Espresso Shots

the little room: a short story

“this is funny, isn’t it,” he said staring at her, his voice low, almost inaudible.

she looked at him trying not to avert her gaze.

“what’s funny?” she had to ask the question. the silence had to be contained, or else… she frowned. or else what, why was she so disconcerted? so… afraid? was she afraid?

“all the while… all the things we said. you said. i…” he paused and took a sip from his glass. it was whisky, she wondered how she knew it was whisky. diplomat, he’d bring along a bottle on weekends. he hated rum. the rest drank only that. even she, usually with a coke.

“i was so sure…” he paused again and searched for words, “did you ever think…? swati… you’re one of the stars, right?” he laughed slightly.

“stop changing the subject… say what you want to say, mahesh,” swati almost snapped, she almost forgot they were at a friend’s place or that they had met here, by chance, after nearly seventeen years.

“your voice still goes cold and hot when you’re angry…” he took a long gulp of his drink, “viren… do you remember viren… ever?”

swati felt a jolt in the pit of her stomach, or perhaps it was right at the centre of her chest. she reached for her glass. he watched her without saying anything. in the late evening light his brown eyes shone, they hadn’t changed at all, the same crazy brightness in them. he was thinner. so much thinner than she remembered. she could see lines beginning to etch around his mouth… his lips were firm, they were always sure, they felt good on her cheek. swati bade her thoughts to focus. she would get through this one, she promised herself.

“is the old house still there, mahesh? do you and anna go there often?” she asked, making sure she sounded like her usual swati narayan self. swati narayan, head of the drama department, oakridge high. wife of dr prem narayan, well established heart specialist in atlanta, mother of sara and siddharth, her fifteen year old twins; sara a tennis champ in school, sid just selected for a coveted science programme. swati narayan, forty five, married nearly eighteen years now, living in america for close to sixteen of those, completely comfortable with who and what she was today… that swati narayan. herself.

“you looked lovely sitting on the edge of the long corridor, laughing, your legs swinging wildly… barefoot…” he replied, “no… we don’t have the old place any more. the usual story… developers. it’s gone, become a six storey apartment building. no one in the family was going to stay in calcutta anyway, there was no point in hanging on.”

swati swallowed, an intense sense of loss passed through her. that long corridor, more a verandah, open on one side, rooms along the other; the tall doors with shutters, some in a wild shade of green, some in dull brown; the high ceilings with lacy decorations in plaster; and the little room at the end of the quaint row of smallish rooms, the outhouse near the entrance of the massive old home. they had gone there for a long weekend. most of them were actors, there were a couple of writers, and a very young assistant director. shooting had been hectic and nonstop for many days. finally, a break had come and about ten of them had decided to visit mahesh’s home. though he and his wife anupama lived in a flat in bombay because of his work, he went back to calcutta as often as shooting schedules would allow. not that a daily soap lead actor could get away much… but whenever he could. prem hadn’t been able to come with them, he didn’t have any leave.

mahesh’s mother and aunts had gone out of the way with the cooking and looking after… and after working as hard as they had for almost two months now, none of them was going to refuse all the good food and royal treatment. swati wondered why that tiny room had come to mind.

she’d been sitting there that afternoon, alone, they’d just had a large lunch. anupama had cooked a great mutton curry, everyone was full of praise… she remembered mahesh looking at his wife indulgently and enjoying her flustered but pleased look at all the compliments. anupama was a nice girl. swati had felt intensely out of sorts for some reason, she’d wanted to be alone for a while. picking up a copy of crime and punishment from the library room, as it was called by mahesh’s family, she’d strolled across to that room in the outhouse.

it must have been just a few square feet in size. yellow ochre walls, a diwan with a cream raw cotton spread at one end with circular cushions covered in casement of five different colours, the pink was really bright. on the opposite wall was a single bed with a dark blue cover, no cushions; an old book case sat by the window, some books and an ash tray on it; two alcoves were cut into the wall, an oil lamp in each, since the power still went off at times. the floor was covered with a coir mat. the single light had a shade made of fake mother of pearl. a low table in black was kept right in the centre of the room. mahesh’s mother had said, it used to be a stool on which you sat and cooked once, but now that the kitchen had been renovated, it had found a new life as a table. anupama was a smart girl, she had thought of the idea.

swati hadn’t switched on the light. the low branches of the tree outside blocked out most of the sunlight but even so a little came in through the lacy white curtains. that was enough.

she had been sitting in a corner of the divan, trying to read her book, shake off that feeling. the door had burst open suddenly. it was mahesh. he was smoking, the sweet smell of tobacco had stirred her. she had breathed in without thinking.

mahesh had looked at her through a swirl of smoke, a faint smile on his lips. for almost nine months now, she and mahesh had played the lead roles in a television drama series. a hindi serial. it had become quite popular, ratings in fact said, extremely popular. it was a romance as many of these things tended to be. they’d met on the set and become friends.

swati was about to reply when she’d felt tongue tied, an awkwardness had started to filter in. mahesh had grinned and murmured, “tum agar meri ore aise hi dekhti rahi, toh main samjhoonga tumhe shayad mujh se…”

(if you keep staring at me like that, then i’d think you have a…)

he’d paused, an innuendo in it, “paise chahiye, puja singh chauhan, bahut saare paise!”

(plan to get money out of me, puja singh chauhan, lots of money!)

for a second swati had not known what he’d meant at all.

then clutching her book tightly, she’d shot back, “aap apne aap ko samjhte kya hain, viren thakur! agar aapke paas paise hain toh mere paas yeh… dekhiye… dostoevsky hain, do you understand!”

(who do you think you are, viren thakur! if you have money, then i have… see… dostoevsky, do you understand!)

it had taken her a moment to realise he was quoting a dialogue from their show. she’d improvised quickly. they’d laughed. her ears were going hot she’d noted but hadn’t wanted to bother with it too much.

“when did i sit on the edge of that corridor?” the question was out before she could check herself.

“it was at night, the second night… way after everyone had gone to bed. you couldn’t sleep… you and girish sat drinking… i was sleepy but trying to be a good host i think,” mahesh was looking into his glass. girish was the show’s dialogue writer.

swati could feel goosebumps on the sole of her feet… a memory began to surface.

“you ran out and started dancing. girish was worried. then you went and sat down by a pillar, kicked off your chappal and sang a beautiful long song… in punjabi. i couldn’t understand a word of it… nor girish…” mahesh looked up at her, “your hair was open, you were wearing a skirt and a lose tee shirt… i didn’t want to…”

swati waited for him to complete his sentence. he didn’t. instead he sipped his drink slowly.

it had been a heer, she now recalled quite clearly, her favourite songs at that time, even now she hummed them. there was something so ridiculously heady about the thought of singing a heer in an inebriated state in the middle of the night sitting in that old house from another time, her hair open, her legs swinging, and mahesh and girish watching her, swati began to giggle.

“really, didn’t understand a word of the damn song!” mahesh shook his head as he said that, laughing as well.

she poured a little coke into her glass.

“swati…” mahesh’s voice had a question in it she knew. she knew him well… she knew the inflections in his voice, she knew what they meant, she knew what they wanted, she knew when he was into the scene, she knew when he was tired and she had to carry it a little for him just like he did for her, she knew his breathing patterns, she knew the smell of his sweat, she knew when he was hungry, she knew when he’d let his voice break or fade or float away, she knew him in ways only she could know him… and he knew her. it hadn’t happened by design. there had been no premeditation. it was work and they had done it in the only way they both knew. two actors who loved their craft, the only thing they’d ever wanted to do, who were willing to do everything they could to make their characters live, breathe, laugh, play, dance, cry, fight, cheat, betray… love.

“i had told girish, viren would never be able to say it like that… viren couldn’t… wasn’t him…” mahesh said after a while.

she remembered the scene without him having to tell her. viren and puja were standing outside, it was night, thunder and lightning in the sky. viren had just rescued her from a tussle with the villain. both of them had found it all too overdone. as she shivered uncontrollably, hair disheveled, clothes torn, he’d held her tight in his arms and whispered, “mujhe chhorke mat jaao, puja… i love you, puja, i love you!”

(don’t leave me, puja… i love you, puja, i love you!)

how hard they had laughed after the take. they’d needed only one.

“girish had insisted, ‘people want to hear it!’… he had then admitted, lead writer wanted it… channel was worried about ratings, something was needed… and so… confession!” mahesh shook his head.

“crazy game, isn’t it, mahesh…” swati looked at him amused, “but we pulled it off, kyun!”

“hmm!” mahesh sat back and fell silent.

“what was funny?” she asked after a while. mahesh said nothing.

“viren could never say it… you’re right,” she said.

“puja would know, she would not need to hear it…” mahesh looked up, “but maybe… sometimes i wonder…”

somewhere between taking the next sip and looking at the moon as clouds shifted away and hearing his words, she knew exactly what he wondered about. and she at last understood why her mother had asked her so many times if she were sure she wanted to marry prem. why it bothered her when the media hinted at an affair between mahesh and herself. why when she got married, she had avoided speaking to mahesh too much, even though the whole unit had come along for the wedding. why when prem had said he wanted to go back to the states she had felt so relieved.

swati let the silence linger. she didn’t want to say anything. she knew she loved prem. she always would. and yet sometimes some things happen.

he laughed out loud suddenly, “ever heard the term out of syllabus, ma’am?”

she felt him struggling with things. his voice was too flippant, yet that arch “ma’am” had dropped to a tender pitch… almost touching her skin.

he had always known anupama, ever since they were children. she lived in the neighbourhood. they were friends and then the relationship grew into something else as it happens at times. when he finally gave up his job at a bank and started his career in acting, he was already married to her.

“wasn’t supposed to be part of the script, not in the course… a question you had no idea you’d be asked to answer! out of syllabus,” mahesh took out a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and flipped open the top.

“still smoking?” swati tried not to sound concerned.

“viren was a good boy, a perfect gentleman, in fact. mahesh isn’t,” he lit his cigarette and inhaled.

swati listened to his breath, she used to do that often when they did a scene together, especially the ones where they fought…

“you inhaled with me… did you notice?” mahesh said as he exhaled slowly, letting the smoke come out. it formed wispy curls and rings and rose up, slipping away into the darkness of the balcony where they sat. everyone else had gone inside a short while ago.

swati felt something sting the back of her eyes.

“perhaps girish did right, perhaps puja did need to hear it…” she said.


i hope you enjoyed the story. “out of syllabus,” if you are a calcuttan or have ever lived in the city, i don’t think i’ll have to explain the meaning to you. most likely starting with an obsession about studies and exams, and panic at getting questions one wasn’t prepared for, the phrase has passed into everyday language and is used in jest in other contexts too. it means something that was not supposed to happen, but did… or even something that is not part of a plan or course… outside the normal range in essence. a house my great grandfather built and which was part of my life for many years has started appearing in my stories. i don’t look for any particular tales from there but if anything comes along, i let it. thanks so much for reading.

letters from 86q stories


indrani’s index


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    February 14, 2016 at 12:54 am

    very well carried thru…. you can almost feel like one of those in the story. Cheers

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      February 14, 2016 at 1:18 am

      hi jayanthi,
      🙂 great to see you here. thanks so much. i so appreciate this.

  • Reply
    February 14, 2016 at 2:10 am

    Loved it

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      February 14, 2016 at 2:14 am

      thank you, sharmila. 🙂

  • Reply
    Archana popli
    February 15, 2016 at 12:24 am

    The nostalgia one gets when we meet old friends and the memories that come with them ,and also the what if ? That we ask ourselves ,very well put ,enjoyed it

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      February 15, 2016 at 11:30 pm

      thanks, archana, glad you read this one…and felt its story.

  • Reply
    February 20, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Extremely well expressed.Syllabus is still an obsession.

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      February 20, 2016 at 5:57 pm


      thank you so much. yes, that syllabus.. 🙂

  • Reply
    Archana popli
    February 20, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    I read it and enjoyed it ‘

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      February 21, 2016 at 2:21 am

      thank you, archana. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 20, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    Sometimes somethings are meant to be but time and nature would nor favour you

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      February 21, 2016 at 2:23 am

      yeah, life is complex, we can’t always be in boxes prescribed for us, the feelings go here and there… just a moment in our lives can tell us things… we live at many levels… 🙂 thanks for always reading.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Hi Indi, I know exactly what ‘Out of Syllabus’ means… That was the most widely used excuse for lack of preparation and thus poor performance in an exam. Never our fault it was… It was always the paper setter who messed up. Laughing!

    Now the story… What ideas are you putting in my head? For some reason, and I don’t know if that was your intention, but I have the chills reading this story. Where is the line between reality and acting? Does that get smudged? If you are living in a role day in, day out… do you become it? Do you begin to love the love and hate the enemy? If you don’t feel it… can you convey it convincingly? And if you are portraying it convincingly, does that mean you do feel it in some corner of your heart? Is it only the character feeling the emotions or the actor? My brain is now teeming with all these questions. And the setting… These people felt familiar… I wonder why?

    The demand of the writer that Viren declares his love… I remember watching an interview clip of Sanaya and Barun… she was laughing and saying, the audience keep demanding more and more romance… At the same time I watched a video of the shooting process… Takes and yet more takes… again and again… this particular scene was where Khushi had coached Akash how to force Payal’s hand and make her declare her love… So he is talking to Arnav and saying that he will call Payal the number of times that Khushi mandated as she knows her sister better… Again and again they went over the same scene… The question is can you actually feel the true emotions when everything is so clinical? The final scene that we see is not what the actors are going through…The scenes are shot out of sequence… So how do they emote so well that we are convinced? Is that what acting is all about?

    Such a long rambling I apologize… But the truth is I am a little shaken by this story… the possibilities… the impossibilities… Nothing was ever said between the real people, only the characters… the real people are already in committed relationships thus not free to experience these feelings… Such hopelessness. Swati unable to pinpoint the reason behind her subconscious desire to move away to another country… they have full lives… though we know more about Swati’s than Mahesh’s… yet those feelings… Mahesh.. thin… so thin… They have met after seventeen years… probably will go another seventeen before they meet again, if ever… but there is the ‘khalish’… the unspoken might have beens… Their feelings or their characters? The million dollar question.

    I should probably scrap this comment and start from the beginning… coz it all seems jumbled to me… But I leave it because I think it is your power as a writer which has brought me to this state. Fantastic writing, Indi… I can see that old house… Lived in a similar one… These old houses had a feeling of serenity in them… a restful feeling that almost slows time it seems…

    Loved the story… But a more upbeat theme next time… maybe…

    P.S. You posted this before Valentines Day!!!

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      February 21, 2016 at 2:43 am

      so you know “out of syllabus.” 🙂 yeah sab usski galati hai.

      i loved your panic and your what the and your now what’s indi really writing here. 🙂 thanks for not deleting.

      shooting is a pretty heartless affair. and at times all those scenes are shot separately even, especially close ups (remember the ear of barun’s which was not his ear? hyuk) and by the time the editor is done with the piecing together of a moment it has moved many miles from the raw shots. so, yeah, acting, especially for a camera is really hard i feel, i can’t even begin to fathom how the actors manage to express intense emotion. even continuity is a problem… at times shots are taken on different days or after hours within the same day. madness.

      i guess the story could have been about any two people who are thrown together for long hours and can’t even begin to consider anything other than professional relationship for this reason or that. having spent many years staring vacant mind and thudding heart, eyes glazed, at two actors, doesn’t surprise me that the story got told through actors.

      sometimes in life a moment comes that you weren’t prepared for. it breaks limits set upon you by yourself even maybe… we are not the easy to harness and fathom creatures many would have us believe, my mind wanted to go and linger there for a while…

      that old house.. one that often scared me or made me gloomy, or suffocated me with its ways when i visited. i lived in it later not out of choice but because there was nowhere else to go.. never knew what the place meant to me…but now it comes to my thoughts and i see the stories hidden in it, popping out of musty mahogany cupboards, sitting on stolen rocking chairs, running down the long corridors, resting silently in a little room… i am trying to catch those stories as they take shape.

      don’t know, saman, what all this is really… why i write it… maybe there’s no need to know. just write.

      rambled enough? great to see you, sir. and thank you so much for all you say. mas as in mutual admiration society continueth. wonderful.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 4:10 am

    Thanks Indi for going out of syllabus(ha ha indeed a calcuttan thingy and surprisingly nostalgic) to those areas that exist yet are never explored…And the unnamed something between two actors of a popular serial…ah! You got that fluently…no one could know them as actors as well as they could each other…even the person closest to them in real life could never really fathom that essential part of their personality, those inner ripples, that outward flow, that was the ingredient of giving reel a feel so real…more real than the real that the world sees…this is painfully intravenous and sublimely transcendental. Beautiful nuances, all the little things that linger long after the story is read! Brilliantly felt my friend!

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      February 21, 2016 at 11:52 pm

      hi ritu,
      “this is painfully intravenous and sublimely transcendental”
      beautiful that sounds and yes, that is the emotion, the sense, the essence of this thing. i am so glad you read. while yes, my constant ponder on asr khushi and therefore barun and sanaya definitely is the birth place of this story, yet, somewhere it’s not about them… it’s about mahesh and swati. i enjoyed the way the story came about and created people and moments in my head… in that old house, in this impersonal evening verandah… and the room. thanks so mush and me super glad you enjoyed.

  • Reply
    Sabrina Z
    February 21, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    অনন্ত প্রেম

    তোমারেই যেন ভালোবাসিয়াছি
    শত রূপে শত বার
    জনমে জনমে, যুগে যুগে অনিবার।
    চিরকাল ধরে মুগ্ধ হৃদয়
    গাঁথিয়াছে গীতহার,
    কত রূপ ধরে পরেছ গলায়,
    নিয়েছ সে উপহার
    জনমে জনমে যুগে যুগে অনিবার।
    যত শুনি সেই অতীত কাহিনী,
    প্রাচীন প্রেমের ব্যথা,
    অতি পুরাতন বিরহমিলনকথা,
    অসীম অতীতে চাহিতে চাহিতে
    দেখা দেয় অবশেষে
    কালের তিমিররজনী ভেদিয়া
    তোমারি মুরতি এসে,
    চিরস্মৃতিময়ী ধ্রুবতারকার বেশে।
    আমরা দুজনে ভাসিয়া এসেছি
    যুগল প্রেমের স্রোতে
    অনাদিকালের হৃদয়-উৎস হতে।
    আমরা দুজনে করিয়াছি খেলা
    কোটি প্রেমিকের মাঝে
    বিরহবিধুর নয়নসলিলে,
    মিলনমধুর লাজে–
    পুরাতন প্রেম নিত্যনূতন সাজে।
    আজি সেই চিরদিবসের প্রেম
    অবসান লভিয়াছে
    রাশি রাশি হয়ে তোমার পায়ের কাছে।
    নিখিলের সুখ, নিখিলের দুখ,
    নিখিল প্রাণের প্রীতি,
    একটি প্রেমের মাঝারে মিশেছে
    সকল প্রেমের স্মৃতি–
    সকল কালের সকল কবির গীতি।

    So beautifully written Indi … So many unspoken feelings …. Instead of mentioning the couple who “inspired” you to write the OS… I will only mention parallel in another couple …Aurdey Hepburn and Gregory peck … They were so graceful and matured in their love for one another, that they never crossed the line … They remained friends till death , he introduced Mel Ferer ( her would be husband ) in HIS house … He helped her through dark times , gave her a butterfly brooch as a token of friendship/ love … When she passed away he was asked to deliver eulogy ( decided by Audrey herself , since she was dying from cancer , she had time to choose who she wanted at her funeral ) … He recited endless love ( by Tagore and Audrey’s fav poem ) ! When Audrey’s valuables were auctioned , Gregory peck bought the brooch back, he didn’t want anyone else to have the brooch…. Hmmm! ( loved reading you as usual ???)

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      February 22, 2016 at 12:28 am

      floored by that comment, saby. thank you so much. tagore in bangla… now who told this man to write so brilliantly.
      so audrey hepburn liked tagore’s endless love? and she and gregory peck (my hero sigh) had this intense relationship? i never knew at all. my mother never tired of watching roman holiday. and that moment when she pauses and says, “so happy” right at the end, and he stands and watches her go… why do actors have this vibe, more imp… how? you create two people and enter a world that no one else can enter… no one can imagine the feelings the two have, perhaps not even the actors.. mahesh and swati took shape in my many years of barun sanaya asr khushi gazing… and in memories of an old house… things run into each other. they seem to tell a story, i try and catch it. i feel this can happen between any two people who spend hours together in the course of work or whatever… something in us breaks out, escapes boundaries… even before we can know.

      saw naseeruddin shah’s ismat apa ke naam today. three one act plays, each has one actor narrating/enacting one of ismat chugtai’s short stories. hiba shah does “chhui muin,” ratna pathak “mughal baccha,” and naseeruddin shah “gharwali.” it was a joy. i don’t understand chaste urdu, but act it out and i get most of it, perhaps even the nuance.. i have read only one short story by ismat chugtai, an english translation, it was sassy and brilliantly written, she feels the subtext of everything and gauges even the slightest tremor of an emotion, then expresses it in words so apt, pithy. those feelings that she catches, they are all so there, to sense and be able to narrate them, uff. a beautiful tribute to the writer, the finest actors reading and acting out her stories, all words intact. the unspoken feelings… aren’t they were unheard epics are written?

  • Reply
    February 22, 2016 at 5:32 am

    All i can say is “out of syllabus” sounds like every bit course related as im use to know it but after reading this story i have a new perception, a new meaning to use it.

    Ture that they feeling in live was not planned, not by any of us and yet they feel for each other. But mahesh and swati left it as destined for viren and puja and went there seperate ways to live there planned lifes, only prepared for incourse.

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      February 22, 2016 at 7:33 am

      hi rk,

      great to see you. 🙂 thanks for reading. at times i guess things happen in our lives, we hadn’t really seen coming. and also it’s hard really to always behave and feel exactly the way you think you will. mahesh and swati as you beautifully say “left it as destined for” the two people they had created, had become for a while. and yeah, stayed within the course. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 22, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Simply superb dear.
    I always make a note to read you whenever possible. There is something in you that spreads in your stories. I don’t know what, and when i know our communication withers.
    so letit be
    Take good care of yuorself.
    All my love

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      February 22, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      thanks, anna. that is a sweet sweet thing to say. yeah, best not to know everything, what say. i really appreciate your reading my stuff. you take care too. see you.

  • Reply
    rhea sinha
    February 22, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    So you wrote one about those two who are always on our minds? No names needed.. Your story makes me want to believe this is how it will end for them.. Maybe one of them will read this and know that they should not miss an opportunity and settle for what’s possible instead of what can be.. Well paced.. And beautifully told Indi di. Sat at the airport and read.. And felt a little lost.. does evryone find their little room?

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      February 22, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      okay, so it’s really not about them 🙂 . rhea, thanks so much for reading, and i know everyone thinks it’s my fantasy about two real people… hyuk, not so. if there’s a story in their lives, it’s theirs and will take its own course. watching them and feeling things, the germ of the idea came about no doubt… but the story is squarely mahesh and swati’s heheh. in a way, this could happen to anyone, this slipping out of feelings from the neat little box that is presented to us… that we start thinking is the only way to feel. that little room has a space locked away from all that, pristine, where a feeling can come, even if not be acknowledged, who knows… yes, i think the little room is there, sometimes it finds you. sometimes you have to go search for it and crash in… sometimes it waits and no one steps in. ha… indi di bhabuk.

      • Reply
        rhea sinha
        February 23, 2016 at 11:22 am

        haw is that what people are thinking.. I was always thinking only about Mahesh and Swati (imagine my most innocent angelic smile)..

  • Reply
    February 23, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Really interesting story and I can completely relate to ‘ out of syllabus’ things happening in your life. Most of them stir you to the depths of your soul but then you end up wiser and more prepared for the ‘syllabus of life ‘ !

  • Reply
    February 23, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    I don’t know what I should comment! mahesh and Swati are none but barun and Sanaya. I really don’t know what will happen after 18 years. But the story is just like their story. When two actors have amazing chemistry or they have immnese compatibility or undestanding, they somehow or unknowingly become more than friends. And I belive baseless rumors never spreads; where there is a smoke, there is fire. I will not justify my believe, I belive what I see, afetr all I ‘m not a kid any more, especially Braun’s behavior during sanaya’s wedding strengthened my believe. Sorry for saying it so bluntly, but they indeed are more than friends. when the feeling is real and immense for each other, you can’t hide it for so long, somehow it reveals. not all love stories have happy ending like arnav and Khushi! But it hurts when two people who are soul mates have to dissipate their paths. I just loved this os so much, actually it made me cry.

    • Reply
      February 23, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      I meant two soul mates who are literally made for each other but have to dissipate their paths in different direction.

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      February 23, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      hi sohara, 🙂 thanks for reading. and stop crying, ladki… muaah muaah.

      okay, i must say this, i know everyone thinks this is barun and sanaya, but for me it’s mahesh and swati’s story that i wrote… yes of course watching barun and sanaya and feeling their chemistry was where the germ of this story was born, however i followed the stories of the characters i saw in my head. i have a special place in my dimaag (only) for barun as you well know, so, yeah, i see him when i write my lead maybe, especially his eyes. swati in my head, may be portrayed by sanaya, but a completely different from khushi sanaya. i was really interested in how feelings, human emotions, have their own way of slipping out of the box we create and try so hard to stick to or say we must, sometimes without even knowing why we do it.. i love the play of emotions and that’s what i was following. i am so grateful you enjoyed it so much.
      i know you have your deeply held belief about barun and sanya… and really their story will write itself its own way. to me they will remain a phenomenal jodi and two incredibly powerful actors.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Very delicately woven story. Engrossing screen play…the interplay of past and present…. “a stitch in time”.. that timing of anything could make things topsy turvy…the poor writer seemed to know the secret of “success” after all.. .. thank you..

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      February 23, 2016 at 10:24 pm

      🙂 indu, good to see you. thank you, so appreciate your liking the writing. i am trying to find my way, tell a story the way that really reaches me. i always find myself wanting… when you all read and feel things i am trying to convey, it’s a wonderful feeling. delicate. that’s how i wanted this to be… that feeling in them, heard, unheard, barely acknowledged is so lacy and wafting… yet sometimes it brings tears. i wanted to leave it pristine. hope that happened. yeah, the writer… knew… maybe he also knew without knowing.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2016 at 7:31 pm


    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      February 23, 2016 at 10:24 pm

      yoga, thank you so much. good to see you.

  • Reply
    February 23, 2016 at 9:10 pm


    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      February 23, 2016 at 10:25 pm

      hi, linsie… thank you so much. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 24, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Enjoyed it! Love the Calcutta bit, was instantly transported there. Cheers!

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      March 3, 2016 at 10:39 am

      hi anu, good to see you. thanks so much. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 28, 2016 at 2:07 am

    This is one aspect about actors I think no one actually takes into account but (not-so)surprisingly, you did not miss out on it. There were moments when I wanted to rethink if I have gotten their emotions right, moments when I wanted to reread just to ensure if it was the real them or the reel them speaking. OMG! You have literally managed to weave a spell with this one. Some firangipani chudail you are.

    I remember this one interview with Barun and Sanaya wherein they were asked if they often get carried away in their roles. Both had said it happens seldom and they take time to come out of the trance. Today, I understand what they actually meant.

    The old haveli reminded me of my Nanaji’s old house. Made me go all nostalgic. I should get a video made before someone demolishes it and constructs a 6-7 storey out there.

    Beautifully written Indi!! 🙂

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      March 3, 2016 at 10:38 am

      thank you, shruti… glad the house touched a chord. these stories are related i think to a house that rarely made me happy but was always there in my life.

      acting together over long periods of time is bound to leave a mark in one… working with a colleague closely in any field has its impact. this is a hard to define experience though i feel… you are becoming someone else, creating people, people who are intimate with each other…
      while barun and sanaya and my love for ipk set off the thoughts, the story is about mahesh and swati… the way it came across to me. thanks for reading and delighted it triggered an aha moment in you.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2016 at 8:08 am

    How did I miss this one? Its been a while since I visited the site. Beautifully written Indi di. And all those questions one has wrestled with in our own heads and collectively. What if?

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      March 8, 2016 at 8:41 am

      hello, lady k… great to see you.

      thank you so much. and would you believe me if i said i really wasn’t thinking of certain individuals we know who are just more than the sum of their parts (hahhaha bad pun) when together while writing this. the scenario suggested the ramble but story was about mahesh and swati. about feelings slipping out, about us not being able to constantly be who we are expected to be… my eternal discomfort with the too pat world we try to create and thankfully always fail at. 🙂 me bhayankar baddie.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2016 at 8:55 am

    🙂 I understand the collective minds went towards two who shall not be named!
    I think all of us have a few what ifs that we’ve faced in life, things ignored, things we let go, in the fear of rocking the boat…

    • Reply
      indrani robbins
      March 8, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      🙂 who are these two… hotey kaun hain yeh loge… do they think whatever we do we do because of them… shut up… get out. hyuk hyuk.

Leave a Reply