Monday, March 5, 2012

MONDAY MORNING FICTION - WHAT'S IN A NAME? - ULKA and ALKA - a romance to cheer you up on Monday Morning

Short Fiction - A Delightful Romance

From my Creative Writing Archives
A Story I wrote long back, five years ago, to cheer you up on Monday Morning

“Ulka. It’s Ulka – U. L. K. A. – that’s my name, not Alka,” screamed the furious lady.
“I’m sorry Ma’am. It’s just a small mistake,” the ticketing clerk, a young girl, said apologetically.
“Small mistake...? You spell my name wrongly and call it a small mistake...?” the beautiful lady fumed.
“I must have heard wrongly on the phone.”
“It’s carelessness. Anyway change the ticket.”
The ticketing clerk took the ticket from the lady and with her pen overwrote ‘U’ in place of the ‘A’ changing Ulka to Alka.
“What nonsense is this?” flared the lady, livid.
“How does it matter, Ma’am...? It’s just a minor change of spelling. Besides your surname is spelt correctly.”
“Minor change...? You need an attitudinal change...!”
“Excuse me, Ma’am...!”
“What do you mean ‘excuse me’...? Just cancel this ticket and issue a new one with my correct name.”
“You’ll have to pay cancellation charges.”
“Cancellation charges...? What nonsense...! Why should I pay...? It’s your mistake. You think I’m a fool...?” the lady shouted beginning to lose control of herself..
Till this moment I was just watching from the sidelines, but now it was time for me to intervene.
“What’s the matter...?” I asked the ticketing girl.
“She’s creating a big fuss over a minor issue.”
“Big fuss! You change my name and it’s a minor issue...? Suppose the plane crashes, what happens to the insurance...? You are incompetent. I’ll have you fired...! Who’s the top man here...?” the lady said, trembling with fury.
“Excuse me, Madam,” I said, “may I help you...?”
“I want to see the top man here,” she shouted, her enormous brown velvety eyes flaming, her flawlessly smooth cheeks flushed, her slender upturned nose luminous, almost translucent, her deliciously juicy lips quivering – in her anger she looked devastatingly beautiful .
“I am the top man here,” I said to her, and turning to the ticketing clerk I said firmly, “Issue a fresh ticket with the proper name. Don’t make any mistakes...!”
“But, Sir...?”
“Just do what I say,” I snapped at the hapless ticketing girl, and turning to the angry lady I said politely, “Ma’am, please come to my cabin.”
A glass of water, a freshen up, and a cup of coffee later, composed and appearing a bit contrite, fresh ticket with her correct name on the table in front of her, the beautiful lady said, “I’m sorry for creating a scene, but I get very upset when I’m called Alka instead of Ulka.”
“I can understand,” I said. “One’s name is important and people do get touchy if there’s a mistake. But then, Alka and Ulka, both names suit you.”
“What do you mean...?” she asked, confused.
“‘Alka’ means a girl with curly hair. Just like you...!”
She blushed, and asked, “And ‘Ulka’...?”
“Well, 'Ulka’ means a meteor, a star falling on the earth from the heavens, fire, a torch or a firebrand.”
“Now don’t tell me I’m a hothead firebrand or look like a meteor...” she smiled mischievously. The ice had broken. Her anger melted.
“Ulka and Alka. They sound so similar that one can easily confuse Ulka with Alka which is a more common name,” I said.
“I know. But because of this Alka-Ulka slipup – I’ve paid a heavy price for it,” she said, and told me her story. I am easy to talk to, and her words came tumbling out.
“Around ten years ago, when I was in my final year at college, a boy saw me in our college canteen and fell head over heels in love with me.”
“Wow...!” I said.
“He was so desperate that, after we left, he asked a waiter my name and the stupid waiter made the same mistake – he told the boy my name was Alka.”
“But the boy was in your college isn’t it...?”
“No. No. I never noticed him. Must be one of those rich types just hanging out in our college ogling at girls. He had fallen so madly in love with me that he tried to find out my address from our college office.”
“Then what happened...?”
“He asked for ‘Alka’ and unfortunately there was an ‘Alka’ in my class, so they gave him Alka’s address. Then the guy goes to his parents, gives them the address, and asks them to meet Alka’s parents and ask for her hand in marriage.”
“And then...?”
“They saw each other. The boy realized his goof-up and told her, and described me accurately to her, but Alka’s smart; she wasn't going to let go of such a prize catch. I don’t know what she did. Maybe she told him there was no one like me in her college or that I was from some other college or some such yarn, but she must have sure worked on him with all her wily charms and finally they did get married. And now she’s having a ball of a time loaded in dough, the wife of a wealthy businessman, while I slog it out all alone like a slave day in and day out.”
“You never met the boy, haven’t you...?”
“No. I don’t even know how he looks. I told you I hadn’t even seen the boy looking at me. I didn’t even know all this till yesterday.”
“Yesterday...? Then how did you come to know...?”
“Alka told me.”
“Alka...? Here. In Hyderabad...?”
“I ran into her at Abids last evening. At the jewelers. I was just looking at a string of pearls. Too expensive for me. But Alka bought a lovely pearl necklace and an exquisite diamond studded watch.”
“A diamond studded watch...?”
“I told you she’s loaded.”
“And then...?”
“She took me out to dinner in a restaurant. Remember I told you that the boy told her everything, accurately described me to her. She teased me that her husband still remembers me.”
“She didn’t invite you home...? To meet her husband.”
“I asked her. I wanted to meet him. But she made up some excuses. She’s scared. After all, a man’s first love always has an enduring place in his heart.”
“Yes. Just one small Ulka-Alka goof-up and look at the consequences. She, glowing in matrimony in the lap of luxury, and me, in the abyss, all alone.”
“All alone? You didn’t marry...?”
“Still haven’t found a suitable guy, I guess...!”
“Well, let me tell you that what you’re imagining isn’t that true.”
“What do you mean...?”
“Alka’s husband - the ‘boy’ who fell head over heels in love with you – he’s no hot-shot businessman. He’s just the owner of a modest travel agency.”
“You know him...?”
“Of course I know him. That boy is me. I am Alka’s husband.”
She froze. Then melted. Broke into a smile. We looked wistfully into each other’s eyes in silence for a long long time.
After she left, there were just two thoughts perambulating in my mind.
Firstly, I wondered what life would have been like had I married Ulka.
Secondly, I pondered over why my wife Alka was hiding things from me - whereas my darling wife Alka had gleefully shown me the lovely pearl necklace the moment I reached home last night, I wondered why she hadn’t told me about the exquisite diamond studded watch she had bought along with the necklace at Abids last evening...!

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this story?
I am sure you will like the 27 short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL
To order your COCKTAIL please click any of the links below:
If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:

Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll
If your are a Foodie you will like my book of Food Adventures APPETITE FOR A STROLL. Do order a copy from FLIPKART:

About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal:
Professional Profile Vikram Karve:
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog:
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


Rachana Shakyawar said...

OMG! I'm absolutely head over heels this time for this one....
Super Super super like it..... cute, madly deeply and truly in love....
How do you create such wonders...???
So satisfying!!!!!!!!!!!

You know often at time people make a mistake in writing/spelling my name like rachna, though I have 7letters in my first name, I mean have a name with Extra 'a' rachAna. But I never mind it. It is a mistake after all. But I always adore if someone writes or spells my name correctly, it is so delighting. So I can connect with Ulka/Alka completely.
But the question is how do u create such magic...I so love it when you write such love stories, because I don't hate Love stories!!!!

Thankyou so much for sharing!!!
~ Keep the Spark ALive..

Zach said...

Absolutely fantastic story with a brilliant twist at the end. Love your work sir :)

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Hi Rachana (not "Rachna"),
Thank you so much for your nice words.
You made my day!
I am so glad you enjoy my writing. I love reading your blog too.
Looking forward to more such sweet "bouquets" from you and some feedback too.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Zach - Yes, I too love a "twist in the tale"

Unknown said...

Triangle but sweet :)