Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Together In Love- 3

This story is a series narrating the love story of a couple. Their highs, lows, their laughter and tears. Now in their 60s, the story is recounted by the lady. Theirs was an arranged wedding, with all glitz and dreams. Their period of courtship is elaborated in the early posts. They saw each other and gave the 'aye'. Now the saga continues...

The first tear slowly rolled down with a tiny hesitation. The rest followed freely. Huge hiccups engulfed me. Crouching under the water tank, bathed in the moon light, i cry angry tears. His voice still rings in my ears- " You broke my heart, dear." Funny, i fumed. How dare he accuse me of breaking his heart? It was he who did it, in a well planned heist.

Trouble started brewing the morning when the elders started to his place to discuss 'terms' of the wedding. I had bought him two gifts- a figurine of a couple white doves in love and another- a kissing clock! The little boy and the girl dolls walked towards each other in measured steps and smooched each other every minute! Oh, so romantic, i thought. Perfect gifts- first time presents for the fiance. Both neatly packed and thrust into the hands of my little brother, i felt as if  i had pulled a coup. 

Mother had walked past him and instantly fell for his timid smile and lithe physique. She liked his trembling hands- she did recount it to me later. That was not the case for father, he hated his relatives instantly. The 'discussion' started and after much furor, they fixed the deal. One of his uncles had asked father- " Your daughter had earned so much all these years, you can give more". Duly relayed this by my brother, i was getting more anxious. When the little one said that the fiance did not take part in all this and chose to stay out, i was fuming. How dare he?

Was it not his duty to restrain his people? Did he not like me enough to marry for love rather money? I waited for the storm to ease, dust to settle down and then called him to kick up a fresh one. The moment he he said a gruff hello, i started spitfire. He waited patiently for me to yell, curse and finally say "I hate you." Did i mean it? I am not sure now. But then that was what i said. Not a word for a few moments. Eerie silence the other side and then those words- " You broke my heart, dear." With this he hung up and i stood stupefied, staring at the phone pointless. 

I refused to come down from my haunt, mother sent for me couple of times and when i did not turn up, she came upstairs to look for me. She tried to pacify her sobbing daughter and finally played the match maker, trying to explain her son in law was not at fault. Another call from her to him and finally he agreed to talk to me. After much coaxing and cajoling, i accepted his 'apologies' gratefully, for no fault of his and skipped downstairs in mad glee.

I eagerly waited for the car to arrive. All dolled up and ready, i was itching to get to our house- the venue of our betrothal. Frequent phone calls in hushed Hindi- we were both good at it, we conversed with ease while the whole household shook their heads in despair trying to decipher the " Bindaas"and " chumma dho na"! The groom and his party had already arrived and he was wondering at our hand made decorations- a flower rangoli by me, a tray of sugar with our names designed with finely chopped cherries, dangling flower arrangements that we all did the night earlier- uncles, aunts, cousins all together! 

The moment my car arrived on the threshold, i got down and ouch- dropped my mobile to the ground- clumsy as usual. As i picked it up, i heard his deep gurgling laughter. There he was, watching me from the window and laughing. I decided not to drop a thing the whole day, in front of him. With much fun, laughter and prayers, we exchanged the rings and garlands. Left to fend for ourselves a few moments, i made him search desperately for our initials hidden in the mehndi magic on my palms. He found it instantly, holding my tiny palm in his huge strong hands.

The 'paparazzi' of the day were happy shooting out tirade and when the lens man asked him to place his hands on my shoulders for a portrait, i snapped. I don't know what possessed me to say a stout "No", but regret my scrapbook misses a few intimate pictures of our first day together. After lunch, when the cars started moving away, i stood at the porch, watching intently. He never turned once towards me, was too busy organizing his people. When he finally slid into his car, he seemed too preoccupied to note me. I stood rooted, my lips trembling, waiting for him to look at me once- a glance. Just a glance. Mother was too anxious that she moved aside.

The line up started leaving. A fine drizzle from above started bathing me and tears were ready to spill out when he rolled down his window pane. With a swift movement befitting a man, he waved once, blew a kiss and the car sped past. I stood dumbstruck and mother erupted in laughter looking at my pathetic face! " will pay for this", i swear at him. He made me a complete fool, awaiting His Majesty's orders and i was looking for an opportunity to strike back at him. The opportunity came knocking my doors, soon...
To be continued...
p.s.: Wishing the All India Strike on 20 and 21 every success.
p.p.s.: Yesterday i hit a teen in the counter. Couldn't help it as i was photographed by him in his mobile. Had to destroy his memory card too. Didn't someone tell him " I am an auntie"???
p.p.p.s.: I kind of love interacting with my daughter so much. Last week, one night when i urged her not to drink too much of water, she did it nevertheless. Irritated, i yelled- " Baby...what are you doing?" Her reply was- " Reloading my kidney, mom". Well, too much for a seven year old, i should say! My daughter...

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Together in love- 2

The Church bells chimed as i knelt down. Very careful not to crumple my silk saree, i intently watch the floor, lost in a plethora of raging emotions. The business statistics answer sheet had been submitted in half an hour. I tried to imagine the look on the examiner's face when he sees almost nothing in the paper-except a few hearts and arrows, interjected with few question marks. 

A quick glance at my watch the millionth time, my cousin brother rolls his eye upward. It is almost an hour past the time they had mentioned to meet us. The evening sun was painting the Church in hues of fuschia and orange. My nerves knot in tension as i sit ramrod straight staring at the floor tiles. My uncle who had been waiting outside for the prospective groom and his brother scurries to us. Picking up the cue, i turn away. 

Footsteps fast approached us, as i looked upon the white sports shoe and lifted my eyes. Though i had already seen his picture, the man himself standing beside me was almost a dream come true. Tall, lithe, languid and vibrating with laughter- he stood bathed in the evening sun- a glorious Greek God. My heart beat palpable, i stood up and threw him a timid smile. Not that i was bowled over now, i had already fallen for the man seeing his button- up picture- hook, line and sinker.

I still remember the phone call he made to me the month before. Engrossed in my business statistics, i went dead still when mom pronounced- "here is a call for you from him". Him...the man whose picture was hidden secretly under my pillow. My books flew, my pen went for a toss and by the time i reached the phone, i was breathless. Mother held the landline, as my shaking hands picked the cordless phone. "Hello", i tried to say so timidly as possible. The voice boomed on the other side- " Hello, do you love me? Will you marry me?" No preamble, no introduction. A glimpse of his direct and honest approach. Mother erupted in raptures and i still don't remember what and how i answered him. I was just waiting for the day when we would meet, checking and rechecking my questionnaire to him!

Chest high to him, i tried to look straight at his face when he was looking the other way. The suppressed smile on his face showed he was amused- he found something funny. After the initial introductions, i scratched my aunt's palm so hard that she winced. Finally we were given the few precious minutes of 'us' time. All the issues i had planned to discuss just didn't cross my mind. I could remember nothing, my mind just went blank. 

" I will not be home like usual husbands"- was the first sentence he spoke. And smiling, i did answer- " I can never be home like the usual wife". We broke into laughter at this and i still do not remember rest of the conversation. All that i could remember was that they arranged a formal meet of elders. Unfortunately, me the clumsy girl of the entire class- rammed her two wheeler in the parapet wall, as he stood watching with mock horror in his eyes! A glimpse of what his future wife would be! The meet of elders went well, with fits of rage and laughter. They had agreed for an early wedding. I was waiting for a opportunity to meet him and God heard my prayers... How?

To be continued...
p.s.: Hope you all had a great Valentine's Day!
p.p.s.: I got through a promotion exam and will be starting my training shortly. Thank God, people of my city can now ride a train without a fight!
p.p.p.s.: Planning to buy an Italian chopper soon. Aircraft fuel might be cheaper than petrol in near future, guys! And i can always get the chopper free from Raul & Co. ;)

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Together in love

This is the third time the door bell had chimed. The coo coo reverberated through the eerie hall way and I let out a silent curse. It must be the little ones from next door. Ignoring the chimes, I lay still. The ceiling fan above circulates the damp air. I love the dampness, the chill walls and the wet floors. Tiny droplets of water trickle down the window sills. My palms itch to touch the cool drops as i usually do. I try to lift my head, in vain.

Craning my neck I try to look at the rocker by the bed. He is there, as usual. His weary hands hold the scrap book. Does he ever get tired of it, I muse,  a slow smile curving my lips. The smile goes crooked, my lips twitch. Sensing my movement, he scrambles slowly to the bed, his hands still clutching the scrap book. With a stumble, he lands on the bed beside me. My husband- clumsy as usual. I smile again, the peculiar twitching now more pronounced. “ I know what you feel now”, he says, a twinkle in his eye.

The water flows in a unique pattern, marking an intricate odyssey of waves as I stand mesmerized. I am married! The sensation brings queasiness to my stomach. My insides thrum with energy that I never experienced before. Standing before the vanity mirror inn the bath, nervous, I tie and untie my hair. Wham. The light goes out. Power outage. 

As I struggle to train my eyes in the darkness, there comes a lone light through the door crevices. “ Don’t worry. Just a power outage. I have a candle for you”, comes his gruff voice. The tiny flicker radiates a warmth in the tiny room. Like him- warm, soothing and tranquil. Dressed up, as I come into the chilly room cooled by the sea breeze, he stands by the window sill. Towering six feet, clad in off white pajamas, he stands pensive watching the starry skies.

As instructed by mother, I light the diya as he stands watching me intently. Folding my hands, I murmur a small prayer as he watches astonishingly at me. Known to be someone who is not so conservative, I myself wonder why I ever listened to my mother. He motions to me to sit on the bed as we both fumble. Long lazy hours pass by as we murmur in soft voices, holding hands. I don't even have an inkling of what we said. May be those were promises- to live and die, together. A new start to a new life of togetherness, I think with glee, unaware of what the future has in store for us.

The light comes on and I try to focus on the face before me in vain. As the light fades again, all I can grasp is the whisper- “ It is a boy”. I want to sleep. Slip into oblivion. Hide in the darkness. But they wouldn’t let me. “ Speak…speak to him”, mother’s voice booms and I hate to listen to her. The mobile thrust in my hand trembles as his voice booms- “ Darling, how are you? I don’t want to talk more and disturb you. Take rest, baby. Love you.” Unable to decipher a thing, I close my eyes, aghast and tired. Love…such an amazing word….Yes, i love him- the husband!

To be continued...

p.s.: This story is total fiction and the characters have no resemblance to anyone living or dead :P
p.p.s.: This story series is my Valentine gift to all my readers in love.
p.p.p.s.: I am in love- hopeless romantic, that i am!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

A(u)nti talks!

A casual lunch time conversation in a nondescript office teeming with women goes thus-

Me: Try this fish curry, dear.
She: Oh! so sweet of you dear. I just thought of it and here you bring. How tasty. I wish i could cook like you.
HMV: Like Hell i like this. I know your trick woman- you are trying to feed me all those calories and make me a moving tank like you! And the taste of your fish- yuck! Your husband hardly touches your food. Poor him- the fellow can be a poster boy for the eradicate poverty campaign of UN!
The first time of the day when two women colleagues meet in the canteen-
Me: Good morning! You look so fresh in this cotton salwar today.
She: Good morning dear. Why, you look ravishing in this bhagalpuri. Peach and pastel green- what a combination! I have been craving a saree in this combination.
HMV: Such a trash! What the hell does she think she wears? Fit to be a table cloth. Or may be she pilfered her neighbor's curtain cloth. Thank God, my salwar looks far better today. Hmmmmmm...may be the section guys will notice my dress today, after all.
A discussion on which course is best for the children after schooling.
Me: I think my son would score enough to enter IIT. See, i have put him in coaching classes from his ninth standard.
She: True. He is very intelligent like you. May be he will finish IIT and work in NASA one day! My son is totally offtrack. I wonder if he will complete his degree.
HMV: IIT? My foot! That distilled idiot doesn't know the difference between 0 and 1. Coaching classes from 9th standard? I know how the poor kid was kicked in his ass for bunking his classes by the tutor. My son will sure enter IIT. I will ensure that the stupid son of Kumar gets into IIT. ( gritting her teeth).
Oh, i forgot to say who this Kumar is- the poor chauffeur of our she's car and her personal ATM!
A signing off meeting on a friday evening, while collecting hand bags. 
Me: Oh..i am so tired. I will take rest today and  will go to the movies tomorrow. Hope my husband is free.
She: Cool! You have a great time. I have loads of work pending at home. No outings for me.
HMV: ( Baring her teeth) Movies? How could she go to the movies? Stupid woman. She makes her 'innocent' husband do all the household chores and then enjoys the time. Let me get back home. Kumar wouldn't mind doing all the 'trivial' stuff. I too will go to the movies.
Oh...pathetic...Mr Kumar!
Colleagues meeting in a mutual friend's wedding.
Me: Wow! I didn't expect you here, dear. Lovely jewelry you are wearing. Are they real pearls?
She: Yes, yes. They are. My uncle gifted this from Hyderabad. See the lustre of the pearls!
HMV: You didn't expect me here- you devil. Do you think i am a nobody begging the streets? And pearls- what do you know of them? These are false ones, i bought them for two hundred bucks from the street vendor. Why would i tell you that. I love flaunting it on your face.
One morning, a small informal meet in the corridor after coffee.
Me: I really can't manage my motherinlaw. I wonder how she gets under my skin. Anything she does just irks me.
She: Yes..the old witches. The sooner we get rid of them, the better we would be.
HMV: Poor dear. She too suffers like me!
God listening to all these conversations- "Finally the thoughts and voices match for once. Long live the old women of the households". AMEN!
p.s.: HMV refers to Her Mind Voice- your colleague's inner voice!
p.p.s.: This applies to female colleagues over forty years ONLY!
p.p.p.s.: February 14 is nearing- Love is in the air. Happy Valentine's Day, dear all. ( Love thy own wives and husbands and lovers. Thy shall not covet others' property- God ;))
Picture of this week-