Vision and What if..?

“Aahh! They are burning a lot. I wish to just dip them in cold water until they calm down.”, he said to her as they sat in that wedding hall.
“Oh! Do they? Where did your ‘NUSTI AAG’ (only fire) paradox go now, huh? You wanted it Mr. Pyro!”, she replied seeming calm.
“Arey yaar! What kind of best friend you are? Here it feels like all these veins would just burst out. It feels like my EYES are some kind of volcano openings. Help me yaar! I wish I hadn’t had them.”, he was in pain.

“Shutup, Mr. Jwala Kutta, you don’t say such things because the one who doesn’t have them knows their true worth.”, she said.
“Just shut your Maheshwari speeches, and tell me what to do. I seriously wish I hadn’t had them. What the fuck do they want from me? Why are they burning?”, he was almost about to cry.
“Calm yourself re! Close your eyes and relax for sometime, they’ll be fine. HASHTAG NUSTA OVERACTING.” she smirked mocking him.
He did exactly as she suggested, “By the way, how would life actually be without eyes?”
“A lot better, at least right now, for you.” she laughed it off.
“Arey Retard! I’m asking seriously, like, what if we go blind?” he asked.

“Come on re. Who do you think you are? DAREDEVIL? RANI MUKHERJI MALE VERSION FROM BLACK? NOOO! Practically we need our eyes. In fact they are one of the most important part.” she said seeming all philosophical.
“Yeah! I’m neither one of them..”, he said dejected, “but I wish I was. Like, a blind man builds his own imagery. I seriously want to be blind. Just imagine, even you would become beautiful for me then” he laughed and continued, “I won’t know how one looks, how they dress, do they slouch or are they upright, their actions won’t affect me. NOTHING. Just HUMANS.”
“And what about the daily problems you will face? Do you think it’s easy to live without eyes?” she asked.
“Of course not. But it ain’t impossible na. Moreover, at least I won’t be able to see this sick world. The mean people. The attention grabbers. The backstabbers. The unnecessary HEROes. And all the social likewise.”, he said with an anger in his tone.
“Ohh wow! And don’t you hear them? Giving up your ears as well?”, she wanted to win.
“Yeah! I will hear them. But seeing them literally hurts my eyes. This pain right now might also be because of some of those retards!”, he exclaimed.
“Okay, understood. And what about your inner TRAVELLER, the most important thing to you?”, she skeptically asked.
“Jaani! Travel is for the soul, not for the eyes! I know I won’t be seeing the actual beauty, the actual world out there but I would be feeling it, painting it, filling my painting with my imagination. Remember child! Until the aroma of the air would fill my nostril and the chirping of birds would sooth my ears, eyes could be sacrificed and yet travelling could be done.”, he replied mocking a baba.
” Muh se toh tu bhikari lagta hai, fir thoughts ki itni ameeri kahase?(Your looks are like a beggar, then how come you have such rich thoughts) “, she asked as always trying to overpower him.
” Jaani! HUM HUM HAI, BAAKI SAB CHEENI KUM HAI!”, he enacted.
“Huh, Your eyes are fine now it seems?” she said, irritated with his overacting.
“Oh, Yeaass! Oh seriously they have! Oh look at that guy. No dressing sense, unnecessary BHAIwala walk. Oh and look at that overenthusiastic uncle, and that goggle-obsessed one, like why?….”

And they continued their jokes LOOKING at people….


The Wounded HORSES

“Why don’t you get off that horse, O king!”, she asked looking at him.

“I’ve tried! But unfortunately I can’t!”, the king sounded dejected.

“And why is it so? Look, I have this nice looking, amber eyed, white skinned, fierce white horse. His name is LOVE. You and I can ride together, for a time FOREVER, on this road of LIFE.”

“That is where it all starts, O lady! That is where it all starts.”, the king further drowned in dejection.

“From what I’ve heard coming through the distant land, you seem to be the best match for riding this horse with! Then why is it so, O King, that you are strapped to your horse? What is so special about this horse? His looks are far from matching your stature. He seems like a warrior wounded in a battlefield, with no eyes, filled with regret, despair and what not.”, the queen said.

” Looks never matter, O lady, not when you fall for the soul. And a warrior even though wounded always remains a warrior! This horse that I ride goes by the name, GUILT. I know too strange for a name and neither close to competition with your horse. But! Never mind…”, the king started marching ahead not wanting to wait anymore.

But the queen was determined. She wanted to know everything about him. She loved him, from the moment the news of his arrival had touched her room. All these years, that her LOVE, had waited in the STABLE, was going to have a ride, she had thought. She followed him…

“O dear King! Please Wait! I want to know why such a ruler of hearts doesn’t want to ride LOVE with me. I want to know why is he so attached to his GUILT. What is it that the mighty king is afraid of?”, she asked.

“It won’t be of any use. Moreover, I don’t want to put you in any kind of disappointment for I….”, he stopped talking and went on with his GUILT.
The queen took her LOVE and blocked GUILT and KING’S way asking the king again, wanting to know his story.

The king sighed and sensing there was no way out, he started.
“As they say, Ruler of Hearts!, it feels good you know, but when this ruler can’t ride a Queen’s LOVE, that’s when it all begins. I don’t know if you’ve heard of this but there were times that I went through when Queens I loved, the horses LOVE that I actually rode with all my heart, on this LIFE road, abruptly died. When it happens once, you can understand but the same thing happening again, that is when things change. And every time that me and the queen got down of this dead horse, LOVE, parting our ways, this wounded horse GUILT always waited for me on the crossroads of LIFE.”

“How could those horses die. There has to be some reason for it,” the queen intriguingly asked.

“Yes! They were always diagnosed with some diseases called SPACE, TIME and UNFAITHFULNESS. Moreover, they aggravated as the queen cried. The King’s feelings did not matter maybe, or maybe it was a GENDER thing!”, the king said.

“And how come every time, GUILT, was present for you?”, she said.

“We live in a world full of people! Good, Bad, Ugly, all types of people. THEY WATCH! THEY TALK! THEY JUDGE! THEY PASS CONCLUSIONS! That’s what used to happen maybe. Every time I was alone, they praised me, made me feel like a king, but as I rode this LOVE and the moment it dies, these were the same people which let out GUILT. ”

“From what I’ve heard, I don’t feel that a king like you deserves to ride this horse. Fuck the people! Fuck their judgements! Actually you should be riding your horse, the one I hears of, HAPPINESS!”, the queen seemed angry.

“Huh!”, he chuckled, “HAPPINESS, he is intact in his stable and I love him. I don’t want to take him on a ride, not in front of these people.”

“O king! You are not understanding. The point is that these people are giving you importance. They don’t have their lives. As you said, there are all types of people and the amount of these judgemental retards is way too small.”, the queen explained.

“I know that, O lady, and I’m aware of the fact that my mind doesn’t pay heed to their judgements. But whenever I ride HAPPINESS, the shadow of GUILT looms over me, the death of previous LOVE overpowers the brightness of my HAPPINESS and same things happening again and again even though bad, culminate into attachment, and that’s what this is. That’s why GUILT’s attachment.”, the king replied.

The queen’s LOVE was listening to their conversation. What had happened to those previous horses made him think for his life. Even though it won’t happen again, the thought of ‘WHAT IF IT DOES?’, made him scared for his life.

LOVE stepped aside from GUILT’s path…
And the KING vanished….

सॉरी आई!!…

आई, सॉरी आज मी घरी रोजच्या सारखं येणार नाहिये. आज तू तुझ्या लेकराची वाट बघू नकोस. एखादा चातक पक्षी जसा पावसाची वाट पाहत असतो तसा आज तू दरवाज्यात उभी राहून रस्त्याकडे डोळे लावून बसू नकोस. इथून पुढे त्या रस्त्यावरुन तुझा बाळ येणार नाहिये.
आज सकाळी निघताना तू म्हणाली होतीस की, “बाळा आज नको ना जाऊ , मला आज काहीतरी वेगळे वाटत आहे.” आणि मी नेहमीप्रमाणेच, “आई तुझं काहीतरी असतं” म्हणून उंबरठा ओलांडला . पण उंबरठा ओलांडून मी चुकी तर नव्हती केली ना आई? जे काही करत होतो तुझ्यासाठीच करत होतो. बाबा गेल्यानंतर झालेला तुझ्या जीवनातला लख्ख काळोख अन त्यातून तू लावलेला तो दिवा , तोच दिवा झटपटत होता , तडफडत होता . त्या दिव्याला माहीत होत, काही झालं तरी त्याला त्याच्या आईसाठी ही ज्योत तळपत ठेवायची आहे …
पण … सॉरी आई … देवाने पुन्हा तुझ्या जीवनात अंधार केलाय … हा तुझा छोटासा दिवा सुधा गुदमरून विझला …
हो आई!! गुदमरून विझलाय…. सकाळी तुझा ऐकायला हवं होतं आणि घरीच थांबायला हवं होतं.. असंच तुझ दरवेळी न ऐकण्यासाठी सॉरी आई …”ट्रेनने जाताना सावकाश जा , कितीही घाई झाली तरी गडबड करू नकोस”, असं तू रोज नियमितपणे सांगायचीस, पण आई ट्रेनपेक्षा स्टेशन मधून बाहेर येण्यासाठी असणार्‍या SKYWALK ने तुझ्या लेकराला गिळलंय….
सगळं नेहमीप्रमाणेच सुरू होतं , गर्दीही तेवढीच , ट्रेन लेटही तश्याच , पाऊस सुद्धा त्याच्या मूड नुसार पडत होता , आणि मी ट्रेन मधून उतरुन त्या परळच्या SKYWALK वर चढलो .. तोवर पाऊसाचे हे झरे पुन्हा सुरू झाले .. मी माझ्या गतीने आरामात कानात EARPHONES टाकून “ZINDAGI KAISI YE PAHELI HAAYE” हे आनंद मधले गाणं ऐकत चालत होतो , मधेच पायातल्या तू घेतलेल्या नवीन सँडलकडे लक्ष गेलं आणि पुन्हा मनात म्हटलं, “माझी आई किती चांगली आहे “… हे विचार करत करत मी ELPHINSTONE जवळच्या उतरणार्‍या SKYWALK वर पोहोचलो तेवढ्यात अचानक एक बाई आपल्या मेघराजांच्या कृपेमुळे झालेल्या पाण्यामुळे घसरून पडली, तिला पकडण्यासाठी पुढे आलेली आणखी एक बाई निसटली आणि पडता पडता आणखी काही माणसं घसरली ,तेव्हा पुन्हा मी माझ्या सँडलकडे बघितले अन गालातल्या गालात हसलो , तितक्यात SKYWALK च्या पत्र्यावर जोरात कसला तरी आवाज झाला,.. एव्हाना SKYWALK च्या मधल्या पायर्‍यांवर माझी पावले पडत होती …
आणि आई अचानक खालचे लोकं वरती धावत सुटले अन वरचे खाली , मला काहीच कळेना , तितक्यात एक जण ओरडला “SKYWALK पडतोय!! “… हे सगळं काही सेकंदात होत होतं, एका मोकळ्या रस्त्यावर जशी मेंढरांची गर्दी असते आणि त्या रस्त्यावर एखादं वाहन आलं की मेंढरं जशी सैरावैरा पळत सुटतात तसा धुडगूस सुरू होता माणसांचा… .
आणि आई…. माझा पाय कुठेतरी अडकला, मी आदळलो, डोक्याला लागलं माझ्या, उठण्याचा प्रयत्न करण्यापूर्वीच माझ्यावर काहीतरी भरभक्कम ओझे आले, माणूस होता की पडणारा SKYWALK हे मलासुद्धा कळाले नाही ….
जरा खात जा, बघ कसा हाडांचा सापळा झालाय, हे तू नेहमी म्हणायची, त्याची आठवण झाली, पण आई मला तरीसुद्धा उठता आलं नाही… ही मेंढरं थांबेनाच… माझ्या कंबरेवर कोणाचा तरी पाय पडला, मग बरगड्यांवर, मग नरड्यावरती, मग डोक्यावरती…… आई हे लोकं कशे ग इतके क्रूर?
माझ्या नसा चिरडल्या जात होत्या, माझा जीव गुदमरत होता, लोकांचा भार वाढत चालला होता, आणि एवढ्या सगळ्यात एक चेहरा सारखा डोळ्यासमोर येत होता….
एक बाई, चापून चोपून साडी नेसलेली, जिच्या माथ्यावरून दिवसभर काम करून घामाच्या नद्या वाहत होत्या, त्या नद्यांना आपल्या पदराने पुसत जी माझ्यासाठी दारावर वाट पाहे, जी मी आल्यावर माझ्या घशाची कोरड संपवे, इतका मोठा घोडा झालास असं बोलून देखील शाळेतून आल्यावर दप्तर ठेवायची तसं आता हातातील बॅग घेऊन ठेवे, जी माझ्या तोंडात घास गेल्यावरच स्वतःची भूक मिटवे, माझ्या नंतरच झोपे, माझ्या आधी ऊठे, सगळं सगळं काही माझ्यासाठीच….
बर ते जाऊदे… आई तू घाबरू नकोस… हे सरकारी लोकं तुला पैसे देतील… त्या पैश्यांनी तुझा मुलगा परत येणार नाही पण जाऊदे… तू मुंबईत राहतेस आणि बडे बडे शहरोमें ऐसी छोटी छोटी बाते होती रहती है…. आज तुझा मुलगा दगावला गेलाय… उद्या दुसर्‍या आईचा मुलगा असेल.. फरक फक्त एवढाच की तुझ्याकडे फक्त तुझा मुलगा होता….
आई तुझा चेहरा अजूनही सारखा डोळ्यासमोर येतोय ग… मनात सारखं येतय की,काय होईल आता त्या चेहर्‍याचा जेव्हा तिला कळेल? आपल्या पोराचा सूड ती कोणाकडून गवसेल? सरकार, रेल्वे, रोजची माणसं? आपल्या लेकराचा गळा चिरडनार्या कोणाला ती पकडेल? तिने पेटवलेली ज्योत गुदमरून विझली आहे… आता ह्या अंधाराचा ती काय करेल?? तीचं ते स्मितहास्य पुन्हा उमजेल का?? मी ऐकत असलेल्या गाण्यासारखे माझ्या आईला ZINDAGI FIRSE HASAEGI ?

(गुदमरत) आई …. आई … सॉरी आई … तुझं बाळ पुन्हा घरी येणार नाही


Cancer took her away

It all started with this news
Which at first didn’t amuse
For I was thoughtfully small
And didn’t know the severity of it all
Until… Cancer took her away

As I grew from small to her’s
Being with her like a cat who purrs
She was white, sweet and soft
Seeing which maybe the angels took her aloft
When… Cancer took her away

It felt the worst seeing her in pain
But she used to smile and say,” I can handle this strain.”
I loved her twinkling small white teethed smile
And wished that I could see for a lifetime than just for a while
But… Cancer took her away

The first time that she went bald
And I used to annoy moving close to her as I crawled
She used to give me those wide eyed look
And I used to read her eyes like an open book
However… Cancer took her away

I have seen you face those hard aches and chemos
With all those needles injected in your body flows
I can’t explain the way it hurt seeing your expressions change
But I’m sure I haven’t in my life see someone fight with such a calm rage
Yet… Cancer took her away

And although this fucking thing called cancer has won
I will never let loose and fade the memories that we have spun
You still are the first and last face that I see in my day
Coz I haven’t found anything as beautiful or sweet as the way your glowing face used to slay
Until… Cancer took her away

We didn’t get all those long years
To enjoy our bond which had become so dear
But still I miss u alot alot alot DI
And will always be your chotu that you called with so much gee
Until… Cancer took you away

I may not be able to love any other girl the way I loved you
For you will always rule my heart as the GIRL who defined the word TRUE

Where is SHE?

I was sitting on the porch in the garden area of our house. The mildly flowing breeze was playing with my hairs and cheeks touching them as softly as a feather coming down dancing in the air. Nothing was rushing. Everything around was so soothingly calm. It was as if life had turned into the water which had forgotten that it could have ripples. I rested my head back on the resting chair and immersed myself in this sweetness around me. And I dissolved… Where is she?

The search ensued. I began to wander in the woods finding a girl. I didn’t find her but the woods gave me a clue. Whilst I was moving around in the woods searching for the girl, one of the voices whispered, ” YOUR GIRL ISN’T TOO HARD TO FIND, FOR SHE HAS THE CURLS THAT YOU WOULD FALL FOR EVERYTIME YOU THINK OF HER IN YOUR MIND.” Bewildered by this voice yet happy to know about the girl that I was searching had curly hairs. A fainter image of a curly haired girl was through in my mind. But what about her, Where is she?

I came out of the woods with that curly haired girl and was at the base of a mountain. The lush green trees on the oriental perimeter of the mountain mesmerised my eyes. I felt a sense of gratitude towards mother Earth for letting me see this viridescent beauty through my naked eyes. Apart from this majestic creations, I saw someone standing at the summit of this mountain. Was it her? Was she waiting for me? My answers lied at the peak and so the trail to conquer this girl began. The wind was strong and it felt like the windgods were trying to tell me to go away, pushing me down, testing me, protecting my girl. But my determination was hard to deter and I conquered the summit. To my sadness, there was nobody except the bright yellow light which shimmered its glory upon me and there came another voice, “TIRED?” to which I strongly replied, “NOOO!WHO ARE YOU?” “DON’T THINK ABOUT ME! YOUR GIRL ISN’T HARD TO FIND, FOR SHE HAS THE SMILE THAT WOULD EVEN MAKE THE BEAUTY OF NATURE JEALOUS COMBINED” So this was my second clue and everytime I forgot about the voice which was giving these clues to me. It was this girl which I was more curios to know about. Where is she?

I started descending the mountain with the curly hairs and the sweetest smile and reached the bottom on the other side. I again saw someone but this time there was a majestic calm rippleless flow of water flowing in front of me. The water was as clear as a polished glass and I could even see the colourfull stones beneath it. The tiny tweeny fishes that played with each other reminded me of my childhood where I would play without an inch of care about what is life, which was happening now. Thankfully I knew how to swim and seeing the view, the inner thalassophile woke up and jumped into the water creating ripples yet not disturbing the playing fishes.The water gods started testing me this time, testing my endurance, forcing the current against my body but I was determined. I swam to the other side but I lost her again, not forever, but she was gone. “SHE HAD SAID THAT YOU WOULD WIN HER AND IT SEEMS SO, FOR SHE WILL UNDERSTAND YOU AND HENCE YOU WILL NEVER LET HER GO” spoke the voice again. This clue made me feel proud of the girl that I was in quest for. All you need in life is someone who understands the miniscules of your life without you needing to speak them out everytime. Every clue by this voice engrossed me deeper into her. Where is she?

As I started walking from this stream, I saw her again, this time amidst a conflagaration with her beauty glowing as the sparks went out. I had a circle of raging fire in the middle of which SHE was standing unaffected. I turned back to find a means to enter but to my agony the water flow behind me had vanished and the mountains and woods were gone too. It was just ME, HER and the FIRE. As I started walking towards this conflagration, it’s intensity grew. The yellow orange flames kissing my dusky skin yet not burning it. I was awestruck as such fire had not even harmed me for a bit. Was it the girl? Was it my affinity? A lot of questions started dancing and until then…. She was gone… Yet again… “DON’T BE DISSAPOINTED BOY! FOR YOUR GIRL HAS THE RAGING LOYALTY HARD ENOUGH FOR ANYONE TO DESTROY” said the voice again. I felt like a helpless child whose belonging was taken away. I felt like a bird in an open cage. I wanted her, I knew she was the girl of my dreams but why was she running away from me. She had curly hairs, the cutest smile, understanding nature and loyalty. What more did she wanted me to know about her? Where is she?

As I gathered her bits and pieces and started on my quest, I saw her again. This time she was floating, no not in waters, she was floating mid air. As spooky this may sound, but her posture mid air still mesmerized me. But how do I reach there? “JUMP!” the voice spoke. “ARE YOU FUCKING OUT OF YOUR MIND?” I shouted. “THIS GIRL SAYS THAT YOU TRUST PEOPLE EASILY” it said. “SO? WHO IS HERE TO SAVE ME?” I questioned. But the voice didn’t answer. I could see her and I wanted to know who she was. The curiosity was at its peak but how do I reach her? I closed my eyes and did what I used to do with people. I jumped trusting just the voice this time. The air was so strong that I could feel me cheeks blowing out and away from my teeth as I slowly opened my eyes frantically searching for her everywhere. But yet again she was gone. “I KNOW YOU ARE FRUSTRATED! BUT DO IT FOR YOUR GIRL FOR SHE HAS A GOLDEN HEART AS BIG AND WIDE AS THE SKY FOR THE INTIMIDATED” whispered the voice again. I really was frustrated for not being able to see her time and again. For not being able to touch her, feel her. But yet I was happy for the girl I was searching for had all the qualities that I exactly wanted. But WHERE IS SHE?

As I blinked searching for this answer in mid air, she was again in front of me. It was as if I was on Earth and she in Space. She floated there amidst the stars and meteors except the fact that they got their light from some source and here she was glimmering as the brightest beautiful thing that I had seen. This time I jumped on my own before the voice asked me to. I was floating in an aura of celestial beauty with my beauty just few human steps away from me. This time she wasn’t running away. Maybe this was my time to meet her. Maybe this was the end of the wait. Suddenly that glimmering beauty started rushing towards me. I was on top of the world or sky or space whatever you call it. Seeing her coming towards me was what felt like that helpless child was getting his belonging for which he was longing, back. But before I could understand anything, I felt a large shadow approaching me from behind and to my disbelief it was a large meteor which was about to hit me. I thought to myself, was this how it was going to end? Couldn’t I have a moment with the love of my life? A surge of thought began wobbling in my mind as I closed my eyes tightly awaiting the meteor crashing upon me. But…. It didn’t… Instead my beauty took it all upon herself and vanished again with that great rock. “THIS IS HOW SHE IS AND THIS IS HOW SHE WOULD ALWAYS BE, CARING FOR YOU ALL THE WAY AS THE LORD CARES EVEN FOR A FLEA” the voice spoke again. I didn’t know how to react, whether to curse my luck about taking her away from me everytime or praise it for all the qualities that my girl has. Where is she?

And as I was thinking I saw a strong ray of light, so strong that my eyes could barely face it. I thought it was her, I thought that she had finally come to me, I thought that I will meet her now. I tried to open my eyes seeming like an east Indian, and I heard a voice again. “GET UP YOU IDIOT! WHAT ARE YOU? A 60 YEAR OLD MAN? RESTING ON THAT CHAIR.” I was baffled with this voice. It wasnt the usual one. Where was I? Where is she?

I tried to hear that voice again. “GET UP YOU LAZY ASS! DONT ACT LIKE THAT NEPALI ACROSS THE STREET. GET UP AND GO GET ME THESE.” shouted my MUM as she handed me the list of groceries that she wanted. I got up from my trance. I was dreaming. I was dreaming about my dream girl. I hadn’t met her yet.




Hey guys hope you all loved this short story series The LOVE CATALYST. Some things that I want to share with you regarding this. First and the foremost thing is I received a lot of messages from people who thought this to be a true story in some or the other way but this is totally a work of fiction solely created from my mind. Second of all this was my first attempt into this kind of stuff and I hope to keep discovering. Now the most important, there were people who I owe big time for the mental support that they gave me and were part of this thing with me. 

SHARVARI PATIL, for rediscovering my passion, making me write, being my biggest support throughout, listening to all those unnecessary scripts and believing in me. 

ABHISHEK RAO, AL SAHER, for being my EDITOR’S and guiding me throughout. 

UJJWALA DI for being my sweetheart reader. 

MINAKSHI AWALE, AJINKYA BHOI for talking me out with the most important part. 

RAJ MISTRY, for being a constructive critic that I always wanted. 

KOMAL PAWAR, for being the silent reader of all parts and still not saying anything. 



Thanks a ton. 



It was the D-DAY as we were attending our chemistry practicals. Chemistry practicals were cool because of the atmosphere there. The teacher incharge would stand in the centre, with everyone around her like some accident had occurred. We both used to stand at the end of this hoard without a care about what was going on. That day wasn’t any different. Everyone was present, and yes, the girl with admirable beauty had paid heed to the invitation until now. 

“Bhai, ready hai na??” I poked Darshan. He seemed a bit nervous as if he was appearing for some exam but still replied,”Yes, it’s everything or nothing.” 

It felt satisfying doing this good thing but the consequences were still unknown. 

“Listen everyone, the Catalyst is an important part in this reaction” shouted the teacher. 

“Sunn be ma’am kya boli?” I taunted him with a wide grin. He laughed it off with his nervousness still visible. 

“Bhai, meri bhi SETTING laga dena!!” touted Akshay in a way to tease Darshan. Apart from us, he knew this thing because of his ‘poke into everyone’s business’ ways. 

“Haa!! I’ll do this stuff and make a living now. Log dosto ke liye STUPIDITY krte hai aur hum CUPIDITY”, I replied as all three of us broke into laughter. 

It was time, time for the final blow. Shruti’s behaviour had been skeptical throughout but still I knew she would come. We were already waiting in the back corridor where nobody bothered to roam about. Ideal place for an ideal beginning. 

And there she was, girl with an adorable charm with her curly locks sliding over her shoulder as she walked through without the slightest bother. 

She didn’t seem shocked seeing both of us, maybe because we hunted together everywhere or maybe because she was okay with it. 

“So?” I tried to break the ice. 

“So?” she said shrugging her shoulders. 

“What do you think?” interrupted Darshan. 

“The FORT GUY huh?” she said looking at me. 

“Yesss! The FORT GUY” I said with a sense of pride. 

“So, what do you think?” asked Darshan again as if they were the only words he had practiced. 

“I always felt that it could be him.” she said. That certainly did boost our confidence. But the atmosphere still had some nervous air in it. 

“I do have a checklist regarding my special someone.” she continued,” and regarding you, let me see” she turned her back towards us as she said this. It felt as if she was laughing there. 

“Okay, looks-check, courtesy-check, sweetness-check” she was speaking. 

“Bhai ye toh maje le rhi hai apne?” Darshan whispered into my ears. 

“Sabar kar baccha. You have waited this long. Thanda rakh” I whispered back. 

“… Bad habit of whispering-check” she went on as we looked at each other, “good at heart-check, gives respect-check and the most important…” she turned towards us as we stood pretending someone who waited for results, “… Loves me-check.” 

We both let out a sigh of relief and I poked Darshan to do the rest and then the moment it was. 

Darshan went down on one knee and Shruti in shock as he said those words, “I LOVE YOU SHRUTI, DO YOU LOVE ME?” 

Shruti was still in disbelief as she was looking towards both of us in total confusion, when she said, “BUT……”