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I ask, you write 11

Thank you for a great variety of stories. It's truly wonderful. Time for another question and hopefully, a whole lot of answers from you.

First it was red. Then yellow. Now it's red again. Why can't Shailu make up her mind?

Good luck with the stories. Please keep them short and post them in the comment section. Thank you.

Comments

A4ISMS said…
Shailu froze as she eyed her reflection in the mirror. She smoothed down the aquamrine dress she had picked up at Splash. No, she decided, nobody can say I am on the wrong side of forties. No one had better, she added to herself, after the thousands she had spent on cosmetic surgery! Mmmm! All those nips and tucks are worth it. She pouted at her own reflection and said, Sinful, Shailu… absabloominglutely sinful of you to look so young. She blew a kiss to her reflection and picked up her handbag.
As she rummaged through it, she ‘flashed back’ twenty years. As a twenty two year old combination of brain and beauty, she had the world…( at least all the young men of the world)
At her feet. Backed by her father’s wealth, she was the Paris Hilton of her area. She had painted the town in various shades of red then! And then, she had met Gaurav Kumar and had fallen hopelessly in love with him… enough to give up all her wild ways and tie the nuptial knots with him… The two of them had been the talk of the town… invitations to their parties the most coveted achievement.
Somewhere they had both sobered down and the wild shades of red they had painted the town slowly changed to yellow…changing shades and mellowing in brightness as their kids were born and they discovered new meanings and nuances to their perceptions of life.
Now her midlife crisis tormented her. The kids had grown up and gone away… Gaurav had turned into a garlanded portrait on the wall and Shailu had been desolate… When she realized that losing oneself in self-pity was hardly going to help, she had picked up the pieces of her shattered life. The cosmetic surgery, the VLCC, the shopping sprees had all been worth it. Here she was looking like a Katherine Hepburne rather than Audrey, smart, beautiful….mature. She was ready to paint the town red once more, wasn’t she? She was going to the Disco tonight with Dr. Shetty. She knew she wouldn’t ever paint the town in those shades of red anymore…no more scarlet, no maroon… no magenta…. Maybe shades of russet or terra cotta? She wondered. Somehow, she couldn’t make up her mind.
Anonymous said…
Shailu was a beautiful, intelligent girl. Beauty and brain is a deadly combination. This attracted lot of good looking guys especially Mr.Y.
Shailu felt that Mr.Y is the man in her life till the day she saw X rated pictures of Mr.Y and another girl in his laptop when she was waiting for Mr.Y at his home to get ready for a date. Shailu immediately left the place and stopped (RED) all the communication between Mr.Y and herself. She even sent him all the gifts and even the engagement ring.

But the thought of Mr.Y lingered in her mind continuously and she couldn’t take the breakup. All the beautiful dates she had with Mr.Y flashed through her mind. She thought to herself that Mr.Y was the perfect man and every woman would definitely fall for this Tall, dark, handsome, self made man who was highly successful. She also thought that every man has a past and thought Mr.Y should have had an ex girlfriend and thought of meeting Mr.Y and demand an explanation. She wanted to surrender herself to Mr.Y (YELLOW). She still was a bit hesitant.

Her friends came to know about her breakup with Mr.Y and took her to a bar to cajole her. It was there she saw Mr.Y with another girl so intimate and making love to her.
She immediately erased all the memories of Mr.Y (RED AGAIN).

She still feels that she should go to Mr.Y and ask him to marry her. Shailu couldn’t make up her mind because she loved Mr.Y truly and her love was pure. But how can she forget Mr.Y’s infidelity.

PS: I have compared Red, Yellow to Traffic Signals


K
monu said…
Choices spoil one , they say...yes, they really do.They confuse you and leave you wondering as to which one would be better.

It wasn't just Shailu, most of us are like that aren't we? give us a choice, and see our eyeballs rolling in our own eyes without our knowledge....

New toothbrush, blue or red or yellow? thats all you have? No more colours? most of us would go on....

Well, but you see, shailu was a little different. All her life, and that is only 11 years of it,she never did have any choice. There was just one good dress, one decent shoe, and just one of everything, and second of the same was redundant, coming as it did of her parent's measly income.

And so that day, when she got two hand-me-down dresses from the rich girl across the street, her parents totally didn't blame her when she sat confused, as to which one to wear.....
Shirsha said…
'Bloooonk, blonk..', The school van driver honked again!
'Shailooooo, can't you hear that? What is wrong with you!? Just leave the mirror and go, plz!' Shailu's mom yelled in frustration at her teenage daughter.
But Shailu, before the mirror, couldn't care less, though she did feel guilty for delaying everybody in her van, but still, see, the thing is, they dont understand, the red jacket, it is cute, it's like a riding jacket, and fit her well and she felt nice and warm in it. But the yellow one, it was tight and allowed her to show off her tiny breasts better, and how important that would be when she was going out with Aftab this evening, after school. Oh! she remembered, she must tell her mom about the 'play auditions' after school today!
Shyam said…
13 years is that exact age when a girl is no longer considered “little” and is not yet treated as a young woman. It’s the age when a girl usually tries to be older than she is, the drawback being that her reactions to everything are still instinctively childish. It’s the age when a girl can get her first serious crush – and not necessarily on someone of the opposite gender, because that intense but undefined feeling is the outward manifestation of a longing for things as yet only vaguely imagined. And that feeling is no less intense for being directed at more than one person at the same time.

That, in a nutshell, was Shailu’s dilemma.

She was going for a barbecue party with her parents. The idea of the barbecue did not attract her so much as the knowledge that two of the people she secretly most admired would be there as well. Jason and Sirisha. Jason, a godlike 16, a top athlete, blue eyed and black haired, who had been her neighbour for the last 10 years but had suddenly turned into a Greek God in the last year. And Sirisha, who was in Shailu’s class but was so trendy, attractive and worldly-wise that Shailu would have given her right arm to be like her.

She wanted to let them know how much she thought of them, but in a subtle way that would not make her stand out like a fool. Her plan was to give them each a perfect rosebud from the garden.

She had two of them - a red one, and a yellow one. She couldn’t decide, however, which one was for whom. The red rose for Jason, and the yellow for Sirisha. No, red roses meant love and she would just die if Jason laughed at her. The red one for Sirisha, then. But would someone think she was in love with Sirisha? In love with a girl? No no, the yellow one for Sirisha… but… what did yellow roses signify?

Shailu simply couldn’t make up her mind.
At first Ramesh had found Shailu’s indecisiveness endearing. He had thought it was her way of making him feel important. That she valued his opinion. She would call him up in a breathless quandary – “Should I make rotis or stir fry for dinner?” He would hear her frantic call from the changing room at M&S – “Do you think I need extra support?” Four years of “Should we go to Mallorca or Fuerta Ventura?” and tearful “Should we call the Swami’s over for lunch next week?”

Ramesh had decided enough was enough when she landed up at work in near hysterics because the stylist had asked her how she wanted her hair cut.

“Make up your own god damn mind Shailu! You’re an adult for God’s sake!” he’d bellowed that evening.

What a mistake that had been. Now he had to eat rotis and stir fry for dinner. She bought three pairs of shoes instead of one. And invited people he couldn’t stand over for dinner.

The living room walls were the last straw. One week red. The next yellow. And then red again.

Ramesh opened the front door, hoping that she’d finally settled on a colour.

“Hello darling! What have you been up to today?” he murmured as he hugged her close.

The yellow and red candy stripe wallpaper answered his question.
A red bindi would do she supposed. But she was wearing a chiffon sari in a lovely shade of pale gold. And that yellow bindi would look perfect. She stared at the pretty bindis all lined up like miniature Christmas trees. Hmm. Why not wear that yellow one she’s been eyeing forever but so hesitant to pick up?

The thing is, Shailu is scared of yellow. Ever since she was three and was kidnapped and held for twenty days in a dingy warehouse. And if she hadn’t been tied up, gagged and terrified right opposite an ugly yellow spot in the wall in front of her, she may have picked the yellow bindi without a thought.

And that thing with the yellow scarf in college. It got caught in a nail in the bus seat and almost strangled her before she choked out a weak ‘help’.

And of course the Dal Tadka episode on her wedding anniversary. Just when she had thought she had broken the jinx and had worn her new yellow-rimmed glasses to dinner. She couldn’t get the smell of yellow dal out of her hair for days. Even the waiter’s repeated apologies didn’t help.

So it was back to the big question. Red or yellow? Or red?

At last she decided to brave it out and carefully peeled off the yellow one from the paper and stuck it precisely in the center of her forehead. And smiled. It matched perfectly. She was ready to go.

Halfway to the party, their car broke down. Her husband flagged down a passing car, which just happened to have a maniacal driver who drove himself and his hitchhikers into a tree.

Her yellow bindi shone bright as the cops loaded the bodies onto the ambulance.
Coorgi at large said…
The revolution had finally begun…..
There was panic in jayanagar, and koramangala had already been won. Looking down at the sea of dazed, wounded and confused people, shyam felt for the first time what usually was the prerogative of generals and rulers; the feeling of absolute power .He was however brought rudely down to earth when he saw Shailu across the street. First she turned red, then yellow and then red again.
“why cant she make up her @#^$ mind?”
Shyam tried in vain to check the deep contempt and loathing that he felt for his elder sibling.
“How could she have any sympathy for the people who threw stones at her, who violated her on a daily basis, who ran over her parents making them orphans at a young age?”
It had taken him 5 painful years of meticulous planning and organization to reach this stage. And now, when they were on the cusp of victory, his very own sister stood between them and the arrival of the “glorious age”. An age when traffic lights will control Bangalore…..
Tangent said…
She had just taken up her job as the traffic controller ......

little did she know that her indecisiveness was cuasing mayhem on the streets.
The Kid said…
In her 30 years of service as lead of the elite bomb disposal squad, Shailu had never been in an accident. Somehow, she has always escaped the grim explosion that takes away life or limb. But today was different, she was not diffusing some RDX. Shailu had been assigned to diffuse the primary charges in an armed thermonuclear device.

Earlier the police had got a phone call about a bomb and they had located the device. The device had been moved it to a ship on the Bay of Bengal to minimize impact on the population. Now she had 5 minutes and a nuke to diffuse.

She removed most of the sheath and metal and was looking at the wiring. She deciphered the circuit board and all she needed to was figure out which wire she had to cut. The Red or the Blue. Shailu smiled. If it had been a movie, the audience would be sitting on the edge of their seats waiting in suspense to know about the wild guess the actor makes. It took her 30 seconds to find out that she will need to cut the Red wire and short a transistor to diffuse it. But Did Shailu want to diffuse it?

She had a 30 year itch. She had not seen an atomic explosion. The world had not seen a terrestrial detonation of deployment capacity fusion bomb. She had not even been in the vicinity of any explosion herself. Obviously she could not see this explosion if it detonates. She would die from the initial gamma ray burst, even before she could see a single spark. Red or blue?

Shailu felt very very naughty that day.
iamvisheshur said…
all her talent and work rested on this her master peice..she needed to choose what would go well with the height of the sea,the blue sky and the sand of this majectic shore she had closed to down to yellow and red first it was red then yellow again red she needed to sit and think it out she lay down on the sand and saw the beautiful sky it was mesmerising she added the choice needs to be mesmerising..
Chockalingam said…
When Sow. Shailaja, the daughter of Ramanatha Bhagavadhar and Mrs. Bhagavadhar, wed Chi. Zameer at a registered marriage office in Dombivili, the ceremony was sparsely attended. Apart from the fact that the Bhagavadhars, the traditional carnatic music teachers from Alanganallur, disapproved of the wedding in the strongest possible terms, Zameer was also on the radar of ACP Sadhu Agashe. So the wedding was strictly low profile. Even the registrar did not know he was performing an illegal intercaste ceremony of a muslim mafia don with a hindu demure damsel.

Sheltered from the bad elements since child-hood, Shailaja had chanced upon Zameer when she went to visit her elder brother Somasundarara Bhagavadhar's scintillating AIR recital in Shudda Bhairavi. Standing outside the studio in a half-saree chewing pottu-kadalai, Shailaja waited for her brother to send word. Meanwhile, outside the studio, ACP Imtiaz Siddiqui and ACP Jatin Shukla brutally gunned down Zameer's deputy Feroz in a fierce gunfight, but not before Zameer knocked off a few tullas with his expert marksmanship. Shailaja had never seen anything this exciting in her entire life, and she immidiately jumped into Zameer's open Benz and took off with the gangster.

Don Zameer was always on the run since his early childhood, when he had stolen a double-roti from his childhood chum Ravi, who had purchased that very roti after considerable sweat and toil polishing the boots of Don Samant. Since then, Zameer had sworn he will become a Don just like Don Samant, and make lots of loser bootpolish boys polish his dirty boots on the same Marine Drive where his childhood chum Ravi, now Inspector Ravi Verma, had given chase. All this running had left no time for the refined sensibilities in life, and Don Zameer was at a loss when his newlywed bride Shailaja Zameer asked for a nice wedding present. Taking the advice of his assistant deputy Thambi who was from the south, the Don and Shailaja arrived at the posh seafront shopping mall in Juhu, and headed straight to the newly opened Tantex lingerie store.

Shailaja was mesmerized by the colorful Tantex bras and Tantex panties since she had never seen such colorful inner wear in her ancient temple town of Alanganallur.
Shall I wear this red panty ? How about this yellow bra ? She pestered Don Zameer.

Arre, tu kuch bhi pehen le, muje to sirf utaarne ka hai, replied Don, and scooped her up in his arms.

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