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Wordweavers India 
 
 
 

Written In The Stars

Aniesha Brahma

 
 

Monday, 8:05am
Kalighat Metro Station

Arushi waited for the metro, stifling a yawn. Nothing interesting was going to happen today, she thought. Work was boring. The only reason she’d even decided to become a content developer for a private company was to stop her relatives from asking her, “So…you’re done with Masters. What next?” How she longed to tell them she was planning to take a year off and finish writing her novel…but she knew she’d never have lived down the family scandal had she really let slip her true intentions. Besides, Arushi reasoned with her very tired mind, she needed the money.

8:07am
Rabindra Sarobor Metro Station

Naveen was standing slouched against one of those pillars in the metro station. He could never understand why he never was on time for the damn train. He was either ten minutes early or ten minutes too late. He had once even tried using the metro app on his mobile to track the timing of the trains. Miraculously even that had failed. He needed to get to work; he thought, impatiently, there was already so much to be done. Other than wait around for a silly train, he added to himself as an afterthought.

8:15am

The train finally chugs its way into the station. Naveen boards it first from the Rabindra Sarobor Metro Station, and Arushi boards it from the Kalighat Metro Station. Arushi gets off at Park Street, while Naveen gets off a few stops later at Central.

Neither of them knows that the other one exists. Much less that they take the same metro to work every single day…
*

 

peacock_feather

Monday, 10:05pm
Bloggers’ World

Ice Princess has logged on.
Swaras_11 has logged on.

Ice Princess: How was your day?
Swaras_11: Pathetic. Yours?
Ice Princess: Same old, same old…idiotic work.
Swaras_11: Why don’t you take the year off like you’d planned?
Ice Princess: Because then I’d be getting Hell for it!?!?
Swars_11: I wish there were more hours in the days L
Ice Princess: Workaholic, much?
Swaras_11: Hey, c’mon…not all of us have the privilege of hating our jobs.
Ice Princess: Hmm…
Swaras_11: Listen, I gotta go now. TTYL?
Ice Princess: Sure J

Swaras_11 has logged out.
Ice Princess is busy.

Sweetie_20: Toh Didi…have you spoken to Dada today?
Ice Princess: Yes, Sweetie.
Sweetie_20: Nice. Did you tell him you like him?
Ice Princess: Why on Earth would I do that?
Sweetie_20: Because you do? *confused*
Ice Princess: Yes. I am going to tell a complete stranger that I like him. Brilliant!
Sweetie_20: But he’s not a stranger, Di. You know him.
Ice Princess: For all I know, you could be him.
Sweetie_20: Impossible, Di. We skyped, remember?
Ice Princess: I rest my case.
Sweetie_20:
Good.

Ice Princess is offline.

Sweetie_20: Offo!!! Now she has gone offline as well. Weirdo…
*

Tuesday, 8:15am
Rabindra Sarobor Metro Station

Naveen rushed into the platform only to find the speeding train departing without him. He angrily shook his fist, looking heavenward.
“Relax, son,” an elderly passenger told him. Unlike Naveen the uncle was undisturbed by the fact he’d missed the train, “God always has a better plan.”
“Well if you have His number, could tell Him to hurry up with it?” Naveen said, irritably.

Tuesday, 8:22am
Kalighat Metro Station

“Noooooo!!!” screamed Arushi, as she rushed towards the metro, but the obnoxious train shut its door on her face, and pulled away.
She felt quite near to tears because today she already been running five minutes behind schedule. Her late night talk with the mysterious Swaras_11 and Sweetie_20, had absolutely turned her head.
True, she did like Swaras_11. But to profess that…it seemed silly to her. What would she say, anyway?
“Listen up, Swaras_11, I, Ice Princess, really like you.”
Even in her head the words had sounded utterly stupid.
She shook the thoughts of her Blogger World out of head, and concentrated on the now. She needed to get to office – soon. Reluctantly, she glanced at the digital clock announcing the arrival of the next train.
Another ten minutes. She sighed, and resigned to her Fate.

8:30am

The train comes into the Rabindra Sarobor Metro Station, and Naveen hops in. The elderly gentleman also boards the same compartment.
Naveen is too irritated this morning to make the effort to find a place to sit. He stands near the doorway. A few minutes later the train slows down as it enters the Kalighat Metro Station.
He’s only half listening to the voice announcing, “Platform is on the right side.”
Then she enters the metro, the girl who was waiting for her train impatiently. She accidently shoves him.
“Sorry,” she mutters, as their eyes briefly meet.
Naveen tries to say something but no sound comes out his mouth. He merely nods. The girl wasn’t breathtakingly beautiful. But there was something about her.
She slipped into the now growing crowd of the metro, and Naveen forced himself to look away.
“Next stop is Jatin Das Park,” the recorded voice announced, happily, “Platform is on the right side.”

*

 

Tuesday, 10:30pm
Bloggers’ World

Sweetie_20 is online.
Ice Princess has logged on.
Swaras_11 has logged on.

Sweetie_20: Wow…that’s so weird.
Ice Princess: What is?
Sweetie_20: You and Dada. You came online, and he followed at once.
Ice Princess: Coincidence, my love.
Sweetie_20: So you ARE in love?
Ice Princess: Wow…you really CAN be annoying.
Sweetie_20: *te he he he he* wait, I’m going to ping Dada.
Ice Princess: Go right ahead, darling.

Sweetie_20: Hello! J What are you doing?
Swaras_11: Oh hi…nothing much. Just thinking…
Sweetie_20: About that girlfriend of yours?
Swaras_11: Oh, no…not really.
Sweetie_20: Admit it. There’s no girlfriend. She’s a myth. Like Persephone.
Swaras_11: Who?
Sweetie_20: A heroine from a Greek Myth. Never mind…so what were you thinking?
Swaras_11: A girl. A girl I saw today.
Sweetie_20: Wow, Dada. You’re looking at girls? Congrats! You most definitely don’t have a girlfriend.
Swaras_11: Why are you after my girlfriend?? :-o
Sweetie_20: Simple. You don’t have one. Anyway...the girl you were telling me about?
Swaras_11: Oh right. Well the girl…she was so familiar. I can swear I’ve seen her before…but…
Sweetie_11: You cannot exactly place her, is it? BRB.

Sweetie_20: Did you bump into a guy today?
Swaras_11: Excuse me?
Sweetie_20: Shit. Wrong Chat Console!

Swaras_11: Hi!
Ice Princess: About time. Hmpf!
Swaras_11: Sorry…I’ve been distracted.
Ice Princess: You love your job. Don’t tell me you want to sleep in your office now?
Swaras_11: No, no…I wasn’t thinking about that. It’s…Forget it. Better luck at work?
Ice Princess: I WISH. I was late to work, and I think I nearly knocked over some poor guy on my way there…
Swaras_11: Ha ha! I wish I was there to see his face.
Ice Princess: I didn’t literally knock him over, Swaras. Just more like a stupid…oh never mind. Why are we even talking about this? How was your day?
Swaras_11: Distracting.
Ice Princess: Wow…Aren’t you full of conversational skills?
Swaras_11: I warned you. I am not good at striking up conversations.
Ice Princess: Yes. But still –
Swaras_11: Oi! Time for dinner. TTYL?

Swars_11 is offline.

Ice Princess: Your name should be TTYL!

Sweetie_20: Di, did you bump into some guy today?

Ice Princess is offline.

Sweetie_20: Jackasses. The both of them!
*
Wednesday, 8:07am
Kalighat Metro Station

Arushi was relieved to find that both she and the metro had fallen into sync with each other. She happily boarded the metro, and rode off into her destination…

Wednesday, 8:15am
Rabindra Sarobor Metro Station

Naveen deliberately came to the station late today. He wanted to see the girl he’d met yesterday again. He craned his neck around, to keep an eye out for the girl from yesterday. She’d taken the 8:15am train, he remembered correctly.
Then, where on Earth was she? He’d even managed to locate the same compartment like last time…yet…she didn’t board it from the spot she’d taken yesterday.
“She looked like a regular. Or seemed.” He thought doubtfully to himself. Then he shrugged.
She was just another girl. Why was he making the effort to find her anyway?
“There’s nothing special about her,” he told himself, firmly, “From tomorrow, I’m going to go back to taking the Metro at my time.”
But his heart remained unconvinced.
*
Wednesday, 11:00pm
Bloggers’ World

Ice Princess is offline.
Swaras_11 has logged on.
Sweetie_20 is online.

Swaras_11: Ice Princess hasn’t come online today?
Sweetie_20: Oh nice, Dada. Hello to you too…
Swaras_11: Sorry, sorry…I just really needed to speak to her once.
Sweetie_20: I have her mobile number if you want.
Swaras_11: That would be wonderful. Thanks.
*
Thursday, 12:00 am

Unknown Number calling…

“Hello,” said Arushi aka Ice Princess, wondering if Millie (Sweetie_20) was up to one of her usual prank calls.
“Hi, this will sound weird…but this is Swaras_11. Sweetie gave me your number,” said Naveen aka Swaras_11 uncertainly.
“Wow…so you do exist,” said Arushi, dazed. She’d been longing to speak to him over the phone for some time now. Even when Millie had managed to get his number, Arushi had refused to save it, much less make a note of it.
“Yeah…I do. So, why weren’t you online today?” he asked, pleasantly.
His voice was better than she’d imagined. She could kick herself for not being able to keep a steady voice.
“Well…I just didn’t feel like it, to be honest,” said Arushi, “I had too much drama at work. I couldn’t handle being online.”
And get TTYL-d by you, she mentally added.
“I get that…usually I go online to escape those feelings.” Naveen went on conversationally, “How was work?”
“You already asked me that,” said Arushi, slowly, “Swaras, what’s going on?”
“Nothing…I guess I’m still distracted.”
“I’ll bet.”
“Hey, save up my number. We can text, right? I have to go now. Talk to you later?”
Sure thing, Mr. TTYL, Arushi thought.
“Yeah, bye.”
*
Thursday, 12:15am
Bloggers’ World

Ice Princess has logged on.
Sweetie_20 is online.
Swaras_11 is offline.

Ice Princess: So he called.
Sweetie_20: Andddd…???
Ice Princess: He’s every bit as I thought him to be, Millie.
Sweetie_20: Aww…was it really that bad?
Ice Princess: He TTYL-d me! Over the phone!!!
Sweetie_20: HA HA HA HA HA!!!
Ice Princess: I better go sleep now. Ttyl?
Sweetie_20: Look, you’re doing it too…
Ice Princess: yeah, I don’t care.

Ice Princess has logged off.
*
Thursday, 8:07am
Kalighat Metro Station

Naveen was craning his neck, trying to see something on the platform of Kalighat Metro Station, where the train was pulling in. He was seated at one of the corner seats, right next to the door. Then she caught his eye. The ordinary he tried to look for yesterday. Here she was standing at the station. He heart leapt to his throat. There was no mistaking her.
He sat sheepishly in his seat, wondering what he’d tell her, if they happened to be in the same compartment. It wasn’t normal for strangers to strike up conversations. Much less strangers their age, and of the opposite gender…
She never came to his compartment though. He didn’t see her, till the train pulled into Park Street. She materialized from the crowd, and fought her way to the door. Someone pushed her, and she fell almost across his lap.
He acted in reflex, catching her upper arm, he steadied her. She looked at him, startled. A faint trace of recognition flickered in her eyes.
It was gone as soon as it had come.
“Sorry,” she muttered, embarrassed, “I…Bye.”
She hastily got out of the metro, and fled for dear life, cheeks flaming red with embarrassment.
*
Thursday, 8:40am
Central Metro Station

When Naveen got down from the metro, he received a text that made his head spin. It was from Ice Princess. She’d refused to tell him her real name.
“Good morning, Swaras! Guess what? I fell across some dude’s lap while trying to get down from the metro today. *shakes head* Hope your day is off to a better start.”
Everything came together. Why she’d seemed so familiar. The profile picture from her Bloggers’ World account…that’s why he’d the feeling he’d seen her somewhere before.
After all these days, he laughed almost loudly, he’d bumped straight into the girl who refused to tell him, her name.
*

Friday, 8:07am
Kalighat Metro Station

Naveen was ready today. He was going to tell Ice Princess who he was. When she boarded the Metro, he made it a point to go and stand right next to her. She looked at him curiously, and then looked away.
“Hello,” he said. He really wasn’t good at conversation, “Nice weather, isn’t it?”
“We’re underground,” she said, slowly.
She was about to look away, when her eyes caught the Office ID tag he’d forgotten to tuck into his pocket.
The picture seemed to remind her of something. She saw the name printed right next to it: NAVEEN.
Just as Naveen was about to identify himself, the train pulled into the next station. Arushi pulled out her phone and dialed his Swaras_11’s number.
In the brief minute their phones had their respective service towers, Naveen’s phone began to ring.
“The Gujrati novel,” said Arushi, slowly, disconnecting the call, “Swaraswatichandra…he called himself Naveenchandra when he visited Kumud’s house. Didn’t he?”
“Guilty as charged,” said Naveen, smiling down at her, “Ice Princess.”
Then they both looked at each other and began to laugh.
“Do you still want to go to work?” asked Naveen, after they’d sobered down.
“Yes. Or else you’re going to TTYL me in the middle of the day…”
“That, really, is never my fault…”
“I’ll say.”
They kept bickering and never noticed when the metro had brought them to the very last station.
“Oh dear,” sighed Arushi.
“My sentiments exactly,” said Naveen, rolling his eyes, “By the way; you never told me your name…?”
“Arushi,” replied the girl. Then with an evil glint in her eye, she said, “But you can still call me Ice Princess.”
*
Friday, 12:00am
Bloggers’ World

Sweetie_20 is online.
Swaras_11 is online.

Ice Princess is online.

Sweetie_20: So, all’s well that ends well, eh, Di?
Ice Princess: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Sweetie_20: Sure. I’ll pretend that way too.

Sweetie_20: So Dada, are you finally going to ditch your fictitious girlfriend?
Swaras_11: What makes you think she’s fictitious??? :-o
Sweetie_20: Give it a rest. BOTH OF YOU!

Swaras_11: I really DO have a girlfriend, Arushi.
Ice Princess: I know, I know… J
Swaras_11: You don’t believe me either?
Ice Prince: No. I don’t care. That’s the difference.
*