The Tragic Break up (LXXII)

Reviewed by Padu.

Happy B'day Ridhi.

I was rearranging my compiler notes’ xerox copy, when Elvia entered the room looking pale and distressed. I had never seen her like that before. I noticed something was wrong and enquired, but she just said, “Nothing” without looking at me. I knew that she was upset, and so I didn’t want to bug her.

All of us, 6th semester CSE students were busy preparing for Compilers exam. But Elvia was lying on her bed silently sobbing. I sat next to her putting my arm around her, “What’s wrong with you dear?”

“He knows about the vodka, and he left me forever”, she burst out with tears. She was shivering, and I could feel her body temperature rising.

“Elvi please come on it’s going to be alright. You are feeling feverish…come we will go to the health centre”.

She simply continued sobbing lying on my lap. I was speechless. Elvia was always held high for her bold and caring nature. She cared for everyone as much as she cared for herself. She was the all time consoler and caretaker for everyone, but then it was for her, the strong solid Elvia.

Within few minutes Divya, Sindhu and a few others had come to console her on Sangitha’s call, as we felt they could help making Elvi feel better. We tried in vain to at least take her to the doctor. Finally she accepted to take a tablet. Divya ran to her room, and brought her a Crocin.

With the compiler exam that Tuesday, Elvia couldn’t concentrate on her studies. I was so worried, and thought of speaking with Shantanu. But Elvia stopped me. “If you really do care for me, please don’t bug him about this. I am guilty. I deserve this.”

I never had done anything against her words in the past. Even in Kiran’s affair, she sounded neutral, though I would have acquiesced with her reluctantly. So I couldn’t call him either. It was not just me, but many of us got worried, because most of us depended on her to teach us compilers.

Monday morning Priya came to our room to clarify her doubts with Elvia. Before I could Say, “she is sick.” she stopped me, and started teaching her. She was not alright, she still looked grave. In a few mins our room was flooded with our class gals.

They are not callous to trouble Elvia in that condition, but the exam was the difference between life and death for many. People didn’t want to put their future at stake by getting an arrear in the 6th sem with placements in a couple of months.

Elvia was not preparing for her exam as usual. She was under tremendous stress. The two most important things in her life were Shantanu and Microsoft. I was afraid that this one exam could turn her dreams upside down.

On Tuesday morning, we almost got ready to go to the exam hall. She looked more pathetic. I always looked up to her as my late mom, whom I don’t remember seeing. I wished I could find some potion to bring back her strength.

We were standing in front of the exam hall doing our usual last minute preparation.
Shantanu walked towards us.

“I always wanted u to be in Mic. Do the exam well. All the best.”, with a hardened expression on his face, which was very unusual of him.

She stood motionless, but still his word must have cheered her up a bit. We entered the exam hall muttering prayers to our fav lord, on whom we were more dependent. Dr.Sekar, compiler professor was our hall invigilator so couldn’t depend much on neighbors either.

The question paper was neither too complicated, nor was it easy. People came out of the hall seriously discussing the answers. I was searching for Elvia. She was nowhere near the exam hall. I reached our room. She was lying on the bed holding her mobile and lost in deep thought. She didn’t even seemed to realize that I was back in the room.

“How did you do your exam??”

There was no reply from her, so I tried a different question.” Have you had your lunch?”

She got up, and her hands were shivering terribly. She handed her mobile to me, ‘I didn’t want to be blamed for you losing marks in this exam, and as an OLD FRIEND I would still love to see you in Mic. That’s it.’ a message from Shantanu.

I was shuddered. Though I felt bad, I never could control myself from envying Shantanu and Elvia. I always thought that they were made for each other and the ideal couple ever.

Though I couldn’t feel or understand the pain she was going through, I could definitely say it would have killed me. I looked up at her, two drops of tears silently rolled down from her red eyes.


I m pretty occupied to continue to write with the usual phase. Anu who has been with me since the beginning of this blog and who had penned down a few posts for me already will write a few chapters. Hope you would like it in her way of proceeding the story :)

Miss u Mic

A post can never be enough to express how it feels like to miss you. We will live to love you King. You will always remain the King in the throne, and none can ever ever take that place of yours in our hearts.

Miss u forever. We will console ourselves that you now Rest in Peace.

Don’t walk Away (LXXI)


The semester exams were back, but with an increased intensity in our feeling of importance. The exam fear which eased over the past 5 semesters had surged high again. The reason being the placements and the criteria set for each company based on our CGPAs.

People worked hard to push their CGPAs up above the nearest upper limit or to support and avoid it getting lower than the nearest lower limit. It was one hell of a struggle. The range of each student was already set. Everyone bothered themselves to keep them at the higher end of their own range.

As we saw placements a few months ahead, people talked more about their dream companies and other such placement stuff. My name was completely replaced by Microsoft. I stopped protesting either because I was tired of protesting, or because I really loved being called so.

“Is Microsoft in there?”

“Ya ya I am here.”

“Hey what is the jscript code for going back from a page?”

“history.back similarly you can move forward with the history command”

“Oh then what should I do to assign shortcuts for a button in the html page.”

“Ohho!! You better take my webtech project code. We have used almost all such useful syntaxes. Have a look.”

That was one subject that was fun to learn, web technology. We really enjoyed doing the mini-project for that subject. We built the complete website for our college symposium for that mini-project.

Exams were going fine. The most awaited and horrifying exam of our department’s worst psycho ever, Dr.Sekar’s Compiler exam was scheduled to be the last exam. May be our examination authorities kept it at the last, so that, people didn’t get their hearts broken after writing that exam and lose in the other exams too.

I had done pretty well in all the exams. The one exam that was most horrifying for me than any exam in my life was scheduled to be held on the next Wednesday. My poor internals and in addition getting caught on cheating in the mini-project, the very thought of the exam was nerving.

I had been good at TOC, and ‘Compilers’ was one hell of an interesting subject. But the thing that frightened me the most was him. We finished our ‘Graphics and Multimedia’ exam on that Friday, leaving 4 days for us to prepare ourselves for the battle against phantoms.
That evening Sindhu called for a vodka celebration as we would be leaving to our NSS camps immediately after exams. I protested with reasons like the upcoming exam and our warden ma’am getting stricter which makes it very risky to have vodka in hostel.

Sangi, “Hey if you have abstained from drinking because of Shantanu, fine but why do you post insensible reasons”

“Hey don’t I make sense?”

“Yes you don’t. We have 4 more days for compilers, and warden has been strict always.”

Sindhu, “Guys it’s been almost a year.” I sensed disappointment in her tone.

Anu, “We still have a lot of time why would we have to hurry amidst exams.”

Swarna and Saranya stood there silent. They were all disappointed and they were about to leave to their rooms. I felt bad for letting them down. I suggested, “Ok why not you people enjoy without me?”

“Hmmm... never mind”, “No probs da, don’t bother yourself we just asked”

Finally I made a decision. We left to our gramps guest house. Everyone looked cheerful though Anu shared a little of my reluctance. I tried to avoid drinking, but I didn’t want to look like I was sacrificing for them. So I just had a few sips.

Next morning the girls thanked me profoundly for the place. I was satisfied that I didn’t disappoint them, yet I felt bad. One of my class guys once told me, “How come he be so solid? Have you forbid him from drinking? When nearly 100 of us enjoyed getting drunk in the election treat he never even had a sip.”

We left the place to our hostel. As usual for any intellectual paper we sat in a round circle spanning two cots and started preparing for compilers. Every now and then someone let out some fact or a rumor about Dr.Sekar like the number of arrears he had given to seniors, the way he prepares the question paper such that he could only answer them etc. Though this scared us a lot it was for the good as it kept us away from gossips while studying.

I met Shantanu that Monday, after finishing 3 units. For a few minutes things were going fine, all of a sudden he posted a query, “Where have you been this Friday evening?”

I remained silent. I was in a dilemma between whether I should confess or to wait for him to go further. After a couple of silent minutes he continued, “What were you doing then?”

I felt like my arteries would burst, as my blood pressure rose to their peaks. I started sweating. ‘How could he come to know? Who would have told him?’ but these question didn’t make any sense anymore. I became completely motionless.

“I never ever expected you would…” he continued to speak for another minute, I heard nothing. A mixture of shock and grief blocked all my senses, but my wet eyes could make a blurred vision of him walking away from me without ever looking back, without his loving smile. I sat there looking in the direction he walked away for what felt like ages.

Everlasting Evening with the Delicious Dinner (LXX)

Reviewed by Lakshminarasimhan & Padu.

Shantanu signaled the Auto driver to stop. He stopped, and asked for the place. Shantanu gave him the college name. “Sorry sir I am going home in the opposite direction.” And he left.

I wanted to jump, and thank heavens like a Pakistani bowler, who had just acquired an important wicket. But I restrained myself.

After a few minutes of restless waiting just when I was about to say that, he did, “Hey it’s already too late, and even if we get an auto now we wouldn’t be able to reach college by time.”

I thanking all the Gods in the Hindu mythology, walked back with him.

“Hey you keep going. I will get things for dinner, and will come in a few minutes.”

“I will come with you”

“Don’t annoy me like a kid. We don’t want to be found out hanging around together in this area.”

I continued walking, wondering, why one would have to hang around to get dinner. He came back hooked up with carry bags.

One bag had groceries, only then it struck me ‘so he was about to cook something. Well after all it would be the 2 minute noodles.’

The next bag had atta. WTH. I looked up at him. He said, “You have never tasted anything that I cooked, have you?”

“So what are you going to do now?”

“Nothing much, just chappatis and curry.”

Before I could ask him anything he walked into the kitchen with the bags. “Don’t just keep looking. Chop the onions.”

Chop Onions?!!! I was clueless as if I had been seated in the exam hall for an exam on Mexican History. He got busy with the dough preparation. I took the knife, with my hands shaking.

He turned to my side, “What the hell are you doing?”

“I have never chopped onions before.” I didn’t know whether to blush or bend my head down. So I gave a mixed expression.
He sighed, “Well the potatoes must be ready. Skin the potatoes”

Again!!! No!!! I managed to bring down the boiling water bowl with potatoes down from the stove with the waste cloth. I absent mindedly plunged my finger into the water to take the potatoes out. Ouch!!! The tip of my finger turned a deep pink.

“Idiot! Don’t you have any common sense?”

“You are bad. How come you scold me when I am hurt?”

“Oh dear. So you have never been to the kitchen before.” I expected him to say ‘Go have some ice for your fingers and watch TV. I will call you when everything is ready.’

But he didn’t say that, “Pour down the hot water in the bowl, and fill it with cold water.”

I frowned, yet I did what he said. I touched the potatoes, another ‘Ouch’. I didn’t want to be chided by him again, so I controlled the pain, and slowly started peeling off the potatoes skin.

He was chopping onions like he had been doing that for a lifetime. He finished half a dozen onions before I could finish a single potato. He was in the first phase of the curry preparation. I could smell the south Indian spicy dish in the making.

He started preparing chapattis. “Smash them, the potatoes”

Somehow we finished off with the cooking. Man I must confess the dish was delicious, may be because I was famished by our hostel mess.

“How did you do that?”

“Do what?”


“I used to help my mom with cooking, and I could very well see neither you nor your mom gave any thought about you learning to cook”

“Why should I?”

“Cooking is not just for someone to eat. It’s a method of expressing your love for the one whom you cook for.”

I realized it then. There always used to be a difference in the feeling that I get when I have food prepared by mom, when compared to the food I eat at mess or canteen or any hotel for that matter.

We had coke as dessert. A fantastic 2 course dinner was over. Shantanu sipping coke, “Wish someday we have Golden Yellow Champagne like this.”

I didn’t reply anything. He continued, “Of course drinking alcoholic drinks is bad, yet sometime someday. I am addicted to the dazzling golden color of the drink.”

“So you don’t mind drinking” I smiled.

“I don’t mind drinking Golden Yellow Champagne” He corrected me.

I was a bit taken back, yet I hid the shock. We continued speaking throughout the night. We shared a lot. The night went on. Finally he got up from the couch. “Honey it’s time.”

“I love you.”

“For millenniums sweetheart.”

I went to bed, thoughts oscillating between Golden Yellow Champagne and Starka vodka. ‘What will happen of me, when he gets to know about my vodka ventures?’

Pray 4 our dear Sis

The Touted Top Girl is getting operated for an injury. She has been the most important source of inspiration for writing this blog from the very beginning. Kindly pray for her recovery.

P.S. The next Chapter is almost ready. Will be up soon :)

Ironmonkey's post

I m out of station, and not in a position to post the next chapter. Meanwhile I wanted to thank my motivators. Here is a post by Ironmonkey abt this blog :p

Check out his new post My Sister

Thank U

Thanks a lot for the record breaking number of visits. The blog had 141 number of visits in the last 24hrs, which is 34 more than the previous record of 107 the day before yesterday :)

Dream’s Sequel (LXIX)

Reviewed by Aanand Vasu.

I was shaken up, only to find out that my bath coat was still over me, and I was not lying in bed, but in the drawing room’s couch. The door bell rang again.

‘Thank heavens! So for all this time, I had been in a dream.’ But that was one hell of a dream.

The bell rang again. I was now shivering, not just shivering, but also sweating. The sweat drops moved like pieces of ice over my skin.

I was shaking. The steel door knob was ice cold. It passed streams of electricity through my palms to all parts of my body. I opened the door.

Shantanu was standing there. I let him in, and closed the door behind. He silently walked to the couch and sat. I stood there, in the middle of the hall, clueless about anything. I was yet to get out of the shock the dream had given me.

I was looking at the floor like an accused convict in a courtroom. I sensed Shantanu was about to say something. It was high time I made a decision. I made one.

“Dear, I am sorry. Hmm..”

“I mean, like; see; as you already said we have a lot of time. So may be..”

“Hmmm like..” I stretched the line searching for words. I gave a break to take a deep breath. I knew I had tempted him. He was a good guy, but not a saint or anything. To say ‘no’ at this point must be bad on my part.

I just tried to forget the past and the future, and started speaking, “As you used to say, we neither have America’s riches, nor Europe’s economy. We don’t have China’s infrastructure or Singapore’s life style. But one thing, for which the whole world respects us, is our culture.”

I knew I made no sense. In fact he was the one who had initially talked about culture. I, in my clueless desperate attempt to justify my last moment decision, was blabbering something. As there was still nothing but silence from the other end, I continued, “Our social structure is one of the oldest and the most respected one. The one thing that keeps the entire 100 crore population running is that, though we have different cultures basically we have this social structure that is basically the same in all the myriad cultures in the country.”

“We need to respect marriage, and…” I was standing there like a grade 3 girl who had forgotten the speech she had memorized for the speaking competition. The guilty consciousness, the nightmare of the consequences everything drove me mad.

I saw Shantanu get up. I wondered what he might reply. ‘What do you think of yourself?’ or ‘Do you think I am your slave to say yes for whatever you order?’ or ‘Am I looking like the little teddy you sleep hugging to play me as you wish?’

He walked towards me. I started sweating heavily, and got wet all over like being in a shower. He came closer, and he was a couple foot away.

His hands came near me. He touched my chin with two fingers, and tilted my head up. I was unable to look at him, but I managed to look at him with half opened eyes.

He gave a weird smile. I couldn’t make out the meaning of it. “That was one hell of a speech. I will go get ice creams for the both of us.

He left the house, and came back with a family pack of ‘Mixed fruits’ ice cream, his usual favorite. He went straight into the kitchen, and got two glass bowls and a knife. Divided the ice cream into two equal halves, or may be 55:45. He never used to be just in sharing ice creams, and the vice versa applies to me, when it came to chocolates.

He gave me the 45 bowl and suddenly got it back and said, “Will you please change to a better dress than this bath coat?”

I just obeyed; I ransacked the wardrobe and found a big loose night Frock that was more like a wedding gown. I came back, and stood there before him like a school girl.

He pushed the ice cream bowl towards me. I just started having it like I had been famished for years, as I really felt all my inners got dried up with the turn of events. I was finishing the ice cream on par with him. After all he had 10% more.

He switched the TV on and was flipping through his usual NDTV Profit and CNBC live. “Nothing new.” He flipped through the music channels 9xm, V, MTV and list went on. He stopped at a channel for the song, ‘Baby I love you’ from the Hindi movie Race.

He was humming along knowing very well that I wouldn’t approve of that. Little annoyed, I looked up at him. He gave a sarcastic smile, and suddenly burst out, “Heyyy”

I looked at him puzzled, and a bit horrified.

“You look gorgeous. As in..”, He was searching for a metaphor.

“Yeah like Kate in Titanic. Why don’t we dance?”

‘Kate!!! Dance!!! What a weird idea?’ I continued to look at him with the pink plastic spoon still in my mouth.

“Hey I am not asking for a ballet, or something complex like in RBJ, just soft moves like in that song.”

I finished the last little part left in the bowl, and stood up. “Give some thought about wiping off your lips.”

‘What’s so wrong with me? Am I still scared?’ or at least I was confused. I washed my mouth, and came back.

He put the disc with Yanni, Mozart etc into the player. If I was a movie freak, he was a music freak. He chose some arbitrary song, or may be he chose it for the mood and the dancing.

He put on his left hand around my waist, and caught my left hand with his right. “My lady will you please put your right hand on my shoulder” sounding like a knight in a classic English movie. He always had this taste of middle aged European style.

The warmth of love was hallucinating. In no time I was in a different world, and I bet neither getting stoned by dope nor getting cockeyed by vodka could take you there, though I had no idea about the former. We were dancing for sometime till we realized that the time was almost 8PM.

“Oh shit! You have to get into the hostel”

I realized it only then. “Oh no, but it’s already late.”

“May be we can take an Autorickshaw”

The beautiful night was coming to an end this soon. I half heartedly went to change into a Chudi and came out. “Why do you girls take so long to change even when it’s an emergency?”

I wanted to retort, ‘Because I don’t want to go back to the hostel. Because I don’t want to leave you. Because I want to stay with you, in your arms.' But I couldn’t. What if he thought I was getting back to the same stupid thing?

I didn’t know why. I felt like crying. It felt like the first day of school, when mom and dad dragged me to school. I was rolling on the floor crying, and making a really good struggle to go back with mom. Dad had photographed it, and that was one of my childhood pictures with which they used to enjoy making me embarrassed.

We walked to the road. Fortunately or unfortunately there were no autos available in our range of sight. Then after some 10 minutes of painful waiting, all my prayers had become useless. An auto came in our direction.

I wanted to tell him, ‘I don’t want to go.’

Terrified by the Truth (LXVIII)

Reviewed by Lakshminarasimhan and Aanand Vasu.

After much persuasion Shantanu gave in. Just like Divya he gave up with the statement, “You are adamant.”

He was thoroughly annoyed, but as always he could never say no to my red eyes, though I had no option of getting annoyed of his ‘no’.

He tried all possible arguments,

“Ok I do agree that we are going to be married, so why do we have to hurry?”

“This is not hurrying.”

“Well think in these lines. Let’s say though we love each other dearly, what if we end up marrying someone else?”

“Never ever think of it. If suppose I see you marry someone else, I will kill myself after killing you.”

“Hmmmpf, Ok fine, Life is not guaranteed the next moment, what if something fatal happens to me? I would never want you to live lonely and single for the rest of your life.”

“Stop this stupid argument. Get lost.” And I walked back, and now he had no other go.

He called me after an hour, “Hey”


“So you are still mad at me.”


After a deep breath, “Well then it’s your call. If you want to do it, well let’s do it.”

“That’s like a good boy.”

“Just a thing”


“You are a well grown kid.”

“Haha yes I am.”

We decided on the next day, Friday. Our semester exams was about to begin the next Thursday. So we would have five more days after Friday before the 1st exam.

I couldn’t sleep that night. I was rolling on my bed throughout the night. I had thoughts about Shantanu yelling at me, ‘You bitch, get away from me.’ Or even worse.

I was wondering about myself. What if any of the arguments placed by Shantanu ever comes true? Isn’t virginity a virtue?

I was almost convinced that, I was about to do something very wrong, yet I had never practiced to give upon what I had decided. I tried to forget all the negative things about the decision, and concentrate on sticking to the plan.

The next day I arrived at gramps guest house just after lunch. I had asked Shantanu to drop in by evening. I just wanted to ensure the elegance of the environment for the matter in hand.

I turned all the Air Conditioners. I set the temperature to 18 degree Celsius to fight the summer heat. In a few minutes, I was literally shivering with just the bath coat over me.

The pleasant Friday evening, alone at home, I was waiting for him with a myriad of thoughts - Does he really love me? Will we end up marrying each other? What will he think about me?

The ring of the door bell shattered the ceaseless thought mesh.

I could feel the surge in me. With my pulse rate shooting all time highs, I opened the door, thinking that that was not going to be the day’s high, because I knew there was more to come.

Just after he entered the home, I locked the door behind to signal that we were on something private, that the world doesn’t bother us. He came close to me, put his arms around my waist and pulled me to him. His eyes met mine and there was hardly an inch separating our lips. There was more of love than lust in his eyes. He said, “I love u”, all I replied was, “forever sweetheart”.

I couldn’t wait anymore, and I filled the gap between the lips, closing my eyes - the first kiss of an adolescent; hallucination of love. It felt like an eternity, but I let the eternal feel continue. Feeling his pressure, I realized that there was more to eternity than just the first kiss.
An hour later, I was lying next to him cuddled under the sheets. The Air conditioner’s temperature didn’t affect me anymore. The warmth of Shantanu’s skin had more than compensated for it.

Suddenly like a flash of lightening, it was all over, and I came back to my senses, ‘What have I done? I speak of being a South Indian girl from a respectable family, but now.’

‘I am not gramp’s angel anymore. I am not my dad’s dream anymore. I am a disgrace to the society, whose culture is kept above every civilization on earth.’

All these thoughts brought tears to my eyes. I started sobbing and it turned to weeping. Shantanu tried to console me, but beyond a point even he was clueless. He looked more miserable than I was.

'I was always proud of my genetic inheritance from my parents, but why did I ever inherit their daring and adventurous nature? Doesn’t an adventure have its own limits?'

The most horrifying of all this, ‘Has anyone seen me and Shantanu entering the apartment? What if someone knew?’

Just then the door bell rang.

The Daring Decision (LXVII)

Reviwed by Aanand Vasu.

I stepped forward, but the girl in me did forbid me from taking the next step. Every second I stood there, he felt more embarrassed. So I decided that, I would at least leave the room.

I was rolling on my bed thinking about the kiss, which would have been my life’s first kiss, and the darkened face of Shantanu.

The next morning Anu was ready with coffee for me and tea for Shantanu. I was reminded of my mother, but Shantanu felt it otherwise. He felt uneasy that, why she should do that to us. Shantanu couldn’t retort to Anu’s reply ‘Should I not serve tea to my brother?’

Shantanu impulsively turned down his head away at my sight. He avoided my eyes while speaking to me. He was very uncomfortable. He was so very disturbed about the previous night’s incident.

We reached college a little after 10AM. Project demos were already going on. Our classmates swarmed the department with laptops to get their projects demonstrated soon.

Our turn came. Shantanu was supposed to be one of the best ever presenters of our class. His charming presentations, which always fetched him an edge over the other good projects was absent that day. He sounded dull and absent minded.

I managed the situation, and we got our projects evaluated. We got good marks. Sir complimented the efforts taken to bring out such a neat piece of software, but he awarded more marks to me, and the least in our team to Shantanu, thinking that he was one of those sleeping team members, because of his poor response in the demo.

That evening in hostel, I had ruminations about the previous day’s incident. We had another solid week for our 6th semester exam. Divya just then entered our room.

“Hi Guys”

I was sitting in grave silence. I was lost in thought, and was staring at the wall.

“Hey Elvi. Elvviiiii” She came near me, and shook me by my shoulder. I was startled for a moment and said, “Oh hey hii”

“Hey what’s wrong yaar? What are you thinking of so deeply about? Microsoft!”, with a sarcastic smile. I was thoroughly annoyed. ‘Why would they bring in Mic for everything?’

Anu joined, “Ya even I have been noticing her, something is wrong with her. I wanted to ask but had forgotten due to this projects stuff”

I remained silent. Divya again, “Oh come on Elvi what’s wrong?”

“Nothing yaar, I m just fine..” before they could respond I myself felt like sharing it with them, so I opened up. I explained what happened the previous night. “I am feeling so bad. He is such a gentleman. He never ever made any amorous move before. I made him feel guilty.” I told them looking down at the floor in grief.

Anu, “Oh! that’s why both you guys were looking grave the whole day.”

“Come on sweetheart. That’s alright. It’s not a thing for which you have to worry about.”, Divya

“But is it wrong to kiss someone whom you are going to live with for the rest of your lives? Why did I give him such an impression, as if he had attempted to commit a crime?” I continued in my melancholic tone.

Sangi who was silent till then, “May be she feels bad for missing the kiss”

‘Sh*t! Damn the understanding of these room mates. How did she find out that, it was one of the reasons’ Anyway I managed, “Stop the nonsense. I feel bad only for making him feel bad.”

Sangi retorted, “Hey hold it. He must have badly wanted to kiss you. That’s why he is creating such a scene.”

Anu countered, “Hey he is not that sort of a guy. He is gem of a person. He must have really felt bad about it.”

“Good or bad everyone has feelings. He is no exception. He is no saint either. May be he might have wanted to, yet that’s not bad either.” Divya.

A few seconds of silence, everyone was looking at me to say something. I looked up at them and said, “If a kiss is all he wants, he deserves much more than that.”

Obviously they were all puzzled by my reply. I gave them a break for them to digest what I had just told them. I then continued, “I am taking him again to gramps’ guest house.”

“Are you nuts?”

“You must be kidding.”

“Hey you sound serious, aren’t you?”

Another momentary break, “Yes I am.”

“You mean…”

“Yes I mean the same.”

“Shantanu will never acquiesce for anything of that sort”, Anu.

“Whether or not he does, you can never do this.” Sangi. She looked at Divya for support.

Divya after a deep breath, “I know you. You would never get back from what you have decided upon. All I can say is, just be safe and careful, you have got dreams to conquer.”

I always used to wonder, how someone could be so matured, thoughtful and most importantly pragmatic. Divya had always earned my respect in every action of hers, and in every word she said.

Anu and Sangi wanted to tell something, but they stopped themselves. As always Divya’s statement concluded the discussion. We all keeping this thing aside watched the movie, ‘Get Smart’.

After the movie we went to bed. I expected Shantanu to call me, but it was not so late so I did the calling myself. I fulfilled the formality of saying, ‘I love you.’

I was thinking about the decision the whole night. I made up my mind, and there was no turning back. Neither the temptation nor the guilty feeling had it, but my adventurous nature did. That was the one which drove me into drinking vodka, and been responsible for various incidents like the action at the theatre.

As always even this time the curiosity and thrill of doing something that I was not supposed to do took over me. I called Shantanu before I could change my mind, “Hi honey still not asleep.”

He sounded back to normal. I was a bit relieved. I replied, “You wanted to kiss me right?”

“Yes, but I m really sorry. It was a mistake. I..”

I interrupted him, “I want to kiss you.”


“Not just that, I want to make you feel I am all yours.”

Project Turn On (LXVI)

Reviewed by Lakshminarasimhan.

This post is dedicated to this blog's recent followers 205 889, Karthick and Enbanathan.

In our college symposium I was made the person in charge of all computer science related events. In fact, I was the one who asked for it, in spite of Shantnu warning me to concentrate on my academics. We conducted Programming contests, debugging contests and half a dozen variations of these.

Participants either got annoyed, or were intrigued about the tuff questions set by me. Our senior Harini, who christened me as Microsoft told me that I was proving to be a worthy candidate for Microsoft. I rather felt, that exercise helped me a lot in gaining more knowledge on coding and concepts.

Shantanu was also satisfied about the way symposium activities added to my knowledge. He dreamed more about me getting into Microsoft than me. We finished our 2nd assessments in the week after the symposium. We had our 6th semester exams in a month.

The symposium was academically useful, nevertheless it affected our 2nd assessment marks. As always all our 3rd assessment tests were replaced by mini-projects. That was one hell of an important thing for me, if I wanted to continue getting 9 in that semester as my 2nd asses marks were bad. I decided to do all projects in teams with Shantanu, as he would surely get me good marks in projects.

Anu and Sangi my understanding friends agreed to my idea of doing projects with Shantanu. We did include either Shantanu’s friend Hari and Palani or my friends if the team can have more than 2 members nevertheless the two of us had to do the entire coding stuff.

Anu and Sangi did manage, but Shantanu felt a little bad to leave his usual project companions Hari and Palani behind, as they were his only friends at college, who didn’t have any professional relation with him. Anyway he could never say ‘no’ to me, especially, if he saw my eyes turn red from their usual blue, and he in fact cared more about my marks than me.

The days were not enough for us to complete all the six projects. I stayed back in one of our classrooms with Shantanu till 8.30PM, beyond which I had to finish my dinner, and go back to hostel. We were doing well, but with that pace we would never be able to finish all 6 projects in time.

The entire department was busy doing projects. During the day we saw all the gangs, especially the bisexual ones under trees, classrooms and even on footpaths with their laptops, bugging themselves in completing the projects.

Most teams were mixed teams with a minority of the team working, and the rest resting. Tamarai and Vikram the two geeky guys of our class were teams together, and that was supposed to be the geekiest team in the department. Krishna and Sundari were teams together in most of the projects.

At hostel girls made sexually explicit comments about the duo Kirshna and Sundari. However bad I hated her, I never admit making comments about someone which were not true, and when it comes to sexually explicit comments, I would never ever approve of them. Girls stopped making such comments, at least in my presence.

We spent hours and hours together, but we never had even minutes for love or romance. The project work was killing us every second. Shantanu being a perfectionist never compromised on anything less than the best. This had us work longer, however the results we knew were really going to pay off.

It had become our usual schedule to go to bed by 2AM or even later. However engrossed and busy we were, Shantanu made it a point to bid as ‘I love u’ every night over phone before we went to bed.

In those weeks that had passed with the project works, I almost forgot mom; skipped a meal. At times even before brushing I turned on my laptop to check, whether the solutions that occurred to me in my dreams really worked.

Apart from doing our own projects, both of us were obliged to help our friends. This was the reason, why we had to work so hard and long. Nevertheless our friends were very helpful. They did everything they could do to support us, unlike other mixed teams where everything right from abstract submission till documentation will be done by a single person.

While at hostel we discussed things online, and coded independent modules. In the next evening, we integrated the program parts that we coded individually the previous night. We had only two more weeks for the deadline for the projects’ submission. We still had more than 60% of the work to be completed.

The worst part is one can never estimate the time one would take to complete a program. So, the work remaining may very well be more than 60% in terms of the time it would take. So we really started worrying, with 50% more time, and more than 60% of work, yet to be completed.

We worked at 150% efficiency while working together, hence staying together as long as possible was definitely a very good option. But the question was ‘Where?’ Finally we decided that we would work in my gramps’ guest house in the city.

The next day Anu, Shantanu and I left to the guest house telling grand pa, “I am staying with my friends on some work, for which we feel hostel not so comfortable”. Grand pa who was only too desperate for his only grand daughter’s love acquiesced without another word. I only knew it too well that he would have me killed, if he came to know a guy was one among the ‘friends’.

We worked and worked until we fainted. Actually it was not that hard but we did it terrifically big with a passion, as we loved to work in each other’s company, and we took sophisticated topics for our projects. The projects came up well. Near the deadline week we almost completed everything except for a few final touches and testing.

It was Tuesday of the last working week of the semester. Out of the 6 projects the demos for 4 were over, and obviously we topped in all of them but one. Shantanu tried to help Palani and Hari, and he gave the basic code of our complier project asking them to build up on the code, and change the interface to make it look like an entirely different project. Unfortunately we were caught, and our faculty got so very annoyed. We worried what would he do to our internals or worst case to our externals as well.

One of the good things I learned from Shantanu is not to worry about something that, we could do nothing about. So we got back to work as usual for the other 2 projects that evening. The project was almost over, and we would have very well finished it at our college, yet we left for the guest house.

The night passed midnight. Shantanu never got satisfied with what he had done. He kept improvising the project adding graphics and enhancing the interface. Anu as always went to bed in another bedroom. We continued to work for sometime.

I was drowsy, Vanessa Carlton’s-A 1000 miles was melodiously playing in my laptop that made me feel sleepier. I was tired of working till 3AM the previous night, and the project demos, that extended for the whole day, waiting in and around the department for the faculty. Shantanu asked me to go to bed.

I saw Anu sleeping soundly; I lied down by her side. Just then I remembered that we forgot to tell ‘Love u honey’ to each other. Though it was not a forcible formality, I had no intention of breaking it. I walked back to the room, where we were working.

Shantanu was exercising stretching and twisting his arms to let a proper blood flow. This was a normal relaxation procedure for an IT professional working for hours. I stepped closer to him, he looked at me, and I said, “Love u honey. Good night”

He inching closer to me tried to kiss me. For a moment the girl in me overpowered me, and I instantly turned away. Realizing the scene Shantanu stepped back and said, “I am sorry. Sorry….”.

He looked very embarrassed. I felt very bad about myself. One thing, I would have loved being kissed by him, and other, I had no intention of making Shantanu feel guilty. He was unable to face me.

I was struck there, clueless about what to do. My instinct said that, I should step in and kiss him.

The Fest (LXV)

Reviewed by Lakshminarasimhan.

We enjoyed the evening profusely. The entire audience was standing throughout the show, dancing, cheering and applauding. Every one of us would have lost enough calories we would loose in a week in just hours, yet we never felt tired.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Guys were dancing like hell on the ground rising mud to fill the entire atmosphere. Pranksters were throwing water bottles open amongst the audience, splashing water everywhere. The three top class singers of the age of South India rocked the show.

One of our seniors had suggested that, we let our college singers to sing one or two songs with the maestros. That did encourage our college singers, and in no way this affected the quality of the show. The overflowing crowd had overwhelming enthusiasm throughout the evening.

As an honorary recognition our college president, vice president, cul-sec and other key people of the college committee were invited on stage at the end of the show. I, Anu and everyone who burdened themselves for the event joined them on stage. It was a memorable day of our lives. President complimented Shantanu, the cul-sec, for his efforts in arranging such an enjoyable event.

It was already 10PM, and our warden ma’am was driving us back to our hostel. I could see the glitter in Shantanu’s eyes. The feeling of self satisfaction filled us. We kept talking about the evening in our hostel even after mid-night.

The next day I met Shantanu. He was happy, nevertheless he felt bad about not being able to bring in ARR. Days of struggle, and finally the college authorities trusting in Shantanu’s way of handling funds agreed for tickets for the event, all to hear from Rahman’s manager that he had given dates to some other program. Finally our college committee did the best they could do with the funds and the ticket money.

There was enough support from the entire college for all the efforts taken by the committee. We sold out all the 500 tickets of 3 classes in just 3days. Out of request we had to go for more tickets, and remodel the seating arrangements of the gallery to accommodate all our college students and the 1000 outsiders.

The classes were suspended for all 3 days of the fest. People would be playing songs during the day in large speakers that covered the entire campus, and the colorful events like the concert, singing competitions and choreo-night were reserved for the evenings.

The most intriguing thing about the day’s proceedings was the song dedication. Before playing a song, the song will be dedicated by some X to some Y, the X used to be the boy and Y obviously his crush, and at times vice versa.

It was not necessary that the song was actually dedicated by X to Y, but people just used to say that X dedicates so and so song to Y. It was funny that X would run to the audio systems tent, when his name was heard in the speakers.

They don’t just say it as ‘X dedicates Addicted Song to Y’, but they used to say, ‘X loves her so much. X’s heart sings serenade for her. This song is one such serenade, which X will cherish for his entire life in her memory. This song, Enrique's, Baby I'm addicted, is dedicated to X’s lady love Y.” As there were these introduction lines there would be some time before Y was mentioned. So X would usually sprint to stop them before they say Y’s name.

Just when I was thinking about ‘How good it would be if someone dedicated a song with X as Shantanu’, I heard the speakers blare. “You all know of our Cognizant Cul-sec, who made this event a grant success. This song ‘Kadal Virus Ondru’ is dedicated to the love virus that has crashed his heart. Hope you know who that virus is..” before he could complete, there was a loud cheer “MICROSOFT”. I felt a bit embarrassed, and not to mention of super shy Shantanu. He hid himself in some building for the next few hours.

I was short listed for the singing competition like the previous year. Apart from my Carnatic Music training for years, the help from my seniors in the Students Arts Club (SAC) helped a lot to improvise myself. I had developed the habit of singing with the necessary phonations, whenever I felt like singing.

I lost to make it up to the top 3 places last year. Shantanu pointed out that, I sang something too technical i.e. some song that didn’t reach the masses. So this time I choose a song from a list of songs recommended by Shantanu, in spite of him not having the slightest knowledge about singing.

I sang the song Tere Ore, from Singh is King, without giving any thought about winning. I just sang the song addressing every line to Shantanu with love, and I ended up with a big round of applause from the audience. I felt satisfied. I achieved the true purpose of art to make people happy, whether or not I did better than others. I got 3rd place, and both the 1st and 2nd place went to people, who got better cheering than mine. I understood the meaning of life. Rather than evaluating something with technical stereotypes, go by the audience’s judgment, simply put ‘Customers verdict’ in Shantanu’s terms.

Days passed by, we grew closer and closer. I felt like living in a family with me, Shantanu and my sister in laws; yes Anu, Divya and all my close buddies started calling Shantanu as ‘anna’ (elder brother). Classes started getting collegic in the sixth semester.

Shantanu got better at academics. May be he got influenced by me or by AP ma’am, who handled Networks in our 5th sem. He told me that he really got interested in those two subjects because of the exceptional faculty who made him feel the subject. I felt happy that, he started caring about academics regardless of the reason.

Now that the fest and the symposium were over, we were back to hard core academics. With the placements in our range of sight, everyone started dreaming as well as fearing about their dream companies. I was myself engulfed into the Microsoft Mania.

Recession in College Events (LXIV)

Reviewed by Lakshminarasimhan & Aanand.

Good or bad the semester exams came to an end. In spite of my asking them not to come, mom and dad were there just after the last exam. Mom tried her best to convince me to come home. I kept telling her that I had some work regarding college symposium.

Mom must have really felt very lonely at home, but I had promised Shantanu that I would stay back in hostel and try to help him out in the organizational activities. Dad was convinced that I must involve myself in extra-curricular activities for the better.

I had been home only once in the past semester as I was busy making up for the lost classes, and spending time with Shantanu. I myself felt guilty about missing mom. Finally I agreed to stay at home for 4 days. I packed my things and naturally, Anu was with me and we left for our home. I texted Shantanu about it.

Mom showered all her love in the four days. I really felt bad about leaving her back. At times it felt like I would better take her with me and stay in a home in the city where I studied.

Finally with just the tears missing in mom’s eyes we were back to college. I promised mom to come home whenever possible. She started calculating all the national and regional holidays I had in the next semester.

At college we were busy with the arrangements for the year’s major cultural event and the college symposium. Shantanu bugged himself with both these events. He also started worrying that the next year he may not be able to do both these, as in 4th year one can have only one top position.

Shantanu dreamed of arranging A.R.Rahman’s concert for the cultural fest. But it was one big deal and a college event can’t collect that much funds to bring in such a legend. The recession had hurt all our usual sponsors and we had nowhere to go for more funds.

I tried calling my dad to ask for some contacts in the industries to get us sponsors. Dad being the state’s Home Secretary felt it would be power abuse if he recommended for sponsors from any industry. But he still gave us contacts without him personally asking them anything.

We walked into almost every name in the list of registered companies. We did get some funds but they were not even near the required amount for Rahman’s concert and we had to get funds for our college symposium which we could never compromise upon. That symposium was something that identified our college amongst the international students’ community.

Once, after we walked out of a company who said ‘sorry’ flatly, Shantanu was very fed up and we sat for a while in the company’s premises to have coffee. I tried to comfort him. He just looked up into my eyes and said, “I love you”. I didn’t know why he did so. But he must have been in some state that he felt he had lost everything, yet he had me.

I gave him courage to carry on. I bet not even the heroes of 80’s movies about unemployment would have climbed the steps of so many companies, but we the students of one of the very best institutes of the country did. The happy thing about all this was we traveled in a bike. I sat at the pillion holding on to Shantanu, meanwhile covering my face with a cloak avoiding the eyes of anyone who knew my dad or anyone of my 2 gramps.

We were near the end of our semester holidays. We came back from a day full of begging for sponsors and sat in our college canteen. We had fresh juice and Shantanu said, ‘I love you’ for the nth time and I as usual reassuringly said, “I love u too honey.”

He grew too sentimental and thanked me like a 3rd person for all that I did. I felt proud of supporting my better half in what he did. Shantanu was stubborn that I go back to academics after college reopens. Shantanu gave up all hope of making things big.

Back in college we were expecting our 5th sem results. Shantanu for the first time in life was looking forward his results. He did pretty well in both Distributed Systems and Networks. He had very good internals in those subjects. I had also made up well in the 2nd and 3rd assessments and had good internals. Shantanu was still so concerned about my GPA.

He seemed to have almost forgotten his stock trading in the recent times. Later I found out that as he was doing short term trading and had alerts dropping in his mobile inbox to make the right move at the right time. He made good profits.

Big-shots in the college had also brought in sponsors regardless of the side they supported during the elections. This is the best part of student life. How many ever disputes we had, nevertheless we were all united together when it came to the college’s reputation. Kiran had also become a good ally and all of us killed ourselves to make this bigger or at least not let the recession hurt our caliber.

Shantanu as in his Stock trading shifted focus from A Class to mid cap and small caps. We asked for sponsors from budding businesses in smaller amounts. We accumulated enough funds for our college symposium from this new strategy.

But the cultural fest and the concert were of no hope. We had very little funds to carry on the usual stuff and not to think of the concert. Shantanu was a bit crest-fallen. He cursed all the banks and financial institutes for being the primary reason for the recession. He cursed the entire American economy and globalization in desperation.

It was fun listening to his curses. At times I was unable to control myself from laughing, and he felt so very annoyed at this. I did feel sad for not being able to get his dreams to reality.

Like the popular saying, “If you run with all your might the world will run for you” Shantanu’s sprint was followed by the entire college. Everyone bugged themselves to do something to collect funds. A junior once funnily recommended that we try robbery. Another opined that we collect money from all the students.

Finally someone suggested that we go for charging tickets for the concert. But that needed an extensive set of formalities like getting permission from the Vice Chancellor, Dean, the Estate office and half a dozen other authorities with most of them being skeptical of anything of this sort.

Shantanu in his final desperate attempt wrote the requisition letters to all the offices and started walking into those offices with the final piece of hope.

The thought of getting Married (LXIII)

Reviewed by Lakshminarasimhan.

In the pleasant morning breeze I was sitting next to Shantanu in a remote corner of our college. Every now and then our privacy was disturbed by some morning walker/jogger. I was telling him about the chitchat which we had the previous night.

He accused us of wasting time, by speaking about someone uselessly. He suggested that we shall speak about reputed people or successful women like Pepsi Co. Indranooyi or Biocon’s Masumdar Shaw. I frowned, asking him to stop speaking like my dad.

I was perfectly annoyed, when he said Sundari was a good girl. I wouldn’t have bothered, if he had admired a 1000 other girls or ogled at other girls a million times, but I couldn’t tolerate him speaking good about her for three reasons.

One, Sundari cheated guys with her made up beauty, so I hated her. Two, she believed that a lot of guys were crazy about her, so, again I hated her. Thirdly, she considered herself as the loveliest girl at college, which again was a reason, why I hated her. So, I never wanted anyone to speak in praise of her, and definitely not Shantanu.

Seeing my eyes turn red at the mention of ‘Sundari is a good girl’, Shantanu backed off from his opinion. He managed that he never noticed her much, and with the little knowledge he had about her he couldn’t make a proper opinion about her.

It was then Shantanu’s turn. He told me that his cousin is asking him to come over to Hyderabad for the semester holidays. As he had work related to our college symposium he decided to stay back in college, and he said ‘sorry’ to his cousin. His mom and sister had planned to visit his grand parents’ home in the city for his sister’s Christmas holidays.

I recalled being called a sister by him. I couldn’t contain my curiosity anymore. I interrupted him, and asked him whether he remembered the incident at our NSS camp, when he fought with 3 guys for teasing me. He flirted, saying that he remember every second he spent with me.

I asked him whether he remembered addressing me as ‘sister’. He was annoyed and confused. I repeated his line, “I love you like my own sister.” He laughed aloud and explained that his sister was the person whom he loved the most, and he wanted to tell me that his love for me was as sincere and intense like his love for his sister.

I cursed myself for the misunderstanding. I said that I was so worried and annoyed about that. He laughed louder at me, and I bent my head down blushing.

After some time of usual beautiful silence, I continued my beautiful boredom. I wondered whether he considered it as beautiful or just boredom. Anyways, I still continued to tell him more about the chitchat.

I enlightened him on the latest gossips. I told him about Prasad anna and his love for Sylvia akka. I kept on blabbering more about such topics. He listened to me silently, whether or not he was interested. Finally I ran out of things to tell him in just half an hour. If only he had responded to the gossips this conversation would have extended to hours, like the chitchat we had the previous night in our room.

I also told him about the communal talk, and me being a half Brahmin. No one knew of it except for my close friends at hostel. I thought it was time I told him about my parents.

I told him all about it briefly, as this story itself can be written as a novel. My dad and mom were doing their Bachelors of Commerce in a reputed institute in dad’s city. They fell in love with each other.

After graduation, dad left to Delhi for his IAS training and mom worked in some petty job in her home town in spite of being the university gold medalist. Mom is from a very orthodox family, and gramps forbid her from working far away from home in the city. Mom would still say, how hard she battled with all her family to let her study beyond school in the city.

Mom used to recall that, it was a horrible long gap. Those days, there were neither mobile phones nor the internet. Dad couldn’t even write to her office address as gramps family was very influential, and they had eyes and ears everywhere in that district.

So, dad wrote to mom’s friend, and she passed on the letter to mom. Just like in the movie Mission Impossible, mom would burn the letter just after reading. She always felt sad about being unable to keep her love letters safe with her, but she was such a memory maniac that she still remembers the letters word by word. Dad used to complain that only because of mom’s memory power, she had pushed him down to the second place in college she being the topper.

The way they got married is one hell of a story. Dad completed his IAS training in par with his family tradition of being one of the best pass-outs like his dad and uncle. With gramps’ influence he was appointed the joint secretary for the state’s Education department. He told gramps about his love.

Gramps rejected the request flat. Dad, who always went by what he felt was right, ignored gramps warning, and went to Mom’s home to ask for their marriage. Mom who knew pretty well about her family, strongly believed that dad will never be able to step out of the place alive, suggested dad to fly with her somewhere, or to better forget her than asking her dad about the marriage.

Dad devised a plan according to which he asked for a transfer to Bihar or north east, which was one undeniable request as none wished to be transferred to those places. Meanwhile mom got engaged with another big-shot’s son from her own community.

Just a couple weeks before marriage, mom and dad flew to Assam and got married there. As both gramps had powers limited to the state then, they couldn’t stop them. Dad wanted mom to study more. She studied CA. Not to disturb her academics they postponed child birth.

After 5 years of married life Dad got transferred to Kerala as a District Collector for his second term. I was born in Kerala six years after marriage. Dad and mom seldom spoke to their families, especially their fathers.

Shantanu sat there awe struck. I was as froze, when I first knew of all these. I kept bugging mom to tell me why things were strange in our family. She always kept ignoring me, or giving some vague answers. Finally she gave in to my bugging and told everything when both of us where sitting bored in our home, when I was waiting to join college.

Shantanu after taking some time to digest the matter said that we will not be having any problem with my family regarding love. I was not sure because dads don’t consider their off springs as intellectual to make the right decision.

Shantanu, though was from a middle class family, his family was more orthodox than mom’s. Just because Shantanu’s cousin loved a guy, his dad distanced himself from his own sister’s family. Shantanu himself had some favoritism towards his community.

But Shantanu assured me that his dad loved him so much that he always got Shantanu whatever he asked for, even beyond his dad’s financial capability. So he believed that he would be able to convince his dad. He also added that his mom would love me.

For the first time we talked about getting married. The reality was much more complicated than it appeared. My rational mind analyzed all possible arguments to be placed before my dad and worse was the case when it came to convincing Shantanu’s kins, whom I never knew.

I tried to concentrate on the semester exams, and I didn’t want this thought about marriage affect my CGPA.

The 4Ds of College life.(LXII)

Reviewed by Lakshminarasimhan.

This post is dedicated to Ridhi and Arulmozhi for having this blog's link as their status message in Orkut and Facebook, thank you.

The cultural fest of the odd semester was over. Shantanu settled all the accounts and submitted a complete report on the event. He really had half forgotten me in the past month. I got back my priority.

The 5th semester almost came to an end. Our 3rd assessment tests and the mini projects were over. Unfortunately I couldn’t do projects with Shantanu as the projects can have a maximum of 3 in a team and people around us did not approve of the 2 of us being in the same team.

The most intriguing thing about Shantanu was that his mini projects were one of the best in the class. I asked him how he managed to do the projects good when he rarely cared about academics, but he used to give me some vague reply with pride overflowing in it.

The responsibility of being a cul-sec or his other leadership activities involving tens of juniors under him never made him proud. But even a single step better than me in academics will make him feel like he should advertise it on Google’s homepage.

We had a week for our first exam of the 5th semester. So we had ample time. Even the geeks will not be starting their semester exam preparation by this time. So our room turned out to be the chitchat corner as usual.

Occupants of the room-myself, Anu, Sangi along with Divya, Sindhu, Saranya, Abi all gathered in our room, and we were having the time of our lives discussing, gossiping and everything. I was texting messages to Shantanu side by side. Not just me, but Abi and Sindhu were also messaging someone.

The usual stuff about love affairs, suspected pairs and accusing other girls as bitches and making fun of flirts were the main constituents of our talks. We had only girls from ECE and CSE there. Nevertheless we had more than 300 people to talk about in our year and the same amount in each of the other 3 years.

Generally many unknown love affairs used to come out in the 4th year after people get placed. One of Divya’s geeky senior and his supposed to be just a good friend turned out to be lovers. Saranya opened this up. All of us were thoroughly surprised.

The talks turned to Sundari, our class beauty sensation. Anu accused of her facial fakeness. I wondered why guys were so crazy about her. Sangi retorted that if not for her make up stuff she would just look like a beggar girl from Bangladesh. I didn’t make out why she pulled in beggars from Bangladesh, yet we didn’t want to spoil the spirit by asking for explanations.

Divya as always thoughtfully said that Sundari had a lot of attitude problems and it’s just an illusion that guys go crazy about her. She added that guys are intellectual and will not just be easily deceived by attractions of her appearance.

The conversation grew intensely on Sundari. Anu said that Sundari told one of her juniors that she would better not tell anyone that she knew Sundari or she would be constantly bugged with love letters addressed to Sundari. Girls raged that how could someone think so much about oneself?

Sindhu added that, this problem with her attitude was why she rarely had a good friends circle. Sangi frowning said that Sundari had got friends too. Saranya said that it was because of a communal bond. Abi agreed that Brahmins are all the same and they hang around with their own.

I retorted that, the kinship of Sundari’s friends with her had nothing to do with her community. Sangi countered that I support the cause of Brahmins just because I am half Brahmin myself.

Divya roared, “Stop this nonsense. Already the country is split into a million pieces with all these religion, caste and shit. At least in college let’s not speak of it.”

We had never seen Divya emote so much. She always was calm and cogitative. We were all taken back for a second. The flame from her eyes momentarily set them on fire. Everyone grew silent. The room remained in grave silence for a minute.

Finally Sindhu broke the silence, “If only we had a bottle of vodka now.” She exclaimed.

We all laughed at this statement. We started speaking of our first experience with vodka and the vomiting and stuff. We had missed vodka this semester as it was kind of a busy and a shorter sem for me the vodka gang leader.

Sangi breathed heavily, saying that I was the luckiest of them all. We asked her why. She said that, I had everything one could have at college. She explained the 4 dimensions of college life.

Dimension one is Studies, two having fun with friends, three having a boy friend and finally the 4th one is getting out of college with a good job offer. She said that, I had almost everything of the four.

Studies! Though I had a CGPA of 9+ in the past 4 semesters put together, we still had 4 more to go. Fun with friends was something undeniable. We roamed around the city across all the big theatres and shopping malls and most notably we had vodka, which was forbidden to most other college girls and at times guys in the state.

Third, yes I had Shantanu. Nothing was skeptical about me having a good boy friend. If not for someone like Shantanu, whom would one call a good boy friend. Finally the job offer; my long forgotten pet name ‘Microsoft’ was re-established.

I had never given a thought about Microsoft that semester. First the internship, and then the college elections, then Shantanu’s proposal, dating, culturals and over all that, making up for lost classes all this had pushed Microsoft down into the depths of my consciousness.

Anu said that I will for sure get into Microsoft. Based on this statement Sangi finally concluded that, I had or will have everything i.e. all the 4Ds of college life and felt envious that most people had only one or two of the 4Ds.

After a few more talks on a dozen other topics we finally went to bed after Shantanu calling me and Anu half a dozen times and asking us to go to bed.

I went to bed thinking rather than dreaming of Microsoft. Anu’s words were encouraging, yet I feared, ‘Whether I would make Shantanu proud!’

Beautiful Days (LXI)

Reviewed by Lakshminarasimhan, Padu and Ridhi.

This post is dedicated to this blog's recent follower Jibak and the record holder for the most number of sensible comments in a day. (14 comments :p)

The pleasant college life turned beautiful. The entire environment was so refreshing. The word spread, and I even got a few felicitation cards. Shantanu wanted me to keep it a secret, but how could I ever hide something of this magnitude. No one seemed to be surprised of our love; rather they felt surprised that Shantanu had proposed me only then.

He started feeling very uneasy to hang around with me. Whenever someone looked in our direction, he complained that, we were attracting unnecessary attention. I felt, the girl and the boy just exchanged places in our case, especially in our love life. Thankfully, he at least did the proposing.

Whenever Shantanu felt the class was boring, he used to look in my direction. For him most of the classes were boring, and this made me uncomfortable in the class, yet it was kind of beautiful. Girls around me who kept bugging me, whenever Shantanu glanced in my direction had started feeling his staring was mundane.

Guys of our year, who were my friends and who used to mail me at times attached ‘sister’ in their mails. It was funny that the whole world around me changed. A change, not just by inner perception, but a real true change.

We walked around the campus, the trees, breeze everything that had been a part of my life for 2 years had become exotically beauteous all of a sudden. The silence which had made me more uncomfortable previously turned dulcet, I could keep listening to it for ages.

Once we were searching for topics to extend our conversations, and hence elongate the time we spent sitting next to each other. We had nothing more to worry or hurry. We remained silent for ages, yet we never gave a thought about the other person leaving.

Juniors and friends who giggled at us when they saw us walking side by side started looking at us with regard. I understood that people don’t bother those who are in love, rather they vex those who hang around as couples, claiming to be ‘just friends’.

I started missing him a lot. For the first time, I felt so very furious about the hostel timing restrictions, that, girls have to be back in place by 9.00 PM. Shantanu called me without fail just before going to bed. We waited for each other and went to bed at the same time. A feeling of telepathic touch through dreams filled us.

According to Shakespeare’s philosophy “Every man searches for his second mother in the name of love and every women gets her first child in the name of love.” Shantanu started behaving like I was his mother. He reported everything he did that day when I was not around. It was a strange feeling, and could be described quaintly as ‘beautiful boredom’.

The worst part was that, he apart from taking the child role did take the mother role for himself. The intensity of his care taking tripled. He chided for every improper meal, undid hair and every piece of junk food. He questioned about everything that happened to me, when he was not around.

He never let me stay awake after midnight, which was rather considered late evening in our hostel. I was not allowed to sleep beyond 6.30 which again, was considered early morning in our hostel.

I have heard of masculine strings, that bound a girl after she had consented her love, but this was not that bad. Unlike the boy friends of other girls, who bugged their girl friends, asking them to distance themselves from other guys, Shantanu never said a word about it.

Out of curiosity one day I asked how come he never forbids me from talking to other guys, he simply answered that my mother would have approved of those friends I had. He also asked me to talk to people, saying that would make me more knowledgeable.

The best part is, he never enforced his priorities on me. We were just like opposite poles at college. I did only the studying, and he did just the set language complement of it. He organized various events in college. Being the cul-sec he had to handle the college cultural fests. Even when I volunteered to help, he gave priority to my academics.

He made the fest funds transparent. Every penny spent was neatly accounted and the accounts were perfectly accessible to anyone in college. If someone felt some expense as unnecessary, he took their suggestions, and gave explanations.

In spite of being a money maniac, he never manipulated the accounts for personal benefits. Rather than trying to use the college funds for him, he did spend them with care as he would do with his own money. His policies made him popular in college, though drawing the wrath of a few evil minds by his side. Faculty who always felt skeptical about the college committee started respecting the committee.

After 2 months of hanging around as lovers, finally he asked for a date, a real date. When I asked him where, he looked like he never expected that question. After thinking for a week, we went by Anu’s suggestion. We decided on a beach resort.

Shantanu borrowed his friend’s car. I had always dreamed of a bike ride holding him from the back, like the romantic couples in the movies, but I was not sure why he chose car. May be he thought I would say ‘no’ for a bike or he himself didn’t approve of the bike ride.

We started off early on a Saturday morning in a white Hyundai Santro. The car was too small than Dad’s Accord. The seats and the ride were not that comfortable either, yet we had a beautiful drive in the road, that was laid along the coast.

We had breakfast at the resort. I paid the bill as I never wanted to be accused of being a bitch like Kiran did to Anu, though I knew Shantanu would not enounce that word at me even at the cost of his life. Anu’s thoughts did affect me a little.

Over breakfast I asked Shantanu about his openness in college funds unlike his predecessors. His answer as always intrigued me. He said that if by any chance he had manipulated the accounts or gave a chance for any such suspicion; anyone who looked at us there would say that ‘Shantanu is spending the college money on his girl friend.’

We walked along the coast for a long time without giving any thought about time. In sometime we had lost the rest of the human kind behind. We were all alone. We sat under a tree in the beach sand looking at the beach.

While walking back, Shantanu gently held my hand, I gave the hold a warm grip, which said, ‘I had the most beautiful day of my life.’

The Postponed Proposal (LX)

I thankfully dedicate this post to the blog's recent followers Ravinder, Roshan, Janani and Titu.

Reviewed by Ridhi.

After that incident, after the election results, I distanced myself from Shantanu. I believed Shantanu’s chapter was over, once and for all. This made me get closer to Gokul. I almost said ‘yes’ to him.

I showed all signs of ‘yes’, though I didn’t say it. I started talking to him over phone, and the call times exceeded an hour. I listened to all the crap he spoke. I turned my face away from his eyes, whenever he gave a compliment and all such non sense for which I forever feel so embarrassed.

That weekend he flew from Bangalore to meet me. We spent some time out and he bought me gifts saying that they are from a ‘friend’ after which I couldn’t say ‘no’. He dropped me back at college. At college he tried to hold my hand, but I withdrew sharply.

Shantanu proved me wrong. He not only avenged Kiran, but it was more than just hurting back. He made Kiran apologize to Anu. I appreciated his patience and planning. We became friends again. It’s a universal truth that, after a duel out of misunderstanding the bond gets stronger.

Classes that were long forgotten due to internship and elections had to be taken care of. I learned 2 important subjects of that semester namely Distributed Systems and Computer Networks from Shantanu. After a little apology to Padma ma’am, she didn’t mind, and she taught me the 1st unit all over again.

College life was back to normal. The first assessment test was bad. Never mind, I had two more assessments, where I could prove ‘I am ELVIA’, as the mark consideration was best 2 out of 3.

Most of my classmates had become had made strong friends, who were said to last till the life’s end. Most of them hung around as gangs. A few gangs did name themselves like Pepsi gang, Five Star gang and lot other creepy names. They managed to abbreviate their names into some of these popular brands or products.

The gangs consisting of both boys and girls together were mostly from day scholars. There was always some sort of cold war between the bisexual and monosexual gangs. The chitchat of both these gangs was mainly constituted by gossips about love pairs in the class and college; thankfully they didn’t speak much about GPA or grades, with geeks like Ragu being exceptions.

“Hey heard that, Sivaranjani got a proposal lately”

“Oh from whom?”

“Hey guys”, Ragu enters the conversation.

“Hi Ragu, we are speaking about something interesting.”

“Oh well. Ya I do have something interesting.” Certainly after 3 semesters of being his classmate none expected him to speak of proposals or love, “Advanced Networking by Ferozoun was exemplary. I spent the whole night with that book”

However they had expected this kind of a statement, people still couldn’t control their annoyance. They hit their heads with a stressed, “Shiiiit”.

Coming back to the cold war, though the 2 types, may be 3 types, gangs with girls only, boys only and both, all gossiped, but the bisexual gang always accused the monosexual gang of defaming their friendship between guys and girls as love affairs.

At times, a few day scholar girls did say that, they hate most hostellers as they speak ill of their friendship with guys. Walking hand in hand and spending hours together in some corner of college did look oddly friendly for most hostel girls and of course for hostel guys, who were not born and brought up in a modernized city environment.

Certainly hostel girls had friends in the opposite sex at school in their home towns, but the relationship was restrained. They never walked hand in hand. They never hid themselves in a corner. They were good friends, who shared things right from their tiffin boxes to family problems and academics, but never hung around the campus outside their classrooms and definitely not for hours.

I did roam around with Shantanu, and people considered it love and I never protested against it. I never disguised it in the name of friendship. I acquiesced how I felt for him to my friends, though I couldn’t do the same to him.

I had to convince myself, that Shantanu and I were destined to be just friends, like the other city girls and guys, we were only friends. With such solacing explanations to our relationship, I tried to forget all the romantic feelings for Shantanu in my mind.

It was Thursday night. I was spending time with my laptop, partly studying, texting smses and chatting with my roommates. I got a message from Shantanu asking me to come to the Ganesh temple the next morning.

I asked him why? He called my phone and said, “Just come”

“But.. why in the morning? Why not we go in the evening as usual?”

“Tomorrow is special; I want you to come in the morning.”

“Ok”, I just agreed. Not again, I wondered what was so special about that Friday. Full moon day, no moon day or what else? Whatever be it why can’t it wait till evening?

Looking at my confusion, Divya who spent most of her time with us in our room asked me, “Hey what did he say?”


“Who!! Wasn’t that Shantanu to whom you just spoke?”

“Oh Ya, he called me to the temple tomorrow morning.”

“Morning? But why?”

“That’s what is bugging me”

“Whatever! you will find out tomorrow morning. Why do you bother yourselves for this?”

“No but, isn’t it strange?”

With a sarcastic smile, “My bro Shantanu does everything with a reason.” Anu retorted.

I decided to wait, but I couldn’t. Somewhere in a corner of my mind thoughts raced about his love for me. ‘May be he wants to propose me’. Certainly temple is not a romantic place, yet what else a spiritual person like himself would go for. He might even had requested the examination authorities to change his exam hall to the nearby temple.

My rational mind kept pushing these thoughts down. It kept saying, “Don’t bother yourselves with such thoughts, or you might have to face another big disappointment that will lower your spirits for the whole day.”

Finally my intuitions about his proposal gave up, and I stopped having hopes that he will ever propose me, and tried to sleep, but you know I couldn’t.

Friday morning, Shantanu was waiting at his usual waiting spot a few paces away from our hostel gate, to avoid the eyes of our warden. He was dressed in perfect formals like he was about to be interviewed for admissions into a B-School.

We spent sometime in the temple. Shantanu felt very uneasy, I could see it from his stressed face and his perspiration. I wanted to ask him, but I waited for him to say what’s wrong.

After all the rituals, we finally sat in the temple premise, which again is a sacred custom to sit for sometime before you leave the temple. Shantanu handed over a small piece of paper to me.

Eternal English Ever fails
To express her exquisite eyes.
Benzaiten’s human embodiment
Beaut of knowledgable teaching
Legendary Kings kill themselves
Losing to her love for her people.
Angels of heaven bow before this
Arch angel for her heavenly helm.
Broken hearts of humans fill the earth
Because of her, my lovely elegant Elvia.

I thought may be Anu will wake me up from my dream the next minute. Everything around came crashing towards me. I badly needed a CPR. I looked up from the paper.

He looked straight into my eyes and said, “Elvi; I love you”


The keyboard is all Elvia's now.

I am not sure whether you guys enjoyed what I wrote as you did Elvia's. Anyway with the last chapter(59th)  my part of writing in this novel is over.  I personally want to thank Ridhi and Padu for reviewing  my posts and to all those who cared to comment. Thanks for all your support.

The Power of Ahimsa (LIX)

Reviewed by Padu & Ridhi.

It was a Monday evening. Our faculty started leaving the campus. One of the reputed professors of our department, Prof. Govind was about to lock his room. I talked to my juniors via conference call, “Team Prof on the move”

“Team Target come on line”

“Team Target Reporting Sir, Target is seated near the canteen as usual”

“Who is with him?”

“3 of his friends Sir, we are not sure of their names”

“Road Block team report”

“Road block team reporting Sir.”

“Immediately block the subsidiary road we want Prof to head to the Main Gate”

“Barricades in place Sir.”

“Good, Harini”

“Harini reporting Sir, I am ready near the target Sir.”

“Start action, Prof has started his car and he must be there in 2 minutes”

“Yes Sir.”

My reliable juniors helped me in this plot. I always dreamed of being a squad leader in a military mission or at least in an NCC camp. This passion of mine drove me into NCC, but for the girl of my dreams, I had to sacrifice these dreams.

NCC juniors who regulated traffic during parade practices came in handy, and of course the power of being the ruling party to bring in regulations in the campus. Blocking a road for a few minutes was no big deal.

Unfortunately I was unable to witness Harini’s exemplary performance; I was later given a description by Uma who accompanied Harini. Harini walked straight to Kiran and introduced herself.

Kiran spoke with the usual 4th year’s tone to a 1st year. She without any delay asked him why you did do that to Anusuya, she really loved you, and you betrayed her. She started firing abuses at him. Another team of my juniors ensured that they occupied the seating in the audible range of Harini’s voice such that none witnessed this scene with their ears.

The professor made a scene at the barricade, but my juniors managed him citing safety precautions at peak hours, and hence the road was closed for 4 wheeler traffic. After some 2 minutes of threatening and shouting he turned to the road to the main entrance.

Back to the scene, Kiran who already was in a bad mood because of the election failure was aroused badly. He would have hit Harini, if only she was a guy. He started yelling at her asking her to get out. Exactly when professor crossed the road, she walked away rubbing her eyes and imitating as if she was crying.

As expected he got down and caught those guys and a couple other lecturers joined him. Kiran and Co pleaded not guilty, but in vain, who would doubt the case stated by a first year girl against notorious 4th year guys. An enquiry was set up.

The panel was ready to take punitive action against the four, with Kiran being the main culprit. He requested and pleaded with the panel but in vain, “We are helpless in this Kiran. If the girl wishes, she can even lodge a police complaint.”

“Not only as raging, she can even add eve teasing to it. It’s all now in the girl’s hands.” I sat in the panel representing the college students’ board. I appreciated myself for the choice of a girl.

Kiran’s friends who were from rich and politically influential background and everything turned him down,  fearing that anything they did against this case could have been fatal as a female student from a reputed institute was involved.

Kiran finally surrendered. He called Harini, and we arranged for a meet in a classroom. As soon as he saw me he jumped on me, “You bastard, I knew it must have been you.”

He tried to convince Harini, that he was good, and asked her not to believe me as his final desperate attempt, again in vain. He gave up, “So what is that you want.”

“Nothing. It’s all about Anu.”

Anu and Elvia walked into the class from the next room. He tried all his charms. I don’t remember the exact words, it was something like this “Anu I never meant that to you. You misunderstood me. Please forgive me, I still do love you.” He almost fell to her feet.

After a minute of silence Anu opened up, “I loved you” a drop of tear emerged out of her closed eyes. “I believed you. I believed you as were my life.”

It was a horrible site to see a full grown man cry. Yes, Kiran did cry, may be pretence. But he had to do everything he could, as his whole life was then in Anu’s hands. He just kept saying ‘sorry Anu, I didn’t mean to’ and stuff like that again and again.

“Get lost. At least be good to Rupa” and Anu started walking back. Elvia caught her hand, “Hey what nonsense, after all that he has done to you. You just let him go with it”

Anu ignored her and spoke to me, “Anna you have done this for me with immense efforts. But he is not worth being punished by a man of your stature. He will suffer for his sins.” I tried to interrupt her, she continued, “For my sake please spare him.”

First I didn’t get her, but later I realized that, the worst punishment on earth is forgiving. The lesson taught by the' father of our nation', ‘Ahimsa’. Kiran’s guilty consciousness almost killed him. I saw it on his face. He was ashamed of his deeds. In later days, I saw a great change in him. I saw genuineness in his words and his kinship.

Elvia gave a look of gratitude and her usual momentary smile, when she left holding Anu by her shoulders. I felt like shouting aloud, loud enough such that the entire city could hear of my bliss.

I thanked all my juniors, who helped me with this plot. Later as per Anu’s wish, we requested the panel to dismiss the enquiry on Kiran, stating that we didn’t want to ruin his future, and that Kiran had realized his mistake.

Elvia and I were back on speaking terms. That week I even taught her Distributed Systems and networks, for which I am till day very proud of, that I being a 7 pointer taught technical subjects to a geeky 9 pointer.

I had no intention of delaying things anymore. It’s high time I opened up to Elvia. I decided on how and when. I told myself, “It’s now or Never”.
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