The Flight Of Death

Make way for our 10th entry to the ‘And then…’ contest. Just reminding, I am not disclosing the author‘s name now so that we can have a fair voting. The write-ups would be posted in the order I receive them… Here are the rules & hints and here is The Scene…


For two years, Liz had shared her deepest thoughts and failings with him…It was a close bond…and she saw him after 3 years today.

She didn’t know how to react. While she was thankful that her LV belongings didn’t spill out completely when she bumped into the stewardess and that, he hadn’t seen her fall into that handsome man’s lap…(It would’ve been embarrassing!!) , she was also apprehensive of the long journey ahead.

She watched him through her ‘’extra powerful womanly peripheral vision’’. He looked deeply engrossed. Liz wondered, ‘’Autocar and Bose head phones would surely make a man oblivious to his surroundings!!’’ Little did she know, she was being watched as keenly!!

Once seated comfortably, with closed eyes, she promised to herself never to repeat what she did today. However, in her heart, she knew she was a ‘serial promise breaker’. Her thoughts were broken by a sharp “hi”…a voice she could recognise even in deep sleep…it was the man beside her…Dr. Jekyll !!

“Hello doc”…Liz said…the conversation began. They never discussed her problems. Doctor Jekyll was shifting base from Hong Kong to Sydney. Liz was confident that he believed that she was cured but she knew the reason why she always felt like being chased by a cheetah.

As the flight prepared for landing, he gave his new visiting card to her. “But doc, i don’t need it anymore” she said. “You never know!!” was the doctor’s reply as they parted ways…

Later, when she was unpacking in her hotel room, Liz saw the card…it had something scribbled on its backside…

“The man u stumbled upon was my father. He was sitting in the next row and I saw you stealing his wallet. Keeping my patient’s problems a secret is my duty. Moreover, I didn’t want to embarrass you…I know i‘ve cured you today. You WILL come and return the wallet to get rid of the burden of “Kleptomania” from your own shoulders. See you soon!!”……….

………Despite getting caught for the first time, Liz felt relieved because she knew that both her disorder and ‘the cheetah’ were dead today…:)

Moral:  you are being watched at all times…stay, act and behave appropriate!

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Hate to love you

Here’s the next entry to the ‘And then…’ contest. Just reminding, I am not disclosing the author‘s name now so that we can have a fair voting. The write-ups would be posted in the order I receive them… Here are the rules & hints and here is The Scene…

That face that had haunted her all these years…an image from an old worn-out photograph that she had carried around in her heart. All these years, she had been waiting for yet dreading this day. She still didn’t know if she’d ever muster up the courage to say those words to him. Her eyes welled up with tears without any explanation. Dabbing her eyes with a tissue she quickly regained her composure and risked a glance again on pretext of looking for the air-hostess.

Those dark eyes, that square jaw and the kind smile were still the same. Yes, a few wrinkles here and there but there was no mistake-it was him. She had imagined this scene in her teenage years, rehearsed what she would say and what would happen. She had spent hours in front of the mirror in nervous excitement practicing and rephrasing what she would say when she met him. She’d hated every part of her that wanted to love him but couldn’t help it. The Kathak recitals, the piano lessons, the basketball matches-all came back to her.

Her monologue froze midway when he suddenly looked up at her. She felt like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar and smiled at him blushing furiously and he gave her a confused smile back.  Was it her imagination or was there a fleeting hint of recognition on his face? But he went back to his Autocar and she leaned back and took a large swig of water and took a deep breath. It was now or never.

She turned again. “Pardon me if I’m wrong but are you Mr. Bryan D’Souza?”

He looked up blinking and removed his headphones and said, “I’m sorry I did not hear you. Could you repeat the question?”

“Mr. Bryan D’Souza?”

“I think you mistook me for someone else. I’m Shrey.”

Sorry! I’m Liz. You looked a lot like an uncle of mine! I’m really sorry!”

“That’s okay. So I look that old eh?” he grinned, “It’s always nice to meet a fellow Indian here. You live in Sydney too?”

“No, I’m on vacation. I moved to Hong Kong two years back, before that I was in Delhi. “

“Hmmmmm…How I miss that city! The clean air and the fresh food stifle me in Sydney! I last went to Delhi five years back. A week there was like oxygen! I missed the chaat, the yum kababs and the DTC buses!” he remarked smiling.

And they talked – about the weather, Sydney, India, Indian food, cars, traffic in Delhi, her job, her crummy boss (he used to have one too!), music, movies…it went on and on! They got on like a house on fire! He loved Audi too and shared her opinion that Federer was a pain in the ass for winning all the time! It was like they had been destined to meet. As the flight prepared to land there was a knot in her stomach. The words remained unsaid. She had said everything but what she had actually wanted to.

Sydney arrived and as he waved and walked out of the airport, she stood there looking at him. The words came out in a whisper, “Hi dad.”

They came too late. Genetic maybe.

That face that had haunted her all these years…an image from an old worn-out photograph that she had carried around in her heart. All these years, she had been waiting for yet dreading this day. She still didn’t know if she’d ever muster up the courage to say those words to him. Her eyes welled up with tears without any explanation. Dabbing her eyes with a tissue she quickly regained her composure and risked a glance again on pretext of looking for the air-hostess.



Those dark eyes, that square jaw and the kind smile were still the same. Yes, a few wrinkles here and there but there was no mistake-it was him. She had imagined this scene in her teenage years, rehearsed what she would say and what would happen. She had spent hours in front of the mirror in nervous excitement practicing and rephrasing what she would say when she met him. She’d hated every part of her that wanted to love him but couldn’t help it. The Kathak recitals, the piano lessons, the basketball matches-all came back to her.



Her monologue froze midway when he suddenly looked up at her. She felt like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar and smiled at him blushing furiously and he gave her a confused smile back.  Was it her imagination or was there a fleeting hint of recognition on his face? But he went back to his Autocar and she leaned back and took a large swig of water and took a deep breath. It was now or never.



She turned again. “Pardon me if I’m wrong but are you Mr. Bryan D’Souza?”



He looked up blinking and removed his headphones and said, “I’m sorry I did not hear you. Could you repeat the question?”



“Mr. Bryan D’Souza?”



“I think you mistook me for someone else. I’m Shrey.”



Sorry! I’m Liz. You looked a lot like an uncle of mine! I’m really sorry!”



“That’s okay. So I look that old eh?” he grinned, “It’s always nice to meet a fellow Indian here. You live in Sydney too?”



“No, I’m on vacation. I moved to Hong Kong two years back, before that I was in Delhi. “



“Hmmmmm…How I miss that city! The clean air and the fresh food stifle me in Sydney! I last went to Delhi five years back. A week there was like oxygen! I missed the chaat, the yum kababs and the DTC buses!” he remarked smiling.



And they talked – about the weather, Sydney, India, Indian food, cars, traffic in Delhi, her job, her crummy boss (he used to have one too!), music, movies…it went on and on! They got on like a house on fire! He loved Audi too and shared her opinion that Federer was a pain in the ass for winning all the time! It was like they had been destined to meet. As the flight prepared to land there was a knot in her stomach. The words remained unsaid. She had said everything but what she had actually wanted to.

Sydney arrived and as he waved and walked out of the airport, she stood there looking at him. The words came out in a whisper, “Hi dad. “



They came too late. Genetic maybe.

A Moment to Forget (or Remember?)

Here’s the next entry to the ‘And then…’ contest. Just reminding, I am not disclosing the author‘s name now so that we can have a fair voting. The write-ups would be posted in the order I receive them… Here are the rules & hints and here is The Scene…

He glanced up suddenly at her, and then smiled – a bemused smile. He removed the headphones from his ears, and then studied her intently for a moment. She swallowed uncomfortably, looked at her boarding pass to check which seat she’d been given, and then cursed her luck. She was in the wrong seat.

Worse luck yet, her actual seat was just one row behind. She got up, and then looked at the numbers again.

“Excuse me,” she told the guy, who still wore the same bemused smile on his face, “But I think that is my seat.”

“So it is,” he said, getting up and moving to seat next to hers. She took a deep breath, composed herself, and sat down.

There was a loud crunch. She got up, shocked, and then winced when she saw that she had sit down on top of what she presumed were his glasses. He grinned more (what was making that man smile so much!?) and picked up the glasses. She could see that the glass had cracked.

“I’m really sorry,” she began, only to see his expression change for the first time to a frown.

“Sit down, Liz,” he said, his tone suddenly different from what it had been a moment ago. Suddenly he was no longer the polite stranger, but the old acquaintance. The shift made her heart start beating a little faster. His frown turned deeper, the chocolate brown eyes squinting in a way that she remembered rather fondly. “You do remember me, don’t you?”

How could she forget? The fairytale whirlwind romance, the wild week in paris with the handsome stranger, those days when she was happy?

“Of course I remember you,” she said, but she had to struggle for a moment to place the name. “Brian.”

“I’m glad,” he told her, and the boyish grin that she also remembered very fondly returned. “I haven’t seen you for…what…two years now? How have you been? And what’s up in Sydney?”

“I’ve been, fine,” she answered cautiously, not really sure where she wanted to take this. “Just going on a vacation…what are you doing?”

“Visiting my family. My dad lives in Sydney. You know – Rottheimer, from the Rottheimer and sons…”

His dad was the biggest business man in Sydney? Now that was really something she would’ve liked to have known before.

“So, as you’re in town,” he said with a grin, distracting her from her thoughts. “Why not join me? For, say dinner, this Tuesday?”

She opened her mouth to reply, but he ran a finger on her hand, reminding her of too many things at once, making her forget what she was going to say.

“Sure,” she said instead, and decided to leave the explanation of the fact that she had a boyfriend for another day.

Later, years later, when she tried to remember (or forget) this meeting…she felt bad – just not bad enough.