Monday, September 2, 2013

Through the Peephole

Tiptoed she watched the next door neighbors from the peephole, as the young couple left for work. She suddenly clutched her pallu, covered her mouth and ducked as they took the stairs just next to her door. Breathing only when they had left. She hated herself for doing this every morning and promised not to be so obsessed with her neighbors, but failed every day. There was something that tugged at her heart, something that burned in the pit of her stomach which made her creep on them. She couldn't describe the emotions that sprang up whenever she looked at them, the two handsomely in love. Did she hate them? Hate was a very strong word but didn't she cringe every time the two held hands. Or was it she envied Rhea? Rhea who looked beautiful despite the broad forehead cleverly covered up with bangs, the rimmed glasses which slipped every now and then from her petite nose.

The screeching telephone disturbed her thoughts. Habitually she picked it up in one ring, hoping it was Amir, her husband. "Hello, Sadhana boutique?", a faint voice spoke. Another wrong number, the third in the last two hours. She wanted to scream NO! but irritatingly cut the line. She made a mental note to inform Amir about these incessant wrong numbers. The phone in her hand, the big black rotary dial telephone, again drifted her thoughts towards the neighbors. She often found them strange, their habits queer and out of place. Like once she had seen him, the husband, his palm covering his ear, speaking loudly to his mother. Who, if she remembered correctly, was a good 200 miles away from this city. She had wondered how was this possible, how was he speaking to her, "telepathy?" her mind was rationalizing when he had produced that small blue boxed thing which had numbered buttons on it. A "phone?"...she had been amazed with the discovery and had wondered why Amir hadn't bought one yet. Communication would have been so much easier when he was away on these long business trips.

Her stomach grumbled making her realize that it was almost lunch time. A sudden weakness made her head spin, as if she hadn't eaten for years. She got up to go to the kitchen, craving for hot aalu paranthas with adrak-lehsun ka achaar. Whenever she was alone she made peace with just milk and fruits but today her mind wandered, wandered to the fragrances of the world where once she had belonged! 

Her ancestral home was nothing less than a Palace and her father respected and rejoiced all over the village was certainly no less than a King. Well, he was the Zamindar of the village, a tall broad man who seldom spoke or smiled and mostly ordered around with just a twitch of his moustache. Memories came rushing back to her.... 
Her stout mother who was always busy managing the huge household. There were 7 workers who reported to her alone! Rama amma who was the head cook, whose whiff of hand made hot buttered aalu paranthas made the children rush from their play area to the kitchen early mornings. Martha, the governess....strict yet sweet...who not only home taught the kids but also was responsible for their grooming, cleanliness, mannerisms etc. She remembered how Martha would get irritated with her when she insisted on keeping her long, black hair loose and Martha would run behind her to piggy tail them first telling her politely that "It looks neat this way Madam", and then snapping at her angrily "Wait till I tell your Mom". The two helpers whose name she is forgetting, they would run the small day-to-day household errands but most of the times were caught playing marbles and smoking beedi. Then there were the two drivers, the old trusted Kaka for Fathers precious elegant peacock blue Delahaye, and the other young lanky fellow for the sturdy old Ambassador. And finally, the most important member of the house, adored by all, who even managed to bring a smile to Father's face and was respected like the grandfather of the family, Ramu Chacha, the gardener who managed the vast plantations of every possible fruits and vegetables, producing the crunchiest, freshest, tastiest carrots, brinjals, lettuce, apples and guavas. 

She unknowingly wiped a tear off her cheek, as she  fondly remembered Ramu Chacha. The only one who had ever cared for her, understood her heart and helped her when the time came...

...

(to be continued)





30 comments:

  1. This was exquisite Aditi. I was lost in your narration. Next part soon.

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    1. Thank you so much Preeti...your words mean a lot :) esp considering that you are teaching us all a new word every day! I'm loving your theme :)

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  2. That's a beautiful piece very nicely narrated. The images very life like. Looking forward to the next part :)

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    1. Thanks Kajal!! M actually racking my brains on the 2nd part...:) hope it turns out the way I'm thinking it will!

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  3. A beautiful story emotionally written. Waitng for the next part.

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  4. Great one............

    You may also find Kenfolios interesting......

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  5. Beautiful, Aditi...love the way it is unfolding, esp the last para where her childhood has been described...waiting for the 2nd part now.

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    1. Thanks dear... :) glad you enjoyed this...

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  6. This was such a nice start, waiting for Part 2 now...

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    1. Thanks Jairam...m nervous now...Eeeshh :)

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  7. This is interesting and intriguing... waiting keenly for the next part! :)

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    1. Thanks Shilpa...hope I live up to the expectations!

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  8. Enjoyed reading this beautiful story, Aditi:) The character so well placed and fluid writing:)

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    1. So glad u liked it....I'm all :) :) getting this comment from you!!

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  9. It looks like a page torn from a beautiful storybook.Eager to read the next post.

    http://sailorswiferamblings.blogspot.com/2013/09/sizzling-seven.html

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    1. Thanks Anu...this is really sweet of you!

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  10. Now waiting for the next part... hoping the images get carried forward to a different flavor now...

    Richa

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    1. The flavor has certainly changed!! Hope you relish it :)

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  11. Nice and Emotional and I am off to next part.. :-)

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  12. I am hooked and lost in your narration...cant wait for the next part :)

    you can check out my post here:-
    Karan - Grand Mother

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    1. Thanks a lot Karan! Hope you like the next part :)

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  13. A capturing start...description of her past made the story lively...lovely episode Aditi

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