Saturday, 24 September 2016

Candid Diaries



A YEAR AGO....

“Are you sure you want to do this?”
“Mom, you and the Wi-Fi in India have so much in common! I’ve already finished unpacking my bags. And you are still stuck! We’ve spoken about this over and over again. Chill now, shall ya!”
“A never say die spirit, that’s the first lesson every mother learns, Meera.”
“Mom, I’m in Mumbai, not in Timbuktu! I’ve seen the city inside out through you, for years on end. I’ve spent an awful amount of time with aaji-ajoba in this city.”
“That was ages ago. This is different. Today, I feel like a stranger in my own city.”
Two months of sane discussions couldn’t bring about any change in the anxious tone of her mother’s voice.
“Mom, no melodrama! It is different for me, and that’s why it gives me the adrenaline rush. The hustle-bustle, the liveliness, there’s a current in the air here, (a wild one). Plus this opportunity to work with a global giant, it’s to die for.”
“Meera, Meera…”
“One more time, and you could set a Guinness Record for the world’s most anxious mom,” smirked the girl. “I’ve even agreed to your condition of renting out a room with your wacko distant relatives. You know I’d rather be on my own.”
“They are not wacko! Yeah, my cousin’s wife is a bit, what’s the word?”
“Bizarre!”
“Sshh woman, she might be around! Anyway, I hope you haven’t forgotten my second condition,” reminded her mom.
“Daily updates on Whatsapp? You’d be getting those even if I slip into amnesia!”
A loud knock on the door dragged Meera back to reality, from the Big Apple to the matchbox abode in Mumbai she had taken shelter in.
“I’ve got to go Ma. See ya.”
“Meera didi, Aai says that you are too loud, too over-the-top, too forward, and a hindrance to my studies. And Baba should reconsider his decision,” said the 10 year old Aarav as he jumped on her bed.
Aarav and Meera had no siblings of their own and had taken an instant liking to each other.
“And what do you have to say?”
“You rock!” he chirped.
“So do you, little champ.” They sealed that thought with a hi-five.


PRESENT DAY....

Meera: What’s with Sid? Gives 2nd looks.
Sakshi: 2nd? More like a 9th or 10th!
Meera: He is quite a looker but I have no time for all this babe! Will have to get going soon.
Sakshi: He’ll merrily hop along, even if that means holding the tail of the airplane .
Meera: Can’t take back a ghar-jamaai. Am I saying that right? Mom will faint .
Sakshi: Wish you could’ve stayed. I’ll miss u!
Meera: Aawww…I’ll miss you too chica. But if I don’t show up at home soon, mom might arrange for summons from the President . Gotta go, it’s her!
“What took you so long?” Her mom yelled all the way from the American shores.
“Mom, I’m driving (and whatsapping)!”
“Woman, are you out of your mind! You’ve donated enough money to the pandu!” screamed her mom.
“Not a biggie Mom! I stayed away from the wheels though I have a valid license. But the auto drivers are not helping my cause. Some have a problem with my accent; the others want to rip me off! And this Ruchi is a pathetic driver.”
“Ouchie,” she screamed, when Ruchi pinched her hard. “Aren’t you like supposed to congratulate me or something Mom? After having slogged my butt out for a year, I’m finally beginning to see results. Boss is happy, he won’t even hold me up here.”
“We are talking of another 6 months!”
“It’s an awfully short amount of time of independence, you know!” Meera joked.
While Ruchi parked the car, Meera hurried up for a presentation. She was running ten minutes late.
“OMG!” She remarked in frustration when she saw the crowd outside the lift. It sure was going to be a long wait. Many heads turned. She was used to that now. Her heavy accent always had that effect on those around.
A couple of men seemed to have found it more amusing than she could’ve asked for. She ignored them. But as she bent down to check the time on her watch, she saw one of them touch a woman in the crowd inappropriately.
While the woman in question simply moved away, Meera couldn’t keep mum.
“What do you think you are doing?”
Kya kiya maine?” asked the man, who was dressed very lousily, for a multinational office-crowd.
“Don’t you know how to behave with women? Apologize,” she said firmly.
Ghoomela hai kya tera,” cursed the man in local slang, asking her if she had lost her mind.
Madam, jaane do! Bah power wala log hain.” The genuinely concerned watchman stepped ahead and advised her to back out.
Gori chikni mem ko chhodke kahaan desi maal pakadta hai saale,” spoke a young man in white.
He appeared to be like some young goon or thug, with his rowdy associates slash bodyguards in tow. Her accent had probably misled him to believe that the local language would be Greek and Latin to her. She had however grown up on a good dose of Indian movies.
Whether it was the heat, or the delay, or the sheer brazen attitude of those men, she couldn’t tell. She raised her hand and landed it on his cheek with great force. It was one tight slap.
“Mind your language.”
The two chamchas jumped forward to catch hold of her, but the man in white signaled them to let her go. They stepped back, and she boarded the lift.


“♬ Oh Womaniya…aa, aa Womaniya ♬!” That was a familiar voice calling from behind.
“Cheesy! What would it take for you to get off my back, dude? No amount of foul language seems to work!”
“Chill, Miss America! What’s with the temper?” Abhishek was a harmless flirt. He fooled around with the ladies. And almost always managed to get away with his anecdotes. Well, almost.
“You men, dog’s tails, squeeze them, crush them, put them in pipes, yet as crooked as can be.”
“♬ All I want for Christmas is you ♬!” He kept trying.
The stern look on her face drove him apart and he shifted his focus to Ruchi.
“How desperate are you!” Ruchi exclaimed. And the ladies walked away once out of the lift, leaving the guy perplexed but undeterred.
Meera strode to her cubicle, trying to get a hold over her emotions, and recover from that episode.
“Would this help?” Had to be him.
Nobody else could have changed her mood at that point. Sid’s voice was like music to her ears. His physical proximity soared the temperature in the room, and caused chemical reactions in her body, that no chemistry book had ever taught. Not even her ex-boyfriend. Something she wasn’t ready to admit just yet though.
She looked him straight in the face and refused the water he was offering.
“Are you alright?” he enquired.
“Yeah. Got to rush into the conference room,” she collected herself and hurried away.


“Super! My hard work is finally paying off!” That was her bestie, Sakshi.
“Your hard work? Yeah!” Meera said sarcastically, sinking, into her chair, drained out with the presentation.
“Yep! All the training I’ve given you, all the patience I’ve shown.” Sakshi had come by to pep her up; especially so, as she had found out what had transpired before the meeting.
Meera’s mobile and Sakshi’s two phones started ringing, all at once.
“Why, why on earth do you have two? I can barely manage one,” said Meera, in a clearly irritated tone, as she hit the red button. “These tele-marketers!”
“They are doing their job. And my phones, this is what happens when destiny conspires, and your dad and boyfriend get you the same gift on the same birthday!”
“I’m really beat!” Meera exclaimed.
“You mean?” Sakshi would quite often get bowled with the firang slang.
“I mean tired. Coming to the point, I need a break! I’m going bonkers!”
“Huhahaha, your genie at your service Ma’am. This weekend, the office New Year bash will recharge your battery, rejuvenate your senses and re-energize your spirit.”
“Oh yeah! I totally forgot about that! Gotta do some shopping.” Meera’s mood lighted up with the thought of hanging out with Sid in a non-office setting.
“Loosen your purse strings, it’s going to be worth it! An evening to remember in one of the best pubs in the city,” said Sakshi.
“What about the lonely night that shall follow?” Meera’s naughty side peeped out.
“Ooooo, spread your wings Miss Meera, fly! My blessings are with you! Go for it!” And her friend winked on that note.


Meera stepped into that dark room filled with people and smoke.
“Oh my my, look at you! Where did you pick that up from?” asked a colleague, almost affirming her doubts that it was only a while before he came out of the closet.
The red gown she had spent hours locating, was doing perfect justice to her slender figure. Dodging the compliments, she kept barging ahead, her eyes busy scanning the room for that one face. She couldn’t decide, which was more off-putting, the loud music or the flattery.
“Nope, he’s not coming.” Sakshi screamed loud enough in her ears. Sid had apparently cancelled last minute, some family emergency.
“Who cares!” She yelled and changed the subject.
After a few hours of partying hard, and gulping down the disappointment with some liquor, Meera suggested, “Let’s get outta here.”
Ruchi had left her car behind to avoid drunken driving. They booked a taxi and the three girls, pretty high than their individual capacity, giggled and gossiped on their way back.
First Sakshi got off, and then Ruchi. “Why don’t you just come over?” she asked Meera.
“At this speed, I’m gonna reach home in another 50 minutes!”
“50?”
“Oops, I meant 5! Thats the vodka talking,” Meera chuckled. “Good night.”
Meera’s head felt a bit lighter than usual. It made her wonder if she had had a tad too much, to offset her frustrated mood. Her string of thoughts were interrupted by the sudden halt of the car, the driver had hit the brakes hard.
By the time she could get her head around what was happening, a few men approached the car and summoned the driver out. Her sight was getting blurry, but she could see that somebody had pushed the driver and then opened the taxi door with a jolt. Before she could get herself out, she felt a blow across her face and passed out.


.....Read the Concluding Part here - Candid Diaries (Part 2)


16 comments:

vishal bheeroo said...

The adventure of Meera is so much fun and she is like the Desi super woman:)

https://vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/iampink-of-feminism-menism-equalism-and-humanism-by-kavipriya-moothy/

Ranjini Sankar said...

God! Cliffhangers! Leena when is the next coming? The story is so well articulated, I couldn't stop. You are a pro! :D

Seenas Food Basket said...

Well narrated story dear Leena.. It got into my nerves..Keep going.. :)

Leena Walawalkar said...

Thanks Vishal!

Leena Walawalkar said...

Thanks so much Ranjini dear, very sweet of you to say that ....
Next is already lined up :)

Leena Walawalkar said...

Thanks so much Seena!

Haddock said...

“That was ages ago. This is different. Today, I feel like a stranger in my own city.” ..... this is so true about the Bombay where I was born and brought up :-)

Natural Beauty And Makeup said...

Brilliant write-up! I am so enjoying this story but now fully tensed as what's going to happen next! ??? Waiting.....

http://bit.ly/2dknVp3
Much Love
Anamika.

Maniparna Sengupta Majumder said...

Oh my! You should write more stories! You know perfectly to keep your readers at a cliffhanger. Heading to the next part!

Leena Walawalkar said...

Only someone who has been brought up in Mumbai can relate to that sentiment Haddock :)

Leena Walawalkar said...

Welcome to my blog Anamika! Thankyou so much for the lovely words :)

Leena Walawalkar said...

Thanks Mani dear, hope I satisfy your literary buds :)

Jyoti Dehliwal said...

बहुत बढ़िया कहानी, लीना। आखरी तक कहानी पाठको को बांधकर रखती है।

Jyoti Dehliwal said...

बहुत बढ़िया कहानी, लीना। आखरी तक कहानी पाठको को बांधकर रखती है।

Sneh said...

Nice post Leena!!! I could relate to some aspects of it since I have also stayed in Mumbai and absolutely loved the city!!

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HindIndia said...

शानदार पोस्ट …. sundar prastuti … Thanks for sharing this!! 🙂 🙂