The Night Guest

As is common knowledge to many readers, I reside in a rented house near my college along with some other friends. Now being all students was bad enough, but being all males students, we really don't give a fig about cleanliness and stuff. In fact, I always fancied us as some kind of a spin-off Addams family (Just between you and me, we sort of celebrated the birth of two young ones of the 'friendly neighbourhood' cockroaches that inhabit our washbasin). I guess it has something to do with the deep-seated need to associate ourselves with someone or something popularly recognisable, but whatever.

Now cockroaches, ants, spiders, lizards etc. were kinda okay, not because they were favourite pets of Morticia Addams or something, but because they are argumentatively omnipresent. I mean you can't find a house absolutely free from them! But what really drove the last nail was when I found a live pigeon stylishly perched among the bits and pieces of the mock kitchen we have in here. After a bit of shooing and prodding we concluded that it is either extremely lethergic or is actually unable to fly and as we are not in a state of war with any pigeon state (known or unknown), we have allowed it to retain its current quarters albeit temporarily, as I am sure none of us plans to allow the hitchhiker to litter the place with shit. In such an event, it will immediately be shown the door, or in this case, the roof.

So to conclude ladies and gentlemen, as I write this piece, it has been about three hours since its arrival and our guest is nicely tucked and asleep.

Eyes up here!

While browsing through today's newspaper, the heading of an article really caught my eye. Well, I went through the article and actually found it quite thought-provoking albeit in an irritably de facto kinda way. It went on and on about the most noticed, and hence the most talked about part of the feminine persona in the current society- the cleavage. Males, it argues, are held mesmerised by this small void 6 o' clock to a woman's face. I am not going to contradict this well established notion, nevertheless I would like to toss the 'blame ball' to the other side for a bit.

Is it really our fault? Of course, the words 'fault' and 'blame' are used here in their most non-traditional sense possible. It is actually the way its supposed to be. Do comprehend the catastrophe it would be if males lose all interest whatsoever in females and vice versa. But of course, the point of argument is why does it get so much attention? And the answer to that is ridiculously simple. For starters, since when have males been associated with diligence? The reason cleavage has become the focal point of male limelight is simply because it is the most visually accessible unique part a female possesses. One really does not have to do anything offensive or forceful, but just keep one's eyes open. There are more than enough opportunities to get an eyeful without even breaking a single law. I must say that this prospect appears and actually is quite safer than its alternatives to achieve pleasure.

Another viewpoint worth mentioning, though I am speculating now, is whether females really hate it when our gaze slides down a few inches? Think of it this way. The cleavage is as much a part of the female body as are other parts. And it is beyond argument that females arduously engage in artificial beautification of their bodies. Is it really surprising that cleavage is'nt left behind in this rat race? The growing user base of underwired and push-up bras screams out my point. Every person, irrespective of gender, should be proud of his/her body and unless the male involved is a pervert, there is absolutely no harm, physically, morally or otherwise, in bordering exhibitionist tendencies.

Finally for those of you who puff up in anger or shock over the cheek of this young lad to make a post about this non-existing issue, take a peek at the heading I referred to in the beginning and tell me, just what do you notice?

Never easy to please a tech guy!

Delectable Curses (Chapter-6)

Seeing my turmoil, she visibly tensed up and her lower lip quivered a little as she bit down on it. Forcing a smile upon her beautiful face, she leaned closer and rested her head on my chest. Before I could even think about all the pleasurable sensations her flowing hair were creating on my chest, she burst out into long drawn sobs. All I could think of doing was to pat her back consolingly.

"Why?... Why did you do it?" she wailed.

'Man! I never do good with crying girls. I should'nt have patted her like that.'

Her hazel eyes were streaming with tears when she next looked up at me but what really came as a blow in the face was the intense agony reflected in them. Whoever said that eyes are but a mirror to the heart was indeed right. 'How could I be so naive?' The palm of conscience slapped right across my forehead. 'Of course it's gonna hurt her bad one way or the other! I had been stupidly making decisions for the both of us and she had been paying the price for it.' A wide grin enveloped my face as I thought, 'a good cry succeeded where everything else failed!'.

"Why did you shut me out so abruptly?" Her face was skewed, probably assessing the damage caused by the punch the night before. Emotions overwhelmed me as I reached out and pulled her into an enormous bear hug. Though it took her time to get over the shock, she responded. When we broke apart, there were question marks all over her face but there was also a smile of relief. I looked her right into the eyes and spoke, "because I love you!"

'What?' her face said it all!

"Though it may seem paradoxical, I love you too much to keep you tied to me forever. I was willing to let go so that you could have a better future."

"Better than this?"

'Is she mocking me?' I heaved a heavy sigh before proceeding. 'Okay, here it is. The moment of truth!'

"About a month ago, I was diagnosed with a rare disease." Her hands shot up to cover her gaping mouth as she mouthed the words, 'Oh my God!'. I always find it satirical how people are always willing to assume the worst case scenario, and in a moment's notice blame God for all the injustices in life. Though in my case, I don't know if the worst case is any worse than what it is already. Of course, my case is better in a manner of saying that I will survive. But what is survival? Is it merely being able to breathe? Or is it some higher calling involving the psyche of an individual?

A soft hand caressing my cheek brought me back. "Relax! Its just some recessive genetic thing..." I looked away, trying to locate the right words. Sighing again I turned to her and continued, "...the thing is, my neurons are failing and in about a couple of years' time I would be needing someone to pull the plug on me. Now I am sorry but I won't be able to give you the life..."

The rest of my words were lost in a passionate kiss she had planted on my lips and as if a detonator charge had been set off, intense memories of what happened here the night before came back in a flash. Amidst the pants and the moans she said, " is....we'". Expecting it and yet shocked at what I was hearing, I pulled her back and stared at her.

'God! She is beautiful.'

Her hair were all over the place and her bosom was heaving heavily. She was staring right back at me, daring me to contradict her. I looked into her eyes and finding nothing but understanding and determination there, I gave in and we continued from where we had left the night before.

Delectable Curses (Chapter-5)

Next morning I woke up in my bed. There was'nt a muscle in my body which was'nt crying out in pain against any action forced upon it.

'God! What happened?' I tried recollecting the stray strands of thoughts floating around in my head. I vaguely remembered downing multiple pints of booze, first in anger, then in frustration, and finally due to habit. Multiple simultaneous images of people jumping and screaming all around me exploded in a dazzling array of light flashes inside my head. I groaned as the intense throbbing pain of my head spread all over my body.


I distinctly remembered her face in the melee, not distant, but quite close, too close! I chased the heels of further thoughts as they tunneled deeper and deeper into my brain. Everything was a blur of flesh, light and liquor. My hands flew to test a sore spot on my cheek as memories of being thrown out by the bouncers invaded my vision. But that still did'nt explain my being in bed! Cringing in pain, I tried getting up on my elbow, and momentarily succeeded before crashing down with a muffled thud.

She was there, right besides me, sound asleep! This was too much for me. My vision swam as I turned around and threw up all over my bedside rug...

When I next came to, I could see the sun shining generously throught the half closed curtains. Events came unbidden to my mind as I closed my eyes and prayed for all this to be a dream.

"Bright day, innit?"

My eyes flew wide open as I realised my prayer was left unheard. Searching for the source of the voice, I found her sauntering over to me carrying a steaming hot cup of coffee in one hand and the day's newspaper in the other. Apparently she had been up for quite a while. Hundreds of questions erupted in my mind, all at once! I opened my mouth, but the questions were left jiggling in the back of my throat.

'She is wearing my shirt!'

Giggling sheepishly at my gaping mouth, she sat beside me and thrust the cup into my hands. "What...? And how...?" Was all I could articulate before she planted a kiss on my good cheek and whispered, "Thanks!". Skewing my face, I tried to logic out how in the world I ended up opening Pandora's box of mysteries.

Delectable Curses (Chapter-4)

God must be very keenly interested in my case for I did'nt just get a beer, I got the whole frigging club! That sly girl kept the plans from my knowledge till the very last and kinda shoved them up my nose all at once. Seething with resentment, I joined the group at the proposed venue of aggregation quite past the decided time, both as a gesture of disapproval as well as to avoid waiting for anyone else. I was having this incredible feeling that it was not going to be my day and that was not doing my mood any good. There was just the girl and some guy I did'nt know waiting there. After the cursory introductions, I made it a mission to try and scorch that girl with one of my most vicious stares. At least it kept me from cursing out loud about the lax time standands my generation was following. Surprisingly, not long after my arrival, people started trickling in. Stranger still was the fact that there seemed an annoyingly even mix of males and females in our group. Even as the detective in me was stringing together these clues, the moment I was both dreading and looking forward to arrived.

She had donned the skin-tight denims I had so frequently complimented her on. Complementing them was a simple white poncho of sorts and I must admit the plunging neckline bade me to reconcider the decision I had announced in that coffee shop.

'No! Stop it.' I was appalled at the sudden surge of unbidden thoughts sprouting all over my mind. Thankfully the group had sprung into action and we proceeded towards the destination for the night. When we reached there, all my queries lay answered right in front of me. Shouting at me in a mix of neon blue, green and red were the big letters in plain english 'COUPLES NITE'. Despite myself, I smiled at the sheer cunning and ingenuity of the plan. 'Bravo girls!' How was poor me supposed to know that the master plan was far from over?

As soon as we reached the burly bouncers, our group disbanded into couples with a swiftness that made me wonder just how many times this ritual had been practised before. Had it not been for the entwined hands, I would have thought they were going to the morning prayers. 'Wait a minute...entwined hands! You mean, I would have to be all touchy tonight. Now that's gonna be awkward.' That line of thought simply ripped my moral fabric through the middle- one half egging me on with fairly intimate images of the two of us running in front of my eyes, while the other half playing the gentleman and admonishing me for thinking about using a friend for worldly pleasures while having no real love at heart.

I shook my head vigorously to try to clear out the dilemma. When my eyes came back to focus, I found everybody staring at me as you would stare at a disobedient child. Enraged at having drawn so much attention, I roughly grabbed the only set of vacant female hands in the vicinity and started towards the door. I had barely managed a couple of steps when I caught sight of someone in her skin-tight jeans falling in line ahead of us.

'What the...! now I am seeing her everywhere.'

My whole world came crashing down when I turned to find myself holding the hand of a damsel I just vaguely remember being introduced to. Wave after wave of apprehension crashed upon me as I numbly stumbled onwards, just one thought in mind- 'The only two things which can help me right now, alcohol and loud music, are inside.'

Delectable Curses (Chapter-3)

I was returning home after an excrutiating day at work. I had chosen to walk even though it was quite some distance. 'Some fresh air would do me good.' I had thought. Well it was twice as good as I had expected. My mind had started to clear for the first time in days and towards the end of it I had started to cheer up a bit. Even the chatter of the cicadas felt like a hearty welcome and I scrunched the gravel path in tune with them to produce a crescendo. It was in that jovial moment, when I was merrily joggling in the drizzle holding aloft my arms to let nature take me over, did God decide to punish me for all my sins. For all I know, I could have been crucified to thin air as I stood there confounded. My throat went dry as I watched a pair snog on a nearby park bench. A monstrous voice roared inside me admonishing me for what I had done. What was worse was the knowledge that it was me myself who was to blame for my helplessness. Fate, it seems, diligently seeks out its lowly victims and mocks them in their faces. With utter deliberation I tore my eyes away from the cynosure and moved on. I was still mulling over the event as I turned the final corner and caught sight of one of our mutual friends making a beeline for me.

'Blow number two, c'mon smite me!' I smirked.

We exchanged pleasantries and made some small talk but I could sense the need to discuss some master plans, so I asked her into my apartment. She pounced on the offer hungrily. The rest of the journey went in silence, each of us contemplating our own thoughts.

"Oh my God! Its worse than what I had imagined."

"What?" I jerked back to reality.


I was sure I had heard those words as we had crossed the threshold. Once again I studied her thoroughly and yet again found nothing but raw determination shining back at me. At length, I shrugged it off. 'Maybe I am hearing things now. No. She definitely is looking around the room. Ah well, let's see!'

"So, you wanted to talk about something?"

"What!..Oh yeah, umm....We were wondering if you would come with us to this new place we're checking out this saturday."

"We?" I was getting irritated and suddenly found myself rethinking my decision of bringing her along. 'Why can't they just leave me alone?'

" and some of my friends." She added way too casually.

"Sure." I replied in a manner to make it clear that the conversation was over. 'I have to do this one time or the other. The sooner the better.' I hoped.

"Umm...okay. I'll call you later with the details." And with another furtive glance around the room, she left.

'What are you girls upto?' I slouched over to the couch and threw myself onto it. Something inside me had started to throb painfully and I was having difficulty pinpoining exactly what. 'There's only one way to find out and I'm sure am not gonna like it. God! I need a beer.'

Delectable Curses (Chapter-2)

We are back in the same coffee shop, sitting at the same table, heck she's even wearing the same lavender top. The familiar gut-wrenching feeling takes over me and I look away in the hope of making it easier. Her soft voice calls to me, but it is faint and distant. Something's not right. I look at her and shudder involuntarily as the table between us is stretching beyond what is allowed by the so-called laws of physics. I stare as her outstretched hand slowly becomes the only visible part of her body. "No!" I shout and jump onto the table, running like mad, eyes and ears searching for hints of her presence. Her long, drawn out, ghostly wail is all I can hear and I curse myself for bringing her to this damned place. Suddenly a huge boom stifles her cries for help and my eyes fly wide open.

'Sheesh! Not again.' I shook my head to remove the last traces of the haunting memory and focused my thoughts on the mundane world.


'So that's what woke me up!' I pondered as I stumbled towards the door and flung it open.

"What were you do...?" my friend stopped short and gasped.

"What?" I questioned as my hands groped for the apparently disturbing sight.

'Shit!' My eyes widened as the events of the night before played in front of my eyes. I had had a decibel barrier breaking one-on-one man-on-machine competition. In one corner, the thumping woofers of my top-of-the-range home theatre system and in the other corner, me with my window-shattering drone which I call 'my best attempt at singing'. Of course it had ended in me completely outclassing my opponent. I had fashioned myself an elaborate winner's crown using a hair gel which claimed to be 'extra-strong'. Well, now I know that the gel people were'nt lying.

"That's um.... nothing. C'mon in!" I ushered him into the room, hastily attempting to disentangle my locks. Closing the door I turned to come face-to-face with him, his jaw firmly set and hands on his hips, I groaned as I saw what was coming.

"This has got to stop" he implored exasperatedly.

"What?" I pulled out my most innocent sounding voice but immediately saw my veil of pretence falling to pieces. Determined to make a stand, I drew my shoulders. "Seriously man! I'm fine. My work just takes up most of my time." I could'nt help but smile as I knew I had struck the jackpot. Following the fiasco at the coffee shop I had thrown myself pell-mell into the world of work, and he of all people, had thought that I had finally come to my senses. Whipping around, he dove headlong into the latest at work as a qustion rang in my mind, 'Just how long can I put up like this?'

Delectable Curses (Chapter-1)

"I feel tormented!" I exhaled in a breath. After opaquely studying the daily rigmarole of street traffic my eyes eventually found her, gaping at me from across the table, it was all I could do to stay rooted to the chair. 'There, that was easy', I thought. Now that it was finally out in the open, I felt a sudden urge to get it all out.

'Okay, here goes nothing!'

"You know, there is so much I want to do with you. So much I want us to experience. So much I want to ..." my voice broke off. 'Well this definitely was harder!' I hazarded a peek at her and immediately regretted the decision. She was staring intendly at me with one of those piercing gazes, the ones which you are so afraid of that they may lay bare all your secrets. Her eyes were brimming with oceans of internal turmoil and yet I could see a faint trace of understanding running in them. "Then why don't you?" she whispered, her eyebrows dancing in an unusually playful manner. Her feeble attempt at a smile failed to masquerade the pain she felt inside in anticipation of what she knew was coming.

"Its not that simple...", I argued as I felt a huge knot rise up my throat. Apparently all the things I had been practicing in my mind for the past week had not bestowed upon me the eloquence I had hoped they would. Thankfully the waiter appeared, giving me the opportunity to leisurely peruse the menu. She ordered a chocolate mousse while I made do with a double latte. When I could delay eye contact no longer, I looked up and found her mysteriously smiling at me.

'What the hell is she on about?' Apparently she read my thoughts as if on paper, for immediately she averted her gaze. But as she did so, I caught the pain resurfacing in those hazel eyes I once so much loved. 'I did it again!' I admonished myself.

Sighing heavily for the umpteenth time, I took her hand in mine. She was shivering slightly but the touch of my sweaty hand seemed to calm her. At length, she looked at me and I knew if I had to say something, this was the time.

"You are a wonderful person and I would like nothing more than to spend my whole life with you." I began, cringing inwardly on how cliche it sounded. "However I can't bring myself to do this to you. You deserve someone better and you have your whole life before you..." I immediately raised my hand to stifle her retort. "I know what you want to say and I understand that. But give it a few years' time and you will see my point."

The room seemed to have grown hotter and I vainly tried searching for the air conditioner to test my theory.

Failing in the search, I dragged my eyes back to her. She was broodily pushing around the remains of the mousse and I gave her credit for not breaking into tears. Personally I did'nt think I could handle any of that. However the damage was done and the rest of what was supposed to be an enjoyable evening became a complete drag.

At length she spoke, "So now what?"

"Well we'll always be friends and you'll be a very special one for me, you know that!" I said more to convince myself than her. With a slight nod she indicated what one could call forced acceptance and I knew that that was the end of it. Silently we paid the bill and left the place which would be etched in my memory forever.

Will you remember me?

When the cherries bloom
in a soft winter noon,
as you walk slow
on the fresh snow,
will you remember me?

When you sip the wine
in the bright sunshine,
after you've walked the aisle
wearing a benign smile,
will you remember me?

When your world falls apart
and you don't know where to start,
as warm tears slide down your cheek
and a person your eyes seek,
will you remember me?

When you sit by my side
and watch the years pass by,
as you place a white lily
and your fingers trace the R.I.P,
will you remember me?