Bright & Beautiful! – Part 1

That day was special!

 I was meeting R after a long 80 days gap. Infact all of us were. His flight landed at 8 AM and as usual since I didn’t want to get late and due to the punctual planner that I am, I wanted my itinerary to be on dot. We start at 10 AM, drive for 5 hours to which I added another 1 hour for contingency and reach Bright by 4PM. The estimator in me surfaces whenever I make plans.

We planned to leave home at 7.50AM to catch the 8 o clock train. The train station is just a min walk away, but as usual, the contingency factor was considered. After the usual morning saga and feeding and dressing kids up, I managed to drag them all out by 7.59AM, thanks to mom for all the cooking and cleaning. We still have 1 minute and the trains usually run late. I was so confident about catching the train but I had to stand there miserably, watching the train pass by, when the train driver decided to do his job on time.

Nevertheless we headed to the station, deciding to take the next train which is at 8.50 AM. I was as always furious and doing my maths in the background. I was sure we would get late and realized reaching Bright at 4 PM was just another dream which would never come true. Dad and I had to go back home multiple times to get few things, oh yea we have another 40 mins of spare time, might as well make the most of it. We waited and waited and the train never came. That was a Saturday and what more could you expect. Public transportation can’t be great when you actually rely on it completely.

Winter was reaching its peak and the strong chilly wind kept blowing on to our faces leaving us drained. I mustered all my strength to fight the cold breeze without much luck. Winds grew harsh on us. Trees swayed leaving the birds fly high up in the air. They cooed and scattered themselves on to the wide skyline like little dots on a paper.

I immediately rushed towards V and tried to cover him up as much as I can but the little tyke kept resisting me with all his might. The anger and frustration in me rose to the brim and it overflowed with a loud shrill. V calmed and gave in to the beast in me. I turned to R who was as usual doing his front and back flips on the platform. I was tired enough to bother and I gave up on him.

And to add to our agonies, it started to drizzle. I was horrified and drained at the same time. For a moment I even thought of calling off the trip and getting curled up in my bed and sink in to my own dreamland. I pulled myself together and kept the most impassive face one can ever have. All these unanticipated concerns left me blank and I kept staring at the rail for a minute or two without knowing what step to take next.

I came to my senses with a shudder when Dad nudged me and suggested that we take an Uber and head to the city. I thought that was the perfect solution and wondered why it never occurred to me earlier. Without hesitating, I did the booking right away. The uber driver was a Punjabi and he chatted all the way until we opened the door to get out of the car. He even pleaded me to give him a 5 star to which I smiled and nodded in approval. He helped us unload our luggage and was quite handy. We dragged everything and everyone to the spot we had agreed to meet R & S.

S had already excused himself from the trip due to some work related reasons and I had agreed to it. We waited for another 30 mins before they arrived. I was happy and sad at the same time. Happy because we reached first and didn’t have to make them wait for us inspite of all the dramas, sad because our arrival time at Bright was getting more and more delayed and we would probably end up doing nothing that day.

R &S picked up the SUV we had booked and joined us in no time. R &V were so excited to see their dad. And so was I. After the quick exchanges of hugs and kisses, we all got in the car and S waved bye to which I disagreed devilishly. The estimator in me resurfaced and with all the negotiating skills that I had, I convinced S to join the trip and without even a piece of cloth for himself to change (that’s how selfless my brother is ;), but I’m sure he had his perfume bottle handy), he got inside the car and started looking for return tickets since we would be returning only on a Monday and he couldn’t have missed work for even a day.

And so our trip started. Inspite of all the confusions and challenges we had to face during the first few hours of the day, our ship started to sail peacefully through the rough ocean with soft music playing in the background… and the mathematician in me resumed the work.

But little did we know what was awaiting us in the latter half of the day.

 

to be contd….

 

Green stars!

Rain was pouring heavily outside, hitting the window panes and splashing haphazardly. I stared at the random motion of the droplets, my mind clear and face grave. Tiny little palms cupped my face and a pair of clear, black eyes glowed at me. The warmth of the soft fleshy palms pierced my chilled body, demanding attention. My gaze shifted to the little treasure, who was seated by my side.

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His tiny hands were smeared with green paint and his attempts to print green hands on the paper continued. He squashed up a lump of play doh’ on the floor and made tiny stars out of it. He then headed towards the wall and decorated the wall with those tiny little play doh’ stars. Cocking an eyebrow,he retreated to take a quick glance of the alignment. A self-satisfied smile adorned his lips and he turned to me with his inquisitive eyes.

The tiny array of green stars, even though a bit ironic, looked magnificent to me. Words gushed out of my mouth. “That looks fantastic, Ryan. You are just … BRILLIANT!!!”Ryan beamed at me with pride and planted a soft kiss on my cheek.

Rain continued to splutter on the window panes and so did the green paint on the paper.

Happy Mother’s Day!

That day was bizarrely strange. Ryan wasn’t as excited as he used to be, on seeing me after work. The normal fooleries and enthusiasm were lacking in him. He came up with a sly smile, threw his arms around me and gave a quick hug. He went back peacefully to what he was doing earlier despite having the normal exchanges we used to have every single day, nothing of the sort that would increase public interest but the small mommy-son bonding talks.  I was a bit shaken with his peculiar behavior  Nevertheless I decided to bother the least about it for the reason that I didn’t want to increase my anxiety. I dragged myself to the wash room for a shower. As usual he welcomed me after the shower with a cheerful smile and a handful of toys. I was pulled back from the world of paranoia to the world of smiles and felt very much relieved. We were back on track and played like nothing ever happened among us.

Moments later we heard the clinking sound of the keys. Ryan threw his toys away and ran to the door. I knew it was his dad and so did he. I went to take a sneak peak. Ryan was all giggles and jumped up and down with his little hands held high up in the air. He was on cloud nine seeing his dad back. He clung on to his dad and explained how his day went. Words gushed out of his little mouth and he chattered incessantly. He had so much to share with his dad that he totally forgot about someone who was left behind, half- stabbed. The twinge of pain in my heart grew worse.

R looked at me with suspicion and from his look I knew what he meant. “He is a child. He loves you more than anyone. This only happens once in a blue moon” Uncontrollable tears trickled down my cheeks and I lugged myself into the room where I sobbed heavily. With a jolt I realized two little hands were tugging my skirt. I raised my face to look at him. “Ï love you mom. I love you both”, he said and jumped on to me with his usual cheekiness, followed by hugs and kisses.  🙂

I knew he was becoming more of daddy’s boy and that was not a reason to complain. I shouldn’t be worried, instead I should be happy. I should be happy that he looks up to his dad. I should be happy he will be a good human being. I realized being a daddy’s boy will groom him better. Dad is always the best mentor.

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But just like any other mom I would have loved to say “He is mama’s boy.” 🙂

Happy mother’s day to all the lovely moms out there!

 

 

The Unspoken truth!!

It was pouring heavily outside accompanied by the fireworks of nature. She sat on the couch with her legs curled up and thinking deeply. One often gets nostalgic or feels low with such weather. But she was least shaken by it.

Her eyes were clear and her face straight. Her hair, which was rebonded lately, was put up and tied very shabbily. Lumps of it fell on to her shoulder and lay just an inch below it. She wore a clear white tee and a khaki pajama. She was always careful about her clothes and she had it neat n crisp.

She was woken up from her dream with a start when Nick called out her name.

“Jes, What are you thinking. You dare not to plot anything against me!” he said in his usual sarcastic way which didn’t budge her even by an inch.

Her face was grave and seeking.

Nick approached her and sat by her side quietly.

“Tell me what is it that is bothering you babe. “Nick pleaded.

She shook her head and changed her position. She pursed her lips and tried hard to give him a smile.

Nick was not convinced by it. But he is not the kind who pushes it too hard.

“I think we should go and pay respect to your mother. It’s been quite a while since we have done that. Don’t you think so? “Nick enquired.

Jes sprang up from the couch with a thud, as if she had been waiting to hear those words from him.

”Exactly! This has exactly been going on in my mind. Thanks for suggesting Nick. Else I would have ended up sitting here pondering what to do! I knew I had to do something. But never thought it was this. Let’s get going. Its quarter to seven. We are already late.”

“Not to worry. We will do well.” Nick said.

Moments later they were at their porch, wearing their helmets. It was only drizzling then. They didn’t wait for a minute.

The bike fled through the streets and finally made its turn to a deserted cemetery.

It was half past seven when they finally landed there. The flower seller had already disappeared and dusk had started to settle in. The birds chirped and flew over their heads, back to their homes. The chirpings finally faded, leaving them alone in that piece of land. There was no one around them.

“Should we go back? Is it a bit too late?” Jes was sceptical.

“No. Let’s quickly finish the prayer.” Nick said.

He walked towards the tomb and Jes followed, holding her “Quran “tightly.

They had no flowers with them, nor did they have their family.

Cemetery

Nick cleared the tomb which was adorned with dried flowers. They were quite soaked in water and had a very unpleasant smell.

Jes sat down and started reading the Quran as fast as she could. Darkness spread all over the cemetery. They felt something wrong. Something was just not right. It was quarter to eight and it became really impossible to see the gate where they had parked their bike.

The intensity of darkness increased and so did the pace of the prayer.

“Hmmmmmm”

Suddenly they heard a horrible groan. It was coming from their right.

“What? What was that?” Jes asked.

“Finish your prayers fast. Let’s get out of here.”Nick urged.

Jes resumed the prayers and the groan grew all the more intense.

Her voice faltered. She swayed a bit. But she tried to keep strong and continued her prayers.

The whining continued steadily.

Nick felt hair at the back of his neck rise. Chills went down his spine.

As soon as she was done with her prayers, they turned to their right to see the deserted cemetry, which extended few miles. The groan was getting feebler and finally it died off. An air of uncertainty and eeriness prevailed. They both noticed a tomb which looked quite odd and undone, few plots away. It stood out from the rest as it was the only tomb which didn’t have a proper tomb mound and an altar.
An unearthly feeling crept over them and they scurried towards the bike, praising the lord as if they had been given a new life.

The bike again fled through the streets, but this time with a different purpose. It was silence until they saw the image of their house amidst the fog. The door was opened without slightest delay and they flung themselves onto the couch.

It was then they looked into each other’s eyes.

They both looked pale and an unfathomable silence dominated the room.

Jes opened her mouth to say something when Nick stopped her with his words.

“Certain things are better left unspoken”

Courtesy :- M&T for sharing the experience 🙂 Thanks guys!

The Prejudice!!

I was rushing to get to my class as I had already been late for my post lunch session. As the hostel was very close to the college I always had wrong judgement about time. On top of that I made it a practise to take a short nap after the extremely unpalatable lunch offered by our cook. That day I was forced by my sluggishness to take a longer nap and I ended up being late for the class. I grabbed my bag and scurried through the street nudging every obstacle possible. And it is when you get late or hurry somewhere, you run into people who otherwise wouldn’t even bother to give you an acknowledging smile, reach you for a hardly plausible chit chat session. I kept my head down, staring at the road, finding myself possible excuses to avoid anyone who would counter me anytime.

I reached the side gate of our college in front of the post office and I was preparing myself to slide through the gate, a bunch of 3 girls came out, pushing me sideways. One of them cornered me and my bag almost slipped and fell off. They were busy chatting and laughing and left me unnoticed. I fumed and I even felt like slapping the girl who pushed me and got me late by another 5 minutes. I hauled and pulled my bag and it landed on my shoulder. I mumbled to myself and turned and looked at them with contempt. I was skinned alive when one of the girls in the gang turned and smirked at me. I then knew she heard my mutters.

She had sleepy eyes and she wore a salwar, the dupetta flowed over her shoulders. She gave me a wry smile again. I didn’t know if that was her style, but anyway it pissed me off to the core. I knew I didn’t like her and I was soon to hate her. She was an above average stylish girl for that dry Govt College. I met her often after that but she never smiled at me after that incident. Is that the way you behave? I asked myself. I should have at least smiled at her the other day, I thought!

Months flew and I met this same girl at Bangalore, just outside my PG with one of my ex classmates. Again!! I thought. I was rushing to the parlour for my appointment as I was late by 15 minutes as my ex classmate caught me for a chat. I said bye and hurried off. Arrogance again! Isn’t it?

Months later I again met her on Facebook. Her profile said she lives in Singapore. This time something made both of us take an initiative to talk to each other. And there we go! We finally met at “The Coffee Bean “at Toa payoh which was later named as the Famous Coffee bean by us. That clicked and I secured a BFF in my life. Some of them named us as “The Inseparables”. The prejudices died leaving an excellent gift behind. Yea, as they all say, Better late than never!

She is sweet and lovely and gorgeous and caring and what not! And now she is off to India and I miss her terribly. 😦

Girl, this is the best way to show you how much I care for you and love you and I know you will appreciate it. Thanks for being my friend. Love ya!! 🙂

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“It often happens” ..

The sky was a clear black that night. I could stare at the sky and stand still for hours. Gazing at the star filled sky had always given me an inexplicable pleasure. I had this silly thing in me from childhood, and as I sat on the bench at the playground, trying to pin the strands of my hair fluttering in the soft breeze to the back of my ear, my gaze fell on the Orion. I spotted the Orion just like shooting fish in a barrel. It was clear as crystal and shined vibrantly. Stars were scattered all around like tiny scraps of diamond. It had gotten me into time travelling myself to my very early teenage days. I could hear the screams and howls of children in the background. Soft breeze kept caressing my face. Deep down I felt a prick of loneliness, a feeling that had to be mistaken for the bliss of solitude.
The tiny little pegs kept smiling at me. I felt how close I was to my home. I had caught myself staring at the Orion many a times when I was a girl, and it felt exactly like how it was then.
“Girls, could you help me with a bit of dish washing and laundry?”Mom was screaming from behind.
“Why don’t you guys give yourself a break? Its night time and I don’t want to be disturbing folks around”. Said my Dad. My sister was lounging around, singing to her softly, lost in her own sweet world.
“PK… would you dare to do this? “ I heard my best buddy calling out to me from the terrace, not aware of the fact that it’s high time that we stopped doing adventures and hit the bed. He had a pole in his hand was trying to jump off the parapet wall to the small landing just above the porch. My mom would have screamed her life out if she had watched this show that he had been proudly showing off. Somehow he always managed to crawl into our family during vacations. We had always confronted each other and the mututal animosity later unexplainably led us to a relation which is impeccably pure and close to our hearts.

The pictures have started to fade and along with them the tiny shimmers. Wind started blowing wildly on to my face and clouds took possession of the sky.
“Ämma…”, the little one came and nudged my hand. My gaze shifted from the sky to his face. He was confused with the unfathomable silence. “Amma , it’s raining”. His words were soft as silk and he stared at me quizzically.
I jumped up with a start realising I’m far away from my home. There were only little children accompanied with parents who were rushing back home, around me. It had started to drizzle and I drew my son closer and scooped him out of the playground and found my way towards the elevator. “Amma…” , the little one called again confused by the lack of my involvement. I planted a kiss on his soft cheek and he smiled happily. As the elevator reached 1st storey, we got inside and I mechanically pressed the button which said 6. Slowly the elevator took off the ground and I went along with it, leaving the reminiscences behind, to my own world which has now taken a new dimension. I realized I should stop pondering over the past as my son hugged me tight.
Yeah, there is a whole new bunch of reasons to be happy about!!

BFF

That evening I stepped out of the house as usual and went to A’s house which was just a foot away. I only had to shout out her name for a small chat and she would appear in the veranda with all ears. Quite bored at home, I felt like meeting her for the usual sweet chat. I rang the bell and waited for her to open the door. She opened the door a few moments later. Her smile widened as she saw me. Lovely locks fell on to her shoulder. Her eyes were a shade of brown and it was bright. She looked very pretty in that twilight.

“Hey Divya, come in. I have been getting bored and thinking of coming over to your place” A said.

“That’s why I am here”. I said with a laugh.

“Tell me, so what are we doing today? “ A sought interestingly.

“Not sure. Shall we go out for a walk or something?” I was thoroughly confused and wanted to spend time in any possible way.

“Well, in that case, how about cycling? It’s been a while since we went for it. What do you say?” A asked.

I jumped with glee at her suggestion and we decided to go for cycling. I didn’t have a bicycle and I felt extremely happy.

“Mom” I called out and she appeared in the veranda. “We are out for cycling. Will be back in an hour or two.” I said and turned to A.

“Shall we go?” I asked

“Of course”. A replied.

“Careful children” Mom shouted back.

We waved her goodbye and took off. A rides to school daily and she is an expert in cycling. I know how to cycle but as we all know, “experience”-THAT MATTERS 🙂

I walked beside A while she rode and we commented on people and shared gossips. After a while I took over and A walked beside me.

“Hey why don’t you sit at the back?” I asked suddenly.

“Are you sure you want to do that?” A asked.

“Yes. Yes. Let’s do it. DOUBLES”I said adventurously without even thinking about my physique. I was so thin those days. Even a slight breeze could blow me out.

“If you say so” said A and mounted on the bicycle.

Everything went smooth until an auto rickshaw came from back and honked at us. The road was narrow and I started to panic. But I didn’t give up. I gathered all my courage and went ahead. The road narrowed down even more. The driver honked again.

“Divs, let me get down. Or let us give way for that rick.” A said.

My self-esteem curbed me from doing that. With all my confidence I went ahead.

“Not to worry. I shall handle it”. I said with confidence.

The driver wend mad enough to chew nails and tried to overtake us. It was an uphill and however hard I tried to keep my handle steady, it didn’t stay. The effort I took to pedal the bicycle messed up everything. Tada! My handle turned a bit just as when the auto rickshaw overtook us. I only heard a thud. The spokes, the rim and the hub were all in a mess now. The front wheel of the bicycle disappeared. A jumped off the perch and burst out laughing.

I had a series of things running in my mind as the driver was shouting at me. I slowly went behind A’s back. I didn’t understand what my dear friend was laughing for. Mob gathered and asked us to leave ASAP. We pulled the bicycle out of the rickshaw and fled. My mind was going through a roller coaster of emotions.

1. Mom- God! She would scold the shit outta me

2. Dad – No need to even mention, he would definitely give me tongue lashings for spoiling A’s bicycle

3. A – She was laughing, but she should have gone insane for sure, seeing the tragic end of her bicycle.

4. A’s Mom – No idea what she would be upto. She would tell my mom and I would be screwed.

My head started to spin. A while later I found myself and A carrying the bicycle and running home. I was lifting the crushed portion of the bicycle in the front and A was at the back. I turned around to see what A was up to. Her eyes were all teary (out of laughter) and as soon as she saw my face she burst out again. I was at sea and couldn’t gather what was going on. The two happy go lucky friends who dashed off to cycle were then carrying a “so called bicycle” and hurrying home.

“Are you not angry with me for spoiling your bicycle?” I asked worried.

“Not at all” A replied.

We put down the bicycle and laughed our hearts out.

We took turns and stayed in each other’s places. We prepared for our entrance examinations together. We shared an amazing time together.

Destiny!! It took us somewhere. It was hard to maintain a promising friendship.

Destiny!!   It has again taken us to a different place. But this time we were fortunate enough to reach the same place. And yea, we are ready to start our “friendship” all over again 🙂

**Special Dedication to my Dear Friend**