Curtain raiser for HE - by Varalotti Most Gracious Ladies and Gentlemen, Writing SHE for you was a rewarding experience. Reading your responses to the story was even more so. SHE was all about a woman. About how she is treated by her family, by her parents, by her colleagues, by her husband and by her lovers. And now it’s high time that I balance SHE by a new serial HE. HE is different in the sense that it centres around men. Two men. Poles apart. One is an industrialist rolling in crores and the other is an ordinary masseuse struggling to make his livelihood. Both are good. And in this world it is very rare that goodness goes unpunished. But to be punished so cruelly, so heartlessly…. What’s this, I have started telling the story…. Just erase these lines from your memory. In as much SHE needed a host of men to accentuate and contrast her character, HE also requires a few women to demark the characters of two ‘HE’s but also to define the storyline. I had issued a warning to the Moderators when I wrote the curtain raiser for SHE – that they should be vigilant as the story is inherently controversial. Well, it was almost touch and go for me. With live-in relationships and lesbianism, I had to take Herculean efforts not to get penalty points from our wonderful moderators. In some cases I had to send the episodes in advance for a kind of pre-censor. But for HE, you, wonderful moderators, can sit back and relax. Forget your moderator’s post and start reading the story. But let me warn the general readers, that though you can also sit back and relax, many a time you will be forced to the tip of your seats. Of course it will not be rough like a ride on the roller-coaster close to 3G settings, but nor will it be a gentle breeze. It will be the flow of a violent river that gushes forth to its home with so much force that it might uproot the trees on its way. Of course the river also flows along the plains for a while when the flow will be calm and gentle. ‘What’s this HE all about, Varalotti?’ Many friends in IL have been asking me. I have to remind you of what I wrote in the curtain raiser for Beauty and the Brain, “My pen and I belong to the class of hopelessly optimistic romantics and we team together only for raising temples for true love and love of the truth". Yes, it is a love story. But not the Formula story where a rich girl falls in love with a poor guy (or vice versa), the parents don the garb of the villains and there’s a nail biting climax and a ‘happily lived thereafter’ ending. HE is definitely about love. The deepest love. It is also about betrayal. The worst betrayal. And then it is finding the love once again. In a different place. When it comes to love I always say that women are better than men. But this story might indicate that the fair sex excels the other sex in matters of betrayal too. HE will walk into your lives from next Saturday onwards. Receive him into your homes and into your hearts. You may or may not like him. If you like him tell me so. If you do not like him, even if you hate him with all your heart, please tell me so in plain words. In either case please do not be indifferent towards him. I don’t know for sure whether HE will be able to bear the indifference. But the creator of HE cannot. Have a great, safe and a happy Diwali. Happy Reading, Once Again!