Wednesday, February 22, 2006

then the moment came ... !!!

They both rose and Tamanna picked up both mugs as they made their way back to the stern of the vessel. Once there, Manas took the mugs out of her hands and deposited them safely on one of the cockpit seats. He turned and took both her hands in his and she felt the electricity of his touch as his fingers played subtly on her palms. "It was great meeting you, Tamanna." he said, softly. His green eyes caught her blue grey ones and she felt the intensity and passion that simmered just below his surface. "Would you consider dining out tomorrow evening? I don't mean "out" exactly. But, I'd be very pleased if you'd join me for dinner up at the house." Tamanna's heart almost skipped a beat. The combination of his hands on hers and the deep endless wells of his intense eyes were having an intoxicating effect on her. She managed to regain her composure and answered him with a smile. "Yes, I'd like that very much." Tamanna watched him as he made the short trip back to the little landing. He looked back across the water and gave her a quick wave before disappearing into the trees. She went below and tried, unsuccessfully, to put the final verses on a poem about the wind and sea that she had started earlier in the day. Somehow, Manas had managed in a few short minutes to totally sidetrack her. Tamanna gave up the effort and decided to call it a night. She went up on deck to retrieve the blanket from the foredeck and recheck the anchor line. She glanced up at the sky studded with the millions of tiny points of light not seen from the city and marveled, as always, at the vastness. When she was back below decks she pulled her journal from it's shelf and sat down to sum up her day. But where to begin, she thought !!! Who would have guessed I'd anchor right in front of Manas Mehta’s house!!? My God but he's gorgeous. I can't believe he was even here....seems like a dream. Get a grip, girl. He's just a guy...dinner...what is that? Probably has his own cook up there in that big house. Well, maybe I'm not being fair. I hardly know him. Oooohhh but when he touched me …. Uffffff !!!

Above her, in the house on the hill, Manas played on into the late evening. Running endless tunes through his head, trying to play away his tension. He kept reviewing his encounter with Tamanna trying to figure out just where and when it changed from idle curiosity to ... what was it now? Infatuation? She was quite different from the kind of women he was used to meeting. Good lord though, he mused, she really was pretty, in a very appealing tom-boy kind of way. What would tomorrow bring? He put down the acoustic guitar he had been playing. Manas crossed his bedroom to the window which looked out over the water. There was no moon so the night was profoundly dark here away from the city lights. But he could see the little anchor light glowing brightly from the top of the mast of "TAMANNA”. The sight seemed to reassure him and he sprawled across the big bed and slept. Tamanna didn't bring much in the way of clothing with her when she sailed except the practical and serviceable shirts, sweat shirts and canvas pants that wore well for the kind of physical activity that sailing required. But she had come straight from the office to the waters on this trip so she had the dressy blouse that she had worn with her business suit that day. It was a very summery mint green and would look just fine with her blue jeans for a casual dinner date. Manas was waiting there on the landing; this time helping her tie up the little craft. He then extended a hand and helped her out onto the float. "I'm so glad you decided to join me." he said. "I don't get a chance to cook for a beautiful lady every day." Tamanna recalled her musings of the previous evening about a cook and felt the heat rise a little in her cheeks. She smiled up at him, "I'm looking forward to it. Thanks for asking me" !

They moved off the little landing and she followed his lead up the pathway through the trees to the house. The path climbed quite steeply in places and several times he took her hand in his to guide her in the tricky footing. Each time he held her hand, images flooded her mind of those hands holding her much more intimately and she wondered if somehow he sensed her imaginings. They climbed a short wide wooden staircase at the side of the house which brought them up to a spacious deck. Manas opened the doors and ushered her in to the house. To her left was a dining area with a small round wooden table and four comfortably cushioned chairs. He had draped the table with a fine white linen cloth and added a single tall blue taper candle to the center. He really was trying to impress, she thought. To the left was a large living area, with floor to ceiling windows at the far end of the room looking out over the water. Tamanna was drawn to them immediately. "The view is spectacular from here." she told him. He had crossed to the kitchen and now came back across the room with two wine glasses in hand. "That's one of the reasons I bought the house." he replied, "Some wine?" "Yes please." she said, taking the glass he offered. She took a small taste of the delicate white wine and savoured the richness. "Mmm, this is very good." "Glad you like it. Hope you like seafood too." He grinned, "You're a sailor right? You do like the fruit of the ocean?" "I do like seafood, very much, Manas." she grinned back at him. "Besides, it's not often that a handsome man like yourself cooks me a meal. I think I should be thankful" "Oh I'm sure there are plenty of handsome men around who'd be happy to cook you dinner, Tamanna." he retorted, baiting her. "They're probably lined up round the block!" "Not my block!" she replied, with a rueful chuckle. She turned back to the window to drink in more of the view. He moved close behind her so she could actually feel his warm breath on the nape of her neck. She felt a sudden but very pleasant tingling sensation creep down her spine. He put one hand across her shoulder, pointing across the water to the south and west. Her eyes followed the direction he indicated but the rest of her senses were on the contact now between them.

"When you came up the channel did you see the rocks way down there on the other shore? There's always a big group of seals there." he asked her. "Yes, I remember them well. They sure were noisy." Tamanna laughed a little nervously. Manas had dropped the hand that was pointing but made no move to break the contact between them.
"The fishing's really great just around there. Those seals know what they're talking about!" he laughed. "Come on. Let's eat." With one arm around her shoulders, he lead her back across the room and then pulled out her chair to help her get seated. The sun had all but gone so the candle light made beautiful patterns on the wall of the room as they began to dine. He had made a light salad of Italian , almond slivers and raisins in a wine vinegar dressing to start ( as told to me by the Chef at NEWYORKER … Pune ) . Tamanna was quite surprised and found herself reassessing her opinion of him quite drastically. For the main course, he brought out ………which were served on a bed of ……with a rather delicate …..sauce.( I donno much about cooking folks ….. so plzz !!! ) The meal was totally tantalizing and the wine complemented it perfectly. As they ate, he put her at ease with his uncontrived interest in who she was and what she was about..

"Do you write then?" he asked, as he poured her a little more wine. She chuckled almost to herself. "Yes I write. But most of it will probably never leave my computer's hard drive. I'm kind of a perfectionist, so it's never good enough to show to a friend let alone a publisher." "You have to step out there and take that risk." he urged. "It's like my music. You just reach a point where even if it isn't perfect you commit to it, record it and move on." "That's a great philosophy, Manas" she said softly. "Maybe I'll do that ..." Her eyes were sparkling in the candle's glow and Manas was reminded of the stars in the sky. "You have stars in your eyes, Tamanna" he told her. "I have a 'star' across the table." she quipped back, and giggled. His laughter mingled with hers and he reached across the table and gently took the wine glass from her hand.

He then took her hand in both his, caressing it softly from the inside of her wrist to her finger tips. She trembled a little as the sensations of his touch traveled with electric speed to her core. "You're hands are so soft and small." he marveled, thinking of his first impression of her as she sailed the little boat so expertly all alone. "Would you let me read some of your writing some day?" he asked. "I'm not as intimidating as a publisher might be." "I could I suppose." Tamanna said quietly. "I will think about it Manas. It's a kind offer." He released his hold on her hand and smoothly started to clear their empty plates from the table. "I'm not a harsh critic at all" he reassured her, "I'm awestruck by anyone who can express themselves in writing." Tamanna took a deep breath and another short sip of her wine. Is it the wine that's going to my head, she thought. All she wanted was for Manas to touch her, take her hand again. Instead, he merely put his head around the corner of the kitchen doorway. "Hope you like strawberries," he announced. "Dessert too…..!" her surprise evident in her voice. "Thank you, I love strawberries. They are one of my favourites!"
He returned with the strawberries, sliced and served with ice cream. As he placed the bowl before her with a flourish, she became quite conscious of his closeness and fought an urge to reach out for him. Manas sat down again, stretching his long legs out beneath the table and folding his hands together across his stomach. "You're not having strawberries?" she queried, noticing that he'd brought only the one bowl. "I thought perhaps you might share one or two of yours." he told her, his green eyes twinkling in the candlelight. She lowered her eyes quickly from his, feeling a certain heat rise in her cheeks. "Sure." she whispered. She spooned out a mouthful of the fruit and cream extending her arm towards him. Manas took the proffered spoonful, leaning forward toward her a little but not altering his comfortable stretching posture. Tamanna had to slide her chair closer to his to reach his mouth safely. "That's good." Manas murmured, and she wasn't sure if he was referring to the strawberries or not. She took a spoonful of the fruit herself and savoured the taste.

"Yes they are good." she agreed. When she again extended her arm to feed him another spoonful, he unclasped his hands and grasped her wrist very gently. He extended one finger to caress the inside of her wrist again as he took the fruit into his mouth. "Very good indeed." he stated quietly. He rose and crossed to the big windows with his back to her. She was taken aback by his sudden departure which left her with feelings that were all mixed up. Tamanna toyed with the rest of the fruit and ice cream in the bowl, watching Manas' back as he gazed out the dark windows. After a couple of more mouthfuls, she laid the spoon aside and wiped the corners of her mouth with her napkin. His voice, when it came startled her. "Had enough?" he asked, without turning around. It took her a second to realize that the darkness outside allowed him to see her reflection without turning. "Yes thanks, Manas. It was delicious" She crossed the room to where he stood but stopped one pace short of being right at his side. She extended one hand and touched his shoulder. "Manas, what are you thinking?" He turned towards her all smiles, but the green eyes had a much heavier emotion apparent in their half lidded sultry look. She found herself drawn into them like a moth to a flame. "I was thinking how strange it was that you came and anchored right here." he said, he grasped both her wrists in his and pulled her towards him. She came willingly and found herself cradled against his chest. "You're so completely unlike anyone I've met before," He had not released his gentle hold on her wrists until he had guided them comfortably to hold him around his waist. When he did let go, he again gently caressed her with his fingertips. Tamanna drew in a breath and wondered would it be her last. She though she could die right here and now in his embrace, in arms that were now enfolding her and gently caressing her back and neck through her blouse. "Manas ..." she started tentatively, but the words just escaped her. "What love?" he murmured, his lips against her forehead, his warm breath making her head swim. "Manas I want ..." she again choked on the words. Her arms and hands held him very tightly as though she were drowning and he was her saviour. Manas placed several tiny kisses on her forehead, then spoke again.

they are on their way ........ ????

"I know what you mean, Manas." she said, staring into the mug that she cradled in both hands. "I love it out here too. Whenever I get the chance to get away for a few days, I get out on the boat and just look for a quiet spot." "So that's what brought you here today." he said softly. "I saw you arrive this afternoon. You're a pretty good sailor, Tamanna. You handle this little boat like a pro." his praise sounded quite genuine and she looked up from the coffee and gave him a grateful smile. "Thanks, she is a very forgiving little boat to sail." Tamanna told him. "I've been single-handing her for almost four years now, so we've kind of become used to one another." "That's an interesting way to put it." he mused, "Kind of like the way I feel about my guitar. Sometimes I feel that it's simply a part of me, the music's great when its like that." "Music is the most fluid and alive of all the arts." she said with conviction. "I've always surrounded myself with all kinds. But I think I'm most partial to the tunes of Air-Supply because they seem to come from closest to the soul. I listen to a lot of Eric Clapton, A.R.Rehman , Kamal Khan ( my Favourite ) and ......oh too many to mention." "Maybe even me, now and then?" he asked, with a twinkle in those green eyes. She felt a little heat rise in her cheeks with his words. She thought that she must sound rather contrived bringing up the Air-Supply like she had with Manas being an award winning artist. Manas reached across and patted one of her knees. "It's all right, Tamanna. I know I'm not the only Guitarist out there. There's a whole lot of really great ones. And I wasn't really expecting you to heap praises on me or anything. I really think it's great to meet anyone who loves the music the way you obviously do." He gave her knee one last squeeze before withdrawing his hand. "I really must get to know your music better." she told him, though her mind was still focused on the hand which had come close to caressing her knee, instead of a casual pat of reassurance. Manas took the last swallow of his coffee and placed the mug back against the mast. "Well in that case, I'll see that you get tickets to my next show. That coffee was superb." He stretched his arms above his head, clasping his hands together as he did so, then took a deep breath and started to rise. "I should be heading back to the house. I'm trying to be more disciplined about working. Thank you for the coffee and the talk. It's been a pleasure."

they meet n ........

"Hi, I'm Manas. I live just there," he said, pointing up the house above them. "I don't have many visiting boats here. There's really only room for one very small boat, like yours, so.... Anyway, I smelled your coffee and was looking at your paint job. That's an awesome name!" He wasn't quite sure what to say next and so fell silent. "Thanks," Tamanna said, smiling inwardly to herself. Yes indeed, she thought, this was Manas Mehta, the guitarist. She had known that he lived somewhere just outside of India but never dreamed of meeting him in Nicobar in quite this fashion.
Manas was boldly examining her as she spoke, and he liked what he saw. Even clad in an oversize sweatshirt and canvas cargo pants, she was still quite feminine and her blue grey eyes had a wonderfully deep and dreamy look about them like the stars in the sky. Tamanna felt his scrutiny and became a little self conscious. "So did you come to borrow some coffee?" she asked. He chuckled again, a rich sound that she thought suddenly made him seem older than she had at first guessed. She was trying to remember a recent article that the paper had run about him but all she could recall for sure was he had recently won some sort of award.
"Not really, but now that you mention it...I would sure love to have a cup." he smiled winningly, She smiled broadly at his boldness. His green eyes flashed with enjoyment of the little game he was concocting and she found herself trusting him despite all the usual warnings she knew so well about strangers. Besides, she reasoned, he wasn't really a stranger because she knew who he was, even if they'd never met. "Well Manas.., I'm Tamanna …, Tamanna Siddiqui ." She told him.

Once Manas was aboard and on a level with her, Tamanna realized he was quite a bit taller than she had first thought. He was very slim but beneath the fine features she could certainly detect ( girls always fancy their changes in analyzing guys .. they do it in just 1 go !! ) a strength and solidity. Manas extended his hand and they exchanged an almost formal handshake. Tamanna was again conscious of his strength through the firm grip he took of her hand. He held the grip a little longer than necessary and caught her eyes in his sparkling green ones. "So it's official, Tamanna," he solemnly pronounced, "Welcome to the neighbourhood of Nicobar ." He broke into a boyish grin and added, "Now how about that cup of coffee?" Tamanna went below to pour the coffee. Manas made no move to follow her but instead was examining the rigging and fittings of her boat . He was very impressed with the tidy little boat. "What do you take in yours?" she called from below. "Just cream," he replied. "Is that cinnamon ( a wild guess .. he just hates it .,) I smell, too?" "Yes it is. I like to put a little in my after dinner coffee. It really adds a nice flavor" Tamanna came back on deck, handing Manas a large steaming mug. "Oh, I hope you like cinnamon." "Love it." ( a LIE ..he just cant stand that ) he grinned . Manas followed Tamanna's lead and moved out onto the tiny foredeck of the sloop. There was a thick wool blanket spread out there which made it a comfortable spot to lounge while they talked. She put her mug in a safe but easy to reach spot by the mast and he did likewise. When she settled down, she was cross-legged Indian style. Manas sat beside her but stretched his legs out in front of him keeping his sneakers off the blanket. "So Mr. Manas , tell me about the neighbourhood of Nicobar ." she asked. "What's there to tell? I live up there. There's a couple of other houses along the way there but I've never met the neighbours." He shrugged. "I'm not really home very much and when I am I'm usually working. But the scenery here is beautiful and it's just good, you know?"

Sunday, February 19, 2006

this song is very SPECIAL to me in every sense !!

Sach hain sach hain yeh , tum mera pyaar hon
Meri aarzoo, mera qaraar hon !
Chaahat ki chaandni hon , tum chaand hon sanam
Mere liye toh tumhi , jaan-e-bahaar hon
Sach hain sach hain yeh , tum mera pyaar hon
Meri aarzoo, mera qaraar ho

Mohabbat khudaai hain yaara, mohabbat hain tujhse mujhe
Main chaahat ka saudaai paagal, tu pyaar karna mujhe
Meri tamanna yahi hain , Meri tamanna yahi hain ke har pal mujhe tera deedaar hon , sach hai

Sach hain sach hain yeh , tum mera pyaar hon
Meri aarzoo, mera qaraar hon
Wafaaon ki mujhko kasam, tumhein dil ne maana sanam
Bhoola do mujhe tum bhoola do, diye zindagi ne jo gham
Baahon mein teri samaaun ..
Baahon mein teri sama jaaun yaara agar tera iqraar ho, sach hai
(Sach hai sach hai ye, tum mera pyaar ho
Meri aarzoo, mera qaraar ho)
Sach hai sach hai ye, tum mera pyaar ho
Meri aarzoo, mera qaraar ho
Chaahat ki chaandni ho, tum chaand ho sanam
Mere liye toh tumhi, jaan-e-bahaar ho
Sach hai sach hai ye, tum mera pyaar ho
Meri aarzoo, mera qaraar ho

Thursday, February 09, 2006

the situation is set for MANAS and TAMANNA to meet !!!!

Two hours later, he finally laid the guitar aside and walked barefoot back upstairs to start some dinner. He placed a couple of small boneless chicken pieces in a spice and white wine mix to marinate(marine water) . Then he took some rice from a canister to cook it. He would then stir fry some vegetables; snow peas, onions, peppers and broccoli to add to the rice for a great side dish to the chicken. While the rice was cooking, he went across to the large upstairs windows and his eyes were drawn again to the small boat below. He could see the whole boat from this vantage but no one was on deck. Tamanna had also put away her laptop by now and was out of his sight below decks starting some dinner of her own. Hers consisted of a can of cheese and jam and a sandwich made of thick home baked bread that she had made prior to departing on her cruise adventure. Manas found himself wondering again who she was and why she had chosen this locale for her anchorage. Tamanna was just finishing the few dishes from her solitary supper and was looking forward to a mug of the coffee she could now smell brewing. She intended to work into the evening and so had put a full pot into the coffee percolator. The smell of the coffee was enticing to one other soul that early summer evening. Manas had gone for his usual after dinner stroll along the beach and his eyes were drawn to the little sloop in the sheltered alcove. The craft was laying almost broadside to the beach and he could see her sides were painted midnight black with a blue white moon and icy blue stars grouped near the bow against the black field. He was now very curious to know the name of the little boat and to know more about her owner. As he strolled along the sand, his nostrils caught the scent of a rich and delicious smelling coffee wafting across the water. Perhaps he should go back to the house and make his own coffee, he thought, as the scent tingled his taste buds. Instead his pace became more purposeful and he made his way quickly down the sand to the very edge of the rocky spur. In the lee of the spur there was a very short wooden float which extended only about ten feet into the water and was held there quite firmly by two large chains which were fastened to two very thick and sturdy posts which had been planted securely into the earth. Tied to the float was a small wooden row boat which Manas would sometimes use to do a little fishing, a pastime that he found very relaxing.

Manas quickly climbed into the row boat and bent his back to the task of rowing out towards the anchored sloop(sailing boat). He glanced over his shoulders frequently as he pulled on the oars to ensure his course was true. The summer sun would not go down for another two hours nearly so he was not concerned about being on the water in the dark. He kept telling himself he'd just row around the sloop, give her a look then maybe head down the shore to the next rock spur and back. After all, he reasoned, he could use the workout. The deck of the small sloop was empty, as Tamanna was still finishing up her dishes. As Manas gave one last pull on his oars, he came alongside the sloop at her stern and got his first look at her name. Painted on the same black field in the icy blue paint with stars to decorate it were the words 'TAMANNA - ANGEL IN BLUES OF THE NIGHT' and Nicobar Islands , India in smaller script beneath it. Manas chuckled out loud with pleasure. What a great name for a neat little cruiser like this, he thought. Tamanna jumped at the sudden human sound of Manas's chuckle coming from so close to her. She recovered herself and cautiously took two steps up the companionway, just enough to see around her. However, Manas's rowboat was low enough in the water that it was out of sight from this angle. Tamanna moved right out on deck just as Manas shipped his oars and called out. "Ahoy aboard Blues!" ( hoy = is the call used to get attention ) he called tentatively, then smiled when Tamanna spun around towards the sound of his voice and he got a chance to see the lady sailor up close for the first time. Tamanna , for her part, was a little off balance by his sudden appearance in the midst of her solitude but recovered her cool quickly. "Hi, you startled me. I ..I..was below and didn't hear you rowing up." She was assessing the young man before her. He was very handsome and the little growth of goatee and mustache gave him an almost 'bad boy' look that she found somehow quite appealing. "Can I help you?" She asked, wondering just what he was doing here, had he come from the house on the hillside and was he who she thought he was? Even in the casual jeans and turtle necked shirt that he wore she was almost certain of his identity.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

story for my next documentary

Three young women – Anusha, Anjali and Akhila – are at the same
time giving birth at the children’s hospital. Between the birth pains they are
remembering their quite different lives; gone childhoods, past loves and lost

Anusha , the mansion girl, has given herself to the much older scientist
Shekahr Sinha , previously her aunt’s lover. The two women are very close, and see
the born-to-be child as their common.

The womanizer Sameer has seduced Anjali , the servant girl, happy, sensual and slick. He marries her away to the feminine painter Sandilya and takes his place at the newlywed’s wedding night.

Akhila , the peasant wife, is black of hate towards her husband and carries an
ongoing longing for the youngster she once had a short love affair with in the

These three women’s lives are portrayed from their childhood to the
moment they are about to give birth.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

an evening in my friends "ABHI"'s life ... though bizarre.. who said empty mind is a DEVIL's workshop

Soliloquy....was it?
It was another day in the office and I came back a bit earlier than usual. It was 7.30 in the evening and I had nothing much to do.I took my bike and went to the near by railway over bridge. That is what I mostly do when I have time to kill and get the frustration out of my system. Why am I frustrated, you will soon find out. Read along.Standing on the railway over bridge, with my bike’s key in one hand and a cigarette in the other, I looked down on the slums below. I took a deep breath and smiled, gees, I am a capitalist.And I looked down (literally!) a drunken guy being chased by dogs and I couldn’t suppress a smirk. I puffed up my chest and thought, glad I am so much better off!And I heard someone laughing. The kind of hysterical laughter that make you cringe. I must admit I had goose bumps then!So you really think you are better off, it said.I said yes.What makes you think that?I have a job, my own bike, money in my wallet and food in my stomach. I don’t have to be chased by a pack of stray dogs!That is all you need to be better off!What else do you want? I said.You know the answer; just dare to ask the question.I am not getting you, I said getting a bit irritated. The kind of setting this conversation had reminds me of the epic “DEEWAR”, and its famous “Mere pass maa hai” dialogue. Lots of melodrama and I hate that.Ok, tell me, why does a 22 year old having a bike , money in his wallet and food in his stomach needs to come to look at the slums to feel happy?I don’t know, it just gives me kicks.Sadist, hmm.May be. I wanted this to end soon, I was feeling uneasy.Will you trade off your today for exactly a year back, when you were in college and no job and no bike?I kept quiet.Hello?Why Do I have to answer you?And the laughter again!22 year old or a ten year kid, throwing his tantrums. You will answer it because you want to.Yes I said. The answer is yes, is that what you want to hear. I shouted at the top of my voice.Forget about what I want, know what you want.This is not getting anywhere.Yes it is, that’s the whole problem. You are so self occupied that the entire priority thing goes for a toss. You come here to satiate your ego, you loner!I am happy!Yeah right, you are. Puffing up your chest when you see struggle, for things have come easy for you. Filling up your lungs with smoke coz you think you have the luxury to do so, coz you have money.It is my life.Then why you want to go a year back? Coz you need friends, to listen and to share. You need warmth, you need shoulders to put your head on, and you need the silence, when you can go from one nonsense to another, you might not admit it, but you need love.What the f***?Not all that you need, can be bought, and acceptance is not defeat.I can still work that out, and I have the choice. That gives me the power. I was not going to throw down the gauntlet.This is what you choose, my sadist capitalist?The train was approaching, fast and blowing the siren. I could feel the impact inside my head.Who are you to tell me what to do and what to choose? God almighty?The train was approaching close and it was difficult to hear.That laughter again. The sound was too much to bear. I felt that my head will explode!I am you.And then there was lull.The storm had passed.

----------- more like it @ www. ....... prepare to get assaulted !!!