Children’s Day

Vinu was excited.  His father had promised to take him to a restaurant for dinner on that day, as it was Children’s Day.

“Its your day… Children’s day…You can ask for anything” his father had said.

And he had asked to be taken to the new restaurant that had come up. his friends had already told him that the food was great. but more than that, the play area on the top floor was too good. not the type that are usually seen in theatre and restaurants – the one for babies. this had truly adventurous items, they had said.

Vinu’s father arrived from office early, and they all went to the restaurant. but most of the tables were already full. A corner table near the kitchen entrance was the only one that was unoccupied.

Vinu’s father suggested they go to some other hotel. But Vinu was adamant. so finally they sat at that table. As soon as they sat, a small boy came with a cloth and cleaned up the table, he then brought three glasses of water and placed. Vinu watched the boy as he went about cleaning up other tables.

“Dad, he too is a child, and today is his day too… why is he not happily celebrating like us?” asked Vinu loudly.

Everyone in the restaurant looked at Vinu. The boy had asked a very valid question. But no one made any effort to make amends. Vinu’s father called the boy to his side, made him sit with them and bought him dinner. They all ate together.

The boy looked pleased and thanked them all, especially Vinu, for the dinner. Vinu also took him to the play area where they enjoyed. Never had Vinu seen such genuine happiness and gratitude.

This small gesture helped Vinu learn an important lesson in life – true happiness is obtained not fanciful eats from posh restaurants, but from helping others.

As they left the restaurant, Vinu felt sad that the boy will once have to go back to his cleaning job. His father promised Vinu that he’ll help the boy go to school and live a better life.

 

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Photo Challenge – Temporary

 

 

Temporary visitors in the backyard…

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Eyes that close

“Amma, will you get me a  doll as my birthday gift?” asked Nidhi.

“Are you sure you want a doll? I was planning to buy you a new dress.”

“Amma…please…I want a doll…”

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WPC – Glow

Glow of Diwali Crackers

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Nine Days of Joy

This is a narration depicting the imaginary discussion of the golu dolls. Golu or Kolu or Bommai Golu is a traditional display of dolls during the Navarathri festival, seen in Tamilnadu, India.

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Photo Challenge – Waiting

Waiting for the next wave….which is already on its way… A wait need not always be long!!

 

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NORMAL

“She is perfectly normal.”, said the doctor.

“Really?” asked Priya, her mother.

“Are you sure, doctor? Maybe we need to do a few more tests, you know…” suggested her father, Vishnu.

The doctor, controlling his rising anger looked at the parents and said “You are the first set of parents I’m seeing who deliberately want to prove that their kid is not normal. Please…”

“O sorry doctor” interrupted Priya, “but the all her teachers insist that she is not normal.”

“What?! How can they say that?”, said the doctor, looking at the innocent face of Varnika.

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Vows of Love

As the incessant rains thrashed over the tin roofing, Asha looked at the clock, perhaps for the hundredth time. She then looked outside. It was quite dark, no street lights, as power had been switched off to avoid accidental electrocution.

Except for the occasional loud thunders and thrash of the rain, there was no other sound. Thanks to the inverter installed during last monsoon, there are lights in her house. Most of the other houses were adjusting with candle lights. The deathly silence was broken by the sudden ringing of her mobile phone from somewhere inside. She rushed to grab the phone.

“Hello…”

“Asha, this is Renu…”

“O Renu… Yes.. Tell me…”

“Has Rohit come?”

“No…Not yet…”

“Manoj called up just now… Most of the roads are flooded and traffic is blocked… So everyone is stuck… Don’t worry.. Rohit too must have been caught in the jam… He’ll come, but will be late, Ok…”

“Hmmm…” Asha murmurmed, already in tears.

She couldn’t imagine where he could be or in what state. For the past three hours she had been trying to contact him. His phone was switched off. She had tried calling his office; there they informed her that he had already left.

It took roughly 45 minutes for him to reach office even in heavy traffic. And he always kept his phone in full charge, every time he travelled. She could not make sense of his absence. She had been watching the flash news an hour back, before the power went off, where reports of people being washed away by the rising water level had been aired.

She looked around the house. Everything reminded her of Rohit. The remote over which they fought every night. The cupboard which he always messed up. The windows which he always kept open and she wanted them closed. She remembered every argument and fight they had had in the two years of their married life. In her mind’s kaleidoscope she could see his small faults, and how she had magnified it.

Her heart felt heavy. She wished she had uttered a sorry, at least once, to him. Her train of thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a bike. She ran to the door.

“That must be Rohit”

On opening the door, she saw that it was Divya’s husband.

“Has Rohit arrived?” Manoj called out.

“No…”  Asha said shaking her head. Her voice choked as she said that.

“The roads are all full. There is roadblock on every road, and unending lines of vehicles held up. Don’t worry. Police have been deployed everywhere and they are helping out. Rohit will reach soon.”

Asha nodded, and went inside.

The force of the rain had reduced now, but it constantly reminded her of Rohit.

Nothing sounded right. She was scared. Manoj, despite his office being quite far away, had returned, but Rohit hadn’t. His phone too was switched off. Where could he be? Was he hurt? Has something happened to him? Or was he…She tried to calm herself; to distract herself;  to keep the lamp of hope burning in her mind; but found it impossible. She prayed fervently to every God she believed in. She promised to the Omniscient that she would never ever quarrel with her husband.  She vowed never to hurt him. If only he came home safe and sound….

She began walking from one room to the other. Her mind was in turmoil imagining every possible fatality that could have befallen him. Suspense and nervousness was making her more and more anxious. With panic rising, she quickened her pace. The avalanche of unanswered questions followed her. She tried to outpace the vicious presentiments that were haunting her; totally unaware of her surroundings.

*******************

Daylight was streaming in through the glass window. The curtains had been drawn apart, and the light fell directly on her face, waking her up. As Asha slowly opened her eyes, all she saw was a white mist surrounding her.

“Where am I?”

The mists cleared slightly to reveal an unfamiliar room, and a beautiful lady clad in white sari was telling her, “You are ok. You are home.”

A distant voice boomed out, “Yes… A little more rest and you will be fine.”

“I know… oooh…never thought there will be thorns in heaven” she smiled contentedly and dozed off.

The next time her eyes opened, which was a few hours later, the mist had cleared and she realised she was in a hospital. She looked around and then remembered about Rohit. She wanted to know what had happened to him, but there was no one around to ask.

“You are awake. I will get the doctor…” said the nurse.

“Wait… Where is my husband?”

The nurse had walked off.

Why doesn’t anyone tell me? Is Rohit…? Who brought me here? Why am I here?

Once more Asha was tangled in a whirlwind of questions. But this time, she got her answers almost immediately, for Rohit walked into the room smiling.

Asha felt delighted and relieved on seeing him, as tears of joy streamed down her eyes. Later, after her discharge, he answered all her questions.

He began his narration – I started from office quite early that day. The roads were fast filling with water. But I managed to drive. But due to the roads being flooded, I failed to see a pothole, and fell down. My phone got lost. I continued to drive and then suddenly my bike stopped. It simply refused to start. I abandoned it. I was frightened. I didn’t know what to do. I stood in the middle of the road holding a traffic light post tightly. As I stood there, waiting for someone to help, I saw some people being washed away. I don’t know for how long I waited. Finally a lorry driver picked me up and dropped me at this junction.

Reaching home, to my shock, I found the front door ajar and you lying unconscious in a small pool of blood. For a moment I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t take you to a hospital because all roads were blocked. Then I remembered the nurse who stays in the opposite flat, above Manoj’s. I sought her help and she said that you had hit your head on something hard and had fallen. But more important was the fact that you looked totally exhausted.

Today, early morning, Manoj somehow managed to take us to the near-by clinic in his car. Luckily the duty doctor had not yet left and you were taken care of.

“But, tell me Asha, who hit you?”

“I don’t remember much Rohit… I was scared, tensed that you had not returned. All kinds of frightening thoughts engulfed me and I started walking to clear my mind, to get rid of those feelings. But I instead of calming, I went into some kind of frenzy, I guess. I don’t remember anything after that…”

“I love you, Rohit…I will never ever quarrel with you.”

“I love you too, Asha.”

“ While struggling in the floods, I kept thinking of you…I was not even sure if I will see you again…And then when I saw you lying like that, I can’t tell you how I felt… It was like my whole world had crumbled to pieces… I swore that if I get you back I’ll fill your life with happiness…never be angry at you…or shout you…and love you like there is no tomorrow…I’m truly sorry, Asha, for having shouted at you so many times..”

“I too have been quite rude to you many times.. I’m also sorry…”

They hugged each other, and thanked the Almighty for having given them another chance at life.

A week later

“Rohit, give me the remote… It’s time for my serial…”

“You watch your serials everyday… Today there is an important match… I came home early to watch it…”

“But its climax today…I can’t miss today’s episode..”

“Hey.. How dare you grab the remote? Better give it back…”

“I WILL NOT”

Noise of things being thrown and more raised voices could be heard from the couple who had vowed never to fight. Let us take leave of them, as they continue to profess their true love.

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Giving Back Childhood – 3

“Mamma….Mammaaa….”

“Amma….Take me back….”

The room is filled with such and similar cries. No, I am not about narrate a horror story. Its not a torture scene as well. This is happening on the first day in a kindergarten classroom. The tiny tots dressed in their very best are crying for their mamma to come back to them and not to leave them with these strange new faces who are trying their level best to bring down the volume levels. Do I see a faint smile playing on your lips as you visualise this scene?

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Earth

The sky, with its infinite expanse,

The land, encompassing innumerable man made and natural objects

The sea, hiding countless secrets in its depths

Earth– showcasing a surprise everyday….

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Kanyakumari.

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