The usual?

The usual?

“Hello, Miss Sloan. Will it be the usual?”, the nurse asked.


“Well then, you’re in room number 27 today.”


Sloan made her way down the brightly coloured corridor to the assigned room. She sat in the plush leather chair and waited for the doctor.

‘Same as all the other rooms’, she thought. Pink walls, sterile seating, a stack of the latest magazines, flowers, and the machine of course.

“Ah, Miss Sloan!”, exclaimed Dr James as he entered the room while reading her charts. “I see you’re in for the usual.”

“Yes, Doctor”, Sloan replied monotonously.

“Let’s get started then.”

Sloan rolled up her left sleeve and held her arm out. Dr James carefully found the correct vein and inserted the needle in. He connected the other end of the needle to a tube from the machine. Clear fluid started to run up the tube and into a concealed container.

Having checked the controls and once again looked at the liquid flow, the Doctor said, “Let me know if you feel any discomfort. It should take about an hour.” and left the room.

Sloan took a few moments to let the slow stinging feeling of the needle settle in and then closed her eyes.

She had been coming to this hospital to donate love regularly for six months now. It had taken eight years and a many generous donations from Sloan and a few others to develop this machine. The donors came from different parts of the country, held different jobs, and had different interests. They had one thing in common though – they all had too much love to give and no one to give it to. So, they came here and donated it. The extracted love could be stored indefinitely. As far as the Doctors could see, it didn’t seem to expire. It was always there for the next person in need of a withdrawal – a wife who no longer loved her husband, a mother who couldn’t stand the sight of her new born baby, a friend who had moved on but still tried to hold on to childhood relationships – there was no shortage of withdrawals. And thanks to the lonely donors, no shortage of supply either. The system worked.



Kiera Knightly in Pride & Prejudice

Image © Focus Features

I have to keep myself from you. I have to keep myself from you because I see change coming. You sit there on my bed, reproaching me for staying away; yet, I cannot devour any more of you tonight. I will not. My head is full of thoughts of you. Your words, your ideas, your scent, these things go wherever I go even when I leave you behind (and I always leave you with a heavy heart).

You have enamoured my mind, do you not see? This is why I keep myself on a tight leash around you these days. Sure, it started off as a mild fascination but as I spent my hours with you, you took over me. Your words, your words would not leave me, and I did not want them to. I began shrinking away from society to be with you. I bared their disdain bravely when they did not understand why you mattered so much to me. I remember, this was the height of our passion. I spent every waking moment either with you or dreaming of you. But now, now things have changed. I see myself losing you. Your days are numbered. I can no longer spend the entire night in your company knowing you’ll have enough to pleasure me the next day as well, because you won’t.

 I have to control myself now. Instead of nights, I can take only hours from you. But that doesn’t mean I forget you after. Nay, if anything I think of you more now that I know we will end soon. Your words, they haunt me. They inflame my imagination, they pry emotions from me that I never knew I could feel, and they leave me craving more. Always. We go back and forth in our dance, I hold you, you take me away. I let you go, you pull me back.

But, I have to be the way I am to prepare for our inevitable parting. You will soon leave me but your words will not. Your characters, your storylines, your ideas, they will become a part of me when you are no more. And yes, there will be others after you but that does not mean I will forget you. You will, you have already changed me. You’ve helped me, made me better, made me see clearer, brought me joy, brought me sorrow, and above all, you’ve brought me comfort. I will remember you. Always.

PS: If you’re currently in love with a book (and I hope you are), this is for you.

Tales in my Head: Origins

Image from TumblrI started this blog because I wanted to write stories for girls like myself. I wanted to write about love and life, about loss and sorrow, about unbound happiness, about hopes and dreams, about the dread of growing old alone and the struggle of overcoming the fear of loneliness, about find your purpose in life and knowing that a job is just a part of life, about complicated relationships with food and clothing and shoes, about loving your parents and being annoyed with them, and about all the other issues that keep girls like myself awake at night but we deal with better by reading how there are other girls like us going through the same thing. 

I fear I have not covered much ground but I know I have made a start, and for now perhaps, that will do.

This post is a response to the Daily Prompt: Why did you start your blog?

Kindness of a stranger

This post is in response to the Daily Prompt: “Have you ever had a random encounter or fleeting moment with a stranger that stuck with you?”

It was the summer of 2010 and I was at university in St Andrews, Scotland. My parents had decided (after much convincing from my side) to come down from India to see me, and I was ecstatic. Summers in university towns can get pretty lonely, what with almost everyone going home for the holidays, so I was very much looking forward to this visit.

Now here’s the deal with St Andrews, it’s tiny, and remote. To get there from Pune, India, you have to travel four hours to the Mumbai Airport, catch a nine-hour flight to London, then an hour-long connecting flight to Edinburgh, and then you have to drive for another hour to get to here. But trust me, the views are well worth the trouble.

One of the many beautiful views in St Andrews

One of the many beautiful views in St Andrews

My parents were due to arrive at around half past ten at night and I’d gone out earlier that evening to get some take away for them (I assumed my dad wouldn’t like the airline food), and some flowers for my mum. As things would go, they arrived slightly after ten, so I had to rush to get into a cab to make my way to the hotel at which they were staying. In my hurry to meet them, I forgot the flowers. This is where the “stranger” part comes in. I explained to the cab driver how my parents were visiting from India and how I forgot the flowers I’d got my mum, and as if in a movie, he immediately turned the cab around, stopped the meter, and radioed to his head office, “We forgot the flowers, we’re going back for the flowers”. Those were his exact words. I ran up to my apartment with a grin on my face, and ran back to the cab. “All set?”, he asked. I “okayed” and we were off again. Upon reaching the hotel, I was short on change, and being the excellent person that he was, the cab driver waved me off and told me to go, have fun with my parents. I was overjoyed! I thanked him profusely for his kindness and went on to over-excitedly greeting my parents.

Now, the story doesn’t end there. It would’ve been a great story if it ended there, upon the kindness of a stranger, but unfortunately, life isn’t as movie-like as you’d hope. Many weeks later, a friend and I were taking a cab into town, and we got, what seemed like the same kind cab driver, but I wasn’t sure if it was him. He didn’t say anything himself, perhaps he was waiting to see if I’d remember him. Only about halfway through the ride was I actually sure that this was the same person who’d helped a kid out on a cold Scottish night. By then I felt too awkward to bring it up, so we just spent the rest of the ride in silence. I wish I could tell you that I said something to him at the end of the ride, but I didn’t. I just thanked him excessively for this ride he’d given us, hoped he understood what I was actually thanking him for, and got out of the cab.

It’s been three years since that summer and I still wish I’d done things differently on that second ride. Maybe I’ll return to St Andrews someday and by some mysterious coincidence run in to that kind stranger, and thank him properly for his niceness. But until that happens, I’m going to try to be very aware of the nice things that people do for me, and make sure I thank them.


“I always thought you’d go for the intelligent one”


“You know, when it came to dating, I thought you’d choose the intellectual-type, because, well, you’re the intellectual type. But I understand the fascination with aesthetic beauty, it bewitches us all. I suppose, it’s just that some of us are fixated temporarily whereas others are transfixed for longer.”

“You’re talking like you’re on Frasier again.”

I smile. “So how long has it been?”

“A few months now. Five months to be more specific.”

“Wow, that’s a long time. How come you didn’t tell me earlier?”

He looks down and hesitates.

“You thought I’d judge you.” I say.

“Well, see, that’s what you’re doing right now!”

“Judgement is a good thing. I still maintain that. For some reason, the unfortunate word is associated with negativity but I believe otherwise. Judgement is good. It helps us set parameters for our personal tastes in right or wrong, good or bad, and other such things.”

“Thank you for sharing your opinion, doctor.”

I smile. “Hey, as long as this is what you want, I’m happy for you.”

“I want to say thank you but I know you don’t mean that.”

“You make me out to be some sort of wench. I assure you, sir, I am no wench. I understand that people I am friends with can want and choose different things than me. Put simply – to each his own.”

“See, that really doesn’t sound like you’re happy for me. It just sounds like you think less of me for doing something you would never do. We can’t all be high and mighty like you, Jess, I’m sorry. Some of us are just human and we don’t want to over-think each and every thing. We allow ourselves to feel and follow those feelings.”

“I’m going to go.”

It’s 3am

and I’m wide awake

I want to sleep

but I’m in a state

I’m tired, I’m blue

But I am

I still am without you.

I drown in drink

but you won’t go away

I light up

but you’re still there

I look around

It’s just me

It’s me without you.

I write down words

they don’t find sense

I try some verse

it only rhyms less

I want to stop

I want to be

Me. Without you.

Inspired by Austen

“Stop. I must beg you to stop. I urge you to no longer continue paying me such attentions as would have once been so dear to my heart. Before your actions and indeed, mine as well, cause sincere pain to either of us, I must reveal to you my present heart.

I fear I must tell you that your affectations and countenance no longer determine the course of my happiness. For a while now, I have stopped thinking of you as the one man I could truly be happy with. In fact, I have stopped thinking of you almost entirely. I fear that certain incidents of consequence, and time, have worked at lessening the effects of your charm upon me.

In vain, I had suffered, it will not do. You must allow me to tell you how totally and completely I am no longer in love with you.”