The Revenge

I woke up from my afternoon power nap to the sound of raindrops on the skylight. Till a few years ago, I could only associate rain with a book or my diary and a hot cup of coffee. Not any more.

This happened around three years ago. I was desperately looking for a story line for my next book. Writer’s block attacks when you are in dire need to write and have a deadline to meet. It had been almost seven months that I had taken the advance royalty from my publishers. I had signed the contract that was going to expire in another two years. I started off with some hundred stories and tore them up as I myself couldn’t relate to them. All the time I was thinking of how am I going to come out of this situation and begin to write something meaningful.

That’s exactly when I met Shashikala, my long lost school friend in a shopping mall. The vermilion on the parting between her hair announced loudly that she was married. We were meeting after almost thirteen years and had so much to share. We took refuge in a cafe and ordered  our all time favourite, Caffe Caramella. Over the next hour or so we discussed almost everything under the sun. We also told each other how much we missed each other after school and how the untimely death of Shashi’s parents turned her life upside down. She was married off to one of her distant relatives by her immediate family members. She had a daughter aged eight. She spoke about everything and everyone in her life except her husband. Just to be sure I enquired about him. She said he was a nice guy and kept her well. Nothing more. Nothing less. Her expressions were telling me a different story. We exchanged our numbers. As we stood up to leave I told her that I would like to meet her again. May be she could  invite me over for a lunch or dinner. She said she will.

About two weeks later, I got a call from Shashi. She had wanted to meet me for lunch the very next day. I had a travel assignment and had to leave the next day night. So I asked if I could meet her the same day. She agreed. I asked her to keep it simple as I was no foodie. I wrapped up my desk and got ready for the lunch.

Around 12.45 p.m., I got into the driveway at Shashi’s place in Kalamassery, Kochi. It was a nice villa with a fairly big and beautiful compound. She was waiting at the door as if she had been waiting for a lifetime. From the looks of it, she had something serious to share with me. Without wasting much time, Shashi came straight to the point. She mentioned that her husband Rajeev was a legal advisor for a group of companies. She said he was the perfect husband to her. But she mentioned that since the birth of their only daughter around eight years ago, she had seen him change. She told me that he was a big time flirt. A pervert. He loved mingling with all kinds of females over the phone, over chats and in person. Initially she had dismissed the thought thinking it was as part of his profession. But now she could not handle it any more as her growing daughter too had started asking questions. I heard her peacefully. I returned after assuring her that together we’ll find a way to solve this issue.

As I drove back that day, it seemed that the story I was searching for had finally arrived.

After returning from the trip, I told Shashi that I’ll be meeting her for dinner that night to meet Rajeev. I also told her to make it sound like my first visit to her place. Rajeev was a well-built handsome man in his early thirties. He was polite and disciplined in his manners. One could never believe Shashi’s words upon meeting Rajeev.

My visits to their place became frequent as I became good friends with Shashi’s daughter Aadya. There was also a selfish interest in these visits. Being single I had always longed for company and Shashi was the perfect company for me. In a few days I observed Rajeev, his manners did not seem to be doubtful at all. That’s when Shashi and I decided that I’ll interact more with him to assess his behaviour better. This went on and on. My interactions with him grew. We even started meeting for coffee whenever either of us were in the vicinity of our offices.

Phone calls, WhatsApp messages, chatting. But not even once I found him talk or behave in an flirtatious manner.  I was confused. Slowly but surely we were getting closer. To me it was my way of knowing him and helping my friend. What I did not realize was the fact that the human heart has its own way. I started falling for him. I knew I was betraying Shashi. And so I started creating a distance. He was constantly trying to establish contact. I tried to ignore him. Completely.

It was about three months and I could not stop myself. I sent him a message and requested to meet. We met. And before I poured my heart out, he did. He told me that he knew it was wrong and that he didn’t want to cheat Shashi but he could not cheat himself either by suppressing his feelings. Those lines sounded more like a Bollywood script and so I kept calm and vigilant.

Over a period of next five months, we met almost everyday, had lunch together, went out on short road trips. And that day, when we went to Athirapally waterfalls we gave in to our senses. That was it. I knew I had lost myself to him. Rajeev apologized. But I knew I was an equal partner in this sin.

Photo Courtesy : duron123 through FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Photo Courtesy : duron123 through FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We did not want to cheat Shashi but that’s exactly what we were doing. We met. Again and again. We fought. Time and again. We made up. Love has this habit of making everything seem so colorful and full of energy. To me it was the most beautiful period of my life. I was selfish enough to keep wanting more of it.

And then suddenly one day Shashi called and started abusing me. She seemed to have realized what was going on. I tried reaching Rajeev but he wasn’t picking up my calls. I decided to go to their place. It was raining heavily. As if the world was about to get dissolved. When I reached Shashi’s place, I saw a fuming Shashi at the door and Rajeev sitting on the couch calmly. I wanted to explain. But Shashi was in no mood of listening. She accused me and abused me. I turned to Rajeev for a word of support. But he disappointed me. And that’s when Shashi said that Rajeev had shown her all my messages and told her how desperate I was. I could not believe what I had heard just then. And that’s when I realized what a ruthless guy he was. I wanted to scream out loud to Shashi that her fears about him were not baseless. But then Shashi was now fighting for her husband. And I was the vamp in the story.

My book got published recently. It’s titled Revenge: The purpose of my life. The climax – I chose to continue the relationship. Make him truly fall for me. And in the end dumped him into an asylum. That’s exactly what I wanted to do. But I forgave. I forgave him for little Aadya whose father he is. I forgave him for Shashi who has no one else to go to. I forgave him for myself because he was the first and probably the last man I had loved.

With the tears that flowed in tandem with the raindrops, I forgave myself. I forgave myself because my sin was love. It started with the love for my dear friend and it ended with love for someone Rajeev was not.

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Today’s Project 365 prompt is Share a story where it was very difficult for you to forgive the perpetrator for wronging you, but you did it — you forgave
them.

Privacy Rights Violation – FaceBook

My regular readers must be aware of an ordeal I went through in September 2014. It is described here in this post, Land of Stalkers and Perverts. My anger and frustration I had vented out in this post, Hate Story – A Letter to all Cowards.

I had a social responsibility to let you know that one of the fake profiles that shared one of my profile pictures was pulled down because almost all of its posts included obscene content and pictures. There was another profile that used my picture as their profile picture. This profile was basically sharing pictures of innocent females without even their knowledge. But the pictures were not obscene and hence FaceBook only pulled down the picture I had complained about.

I had tried every possible way from Reporting the Picture to Reporting the Prrofile, writing to FaceBook India head and to their Grievance Officer in UK. Nothing helped.

And then my blogger friend Roshni shared with me a link to register my complaint as one last attempt.

Report a Privacy Rights Violation

Action was taken in less than 12 hours after I reported the two profiles on this link.

While investigating my problem, I had access to the immense support and knowledge of author Sumana Khan. Sumana and I found that there was more to this evil than we had thought. There were infinite number of fake profiles and groups that shared pictures of innocent and unaware females. And the best part was that there was no way one could know if their picture has been stolen and misused. Pathetic!

And hence Sumana wrote this very important piece to help everyone protect their profile as much as they can.

Sleazebook

Here are some more important articles that you can read and educate yourself with the cyber threats we are all prone to.

Here Comes The Cyber Bogeyman

Your photos: How safe are they online?

A Holiday Story, Part Deux

Online games : 3 ways to not let this lead to a clash of generations

I had filed written complaints with Delhi Police and with the Cyber Crime Cell. I was redirected to Special Police Unit for Women and Children and Economic Offences Wing. But by the time I got a proper response it was about 2 months and FB themselves had taken down the pictures/profiles based on my complaint. Hence I did not take it up from there.

With this experience what I have learnt is that Online or Offline: you are as safe as you keep yourself. Irrespective of whichever part of the world you are in.

Parenting – Lessons Learned

Originally posted on Beyond The Horizon:

“Do this.”

“Don’t do that.”

“This that you did is very wrong.”

“You shouldn’t have done that.”

“You should not speak like that.”

“Don’t laugh like that. It brings bad luck.”

Familiar. Isn’t it?

My Mom used to tell me these in as many words when I was a child. The reasons/logic for these statements were never provided and mostly never asked for. And whenever asked she would respond that replying back is considered rude. Almost everything was supposed to be a rule that the world follows and so we must all follow. It’s a different story that when left alone, my younger sister and I would try our best to find logic. Though in vain. Laughing loudly it felt was a sin. And we would comment, “Why?? Will we have to pay more taxes if we laugh loudly?” Mom, a teacher, knew exactly how to silence us…

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