The Lost Princess

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Note: This blog is a guest post by Neelam Mirchandani. My sincere thanks to her for the time and efforts.

I could feel the soft skin on my arms. There was a warm rush in my heart, as warm as the blood running in her veins. My joy knew no bounds. I had waited so eagerly for her, and now, she was finally here, right here in my arms. I couldn’t stop smiling. She smiled too. I couldn’t take my eyes off her beautiful face. Her looks … mesmerizing! Beady eyes, small red nose, cotton-like chubby cheeks, silky smooth thick hair. Wow!

She was fresh, smelling good; I didn’t want to put her down. I didn’t want to hurt her skin. She was mine, all mine. There was one and only one person I wanted to share her with. Her father. She had my looks and his eyes. He took her from my arms, carefully; smiled an eternal smile. His face flushed, eyes watered. The tears  in his eyes were of joy. His blood, skin, bones. A form of life he helped me get into this world. He gazed at her, as if endlessly. It was the most beautiful moment of our lives.

Her first birthday. A red dress, net. With satin flowers. She looked nothing less than a princess. A tiny diamond crown gave a perfect finishing touch to the look. She was loved and admired by the whole neighborhood. She was the reason for most of the smiles around her. She was a gift, not only for us, but everyone who came across her, even for a short while. This love for her brought many a people to wish her on her birthday. They got her gifts, presents. To everyone’s astonishment, she accepted only flowers. Such beautiful was she, even from within, at such a tender age.

Her teachers never complained about her misbehaving in the school. No one even dared to trouble her. Such was her nature and aura.

One day she returned home late from college. There was a sudden feeling of unhappiness in me; as if someone suddenly hit me hard in the chest. Tears started rolling down my cheeks. She didn’t seem as happy as she usually did. I could feel a certain fear creep into me. My better half, my only support, held my hand tight. His touch consoled me, usually, however not this time. I wanted to speak to her, but words didn’t seem to leave my lips. Did I go mute? What was wrong with me? I started to hear voices around me. What was the commotion all about? I could sense panic in the air.

A warm drop of water fell on my cheek. And another. Yet another. Someone was crying. Who was it? My eyes seemed heavy to open. They felt as if they had cried before. I tried my best to open them. My vision was blurred. He was crying, bitterly. I tried to get my head off the pillow to hug him and ask him what was wrong. I felt severe pain in my stomach, as if someone had cut through it and taken away a part of me. It was strange feeling of emptiness and pain.

Before he could reach out to me to calm me down, I had figured it all out. I had lost her. We had lost her. Lost her much before she could come into the world, much before she could fulfill our dreams, much before she could spread smiles. It hurt. Hurt more than my womb did. My heart was pierced, soul was lifeless. My dreams were shattered, my princess was lost.

By: Neelam Mirchandani

Author’s Personal Blog: Lost World Found

Where a Dream Splits

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“Why do two people fall in love?” It is not really a question with a definite answer. But it is a question that ought to be answered by two people in love. Because if they can’t; then they are just wasting their time together.

“Why are you asking me that?” The question takes her off guard. But I know she can handle impromptu scenarios very well. There is a confidence in her voice. The answer will come, I know it.

“Because I don’t understand the concept of love,” and that is true. “I mean, I saw you, my heart skipped a beat. I asked you out and you said yes. I asked you again and you never denied. We both just knew it from the beginning, didn’t we? That is weird.”

She leans ahead and rests her elbow on the table. “What is bothering you?”

There are these waves of questions hitting me every now and then. The irony is that you cannot separate one wave from the other.

“I had a dream early morning. You know that thing about early morning dreams? They often come true.”

————————————————————————————————————————————————

“I had a dream early morning,” a feeling of déjà vu takes over me. I struggle to recall if I have had this conversation before.

“I have some bad news.” He looks away from me. I can feel my heart throbbing in my throat. A bad news is even worse when they come from your best friends.

“She is seeing someone.” He says after a few tense moments. “I am sorry.” And then the déjà vu is gone, vanished.

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

“You wanna talk about it,” there is a profound concern in her voice that cannot be ignored. I breathe deep and sigh.

“I had this dream. We were holding hands and walking down a long endless road. We were happily singing the true companion song,

So don’t you dare and try to walk away,

I’ve got my heart set on our wedding day.

I’ve got this vision of a girl in white,

Made my decision that it’s you allright.

The endless road did not seem to bother us. What mattered was that we were together, holding on to each other, and living our life together.

That was until the road split into two. We went our separate ways. Walking alone was a nightmare. No one to hold hand with, no one to dream along with, no one to sing for, no one to die for.

The roads will meet again someday, somewhere. I consoled my lonely heart every single moment. And when they finally did, you were there.

But you had found someone on your way. The path I chose was the same that we both started with. The path you chose was the one we split at. I continued to treasure our dreams. It was hard to see you with someone. There were mixed emotions, should I be happy for you or should I feel betrayed?”

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

I look blankly in his face. He is waiting for me to say something.

“I am happy for her.” There is mixed emotion in my voice. The heart cries, feeling betrayed. There were no promises made, none broken. The roads have met again, and the dream has come true.

Song courtesy: Marc Cohn

Runaway Bride

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Been thinking for a while I’d write a guest post on Uday’s blog… 🙂 So here it is, something different from my usual technology / travel babbles, this is a story from my early days of writing, something I really enjoyed a lot and still do… 🙂 A short story for our very own, The Allegorist (The Story Teller).

“How could she do this? How?.” I asked Ramesh.

“She loved me…” He said.

“I guess our time was not right.”

“There is no such thing as a ‘right time’” he said.

******

We wondered what to do. We were in a huge mess. He loved his girl a lot. Ramesh could do anything for his girl. Even she would go to great lengths to restore their faith and belief in the love they had for each other. I had to do this for him; I had to help him. Both of us thought of things we could do. It had been a week since he had met Jenny. Her parents had grounded her. Ramesh was desperate; he couldn’t live without her. He had to do it. They wanted Jenny married off. That’s what happens in this society, a society that is built on the worlds weirdest morals. Yes, the times have changed. Even ‘arranged marriages,’ nowadays have become, sophisticated. Nowadays there are a few blind dates and a few get to know sessions after which they go ahead with the decision to marry the person, whom you know only for a few weeks. There was no such thing done in her case. Jenny was to be married to a person whom she had never known nor had she met. She did not know what to do. She loved Ramesh and couldn’t marry anyone, just like that. Her own house felt like a dungeon of darkness, in which, she was locked up. Her memories with Ramesh and her solitude helped her to survive so far. Her mom kept a close eye on her. They took her cell phone away, she was completely disconnected. Disconnected from the world and left on her own, to face a future, a future that she never knew.

“Let’s go to her place and take her away.” Ramesh said.

“Are you crazy man? What if her mom calls the cops? You could get into trouble.” I told him.

“So f**K it… I don’t care.

“If you go tonight, you will have to deal with some tight security and her brother has contacts with the local MLA. Before the night is over, her brother and his friends will hunt you down and hand you over to the cops.”

“So what do you want me to do? Sit here and do nothing?”

“No, Ramesh, we got to think of a practical solution.”

We thought a lot, to think of the easiest way out. That’s when I thought of this brilliant idea.

“She will be married the day after tomorrow, right?”

“Yes. We have to do something soon!”

“We will. Before she gets married we have to go to the church and whisk her away even before the wedding happens and get you guys married in the court. It’s near the church. The bridesmaid is a friend of mine. She knows about you guys and I’m sure she would help us in this situation. Besides her parents don’t know me and they haven’t seen me right?”

“No, they have not seen you. You can go to her and tell them about our plan”

“Great, I’ll also register for you guys and call my friends who can be witnesses at the court. I’ll make all the arrangements there. Once you are married, there isn’t much anyone can do.”  So, we decided to wait for that ‘right time.’

Finally, the day arrived and we decided to go to the church. When we reached the church, we were surprised that there was nobody, no decorations, absolutely nothing that would indicate a wedding. We asked the church authorities, they said that the wedding was cancelled. We were surprised.

‘Cancelled?’ What on earth had happened?

“Why is the wedding cancelled?” Ramesh asked

“Something’s going on.”

“What happened, what about your friend? Did she do something? What am I going to do now? Did she tell on us?”

“Relax, it’s not her. I spoke to her last night she said she would go this morning to Jenny’s place to tell her about our plan.”

“Damn, man why didn’t she tell her yesterday?”

“I don’t know okay. Just let me think for a second here.”

“Then have they cancelled the wedding because they found out about us? Or it must be that brother of hers. He must have come to know through his spy friends.”

“If he’d have known, you and I won’t be sitting here, so chill.”

“Do you think Jenny must have done something?”

“Done something? What do you mean? What are you saying?”

“I mean, do you think she had any plans that would make her parents cancel the wedding?”

“I don’t know man. I don’t think that she would do anything like that. She is not that type of a girl.”

“Hmm. I tried to call my friend but she’s not answering, I don’t think she’s home.”

“What do we do now Srini? I’m worried.”

“Have faith dude. It’ll be all right.”

We thought a lot, with moments of silence we thought of what to do. There were many questions that came to our minds. Ramesh got restless as each minute passed by. Finally we gathered courage and decided to go to her house and try to find out what the deal was. That was our only option. We drove to her place which was quite a few miles away from the church. I decided to drive his car as he was not in the right frame of mind at that time. Her house was a small row-house on the outskirts of the city. While we drove to her place, there were many thoughts that raced into our minds as we wanted to find out what would have happened. It was something we had to know.

We saw a huge crowd outside her house. People in the courtyard talked quiet. Everyone wore black clothes. We looked at each other, aghast. Our hearts started beating fast. This was something we had never imagined before. When I said earlier, I was sure even she would go to great lengths to restore their faith and belief in the love they had for each other this definitely proved it for sure. Something I had never imagined to have happened. This was an event that moved me immensely, something that changed our lives forever. When we went inside, we saw a coffin. Lay inside, with a smile on her face, there was a smile that told us something. Something we probably knew all along but never brought it up all this while…

“How could she do this? How?.” I asked Ramesh.

“She loved me…” He said

“I guess our time was not right.”

“There is no such thing as a ‘right time’”

He told me as he snatched the car keys from me and walked past all the madness to his car and went far away in search of his solitude.

By: srinistuff

Euthanasia

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Sam had not been to work for a month now. Ann needed constant attention. She had been fighting cancer for a long time to no avail. Medication had stopped working and doctors had given up on her. With every passing minute, her agony turned into grievance. They had been together for 30 years. Next month, they would be celebrating their 31st anniversary; if only she lived.

Amanda picked up the receiver and dialed Sam’s number. A feeling of deja vu followed. She had been trying to reach him for a week now.

Why is he not answering? What could have been wrong? She wanted to rest her mind of all the qualms but she knew something was terribly wrong and as long as she was assured they were fine, she could not rest herself. Sam had never missed her call and even if he did, he would always check on her soon.

She reached for the receiver again, “Hello 911. I need someone to check on 21st Avenue, Baker Street. Sam Johnson.” Replacing the receiver, she packed her bag and headed towards Sam’s apartment.

She opened the door and saw Sam was sitting on the chair, reading Bible.

“Why dint you answer the phone? I was so worried.” Amanda asked furiously.

Sam removed his specs and looked at Amanda with tired eyes but said nothing.

“Is she alright?” Amanda asked, her face turning pale.

“She is gone.” Sam said, his eyes giving way to tears. Amanda rushed towards Sam and hugged him tightly.

“Oh God!! How did this happen? The doctors said it would be few months before…”

“I killed her.” Sam interrupted now looking straight into Amanda’s eyes.

Words failed to reach Amanda’s lips and all she could do was stare in bewilderment.

“I came home with supper last night.” Sam continued, “She was screaming in pain. I tried to soothe her down, the medicines failed. I sat through the night watching over her, but the pain never subsided. She kept begging me to do something.”

“So you killed her?” Amanda asked in disgrace.

“We had a long run now dint we? Her disease stopped us from having kids, but it never stopped us from loving each other. How could I let this disease take my love away from me? I saved her from the pain. She died peacefully in my arms, just the way she wanted to. Love can be testing sometimes. But it does not have to justify to the world or to the God.”

Two months later, Sam died of cardiac arrest and the case of murdering his wife was shut as deceased. Amanda pleaded the court to restore Sam’s honor by charging euthanasia against him. The court never budged. The world thought of Sam as a criminal, but Amanda knew they were once again together and happy.

The Timeline

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Sunday
20:00 Hrs

It was the coldest mid January winter. I bolted the front door and double-checked the lock. Ann was waiting downstairs. It was our first wedding anniversary and I had booked us a ticket for the latest movie at a multiplex downtown. She always insisted on a simpler plan. In a red Versace gown and a shawl wrapped around her, she looked as beautiful as ever. I hugged her from behind.

“I love you,” I said as I tightened my arms around her never wanting to let her go.

“And I love you more,” she smiled, “lets get going before we lose the beginning in your romantic talks. We have all night for that.”

“When have I been late?” I complained.

“Remember that day, when you turned up 30 minutes late for our wedding,” Ann mocked stressing more on ‘wedding’ part. I knew I had to hear that for the rest of my life. Women never forget being stood up, even if for a minute.

The plan was simple.

20:00 Hrs: 15 mins walk to Taxi Stand.
20:15 Hrs: 30 Mins Drive Downtown.
20:45 Hrs: 10 Mins alley walk toward the theatre.
20:55 Hrs: Theatre.

What she dint know was that a surprise party was waiting for her after the movie.

20:05 Hrs

We were nearly half way towards taxi stand. A year later, I still felt more in love each day that I held her hand and walked down the street. She is my pride. I just could not stop thinking about her. We crossed the back alley of a meat shop, when the butcher came out to close for the day. Some think struck my mind then.

“What?” Ann asked guessing the obvious expression on my face.

“I think I left the back door open.” I said. “I should go and check.”

“Oh no, we will be late for the movie. I hate missing the prelude.”

“Honey, the credits are worth being missed. Don’t worry we will get there in time. I will be back in 10,” I promised.

20:10 Hrs

I had a reputation of being finicky. I liked double-checking every time I left my apartment. The obsession went back to my 10th grade year. My father took us on a vacation to a beach on west coast of Hawaii. Two days later, we received a call from our neighbor saying our house had been robbed. They took everything from cash that my father had been saving for my high school year to most of the electronic equipments. It turned out that my father had missed a window that served the entrance for robbers. I ended up attending a community college near by. The worse two years of my life that I scrapped through.

I checked the back door, thrice. I had locked it neatly although I failed to remember when. I turned back to join Ann. We had just lost 10 minutes. Given the time frame, we could still make it to the theater by 21:05 hrs. What harm could a 10 minutes delay cause?

20:25 Hrs

“What after the movie, honey?” she asked sliding into my arms. This was the right time to throw her off the hook and then surprise her with my master plan.

“I guess we will go for a short sight seeing and then head back home,” I answered as if it was the best plan I could come up with.

“That’s it? You want to go home and sleep on our wedding anniversary. How depressing are you?” she questioned, to which I only managed a shrug. Playing it cool was not my cup of tea.

20:55 Hrs

I held open the cab door for her, marrying her had not made me lose my charisma. She stepped out clenching harder to her shawl. It was beyond freezing on that particular night. I unbuttoned my over coat and wrapped it around her. I asked the cab driver to meet me at the same place at 23:00 hrs. We started walking towards the theater. The alley was dark and deserted as if no one had visited it in decades. Streetlights hardly managed to do their part of the walkway. Rest of the part was dimmed by moon light. I drew Ann closer to my side as we walked past closed shops.

“We should have been in the theater by now had you not gone back to check the already locked doors.” Ann mocked my finicky nature.

“Well my nature comes with me in the marriage. It’s a package deal honey. Bear with me. And anyways what’s with the movie credits and you.” I said sarcastically. She did not react, her face turned pale as she stopped and looked in a far corner.

“There’s someone in that corner,” she said panicking. I looked in the direction where a middle-aged man stood with a gun in his right hand. His long hair covered his face and his over grown beard made it even harder to read him in that dark alley. I moved Ann behind me and took slow steps towards him.

“We don’t want any trouble. Take all you want and leave.” I said taking out my wallet and tossing it at his feet.

“I don’t want any trouble either, if only you co operate like good generous citizens,” the mugger replied bending to collect the wallet. “The necklace!”

“What?”

“Your wife’s necklace. Toss it this way before I blow her head off.” He said pointing the gun at Ann.

“Ann! Give him the necklace. Hurry.” I said as I moved to cover her. “Here, now let’s not push this any further. We have given you all we had. Just walk away and I promise we won’t have any trouble or cops.” I held Ann’s hand and walked slowly away from him.

I saw a man approaching from behind the mugger. The dim light failed my eyes to locate a cop approaching stealthily. Too late, I thought as I realized that the mugger had suspected a stranger’s presence. He turned around to look and panicked at the sight of a cop. Adrenaline rushed through his body as he pulled the trigger in terror. In a fraction of second, the bullet left the gun and sped towards Ann.

Too late, I thought. Happy Anniversary my love.

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