A Lesson

It was a busy Sunday afternoon in a countryside restaurant. The restaurant was full and the visitors were enjoying with their friends and family. 

The waiters were busy taking orders and serving meals, the cash counter was ringing with the cash flow.

The gate opened and a young gentleman entered the restaurant, he must be in his 30’s. He came inside and asked the waiter for a table and the waiter guided him to the available table of the restaurant. 

He went out of the restaurant and came back with his parents, the persona of the gentleman was so attractive that people were finding it difficult to remove their eyes from him. Those who were already sitting in the restaurant were watching and observing the activity of that young gentleman. The gentleman did noticed the whispering of others but he overlooked and asked the waiter for the meal.

The food arrived and the gentleman served the food to his parents, his parents were very old and they were finding it difficult to hold the spoon and fork properly. Though the gentleman helped his parents in eating but due to lack of strength the parents were not able to hold the spoon properly and it would result in spilling of food and making clothes dirt and messy. The majority of the crowd was observing and few of them were finding it funny when the food would fall out of the plate. 

The young man and his parents finished the food and the gentleman took his parents near to the washbasin and cleaned the messy clothes of his parents and went to cash counter for clearing the bill. The act of the gentleman made everyone silent and those who were making fun also were quietly observing the gentleman and his parents. He was leaving the cash counter after paying his food bill but he stopped as the old man on the cash counter called him off. The old man on the cash counter asked the gentleman that something precious has been left behind and in return the gentleman asked the cash counter old man about that precious thing which is left behind him. The old man on the cash counter replied that it is a life long lesson which is being left behind for all the children who considers their parents as burden.

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RAT RACE

20 years of life passed away so fast as if they were just meant to touch and pass on and leave a joyful memories to be cherished life long, then comes the real tough life where everywhere is a never ending rat race and everyone becomes its part and wants to stand on the 1st position amongst numerous participants few prosper and rest perish as there are only 3 stands in every race 1, 2 and 3. John also enrolled himself in this never ending rat race and the race started. College got over and now it’s time for job, family, house and n number of etcs.  John started giving interviews got selected in one of them he started working with that company but did not found it much of the worth so switched to few other companies and finally landed in a company which offered him mental and financial satisfaction but he lost 5 precious years of life in just finding a suitable job. It also lead in to the craving of adding more or rather never ending zeroes in his bank account.

John was 25 now and the family started pressurizing him for marriage as he earns well now and he can take care of his family. Then came Nancy in John’s life both of them looks amazing and beautiful couple together. It was all fun for initial 3-4 years like getting pink roses going for a long ride chatting for hours but all of them were short lived and the reality knocked both of them. Nancy gave birth to a beautiful son and they named their son Sam, in no time Sam reached to swing from Nancy’s lap and the entire focus of John and Nancy shifted on Sam now. The pink color of the pink roses faded somewhere, the long ride turned into doctor’s visit for routine checkup and the long hourly love chatting turned into hourly discussion of future settlement.

John was 35 now, things were falling as per his plans as he was able to add zeroes in the bank account, a beautiful house, and nice car parked outside and more importantly a lovely family. Still something was missing in his life which John was not knowing about but this missing thing created a vacuum in his life. He started behaving in nostalgic way but regardless of that the rat race of life kept its pace on and John also kept running to maintain the speed of his life or rather one should say his never ending race.

Sam is a grown up lad now and he started going to school, now the dinner table is usually full of Sam’s little problems and discussion. The lifestyle changed and so changed the priorities which also changed the behavior of John and Nancy towards each other. It seems that this couple has never experienced love and they are just maintaining a social decorum of staying together and growing up their only child.

 The best looking couple have stepped in to their 40s now. The bank account figures kept on increasing along with the length and height of car and house respectively. But still something was missing in the life of John which he feels sometimes whenever he gets into his own space where nobody is there to accompany his loneliness not even his wife Nancy despite both being a happily married couple for the society.

John came from the office and sat on the sofa, he kept his office bag aside as he was not willing to switch on his laptop and he also switched off his mobile phone. He thought to break the ice and asked Nancy for a cup tea, Nancy came with a cup of tea she kept the tea on the table. “It has been quite a long time since we have gone out, go and get yourself ready let’s go out for a drive”. John said it to Nancy, Nancy ignored it and rushed towards the kitchen and a voice came from the kitchen “I have to cook dinner and Sam will return from the playground so I need to prepare something for him as well”.
John said “Ok, at least you can come and sit here as it has been quite long time since we have spent time together.” Nancy came with a little smile on her face and said “How come an old John is getting romantic, is everything all right? That word Old pinched John and he asked to Nancy “Do I look so very old, don’t I look attractive to you anymore?” Nancy burst into laughter and said “We have lived our lives and now it is time for us to accomplish our responsibilities perfectly so that we can give a beautiful future to Sam and by the way look at our age and we are too old for any romance.” Nancy got up and left for the kitchen, her words created a storm of confusion and a questionnaire was generated in the mind of John “Do I need to focus only on my son? Don’t I’ve my own life to live?” the string of thought was broken by the doorbell, the doorbell rang again but John didn’t moved from his position, Nancy came and stood in front of John and said softly to him “Do not over think on this, this is life so it is a ongoing process and you better change the shape of your face and smile, as it must be Sam on the door along with his friends and he will not feel good if he finds a sad form of your face”.
The doorbell rang again and John stood up and said to Nancy “I think you are correct, I should not overthink on this.” John opened the door and it was Sam along with his friends “Papa how come you are back from office so early?” Sam asked John “Hi Uncle, how are you?” Sam’s friends asked John, “I was passing by and just thought to have coffee with your mother, so I rescheduled the meeting and called it a day, come on in son”. John took his laptop bag and switched on my mobile phone and went inside the room, a thought started hitting John “is this rat race worth participating”?

Now John stepped into his 50s the black hair started turning grey, the sharp eyes started taking help of spectacles for a clear vision, fast brain started becoming a dull one, the coordination between fingers were not so rhythmic, vacuum started increasing its space in the life of John. Sam is in college now and he planned to fly miles for his studies, now the zeroes of the account, height of the house, length of the car was not the concern anymore. The only concern of John was “will I be able to reach any position in this rat race but who will decide that whether I won or I lost the race, who is going to decide the parameter of the results as this race has no rules.
He was sitting on his sofa trying to pass his idle Sunday, Nancy was busy with her house hold activities, and there were thoughts and only thoughts ringing inside the John’s head. The phone rang, rang and rang but John did not moved from his position so Nancy came to answer the phone and she picked up the phone “hello! Who is this?” Nancy answered the phone and she suddenly collapsed, John jumped from the sofa to hold her but he failed, she was lying down in an unconscious state and John was not able to understand the happenings around him, “what happened to Nancy, whose phone was it, what did Nancy hear on the phone that she went unconscious”. John got Nancy into the car and rushed towards the hospital and in the way to the hospital John kept on saying “Nancy, Nancy, wake up, what happed “? John reached hospital and entered into emergency ward of the hospital Nancy was taken into the emergency ward where she was to be examined, John’s mobile rang he took it from his pocket he saw it was Sam. “Hello Sam”, he answered, the voice of the person on the other side of the phone was not of Sam, “who is this”? John questioned the person on the other side and he found it was Sam’s friend who called up to inform John that Sam has met a very serious accident and he died in that accident and he called up on the landline but someone after picking up the phone did not responded. John was immovable at that stage and was not knowing how to react that suddenly he was being tapped by the doctor, John turned towards the doctor. “Mr John, we are sorry as we could not save your wife. She had a massive heart attack.”

The entire world came crashing down in front of John he started shivering, the doctor held his hand and helped him in to ease. John sat down with a complete blank mind suddenly there was a beep sound from his mobile, he saw it was a salary credit message His entire body got numb. He was completely clueless as his beautiful journey of life which he created by participating in rat race was coming to halt. “Was it worth participating in the rat race, has the race ended, has he lost the race or won the race? The various questions were hitting John but none of the questions were having any accurate answer. The questions took him to the state of oblivion.

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy”

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Togetherness

“Are you listening, next month is Karvachawth (an indian festivity in which the wife fasts and pray for the wellbeing of her husband). I hope you are aware of it.” Moni asked her husband karan in a very compassionate way. “Last year you promised me of a diamond necklace but I had to settle it with bangles but this time it won’t work so I’m reminding you in advance.”

“Yes I do remember that this year it is diamond necklace as your karvachawth gift, anything else do you need?” Karan smiled and answered his wife and left for his office, he was getting late for his work.

Time passed and only few days were remaining in Karvachawth. One fine day Karan was working in his office one of his colleague asked him “Can you handle my work for few days as I’m planning for few days leave and you know if the work gets stuck the boss won’t approve my leave.”

“No worries I’ll take care of it, are you going anywhere?” Karan asked his colleague.

“Yes I’m visiting to my in-laws place as this year my wife planned to celebrate the Karvachawth there only” colleague answered Karan.

This word Karvachawth got Karan in fix as he had promised Moni for a diamond necklace this time and the bank account was about to give a warning of minimum balance. “Why does the festivals come during the last week of month when the salary is about to get over?” This thought went by Karan’s mind.

Karan reached his house in the evening after finishing his work and as usual Moni opened the door with a smiling face but today along with a smile there were few questions and karan can observe it but he tried to ignore her for escaping any awkward situation. He finished his dinner and straightaway went to his bedroom he was trying his best to ignore any type of encounter with Moni but this was not possible after all both of them were sharing a common roof.

“What is the matter? I can sense that you are avoiding me” Moni asked Karan. “No, there is nothing like this I’m just a bit exhausted due to work.” Karan answered Moni with a grounded head he was not even keeping an eye contact with Moni while talking.

“Ok, so do you still remember my promise which you made with me for Karvachawth?” Moni asked him.

“Which Promise” Karan tried to take the conversation in some other direction but he failed.

“Diamond necklace” this time there was anger in the words of Moni.

“Ok, Diamond necklace for Karvachawth there is still lot of time left for it” Karan answered in low tone.

“So you mean to say you will gift me on that day itself, you know how many jewellery shop I’ve to go for finding a nice necklace after all it is my first diamond necklace.”

“How much a necklace would cost?” Karan asked Moni.

“You leave the price of it just give me your Card as I’m planning to start going for window shopping from tomorrow onwards and if I find anything suitable then I would purchase it, anyhow price of a normal diamond necklace starts from 80 thousand, so how much is the balance in your account ?”

It will start from 80 thousand and god knows how much this necklace would cost Karan got worried as he was having only 53 thousand in his account and one more monthly EMI of 23 thousand is about to knock his account during the last week of the month.

Karan replied “Right now there is not enough balance in my account but he would manage it somehow in few days and she can buy a beautiful necklace for herself.”

Moni’s temper got high the moment she heard Karan and furiously answered him “Every year I have to settle with only fake promises.” Moni just walked away from the room, it was a complete awkward situation for Karan and there was nothing wrong in her saying as every time she has to settle with fake promises. Karan also felt bad about it as he was in fix, when 80% of the salary goes for EMIs then necklace of 80 thousand becomes an impossible gift.

Tic Toc, Tic Toc and time passed by and Karvachawth arrived but Karan failed to manage the money, he asked few of his colleagues but he failed to arrange money for the necklace which he had promised to his wife.

He was having his breakfast and was thinking of the way to arrange money but suddenly his strings of thought got interrupted when Moni said “I’ve dropped the idea of necklace and I’ve thought of purchasing a diamond ring which would cost approximately 25 thousand.” 25 thousand was also sounding a bit higher for karan at this moment as the EMI of 23 thousand has not reached the door steps of Karan’s bank account but he said “Ok, I’ll give you the money once I’m back from the office.”

“Tomorrow is the Karvachawth and I’m over burdened with work so you better keep your money with yourself.” Moni angrily walked away from the room and Karan also left for his office.

Karan was having a hope that he would somehow arrange the money and would give it to Moni for her gift but all his efforts went in vain, “Oh Lord make out some way so that I can fulfill her demand” Karan was in his deep thought then suddenly one of his colleague patted his back and said “It’s 8’o clock don’t you have to leave for your house?” Karan got up from his work table and left for the house. He reached the society but he was not willing to enter his house empty handed so he parked his car and sat on the bench of his society’s park. He was in deep thought but the mobile rang and all the blocks of thought collapsed when he saw Moni calling him up, it was 10.30 pm. He put the mobile on silent mode as he knew he was not having any answer for the Moni’s question.

Another hour passed and it was 11.30 pm and Karan was completely lost in his complaining thought of not fulfilling his wife’s demand.

“Why are you sitting here, and why are you not coming upstairs?” It was Moni a surprise to Karan but he also knew that if you close your eyes that does not mean that problem will surpass you.

“I was about to come to the house but I found it a bit relaxing here so I thought of sitting here for a while.” Karan replied her.

“Atleast do not lie to me, I found your car parked here while returning back from shopping and it’s been almost 2 hours since I returned back from shopping.” Moni countered her husband.

Karan was speechless but he tried to distract the conversation by saying “Shopping, what shopping?”

“I bought myself few things for tomorrow and relax you do not need to stress about my ring anymore.” Moni’s statement gave a huge relief to Karan. Moni came and sat on the bench next to Karan, she holded his hand and rested her head on the shoulder of Karan.

“It is sad to know that you got into stress because of my demand and you chose to sit here in dark all alone, it was just a ring a decorative piece but not as valuable as you. Remember one thing that nothing in this world can replace you and keep this thing in your mind for your entire life.”

Tears rolled out from Karan’s eyes as he could feel a sense of affection and value for their togetherness as it is wisely said that “Togetherness is a wonderful place to be.”

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HAPPINESS

It was raining heavily one evening, Kabir was walking down towards one of the nearest metro station. He was returning back from his coaching institute where he just enrolled himself few days back for the MBA entrance preparation. He was under umbrella and he was puffing his cigarette, walking down on the streets of Calcutta. Suddenly he found someone trying to get into his umbrella, it was a girl who was almost wet due to rain and trying to get under his umbrella.

“Excuse me, can you share your umbrella up to the metro station, I forgot to carry my umbrella and since I’ve to attend a family function I need to catch the metro as early as possible so I cannot wait for the rain to stop.” The girl asked Kabir.

Kabir barely gets along with others as he remains in his own world and he is barely concerned about others. He was a very career oriented boy and he wanted to complete his post graduation from one of the country’s finest MBA College.  He was completely engrossed in his own thoughts which got ripped by a girl who stomped him on that rainy night.

Kabir was speechless as he did not expected this to happen with him but since she was a girl and it was raining heavily so he thought to offer her the umbrella but he wanted few of his queries to get cleared. “Do we know each other?”

“We both study in the same MBA coaching institute.” The girl replied back

“Which batch?” Kabir asked the girl.

The rain was getting heavier so the girl asked Kabir “If you don’t mind can I come inside the umbrella and then you can continue with your questionnaire session.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, please.” Kabir politely offered help to the girl.

“By the way my name is Khushi and I do not like people smoking around me,” Khushi wittingly introduced herself.

Kabir realized it and threw the cigarette bud in the road side trash bin.

“My name is Kabir.” Kabir introduced himself to Khushi.

“You do not belong to Calcutta as your vocal accent can say that. Which place do you belong to?” Khushi asked Kabir.

“I’m from Delhi, and I work here for a battery manufacturing company. Basically I’m an engineer but I want to do my post graduation so I’m preparing for it.” Kabir answered her.

“Oh that’s great. How did you like this place?” Khushi asked Kabir.

“I barely get time on weekdays and on weekend I prepare for my post graduation.” Kabir replied her back.

“You know Calcutta is called City Of Joy. There are number of places where in one can visit and enjoy the cultural heritage which this city is carrying and Victoria Palace is one of them. People from across the globe come here to enjoy the cultural colors of this city, by the way how long have you been staying here?”

Kabir started getting irritated with the questions of Khushi but he preferred to behave in a gentleman’s way so he answered politely. “It has been almost one and a half year since I’m staying here.”

“Oh my god, you have been staying here from past one & half year and you have not visited any single place of this city. You seem to be the king of boredom city.” It was a matter of surprise for a fun loving person like Khushi who barely leaves any place untouched which comes under her knowledge.

Kabir was speechless but he was helpless too, the same type of question and answer session was on till both boarded the metro rail and departed for their respective destinations.

Next day Kabir was walking towards the coaching institute and as usual he was puffing a cigarette deeply engrossed in his thoughts.

“What joy do you get by puffing this killer machine?” Kabir turned back and found it was Khushi who interrupted his series of thought, he immediately threw the cigarette bud and smiled back to suppress the embarrassment.

“Hello, how are you doing?”  Kabir asked Khushi.

“I’m doing fantastic but you do not seem to be doing so well. Why do you smoke?” Khushi was straight in her question.

Kabir was taken aback a bit but due to difference in the gender he thought to stay polite and replied her back softly “It helps in releasing the stress.”

“Smile, as smile is the best way of releasing stress. When was the last time you smiled?” Khushi asked him.

“What does your question mean? I smile every day. Anyways let’s get into our respective classes.” Though Kabir tried to stay positive and avoid this question but this question went deep down as he was full of boredom. His routine included only two things one was his work and other one was his studies, he neither visited any place nor does he had any friends.

The class got over and the question of Khushi was still hovering around the mental stature of Kabir, he was just trying to find the answer of the question which was asked by her. The helicopter of Kabir’s thought landed as a new passenger asked for the lift.

“Hey, how was your class?” It was Khushi from the back as usual.

“It was nice.” Kabir answered with a smiling face.

“My question was not funny enough to make you smile so better you do not wear a fake smile as I can figure it out that your smile is not a real one.” Kabir got confused by her statement and asked her.

“What do you mean by fake smile? What is the difference between real and fake smile?”

“I’ve to shop something so please accompany me to the nearby mall and help me carrying the shopping bags and in return I’ll help you in getting a real smile.” Khushi asked Kabir.

Normally Kabir’s routine says to prepare for next day’s lecture but since the next day was Sunday and neither there was any class nor there was any office so he gave a thought to accompany Khushi.

They shopped and had a coffee with a small chit chat on various relevant and non relevant topics. They were heading back to their destinations and both of them were waiting for their metro rails .

“Did you notice the lady who was standing ahead of me in the billing counter?” Khushi asked him.

“Yes, she was really funny, and the way she was talking on the phone was even funnier.” Kabir burst into laughter.

“This is your real smile.” Khushi winked and made Kabir speechless.

“Our metro rails have arrived. Let us leave for our respective destination.” Khushi offered her hand for goodbye gesture. Kabir grabbed her hand for the handshake.

“Can we meet up tomorrow?” Kabir started liking her company so he asked her for another meeting.

“Sorry, I keep my Sunday for my boyfriend.” Khushi answered him.

“Oh, that’s great. What is the name of your boyfriend?” Kabir asked Khushi.

“His name is Abhijeet and we are in relationship from school days and soon we are going to get married.” Khushi answered him.

“Can we catch up the next metro rail, if you do not have any problem?” Kabir asked Khushi for the favor.

“Yes, that is ok with me. I can catch up the next rail but you need to leave my hand first of all.” The hands were still in the handshake position and it was getting awkward as the nearby passengers were staring both of them.

It took almost 5 another minutes for the next metro, but in these 5 minutes Khushi revealed that she would not be meeting him anymore as she would be accompanying her boyfriend to New Zealand and they are flying down to New Zealand on Sunday evening. Kabir and Khushi exchanged their contact numbers along with a promise to be in touch forever.

The metro rail arrived and both of them left for their respective destinations, Khushi worked like a magic wand and the life of Kabir changed a lot. Now he was a new Kabir who loves to smile and stay happy. Khushi alike her name spread happiness in the life of Kabir. They both kept the promise to be in touch as friends.

SAVINGS

Ramesh entered his house and sat on the sofa .He kept his office bag aside; Kiran came with a glass of water and handed it to Ramesh.

Ramesh kept the glass on the table and said “The education loan for Rahul got sanctioned, bank called up today to inform me.” Ramesh was happy and he had a valid reason for that, his son Rahul could go abroad now for higher studies now.

Kiran was also happy with the news but she was also worried about the finances at the same time. “It’s great news indeed, but don’t you think this higher education will cost a lot and you barely have savings for the post retirement livelihood.” Kiran was having mixed emotions she was happy and at the same time she was worried as well.

Ramesh got up from the sofa he picked up the glass of water and said “You worry a lot, everything will be fine and moreover we do have time to save money for the future.”

Ramesh has always kept Rahul’s future on the top priority be it is Rahul’s studies or sports, everything for Rahul has to be the best of the world and Ramesh has always stretched his limits for giving the best of the possible amenities. It was a both sided response as Rahul was a bright child and he always use to come with good scores in his academics and he was fairly active in the sports as well. This use to motivate Ramesh for stretching his limitation to provide best of the amenities to his only son but this was somehow hitting Ramesh’s finance as he was getting buried in various loans for which his wife Kiran was majorly concerned. Ramesh was in  a stable job but his earnings was not enough for his expenses, despite all these problems Ramesh always kept all other things aside and focused only on the future of his son.

Ramesh was getting ready for the office and Kiran was in the kitchen, “Kiran, bring my breakfast I’m getting late for the office.”

 Ramesh and Rahul both were sitting on the dining table waiting for their breakfast. Rahul said to Ramesh “Papa, I forgot to tell you there is an online course coming up and I want to get myself enrolled into it.”

“All right, we will discuss it in the evening.” Ramesh nodded in an assertive way as always, none of the Rahul’s demand goes in vain.

Kiran entered the room with the breakfast and she asked “Rahul, the online course where in you are planning to enroll yourself, is it important or can you avoid it?” 

Rahul said “Yes mummy, I can do it later.”

Ramesh interrupted “Why later”?

Kiran said “Later, because we are running short of money, Rahul will be travelling abroad next month. It will require money and we are exactly on a hand to mouth position, what if something happens to any of us we are not even in a position to afford a normal clinic at this point forget about a proper hospital?”

Ramesh looked at Kiran and said “Stay positive, things will be fine and remember one thing. Illness comes to only those who can afford it and we don’t come under that category. Right now the future of my son is calling him and I know nothing will come in between”. Ramesh always use to give these kind of illogical reasons to conclude the debate.

Rahul’s shopping was on the full swing, it looks as if Ramesh will spend his entire months’ salary on one go for Rahul’s foreign trip. Ramesh and Rahul both were very excited, Kiran also got into their happiness and kept her worries aside. Ramesh came from the office and sat on the sofa after keeping his office bag aside, it was almost 11.30 in the night.

Kiran brought a glass of water; she gave the glass to Ramesh and sat next to him. “Why are you exerting yourself so very much, what is the point of doing so much of over time”? Kiran was worried about Ramesh as few overtimes converted into frequent overtimes these days and he was doing it only to increase his earnings so that he can fulfill Rahul’s requirement. Ramesh was very tired and he was sitting like a statue listening to Kiran complaining about his carelessness. Suddenly Ramesh realized that the face of Kiran was getting blurred and voice was also not hitting his ear buds properly and he was getting into an unconscious state.

Ramesh opened his eyes, he was lying on the hospital bed he found Kiran on one side of his bed along with Rahul. Doctor and a nurse were on another side of the bed, “How are you feeling Mr. Ramesh”? Doctor asked Ramesh

Ramesh nodded his head and said “I’m ok” in a very low voice. Doctor smiled and said “You had a mild stroke Mr Ramesh but it could have been a major one if you were not being brought to the hospital on time, take good care of yourself”. The doctor left the room, nurse came close to Kiran and she said “Your husband is out of danger now, take good care of him” and the nurse left the room.

Rahul came closer to Ramesh and he sat closer to his father holding one of his hand, Kiran came and asked Ramesh “How are you feeling now?”

Ramesh took a look around the hospital was appearing to be on the costlier side he asked Kiran “How did you manage all of it”? Suddenly Ramesh found that gold bangles and necklace was missing from Kiran’s hand and neck, “Where are your bangles and necklace?”

Kiran replied “You answered your own question; this was how everything got managed”.

“Papa I’m cancelling my foreign studies as it is costing us a lot and I’ve decided to stay with both of you and pursue my further studies here only”. Rahul said and tightened his grip on his father’s hand which he was holding.

Ramesh was speechless he turned his contact from Rahul to Kiran he found Kiran’s eyes were wet, she said “It is good that you are very serious about Rahul’s future but at the same time we all should be ready for the rainy days and our savings helps us to provide shelter during these days. We cannot afford to lose you at all by any means or any chance, so you need to take good care of yourself as well”. Tears rolled out of Ramesh’s eyes he took hold of Kiran’s hand from his one hand and turned his head towards the window of the hospital ward. It was a bright sunny day and it seems as if that ray of sun has taught a clear lesson of importance of savings to Ramesh, keeping the expenses lower than earnings and being realistic in future planning. “A penny saved is worth penny earned”.

I’m Sorry !!!

Sophie finished her guitar class and she was coming out, the moment she stepped out of her class it started raining heavily. Sophie had a very bitter feeling for the rain but unlike her Richard liked the rain a lot. The rain was still pouring like hell few of the students stepped out and started dancing and splashing water on each other, Richard was among them. Sophie was an introvert girl and she never use to converse much with others but Richard being her neighbor had separate bond with her.

Richard shifted to Sophie’s society few years back and later on they discovered that both of them shared same school bus, school class and guitar class. Richard broke the ice by introducing himself when they met on the society’s New Year function even Sophie accepted his introduction but being an introvert the conversation was very less from her side.

“Sophie why don’t you come and join us?” Richard invited Sophie for rain dance but Sophie out rightly rejected his invitation “No, I’m fine and I don’t like rain so you can carry on with your dance.”

Sophie was standing and watching Richard dancing, she liked him but never confessed it and it seems that she would never ever confess it in her life. Richard, energetic and full of life and extra extrovert was also in love with Sophie but alike usual boys he was confused a bit. He thought to propose her during last valentine day but dropped the idea due to his confused state of mind.

“What if she rejects my proposal I might lose my friendship also”.

“What if she is in relationship with other, I might hurt her”.

“What if she complaints to her and my parents about it?”

Lot of “what” came in the mind and forced Richard to drop the idea of proposing her, but today he was firm and determined to disclose his message and somewhere he witnessed aheartwarming messages for him as well in the eyes of Sophie.

Rain stopped, boys and girls who were dancing in the rain were completely wet. Richard came and picked his guitar which was lying in front of Sophie.

“It has stopped, shall we?” Richard asked Sophie. Both of them started walking towards their home.

“It seems it will rain again.” Richard looked at sky and said it to Sophie.

The entire expression of the Sophie changed within a fraction of second. Sophie didn’t even like someone discussing rain, Sophie’s level of hatred was extreme with rain. The reason was deep buried inside her heart and it was killing her like a slow poison, slow but extremely painful.

“Who doesn’t like rain; this is a beautiful piece of gift to human kind from nature.” Richard said it to Sophie to which she angrily replied “I don’t like it at all.”

 She was angry and Richard thought it better to change the topic. “Let’s have a cup of coffee.” Richard asked Sophie.

Sophie kept on walking without uttering a single word. “I don’t like people who hold sympathy for me, so you better leave it. I’m completely fine and I don’t want any coffee.” Richard was taken aback and he asked her “What is that in your mind which keeps on bothering you all the time”. Sophie replied “It is nothing.”

Their regular conversation use to be very formal and normally it use to involve around their school activities as there was no space for their personal conversation and she being introvert while he being confused. Richard often felt that something is hurting Sophie deeply but he being a boy and she being a girl formed a barriers due to which none of them entered in anybody’s personal space.

Today the confused Richard was determined and very clear on his thoughts. Richard went ahead and stood in front of Sophie blocking her way “I want to know what is hurting you and why can’t you disclose it to me and believe me you will feel better and relieved after that.” Sophie never expected this kind of behavior from Richard; she passed by him and said “Who told you that I’m hurt?”

Richard hold her wrist “It is very clear from your face and anyone in this world can guess it so please don’t lie it to me.” She was very furious with his act, “Leave me and let me go.” Sophie asked Richard to leave her hand.

“Not this time, you need to answer my question. We have been friends from such a long time and don’t you think I deserve to know this?” Richard asked Sophie for which she replied “Richard, listen the very first thing I’m completely fine secondly we are just school or class mates and not best of friends, so leave my hand and let me go as it is none of your business.” Richard was speechless he left her hand to let her go, he was standing speechless and she left with lots of questions to hammer Richard’s mind.

She closed her door and lied on the bed, she cried and cried as she didn’t want anyone to peep into her miseries but at the same time she also don’t want to let Richard go from her life after all she liked him.

It was a reception party at the society and both the lovebirds were there at the party and both of them were badly hurt. Richard decided to give up his persuasion and take it as a lost love, he also decided to change his guitar class timing and use bicycle instead of bus for going to school so that he can avoid her. He was considering as her love life but she did not even consider as her friend, this did not went well in Richard.

Both of them came to the party so that it might change their mind which was hurting them badly but the boring party failed to change the array of their thoughts and coincidently they thought to leave the party at the same time.

Sophie noticed Richard walking ahead, she thought to call him and stop him and say that she loves him badly but she cannot disclose it to her but at the same time she also knew that if she did not stop him he will walk away from her life. She collected all the courage and called him “Richard.” Richard was not aware that Sophie is behind her but he recognized her voice and stopped.

“Richard, I’m extremely sorry for my today’s behavior as I realized that I should not behave in such a way with you.” Sophie was just flowing with the flow and today it looked as if she will break the entire barriers that have stopped her so far.

 Richard said “It is ok, I can understand but as a human gesture I again want to ask you. What is it bothering you?” Sophie paused for a while but she collected all the courage from within “I’m a rape victim and it is only you who knows it apart from me and that animal who spoiled me.”

Richard was clueless and was standing like a statue with no reaction; both of them were standing still with no action or reaction. Rain started pouring and moved both of them, Sophie broke the pin drop silent situation “It was raining that day, and I know that you love me and I also want to tell you that I’m also in love with you but I don’t think we should carry it further”.

 The words were like a hot and melting iron getting into Richard’s ear. Sophie thought to leave the place by saying “I’m Sorry.”

You Don’t Belong Here Anymore

Ravi stopped his car and asked Reema to get down, Reema asked Ravi “Are you not coming inside?” Ravi nodded his head in disagreement and pin pointed his watch. Ravi and Reema a newly married couple, though they did hold acquaintance but now their relationship got a new name.

Despite all the love and affection a girl gets from her in laws it fails to replace the care and warmth which a girl gets at her own house from her own parents where she feels a sense of belonging. Reema was missing her parents from quite some time so today she told her husband to drop her to her parent’s house while going to office.

 “I’ll come by 6 to pick you in the evening so be ready by that time, now please let me go to the office as I’m already getting late.” Reema got down and pressed the door bell, she was full of excitement and joy as it was her first visit to her own “Home Sweet Home” after marriage. Sudha the maid of the house opened the door and she found Reema standing on the doors and she was equally excited as Reema has grown in front of her eyes though Sudha was the house help but she was being treated equally as a family member by Reema’s family.

Sudha excitedly called Reema’s mother “Look who is there on the doors, it is our own princess Reema.” Sudha opened the door and hugged her, the affection was equivalent to mother and daughter and she took her inside the house.

The passing of information on her arrival hit Reema a bit as it was numerous times before she rang the bell and Sudha opened the door but the information on her arrival was knocking her head as if she has come as a guest not as a family member. Mummy came and hugged Reema, the warm bonding between mother and daughter was hot enough to melt the solid tears to roll out. Both of them sat down on the sofa and Mummy asked Sudha to bring water for Reema, an endless conversation started between mother and the daughter while Sudha sitting close to Reema as a witness watching Reema closely.

Suddenly Reema noticed that her childhood memory an aquarium is missing from the place where she use to keep which was not allowed to be touched by anyone, the aquarium was a priceless possession for Reema. Mummy said “The aquarium needed a proper care and none of us were able to take good care of it, so we decided to give it to someone else and Sudha asked for it and we gave it to her”. Reema looked at Sudha as she was not very much happy after all the aquarium was her priceless possession and lot of memories were associated with that aquarium. She use to show the colorful fishes to her school friends and in fact the aquarium also holds a special bond. She met Ravi for the first time in the pet shop when she was there to buy a new fish and Ravi was also there to buy a new aquarium for himself and this common interest clicked in between. It looked as if all the memories flashed for a while and vanished in another second.

Reema got up from the sofa and walked towards her own room, the room which was her everything and not a single thing was kept in the room without her permission. “Mummy, when will papa come?” Reema tried to ease the environment as everyone sitting there was aware about the possessiveness which Reema has for her things. Reema opened the door of her own room and she suddenly started getting a feeling of a guest. The wall paint was not pink her favorite color, her favorite swing was missing from the attached balcony to her room. The swing where she use to sit and spend time with her father, but now it is missing from its place. The entire room was having a new look, she asked her mother for the reason, and her mother said that after her marriage the entire room was changed to a guest room. The word guest again hit her and the entire house was screaming loud to Reema “You don’t belong here anymore.”

Mummy felt the discomfort of Reema and just to distract her she said, “Lunch is ready come and have something princess.”Reema came and sat for the lunch, she was silent, and she was speechless. No one could dare to touch her things but is it a maturity which has kept her calm and silent or is it that she does not belong to this house anymore and she has lost the right to say anything. The mobile rang it was Ravi. “

“Reema, I’ll be late as an unexpected meeting has just arrived so if you don’t mind can you go back by your own or if you can wait I’ll be reaching by dinner and after having dinner we can leave.” Reema paused for a while and said “No! It will be too late so I’ll manage it by own, you take your own time.” She finished her lunch and went to her own room which was a guest room now, “Mummy I’ll like to take a short nap. Just wake me up when papa comes.”

She closed the door and lied on the bed where all the memories were flashing in front of her eyes, pillow fight with cousins, night studies with friends, long night calls with Ravi, she closed her eyes. Suddenly there was a knock on the door, “Reema, papa has come, please come out. Papa wants to see you.”Reema came out of the room she hugged papa, father and daughter also had a special bond and it was evident.

Everyone sat and Sudha got evening tea for everyone , after finishing tea Reema asked her father “Papa can you ask your driver to drop me back to my house.” Papa said “What happened, why you are in hurry?” “No papa, Ravi got stuck in some meeting and it will be quite late if we leave after dinner, it normally takes two hour drive from here.” Reema replied her father. Reema’s mother realized that Reema is not feeling very comfortable where none of her things is there. Reema’s father went out to call the driver, her mother and Sudha came near to her and both of them held her hand “We all daughters have to face the challenge of leaving our child hood treasures at our parents’ house and step into a new world of in laws, I can understand how you felt by when you found your favorite things missing but we daughters have to accept it and move ahead.” Reema hugged her mother tightly as she understood what her mother was trying to convey her, tears rolled out from the eyes of Reema and she left for her own house.