Together and happy

It ended up being a long Friday at work. Rakesh was frustrated as he missed his date with his wife. They have been looking eagerly forward to it and planning to make it perfect. He cursed the most important client call for this and left for home. He had not seen Kavita so disappointed even in their 7 years of togetherness. They both have been so busy with work lately. They were not able to find the time for each other. This date was the salvation of that longing and this long client call screwed it up entirely. He was feeling guilty after he listened to her feel so disappointed.

He was fearing the empty look on her face. She was mature enough to understand that his call was an important one. Somehow, he managed to finish the call and get in the car. There was nothing fancy like candle light dinner or some pub night planned for the date today. It was his idea. He had planned to make it cool. They were going to head to the beach in the evening. Long walks on the sand were her favorite soul searching recipe. Sitting behind the wheel, he was lost in finding the way to break the void in her mind. The beep on his phone brought him back to reality.

“Get home soon, something is waiting for you.” His heart missed a beat. He knew that the sooner he gets over with this, the better it will be. ‘7 year’s of experience is really a good teacher’. He turned the ignition on and put his foot on the pedal. ‘Better don’t think about what are you going to get at home. Focus on the road’ Rohan from his minds-palace cautioned him. He drove home silently without his routine driving playlist.

He parked his car in the garage. He took the stairs to reach his floor. Keys in his hand froze in disbelief, the door was wide open. His living room was lit with dim lights from candles. He was ‘stunprised’ by Kavita’s gorgeous avatar in a black evening gown. Their favorite corner window was all set with cushions, coffee and copies of their favorite book for ‘buddy reading’. She had taken a step forward to their salvation of the lone times. He eased from the cease of surprise. He dropped his bag and keys and almost ran to her and pulled her into his arms. Their eyes met, lips smiled as they were genuinely happy.

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Image Credit: Internet

Linking this to Blogchatter Prompt- Because I am Happy

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The Gift

Yeah, you guessed it right! It is really a very special day. That’s the reason behind my dressed up avatar. Otherwise, I would have been sitting with bunch of others. But, Sumit came in yesterday. His arrival was announced by the ding of the small bell attached to the door. We paused our talking and checked the door curiously. He came in and spoke something with the manager. It must be the reason for him being here amongst us. The manager directed him towards us and said, “for her with love” section. He was searching a gift for his ‘one and only’. The occasion was their first anniversary.

He started walking towards us but was acting like a child in a toy shop. Confused about where to look and what to enjoy. The credit goes to our manager. He has done his part of stocking the store with a huge variety of items, which someone can gift to their loved ones for their special occasions. Our manager has smartly put our section at the end of the shop. One has to browse through the entire collection before reaching us. He must have decided about at least 20 gifts for his friends and family for their upcoming birthdays, festivals, etc.

He reached us. I can feel his curious yet confused eyes scanning us. He was looking for something very specific. I am sure he must be having a clear idea about what he is looking for. I have seen many Romeo’s buying gifts for their Juliette’s. Every new recruit from the college nearby comes here to buy Valentine’s gift for his or her’s “someone special”. But only 2-3 successful heads return next year. However, Sumit was different. His love was tested and proven by 3 years of dating. One year of courtships and now he was about to celebrate his first anniversary tomorrow. His eyes were looking for something very special. Close to his heart. Probably very significant for their relationship. While scanning through shelves he glanced over me. Soon I could sense the glint in his eyes. But it took a couple of seconds for him to feel it. Yes, his attention moved back to me. A smile emerged on his face and the decision was made.

With the signal from the manager, I was picked up from the shelf. They dressed me up in this adorable box. He paid and we left the shop. Sumit had taken all the efforts to keep me a secret for the special moment. I think he must be a very good poker player. He concealed his excitement and joy under a mask of a typical husband who forgets all the dates and prepared himself and me for the final surprise.

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I am writing this post towards #Blog&Celebrate contest by Novemberschild

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Image Credit: Eryn

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The Sticky

It’s me, The Sticky, who is the reason behind keeping the bond of love and care between Neha and Sumedh strong. They can’t even greet each other on weekdays. But I do it for them on their behalf. She brought me in this Flat No. 701 of Paradise apartments some 9 – 10 months back. It all started when Sumedh got his promotion letter. A year’s hard work had paid off and gave him good hike in the package, but it also put him on rotating shifts.

Tension rose up initially as they had to adjust to this new routine. Not able to spend the time with loved ones was taking a toll on the fun and joy they used to have till then. They started having fights over small issues. Suddenly it struck to Neha and enter, me, The Sticky. It was some routine weekday, they had their usual mix of tension and fight over some nonsense issue on WhatsApp. When she came home, he was sleeping. His meal was untouched.

She relaxed at home, had her meal, plated for him and put it in the oven. Pulled me out of her bag. She had thought about this while leaving the office. She had pitstop at stationers and picked me, some color pens and some fun stickers. On one part she wrote big ‘sorry’ with sad smiley face and put it on his mobile screen. Another said about the meal plated for him, another part of me was talking sweet things to him from his coffee mug. She finished the last one with ‘XOXOXO’ and stuck it to their photo frame.

She changed and went to bed. She started the dialogue in a new way. When Sumedh woke up on his routine time and checked his mobile, Neha said sorry to him from the note. He got up and turned on the coffee machine in the kitchen. He pulled the mug from the shelf which was saying how important he is to her. It also hinted about the love they share since the day they met for the first time. He had his meal after heating it in the oven when Neha told him about it. He couldn’t stop himself when he saw the hugs and kisses she left for him on the photo. Engineer in him picked up the pen and put the( )^2 around those XOXOXOs. And sorry note took place on Neha’s screen as he walked out for his share of work.

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Gift for my princess

Here I am, standing on the shore, holding my world by the hand. Shreya, my li’l princess. Waves are washing away the sand beneath our feet. Shreya’s smile widens with every wave bursting under her feet. She must have picked this fascination about waves from me. It’s been 4 years, she is the nucleus of our lives. Riya’s feelings must be in sync with mine. Riya and I met on this very shore for the first time. I was leading the group of students of the school where I taught, and she was there with her family. It was love at first sight. Sadly, we couldn’t even exchange pleasantries. Therefore knowing names, where we lived, what we did was out of question.

It seems that destiny had it stored in our future. I returned from our trip and got busy, preparing for an exhibition of photographs the students had clicked during the trip. It was a grand one, as it was the 10th year of our school and our first batch of students were graduating.  I had also put some of my clicks in the exhibition. It was a busy evening at the hall. The hall was buzzing with students, parents and patrons of our school. I was busy listening to the praises about the skills that my students had shown. Suddenly in the crowd, my eyes froze on her face. Yes, she was there and this time, alone. She was eagerly waiting for the crowd to disperse. My heart was skipping beats. Our eyes met and I sensed the flair of excitement in her eyes. I excused myself from the group. Our eyes signaled each other and both of us moved to the corner. Only our eyes did the talking.

A year flew by after we met in that corner of the exhibition hall. We got engaged with blessings of her family and cheers of from pals. Within the next 6 months, Miss Riya came in my home as Mrs. Riya Shreyas. I now had a family of my own. Being a lonely soul since birth, having my own family was a very satisfying thing. The bond between us grew like aged wine. Shreya entered our life, and our world started revolving around her.

It’s Shreya’s 4th birthday. Sun has almost set. It’s a starry night and I am sure that the campfire will take it the next level with the background score of bursting waves. I should now get back to setting the campfire. Shreya is going to get her own story of “How I met your mother” by that campfire as her birthday gift.

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शिंपण

उन्हं कलली तसे आम्ही सारे शिरप्याच्या मागोमाग परतीच्या वाटेला लागलो. आमच्या कळपाचा आधार असलेला वाघ्या पुढे जाऊन रस्ता सुरक्षित असल्याची खात्री करून पुन्हा शिरप्याच्या पायात पायात चालायला लागला. शिरप्या खांद्यावर काठी आडवी टाकून पुढ्यात चालत होता. त्याला लावलेल्या नाजूक घुंगरांच्या मंजुळ आवाजावर ताल धरून आम्ही मेंढरं त्या जोडगोळीच्या मागे मागे चालत होतो. गुमान मान खाली घालून पालाच्या वाटेवर चाललेल्या मला आज शिरप्या जरा जास्त चिंतेत वाटला. ‘बहुदा उद्या पालं हलवावं लागणार, आज चारा-पाणी शोधत शोधत आज फारच लांब गेलो की.’ हेच विचार त्याच्या मनात विचार चालू असावे. दिवे लागणीच्या आत पाल्यावर पोचायची घाई शिराप्याला झपाझप पावलं उचलायला लावत होती. तसा आजून तासभर होता, सूर्य नुकता कुठे डोंगरमाथ्याला टेकला होता. त्या तिरप्या उन्हात माझं काळं अंग चमकत होतं. वाघ्या कधी कधी पळत पुढे जाऊन यायचा तर कधी आमच्या मागून चालत कोणी भरकटत नाही न याची काळजी घेत होता. सारे दमलेले होते, नाईलाजाने पाय ओढत ओढत मागे मागे चालत होते.

सूर्य डोंगराआड गेला आणि उन्हाची काहिली कमी झाली. आम्हाला अजून अर्धी मजल मारायची होती. पण आज शिरप्याच्या चेहेऱ्यावर वेळेवर पोहोचण्याच्या काळजी पेक्षा उद्या पालं मोडून कोणत्या दिशेला निघावं याचीच चिंता जास्त होती. गेले तीन महिने किती गावांच्या बाहेर मुक्काम केला असेल याची मोजणी ठेवणं त्याने केव्हाच सोडून दिलं होतं. इथे तंबू ठोकून जेमतेम आठवडा झाला होता पण आजुबाजूचा सारा चारा पार वाळून गेला. औषधाला सुद्धा हिरवा रंग सापडत नव्हता. इतकंच काय पण बोरी बाभळीवरसुद्धा फक्त काटे उरले होते. लहानपणापासून बाबाच्या मागोमाग आमच्याबरोबर फिरतांना पाहून घेतलेले सगळे ओढे, नाले, तलाव आता कोरडे झाले होते. गेल्या दोन वर्षात पाउस कुठे दडी मारून बसला होता ते परमेश्वरालाच ठावूक.

सूर्य आता डोंगराआड गेला होता त्यामुळे काहिली कमी झाली होती. पण हवेत गरमी अजूनही होतीच. आभाळभर सुंदर अशी केशरी छटा पसरली होती. अन अचानक कुठूनसे वारे वाहू लागले. आजूबाजूला पसरलेल्या उघड्या माळरानावर बारक्याश्या वावटळी उठू लागल्या. पाचोळा आणि धूळ हवेत उडून रानमळ धूसर झाला होता. अचानक क्षितिजावर काळोख पसरला, हा हा म्हणता वाऱ्याने जोर धरला आणि क्षितिजावर जमा झालेले ढग साऱ्या आसमंतात पसरले. गेल्या दोन वर्षात ढग आणि वाऱ्याने बऱ्याच वेळा असं गुंगारा दिला होता त्यामुळे शिरप्याच्या पावलांची गती काही मंदावली नाही. त्याच्या मागून जाताना आम्हाला मात्र उगीचच आस लागली होती आणि आमच्या नजरा सारख्या आकाशाकडे जात होत्या. अचानक रोरावणारा वारा पडला, आणि कडाडकन ढगांचा गडगडात झाला. क्षणभर सारं काही स्तब्द झालं आणि पुढल्या क्षणाला पहिला टपोरा थेंब या जमीनवर आला, तब्बल दोन वर्षांनी. त्यापाठोपाठ दुसरा, मग तिसरा. उन्हातान्हात तापलेल्या मातीवर पहिला सडा शिंपडला आणि आसमंत मातीच्या सुवासाने दरवळून निघाला. एरवी पाऊस आला की कारवादणारा शिरप्या आज मनोमन आनंदला, आणि बरसू लागलेल्या पावसात चिंब भिजत पुढची वाट चालू लागला. आम्हीही त्याच्या मागून भिजल्या अंगानी त्याच्या मागून उड्या मारत मारत चालत होतो ते उद्या होणाऱ्या हिरव्यागार धरणीमातेची कल्पना करत.

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Reborn

It was an easy day for me, set routine continued till that moment. Exactly at the time of my daily evening coffee, it happened. It made me break my routine and go out of the way. It was a day of awakening. I was following this routine ever since I joined ‘Globalcorpo’ ten years before. I dedicated most of my time to my work and it paid off. In last ten years, I rose in rank and was sitting in General Manager’s cabin, refurbished as per my taste.

When I look back, I found those days very robotic. Even though responsibilities changed, it was same programmed routine for years. I got absorbed in ‘Globalcorpo’ through campus selection in last year of my graduation. I had a job in hand even before my degree. That day I was so happy but so lonely. There was not a soul around me to share my joy. I was introvert since I can remember. I never knew my parents, was not able to make any friends. I got bullied in school. I was getting high on anger and I diverted that to my studies and worked hard. That hardship got paid off that day.

On the joining day of this new job, one routine got replaced by other and I kept myself busy in work. I was famous as a workaholic in the office. On that day, I was busy in various routine meetings about managing my unit of the highly reputed multinational company. But every day I made sure that I will have my coffee break by the large window exactly at the same time. This coffee break used to be my stress-buster. My secretary brought my coffee in my cabin and returned to her desk. I was sitting in my window, looking down on the road. I was about to take the first sip, and Bang!!!!! Followed by the ear-tearing scratching sound of breaks. It was so sudden and swift many of them could not even react to what was happening. I froze. I froze in a shock.

In a flash, it was over for them. All I can feel was the numb silence, that eternal vacuum. All the red gore on the road, increasing the circle of the crowd, restless honking of ruthless commuters on the road was getting blur. My brain was not ready to process anything.

Right in front of my eyes, the young jovial couple lost their lives in a fraction of a second. And I was sitting in my air conditioned office, 40-50 feet above all. That evening changed my perception of this height. Earlier when I used to look down on the road, I used feel supremacy. But that day, I was just stunned. Even for realising my meagreness in front of the harsh reality of death I needed some time. It took me a couple of days to digest happenings of that evening.

That day, I experienced the uncertainty which changed my entire view towards the life. For the first time in my life, I was breaking the walls I built around me. First time I felt the urge to let someone in, I desired to share my joy with someone. I wanted to make others happy. After years, I strongly felt the need of a friend. One fine day, I took the decision. I packed my bags and left everything behind and set out for finding my soul. I went on the journey of finding my joy. I worked with many organizations one after another. I joined my hands with people who was working to make this earth greener, I tried my skills of bamboo artwork with tribes of North Eastern Indians. And finally, I am settled with these bunch of kids in a remote area in southern Maharashtra.

I joined the NGO working for educating the kids in the rural area. And finally, here I found my passion. Today you see me so lively, enthusiastic and happy to help in this remote village. It’s all because of that one helpless moment when I was looking down at his ruthless and cruel deed. I live in this remote village in Maharashtra, trying to teach these kids. But many times these tribal people amaze me in their unique perspective about some particular event. We have so much fun in our teaching and learning activities. Our roles get exchanged many times. We roam around the jungles learning nature’s ways. We observe wildlife. Enjoy fresh produce we grow in our small school backyard. Today I enjoy my new life, taught by this loving nature. For us, every day is a celebration. A celebration of life, a celebration of joy…

Image credit : Tattoo Tribes

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