Review Request

Dear Friends,
I feel that I should have all the chapters properly reviewed before I go for writing the EPILOGUE. Kindly help me review them. Find as many mistakes as you can, and bombard me with critiques.

With your help I will be able to finish of with the lingual mistakes.

If you are kind enough to review for me,
1. Copy paste the chapter and it's title(with the chapter no) into word.
2. Highlight the mistakes with Ctrl+B.
3. Suggest replacement.

Thank you,

The P Predicament, Shantanu and (XCIV)

He gave the microphone to Dinesh, the junior guy who was coordinating. He put his hands into his pocket, and retrieved something within his clasped hands. He kneeled down on one knee and opened his hands. Dinesh kept the microphone near Shantanu’s lips.

“Elvia will you marry me?” his voice echoed in the auditorium and reverberated in every cell of my body. The dot sized diamond on the cute platinum ring reflected the dim lights of the dais brightly, but it was no match to the glitter in his eyes.

To add to my embarrassment Vandhana was reading my novice poems,

"...I know I was mad
I wanted you to know
I was madly mad of you
But I was too mad to tell you
I wanted to feel ..."

You are a greatest boon
Whom I got not very soon
Every-time I see the moon
I wish it be the noon
To see you my loon
Love is a sensitive cocoon
Nothing funny like a cartoon
I turn all maroon
When you burst my heart balloon
Kindly save my crown
From love sinking it to drown..."

I was not even conscious enough to wonder from where she got all those poems from.

Dinesh was holding the microphone near me non-verbally asking me for an answer. Looking at my puzzled expression Shantanu whispered “I liquidated Reliance Industries from my demat.”

It took much longer for me to understand what he meant, and I was in no mood for an explanation anyway. I understood the meaning of being ‘frozen’. The only part of my body that had any signs of life was the heavy thumping of my arteries.

Shantanu ventured again “Elvia will you marry me?” I had stopped breathing just like the rest of crowd. I meekly replied “yes” I would have fainted if not for the earth shaking roar from the crowd. Shantanu showed the ring, but I was not conscious enough to lift my hands.

Shantanu helped himself, and put on the ring on my left ring finger. Till date I have no memory of what happened next. I spent most of the time during the following days admiring the ring.

With the uncertainty of future and fear of opening up our love to my parents I completed the last of our semester exams. I was praying God hopelessly ‘Let my college life not end’.

I was wondering how to manage the ring. I felt too sentimental to remove the ring from my fingers. Finally my analytical mind found a solution.

Before leaving for home I asked dad for money stating that my friends and I had planned to buy identical rings in the memory of our college life. I could sense dad frowning even over phone. Finally with mom’s support dad consented.

With that money I bought a similar ring to Anu, and we both headed to our home. Anu was protesting that she will have no part in facing my dad, when I would tell him about Shantanu. Somehow I managed to drag her along to our home, to stay with me for a few days.

I know I hadn’t the luxury of waiting for the right moment. I also knew for sure our wedding couldn’t be postponed any the later.

A week past since we arrived at our home. I called up Shantanu, “Hey what’s wrong with you?”

He meekly replied, “Wrong with me!!!”

“Ya you hadn’t called for the past couple of days.”

“Hmmm.. well you know work pressure. I couldn’t wait to get things done.”

“So how is the progress? Any leads in getting a proper site for the Chennai office?”

“Not yet.”

“Ok dear take care don’t bug your-self too much.”

“Ya ok”

“Love you”


I mused ‘What’s wrong with him?’ ‘Could work stress change things that are embedded in the subconscious?’ He sounded like he was someone else.

I ignored the matter. There was something more pressing that I had to deal with. It was high time I opened up the matter. Things couldn’t wait any longer.

It was a Sunday morning. Dad was at home. I had my shower reciting the dialogues I would use in persuading dad. The very thought of it was bone-chilling, but I was in a ‘Now or Never’ predicament.

I made the decision. I dressed up in my dad’s favorite blue color. With a conservative make-up, I walked down the stairs into the drawing room.

Dad was sitting on the sofa with ‘The Hindu’ in his hands and a cup of steaming coffee on the Coffee Table. Mom was seated in the couch opposite to that of dad’s flipping through some magazine.

As I entered the room no one showed any signs of recognition. I took a seat midway besides mom’s couch. I could hear every systole clearly. I broke the silence of the morning.

“Dad..” He continued looking into the newspaper.

I ventured again, “Dad, I want to talk to you”

He gave a slight nod stating that he heard me. I took a deep breath. “Dad I want to speak to you about Shantanu, a budding entrepreneur…” In these first few words I knew I had botched it up. All my numerous practice sessions with Anu were of no avail. I knew I had made it an extempore.

Dad cut me short, “Sanjay and his parents Mr. and Mrs Iyer your long lost uncle and aunt are joining us for lunch today. Go back to your room and get ready for lunch.”

“But dad I..”

“Sanjay has finished his IAS training last month and had been the 2nd best in his batch. He had been appointed joint secretary for Industrial affairs. You are going to be engaged with him in the next auspicious day.”

My pulse rate shot up. I stood up from my seat. Gathered all my strength and said, “Dad I love Shantanu. I want to marry him and spend the rest of my life with him.”

Dad remained seated but his visage grew sterner, “Your destiny is with Sanjay. Forget all about Shantanu and just do what has been told.”

I looked at mom helplessly, but she was hopelessly pretending to be so engrossed with the magazine, and to make it worse she stood up and walked into the kitchen. I knew I was all alone in this battle with my loving dad.

“Dad but Shantanu is really a nice guy. He is intellectual and smart you must talk to him. You must….”

“I spoke to him day before yesterday. I gave him an option to choose between you and his non-existent company, and as you know the all ambitious Shantanu choose his company.”

The whole world came crashing down on me. Everything whirled around me. I couldn’t even imagine what had happened. I didn’t believe it ‘No it can never be the case’.

“No, Shantanu would have never said that. Dad, please give him a chance. Please talk to him. I beg you please…”

“He really is a smart guy. He knew making the later choice would be of no avail. I didn’t have to persuade him any longer. I promised him all legal help, and he readily budged” a villainy smile replaced the hardened expression on his visage.

“That really can’t be possible. Dad you really don’t know what…”


‘Everything’ he stressed on the word. ‘What does everything mean?’ ‘Does he really know everything?’ ‘Is he ok with whatever happened?’ ‘Doesn’t my present state mean anything to him?’

I felt my heart would explode. I could feel the blood flow through the veins across my temples. My head felt like it would blast. My clenched fist grew tighter that my nails dug deep into my palms. A drop of blood started trickling down my palm, and that was the last thing I remembered before fainting.

P.S. If at all the Epilogue is published it will be published only in print. Kindly don't get disappointed looking for the Epilogue here. Anyway I ll continue writing in this blog. Thank you for your support.

Delay Notice

Due to unavoidable reasons I may take more than a month for the next post. Kindly bear with me.

Thank u,

Farewell & Our Faculty (XCIII)

Reviewed by Shahaan

The weekend was full of thanking people. I was too bored of hearing ‘Congrats’, ‘Good Luck’, ‘All the best’ etc etc. By Sunday night I explained for the nth time about the rounds in Google recruitment. I was also bored of telling people I had no idea about contacting CII or applying for a business loan.

I was amazed by the number of girls who were aspired by the thought of being entrepreneurs. None in my friends circle had any idea of starting their own ventures. All they cared about was settling soon.

I had heard girls talking about CAT and MBA, but even most of them talked about average salary in the placements of good B-schools. Only then I realized the entrepreneur zeal had spread well amongst girls. I mused whether the era of equality has bloomed, where people wouldn’t stop a girl from something just because ‘She is a Girl.’

With Google and the excitement that followed I had almost forgotten our FYP. We had our final review that week, and our final semester exams the week after. I was least bothered about the semester exams, but the half finished FYP was bone chilling.

That was not the case with Shantanu. His software was the highlight of his CII presentation. He helped us out with our project. He hated such purely academic projects. He repeated “Engineering is the art of the application of science, and not to do something for the heck of it.”

But it was obvious that projects that were done 'for the heck of it' were only valued as great by our panel rather than the ones that were innovative application oriented. I do believe only such academic research oriented projects are good for a renowned technological institute like ours.

On the day of the review our project didn’t work as expected, but it did do something proving that the 100s of lines of our code does have life. We explained with jargons with presentation charms and created a scene like we have invented something big.

The panel seemed to understand the efforts we had taken, and they nodded their agreement. They pointed out that if our project really worked perfectly well we would have got an ‘S’. Just as they had said later in the notice board we had an ‘A’ next to our names.

Shantanu right from the beginning had a bad time managing Dr.Sekar without much support from Prof.AP and Prof.Rani. He kept saying, “They can’t fail me. I would at least get an ‘E’ and that’s good enough for me. I know mine is worth a loan of 25Laks.”

But to everyone’s surprise he got an ‘A’. In the review Dr.Sekar had commented his project as ‘people’s project’, and felt sorry that they couldn’t award an ‘S’ as it was not a research oriented project. The panel congratulated him on his loan, and promised all help in patenting his software, and any future help they could do with his venture.

People were bugging me asking for ‘treat’, and a really big one. I badly wished I treat them in Barbique Nation as I felt very crest fallen the other day when Microsoft people treated there. But people were bored of that restaurant, and they couldn’t afford to cut classes in the afternoon for lunch in the last few working days of college.

Finally we zeroed in on a Chettinad Restaurant. People enjoyed themselves as barbarians. Shantanu was counting the number of species he had. I was enjoying the site of people feasting. I just had some noodles, and had ice creams over and over again just for the sake of not sitting idle.

Shantanu and Anu sitting opposite to me were teasing me, teaching animal anatomy with every dish. Till that day I only knew Chinese people had so many species to eat. That day I was enlightened to the fact that South Indians had more than a dozen different vertebrates in their menu, and had dozens of ways to cook them.

We had the entire first floor booked for us with not less than 50 people. Preparing the guest list in itself had been as hectic as preparing our 0th review project proposal. Finally every guest followed Anu and Drank for the colorful future of the hosts Thanu, Shantanu and I.

We were done with our FYPs and the only thing that was left with college was our 8th semester exams. We had less than 2 weeks of college left. We enjoyed ourselves, and slam books were flying across the classroom. People wrote essays for each other, as many people preferred blank slam books to pre-formatted ones.

On the evening of our last working day we had our farewell, and thanks giving to our faculty. Our juniors had arranged a smaller auditorium in our campus for the event. They were enthusiastic about the event, and gave cues that we have surprises.

On the evening of the farewell, we were all enthusiastically assembled in the hall. A few members of the faculty were early and occupied the front seats. In sometime almost every teacher from our dept who handled classes for us assembled in the hall. It really would have been bit of a scary thing, but we felt something the opposite, though we had 4 more exams, and as always our fates still in their hands.

Initially we had a few cultural events by our juniors. A few professors whistled at a dance performance by junior girls like they were in a cinema theater. In course of time we had mingled ourselves with the faculty.

A few gutful 4th years had called for events for Faculty participation. The first one was Anthakshari where there were two teams both fully comprised of professors and lecturers. We never knew our teachers could sing so well.

The next one was a bit more than just fantasy, when a few professors danced on stage including our HOD. It was a blissful site. The most feared and respected Prof.AP did take a few steps for her part.

It was time for the last event of the day arranged by our juniors. They called the names of popular pairs in the 4th years. First one was Krishna and Sundari. Sundari hid herself amongst the girls, but could not keep herself hidden when professors themselves called her on stage.

Both of them blushed wide and Krishna “We were just good friends nothing more”. At least he said that, while Sundari was lost for words. Finally she managed to call Krishna as “bro” with a big ‘O’ response from everyone.

Next one was Preethi and Vijay followed by Raja and Revathi. They too blushed and managed a few fuzzy words. I was now practically shivering because there was no doubt the next one would be us. I was wondering whether Shantanu could be found at least in a 100meters range of the auditorium.

But to my great surprise he walked confidently to the stage when our names were called. The MC commented as “The best pair in the history of our college.” I was in a dilemma whether to walk up the dais or to run away.

Adding to my nervousness they played the song ‘Teri Ore’ in the background. I was suspicious whether Shantanu had a part in that plot. Amidst all my classmates, juniors and faculty I walked up the stage throwing sideways glances at Shantanu reading his expressions.

I was shivering. Shantanu briskly got hold of the cordless microphone. “I am happy that all of you are here to witness this important moment of my life.”

I always stayed cool when someone stared at us when we walked together. But this was entirely different. Every word of him echoed inside my empty heart as all blood was drained out of it.

My First Cooking Expedition (XCII)

Reviewed by Lakshminarashiman.

It must have just dawned, when I felt mild disturbances in the bedroom. Shantanu was dressing up. The kitty doll was glittering in the morning sun as he buttoned over it. I was too drowsy to speak clearly.

“hmmm wahrra uu goin?” I yawned wide.

“To the groceries, to get something for breakfast.”

Just then it dawned on me. Though he said he felt gratified by seeing me have dinner, he really didn’t have anything worth while. I felt so bad about myself. ‘How selfish and senseless of me!!!’

“What are you going to get?”

“Hmmm.. Maggie. I think that’s the best thing to get it cooked fast.” Saying this he left the room.

I was feeling awful. It was good when he cooks and cares for me like my mom. Mom’s words echoed in me. “It’s a pleasure to cook for the ones you love.” ‘Don’t I love him?’ ‘Am I not supposed to be the one who should be cooking when he is really hungry?’

‘Well cooking noodles is no big deal’ I told myself. Anyway I was dubious about whether I could do it properly. I ran to the drawing room and started scourging for my mobile phone. I had thrown it somewhere there last night.

Finally I found it in a shelf near the TV stand. It showed 54 missed calls. I haven’t switched back the mobile to loud mode since the previous day’s interviews. ‘Must be felicitation from friends and relatives.’ ‘No space for new messages’ was flashing.

I was in no mood to care about all that. I then badly wanted to know from an expert cook on, how to cook Maggie noodles. ‘Whom shall I call?’ ‘Mom?’ ‘No’ she will bug me with millions of questions on why I need to know this all of a sudden. ‘Grand ma?’ ‘Mom would have been a better option.

Finally I zeroed in on Anu. “Hey I immediately want to know how to cook Maggie?’

“What?? Where are you people? The entire college is in pursuit of knowing about this.”

“Don’t exaggerate. Anyway I don’t care. First tell me..”

She gave me ‘A complete audio guide on how to cook Maggie noodles’ and also ‘10 things you need to care about when you cook noodles’. The funny thought of making Anu a part time cooking recipe writer did cross my mind.

As soon as he entered, he went straight to the kitchen. I pulled him out and sat him in the dinning table. “I will cook for you.”

The apprehension on his face was more than obvious, but he didn’t protest. He sat with a sigh. I hurried to the kitchen, and fumbled for the vegetable cutter. He had bought carrots and tomatoes, but Anu said nothing about tomatoes.

‘What difference does it gonna make?’ I just started slicing the carrots with my hands shivering. I stopped well before 3/4th of the carrot. He was watching me from the dinning hall. This made me more nervous.

I put the sliced vegetables in the non-stick vessel, and added water and the raw noodles to it. After sometime I noticed that the color was still pale. I wondered what was wrong. Only then I realized that I haven’t added the contents of the flavoring packets.

‘Sh*t’ I hurriedly emptied the contents into the vessel before the water would all evaporate. In my nervousness I dropped the packets into the vessel. In an attempt to take it out immediately, I plunged my fingers into the vessel.

‘Ouch’ that hurt. That really hurt. Shantanu came charging into the kitchen.
“No one in their right senses will plunge their fingers into boiling water.”

He reduced the flame, and used a spoon to carefully take the packet out. I was blowing air from my mouth on the tip of my finger. “You are not supposed to do that.”

He took my hands and showed it in tap water. “How could they take in someone with no common sense into Google?”

‘Common sense’ I have heard dad say this word a million times. I was happy that he was very loving like mom, but why does he also have to be as annoying as dad at times.

We had breakfast with I struggling with my left hand as my right one still hurt. He didn’t seem to be minding this, as he ate like he would starve to death.

After finishing his plate he came to me. I wondered whether he was about to eat from my plate. Just then he took the spoon from me and started feeding me like I was a two yr old. The funny thought of making him a home maker lingered in me for the next couple of days. When I told this to Anu and Divya, they laughed and commented that I can completely relinquish the responsibility of being a mother, to him.

After breakfast we watched TV for a while. “We gotta leave to college.”

I was thoroughly puzzled and annoyed. “Why?? It’s Saturday today, and even if it was Monday when did you start minding about bunking classes?”

“See already people would have speculated about what we were doing. It’s high time we get back to campus.”

“I don’t give a damn about what those morons think. My friends will understand. They were the ones, who stood by me even during hard times.”

“But I do give that damn. Get ready.” It was clearly a command, and I don’t think someone ever tried to argue over the terminating statement of Shantanu.

I reluctantly got ready, and we boarded back to campus. Shantanu was feeling very uneasy walking with me in the campus. I was thoroughly enjoying the sight of him blushing at everyone, who smiled at him. None failed to notice us regardless of whether or not I ever remember seeing them in college before, or may be I was assuming things.

I teased him by holding his hands, whenever he tried to distance himself from me when he saw someone he knew coming from the other direction. When an NCC platoon crossed us during their warm up jogs, I bet they did crane their necks to have a look at us.

The captain or some guy, who headed the cadets, gave a sardonic smile at Shantanu. Shantanu matched the brick red color of our campus’s age old building.

“I would better go to the canteen, you go to the hostel.”

“Why?” I asked him knowing the reason very well.

“I don’t want people to look at us like that.”

I put my hands on my hips. “Like what? Are you going to marry me or not?”

“Yes but..”

“Why the hell you care about them? Why do you want to hide our love from them?”

He didn’t protest again. We walked together until the safety threshold of our hostel warden. I wondered whether she was ignorant of our affair.

As soon as he left I regretted taking that tone to him. He was naturally a shy type person in this regard. ‘Why should I have to make him feel uneasy unnecessarily?’

I forgot this regret and everything else for that matter, when I entered the hostel. The excitement filled every molecule of air around me. Girls from all years had circled me. Not just about my Google as well as about Shantanu’s success in getting loan for his venture, and our mysterious disappearance last night.

Life had become a fantasy all over again. We have become college celebrities once and for all.

Moonlit Midnight (XCI)

Reviewed by Lakshminarasimhan and Shahaan.

I was awake in the middle of the night. I knew I was no more the sweet little daughter of my father, but I had become the best part of an ambitious business leader, who had won my heart.

Rather than feeling apprehension, fear or anxiety, I felt pride and joy in what I had done.
For all those days, I had experienced the warmth of love only externally. I will cherish that moment for the rest of my life, when I first felt this warmth spread into me.

I could see his face in the moonlight from the window. He had cuddled next to me. He must have been tired of the journey, and the weary day. I didn’t want to wake him. Not just because I didn’t want to disturb his deep sleep, but I was admiring him sleep like a cute infant ignorant of everything else on earth.

Something was lurching in my intestines. It took me time, before I could realize I was feeling hungry. I barely had lunch the previous day, and had nothing but ice-creams for dinner. I got up covering myself with a blanket shielding myself from the air-conditioners freezing cold.

I felt very weak out of exhaustion, cold and hunger. I walked to the kitchen and fiddled with the utensils to no avail. The fridge had nothing worth being called ‘something to eat’, but a loaf. I was let down, and the blanket slipped off me as my shoulders slumped.

Before the cold could conquer me, a pair of hands embraced me from behind, covering me from the cold, and charging me with his warmth. He kissed my ear.

“Are you hungry sweetheart?”

I badly wished that Shantanu could do some magic, and prepare dinner out of nothing. I helplessly told him, “Ya I am”, in a pleading tone.

He took my shoulders, and guided me to the drawing room, seated me on the couch, switched on the TV, and gave the remote to me. Covering me with the blanket, “Just keep watching something interesting, I will be back in a moment.”

I was anxious of what he could do with the stuff at home. I couldn’t wait, not just to have something, but also to see his magic.

I just ruffled through channels, nothing interesting at the middle of the night. I was not fancied by TV programs even during the day. I could hear him doing something.

After around fifteen minutes, he came into the drawing room. He played some melodious music, and took my hand, and guided me towards the dinning hall.

While we were near the entrance way he closed my eyes from behind. He took his hands of my eyes, when I was near the dinning table. There was a pair of lit candles at the center of the table.

A plate of toasts with their sweet scent filling my nostrils was at one end of the table, two crates of ice-creams to the right of the plate, and a glass on the left. Another glass with tissues was at the centre. Two different spoons were on a tissue to the right of the plate, and a knife on a tissue to the left.

It looked like a setup in a five star hotel candle light dinner. He pulled the chair back from the table for me to sit. Taking a piece of the toast he applied ice-cream on it with the knife. I was shaking with saliva failing to stay behind my lips.

I controlled myself from grabbing it from his hands. I trying hard to be polite, slowly took it from his hands, and stuffed it into my mouth. I was in no mood to savor the taste for the first couple of toasts. Only on the 3rd one I realized how delicious it tasted.

“How did you do this?”

“I found some ghee in the refrigerator, and sugar in the kitchen. If only I had milk the toast would have been better.”

I couldn’t wait for the fourth. After stuffing a fifth one, I felt dried out. I took a sip from the glass to my left. It was neither water, nor some drink I had ever tasted before. In the dim candle light I failed to notice that it was red in color.

“What’s this?”

“I must admit your grand pa has a classic taste.”


“Last time we were here, I found this in one of the closets in the other bedroom. I wondered whether it would still be there. Luckily it was.”

“Ok but what’s it?”

“How does it taste?”

“Not bad, but..”

“Red wine, possibly imported, must cost a good deal.”

“Wine!!! You don’t mind drinking..”

“Just because I hate something, I couldn’t force it on you. This doesn’t do you any harm unlike vodka. After all life is all about keeping each other happy.”

Truly I felt what a luxury drink was. The drink was awesome. I was timid to ask for more, and take too much advantage of his good mood, but I gathered courage to.

“It’s good. Can I have some more…” I asked him in a pleasing softer tone.

“It’s not good to have more than a glass a day. Anyway if you could answer your grandpa, I have no objection tonight.” He smiled. Answering my puzzled expression he continued.

“The few mls you had now must cost in thousands, must be a gift from someone. Your grandpa had already used up a little. Let’s pray that he doesn’t find the slight decrease.”

“He already had part of the drink?”

“Ya, may be he didn’t want to use it all at a time. How often does he use this place?”

“Once in a month at least, he would come on business to meet some people. During elections he will be here often.”

“What if he bumps in all of a sudden tomorrow?”

I could sense the slight apprehension on his face. “Don’t worry about that darl. Every-time he comes here, grandma will call me, asking me what she shall send me through grandpa.”

“How sweet of your grandma” he said with a sardonic smile.

Only when I had the first bite of the last toast, I realized that he hadn’t any dinner either. I looked up. He was sitting opposite to me, admiring my barbaric feast.

“Don’t you want to have something?”

“I feel more than just filled seeing you eat.” He simpered.

We had a few more crates of ice-creams, mostly in the intention of finishing them off, than enjoying them.

We went to bed, cuddling next to each other. We spent the night talking of sweet things. Just before dozing off, I asked the usual question a girl would ask her boy friend, after doing something that she is not supposed to do before marriage, and this is one occasion, and the only occasion in the history of mankind, when a girl asks “Will you marry me?”

It’s also a fact that the answer would be undoubtedly ‘yes’ regardless of whether or not the guy really meant it. But the truth in his ‘yes’ was unambiguously obvious.

In the Dazzling Darkness (XC)

Reviewed by Lakshminarashiman and Shahaan.

I was standing amidst an endless crowd. I could feel nothing but something more than just exotic. Once in a while I did feel a few hard squeezes of palms, and a few palms tapping on my back and shoulders.

My vision was blurred. I couldn’t completely take in the reality. Somewhere a few meters away from me in my misty vision, I could see Thanu in a similar conundrum of handling the cheers.

I badly wished Shantanu to be there at the moment. Anu made futile attempts to bring me back to my senses. I could very well sense what she was doing. If only I could pull my soul back into my body I would have been able to respond to her.

After what looked like a partial coma for a while, finally I was able to hear Anu, “Look there..” she was pointing her finger to the far end of the crowd, towards the silhouette of a person leaning against the wall with his hands crossed across his chest.

Even in the twilight, the sweet unambiguous smile was not difficult for me to identify. I pushed across the crowd, and reached him. His posture didn’t change, and he was still smiling at me. A drop of tear trickled down my cheeks.

First time I gave some expression on what has just happened. I smiled back.

“We did it.” He said boisterously.

Amidst my madness it took not more than a second for me to learn what he meant. Before I could ask him, he continued, “25Laks sanctioned for our presence in Chennai and Bangalore. Shantanu will be proprietor of a business right out of college.” With his pop prideful smile.

I was undoubtedly the happiest person on earth at that moment. I couldn’t find something to drain my booming bliss. I felt like I would explode. I wanted to get out, before I could do something stupid when half the college was there.

“Get me out of here.” I told him.

He grabbed the Google kit from my hands and thrust it onto Anu; grabbed my hands and started hurrying me off the crowd.

We reached my gramps’ guest house. No sooner than the door hinges sealed back behind us we were sealed together. After something like five minutes, I was lying on the couch panting, Shantanu lying on the floor near the couch.

“I-am-the-happieee-sst-man on-earth” he took deep breaths between words. We both were laughing. I was staring at the ceiling hearing our laughs echo across the length of the hall. We spent an eternity just lying.

“You know something I felt like I saw you just before going for the final round.”

He laughed louder. “You actually saw me. I was right there.”

“What would we been doing now if I had not got in?”

“Hmmm.. instead of ice-creams we might have been having vodka.” He simpered.

“What! You would have let me have vodka if I failed?”

“Well I think so.”

“You should have told me this before” He jumped up on the couch wild, but this time I pushed him aside, may be because I was still panting or I was too timid to go further.

He didn’t protest. He got up, and said “I will go get something for us.”

“Do you honestly feel like having something now?” I asked rechecking my intestines whether there was any little gap that was left unoccupied by my over-flowing bliss.

“Well, not if you had let me have you.” He simpered back, and walked out of the door. It took me a while to make out the meaning. When I did, the thought that Shantanu could make such statements made me smile.

I was feeling so weary after such a long day. I took a refreshing cold shower. When I walked out of the bathroom I was almost shivering, the air-conditioner had reached the set temperature of 16 degrees. I dressed up in my night gown, and was wondering what was talking him so long.

The bell rang and he had a big package in his hand. He stepped in and emptied the contents on the couch. I couldn’t count them all, but I bet there must have been more than a couple dozen family packs of different flavors of ice-creams.

“What on earth are these?”

“Ice-creams” he winked. “My debit card could only buy this much.”

I keeping my hands on my hips, “I learnt what ice-creams are, when I was in my KGs.”

“Then why do you ask?” He smiled unsealing a pack. “Tonight, we party.”

We were in a mad spree of finishing off the packs. I badly wanted to do something mad since that evening. I didn’t care about the spoons and used my fingers to empty the crates. After finishing somewhere around half a dozen crates in a mad race to finish more than the other, we gave up.

We sat on the floor in the middle of the ice-cream crates. With half our skin and clothes covered with ice cream. I was feeling like I had grown younger by 15yrs.

We placed the crates into the freezer. Our faces were half white with the cream, and a few plums here and there. We would have made perfect examples of what would it be to let a couple of 3yr olds uncontrolled access to ice-creams.

Shantanu’s romantic music collections were playing pleasantly. ‘…..but Iiiiii can’t help, falling in love with you….” We were determined to make it more than just a memorable day.

I had my left arm on his shoulder with his right around my waist. We were dancing in a blissful shower of music ‘…somethings are meant to be… take my hand. For..’. I joined the artist, “I can’t stop falling in love with you.” I gently told his left ear with the air from my lungs reaching beyond his pinna.

He picked a plum from my cheek with his lips. We were cleaning each other off the creams like cute little puppies. This childish play gradually turned to gentle caressing. Night crept over, filling darkness all-over the place.

The last thing I remember in that dazzling darkness was the last piece of my clothing slip away from my skin.

Elvia and the Deathly Hollows (LXXXIX)

Already Posted.
Dedicated to JKR for her legendary Harry Potter series.

I crossed the first 3 rounds with ease. Not more than 9 candidates managed to reach the 4th round. It looked like even if they eliminate one person per round there will be none to attend the 13th round.

The day ended with a 4th programming round with the results being postponed to the next day. Shantanu kept calling me every half an hour that day. Finally, that night on his good night call, I made it clear to him.

“You are not calling me again until you are back in town. Keep all your concentration on your presentation. I swear I will not talk to you for the rest of our lives, if you ever attempted to know what’s going on here until you are back into campus.”

“But rather than speculating on your success I would feel more comfortable to know what’s going on.”

I knew he was right, but what if I were chucked out in one of those rounds. It’s better for him to speculate, than he really knowing that, I failed him. After all he had dreamt of this almost all through his life. I was unable to be the kind of girl friend, who would inspire and support him in getting his dreams to reality. I at least didn’t want to be the other kind.

As if reading my thoughts he concluded the conversation, “Whatever happens whether or not you continue to be a topper; get placed in Google you will always be the one person whom I love the most ever. I will put the best of my efforts to the work in hand. Love you.”

He hung up. I felt more nervous than strengthened at this response. I badly wanted to do it, to see the sweet smile on his face, which was warmer than a mother’s hug. I badly wanted to say about me getting placed in the company, which he admires the most. I was afraid of letting him down. I wondered whether I ever cared about anything in my life, like I did about that placement before, or ever will I do hereafter.

I doubted, whether Shantanu ever cared about promises. If only it were like an unbreakable vow*, he would have considered it with a tad of seriousness. But he still valued my words, and stopped calling me the next day; nevertheless I doubted that, he was really clueless of my progress, as the whole college kept a watch over the process.

I rarely had a doubt that, I would ever be put out in the 4th round as my programs worked pretty well, and I had completed it well before deadline. Next day morning the results were already on the notice board. Two of the nine were eliminated leaving behind a magical number* of us for the 5th.

As there were very little of us left, the proceedings sped up. I was wondering how did Shantanu do with his presentation, but I didn’t risk calling him. With this thought I walked into the interview room.

The two interviewers smiled at me warmly, and asked me to take my seat. They were unusually warm, which made the back flips in my stomach fiercer. There were initially a few normal questions natural of a technical interview. In quite a few minutes the questions started to go all creepy.

“I see you are doing your final year project on image processing. Well tell me-” He was looking for my name in the file, “-ah Elvia. How would you use Image processing to identify, particles in, say, a conveyor belt of milk packets.”
“I-I would-”, shuddering for words.

Other interviewer cut me short, “Tell me, how you would cut out a sphere out of this pen?” I was profusely sweating.

A couple more of such questions, and they didn’t make any sense to me. I was both confused and daunted. I felt like being attacked by a couple of dementors*, sitting less than a couple foots away from me, draining me of every last bit of hope.

Unpleasant thoughts of me standing in our department, looking at the notice board, which reassuringly told me, I had an arrear; me standing before the placement cell not being allowed to attend Microsoft; Shantanu telling me, he will not be contesting for Presidency; everything flashed in my mind. Worse it was, when I thought, I would face Shantanu, telling him I didn’t make it.

I took a leaf out of Rowling’s Harry Potter. ‘I now need a Patronus*’ I told myself. I concentrated on pleasant things like the time when Shantanu opened his heart to me, and the first Vodka adventure with my best buddies, and Shantanu’s voice consoling me that whatever happens he would always love me.

In a matter of milliseconds I was filled with enormous confidence. I started answering them. My answers were equally non-sense as the questions were. I didn’t shudder this time. I used terms and methodologies that God only knows exists.

I was enjoying profoundly, putting the shoe on the other foot. I enjoyed the site of them gaping like fishes at the terms I used. I mused, whether they were getting annoyed or impressed. I didn’t care. I kept telling myself, ‘I can’t let a couple of wankers stress me out.’

I walked out of the interview, with my nose high in the air, as I was still obsessed, not to show anyone I was weak.

“How did it go?”

“Huh cake walk.” I at least wanted to keep up the spirit till the results.

“You know what? Priya came out, almost filled with tears. Looks like, it’s a stress interview. Deepak’s face was drawn with horror.”

I know that too well, from those stupid questions. I reckoned I managed it pretty well, at least better than those two.

I was soon proved right. Further rounds were equally tough, and there were only 3 of us left for the 9th round, as Krishna was chucked out in the previous HR one, supposedly on grounds of attitude problems.

I was skeptically relived, when the HR person said, there would be only one more round left. I looked forward for that one round, waiting outside the placement cell as Thanu proceeded in leaving behind Guru and me.

How moronic could your tastes get???

First time ever, I am writing a post in this blog on a general topic, and this would definitely be the last such post. Kindly bear with me for a good cause.

"...10% of the richest adults in the world own as much as 85% of the world's household worth, while the bottom 50% has to contend only with 1%."
-A UNDP report.

I will keep it short. When some moronic concept like spider-man or bat-man could be blockbusters, why not something that’s more logical; realistic and thought provoking movie like KANDASAMY be one?

What’s there so funny about a kollywood movie made with Hollywood concepts. I perfectly agree kollywood is not even a 100th a part of Hollywood, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t dream big.

Helping someone from robbery in a million populated city is highly stupid than saving a family after knowing the dangers in advance. Emerging unhurt from an explosion is highly insensible than fighting off a dozen people.

There could have been many such movies or novels on this same subject for 100s of times before. THIS ONE IS UNIQUE.

I am seriously very worried about the taste, and the type of admiration we people have developed over the years. People like a lot of stupid stuff, yes of course a little like some crap like I write in this same blog. I do appreciate the literary interest people show over this kind of stuff, but how could someone ever comment ill about some movie like KANDASAMY.

I am not bothered about losing my credibility, consistency or any shit for that matter. I feel satisfied and contented in promoting a legendary thing like this.

The movie is the need of the era, when corporates spend infinitesimal on CSR just for the heck of it, and brothers fight over dollars in decimals, when in half the world people consider a penny as precious.

At this juncture I swear. I SWEAR ON KANDASAMY (God) if at all, by any chance I get this crap published as a book, I will donate AT THE LEAST 50% of the money I make to a selfless good cause, and will put AT THE MOST efforts in using the rest to make more wealth to help more people.

P.S. Even if I lose readers, or get ill-comments or anything for that matter. I have got enough satisfaction in posting this one post than all the other posts I had ever posted as Elvia or the real me.

The Great Day the G-Day (LXXXVIII)


Already posted.

I made the best of my preparations in those 4 days. Anu who was quite satisfied with Mic had no intention of attending Google. She also bunked classes for the days, and did the best she could do to help me with my preparations. Unlike my room at home our hostel room was much smaller for us stick important points on the wall.

Even while going down for mess Anu used to discuss algorithms or data structures with me. She shared her Microsoft interview experiences with me, nevertheless Google’s recruitment procedures, where knottier with 13 vicious rounds.

Not more than 30students attended the first round in spite of the relaxed eligibility criteria. People clearly didn’t want to make futile attempts. It looked like Google either ignored the past for the present or they had enough rounds to eliminate people or may be both.

I completed my first round of writing test, and was waiting for the results. Anu and Shantanu by my side, with Anu giving me pitfalls in a technical interview, and Shantanu with his shrewd experiences on body language.

I was very much bored of those redundant guidelines, yet I didn’t want to snub or hurt the feelings of the two souls who cared for me the most. Divya left to class with a warm ‘Good Luck.’

Shantanu barked over his phone, “I-told-you. I got something very important down here” and he hung up.

“Who was on the phone?” a confused Anu asked him.

”Well nothing. I go get you a water bottle.” He left, throwing his mobile on my lap feeling lazy to push it down his taut pocket of his faded jean.

In no time the mobile rang again. I hesitated for a moment, and then picked it up. Before I could say something a voice burst out, “If at all you want to get this done, you must get down here to Bangalore right away.”

I weekly ventured, “hello…hmm.. I am Elvia, Shantanu’s friend. He is not here at the moment.”

“Oh he has started avoiding me like this. Very well then. Just say this to him. ‘Go to hell with your entrepreneurial ideas.’”

“Hey, hey, hang on. What did you just say?”


“Please tell me. What have you got to do with his entrepreneurial ideas?”

“Oh so you really don’t know. Well listen. I am supposed to be his business partner in his dream Fund Management Firm. We have an appointment with the CII tomorrow regarding the initial investment loans.”

“Oh my goodness! I never knew.”

“And you call yourselves his friend. Get lost you people…”

“Hey hold on-hold on a bit. What did Shantanu tell you?”

“He asks me to take care of it myself.”

“But Shantanu wouldn’t be so careless about his ambitions.”

“Oh, is it? You bet.”

“He says you can handle this, can’t you?”

“F**K. If only I had his charms. I would never be able to convince the panel all by myself. It was basically his idea, and no one else can ever make it out as avidly and vividly like him. Anyway tell him that I am not making any futile attempts. If he comes we go, or I am just dropping it.”

“Hmm.. Well you have my word. He will be there for sure. Don’t give up preparations.”

Shantanu came back with the water bottle in a minute. He clearly had seen me talk over his phone.

“Is that Prabhakaran?”

“Ya it is. I want you to leave to Bangalore.” I said in a slow and stressed tone.

“What? I am not going anywhere.”

“You are.” I snarled back. “If at all you want me to continue with my next round.”

He considered his options. “But that moron-can’t he handle that. What has he learned in IIMB for all these days?”

“IIMB! Oh well I think it’s you, who told me education has nothing to do with skill. I don’t care whether he is from IIMB or whatever. I don’t want to make myself guilty of you losing your dreams. Get going now.”

He looked back at me for a moment, and shifted his gaze to Anu, “Take care”

I really felt a little fallen at the loss of his company. It would have been really good for him to stay by my side. For the greater good, and for his life’s dreams, and for an ambition that was more sensible than mine, I let him go.

I stepped into the hall for my second round, praying God for both our ventures.

Goggie Goggie Google(LXXXVII)

Not a day passed without me and Shantanu talking to each other sitting side by side, yet always with a little distance, as we stopped meeting at isolated places. I would patiently be listening to his rantings about what would he be in 5yrs time; what kind of home we will live in; what sort of car he would be driving.

“-when my Bentley stops at the entrance of a Taj Hotel, the manager will come to the doors to greet me and- “

I never cared whether it’s a Bentley or a BMW, all I did was to dissolve myself in the bliss of his company in every second I spent with him.

It was one such evenings, when I walked down to meet him, he came running to me, panting, “Google- placements- 14laks- next week”

All the air in the campus was suddenly filled with Google. One could very well see, smell, hear Google anywhere and everywhere in the campus. It was the second time Google came for campus recruitment. They had come after 2 yrs. The last time they came, they went back without even recruiting a single soul.

Not just 4th yr Computer science students everyone from every year and every department got too worked up, waiting to see the person who would make history. People couldn’t contain their excitement. People have started to speculate about that would be legend.

People who already got placed in dream companies where also allowed to attend Google as it was given a Super-Dream status. After over six months my name hit gossips along with Microsoft fame names Thanu and Anu.

I clearly had winnowed out, that, I will not be attending Google like I hadn’t any other placement. I told a foiled Shantanu, that I had no intention of leaving him. I wanted to work with him in Infy, and what else they may very well put the arrear constraint once again.

5 days before that great day, we met as usual. After a few minutes of disturbed rantings he ventured, “I urged our placement rep Surrendar to call up the HR person in Google, and get the eligibility criteria confirmed with him-”

I didn’t respond. Boosted up by my silence, he continued, “He confirmed that it wouldn’t be a problem to have a history of arrear- The HR person said as long as someone doesn’t have an arrear they can attend.” He stressed on the word ‘have’. I gave him a disdainful stare.

“Not just that. He had also confirmed this with the placement cell authorities that the eligibility criteria will not change for sure. It’s only people with current arrears; history is not taken into consideration.”

I got up, thoroughly miffed, “How many times should I tell you? If at all you want to marry someone, who will work in Google or earn 14laks per annum, well good-bye then” and I stormed away.

Within a few strides I regretted my words badly. I reached my room amongst my urging friends, who never stopped nagging me to give it a try.

“It’s all you could do to prove your love to Shantanu-” “He needs no proof.” I retorted. “Well I don’t mean proof but, ya you would love to make him happy, won’t you?” Divya uttered in a desperate last attempt.

I just frowned. Later that night the thoughts kept reeling in my mind. I felt a strong resentment about myself. I had ignored Shantanu’s good night call. I was rolling on my bed. A feeling of deep rancor lurched inside my intestines.

I reluctantly picked my mobile. Called Shantanu, my heart banging, “Hi honey” the words shuddered a little.

“Hi sweetheart”

“Hmm..” I groped for words, “Do you really want me to attempt Google?”

“Hmmm… not if you don’t want to...”

I waited in silence. He weekly added, “Nevertheless I will…”

“If that is what will make you happy…” I took a deep breath.

“Hey I have got contacts of people, who recently got placed in Google”

“You wanker. You.. you were hoping that I will finally give up”

“What then? I can’t let this ‘one in a life time’ opportunity to slip off.”

“You talk as if it were you.”

“You or me, it never matters darl. Well so let us start working on making Mrs.Shantanu a computing wizard at Google.”

It sounded good, but my chances were unlikely. I had long given up assiduous academics. There was less than a week’s time. Most of them were already half-way into preparation.
Most of them had scored better than myself in the 7th sem exams, and what more they had become better at placements and stuff with astute hard-work and with a good deal of experience in attending placements within and outside campus.

I had already heard people say that Google used to give very high importance to the candidate’s academic excellence. I worried about the history I made. The last thing I wanted was another debacle. Nevertheless I wanted to give my best to the one person, who mattered to me the most in the all the universe.

Kindly Note

My Dear Friends,

In an attempt to keep you satisfied, and give you an interesting read,I had made a few inclusions (incidents that I previously considered not to include) and improvements. Hence, I had to delete the 3 posts after 'Touching Temptation' viz
Numb Nonsense
Goggie Goggie Google
The Great day the G-day
Elvia and the Deathly Hallows.

I have included a few posts and replaced the previous posts as
Frustratingly Frigid
The Dazzling Date
A typical Indian Movie Scene
The Blithe Spirit
Goggie Goggie Google /yet to be posted./
The Great day the G-day /yet to be posted./
Elvia and the Deathly Hallows. /yet to be posted./

I deeply regret the inconvenience caused, and will take immense care to avoid any such mix-ups in the future.
Thank U for bearing with me.

Yours Lovingly,
Ur Elvi

P.S. Those who feel the post 'A Typical Indian Movie Scene' as 'Made-up' or 'dramatised' kindly refer to this link. I don't want you people to mistake me as a dramatic writer of far fetched things.

The Blithe Spirit (LXXXVI)


I had already posted part of this post earlier. Due to a small inclusion I had to delete the old one and have re-posted it. Kindly bear with the confusion. A reference to the post titles of the last 4-5 posts will do. Thank you.

Dad spoke normally. But I felt there was something strange in the way he spoke. I convinced myself that I was assuming things.

I couldn’t bear mom and dad urging me to attend a dream placement. So I resorted to go to Bangalore to do interns in the company in which I already did interns after my fourth semester exams.

Unfortunately Manikandan was sent to Germany on an onsite contract. Gokul who replaced Manikandan as Team leader was only too eager to welcome me, and he readily accepted my application to do interns.

I was skeptical, and I asked Shantanu about it. “There is nothing to worry about. He will be fine. You take up the interns for the good.” Shantanu told me reassuringly.

As said the interns went on pretty well, and Gokul was engaged to a girl, who was working in another team in the same company. The amiability and genial treatment of the team members was the same.

Anu was doing interns with Microsoft. We both stayed together. We hung around the city almost every evening. In less than a week we had explored almost every single store in MG road.

On a Saturday we completed our exploration of the Lido mall with a matinee in the theatre watching Singh is King. The next day Shantanu came to Bangalore.

I was really missing him in just a week’s time. I was excited about meeting him after a week, as if that was my first ever date. However effectively the technological developments have shrunken the gaps, nothing can match the bliss of talking to him with his eyes wetting me with love, and the warmth of sitting next to him.

Shantanu and I started as early as possible to Lalbagh. We walked through the serene beauty of the botanical garden, the man-made beauty of Mother Nature. There were quite a few people in the park, and we enjoyed the deserted beauty in the company of each other.

To keep myself warm in the December cold, or in the excuse of keeping me warm I let my left arm bind tightly to his right, and hold on to him keeping myself as close to him as possible. Shantanu had a tinge of uneasy feel in such acts of love in public places, but I didn’t mind making him feel queasy.

We sat on a park bench. I never let loose of my hold on him. “Seriously dear, do you have any intention of breaking loose my arm from my shoulders?” he said with a sardonic smile.

I frowned, and let go of his hand. He turned to his bag, and pulled out a cute little pink teddy bear with a red heart tied to its neck. He gave it to me with a grin. “Open it.”

Just then I noticed it was not a doll, but a hand bag. I anxiously opened the bag for surprises like a kid opening her Christmas presents. All I found was a pocket hard-disk. I frowned.

“Er- sorry I couldn’t think of any useful present for a computer science engineer.” He told me with all the color drain out of his face with an embarrassment strained smile. He looked like a kid, who was caught red handed by his mom while stealing candies.

I broke out a laugh at his expression. “You could have very well stopped with this hand bag this is cute in itself, why do you bother to load me with more storage devices?”

“Well I get such stuff cheap from my uncle’s shop here.” He said with an impish smile.

“You tightwad…” I punched him on his shoulders.

“Ouch that hurts. I at least care to gift you with something..” he stopped at mid sentence.

I turned to my bag, and took out the jewel case. “Open it.”

I could clearly see he was taken back by the 5 gram gold chain with a 7 gram kitty pendent. He was speechless for a few moments staring at the chain, holding the pendent in his palm.

“Are you weighing it or what?”

“Hey…” he swallowed. “How much did this cost?”

“How ill-mannered of you, to ask for the price of a gift?” It was my turn to wear his impish smile.

“Must have costed a good deal, but I have told you not to spend our parents money for each other.”

“This is my own money. You are not the only person who earns. Remember I had already done an intern, and have also been doing free lance projects. You always told me, ‘The best way of spending money is to invest it.’ I also wanted to gift you. So now 2 in1”

He shared my grin. He attempted to put the case in his bag, but I insisted upon him wearing it. “This kitty should always keep reminding you of your rich ambitions.”

We spent the rest of our time walking around the park. After lunch in a near by restaurant he intended to leave, I protested but to no avail. I bid him good bye at the majestic station.

The rest of the days in Bangalore went on with me and Anu having fun, with Anu often teasing me by touching my handbag.

We came back to college, after a fortnight of semester holidays. Shantanu who faintly kept suggesting me to attend a dream placement every now and then fearing my fury was let down by my results.

“What on earth is wrong with you?”

“Nothing” I said casually.

“Nothing” I could feel the heat when he snorted. “You say nothing. After that you have got a 7.8”

“Well why does it matter anyway? I have still passed, and I don’t think Infy would feel bad to take me with that.”

“Stop talking about Infy. Don’t act as if you are satisfied with it. Do you know what this has cost you? Your CGPA is now less than 9. All these years of your shrewd hardwork ..”

“-is worth a shit, and would stop me from attending a placement for one stupid arrear.” I completed the sentence.

“Stop talking about it. There were other companies which pay good, and whose placements won’t mind that ‘stupid arrear’.”

I didn’t respond. After a while he gave up. His shoulders slumped, and he looked at the ground below.

“Honey, you always wanted to score more than me in at least one semester, and you did now. You scored 8.5 this semester. You should feel happy about it. It’s all about making each other happy.”

“Happy!!! At the cost of your grades!”

We left the conversation with that. The semester went on as the previous one, with me staring out of the window dreamily lost all interest in academics. Life seemed so beautiful with nothing to worry about; grades, internals, lessons, notes or anything for that matter. I was a complete blithe spirit.

A Typical Indian Movie Scene (LXXXV)


Shantanu aligned himself into a combating position. He boded me to stand down.

“Hey look at him man, our hero.”

“Ya, guess it is Jackie Chan.”

“No man must be Bruce Lee” gagging loud.

“We intend no harm bro. People who have, have to share with those who don’t.”

“You have a girlfriend, but we-”

Shantanu spoke nothing. A drop of sweat trickled down from his temple.

One guy came near me trying to place his hand on my shoulder. Shantanu gave a turn back kick aimed right to his abdomen. He fell a few feet away.

All the other six jumped towards him trying to over power him. He gave a heavy punch to the one before him. But in an instant I knew it wasn’t going to work.

Another fell away from the mob with a front thrust kick from Shantanu, but a dark guy’s punch caught Shantanu’s nose, blood dribbled down from his nostrils.

I jumped in, and pulled away a taller guy by his arms, and gave a sharp elbow with my left arm across his jaws, and gave a back elbow to the one who was behind me with my right arm. A knee kick on his soft spot was enough for that tall guy. He crouched.

The other 3 guys had almost over powered Shantanu, who was on his back to the ground. I gave a sharp blow to one of those guys spine making him collapse. In less than minutes, two guys had blood on their faces and one guy had a knot of my hair in his fist.

Shantanu’s shirt was torn near the sleeve, and 3 guys lay on the ground immobile, and the others were making a weak fight. Just then we heard the distant blare of siren from a highway patrol vehicle.

Shantanu caught my arm, and pulled me towards the bike. We jumped on the bike and fled the place. We could see the other following suit. I could feel Shantanu’s systole through his back.

He rode the bike in madness. I squeezed his shoulders to comfort him. “It’s alright Shan cool it. Everything is fine. Calm down.” I kept attempting to bring him back to normal, but to no avail.

He narrowly avoided a lorry and 2 sedans. The pleasant blissful journey to the beach was then completely turned into a complete botch. The blood oxytocin was completely replaced by adrenaline.

We reached the highway toll-booth. Shantanu tried his best to keep him cool and act normal. In spite of all those efforts a police official stopped us. I hid the end of my shawl that was strained with the blood from Shantanu’s nostrils.

“What happened to you people?”

“Er—nothing” Shantanu in a cool voice.

“Then why do you people look like hell?”

“Well.. hmm we fell from the bike.” He managed lamely.

“huh? Do you have your driving license?”

“Oh ya, I do.” He showed his DL.

The police Inspector checked the DL for a moment with his gaze passing through our faces. He looked up suddenly in my direction, contemplated for a while before sounding surprised, “Aren’t you the daughter of Mr.Ramanujam Iyengar.” With a quick pause he added, “The General Secretary!”

My pounding heart started exploding. I was musing over what to answer. ‘Does he really know me pretty well?’ ‘Can I just evade saying ‘No I am not’’ ‘If I say yes will he question me what am I doing?’ Neurons were doing parallel processing only to generate more questions than answers.

I had already surpassed the suspicion threshold for a normal answer. It’s high time I gave a reply. I meekly tried, “I mmm I..”

He all of a sudden ignored me, and returned Shantanu’s DL to him. “Be careful you people. You may go.”

I felt relieved for the moment, nevertheless the thoughts about dad and that Inspector of police never left my mind. Shantanu rode the bike in a slower pace till college.

He insisted on me going straight back to hostel, but I didn’t want to leave him alone. I accompanied him to our college health center. He got treated for his bleeding nostrils and a sprain in his leg. Doctor questioned me half a dozen times whether I was alright, with the only response being ‘yes’.

After half a day, we left the health center. Neither of us had anything to eat since morning. We walked to the canteen only for the sake of the other. Both of us were not in a state to feel any hunger.

After having a few reluctant pieces, we walked back to our hostels. I fell on my bed only too exhausted for the day’s impingings to keep me awake. I got up by 8.00PM awaken by an anxious Anu.

“Hey you gotta go to the mess now or you will have to starve through the night.”

After dinner, I sat down on my cot vaguely explaining what had happened. Just then mobile rang with dad’s number flashing.

‘Did that Inspector told dad anything?’ ‘Did he say that I was being sited in the beach road with a guy?’ ‘Was he so sure that it was me?’ or ‘He just said someone like me..’

It wasn’t unusual for dad to call me, but the circumstances! Fear built it’s phantoms that were worse than the reality.

With quivering hands I picked up.

The Dazzling Date (LXXXIV)


We started off from college by 6.30AM. Shantanu had borrowed Rajesh’s pulsar. I gleefully sat at the pillion. Though Shantanu had already told me that his celibacy was over, I still felt uneasy. I gently placed my right arm on his shoulder, and sat not so close to him.

In no-time I was feeling very uncomfortable of not being able to hang on to something. Soon my forehead crashed against the back of his head, when he applied a sudden brake. He stopped the bike.

He turned back, and his visage was as enigmatic as it gets at times. I gaped at him dabbing my forehead with my palm. When I placed my hand again on his shoulder, he took my fingers and guided my right arm around his waist. Then he took my left arm which was resting on my lap and put it around his waist.

He gave a surging acceleration to the bike with the front wheel leaving the ground momentarily, which turned my hold into a tight embrace. My girly features were pressing tightly against every square inch of his back sealing ourselves together. My forefront was peeking over his shoulder, with my ears touching his. My chin brushed against his stubbly cheek.

The moist air brushed against my face. My eyelids losing in their skirmish against the salty wind shed tears. Shantanu stopped the bike, wiping my tears he gave his goggles to me. The ambience of the morning sun, the seclusion of the lonely highway and the chill oceanic air trying to make me shiver to no avail against his bodily warmth all made the ride the most beautiful experience of my life.

After traveling a good distance from the city we stopped at a secluded beach with erosion preventing casuarinas. We parked the bike amidst the casuarinas, and started walking hand in hand, with our grip tightening every second. I was leaning against his arm, and resting my cheek on his shoulders.

Mind was devoid of thoughts. Eyes partially open as I was besotted by the essence of love. The splashing waves were washing over our foot, with their pleasant rhythm. We sat at the sand. I let my head slip over to his lap. He gently caressed my scalp, trying to keep the fluttering strings of my hair in check behind my ear.

“You look gorgeous.” He repeated for the nth time making me blush more every-time, and making my face match the crimson of the morning sun.

We sat there with no sense of time. The sun grew hotter, and we decided to walk back to the bike. We reached the bike. I really didn’t want to leave. I gently placed my hands on his.

He looked at me, our gaze meeting each others. He came near me, and in a flash I felt electricity making a closed circuit at our lips. The first kiss lasted not more than a couple seconds, but I felt like an eternity of virgin bliss.

I felt too timid even to blush, but I saw him in a similar state through the side of my eyes. We both were looking down at each others’ pushers. After what felt like a life time, I gathered the strength to look up. He turned himself to face the beach with his eyes passing momentary glances at my side.

“I.. er..hmm” He fumbled for words. I caught his hand, and gave a reassuring squeeze. Encouraged by the squeeze; the deserted environment; the privacy given by the casuarinas; just when I badly hankered for another kiss, he caught me in a squeezing hug, and kissed me more passionately this time.

The snog grew stronger. His hands moved along the length and breath of my back, often taking refugee at my hips. The gentle caressing, the electro-magnetism attracted me into a tauter embrace, and my hands held tightly to the hair at the back of his head.

I felt heavily doped. I had tears in my eyes, but was not in a shape to muse over the reason. I almost fainted, when he pulled his lips away from mine. He caught me across my waist. Just then I noticed four bikes charge into the casuarinas towards us.

The sense of alarm filled me, with adrenaline flooding my veins. They parked their bikes around us. A total of 7 guys, possibly thugs got down gagging. I was rarely afraid of anything and the least when it came to an encounter with 7 guys, but the circumstances of the encounter alarmed me.

Shantanu stood there holding on to my hand. He showed no sense of fear, though I could feel the quiver from his hold. I felt what it meant by being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

They came closer.

Frustratingly Frigid (LXXXIII)



He turned to face me, and politely said, “I do feel like resting my arms on the arm rest. Can you just shift to the next seat, so that both of us can sit comfortably” and he turned back to stare at the screen, and continued to enjoy the movie.

I got all crimsoned, not because I was abashed, but I was burning red hot. I didn’t know, whether he noticed my nettled face in the theatre’s twilight. I wanted to get up, and punch him right on his nose, and even if I did the red drops wouldn’t have drained my face of the blood red color.

I got up, and walked out to the restroom. I washed my face at the sink, and stared at myself in the mirror. My image in the mirror sniggered at me, which bore an impish simper that sardonically said ‘what a good boy-friend he is!’ I wanted to hit my own image. First time in all my life, I felt bad for being a girl.

I mused, whether he really was that numb, or was he trying to be a ‘good boy’, or was he just pretending to be one of the two. After a good time in the rest room trying to wane out my fury, I walked back into the theatre, and sat at the seat next to the seat I was previously seated.

We came back to college in utter silence. While in bus, I sat in a seat next to an old lady, ignoring him. I didn’t talk to him for the rest of the day. He didn’t dare ask me about it.

Next day he casually came to me smiling, “Hi sweetheart.”

Though the fuming fame was not completely put out, I had no other option I said, “Hi” gloomily.

Later I convinced myself it’s all for the good. The semester exams went on as usual. I for the first time in my life took the exams, as a ‘real’ engineering student. I rarely learned those subjects in course of the semester. I was mostly day-dreaming during the classes.

I opened the book only on the day before the exam. Mostly I was asking Anu to give me hints on the subject, with which I can use my writing skills to develop stories. During the first exam, I felt a bit weird, to write answers for questions that I was not so sure of, but during the last exam, I wrote 5 pages of answer for a question, about which I never even had any inkling.

Shantanu on the other hand was booming after every exam. He except for his usual good night with ‘Love you’ rarely talked to me in course of the exam. I badly wanted the exams to end, and by theory the exams somehow came to an end after a couple of weeks.

On the evening of the last exam we met as usual. I was still a bit upset with him. He sensing my apprehension, “I am sorry.”


“Hmmm… ya”

“What for?”

“For making you upset.”

I remained silent. ‘All of a sudden he apologizes to me!’ I was questioning myself, ‘when did he discomfit me?’ or more precisely, ‘Which one of those incidents was he talking about?’

He continued, “I know you were upset. That day in the theatre…”

“So you knew, and even so you still continued being a block of wood.”

He attempted to interrupt my irruption, but to no avail. “Ah I know it’s all about being good, and upholding the tradition and the rich culture of the country. Ya, I do understand.”

“Hmpf… Can I talk a few words, now?”

“What the-” Thought I have blurted out everything I was feeling apprehensive, so I safely added, “Can’t I even hold your hands? Even for that should I be your wife? Haven’t you shaken hands with Anu or Divya and other girls?”

“Is that all? Or you are going to barf more?” He took a breath before continuing. I was panting and I had put off my ceaseless rants.

“First of all shaking hands with someone is entirely different from holding your palms in mine. I am no piece of wood or a little kid nor am I suffering from any hormonal deficiency disorders. I do feel love, lust; anger and everything like anyone else.”

He took another deep breath. “Hmm… you know I am upto my next belt in Kung-fu. Sifu had subjected me to a self-will test. Even a loving touch is always accompanied by a bit of lust. And I was afraid of myself. Who else know more about my flare for the art than you?”

I felt a bit abashed. I rallied myself, and ventured in a minced tone, “So how long do you have to undergo this test?”

He simpering, replied me, “It’s over today. That’s why I have told you about it now.”

I was both delirious and felt queasy. Reading the question in my mind, “If you stay back here tomorrow, let us go to the beach, and find ourselves a secluded spot. We can walk hand in hand.” Giving an impish pause for the blush in my ruddy face to get wide, “or may be even more.”

Touching Temptation (LXXXII)

Reviewed by Ironmonkey.

Shantanu had a worse time with Sekar than us, as all his teammates were 7 pointers. Nevertheless Shantanu had procured a good name from AP ma’am and Rani ma’am with his shrewd responses during classes, and his efforts in college activities.

AP ma’am who only knew it too well about Shantanu’s stock market aspirations didn’t oppose the idea, yet she gave a clear warning that the project can’t get an S grade as it was more financial than technical. Sekar who couldn’t buck AP’s support to Shantanu let them walk out with their project idea approved grudgingly.

It was a big relief for the time being though an icy feeling suffused through our blood at the thought of the next review. As many as 11 teams were asked to resubmit their proposal with better ideas or with ameliorations in the already presented idea.

“Man I am skeptical even to get this done in a simulator, and she wants me to do it in the kernel” Rajesh moaned with gall.

Though we felt sorry for Sangi as her team’s idea was rejected blatantly stating that the system already exists, yet we really felt our mind allay.

We had two more weeks for our 7th sem exams. Shantanu was doing exceptionally well that semester. Lack of organizational responsibilities and enough free hours have all made him concentrate more on academics. He was also back into trading and made considerable profits.

It was a Sunday morning. I just returned after brushing. Anu was looking bemused by the ringing that woke her up from bed very early as it was only 7.30 then. My mobile was singing loud ‘truly madly deeply…’ with Shantanu’s picture.

I picked up the mobile wiping of my hands in the towel. “I need you to come with me.”


“Should I have to tell you, if I want you to come?” he said sardonically.

“I would very well walk till the end of the world with you, but I just asked you. Ok when do we start?”

“In an hour, come down, and wait near the auditorium I will join you there.”

I got ready with a mix of anxiety and excitement. “May be he has made a good profit in shares that he wanted to gift you something”, Anu suggested still slumberous. I scuttled towards the auditorium.

I was already a little late, and I could never face Shantanu if I was late and also could never bear him blasting of about punctuality, which was one of the qualities I disdained in him. I wished he would say, ‘I will wait forever, for you, my love.’ But he never did.

I reached the auditorium to face the fuming Shantanu. “Sorry Sorry Sorry” I blushed before he could open up. He looked like he was trying hard to contain himself.

We scurried to the bus stop, and luckily had a seat free. We sat next to each other. After that embarrassing incident we started to physically distance ourselves a little.. I wanted to walk holding his hands, and lean on his shoulders, but I could rarely do that.

Though things started to get better we still felt uncomfortable to even sit close to each other in public place. At times Shantanu even resorted to keeping his bag between us making me turn scarlet.

We sat in silence. I wanted to ask him, where we were heading so early in the morning. But I wanted him to tell me, and I sat in taut silence. He didn’t seem to be breaking the silence. I was speculating whether he was still fuming, or he wantonly muted himself.

We got down after a 20 minute journey, and I could readily say that, the place is where he went to Kung-Fu class. I suppressed the urge to ask him ‘Why am I taken to his kung-fu class?’

The place looked festive or may be I assumed so. He introduced me to his Sifu, “Sifu this is Elvia my friend.”

He just replied a smirk. People were demonstrating stunts and stuff. Wasn’t bad, yet I was feeling bored. After a couple of hours we walked out.

“That was great, breaking 7 tiles with flames. How did you do that?” I had definitely had done all that in my karate class, yet I didn’t want to let him down from his high spirits.

Spotting the fake avidity in my voice, “Huh as if you had never done that, dan 2” he said ironically.

“Well I had been practicing the art for more than a decade now. But managing a brown belt in less than 2 yrs is awesome”

He didn’t reply for a while. May be he felt not to be modest at his feat.

“I want to treat you for this.”

“Treat. Ya of course this is something to be celebrated.”

“Well then I will take you to a movie today.”

“If you want to take me to a movie, you definitely don’t need the excuse of a treat.\” I sniggered. He frowned.

We went back to the college. “Good that I am out of responsibilities, or I would have never even achieved the blue belt this year.”

I was unable to make out his countenance. Was he still feeling doleful about the presidency or did he really mean it. It was made clear when he added, “See I may not even have had the time to accompany you to a movie.”

I still didn’t comment fearing of making another barb.

“Come down soon. I will be waiting.”

“Hmm… will 1.30 do?”

“For what do you need that long?”

“Huh then you tell me the time”

“Well ok. I think we will be having lunch in the canteen. So will you be able to make it by one”


He turned back with a look that clearly warned me not to be late again.

We had lunch in the deserted canteen, and it was about to close when we left, as it worked only half a day on a Sunday. We walked in the mild December sun.

Thankfully he didn’t have a bag to place in between us. I risked sitting close to him. I felt an energetic giddy feeling. He didn’t resist.

The theatre was not so crowded. In spite of being a Sunday’s afternoon, people seemed to have settled for their TVs, than coming out for a movie. Here and there were groups of college guys and girls and a few pairs like us.

The movie was going good, but I really felt irksome. With him sitting next to me completely numb about my presence. Boringly I turned the other way. 2 rows ahead of us there was a couple with that guy seemingly searching something in her T-shirt.

I tried not to stare at them, and to concentrate on the movie. Indian movies getting erotic with the hero snogging the heroine quite disquieted me. I absent mindedly placed my hand on his on the arm rest. For a moment he remained numb as if it were not his hand. Then he slowly turned in my direction. A sense of mixed fright and fervor rose in me.

The Terrific Threesome (LXXXI)

Reviewed by Padu.

I was walking side by side with Anu. People were making their way out of the lab towards the steps after a weary afternoon of Advanced Networks Lab. The 3rd floor lab with around 100 good configuration systems with the letters IBM embossed on them were installed with all sort of softwares we would ever need during the 4yr course.

I was walking besides Anu making way through the bustling crowd out of the department building. It was then Venkat blazoned out asking everyone to take a look at the notice board.

Back in our hostels Sangi whimpered, “Why not it be a two days before or after. I was looking forward to attending Symantec placements.”

Not just Sangi, many people where a tad appalled though we were all looking forward to the 0th review notice. We all feared facing the panel of 3 senior faculty members. If at all our ideas were rejected, in the middle of the 7th sem exams and the placements we had to work again to produce a better idea.

“We had been working on this idea for 3 months now. If they reject this, how do they expect us to come back with a better idea in less than a month?” Anu said gloomily.

“That too in the middle of the semester exams” I added.

Our worst fear was soon substantiated. Dr.Sekar was one amongst the three panel members. Anu soon started to aquiver. She was in my team in the compilers project, but for some reason he had spared her then.

We visited our guide Ms.Anitha for more help. She was a very amiable and knowledgeable person. She grew thoughtful when we finished finking about the cheating during compilers project.

“You lot better go, and apologize to him.” She said contemplating our situation.

“But we already did” frowned Anu.

Later even our seniors felt she was right. So we decided to visit him and apologize for the second time praying to all Gods in the Hindu mythology.

“Sir, we are really sorry.” Shantanu said sympathetically.

“Sorry!! Why?” with his notorious simper.


“For cheating in the compilers project” I completed blankly.

“Oh I see. I wonder why you are here apologizing all of a sudden.”

“We really felt very bad about it sir. We wanted to apologize for long but: but,”

“We felt guilty to face you Sir.” Anu completed gloomily as planned already.

“Well you will sow what you reap. Now get out of here.” He replied gruffly.

We came back disappointed and broken. For me and Shantanu it was more horrifying as we had to take the compiler practical exams again.

We prepared our best for the 0th review. Ours was a project that would indentify gestures by image processing, and convert them into input impulses. We simply had no idea of how to do that. Anyway in the 0th review we just needed to explain the idea.

Seniors saying that 0th review was nothing, made us feel more apprehensive about other reviews rather than making ourselves feel better about this one.

Professor Arunthathi Palaniswamy the pop AP was the most frightening one amongst the panel as she was very knowledgeable, and was well known for her tricky questions during reviews. Both Shantanu and I had impressed a good name in her in our fifth semester in her Networks classes, and we were not afraid of being questioned but DrSekar!

On the day of the review Shantanu was dressed in modest formals, combing his hair with ample oil and looked more sanctimonious than ever. He gave a meek smile while waiting outside the department for our turn.

The next was our turn. My hands went cold and sticky. Both Anu and Sindhu where looking pale. We entered the presentation hall with our laptop powered on and ready with our assiduously prepared presentation.

As soon as we entered, Rani ma’am asked, “Hey I reckon you are that Microsoft girl.”

Anu and I exchanged looks. There was no way she would have known my nickname. In a moment it was clear she was looking directly at Anu. Anu nodded with a meek smile.

AP ma’am, “This girl Elvia here had a good chance of getting into Mic” she said looking at Rani ma’am, and with a sideways look at Dr.Sekar himself. I never knew she would be so personally following her students.

Dr.Sekar cleared his throar, “Hem hem, well start the presentation” with his usual gruffness.

Sindhu started with the first lines swallowing a few words in between. None interrupted for a while and Anu continued with confidence. Before I could start the concluding part, AP ma’am, “I guess it’s ok…”

Sekar interrupted, “So you will be doing all those funny actions sitting before the computer” mimicking a few gestures with his sarcastic villainy smile.

“Sir a few decades back if people saw someone talking over phone she would have been considered as a lunatic or a witch. But now it has become something common. Similarly after a decade there will be no mouse or the keyboard but people will be using our system” I sniped back trying not to loose my cool.

“Certainly we will be looking forward to this evolution my dear. You may go now” Rani ma’am ignoring the second attempt of Dr.Sekar to jest at us.

Though it felt good at the support of AP and Rani ma’am I certainly was scared at the hard expression on Sekar’s face.

I walked out of the hall wishing Shantanu ‘Good luck’ as he entered the hall with his team mates, wondering how bad Sekar would have his revenge on Shantanu.

It Doesn’t matter (LXXX)

Reviewed by Srivatsan and Ironmonkey.

I couldn’t sleep peacefully that night. His words, false words kept ringing in my ears, “Good that I am not the president. It takes too much of my time. I couldn’t even afford to spend enough time with you.”

He was not that good a pretender to me. His smile filled with grief said it all. I spent the whole night regretting my piggishness for better grades. If only I had left him do the project with his friends. It doesn’t matter anymore. It’s all over.

Shantanu was offered the leadership of the college symposium committee the previous year, but as there was ‘One person One Post’ rule, he rejected the offer. His close friend Vignesh was made the head of the committee.

As soon as the elections were over Vignesh readily came forward to give up his leadership to Shantanu. But Shantanu politely refused to accept it promising all possible help.

Days went by. Now we had nothing else to worry about. All we had to do was attend classes, and study if at all there was an exam the next day. I lost interest in my voracious mark race. I never cared who topped the class in any paper.

We had to choose our Final year project(FYP) guides and the topics in which were about to do that. Shantanu chose to do some software that would help individual stock market investors. The software is expected to do all technical analysis on any given stock over any given period by collecting data from the internet.

I badly wanted to do the project with him. Not for acquiring good grades in our FYP, but I enjoy every moment spent with him. But Shantanu again wanted to do it with his friends stating that the project has more to do with Stock trading and less with programming, and hence it wouldn’t be valued good by the panel.

I never cared anymore about any valuations. But I didn’t want to force him again to desert his friends. I choose another project in DSP, and I did it with Anu and Sindhu.

A big list of big companies flocked our campus. People spent hours together before the placement cell waiting for their interviews or results. The class attendance hung around 60% as the rest of them used to be attending the placements. At times we cancelled all the classes for the day as more than half the class would have left for placements.

The semester was fun with people walloping on their selection, and others kvetching everyone for they not getting through. Weekend movie plans were now replaced by placement treats. Anu was yet to give a treat for Mic.

Divya got into Cisco. Divya and Anu planned to give their placement treats together. A big list of invitees was prepared. Sindhu, Sangi, Swarna, Thamarai, Palani, Hari and many others were short-listed to be called for the treat.

The final list was a strong 30. Shantanu was given the responsibility of taking care of the booking and other arrangements. Vignesh and Shantanu left to the restaurant an hour before in Vignesh’s bike. We arranged auto-rickshaws for other girls. I, Anu, Sindhu, Sangi, Thamarai were all dumped into Revathi’s Tata Indica.

It was a Wednesday afternoon. We had no classes in the afternoon. Divya and her classmates had one class, and they readily bunked it for the treat. We reached the restaurant by 2.15PM.

The green board with the name Barbeque Nation with its tagline ‘The world on a Grill’ welcomed us. Shantanu was at the reception guiding us to the hall. The restaurant in general had tables spread normally. There was one little hall with 6 tables. We had booked it entirely for us.

In the privacy of the hall we behaved no less than barbarians of Barbeque Nation. The servers were all almost petrified. They struggled to keep in pace with our eating pace to serve the starters. The grill was of no use as the chicken or anything that was placed on the grill was consumed in no time.

A few choose beer as their complimentary drink, and the competition on who would do a bottom sip in the least time was intense with Sindhu almost spewing the beer on her shoes. Sangi commented that I would have won the beer bottom sip contest if only Shantanu was sitting in the next table. Laughter filled the table with me hurriedly silencing them.

Ours was a big table with 12 chairs other tables had either 5 or six chairs. The pleasant ambience of the room was filled with loud chatters. The hall maitre d’ would have felt relieved as we were allotted the hall or the decorum of the restaurant would have been put at stake.

After the first course we moved out of the hall to the buffet. Another competition begun and it was the best barbarian competition. People used soup bowls for icecreams and mixed jammuns with icecreams. I didn’t think it was that bad, but mixing jammuns with chicken soup!

It was one hell of a treat. We stayed there till 5PM and we were the last to leave the place. A few people carried cakes with them eating them as they left the place. Anu had invited Kiran to the treat as well. He was working in Symantec and he paid some amount when Anu found out that she was a little short of the bill.

We reached college around six. I spent some time with Shantanu before going back to our room. We cheerfully talked about the treat. Both our minds had the thoughts that we should have been one of the hosts, but it doesn’t matter.

I was no more the computer science cynosure, and the Shantanu was no more the majestic Mr.President. Yet it never mattered. We had each other. Life was so good to think about what’s lost and past.

I walked back to hostel without any thoughts about having the messy dinner at the mess. Stomach felt like it would never again ask for food in my life time, with my heart as filled as my stomach with bliss.

The Butterfly Effect (LXXIX)

Reviewed by Ironmonkey.

The next morning everything was back to normal, the new semester, placement mania and everything. I was filled with some exotic bliss. I felt happy for my understanding parents, loyal friend and the one person, who could replace everyone else Shantanu.

I wondered, whether I had anything to worry about. I didn’t give any thoughts about attending any other company’s placement. The seventh semester was pretty interesting and easy.

Life has become light. That evening Shantanu called for a date, and we went to one of the less frequented beaches in the city. I had plenty to talk, everything that happened during the two months of semester holidays.

After more than an hour, I realized something was bothering him in some corner of his mind. I saw that something was wrong in his sweet smile. I wondered whether he still worried about the lost dream of mine.

I was in a dilemma to ask about it. The evening was pleasant, the cool breeze, the gentle rhythm of the waves, the ambience of the dusk, the silky smooth sand and the warm shoulders on which I was leaning. I didn’t want to disturb all this by asking ‘what’s wrong?’

After sometime as it got darker we started walking towards the road to get a bus back to our college. My mind raced about venturing the question. He would often say, ‘There is no hiding between us. Never ever give a second thought about asking for an explanation regarding anything. This is the secret of happy living.’

I broke the internal tension, “What’s bothering you?”

“Me? Bothered? No nothing.”

“Someone used to say something about happy living.”

“Well sharing that is good for nothing.”

“It’s not always about solving a problem together, but it’s about sharing a problem together.” I gave a response in the philosophical speaking standards of Shantanu.

His face wore a grimace, “We have college elections in a week.”

“That’s something to be cheered about. What’s wrong with that? With the efforts you had taken and the methods you have used last year there must be no doubt about our victory.”

His grimace grew wider this time. It clearly expressed something painful, “Victory is only for those who compete.”

“Enough of this tricky nonsense. Tell me what it is.”

“I can’t contest for the presidency.”


“Yes. Don’t you know that students with a current arrear can’t contest for college presidency?”

Only now I realized the impact of Shantanu’s arrear. If it was Microsoft for me, it was college presidency for Shantanu. As I was called ‘Microsoft’, his friends used to tease him as ‘Mr.President’. I wondered how many times I have addressed him ‘Mr.President’ myself.

All that was pleasant and good suddenly turned dull with a deep color of melancholy. The butterfly effect of an act of cheating in a mini-project, leading to an arrear, and hence losing our life’s dream hurt me from the inside.


Sorry it's been a long break. Too many tragic incidents including me losing my mobile phone, my laptop going berserk. Some lunatic service guy making things worse. Sorry again. I am back. The next post is sent for review. Will post it soon :)

A New Dawn (LXXVIII)

Reviewed by Ironmonkey.

After spending time with Shantanu, I came back to our hostel. By then, almost everyone who knew me, were informed of me not being able to attend the placement process. Though a few idiots asked questions like ‘Why didn’t you attend?’ or ‘Why didn’t they let you in?’ But mostly people were considerate, and they spared me off the mundane things.

I waited for mom’s call in the evening, and I opened up both about my arrear, and it’s consequence of me not being able to attend my dream company’s placement process. Mom felt sad, yet she didn’t get annoyed. I was more afraid of dad, but he said simply nothing. All he did was that, he tried to comfort me.

Opening up things to my parents gave me peace of mind. I felt very relaxed. It seemed like years of my dream, which crumbled in a minute, can’t keep me distressed for more than a day.

Anu came back cheerfully, but suddenly turned dull on my sight. I without a sign of melancholy, enquired about her chances. She was excited, and she completed all her 7 rounds. She was almost confident on getting through. Though my failure hurt me somewhere, I was profoundly happy that Anu had done well.

By 8.30PM the list of candidates, who got selected was announced. Anu’s name was on the top of the list of the 4 names. Sivathanu of our class also got in. Bhagya didn’t make it. She went till the last round, but was eliminated in the 7th round. Anu’s dad was also greatly excited.

Juniors flocked our room to ask Anu about the placement process. Anu looking at my face, which failed to cheer up in spite of all efforts made to conceal my dullness, promised them to explain everything in detail later.

Almost half our class girls were there, congratulating and sharing her interview experiences. All attempts of Anu to keep them away for my sake failed. I cheered up a bit, and joined them. For the first time in years, I felt like I was no more the cynosure.

After late night people left our room for us. Anu glowed like a candescent doll. She came near me, but she was confused on what she should tell me. So I asked her, “So where is the placement treat?”

She looked like she still couldn’t make out my mood, so she just replied a weak smile. After a few moments of silence, I said, “Ok dear I gotta sleep. We have classes right from the first hour tomorrow.”

I wondered, whether I should call Shantanu. It’s been more than 2 months since we had not been bidding good nights. I had no option of ego, and he had not till then brought the topic about vodka. I was confused, yet I made the call.

“Hi Shantanu”

“Hi dear. Hmmm... how is Anu. I wanted to congratulate her, but she must have already been very busy.”

“Ya she had been busy, just now people left our room. I guess she is still awake. Do you want to talk to her?”

“Hmmm… never mind. I will talk to her tomorrow.”

“She might mistake you, if you don’t congratulate her now.”

“She won’t. Anyway if you insist pass on the phone.”

I put the phone on speaker mode. “Hey Anu.”

“Hi anna. Thanks a lot. I am really sorry I should have called you right after the results, but many people were around so I couldn’t call you.”

“Oh come on no problem. So how does it feel?”

“Feel!!! Simply awesome. I never ever expected I would be one.”

“Ok sweetheart, will talk to you tomorrow.”

“Ok na thanks again. Good night.”



“Ok honey good night. Love you”

“Love you too darl. Good night”

I hung up, and turned to Anu, “Why do you have to thank him.”

“I was startled, when you were not allowed to attend the placement.”

“Only Shantanu had urged me to go ahead. He said that I had to prove that you would have got in Microsoft if only if you had been allowed to attend. This gave me the urge to give my best.”

“Not just that he walked with me till the exam hall, and ensured that I attend. His words gave me great moral support. And also the points given by the contacts he gave us were all really helpful in the process” She added.

I lay on bed thinking of a new dawn. I was profoundly happy. I had nothing to worry about. I was perfectly gratified, and more than all that, I was at peace of mind.
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