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FROM THE PEN OF AN AMATEUR WRITER.

Look who is talking👶👶

Hi there, This is my story, my way… And believe me, I have a style. I just turned two. And just celebrated my official second father’s day. But I really don’t know what exactly is father’s day. Except for the fact that both bab bab ( thats what my father will henceforth be addressed as) and me, wore the same colored Tee shirts with something scribbled on it. No matter what’s scribbled, I do know that I am the “Coolest son ever” and bab bab is the “Coolest dad ever”.

Our love story began right when I was in mumma’s tummy. I was tiny, but that doesn’t mean that you will underestimate my kicking capacity. You could feel my kicks even from a distance. And it might sound strange but I invariably kicked whenever bab bab touched me. It was like a little game we played. At times, when mumma was worried about why am I not kicking then bab bab was brought into action. And I would immediately respond to their worries. Then, one fine day I came out of mumma’s cozy tummy. And for the first time met mumma and bab bab. Both were like” awww, so innocent , so cute.” And I was like “wait till I go home”.

The first time bab bab held me, was actually scary for all the four of us, which included, mumma, bab bab, nurse aunty and off course me. Mumma was very smart, she took me in her amrs as if she has done that a million times before. But bab bab couldn’t decide what was the best position to hold me. He would hold me in one position and then ask the nurse and mumma whether it was good. He tried lots of permutations and combinations.

 

Grow up bab bab, holding me is not rocket science.

Nurse aunty would actually try to hide her irritation behind her smile. And if you think thats enough, then wait for the next part. I was usually brought to mumma’s room for nursing (yummy time, so yummylicious that I still do),and then taken back to the nursery for napping. Plus I had four girlfriends waiting there for me. I was the only boy in the nursery, so I guess I was in demand. But often I found bab bab peeking through the nursery, longing for one sight of me. He would force the nurse aunties to raise the blinds just to see me taking a nap, or smiling in my dreams, or just trying to wiggle inside the wrap. Yes, they used to wrap me, but don’t worry, I was smart,  I would somehow manage to take out my arms everytime.

The nurse aunties were very relieved to send us ( especially bab bab) home. No more of raising the blinds for bab bab, no more ‘just for one second’, no more ‘is this ok or should I hold him like this?’

 

Back at home, I was immediately surrounded by paparazzi of almost all age groups. Boy! I am popular. And within seconds I had a huge fan following. Bab bab stood there proudly with mumma by his side. Mumma needed a lot of rest and I needed a lot of sleep and bab bab needed to be a superman, looking after both of us. Everytime I cried, he would pick me up and hand me over to mumma for my yummilicious time. At times I would find him lurking around my cot waiting for me to open my eyes. And as soon as I need opened my eyes, he would give me a smile.

We have hardly been together for a week when I was rushed to the hospital again. I had jaundice. It was a tough time for all of us. Mumma would cry seeing the needle marks on my little hands.Bab bab considered her lucky as she could hold me near her, caress me. He would wait for hours outside NICU just for a glimpse of me. Even the nurse aunties would now bring me to the glass window so that bab bab could have a look. They told mumma that they have never seen such a loving and caring father. “Nurse aunties please tell us something new.” Back home, both mumma and bab bab would see the empty cot and hide their tears from each other. Grandmaa had her own set of crying sprees. Believe me they can win any crying contest.

Within 4days I was reunited with them. I came home like a hero in the arms of my heroes, even more pampered than before. Bab bab would invariably wake up everytime I would wake up to nurse. And would stay awake till the time I was asleep. At times he would just come near me, check on me and then go. And sometimes he would get a nice little scolding from mumma, reason being “Why isn’t he waking up. I want to play,” This usually happened when he was about to leave town for work. Yes, at that time bab bab was working at a different place . But I would find him standing near my cot every saturday morning. Sunday was officially declared as “father son-day”. No interference other than yummilicious time. I would often fall asleep in his arms. There were times when he wouldn’t move a millimeter because I was sleeping in his arms, or I was holding his hands, which I loved too. And whenever I was unwell or in pain, I found relief in his arms. Mumma was definitely there, but I would fall asleep only in his arms.

Mumma at times gets very jealous, because even till date, I wake up and the jump over mumma, to reach him. My first words in the morning is always ” eee bab bab”.This is the way we have been greeting each other ever since I learnt my first words. And every morning, we both feel the same excitement when we see each other. I know that bab bab is the worst possible dancer but still he managed to copy the “hot dog dance” just for me. He is my batsman, my horse (ee), my dance partner, my companion in mischief, and would definitely be assigned many more roles in the future, I am aware that I would forget all these precious moments we are presently sharing, but I am also aware that my bab bab would remember everything. I know this, because he is my bab bab. And every sunday, would forever be our Father Son-Day.

SHANTI: MY PIECE OF PEACE.

FROM THE PEN OF AN AMATEUR WRITER.

Shanti- My piece of peace.

I met Shanti some 8years ago. My househelp has not come for almost a week. Being a working woman, the absence of househelp is scary. So, I asked my neighbour if she could ask her maid to help me getting a replacement. Her maid obliged, and agreed to help me out with the routine household chores of brooming, dusting, cleaning the utensils. That is the day, when I met my Shanti. A dusky girl in her early twenties, with a distinct happy face. We hardly spoke to each other for a week. At the end of the week, she told me, “Bhabi, I want to work in your house. Your maid may not turn up for a long time. And I like working at your place. You seem different than the others.”

I agreed, not because I had started liking her, (it was too early…

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Separation: A true story of choosing self respect over love…

Kaushal was sitting in his room by the window sil, wondering what went wrong? He has not seen Nalini for last four months. She has left him and was staying at her parents place. Kaushal took his phone to message a close friend,  he wanted to break the news of their separation.

Their four years of marriage was on the verge of ending. It seemed like yesterday, that they took their vows of marriage, and now all the vows seemed meaningless. He heard his mother calling him for breakfast and hurried downstairs. His mother was very strict lady. Her son was her only security. She had lost her husband when Kaushal very young. And since then, she had never let Kaushal out of her sight.

Sarala Devi, Kaushal’s mother was not a lady of good repute in her neighbourhood. There was not a single household in her vicinity with whom she has not had a brawl with.  Her neighbours distanced  themselves out of fear or unnecessary hassles. She had a sharp tongue which she had no control off. Kaushal grew up as a timid shy boy, who had no say of his own. All his decisions were taken by his mother. He was not one of those brilliant students or someone with extraordinary talents. He was an average mediocre types, who somehow managed to drag his way through graduation. After two years of struggle he finally did secure a job as a medical representative.

But his job made him move away from his hometown, from his mother. He would visit her once in the weekend. Staying away from his mother didn’t mean, he didn’t love her. He was a doting son, abiding by everything his mother said. But he loved his newly found freedom, his own space.

Sarala Devi wanted her son to get married, settle down. She took the liberty of choosing her would be daughter in law. And Kaushal meekly agreed to her decision. Nalini was four years younger to Kaushal. She belonged to a very poor family. Her father could barely afford the wedding. The neighbours were shocked hearing that Sarala Devi married her son into such a poor family. Some thought that old age has got her, some admired  her for her generosity,  some thought that she did it purposefully. Anyways, Nalini and Kaushal tied their knots to be united for the next seven lives. Sadly the ‘saath janmo ka rista’ ended in just 3.5 years.

Nalini excelled Kaushal in the timidity quotient. She obliged to all the orders of her mother in law. Kaushal was happy to be married. Now, instead of coming home every weekend, he started visiting his hometown whenever his work would permit. Amidst of his mother’s austerity, they wanted a life of their own. She wanted to stay with Kaushal, instead of meeting him once or twice a week. But her mother in law objected. She wanted Nalini to stay with her, as she would be creating a distraction in her son’s career. Nalini’s wishes were insignificant, as Kaushal wouldn’t utter a word in front of his mother.

As days passed by, Nalini got tired of adjusting to her new life. She came from a very poor family, but her family gave her freedom. She started missing her freedom. Sarala devi had cut her wings. She was tied to the household chores and criticism. She felt lonely, insecure. She had no friends,  as her mother in law hardly allowed her to interact with the neighbours. They would poison her, make her a rebellion, ruin the mother in law-daughter in law relationship. Even watching TV was at her mother in laws discretion. Nalini was living in terror, one single mistake and her unsparing mother in law would give a theatrical performance of her annoyance. It was imperative on her part to adjust to everything Sarala devi desired. She was perturbed by her new life. Her palpitations would increase as soon as her mother in law entered the house.

 

She eagerly waited for Kaushal to come. He was her only consolation, a breath of fresh air. And once they met, they would spend hours in the room with each other. She would cry her heart out at times, looking for some consolation but all she received was a icy cold smile. Their wintry romance would cease as soon as Sarala Devi returned home from her Government job.

 

It took Nalini only a month’s time to realise that like her, Kaushal had no say, his mother’s word were the last. But she loved him and he loved her back. That was one thing that her mother in law had no control off. She had heard stories of the cruel mother in laws but she always shared the conviction, that she could win over anyone by her love and understanding. But she underestimated the insensibility of Sarala devi. She was one lady who couldn’t be pleased. Nalini worked by the clock. Toiled throughout the day, without a single word of appreciation, instead she was deluged with criticism,  curses and allegations.

 

At times, she would cry, call up Kaushal to take her with him, or talk to his mother. But soon she realised that her words were just hitting the wall, no one was listening to her. Kaushal was aware of everything,  but lacked the valour of fighting for the right. He wanted Nalini to adjust. And Nalini soon found that there was no end to adjustment. Her conformity was misunderstood for her weakness. Her submissiveness made her more vulnerable. She felt dejected and lost. Her whole world shrivelled. She stopped calling Kaushal. Her anguish kept on stabbing her. She cocooned  herself. She no longer yearned for Kaushal’s next visit. Rather she wanted to shun him off. His presence made her uncomfortable. His existence in her life was now immaterial. Unknowingly with every visit, he would raise her expectations,(may be this time he will have the courage to confront his mother). But it never happened.

 

Finally, she gave up. She knew Kaushal was not the man. The timid Nalini, has now mustered courage. Courage to stand up to the right. Courage to start living her life. Courage to take her own decisions. Courage to end her marriage. Courage to go back to the shelter of her poor parents. Courage to loose everything and yet be happy.

 

To conclude:

Sarala Devi, wanted her son to be a married man, but never allowed him to become a husband. She expected a full time obedient maid in form of a daughter in law (Ideally, people with such mentality should hire a full time maid instead of getting their sons married).

 

Kaushal may get married in the near future. But will the fate of his second wife be any different from the first? Kaushal loved Nalini. But he didn’t respect her. He was unable to strike a balance between his mother and wife. Even after being married, he chose to be a mumma’s boy more than being a husband. Love for your mother should never be compromised, but what about the love for your wife? Should that be compromised?

 

When a girl gets married,  she comes to her new house with lots of expectations and hopes. Her expectations from her husband is in no way different from her mother in laws expectations from her own husband.  Then why should her expectations be shattered? Why should she fight for her place in the family? Why is she treated like an outsider and yet it is expected of her, to accept the new family as her own? Why is she expected to choose love over her self respect?

 

Isn’t it difficult to survive, when you fall in your own eyes??

The Birthmark!!!

Tears rolled down her eyes, as she saw a figure dissappear in the dark. She lied all alone in the dimly lighted alley. Her whole body was shaking. She could hardly stand on her feet. She knelt down against the wall, her hands covering her crying eyes. Her hair was all loose and her dress was all drenched in rain. Her purse was lying near her, but her hands trembled to reach for the cell phone inside it. She could see the street light at a distance , but her feet failed to reach her there. Today, she has lost the faith in humanity, in love, in a relationship of a mother and a child. Soon another figure approched her, but she didn’t move. A lady in a khaki uniform approached her, followed by men in khaki. They could see the fiery red eyes of Kavita. But the eyes didn’t show any fear, neither showed any shame or remorse nor any revenge. Her eyes showed failure. The police inquired about the assailant but Kavita said she didn’t know the person. They took her to the police station for further questioning but nothing came out of Kavita’s mouth. They dropped her home but didn’t drop the case. They have managed to get the list of people close to Kavita and would start their inquiry soon.

Kavita was a 32yrs old woman. In one word, she was beautiful. Tall, fair and a figure to die for. She was working as thr Front Desk Manager in one of the leading chains of a 5star hotel for last 3years. Her english was impeccable. She was graceful and courteous. She definitely had no enemies in her workplace. She was also not being harassed by anyone. She was doing good professionally. And nobody was aware of any boyfriend that she had. She loved to maintain a very low profile, had a very small group of friends. Off late, there was one guest who would often come and talk to Kavita. But nothing suspicious. She treated him as courteously as any other guest. Kavita was used to getting attention from men but she was least interested in any. As well as the hotel staff were very strict in matters related to dignity of any women.

She had managed to rent a 1bhk flat nearby, where she lived alone. Her neighbours loved her. But, knew very little about her life. She was a very simple, down to earth girl, who kept to herself. Went to office on time, came back on time, had a few friends, definitely not a party goer type. Her simplicity added to her beauty. She has always been very friendly with her neighbours. They have never met her parents, in fact Kavita had hardly mentioned them. Kavita was very close to her neighbours son. He was 5years old and Kavita was like his best friend. He reminded her of Rishi babu.

Rishi babu was the closest thing Kavita had. She has never mentioned about him to anyone but she loved him. He was a 5year old kid. Kavita adored him. But that was a different era, an era that brought with it few tinges of sorrow and happiness. Kavita’s parents were very poor. So they have sold her to a man for a mere Rs.15000. At that time she was just 10 years old. The man had then taken her to a big house in a big city. The scared little angle squatted near the sofa. She was wearing a torn and tattered frock, no slippers or shoes, but even through the unkept, un-combed hair one could see the beautiful and innocent Kavita. The man then gave some papers to the family and in return got an envelope which made him really happy. The man then told Kavita to stay there and and listen to everything the Malik and the Malkin said. Obey their orders, and if she was good then he will come and take her to her parents. Kavita cried and cried, she didn’t want to stay there. She wanted to go back home. But no one was there to listen to her cries. She has been crying for last three days without anyone to feel her tears. But unexpectedly, this place was different. It proved to be a blessing in disguise for Kavita.

The Malkin came and consoled her and showed her, her room and gave her some clothes to wear. The clothes were not perfectly her size, but they were beautiful. Then the Malkin gave her some food. It was the tastiest thing she had ever tasted. She showed her around the house, and told her the things she was supposed to do. And then took her to the world’s most beautiful room. The room was bright yellow and blue, there were some characters painted on it, which later came to be known as Ben 10, Doremon, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. In the room was a toddler. He was the cutest baby Kavita has seen in her life. Sadly, she never had a chance to see herself as a kid. The malkin introduced him as Rishi, and from that day onwards he was Kavita’s Rishi babu. He was a 2.5yrs old toddler, who within a week became so close to Kavita, that she forgot all her grief. Rishu babu was very fair, with curly hair. One remarkable thing that Kavita noticed about Rishi babu was a unique crescent shaped mark on his left hand. It was his “Birthmark.” There was something strange about that mark. No one can forget that mark, once they see it.

The malik, malkin seemed friendly. They bought her some new dresses. The best dresses, she had ever owned. Other than the three, there was an old lady whom she addressed as dadi. Kavita’s duty included looking after Rishi babu and doing few household chores in free time. Mr. And Mrs. Kapoor were very busy. They were hardly home. Most of the time travelling to places that Kavita has never even heard off. But whenever they came back they brought lots and lots of gifts for Rishi babu. And to Kavita’s surprise, for her also. Very soon she forgot her parents and was very happy with her new one. Dadi was a little irritating but Kavita has seen and experienced worst. From morning till night she would spend looking after Rishi babu and Dadi. In absence of the Kapoors, she was the one who directed the cooks, the gardener and the driver. And they loved getting instructions from the pretty little lady. One day Mrs. Kapoor went to check the cctv footage. Kavita was good but Mrs. Kapoor had her shares of doubts. She was shocked seeing the footage. She never expected a girl of such tender age to have so much knowledge. She felt guilty looking at the video, she being the mother, never took as much care of Rishi as a 10 year old did. Everything was perfect. The way she bathed him, fed him, played with him, caressed him, put him to sleep, even scolded him gently when Rishi was naughty. With tears in her eyes, she rushed outside and gave a hug to Kavita.

Mrs. Kapoor took the liberty of sending Kavita to a nearby school. Kavita was a fast learner. She mananged her studies as well as Rishi babu and the family. The tours of the Kapoors had increased. They were hardly home. Rishi was growing up in the nurturing hands of Kavita. He would not do a single thing without Kavita. She had to miss her school sometimes to keep upto Rishi babu’s expectations. But she didn’t mind it. The teachers knew about her and supported her in all possible ways. She was a bright student. After a year dadi expired. Then the whole household came into the little hands of Kavita, who was only thirteen then. But she took the responsibilities without any hesitation. But she had to miss her school. But the teachers gave her the privilege of studying at home and attending the exams. Rishi babu got more and more attached to Kavita. She was like a mother to him. She would entertain all his tantrums yet manage to teach him good manners. He started going to school. Instead of his parents, he would find Kavita didi waiting for him at the end of school.

Kavita had been staying with the Kapoor’s for last 5years. She now, no longer longed to go home. She had narrated the whole story to Mrs. Kapoor one day, and she had no idea about kids of such tender age being sold by the parents. She felt bad for Kavita. She felt guilty for seperating Kavita from her parents. Despite of her busy schedule, she managed to file a case against the agent who had brought Kavita to her. But, deep inside, both knew that that man unknowingly had done a big favour to both of them. Kavita was living a life which she could only dream off. And Mrs. Kapoor had a help whom she could trust her son to.

But then, happiness is never long lasting, it comes and goes and may have plans to visit again. But no one knows the correct time of its visit or exit. For Kavita, happiness was leaving on a flight to New York within a months time. Kavita immediately rushed to Rishi babus room and started crying. Rishi was 7.5yrs old now. He couldn’t understand the reason for her tears. But he also started crying. Soon the Kapoors were ready to leave. Rishi kept on telling that he won’t leave Kavita didi. He was down with fever. But the Kapoors had no options. They couldn’t take Kavita with them. Not that they did not want to, but it was difficult to get her visa. But, the Kapoors have made all arrangements for Kavita. They had maintained a bank account for her since the time she had come in their lives. They deposited her monthly pay in that account. Plus they have made arrangements for Kavita in a good hostel and promised to pay for her education as long as possible. Kavita didn’t ask for the money, she begged them to take her along, she couldn’t imagine her life without Rishi babu.

But the flight took off and Kavita landed in a hostel. Where, every month she would get money. But she longed for Rishi babu. For few months she received phone calls but then it stopped. She knew that the Kapoors were very busy. She had been a part of their busy life. She had no grudges against them for not staying in touch with her. But she missed Rishi babu. The money kept coming to her account but the calls never came. Once her college was over, she went to the bank to close her account. She didn’t have any other means of stopping the money flow. But, in her mind she thought that may be the Kapoors will call her hostel to ask for her whereabouts once the money didn’t reach her. She regularly called the hostel for any updates. But its been almost 5years that no one had inquired about her.

Its been almost 17 years since she has met Rishi babu. She often imagined how it would be to meet him one fine day. She had even plans to visit New York someday. She has been saving money for that trip. She didn’t have the address but still she was determined to meet her Rishi babu. She often imagined what Rishu babu would do once he saw her. In her dreams she would imagine his little hands reaching for hers.

But, now the dreams have changed. All she could feel was the hands of the monster trying to rip off her honour, her dignity. She could feel herself running desperately through the alley and the man chasing her. She has met that man several times in the hotel lobby but failed to notice the camouflage he was wearing . He seemed like a friendly young man, hardly 24-25years of age. That was the reason why she stopped to help him. But soon found herself running to save her honour. Her whole body trembeled with fear as she felt that man touching her, trying to molest her. And how she was struggling to get off his grip and how she ripped off his sleeve. And how the left hand revealed the crescent shaped mark- the birthmark, which once seen can never be forgotten. A mark which tore her whole world apart. And how the dark empty alley echoed in cries of pain, “Rishi babu, Kavita didi.” And how Rishi babu stood there in shock and shame, how he knew that he could never undo what has already been done, and how he just disappeared forever.

Kavita never saw or heard from Rishi again. She never wished to see or hear from him ever again. But she often wondered how such a good little kid with such loving parents could turn into a monster. What made a monster, of a young happy kid? Was she responsible for it anyhow? Or was it the busy life of the Kapoors? Or was it the society of the rich and famous? Or was it loneliness of a small boy in an unknown city?

All she knew was that her questions will remain unanswered forever.

(Shadow cannot exist without the dark. We all have an angel and a devil residing within us. But, its our upto us to choose what controls us. The good or the bad?? Putting the blame on the society, our parents, our friends is very easy, but accepting our faults, our mistakes, admitting to our guilts is very difficult. A toddler needs to be monitored, but once the toddler is an adult, then he is his own judge. Choosing the right over the wrong takes immense will power. No matter what the situation is, we should be able to choose between the right and the wrong. Rishi failed his parents and Kavita. He had everything but still chose the wrong path. Kavita had nothing, but still chose righteousness. What we become, is the choice we make).

The dabbawala who got himself fired to get hired….

A cool air swept him, as he entered the air conditioned ” Plaza” building. He rushed towards the lift, it was 1:15pm, he was already late by 5whole minutes.  There were people waiting for him at the office. He pressed 17 in the lift. The other occupants in the lift were too busy to even look at one another. But Ramesh, loved to observe the people around him. Many faces entered and left the lift as they reached the 17th floor.Four of them got down along with Ramesh on the 17th floor. None, seemed to have noticed Ramesh. But Ramesh knew everyone by their name.

He entered the office, the peon greeted him. “Ramesh bhai, you are late today”. Ramesh winked at him. He was carrying dabbas of food. He individually delivered the dabbas to every table. “Sharma ji, Good afternoon. Have your lunch on time”. And so on. Few greeted him,few nodded and few did not bother. But Ramesh never missed anyone. He would deliver the dabbas and then sit there for sometime, talk with the peon. But mostly, he waited for the smile on the faces, as they tasted his food. Few smiled, few were too busy to understand the taste. Ramesh would then move on to his next destination.

His typical day would start before dawn. He would leave even before sunrise to procure fresh fish from the market, then move onto the vegetable market. Buy chicken from the shop nearby and head back home. Then he would start cooking. Food was his speciality and cooking, his passion. He would plan for the menu, a night before. He would clean, cut and chop all the ingredients and cook with his heart. He would never repeat the menu for two consecutive days. He had a small client base, but was happy with it. He had plans for expanding his business but, for that he needed money. Which at this stage was not enough. He often dreamt about opening a small restaurant. People coming to his restaurant, enjoying food and having a good time.

He lived alone. He never had a family of his own. He was brought up in an orphanage, where, he managed to complete his graduation. But instead of searching for a job, he started his small catering business with the money he saved by working part time in the kitchen of a restaurant. He started out with just one client, but now he had quiet a few. He had little money, but he never compromised on the quality of food. His charges also were lower as compared to the other dabbawalas. More than food, he wanted to deliver happiness. Out of his small clientele, he had special attachment with the office on the 17th floor of the Plaza building.

One day he reached the office before time, delivered the dabbas to the individual table, greeting everyone. But he didn’t wait. Nobody, but the peon noticed this unusual behaviour.  But, before he could ask Ramesh, he was gone. And within 10mins there was total chaos on the 17th floor. As everyone opened their individual dabbas, they were shocked to see that half of the items in the dabbas was missing. Sharma ji’s dabba had only chapattis, Vikram’s had only rice and daal, Kirti’s had chicken and mixed veg and so on. Not a single dabba was properly arranged. The hungry and the angry, were complaining loudly and criticising about the lousy Ramesh. Even those who didn’t know the name of the dabbawala, became aware of the mistake Ramesh had made. They had no option, but to share their dabbas with each other. They left their cubicles for the conference room. Where annoyingly they shared each others food. No doubt, the food was as delicious as it always was, but criticism and complains did not subside. Ramesh has gone crazy, he is out of his mind, wasted so much of our time, I could have finished my work, if not for this Ramesh, etc etc etc.

In the evening,  when Ramesh came to collect the dabbas, most of the employees have left, but the peon was there. He narrated the whole incident. All Ramesh did was smiled, and said that this would never happen again. But the next afternoon, the same thing happened again. The infuriated employees again rushed to the conference room, but this time they were more organised while eating. They definitely did not forget to criticise Ramesh, but amidst all this, they also talked to each other. Sharma ji’s daughter had just cracked IIT, and Vikram was about to tie a knot, Kirti’s son had fractured his leg and so on. The happy hour was soon over. Ramesh as usualmcame to collect the empty dabbas in the evening,   he could sense the fear in the peon’s eyes. The peon delivered the warning issued by the bosses. Another day of this and they will cancel your dabbas. Ramesh assured him that it won’t be repeated.

But, three days later, Ramesh repeated his mistake once again. And then again on the following day. The angry and the hungry again rushed to the conference room. But, this time it was less of Ramesh and more of Vikram, Sharma ji, Kirti and the rest. They talked, they laughed, they joked and they ate. But yet, they were angry on Ramesh. In the evening the peon handed Ramesh a letter from the employees. Ramesh opened the letter to see that he has lost his clientele on the 17th floor. They no longer needed his services. Ramesh left the building. But he was not sad. He had a feeling of immense satisfaction.

Next day a new dabbawala delivered food to the 17th floor. Vikram without a second thought headed towards the conference room, soon the others followed. The food was nothing compared to that of Ramesh’s, but they talked and joked and ate together.

Next day, during lunch, the peon went to give them water. For the first time, someone inquired him, “Did you have your lunch. He replied, ” No, sir, Ramesh used to get me a free dabba everyday. Now that he is not there, I have to go outside to have my lunch. I usually take my lunch after all of you have finshed eating. So once you are done. I will go for lunch. But I am happy to see, that for the first time in so many years, all of you are enjoying your lunch. Thanks to Ramesh for switching the tiffins. His mistake has transformed this office.”

The hustle and bustle stopped. All of a sudden, there was complete silence in the room. They have just realised what Ramesh has done. Sharma ji, offered a plate to the peon, who very hesitantly accepted it. Vikram was fiddling his pocket for his cell phone. He had a very urgent call to make. He hurriedly dialled a number, the phone was on speaker, when a very familiar voice answered, ” Don’t worry, Sir ji, I will be there at 1:10pm tomorrow,  with your dabbas.”  ” You better be”, shouted everyone.

Three years later, Ramesh has managed to rent a small place for his much dreamt about restaurant. He also continued his catering business. He had a good client base now. He hung a board outside his restaurant,  it read ” LIFE IS BUSY, BUT WE CAN BE FREE.”

( When I started writing this blog, I thought I was writing about Ramesh, but as I proceeded, I felt that indeed I was writing about a little bit of Ramesh in all of us. Most of the time we all end up eating our meals with our tensios, work, cell phones, laptops. Why can’t we just sit an enjoy our meals with our family and friends. Afterall which cook does not want his dishes to be appreciated, be it a chef, mother, wife or daughter, husband, son, etc.?)

Why do you have to grow old Maa??

Over the years, her hands has become old and wrinkled. At times when I touch them, they feel soft. When I look at her, something stings me from inside. I don’t like the impression that age has created on her. I just want her to be young and vibrant, forever. I hate to see the silver linings on her hair, I hate to see her squint her eyes in search of her specs, I hate to hear the feebleness in her voice, I hate to feel the sense of insecurity in her mind. I hate to see her, getting old, succumbing to the pressure of the time.

Her eyesight has weakened, her body has become fragile, her hands at times shakes while carrying things, but one thing that is still strong and unchanged, is the love in her heart. The endless, love and care, she has for me. The endless patience, she has for me, to hear me out when I am sad, to hear me out, when I am angry, to hear me out, when I’m not even interested in talking to her, to hear me out, when I have lots to share, to hear me out, when no one else cares.

Her hands, still has that magic potion, that can transform the most hated vegetables, into a mouth watering delicacy. A morsel, from her hand, still melts in the mouth, making it greedily wait for the next. That special something in all her recipes, makes me relive my childhood all over again. That, love she pours, makes me count my blessing to have her in my life.

One, stroke of her hand over my head, is still the cure of the worst headache. Her lap, can still put me into the deepest slumber, even, when the dizzy spells of tensions lingers around. That much hated oil massage, will forever be the most cherished one. That one, pat on the back, can still make me move boulders. That one, assurance in her eyes, can still make me take on, my destiny.

Her eyes can read my heart, my mind, my soul. My wish has always been her command. She can find words even in my reticence. That is the power, you hold, Maa. That is the power, you have over me and will have it till the end of the time.

I hate it, that you are growing old. You may still try to ease me by telling, that with age comes wisdom, but, I feel like raging a war against time, against god, for making me grow up. I still want to be your little one, running around you, hiding behind you, wishing that Time can never catch us.

Why do you have to grow old Maa? And why do I have to grow up at all? Why can’t time just freeze and we stay just the same forever?

The abandoned…

Was I born so tainted?

That you left me Maa, even before we could get acquainted?

As I lay struggling in the abandoned bush,

All you needed was just a little push,

 

A push to make you fight the devious biased world,

If only, you did that, like a flower my life would have unfurled.

 

You left me at the mercy of the stray hounds,

But fear was not something that made my heart pound.

 

The hunger scarred me more than their bites, 

If only, you had the courage to hold onto me, more tight.

 

But, the almighty had plans to save me from all the unworthy clutches,

I can assure you Maa, I don’t need your sinful touches.

 

You left me cause I was born as a girl, 

I pity you all, for losing such a magnificent pearl.

The orphanage.

“Seema, parents have come.” Said Radha with gleeful eyes.

“But if I’m chosen today, you will be left alone Radha.” Said Seema.

“Don’t worry. We’re never chosen. 

Everyone wants babies. I don’t understand why they don’t want us.”

“Yes.. that’s true. Babies cry and poop and cry and still everyone wants them. Whereas we can wash our clothes, clean utensils, yet no one wants us”

“Hush!! Mam is coming. Let’s get back to class. It would be lunch soon. And parents will come to look for a baby to adopt.”

 

 

90 words microfiction.

As the train left….

She clenched onto the window as the train drifted away from the congested station.

She wanted to run back and gather her belongings and dispose it far off from the crammed station.

She wished for someone to stumble on her belongings….

But with time she had mastered the art of hiding things, including her own feelings.

“There was a bomb blast at the last station. Terrorist attack, once again.” remarked someone, all aghast. 

She clenched onto the window, even hard….Once again, she was able to pummel all her emotions back into her soulless heart.

#95words #microfiction

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