At Beyond the Box, we are constantly thinking of ideas to give something unique, refreshing as well as challenging to our community of writers. Two to Tango is one such endeavour to encourage the participants to work along with another writer as a team and bring about a creative synergy. 60 teams participated in Season 2 of this one-of-its-kind contest and the winners were chosen by best-selling author MV Kasi. Below prompt was given to the writers and they were asked to narrate the same story from two different points of view.
Prompt – Write a fictional story in which a viral video plays a key role. Feel free to creatively interpret this concept in any genre of your choice.
The runners-up in the adults’ category were Pallavi Uttekar & Sangeetha Vallat (Team 4). Enjoy their story!
Story Title: FACE-OFF
Point of View #1
By Pallavi Uttekar
A pearl- sized drop of sweat over my brow betrayed my calm demeanour. Even spruced up by a professional artist, I felt inadequate.
Come on, buckle up!
After days of deliberation, I had found the nerve. Some scores had to be settled, right?
So, feigning (like all other times) that no sarsen of fear poked the pit of my stomach, I sat in the room with that tramp who broke my marriage.
My cell phone continued to trill, flooding my social media with virtual sympathy and emoji support. I made a mental note to save those screenshots. These would come in handy later.
My mind treaded to the video that had been out a week ago. The memory of the camera spanning his hungry face, initially sucking a luscious mutton marrow and later Her damn toes (among other things) made me retch. To think I had loved this man once upon a time!
Had his mother been alive, she would have had a stroke before she re-croaked. I almost sniggered at the morbid rhyme before rearranging my features to look pained, as was expected.
His mother, in her time, made my life hell and later, her son peed all over my happiness. That about summed up my twenty years of marriage.
My well-meaning friend meanwhile called. For an instant, I froze. Was I busted?
I cut the call.
Then, taking a deep breath, I sunk my teeth into the role of a devastated, homely, and polite housewife, staring at the ruins of a fairy tale marriage.
After I first saw the video, I had shut myself in my room and struggled to feel anger. Or sadness. Or betrayal. Anything.
The only emotion was jealousy.
The dawning realisation that I was jealous of her irked me as I stole a look at her, sitting haughty in her seat.
She was beneath me. In every calculable aspect. And yet she was free! Free to choose whom she slept with. She, unlike me, had the guts to deny them what she disliked in bed.
While I, despite my fancy college education and old family money, was a prisoner to my status.
My eyes travelled over her low-cut blouse and hiked skirt. It occurred to me that I could have recognised those curves anywhere. The video had captured them in all their glory.
I clenched my jaw and forced myself to look ahead.
Point of View #2
By Sangeetha Vallat
Ah, the distressed dumpling is already here. What now? Aargh, I hate waiting. My time is money, don’t these fools know? This must be awkward for her. Poor soul. Imagine sharing space with someone your spouse cheated with, and one that’s created a furor, courtesy of the leaked tape. Hmm, I looked sexy in the video. It did capture my best angles.
What must she be thinking right now? The way she’s gnawing her lips, I doubt they will survive the onslaught. Tch, smearing the lipstick. Ooh la la! What a dazzling huge rock on her finger. No wonder she stayed married to him: Bucks, Bungalow, and a Benz – the actual binding agencies of marriage.
Should I initiate a conversation? Nope. Make hay only when the sun shines on you, babes! And everyone I talk to only harangues on why I chose this way of life. Don’t you have a family? Or morals? Blah blah blah. Boring! The sanctimonious bitches grate on my nerves. Is it love, betrayal or debts? Sheesh. I don’t need rescuing. I love my life. I live a new life every day. Hehe. Every night. No qualms, Sistah!
But I’d like to know how she tolerated that lout. Bloody sucker! I assumed I had glimpsed every type of man inhabiting this world, but… surprises lurk. Wretched swine, masking the devil in him with a virtuous veneer.
Now, where is my mobile? Let me check the outrageous comments on the video, hitting five million viewers and counting.
What the heck?!
How can you look at yourself in the mirror? Shameless home breaker!
You are the disease inflicting our society and womanhood.
Oh God, these idiots are piling it on me. The masses still adore the creep. What a world.
What’s your rate, hottie? My number is…
I am way out of your league, demented people. I better stop reading.
At least this female found a way. Better late than never. Lucky, she sought me out when her tolerance snapped. Wonder how she chose me? Hmm, my fame has catapulted. One viral video, and I am on primetime! Welcome to FACE-OFF. The country wants to know… Crap.
If only every woman stands up for herself. Anyways, the wife gets to keep her lifestyle, AKA the spoils of the scandalous divorce. And I buy my dream house.
Here comes the minion. The show begins.
Lights! Cameras! Action!