All I need is…

Sometimes I just need a shoulder to cry over. That shoulder which puts an arm across and pats saying “You’ll be alright”.

Sometimes it is just two legs which walk along. They do not care where I’m going, they just come along to give a feeling that I am not alone.

Sometimes it is the hand which is let across for me to hold. First thing I ever want to do when in trouble is hold someone’s hand. Something which we were taught ever since we came to this world.

Sometimes it is the ear which is always open to all the nonsense I talk. An ear which doesn’t judge my stupidity.

Sometimes  just the eyes which do all the talking. World’s best feelings are not said aloud, they are shown in eyes. Love, anger, gratitude or whatsoever it might be.

Sometimes it is two lips which say a lot of words that complement the inner feelings. It is amazing to hear the words come from someone’s mouth.

I was asked to choose one for the rest of my life and I chose to win the heart to whom I do not mind losing.



After all, none of the above is worth looking for if it is coming from a heartless being. So dear fellow, If you really love/admire/worship/hate/despise someone, let it be heartfelt. Just heartfelt. The only thing you can do to cross the skies and reach that someone.



SWDKL-1 continues:

I paused for a while when he said that.
Em sir? Drop aa?” my cousin’s question pierced me very hard.
While my heart longed to take it further my brain warned me that there is no slightest hope of my parents’ approval for this. We reached my cousin’s house but my thoughts dint cease. My cousin’s pre-wedding ritual was everything but fun. Every single couple reminded me of her and I was constantly imagining myself with her in their shoes. I talked to the girl whom my dad had asked me to meet but something didn’t feel right. I should have decently dropped Sneha after knowing her rather than just after knowing that she cannot speak.

I wooed Sneha without her notice for several days. I also met her in our gang hangouts and interacted with her. Every little thing I knew about her impressed me and my fondness for her grew thicker. Decision making was again hard because I knew I loved her and that my parents wouldn’t approve it.
“Karthik? Did you like Paddu?” My mother was asking me about my uncle’s daughter on phone.
“Not very much.”
“Why? What’s wrong with her?”
“Umm..err..she is short.” I lied.
“Short? Uh? You’ve always liked girls who sing. And that girl sings really well.”
Sing? I was waiting for a chance to tell my mom about a girl who cannot speak, let alone sing.
“What? Karthik come on, won’t you tell mummy what happened?”
“Actually ..I think I like another girl.”
“Another girl?”
“See..I told you he has a girlfriend.” I could hear my grandmother chuckle in the background.
“Who is she?” My mother turned serious.
“Surya’s schoolmate. I know her through friends.”
“Mom, She is a very nice girl. Well read, pretty and comes from a good family.”
“And?” I knew what my mom was asking.
“There’s only one problem.”
“What is it?”
“Umm..She cannot speak.”
“You’re nuts Karthik. This is not happening. Its okay if you don’t like Paddu but please don’t do this to us.”
Actually the last few sentences were the ones which I kept on repeating until my mom gave up on me. Strangely, my father opined that they should at least consider my proposal. And like in every other Indian home, we both convinced my mom who said her decision would be final and of course, unbiased. The next two duties I had were to win Sneha’s heart and make her win my mother’s heart.
“Go tell her dude. What are you waiting for?” My cousin’s question was too easy.
“What I am saying is don’t waste time and try to expedite this whole thing. What if some other Karthik likes her on her way back to Hyd?” She had a point.
“Spare us some privacy tomorrow. I shall meet her before you guys come to the garden top restaurant.” We had planned a farewell party to our recently wed cousin.
“Okay your Majesty. We shall arrive late to hear the good news.”
Suddenly I felt butterflies in my stomach. What if she rejected my proposal?
“Why would she say NO? You are learned, comfortably well-off and of course smart. To top all this, you come with the NRI tag” Though I knew I was all that, I felt good to hear it from her mouth.
“Stop it now and wish me luck”.
Sneha was sitting alone on a bench with a hand on her chin. I always found Sneha’s face pleasant despite of the gloom around her. May be I loved her for that. I went to her and wished her a hi which she reciprocated.
“Are you waiting for Pavan and friends?” She nodded her head.
I rehearsed several times on how to get to the proposal line. I thought I would ask her why she cried and then tell her that breaking her engagement was the right decision. Then I would tell her how priceless she is. Then I would propose my love to her. Neatly woven.
I had to start a conversation somehow.
“Hey..I am sorry I smiled at you that day when you were crying. I dint find it funny. I found it cute instead.” She had a beautiful expression which read “your apology is accepted”.
“Are you still upset that it has been called off?” She looked at me with a shocked expression and her eyes were about to get wet any moment. May be she was upset that I was aware of her secret.
“Trust me. Whatever has happened ,is the best thing that can happen to you ever.” She managed a smile.
“Someone worthy must be waiting somewhere.” I said that aloud and “right in front of you” to myself. She smiled again, this time more heartfelt. I had to let out “the” line next but I balked. The silence between us was so intense that I could hear my heartbeat. I was known to be a blunt and outspoken person who never hesitates to speak his mind but there I was tongue less about something that HAD to be conveyed somehow.
“Why don’t you… I mean… Why didn’t you… Didn’t you ever like a guy? Why this arranged marriage crap?” I blabbered some nonsense. She shrugged her shoulders.
“I think you should. It will be good for you. Compatibility guaranteed.” She folded her hands and looked at me with “Really?” expression on her face.
“Yeah. Believe me. I won’t let someone come into my life just because my mom/dad had asked her to. One reason why I am seeing a girl.” I said that without taking my eyes off her.
She gestured “who?”
I mustered courage and slowly said “It is you.” She shook her head and looked away from me.
It was evident from her face that she was shocked and what pained even more was that she didn’t like what I said.
“Its ok if u don’t like me. I am not born to impress people.” My male ego got hurt. My statement was rude and it brought tears to her eyes. None of us looked at each other until Pavan and others arrived. Even later, we behaved like strangers. My cousin understood the scene and dint ask any details. I looked at her when we got ready to leave. She was in her own world as usual.

Moving on-III

Another end to Moving on-2

After two long years, I flew down to India on a personal visit. This time with a new adornment around my neck to show that I officially belong to a man. None of my friends knew about my visit because I dint tell anyone. I cloaked myself with the busy image for not keeping in touch but my heart always belonged here. May be it was full of guilt. Or may be it was love.

I was searching my bag for my car keys when I found the dial Karthik gave me when we were a couple. It was a round dial with white stones. It had a mirror on one side and a world clock on the another. While I laughed till my stomach hurt about the gift Karthik had a different story about it. He said that gift meant that if there was anything timeless for him, it was me. He told me that both sides of the dial change with time but not his feelings for me. With a heavy heart, I put it inside my bag and stepped out of my house.

I drove to our college and went past the classroom where we first met. Then I took the snaky route which Karthik loved a lot. I went to the same canteen where we last met and sat on the table where we usually sat. The reason I went there was I was told that Karthik generally frequented that place. I wanted to see if he was over that painful phase.

Though I regularly stalked his social profiles, I felt Karthik is one guy who wouldn’t forget me for lifetime. I had no intentions of breaking my marriage for him but some curiosity inside me wanted to know about his feelings for me. I waited for an hour patiently and got ready to leave. It was then I saw her entering through the front door. I quickly sat down and pretended to read the magazine in front of me. Karthik wasn’t around but she had ordered two coffees. He must be coming anytime soon, I thought to myself. I saw her from a distance and she looked very pretty in person than in photographs. She was reasonably fair and tall and her hair ended in curls. Karthik must be really loving her hair. For a second, I wondered if she was pretty than me. While I knew it was immaterial, I wished she was not. She looked around for an empty table and it was then she saw me. To my horror, she started nearing me and I tried to ease myself.

“Aren’t you Sruthi?” She had come over to my table.

“Yes. Are you Mrs.Karthik?” I knew she was.

“Yes. How do you know?” She sat in the chair opposite mine and was pleasantly surprised.

“I saw your picture on internet.” I shamelessly confessed. I couldn’t think of any other reason for identifying her so promptly. She smiled to acknowledge that. She looked definitely beautiful.

“So how’s everything Sruthi?”


“Yeah I am good. I got married two years ago and I moved to the US. How are you?” I paused. “and Karthik?” I said the last two words in a low tone.

“Oh Karthik is wonderful and so am I. All thanks to you.” I could only smile. I dint know what she meant by that.

“Does he pester you with his silly jokes and irritating logics?” I asked smiling. Though it seemed like I was continuing the conversation, I wanted her to know how well I remember everything.

“Yes, he hasn’t changed much that way” She laughed it off. He hasn’t changed that way? What could she mean by that?

“I am happy for you both. Good for him that he has moved on.” I was in fact jealous because both of them were happy together. I found no peace in being with Surya though he was a gentleman.

“In fact he has not.”

“What do you mean?” I asked trembling. May be he always keeps talking about his past and irritates her like I do to Surya.

“He is still the same old Karthik. He fondly wears his check shirts and drinks coffee twice a day. He says first love is not something that can be easily forgotten. He told me every episode of your love story before our wedding and how much he needed you in his life. I was moved to see him long so much for a girl. I am not a creative person to define love but I feel it is that feeling which makes you feel comfortable, feel like a royal when you’re with someone. He said he experienced it in your fellowship. And he asked me if I wanted to be another Sruthi in his life. I instantly agreed. And we have been happy ever since.”

“But doesn’t that mean he moved on?”

“Or rather I moved to him” She said smiling. I looked away and tried to understand what I just heard. Karthik doesn’t hate me for leaving him. Or does he because he found another girl and is happy with her? Karthik doesn’t repent for losing me like I do it daily. He had the heart to welcome a new girl to his life and I was ruining my life cursing myself and my destiny to which I had to give in. For a second, I pitied Surya who was bearing the brunt of my folly. I wanted to apologize and fall to his feet for being so patient with me.

“Did I say something wrong?” She had the courtesy to ask that.

“No. Not at all.” I replied. From the window next to me, I saw Karthik getting down his car. He was walking towards the canteen and I decided I should leave immediately.

“I should leave now.” I stood up and collected my bag.

“You seem to be hurt. I am very sorry.” She tried to stop me by hand like Karthik.

“My husband must be waiting for me. We wanted to go out for lunch.” I instantly lied. And in parallel, I decided to date my husband that afternoon. Both of us smiled at each other and exchanged our phone numbers.

“Tell him that his old friend said a hi to him.” I said before leaving. She nodded her head.

I exited our canteen and looked at the dial Karthik gave me. I looked at my face in it for the last time and smiled heartily. Mirror reminded me of Neethu’s analogy of car mirrors. Actually happiness doesn’t depend on what mirror you’re looking into. Happiness is only when you like what you see in your mirror. I moved on.


Prologue continues:

My home

“She looks cute Karthik.”
My mom was looking at a girl’s photo sent to us by our uncle. My grandma and sister followed suit and complemented the girl. It was 2 days since I arrived in India and my mother was keen not to send me alone to US that time.
Amma please. I am not ready for this. ” I interrupted and got busy with my MacBook.
“Just go and meet her. Talk to her once. ” My mother started urging.
“I said I’m not ready for this.” I tried to act serious.
“Ready for what?”
“Arranged marriage.” Deranged marriage, I muttered slowly.
“Karthik seems to have a girl friend Sudha.” My grandma quipped.Thanks to movies.
I couldn’t help smiling. “I don’t have a girl friend. It is just that I am not ready for a committed relationship yet. Not just yet.”
“So when will you be ready?”
“I don’t know. May be an year or two?” My mom had a “what-do-I-do-with-this-kid” expression on her face. One expression which should be patented for such scenes because the moment I generally said anything negative, my mother’s face used to turn red.
“What is wrong with arranged marriages?” She asked. I was not against arranged marriages but it needs the right chord to be struck for a happy relationship. And how one defines this X-factor is personal and cannot be explained to others, especially parents.
“I cannot be happy with a girl who isn’t my type.”
“How are you so sure that this girl isn’t your type?” She was looking at the photo when she said that.
“You made this choice and I have better taste.” I said smiling. Teasing mothers is so much fun.
“Right. Tell this to your dad. He wants you to meet her in your cousin’s wedding this weekend.” She hit me hard that time. My jaw dropped. I tried to reason with her but ultimately I had to give up.

Railway station – Hyderabad

One advantage with the window seat in an AC compartment is that you can see the world outside and no one knows that you’re checking them out. I got bored of looking at book stalls and idly vendors and whooshed the curtains to close. The train was about to start any moment and people started moving hurriedly. One girl whom I had seen outside sometime ago walked in and sat in my opposite seat. Some elderly male accompanied her. Must be her father, I thought. The girl’s face was very gloomy and her father’s was tensed.
“Remember Sneha, everything happens for a reason. No more tears, okay?” I saw her nod her head.
“Your uncle will come to pick you up. Take care.” He patted her shoulder. So he wasn’t coming along.
“Text us if you need anything. We will arrange it. Please take your meal without fail. Bye.” He got down the train and Sneha was looking at him from the window pane. Her eyes were red and misty. Train started and she didn’t take her eyes off her dad until she could see him no more. The fantastic time you can feel your love for anybody is when you are saying your byes to them. I was pleased to see the scene and I smiled to myself. I saw her lift her eyes and look at me with all contempt for smiling at her. I wanted to tell her I was only happy to see their love but not her unhappiness. She picked up a book from her bag after some time and got engrossed in it. I traveled with her for the next 12 hours to my cousin’s place and it proved to be the best spent time in my life. I was “knowing” her. After all the best period in your love life is when you’re actually knowing the person. You won’t have a single regret when you look back to those times.

My cousin’s place – VKSP

“So you like a random girl who sat in your opposite seat in the train last night?” My cousin was amused to hear that. He had come to pick me up from the station and I showed Sneha to him.
“Her name is Sneha.” I told him for the nth time.
“I know her name. She is from my school.” I was happy to note that. I thought making friends with her would be easy and fun because we had common friends. I decided to tell my mom about her if I like her even more.
“You fell for her because she was crying to leave her dad?” He had a perplexed expression on his face.
“Because she is cute?”
“Because she reads and writes?”
“Does she really write?” I asked with my eyes wide open.
“Okay, You like her because she is an introvert unlike you?” he mocked.
“No silly.”
“Because she didn’t respond when you tried to make a conversation?” What a curious chap, I thought to myself.
“Hmmm..not exactly.”
“Tell me what is it then?”
“All of the above and something more.”
“But why Sneha of all girls?”
“I really don’t know what’s so special about her. I just know she is special, that’s it.”
“Do you know she broke her engagement? ”
“I know she is disturbed for some reason. So this is it.”
“Do you know why it is ruined?”
“She didn’t tell me.”
“She won’t be able to. She is mute.”


So when do you know its love?

“It’s a girl Mr. Karthik. Both mom and baby are doing better now. Congratulations!” I literally sprang to my feet when I heard my doctor say that. There are some words which have the power of healing the world’s most fatal heart diseases. Those diseases which no Angiogram can detect. Those diseases whose only cure seems to be the Ctr-Z in God’s program. I wanted to say thanks but some ecstasy dint let me speak. I looked away from her to hide my tears and let out my emotions in a deep breath. I then looked at her and thanked her profusely . She was all smiles to see me smile for the first time in last 3 months.

“Can I go and see her now?”

“Who? the baby or your wife?”

What a question, I thought to myself. I wish I could answer that in a flash. Who do I want to see first? My first progeny who had just opened her eyes to this world? She was the only person who was in our prayers all these days. Or the person who brought her to this earth? Without my wife the baby is nothing absolutely.

“My wife” I said with a smile.

“Sure. Please take care of her. She is very weak.”

“I shall.”

I entered into the delivery room which seemed nothing less than a war field to me. My baby has fought here for the last 8 hours to come out alive and my wife had survived the scariest test of her life. I saw her lying on the bed with her eyes half-open. She dint speak but I could hear her. We congratulated ourselves with smiles.

“How are you feeling now?” I asked her in a low tone as I drew my chair near to her bed. What a stupid question it was! As if I didn’t know.
She smiled again and when she closed her eyes, a tear rolled down her cheek. I absolutely had nothing to talk and nothing to ask.

“I called up your parents. They are flying this afternoon.” She acknowledged and asked me something with her eyes. Probably if I saw the baby.

“I dint see her yet. Did you?”
She shook her head with difficulty.

“I don’t think we can even touch her till she is safe to be put out of her incubator.” She blinked her eyes.

“You want to see her ..don’t you? ” She blinked her eyes again.

“I’ll try to get her photo for you. Give me some time.” I stormed out of the room as I saw her not taking her eyes off me.

“Can I see the baby now?” I asked our assistant and she took me to the incubator room. All I could get from the small peep-hole was the glimpse of a tiny baby covered with tubes. She had pink cheeks and her fists were loosely closed. My wife’s tresses were envy of her friends but the little one barely had any hair on her head. Like every Indian parent, I tried a lot to figure out who she looked like. I smiled at myself for the early analysis but some insight told me that she will grow into a beautiful woman like her mother. How badly I wished I could hold her once! I managed to click a photo with my phone and the nurse smiled warmly.

“Cute baby sir.” It was certainly a courtly compliment because the baby’s features were not evident at all. I smiled at her and walked into my doctor’s room.

“Karthik, I hope you are very much aware of what was happening in your lives for the past three months.” Our doctor tried to make a conversation as I was signing some papers.

“Of course I am.”

“Your baby is literally your gift from God. We had no hopes to see her alive until last week. I was therefore being very cautious in our meetings and was trying to prepare you for the unexpected. By God’s grace, all is well now.”

“Thanks so much doctor. Thanks for everything.” I stopped my work for a second and recalled the hell we’d been through for the last 3 months.

“I know you are a gentleman but its my duty to remind you of female infanticide and the associated laws.”

“Like you said, she is a gift doctor. I’d treasure her for life time.” I knew I made a filmy statement but I meant all that I said.
She smiled and continued.”So how long have you been married for?”

“3 years.”

“Is yours a love marriage?”



“I wooed her a lot before our wedding. She always refused until that day when she asked me to talk to her parents. I did. And they agreed.” I bet I couldn’t have made it more uninteresting. But seriously, my love story was that plain and straight.

“Wow. You wooed her despite her not liking you?”

“Yes.” I looked at her and said that confidently.

“But what kept you going?”

“I was sure she is the one for me.”

“And how did you know that?”

“I love her doctor. Ever since I realized that I am in love with her, I was sure she is the right one.” I told her and looked into the papers again.

“So when did you know its love?”

I put my pen down and reminisced when it all started.

Moving on-3

Moving-on2 continues:

“Sruthi” We shook hands and sat in the coffee lounge. As Neethu suggested, I left my past behind. I wore a black dress that Karthik hated, I booked a table on the aisle side which he disliked and I went late which used to irritate him the most.

“I am not really good at complimenting someone. But black looks good on you.”  I smiled but hated the compliment.
Surya was fidgeting in his seat in an awkward manner. I sat still but my confused mind was still wondering what was going on.  “I know how embarrassed you must be feeling. I am myself feeling uneasy at this moment.” He interrupted my thoughts cloud. I smiled again.

“Do you drink coffee? My day is never complete without one.” Every little thing in our world oddly has some memories attached to it. You can’t help but recall them every time you encounter such little things. Such was coffee to me. “You needn’t hesitate if you don’t like it.” he said.

“I don’t drink coffee at all. Will prefer some smoothie to coffee.” I replied.  Good bye coffee.

“Okay. Cool.” The waiter took our order and left.

“I heard you’re a trained classical dancer.”  He was trying to make a conversation.

“I learnt Bharatnatyam” I replied instantly. One rude acknowledgement to his statements. Some feeling from inside was not letting me be myself. He then continued to share his details and interests. I tried my best to look engaged in that conversation.

“Are you really this silent always? Or am I so boring?”

I quickly put a smile and nodded my head in denial. Surya got ready to leave as we finished our drinks. “Anyway, I wont trouble you much. Thanks for coming.”  He walked me till my bike and I came home to see my anxious parents waiting for a good news. Apparently except for my approval, the match was almost fixed. I told them I’d need more time and the phone buzzed promptly. SMS from Neethu. “Come downstairs ASAP.” Before I could text her yes, it buzzed again. This time from Surya and it read “I am not sure if I can tell you this now Sruthi. Our meeting was nothing more than a formality to me. I have made my decision already. I have always liked you ever since I came to know you. I just badly hope you’d say yes to this.” I literally ran to Neethu to tell her the news. Not because I was happy or sad. I was mixed-up. As always.


“How was the meeting?” Before I could even talk, “Did you even open your mouth?” She asked.

“How do you always get it right Neethu?”

“I am your mirror.”

True.  Probably God knows that we need a mirror to look what is inside us. One reason why he sent people for us to befriend. Mirror on the wall never judged me on how I looked and neither did Neethu on how I thought. I told her about the sms from Surya. Neethu smiled warmly.

“I brought a special gift for you. You can use it for sometime but you have to give it back and never ask for it again.”

“Is that even a gift?”

“There it is.” She pointed towards the park that was opposite our apartment. “Come back in an hour. I shall wait for you.”

It is so hard to guess what Neethu is up to sometimes. I heaved a deep sigh and went inside the park. To my wild horror, I saw Karthik there. Could this be something related to her gift? After greetings, Karthik let out the dreaded question.

“Did you like Surya?” I was startled. It was Neethu’s plan.

“I just met him once.”

“Will it take 389 days for you to make a decision?” He remembered the exact number of days we were in a relationship.

“I mean I need to talk more.”

“Does he like you?” I showed him the sms.

“No surprises here. ” He smiled and gave my phone back. “He is smart, well-read and your parents like him too. What else would certify a person to be your ideal partner?”

“But all that doesn’t mean he will keep me happy.”  I tried to reason with him how difficult it is to let someone take his place but Karthik’s argument, like always, had a point.

“Can I give you one honest advice before we disperse?”

“You needn’t ask.”

“Love him Sruthi. That will keep you both happy.” I raised my voice to interrupt. “Do not ever say love happens just once. That feeling is perennial. How do you think people are even surviving in this world? True, I was angry when we broke up.  I only detested the reasons that are not letting us be together. Go search for your lost love in Surya.”

“And what if I cant?”

“Love him more. Till you can. Actually I am very sure you will. I have known you for so long.” he smiled. I started to feel easy when he said that.

“Promise me that you wont hate me ever?” I asked like a baby as my eyes glistened.

“Never, as long as I love you.”

I held his arms and put them to my eyes.Is there a better way to say thanks to someone? You get to see the vast blueness of the sky only when the clouds clear. Such was my situation. I let out a hearty smile which was guilt-free. I ran to Neethu and hugged her tight to show what that gift meant to me.

“Now text your hero that you like him. And remember to give whatever you’re asking for. It always works when in a relationship.”

“I shall.” I said aloud firmly as I began texting Surya.

For a change, a new love story began with the title “And they lived happily thereafter.”

Moving on-2

Moving-on1 continues:

“You don’t have to like him. Just go and meet him once.” My mom was persuading me to meet someone that weekend. Both my parents liked him and very much wanted this proposal to work out.

“Please amma..I don’t want to get married.” I moved the phone away from my face for her not to hear my sobbing.  And I had been telling her the same from the time Karthik and I were together. That was no less than two long years!

“But tell me why ?”  She tried not to show her anger because I was already upset.

The terms ‘marriage’,’love’,’family’ all these  reminded me of last day’s goodbye. I was not sure if I wanted to be like this for the rest of my life but definitely my heart was not ready at that moment. Was it because I still love him? Or was it because I was sorry for him? Or was it because I was guilt-ridden? I really dint know. My thoughts ceased when I heard mom shout my name.

“Helloo Sruthi?”

“Yeah. Hello.” I acknowledged.

“Is something wrong?”  More than wrong, I said to myself.

“Sruthi, please try to understand. You’re 25 already. Your sister is 23 now. Your dad and I have this responsibility of….” She was seemingly  angry at my adamance. I told her I’d think over it and hung up. As I leant back on my bed , I saw Neethu barging into my room.

“You ok?” Her happy face instantly put on colors of anxiety after seeing me. I put up a fake smile.

“Aah..I know why. Come, lets go for a drive”

“Not now Neethu.”

“You needn’t drive. Just come along please.” She pleaded like a kid.

“I said not now.” I was firm.

“I said right now.” She was equally firm and forced me out of my room without paying heed to my lies of not being well. I gave up and we were driving on the highway with windows down.

“So, you both met again.” She said as if she had seen it with her own eyes. I was not stupid to ask her how she knew it. Neethu actually knows me inside out.

“Yeah and I told him its all over.”

“But it doesn’t seem so.” She paused and said “At least from your face.”

“I need time to get over this Neethu. Don’t expect me to be normal when the wound is still fresh.”

“It’ll remain fresh till you get normal” She gave a sharp retort.  “Who were you talking to?”

“Mom. She wants me to go and meet some stupid this weekend.” I murmured and I felt my eyes were ready to get wet any moment now.

“Hey, that is a good idea.”  She continued before I could react. “You don’t intend to remain single for the rest of your life anyways , do you?”

“You know what has been going on in my life for the past few months” I lost my patience and wanted to censure her severely.  Is life really that simple?

“I am serious. If you are certain that you have no plans of going back to Karthik, just move on.” She had a point. One contrast we both had was that Neethu had  a brain and I had a heart.

“But how Neethu..Every time I think of the past, it hurts.”

“Why do you have to recall it in the first place and get hurt ?”

I had no answer. But I had tears in my eyes.

“Do you know there is one ride in which rear view mirrors are much clear than the windshields?” She asked. She had this habit of abruptly changing topic when I was down.

“Tell me. Can you think of any?”
I tried to think. How can one even drive when one cannot see what is in front? Rear view mirrors are just meant to see what is coming along and what just went past.

“I don’t know Neethu. What is it?”

“Life.”  I was amazed. She nailed it. She paused for a while and continued.

“So Sruthi,  enough of looking into the rear view mirror. Just because it is clear unlike your windshields, staring at it wont get you anywhere. It is just meant to see what we have been through! Trust me and move on.”


Needless to say, I decided to move on. The decision was quick for the impact it would have but I had given enough thinking to it.  One comfort I had after making that was my parents were happy. The rendezvous  was fixed and I was going to meet someone that weekend. The white lie I told Karthik was no longer a lie.

After all, destiny is something that ought to be only accepted. It can neither be justified nor simplified.