Tuesday 31 December 2013

When a Daisy blooms….. ( Part 9)

Contd from : “Not me, him”, Fr Gonzalvez said, pointing his finger to the area behind him.

Daisy and Richard looked at what he was pointing.

There, standing tall and looking at them all with kind, benevolent eyes was the statue of Jesus Christ.

The man with the stubble, who made life possible for the believers.

Daisy’s eyes widened in recognition as she saw what the priest meant.

Jesus indeed had a stubble. A clean one. How had she missed it all these years ?

She looked at Richard, who tried keeping a straight face, and then at Fr Gonzalvez, whose cheeks looked so full, like a cotton pod ready to pop open.

Daisy burst out laughing, Richard and Fr Gonzalvez joining her, much to the amusement of the crowd around.

There was a grand feast for the wedding, and as a token of their gratitude for all the good things in life, the couple sponsored a month’s meals at the orphanage attached to the Church.

And how could they ignore the Library which had actually bonded them  ?

They contributed to the renovation fund to reconstruct the building and to beautify the garden around it.

Isabella was the happiest soul on earth as she bade good bye to her lovely daughter.

That evening, when they had all their time to themselves, and a whole lifetime of love ahead of them, Richard told to Daisy, “ When our kids grow, I’ll tell them that I fell in love with their Mom’s pretty eyes and angelic smile.”

Daisy smiled, her eyes sparkling with love.

“And what would you tell them about their dad?”, he teased her.

She said, looking up at him with all the shyness of a new bride, “ I’ll tell them that his clean shaven look bowled me over.”

The air turned fragrant with love and happiness, for the daisy to bloom.


I am writing in response to  a tag by Someone is Special and another tag by Jyotsna.

I am taking part in 'Protest against Smelly Stubble' activity here :)
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When a Daisy blooms….. ( Part 8)

Contd from : “I’ve some more advice for you,” said Fr.Gonzalvez.

“ But that can wait”, he said.

 Though curious, Daisy bade goodbye  to him and walked to Richard, who was waiting at the gates.

“Thanks for listening, Richard”, she said.

“My pleasure. I’m happy you confided in me. A small thing like this would’ve actually cost me my life with you. I’ll take extra care now, as I know your pet hate ,” he replied, stroking his imaginary beard.

This was a wonderful Christmas for Daisy . She had found her love.

The Christmas Choir was a grand success. Richard garnered a lot of appreciation for his talent with the Guitar.

Daisy and Richard were married just two days after Christmas.

They took the wedding vows, and as Richard placed the traditional Wedding Sari on her head as was their custom, Daisy couldn’t help smiling at the clean shaven face and the deep brown eyes looking down at her with pride. She felt grateful that his clean shaven look had bowled her over.

Fr.Gonzalvez came to them when the Holy Mass ended and the wedding was over.

“Daisy, I had one advice for you, remember ?”

“Yes, Father,”. Daisy replied.

“ It is this : never ever forget the man who made your life possible”, he said.

“And that guy has a stubble, too”, he added, his eyes twinkling.

Daisy was puzzled. So was Richard.

“Well, I overheard you both speaking at the lawns that day,” the priest explained.

“That’s fine, Father. We knew you had heard us. That saved us a confession, did it not?”, Richard answered in good humour.

“ But Father, you don’t have a stubble,” Daisy rolled her eyes as she used to do in her Catechism classes as a child.

“Not me, him”, Fr Gonzalvez said, pointing his finger to the area behind him.

To be contd.

I am writing in response to  a tag by Someone is Special.

I am taking part in 'Protest against Smelly Stubble' activity here :)
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When a Daisy blooms….. ( Part 7)

Contd from : Standing at the door  they had just walked out of, was a tall man.

They  smiled sheepishly at him as Daisy extracted her hands from Richard’s firm grip.

“How about the Holy Mass, now?”, Fr Gonzalvez asked, his eyes glinting merrily.

“Sure, Father.” Daisy said, as Richard gathered his books . They both followed him into the Church.

All through the Mass, the scene at the library lawn kept replaying in Daisy’s mind. She couldn’t believe that the guy she was confused about yesterday,  had become a close friend today, and would be her husband soon.

“I’ll tell mom tonight,” she thought, “ that his clean shaven look bowled me over”, and smiled to herself as she imagined Isabella’s happiness.

“So, I needn’t talk to you about Richard, need I , my child ? ” Fr Gonzalvez asked Daisy as he met her outside the Church after the Mass.

Daisy looked at him, half in wonder and half in confusion.

“Isabella had asked me to talk to you. To tell you how good the alliance was, how Jerome always fancied this when he was alive. She was afraid you would say No to this. So she asked me to advise you. After all, I’ve known you since your toddler days, haven’t I ?”, Fr Gonzalvez looked at her with kind eyes.

Daisy was surprised. Mom and her ways !

Fr.Gonzalvez placed his hands on her head, as if petting her. “ So happy for you, child. I’m sure Jerome would’ve been the happiest on earth had he been alive. You’ll be happy with Richard. Lizzy is a very good woman, she’ll be a mother to you too.”

Daisy thought of her dad. A lone tear escaped her eyes.

“ Thank you, Father”, she said as she took his hands and kissed them reverently.

“I’ve some more advice for you,” said the priest.

To be contd.

I am writing in response to  a tag by Someone is Special.

I am taking part in 'Protest against Smelly Stubble' activity here :)
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Monday 30 December 2013

When a Daisy blooms….. ( Part 6)

Contd from : She bit her lip in apology as she saw the frown on Richard’s face.

Had he felt insulted ? She kicked herself mentally for being senseless.

Richard was thoughtful as he spoke, “ Daisy, this is a surprise. I know you wouldn’t say something so silly, if it weren’t important to you. Why does a stubble disturb you so much ? Especially when it can easily be removed ? I don’t have it now, either.

Daisy looked at his eyes and melted at the love emanating from his gaze.

“ It’s about my Dad, Richard. He was always our clean-shaven hero. A few days prior to his death, he turned weak and had to be hospitalised. His beard grew, and he couldn’t shave. One fine night, he left the world peacefully in his sleep.” She choked.

Richard took her hand and held it ,as she recovered.

“When he had to be readied for the coffin, Mom cried out , “ I hate that unclean stubble, doctor”. She couldn’t control her outburst. She then sought permission from the doctor and shaved off his beard. She fussed about it, insisting that he should be handsome in his grave too. He was our clean-shaven hero even in death.”

“ Ever since, a stubble has always made me uneasy. May be psychological,” Daisy’s eyes were moist now. 

Richard took her hands and held them firm.

“ I understand, Daisy. Sorry for having reminded you.”

“ It’s ok, I would have told you anyway”, she replied.

“So, will you allow me to be your clean shaven hero?”, Richard whispered in her ears.

Daisy blushed in a smile. The butterflies were back in action.

 Hello there,  May I  interrupt ? ”.

They turned their heads in the direction of the voice.

Standing at the door  they had just walked out of, was a tall man.


To be contd.

I am writing in response to  a tag by Someone is Special.

I am taking part in 'Protest against Smelly Stubble' activity here :)
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Sunday 29 December 2013

When a Daisy blooms….. ( Part 5)

Contd from : She blushed. Now, was this love ?

“Shall we walk out to the garden ? Can’t talk here”, Richard looked at her , expectation evident in his bright eyes.

Daisy nodded .They walked to the lawns outside and found a bench.

“ Hey, you’re in the choir for Christmas, right ? I’m playing the Guitar this time,” Richard said.

Daisy smiled and nodded a yes. Sweet butterflies began fluttering around in her stomach as she looked at his smiling eyes.

“ Are you always so silent ? I thought you loved to talk. But you didn’t talk when I came to meet you yesterday. Today also, I’m talking and you’re silent. Anything wrong, Daisy?”, he was serious.

Daisy nodded her head in the negative. She wanted to talk to him, so much and much more. But she was now a shy doe.

“ You know, I wanted to talk to you yesterday. Confess something serious .But there wasn’t a chance. I was secretly hoping to catch you after Mass this evening”, Richard spoke softly.

The butterflies in her stomach gained excitement.

“Remember that family party?  That was the day I lost my heart to you. Back then, I didn’t even know whether I’d see you after that, because I was leaving for London the next day.When I was back, I was very happy when my mom said she’d love you for a daughter-in-law.” Richard spoke with a confident softness.

Daisy looked at him, surprised at the sudden revelation, but said nothing.

“No worries, I can perfectly understand if you reject my proposal. Please do count me as a friend, and please be frank with me.”

I hate that unclean stubble of yours”, Daisy couldn’t help blurting it out.

She bit her lip in apology as she saw the frown on Richard’s face.

To be contd.

I am writing in response to  a tag by Someone is Special.

I am taking part in 'Protest against Smelly Stubble' activity here :)
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When a Daisy blooms….. ( Part 4)

Contd from : Tomorrow was another day.

The morning dawned bright and clear.

As Daisy went about her chores, she knew in her heart that her Mom would soon raise the topic of wedding. Isabella liked Richard a lot, and would love him for a son-in-law. She was also aware that Lizzy liked her. She was confused.

Daisy liked Richard. He was a man any girl would love being married to. But his stubble worried her. And it wasn’t as trivial a problem as it seemed. She needed to talk about it.

“ I’ll explain to Mom in the evening. She’ll understand,” Daisy thought to herself as she pony-tailed her hair and picked up the books to return at the Church Library.

There was half an hour for the Holy Mass to begin when she reached. She made her way to the adjoining building , the Library. After returning the books , she was searching for a new title on the bookshelf in the hall, when she saw those two eyes through the gap on the shelf, where there were no books.

The very same deep smiling eyes.

In the moment that it took her to register what she saw, the eyes had gone.

She looked again through the gap. No, they weren’t there. They  had vanished.

A sudden, light tap on her shoulder made her turn in surprise.

Standing behind her, with a book held to his chest, gazing at her warmly with the two deep smiling eyes, was the guy, whose stubble had troubled her thoughts.

But now, his clean shaven look bowled her over.

“ Richard, hey…this is a surprise!”, she managed to say.

“Aaha ! I should be saying that, lovely lady ! Didn’t think I’d meet you here, and today !”, Richard said.

She blushed. Now, was this love ?

To be contd.

I am writing in response to Ayushi's Tag.

I am taking part in 'Protest against Smelly Stubble' activity here :)
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Saturday 28 December 2013

When a Daisy blooms….. ( Part 3)

Contd  from : Now, Daisy was totally amused !

“ Mamma, I’m saying something serious, and you’re laughing…not fair !”, she made a face.

“ Darling, you just reminded me of myself. I said the same thing when your dad came to see me at my home”, Isabella revealed.

“Aaha…how come you didn’t tell me this all these years, Mamma ? Anyway you can’t blame me now, can you?”, Daisy rolled her eyes mischievously.

Isabella smiled knowingly, “ Yes darling. But I did marry your dad, don’t forget that.”

Daisy came to her and hugged her from behind. “ So, tell me how he managed to woo you?”

“ Oh, he came to know from your grandma that  I hated that unclean stubble of his. When I came out of the church after the holy mass the next morning, there he was, at the doorsteps, waiting for me with a bunch of roses, and a sweet smile. He looked different; I couldn’t recognise him first.”

“And, then?”, Daisy gave a knowing wink.

His clean shaven look bowled me over. I was in the seventh heaven when he proposed to me again , and we were married the next month,” Isabella fell silent with a blush, immersed in the sweet memories.

Daisy kissed her on the cheek, “ Mamma, you look so sweet when you blush. Look, you’ve turned as red as a tomato”.

“I’ve never been able to imagine Jerome with a beard. He was always my clean-shaven hero. That’s why, even at that last hour, I….couldn’t….”, Isabella’s lips quivered. Her voice turned sad.

Daisy hugged her mom tight. “ Relax, Mamma. Nothing more on that now. Please. Come on, let’s make dinner. I need to practice songs for the choir.”

Isabella composed herself. More talks tomorrow, she decided.

Tomorrow was another day.

To be contd....

I am writing in response to Richa's tag.

I am taking part in 'Protest against Smelly Stubble' activity here :)
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Friday 27 December 2013

When a Daisy blooms….. ( Part 2)

Contd from : Looking at her with a naughty glint were two deep smiling eyes.

Daisy breathed a ‘hello’ as she handed over the cup of hot tea to Richard.

He hadn’t changed much, she judged. The very same boyish face, endearing smile, manners charming enough to sweep any girl off her feet. 

And the very same stubble. Sigh….

Richard smiled warmly as he took the cup of tea from Daisy. He was mesmerized by her kohl- lined eyes. She bashfully avoided looking at him; her eyes were dancing playfully with a kind of reserved shyness.

It wasn’t surprising that he was smitten by this pretty damsel before him, now politely answering his mom’s questions about her studies and life in general. Needless to say, he was disappointed when she lowered her eyes and went inside with the tray, politely excusing herself.

“ Hey, we’ll get going, Bella. I need to meet Fr.Gonzalvez to speak about the upcoming Christmas Celebrations”, Lizzy rose from her seat after a chat and hugged Bella.“Your daughter’s an angel, Bella. I want her as my son’s bride. Hope this ice-breaker works out,” she whispered.

 Daisy was washing dishes in the kitchen when Bella came in after seeing them off. She went near her and placed her hand on her shoulders. Daisy turned to face her with a knowing look.

“So, all fine, dear?”, Bella asked cautiously. She remembered her promise to Daisy .

Daisy smiled, “ I know what you mean, Mamma. Yes, all’s fine. Richard is a nice guy. I know that, and I’ve known that ever since we met at the Family Get-together, three years back.”

Bella was relieved. Daisy would agree to get married to him, after all.

“ But Mamma, his beard is the problem. I hate that unclean stubble,” Daisy continued.

“Stubble? Oh…my dear!”, Bella burst out laughing.

Now, Daisy was totally amused !

To be contd....

I am writing in response to a tag by Someone is Special.

I am taking part in 'Protest against Smelly Stubble' activity here :)
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Thursday 26 December 2013

When a Daisy blooms….. ( Part 1)

Daisy looked at her reflection on the mirror.

Dressed in a figure-fitting White Salwar Kameez, waist-length wavy hair let loose, and absolutely no make-up except for the faint lining of kohl on her eyes, she looked pretty.

Richard’s family was coming to see her.

She cringed as she thought of her conversation with her mom early that morning. Daisy had spoken against getting married now,  when Isabella had told her about their visit. But Isabella had convinced her to meet the family , promising her that she wouldn’t be asked to commit to the relationship without her consent. Reluctantly, Daisy had agreed to be ready to meet them in the evening.

Daisy had met Richard three years ago at an informal get-together of families in the diocese. She knew he was a nice guy, devoted to his family and well educated.  He was  handsome too.

“Except for his beard. I hate that unclean stubble”, she thought to herself now, as she adjusted her dupatta.

Some noise at the gates caught her attention ,and through the bedroom window, she saw a car being parked. A pretty lady, dressed in a green sari got out of the backseat and Daisy recognised her as Lizzy, Richard’s mother.

She heard Isabella open the door and squeals of laughter filling the drawing room.

A few minutes later, Isabella called out to her,“ Daisy, dear, please come here. All are waiting for you.”

Daisy dutifully carried the tray of tea, cakes and biscuits as was customary. Greeting Lizzy politely, she served her tea. As she poured the next cup of tea, she was instinctively aware of Richard’s eyes gazing at her.
As she handed him his cup of tea, she looked at him.

Looking at her with a naughty glint were two deep smiling eyes.

To be contd....

I am writing in response to Jyotsna's Tag.

I am taking part in 'Protest against Smelly Stubble' activity here :)
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Sunday 22 December 2013

All for love.....

It's been a week since mom brought me that envelope.

Today, I open it slowly, excitedly thinking what I shall find inside.

He smiles happily  at me from the photograph. A smile of contentment.

The young girl next to him looks strikingly pretty, her coy smile making her face glow in anticipation of a wonderful future.

Both of them are dressed in the traditional wedding attire.

A beautiful moment of happiness, captured for eternity.

Me and her, for you to see”, there’s a signed note inside the envelope.

Crisply written, with his signature at the bottom. I can sense vengeance oozing out of every word.

I look at the photograph once again and close my eyes in memory of that day.

The day he had come home to meet my parents and seek my hand in marriage.

I can see myself sitting on the sofa in the drawing room. He’s sitting directly opposite to me, and his eyes are fixed on mine.

I can see they are hurt.

I have just denied my love for him,  signifying the end of our relationship.

I’m doing my best to blink back my tears, and my eyes are growing tired with the effort.

He’s still looking at me , numb with the shock of having to believe that I’ve been fooling him all these days in the name of love.

Is that all, Riya ?”, he whispers after a while.

I nod in the affirmative,  wishing he would look away, get up and go.

I don’t want him to see me go weak at my knees and cry my heart out later. I can’t do that if he keeps looking at me like this. I am powerless to look at his eyes anymore.

Oh ! If only I could tell him how much I would love to be his wife !!

But no, I can’t. I need to end this.
I need to shut him out of my mind and my life.

I get up from my seat and speak to him.

Look, Sanjeev. You’re no more than just another guy for me. I can never imagine being tied to the vows and woes of wifehood. Don’t expect me in your life. And I’m least bothered about what you feel or do with your life. Please go out of my home. Now. My parents are about to return from their evening walk.

I don’t tell him that they love him like their son and but for my compulsion, they would’ve never let things take such a turn.

I ignore the ‘why’s and ‘how’s that are writ large on his face as he looks at me with sad eyes.

I turn back and walk into my room.

I choose not to hear the footsteps and a vague ‘Riya, please listen’ behind me.

I enter the room and slam the door shut.

A small colourful card , my younger brother’s handicraft, hanging at my door handle, seems to scream at him . Do Not Disturb.

Inside the room, I cry and cry as the whole scene plays itself before me, shredding me to bits, torturing me, threatening my sanity.

When I open the door after a long time, my home is quiet, but two pairs of sorrowful eyes are looking at me from the far end of the hall. Mom and Dad.

They’re aware of my break-up with Sanjeev.

I break into a run and hug my mom tight.

Dr.Viswanathan wants us to reach early next morning,” she says with surprising calmness as I start sobbing again.

Don’t cry, child. We know it’s tough. But you’ll be brave and handle it well,” Dad says as he strokes my hair lovingly, as he used to do to put me to sleep when I was a child.

I  open my eyes as the doors to my room open, and my nurse  Martha comes in with a tray full of medicines.

 Is it time already ? ”, I ask.

She nods a yes , smiles and says, “don’t worry, dear. You’ve been brave so far. You’ll have all the strength in future too.”

Hope so,” I manage to say, and laugh lightly.

Your mother’s waiting out there,” she says, helping me put on the green coloured robe that I’ve grown to detest.

Haven’t seen her for a whole week, now that you've put me in isolation for so long,” I reply with a mock cringe, as I try to imagine how emaciated Mom has grown over the past few months.

Who’s that on that snap?”, Martha asks, as I unsuccessfully try to hide it.

A friend of mine, she’s sent me her wedding snap”, I grin.

“ Dr. Viswanathan is waiting. Shall we go ? ”, she asks as she opens the door.

I can see the Do Not Disturb board that she has put on the door on my request.

It’s the very same board that had hung on my door that evening, as I shut Sanjeev out of my life.

Mom must have given it to her.

As Martha wheels me out of my room to go to the Chemotherapy centre, a lone tear escapes my eye and there’s a flurry of emotions in my heart.

I’m happy for Sanjeev ; he’ll always be special to me , in every way.

I’m not sure how much the chemo session will extend my life.

As I turn back and glance at the ‘Do Not Disturb’ on the door, I promise to myself that I’ll come back to this room, at least once.

The snap is still there.

Him and her, for me to see. =========================================================

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.
Every weekend, we give out creative writing topics for the love of writing.
This time your entry must contain, ‘Do Not Disturb’.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Back after a Break !! :)

Here I return, after a long silence.

Silence of a month and a little more.

After the Liebster post, the blog automatically went into hibernation.

No, laziness isn’t the culprit this time. Nor is procrastination.

Just that I was on my annual vacation to Kerala, that lasted a month  :) :) :)

There was so much to be done.
So many places to visit.
So much to catch up with.
So many things that needed our attention.

But then, this is what everyone does on a vacation :)

For us, this vacation was special, because it was to witness the birth of something new.

You heard me right. I indeed said, a birth.

The birth of our new home.

The new home which was being constructed for us at our home town, sprung to life this November.

Here’s a short poem which I wrote for the occasion :)

Built of bricks, cemented with love,
the warmth of  hugs for the ceiling above,
She’s  ready for us, with a lovely dome,
Sure, we’ll  love her, our brand new home !!

It fills the heart with joy inexplicable …

On 20th November 2013, we entered our new home, with the traditional Ganesh Pooja being held, and cooking initiated by boiling a pot of milk :)

We are thankful to God for his blessings, for having seen us through the journey to make our dream come true !!

And yeah, we’ve named her Vynika.

Here’s a view from the gates :)

Vynika is Goddess Saraswathi's form with the Veena :)

So, that is the home-story cut short ! :)

Needless to say, I've missed my blog these days, as also the many activities going around the blogosphere.

Thankfully, the lull hasn't lasted forever and I'm back in full swing :)

Shall return soon with my signature self ! :)