Saturday, September 29, 2012

Meeting Swarnali

Hello, beautiful world! (Okay, I got into the habit of saying that because of Ian Somerhalder's tweets.) I have had an exciting month of sorts and got caught up with a number of things which sadly kept me from finishing off the story I was writing. And while I wanted to post the final part of "When It Rained..." before writing about the million other things on my mind right now, I couldn't resist telling you about my plans for the day.

Guess where I'm heading? To China! I'm going to Yunnan University with my Mum and kid sister to visit my Dad who is the guest professor there at the moment. And guess who I'll be meeting today? Swarnali!! I'll take the flight to China from Kolkata and I'll meet her at the airport for the very first time! I can hardly wait. :D This is going to be SO exciting; when we first got to know each other, neither of us guessed we'd end up being such good friends. Nor had we expected to meet anytime soon because I live all the way in Delhi. It came as a pleasant surprise when I found out we'll pass by Kolkata and while it's sad that I won't get to go around the city this time, I know meeting Swarnali would make up for it.

So my next post will be all about our first 'real' conversation, but only if I manage to access blogger there in China. If not, then I am sure to be back in another week with the conclusion of my story and the anecdote about meeting my darling pen pal! Until then, hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

When It Rained... (Part 2)

Hi, everyone! I'm back with the next part of "When It Rained..." I hope you'll like it, and will stick around to read the final part, which I will try to post later this week. Happy reading!

When we realized that it was never going to stop raining, we decided to go to the mall. 
After having had enough of pizza and pasta, burgers and coke, we
slumped back in our chairs lazily. Then someone suggested we play a
game of Truth or Dare. Vanessa generously spun her water bottle. 

And the stupid pointer HAD to turn to me, of course. And Vedant HAD to be the one at the other end. I chose to tell the truth, like I almost always do. (Better safe than sorry. Once I’d chosen a Dare and Riana had asked me to walk up to a girl sitting in a corner of the same Food Court, and to tell her that I was a lesbian and that I love her. Not that I did it, but I’ve never taken a dare ever since.)

“Who’s your latest crush?” asked Vedant.

Now this was NOT a question I’d expected from HIM. I blinked. I was so
taken aback that I said the first thing that came to my mind. “Mehul!”

Simultaneously, three heads turned in my direction and Shivam,
Vanessa and Riana went, “ Who’s Mehul?!!”

Then I remembered that among the four of them, it was only Vedant
who’d read my novel so far and therefore he was the only one who realized that I was talking about my fictitious hero. So, thankfully, the conversation turned to my novel and I soared about six feet in the air when Vedant profusely praised my writing skills.

However, my friends did not drop the stupid subject and they all
started pestering my again, Vedant included. for some incomprehensible
reason, I could hardly look into his eyes. Finally, I managed to say,
“You’ll all know once you read my entire novel.”

At this, everyone started badgering me again and somehow
–miraculously-  Vedant came to my rescue. “ She’s not going to tell us, guys. Let’s drop it,”he said.

The same question was posed to the rest of the group. I was hardly
paying attention until it was Vedant’s turn. I breathed a sigh of
relief when he said he’d only ever had a crush on his English teacher
in school- Naina Ma’am. Phew! God bless, Naina Ma’am!

When it was nearly time to leave, we decided to look around the mall
since we’d been sitting in the Food Court all along. When we went to
the ground floor, and everyone was preoccupied with window shopping, I
saw Vedant walk towards the huge Christmas tree. I followed him.

“ I have a lot to ask you about the how you liked the 2nd chapter,” I
smiled at him.

“It was really cute, and…I read the poem you wrote at the end of the
notebook.” He said,” It’s dedicated to God….right?”

“Of course,” I grinned, trying not to let it show that I knew he was wondering if I actually had dedicated the poem only to God and not to a 'person'..

He smiled. We walked in silence for a while, our arms brushing against
each other occasionally. I supposed the others were following us.
Neither of us turned back.

“Who’s your crush, Pooja?” he said suddenly, and very sweetly.

I couldn’t help but smile. But I didn’t answer his question. We kept
walking and I kept my eyes on the floor.

“Oh, come on. You don’t have to be embarrassed about it,” he
continued,” crushes only last for a day or two.”

I frowned at him. I’m not someone who has casual, day-old crushes, you
know,  I thought. I still didn’t say anything.

“You can tell me, I won’t tell anyone,” said Vedant.

“ I can’t tell you,” I said softly. Then I realized how that must have sounded. HOW
stupid can someone possibly be?!!!

 I couldn’t take back my words, but thankfully, our friends caught up
with us just then and we couldn’t carry forward the conversation.

We all walked to the bus stop, each of us happy with how the day had
turned out to be.

“Oh, I really don’t feel like going back home,” sighed Vanessa.

“ Well, we're going to hang out for at least an hour longer,’ joked
Vedant, “Aren’t we, Pooja?”

He beamed at me as he said that, his gorgeous eyes twinkling, and I
forgot how to breathe. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. 

(To be continued...)


Sunday, September 2, 2012

When It Rained...

Hello, people!
It's Arpita this side! I know how much you all must miss Swarnali's posts, and I thought I would try to keep to you entertained until she gets back to blogging. I am nowhere as good at this as she is but I do hope you'll enjoy reading my posts and bare with me for a couple of weeks. This is the first part of a story I am writing about a couple of friends who decide to spend some time together on a rainy day and how an ordinary day turns out to be so different from what they expected. Do leave your comments and suggestions. Happy reading!

We were sitting by the window, watching it rain, when Riana’s phone rang. She quickly turned down the volume of her iPod and the music of “Careless Whispers” by George Michael went into the background as she answered Vedant’s call.
She listened to him talk for a few moments, and then she startled me by suddenly screaming into the phone, “THERE’S NO WAY YOU’RE GOING TO DO THIS TO ME!!!”
Riana looked at me, her pretty, big eyes turning wide. “Shivam and Vedant are half way through and now they’re saying they’re going back home!”
“WHAT?! But that’s completely insane!” I yelled, jumping off the desk that I was sitting on. “Give me the phone.”
“I know it’s pouring,but WE’RE here, aren’t we? There’s just no point turning back NOW!” She said to Vedant, looking disgruntled. “Here, talk to Pooja.”
I grabbed the phone and marched out of the class.
“Listen-to-me-Vedant-you-had-better-be-here-if-you-like-your-nose-the-shape-it-is-Do-you-understand?” I said, in one breath.
He kept quiet.
I shook the phone out of frustration. Then I realized that he’d hung up.
Then he called on my number but I could hardly hear him due to some stupid network problem. I handed Riana her phone and tried calling him back.
After a few minutes, Riana received a text message from Vedant:
“No connectivity. Don’t worry, I was kidding. We’re already at the gate.”
How humorous.
It was a Thursday that day, and there was a DUTA strike. A few classes were anyway being held, so the college wasn’t absolutely deserted. But the second year English and History Honors students didn’t have a class so my friends and I thought we’d hang out together for a few hours. Most people from our group didn’t turn up because we hadn’t been able to decide where to go, and had agreed to meet in college and make plans there and then. So it was just Vedant, Shivam, Riana, Vanessa and I who spent the day together. I was wondering how long it was going to take Vanessa to reach, when Riana interrupted my thoughts.
“Okay, he says he’s parked just inside the gate. Let’s go.”
“I still can’t believe you’re meeting Hotwheels TODAY of all days,” I grumbled.
Who breaks up with her boyfriend on such a rainy, romantic day?!
“Hey, listen. I have to get it over with, sooner or later. Better sooner than later, right?” She reasoned.
“Right.” I mumbled. “But promise me you won’t take too long!”
“I promise, now let’s GO!”
Riana pulled me out of the class and down the flight of steps. Just as we were about to reach the ground floor, we saw Vedant and Shivam running up the stairs. Vedant reached us first, and he had a big grin on his face as he said, “I’m here, Riana!”
SMACK! Riana slapped him across the face. For fun. Most of us were used to her antics by then, but when Shivam and I saw the bewildered look on Vedant’s face, we nearly collapsed, we were laughing so hard. The phrase, “I did not slap you-- I hi-fived your face!” ran through my mind. Poor Vedant.
After we’d (finally) stopped laughing, I told the boys that Riana was going to go have a chat with Hotwheels. If that hadn’t annoyed them enough, the reason Riana gave them for dragging me along definitely had. She wanted me to bring back the one umbrella we had so that she wouldn’t have to carry it with her when she’d get into his car. Why? Because she wanted to look cool.
I used to think I could never loathe Hotwheels any more than I already did. That day, I changed my mind. Now, the reason behind the growth in my hatred might not sound very reasonable to you. In case it doesn’t, just spend five whole hours wearing Converse and socks that got COMPLETELY soaked because you stepped into puddles and got drenched in the rain while escorting your friend to her boyfriend’s car.

And trust me, it doesn’t help if your friend keeps tugging the umbrella away from you. The most excruciating part comes when her MORONIC, PIG-HEADED AND ABSOLUTELY DEMENTED BOYFRIEND KEEPS WATCHING YOU STRUGGLE AND DOESN’T EVEN UNLOCK THE DOOR FAST ENOUGH.
It’s at times like these when you really wish you could hand people a one way ticket to HELL.
“I SO hate Hotwheels!!!” I yelled as I stomped into my classroom.
Vedant and Shivam looked up from their textbooks. I dumped the umbrella on the floor.
“Look at the state of me!” I said, waving my arms wildly.
They grinned at each other as I kept whining and whining.
“And WHAT is taking Vanessa so long?!” I complained.
“Listen, Pooja,” said Vedant, looking serious. “I can’t go with you people. I really have a lot of studying to do and Shivam and I were thinking of spending some time in the library today.”
“Whaaaat????” I groaned.
How can he do this to me?!  Why is everyone so hell-bent on getting under my skin today??
“But that’s totally unfair! You’d said you’ll come with us! And you can sit in the library any day, but we hardly ever get to spend so much time together what with classes and stuff.”
“I’m sorry, Pooja.” Said Vedant. “But I really have got to make notes and there’s an important book I want to issue before someone else does.”
“Urgh! Shivam, tell him to cut the crap!” I demanded.
Shivam just shrugged and kept watching Vedant, a slight smile on his face. I turned away in frustration, and called Vanessa for help. Thankfully, she answered the call-- her phone had been engaged for almost an hour.
I told her about Vedant’s new tantrum and immediately got her to talk to him. She couldn’t have spoken more than a few words, but he smoothly hung up, telling her that we’ll meet her at the gate in five minutes. I narrowed my eyes at him, though he didn’t see it. I couldn’t belive he’d been saying all that stuff just to see me getting all worked up about him not coming along. Now I understood why Shivam hadn’t taken sides during our argument.

(To be continued…)