Read I don't Wear Sunscreen Online

Authors: Kavipriya Moorthy

I don't Wear Sunscreen

I live for him and
he lives for me, everything else is outside our world – My dad,
This book is dedicated to him with much affection.

Preface:

I had an affinity
for writing, and was hopping in and off. There was a time where I
had to take a stand, and I picked writing, for which I would never
regret. My father, my friends and I, have gone through tough times
and worst falls, but then we shined. I picked the story’s baseline,
for us. “Life pushes you to the least possible negativity, before
it throws you out to shine,” and interestingly, I found the
universe conspiring in favor.

Though I start off
with a line, I would always have striking ideas while working on
the manuscript which made the novella even more interesting. I took
about six months to complete, as I went through health issues,
writer’s block and of course, a lot of sheer laziness. Anyhow, what
you will read has a part of me, and regardless of the outcome, I
love the story and how it worked out.

Apart from writing,
am a Business Analyst, working at GAVS technologies, Chennai.
Thanks for holding this book, and I hope you will like it. Happy
reading!

Acknowledgements

Sapna, my college
hostel roommate who discovered my potential

Author
Yaagneshwaran Ganesh – who told “you have enough ‘me’ time, start
writing!”

Guru Saranya – My
backbone, who was just right there with me, throughout the process
and read the drafts many a times than I did myself.

Harika Bantupalli –
My bunny, who helped me go through the writer’s block at ease and
get back to normal.

Buddies those who
were right there, when I went through hard times and encouraged to
do the best.

My close circle of friends, who reached
me from nowhere, but fills my life with enchantment and
love.

Others would include my friends from
school and college. My colleagues from previous and present
companies. Friends whom I gathered and are still in touch, who
encourage and pat me to grow. Other writers and authors, who I know
through social media, and helped me a lot to shape my book and
thought process.

Also, for those who would hold my
throat for not mentioning their name in the list of
acknowledgements.

My editor, Anuradha Mehta, her passion
for English was crystal clear when I started working with her. She
edits at ease, with lot and is such a grammar nazi. She believes
that words transforms how you feel, and indulges with books, travel
and concoct fantastical ideas. Am so glad for choosing her, and am
impressed enough for the work she did.

Prologue

Priyanka…

Jan
1
st
2014


Priyanka... Priyanka! Are
you alright?” Laksha whispered to the tired girl hugging her own
legs.


Hmm, ” she answered, still
not lifting her head from her lap.

The whole place was quiet, creepy, and
dark. There were no lights, and Laksha tried her best to pay
attention to every strange noise she heard.


Chissz” she heard a sound.
Swiftly she turned at the 8 directions she knew. To her horror, she
noticed a small yellowish flame. She narrowed her thoughts, and
furrowed. Her heart beat picked speed, and she figured the outline
of a man wrapped in a dirty patched sheet of cloth that swirled
him. He was trying to light his cigarette, and she stood there
calculating her next step.

She sat there looking at the guy,
checking for any change in his behavior. The darkness added fuel to
her anxiety, and she saw him take lethargic puffs. In one such
puff, she saw the glow of the cigarette turn towards her, and she
knew he was looking at her.


Did he see us?” she said
softly to Priyanka, who still didn’t move.

In the next puff, she had a clearer
vision of the man. He was sitting against the wall in a squat,
balanced on his toes.

The cigarette burned away,
and she figured out that he was trying to figure why two girls were
sitting on the steps of the railway station in the middle of the
night.
This is one terrible New
Year
, she thought. The whole place was
quiet and deserted, like it is on most New Year
celebrations.


You are not allowed to call
this number,” said the cell phones from which she tried calling
their folks.
The damn
signal
, she thought and frowned while she
rested her cheeks on her left palm. She heard the man moving and
straightened up in alarm. He moved a few steps away from his seat
and she said “Phew,” but just then she saw three more men come up
from behind, approaching her, talking quietly to each
other.


Priyanka! Get up, we are in
trouble, we have to run,” she shook the drunk girl hard. She
finally pulled her up and they took the stairs, rushing to the
other corner. “Let's go back to the railway station,” Laksha said,
panting. “No, we can’t, no one is there, and nobody will help us,”
Priyanka told.

They rushed to the other end of the
station and got out into a narrow lane. Priyanka sat down near a
small hut, and bumped her head on the door.

Laksha kept an eye on the lane entrance
to see if they were followed. They were, she realized, as the men
appeared in the distance. “Priyanka, they have come back,” she
cried, and knocked frantically on the door.

An old man opened it sleepily and asked
“What are you girls doing here?”


Help! Some men...” Laksha
raised her hands towards the lane. “You two get in, I will talk,”
he said immediately and moved towards the men.

He came back a few minutes later.
“Water?” he asked, and took out two cups. It was then that Laksha
noticed three small little girls sleeping in a corner.


They are my
granddaughters,” he said and gave them an old bedspread. “Sorry,
that’s all I have,” he said.


I see God in your form,”
Laksha joined her hands in a “Namaste” and bowed. When she looked
up, she saw the old man looking at her, overwhelmed.

***


Coz am a freak... The way
you..
.” the alarm belted out Enrique
Iglesias, and Laksha woke up with a start.

The same dream is occurring
every night for more than a year now
, she
thought.


You’re awake? Good! So all
set to go to your old school?” asked her mom. “Yeah, it’s been 6
years and I have awesome memories,” she said,
stretching.


I will leave early and go
to the church near the school first,” she said and got her towel
for a shower.

As the church bell rang, she turned
back and saw a girl rushing in on her cycle. With that, Laksha went
back to her memories.

***

Chapter one

2
nd
July 2009


Again
on the list, you are always late Laksha! No more excuses, now go
run around the basketball court ten times.”


Sorry
Miss, I will make sure I come on time from tomorrow,”said Laksha,
and walked towards the cycle shed. There, she kicked the cycle’s
stand to situate it erect and left her hefty school bag in a
corner.
Why are they torturing me like
this? Just another six months and am out of this school,
thank
God
. Why is running so hard?
She thought. She pulled out her water can, a
two-
liter
7UP
bottle, and quenched her thirst
.

***


Students who have French class, please go to the physics
lab!”shouted the class leader so that the noisy students would hear
her above the din. Laksha and 20 other students from the“J’aime
tu
français
” crew
walked across the lobby to the lab, looking like a mass of clouds
in their blue and white uniforms.
The
lab
seemed
like a nightmare to her, with its long scales and
vernier calipers lying on the tables.
Thank
you, dear
God,
she
thought,
for not having any
apparatus like
this in commerce
and accounts.

***

When the class dispersed for
lunch, there was
a
significant discussion
among some of
Laksha’s friends about their career aspirations. Laksha wanted to
do a basic degree as she wanted to become an interior designer.
Even now, she was the one who handled all the decorations for the
sports and other cultural programs in school; they were usually
quite
eye-catching
and stood out. She
was determined
to do interiors, though her father wanted her to
pursue CA.

Laksha and her dad shared a
unique relationship; they don't talk to each other
much,
but there was a deep inherent understanding between them. So
much so that even though he
speaks about
CA and the career
progression it promises, he understood what Laksha aspired to, and
ultimately supports her dreams and decision.

Laksha, being a
Chennaite
, is such a homely bird and she own a good number of friends
to whom she is close with, yet there is one best pal whom she
trusts with life, Pallavi. She spent most of her free time at her
place, and they were so close that they
were teased and called the
lovebirds’ at school. Pallavi was studying in the science
stream and wanted to become an engineer. Even with all odds, they
remained best friends, and that added strength to their
friendship.


Laksha, I’m tired
of
these books and exams, let’s go to the beach this weekend,
what say?” asked Pallavi during their evening break.
“Done,”she
said
.

At the beach, they were
holding hands tight as the waves wet their legs in Besant
Nagar.“Bessy is the best nah, compared to
Marina
beach?" asked
Laksha.“Of course, but the desi feel comes only in Marina
Laksh
!” laughed Pallavi.


Chalo
let's go to Barista, I really need
a nice coffee and a sandwich,” said Pallavi, dragging Laksha to the
shop. After a quick bite, they started walking towards the shore
again.


I just can't wait
anymore
; all I want is to do well in my engineering and join a great
company that pays well. Only then will I be able
to uplift
my family Laksha. These next four years are my everything. I
really want is to see my parents in a better position and status in
society,” sighed Pallavi.


Oh, come on Pallavi, if not
you then who else? Cheer up, my cuddly toy,” Laksha smiled and said
in a happy tone.


So what is the interior
designer within you say?”


That’s a cute, but burning
desire
Pallavi.
I don’t know why I would love to become an
interior designer, knowing that
it's
risky in terms of pay or
the future scope. I think I just want to create something
different.
I don't even
see any lead in my family circle so far, all of them are in a
government or company job that allows them to sit for 8 hours and
pays them a decent amount to lead their daily lives with, and to
have a good bank balance.
Their wallets are
fat, but when I ask them if they are satisfied, they frown. I don’t
want that. I want my job to define me and my work should come from
my soul. Just that Pallavi,”Laksha explained herself in simple
terms, but right from her heart.

These are the kind of
conversations that strengthen a friendship bond – after all,
respecting the differences is what friendship is about, isn’t it?
And so the two of them were fantastic friends
, the kind who knew each other really well
and supported each other in the best possible way.

Their school days
were filled with like-minded people, the stamp of uniforms. There
was no escape from moral science classes and craft lessons that
would keep them really busy. However, when love buds popped up here
and there, everything else went out of their minds –about being
tenacious in their ambitions or about their family strictures,
which never let them utter the word ‘love' at any cost. The smell
of a guy went missing, until the day when Prabhu
intruded.

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