Two To Tango By Manju & Manish – Special Mentions

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 was one such endeavour to encourage the participants to work along with another writer as a team and bring about a creative synergy. 66 teams participated in this one-of-its-kind contest and the winners were chosen by an eclectic jury panel comprising of prolific authors Ramendra Kumar, Shilpa Suraj and Apeksha Rao. 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 character’s life undergoes some kind of major change due to a lost mobile. Feel free to creatively interpret this concept in any genre of your choice.

The Special Mentions in the adults’ category were Manju Dwivedi and Manish Dwivedi (Team 44). Enjoy their story!

Story Title: HOMECOMING 

Point of View #1 

By Manju Dwivedi

As the morning sunshine enveloped the delicate frame of Bhoovi, she felt herself sink into a state of ease. Her hand inadvertently reached out to the side-table.

A sigh of despair escaped her lips as she realized her folly. Flashes of images from the previous day’s events came floating to her mind. 

A friend’s birthday party, fun, music, dance, her lost mobile, the agitation that followed, a general diary lodged and finally the legal formalities at the Service Provider Centre.

“Come on Bhoovi! Thousands of people are losing their lives every day. Do you seriously think a lost mobile is worth all that heart-break?” Varun tried to make her see reason.

Did he know that her office, the children’s school, her friends and relatives, her memories, her whole life was encapsuled in that one little inanimate gadget? Without it, life would come to a standstill. 

The clock struck 8, breaking her reverie. It was a beautiful day holding unlimited opportunities. She got out of bed and prepared herself to welcome the day. 

The morning flew by as lightly as a butterfly. 

She tried out a new recipe for lunch which was an instant hit with all. Post-lunch, she spent some time with the children listening to their exciting stories and playing a game of Scrabble. Was there any emoji that could express the sparkle in their eyes? 

The unfinished poem in her diary beckoned her. After a long time, she picked up her favourite pen and let it flow, rejoicing in its touch. Typing never offered such joy. 

A phone-call to a childhood friend brought back vivid memories and the sound of carefree laughter. She put the receiver down wondering if a ‘Lol’ could do the same trick? 

The warmth of sharing a steaming cup of coffee laced with cream and some deep conversation with Varun seemed to thaw the ice of meaningless messages shared between them over the years. 

The birds flying back to their nests painted a beautiful picture on the mellow canvas of the evening sky. Twitter now assumed a new meaning for her as she felt as happy as a bird set free from its cell. Life was finally free to move on.

Point of View #2 

By Manish Dwivedi

Varun was a trifle upset at the loss of his wife’s mobile but he could not deny feeling a sense of fleeting relief too. Of late, he had started experiencing a sense of envy as he found the little devil in her hand claim her total attention. It was the first thing she set her eyes on when she woke up in the morning and the last thing she wished goodnight to before going to sleep. Bhoovi was a completely changed person with her mobile around her. It offered a plethora of activities which seemed to clutch her in their tentacles, sweeping her far away from the shores of reality. For hours. For days. For years. 

But today, a weary heart, heavy feet and a lost mobile brought her back to him. He had been waiting. He always had. 

He waited for her, while she waited on her job, her projects and her friends. 

He was longing to meet her but she had to meet targets, deadlines, commitments.

He called out to her but she was too busy listening to orders, policies, mandates.

He was lost in the deafening silence surrounding him, while she in the cacophony of the digital world. 

Dust gathered. Vision blurred. They were together, yet distanced. Life consisted of silence interspersed with snatches of routine conversation. Bhoovi raced against time, while Varun hurried to keep pace. 

Till the party got over, the lights went out and the music stopped playing.

“Welcome Bhoovi! Welcome back to your real world, your home. Though we have been living under the same roof for years, it is the first time in years that I am actually meeting you. Let me meet you, while you meet yourself. Home is not always a destination, Bhoovi. Sometimes it is a voyage, a journey to self-discovery. Let us rejoice our home-coming,” Varun said with a smile, offering her a cup of hot coffee laced with cream and a deep sense of contentment.

As he watched her gazing at the evening sky, he silently thanked his unknown well-wisher who had helped him find his old Bhoovi again. A lost mobile was an insignificant price to pay for it.

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