she has gone out and met any man except for her male friends from college days. She felt very comfortable with Avijit in her first meeting itself, and he turned out to be a thorough gentleman. Once again, he was mostly listening and Rohini was the one doing most of the talking. They were there for about one hour and left for respective offices.

They started meeting regularly over coffee, lunch, dinner and drinks at times. Rohini for the first time in her life started feeling being cared, paid attention to and respected. Her arranged marriage had not given her any of these feelings; it was more like an arrangement where only she suffered. Good that it didn’t lasted that long and she was free to pursue her education & career. With Avijit it was different; she felt a strong bond with him quite early and had the feeling that he also feels same for her. She longed to meet him every day, though it was not possible but they speak at least 2-3 times a day over phone. She was probably falling in love with him, and would think of him the entire days and a lot of nights. Suddenly, life was turning out to be exciting and being looked forward to.

During one of her weekly off day, she called Avijit “Hi, what are you doing today afternoon?”

“Nothing much, same boring routine. Some news analysis I have to do, no breaking news story so I am at your service. What’s the plan?”

“Do you mind having Lunch with me at my place?” Rohini asked.

“Not at all, if you are fine with it.”

“Ok, so be here by sharp 1:30 pm. I will text you my address.”

Avijit reached her apartment at 1:15 pm with a bunch of red roses. She loved this gesture of him, and laid the lunch for both of them.

“You cook really well, I just loved everything. Especially that Veg Biryani, awesome it is. I just cannot stop myself from eating it more than I usually eat. Thank you for doing this for me.” Avijit said.

“I should rather thank you for visiting me, otherwise it is so boring to cook for own self and eat it too.”

“I can be your guest over every meal.” Avijit laughingly said.

“Please do so.” was Rohini’s response.

Avijit smiled and took Rohini’s hands in his and said “You look beautiful today and I want to take you out for dinner tonight.”

Rohini nodded approvingly and served some sweet for both of them. They went out for a dinner at Bukhara, and Rohini was impressed with how Avijit had planned everything so meticulously. She asked him to show his place while returning home, and what an apartment it was; huge with 4 bedrooms and so lavishly done. He asked her if she thinks him worthy of marrying and spend entire life with. Rohini was waiting for this only for so long now and took no time to say yes.

Next morning she had to leave early for Shimla to pick Rishu from her boarding and they were back in Delhi by late night same day. She planned a lunch with Avijit next Sunday, as she wanted him to meet Rishu. She had shared everything about her life with Avijit but he had not gone into many details but she didn’t felt there was nothing to hide in his life, she trusted him more than herself by now. For her, Avijit was a man every woman wants to be with her entire life; successful, loving, caring & reliable. So, the lunch next Sunday went very well. Rishu seemed to like Avijit and both of them were talking a lot on various topics. Rohini was relaxed to see that, as she had planned to speak to her on taking next step in her relationship with Avijit. Till that day, she was not sure how Rishu would take it but now she was fairly positive and decided to talk to her very soon on this. Both of them met Avijit 2-3 times and every time Rohini got more confident that Rishu would be comfortable with her decision of getting married to Avijit.

When Rohini brought up this topic with Rishu, she was a little sceptical about it but later on after some detailed discussions agreed and was delighted see her mother so happy. Rohini broke this news to Avijit and he reached their apartment in the evening to celebrate this.

When Rishu went back to her boarding school, Rohini moved into Avijit’s apartment. They planned to get married once Rishu’s final exams will be over in the month of February next year. Everything was falling in place for them.

It’s Christmas and Rishu is visiting them for one week. Rohini had planned some shopping trips during this time, for wedding and other family functions. Rishu loved her new home and was looking forward to see her mother getting married to Avijit very soon. She got closer to Avijit and he used to pamper her a lot, buy gifts and dresses for her. Recently he bought an iPhone5 for her. Rohini was happy to see both of them getting along so nicely.

Everything was going fine till today morning, when Rohini was out for a walk and suddenly remembered that the probably left the doors open. She rushed towards house and got inside, and heard Rishu’s screams for help. She rushed towards her bedroom and was shocked to see Avijit forcing him on Rishu. She became mad out of anger, rushed to kitchen and picked the longest knife. With all thoughts of trust, faith, respect melting down her spine she could feel the hot blood oozing out of Avijit’s body.

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. It’s the same scarf gifted to her by Avijit on one of their dates while roaming around in the Connaught Place. Television in the remote corner was blaring with breaking news of the hour “NEWZ 24×7 Anchor Avijit Mistry found dead in his apartment.”

Last sip of coffee touched her quivering lips and had made up her mind by that time. She was out of café, crossed the road and went inside New Rajender Nagar Police Station placing blood stained knife on the table of SHO and confessed of killing Avijit…

Price of water…

Beena has been waiting for past 1 hour with two buckets in her hands, for the water tanker to arrive. She counted her number as 28 in the long serpentine queue of men, women and children struggling to stand in the hot June afternoon. Finally when the tanker entered her lane from the left corner and made a stop at a distance of about 50 metres from the queue, everyone rushed towards it creating almost like a stampede. There was a kind of war to get hold of tap at the rear of the tanker and the most powerful were the ones who were enjoying this power.

Beena has been pushed to almost end of the queue, whatever was left of it and in no time tanker was drained of every drop of water. She was thinking they will have to pay money to buy water today as well, and looking at the smiling faces of people who were able to fill a few buckets.

And was getting herself mentally prepared to be thrashed by her husband for not fetching some water home, today again!

(Story Idea – Writing prompt ‘Situation where there’s scacity of water’ from The Kahini Writers’ Centre – https://www.facebook.com/kahiniwriters)

Ex…

“Come on, pick it up” said Kapil as Sheena’s phone kept ringing for third consecutive time without any response.

She must have reached office by now, he thought and dropped mail at her office mail id. At the same time, he received sms from Sheena…

“Hi, I am in full day training and then have to go out with parents for a family Dinner. Will call you tomorrow morning.”

Strange, she didn’t shared about this full-day training and the dinner…thought Kapil while getting out of Metro at Mandi House station.

“So, we are not meeting today in the evening?”

“Yes, not possible. Maybe tomorrow, let’s see.” was Sheena’s response.

Kapil took out his phone and made a call “Hello! Where are you? Ok. Let’s go to Buzz tonight? Done! I will pick you up at 9. Bye!”

At sharp 9 pm, Kapil was outside Rini’s place and messaged her on Whatsapp “I am here, come quick.”

“In 5 minutes please.” she replied.

Rini was out in 5 minutes, and Kapil was not able to take his eyes off her. She was wearing a Mini with off-shoulder silver color top. Even the guards of her Apartments were staring at her, legs to be precise. She settled down in the car and Kapil was still looking at her. He came back to his senses only when Rini said “Let’s go” a bit loud, for the third time.

“You look hot.” was all Kapil could say.

“Thank you!”

They reached Buzz in about 30 minutes and were down with 4 shots each within 10 minutes. Music played loud and they were dancing with it’s beats, everyone in the Discotheque was! Kapil and Rini were little drunk and holding onto each other while dancing, very close. So engrossed they were into each other, that without realizing bumped into another couple and almost fell on the dance floor.

They apologised to the couple, and to Kapil’s shock the girl turned out to be Sheena! Kapil and Sheena froze for few seconds and stepped back.

“Meet Sheena, my Ex-Girlfriend” said Kapil to Rini.

“Your Ex? You never shared this this” Rini said surprisingly.

“Hardly matters….” while moving to the bar and gulping a shot Kapil blurted….

Just like that

reach out and touch someone.....

Umesh Kaul

Traveler!!!! on the road

Yes I am "Deepti"

I am proud to be **

Aaj Sirhaane

aaiye, kuchh likhte hain..

abvishu

जो जीता हूँ उसे लिख देता हूँ

angelalimaq

food, travel and musings of a TV presenter.

Bhav-Abhivykti

This blog is nothing but my experiences of life and my thoughts towards the world.

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