Open 24 Hours

Ronit entered the pub named Open 24 Hours, with his group of friends. They were all there to celebrate Mohit’s birthday. They ordered their drinks and went to the dance floor. After a couple of hours, Ronit went to the washroom, when he came out of the washroom, his eyes caught a girl outside the girl’s washroom, holding her high-heeled sandals in one of her hands. She was trying to make a call but was facing some network issues. She looked worried.

Ronit went to her and asked, “Would you like to use my phone? I might be a stranger to you but if you don’t mind you can use my phone. You can delete the number from the caller’s list if you want.

Hesitatingly, she took the phone and dialled a number.

“Mom, the party is going to be over soon. I will be back in an hour. Don’t worry about me. I am fine. Bye.”

She gave the phone back to him.

“My name is Raima. I am here with my friends. I was trying to call my mom to tell her that I am okay. Thanks for the help.” She said in a friendly voice.

“I am Ronit. That’s okay. I am here with my friends too. Are you going inside?”

“No, I want to stay outside for a while. Do you mind joining me?” Raima asked him.

“Umm, okay,” Ronit replied.

Just then Raima’s phone rang and she answered. She told him that it was her friend who was looking for her and asking to go home. She excused herself and went towards the exit door.

After a while, Ronit went inside and joined his friends who were still on the dance floor.

The next day, Ronit was sitting in his office but was not able to focus on his work. His thoughts were still occupied by the events of last night. He wasn’t able to get Raima out of his mind. Maybe it was love at first sight!

The week spent as usual in his office. The following weekend he thought of visiting the pub again. He spoke to his friends and they decided to go to the same pub again.

Ronit was hoping to see Raima again there. His eyes were looking for her while his friends were enjoying themselves on the floor. Feeling restless he went out to the terrace where they had met last weekend. Luckily, he spotted her. She was standing with her back towards him. Initially, he thought that she might be someone else. As he moved further, he was sure she was Raima.

“Hi, so we meet again!” Ronit called out to her.

Raima was startled to see him but greeted him with a smile.

“Ya, this is one of our favourites. We come here every weekend. What about you?” Ronit told her.

“I come here often too. My friend brings me here. Though I don’t like it much. It is only because of my friend that I come here. Her parents won’t let her come otherwise.”

They spoke to each other for some time after which she said, “Ronit, can I ask you for a favour. It’s getting too late and my mom is waiting for me at home. I will tell my friends that I am going home. They won’t mind.”

They left the pub in Ronit’s car. She told him that her father had expired many years back and she was the only child of her parents. She and her mother lived in an apartment nearby.

Ronit dropped Raima outside her apartments. She gave him her number and told him which apartment she lived in. Ronit thought that she liked him too.

Two days later, Ronit was passing by the same apartments. He thought of going to her house and meeting her. Maybe he would be able to meet her.

He rang the bell of her house. A woman opened the door.

“Hello, aunty. Is Raima there? I am her friend. I would like to meet her.” Ronit asked the woman with a smile.

“Raima?” asked the woman surprisingly.

“Come inside.” She said.

In the drawing-room, there was a big picture of Raima with a garland.

Ronit was shocked. Before he could speak, the woman spoke to him, “that’s my daughter, Raima. She died last year in an accident. Her body was found outside the Pub called Open 24 Hours. She had gone there with her friends. They say that she fell down from the terrace being highly drunk. But I know she wasn’t drunk that night. She had called me just before the time of her death to tell me that she was fine and will be back in an hour for the party was about to get over. I still don’t know what happened that night.” Raima’s mother told him.

Ronit did not know what to think or to say. The memories of those two nights…the call that she made on his phone… I will be back in an hour… the party is about to get over…I am fine…

Ronit left the place without saying anything.

He sat in the car and started not knowing where he was going.

“Hi Ronit, looking for me?”

Ronit looked on his left and saw Raima sitting in the car. Suddenly, he lost the control of the steering wheel.

The crowd gathered and policemen arrived outside Open 24 Hours and took out the body of Ronit from the car.


This post is written as an enrty for Day 7 of the Write Tribe Festival of Words June 2018.

The prompt which I have used today is the picture prompt used in the featured image of the post.

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The Warrior’s Journey

It was a proud moment for them, Suman was looking proudly at her daughter, Sonal, who was invited by the British High Commission to give a talk at Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya School. Sonal was speaking to the girls about life and aspirations, on gender issues and was giving an inspirational talk on her own life.

Suman was sitting along with her mother and her son, Ranveer. Suman’s mother said to her, “Suman, when I look at Sonal today, all I can say is “the flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of them all”. Suman nodded her head in agreement.

She began thinking about their life 18 years back, when Sonal was 4 years old and Ranveer was 1-year-old. She used to live with her husband, Arun who was a very famous lawyer. What looked like a happy family to everybody was going through so much pain that no one could ever imagine. Arun used to beat Suman over petty issues. Even a smallest disagreement from Suman would lead bigger arguments and which often ended up Suman getting brutally beaten up by Arun.

Sonal had often seen her mother badly bruised, bleeding and sometimes with broken bones. Sonal was a chirpy and talkative little child then. But the violence that she used to witness everyday made her quiet and withdrawn. She stopped talking to anybody and stopped making any friends. Suman tried her best to make her marriage work for the sake of her kids and bore the torture quietly. Ranveer, on the other hand stopped speaking completely. However, all this did not stop Arun from beating Suman. One day, Arun threw Suman from the stairs of their house in his fit of anger. Suman’s arm got fractured due to this. Little Sonam got terrified after watching this. She couldn’t sleep at night for many days after that incident.

That was the time, when Suman decided to take a stand, not for herself but for the sake of her children. She took her children and went to her parent’s house. Her father refused to help her for the fear of society. Her mother suggested her to go to her maternal grandmother.

Her grandmother supported Suman and her kids. She asked them to live with her. Suman started living at her grandmother’s house with her two small kids who were under the trauma of the excessive abuse and violence at their house. The road was tough ahead for the three of them. Suman herself was traumatized and fearful but she did not lose hope. She had neither any money nor any job to support her two children. She started writing and became a social activist. With her love and care, her kids started coming out of the trauma.

Sonal was a bright and sincere student. She worked hard in her studies for she knew the hardships her mother was going through. With her hard work and dedication she started getting scholarships from her school and got into the most prestigious college on the basis of her scholarship.

Strong as her mother, she worked continued to work hard and won many accolades in her college as well. She got admission in one of the prestigious college of London on the basis of her scholarship and went there to study. Ranveer also grew up as a fine boy and started doing well in his studies. He received 5 academic scholarships during his 5 semesters of college. Sonal wrote various articles on domestic violence and women rights which got published and made her famous. Suman became a well-known social activist and a famous writer.

This is a true story based on the life of a dear friend of mine. I have changed the names and moderated certain facts to keep up the privacy and dignity of the family. When I look at them, all I can say is, “all rising to great places is by a winding stair”.

Linking it up as an entry for the Day 5 of the Write Tribe Festival of Words June 2018.

I have used 2 prompts for this post: the picture prompt of the spiral staircase and the quote prompt from Mulan which is – “the flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of them all.”

Write Tribe

The Seductress (A Story)

“Prashant, I am planning to go to Bombay next month for my delivery. It will be difficult for me to manage the baby alone. You can’t take leave from your shop and I need to have rest after the delivery,” Shibani asked Prashant.

“Alright Shibani, I think that will be better. Mom and dad will look after you well and I will also come I whenever I can. I will make all the arrangements,” Prashant replied.

Prashant gave a kiss on her forehead and left her for his footwear showroom.

Shibani picked up the phone and dialed a number, “Hello, ma! How are you? I have spoken to Prashant and he has agreed. It is getting difficult for me to manage everything all alone. I am still not able to find a good and reliable maid who can manage all the housework…Don’t worry I am taking care of myself and the baby. Where is papa? Ok, bye, will talk to you after some time.”

Shibani kept the phone on the table and started doing her household chores. The doorbell rang, it was Bhumi, her house help.

In the evening, Prashant came back from his showroom. He hugged his wife and said, “Shibani, I have made all the arrangements. Your tickets are confirmed for the first of next month. I will miss you, sweety. You know I can’t live without you and our baby. I will join you in the second week of the month. I have spoken to Mr. Lal, he will take care of the showroom in my absence.”

It was the first of May, Shibani was to leave for the airport.

“Shibani, let’s go, we have to reach the airport in time,” Prashant called her. “Baby, promise me you will take good care of yourself and our baby. I will miss you a lot.” Prashant hugged her and spoke softly.

“I know Prashant, even we can’t live without you. Please come soon,” Shibani replied lovingly.

Shibani was thinking about their college days in the flight. Almost, everyone in Hindu College knew about their affair. Prashant and Shibani were the most beautiful couple in the college. Even their parents were family friends and had no objection to it. Prashant’s father had a well-reputed footwear showroom in South Delhi Market.  Her friends told her how lucky she was to have Prashant by her side. Prashant loved her immensely and would do anything for her.

Shibani was smiling to herself when the announcement of the flight getting landed in Mumbai Airport was made.

“Mom, dad!” she waved at her parents after coming out of the airport.

In due course of time, Shibani delivered a baby boy. Prashant had come to Mumbai, keeping his promise. Their happiness knew no bounds. Prashant’s parents also came to Mumbai to see their grandchild and there was a grand party to welcome the first grandson of both the families. Prashant left for Delhi to join back his business. His parents went back to Jammu where they had got another house for themselves after settling down Prashant in their business.

It was a usual day in the showroom. A woman in a red coat entered the showroom. She looked gorgeous in bright red lipstick and high heeled sandals. She started looking at the shelves and picked up a red high heeled shoe.

stay positive

“I would like to try this,” she spoke to the salesman attending her.

After trying the shoes, she came to the counter where Prashant was sitting to make the payment. She kept looking at Prashant while he was making the bill. He felt awkward with her deep gaze. She winked at him and gave him her business card while making the payment.

Prashant followed her with his eyes as she went out of the showroom.

Sleep failed to come to his eyes since the sight of the woman in the red coat was not ready to leave them. His was still thinking about her as he lay in his bed at night. He picked up the card which he had kept along with his phone.

“Sabina, so that’s her name,” he thought.

He picked up the phone and dialed a number, “Hi, handsome. I knew you will call,” the voice seemed to be laden with honey as the lady on the other side of the call spoke. “I will wait for you at 7 in the evening at the given address and she hung up the phone. Prashant could not even get chance to utter a word.

“Mr. Lal, I have an urgent meeting with a new supplier this evening. I will be leaving early. Would you, please, take care of the showroom in my absence?” Prashant spoke to Mr. Lal and left at 6 in the evening.

The address was in a plush colony of G.K. He parked his car outside the bungalow. He rang the bell and saw Sabina standing as the door opened.

She welcomed him in the friendliest way. Time supposed to have stopped, he seemed to have been completely taken in by her charm. He was so mesmerized by her, that he did not even realize how much he drank and how many hours he spent with her.

He rubbed his eyes and looked around, still dazed. It was early morning and he found himself in Sabina’s bedroom. She was sleeping by his side. When, how, where… he did not remember anything.

He gathered up his belonging and quickly left the place.

Shibani and Aarav came back and he felt happy again with his son and wife. He decided to forget about the incident and not to tell anything about it to anyone. However, the guilt kept pricking him.

Time flew and suddenly Prashant’s health started deteriorating. They could not understand what was wrong with him. They consulted a doctor and underwent the tests and examinations as prescribed by the doctor.

The reports came in.

“AIDS, I am sorry to say Prashant that your reports have confirmed it,” Dr. Gujral told him.

“What? How on earth is that possible doctor,” Shibani spoke in disbelief.

Their world had seemed to have got shattered. She looked questioningly at him.

Prashant failed to meet her eyes. His memory took him back to that fateful night.

“Shibani, I need to tell you something…” he stuttered.

“It was when you had gone to Mumbai for your delivery, Sabina had come to our showroom…” Prashant narrated the incident to her looking down all the while. He did not have the courage to hold it to himself anymore. “Shibani, don’t misunderstand me. It was a mistake…an accident…I did not mean to do it. I could never cheat on you. I love you and Aarav deeply and can’t live without you.” He broke down as he spoke.

“It’s all over now, Prashant.” Shibani got up and left the room.

Picture courtesy: pexels