Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Namma Story: Episode 3

Swati and Jayanth choose a table at the Jaisalmer Thaali restaurant, quite near to their office on Cunningham road, and sit down. A waiter comes to take their order, and Jayanth orders for the both of them, effortlessly. He knew Swati’s likes and dislikes at the back of his hand. Swati smiles at him and relaxes in her chair.

Jayanth is so easy to be with yet so difficult. I think he tries too hard to please me. I want to be with someone who can just be himself even with me, and yet care for me. That sounded complicated, even in my own head. Ugh!

A minute later, Jayanth sees Swati laid back on her chair with her eyes closed. He looks at her for a long moment, in both awe and fear; fear lest she open her eyes and find him staring at her, and in awe of her raw beauty. Even with her hair not neatly done up, her tired looks, Jayanth is amazed at how pretty she looks, with a child-like simplicity. He sees her struggle with a couple of strands of her hair that seem to be making their way to disturb her nostrils, fighting with them yet too tired to open her eyes.

The waiter gets back with their drinks and places them on the table a little too loudly. Swati’s eyes are still closed but her brows lock into a frown. She still doesn’t open her eyes, adjusts her neck to the right position and lets out a contended gurgle. Jayanth looks at his watch and forces himself to wake her up. He leans forward in his chair to bring himself closer to Swati to wake her up, but ends up spending another moment admiring her perfume or deodorant whatever it was that she was wearing. Finally, he gives her a gentle nudge and gets back to his chair.

“Huh?! What happened?” Swati gets up, startled

“You dozed off for a minute, princess” mocks Jayanth

Swati locks her brows in frustration and anger, and composes herself. My body doesn’t feel as healthy as it used to be a couple of years back. Maybe it’s true. I AM turning old. I need to get some rest instead of working these insane hours. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to go on a vacation right now! But damn these changes at work! They are taking their toll on me. Well, in life, you win some, you lose some. Sigh!

Swati starts drinking her lemonade. Ah!! Perfect for this scorching afternoon. Mmm, if only this was a beach and I was in my swimsuit, ready to plunge into the water for a swim. Here I go again! Isn’t the human mind uncanny? It starts thinking precisely about the thing that you want to push as far aside as possible! Swati smiles

“What is so amusing?” Jayanth asks her

“I was just thinking of the human mind and how uncanny it is. Don’t you agree?”

“Yes, it is” Jayanth agrees and enters his own world of thoughts. He knows at the back of his mind that Swati doesn’t feel the same way about him as he does, but he still doesn’t fail to make an attempt every time he is with her.

The waiter then comes and serves the food that Jayanth had ordered, and for some time, Swati and Jayanth eat in silence, each lost in their own thoughts.

“Hey, I forgot to tell you, Jayanth. My move to the APAC team will happen within the next couple of weeks. I got an email from Rahul just last night!” Swati says excitedly. Right after her sentence ends, she doesn’t fail to notice Jayanth’s sad face

“Oh, good for you, man. You have been waiting for that from so long. I am sure the US team will miss you and of course me too. It won’t be the same anymore, you know? Not being in the same team even though we will be working for the same company”

“I know. But I needed this change, dude. You know na? I’ve been pestering Rahul for ages now.…..”

“I know, I know. You and your career growth plans. Good luck, Swats!”

He’s such a nice guy! He isn’t even able to hide his feelings for me. Should I reciprocate? After all, it would be an easy settlement. I know him well enough already, he knows me and likes me, and my parents would definitely like him. Should I? What is holding me back?

Trrrrrrrrrrinnnnggg…..Trrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnggg…..

Both Swati and Jayanth shudder, startled. It’s Swati’s cellphone. Before Swati can answer the call, Jayanth mocks her “When are you ever going to change your ringtone? This one is so irritating and bland”

“One of these days” mouths Swati, and answers to a shrieking “hellllooooo” at the other end, from who else, but Ramya

“Yes, Ramya?” Swati says exasperatedly

“Don’t sound so irritated with me! Where are you by the way?”

“I am out for lunch, where else would I be in the afternoon?”

“Oooooo, are you with Jaaaiiiii?” Ramya teases Swati, emphasizing on the Jaaaiiii

“Ya” Swati replies curtly

“Come on, don’t be so shyyyy. Lemme talk to him”

“And why would you want to do that?”

By now, Jayanth has guessed that it is Ramya on the other side of the line, and that she is irritating Swati because she is out with him. Ramya had noticed it from the day that Swati had introduced the two, that Jayanth had a thing for Swati.

Swati gestures that she would be handing over her phone to him, and would be back after using the restroom. Jayanth nods, and takes her phone as she leaves

“Hello?” he says a little apprehensively

“Haiiii Jaaaaaiiii”

Listening to her friendly voice, Jayanth eases up and starts talking freely

“Hey Ramya! How are you? It’s been a long time since we spoke, huh?”

“Yaa…I think Swati wants you alllll to herself coz she never lets me talk to you” she giggles

“Ya right! You and I both know that’s not true!”

“Hehehe…I know! But don’t worry, a day will come when that shall happen and who knows, it might be today too!”

“Huh? Why? What’s up?”

“Listen! We are meeting up tonight at this new club which has opened in Indiranagar - Club 12! I wanted to invite you….of course, Swati will be there. But if you don’t want to….” She lets her voice trail

“Of course, I will be there!” he says, a little too quickly, and then bites his tongue.

Ramya starts giggling “I knew that would be your reaction!”

“Yeah, well…..” Jayanth says, sheepishly, with nothing to add

“Anyways, I hope you have clothes fit for a pub. Please don’t come there in your boring formals”

“Alright, alright. I’ll do something about it”

At this point of time, Swati returns to her chair and snatches the phone from Jayanth

“How long have you been chatting?” she shouts at Ramya

“Ooooo, possessive and all”

“There you go again! I am tired of this Rams! Now tell me the real reason you called?”

“Hmm….oh…yeah! I wanted to tell you that I picked some clothes for you for the party tonight. Do you want me to get them there directly or drop them off at your office so you can get ready before you reach?”

“What? Clothes?! Why did you do that, Rams? You know I am in no mood to party”

“Oh, come on, Swats! Lighten up! Don’t be such a bore. And by the way, I invited Jayanth too. He’s gonna get you there and drop you back home too. Isn’t that wonderful?”

Swati can almost see Ramya’s smiling face and decides to go with the flow for a change

“Alright, alright! Drop the clothes off at my office. I will be there as soon as I can”

“Not I, we! You and Jayanth!” corrects Ramya

“Yeah, yeah. We will be there as soon as we can” Swati responds, rolling her eyes both at Ramya’s incessant chat and Jayanth’s eager face

“Alrighty then! I will drop the clothes off at your reception desk and leave you a message. See ya tonight!” Ramya finally hangs up

Jayanth starts first to smile and then the smile turns into laughter as he sees Swati turn a deep shade of red

“Stop that” she shouts

“Let me say it again, you have such a cute pout”. After Swati punches him in frustration and Jayanth stops laughing, he says “So when do you plan to leave for the party that Ramya was talking about?”

“We have that call tonight, remember? It might run till late night. I told her it would be difficult, but you know how persuasive she can be”

“Yeah. But I think she is out to make your life better, Swati. I think you should try going out sometimes and have a life other than work, you know”

Not you too! “I know, I know. So people keep telling me. Anyways, you are in that call with me too. How long do you think it is going to go on?"

“Let’s try cutting it short; we should be done by 9 hopefully” he winks at her

“I hope so”

They finish the rest of their lunch, and Jayanth drops Swati back to the office. As she stops to wait for him at the front gate, he tells her he has work to do and that she can get inside. Swati shrugs her shoulders, and gets in.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Namma Story: Episode 2

EPISODE 2:

Swati frowns as she sees her mother’s face flashing on the screen of her mobile.

“Great, today seems to be going just great”.

She knew her mother was calling her to find out her response to the photos that were sent to her a week back, of a guy, who her parents were trying to fix her up with.

Rolling her eyes over and gritting her teeth, Swati picks up the call “Hello Amma” she says in a toned down voice, lest her colleagues hear her conversation.

“Swati, how long do you take to answer your phone? I have been waiting for 6 rings” her mom shouts from the other end, straight away getting to the point without even exchanging pleasantries with her daughter who stayed as far an overnight’s journey away from her.

“Ma, I am at office, and I am busy. Tell me, what is so important?”

“What is so important?! As if you don’t know what is so important! This is what happens when you let your daughter live independently!”

“I never told you guys to go to Hubli and leave me alone here! It is because of Ajja that you had to go there” Swati almost shouts, exasperated. Swati’s parents and she had stayed in Bangalore all their lives, but when her father’s mother had passed away about 2 years back, her father had taken a transfer to his hometown, Hubli, to take care of his father. Since Swati’s job was in Bangalore, it was decided that only her parents would travel to Hubli and Swati would stay back in Bangalore.

“That is true, Swati. But you need to understand your responsibilities too. How long do we have to wait for you to respond to the email that your Appa had sent?”

Swati truly did not have an answer. She had seen the photos that her dad had sent her last week. The guy looked decent enough, and had a handsomely paying job and stayed in Bangalore. He satisfied Swati’s initial criteria in her life partner, but there was something missing. Though Swati did not have much time left after all that she spent in office, she somehow had imagined a love marriage in her life. There was no time to think of all that now, her mom was waiting for an answer at the other end.

“Sorry, Amma. I got busy with work. I will let you know by tomorrow, okay?” Defeated

“Nothing doing. I want an answer by today evening, Swati. The boy’s parents are waiting for a response from us. What will they think if we keep pushing things like this? And you have been playing this wait game for way too long now. I shouldn’t have listened to your tantrums at all. You have been rejecting so many proposals since the last…what 5 years now!  I have had it, dealing with you. I am tired. You are 29! It is high time you settled down in life. You are our only daughter. Don’t we deserve some happiness?” Emotional blackmail

5 years that I’ve dodged these things? Wow, impressive. Quite a track record. Okay, okay, enough gloating. Amma is waiting for a response.

There was nothing that Swati could say to what her mom was saying except “Yes, Amma. I will call you at 4”

“Good. Call me then. And take care. You do know that I want the best for my daughter, don’t you?” Some more pressure

“Yes Amma. You take care too. I’ll take to you later” and Swati hangs up quickly

Why can’t I just say yes to someone and be done with it? I know why not. It’s because I don’t want to compromise….with anything. Then, I better get used to the tons of emotional blackmail that will be coming my way!

Swati sighs yet again, gets on with her work and prays that the clock doesn’t strike 4 anytime soon. Soon, it’s lunch time and Swati’s colleague, Jayanth, reaches her cabin.

“Knock, knock”
“Who’s there” Swati asks him, with a laugh
“Jai”
“Jai, who?”
“Jaisalmer Thaali for lunch today?”
“That was such a bad one, Jayanth!” Swati rolls her eyes

“Nothing I do ever seems to amuse you” Jayanth says, with a fake sad face

“Enough with the drama already! Let’s leave for lunch now, I need to get back early” Swati says, grabbing his hand and leading the way. Jayanth Kumar, had joined Swati’s company 2 years back, but she hadn’t known about him until he moved to her team 6 months back. Though in their initial days Swati and Jayanth had fought a lot, they had started respecting each other because of the knowledge each had gained during their quite long careers. And they had become friends even.

“Why do you work so much, man? Get a life!” complains Jayanth

“Hello! If you can’t match up to me, it’s not my fault” winks Swati

“Do you know you have such a cute pout?” teases Jayanth.

Swati looks totally oblivious to Jayanth’s flirting. This guy really likes spending time with me; if not, why would he insist on joining me for lunch every day? Why would he offer to pick me up and drop me home every day?

She takes a moment to look at Jayanth, and she sees a tall, lanky guy, dark but not too dark, Madhavan’s cute and boyish grin, spectacles that suit his face perfectly, and impeccable formal dressing. I could easily like this guy; but that is the problem. I could like him, not love him. Not that I think I know the difference between the two, but there is something that is holding me back from responding to Jayanth’s flirting. What is it? I hope he doesn’t think I am leading him on. I wouldn’t want to lose my only friend at work! Well, no point mulling over that now, gotta get back to work fast!

“Now stop saying those things and let us grab a quick bite…..at Jaisalmer Thali” laughs Swati

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Namma Story: Episode 1

“Come on, Swati. Don’t be such a spoilsport” shrieks the ever-dramatic Ramya. She had been pestering Swati, her new-found best-friend, to accompany her to the new pub that had opened in Bangalore. But, Swati was ditching her at the last minute.

“Sorry babes, I really need to take this conference call. And it might go on till 9. It would be too late to hit a pub at that time anyway” Swati explains, exasperated

“9 is late for a pub? Who told you that? And to think you have been living in this awesome city all your life. Chee, you are a waste. And why do you always have these calls on Fridays?”

Swati rolls her eyes and answers “Alright, alright, drama queen! I will call you as soon as I am done with my call and we can go then, fine?”

“Thank God! I was wondering if I had to actually beg you into joining us!”

Us? Who us? I am in no mood to meet new people, Rams! You know that!” shouts Swati. She had been putting in long hours at work recently, and having continued arguments with her parents regarding her marriage.
“Oh, just a few friends from work. You know most of them. And a few others. You’ll love them, I promise. Call me!” and before Swati can protest, Ramya hangs up.

Swati is furious. She sees her reflection in the washroom mirror, from where she had been taking the phone call. She lets out a loud sigh; all she can see is a strained, 29-year old face, with hassled hair, dark circles under her eyes, no smile around her thin lips. She looks stooped down from her original 5 feet 6 inch frame. There was a time when Swati used to stand tall and proud of her looks, with beautiful, round, brown eyes, perfectly shaped nose which she occasionally used to sport a nose ring and thin lips that usually had a smile on them. With another sigh and shaking her head wildly, she heads back to her desk.

Swati had met Ramya at an event organized at her office. Swati had been nominated by her manager as a volunteer for their annual celebration party, and Ramya was there from the company which had organized the event. Ramya worked as an event manager at that company. They had gelled really well from the beginning, and that was about a year back. Even after the event, they kept in touch, mostly because of Ramya’s persistent nature. Swati started responding after a while, and now they were the best of friends. Swati hardly had time for a social life because of her erratic work hours but Ramya somehow seemed to encroach, in spite of this. Slowly, Swati started to open up to the idea of having friends and hanging out with people. Ramya always hung out with a bunch of people, and Swati started to get to know all of them better.

So…is Namma story, Swati and Ramya’s story? Wait for the next episode...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Filler Post

This has been a longer break than I would have wanted, from my blogging world. The reason I have for this distance, is pretty similar to what I have had all over the years. I have been having some issues to deal with, some feelings to shake off, some empowering of will power et al. However, that doesn't mean I haven't had my share of fun, no.

I caught almost all the new movies in town, watched a ProKabaddi match live, had a superb morning out with my girls from school, ran a marathon! I have tried to keep myself busy so I don't add fuel to the saying "Idle mind is devil's workshop".

I have been toying around with an idea from the last week or so. Keep looking at this space for some episode-based reading coming up! 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Are you a Seeta? Or are you a Geeta?

Can anyone really be classified on their behavior as black or white? When I was young (er) and naive, I did actually believe people are either good or bad. Back in those days, when reading Archies was my favorite hobby, I knew Archie, Betty and Jughead were the good ones, Reggie and Veronica were the bad ones. When I watched Seeta aur Geeta, I developed this notion (along with the good and bad) that people can be classified as intorverts and extroverts too. Again, meaning, people always have "defined" personalities and nothing, absolutely nothing, stays in between, which one may call a grey area.

I now know and realize that most of us are in that grey area. We are sometimes both extrovert and introvert and sometimes neither. We are sometimes good, maybe sometimes bad. But we do not really have one definitive character that can be used to describe us. We all do have an inherent character in ourselves, but as we grow and start to know life and it's situations, we adapt to these situations and sometimes people around us, by either moving towards a greyer area or by changing our characteristic altogether.

Seeta didn't say a word when she was abused, just as Geeta didn't let anyone abuse her, she went ahead and taught lessons to people who did her wrong. Can you be a Seeta all your life? Or a Geeta all your life? I think we all have a little bit of both of them in us and when time and situations arise that need us to behave in a certain manner, we just do that.

What do you think?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Trapped

I have to admit this is one thing I definitely didn’t know about myself in the 31 years of my existence. I was on my way to the ground floor from 7th floor in the office building’s lift, when, maybe between the 2nd and 3rd floors, there was a power failure and the lift stopped. It wasn’t the first time this had happened to me and so my natural instincts kept telling me that 7-8 seconds from the power cut, the generator would turn on and the lift would operate normally. But that didn’t happen.

I wasn’t alone too, I had the team with me. We were chatting away, but when the lift didn’t turn back on after the first 15-20 seconds, things started feeling a little weird to me. It was as if like the people in front of me weren’t really in front of me and that I was seeing them in a movie screen or something. I couldn’t concentrate on what was being talked about, the automated voice kept repeating “This is an emergency. You are part of an emergency rescue mission. Please wait” on a loop. I said “I’m not feeling very good”. The others thought I was joking or maybe it wasn’t as scary as I was making it out to be. But after we were trapped for more than a minute, I started to panic. I kept telling myself “it’s all going to be okay, it’s just for a few seconds, at least you are not alone” but nothing seemed to calm me down. This time, I shouted “I’m going to faint” and I could feel a rush of dizziness coming my way and I blacked out for a couple of seconds. My breaths turned shorter. I started to rest on the lift’s wall, to prevent myself from falling on the floor. My team rushed towards me, held my hand, started saying positive things but nothing seemed to help.

I saw the emergency numbers pasted in the lift. I shouted “Call them, call them now!” As luck would have it, none of the numbers were reachable. Then I thought if I talk to someone outside and someone who can calm me down, I may feel better. I called Rajat and heard his familiar voice. I didn’t know what to say, I was panicking so much. I told him about how I was trapped in the lift and how I was unable to breathe and how scared I was. He tried to calm me down, but that didn’t help entirely either. Then, a minute and 3 seconds into the phone call, the fan started to rotate. We all breathed a heavy sigh of relief. We got out of the lift and my legs were weak with all the worrying and the dizziness. For a few minutes after I got out of the lift, I was trying to laugh at myself for being so scared of such a small event, but I couldn't. 

I was and still am not in the best of moods and I am yet to get into a lift after this incident. I tried getting into one this morning, but somehow couldn’t.

For people who have experienced stranded lifts and haven’t had any problems, kudos to them. I hadn’t known I would panic so much in a closed lift but I did. It may have been lack of oxygen, it may have been the automated voice in a loop, or it may have been claustrophobia, I don’t know. All I know is that I need to learn to manage this situation better and I have to train myself so I don’t get THIS scared in the God forbid scenario that this happens to me again in the future, especially if I am alone.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Was it meant to be? - Part 2

Link to previous parts:

Part 1

"Why don't you guys start serving the food, Madhu, and I'll be there in just a few minutes?" Roshni said, and pretended to call someone on her cellphone.

"Aww! I know who you want to talk to! But it's just a day, sis, and you'll be with him forever!" Madhu exclaimed, emphasizing on the word forever. She then waved bye to Roshni and got back inside the house.

Roshni gulped and put her phone down. I've got to think through this. Why am I having these jittery thoughts? I thought the day I would marry Siddharth would be the happiest day of my life, and yet I sit here, a day before the wedding, having second thoughts? Whatever went wrong?

Roshni started to think through some of the things that had started to bother her lately. Nothing came to her mind. Maybe it's just the stress with the wedding she thought. She tried to cheer herself up and started to feel better in a few minutes. She then decided to get back in and enjoy with her family, the last few hours of her spinster life.

Just as Roshni got up from the swing, her phone started to ring. Siddharth's smiling face greeted her on the screen. She smiled, and answered the phone. Before she could say anything, Siddharth said "Roshni, we need to talk, now. It's about the wedding. I am...well...I don't know, I just want to meet you now"

To be continued...