Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Your call..

She looked up and spotted the familiar face from sit out on the first floor of Babu’s old age home.  She smiled. You couldn’t miss that man-child even if you wanted to.

He picked up his end of the tin-can telephone, ‘What’s that, Meera? That?’ pointing to her bag.

 ‘I’ve got some food for all of you.’ She spoke into the other end.

‘Food? For me? I’m hungry, very hungry. I want food.’ He climbed on the railing, in an attempt to reach her, still holding the tin-can telephone.

‘No, stop uncle. I’ll come upst…..’ 

But it was too late.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The week that was(n't) !!

The bug bit me last week. No, no, not the love variety, the tummy one, and there it stayed for next few days, making me holler in pain and confined to the bed! This Atithi definitely did not fit into the devo bhava category, instead it belonged to that shameless breed of guests who stayed put in spite of trying to pump it out with all the ammunition money could buy!  

All I needed was a little love and the boys ensured that I got lots of it. Hubby dearest (HD) took me by surprise offering to 'take care of everything' so that I could get that much needed rest. Was I touched? You bet! If you looked closely you could even see that just-about-to-trickle-down drop of tear in my almond shaped eyes!

I actually felt a little guilty of ‘hubby bashing’ on various platforms where I had unabashedly talked about  HD’s non-existent cooking skills, going to the extent of pointing out how he was capable of burning even water! And here he was offering to 'take care of everything' while I rested. What a sweetheart he was, I told myself. How could I have been so mean?

I let myself be tucked into bed, breathing easy for the first time that week.

‘What’s for breakfast?’ I asked, still wondering what he would pull of his magician’s hat.

‘I think idly would be good for you, it’s light and easy on the tummy…’he began, leaving me with my mouth so wide open, that my elder one actually needed to use both his hands to shut it close.

Idly! Did he actually think that idlies just flew out of somewhere? I pictured myself washing, soaking and grinding the ingredients and waiting with crossed fingers to see if the batter finally ‘rose’ to  make those soft and fluffy little things that just melted in your mouth. Just imagining the procedure took me back 24 hours!  How in the world was he planning to make them now?

The medications had started making me feel a little groggy and I drifted into a lovely world of fluffy white trees that looked like idlies standing by a river that looked a huge stream of sambhar, onions bobbing by instead of fish! And there I was trying to pluck out the idlies, jumping unsuccessfully, till I blanked out. Opening my eyes, I find the three familiar smiling faces waiting for me to get up, and a plate of idlies sitting tight on the bedside table.

As I stared at HD in disbelief, he put a loving arm around me, ‘Anna’s hotel next street? He makes great idlies, I got it hygienically packed for you.’ 

Wow! And here I am fretting about breakfast every day. That ought to be the simplest chore of the day! ‘So, where are you ordering lunch from?’ I asked my voice tinged with sarcasm.

‘I am making lunch’ he announced grandly, ‘you eat this and take rest’ he said as he fed me the idly that he had so painstakingly produced.  

My head refused to sink into the pillow this time, as it was already approaching lunchtime and I could see no preparations whatsoever even beginning to happen. I could not stop myself from sauntering jauntily into the kitchen to oversee what was happening there. 



The deafening silence of kitchen was a little too much to bear and I felt my tummy churning wildly like the day ‘samudra manthan’ happened and the gods and demons churned the ocean to get their goodies. Only this time there would be no Shiva to drink the poison that came out of the ocean! Where in the world was my masterchef?

Ah! There he was tapping furiously onto his laptop, a cursory what-are-you-doing-out-of-bed glance at me. ‘You need something?’ he asked barely looking up. I am sure he did not see my hands fold up and rest on my hips, neither the look on my face.

‘I don’t, but the kids will need some food on their plates soon.’ The poison had begun to flow out. Then Shiva appeared magically in the form of HD’s smile and lapped up all that poison. 

‘But lunch’s almost ready’ he said flooring me as I stood there looking like a fool. ‘I’m working from home just for you,’ he says stressing on the ‘you’ part making me feel even more guilty, ‘let me just send a few mails and I’ll lay the table’.

Just as I was about to retreat back to the kitchen to check on where the lunch has been hiding, pat comes out a little request, ‘since you are here, just soak the rice, will you, I’ll come and keep the cooker.’

Before the ‘samudra manthan’ starts happening again, I decide to just soak the rice and wait for him to show up. I made a mental note to sue those guys who show us those impeccable hubbies on TV who not just cook a six course meal before the wife is home, and keep the kitchen sparkling clean, but also smile when the wife chides him for using the wrong cleaning agent!

The ticking clock threatens to churn my tummy once again, so in goes the rice into the cooker and on goes the whistle. On the count of three whistles, when I just turned off the gas stove, HD appeared as if by magic, ‘you needn’t have done all this, I said I’ll take care.’ He said escorting me back to bed. ‘I’ll get your lunch in the room.’

As I sit scratching my head wondering if there’s anything for lunch at all, he brought me a plate of curd rice. ‘This is lunch?’ I asked, my eyes popping out in disbelief.  I know the kids hate curd rice and I was already feeling sorry for them.

‘No, this is for you; curd is good for your tummy.’

‘And…?’ I asked, dying to know what the boys are having for lunch.

‘The sambhar that came with morning’s idly and the bhaji that came with the dosa’ a guilty pause, (these guys had dosa? And all I got was that measly idly?) ‘We’ll have that with rice.’ ‘Actually I have chopped up some salad too.’

Good lord!

I finished the curd rice in stunned silence, leaving the boys alone to finish their lunch.

‘In case you are wondering what’s for dinner…’ he asked as he came back to collect my plate.

‘I know you’ll manage’ I said not letting him finish, as I sank into the bed pulling the sheets up, covering my face. 

I don’t even want to know!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

How healthy are you?

I wrote a guest post for the website, and my featured article appears here ->

How healthy are you really?

Do check it out.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Heart Break...

                                  (This one won me the Gold Batom at Blog-A-Ton!!! )

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 39; the thirty-ninth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is "Break"

He sprang out of bed with the first beep of the alarm. Excitement flush on his face, like that of a new bride on her wedding day, he scurried about his chores. He gelled and parted his hair and combed it neatly, putting a stray strand of hair into place. Donning his favourite shirt and a spray of perfume on it, he was raring to go. She would be waiting and he couldn’t afford to make her wait.

He mounted his bike as if it were a horse and as he rode he felt the cool breeze kiss his face. He wished she would one day kiss him like that! He felt his heart race as he got down from his bike and walked towards the office. She looked down at him from the glass window on the first floor and he thought he saw her smiling. He smiled back at her.

He was early as usual and except the cleaning lady there was no one around. He would have ample time to spend with her before the other staff came in. He hopped up the steps, two at a time and walked up behind her. She was still looking out of the window with her back to him.
‘Hi sweetie, good morning’ he whispered into her ear, turning her around to face him.
She seemed to be smiling at him, like always. She was wearing a blue satin sleeveless full length gown that made her look so alluring!

‘See what I have brought for you today,’ he said as he opened a cardboard box and showed her a pink chiffon saree. ‘This is my favorite colour, sweetie, and look at the silver lace on the border; you’ll look more beautiful than ever when you wear this’ he winked. He unfolded the saree and laid it out on the table for her to see.

 ‘Why won’t you say anything, don’t you like it?’ he asked, and then he saw her shy smile and knew she had liked it as much as he did. So what if she couldn't speak, didn't he always understand the language of her eyes? ‘Let me help you wear it,’ he said. He drew the curtains on the window and switched on the lights. Then he slid the blue satin dress off her shoulders, his eyes tightly shut, ‘ I'm not looking, sweetie, at least not till you tell me to’ he smiled naughtily.

 He knew she did not know how to wrap a saree around herself so he’d have to do that himself too. She watched in awe letting him expertly wrap the beautiful pink saree around her slender waist. When he was done, he looked at her, mighty pleased with himself. She looked like a dream!

He pulled open the curtains and stood there for some time, holding her hand, watching the world walk by on the streets below. Suddenly there was a lot of commotion and people were running helter-skelter on the roads.

‘Wait right here, I’ll just go check what’s happening’ he told her. But no sooner had he said that, he felt the ground beneath his legs shake and rumble. And before he realized what was going on, he saw the glass window crack and break into a thousand pieces. To his utter horror and shock, he saw her fall out of the window several feet down to the ground even before he could hold onto her. Like a madman, he flew down the fight of steps, out of the office building and into the street below.

She lay among the shards of glass her neck apparently broken by the fall. He gathered her in his arms weeping like a child oblivious to the crowd gathered in the street, oblivious to the quake that still continued to shake the earth, oblivious to everything around him but her. She had been the only one who had loved him unconditionally, unmindful of the warts on his face, unmindful of his crooked teeth and unmindful of his bulbous nose.

Even as he wept, he saw his colleagues standing around him exchanging animated glances, trying to suppress their smile. Teary eyed, he picked up a stone and threw it at the office signboard that read ‘NAVRATNA SAREES’. He couldn't bear to work here any more  With her not around, it didn't make sense to come back to this place.  He picked up another stone aiming at his colleagues, but let that drop as they ran away from him.

She may have just been a mannequin to others, but to him she had been the love of his life.  And like those broken pieces of glass, his heart too had broken into a thousand pieces.


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