Can’t Break Us

Episode 1

She had come to the party to chill out and forget about what had happened in the morning for the time. Unfortunately, it mattered a lot to her when someone just took away all her dreams suddenly. Until yesterday, she was already in Washington, D. C in her imagination and there was no way anyone could have taken away this opportunity except for her boss, Ronald. She knew he liked her and just like any other female colleague, she would respond to him with light flirting. But she had no idea that her flirting would go to him as an indication of her openness for sex.

Just the night before her dreaded day, he had asked her for a date and had taken her to a lavish resort type restaurant. The dinner was as superb as she expected and everything was romantic. For some time, she even thought of giving the relationship a chance beyond just a flirting. It was not until 10 PM when they were finished with dinner that he asked her to join him in a dance. It looked somewhat awkward to dance in a place like that which was definitely not a disk.

“If you don’t feel comfortable, there is another place where we can enjoy dancing”

She did not refuse nor did she said yes. Before she could clear the confusion in her head, her slight smile gave him a wrong indication for a yes. Of course, if he had asked her to do something romantic in such a situation, she would not start crying or shouting like crazy. Her obvious response would be a smile even if not genuine. Ronald took her hand and pulled her closer. He wrapped his arms around hers and started walking towards a secluded place in the restaurant.

“Anaya, you know you are the girl of my dreams” he said smiling at Anaya.

They walked slowly. Anaya was still confused what he up to was. Whether it would be only dance or more than that! Maybe he wanted to kiss Anaya. She could sense it and maybe she would not even mind. He was handsome, more than any other average man in her office and she was definitely his first choice if he had to propose or kiss a girl. But she promised herself that she would not let the thing go to that level and even if it turned into a kiss, she would not allow him to do anything more. In fact, she would tell him very clearly that she is not serious about their relationship and that she needs time.

It was a small hotel style room with minimal amenities like television, AC and a double bed. He took Anaya inside and closed the door behind them.

“What are you doing?” She asked

He held both her hands in his and said, “ Don’t worry, I am not going to do anything wrong. We will just dance. Hope you trust me on that?”

She did not know if she trusted him but she half-heartedly passed a smile.

She played a romantic song on his mobile phone and put her on the table below the television. She was pulled closer as the music started to flow. Slowly, the romance seeped in as they began to tap on the beats of the song and their bodies started to feel each other more closely. It was romantic in the mid of a room lightened with dim yellow bulbs and the sweet romantic melody touching their hearts bringing them closer and closer till they could also feel the breath of other. Ronald bent down a little on her, slightly tilting his head to go closure. He pulled her closer with slight force with one hand and other hand caressing her neck, pushing her hair up and his lips came to rest on hers. Their lips had only touched each other lightening when he opened his mouth to get more of her but she resisted and pushed him away.

“I am sorry but I can’t do it” and she turned towards the door but Ronald pulled again and wrapped his arms around her, forcing her to allow him a kiss. She resisted again but Ronald was in no mood to listen and was continuously kissing her all over, her lips, her neck, her shoulders, till she could not take it anymore. She pushed him hard and gave him a tight slap.

That was it! She knew she was in for a danger. No, she was not afraid of a forceful sex. She knew she was strong enough to save herself but she knew that Ronald was not going to take the insult peacefully and would put her in trouble in some way.

She knew that he would try his best to affect her in career but totally, taking away her dream, all of a sudden in a single day was something she would not even have imagined. She knew she had got a good deal from the Washington client and she was the best person to manage the project and there was no better choice which is why she was going to be sent to the client as a project manager for the complete solution implementation. Ronald was obviously one of the decision makers and had already recommended the name of Anaya which is why she was selected. He could not change the decision of management in a single day.

But when the communication to scrap the project came from the client, who was closer to Anaya than Ronald, she was shocked. How can they close the deal? They loved my concept? They liked my approach? Every paper was in place? Then how can they cancel it?

It was only later when Anaya came to know from a friend in the client organization that client had partnered with her company for software and another company called Beetle for hardware. If the hardware deal went off, the software project was obviously in a danger at least until the client got another hardware vendor. It was the hardware vendor of the client who refused to deliver the order on time.

“I know why they refused. the consignment is stolen as per the company records.” Arnold was the closest friend of her in Washington office.

“How come, all of a sudden, I mean that too in Washington? I mean that is very unlikely…” Before she could express more, Arnold continued, “Ronald’s brother is the logistics head” and the story was clear. It was the game played by Ronald.

She wished she would have refused for the date. She could have given any damn excuse. She was tricked. She was tricked because of her own fault. She should have been intelligent enough to know what Ronald had in his mind and also intelligence enough to find out that his brother was in the logistics. But how on earth would she know? She wondered. She did not know who to blame other than herself.

The party did not sooth her and instead of being the part of joy of her friends, she ended up pulling everyone to herself with her friends trying to calm her down.

“Relax Anaya…It happens. Things will be alright. Don’t worry” She hated those comforting words from a girl who was mere a housewife and obviously did not understand a thing about business or career. Anaya never liked Nisha, from the day one itself when she came to know that Nisha was only a housewife even after doing an MBA from a decent college. But she had to tolerate her every time because Nisha was a very good friend of Kriti, Anaya’s best buddy.

“Why are you trying to comfort me. Do you even understand what I am going through. Do you have any idea how corporates work? How hard we work? You are just a bloody housewife, know nothing about career. You aimless creature! Complete your MBA and then become slave of your husband. If you were to only play a housewife, why did you waste your parent’s money? You could have slept on the bed with the guy even after doing a graduation…”

“Ani” Kriti tried to stop her friend from saying more, “What are you saying. Watch yourself”

But Anaya appeared like waiting for someone to blurt her anger on so she continued ignoring her friends plea

“You know something, you are a useless person, aimless, without vision and one day when your guy will come and tell this on your face, cheat you and run away, you will realize what a shit you are and then you will have not have any choice but to kill yourself”

“Stop it Ani” Kriti was furious now, “You have no right to speak to her like that”

Nisha could obviously not hear her anymore. A tear dropped down from her eyes and she ran to the door. Aarti, another common friend tried to stop but Nisha was in no mood and she left the party immediately.

“What’s wrong with you Anaya? If something wrong happened to you in your office – She is not the one to blame for. Why are you trying to …”

“OK OK I am sorry…I am really sorry but I am not in my senses. Tell that girl, whatever his her name that I did not mean to hurt her . I was just in a bad mood”

“That is so insensitive of you Ani” Kriti was completely taken aback and looked very unhappy with the way her friend had treated Nisha. She chose to not say any more word and leave Anaya.

By this time, Anaya had realized her mistake but was not open to admit. She pulled Kriti towards herself and said, “Kriti please, you know I hate that housewifi girl. Why do you always have to call her in every party?” Kriti only looked at her friend, lacking any expression and Anaya knew that her excuse was not sufficient. She left Kriti and sat down on the sofa, pushing her hair back with fingers of her right hand and blowing out air by making a pout. She twisted her mouth, raised her eyebrow, and looked at Kriti hoping her to calm down and take her unsaid apologies for granted.

Episode 2: The change of Feeling

“Can we go upstairs?” says Anaya,

“why?” Kriti was still not happy with her friend

“ i want to count the stars” she smiles

Kriti could not hold herself against her friends humour and smiled back, slowly, her smile turning into a laughter and Anaya also started to laugh.

“you know you are a bitch” said Kriti

“yes, I know, i am a bitch and this bitch slapped a guy and he slapped me back”

“What? You slapped whom?”

“Do you want to the full version?”

“Now, that is somthing interesting” She sat beside Anaya, “Shoot”

“This guy, my boss, i told you that he has horns for me. Last night his horns grew long and he called me for a dinner, actually date” adjusting herself on sofa, taking another sip of wine, “she took me to a room and tried…”

“What? Room…why did you go?”

“I ..I ..it was romantic yaar”

“haha…Romantic slap” Anaya joined her friend in laughter.

“Actually, I liked him at that moment but not enough, I mean enough for a dance and a kiss but not for a hot sex. But then started to you kiss me all over…I said no but bastard did not listen so I gave him a nice one”

“Oh! So that is how you lost your job”

“I didn’t lose job, only a project”

“Yes, your dream project”

“Don’t scorch on my burn yaar” she took another sip of wine

“I had anger and it all went on silly girl. You know I didnt intend to hurt her but then…”

“I understand” Kriti put her arms around her friends and her head sliding down Anaya’s shoulders.

“Can we go up” Anaya looked at her friend again with hopes.

“Let’s go” said Kriti

They left the

party going while they silently left the hall without informing anyone.

Kriti’s lived in an apartment that was on the 20th floor of a grandeur building consisting of 117 floors that stood in the mid of a highway and was close to all luxurious amenities like airport and five star hotels. Her building was one among the three high rise buildings in the street that made the towers stand in the locality as main attractions. Two rectangular pools connected through a small bridge were surrounded by large sky scrapers.

The building was residential but was covered with rich blue tinted glass windows that gave a corporate look. For one to see the clear skyline, it was sufficient to peep out of wide sliding windows yet Anaya was kind more fond of seeing the world from the top and always insisted in going on terrace. Kriti’s building was one among few with beautiful terrace given despite the height. Although most of its space was covered with administrative structures, there was a small poolside garden with a few patio chairs and coffee table sets. The garden was covered with a rounded glass on the corners of the building where the two friend stood relaxing , still holding wine glasses.

It was pitch dark except one dim light that was glowing from the middle of the pool supported by a stand hidden inside a bush parked on a circle inside pool. Nothing could be seen other than the pool and a few chairs at that point. Anaya often thought that it could have an ideal place for a nice pool party but the same was not allowed by the management of the building for the sake of maintaining decorum. The place was not for fun but was a room for the old people of the building too come for meditation and relaxation while their young kids went out to work.

Kriti was filthy rich for her father could afford a big 3 BHK house in a high rise building like this that stood in one of the happening streets of Mumbai in Goregaon. It was one of the tallest structures in the city and on the top of it, the world would open its boundaries. Kriti often wondered as a child if she could also see the leaning tower of Pisa and statue of liberty from her terrace. But she was not allowed to go the terrace till she was at least 14 years old for one side of the terrace had a low lying glass boundary that could be easily climbed upon though not by any child yet parents have to be more protective than logical when it is about their kids. That part was hardly visible in the available dim light yet Anaya was curious for she was seeing some kind of shadow that moved. There was no tree, no leaves to blow and cause the shadow at that hour of the night then what was the structure that moved on the corner.

“Do you think that could be a couple?” She asked Kriti

“What?”

Anaya directed her. There was someone there for sure

“Have you ever heart of ghosts roaming around in the building? Maybe that is why night walking is not allowed on terrace?”

“Oh come on…there is only one ghost here. And this ghost haunts me enough to break all kinds of rules, get on the terrace at 1 AM of the night despite knowing that it is not allowed” She looked at her friend, narrowing her eyes.

“Then who could it be?”

They both started to watch the shadow to have a discovery.

“you think we should see?”

Before Kriti could think and respond, Anaya ran to explore the shadow.

What she saw then was something she could have never imagined. A tall lean girl was hanging on the glass wall with her half body on the other side. She just needed one slight push of an air to fall to the other side and leave the world forever. Anaya could not see her face which was hidden behind the girl’s hair but it didn’t matter. She knew this was a suicide attempt and she had to stop her. Without making any sound, she slowly went to the girl and pulled her inside.

“Oh! My God!” Kriti stood behind Anaya with astonished eyes.

If Anaya was a second late, the girl could have died. She looked at her friend, wondering why any girl would think of doing such a disastrous thing in such a heavenly place.

“Maybe there is no ghost here but she was planning one for us” said she, looking angry

Kriti frowned. She was used to such weird humour of her friend by now.

“Such a…” Anaya was surely going to say something that the poor girl would not appreciate so Kriti interrupted

“Ani, I think we should not say anything to her. Let’s take her to poolside. She may feel better”

Anaya knew the generosity of her friend knew no bounds and at times, she hated it. She was not the person who could easily tolerate weak girls but Kriti was always the consoler.

“What the hell!” When Anaya saw the familiar face coming out from the dark, she was shocked. Something had changed inside her. She no more felt irritation but pity for the poor girl. She knew that she had hurt Nisha but definitely not to the extent to lead her to suicide. Then, why was she doing it? Maybe Anaya ended up hurting her already severed wound. She was curious about the girl in a dilapidated emotional state – the girl who till yesterday was always talking positive and appeared like the happiest girl with most sweet husband on earth. It had to be something about her husband because he was all that she had in life.

“What happened Nisha?” Kriti made her get up and sit near the pool. Anaya got her some wine to drink but Nisha refused. She was a teetotaller. Of course, the great Indian wife, who is so fond of her husband and his family, would never drink and make her husband feel the shame, Anaya wondered.

“Lets go down, I think she needs water” said she, blandly.

“Why are you showing concern?” Kriti said sarcastically

“Come on Kriti! I am not so bad a human. I also feel. I know she is hurt and I know…”

“Leave it! After hurting her and making her do all this, now you are…”

“Please Kriti, I did not say anything to commit suicide for”

“Of course you didn’t and how can you actually say anything wrong. You are such a fine lady who knows her limits well and knows so well how to treat people and especially the housewives…”

“This is too much Kriti, you are saying too much…” She interrupted, unable to take the blame, she started to scratch her head

“I am saying too much….you say too much…you always say bad things to poor girls like her and then you are not even ready to accept your mistake because as per you, you can never be wrong”

“That is not true” Anaya’s eyes looked burning red with anger and with the dim light making her red wine glass shine on her face.

“Yes, of course this is true and see what you have made her do… We would have lost her if we were not here for another minute”

“Please don’t fight for me” Said Nisha, looking at them with blurry eyes, her tears had made her face wet and her hair was dishevelled with the torture she must have given to them on her own. She must have pulled them hard maybe in an attempt to release her tension. She looked like a beaten down girl who probably was chased down by a group of criminals and she tried to escape but her body showed no marks of force from any third person. All her wounds were internal.

“You did it because of me?” Anaya could not believe it but had started to doubt her confidence

Nisha wiped her tears and moved ahead without saying a followed by the two friends who were still fighting in eyes. Nisha walked like a worn out person who was probably sick with no strength to even walk and needed someone to hold her tight.

“Wait” Anaya could see the weak girl struggling anymore. She pulled Nisha’s hand away from Kriti and hugged her straight.

“Cry!” She said allowed.

This was a surprise for Kriti who had never seen her friend going soft on anyone. She wondered if Anaya was feeling guilty of her actions.

Nisha did not cry but only closed her eyes and hugged back Anaya tightly as if she had been waiting long for someone to hold her. It appeared like she wanted Anaya to take all her pains, support her and hold her like a caring parent. She was hugging the newly discovered friend just like a hurt child would hug her mother. For a few minutes, the three girls were frozen, lost in thoughts, not saying anything but only feeling the slowly blowing wind that was the only source of a sound.

The light was still dim, the wind was still the same, the terrace did not change but everything else was changed. Here was a girl who turned from happiest person to saddest one and another girl who suddenly discovered her caring side and yet another girl who had no clue of what was happening and what was going to happen. It was difficult but Kriti had to hold on to her curiosity understand why Nisha tried to kill herself. Anaya was obviously not the reason otherwise she would not cling to her like a soul searching for life.

The moment was rare. Three girls in dark night, on the lonely terrace, near the beautiful pool. Till an hour ago, the night was fun with music, wine and dance but now, it looked like an aftershock of a disaster. Kriti wished that the girls would move fast and go back to house or at least sit on the pool so that Nisha can talk her heart out.

“Let’s sit near the pool. Maybe she can relax” She said in a very low voice.

Nisha somehow controlled her emotions and loosened her grip on Anaya. She looked at Kriti and nodded in affirmation.

Episode 3

Lying down on the creamy Balencia Chaise Lounge, Anaya thought if she had behaved rightly today. Should she have spoken her heart out to disclose everthing about her life that was hidden till now. But it did comfort Nisha who was lying relaxed with her eyes closed. Just an hour back, she was unable to control her tears and after Anaya opened up to her, she could feel the comfort of having a support system.

Feelings that were dead for long, the experience of pain that was forgotten had suddenly become live. She felt as if she had gone back in time to that day when she was sitting alone in the room, without food , without air, without life, only hoping that there would be a moment when Ronit would realize his mistake and would come back to comfort her. Nisha was fortunate enough to get the comfort which she never got.

The memories suddenly came back

“Stop interfering in my work” Ronit had said when Anaya confronted him for his cheating on her. He had been sleeping with his boss since past 2 months and Anaya had no knowledge of it.

“This is work. Sleeping with your boss is part of your work? I also work, what if I start sleeping with my boss. Would you take it?”

They both knew that ROnit was wrong yet he could dare to say that she had no right to confront him. He even dared to slap her on face. Poor Anaya had fallen down. Her boyfriend was too tough, muscular and sturdy. His hand felt hot on her face.

“I don’t need to give you any excuses. You think love is only thing on earth. Money is also important, career is also important. Look at you. Where are you? Nowhere! How will you understand what it takes to get success? You are just an executive, you don’t count. Girls like you waste your time in offices whole day and then leave sharp at five. You don’t have to deal with work pressure. You don’t have to suffer late nights…”

“Enough is enough. I left my house, fought with my parents and here, like an idiot, I am living in with you. Without thinking of parents, without thinking of society, without…”

“Who asked you to live in? I didn’t force you. It was entirely your choice. And what are you complaining of ? Living with me saves you money and you don’t have to take care of stuff. We are not even married still I feel like a henpecked husband who has to listen to every crap of you”.

Anaya was unable to believe that she was hearing those words from the guy who waited 3 long years to chase her down and get her, who fought with both families, who helped her escape from an undesired ring ceremony and ran with her to Mumbai, who supported her to get settle in Mumbai, who helped her get a job. Was he now asking for returns? But even she had done a lot of compromises for him, she loved him, trusted him, comforted him, supported him every way she could. She had already started to believe that she was married to him even when he never proposed her. He was all she had in her life. With him she breathed, with him she smiled, with him he did everything.

“Wow! So convenient it is to say right, it was my choice…I can’t beleive you are the same guy who was…”

“Who was what?? Haan What?? You want me run around you whole my life, right.” He pulled her close crushing her arm hard with his palm, “I can’t live life according to you. I am fed up” and pushed her away again. She fell on the sofa, the cushion bouncing from head to slide down to the floor.

She had no idea why he was behaving like that all of a sudden. She was expecting apologies for cheating but it appeared he was not even realizing his mistake. She knew he was slightly bad tempered and thought if he could be in deep trouble that he was not willing to tell her now. She wondered if leaving him alone for sometime would help.

It took her 5 days to realize that she was living in an illusion. After locking herself inside the dark room expecting her love to come back, she only kept waiting and waiting for five days but the door was never knocked nor was any attempt made to open it. Only after living without food for 5 killer days in which she only cried on floor, on bed, near window, and in front of mirror, when she turned too weak to even walk, she lost hope and decided to go to him. She had decided to take the blame on herself. She had decided to accept the other girl in his life. Because she loved him too much to let him go. She was chocking, unable to breathe and wanted his arms to hold her, even when he held the other girl in his imagination. She trusted her love and believed that she would get him back with true love and he would realize it one day that no one can love him more than her and then he would come back.

The door opened only in darkness. Ronit was nowhere, nor was any sign of him suggesting that he lived there. He was gone, probably forever. She fell down again and this time, she was finally broken. How would she live without him. Her tears had already dried, her energy had already left and she was left with nothing to lose, not even life.

But a hope gleamed her eyes when the bell rang and she gathered all the courage and all the energy left in her and ran to open the door. She knew it must be Ronit. Even if he had come to give her a last good bye, she would hug him as soon as he would enter in and then he would melt. He would, because he still loved her.

But when she opened the door, something unexpected happened. An old man with a long beard and monel metal full rim glasses stood there, looking surprised.

“Where is Ronit?”

How could she answer him when he herself did not know where he was. She remained silent and waited for the stranger to understand that she was not in the right condition to answer him. She was somehow standing taking support of the door knob. Her eyes were still blood red and her hair tousled but the man could see nothing of that and said,

“Its been two months and he has not given my rent nor is he telling me if he would renew the agreement. The agreement is already expired now. Tell him that if he wants to continue then give me rent today itself or else you guys can leave the house in two days”

The agreement was expired, the rent was not paid, she was supposed to leave the house in two days, Ronit had cheated on her, he was not coming back, she had no other place to go, she could not seek support from family as they hated her for she was living in with a guy, she had no friends after she had started to meet them all because of the possessiveness of ROnit. What was left for her to live? She did not react but only closed the door on the face of the house owner who left grumbling in anger.

The pool chair was much more relaxing than the sofa that she had sought to get some comfort on the day she had the discovery that she was finished. She did not want to now remember the remaining days that she spent searching for life, searching for her own lost soul but the poor girl who was saved from committing suicide just some time back had already made all memories refresh.

Nisha lied with her eyes close, trying to sleep and Kriti was looking at her friend, still in disbelief. She did not know this history of her friend. She did not know that her friend was not always so bold, practical, and career minded. Now, she could understand what Anaya upset when Nisha met her.

“You never told me” she said using her lowest voice

“I never even told myself. I never wanted to tell. Never wanted those memories” she sighed and straightened herself to look at the sky straight.

“Is she is a better condition or was I?” she said looking at Kriti

“A nice party, happiness all around and all of a sudden a stupid girl like me starts throwing shit on you. And then you leave thinking about your loving husband. Probably he would give you some relief. But what happens? You find a car parked around a dark corner. A couple is making sex inside and then you discover that it is your husband’s car and not just the car, even the fucking bastard is your man. And then, you are not supposed to confront him because if you do then he would say,

“You are a small town girl, a house wife, never gone out of the house. How would you understand that this is normal? I have no support; there is so much of work pressure. Only because you do not have to capacity to earn” she smiled and continued, “then who was she supporting?”

She suddenly started to laugh, “That girl is so stupid! She tried to threaten him by saying that she will leave the house. Poor girl did not know that he was waiting for it.” She stood up and sat on the chair, looking at sky,

“Oh sure, you can leave the house, the house is mine after all, in fact, this car is also mine. So, why don’t you leave this as well?”

“Same thing you know same thing..no house, no support, cheating from husband. Why did she have to meet me? Why did she have to have the same story? Why? Why?” Her voice became louder and a tear rolled out from her eyes.

Kriti waited no more and got up to hug her friend tight. For a few minutes, Anaya found herself in a freeze, all memories were back, the pain was back. She pulled herself away from her friend and then her sorrow turned into anger, “you know what, if her guy was here today, I would have thrown him from the terrace” Her tears became more prominent and then she could not hold them anymore. It was after 6 long years that she had cried again. Never before she broke the promise with herself – I will never cry even if that needs me to make others cry.

She had broken her own rules. For the first time after her resolution, she had cried and not for self but for someone else.

Episode 4

“Take off your clothes” said Anaya

“What?” Nisha could not believe her ears

“Just take them off”

“What?!! no oooo way” She said.

Anaya pulled Nisha and started to undress her and Kriti helped her. Nisha tried her best to resist but before two naughty, haughty and strong girls, she was helpless and within no time, she found herself naked. The two friends stood on either side of her taking off their own clothes. The girls looked at the pool on which they were standing.

Nisha was feeling awkward. She had never been undressed by anyone else so publically.

“Jump!” Before she could recover from the culture shock, Anaya was ready to give her another

“What?” She looked at Kriti who was smiling, “I don’t know swimming”

“We know” Kriti and Anaya said unanimously and before Nisha could come up wtih any more excuses, the two girls held her hands and jumped into the pool. A splash and the three girls were inside the pool. Nisha struggled for breathe, taking support of the shoulders of her friends, she came up, wiping off the water from her face, she looked at the two smiling faces. She did not know how to react.

“How does it feel to be naked?” said Kriti smiling, “fresh??”

“and that too without a man” whispered Anaya in her ear

Nisha could not hold herself anymore and started to laugh out loud. A high five was exchanged between Kriti and Anaya.

“Do you want me to remove this also” said Anaya pulling Nisha’s bra strap

“No” Nisha resisted, still laughing and the blushing. But her laugher did not last for long as the creeping memories of last night came back and she went silent, looking down at her own body, partially naked, partially free, fully wet and her heart was also wet with sorrow and pain.

“I know you feel like going back, forgive him maybe. But don’t” said Anaya, trying to control her emotions.

Nisha’s eyes searched for some answer in her friend’s eyes. She was right that she wanted to go back but did not know why.

“Just be with me for 5 days and then if you want to go back, I won’t stop you. I will support you.”

“Me too” Kriti hugged Nisha and Anaya joined them too.

“Yaar, you are too sexy, what a figure you have. Forget that bastard. One signal and 100 boys will be on your feet.” She said pushing a smile.

Nisha looked at herself, her own naked body, her flat tummy, the fair and smooth skin, touching her wet hair, “in this condition, there will be 1000” she said.

Her words cracked a non-stop laughter between the two friends and she joined them too.

“Can I ask you something?” said Nisha hesitatingly, looking at Anaya

Anaya already knew what she was going to ask but she was not comfortable talking about her life. She was most comfortable till the time, it was hidden and any probes into her life would not let her be at peace. Maybe Nisha was only curious or just wanted to share her friends pain but in any of the case, Anaya decided to not speak more about her life or even ask Nisha for details of her life. She knew that no matter what the stories were, what the events were, what the twists were, one thing was clear that they both had lived a life of pain. It was the story of pain, story of betrayal so she was not keen on.

“No” She said expressionlessly but inside, she had the Goosebumps and nervousness of losing oneself again. Maybe her past would not haunt her anymore as she had become strong enough. But, it did start to play like a movie in her head and she went back to the day when she found herself trapped inside a room with no air and those sofa cushions were her only companions who she was trying to get help from, get comfort from and even spoke her heart out.

“Why did he do this to me…why? What have I done?” There was no one to wipe her tears, give her shoulder to cry on or even to speak a few comforting words, not in the room and not even outside, not anywhere on earth. Only place she had was to go back to office if she was to live. Else, she could choose to die.

She walked like a dead person and walked into the kitchen. She did not know what she was doing but her mind was well trained to generate a flow of actions from getting into the room, to making the hands reach for the uppermost shelf, to picking the box of chocolates. She opened the box, took out one piece, un-wrapped the light blue matt finished cover and ate the chocolate. She let herself fall down on the floor and sat their staring at the fallen wrapper like a robot watching someone giving instructions. Maybe she wanted the wrapper to speak out and tell her what she would be doing. She had two choices – live or not live. Whenever she was too confused to take a decision between two, she had a habit of tossing a coin. Now the coin was going to decide whether she would live or not. She got up, turned to her room and reached out for her purpose. She took out her favorite 10 rupee coin and closed her eyes.

She had two choices – live or not live. Whenever she was too confused to take a decision between two, she had a habit of tossing a coin. Now the coin was going to decide whether she would live or not. She got up, turned to her room and reached out for her purpose. She took out her favorite 10 rupee coin and closed her eyes.

She had two choices – live or not live. Whenever, she was too confused to take a decision between two, she had a habit of tossing a coin. Now the coin was going to decide whether she would live or not. She got up, turned to her room and reached out for her purpose. She took out her favorite 10 rupee coin and closed her eyes.

“Live or Die. Tell me God” and there went a toss. The coin jumped till the fan, touch it only gently and fell down rolling through the floor of the room to settle around a corner. She went to the coin, curiously and slightly nervous and picked it up.

“LIVE!” She spoke aloud.

“LIVE! LIVE!” she turned to Nisha, “That is what I did and that is what you will do”

She turned to Kriti, “I have an idea” she said smiling. Kriti knew her friend to understand that she had something crazy in mind.

Another Crazy Night

Nisha, most unexpectedly, in her life till now, found herself hanging on to a creepy plant, sitting with her legs folder, hoping that her heart would soon come out of the shock.

“I can’t…I can’t” Said she

“Yes, you can” Said Anaya

“Of course you can. Don’t worry, we are with you. It is not a big deal” Kriti supported her friend.

Finding oneself in a jungle would not have been a big deal if it was not a core area that was famous for seeing wild animals like lions and leopards and that too when they were walking and not using a vehicle. The adventure of crossing 36 pin curves down from the big mountain was itself a big thing for her to recover from and now the big jungle. Why did the two crazy girls have to get into the jungle after 8 when the government had banned the entry of visitors.

Anaya was good at playing with people’s emotions, especially men and how cooly she was able to convince the bus driver on allowing them to stay in the jungle while others left with the bus.

“This is really crazy” , She felt like she was sweating inside while outside, she was cold like ice. The puffs of cold icy breathe made it difficult for her to speak, “We can’t even run, we don….nt even …ha ahave a vehicle”

“Don’t worry baby, nothing will happen. But you will remember this time forever” said Anaya smiling

“I am not going”

“So, should we leave you here?” Said Anaya, looking at the scared girl, still clinging to the small tree that looked like gasping for breathe asking the poor girl to leave it or else it would break. “Alone?”

Of course, she had no choice. She was already in danger and if she was left alone, the danger would only increase. She had to go with the two crazy girls. For a moment, she wondered if it would have been a better move if she had got back to her husband instead of trusting these two girls coming in the creepy, spooky and crazy jungles of Coorg.

“Can I take a minute” She said hesitatingly.

“Take an hour baby” and Anaya sat down on her side, followed by Kriti.

Anaya twisted herself on the floor wet with frozen rain and put her head over a small rock, folding her elbows, coming to thinking position. Her eyes perfectly fixed on the nearby water stream that was flowing only slightly and very steadily.

“Is that a snake?” She said very calmly as if finding a snake was not a big deal for them.

“What?” Nisha was not used to receiving so many shocks so frequently. Her heart was thumping hard as she looked at Anaya, with her eyes glued to a hope for help and her hand holding her heart as if trying to say, ‘please don’t stop’

Ha Ha…it was a big laughter and Kriti joined her friend. Kriti almost fell down over the leaves, controlling her laugher. For Nisha, this behaviour was unusual and she did not find it funny. Her countenance changed from feared to an angered face.

From party to terrace, to pool to forest, in just 2 days, her life had changed and she felt like she was taking a roller coaster ride not knowing where she was going. It was a like another episode in the series of crazy nights and days.

“Learn to enjoy yaar” To Anaya, it did not matter if she had pissed the girl off but Kriti understood the situation and knew that she had to make Nisha calm down because she got angry, Anaya would not take her seriously and that could result into a cat fight. Cat fight between two leopards in the jungle would still be better than these two girls fighting.

“Relax NIsha, nothing will happen. We are not going to go too far, we have been to jungles before. We know how to handle this situation. For you, it may be first time but trust us, we have experience. Just be with us.”

Nisha did appear more relaxed, at least , the frown on her face was gone but her fear was still there.

“OK, now close your eyes, forget everything and just feel the breeze” said Kriti

Upon closing her eyes, Nisha could not see anything physically but the zooming sound of the wildly blowing breeze, the spooky sounds of night bats, the shivering of leaves adding to music, everything made a new picture in her head. In reality, she was in a scary jungle, but in her mind’s eye, she found herself enjoying in a fairy land, a land she had heard of only in the stories. She recalled a story that she read as a child and loved it most – The story of Sun beam and Moon beam bunnies. She did not accurately remember the name of the book but at the moment, it felt like her childhood fairy tale had come alive.

She found herself sitting in the land of moon beam bunnies that were made of white light and were only visible at night. They travelled through leaves, trees and wind without interruptions from solid objects. They could walk through a tree, through animals and through every object that came before them. They were the most sweet creatures on earth who came to help little kids when they were seeing nightmares. It appeared as if Nisha was seeing a nightmare so they had come to help her. She found herself going back to her childhood, not feeling any fear, any anger or any worried anymore but only enjoying her time with little bunnies of her imagination. She wished if she could stay with them forever.

“hello! Hello! Where are you?” it appeared to her as if night had passed and it was time for sun beam bunnies to leave and a moon beam bunny had come to wake her up. She slowly opened her eyes.

Anaya and Kriti stood before her in surprise. It appeared as if a long time was gone after she had closed her eyes. She smiled like a child as if she was given the greatest gift of her life – peace. She would not repent now even if a wild cat ate her. She was anyways going to die by jumping from the 45 floor building. This was a new life given by Anaya and now she experienced how it actually felt like living in a moment, a moment without worrying about house, about spouse or anyone else. She was with herself and only herself. Her smile looked cutest to Anaya and it reminded her of a child who would cry for a broken toy but when a chocolate was given in exchange, the child would start enjoying the moment again, forgetting about the grievance, the loss. This was exactly the reason why Anaya wanted Nisha to come to Jungle.

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