Friday, June 25, 2004


"The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step" - and quite often its a faltering one. Heavily panned by the critics, here's my first amateurish attempt at short-story writing. After all history needs to have a record of my humble beginnings.


Friday, February 13, 2004
11:54 pm

…I do it for …. You.” The lilting music came to a slow stop and the audience instantaneously broke into raptures. The handsome crooner took turns bowing to various sections of the audience, lapping up the well-deserved applause. Sitting at the far end, Preeti watched as all the people jostled towards the centre of the dance floor where the huge 10 feet cake had been laid. It was almost midnight and Preeti glanced at her watch yet again. There were a lot of things that bugged her in life but men coming late for a date was one thing she had never been able to tolerate. "How could people mess up on what is probably the most important occasion of their lives?" she pondered aloud for the umpteenth time, staring at the three empty chairs in front of her.

And just as she was resigning herself to making a quiet exit, she saw them coming. Surprise. "They have all made it finally - but hey, am I seeing it right ? Are they actually coming in together ?” Viewing them suspiciously as only a woman can do, Preeti's instincts told her that something crazy was about to happen.

Friday, February 13, 2004
10:57 pm

Checking her appearance one last time in the mirror, Preeti walked back to the table she had reserved for the evening and steeled herself for the most important hour of her life. In a few minutes, they would all be here. It was time for her to carefully weigh the merits of each case and decide on her future. The last conversation with her best friend Divya and those final words of advice rang loud and clear.

“So you told him yesterday that you would give your answer tonight?”

“Yes, I hinted at that.”

“Are you really sure today is the day ?”

“Yes, Divya ! I have waited too many years looking for Mr. Perfect that I have given up. Surely he is not going to fall down from heaven on my lap. I got to decide with what I’ve got – Besides there is no point in postponing this.”

“But Preeti, you barely know this guy. How could you even be thinking about him seriously ? C’mon, you met him during one of your training sessions and then went on-site with him. Granted he is intelligent, going places with his career but don’t you think he suffers from a big “I-am-the-biggest-gift-to-womankind” attitude ?”

“We vibe well, Divya. I think his attitude rocks. If he’s got it, I see no reason why he shouldn’t flaunt it.”

“So does that mean Mr. “Funny n Romantic” is out ?”

“Hmmm.. I have actually called him too. Yes, we did have some wonderful times together. Those coffee dates, those movie outings, those delightful mail exchanges – I don’t deny that he is special but then we have drifted apart these last 6 months. I always got the feeling he wasn’t serious about this whole thing – he kidded around too much for my liking.”

“Oh my god ! You are just imagining things. Why don’t you just ask him ?”

“Maybe today I shall”

“Is that all or has anyone else also invited to this Swayamvar ?”

“Don’t kid me Divya. Of course, you-know-who is also coming. I just mailed him today morning and he said he would join me.”

“What ??? Don’t tell me. Has the puppy still not stopped following the lady? Its been a year, Preeti. What more proof do you want? Can't you see he is madly in love with you."


“So how are you going to choose between them ?”

“God knows. Shucks, gotta rush coz I don’t want to be late. Maybe I will just choose on a first-come-first-served basis considering you know how finicky I am about being on time.”

“You are so impossible. Whatever happens, darling, just remember to go with the flow. Follow your heart.”

Friday, February 13, 2004
10:46 pm

"F&^%, crazy son of a gun" shouted Harsha from the side.


"Hey, what’s the matter with you, mister ? Your girlfriend dumped you or something and you decided to end your life in front of my car. Would have happily run you down except that I’m just not in the mood for it - You better explain" said Priyanshu as he rolled down the glass and shook a fist at the visibly shaken guy standing in front of his car.

"S-s-sorry folks. I was just lost in my memories. I should not have strayed onto the road. I am sorry. I am kinda late for a date and I could not find a taxi" mumbled the lanky jeans clad guy "Btw, the name's Girish" and proffered his hand.

"No time for all this. We're bloody late. I am heading downtown - so if you want a ride, jump in" said Priyanshu.

"That would be really useful" said Girish, climbing into the rear and settling down after moving aside a big bouquet of flowers.

Watching him closely in the mirrors, Harsha asked "So. Where exactly are you headed?”

Fingering an exquisitely etched wooden casket, Girish exclaimed "Valentine Day party at TDS - There was so much work at office that I could not pick up my date for the evening - had to call her and fix up to meet straight at TDS. I just hope she is a good mood. Especially since I plan to ask her to marry me tonight."

Shifting gears and maneuvering the sleek Ikon ahead of a slow moving bus, Priyanshu remarked "Good luck mate". Harsha turned back and smiled. Returning the smile, Girish leant on the soft cushion, closed his eyes and tried to recall the strange phone conversation he had had with Preeti yesterday evening.

"Hi Girish. Guess who this is"

"Hmmm.. sounds familiar but please, I am no good at these guessing games. Can you please spare me this suspense?"

"Hey, its me - Preeti. Long time nuh..How are you doing ?"

""What a pleasant surprise. Hi Preeti. I am doing fine. Where were you these last six months ? I had called you up at office and even left behind numerous messages. You never called me back after that Barista date where I serenaded in front of everyone. Was I so awful that day ? We were supposed to see Koi Mil Gaya together, remember. What happened ?”

"Sorry yaar. But I shifted jobs and had to leave for the US on a short term assignment for my new company. You know how these things happen right ? I just came back on Wednesday and you are the first friend I am calling here."

"Great to hear that. So..Hmmmm...Whatcha doing for Friday nite ?"

"Nothin' really...You've got any plans ?"

"Why don’t we hook up for that party at TDS?”

"Deal. But hey, I have to meet an old friend of mine so I will join you there directly. Shall we meet there at, say, eleven p.m."

"That sounds real cool. Ciao. Will catch ya then"

Friday, February 13, 2004
10:22 pm

Harsha sprinted down the stairs, taking them two at a time. Reaching the bottom of the last flight, he turned and ran towards the door. Govind, the night-watchman wished him Good Night. Half-acknowledging the greeting, Harsha eyes searched in vain for a taxi. One look at the deserted streets and it dawned on him that today was the taxi union’s strike. Damn. Silently cursing his bad luck, Harsha tried calling up his room mate Shiv to summon help. Damn. The mobile was not reachable. Murphy’s law had always worked against him and today seemed to be no exception. “I’ve got to hitch a ride. Preeti said 11 and I am already running late. Maybe I should buy her some flowers”

Walking purposefully towards the florist at the nearest chowk, Harsha saw a nice, sleek Ikon a few metres ahead at the intersection. It appeared as if the driver seemed to be stuck in an argument with a traffic cop. Sensing his opportunity, Harsha moved in and said “Any problem?”

“Hey mate, I have no clue why this guy pulled me over but now he refuses to let me go and I can’t seem to figure out what he is saying.”

“Let me handle this”

Harsha settled the issue by bribing the cop to ignore the “minor offence” of speeding,

“Thanks a tonne, mate. I am terribly late but I really owe you one so maybe you want me to drop you off somewhere ?”

“That would be wonderful. Any chance are you heading towards TDS ?”

“Touchwood – pile on”

“Wow. Thanks. So who’s the lucky chic ?”

“Am just meeting a friend of mine – what about you, Mr. Flowers-In-Hand Romeo ?”

Harsha grinned but did not reply back. It had been three months since he had first met Preeti in a training session and as usual, he had started off flirting shamelessly with her. Working together in the same team for a client, Harsha had realized that he shared so much in common with Preeti as far as career goals and ambitions were concerned. So it didn’t surprise him too much when he actually found himself increasingly thinking seriously about the relationship. He had casually brought up this topic with her on a few occasions but had seen no green lights. Maybe something nice would happen today – his instinct told him there was a happy ending in store.

Friday, February 13, 2004
08:00 pm

"Chadthi Jawani..." blared the stereo. The gongs struck 8 in Priyanshu’s sub-conscious mind. He had never needed an alarm to wake up for dinner - Anand always took care of that. No sooner would Anand enter home after work, than he would switch on the damn radio. Snuggling deeper into the sheets, Priyanshu tried to ignore the music which had now risen to intolerable volumes.

“Don’t you want to shave, take a shower, and grab a bite and leave? You don’t have much time, dude and Preeti despises late-comers, remember” piped Anand from the shower.

Getting up from his bed, Priyanshu grabbed the towel and ambled on towards the other bathroom. Looking into the mirror, he reflected silently on the events of the afternoon. He had just returned from the night shift and checking mail for the last time before his siesta, he had been surprised to see a mail from Preeti. All it said was

“Dear Pumpkin,
Its Val Day tomorrow – in case you didn’t realize.
Wanna meet you @ 11 @ TDS.

Aware that the evening might not transpire into anything remotely romantic, he had very reluctantly agreed to join her. Now, on second thoughts, he wasn’t so sure it had been a great idea. For one, he knew he still didn’t have it in him to bare his heart to her and more importantly he has this strange fear that something awful was going to happen that day.

“ Hey Anand, I don’t think I should go.”

“You moron, this could be your last chance to tell her. You have been Preeti’s friend, philosopher and guide for a year now. Need I remind that it was precisely this date that you broke off with Divya last year. You’ve waited long buddy. Just go get her.”

Tidily decked in an ironed, pink shirt (Preeti’s favorite color) and reeking of expensive CK perfume, Priyanshu pulled his car out of his garage and set off to see Chameli. An hour and a half into the movie, Priyanshu changed his mind and decided to go to TDS after all.

Friday, February 13, 2004
11:58 pm

Girish was first. Nervous that he clearly was, fiddling with his hands in his pockets, he ventured “Hi Preeti. Sorry I am late.” And just as he was done with the sentence, Harsha, who had a big bouquet of Preeti’s favourite orchids, rushed in. Seeing Girish around, he quizzically turned towards Preeti seeking an explanation and had barely started a question when Priyanshu trooped in. Seeing the other two, he was totally puzzled.

And then it happened.

The green-eyed, handsome crooner who had been wading through the crowd of admirers joined the group and introduced himself. “Hi, I am Jupiter.”

Ten... Nine... Eight....

Turning his eyes to Preeti, he said “ I’ve been observing you all evening. You’ve been waiting for someone for the last few hours. Some people spend their entire life times waiting to find their soul mates. I have found mine today. When I saw you from that corner , I realized you were my future. I realized my existence would be meaningless without you. Will you marry me ?”


Saturday, February 14, 2004
00:01 am

“Yes, I will.”


Ram said...

Hey dude, I just scanned your story in the tradional mills and boon way ...looking for hot steamy action (divya preethi chameli. nice threesome)..anyway i will read it sometime...

Ekta said...

and u'd like us to believe that the greeneyes handsome hunk who wins over the girl is u????....well tried!:-)

btw do I see a budding..Bolywood script writer in the making???..!