Monday, September 30, 2013

"I Do"


“We have been the best of friends for more than ten years now and have seen each other through a lot of shit that life has chosen to throw at us. Yet here we are, our friendship is stronger than ever. But, for quite some time now, for months actually… I have had much stronger feelings for you. Its much more than just friendship. I… I think I am in love with you.”

It was exactly what I had wanted to hear from him for over two years now. To actually hear him say it was so different from the thousands of ways that I had imagined of over the years. For starters, instead of feeling excited or ecstatic, I felt like somebody had just doused me with a bucketful of ice cold water. Secondly, I was sure that I had prepared different replies for him depending upon how he chose to propose me – some funny, some serious, some romantic and some downright mushy lines ready in my mind for when the time came. But at that moment I could not think of a single thing to say to him. Instead my full attention was on him. I could almost see the hundred different thoughts racing through his mind with each second that he waited for me to say something. He was definitely faking the cool and calm composure he had put up in front of me.

“Look, I know that this might seem very sudden to you. Take time to think it over. After all, I had months to process my real feelings for you, to consider the pros & cons of getting in a relationship with you. I just wanted you to know that I am totally sure about us…”

He had drifted off, fixing his gaze on something mundane outside the window. He looked so adorable when he was nervous. He was not the most patient person around and I was sure that he was just trying to be fair to me when he said that I could take some time to think over. But really, he must have been wishing that he could just ‘shake’ the answer out of me immediately. He looked back at me and a slight pucker appeared between his brows.

“You are angry! I have upset you… I am so sorry. I swear I did not mean to hurt you. Here, go ahead and slap me or hit me – whatever you feel like. I just couldn’t keep it from you any longer. You know how bad I am at not telling you stuff. Please don’t be angry.”

Strange! He was usually a hundred percent accurate at reading my moods and expressions. He had eleven years, three months and seventeen days of practice at it. But for the first time, I doubted him for a second. Why would I be angry at him for finally telling me what I had been longing to hear for a long time? Why would I be upset to hear that the person I was in love with, returned my feelings for him?

“Oh God! Brishti, just say something, will you? Don’t just sit there, looking at me like that when I have proposed you. Or do something… Wanna kill me for doing this to you? Go ahead and take a shot. If you feel like breaking something, there’s a lot of china pieces lying around. Just stop looking at me like that.”

That’s when realization hit me – he was right. I was angry. I was upset. He could read my expressions but he could not read the turmoil behind it. I finally got myself to speak, “I don’t know what to say. I wish I could say that I feel the same way about you, but I can only be your friend.” No matter how we truly felt about each other, I could only be his friend. I was upset because, I wished I could tell him how much I truly loved him. I was upset because I wanted to be the one to take care of him for the rest of his life. I wanted to be the one he would always turn to, the one he came home to and the one he would always hold in his arms. But what I wanted to be and what I could be were such extremes.

I was angry at myself, at life and at God for everything that stopped me from being who I wanted to be.  If only I hadn’t had so much baggage. If only, I still had my family. If only, I hadn’t spent a good part of my life at a counselor’s office. I thought about the hysterics inside that office. I thought about the cold and empty flat I called home. But mostly I thought about the bottle of small white pills that sat on my bedside table and lent to the illusion of me that sat in front of him today. Did I really want him to suffer with me? No, I was doing the right thing by not telling him – I told myself. He did not deserve me. He was meant for much better and greater things in life. He deserved someone just like him --- carefree, loving, caring and most importantly, someone baggage-free, who wouldn’t clip his wings and let him fly high like he was meant to.

“I guess I sort of knew it in my subconscious that you did not feel the same way. Maybe that’s why I kept stalling. But in the end, I just had to let you know, you know? I do not want to spend the rest of my life wondering. I had to take a chance and be sure. Do you think you can forgive me for overstepping my boundaries? Please? I don’t want to loose my buddy.”

When He looked at me with those big warm brown eyes, how could I say no to him? I heard myself say in a very lighthearted tone, “Of course you fool! Didn’t I just say that I will always be your friend. I will be there till the day you need me.”

“Well then I will go with forever ‘coz I don’t think I will never not need you!”

He then gave me a heart melting smile and proceeded to return to his old comforting ways. As if this conversation had never happened. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was the only one who was putting up an act. But I promised myself that I would be there for him till he had someone else to turn to.


That was then and this was now.

Three years have passed since then. Things between us were like what it was before that day at the restaurant. In the meantime, I was still stuck at the same flat, at the same job, at the same counselor’s office and with the same bottle of white pills on my bedside. He on the other hand, had climbed the corporate ladder quite fast. He had been sent abroad for a year to work on some project. That's where he had met her. After a whirlwind affair, here we were gathered today, at a church for the wedding of Akash & Sarah. Sarah was just another kindred spirit, who was just a shade bit more responsible than him. It was clear to me and to everyone else gathered there, that they were meant to be.

As they stood at the altar, ready to exchange their wows, they looked radiant. I remembered my promise to myself and realized that Sarah would truly be his better half. It was time for me to fade away in the shadows of his past and so I did right at the moment he said, “I Do”.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Judge me all You want



Source: Candy Cigarette by Sally Mann (Conscientious)



I know that look… I know that you are judging me right at this moment. See, if I care… Once upon a time, I would have cared but now I don’t. Not any more.

I was once like you – pure and innocent.  But I did not have a childhood like yours. Nor did I have the choices that you did. My life has been different from the very beginning. Why you ask? I do not know as I do not see any difference between you and me. I see the same heart and the same blood in both of us. We breathe in the same air and walk on the same earth. The same things hurt us and the same things bring us joy. Yet, my life is different from yours. Why you ask? Truthfully, I do not know.

People tell me it is because I dared to be born as a girl child in a family that craved only for a son. I was just a mistake conceived in a flurry of passion and regretted from the moment of my birth. No one cared that my sex was not my choice. No one cared that at I had the same need for attention and affection. No one cared that I can work just as hard and love even more. My younger brother was nourished and cherished, while I learnt to live on one meal a day – sometimes on even less. I was reminded every day that he was strong while I was weak. That my brother would grow up, earn and look after my parents while I would grow up and would need to be married off at the cost of a heavy dowry. I would always drain their blood and money. When my family could not afford the basic necessities, they sold off their only liability, me, in exchange for a meagre amount of cash that would keep their hunger at bay for a month. My cries and pleas did not move my parents. I was just a burden they were getting rid of.

From the age of six, I have been trained in every way possible to be successful at my trade. After all, I had to work off my family’s debt. I was only a little girl – fighting back wasn't an option. So, I learned the tricks and did my job even though it made me sick and hurt my insides. While numerous men enjoyed my flesh and ravaged my body, it did not matter if I wanted it or liked it or hated it – it was my job and I had to do it. I know you think that girls like me are in this business because it is an easy way to earn money or because it is pleasurable. But let me assure you that being beaten, whipped, tortured or used as an ashtray just to satisfy some sadistic need is neither a short cut nor is it pleasurable. Unlike you, I was not taught not to smoke or drink; instead it became my only escape. I felt violated, I felt trapped and I felt choked in my life but no one cared. Once again, my pleas for help fell on to deaf ears – I was yet to justify my existence.

It took me some time but I finally realized something… It doesn't matter whether anyone cared or not because no one can see beyond my flesh. You cannot see the pain in my eyes or the hurt in my heart or the broken dreams. It does not matter to you that I did not have the childhood I deserved or the love and affection that was my birth right. I do not deserve the prejudice you have against me and I do deserve the same respect as you. I warrant the same chance at happiness and the same encouragement to chase my dreams.

Did you ever stop to wonder who I am?

I am little girl with an old soul. My experiences have aged me far more than my years on this earth. I am a woman who is beyond any care in the world. After years of crying and begging, I know not to expect warmth or understanding or even a spare thought. So, why should I care for those who have always turned their backs and blind eyes away from me? I am a gentle spirit who has been pushed around for far too long. I am done being treated as a burden or a liability. I am tired of justifying my existence with every breath I take. I am just another human being who has been on the edge and back. My dreams and desires have been broken so many times, yet my soul and spirit survives.

I am the uncensored reflection of most women you know. Some trade in their freedom and some trade in their emotions. Some do it voluntarily and some do it involuntarily. Some do it in the name of love, some in the name of marriage and some do it in the name of family. All those little things that you take for granted from them, all those little compromises you expect them to make – brings her a step closer to what I unabashedly am. Every time you think she is weak, every time you try to suppress her, every time you take her choices away – you make her a little more like me. Crush her innocence, crush her dreams, crush her aspirations – she just gets a step closer to where I am.

I know that look… I know that you are judging me right at this moment. See, if I care… Once upon a time, I would have cared but now I don’t. Not any more. 

So, judge me all you want – for my actions and for the choices You think I have made. It does not matter because you are merely judging the piece of flesh that you see. 




"This post was originally published by me at a different blog as a part of IBL; the Battle of Blogs, sponsored by WriteupCafeJoin us at our Official Website and Facebook page"

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Under the Moonlight - Part 2


This is the second installment of the fanfiction. If you haven't already read the first part, here's the link to it: Under the Moon Light Part 1 


I am a huge Harry Potter Fan. Besides reading each book over and over again, I have read a lot of fanfictions from all over the places. So, I decided to try and write one myself. I know that its going to be nothing compared to the original series, yet I would love it if you read and review it for me.
NOTE: Anything that you recognize in this story belongs to J.K.Rowling.




As his mother disappeared out of his view, Remus turned to lift his trunk and then drag it along the corridor of Hogwarts Express with hopes of finding a seat. Most compartments were either full or occupied by daunting older students. He caught sight of a couple of students, a boy with greasy black hair and a girl with flaming red hair, leaving a compartment. He picked up his pace hoping to get a seat there. He peeked in first to see only two boys sitting there. “Mind if I join you?” They shrugged and got up to help him with his trunk. Once they were settled, Remus introduced himself. One of the boys said, “I am James Potter and this is Sirius Black. We were just talking about which house we would like to land up in. What do you think?”

“Well, I think either Ravenclaw or Gryffindor would be good for me. But I am just happy to be here and wouldn’t mind which house I land up in as long as I can be at Hogwarts.” Conversation had then flowed freely among the three throughout the journey. When the sorting started, Sirius Black had been the first to be sorted. When he heard his name called, he had turned to the other two and said, “Keep your fingers crossed for me guys. Don’t wanna land up with the rest of my family.” It had taken the sorting hat a long time to declare him a Gryffindor. He had looked both happy and surprised as he rushed off to join his house table. Soon it was his turn to be sorted. He too joined the Gryffindor, soon followed by James. They had been quite pleased to have landed up in the same house as they had already formed a bond on the train.

Quickly they settled down to the daily routine at Hogwarts. He enjoyed his lessons, explored the mysteries of the castle and loved the company of his two friends. Soon they came to be known as the ‘famous trio’ of Hogwarts. All three of them were very good at whatever they did, Sirius and James were well known for their pranks and none of them were ever seen without the company of the other two.  But all the while Remus heard a nagging voice in the back of his mind that kept on telling him that he was deceiving his friends. He felt heavy and tired all the time, as if he carried a ton of lead on his back at all the time. He hated the fact that he not only had to keep things secret from his friends but also that he had to lie through his teeth to them about his whereabouts during the full moon. It was always someone sick in the family or that he had fallen asleep in some obscure part of the castle. If there were too many marks on him, then it had to be from some accident that he had gotten himself into, but never the truth. All the while, letters kept coming to him from home reminding him how important it was that no one should ever have any doubts or suspicion.

Their first year and a major part of the second year had passed without any incident. James and Sirius had accepted that his mother had a weak health and that he was accident prone. Remus had stopped being on the edge all the time until something unexpected happened. It was a Sunday, James and Sirius were in detention with Professor McGonagall and he had been out on the grounds alone. He had chosen a spot by the lake that was out of the way from most of the student. He was sitting there reading a reference book on Potions when Lily approached him. They had gotten to know each other over the time they both spent in the library. “Can I talk to you for a minute Remus?”
“Yeah sure. I was just going through the reference book that Professor Slughorn suggested. I am sure you are already done with it, right?”
“Yes I finished it yesterday. But I wanted to ask you about something else…” Lily drifted off uneasily. Remus noticed that she was awkward and was fidgeting.
“What is it?” he asked soothingly.
“It’s kind of personal. I don’t want to offend you or anything. You don’t have to talk to me about it, but…”
“Come on Lily, what is it?”
“Its… it’s just that… I have noticed how moody and edgy you are before you have to go away. You come back covered in bruises and scratches and that you always have some emergency during the full moon.” Though she had started awkwardly, Lily rushed through her words as if that would minimize the impact of her words. Remus tensed immediately and looked away from her. “I have done some research and everything points to one thing only.”

Finally someone had figured it out. How long would it be before everyone else came to the same conclusion? Or would Lily just run screaming and warning everybody? Eventually the news would spread. First the students would start to avoid him and then their parents would complain and object. Then Dumbledore would be left with no other choice but to send him back home. His parents’ dream of seeing him have a normal life would break. Would they think that he had not been careful enough? But most importantly, how would James and Sirius react when they found out that their friend had been lying to them all along? That they had been sharing their dormitory and living with a werewolf pretending to be their friend?
“Remus…?” Lily’s voice broke into his trance. He noticed that he was gripping the potions book so hard that his knuckles had turned white. He dropped the book as if it was on fire. “Remus, I am pretty sure about my assessment. I just wanted you to know that I know it. You don’t have to carry this burden alone, you know? If you ever need any help, please, do not hesitate to ask me.”
He had been expecting screaming, running and horrified tones. Instead, Lily spoke in such soft and compassionate voice that it took him some time for him to register what she was saying and even longer to actually process it. “What??” he asked bewildered.
“I said that if you ever need any help, you know where to find me,” Lily repeated in a kind voice. “I mean, James and Sirius are not the best note-takers.”
“You know? How long have you known? Don’t you find me revolting? Why aren’t you running and screaming on the top of your voice to warn everybody?”
“Come on Remus, I knew you before I worked out about your problem. I know you wouldn’t hurt anyone, not even a fly, if you can help it. And, when you can not help it, I am sure that the staff members are taking every precaution to keep you and rest of the students safe for those times, aren’t they? “
“How long have you known?”
“I made the connection at the beginning of this year and then did a lot of research. But I have been absolutely sure for a bit over a month now.” There was a hint of pride in her voice.
“For a month? And you haven’t told anyone yet? Why?”
“Obviously because you want to keep it a secret. You haven’t even confided in your best friends. They seem to believe your cover stories at their face values. And I don’t blame you. From what I found out, people are too prejudiced about it. They judge people for something that is not their fault. As long as the concerned people know, who am I to divulge your secret? I know that the teachers know because they try not to attract attention to your frequent absence. If any other student missed half the number of classes that you do, they would be in huge trouble – especially from Professor McGonagall.”
“It really doesn’t bother you that once a month I turn into a monster? That if people are not careful enough, I could end up killing people – even my own family and friends?”
“Like I said, it’s not your fault. You did not choose this for yourself and you cannot be held responsible for your actions after you transform. What matters is who you really are. You are a brilliant student, a loyal friend and you are always so good to everybody – even to someone like Avery! That’s who you truly are Remus. You are an honest person with a good heart. Don’t let other people’s blind prejudice dictate how you look at yourself. You.Are.Not.A.Monster,” Lily concluded with emphasis on the last words.

That was the day that had instilled true hope in him. Hope for a normal life, hope for true friends and hope of complete acceptance. Lily Evans had done that for him. Remus had gone ahead and answered all the questions that Lily had about Lycanthropy. From then on, whenever James and Sirius landed themselves into detention, which was pretty often, he would spend time with Lily. She would always have a copy of her notes ready for him whenever he missed a class. Having even one person he could be completely free with, was a great feeling – as if a great part of the burden lifted off him. He would still feel guilty sometimes for not confiding in his best friends, but at least it was better than before.



To be Continued...

Link to Part 3

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Happy but not Gay...


A Message to my SOCIETY!

“Mondays child is fair of face,
Tuesdays child is full of grace,
Wednesdays child is full of woe,
Thursdays child has far to go,
Fridays child is loving and giving,
Saturdays child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.”

~~~  This is a poem that I had learnt as a part of my curriculum in primary school. Being born on a Sunday, I would proudly tell everyone that I was bonny & gay.

That was more than two decades ago. Imagine me now, walking up to people and claiming that I am “bonny & gay”! I can just imagine the scandalized look on the faces of the people of this 21st Century Society. But then again, I have never understood our society!!

Couple of days back I was watching the Roadies Audition – yes the same program that has been branded as a show that encourages ‘ragging’ by a lot of prominent people. So anyway, I was watching this particular episode where the contestant’s identity was kept totally a secret. From fuzzing out his profile on the video to censoring his name, location & profession just because he was gay! Frankly speaking, I was outraged! Not because he was gay but because he had to keep his identity a secret because of his sexual orientation. I still don’t understand why?

Somebody’s sexual orientation is a part of their personal life and they have every right to their own choices. It is really unfair to judge them because of it. I mean what right do I have to judge anybody? I have my own life and own faults. No really, what right do I have to point a finger at someone else when the remaining four are pointed at me? Are we all so useless that we have no other work other than to interfere in somebody else’s life, gossip, judge and point fingers? Seriously people get a job if you have so much time or even better – get a life for yourself!

I can hear/read that a lot of people think it is unnatural for two people of the same sex to be together that way. Oh well! Need I remind you that we (our ancestors who were not as well ‘developed' as us) thought that Pythagoras, Copernicus, Aristotle, Galileo were all a bunch of crazies for claiming that the earth was not flat and that it was the sun that is stationary! So people how do you know that it is not natural? Coming to Indian history the first thing that comes to my mind is ‘Sati’. Remember, we all thought that it was only natural to burn a woman alive with her dead husband? We thought that was natural. We thought that was our culture and a part of our religion. So, are you all going to go back and bring back the “Sati” System?

For those who blame the gays’ for being ‘abnormal’ – here’s a news flash for you! They are not abnormal. Abnormal are those people who are ‘straight’ and enjoy raping their victims. Abnormal are those people who think that it is okay to beat up a woman just because they can. Abnormal are those people who molest mere kids. And it is abnormal of the rest of you to accept that and not being able accept two grown people mutually deciding to be together. Yes there! I said it!

And I have a special message for the parents who deny their children the love and respect they deserve for being ‘abnormal’. For the parents who care more about the faceless society than their own flesh and blood – if you think that it’s your child’s ‘fault’ for being homosexual, well you are worse than the rest of the society because technically it is “YOUR FAULT”. It has been proved by science [you believe in Science, right?] that ‘gay’ genes are passed on to a child by their parents. So if you want to shun someone – do it to yourself. Do not punish your children for something that you are responsible for.

For my brothers/sisters/friends who are homosexual – please do not hide what you are and how you feel. You are not at fault. By hiding or not admitting you are not only giving up your rights, but also giving these ignorant people the chance to believe that they are right. Educate those around you and fight for your own life and happiness. Don’t take it to heart if people do not understand it because those who truly love will understand – rest are not worth your attention.

Finally, when are we, as a society, going to understand that we need to be accepting and tolerant about things and issues like these? Otherwise what is the difference between the animals in a jungle and us? Otherwise what is the difference between our forefathers who lived in a cave and us? It is okay to admit that we do not know or understand everything and just because we do not understand something doesn’t mean that it is wrong. If you all really want to fight something – fight corruption and crime. If you want to fight someone – fight those ‘leaders of our nation’ who are using their power and position for their own purpose – But then that’s a story for another day.

For today people Live and Let Live. [And mind your own Business] 


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Under the Moonlight - Part 1

I am a huge Harry Potter Fan. Besides reading each book over and over again, I have read a lot of fanfictions from all over the places. So, I decided to try and write one myself. I know that its going to be nothing compared to the original series, yet I would love it if you read and review it for me.
NOTE: Anything that you recognize in this story belongs to J.K.Rowling.



It was twilight, marking the end of another day. Once again it was time for the full moon to take its place in the night sky. A man popped out of thin air at the edge of Godric’s Hollow and made his way through a familiar path. The houses lined on both sides of the path showed signs of heavy activity. Everyone was getting ready for dinner and then a night of restful sleep. But the man paid no attention to his surroundings as he kept on walking at a high pace with determined steps. The light wind ruffled his white flecked hair & his shabby worn-out coat. It was only at the intersection with the war memorial that he slowed down. He looked up at the familiar faces of his first two true friends and their child. A pang of pain flitted across his chest. It has been fifteen years since he had lost his friends, yet the pain of their loss was as raw as it was on the night they were betrayed and murdered. He picked up his pace as soon as he passed the memorial and hurried on towards where the ruins lay. He paused at the gate when the messages of hundreds of magical people appeared on the plaque at his touch. A lot of them had wished luck to ‘the-boy-who-lived’. Harry would need it – now more than anything. He entered the premises and closed the gate behind him.

He stood there for a quite some time taking in every detail of the ruins and overgrown garden. He could see, in a flash in his mind, how the place had looked when James and Lily were alive and living here. With a deep sigh, he brought out his wand and started to walk around the boundary muttering incantations swiftly under his breath. He paced the perimeter twice and then came to stand at the same place he had started. He looked at his watch and sighed again. He had a little over an hour before the moon made its inevitable appearance and turned him into a monster. There was a bench nearby but covered with over grown weeds. With another flick of his wand, it was cleared and he proceeded to make himself comfortable. Yet another reluctant sigh escaped him. He had spent the first full moon after James & Lilly’s death here, alone. He had not known where else to go. With three of his best friends gone and the fourth locked up in Azkaban, he had simply no idea about where to go or what to do. So he had come here, where he felt closest to his friends, besides Hogwarts. Like today, he had set up protections to ensure the safety of the people in the town and let the moon take over him.

He looked up at the night sky once again. First James and Lily, then Sirius and now Dumbledore. Everybody, who did not treat him like his infliction was his fault, was gone. Wasn’t this lifelong curse of Lycanthropy enough? Why did he have to outlive everyone he loved and cared for? He would have gladly laid down his life for any of these people. Why did James have to put his trust in the wrong person? If Dumbledore hadn’t sent him to live amongst the other werewolves, he would have offered to be their secret keeper. He would have taken the secret to his graves and Harry would still have his parents. Dumbledore too had trusted the wrong person. Severus Snape, the cold blooded murderer, had betrayed him. Harry had tried to warn them, but no one had believed him them. Remus Lupin shook his head as if to clear his mind of the day of Hogwarts attack and of the day he had lost the friend and mentor in Dumbledore. He looked at his watch again. There was still an hour to go. He let his head rest on the back of the bench, closed his eyes and let his mind wander back to when he was just 11 years old.

His parents had been sure that given his condition, he would not be able to attend any magical school, let alone Hogwarts. So they had been preparing him accordingly. They kept telling him that it was only for the better because he would not have to go away to school and could stay with them at home. Being home schooled would also be a good thing because unlike the other kids at school, he would get special attention and his education would not be restricted by a syllabus. That was until they were all taken by surprise when a letter from Hogwarts landed on their breakfast table one morning. His parents had immediately gone to Hogwarts and talked to Dumbledore, the new headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. They had wanted to make sure that it wasn’t some cruel joke before letting their hopes high. The headmaster had explained them that as long as some precautions were taken, there was no reason why Remus could not attend school with the other kids and like the other kids

The intervening months had then passed in a blur. He remembered visiting Diagon Alley, for the first time since he had been bitten, for his school supplies. His parents had been excited, happy and anxious all at the same time. For them this was a sign that their child could have a normal life. Well, at least it was the first step towards that. But they were also anxious because his condition would have to be kept a secret. Maybe the headmaster did not mind and maybe even the staff had no problem dealing with his condition. But they were sure that many parents would not want their children to associate with him. They kept on reminding him how important it was for him to keep his condition a secret. That no matter how many friends he made and how much he trusted them, he should never confide in anyone. They drilled it into him that he would have to be careful when the full moon neared and that the school nurse would always be there for him. They had come to King’s Cross to see him off but had kept a very low profile. They had done their best to not attract attention to themselves incase anybody identified them. Still it hadn’t stopped his mother from waving at him till the Hogwarts express had turned a corner, taking him towards a new life and the people he would learn to love, trust and respect.


To be Continued...

Link to Part 2

Link to Part 3