I observed him carefully as he walked to the door. I knew that time was running out but suppressed the urge to check my watch. I took a deep breath and started counting in reverse under my breath. “10, 9, 8, 7…”


Six Years Ago

It was a day of torrential rains. I was walking home from the nearby temple unmindful of the umbrella not doing its work adequately. It was a tough day yesterday and walking back home seemed to be such a big ordeal. I had tears running down my eyes, masked by what seemed like the skies offering me unconditional solace.

Then I saw him again…

The face that always brought a smile to my face, I was elated yet sad and had a flush of happiness ridden with guilt. I offered him with what probably was my weakest smile. His lovely, comforting and protective gaze was now disheveled but steely. The intensity in his eyes was unnerving and slowly wiped that smile off my face. I would never forget that look.

Then it happened. The rains couldn’t hide it and unfortunately made me hate rains. I hated the day for a number of reasons, but the most important reason was that,

The World as I knew ceased to exist.




A couple of months before Today


It took me a solid six years to overcome that arduous day. I couldn’t look at my parents with the same emotions any more. I moved from my city in search of better and less suffocating surroundings. It was more than half a decade since I visited my city. But things changed when my sister was to get married and I had to return to the place, where my entire life turned upside down.

Swathi was having a love marriage. I could never get my parents to accept that Love wasn’t a taboo, love and not the bank balance mattered when it came to living a life. I couldn’t get my parents to say a yes to the person that I so dearly loved. They preferred me living a lie that they proposed rather than the life I had wanted. It was probably guilt on their side that made them accept Swathi’s choice. They had seen my life crumbling in front of their eyes; it was inevitable that Swathi would have the liberty to choose the life she wanted. I was happy for her and I couldn’t quite be resentful towards my parents. Their resistance wasn’t entirely faulty. Still…

Every time my family and my friends saw me, they felt a sense of angst and guilt as to how my life had changed since that day. I was empowered but a wreck inside. I was a beacon of positivism on the outside, yet a house of cards on the inside. I was a walking, talking and living oxymoron.

Things were finally looking up after I got a text from my best friend.

“I know you’re back in town. You deserve better… A second chance at life… you need to move on… This might help… I can vouch for that…”

The next message came with the details of a contact and prodding me to text him first, without worrying much about the etiquette lines drawn by the society.

I thought about it for a couple more days. Then finally I mustered the courage to send the first message


“Hi… I’m a friend of Sumedha. She had given me your number. I know it does seem out of the ordinary, but I would love to get acquainted with you, considering the things she has told me. “


That’s exactly how our lives started entwining on a journey over the next two months.


I knew his likes, dislikes, hobbies, pet peeves, wishes, dreams, ambitions, aspirations, dark secrets, his firsts and even his mother’s maiden name… Similarly, he knew everything important about me; but didn’t quite include my first pet’s name.


Over these two months, we spoke about things that I hadn’t quite shared with anyone else. He opened up my eyes and body in ways I didn’t know that were possible. The emotions welling up in my body broke open all the floodgates I had kept closed. He knew what my fantasies were, he knew about the location of my well hidden mole, he knew about the contours of my body, he knew about the scar that was a result of a fall from a tree in my pre-teens, he knew that my neck was ticklish and he knew that I loved someone playing with my hair.


He knew everything about me except how my eyes sparkled when I was happy, he didn’t know the curve of my lip when I smiled, he didn’t know about my taut skin that defied age, he didn’t know about the colour of my cheeks when I blushed and he didn’t know about my perfect teeth.


That is why we decided to meet on the 28th, about two months since our first textual conversation.


Today Again

I couldn’t handle the anticipation and my anxiety. I reached the place an hour earlier than scheduled and waited for the man in a yellow shirt, blue jeans and a baseball cap.

It was six years since I felt such a feeling inside my stomach. I couldn’t quite decipher if it was love, anxiety, impatience or just plain and simple fear of meeting this person. I clutched on to my bag to soothe my nerves, but it wasn’t much of a help.

The sun was scorching and I decided to cover myself up with my dupatta. Though heat was the reason I told myself, it was more to do with the anticipation and fear of me or him not turning out to be the people we thought each other to be.

Just a minute past the scheduled meeting time, he walked into the place and was walking towards the predetermined spot.

I observed him carefully as he walked to the door. I knew that time was running out but suppressed the urge to check my watch. I took a deep breath and started counting in reverse under my breath. “10, 9, 8, 7…”

Just when I counted down to 1, he stepped inside the room. I mustered all my courage and stood before him. I removed the dupatta that covered my face and showed him the one thing he hadn’t quite seen or known about me till then.

Then he saw me… Again

The face that had once brought a smile to his face. I was disgusted yet sad and had a flush of anger ridden with fear. I offered him with what probably was my only kind of smile. His lovely, comforting and protective gaze was now insipid and defeated. The intensity in my eyes was unnerving him and slowly wiped that look of disgust off his face. I would never forget his look. Especially when I threw the contents of the bottle I had carried along, and just walked backwards from that poor excuse for a human being.

He was shocked and cowered for protection against the liquid onslaught. I couldn’t help but bring about a crooked smile that creaked against my tightened skin and lifeless eyes. I wanted to make him experience the feeling he never quite realized that anyone could face. It took me a solid six years to realize that neither a bottle worth a few rupees or the action of someone whom I sincerely loved, destroyed me.

The feeling of powerlessness, not exacting revenge or getting any kind of closure and the tag of a Acid Attack Victim had kept me bogged down all this while. I needed to break the shackles and I did just that in my very own way.

I will never forget the look in his eyes when he realized the liquid was just water. He knew he was lucky. The disgust in his eyes seeing my disfigured face had given way to gratitude that I didn’t harm him in any way. He wrongly assumed he could move on with his life. He rightly assumed that this chapter had reached its close. But he never realized what I had seen.

I saw it in his eyes. I saw his eyes give the feeling of surprise, shock and disgust, a swift kick in its nether regions and give way to the most primal of all emotions.

While disappearing into the crowd, just like he did all those  years back;

I saw it in his eyes.

I saw…





4 thoughts on “LIQUID LUCK

  1. vinay

    is this an after effect of the Swathi murder? it certainly isn’t coincidence that you named a character in the story, Swathi. Well written as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be completely honest… I’d written it earlier… the name similarity just escaped my attention… It wasn’t planned… just a coincidence… and once again… thanks for your kind words


  2. Great work, Hatman.
    More than the creative outburst, you sure do know how to ‘structure’ your storyline. Well done.

    One of your Mad Hatters
    (Thought I d coin a term for being a fan :P)


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