The sun painted the sky in hues of orange. The branches swayed in synchronisation with the breeze. The birds were on their way back to their nests. The aroma of the incense sticks filled the air. The sound of the temple bells that rang in a distance filled everyone with positive vibes.
Once there lived a small tortoise family, comprising of the daddy-tortoise, mummy-tortoise and the baby-tortoise. The happy parents doted on their kiddo-tortoise. He was the apple of his parent’s eyes. Baby-tortoise was eight when he got a small bedroom of his own. The bedroom was painted in his favourite sea blue colour and his mother had hand-painted small shrubs and beautiful sea shells. He was even encouraged to blob-paint the walls with his small scutes.
Ruchika woke up with a jolt. She sat up in her bed hurriedly, her mind still reeling with the thoughts about the dream she had just dreamt and her body shaking with its after-effects. She desperately looked around for something, something familiar, real, something not from her dream but from her real life. In the dim night-light, she could make out the silhouette of her husband and children on the bed beside her, sleeping blissfully. And next to them, a little further, on the couch, a heap of clothes. At that sight, she heaved a sigh of relief. “It’s ok, it’s alright, it was just a dream. Everything is fine, absolutely fine,” she consoled herself. In spite of this, She could hear her heart drumming in her ears and felt the presence of sweat beads that had appeared on her forehead. Yet again. She looked towards the AC, it was on, emitting the cold air out with the full force.
Dear mother-in-law, It’s that time of the year again, when I dread to let you know that I am going to visit my parents. It’s already that time of the year when I have to hear reasons like how mosquito bites at my mother’s place would hurt my kids and possibly cause dengue, how there would be lesser number of pillows for their comfort there, how there are relatively fewer cartoon channels in that house for your grandkids, how you had bought our favourite vegetables to cook, and how you are planning to make our favourite sweets this vacation. You will then wonder aloud how hot it would be there, if the AC is functioning well and if there is no power fluctuation in their place. The reasons and reasonings you and Papa come up with, year after every year, never fail to amuse me. For crying out loud, I am taking them to my mother’s place where I grew up in, and not letting them wander in some wilderness. The indirect questions to your grandkids, and constant jibes morphed with a concerned smile directed towards me hurt me more, Ma, even now after eight years since we know each other. But, do we really know each other?
The kitchen and I have never been the best of buddies. Nor do we have any inclination ever to be. The kitchens of our clan have had the men ruling the roost as far as I can remember. Infact, to be precise from the days of my grandparents. The helpers in the kitchen since those days have often been men with one or two exceptions.
When there are only very few people ready to help, and there are hundreds ready to point a blaming finger, to emerge unscathed and victorious, with head held high, is an achievement no less than scaling the highest peak or the deepest ocean.On my wedding day, tears flowed down my cheeks.
I am a very private person and never like to share my personal life or photos with anyone other than family. But, that seems to be an another lifetime now. When I joined this platform, never in my wildest dreams I had thought that I would present innumerable slices of my life here in a candid way. But as I opened up and bared my soul infront of many faceless but empathetic souls, I found out that writing was more therapeutic than visiting a 1000-bucks-an-hour counsellor. Thanks to the non-judgmental community of mothers who have faced myriad problems themselves in their lives, yet still find it in them to offer virtual love and hug to the grieving and guilty mothers equally. Reading those confessions, offering support and not expecting anything back. You all have made a difference in my life. So, I dedicate this series to all you wonderful mothers out there.
Who remembers the 90’s? I do. Who doesn’t?! Cause ‘those were the days’ to die for even now. Literally, we lived like there was no tomorrow! Being a 80’s kid, I was in my teens who was hell-bent on the idiot box for some much-leisured screen time. And without a pause and any second thoughts, the show – the one I almost awaited with abated breath to catch up on in its televised timing was the legendary R. K. Narayan’s screen adaption of ‘Malgudi Days’, depicting at length the simple life of Swami and the inhabitants of a sleepy imaginary town called Malgudi, in the southern part of the country.
Battling negligence, she lost against the failure of the pathetic governance, even after giving her all.I am sure, there wouldn’t be a single person who wouldn’t have cried looking at the picture of the lady cradling her husband on her lap, as he gave up the battle to hold on to his dear life.There still are so many questions plaguing my mind.What have we come down to?
“Mummy I was in the boy’s toilet today. I saw something.” Roop wasn’t sure what he had seen and what to make of it. His mother had been dreading that question. Something inside her told her that the day had come. Even though she knew, she wasn’t sure if she had a reasonable answer.