Of filter kaappi and maakkolams, of pookalams and kaineettams, of madisar and settumundu, of mangaacurry and mysorepak, of books and words, of pens and colours, of steps and rhythm...
To the good at heart, I offer a feast ;
Mess with me, and I'll be a beast :-D
The book which I brought from Mahita’s home was indeed interesting.
Short stories about Mothers and motherhood and their bond with children, well narrated.
I read a few pages before falling asleep that night, thinking how lucky Sanju was to have Mahita for his mother. She adored him, I could see that today.
The next few days were busy at the office, as we had some promotional events going on in and around the UAE, and I had to travel extensively for the same.
Kamini’s phone calls continued as before, informing me about Dadima. She hadn’t spoken anything about returning to Dubai yet.
I met Mahita at least once a day at office, and we spoke as if nothing had happened between us, but somewhere in my mind, I still fancied her falling in love with me soon.
One evening, after having my dinner , I opened the Chicken Soup to read.
And out fell something from one of the pages, as I was flipping through, choosing a good story.
I picked it up from my lap where it had fallen, face down.
Mahita’s. With her husband.
Smiling shyly, she was dressed in a peacock green saree, and fresh flowers adorned her hair. The man who stood next to her was fair, slim but well built and handsome. He had a genuine smile on his face, and he was dressed in a Sandal coloured Kurta.
So, this was Mohan, I thought. He’s handsome, the voice in my head told me.
So what, he’s no more, my heart spoke out.
I killed the voices, took a look at the photograph again, kept it back in the book and shut it. I had no more mood to read, and switched on the TV to watch the news telecast.
Now that I had seen the photograph, I felt I could ask Mahita about it over tea a couple of days later.
But sometimes, the jigsaw puzzles don’t fit the way we think they would.
The next day, I was in the middle of an important telephonic discussion, when Rashida, our receptionist called me on my personal line.
“ What’s it, Rashida ? I’m busy, I’d told you, right ?”, I asked her on her extension.
“ Call from your country, Sir,”, she said, and connected me to the caller when I mumbled ”ok”.
It was Kamini.
“ Kamini, I’m busy right now. Why this call at this hour ? I will call you later from home”, I spoke, not hiding my irritation.
“Whatever you’re busy with can wait, Vinod. It’s Dadima. She’s gone,” her voice broke as she dissolved into sobs.
For a moment, I felt I was sailing through the dark.
Kamini had taken Dadima to the hospital for the follow-up check up when she suffered a stroke. It had instantly affected her breathing, and her pulse had gone down. The doctors had tried, but the life had to go when it was time. Kamini had tried reaching me in the morning, but I wasn’t available as I was held up at an official meeting.
I hung up the phone, assuring Kamini that I would take the next flight.
I was at a loss. I didn’t know what to do. I called Mahita and informed her and she instantly came to my room.
“ Vinod, be calm. You’ve done your best for Dadima. Her soul will bless you,” she said, while ringing Cosmo Travels for booking a ticket.
I broke down like a child, as Dadima was my last remaining tie to my family, and Mahita held my hands , comforting me.
That evening when I boarded the flight, it was her reassuring smile and soothing touch that gave me some peace.
To be contd.... ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________