Monday, July 31, 2017

The Little Bundle of Joy!

Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India that reflects the love shared by a brother and his sister.  I always wanted a sister and the almighty lord heard all my prayers and blessed my family with a little princess who entered this world with a smile. If I had super powers I would have captured those innocent little smile and the twinkling eyes forever and arrested them in my memories. Such is the love that I have for my sister. Being a protective brother, my sister means a lot, in fact, she is my world, my bundle of joy!
There are many things happening around - many good and many bad but life planned to twist our world and make it complicated. I am not here to say the complicated bit but to share the happy part of our amazing life! 


QUESTION 1: WHAT WAS THE MOST MEMORABLE FIGHT YOU’VE EVER HAD WITH YOUR SIBLING?

 I was 7 years old and my baby sister was 1.5 years old then! I was fond of chocolates and sweets since my good old young days. Our parents were working and hence our Massi raised us. During the early 1990's we used to get a sweet item whose name I don't remember.  It was basically a tube of flavoured ice rolled in a plastic tube like substance.  Many would call that as Pepsi and many called it by various names. I used to gulp over 5 of them at a given time. Such was my crazy love for sweet items. 
It was one of those days when I was getting ready for school. I spotted my cute innocent sister gulping the plastic tube of flavoured ice with complete alacrity. I held her in my hand and quickly grabbed the ice cubes she was eating and gulped it.  She became furious and she did something that I could not forget for the days to come. She bit me on my arm and left an imprint of her tiny little teeth and dug too deep into my muscles. That pain was excruciating and being a baby no one could scold her as at that tender age no baby would understand right and wrong. I had to quickly rush to a doctor and get an injection and bandage. Twenty-Two years passed and  I still have those scars on my arm that reminds me of that incident.  I miss those days and sometimes wish we time travelled to that period. Life was sweet and beautiful then with no fear of future.  Life was festooned with awesomeness and happiness.  

QUESTION 2: WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE GIFT YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED FROM YOUR SIBLING OR GIVEN TO YOUR SIBLING?

In this materialistic world where people crave for happiness and love, I got the best gift send by God in the form of a princess.  No material object or gift would measure the amount of love that I hold for my sibling. She is precious than a diamond to be. Not even the most expensive item in this world would ever come close to the love that we both share. Honestly, I have never bought anything precious for my sister. I have gifted her gold items, mobile phones and accessories but more than that God has given me the greatest gift in my life and that's her.  When momma placed her on my lap for the first time, I had the greatest responsibility. It was then I promised myself that I would take care of her and will be there for her during the happy and the worst times. I would be a protective, loving and a caring brother.  I just have one wish to god that he listens to all her wishes and prayers and make all her dreams come true. May he translate all her wishes and dreams into reality and listen to her prayers. I pray to the almighty Lord that he grants her with good health and happiness. 

This year I am miles away from home and I can't express in words how much I miss my family and my adorable sister.  I love you mum, dad and Anu and I miss you three the most. I wish I was around you but I'll be home soon. There isn't a single moment where I have not remembered you! 
Thank you, Lord, for giving me an amazing family. Love you Appa, Amma and Anu! 

Hope to blog soon!

#IGPSiblingRivalry


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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Messi and the Messiah of Mumbai

**This post is written for 'Made of Great' contest on Indiblogger.**

USP is something that talks about what you have that your competitors don't! Every individual born in this  world has certain characteristics and talents. It's this USP of his that defines him and that matters! Everyone is blessed with special talents.

In this journey of life,  we often bump across people who make their presence felt in our life in a special way. They inspire us through their life. Their life story is no different than a lesson for all of us. UNIQUE is the keyword that distinguishes them from the others.  No one imagined that a tea seller would lead a nation one day, a bus conductor would turn into a Superstar or a newspaper boy would grow up to become a scientist. These individuals led their life in such a way that not only teaches great lessons to many but also inspires them.  One such story is that of a little boy called Lionel from Rosario.  Rosario is a small town in Argentina which is known for its Football Culture. This boy worked hard and harder and one day  he scaled great heights that he was known as the Superstar of the Football world. The little boy Lionel was none other than our Lionel Messi. Lionel Andres Messi, the world's most celebrated footballer. He had a great zeal for this sport. And this is what one of his coach from his childhood days said about him. 

"When you saw him you would think: this kid can't play ball. He's a dwarf; he's too fragile, too small. But immediately you'd realize that he was born different, that he was a phenomenon and that he was going to be something impressive." - Adrian Costa.

I have spoken to many kids who say that they want to grow up to become a  famous footballer like Messi and score goals for their country. Isn't it an amazing thing to do? Messi has inspired a generation. 


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Like Messi, there is one more thing that has inspired me. It is known as the Messiah of Mumbai, the life line!  The Mumbai Local! You might be wondering and even amazed on how a Local train can inspire me. For all of you, it might be  just a train that transports passengers from one place to another but for me it is something beyond that. For me, a lifeline of Mumbai can't just be a dead thing after all a lifeline has a life in it. And that's the reason why Mumbai comes to a standstill when the Mumbai local stops.

Mumbai local inspires me. Being a huge fan of Messi, I realize that Messi and the Messiah - Mumbai Local, have some great striking similarities. After  that, I have jumped to the conclusion that they both are made of great. 

1. Balance and Control 
Messi never fails either Mumbai Local. There have been several instances where the players from the opposite team played foul and tried  to topple you down and gain free kicks. Messi is honest.  The drawback of being honest is that people tend to take you for granted and throw you down and apply their bad tricks on you. This is applicable to every aspect of life. Messi rarely misses any chances, but he never  steals a shot  from any player. He never loses his balance, composure and is sincere. 
Same is with the Mumbai Local. There have been several instances where cases of various terror attacks have rocked the nation. Even during those catastrophic events  the life line of Mumbai never stopped. That's why I said that a lifeline has a life! 
Both teach a valuable lesson to us. There might be events that may bring you down. Be strong and never give up! 


"I always thought I wanted to play professionally, and I always knew that to do that I’d have to make a lot of sacrifices. I made sacrifices by leaving Argentina, leaving my family to start a new life. I changed my friends, my people. Everything. But everything I did, I did for football, to achieve my dream."  - Lionel Messi.
Never be  afraid of sacrificing something or someone in life for their happiness. After all  your sacrifice  will eventually bring joy to the life of your loved ones!  That's what Messi's life teaches us!

"Messi is the best player in the world by some distance. He's like a PlayStation. He can take advantage of every mistake we make." - Arsène Wenger


2. Power 
Messi is one of the best strikers in the football world. He can hurt the defense of any football team and bring it down. That's the specialty about this player.  That's why he is said to be the most dangerous player of this generation. It's because he has great powers and abilities that scare the players from the opposition. 

Similarly, Mumbai Local has some great powers too. It has abilities to run in any weather. Even rains can't affect the Mumbai Local except for some cases. After all there can be some exceptions at times! The local carries a load of 7.5 million people in a day. Isn't that amazing?


"For the world of football, Messi is a treasure because he is role model for children around the world… Messi will be the player to win the most Ballons d’Or in history. He will win five, six, seven. He is incomparable. He’s in a different league." - Johan Cruyff

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3. Speed 
Messi is a short player and a good sprinter. With his short stature, he can dribble the ball and sprint at a great speed.  With a great pace, he can change his direction and speed at any  moment in the game and that's  the reason why the midfielders and the defenders from the opposite team find it difficult to tackle him. 

Mumbai Local is known for its speed too. This  covers the line between Churchgate and Virar! And the fast trains make it easier for people who travel long distances. The train runs at great speed  and only halts at important stations. So, people can choose the option of using a Fast train or a Slow train. 


"It's the fastest mode of travel in the city. Compared to other transport and other travel modes, its the cheapest too. It's the lifeline of Mumbai without which the city would come to a grinding halt" - Sanjay Thampy.

4. Alertness
Messi is always alert on the field. His sharp eyes are aware of the dangers from the opposition team  in form of defenders, midfielders and the strikers who prevent him from scoring the goal. He also easily breaks the man marking that the other teams plots for him in order to prevent him from entering the other area. But still hardly any force can break his spirit  for this  game.

Similarly, Mumbai local acts appropriately in case there are any issues. It halts when there is a train on the same track and waits for it to move!


"It's a window to the world. So much can be learnt while observing people go by, even a mundane routine teaches us about hundreds of lives of strangers who walk past us. So different yet so similar" - Divyakshi Gupta.

5. Reliability
 Both Messi and Mumbai local are reliable. In Messi's case, his entire team depends on him and so does the fans. And he never lets  them down. That's the best part of the story. 

Mumbai Local is reliable too. It shortens your travel route. The road distance between two places might be more but if you take the local then the distance would be reduced considerably! 

6. Team Player
Messi plays for the team. He never brags about the number of awards he won or goals he scored. It's hard to see such a humble person in today's era.


"I prefer to win titles with the team ahead of individual awards or scoring more goals than anyone else. I’m more worried about being a good person than being the best football player in the world. When all this is over, what are you left with? "  - Lionel Messi

And then Mumbai local is a team player too. Check out this statement made by my friend Deepika.


"Have you seen those crowded trains that go to Karjat and Virar? I have noticed something here. It doesn't  matter how crowded these trains are ..people there are always willing to accommodate that one more person who is almost about to miss the train and some other person or another will offer his hand and pull him up to the footboard  even when the train is in motion. Respect!" - Deepika Mantri.

Well, there are lots of amazing things about the same.  Mumbai Local serves as a platform where we make good friends. These people eventually turn out to be the best people of our life. Sometimes even though the train might be over crowded and there might be no room for more passengers, but still some helpful folks standing at the door might try to fit you inside. So much love no! Even though we all are strangers we share our stories with each other.  Sometimes through these friends we seek solace.  And sometimes we discuss Television soaps too! We play music and sing bhajans inside the Mumbai local. 


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Like we all have college friends, school friends, office friends and building friends, some people also have train friends. And they always catch the same train and the same compartment and sometimes the same seat. Thanks to the Mumbai Local.

There can be many things said about both Messi and the Mumbai Local. It's just that both are made of great. One brings joy in the face of fans by scoring goals and other facilitates people by transporting them between places and thus making life easier for them and thereby getting them closer to their goals.

That's why it is said that what drives us from within is what makes us great!
Messi never looks sideways or backward but always runs forward towards the goal. Similarly, he teaches us to run towards our goal.  Our goal is something that matters to us! 

Mumbai Local takes us closer to our goal as it  serves as our travel partner! It is an integral  part of our life and people in Mumbai would agree to me.


Not everyone who is born in this world is great. Greatness is earned! There are many things and many people in life but only few qualify to be great.
"Greatness is earned, not self proclaimed" - Ankita Singhal

About the Made of Great Campaign by Tata Motors


The #madeofgreat campaign is the first time Tata Motors is undertaking an overall brand association campaign with a brand ambassador. It rides on a strong consumer motivation of ‘Seeking Excellence’ and ‘Self Belief’ which is showcased by the confluence of two global brands-Tata Motors and Lionel Messi. The campaign builds upon Tata Motors’ DNA of trust, authenticity, reliability, simplicity, as well as its commitment to innovation.

Lionel Messi is talent galore with conviction and is an icon for today’s youth. He is a winner who is trustworthy, reliable, pioneering, simple and driven by self-belief, which is what is at the core of Tata Motors as well. Thus, proving to be an ideal fit for the role of Global Brand Ambassador.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Celebrate Life - Stay Happy

There are several occasions to be happy. Weddings, Birthday’s, Festivals etc are few reasons for happiness along with several momentary happiness such as awards, results etc.  But the concept of happiness isn't just limited to the aforementioned things. I have always been a firm believer of being happy in every small thing that you do.  Happiness should be forever.  One should be happy in whatever things they do. Life is all about the things that you do. And most of them are something that we do to bring a smile on ours and our loved ones face.  At the end of the day, we are happy when we win and we are unhappy when we lose. But in the ups and downs of life, we should look forward and move ahead and find happiness on the path that we tread! Emphasizing again the reason for being happy, I would say that why should there be an event for being happy.  Should happiness be only limited to different events? No, not at all.

I would share few things that make me happy. These are things that make me to celebrate joy and most importantly celebrate life! These are the things that make big occasions unnecessary and lets you discover happiness   by enjoying every moment.
I believe in a simple life with happiness. My requirements are limited and that’s the reason why I find worldly pleasure and happiness in small things. :)

Here are few things that bring happiness to me.
1.       Art – I love drawing and it is something very close to me. Even when I am submerged in deep sorrow, its art that gives me peace.  It completely transforms me into a different world.  As my sketch pencil draws different patterns and lines on the canvas, the arteries in my heart transport happiness and this happiness completes me. I am glad that I discover happiness through my art. I love doing this!



2.       Writing - I discovered this hidden talent of mine at a tender age of 13. At an age where kids used to lift essays and compositions from Navneet, I would write my own essays and compositions. My teacher would be amazed and once she encouraged me to keep writing. Her motivational words touched me and that was the day I realized the importance of writing. May be I have not made it big but writing is close to me. It transports me into a world full of happiness and joy!

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3.       Family - Family is the greatest support structure that one could ever have! They form the foundation and the pillar strength of your life. And when your family is around, you are bound to be happy.

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4.       Teaching & Playing with kids – I find happiness by talking and playing with kids. Some say that kids are innocents. Indeed they are! They are cute. And they make me happy with their cute gestures and actions. That’s the reason I love babysitting kids. Apart from this, I love teaching them. It’s good to teach and share your knowledge with the needy.  I closely monitor and help the kids.

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5.       Photography – Photography is another creative spear of mine that I discovered lately. I love clicking pictures and processing them through image editing software’s. By clicking photos through different frames, the happiness quotient grows more.

6.       Helping – I love promoting different start ups and brands by writing about them and helping them in every possible way I could. Helping everyone automatically invokes joy within me. 

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7.       Cleaning House – Household chores are not just limited to women of the house. Being a part of the family, it naturally becomes our duty to support mother in cleaning house. A small deed of kindness would of course make her smile but it also makes me happy.

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The above enlisted are few things that make me happy. Ours is a tiny world.  Wouldn't you like to remain happy? There are many ways of finding happiness. And one way is by taking one step at a time and enjoying life at every moment. Live life to the fullest. Fret not!

Kolte Patil Developers feel that a good house is the best way to celebrate life every day. That is why they have created the Ivy Estate in Wagholi near Pune, a property spread over 85 acres in the lap of nature, which marries modern amenities and natural charm perfectly. The 1600 families already living there are a living testimony to this fact, and celebrate life every day.
What are the things necessary for you to celebrate every moment? Blog about them for the #CelebrateLifeAtIvy activity this weekend and spread some happiness!



 #CelebrateLifeAtIvy by owning a dream home atIvy estate, an 85 acre estate with 34 acres of greenery and open spaces. Join the 1600 happy families already living here. Check out this walkthrough video and decide for yourself.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Heart has a reason!

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I present you a  story, a story  that resides deep inside  my heart.  This is a story of two friends - me and a dear friend. A verbal skirmish between both of us devastated our friendship. But it was the heart that heard my prayers and dealt cleverly and smartly to restore normalcy. Heart is symbolic of feelings and emotions. But for me it helped in mending broken friendship. Broken friendship is like shards of glasses. Dilemma! The hurt would keep reminding about the broken friendship and all that is left is nothing but disappointment. 

It was the month of February in the year 2009. I was selected in Infosys through  third year campus placements. She was not known to me until the first day at office. Ours was the computer science batch that contained students from all over India. I got introduced to many new people and even befriended few of them.  The next three months we were destined to be together.  We were trained  on various programming languages and technology. By the end of three months, we all were almost inseparable. It is wisely said that you gel  with a group and eventually you end up being a part of it. My case was similar. The day of project assignment neared and our fate was decided that day. That was the day  when I was posted to work on a project at Chennai. My heart ached at the very thought that I would have to stay away from my family. I had million thoughts running inside my mind. Over thousand questions haunted me!  I didn't  have any alternative  to swap the project with someone. I was heartbroken. I was the only person selected to work from the Chennai location! Dejected , I sat  on the stairs! I saw the happy faces of people from my batch. Every one was excited sans me! I was disappointed. A silent tear streamed down my cheeks. There was a constant frown on my face. It was self explanatory!  The thought of staying away from my family gave me constant goosebumps. I have never lived away from them. How would I even survive without my family? This attachment towards my family  forced me to think too much! A person sat next to me , wrapped her arms around my shoulder and soothed me. 

She was none other than Soumya Rajan,  someone  who easily identified my pain even during her moment of joy! 

"I don't want you to cry, Stephen," she said. My eyes were moist with tears. I was almost shattered.  She tried her best to console me. But my heart was lost in its own thoughts!

"You listening to me?" she said again. I helplessly looked at her. 
"Time will fly and  within months you would be back here," she added. 

I was feeling happy that at times of turbulence, I identified someone whom I could call my best friend. She was my best friend. She was someone who taught me to be happy during  sorrow. I finally bid adieu to her and my batch the next day.  She hugged me tightly!

Days passed and I started to adore Chennai. It  was refreshing and gave me many reasons to smile. I had a wonderful team and  people there were too good. But language was the only barrier. People there speak either Tamil or English.  But I managed with English and Konjam Konjam Tamil ( Little Little Tamil).

As promised, one year later I was back to where I belonged. I was back with my family. I was assigned to work on a different team. I saw Soumya once again. She was so happy and excited to see me again. We shared a friendly bond and there was nothing more between us. Whenever I had time, she would listen to my Chennai ramblings. During one such session I even told her how much I missed her! Soon I got promoted to a senior role!

Soumya worked on the same floor as mine and as a result we both would  land up meeting each other quite often. Those days I had made several friends within my team too! Soumya was close with my team too! One day there was an argument between Soumya and one of my junior team mate. She was furious at him! I was not aware of the problems but I knew that the matter had intensified. 

Later on upon investigating I realized that it was Soumya's fault. It was not in my nature to favor the wrong! The matter escalated to such an extent that she complained about my team mate to my manager. My manager bashed me for my inability to control the matter.I tried to bring back things to normal and however hard I tried, the issue didn't get resolved.It was during one of those conversation that Soumya got a hint that I was supporting my team mate. But I was  only being frank and honest! How could I prove her that I was right? She was not in a mood to listen to me. She was visibly disappointed. 

She got hulk  angry quite often. And perhaps I had witnessed  it for the first time. 

"Soumya...." I called her as we left out of my managers cabin.

She didn't pay heed to my words. 
I quickly ran behind her and  apologized.

"Damn, your sorry!" She bursted upon me.
"I don't need it."  she added and continued, " I thought we were great friends but today you proved me wrong." 

"Enough is enough!" she said, tersely.

"I don't need your friendship," she said and left for her cubicle. I looked at her incredulously. All my attempts to talk to her again failed. We never spoke again.

Months passed and even years. I used to visit my friends cubicle that was next to Soumya's and get a glimpse of her! I actually wanted to bring things back to normal. I didn't want  our friendship to break. 

Two years later...

Through one of my friend I got to know that Soumya had resigned from the company. By then  she had made many foes than friends. Even her own team mates saw her like enemy. They didn't interacted much with her.

Whenever I passed by her,I would believe she always wanted to talk to me. Her eyes suggested me so! It was her last day at office.  She had once told me that her last day at office  should be like a President leaving his office. She loved chocolate cakes!  She loved photo frames and lots of gifts!

But sadly nothing happened just as she wished. Everyone knew that we both were not in talking terms. Even her own team didn't come to bid her adieu. That would be a disgrace for any corporate employee on their last working day! 

I felt sorry for her. I wanted her last working day to be special. That was the time when my heart struck a deal with me. It tried hard to convince me that she was my best friend and I can't leave my best friend sad on her last working day. I contemplated for a while and decided to listen to my heart. I quickly made a plan with my two other friends who were also  known to Soumya.

 We  decided to give her a pleasant surprise. We left for Regal mall and started purchase amazing gifts for her. We  printed a collage of hers that contained amazing collection of  her photographs from our training days to project days.  We brought a huge teddy, photo frames, flowers and a  big greeting card.  We  ordered a chocolate cake too!

Just as she was about to leave her floor forever, an office boy handed her a note  - Come to Cafeteria in 5 minutes! It was we who had send that note. 

When she reached the cafeteria, we clapped and greeted her.  I stood there in front of her and clapped. We handed her everything that we had got for her. She cut the cake  and gave me one piece. She looked  straight into my eyes. Tears rolled down her cheeks. It was tears of joy! She hugged me tight. I  had no words to explain this feeling. 

"You know how much I missed you all these days," she said to me . She spoke to me  after 2 years. It felt good listening to her after so many days. 

"I missed you more than you did." I said. 

For the first time , I had listened to my heart and that struck gold for me. What followed next was magic, the magic that  I got my friend and my lost friendship back.Thanks to my heart that was aware of things and people close to me. Months later, she referred me in her new company . We both worked together for few months before she got married. She now settled in Washington DC with her husband. This was how I got my friend back once again by listening to my heart. 

“I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdealactivity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.”

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Song of Life!

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It was a balmy Sunday evening. I was waiting outside the Mumbai International Airport to meet Monika, my beloved! She was returning back to India after 8 months. The furore grew more with a thousand butterflies fluttering within my stomach. 5 PM - My wrist watch displayed! We were not in talking terms  after our recent breakup. But through her friend Ayesha, I got to know that her flight would be landing sharp at 5.15 PM. Despairingly waiting outside the airport, I wished if she could  forgive me. My phone beeped with an email notification message – King Julian has commented on your post – ‘The Song of Life’

24th April 2011. How could I ever let this day slip from my memory? That day I interacted with Monika for the first time. Monika Juneja was a blogger who blogged at a blog called ‘The Song of Life’. Our first virtual encounter happened on a blogging website named  The Write Up Cafe!  The enigmatic world of blogging had mesmerized me. Monika was a popular blogger and had a huge fan following in the blog world.Coincidentally, that day I had logged into writeup cafe. I was randomly strolling through few blogs. During blog hop, one particular blog post touched me.

“Circumstances change people around us.  I’m feeling weak and broken. I feel a thousand invisible knives being jabbed on my soul by people close to me! Why do people change when someone trusts them blindly?  Perhaps, I feel blessed that I could identify such fiends under the label of friends! My blog is my new best friend right. Come sing with me  the song of life!” It was something intense and profound. Perhaps her life had been invaded by backstabbers. She had already started embracing melancholy, I thought!  I quickly typed a comment on her blog.

“Your post has touched me deep. Of course, life is all about identifying true people. Life would have been great if it lets us  to classify people whom we meet. Unfortunately things don't  happen as we wish. Maybe we should be smart enough to identify people. First time here, I loved this blog – The Song of Life”

Our initial interactions were through blog comments.

“ : ) Yes, it is easy to say but situations and things change everyone.  A big hello to you – Mr. Another Blogger!”  She had replied to my blog comment. I used to write by the name – Another Blogger!

Those days I used to spend my weekends reading her blog posts. I found most of her articles to be sad and dark. Sooner, I turned out to be her regular blog reader. I was growing into a big fan of hers!  Even she started reading my blogs. Days later we exchanged our email id’s and soon we even connected on Facebook.  Her display photo suggested me that she was beautiful. But looks can be deceiving in the social media frenzy world. I kept staring at her profile photo for a while. At the same time, she pinged me on Facebook chat.

Monika– Hey Mr. Blogger
Me - Hello Singer :P
Monika– You write so well.
Me – Not better than you. But Why gloomy and dark  posts?
Monika– I had been at the receiving end of something disastrous that happened in my life. Maybe I am not that great.
Me – Cheer up! You rock and you know that.
Monika- :) That’s so kind of you to think like that.

With our every single interactions, I got to know her minutely.  She  never hesitated sharing all her dark secrets with me. With each passing day, our friendship grew stronger. And that was when we decided to  exchange our phone numbers.One fine day, we mutually agreed upon to meet. 

It was a fine Saturday evening. I waited for her at a coffee shop in Vile Parle. Having booked a table for two, I incessantly poked my mobile phone and checked my blog for blog comments. She arrived two minutes later. Gorgeous, Elegant, Chic, Pretty and many more adjectives would define her.  She had a long hair that cascaded down her back. An arched eyebrow, long nose, and full red lips framed her face. In fact, she looked prettier in reality  than most of  her Facebook profile photos. We exchanged smiles and shook hands.

“Finally I see  the face behind the song of life ,” I said.

She laughed and said, "Same here Ankit!”

She looked reticent to me at first.

“What are you up to Mr. Blogger?”  Monika asked.
“All good, between we never formally introduced ourselves.  Why don’t we do that now?”
“Why not!” she replied and at the same time the waiter interrupted us, “What would you like to have?”
By then she had already surfed through the menu and it didn't took much time for us to decide on the order.

“One Chocó frappe and One Cappuccino,” she said.
Monika Juneja,  the name is enough, you see,” she joked and added, “I am doing my final year Engineering and I have big dreams. I am an occasional short story writer unlike you and I love poetries.”

“So would you be singing a song too?” I joked.
“Excuse me?
“You write at the song of life, no?” I laughed.
“Bad joke!” she said, her voice terse.
“Ankit, what about you?” she said.
“I work as a software developer in an IT Company. There is nothing interesting to say about me. But for a fact I love writing short stories.”
“What genre?”  She asked.  The waiter arrived at the same time with a tray containing two cups.
He neatly transferred the coffee cups from the tray to the table.
“Mostly love relationships,” I said brusquely.
“I love writing poetries too but I am an amateur poet.”  I added.
“But any day I would fall for a man who writes cute poetries. I know some guys who write amazing poems you know,” she said.

We spoke for 1 hour and then we headed for Juhu beach. It was after a long time that I was hanging out with a girl, a beautiful girl to be precise. She sat and  rested her hands on my shoulder as I started my bike.  She held me tight as I rode the bike on the Juhu Tara road. The sun had slowly started to set and a sea of slow moving vehicles almost made it impossible to reach the Juhu beach in 15 minutes. I zig zagged my bike through the intense heavy traffic.  I parked my bike on the parking area and walked towards the beach.  The beach was crowded with people, mostly family and college students. As we walked, admiring the setting sun, we came across many young little kids constructing sand castles.  

“Isn’t childhood the best phase of our life, Ankit?” Monika asked.
“I second you!” I replied.
“You talk about childhood and I slowly start transforming into a little child.” I laughed and ran towards a little girl. I helped her in building her castle. She stood next to us and clicked a picture of us.
“Ankit, let’s go,” she said.

“Bye Bhaiyya.” The little girl bid me adieu as we walked further.
“This sea has no boundaries, Ankit,” she said and continued, “I wish even happiness had no limits and boundaries in life. But for me it was nipped in the bud!”

“I don’t even have someone whom I could call as my best friend. Guys entered my life only to break me into pieces.  That’s why I hesitate before trusting any man!” she continued, “I will be the happiest person in this world when I meet a guy who would love me unconditionally and accept me for what I am.”

“You are good at philosophy too!” I winked.  Philosophies do amuse me, but she had said something strange. How could she generalize all men?  I thought. For some reason, I felt that I  had all the qualities of being the man who would give her complete happiness.
“What are you thinking, Ankit?” she said.  She looked at me. At a closer glance, I realized that her eyes were the most riveting feature of her face. She again asked me. She got me out of my reverie.

“What did you ask?” I asked, calmly.
Nothing, forget,”  she said and we sat on the sand.  Out of blue, life started blooming flowers of happiness. Where was she all these days? I asked myself.
I wrapped my arms around her shoulder. She looked at me, perplexed!
“Life will be tough, Monika. It will give you bad experiences as well as good. We need to take forth the good ones and learn from the bad experiences.” I whispered.
She rested her head on my shoulder and asked, “What about rejections?”
“Rejection is fine. It is not the end of the world. People learn from it and move on!” I whispered again.  It didn’t look as if I we were meeting for the first time.

“Ankit, you know what?” she said and continued, “It doesn't seem like we are meeting for the first time.”
“I was thinking the same.”  She smiled back at me.
It was 7.30 pm. It was turning dark. The sun had completely set and the night sky displayed the bright moon and the multitude of twinkling stars. There was deafening silence for 10 minutes.

“It’s late! I think we should leave now,” she said and we got up.
“We should meet quite often.” I said to which she agreed.  I dropped her till the Santacruz Railway station.  
That night I couldn’t concentrate on anything. Like a fool, I was laughing without any reasons.  I rested the laptop on my lap and stared at her profile photo. She was not bad, I thought. Maybe I had conceded defeat in the game of love! My liking for her had transformed into love. Yes, I loved her!

At the same time, I got a ping from on Facebook.
Monika - It was nice meeting you! : )
Me - : )
I was writing a poem for her.

“Sadness gripped me hard,
Melancholy haunted me days and night,
But now, after you stormed into my life,
Life has given me a reason to smile again.
Will you be my reason to smile?
Will you sing a song with me?
The Song of Life!”

I posted the blog post under the name – The Song of Life and slept soon.
The next day when I woke up, I checked my blog and was amused to see Monika's comment. 
“Who is the lucky girl?” I read.
She had texted me the same message to which I replied, “You : )” I completed my daily morning rituals of shower, shaving and breakfast. By then I read two unread text messages on my phone.
“:-/ Let’s meet today at R City.”
My day at office went smooth. I didn’t have much work apart from training newcomers in my team. I did some Code Reviews and worked on the estimates. After that I left for the R City Mall where Monika was waiting for me. I saw her from a far distance and she was looking elegant.

“Hey Monika,”
“Hi, Ankit,” she said sans smile. We ordered our dinner and remained silent for a while.
“How was the poem?” I asked.
“Good. Was it for me?” she asked.
“Yes!”
The dinner arrived and we never spoke much. I curiously waited for her reply.
“Let’s go!”  She said and I paid the bill. As we walked outside, I reminded her about my question. My heart started pulsating rapidly with every single minute. I could feel it.

She smiled at me and walked forward. I still didn’t understand anything and my heart was beating rapidly.

“What does your smile means?” I asked, curiously.
“Dumb! I will be the reason for your smile and let’s sing the song of life together.”

My heart skipped a beat. I had been successful in winning her trust and heart!
Months passed and our relationship was growing strong. We used to talk every day and meet every alternate day. We both had plunged deep into the ocean called Love. Relationships do have problems associated with it. Even we faced many problems and even fought several times. But those used to be petty ones. But I couldn't forget that day! I couldn't forgive myself. The day when my relationship crumbled into pieces. I never knew that Monika would leave me all alone. She wanted me to prioritize her and my work. Work gave me my bread and butter.  But she was the fuel to my life! She failed to realize that.

That day I had asked her to get ready and meet me at Grand Hyatt at 5 pm! It was our 2nd  anniversary.  We wanted to spend some quality  time together. I had informed about this to my boss earlier. He didn’t approve my leave, but he asked me to leave early. The clock struck 4 and it looked like there was a big mess at the office. The code failed in the production and the Telco guys were not happy. The company suffered a  loss of $ 125 million and being a senior, I was my Boss's rescue ranger. I requested him, but he refused to buy my point. Even my own phone betrayed me. It ran out of battery at a wrong time. Being surrounded by my boss and my teammates, I couldn't even  call Monika to inform her. It was already 5 PM. I worked on the fix, but it didn’t happen! I had to stay the entire night at the office. By the time I reached home, it was already 2 AM. I quickly charged my phone and tried calling Monika. All my attempts to talk to her failed. I quickly logged into Facebook and tried to ping her. But I realized  that she had already blocked me  though I got to read her message.

Monika– You know what? Like a fool I was waiting for you at the Grand Hyatt with a cake. I have never faced such embarrassment before in my life. I can’t explain you how I felt when people there stared at me. You didn’t even have the courtesy to call me. I tried calling you for 1 hour. I am sorry, Ankit! I give up! Have a great life!

Me – Pls try to understand me... You got it wrong!
You cannot message this contact. A message was displayed. 

She had blocked me from every medium from where connecting to her was possible.
The next day I visited her apartment. I saw Monika and her friend Ayesha standing outside. She refused to speak!
“I am sorry. Please understand that I was caught in an unavoidable situation,” I said.
“I need no explanation, Ankit,” she said, “I never asked for one.”
“I only wanted your happiness. The first time I saw you, I realized that you were going through a difficult phase. I wanted to be someone who would listen to you, heal all your wounds and instill joy again into your life!” I said, "But sadly all I had to offer you was hurt!”

She turned backwards.  “My love was true and everyone entered your life to hurt you and break you into shards and here I am pleading and requesting you to come back in my life again!” Ayesha looked at her, perplexed.

“You told me that you will be the reason for my smile and today I am the reason for your tears,” I said and observed that she wiped the tears rolling down her cheeks. 
"But I am hopeful that you would be back.” I said and left.  

We never met her again. I got to know through her friend Ayesha that she had gone to London for her MBA program.

My phone beeped again with another phone notification. “Serene Angel has commented on your blog post – The song of Life”

The notification message  got out of the reverie. I looked at my watch and it was 5.45 pm. 
I launched my inbox and read the comment.

“Hey did she say yes to you? That’s such a cute poetry! I hope she said yes to you. Awww!”

I smiled at her comment and I wished if I would narrate my entire story to her. Even she would feel pity on seeing my plight! ‘Times News’ was busy showing one news – British Airways A45 Jet collapses mid air. Infosol smells Al Kawida Links.”  I broke into a loud shrill I couldn't believe my eyes and ears. It was the same flight through which Monika was traveling as per her friend Ayesha. The  pain was unbearable! Dejected, not able to bear the loss, I sat on the promenade outside the airport. I turned around and saw Monika and Ayesha standing next to me.

“Real Men never cry!” Monika said and wiped the tears from my eyes. Ayesha was giggling at me.
“I missed the flight, Ankit!” She said and continued, “How can I leave someone who is the reason for my happiness and smile.”  My own eyes betrayed me for the second time within minutes.  Thank god she missed the flight and took the other one!

“I’m sorry, Monika,” I enunciated a sorry to which she cupped my mouth. She looked straight into my eyes. Our eyes met again and our lips locked.
“I am back, Ankit!" She said, “We are here to stay together.”

“We will sing the song of life together,” I said to which she nodded in agreement. We both hugged each other and Ayesha clapped!


This post is part of the contest Spin your Story on WriteUpCafe.com