Anil Bhojwani lay naked under the white sheet. For a second he flinched at the thought of the woman who just saw him without a piece of thread.

He shuddered from the sheer humiliation – “How would she remember me? She clenched her eyes shut for a second the moment she saw me. Am I so ghastly? What would my new bride say on the wedding night?” train of thoughts ran fast.

Yes, it was humiliation, for someone as manly and self-reliant as him. The only solace being, the secret remained. It had to be done – he didn’t have a choice. He closed his eyes and the momentary darkness took him back a few years – the days in engineering college, where it all began; a chapter of love, treachery and despair.


First year used to be common class for all different branches. He hadn’t seen her until second year when the computer science batch started having classes together, Tulika – a girl from Bihar; she was fare like sun, calm as full moon and smiled like a dancing, young fountain.

Surely all the students in the class knew each other – but they didn’t speak to everyone on a regular basis. It wasn’t until third year microwave lab, when Anil first spoke to Tulika. It was just a casual lab discussion, setting up the antenna and recording instruments. Though purely an academic discussion, it was a boon for Anil. He tried to find excuses to speak to her more often.

Time flew – in the beginning of final year Anil’s dad gifted him with a Yamaha motorcycle. Spirited, atop of his confidence, Anil drove to the girls’ hostel to wish a good morning to Tulika, who had just frowned.  Anil wasn’t too sure why. After a couple of days more, he decided to confide his deep feelings to his best buddies – Vishal and Ramesh.


Vishal took a few days to find out through his contacts in girls’ hostel. Anil waited eagerly. Finally Vishal came back to himd, “Bhoju! Tulika likes you too, but gets put off by your appearance!”
Anil, who was starting to feel happy as Vishal started, was shocked – “What’s wrong with my appearance? I wear nice clothes, I have a new bike. I get decent marks.”
Vishal shrugged, “That isn’t everything Bhoju. Look at yourself in the mirror – you have hairs like Anil Kapoor, any sensible woman will be put off by it.”
Anil looked at himself for a week. He had never thought about it before – all that hair indeed made him look ugly. Nobody said that in his village. That’s why his father wanted him to go study in the city.


Anil managed to get an appointment with a dermatologist secretly. The doctor looked at him and smiled, “It’s a simple case – I can do it. I can remove all your unwanted hair through electrolysis.”
“All of it – what does that include?”
“Face, neck, legs, underarms and arms, back and shoulders, chest, nipples and abdomen.”
“Yes, and there too!”
Anil swallowed, “You mean?”
“Yes – exactly.” The good doctor smiled.
“How much does it cost?”
“Twenty thousand rupees only – and it’s almost painless procedure. Many men and women do it these days.”


That night was difficult to sleep in anxiety. Final year will soon be over and once it was Tulika would be far away.

Anil sank into deep thought for next couple of days – this was one last resort. Even the idea of selling the bike crossed his mind. Dad would be upset and he never lied at home before. Whenever he closed his eyes, Tulika came and pointed fingers to his hairy chest. Before taking the finally decision, he went to speak to Vishal again.


“Twenty thousand bucks – are you nuts, Bhoju?”
“What else can I do to get twenty thousand?”
“Ah! Don’t you watch tv – you jackass? How do women do it?”
“Women have hair like this?”
“Seriously Bhoju, you really need to grow up. Women have hairs in all kinds of places and they shave as well because they don’t want it.”
“You mean I start shaving myself?”
“Not that idiot – there is a lotion that you get for removing unwanted hair. Get yourself two tubes of those from a local store. Have shower with them thinking it’s some kind of soap. Mark my words – you will be a new man after that, a man from whom Tulika won’t look away.”

Anil followed every words of his advice and to his surprise the hair was gone indeed. He felt fresh and young. He speeded his bike to the girls’ hostel with some flowers. He was indeed a new man.


“Are you ready, Mr Anil?” The nurse’s voice took him back to present.
“Yes, I am.”
“Good! the doctor will see you now.”
Anil nodded and was waiting for the surgical laser treatment. Two days after that phenomenal bath using hair removing lotions, all his body hairs grew back, more intense and thick – so much so – that he wasn’t Anil Kapoor anymore, rather a chimpanzee no less. He didn’t see Tulika after that, he couldn’t. He had nowhere to go with his sad story – not even his family. He had no one to trust.

A few years passed. He hardly took off his shirt in front of anyone else, until now, having his marriage proposals on the wave, he took an appointment for the laser surgery to get rid of his secret, once and for all. The only good thing in the wait of these years was that the technology evolved to make the process almost painless and the chances of those hairs coming back was relatively lower.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. We have to write a post including ‘The only solace being, the secret remained.’ This is a work of fiction – any similarities found would be pure coincidence.

The Indian way!

Pankaj could not take his courage in both hands to walk up to his boss Rishav. His heart sank in fear. He was an otherwise carefree and street-smart chap, but something happened that away took every ounce of confidence in him. He checked his watch again. It was only 10:30 in the morning. There was no reason to make a mess of what could be a beautiful Friday, or maybe there was.


In a software company, like the one that employed Pankaj and sent him to England on deputation, customer was God, if not something more powerful; while managers were vultures. Even without being poetic, most, like Pankaj could appreciate the subtle metaphor in it.

He checked his watch again. 10:35. ‘What could have possible gone wrong? ‘, he said to himself. There was no obvious answer. There was no mail till then, at least not in his mailbox. But 38 missed calls in 10 mins! He wondered what was going on. Something had to be very very wrong.

He had a very good working relationship with Craig. If Craig had something to say – he wouldn’t go to Rishav, but get it sorted with Pankaj. Their mutual understanding was just right. They would travel together for meetings off to London or watch matches or get a drink before weekend. They even had dinner together the night before. Craig was the last person to have called him 38 times and then not answer his phone.


Pankaj looked at his phone. It was too costly a possession to bear the wrath of his frustration. ‘You can’t afford to throw your iphone like a Nokia 3310 handset’, he said to himself as he punched his left palm with right hand, ‘what kind of an idiot silences his phone to put off an alarm?’ Clearly, he was the finest of them.


The clock struck 10:50. In another ten minutes, he has to tell Rishav – no matter what, that is if he hadn’t known already from other sources or if it was Craig himself who he was in call with. With each passing second, Pankaj started feeling what cold sweat was like. Premonition of forthcoming events started rehearsing at the back of his mind. This could be his very last day in customer engagement – so no more going out and having free drinks, losing of that importance among colleagues without having to work his ass off or even worse, sent back to India for having a massive customer escalation, quite contrary to what happened last night which should have charged up his career instead.


Craig had expressed his interest to try Indian cuisine or Pankaj’s version of it, to be specific. Pankaj was no good in cooking, but how could he let this opportunity pass by? If he kept Craig happy, he’d hardly have to slave around like others in the office. Then in England no one need to know cooking to make Indian food. He invited Craig to his house after buying a bottle of jalfrezi paste, chicken and some readymade frozen parathas. He shouldn’t have emptied half of that bottle of paste but it was a boon in disguise. Though the butter chicken was spicy, it seemed to have flared Craig’s taste buds. He finished five of those stuffed parathas with the notoriously red gravy of the side dish.

Pankaj checked his watch again. It was 10:55. He got up from his desk. Tiny bids of sweat now actually accumulated on his forehead. He knew his knew his knees were trembling. His mouth was getting dry in search of catch phrases to open conversation with Rishav.

Right then his phone beeped. A message from Craig read, “Now I know why you Indians prefer water than paper.”



This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda. We give out creative writing topics each weekend for Indian bloggers. This time your entry must contain, ’38 missed calls in 10 mins! He/She wondered what was going on.’

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Friday the 13th! Meh~

Incidentally yesterday was much hyped inauspicious ‘Friday the 13th‘, of which I would not have taken any notice unless someone at office specifically mentioned it on a conference call, over a shaky voice and wanted go home early. I rather had a good day all along – woke up late, ran late to office and found there was not much to do, left early, spent some quality time with family unlike any other week day. However, wondering how evil plays its tricks and it’s all in our mind; held back updating the status on Facebook till only few minutes remained of the day. Some superstitions!

Upon seeing my post, one of my cousin sisters asked, “So, no sign of ghosts?”

I smirked, “No, the little one in the house kept them away!”