Friday, May 28, 2010

He returned to silence...

He awoke, startled from a nightmare. His mouth felt salty from the tears that had flowed in.

"What happened? You look worried!", asked wife dearest.

"Dad, why do you keep worrying. Of all days, today! Its my wedding... please! Your ministry and its affairs can wait", said Hari.

That worsened the dark circles under his eyes.

*************************************************************************
Ooty, was cold. Not like Chennai.

"She's only 16. Looks like she was kept waiting for you."

Her pretty eyes were welled with tears.

Kumar, his confidant in every sphere of life, beamed proudly at his new catch for his boss.

Once in a while, he would go on a long 'business trip' which usually started and ended in the estate bungalow, in Ooty.

Rum.

The fireplace.

And something to lay one's mind off business and politics.

That something waited in his bedroom. Terrified.

He downed the last glass and walked in.

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

"Dad, this is Ramya, I told you about. My junior from B-shcool. Why dont you have a look at her credentials. She's quite efficient. I'm sure we can fit her in somewhere."

Yes, he could easily employ her. He had a fairly large office. His business empire had grown over the years. The Anand Group was among the largest business conglomerates in the country.

Whatever he touched turned gold.

It dint take him long to plunge into politics.

It was an easy field for him.

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

The old man had wrinkles all over. He smiled and stood like an obedient servant.

"He takes care of the girl, her only distant relative. He says she is pregnant."

He threw a bundle of notes into the drunkard's greedy palms.

"Get her married. I dont want to see you again. Else both of you will be gone. You know about Kumar..."

The old man smiled again, obediently nodding his head.

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

"Dad, that Ramya girl is really good. She seems to have got into the good books of mom too! I mean, not bad knowing mom and her eccentricities!", Hari seemed exceptionally happy.

It took him time to figure out why.

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

"Happy Birthday! You turn four today!"

They were cutting the cake through the icing which read Hari Anand, when the phone rung.

"Sir, Sir!", Kumar gasped.

"Kumar, haven't I told you never call home until urgent?"

"Aama Sir, but this is urgent. That girl died ..."

"Which girl? What are you talking about? Listen, I dont have time for this nonsense"

"Sir, please listen. That girl Lalitha. She delivered last night. And she died on spot. The old man dint take her to the hospital...."

'Papa, come cut the cake with me!'

"Yes Hari, Papa is coming.
Shut up! I was talking to my son. I cant talk to you now!"

"Sir, but the baby...the old man disapperead when she died. The baby was left at our doorstep this morning..."

"What baby? Throw it somewhere. Where is the old man? Bastard. I will kill him."

"Sir, but what will I do?"

'Anand, come fast. We are all waiting! Can't you keep the phone down for a minute!'

"Yes Suji. Coming.
Kumar, listen I dont know what you do! You are responible for this mess. Kill it. I dont want you to call me ever again!"

"But sir...."

Beep.

The cake sucked. Dint taste as sweet as it looked.

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

"Dad, mom, I need to talk. I think I.... no. I know that I love Ramya. She is the girl in my life."

Now, that was a tough one. Accepting into his family a girl with modest or rather no roots.

Especially when businesss magnets awaited with proposals promising dowry of crores and joint venture deals that valued more.

But the PR almost made up for all the losses.

"The minister's way of guiding the society."

"Philanthropy starts at home."

"Business men are not always business minded."

The couple became a smash hit. The ministers son and the orphaned girl.

Couldnt help but bless them. After all, the empire he had built, was for his son.

*************************************************************************
Kumar never called. Until yesterday.

"Sir, Kumar here. Your old servant..."

"Oh! what a pleasure Kumar. I was hoping you heard about the wedding. It's only a day away. I want you to..."

"Listen to me first...!"

Arrogance. With years, he has got the guts to interrupt as I speak!

"Sir, this is important. That girl Ramya. Who do you think she is? An angel who will make up for all the evil you did? She will be the cause for all your distress..."

"What do you mean?"

"She is your blood. Sir, she is your child!"

"KUMAR!"

"Dont scream at me. Its the truth!"

"I thought you killed the baby. Was it a girl?"

"I couldn't kill her. For all the sin I did, this was the only way I..."

"No. You killed the baby. You told me you killed the baby..."

"No. I put her in school. I sponsored her education with your money. I knew you would never let her live if you knew. So I kept it a secert. But now..."

"This cant happen...."

"Sir! You need to stop the wedding..."

He couldnt hear anymore.

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

"Where's Dad?"

"Anand... Anand.. where are you?"

He tried to hide inside the palatial house.

"Minister calls off son's wedding to sibling - Exclusive coverage."

"The blood thirsty Minsiter's appaling past"

"The Anand Group of industries - A blackmark for India"

He awoke, startled from a nightmare. His mouth felt salty from the tears that had flowed in.

"What happened? You look worried!", asked wife dearest.

"Dad, why do you keep worrying. Of all days, today! Its my wedding... please! Your ministry and its affairs can wait", said Hari, his son.

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

Ramya looked beautiful in her red sari. Hari looked handsome as ever!

The priest announced that the auspicious time had come to tie the knot. Everyone rushed out.

He was dragged along.

Tears welled up.

His inner voice screamed.

His conscience hit him. Hard.

Yet,

he returned to silence...


Trivia: This story won me the first prize for English Short Story - University level, way back in 2000.

Monday, May 24, 2010

But for you!

Destiny played games with a sadistic force,
And I stood still seeing my world go for a toss.
Before I knew, that cursen moment just froze.
Yet my silence, I managed to keep unbroke.

Time and minutes no longer flew.
The otherwise bright future, now looked blue.
Your memories however, still felt new.
And my smiles each day reduced to few.

Passion in my heart, I knew, I held.
Tears in your voice, I knew, I felt.
Though my innerself burnt and yelled.
I promised myself that this too will be dealt.

Now it feels like eras passed by,
But my wounds are taking their time to dry.
I wonder why this birth wouldn't just fly,
So I can find peace atleast when I die!

For every 'I love you' that came from you,
I always replied, I love you more!
Now, as I wait, though my chances are few,
Is when I realise I loved you from the core.

I still stand alone, where you left me,
Pinned down with memories that refuse to leave.
I pick from remains hoping to start clean.
I wish I could fly on, happy and free!

I cut a sorry figure, I know its true.
But I long like a flower for the morning dew.
The day you left is the day I knew
That I'd be left barren, but for you.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I Miss you!

When I kicked and pushed my way out,
Into this world, the day I was born....
When I sucked life in from mom,
Along with her tears, as daylight dawned...

When the first shaky steps I took,
Made me trip and fall...
When my red frocks became shorter,
With every inch I grew tall...

When I trembled with excitement for my first day at school…
When the first ‘B’ I wrote came with an extra curl…
For the first medal I brought home, proud…
During the silly fights fought and those taunts…

When I knew pain as I turned a woman…
As I blushed red when my first sari, I draped…
That sleepless night after my first kiss…
Which repeated, with tears after the first break up…

On the stage on that graduation day…
When I laughed with my first job offer, happy and gay…
As the train took me away from the comforts of home…
When I observed in awe, my money the ATM gave…

When I still search for that hand to curl my little finger,
When I look for that fractured shoulder to rest my little head,
When I long for that hoarse voice to comfort my ears.
When I long for that sweaty smell to reassure I’m dear.

I realise life is void, if not for a father…
I realise I still wait, as I always did…
I realise I still long, as I always did…
I realise I still miss you, as I always did...

I realise I still love you,
Daddy, I really do!