Anuradha is offline. Messages you send will be delivered when Anuradha comes online.

Soumya kept gazing at the chat window of her month old friend Anuradha, and without giving a second thought scribbled something and pressed the ENTER key.

“I don’t understand why you are trying to end this when everything was going so fine. “

The chat window clearly reflected that the person he was trying to reach was not online, but today perhaps Soumya was finding it difficult to get a grip on his emotions.

Maybe I shouldn’t have insisted her to meet so soon, maybe I scared her off, maybe there is a power cut at her place, may be her internet pack must have got exhausted…or may she is just caught up with some personal work .


Fixing his eyes on the Gtalk chat box, his mind just got engulfed in the countless ‘maybe’s’ that might have prevented his online friend from responding a little late than the usual time. He was just about to log off when Anuradha’s username flashed green colour indicating that she was online now. His fingers started feeling heavy followed by a temporary numbness. Suddenly “love conquers all” sentiments ensued within him when Anuradha pinged him with a “Hi”! Before he could come up with a response she continued.

Anuradha: Gimme ur phone no. I will call u.

Soumya: When? Its 900*******.

Anuradha: Soon

Soumya: Soon? I need ur number too.

Anuradha: This is not the right time.

Soumya: So many days of continuous chatting, getting to know each other, investing my time and emotions on u…..and everything gets rusted with “SOON”!!!!

Anuradha: I told u that I am not willing to meet u at this instant, and if meeting is everything then I am sorry I cannot continue to talk with u. And nobody on this earth can force me for this.

Soumya: Ohh now I get it. You made a fool out of me for the past 30 days. Let me guess. Ur real age is not 30. U are either a fatigued old woman or an inquisitive young teenager who was looking for some cheap thrills. Nothing can hold your interest for long. Am I right? Wait…..are u even a girl? Ohhhhh god…..Y did I fell trap to this fakeness?

Anuradha: Y are u trying to harass me with your allegations? I already told that I will call u up soon so plzzzz cut the dramatic punch crap and be real.

Soumya: Spare me the favour of ur call lady. I have access to better girls in real life. Dis is the last conversation I am having with you.

With this, not only the Gtalk chat, but also the dream of moving forward with some romantic association with Anuradha came to an abrupt end. Soumya felt humiliated and deceived. He just couldn’t figure out that how could he allow himself to be fooled by someone who was not looking for anything concrete at all. At the age of 34, just having fun online with a stranger was definitely not Soumya’s plan. He was an average looking guy working as a software tester; he did not belong to the bunch of ultra-cool guys who go out all the way looking for love on the internet. However, the username Anuradha unknowingly became like a habit to her. Whether he was brushing, eating, working or having a drink, Soumya’s day did not feel complete if his phone did not beep after every 15 minutes.


Love is a bastardized term today. He kept repeating this line to himself again and again that night.

At around 5 in the morning his ear-splitting phone ringtone woke him up. But, he had set his alarm clock for 7 in the morning. He got up to remove the phone from charging point. It was call from an unknown number.

“Hello, Soumya??”

Listening to a woman’s voice at the other end he tried to sound fairly sophisticated.

“Yes speaking, may I know who is this?”

“Please don’t be mad. It’s Anuradha. I shouldn’t have called after so much of mess. I am sorry. I just wanted to get rid of this heavy thrusting mental weight that is killing me every second.” Even though Soumya was shocked, he felt relatively under stimulated because of the denial that he had to face last night.

“Tell me, what’s going on?”  A thousand thoughts raced through his mind as he asked this but he tried to be normal.

“Soumya, You were right. I am not 30 years old. I am 26. Few years before, while coming back from a college event, I was drugged and raped. I do not want to get into what life unfolded me after that incident, but I wanted to be normal. I mustered all the courage to continue my education again. But, the stigma of being a victim just didn’t leave me. Online chat rooms made me feel normal and lively. Then one fine day I met you and it felt I had indeed hit a purple patch. But…….”

Then she paused for couple of seconds. This pause was driving him more insane.

“But what? He asked.

“I started realizing that there was tad more between us than just being online strangers. A piece of me wanted to meet you. But frankly, I did not realize that you would ask me out so soon. I just freaked out when you did because I am very well aware that after knowing this your “missing you’s” would automatically get transformed to “this is not going anywhere”. I do not want to get into any relationship Soumya, but I also do not want to lose your friendship.”

Soumya felt like mayhem in his head. He kept quiet for a long time and politely hung up saying that he will get back to her SOON.


“Oh god. I am getting late. Please hand me my phone and wallet please.” It was an important meeting for Soumya today and he wanted to nail it anyhow. He kept sifting through his files while his wife got the breakfast table ready for him. Oh yes, his wife, Anuradha. She is 5 months pregnant now and is expecting their first child. They got married last year after seeing each other over dinner daily for nearly 2 years.

The only thing that worried Soumya about her past was that it had diluted her confidence so much that she did not want to get into any relationship or get married. Not because she did not have the urge, but she had contemplation drilled into her mind that she was not “pure” enough to be anybody’s wife. Soumya, just as a well wisher in the beginning, took the responsibility of making her get her over that fear. Only god knows what sparked in those 2 years that he finally knelt down and proposed to her for a predestined surrender into a joyful future.


Sometimes, it becomes necessary to spiral out of the calculative move and be more receptive to the emotional itch. The octopus of misery will always try choke you up with its tentacles at every stage, but it’s up to you how you expunge the dogma and put a lid on your melancholy. The right person will be your emotional anchor and add depth to your life. Being judgmental and putting label on people will only narrow your path of meeting reliable people in life. Because someone has rightly said that

“Every saint has a past and every sinner a future”

images (1)

P.S: All pictures are a result of Google search and I have no copyright over them


  1. Mancy says:

    As always, loved it. Wanted to read it more; especially those conversations. Got connected with the story, very easily and wanted to know more of it. You have shared a great thought. Totally loved it.

  2. Akshit Choudhary says:

    Very beautifully woven and pierced the very core of stigma attached to rape.
    Huge appreciation!!!

  3. Grishma says:

    Very nice and touchy!!!!

  4. Ratul Majumdar says:

    Beautiful ….. just speechless.. and touchy….. I liked it very much… and your writing is making a reader like me… who was never a reader even but now with times becoming a good reader.. thanks to you…. and want more writing from you… Thank you…

  5. soniek says:

    Wow! This is such a beautiful story, loved it!

  6. Anusia says:

    Very nice story. This tells clearly rape is not just physical but mental too.

  7. Rohini says:

    Too good my dear! Loved it!

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