Shadows of the Evil

Finally, it is happening all over again. Hell is breaking loose. Daemons and ghosts are emerging from everywhere. The calm after the destruction of the prime evil trio was just a short break.
It was not long ago that the battle between the forces of order and chaos got extended to the mortal realm, to the world called Sanctuary. Diablo, the lord of terror had poisoned the mind of the warrior who defeated Diablo before and confined the evil in his own mind. Then Diablo traveled east from Tristram to Lut Gholein, freed his brother Baal – the lord of destruction, continued to Kurast, freed his brother Mephisto - The Lord of Hatred and back to hell itself. There was only one mortal who stood in the way of the brotherhood, Mephisto, Diablo and Baal from destroying the mortal realm. The hero killed the three of them once and for all and Tyrael, the archangel destroyed the world stone in order to stop the evils from returning ever again.

Its been 2 decades since the destruction of the prime evils. Deckard Cain, the last of the Horadrim, senses new stirrings of evil and goes in search of its source. It’s documented as follows,
When Deckard Cain returns to the ruins of Tristram's Cathedral seeking clues to new stirrings of evil, a comet from the heavens strikes the very ground where Diablo once entered the world. The comet carries a dark omen in its fiery being and it calls the heroes of Sanctuary to defend the mortal world against the rising powers of the Burning Hells--and even the failing luminaries of the High Heavens itself.
Once again the forces of hell will rise, the perseverance of the human kind will be put to test, new heroes will emerge, computers will once again become battle grounds between the forces of the light and the dark and in the end only one will stand. Yes, Diablo III has been announced.

I don’t think its sheer coincidence that when the sequel to one of the most successful RPG games franchise was being announced, in Paris, on June 28th, I was playing the same game, for the third time, with yet another character. I was on the pursuit of Baal, on the valleys of Mount Arreat, after killing Mephisto and Diablo. By the time I was finishing with Baal, and Tyrael destroyed the world stone, I was tired. Still, I wished for one more act. Diablo II is the only game I have played more than 2 times. I wondered whether Blizzard will ever announce Diablo III.
Today morning, I was stunned to see the news about Diablo III being released. It’s like, you wish for something without much hope and its there, right in front of you. Diablo II is the only game I have played more than 2 times. The game play video and screenshots are just amazing. The game is fully 3D and you will get the feeling of accidentally stumbling up on an old friend when you see the aged barbarian or your once trusty companion, Deckard Cain. Currently only 2 characters have been revealed, out of one is a new class – the witch doctor.
The release date has not been revealed yet, but I believe, they will release it by fall 2008. I can’t wait to get my hands on that game. Even though, Blizzard was never that known for their graphics, this one is an exception I think. They always emphasized on the game play, the story line and the way you traverse through the game without even a single bit of boredom, every moment waiting to see what will happen next.
I am eager to know how they are going to tell the story this time, Diablo being killed already. May be, it’s a quest to prevent the return of Diablo, or may be, it’s about the introduction of a Greater Evil, who gave birth to the evil trio, coming to resurrect his sons. I can think of a number of combinations. One thing I am sure, as always, Diablo III will be one or two or even more steps ahead of Diablo II in all aspects, whether its technology or graphics or game engine or story line or the character classes or anything that is associated with the game.
Finally, the countdown has started. Once again, the wait for the hero who will defeat the evil forces that threaten the very existence of the world as we know it has started.
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10th Wedding anniversary

I was floating through the skies when I saw it. A rainbow. There was nothing else in sight. A bright rainbow in the whole sky. I looked down. I could only see the clouds. It slowly changed in to something more beautiful. A pair of eyes. They looked very familiar. I’ve seen them else where. I began drifting in the wind. But I wanted to stay with those eyes. I felt like they are telling me something. Suddenly the wind turned in to a storm. I could no longer fly. I was falling.
I opened my eyes. Yes! I figured it out correctly. Those eyes were that of my lover. She was sleeping peacefully right by my side. I tried to remember the dream. That beautiful rainbow and the clouds that turned in to her eyes. Nice way to start off a day. I simply lied there for some more time looking in to her face. Everyday I want to wake up seeing those eyes.
Slowly I got up. I went to kitchen, made 2 cups of coffee and came back to our room. She was not in the bed. I saw the doors to the balcony open. I went there. Sun was just rising. There she was, standing and enjoying the breeze. The view was gorgeous. I could hear the river flowing. And far away, there are the mountains.
I went there, kissed her on her neck.
“I love you”, she said.
I didn’t hear the words. Instead, I felt it. I was not sure whether she said it or I felt it from her face. I gave her the coffee. We simply stood there.
We didn’t talk for a long time. It was the silence that spoke for us. When she leaned to my chest, I could hear her breathing. I always loved the sound of her breathing. When she fall asleep in my lap hearing the stories I say for her, when I wake up in the middle of the night right beside her, and in the morning, when I wake up early, all these times, I enjoy that sound. Sometimes I felt that it’s my life force that is flowing through her body.
Ten years, its been ten years since the day we met. Now, I couldn’t even imagine surviving without her. It’s the small things, her sound, her smell, her presence, everything had become mine, my life. Without them, there is no me.
We spent the whole morning, sitting in the balcony, watching the river, the sky, the sun and everything else.
Every year, 4 days we will spend just for us – we had promised each others, when we got married. Some place where no one can reach us, no one will identify us, just like in dreams, living the dream.
After lunch, we again went to the balcony with the books we were reading. Soon, the sky began to get darker. Rain – it was about it rain. We closed our books. We could hear thunder. We could see the rain coming from the mountains. We heard it coming nearer and nearer. It sounded like wind chimes. We both wanted to dance in the rain. For the next 1-2hours, we went back to our school days. We made small streams of water and build a small dam across it. We made paper boats. They floated in to the river and slowly disappeared.
By the evening, there were only drizzles. We bathed, had a cup of coffee and went out to walk in the near by plantation. We could hear the sound of the frogs. Even for a moment, we didn’t part from each others. We held our hands tightly. Crazy it may sounds, but we were enjoying solitude in each others presence. We wanted that moment to last forever.
We came back, and I presented her with the red rose I secretly kept in my bag for her. “I love you”, I said. I could see her chins turning red. She hugged me tightly. I wanted to stay like that forever.
We went back to the balcony with a bottle of wine. She lighted a candle and we sat there enjoying the wine. After dinner, she came to me, lied down in my laps. I told her the story of the princess who got imprisoned by a witch and the prince who rescued her. She fell asleep soon. I enjoyed her breathing sound for some time. I put off the candle and accompanied her to bed.
Our 10th Wedding anniversary
31 June, 2020

My Best Friend’s Wedding

Day I [Before he came]

It was with a bit of amazement that I took his call. He is one of my best friends. We stayed together for around 7yrs, throughout college days and even after getting a job until he left to US. It’s very unusual for him to call me at this time of the day. Anyway, I had a hint that he might be coming home for vacation.

“Yeah, tell me da”, I said.

“I’m coming next month”, came the answer.

My assumption was correct. He actually is coming.

“How long?”

“4 weeks”

Wow, great, I thought. My mind started planning. I highlighted 4 weeks in my calendar.

“I marked the dates, so what plans?”

“Its my marriage”

“What?, you are kidding right?”


“Holy mother of f***ing ****, congrats man!”, I had a hunch that it might happen within 1-2 yrs. But never did I thought this fast. I was surprised.

I have to apply for leave, have to book the tickets to my native. My mind was racing about the ‘TODO’s.

“Ok man, see ya soon. Mail me the details later”, I cut the call.

Then again, I thought about our times together. He is a friend with whom I didn’t have to talk much. Just silence is enough. When I had difficult times, I used to start my days by crying on his shoulders. I suddenly missed him and those days. Even I felt jealously towards his girlfriend. She is also a good friend of mine. I wrote a mail congratulating them.

I couldn’t get exactly what my feeling was. Happiness? Jealousy? Missing Him?

Day II [Before his marriage]

“Hey da, tell me. How are the preps for your marriage? Only 3 more days na? I can’t wait to get there. What are our plans for the bachelor’s party? What do I need to bring from here?” I couldn’t stop asking questions. There were many more. I wanted to be with him as soon as possible.

Tomorrow, I can go tomorrow, I thought.

“Hey man, listen. There has been a problem.”

“Problem? What problem?”

“The function has been postponed”

“What? What happened?” I didn’t know what to tell him or ask him. We both were not that good with words.

“One of my relatives passed away. So we thought we will do it some other time.”

“Oh! Ok. So, what are you going to do this weekend?, I’ll be coming anyway. We can have some fun.” I proposed.

“Nothing specific”, he said.

“Wait, I’ll cancel my tickets, you come here. Just like the old times. There won’t be any of our friends here in Bangalore, ‘cos everyone is going to Kerala to attend your marriage. So, its just you and me.”


“See ya on Sunday”, I said.

Day III [Marriage Day]

“Hey man, here I am”, he said.

“Congrats, today is your marriage day right?”

“Yeah! Ha ha”

We had breakfast, went to some shopping malls. We walked and talked like there is no tomorrow. We had his ‘marriage’ lunch from a Italian restaurant. I pretended to be his bride. ;) There was slight drizzling by that time. We enjoyed it. By evening, we bought some wine and a variety of non-veg dishes and went home. Just sat there, had some wine, beer & vodka and watched TV. And he celebrated his ‘supposed to be’ first night in my apartment alone ;).

The next day I took off from my office and we roamed around, bought whatever we felt like buying, did whatever we felt like doing and by evening, we were so tired that, I couldn’t even climb 2 steps to a restaurant . He extended his stay for one more day. Next day evening, by the time he had to board the bus, we both became silent again. I saw him off, walked slowly back to my apartment.

If his marriage had not been postponed, we could never have those moments. “Marriage can happen anytime, but times like this come once in your life”. For the next one week, I was completely in the old times. Those 2-3 days were one of the best in my life.