The Story of New Hairstyle

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I have always been fond of hairstyles, but never dared to get one. I held back myself from getting a hairstyle due to fear of ‘how I will look.’ This time, it was the occasion of convocation ceremony – an official way of university to allow us to explore new horizons. Sportsmen change hairstyles or go bald after winning major trophies. So, I thought I would do the same. The time was right to embody the spirit of new life with new hairstyle. The time was right to do things I have never done before. The time was right to take a leap, doesn’t matter it’s small or big. This new life will definitely ask something that I am unwilling to do, but have to do despite unknown outcomes.

Furthermore, I decided to go to a local hair salon, not to big name hair salon. The major reason behind going to local salon was related with current phase of my life. I graduated with engineering degree, but decided to pursue my dream of becoming a writer. I am amateur at writing. Barbers over there were not much experienced or amateur in doing trending hairstyles though they have been cutting hair for so long. Similarly, I have been writing from past three years and yes, I’m still an amateur. If I ask them I want a Tapered Undercut or High Fade With Medium Slicked Pomp, they won’t understand a word. They have to stretch themselves, read some hairstyle related magazines, or visit websites that provide information about trending hairstyles. In the same way, if I read ‘striving to obliterate excruciating memories is preposterous,’ then I won’t understand the meaning and I have to expand my vocabulary. I have to write more, hone my skills, and stretch my mind to get better.

I showed him a photo and asked whether he did this before. As expected, he said no, but affirmed he will try to do exactly as it was in the photo. I thought I should trust him considering his willingness to try. Similarly, a company gave me a job in writing and an opportunity to learn & develop skills considering my willingness to learn. He observed details in that photo and he did well. Not really good. But good. Same way I am doing right now with my writing skills. Not really good, but good.

And the crazy fact is, I know what this hairstyle is called as. It’s ‘Medium Fade with Medium Length Pompadour.’

Face Off With Truth – Part 3

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Continued From – Part 2


 

Days were passing by with a confused state of mind. Bhuvika was learning to avoid thinking about him and focus her energy on things that matter. One day, she saw Vikesh limping off. He met with an accident. He limped off with a sprained ankle. Bhuvika’s sensitive side made her to think about asking him how he was. She discussed this thought with Sheena. She advised her to try. Bhuvika asked sheena to go with her. She knew she couldn’t do this all alone. They saw him in the basement sitting alone and approached.

“How is your leg?” asked Bhuvika politely.

“It’s none of your business,” replied Vikesh rudely and looked away.

“I am trying to know how your condition is and you’re being rude.”

“So, what? I can be what I want to be. You don’t tell me what I should do.”
Bhuvika walked away, agitated by his response. Sheena asked her to wait, but she didn’t. The response was hurtful. It was him who misunderstood everything, never took an initiative to clear out misunderstanding, and treated her with disrespect. Again, it was difficult to understand. She only had a choice to run away from there and be alone. Sheena didn’t try to console her, but rebuked Vikesh.

“Why are you doing this to her? Don’t you have a decency to talk to someone who asks about your health? Is this how you treat people who care about you? How can you be rude to her? This is unacceptable,” rebuked Sheena.

“You know everything. You know how she treated me. You know she didn’t come to the restaurant on that day. She didn’t even reply whether she is coming or not. This is the way she treated me and you expect me to treat her with decency?” snapped Vikesh.

“After the word you used to describe your relationship on that phone call, you expect her to reply? She was going out with her husband that day to sort out their issues. She didn’t go out with him because she could not focus on anything after your conversation. Then, she tried to strike conversations with you many times. But, you can’t get over your ego. You didn’t have decency at that time and not even this time. At least try to know her side of story. Without knowing the whole picture, you are jumping on conclusions. This is not the right way to deal with misunderstandings. It seems you don’t care, she is the one who is concerned about solving the misunderstanding and you are concerned about feeding your ego. I can’t stand here for one more moment.”

Sheena left him and tried to console Bhuvika. But she asked for alone time.

She wanted to concentrate on her work, but she couldn’t. She wanted to improve relationship with her husband, but she couldn’t. All because of this unsolved misunderstanding and unresolved issues. She was not able to figure out why she was investing her mind to figure out what were her feelings about the man who didn’t care about her. He was living in a misunderstanding and she was living in a hope that he would leave his ego aside and talk.

He didn’t clarify that he no longer wanted to have any contact with Bhuvika. He stared her while having a walk in office spaces, tried to know what was happening in her life, and did everything to know what she was up to. For him, he was taking a revenge for accusations his mind imagined. She was also at fault as she was investing her mind in thinking about him, hoping for a clarification, and spoiled every other thing that didn’t concern him – her happiness, her peace of mind, and her life.

Bhuvika was not able to understand what kind of feelings she had for him as she couldn’t stop thinking about him. She second-guessed herself every time she was doing something. She was relating her thoughts to these confused thoughts about him. As a result, she was losing confidence in her work, and most importantly, in herself. She was trying everything to escape from these thoughts. Spreading happiness by helping others was her drug to cure from this devastation. But it didn’t work for long. As she saw someone getting happy because of her small acts of help and kindness, she got happy for a moment. As her mind calmed, those thoughts reemerged to remind her about what she was going through and she was pretending to be. She saw everyone getting happy, but at the end of the day, what about her happiness? Does anyone care about that? What about her life? Will it go on in a way it was going on? Nobody knew. Not even her!

Happiness wasn’t a state of mind. Because, the state of mind got disturbed when irrational things happened and all she could do was wait for things to change. Approaching him for clarifications and sorting out misunderstanding would have been a compromise of her self-respect after what he had done to her. The ball was in the court of Vikesh, but he kept it in his pocket. His hand was busy in feeding his ego.

The simple solution would have been a difficult conversation that clarifies everything. But, he was reluctant to dive into those feeling which would reveal the truth. He was afraid to face the truth and more afraid of the fact that he won’t be able to accept the truth. So, he kept everything hanging. He was living under his own perceptions and wasn’t ready to accept the truth. His actions were driven by ego as well as lack of will to understand and clarify. He was also suffering from lack of clarifications and unresolved issues. He was not happy too, but didn’t realize that he was also spoiling someone’s life. The unanswered questions and irrational behavior were spoiling everyone. It stuck everyone at the same place. Her mistake was to stick her mind to it, but she couldn’t help herself over the fact that he was behaving strange and didn’t want to confront. He made a choice to keep everything hanging and she got used to live with lack of clarity. She had no option. Her heart was getting broken again and again. She collected the broken pieces every time to make it ready to break again. The size of broken pieces changed, but breaking did not stop.

The crazy fact is, not confronting to the truth hangs you, but doesn’t kill you.


 

The End.

(Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

 

Face Off With Truth – Part 2

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Continued from – Part 1


 

Gradually, things started falling in place. They started meeting after office hours, weekends, and having fun together. They were having a great time together. Sharing ambitions again, sharing dreams again, and sharing a bond of friendship. This time, even stronger.

Bhuvika’s relationship with her husband was bitter. They were friends, decided to marry, but it didn’t work out as they thought it would. Her husband’s lack of commitment was creating a drift between them. He wanted to live a life of bachelor even after marriage. He needed a lot of space, hang out with friends, and do things whenever he wanted. He barely gave her time she deserved. So, their relationship was getting worse. On the other side, she was having great time with Vikesh. They formed a group with Sheena and Vikesh’s friend Sagar. Four of them used to hang out together after office hours and weekends. All of them formed a strong bond and were having a great time together.

One day, Sheena, Vikesh, and Sagar were hanging out at a restaurant. . Bhuvika was unawre of it. Vikesh called Bhuvika to ask if she would come. She refused because she was going out with her husband. She was having problems with her husband and they were going out to sort out issues. She refused to go even after he insisted.

“Come on, come here! We will have fun,” said Vikesh on phone.

“No, I can’t. It’s too far,” replied Bhuvika. She never told him that she had issues with her husband.

“Everyone is here. Sheena, Sagar, and me. What if it’s too far? Take your time.”

“No, I can’t come.”

“Distance is only an excuse. If you love me, you will come,” said Vikesh and ended the call.

It came as a shock for Bhuvika. It was unexpected and she was perplexed. She thought that they had a bond of friendship. A bond which is pure and unalloyed. She was devastated again. This strange behavior and phone calls were making her anxious. She could not go out with her husband that day. She needed to sort this issue first and take time to understand what happened. It was difficult to rationalize how he could see this relationship in a way he saw. It was beyond her understanding and she was disappointed as well. For a moment, she wanted to believe it was just a hallucination. She was a practical thinker and knew what happened. Her husband was disappointed as well. But, he thought that he had done this before with her, so she was just trying to act to show him how it feels to be taken for granted.

She started reminiscing all the moments they spent together. She knew it wasn’t love, but didn’t know what was it? She was furious and could not focus her thoughts on rationalizing what her feelings were for him. It was infatuation or attraction or just a way to escape from reality that her husband took her for granted. It was easier for her to believe that her husband was not giving her enough time. But, what Vikesh said after all these moments they spent together, was making her agitated.

She locked herself in the room. This was not what she did when she was depressed. She had a lot of friends and she always talked to one of them if she was angry or depressed. This time, it was different. Everything was beyond rationalization. She got confused about her feelings. The moment he used the word ‘love’ was the moment she went into ‘shock’ again. Did she give wrong signals? Or it was his perception? She just wanted to scream at that moment and nothing else. But she couldn’t as she needed to look good in front of everyone. So, she squeezed everything inside.

Vikesh and Bhuvika never had a conversation after this incident. Sheena knew everything, but refused to intervene this time. She let her handle everything. Bhuvika was a sensitive person. She shared her feeling with Sheena, but Sheena didn’t try to make Vikesh realize what he said on phone that day. Bhuvika lost trust in her. She was with them. Now, she was refusing to intervene. She stood by her on the first time when Vikesh acted weird. This time, she was refusing. Everything got worse day by day. Her relationship with husband was not improving, Vikesh said something unbelievable, and Sheena’s loyalty was in question. All she could do was, try to escape from her thoughts. So, she immersed herself in the work. She submersed herself into the computer screen and made sure she doesn’t get into the company of her thoughts. She was broken, tried to spread smile, and tried to help everyone in the office. She was pretending that she was happy when she saw others being happy. She hid everything behind her makeup. Nothing was going right. She couldn’t sleep well. She barely slept for two to three hours every day. Not a single thing made her happy. Everything started falling apart.

She even tried to talk to Vikesh, but he refused to talk every time. Her mind was eating her up. It was difficult for her to live with this state of mind in which lack of clarity was driving her life. She was stuck. She stayed at her mother’s place. Clarity gives power, but lack of clarity breaks a person down. No matter how strong that person is, if the mind is unclear about anything, it affects every aspect of life. She wasn’t able to focus on one thing at a time, couldn’t enjoy her work, and lost the peace of mind. All she did was to hope that the time runs faster and one day, her mind will get clear.

The crazy fact is, an unclear mind makes sure that every aspect of life gets ruined.

 


 

Click Here for – Part 3

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Face Off With Truth – Part 1

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“This is Vikesh. He is the vice president of the company,” Sheena introduced Vikesh to Bhuvika.

Sheena was marketing executive of a start-up firm, Oberoi and Partners, and Bhuvika’s good friend. Bhuvika recently completed two months in the firm as a junior marketing executive. Vikesh had a dynamic personality, cunning, and a sense of humor. His fierce red eyes and full grown beard made an impression of a mafia, but he was totally opposite of it. He was caring, compassionate, and easygoing. The firm had 50 employees.

“Nice to meet you, sir!” Bhuvika replied, shaking hands.

“How’s your work?” asked Vikesh.

“Good. Trying to settle down,” said Bhuvika with little nervousness.

Bhuvika was a married woman, hard-working, dedicated, and ambitious. He aspired to have his own startup firm. One thing for which everyone admired Bhuvika was the level of efforts she put into work. She gave her heart and blood at every place she worked. Everyone could see a future entrepreneur in her. She also caught the eye of CEO of the firm.

Bhuvika was afraid to meet Vikesh for obvious reasons. His eyes and his attire. As they starting interacting more and more, her opinion about him changed. She started to believe that first impression is not the last impression. They had some common things. Both of them were aspiring entrepreneurs, ambitious, dedicated to work, and gave every ounce of blood to the company they worked for. Day by day, they started interacting more. They shared dreams, aspirations, and having nearly similar visions for future. It was enough to make a strong bond. Their friendship grew. The distance between the positions in the company didn’t matter. They had same set of visions for future.

They started meetings after the office hours, interacted more, and liked each others’ company. Their closeness was a topic of gossip in the office. They had a strong bond, a bond shared between two dreamers. Everything was going good, both of them were happy, enjoyed their work and conversations full of ideas & dreams until that day.

“I heard people gossiping about us. They think we are having an affair. If this is what people think about me, I can’t take it. What about my reputation? I am at a senior position of the firm,” said Vikesh to Bhuvika on the phone.

Bhuvika was shocked. Out of the blue, he called her and said this. She was spellbound, didn’t know what to say, and somehow she uttered, “Why should we care about what they are thinking? We know we are good friends and ambitious people.”

“I care. I have a reputation to maintain.”

“So do I. But I don’t care about these gossips. Let them talk. Why do we have to worry about it? Who were gossiping about us? I will confront them and clear everything out.”

“No, you don’t understand. Think about it from my position. A vice president of the firm is having an affair with a marketing executive. This is what they are talking about.”

“Let them talk. And we will sort this out tomorrow. Not on the phone.”

Bhuvika was perplexed to hear that. She could not believe what just happened. Vikesh called her and complained about those talkers who didn’t know what was going on. She was also shocked to know that a vice president cares about these meaningless things. How will he survive as an entrepreneur? There will be misunderstandings and he has to go through hell at time during the journey. She couldn’t believe that it mattered to him people saying a vice president of the firm is having an affair with a marketing executive. She admired him for his aspirations and dreams. A dreamer goes through critics & naysayers, but keeps on moving without caring what others think about him. But, it was strange. It was pointless to ruin a strong bond based on what people are saying. His strange behavior was beyond her understanding. She became restless, so she shared everything with Sheena. Sheena gave her strength and asked her to keep calm. She was relieved to talk to her.

***

The next day.

“What was that? Just because some people are gossiping about you two, you became tense and cry about it,” confronted sheena to Vikesh. The hierarchy of the office didn’t matter. Bhuvika was quiet and Vikesh looked unapologetic.

“I thought you would understand, but you don’t,” replied Vikesh.

“There is nothing to understand. You are behaving weird. And if you have a problem with people gossiping about you, let’s go and confront those people. Let’s go now,” said Sheena with determination.

“I don’t care about what people are saying. We know that there nothing between us, but a bond of friendship and our aspirations about future. Maybe those people have nothing to look forward to, so they gossip. It should not matter to us,” said Bhuvika.

“What are you saying about reputation? Doesn’t she have a reputation to maintain? Only you have a reputation. She is also respected for her work and dedication. You know that, even CEO knows that. Why are you behaving so childish?” slammed Sheena.

Vikesh was silent, staring in a blank space.

“Say something or let’s go and confront those people who were gossiping. Let’s go,” continued Sheena.

Bhuvika was ready to confront, but Vikesh wasn’t. He thought that confrontation would spoil his image more. So, he tried to avoid it by lying about it.

“No, let’s forget about it. Let them talk. I understand. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have behaved like that. I lost my cool knowing that people were misunderstanding me for nothing. We have a bond and they are spoiling it. I get it. I shouldn’t give any attention to it,” said Vikesh.

“There you go,” said Sheena. A smile blossomed on the face of Bhuvika.

“That’s what I was trying to say from yesterday,” said Bhuvika, relieved.

“Ohkk, let’s finish this topic right now. No one will talk about it again. No explanations need to be given,” clarified Sheena.

The crazy fact is, avoiding confrontation is an easy way out, but it doesn’t promise it won’t haunt again in the long run.


 

Click Here for – Part 2

(Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Role Reversal

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“Why did you behave like that? You insulted my friends for no reason. They were joking. And you are asking me what happened?” slammed Anshuman to his girlfriend Kavya on phone. She came to his room in the afternoon to meet him as usual. His roommates started teasing them. It was a witty banter by friends when girlfriend of a guy shows up. He was taking it sportingly, but she lost her temper. She retorted back and things got out of hands. Her behavior was unacceptable to Anshu as well. He asked her to leave to cool down the situation. He called her after half an hour of her departure. In a meantime, he was trying to calm down his friends.

Anshuman was a 20 years old smart, funny, extrovert guy with a good sense of humor. The humor was his asset for which Kavya fell in love with him. Today, his other side was more dominating this conversation. He was probably a cool minded guy, but lost his cool due to misbehavior of Kavya.

“Calm down, Anshu. Let’s talk about it,” replied Kavya.

Kavya was a 20 years old sincere, intense, and quiet girl. She was also short tempered and always reacted on impulse without thinking about consequences. Her spontaneous nature was the most adorable thing for Anshu. She spent most of the time in books and loved contemplating about every day things.

“No, I won’t calm down. This is happening a lot. Every time you act weird, you tell me you were just kidding or give some stupid explanation. Is that what you are going do again?”

“No, I can explain. But, you need to calm down first.”

“What is there to explain? I’ve had enough of your explanations. You act weird, then give some stupid explanations, and expect me to understand you. I kept cool for so long. I tried to understand you every time. You know that, but I don’t know what your problem is?”

“Let’s do one thing. We will meet tomorrow and talk. Till then, just calm down.”

They were in a relationship for one and a half years. Kavya used to get angry over silly & funny things Anshu did to entertain her. She used to say a lot of things that shouldn’t be said, react on impulse without knowing what she is saying and Anshu used to understand her reactions. He knew it was her nature and she didn’t mean anything wrong. Sometimes, Anshu found her spontaneous reactions childish, but cute. He tried to make her angry on purpose to evoke those reactions. She used to get mad at her and Anshu used to coax. Little moments like, making her laugh by cracking jokes out of nowhere; making fun of her serious talks was making their relationship special. She was a serious kind of girl, but was so cheerful around Anshu. This time, it was Anshu who was getting angry and Kavya was trying to coax. The roles were reversed. That’s why they say it’s complicated in relationship.

They decided to meet at café where they met usually. But later, Anshu asked her to meet at their college ground. His intensions were clear. He wanted to confront her and break up. Her strange behavior, her mood swings were beyond his understanding now. He thought that his understanding kept their relationship going and she was doing same mistakes frequently. So, he decided that he will not listen to any stupid explanation she will give and break things up.

* * *

Anshu was sitting under the tree at the corner of the ground. It was 2’o’clock in the hot summer afternoon. The scorching heat of sun was nullified by shadow of a tree. It helped him to calm down and get ready to confront her. It was the most difficult conversation he was going to have. As she arrived, she gave a cheerful smile to Anshu, while he returned a contemptuous smile.

“Hi, you good?” asked Kavya in a charming tone.

“Wrong question,” said Anshu in a firm voice, looking intensely at her. She laughed.

“I know. And I’m the reason. I always wonder how you can find the humor out of nowhere. Even when you are angry, it doesn’t affect you. You can find it from anywhere.”

Kavya tried to cheer him up a little. She knew he wasn’t trying to be funny.

“We are not here to talk about my sense of humor.”

“Yeah. I apologize for my behavior with your friends and you. I said something to your friends and to you that I shouldn’t have. My mood swings and weird behavior is affecting you. I have let you down. I’m sorry.”

“I don’t need your stupid explanations and apologies again. I’ve had enough of it. I told you yesterday.”

“You’ve had nothing.”

“What are you talking about? You want me to tell you what you have done that proves I’ve had enough.”

“No, I want you to listen to me before you say you’ve had enough. Let me tell you something I have never told you before.”

“I’m listening.”

“My parents used to fight a lot. They still do. The only reason they have not divorced yet, is because of me and my sister. I have been going through this since childhood. Those loud noises, cursing each other, smashing things, enraged faces, and making mountains out of molehill. It was like hell. Their fights were like a tornado meeting a volcano. I just wanted to bury myself deep in the ground. I tried to ignore, but I can’t. They were my parents. My sister was an outgoing person. She used to go out with friends to escape from this and I used to immerse myself in books. Those books were unable to take me away from reality. So, I used to keep everything inside. And it erupts in different ways. Then, I get mood swings, I behave weirdly, and I say things I shouldn’t say. All these suppressed emotions, feelings, and rage are calling me constantly to get them out. And, I get mad over silly things. It doesn’t stop here. My sister is married, you know that. She is gone with her husband. So, my mother finds me to complain about my father. She complains how life is unfair and how my father made her life hell. I again feel weird. How am I supposed to react to it? She is in depression for years. She is on medication for years. I can’t go out. Because, when I try to, she stops me. She gets emotional. She tells me how she will be alone if I go out. If I stay, she starts disdaining father. And, I have to listen to it. Do you have any idea what I have to go through, what I have been going through?”

She was telling her story staring blankly at the ground with teary eyes. They exchanged gazes as she stopped for two seconds.

“Why didn’t you tell me this before?” said Anshu.

“Because I forget everything when I am with you. I don’t have to find an escape from reality, because I enjoy the present moment. You are a funny guy. I forget all the problems, laugh on your silly jokes, and feel good. And you have been so great to understand me every time I do all those stupid things. I know I was wrong yesterday and I will apologize to your friends.”

“Okay, I can never imagine what you go through. I understand you; but my friends won’t, because they don’t know this. And I don’t want them to know all this. So, you have to come to my room tomorrow and apologize to my friends.”

She agreed. He asked her to say no more. He wanted to enjoy the solitude and a gentle breeze under the tree in the hot afternoon. He swallowed the thought of break-up. This time, again, he was the one to understand her to keep relationship going. Not because he had to, but because he wanted to. That explanation wasn’t stupid. It was bitterly true and beautiful at the same time. His entire attitude toward her had changed. Now, he had more reasons to understand her weird behavior, mood swings, getting angry over silly things, and lot more. Her eyes filled with innocence, her ability to persevere, and her fortitude made him spellbound. He fell in love with her again. This time, more deeply.

The roles are never reversed in a relationship. Even if it reverses, it’s momentary. The crazy fact is, role reversal takes place only to make a relationship stronger.

 

 


 

(Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

When a Beautiful Lie Overshadows a Bitter Truth

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“Don’t do this to yourself! You deserve better. She is gone,” commanded Ritvik to Dushyant, banging door of Dushyant’s room. Danny and Pritam also tried to convince him to open the door.

“Leave me alone! Jussssss go,” replied Dushyant from inside his room.

Dushyant was drunk for entire two days after love of his life, Antara, left him. She left him because she was getting married as per her parents’ wishes.

Dushyant was handsome, intelligent, charming, emotional, and carefree. He was straight-forward, but not arrogant. He enjoyed solitude, but was not a loner. His good looks with well-built body flaunted his well-natured demeanor. An ideal boyfriend every girl wants to have. People had a playboy image when they saw him. But, the reality was different. Besides his good looks, loyalty was the most valuable asset of him. He was madly in love with beautiful, smart, witty, but dominating and arrogant girl, Antara. The love he bestowed upon her made her feel like a princess. She was two years older than him. They were in the same college in Varanasi.

His friends were banging the door continuously. Dushyant did not care. He was burning everything regarding their relationship to on that day with tears in his eyes. It did not make him feel better. The wildfire of pain inside his heart was scorching him than the heat of that fire. He burnt everything, but he stopped at a moment when he saw the only thing remaining to get burnt. The diary.

He looked for a moment at diary, wiped his tears, and opened the door. They abruptly went inside. Danny extinguished fire and other two inspected the room to ensure that he had done nothing wrong. All they could see was more than 10 empty bottles and a half empty bottle of alcohol, things scattered everywhere and Dushyant standing at the door with a diary in hand. They were puzzled when they noticed that he was staring in blank space.

“Just sit down,” commanded Danny.

“I wannaaaa meet her. Right nowwwww!” slammed Dushyant.

“You are out of your mind. Just sit down,” said Pritam.

“No, you are out of your mind! My life is ruined, and it will be devastated if I don’t meet her right now,” retorted Dushyant in clear voice.

“Why do you want to meet her?” asked Ritvik.

“I burnt everything, but couldn’t burn thisssss,” he replied, showing them diary, “And you all know the reason.”

* * *

Dushyant could barely stand straight. It was 10’o’clock in the night. They took him in Danny’s car to travel from Varanasi to Lucknow. Ritvik informed Antara that they were coming to her place. She refused initially, but agreed on one condition. This will be the last time she meets him. Only two days were left for her wedding day. It took them six hours to reach to her place. In those four hours, his friends did everything to make him little stable.

A cold breeze in the garden near her home was ready to witness the last meeting. She left home with her cousin sister. Dushyant and his friends were already there. Dushyant was sitting on a bench. As soon as they arrived, Ritvik gestured Danni and Pritam to leave them alone. They left him and went outside the garden. Antara asked her sister to leave them alone for some time. She agreed and joined boys outside.

Antara stared angrily at Dushyant for a while. He stared back blankly.

“What have you done to yourself?” said Antara in an anguished tone.

“Wow! The sword which gave me scars is asking me how I got these scars,” replied Dushyant.

“Why are you doing this? You know this is not possible. How many times do I have to tell you the same thing?”

“I know. This is not possible. I left all the hope. I left everything, friends, study, and family for some time. I got crazy. I used to talk to a tree about how much I loved you and how you are selfish and left me with nothing but shattered dreams. I burnt everything that reminded me I spent some moments with you. All the gifts and cards which meant nothing. But, I could not burn this.”

He showed her the diary.

“This is a diary you wrote for me. I read what’s inside. I know you expressed your feelings. But this is not enough. You have to understand. When caste, age, and honor are on the line, my parents will not consider this as worthy for allowing me to spend my life with you. Well, forget it; my wedding is in two days. So, just go. If you are trying to get me back, I am not coming with you.”

“I am not here to get you back. I am here to give you this diary. Burn it, because I can’t.”

“Give me! I’ll do it.”

“How easy it is for you to burn this! You know what, I shouldn’t have written it in those exam days. But, the thought of not meeting you again killed me and I wrote it instead of studying.”

“What are you talking about? You wrote it every day.”

“No, I didn’t. I lied to you that I was writing a diary for you. You remember you told me that I don’t get to meet you if I don’t bring this diary. And timing couldn’t be better. You demanded this when my fourth semester exams were going on. So, I went to market, bought a diary, four different pens, and started writing. I put earlier dates, used different pens, and spent four days to make it look real. My friends were telling me to study, but I didn’t. I thought I can give those exams again, but I can’t live if I lose you.”

“I didn’t know you were lying.”

“It wasn’t about lying; it was about the thought of not meeting you again. It was about the thought of losing you. It was about those genuine feelings. The dates were manipulated, but those feelings weren’t. And if you don’t understand that, it’s not worth ruining my life over you.”

He gave diary to her and left.

* * *

Next day.

Dushyant woke up hearing banging on his room’s door. He looked at cellphone for time. It was 4’o’clock in the morning. Why anyone would come to me this early, he thought. He opened the door and choked. It was Antara with diary in hand. She came to Varanasi with her cousin brother and sister without knowledge of her parents.

“What are you doing here?” asked he.

“Can I come in and explain?” replied Antara.

“Yeah, sure!”

“Who is there?” inquired Ritvik.

He woke up instantly and rubbed his eyes to make sure he was not dreaming.

“You came. Yesss! I knew you would come. I told him,” said Ritvik excitedly.

“No, I did not come back for what you are thinking. Would you please give us a moment?”

He left the room.

“I also can’t burn your diary. I know feelings you expressed in this diary are genuine. I read it once and I read it again. For one second, it made me run away from there and hug you. And, you wrote it in only four days despite your exams, because you could not imagine losing me. This was the most romantic thing anyone can do for a girl. It was a beautiful lie. Initially, I thought you were only making up for your lies, but this tells me how much you loved me. And, I loved you for every small thing you did for me. You used to come to Lucknow after i got job here after graduation. You used to meet me, stay in the hotel despite your family lives there, and leave on next day. It made me feel special. The bitter truth is, I was being so selfish. I never gave anything to this relationship. I only demanded from you. You never complained. You don’t deserve me. You deserve someone better,” confessed Antara with teary eyes.

Tears rolled down from eyes of Dushyant. He wasn’t prepared for this confrontation.

“You don’t have to do anything. Just be there with me,” he replied.

“No! It’s too late now. I can’t put their reputation on the line. I can’t be selfish with parents. They gave me everything and never expected anything in return just like you. I made mistake by being selfish with you, I don’t want to make the same mistake again. I hope you understand. I am here to give you this diary. I wrote it in one day for you. I have written how I feel about you, how selfish I was and how you showered love to make my life beautiful. I am keeping your diary with me for the rest of my life and I want you to keep this diary with you.”

Dushyant took that diary.

“Please, don’t leave me.”

“I have to go as soon as possible. If my father will be furious if they find me out I am not in my room on a day before my wedding. I’m so sorry and thank you for all those beautiful moments. You are a great person. You will find someone who loves you. Goodbye!”

She kissed him on chick and left. Dushyant cried bitterly after she left.

He never tried to contact her. He used to read that diary under the same tree he used to talk to. In the end, he won her heart though he lost her love.

The crazy fact is, a beautiful lie overshadows a bitter truth.


 

(Image courtesy of tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

She Thanked That Demon

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Yes, she isn’t beautiful,
but, she is driven by a purpose.
External appearance is overshadowed,
When actions are directed toward,
Fulfilling a purpose bigger than oneself.
The glossiness fades, but the legacy of
Her work, her passion, her dedication,
Will remain forever.
And, it makes her more beautiful,
Than those girls, who spent valuable time in
Make-up, looks, and boys.

Now, she has not only fulfilled her purpose
But also helped thousands along the way,
Taught millions along the way,
Inspired billions along the way,
How to stand up for themselves!
Made the difference in lives of people!
The crazy fact, she thanked that demon,
Who threw acid on her face,
For all she could do till now!


 

(Image courtesy of hyena reality at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)