Tag Archives: story

Let’s for once live a life, Not many have lived yet

Rummaging through his old files, Aditya stumbled upon a black Parker pen carefully tucked   to one of the corners of a fading yellow folder. The folder had beautiful daffodil flowers printed on it. It appeared so girly, so out-of-place in the stack of old files and notebooks. On a second thought, he remembered that he had kept this folder in his bag pack stealthily, trying to avoid being caught by his mom who was helping him in his packing when he was coming to Toronto. He had been so busy since then in his medical practice and classes that he had almost forgotten about it. He had carried it for seventy-two thousand miles. He had known what he wanted to do with the folder when he first laid his hands on it. The plan was to keep it near his bed-side and watch it till he felt asleep every night.

Aditya packed everything else in his bags and decided to hit the bed early so that he does not miss his flight which was scheduled at half past six in the morning. He did not know what to do with the folder.

The folder was a reminder of what had gone by. He hugged the folder and felt a tear trickle down his face. He fell on his knees. He could not see anything clearly. He removed his glasses and pressed his eyes. His fingers were wet.

He got up feeling good, smiling inwardly. He sidelined his luggage and dived into his bed. Last night in Canada, he felt tired.  He had not missed home so he thought he will not miss Canada also. He just missed missing things.

Two years ago, he was enamored, smitten, bemused, enchanted and everything else which felt like being in love.

He rolled the pen on the bed with his palm. He never used it so it was still new. He had bought that pen for Ishika’s hair. He smiled now at the memory. He had failed in one of his semester papers because of those perennially unmanageable long shiny long locks which dropped loose on her shoulder at slightest provocation. For six months, he did not attend any of his morning lectures so that he could travel with Ishika by her time. He enjoyed the view of her cascading hair standing right behind her. Her hair had an invigorating smell which filled his senses.

At the end of that semester, he brought this pen and gave it to her and said curtly trying to sound very business-like, “This is a pen you will never forget. Let me explain you its benefits. You can roll your hair with this so that it does not fall and you can also write to me when I go to Toronto after two years to study medicine.”

She smiled at his silly face, “I will rather call you or email you.”

He scolded himself for his stupidity but he was also happy because he had finally been able to talk to that girl who took the same metro with him every day (except on Sundays).

It was very different from the way he had felt for other girls. The more he talked to her, the more he felt he was a part of her. Together it seemed they were two scattered pieces which came together to make one whole story.

A month before he had to come to Canada, when she was lying on him and her hair falling beside both his cheeks, he looked at her and she looked at him, he had felt home. He had said her that he had never beheld such a beautiful sight. She had smirked at him incredulously and tucked her hair behind her ears to give him a more proper view of her face.

Suddenly, he had felt an empowering emotion not to leave her. That was a very difficult moment. All his life he had dreamt of going to Canada to study medicine and there was this one girl who had almost charmed her into changing his decision.

He slid her to his side, stroked her hair twice and got up at once, surprising her. He walked across the room and pulled her folder from her handbag that was kept on his table. He emptied all its content in her bag except a sheet of paper from her notepad. He said her, “Write whatever comes to your mind when you think of you and me.” Without wasting a moment she scribbled something as if she had been waiting for this moment. She placed it in her folder and kept it on his table and collected her hand bag, gave him a smile and left.

A week before he was leaving Aditya found himself on his knees before Ishika. He looked at her and said all that he had ever wanted to say. He said, “I feel nothing but peace, satisfaction, tranquility, calmness, humane and divine. Here, lies my destiny. I want to live and relive this moment again, forever and always.”

Ishika chuckled “And I feel like a Goddess.”

Aditya smiled too. They embraced and it felt perfect. She whispered in his ears, “You will never feel like this again.” His arms tightened around her and he felt a lump in his throat. He knew what was coming

Ishika said, “Yes, Aditya, you will never feel like this again in this room because I’m not coming here anymore. I am not coming to you. Instead I’m coming with you to Canada, to Toronto with you. My admission letter is in my back pocket, don’t waste time.

His arms tightened around her and he felt a lump in his throat again.

Aditya was still lying on the bed rolling the pen when Ishika entered the room and saw him hugging himself. She turned towards the luggage and made an omg-i-am-going-to die-in-a-foreign-land- without seeing-India kind of face. Aditya recognized that face instantly and rose in self-defense lest she threw half of the luggage out of the window. He said convincingly, “Oh! This…I’m going to carry all of this, don’t worry. She sat on the bed feeling good about the arrangement.

Finally, she fell back on the bed and the pen hit her head.

Aditya smiled, “this was meant for your hair, you thick skull.” and hugged her on the bed.

The folder was still lying on his bed-side. It had a paper on which it was written-

“Let’s meet in that haven

Which we can call our nest

Let’s for once live a life

Not many have lived yet.”

Aditya whispered in her eyes – “our haven”

He did not miss anything because all that he wanted or ever desired, he had all of it with him. All of it was here, wrapped in his arms now.

A walk in metro

I have been sitting here thinking and trying to figure out a way to deal with this new thing that has approached me. I have been thinking about this for quite a time; say more than an hour or so. There are plenty of ideas coming into my head right now but none of them seem convincing. Probably the unique nature of the problem has intrigued me. I don’t know how to take it. It is so puzzling; something very strange, something miraculous has occurred. Since I cannot categorize this particular event in the brackets of known and familiar occurrences so, I don’t know how to deal with it. Since there have been many thoughts and speculations running into my brain, the first thing that I must do is to straighten them and try to build a linear causal movement so that I can think effectively.

So, let me do a bit of rewinding and check the information I have.

I have to reach home for Diwali and I have waited till evening so that it gets dark when I commute in metro. It’s like going through half of Delhi looking at it from a height when it is lightened up by street lights, road lamps, traffic lights and lighted buildings and offices. So the city amidst extended darkness of night presents an enticing and enchanting view from the running metro. But it isn’t that pleasant traveling in metro always. I have hated women’s compartment (because of few very bad experiences in the past) and the general crowd sometimes when they behave ill mannerly. Anyway, this time my journey starts at a frightening note. After getting my luggage scanned I find that my smart card is short of balance. So I get it recharged.  After that in a routine like manner I punch my smart card and head towards the platform and wait for the metro. While I am waiting for the metro I reconsider traveling in the women’s compartment… about giving it a yet another try but then I recall my past experiences and immediately dismiss the absurd idea. My bag being heavy has forced me to bend slightly at the opposite side. Soon the metro enters the platform and I proceed to enter. There are very few people in the queue so there is no need to hurry. Slowly the people in front crawl inside the metro and I am the last girl standing. But as I put my first step forward on the door of the train I lose balance. The action begins here.

That particular second I am scared of falling and getting injured. I stretch my arms to get hold of the handle on the door. Deep down I know that I will be able to hold it but then in the same second it occurs to me-what if I cannot or what if my fingers slip, what if I fall flat on the platform, what if the door closes before I am out of the train? It scares and that feeling makes me shut my eyes at that very moment. But instead of holding the iron rod I feel a cloth like stuff running between my fingers and palm. I open my eyes to see what it is and also to see how safe my posture hanging half out of the metro is.  By then I have balanced my position but find myself a little disturbed to meet the eyes of the person in front.

Now this fellow who stands holding my stretched hand and supports me and whose torn pocket hangs down like a helpless orphan stupefies me.

Say it unpreparedness or nervousness or the recent shock or whatever I hear myself blabbering and repeating a single word –sorry, to which all I receive a smile that isn’t relaxing at all but beautiful nonetheless. Coincidentally we both turn and move towards the closed-door of the metro. I like to stand there watching the city below. My eyes move to see him again and find him smiling in exactly the same way as I had found him a while ago. I return that smile though I know that mine is little a little artificial one generated just out of courtesy.

Then, he turns towards me facing me and says, “Hey! Do you know me by any means?”

I am utterly shocked by that question. Why should I know him? But before I can think of an answer he speaks again and again it is a question. “Do you by anyway recall my face, try to find out if you have seen me before.”

First of all I just want to dismiss him thinking that he was just trying to strike a conversation but the confidence he harbors is unusual. So, I reply him.

“No, I can’t recall anything to recognize you.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes as far as I remember this is the first time I have met you.”

“No. no, I didn’t mean meeting me. I just meant if you remember my face, having passed across your eyes anytime.”



“Anyway thanks for being there.”

“Oh never mind. If it would have been me you would have clutched the rod. So I am sorry to get into your way.”

I smiled a little at that sarcastic remark and then nodded my head in a ‘okay’

“So Ishika how are you?”

“O my god! Did you just call out my name? How do you know that I am Ishika. “

“I know a lot more.”


“Like you are in a college.”

“But how do you know all this?”

“Not just this. What if I say you it has been more than a year since I saw you and have known you since then?”

“But, how?”

“I have seen you everyday since the day I saw you first. I have seen it all. I have seen you attending classes, rushing for your lectures, moving with your assignments, talking to your professors, discussing with your friends, hunting books in the library, looking at the menu list in the canteen. But you do all the wrong things at the wrong places. So you look into your notes in the canteen, discuss issues in the lawn, sleep during lectures and smile at your professors. Now don’t look so shocked. You must be thinking how I know all this.”

“You know all this because you might be a fellow student in my college. I might not have noticed you.”

“Okay do you remember that day when you were studying alone in your class and a boy approached and asked you several questions but only one at a time? When he asked you something and then moved outside and then came again to ask you another question and he repeated this four times till you looked irritated.”

“So that is it. You are that same guy. Isn’t it?”

“No way. Do I look so stupid?”

“I don’t know.”

“Ok so do you remember that incidence when you were walking with this tall guy with a friend of yours recently?”

“Yes, I do.”

“I saw you with that guy and assumed that he was your friend and it was only after a few days I came to know that he was only your friend’s friend. I have seen you sitting on the pavement by road side, seen you reading in park, calculating something in air on your way back from college. I have seen you hurrying down your stairs to the shop nearby to get a recharge coupon. I have seen you smiling at yourself, looking at your mobile intently, typing vigorously, walking alone playing with your hair, laughing with your friends, bullying them at times, heard you teasing them, narrating stories and writing poems. I have seen you travelling in metro and enjoying it. I have seen you going to different places and enjoying when you meet different variety of people. “

“I don’t know what to say. Ok, so you know a lot many things but why are you saying all this to me? What do you expect me to do?”

“You seem to me very intriguing and I get inquisitive everytime I see you.”

“So, you are free to see me. That’s not a problem.”

“But I want to know you and merely observing does not fulfill my purpose any longer. I need to talk to you. I need to know you through your actions in words and thoughts.”

“So, what can I do for you?”

“Can you just let me know you…let me talk to you…understand your silence and analyze your speech? Don’t worry. You don’t need to say anything, just allow me for my sake- say for a charity or something.”

“I need to go. It’s my station.”

“No problem. Whenever you think about a decision I will get to know. Just see that you think about this soon.”

So since the moment I left him, I have been thinking about him. Now though I have a linear graph of what just happened I still cannot figure out what should be done. I am tired of thinking about this.

I slept musing on this supposedly new variety of person and the miraculous kind of occurence that had met that evening.

The cell beeped at half past three in the morning when I was fast asleep. But my hand was on my mobile and the vibration woke me up. I had to struggle to open my eyes and read the message.  But the message left me a little puzzled, disturbing me to an unprecedented extent and leaving me sleepless for the rest of the night.

A ten- digit number had appeared in the sender’s list instead of a name. It was definitely an odd time to engage in a conversation. But since sleep seemed a far-fetched luxury and the intensity of curiosity was already so overwhelming I decided to reply back.

“Who’s this?”

It took few seconds when the cell beeped again. It was from the same number. The reply was undoubtedly very fast. And thus a string of conversation initiated between us.

‘Hey, were you not sleeping? Anyway it’s 3:40 which I feel is not a very good time to strike a conversation.”

“But I received a message from you a while ago. Did not this stupid idea of not-so-good-time hit you ten minutes before?”

“Apparently no. But I don’t think my message had a post- script saying that I am waiting for a reply?”

“Smart way to defend yourself. But, I don’t want to argue.  I am only interested in knowing the sender’s name.”

“Will the sender’s number not suffice?”

“Weren’t you generous enough to disclose the number in your very first message?”

“:) :)”


“Smiley…to convey you that I was smiling! :P”


“Why are you frowning? I have a beautiful smile; trust me (I hope you will agree)

P.S. also, my incisors are not broken”


“Infectious smile!”

“I might be terribly mistaken and may also sound crazy but I feel (by pure intuition) that you are the same guy I met in the metro last evening.”

“Perfect guess”

“How did you procure my number, mystery boy?”

To this, the reply came, “Simple, you have saved your own number in your mobile under the name “it’s me”

“I don’t understand you. You simply know a hell of lot of things. By the way those lines that you sent me in the first message were very nice. I haven’t read it before” After all it was no use asking this miraculous creature who had some super-natural power to know everything without being informed.

This seemed to irritate him a little. “That was original, damn it”

“Impressive, I must say. Now please excuse me. Actually I like to sleep at this hour of the day(actually night). Good night!”

“Sure! With all humility I urge you to proceed. Good night.”

I wanted to read those lines once again before I slept. It said-

“In the days of my glory,

the word shall stand divided

whether to serve the ‘amiable you’

or strive to condemn my attempt.

From that self-ordained inferno

I will see you, my smiling muse

then come to me and embrace,

when I say-

“with the story of your life,

my death shall illuminate”

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Am I dreaming?

It felt fresh when he woke up. He was smiling instinctively without being very sure what exactly made him smile. The night was pleasant and the dream… “Oh wait! Am I still dreaming?” Aditya asked himself and spent a gaze around him which unleashed a greater amount of smile this time.  There wasn’t anything on his mind- no excitement of the New Year, no Lokpal brouhaha, no pending concerns, no obligation and if at all they were there, he just did not want to care. He wanted to be lying, thinking about the dream. Although there was a slight sense of disappointment that all of it had ended in a fraction of second when his eye-lids had ditched him contrary to his wishes- they had opened him to the realities of a past night and the morning sunlight.

Isn’t it strange that in our dreams everything conflate and overlaps with each other and what we have is an amazing cocktail of place, people and events which are highly improbable to meet in this real world? School, college, home, hostel -everything in the neighborhood- and a strange mingling of different people. Aditya drew the quilt a little closer on himself and dunked himself in the last night’s dream- replaying it over and over again in his mind and laughing at the way he had resisted the things in the dream, within the dream itself.

In the dream he had assumed one of the figures to be himself. While he was in the dream he was also observing the things going on. So he saw his home and there it’s mom and o! Is that Ishika talking to her? He had asked himself in the dream “How can she be here at my home and that too with mom? O shit! They already know each other, when did this happen?”

While he was dreaming he was trying to get a logical connection of things happening in there, it had puzzled him then, it was baffling him even now.

“What the fuck!! What are you doing here in my dreams? You got to be out there in front of your computer screen or your phone chatting or with me out somewhere, the way you always do” he asked Ishika pretending to dislike the situation, but, inside he knew he was very happy to see her here with him. Ishika wasn’t replying. “What was wrong with her”, he asked himself. She just kept on smiling like those female characters of teenage stories and she also did look like one of them- ever so beautiful and sweet, her smile so lovely, yes, and the image of the perfect girl you would imagine for yourself- the kind of thing that the now a days novelists paint for us in their fun novels. This girl, who used to be brimming with energy and words always that used to be overflowing with wit and humor, why she is suddenly so silent. Ad he thought of mom, she had probably faded away somewhere, he thought. Her absence was a relief for now he could talk to Ishika more freely. But he was too shocked to see her here and to avoid the situation he turned to go to his room. He opened the door and there was a bigger shocker waiting. Ishika was already sitting in his room.

“Why are you here… why are you here and there and just everywhere?” he asked and again Ishika did not utter a single word. She was only smiling.

“Okay I don’t care eve if you are here, I am going to continue what I was supposed to do and I will assume that you were never here, right?”

No reaction again. She was still only smiling.

‘Why are you being so dumb Ishika? ”

Suddenly everything blanks out, melts away and then another scene.

It’s my hostel room all of a sudden and once again Ishika is here again. Everything else at its place or say everything not at its place but that appears normal, as usual. The only thing which is an aberration is the presence of a dumb but smiling Ishika.

“Ishika, you know girls are not allowed here in the boy’s dorm. You should be leaving lest someone sees you here. And moreover I need to be in the lecture hall at this time, I can’t handle you here.

What the hell is wrong with you? Are you listening I am getting late for my class, can we meet up some other time… will you say something?”

Aditya tried to rationalize it. “Oh yes! Now I get it, listen you are only a figment of my imagination. I am making you up; but I am just so engrossed in you…you are completely dictating my thoughts. Listen, this is my dream and I don’t want you to be roaming around here just like that. And if you want to be here, I want you to be talking to me. You understand?”

She chuckled a little. I won’t say that the melody of her laughter was so this and that (the good adjectives I mean) but yes, it was all of that. She started speaking finally, “your placements treat Aditya, the date and venue please”

“Yes, she was beautiful but here in the dream she was incredible,” Aditya thought before he started answering her “Don’t worry about that, anywhere you say, except my home, my room and my dream, H@H@H@.”

Cut and the screen changes again. The transition is so fast that I don’t understand my own dreams.

It’s Ambience mall, Gurgaon.

And I am all set to see Sherlock Holmes and …but where are my friends, Oh! The smiling Ishika, again???
Did I make a plan with you? No please, not here!

Shit yar! Now I can’t even watch the movie, why are you there in my mind all the time? Whom am I talking to? Why am I talking to you? Am I hallucinating, dreaming, what is this? This is crazy, just so crazy. What am I thinking? No, why am I thinking. Why am I thinking about you? What exactly is it?

Am I still dreaming or am I still in the dream or am I stilled in the dream?