Archive for the ‘ Short Stories ’ Category

Kayalvizhi (A damsel with eyes that represent a fish)!!!

“I am on my way to meet you, the train is heading towards your city” – said the SMS that beeped on her Android mobile….!

Sleepily, she woke up from her slumber looked at the watch on her bedside table, it read 11.30 pm. She turned to the lit mobile next to it and clutched it with her right hand, wondering who it is at this hour of the night.  Sliding the screen, the message popped-up and reading it once she almost closed her eyes, then suddenly the last part of the SMS woke her up again.

” …Impatiently waiting to see you, my Love.”

That brought a smile to her face and the man of her dreams appeared before her, that well-built body, that killing smile, that half-raised eyebrows, that scent of his colognes and after shaves, that mischievous look, that never ending questioning, that relenting hands, that firm walk, that I am least bothered about the people around attitude…but still the fear of being caught….all that made her shiver even in that winter-less summers…!

She shuddered and put the phone down, with a hesitation to reply to that message and overcoming the fact to reply…curls up in that blanket and drifts away into a far away land of dreams and dreams.

It is 6 am; still there is time for that stupid alarm of hers to wake her up. But then the dreams have another meaning to her day break today.

She wakes up to some loud noises around, heavy chattering and laughter. She gets up in a fit to close her bedroom door and get back to her sleep. She hazily with semi-closed eyes walks up to her bedroom door.

At the door is a figure standing with a hand resting on the door sill. She rubs her eyes and tries to open it wide but the light from the other side blinds her and it is tough for her to make out the silhouette.

Hardly a few yards but yet it is so far away and that figure is seemingly teasing her with a smile…she walks briskly to push it away and close the door…!She is almost there and then the figure holds her shoulders and moving up a palm towards her chin putting a finger to support the dropping chin, sounds huskily to her, “Hey, you don’t want to look at me…I traveled about 700 odd kilometers for you…”

She fully regaining conscious, looks into that those teasing eyes, the same mannerisms, the same things that disturbed her in the night comes back and the silhouette stand tall and endangering to her femininity…!

She tries to shun him and run away, when a whole load of cousins and his friends surround her from all sides…she shyly doges them and looks at him with pleading eyes to let her go…she tells him with her eyes, this is not the way I want you to see me…!

She is in her night clothes, a pink tops and a blue 3/4ths, her hair shabby from the twisting and turning in the bed, the eyes droopy, the lips dry, the face laden with the power of a good dream…though all this had not shattered or seemed to have touched her beauty…she still looked like a exquisite beauty to watch on…!

Knowing her uncomfortableness, he slowly gives way between him and his friend next to him, and gestures her to pass through it quickly. Understanding him in perfect harmony, she passes their clutches and runs away in to the kitchen where her mom is already making heavenly smelling coffee and dishes for the morning…!

Before she goes in to her hide out, she makes sure she gives him that everlasting smile and look that took his heart away the very instant he saw her on the day of her engagement…!

He had no idea of love and no idea of running behind girls, he was so quietly observed with his work and his medical science kept him occupied. He wanted some remedy for painless surgeries and making some surgeries with the patient conscious. There were methods available but was looking at other options of it and this he thought will help the people on the battlefield.

He was a military doctor helping people with various wounds and amputations and worst scenarios, his mind did not read those subtleties of heart and never had he found time for all that. Though he was interested in poetry and all the romantic things that life can offer, he never did want to do something like that in his life, until that one day.

He was summoned to home all of sudden and before he could deny, he was packed off to the girls house and with just one group photo of the girl he had only a glimpse of what she looked like.

He did not know what to do but reclining with the flow of events he went there to come to conclusions later or just walk away from it denying some reason or other.

He got bored with all these stupid talks, he was not ready to look at the happening…he said, he will take a walk and be back. The family let him be. He walked into the so called backyards of the house and wandered in the wilderness, it opened in to some coconut yards and mango yards.

He kept taking in the scenic beauty of the house and surrounding, breathing in the fresh air and came by to a stream following silently. He just looked around for a place and settled to sit there, when he heard a loud noise from the other side near the bushes…!!

There was a girl in her late twenties and an old lady arguing over something. The girl did not look innocent, looked educated and well behaved but still stubborn in her arguments.

Getting curious he walks closer to bush and gets a good picture of the girl. She is dusky, with beautiful eyes, long lustrous black shiny hair, beautifully craved lips, shapely nose, nice neck; straight and slender structure draped in beautiful simple cotton sari lined with a simple jari border in contrast color of pink and mauve.

She looked like a goddess in disguise. She was denying loudly to the old lady and the old lady was convincing her.

In her fit of anger, she gives a look at the lady and it looked as if there was fire in her and she would have reduced the old lady to ashes…in that fit of anger her hair flung open which was loosely held together in a knot.

It spewed all over her face and in a urgency to tie them again a strand of hair let loose on her face slung with grace across her eyebrows and lightly brushed the lips…at that instant she looked more heavenly than anything on earth and that very instant something changed in his mind.

He just got up to find his camera missing and forgotten to get it…he captured that image in his mind with a thousand watt flash light that never hit him that hard and he let out a sigh so loud that it caught the sight of the damsel and she ran into a quarters like thing and was lost from his sight.

Dejected, waiting there for some time, he turns to go back the way he came. The image ringing in his mind from the echoes of his heart, not able to capture it, not able have a copy of it, nothing he can claim, he walks and drags his soul to the house back through the coconut and mango groves.

His family eagerly waiting for him, seeing announce the family to present the would-be bride…!!!

Somebody from the other corner of the house called for, “Kayal…Kayal…”!!

(More to Roll)

Abode of Love – Part 3

She gets up from the chair staggering and leaning on to the wall, taking deep breath, looking around, she focuses the number on the invitation. She knows he must be expecting a call from her that is why he has deliberately put the number there. He always does this, before you ask for it he gives it to you…thinking thus, she has a broad smile on her face, which hadn’t been there for long.

Walking up to the antique looking telephone, she trembled as she lifted the receiver to dial the number…!!!

She could not wait till the call got through; she placed the receiver back and walked away from it, with a tear from the corner of her eye.

Her minds asked her several questions, “Why now?”, “Why not then?”, “Is this all a mistake?”, “Am I the intended one for this invitation?” “Is he still the same?” “Is he inviting to his family function?” Should I be going?” “Should I talk?” “Will he ever remember me?”

Like these several questions and their answers went revolving in her head. One minute, she dashed to pick the receiver another minute holding herself.  Nevertheless, she fervently picks up the phone and dials the number…after what seemed an era; she hears the phone ring, in her favorite song – caller tune.

Lost in the song, she reels in her likeness for the song and almost forgets the voice at the other end talking to her.

“…I have been waiting for this call all my life! My Love, How are you?”

“I…I…How did you know, it is me?”

“If I could send you my invitation card to your address, won’t I know your phone number?”

“I….I…am… (sob)” No words could relate to the feeling she went through. Nothing could stop those tears from running down her cheeks…she was so emotional that no one could stop her from what she was doing. She leaned against the wall holding on to the phone and slowly greased down on to the floor against the wall.

Her sobbing turned into a cry that was loud enough to wake the whole vicinity but the screams were only audible to her. She just kept crying till she could hear no sound from the other side, she uncontrollably controlling her tears spoke in to the phone…!

“(Sobbing) Wiping the tears with a single-hand motion, she spoke, ‘How are you? How are things with you?’

“I am good, sweetheart, [Her heart sank, it echoed the same feelings she felt when he used to call her back then…how can he still create the magic, yet again…] as always you are there to take care of me. Why should I worry? Leave about me, tell me about you. I am waiting to hear about you. Meanwhile, you should come to my abode, see it and give me your approving look! Will you, ah?”

Her mind did not read anything after that word…she was stuck there for life. She had missed the word so much. There were so many endearments that could not re-create that just happened.

“Sweetheart, sweetheart….”

“Hmm….”

“For a moment, I thought you disconnected. Stupid, me I am still not able to believe you called me. I knew, you won’t but as usual I left my number in case you wanted to talk to me. [Laugh] So, I guessed it right. You did call me, sweetie! Wow, what a wonderful day it is?!” [Laughter…that is hearty…no stopping]

“No, don’t call me like that…I might right now run into your arms. You might then regret my decision.”

A slight laughter escaped her breath…she used to always do this to him. Stop his laughter by hers. Only her laughter was heard and it was echoing in his ears, heart and the house of his…he was going crazy with her sound again that filled his soul, his life, his everything that he had held on to till this day.

He never knew it would happen and now it was happening…it was his weirdest dream and secretly he worried if that would happen. He was afraid and lost thinking what if it did not happen, what then and whenever he had this thought he blessed himself with the lord’s blessing and said, “It will happen, dude just keep your faith going…!”

It happened and he was right about it all through the 30 odd years he spent lonely looking for that one soul walking up and down the street across her, staying close to her, watching all her growth and wishing her luck in all the endeavors she took, she had not caught notice of him living right across the street.

He was there at all her victories and failures. He was with her in all her stages of womanhood and saw her grow into a nice and mellowed granny…walking down the same streets that her rocked with her beauty, holding the hands of her grandson and granddaughter, a lady of pride.

In his mind, she did not go past the age of young girl in the college, where he first time saw her.  That is how he restrained himself whenever he got angry looking at her from far…it was a tough decision to be right under her nose and not be available to her. He could not talk to her, see her, take her advice, and hear her laugh, smile, look into the eyes that did tell him a lot…nothing he could do.

Just stand there as he no longer existed and remain there.  Many a times, he thought of leaving the place and going away from her sight completely but he could not gather the courage. He was worried if he deviates from the goal, what will happen?

He took everything in the sight as a mark of his stride and kept the ignited mind working towards his goal and did not stop as long as he laid the first stone towards the goal. He worked day and night and whenever he felt lonely and disturbed he always looked at the solid memories he had and kept himself busy looking at the girl of his dreams, flower and ripen through age right in front of him, only not at his home.

She had not deterred from her services of a wife that she became, she had done everything that a wife did, she flowered, she grew fonder, she was a perfect wife, a mother, a daughter to her in-laws, a sister to his relations, and did all the chores that came her way and also became a successful ‘Home Maker and Professional’ at the same time. She balanced her life perfectly. She was always found with a smile on her face and never seemed to have problems with her life.

But he had seen her crying silently against the walls of her house when no one was around, looking at the sky and crying in ecstasy, the cry in the rain, the silent cry while cooking, the unknown cry that he heard and at those times he always had walked up to the gates of her house to console her, give her a shoulder, but could not enter the gates…always walked back with the hatred of a lifetime.

Hating himself for not doing what was required at that time of lifetime and repenting for it every moment. He had the toughest times in his life and now, it all seemed to melt away at the voice returning to him on that phone call he waited for all his life…he had conquered the world and it was nothing compared to the price – he was hearing.

Nothing in the world was worth it – except for the ‘Beauty’ he was talking to now – ‘It was Worth All the Time, Then…Now…and tomorrow!’

Life begins at 60, said some philosopher. It is very true and his had just begun – No looking back…!

Abode of Love – Part 2

Here is the link to part 1 :  https://braintoast.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/abode-of-love/

Dressed in an orange organdy chudidhar with pastel colored floral designs she was standing at the gates of the college which will be her place for the coming two years. She is lost looking at the place it is new for her and away from home, her thoughts – only friend, she walks into the college with a straight back and undivided attention to the details around the college.

She walks past few people gathered on the sides of the pavement, the corridors of classes, the lunch rooms, the staff rooms, gathering each info of the building.

She comes to a fleet of stairs taking her to the floors above, not knowing whether to climb onto the stairs or just check with people around, she hesitates for a moment and finding the sound of footsteps from above, she holds her breath and stands there.

She does not step on to the stair, she can’t move and give space for the person coming down, the stairs did not have railings, and if she did she would pass through the gap that is there between the stair walls that are not built.

She hazily looks down through it and looks up to see who is the one coming down and how long would that person take and then she catches a glimpse of a brown eyes looking intensely at her from above.

The eyes lock her for a moment and she diverts her attention to the floor below her feet and waits for the person to pass by.

The guy, 5 ft 11 inches tall, walks down taking 2 or 3 steps at a time moving down with an air of exuberance and an smile that does not seem to vanish…quickly hastens and moves down….!

“Hey, there. Are you a newbie into the college?”

Not knowing if it was addressed to her, she just looks up into the same eyes. Hesitantly, she looks around and finds that it was indeed indented to her.

She answers in a loud and clear tone possible, “Yeah, 1st year MBA.”

“Hmm…where are you from?”

“Excuse me, why are you asking me this? What difference it does to you, where I am from?”

“Hello, madam…I am your senior better talk to me properly, otherwise you have problem you understand?”

“No, I don’t.” She walks past him climbing onto the small space on the stair and gets on to comfortable planes. She walks with such an air, that there is nothing but confidence and grace and nothing of arrogance or obeisance.

This is how I met him in college. The arrogance of a senior he carried around, being nosy, looking or trying to catch my attention whenever he wanted, passing by me with a trifling smile, talking aloud to my companion, his mother tongue which did not entice me, his looks telling me – I am watching you, babe!

I was tired of his looks, he appeared wherever I was. Slowly, I lost interest in him untiring looks. I did not notice him; he did not seem to be looking any more.

I was worried, where did he go?

Then I realized, I wanted to see him, his gaze spoke a lot. I looked around, found him and secretively looked at him, whenever he passed by I spoke aloud making an impression, I knew the head would turn and it did, I was in heaven.

Slowly, days rolled and his end at college became evident…he spoke to me now in a more endearing tone, asking me to concentrate on my studies, asking me to plan for the future, asking questions relevant to studies, asking me to keep a tab on things that I could do.

Involved me in some college work, all those meaningless talks, all that could be gathered. Then, one day he called me across to talk.

It happened on the same stairway, now the railing for the stairway was in place and comfortably two people can walk by, on the either side of the stairway.

It the same scene, I am climbing up and he climbing down. I would have almost missed him, if he had not stopped me. As usual lost in thoughts, I was climbing up…he said, “Hello, Madam…What lost in thoughts again?”

“Hmm…nothing like that. Tell me, what’s happening?”

“Coming to collect the examination hall ticket and asking me what is happening?”

“Yeah, it is your last semester exams right, so all prepared?”

“Well, not exactly, yet to start on with the preparations. What about you?”

“I am all set…well, no not actually. I am yet to kick-off. Too much to do, so kind of completely dazed….”

“Between, can you spare some time, I want to talk to you, in private.”

Yeah, she said inside her mind with a know-it-all smile as teasing as possible. But aloud she simply said, “All right, now or later?”

Completely off guarded by her answer, he stumbled a little and said, “I have a small job to attend to now. Will let you know when. It is ok.”

“But who?”

“No worries, it is my word, see you then.”

“Huh?” She could not move further she just stood there looking at him passing by. Can’t he have said when and where?

Hmm…so bad. Why is this happening to me? What does he want to tell me? This thought triggered a smile to her lips and spread across her mind and body. She sprung around with new vigor and went about doing her task.

Smilingly, she went up and collected her hall ticket for her examinations. It brought her back to reality and she got back thinking about it. She got back to her hostel and rested on the bed thinking and gathering the things that she can immediately do before exams and the ways and means to make some studying possible.

She heard her name being echoed in the corridors of the hostel. Strangely, no one calls for at this hour and she looks at the watch it is almost 3 pm in the evening. She got back from the college at about 1 o’clock how did two hours go by?

Surprised, she walks into the corridor and finds a senior of hers yelling her name. She walks up to her and finds that a senior of her is waiting for her and wants to talk to her.

Hazed not knowing who it is now and what the matter is. She walks in to the room of hers and tries to gather the loose strings but no, she can’t.

When did I doze off? Thinking what?

She quickly goes into the loo and gets organized and leaves towards the college. She forgot to ask her senior, where is the person waiting?

She tells herself, it is ok. Anyway, here only nah can find out. She slowly walks across the lane of eucalyptus trees, the pathway winding into t he ground, the muddy road, the wind playing havoc on the sand, and she hears the birds sing.

She looks up from the road; she finds a familiar figure waiting for her. A smile spreads across her lips and then the memory floods back.

She waves to him and walks with a smile that is unstoppable. Moving closer to the target her heart beats faster that she can hear it in her ears. She holds on to her breath and promises to herself not to reveal her nervousness.

She walks closer to the target and exchanges a “Hi”

“What was sleeping? Eh?”

“Yeah, but how did you know?”

“You girls have no other job than sleeping nah.”

“I don’t sleep in the afternoon; if I do I don’t get sleep in the night. So, I don’t. Today is a rare occasion. To say, this you called me now is it?”

“Yeah”

“Oh! Ok…!! I see.” There is a moment of uneasy silence.

“What’s happening with the college magazine? How many articles are you writing?”

“Huh, what? Why should I write?”

“You are the editor, you are supposed to contribute.”

“Hello, not necessary. I just have to edit the articles. By the way, you are leaving the college, why should you be bothered about it.”

“Yeah, why should not I, ya, let’s sit there. It is still my college. I can ask. I am still the president of the committee.”

“Oh! Yeah, sir. Forgot, forgot….”she says teasingly and looks at him.

They walk towards the library building and there is a shade of the gulmohar tree in full bloom.

(…will roll)

A forgotten page from a diary!

Today, was the last exam of my tenth standard, the first level of crossing for an individual…this exam decides the physical state of a person…I have done it too today…this exam results will unfold my future and I will know what I am to become or pursue to live the life I breath in.

I have done my exams well and hope to fair well in my life too, but never know what is in store for you unless you stand on the verge of the upstream…!

So have to wait for the two month time, for the results to come in and then decide…meanwhile I have two months of a time…what should I be doing with it.

Obviously, will be going to my native town…where I will join a whole lot of cousins and friends near-by…loads of fun with games and television, movies and talking…will happen.

I have this strange heavy feeling in my heart, I am not able to overcome…what is it? Not sure…I seem to be liking this feeling for a certain episode is running in my mind again…and again and again…like those movies where the heroine sits on a table, or cot, or in the car, or in the bus…just recollects some scene again and again and there it follows a song sequence…

Can I hear music….nah…nah…but something of a melody flows by…!

I can’t forget the way he ran to my vehicle and gave me my rubber back to me…Oh! I had almost forgotten the little thing that I had…it was a spare one I had.

He had causally asked for it…before going to the exam as he had forgotten to bring his…!

I did not know why he took so much of a pain to return it to me…he could have kept it with him…as I had informed him that it was a spare one…he had also said while taking it from me…“I want to talk to you, once you finish the exam wait for me…”

I had asked him what was it, he said…“Wait for me…All the best” and walked off…I stood there gapping at his back as he walked away to his examination room…I recollected myself and walked over to mine…for few minutes, I kept pondering then the exam question papers arrived and the fear of unknown questions took over my brain cells.

When it was just another 30 minutes for the exam to end once again the memory flashed its agony and I wondered what it could be and I was gripped with some unknown bitter sweet sensation that did not let go…I walked out with the satisfaction of having done the best and to my astonishment I found my dad and mom waiting for me just outside the school entrance…I did not know they were coming and I found it really exciting to find them…my little sister was also with them…!

They had come to pick me up and we were off to something nicer after my exams. I was thrilled and forgot all about somebody asking me to wait…and the excitement.

I rushed to meet my other friends with whom I used to always hang out and then started leaving when I heard the final bell go off in the school premises…!

Then like a lighting bolt, it struck me, the words that drained in my ears…“wait for me…”

I turned around and looked for that familiar face, but could not find it in the swarm of school kids who were running out of the exams halls relieved that the dreading exams are over and there is no more of study for at least two months in a row….!

I heard the call of my impatient parents asking me to hurry, and rhyming with the strike of heart and my eyes that was asking to locate that face, that wanted to convey something to me….where is he?

Oh! Now, where did he disappear, I saw him coming out of the exam hall…walking briskly and talking gaily along with his friends…from the smile of his face I could make out it his exam went well….!

By then, I had reached the jeep that was waiting for me to hop in and leave any minute…my dad asked me to jump in…and I looked at him and nodded with my eyes drawn away from his sight and looking at the doorway of the hall and trying to catch those pair of eyes…that beheld my thoughts right now!

Hmm…he was so busy talking to his friends and did not notice me…I found my dad looking at me and at the direction where I was looking, I mumbled…‘I had given my eraser to him in the morning…I want it back…’

He smiled, ‘You can take it when your school re-opens or it is just a rubber, leave it you can buy more…’

I just nodded in agreement and reluctantly hopped into the jeep, my sister had already kept the hind door open…damn, my sister.

I got in and attempted to close the door, the engine started running and the jeep was in motion…I was peeping out to the open enclosure at the hind door and found him walking and running towards my jeep…I screamed…‘Wait, a second…and turned to find my parents, driver and sister looking at me…horrified, I said ‘My rubber…..’

I could hear giggles…and then turned around to find him at the door of the jeep and he said, ‘Here, your rubber, Rani…thanks it was of great help. Happy holidays and see you on the day of results…See ya’

I said, ‘See…ya, well you can keep the rubber will collect it on the day of results…why did you run to return it…? Anyways, now exams are over will not require it much {smile}’

{Smile and I saw a hand wave}

“Yeah, let’s go…we are late…” I heard my dad say.

All I could do is wave my hand and tried asking him by drawing circles and angles in the air and make him understand what was he trying to say to me in the morning and the jeep had moved him out of my sight just like a speck of a dirt on a white shirt….visible enough but can’t do much about it!

I still don’t know what he wanted to say and this thought is getting me restless and I want to days to roll by so that the day of exam results come…and I know my little secret.

What could it be….?

PS: A fictional incomplete thought of an adolescent from the diary!

Birbal…as usual !

Once Akbar was at court and was ready to start the session.. but Birbal was yet to come…. he kept looking at the entrance of teh court room…. and when finally Birbal came in running, he stood and apologized to the Jahanpanah.. saying : “Forgive me Jahanpanah… I was late as I stamped shit by mistake.. I had to go back home, wash and then come back… I am very sorry”.. At this,, all the other ministers, who always waited for an opportunity to throw him out, said . : “Oh thats is so awful… he has stamped shit Jahanpanah.. how can anyone do that.. we must amputate his leg !!” Every body agreed that Birbals leg must be amputated.

Birbal was caught in a tough spot… he did not know what to do.. he looked at Akbar and said.. ” Jahanpanah, please give me 45 days… so that i can walk to my hearts content… then i will willingly get my leg cut off “..
 
At this, Akbar looked at the other ministers… they looked at each other.. finally everyone accepted that it was fair to do so. give Birbal 45 days to enjoy his legs 😉
 
Next day, Birbal arranged some workers to dig a big pit , outside the city. Then he made a request to all people in the city, to please use this pit for their nature’s call. People found this funny, but they did not mind. Slowly the pit started getting full… Then Birbal threw seeds of greens on this pit and let them grow…in two weeks they were long and green and looked sumptiuos.. he arranged to pluck the greens and got them to the court… then offered every minister a big bunch. The ministers were so happy ! They took the greens home and made delicious preparations and  thanked Birbal profusely. They wondered how the greens tasted so good ! Birbal said that he grew them outside the city and the next crop will be ready in two weeks… this time he offered the ministers can themselves go and pluck the greens.
 
The ministers were thrilled and on the day of harvest, they jostled between each other to be the first to pick the best greens… as they went to pluck the greens they fell into the pit… with shit all over.. Birbal came to the pit and said. ” Oh ! you have all fallen in shit.. right up to your neck… how can any one do that… so your head must be amputated !!”
 
Thats when the ministers realised their mistake… they apologised and begged Birbal not to amputate their heads.. and get them out of the shit… Birbal did so willingly… It was the 45th day.. and Birbal’s leg was not amputated ! Akbar admired Birbal and remained his proud patron.
 
Moral : Think of others just as you think of yourself. What applies to them also applies to you 🙂
 
Foot note : This was a story told by my father when I was a little girl… the story is the same…just the words are different.

A Dawned Reality?!

The city of Coimbatore has always been an educational place for all the young aspiring lads of the country. There are numerous educational institutions and premier institutions around the city and there was always a whole galore of boys and girls in large numbers speaking varied languages and different dialects.

In this same city on the national highway that connects this city with the other cities of Tamilnadu, there stands a much known educational institution of management, which was home for many students at a given point of time. The college had so much of life about it; it always looked like a fair with some or the other meet and college functions happening.  There were many stories that revolved among its students.

An old library building, it is so silent that the gloomy look of library gives you a shudder to enter in its complete serene silence…but the Librarian at the desk performing his task with few heads pondering over magazines and books beyond comprehension….!

The book rows stands out in the dim light and with the combination of the sunlight that is passing through the glass windows from above gives the place an heavenly odor….!

A lone slender figurine stands at the rack of books on world history and lost in thought. She is actually looking for a book of reference and not able to find…she had found it when she was there yesterday. Yesterday, yeah if he had not intervened as usual would not have left the building without the book and would have worked on the assignment.

Half-hoping he pops up again and half-hope of not to make him appear, she intensely looks at the books stacked. She is looking at the book, reading through the name of the book, the author, lost in them…did not notice the guy behind her almost close to her breath.

A hand clutches her left hand with vivid power that it actually aches…she turns around with a sudden shudder that runs through the whole body and looks at a person who stands taller than her and with the shoulders that can rest a troubled face and ease away the pain….looking at her teasingly.

She almost would have let out a shrill cry but recognizing him to be the person she had half-heartedly wanted to be there…she gives him a sly smile, looking into his brown eyes and an enquiring gaze.

She raises her eyebrows seemingly to ask him, “What are you doing? People are around and there is the librarian.”

For which, he replies, shrugging his shoulders, as if he is not bothered and does not care…with a louder teasing smile.

She says, “So what now?” with a gesture of her other hand. She had not struggled to let go of the hand that is being clutched.

He says, “Come closer, with a gesture of his eyes…and nods his head”

She gives him a sly smile and tries to move away from him, realizing all this while he was actually holding her hand.

She looks at her hand, his and then looks into his eyes. He is determined; he gently pulls her closer to him. She stumbles a little and then falls into his embrace and there seems to be no hindrance.

His embrace tightens and she finds herself resting on his shoulder as if nobody else’s business but hers and does not want to leave the warmth and the smell of him engulfs her. She is slowly losing control over her and he seems to stiffen his grip…then she wakes from her dreamy state and struggles to get out of the embrace.

Then, only she realizes how tight his grip is…she struggles in vain, with her pleading eyes she looks at him and he is just smiling at her helplessness. She tries to free herself; he is trying to gripping his control.

She pleads him and lets a soft cry, asking him to let go…!

He says, “No…stay this way”

She says, “No, let go…”

He says, “No, stay this way…”

She says, “NO…”with a louder voice that could attract a crowd and pushes him hard away from her and finds she is fighting with the air around and sitting awake on her bed.

She is shaken by this dream; she has not had erotic dreams as this since she got a changed status in her life and taken over more responsibilities of life.

She looks around for her bedside alarm piece and finds the clock striking five o’clock, an hour earlier than her usual time of wakefulness. She looks to the other side of her bed finding her husband sleeping blissfully without any awareness. Thanking god, for such small mercies, she knocks off her blanket, ties up her long hair into a knot and walks out of her bedroom.

She opens the door of the adjacent bedroom and finds Mira peacefully sleeping. She does not want to wake up her up; she closes the door, when she finds her trying to cover itself up with its blanket in vain when her motherly love pulls her closer to her.

She covers Mira with the blanket, tucking it along the contours of the bed; she slowly closes the door and walks off. She opens another bedroom door across the room and finds Parthi at his study table, trying to read through some text book.

The sound of his mom makes him respond a fraction of second earlier than his mom.

“Mamma, you up so soon….!”

“Hmmm…da. What are you reading?”

“I am trying to catch up with a history test today. Why should we read about some stupid tablets the King put up all over the place and followed some stupid religion after giving up war and conquering…why should we read all this story…mamma? It is so hard to remember them.”

“Son, unless we know what people ahead of us did, we would not be able to decide what we want to do and which is the right thing to do. So it is always necessary to know, what is good and what is bad and what other people did before us…! It indirectly tells you a lot of things. If you are not able to remember all the things that are being said…make some little imagination to what you are reading and make it interesting for you to read and enjoy….!”

“But beware you don’t carry off your imagination so that you forget what you are reading. Will get you a glass of hot milk…” Saying thus she walks away from him and her cascade of hair falls on to her shoulder making her look prettier than any women of her age………..!

“Don’t do that…leave it nah. You look beautiful this way…” this echoes in her ears and is stopped by its utterance and as if in a trance she is stalked at the door step.

“Mamma….Mamma…don’t do that…I keep telling you and you keep doing it….”

She is out of her reverie and finds her son looking at her fondly…she just nods her head as if acknowledging his request and walks off into the kitchen and sets the milk on the stove for a quick boil…!

Looking at the boiling milk she gets lost in the tiny splutters in the milk…!

It had been ages she had woken up to a dream like this…this was just not a dream, it was a part of her reality speaking to her from the past. There was so much fun and frolic in those days of college. She had been in her teens and was always full of life and kept lingering on the mind she spoke with.

She used to be the darling of the college and had a lot of fan following but none dared to make an effort to tell her…but there was this one person who did and that made a difference to her life as of now. She recollects the days in a flash, when she is distracted by a sudden movement at the kitchen.

She finds a shadow move closer to her from behind and the shadow places it hands on the kitchen slab clutching her from behind placing his arms rightly intermittently with her own arms and his breath is right close to her ears….the hot breath mixed with his smell…is making her heady and there he is uttering some words into her ears and she is not able to make sense of what he is uttering……….!

He slowly moves his hand to her hair and removes the knot; she now mostly does this act of her more as habit than a necessity…! Down goes the cascade of hair, soft and silky wobbling with the sudden effect of tension and it drapes her back beautifully with a swing…he rests his face on it for a second and moves closer to her ear to speak into it.

He is giggling and talking into her ears…“You know, I am reminded of the day when I clutched you close to me in the old library building of ours…I wish I could just travel to that time and hold you the same way. What say, darling?!”

She just laughs out aloud and turns around to cover her face on his shoulder and finds peace within…the embrace that lasted a lifetime and many more!

Abode of Love

Knock…knock…!

“Yeah, coming…who can it be at this time of the day? It is about 2 pm in the afternoon and nowadays the post man also does not come that frequently…it has all become email and internet stuff. Who can it be?”

“Amma, How come you receiving posts till…You are still in the ages of 80’s. That world’s changed…Hmmm…for some it didn’t, I guess.”

“Hello, your job is to deliver post. Don’t talk too much. Just give it and keep going.”

Who is it? Who has sent it to me? Oh! My reading glasses, let me see…

She looks at the envelope and finds the sender’s name etched in one corner. It has a neat handwriting and a cursive. Who can it be? Who stills writes in cursive, it was our days of school and college…now tho, I wonder if people even use pen and paper.

She holds the envelope closer to her eyes to take a look at the writing without her glasses. She can’t read a letter, but still she tries. She can’t resist why it is being addressed to her.

Then, her eyes at one blink catches a letter of the name…it says and looms larger in her eyes ‘C’. Her heart skips a beat.

Oh! Can it be him? What date is today? What month is it? What am I, 60 already? Isn’t my birthday next month? Oh my god, what’s happening?

The world around her swirls, the room, the chair, the tables…! She stumbles, holds to the furniture next to her…it seems to be moving.

She falls into chair, lost into a deafening thought. The words echo…

It is a depleted building on the hill station; she had chosen the spot to talk to him. She was there before him as usual and waiting for him. He came after she had already waited for 20 minutes. He was smiling and brimming with life and full of expectation and hope.

She knew he was expecting her to accept to the proposal he had put forward some days ago. But she had other plans for him.

As soon as he neared her, she blurted out… “Listen, things are not that easy as you say. It is really difficult I tried hard. I spoke about this to my parents as well, they did not agree I can’t do this. It is better we split and I don’t want to see you anymore or talk to you.”

“Hey, I thought you going to say something else, anyway, no worries. You go ahead finish up all your responsibilities. I will wait for you. I will wait for you this lifetime and many more. You won’t find me gone anywhere. You come back to me and that’s a promise I make to you. You are free to go.

Go, Go…Go, no harm done. I am good.”

She turns to go further and stands for a second listening to him…she can’t go. She is stuck. She is stuck by the words. She runs back into his arms and holds and cries on his shoulder…she cries out aloud and holding him she weeps.

He just lets her to cry to her heart’s contend…after what looks as if an eternity, she slowly regains herself and looks into the eyes that are looking at her intensely and passionately.

She wipes her eyes and looking at him says the inevitable, “At the age of 60, I will certainly come to you. Just mark my words, I will be there with you and no one will be able to stop me then. I am coming to you. Wait, for me.”

And she runs wildly in to the wilderness and gets lost in the civilization of the life too. To till this day she did not know that she could even be remembered for so long.

How long it has been? How long has it been? Oh! How many days and years have passed by? Almost about 25 or 26 years have passed by.

Can he remember all this till now? Has he been waiting for me still? Does he believe it is still possible? Haven’t heard from him that day? How did he get my address? How did he know I was still alive?

Alive, yeah he is ….and he remembers. A strange feeling passes through her and she does not know what to do. She goes to her desk and picks her spectacles and cleanly opens the envelope with her trembling hands.

She can’t stop her astonishment and her luck and on opening she finds an invitation card that reads,

Welcome to my ‘Abode of Love’

12.03.2036, 6.00 am

I invite you to my abode of love and waiting for your presence to fill this place with all the love and pleasure that I had missing.

I don’t know whether you would come or not, I am still here.

Address:

No.21, Avenue Hilltop

Fern Gardens

Kodaikanal

Phone: (04542) 6758902

Mobile: 09673489210

She reads it and falls, into the reading table chair and her mind is reeling the past. Not knowing what to do and how to approach this happening of her life. She looks in to the mirror and finds a girl of late-twenties smiling at her. Her white hair replaced with shiny black hair flowing in wind, unconsciously she puts her hand through her hair and a smile spreads across her wrinkled lips.