The Triumph Over the Devil’s Eye – Part 3

Protect

Don’t forget to read Part I and Part II

The moistness on the cheeks coming from his own tears zapped Sayed back from the nostalgia. His heart tore apart to see the present condition of Gayatri, the same Gayatri who was full of life not a very long time ago.

Soon Gayatri fell asleep in Sayed’s arms. She felt the most comfortable and safest there. Sayed was everything to Gayatri – friend, lover, husband, family and more importantly the savior! He was the only reason Gayatri still wanted to live. He was the only reason Gayatri had courage to face the hallucinations ever since that fateful day.

Sayed lifted Gayatri’s head from his lap and rested it carefully on the floor. He quickly cleaned the room; put everything back in its place. He lifted Gayatri and placed her on the bed tenderly. He sat by her side to check that she is indeed sleeping tranquilly. When he was assured, he kissed her forehead, switched off the lights and left the room. By now Sayed knew that Gayatri would not wake up before couple of hours after such an episode.

“Kamla.. Can you tell me what exactly happened to Gayatri?” Sayed inquired with the maid while she was serving him dinner.

“Sabji, I was in the kitchen busy preparing dinner. Memsab was watching TV in her room. I went upstairs to give her soup and her usual dose of medicine. The door didn’t open when I tried to go in and suddenly I started hearing lot of screams. I could hear things crashing down. I knocked on the door a lot of times but no use. I called out memsab but I could only hear more screams in return. I got scared and I rushed down to call you..” Kamla described the whole episode with teary eyes.

Kamla was a good lady, very honest and hardworking. She wasn’t a medical nurse by profession but she took very good care of Gayatri. Sayed’s mother had sent Kamla here to help Sayed look after Gayatri. Kamla was a needy acquaintance of Sayed’s mother from the native. Sayed was lucky to have found her. He felt Gayatri was in safe hands when he went to work.

“Hmmm…. Do you know what she was watching on TV?” asked Sayed somberly.

“No Sabji, but she had said she wanted to watch a film that was going to come on TV.”

“Which film?”

“Yaad nahi aa raha sabji” (I don’t recollect, sir)

“Kamla, yaad karo!!!” (Think Kamla)

“hmmm…. Haa…. Surya!!!” exclaimed Kamla

“Surya???? Sure??”

“Naaa…hmmm… haaan…. Yaad aya.. Neerja!” Kamla was ecstatic to remember the name of the movie.

“What??? Neerja?? How dare did you allow her to watch that… Don’t you know we need to stop Gayatri from watching such stuff? Don’t you know we need to protect her from all the triggers? You see what happened because you allowed watching her that film?? For God’s sake, be attentive Kamla!” yelled Sayed while fuming with anger.

“Sabji, mujhe nahi pata wo film kya hai, usme kya dikhaya. Mai kaha picture dekhti hu saab, mujhe kaise pata hoga…. (Sir, I don’t know what that film is about, how am I supposed to know when I don’t watch movies) Kamla broke into tears, half because of the Sayed’s wrath and half because of the guilt that she didn’t check what Gayatri was up to.

Kamla gathered plates and other utensils from the dining table and left to wash them.

Sayed realized that he unnecessarily scolded Kamla. Poor thing, she indeed was simple and there was no way she could know what the film is about because she did not have exposure to the modern world. She was happy in her own cocoon of taking care of Gayatri and the house. But what could Sayed do? He would get very emotional and over protective in case of Gayatri, and rightly so!

Sayed followed Kamla to the kitchen and called out,

“Kamla, Sorry. Mujhe tumpe gussa nahi hona chahiye tha. Par tum to janti ho na Gayatri ko leke me kitna pareshan rehta hun…” (Kamla I am sorry. I shouldn’t have scolded you but you do understand that I get very worried for Gayatri, don’t you?) Sayed said while holding back the lump in his throat.

“Sabji, Me samajh sakti hu. Mujhe bura nahi laga.” (I understand Sir. I didn’t feel bad that you scolded me.)

“Kamla, you are a pillar of strength to me. And I want you to know that I am very grateful to you that you look after my Gayatri so well. Please, never leave us and go. There is no one for us. My Ammi jaan cannot come here leaving my bed ridden Abbu and old nani jaan there in the native. I feel lost all alone and I get tired of being so strong and happy in front of Gayatri……” Sayed could no longer hold himself back. He couldn’t finish what he wanted to say because the lump had over powered him and he had broken down completely. It was one of those rare days when otherwise calm and composed Sayed would feel frightened to lose Gayatri.

“You don’t worry sab ji, I am here for you both. I feel happy to look after memsab. God has been kind to allow me to offer him service. Any help to memsab is my service to God!” said Kamla feeling grateful and handed a glass of water to Sayed.

“Sabji, ek baat puchu?” (Sir, may I ask you something?) asked Kamla, unsure of whether she should or shouldn’t really strike that chord.

“Hmm… bolo..”

“Memsab ki ye halat kaise hui?” (What is the reason of this condition of Memsab?)

“Bohot raat ho gayi Kamla, tum thak gayi hogi. So jao.” (Its very late Kamla, you must be tired. Go off to sleep)

“Par Saab….” (But Sir…)

Sayed stopped Kamla in between and said firmly “Please call the scrap dealer tomorrow morning and give away the broken mirror from our room. And, please throw away Gayatri’s lipsticks, especially the red one.”

Kamla kept watching Sayed when he left from the kitchen. It wasn’t the first time that Sayed avoided answering that question. What a man! His love towards his wife was indeed commendable, after all who really keeps a psychosomatic wife these days, thought Kamla.

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To be continued…..

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Curve (Blogger Marathon Challenge – Day 7)

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Picture taken from http://www.google.com

This was an old prompt from WordPress and I stumbled over it while I was surfing through the Daily Prompt blog. The first thought that crossed my mind was the quote by Bob Marley

The most beautiful curve on a woman’s body is her smile

Women are often potrayed as an object of desire but this quote is just so different! There is a lot more to a woman’s body than lust and Bob explains just that.

Women, on the other hand run after getting those (un-natural) curves and beat life out of them but they forget that the natural curve of smile that they are gifted by birth is just enough to make them look beautiful!

Strange but true!

The Profound Truth & Illusion of Life (Blogger Marathon Challenge – Day 6)

Illusion

Life – the word itself sounds so heavy! Just imagine the burden when everything is going wrong… they always say that everything happens for a reason or that whatever happens, happens for the best. But probably at times even God is unable to explain the goodness of a particular misfortune!

If you come to think about it, life may not be that bad also if there is someone who stands by you in everything that goes wrong. But just imagine the hollow feeling when there is no one whom you can call up and tell that you were almost dead because a car could have bumped in to you. Imagine the pain that you would feel when you are lying sick in your bed and there is no one who comes and asks you if you are feeling better! Imagine the emptiness when everybody around you is busy with their loved ones and you are sitting at home doing nothing – or rather drowning more deep in the memories of your long lost love! Imagine the courage that is required to accept the fact that the person for whom you were once the whole world feels absolutely nothing for you! Imagine the agony that you would feel when that person walks out of your life, for no reason. Just imagine how shattered would you feel to remember all those promises that you had made to each other and to realize that they mean nothing now! Just imagine the loss you might feel when you realize that there is no one who can ever fill that special place in your heart any more! Just imagine that horrifying loneliness!!! But that’s the profound truth of life, my dear friend! Yes, you will always be lonely!!! Always!! And the more you feel like being with someone, the lonelier you’ll get!

They say that time is the best healer! What do they know that some things heal only with death! Even if you decide one day that lets be optimistic and try to look at then new hues of life, then life could be interesting, but the question is for how long?? Very soon you would realize that that you are really not approving the belief that you have made as the foundation of your life. Imagine the feeling of insecurity that you would get to realize that the very foundation of your life is going to collapse! Still you try and buck up. You program yourself to accept that you have to move on, although you are really not interested. Life goes on! A time comes when even you feel that water has passed under the bridge and you indeed have moved on! This is exactly where the illusion peeks in to your life. Over the time you become almost a machine by killing your feelings in the name of being practical. A time comes when you feel that God has been kind enough to use the magic wand and bless you with love again.

All of a sudden the life becomes colorful! You notice the birds humming and flowers blooming and the sun shining. Not that it never happened when u were alone! It’s just that you never noticed these things when you were a machine! All of a sudden the same things start holding a different meaning all together! All of a sudden you find yourself pleased to feel that sense of belonging! Wow.. what an illusion… can life be more beautiful?? And there you are – equally suddenly you realize that things are not what u thought they were!!! Just imagine the shock you would feel to realize that you were living in the world of illusion!!! And you are back to Square One seeking the Profound Truth of life – Loneliness!

It does not necessarily mean that you find no love! You can find lot of love if you give some. But, Life is your own battle and you have to fight all alone. Your parents, friends, lover, spouse are not going to be with you forever – that’s a bitter truth but even if you are all alone you just have to continue fighting. Lot of times you may come across such difficult situations where nobody wants to help you out, not even your closest person, and that’s when the Profound Truth sets in. The truth is YOU are alone. Others are just a medium to keep you going, but they will leave you someday. Be smart to gather such mediums and keep yourself full with this kind of support to keep jumping on the stepping stones to reach the REAL YOU.  YOU have to stand up for yourself. YOU have to believe in yourself. Its all about YOU!

That’s life, my dear friend!!! The truth is “you are the only one for yourself” and the illusion is “Someone Somewhere is made for you!”

No! (Blogger Marathon Challenge – Day5)

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NO is such a negative word and you all must be thinking why did i choose it write about. Well, my idea is to highlight the importance of a NO in our life and to seek some positivity out of this ridiculously negative word.

Lets be honest, who all amongst us do not like to take a NO for their request, demand or a comand? Nobody, right? And its quite natural though! But what we must understand here is that NO is a part and parcel of our life. You cannot control  a NO coming from someone but what you can control is your reaction to that NO instead.

These days kids are pampered so much that they rarely hear a NO from their parents for nothing. Such kids grow up with a belief that they MUST ALWAYS get what they ask for. And then they resort to throwing tantrums each time and every time they have to face a NO. One cannot put a blame on parents for developing this tendency in the child because no parent can teach something wrong. More importantly parents can teach you values only to a certain age after which you are on your own to learn or unlearn right behaviours. Some youngsters feed their ego with this NO and it manifests into a revenge.    All of us have seen or read about love smitten romeos who throw acid on the girl who does not accepts their love. How disgusting is that? Why cant they take a No from the girl they claim they love? This is a very extreme example but we come across so many situations in life when there is no option but to take a NO for example, a NO from parents for a bike, a NO from a friend for extending help, NO promotion, NO appreciation, NO success, NO satisfaction. And if we ponder over it, i think it makes sense to work towards an alternative or just accept that NO and move on to simplify  your life rather than throwing tantrums, acting difficult and making life miserable not only for yourself but for people around you too! I wonder what kind of satisfaction one must be deriving by destroying the peace in someone else’s life? Guys LEARN TO TAKE A NO. It does not make you any smaller, it helps you grow instead. A NO simply means that perhaps it is not the right time yet or you need to work a little harder for the same. Focus on your areas of improvement that grabbed you that NO rather than cursing the person who said it. Learn to see through the positivity hidden in this negative NO.

Second thought that I want to share is that it is equally important to say a NO when it is really required. Most of us hesitate to say a NO because we are afraid that it might potray us as ineeficient or we do not want to hurt the person who is making a request. It is a very common scenario in the corporate world that one is challenged to the maximum of his capacity yet he is willing to take on more reaponsibilities because he feels too intimidated to say  a NO. Dude, if you do that you are going to make your life hell. Why assume additional reaponsibilities when it is not feasible to complete them? Whats wrong if you are not a hero in your manager’s eyes? Its certainly ok to say a NO. Learn to say a NO in the right way and at the right time and it will make your life a lot easier. Had we all had the guts to say NO confidently,  there would be no mothers weeping for forcefully aborting the female foetus, there would be no women suffering from domestic violance, there would be no employess suffering from depression. Learn to say this negative word to bring in a lot of positivity in your life.

I hope, now we are quite familiar with this NO and we can take it and use it as the situation calls for!

Do share your thoughts about NO. Please dont say a NO to this 😛😉☺

The Worst Missing (Blogger Marathon Challenge – Day4)

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While i was surfing through my Facebook wall I came across this picture and it really struck a chord somewhere deep in my mind.

Most of us I think go through this phase sooner or later. As we grow up priorities change, habits change, thought process changes but the REAL YOU doesnt change. It justs hides behind these superficial factors and then we get so used to it that we let it hide there. Lot of times we purposely lock it there to be what we are expected to be.

My story is no different. I was absolutely talkative as a child, very emotional, extremely attached to my mom so much so that my dad would often say jokingly that i should have been a kangaroo so that i could sit in my mother’s pauch on the tummy and go with her wherever she went. I had many many friends and I was quite outspoken too.

As i grew up, things changed a bit but the major change came in when i got married. It was like changing myself 360degrees. My life was suddenly full with new people, new family and a whole big set of new expections out of me. I got so busy with being a good daughter-in-law, a good wife, a good aunt, a good sister-in-law and the list just didnt end! Soon i was able to adapt to the new culture and responsibilities and little did i realize that while I was bringing on these changes in me i am leaving myself far behind.

Today, i have very less friends, rest all are just aquaintances. Today I am not outspoken as much as I was, i keep mum at lot of intances where the real Aditi would have had words shooting like a machine gun. Today i miss my mom a lot more than i did as a child but there are times when i dont get a chance to talk to her for a week or more. Today I am still emotional but i have learnt to mask my emotions most of the times because displaying the same would now be seen as being childish. Its more about “measured emotions” today. I have long forgotten what my hobies were and l no longer recollect my passion!

I dont regret a bit for having moulded myself so much. It was very important to do so. But today, after 6 years of marriage I no longer have to work on these things, these things are like in my blood now! And now when i have some spare moment to think about myself this picture worked as a catalyst.

Today I have plenty time to think about what I like, what I want to do. Today I dont suffer from identity crisis which I went through a few years ago. Today I am Aditi, just that i need to make a little conscious effort on working towards being myself!

Until now it was more about missing others (husband, friends, parents etc) but now is the time I miss myself.

This picture has inspired me to a great extent. Beginning this year, i resumed my hobby of writing and that is how this blog saw the light of the day. Now in coming time i want to work more on strengthning friendships, giving more time to my mom and resuming reading books like i did before.

Friends, do give a thought of you are missing yourself. It is indeed the worst missing. Do give time to yourself and see how you are doing. The REAL YOU that is locked up inside you deserves some pampering once in a while!

So Mean…. Very Selfish! (Blogger Marathon Challenge – Day 3)

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Its not very uncommon that we find someone uttering “Oh God” when something goes wrong… the thing that goes wrong could be as small as missing a shot while you are playing carrom.. or may be you see someone from whom you r trying to run away!

But it would indeed be very uncommon to see someone thanking god when something good happens. I mean we do say “thank God!” but lets be honest.. we use those words only as words which lack the faith which is there somewhere deep inside our hearts. ironically, the same faith strongly comes out when we are in trouble. 

Why so?
Why are we so mean? why are we so selfish?

We pray a lot (read as beg) when we are in trouble and where does the devotion disapper when things are all fine?  We easily are done with it by saying a small “thank God!” or may be by making some offering to the God like flowers, agarbattis, prashad and what not.

And when i say we pray… it actually means we tell God to do things the way we want. We demand so much, infact we demand everything! It is said that “God helps those who help themselves” but i dont find it to be true. In fact, today,we act as if we r lame and ask every small thing from God. We do almost nothing on our own and still God actually helps us! How fair is that? And even then God is so giving… so generous… and we still whine…

And when our prayers are not answered, or things dont turn out the way we wanted to, we easily put the blame on Him saying that its all his wish!

Arent we mean, very selfish?
We certaily are!!!

Disclaimer – Above is my personal perception and observation about many people around me. There is no intention of hurting sentiments of any person and this post is not suggestive of decision making whether to worship God or no.

A Simple Gift (Bloggers Marathon Challenge – Day2)

Here comes my post for Day2 of Bloggers Marathon Challenge! You can read about this challenge here

Today’s post is a small poem I had spontaneously scribbled for my friend when she had complained that I didn’t gift her anything on her birthday. It is a very simple poem and if I recollect correctly, it was penned down about 20 years ago!! Do let me know how you like it….

Gift

Since long I was searching a gift for you

As delicate as dew

As beautiful as you

But things were not new

All of those were there with you

Thus I thought why I shouldn’t gift you

Some good words which are few

So here I make an attempt to be a poetess

To praise your nature and highness

But there are no words that can describe you

All that I can say is “Friends like you are very few!”

Please be who YOU are

Whether you stay near or far

May God shower success and smiles on you

And health and prosperity too!

I may or may not be there tomorrow

But will pray to God to keep you away from the sorrow

You are very dear to me, my friend

Here are the good wishes that I wanted to send!

Hope you don’t forget me ever

So that our friendship shall end never!

 

 

Game is on the Cards! (Bloggers Marathon Challenge – Day 1)

Hello Friends, I have been nominated for Bloggers Marathon by my dear friend Pooja. Thank you Pooja for introducing me to this challenge! Its a fantabulous idea where the nominee shall publish (at least) one post every day for 7 days in a row. There is no restriction on the number of words or the topic that you want to write on.

The only rule is to nominate fellow bloggers. So here I nominate:

Nikhil, Sayeda, Shreya, Sonia and Ishita

Here is my first post in this Marathon:

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Game is on the Cards!

None of us will disagree if I say that today’s generation (including us) is addicted to mobile. The young children including us no longer play games like we did. Thankfully technology bubble was not as big then and the virtual games were just beginning to appear. Hence we could play and enjoy real games like hide and seak, goldspot, chor police, badminton, cricket, football, carom, cards and what not. And today kids play all of these games, but on mobile, video game or X Box!

We can’t really blame the kids because they do what they are exposed to. And unfortunately, we fail to show them how important these real games are. In fact, we ourselves have succumbed to the addiction of gadgets, mobile phone in particular. Today, mobile phone has replaced everything, alarm clock, music player, camera, play grounds, drawing paper, books and the list continues. And the day is not too far when it will replace people too!

So to burst this technology bubble in our small way, I and a group of my friends have consciously decided to stay away from mobile for one hour each day. Every evening while we are returning home in company provided bus, we do not touch our mobile phones. Do you think it is difficult? Naahh… not really!

Normally this is the time when most of the colleagues choose to catch up with their loved ones on phone, Whats App, listen to music, watch movies or play games on the mobile. While it is alright to do so what needs to be understood here is that all this is making them isolated. It’s a lot more fun to play game in groups than playing alone on a mobile phone.

I and my friends play cards every evening while we are travelling in bus and it is so much fun! We enjoy so much that unknowingly we behave like small kids. Dialogues like “Aye tune cheating kiya, me nahi khelungi” or “Yeda hi kya.. itna bhi nahi samajhta” and arguments like “You are wrong, go get a life!” are so common. I mean, imagine a set of people working in a Corporate office, dressed in formals and doing all this! Hilarious, isn’t it? Our favourite game is Mendhi Coat and we play in a group of four or six. It goes without saying that the partners are chosen in advance so as to facilitate “cheating” J. Each time a player puts a wrong card or makes a silly mistake he is applauded with a comment “Case Study banaya” meaning that the mistake he made was so silly that it will serve as a case study for the people who are at the beginner’s level of this game.

We make so much noise with our shrieks and screams of joy or disgust depending on how the game is going that other colleagues could be really thinking of us of a gang who escaped asylum, but trust me it is SO MUCH FUN. And isn’t this a baby step of conserving real games a good effort? We get to be kids once again every day, although for just an hour but isn’t it something really interesting?

So, do you also want to become a kid once again? Then quit virtual games and play the real games…

The Triumph Over the Devil’s Eye – Part2

You can read this first part here Part I

Coffee Love

Syed and Gayatri didn’t mean to fall in love. But love happens when you least expect it. It creeps up suddenly when someone needs attention, care, conversation, laughter and maybe even intimacy. Love doesn’t look at logic, or at backgrounds and least of all, religion.

 Gayatri was from a very conservative South Indian family that went to a temple every Saturday. Syed bought goats for his family every Eid. That said it all. Their paths would never have crossed if it hadn’t been for that fateful day. That day when he walked into the coffee shop, Gayatri wondered if destiny chose our loved ones for us. Did we have any role to play at all?

 She looked at her watch. Syed was late. They met every Thursday at five pm to catch up. Their conversation lasted for hours, sometimes at the cafe, sometimes in his car, sometimes in places that she could never tell her friends about. They would never understand. And yet Syed made her happy.

Suddenly her phone beeped. He had sent a message. “On my way. Have something important to tell you.”

Gayatri stared at it and realized she had knots in her stomach. Thoughts flooded her mind. What did he want to tell her?

Gayatri could not wait any more to see Sayed. There she was sitting at the same table where they first happened to meet, by chance! Even the coffee shop owner knew that is the favourite table of Gayatri and Sayed who were now regular visitors on Thursdays, so he often reserved this table for them. He was the only one who was a witness to the beautiful past this table had which introduced Gayatri to Sayed. Three years ago Gayatri was supposed to meet a prospective groom on a Sunday afternoon and the meeting was fixed by her parents. They wanted Gayatri to meet the guy before moving ahead with the alliance. Gayatri was not very keen but didn’t want to disobey her parents, so she had agreed to the meeting. Moreover she was fine with the idea of an arranged marriage since she didn’t like anyone in particular until she had this meeting. A tall & fair guy walked into the café, looked around for a moment and walked straight to Gayatri’s table.

“I am sorry I am late. Mom had given me the wrong name of the café and it took me some time to reach here.” He said while making himself comfortable in a chair across Gayatri. Gayatri was amused to see such a cool guy and took an instant liking for him. After all who comes to meet a prospective bride wearing a soiled pair of sneakers, blue and white checkered shirt half tucked in paired with blue denims, sporting stubble and earphones dangling from his neck! They spoke for a long time only to discover their love for coffee, travel and music. The meeting was very fruitful and Gayatri was very comfortable with the guy her parents had chosen for her. It was time to say bye and go home and tell her parents that she is okay with the alliance. And the guy looked equally interested. As soon as the bill arrived Gayatri took charge to pay since her parents had invited the guy.

“Please allow me to treat you lady!” he said taking the bill from her hand.

“Oh no, please let me do the honour. After all, my family had invited you here.”

“No.. no.. it’s not an invitation. In fact, I must thank you for coming here all the way to collect these dresses which my mom failed to deliver on time. My sister got married last week and you can imagine what hustle bustle it must have been. It was the first order from my mom’s boutique that is delivered late and hence she has given you a complimentary scarf matching your dress.” He said handing her a heavy bag.

“What exactly are you talking about?” asked confused Gayatri

“I am talking about the dresses that you had ordered from Elegance boutique. I am son of the owner of this boutique and she has sent me here to deliver these dresses to you.”

“Which Elegance boutique? I have not ordered any dresses”

“Are you sure?”

“200%” blurted Gayatri who was now annoyed. In a moment she had realized that he was not the person she was supposed to meet and she was disappointed that her alliance was not fixed with this guy such was her instant liking towards him. Her thoughts were broken by a shrill beep on her cell phone. It was a text from the prospective groom that he is not able to make it for the meeting. Such an as***** thought Gayatri. No courtesy to call up and inform and has the guts to text after an hour of the scheduled time to meet! But who was this guy then? So many thoughts had cuddled Gayatri’s mind.

“I am sorry for the confusion! My mom had told me to hand over these dresses to Sonia, a dusky, good looking girl of about 25. You are dusky and indeed beautiful but don’t seem to be Sonia. I should have bothered to ask you your name! I am sorry once again” said that guy sheepishly.

A smile broke on Gayatri’s face. “No worries. It happens! I am Gayatri. Nice to meet you!” said Gayatri extending her hand towards him.

“I am Sayed. Please to meet you.” He said shaking hands with her quite formally.

“Ok then, time to say bye I guess” Gayatri said lifting her bag and getting ready to go.

“Here’s my card, in case you want to visit my (mom’s) boutique” Sayed said handing over a visiting card.

Gayatri didn’t know whether she was mad because a jerk had cancelled the meeting or whether she was amused to meet Sayed accidently.

“Gayatri.. Gayatri…Mom has agreed to our relationship!!” Sayed’s shriek full of joy pulled her out from the memories of their first meeting.

“Ohhhh Myyyyy Goddddd” exclaimed Gyatri and hugged Sayed. “It is such a relief to know at least your mom is okay with our relationship! I was so nervous you know. Half battle won!”

“ We have to win the tougher half though.” Sayed said somberly knowing that it was next to impossible to convince Gayatri’s parents to accept him, especially after they had declared that they will never allow Gayatri to marry him, religion being the reason.

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To be continued……

The Triumph Over the Devil’s Eye – Part I

This story is my response to TOI Write India Campaign.

Frightened woman

Picture Courtesy: http://www.google.com

“Gayatri…. Gayatri…..” Sayed frantically entered the house while screaming at the top of his voice. The maid came running down and replied with concern “Shabji, memshab apne room me hain. Who bohot dari hui hain aur mene aapko phone……” (Sir, madam is in her room. She is very scared and I called you to…..) Sayed didn’t wait for the maid to finish her sentence.

He leapt through the winding staircase that connected drawing room to the bedroom, only to see that the door was bolted.

Gayatri had locked herself in the room, yet again. This was a recurrent occurrence and Sayed was worried.

“Gayatri please open the door!!”

All that Sayed could hear in response were Gayatri’s sobs.

“Darling, look, its me, Sayed! I have come now and nobody is going to harm you. Open the door sweets.”

No response.

Sayed could not wait any longer. He was scared to death for the fact that Gayatri would often hurt herself in such situations. He had no other option but to break open the door. He ran to the store room and returned with a huge hammer. He put all the strength to lift it and strike hard on the latch of the door, but luck! The door remained locked. He persistently hammered the latch and after a few attempts the door flung open.

A chill ran down his spine when Sayed saw what had happened in the bedroom.

Gayatri was seating in the corner of the room with legs pressed against her stomach, her head buried into the legs. She had hugged herself as if she was protecting herself from someone. She was trembling and could barely breathe in between her sobs. There was no piece of cloth left on Gayatri’s body.

Sayed ran towards Gayatri and held her in his arms. He tried to shush her by caressing her hair. While he did so, he took a glance at the room. What a mess was created! Night lamp by the bed post had fallen upside down. The sheets from the bed were pulled out and crumpled. Gayatri’s mobile phone was lying on the floor, in pieces! Wardrobe was opened and emptied, the floor now housing all its content. It looked as if someone had ransacked their bedroom.

Sayed’s head was spinning. He could not comprehend what had happened. Who must have done all of this? Is Gayatri alright? Did someone molest her? Is my house robbed? Countless questions were crowding his mind and he had answer to none. All that he could do was to hope that nothing wrong has happened with Gayatri. All that he knew was he should calm her down. Gayatri could do dangerous things when hysterical.

After Gayatri stopped sobbing Sayed covered her with his shirt, cuped her face with his hands and asked, “Gayu, what happened baby? Why are you so scared?”

Gayatri made an attempt to talk but could not utter a single word. All that she could do in response was to merely point towards the mirror. Tears started flowing down her cheeks again!

There was a big crack on the mirror and Sayed’s heart leaped into his mouth when he read what was written on the mirror in red letters.

LOVE JIHAD

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 To be continued… do make a guess about what must have happened!