Selfless stranger#5

Monsoons in Mumbai were on the verge of drowning the city. Naina asked Amit the reason for his late departure from office. He informed her about the long induction videos also that he was unaware about the havoc of monsoons in Mumbai. She felt very poor for him and then asked him where exactly he stayed. “Bandra”…she teased him “where in Bandra? Mannat or Star Galaxy….?” He looked at her in surprise…Naina seemed to be in a light mood. “Nope, Teachers Colony, besides St. Gracious School, Bandra East”, Amit replied. She was driving in an elegant manner despite of the traffic and water logging areas. Dodging through hurdles race, they reached at a junction where it seemed as though the entire city was floating on the Arabian sea. The condition outside was worst, endless vehicular population and resulting pollution, BEST buses lined up, black and yellow taxis, private cabs, two wheelers all sailing in the same direction. Its was around 10pm but the condition outside was getting deadlier. The shining and trailing rain droplets gliding on the windscreen gave a vibrant reflection on Naina’s glowing face. Her childish expressions amazed Amit to discover her innocence. She lowered the window beside her and enjoyed the rain drops falling through her palms. Just then the FM played,”Mohbbat barsa dena tu, sawaan aaya hai….”. Amit rested back and admired Naina’s beauty being glorified by the Monsoons. Her partially faded lipstick, smudging kohl and light fragrance mesmerised him. 

“I am feeling hungry, what about you?” Naina asked. Amit replied assertively. “I don’t think we are proceeding anywhere atleast for next couple of hours or may be tonight. But I am damn hungry…I wish we get some delicious pakoda or smoking hot vada pav with ginger tea.” Amit wished to get it for her whatsoever and suddenly caught a glance of a roadside vendor deeping frying vadas. He immediately moved out of the car without even a second thought. Coming back with newspaper wrapped wada pav and salted fried green chilli alongwith 2 cutting chai. By the time he reached the car, Amit was drenched but looked excited about achieving the utmost trophy. Naina exclaimed,” OMG Amit…you are just impossible…we could have asked the vendor to send it to our car…why did you step out.” She looked worried for him, unwrapping her scraf, she handed it over to him. Her concern and especially tugging and embracing her scraf …. flew butterflies in his stomach. She parted both the ends of the bread or pav and tucked the hot and spicy wada and offered him. Sipping the ‘garam chai’ and smuffing her fragrance through her scarf hypnotized Amit. He enjoyed the song playing on FM “Yeh Shyaam Mastani….”

It was going to be midnight but they were not even able to move an inch. Both of them informed their guardians and made themselves comfortable in the car… Naina turned off the car and went asleep on the backseat. Amit wondered and prayed to God begging him not to stop the rains for the next 24 hours. He was just enjoying this favorable natural calamity which proved to be a boon for him. 

His sleeping beauty resembled the young princess from wonderland. Her eyes soft and calm, small and cute smile on her lips even in her dreams. Amit was nowhere feeling drowsy or sleepy. He warned himself to stay awake in order to protect this princess resting on the backseat. He pecked through all the directions, to check if any unwanted elements could disrupt Naina’s sleep.

Early morning when Naina woke up due to the jerks she was astonished to discover Amit driving through the traffic moving at snails pace….Naina was amazed to learn about Amit’s excellent driving skills. It was near about Naina’s residence, Amit stopped and greeted her,” Gud morning ma’am I mean Naina. Naina was so happy to be back home she invited Amit for coffee. Amit readily agreed and drove through the parking of her residence. They went upstairs and waited for someone to answer the door bell. 

Naina’s dad opened the door. Amit as well as Naina’s dad were stunned meeting each other…..

Stayed tuned to see what happens next…


Selfless stranger#4

The day finally arrived when Amit was supposed to join his second family i.e OFFICE. Being his first day, he decided to be over punctual so he reached office at 8.55am. The housekeeping staff and security agent misunderstood him to be a salesperson and didn’t allow him to enter the office. Amit tried to convince them and suddenly realised about the joining letter. On verifying the joining letter he was allowed in. The security guard smirked and said,”Aaj pehla din hai na kal se sab thik ho jayega.” Amit greeted him and entered. The housekeeping staff were busy with their routine cleaning activities. Occupying the sofa at the lobby area, he picked up the freshly arrived newspaper,it was stamped. Amit was kind of irked by the office assistant’s promptness. The office assistant offered him machine made coffee and made him comfortable. After about one hour, he enquired about the regular timings of the office staff. The guy with large spectacles and high waist pant with a tucked in shirt spoke in a blunt tone without even looking at him,”9 to 6.30, but these guys have informally modified it to 10.30 to whatever they like”. 

By 10.30 people started arriving, each one was grumbling about the uncertain rains and issues they faced while travelling. Some of them also discussed about their plans if the rains continued till the evenings,” Marine drive chalenge, party karenge bhai, blah blah…” Amit wondered how did these guys have confidence on the predictions of rains. Anyways, Amit was called by the Hr executive Liza one of the typical South Mumbai girls. She visually scanned Amit top to bottom and raised an eyebrow questioning,” You are the new joinee….ok please handover your documents and take a seat at cubicle 45 north.” Before Amit could respond she went back swiping the access card. Amit looked puzzled which documents? handover to whom? And how do I enter the office area without the access also how do I find this cubicle? Why was she so fast with her instructions or may be I am slow, people here are busy….he spoke to himself.

Amit gathered all the documents, requested the office guy to help him with the access door. On the entrance, Amit witnessed an extremely large office floor divided into rows and columns with all different numbers and directions. Left side aligned the conference rooms and glass enclosed cabins, right opposite to the conference room was the HR bay. He was unable to locate Liza, next moment he was distracted by the same fragrance and he knew it was Naina. In business formals and an ever smiling face, she looked like one of those corporate models. Naina noticed Amit and gave him a warm welcome smile. She observed Amit waiting at Liza’s desk for quite a while. She approached Amit and asked him if he needed anything. Amit told her that he was waiting for his joining formalities. On knowing that Amit had reached office so early and he was waiting since morning, got her to work. She called up Liza and asked her to report immediately. Liza appeared after couple of minutes, she questioned Liza in a sharp authorative, ” Why are his joining formalities pending? I had sent an email informing you about his joining but I don’t see anything done yet. Liza arrogantly answered,”I was busy with some other work will get this done now.” Asking her to hurry up she walked back to her cabin assuring Amit that Liza would get things done. Liza whispered,” Think of the devil…..”

After finishing the joining formalities, there was a small welcome and introduction ceremony. Amit was handed over the welcome kit and bouquet of flowers by Naina. He was extremely delighted by her warm gesture….he looked at the the flowers and thought of them as the most precious and fragrant flowers of his life. He was offered complimentary lunch by the office, Naina asked him if he was comfortable. The concern and hospitality shown by Naina…reminded him of his Mom who always was worried for him, about his lunch. Amit experienced privileged treatment and was just floating in his own world with Naina.

Just then he heard someone whispering,” Bakre ko halaal karne se pehle….”. He couldn’t understand the pessimistic attitude of people around. Amit was busy going through his induction videos, since Liza had asked him go through all the videos which contained the company policies. Once he was done it was late around 7.45, he noticed there was no one in the office except for the housekeeping staff. He left the office and reached at exit gate where he saw that it was raining heavily outside. He decided to walk towards the bus stop. While he was walking a silver Honda Amaze stopped by and soft feminine voice spoke,” Lift?”. Naina peeked out of the window and Amit jumped with the idea of travelling with her. Without a second thought, he got in….

Stayed tuned for more updates….Mumbai rains are really very unpredictable.😉

Selfless stranger #3

Traffic sucks in Mumbai especially during weekend nights. Seems like people are just dying to party hard. But for most of office going crowd its all about movies, pubs and dine out era. Crossing all the hurdles of traffic and parking queues Amit and his friends reached the Cinemax multiplex at Bandra kherwadi. They checked in at the security gate and rushed towards the popcorn corner. On entering the Screen 2 audi they were surprised to see the seats occupied completely inspite of it being the third week of the movie ‘Tanu weds Manu Returns’, the lights went out before they could reach or even trace their seats. Struggling with the camera lights and row numbers they finally reached their destination. But they discovered their seats to be engaged by a trio. In puzzled yet soft whispers Amit asked them ,” Could you please help us with your seats numbers?” On quite a mini investigation the trio found out that their seats were a row below the one they were currently occupying. Suddenly Amit got a whiff of the same fragrance during his interview encounter, Naina……but in the middle of these misunderstanding he shrugged off. In an apologetic tone they changed their seats and settled down. Amit and group had lost the beginning but quickly occupied their seats and then began the epic scene where  “Kangana and Madhvan discussed their complaints with the counsellor”. What a scene, there was a roar of laughter, people whistled and applaud their performances. Every married person in the hall could relate to the couple on screen.

Amit noticed this girl among the same trio, she was laughing and also tapping on the back of her companions. They seemed to be pulling her leg. During the movie her whispering tone caught Amit’s attention he was trying to relate her to Naina. But could not recognize her because of the darkness in the hall. She rested her head onto the shoulders of one of her friends. Amit could no way concentrate on the movie, his friends witnessed him watching over this girl …they started teasing him over the distracted gesture. He asked them to shutup and continue watching the movie.

He wondered is she Naina? If yes who are the other two guys her friends, brother or someone special. He tried to have a sharper look but realized his friends watching over hence decided to move on with the movie and check out during the interval. The character known as Papiji in the movie and his epileptic attack again broke thunders of laughter. His one liners motivated people to whistle out of appreciation. After a while the lights were on and INTERVAL showed on the screen.

Amit walked down to get coldrinks. On his way down he turned back and was shocked to realize it was Naina. Her head was still rested on her companions shoulders the other one got up to leave. They had close talks, Amit just couldn’t believe Naina in her figure fitting black top and beige jeans, her lips sparkling and reflecting the yellow lights due to the gloss she wore. The guy with her also looked quite handsome and she seemed to enjoy his company. Amit was dissapointed he was reluctant to go back. But for the sake of his friends he went back. Who is he? was the question which mattered the most.

Amit was uncomfortable watching Madhvan getting close with Datto : kangana’s look alike. It felt as though his heart was pinching. The second half of the movie was too difficult for Amit. His friends watched him get restless, they asked him about the reason. But he flunged a reason about the movie being useless and wanted to go back home. But they coaxed him to stay. After about an hour it was “End” and the audience got up to leave. On the midway stairs Naina caught a glance of Amit and called out. Amit looked at her and gave a fake smile.

She stood their with her companions and waited to speak to Amit. She intoduced him ,”This is Amit, the new recruit of our office and Amit this is Raman my younger brother and this is Anurag my elder brother cum bestest friend. He is going back to Australia tommorow so we guys had to hang out today.” BROTHERS….! shit man how could I misinterpret. Their was a glow on Amit’s face as if he had gulped an energy drink. He just couldn’t cover his happiness, excitement. She asked him and his friends how they found the movie. His friends replied back saying that Amit didn’t like it and wanted to go back. He hesistantly denied saying, ” No no the after experience of the movie was much better.” They looked puzzled at each other. But only Amit knew which after experience he spoke about. He readily took his friends for a treat and they were amazed and surprised with Amit’s crazy behaviour.

Selfless stranger # 2

On a Monday morning its always extra energy, extra traffic and extra punctual crowd on the roads, trains etc. Amidst all the Monday fever, Amit was all ready for the interview, documents stacked up, couple of rehersals of the interview were conducted in the mens washroom in the front of the large sparkling mirror. Walking out of the washroom towards the waiting area he enquired about his queue number. The receptionist requested him to wait since the senior manager was on call with some client. Amit patiently waited at the lobby area, assuring himself, that he would definitely crack the opportunity. He began revising about the plans and investment options he would explore if he gets the expected package.

Meanwhile, the receptionist calls out his name and asks him to proceed towards the cabin on her left. Amit enters the cabin and greets the manager. The man at other end seemed to be middle aged man in his early forties. He introduced himself,” Hi Amit, myself Rajdeep Arora, how you doing?” Amit smiled and replied back. The introduction phase moved on to professional front. Amit basically was a software engineer with great analytical skills and optimistic attitude. Mr. Arora tested Amit on technical and analytical front. Arora seemed to be well pleased with Amit’s aptitude and attitude towards the case scenarios he put forth. He was asked to wait for the results in the waiting area. Amit was happy with his performance at the interview as well as wished to work with such jolly and motivating manager.

After a while, the receptionist informed him to wait for the HR round as the HR manager was out for lunch. It was lunchtime, Amit was quite nervous for the HR round, because he believed that he possessed poor communication skills which put him down. He prayed deeply to keep up his morale for the final round. Waiting at the lunch hours, he watched people move in and out with their lunch boxes in groups laughing, gossiping, discussing technical issues. Some of them collected their food orders from the security desk. Delicious aroma of different food items especially home cooked made him more hungry. It reminded him, to make a call. He moved out of the office area to make a call. After about fifteen minutes he was back waiting for his turn. Just then he was distracted by the perfume applied by a young girl in red indian formals. She stood at the reception counter and started speaking to the receptionist. Amit just couldn’t get his eyes off her, she didn’t seemed to be one of those extraordinary beauties in the office but there was something which drove his attention, her perfume, her ever smiling face or may be her soft spoken sweet voice.

Amidst the conversation she suddenly realized something and walked towards the cabin. The receptionist then asked Amit to proceed to the same cabin. His heart began pounding as if it was about to break open his rib cage out of his chest. He got very nervous and walked reluctantly towards the cabin. It was the same girl in red churidar, it is impossible to utter a word in her presence he thought himself. She welcomed him and made him feel comfortable with her soothing soft feminine tone. She began enquiring about his previous company, academic qualifications, family whereabouts. Then came the grave question about Salary expectations. Amit just couldn’t understand how to put forth his expectations. Gathering confidence he spoke,” Previously I received a package of 3.5 and now my expectations would be somewhere around 6L per annum.” The HR manager smiled back and went through his salary slips and interview performance reports. But Amit was unable to concentrate on the whole process, her perfume drove him crazy…it had this warm sensuous aroma created to attract the opposite sex. His heart and eyes drew an imaginary boundaries through her virtual figure. Meanwhile she spoke,” Looking at your past records and performance reports you would be a valuable asset for our company. But we have a budget of maximum 5L for this position. Also you would be granted different complimentary allowances. So do let us know what your decision would be.” Without taking a second Amit readily agreed to the offer. She gave him the documents to be submitted while joining and greeted him,” Welcome aboard Amit. Hope you enjoy with your second family here.” His happiness knew no bounds the words family tickled him, he smiled and replied back, “Thankyou so much ma’am.” 

She stood up to leave but turned back and said,” Please call me Naina.” His eyes gleamed and heart jumped in happiness and exclaimed Thanks Naina….

Selfless stranger

Naina reached office and flipped her wrist to check her in time. Later on she realized that her wrist watch was on leave today sitting on her bedroom window. So she opened her handbag to pull out her cellphone which could serve the purpose. But as it is  well known fact that a girl’s bag is a big mysterious box you never know what all could be sitting inside. After a couple of minutes, she entered panic mode, realizing about the misplaced tragedy of her dear phone.

Her colleagues helped her out by calling onto her cellphone which unfortunately was switched off. Some of her friends turned into CID cops claiming,” kuch toh gadbad hai Naina”. They advised her to call the customer care to block the sim. She promptly agreed and was about to call the customer care but at the same moment her desk phone rang. The person on the other end spoke warmly,” Is it Naina? Myself Amit…have you lost your phone…?” Naina instantly spoke rudely, ” Look Amit, whoever you are don’t even plan of playing with phone its locked and has tracking system activated, cops won’t spare you.” Amit allowed her to finish and then calmly replied back, ” Look Naina before you misunderstand me further, let me tell you I have handed over your phone to your father. Just wanted to inform you hence called you.” He abruptly ended the call, Naina was stunned. There was no way she could call him back, number of questions troubled her. How did Amit know/meet her father? Her phone was switched off/locked, then how did her father come to know about Amit? Firstly how and where did he find it?

She quickly called up her Dad. Her father told her about the series of incidents which occured in last couple of hours. Naina’s brother had met with an accident and was admitted in the hospital. Her father tried reaching her couple of times but after multiple attempts he got to know that Naina had misplaced her phone which landed up with Amit at the ticket counter,  which he had charged. Due to which he could receive her father’s phone call and told them about the device found. Her father sounded tensed hence out of humanity he offered help. Naina’s brother was in need of blood especially the one with group A-ve which was rare. Luckily Amit’s blood group was A-ve, he readily offered to donate blood and then took Naina’s office number to let her know about the phone.

Naina was shocked and extremely guilty about the way she dealt with Amit. This guy from nowhere had gone out of the way to help her family as well without even accepting a word of Thanks. She felt apologetic for Amit and asked her dad about his contact details inorder to thank him for his selfless gesture but the poor guy had not even left his contact details.

Naina was extremely ashamed of her inhumane words towards Amit. She rushed to the hospital to meet her brother who was out of danger now, but could not get rid of the memories of this Selfless stranger….

A long lasting wait….

They began their happily married life without a pinch of happiness. Then began a trail of tragic episodes breaking every single bit of the foundation being laid towards a new phase of life. The awful incidents left a permanant imprint on their lives. He chose to prioritize his life, his choices, his career, his social life and routine; on the other hand she played a vital role in gathering and building a sucessful and happy married life solely. She awaited for his contribution, his acknowledgement, his active presence but he was no where. She believed that someday or some moment he might realize her existence with him. Years passed by but her wait was immortal. Festivals, social functions, household decisions, financial planning he was never interested in any bit of sharing his life with her. She tried all sort of ways to gain his love, attention, care be it by cooking his favourite meals, dressing up the way he liked, showered him with gifts, initiating a healthy discussions but all her efforts were in vain. He always chose his life, his family, his friends, his career she made attempts contributing towards his interests  but everything was unrecognised. Years passed by her loneliness took a toll over  health…she grew isolated. She lived as if it was only because she was a coward unable to put a fullstop to the ignorant existence she nurtured for years. One fine day she decided to order his favourite meal and his favourite beer for dinner…he left for office; meanwhile she decorated the house with candles and roses ; then got ready the way he likes in a dark wine colour chiffon saree and the same perfume he was mesmerized with ages ago. When he returned he found the parcel lying at the doorstep, he was happy with the food and the ambience recreated. He walked into their bedroom and their she waited for him in the dim moonlight on cozy recliner in the balcony…he was stunned with her beauty but returned to his senses when her cellphone rang. It was from the cake shop about the change in delivery time. He answered the call and passed on the message to her…but she didnt reply…he thought she must have been asleep so he decided to wake her up and tapped on her shoulder. Suddenly her head tossed on the other side and he was shocked with the way she reacted but there was no response from her end. He decided to call the doctor and picked up his cellphone which said one unread message; he reluctantly read it ,” Come soon…waiting for you.”

Serious visit or Visit Seriously?

Once a ten year old child accompanied his mom to visit one of her relatives, which he had never met before, at a five star hospital. The hospital lobby witnessed a weird aura of negativity filled with the smell of medicines, medicated phenol, sorrows and anxieties and posters of smiling faces advertising different medical treatments and products. Many known faces of different relatives some long lost aunts, uncles and fast cousins greeted him. After waiting for an hour or so this little one questioned his mom, busy with the other ladies, “Mom why are they are here or rather why are we here?”  His mom smiled and replied,” We are here to meet my uncle, he is serious.” He thought for a while, looked around with his innocent little eyes and tried to analyze the reactions and gestures of his so called relatives. Some were discussing the saas-bahu relations(MIL and DIL issues) , some were discussing property and real estate matters, some were discussing about the business options and exhibiting their products and services, some were recollecting their childhood memories while a few of them were busy with the handheld idiot boxes, i.e. their over smartphones.

There he stood with folded arms and said,”Mom, I feel everyone here is present with a fear of tommorow or may be to protect their public and not so social image. So that tommorow if they are hospitalised or they pass away they  should have minimum shoulders to carry their bodies to the final destination. There should be someone to cry behind. Most biggest fears, what would others think of their absence. Some are here for formalities, some are here for a reconnect or to just showcase their household businesses and some are here because they share a common last name.”

Everyone looked at the little boy with utter surprise and turned their faces with may be shame or guilt.

What do you think?

My home is my heaven…

She was busy making arrangements for the house warming ceremony. After staying for around five years in a rented house, they managed to buy a 1bhk in the suburbs of Mumbai. He was busy attending the guests but also peeked in every now and then just to watch the satisfaction and immense happiness on her face. She wore a red saree with golden border, a long golden mangalsutra, red bangles and sindoor( red vermilion applied by married Indian women)  but more than this her personality today had a different aura. The sparkle in her eyes, contentment on her face had so much more to say.

They both began the ‘Griha Pravesh’ rituals. During the rituals they went through the trailing flashbacks of their married life before they could enter their own apartment. So many ascending mishaps they went through unemployment, theft in their newly entered house, loss in business, death of an elderly and close family member, hospitalisation, accident and increase in debts. These memories gave her a feeling of suffocation and bought tears in her eyes. He held her hand and bought her into the present and whispered ,”Don’t worry . Everything has passed away. We are going to enter our dream and I need you here with me and by me.” She smiled assertively and held his hand for the Griha Pravesh and they put forth their feet into their HOME. Everyone cheered the couple on their new phase of life.

Meals were served, gifts were exchanged and it was time to say Good bye to their friends. They both were also tired…she said, “Dear I just need one warm hug to wind up my day.”

He pulled her and embraced her to just make her feel HOME. On to the bed they lay he asked her ,”What do you want from me today?” She said in a husky tone, “Nothing I am already in my heaven. Now I just need peace.”

She cuddled into his arms and fell asleep. Next morning he got up and watched her sleep as innocent as a child. He thought after a tiring day she should be granted some more relaxation time…so he walked into the kitchen and got her a cup of tea. He moved close to her and whispered, “Darling your bed tea is here…get up before I enter your bed.” She was fast asleep he then moved close to her and started playing his pranks. But there was awful and horrifying feeling when touched her body which was as cold as ice. No sensations, no pulse ticks…he was left clueless, he began calling her names, shaking her to bring her back and suddenly he realized her last words before leaving and tears rolled down his eyes: 

This house is my heaven and now I just need peace…..

Watching the rhythm of waves and feeling the warmth of cool breeze they stood at the shoreline of Bandstand. Cloudy monsoon evening it was. Fresh smell of the nature, chirping of birds, aroma and crackling sound of the corn being roasted…. adding to its beauty an old song played on the radio “Jab koi baat bigad jaaye…..tum dena sath mera oo humnava”. Meera turned towards Siddharth with her teary eyes. He too responded back by holding her hand the same way he held it seven years back. So much had passed by in these years…but his touch, his presence or may be only his existence has meant so much for her. Seven years of marriage bought with them diverse experiences good or bad. But one thing that was eternal amongst them was their existence just for each other. It turned dark, he turned towards her and said, “Why don’t you sing aloud….its been years I have just heard you humming into the kitchen, bathroom or just when you seem to be alone?”. She smiled at him with surprise, unaware that he noticed her humming too. She reluctantly said, “Are you gone nuts…gone are the days when I could sing … and here in public noways.” Her naughty smile and the beauty of simplicity in that dim light just made him happy as a man…a woman in her natural ways looks beautiful than any of the beauty pageants he thought. He requested her once again with an unresisting tone….please! She agreed and sang for him the same song she had sung for him at the same place and same time before their wedding around ten years back….

Saathiya yeh tune kya kiya, Beliya yeh tune kya….maine kiya tera intezaar itna karo na mujhe pyar

He was moved hear her sing with same emotions or may be deeper. She ended her song and he questioned her, ” What’s your wish to God ever?”  

To which she replied with an optimistic tone, we have parents but they have their own lives and children will have theirs, but you are the one who added potential and meaning to my existence as a person inspite of being with everyone I long for you, crave you. So I just ask my God to couple my existence to yours. I live just to be with you…… 

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