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Posted By Ritesh Chhajer on Thursday, January 15, 2009
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A Slice of LifeIt was a Friday night. Karan was still at office slogging his ass. After all he was the senior manager at one of the top multinational internet firm and was pretty much workaholic. But still, being late at office on a Friday night with a beautiful wife and two wonderful kids at home waiting for the long weekend to start was like squeezing too much out of life. Anyways, different people got different priorities.

 Well, one has to say Karan was damn lucky to have Drishti as his wife. An absolutely gorgeous woman who always stood by him and never complained of his hectic work life. I guess that’s why most of the times Karan used to take her for granted (And that’s what most of the husbands do). On the surface, they were pretty happy together for 9 years with no real complaints. Drishti was spending her time raising the kids while Karan was taking care of the dough. This long weekend, Karan had promised his kids to take them out on a holiday and for a change this time around he kept his word.

He had already made reservation at a beautiful serene resort and next morning they were all on their way. Drishti and kids were looking forward to this trip for quite some time so obviously they were very excited. By the time, they reached it had become a little dark and the kids were tired too so decided to call it a day. Next day, everyone woke up early, and got ready to visit the nearby beach. It was one of the most scenic places in town. Drishti was enjoying the beautiful sight while kids were running around all over the place.

 

While Karan was taking the pictures, something caught his attention. His children got involved in a little tiff with another kid. As he approached them to try and resolve the matter, the kiddo’s mom also came. Karan looked at her and was dumbfounded. She was “Muskaan”

 

Everything had come to a standstill. For that moment, all his senses got numbed. Their silence seemed to have overpowered all the noise around. For Karan, the clock started ticking anticlockwise and his entire past flashed in front of his eyes in a jiffy.

 

Muskaan was her college friend. It’s not like they were madly deeply in love but were good enough friends to share their moments of joy and despair. They had lot of common interests like music and philosophy on which they could just go on for hours. Whenever Karan felt even slightly dejected, he knew exactly where he’s going to find solace.

 

Time moved on and post graduation both started their work life in different cities. But they were still pretty much in touch with each other through phone and emails but not that frequently. A year had gone by and Muskaan had decided to pursue with further studies. She was coming to the same city where Karan was working. She thought of giving a surprise and just bumped at Karan’s place. As he opened the door, he was absolutely flabbergasted. She was looking so stunning that day may be because Karan was seeing him after such a long time. After they had some laughs, Muskaan left and for the first time Karan had this thought flew across his mind just for a second “What if…”? But very quickly he just rubbished it and discarded it as a mere infatuation.

 

Few more months passed by and one fine day, Karan got a call from Muskaan which he’s not going to forget for the rest of his life. She had got engaged and was getting married. Karan just congratulated and hung up. He then kept mulling over his absurd behavior and thought perhaps he was in love but was never sure and could never garner enough courage to speak out. Muskaan got married and Karan just kept on reassuring himself that with time everything would be fine. But as time moved on, the memories of Muskaan kept getting stronger and stronger. Over a period of time, he got convinced that Muskaan was indeed his first love and his lack of courage and realization had cost him big time. Somewhere around this time, in an attempt to forget her, he became madly workaholic. He used to think somewhere in work, he may find salvation.

 

Another year passed by and by this time Karan had come to terms with his life. He got married to Drishti, spent great time with her, got various promotions, two beautiful kids and everything was like picture perfect but still every now and then Muskaan’s memories kept haunting him. His biggest regret since he never expressed was that he would never know what Muskaan would have thought about him. What if he had told her!

 

Well, time moves on and with time one has to leave the past behind and get on with life. Sane thought, huh! But whether we move or crawl, life just takes us along. For Karan, it won’t be easy to forget everything and act as if everything’s fine. No matter how hard he may try to pretend and resume his purportedly happy married life, the past memories were not going to leave him. After all not everything in this world has an expiry date. Damn, some of these relations and memories don’t even die their natural death.

 

A plethora of emotions were barging their way into pensive Karan’s heart. Happy to see the sight of Muskaan, longing for the way things used to be, unable to accept that things can’t be the way they used to be. Muskaan was never in his life and would never be. But that’s not the end of world. He had enough things in life to cherish about. Muskaan was gone. Karan was back taking pictures. His lovely kids had put smile back on his face. The eruption of volcanic emotions was settling down albeit with the last thought on his way out “What if…”?

 

“Left with the ashes of dry memories

Death has begun but funeral is not over yet"

Disclaimer: All characters in this story are purely fictional and any resemblance with living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.

 

 

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  • Gravatar
    Vincent Friday, January 16, 2009 at 2:48 PM
    Re: What if...A Short Story
    Wonderful narration!
    I enjoyed it happy

  • Gravatar
    rana Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 3:30 AM
    Re: What if...A Short Story
    nice read and a ever green subject to let us fly-off to our college days happy . ritzy's stories and posts seem to start on super high note and set the expectations high. I was looking forward for a "kuch kuch hota hai" kind of acceleration and twist to the story which was not to be. my expectation seems to be a depiction of an Indian who is born and brought up staple bollywood cinema. A True reflection of the effect of indian cinema on each of us. Surprises me.

    Also something I wonder about the above story is about the "soul" of the story. Is this about the common feeling each of us always have about the "missed" chance in life or coming to term with present ?

    all in all, nice read and is going to motivate me to start posting actively on my site. happy

    -rana

  • Gravatar
    Abhishek Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 10:04 AM
    Re: What if...A Short Story
    You could have tried your luck as a story teller. The narration was quite captivating.

  • Gravatar
    Subodh Sunday, January 25, 2009 at 4:24 AM
    "But that’s not the end of world. He had enough things in life to cherish about"
    Happy ending after all eh? What if it wasn't? What if the "what if" never gets resolved? He never really got to know what was in Muskaan's mind big grin

    BTW ... is it all fiction? winking

  • Gravatar
    guess who ?? Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 8:30 PM
    Re: What if...A Short Story
    arre...did you make this story or picked up from some place....
    but I agree with other comments that it is a good narration....
    well personally...i just hate "what ifs"...follow one mantra...JUST DO IT...Follow your heart..but then life is not just black and white...and this story will surely fit real life stories of lot of people..sooo good job catching up the true emotions...
    Now questions....what happened after the moment of silence... ...what was on muskaan's mind after all...winking and last but not least..."what if..it is true".... i know your answer....hehehe happy
    see friend...curiosity kills me...i am in a profession where i can't handle open ended answers..the loop needs to be closed...the solution has to be found...so can we finish the story sometime..happy)..call me..

  • Gravatar
    Ritesh Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 9:28 PM
    Re: What if...A Short Story
    Piyush,

    I know it's you. I don't need to guess.

    First and foremost, this like my other posts is purely original. So you better never ever doubt it dude. In fact, the image of cake used is courtesy Shveta. I asked her to make the cake at home and put the title that I had thought of for this story. Take a close look at the cake againhappy.

    Just do it is very easy to say and not everyone has that courage. I wanted to end the story in a way where people can make their own guess about each character. The protagonist keeps thinking and perhaps would continue to do for the rest of his life that "what if" he had an alternate life.

  • Gravatar
    anonymous Friday, February 06, 2009 at 7:55 PM
    Re: What if...A Short Story
    With regard to your own comments response, most of us love to imagine the 'what if' of the alternate life even when things are done with courage or no courage. It is the integrity with which things are done that counts and to maintain the same. An attempt should be made to make life simple not complicated.

    Btw, the cake is very symbolic for this story. You cannot have the cake and eat it too.

  • Gravatar
    Ritzy Saturday, February 07, 2009 at 5:51 PM
    Re: anonymous
    Good to see that someone identified the cake with slice of life and the story

  • Gravatar
    Your old friend Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 5:04 AM
    Re: What if...A Short Story
    "Left with the ashes of dry memories
    Death has begun but funeral is not over yet"

    Dude, you wrote that line?

    • Gravatar
      Ritzy Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 3:48 PM
      Re: What if...A Short Story
      Of course Yes! In fact I'll take that as a compliement. Perhaps it was so good that you could not belive that I've written ithappy.

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