Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A rainy day

(This is my first fiction that got published in back in 2004; just wanted to share it on my blog page)

The southwest monsoon, already on its course, had drenched the streets of Nagercoil with swerving wind and roaring thunder. In what seemed a nice gesture, the monsoon had not only poured incessantly but, after its lashing was over, left water stagnating on the roads and swirling at various potholes.

The secluded colony rear to Mathias hospital held a string of posh apartments and villas that had remained undisturbed from the worst of the downpour. Sadia, perching comfortably on her toddler chair, gaped through the window with her hands on the sill, cupping her small head. The harsh wind brought drizzle onto her face frequently, which excited her everytime and widened her smile. The croaking frogs and trembling balcony windows did not distract Sadia's deep thoughts. Not even the bolting thunder drove her to snuggle up with the pillow in the safe corner of her room. Her small eyes were glued to the scenery before her as if her eyes were relentlessly searching for someone.

"Sadia, you should close the window as it is raining", her father Aiman said as he came out of the kitchen in a hurry. Aiman closed the windows quickly, without looking at Sadia and sped back.

Sadia walked into the drawing hall in a tread that enhanced her crouched back. At the sight of her beloved mother's picture in the altar, new tears welled up in her eyes, which then rolled down her cheeks. She dropped the glass of milk that she was holding then and rushed towards the picture. A sharp whimper spurted out of her mouth as she made a headlong fall on the floor. Her cry in the silent house pierced through the double lined walls and Aiman rushed to the hall.

"Sadia! what happened?", Aiman yelled in despair.

Sadia started stammering. Her tiny mouth refused to utter the words that she was dying to say. "Ma..Ma..." , her mouth started uttering the words with great stress and difficulty. Aiman showed great pain as he comprehended Sadia's craving for seeing her beloved mother.

"Dad, did you not say the other day that mother is in the breeze? That is why I kept the windows open to greet her", her feeble words stormed Aiman's mind.

"Sadia! I said that mummy is in the breeze and not in the harst tempest like this. Your mummy is so caring. She will not break the twigs of the trees and wither the flowers, like this. She would not even dare to hurt a termite"

Aiman took Sadia in his arms and stroked her silky mane. He could feel his shoulder getting wet as Sadia cried. He switched off the Chandelier in the drawing hall and carried Sadia, who had slept by now, to her room. The massive rosewood doors, the somber paint on the room's walls and the dull reflection of shaded lights added to the gloom of the aura. The thudding of the raindrops on the window panes declared that the rain had not stopped. He stretched Sadia on her pink bedspread.

Aiman sat on the couch beside Sadia's bed and started reminiscing.

"I bet we will have a daughter, Nilofar" Aiman remembered telling his wife, Nilofar, who was sitting beside him.

"No Aiman, I don't need a girl who will suffer like me"

Seeing Aiman's dismay, Nilofar continued, "Yes Aiman! you know that my mother died when I was a child and I was reared up by father with such a great love. He did not prefer marrying a second time. So my whole world was him and I wished to keep my love undivided. But I failed in that after marrying you"

"Do you regret that Nilofar?"

"No! no! That is not what I meant; I am just talking about the instability of love. What if our love for each other decreases when we have a child?"

"Dont talk nonsense Nilo. Love is not pristine only when it is showered on one person. You can love the starry sky as well as the morning sunshine. You can love your father and me now. But women are so possessive that they square off their life within the circle of marriage and children. They are not to be blamed, though"

He continued, "As for me heart grows fonder when two people stay apart for some time rather than breathing the same air. As I return from overseas, I feel a new bliss in our love"

The next morning, Nilofar got birth pangs and was rushed to the hospital. The labor was complicated and the doctors could save only the child and not the mother. Since then, Aiman's whole world was their daughter, Sadia and he decided not to marry again so that his love for his daughter and the sould of Nilofar remain undivided. He shifted from Ooty to Nagercoil, where Nilofar was born.

The wooden sparrow emerged quickly out of the clock and dispersed Aiman's thoughts. The immense humidity prevailing in the chamber dotted his temple with a few droplets of sweat. Sadia was asleep with a tight face in an inconvienient posture, resting her legs on a cushion. Aiman stood up and unlatched the window panes. The rain has stopped and the gentle breeze swayed into the room. Sadia's face regained the smile and this time, more widely.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bliss in disguise

It was her first birthday. The gifts were showered from everybody. Her uncle has nothing to give. He is deprived off wealth and value.

He lifted her from the cradle and gave her a gentle raise off his arms. She giggled and liked her uncle's gift. All other gifts are silent behind their wraps.

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