Short Story [S1E13] – Shom and Raima, alias Sara
Recap of Short Story [S1E12] – Faceless On Facebook: Everyone is keen to know how Shom and Raima first met. Raima tells them that it happened on Facebook, when she was looking for some change in her life. Operating under an alias, Sara, ensured that she remained faceless during the initial interaction. Shom adds that this happened about ten years ago. To everyone’s delight, he has the entire chat saved on his phone.
“I know Raima Sengupta had changed her name to Sara, on her Facebook profile, that was the name I suggested,” said Natasha, “but why did Shom change his name?” she asked.
“He is Shom to only select friends like us. For family, business associates and his social circle, his name is the one he was born with,” replied Khush.
“Do you even know that name?” enquired Natasha as she smirked at Khush.
“I have been his business associate and his childhood friend, so I know,” replied Khush, winking at Natasha. “His name is Suman Bhatia, son of late Chandru Bhatia, ex-MD of Food Corporation of India.”
“And you? Are you also a fake? Sorry, do you have a fake Facebook account that you haven’t cared to share with me?” asked Natasha, drawing close to Khush. The warmth and the fragrance of her body was difficult to resist.
“Not here! Later,” he said under his breath, while she smiled and he continued, “I don’t have the time for Facebook. Khush is a short form of Khushroo, I am Khushroo Screwwalla son of…”
Everyone burst out laughing, with Khush outdoing the rest. “Many Parsis have surnames that describe their profession,” he added deliberately to induce another round of laughter. “How else do you do justice to gaanja?” he asked.
“Bawas are called mad because they can laugh at themselves. Therein lies their purity,” said Harry. This pleased Khush as the others were enjoying not at his expense, but with him.
Natasha continued with her name game. “I have only one name and so does my mom. Before marriage it was Swapna Arora and now it is Swapna Gupta. What about you Harry?” she asked.
There was no answer, only a broad smile and a question mark on his face. “I wish I knew,” he said with a broader smile.
“Let him remain anonymous, I like him the way he is. I know him and I don’t need to know about him,” announced Swapna. “Now, will you guys please show me the chat between Sara and Shom? I am dying to know how they met,” she continued with such finality that everyone collected to look at the tiny phone Shom handed out. Harry gave Shom the password of the Apple TV to enable the group to view the chat on the big screen.
Shom: hi there
Sara: u hvnt put up ur pic but then nor hve I ha ha v r faceless on Facebook
Shom: I dn’t wnt to dsclose my identity or my age
Sara: hmm interestin. I’m ok wit that
Shom: profile says you are very young and I am much older
Sara: wats age gotta do wit it
Sara: wat happ 2 u? whr didya go?
Shom: sorry, got a call from work. What were u saying?
Sara: never mind that. Wat kind of wrk do u do?
Shom: I don’t want to talk abt work today
Sara: ok then wadya wanna talk abt?
Shom: sorry I’ve got an imp call. Have to go.
Sara: well if u gtg u gtg. Cya 🙂
Sara: hi faceless. r u free to chat now?
Shom: hey what’s up?
Sara: hey at last 🙂
Shom: how u been?
Sara: ah missed me huh?
Shom: how can I miss you when I dn’t even no u?
Sara: well, I hve been longin to chat wit u but clearly u dont feel the same way
Shom: ok I admit I was intrigued but I don’t chat with strangers
Sara: y not its fun! dont tell me u r one of those stressed out types?
Dammit, thought Shom. She was reading his mind.
Shom: yeah I get too worked up at times
Sara: take it out on ur wife too?
Shom: Excuse me?? how dare u say such a thing?
Sara: sorry sorry chill chill
Shom: How did u know I had a wife anyway?
Sara: just a wild guess. now i knw, how else wud i hve otherwise?
Sara: miss me?
Shom: now look here young lady I don’t think we should walk down tht road
Shom: well ok you got me. Yes I do
Shom: I mean I was just lonely n didn’t mind having a chat
Sara: hey relax… v dont knw each other so maybe v can bare our hearts out. why i can even become ur shrink n u mine sometime…
Sara: i don’t mean to prod u knw. i just feel like u have so much to say but very few ppl to say it to. if u think im out of line dont hesitate to say so. i kinda understand the feelin of keepin all ur emotions inside so that all everyone sees is a perfect picture
Shom: will u tell me everything as well?
Sara: o yes try me
Shom: hmm thats good Sara: 🙂
Shom: but then if i do bare my heart to u ill feel like shit because im almost double ur age
Sara: wen u talk to a stranger who u cnt even see its like talkin to urself n better than talkin to a shrink. think of it as a blind man talkin to his soul. that way u r closer to ur soul as u can only look within.
Shom: that’s awesome. I may be getting closer to ur soul not mine. Anyway the soul is ageless.
Sara: here v go again. wats age gotta do wit it??
Shom: u r a smart girl
Sara: and u my smart uncle
Shom: no no dont call me uncle
Sara: ha ha gotya! how cute! u seem 2 b very conscious of ur age n looks
Shom: how can u tell?
Sara: im a pro at these things. u think u r quite sexy lookin too, don’t u?
Shom: why r we talking like this? What’s soul got to do with my looks?
Sara: well… ure lookin for ur soulmate rnt u?
Shom: i dont know.
Shom: well… maybe that is what i need.
Shom: how did u guess?
Sara: u can say im pretty smart
Shom: do u want one too?
Sara: wnt wat?
Shom: a soulmate
Sara: hmm y not? theres a first time for everythin right?
Shom: You’re only 24. I looked that up on
ur profile before we started to chat. And we’re both from bbay.
Sara: yes… but in this space v can just b soulmates. Faceless. Ageless. Without any ties.
Shom: soulmates sounds good.
Shom: sorry sara I have to go work
Sara: hahaha cold feet
Sara: I wanna meet my soulmate. u cant say no…
Shom: but we have to remain faceless
Sara: y shom?
Shom: you cannot face this world with the truth
Sara: y not?
Shom: you have to live a lie. its best to be like that
Sara: y do u hve to live a lie?
Shom: to live life on your own terms
Sara: v can unmask ourselves to each other. after all v r soulmates, rnt v?
Shom: lets count our blessings sara. we are doing exactly that so why spoil things when they are so perfect right now?
Sara: no no i cnt b a soulmate wit a faceless man
Shom: what abt a blind couple who r soulmates?
Sara: a blind couple cnt see each other but can feel touch smell kiss n make love
Shom: ok stop it stop it
Sara: y the hell r u so worried abt meetin me?? i dont hve to knw who u r n v dont hve to meet d 2nd time. Besides its time we come clean abt 1 fact – these r not r real names anyway. Am i not right shom?
Sara: where r u? wanna tell me wat u r thinkin abt?
Shom: well I was just wondering what would i do if i find u sexy
Sara: tht was a very good save :). im pretty sure i wont be disappointed either
Shom: haha I hope u aren’t.
Sara: can i c u for brunch this Sunday at 11 at Indigo? u knw d place in colaba right?
Shom: yes i know but no not Sunday. how abt 10 am tmrw at the nalanda book store at the taj lobby? That would be the safest when everyone else would be at work.
Sara: sounds gr8. ill b in a white top wit blue jeans. im 5ft 9 wit heels.
Shom: oh wow. and im 6 with shoes and will have a blue blazer on.
Next Story: S1E14 Shom and Raima: The Only Way Out