A long time ago.

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Light sabers

In a galaxy far, far away.

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DO or DO NOT. There is no TRY.

Darth Vader

No, I'm your father.


You don't know the power of the dark side.

The Force Awakens


X-Wing Fighter

Long live the Rebel Alliance.

July 22, 2012

A Life Les Ordinary-II

"Finding out the gal you are totally nuts for is a lesbian?Ouch!Must have hurt," Satish tried to sympathize with Rohit.

"I still can't fucking believe it," Rohit grunted in response.

"And she had nothing to say about all this?" Satish asked curiously.

"Yeah.'I was born this way and I can't help being who I am',that's all," Rohit jaw tightened.

"No fancy explanations,huh?" Satish asked again.


10 kms away,in her 2 bedroom apartment,Riya and Annesha were having a heart-to-heart too.
"Gosh!I'm feeling so bad about this," Annesha looked guiltily at her friend."We shouldn't have drunk so much yesterday.We screwed up bad,didn't we?"

Riya said grimly,"He had to find out one day or the other."

"I can't help feeling bad for Rohit," Annesha shook her head sadly."Poor chap."

"He's a nice guy,"Riya's tone became softer."It's tough for him,I know."

"I wish he didn't have to find out this way though,"Annesha looked at her friend, expecting a response.

"How do you think he is coping?" Riya asked after a moment of silence,more to herself than to anyone else.

"Okay?????????!!" Rohit screamed as he paced the floor frantically."How the fuck do you think I'm gonna be okay??My gf and her good-for-nothing buddy are together at her apartment right now.Banging each other away to glory,for all I know."

"Technically,there'd be no banging,"Satish pointed out."Just licking,fondling and cuddling.But...I get your point."
When a guy gets one thing straight- that his girlfriend is not,he needs a reliable guy to take one's troubles to.And Satish could be relied on with blind faith to say something utterly inappropriate in all such circumstances.

"Spare me that tongue-in-cheek humor." Rohit's eyes narrowed as he looked at his friend.Totally peeved.

"Tongue?"Satish's lips curled into a half-smile."Isn't that what your gf and her lesbian friend must be using right now???!"

"Fuck you!" Rohit uttered,utterly vexed.

"What?" Satish eyes lit up with mischief,"You want us to end up banging each other?Thanks,but I'll pass."

Rohit mumbled some curses in frustration.

"He must be screaming his heart out to that useless friend of his...Satish," Riya said."He can become quite a cry baby sometimes."

"And Satish is a great confider?" Annesha queried.

"Far from it,"Riya chuckled."You know the type of guy who stays away from women...because they're too scared???...and then sit back and make fun of all people in committed relationships?"

"Oh boy!!The perfect guy to take your relationship problems to,"Annesha grinned.

"Hey,you know this reminds me of a joke,"Satish said in a jocund tone.

"Yeah,shove it up your ass,"Rohit answered without looking up.

"I'll tell it to you anyway,"Satish continued, unperturbed and merrily."Question-how can you tell a tough lesbian bar?"

"Lots of chicks singing folk-songs about the.... empowering experience?"Rohit ventured,forcing a smile.He needed to diffuse his steam and a few laughs wouldn't hurt.

"He he,no," Satish guffawed."The answer is-even the pool table won't have balls."

Rohit couldn't help chuckling.

"You know there is always this thing I was curious about with lesbos and gays,"Satish put on a thoughtful face."Who decides who gets to be the man in the relationship?"

Rohit didn't answer.He just kept on looking into the distance, and Satish continued."Hmmm...Riya is the more assertive one.Yep.That's gotta be it."

"What makes you think they need to crack their heads over that kinda thing?"Rohit presently said.

"What?"Satish blinked at his friend.

"Gays won't necessarily need pre-outlined gender roles,would they?"Rohit said after reflecting a bit.

"This thing about Rohit.." Riya said to her friend as she huddled a pillow on her sofa,"..he is just so easy to talk to regarding a number of things.He always tries to figure out another person's POV."

"Uh.huh?"Annesha spoke.

"He is the first guy I technically didn't say 'no' to," Riya went on."The others before him...I just had to shoot down..."

"Coz he is different?"

"Kind of,"Riya bit her lip thoughtfully."I mean when I am with him,our conversations happen outside of some societal weight.... or expectation of norms.... you know..."

"Perfect male buddy for a lesbian to have,huh?"Annesha said with an amused expression.

"Any romantic relationship....homosexual or otherwise... always has a dominant one and a submissive one!" Satish raised his voice."Someone leads.The other follows."

Rohit kept silent.He had never been much for pre-set, narrowly defined ways in which relationships were expected to behave.If you take away what everyone tells you it means to be a man or a woman and what that implies for how you supposedly must exist in the world then, well, you just have a bunch of people trying to adapt to a changing world and do the best they can while caring for and loving the people around them.

"Look,you know how I've been.No one ever told me to wait for a Prince Charming to arrive on a white horse. I didn't grow up with roles and expectations around how my relationships would function.I could easily tell Rohit all that.He used to get me,"Riya said as she fiddled with her cell phone.

"A very understanding kinda guy,huh?"Annesha asked sympathetically.


"What do you think they must be doing right now?"Satish asked Rohit.

"Planning their children,for all I care,"Rohit answered sourly.

"Like who will give birth to the baby and all that?"Satish grinned mischievously.

"And ask me to be the sperm donor?"Rohit smiled wryly."Nah.I guess adoption is the route they are gonna bet on."

Satish's grin got wider."He he,maybe they are quarreling over whose career would be more important than the other after they have children."

Rohit replied with a smirk,"Yeah.Fighting over how to divide housework and childcare on top of that!"

"But he's very moody,"Riya said."He will cry and whine like a baby sometimes.Say stuff which he doesn't mean.Just because he is hurt."

"Looks like you know him better than he might know himself,"Annesha said appreciatively.

"Maybe I do,"Riya replied."Which makes me feel all the worse for it.I should have said no to him three months ago."

"Hmmm.If you don't love him,maybe you should't have led him on.I am not judging you or anything.Just saying."

"Who said I don't love him?"

"You do?"

"I love a number of men, but have never been interested in them romantically.And out of them,I love him the most.I can say it as many times as you wish me to.I love him.Seeing him hurt makes me hurt.And knowing I caused this pain..well...." Riya's voice trembled a bit as she left her sentence unfinished.

Annesha went over to Riya's side of the couch to hug her.As her friend held her,Riya went on,"I don't go about my life or reach out to my friends for companionship or advice because of their gender.I hate grouping my male friends and my female friends into separate categories of human beings.I mean,it sometimes feels weird that I have to think that they are inherently different in what they have to offer just because of their chromosomes."

"Yes but...unlike are an out and out homosexual,"Annesha said soothingly."I have bisexual tendencies.But I know I can still get attracted to a guy.That's why Akash and I are still going strong.But you can never feel attracted to Rohit.It simply won't work."

"Yeah,"Riya sighed."I know.It's just...I don't want to lose him...that will hurt me too much.You know something?"


"I wish he were gay too.That way he would never get attracted to me.And we would still remain friends."

"I should've seen it coming," Rohit said quietly."The signs.They were all around."

"Hmmm?"Satish's tone became querulous.

"Never wearing make-up, always wearing baggy clothing.Because typically she was not trying to attract men."

"Interesting,"Satish pinched his chin thoughtfully."And most of her friends are male."

"Exactly," Rohit snapped."She feels more comfortable with people she is not sexually attracted to.And there's something more."


"Whenever I used her laptop,I found her browser history always clean."

"You mean to say.." Satish began questioningly.

"She used to check out lesbian porn,dammit!!!!Something she didn't want others to see."

"Nice deduction,Sherlock,"Satish looked amused.

"What're you doing?"Rohit asked Satish as he saw his friend intently twiddling with he QWERTY keyboard of his phone.

"Tagging you."


"Yup.I updated my FB status-@Rohit Gupta cannot think 'straight'.Courtesy @Riya Basu."

"Are you outta your freaking mind?"Rohit shouted.

"Relax,cry baby,"Satish chortled."Just messing with ya.I didn't put that on my wall or anything."

"Fuck you!If people read that,they will think I'm gay.And not Riya."

"If you were gay,there would be no problems to begin with,"Satish said with sarcastic relish."You would have been the gay best friend which every good looking babe wants to have."

"Screw you!!"Rohit growled.

"You are using the terms 'fuck you' and 'screw you' quite frequently today.Makes me wonder.Are you gay?Like you have latent feelings for me or something?'Coz I'm totally straight." Satish made a faux-scared face as he shot off his joke.

"Fu.." Rohit started and then swallowed his words.Satish laughed out.

"I should just go ahead and break up with her,right?"Rohit asked after his friend had stopped laughing.

"Nyah.You should stick with her.Who knows you might get lucky."


"You might land yourself in a threesome,you idiot!!" Satish grinned a toothy smile."Think about it."

It was a Sunday.And the following day,it was back to office for Rohit and Riya.They worked at the same place.Rohit maintained a stoic,stubborn silence all the time Riya was in his vicinity.Finally Riya gave in,and confronted him near the coffee machine.

"We need to talk,Rohit."

"Ok.Talk,"Rohit crossed his arms.

"Not here.My place.Evening."

"Your place?Won't I be invading your and Annesha's privacy?"Rohit poured in a good helping of sarcasm into his tone.

"Annesha left yesterday night.And would you stop being so childish?"Riya couldn't mask her vexation.

"Childish? Woaah!I learn my gf is actually more interested in playing for the opposite team than mine.And I'm supposed to be all cool and calm about it!!Right??"

"That's what we need to talk about,Rohit.Gawd!Stop creating a scene here,"Riya almost pleaded.

"You were just playing me all the time!"Rohit accused.

"I wasn't."

"Oh yeah!Why did you hide this tiny little detail about your sexual orientation then?So insignificant it slipped your mind,eh?"

"I didn't tell you because I didn't want to hurt you."

"Hurt me?You make me laugh.Why on earth would you care about hurting me?It's not like you're in love with me or anything." Rohit's annoyance was growing steadily.

"I may not be in love with you.But I sure as hell do love you."

"Now,that's a new one."

"Why does love always have to be about romance and stuff?Is your definition of love really so narrow?"

" ..lemme...see...if I got this right...Riya Basu loves someone loves her pet dog..right?"

"My gawd,Rohit.You are being so impossible right now."Riya shook her head in disappointment.Deep down,she knew Rohit didn't mean a word of what he was saying.He was babbling just because he was in too much pain.She wished she could ease his misery.But he wouldn't let her.

"Look,Riya,"Rohit's voice now took on a guilty softness."Things haven't been easy for me since this Saturday night.One moment,I'm head over heels in love with someone.And the next,I discover she’s less turned on by men than she is by women.It's just too much to process for me."

"I know,Rohit.I know,"Riya locked her eyes with Rohit's."But I wasn't using you.For god's sake,please don't make yourself believe that.That's as far from the truth as it can get."

"I dunno,"Rohit looked down at his feet."I need time."And he turned and left.Leaving Riya alone at the coffee machine.

"Trouble is,I can see exactly how Rohit is feeling right now,"Riya said into the phone."He loves me like crazy, but if he's giving me all of himself, it's so normal for him to want the same from me.I feel so guilty for putting him through all this."

"I think the best thing to do is kinda start easing out of the relationship and try to preserve the best-friendship while it might be possible,"Annesha spoke into the other end of the line."That's the most he can get from you."

Riya was about to say something when her door-bell rang."Hey,I'll call you back,"she said and hung up the phone.She ran to the door,hoping it was Rohit.

It was just the cable guy,asking for the rental.

After sending him away with the money,Riya plopped dejectedly down on her sofa.She was about to call back Annesha when her bell rang again.She went tentatively to the door.To her relief,this time it was Rohit.

"I'm so glad you came,"Riya managed to say with a smile.

"Yep.I've a lot of talking to do myself,"Rohit replied,brushing his hand through his hair in that cute way.

"Ok,you first then,"Riya responded.

"Look,I've been thinking,"Rohit's voice became flat and grave."A lot.And I realized I cannot....I do not want to break up with you because you like girls.But if I don’t,what's in store for me? You're never gonna be with me both emotionally and sexually.And that's guaranteed to wear me down eventually."

"I do not want to break up with you,Rohit,"Riya's voice suddenly assumed a steely resolve.

"Why?Just because you're feeling too guilty to call it quits?"

Riya didn't have an answer to that.Somehow,she knew Rohit was right.
"Maybe it's just time to move on,"Rohit said.

"Rohit,don't go away,"Riya felt ashamed of herself for saying these words."I need you."
He was her emotional support, he was already the best friend.
And although her better judgement dictated otherwise,her heart was just not ready to let go.

Rohit quickly took her in his arms and hugged her tightly.He didn't want to leave her.The very thought scared him like hell.She was the only girl he ever truly loved.

But she wiggled uncomfortably in his embrace.And he knew.

"It isn't gonna work,is it?"he said,looking into her eyes.

"No."She wished it did though.Deeply so.

He unwrapped his arms from around her and said,"You know it is funny."

"What?"Riya asked curiously.

"See,all of us go about life,debating an abstract painting and being absolutely sure that what we see in the art is the correct interpretation," Rohit smiled smugly.

"What're you getting at?"

"When you move beyond what you're told you're supposed to be because of biology, the potentials are endless," Rohit looked over her shoulder to the wall behind as he uttered these words."Whatever gender means or doesn't mean is a shifting more and more every day."

"Yes," Riya's voice warmed.She was again beginning to realize why she liked Rohit so much."Strictly held beliefs fall by the wayside and the world changes.Today's convictions become fables of tomorrow."

"Precisely.Life is slowly lacking defined lines clearly pointing out what things should necessarily look like."

"Is that a bad thing?" Riya's gaze searched Rohit's eyes questioningly.

"No.Not at all." And saying this,Rohit bent his head and planted his lips passionately on hers.This time Riya didn't feel uncomfortable.Not the slightest.The remained like that for a full minute.

As Rohit finally withdrew,Riya asked,unable to contain her surprise,"Woaah!Did this....mean anything?"

"You tell me.Was it good?" Rohit smiled down at her.

"Yes.Very...very good,in fact." Riya's voice trembled noticeably and her cheeks became red.

"Good.It was a good-bye kiss." And saying this,he left.For good.

And surprisingly,neither Riya nor Rohit felt it could have ended any better.Love stories are usually of two kinds.Either the guy gets the gal or he doesn't.But just as there are people who don't identify along the binary of expected male or female roles,so are there some stories,which don't belong to either.

~The End~

July 15, 2012

A Life Les Ordinary

Love stories are generally of two kinds.Either the guy gets the gal or he does not.This one belongs to the third.

Rohit and Riya were walking barefoot in the sand.Amidst a soothing night breeze and the sound of waves crashing on the shore,Rohit knew there couldn't be a better time and place to do what he had in mind.He suddenly stopped walking to Riya's surprise.It was quite dark and the moon shone from behind the clouds quiet faintly.Rohit could barely make out Riya's expressions as he heard her chuckle,"Stopping in a lonely dark beach where no one is watching?I hope you don't want to rape me."

"What if I do?" Rohit joked back."The idea does seem inviting.Judging by the way you made yourself look tonight."
Rohit was earnest about the latter half of his statement.He could keep smelling the sweet scent of her jasmine perfume all night.The stirring which he felt each time when her bare arm grazed against his was indescribable.The shine the moonlight made when it bounced off your smooth shoulders was something he could never get enough of.

"A deluded dude," Riya began merrily,"who thinks throwing some rehearsed lines at a chic is gonna impress her......a forgetful doofus..... who has forgotten I have a Black Belt in karate.....all potential ingredients of a guy who is gonna get beaten up very badly today at my hands,I should say!!!"

"Well that might actually happen today!" Rohit grinned."But not for the reasons you mentioned."

"He he.Why?" Riya's eyes shone mirthfully."You got something more sinister planned in that big skull of yours?"

Rohit brought out his cell and pressed the 'Unlock' key.His cell had a strong back-light which shone quite brightly.Riya's face gleamed eerily in its whitish glow.Rohit felt his heart skip a beat.Maybe two.He couldn't be sure.

"Here,"he handed his still lit up cell-phone to her."Take a look around."

Riya took his phone with an amused quizzical expression on her face and shone its light around.She yelped in amazement at what she saw.

There all around them was a huge heart shape drawn in the sand.On one arc of the heart,the name Rohit was scrawled.On the other,there was Riya.
"My gawd!!!" Riya shrieked in delight."This thing is as big as your living room!"

"Oh well,I've a big heart!" Rohit smirked."And you are standing in it right now!"

"Hmmm," Riya put her hands on her hip with a mischievous look on her face."What if I trample on it?You sure you have a spare heart in your  car for the heart-broken ride home?"

"I don't want to sound corny,but...if I did I would have given that to you as well," saying this,Rohit brushed his hand through his hair in a way which Riya always found cute and endearing.

"What??"Riya guffawed."So that I can break that too?"

"Would you do that?" Rohit locked his eyes with Riya's in an earnest gaze.

"Umm..."Riya shifted uncomfortably,dragging her foot in the sand a bit."You mean you are serious about all this?"

Serious?Serious would be an understatement.For the last two months,ever since they had met,Riya was all he had thought of.He didn't recollect anyone he had been more comfortable with.She was the kind of gal with whom he could discuss anything about.Being prude was simply not in her behavior's lexicon.While talking with her,Rohit often forgot that he was talking to a girl.Her inhibitions regarding talking on certain topics were surprisingly low for a chic.There had been multiple instances where they had even rated together gals on the scale of attractiveness.Typical guy stuff.But Riya was surprisingly easy to talk to regarding all these things.She could easily make guys feel at ease.You didn't have to worry about ruining your impression using loose guy-talk when she was around.

Rohit had come to this beach alone earlier in the evening and had drawn the heart in the sand using a bucket as a shovel.He had then finger-written their names in the sand.Never too proud of his own handwriting,he had washed and rewashed the writing away a dozen odd times before he was finally satisfied.

"Ohh.." Rohit suddenly became tongue-tied."I guess you always saw me as Just Friends material,huh?" was all he could mumble.

"Rohit,I'm sorry,"Riya looked guilty."I'm sorry if I've led you on.I know we gelled very well in the last couple of months.....I really like your company..But..."

"Hey,it's cool," he tried to put up bravely."You were just being friendly.I guess I misunderstood....I should be the one saying sorry..I..."

"Don't Rohit."

"No,I meant...."

"I said,don't.You've nothing to be sorry for.I kinda knew...."

"You knew?"

"Yeah..this has happened before.I get close to some guy.And he starts thinking I'm into him."

"Happens to a lot of women,I guess,"Rohit looked uncomfortably down at his feet."I'm sorry you had to face this again."

"It happens a lot with women,yes.And believe me...It happens A LOT with me," Riya looked steadily at his face now."I guess I must be doing something wrong."

"Look I'm saying it again.I'm sorry...let's forget this ever happened,ok?" Rohit looked up and said clumsily.
"Will you forget this ever happened?" Riya's gaze into his eyes bore deeper."That easy,is it?"

"What's the option?" Rohit now matched her gaze."You don't don't feel anything for me..No point thinking over it,is there?"

"Who said I don't feel anything for you?" The timbre of her voice suddenly shifted.

"You do?"

"Yep.You're not like other guys.It's very easy to talk to you."

"That's got nothing to do with me.Guys feel it is easy to talk to YOU!"

"Do they?" Riya smirked mischievously.

"Yeah.Cross my heart." Rohit smiled.

"Even then,you are much nicer to talk to than most other folks," Riya's voice grew warmer."You don't come with a baggage of preconceived notions of what is right and what is wrong.You're very accepting of a lot of things.I like that.A lot."

Rohit didn't reply.He just brushed his hand through his hair in that cute way which made Riya want to hug him.
"Rohit?" She said suddenly.


"How serious are you about me?I mean if I say yes and things don't work out that well between us,will you be ok?"

"Umm..I think I can take a heart-break," his smile poured goofiness."Guess things ain't that serious." Even as the words left his mouth,something occurred to Rohit and he immediately added,"Wait..was that a trick question?Was the correct answer supposed to be something else?"

Riya's tight lipped smile grew wide."Gotcha!!"

"Gotcha,what?" Rohit burst out confused."Yes?No?What is it?"

"He he," Riya chuckled tantalizingly.

"Gawd,Riya!!!Say it...."

"Are you up for a probation?" Riya's eyes gleamed as she cocked her head to one side teasingly.


"Let's stay together and see how things work out between us,ok?" Riya's tone became serious now."I am not saying yes right now."

"And you're not saying No either," Rohit's hopes sore.

"No,I'm not," she smiled again.

"And when does this probationary period end?"Rohit grinned.

"It's not even started and you're already aching for the end?" Riya tittered and then cooed,"No no no!!!You can't fast forward to the ending so fast."

"Ok,I'll take what I can get,"saying this,Rohit took her hands into his.

Riya looked at the happy glow in her friend's face and couldn't help feeling sorry for him.He was a gem of a person.Not perfect.Very much flawed.But he seemed to understand her like very few others did.Despite everything,the truth was-she didn't love him.And she never could.No matter how much Rohit tried.Or even,she tried.One day,she would have to tell Rohit that.And that would hurt him.She knew.She didn't need to tell him the whole truth.She decided she would try everything in her power to ease things for him.

But,if everything had gone according to Riya's plans this would have just been another ordinary tale.Of a guy spurned by a gal he cared for.The extraordinary part arrived when he did find out the whole truth.And she didn't even need to tell him.Three months later.

It was when Riya's best friend from school,Annesha visited their town.They went to a pub and catching up on good ol' times somehow led to both Riya and Annesha having too much to drink.Rohit had felt highly uncomfortable during their entire outing.Riya and her bosom buddy almost seemed to have forgotten that he existed.They were so busy catching up with each other,that Rohit felt that he was only chauffeuring them around. The pub which they went to had sheltered private booths.As he returned to their booth after paying the bill, the most unexpected sight greeted his eyes.Riya and her friend were in a passionate lip-lock!

Riya was a homosexual.And realizing it...was just about to make Rohit's life a lot les ordinary.

To be continued...

July 1, 2012

Teri Meri Kahaani II

2012 was here.The year the world was supposed to end.Rajiv was fine with that.His foremost concern was just that he would be headed to the other side without a taste of love.Lately a nagging realization had been slowly growing within him-that deep down somewhere he had been comparing all women in his life with Rashmi.She was the benchmark.The unadulterated mercury with which he measured a prospect's hotness in his compatibility thermometer.

So you know you are in love.What happens next?Do you call her up in the middle of the night,when she wakes up all groggy eyes and wonders if you are out of your senses,and then drop the bomb on her?Do you jump the guns on her the moment her name appears in your online chat friends list?Or,in case,you want to avoid being too direct,do you shoot off a long mail pouring out every ounce of pure emotion you felt for her?

Rajiv didn't know what to do.He was afraid that whatever option he selected on the multiple choice question paper of love,he would inevitably flunk.In the high school where Cupid is the Principal,Rajiv was notorious for fetching bad grades.So he just sat on his feelings,like a hen sits on her eggs.Foolishly hoping that love would hatch out of them on its own.

January 2012 Gtalk chat
Rashmi: Wass with you?You don't come on FB.No skype.No gtalk.Is everything all right?I can't even remember the last time we had a chat.
Rajiv wondered why even deliberately avoiding Rashmi hadn't helped decrease his feelings towards her one little bit.
Rajiv:Yep.Everything's cool.You say.How are things @ ur end?
Rashmi:Okayish.I am in a long distance kinda something with this guy I told you about.
Rajiv:The PhD guy?
Rajiv:What's this guy's name?I am tired of just calling him PhD guy!!!!
Rashmi:Pranabesh.Pranabesh Thakur.
Rajiv:Told your folks back home?
Rashmi:Yep.For the first time,my parents seem to approve of my choice.:-P
Rajiv:Ohhh..okk.Gr8. don't sound so excited.
Did Pakistan sound very excited when India ended its World Cup dream in the semi-finals?
Rajiv:It's nothing.Got an important thing @ my office tomorrow.So I am kinda off.Sorry about that.
Rajiv:So I take it you aren't so lonely out there anymore,right?:-)
Rashmi:I can't say that.It's still long distance and all.Sometimes I still feel utterly miserable here.:-(
Rajiv:Hey gtg.Will ttyl..ok??
Rashmi:What?!! :-O We haven't talked to each other since so long..and you leaving now??
Rajiv:Yep.Sorry.Have a long day @ office tomorrow.SO...'s of luck @ the office:-)

Rajiv chose to opt out of opting for options.He didn't want to be said No to.So he never asked.
But take a guy who is in love on one hand.
And his expressing his feelings before the gal on the other.
And you know that the two will inevitably draw themselves to each other.
It is destiny.It's fate.
Just like pirated downloads and anybody with an internet connection inevitably draw themselves to each other.

And so it was,on February 2012,that Rajiv finally decided to take the plunge into the icy cold waters of friendship-turned-into-love.He would finally tell her what he felt for her and get over with it.Leave the rest for HER to decide.And maybe,Cupid!

10 February 2012 Gtalk chat
Rajiv:Hey,I needed to say something important.
Rashmi:Umm...I have something to say too. first!! :-)
Rashmi:No say what you want to..
Rajiv:I insist!! :-)
Rashmi: Cut the crap out,Rajiv!!!!Say it...
Rajiv:I said,I insist!!:-)
Rashmi:Umm...I dunno how to say it.
Rajiv:Try typing it out one word at a time.:-P
Rashmi:I wish I could laugh now..but I ain't really in any mood for it.
Rajiv:Why? :-( What's wrong?
Rajiv:Now I'm getting worried.
Rajiv:Would you tell me already?
Rashmi:It's not that easy to say,Rajiv.If it were I would have told you.
Rajiv:Just tell me,ok?
Rashmi:I think I maybe pregnant.
Rashmi:Yes.Now you know why I was hesitating.
Rajiv couldn't help thinking he had just waited around far too long.
Rajiv:Would I get to know exactly how this happened?:-O
Rashmi:Remember that guy I told you about?The PhD one?
Rajiv:Woooaah!!You don't say...
Rashmi:Hmmm.. :-(
Rajiv:Wow!For the first time,I don't really know what to say.
Rashmi:I am just such a bad person!I feel so cheap!:-(
Rajiv:Hey..hey..hey!!Hold on there.You got lonely.And stuff happened.It's cool.:-) Cheer up!Btw,you sure about the pregnancy thingy?
Rashmi:Umm..I dunno.I will go to the clinic tomorrow just to be sure.
Rashmi:I just hate to imagine what you must be thinking about me right now.
Rajiv:I am not thinking anything.
Rashmi:Don't tell me you are ok with all of this!!!
Rajiv:I am.Except one thing.
Rajiv:Why the hell didn't you use protection??!!! :-D
Rashmi::-( :-( :-(
Rajiv:Hey it is ok.You both are full grown adults.There is nothing wrong in making out!!
Rashmi:My parents are gonna freak out!!!:-( They trusted me and this is how I repaid them.
Rajiv:Ok..don't tell your parents.Problem solved.
Rashmi:I have to.
Rashmi:Coz he and I want to keep the baby!
Rajiv:What?You sure?
Rashmi:I was reluctant.But he insists we should keep it.And he has already told his mom.It's my turn now!
Rashmi:It sounds bad.I know.:-(
Rajiv:Everything's gonna be all right,Rashmi.:-) Cheer up.Your parents may be angry at the beginning.But hey..they will understand.You staying away from friends and family for so long.They must have guessed you may have made out once or twice.It's ok..Trust me.
Rashmi:I wish you were my dad,Rajiv! :-(
Rajiv:Best of luck...and never know...maybe you are not pregnant after all.See what the clinic says.
Rashmi:Fingers crossed,Rajiv.:-(
Rajiv:Everything's gonna be ok.Relax.:-)
Rashmi:You know it's weird.Three years ago,I never imagined in my wildest dreams that one day I would in...THIS.So messed up.I mean I'm gonna get married to this guy!!!And this whole thing had to happen like this.I feel so...
Rashmi:I dunno...
Rajiv:That's what life is,I guess.Takes you by surprise.:-) I've realized it now too.
Rashmi:You did?Why?
Rajiv:Never mind.:-) Not important.

11February Facebook
Rashmi:It's official.I'm carrying a baby!!
Rajiv felt something sharp stab through somewhere in him.
Rajiv:Hmmm..and how do you feel about it?
Rashmi:I honestly dunno.At one level...I kinda feel good actually.That I am gonna bring this baby to earth.At another..I am just shit scared!
Rajiv:Told your home yet?
Rashmi:I hate to think how my parents will react!!!:-(
Rajiv:You have to tell them sooner or later.Delaying will only make it worse.They deserve to know,Rashmi!
Rashmi:I hate it when others tell you something you don't want to do and you know deep down they are right!!:-(
Rajiv:Ok.Don't tell your folks!!!Marry this guy!!And then 9 months later...tell ur mom and dad on Skype..Hi mom...hi dad..Look you just became granma and grandad!!!Isn't he cute??Dad,I think he got your nose!!And mom,your lips!! :-P
Rashmi: :-D
Rajiv: :-D Now THAT would be something your parents might freak out over!!!
Rashmi: :-) Thanks for listening to all this,Rajiv.I couldn't tell it to anybody else.
Rajiv:What?You one else knows?
Rashmi:No.And please keep it to yourself.Please.
Rajiv:Of course.You don't need to tell me that.
Rashmi:I still dunno if we should bring this baby!What if we can't handle it?Both of us still have our studies.I will be off my PhD for a considerable time because of all this.What if I mess up everything?
Rajiv:Look,Rashmi.I dunno what should be done and what shouldn't.All I know is-it takes a lot of courage to be ready to bring an unplanned baby into this world.And you guys already showed that courage.I am proud of you for that.And even if you don't decide to give birth,it is still ok.Coz if you feel you are not ready to be a mom yet,it's best for the baby that it doesn't come here.In either case,do whatever you are ready to face the consequences for.No point debating what's right and what's wrong.10 people will give 10 different opinions.Just take a decision and stick with it.
Rashmi:Hmm.:-( I guess I cannot take a decision I am ready to stick with.. yet.
Rajiv:It's ok.You will do fine.:-) Trust me.

15th March Skype
Rashmi:I dunno if I can go through this!!!!
Rajiv:Hey...don't freak out now!!Everything is going alright,right?Your parents accepted your situation.Pranabesh is ready to tie the knot with you.And I am sure your university will be able to accomodate your pregnancy in your PhD thing,won't it?
Somewhere deep down though,Rajiv couldn't help wishing that things hadn't worked out so well.
Rashmi:It's not the logistics,Rajiv!I dunno if I want to marry this guy!!
Rajiv:Pre-wedding jitters,huh? :-)
Rashmi: :-( I guess.
Rajiv: Hmmm...
Rajiv mulled over whether to tell her now what he had in mind for so long.
Rashmi: Rajiv,do you think it is possible to find the perfect guy to fall in love with?
Rajiv:Umm..why do you ask?
Rashmi:It's is always a compromise,right? You can't have a perfect score on the compatibility test,ever!!Right?
Second thoughts about Pranabesh?Was this the right time to tell her how he felt about her?
Rajiv:Well,yeah.It's just about finding the best fit.Through trial and error.
Rashmi:And time is a constraint here.We've to find someone in a finite time.
Rajiv:What are you getting at?
Rashmi:Nothing.Just trying to convince myself that settling down with Pranabesh isn't such a bad idea after all.:-(
Fuck!!Rajiv couldn't do this!!!
Rajiv:It isn't.:-) He asked you not to drop the baby.He seems to be a good guy.
Problem was-Rajiv was one too.
Rashmi:He is.Just that I dunno if I love him.
Rajiv:Have you told him about it?
Rajiv:Maybe you should.
And there he was,playing the selfless knight in shining armor when it would have better suited him to play the scheming minister who wants to usurp the throne.
Rashmi:What's the use,Rajiv?The marriage date is fixed.There is no going back now.
Rajiv:You can at least push back the marriage.Give yourself time to think about it.
The scheming minister was rearing its ugly head somewhere.
Rashmi:Mom and dad will never accept this.
Rajiv:You don't know that yet....!!!!!!And you'll never know if you don't tell them.
Rashmi:Leave it,Rajiv.Guess I'll just take what comes my way.
Rajiv:Aren't you being stupid now?
Rashmi:I've already done the stupidest thing possible!!!How far worse can I get?
Rajiv:You are being unrealistic here.Your guilt is blinding you.
Rashmi:I dunno anymore.I dunno anything.
Rajiv:You can't let your guilt blind you.After all,you haven't done anything wrong.
Rashmi:If this marriage craps out and say you don't find someone by then as well,will you marry me?
Rajiv:Without a second's hesitation.:-D
As if she needed to ask!!!!
Rashmi: :-) I knew you would say this.You sweet you!!!!!!!
Rajiv: :-)

1st April Skype
Rashmi:I did something bad!:-(
Rashmi:We decided not to have the baby after all.:-( The marriage is still on,though.
Rajiv would have preferred to hear the same thing with the positions of the baby and the marriage reversed.But wishful thinking can only get you so far.
Rajiv:And how do you feel about this right now?
Rashmi:It's funny.I mean the thought of becoming a mom was finally becoming likeable to me.Yes,there was this concern about responsibilities.But still.There was this some kinda warm inner glow.
Rajiv::-) Must be the hormones hopping and dancing about like the hippies in Redwood National Forest.
Rashmi: :-( Slowly,right and wrong are just becoming text-book words for me.I am doing this,I am thinking that,I am going back on my promises,my decisions changing every second.Why did life suddenly have to become so confusing????
Rajiv:Yeah.:-( Life is confusing me too a lot these days.
Another opportunity to tell her.But he would just let go of it.Just like he had done several times before.
Rajiv:Yep.Chuck that.:-) But you know,maybe you two did the right thing.If you guys don't feel ready for this baby,then maybe it is best if the baby doesn't come.A baby deserves a better environment to grow up in.You probably couldn't give that to it right now.
Rashmi: :-( You will always say I didn't do anything wrong,right?No matter how badly I screw up...???
Rashmi:No.I'm serious.And it's like I know I'll always get to hear what I need to hear when I'm with you.And that makes me want to talk with you again and again.You're becoming my addiction.
Rajiv:Nonsense.:-P Of course you goofed up.You goofed up bad.;-)
Rashmi: I did,didn't I? :-( I shouldn't have made out.Fuck! definitely should have.:-) But you just goofed up by not using protection.That's the only mistake you made in my book.
Rashmi::-D Your book? What's it called? "Mistakes which Rashmi can make in my opinion"?I'm sure it must be a flimsy thin book with only a couple of pages.
Rajiv:Nyah.Just a couple of sentences.At most. ;-)

23 April Gtalk chat
Rajiv:28th June,huh? :-) The D-day!!!!
Rashmi: :-) He he.Now it is starting to feel kinda nice you know...all the attention!!Mom and dad enquiring whether I have eaten well every night.I mean they always used to do that.But now there is this extra concern.And Pranabesh's mom calls too.Almost twice every week.
Rajiv:Uh..huh....Being pampered like royalty,huh??? :-D
Rashmi:He he..yeah...hey you know something?A gal at my college asked me a weird thing today.
Rashmi:She asked me if I knew any single nice guy around.LOL.:-D
Rajiv:And lemme guess...the first name that popped to your head was mine? ;-)
Rashmi:Well...not exactly.:-D
Rajiv:O boy!!:-( I don't even qualify as a single nice guy anymore? And I stayed alive to see this day!!!
Rashmi:LOL.No.I meant this idea of fixing someone with someone else.I always found this weird.
Rashmi:Well,I dunno.:-) I mean this whole's kinda like arranged marriage somewhat...I feel..:-P
Rashmi:Gawwd!!I feel so relieved these days.:-) It's like the clouds have swept away.And it finally feels so good to be engaging in pointless banter with you.
Rajiv:Yep.Been a long time since we chatted on inane nonsensical stuff.:-D
Rashmi:Do you watch BBT?
Rajiv:I love it!!!Bazingaa!!
Rashmi::-D He he..Sheldon Cooper rocks!!
Rajiv:He practically owns the show.:-D
Rashmi:Are you into Lost?I am watching the final season now.
Rajiv:Nyah.I just get lost in watching BBT.:-D
Rashmi:You should try Lost.:-)
Rajiv:Hmm...yeah after season 5 of BBT gets over,I guess I will need a new series to grow addicted to.:-P
Rashmi:Thanks for everything.:-)
Rajiv:Why?:-) I didn't do anything.Pranabesh did.:-P
Rashmi:LOL.No.I meant thanks.Thanks to you for just being you.:-D

Sometimes in life,you don't know what you want.And sometimes,you know exactly what you want.And for one of the few times in his life,Rajiv realized what he exactly wanted.He wanted a happy ending.For himself,of course,in the long run.But right now,he just wanted it for Rashmi.

And the day finally arrived.28th June,2012.The day he would lose Rashmi to another guy forever.Strangely enough,he wasn't feeling that bad.He was experiencing one of those rare moments when losing something brings more of a sense of accomplishment than winning it.And as he walked up to Rashmi that day,all decked in bridal wear,he couldn't help wondering how things might have played out differently if only both of them had taken different decisions four years ago.

"Long time,huh?" Rashmi smiled at Rajiv."You've slimmed down a bit."
"Yep.And you haven't done too bad with youself either," Rajiv replied,giving Rashmi an appreciative head-to-toe scan."Say,last chance.I am here.A taxi is waiting outside.Do you still wanna make a run for it?"
"Hahahhaa", Rashmi's laughter swam into his eardrums like musical notes floating on air waves."Don't make that offer again!!You hear me?I might start seriously considering it otherwise."
Rajiv grinned.Rashmi punched him in the shoulder.
"Hey I have to go," Rashmi said in a hurried tone."Lots of stuff to take care of.You wait right here,ok?Don't go away!!!"
"Busy bride,huh?"Rajiv winked."I will be right here."

As Rashmi left,Rajiv started looking around at the wedding hall and the guest assembled.Rashmi was at a distance,merrily conversing with a group of guests.Suddenly,a female voice beckoned him from behind.
"So you are Rajiv,huh?Rashmi told me a lot about you."
Rajiv spun around to see a girl in her mid-twenties standing before him.While not drop-dead gorgeous and a bit on the heavier side,she had a stunning smile and sparkling eyes.
"Mostly good stuff,I hope," Rajiv smiled awkwardly.Talking to strangers,that too from the opposite gender,didn't come so naturally to him.
"He he,mostly yeah." Her eyes shone naughtily."My name is Radha,by the way."
"Rajiv,Rashmi,Radha,lots of R's," Rajiv observed with a joking smile.
"He he," Radha's laughter reminded him of trinkets jingling in a silent night."All your characters have names starting with R too,don't they?"
"Your stories.On your blog.Many of them have the protagonist's name starting with R." Radha's eyes sparkled even more brightly as she said this.
"You read my blog?"
"Yep.Rashmi told me about it.I got hooked to your posts.Read all of them in a week."
"He he,yeah.You have a stalker now,"Radha winked mischievously.
Rajiv immediately turned to look in Rashmi's direction.Rashmi smiled at him from where she was standing.Suddenly,snatches of a chat conversation they had in April flashed in his memory.Rashmi was trying to fix him up with this gal!!
"Wow,a stalker,"Rajiv smiled and turned to look at Radha again."Having one had always been a To-Do in my list of accomplishments."
"So what about your Hogwarts series?You left it midway.Why?"
"Not enough readers."
"Well you got me,"Radha smiled her bewitching smile."Your most loyal reader ever.That won't do?"
"It's certainly worth giving a thought,I guess," Rajiv brushed his hand through his hair as his grin widened from ear to ear.

The End

Teri Meri Kahaani

Apparently,no one told Rajiv that out of the 33 million ways a guy can get screwed,falling in love always bags the gold medal in that list.You see,no one could have told him.Since just like him,everybody else grew up being fed on the same fantasy of every Prince finding her Princess Charming somewhere in a land not so far,far away.So through 26 years of his life,Rajiv patiently waited.The door would open one day.His angel would come in.In a pure,white sleeveless resplendent gown,with happy kids running behind her.Her silhouette framed against a blinding,white light.The kids would merrily run past her into the room,while she would remain standing in the doorway.The moment freezes,the whole world freezes,an Indie music starts playing on cue.He and she would spend what would seem like an eternity just staring at each other.And finally,after the wait, which had taken every ounce of faith our hero had, to endure,they would be in each other's arms.Finally.

That was the dream.

But well,reality always has some other,usually devious scheme cooking up its sleeves.And in Rajiv's case,the scheme started cooking in providence's kitchen six years ago.

FB youngsters probably wouldn't know that there existed another site in the cave-dwelling age of social networking called Orkut.It was a rage then.It was what America was to Columbus,Theory of Relativity was to Einstein,and 'Eureka' was to Archimedes.Youngsters in India opened up their arms to this discovery which enabled them to reconnect with forgotten buddies and forge connections with new ones.Online friendships suddenly became a reality and newspapers started frowning over how these were hampering "real" relationships.But soon,some loser started stalking some girl,another posted morphed pictures of someone else,and soon online friendships got fried,ended and shipped off to Also-Ran-ville.

In these tumultuous times,Rajiv and Rashmi met.Through (surprise,surprise) Orkut.Scraps got exchanged for hours,parents raised suspicious eyebrows,friends started pulling legs,even the girl's kid brother joined in the fun,taking pot-shots at his sister.

Orkut scrap December 2007
Rashmi: My bro is a nuisance!!! :-( He starts acting up whenever he sees me chatting with you...
Rajiv: He knows we are up to something,eh? :-P
Rashmi: We are up to something? :-O
Rajiv: What? I was planning to elope with you tonight!!!
Rashmi: LOL. And afterwards..when my parents file a missing diary and the cops catch us..I will tell them you kidnapped me. Chalega? ;-)
Rajiv: Duh! :-( I was hoping,we would be on the run. Sleeping in deserted buildings. On cold floors. Eating while sitting on the pavements. You feeling weak and numb. I carrying you in my arms like a doting lover.All that adventure.And I would just pat you to sleep with a kiss on your forehead. Kiss-napping. ;-) If you like..
Rashmi: Why would you go to so much trouble? :-D You have a crush on me or something? ;-)
Rajiv: Anything I can I do to wash away any doubts regarding that? :-P
Rashmi: Just one simple thing. Go have a crush on someone else..:-D
Rajiv: And in this way folks,Rashmi deals Rajiv's cherished hopes a 'crushing' defeat.*Ouch*
Rashmi: Hahahaha! Go hang yourself!!

July 2008 Rashmi and Rajiv on phone
Rajiv: Life's funny,huh? 15 months ago,did you dream that we might be dating one day?
Rashmi : Life is like a dream, Rajiv.
Rajiv : Do you think we may be in love?
Rashmi : I dunno. Certainly seems a lot likely these days.
Rajiv : Must you go abroad? I mean,can't you do post graduation in India itself?
Rashmi: Rajiv,3 universities have accepted my application. Dad is gonna kill me if I back out now.
Rajiv: Ok.But I thought maybe you should know.
Rashmi: What?
Rajiv: Never mind.
Rashmi: What is it,tell me...
Rajiv: Drop it.
Rashmi: Umm..ok..if you say so. Say,want to watch Dark Knight tomorrow?
Rajiv: Yep.Sure ,why not? Might just be our last outing any way.
Rashmi : Last? I ain't flying before August.
Rajiv : Yep. But I have to go. Infosys called. Have to be in Mysore by the end of July.
Rashmi: I..I don't..
Rajiv: Hmm?
Rashmi: Never mind. Best of luck. Study hard during the training. I heard Infosys has a grueling training session.
Rajiv : Yeah,I guess. Anyway..See you at the movies, tomorrow.

December 2009 Gtalk
Rajiv : So this guy has you floored,huh? :-D Awesome. Told your folks yet.
Rashmi: Umm..yes..But mom and dad don't approve.
Rajiv: Why? :-O
Rashmi: Well,firstly Aman is a Punjabi. Culture differences. Plus he is six two. I am five three. Mom fears I will get a neck sprain looking up to him all the time.
Rajiv: LOL. Or Aman might get spondylitis bowing down to you all the time. :-P Either way...Houston,we have a problem! ;-)
Rashmi: Houston? What's that?
Rajiv: Ohh, it is an expression. Like when Apollo 13 was having it's fuel tanks busted in outer space, the astronaut on board used this line 'Houston,we have a problem.' This line is now jokingly used to refer to any difficulty.
Rashmi: Hahahaha! Yeah. I guess my love story is kinda like the Apollo 13 shuttle.Doomed to get lost in outer space.
Rajiv: :-D
Rashmi: :-D So you say,found anybody yet?
Rajiv: Yeah and no.
Rashmi: Yeah and no?
 Rajiv : There is this gal, Amrita who I think kinda sorta likes me, but..she is committed.
Rashmi: Shucks. :-(
Rajiv: I know,right? :-D So anyway, how is the weather in Worcester?
Rashmi: It's snowing. I made a snowman today. Named it Dork. :-)
Rajiv: :-D Why? Coz it reminded you of me?
Rashmi: Maybe. :-) How is Pune,btw? Lots of chicks?
Rajiv: More like married hens. ;-) All the time accompanied by their roosters.
Rashmi: LOL.:-D And you didn't find a hen to tie the knot with yet?
Rajiv: If I did, that would have been on my FB wall by now. ;-)
Rashmi: Right,right! You can't keep any secrets from FB..can you now?

October 2010 Facebook
Rajiv: What's with all the sad sucky updates lately? Everything ok,na?
After five minutes of no response.
Rajiv: Hellooooooooo!!!!??????
Rashmi: Aman and I broke up.
Rajiv: What? :-O
Rashmi: Last month.
Rajiv: What?Why didn't you tell me anything?
Rashmi: You hardly come on FB or Gtalk these days. And anyway,what's the use?
Rajiv: You talked about this to any body?
Rashmi: Who's there? :-( I am the only Indian in this blasted place. And all my friends from school and college are happily busy with their own lives. Shucks! I should never have come to this country... :-( :-(
Rajiv: You want to talk about what happened? Might make you feel better.
Rashmi: Forget it. I will get out of it. Just need some time,that's all.You tell .How's work? Your project still making you stay late in office?
Rajiv: Hang my work! Rashmi, please don't let this eat you up inside. Tell me. Tell somebody. Don't let it burn inside you,dammit!!
Rashmi: Aman was cheating on me.
Rajiv: Shit!!

November 2010 Gtalk
Rajiv: And so this bowler gal comes up to the umpire and says with a puppy face 'You can't call of my over now.I have only one ball left!' And the umpire looks down at her flat chest and says ,'Yep.And I declare it a no-ball' :-P
Rashmi: Isssshh!!!!!!That's just plain gross!!!!!!!
Rajiv: You mean even by my standards??? :-P :-D
Rashmi: :-P Yep. Even by those.
Rajiv: :-D
Rashmi: Btw,thanks Rajiv. I really mean it. :-)
Rajiv: Thanks? :-D For that stupid joke?
Rashmi: Nopes.For everything you did to sort out my shit. :-)
Rajiv: Hey c'mon! It was nothing. ;-)
Rashmi: Ok. If listening to me rant over Skype till 3 a.m. in the morning was nothing ,then ok. :-) Thanks for doing nothing, Rajiv.
Rajiv: I would have stayed awake the whole night, if you had wanted me to. ;-)
Rashmi: You already did so much over the last month. I mean, I would never have been able to do so much.Returning from office at 12 a.m and then listen to a mad gal rant her ass off till 3 a.m. Almost every day.
Rajiv: So much of praise.*blush blush* :-P
Rashmi: :-D
Rajiv: You really liked that guy,Aman,huh?
Rashmi: I cried myself to sleep for one week after the break-up,Rajiv. :-( So yeah,I did fall for him hard.
Rajiv: Ever considered falling for me, in stead?? :-P Then cheat on me with someone else? Scores equalize. Rashmi V/S Boys. Life is beautiful and fair again. :-D
Rashmi: You!!!!! :-D
Rajiv: Totally me. ;-)

March 2011 FB 
Rashmi: You have to pull your dumb self out of this, Dumbledore!!
Rajiv: :-( I dunno. It's just..I'm trying to find someone. It's been so long.And still no sign of her.I feel so stupid these days. That I once thought that there may be someone out there just meant to be with me.
Rashmi: Rajiv,there are other stuff besides love.
Rajiv: Yeah. Those are not looking good either. You know as the Friends song life is stuck in second gear. Stuck. Totally stuck.
Rashmi: You don't like your office?
Rajiv: I don't like Pune anymore.
Rashmi: Why?
Rajiv: Something happened.
Rashmi: A girl?
Rajiv: Maybe.
Rashmi: Knew it!
Rajiv: Yeah.So give yourself a pat on the back!
Rashmi: Spare me the sarcasm. :-) Have you given a thought to switching jobs?
Rajiv: I have.It's just..I don't feel the drive to do anything about it.
Rashmi: You should.
Rajiv: Make me.
Rashmi: How? :-O
Rajiv: I dunno. Figure out something.
Rashmi: Hmm.. How about I send you something? A gift. Will you promise me you'll get your lazy ass to search for another job? :-P
Rajiv: Sounds interesting. ;-)
Rashmi: Deal,then?
Rajiv: Ha ha! I know you ain't gonna send anything. You are sitting in US for Chrissakes.
Rashmi: ;-) Don't bet on it.

May 2011 Gtalk chat
Rashmi: But I sent that parcel two months ago!! :-( It can't take that long,right?
Rajiv: :-( Well,I guess the parcel should have reached me by now.
Rashmi: I triple checked your address. :-( I even called you before dispatching it.Shit!
Rajiv: What did the parcel contain any way? I know you wanted it to be a surprise,but since I may not receive it anyway...
Rashmi: It was a tie clip with a beautiful ornate design. It even had an elegant R inscribed on it. It wasn't much. But I felt it would look good when you wear a tie to office.:-(
Rajiv: ;-) Yep. That cute chic in my office was eyeing it today. It sure gets attention.
Rashmi: What? You got that parcel? :-D
Rajiv: You bet! Arrived last week itself. But then I thought,let's mess with you a little bit.See how you react. :-P
Rashmi: :-) You!!!!! You almost made me very very sad. Did you know that?
Rajiv: Hah aha! :-) Well, I tend to do that to people. Btw, thanks a lot. The clip really looks good on one blue tie I have. The contrast is pretty eye-catching. You really didn't need to send me any gift though.
Rashmi: Yes,I did.:-) Now get your lazy bum to get you a new job,Dumbledore!!!!
Rajiv: :-D Aye aye, captain.I will tell my future self to parcel me a new job right away!!!
Rashmi: :-D Bye,Rajiv. I need to turn in a paper tomorrow. So goodnight,ok?
Rajiv: :-) Sure.Bye.

Rajiv closed the lid of his laptop and leaned back in his chair,eyes focused on the ceiling of his room. He wondered how the tie clip would look against a blue tie.Since neither did he have a blue tie,nor did he receive any parcel. But he was grateful to her. She finally gave him what he needed to kick himself out of the rut he was in and start looking for a new job.

June 2011 Gtalk Voice Chat
Rashmi : You get a job in Kolkata and I get to see it from FB? Screw you!!
Rajiv : He he.Sorry.I just was caught up in a lot of things lately.So couldn't chat with you in the meantime.
Rashmi : I am so glad you finally got a job in our city. How long have you been away? 3 years,right?
Rajiv: Yeah. I wish you were in Kolkata too.
Rashmi : No chance there,I am afraid. This PhD is gonna take my entire life to complete,it seems.
Rajiv: Rashmi,have you ever wondered what it would be like...if you never went away and I didn't go to Infosys?
Rashmi: Plenty of times.
Rajiv: And?
Rashmi: And nothing,Rajiv. No point brooding over what might have been. We are here.We are now.And life will take us somewhere.
Rajiv: Right,right.But still,I can't help thinking sometimes.
Rashmi : And what do you think, Mr.Basu? Having me as Mrs.Basu?
Rajiv : Why not? We would have two little kids.The girl would have your eyes and nose. The boy would have my chin and forehead.
Rashmi : Can we keep a dog too?
Rajiv: Sure. I was just about to say that. An Alsatian? We will name her Sheila.
Rashmi : I was thinking a Cocker Spaniel. And it would be a 'he'. I don't want the neighborhood mongrels hitting on our dog.
Rajiv: Ohh c'mon. Those roadatians wouldn't stand a chance anyway.Sheila would have 'class'.
Rashmi : Umm..let's change the topic. You make the prospects too tempting.
Rajiv: Ohh...ok..By the way, did anyone tell you you look way better on the webcam than in person?
Rashmi: Almost everybody,Dumbledore!! My mom sometimes says I should stay here in US forever. I look way better in Skype. Can you believe that?

September 2011 Gtalk chat
Rajiv: So this guy is doing PhD there too,huh?
Rashmi: Yep.And I think we kinda like each other.He is very easy to talk to. We share a lot of stuff.
Rajiv: Gr8. :-) So how long has it been?
Rashmi: About four months or so.Hey,did you know,Aman called yesterday?
Rajiv: What? What for?
Rashmi: Umm..I dunno..I think he wants a second chance.
Rajiv: What have you thought?
Rashmi: I am gonna say No.We were together for almost 2 years and he just went ahead and two-timed me.I don't think I can ever take him back.
Rajiv: But you still have feelings for him,right?
Rashmi: :-) I dunno what I have for anyone,right now.
Rajiv: Including me? ;-)
Rashmi: :-) Maybe you are an exception, Dumbledore! A rare one.
Rajiv: :-D

And things sped up to 2012. Three things happened to Rajiv by then.
 He was back in his hometown, Kolkata.
He was becoming fatter by the day,thanks to his mother feeding him three times the food she thought he missed out on while staying away from her.
And he realized he was in love.
But epiphanies are funny things. Sometimes they come when they are least expected. Sometimes they come when they are most needed.And sometimes,they come to screw up everything.

Rajiv's belonged to the third.

To be continued...