Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Like all good dreams - one more for the theme

The alert on the blackberry was blinking red alerting a new mail. Keya noticed it from the kitchen. Milk was boiling on one of the burner while the tiffin made for Riyan was being reheated on the other. Riyan was still asleep; it was already 7:15. To catch the bus at eight, it was time for Riyan to wake up. Keya did not have time to eat anything. She noticed that sink was getting spoiled with the remains of tea that Rohan had made in the morning. Rohan had left before she woke up. She collected the newspaper and kept it on the center table. Below the newspaper , she kept the envelope, she had prepared for paying the newspaper vendor. Rohan should find this easy. The blackberry was still blinking red. It must have been her boss’s mail. It was quarter end and the sales were nowhere near the target. Selling cement to builders is not an easy job. While taking out Riyan’s school dress, she noticed the bag she had prepared the night before. She had already written a note in Riyan’s diary.

Keya went to the bedroom and saw Riyan. He was sleeping over the pillow she had kept for protecting him from falling. Half sprawled over the pillow, with his mouth open; hands flung sideways. He looked like a little statue made by some Italian sculptor. Rohan had always loved Italian movies. Keya remembered how Rohan cried while watching “Life is beautiful” together with her. He used to cry even while watching the silliest of Yash Chopra films. Riyan twitched his nose, as a streak of morning light fell on his face from the slit in between the window curtains. Keya’s motherly affection, brought tears to her eyes. If only she could explain all this to the four year old. Night before, Rohan had told him the story of the shepherd who used to shout “Tiger is here, tiger is here” every day to trouble people. One day tiger actually came and no one believed him. Keya gently kissed him on the cheeks trying to wake him up. He was still dreaming the dreams of the story.

“Baagh aaya momma?” , he asked half asleep. Keya smiled at him. Today was the day of the tiger. Little shepherd did not understand it.

After brushing his teeth, Riyan, had the toast with orange jam. Rohan loved orange Jam as well. In the lunch breaks at the college, Keya remembered Rohan taking out the little bottle of Orange Jam from his bag and using it on the rotis. She remembered noticing that orange Jam bottle on one of their dates as well. He was charming – almost like a dream. Riyan sulked for having to go to school and tried making excuses. Keya smiled, it did not irk her today.

The canal near their college looked beautiful after monsoon. The warm orange light of sun gleamed over the flowing water; she remembered their first kiss there. And she distinctly remembered every little detail of that evening. Memories are so unlike dreams. You hold exact details, of time, of place, of your feelings, of the words being said and words unsaid. You remember the smell of steaming idlis that were shared and the shade of the pink that you wore. Dreams are blurred. They just give you a feeling, more like an intuition.

“Mom, I want to eat a biscuit.”

“No Biscuit, Riyan. It is junk food. You will never eat biscuit every day, you understand me, don’t you?”

Riyan nodded. Keya got him ready and as she closed the door, she saw a scratch on the wooden panel that was made when they got the new dining table. She had been a part of the house, like this furniture, for as long and as well.

Keya started advising Riyan as she picked up him in her arms and started moving towards the school bus stand.

“Look Riyan, don’t trouble your dad. Please eat green vegetables in the dinner. And please no junk food. Take care of your leg when you slide from that stupid slide in the garden. And don’t run too fast on roads.”

Riyan was confused, as he could not understand why mom was telling him all this on the way to the school bus. When the school bus arrived, Keya gave him an unusually big hug. Riyan thought he felt a sob from her mom, while hugging her with his little arms.

“Rohan, I want to be a business woman. One of the best ever.” Dreams are blurred. Best never meant anything.

While she returned from the bus stand, standing alone in the entire house, she looked at the black berry again. It gave the details of the taxi. It was going to arrive in another half an hour.

She started getting her bags out of her cupboard. And as she did it, a small book, with a red ribbon tied around it, fell from behind the suitcase. She remembered it. It was full of memories. It was the diary she wrote when in college. It was full of the dreams that both of them had seen together.

“Today he asked me out. I wish the evening lasts forever”

“His eyelashes are so girlish, long and desirable.”

“If only he would have looked at me a moment longer, I could not have resisted the look.”

There were letter to the diary, Rohan and God in there. One line saying “This is the only wish I will ever want God. Please get my parents ready for this marriage. I dream to die as Rohan’s wife.”

A tear trickled down her cheeks and fell on the diary. She took the red sketch pen of Riyan lying on the table beside and scribbled on the last page.

“Marriage was like all good dreams that come true. When you live it you know it was not what it looked like. You know it will end.”


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