2014 Curtain Call!

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Last night, I don’t even remember when I had slept off. I had been terribly tired after a movies’ day out with family and friends and could barely keep my eyes open. I was having this dream of the amazing Christmas outing I had this year when suddenly it got broken. When I woke up disoriented, it was the middle of the night and I found myself in the bed, with the same clothes on, albeit with a blanket, someone had cared to pull over me. The clock showed 3:00 a.m. I slapped my hand on my face and muttered an oath. I so hate being an insomniac. Even being mind-numbingly tired, couldn’t help, Good Lord! My mind reeled in the snatches of the dream that I was having and my face invariably broke into a smile. I stretched myself and lit the study table lamp. Might as well make myself comfortable, as sleep is a reticent visitor at my house. While picking up the half-read story book, my hand brushed the calendar. 31st December. Just this day left, for the year 2014 to pack its bags and never come back. That eternal question came into my mind. How did the year pass so quickly?! I wandered off into space, travelling back to the very first month of 2014.
As usual, new year rings in with a host of resolutions, which as the saying goes, are meant to be broken, but then, I believe in keeping the resolutions, most of which I have been able to keep, as well. So, no regrets there. I had went on to make my entry in Twitter, which ultimately became one of the biggest element in changing my Life. In many ways more than I had imagined anyone or anything could ever.
Some of the resolutions that I had taken, as far as my memory goes, included regular jogging, reading lots and lots of books and the new thing that was included this passing year was more social networking. In Twitter, which apparently was new for me. I had got to know about this community called the TSBC (The Sunday Book Club) from the daily newspaper The Telegraph and being the bookworm I was, I was undoubtedly attracted to it and thought it the best way to start in Twitter. I straightway joined in the discussions, made some real good friends with mutual love for books in the past few months and had it not been for TSBC, Twitter wouldn’t actually have happened to me. So, thank you TSBC for giving me a new lease of life in Twitter.
Cutting back to March, my birth month. By this time, one Twitter follower had accidentally come across me through TSBC, who also happened to be a fellow Calcuttan. He also happened to be the person who took me to my first Tweetup, that too on my birthday itself, resulting in meeting up with some more Twitter friends. If not for anything else, I’ll be forever grateful to him for introducing me to these and some more people.
Incidentally, it was through him that I followed another girl, who happened to be very sweet and also a part of a group, which I literally bumped into. Bumps are usually bad, but this bump, I guess, would go down as one of the happiest bumps I had in my life! This group was pretty large, with already 9 people in it and with me gatecrashing into the party, took it to 10. We hit off instantly, subsequently resulting in the creation of a Watsapp group and that journey goes on still now and hopefully for years to come. This group again revolutionized my life.
From initial misunderstandings to clearing of them, the journey was one hell of a roller coaster ride. We shared our joys and sorrows together. I personally was involved in a one-on-one bitchy fight with a girl of my age of the group. We fought like cats and dogs and I still wonder whether that day had actually happened when we had offered olive branch to each other, which paved the way to a brilliant friendship. So much so, I actually was offering her tips and choosing her shoes for a date she had, recently, which would have been unthinkable, even a few months back. Life does have its share of surprises!
Till now, this group have had 4-5 meetups and touch-wood, this group has been going strong, with its own share of quarrels and misunderstandings. There has been little we haven’t shared with each other and individually as well.
One wonderful thing that I’m thankful to God for, is getting a guy best friend by my side, from again, this very group. I have had just one best friend till now, who has shifted to another state and doesn’t even know me that well now. Yeah, I’m extremely choosy, when it comes to making best friends. However, after him, I now know the perks of having a guy best friend and needless to say, I’m very eager to hold on to him for the rest of my life. He and I have gone through many phases and despite the many lows we have had, there have also been the highs which I shall always cherish and also the very reason why I wont leave him and ensure the vice-versa. That doofus is sure gonna have to suit himself to me.
I have had a bit of taste of that overrated Love element as well. However, my notion regarding Love remains the same. Despite the fact that I call myself a hopeless romantic, actual love remains overrated and fictional to me. My mantra be like, “No Love for me, please!”. As a recent song goes, Love is actually ‘a waste of time’ for me, but unlike the very next line, I actually don’t want to waste my time, simply because I don’t get the time now!!
I also became friends with two men, who have went on to become the two pillars on whom I could take support, whenever I am in need of it. Given the fact that they are single-minded in refusing to being delegated to the status of being brothers to me, so they are the best-est friends that I could have had. Both are mutual book lovers and while I’m close to one for being just a mutual book lover (he is actually a literary maverick and makes me wonder sometimes how the heck did I land up with him!), I’m heavily dependent on the other one emotionally. So, obviously I’m very possessive about the two of them, which though leaves them in splits, but yeah, that’s how it is.
Taking a break from all these online forays, a lot happened in my ‘offline’ or real life as well. The initial first months saw me in this great phase of confidence brimming in me, after a successful outing at the Kolkata Literary Meet, which had hosted some of the greatest authors, writers et al. This was followed by completing an internship with CRY (Child Relief and You), being in the job of analyzing the health data statistics of the entire North-East area of CRY. Makes me also humbled to say that I was the only intern who had been selected for that job. I was lucky to have observed in person, how an NGO actually works and that, it is not a piece of cake for anybody out there to have mere fun. It gave me an experience of working in an office too, which was exciting for me, to say the least, at least for now! I made some great friends there as well, all of whom live outside, yet are still in contact. The very reason why the goodbye had been very difficult for me. It makes me feel joyous to see my hard work get its reward when my name gets published in the reports that I made there. I’m also a bit proud to say that I finally get to call myself a Spanish beginner, having completed the Communicative Level at Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, the only institution to offer official Spanish training in India, apart from a similar one in New Delhi. Yet more great friends there as well. I dated with the French language too, but mostly we share a long distance relationship and don’t get to share much time! Completing the beginner level of swimming also made the love for waters grow in me and made me realize how much I loved diving.
Around this very time, most probably around May or June, I happened to open my blog, the very blog in which you’re currently reading this blog post. Though I used to write from high school itself, but didn’t really get much time to open a blog. Hence, a late starter. This blog has seen quite a ride as well. From publishing the first prose to first poem, to getting positive reviews, some downright kind and touchy, this blog has given me its share of joys. The year 2014 got very beautifully rounded up with being awarded the Notable Newbie Award by #BlogAdda, one of the leading blogging communities of India. Honestly and frankly speaking, it still doesn’t sink in, that my blog, which is mainly categorized as Personal, did get such an award. Needless to say, I’m happy and thankful of BlogAdda for choosing me and giving me great inspiration to write more.
Sometimes, things happen which you never thought could happen. Likewise, I loved poems from a very early age, but could never call myself a poet, because I couldn’t simply write them. I was known more for being a prose writer rather than a poet in my friends’ circle. But now that everyone calls me a poet more than a prose writer, it makes me feel touched and amazed that how the heck did that happen?! The fact that I’m dallying with Haiku, one of the most challenging forms of verse and Hindi verses as well, makes me sit back, look up and ask the guy up there, what’s cooking in your mind, mate!
Anyone can write a story but writing a story in less than 99 words, giving a new lease of life to a particular frame, trying to get a space in among, what I consider, some of the greatest writers I ever encountered, is what I consider one of the biggest challenges. Which One Frame Stories happened to give me. Trust me when I say, my stories don’t even have a para which is less than 99 words and that my ultimate high-school English tuition teacher would actually faint in surprise and joy on seeing me achieve that feat! Not to forget the fact that I myself can’t believe I’m actually able to do that. God has been kind in getting the only two stories I’ve written, published in there. Here’s hoping I continue challenging myself more and getting the returns I’ve been receiving. Oh! Another news and subsequent feeling to be shared. Given the fact that my student happened to land up a gold medal in Science Olympiad, it was taking me all not to throw up my hands and scream in joy, along-with the student herself, because after all, I’m her teacher and well, that would unbecoming of a teacher to do so!
So, in all, Life has been very kind with me this 2014. Though I wouldn’t ask a repeat of this year in 2015 or even more, however tempting it might be, I would just like all of the people above mentioned and the readers to stay with me. With all of your support, I’m sure I’ll be able to override any obstacles that comes in my life. Thank you, people. Happy New Year. Have a great year ahead!

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Christmas Melancholy

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He teased her yet again, trailing kisses down her chin. She moaned, whispering, “Yess…”. He touched her and she rose to meet him wantonly. Kate found herself rising to this levels of paradise, gripping the sheets tight. And suddenly, he stopped. By the time she opened her eyes, he was gone. Just like this. She groaned in frustration and threw a pillow in some corner of the room. Yet another unsatisfied dream.

Somewhere, in the abyss of her consciousness, she could hear some hushed whispers from down the hall. She groggily reached out for the clock, and opened one eye. 6:00 a.m. She cursed an oath and wondered, what the hell could her folks be cooking up in their minds, at so early a winter morning. She would have given it a miss, had it not been for the calendar, her eyes caught on. She jerked up. 25th December. Christmas day for the world. For her, a day that changed her life forever, three years back.
Brandon had went to his office, promising he would be back shortly, after a snag in some electrical lighting system had been found in the office. It had been their first Christmas after marriage and they had ensured that nothing was left amiss to make this a true celebration. No wonder, Kate had been disappointed, but then, work was work. Before leaving, he had given her a bone-melting kiss and winked, which said, wait for Me. Wait, she did. Till the midnight. And even more. Even then, no news had come from him. No phone calls, nothing. Zilch. Tensed because it was out of Brandon’s character, she thought to switch on the radio and make the time pass. All other family members had already went long back to retiring for the night. Just then, she heard the news. Due to a deep fog, there had been a major accident and a pileup of cars indicated numerous amount of lives had been lost. She shrieked and moments later, she and her family had reached the accident site. Not having spotted Brandon’s car, she heaved a sigh of relief. Apparently, her joy was short-lived. The rescue cops informed that along-with the pileup, two or three cars had gone down the ditch. They feared one of those were of Brandon’s.
Even after three years, she trembled whenever she thought of those times. It had taken her almost 6 months to return back to normalcy. Things had been black-and-white until that thing….had arrived. She pushed back its thoughts at the back of her mind and unmindful of where she was going, she started for downstairs.
She was met with the kind stares, some damn-right pitiful of her. She always despised these times. She might have been a little hard on them, because after all, all they wanted is to help her, in whatever ways they could. “Kate, umm, we were wondering if you would like to go outside today. You know, some bar or something. Mingling with new people…” Kate’s mom trailed off. Kate released a breath and said, “Thank you. I really appreciate your efforts, but I’m actually fine. I don’t have a problem really, with all the Christmas tree and celebrations.” She smiled and tried to put in weight in her statement. A lie. She will always be bothered by Christmas.
She remained cooped for the rest of the day in her room, giving the excuse of office work. Who was she kidding? She had been through the whole day with Brandon’s memories, fiddling with his clothes, going through their albums. Anything to get closer to him, in whichever way she could. When had she dozed off, she didn’t have an idea. When she opened her eyes, it was already dark.
Waking up disoriented, her eyes fell on the frame of Jesus, which had been put up on the wall. Brandon’s favorite. He’d strongly believed in Jesus and would have celebrated with great passion today, she mused. Had he been here. She stood before the frame and stared. Stared at Jesus. Could she again believe in him, like she did, when she was with Brandon?
She tiptoed down to the hall. She didn’t want anyone to see, she had dressed up lest more questions came in, for her to field. There had been no reason really for dressing up. Yet, she had felt something moving inside her, in that moment with the frame. A resurgence in Faith maybe. Something which she was unable to tap. She found herself right under the mistletoe, in all the sneaking she was trying to do. In a flash, she moved. No, not the mistletoe. Too many memories. But the Christmas tree by the fireplace? Could she handle that? She closed her eyes, her chest heaving. Too much to go through. Just then, memories floated in her eyes. Memories with Brandon. How they kissed under the mistletoe every Christmas midnight. How they used to decorate the Christmas tree together.
Where did time pass, she knew not. It was as if she actually relieved those moments. These memories were all that she had of him. Maybe, she actually could contend to live with them. Maybe, Life wouldn’t be such a struggle, after all. She smiled, picking up the gifts her parents had left for her, until she spotted an envelope with them. Her heart skipped a beat. It had come again. Something which had terrified her, in the last three years. Hands shaking, she opened the envelope.
“Merry Christmas, my Cat. With Love, your Bran.” In exact Brandon’s handwriting. Nobody except Brandon used to call her Cat. Nobody knew, in fact. It had been their private names they had given to each other. After the first envelope, she had almost had faith that he was alive. Her Bran was alive. Yet, she kept the envelope hidden from others, lest others thought that she had made it all up. She hadn’t left any stones unturned as well, trying to trace the envelope. All, to no avail. She had lost all hopes, until the next Christmas, when again another envelope had arrived. Now, the letter somehow gave her the shudders. She steeled herself. Not this time. Whether it was that moment with the frame or anything else, she didn’t know. All she knew is, anybody trying to get her, wouldn’t be able to. She would survive. Live for her Bran. Celebrate Christmas. A tear slipped from her eye. She whispered, “Merry Christmas, Bran”.

Verses. #1

He hugged all with a radiant face,

With promises to visit often.

The airport might have seen many a farewells,

It was an adieu for her, as well.

A parting from yet another piece of her Heart.