March 19, 2009


She glanced at her watch. It was half-past-six. “Late, again…” she sighed to herself. She had gotten used to this. She waited at the railway station, as trains passed by every few minutes, the boy at the stall cleaned the counter with a rag, half-a-dozen people answered their cell-phones, scores of people passed her by, a couple of guys who looked like rogues checked her out from top to bottom… all this, while she waited for him. “Half an hour is just too much,” she complained to herself, “he’s had it today!”

“Hi jaanu…” he panted.
“Humpphhh,” she looked away.
“Kya hua, late hoon isliye? Kaha na tumse, main der nahi karta, der ho jaati hai!” he teased,
“aur waise bhi, intezaar ke baad hi to pyar ka asli maza aata hai!”

“Yeah, right,” she mocked. He always sweet-talked her into forgetting all the anger and sneaked his way out of the mess.
“Kaisi lag rahi hoon main,” she asked. She’d worn a saree and looked every inch the prototypical young blushing Indian girl.

“Yeh saree kyon aaj, koi tyohar hai kya?” he inquired.
“Haan, tyohar hi samjho. Hamari anniversary ka…” she blushed.

He had conveniently forgotten it… even this time! By now, she’d learnt to take such things in her stride. He was never the one who’d make an effort to remember such occasions. “So what if he doesn’t remember… doesn’t mean he loves me any less!” she’d say in an attempt to console herself.

“Bahut pyaari lag rahi ho…” he said lovingly, looking at her as she blushed.
“Last week hi khareedi. Your favorite color… suits me na? Tum mujhe mummy se milwaane le jaaoge na, tab yahi saree pehnoongi,” she said excitedly, “Ab chalen? All the waiting for you has left me famished!” she laughed.

After grabbing a quick bite, they arrived at their favorite hangout—Joggers’ Park. It was a beautiful little garden by the sea, and this was where they’d first met. Every time they had a reason to celebrate, they’d come here. It was an unspoken, unwritten, but mutually agreed upon fact about their relationship. They walked hand-in-hand up to their favorite bench in the corner from where they could hear the waves, feel the breeze, and enjoy each other’s company.

They sat next to each other on the bench. She sighed and rested her head on his shoulder, while he placed his arm on her shoulder, encircled around her.
“Jaan,” she said.
“Haan, bolo..” he replied.
“I love you…” she whispered into his ear, as her lips lightly touched his cheek, his slight stubble brushing against her lips.
“Hmmm…” he said, and looked away into nowhere. She was surprised. He’d never reacted this way.
“Jaan, kya baat ho gayi?” she asked, nervous, tensed up.

He winced. “Kuch nahi,” he said without meaning it.
“Batao mujhe… mera jee ghabra raha hai…” she urged. Their relationship had not exactly been smooth sailing. Parental pressure and opposition to their marriage was bound to be there. But not so soon… she wasn’t ready for this. She cringed.
“Kaho naa…” she urged him again.

“Jaanu…kal meri engagement hai,” he said ominously.

She could not believe what had just been said!

Suddenly, she remembered something. She smiled.
“Haan…” she said, “Mujhse!!! Hai na?” she burst out laughing. “Last time aise hi dara diya thha mujhe tumne! Phir se thhode hi tumhaari baton mein aa jaaoongi?” she mocked.

His expression had not changed. Her heart skipped a beat, still unsure whether he was really joking. “Of course, he’s joking,” she calmed herself, “he is a good actor… always fools me! Lekin aaj main bhi dekhti hoon…” she geared herself up.

“Jaanu, kal seriously meri engagement hai…” he repeated.

“Really…” she teased, “mujhe invite karne aaye ho? Main kal busy hoon. Thhoda postpone kar lo na. I am sure ladki mind nahi karegi…” she went on.

His face was grim. Her instinct told her that this was not good news. Was it he… or her fate… that was playing games with her? Now she was genuinely worried.
“Jaan, sachchi hai?” she asked uncomfortably, hoping he would answer in the negative.

“Haan. Kal meri engagement hai…” he said morosely, “ladki hamare hi mazhab se hai. Mummy aur daddy ne pasand ki hai. Baat picchle hafte hi tay ho gayi thhi. Par tumhe batane ki himmat hi nahi juta paa raha thha…” he added apologetically,
“I am sorry jaanu, par yahi sach hai.”

She was numbed. The world around her—the waves, the breeze, the birds—had suddenly come to a standstill. A part of her reconfirmed what she had just heard, while another part disagreed. Something within her churned. Suddenly, she could not see his face. Instead, her mind conjured up some random images that played on, in front of her eyes…

Walking on the pavement by the sea, hand-in hand, gazing into each other’s eyes, under one umbrella, in heavy rain…

Holding his hand tightly while watching a horror film in the cinema hall…

Enjoying a carefree ride on his new bike, hugging him tight, feeling the wind blowing through her hair…

Holding on to him inside the crowded compartment of a local train, his arms around her, protecting her from the crowd…

Calling him up in the middle of the night while he was on a night shift, and whispering sweet nothings to each other…

Him escorting her to the examination hall for her entrance exam and handing her his lucky pen…

Posing with him for a photograph on their wedding, when they’d get married…

Making his favorite fried fish to cheer him up when he’d come back home from work, all tired, despite being a vegetarian herself…

Lovingly scolding him for pampering their baby daughter too much…

Tears flowed from her eyes without her even realizing this was happening. Her memories, her dreams had been shattered that very instant. His message, although loud and clear, had not even started to sink in. How could fate have been so cruel to her? She desperately hoped this was a bad dream and her mum would walk in and wake her up the next moment. Alas! That was not to be…she was living all this…

“Par… …hu… h… hum??” she asked. Words failed her.
“I’m sorry,” he managed a meek reply. His voice was choked. Clearly, this wasn’t easy for him too.
“Hum?” she repeated, in a futile effort to make him change his mind.
Jaanu… ho sake toh mujhe maaf kar do. Mujhe apni family ko choose karna pada. Main jaanta hoon main tumhare saath na-insaafi kar raha hoon… par main tumhaare liye apni family ko nahi chhod sakta. Chahe mujhe kamzor ya kuch aur keh lo… par ab kuch nahi ho sakta…” he uttered, his words interspersed with muffled sobs.

He proceeded to hold her hand. She withdrew. Bravely, she wiped her tears and then looked up at the face of the man she’d wanted to trust her life with… unfortunately, in place of him, she saw a complete stranger.
“Chalo yahan se,” she said in a stern voice, surprising herself with her courage, “der ho rahi hai. Ghar jaana hai.”
They hired a cab and sat next to each other. But neither looked at the other nor spoke a word. Deathly silence prevailed. She gave him half the fare, and he understood. He quietly took the money.

For some reason, the crowd at the station was rather thin, comprising hardly a dozen people instead of the usual scores.
“Chalta hoon,” he said without daring to look into her eyes. He turned, and walked away… and disappeared into oblivion.

The gush of tears started, blinding her vision, but that hardly mattered… there was no one to see, no one to look forward to… the few people around her wondered what had happened… but only she knew why she was crying…

At last, she let out a much-suppressed wail…

Someone had just died...

The woman… within her…

PS: Probably sounds like it's all made up, but believe me when I say it's true. It's more of a minute-by-minute account of what happened. Apologies again for having written such a sad story. Guess I have this thing with sad endings, eh? I had originally thought of naming the characters Golu and Bhondu. But Golu and Bhondu seem to be a very happy couple... so decided against it (I can see the relieved look on Sandeep's face!)...
This post also marks the beginning of a hibernation of sorts for me. I'll be back in full swing on the 28th of March (that's after my exams!). Wish me luck people... :)


  1. hey...nicely narrated story..quite a long though..I can understand what would have gone into her would be like a whirlpool of emotions blending together with numerous thoughts at a time!
    Life is a journey and no one waits for others...people feel so bad only when they have kept expectations from others!!

  2. Someone had just died...

    The woman… within her…

    No nehz i dont agree :-|
    Nevertheless I liked the narration :)

    And oh yeah Gud luck for ya XAMS :D

  3. sad stories ??? you have somethign for them ... like i have for sad poems ;) !! but this really felt true for so many of us... theending lines were perfect !! nice one neha ! and good luck .. hope to catch up in night atleast :)

  4. neha, kalakringa ponga... nice narration :)

    Btw i wasnt expectin a sad ending, thought there will be a twist somewhere :P, hmmmmmmmmm, life has to by anymeans go on!!!

    Good the girl got the courage and so soon at that, while commuting places or travelling, i have seen many a times girls sobbing like hell, tears rolling down, wandering lost in thoughts and so varied expressions of pain, always used to wonder what the hell is wrong with this girl, is something totally wrong, i used to pity them thinking myself hoping all gets well soon. I still remember a girl who was driving scooty erraticly , when i overtook her i could see clearly she was crying very badly as if all was lost. There was a traffic signal ahead and we both stopped. As i was nearby i asked if everything was alright, she just nodded :)

    Life is like that, but it has to go on :)

    But why should the woman within any girl die for that sake.

  5. Nice flow nd narration Neha!

    All da best 4 ur xams! :)

  6. @ Nav

    Great to hear from you after long! Had been missing your comments!

    Long story, yes... but I couldn't edit it, or it would have lost some of the essence...

    As I said, this is a real-life incident. To compose oneself after such a setback itself is a Herculean task. I just wanted to portray how she mustered up courage and acted strong in front of him, but as soon as he left, she let out the wail...

    Hope I was successful!


  7. @ Nan

    Guess you don't agree with the woman dying because you feel it's unfair...

    See if you can take it further from here... revive the woman withing her dear...


  8. @ Pretty Me

    I don't know why sadness somehow comes naturally to me, despite the fact that I am a pretty optimistic person!

    Anyway, m glad you liked the end. I got up last night at 1 to write this.. couldn't sleep without completing it...

    And yeah, I guess some such random story is going to make me post on WL even during my so-called "hibernation."

    BTW, my first post for the rain drenched lounge contest was also written bang in the middle of my exams.

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  10. @ Johnie

    That was a very sweet thing you did daa! does have to go on... but the pain of separation and betrayal killed the woman within her.. maybe not permanently, but at least that moment.


  11. @ Maverick

    Glad you liked it.. and yeah, I really need that for my exams!!


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  13. neha,

    i knw hw bad it wud feel.....i cud relate this story to a very good friend of mine....... made me feel sad yaar

  14. Neha, its a HEAVY - HEAVY read.....

    Next time I will make sure that I avoid reading your posts in office, lest people would think I am practising how to cry !! I actually am coming back from loo, wipe my tears, did bit of make-up , and then posting this comment!

    Dearie, the woman in you never dies.... you have a whole life ahead of you..... there are other men in the world.... love them.

    I know, it hurts, and it hurts bad, but just cause YOU ALLOW it to hurt you.....

    Why should the woman in you die at all..... she's rather just had an unsuccessful relationship, nothing more...... its all just the way you see...... You loved him, I know, but he never..... instances in the story clearly reflect this..... then why should you cry...... rather be happy, that cool, for sometime I got someone to be with me..... and it didn't work out later, so just chill, smile, and the other guys are there to love you yar!

    ANd its better that it happened now , that he chose his family..... if things of such sort would have taken place later in your life, it would have hurt you all the more Jaana :)

    And this life is YOUR own sky ..... You choose the colors of your rainbow...... if you want Black, there'll be all shades of sorrow only, but if you choose orange and green, there'll be lot sof naugtiness, flirting and fun in your life.


    Cause, I say, relationships are not stamped on legal documents, but in heart !


    You'll surely do great dearie !! :)

  15. my heart sank!!!
    deep deep into my stomach reading this!
    i hate you and i love you for writing this!

  16. Sad :(

    But a good read!

    All the best for your exams!

  17. @ Kings...

    much needed daa... thnx dude!!


  18. @ Ste

    Sorry daa.. for making you feel bad..

    go give a hug to ur friend!

    It'll make him/her feel much better..

    PS: I could do with one too! :)

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  20. @ Ilashree

    One helluva comment that was! Left a smile on my face and some reassurance in my heart!

    When I meet you, I'll gift you a box of tissues and a mirror so u can cry and touch up ur makeup right at ur desk! ;P

    Lastly, the woman in me says a BIG thank you to all you guys... for being with me! Especially to you darling... muaah muaah...


  21. @ Ilashree

    and yeah.. thnx for praying for me.. someone very close to God needs to pitch my case this time... or else, God won't listen... I have been troubling him long enuff... he's kinda become immune to my prayers!

  22. @ Kaju

    Yeah... I knew you would hate me and love me for doing this!

    Good thing I didn't do a Golu Bhondu out of this one, or else you would have hated me more! ;)

    All I can say is, this is my way of saying to all those who've had heartbreaks: Someone shares your grief! And wants you to hope.. for a better tomorrow...


  23. @ Satan's

    Yeah... I told you na, I have this thing for sad endings... comes naturally to me!

    Sorry for that... I promise my next post is gonna be happy happy!


    PS: Thanx for ur wishes man... that's the only thing that can help me this time!

  24. Oh Gosh..!! Cant imagine that pain.....
    Terrible it would be...!!

    Such a touching story Neha..!! So well written.. :)

    But one thing if i can say- U pictured the guy in the beginning as someone who loved her equally, (by his words and actions)... For a guy who's gonna tell her tht he's gonna leave her forever.. tat turn of events was little hard to digest... :)

    But then, i'm left touched.. totally feelin the pain of the girl... Tats where u as a writer have succeeded..


  25. nd yeah..!! forgot..

    good luck for exams..!! Hope that will be a happy story.. hehe..


  26. @ RJ

    Thanx daa!

    This is a true story. Not one bit is fiction! So, the unexpected turn of events is exactly what happened! The girl thought the guy loved her as much as she loved him... until he broke the news of his engagement!

    That was the shock she had to bear dude!

    Am glad I could strike a connect with u thru words. And I hope I can continue to do that always!

    And yeah, thnx for ur wishes daa.. guess at the end of my exams, I am gonna be really happy! ;)

  27. @ Everyone

    I guess with all the comments flowing in, I have struck a chord with many people on WL and otherwise. I don't know if you guys have been fortunate enough to fall in love or unfortunate enough to have gone through a heartbreak. However, I need to tell you all how much your comments mean to me!

    The girl in the post is ME! Yes, this is how my first love broke my heart. This happened almost a year ago and I am still picking up the pieces...

    WL has been instrumental in helping me cope up. I can't imagine my good fortune... because WL has given me so many shoulders to cry on... and so many people who will give me a hug as and when I need support!

    I wanna take this chance to say a BIG THANK U to all of you guys... it feels lovely because each of your comments has given me hope... for a beautiful future ahead!

    Thanx everyone... for reviving the woman in me who'd died!!

    I owe you all... BIGTIME!



  28. @Neha: hey you sweety pie pumpy yumpy pumpkin.. :) love you oye!!

  29. *tightly hugs Neha*

    things that are supposed to happen, happen anyway.

    chin up girl :)
    hope you get so much love in your life that you find it hard to handle! Amen.

  30. @ Kaju

    hey you lovey dovey tweety sweety teddy bear... thnx oye! :)

  31. @ Asbah

    *tightly hugs Asbo back*

    And gee... thnx... I loved the last line that you said! Can't stop grinning... thnx baby!


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