Friday, May 30, 2014

A bond across time

(Image courtesy: Google)

No one had expected our marriage to last long. We were so different, and I was so young. And today, as we celebrate our fifth anniversary, I feel a swell of pride looking at the man who still made my heart skip a beat. Father of my twin girls and my best friend still. And tonight as he held me close after sharing a glass of wine, I just knew that some things are meant to last forever. 

By the entrance

Copyright- Jennifer Pendergast

It was by the entrance to the old building by the river side that Ryan confessed his love for her. It was here that they shared dreams and hopes of a future together.

And it was here that he broke the news to her. That they could never be together. The reasons were too many. It was on this ground that her first tears fell. And it was here, by the entrance to their building, that they met, for the last time. 

The building still stands, old and weary. Waiting for two lovers to awaken it, to drench it in their love once more. 

This post is written for Friday Fictioneers.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A broken plea

(Image courtesy: Google)

It won't hurt he said
But it hurts so much, Mommy
Why don't you listen to me.

He gave me chocolates
And teddy bears
But he hurts me after,

I'm afraid of sleeping alone
Won't you hug me tonight?
I need you by my side, Mommy
To hold me safe and tight.

I'm scared and hurt
Why do you look the other way
When Daddy keeps hurting me
Night by night.

The night before

(Image courtesy: Google)

As the wine flowed, so did their conversation. A drink turned into two, which turned into more. Inhibitions were cast aside, along with their clothes. 

The morning after, they woke up with a head throbbing hangover. Kissed each other one last time. Said their goodbyes. A one night stand. That was all it was meant to be. 

He had come for his friend's wedding that evening. He dressed in his black tux and left for the venue. What he had expected was certainly not this. Her. As a bride. In an off shoulder ivory gown. Looking radiant. Marrying his friend. Her throwing her head back in laughter as her groom whispered something in her ear. He could speak out now or forever hold his peace. 

Her eyes met his over the alter. A flicker of recognition. It was too late. Somethings are better left unsaid. He turned back and left. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tainted red

(Image courtesy: Google)

She was trained for marriage from the time she could remember. To cook. To make idlis soft and fluffy. How to make sambhar, just a bit on the tangy side. To roll the dough just perfect so that it doesn't stick. The perfect way to fold clothes. To iron them. And so, when they found the perfect groom, soft spoken and handsome, well educated and settled abroad, she was confident. 

How hard can it be to do all those little things she was trained for, without supervision? A week after marriage, she flew with him to start her new life in an unknown country. In a strange place, filled with strange people. She got stares walking around in a saree and the bright red vermilion parting in her hair. And the one time she attempted to blend in with the crowd in a blue jeans and tank top, she felt strangely naked without the red tainting her forehead. 

Her husband never said anything. It was like she had ceased to exist for him. He was immersed in his research and that was all she knew. How on earth would she make friends without even learning to speak English fluently. She felt lost in a sea of people. Even when she went out for long walks in the nearby park or simply stood browsing through the local Indian provision store. 

Till the day she noticed the young guy in black. He was young, maybe in his early twenties. Probably just a couple of years younger than her or maybe her same age. But she felt old in her saree. And she looked old as well. 

At first, she pretended to ignore him. What she noticed first about him was the way he stared at her. With such intensity. What did he want? For the first time in a long time, she felt nervous. The next time she saw him was in the park. He sat by the bench, nursing a cup of coffee. Was he waiting for her? 

She continued seeing him, daily on her walks in the park, in the public library that she frequented often. But they never spoke. Merely walked past each other as strangers. As they rightly were.

Till one day, he took the plunge and asked her out for coffee. Her shock must have shown on her face because he smiled as though he knew what her reaction would be. 

Don't worry, it's just a cup of coffee, he assured her. But still she was scared and nervous. What was she getting into? With a stranger. With someone who could be much younger than her. 

She needn't have worried. She felt at home with him. She could talk to him and he listened. And for now, that was all that mattered to her. Talking to him was like her addiction to coffee. She could not stop.

They started meeting regularly now. It was always in those tiny coffee shops where they would pour their hearts out and seek each other out. Turns out, he was not that young after all. Just twenty four. A year younger than her.

One day, she decided to take the plunge and ask him what it was that he noticed about her first. The reason behind the stalking, if it could be called that.

He smiled. The smile that made the eyes of his brown eyes crinkle. The smile that melted her heart each time she saw it. The smile that lit up his whole face when he saw her. 

It was the red in your hair. So beautiful. The fact that you wore your marriage with such pride. The way you held on to your marriage with so much optimistic hope. Despite the sadness in your eyes. Something in me awakened. Something that I had not known existed inside me. With this he took her hand in his.

His words fell on her like a cold shower on a warm day. Married. She was married. No matter how much she felt attracted to him, she couldn't do this. She could never cross the line and take the next step. 

She withdrew her hand from his. Kissed him on the forehead and walked away. This would be the last time. She knew it. He knew it as well. His eyes pleaded with her one last time. She pretended not to see it. 

The next day, she went to the hairdresser's and got her long black locks chopped. It now lay in a chic layer framing her delicate face. Traded her saree for jeans and a thick sweater. And the vermilion? It was washed off. 

She did continue her walks. But never saw him again. And her husband? The only acknowledgement he gave her change was a mere nod of his head that evening. And her? She never took to wearing marriage on her forehead ever again. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

After the mist

Copyright- Erin Leary

The mist came, hazy and cloudy. I walk by the fence where the road seems to stretch forever. I had never made it to the end of the road. I do not know where it leads. But whenever I need answers, this is where I come to. It was not the destination, but the journey that truly matters.


Hard to make but inevitable all the same. As the fog lifted, so did the confusions inside my head. I turned back. And found my way home. 

Linking this to Friday fictioneers.

Till death do us part

Death awaits me. I can feel its ice cold fingers on my throat. Now on my arms. I open my eyes. Am I hallucinating? I lie on her lap. Her delicate fingers cradle me. Tears from her eyes fall on my cheeks. I can feel her wiping the wetness away. Don't, I want to tell her. But my body no longer obliges my commands. I am losing control. What grave mistake had I done to deserve this? All I had wanted was to live with the woman I chose. But here I was, waiting for death. Would fate show me any mercy? This was not how it was supposed to end. We had just begun our lives. Me and her. As one. As lovers. As soul mates. I do not want to die, I scream inside but all that comes out is unrecognizable babble. 

Why me. Why me. Not because I am scared to die. But because I have still not had enough of loving her. I can feel the acid burning its way into my organs, melting away my skin. I can hear someone screaming. Is that her voice? I am losing her. I can feel it in my bones.

A vengeful acid attack, by her family and the so called moral society. To take her away from me. I want to tell her one last time how much she means to me. How my entire world changed because of her gentleness. Of her patient, sacred love. Before they take her away from me. I am now falling into darkness. I can't feel her. Anymore. 

And the crime that I had committed? That I was born a woman.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Back to childhood

The much dreaded day was here. Divorce granted. Samantha let out a sigh as she said the words in her head, divorcee. The much dreaded word, which was still a stigma in her so called 'forward' society, it was still something that was frowned upon. 

Her packed bags were stowed in her already crammed car. She had no other choice, but to go back to her parents' place. When she entered her home, after all these years, it was not what she had expected. Her room, intact. Fingering the frayed pink bedspread, she smiled. She was finally home. 

Linking this to Write Tribe's 100 Words on Saturday.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A dash of magic

(Image courtesy: Google)

Magic had always been there since the time I could remember. I found it in between the pages of books that I began to read. Unicorns, dragons, fairies, pixies, enchanted woods, goblins, evil queens had always fascinated me. I could spend hours and hours reading and lose count of time. Such was the joy that I found in them.

I can still read fairy tales and not get bored. Cinderella, Sleeping beauty, Snow white and the seven dwarfs, Beauty and the beast, The little mermaid. How can one ever forget those priceless classics? 

Enid Blyton opened doors to magic, which I had not known that existed till then. Flying chairs, secret meeting places, solving mysteries Ah, the fond memories! Childhood would definitely be incomplete if one hasn't visited a few of her books at least. 

And when I grew up from my tweens and into my teens, my all time favorite was Harry Potter. Gryffindor, Hogwarts, Quidditch, Marauder's map are terms that would be familiar with any of the Potter fans. 

Do we really grow up and stop believing in magic altogether? Or are we all so busy pretending that such things do not exist and do not see it even if its right under our noses? Sometimes, to escape the bleak future and drab realities, maybe what we need is to go back. Go back to the time when we believed in Santa Claus and Tooth fairies and a world of magic. Who knows what you might discover! As they say, for magic to come true, you simply need to believe it first.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Friday, May 23, 2014

My Anchor

I had good days and I had bad days. But towards the end of the day, I always came back to him. He was my anchor. He was there holding my hand when the doctors' reports came back saying I would never be a mother. And he was there with me when I held our son for the first time.

Linking this to Five sentence fiction for Anchor at Lillie McFerrin Writes.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The betrayal

Theirs was a love marriage. He had wooed her with flowers and her favorite Swiss chocolates. The first year of marriage was blissful even. Till his eyes started straying. Till the day he came smelling of another woman. 

She had thought that a child would change the equation. That he would turn over a new leaf once their baby arrived.

Packing her bags three years later, with her child in tow, she wished she knew then what she knew now. 

Linking this to Write tribe's 100 words on a Saturday.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My blog, my salvation

Dearest blog of mine,

Thanks for preserving my sanity in these stressful times. Thanks for listening to my rantings and not complaining. Thanks for being my salvation. You are sometimes, my only hope!
Did I tell you that I missed you? Yes, you have started becoming a part of me and for that I am eternally grateful. 

This post might not make sense to anyone else and it doesn't matter. It does to you and me and that's all that matters. For now. 

I shall always be thankful to you for reminding of the small joys that life bestows upon me. And tonight I shall go to sleep with a lighter heart. 

Forever Yours,

An empty cradle

                                                    (Image Courtesy: Google)

The pain ripped her apart
Like a thousand knives
Twisting into her womb
Suffocating, blinding pain.

It was true that she did not want 
This child, who was now a part of her
This tiny being who grew inside her
Like a poisonous cancer.

Whose very existence she had cursed.
Till the day she felt a tiny kick.
Deep in her belly.
This child who gave her a reason to live.

Was that her own voice screaming?
Or was it all in her head?
The last thing she remembered seeing
Before falling into a dreamless sleep
Was the empty cradle
That stood in the corner of the room
Mocking her. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The girl in the red dress

                                                (Image courtesy: Google)

I saw her first on my way to work. My car was stuck in the heavy traffic block that was not uncommon in the area where I lived. I was mindlessly drumming my fingers against the dashboard when I saw her standing near the window of the local guest house. Something about her caught my eye. Yes. It was the bright red dress that she was wearing that made me look at her twice. That and the cigarette in her hand. As much as my city claims to be a metropolitan, a girl smoking and that too during the bright morning hours was something that was still looked down upon. 

She stood, leaning over the balcony, smoking. Wearing a bold halter neck dress, she was someone you would look at twice. Perhaps she felt me staring and turned her head in my direction. For a moment, I felt like a kid caught doing mischief. She looked pissed off at my intrusion but smiled at me a while later, all the time continuing to blow smoke rings at me. 

A part of me wished to freeze time, then and there. It was like life around us had paused as we stare at each other. A logical side of me sent warning bells in my head. This girl was not one to be messed around with. This girl in the red dress and with an almost finished cigarette in her left hand. This girl whose eyes spoke a thousand stories. Of waking up terrified at midnight. Of screams that went unheard. Scared. Alone. 

I could picture her in my arms, I could visualize taking her out to dinner. Holding her hand while we sipped wine together. On a full moon night. Walking with her along the beach as the waves formed lacy curls around our ankles. Of taking her back home and making love to her all night. Of waking up next to her and drinking scalding hot coffee and warm buttery toast with her in bed. I want to tell her how much she means to me. And that I want her to be mine. Forever.

My dream was broken as a middle aged balding man came from inside the room came and stood next to her in the balcony. He put his hands around her casually. He had a pot belly and the mere sight of him near her disgusted me. My betrayal must have shown on my face as she snubbed out her cigarette butt with her heels. Gave me an apologetic smile, took the man's hand and took him inside. The traffic started clearing and it was time for me to move on. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Someone like you

                                                  (Image courtesy: Google)

I have spent my whole life
Searching for someone like you
I have spent every waking moment
Dreaming for someone like you

I wanted someone who would laugh like you
Someone who would hold me like you
Kissed me like there was no tomorrow 
Someone who would grasp my hands like you

On a moonless night as I gaze out
Into a deep dark abyss 
I realize that there can never be
Anyone like you

Book Review- Bookends by Jane Green

As much as I hate the term 'chick-lit', which I personally feel is a very sexist way of labeling a book, Jane Green is an author who weaves beautiful stories often around wonderful women. Bookends is a feel good book that you can relate to very easily. Especially if you are a woman who loves this genre of writing. Bookends is narrated in the first person by Catherine Warner, known as Cath among her friends. The story revolves around her and her bunch of friends. Simon or Si as he is known, is her best friend despite being total opposites. But one thing that's common between them is that they are yet to find Mr. Right. 

The title of the book had me all curious when I started reading it as the book promised to be very interesting. And I was not disappointed to say the least. The story progresses further to show how Cath's love for books soon turns into a career choice when her friend Lucy proposes to open a bookshop cum cafe. Along with Lucy's help in cooking and her passion for books and in the hopes of achieving a life long dream, Cath soon quits her job in the advertising agency to pursue her dream. 

Josh and Lucy are married with a devil spawn child Max and his terrifying Swedish nanny Ingrid, adds to the drama that is maintained throughout the story. And being a lover of drama, I just had to love this one! In a series of flashback, it is revealed that Josh, Si and Cath were all together during college along with their queen bee Portia. Beautiful, smart Portia, who was best friends with Cath and who breaks all of their hearts one collective night. 

And when she reappears into their lives one fine day, she changes the lives of the four friends as their friendship goes for a toss. Also, playing Cath's confidant and budding crush is the gorgeous James, the real estate agent who also happens to be a talented artist, who seems more than happy to turn up on Cath's doorstep unannounced. 

Bookends is a story of friendship, marriages, relationships, trust and growing up. The book also tackles some serious issues such as the awareness of AIDS and the awareness of being a HIV positive in our society. Though the tone is light and her writing captivating as always, the book does address some serious issues that needs to be brought to light. 

There is something about Jane Green's writing that makes you wrapped up in her words and just lose yourself in it. I have loved all the few books of hers that I have read so far and Bookends is more the so appealing if you are a bibliophile! A definite five on five stars for me. Go, give this one a read and I am sure you won't be able to stop till you turn the last page. Happy Reading!

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Woods

                                                     (Image Courtesy: Google)

I wait for you by the woods
To take me in your arms 
And make me yours once more
The trees are silent
Watching me, judging me
Swaying ever so gently
They say the woods are haunted
But I don't believe it
Neither do you
It was in these woods 
That you confessed your love
It was here that you kissed me first
It was under these trees 
That you made love to me

I wait. Impatient. Eager
Yet, you don't come
I despair. 
Till I see you driving past
With her beside you
Something in me breaks 
At that moment.

You have forgotten 
The promise you made
Till death and beyond
Yet, you have moved on
I can see your hands on hers.

I turn and walk back 
Into the woods that engulfs me
Into the woods that now 
Strangely feels like home

Dear Curls, I miss you

Dearest curly hair of mine,

I have never thought that there would come a day I would be saying this out aloud, but I MISS YOU! Ever since the day I could remember, I have hated you. In fact, we had a love hate relationship going on since the time I could remember. You were one thing that I absolutely hated. Yes, I did detest you when I was growing up. During my teens, you were my enemy. But at some point when I grew up, I realized that you were not so bad. That you could be tamed and you actually looked good for a change. 

But managing curly frizzy hair was too much of a bother. So when hair smoothening and hair straightening were all the rage, I went and got you smoothened couple of years back. And boy, do I regret it to this day. Of course, you looked great when initially. I could leave my hair open without actually worrying about how it would like after couple of minutes. We had our good days. I loved the way how you lay all curly and wavy towards the end and all smooth near the roots. 

But then all good things come to an end. And you decided to teach me a lesson. You started growing. Yes, those Maggi noodle look alike tendrils started growing back. So that now I am left with something that's partially curly and all straight towards the end. Basically, now you look like something the cat dragged in. I guess it would be a few more months for you to grow back fully. 

I promise you that I would never ever go for any sort of chemical treatments again. I would forever be grateful if you bestow me with your curliness. Dear curls, come back soon (fully). I miss you. I do realize how precious you were once you went missing. Counting the days till I will be protected by your halo once more.

Yours forever,

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A painful choice



I gritted by teeth and bit back the pain as the needle pierced my skin. The pain lasted only a moment and it was done. There, one small pierce on my nose. And that's done. I am now the proud owner of a shiny new nose pin on my not-so-perfect nose. Not that it bothered me. I love my imperfections, after all, they have made me who I am today. Unruly hair, a whim of the moment mix and match tops with faded jeans, a body that can neither be described as too thin nor too fat. I loved it all. Yes, you heard that right.

 I love myself. The way I am. 

My life was far from perfect. Shrinks would have a ball had I visited them and let them see those dark secrets that are woven into my very being. But I have never visited them. Like I said, I have never wanted to. I like me the way I am. But the pain was always there. Since the time I could remember. A deep, dull ache. Sometimes, the smallest of things would make me into a self pitying sobbing creature, that I despised. But thankfully, those relapses were few. At other times, merely trivial things, like a bird chirping or the feel of a light breeze before the rains, would make my heart soar with happiness. 

Perhaps it was to mask some of that pain that I started hurting myself. The first time it happened was an accident. A mistake due to my clumsiness. A knife held carelessly. Blood oozed from my fingers. I was fascinated. The pain numbed me. The dull ache in me moved way for the physical angst that I was facing. 

And so it began. But I found out that hurting myself always was not a choice. For one, I did not want to end up as the girl who was covered in scars. Not that I did mind it or cared what people thought, but it just didn't appeal to me then.

That was when I discovered the magic of piercings and tattoos. The pain was instant. And it took a while to heal. But that was enough. For now. 

I looked at myself in the mirror and smiled. Four tattoos, one on my left wrist, one on my left ankle, one behind my neck and another just below my collarbone starting near my left breast. Four ear piercings on each ear. And now, sitting there elegantly on my nose, my joy and pride. 

A nose piercing was what he had hated the most. He had forbidden me from piercing my nose. He had chained me to him with his pain. In the beginning, he had wanted my pain. And I let him. Until the day I finally decided to break free. I knew that I would treasure this piercing more than the others. For me, it symbolizes freedom and healing. It is me

Grabbing my scarf around my neck and paying the woman at the beauty parlor who did my piercing, I stepped out into the pouring rain outside. 


I watched her come outside from the beauty parlor and waved to her. It took her a while to see me, due to the heavy down pour. Being the aloof person she is, I had not expected her to even acknowledge my presence. Though we worked in the same department at office, she barely spoke to anyone. My friends often made fun of me, that I was wasting my time just drooling behind her. 

But she was more than a crush. Pallavi. Her name rolls on my lips like a lazy slumber. Pallavi. An enigma and my biggest mystery. What I noticed first when she joined our office two years back was not her piercings or her inked skin. It was her eyes. They were like two pools of deep dark waters that was undisturbed. 

She never came for any social gatherings or the monthly parties, that was the rave of our advertising company. She never made small talk or friends. If anything, all she gained was sniggers behind her back and jealousy of our colleagues. She was called a messed up basket case. And if she came to know about the names assigned to her, she did not act on it, or chose to ignore it. It was like nothing ever bothered her. Her work was brilliant. Being an advertising company, her creatives were priceless. It was like she gave it her all for art.

Pallavi. Art lover. Tattoo lover. Woman. Child. Broken. She was all that and more for me. 

As she came towards me drenched in rain near the parlor on MG Road, my heart soared. Something in her had changed. The haunted look in her eyes were gone. She spotted a small diamond pin on her nose. Was that a ghost of a smile that I saw flickering on her lips? 

Do you need a lift? Autos would be difficult to get at this time, I said.  

She said nothing, but merely climbed behind my bike and held me tight. And just like that, she was mine as we drove on MG Road as the thunder, rain and lightening folded us into its embrace.  

                                     (Images courtesy: Google, as always)

When life gives you lemons

                                              (Image courtesy: Google)

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Oh, what the hell, you might as well have some fun with those lemons! So grab some tequila and salt :) You might as well enjoy it while it lasts. Things may not always go like what we wanted or even planned to. Doesn't mean you have to sit and grumble. Well, it helps if you could rant about it to someone (or in my case, blog about it). Or just go enjoy yourself. Pamper yourself. Yes. Because you deserve it. Give yourself a pat on the back. You have come so far and bad times don't last forever. Neither do good times, if you think about it. So take a deep breath. This too shall pass. I am reminded about a quote by Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, portrayed ever so beautifully by Sarah Jessica Parker, and that's one show I absolutely love, I mean I love love lurveeeeeeeeee it. But more on that later on, perhaps in another post. Okay, so as I was saying here's the quote:

"The universe may not always play fair, but at least it's got a hell of a sense of humor." -  Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

All my love,

Friday, May 2, 2014

Book review - Advantage love by Madhuri Banerjee

I had some preconceived notions before I started reading the latest one by Madhuri Banerjee. Having read and loved her previous two works Losing my virginity and other dumb ideas and Mistakes like love and sex, this one is considerably different from both of these books. The book is a light read and I finished it in a day. 

Advantage love tells the story of a young woman - Trisha and her dilemmas when it comes to relationships. She dates the charming Vedant Kirloskar in college, a young politician in the making, who woes and wins her over with his poetry and taste for literature. The two share a lot of interests including their love for debates, books etc. However, upon completion of their college lives, they are forced to break up and go their separate ways.

As Trisha continues to work in Delhi for UNICEF, she meets Abhimanyu, the charismatic tennis player. Wary of men, Trisha's insecurities come to rise when she starts dating Abhimanyu. Things take a turn when Vedant renters her life. Playing the role of her friend and confident is the level headed Juhi who is wise beyond her years. Neha, Trisha's mother also plays a pivotal role in the book.

I was expecting another one of those typical love triangular stories when I bought the book, but Madhuri has pulled it off and the book is a refreshing read. Like her previous works, she tackles issues such as virginity, boyfriends, sex which are still taboo topics in an Indian society. 

The book makes up for a nice read that is apt for spending a weekend curled up in bed. I enjoyed it and would give it a four on five stars. The story line is simple and the book picks up pace towards the end. Giving it four stars only because of the fact that I loved her previous works much more. 

Give it a read if you are looking for a good summer read! 

P.S. Did I also mention the fact that it would be perfect if you are planning a day at the beach ?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My books, my world

Books have been my best friends, my companions all throughout my life. Right from the time that I could start reading, my parents used to buy me moral stories which progressed to Tinkle digest to Enid Blyton to Harry Potter to Sidney Sheldon as I grew up. No matter how down I am or how lost I feel, my books have always been with me. Here are a few recent clicks of mine!

Yes, that's my messy little bookshelf! This one showcases a part of my collection.

And these are some of my recent possessions! Sigh, how much I love Flipkart! Their service is fast, reliable and the books reach you in excellent condition. Not to mention their superb customer care that's available for your help 24/7. But when I feel the urge in me to actually buy books by running my hand along their spines, sniffing inside the pages of books, I visit book stores. Even though I may not always buy books during those visits, simply walking through the aisles surrounded by books make me happy!

Book Review- The better man by Anita Nair

There is something about this book that made me want to write this review as soon as I finished reading it. I have always been a fan of Anita Nair's works and have loved her other works like Ladies Coupe, Mistress, Cut like wound and Lessons in forgetting. What catches my interest is that all her books have a soul, something that you can relate to. The better is no different. It is a beautifully written book which talks of relationships and the power it wields.

Though this book is the first novel written by her, I got to reading this only after I had read and already fallen in love with her other books. Set in a tranquil village, Kaikurussi of Northern Kerala, the book tells the story of Mukundan and his confidante, Bhasi or One screw loose Bhasi as he is popularly known among the villagers. Bhasi is a housepainter by profession and a healer by vocation. A retired Government employee, Mukundan is forced to return to his village that he detests. That is filled with ghosts, with memories that he wants to flee. 

It is only when Bhasi pursues Mukundan to open up to him, to break down the walls that he had so carefully surrounded himself with, does he begin to cleanse Mukundan's memories. To lay to rest the memories that haunt him. We are introduced to a lot of other characters as well- Achuthan Nair, Mukundan's dominating father, Paru Kutty, his timid mother, who still blames him for her death through his dreams, Krishnan Nair, the caretaker who treats Mukundan with the affection of an uncle and brother, Anjana, the school teacher with whom he falls in love later on in the story. 

A lot of other characters and their stories which fascinated me are Kamban, a lower caste Harijan, who works as the post master in Kaikurussi. Feared to be Odiyans,they were said to be armed with black magic. Then there is Shankar who runs a teashop around which all the gossip of Kaikurussi are dissected. Che Kutty, who runs the toddy shop, Power house Ramakrishnan, a comman man turned whose fate changes when he wins a lottery ticket. A scheming businessman whose selfish motives changes the life of Mukundan and Bhasi. There is Meenakshi, Mukundan's childhood sweetheart who is now married. Then there is Valsala, a woman who comes into Mukundan's life due to a mix up of telephone lines. Valsala, who reminds him of his mother, whose eyes are devoid of any feelings. Valsala, who waits for Gandharvas under the Pala tree. There is also 

The book is sprinkled with a lot of interesting characters that I wished had some more space to tell their stories. Bhasi's wife, Damayanti, is portrayed as a strong woman, an enigma. A widow when Bhasi first met her, she changes his life forever.

Unless I stop now, I am in great danger of actually retelling the entire story. I am going to stop now, so that you can enjoy the book for yourself and experience the magic that I felt. All in all, a beautifully well written book. I would definitely give it a five on five.The only drawback I felt was that there was a scope for a lot of these characters to develop. But then, if you knew all about them, then it would have deviated from the main story. I would have loved to get more insights into the minds of these other characters of Kaikurussi. 

A must must read! I simply loved this one. It shows the magic in a mundane life and the value of relationships and loyalty.
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