Karen

It was 7:35 pm when I parked my bike. security guard gave me a snobby look as I turn of my 110 cc engine. My face should seem familiar to him as I used to visit this place now and then, still, he was looking at me like I’m an out lander. Might be he is new to this cosmopolitan VIP club, I thought.

sir, you’re not supposed to go inside, unless you buy a membership ” check-in guard ceased me, as my guess.

“ya, I know, tell your security chief that I’m here to meet Mr. Hombe gowda” I ordered, glimpse from his face faded away as he caught that name.

The name which is pretty much celebrated in the arena of attorney, the name which could bring vibration on anyone who knows him. The former justice of high court and now businessman, the man who known for his canny charm was my uncle.

“Hey, let him go, he his familiar” chief guard shouted out from his chamber.

Now the turn of being snobby is mine, I looked into his eyes till his face turn pale and faint. I liked the way, how the spark dissipated through his eyes.

I was exception. Even though I wasn’t a member, my was capable to get me in there, whenever he wanted. It was just a speck of capability from his numerous potential. I believe, men who make rules are really good at law bending.

It was a colossal swimming pool, beside that a lounge, which is emblazed by luminous lightnings, fancified fire lamps to make it more immaculate ambiance and nevertheless large firewater and booze. I have always wondered how this posh people squander money just to lift their mood up.

He started to visible as I passed the pool, there he was sitting beneath a big old tree, along with his typical scotch and soda gentlemen, talking and laughing over something. Most of his counterparts were from attorney and business, still, he successfully managed to cling with all the premier fantasy elites from the city.

“Come on, get yourself a glass, it’s an important occasion” Mr. Reddy business associate of my uncle said as always, with his over enthusiastic voice.

“No sir, I won’t drink” I politely refused making sure my uncle is watching me.

“Excuse me, I have some business with my boy” uncle broke that event with his last sip of glass. He placed his wild arm on my shoulder and took me few yards front.

“I need you to do me a favor, there is someone who is coming to my house for a few days stay ”

“Ok” I nodded.

“She is coming over her project work and I need you to take care of that”

Word ‘she’ from his converse caught my attention, it didn’t take 0.33 seconds to realise that it was all about a girl.

“How?” I asked without knowing what he’s really asking to take care.

” Taking her outside whenever she wants, buying her needs and all that” he said ” she is D/o Adijot singh, my friend, we used to work together in punjab”

I knew he was working in punjab when I was a kid, but never knew about that friend part, after all how I’m supposed to know? when he is a man of million friends.

” Take it” he consigned one of his debit card.

“I will text you the password, pick her yourself from the airport, take my SUV, she is coming to the evening flight” he said every point remembering from his half memory, one by one.

” what’s her name?” I asked.

” Oh I forgot to tell you that, ‘Karen’ it is “

“Karen? what kind of name is that?” abhi distorted his face as I asked him to search for her Instagram profile.

” If I knew why would’ve asked you? you’re the one who know the depth of that platform” I replied.

” Karen must be a christian name, let me see” he paused for a while “Hmm hmm no luck, results shows some white chicks from UK and Europe but Delhi” he made it in a sad tone.

” It’s ok, I will carry a name board to the airport, that will be helpful” even I made it in a sad tone.

” He would’ve send his driver for that, but why you?” he asked.

” I don’t know, he’s a reasonable man, I believe there is a reason for him” I justified.

we were sitting in a park, which was prohibited after night 8’o clock. Only ghost would stroll over there at that time, in a dark ground. somehow we’ve managed to make our byway into this park. It was our night club, and till date no security guard have stopped us, asking for a fucking membership.

” Ignore it, guess what I’ve bought? “ I placed a unsealed ‘Johnny walker’ in his front.

” You crazy son of bitch, how come you got this? ” he screamed out of surprise.

” Now, I own a debit card ” I winked, showing him my new card.

It was 1 am already, yet, I wasn’t able to sleep. Left side of my brain was forcing my eyes to shut down, whereas right side was still concerned on her howabouts.

How does she really look like? why my uncle is so concerned about her? why did he emphasized to take care of her oftentimes? what the hell is that project? and all the other questions were popping out regarding her incoming. I successfully stifled all the thoughts and slept, three hours later.

Arrival

I went an hour before the landing, as my uncle instruction. but it took more than 20 minutes to find a parking space, in places like bengaluru, alongside driving you need to have a great parking skill. I left to entrance along with her name board.

I had dressed decent enough, sadly, even the best of your best shirt won’t boost your confidence when you’re confronting a girl. I drew a deep breath after seeing people coming out of exit doorway.

Everytime, when gorgeous girls pass by me, I was expecting them to be her, I knew it was shameless to think that way, still, I didn’t knew why I was doing that, may be it was common male nature, may be every men in place would’ve done the same, craving and praying for beauty.

Device in my pocket started singing, it was abhi’s call, I knew exactly why he was calling.

“Excuse me” before I answer his call a mellow voice interrupted. “I don’t know if this me, but I like to say Mr.Gowda is expecting me” she said pointing to her name board.

Tall woman with a sandy skin, her blonde hair was arranged in a cascade of curls, some of them were below her ears. Her face was shining with a giant cooling spectacle, covering her eyes and half of her face. Clean white shirt over aqua short jeans had made her look conspicuous. In bottom line, she was beautiful but Jumbo.

“From delhi?” I asked in a wobbly tone.

“yeah” she nodded her head in affirmation.

“Welcome to bengaluru” I faked a smile and picked her luggage.

I went straight to meet abhi after dropping her to my uncle’s house. I badly wanted to meet him and tell what happened.

“So, what’s the news?” abhi was waiting.

“She is out of my reach” I said.

Why do you always think that for being middle class? Even rich people have good heart, you should try”

” I’m not about ‘rich-poor’ you idiot, she is almost six feet tall, like a mammoth, I’m talking about that reach” I reclarified him.

“Oh, that’s sounds like a problem then” he tattered. “so, what happened next? did you talk to her?”

“Nothing it was a mute journey, she didn’t uttered a word, neither did I”

“My six year old nephew have more testosterone than you” he fussed.

“I tried but, I didn’t know what to talk at the moment” I showed my helplessness.

“Trust me friend, you’re going to die virgin” he cursed.

I had come all the way, pushing down all the work, just to get a face palm from my sarcastic friend.

Day 1

“Where were gone yesterday ah? your aunty was expecting you for dinner, idiot, come on, I’m assigning for a work” uncle yelled straight to my face.

“Ok listen, get her to the central prison, i’ve spoken the warden, he will take care of her whatever and need you to make it look unsuspicious” he was talking about the work he gonna assign “and if anyone superior comes to question you, just tell him my name and she is my concern” he added.

I understood why he wanted me for this instead of driver, if anything goes wrong he knew my face can hold an impact than driver’s. Also, it was clear that they were going to do something that they weren’t supposed to.

I remained in car, waiting for Jumbo to climb in, I thought it was a better name than ‘Karen’. Then she appeared, wearing kurta, neat combed hair, completely contrary to yesterday’s avatar.

“Why didn’t you tell me that he’s your uncle? I thought you were some random driver” she conversed in a soft voice.

I dressed up for an hour to not look like a driver, yet, woman sitting in my car called me a driver. That moment I realized, no matter how many hours you take to get ready, what dress you put on, your face rating can’t be hidden, if anyone don’t introduce oneself properly.

“Sorry, I thought you were tired and my introduction could wait” I grinned ear to ear, scratching my hair.

“Shall we go It’s getting late, appointment is in an hour and it couldn’t wait” she grinned back looking to her time.

I found it as a irritating sense of humor. I decided to not talk with her anymore. Bloody fat jumbo, I will never smile to this girl, not even fake, I determined.

I parked car few yards before the gate and started to walk towards the prison office, she was following me.

“Excuse me, Hombe gowda sir said…….”

“Ah ah, he called me” he remembered “so, who is among you is going inside, see, I can’t take risk here, only one is allowed” he was looking to our faces.

“She is going inside, I’ll stay and wait here” I clarified “And one more thing, she doesn’t speak kannada uncle told you to take care of that” I added.

They left, leaving me outside, after spending lot of humdrum time I left the room to get some air.

what the hell is she doing exactly? what exactly was her business inside? why didn’t my uncle told me about that? why’re they doing it mysteriously? I started to feed my curiosity. I decided to put an end to it once she come over.

After long three hours, she appeared.

“So, how was it?” I asked, though I wasn’t interested in her, I was intended to know what she was doing.

“Oh, I think that can wait, can I have my lunch first, I’m hungry” she replied.

I thought she was trying to irritate me, no, it was clear, she was making fun of me with intension, which was still irritating.

I didn’t speak, just drived the car until she said ‘stop’ in exterior of a grand restaurants.

“Go jumbo go, eat whatever shit you want, don’t ask me to stop again” I wanted to yell. ” you go I’ll be waiting here” I said instead.

“Why? you’re not coming? uncle told you will take care of me wherever I go” she said in sarcastic tone.

suddenly I realized what my uncle told, I was suppose to pay for all her bills. I looked for the debit card in my purse and said “Yes, I’m coming”

Waiter showed menu, she ordered something I had never heard of, now it was my turn, waiter – whose job is to wait wasn’t waiting, he was asking me to order, I didn’t know how to tell that I’ve never taken way to any of this restaurants.

“No-gotts” I confirmed.

“Sir, do you mean nug-gets?” he re-asked.

Karen started to giggle.

I didn’t understand where this waiters and watchmen get this attitude from, Everytime it happens to me with them, the embarrassment.

Yeah” I said after a awkward moment.

Day 2

It was just a similar day to the first day, was again, irritating, but there was no embarrassment.

” Dai-tai-fung, drop some milk topping” I told.

This my pronunciation was befitting, beside that I disturbed waiter’s equilibrium by making it in style.

Karen, who was watching it closely gave me an applause through her eyes.

Day 3

“Hello, who’s this?”, it was an unknown call.

“Karen speaking from this end”, it was her.

“Yes,what can I do for you?” a pseudo confident voice generated autogeneously.

“Can you come early today?”

“yeah”, I ended her call, saved the number as Jumbo.

she fetched me to the prison early, I wanted to ask why, but, I feared again she would come up her ‘Oh that can wait’ response, I didn’t ask anything.

” Yeah, that is all, finally I’m done” she came pretty early from her mysterious work.

“So, can we go home?” I asked.

“Why so hurry? Its my last day in this city, come on, show me how is your city, let me see how it looks” she went to sit inside the car, without asking my ‘yes-no’.

It seemed like an command, but glad news is she is leaving tomorrow. Let me bear this all for today, just for uncle sake, I thought.

I took her to forum mall, kormangala, global village and other giant teckparks. After two hours of loaf through out the city, finally she moved her lips “How boring? Delhi have bigger malls and seeable places”, I just drived without talking, “Take me to the places where I can feel some some positive energy” she continued.

“Like temple?” I asked.

“Hmm, not a bad idea, is there any sikh gurudwara around? its been ages, never visited one off lately” said like she got an alarm from somewhere.

“There is one, but it’s in ulsoor, It takes complete afternoon, evening and some hours of night to return” I said thinking this would freak her out and probably she would say no.

But on contrary she said something which freaked me out “Ah, I’ve all the day, take your time” she said.

I did made a mistake, I shouldn’t have told her, a simple ‘I don’t know’ would’ve saved my day, as a atonement I took U turn over yashwanthapura flyover to catch the nearest way.

She stepped out of the car like a religious women, her wale passed around her head, which was further left to flow down through her shoulder.

That reminded me Anushka of ‘Rab ne banadi jodi’. I had never seen anyone costumed in that way, honestly, she was looking beautiful. I simply followed her like shahruk khan did, singing “Tujme rab dikhtha hai yara mai kya karu”

I didn’t know how to perform the praying actions, I had never been one of the religious stereotypes, could’ve done some hypocrisy to impress her, instead I choose to wait outside the temple, thinking what shahruk khan did for anushka to impress her.

By the time she return, I left all the bad influence had on her before, Inarguably it was a positive place with romantic vibes.

“So, did you got?” I asked.

“What?”, she was looking confused.

“Positive energy” I told.

she bursted into laughter, ” yeah, but still I have to get some” she breaked a breathe to say this and again continued to laugh. I felt proud myself for making a girl smile.

we stopped by the chat street on the way to home back, since she was hungry.

“So how’s benagaluru?” I initiated a conversation

“Take me to the remaining places, I’ll tell you then” she said.

“That’s not possible today, it will be late night by the time we reach” I replied.

“What will be that time?”

“8pm most likely” I said.

In delhi, night starts at 11pm” she laughed and climbed the car, we moved to road again.

“Hello uncle, yeah, I’m with him now,yeah, everything went fine, no uncle, I’m going out with my old friends, yeah, delhi friends, don’t worry I will tell my papa, yeah, I’ll take care of that sure, bye” she was talking to my uncle. seemed like she was going to have big off night.

Just few seconds later I got a call, it was him, my uncle, “where are you now?” he asked

“With her” I said

” she said, she gonna hangout with hr friends,make sure she is safe, wait and bring her back” he said.

I never heard his voice in such soft, caring vox

“Yeah, definitely, I’ll look after that” I assured him.

“So, girls are having fun tonight ah?” I asked taking some gentleness.

“Bring me two Budweiser, two Blue moon, I’ll show you how it will be” she said without hesitating.

Girl who was religious two hours back was asking for a strong beer, I knew alcohol was quite common for a punjabi, but I wasn’t ready to risk my neck.

“Nice joke” I tried to dispell what she said.

“Hey, come on I’m not kidding”, she left me perplexed.

I hit the brake, car stopped.

“Then you should ask my uncle, I’m not supposed to do that” I said

“Come on, do they all want to know about this?” she was looking to me, like I’m timid.

I took few moments, calculated the permutation and combination of getting caught, result seemed safe.

“Ok, where are your friends? where you guys will go?”

“Let us grab our beer first, we can figure it out later” she told

I left her in car alone to bring her a combination of two good beer. I called abhi as I entered the outlet. He said needn’t to worry, this all quite common for people from such background and lastly he told me not to let her get bamed.

“I’m sorry” she said as i appeared with her bottles.

“Why? what happened?” I asked out of turmoil.

“Don’t know how to break it you” she paused for a while “My friends aren’t coming, said they can’t make it to the party”

I didn’t know why she was asking sorry, It was a good news for me.

“Ok wait, I’ll return this” I started to walk.

“No wait” she stopped me “Don’t give it away, I’ve a plan”

“What?” I asked.

“Why can’t we both have it, even two guys can make a great party” she said in demureness.

I had done many lucrative risky jobs for my uncle before, but this was the worst of all my plight. I didn’t know how to articulate for it. May be some sinister is waiting for me, may be I’m being succumbed goat here, I thought.

“Look I’m risking my head for this” I took some fortitude to say yes.

“Don’t worry” she patted on my shoulder “I’ve expertise in that area, I will manage it all without bringing it to you”

Stubborn girl made a strong promise, but deep inside I was totally pissed off, I knew I was banging my head against the wall.

Now the problem was ‘where to take her?’, taking her to the public place was obviously equal to digging out my own grave. So I decided to take her to the club, not to the VIP one, my self proclaimed night club.

“Come on, jump on” I whispered.

“This is dark, I can’t see anything down” she exclaimed

” That wall is shorter than you, don’t worry jump on” I assured her.

There was no joke in that, literally she was taller than the wall.

“Wow, this is a great place” she screamed as she saw som flowers around her.

“Yeah, this is , but on polar, this place is known for negative energy” I tattered.

she laughed her heart out, her cheeks started to glow even in the gray dark, I understood why they say ‘ Beauty can’t be hidden’, mercury light inside the park was making her sandy skin more beam and outshine.

” I think you’re less boring among your family” she said after ending her laughter.

” Thank you” I smiled and opened the bottle for her.

karen: ” I want to confess something”

Me: “What?”

karen: “Actually, I don’t have friends in Bengalaru”

Me: ” what? you don’t have friends in benagaluru?”

karen: “I don’t have much friends anywhere”

Me : “why you lied to me?”

karen: “Would you’ve said yes?If I asked you out for a drink? so, I framed it all”

I rewound everything she did right from the morning, yes, it was a wind up, clean set up for her “Budweiser’ whim. City rounds, gurudwara, hotel and all were just for distortion. Clever, I thought.

Me: “Even I’ve to confess something”

karen: ” Oh, what’s that?”

Me: “I tried to stalk you profile in Instagram”

karen: “I don’t have my face in that platform”

Me: “Hmm, strange, I thought it was made for people like you”

karen: “What you mean by people like me?”

Me: “Rich and beautiful”

karen: “It’s for people who live in simulation”

I didn’t get what she was telling, I settled sipping my bottle.

Me: “Tell me what is meant by karen?

karen: “Actual name is karenjith singh, karen is short name”

Me: ” Sorry, I made fun of your name without knowing what actually it is”

karen: “It’s ok, even I made fun of you”

Me : “when?”

karen: “Remember the first day? when i told you ‘Oh that can wait’, oh my god, I can still remember that face” she giggled

Me: “Fun ah? It was insanely irritating”

karen: “Let’s forget it, come on, tell me something about you”

Me: “I don’t have a great portfolio, persued our nation degree, engineering and job is still foreign to me. Now figuring out what to do, nothing as interesting as your life”

karen: “Why do say like that? you have your uncle, he will help you out”

Me: “My father is a self respected guy, he never stood before his brother for help, even he will never allow me to seek any help from him. Still they hold mutual respect on each other, still they’re good brothers”

karen: “That’s great to hear, guy who never get boosted, though having a rich brother, give him my gratitude” she saluted.

karen: “Yeah, I heard about that, what happened that day?

Me: “Even my uncle is a noble man, but now he’s not quite active in much of his interests, after losing his son in a car mishap”

Me: “He was drunk and driving the car, over speed in the city limits”

karen: “It should be hard for him, right?, losing his only son?”

Me : “That day will never fade from my eyes, he thinks he spoiled his own son by over feeding him, he never denied anything he ever asked, problem with the rich parents, you see”

karen: ” So, now you are his son figure?”

Me: ” You can say that, now he cares everyone he owns, but either of us know that I can never replace that void”Move Paragraph block from position 206 up to position 205Move Paragraph block from position 206 down to position 207

karen: ” Can you drive when you’re drunk? please don’t drive now if you can’t, we can go home with cab” she was concerned regarding her return.

Me: “Heroes never outreach 30kmph in city glimits and I’m a hero”

karen: “Kya dialogue mar diya yaar, pat jayegi sub ladkiya”

she laughed, already her smile was my kryptonite.

Me: “Ok, now tell me something about yourself, wait-wait-wait, first tell me what are you doing that prison? what is work exactly?”

karen: “Seriously? you don’t anything about that?

Me: “Nope”

karen: “It’s a project of mine, I’m studying Criminology- behavioral science, I wanted to talk to the real criminals, so, I happend”

Me: “Why is that? what will you do from it?”

karen: “Classifying their behavior and creating profiling manual for domestic law enforcement”

Me: “No one really knows you went there except uncle, warden and me, what is the reason for keeping visit off record?”

karen: “Sensitive criminals aren’t easy to interact, I will hardly get permission if I go through procedure and policies”

Me: “ That is all? I thought you were some lady james bond working for CIA or MI6″ I laughed, hard enough to irritate her.

karen: ” What’s funny here?”

Me: ” The way you and my uncle showed it up, seriously, I’ve done more menacing work for my uncle, illegally, but I never showed it up in the way you did” I said

I realized I’ve gone overboard by the eyes she was looking at me, I wanted to stop irritating her now.

Me: “you could’ve done that in Delhi itself, even delhi is also know for pathetic crimes, why this particular prison?”

I asked to bring some sense talk in our conversation.

karen: “Because I chased this one specific criminal profile, Kallayya Ipparagi”

Me: “who is he? what is that exceptionality in that person?”

karen: “A human as normal as you, convicted for killing 17 people in 3 hours”

Her words seized my tongue, beer got stuck right in the middle of the throat. How could that even be possible? 17 people in 3 hours? I was lost.

karen: ” I came across his file once during my lecture, I thought his case was perfect for my study”

I was half listening to her , mind was visualizing the intense of that crime, family of innocents and blood he had spilled out.

Me: “Can we stop talking about this? I’m quite timid to crime and horror stories”

karen: “You don’t have a girlfriend, right?”

Me: “What are you speaking?”

karen: “People who are nervous to crime and horror are hardly courageous, also low on confidence, and girls don’t like who are low i n confidence”

Me: “Can you stop this bullshit?”

karen: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” she giggled.

Me: “Now I know why you don’t have much friends

I replied, looking to her belly laugh.

Me: “So, you have multiple boyfriends then?”

karen: “Ya, I have many that I couldn’t keep count on them”

Me: “It’s obvious for girls like you”

karen: ” Thank you, I’m flattered”

Hour passed, we have finished merely two bottles, still two beers were looking to us. Honestly I wasn’t a beer guy, even bottles wasn’t enough for me topple down, I was a scotch guy who was inspired by my uncle.

But for girls I wasn’t sure, I seldom knew about their choices. karen was high already, getting ready for her next beer.

karen: “You know what? I was in love with a man once”

This time it wasn’t her who was speaking, It was her alcohol.

Me: “What happened then?”

Karen: ” I lost him for a misfortune”

she started to drink entire bottle in one gulp without taking a breathe.

Me: “Hey relax, easy”

I freaked out looking to her madness. I remebered what abhi told, ‘Bring her back once get bamed’. That urged me to get her home.

Me: “Karen, we had enough”

karen: “Wait until I finish this”

Me: “Enough karen It’s getting late, wait, let me help you to stand”

Karen: “you know what? you’re the sweetest person I’ve ever met”

It was 10 minutes passed to 11pm, I drived carefully all along to home. She prepared herself to act normal.

karen: “Don’t worry, having told you before I’m good in managing this”

Me: “Hey, take this breathe mint”

karen: “I’m I smelling?”

Me: “You can’t ask that question for another drunken, just take it for safety”

karen: “Ok, good night then “

Me: “When is your flight tomorrow? I’m coming to bid a farewell for you”

Karen: “Evening” she smiled.

Me: “ We spent a great time together”

karen: “It was so bracing, I wish could stay with person like you, forever”

It was so confusing remark, I couldn’t make out if she was really telling that or she was making a joke.

Me: “Good night, see you tomorrow”

karen: “Hey thank you again”

She uttered looking at me, before getting inside the door. At that moment I felt her were speaking something, there was a glimpse of gratification in her eyes, she really meant in thanking me.

Departure

Next day I went to karen early, so I can spent some time before she leave.

Me: ” Hai aunty, where is karen?”

I asked my aunty.

Aunty: “She has gone to her early morning flight”

Brain went stagnate, I was shocked to hear that, stood on the cracked ground thinking why did she left without informing me, I felt bad and cheated. Gift I bought to give her started to laugh at me.

I tried to call her number, It was not reachable already. I badly wanted to see her for one last time. Only person who could tell why she left, was my uncle, I decided ask him.

Me: “Aunty where is uncle?”

Aunty: “Inside, watching TV”

I went inside to confront my uncle, he was sitting in the living room, watching big screen on the wall.

” There is a breaking news coming in, Kallayya Ipparagi, the psyco killer, mass murderer has been dead, sources says he killed himself by slitting his hand this morning, reason behind his suicide is yet to be detected” lady in the news was shouting.

A jolt ran through my body, my body wasn’t ready to take another shock. I lost my sense for a moment.

I looked to my uncle, he was sitting comfortably, smiling to the news.

Girl with benefit!

“Roll no 17, Karthik HV, go sit next to sushmitha” teacher recited looking down to attendance book.

Sushmitha – that’s what everyone called her, I went to sit beside her, along with my old bulky school bag and a shaggy lunch bag.

To fourth standard boys sitting next to girls was a real curse, even I felt insecured, but for a different reason. I was the guy who would let others to play easily with my heart, on top of it, i was ugly, fat and broken piece of shit for most of the class.

On other side, sushmitha was pretty, sharp and luminous. Unlike me she was nobody’s fool. In short, it appeared like class sweetheart happened to sit with walking joke.

I found hard to look into her face considering I’m making her discomfort, I had a queer feeling that nobody likes me, but it was untrue.


Hey!! You are not supposed to write in ball pen” She screamed in low audible tone, “ma’am told to use ink pen for both class notes and copywriting” she was looking straight to my face. I didn’t know how to react for a girl, I mean good looking girl. I just nodded my head indicating i completely understood what she was telling.

Her small shinny wrapped book got my attention, she was writing with her ‘Hero-pen‘, the pen which was a symbol of honor and glory, In addition to that I was also inclined to look at her Pokemon bag, classmate notebook and crisp uniform with neat belt and tie.This girl literally owned everything i cried for, she must have a generous hearted father, I thought.

Yet there was something which took my eye balls, a latest pink pencil box with ball game attached on its top.

Ohh my god! For a moment my brain went stagnate, yes! she have it, the Divine which i craved for, monster which snatched my sleep.

“Where did you bought it? How much it costs?” I asked without caring for acquaintance.

“I really don’t know, my dad bought it for me” she continued to write. My curiosity teemed up when she opened another pencil box from her bag.

“You have two pencil box?” I asked.

“Ya, this is old and this is new” she replied showing her green old pencil box.

This girl was getting new replacement for her every old stuff, where as mine was different, I knew i would never get new one unless things get torn, broken or lost.

Teacher finished off her class, bell rang, both got unleashed, she went by auto-rickshaw, I choosed to walk.


On the way to home my mind was occupied by her on-trend objects, It was really nice to sit next to that posh girl.

“what would be the price of that pencil box?” my mind started to jog “might be 20 rupees? How can I manage to generate such big figure? Should i have to ask my mom again? No, she won’t entertain my demand, she will find it silly, ahhh! Where else can i score 20 rupees? I will be glad if i get 20 rupees by chance on this road” even abysmal calculation didn’t lead me anyway near to that money.

Next morning, she was there already. A gentle smile from her end boosted my confidence.

“Can I see your pencil box? That new one!! I’m planning to buy one tommorow so…..” She handed that box before I’m done with my words, “Take it” she was still carrying the same smile.

I was on cloud nine, I started to play the game.

Sending that mini balls to the target, dragging that balls from one end to another end, ooh my god it was real fun, I was involved in the game untill she said “you liked this box very much it seems!”

“Ya, I’m very happy, I mean who doesn’t love this beautifully crafted marvel” I made a enthusiastic reply.

Ya, I mean you didn’t even cared to open the box to look what is there inside, such involvement?” I didn’t know what to reply for this, I just presented a awkward smile.

Yes, I was playing intently without conscious, my desperate soul didn’t concerned to care about anything at that time, I was looking for this box from long before like caribbean pirate looks for his treasure, Ash looks for his Pikachu, Harry Potter looks for Ran Weasley. To say it was like regaining the long overdue happiness.


It went for certain days, this girl was turning sweet day by day by her enchanting bounty, she knew i was low in my academics, whenever I stumble in class she was coming to edit my flaws, her wisdom and courtesy was something unexpected, she was matured way beyond at fouth standard class, she could have ditched me like others for being dumb head rather she happened to be my Noble friend, apparently a girl with benefits.

How much you got in unit test?” Her eyes were filled with eagerness.

“Eight out of ten” I smiled

“Not bad, you are prevailing in all the subjects, you will outperform the class one-day” she was smiling back.

“What is your score? Wait! Let me guess 10 out of 10?” I asked under curiosity.

“Yeah, how did you know?” She asked

“Nothing much just an hunch, I believe you will never underperform, right?” I replied to boost her high.

Her cheeks became red in shyness


“Hey Karthik” she was calling me from brief distance, I didn’t knew why she was looking for me, we all were on lunch break.

“What happened?” I asked as i approached her.

“Nothing, take it” she was holding piece of cake, one of my favorite.

“No, it’s ok” I pretended knowing she will definitely force me again.

“I’m sharing this with all my friends, everyone is taking without reservedness what’s your problem? shut up and take this” she commanded.

I didn’t knew that would be our last meet, afternoon class turned out to be a woozy day when ma’am said “everyone be ready I’m going to switch your places today”.

All i was doing next was praying to God, I was sitting with finger crossed, I looked at sushmitha,she didn’t seemed happy nor sad, she was carrying the same stillness and calmness like a fine women.

“Roll no 17, Karthik HV, you sit next to Goutham” ma’am words hit me like truck, what the hell? In few minutes I’m going to sit next to the guy who tease me to death, I again started to pray to god, I didn’t wanted to leave that place, her pencil box, hero pen, moreover I didn’t wanted to miss her warm company.

“Karthik quick” ma’am was watching gloweringly. Without any choice and with heavy heart i left the place, blaming god for being unfaithful.

As soon as i sat beside gautham i looked for sushmitha, to see if she was sad for my departure. Nope, she was busy talking to her new company. She didn’t even cared neither to see me back nor to say goodbye.

“ದಡಿಯಾ ಜಾಗ ಕೊಟ್ ಕೂತ್ಕೊ, ಅರ್ಧ ಬೆಂಚ್ ಇವನ್ಗೆ ಬೇಕು( keep your ass right, you are clinching half of the bench )” I heard gautham grumbling already.

Sunset Club!

It seems winter is going to hit soon, days are really getting shorter, sunset at 4:00 pm is quite inappropriate, cold cladded breeze was sweeping without delay as if someone had opened up the refrigerator door, I was lost in confusion of whom to blame, if koushik who made me to wait here in top of this rocks or myself for forgetting sweater back in home?

Hey karthi, it’s hard to climb this rocks like before, I should quit smoking right away” he exclaimed with his half clinched breathing, I saw him clothed with sweater for which I felt bad, this guy was far too cautious, “I have forgotten my sweater ” I said as he came to sit near by , “I got something to beat your cold ” he pulled out a pair of cigarettes like he had sensed my discomfort long before, ” Thanks for two” I tried to grab it from his hand, “one for one is a fair deal” he backed himself by pulling, “Anyway it’s great we are back to sunset club, it’s been what two years?” he tried to glance “Might be one and half year I guess, last time was when we had a party over Arun’s new job” i tried to recollect the nostalgic memories.

so what next?” He was asking the most annoying question one could ask for a jobless, “First and foremost tell me about your plans” I just flipped the question to him, “I don’t know” he stated bluntly, his life was as messy as mine, i have seen him right from my boyhood, he was a sharp dog in all the aspects, I had never seen him falling behind, yet he is confused to go over a career, “you know me well, I’m not into a techgeek, who want to be this consultant,developer, manager and all? I don’t like to be in chains, I just have to live myself which…….”

Which you can’t? ” I echoed his words as if they were mine, “koushi we are from middle class, we don’t get much options to live, just grab each and every opportunity life has given you and set out a career ” even though I didn’t mean it, I was forced to say this for his good cause, “Then why are you sitting jobless? ” he just asked the question for which I didn’t have an answer, he knew me very well also he knew we were carbon copy brothers with similar ideology and similar brainfull thoughts.

Alright then you tell me what to do instead?” Taking a deep breath he lightened his cigarette.

l didn’t mean that way, I asked you what will be left with you when you have make or break moment? ,You have to move your ass then without a blink “ I justified my remark.

Whatever I don’t want to spend my entire life standing with all that electronics, if i really go there I’m sure i will turn out to another stereotype”

he continued “our lifes are meant to do something other than that, I always felt you and I have potential to see the world in other perspective” even though it seemed irregular I could completely relate myself to him, this is why he included ‘you and I’.

Stop it, we already had enough of trash talk over this diluted philosophy, I’m sick of listening to the same idiotic lines ‘we can do this’, ‘we can do that’ over and over again, we both have had spent more than a year for now, had anything left unchanged?” I inhaled a deep smoke, “you are the same asshole as you were in last year and so I’m ” I was furious over my fortune.

Relax, easy dude easy, breathe in- breathe out…..” he started to laugh as if I made a joke, “Oh what else I’m supposed to tell then?” I was blushing, “you can say that again, yes we are absolutely assholes who don’t know what to do with this life, all our friends are planning their retirement life and look at us where we are, stuck between this rocks” he was smoking on filter.

Plan, plan, plan….plan for work, plan for love, plan for marriage, plan for kids, plan for their kids academics, plan for their kids marriage, plan for retirement and some even plan for their next life it seems” I patted hard on rocks “Why can’t they let their life candidly?“.

I know even he thinks the same as we are common in this domestic conception, Silence homed in both of our face, for a while we didn’t talked with each other, it was just him, me and our heartbeats who were witnessing the pace of sunset.

Life would be much easier if silver and gold were merely a metals, don’t know which bastard prioritized them, l think people didn’t felt poverty until they started to dig out gold from the deep earth ” he broke the silence with a philosophical stroke, infact I liked him very much that way, whenever he turned on to philosopher i just become his listener.

Seriously karthi, I didn’t bothered to have sexy girlfriend, didn’t bothered to have a trophy wife, didn’t bothered to have a big car, didn’t bothered to have big mansion in a worthiest bay, these society is injecting me all these forcefully in the name of motivation, motivation my ass..” he was interpreting the actual scenes of today’s phony lifestyle.

So now after seeing all these I need to dream big because someone has already built his house in Royal county, someone has already bought his Tesla, someone is scoring hot chicks, they all had dreamt once now it’s my turn to dream, dream big, bigger than my neighbor, bigger than my friends, bigger than my sibling…..hufff look on how bigger it is been, now for that i have to work on a job which I don’t like so i can buy the things which I don’t need..” he said

I don’t want anything of it, nothing is new under this earth, i just want to live through the moments, just want to live for a small dream like cavemen did back in Stone age” I just nodded my head with smile as it was a mutual feeling too, I also noticed that how his philosophy has taken him to the spiritual life.

Ah ah don’t go to that extension, seriously? life of a cavemen? What would have you done to lighten up your cigarette then?” i gave him a smash look.

He dispelled my words by ignoring my eyes, his face was stationary, he seemed disturbed by millions of thoughts.

Time to lift our bum, say goodbye to sunset club, ok, tell me are you going to quit smoking for real? ” I asked him out of curiosity.

Me? Never, not in this life” he just turned and smiled.

D Day!

“What do you think? You gonna make it tomorrow?” He asked with his anxious looking eyes, “think? What is there to think?, I have been waiting for this day” I said bluntly. ” so what then? Will you ask her for a chance? Do you think she will regrant you?” he was still anxious, ” who knows? Its been almost a year damn it, I just wanna speak to her, I just want to see her face, I miss her breathe, I miss her hair, I miss her voice, ohh goddamn it! How can i miss her charm?” I was evoked by her.

“Well, don’t forget what I have told you, try not to smoke at least for tomorrow she already hates you for that, do not act like a loser, be like a happy soul, girls really enjoy to see their ex’s in affliction “ he said in a caring voice “and one more thing” ,”what?” I asked , “just don’t forget to pee before you sleep, you have drunken to higher, don’t make my bed wet again, i’m going to sleep, I can hardly keep my eyes open” he gulped his bottom sip whisky with evil smile , “god bless you for this kind advise now get lost” i dispelled his poor joke. “good luck my boy, try my white shirt tomorrow its really a lucky one” he went to his bed leaving empty whisky bottle behind.

It was a dark night , i was feeling under the weather in chilly breeze, pulled out a cigarette to eliminate the darkness, as smoke went to cover the dark sky brain started to tag up her memories.

Sonu: “Happy birthday prathu” she screamed as i allowed her call.
Me : “don’t shout, its midnight, they are sleeping” i tried to control her excitement.
Sonu : “can’t wait for morning prathu, now tell me who is the first to wish you?” She asked.
Me : “well on count you are sixth or seven i guess “ I lied.
Sonu : “don’t lie you bluff, I know I’m the first “ she was confident.
Me : “yes, my fish is always right” i tried to take her to the romantic ambience “what is my gift?” i asked
Sonu : “and for that you need to wait for 10 more hours” she replied.
Me : “10 hours is too far, I don’t like surprise and all, tell me now I can’t sleep in this suspense” i insisted.
Sonu : ” well then don’t sleep”
Me : ” then keep me awake somehow” i started dirty.
Sonu : ” let’s play ಅಂತಕ್ಷಾರಿ!!”
Me : “seriously? Now? In this messenger?”
Sonu: ” let’s give it a try, you first “

I haven’t noticed cigarette going ash down, reality hit me hard when cigarette flames grilled my fingers, i didn’t wanted to bring on her to my conscious but when whisky started to take over my brain i was helpless to cease her , ” you have always been a intoxicant beauty” i used to say this to her oftentimes , ” yes, too gorgeous for someone half blind” she readily used to deny that everytime.

Breeze started to overblow it’s cold, memories started to jog off , eyes started to shutter.


I was tensed, its been an hour already yet she didn’t show, i checked myself looking if my dress is properly tucked, “ohh god look at me how i have had gained weights in year, where does all these fats comes from?” i cursed myself.

Don’t worry anna, she is coming today, she just texted now, she will be here in another hour” sharanya said as she pulled a chair to sit next to me.

sharanya was a close friend of sonu, she was more like sister to me, I used to call her putti and for that she called me back anna, she invited me to her brother’s marriage, moreover she wanted me to meet sonu on this occasion, she helped me a lot regarding this issue.

” Hope everything goes fine” she was as tensed as i was, ” do i look perplexed? “ I asked to know if i was looking OK, ” No anna , you look pretty good today, nice shirt by the way” she confirmed with smile and walked to welcome her guests,

” what a noisy place it is to pertain her, i wish this place was filled with solitude and silences, how can i even speak to her in this crowded jungle?” I thought.

As crowd turned to talking hub i escaped to my world ignoring that i’m sitting in conventional hall, the way i tried to atone her when she was scared, the way she used to cuddle me, movies watched together, places we been together, silly fights, promises we had made, random faces i made to make her smile moreover togetherness we witnessed, everything was reflecting in newly married couple’s eyes, they looked so happy to me in fact everyone out there seemed so happy , damn it, i never thought some random idiot would come to create friction and separate us, i will never forgive him for that, wait , it was my mistake, i was the one who reacted like madcap, OK let me forgive him on the day sonu will forgive me, I wished I could travel back and fix it all .

I was overwhelmed to see her, she looked gorgeous blond in that white chudidhar just like lamp shines in the shrines, i wondered why i haven’t been able to move on and forget her, it was her beauty, i started to feel low as she stumbled across me, we exchanged few glances yet there was no reaction on her face, no excitement, no wrath nothing, my hunch was she is pretending to ignore, she went straight to dining room passing my proximity, she didn’t cared to look at me.

Thanks to sharanya she managed to make me a chair beside sonu, ” it is a show time” I murmured and went to sit by.

Me : ” how are you sonu?”

Sonu : “yeah, I’m doing great, how about you?”

The lone good thing happened to me was her ” how about you? “, thank god at least she cared to ask that.

Me : ” I’m not good ”

She didn’t replied, i sensed her discomfort.

*Awkward silence*

I didn’t get words to fuel our conversation, awkwardness conquered the entire silence, she continued her meal but I couldn’t, I felt an urge to cry, all the spirit i pumped up before i talk to her was now gone pale and faded, i have to use my own words now.

I grabbed her hand as she started to move away, I didn’t have any choice but make audacity, ” look at you, you dare to do this?” she yelled at me.

how unfortunate it is? year back her hand was playing with my hand now it is all absurd? How do people forget things so easily?

“Anna everyone is watching , I will bring her to lounge please we don’t want scenes here” sharanya whispered, i unleashed her hand as i realized mob’s eyes are popping on us.

she came to lounge after fifteen minutes, keeping same wrath on her face,she seemed more like crying.

” why are you doing this to me? I will kill myself if u keep obsessing me” she fell down to my leg with sob face.

She asked as exact as i was going to ask her, ” why are you doing this to me ?” This is my fucking question, i have to ask that for you, how she is supposed to ask that for me? I went numb, oh my god what she said? am i a predator? am i persecuting her? How can she say this to one who cared for her? If i knew this was her response I would have confined myself to come to this place.

don’t say like that sonu, i have always cared for you, even you know that well, how can you forget our past?” despite of filled eyes i managed to remark, “what past? It’s already done and dusted ” now she stood folding both her hands ” please leave me alone I’m done with you, please let me live” she exclaimed.

I felt like i was bleeding and drowning, girl who said “don’t ever leave me prathu” is now confronting “let me live” , i wasn’t able to control my eyes this time, tears got filled and started to flow through my cheeks, the cheeks which was getting wet from her kisses is now getting wet for her words, i felt shame to cry infront of her, i wiped my tears and started to pretend like nothing had happened.

I wanted say “please don’t go, let us give it a chance, you know I can’t survive without you, i may die killing myself from grief ” instead i confined to say “take care”.

She started to walk out in that empty road, I thought we could carry out our conversation for an hour, stood awestruck when realised it has all ended inside 5 minutes, yesterday was dark but today moon seemed bright and magnified between mountains, her picture started to fade away as she moved to distance, it looked like she is been walking straight to the moon.

A dying bird!

“Check for another time it was five rupees” old man mumbled in a confusing voice, i watched him now carefully he was weak, skinny and tired who just got his biscuit for two rupees. “No Grandpa it was just two rupees you recheck yourself ” I said in a confident tone.

I knew this man from past few days, he was a Shepard who often comes to shop to get his biscuits and sometimes he try bread, perhaps this was his lunch I guess and wondered how this man manage to survive on merely 4 biscuits, may be he was ditched from his careless children.

No son I’m sure it was five rupees” he said bit boldly this time, “you should have examine it carefully you young boy” he said like it was me who took his 5₹ and cheating on him intensionally.

Yes I’m planning to run away to Dubai by grabbing 3₹ from you” I killed his confidence by throwing a sarcastic reply, by this time there was an arrival of other customers, ” Look grandpa it was merely 2₹ and i don’t have anything to do by taking your penny, don’t talk to me to like I grabbed all your property, I got other customer to take “ I made my period statement indicating that is all.

Customers came and gone but he was still there, standing silently, gazing me with his evil looking eyes, he still thinks i was given 5₹, i tried to ignore him and got busy with arranging stuffs for customers.

Look son I remember taking off 5₹ from my pocket….” Before he finishes his words I took 3₹ change from cash counter and smacked right in his front saying “here is your change, just walk off and don’t ever look back” I was bursted, I wanted him to go away considering I can focus on my daily customers.

He mumbled something with a following customer in a barely audible voice, when he turn to me I saw his painful eyes, he was hurt, I believe he was crying without tears, seeking help for this act. Before I could say anything he started to walk out, I could see his feeble legs which I didn’t care to look before.


I couldn’t sleep that night, there was an excursion of million thoughts, I was feeling sorry for that old man, he deserves sorry from me for being a rude jerk, as midnight passed thoughts started to flourish and turned on to questions.

Why I had been so rude to him, just because he is not a worthy customer?I have encountered snobby,angry and some creepy customers, where was my rudeness then? Why didn’t i threw all my weight over them,because they were worthy customers? Is my conscience is dead? I would have been nice to him rather i convicted him for mere 3₹,where was my kindness then? Did he really cried?

I tried to stifle all this thoughts to get some sleep but i couldn’t, his picture was haunting me, his rotten eyes, absurd fuss words, antiquarian dress, torn wallet,everything came like a flash, I remembered his eyes before he left, they were looking for support helplessly, after all he was in his terminal days with uncertainty, he cried because he as been treated immeasurably low by everyone, he cried because he was alone.

As sun beams patted my windows I realised I had thrown stones at a dying bird