Saturday, 24 October 2015

I want a Smieee!

It was one of our favorite snacks to be offered to the guests. We always had a packet or two of McCain snacks in the fridge. It was a saver in many ways. If there was absolutely nothing to eat, we would just open the packet and fry them. Easy peasy! Among the McCain snacks, the smile-shaped potato fries, especially, were a permanent resident of our freezer. It held a lot of meaning for us. For one, the arrival of guests would be a matter of great excitement. Because we knew that guests meant we would get to partake of the evening repast, somehow or the other. Among the things offered to the guests, McCain’s foodstuffs were my mom’s favorites. We would have a separate plate of it in the kitchen, which we would pounce on, once the guests left. It was not just us, you see. 
My niece, who used to be a dear little thing then, had her eyes fixed on those smile-shaped McCain snacks. We called them ‘smileys’. When we ate them, she would immediately and frantically start gesturing to us, indicating that she loved the food item. We would show her the smileys and she would cackle and clap in glee, shouting 'smieee'. That was her way of uttering ‘smiley’. Her cute lisp would make us go gaga over her. When we extended the snack towards her, she would happily nibble at it. It was one of the few things that she loved to eat. It was more titillating and better tasting than the bland foods that she had to eat. She would trace the smiley with her little fingers, wiggling them inside the eye-shaped holes and then moving them back and forth between the smile-shaped cavity, her eyes aglow with wonder, and her curious self exploring the various novelties of things. The smiley always managed to bring a smile to her face. Kids have all sorts of preferences, some are excessively fond of chocolates, some like chips while some have a penchant for soft drinks. But my niece had her heart set on the smileys.

Whenever she seemed to be in a sour mood, we would say, 'Want a smieee?' And her attention would instantly be riveted to us. She would be diverted enough for us to employ other methods to get her back to normal. This was one of our pet ways of making her feel better. 
There were times when she wouldn't eat a thing. She would throw tantrums of proportions unheard of. During those difficult times, only one thing came to the rescue. Our dear smileys. She would gulp them down easily, making life easier for my aunt. Even when she grew up, we used to ask her so- 'Do you want a smieee?' For many years she would be calling them ‘smieees’ instead of smileys. It was our own secret way of making her smile. It became an integral part of her childhood. Her own ‘smieee’, it taught her to smile.

To discover more delicacies of the sort and sample more such magical tastes, go to 

~This post was written as a part of the 'Let's put a smile on that face!' activity by McCain in association with IndiBlogger~

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The Tug of Togetherness

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"Yayy!!!" they tugged hard. 
People shouted and cheered while both the teams expended their best efforts trying to bring the rope towards their end of the white mark. The grass got trampled, people sweated profusely and a light breeze brought much-needed relief to the players of the famed tug-of-war. Even before a minute had passed, I heard overwhelming cheers erupting from our side of the mark. I craned my neck and saw that our group had easily drawn the others to themselves.
"It was a walkover!" they exclaimed ecstatically. My colleagues and I clapped and cheered. Our group had won. It was an easy win, it seemed.
"You had G! You could have easily won, you know!" someone from my group said to the other. "I mean, the heavyweight champ G on your side and you couldn't win! That was a first!"
Discussions ensued and there were friendly squabbles and good-natured punches. Tug-of-war has always been a much-awaited event, be it in school, college or at the workplace. This was my first experience at the workplace and I was loving it.
As the players rested their aching muscles and downed gallons of water to replenish their energy reserves before the next round, I was transported back to my college days. Hadn't it been just a year? And yet it seemed so far away. 
It suddenly struck me that I too had once played tug-of-war during the college fest. I remembered how we had pitted ourselves against a group of hardy tough senior-year girls and despite all of us being prickly thin, we had stretched our muscle, nerve and sinew to end up bringing our seniors to our end of the line. How sweet was the victory and how precious the moments! The way we pitched in our efforts together, all sweaty, huffing and puffing, and yet relishing it all- the excitement, the cheering, the surroundings and everything that came with it. We had actually made it to the subsequent round! In the second round, we were faced with a group of girls one year junior to us. With a swag and a confidence resulting from our latest win, we plunged into this one, all ready to claim yet another victory.
Predictably, that day was to see a sliding of ranks. Sure enough, before long, they managed to pull us to their side. We fell in a heap on them, clutching our sides and laughing like we had never laughed before. Reminiscing those moments made me glow with nostalgia. I had a sudden urge to replay the moments and experience them once more. Looking now at my colleagues bantering with each other reminded me of the beautiful times my pals and I had spent together in the park- playing, cheering and laughing our heads off.
I drank some water. Emboldened by the pull of the fresh breeze and spurred on by memories, I said to one of my teammates, "Any space for me?"
"Most welcome, madame!” a happy-go-lucky guy said. “We need the likes of you to win!"
And we all burst into hearty peals of laughter. Everyone knew how useful I could be to them in a battle of strength! :wink wink: 
Nevertheless, we placed ourselves on our end of the line and prepared to pull hard. The breeze swept our faces and someone patted me on the back. A friendly exchange of words brought a smile to my face. If this isn't real togetherness, I don't know what is.

This post has been written as a part of the 'Real Togetherness' initiative by Kissan India

Friday, 9 October 2015

Love 2.0

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Tanya: “Ummm…Cherry…”
Maan: “That’s my favorite color!”
Well, obviously it was his favourite color. He picked red wallpapers for me all the time, even though it sort of ticked me off. But then I like to see him happy. If scarlet keeps him happy (be it the color or the actor), I was ready to tolerate as many shades of it as he wanted me to wear.
“There are plenty of similarities between us!” came Tanya’s words followed by a wink.
Lately, Maan had started spending too much time with this woman, who looked pretty glamorous, I must say, much more than the previous ones he had been with. Thinking of all the other women he had dated made me cringe a little with unease. But I didn’t mind much, as long as he stayed with me. And that he did, every single day without fail, for more than twelve hours at a time. Sometimes, he demanded so much from me that I would grow a fever and then he would help me cool down. When I grew tired, he would lift me up powerfully and seat me more comfortably, feeding me while he worked. I would feel rejuvenated and recharged soon enough and we would plunge into the work together.
His parents would often object and warn him to stay away from me but he was steadfast in his devotion and love. We would work together and watch movies together. He would talk to his girlfriends also but I would always be there as a silent spectator. He knew and understood every wire of my being and I understood his. Whenever he felt low, I would switch on some nice soothing songs and he would plug in his headsets, which would hurt me a little but I hardly cared. The expression on his face was one to die for. I would slog for him till the last percent of my energy.
On some days, he would put me to sleep for hours while he bathed and had his meals. On others, I would be awake, running his processes, even as he slept. When he was too overworked, he would slump onto my lap, unaware of his own exhaustion and I would keep him as warm and comfortable as I could. Sometimes, I would go to sleep along with him. I wondered at times if he really loved all those women he went out with? Mostly, he would share everything with me. But sometimes, he would go off on his own, without a care or a thought for me. On such days, I would become rigid and unyielding. I wouldn’t start, however importunately anyone insisted.
Maan and I had discovered many new worlds together. I had taught him to shop for the first time. He had wanted to buy a saree for his mother. I took him through endless stores, suggested to him endless colors and finally he settled on a lime-green silk with an embroidered border. Needless to say, his mother loved it. But these days, instead of watching TV shows or movies that I had downloaded for him, he would choose to talk to that so-called dainty damsel- Tanya. Their endless conversations and sweet nothings would pain me no end. But I persevered. This was just another woman, I thought.
Well, Maan and I went back years. I still reminisce fondly that day when he had landed in one of the best colleges and his father had gifted him with…yes…me. Maan had always wanted me. When I was brought into the house, there was a hush and a lot of secrecy. It was his birthday and I was to be his gift. His long-awaited gift. There was a cake, candles and an array of delicacies decorated on the table. I was stowed away in a separate room, festooned with gold and silver streamers. I waited impatiently to be shown to him.
After the cake cutting ceremony, the effusive wishing and the unlimited cheers and laughter, finally arrived my turn. As his father handed me to him, he squealed with delight. It was love at first sight. He looked at me, his face reflected in mine. His features lit up, his excitement knew no bounds. We spent that night together. He didn’t allow anyone near me. Over the next few days, he had pushed many wrong buttons of mine. Eventually though, he got the hang of me and we got attuned to each other’s moods. I no longer rebuffed him or went to sleep when he had some work and he learnt to be less rough with me. He realized that care and attention would go a long way in maintaining our relationship. He had started taking me in his lap and I would be happily nestled in the haunches of my handsome Maan.
I prized the fact that he let very few people touch me. He liked to take care of me in his own way; he would sprinkle me with some lubricant and wipe me with a dry cloth and though it would tickle me and make me laugh, I would sit quiet and proud. Very soon, we were inseparable.
The bell trilled. Whether it was the irregular ringing of the bell (a different sound from what the residents usually made) or Maan’s eager yelp and leap out of the bed, I can’t say but I instantly knew and perceived it as a bad omen. I was not much mistaken. Dressed in a deep sanguinary shade, Tanya looked, I must admit, ravishing, making my glassy crimson hue appear pale in comparison. Her lips had been painted a luscious red and she came and sat down on the bed beside Maan.
On the bed! How could he allow this? It didn’t matter if his parents sat on the bed, even though he expressed irritation whenever they stayed too long, saying he had work even though all he would do is watch a movie with me (which obviously made me very happy). But this woman? No woman had ever met him in flesh and blood. In fact, as per his wishes, I had helped him meet all sorts of women. I had helped him talk, suggested him words, corrected his spellings and now he had outgrown me and invited this abominable piece of halfwit home! The bed had been ours; only the two of us had shared it for so long. All through his college, right up to his job. And now, this witch had come to cast a nasty spell on my beloved. I simply couldn’t let that happen. My temper reached boiling point and my insides seethed. Maan apparently understood and took me in his arms.
‘There! You witch! Look! He takes me in his arms!’ I wanted to shout at her. Just then, he put me down on the nearby table. He had removed me from my throne! My bed! What unearthly spell had this woman cast on my dear Maan?! They spent the entire day together, chatting and laughing, ignoring me completely. At long last, when the light of the day had vanished outside the window, she got up to leave.
“Finally! She is leaving!” I breathed to myself. But Maan apparently had other plans.
“Come on, stay on a bit longer. I will drop you…” he insisted. My core would have burst into a million chips if he had said another word. But gladly, he didn’t. She left and I saw him meander about a bit, fetching some snacks and finally settling down to talk to me. I had cooled down by then. I could hardly help it. His eyes staring into mine calmed me and I forgot all my earlier ire at his behavior. I was back to listening to him and ready to show him my latest music and movie downloads when…
“Heyy darling…” a face popped up. Maan’s countenance cheered up significantly. Although I was glad to see him happy, I was far from it when I espied the source. Tanya had come to haunt his virtual life as well. Well, they had started their relationship online…so this was not so unexpected. Nevertheless, it caused the connections within me tighten in envy. He spent the entire night talking to her and writing XOXO unlimitedly. In the process of converting his keystrokes, I desperately wanted to replace his kisses with punches and his hugs with fiery emoticons. Sometimes I tried it too, eliciting a shocked reaction from her.
“Sorry! That was a typo!” Maan covered it up with ease. Anyway, I wasn’t made to interfere with my inner workings.
So, I wrote helplessly and sent endless messages. And then before I knew it, he had changed the wallpaper. He had pasted her horrible picture all over my face. I felt like taking off the Tanya-styled mask he had given me and replacing it with a nice red clear complexion that he always liked. But Maan didn’t show any signs of changing the wallpaper.
My body turned feverish, I was seriously ill and weak. My energy was lower than 10% and I flashed a red signal, hoping that he would see it. But he was oblivious to such things now. At one point of time, he would never let my energy flag below 60%. He kept me nourished at all times. But now, he worked me ruthlessly, hitting my keys with wild and crude abandon. I was balanced on his chest, so close to him and yet so far. All he cared about was for the one at the other end of the Great Wall.
From that night onwards, we spent more time than we had ever spent before. But it was a time entirely devoid of me; there were no intimate activities, no movies together, no casual browsing through my features, only Tanya’s face covering every inch of mine.
There was once a time when he loved to explore my depths. My mystery enthralled him and he would sit for hours on end, trying this or that, sending me one message or another. We spent so much time together, conversing in a black world in white letters. It took him some time to learn my language but he was a sharp chap. And I helped him with all my available memory and power. When he went wrong, I would supply him with hints on how to go about things. He made many mistakes initially. Misspellings, wrong commands, stupid questions. But I was patient. For every mistake, my stern yet constant and somewhat kind response would be: “Wrong command. Try again.” After stumbling a hundred times was he able to discern the first correct step. I helped him search for the solutions and he applied them on me. Sometimes, they would backfire and he would shut me out. But he was tireless. He would start again and we would try again together to communicate. After many such hits and trials, tutorials and manuals, he succeeded in uncloaking all my mysteries.
Now, his fingers would slide over me with ease, giving commands and getting his work done. His love for me was palpable and patent. It was hard to match it. At one point, it bordered on addiction as his parents complained. I had no complaints though. Our lives had blended beautifully.
But nothing lasts forever, not even well-coded programs. And so, his other side started taking hold of him, he started searching for women, talking and befriending them. At first, I was obliging and would gladly navigate to such sites but after the episode with Tanya when I saw him drift away from me, I tried to stop him, to allure him away by presenting him with advertisements of shoes, phones and such appurtenances.
“Oh these damned ads again!” he screamed and closed every one of them. Nothing, not even a video game could restrain him now. All he wanted was that wretched witch.
Within the next few months, everything took a turn for the worse. I was bedecked with photographs. Endless photos of the two of them in traditional attire, garlanded and grinning like idiotic apes. One such picture was selected as the wallpaper to cover my face, which he no longer felt like seeing these days. Soon, the bride had come to live with him. In the very room where we had lived for so many years! I was closed and placed neatly but sternly in a corner for many days. I preferred to keep my head down lest I should be too disturbed by the events of the room.
After a few weeks which seemed to me like ages, I was called for service again. Even though I was dreadfully hurt and madly cross with Maan, I didn’t have the heart to deny him my services when he came to me after such a long time. I enjoyed his sweet sure tapping and his careful usage of my keys. And then came the worst part.
“I have to go for some work, love, I will be back in an hour or so. You can watch something if you like.”
Maan’s words cut through my processor like nothing had before. How could he? I would never deign to serve this witch. I would not have her touch my smooth glassy face or my neatly labelled keys.
“Okay dear” came Tanya’s reply and to my horror, she started fiddling about with my keys, pushing them and pressing them unnecessarily even where less force would have sufficed. But I too was determined to thwart her. She clicked on a movie (Maan’s favourite and hence, my favorite as well). I bore down on her with all my strength.
“This version of VLC media player cannot be played…” I displayed a fiery orange dialog box that refused to leave the screen.
‘There you go! Now try watching the movie!’ I said to her in my CPU. She got sick of me after a while and had to shut me down. I had never before been so badly manhandled. I so wished that Maan would come back.
A year passed and things finally started turning in my favor. Tanya had started throwing tantrums. She demanded too much and was a constant grumbler. The first fit that Maan had was when she spilled nail paint onto some of my keys, thus putting them out of use for a good number of days. So furious was he that he didn’t let her touch me for many weeks after that. I was delighted. My spirit was finally returning.
“I have been given a new project and will need to work till late, so don’t wait up for me…” Maan called up Tanya and explained the situation to her.
No words could be sweeter to me. The wallpaper had changed back to his favorite plain crimson. Finally, I had him to myself. We were together again-Maan and I, his beloved laptop.

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 ~published on YourStoryClub~

The Train

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The cacophony hurt her ears as they neared the station.
“I don’t think I will survive this!” Shruti huffed. “This is utter madness!”
“And that is precisely why I want you to go through this,” her mother’s ever-smiling face goaded her on.
“Dad please, try and put some sense into her. You know better!”
The immaculately-dressed bespectacled man smiled his enigmatic smile but deferred from saying anything.
The whistle blew shrilly.
“I hate that noise!” Shruti repeated and looked at her father pleadingly.
“I assure you it won’t be tough. If you need anything, just call me. You do realize how happy your mom would be if you do this? Please darling? As a tribute to us probably?”
She couldn’t refuse and had to embark on her dreaded voyage. She knew her mother was incredibly excited because that’s how she had met her father. In the train. And they had had a love story worth telling and re-telling. To this day, her mother swore by trains.
As the train puffed away, she stood waving to them. They started getting tinier and tinier and finally the fast-moving train blurred them out. Shruti moved to her seat, hoping with fingers crossed that her journey be as uneventful and bland as possible. When she was born, her entire family had expected her to be a bubbly replica of her mother. However, much to their surprise, she had turned out to be a mirror reflection of her father. She, unlike her mother, was not a glib talker. She preferred to keep to herself, stayed away from noise and crowds and most importantly, tried to avoid drama as much as possible. The word, drama was anathema to her. She found her mother sweet but maddeningly theatrical. Life was always a bed of roses for her mother. Shruti, on the other hand, was cynical. She did not set much store by mushy-gushy ideas and believed in being her own boss. Her father was a bridge between the two women. He had the effervescence to survive her mother’s hyper-happy self and the sobriety to match his daughter’s gravity.
She looked at her ticket and saw that her seat was an upper bunk. She heaved a sigh of relief. No pushing and getting pushed. She could retire to her sanctorum and listen to her music in peace.
A middle-aged couple sat side by side on the lower bunk. Relieved that no intrusive people surrounded her, she packed herself in her bunk, pulled a sheet over herself and plugged in her earphones. Suddenly, her eyes snapped open and she woke up to a drenched t-shirt and an outstretched arm prodding her gently.
“Whh-at?” she blurted out, her speech a little warbled.
“This gentleman here wants to know your preference for dinner. Veg or nonveg? By the way, you should not sleep with the sheet covering your head. That’s what caused your sweating.”
Shruti propped herself up on her elbows and addressed the pantry guy directly without looking at the man in the top berth directly opposite her.
“Nothing else, is there?”
“We have dal, paneer, rice, roti-“
“No thanks, leave it,”
“Okay ma’am.” He sounded apologetic.
“You have continental, right?” the guy in the opposite berth asked him.
“Yes, we do! Bread, chicken-”
“Will you have that?” he then asked Shruti.
She couldn’t help but glance at him now. Why was he behaving as if he was in charge of her? But she didn’t want to hurt the poor pantry guy, who was trying hard to get everything in order.
“Yeah..well.okay,” she consented.
Then she fell back on to her berth and tried to sleep.
However, sleep doesn’t come so easily the second time. So, she decided to take a walk and stretch herself. She walked out the air conditioned compartment and stood at the heavy train door. Some people were smoking. She stayed there a while, looking at herself in the mirror above the washbasin. Her full face and fuller lips were evidence that she was Reet’s daughter. However, if one heard her talk, which she rarely did, she would be seen as Adit’s daughter. Her parents’ love story was something of a local legend. Met in the train. Spent some chaste hours at a hotel. Hiked to Bhatinda. Separated. Met again. In fact, she would have had a totally different dad had her own dad not been in the same berth as her mother. She shuddered to think who it would have been. And that is why she kind of mistrusted love stories-the mush, the coochie-coos, the aawws, the oohs and aahs, she mistrusted it all. The smoke clouded around her, making her cough.
“Shit…” she exclaimed.
“I know…the smoke here and the ennui inside…” The top-bunk guy had come out with a towel. “Don’t worry,” he continued. “It will halt at a station soon and it will be less suffocating.” Saying so, he started washing and lathering his face vigorously.
“I don’t like to wander about squalid stations,” she said, her vexation taking the better of her, and went back inside. She took a seat opposite the old couple and stared out the window, into the ascending darkness beyond. She wondered when she would reach. Trains were just so slow.
As if on cue, it started slowing further and came to a halt.
‘What a bother!’ Shruti thought. People had started forming a beeline towards the gate. Vendors shouted their regular ditties, men and women crowded, pushed and jostled, children clamored for attention and foodstuffs; the air-conditioned compartment had almost started resembling a Mumbai local. A couple of kids had collected near her seat. They were looking at her phone and pointing. Shruti knew that they were attracted to her phone cover because it had a cute key chain of a mickey mouse attached to it.
Before she knew what was happening, one of the kids scooped up her cell and bolted. She instantly cried out, “hey!” and ran after them. She dashed out the door and out the train. Her phone was almost her lifeline, especially in that cooped-up train bogey.
“Hey! Red tee!” she shouted, running after the kids who cackled merrily and scuttled joyfully. She was afraid of scaring them off lest they should drop her phone somewhere.
“I will give you chocolates, come back!” she shouted and ran faster. Her heel suddenly gave way and she got thrown forward in a head-on collision with another.
“What the heck are you doing scampering on those heels?” the top-bunk guy exclaimed, into whom she had collided. He was nursing his leg where the heel had managed to make a dent of some sort.
“I..I am sorry…”
“I thought you didn’t like to venture out of your safe haven compartment?”
“Listen. I am in no mood for banter right now. Those kids have my cellphone and if they do something to it, I am totally lost. So, if you really are the good Samaritan you profess to be, kindly help me.”
He stared at her for a few moments. Then-
“I think they went that way,” he said and started walking away from her. Two of the kids had gotten hold of the third kid who had the phone. They were trying to pin his arms behind his back while he kicked.  
“Police here!” the top-bunk guy said in a booming voice, flashing his credit card. And immediately, the kids stopped fighting.
“May I know where your parents are?” he asked in a formal tone.
None of them said a word.
“Should I then assume that you are all unaccompanied? Well let’s take them then,” he said to Shruti in a mock conspiratorial manner.
“Thh…there!” all of them started stammering and pointing in all sorts of directions.
“Hand the phone over,” he said again and the kids promptly gave it back.
After restoring her phone and escorting the kids back to their angry parents, the guy started to leave.
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“Hey...listen” Shruti said and he stopped in his tracks.
“Thanks,” she said, a flush creeping up her face. She felt stupid now, having scolded him like that. “You handled them smartly.”
He smiled a little.
“How long will this train wait here? It’s really crappy,” Shruti asked.
“About half an hour. Out of which ten minutes are over.”
“You want to catch a cup of coffee?” she asked, trying to make up for her former rudeness.
He looked at her a little strangely, as if not believing his ears.
“What?” she asked.
“I thought you said you hated to get down on filthy platforms?”
“Well, once we are down, why not make the most of it?” she said, a bit irritated now. “Do you wanna?”
“Oh gladly! But it’s on me,” he posed a condition.
“Well, the dinner is already on you. Let me get you a coffee at least,” Shruti said and both of them chuckled.
“You really didn’t know about continental food in trains?”
“Well, how am I supposed to? It’s my first time on a darned train.”
His eyes opened wide. “You are kidding.”
“No…it’s like I have always travelled by air. In fact, it is on my mother’s insistence that I had to undertake this journey. My granddad wants to see me.”
“Oh…all right! So rich spoilt brat?”
“You are getting me wrong. One Cappuccino please,” she said to the coffee shop owner. “What will you take?” she asked him.
“Same as the lady,” he said and smiled.
“It’s like I have a certain thing against trains and train journeys. My parents met on a train actually. And the way they got married, almost as an accident…”
Shruti found it easy to talk to him. He was not overly curious nor apathetically uninterested. Just the right amount of attention. As a rule, she hated narrating her parents’ love story. But now when she told him and he listened with rapt attention, she found the story funny, quirky and deserving of the label of a local legend.
“…and that poor man…what was his name? I seem to forget…” she said, racking her brains to remember.
“Ansh?” he prompted her.
“Yeah! Spot-on! That Ansh dolt got left in the end and he sort of deserved it, rejecting mom like that-” she stopped suddenly and looked him in the eye. “I didn’t mention his name yet. How did you know? Have you heard this story before?”
He had a mysterious smile playing around his lips.
“I forgot to ask you your name,” Shruti resumed, surprised at her own loquacity. “I am Shruti, by the way.”
“Nice to meet you, Shruti. I am Maan.”
“So, Maan, you know my parents or something? I didn’t really expect you to make such a brilliant guess.”
“Well I kinda know them. Adit and Reet right?”
Shruti’s eyes grew wider. “Well yeah…but how do you know them? I have never seen you around our place.”
“Well in that case, you have never seen my dad either but you do know him.”
Shruti couldn’t understand what he was talking about.
“Ansh is my father.”
The coffee spilled out of her mouth as she heard it. For a few minutes, none of them spoke. Shruti had no idea what to say. Should she apologize for talking about his dad like that? Or should she just go back to her seat, pretending this hadn’t happened?
A gong sounded.
They stood still, their coffees turning cold. The train was starting to move. It was as if her legs had turned to stone. Before she could say another word or have another thought, their lips had met and sealed.
Shruti had no idea what was going on and why she was doing this. When they broke away from each other, the train was filing out of the platform at a breakneck pace.
“Do you know the way to Bhatinda?” she asked Maan breathlessly.
“We will find out,” he replied and their lips locked once more.

(Inspired by Jab We Met)

~Written as a part of the 'To Be Continued' contest on Readomania ~