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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

being there III

Vikram helped them negotiate with publishing houses day after day, month after month. After 6 months of not hearing from anyone tempers were running high.

“It’s just been six months. People wait for eternity to have their works published. You should have patience.”
“And some things never get published, even after the people who wrote it is dead”
“Come on Nidhi. This is your first attempt. Give it time.”
“I never wanted to do this in the first place. You forced me into it.”
“I was trying to help you. I thought people needed to read you Nidhi.”
“Well I was doing better without anyone reading me.”

She walked out off the room and him out of the house.

“Mmmm...No. Not tonight.”
She pushed his arm away from her as he tried to caress her breasts.
“Sai, I think we should move to another home”
“Huh?” A confused voice responded
She turned around to face him. He took the opportunity to kiss her nose and snuggle into her.
“Yeah! We need to change homes. I don’t like it here. There is something wrong somewhere. I don’t like the feel of this home”
“You women and your feel” he chuckled and tried to kissed her neck.
“Am serious.” She said, pushing him away and sitting up on bed
“But Nidhi....., we’ve lived here for 2 years now. I love it here. This home is’s so us....”
“Please Sai, listen to me. There is something wrong.”
“Nidhi, tell me what is wrong. You don’t seem yourselves these days. And I can’t imagine what is wrong with our home or you...” he leaned over and switched on the lights.
“Don’t switch on the lights. They will come.”
“Who will come? What the hell is wrong with you?”
“I don’t know Sai...I don’t scared....please let’s move out from here...Please....”

As she snuggled into him and slept off, her whimpers dying into the dark, Sai sat clueless...wondering what was wrong.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

being there. part II

She took up journalism after her masters, and he went on to do his M.Arc. After 3 years of courtship, they decided to move in together. Within the olive green painted walls of their new home, she wrote for a newspaper, and he toiled under a demanding company.

“ I think you should really write a book. All those scribbling you do should be read by people.”
“ You read it right? I don’t think anyone else will want to read it”
“ You will never know that unless you publish some of you works”
“ Its too much work”
“ Its not. I will help you out. Proof reading and all”
“ I don’t now Sai. I don’t have the confidence”
“ Come on. I trust you. You can do it”

A lot of cajoling, and pressurising and boost ups later, Nidhi sat down to begin her first book.

Getting a publisher was one thing, and it didn’t help that Nidhi was still apprehensive about her work. Every rejection was hard and depressing.

“ They dint want it did they?”
“ No” he sighed “too simple a plot”
“ Its ok I guess. You loved it. Its more than enough”

He stood watching her. She was going around the room with a broom in hand.

“What are you doing? I see you with a broom at almost every other day. It’s not like you”
“Cockroaches. Everywhere. I am driving myself mad with trying to drive them out”
“ Buy Hit. Spray it all over. More effective than brooms”
“ Doesn’t work. Brooms are the best”

Saturday, August 9, 2008

being there. Part I

And now they were here too. She could see them crawling all over the room. And she felt as many as twenty scrambling on her head. Running down her nose. Some sliding down strands of hair…she searched for a knife so that she could chop her hair off. Then perhaps they would stop crawling over her. But in that tiny room with bars there was nothing except a thread bare cot, a water jug and a blanket. She reached for the water jug and smashed it over her head.


He rushed into the room excitedly. “ You made it. You book is topping the charts now. Vikram just called me.” She was bending over something near her table, but as soon as she heard him, she squealed and rushed into his arms.

“ You are joking right? My book, I mean our book…”
“ I always told you it would work right. See now” He grinned
“ But I can ‘t believe it…I just cant”
“ Well I can. I would have not believed it if it hadn’t happened this way”
He smiled wickedly at her astounded face…
“ So…the treat then…are we going out now? Or….”

She screamed and rushed into her bedroom slamming the door after her.

Laughter rang loud.

He was an engineering student and she a student of literature when they first met at crosswords. She was immersed in reading from Daphne du Maurier and did not even hear her mobile ringing. He’d felt annoyed first. How can anyone be so oblivious as to the disturbance? Quite a lot of people had begun to stare at her trying to locate why she wasn’t picking the call.

“ Excuse me, but I think your cell is ringing.”
“ What? oh! Is that mine? I am so sorry. Oh my is everyone staring at me? God! Where is my cell now?”
she began searching her large jute bag with a minimum of hundred pockets frantically.
He took pity on her and snatched the cell from her fingers and gave it to her.
“To think I was holding it. How silly of me. Will you please catch my bag, while I attend the call?

Without waiting for an answer she thrust the bag into his unsuspecting arms and walked out of the store. He stood gaping after her. Feeling angry irritated and amused at her audacity, her silliness and her stupidity. She trooped in with a tear stained face something like half an hour, while he had almost gone to sleep hanging on to the bag.

“ Will you please drop me home? My fiancé just called off our engagement and am not sure I can find my way home alone”

Two strangers they were. But as it happens in all movies, they met by fate and were destined to be together. After about a year of casual calls and some infrequent messaging, they started going out together. She the scatterbrained and he the meticulous, she the effervescent and he the sober, a mix of Bollywood music and Beethoven’s symphonies, Shakespeare and T-square, they got on famously well.

He wanted to build homes for the poor, she wanted to write.