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2 :) days before Christmas!

     Don’t ever speak with me again. Our friendship is over.’

 I was half asleep, when I received a notification from facebook leading me to this rude message. It was from her. My heart skipped a beat, I tried calling her from my almost dead and ancient cell phone, and she didn’t pick up the phone. Well it was no wonder, even during an emergency she never picked up the phone. She was meant to be generous so she called anyone who left a missed call or forced them to leave one (wait! Was that anger there?) . However I knew that she wouldn’t return my call.
Anyone who posts ‘don’t speak to me’ doesn’t, but she did. Well that is Julianne’s trademark- contradicting in every possible way. One year away from leaving the safety of school premises and yet she hasn’t grown up. She called and waited for my voice. I took my time, well I had to think! Being soft would put me on the defensive and being angry would make me sound ruder than usual....So I start in my normal way - with a lie.

“Hello! Who’s this?” as if I didn’t know.
“Oh! So you erased my number?” My god!  This is already going downhill
“Silly! Why would you think that? You doubt me?”  In my most innocent voice (which is kind of hard to believe)
“Because I know that you were online on facebook”
My brother is SO dead. He tells her almost everything!
‘Then came the spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions’ to quote words worth.

“You mishandled my trust in you which I may have forgiven but now you committed a dangerous mistake of lying to me. Ashwini Rajagopalan you are so not my friend anymore @#%$%#^$#%@ #$%^#$#%^%^$&$&^&%@%#@#%^&*$ and so on and on” Then came the tears, a bad cold (it was noticeable when she pronounced the ‘n’ in my name wrong) and a most certain sinus for my poor friend. Unfortunately I couldn’t help her much as she hung up before I could even open my mouth.

Am I worried?  Am I going to start crying, having a cold and then have a head ache like my poor friend? Unfortunately, Sadists- “NO”. I am too practical, busy and intelligent to be worried by Julie. By the way I like my nick name ASH better than Ashwini.............
I am tempted the leave the ‘fight’ as it is and enjoy a few days without her torture but sadly I will have to face another fight tomorrow for – not apologizing. So with a heavy heart I send a SMS telling “’sorry’ and some lame actor’s forward messages”.

3hrs later

Ashwini, no, ash’s once burning confidence had withered down like ash and she was losing her mind. They had never fought for more than 2hrs 58 minutes let alone 3 hrs. There must be something wrong going around. She started calling her, maybe that is was Anne expected – some ego free, humble apology.
Still no reply! She tried her landline but it was busy. Well it was Christmas time and aunty would be busy making plans.....What if Anne never replied back? Even thinking caused Goosebumps.....
There was only a day left for Anne to leave for Madurai and this calamity now........The end product would be Ash getting occupied with these thoughts and not studying during the holidays, that would mean bad concentration hence bad marks, which would result her going to a college which wasn’t MMC (madras medical college) which meant her 10 year dream bubble being burst, her father’s bank savings (actually slavings) WASTED. That meant Disaster with a capital D!! No! She couldn’t afford this distraction at any cost.

So she decided to use the 30 rupees miracle. Ash had this way of ending fights; she was known to be the quickest fight ender or something like that in her school. People even bought her advice for these petty fights. Her cheapest and the sweetest weapon was the ‘30 rupees miracle’

3 R M
Doesn’t it sound like SRM? Well that is Anne’s favorite college. She surely will be applying there. Ok. 3 R M Is very simple, go to the florist near by, in my case it is one call away (geographically 1 street away) and ask him for the 3rm pack or Ash’s pack (seriously!) He would charge 30 bucks and send the most beautiful 3 flowers (mostly roses) of his to your friend if she lives in the region of 10 kms from the shop.
I was hoping for the bill and a ‘sorry sweetie!’ message from Julie. However the guy gave me two shocks.

  1. Anne didn’t accept the flowers!
  2. He charged me 20 bucks extra because he used daffodils instead of roses!

I had to bargain with him for a good 15 minutes before I finally parted away with Rs.25. I came to a few important decision right there. I will have to specify the flower’s name from now on and Anne didn’t deserve those flowers. I am going to investigate why she fought with me and give her a verdict by tomorrow (positively) why would she over act like this? Was she making fun out of me? If she did I will make her taste the same medicine.......although medicines are very expensive and not advisable for health if taken inappropriately. Wasting a day was heartbreaking but the teachers wouldn’t know because it was the holidays.  

The room was way larger than she remembered, and the cake was the yummiest one she ever had. Everyone was dressed in white gowns except her, for the simple reason – that she didn’t own a gown. She was in her White Nike tee shirt and plain jeans; she seemed the odd one out till the moment Anne entered. She was in the exactly same garb except that her tee shirt was black in color. She came down the stairs with a mischievous glint in her eyes and a wide grin on her face. Oh yes! How she missed her friend!
She ran from the corner of the room amidst all the gown clad people who eerily looked like angels and gave the whole thing a heavenly feel...............She ran fast to hug her dear friend. That was when some leg tripped her and she fell down her body hitting her hand on the floor badly. She winced in pain and looked above her................where was Anne? Her grin could soothe the pain, but there was just darkness and more pain.
Then with an evil violet lighting effect, a monkey’s face which she knew too well came before her. There was the same old mischievous grin which undoubtedly belonged to Aravind Rajagopalan – her one and only brother.

           Confrontations with bro

 She woke up with a start. She always loved her bro but always fought with him. Maybe that is how relationships worked. Till the date, both of them must have amassed a fight record of more than 2536 fights as Ash had those many no. of tearful and angry diary entries (yes, she did number. the pages of her book) and however hard it was to believe each and every fight had been started by Aravind. She decided to break the record by breaking that guy’s head to day.
She checked her watch, (doctors always wear watches) it was 10:30 AM. She had one problem doctors should not have; she slept late and woke up late. Maybe she could become a night shift doctor (?)  It was early by her standards, but it was almost afternoon for her bro! (He’s normal in some ways)
So, this was her plan – to knock up some brains to her brother’s head and make him tell why Anne was fighting with her. She actually envied her brother for this reason (only). He had an awesome relationship with Anne and she sometimes feared that he were better friends with Anne than her.
All this was obviously not known to Anne or Aravind. I f they knew they would only worsen it by spending more time together or worse start feeling sorry for her. Ash hated sentiments – it made her shiver.
Aravind was sitting in his usual place, 1 foot away from the television watching a man eating snakes, no, it wasn’t that guy! , it was another guy who was recounting his noble experiences when wolves attacked his neck! Ash never believed when he told her that he watched all these channels for the sake of ‘science’. She always suspected that he was a psycho of some kind or the other. 
He was just Aravind to her, no nicknames maybe because they were too lame or maybe because her younger baby brother would think her as ‘unique’ because she was the only on who called him by his full name and other sort of names that could reveal itself during a fight.

She moved near him. “I will not give you the TV, fool!” he shouted unnecessarily. She had wanted to start the fight, but that fool had started it by himself. He started throwing things at her and asked her to get out of the room. She noticed that he was oddly tensed and worked up, maybe as if he was hiding something.
She moved closer to him and grabbed the remote control from him. She wasn’t very tall but him neither. So she threw the remote aiming at the topmost shelf. Sadly, it hit the edge of the shelf and broke into 3 pieces. Aravind started calling out for mother but she was too busy having a bath to answer his call. She had learnt karate and had reached till purple belt when she had halted her classes to concentrate on studies. So her martial arts skills and her 3 year advantage over her brother made her win easily. A tap on his shoulders and a twist to his legs did the wonder. Her heavy handed and arrogant bro vanished and a brow beaten young boy sat before her. After making her promise that she would take full responsibility for the remote he started to spill the beans.
“Ashu.....” he was hesitant
“Come on Aravind!
“Come on Aravind! You’re my bro. I know that you know why Anne is fighting. Tell me the problem not the answer; I am giving you an easier job than your IIT classes”
Yes. He’s still in 9th standard and has already started taking one of those IIT / FITJEE class.
“Well you are right....but promise me that you wouldn’t go and tell Anne”
“Ok Ok, PROMISE” thank god he didn’t know her 0% track record with following promises! Even if she refused to tell Anne would find out and a lie from her part would be too dangerous.
“Anne is sick of you!” it came out of his mouth as a matter of fact statement.
Ash gave him her burning look. He scowled and continued.
“She knows that you told her mom that she copied in the class test.”
A dark look came in her eyes, with contempt and disgust she said,
“So you ‘know’ that I told her mom and I just ‘told’ that she copies!” He tried to object but she continued “I don’t care what YOU think, just confirm my doubts now. Anne’s leaving today afternoon right?”
“No. Evening”, he snorted.
“11 AM”
“What? She’s leaving now?” she panicked
“No. I told the current time” he laughed at his own ‘joke’
“Ok, she’s leaving at 6 PM” That meant they would start at 4PM to the airport.
“Tell me the story completely”
“This is not the Aesop’s Fables. I just went to her house for downloading some songs, ENGLISH songs” he said with mockery she didn’t have time to waste and discover a new world called English songs while Anne had). “She was crying when I went, and when questioning she told me that her mom knew that she copied during the class test and that she was going to speak with the principal about it.”
“How did she know that I told her mom?” emphasizing on the ‘I’ and ‘know’
He shrugged. “You were the only person who knew her mom and who is......who is...”
“Not trustworthy”
“I was about to tell sincere” and he gave his irritating laugh.
I took the decision to confront her face to face. I have found my opening; she has just assumed something and decided to fight with me! Maybe the fear of going to the principal would have done the cruel trick. How can she doubt me? I am her best friend for life!
I am keeping the plan simple, do what I am natural at. Go on the offensive, blame her for everything threaten her that I would end the friendship. That would make her know that how angry I am and make her beg to me.
Ash had to admit that she was getting excited! True her friendship is at stake, but risks were what made relationships like friendship closer and better than anything.....

Head to Head

“Hi aunty” I entered their house cautiously. I couldn’t afford to look very friendly with aunty then Anne would get more doubtful.
It was 2 PM and all of them had already packed their bags and were dressed to leave for Madurai.The TV was on but no one seemed to care much about it. The small 3 membered family of Anne sat listlessly in the huge living room.
Uncle was taking last minute official calls, aunty was reading the bible and Anne was just sitting soberly as if they had crucified her there. Ash looked at the room as she always did- with awe. It was filled with antique collections and decorations. The wall opposite to the front door had a huge wall painting of Jesus Christ’s ‘the last supper’; it was an exact imitation.
Involuntarily aunt told Anne, “Take Ash to your room and speak with her”
This was a bad mistake. Anne gave me a mean stare and asked me to follow her upstairs. Silently cursing auntie I followed her. She banged the door behind her. I thought of my audacious plan of screaming at her, looked at her eyes and decided against it.
“Julie........” I began.
She came close to me and raised her hands dangerously. I know karate, but I didn’t want to hurt her, so I closed my eyes and was about to duck down when she gave me the ......bear hug.
Oh my god! This was worse than a slap. She wanted to escape but feared the conclusion.
“I’m so sorry Ash! I misunderstood you. I shouldn’t have........”She started crying. Jeez! Tears poured on my back. I was about to wriggle out but her hands were tight and she was 1 foot taller than me and I didn’t want to take the chance. “I will never ever repeat it”

Things were back to normal. “What will you not repeat Julie?” I asked evenly with a smile and managed to make her sit down without more tears spilling on my tee-shirt.
“Oh! Nothing. My mom just told me the truth.......” she wiped her face and gave a smile.
“By the way do you know that I am going to apologize to the principal after the holidays....?”
I didn’t ask her anything. However she continued by herself.
“I’ve realized my mistake, copying in class is no good but you know that I did it out of desperation right?”
“Desperation because of your own laziness” I replied coolly.
“OK Ash. I can’t lie to you. You know that I copied during that biology test. Well...the whole class knew, even your brother knows. My mom came to know about that from some traitor, leave that, it is not important! My mom gave this huge lecture on having ethics, hard work and more importantly the disappointment of the person who studied for the test and come .......more sobs, when I cheat and get more than them. I now understand your pain and why you started that club on facebook. However I would kindly ask you to stop it!”

This was the puzzle of her life! “What club?” she asked bemused
“Stop acting! I’ve forgiven you. It is ‘The Julianne cheaters club’. The administrator’s name was obviously hidden but with the maximum hacking I could I found out the last name of the user and I know it is you because you were the only x Rajagopalan who was online at that time. So don’t feign!”

Ending  ...............................!!!!

She came back to her house with a head loaded with confusion. She thought she was dead and about to be caught red handed when she heard from her bro that Anne knew that Ash was the one who told her mom. However she had the magical opening when she knew it was just an assumption and there was no proof.
Only aunty and she knew about this ‘breach of trust’. It was not done because of hatred or anything but worry. Anne was in 12th standard for God’s sake and she still hadn’t grown up to take the responsibility. Accepted that her dad was rich but money can’t buy everything, at least not the satisfaction of doing well. She knew that her big friend would understand these things one day. That day she didn’t want to be accused of being a bad or ignorant friend because she was not that.
She had called aunt and told about Anne’s growing suspicions. Aunt had taken care of it by telling that baby that the teachers were the ones who had contacted her and subtly put that Ash would be shocked to hear about it. All this planned out Ash had decided to confront her and implement her plan.
However things had twisted dramatically! Haters club it seems! There was surely a huge mistake somewhere.....
She had lost in her one day consolation plan. True lies were her style, but she just couldn’t accept this one because this questioned her very character as a friend. To her being a traitor was better than being a hater. So, she just said there was some mistake with Anne’s judgment and walked off.
True she lost her peace, her concentration, her marks, her career everything (maybe she was exaggerating!)  But her friend and her character was more important to her!

Aravind was sitting closer to his television set and was in a hugging distance from it, it looked as if he was scared that someone may steal it from him anytime. He was scared indeed. However, it was for creating the haters club against ‘Anne’, his best friend -Julianne. Thinking back he became friends with her to capture the attention of his sister. It was as if that Anne was her kin and not him! He irritated her of course but she was his sister. He read somewhere that the closest of brothers and sisters fought with each other. He followed it, anyways in the end of every fight it was him who got beaten up not Ashu his dear sister. He wanted to spend time with her dearly whereas she was so impersonal with him. She always called him ‘Aravind’.
He knew that after Christmas those 2 girls would get closer. Anne was planning a huge surprise party for Ash. He couldn’t stand it. So when Ash was in the toilet, he took the opportunity of a logged in account to start a Anne haters club – from Ash’s account.
He now realized how stupid he was. While Ash was away he had tried to hide an apology letter in her table, there he found her humongous diaries where he found out the role he played in her life. When he was about to call her and tell the truth, Anne called him and told that how sorry SHE felt towards Ash. SO he decided all the problems were over but he still felt scared because Ash hadn’t accepted that she created that haters club......

Ash came to Aravind and hugged him dearly. He couldn’t believe it; this wasn’t Ash’s style......
“I know it is you who started the haters club” she whispered. Ash wasn’t a fool. When she started arranging the sequence of events like DNA sequences she understood that her bro was the weakest link. He had misled her by telling that Anne was looking for a traitor, which turned out to be false. So why had he tried misleading her? She knew that he also would have also just assumed that she was the traitor.
When she was searching for motive she saw a piece of paper which was in her room. It was the apology.
        They were all sitting in Anne’s huge dining room. This time however everyone were dressed in white gowns as Ash requested, Anne had happily given away her gown to Ash and the day was heavenly! A phone call had clarified it all and everyone came away clean including Ash.

      “Baby brother! You have lots of explanations to do! Spending time with me is OK but where did you pick up the idea that close siblings fight with each other? Your nutcase channel showed you this?”

 “No Ash.......actually your diary did” Everyone started laughing even as Ash started twisting her brother’s ears.............


                           The END
                                                                       Samyuktha J
                                                                          X B


  1. Not bad..
    But i pick up my phone everytime!!
    And..... capital "D"!!


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ek gaon mein ek kisan raghu thatha! :P

It's been a week in Pune already!! :O
and believe it or not  - I have fallen in love with this city! <3
or maybe it is just another one of my defense mechanisms , protecting me from shocks. Whatever this is , it has aroused me enough, to write a post! So let me finish this before reality sinks in .
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Pitch dark

A shadow has crept over my soul Inching through my defences Making me darkness herself I wallow in grief over things lost In the invisible bonfire And try to survive on the warmth of embraces Of kindred spirits Only that it feels like a stranglehold And I push them away with a Weaponized tongue and my newfound strangeness Friends and foes are all the same Only difference is the name. I burn through whatever light I get Worried I might never see again In haste I commit little crimes
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