This Sunday morning, I woke up to the ringing of the alarm bell again. I had forgotten to turn it off over the weekend. It was only 7 am which meant I still had the luxury of sleeping for another hour. My normal working hours begin post-mid-night after my toddler goes to bed and stretches till wee hours of the morning which makes me grab every extra minute in the morning to catch up on my sleep. While locking the mobile, I realized that there was a missed call icon. With trembling fingers, I dialed one of the two most important persons in my household and soon my worst fears came true. My cook had stretched her leave without permission to one more day. This was going to be the fourth consecutive day of her playing truant. I shuddered at the thought of the other important person planning her leave in the same sequence next week. My maid was a huge believer in the tit-for-tat theory and together these two could give me a cardiac arrest any time soon.
I got out of the bed worried about the distressing day. The tornado aka my toddler was turning out to be quite a night owl like both his parents and had maintained his record of staying up till 12 30am last night. So I knew he was going to wake up a little late today. As I was preparing to share the shocking news to my husband, it was a surprise to see him come towards me with outstretched hands. I was wondering if India has won the England test (that’s the only thing he seems to be worried about these days). Instead, he greeted me with a smile and “Happy friendship day”. We have been friends for over two decades now including the years of dating and seven years of being officially married. Of course with time, our conversations have started including grocery lists, our toddlers’ antics and many other typical Indian household topics. Yet I rush to him at the slightest of positive ideas and difficulties till date. I hugged him as another bright idea dawned on me for handling the situation today. “Let’s celebrate our friendship by ordering lunch from 6, Ballygunje Place today.” I could feel the frustrated sigh coming out of his soul which I conveniently chose to ignore.
I was sipping my morning tea when the mobile kept beeping because of the multiple friendship day messages that kept getting delivered. More than 90 percent were forwards that kept getting recycled again in various watsapp groups. I checked my inbox to see if the two people I consider my closest friends had bothered to send a wish. Honestly I knew that none of us really cared for such formalities since our friendship went beyond years. AT and RK live in two different parts of the world now – London and Sydney respectively. I have met them at different phases of life yet our friendships have managed to survive changing times, countries and situations.
Continue reading “A morning full of old and new friendships”
Winning post for WOW prompt 22 July weekend.
In my apartment in Kolkata, there are inanimate objects in every room but the story in my bedroom is completely different and extremely personal. An item that can best be described as a piece of my heart royally occupies the area near the left corner of my queen sized bed. It is always the first item that I wake up to every morning and is again the last thing I see before I calling it a day. Every person in my family has an emotional attachment to it but for me, it is the source and reason of my existence.
Despite spending so much time with it, there’s always a range of emotions that arise within me every time I lay my eyes on it. Sometimes it’s nostalgia, at times it brings about a feeling of pain but more often than not it is that of utter helplessness. The colors of my childhood and the happiness of my adult years have been kept guarded in this single item. It is all that remains of a by-gone era for me and my family.
Continue reading “A piece of my heart rests within you”
Hidden behind the bushes, she kept an eye on the house with green window panes. It had taken her three years to discover his recent address after he escaped from the previous city. She had stalked him endlessly for the last two months to understand the pattern of his schedule.
Years ago, he had made her pay a heavy price for rejecting his marriage proposal. The police had failed to trace him while she fought for her life in the hospital. The attack had destroyed her physically but her indomitable spirit sought revenge.
As she touched the burnt skin on her face under the veil, she felt anger rising within her. The deserted lanes were an indication that her wait would come to an end today. As she heard a soft sound of the designated house door opening, her grip on the bottle of acid in her bag tightened. She had chosen the same modus operandi as her target. To see him suffer had been the sole reason for her survival.
This post is written for the 174th picture prompt in Friday Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a piece of fiction within 100-175 words based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting this challenge.
Rishan walked into the room where his mother Jaya was rocking the infant to sleep. His sleep deprived state was evident to any on-looker. Jaya signalled Rishan not to make any sound lest the baby wake up. The last time that the Bose family had re-adjusted their schedule and routine to accommodate the needs of a new-born was twenty-eight years back when Rishan was born to Jaya and Arun Bose. Rishan decided to tip-toe out of the room. His retired Professor father was sitting in the porch, lost in thoughts.
“Baba, the process is going to take much longer than we could anticipate. The only positive factor is that both sides of the family have confirmed their unwillingness to take up this responsibility.”
Looking at the unkempt state of his son, Arun felt a wave of tenderness. In the last couple of days, his son had grown responsible much beyond his age.
Arun spoke, “This was expected. Imran Pasha and Neeta Chaubey had secretly married against the wish of their parents in their village in Haryana three years ago. They had to immediately flee to Kolkata to escape from their families who had attempted killing them after coming to know of their truth. Imran used to drive a taxi while Neeta worked as a cook when I had stumbled upon them being harassed by the local goons in Park Circus area owing to their inter-religion marriage. Just four months in this city, they barely understood the local language then. I couldn’t leave them in that state when I knew that Neeta’s life was in grave danger surrounded by hooligans. Soon after , Imran became our driver and man Friday while Neeta started taking care of the household chores and kitchen. At 58, it was getting difficult for me to drive down to my institute everyday while the arthritis pain had made your mother immobile. In a couple of months, they had become the inseparable extended part of the family. Sometimes I would wonder about how we survived without them until then.” Rishan felt that reminiscing about his favorite people was Arun’s way of coping up with the situation.
“When Neeta told your mother that she was expecting, Jaya immediately got another help to take care of the household work so that Neeta could take rest. She took care of Neeta like her own kid. When Neeta gave birth to a baby boy one and half months back, both of us felt as if our grandson was born. That was how attached we had grown towards them. Now I can’t even look at this little one without tearing up.” Arun’s eyes had welled up with tears.
Continue reading “Connected by fate but chosen by love”