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 :)
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