Friday, April 24, 2009


I can still remember the day that Yash took me to the airport so that I could go home for Diwali one more time. Little did I know it was going to be our last happy time together. We had our whole lives to look forward to. Everything was perfect, all smiles on the surface and storms brewing underneath. Yash made plans to shop for a wedding ring the old fashioned way, shopping himself. I made plans to sleep with an old lover of mine. With my bags packed and a hopeful look at the future, we got in the car and headed towards the lights of the city.

Somewhere along the way, I heard a song "Dil dhoondhta hai phir wohi", and for an instant I thought of Sameer. I wondered where he was and if he was happy. For just a moment I said a little "what if" and then let it go, like a butterfly in the spring.

Later that same evening I arrived in Kolkata for a routine Diwali vacation. My mother took me out to dinner and I told her of my plans to marry Yash and live for a while. She took a deep breath and held her tongue. There were so many things she longed to tell me, so many truths she wanted me to see. But how does someone reason with a person who has lost her reason? Somehow we managed to get all of my luggage in the house and calm down a dog who was tripping over his tongue to see me. I had just started unpacking when the doorbell rang. It was late at night and I had no idea who it was. Like a kid ripping the paper off an unexpected Christmas present, I ran to the door opened it, and almost fell into his arms. There was Sameer standing on my doorstep looking down at me. Had it only been two years since I had seen him last? My heart came to life and began to beat in a way I had nearly forgotten. We hugged like old friends often do and regrets began to flood my mind. As soon as they were formed I pushed them away, like I had done so many times before. We sat there in the entry way of my house and talked for a while about the weather and friends we hadn't seen in a while and how life was treating us in general.

"I'm getting a divorce. Suhani left me months ago."
"I'm getting married." I told him. Now where did that come from? A little voice inside my head told me to take it back. But this was the path we had chosen, Yash was the right one for me. He was what I needed, and besides I didn't love Sameer, I never had, had I?

Sameer took a deep breath and looked at me, "Married, huh?" His eyes plummeted to the floor and silence filled the house. "Do you love him?" Once more he looked in my eyes and saw straight to my soul. There was no lying to him. "Oh Yash is a wonderful guy. You should see the way we work together,and he loves me so much. He works for a big corporation and makes good money, so he'll be able to take care of me. And he's so sweet." The words poured out of me and flooded the room, drowning out my true emotions.

When Sameer walked out that night I breathed a sigh of relief as angels above groaned in exasperation. There was no way I was going down that road again. I had Yash in my life and that was all I needed. Things were going to work out just fine. I made false promises, telling Sameer that I would call him so we could talk. For a reason I didn't quite yet understand, I was afraid of him. I had worked so hard to build up a sense of security, and on some level I knew Sameer would disrupt the house of lies I was living in.

The day after Diwali, Sameer called. It's funny how such a little thing would change my life so profoundly. He wanted to see me. Not the next day, or next week, it had to be at that very moment. My eyes closed, I took a breath and walked to the edge of that cliff when I heard myself say yes. We spent all night driving around the city, looking at Diwali lightsand dancing around the unspoken words that were wrestling beneath the surface. Somehow or another we wound up parked by the jetty under the white moon. Each of us waited for the other to speak. The silence finally became so thick I was drowning, I couldn't breathe. I closed my eyes and grasped on to a memory of Yash and the laughter we shared. He was the man I was going to marry. Anything that might go on between Sameer and me that night was going to stay in Kolkata, right where it belonged. That was just the way it was going to be, there was no disputing that. I couldn't let my heart rule my life; logic was the path for me. There was no way I was going to jump into the pool of molten emotion that Sameer laid out before me. My mind was made up, the final decision made. And then he said he loved me.

By the time I got home everything that I had based my life upon was yanked out from underneath of me and I found I could fly. My faith, my hopes, my dreams and my love had all been handed back to me on a silver platter wrapped neatly up in three little words. I stood in the entryway of the house where Sameer had come a week before and laughed out loud. This time I heard the angels laugh along side of me. The sun was rising in the east as I slid out back for a forbidden cigarette. I lit up and took a deep drag. Somewhere I heard a bird sing and a voice from the past echoed through my mind. "Shreya, I just met the most amazing guy."

The most amazing guy was finally mine.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Pushed away by the rumors and lies, I didn't speak much to Sameer anymore. I had lost my best friend and the man I loved in a matter of weeks. So I did the only thing anyone could have done, I went on with my life; returning to the institute with my head hung low and my shattered heart locked safely in a mountain of ice.

In time men, liquor and dreams floated in and out of my existence. With each new passing romance I tried desperately to convince myself that I was in love. Each time, the bitter truth held in my heart floated to the murky surface. I was haunted by images of a familiar face blurred by the events of the past.

Over time we stopped talking all together. Sameer had gotten married, or so I heard and had no time for an old friend from high school. I was living my life, searching for the only true thing I had ever lost. Have you ever searched diligently for something when you didn't know what it was? I had worked so hard to tell everyone around me that I had never loved him that I actually fooled myself. What is it that they say about fooling a fool? My life was chaos, I had no direction, no purpose and I prayed for an end to this life.

Five years and several cities later, I found direction in a man who loved me, or at least thought he did. Yash was sweet, wonderful and kind. He was everything that I wanted in a man. We had a whirlwind romance and when he asked me to marry him I said, "yes." It made sense and I was supposed to be happy, these were happy times. So why was I still left with an empty feeling inside of me? There was something missing from this state of perfection, and I didn't know what it was.

I didn't want to know.
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Monday, April 20, 2009


"Shreya, I just met the most amazing guy in art class. His hands are so." and then she sighed and giggled all in one breath, tossing her beautiful curls to one side. It was the college final year. It was spring time. Outside the leaves were falling away from each other, dancing to the ground. For me, it was the beginning of the end or maybe the end of the beginning. How could I have known that Reena's newest heartthrob would be the man my heart had only dreamed of?

Sameer and Reena dated for the rest of the year. Lucky me, I got to be the third wheel, audience to their budding romance. As the year went on, I found myself falling deeper and deeper in love with my best friend's boyfriend. My hands acted often of their own accord, finding some petty excuse to touch him; I lived for those moments. Though in the end, mournful sighs, stolen glances and a heart full of black rain were all I took home at night. Every day was a challenge to keep my secret hidden behind glass walls. Each excruciating night I lived in a fantasy world where my lips knew Sameer's often and well. I felt as though every beat of my traitorous heart was a betrayal of our friendship. Years before, Reena and I had solemnly vowed to never to let a man come between us. What was I doing?
After a graduation filled with such sweet sorrows, Reena and I went to post graduate institutes, not together thank God, but institutes nonetheless. Separated by miles and the cost of a phone call, we talked together every day over our newfound toy, the Internet. Like the leaves on the trees only a year before, Reena slowly transformed before my eyes. Each day she spoke less and less of her upcoming marriage to my love and more of the new flame in her life, Dhruv. I had the privilege of carrying her stolen kisses with me in my soul. In any other situation the right path would have been clear. I would have told Sameer. But if I told him, how could I know if it was for his best interests or mine? My heart, torn between the loyalty to a friend and the honor of my being, ripped my soul to shreds.

Finally it came time for us to return home for the holidays. Diwali was on its way. Familiar music and festivities was apparent all around, even in the airports, as strangers smiled and rushed home to their roots. It should have been a joyous occasion, but my preoccupation with the gravity of her betrayal and mine pulled me into a spiraling inferno. By some magical twist of fate I got back into Calcutta before she did. I was dreadfully looking forward to spending some time alone with Sameer. Without Reena, maybe he would finally see the intensity of my feelings for him. But what if he could see through the lies I carried for her.

It was a crisp winter night when Sammer picked me up for an innocent drive. His words told me he just wanted to say, "hi," but I knew he wanted answers to questions I didn't want to think about. The prayers I sent to heaven that night were chaotic ramblings not easily sorted by the divine. I badly needed to set the record straight, but I was so terrified that he would ask me. How did I get myself into this situation? "Tell me the truth, you know Reena better than most. Has she been cheating on me?" The words I had feared echoed through the darkness. Now there was no hiding from the decision I had been tiptoeing around. "Sameer, you know she wouldn't do that. Don't be silly." My words flew before I could even consider the consequences. Inside I was screaming, "yes! She is cheating on you. Look at me; Look into my eyes. I love you!!"

Almost as if he had heard me he turned and looked into my eyes peering straight into my soul. "I thought you might say that." Sameer shook his head, and for the first time I saw sadness in his usually jovial eyes. His hand lightly grazed across my knee as he reached for the glovebox. My body was on fire and my head whirling. Sameer placed a pile of letters in my lap. "Read these." The pages contained words written for his eyes only, and yet there I was greedily absorbing every word. With each passing syllable, I saw how she had dishonored me and lied to me every step of the way. There had been no aspect of our friendship that hadn't been soiled by her duplicity. My heart exploded, now I would be justified in telling Sameer the truth. There was nothing sacred about Reena; the knife she used was dull, rusty and sticking out of my back. So then why did I still feel bound to her?

"His name is Dhruv, isn't it?"
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009



Sunday, April 12, 2009


“I can’t marry you,” he announced.
“I can’t make this commitment to you when I don’t know who I am,” he continued.
“I need to find myself.”
Unable to believe at first, I started laughing out loud.
“After seven years, I know what you are.”
I finally said taking off the ring,
“You’re an ass.”
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Friday, April 10, 2009


Do it.
Do it if you really love me.
He looked longingly at his son, his eyes asking him just one question - Can you see me like this?
Is this right? His mind is in a turmoil.
He looked at his dad again.
In a flash he shut off the ventilator. And walked out.
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I am a child making mistakes
I am an adult who is living my life
I am a human that bleeds when hurt
I am a person who cries when truly touched
I am the average one that everyone over looks
I am the eye that catches your glance
I am the blush that catches you off guard
I am the woman before your eyes
I am a mother who protects the weak
I am a daughter for my parents to guide
I am a sister when there is no where else to turn to
I am a lover that caresses in ways you dream of
I am a friend to those who wish it
I am a student so that I may learn
I am a teacher so that I may teach
I am the answer to the questions unasked
I am the question to answers unfound
I am a tree rooted in the forest
I am a cloud drifting by
I am a grain of sand ever shifting
I am a flame flickering in the breeze
I am a healer so that I may help
I am a hag who is there to nag
I am a people watcher so I may truly see
I am a psychic so that I can see beyond myself
I'm a soul searcher that knows who I really am
I am who I am
So who are you?
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