With you….It’s Different

Recently I read this beautiful quote somewhere that said,”Being Different is one of the most beautiful things on earth,Embrace your ‘YOU’ ness” — this statement was said in such simple words that it really carved a niche in my heart. I easily related myself to these said words.

And I know when I have you beside me, I need not worry. You will wholeheartedly accept this “YOU” ness of mine. You are my savior, my guide, my most beloved trustworthy friend. It is you who had always been there with me, held my hands firmly in all situations. To sum up I owe you my Life, my friend.

Those struggling days when people around me blamed for every single fault, you had cheered me up; when the world pointed their fingers at me for each sin I committed, you had inspired me to rise and stand. I can never count my love for you neither can I assess since when I fell for you. It’s just that when you are with me I feel different, I feel confident, I feel ME.

Our affair was a noted one, remember during those exam days when I was busy flipping the pages and choosing the most easiest chapters to start with, you sat right in front of me, staring me and piercing my heart with your words. Oh gosh!!! How it hurt me. Even those tiring nights when my eyes failed to remain open, when they forcibly closed , I was drained. And then you emerged, whispering in my ears…huuuhh!!! Silly me. I wanted to doze off and you were adamant.. less sleep more studies. Few moments with you in solace and I was charged up. You were different and you made me different.

Those memories are still afresh in my mind.

How can I miss those breezy afternoon sessions of our togetherness. Ma taking a short nap, baba in office, no tension of siblings, just YOU and ME ! OH, the lovely twosome. I miss those teenage days, my heart is still with the 90’s. Adolescent love, crispy weather, winds playing with those loose strands of hair, licking the mango pickled fingers ….woow, I am lost again. See, I still reminisce our days, how much I love you, you are the pivot of my life.

You know my dear, when occasionally in those days I wrote a page or two of my diary, I always mentioned about you. It seemed my love for you ran through my veins, I felt isolated without you. Why only those summer days to talk about, even those overcast stormy days and nights illuminated my heart deep from within at the slightest thought of you. I ran to fetch you and you readily accompanied me. You, me and the coffee cups with the thunders hovering over us made such a deadly combination. Those chilly wintry nights, you remember, how I pined for you. When baba went to sleep I tip toed into the living room and stealthily closed their bedroom doors,then…stepped on the open verandah so that both of us can enjoy the misty night under the starry sky. The chill of the dark night vanished with your presence, your sound just created enough warmth around me. OH, such lovely days and such beautiful memories of us…If only I can time travel to those days!!!

OH, my beloved I forgot to mention one incident. Remember my friend, ya…ya.. the short and sweet girl, she wanted to have you for a night and I was like… WHATTT—–????? How could you even dare to think of it? That also in the 90’s, when you were my sole companion. She and my beloved ….. HELL… such a pervert she was… (giggles)

It was so different my dear ; those days we were so innocent that I never thought of parting from you, but see now a decade and five years later, where are you? and where am I? Distance…. a long, long distance but still I guess you are the same. I know you have broken down, transformed yourself completely but time changed my dear, and you also have to move on; though I still have the same picture of yours in my heart!

When you fell ill I was so worried, everyday I thought of visiting the medical center and see you, wish you good health. But how can I? I was answerable to my elders about my whereabouts… My God, those fateful days were so dull and gloomy for me. Even one day my Nani, asked me the cause of such a sad face. OH my! how can I answer. My heart was thumping, so all I could say was “nothing”, though that nothing of me sounded like “everything.”

But the day you returned from clinic and you visited my place.. oh what a relief ! I was certain that never in my life I will part with you… so foolish of me.

Today, as I disclose my never ending Love for you, the reason for my existence to the WORLD, I know I sound very silly but I still miss you, MY WALKMAN. You are the second man in my life(of course after my lovable father)who though was non living yet played a crucial part of this living creature. Many a times I wondered why you were called Walkman, when you can never walk,,,haahhhaa. Such a foolish thought, but what to do that generation was such, innocent minds, unpolluted souls, pure hearts. I was already a music lover, it soothed me in all moods and when couple with your agile features I was a die heart fan of yours. Whatever I played on you,my Walkman, it calmed me, soothed my senses. Most interesting thing was you accompanied me wherever I went…hills..beaches…garden…walks…vehicles…bed…specially under the quilt….even to the restroom..ssshhhh!!! don’t be loud. No wonder my ma kept knocking on the washroom door when I was inside. Those Hindi melodious songs and my fantasies with every rising hero…..what a childhood! So now as I keep gaining experiences with every passing year all I believe is “with you it was different, with you it is different and with you it will forever be different.”

Anyway, whether it’s 90’s or 2K… the most important thing that matters is the music. Whether it’s from a Walkman or an iPod or a mobile, only thing that matters is MUSIC…melodious tunes. So here for the time being I conclude my love for you with these three simple words…Happy Valentines Day!!

This blog post is a part of #Vdayblogtrain (Valentine’s Day blog train) hosted by Vartika Mehrotra (www.vartikasdiary.com) and Prerna Wahi (www.prernawahi.com) and sponsored by ShilpSa, Kalpavriksha farms and Neha from @bloggingmadeeasier” Twitter – https://twitter.com/kalpa_mani FB: https://www.facebook.com/sonalibhattacharya83 Twitter – https://twitter.com/Sonali36408591

The prompt that I have chosen is “With you …its Different”


Ticket to Paradise

“Congrats great news, Arsh must be elated. Finally he is vested with the responsibility. So Alpine holidays or English breakfast by the Thames?” exclaimed Sheetal to Snigdha over call. Sheetal, Arsh and Snigdha were college mates . After completing their college, Sheetal went abroad to pursue higher education while the other two stayed in Mumbai, worked and finally tied the knot. “None, other plans, will let you know. You won’t believe, he planned for a candle night dinner today.” Snighda said excitedly. Snigdha and Arsh were married for around a decade. Arsh worked with a renowned construction firm as a legal adviser while Snigdha was a home maker .

Evening, same day – Arsh and Snigdha at the dinner…”Sweetie! I’m so happy today. Finally I achieved it. I’ll fulfill all your dreams…just speak.. I’m too happy today to crib about anything else.”

“Really! OK so… what’s your special plan for our upcoming Anniversary. Baby, this will be our 10th year and so I hope you have planned something grand to celebrate it.”she remarked anxiously. “Ya.. I…I have thought about it..ummm…since its a weekday we’ll celebrate it with a special dinner at Mainland China and… uhh…weekend we can have our close friends at home..”he suggested.

“Are you crazy? Have you lost it..I thought we’ll go on a short trip!” she screamed in bewilderment. “ok,then you suggest..where to?” he asked, smiling. “Ka…sh…mir…if you pleaseeeee”,she said in a requesting tone. After a brief pause of around a minute Arsh nodded, smiling.

That evening Snigdha felt on cloud nine, her desire to visit her fantasy land is going to be fulfilled very soon. For the next few days Snigdha was busy packing their belongings. She even made a list of things to buy from Kashmir. Suddenly, she remembered something and dialled Sheetal…”Hello…”

“Neither Alpine nor English breakfast, darling… it’s Kawaah by the Jhelum.” “Oye-Hoye! great…and what aboit tge shikhara trip…enjoy gal.. i know how much you longed to visit there. Chal….finish packing.” saying Sheetal hung.

Later that night an exhausted Arsh returns home. Looking at those luggage in a tired tone he responds,”Snigu…unpack these.” A bewildered Snigdha looks up at Arsh and with a wrinkled forehead she gestures,”Are you serious or a prank? “she yelled. Arsh stood speechless for few seconds, then in a soft husky tone he regretted,” sorry Snigu dear…I tried..believe me I tried.. but finally couldn’t manage it…..”

“Please explain it.. I am simply not getting.” she sounded furious. Passing Snigdha a chair he gestured to sit, as she relaxed herself he continued,” See Snigu, life is a bumpy ride.. sometimes there is no happy choice, Snigu, only one less grievous than the others, yet we have to accept that.” Snigdha was losing her temper and she screamingly said,” Dont beat around the bush..state it”. “We have to cancel the Kashmir trip. There’s a dispute regarding a land in Lonavala and boss wants me to solve that issue urgently. So… either you have to stay here alone or you accompany me and celebrate our ‘ 1oth Anniversary’ at Lonavala.. “

“Lonavala..” flabbergasted,she continued,” we’ve been there 100’s of times….Ag..ain??” With a sigh Snigdha looked at the baggage and thought ,”Ticket to Paradise- Cancelled.”


Year 2005
…Tired and exhausted with immense frolicking and enjoying the wedding ceremony of my best friend, I was returning home and desperately trying to look for a cab. But the hot summer was draining me out of my senses. Too add to this menace, my outdated mobile ran out of charge. With a grinned face and loaded bags I was helplessly standing in the mid of the road in that sweltering summer heat. During those days, the facility to book a cab online did not invade the city of joy, Kolkata. So the inhabitants of that place had to settle with other modes of transport and the luxurious vehicle was the black and yellow taxi. Anyone who boarded those were considered quite a spendthrift but for some it was a respite. A saviour from getting stamped, pushed in overcrowded buses, trains, etc. The lack of charge was taking a toll on me as I couldn’t even call my parents or close ones to come for help.“ Arey…how can I forget putting the phone on charger? Now pay the price”, I muttered to myself. With baggage I took few steps and took rest under a natural shade, but the heat wave was unbearable. The vacant road of Kolkata clearly depicted the summer afternoon when most non working people rest peacefully in their abode. But in that almost isolated street I was continually waving at those few taxis to take me to my place. The fear of getting trapped inside underground train barred me from boarding it while taking a bus to reach my destination was a no..no… The crowded,smelly,stinky,passengers created a nauseating feel within me. So finally I decided to board the black yellow vehicle as my rescuer.
“Taxi…Taxi”, I screamed and kept fluttering my wrist to stop it. The urgency with which I tried to pause it’s speed didn’t go unnoticed by the few onlookers. It’s never easy to convince a few adamant drivers to take you to your destination. With a few requests and a bit of over payment ultimately he agreed and so without wasting a minute I boarded my favourite vehicle. Though the ride wasn’t a pleasurable one with such a heated ambience yet it felt no less than heaven. Relaxed as I sit, I was enjoying the afternoon ride. Somewhere I saw the kids return from school, somewhere the roadside vendors were busy selling their items, somewhere the tired pedestrians took shelter under some tree and sipped on chilled lemonade, somewhere the love dovey couples walked hand in hand. I was indeed enjoying it but suddenly felt an ache within me….Oh! I forgot to call him. How I missed him, I longed to speak with him but the situation wasn’t permitting. .. His thoughts kept pouring in my mind as the taxi left the lanes and took to the bypass. With the slightly cooler breeze blowing outside, sitting in the speedy taxi I felt a little drowsy….
“How much I missed you,” he continued as he embraced me, “but you didn’t tell me that you were coming. I could have picked you up.” He complained. “Oh! Even I didn’t knew that I was coming here. It’s a surprise for both of us and surprises aren’t disclosed” I answered giggling. “Finally I have made it. You know how much I fantasized about walking hand in hand with you in this park and now I am successful.” With joyous tone I said.
Yes! I was with my beloved strolling in the Hyde Park. The place which is my favourite, the place where currently my beloved was posted for an onsite project, the place which I longed to visit since childhood. London, my dream city. “But how did you reach here?” he enquired. Pointing towards that black yellow queen I said, excitedly, “see those white feathers, they helped it to sail and when those feathers were tired those mighty wheels just like the chariot ones rode the strenuous terrain and brought me to this heaven.”
The surrounding was just like a perfect picture of English summer. The beginning of March paved way for the onset of the hot season but their heat felt like winter of ours. The lengthy winter was evident in the cool breeze blowing around, the soft grass smelled fresh and the few drops of dew on them made my feet wet. As the golden star kissed my skin I felt energized, as if my otherwise the tired soul was charged with Vitamin D. As we together walked down the green park, I felt a feeling of eternal peace. It had been 2 years since we last met and so this sudden unplanned trip was like a refreshment for both of us.
“let’s take a ride of the place,” he suggested and undeniably I hopped in my special transporter. The cab started with a jerk and soon we were sailing amidst the cotton balls. “Hey, look we are floating on clouds. Now I can certainly say I am on cloud nine,” I said laughing. The hustle bustle of the majestic city was left behind and we were left admiring the beauty. Gradually our speeding car hovered over the tallest structure, The London Eye…The Big Ben…The Tower Bridge… As we continued with our voyage of exploring the city we were also curling up into each other but the Conservative mentality played the villain. Though numerous affectionate desires nurtured within me yet the presence of the third person hindered me. “That’s the famous Thames river and those boat rides during evening time is just splendid.” He whispered in my ears. Indeed the bird’s eye view is one of its kind.. The pristine waters appeared like glass and the shops and cafeterias aligned along the bridge appeared like dots.
The car was fleeting and in between my ever anxious mind tried to peep outside the glass window. At the distant I saw the most beautiful creation of nature, the birth of colours with the merging of sunlight and water droplets….The production of nature’s child…”The Vibrant Vibgyor”, I continued, “ How lucky of me to experience these creations with you by my side that too undecided. Look at those pastures, wow..it seems the Almighty painted it with His master stroke. Such a beauty.”
Suddenly we felt a descend and then with a thud we landed. The cabbie said, “ go…explore”. It felt like there was some hypnotising effect in his voice and like sleep walking we stepped down the cab. Soft petals touched my feet and as I looked down I saw vast stretches of lavender fields…” Wow..we landed amidst these fragrant lavender lands..Such a mesmerising beauty. Mother nature has gifted this land with such vibrant colours… admirable isn’t it?” the excitement in my voice was not only felt but seen. I was hoping, jumping, kissing those lavenders, smelling them, even plucked a few. The beautiful flowers and us..what a time it is! The lack of proper technology was felt by us as we failed to have snaps of us in that captivating land.
“Come on, hurry up…there are some places to explore”, the cab driver informed us and we hurried to jump in. The white feathers of the cab swayed with the gentle breeze and the ride smoothened. Our next halts were the age old castles built by the English during their France invasion. The Edinburgh castle was one such example. The majestic rooms, the splendour carvings on the walls, the priceless antiques that adorned the rooms, all narrated the history of struggle of Frenchmen. The taxi landed us at the main gate and as we stepped in we felt as if we were the only visitors to that giant castle. The structure seemed to whisper in our ears the pain of the Scottish people, the torture they suffered during the British rule.
The enjoyable tour of such castles were further enhanced as our Yellow black queen took us on a floating spree on the famous Loch Ness. The cabbie though a simple taxi driver suddenly played the role of a tourist guide and narrated the story of the hidden Dragon deep in that Ness. Mesmerized we heard him speak. The trip finally brought us back into that city of Royals, as we landed just at the gates of the Buckingham Palace. A look at the Royal residence and I felt as if I am the Queen, waiting to be escorted into the Palace along with my King.
“What a travel! The land of castles and beautiful lakes, the Scottish songs, the English summer, the picturesque lavender fields, the sunbath, all seemed like a beautiful picture. I don’t want to leave this magnificent land but just stay here, close to you.”, I requested my beloved. “But who said you are leaving. Our story does not have any departures. ” With these comforting words he hugged me as I held him tightly. Internally I was fighting a storm, the tug of war between my desire to stay back and my responsibilities back at my home. The worrying face of my parents suddenly flashed in front of my closed vision, for I knew my unplanned journey to this mystical land though spellbinding, but will definitely scare my parents…
“Didi… Didi…get up.. we have reached Kaka Mandir…. Didi…” The sudden yells woke me up. The tired soul that I was after a week long wedding ceremony was visible in my sound sleep. The harsh voice of the cab driver awakened me. The bidding sunrays on my eyes felt annoying and the sweaty face and perspiration tickling down the skin confronted me with the reality. The fact that I am still in the land of unbearable summer was quite disturbing. Rubbing my sleepy eyes I woke and for few seconds stared at the person sitting on the driver’s seat.
“Didi…Didi… you must not sleep like this..all drivers are not trustworthy. Anyway, we have arrived your destination. Kindly deboard and pay my fare. I am getting late.” His sharp words embarrassed me and without a word I quickly took my luggage and handing him 200 bucks I turned for home. “Didi.. take the change..” he shouted back. Nodding, and ashamed with myself I said,” keep it,” and hurried for home. My home was a few steps behind the auditorium Kala Mandir, so without delaying I started homeward.
That night I was not able to sleep at all for the thought of such a foolish act was haunting me. Neither could I disclosed the incident to my parents nor to my beloved lover for I knew they won’t understand my situation but rather scold me and scream at me. But honestly, when the thought of strolling on the parks, field, beaches, castles visioned in front of my eyes, I was again floored with the beauty. Though I boarded a cab to drop me to my destination but least did I knew that it would transport me to a place which I should visit. The blessed ride indeed took me to a voyage which my tired soul needed the most.
Its now 10 blissful married years to us but still now I haven’t spoken about that majestic ride to my husband. Though the ill effects of such sleep haunts and scares me but the captivating journey the taxi took me to, fills my heart with joy. Elated I learnt one lesson that the journey took me to a destination which was a much needed trip to refresh me, to energize my tiring soul, an unplanned destination it took me to.

The Unspoken Friendship

The mesmerizing beauty of the wonderland left Munna awestruck. A simple lad , all of 18 years, landed here for a job. His mother was already dead and now his father’s untimely death, suddenly matured him. Through a distant contact he earned a job of caretaker in the Govt.bunglow of Kashmir. The snow clad mountains, the gushing cascades of milky waters, the lush green meadows, the vast apple orchards, the vibrant tulips, the whole surrounding seemed like a picture.

Amidst such an ambiance, his eyes caught the glimpse of this little girl,resting under an apple tree. She was dressed in a red Pashmina suit,her rosy cheeks blushed under the winter sun. With an intrigued look she gazed at Munna,then fled away hurriedly towards the meadows. But in that hurry she left behind her souvenir, her torn brown hat.

Since that day Munna was curious about that little girl and on enquiring his co helpers Munna learnt, that the girl’s name is Yumna. She is a kashmiri girl who stays in the army camp. Her parents were killed in an attack. Those innocent eyes had already melted his heart and now there arrives a striking similarity , tragedy struck them both at a minor age.

One day, when Munna was sweeping the backyard, he saw her again standing near the tulip garden . Gesturing he called her. She readily came, but her eyes were searching something.

“Hello, I’m Munna. What’s your name?”

She didn’t reply,but inquired about her belonging through hand movements.

“Oh! Your hat? Yes its with me. Wait here.” Saying this Munna went inside the servants quarter and minutes later brought back her hat.

That was the beginning….the beginning of a pure, eternal friendship. The bond between two beautiful minds that celebrated a special union. The togetherness of the souls flourished amidst the surrounding hatred of the valley.

But fate had something else in store; as one day Munna was accused of stealing jewelry of one of the inmates of that Bunglow. He begged and pleaded to those lodgers that he was a victim; he was framed. But his words remained unheard. The dignified people didn’t pay heed to his words.

Handcuffed he was dragged by the police . His friends, acquaintances everyone witnessed the scene motionless. Amongst the crowd he suddenly saw Yumna; she was staring at her innocent friend with welled eyes.With joined hands he nodded in negative. She replied positively.

The 6 year old, deaf and dumb Yumna, realized the truth but failed to raise her voice.

The unspoken friendship got lost amidst the roars of this ruthless world.