Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Voices in My Head - 39


So, there it is. There isn’t any grand conclusion or happy ending. Why did I go to the trouble of writing it out? So that I remember my mistakes and learn from them, and hopefully, some of you do too.
Oh well, that’s not true. What would you learn from anyway? I did the best I could, tried to make friends, have a romance… If I were to do it all over again, I’m not sure what I would do different.
Of all the guys I have ever liked, Raghav is the one I liked best, the only one about whom I still sometimes wonder, “What if…?” Yet I don’t regret refusing him: he’s very good, but he’s not right for me.
“Not good enough for you, you mean,” snaps Mandakini.
Well, I have to admit that’s true. I don’t think he’s good enough for me. I want someone who is more sure of what he wants. (I hope, now that he’s married to Sonali, he won’t change his mind again…) I want someone who wants more from life than the usual things: security, comfort, wife, kids, a nice home and a fancy car… I want someone whom I can talk to every day and never get bored, whom I can finally tell everything I think about… like the fact that there are two voices in my head that constantly talk and bicker.
I want to overwhelmingly want to be with someone, someone who makes time stand still when I am with him… I want to fall in love. In spite of all my romances, I don’t think I ever have.
“Or you might wake up one day and discover you were in love with one of them… maybe Raghav,” says Mandakini.
“I don’t think so. And shut up, will you? I’m trying to concentrate on something here.”
Raghav and I barely talk any more. We have so little in common. I am somewhat glad that he and Sonali have settled in Bangalore. If they lived in Delhi, as they had planned, I couldn’t have avoided meeting them and it would have been… boring.
I see Vikram in office sometimes. The other day I bumped into him in the cafeteria and he gave me a large smile, said ‘Hi!’ and walked away.
I am still not sure why he behaved like he did. I suppose he realised he was falling for – what’s her name, Mitali? – and decided to stop seeing me. I suppose he did it so abruptly so that she wouldn’t suspect anything. I would have thought much better of him if he had had the honesty to tell me. I wouldn’t have minded much: I wasn’t in love with him either. I suppose he assumed I wouldn’t talk about what happened between us out of fear of ruining my reputation. Well, I haven’t. The office isn’t liberal enough for me to feel comfortable about the story getting out.
 I have remained in touch with Suryakant. We email each other often. He recommends books, and I tell him what I’m currently reading. It’s partly his tutelage and partly my sensitivity to what he would think that I’ve been moving away from romance novels to more serious fare. I’ve learned that helps me too. The less I think and read about romance the better. The less I expect it, the less it’ll bother me that I don’t have any in my life. I still hope I’ll fall in love some day. If I don’t—well, I won’t waste my time waiting for it.
Kim and I are good friends now. We often go out on Friday or Saturday nights: Kim and her boyfriend Shane, Nitin from the office, and a couple of friends of Kim and Shane. We go drinking and dancing or try out fancy new restaurants. I don’t spend all my weekends sitting in my apartment and waiting for the phone to ring anymore.
I’m planning to go to Singapore next month—with my mom. It’s her fifty-fifth birthday treat from me. Neither of us have ever been abroad and we’re both very excited: we giggle on the phone like teenage girls.
Ma is going to retire in a couple of years: she is thinking of buying a house in Guwahati and settling down there, somewhere near Rupa Mahi. I keep telling her to come and live with me, but as of now she has not agreed. We’ll see.
Now that I’ve got the promotion and a raise to go with it, I’ve been saving money to spend on things I want. Apart from that trip to Singapore, I’m planning to buy a used car in a few months. And then maybe save for a flat. I’m not sure about that yet, because I’m not sure how long I’ll live in Gurgaon. I figure I’m too young to settle down in one place. 
There is so much to see and do. I have no wish to tie myself down.  


transmogrifier said...

Hi Unmana,

Wow, the story does feel "more" complete with this epilogue.
Thanks for sharing this with all of us. Love to read about the sense of adventure Miki has to be too worried about lost chances. I am sure the right person would make her go all out for him :)

Sheetal said...

The Story surely seems more complete now... it was really abrupt and sad with the last chapter!! specially Raghav gone and Miki alone...

Welll frankly i had expected a twist in the wedding.. but was happily surprised to see the way it is ... :)

very well written story throughout.. n definitely love the epilogue!! :)

Anonymous said...

We will be missing this series..I am happy with the ending,its true that you won't get everything in life..

Obelix D said...

Doesn't Mandakini agree with the plans for the future? There seems to be a disagreement. But then, I've always preferred Miki.

I'd hoped for Miki and Raghav to have stayed close friends, but then people do tend to drift apart over distances.

Unmana said...

transmogrifier: I figure Miki's young enough to explore the world some more!

HER: Thank you. Watch out for the next thing.

we: Exactly.

Obelix: "I've always preferred Miki." Me too :) I think it's part of her process of growing up that Miki is more of one person and Mandakini is a little subdued.

"I'd hoped for Miki and Raghav to have stayed close friends." Me too. But didn't see it happening, somehow. But damn, Raghav is one hot dude. I kind of wish he existed and I knew him.

Unmana said...

Everyone: for the next few weeks, I am thinking of putting up short pieces I had written in the past (most of them long ago, when I was in college or school). Interested?

Pallavi Sharma said...

Yes, this epilogue gives me closure!

And yes, we're all looking forward to your other original works.

Argentyne said...

hello, started following this story when you were halfway through... did keep me hooked :) I think what you did with the ending and the epilogue was very wise... just like life is and not like a bollywood movie :) Just curious... when did you write this and how long did it take you? Do you write every weekend?

Please keep posting :)

R's Mom said...

okay okay..I have to very grudgingly accept that the epilogue made sense to why the ending was the ending and not the ending which I thought it should have been...thanks for this rey :) and yes yes please put up the pieces you would be so much fun reading am sure..and like always lemme end the comment by saying I come here to have fun, learn something new and get superbly entertained :)

Obelix D said...

hey, you didn't answer my first question

Obelix D said...

and I'm waiting for the other stories to follow

Sheetal said...

Yes... very much interested!

Priya Mani said...

Like R's Mom, I too make my reluctant peace with the story.

Nevertheless, for adding the thrill of anticipation to sundays (which is otherwise a working day in my part of the world), a big thanks!

Looking forward for more...

Unmana said...

Argentyne: Thank you. I wrote this while I was on a break from work, took me about six months (not exactly full-time, but I wasn't doing much else at the time either). But the story had been in my mind for at least a year or two before that, and I'd written a chapter or so, I think.

All I did every weekend was to read each chapter and edit it before putting it up. That's why I'm a bit reluctant to start another one: I'd actually have to write every week!

Obelix: Oh, I thought it was a rhetorical question. No, I don't imagine Mandakini's very happy at the moment. She wanted romantic love and all that (like some of our commenters here!)

Everyone: thank you again, for reading and commenting.

dipali said...

This adds to the story. Would love to read your other stuff too. And how about starting on a new novel for us all?

Argentyne said...

Great to know about that :) Awesome job :)

Preeti said...

awesome! I loved the story, Unmana, and though I have never commented I have come back every Monday to read that week's chapter...
And the epilogue makes the whole story so complete, so real! Its almost as if it was the real story of some girl out there...

Thank you for this wonderful story... and I hope you do get the time for another story.. very soon

Unmana said...

Preeti: THANK YOU. That's exactly what I love to hear.

And dipali--Give me a few weeks, and I might just do that.

Anonymous said...

I was hoping against hope that this wasn't the end.
But if it had to end, then I couldn't think of a better one than the one you gave :)
*Sigh* I'll be missing Miki and Mandakini even more now!!
Do, DO post the short stories you mentioned!
I'm hooked, you know :D

Unmana said...

momofrs: Dude, part 1 of a story IS up.

Subhashree said...

Loved it. I'll be very glad if you posted your other stuff. Please do.

Vidya said...

The Voices in My Head was a lovely story. I got completely hooked to all the characters.

I look forward to reading your posts


Uma said...

I loved The Voices In My Head.
I read the entire story in two days. I was a little disappointed with the last chapter but the epilogue completed the story. A very unique ending.