Friday, May 20, 2016

Candy Crush

"Hey sweety...." She waved at her laptop monitor. It was around midnight and she was video conferencing with her boyfriend who happens to be studying at the NYU.
"Finally... I have to be pretty low. Or my flatmates are going to catch me to clean up the kitchen." he spoke as he sat down a bit flustered.

Working out a long distance relationship was a bit of a hard work for them. Given that they had been pretty inseparable throughout college and had taken up different paths at one point. What turned out even more challenging was the time difference between India and America.
By the time both of them got free enough it was usually midnight for one of them.

"Did you have your dinner?" he asked her as usual.
She smiled.
"Yeah. And you don't have work today?"
"Oh I have to go by 5. So we have about an hour?" he said calculating how much sleep she would get.
He was always worried about how she was missing out sleep for him.
"I don't have work until 11 am tomorrow. Don't worry." she smiled almost reading his mind.

Just then his phone rang.
"Oh its my professor. I gotta take this..." he said in an apologetic tone.
Giving him the go ahead, she sat there staring at him.
It had become another one their short duration calls again. They hardly get to spend time together. Another six months and she would have saved enough money to go visit him.
Thinking that staring might creep him out, she took her phone and started playing candy crush. The only game she plays to kill time like she had to now.


"I am back.." his voice made her look into the laptop again.
"What are you doing?"
"Oh! just playing this dumb game..." she showed her phone hoping he would get a clear visual of her phone screen.
"I think I stopped playing it after level 365 I think." he shrugged.
For a moment she was dumbfounded. "Dude... I have been stuck in this 105th level for weeks..."
He laughed now.
"And what is the matter with you? You happen to have the highest score in most of the levels... Geek!"
"Hey... what do you mean by most of the levels?"
"Well.. some of the levels had other high scorers. Like this one does not have you in the first position..." she said checking the name in the score list.
"Its my friend's aunt." she chuckled at that one.
"I am beat by an old lady?" he spoke with a dead pan look.
"Oh.. you are so cute.." she giggled. With that she saw him not looking at the camera but doing some other work on his laptop.
"What are you doing?"
"Candy crush... You said 105 right? Let me get to the first place in that level..."
He was seriously opening that game and scrolling down to get to that level.
"Its just a game man..." She didn't know how to react.
"No... I can't let an old lady beat me in front of you."
"Hey C'mon... we hardly get time to talk and you want to spend that playing a stupid game?"
"Well this is important for me. I gotta impress my girl."
"By playing a game and getting high score?" it was getting late. Another 20 minutes and he will have to leave.
"This is not fair. You just want to waste time like this."
She was angry now.
More disappointed than angry.
"And done..." he announced.
"This is not a waste of time. This is me impressing my girl." He grinned.
She couldn't help but smile at his gimmicks. He made her smile no matter what.


***

"Oye... Sent you a candy crush request. Need one of those tickets to go to the next level..." She told her friend while having lunch.
Her friend looked at her funnily. "You know there are better games to play... Instead of lame candy crush."
"I know... Its just a game to kill time for me."
After a prolonged silence  "It reminds you of him... Doesn't it?"
She just looked at her friend with surprise. "How?"
"You just had this dreamy look now. Not much of a surprise."
She smiled. That was all she could do.
"But I don't understand. He is gone. He has moved on. And you are still hanging on to him?"
"Well this game has some pleasant memories that makes me smile even now." She went back to her sandwich smiling at a certain



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I did know someone who literally had high scores in every single level of candy crush. A grade A geek I suppose. 
A person I respect no matter what. Hope they read this and remember our memory over candy crush. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Red Saree



Annie was getting ready to meet her fiance at the art gallery. As she finished putting on the red lipstick she checked the time. She still had a good one hour to go. 
The sky was pretty dark already. 
"I better get a cab before it starts raining." she thought. 

***

Not wasting a minute Prakash fished out his phone and dialed Annie's number. It was busy. For a moment he relaxed. 
He cannot let anyone harm Annie. 
His senses were on high alert. The line was still busy. He was beginning to get worried. 

***
“Which route do you prefer madam?” she heard the driver ask.
“Oh you can take the fastest one. I don’t mind.”
She was a bit uncomfortable with the driver’s appearance. Something about him didn’t seem quite right apart from his shabby appearance. He sounded way too squeaky for a tall, dark guy.
Annie was thankful that he was not one of those chatterbox drivers who won’t shut up.
“Why are you turning here?” 
“This is just a shortcut madam. Don’t worry.” He assured her.
Not trusting him she tried locating herself on GPS only to realize she wasn’t getting signal enough for internet.
She did the next best thing she could in such a situation.
She called up her best friend.

***
“Don’t tell me you are going to buy this one!” The little girl exclaimed bringing him back to earth.
He hadn’t realized that she was next to him till then.
“Oh not really. I am just waiting for someone.” He hoped she would leave him be.
“Is it your wife?” Catherine pried not caring if she was being impolite.
“Huh... No… She is my fiancĂ©.” He then mentally smacked himself for answering her.
“Could you please stop bothering me miss?” he added. He was still trying to reach Annie.
To his horror now the number was not reachable. He was close to alerting the control room about his would-be.
Relief washed over him when he could hear the phone ring on the other side.
“Oh please pick up.”  He muttered under his breathe.

***

Next day:
“Have you gotten any identification?” Prakash spoke as he inspected the body, or what was left of it.
The body was horribly mutilated and the face was distorted beyond recognition. Her heart and intestines were missing from the disemboweled abdomen.
“Yes sir. Her name is Mary Sagayam. She lives with one more girl in this apartment. Her flat-mate came back home from her night shift and couldn’t open the door. They opened the front door using the landlord’s master key.”
This was getting way too similar to Jack the Ripper case now. 
As he was leaving the room he noticed something taped on the window.
Roses are red;
Violets are blue;
What’s red will be mine;
This is your next clue.
-Jack

With a sudden shiver Prakash flipped the paper to find a picture of himself from the previous evening holding hands with Annie who was wearing a bright red saree. 



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This post is a part of the “Tagged” Contest by writer Kaarthika and The Chennai Bloggers Club. Kaarthika’s book is being released on May 29. Do pre-order it on Amazon.

I now tag Jenny to continue to story here.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

1. The Knot

“I have no idea how mom managed to look so elegant in this heavy ass saree man!” Sanjana complained as the beautician smiled and pinned the saree in place. 
Just then a bespectacled girl enters the room. “Its time Sanjana…” she smiles. 
“You go on ahead Veni… I will come…” 
“No I am supposed to bring you to the mandapam. Mom’s instructions…” 
“Geeze.. Its not like I am going to run off ma…” Sanjana complained again and got up. 
“Oh no no… It is part of the tradition. Sister in law should escort the bride.” She grinned as she did a bit of touch up to herself. 

Veni escorts her to the stage where she sees Krish listening to the pandit. She could see that he is trying hard to control his tears thanks to the smoke coming from the homam. Once she is all settled next to him “If I cry I’ll ruin my makeup.How much longer of this puja?” she asked. 
“God knows. I don’t remember it being this long for my brother.” 
He was about to say something when his mother shushed him from behind making Sanjana giggle all the more. 
She didn't feel like she was sitting through her marriage. Instead she felt like sitting through a boring lecture with a close buddy and trying to make conversation so that one doesn’t fall asleep and get caught. 
There was a long silence between them as they listened to all that the purohidhar said and asked them to do. 
One of her father’s closest friends had agreed upon giving her hand away. 
As he came up to do the kanikka dhaanam he had tears in his eyes. 
Sanjana was happy that her father had left her in the care of such a soft hearted person. 

The purohidhar gave the mangal sutra aka thaali to Krish. 
“Here it goes…” Sanjana spoke to herself. 
“Did I tell you that you look unusually pretty today?” Kris told her before tying the the yellow thread around her neck while Sanjana just looked at him not knowing how to react to his little comment. 

This would be the second time he has complimented her in the time she had known him. 
The comment startled her very much. She just got married to her friend and already things are starting to sound different from before… 


“Oh What am I signing up for?” she thought as she heard people congratulating her and forced a smile like she had been doing for the past two days. 



Up Next - The Night

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Just a series I am starting. A random plot that got into my head after I finished reading a book named Gachar Gochar. Hope you all like it. 
Oh Exulansis means when there isn't an actual word for what we try to explain. Suits me and the story! Or when I come up with a better name would change it to that.