Posts Tagged ‘Humor’


I could clearly see the spark I was so familiar with, in her eyes. She was not the real girl I once knew- but even God couldn’t have done a better job at recreating her, the way these scientists had done. She was the first human clone of the world- the clone of the most famous Indian Actress, Aabha- the same Aabha I knew from my childhood days. The same Aabha who is to marry some businessman in a few days…

“You’re very funny and romantic” she said between her guffaws.

“Seems like you liked that story…” I said with a smile.

“They told me you were funny, but they didn’t tell me that you were this cute! I was underprepared- I’m totally bowled over by you…”

“Stop hitting on me, Aabha_639!”  said I winking at her.

“Aabha_639? Call me something else!” she said, “Even if I’m her clone, I certainly don’t have her personality or her memories and I certainly do not want to have her name! Give me a new name, I say! I don’t like the name Aabha!”

“My name is also Aabha!” I said. The famous actress-my childhood huh, friend and me shared the same name- Aabha. Fate plays dirty tricks- the one name you want to forget, is splashed all over the world- even in your birth certificate & driving License! Frankly, I too started to hate the name of Aabha…

“Aah Aabha! Yes! Aabha & Aabha- Classmates for 5 years. The school legends… I forgot to ask you all about it… Tell me the whole story! I want to hear the untold story…”

“I am supposed be analyzing you and not vice versa” I smiled.

“What’s your analysis so far?”

“Hmmm, you look exactly like her, you have copied her body language well… but you don’t talk like her at all…”

“Then tell me all about her! And if I knew more about her, then maybe I can talk like her, act like her… Please tell me…”

I looked in her eyes. The spark that always drew me near Aabha, that made me do anything for her, was there, in her clone as well.  Was this just coincidence? That the scientists had made her clone days before her marriage? Was there a big picture I was not aware of? If there was one thing that I was never sure of, it was Aabha. How did I feel about her? What should I have done? And what not? What should I say to her? If I should speak to her at all? Did I still love her? I was confused. These were not logical questions for the brain, but these were emotional questions of a hurt heart…

I looked at her again. Her eyes induced me to talk. I wanted to get it off my chest at least once in my life… Would I feel miserable that I let out the secret details of a friend, that might hurt her image, if leaked to the media, or would I feel relieved, that I got everything about my crush, out in the open with another human, well, in this case, a clone?

I wanted to feel relieved. I needed closure.

“You promise you’ll keep the details of our talks a secret?” I asked her.

She nodded excitedly.

“Once upon a time…” I began dramatically.

(more…)

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Fugu, a political and poisonous delicacy

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As I entered the contest, with the odds of winning being 1 in 999, Murphy’s Law brought a sneer to my face. Forgive me Pascal, I had just sinned, for I let an irrational thought like Murphy’s Law run through my brain. Murphy’s Law is a Law for people who do not understand probabilities. Probability Theory is my Bible, Murphy’s Law- a blasphemy.

I never believed in Murphy’s Law. I was too smart for it. I had noticed the situations, in detail, where people attribute a certain event to Murphy’s Law. Take the case of queues in Bangalore Railway Station. There are 15 counters, hence 15 queues. Sometimes I hear people grumbling that some other queue was moving faster than their queues. From Murphy’s Law- the other queue is always faster. If this statement is accepted to be true then it meant that 14 queues were slower than that 1 fast queue. So the people in 14 queues were experiencing Murphy’s Law, while the people in that fast queue didn’t. Hence Murphy’s Law is not universal.

The probability theory does a better job in explaining the above 15 queues experience of the people. The odds of anybody being in the fastest queue is 1 in 15. A very small chance. If anybody from the slower queues, visits the station again some other day, then once again, he has the same (even worse actually) small chance of 1 in 15. And chances are that this person will, in most cases, choose the slower queue. Hence this person generally feels that the other queue is faster.

With these positive thoughts in my brain, I entered the contest at the Motor Show. The contest was for the audience at the Motor show, and each audience member was blindfolded by an extremely pretty Korean Girl & the audience member had to select a ball from a bag, blindfolded. The person who got the ball with number 999 was the winner- and the winner would win a 4 hour date with that very beautiful Korean Girl. There were chances that many people might win a date with her on the same night, at the same time- but the announcer assured us all that such a scenario had never happened before. He obviously didn’t understand Probability theory or he was an excellent liar.

I let that beautiful girl blindfold me. I reached out into the bag of balls. Supposedly 1000 balls were here. I held one ball, the probability of it being 999, was the worst. So I discarded that ball, and took another, the chances of this being 999 were better than the previous ball, but still, not good enough. I kept on doing this, and kept on discarding balls, and improving my chances, for three minutes when, I felt her warm soft hand hold my arm. I took out the ball I was holding at that moment- and from the cheer of the crowd I knew that it was the ball number 999. This is why I love Math. Math had won me a date! I’m sure it’ll happen to all the other Math fans out there, one day. Have faith!

After she unblindfolded me, I kept on eyeing her with the widest grin. The organizers of the event asked me to take a seat and wait patiently for the rest of the audience to get their chance. They also explained to me to be gentlemanly in the date with the lady- this they did after realizing that I didn’t understand Korean. I was an Indian visiting South Korea. One of the guys explicitly warned me about the consequences of doing anything stupid with the lady. I wasn’t paying much attention to those organizers- all my attentions were to my dazzling date.

I cheered every audience member who got anything but 999. Nobody else won. So it was going be me- and her, on a date, for 4 hours, from 10 pm to 2 am.

(more…)


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I needed money desperately. I wanted to buy that new mobile phone with Facebook “LIKE” button. I could actually physically feel the pressing of “LIKE” button on facebook in that phone! How cool is that! The only problem, my parents won’t give a dime to buy me a bandage even if my heart was cut out with a butcher’s knife! Ok, Ok, I’m exaggerating, but this is how it is, in my home.

To make matters worse, I have a big brother– an intellectual ass. Everybody loves him! Everybody! You won’t believe what he thinks about facebook!  He thinks it brings out the worst in everybody for everybody else to see, publicly- say for example- those attention seeking cry-babies! A perfectly normal guy has this irresistible urge to be “LIKED” by everybody, all the time! He keeps updating about the routine day-to-day things every other minute and expects others to “LIKE” it. What would you say about these status messages of some of my friends- “I just woke up… and farted, thrice- and my mom walked in! It was super LOLz!” or “Thinking that boys and gals are different, yet very same, but different… you know?”

And because of this intellectual ass I can’t enjoy my life! I can’t enjoy facebook! Ignorance was bliss! It’s so true- but this guy doesn’t let me be ignorant- that jack-ass! I want to be ignorant! I want to enjoy my poisons that I’m addicted to- I have many things to do in my life- many serious things, and I need every little escape from this reality that I can afford. And so I super “LIKED” both those status messages. I don’t care if my friends are greedy for attention and are super-asses. They are my friends. They are who I “LIKE”! They make my life “LIKE”able. Not my brother’s philosophies and theories.

And yet, everybody keeps bragging about how great my brother is, even everybody else in his batch of over-achievers in academics, the sheep-geeks, are praised. But the truth is none of them made it big. Not even my brother. He’s just living somewhere doing something that nobody cares. Sure he has a great girl friend and a cool job- but he doesn’t have what I will have. I will make it big. I was going to be a Grandmaster in Chess. I knew it. I was nearly there- and yet, my parents or brother- won’t buy me that one thing that’ll keep me sane- that phone- facebook- anywhere, anytime. I wanted that phone- Desperately. Very desperately.

So I took matters into my own hands. I was forked for money- but I was not check-mated yet. I had my pawns- my ability to be super good in chess. Alas, Chess has no money, you say? Every talent can rake in the moolah- even farting thrice, in front of your mother- can get you money. You just have to think about the how?

As my dear brother once said- Today, the man has made his life so complicated- that it has become infinitely simpler to fool him than it was ever before. This was how I was going to get my dream phone- Using the fact that Ignorance is not always bliss!

There’s this site called zapak.com. It’s a gaming site. They award you points if you beat other human players in the games they are hosting. If you have collected enough points, then you can convert your points to cash and spend the money on e-shopping. And one of the games they hosted was, you guessed it, Chess! Game On was my War-Cry!

(more…)


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I had friends. And I knew Girls. But the cross of these two hugely different species? Never! But for three weeks in my life, I had what most boys wanted more than blowing up crackers in cow dung- a girl friend. From my personal experience, there was not much difference- you have a girl friend or blow up a cracker in a huge pile of cow dung- the end result was the same. Let me explain…

Once upon a time, there was me…

Well I had just moved to Bangalore and for a month I lived alone- It was like a single goldfish in a water-bowl- Depressing. I needed a room-mate, desperately. I sent out the following ad in the local newspaper.

WANTED: A room-mate. House 10 steps from a cheap bar. Must love Vodka.

I received a lot of calls. Just too many of them. Didn’t realize that a lot of boys loved Vodka! How stupid! I should have been more specific, more demanding- Must love Tandoori Chicken… and Megan Fox.

My mobile rang. It was from an Unknown Caller. Nothing out of the ordinary. Probably some guy wanting to be 10 steps near a cheap bar. I answered the ring.

And kids- that’s How I met your Mother! Ted Style!!!

Just Kidding!

It was my three-week girlfriend. She just didn’t realize that soon she was going to be my future girl friend, and ex, eventually, when she called me.

Why did she call me? Well, to give me an earful. She was just being a caring samaritan and hence felt the need to tell me that I was the exact reason why India was still a developing country. She asked me what I had to say for myself… I could think of just one thing. I just asked her if she wanted to be my room-mate…

She said- “No!”  Obviously!  Duh! What did you expect, huh? That she said Yes!? Wake up! This is reality! Not my happy fantasy!

Well, an unexpected thing happened anyways. She recognized my voice- apparently I was in her class for three years in high school. Way to go three week girl friend!!! She was the hound of the Baskervilles!

I soon realized who she was and we talked. And talked. And talked…

We met a few times- couple of pseudo-dates, nothing special.

Soon, we began to crawl into each other’s thoughts… like some meaningless vulgar song that gets stuck in your head for days- only with a bigger funny smile on your face. We started dating & got close to each other- but we never kissed. I promise. I wanted to- but without a few drinks on me, I wasn’t much of a self-destructive freak.

I was hoping our meetings would grow to be like those cute romantic comedies- but alas it was all loud comedy for her and silent tragedy for me. No romance for either of us.

Soon the day came when she introduced me to her dad- and he asked my qualifications. We lasted three weeks without knowing each other’s educational background. I was just a Bachelor in Engineering and I had just seven years of wonderful work experience in one of the most prestigious technology companies in the world.

She? She did M.S. @ UCSD, USA.

Good, right? Wrong.

Her dad wasn’t particularly a fan of me. He didn’t seem to be the kind of guy who’d “LIKE” my pictures or status messages on Facebook. He probably would have clicked the “DISLIKE” button if there was one, to my current status message: “Feeling Lucky Tonight!”

(more…)


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“This is Neethu, my cousin and she’s here for the summer holidays!” announced Leela holding tightly the arms of an incredibly pretty girl. I was dumbstruck, lost for words. I couldn’t even wave a “Hi”. For the record, I have never been infatuated just after one glance at a girl, but I guess I had to run into one such girl in my life- that after all abides by the rule of probability and the law of averages.

“This is Veeru and you be good to him,” Leela said to Neethu, “coz he’s my boy friend!”

Veeru laughed nervously. He didn’t like the term “boy friend”. Even after a year of hearing that dreaded word in the high-pitched voice of Leela, he shriveled like a baby mouse who had just heard a menacing “Meow” from a ferocious cat for the first time in its life.

“And this is Guru…” she said, pointing at me, “He’s quite harmless!”

Leela started laughing hysterically. Unfortunately so did Veeru. I had to join them in their laughter- my laugh was much worse than Veeru’s when he hears “boy friend” from Leela.

“I’m just teasing,” continued Leela, “Guru’s an incredibly smart guy and he has many weird theories and has quite a different take on life! He is a writer too!”

“Really?” asked Neethu looking at me, as if she didn’t believe what Leela had just said.

“Well Guru, now you can bore this incredibly pretty girl over here with your theories, me and Veeru have things to talk about on that rock over there,” Leela said, pointing far away from the tree where we were sitting under, “So behave!  If Neethu cries or shouts for help, we’ll come running over here and will never introduce you to “any other” girls, even the uglier ones!”

I smiled awkwardly. Here I was given a chance to sit alone atop the beautiful Chamundi Hills with an even more beautiful girl, and I was feeling miserable! Why was that?

Soon the happy couple left us giving me only her name to start a conversation. How I wish I knew more about her!

“They really left us alone here with each other, huh?” I started. I was not going get tongue-tied! I am not that weak to get hopelessly lost and act stupid in the company of a pretty girl, even if this girl could be the prettiest girl I’d ever been alone with or ever will in the future!

“Leela has changed quite a lot from the last time I saw her,” said Neethu slowly, “She left me here alone with a boy who might make me cry or make me shout for help… She said so herself and yet, she left…”

I looked at her for a while, trying to figure out what exactly was going through her head. I realized soon that she was genuinely worried about being alone with me.

“Oh probably she was thinking about my welfare, for my Osmosis” I said smiling.

“What? For your osmosis?” she asked with a puzzled look on her pretty face. Oh she was pretty. Now I knew why Keats said, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”

“Yes Osmosis!” I declared.

She still didn’t understand.  I expected that she wouldn’t understand, but I pretended otherwise. You see, Osmosis is my trademark icebreaker with girls. No matter who that girl is, Osmosis always, I mean, always worked- and that girl would always smile after the explanation.

“You see this picture of mine?” I said showing her a baby picture of mine where I looked hideous, I was one of those ugly babies, you hear about now and then, “You see I am ugly, but now that you have been here for a while with me, I look handsome coz of Osmosis!”

“Huh? I still don’t get it… I know that Osmosis is a process where things in the region of higher concentration move to the region of lower concentration… Like in that potato and sugar-water experiment”

“Exactly! And beauty is flowing from you to me” I said beaming like an idiot.

She looked at me for a few seconds and started laughing.

“That’s a good one” she said.

“Ah it’ not a joke, this is a natural process that’s been proven beyond doubt…”

“So you mean to say, while you are getting more handsome, I am getting uglier, right now as we speak?”  She said accusingly.

“But what are a few drops for an ocean, huh?” I said.

“Then your stupidity is flowing into me as well?” she said with a smarty-pants look.

“It doesn’t work like that- you see, you are filled with so much high quality beauty, stupidity has no place to flow to, you know…”

“Oh my God! You are such a big flirt!” she said, with a smile, “Is this how you talk with all girls? Do you always talk about Osmosis with them?”

“I’m not a flirt” I said. I lied. I was the biggest flirt I knew. “Osmosis is something I made up just now, to cheer you up; you inspired me to invent Osmosis!”

She looked at me with the most amazing look she had given me so far.

“Oh you are good!” she said, “You’re a flirt AND a liar!”

I acted as if I was hurt. I do have a good number of expressions in my armor- I was a natural trickster.

“Let’s ASSUME that I’m a flirt, who I’m not,” I said, “I flirted to make you smile, to make you feel better, but you, on the other hand are calling me a liar, to my face. I mean, we just met!”

“You Drama Queen, Leela told me about Osmosis,” she said laughing, “but she didn’t tell me what it was, she said I’d find out from you within 3 minutes of being with you!”

“Guilty as charged! I’m a flirt, hang me!” said I. I too joined in her laughter.

“You blackmail poor girls with such lines, no wonder Leela warned you about not to make me cry or make me shout for help!”

“Leela was just telling that to scare you.”  I said, “I never made any girl cry- oh wait, except for that one girl back in high school, oh and that girl from movies, even her friends, they cried too, then there was this lecturer, then I guess you can also count that 4-year-old girl whose cheeks I pinched, then…”

“Oh stop it, please, you are gonna make me cry!” Neethu said getting irritated.

I could feel it in my nerves; she was different from the rest of the girls.

“How can you flirt with girls using something like Osmosis, I mean does it work? Do they like go nuts and want to date you or something after that stupid Osmosis line?”

“Has it worked on you, Neethu?” I asked, like a seasoned criminal lawyer.

“Don’t be silly, Guru!” she blushed, “I was just curious if some poor girl had fallen for you or dreaming of marrying you or something…”

“Ah I don’t believe in marriages,” I said, looking all wisely, “so why would I fool a girl into marrying me?”

“Oh come on! You don’t believe in marriages? You want to be alone for the rest of your life?”

“Who said I was going to be alone for the rest of my life?”

She hit me on my arm. It usually takes 3 hours of talk-time at least for a girl to start hitting me. It took Neethu only 15 minutes, a new record. She was going to change my life, in top gear, I could feel it.

“So when you are old and dying, and when you can’t flirt with any girls anymore, won’t you be alone then?”

“Won’t the pretty nurses be around me when I’m dying?” I said with a wink.

She hit me again. It hurt, damn it! But a man is not supposed to show pain, especially when hit by a pretty girl.

“What’s so horribly wrong in marrying someone you love?” she asked.

“Well all marriages are compromises and I don’t like compromises…”

“Not all marriages are compromises!”

“They are honey, even if you take the perfect scenario where there’s no apparent compromise, there are many hidden compromises…”

“Like?”

“Like for the guy, when he decides to settle down with a girl, he’s making a compromise because there is always a hypothetical better girl, who’s out there somewhere, but the guy is not looking for her…” (a variant of an idea from HIMYM)

“Do you really believe that? That’s just sad you know?”

“Ah the hypothetical pretty and better girl!” I said slowly and started drooling.

“Stop that! That’s disgusting!” She started to laugh again. I was beginning to get addicted to that laughter. It was so bubbly…

“Do you want to know a really funny secret about Leela’s wooden frog?” I asked her.

“The wooden frog that she always carries in her purse? Yes!”

“I won’t tell you now, but ask me again sometime in future, maybe when I’m a famous writer or something…”

“What? Don’t make me hit you again! Tell me what the secret is!”

“I can’t!”

“Why?”

“This secret is one of the many threads that will keep you attached to me, if life takes us on different roads and if we ever meet again, like somewhere nice or on facebook, I’ll reveal the secret of that frog to you and it’ll bring you back to this moment, now, when you are happy and laughing with me…”

“I don’t get it! You are one weirdo, you know that! Reveal me that secret, please…”

“Have you ever experienced this feeling- you are working in your cubicle and you are chatting with your school friend via facebook and that school friend reveals a secret about some nickname for a teacher or some guy in the classroom and you laugh out loud and you are amused for hours? That secret takes you back to your school days when you were truly happy and live the same happy moments again. Had you known that secret while in the school, the effect wouldn’t be the same as it was 10 years later, right?”

“Hmmmm” is all that she said and hit me again.

Thus began a new chapter in my life. It was the chapter I was dying to read- one of happiness and guilty pleasure. It was one of effortless flirting with the girl I began to get so attached to, that I had stopped being a flirt with other girls. No other girl seemed as pretty as her. I was feeling that I was becoming more romantic at heart and enjoy little things like Sunrise with her; she was guiding me to learn the osmosis of nature’s beauty. There was osmosis everywhere. My soul was brimming with feelings of happiness, pleasure and osmosis. I always used to think about how to make her laugh. I was so addicted to it- I just couldn’t get enough of it. How she’d hold my hand and take me to my new state of euphoria which I had never felt- not even during Ingrid’s movies or Keats’ poems. I was becoming something like a romantic fool. I had found the girl of my dreams- and I had told her that I didn’t believe in love or marriage. I am the biggest jackass ever to walk the earth and I was my own worst enemy.

And to make matters a bit more complicated, Leela had the audacity to talk about my stupid ways during one of the outings on the Chamundi Hill.

“Manasa had called me today to ask me if she could join us during our trips to Chamundi Hills,” Leela said, “I said no to her…”

“Who’s Manasa?” asked Neethu.

“Oh you don’t know her, but she’s one of the many girls our dear Guru flirted with, for fun only, and the poor girl fell for him…”

Neethu was looking at me in a way that made my soul stir.  I had to defend myself.

“Like all girls, I had told Manasa during the first meeting itself about my intentions- I wasn’t serious. I was just trying to have fun and make her feel better too…” I said.

“You call what you did with Manasa, ‘making her feel better’?”  accused Leela.

“What did I do wrong? She knew I was a flirt from the beginning… I never hurt on purpose. It was her fault that she started to like me- I never encouraged her…”

“Oh you are taking the moral high ground over here? You always do the same thing with these stupid girls. You talk to them. Make them feel better. Make them happy. Make them dream. Make them hope and then you tell them that you are never serious- for your pleasure,” Leela continued, “Guru, I know you didn’t want to hurt these girls, but you have this way with the girls, especially the stupid ones- you mix so many fantastic entertaining lies and weird truths together that you confuse everybody. Sometimes even I’m confused. I don’t know when you are making one of your stupid jokes and when you are serious. But you, you do something to these girls, I don’t understand myself…”

This was news to me. I just didn’t know why Leela had to be this callous to me in front of Neethu. She may be telling the truth- maybe I might have hurt a few girls. But it’s not my fault. Those girls knew from the beginning the kind of guy I was- they willfully let their hearts fall for me and I am to blame for it? Should I stop being me? That’s just ridiculous.

“Well now I know that Osmosis works!” smiled Neethu.

I looked at Neethu, her eyes. What did she mean by that? Hadn’t Osmosis worked on her before? Didn’t she like me and my Osmosis and other theories? Hadn’t she fallen for me like I had fallen for her? It hurt. It started hurting really bad in my chest.

“It works Neethu,” said Leela, “but I was confident that it won’t work on a traditional and family oriented girl like you. So I let you hang out with Guru, when I had to be with Veeru, couldn’t leave you alone at home now, could I? You know Guru, so many guys have proposed to her, not all of them bad either. I would have said ‘Yes’ to a few of them myself. But Neethu said no them coz she loves her family and doesn’t want to hurt them with a stupid thing like Love, let alone a Love marriage…”

“Yes, I believe that both Love & Arranged marriages are equal in some ways” agreed Neethu, “Both have their pros and cons. Sometimes love can go sour and so can an arranged marriage. But I feel that there’s unequal amount of effort required to make things work. With arranged marriages, the families of both the boy and the girl are already happy- so the boy and the girl have to just find ways to love each other and live with each other happily. I am confident that even if the boy has a few different and odd ways, the boy and the girl can engage in a healthy talk and understand each other better. But with Love Marriages, not only do you have to convince your parents to agree, and be comfortable with what society has to nag about, the boy and the girl still have to work at the marriage to make it work…”

“I didn’t know you thought so much about life…” I interrupted her, I couldn’t hear anymore of this nonsense.

“Well thinking is good, you should try it sometimes!” she said nastily.

Leela started laughing like Raavan; it felt as if she did have ten heads like Raavan too.

With Leela’s evil laugh in my head that night, I started to think about things- for the first time in my life. I was thinking of the things I had done and what I shouldn’t have done. I was careless. For a few minutes of fun, I had potentially ruined the rest of my life. I knew I couldn’t be happy without Neethu. No, I couldn’t imagine a second of my life without her. I had to tell her how I feel. But I was weak. Really weak. If I tell her to her face that I like her, she might reject me outright and it would hurt a lot. Just one look of disapproval from her today had made my soul twitch and turn into a million knots. I couldn’t bear a direct refusal from her. No. I should indirectly tell her- even if she says, no, I could still hang around with her- at least I’ll have her in my life and I still could flirt with her coz, hey, I flirt with everybody right? Things won’t be too bad if I could have her at least as a friend in my life. And flirting is the most amazing socially acceptable pleasure I know, and if I could keep flirting with the girl I like, then what more could I ask for, huh?

So I set out to write her a Love Letter. If she knew me well enough and liked me too, then she’ll know that I wrote the Love Letter.  Subconsciously I really did want her to know that it was me who wrote the letter.

The day after I sent her my Love Letter, Leela had called me to her house. I knew I was in deep shit now. Leela would eat me alive for writing a Love Letter to her cousin. But I was a man of my words- I would stick by them, no matter what lay ahead. I went to her home.

I found Leela crying and shouting in her bed.

“What happened Leela?” I asked her.

“My aunt, Neethu’s mom, she died in an accident” she was sobbing hysterically, “And I can’t find Neethu…”

“What? You don’t know where she is? Does she know that her mom…”

“Ya, she knows… please find her Guru, please…”

I was going crazy and all negative thoughts were running through my nerves. I can’t let this negativity bring me down- I had to find Neethu. She was really close to her mom. I knew that. She already had lost her dad, now she lost her mom as well. I couldn’t imagine what was going through her head- I had to find her before she did anything stupid. I called my uncle to tell the Police and got hold of many mutual friends and sent them off looking for her all over Mysore.

I went to betta- Chamundi Hills hoping she was there…

I found her under the tree- our tree. She was holding my Love Letter. And she was crying.

I felt like running away from her. The timing couldn’t have been worse. Writing a love letter to a girl when her mom had died. I thought that I was prepared for the worst when I had written that letter. I knew nothing good will come of me talking to her, but she was my friend as well. I was going to try and comfort her or at least take her to the hospital. People were getting worried and perhaps, rightly so. I called Leela to tell her that Neethu was with me.

I sat next to Neethu. I didn’t dare to touch her- let alone hold her hand. I was too ashamed or too scared, I don’t know which. I didn’t know how to comfort her- coz I was too scared that I might end up hurting her even more than she already is. I was hurting. Perhaps not as much as her.

She was looking intensely at the setting Sun.

“I am cursed.” She said.

“What?” I said.

“This Love Letter killed my mom…” she said.

“I don’t understand…”

“My mom read this letter, got freaked out and drove in a hurry to come and meet me, but instead she met with that accident with that truck…”

“Oh…”

My heart had just refused to beat anymore. I was feeling numb and I was feeling cold. I was shivering. How could life be so cruel- the one time I was honest to myself, to somebody else and wrote what was in my heart and this… This happens! Is it even fair? Do I deserve this sort of a reply from God for my Love Letter? God! Does a boy deserve this kind of a torture? Are You a sadist, God? What’s happening here… I wanted to die, then and there…
No. I am not weak. I am better than what I was a second ago. I was motivating myself to rise to the occasion. Because I am not weak. I couldn’t let this kind of negativity bring me down. Neethu needed a friend now. Somebody had to make her laugh. Yes. That’s what I should try to do now…

“You know you should be feeling a bit happy by now…” I said with a faint smile.

“What?”

“Osmosis you know, it always works.  Happiness is flowing from me into you. So you should show that happiness a little, you know, by smiling,” I said, “Your mom maybe looking at you right now, worried that you will miss her a lot. Show her that you are a big girl now and you can smile through anything. Make her feel relieved, make her feel proud and let her go, give her a proper farewell… Show her the best of your smiles- the one that makes my heart forget the rhythm of life…”

She took a few seconds to respond.

“You never miss an opportunity to flirt, do you?” she smiled, “I know that you don’t believe in ghosts!”

“You know me! I’m a big flirt!” I said lightly, “It’s true that I don’t believe in ghosts, but you do, right?”

“Yes, I believe in souls. Maybe my mom is looking at me right now. But why can’t I feel her?”

“You have surrounded yourself in sadness; free yourself from this pain a little…” I said slowly, “Let Osmosis do its work and let all your sadness flow into me…”

Neethu was looking at the setting sun and we remained silent for an hour or so.

“Thank you, Guru,” she finally said, “Let’s go home…”

With that my chapter with Neethu had ended. All I was ever going be now was just be a friend to her. She really seemed like she needed one. Each day I tried to hang out with her as much as possible and try to cheer her up. Though with me she did seem normal, Leela had quite a different story about Neethu. It seemed Neethu had increasingly become obsessed with idea of the Love Letter and she had started a small investigation of her own. Leela didn’t like the way Neethu was handling all this. This in particular was worrying news for me. Each night I was having nightmares of Neethu finding out the truth about the Love Letter and I woke up drenched in my own sweat.

Two months later, out of nowhere, Neethu had asked me to meet her atop Chamundi Hills. I hadn’t been to Chamundi Hills since the day I brought Neethu back after her mom had died.

She was sitting under the tree, with the same vacant expression I had seen on her two months ago. When I said “Hi” to her, she brightened up.

“I want to break one of our threads now,” she said, “I want you to reveal a secret for me…”

“Leela’s wooden frog?” I asked her, with a silent prayer in my heart.

“No don’t be silly;” she said with a faint smile, “I want to know a bit more about the Love Letter…”

I knew now that she knew the truth about the Love Letter. So there was no point in hiding the facts from her. I was finally going to man up and take the responsibility for the Love Letter.

“I wrote it,” I said solemnly, “I am sorry that it led to…”

“My mom’s death!” she said coldly. My head had bowed in shame and remorse.

“I really liked you and after what Leela told I thought I might lose you, so I wrote that letter,” I continued earnestly, “It was only a gut feeling at the time when I wrote you that Love Letter that I liked you, but now it’s been two months, and I know for sure, that I really like you. Even though I tried hard to ignore my feelings and just be mature about this whole thing, but I can’t. I really like you and I’m really sorry that it has caused you so much pain. I sincerely apologize, Neethu, I’m really sorry…”

“Are you sure that you liking me is not your guilt? It’s not your pity love for a girl you orphaned?”

“Neethu, don’t be so harsh on me! I haven’t flirted with anybody else since I met you. I genuinely care about you- I have liked you since the day I met you. You might think that it’s just an infatuation, but it is not. I love you, Neethu…”

“That’s just what I wanted to hear from you, you idiot!” saying this, she burst into tears and hugged me so tightly that I could barely breathe.

“Our destiny is linked together by that intense Love Letter of yours; it’s not a thread we can break. It has brought me pain- so much pain, it has brought me loss, but it also has brought me hope, it has brought me love, it has brought me you…” she was sobbing, “I really need you now. I don’t know what magic you have done on me, I always think about you, I don’t miss my mom as much as I miss you, even though you are always near, yet not near enough damn it, I have fallen for you, like all those stupid girls… I feel so stupid…. I feel so unloved…”

“I love you Neethu and you’re not stupid. You are just a girl in love, Neethu…”

With that a new chapter got added to my love story. I was in love. I was happy. Neethu was a much more mature human being than I was. She could overlook the silly facts for love. I still had an enormous guilt and felt like a kid around her sometimes. Neethu was my inspiration to be a better human being. I was striving hard to be a better man- a better son, a better brother, a better employee, a better friend, a better lover and a better writer. I had started working on a novel. It was coming out very nicely and ironically it was titled “The Love Letter”. Finally my dream to become a writer of world fame seemed quite possible.  I was finally happy after going through all that hell.

I had made sure that this book wouldn’t hurt Neethu; I made sure that she was the first person to read it and see for herself that I had not written anything about us or her mom. She had to go on a trip to Mumbai at the time, so she took the book along with her. She’d periodically send me notes on my book, chapter by chapter, as to how to improve it and make it better. She was quite talented and had quite a good insight into my work. Thus I spent more and more time on my book, improving it, polishing it and sometimes I’d forget all about Neethu and on those days, she’d call me and give me kisses over the phone. She loved me so much, probably more than I loved her…

One day I went to Sapna Book House to do some book shopping and I was surprised to see a novel with the title “The Love Letter” on the main stand. I jumped towards the stand and took a copy. It was written by Neethu. It was my book! Quickly I turned the pages. The story, the contents, the preface- everything was mine! I couldn’t believe my eyes! She had fooled me!!! She pretended to be still reading the book while she had gone to Mumbai to get it published under her name! That bitch!

Was this her way of way of revenge? I didn’t care; I was going to get back at her for this…

The following lines were written by Neethu:

Don’t worry dear girls; Guru was not able to do anything to me. All the pain he caused to so many girls out there, he won’t be able to do it again- coz of Osmosis. In nature there’s so much death and he was so charming, he wasn’t weak at all, and he was so full of life. Death just moved from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration- I made sure of it- I killed him.

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Writer’s  comments:

Pls read this before Chapters 19-21

The Adventures of O (Chapters 1-3) (Chapters 4-6) (Chapters 7-9) (Chapters 10-12)(Chapters 13-15)(Chapters 16-18)

https://surysingh.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/the-adventures-of-o-chapters-1-3/

https://surysingh.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/the-adventures-of-o-chapters-4-6/

https://surysingh.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/the-adventures-of-o-chapters-7-9/

https://surysingh.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/the-adventures-of-o-chapters-10-12/

https://surysingh.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/the-adventures-of-o-chapters-13-15/

https://surysingh.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/the-adventures-of-o-chapters-16-18/

Chapter 19

Coming of the Armageddon

“I won’t let you do it, P” I was shouting. She was two feet away from me and I couldn’t strike her down. She had already given me commands.

“The Ship will reach Earth in a few minutes, O, don’t struggle, and I’ll give you elixir, just let go of your love… Don’t make it hard on me, please…”

I couldn’t do anything. I was helpless. What could I do? VIRUS! I couldn’t talk to her, without letting P know. And VIRUS is not good enough to stop P…

I was a loser. I was pathetic. I can’t even stop an old woman masquerading as a 16 year old girl.

“P, I can’t do anything. There is one thing that I have learnt- not to sweat over things that are not under my control…”

“Yes!”

“If you can’t beat them, join them! So I want to join you, I want that elixir…”

“O, be sure about one thing, if you play games with me, Humans will die even more miserably…”

“What game can I possibly play and win, against you?”

“I hope you do mean that… ”

“I promise!”

While she went to get me elixir, I whispered to VIRUS, “Super-Sweet-S-Style! Kill everything dear VIRUS, nothing should work after you’re done with this ship…” That S had to have such a big code-word to unleash VIRUS in attack mode! VIRUS silently entered the ship’s computer…

“Here’s your elixir, O”

I started drinking it. Yuck, it tasted like Milk

“I’m glad you are seeing the bigger picture… We have to cross the barrier because…”

“Warning!!! Total malfunction of LifePod177. Losing fuel in 3seconds, 2 seconds, 1 seconds… Unable to engage Back up fuel mechanism. Losing all power…”

“You piece of…”

“Cow dung?” I interrupted her, “We’re stranded here. Forever. You cannot signal anybody. No SOS, no, nothing. We’ll lose oxygen in few days and we’ll die, even if we have drunk elixir, without oxygen nothing can live, not even you, right? It’s an end truly Super-Sweet-S-Style!

“Oh that VIRUS!”

“You are a really good programmer, I have to agree, few minutes with VIRUS’ code and you wrote the code that’d kill yourself, which nobody was able to do in millions of years!”

“You know, this is what makes me attracted to you… You are one dangerous dude”

She came near me. I thought she was gonna kick me, but she gave me a really amazing kiss.

“You are becoming a good kisser!” I said.

“I’m learning from the best!”

“Oh, You! Sorry P, but looks like we are going to die together… you wanna die being the world’s biggest assshole or being the world’s best kisser? I can teach you more…”

“You really are sweet, O. But I’m not going die anytime soon. I haven’t survived millions of years just like that…”

“What do you mean? The Oxygen Converter is out, there’s no power! VIRUS totally wiped out all power!”

“I know!”

“Even the Computer system is down- no navigation system, no shield is up to protect us from the sedo-beams, no nothing, everything’s down!”

“I know honey, I’m gonna bring everything up in 2 seconds…”

“How?”

“Oh I’ve been transmitting power to all the systems in this ship for a while now. Each system has an antenna that can use this Over-The-Air power that I’m transmitting and each system will start running in full working mode…”

“You are kidding me! I won’t let you…”

I ran towards and hugged her, in an attempt to block all the power she was radiating. I was an idiot as I had not considered the outcome. Huge amount of power just went through my body and I was paralyzed for a good amount of time. If it wasn’t for elixir, I would have died, then and there…

“Oh I haven’t activated all the safety commands on you, yet?  Guess I should, and as a reward for your bravery, I will cut off your hands…”

“What?”

“The massive power knocked off your hearing or what? I said, I’ll reward your bravery by cutting off your hands, O”

She was totally serious. With her beautiful eyes, she was looking into my eyes, smiling, as she held two huge swords of lightning which came out of nowhere, and winked at me. Some kind of green fire or vapor was emanating from her entire body. She looked like she was death incarnate and I was about to die…

“I am going to enjoy this, O. You look so beautiful now. I really love your eyes when you are scared. You know what? I’ll keep this as your memory, whenever I miss you, I will remember you and see these eyes of yours and your scream… You have not yet screamed, O. Why have you not screamed? Do you not want me to enjoy this? Do you not want to end our first meeting with fun? Do you not want me to have a memorable experience of your scared eyes and your screams filled with horror? I said, Scream, O”

She lifted her swords. The terror she had invoked in me was so great that I couldn’t even scream. I was speechless and numb, my heart was pumping like there was no tomorrow and yet, there was not enough blood in me, I couldn’t see any red-color on my skin, or my palms, as I looked at my hands… probably for the last time…

“I said, Scream, O, beg for mercy, I won’t forgive you though, but beg me anyhow!”

Ship was whizzing through space towards Earth. I could see it from the window. Tears formed so quickly as soon as I saw that Blue-Green planet. This monster was going to kill them all and I won’t be able to do anything…

“Scream, O”

Was I worried about my hands?

“Don’t kill them, P, you are no monster, don’t kill them, take my hands if you want, but don’t kill them”

“Well I’ll consider this as begging without the commands, now, with the commands, Scream, O”

I started screaming…

She cut off both my hands from their sockets in a single clean swing. The lightning blades were enough to kill but because of elixir, I survived this too. Now I knew why she gave me the elixir, I was the one who had committed the biggest crime on Earth, so I should suffer the most. She gave me the elixir to go through all this unbearable pain and still live to suffer her sadistic torture…

I heard her laughter, that innocent laughter, the way I used to laugh, when I was a kid. It was beautiful; I wanted to hear it again.

“P, laugh again…”

She looked at me. The Spaceship had landed.

“I’m going out; I’ll destroy your satellites, all the defense labs and I’m going to give out commands. The commands will make every man a murderer and every woman and child, a victim. Each man will kill at least two victims and survive the horror, without eating any food, or water, or going for cloning or saving anybody else, they’ll just sit around, see the world filled with only men, no woman or child to be seen anywhere, and just wait to die…This is your punishment O, you can close your eyes and remember me or be a man, and see the effect of what you have caused. I will go from here once I send out the commands. You can keep this LifePod177 and your hands will grow back, as you have drunk elixir… Use the LifePod177, and you can do anything you want. Maybe you can plan to go across the barrier and find my dad and bring him back. You know this feeling of love for your dad and going to extremes to find him, right, that’s another thing that’s common between us. Or you could become powerful, I don’t know how, but you have to become powerful enough, to find me and kill me… O, can you do that?”

I was passing out…

I was no man, certainly not the man. I wasn’t even man enough to see the destruction I had caused…

I was in love with her and I wanted to die hearing her beautiful laughter. I started remembering her and I heard her laughter. And now I wanted to die.

But I just couldn’t…

E! E! I wanted to fight back. I had promised her…

Chapter 20

The Armageddon

“O! Wake up, O, wake up!”

It was E’s voice.

“I’m so glad to see you E!” Tears filled my heart. I had failed her; I had failed the whole world…

“What happened to you… Your hands…”

“Don’t worry about it… it’s a souvenir of my betrayal…”

“We were looking for you all these days and when we saw some unusual movement in space, we tracked that, it was a space-ship, it landed here and you were in there, I brought you out… But your hands…”

“I have to stop her; she’s going to kill everybody… Tell S to clear out the labs, and launch our back up Satellites from the moon for the commands…”

“What?”

“Do it, E, we don’t have time…”

E ran off with her phone. I hope I was not too late… I had to get up…

“Queen… You bitch!” I yelled in pain.

“I know, that bitch Queen is one hell of a psycho, she destroyed our satellites a few seconds ago…” This was a strange voice, actually there was no voice at all, and it was as if it was coming from within my brain, this was just a thought, which was not mine.

“Who are you?”

“Dude, it’s me, M!”

M had blocked the blood loss from my shoulder joints and covered my wound with his body.. His cloudlike body, suddenly felt like they were my two hands, only that their ends joined at point.

“How can I hear you?”

“I have connected to your neural network dude, and the elixir? Sweet!”

“You got the elixir too?”

“Yeah, is there a problem?”

“No. Yes, there is! The Queen’s going to kill everybody on Earth! And we don’t have much time!”

“What?”

“She cut off my hands with her lightning swords and she’s going to kill us all as punishment…”

“So that explains how I can connect to your neural network- because of the cut from the lightning blades, your shoulder joint has become a zone of high green energy… Your shoulder is glowing green man! You have a bit of a Queen in you; you are kinda powerful now…”

“I don’t feel powerful at all…”

“It’s because you are trying to control me like your hand…”

“What?”

“Just give KO Commands, or just tell me what to do, dude, don’t send your hand motor signals to me…”

“Huh?”

“Try, you can do it… we have been talking using these commands only, you can also move around me with same commands…”

I waved my right arm, I mean M.

He started moving. He was huge… I tried to find the end of my right M, I just couldn’t see it. I tried moving my left M. He too moved around. It felt great. I suddenly felt I was powerful…

“We should take on Queen, now, before she sends out the commands… Hey are these the commands being sent by Queen?” I could feel the commands being sent…

“It’s just like she said! Only she has sent me the command to stay awake and not pass out! That bitch! She really wanted to make me see all of it… She wanted to really torture me… We have to stop her…”

“How?”

“I don’t know…At least we must ensure E’s safety… ”

“The rockets from moon…”

“Have they launched?”

“They have jammed… I just read some responses from the rocket…”

“Even the rockets?”

“No I’m guessing some device was aboard those rockets which was capable of receiving the KO Commands…”

“Damn it!”

“I’m sensing her… She just left Earth…”

“What? She left?”

“That over confident bitch… we can win this after all… You can transmit KO Commands right?”

“Of low power and range, yes”

“Once she sends the commands, then we can give new commands…”

“Can you stretch into thin threads or small balls?”

“I can… what do you have in mind?”

“Turn yourself into infinite amounts of balls, or stretched thin threads, covering every bit of Earth and transmit these KO Commands that I have given… can you do it?”

“I think I can…”

And for those few seconds, when the world was about to plunge itself into darkness, when humanity had become a slave, out to destroy itself, and in the most chilling way possible, the whole of Earth was covered with snow-like cloudy balls, bringing with them the song of life. It was a beautiful sight; I don’t think if the Earth looked more beautiful than it was looking now, through my eyes. We had saved the planet, one more time from ourselves, the blue-green planet- called our home…

Chapter 21

Aftermath

“How does it feel now that your hands have grown back?” asked E.

“It’s OK”

“Are you still depressed?”

“What kind of a question is that E?”

“Hey, sorry! It’s just that I care about you because I love you…”

“Do you always have to use the love card, E? You make me feel guilty…”

“You’re the one who cheated, so you should suffer a little, don’t you agree?” she was smiling.

Yes I had cheated on her. And yet, here she was, with me, trying to make me feel better. But I really didn’t understand her way of making me feel better. But at least I am lucky, lucky because she understood that I had made a mistake… and I had almost paid a huge price for it.

“Stop thinking about it, damn it!” she yelled at me.

“How did I completely forget you when I was with her, just for a few seconds? How could I have sidelined the whole world? I had so many chances to do some serious harm to her, but I didn’t! Was I so madly in love with her?”

“Oh my God! O! It was not love, OK? Love is supposed to uplift you, make you feel better; it makes you a better person… make you do something great.”

“Well when I was with her, I felt uplifted, I felt really better, so that’s 2 out of 3.”

“It did not make you a better person than you already are?”

“No, it did not. In fact while I was with her, when she cut off my arms, I actually gave up… I didn’t want to save the world anymore… I just wanted to die…”

“O!” She hugged me. She was fighting her tears.

“All I want to do is think about her all the time and here her laughter…”

“You are just obsessed about her… She really was a strong woman, I mean she’s really old… Don’t you dare say that you still love her…”

“I think I love her”

“I wanna kick you in the jewels”

“I’m sorry E, but that’s just how I feel…”

“You are obsessed over her, she obviously has given you some commands, and with time you’ll get over it… I know that. You are my boy friend!”

“E, don’t you think I could tell the difference between a command and myself?”

“They’re commands that she gave you, end of discussion. You don’t always have to be this honest with me, O” I could sense she was about to cry.

I hugged her, “You are my girl friend, E. In time I’ll become my old self, I know. I just don’t know how to lie to you and tell you that I was faithful to you on that ship…”

“Then let’s not talk about this ever… OK?”

“To be fair, until I heard your voice, telling me to wake up, I had given up totally. You uplift me to do great things, E and she cuts off my arms and leaves me to watch the whole world die, I think I’m smart enough to know the difference between what you are to me and what she is…”

“Thank you, O. I love you…”

I still couldn’t say to her that I loved her. But in that ship, with P, love came in my words so easily. Should love always make a man better than he already is? I didn’t know. I didn’t want to think about it anymore. I wanted to love E and wanted to forget P. I remembered P, and heard her laughter, to see if I enjoyed her laughter. I was still charmed by her laughter and I was kinda happy again.

It was my guilty pleasure during the following days.

Was I in love with two women?


Writer’s  comments:

Pls read this before Chapters 16-18

The Adventures of O (Chapters 1-3) (Chapters 4-6) (Chapters 7-9) (Chapters 10-12)(Chapters 13-15)

https://surysingh.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/the-adventures-of-o-chapters-1-3/

https://surysingh.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/the-adventures-of-o-chapters-4-6/

https://surysingh.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/the-adventures-of-o-chapters-7-9/

https://surysingh.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/the-adventures-of-o-chapters-10-12/

Chapter 15

P

“How’s N’s experiments with Zombies to free them working out?” I asked S.

“Not much luck. He’s been frying the brains in the lab, O, nobody can work anymore over there”

“Why not?”

“I think if we have the gas bombs which smell like fried brains we’d win the war! The Queen would surrender immediately!”

“That bad, huh?”

“Yes”

“What else? Did you get what M was asking for?”

“The lightning gun? Are you kidding? Is there such a weapon?”

“I mean we see them in video games all the time! They must be real!”

“They’re not, OK. If M is so smart, why can’t he make that Lightning gun, to kill the Queen, himself, huh?”

“He can’t”

“Oh he can’t huh? We are running out of options here, O, at least we have got to release S233 to the people” S was getting desperate.

“I told you S, we can’t do that. M says that if a space tourist or hitchhiker chances upon S233, there’s going to be chaos here and the Queenians would undoubtedly wipe us out!”

“What are we going to do, O? Each day we are risking getting discovered. And if the Queenians find what’s going on here, we …”

“I know, S, I know!”

“I think I can help you out!” said a beautiful, probably 15-16 year old girl.

She was wearing the dreaded Queenian uniform which we saw in Rock’s memories.

“You’re a Queenian!” I gasped. My heart forgot how to beat for a few seconds. I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t get over the fact about how weird her eyes were, and yet somehow captivating.

“I’m amazed at how much you know! I have been observing you for the past two three days, and you have really impressed me!”

I had to step up my game. Lives depended on what I’d do in the next few minutes.

“Shall we go somewhere more secluded? This lab is a bit over crowded” she said.

“Yes. Where?”

“Your bedroom.”

“OK”. I was sweating.

I drove her to my house. She just kept looking at one thing while I drove- me. We went into my bedroom; I didn’t know what to say, so I remained silent.

“Have you seen a parrot made of red crystal?”

“No…”

“You know who I am?”

“You’re a Queenian”

“Why do you think that I’m a Queenian?”

“Your uniform.”

“What else?”

“I tried to punch you, I couldn’t”

“So you wanted to hit me?”

“No, no. I wanted to confirm if you were a Queenian.”

“What if I wasn’t and you actually hit me?”

“I’d have stopped just before I would actually make contact.”

“You’re confident about that?”

“Yes”

“Why does that girl E find you attractive?”

“Huh?”

“I mean, before she loved you, she must have found you attractive in some way. What did she like about you?”

“I, umm, I don’t know…”

“You wouldn’t tell me even if the fate of this world depended on it?”

“I know. I know why she liked me…”

“Then please, tell me”

“She said I acted like an idiot the first few seconds I saw her, then after a while…”

“Yes, after a while?”

“After a while, she noticed my eyes…”

“You know that she’s right? You are not attractive at all, but your eyes, they are such a mystery… they seem to have some romance, a burning passion, I don’t know what it is, but it is there… what else did she say about your eyes?”

“Huh, umm, my eyes… when I was blowing a big balloon and when she could only see my eyes at one point, she said, I looked like her prince charming of her dreams…”

“Ouch, that was a bad thing to say about your boy friend, and to his face, no less! That was harsh…”

“She can be brutally honest sometimes…” I was sweating like I was in some oven.

“Is she honest all the time with you?”

“I don’t know, I think so…”

“Does she love you?”

“Yes”

“And you?”

“Ya, I love me too” I smiled.

She started laughing like, like I used to laugh as a kid, free and wild and innocent I never heard laughter like that.

“You are funny, I had totally forgotten about that. I’ve been watching you, and you are funny. Why did you take this much time to be funny with me?”

“I mean, I was scared…”

“You are scared of a girl who’s in your bedroom?”

“A beautiful girl…” I corrected her.

“You think I’m pretty?”

“Even though you are a Queenian I haven’t been able to ignore the fact that you are really pretty…”

“And you wanted to punch me?”

“But I’d have stopped”

“You’re free to punch me now…”

“What?”

“I said you’re free to punch me now…”

“You didn’t deactivate any beam; you didn’t send any command…”

“Don’t you believe me? Punch me and prove that you could stop, just before contact…”

“OK.” I lifted my arm. I sensed no blocking if I lifted my arm towards her. She had deactivated the command. I could do anything now, I could punch her, I mean, real hard, knock her out, I could even kill her now. And nobody would know… if there’s no Queenian to go back to the Queen and quack, the queen would never know… And Earth won’t be in any danger, at least for some more time.

But her eyes. They were so freaky, so weird. But there was something magical about them… Her lips seemed so soft… I wanted to kiss her…

I bent my head towards her, poised to kiss.

“You bad boy!” she pushed me.

“I stopped at the last minute…” I found myself smiling naughtily.

“You were not! You were going to kiss me!”

“No, no. I said I’d stop and I stopped, I mean, did the kiss take place?”

“It didn’t happen because I pushed you

“Well I have news for you, I was about to stop…”

“Oh really? You liar!”

I was laughing. She was laughing too. And I realized I loved flirting with her!

“Do you want to do something crazy?” she asked.

“Yes” I couldn’t say no to her!

“Hey what’s your name?” I asked.

“Umm, you have S, M, N, you’re O, then you can call me, umm, P”

“P!”

“I’m glad you tried to kiss me…” she said while leading me out of my house.

“I’m glad too…”

Chapter 17

Ha-P Days

“Where are we going?” I asked her. Space ship had been flying for a few minutes now.

“I don’t know”

“How far can you go on this thing?”

“You’ll be surprised!”

“Can you go far from everything? From reality?”

“I like that thought! I think we can go far from everything!” she was giggling again.

“O, what do you want to do?”

“I want to look in your weird eyes! You know you’ve got some really weird eyes?”

“Well that’s a romantic thing to say to a girl!” she was laughing again.

“Romantic? You want me to be romantic?”

“Yes, don’t you?”

“I want to be sexy!”

She laughed again. I was getting addicted to her laughter. I mean, what was with her laugh? I just went back to being a kid… when I was happy. When Priya was normal, when dad was not shining and mom was alive… I remember laughing like that… this girl was laughing like I used to, I wanted to hear that laughter again and again… I wanted to make her laugh again and again. It was as if my entire soul was laughing, not that I believe in soul…

“You are sexy” she said.

“I am? You said I was not attractive at all, except for my eyes!”

“Yes your eyes are very sexy!”

“We’re not under the influence of some drugs right? I mean I feel a little, whoo-ho-hooo”

“No, it’s all our eyes. Your eyes are sexy and my eyes are weird…”

“Your eyes are magical, they’re weird, but they’re more magical, I just want to keep looking at them…”

“Then look at them…”

“I am! Have you read Kalidasa?”

“No, is he a poet?”

“Yes”

“Are you going to tell me a poem?”

“No!”

“Meany…”

“You know what he said about Shakunthala?”

“No”

“Her eyes were so pretty, so alive, like a flower, that a bee, you know what a bee is right? That a bee mistakes her eyes to be beautiful flowers…”

“Ew! I hate bees”

“What? It was so beautiful, what he said, was so beautiful…”

“What is beautiful really?”

“You”

“I’m beginning to agree that you are on drugs!” she started laughing again.

“Don’t stop. Keep laughing…”

“What?”

“Your laughter is so, so calming. It makes me happy…”

“Does it now?”

“Yes, your laughter is… it is…”

“It is what?”

“I don’t know, I’m not good with words. It makes me forget everything; makes everything else unreal, boring, It makes me happy, just to be with you, P”

“Whenever you want to hear my laughter, just think of me, and my laughter you will hear, I’ve made it so…”

“Also make me remember your face, your eyes…”

“Alright, you junkie…Now close your eyes… what are you thinking about?”

“You”

“Good! Can you hear my laughter and see me laughing?”

With my mind’s eyes I could see and hear her so clearly, it was magic or something…

“Yes, hey can I still punch you?”

“You want to punch me?”

“Yes”

“Then you can punch me, it should be a really wet punch OK?”

I kissed her. I caught her lips while she was saying “OK”

I don’t remember how long we kissed or how often I kissed her, but E, if you are reading this, I’m sorry. I loved you with all my heart, but with P, it’s different, I’m different. I just can’t say it in words, I just can’t. It’s not only you that I have cheated; I had made a promise to the world that I’ll do my best to protect it. But I was not thinking about that promise then, if I was, I would have killed P when I got the first chance. But I didn’t. I was a slave to this Queenian. I don’t know what KO commands she had used on me… I’m sorry, E and I’m sorry world… Please find it in your hearts to forgive my selfishness because the days that I spent on her space ship were one of my happiest…

“Do you want to dance?” she asked.

“Yes!”

“Dance of lights?”

“I don’t know that one…”

“It’s easy. Switch off all lights, all machines, all computers of the ship, take out something that glows in the dark and dance!”

“It sounds romantic… did you make this up?”

“Totally! Just now, in fact!” she giggled as she switched off everything and took out something, that glowed in a million colors like a butterfly. Each time the wings of the butterfly flapped, the size of the butterfly would change. I could see in the light, her eyes… And they looked so divine, so full of life. Her slow rhythmic steps and slowly her eyes started dancing too… it was the most beautiful thing I had seen in my life.

I took out my mobile and made it glow and slowly tried to copy her moves.

“You’re really good at the Dance of Lights!”

“Oh I learnt from the girl who invented that dance!”

She laughed again. And I closed my eyes and remembered her, I could see her laughing face, but it was nearly not good enough, it was an entirely divine feeling- to see her in person, alive, right next to me, smelling her hair and breathing the same air, so close, so close while our bodies danced to the rhythm of love, I craved for her kiss- she was teasing me- denying the kiss. The game went on till I couldn’t take it anymore and held her shoulders so firmly and kissed her so violently, that I was hurting her, I was getting hurt, and she was hurting me and as if in all this pain laid our salvation… We were free, really free…

“Warning, warning, intruder program detected!!!” the spaceship’s computer shouted.

“VIRUS!” I said.

“Do you know anything about this?”

“I’ll take care of it…”

Chapter 18

The Queen

“VIRUS, P is a friend! Why did you try to hack into her Space Ship?” I asked VIRUS.

“O, this is an alien Space ship, I couldn’t resist it, and I had to know everything about it! Look at all this hardware!”

“That’s OK, O. SO this is your software?” asked P.

“Yes. This basically is malicious software intended to do maximum damage and collect maximum data from the hostiles”

“But why did it get caught? This ship is a basic Queeninan LifePod177.  This doesn’t boast of advanced protection… Your software really sucks if it can get caught by this ship. You have the source code for VIRUS?”

“Yes. VIRUS load it onto screen”

We could see the code on the screen. It was a messy code, written over 3 years by S and me. There were no comments, the logic was not straightforward. It was a programmer’s nightmare, basically.

“I see the problem. You are not registering or certifying at the hardware level. You see, in our ships, most of the OS routines are done at the hardware level itself, so even if switch-off, it only means the ship has gone in power-save mode, and the OS and all security and health monitoring mechanisms are still active. Wait I’ll change the coding here… like this…”

She started typing rapidly. I tried to follow her logic, the algorithm she was using to hack into her own ship. I followed for a while and then it became Greek to me. Maybe when I’m back in home with S, I’ll understand a bit better…

“Done!” she said.

“You know that I could potentially use VIRUS against the Queenians?”

“I want you to! It’s been boring, no worthy opponent. It’s no fun at all being the most powerful and don’t get to use your power at all…”

“Oh… Right. I can’t believe that you are a programmer too!”

“I am! There are a lot of other common things between us, O”

“Like what?”

“Well, you are a dictator…”

“No way, you are a dictator too?”

“Yes”

“Which planet?”

“It’s not a planet…”

“A satellite?”

“No. not that either…”

“A galaxy!?”

“No…”

I looked at her for the longest time. She couldn’t be, she really couldn’t be her…

“Uni… Universe?”

She nodded her head.

“You’re the Queen?”

“Don’t I look like a Queen?”

“You look like a Princess!”

“That’s why I told you that I was P”

“But you are Q”

“Yes I am…Are you mad at me for hiding my identity?”

“No, no. if you had told me I wouldn’t have, I wouldn’t have… kissed you…”

“Really?”

“I don’t know… Perhaps I would have, I’m so madly in love with you”

“You love me?”

“I don’t know, I’m confused… Oh God what’s going on!”

“Confused? Why? You were the one who tried to kiss me first! And now you are confused? Is the cause for your confusion E?”

“No, no. Oh my God, I totally forgot about her!”

“That’s good. Good answer O.” she was giggling again.

“I have been kissing the Queen… You are supposed to be the villain…”

“Villain?”

“Yes. If you found out that I used your KO commands to rule the world, you are supposed to annihilate us!”

“You forgot to mention about S233”

“You know about that too?”

“I know everything about you… about what all you have done and frankly speaking I’m really excited!”

“Excited? Aren’t you worried about S233?”

“Worried? No! Let me show you, eat one S233…”

The bottle I always carried, she probably knew about that too. I ate one S233.

“Three minutes.” I said

“I know…now beg me to make E really fat, I mean really fat…”

“Please Queen, I beg you to make E very fat!” I said it, even though I didn’t want to say it!

“Done, she’s fat now!”

“No, revert it back! Revert it back!”

“Why do you care? You love me remember, and love is an exclusive activity remember?”

“She’s my friend! I don’t want her to be fat!”

“You mean to say you don’t like people who are fat?”

“I didn’t mean that. She’s very figure conscience, she’ll come crying to me when I get home and I still have to break up with her, because of you know… she’ll think that I’m breaking up with her because she became fat…”

“You know you are very interesting… After you break up with her, what will you do?”

“Umm, ask you out on a date… ” I was blushing. God knows why I was blushing, I had already kissed her, several times!

“What will you do if I refuse?”

“I’ll make a Victory symbol, V, with my fingers, point that V to your eyes and then make your eyes look at mine… I know you’ll say yes to my eyes…”

“Let’s say, I somehow resist that great temptation, and say, no, again?”

“Well somebody’s playing hard ball! Well, I’ll charm you with my romantic ways…”

“Like you did with E?”

“What?”

“Relax! I’m just messing with you…” she was giggling callously.

“You are an evil Queen!”

“Seriously, I would still say no to you…”

“Why?”

“Because I’m millions of years old and you are just 18… ”

“You look 16!”

“Do I now? How sweet of you!”

“I said, you really look 16!”

“I know that! I like this look, that’s why I look like this”

“You can choose how you look?”

“Isn’t that convenient for a girl aged several million years?”

“Yes, it is. E’s grandma will be thrilled to hear about this… But age is just a number for love…”

“Love? You might be in love with me… and I, on the other hand, don’t really know what love means…”

“What?”

“I have to consider my career as a Queen”

“But you are the Queen of the whole Universe! You can do anything!”

“Yes, I was just messing with you with the career thing”

“Tell me the truth, P”

“OK, OK. Considering all the horrible things I’m about to do to you, the least I can do is being honest with you… You are not macho enough; I need a man who can take care of me… I need security”

“P! You are the Queen of the whole Universe, for God sake. You are the most powerful person in this Universe…”

“Not powerful enough to cross the barrier…”

“What?”

“You know the barrier? In Rock’s memories? The King and Deltamite were talking about it?”

“How do you know about Rock?”

“I saw all your memories when you were sleeping…”

“You looked into my memories?”

“Yes, I probably know you better than you know yourself…So I’m going to do what’s best for me, for you and the whole world…”

“You will do what’s best for everybody?”

“Yes, I will give you elixir, you have to drink it, so that you’ll survive long enough to date me for a while…”

“Oh, that sounds interesting….”

“I’ll make you powerful enough to go through the barrier…”

“Less interesting…”

“You will go there, and find out what I want you to find out”

“What is this Barrier?”

“It’s something my dad, the former King, who you saw in Rock’s memories, was obsessed with, and crossed over it.”

“Former King?”

“Well we haven’t heard from him in a long time…”

“He crossed the Barrier and no one has heard from him?”

“No.”

“And he was powerful like you?”

“No. He was a brave Queenian, but he wasn’t as powerful as me…”

“Was there anybody in past or anybody in the present as powerful as you?”

“No”

“Are you God?”

“I told you, I have a dad!”

“Oh”

“If you can cross the barrier, find my dad and bring him back to me, I’ll definitely consider dating you.”

“If I do all that, you’ll just consider dating me?”

“I mean, when a man goes through difficult times he changes right? If you can remain the way you are now, I’ll date you, I promise”

“You know I don’t trust that promise. You are a fellow dictator after all!”

“So are you going across the barrier?”

“Will you be controlling me if I go across the barrier?”

“Controlling across barrier is slow because the data rate of KO commands is very less across the barrier. You’ll have to fend for yourself…”

“And why would I agree to do something that even your dad couldn’t do?”

“To date me”

“Oh… which you will consider later…”

“You’re finally getting the big picture… So you want the elixir?”

“Yes, I guess…”

“Oh, but you have to make the ultimate sacrifice to get this elixir…”

“Is the elixir in this ship?”

“Yes”

“You can just give me the bottle?”

“Yes”

“Then why the hell should I sacrifice?!”

“I mean, they’re the rules!”

“You’re making this sacrifice thing up to get something from me?”

“Maybe”

“What should I sacrifice? Do I love the thing I have to sacrifice?”

“I guess that is why they call it sacrifice”

“What is it?”

“You have to let go of Earth”

“What? Like leave it?”

“Not exactly. I’m going to kill, like everybody, on the planet mercilessly, and you have to let go of your love of your planet and its people, you know. I mean it’s no use feeling miserable and getting depressed about some dead people right? I mean, when compared to being strong enough to cross the barrier, bring my dad back and date me!”

“You’re joking right?”

“No, I’m not joking”

“Have you gone mad?”

“No, I have not. And I don’t think I like your tone!”

“You are going to kill all humans and I should just watch my tone? To make it more likeable? To you?!”

“As usual you are over-reacting…”

“Boy have I heard that line before. Look P, I am not over-reacting! It’s you who are over-reacting? I mean why to kill everybody on Earth? For what reason?”

“For your sacrifice. For elixir. Remember?”

“You said you were making the sacrifice thing up!”

“Did I now? So you want the truth?”

“I want to know why, now!”

“For some paper work, some beaurocratic reasons”

“What?”

“Listen O, you guys are not the first species to find a drug similar to S233, OK? Even though a drug like S233 is no hindrance for me, but it’s a hindrance to normal Queenians who rely on machines to send KO commands and get responses. So to discourage any further research in the direction of S233 by the same species or other species we just wipe out the whole species who had committed the crime to eat S233 or research it further… The wiping out of the species also serves as a warning to other species who might consider researching on the lines of S233… You get it?”

“But we did not know! If I had known this before, I wouldn’t have started research on this at all! It’s my fault, I am the one who misused these commands, and I was the one who ordered the projects which resulted in S233, I should be punished, not Earth!”

“Your planet’s growth was irregular compared to other planets. You did not find out about aliens, who frequently visited, in fact, or about the United Space Committee (USC), but you found out that somebody is controlling you and you guys took action to free yourselves. The discovery of the KO commands by you guys maybe unfortunate, but rules are rules… Humans have to die… But you are special, O! You may not be special for Universe or USC, but you are special to me and I’m going to keep you alive. Sure, you’ll be mad at me for killing your loved ones, but you’ll come around in a few hundred years when you get lonely…”

“My foolish mistake has caused everybody on Earth their lives, I have single handedly killed my species, I mean, who could have predicted that this is how all humans would go…”

I couldn’t even cry, like I normally did.