Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fire of Truth

She sat in the Starbucks cafe, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. The blood stained knife lay next to her handbag, covered with her blue silk scarf. The weather outside too was dismal. The dark clouds seemed to conspire the region as Erica's mind was filled with anguish and guilt.

Erica felt the queen in Starbucks logo smile at her insidiously. Was this all happening inside her head or was it a direful day that she was undergoing, she wondered. Her legs were quivering and her hands longed to rest but she dissembled calm and paid the counter.

Anjan would be waiting for Erica at the marriage hall as her bridegroom and their family were anticipating her any moment now. Even the police men might get a week off but not Erica, who was an ardent journalist. She was more committed to work than Anjan and today she was faced with a question of whom she wanted to marry, Anjan or her job.

Dressed in silk dhoti chanting prayers in front of sacred fire, Anjan's heart thumped faster. He did not know where Erica was. He had assured his parents about her punctuality for the marriage and they were forced to trust him. Their relationship had not been a bed of roses. After five long years Anjan had convinced his parents to get married with the love of his life, a Christian girl. Rosy aunty had succumbed to her daughter's wish after her wild behaviour when she was refused marriage with Anjan, a brahmin boy. If things went awry today, they would forever lose their parents' trust.

'Would I alternatively get married with a random girl from the marriage hall if Erica doesnt arrive like in most movies how the bride gets married to a random guy if the groom fails to marry for some reason?' pondered Anjan. His mind paced rapidly and went into a blur just as the smoke from the fire blurred his vision. Tears were flowing from his eyes, he did not know if it was due to fear or physical irritation that it was all happening.

Erica knew what integrity was but her blood stained scarf narrated a different story and she was mired in a moral crisis between her profession and marriage. Her long eyelashes hid the pain her pupil said, if only anyone strained enough to look deep into her eyes. Anjan would read it if at all there was time, enough time for them to unite before they tied the knot.

Erica was a crime reporter but now, she might have been mistaken for a criminal by the police. They would have framed her as the accussed as the news would have already been making its rounds.

Several lights flashed as Mastaan Kasab lay on the floor in blood shed with his curly unkempt hair appearing like bees swarming his face and  blood splattered neck. The press photographers were already there and the reporters would not miss out a feather from the place. But did they know what had happened? Erica's mobile was switched off and she could neither reach out for help nor be communicated for clarification. She had not informed anybody about her sting operation. Would Anjan rescue her like the filmy heroes? She yearned to be in his arms but there was no time for pampering and she had to act, real quick!

'Come on Erica, pick my call, we are losing our game with the world that said we cant get married,' said Anjan to himself as the computerised voice informed him that Erica's phone was switched off and that she could not be reached. 'One last attempt and if it fails, I would face the music,' thought Anjan as he desperately dialled Erica for the nth time.

His heart leapt as there was a ring! The cell phone line connected and he was shouting like crazy in the middle of the loud wedding drums that were percussioned as a part of a marriage with no bride. He was literally facing the music and could not hear anything from his end. He didnt know if she picked the call to reassure her presence or let him down. He perspired even more as he imagined the large garland on him like a snake strangling him to death. He didnt know if he was anxious or embarrassed to face the situation but he had to go by the flow.

'Anjan was not just another man. He was a fighter, he would not let his girl go in deep waters,' prayed Erica. Going back to the marriage might get her arrested if she showed up. As Erica walked on the pavement in front of the cafe, the wind carassed her wavy hair and tried to teach her some tranquility even under the dark clouds of Chennai.

Caffeine had already given her some energy to revive the tediousness of the morning and awakened the nervous system of her brain. Kasab and she were not enemies in personal life. He worked as a shopkeeper in a meat stall at Kodambakkam. Inside his shop were meat of many kinds that people have never known he had. They were human meat.He was a child trafficker who used young girls for flesh trade and later killed them for pleasure.

Working for Freedom Today, the most popular neighbourhood newspaper, she had a nose for news especially in her area and she sniffed filth inside Kasab's stall. Posing to be a pimp, she visited his stall as his customer a couple of times and pretended to be interested in pedophile activities. Kasab promised her five teenage girls for a day for a sum of fifty thousand rupees at 8 am on Friday.

At first, Erica wanted to procrastinate the plan because it was her wedding day. But on a second thought, she felt that she could not risk the lives of innocent children for her wedding plans and she agreed to it. She had not taken the assistance of police because she knew that there were police officials too involved in this trade. She had to provide a trenchant evidence catching Kasab red handed and bust him with an exclusive child racketing story.

On Friday,it was a humid morning with the sun's fiery emitting early. Dressed in sexy blue shorts that revealed her finely chiselled thighs and frilly white sleevless shirt, well tucked in and extra tightened with a brown leather belt, she set out confidently with her stockings on. She had the cash ready. She had saved it for the past one month, foregoing a costly reception saree. She had everything that she needed in her handbag. In case, she was caught by any officials, she had her press card for identity.She stuffed the cash well inside the bag and put her pen, notepad and id card hurriedly into it as she left for the shop.

She didnt want to give out Kasab to anyone until she got to know all the people who were behind this plot.She checked the watch when she reached. It was 7.55 am and Kasab was eagerly awaiting Erica. In her usual pretentious husky voice for him, she enquired him about the girls. He seemed more than pleased to usher her inside a room. As Erica moved in to receive the girls, she was faced with a locked door. For a moment, she thought that something went wrong. She looked back at Kasab to learn that he demanded the cash first before she could see the children.

'Ah Kasu, dont you trust me?' she sweetly asked but Kasab did not budge. Tensed inside, Erica had to conceal it on her face. She swiftly opened the bag and swayed her hands into it in search of the cash. Hastily, she pulled out a stash and showed him for assurance. She did not realise the things that fell out of her bag during the act as she was keen about the cash. Her ID card slipped out and fell on Kasab's toe. Before Erica could notice it, it was too late and Kasab was already alarmed.

He slapped her arm and ran for his knife. Erica had no place to exit. She was trapped. In the wink of her eye, she was at knife point, imminent to get killed.She struggled to keep him from stabbing. Suddenly she remembered the nail cutter knife in her pocket and tried to reach it with one hand still fighting to keep away Kasab's knife. Writhing out of control she fell on the ground as she managed to pull out the nail cutter.

As Kasab aimed for her neck in more fury, she dug a scar into his bare foot expecting him to fall down. Contrarily, he stood firm but his aim slipped into a mark in Erica's hand and the knife fell accidentally. Picking upon the chance, Erica caught it before him and threatened to slash him with it. As an experienced butcher, Kasab could see from her face that she had no idea as how to even poke someone with a knife. He gutsily proceeded forward to grab it. Pchak! A streak of blood splashed on Erica's face as she slit Kasab's neck. Panick stricken, she was transfixed for a moment. Her senses reminded her that she was now a murderer and she had to escape. Hurriedly wiping her face with her scarf she wrapped the knife into it and got out.

The road was busy and an auto man was fishing for people to take a ride. She blankly got inside it and was shivering in fear. 'Where should we go ma'am?' asked the auto man. The immediate place Erica could think of was Nungambakkam. 'Starbucks, Nungambakkam,' she said with no idea what she was doing.

It was 11.45 am and Erica was lost in her thoughts, still standing on the pavement. She felt the police handcuffing her from the back, she let out a shrill but it was a woman in rags who looked like a beggar. Absent mindedly, she reached for her bag but the woman stopped her. She could see the police car rushing inside and froze. She was now cornered and had the only option to surrender. Erica gave up all hopes and stood still as the inspector got out of the car and approached her. 'I know.. But this is all.. all.. a misunderstood folly. I.. I..,' she gasped for words trying to explain in vain. 'Shall we go to our in law's house?' the inspector demanded. Erica could understand the metaphor for jail and broke down.

She was taken into the car to the nearest place. She bowed down in guilt and didnt want to face the police station. To her shock, her parents were standing! She almost fainted. When she opened her eyes, she was lying on the bed room, clad in a saree with jewels. 'Call out the bride,' ordered an elderly voice and Erica was ushered inside a hall packed with her relatives. Anjan was sitting in the middle looking tired before fire. But a strange kind of happiness was dancing in his eyes.Erica was ushered beside him and he lifted up the nuptial rope and gently tied it around her neck. 'This is definitely a dream and I have to know whats happening,' said Erica to herself but people would not let her go and she had to stay put until other rituals went on. After hours of chanting and other formalities, Erica and Anjan were finally declared married and let go inside a decorated room for their first night.

Erica could not contain herself. Her head was paining troublesomely and she threw herself on the bed looking confused at Anjan.

'When you tried calling me, I sent my brother-in-law Arun athimber to Kodambakkam, where you usually get stories from. Athimber called back to say that there was a murder and called for his friend George, the city commissioner. George rushed to the spot and investigated the people. There were cries from the meat shop and the police found children inside. They gave the details of their parents and informed that they heard voices from their room about a lady fighting with Kasab,' offered Anjan.

Before Erica could open her mouth to shoot her endless questions, Anjan interrupted again. 'Arun athimber is a secret CID agent. His office is also at Kodambakkam and he used to nudge me about your weird dressing and visiting of meat shop for the past few days. He had followed you till yesterday and I insisted him to stay with me today. But once I sent him for you, he cracked the case with his credentials and safely brought you back for marriage.The lady that the inspector brought along was the mother of a rescued child and she wanted to see her saviour right away. We might need to visit the station for their investigation and give out a testimony.'

Everything was in place now and Erica did not know how long she slept before she awoke for the sensational story she wrote for Freedom Today from the first person point of view. It was her biggest break and her colleagues were in awe about her guts.'How did you have the courage to do such a thing all alone?' her Editor asked. 'When you do a good thing for a benefit greater than for yourself, success is assured,' she replied as her face glowed confidently in the fire of truth.

Monday, December 21, 2015


I havent given much of a thought about my death. I remember being taught by my Christian teachers at school that everyone should go to heaven when we die and I have aspired for it. My goal in life was set with my building interest in English. A lesson about Kalpana Chawla intrigued me to aim for the stars. Her dedication and passion for her work fuelled me to strengthen my goal and I yearned to become a journalist. When I was doing my masters, my first experience in reporting for a subject called journalistic skills, showed me the first taste of journalism for my thirsty aspiration to become a reporter. That night I could not sleep. I woke up my mother in the middle of the night and said that if I died that moment, my soul would rest in peace. But the desire to accompish more was much empowering than the contentment and I progressed.

I have yet not thought how I wanted to die. I asked my boyfriend how he wanted to die. Apparently, he too had not given it a thought. He vaguely said that he wanted to provide free amneties for at least 10000 people before his death. My idea of charity is different from his and I debated that charity should contribute towards one's development and not comfort with laziness. Abdul Kalam's death was perfect. He died peacefully and just the way he wanted. He advised people to dream, work for it and achieve it. Im sure he wanted to die while teaching.

Given a chance to die at work, I am not sure if I want that. But before dying, I know I have to complete the purpose of my span on earth by making a positive difference in another's life. I would not choose the path of Teresa and give out myself for service. Rather I want to be a good person to those who raised me and to my new family. Of course one cannot be a perfectionist but at once I have secured enough for their future and mine, I will give back to the society whatever I can and wait for god to reward me. When I die, I want to die a peaceful way like Kalam and yet be happy when my soul departs my body.

Kalam's recent speech at Shillong on the lines of knowledge which according to him is an integration of creativity, courage and righteousness rings a bell in me. I read an alarming quote somewhere that said that a successful business can be executed when u do it for a purpose greater than oneself. I want to go that extra mile to work and make others happy in the righteous way. That goal alone can make one successful. When you love unconditionally,it hurts.But when you work unconditionally, it rewards!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Everybody will have a dream spouse right from childhood. Be it the cartoons or movies, all people are exposed to the understanding of the relationship of couples. As I grew up being the only child, my dream about my guy was influenced by movies and classmates. The first time I got a crush on a boy was when I was in class six. Gradually my image of a dream boy started evolving with respect to age and exposure. I studied in a girls school and did not have much chance to move with my peer boys. UG was the first time that we came under one roof and the taste of a co-education in a third rated college was horrible. I did not fall in love with any of them for two reasons, one, I thought that I did not attain the right age for a relationship and two, I did not find the right guy.

So passed my days. I was in the final year of my Post Graduation and finally attained the age that I had conceived to be the right start for a commitment. But this, did not go as planned. I did not find my prince just the time I had planned to get one, one of the main reasons being that I completely trusted on my mother’s judgment. Whenever I spotted a guy, my index finger navigated from him to my mother, asking her permission for becoming his girlfriend. Parents you know, can never let you into such things so easily. Still, I let her take the final call.

This led in a no love marriage option and the only alternative left was arranged marriage. I was worried. Worried about marrying a stranger. Giving way to these apprehensions, was the way the groom hunt started. While one moron’s mother kept staring at me for not wearing a saree during their formal visit to my house to hunt a bride for her son, another guy was literally into all bad habits and wanted me to be his accomplice. Totally frustrated, I ended up threatening my mother into filtered searches at the earliest.

To this day, my ideas about a groom has changed. I do not look for impressive looks or six digit earnings but someone who will be just compatible with my personality and eligible enough to build his own dreams. A gentleman will treat his better half better and that man seems within the boundaries of my vision. I’ve had different special people in my life and this time, THE special person’s entry will be special, fully under my control and I promise myself to treat my better half better.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


While mother’s day is celebrated with great reverence, only few even remember when father’s day is. So is the placement of a father’s role in our lives. The recent Myplan Airtel ad got me irked due to the message it conveyed. It drives people to coax their father for monetary benefits. Does that mean that poor fathers do not deserve love? This is just one example of the wrong notion and undervalue that the society gives for fathers.

It is also agreeable that fathers are not as intelligent as mothers. Often times, they do not even know the pulse of the children. But, because of that, his role in life is ignored, no matter how much he works hard to stay glued to the family.

Here are some of the good things that fathers of adults do get converse results:
  • Tries to be kind but ends up getting bossed upon.
  • Tries to teach what is right but ends up being a boring old school fellow.
  • Tries to buy his favourite eatables for family but ends up being branded as forcing his like on others. 
  • Requests for things but ends up with denial. 

However positive the actions intend to be, it ends up giving the converse results because fathers are as selfless as mothers that they don’t even bother about their value in the family which is conveniently ignored. So next time, you find you dad annoying you, take a deep breathe and smile at him. He would at least feel relieved at your friendly gesture. Treat him with the same love that you give your mother and you will feel even better. Last but not the least, don’t miss out the father’s day that falls on June 3rd Sunday!          


Monday, April 6, 2015


Enthusiasm is the baking powder of life. With it you rise, without it, you are flat. What does it take to be enthusiastic? Interest. What does it take to draw interest? Enthusiasm. This is an interdependent phenomenon. However, here are few tips to stay enthusiastic in life:

1. Make it a point to do or learn at least one thing new each day.

2. Meet different people or at least make a call to them or at most, drop them a text message that they passed by your mind.

3. Let your family know how much you love them. Love will always make you happy.

4. Grow pet plants or animals. They not just keep you occupied but involuntarily teach life lessons.

5. Break away from daily routine and sign up for classes to keep you fresh.

After all, you should be able to look forward to each day right before you start. The maximum time you are going to spend with is yourself. So make yourself as interesting as possible. Never mind, if you are not. There is always time to improve yourself. Just make sure that today is better than yesterday and tomorrow will be better than today. Surround yourself with the enthusiastic aura and life will never get boring. Happy day!

Saturday, April 4, 2015


There is this joy of giving on one side and the pain of giving on the other side. What is it to give away your happiness to someone else? Noble? What does one gain from being noble? Is anyone going to award you a noble prize? Most of the times we think we are being noble and sacrifice our happiness for someone else. It doesn’t stop there. As humans, we expect it back.


We want others to sacrifice for us just the way we did. But reality slaps. It does not happen the way you think that it would. So, if you choose your happiness over another’s, is it called selfishness? It certainly is not. Some people always think about others and empathize. It is surely a good quality. At the same time it is important to not forget the person in you. She needs an equal importance too. You cannot pluck away happiness from one person and give it to another. Giving must be done joyfully. If it isn’t joyous, then, you did not choose it right.

You cannot give until it hurts the receiver, you can only give as long as it doesn’t hurt you, for, hurting yourself is equally a sin as much as hurting another person. Like Shakespeare said, be it the quality of mercy or giving anything, it has to be twice blest, blessing the giver and the receiver. When you have less expectations and give as long as it does not hurt, you will lead a happy life. If you give until it hurts the receiver, you may attain salvation in heaven. But, the purpose of your presence on earth is to be happy here and make others happy. Do not sin hurting yourself and anyone else. Thus, you will automatically attain salvation wherever you are.

Having said that, we all enjoy the kindness of people and things around us. So whenever you can, do reflect it back. When you cannot, its still okay. First make yourself happy and then spread the joy!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Copper Pods

Have you experienced redolence? It is an emotion associated with fragrance. Copper pod trees and flowers always get my memories of school flashing in my mind every time I cross by the road. In India, we might not have an exclusive spring season, but we sure do have spring-summer where these flowers bloom in abundance. The best quality of nature is sharing. The dry summers are made lively with these natural flower shows by mother nature. These flowers remind me of my exam and vacation days. To be precise, just the day when our annual exams get over, these flowers start to bloom, giving us a farewell for our holidays. The aura these flowers create during this time, is a feeling of ecstasy that only people who know to appreciate their gifts can experience.

In fact I have some plants at home, but I’ve never watered or grown any copper pods. But still they choose to delight my pathways and it seems such a selfless and noble thing in my eyes. When trees for which you’ve never even cared about can give you so much joy, as human beings aren’t we capable of much more? Make it a point to light up the day of at least one person today. You may never know when you would reap the harvest. Do not expect the returns from the same person. God is watching over you. If he can make even the simplest of his creations, delight you, he is surely capable of doing wonders in your life. As for atheists, even if god doesn’t exist, karma sure does. What you throw will surely bounce back. I wish all my readers the ability to appreciate your gifts and may nature bestow upon all of us, the best of everything!

Thursday, April 2, 2015


The word birthday by itself sends through me a shudder of excitement. Birthdays are special because it is an occasion of celebration to be crowned and crown your special ones. But as time passes by the occasion seems to lose momentum about its specialty. Why? Because, celebrations have started to pick pace on selfish motive. Being selfish is not as bad as wanting to harm someone. Often times we sow, to reap the harvest for ourselves. So are birthdays too. We make someone feel special that day, hoping that it would be reciprocated on our day. I’ve always envied the people who celebrate grand birthdays, not by themselves but with surprises from their loved ones. I’ve always longed for at least one such birthday but never had such a time although I used to celebrate many of my friends’ birthdays. Why does this happen? Because:

  • People do not think the way you do. Not everyone gives back what they get and vice versa. In fact if you introspect, you would not have on discretion reflected the love of many people.
  • You cannot buy friendship, you have to earn it. 
If you genuinely want to care for a person, show it to them from the heart, if they don’t reflect it back, you might also realize that you have to hold it until your worth is recognized. Over time, I have also realized that friendship cannot be planned, and the ones planned will not last. There are even arranged marriages but there is no arranged friendship. Birthdays are not occasions to expect. It is a day to be happy about and personally wish someone from the heart rather than materials. I’ve done crazy things for people on their birthdays.

Even when some refused any such plans, I thrust gifts and love but over time, I learnt to respect people’s preferences and refrained when they said no to gifts and celebrations. Now, I feel content that I would not expect anything from anybody for my next birthday because people who will celebrate you will love you for what you are and not what you give. Being unique, not everyone in life might fulfill your expectations but when someone becomes close to you, give them their space and time. After all, the best gift you could give someone is your time. Happy unbirthday to all of you ;) Celebrate everyday with love!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


So this is my first post in #AtoZChallenge this year. With all your support hope I make it till the end! Cheers to all participants!

It was yet another time of my life when I was impressed with someone in random. Im Samyuktha. People call me Samy. He calls me Sam. Lets call him A (known by his first letter). I did not fall for him but liked his profile. I did not want him to reciprocate it either. But giving the benefit of trying, I asked him out. He responded courteously that his passion was more oriented with his profession at this epoch. I was not disappointed because I didn’t expect. However, in a curiosity to know this person, I fixed up our meet at a temple. Even though I was anxious about the usual type of men shying off in first meets, I was up for an introduction no matter how my opponent behaved. Fortunately, A was a confident and even better, a friendly man, willing to respect a woman for what she is.

After our formal greetings with each other and my home deity at the temple, we caught up for coffee late in the evening. We walked some distance and he pointed out at a secluded restaurant in dim lighting. Although he appeared decent, I knew that my first encounter with a stranger should be cautious. After all I’ve been to more places all by myself as a journalist and I was certain that I could handle being alone with him.

We preferred a table in the open and ignited our conversation with details about family. He commented about a girl inside the restaurant pointing at her as an aunty. Looking at that direction, I saw her facing with her back at us. As it was dark outside, mosquitoes would not let us alone and he ushered me inside. Moving into another seat, I saw that the so-called aunty being accompanied by another woman. Suddenly, she waved at me. Soon I recognized that she was my school mate. What a floppy date, I regretted. (Although the meet was disregarded as date on consensus between us!)

As I went closer to her, she was kind enough to alert me that the whole school gang was going to be there and that I could avoid embarrassment. Getting the hint, I urged him out and as we did, my school mates were sorry for that. My friend let out a formal apology that she hoped that it wasn’t them that we left, which became a subject of mockery later in conversation between me and A.

This meet gave us a ticket for friendship and gradually we met once in a while within the short span of time he stayed here. (He was due to return to USA in a month) As a matured guy, he was cautious not to fall nor let me fall in a trap of relationship and made his intent clear as not more than a kind acquaintance turning friend. Incidentally, his birthday fell in the same month and we met for dinner the next day. For someone who has been so kind to me, I thought he deserved some appreciation but was worried that my gifts would not match his kind of expensive goods. I resorted to a hand made birthday card that would contain the efforts put in to the amount of respect and gratitude I wanted to reflect back. And yet, I thought there was a special touch missing and it was only hours left before our dinner and I had to find out a nearby store to get something that was worth my special friend.

I tried my best but could not find one and finally gave up. A was on time for dinner and we drove aimlessly to spot a good restaurant nearby. My eyes navigated to one of the restaurants on my bucket list as we drove past the road. As soon as I suggested the place, the gentleman agreed and we ventured into it. He seemed to have a taste just as inverse as mine. However, the food there was good enough to consume. Against my dislike for pizza, I shared two pieces since it had an edibly thin base. As A and I conversed about our recent and past happenings, I handed out my card. He seemed to be okay with it and yet I knew that I had not given back my gratitude in full. On.our way back, I confessed about it and he opined the same as I did claiming that he had everything that he needed and this was the perfect gift. Some people might not be the missing piece of your life's puzzle but however their presence makes a difference at some point of life. A was one such boon to me. Even if he leaves India, he would be regarded as the special person who made me feel happy with his presence.


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