Miracle Dip on a Starry Night

Credits: here

Credits: this guy

Imagine this: a chilly weather, a clear night’s sky with twinkling stars, hills, meadows and forests surrounding you and nothing but time to waste… seems like something out a story book, right?

I was fortunate enough to experience this! It was a night I remember fondly. Maybe it was the fancy things that stands sharp in my memory – like the peace and quiet that the small town I was visiting brought with it. Or perhaps, it was the close-knit group of friends who sat with me on the terrace on that cold night, sharing and caring. Who knows! But one thing is for sure: it was something fantastical.

You see, when you are one of those typical students in India aspiring to be an engineer (in IT, no less), you need a break. Break from all the routine stress, from the mediocre life you think you are leading whilst you try to figure out what ‘Encapsulation and Polymorphism’ is exactly and from the pressure that’s building around you in the form of tests, exams and of course, your parents. In such a perilous time, you need fun. You need excitement. You need something different. In my case, I needed chip and dip.

And so, barely a week after my exams were over, I found myself huddled around a stove. With me were a few of my closest friends. It was not only a great night, but a messy one as well. We were preparing to face the pure tranquillity of the small but delightful village we were visiting. The cold was still sharp like daggers. And the thing we were trying to create would cut through this cold. Supposedly.

The cooks in my group were the forerunners of our little “project”. Experimentation and making a tasty mess of what we call food was something they were adept at. The rest of us were just there, hovering in the background pretending to help. Desperately cold and hungry, but also a little excited about it being past midnight and the fact that we were all awake for something other than studies, we clanked and clunked around the kitchen, fumbling for something to make. The five of us ran around, hunting for logical ingredients to put in our cooking pan, while the other two stood around the stove, trying to light it whilst yelling orders. I grabbed the cheese, someone else grabbed the sauces from the fridge and another grabbed the garlic butter. And so, the miracle dip was born. In no time, the stove was on, searing the pan. The garlic butter was bubbling on the pan’s surface as it sent wafts of smells around the house. Added to the fact that the house was a packed box of us seven, to stop the cold from entering inside, everything aromatic in no time! With extreme clumsiness and hurry, we added the ingredients one by one to the butter, whilst the two – ahem – chefs stirred.

I have never been excited about cooking food. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating food, but actual cooking it is something that does not tickle my fancy. However, that night, it was like seeing magic. Maybe that was just my hunger making me see things but when the cheese had melted, when the garlic had infused with everything else, when the sauces had turned from white and yellow to a burning orange, my stomach grumbled.

The seven of us raced upstairs, carrying the rest of the stuff in our hands. It was like a synchronized mechanism: two of us stood upstairs, ready to take the stuff and keep it on the terrace; three more stood below, passing the stuff upstairs, while the remaining brought the stuff from the kitchen. We had drinks (soft, of course because we don’t drink alcohol. No, we seriously don’t. Mummy promise), we had food, we had sweaters for warmth, we had music…

And later, we found ourselves huddled around the dip on the terrace, below the sky, drinking soft drinks and ready to attack the bowl with three huge packets of chips. The fire this dip had awoken in us roared. Our hungry stomachs were holding their breaths, waiting for the onslaught of awesomeness. Our minds were sceptical: would the dip even be good?

It didn’t matter, as we each took a chip and dipped it in the liquidy-goodness. It smelt, looked amazing and turns out – as I bit the chip hungrily – it tasted amazing, too!

And thus began a campfire-like night, dotted with stories, secrets, selfies and music. The dip was consumed entirely in no time, and we lay on the cold floor of the terrace, star-gazing through the cold night, with one hand rubbing our full stomachs, contemplating if every night could be like this: eternally fulfilling and blissful.


Hello Bleedsters!
I hope you are having a great time! This is another one of my favourite write-ups and I sincerely hope you enjoy it! Comment with any similar experiences you might have had!

Love,
Kunal


As always, if any of it made you smile, laugh, frown or giggle like a little baby, comment share and like! To be up-to-date with my other posts, give a like to my Facebook page and follow on Twitter if you use it! Any images used are either taken from Google Images or from my own personal collection or other sources which will be mentioned if and when, unless stated otherwise. Contact me if you want it removed.

Happy New Year 2017

Okay, I am going to try and keep this as short as possible. But knowing me, my short is definitely the opposite. I can ramble on for pages and pages, whilst calling it short. So I will try my best to stick to the universally accepted definition of short!

See what I did there? I rambled on about rambling on…

Moving on, though — I am probably a few days late, but I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Everyone includes my fans (if I have any), my friends (if they even check my blog), my mother (because she is the only regular visitor I have, I am sure), my extended family (even though they don’t really know much about my blog) and anyone who has stumbled across my blog by mistake or by chance.

For me, 2016 has been a roller-coaster ride (does anyone get reminded of the Dhoom 2 song at those words?), as always. I have had my share of ups and downs the past year and frankly, it has been a wonderful journey. Of all the years since I was born, 2016 was one of the most eventful.

This was the year I co-headed a small committee in my college (as the Assistant Literary Secretary), it was the year I managed to organise a small, but exciting event called ‘One Frame Story’ in my college fest, it was also the year I got placed in a good company that I wanted, it also happened to be the year where I faced many challenges while experiencing the above and at every turn, I have done by best to give my all. This feeling, this raw feeling is something I had the chance to appreciate in 2016.

2016 has been a turning point in my life, a point where I now know that my childhood is over. 2016 is when I turned 21, an age you cannot go back from. I am now an adult! No, not a young-adult. Not even a “near”-adult. I am a grown-up adult. And unfortunately (or fortunately – we will see which), 2017 will be the year I have to start acting like one!

And hence, I fondly look forward to 2017, the year of change! With might and eagerness, I look forward to my transition from a college student to an employee of a company with a proper job. I look forward to handling my own shit, and meeting my responsibilities to the best of my knowledge and abilities. And above all, I look forward to 2017 being one of the best years of my life (just like the years before), even if it is wrought with difficulties and sorrows.

I wish you all the same.

Happy New Year 2017, folks!

-K


As always, if any of it made you smile, laugh, frown or giggle like a little baby, comment share and like! To be up-to-date with my other posts, give a like to my Facebook page and follow on Twitter if you use it! Any images used are either taken from Google Images or from my own personal collection or other sources which will be mentioned if and when, unless stated otherwise. Contact me if you want it removed.

 

The Cheating Couple #1

The Cheating Couple

1

Rassa-boy and Salami

Saloni stood on her toes, her feet digging into the sand. Her left hand covered her eyelids, shielding her obsidian-like black eyes from the sun. For a setting sun, she found it very harsh.

She glanced around, peeling her eyes away from the calming water. Few people dotted the beach, here and there. It seemed like a special day; the beach was usually never this empty. She craned her neck and tried to stand taller, balancing herself so that she could see afar. She couldn’t find whatever she was looking for.

So, she turned back to the thing that calmed her the most when she was anxious – the Arabian Sea.

Something about this particular sea turned her nerves obedient. The funny thing was, there was nothing about the sea that was special. There was nothing about this beach that was special. There was nothing about her that was special.

She pondered the facts for a moment. The beach was – well – a beach. Not just that but an Indian one. Littered, smelly, impure and ruined. Its crispness long gone, the seemingly endless sand was contrasted by sharp, ugly plastic. Bottles, plastic bags, garbage and filth was strewn casually about everywhere. People around her simply seemed to ignore the impurity. She was one of the people.

The water that was calmly receding was also similarly ghastly. The air reeked of shit and salt. Her nose was sensitive to it, but habit had made her accustomed to it.

“Fuck, he is late,” she said to herself. An old couple, who had been passing by behind her, looked around and shot her a dirty look. She caught their look and rolled her eyes. “Control yourself, Saloni! Don’t do it!” she muttered under her breath to herself.

She sighed and decided to take a seat. She plopped herself down on the sand, making sure that it did not enter her jeans. She covered her feet in sand, burying them in its warmth. It felt perfect, and the slightly humid but cool breeze complemented this feeling. Her hair was thankfully tied in a bun, so it did not fly around messily.

She waited five more minutes, expecting him. A dog barked in the distance, but it was so loud that she jumped.

“Stupid dogs,” she grumped, shooting an angry look at the dog, who was chasing a beggar in the distance.

She recognized a familiar face beyond the dog and the beggar, walking towards her while waving frantically. She smiled. The enthusiasm that Adhrit showed never failed to amuse her. She waved back, gesturing him to come faster. She had been waiting for nearly an hour now.

“Sorry, sorry!” he begged for her forgiveness as he approached her. “Mum had me run an errand at the last minute.”

“Auntie cha rassa?” she asked him mockingly.

He kneeled down, hugged her warmly and fell down beside her. Scoffing, he replied, “Funny, Salami. You are really funny, because my mom always sends me to buy rassa.

She chuckled. She remembered it had started a couple of years ago. They had been hanging out when Adhrit’s mother had sent him for an errand (not unlike today) to buy the famous ‘rassa’ from ‘Dadaji’s Corner’. At the time, it had been a simple and understandable request. After all, her own parents had done the same. Even she herself loved the gravy-like dish from Dadaji’s Corner. However, Adhrit’s mother liked the ‘rassa’ a bit too much. She made it at home a couple of times and frequently sent Adhrit to the café for it, when she would get bored of making it herself. Adhrit’s friends had all dubbed him as the ‘Rassa-boy’ of the colony. When Saloni had found this tit-bit out, she had teased him endlessly. This was when they were younger. Now, it was just an inside joke between them.

“She does,” Saloni argued. “Even today! I am sure of it… Auntie hasn’t changed one bit, I am positive!”

There was a pause. Something awkward hung between them. Silence turned the evening cold. The stupid dog had disappeared, so the barking had stopped as well. She turned to Adhrit, who looked at her with a sad smile. “It has been a long time, hasn’t it?” he said after a moment, breaking the silence.

“Let us just watch the sunset!” she said defensively, gesturing the slowly disappearing sun. It was getting darker. She hoped Adhrit couldn’t see her sad face.

“Oh! Come on, Salami. We need to talk about it, at least. We owe each other that much. My mom misses you too!”

“Ha, I am sure,” she replied sardonically. She had not been to Adhrit’s society for a while. Actually, it had been six or seven years since the last visit.

“No, seriously. She was actually a bit surprised when I told her I was going to see you…”

“Oh?”

“Yeah! Remember how your mom used to give us chocolates to eat? And how once my mom called your mom-”

“-of course, I remember. But that was a long time back! Wait-” Saloni paused. “You remember that?”

It had been a long time. Her mom had always collected chocolates from her kitty-party friends. She used to secretly give Saloni and Adhrit them. Saloni and Adhrit used to have them whenever they felt like. It was a privilege to have a lenient mother, Saloni realised. Once, Adhrit’s strict mother had caught him having these secret chocolates. She had phoned Saloni’s mother to demand an explanation. The incident made her smile with nostalgia. How the times had changed!

“Why wouldn’t I? Isn’t that the reason why you stopped showing up in my house?”

“No! I came plenty of times to your house after that!”

“When?”

“Diwali? Your birthday! When your friends didn’t show and I was the only one who did. Even for that dinner one time…”

“Oh, right…” Adhrit stopped. Suddenly, with a soft voice, he asked “What are we doing here? Why now? Why this place?”

Saloni raised her eyebrows. The sky had turned black. The clouds covered the moon. The stars twinkled here and there, dimly and faintly. Street lamps shone far behind them.

“Why? Shouldn’t we? Can’t we do this?”

Adhrit shook his head. “No, you certainly can. But why here? This beach… You know perfectly well why I-”

“-I do! But I like this place. Come on, it has been two years since your break up with that bitch. You can’t seriously still be affected by that! And even if you are, why should you let it affect this beautiful place.”

Whatever little light there was, it helped Saloni see Adhrit widen his eyes. “This beautiful place?!” He chuckled. “Did I hear that right? Are you okay, Saloni? I know I have been away for a while, but this place has not changed a bit. You might find it beautiful… for you own silly reasons… But the truth is, it’s dirty and unpleasant. Not just with garbage, but with bad memories. And not just for me; for you too, this place is hell.”

“Why? Because of him? That’s in the past!” Saloni cried out. “My ex-boyfriend was a stupid fuck. Cheating on me with yours was not the best idea, was it? Thank god I caught him. Wait,” she paused and looked around. She saw a group of carts on her left, selling beach-food. To her right, she saw a pile of rocks and behind them, a row of clean, handsome bungalows. Once upon a time, she had dreamed of living in one of those houses overlooking this beach. Once upon a time…

“There,” she finally said, pointing to the rocks. “Isn’t that where you found Dave kissing her?”

Haan,” Adhrit replied in a low voice.

Saloni slapped her forehead. “Sorry, baba. I forgot. You take your own sweet time in moving on.”

She ruffled Adhrit’s hair and chuckled once more. Adhrit was looking into the distance pensively, perhaps letting the sea bring back memories of his K…K…Kiran.

She felt guilty. She took her hand and entwined it with his. The sand was now covering both their hands and feet. The wind caressed their face. It had become chilly. They sat there, looking at the moon, which was crescent and now peeking – no, twinkling – from behind the grey clouds.

“I miss Kiran. But you know what? It has been two lovely years of self-doubting and loathing, but she did give me some memories…” Adhrit said after a while. “I don’t know how you do that, Saloni.”

Saloni took a deep breath. He never called her Saloni. “Do what?”

“How you got over him so quickly. I still think about Kiran, but you? I mean, I know that if it hadn’t been for Kiran and your Dave… we would never have…”

Saloni hesitated. “… I know, right?” she said and smiled. She leaned her head on Adhrit’s shoulder. “Sometimes, I think that if I hadn’t caught Dave, then we would be different. You and I…”

“Haha… You’re awesome, Saloni. Awesome at moving on… I have tried to learn that from you… But I haven’t, as they say, mastered the art just yet.” He was stroking her hair.

“No, I am not…” Saloni said softly. Her heart was beating fast. Her breathing had become deeper. This was it. She had to tell him now.

“What do you mean?” Adhrit asked her.

“The truth is, the reason we are meeting here today, and not the park is because… I saw him…”

She raised her head from Adhrit’s shoulder. Adhrit wore a blank face. Realization struck him.

“Dave? You saw Dave?”

She nodded. “Remember how I told you I was on duty today and tomorrow? Well, when I was going to work, I did something stupid. I saw him near the bus stop and followed him here… I want to confront him…”

“What the fuck, Salami?” Adhrit said, getting up. He looked around frantically, with fear in his eyes. “He is here?”

“Not just him. His wife, too…” Saloni said. She couldn’t believe it. She almost had tears in her eyes now.

“WHAT?” Adhrit yelled. His voice bounced off in every corner of the beach. Some heads turned, but they ignored them. “Kiran is here too? Oh no…”

“I am sorry! I just couldn’t resist…” she replied.

Adhrit shook her arm away and rubbed his face with his palm. “You are my best friend, Saloni. We have been the closest friends for two years now. I mean, come on. You know what they both did to us. She cheated on me with your Dave and your Dave cheated on you with my Kiran! And then they both got engaged. We swore never to talk to them or think about them. That was the foundation of our friendship. But you calling me here, trying to chase him after all this time…”

He was breathing heavily, his nostrils flared. Out of breath, he paused. Saloni got up too, raising her arms in defense. “I am sorry but I want to know. I was almost about to confront him. I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t! That is why I called you. Had you been a minute late, I would have rushed to that bhutta stall and asked him why he…”

She turned to her left and now could see Dave and Kiran at the stall. They were giggling and acting couple-y. It made her sick.

“YOU? I just can’t believe it… Salami, you are the strongest person I know! Or I thought I did. I was really happy that you had moved on from Dave. You just said it… You said I took time moving on. And here you are, still hung up on him!”

“Oh, but so are you! We can confront them together! Kiran is there too! We need answers, right? They cheated on us and when we confronted them, they just left the damn country!”

Adhrit growled at her. “Salami, they didn’t leave the country because of us! They eloped! And anyway, that doesn’t matter now! I am not hung up on Kiran, anymore. Today, I spoke about her only because of this stupid beach. That is how I remembered her. I had moved on, I really had. In fact, I don’t care. Neither should you… Let us just…”

The night had become colder than ever. The beach had become hauntingly unfamiliar. She knew what a big mistake this had been, chasing Dave and Kiran to the beach, stalking them for almost an hour and a half… But she needed it. After two years of pretending that the break up hadn’t affected her, that she was strong, the memories, the feelings, the pain… everything had resurfaced the moment she saw the happy couple.

“What? Leave? No! He ruined me, Adhrit. Why do you think I work at a call center? It is all because of him!” Saloni yelled. “He made the mess that is my life today. He cheated on me, he broke up with me, he left me and yet he had me fired! All and that too, without an explanation.”

“Look, Salami. I have known you since my childhood. Our families know each other. And I also know we weren’t that good friends before. And yes, I also know we are so good friends today because of them. And that is precisely why I won’t let you do this! Whatever they did, we have to forget…”

Saloni played with her hair, contemplating the friendly advice. She stared at Adhrit. Somewhere deep down, she knew Adhrit was right. But she wasn’t looking for right. She was looking for fair.

“No, I can’t…” Saloni said.

“Can’t what?” said two voices in unison behind her. All of a sudden, Adhrit’s face morphed into something else. Fear and anger turned his face red. Saloni turned on her heel, sending sand flying everywhere.

Standing behind her was the couple that she disliked the most in the world. Dave and Kiran smiled at them, but only officially, as they waited with hot, fresh corn in their hands.


Hello, Bleedsters!
This is a random story that popped into my head. Is it complete? No! Do I intend to complete it? Dunno! Let us just say that this is the first chapter of a potential story about two people. Depending on how you guys like it, I will continue. So if you want to read more, what happens next etc… PLEASE support me by sending me a message or commenting down below showing support and your interest. And share it with your friends…
Love,
Kunal.


As always, if any of it made you smile, laugh, frown or giggle like a little baby, comment share and like! To be up-to-date with my other posts, give a like to my Facebook page and follow on Twitter if you use it! Any images used are either taken from Google Images or from my own personal collection or other sources which will be mentioned if and when, unless stated otherwise. Contact me if you want it removed.