300 Days

13 July 2011, Wednesday, Day 1

Deep bumped into Kunal around the corner on his way to the classroom after lunch. It had been almost two weeks since he joined the Department of Social Work at DU for his masters. He was acquainted with most of his classmates but he hadn't made any friends yet.
"Hi!", said Kunal
"Hi, how are you?"
"So, how do like here?", Deep asked
"Good. You?"
"What about girls, who do you like here?"
"Nah ... I don't like anybody", then added as they entered the classroom "though, that brown eyed chick in our batch, she looks cute. You know, the one with curls, what's her name?"
Kunal didn't reply. Instead, Deep found him looking sheepishly at a brown eyed chick who stood staring at Deep in pure disgust.
"Kaavya", she said after a moment. This was followed by a very uncomfortable silence, after which Deep let out a long 'Okaaay', more to himself than anyone else, and quietly went to his seat at the back.

25 July 2011, Monday, Day 13

Kaavya entered the big room on the second floor for the department magazine meet for which she had registered. By the looks of it, most people were already there in the room. Shreya, the editor, was briefing them when she entered.
"Hi", she said picking up a list "you must be Kaavya".
"Good, please take a seat. I am afraid grouping has already been done and since you both came last", she said pointing at Deep, who was sitting at the back, "you're automatically the last group".
Kaavya gave a slight nod and took a seat beside Deep. He  passed her a smile which she didn't return. But by the end of the meet she was pretty confident that he would be a good partner, and that they could bring forth a good piece to get selected in the magazine group. She didn't make any effort to talk though, remembering his statement the other day.

"So, you have any thoughts", deep said after the meet
"About what?"
"About me!"
"About, what we should do for our entry yaar"
"Don't call me yaar"
"You're still hung up on that day. Puhleez ...  do you always fuss about petty things at length, or is this a special occasion?"
"Do you always annoy people so much or is it just a bad day for me?"
"Err... I think I am always like this"
"Good for you. Bye."

26 July 2011, Tuesday, Day 14

Deep noticed Kaavya sitting alone at the corner table, eating lunch. He went and sat next to her.
"Hi partner! What are you eating?"
"Don't call me partner, and I didn't ask you to sit."
He noticed an open notebook by her lunch. "You study even during lunch?", he asked without masking any disapproval.
"I am not studying, I am writing something."
"Writing huh?", he grabbed her notebook, "what're you writing?"
"Give that back", she started
"Ah, poems... really? Hmm..somebody's living upto her name."
She sat back, staring at him while he read it for a while.
"Hmm, you write ... really ... okay ... Kaavya Shankar", he said looking at her signature. "You know, I have a hobby too."
"I'm sure, you do", she said snatching back her notebook.
"Hey Shankar, I have an idea for our article entry, and I think it'll be completely awesome."
"Don't call me Shankar"


In their third magazine meet, Shreya informed them that she liked Deep & Kaavya's piece so much that she had already sent it for publishing. She just couldn't stop raving about the amazing photographs taken by Deep and the beautiful poems which Kaavya had written, describing them.

That Friday was what Deep would call the 'Swords Down' day because that was the day when both of them became quite famous among teachers and students alike. Such was the appreciation for their first ever article in the magazine that Kaavya just couldn't stop beaming with joy. That was the day when Kaavya put her 'swords down' and eased up to Deep. She was very different from her usual angry-girl demeanor that day.

Kaavya and Deep slowly became really good friends after that day. Actually they were the best buddies, attending classes together, bunking classes together, doing assignments, field projects, eating, all together. Some people even thought that they were a couple.

2 September 2011, Friday, Day 59

Kaavya and Deep were busy, hastily completing an assignment during lunch, as it was its last day of submission. Ira and Shom, the famous love-birds of their batch were the only others present in the room. When Kaavya noticed that they had moved on from their cupid talk to kissing, she couldn't control,

"Hey?" she called, it went unnoticed. She shouted again, "Hey, what do you think you are doing?"
"Kaavya?" said Deep, feeling embarrassed.
"Is there a problem?", came a reply from Ira.
"Oh, no. No problem. Please, carry on." said Deep. Kaavya eyed him.
"Yes, I have a big problem, if you two can't hold your horses, find another room and let them loose there, not here."
Ira was about to retort when Shom asked her to let it go and took her out. Ira anyway managed a remark on Kaavya which ended with a 'bitch'

Once they were gone Deep turned to her, "why are you so vexed up about it" he asked.
"Vexed up? We both know, that Shom is a double timing bastard. But I think you are okay with it, right? It's not your fault really, all boys are the same. Dogs."    

Deep knew all too well that if there was one argument he wouldn't want to get into, it was this. He knew that she would become angry and crude whenever there was an argument about relationships or more particularly about boys' real intentions behind relationships and love. He therefore, kept himself out of them.

It was also the reason he had long ago, right near the beginning of their friendship, written on his mind, the words, 'just friends'.

3 September 2011, Saturday, Day 60

Deep rang Kaavya's door bell when he arrived. Her mom appeared.

"Hi aunty, is Shankar home?"
"Which one, there are three in this house"
"Oh, I mean, is Kaavya in?"
"In her room", she said moving towards the kitchen.
"Ah, smells nice ... what's for dinner?"
"Palak paneer, still cooking"
"Great, call me when it's ready"
"You're one shameless boy... By the way, there's kheer too"
"Oh, thank you so much. I love you aunty"

Hearing Deep's voice, Kaavya came out of her room and demanded, "Why are you here?"
"Oh, come on! Don't tell me that you're still mad about yesterday... and we are supposed to do our Monday presentation together, remember?"
She went back to her room. He followed.
"Okay", he said sitting down on her bed, "say whatever you need to say first, and then we will start our work"
"I don't want to say anything, let's start already"

When they finished the presentation, Deep asked, "Hey ... why do you hate boys so much?"
"I don't hate boys ... I don't hate you"
"But, let's just say, if it were, you couldn't love me either. I mean, I don't see you falling in love with anyone, even someone you know very well, let alone a stranger." She went silent. For a moment he thought that she was going to tell him something but then all she said was,
"What happened to you all of a sudden ... are you okay? And where did this love thing come from? Get an appointment with the veterinary, you" and before Deep could say something else, she said that the dinner must be ready and they should probably go out.


Deep never brought up the subject again. Though he knew why he asked the question in the first place. He had started to fall for Kaavya. In the days and weeks that followed, despite his repeated attempts to remind himself that they was nothing that would come out of it, he only fell deeper in love with her. 

He started loving everything about her. Her smile, eyes, spectacles on those eyes, her voice - even when she was cursing and arguing, her very presence was enough to make him elated. He started missing out on conversations, being more quiet, and smiling, any time and anywhere. He had turned kind and protective around her instead or argumentative and carefree. Kaavya too noticed this weird change in his behaviour, but since it had only become better, she had nothing to complain about.

24 October 2011, Monday, Day 111

Kaavya was wondering why Deep didn't come for the test that day. It was an important test after all. She called him and learned that he was down with fever, so she went to his home later in the evening. Deep was sitting on his bed  playing games when she entered his room.

"Such a act, you are. I am giving tests and your playing games here."
"Fever 104, Shankar", he said stressing on 104.
"Really? What did the doctor say?"
"Nothing, he's gone mad. Wrote so many tests I can't even count, like I am going to go through one"
"You are, and I'll take you there, so be ready at 9. Okay?"
"No need"
"OKAY?", she said again
"Yeah okay, whatever you say"
"And what is that game, you're playing. Let me try too"
"Not your type"
"Just give it" she said and snatched the controller.


The next day, Kaavya picked up Deep from his home and they went to the hospital to get through long and tiring process of tests after tests. They finally got free around three when they decided to just go home and have lunch there.
All along the way, Deep kept tuning in the radio and listening to romantic songs. After five songs, Kaavya decided that it was enough and changed the channel,
"Hey, what are you doing", asked Deep, "it was such a nice song"
"Really, when did you start to listen to this crap?"
"It's not crap, it's all true if you actually listen to it, the lyrics"
"Ohhoho ... now you're freaking me out, don't tell me it's the fever"
"Just tune it back"
"Hey, wait. What has happened to you these past few days?"
"Nothing". Deep went red.
"It's not what I think it is, right. Tell me, is it about a girl?"
"Yes it is, tell me who is it about?"

Deep would think about it and curse himself indefinitely later on, for saying that one word. Maybe, it was the fever or the romantic songs or something entirely unknown which made him say it and what he thought he would never, when he said, "You".  

"Excuse me!!"
"Yes, it's about you. I am in love with you"
"Deep Menon,  you know I don't like these kind of jokes"
"Neither do I", he said looking straight into her eyes and a very uncomfortable silence fell in the car. Kaavya drove rest of the way pretending she was with a stranger and Deep, looking out of the window, thinking about what he had done. When they stopped at Deep's house, no byes were exchanged and they went their separate ways in a screaming silence.

1 December 2011, Thursday, Day 149

Deep had tried to call her countless times but Kaavya never picked up his calls. His messages and mails went unanswered. He had been irregular to college during that past one month due to illness. When he went to college that day, he didn't find Kaavya. He went to the magazine meet, which due to tests was scheduled on a Thursday that week. But when he asked details about their next write-up, Shreya told him that Kaavya had resigned as a member of the magazine team.
Later that afternoon, Kaavya came for a lecture, saw him sitting, and moved on to the farthest corner of the classroom and didn't look back during the lecture. After the lecture, she went out and Deep hurried after calling her name,

"Kaavya ... Kaavya, please stop, just for once. Please!"
"Can we, at least talk about it"
"What's there left to talk about, you've said enough already"
"Can't we forget it? Can't we go back to being friends again?"
"Hah ... friends? No, we can't. Do you even know what that means? I trusted you Deep, the only person after ...", she paused, "I thought you were different, but I was wrong. I was so wrong and so stupid. God!"
"But what have I done ... is loving someone that big a crime?"
"Now don't give me this bullshit about love. Its a farce, do you understand. Farce."  Deep remained silent.
"Did I ever made any suggestion, gave any sign that I feel something about you. You know very well, was it not clear to you. But you ruined everything"
"And please, do me a favour. Don't talk to me ever again."

With that she left and Deep just stood there in the courtyard, with tears in his eyes.

31 December 2011, Saturday, Day 179

Kaavya had been the kind of girl who kept everything in her heart, and dealt with her emotions, with her problems, herself. She had not told her mom about Deep the day she came home red-eyed when they went to the hospital. Nor did she tell her mom afterwards, whenever her mom asked about Deep, about where he is, she would tell her that 'he's busy these days'.

She woke up early that morning and lay in bed thinking about many things for a long time. She eventually drifted off to that incident which played in front of her eyes like a movie. The incident which changed her from a sharing-everything girl to what she was now, for ever - She's in her new school sitting inside a classroom with a signboard 11c on its door. There's a boy who keeps looking at her, smiling. She smiles back. The scene cuts to a staircase, she is standing with the same boy, on prefect duty. He proposes to her, she accepts. The scene cuts to an empty classroom, they are kissing and she could see raindrops falling on the classroom window. The scene cuts, they are on a very high ride in an amusement park, she's feeling scared and excited as the ride carries them to the top. The scene cuts again, she is at his home, in his bedroom, there is nobody else there. He's telling her that its perfectly okay for them to do it, and that she doesn't have to be scared of anything, he then starts to talk off her clothes and takes her to bed. The scene cuts, its the next day, he is avoiding her and sitting with his group of boys who are looking at her like wolves at a piece of meat, she is feeling extremely stupid and angry. The scene cuts again, she's in high fever, at home. Her mom's sitting at her side. At night, then she cries and cries and cries.
She got up and got ready to go to college. Each day after their last talk in the corridor, she hoped to see Deep in college but he never came back. She missed him terribly and cursed herself all the time for saying those last words to him. How stupid and hurtful she could be at times. She asked some of his other friends about him and they told her that he's been ill lately, in and out of bed. She wished that he would get well soon and return to college.

When she returned home late that evening, she found Deep talking to her mother. He looked very week and frail.
"Oh, there she is. See Kaavya, who's decided to turn up after all"
Deep looked at her and smiled for her mom to see. She smiled back.
"And why didn't you tell me that he wasn't well.", she turned to Deep, "I've been asking her about you, but she wouldn't tell me anything these days"
"Actually aunty, I asked her not to tell you. I didn't want you to worry"
"You should have let her. Look at you, you've turned into God knows what and now you're going, at least I would've come to visit you once"
"Going?" Kaavya said
"Yeah, he's going away somewhere due to his health. He called this morning and asked if he could have some kheer before he goes and I told him to come over at dinner.", she said getting up and going to the kitchen.
"Come, let's go to my room", she said to Deep. Once they were in, she asked
"Where are you going"
"Err ... just somewhere doctor advised"
"When would you come back"
"Don't know". They both went silent for a while. She looked sad and apologetic. And with what was going on in Deep's mind, made him close to tears already.
"Deep, I am sorry for whatever I said the other day, I shouldn't have ...."
"Please..you don't...umm...I'll have to go, I am sorry. I talk to to you later ". He hurried out with that.

15 February 2012, Wednesday, Day 225

Deep dreamt of Kaavya sitting on his bedside chair, stroking his forehead. He could see the love in her eyes but he wasn't sure what he should do now. The time had come and gone for that love.

When Deep woke up, he was too surprised to believe that Kaavya was actually sitting by his bedside, stroking his hair.
"Is this a dream", he asked nervously
"Haha, no. I am actually here", she said, hiding her tears behind the fake smile
"How'd you know about me..."
"I talked to Kunal"

The day before, Kaavya had asked Kunal about the place where Deep had gone. That was when she learned that Deep hasn't gone anywhere and that he was in fact in the hospital. She later went to his home, where his mom, first surprised to know that Kaavya was asking her this, told her that Deep was diagnosed with a rare lukaemia in late November last year and he was told that he had at the most, around five months to live.

"Nobody knows how and why did it happen to him. It had all started when he started getting fevers in October." his mom said. She told her that his condition had worsened by the depression he fell into, and was admitted to the hospital in January.

"Can we please be friends again", asked Deep
"We will always be friends ... forever"
"I missed all the fun we used to have, I can't even begin to tell you how much"
"I missed you, more than anything. I am sorry for everything Deep, I really am.", Kaavya had started to cry.
"It's okay"
"No, just let me say it ... I am sorry for not picking up your calls, for not replying to your messages, for ignoring you, for all those nasty things that I said. I didn't mean them. Not one of them. I was angry, I was stupid, I was ... I don't know what I had become.", she was now getting big hiccups in between her words.
"Okay, okay. Just stop, will you. Or I'll tell the nurse to throw you out." She let out a chuckle
"Throw me out? You want a tight slap, just tell me straight, you arse"
"What a Drama Queen"


She didn't tell Deep that day, how she had at last accepted the fact that she too loved him as much as he did. She realised it when he went away from her. It was he who made her happy each time when she was with her, no matter what mood she had been in. It was he with whom she had the most fun. It was he, with whom she shared most of her feelings and thoughts, without giving so much as a second thought of what he might think about her. How could it not be love what she was feeling, why would she otherwise be thinking about him all the time, despite being angry at him. But it was too late to tell him now. It would only be more difficult for him to go. After all the suffering he had gone through that depression which was only because of her, how could she hurt him more.

30 April 2012, Monday, Day 300

Kaavya woke up from the sound of her phone ringing. It was 3am. She already knew what news that phone call carried. Tears started rolling down her cheek before she picked it up and said hello.

The cremation service was held the same afternoon and was attended by a very few people. He had wished for his ashes to be buried by the neem tree in his small house garden. Kaavya stayed late at his home with his mother. When she finally got up to leave at night, Deep's mother gave her a letter. "He gave this to me a week ago", she said.

Kaavya went home, closed her room and sat on a chair to read the letter in the moonlight. It was full moon.

Dear Kaavya

I write this letter to ask you a few favours, please take them as my last wish and forgive me where I ask too much. Though I know you'd do too much too.

I know how you must be feeling right now. Alone and friendless. I know how hard it is to loose someone you love, someone so close to your heart. I've felt it for days. I also know that you deal with your emotions in your own way. You don't make your sorrow, anybody else's sorrow. You keep them to yourself. Please don't do that this time. You know, everybody needs a shoulder to cry on once in a while, even you.

Second, and this is very important, don't ever in any case, think that I suffered even one bit because of you. That I became sad or depressed following your refusal. No. I was just being a douchebag who couldn't accept death. I do now.

I know you loved me, and you still do. I saw it in your eyes. Though you didn't tell me yourself, it was still the most wonderful gift for me, to see that look in your eyes. Somehow, I think you won't talk much to other boys because of this and because how stubborn you can be. Kaavya, I hate to counter you today, but contrary to your belief, all boys are not the same. Some are good too, you'll know when you see them. 

And last, I must say that you are the most amazing poet I have ever met in my life. One who could see much beyond what we mango people do. So don't ever stop writing your poems, no matter what happens. And you don't know what your smile does to your face and other people's hearts, do spend this wonderful gift.

As a parting wish, I wish all the happiness that God can bestow on a person for you, and may you have a wonderful life ahead.

Your buddy

P.S: This was my entry in the HT-Penguin 'Love Stories that touched my heart' contest. It didn't get selected so I thought that I'd post it here. I know there is a sense of incompleteness despite the length of this story, when you read it. I guess it's because of me trying too much to make it shorter and shorter because of the word limit.


  1. OMG. Usama, this is absolutely wonderful! It was such a fabulous read and in many places, it reminded me of my very best friend who I lost to leukemia. I grew up with him and as far as I can remember, he is there in my every childhood memory. We never fell in a romantic love, but the bond and the love that was between us was strong and helped me beat all odds. He left me a letter too before he passed away. And it was that action of his that helped me face the days without him. Losing someone is very difficult and it takes a lot of time to heal that void. The void that I have in my heart will never be completely filled, but I am slowly and steadily accepting life without him.

    A moving piece indeed!!

    Just in case.. you'd like to read the letter I was talking about, here you go: http://www.ablogtoremember-abi.blogspot.in/2012/01/dear-best-friend.html


    1. Thanks a lot for reading Abinaya. And more thanks for posting this link here. I was overwhelmed and speechless, such was the post/letter.

      And yes, no matter how much time goes by, the void left by a person in someone's life doesn't actually get filled totally. Specially if that person was as good a friend as was yours.
      I wish him peace. :)

  2. Louved this one! :)
    Sincerity in characters, contemporary story and a moving ending. Liked it! :D

    Keep writing. It's always fun to read your stuff. Like the humor the most, plus the writing style. It's unique! :)

    1. Thank you Ashna. You have always been that voice of encouragement which drives me to blog and makes me realise, with each post, that I can be better. :')


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