Tag Archives: romance

‘Us’ does not exist

I have seen them in the traffic jam, in the lines of waiting crowd, when she sat back on his bike and caressed the dog peering outside the window of the car next to them.

I have seen them in front of the museum; him holding the kid in his arms, her trying to find something desperately from the cheap green faux leather bag. Perhaps, she was fishing for the blue handkerchief to rub the snot below the baby’s nostrils, or the bubble gum to keep it silent.

I have seen them in shopping malls, sitting together with big cups of coffees on small white table, flanked by matching white chairs. She had a brown leather sling bag and long leather boots. He looked chic in a pair of blue jeans and white shirt.

I have seen them in buses, in the metro, in the pool cab that I take to save money that needs to be paid towards the bills.

I have seen the love, the care that flows between a man and a woman. The care that one finds in little day-to-day things. The way the girl on the bike holds onto her boyfriend in black leather jacket in one hand and in the way she caresses the dog with the other. I have seen the attraction in the eyes which reflects the coffee table. New love is always fire.

The married couple in the front of the museum can be just about anyone, with a kid early in their marriage because he did not believe in planning and she had no choice.

Perhaps, they had fought on the way to the museum. Her bickering about the nagging kid, him tired of her tantrums. Perhaps, the boy on the bike is going to drop the girl off for good and ride his own separate direction. Maybe, the couple on the coffee date will no longer meet for the next one, because she speaks a little too much and he turns out to be a snob.

But, in the moment that I see them, in the moment my heart skips a beat at the sight of people doing ‘couple’ things, I miss you.

I miss you on my way to work, when a random stranger walks by wearing the same perfume that you wear. I miss you when I re-record songs in a broken voice and send to all the people who do not matter, but stop before sending to you, because I no longer can.

I miss you in them. I miss us in them.

Us does not exist.

You and I do.

In separate cities, in separate worlds evolving around us.

(c) 2017 Arpita Pramanick

Frozen Memories

The below story has been applied to four flash fiction magazines and duly rejected. Yet, this story is very special to me. So, I’m putting it out for you all to read. Do let me know what you think of it in the Comments.

Frozen Memories

When I lie on his lap, my head nestled in him, he tells me stories of all the good times we have spent together. He remembers every date we met, every conversation we had. He remembers every time I have said something nice to him, praised him for keeping a promise. When I hear him narrate the days of a previous summer, it feels as if I am in a story. I see us together in that story, sitting cross-legged on the green, grassy field under the stars, watching kids play football at a distance.

As I listen to him, I wonder what it must be to be him every single day – to have little compartments in his mind, filled with happy memories, like shiny wrappers filled with dark chocolate balls that melt within moments in your mouth. Oft times I have wondered, how is it that he recalls the plainest remark I made on any day when months later I have no memory of it? Is it because he hangs onto every word I say with the kindest attention, because he loves me so much? His memory is like an ancient family heirloom – something I have learnt to cherish ever since I discovered it. His memory makes me feel powerful: even though the day is long gone, I know he can make it as real to me as if it were today.

Today, it is different. Today we had a bad fight. It is past midnight and I am lying on the sofa. He is in the bedroom. I bristle in the uncomfortable heat, cursing the broken air conditioner. I am ruminating on the bitter words he and I exchanged earlier.

The thought comes like a sudden chilly wind of a winter morning. If he remembers every date we have met, every word we have spoken between the two of us, he probably remembers every single fight we have had, every venomous word we threw at each other too. Does he compartmentalize his memories in boxes then – pink-red boxes for the happy ones and dark, ominous ones for the poisons?

What it is really, then, to be him, every single day? What is it like to be someone with an infinite reservoir of memories, memories that you cannot erase away? Can you, then, ever escape from naturally drawing on happy memories when the times are good and on the bitter ones when the tides are rough? Is that possibly why he froths a little more venom with every next fight? A little more intolerable, a little more uncaring?

The prickling heat of the sofa is engulfs me slowly, completely, like a water demon. Suddenly, I am breathless. I walk to the balcony and wait for a breath of wind to kiss my face.

There is no wind. The trees are as still as a colorful glass paperweight, frozen in time.

©2016 Arpita Pramanick

Day 10 of Writing 101: Before She Left

Before She Left

~A Short Story~ 

She was cleaning up the mess in her purse: old bank slips, shopping receipts, bus tickets. She took each out and observed cursorily, deciding whether she’d need it again. Then she tore up the slips in as small pieces as she possibly could and threw them into the bin.

Most of the bills had faded: they were printed on thermal papers.

What’s the point in giving bills which are going to fade, anyway? Aren’t the bills supposed to be permanent documentation?

She retrieved a bus ticket –a six month old one– from one of the pockets. It was from her last trip from her hometown to the nearest airport city. Six months vanished in a puff! Six months since she last visited her parents, her brother, and… him.

She didn’t tear the ticket – it was memory. And it was not on thermal paper. She pushed it into a different pocket in the purse, one she didn’t usually use to put the notes and the coins. There she found it.

It was an inconspicuous looking paper. If she was not scavenging, she would not even have noticed it. It was rolled up like a cigarette and flattened from being put in the purse.

She took it out and unrolled it. There was nothing on the side facing her – a blank page that must have contained how much she had paid at some mall or movie. She turned it over.

There, in blue ink were the lines. It was a written conversation. There were two distinct handwritings: one small, curvy; another bigger, looping.

All of it came back to her. She smiled as she saw herself scribbling it, beside the empty glass of cold coffee and some spilled chocolate sauce. The brown on the edge of the slip was testimony to the playful tiff they had over sipping each other’s coffee. They didn’t care if anyone was looking. They were lost in themselves.


He was told there was a parcel for him at the reception. He walked the steps instead of taking the elevator.

The girl at the reception smiled at him. Her name was Tias.

“There’s a parcel for me?” he said, returning her smile. Tias was new here. She matched her nail-polish her with her dresses every single day.

Tias shuffled through the drawer and handed him the package wrapped in shiny red paper. A white paper on top addressed it to him, in neutral print.


A hint of laughter touched the corner of his lips. He shrugged and turned away.

In his cabin, he opened the wrapper, taking care that he did not tear it off. She would recycle it, if she was here. Or better yet, add it to her box of memorabilia. He did the same, put it in his chest of drawers.

But she had never said anything about a parcel in the past month or week. He was sure it wasn’t another of their anniversaries – propose day, first trip together, first kiss etc.

It was a copy of The Fault in our Stars. Of course it was from her. Who else could it be! He turned over the cover page, sure to find a scribbling – after five years together, many things about her was predictable.

There was no scribbling. Instead, there was a paper, pasted on the inside of the cover page.

“Don’t go, please. I miss you already,” it said in his handwriting.

“I miss you already, too! I love you so much; I could never stay away long from you. Promise me you’ll fly to me every other month?” She had written.

“Of course, I will. Loads of kisses. I will visit you every weekend.” He now laughed at the absurdity of flying a thousand miles every week.

He read on:

“Ummmmm. Kisses and hugs. Love ya, baby,” she wrote in her small, curly font.

“Love ya, Cat! Ummmm.”

There was a doodle of a boy and girl holding hands underneath the conversation. She had drawn the guy. He had drawn the girl.

All of it came back to him. He smiled as he saw himself scribbling it, beside the empty glass of cold coffee and some spilled chocolate sauce. The brown on the edge of the slip was testimony to the playful tiff they had over sipping each other’s coffee. They didn’t care if anyone was looking. They were lost in themselves.

Copyright © 2015 Arpita Pramanick

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Day Three of Three-Day Quote Challenge

Yay! I am in the final leg of The Three-Day Quote Challenge. I was nominated for it by Debolina. A big thanks again to her for the nomination. I totally enjoyed doing this!

Today it is my turn to nominate three other wonderful bloggers. But before that here’s my final quote of the challenge:

Quote for Day 3 of 3-Day Quote Challenge

Quote for Day 3 of 3-Day Quote Challenge

Ever tried to have someone in your life who was hell bent to leave? What was the process of forgetting that person like? Is it only Time that heals wounds or does the Distance between you and the perpetrator of hurt count too? For the narrator of the story Elusive ( from Bound by Life, my first Kindle ebook), distance worked positively and helped him to forget his childhood ladylove.

But is the world so big that we can just forget and move on? To find out, you have to read Bound by Life. You can download the book here.

Now, time to announce my nominees!

My Nominees

Mr. Shreedeep Gangopadhyay  (The Violet Diary)

Ms. Swagata Mukherjee (Through my Eyes)

Ms. Jahnavi Chintakunta (Recharge your Day)

Dear Nominees, Please keep in mind the following rules for your quote-posts:

Rules for Three-Day Quote Challenge!

  1. Thank the blogger, who nominated you.
  2. Publish 3 quotes on 3 consecutive days in your blog. It can be your own, or from a book, movie or from anyone who inspires you.
  3. Nominate 3 more bloggers to carry on this endeavour.

Courtesy: Debolina’s blog

My heartiest congratulations to all the nominees. I am looking forward to your quotes. And don’t forget to pass on the baton on the third day.

Happy quoting!