Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Write Tribe Anthology Book 1

Friends delighted to present to you all The Write Tribe Anthology Book 1, a compilation of 36 posts from 36 wonderful enthusiastic bloggers....so proud to be part of this!! Many thanks to Vidya for all her efforts into the editing, proof reading and churning out this fabulous book...don't you just love the cover, so classy, so vintage :) makes me feel like a seasoned writer hehe :)....Thanks to Vaisakh the happy helper and most importantly dear Corinne who brought all these bloggers under one roof 'The Write Tribe' providing us much love, shelter and care and prompting each of us to get creative and write our best! 

Do download the book here, also available under 'My downloads' at the top right side bar. There is something in this that I'm sure each of you will enjoy - short stories, poetry, 55 fiction, personal stories and experiences, parenting wisdom, haiku, anecdotes, humor and more....Love you my fellow Write tribers....this is just the beginning!!!


Monday, December 23, 2013

'You'

Hand in hand we walk
Just like it were yesterday
and I'm filled with gratitude
for 'you' in my life...
My friend, my confidant
Love of my life, partner in crime

I look back at our journey...
our differences, our individualities
those distances, those fights...
We don't appreciate these much
But they are truly a blessing in disguise!

For despite the odds, we fell in love
In love with each's true selves
Our souls connected, recognized
accepted, understood, embraced, loved.

'You' are always there in my gratitude prayers
You complete me...
bring out the best in me...
Light up my soul...

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Written for Write Tribe's 100 words on Saturday. The prompt ' A blessing in disguise' was provided by the lovely Shilpa Garg - our in-house drabble queen!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Part 10 - He'll always remain your Pa

Contd from Part 9 - Dreams

"I could carry you 100 times over" I heard him say to Ma, his breath enveloping hers as he carried her gently in his arms like a new born up those steps into her new home. It is so effortless, their love, I could endlessly gaze at them, their warmth touching my heart. Ma still touches him now and then assuring herself this is all real, not a dream, not a ghost, very real!

I was packing my bags as he came to my room. We shared a cordial relationship, comfortable but still awkward. So I wasn't expecting such a tender and compassionate hug from him. "Thank you" he said, his arms still around me.

The first time I saw him he was sitting in the yellow light, the letter in his trembling hand, rocking in his chair, his tears rolling down his face unashamedly. He didn't move. didn't speak, didn't make an effort to wipe his salty face. I didn't judge him, reading that letter had me shaken too...

Dear S.S
This perhaps is my 31st letter you, each one of the earlier ones torn and thrown in the dustbin. I don't know where to begin. Should I ask for forgiveness first or should I just confess and pray that you understand. It is not easy living with this guilt...sometimes when she looked at me I feared she knew the truth. I was ashamed of myself, ashamed of calling myself a friend, a husband. But I was a good father...I was proud to be his Pa...until today. Until today...when he came to know the truth and left home...bringing me back to the bitter reality that I was not his father. You were! I was just living a make-believe dream. All this...this family...he...belonged to you. 
Remember how I had always yearned for a family...though your family had taken me in, giving me all that they gave you, never differentiating between us, it still hurt whenever I saw you sitting on your father's lap, eating out of your mother's hand...it reminded me I was an orphan...it reminded me I was born alone...
You were not there when he was born, when his cries filled the hospital room with joy, when my little finger was between his tiny hands as he slept and his grip became a little tighter as he sneezed his tiny sneeze for the first time. You were not there when he crawled down from his cot on his own, when he wobbled and fell trying to walk. You were not there when he said "Pa" for the first time, his voice golden, the word so pure so magical. You were not there...I was! 
And then suddenly after five years you appeared...I did genuinely search for you initially...after all Kiran was yours, only yours...you didn't even know about Karan...and then your letters came and I did want to tell her. I so wanted you two to be together...but I feared...I feared that...I feared losing my son. I feared...

I saw him reading the letter again. I saw him nodding his head vigorously the tears still flowing. I was standing in the shadow of the door so he couldn't see me. But he knew someone was there, "Anuj?" his voice shaky, distant. "He is no more..." was my meek reply. I stepped into the yellow light, "I am his son...yours....Karan".

I still think how easily Pa was forgiven by the ones to whom he had done the most wrong. But I can also see how much they are in love and nothing else matters to them. The past is forgotten, forgiven...they just live in the now, in each others arms. I bid them farewell and they wave their goodbyes from their free hand, the other one entwined with each others. I still remember their last words..."Come back soon" hers and "He'll always remain your Pa" his.

******************************************************************************************

Monday, December 16, 2013

Part 9 - Dreams

Contd from Part 8 - Clearing doubts

Dreamily you look into my eyes
I see what you see
I promise, taking your hand
This touch, my word, sacred!

We dream together
of a life, a home
A place ours to be free
to be us, to be in love...

You whisper in my ear
I play with your loose black curl
Our faces burning blush
Our eyes locked in reverie

'Wait for me' I say
and I know you will
In my heart I carry you
this distance making our love stronger...

I had formed an imagery of the faceless one in my head reading this poem amongst such many...a strong exterior with a delicate heart I believed him to have..and I believed that this dream my parents had seen about a few decades back would soon become a reality.

I had called in ahead to book a room at the Kiran villas and true to their word they had a young lad waiting at their base to carry my bag. The caretaker, also the cook, had warned me that the villa is at a higher level and can be only be reached by steps. It was only when the 100 odds steps stared at me from above overpowering my small stance I realized I should have taken his warning seriously.

Reaching my room I breathed a sigh of relief and at the same time an exhilarating squeal. In the lap of nature, the surrounding mist cradling me, the sky almost in my reach. This moment...one of the most precious ones in my life.

Tea with freshly baked bread and cookies were sent up to my room along with a note..

"We treat our guests as family. Please feel at home. Warm regards - S.S"

My heart skipped a beat...the time is near. I beamed " Can I meet him, the owner?" The young lad who had brought in the note apologized saying he will probably not be back till midnight.

I quickly scurried in my bag and took out the diary and from it the letter. The letter that quietly lay between the pages of sweet odes and yearnings....the letter Pa had written to his friend but did not carry the courage or perhaps the intention to post...the letter which revealed his reasons...

"Please give this to him as soon as he comes. This is extremely urgent...understand?" I spoke a bit strongly, emphasizing on each word and handed the letter to him.

(to be contd.)

Day 7 prompt was Dreams!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Part 8 - Clearing doubts


"There is nothing more fearful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills" - Buddha

Doubt...all along this seed of doubt was the reason for such complexities. Wish my (real) father had not doubted Ma's love for him and had gone up to her seeking an explanation. He would have realized why she got married, he would have realized my being....and Life as we know today could be so different. 

Pa...his reasons difficult to understand...or not...I would be lying if his confession found in that letter... hidden away in the diary, didn't bother me...his reasons from keeping the truth from his dear friend, from Ma, from me...love...love was the reason he gave...his justification.

But one can't understand human behavior really...why people think or react the way they do?

All these thoughts lingered on my mind as I sat in the backseat of the cab, enjoying the view the pine trees offered. The diary perched on my side, it had played it's role and was now waiting to re-unite with its owner. Ma has no idea what I'd been upto for the last 40 hours...

Leaving from the Golden temple, it just clicked...the next step. I ran through the letters again and went straight to the sender's address. It was Simran I met there. An old petite figure full of life...My aunt, Ma's best friend, his sister. Such a warm and jovial personality, she made me comfortable and I let down my inhibitions and heard my parent's love story as it happened. I also got the sense that she somewhere hadn't approved of the relationship and I soon understood why. My father was a Sikh! The S.S. initials stood for Suraj Singh. My Ma's family a devote Hindu one...Even after years the 1984 Sikh riots had left its bitter after taste in homes...homes which otherwise celebrated each festival together, be it Baisakhi or Holi, but would not let an inter-religion marriage take place...Doubt...the seeds of doubt planted years ago still had their roots in the present society.

I begged her to tell me where my father was. She tearfully told me she hadn't seen him in years. For one year she had tried to nurse him back to get on with his life, she had tried hard to make him forget his love. Tired one day she had yelled at him, angry at seeing his brother in such a state was difficult. It took a lot of energy to keep smiling, encouraging and talking to almost a dead man. A mummy. "People laugh at us" she had said mockingly cried that day, "A brother lying dead all day leaving his mess to be cleaned up by his sister. A sister he should have gotten married by now...the village speaks such ill...but nothing matters to you." And that night he had just disappeared.

I was dismayed at hearing this. "But surely buaji, there must be some way to find him" I pleaded. She racked her brains and finally had given me a cue my heart told to follow. "I think he might have gone to Dalhousie, one of his army friend stays there. He had no where else to go" she had finally said.

It was not much of an effort to find a one Mr. Suraj Singh in Dalhousie...a one with an army background. The cabby was instructed not to stop, not to slow down....we were now just a few hours away from the 'Kiran villas'...I couldn't help smiling at the name of the homestay...he had never stopped loving Ma clearly...her name being the name of his villa.

(to be contd.)

Day 6 prompt was People!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Part 7 - Acceptance and forgiveness

Contd from Part 6 - My father's letters

I felt let down by a man I loved the most, my idol....my heart still couldn't believe what my mind was suggesting! "You seem quiet there Son, everything alright?" A tense shrug was all I could muster in response, the diary still on my mind. I already felt a certain kind of connection with him...the faceless one...

Rajjo Maasi and Ma were busy chatting, catching up while I was gazing at the rural idylls as the lush acres of greenery were staring back me, welcoming me to their land...my land. They seemed to be speaking to me coaxing me to let go....assuring me that I will find what I seek. The chaotic half an hour drive from the station that reminded of the narrow lanes of Chandni-chowk and made me feel right at home, the colorful turbans bouncing in every direction I saw, the cheerful voice of my mother reminiscing her childhood days - "see that lane Karan, that is where...", distracted me from the conflicts streaming in my mind. It was a travel through time for Ma...she had resisted to come back to Amritsar after marriage for many a reasons...but right now, this place, is where I'd like her to be...forever...if her kid-like expressions, her infectious smile and her twinkling eyes is what this place brought out in her.

In the evening we decided to visit the Golden temple one of the holiest places of Sikh worship in the world. I wasn't excited to go there at first...I needed some time alone...time alone with him...his diary. But Ma's expectant eyes melted me and I'm so glad that I accompanied them. As I stood facing the shimmering golden structure magically floating atop the placid lake, something in me stirred. The temple's golden rays reflected on the lake and entered straight into my heart. I sat on the cool marble surveying the many believers who were taking a dip in the sacred waters to cleanse their souls. Such is the way to love too I thought, taking the plunge, with undeterred faith and belief, no matter how cold the water is.



















The soulful reciting of the Guru Granth Sahib reverberated the surroundings connecting humanity... connecting me with my fathers...both of them...wherever they might be. I had never been a religious person...and I had lost complete faith when my life was upturned in a second three years back. But as I sat there soaking in the spiritual air I felt light...I accepted... I forgave...I felt a sense of gratitude... I had two fathers!

I requested Ma if I could stay back the night here...I had befriended a Sardarji who was a volunteer at the temple and was kind enough to let me join him in sweeping of the area at night. He told me this was service of the highest order and the early sunrise would be a divine blessing.

I stayed...



















What I experienced was something words can't express...I left there after eating at Guruji ka langar...both my stomach and my soul filled with love.

(to be contd.)

Day 5 prompt was Travel!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Part 6 - My father's letters

Contd from Part 5 - Moving

I felt like throwing up and rushed outside, the book still in hand. My racing heart matched the beats of rattling of the train against the iron tracks. I took a deep breath and steadied myself, seeking some peace in the beautiful landscape whisking past me. I opened the book again...carefully eyeing it this time....yes it was a diary...no it wasn't Pa's...

I squinted and started to read the first letter....it was dated 1992. I was about 5 years old then...it was definitely from him! It simply said

"Anuj, I'm back...but broken and battered. 
I need you mate. 
Are you still in Delhi? Hoping you'll call me as soon as you get this. - S.S."

Ma had told me that they had searched for weeks for him...If Pa has this letter then why...?

I quickly turned to the next letter...

"You must be out friend...for the past one week I've been glued to my bed. I feel my legs will not be able to carry me....such is the heaviness in my heart. 
Kiran...I saw her the other day. I saw her son, his eyes as beautiful as hers. 
Why didn't you stop this...you said you'll take care of her while I'm away...how could she move on like that?
I couldn't face the humiliation Anuj. I couldn't face that she was someone else's...I ran...never looked back. I don't think I can look back... - S.S"

I wanted to scream. I wanted to question Pa. I wanted to know the meaning of this. With nervous hands I turned the page...

"No response from you. But writing to you eases my pain...
Love is a strange word, a different world...The once happy memories are turning sour.
I have started to question my love. Did she love me at all?
You remember this photo...you had clicked her and given it to me as I was leaving. Her smile, her eyes...sometimes I think the only reason I survived the atrocities at the border was because of this photo. I used to look at her...countless moonless nights spent like this...the bombs, the gunshots magically turned into a beautiful melody...her face the music my soul needed.
And now I can't ever bare to look at her. Trusting you with her photo and my diary - S.S.
P.S. I miss you my friend"

The letters were a haze now as I wiped a tear from my shirt sleeve. How could things go so wrong when two people are so in love? Why didn't a friend answer a friend in such dire need?

The train came to a halt. A tea vendor got in....several glass tea cups kept in a metal stand...his hand tinkling the cups rhythmically...his voice...a sing-song boyish voice repeating..."chai garam....chai garam", brought me back to present! I noticed we had reached Phagwara junction...I went back inside...Ma was perched on the berth. I wanted to hug her. I wanted to give back her lost years, her lost love. We were in this together now. We both have been lied to.

(to be contd.)

Day 4 prompt was Music!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Part 5 - Moving

Contd from Part 4 - Some answers

The last two days were a whirlwind, packing, discarding, planning, and again packing. I looked around the empty house, the one bedroom and kitchen seemed so spacious now. My steps felt heavy as I moved to pack the last of the boxes, only Pa's cupboard was remaining. Ma had gone to say her last goodbyes to the neighborhood. She had said it would be too difficult for her to see his belongings and had asked me to do it. "How is it any easy for me?" I mumbled and opened his cupboard.

The first thing I noticed was Ma's photograph clipped to a hook on the back wall of the cupboard. Her kohl eyes bent down with her red bindi directed at me, her lips hinting at a shy smile. How very romantic of Pa I thought but...wasn't he just a keeper, a protector of his best friend's love? That's what Ma had told me, her exact words being "Anuj suggested we got married to save me from the humiliation. We had no choice. I always had deep respect for your Pa, and yes perhaps a kind of love too developed between us....but he never said much...you know how he kept all his thoughts and feelings to self!"

I took the photograph and kept it in my pocket. The rest of Pa's belongings were not much. Few clothes, on office folder with all his documents, a telephone book, his T.T. racket among other things. I quickly kept all of it in one box and was about to tape it when I saw something peek out of the last shelf. I bent down to recover a book, leather bound, the pages strung together with string. A diary? But Pa was never quite the writer, and as far as I knew he disliked to keep a journal or a record of any activity. But what did I know? It seemed I never knew my parents really! "Beta done? The taxi is here" I heard Ma shout from downstairs.  I quickly slid the book in my bag and sealed the box, "Coming Ma!"

The train hooted and chuffed and slowly started moving....it all seemed surreal, leaving behind the city that I had grew up in. "It's for the better!" Ma said, I really wanted to believe her. I smiled meekly. "Moving forward, moving away, hopefully moving in the right direction!" I kept repeating this in my head. "Ah I almost forgot, look Ma what I found" I reached for my pocket and showed her her picture. "Where did you get this?" she seemed astonished, not really happy. Her expressions confused me. "Where else Ma, in Pa's cupboard of course. That's a silly question!" I teased. "Well, I remember exactly when this was clicked. And it's strange that Anuj had this! When he, your father, was leaving for the army he had requested a photo of mine and Anuj clicked this and gave it to him. Anyway, forget it!" she shrugged and closed her eyes, soon to be fast asleep.

I was getting fidgety. I always carried a novel or a magazine while travelling but in the rush I had forgotten to purchase one. It was then that I took out Pa's diary. I didn't want to read it in front of Ma. She wouldn't have approved of it. But she was still deep in her slumber and I was curious. What I saw completely baffled me! They were a series of letter and notes strung together to form this book or journal, or whatever one might call it. The handwriting had a certain resemblance from somewhere but it certainly was not Pa's writing. It struck me like a lightning. Was this...could this be from my father...my birth father?

(to be contd.)



Monday, December 9, 2013

Part 4 - Some answers

Contd from Part 3 - Memories

I woke up to the sound of the wonderful sizzle. I checked the time...It's only 8:00 am, what's cooking so early I wondered. I couldn't control my gastronomical urge and sniffing like a dog I approached Ma in the kitchen. With a little of the yellow batter smeared on her black saree, a laddle in hand and a smile on her lips, I found her cooking my all-time favourite pakoras. The usual onion, potato and chilli, cut in desired length, well coated with the besan batter were waiting to be placed in the simmering oil. I licked my lips and clasped my hands in delight, when I spotted the unusual brinjal too waiting its turn. I was about to question Ma when she asked me to make tea, after all pakoras without chai is like a romantic dinner date without the soft music and candle lights!

"You know your father loved his pakoras too, especially the brinjal ones. I think I'm making these after almost an eternity" she said with a forlorn look. "But Pa hated..." I bit my tongue holding back my words, realizing that she was talking about my birth father. She had started this conversation on her own! I held my breath, not letting her sense my anticipation. I quietly kept stirring the tea eager to know more yet fearing to know the truth.

"We first met when I was all but 14. He was my best friend's brother. It was an instant mutual attraction for both of us but it took almost a month to just say a coy hello. For weeks it was just our eyes that spoke" Her face so ethereal when she spoke these words, love that had been buried for all these years was being dusted off. "You can meet her...Simran...my once friend...his only sister..in Amritsar" My jaw dropped were we going to my father's land! Would I find my answers there?

"Ma if you loved him so much why didn't you wait for him? I read that letter you gave me...why didn't you wait for your love to come back?" This question had been bothering me for so long. I just had to know. "Anuj was your father's childhood buddy. Only he knew about our relationship and no one else. He lied for us, spied for us, got into trouble because of us and also was the one who gut us out of troubles. When your father left for the army neither of us knew that our lives were going to change forever. Neither of us knew that you little one were already in my womb"

(to be contd.)



Sunday, December 8, 2013

Part 3 - Memories

Prologue here

Part 1 - The search

Part 2 - The Truth stings

Part 3 (contd)

She was unpacking my suitcase when I entered with the tea and her favourite anise flavoured cookies. Although, as taught all through my growing up years, my clothes were neatly folded and stacked in the suitcase, I still saw her taking out each item re-folding it and keeping it in the cupboard. I had always found her obsessive compulsive behaviour to be freakish and would easily get irritated, but today I stood there amused realizing that I had actually missed this about her. "Why are you up Ma? You know you have been advised as much as rest as possible." The concern in my voice made her look up.
"I feel so alive today Karan...so full of life. I think seeing you has refreshed me." She had covered the five step distance between us while speaking and already the cookie had been lifted to her mouth. I could sense her spirits were up today.

"I want to move out of the house. The past two months I have been mourning Anuj's death and now with my health dwindling I don't think I can hang around like this...here...waiting for..." Innocent to where this conversation was heading I excitedly proposed to take her to the market...street shopping, enjoying the lip smacking chaat at Bittoo Tikki Wala, a session of gossip with Mrs. Rao...I presumed, moving out of the house, was synonym with these activities for Ma. "No Karan, I mean shift out...I was thinking of staying with Rajjo di" Rajjo di was Ma' elder sister, my beloved aunt..."but she lives in Amritsar!!" I shouted aloud perplexed. 

I was not happy, how could we leave this house, our house, my house - so many memories. Of growing up, memories of Pa! Unlike the common perception that sons are more close to their mothers, I was a daddy's son. The Sunday gully cricket, the silent long walks, the indoor ping-pong atop our dining table, sitting idly in the winter sun eating peanuts, the serious conversations on women and politics...all these memories were a part of this place...leaving would mean leaving a part of me here...But of course for Ma this house spelt memories of lost love, death of her husband and her only son deserting her...Life had again presented a situation where I had to bow down.

We did go shopping that day. I saw Ma's eyes gleam as she checked out the shimmering sarees and the colourful bangles. But she didn't buy anything for herself and despite my reservations got me a leather jacket instead. A dark brown leather jacket very much like the one Pa had. Maybe that's why her eyes had lingered on this jacket hanging amidst the more fancier ones. I remember how Pa used to never leave home without this jacket in winters. I remember how Ma gently touched his shoulder and wished him a good day as he left for his work on the construction site. I remember how when he got back and removed his jacket, I would immediately put it on breathing in his smell, catching a whiff of the cement, the dust, the sweat, the hard work, imagining myself to grow up one day and become just like him.

(to be contd.)

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013
Day 1 prompt is Memories!

Oh I'm so excited linking this to the Write Tribe Festival of Words - 2. This is going to be helluva 7 days with reading excellent posts, commenting, sharing and connecting. Two of my dear tribers, Jairam and Sid are onto writing their novellas. I'm also attempting the same. :) :) Fingers crossed! And while Suzy is taking us through her personal journeys in the next few days, Rekha's cute stories down the memory lane left me smiling from ear to ear. Now I'm off to reading some other posts...Thank you Corinne for this amazing experience! Write Tribe rocks!!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Part 2 - The truth stings

Prologue here

Part 1 - The search

Part 2 (contd)

I don't know how long I stood there, pacing and smoking in the balcony. The rings of smoke merging with the mist in the air to form grey clouds over my head. I couldn't think clearly. I focused on the neighborhood. Few lights propped up in the dark, suggesting a wife was already up to take care of the daily chores or perhaps an enthusiastic child was strapping his pads to rush to a cricket practice. These individuals stories, their lives laid out with such verisimilitude, but it's all a big fat lie! One day, like mine, their worlds will come crashing down quavering their faith and they will realize how God plays us all like puppets.

I still remember that fateful day in my life, how it had turned from being one of the happiest to one of the bitterest days ever! I had rushed home earlier than usual, elated to share the big news of my very first job. Working part time all through my graduation in a call center, the company had offered to place me as a team head in Pune. Though I was torn at the thought of leaving my parents alone, I knew I couldn't refuse such an opportunity. I had skipped upstairs to our one bed room apartment clueless of what was about to hit me! The agitated voice of my Father had stopped me in tracks. He was a man of few and straight and very polite words, my father. To hear him like that, loud and gruff and shaky was enough to caution me that something was terribly wrong. "Why now? Why tell him now?" he had argued. "Anuj, every time you have found a reason not to tell him. He his neither young nor naive now. It hurts me too darling, but it's time!", surprisingly it was my mother who was the calm one. Her voice seemed to control whatever the situation was. And then the bomb dropped. "After all these years...how can I...what should I...how can I tell him I'm not his real father!"

I still hear his words sometimes at night, in hushed whispers, the pain in his voice clear now which was then overshadowed by my anger. I hadn't given them the chance to explain and had stormed out, very much like my real father had done sixteen years ago. How could I even try to accept this truth, that the man I've loved, known, respected as my father is not actually him. And now he is gone, I broke his heart and it broke him completely. I didn't even get a chance to say that no matter what he will always remain my Pa. I didn't even get the chance to give him a hug. His hugs were special, that made one feel that you are good as long as he is beside you. And now he is gone.

The rustling sound of a paper brought me out of my hagridden state. I nodded to Mrs. Rao in the balcony opposite ours who was settling down with her morning tea and newspaper. Her knowing smile would soon be followed by a question for which I didn't have the patience. I quickly moved inside and put two cups of water to boil. Ma liked her tea sweet. I put in three heaped spoons of sugar and saw them dissolve in the gurgling water. I wished all this negativity in my heart could dissolve like that. But to reach forward I know I have to look back for the answers. And that was going to be painful, both for Ma and me.

(to be contd.)


Monday, December 2, 2013

Part 1 - The search

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 44; the forty-fourth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.  













Read prologue here
                                                                      
I looked at the photo and then at the frail face. Her eyes had little light left, her face ashen. She held me hand in hers...the warmth, the touch still the best feeling in the world. A mother's touch! A tear slipped away and before I could brush it away it fell on her hand and she murmured "Don't do this to yourself son. I know what you're thinking...don't feel guilty. Don't blame yourself!"

I made chicken soup for her that night, like she had made me each time I was even a little feverish. I was a brat then with the most kind and loving parents anyone could have. I was truly blessed! I know that now...I should have realized this then and not rushed out of the house abandoning them that day! Looking back I'd do things differently....but this is no time to regret for the lost years. I want to live each moment with her...for her...making her each wish come true.

She drank the soup till the last drop and looked at me lovingly. "That was so good" she beamed like a child. My eyes again lingered on that photograph. "Is that..." I asked and she nodded. "You both look like you were in love...then why?" my voice shivered. It was more anger than hurt. "He never knew about you..." she reached over to the side stool and I watched her frantically searching for something...her words still ringing in my ear...So he never knew...does that make all of this ok? I wanted to shout at the unfairness of it all!

She handed me a letter...the sides of it yellowed and creases on the folds making it difficult to read. " Your father was a war hero son. When he came back he just assumed that I had moved on. Not giving me a chance to explain. Anuj and I looked for him for several weeks but it was all in vain". I could see she was overwhelmed by these memories of the past. I hushed her and said we would talk about this later...and gently rocked her to sleep.

Another uthceare moment...it was still a few hours before twilight. I had fallen asleep reading the letter and clearly woke up because of it too! My search for answers was about to begin. I looked at the horizon blankly hoping for the sun to rise soon, giving me strength and renewed hope to begin this journey.

(to be contd.)
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 02
Credits Image - Love in the air by Anand Courtesy - Apple Blossom's Photography via www.blogaton.in
******************************************************************************************

A very last minute decision to take part in the Blog-a-ton, an attempt to have 100 bloggers together on a single day! So cool no? So anyway I had a story in mind but due to lack of time (I already exceeded four minutes past midnight) I thought it would be great if I could club it with any of my previous works. And it gelled quite well with a story I had done a few months back - The incomplete letter. I don't know what's next but will try and churn out a readable drama for you guys!! :) :)

Have you heard the word 'uhtceare', meaning 'lying awake before dawn and worrying' It's a noun and I first read about it in an article by Mark Forsyth. Have I used it correctly? Mark Forsyth, a writer, journalist and a blogger, has written a book of hours - The Horologicon, where he uses the most extraordinary and unused words in the English dictionary and presents it to its readers in a way they can relate - by the hour of the day! Damn interesting...can't wait to read this! What do you think?

Oh and also linking this to dear Write Tribe!