ℝ𝕖𝕒𝕝 𝕠𝕣 ℝ𝕖𝕖𝕝 π•”π• π•Ÿπ•₯π•šπ•Ÿπ•¦π•–π••

This is continuation of blog Real or Reel, to read previous blog Click Here.

When you meet someone special in your life, they turn your life upside down. But for Neil his world changed completely, he was in a new world! A guy living his normal life with a perfect job, his own house, numerous friends and a happy family, unexpectedly found himself in a new place with a girl he met just an hour ago. How can anyone get from the cushioned seat of theatre to the backseat of a moving car!

Frightened Neil was sweating on the backseat of the car. He asked Aarju in muffled voice, β€œWhere are we? Why is that girl running behind our car?” Aarju took a glance from the side mirror and replied, β€œWhich girl? There is no one behind the car.” When Neil turned back, the girl was vanished.

Neil’s head was blown by thousands of questions; he was biting his nails. He looked out from the window and tried to recognise the place, but he was clueless. He checked his pockets for the phone, but it wasn’t there. Oblivious Neil had only one way to get rid of the all the questions running in his mind, that was Aarju. In Shivered voice, Neil asked Aarju, β€œHow did we get in this car? Where are we going? Where is my phone…?”

Before he could ask any more, Aarju stopped the car with a jerk and turned back with a wicked smile. β€œRelax, Neil. I knew you will ask so many things. Do you remember we are on a date? So now we are heading to my favourite restaurant.” Neil gave her a tough look and asked, β€œBut first you tell me, how did I get in this car?” Aarju got jumbled when Neil asked the same question again, she laughed loudly and said, β€œYou got unconscious while watching the movie, so I got you in my car with the help of some people. Now you look perfectly fine.” She started the car while explaining it; she just tried to cover up somehow. To divert his mind, she said, β€œWhy do you need a phone, when I am here with you now!”

Neil was confused with her reply; he could not remember what happened to him at the theatre. Aarju continued her chattering, β€œSo we are going to my childhood’s favourite restaurant. It is out of the city but worth going there. I know you will love the food there.” Neil didn’t reply to her bubbling talk, he just sat back soullessly.

After 90 mins of drive, they arrived at the restaurant. While walking towards the restaurant Aarju said, β€œI don’t want anyone to see us together, that’s why I have already reserved the corner table.” Neil simply smiled at her. Aarju ordered the food even without looking at the menu as she was familiar with the restaurant. One of the waiters was staring at them; Neil asked Aarju if she knew him. Aarju denied and asked the waiter, “Why the hell are you staring?” He just nodded his head and went away.

After finishing the food, they were heading back to the city. They had heavy dinner and were little tired. Aarju turned on the radio and played retro songs. The road was empty with a cool breeze, soft music; the vibe was just perfect for them. Aarju with a bright smile on her face said, β€œAfter a long time I had a great time with someone, I am glad that we met. What about you, Neil? Hope I didn’t trouble you.”

Neil smiled gently and said, β€œYa, I also had a good time with you…” Aarju looked at him while he was describing the evening. She got lost in his talk. Her attention got diverted from the drive. Very next moment she banged the car onto the divider and car flipped over the road, there was no movement in the car. Aarju’s head was bleeding; she was unable to move her legs. The blood was rolling down on her face, but she tried to find Neil. After few minutes she heard siren of an ambulance, and she got unconscious.

Next morning when she regained consciousness, she was lying on a hospital’s bed. In that hospital room, her tired mother was sleeping on the couch, and her worried father was talking to the doctor. Aarju’s head was banded and her legs were plastered, she got many cuts and bruises on her body. She called her mother with a lot of efforts. Her mother woke up quickly and went towards her bed. Her mother held her hand and started crying. Aarju in a lifeless voice asked her mother, β€œStop crying, I am okay. And where is Neil? Is he okay? Is his family here?”

Her mother wiped her tears and went to her father who was still talking with the doctor. They came near Aarju and started looking at each other. Annoyed Aarju asked them, β€œWhy are you not telling me? Where is he? How is he?” Her father took a long breath and said, β€œWhat shall we tell? Who is Neil? You were alone in the car.”

β€œWhat are you saying? He was there in my car; he was with me all the time. We went to my favourite restaurant and were coming back home from there. Before that, we went for a movie. We were so happy together and then this happened. You need to find him,” Aarju started freaking out. The doctor asked her to calm down and not to be stressed out.

Aarju’s parents were damn sure that nobody was with her when she was in the car. They confirmed with the restaurant that she came alone. Even the waiter told them she was sitting alone on the corner table and was talking to herself. She ordered food for two and had it all by herself. Further they went to the theatre where Aarju said she went for movie. The stall guy told them that the theatre was shut down a few years ago. Aarju came alone, went inside the theatre for half an hour. When she came out, she pretended to carry something in her hands; she put that on the backseat of the car and left in a hurry.

Aarju’s parents inspected her phone if anyone by the name Neil, but no such name in her friend list or contact list. Surprisingly, they found one app, NOT a dating app. The β€˜Fake Chat’ app which was showing chats between Aarju and Neil. Her parents were shocked when they went through the chats.

Apparently, Aarju established a false world with Neil in her mind. She created fake chats between them for a month. In her world, Neil was a person with perfect lifestyle, who wanted to date her. She mocked up drama in their relation with ups and downs like any other couple. After a month, the madness went to another level, and she pretended to have a date with him. She was satisfied and cheerful in her fake world.

Though Aarju was happy, it wasn’t right for her. Her parents were super tensed; they deleted that app and cleared her phone. They told Aarju that they lost Neil in the accident so that she could erase him from her mind.

When people are unhappy, unsatisfied in their real world, they start living in an imaginary world which gives them joy and excitement.

“No visible symptoms, no runny nose,

just a head full of darkness.

No fever or rash no fractures or sprains,

just a longing for something unable to explain.”

ℝ𝕖𝕒𝕝 𝕠𝕣 ℝ𝕖𝕖𝕝

*Swipe Left, Swipe Right*
The 29 years old Neil, sitting on the office staircase, sipping coffee, and checking out girls profile on a dating app. He was doing it secretly because for him such apps are made for immature kids, not for grown-up men like him. Neil is an average-looking guy with an engineering degree, well-paid job, and a house in a good locality. His weekends are full of late-night parties, adventure trips, outings, movies, clubbing etc. The only thing that is missing from his life is a partner! That’s why though he thought dating app was a stupidity; he took a chance as his last hope.

Neil was busy in finishing the office work, and he got a notification from dating app. It was popping up as β€˜It’s a Match’; Neil got butterflies in his stomach. He came out of the office in a rush and then opened the notification. His profile got match with a girl named β€˜Aarju’. With creased forehead and smiling lips, Neil was confused what to do next!

As days passed, Neil got habited to the dating app. Daily he was chatting with Aarju on the dating app. She was staying in the east part of the city and working in a call center. Neil adapted new routine, morning to evening office work and in evening after coming back home, chatting with Aarju. He started sharing all good and bad moments of life with her. Neil felt happy and excited to chat with her. On weekends, though he was out with his friends, he would still be stuck with his phone.

One day at a colleague’s party, Neil was sitting alone in the corner. His friend Ajay noticed him; Neil was texting on his phone and smiling foolishly. Ajay went there and stood next to him, Neil was still busy in his phone, typing text at the speed of a bullet train. Ajay kicked his leg and asked him, β€œWhat’s going on Neil?” Neil laughed and replied, β€œNothing, why? What happened?”

Ajay rolled his eyes and said, β€œOh, really! Last few days I have noticed that you have changed. Tell me what’s up with you?” Neil looked around and whispered, β€œWell, there is a girl. We are kind of together since a month.” Ajay shouted, β€œYou got a girlfriend?”

β€œNo, lower your voice. It’s not like that. I met her on a dating app; I never talked to her in reality. I like her, but I don’t know what she feels for me, and where is this going to end”, Neil explained to him. Ajay held his arms and said, β€œThen what is stopping you to meet her, go somewhere and have some real conversation with her.”

Neil came back home from the party and thought about what Ajay suggested to him. He grabbed courage and texted Aarju to meet him. Message delivered and even read by her, but she did not reply. Neil waited whole night for her text. Next morning, he casually sent β€˜Good Morning’ to her, still no message from Aarju. In the evening, Neil again sent a sorry message and asked her to reply, still no sign from Aarju. Neil started losing hope from her.

Four days later, Aarju sent β€˜Hi’ to Neil. Just hi, and not a single reply to other messages sent by Neil. Neil also replied β€˜Hi’. Aarju took big pause and messaged him.

Neil was numbed after reading her text. He was in a dilemma how to react, β€˜should I forgive her, as I like her or should I forget her and move on’. He stared at the text and her display picture, he thought for a while and replied.

Next day, Aarju sent the location of the movie theatre along with the booked tickets. She preferred to meet him directly at the theatre. The location was far from the city and it was new for Neil.

In the evening Neil drove on his bike to the location. He was wearing a solid black shirt with denim and casual shoes. When he reached there, it was weird. Some 2-3 stalls with very few people around. Neil looked around; he did not see any girl there. He went near the entrance of the theatre and waited for Aarju. He was happy, nervous, tensed, he did not know how this meeting is going to end for both of them. They had been chatting for a month, but he was confused how to start the conversation when she would be in front of him.

*Ting* he got message from Aarju. It said β€˜I am waiting inside the theatre for you’. Neil ran inside in a hurry. The movie had already started, and strangely Aarju was the only girl inside the theatre. She was sitting alone with untied hair in the center row. Neil took a deep breath and walked towards her.

He sat next to Aarju, and mumbled β€˜hi’ to her. She just replied back by moving her hand. Neil could hardly see her face as it was dark in the theatre and her face was partially covered by hair. Neil leaned towards her and said, β€œI was waiting for you outside. Do you want anything, popcorn or cold drink?” Aarju just replied, β€œShhuuuuwww” and pointed at the screen. Neil sat back on his seat. He was thinking β€˜whether she came here to meet me or to watch movie. Why is she not talking, is there any other secret?’

He cleared his mind and told himself to keep a positive attitude. He started watching the movie; probably he didn’t know its name. Mystifyingly the movie was a mixture of drama, action, comedy, suspense, everything in one. Neil thought that, maybe this could be the reason why the theatre was empty. But how could Aarju enjoy such a nonsense movie.

On the screen, from nowhere suddenly a girl was running on the empty bushy road. The scene was creepy; she was running with barefoot, dirty clothes, messy hair! She was scared, angry, exhausted and calling someone while running. The clip was interrupted and audio was disturbed.

Confused Neil inclined to look at the screen closely. He was staring at the screen with squished eyes, he was trying to know what that girl wants. And suddenly the screen blew bright. It was so bright that Neil shut his eyes tightly. After few seconds when he opened his eyes, he found himself on the back seat of a moving car! The scared girl from the movie was running behind that car calling for Aarju! He was not understanding how he landed in a car from the theatre, he got horrified. He looked at the front seats; a girl was driving the car furiously, his heartbeat increased rapidly. He tapped her shoulder and asked, β€œAarju?” She replied, β€œYes, Neil”. Neil started panicking, β€œWhere are we?” Aarju looked at Neil through the rear view mirror, β€œRelax, Neil. Sit back and enjoy the real show”.

What do you think, what happened with Neil? How did they get in a car? Who was Aarju in reality?

Click Here to continue the story.

π•Žπ•™π•’π•₯’𝕀 π•€π•Ÿ 𝕐𝕠𝕦𝕣 ℙ𝕝𝕒π•₯𝕖?

#sunnyday

#sunnyday, Naina posted a story when she was on her way to college. Teenage girl wearing loose jeans with flared pink top; one hand busy over phone, and other hand struggling with the bag. In this 30 mins journey towards college, she got seven likes and only one comment from her best friend, Sonal.

Daily Naina and Sonal will meet at the college gate and together they will go to the classroom. But today Sonal was not there at the college gate, so Naina was waiting there for her. Suddenly, one long, black shining car stopped in front of Naina. A girl got down from the car flipping her hair in the air. She was wearing a plain blue shirt with skinny jeans and white shoes. Naina could not control herself from staring at her; even all the people present there. The whole crowd was looking at that chic.

β€œHey, Naina. Sorry I got late, let’s go”, Sonal pulled her inside the college gate. After the pre-lunch session, they both went to the college’s cafeteria. They ordered two cold coffees and one Maggie at the counter. Then they grabbed the corner table and waited for their order. Now the same girl who came out from the car entered the cafeteria, again flipping her hair in the air. Naina’s eyes again got stuck on that girl. She came back to the senses, when the cafeteria boy slammed her order on the table.

Naina cleared her throat and asked Sonal, β€œDo you know that girl in blue?” Naina pointed out by raising her eyebrows. Sonal quickly looked back and said, β€œYes, that’s Ayesha from B.Com 1st year. The entire college knows her!” Naina took out her phone and searched her name on instagram. She got her profile at the first place itself. Her recent post was 2 mins before. #pizzatime, Ayesha was having yummy pizza with her friends. Naina looked at the maggie with disappointment and scrolled down on instagram.

Naina patted Sonal’s shoulder in excitement and said, β€œCheck out her page. All posts are about outings, weekend trips, amazing parties, and new restaurants. Her life is full of craziness!” Sonal checked the watch and told her, β€œEnough for now, it’s lecture time.”

That whole night Naina scrolled Ayesha’s profile. Zooming each and every photo, reading all the captions and hashtags. Naina was wondering about Ayesha’s life, how she is relishing every day with her friends. And on the other hand Naina was not allowed to hang out with her friends even for one day. Her mother had restricted her life with number of rules.

Two weeks later, it was Naina’s younger brother’s birthday. Her family decided to go out for dinner that night. They arrived at the restaurant and already had a table reserved. There was a fountain at the entrance, an antique chandelier hanging on the reception ceiling, comfortable furniture and delightful lightings. From a small spoon to the flooring, everything was fancy. By looking at such a sophisticated ambiance and well-dressed staff, Naina and her brother got overjoyed. Her family was happier today, chatting and laughing all together. Her parents were revealing childhood secrets of Naina’s brother; he always troubled them as a kid. And, how Naina was a good girl in her childhood!

#dinnertime #famjam

In the middle of that, Naina got a notification on her phone. It was Ayesha’s new post, #dinnertime #famjam! And guess what, her location was β€œFood Carnival”, where Naina and her family were enjoying their night. Naina did not even look at the photo and started looking around desperately. After running her eyes over 3-4 tables, Naina found Ayesha with her family. The waiter came at Naina’s table with the food they ordered. She was ready with her phone to take photos and post them on Instagram. She was excited that tonight her check-in on instagram would be same as Ayesha’s!

After posting photos, Naina was checking her phone every 5 minutes. Her mother poked her and asked her to finish the food first. She finished her food and glanced at Ayesha’s table. Some kind of chaos was happening, her father was leaving the dinner halfway, and frustrated Ayesha was trying to stop him. Ayesha took a run towards the washroom, while tears were already rolling down on her chick. Naina could not resist herself and followed Ayesha to the washroom.

As Naina entered the washroom, Ayesha started tapping her tears and covered her face with tissue papers. Naina was pretending to wash her hands and was stealthily watching Ayesha. She gathered courage and asked Ayesha, β€œHey, are you okay?” Ayesha replied in a shattered voice, β€œYes, I am fine. I just got something in my eye”. Naina knew Ayesha was lying about it; she smiled and said, β€œYa, okay”.

To continue the conversation Naina said, β€œBy the way, we are from the same college, you know?” Ayesha looked at Naina and said, β€œOh, Really! Which stream?”

β€œB.Sc. Chem, 1st year”, Naina answered. Quickly Ayesha said, β€œSo you must ne knowing Tina?” The conversation went on and was getting interesting. But Naina’s phone rang and it was her mother’s call. Naina got embarrassed and said, β€œMy mother’s call, my family must be thinking why am I taking so long time in the washroom. I must head back to them”.

That reminded Ayesha about her family, her mood changed completely. In a gloomy voice she said, β€œAfter long time my family and I came out for dinner. I don’t remember when we all had a last meal together.” Naina was bewildered what to say her. Ayesha continued, β€œMy parents are always busy with their work, meetings, travelling, and all business stuff. A week before we planned for this dinner. But my father got an urgent call and he left.”

Naina was surprised to see this side of Ayesha’s life. She rubbed Ayesha’s back to calm her down. Ayesha smiled and said, β€œLet’s go back; otherwise our families will get worried.” Naina nodded her head and said, β€œYes, we should go back now. See you in college.”

In the car while going back home, Naina stared out from the window at the moon and started thinking, Ayesha’s life is not perfect as she thought in the first place. The life displayed on Instagram by her is just a part of her life; it is not her complete life. She also got ups and downs like any other person. We should not judge anyone’s life from the social media. And that thought left smile on Naina’s face!

Your worth is not measured in likes, comments or followers; but in your ability to love, keep comments to yourself, take note and lead.

π•π• π•¦π•£π•Ÿπ•–π•ͺ π•Žπ•šπ•₯𝕙𝕠𝕦π•₯ 𝔻𝕖𝕀π•₯π•šπ•Ÿπ•’π•₯π•šπ• π•Ÿ

Patiala railway station, Meera and Khushi were waiting for Amritsar Mumbai express with bags full of souvenirs and mind full of memories. A trip to the Amritsar, Chandigarh has ended at the Patiala railway station. They were heading back to Pune, it was Meera’s first ever train journey. The Indian rail journey is an adventure with variety of people from different parts of India. Some of them will be annoying, funny, irritating, or entertaining. They will share their food with you, along with the life lessons, old memories of young days, or may be stories of their kids. And, you will happily enjoy all of that. You will always end your journey with numerous stories to tell everyone.

The train was late by 2 hours. Meera was excited for her journey back to home. She looked at the platform clock and took a glance over the railway track. Finally train arrived at the Patiala railway station. β€œTrain will halt for 3 minutes only, get in fast”, Khushi warned Meera while picking up the heavy bags. Both of them got in S4 coach and started looking for their seats. Meera was struggling with bags and murmuring seat numbers, β€œ21, 22… 21, 22…” She flicked back her hair and looked close at seat numbers. After crossing 5-6 compartments, they got their seat numbers. Khushi verified her seats with tickets, β€œ21, 22. Its upper and middle berths.” But someone was already lying on upper berth.

Purab, as per the name written on the novel he was reading. Irritated Meera harshly tapped on his shoulder. He was lost in an engrossing novel of Adolf Hitler. Clueless Purab turned page 153 and looked at Meera. With full aggression Meera asked him, β€œDo you have ticket for this seat?” Purab nodded his head to deny it. β€œThen why are you lying on my seat?” Meera was bursting like crackers but Purab was looking at her without blinking, for him violins were playing in her background. Before he could utter any word, Meera told him to get down. Khushi asked her to calm down. He got down and walked away from there with his backpack. Meera and Khushi threw their bags on upper berth and got settled.

By 10.30 pm everyone started raising middle berth to catch some sleep. Meera slept on middle berth, as thinking that on upper berth the ceiling fans will be spinning next to her face. Train was moving fast and by that Meera was shaking while lying on the seat. As time passed, snoring sound increased around her. Meanwhile Purab came and slept on opposite middle berth. Firstly uncomfortable with shaking seat, then unbearable snoring sounds, and now Purab sleeping in front of her. Annoyed Meera covered her face with a blanket.

β€œWake up, sleepy head”, Khushi whispered near Meera’s ear. Meera rubbed her eyes and asked, β€œWhere did we reach?” While peeking out from window Khushi said, β€œMay be we are in UP or MP, I am not sure.” Purab prompted, β€œIts MP, the train just crossed Bina Junction”. Meera ignored him and got down. Purab smiled crookedly. Meera grabbed her toiletry bag and headed to the train’s washroom. When she came back fellow passengers had already started with their breakfast. The snacks were rotating from one hand to another, while sipping hot tea.

Oops, Meera has no place to sit except for besides Purab. β€œI own the seat number 18”, he ensured her so that he doesn’t get any more trouble. Meera passed a fake smile to him, and looked up for Khushi. Khushi was submerged in music playing in her earphones. Purab continued his clarification, β€œSince the upper berth was vacant, I took advantage of it to read my novel peacefully. Sorry for that.” Meera realized how badly she bombarded him yesterday. She looked at him with innocent face and said, β€œNo. I am sorry for what happened yesterday, as it’s my first train journey and my bags were heavy I over reacted that time.” Purab smiled back and both of them continued with the conversation. They were enjoying the company as if they were friends for a long time; cracking jokes, laughing out loud, giving hi-fi! Khushi was surprised to see Meera getting mingled with a guy she disliked yesterday.

The day passed by with scenic view from the window, munching something, endless talks, again munching, music, and lots of laughter. Travelling comfortably in such a long journey with people we never met is fun. It was a good day, now its time to say good night. Meera and Purab lied down on their berths with a sweet smile on their faces.

While sleeping, Meera sensed that someone is starring her and she got up hurriedly. She saw two strangers standing near side berth and staring at her while she was asleep. She shouted at them, β€œGo away, look for another place to stand.” But they were still standing there shamelessly. Purab woke up hearing Meera’s voice; he tried to figure out the situation. He got down from his berth, and stood beside Meera’s berth. β€œRelax and sleep, I am here”, he assured her. Both weirdos disappeared from there.

Around 2.30 am train arrived at the Nasik railway station. Purab looked at Meera, she was in deep sleep. He could not gather courage to wake her up and say β€˜Sayonara’. He got down from the train with a heavy heart. Train honked while leaving the railway station and Meera woke up restlessly. She looked for Purab but he had already gone. She ran to the door with barefoot. Her eyes rolled over the railway station in search of him. He was far on the footbridge and Meera could not even say good bye. She kept looking at him until he got disappeared from her sight. The train crossed Nasik railway station. Unspoken goodbye and silence touching sky! Some stories remain incomplete with life long memories!

Some memories in life gives you paradise and pain in equal amount.
You need to choose whether you want to smile or cry on it.

π•Œπ•Ÿπ•π• π•”π•œπ•šπ•Ÿπ•˜ 𝕋𝕙𝕖 π•ƒπ•šπ•§π•–π•€

It is July 2020, half a year passed by. Looking at the present scenario, most of the people must be thinking what a waste of year! Coronavirus with the size of approximately 0.125 microns in diameter has turned our lives upside down. All are missing trips, outside food, entertainment, friends and all the other normal lifestyle. If you ask anyone, probably they will say, β€œOnce this lockdown gets over, will plan for a trip”. Just want to step out from the four walls of our house, it feels like we are in a β€˜house arrest’. We are exhausted with this unwanted lockdown, which stopped us from living our lives to the fullest.

When lives will start running on usual tracks, we will hop into our vehicles and travel across the town. Some of us may fly overseas to explore the world. But what if we won’t have any transportation to travel to our favourite place? How long can you walk by to that place from your house? Perhaps, you will end up your journey in the town itself. Without help of the vehicles we are restricted to travel anywhere in the world. One more barrier we got for travelling anywhere in the world is boundaries, the man made limitations. We need to get tickets, visas, permits, rooms, etc.

If we look around, the birds are flying high in the sky as per their wish and singing their favourite songs. Recently we all have seen the news, β€˜Amid lockdown, thousands of flamingos migrating to Mumbai’. They turned the creek of Mumbai city into pink. Except humans no other creatures have got any limitations or boundaries to migrate anywhere they want. But we humans are creating artificial boundaries for such creatures by locking them into the CAGES. Just for our entertainment or making the house look fancy. Feeding that locked up creatures packet food without knowing their likings, whereas they can have fresh food from nature. They are shitting in the same place where they are living. We think they are safe inside cages, but they can’t even spread their wings and fly. While they can fly miles and miles into the open sky but humans are limiting their world behind the bars.

Now, as we all know how it feels living inside four walls, think about the beautiful creatures. Unlock the cages and set them free. Let them breathe, spread their wings and fly high and high.

π•π•šπ•–π•¨ π”½π•£π• π•ž 𝕄π•ͺ π”Ήπ•’π•π•”π• π•Ÿπ•ͺ

I finished the pile of dishes and loosened my duppata to dry my hands. I peeked out from the kitchen door in living room, my son was still killing people on mobile phone, my daughter was feeding stories on social media, and my husband was cheering for the old cricket tournament. All this drama was routine in this lockdown, wish it will end soon. Government should reward housewives for tolerating this daily. To get rid of this, I made a cup of tea for me, with a pinch of cinnamon powder and cloves. Strong tea, just the way I like it. I poured the tea in a cup gifted by my daughter, printed with a tag of β€œBest Mom”! To hide myself from this chaos happening in my living room, I took my cup of tea and sat in the bedroom’s balcony.

Fresh breeze, strong tea and my thoughts had a small get together in the balcony. Everyone now missing their offices, schools, travelling but I am missing my peaceful home. I ran back to the days before the lockdown, suddenly I got the smell of fried pakodas. It got my attention and took me to Seema aunty’s house. Like in Tom & Jerry, Jerry gets pulled by the smell of the cheese. It landed me on the third floor of B-wing. Seema aunty’s pakodas are so famous in our society. In such humid weather also she is making pakodas, generally she makes in rainy days. Look, she is serving that hot pakodas to her son who is busy with his office calls. Definitely Work From Home, he virtually got his office at home.

Oh, why this Priya on the second floor is shouting at her daughter? Looks like school free, study free kid is causing her trouble. Kids just want to play whole day and night. Priya and her husband both are working in IT firms. Now, Priya is juggling with office work and household chores. She must be missing her maid more than anything else! Her husband is also sinking in laptop or maybe just pretending! Her kid is demanding noodles at this time! Priya took the laptop to the kitchen with her. One hand on laptop another hand in cooking noodles for her kid.

The dishes were dancing in the kitchen on the fourth floor; picture from Hetal’s house was quite different. Hetal’s 19 years old son was cooking something, while she was watching TV in the living room. Her son presents his dish with a big wide smile. Everyone is enjoying the delicious dish; he definitely got it from YouTube. Hetal went to the kitchen to keep empty plates. Her face turned red by looking at the mess her son has made. She shouted at him, β€œwho is going to clean this?” Everyone in the living room starts laughing, and Hetal starts reorganizing her kitchen.

I took the last sip of tea, and realised every house is screaming the same story silently. Seema aunty, Priya, Hetal and many other women like us, no-one can spare their duties from the kitchen and other household chores. Surely we were doing all these tasks before lockdown also. But now we are doing overtime for all the duties. And we can’t even complain about this to anyone, as no such HR team for us.

The Lockdown in this pandemic has given new lifestyle for everyone. People are working from home, but our mother, grandmother, wife are already working for home. It can not run smoothly until and unless we all house members work together. Stay Home, Stay Safe!

𝑻𝒉𝒆 π’ˆπ’“π’†π’‚π’•π’†π’”π’• π’ˆπ’Šπ’‡π’• π’šπ’π’– 𝒄𝒂𝒏 π’ˆπ’Šπ’—π’† π’”π’π’Žπ’†π’π’π’† π’Šπ’” π’šπ’π’–π’“ 𝑻𝑰𝑴𝑬.

𝑩𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆 π’˜π’‰π’†π’ π’šπ’π’– π’…π’†π’…π’Šπ’„π’‚π’•π’† π’šπ’π’–π’“ π’•π’Šπ’Žπ’†, π’šπ’π’– 𝒂𝒓𝒆 π’π’‡π’‡π’†π’“π’Šπ’π’ˆ 𝒂 𝒑𝒂𝒓𝒕 𝒐𝒇 π’šπ’π’–π’“ π’π’Šπ’‡π’† 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 π’šπ’π’– π’˜π’Šπ’π’ 𝒏𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 π’ˆπ’†π’• π’ƒπ’‚π’„π’Œ.

π”Ήπ•šπ•£π•₯𝕙𝕕𝕒π•ͺ π”Ήπ•¦π•žπ•‘π•€!

Chat Between Siya and Jay @7.30pm

9.15pm: Radha and I were having watery daal-rice in the mess. Siya came in rush, gave us mischievous smile and told us, β€œJay is going to come tonight from our balcony!” Before we both could understand and react to it, she said, β€œThank you yaar” and vanished from there. Our accommodation was like two bedroom apartment with common corridor and washroom. Only Radha and I got a balcony in that.

11.55pm: As usual, Radha was studying in the focus of the table lamp. And, I was trying to sleep with music on in my earphones. My eyes started feeling heavy, when Radha woke me up with shaky and surprised voice, β€œLook Apoo, someone is there in the balcony!” We both looked at each other with fear in our eyes and murmured β€œJay!” Oh god, it was actually Jay, Siya wasn’t joking about it!

We didn’t open balcony for him and ran to Siya. She came in my room and welcomed him inside the hostel – ‘GIRLS HOSTEL’. She was jumping like a kid, so excited to unite Jay and Pihu. Pihu was waiting clock to hit 12 o’clock. Siya took Jay to their room and Pihu shouted like she won a million dollars lottery! Radha and I could hear them through the wall. They sung happy birthday song for him and continued with illogical gossips.

12.20am: My phone started ringing, it was Sweety, from first floor. I picked her call, she told a thief has entered our hostel. I acted like, we were unaware of all this and assured her that we were safe and secure. I went back to Siya and Pihu’s room and told them about the rumour spreading in the hostel. They listened to me, paused for a while and started laughing at it. I got worried about it and asked, β€œGirls how did they come to know about Jay! We have to be cautious now.” Birthday boy Jay, who was sitting in the corner and munching chips, jumped in the conversation and said, β€œBindu saw me while climbing the pipes on first floor.” Pihu punched Jay and said, β€œLet all the girls sleep, then will depart him.”

12.50am: *Door bang*
Someone was continuously knocking at the main door. Two minutes more and the door will break. β€œOpen the door, someone has climbed up in your room.” It was the hostel warden. Looks like first floor Bindu told it to everyone in the hostel. Inside the room, it was like a big storm on us, we were trying to find space to hide Jay. Below the bed, inside the cupboard, behind the curtains, in the washroom! No space to hide this mistake! I looked down from the balcony, security man was standing there with bamboo stick. It was like Bermuda Triangle – outside hostel warden, downside security man and inside no place to hide! No one can escape from this. Poor Jay, ran from boys hostel to save himself from birthday bumps, going to get it here. Jay decided to hang out on the balcony rails.

12.55am: Everyone went back to their bed. I took a deep breath and opened the door. The warden was boiling since we took long time to open the door, β€œWhy did you take so much time to open the door?” Siya and Pihu came out of their room, and acted as if they don’t know anything. Warden yelled on us, β€œThere is a stranger in the hostel, how can you sleep like this!” She started checking our rooms, went out in the balcony and saw hands hanging on rails. She started shouting, β€œHe is here, catch him.” We rushed to the balcony. Jay also heard that and took leap on adjacent pipes. He crawled down quickly like a monkey. Security man was standing down, Jay took soil and threw it on his face. He ran away from there, we were watching all this from the balcony along with the warden. Slowly Jay blurred out of sight and we took a sigh of relief and pretended that we were not part of this incident!

“Hostel Life is a sack of most amazing memories of life. When we think of sweet moments, we cry on it and on difficult times, we laugh!”

– Apoorva Kishor

𝕃𝕠𝕧𝕖 𝕋𝕙𝕖 π•Žπ•’π•ͺ 𝕐𝕠𝕦 𝔸𝕣𝕖

They were still lost in the discussion, while waiter placed fourth coffee on the table. As everyday, Sameer and Madhu are sipping coffee in their favourite cafe! Sameer who is calm, composed, responsible, sorted guy, where Madhu is full of madness, enthusiastic, messing around, aggressive girl. They are in this β€˜opposite attracts’ relationship for last 3 years. Sameer is working in computer software company, and Madhu is a fashion designer. Every evening, spending together with endless talk! Weekend busy in partying, travelling around, enjoying time to the fullest.

Too much sweetness? Yeah, but right now Madhu is arguing with Sameer for weekend outing. According to her, it’s been a long time they haven’t gone for camping. On the other hand, Sameer is asking her to keep calm, as they should plan it properly. Madhu gets pissed off at him. Started yelling at him, Sameer finally gets ready for it. Sameer always puts his hand down when Madhu is angry!

Next day Sameer goes to office as any other ordinary day. Sameer’s boss calls him and asks to move in Delhi as senior engineer. Sameer is in dilemma, is it good news or bad. It can be a wonderful opportunity for his professional growth, but what about Madhu? His personal life is going to be upside down. In the evening, he meets Madhu and tells her about transfer to Delhi. She gets excited about it, she asks Sameer why he is upset about it. It’s good news and we must celebrate. Both of them didn’t plan for it. Since Madhu is happy with it, Sameer also stops thinking negatively.

Sameer moves to Delhi. He is handling work very well, and also learning new things. It’s tough for both of them to live apart, as their world was around each other only. But they have to be strong and manage the situation. WhatsApp, Skype, Messenger are the only sources to be in touch. Weekends are getting busy with office parties and meetings. They are getting less time to talk to each other. Madhu is missing old days, she wasn’t prepared for this.

Monday morning Sameer hears someone knocking the door. After ignoring it forth time, finally he gets up and start rubbing his eyes. With big yawn, he opens the door, it’s Madhu standing in front of him. She jumps on him, hugs him! Sameer is happy to see her and also confused. Madhu has left her fashion designer’s job, and decided to live with Sameer in Delhi.

Madhu started working in small boutique, cooking, taking care of home, cleaning, dusting, in the evening waiting for him to come back. She is being more responsible and smart just like Sameer. No arguing about small things, trying to make up the time when they were not together.

Madhu is being sweet and nice girl to Sameer, she wants to keep him stress free. She is cooking Sameer’s favourite dish, suddenly Sameer shouts on her, β€œwhat’s wrong with you?” Sameer who is a peaceful guy is angry because, he is feeling suffocation with this new Madhu. Madhu is numb, big storm of thoughts comes into her mind. She starts apologizing, without knowing the reason. By seeing her like this Sameer says, β€œI lost the girl who was crazy, independent, stubborn, always smiling. This is not my Madhu!”

Madhu realises the mistakes she did. She was behaving differently. Sameer loves Madhu for her personality, her style of living and passion for work, he likes to pamper her weirdness. This was the first time Sameer burst on Madhu, and probably the last time!

Love is caring for each other, respecting in all the manners, sharing all small happiness and big problems. Love is accepting the person with all their weird habits, flaws, stupidity, temper. Making each other complete with complimenting the goodness they got!

“𝑻𝒉𝒆 π’ƒπ’†π’ˆπ’Šπ’π’π’Šπ’π’ˆ 𝒐𝒇 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆 π’Šπ’” 𝒕𝒐 𝒍𝒆𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒔𝒆 π’˜π’† 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆 𝒃𝒆 π’‘π’†π’“π’‡π’†π’„π’•π’π’š π’•π’‰π’†π’Žπ’”π’†π’π’—π’†π’”, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒕𝒐 π’•π’˜π’Šπ’”π’• π’•π’‰π’†π’Ž 𝒕𝒐 π’‡π’Šπ’• 𝒐𝒖𝒓 π’π’˜π’ π’Šπ’Žπ’‚π’ˆπ’†. π‘Άπ’•π’‰π’†π’“π’˜π’Šπ’”π’†, π’˜π’† 𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆 π’π’π’π’š 𝒕𝒉𝒆 π’“π’†π’‡π’π’†π’„π’•π’Šπ’π’ 𝒐𝒇 𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒗𝒆𝒔 π’˜π’† π’‡π’Šπ’π’… π’Šπ’ π’•π’‰π’†π’Ž.”

– π‘»π’‰π’π’Žπ’‚π’” 𝑴𝒆𝒓𝒕𝒐𝒏

π•ƒπ• π•”π•œπ••π• π•¨π•Ÿ π•šπ•Ÿ π•Žπ•’π•₯𝕖𝕣

Every new year we begin with new ray of hope! New opportunity to make new story of life! With the same tradition world entered in year 2020. And very soon this world forced to lockdown, reason Covid-19 (Coronavirus disease)! Lakhs of people infected with this disease. Thousands of people are dead. People are seeking for food, medical help. Economy is dropping down daily, and other number of crisis!

At the same time millions of people taking lockdown as chance to spend time with loved ones. Utilising this lockdown period for cooking, gardening, crafting, taking care of pet, learning new things, teaching their kids.

All the delightful things millions of people are doing nowadays, that’s daily routine for seafarers when they come home. Spending whole day with family, waking up late, lazy days, cooking new dishes, watching Netflix, playing cards, endless talks. And yes, going out only to buy essential things.

Most of the people got “work from home”, but seafarers are still serving their duty! They will tell you easily, that they are at safest place as per today’s situation. But some of them are trapped on the ship, locked down on the ship. They are not finding way to come back home. No flights, no sign off! They have to be more cautious when there is port. They are sailing from one country to another, with no shore leave, not even sign of the land!

Not all the people are infected with Covid-19, but definitely affected by this disease. For some this lockdown is great opportunity to spend time with families, but some have to wait even more to see their families!

“At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.”
– Robin Lee Graham