Saturday, August 25, 2012

Spirited performance..part 1

"Hello Miss.Shalini .."

Shalini turned around to see who was calling out to her. She paused the i-pod that was playing "Soak no more in your own tears....for you know not what power they possess..." 

That was Malu di's favorite song playing .

"Yes Ma’m, I am talking to you."

"Do you know me?" she asked the stranger, who looked a little wierd to her in his tweed jacket and cowboy hat. 'Who wears a jacket on a hot day like this," she wondered.

"No Ma’m, not really, but I knew your sister, Malini."

'Malu di?' Tears clouded her eyes, hearing her sister's name. "How did you know her?"

"We were the closest of friends. I am as devastated by her passing away as you are." he seemed to wipe away a tear from his eye.

"Really? But di never told me about you."

"Oh, she might have mentioned me, Sriram..." he extended his hand for a shake. " i sound familiar?"

"Sriram..." she tried to recall if she had ever heard about him before. It did not ring a bell. She extended her hand, "Hello, anyways, nice to know you knew di. Any reason you are seeing me now?" she asked.

"Its Malini."

"What about her?"

"She's here right now" he said smiling at the space next to him.

Shalini looked at him and then at the space next to him with a look of disbelief, then suddenly angry she screamed at him," If this is a joke, it’s a bad time for it, mister. Who do you think you are to play around with people’s emotions like this? Jerk…." And she started to walk away.

"Shalini, Malu says ‘happy birthday’ to you. She says she has kept a gift for you in your bedside drawer..." he looked at the space next to him and nodded, "She's says it’s wrapped in a red wrapping paper."

Shalini walked away without saying a word, tears streaming down her face.

Sriram, blocked her path and handed her a visiting card," In case you want to talk to me later."


Back home, Shalini pulled the bedside drawer open, her hands trembling and little beads of sweat starting to form on her forehead.

There it was, exactly as Sriram had said. She tore open the red wrapping, and stared at the beautiful kundan necklace set in green and white stones. It was di's necklace, and her favorite. She had always wanted to wear it and di had teased her, "Not till I am alive, Barbie doll, you can have it after I die."

She broke down into an uncontrollable fit of tears, clutching the necklace close to her bosom.

"Di, are you really around? Give me some sign di.." she sobbed.

She walked to her window and felt the warm breeze sweep across her face. And then she saw the lights...the headlights of di's car, just went on and off…twice.

And then there was complete darkness. as if it never happened at all. That's how her di signaled to her when she came to pick her up, no honking of horns, just flicker of the headlights,..twice...

"Di, you are here, aren't you? Oh di, I miss you so much." 


Her eyes were still swollen from crying all night. Foggy eyed Shalini, picked up the card Sriram had given her, and looked at it. She wondered if she should call him. Yes, she had to, why had di come back? She had to know.

"....Sriram, Shalu here.." she spoke awkwardly.

"I knew you would call, Malu told me she gave you some signs yesterday.

"Can I meet you someplace?"

"Shukravari 5? Will that be ok?

"That will be good. I'll be there."

‘Why did di never tell me about Sriram before?’ she wondered.’ Let me see if I can find any pictures of di with Sriram.”  She opened her cupboard and took out two large albums that she had carried back from Malini’s place after her death. Pages and pages of photographs and memories….

read part 2 here.
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