Hoth pe liye hue dil ki baat hum
Jaagte rahenge aur kitni raat hum
Mukhtasar si baat hai tumse pyaar hai
Tumhara intezaar hai

The old creaky transistor lazily crooned the soporific number vocalized by Hemant Kumar, rattling of the windows adding to the pain. Ajay had been tossing in his bed restlessly. Not being able to cope with the finer nuances of love, he was devastated. Seeing his beloved getting close to another guy in front of him was something he never dreaded, for he never anticipated such to happen. Even though he had never proposed to her, he thought she loved him, as the look in her eyes always professed, as the time spent between them always seemed surreal and intimate.

Dil behel to jayega iss khayal se
Haal mil gaya tumhara apne haal se
Raat yeh qarar ki beqarar hai
Tumhara intezaar hai

After pondering his thoughts over these lines of the song, he somehow was pacified. Maybe he should ask her out. Maybe he shouldn’t. Is there any hope? Is there any scope for a hope? His mind was clouded by unpractical questions and hazy answers, like the mystic moon which was shrouded by the clouds.

Khwaab chun rahi hai raat, beqarar hai
Tumhara intezaar hai, tum pukar lo

Just when he was getting affirmative, his mobile sang “Tumse hi din hota hai, surmai shaam aati hai, tumse hi”. His smile snubbed the pensive mood, and he picked the phone singing, “Main kahi bhi jaata hu, tumse hi mil jaata hu, tumse hi, tumse hi, raaste mil jaate hai, manzilen mil jaati hai, tumse hi, tumse hi.”

Her chuckle was followed by a quivering voice as she recited a couplet – “Zariye aur bhi hai dil lagane ke, par yeh dil hai ki tujhse uqta hi nahi.” (There are many others ways to get occupied, yet I never get bored of you.)

Along came a new day, and a new beginning.

“Another night of turbulence, another night of fidgeting,” she thought to herself as he entered the room, as he entered her. She had always spread her legs for him, just like numerous other chores she never enjoyed doing for him, like cooking a five-course meal for him twice a day, studying his silences, arguing over finances, waiting for a hope, waiting for a hopeless hope.

Few drops made their way out from her tightly gripped eyes, as she waited for the slaughter to end. When he was done, he kept lying on her, panting profusely. She looked at her hands, her arms, touched her face, her stomach, her genital. Bruises were deeper than they looked. The only happiness in her world was his premature ejaculation!

She had had enough. His passive face made her furious today. She had lost the battle in her mind of giving him yet another chance, giving him time. As he lit his cigarette, she turned her face towards him. Exhaling the smoke on her face, he couldn’t notice the resilience. Without saying a word, she got up, looked towards his crotch area and kicked with all her might between his legs. He screamed his guts out. She again kicked on the same area. Then she stubbed out his cigarette on his face, letting him cry hoarse.

He had sought pleasure out of her pain for so many years, now was her avenge.

Along came a new day, and a new beginning.

Mesmerized by the sonata of the chimes unwontedly hung in the corner of the verandah, Payal looked at him from the corner of her eyes. The flickering of the flames on his face from the bonfire entranced her. Was Deepak surrounded by an aura she never saw, or was she hallucinating? She looked straight into his eyes, and the glance was welcomed by his smiling eyes. The eyes welled up, but none of them blinked. Their gaze was distracted by a huge splash in the river flowing by. She kept looking at him while he looked for the unfamiliarity in the sound of the flow of the river. When Deepak looked back at her, his gaze was transfixed. She looked lovelier than ever. Her beauty was enchanting. “I’m not sure if I’d able to resist the temptation anymore,” he said with his tone adamant.

She had made up her mind, finally. He was the one. Seeing a smile breaking, he went closer to her and caressed her face. She didn’t fidget this time. “Finally, I’m going to kiss you, my bride of two months.”

The flickering silhouettes of their passion were accompanied by many a moan and chuckle in that log-hut that night.

Along came a new day, and a new beginning.

The night doesn’t just belong to the hooting owls and howling wolves in this metropolitan. The yet-to-be-born child was desperate to come out of the dungeon and face the world. Soma was feeling the child inside her kicking her, fidgeting, wriggling, causing her abdomen pain incessantly. She asked again when would the ambulance arrive. Vivek was equally restless, the sweat on his face not tickling him anymore. He called the local cab, for waiting for ambulance in this city of dreams where chaos reigns after midnight would be stupidity.

As the Maruti Omni screeched to start, she held his hand tight, murmuring, “Amma Bauji hume sveekar kar lenge na iske aane ke baad? Hamara pyaar jeetega na? Hum apne ghar, apne sheher jaa sakenge na?” He kissed her forehead and comforted her, “Mera baccha, itni fikar mat kar, sab theek ho jayega. Sab sveekar kar lenge hume, bhool jayenge humne unki na-manzoori se shaadi kari thi. Tu bas bhagwan ka naam le Somu.”

A loud thud accompanied with vicious jerks tossed them several times, the van still honking. Their hands were separated during the crash, and the first thing Vivek did after regaining consciousness was clasp her hand. But the hand that used to comfort him had gone numb. There was no movement. As he stooped to check her, an excruciating pain hit him on his head, sending him numb. Again, the hands were separated.

The ambulance arrived finally. They had died, but an iota of their love survived.

Along came a new day, and a new beginning.

The sun was setting in a jiffy. She lazily threw a glance at the melting colors on the horizon, merging reluctantly with the clouds. The coffee mug had no marks of her bright lipstick. Cold like her heart. The honking at the street under her balcony had diffused suddenly. The paranoia of the milieu had ceased momentarily it seemed. She smirked at the darkness around her. There was a strange warmth now, marked with a shudder. As time lapsed, she was no longer floating over the hazy expanse of unrequited love and piercing togetherness and painstakingly cherished nostalgia and treasured sweet nothings and casual ex-pressions of love and phony promises and sincere cravings and a lifetime of anticipation.

The door bell rang profusely. Then the door was rammed. Then there was an awkward silence. Then there was a wail. And then, there was an awkward silence, yet again.

No trace of blood. Not a blemish on the veins. No ex-pression of torment. She lay there quietly, her smirk making it impossible to gauge her state of mind before she took the final plunge. The verve was lost into oblivion long time back. What was left was now lying in pale flesh and blood, with no soul. She had bid adieu, albeit with a smirk.

The labyrinth of her cravings yet echoed within the four walls.

Her fist had a small crumpled paper. He took out the paper precariously, as if not to wake her from deep slumber. The words on that paper had a whipping effect on his heart. He was never so guilty. He never regretted anything as much. Today he realized, what love meant. What giving meant. What loving back meant.

Along came a new day, and a new beginning.

Four guys neared their car. She stopped crooning her favorite song as these guys approached them and asked for a lighter. Samarth gave his lighter, but these guys stood there, lighted their cigarettes and started asking them embarrassing questions. When Samarth retaliated, one of them took out a knife and pointed it towards his torso.

Horrified on seeing the knife, Neelisha blurted out a valiant cry. But it was cut short by a tall guy who put a handkerchief on her face. She struggled but couldn’t escape his grope. Samarth couldn’t improvise on his heroics as one guy banged his head with a hockey stick. He fell over to ground, with bleak senses, but enough to witness the slaughter of his best friend.

She was filled with a fleshy gloom and dreadful anonymity from all corners. They weren’t kind enough to ravage her in turns. Infringing every speck of her, they shattered her peaks, syringed her hollows, squashed her fullness, sandpapered her goose bumps, calloused her ripeness, battered her squeaks, tarnished her soul and blurred her vision. Samarth was left free when these four guys caroused and celebrated their triumph.

They rushed to the hospital, then police station, then hospital again, then police station. When they finally were free, a mob of reporters assaulted them with even embarrassing questions. They were left speechless. There were questions which even they couldn’t answer.

The next day, all the leading dailies reported in bold – A couple making out in a public place punished by the community.

Along came a new day, and a new beginning.

The sea was getting restless, as they walked along the shore. As usual he took her hand in his and started singing. She was blushing as he was singing the soulful types. She knew his mood is romantic today. Then he serenaded her with their latest toothsome number – “Soniyo, tumhe dekhta hu to sochta hu bas yahi, tum jo mera saath do, saare gham bhulake, jee lu muskuraake zindagi, tu dede mera saath thaam le haath”. She was so overwhelmed with his crooning that she didn’t realize when he stopped her. Drawing her closer, he put his hand around her waist and started swaying. She was enjoying every bit of it.

The lash of the waves drenched them and the moonlight glistened their wet faces. He walked her to a rock nearby, took out a candle from his back pocket and lit it with a lighter. She couldn’t digest what was he up to. His filmi reply, “You look so beautiful on the flicker of a candle that I had this urge to behold that sight. I’m tired of imagining, you see” made her blush and slap on his shoulder, “You are so cheesy, Karan.”

“Shona, I know I’m cheesy. But believe me, your presence makes me cheesy, I can’t help it. Perhaps in your absence, even your thoughts make me cheesy”, he looked into her eyes as if whatever he said made complete sense to her. She kissed his palm and said, “And I like when you become cheesy, Jaan”, even she didn’t know what she was acknowledging. Maybe it was the ambience, or his company, or the moon light, or the rush of the waves, or maybe, just love.

“Shona, you know I really love your name, Natasha. But you know, it’s kinda incomplete. It should have a suffix I think.”

“Suffix? As in a stupid superlative? Like that Natasha + Sunshine = Natashanshine types? Perhaps oxymorons?”

“No re baba, I’m not cheesy right now. What I meant was, umm, like, like…”

“What’s wrong with you Karan? You are not coming up with a name? Shucks. That’s weird.”

“You know, Natasha should have suffixes like Natasha Bhabhi, Natasha Didi, Natasha Mausi, Natasha Chachi, Natasha Beti, Natasha Bua. Yaa. Natasha Bhabhi. Imagine my lil sis calling you Natasha Bhabhi. Imagine my niece calling you Natasha Chachi.”


“Yes, Natasha Chachi is cute na? Imagine you will always hear her sweet voice, calling your perfect name – Natasha Chachi. Hey, marry me Natasha, if not for me, then for the sake of my cute niece who loves you, for the sake of my lil sis who got a confidant in you, for the sake of these cute suffixes which will complete your name, and complete my life“.

She was completely taken aback by what he said. Her confusion showed on her face, thinking if he was serious or was it just another of his leg-pulling and filmi dialogue. She waited for him to speak more, so that she could gauge if he meant what he said.

“Shona, say yes, else I have other ways to coax you to accept my proposal”.

“Other ways? So are you going to do zabardasti with this bholi bhaali ladki?” she batted her eyelids as she spoke, with her hands enwrapping her chest.

“Yes, I’ll have to resort to other ways then, say yes na, please. Please marry me shona, my nuts baby, my Natashanshine“.

She was teasing him by prolonging the acceptance. He then said, “Okay, you called for it, now don’t say you were embarrassed”. She didn’t know that on a blow of a whistle, hordes of people would emerge from the corner of the beach. A band started playing typical marriage orchestra, and then, his niece, sister, brother, friends, all came near her singing and dancing to the tune, “Isse shaadi karogi, kya isse shaadi karogi?”

He was right. He did coax her to accept his proposal.

Along came a new day, and a new beginning.