Tuesday 29 April 2014

A to Z Series Post # 25 Yes, she knew her....

I took Sanju to the Subway Outlet on our way. While he ate, I called the hospital from there and informed Kamini that we were on the way.

I wanted to see her, that was the truth. To confront her, to ask her what this was all about.

“ Vinod, it is already late, and visitors aren’t allowed in the evenings here, you know na. Why don’t you go home instead ? Take the kid there, and you can come here in the morning,” she said.

That appeared logical. If Sanju couldn’t meet Mahita, there was no point in going to the hospital in the evening.

But I decided to play.

“ In that case, I think it’s better to take him to his home. I will stay with him there tonight and bring him to the hospital in the morning,” I said.

“ Oh ! That’s perfect, then. But you need the keys , right ?,” she asked.

  I hadn’t expected this. I had thought she would protest.  Clever.

“ Hmm..keys..yeah, that’s true,” I said, and turned to look at Sanju. He was holding a bunch of keys in his hand. He mouthed ,” mere pass hai”, when I looked at him.

“ Hey Kamini, I think Sanju has the keys, let me see. If so, I’ll go to her home and call you for updates,” I said and hung up.

“ Hey, that’s your home keys?”, I asked him.

“ Yes Uncle. Mamma comes late from office. So I have a spare key with me. I go home in the evening, have milk and then go to play. Security uncle helps me lock the door, then.  Mamma tells me every day to take care of the key and not lose it,” he said proudly.

“ Chalo, let us go then,to your home. Kal Subah we’ll go to the hospital , Ok ? ”, I said and  he nodded. We walked to my car and drove to their place.

It took hardly ten minutes for Sanju to settle down at home , and he enthusiastically switched on the computer. His perfect knowledge amazed me, and he said he learnt it at school.

“ What’s there to see in the computer now?”, I asked.

“ Vinod aunty dikhaaoonga,” he smiled and opened a folder.

I stood surprised as he screened one photo after another. Not just one or two, at least fifty of them.

Kamini with him. Kamini with Mahita. The three of them together.

I didn’t let recognition show on my face.  But my excitement had reached a greater height now. I wanted to know more about this play that was happening behind my back.

Tension, anger, frustration swept into me. I opened the Yahoo page mindlessly and kept browsing, while Sanju did his homework. I slyly opened some other folders too, hoping for a clue about the connection. But there were none.

I wanted to call Kamini, but decided to wait till Sanju slept. She would reach home, by then.

Sanju kept telling me something about his school, and I listened to him for some time, entertaining him. An hour later, the chatter stopped, and I turned to look at Sanju.

He had fallen asleep on his books.

Ah ! my moment had come.

Taking care not to disturb his sleep, I took him in my arms, carefully, to his bed and tucked him warm with his blanket. I turned to go towards the phone, when I noticed the small book lying on the bed.

It was a small journal, with a light pink cover.

Overcome by curiosity, I opened it.

The first page was signed - Mahita , a personal journal.

I couldn’t help turning the pages, to check if she had written something about what I was itching to know, despite knowing that it wasn’t ethically correct for me to do so.

And then it caught my eye.

The day she came home first. A curious title.

I read on. 

Dear Diary,
I had just returned from Sanju’s school. Annual Day Functions. And she knocked at the door immediately after I entered.
She smiled when I opened and asked her who she was. She said, she had seen Sanju’s performance at school that afternoon, and she wanted to congratulate him. She’d seen us take the cab, so she’d followed us home.
 I invited her in. And we talked more. She seemed a genuine person, so warm, pretty and soft spoken.
She said she was a nurse, and worked at Sanju’s school as a volunteer with their Social Causes Wing, on her off days. I asked what her name was . “Kamini”, she replied.
I was surprised. I decided to surprise her. “ Kamini, as in, Kamini Vinod Mehra?”, I asked her. And she was surprised, indeed. “Do you know my husband ?”, she asked.
And I told her  I knew him , he was my friend and colleague.
She smiled to this, and we talked some more roz ka kissa. She said she’d like to meet Sanju often. I was happy.
But before she left, she told me one more thing.
That she had followed us not just to meet Sanju. That she’d seen my photograph in one of the books Vinod had, and had kept quiet about it. And she had seen me at school today, so she thought she ought to find out more about me.
She apologized and told me not to take it in a wrong way.
What’s wrong in what she did ! I said, its fine.
And it’s not my picture she has seen, anyway. I’m sure of that.
And she said Vinod didn’t know about her volunteering, so it would be better if I don’t mention the meeting to him.
She’s glad that she came.
I’m glad too. I have found a new friend. So has Sanju.

So that was how the connection began.

I turned the pages again.

She’s more than just a friend now. The next title.

Kamini comes often, and we talk a lot. She plays with Sanju. One would find it difficult to believe that she’s not a mother. She’s so motherly.
We share a lot of thoughts  with each other. She’s a delightful companion.

Once she asked me where my husband was. Coincidence, that it was his death anniversary that day.
I don’t know whether it was that, or the overwhelming grief that sometimes threatens to eat me whole, but something made me tell  her.
And I felt warm with a little peace .

She was sorry she asked me, but I told her I was thankful to her, for being a patient listener.

Now, she knows me as much as I know myself.
But, Vinod doesn’t know anything. Nothing about me, nothing about us.
Something tells me I should wait before telling him that his wife is one of my best friends now.

I turned the pages again, not regretting anymore.

I am upset with her , the next one read.

Kamini spoke a lot about Vinod today.
She remembered the nice early days of marriage. It seems Vinod married her because his Dadaji told him to. Her dad was Dadaji’s colleague and friend, that’s how the relation worked out.
They were happy during the initial years but she says the equation is changed now. They’ve been married for a decade.
She loves Vinod. She is sure Vinod loves her too.
But he’s been cranky for some years now. She even narrated the incident of his spoiling her wedding saree.

All mainly because they don’t have kids.

I asked her why she didn’t want babies, given her motherly traits and deep love for Sanju.
She just cried.
Hugged me and cried.
And left.
I’m upset now.

Why ? Why did Kamini cry ? I turned the pages frantically now.

She says I’ve to help her. Another title.

She told me today that I must help her overcome the dilemma she’s facing.
She’s not able to speak out the truth to him.
She says I must tell him about myself. My story.
About love, about happiness, about finding the true meaning in one’s life.
She believes that will help him embrace the truth when he comes to know it.
I don’t think my life and that are related much, but she insists.

I told her in a jovial mood that he thinks he loves me. But she knows him better.
She says it’s just plain confusion for him, she’s sure he can’t love anyone else the way he loves her.
I’m sure of that too.

What was the truth that Kamini was speaking of ? I turned back the pages, sure that I had missed something in between.

And out fell a piece of paper,  torn from the same journal and folded , as if she’d wanted to discard it, but had decided against it.

I picked it up and opened it, my hands shaking in tension and excitement.

To be contd…


Linking this to A toZ 2014 and the Ultimate Blogging Challenge.


  1. So what was it??? Ahh one more day before my curiosity dies. I have to say I really loved this series. The way you handled human emotions and the portrayal of such strong women.

  2. With bated breath I was reading the words expecting to see the truth, but -----. We have to wait for another day to know the reality. A beautifully woven story.

  3. Wow! there was tension at every line I read! TOmorrow we close....wonder how this one's gonna end! YOu were telling me an e-book...I think you should go for one yourself! Awesome story!

  4. Now you can't make us wait for too long, only one post left, Sreeja! This is getting so very interesting and mysterious :) Well done!

  5. Wow !! This one is getting real interesting :)

  6. This was a beauty in terms of suspense, Sreeja :)

  7. have been away on a family tour and just returned today....and had scheduled the last couple of posts.... had been itching to lay my hands on a system somewhere to read this story but couldn't.....and so the first thing i did after i returned was to come here!! okay now i want to know the ending, so im rushing off to Z... :)


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