spoon

And Then He Waited...

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There was chaos everywhere. A few people had gathered. Some baffled, some curious. Though I was standing a bit far from the scene, I knew everything about the incident. I was the only one who knew how and why it had happened. But there was nothing I could’ve done as everything was over.


**********


1


Four years ago, Abhilash and Manasvi were spending the happiest days of their lives. Everything was just perfect. Their career was going great guns; their parents had agreed to their relationship, there was not a single dull moment in their lives. They grew up together as neighbors, went to the same school, then the same college and were getting ready to spend the rest of their lives with each other. They were swimming in bliss.

It was during these days when Shashank came into their lives and their happiness got intensified. He was Abhilash’s old friend, but had lost touch with him ever since he had gone abroad to do his graduation. Now that he had come back he was very happy to be with one of his best friends. Shashank came from a filthy rich background. Abhilash had always liked him, for he was ambitious, well behaved, had good attitude, had good sense of humor and above all he was a person who valued friendship.

Over the next few months, the three of them met regularly. It was too common a thing for Abhilash and Manasvi to meet him once or twice a week. Whenever they met, they always had a blast. Shashank obviously brought more happiness in their already happy lives. He was a total party animal, and Abhilash and Manasvi were his regular guests.

A couple of months later, Abhilash got an assignment from his company and was asked to go to US for eight months. Though it made Manasvi sad, she was happy for him. “It’s just a matter of eight months, sweet heart”, he had tried to soothe her, but to no avail. She had just hugged him tightly.

The three of them had one big party before his departure. It was memorable for all of them. Soon came the day when Abhilash had to leave. Manasvi and Shashank went to the Airport to bid him adieu. Manasvi fought her tears for the nth time in 3 weeks. Finally he was gone. Abhilash and Shashank didn’t meet again until two years later.


2


Everything was going smoothly for Abhilash. Great job, a lovely would-be wife waiting for him to return home; He was very happy. But what he didn’t know then was that his happy days were about to come to an end - unannounced.

Six months later, Abhilash’s world came crumbling down when he heard the news on the phone. Manasvi had ended her life. He was so distraught, he couldn’t even cry. He had never imagined the world without her in it. For that reason, he still couldn’t believe that she was no more.

Life’s greatest sorrow is not when the person you love madly leaves you, but the very realization of the fact that you cannot live without that person.

He returned home from US, but decided not to go to the funeral. He had always kept her happy; he had always made her smile. Now the thought of seeing her lying in a morose atmosphere without life, let alone smile, sickened him. He wanted to remember her just the way she was – always smiling.

His life had come to a stand still. He was eating his heart out day after day. Nothing made sense to him anymore. He even wanted to end his life, but thought otherwise. There was only one reason to continue living: to keep her loving memories in his heart. As long as he lived, she lived too. He decided to start a new life.

And when he did, he did it with a new found energy. There was a delicious sense of repose in his face now. People close to him were a little surprised, especially his parents. He sensed it and said to them, “Phase of my dolor is over now. I am starting a new life.” His parents were just happy to hear that, for all they wanted was for their son to be all right. He got his job back and started working without a tinge of lethargy.

He changed drastically over the next year. He never brought up the topic of Manasvi again. He didn’t even talk about her on her Birthday or Death Anniversary. He lived as if she was never a part of his life. Though this bewildered his parents a little, they didn’t ask him. And he didn’t tell them.


3


Shashank was lying in the middle of the road, and was in severe pain. He had almost passed out when someone came to his rescue. It was around 11pm. He at first couldn’t recognize the face properly, for his vision was blurred. But when he did, he was more than surprised.

“What the hell happened to you, man?” asked the rescuer.

“I… I….,” Shashank couldn’t talk.

“Ok. Don’t say anything. Let me take you to the hospital first. Just stay strong, all right? Come on, let me pick you up. Put your hands around my shoulders.”


********


Shashank later told Abhilash that someone had hit him on the head with a steel rod, then robbed him and left him to die. Though a complaint was registered, the police couldn’t find out the culprit. But one good thing came out of it: the incident brought the old friends together again.


4


Both of them started meeting regularly after that. In spite of not having kept in touch for quite a long time, they realized that nothing had changed between them. But they still cursed themselves for not being in touch. But that was inevitable. A couple of months after Abhilash had left for US; Shashank too had left for Australia to take care of his father’s business. Both of them had got very busy in their own world. Now that they were together, they lived each moment as if it was their last. Abhilash started enjoying his life like never before, and without a doubt Shashank was the cause of it. Abhilash’s parents were very happy about it and treated Shashank like a son.

After a few months Shashank finally scrounged up some courage and asked about Manasvi. Abhilash said upon asking, “She is still alive in my heart, man. But you know I have to leave everything behind and move on with my life.” Shashank never asked anything about it after that, as he knew it would only make his friend melancholic.

Every day was a party. Weekends were a festival. Restaurants, pubs, bars, discotheques, there was not a single unexplored place in the city. It was an unalloyed pleasure.


********


Another one and a half years passed by and they continued having fun. One day Abhilash had to leave for Delhi for a couple of days on an assignment.

“So when are you returning?” Shashank asked.

“Well, I should be back by Saturday.”

“All right, man. Take care.”

And Abhilash took his leave.


5


Shashank had the habit of jogging very early in the morning. He woke up at 4 am daily and hit the Joggers’ Park by 4.30 am. After jogging for one hour he would go to the gym and be home by 7.30 am. On a Saturday morning when he reached the Joggers’ Park at 5am, he met with a surprise. Abhilash was waiting for him in his track suit.

“Hey, what a weird surprise!” Said Shashank.

“Yup.”

“When did you get back, Abhi?”

“At around 3am. Couldn’t sleep. So thought of starting a new habit by coming here.”

“That’s wonderful, man. Come on, let’s jog.”

And they started jogging.

“You know, usually at this hour, there won’t be anybody here. The park starts to fill in after 5.45 or 6am,” said Shashank.

“I know. Which idiot, apart from you, wants to get up so early in the morning? And that too in the month of cold December

“Yeah right.” Shashank laughed.

After jogging for another 5 minutes, Abhilash asked, “Can we take some rest? I am tired.”

“I’m not surprised. This is your first day. Well, ok. There is a huge tree nearby. You can rest there, while I do my exercise.”

When they reached the tree, Abhilash asked, “Hey, Shashank, did the police find out the guy who attacked you two years ago?”

“No, man. Not yet. And I think they have completely forgotten about that case. But why did you remember it now all of a sudden?” Shashank asked while leaning against the tree.

“Well, I was wondering for the past few days if the Police can’t, I can find out who did it.”

“Really? How?” Shashank was curious.

But before Abhilash could answer, Shashank held his stomach and let out a sharp scream. It was a scream filled with horror and pain. He was in so much pain he couldn’t even say anything or scream louder. He couldn’t interpret what was happening.

Abhilash’s heart palpitated when he looked at Shashank’s horror stricken face. Never had he seen his friend in so much pain before. He was incapacitated for a minute. There were tears in Shashank’s eyes now and he signaled Abhilash to look down at his stomach. Abhilash took a look. A thin sharp steel blade of knife had passed through Shashank’s stomach and blood was oozing out continuously.

Although Shashank, his best friend, was bleeding to death, Abhilash at that particular juncture was not so eager to call for help – because the handle of the knife happened to be in his hand…


6


“How does it feel, you filthy skunk? How does it feel when death comes unexpectedly? How does it feel when a trusted friend betrays you?” Abhilash was talking in a menacing voice.

He then pulled the knife out of Shashank’s stomach and pushed him on the ground implacably. Shashank sagged down by clutching his stomach. He still looked befuddled. He finally managed to ask, “Why?”

“You are still confused, aren’t you? You should’ve seen it coming, you bloody monster.”

“Don’t…do this to…me,” Shashank managed to say, clearly his bemusement turning into trepidation.

“Oh, really? You don’t want me to do this to you? After all that you did to Manasvi when I was not here? After you made her fall prey to your lascivious desires? After all that physical and mental harassment she suffered from you? After she was forced to take her own life? You expect me to leave you alone?”

He paused for a moment and continued.

“You thought I didn’t know, huh? I always knew. And do you know who attacked you two years ago? It was I, but only to help you later. I had to get back in your circle of trust, you see.

Shashank was clearly stunned to hear this. He couldn’t get a word out of his mouth. There was a minute of silence. Then Shashank asked, “But why…..after all these…. years?”

“I was waiting for you to ask that question, you miserable twit,” Abhilash said as he punched his face again. Shashank gave a sharp cry.

He continued, “You see, like comedy, inflicting pain on your enemies is all about timing. And now is the perfect time. You are alone. You are lying helplessly on the ground. You are begging for your miserable life. When she died, she at least had me to avenge her. Whom do you have?” he paused for a moment and said, “Nobody.”

He then brought the knife to his throat. When Shashank felt the coldness of the steel blade, it scared him more than death itself.

“No… Please don’t do this… to me…,” Shashank begged again – for the last time. But he didn’t know he was speaking his last words. Abhilash tightened his grip on the knife.

“I waited for this particular moment patiently. And now, my wait is over,” Abhilash said, and slit his throat.

He stood there for a few minutes looking after the dead body while his hand still held the knife. He then looked towards the sky and kept looking at it as if he was trying to find something – or someone? That day marked Manasvi’s 3rd Death Anniversary.


**********


It was around 6.10am. More and more people started gathering around the body. I was still observing the ongoing activities from a distance. Ironically, those activities were not called matutinal.

I didn’t need to ask a doctor to know how the man had died, so I didn’t call a doctor. There was no way the Police could’ve figured out who the murderer was and the motive behind the murder, so I didn’t call the Police. There was nothing I could do to change the circumstances, so I walked away.

I reached my bike, which was parked outside the Joggers’ Park; kick-started the engine and rode to the reservoir dam that was just around 5 kms away. The dam was approximately 40 mts in height. Once I reached there, I got off my bike, and went and stood near the barricade facing the east side. I stood there for a minute with my eyes closed and reminisced on my past. I then took out the blood stained knife from my jacket pocket, looked at it for a few seconds, and threw it into the reservoir.

I stood there in total silence of the virgin morning. A while later when the golden rays of the Sun fell on my face, it was crystal clear to me that she was smiling. And I smiled back.


********************The End********************


Copyright © Karthik 2009


Comments (55)

There's an award waiting for you in my blog. Please pick it up :-)

Will read this post later.

A great story. But this time I had guessed the plot :)

I too am going to be a fine storyteller... am on my way :)

That was super-intense and so well brought about... had me stilled for a few moments even after the story was over. Too good, Karthik!

You are churning out fictions day by day!!
Narrated well as usual....I would agree that the police wont find out the who it was as its fiction :-)

But I knew it coming..:-D

Wonderful narration as usual... I see a future Chetan Bhagat in you!!! Keep it up!

This was wonderfully well told! You are quite a good story teller. :)
This must have taken really long to write...:)

Really a nice one...I thought the story would end when Shashank was attacked first...but that would have been too normal for a fiction by u...the fact tht the story went ahead was a real twist....

Keep Writing.....

Merry XMAS.. :)

Good one Karthik. Though I could guess the ending it was told very nicely and flowed so effortlessly. You sure are a good story teller and a prolific one at that :-)

PS : "It was an unalloyed pleasure. " ? Smiled at the little symbolism/self-reference ;-)

Very well narrated. Again, I didn't feel it was lengthy.

@ Insignia
Hey that's nice to know. Will claim it soon.
Well, stories are all that's coming to my mind nowadays. And about the police: this was written a looooooong time ago. The original version is 5000 words (approx). I'd given explanation to every thing; the perfect alibi, and all. Now, I had to cut some slack for the blog. So decided to keep only the meat of the story. :)
Glad you liked it. :)

@ Roshmi
Thanks a lot.
Oh,yes. You'll make a great story teller. You have so many facts with you. You surely can a weave a story around them. I am waiting for that day. :)

@ Guria
First time here. Welcome! :)
Coming from a great narrator like yourself, that was a great compliment. Thanks a bunch. I'm super glad you liked it. :)

@ sihys
Thanks man.
But no thanks on the comparison part. I don't like comparisons.

@ Ashley
Hey that was a nice compliment. Thanks!
Well, I took two days to write it. One day planning, one day writing. So not too long. :)

@ Urvashi
It was pretty simple plot. The cliched revenge story. But I had to try something else to make it readable. Glad you liked the change.
Thanks a lot. Merry Christmas! :)

@ Madhu
I was eagerly waiting for your comment. :)
Well, this was an experiment. You might have observed. I've used both 1st person and 3rd person narrative. I wanted to try and see how it would turn up. Rest all is too simple. Nothing new. Same old haavina dwesha kinda kathe. :-)
And that was such an effusive compliment you gave me. Thank you so much.

You observed the phrase? ha ha.. :-) You know, this was written long before I started my blog. I only posted it now. So URL is from this story itself. :-)
Thanks again. Merry Christmas! :-)

@ Nethra
Thanks a lot, Nethra. Glad you didn't find it lengthy. :-)

I guessed the plot..not because it was obvious but because the unexpected is expected from you and thus its an engaging exercise to try guessing your story up ahead. The story still was well written, with emotions loaded and packaged with great care.

Enjoyed reading it.

Keep up the good work..

hey Karthik, very few stories are nice even though they ain't cliched - my opinion..lovely plot, beautiful narration, very nice story..

btw, I would have preferred them doing yoga..jogging se better hota na :P

super duper good!!!
I just love the way you narrate a story... i can visualize the entire scene as am reading it...
Keep it up.. the wait for your posts is always worth it...

@ Meenakshi
There are only three characters, so I didn't actually try to make it a suspenseful ending this time. It was more of an experiment as you observed. I'm really glad you noticed it. Thanks a lot. :-)

@ Neha
Thank you so much, Neha. That was a great compliment. :-)
And man! Yoga!! I laughed like hell. That wasn't expected. hehehe.. :D Superb timing!
Anyways, thanks again. :-)

@ Tanmaya
Aha! Talking as if you read for the first time. ;-)
Well, thanks a lot. I'm glad you liked it. :-)

Hey that's called some wonderful narration!
The plot was easily guessed at the beginning but the way it was wrote does hook the readers till the last word.
5000 words?!!I wanna read it all :~P

Wow..another good story from you :) The way you split the story as 1, 2 , 3 n all is good :) Was hooked to story till end :)but frankly found your other stories much better than this...

Hey Karthik,

I hope you wouldn't mind me pointing out a few stuff which I found could've been done differently. Of course, my amateur background may not provide accurate judgments, but if you think they make sense please do let me know about them.

1. There is a difference in saying "They were very much in love with each other." and "They were in love with each other.". The first sentence depicts uncertainty and is a give away of the plot.
2. This sentence "They were absolutely swimming in bliss." The adjective I thought is quite unnecessary or is placed wrongly. It would've been better off told "They were swimming in absolute bliss." The latter fortifies the "bliss" factor.
3. Authorial voice is quite dangerous for a short story. And here it is, "Manasvi fought her tears for the nth time in 3 weeks." I guess it is your background that makes you use the phrase "nth time." :-) Believe me, I am a victim too.
4. Shashank came to India and they partied together for one and a half years. But, you told Shashank went back to Australia to manage his father's business. I don't think it is a plausible scenario for him to be staying out of it for such long intervals. I guess you missed something here. It causes a disconnect. Perhaps he came to India to extend the business, or something like that.
5. In this sentence, "because the handle of the knife happened to be in his hand…" I think you should reconsider "handle of the knife".
6. "Shashank sagged down by crutching his stomach." Did you mean clutching?

The plot is spine chilling. But, your clues, hints must lead the reader towards certain conclusions. Chapter 6 just jumped out of nowhere, really. I was wondering when did this happen? Because, none of your previous chapters served as a base for what came here.

I am no expert, but I am only sharing some of my views with you. You have taken pains to write this and I want your efforts to be recognized.

All the best. Keep writing.

Cheers,
Vittal

@ Archana
Thanks a lot, Archana. I'm glad you liked it. :-)

@ adreamygal
Thank you so much. I appreciate it. And yes, even I think my other stories are better than this. :-)

I did not compare, sorry if you felt offended. But there are lots of similarities in the narration. So just expressed my thought. Anyways, good luck for future!

@ Vittal
First of all, I want to thank you with all of my heart for taking time and correcting my mistakes. You haven't the vaguest idea how glad I am.
1. I am not sure about it as I've come across this particular sentence many times. Honestly I've no idea how it depicts uncertainty. But I shall take your word for it now and change it.
2. I agree. The adverb 'absolutely' doesn't make sense here. Your point made it clear. I now understand it well.
3. I shall avoid using the phrase 'nth time' from now on. But didn't really get your point. "Authorial voice is quite dangerous for a short story." If possible please explain again.
4. I totally agree with this. Original version of this story has 5000 words (approx). I'd explained everything clearly. There was no room for confusion then. But now I had to cut some slack for the blog. So yes, I agree there are some loop holes. This also holds good for another observation you made on chapter 6.
5. I shall surely reconsider that sentence.
6. Oh, this was a typo. I meant clutching of course. I've corrected it now.

This story was written 7-8 months ago. I had just started writing then. I now realize that this has seriously gone wrong. :-)
One thing though. Didn't you find any mistakes in my other two stories? If there are, please let me know. Either in the comment section or through mail: karthik.fanatic@gmail.com
I know this is too much to ask for, but just in case if you happen to be free, kindly do so.
And also read my other story 'Hunch' in your leisure time.
Once again, thank you so much. I really appreciate it. I hope you'll continue this nice gesture in the future as well.
Cheerios!

well..
everybody felt it..
same for me..

I felt this was immature from you..
from comments, now I know that it was written before you became "expert"

till the point when Shashank stammered "I..I.." it was all too easy to guess...

and then u caught me off-guard :P
i thought perhaps, u lead us into trap by portraying Shashank as villain, only to reveal how it was someone else :P

in the end, I just couldn't think how you would write only a simple-plot story :P

don't think am dis-discouraging you..

this only points how far you have changed yourself and how much of expectation we have as a reader...

as usual your narration was gr8...

I just wonder how you put it in such a way that the user can comprehend them so easily.. after finishing the story.. it seems as though it took only abt a minute to finish... it is just very compelling to read it once started...

Karthick, there is a surprise waiting for you on my blog! Check it out!

Won't rate it as one of your bests...but anyhow it kept me hooked till the end...
That's the kind of writer you are and the expectations are always high on this side..so u c..:)

very nice!! .. loved the end !!!

@ Sundeep
I agree with everything you've said, except that I never tried to make it a suspense story. There are only 3 characters and one of them dies. So never intended to be a suspense tale.
And Sundeep, before I became an 'expert'???????
I'm still learning abcd in writing. But hope to become an expert someday.
And I never get discouraged. So don't bother about it and say whatever you feel like saying. You'll only be helping me.
Rest of the things you've said, it's true. There are some loopholes in the story.
Will take care about these things in my coming stories.
Thanks a lot, man. I appreciate it. :-)

@ sihys
Not a problem. That's all right.

@ Rhythm
Well, even I feel that it is not my best, not because this is not liked by many, but I felt it too when I first wrote it. :P
Will try and improve upon it.
Thanks you so much. :-)

@ bedazzled
Thanks a lot. Glad you liked it. :-)

Hey K! Better late than never ;) Thumbs up for narration! You have this innate ability of weaving the story like a spider weaves its web. And once the readers enter it, they get to look at the world you've created! And a lovely one at that! As for the loopholes, they've been clearly discussed by you with fellow blogger so let me not be repetitive. All I want to tell you is, stay connected with this wonderful writer in you, come what may...Wishing you the best of luck!

You had me the whole way - at first I was sure an affair was about to happen. Then I thought she just committed suicide. I did not expect the ending. Good job - great setup
I liked it a lot!

Hi, I came to your blog accidentally. But, thoroughly enjoyed the story you have written. Thanks for sharing it. Keep rollin'

Yet another intense story! I guessed the plot about Abhilash wanting to murder Shashank but that doesn't make the story less interesting. Made for a nice read. May be you should write a script for a movie! :)

Good story, penned beautifully. You might not know... There's a Malayalam movie with same storyline. Scenes differ though. The hero dies and it is the heroine who finds out who killed her love. I think it was called Mazhavillu

Like i said before, it kept me hooked till the end but as the story revolved around only 3 characters and Manasvi's attempt at suicide without a reason, did give away the clue, somehow that it could be only Shashank.

I am not saying, it was quite obvious. I am saying that more characters involvement could have diverted me to suspect different ppl, as a reader.

As Vittal has pointed out many 'to-do changes', my work is reduced anyways:)

These kind of stories, which now, you have written, are , not of one post type, you know! Though u r clever to keep the plot with you till the end, sometimes you need to put more of story to make connectivity with the reader.

Suppose, the intimacy between Abhilash and Manasvi or the friendship between the three, for instance.


One more thing.. the initial part and the last part had 'I' which is, Abhilash i suppose. The perspective is changed here from third person to first person.

Though Story was ok types, you gripped me very well :)


I am not sure, whether i deserved to say all that what i said above..

Cheers
Mahesh

@ Raksha
Thank you so much. That was very encouraging. Narration! That's all I'm concerned about right now. The plots will come, but what good is it if I don't know how to narrate? I'm still in the practicing mode of writing and I hope I will keep improving myself.
Thanks again for those lovely words, Raksha. :-)

@ Grayquill
Thanks a lot, sir. I'm elated really. Glad you liked it. :-)

@ Manan
Welcome to Eloquence Redefined. :-)
Thank you so much, man. I'm happy you liked it.
Keep in touch.

@ Destiny's child
Thanks a lot, dudette. I'm really glad you liked it.
And script for a movie???? Whoa! Let's see. But I'm more inclined towards writing novels in the future.
Thanks again. That was a great compliment. :-)

@ Holy Lama
Thank you so much. You are right. I don't know much about malayalam movies except that Mammootty and mohanlal are superstars. :-)
I'm really happy it reminded you of a movie. Thanks again. :-)

@ Mahesh
It's just a cliched story, dude. As I've already said to a few blog buddies above, I never intended to write a last minute suspense story. The setting, the characters, the plot, everything is cliched. This was experimental. In fact all my stories are experimental.
The only thing I'm concerned about right now is the narration. 'How well can I tell a story?' This is the only question I ask myself. Blogger is just a tool I'm using to hone my writing skills. Nothing else.
Did you get distracted while reading this story? If your answer is 'no,' my purpose has been achieved.
And the thing you mentioned about 1st person and 3rd person narrative: this is exactly what I wanted to try - using both styles. It's one of the effective ways of story telling. It doesn't work all the time of course, but suits well sometimes. Read R. K. Narayan's 'The Guide'. You'll know what I mean.
And yeah, I agree that the story has some loopholes. Trust me you wont be disappointed next time. :-)
Thank you so much, Mahesh. I really appreciate it.
Cheerios!

Eventhough the plot was predictable i enjoyed the presentation. Good work Karthik.

Thanks a lot, Sivi. I appreciate it.

loved it! The plot held my interest throughout. and it was nice to see two narrative modes used in the same story. good job :)
btw hosa varushada shubhashayagaLu :)

Heyy thank you so much, Shruthi. I'm happy you liked it. Using two narrative modes is all I wanted to try in this story. I'm glad you noticed it and liked it too. :-)

Dhanyavaadagalu!
Nimagu kooda hosa varshada haardika shubhashayagalu. :-)
Punaha banni. :-)

You got tagged!You are free,do it. Orelse itzzz alrite :)
But yeah love to see your answers.

Happy New Year!!!

have a fantastic New year

Happy New YEar!!
YEah I'm kind of following SOrcy to wish everyone around a hapy new year :)

@ Sorcy
Thank you so much, dude. Wish you the same. :-)

@ Archana
Thanks a lot. Same to you. :-)
And I'll try to do the tag some day.

Looks like you have a great fascination for mystery and thrillers.
And your fascination manifests really well. You are able to keep the readers heart palpitating throughout and then give a subtle and sudden jerk at the end.

Enjoyed the read and cannot help wondering if Abhilash was able to face the "virgin morning" with a troubled conscience.

You are right, grace. I have a great fascination for mystery, thriller and also action. This is the reason I prefer Frederick Forsyth, Robert Ludlum and the lot to Chetan Bhagat or Erich Segal.

Thank you so much. That was a tremendous compliment. I'm elated. I'm happy you liked and enjoyed reading. :-)

And Abhilash WILL face the morning without a troubled conscience, as he has had his vengeance. It's all too filmy you see. :P

Hi Karthik,

I am here for the first time. I liked your narration. This story kept me glued to the screen till the very end. I have written a short story in my blog. Please do check it out. I invite your comments.

http://tanuspeaksonline.blogspot.com/2009/11/anything-for-happy-married-life.html

@ Tanushree
Welcome to Eloquence Redefined.
Thank you so much. That was a great compliment.
Sure I'll check out your story. I'm a litttttle busy these days. But will do it once I get free.
Thanks again! Keep visiting.

I was going to say, nice work, but then I heard this is not your best, so I will reserve those till then, until I read the others....needless to say, I glad I stopped by...Cheers!

Hey Dagny! Welcome to Eloquence Redefined. This is John Galt speaking. :-)
Thank you so much. It is indeed a nice work, if not the best.
My other stories are waiting to be read by you. Hope you'll read them.
Thanks again! :-)

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