Tag Archive | write tribe

500nd old

I patted the child back to sleep and tiptoed my way out of the room. Once out of the room, I hurried to the kitchen when I missed seeing the drops of water on the floor, stepped on it, slipped and fell down. And then I cried. With my knees hugged close to my chest, my head on my knees, I cried.

It is not easy to be managing everything single-handed with a demanding child. It becomes more difficult if you do not have a help and want to do everything perfectly and on time.

The better half came and sat beside me and asked, ‘Are  you hurt?’

I did not say anything. What could I say anyways. The stress was building up and I did not know how to let it go. Looking back I wonder whether it was just too much work or the fact that I was always bound up at home without any outlet.

He helped me back on my feet and asked, ‘Want to go back to work?’.

I shuddered. I thought of running behind deadlines, crazy schedules and a tiny tot and said a vehement ‘no’.

I had been a working woman and my work had never given me any satisfaction so why would I go back  when the kid was small.

When he came back for lunch, he saw me busy on the laptop. ‘What is this blog thing?’, I asked.

‘Huh,’ he said, ‘I don’t know much but everyone seems to be doing that. Why what happened?’, he asked.

‘Reading V didis post, she writes so well’, I said.

‘Why don’t you start writing too’, he said.

Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye. And in this case the husband’s heart.

And so Searching self was born. It spent its 1st year in blogspot and then it moved on to wordpress because mamma liked using smileys and blogger then did not have that facility.

Initially I wrote tiny tidbits of life, some blast from the past. some spicy happenings. But then the ‘Dil’ wanted more. And I stepped into fiction.

Five years and five hundred posts later, I feel sane. I may not have published a book nor do my followers run in thousands but what matters is that I am still around. Writing has given a direction to life or should I say my life got a life. I am calmer and more peaceful.

I am happy that I made it so far without much networking or marketing or for that matter without much winning too 😉 I rarely take part in contests and those that I have, I have won but once.

I do not know what I will write next, I do not know whether I will write at all but I know that I will follow what my heart says because sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye

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Written in celebration of completing 5oo posts and also because Kajal gave the prompt

Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.

for Wednesday prompt at Writetribe.

Write Tribe

Thanks Kajal the prompt just fitted into my scheme of things 😉

I love my pastry

‘You don’t love me anymore’, I screamed, ‘It is only her nowadays, I said pointing at my ‘new’ sister.

And so I sulked. Ma cajoled and Pa tickled but did I smile. No.

And then Ma whispered something in Pa’s ears, And then Pa smiled and took the car keys and said, who will come for a ride?’

I turned my head but pa held my hand and pulled me out.

And off we went for a chocolate pastry. Pa beamed to see me drum but little did he know pastry is  why I had played this drama all along 🙂vidya-sury-secret-garden

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Written for 100 words on Saturday at Writetribe. The prompt being the picture.

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Silver Lining

She left the office,  one hand holding all her things, the other holding her termination letter. She was dejected.

It was her 34th birthday, alone with two kids she did not know how to support herself or her kids. Life looked bleak.

Little did she know that her angels were baking a cake for her.

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Fiction written for 55 words on Friday at Writetribe

55onFriday

The prompt this time Little did she know

‘FEAR’

The room was silent. The only sounds heard were the scratching of the pen on paper. The invigilator moved from one row to row, alert, agile. He had to, you never knew what tricks the children came up with to copy.

Nisha was tense, Chemistry was not her favorite. And today the paper was tough. When the question paper had been distributed, everyone had been disappointed.

She began the third answer when her pen stopped working. Thinking that maybe the ink has run out, she picked out another pen, that too was not working, so she picked up another. But whats this.. that also is refusing to work. Panic creeps in. Beads of perspiration glides down from the nape.  She runs the pen a couple of times on the last page of the answer sheet. The pen starts working and she heaves a sigh of relief. 

But she has wasted some time and there is a lot to answer yet, she starts writing fast……..

The invigilator announces that only 10 minutes are left. Nisha is on the verge of tears, she has not completed her paper and she knows she cannot.

When the invigilator snatches her paper, Nisha jumps up…….

….and sees that she is on her bed.

Her mother sees her jump up and then notices her noticing her surroundings. Then she sees her rushing to the bathroom.

Nisha freshens herself and returns to her bedroom and then notices that there are absolutely no books in her cupboard. Instead there are bibs, powders and what not.

‘Maa, you again cleared up my cupboard. How many times I have told you not to touch my cupboard. Now tell me where are my books.

‘Maa where are you’, she yells.

Maa comes near and looks at her quizzically.

‘Where are my books Maa. It is March 1oth, exam starts in 10 days, I have to study’.

Maa still keeps looking at her.

‘What?’, asks Nisha.

Maa clears her throat. And says, ‘As far as I know you have passed all the exams that you had to  pass. You have done your degree, your post graduation. And whats more you have also got married and had a baby’. And she gestures to a bundle on the bed. Having been awake for the major part of the night, the baby is blissfully sleeping amidst the commotion.

Nisha then remembers that yes she has cleared all her exams including the delivery of her first-born and is at her parents place recuperating.

Some fears like exam fear remain with us for a long time and can even come and haunt us in our dreams. 🙂

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A real life incident which happened with my sister and is written for the prompt DREAMS.

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013.

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Today is the last day of the festival. Had a good seven day of writing and basically juggling between writing, reading and housework. Hope you all had a good time reading through my posts. Thank you for being a part of this festival.

 

GREY

I opened the door and stepped out. It was a cold day and I wanted to have some sun. It feels good to have some sunrays on the shriveling winter skin.

But what do I see. The shoe rack is not as it was. It was at a haphazard angle. The shoes thrown here and there. When did that happen, I thought. Yes, a little while back, I had heard the Ethiopian girl playing in the corridor. And I had heard some noise too at that time. But had not bothered. Simply because that girl was always into some or the other mischief. Well can’t blame her actually.

She lives with her mother and some ‘aunts’.  And these ‘aunts’ keep changing. I have a suspicion that they are not legally staying in Bahrain. Maybe they don’t even own their passports anymore. Illegal immigrants keep on changing houses to escape any probe. I don’t even know what profession they are into. The doorbell ringing at odd hours give me some hints. The others staying in the building avoid them. And so do they. They mingle with their own. No doubt the girl does get bored all alone without any friends.

I look here and there to see if someone is present to sympathise with me. At that time the door opens and the mother steps out.

‘What is all this’, I ask her. There is silence in the whole building and my voice echoes.

‘What’, she asks in her unique accent.

‘Your daughter was playing here some time back, it must be her work. Couldn’t she keep everything back?’, I ask.

She mumbles something.

‘I didn’t understand’, I say.

‘You don’t know English or what’, she yells.

That irritates me. ‘ I know English very well, thank you but your accent I do not understand’, I say and not wishing to hear or say anything I just keep everything back in place and leave for my walk.

Later me and my friend have a talk on Ethiopians in general. ‘Why do you mess with them. Their occupations are not known, you know they have this animal  culture, just avoid them’, she advice.

I do follow her advice.

Some days later I am putting the clothes to dry in the terrace. Something happens and I faint.

Sometimes later I come to consciousness to find myself in the lap of one of the roommates of my neighbour. ‘Are you alright?’, she asks me.

I nod. She makes me sit in the shade while she puts my clothes to dry.

Then she helps me get up. Leads me to my flat. Makes me comfortable and asks if I need anything. I mumble a no. Then she leaves.

Later when she meets my husband, she narrates everything and asks him to take care.

So often we brand people according to their nationality or their work and so often we forget to see our own deficiencies.

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I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013. The prompt for today People

vecchio libro con stilografica

Disclaimer: this post is not intended to hurt any one by their nationality, profession, looks, creed etc. It is just meant to show my own shortcomings.

The evolution of Kavya

‘But Amma I don’t want to go’, said Kavya.

‘Kavya for once don’t be selfish and think about Annamma(father’s mother). She is so excited about this trip. You know your Annu(father) is not getting leave. I have to stay here to look after him, you know his diabetes needs monitoring. Just go with Annamma, after all the trip is only for seven days’, said Amma.

‘Seven days …it will be hell with all old people Amma’, said Kavya.

Amma glared at her, ‘You have enough leave , just inform your office and start packing’.

Kavya let out a sigh. Things recently were not going the way she wanted. Her boyfriend of 2 years had ditched her, the last assignment she was given at office was not that successful and now this. ‘Is this my age to go on a pilgrimage’, she muttered to no one in particular.

Three days later she was getting ready. Annamma came and said, ‘How I want to be at least 30 years younger’

‘Why?’, Kavya asked.

‘At least I could have worn a jeans and gone without a care’, was her reply.

‘You can still wear one, your figure can still make others envy’, said Kavya with a twinkle in her eyes’

‘Shee, shee, don’t try to butter me up’, said Annamma.

But it was true. At the age of 74, Annamma tended the vegetable patch, washed her clothes, went for walking and did as much community service as she could.

They were briefed in the waiting lounge of Nirmala Travels office at PVS Circle and while the brief was going on she looked around to see if there was anyone of her own age.  There was a boy of maybe fifteen years or so and Kavya’s disappointment resurfaced.

Their first stop was Palakkad and then at Palani. The greenery she saw around was mesmerizing. The green was enchanting and the moo of the cows was soothing. When she saw the steps to the Palani temple. she wondered how the oldies would climb. “will they able to… especially the women with their heavy sarees”, she thought.

‘Afraid to climb’, she heard a voice, she turned to look at the boy whom she thought was 15.

‘I am Pradeep’,  he said.

‘I am Kavya and no I am not afraid to climb, and that to climb steps; not at all, I am used to hiking, mountaineering etc, you see’.

They started ascending. And then she saw all the old people including her grandmother climb with such agility that she was ashamed of her speed. Was it their faith or the fact that they lived active lives.. who knew but the fact was that she had reached only mid way while the rest had already reached.

Looking at the rush, she said she would stand outside. ‘Come Kavya, maybe you will never get to see this again’, said Annamma.

‘And the architecture is good, if you are not interested in worship, you can always look around’, said one of the uncles. And very soon all joined and cajoled her to step inside the shrine.

Soon the group was a big happy family.

Eeshwar uncle would crack jokes all the while, Katy aunty (Katyayani) was the mother hen who looked after everyone’s needs and so on. Pradeep was the errands boy and she was everyone’s pet.

The tour proceeded to Srirangam and then to Trichy and Tanjavur. The piety of the others was inspirational. ‘What do they pray about? And in such a crowd too’, she muttered to herself.

‘That is because my dear, you are not listening to the coordinator giving the history behind each temple’ said Raghu Uncle.

Kavya was ashamed. It was true she was so bothered about her own troubles that she had not been listening much to whatever was going around.

In Rameshwaram she listened with attention and was lost in the description it was so surreal.

She now understood how important listening was. The queue was long but then Annamma started singing Bhaja Govindam and everyone joined in. She understood that ‘kirtan’  (singing)too could connect you to the superior being in a way that nothing else could.

As they emerge out of the temple she felt a calm which she had not felt since the time she had turned into a teenager

At the gates of the temple, Surendra Uncle knelt down and thanked the God for all his blessings and also that He had seen to it that his long cherished dream of visiting Rameshwaram had been fulfilled.

AT that time Kavya understood the importance of ‘vandanam‘, the importance of thanking. Had she ever thanked the Lord for her blessings.  Leave God she didn’t even remember ever thanking her parents for anything.

They proceeded to Madurai. The atmosphere in the bus had changed. The initial joking and chatting had been overtaken by various stories of the deities which they had seen or about to see. As she saw the contented looks of the others she understood that ‘smaranam‘ -remembering can be vitalizing too.

The Meenakshi temple enamored her. She touched everything again and again and she was filled with awe.

After the temple visit one of the member said that he knew one small temple nearby in which they could offer their personal puja. The coordinator and the driver were coaxed and they proceeded.

As she saw everyone getting involved in the worship, right from picking the flowers, to making the garland, to getting all the ingredients to worship. and as they washed the feet of the Lord (pada sevanam)she understood that there is a lot of happiness in doing things together and that arcanam or diety worship could cleanse ones’ heart too.

Standing in the waters of Kanyakumari she felt at peace. Was the water soothing or was it Swami Vivekananda’s special mercy, who knew. She saw Pradeep serving his grandfather, she saw Katy and Annamma talking in whispers and smiled. Both servitorship and friendship could give so much joy.

As she stood in front of Padmanabh Swamy at Trivandram, for the first time she bowed down and let her ego fly away. At that moment she surrendered (atma Nivedanam) to the Supreme and allowed him to take charge of her life.

When they returned to  Mangalore, the partings were painful. The seven-day journey had made them all a family.

But Kavya was happy. She was finally at peace with herself and was ready to take on the world again.

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I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013. The prompt for today Travel

vecchio libro con stilografica

Prahlad told that there are nine processes of devotional service (bhakti)-sravanam (listening),  kirtanam (singing), vishnu smaranam (remembering), pada sevanam (serving the lotus feet of the Lord) , Arcanam (deity worship), Vandanam(prayers), Dasyam (servitorship), Sakhyam(friendship) and Atma Nivedanam(surrender). I have incorporated these nine processes into this post. Hope you liked reading it.

When music unites

Mohan cringed when he heard the giggling of girls. His sister Dharini was forever bringing friends home from college. ‘Do they study at all’, he thought. But then there was silence and after that he heard a melodious voice singing, ‘Gaata rahe mera dil…tu hi meri manzil’ and he prepped up.  It was the song from the newly released ‘Guide’ and he sat in rapt attention. He loved music whether it be film songs or classical. The singer sang the entire song and then there was silence after that and once again the chatter started.

He moved towards the voices but he met his mother on the way. ‘Where are you going, Mohan?’, she asked and he returned to his room. Those days boys and girls were not allowed to mingle. But he hovered near the main door, in hope to meet the girls but no it seems they had no mood to go home so early and he had to leave for office.

‘Seems you had a nice time in the morning’, he asked his sister in the evening, ‘no studies eh’.

‘We had holiday today so we thought of having a get together and had a good time. Shyamla, sang, Mridula danced and my… we gossiped so much. Shanta even taught me a new stitch’, she said in ecstasy.

‘So her name is Shyamla’, he thought to himself. Dharini had just finished her matriculation and was now going to college.  Though it was not yet fashionable for girls to go to college, there were a few progressive families who did send their daughters to college.

And so Mohan who had lost his heart to the one with the melodious voice aka Shyamla, tried to see her and talk to her but alas talk he could not. The girls would seldom be unchaperoned and he could never ever talk.

Mohan by then was already 25 having a good job and his parents wanted him to get married. And though a number of good alliances came up he always managed to give some excuse for not marrying the girl in question.

‘She is taller than me’, or ‘she has just completed her 7th’ or ‘her voice is not good’, were the excuses he gave.

Until in exasperation his father yelled, ‘Do you want to marry or not?’

‘Yes I do want to marry to… Shyamla’, was all that he said.

There was a shocked silence and then his father asked, ‘Who is this Shyamla?’

Hi mother coming out of her reverie mumbled something in his ear.

‘You fool,……..you fool, you found no other girl’, was all that he had to say.

Later he came to know that Shyamla was the illegitimate daughter of the minister of the erstwhile King. Shyamla’s mother Leela used to live in Mandya and Chandrasekhar who was one of the minister at King Wodeyar of Mysore used to frequent Mandya. It so happened that Leela’s father had some business dealings with Chandrasekhar and during those meetings Chandra and Leela first met and then had a relationship.

Chandra was already married.

When Leela got pregnant she was thrown out of the house and she came in search of Chandra.  Chandra could not marry her but gave her a place to stay and looked after her needs.

Leela and her daughter were ostracized by the whole society but Shyamla was a bright kid and her mother herself taught her classical music. Her mother saw to it that Shyamla had a good education for she knew that getting her married was a distant dream and education would be the first step to see her independent.

Mohan grew morose. It was not Shyamla’s fault that she was illegitimate. She was good-looking, she had a good voice and had a good education, did anything else matter?

Shyamla was banned from their home and Mohan was sure that if he knew Dharini well, she would have stopped talking to Shyamla and even seen that others too didn’t speak to her.

He had to speak to her but how. He took the help of the music teacher at college Mr. Kartikeyan. When Mr. Kartik heard Mohan, his sincerity won him. Also Shyamla was his star student whom he wanted to see happy and he felt that Mohan was the right person for her. As such there was no hope of Shyamla ever getting married.

So in the pretext of some extra practice he called her to his chambers at an odd time. Shyamla came to find an unknown man. Mohan introduced himself. Shyamla thinking that more troubles would befall her, started moving towards the door.

‘I like you a lot Shyamla’, pleaded Mohan.

‘What do you know about me to like me’, she asked.

‘I have heard you sing’, he said.

‘Is it enough to lead a life together’, she asked.

‘Music can unite nations then why not two hearts’, was his reply.

‘And how will you convince your family’, she said.

‘They will have to’, he said.

‘I do not want to be the reason for a family to break’, she said.

Kartik Sir who was hovering just outside thought enough was enough and came in.

‘Why are you stopping happiness to enter your life, Shyamla’, he said. The matter was sealed between the two. They would unite but not yet.

Leela liked the young man and called upon Chandrasekhar too to meet him once.

Mohan took up another job at Bellary. There was a huge uproar at home and everyone blamed Shyamla. ‘I am going because I am getting better opportunities at Bellary. And for your information I will marry only Shyamla and no one else and that too with your blessings’.

Both waited five long years. By that time Shyamla was teaching music at one of the schools and Mohan was earning well. Dharini had already been married off. Seeing that Mohan was adamant and would not marry anyone but his nightingale, the parents finally relented.

They were finally married in a low-key ceremony and Kartik Sir gave away the bride. Chandrasekhar was not allowed by his wife to do the honors.

And so Mohan and his Shyamla started their musical journey together. Mornings began with Venkatesh Suprabhath and nights very soon spent singing lullabies

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I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013. The prompt for today MUSIC

vecchio libro con stilografica

Those boxes of books

When I stepped into the house, I saw boxes. Cardboard boxes of God knows what. I gingerly went in searching for my employer Mr. Sheri.

I caught him making a cup of coffee.

‘Good morning Sir’, I said.

HE nodded. I remained silent. Mr. Sheri was quite temperamental and it was better not to mess with him before he had his first cuppa.

Mr.Sheri belongs to an erstwhile family of landlords. Now there are only a few acres of farming land left but yes there are other assets. Mr. Sheri though moody is a philanthropic and not quite interested in other work. And there is where my work starts. To see that the money goes to the right place and see that it is utilised well. Well Mr. Sheri does not fancy women much but he believes that women can be trusted more than men. Who am I to judge his beliefs. I enjoy the privileges of my work.

Privileges you may ask. But you see in our town Mr. Sheri is highly respected and so as his Secretary I too manage to get some limelight.

Other than that I see to it that I don’t have much to do with the BOSS.

‘You wanted to ask something?’, it was HE. Lost in my thoughts I had not noticed that he had finished his coffee.

‘AAA…the boxes outside, what are those.’, I asked.

‘My good aunt, my mother’s sister has left her books for me. God knows why. I don’t read much but you know that’.

Of course I knew that; even the morning newspaper I had to read aloud to him. He hated reading that much. There was a rumour that he had not even finished his High school. But then what is the need to study when you have an inheritance waiting for you.

‘What am I supposed to do with the books?’ I asked.

‘Anything you feel like, he said and left.

I opened the boxes, all ten of them. Encyclopedia, atlases, novels, all stared back at me. And soon I was lost in the world of books.

‘Janaki, JANAKI’, screamed Mr Sheri, ‘Can we begin today’s work’.

I jumped and ran.

The successive days were pure nectar. I would grab one or the other book and read whenever I could. and take one home too.

Some days later we had been to the orphanage which Mr. Sheri supported. I met some really bright students who were supposed to take up their Matriculation. I enjoyed talking to them, they confided their dreams and aspirations. They mentioned how they were afraid about their future because they were not so fluent in their English and once they finished their matric and went to the city, they will be ridiculed for their language.

An idea struck me… if only Mr. Sheri agreed.

   *******

It is two years since the idea stuck  the orphanage now boasts of a library. The boxes  of books that Mr. Sheri inherited have now been transferred there. Evenings I teach them spoken English and am glad to see that the love for books have been kindled in them too. And yes there have been periodic additions too made by us. Yes, us. I am now Mrs. Sheri. Somewhere in the setting up of the library and the teaching of kids we discovered that we did love each other. So while I oversee the library and the orphanage,  there is a secretary appointed for everything else. Yes a female middle-aged secretary with a husband  and kids. Though I trust my husband, can I take chances….no, na…

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I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013. The prompt for today being books.

Write Tribe

Bonding over morsels

‘That is enough for you?’, asked my team leader Shravya as I bit into my sandwich.

‘ummm, yes’, I said.

She scrutinized me and said, ‘Really?’

Well, I couldn’t blame her. People usually assume I eat truckloads looking at my figure.

‘Yes’, I said and watched as she took out her dabba. It had two layers. One had roti-sabji and the other had some sort of rice.

The aroma was tantalizing. How could I tell her that no the sandwich was not enough for me. But my budget only allowed me that. I stayed in a Working women’s hostel which fed us nicely morn and night. Afternoons we had to fend for ourselves. I had my educational loan installments to pay and had to support my younger brother with his school fees and also had to send mom some amount for the household expenses. Our father had departed the previous year.

I sucked in my breath. I love Gujarati food and the aroma was too much for me to bear.

Shravya and me shared a very difficult relationship. We had not yet discovered whether we loved each other or hated. She hated that I was a Management graduate while they all were from an Audit one. The Boss had taken me in so that I could give a management angle to their Internal Audit firm. So we had our tiffs.

‘Aditi, you don’t know how to make a simple report’, she would shout.

‘I know but I don’t know how Auditors make reports’, I would retort.

She believed in finding faults, I believed in making the team work. And the Boss had a merry time watching us.

But then she was our team leader I had to obey her.

Being the introvert type I would be stuck in my cabin. Cabin being the place were internal auditors were given space in the client office. As soon as it was 6 p.m I would leave. ‘Stay a bit late, strike up a conversation, get some info’, she said one day.

‘I may miss my train and if I do I may miss dinner at hostel’, I replied

‘Why’, she asked.

‘The refectory opens at 7.30p.m. If girls are real hungry food gets over by 8’, I said. She never asked me to wait after that.

Soon after I started taking rotis from a Gujarati lady for afternoon. 3 chappatis and some sabji. If you know Gujaratis, then you may know that they make tiny chappatis. And so when I put the first bite inside my mouth, Shravya raised one eyebrow and was about to ask, When I replied, ‘enough for me’.

She shrugged. No wonder… since that morning we had had a massive showdown in the … ahem.. loo. In case you get ideas, let me clarify.. since we work in the client’s office we could not argue/fight in front of everyone could we. In front of everyone we were the perfect team mates.

Next day she brought an even larger dabba. I seriously wonder how she managed to be so slim after eating so much.  ‘Here have some undhiyu’, she said.

‘No, no, I have had enough’, I made a feeble protest.

‘Ma has packed a lot for me, I can’t have that much, at least help in finishing this dabba’, she said.

I had memories of my own mother who never found me fat and fed me to her heart’s content.

I took some and had. After all who can resist undhiyu.

It became a regular affair. She would always get something extra. And I would gladly eat.

It was the fest at Mahim Church. I went along with my hostel mates. Shravya was there too with her mother.

She introduced me to her mother. ‘Is she the one who loves my cooking and for whom you take extras’, she said.

Shravya expertly changed the topic.

Next day I asked her, ‘Why?’

‘What’, she replied.

‘Why do you bring food for me?’, I asked.

She let out a sigh and said, ‘I really couldn’t see you starving Aditi and don’t you see after I started bringing food for you, your work has improved!!’

She was right.

I didn’t have words, I just hugged her.

As Amitabh says in the Daawat ad, we Indians really bond over food.

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I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013 and today’s topic is food.

Write Tribe

The maze of life

I knocked on the door of the room. Mrs. Bhatia looked up from her book and smiled. ‘Do I know you?’, she asked.

‘I am Dr. Shashi. Remember we sit and talk two days a week’, I said.

‘Do we’, she asked

‘Yes’, I replied.

Mrs. Bhatia has Alzheimer’s and she is put up in this medical facility not because her family does not love her but because her condition is fast deteriorating and she needs to be monitored every single moment.

‘So did you have breakfast’, I asked.

She thought for a minute and said, ‘I think so, stomach feels full’.

I switched on the radio. An old song came on.

She smiled and was lost in her thoughts.

‘What happened Mrs. Bhatia’, I asked.

‘We watched this movie in the club’, she said and then shyly added, ‘Raj Kapoor was looking so handsome that Mr. Bhatia felt jealous.’ she giggled. ‘For one full year he did not allow me to watch any movies of Raj Kapoor’.

‘You liked Nargis too?’, I asked.

She had a faraway look, ‘I loved her in Mother India. I used to threaten my children that I could be as strict as Mother India and would punish them if they didn’t study well’.

‘What are the names of your children, Mrs. Bhatia’, I asked.

‘I used to call my son Riku and daughter Cheeni’, she said.

‘Those are nicknames, what are their actual names’, I asked

She tried to remember but couldn’t.

Then she said. ‘Cheeni is a fun-loving child. Always laughing and making everyone laugh’

My heart turned a little, does it mean she is improving.

‘She loves to dance. I switch on the radio and she dances to whatever song is playing. Such a darling she is, I love dressing her up.’

I smiled. It was good that she was going through the memory lane even if for a brief time.

‘She wants to be a Doctor and Riku an engine driver. Riku is forever running around in his make believe world of engines. And Cheeni is always checking my BP and temperature. We have fun days’, she said.

‘Where are they now?’, I asked.

‘Who?’, she asked

‘Riku and Cheeni?’, I said.

‘I don’t know….. Don’t they come to meet me?’, She said.

Just then an intern came to call me, I was needed somewhere else.

‘Okay, Mrs. Bhatia’, I will leave now’, I said and left.

Outside I stood with the support of the walls. Ma never recognized me. Even if I introduced myself as her daughter she refused to believe me. For her, her daughter Cheeni was still about 10 years old.

Life moves through myriad lanes, some get lost in the mazes of life.

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I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013. Today’s prompt is memory. I propose to write a story every day, let us see how things shape off.

Write Tribe