Thursday, June 13, 2024

Whispers of Longings

Nikitha stood on the balcony, the night sky casting a gentle glow on her face. She sipped her coffee, relishing the peaceful moments of the evening. 

A familiar warmth enveloped her from behind, and she knew it was Arjun, returning from a long day at work.

“Good evening, babe” his voice was softer than usual, filled with enthuisam. 

She leaned back, a small smile gracing her lips. “Welcome back, Arjun. What's got you in such a good mood?”

“Maybe it is. Or maybe, it's the joy of returning home to you, my love"

"Oh, Mr. Romantic, you are in an extra good mood today," she remarked, her curiosity rasing by his sudden change. 

As the words left her lips, her mind suddenly realized the underlying motive behind his unusual charming behavior. 

With a playful smile, she continued, "Hey wait, are you seeking my approval for a Goa trip with your friends this weekend?"

“Who needs Goa when I have you right here.” he said as he gazed deeply into her eyes.

“Hmm, you seem to have something on your mind.”

His eyes sparkled as he leaned in for a kiss on her forehead. 

“Guess,” he whispered.

She paused, a flicker of hope in her eyes. “Hey, wait… any good news about our discussion on having a baby?”

The sparkle in his eyes dimmed and he stepped back, his expression turning serious. “Nikitha…”

"We have talked a lot about this. Why do you bring this up every single time?”

“I know we discussed it before marriage,” her voice carried a tinge of fatigue. “But my feelings have changed. It's something I wanted now.”

His tone softened, but his desicion remained firm. “But my feelings haven't changed. I'm not ready for that step, not now, ever.”

“Arjun…” she began, her heart heavy with unspoken longing.

“Nikitha, you agreed to my decision of not having a baby before, and that's the reason we are married,” His words carried a weight of regret. "Why do you always do this and make me feel guilty?”

She took a deep breath and confessed,“I know we talked about this before we got married, and back then, I was on board with you. But these past five years... they have changed me," 

She hesitated, choosing her words carefully. "People change, evolve. We are not the same people we were back then, and we can't ignore that. Decisions we made in the past can be reconsidered if they are not good for both of us." 

She explained, her eyes meeting his, silently pleading for understanding in this new chapter of their journey together.

But he held his ground. “But I don’t change. I thought you understood that.”

Her eyes glistened with unshed tears. “Just imagine a baby for us, Arjun. How beautiful our life could be.”

Her heart ached, but she knew she had to accept his decision. 

"We have discussed it enough. I can’t give you what you want. I’m sorry,” He snapped, his words laced with frustration, stroming abruptly towards the bedroom, and with a forceful push, he slammed it shut.

Nikitha's heart weighed heavy. Just then, her phone rang. Her heart sank as she saw her mother-in-law's name flash on the screen. 

She took a deep breath and answered the call, bracing herself for the inevitable question about any good news regarding a baby.

"Hello, Aunty," Nikitha greeted her with forced enthusiam. 

Her mother-in-law's voice carried an expectation. "Nikitha, any good news? Have you been to the doctor?"

Her throat tightened. "Not yet, Aunty. We are taking things one step at a time."

There was a brief pause on the other end, followed by a sigh. "That's an expected answer. Don't delay too much. We all are waiting for good news."

As Nikitha hung up, a wave of emotions washed over her. She couldn't help but think about the societal pressure on women to have children and how often they were blamed for not fulfilling this expectation.

Friday, May 31, 2024

A hidden Letter from a Women's Heart

Dear Friend,

Love is a beautiful emotion that has the power to bring immense happiness. When she first fell in love with him, her heart was filled with dreams of a shared future, support, and mutual respect. However, over time, those dreams began to fade, replaced by a harsh reality she never anticipated.

In the beginning, she believed in the strength of their love, thinking it could overcome any obstacle. But as days turned into months and then years, she realized that love alone is not enough. When a man refuses to take responsibility for his actions, when he insults, mocks, and belittles her, the foundation of that love starts to crumble. The person she once adored became a source of pain, someone who inflicted wounds not just on her body, but on her soul.

It's heartbreaking to admit, but she has been beaten and kicked in front of their child. The physical pain was unbearable, but the emotional scars cut even deeper. She stayed silent, hiding the bruises and the tears, because she wanted to protect their child. She thought enduring the abuse was a way to shield them from the harsh reality of a broken home. She convinced herself that staying was the lesser evil, that sacrificing her own well-being was worth it if it meant their child would have both parents.

But the truth is, staying in such a toxic environment does more harm than good. Children are perceptive; they see and feel the tension, the anger, and the fear. By staying, she was teaching her child that such behavior is acceptable, that it's okay to hurt and be hurt. This realization was devastating, but it was also the first step towards reclaiming her strength.

She kept her mouth shut about the abuse, hoping that her silence would maintain the facade of a perfect family. The world saw him as a good man, oblivious to the nightmare that unfolded behind closed doors. Her silence gave him power, allowing him to continue his facade while she withered away in the shadows.

To any woman reading this, enduring similar pain, she wants you to know that you are not alone. Your love is not a curse, and your silence is not a testament to your strength.  Your life, your happiness, and your well-being matter. You deserve to be loved and respected, not just by others, but by yourself.

It's not always possible to leave, especially when children are involved. However, remember that you have the right to live a life free from abuse and fear. 

Try to silently stay away from them whenever possible. These people won't understand at all and will continue to hurt you, but you have the power to fight silently and stay strong. I know he crushed you and trashed your trust, but it's important to pick yourself up and move on. Even in silence, you can reclaim your strength and protect your heart. Remember, your resilience and quiet determination are powerful tools to rebuild your life.

Love should lift you up, not tear you down. It's time to rewrite the narrative, to break the silence, and to reclaim your life. You deserve to be cherished, respected, and safe.

With all her heart,

A Woman Who Silently Fights the Battle

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Bond of Mother and Child

This article was submitted for the Making Moms Proud | Mother's Day contest 2024, organized by Gold Winner.

As Mother's Day approaches, my heart reminisce with the unbreakable bond between my mother and me. It was a day etched in my memory, ten days before my due date, when my world tilted on its axis.

The urgency in the hospital walls echoed as the doctor's grave expression mirrored the gravity of the situation. The words "increased fetal blood flow" and "emergency c-section" hung heavily in the air.

Months of dedication to achieving a normal delivery, including a daily 10,000-step walk, one hour of pelvic floor exercises, an hour of prenatal yoga in the evening, and 100 squats, flashed before my eyes. The flood of emotions was overwhelming, and the hopes for a natural birth seemed distant.

In that moment, all I wanted was to avoid the surgery. "Give me an injection to induce labor pain," I pleaded, hoping for a different outcome. But reality set in as the doctor explained the risks, and I reluctantly agreed to the c-section.

In this turn of events, my husband's promise to stand by me broke as responsibilities called, compelling him to depart from the hospital. He assured me he would return within two hours. I clutched his hand, seeking solace in his presence, but he reluctantly released his grip and left me to navigate the anxious hours ahead alone.

The pre-procedure preparations began, but I had a phobia for Injections. When the nurse attempted to insert the needle into my vein for the first time, my hands swelled, and blood flowed heavily. Tears streamed down my face as the nurse made another attempt, resulting in a torrent of blood and tears from my eyes.

My mother rushed to the hospital as soon as she heard the news, joining me in this emotional turmoil. Tears started dropping like rain as my mother came near, holding my hand and asking, 'Is everything really good?'

Her strict upbringing during my childhood resulted in a distinct lack of closeness between us. It was the first time she held my hand; we had rarely touched or sat close for years.

In that moment, her touch spoke volumes, bridging years of disconnect. I have always known my mother to be a pillar of strength, never letting her emotions show. Yet, as I reflect on her unwavering discipline and sacrifices, I realize that her guidance has shaped me in profound ways. Her strength became a living example of how to navigate challenges and pursue career goals.

With her by my side, I confessed,"I am a failure," 

"You are strong," she affirmed, drawing from her own experiences of childbirth.

My mother gently brushed my head and spoke, "Ramya, your sister's birth was a normal delivery for me. However, for you, it was twelve hours of labor, sleepless nights, and ultimately an emergency c-section for our well-being. In those times, c-sections were stigmatized."

My mother continued, "Few things are not in hand. You are strong; you will recover swiftly. This thought will fade once you hold your child," she affirmed. Her words of comfort induced confidence in me as she wiped my tears, and I cooperated with the nurse.

As I was wheeled towards the operating room, I not only went with emotional and physical strength but also with resilience inherited from generations of strong women. My mother's hand on mine, a silent vow of support, gave me the courage to embrace the journey ahead.

Motherhood, I realized, isn't just about giving birth; it's about enduring and learning. My journey to motherhood was marked by challenges, but it was also adorned with support and the enduring strength passed down through generations.

To all the mothers who navigate storms with grace, love unconditionally, and inspire resilience, Happy Mother's Day. You are the pillars of strength, the silent warriors who shape futures with love, courage, and unwavering determination.

As the doctor announced, "It's a B-O-Y... boy," and I heard his first cry, the way of his arrival—whether through c-section or natural birth—faded into insignificance. 

In that moment, he became my world, filling my heart with love.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Second Chance: Chapter 2 - Suicide Point, Unexpected Beginnings

 Chapter 2 - Suicide Point Unexpected Beginnings

Click here to Previous Chapter 1 

Karthik's bike roared to life as Kavya settled in behind, her expression concealed. Determined to decipher her mood, he adjusted his mirror, craving a glimpse of her face. His thoughts wandered, grappling with the haunting question, "Wasn't there anything about me worth fighting for in our relationship?"

The red traffic light interrupted his reverie, prompting a journey back in time, fifteen years back. "They say marriages are made in heaven," he murmured, "but ours... it was dawned at Suicide Point."


Our story unfolds at Suicide Point, a picturesque spot in Yercaud, a hill station where our families organized an annual trip each year. I vividly remember those days; fresh out of college, we eagerly awaited our final semester results. 

Since childhood, my heart held a deep affection for Kavya that endured through the years. However, despite knowing me since birth, she never seemed to reciprocate any profound friendship towards me.

Pausing for coffee near the scenic suicide spot, savoring the chill weather, Kavya ordered a coffee for herself, and I pretended to be unsure about whether I wanted tea or coffee.

I asked her if I could taste her coffee to help me decide and without waiting for her answer, I took a sip from her cup and exclaimed, "Hmm, Lovely! I will have coffee too".

Her response was quick with a smirk, "No, no, you keep this one. It's a saliva blend now. I will get a fresh one."

Before her new coffee arrived, her father approached, burdening me with the family business responsibilities.

"Karthik, studies are done. Join us and learn the business", he urged.

Our families had been business friends for decades, my father chimed in, "Take over in six months. We deserve a break!"

Feeling annoyed with the business discussions, I muttered to myself, "Oh gosh... There it is again, the business talk."

I excused myself under the pretext of checking our car's security, "Wait, Dad! I'm not sure if I locked our car. Let me go check real quick!"

Before leaving, I wanted to take Kavya with me. "Hey Kavya, want to join me?" I asked hopefully.

She smiled gently and declined, "I'm tired, Karthik."

Persisting, I added, "Just a short stroll. Trust me, It will refresh you."

She hesitated for a moment, then relented with a nod, "Alright, let's go"

As we walked, she quizzed, "Our car's that way, why are we going the other way?"

"I just needed a moment away, with you by my side," I teased, a playful wink adding a touch of mischief to my words.

Caught off guard, she playfully remarked, "Nice try," her eyes gleaming mischievously as she added, "Not sneaking for a smoke break, are you?"

"No, no, just needed some fresh air," I reassured exhaling a misty breath to emphasize my point. I chimed in, "That discussion was suffocating."

Her soft voice advised, "If you don't want to get into business, tell them upfront."

The chill embrace of the weather and the misty ambiance draped us, accompanied by the scent of roasting corn nearby. We instinctively rubbed our hands together, seeking warmth in the cold. But in a fleeting moment, the mist disappeared, revealing the picturesque scene before us.

Spotting a stunning viewpoint, Kavya posed, urging me to capture the beauty. Ah, the days of limited film rolls and no instant retakes!

As her hair danced in the wind, I couldn't resist the urge to make a slight adjustment for the photo. Not wanting to miss the chance of getting closer to her, I gently moved closer, savoring the scent of her hair as I reached out to arrange it.

With careful movements, I smoothed out the strands, relishing the softness and texture of each one as I helped her gather them. The intimate moment allowed me to appreciate her beauty close, and I found myself lost in her.

"Hey, go and click the photo quickly before the mist returns!" Kavya exclaimed.

With precision, I meticulously captured her in just one picture, freezing that beautiful moment in time.  

Reflecting on the past, I realize how fortunate we were not to have the instant review and retake feature on our smartphones back then. Nowadays, she would probably ask for a thousand shots until my phone battery died just to get that flawless picture.

As I carefully placed the camera back into its pouch, a fortune teller with a rattle-drum approached us.

With confidence, the fortune teller declared, "Your future bride is here!"

Kavya playfully scanned the crowd, pretending to search for my destined bride. The fortune teller pointed at her, affirming, "She's the one."

She chuckled softly, shaking her head. "Meee?, marry him? That's a good one! But, He is more like my 'bro-daddy' type. I can't image my life with him"

"Bro type, huh? Why do you girls always corner us with bro types?" he countered, glancing at Kavya. Looking at the fortune teller, he added, "Well, marrying her? That's definitely not on my wishlist; can't even imagine us twinning in matching outfits!"

"Whoa, slow down there" But just as Kavya was about to continue, the fortune teller interrupted with a shake of his rattle-drum, creating a loud noise. "The signs are clear; you two have already started arguing. It's like the first requirement of a marriage"

"Hey, why are we arguing? He is just babbling some random stuff to squeeze some extra cash, thinking we are a couple who will feel happy about it."

The fortune teller, irked by my comment, stated firmly, "I have been doing this for over 30 years. And mark my words, you will return here with her" he pointed at Kavya, "after your wedding."

The unexpected prediction took us by surprise, and our parents overheard our conversation. This idea registered in the back of their minds as a seed of possibility. Throughout the trip, they discussed envisioning our future together, and before our trip had even concluded, our engagement date was finalized.

It seemed that the idea of marrying Kavya to me had been brewing in their minds for some time, and the palm reader's prediction simply ignited that spark.

And so, our journey as a couple began at Suicide Point, where we experienced a blend of breathtaking highs and daunting lows, much like the ups and downs of relationships.
As the traffic light switched to green, a cacophony of car horns filled the air, snapping me back to reality. Kavya's urging to move forward echoed in my ears and I zoomed the bike.

To be continued...

Friday, April 5, 2024

Second Chance: Chapter 1 - Clash on the Court

      Chapter 1 - Clash on the Court

In a cozy city apartment, the morning sun filtered through the balcony, illuminating an old photo album on the wall. The image depicted a happy couple in their twenties, radiating love on their wedding day. Yet, as the story unfolds, the bedroom reveals a different narrative.

Karthik, a dynamic man in his mid-thirties, radiated charm as he hurriedly prepared for the day; his wet hair, tousled from the shower, added allure. The stubble on his cheeks gave him a rugged charm, emphasizing his jawline. With effortless grace, he grabbed a sports t-shirt from his wardrobe, throwing it on in a way that highlighted his energetic physique. His captivating smile, magnetic eyes, and black, thick hair drew people in.

Kavya, his wife, dressed in a black sports t-shirt and carrying a badminton bag slung over her shoulder, entered the room, her expression a blend of anger and frustration as she confronted Karthik. Her posture spoke volumes about her confidence. Slender with long, glossy black hair tied back in a ponytail, her captivating deep brown eyes drew others into her gaze. Her charming dimple enhanced her charm, adding a touch of sweetness to her presence.

"Karthik, The match starts at 7:30, and it's already 7. If you are not interested, you should have informed me during registration." Kavya's voice hinted at aggression, her eyes locked on him while she crossed her arms.

Caught off guard by his wife's sudden outburst, he looked at her with a puzzled expression,

"Why would I wake up at 6 in the morning if I'm not interested?" he asked, gesturing with disbelief.

"You woke up, but you were in the bathroom for a long time, glued to your mobile," Kavya remarked with a sigh.

"That's men's time," Karthik defensively replied, running a hand through his hair and applying gel to style it perfectly. "And, You wouldn't understand," he added dismissively, turning away to check his appearance in the mirror.

Karthik's inner thoughts echoed. "It's just a friendly tournament at our apartment, not an international match. Why does she always create a scene out of nothing?"

Kavya stormed off with a slam of the door, leaving Karthik behind in a rush. He hurriedly grabbed his shoe, dashed towards the lift, his breath slightly labored from the morning's frantic pace.

Inside the lift area, Kavya stood alone, anxiously checking her watch as time passed. Just as the elevator doors were about to shut, Karthik's last-minute press of the open button caused them to reopen.

As tension mounted in the confined lift space, Karthik stepped inside hurriedly, saying "Whew, just in time!" and winked at her. The door closed behind him, sealing the lingering unease between them.

Exiting the lift, they stepped into the corridor, their footsteps echoing on the tiled floor as they headed towards the parking area. Reaching the parking area, Karthik headed straight for his bike. However, a sudden realization struck him.

"Oh no! I forgot my bike keys at home," Karthik exclaimed in dismay.

Kavya looked at him incredulously, her disbelief palpable.

"Seriously?" Kavya questioned with a hint of exasperation in her voice. "I knew you would rush back for your helmet again."

With a rueful expression, he rushed back to their apartment to retrieve the forgotten keys, leaving her to wait impatiently.

Arriving at the badminton court, Kavya began her warm-up routine, and Karthik joined her, teasing, "I must say, no warm-up needed for you. You are already warm with your anger, just like a steam engine." She let out a light smile, trying to shake off the tension from earlier.

"Ah, my wife finally smiled," he remarked, a playful glint in his eyes.

Just then, the organizer approached and asked, "Your match is next. Are you guys ready?"

They nodded, but as the match began, their coordination seemed off. They both missed shots, each assuming the other would take them.

"That was your shot, Karthik!" She blamed, frustration evident in her voice.

"No, that was your shot, Kavya!" he retorted, his tone mirroring her. 

Frustration crept in as they continued to struggle on the court. The referee reminded them sternly about the seriousness of the match.

"Guys, this is a knock-out match. Can you play a little more seriously?" the organizer reminded them.

With a shared glance, they switched sides, but their gameplay remained disjointed. As the match progressed, their communication faltered, leading to more missed opportunities.

"Game ball, Score - 21-5," the referee announced. 

The shuttle reached Kavya perfectly, giving her a clear chance to score. However, in a moment of anger, she hit the shot into the net, sealing their defeat. Disheartened, she stormed off the court, grabbing her bag.

Kavya watched as the organizer approached, shaking his head at their performance.

"I can't believe you guys were the tournament winners last time. Clearly, the issue was lack of sync and coordination" the organizer remarked before walking away, leaving them to contemplate their disappointing performance.

Karthik observed Kavya slumping onto the steps, her expression a masterpiece of disappointment. He mused, sensing her mood. "If I talk to her now, she will bombard me with non-stop blame. If I don't, I will get a double serving for not convincing her. Ah, the dilemma,"  He thought he would better deal with it now and sidled up to her. 

"Leave it, Kavya. Let's focus on the next tournament," he said, hoping to lighten the mood.

"I'm not upset about losing this tournament, It's just..." She replied. 

Surprised, he waited for her to explain.

"Did you hear what the organizer said? We lack synchronization and coordination!" she expressed her annoyance.

With a carefree attitude, he replied, "Well, you know how it is with organizers—they say some random stuff. Let's not take it seriously."

Her tone softened, "But what he said is true, Karthik."

Lost in thought, she gazed into the distance. "It's not just about our match," Her voice quivered with emotion. "Our lack of sync extends beyond the court."

He got straight to the point, replying firmly, "Let's not jump to conclusions based on one match, Kavya."

"But, don't you think that game reflects our relationship?" she asked, a hint of concern in her voice.

Feeling a surge of irritation he replied, "For heaven's sake, can you stop dragging this match into everything? We are here to play, not to psycho-analyze our relationship on the court."

"See, I'm trying to express something, but you are not understanding. This sync issue reflects in our lives as well."

Karthik, maintaining his stance, replied, "I hear what you are saying, but I don't agree. Our game and our relationship are separate things. Let's leave the deeper discussions for another time, please." He looked at her firmly and added, "Can we leave now?"

"No, I can't keep postponing anymore," She continued, "Perhaps it's a sign that we need to take a step back and reevaluate our relationship." Her words trailed off, filled with introspection and underlying concerns.

"Sh...She's bringing this up again," Karthik muttered quietly.

"Karthik, maybe it's time for us to consider moving on," Kavya's voice trembled slightly as she spoke, her words laden with the weight of years of unspoken pain.  

Kavya had tried to resolve their issues, to bridge the emotional distance that seemed to widen with each passing day. But her efforts had often been met with indifference or temporary fixes, leaving the deeper wounds unhealed. It wasn't just about this particular argument or incident; it was about the accumulation of unresolved emotions and unaddressed issues that had been festering beneath the surface for too long. She had reached a breaking point, where the constant struggle and pain in their relationship had become too much to bear, overshadowing any hope of making things right.

Karthik was taken aback by her emotional statement. His mind raced, trying to process the gravity of her words. Fifteen years of marriage, filled with both joy and challenges, flashed before his eyes. While he acknowledged that the initial spark had dimmed over time and there were misunderstandings and gaps in their connection, Karthik couldn't fathom using that as a reason to give up on their relationship.

"Let's discuss this further at home, not here," he finally managed to say, his voice tinged with uncertainty. He couldn't bring himself to meet her eyes, his own emotions a mix of confusion, sadness, and a lingering hope for reconciliation.

Click here to Read NEXT Chapter

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

My First Love

Ah, the sweetness of #firstlove! The fluttering hearts, butterflies in the stomach, the rosy cheeks, and the shy glances—except mine wasn't a typical love story. No, my heart belonged to something on wheels, something that whispered promises of pride: "My First Car". They say #lifepartners are meant to travel the journey together, but here is my life partner: my car, truly my #travelpartner.

In 2010, in my small town of Erode, seeing a woman behind the wheel was as rare as spotting a ghost—utterly non-existent. Yet, I made the decision because I couldn't bear to see my dad commuting by bus or two-wheeler anymore. And so, the quest for a car commenced. 

Those days Chevrolet Sparks were everywhere, with those cute ads blinking on TV. But they were too pricey for me. I went for the Tata Nano—small, affordable, and perfect for the roads. However, dad was skeptical, comparing it to an auto-rickshaw. Then, there was Maruti, safe and secure like a government job. Yet, I hesitated, remembering my sister's wedding gift Maruti Alto.

So, the search for the perfect car continued. We scoured through various brands until we stumbled upon Hyundai's showroom. And there he was—the Eon, with his stylish body shape and irresistible charm.

Took a test drive, instantly fell in love, and made my mind: he's going to be mine. I felt a connection and knew we were meant to be together.

At 3.58 lakh, it was a hefty sum for a young woman like me. Pulled together all my savings from those many years and made the decision to bring him home. I'll never forget the sheer joy plastered across my face as I embarked on my trip with Mom and Dad by my side. That car wasn't just a mode of transportation; it was my emotions.  

Every single week, I would travel back to Bangalore, leaving my man behind, much like a man who leaves his family for work. I left him, promising that I would be back soon. Meanwhile, my dad would diligently clean the car every single day to keep it spotless. My cousin Sanju, who was just 2 years old at the time and adored cars, would eagerly take off his shirt and offer it to clean the car. 

Not a single scratch, not a single mistake—every time I took the car out, it took care of me. We attended weddings together, embarked on temple trips to Pollachi, and even spent a week at a farm alongside him. It felt like the car was the fourth member of our family. So many cherished memories, including that unforgettable drive through the hills of Ooty. 

Wait, wait, I almost forgot about the naming ceremony! It was the tradition in those days, we used to paste all our family names, including maternal, paternal, and sisternal names, on the car. You could leave someone's name off the marriage invitation, but you couldn't miss anyone's name on the car; But Well, Instead of names, I adorned it with a sticker declaring "I love my dad and mom" on the car. It's like a tattoo projecting my love for it.

I won't bore much with the mushy details of my love and emotions—all I could say is it's so close to my heart. 

***Intermission ***

I tied the knot, and like every love story, a villain appeared in the form of BOY BESTIE my husband, ready to give a twist, shake, and brake to the love story that started so many years ago. He always had a soft spot for my car because it was cute, small, and compact—a city dweller's dream. While I preferred to keep my love cruising at a modest 60 km/h, he had other plans, revving it up to a wild 120! Every time he presses the accelerator beyond 100, I would feel like he's trying to pull my heart out. He would always take it on bumpy roads, put sudden breaks, leaving my poor car with pain, and then he have the audacity to claim, "I'm handling it better than you😄!"

Life moved on, and I found out I was pregnant, but before I could even show him the pregnancy test results, he took away my car keys, declaring it unsafe for me to drive. "You'll vomit, get dizzy—not safe," he'd say. A first shock! Like a true BOY BESTIE besides, he was doing his job. 

After that, I had a child, and for the next three years, he insisted, "No, let the boy grow, no more driving." For almost four years, I couldn't touch my car, and in frustration, feeling disconnected from my love for so long, I suggested selling my Eon, but deep down, I didn't mean it. The very next day, a man was waiting with my husband, ready to take my beloved car away. I reluctantly signed the papers for selling and name transfer. My love was taken away without a second look, and the pain I endured is indescribable. Sometimes our love story shatters in a single moment, and no matter how much we wish, it cannot be reverse and life rolled on.

Now, after many years, the discussion of a compact car arose again, and with it, memories of my first love story flooded back. Many years have passed, yet I still cannot forget my Eon—it's more than just a car to me. No one knows the depth of what I went through. 

We visited numerous showrooms and explored various car options. With each car, I found some ridiculous reason to reject, just like the simple excuses we use to dismiss potential suitors during bride-seeing ceremonies—no mustache, too fair, his name is too name it! My reasons for rejecting cars were: it's too big, not stylish enough, doesn't have that girly vibe. 

Oh, then I was practically forced into this marriage with my car. I mean, forced to stick to this KWID. Look at Mr. Climber over there, he looks seriously <BEEP BEEP CENSORED>! He couldn't stand next to my Eon even if he tried!I wasn't ready to imagine anything coming close to what my Eon means to me. "You were my first love, I can't have anyone in your place," I silently whispered.

Just like a forced marriage where we whisper, "Dai, don't tie the knot, don't tie the knot!" There he is, tying my knot of marriage over. Well, I meant I paid an advance for Renault KWID, a month ago. 

But I really did not like him. I know I can't take it anymore; broken is broken, shatter is shatter. I firmly decided I don’t need KWID. I declined, realizing I didn't need it, and moved on. Yes, a car is an emotion for a few, especially when it brings such profound feelings for you and your family. When I was alone, it traveled with me, a faithful companion on my life's journey. For me, the Eon isn't just a car; it was my love and will be love, my trusted companion on the road(Journey) of life.

Yes, we all have these first loves—be it people, houses, cars, or jobs—that remain unfulfilled due to family situations or other circumstances. They leave an indelible mark on our hearts, shaping our memories and experiences for years to come. But the pain we carry remains hidden because, as they say, life moves on.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Strength Behind the Tears

In a world where strong women are admired for their resilience and ability to tackle challenges, it's easy to forget that they too have emotions that run deep. 

So, I recently had a chance to play cricket tournament where having one woman in a team was a must and the first over was handed to the women.

First ball, first over, I swung my bat with Dhoni-like confidence, but the ball dint fly like a rocket for boundaries. So, I started running, but gravity had other plans, and I found myself kissing the ground. The opponents, displaying true sportsmanship, chose not to throw the ball at the stumps, sparing me from run out.

My knee was in pain, yet I played the remaining five balls, determined not to give up. As I stepped out of the ground, I noticed my torn pant. "Well, torn pants are trendsetters," I thought, lifting it to inspect my knee. To my shock, I discovered a sizable wound accompanied by a splash of blood.

Upon noticing my injury, the team captain promptly called for first aid, and a person with a box emerged. Before I could scream out my pain, the captain and those around me said, 'What a brave, strong woman!'

The notion of being a strong woman echoed in my mind and I concealed the pain behind a mask, casually stating, 'Oh, just a scratch, no big deal.' Yet, in reality, it hurt like hell. 

Questioning whether this act qualifies as strength, I pondered. The pain was real, but I hid it well. Am I truly a strong woman? Who's to say?

Enduring a week of pain and limping, I made sure no one noticed my limping and pain. As strong women, we become masters of hiding our pain. But there are moments when that strength shatters us to the core and sometimes, the burden becomes too heavy to carry alone.

Today marked a different chapter – a trip to the hospital all by myself. Absolutely, being strong is admirable, but in the hospital, where vulnerability is unavoidable, having someone by your side makes all the difference. 

Multiple injections and a small surgery left me in pain. Feeling a bit dizzy while driving back home after anesthesia, I question whether to blame myself for projecting strength to those around me or if I was a fool for not expressing my vulnerability.

As the anesthesia wore off, the pain from the surgery resurfaced. However, what hurt even more was the loneliness within the hospital walls. But what truly stung was the realization that people often perceive strong women as unstoppable, neglecting the love and care we silently crave.

Being a strong woman doesn't mean we don't need love and care; even the strongest souls yearn for compassion.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Goa to Growth

This article won the Writing Contest organized by NTT DATA.

I am uncertian who in the world likes me,  but I do know one thing for sure – the fate has a serious crush on me, constantly throwing in unexpected twists, connections, experiences, and opportunities in my life. (It's like the universe's way of saying, "evolo adichalum thanguran, iva romba Nalava da...")

One such connection between Goa and my journey with NTT DATA have made an impact and transformed my life.

It all began during a much-anticipated family trip to Goa, a needed escape after the dark cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic. As I soaked up in the warm embrace of the sun and relished the joy of being with my loved ones, a call from HR brought the news of my eagerly awaited offer letter. Fate had a funny way of aligning the stars, as my joining date happened to fall on the infamous 13th of June. Superstitions surrounding the number thirteen danced in my mind, but I couldn't resist the synchronicity of the situation. Despite my playful plea to change the joining date, it remained unchanged. And so, my journey with NTT DATA began on 13th June.

I embarked with a new project, presenting a myriad of challenges, and learning opportunities. Bullets of adversity seemed to rain down from every direction, testing the limits of my resilience and determination. Yet, I pressed on, surviving, and surpassing each trial. Through this journey, I realized that every struggle was moulding me into a stronger, more capable version of myself.

Day after day, I embraced the exhilarating dance of growth and evolution. I discovered that there is no such thing as an ordinary day. Every single day is a chance to learn, adapt, and thrive. This realization transformed my perspective, infusing a renewed sense of purpose into my work and personal life.

And did I mention about the connection between Goa and NTT DATA? Well, it lies in the journey itself—just as Goa surprises with an exquisite beaches and vibrant nightlife, my journey with NTT DATA has been filled with unforeseen twists and late-night coding sessions fuelled by countless cups of chai, innovative ideas that blossom amidst collaboration with talented colleagues, and the triumph of overcoming challenging goals—all these moments have contributed to the journey of my enthralling experience.

And yes, just like a sun kissed Goan sunset, we always emerge stronger, innovative, and ready to conquer the countless adventures that still lie ahead.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

When Husband Surprises

Valentine's Day – a day that used to mean everything before marriage, and now, well, it's somewhere between "can't live without you" and "just need some space." You know, life's a strange journey.

So, the day started with me checking social media, and all I see is people declaring their partners as the best in the world (some even declared their partners as the eighth wonder of the world). Couples going out for a Valentine's Day dinner – all cute. But here in our world, where work takes the front seat, celebrating Valentine's Day felt a bit too much.

No expectations, though. I knew my husband wasn't the roses, hugs, and chocolates type. We both had to shuffle off to the office, so we exchanged goodbyes. I casually suggested going out for dinner in the evening. His response?  "Client visit, too busy this week." Okay, fair enough.

The day rolled on, no surprises. No romantic gestures. We both were super busy until 10.00 pm. When the day was about to end, he suggested a walk at 11 am. Sounds sweet, right? But the catch – he kept glancing at his phone, answering calls, and doing all that work stuff. I got annoyed and threatened to leave if he couldn't spare five minutes of real quality time.

And then, the unexpected happened. He took me to the parcel room at the apartment, a place filled with packages. I'm thinking, "What's going on here?" He pulls out a gift from the mess of boxes and hands it to me. Romantic, right there in the middle of everyday chaos.

It hit me – love isn't about grand gestures or expensive presents. It's about those little moments. In the parcel room, amid the boxes, he managed to surprise me. No fancy dinners, just a simple walk and an unexpected gift.

But wait, a doubt crept in – did he really go to a client dinner, or was it a cover-up for a secret date? 

As the night approached, my mind started playing detective tunes as I wondered, "Client dinner or romantic date?"

"You caught me red-handed!" he exclaimed with a mischievous grin, and without waiting formy response, he made a hasty escape. And the race was on, fueled by a playful chase. 

In relationships, it's not about grand gestures or elaborate plans. It's about keeping the spark alive with  humor, surprise, and a willingness to embrace the unexpected. Sometimes five minutes of quality time is all the secret keys to a happy journey together! 

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Midnight Secrets with Ghost

It was midnight, and sleep eluded me, so I opted for a quiet walk in my apartment. The night air seemed more inviting than tossing in bed.

In the chilly night, my jacket was nowhere to be found, but who cares at midnight, right? Without second thoughts, I grabbed the white bedsheet from the bed and wrapped myself in it. Surprisingly, the cozy bedsheet turned out to be a savior against the night's cold. 

A few steps in, I had a close encounter with a spooky white figure, only to realize it was just me, scaring myself with my own reflection. Draping myself in that white sheet gave me a fright and I ended up scaring myself!

As I strolled along, a warm voice echoed in the quiet night, "Hey, hi! Do you reside in this apartment?" I wondered what brought him out at this hour. His voice, warm and friendly, resonated in the silent surroundings. Listening to him, I couldn't help but admire the charm in his eyes and the inviting smile. Sporting a 3-day stubble beard, he looked remarkably handsome. Oh, and by the way, he was wearing a black shirt. It added a cool touch to his whole vibe under the moonlight. 

"Can I join you for a walk?" he asked, and I thought, why not? It might be a more interesting night than usual.

Hesitant but curious, I asked, "I've been living here for a year, but I haven't seen you around. By the way, which floor are you on, and what's your flat number?""

The mysterious stranger grinned and replied in a hushed tone, "Ah, that's the perks of being a ghost - we're invisible. I reside on the ghostly 13th seventh floor, and my flat number is 1313. Lucky number, isn't it?"

Laughing at his ghostly details, I teased, "Well, that explains why I haven't seen you before – invisible and all. Must say, it's my first time encountering a handsome ghost. Lucky me, right?"

His laughter echoed like a ghost, sending shivers down my spine.

As we strolled, he started sharing spooky ghost stories, making the dark night scary. Amidst the ghostly tales, a sudden chill ran down my spine. The stranger grinned mysteriously, "Speaking of ghosts, there's one right behind you!" I turned around in a panic, only to find him laughing heartily.

"Oh man, feeling a bit uneasy here," I confessed, "mind if we switch to a less spooky topic?"

"Want to hear a joke?" he said, his tone sending shivers down my spine.

"Sure, why not? Mr. Ghost!" I responded, adding a playful touch to the scary atmosphere.

"Ever wondered why ghosts never interfere in couples arguments?", he mused. 

"Because ghosts have realized that couples arguments are deadly and scarier than facing a ghost. It's even worse than a haunting experience!" I responded, marveling at my own amusing articulation.

"Phew, nope!" he replied coolly.

"Well, because when they argue, they both end up looking like ghosts"  I attempted a philosophical response.

"Phew, nope!"

I shrugged, eagerly awaiting the punchline.

"Because they know it's a dead-end conversation!" His laughter erupted, bouncing off the walls like a mischievous ghost causing choas in a haunted house.

I signaled "shhh" to suppress his laughter. "Keep it down; people are in deep sleep," I whispered.

"If someone shows up, watch how I vanish like this,"  he whispered, playfully disappearing into the bushes and leaving a haunted silence that sent shivers down my spine.

"Mr. Ghost, Mr. Ghost sir!" I called out, but there was no response. 

Just as I started to feel spooked, the mysterious stranger reappeared from behind a tree, attempting not to burst into laughter. "Sorry about that," he said, struggling to compose himself. "Couldn't resist a little ghostly prank. Hope I didn't scare you too much!"

Relieved, I couldn't help but laugh along as the stranger remarked, "Chalo, it's time for me to vanish. Hope our paths cross again, goodnight," walking briskly and disappearing into the lobby.

As I continued walking, the security guard approached me and greeted, "Hello, ma'am. I noticed you talking to yourself. Everything okay? Anyone you're looking for?"

"Heyyy wait, have you not seen a man in a black shirt?" I asked the security guard.

"No, ma'am. Haven't seen anyone like that. Are you sure?" he replied.

"He just crossed you and went up to the 13th floor," I asked, my words jumbling and trembling.

"13th floor?" he questioned, puzzled. "lekin maaam, is taavar mein hamaare paas 12 floors hain"

Under regular circumstance, I never quite grasped Hindi and often had to insist him to repeat in a blend of languages (English, Tamil, Kannada, and Hindi), hoping to catch at least one word from each. However, in the current moment, the intensity of the situation I am in, made me realise what he actually meant. "But we only have 12 floors in this tower"

 "Oh, no, wait. Yes, you're right." 

My legs started to shiver, a chill running down my spine. Understanding the gravity of the situation, I rushed to the CCTV room, anxious to witness the footage of my midnight encounter with that mysterious stranger. 

"Play the last few hours, quick!". The person in the CCTV room played the footage from the last few hours without an enquiry sensing the urgency in my voice. The sound of my breaths intensified as I watched the footage, only to discover that the man in black shirt was never captured in the CCTV footage.

"Oh, no. There was no one next to me," confusion etched on myface. I was left standing there, talking to myself, my words hanging in the air.

👻💀👁️‍🗨️The mystery of whom I was talking to lingers, casting a shadow on the haunted midnight👻💀👁️‍🗨️