Sunday, 8 August 2010

One Last Time...

She turned the key in the lock, with all her might.
Her wrist hurt every time she did it.
"God! Why din’t he just get the damn lock fixed!" she said out aloud.

She pushed the door open and walked into her house.

She saw the washroom light on.
"Was he home?"

She dumped her bag and her jacket onto the carpeted floor and ran into the washroom expecting to see him there.
She walked out dejected. Of course he wasn’t there.

She got a bottle of wine out of the fridge and poured herself a glass.

There was a hint of rain in the evening sky.
It was windy outside. Just the way he liked it.

She took her glass of wine onto the terrace and sat on the easy chair.
A tear trickled down her cheek.

She remembered the last time it rained that year...

They had had a severe fight the morning before.
She had left the house in a huff and told him she would never come back.

He had spent that day trying her cell.
She never picked up.
He left her several voice messages.
She never replied.
He din't sleep a wink that night.

She finally called him back the next morning.
"Where were you honey?"
"Somewhere..."
"Honey please come home."
"Why? Why do you care?"
"Honey let me make it up to you. One last time..."
"It's always the last time isn't it?"
"It is the last time, this time. I promise."

When she came home that evening, she found he had cooked for her.
Her favorite crockery was laid out on the table.
A bottle of champagne loaded in the chiller.
Fresh Red Carnations in the vase.
Scented candles lit them room ever so softly.
He had left the window open. The breeze flirted with the silk white sheers.

As she surveyed the scene with a smile on her face, he enveloped her from behind.
He took a deep whiff of her hair they way he always did.
He kissed her left cheek with all his love.

Her smile deepened. She turned and hugged him tight.

After a delectable chicken dinner, he popped the champagne and poured out two glasses.
They took their bubbly to the terrace and cozied up on the easy chairs.

As she sipped her drink, he got something out of his pocket. It was a small box.
His lips curled into his unconventional smile as he handed her the box.

She opened it to find a ring.
Glistening in the moonlight, it was the prettiest thing ever.
He looked into her eyes and said, "Will you marry me… again?"

A tear trickled down her cheek.
She smiled and said, "Yes Silly."

They kissed passionately.

The skies burst open and rain started to fall down in torrents.

They sat right on the verandah, kissing in the rain.
She could still taste him from that last kiss. She loved how he tasted.

He took her inside and got her to change her soaked clothes.

While she was drying her hair, she heard her favorite song playing on the stereo.

He came up to her and asked her to dance with him.
"But you hate to dance!" she said with alarm in her voice.
"Let me try one last time. For you," he said, pretending to take his hat off and bowing before her.

They danced close together.
She was pleasantly surprised that evening.

They ended up in bed soon after.

After making the best love ever, they lay on the bed.

She could hear his heart thumping in his chest.
She placed her hand on his chest and looked at him imploringly.
He just smiled and held her hand tight against his body.

"I'm sorry I went away," she said.
"It's ok. I will never fight again. This was my last time."
"I love you," she said.
"You better…" was all he could manage.

His head fell back into the pillow.
His heart had given way.
His body was right next to hers.
His soul had left hers far behind.

A loud thunderclap brought her back to reality.
She couldn’t believe he wasn’t there with her anymore.

There was no one to fix the leaks. And that damn broken lock.
There was no one to hug when she came home from work every evening.
There was no one to fight with and no one to make up after.

She wished she could fight with him... one last time.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

200*

Today (24th Feb, 10) is the best day of my (hitherto) life.

Well, let me explain. Im an Indian. Cricket is my religion. And I witnessed a miracle today - a miracle I have been looking forward to for the last 13 years!!

Sachin Tendulkar has been a God for me for a greater part of his 20 year cricket career. And (like millions of his fans), I feel I have a special connection with him.

I clearly remember his swashbuckling 20th century against Australia on my birthday, way back in 1998. Never got a better present! And the time when I witnessed his century in person at the Eden Gardens (again in 98). It may have been against Kenya, but a century it was nonetheless.

Ever since Saeed Anwar scored a 194 against us, Ive been waiting for him to be outdone by Sachin. Everytime Sachin would cross 150, I would be sitting on m seat's edge - praying.

Today the lord answered my prayers. He did it. In style.

Teary eyed, I watched as he did it. What a feeling. What a story to tell my children! I saw Sachin Tendulkar prove his divinity for the umpteenth time.

Dude... God... Stud... Thanks for making this the best day of my life!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Bolt from the Flu...

Before leaving Costa Rica for India, I decided to take my doctor dearest (the one who nursed me back to health from the throes of a super potent influenza attack) for a drink.

Doctor Danilo and I met at one of my favourite pubs - Misala - located at the Centro commercial de Pako in Escazu.
It was a rainy evening and I sat there enjoying my "Jack con Coca" while the doctor settled for a cup of Chilean White Wine.
As we sat discussing my medical situation and that of Costa Rica in general, Doctor Danilo mentioned the fact that Costa Rica had reported only 4 cases of H1N1 till date.

Now, thank god for the fact that my genetic code has blessed me with an extremely sharp memory - my brain flew back in time to the scene where I was lying on my hospital bed for the second consecutive day and I saw the scene as if it were happening all over again.
Doctor Danilo sauntered into my room for a casual check-up and he happened to think aloud: "I think you caught the H1N1 at this hospital itself. Last week, there were three cases and the third one, an obese woman who was also suffering from diabetes, died right here."

So, while he had spoken of three cases way back in time, he now he mentioned that only 4 were hitherto reported by Costa Rica to WHO.

Either I was the luckiest person alive to know the one doctor who treated 3 out of the 4 known cases of H1N1 in CR - or my genetic code had come crashing down and my memory had been reduced to a combination of dust, ashes and fumes!

My curiosity did not let me rest. On pestering Doctor Danilo, he came out with the shocking truth!

Costa Rica, like any other country, was trying to desperately underplay the actual extent to which the H1N1 had managed to penetrate its population of 4.5 million. As a matter of international pride (and in order to save the ass of it's tourism sector - given that it receives 2 million tourists per annum) the Costa Rican health department had decided to overlook H1N1 cases where the patient survives and report only those where there was a death!

Furthermore, he actually went ahead to tell me that I, as a matter of fact, was suffering from an acute case of H1N1 and not just any ordinary flu! My reports indicated a very high degree of infection and the fact that I was cured by Tamiflu and other intra-venous antibiotics, led the Health Department to issue a second report which read as follows:

Samir Kapur.
H1N1: Negative!

So here I was - I had fought the H1N1 and survived it without ever knowing it - nursing a Jack and Coke in my right hand - sweating profusely despite the cold rainy weather.

My life flashed before my eyes...

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

He loved Sonia...

“Get a perspective. It’s just a break-up,” said Sonia, in a stern tone.

These words reverberated against his ear-drum for the next few seconds.
“I will,” he reacted.

“Beep.... “
He had hung up.

-Masterpiece in Progress-
:)

Friday, 30 October 2009

Phew! Close Shave

Just got the good news today - H1 No1! :)

Thank god for that - the heart beat issues still need to be solved - doctors here think im going to have a collapsed heart given the kind of stress im taking.

The fever had my heart beating at phenomenol rates (it has clocked 182/lossa numbers between 150-180 for days/130-150 for the last three days/and now I dunno!)

This wasnt something I was looking forward too!

But thank god them pigs dint fly around me :)

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

H1N1/Samir Kapur 08/11/83

Thats what my wrist tag says!!
[Read H1N1 as "aache uno enne uno"]

Ive been admitted into what is probably the best hospital in Costa Rica.

Been here since Sunday morning - They suspect H1N1 : Im showing all symptoms! Yay!!

All tests have been conducted and now we anxiously/painstakingly await the results!

Keep logging in...!
If the test's negative: you get a lot of amusing incidences often involving abusive references to random things/people/places.
If the test's positive and I survive: you get some great anecdotes with as much gusto as I can manage.
If the test's positive and I dont survive: I love you too!

It feels so good to get my hands on my laptop after 2 1/2 days, I just dont feel like giving it back to mom.

But, shes the boss! Ciao!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Howzzat!

Given that the stone is finally "OUT," the Cricket lover in me could not think of a better remark than "Howzzat!"

The 6mm (in length) Mofo came out the natural way!

"Clink!!" went the stone against the waste paper basket - never have I been happier to hear a Clink before.

A shard of pure Calcium Oxalate - Crystalline in texture, jagged edges, shiny particles - a thing of beauty!

Seems I have to reduce my milk intake. People who know me well know that this is probably the biggest blow nature could have dealt to me!

Showed the stone to the doc - he was surprised I pee'd something that big out.

"Well what do I say doc, I'm a stud where it matters!"

Saturday, 17 October 2009

The Fireworks...

The doctor gave me some news which horrified me...

The bigger of the multiple kidney stones has reached within the pelvis and has only one way out of there: Surgically.
I would have to undergo my 1st surgery ever! 45 minutes of gruelling hell and all for one teeny weeny tiny little calcified stone - 5mm in diametre!
What freaks me out totally is the fact that he aint talking about laproscopy! Hes talking about a traditional surgery...
Now for people who have even 3.24% knowledge of Biology - the method is scary, intrusive, anti gravity and of course totally against nature's will...

I'm only praying I can avoid this as of now - somehow. Anyhow.

Costa Rica is known to be a medical haven for citizens of the USA - providing facilities at par with what's available in the States and at only 60% of the costs.
I'd however never thought I'd have to expereience their low cost expertise first hand!

This trip has had me seeing more of hospitals than anything else (Well thank god the hospitals here look like freaking Taj Bengal).
Iv been jabbed with needles atleast 15 times in the last week.
And the last needle to go into me boasted a diametre comparable to that obtained by sticking 6 cylinderical toothpicks together, along their lengths!
And this baby stayed inside me for a cool 40 minutes... probably the only one lucky to get the chance for this lifetime (pun totally intended).

"Pura Vida" as they say down here in Costa Rica.
Pure Life Truly :)

Friday, 16 October 2009

My First Diwali - Alone

Ive spent my last few Diwalis away from home - but this year is probably the worst one so far: This time Im alone... and unwell.

Ridden with multiple Kidney Stones, Bad Skin rashes (on account of numerous jabs with needles so as to get saline drips into the required blood vessels) and of course the back ache (mainly due to mental and physical stress)

As I prepare to spend my Diwali morning at the hospital, getting tested for god knows what now, my spirit however is not as down and out as it should be.

Thank god for that Diwali spirit which is keeping me going. I wonder if it's all in the mind - or if the spirit of Diwali is something real and alive.

God, on this Diwali, I pray you give me enough physical strength to buy Diyas (or Tea Candles or whatever else I can find here) and light my house up!

Miss you ma, pa.
Would have been great to see home - warm with light and love :)
And the fooooood! Oho!

Wish you all a very Happy Diwali!!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Nick loved her..

She had really been looking forward to this vacation.

With the ongoing recession, she had been forced to work overtime for the last twelve months. Weekends and holidays had lost meaning for her.
Nick had been keeping even busier - having to guide his business through economical turmoil - the new American government was threatening to wipe out almost all of the immigrant workforce. He couldn't even think of taking time off from work to join her for the trip.
It din't bother her - she was desperate enough to go by herself - the nanny could take care of the kids - Nick didn't need to be taken care of anyways.
Plus she liked spending time with herself - she loved being alone.

As she boarded the train, she heaved a sigh of relief - it was finally falling into place.

Even before the train had pulled out of the Salem Amtrak Station, she was imagining herself taking a relaxing dip in the hot springs close to Mount Baker.
She had seen an advertisement in the papers - snow capped mountains sorrounding a valley full of flowers with a lone volcano in the horizon. Something in that photograph had appealed to her - she didn't know what.
Her lips bloomed into her signature smile - the old man sitting across her smiled back.

As the train chugged on through the cold plains of Oregon, she could not help but indulge in reminiscence of the events that had got her to where her life was poised.

She had married Nikhilnanda Ghosh (who preferred using the name Nick, given that it was easier for his business associates and colleagues to address him by that) nine years ago. She was a year into her first job. Nick was an investment banker and worked in a plush office on Wall Street. Their dads knew each other vaguely.
One day Nikhil's parents approached hers - and they agreed to the marriage.
A traditional Indian wedding followed and she was off to the US of A (as Nick called it back then) to settle into a new life.
She had always wanted to live in India - the thought of moving to a foreign land peeved her - but it all happened so fast, she didn't have time to react.

Contrary to her thoughts, America gave her the independence she had always dreamt of. She found a job in the analytics department of a company which manufactured semi-conducters.
Nick had no problems with her working - in fact he never had time to bother.
He only cared about his own work.

Three years after their marriage, she gave birth to their first child - Nikita - her bundle of joy.
Nick's mother moved in with them to look after Nikita so that they could each focus on their careers. (Nick's father had passed away a year ago).

A few months after Nikita's birth, Nick lost his job at the Investment Bank.
The Obama goverment had introduced a bill which disallowed foreign immigrants from working in the countries financial sector - they apparently thought that they could control the ongoing financial crisis better without "outside" intervention.
Nick decided to move to Oregon and join his cousin brother's business - Matrix Consultants - an up and coming 3rd Party Logistics Provider.
She did not want to move to the West - she loved her job - but it all happened so fast, Nick did not find the time to consult her.

She started working at a PR agency in Salem - helping them conduct promotional campaigns for clients and their brands.
The creative streak in her found an outlet at her new job.

Three years after they had Nikita, she gave birth to twins - boys this time. Sahil and Shivir - they were the cutest kids ever.
Nick's mom did a great job taking care of their three kids while she balanced her career and home chores.

Nick's mom passed away a year ago - she was replaced by a Nanny, Mrs. Gruen - a homely lady of 50 years - well educated and great with the kids.
Mrs. Gruen would pick them up from school, play with them and help them with their homework.
By the time she was home from work, the kids would be sound asleep.
By the time Nick was home from work (when he was home), she would be sound asleep.

The last year had been crazy for her. The American economy was in turmoil again - the US Dollar had lost it's importance to the newer Asian currencies. Layoffs were a thing in vogue and she had to give it her all just to keep her job.

The train came to a halt. She shook herself out of her journey back in time, collected her knapsack and got off onto the platform.

A glance at the map on the station notice board showed her the way to her hotel, The Case de la Valle. She was there in no time.
"Hey. I believe you have a reservation in the name of Sonia Khanna."
(Nick with his nouveau-American standards, had let her keep her maiden name).

Sonia loved the little room - a warm cosy bed with thick white covers, a fireplace stacked with wood, a tray full of assorted tea-bags and an electric kettle!
She drew the curtains aside and stared at the view with amazement.
The hotel was located on the side of a mountain - her room looked into the valley below. There were snow capped mountains across the valley and far far ahead in the distance stood the breath-taking volcano, Mount Baker.
Despite it being winter, the valley was in bloom - it was carpeted with flowers.
The pink flowers brought a cheerful smile on her face.

That evening, she made her way towards the hot springs.
A crowd of people had gathered around the main square of the hotel.
Curiousity got the better of her and she walked towards the crowd.

A rastafarian man sat in the middle of the crowd - his back to her - with a guitar in his hands. He started strumming on his guitar. People started clapping.
A familiar tune started to play and he broke into a song.

"Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place... Where as a child I'd hide..."

She knew that voice. She had heard it a million times - she couldn't place it however.
She moved across to the other side of the crowd so she could see the singer's face.
She was shocked...

The song ended - the crowd clapped and cheered before dispersing.
The rastafarian broke into a smile when he saw her standing in front of him - it was as if he was expecting her.
She stood right there - dumbfounded...

She had been seeing him before she got married to Nick.
She had walked out on him one fine day - she din't think he was the right guy for her.
He wanted to get married to her within a couple of months of meeting her - he wanted kids - he wanted to roam the world with her - he wasn't focused on his career. He wanted to spend all his time with her...He was too obsessive...

He wasn't like Nick. Nick let her be free. Nick let her do whatever she wanted. Nick never questioned her. Nick didn't bother her about the kids. Nick let her have her career. Nick wasn't selfish. Nick loved her.

The Rastafarian put down his guitar and walked up to her.

A lot had changed in him - the dreadlocks, the drastic loss in weight.
A lot was still the same - the beard, the crooked smile.

"Hi. It's been long enough already!"

"W..what are you talking about? What are you doing..."

"I've been waiting for you to come. I knew you'd come here someday!"

"Are you mad? What waiting? I am not here to meet you... Im here on vacation. Have you been following me?"

"I have been living here for the last four years - waiting for you to come. Would you call that Following? Come on Sonia!"

"Im confused..."

"Well Ive been around the world looking for a place I knew you'd come to someday. When I came here, I knew it was it. So I've been here for the last four years, expecting you anyday."

A tear drop trickled down her cheek...
"But why here? Why the Case de la Valle?"

"Not the Hotel Sonia. The Volcano. Mount Baker."

"Why Baker? What made you think I would come to Mount Baker someday?"

"It's the only volcano in the world which has pink flowers growing next to it..."