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A HALF BAKED LOVE STORY PDF FILE

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Did I. I I shouted with one hand in air, a gesture to give her a fair last warning to terminate her offensive conversation. Did I what? Blurt out whatever you have in your mind! You want to hit me, hit me then! Her voice broke and a tear dropped down from her right eye, some others followed. She had goaded me to such an end of this meaningless relationship.

Let it be then. I murmured and then raised my voice in irritation. Did I ask you to fall in love with me? Did I force you to come out this late with me in a minus fourth floor parking to indulge in such sensual affairs after getting drunk? Look I did NOT sign a contract of I will love you forever or we will have two kids after marriage with you! Grow up Radhika! It is not a big deal at all in this era. I have always pampered you with the finest of things-your dress, your accessories, your haircut and even your lingerie has been financed out of my wallet girl!

I paused to breathe. Her face reached rare shades of red. Do I not love you? Isnt this love huh? Have I not supported you when you asked for? Have I not amused you every single moment we were together! Now just stiffen up your lip and dont you cry! I pointed a finger at her and said sternly. And girls never do what has been told to them, in fact they do exactly the opposite. She burst into tears. Okay then let it be, live your life and Ill live mine.

Go, find yourself a lover, dont create a scene over here I said roughly as it was beyond my control now. She stared at me with a puerile look on her fair beautiful face.

Her dark eyes glittered as she managed to conclude this conversation, Youd never understand what love is Aarav. She wiped her tears off and got out of the car, pulled out her blue stelatoes and walked away leaving me all shattered from inside with a tear drop on my eyelash, though it will never fall down again for a chick at least. All I have to say is-I have always had a bad experience in car parks. An untying of another knot hit me today, but as someone has said-let go of what you cant change, because life goes on anyhow!

My eyes followed her until she turned to look at me, another gesture inspired from a scene of a romantic Bollywood flick.

However, I hate those worthless love stories, where everyone gets contented in the end, but the reality of life is far away from these unreal tales of love. I looked away to find my commodity, my true love I guess, Jack Daniels.

A whisky brand, not my boyfriend of course. It wasnt a new situation for me. I had had girls around me for a few weeks, days or even hours.

A Half Baked Love Story - Anurag Garg.pdf

I wondered how this one lasted for more than a month. By gods grace, I was single again, ready to mingle. This one had ended in a pretty dirty way, but I guess, she well deserved it for being so senseless. There was a little pain in my heart, to which my brain responded like- shut the fuck up dude, pump blood and stop overacting.

I had my fireball-Jack Daniels. Whisky started taking its toll on me. Something whacked me. I felt all alone in this world again. Feelings that croaked in me months back started spawning again. Each and every memory was hitting me back. I never felt like going back home that night. I sat down on the shore of a lake near my house. It was pm, I received no call from my mum. I turned my music player on and launched myself with the mother of all spirits. This was so unforgiving this time for me.

I recalled everything that happened to me in life. I felt shattered. I was getting down with whisky, which led me into some profound memories with Anamika. I just got into missing her. It happened to me every time I gulped more than two glasses of whisky. With each and every sip of it, a new memory of her was killing me leisurely.

Her face, her smile, her fondness in me was just letting me downhearted. I too had tears somewhere in my eyes. I dont know why she was still ruling my heart and mind.

When I was putting the last touch of the bottle, I saw 9 missed calls. It was my mom. I saw the time. It was sharp pm. All the emotions and her reminiscences robbed me and left me nave. I felt weak and off-color and I looked-for someone to take me home but no one was around.

I hoisted myself up and went straight towards my car. I fell down on the floor, thankfully not in the lake. An ice-cream seller towed me up kya hua beta, theek to ho he said. I could not hear him distinctly.

I was so unconscious that I even did not repel myself from going home in this state. I tossed the mans hand away and opened my car. I was driving at fifty kilometers per hour on the first gear. Whisky makes you totally outrageous, I guarantee. I reached home and tried to smell my own whiff. It was unpleasant odor for someone who never drinks. I decided not to utter anything and just lay down on my bed.

I took baby steps. I knocked at the door. Tragically, it was my sister. She opened the door in disgust. I stood erect confidently so as to give no clue that I was badly drunk. She looked at me from upsidedown and created some dreadful looks on her face.

May be it was the disgusting whiff of the whisky which not only took her breath, but also gave her some taste of it.

Are you drunk? Look heres your dear child in a very adorable position she shouted. I didnt utter a single word but I still wondered that how did she come to know about this. I just added a smile in my dull emotions and unintentionally uttered something witty. One whisky, please! The first one was not that tempting, you know. Make it fast! Otherwise call the manager of this bar. Are you nuts or what?

She almost pushed me this time. This whole act led me to some mind-numbing and never-ending lectures. One-by-one everyone came out. What happened Vaibhavi, why you are shouting so loud my mum questioned. Momma, shouting is always loud, silly momma, I chuckled.

Look at this shameless guy. Firstly, he is arriving so late and secondly, hes badly drunk.

And thirdly kindly state at least three reasons I said and giggled again, unaware, that I was making the situation more acute. My God! Totally disgraceful! By the way, where have been for so long?

But he had forgotten that I was playing the lead role here. The way he rolled his hands, twisted his fingers and made astounded faces. But one thing I always admitted was that he was just such a terrific father. But he never accused me for that. He always backed me and cheered me whenever I was mislaid, but I never paid him back as a son. Sir, I have just asked for a drink. These bar tenders here sir, they must be taught some hospitality.

Just one drink and I promise to leave. But they are here to rest, lazy peopleI am too concerned about the future of this bar ACP Pradyuman I cried unknown of what shit I was uttering. My father couldnt take it anymore. Perhaps I had crossed the bridge of his patienceNo! I had demolished it. A sharp blow on my face jerked me and I heard a blast! It was the momentary contact of my fathers hand and my cheek! Suddenly my mother started crying, it boiled the situation hastily.

The scene now was no less than a picture-perfect drama act. It all happened outside my main door, even two or three sneak peek neighbor aunties keenly scrutinized the situation. They had now got new masala for the next days kitty evening. My mother would surely be absent for that. Slowly I was turning out to be an unashamed idiot but still a matter of concern for my family. My endless shameful deeds were fetching nothing, but only nicking my values, my respect and my spirits for everything that happened to me.

To hinder this whole drama my father dragged me in. It was no more funny for now, even my mother emitted a well-known one liner from old hindi movies Yeh din dekhne se pehle tune mujhey uthaa kyun ni liya bhagwaan! Being an epitome of ignominy, I too declared something inexcusable. God doesnt want melodrama mom, so he keeps you here, and guffawed. Even the word shameless would have felt ashamed of me, I was crossing limits now. My sister took my mother in her bedroom and my father too left me.

Whisky slowly kills you. It was doing no less harm to me as well, I was about to be kicked out of my fathers materialistic possessions. I could no longer bear to stand straight and stumbled badly. I just remember having slept on a cold surface throughout the dark night. I well deserved to sleep like a dog, to be treated like a dog.

This is what others thought. For me, I wished I were a dog. Just get a bitch by my side. Theres No way out orst part of being drunk at night is that youve to face the consequences early morning, especially when youve set up enormous scenes after drinking in your own chuffing house.

A twinge in your head reminds you of the quantity you gulped down and your family reminds you of the blatant behavior you displayed after being bladdered. Things become worse when you realize that the weekend is now a week away. I got up at about ten, after completely exploiting the snooze option in my alarm clock, scratching my bumps. Home is the place where you can scratch your bumps exactly where it itches.

I had the nerve to get out of my room and shout for breakfast. No one was there to attend me. My sister entered the dining room and set a plate for herself. Serve the breakfast for me I commanded. She gave me an angry stare dreadful enough to jolt me.

I swallowed. What would you like to have sir? Should I make it lime this time? I narrowed my eyes at her and strode towards the fridge. Will anyone tell me why am I being subjected to this brutal behavior? I asked, infuriated. Why dont you ask the ACP sir? I growled and left for college. I murmured to myself as I stepped out of the main door. Indian neighbors I tell you, three women stood beside our door, whispering to each other.

Totally drunk, he is extremely shameless Mrs. Gupta, I was about to appoint him as my daughters tutor She stopped as she saw me approach. Its your lovely daughter that I have to teach aunty? Why not? She dances really well when shes drunkReverb is perhaps her favorite pubeven the bouncer knows her really well. Maybe she can as well give me some dance lessons I managed a smile as I spat my words at the gossip queens and jumped down a flight of stairs. The frustration of a bad morning may spoil the impending hours of the day.

No breakfast, a crabby sister and a fresh fall apart are enough to reduce your happiness to rubble. I told my brain to shut the fuck up and concentrate on something better.

See a Problem?

On my way many curious eyes greeted me and worsened my frame of mind. My parents have been telling me constantly to bother about the chuffing society in which we have to live. It is not me who decides how to live my life, society does. Right and wrong are no more the issues of morality. Rather, they are the privilege of the society. These chiefs of society are seriously messing up lives of frivolous youngsters like me.

The Delhi metro was again offering more mood spoiling opportunities. Constant halts and apologies for delayed journey irritated hell out of me. Acquaintances, briefly aware of your faux pas, point at you, nudge the ones they accompany and whisper to each other. Bloody losers! They dont have the guts enough to confront you and say their opinions about you aloud at your face. The next station is Punjabi bagh.

I heaved a sigh of relief as my destination arrived. My relief was short lived. At the entrance of our engineering wing, for no reason, stood Radhika with swollen eyes. She purposefully applied no eye make-up to highlight the puffy eyes she had. Beside her, stood the hunk of the Business Administration wing- Debashish Sen. He was a typical Bengali boy with a satisfactory dressing sense and good physique. Girls found his dimples pretty electrifying.

Despite all that, he was gawky at times. Ha had been one of the people who nurtured hard feelings for me for being in a relationship with Radhika. Radhika had once informed me that he had asked her if they could be more than friends. He proposed in an awkward manner. I remember it made me roll on the floor and laugh at his proposal.

He had bent down on his knees in a corny manner, took Radhikas hand and said, kya aap humaare bachho ko sagey bhai behen banne ka mauka dengi? Gawky, as I said.

Now that I and Radhika had split up, it was his chance to display some heroic deeds. He strode towards me in a classy gait. An eye contact was established. He narrowed his eyes at me. I gave an ugly stare. There was tension in the air. I reached my pocket for my knuckles. Heavens know I wanted to hit him hard for nothing. I tapered my eyebrows at that plague. He growled and aaaannnchhiiii! He sneezed.

Gawky, as Ive mentioned over and over again. I managed not to laugh. So, you want to be turned inside out? Deb made a poor attempt at threatening me. I believe in application rather than verbalizing, you asshole! I snarled and approached him to give him a smack in his dimpled cheeks. He must have felt dizzy for a while, for longer maybe.

I had no intentions of ceasing him of his end, but I had better things to do in the college I clicked my fingers and pointed a finger at him. Not the index or the pinkie, nor the ring or the thumb, its the one you pull up when you dont give a fuck. He recovered the trauma and stepped back.

From the corner of my eye I noticed him holding Radhika by her shoulder and trying to stop her tears that flowed endlessly. I wonder where do girls get their tear stocks from and altered shoulders every time. I walked untroubled and entered my classroom. It was now the professors chance at me. Look, colleges cool dude is here. Welcome him my friends He raised a brow at me. Please continue sir, no formalities I smirked. Get out of my class you spoiled brat!

You think youd enter my class half an hour late and Id let you shake off that easily? Im not lateIm early for the next lecture I said and made a face. The whole class giggled as Mr. Talwar scowled. This particular professor had unidentified grudges against me. I tried to solve them in the beginning, but now I think answering back is so much more fun! The college was much of a chaotic building these days.

Every next student was either busy in organizing an event or in coordinating one for some rubbish credential. I was busy in hunting for some good-looking chicks rolling up from Delhi University to our campus for attending such a lackluster carnival. After a long hectic month of some ludicrous assessments, this was the time for putting some ice on our heads.

Everyone left to join their respective events and I and Karan left for occasion in anticipation. Karan Arora, my best buddy, a bulky guy with a harebrained persona, also the one who keeps falling prey to even the poorest of bullies without any reasons. Nobody knew anything better about me than him at this point of my life, he was a bestie indeed from high school days! Some pretty hot chicks lingered about in the college premises.

I was damn bored of the girls of our college. Headlines today: College carnival brings new stock for admiral! We sat on a bench which had the clear view of all possible happenings. Girls walked by and we gave numbers out of ten corresponding to their figures. Most of them were a six! Looks are deceptive, so dont just look. Give a full stare! And we did the same. Suddenly, I noticed a familiar face in the crowd, seven if you ask me.

A slim girl, dressed in a body hugging charcoal gray top and denims, pulled out a pencil from behind her ear as she instructed some volunteer about some events chores. Oh fish! Small round world! Mishka Narula and I studied together till tenth standard and changed our schools. She willingly did that due to her tiff with a guy and I changed it unwillingly. Parental care you know. They wanted me to study in some remarkable high school, which literally scratched my life out.

We were not in contact for four long years, but we used to be great friends. Some experiences lead us spaced out. I knew she was friends with Radhika, the bitch told me once that they both were high school friends. Literally, it is a small round world!

For a moment I thought of saying hi to her. Then I noticed her approaching my topical foe- Deb. Is she dating that loser? I wondered like I give it a damn! I turned to find my way to something better to think about. From the corner of my eye, I noticed Deb and Radhika greeting Mishka like shes some very beloved friend. I had a momentary eye contact with Radhika. Deb was standing right behind her like a bodyguard. Mishka suddenly raised her hand to call out for me.

Radhika nudged her, abruptly pointing her little finger at me and whispered something.

I tell you. They are faster than Indian media when it comes to publicizing issues. Mishka, who seemed pleased to see me a fraction-of-a-second before, gave a disgusted expression. I didnt bother to greet her and walked out of that event with Karan. I must have been looking pretty handsome that day.

I noticed many hot chicks eying me every now and then. Desperate singles you call them! Hiiiiiii Aarav! I turned around to respond and found Mishka looking at me with some mixed emotions. Hi I couldnt speak more than that. Actually, I didnt want to fuel any conversation with her that would lead me to Radhika. How have you been? Changed so much ehh? Change is the rule of life I reverted rudely. Excuse me, I need to go I said.

I need to talk she exclaimed. I said, avoiding any eye contact with her. I need to know why you did this to Radhika? It was personal if you ask me! And why the fuck Im answerable to you? This is how you talk to an old friend? This is how Im, got a problem? Then dont talk to me arrogance ruled my voice. You used to be such a reserved and decent guy, what has become out of you Aarav? I need to go! She strode towards me and clutched me through my elbow.

But I need to know why, the things Radhika told me about you were just not realistic to me, she emphatically said. If not now, then whenever you want. How about never? I said as I jerked her hand away and joined Karan and gang to get something out of the day. I walked through the crowd of party animals, a dozen memories of my secondary school years hovered my mind. Oh Im sorry! Owww, fuck man! I uttered as I turned in disgust.

A lovely lady dressed in a black off shoulder top and blue denim mini gave an apologetic smile as she spilled her hot chocolate on me. Pleasure is all mine! I spoke, elongating each and every letter as I assessed her from top to bottom, you know, top to bottom, with two big pauses. I regained consciousness and realized I should have said Its okay!

A hand suddenly went around her waist as I took the napkin from her. I just spilled my hot chocolate, she said in a childish tone to the guy who had grabbed her and made a puppy dog face. Why all hot girls are committed to such nasty puppies?

I asked within. Her full lips and the pink gloss on them drew my attention. Juicy onesher lips. Come lets get you another one love, said that bastard and he kissed her. My gaze followed her sexy legs. I wondered how girls manage to flaunt such revealing clothes in this chilling winter. Shes gonehot one by the way I said as Karan punched my shoulder. Darn it! Her curves have ruined you, you were lost in the depths of herKaran paused and winked at me.

Eyes I added as we both laughed hard.

I enjoyed the company of this asshole. He never tried to make a mess out of my life. I cleaned up the hot chocolate from my jacket.

In the evening, war of DJs, perpetual party, girls, and much more awaited us. My party freak gang soon joined me. I grabbed a bottle of whisky from Karan and we were on for a grand party. Deafening music, alcohol, and hot chicks the trio makes life a heaven to live.

I suddenly felt something vibrating in my jeans. It was just my phone, must be mom. Unknown number, I disconnected. We partied hard that evening. I bothered to look at my phone at a. Five missed calls from the same number. Of course you are coming.

No excuses! Farmhouse, chilling winter, bonfire, drinks, music! Im so excited! And our first invitation goes to you. You cant turn it down like that. Have some courtesy handsome. Okay, Ill tell you about my plans, I replied in an exhausted tone and hung up. She didnt utter a word about Radhika. Maybe she really doesnt want to have a sneak peek into my life. I really needed a break from pubs and bitches. Not at all a bad idea! But if Mishka is comingNO! That means Radhika is coming!

I shouted loud enough to agitate my father. Alcohol not yet off your nerves Mr. Son of ACP? Dad commented. I got up from the couch, went straight to my room and banged the door. I slept to avoid random thoughts. Life goes on aran, the assholes call woke me up the next morning. Youve not yet been suspended from the college. Are you coming or not?

Hmmcatch ya in one hour I yawned and took a leave from my bed. The day was quite monotonous until I came across Deb. Im going to take you down Deb set a spark. Fucked in the head or what? Debs keema is on the menu today, I said to Raman and Karan as we laughed out loud. We both snarled at each other as Deb dared to grab my collar.

Radhika came running and caught my arm. Leave him, she nearly pleaded. You must have asked your swine-head guy to stay away from me, I growled and jerked her hand away Deb gave me a little punch in my belly. It felt like a tickle. So, a warning aint enough huh, you son of a bitch. I curled up my fingers into a punch.

Radhika rushed for help. A whole lot of free show viewers gathered around. Only one of them had the courage to intervene- Mishka. She made unsuccessful attempts to depart the two enemies. The crowd scattered the moment our dean surpassed. Deb the coward ass hugged me to escape suspension. I gave him a sharp blow in the ribs as he tried to offer a bear hug. I wished I could kick him hard in the groin. Suddenly Deb fell on the ground. Mishka screamed in terror. What happened to him? Deb was lying on the ground, his mouth bleeding.

He must have done something, said Radhika in a terrified tone. Help us to get him to the doctor you motherfuckers! Mishka shouted at the crowd gathering to watch the drama.

I had never seen Mishka getting so hyper and uttering such swear words.

Two boys stepped forward to help Deb to get into a car. I got worried indeed. Im gonna get your balls! Radhika spat the words at me as she dialed a number, maybe an ambulance, I wondered, too astounded to think properly. A few minutes later, I realized that the SOS dialed by her was not , it was ! Unlike very often, Delhi police reached in time! This guy, officer, he had issues with Deb.

He has tried to take him down once before as well. I can get you many witnesses Radhika blurted as I watched, not knowing what to do. There was no point in running away. A broad chested police inspector faced me as I swallowed. The inspector held me by my collar.

Another rich mans brat, arent you? How I love taking up such cases. He gave me the once-over as if he was getting extreme sexual pleasure by looking at me alone. What can be worse than falling a prey to a gay police officer?

Bbbbbbbut you cant arrest me until that guy gives his statement. I just hugged him. I stuttered and made an attempt to at least delay my lockup. The inspector nodded and we prepared to depart for the hospital.

Meanwhile Mishka and Deb had gone to the hospital. That day, for the second time, I got the opportunity to ride in a PCR. It is surely not a car youd like to be in, especially seated in the back seat with the hawaldaar. Some old memories rushed via my nerves again.

We arrived at the hospital where Deb had been admitted. Mishka and Radhika stood there with some acquaintances. Are you happy now? Mishka shouted and gave a disgusted expression as she saw me coming.

Quiet maam, please, its a hospital, a nurse came to my rescue. The doctor came and informed about Debs condition. He had hurt his rib bone but his condition was pretty stable now. Permission was granted to the inspector to visit him. It was now time to welcome my new accessory-handcuffs! Inspector went inside the ICU. What is taking him so long! Every second was a burden. Deb was now going to avenge for everything, of every encounter with me, Radhikas breakup, his broken rib!

I was in deep shit. Everyones expressions made it difficult for me to stand the situation. The inspector came out after seconds. Yes I was counting each and every second. I raised my hands towards him, surrendering my hands to the jingling handcuffs.

The boy said he doesnt want to file any complaint against Aarav. There was no fight, and Aarav didnt hurt him deliberately, the officer declared. But sir! I can get you a half a hundred witnesses against this man, Radhika spoke through her teeth. If Deb files no complaints against him, we cannot take an action.

Youre free to go boy, be careful in future. The gay officer patted my shoulder and left. I was too perplexed to react. I looked around. I felt my body being drained of something. I could make no sense of anything. I was totally numb.

I rushed to the doctor. Can I meet him once? The doctor nodded and I ran into the room. The whole hospital apparatus gave a sharp blow to my head. The door behind me screeched open again and Mishka and Radhika entered. Deb was lying on the bed with all those oxygen mask and crap that I had only seen once in my life. Why did you do this favor to me? Deb opened his eyes and smiled. Because I am not Aarav His words were a mere whisper but they echoed several times in my head. I stared at him in utter astonishment.

A tingling sensation rushed up through my spine and affected my eyes. They were moist. Hes not the guy Ive known since childhood. I know people change, but they transform so drastically? Mishka murmured the rhetorical question to Radhika. Forgiveness is the biggest revenge, I had heard, and today, I was experiencing it. Debs gesture had invoked in me a feeling that I had become invulnerable to: shame, guilt. My knees could no longer bear my weight and I fell on the floor, my head held in my knees.

A stinging soreness conquered my chest. A gentle hand rested on my shoulder, Are you okay? Mishkas voice stroke my ear.

The nurse entered, Grant him some rest, move out please. Mishka supported me to get up. Radhikas hatred towards me knew no bounds. She kept murmuring every now and then. We moved out to the hospital cafeteria.

I still couldnt have a complete control on my senses. The girls didnt force me to speak. Only girls know when it is right to leave someone on their own. If they can chat endlessly, they can also maintain a comfortable silence to soothe you.

Radhika broke the perpetual noise of kitchen utensils. I nodded my head in agreement. I absent-mindedly gulped down the coffee all at once as if it was water and moved out of the cafeteria. I had always longed to see Deb in this condition. What had happened to me now?

Book Excerpt: A Half-Baked Love Story by Anurag Garg and Gunjan Narang

Why am I being so affected by the situation? Or is it his words that have killed the shamelessness in me? I wandered aimlessly in the lawn. Many classmates had gathered there for Deb, they had hatred for me in their eyes. They absolutely detested me for my evil deed. One chance and Id be their prey, quenching their thirst of my blood. I couldnt establish an eye contact with them. I suddenly had a strong urge to meet Deb. I took long steps towards ICU.

The scenario of the hospital always upsets me and reminds me of some bad memories I made long ago! Pain is such a dominant feeling in every heart in the premises- a feeling that I had forgotten long ago.

He was fast asleep. The nurse rushed into me to inform that he was on anaesthesia. I turned back and found Radhika and Mishka in the corridor. Will he be alright? I managed to ask, still not able to look into their eyes.

What do you, Radhika roared but Mishka caught hold of her. Yes hell be fine very soon. I think you should go home. Your family must be tensed, were here for him. Dont worry, said Mishka in a restful tone. I didnt respond to it and walked to the lobby and occupied a bench there. The day had exhausted me physically, mentally and perhaps emotionally as well.

Yes, emotions werent completely dead in me. The dormant sentiments were paving their way through my heart. I took a nap sitting on the bench. I suddenly woke up when someone wrapped a shawl around my shoulders.

Oh Im sorry I woke you up son It was Debs mother. She looked like a typical Indian mother, her face showed extreme pain as a part of her own flesh was experiencing immense pain, all because of me. Hats off to the mother who had come to comfort the culprit of her son! I shook my head. Hows Deb now? I had never expressed such concern for anyone. Radhika surpassed. She looked at me and gave a promiscuous look. I thought you went back to some pub to celebrate, She said. I shrugged.

Ummwell, Deb woke up a few minutes ago. Hell be discharged in about three days. By the way, you dropped your phone at the ICU. Your mum has been calling a lot of times.

I informed her that you were caring for a friend in the hospital. She sounded like she didnt believe me. No one expects care and affection from you. She taunted, almost threw the phone into my face and left. I went to the rest room and splashed some cold water on my face.

I saw myself in the mirror. Was this the same guy that I had seen early morning in the mirror. How can an incident, such insignificant, change me so drastically?

My phone buzzed again. Hello, yes mom? Now which bar is your lodging this night? And who was that girl? Too decent to be your friend. My friend has faced a serious accident, Im here with him at the hospital. I slept for a while, so my friend attended the call, thats it.

Ill be home as soon as things settle. Are you okay? Moms voice suddenly softened. Yeah mom, bye. Love you. Take care Huh? Come again? She sounded so astounded. Whos there? It had been so long that I bid goodbye to mom like that.

Come on mom, I love you. Bye now And I disconnected the phone. Debs thought suddenly replaced all nonsense in my mind and I walked towards the ICU to meet him. Mishka and Radhika were already sitting beside him throwing lame jokes to cheer him up. Ahemwell, may I join you guys? I interrupted their friendly conversation.

There was deadly silence for a while until Mishka stood up to offer me a seat beside Deb. Yeah, why not. Come and sit here She added a pleasant smile. I hesitated.

Deb made a gesture to call me near him. I sat beside him. IImI meanyou and then I had a lump in my throat on seeing the hospital apparatus again. I couldnt speak. Deb raised his hand to pat my shoulder, his face showed the extreme pain that the movement was causing him.

I held his hand gently and rested it by his side. Deb always reminded me of Kishnendu, and the relation we shared. Anyways, coming back! Im sorry I finally spoke with moist eyes. Radhika threw her hands up in the air in disgust. Mishka gave her an ugly stare. Deb just smiled. Aarav was here whole day for you Mishka made an attempt to change the topic. And he was here because of me the whole day I spoke out of guilt and hung my head down in shame. And well be together from now on Deb chuckled and shouted because of the sudden jerk in his ribs.

He said as he raised his hand towards me the way children do after a fight. I again felt a lump in my throat. Why is he so darn forgiving? He was making me feel more guilty by his gestures. Still holding some grudges, huh? Deb said and winked at me. I shook hands with him. I gave an apologetic smile. I dont forgive you, he suddenly became serious.

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I know it isnt that easy for you, I grimaced. Hey chillax boy!

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Youve a punishment And the innocent smile returned on his face. He winked at Mishka and Radhika who were sitting quietly meanwhile. Mishka winked back and Radhika groaned. Anything sir, I stretched my back and sat like a sincere student. Well, youve to spend the new year with us He grinned.

I was expecting something like a punishment. Thats it. New year night with us. Our lovely friend is throwing a party at her farmhouse. Ive already told him, infact the first invitation went to him, Mishka nearly jumped with excitement. Great then! So that is your punishment, your act of contrition and all that crap! Deb smirked. Ok, Ill come, I said. The nurse came to tell us that doctor was going to visit now, so we must leave the room.

Take care Deb, I patted his hand gently and walked out after Mishka and Radhika. Debs mother encountered us in the corridor. Thank you so much beta, for being here at this difficult moment , she said as she came closer. Aunty, hes our friend. Hes our concern as well. Dont say thanks, please, Radhika said and hugged her.

Debs mother tried to hold back her tears but she couldnt. She was just like any other sentimental Indian mother, with a tired worried face, down with the burdens of a married life. You all must go home now, your parents must be worried, Aunty expressed concern. But please let us know if you need anything, aunty, Mishka said and we left.

We moved towards the hospital exit and it was time to break the uncomfortable silence hovering between us. So, may I drop you both at your house? I tried to be a bit chivalrous. We know our way to our respective homes Radhika uttered bitterly.

And then the girls had a little non-verbal conversation via eyes. I wondered why do girls prefer to exchange emotions via eyes. Boys arent aware of this language. They are not trained at this. And then it is Us who is blamed for not understanding their feelings. Wont it be easy if they say out loud what they want?

Mishka delivered the conclusion of their conversation, can you please drop us at my place? Oh yes, sure I expressed my happiness in being of any help. I realized that there was no car. I buzzed Karan to get his car and reach the hospital as early as possible. Karan, the driver for the day, was at our service in fifteen minutes. The ladies got seated at the back and we drove towards our destination.

Only Mishkas guidelines were the silence breakers throughout the way. We reached Mishkas place in about twenty minutes We received some warm acknowledgements from Mishka for the favor, while Radhika turned away pretending to make a call. We bade goodbye to the girls and I kicked Karans bummies and asked him to drop me at my place. I hugged and thanked the ass for his help in need. I rang the doorbell. So, youre back! Bladdered again? My crackbrained sister threw the question at me as she opened the door.

I ignored her, as always. You smell like morphine. Because hospitals dont offer whisky, I reverted back rudely. I see. So that friends accident was not a fictitious story? She tried to provoke me. Why dont you just get married and pester your in-laws instead?

I pulled her pony and poked her in the forehead. She ran to catch a hold of me as I laughed and ran forward. It had been so long that I had not had such brother-sisterribbing-moments with her. She pinched my ear and dragged me to mom who was serving dinner for me.

I followed her crying in pain and shouting, Ow! Hes quite eager to get me married, mom, she complained. I dont see a problem in that, mom winked at me and gave me a hi-five! My sister gave a wild-cat look but finally joined us in the cheerful moment. I missed you so much, she said as she ruined my hairstyle by ruffling my hair.

I wrapped my hand around her shoulder and cuddled her. She was the most annoying girl of the world if you ask me, but this annoyance was the worlds most lovable annoyance to me once.

Times had changed me, but what exactly changed me was the question people asked, and I never had an answer! Mishka was trying the same thing I guess, her sudden new invitation even after meeting again after such a long time, smelled fishy to me.

Anyhow, family was a forgotten territory but not now. I felt a bit transformed again, the wheel of time always played purposely with me. I had heard-small incidents may bring huge changes in ones life.

I was experiencing this time and again in my life. Who knew it- Id spend such a joyous moment with my family; Id be friends with Deb, who was born to be my enemy; Id live without being intoxicated for one whole day; Id stay in hospital because Im concerned about the one I have hurt.

Well, life is enigmatic. But it goes on, and I realized it again. New Years Night! The beauty interrogated and stepped towards me and offered to shake hands. She raised her sunglasses and rested them on her head. Devika it was! Its so good to see you, you havent changed much, eh? My pleasure, but yes you have changed a lot Devika. I was unable to recognize at first!

Anyways, how have you been there? I said with a wink.

It is all great out there, but not you guys unfortunately, she stated making a cuter face now. If you people are finished, shall we proceed for the party, we are already short of time? Mishka finally broke her silence. Meanwhile Deb managed to smile with broken ribs standing beside the beauties. Everything was set. It was now the time to heave a sigh of relief. It was the first day at my new school.

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Well, But I had to change my school as my father wanted me to study in a reputed institution. So I was dragged away from my friends. That day, I felt like a primary school kid, unwillingly sent to an alien place. I had reached school in time so as to make a good impression on the teachers on my first day.

I was missing my previous school and friends terribly. To make matters worse for me, I had taken up the sciences. Everything was making me anxious. I felt an urge to run away. I felt they should have been courteous enough to help me feel comfortable on my first day. Friends hugged each other as they were meeting after the long summer break. But I had no one to talk to. This made me paranoid. An announcement boomed through the halls.

Everyone started leaving their classrooms with diaries in their hands. We both left hurriedly for the assembly hall. Finally, I recognized a few faces from my class and stood in a file behind them. The morning prayers commenced, followed by a welcome speech by the principal. I looked up at the sky—dark grey clouds were bursting at the seams and it seemed like they would start crying any time to sympathize with me.

Meanwhile, our class prefect started inspecting our uniforms. Just then, I heard the voice of a girl carrying out the inspection of our row of students. She started getting students out from the queue due to faults like long nails, dirty shoes, missing school belt, wrong tie, no diary.

Her voice was as soothing as that of a nightingale. The moment she came to me, I turned my head to look her straight in the eyes.We sat on a bench which had the clear view of all possible happenings. Whos there? What the fuck do you think of yourself huh? But I cant see it. Talwar scowled. Did I force you to come out this late with me in a minus fourth floor parking to indulge in such sensual affairs after getting drunk?

There was no fight, and Aarav didnt hurt him deliberately, the officer declared. I have a busy schedule this week. In the evening.