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Click on the below links to read my previous stories..

Bus#126W       My Family and I       Games we play       All Roads Lead Home       As Good As It Gets       Whodunit?      

The Reunion       A Dog's World      My Sister's Daughter

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Once Upon A Dream - 5

She felt \peace. She had found her purpose. All this while, working like a crazed maniac, she had tried to find some solace. But something had always been missing. After endlessly searching for it in meaningless relationships, she had found it, the missing piece of her heart. It had always been him.
She ran her fingers through his hair as she smiled down at him. And he laughed with her. As though he understood. As though he was happy to have her around.
She cast a triumphant glance towards his father, expecting him to be beaming from ear to ear but he just shook his head sadly and walked out. Confused, she turned towards his mum who stood rooted.
“Did I do something wrong?” She asked, refusing to leave his side.
His mother relented. She sighed deeply, “No bacche, I’m sorry. This has just been so difficult for me, I forget that it was equally hard for you.” While you stayed.  His mother left those unsaid words  hanging in the air.
“I’m not going anywhere again. I’m going to stay here, near him.” She said in her most convincing voice.
A tired smile appeared on his mother’s face, “I know what you’re going through. There is nothing you can do for him. There’s nothing you can achieve by staying here. Don’t throw away your life. I’m sure he wouldn’t have wanted that.”
Her confusion grew, “All this while you’ve been making me feel horrible about leaving and now that I want to stay you’re asking me to go?”
His mum pursed her lips and came closer to her. She placed a warm hand on her shoulder. “I was.. ” She hesitated, “I guess I was just mad, that nothing happened to you.” His mom touched her face gently, “Mad that both of you had the accident and you came out without a scratch.” She wiped an unshed tear, “And my son, who would have been 30 this year, is..” she swallowed deeply. “Who knows what great things he could have done.” She said, a half smile appearing on her face.
She stared at her mother, a little in disbelief mixed with a little sympathy. She had often wondered, why she hadn’t come to any harm. They both had been together that day. Both of them wearing a seatbelt, not going too fast, no alcohol in their system. It was just that, an accident. And she had come out of it unscathed, a few scars and bruises. The bruises didn’t even last a week. Nothing to show what a large part of her had died in that accident.
Him on the other hand, almost immediately, they had known that he would never be okay. She had hated herself for not protecting him. How she could have done that was anybody’s guess. But she couldn’t really fault his mother for harbouring those feelings. She had often prayed that she could go back in time and chose to drive that fateful day. Then what would have he done? Left her? Been with her?
“But I’m here now, I can’t. I can’t leave him again.” She shudder at the thought.
His mum separated her hand from him, “Please, don’t make this harder on us than it already is.”
“I don’t understand. Why can’t I stay?” She asked, slight anger creeping into her voice.
His mom took her hand into hers. “Come, visit anytime. But don’t do this. He would hate to see you waste your life. I know he would. He wanted to see you happy.”
She turned back to him. He had drifted off to sleep. Maybe his mother was right. Yes, she had found peace here. But that didn’t mean she had to stay here. Would he even know that she was around?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Once Upon A Dream - 4

She walked back unflinchingly towards the bed, where he had quite forgotten about her and was playing enthusiastically with his hands. She touched his face lightly expecting him to turn towards her.
He didn’t.  She rested her palm on his cheek and traced his jaw line gently hoping to elicit a reaction.
“He can’t see from that eye.” His father reminded her silently.
Of course, she remembered that. She took his hand in hers as she moved towards the other side. Somehow, she had captivated his attention. She looked into his unwavering gaze, seeing a little bit of his old self. Very little, but he was there.
She kissed his palms, wetting them with her tears.
“Goodbye.” She whispered into his ear as she pecked his cheek and then his forehead.
She waited till some strength returned in her legs and she could move away from him. She tried to wriggle her slender wrists from his hands but he refused to let go. She turned them sideways and looked up at him. She thought she saw his eyes glisten. His mom assured her it happened regularly.
“What? What is it?” She said after unsuccessfully trying to get away from him. “What does he want?” She asked his father.
“Stop struggling. Give him a chance.” His father hadn’t tried to judge her, or why she came. In a way, she was grateful for his unconditional acceptance. He smiled encouragingly at her, “Don’t worry, I’m right here.” He reassured her.
As she turned from father to son, she let her body loose and her apprehensions disappear. She felt him tug her hand lightly.  She let him guide her. She felt him place his hand over hers. His warm hands. Just the way she remembered them. Some things hadn’t changed a bit. The thought brought a smile to her face and when she looked up, he was smiling a little too. Or was it just her imagination?
She felt his thumb graze over her skin. Was he trying to write something? The movements were shaky and uncertain but she was sure he was trying to etch something on her skin. What was that? Her initials? His initials? She couldn’t tell.
She tried explaining this to his parents, but his mother was convinced that he was just randomly moving his thumb. She should have believed his mother, but her heart believed otherwise. He wanted to communicate with her and she wasn’t getting it. Maybe if she hadn’t left him at all, she would have understood him now.
He wasn’t distracted now. She could tell he had to focus, like really focus to keep his eye on her. Impulsively, she squeezed his hand and declared, “I’m right here, I’m not going anywhere. I want to be here with you.” As she said it, she realized she had said what she had wanted to say for 7 years. It was fine and dandy for others to say move on but honestly, what did they know? Had they lost someone so tragically ever? Seen them deteriorate in front of their eyes? She had run out on him when he had needed her the most. Not again. Never again.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Once Upon A Dream - 3

“I think I’ve seen enough.” She told his mother, tears glistening in her eyes. “I should leave.”
She had barely lasted 30 minutes. Her gut told her to stick around, but her mind was telling her to cut her losses and run.
 “Okay.” His mother nodded. She had gotten used to people walking in and out, unable to deal with what she had faced for ten years, for even an hour. She was no better. His mother had known she wouldn’t last an hour.
“He doesn’t remember me.” She explained. No one  asked for one but she felt obliged to tell them why she was leaving.
“Muh! Muh!” He said. He was more animated now. But maybe it was because he wanted more food.
“Just stay.” His father spoke from a corner. “Let him get used to your presence.”
She shook her head, sniffling loudly, “I can’t.” She said helplessly.
His father placed his hand on her shoulders, “It’s okay, we understand.” He tried to smile at her but it didn’t come out right. Feeling more guilty than ever she stepped away from him and his father.

She paused as she reached the door.
“I’m leaving now.” She announced slowly. Silence. She turned around, sobbing a little by now. “What else can I do?” She shut her eyes tightly, wiping her face with the back of her palm.
His mother looked away from her, she probably had more important things to worry about than a strange unfamiliar girl crying at her doorstep. There was a time when this family was like her own. Not anymore. She had severed all ties with them, in fact they had encouraged it.
“He’s not going to recover sweetheart, don’t wait for him.” She had been advised. And after waiting around for three years, she had given up. Three years of hopelessly sitting around his bed side, trying to be positive around his family and crying herself to sleep every night.
His mother had no right to make her feel like shit. She had waited. She had done all she could. She had wanted to keep in touch but they had told her to start a new life, to move on.
With great difficulty she had done exactly that. Taken each day as it came, forcing herself to be normal, to ignore the void that she felt everyday. She knew it would never be completely filled, but she had hoped that after ten years, it would have healed a little.
Seven years after her sabbatical, they had called her. To share news that he could understand them. Communicate even. She had left everything, just dropped everything and rushed back on the first flight.
For what? What had she expected? A happy reunion?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Once Upon A Dream - 2

She played her part beautifully, quietly listening to the mother joke about his recent doings.
“You don’t know how much fun he makes of me. Whenever I say I am going to try dieting, he starts laughing.”
True to his word, he started laughing. Hope touched her. Maybe if understood his mother, he would understand her.
He laughed easily and naturally. It was the only thing he could do to express himself.  

“Here, stand next to the bed while I get a refill.” His mother told her. “He gets agitated if he’s alone.” His mother explained.
She nodded and stood next to him. Almost immediately, he turned his head to look at her.
“Muh! Muh! Muh!” He tried to say something to her.
“What? I can’t understand!” she told him as she inched closer. His hand found hers, and he clutched it tightly, almost making her wince in pain. His strength surprised her and she squeezed back.
“Muh!” he insisted, his eye never straying from her face. She stood there quietly holding his hand, aware of his father standing behind her.
“Talk to him.” His father said.
“What should I say?” She asked. She had never been at a loss for words before.
“Anything. Tell him about your day, he’ll like that.” His father suggested.
Obediently, she started, “I reached a couple of hours back and came straight to meet you.” No reaction. “I got some stuff for your folks.” She paused. No reaction. She felt like she was talking to a wall. She felt like an idiot, he probably couldn’t even understand what she was saying.
From the corner of her eye, she watched his father leave and then whispered gently into his ear, “I feel silly, I need a reaction, please say something!” To her surprise he started laughing.
 Loud, uncontrolled laughter. His mouth was wide open and his eyes fluttered quickly. His hands moved and his fists started clenching. He seemed to have quite forgotten that he was holding her hand. For a second, she felt scared. He was supposed to be unpredictable now, wasn’t he?
In a jiffy, he released the hold on her hand and his head fell back to the pillow. “Muh.” He said.
Desperation clawed at her and she held his hand once again, “Tell me you remember me! Tell me!” She cried, her voice half muffled with emotions.
“Mmmmmmmh!” he said again. 

She rubbed her eyes lightly. What had she expected anyway? When she had decided to visit, his parents had told her in no unclear terms that he was nowhere being normal. That she shouldn't, if she was hoping to see some of the old him. That if she was looking for closure, she wasn't going to find any.
But still, despite all odds, she had hoped against hope. Allowed herself to revisit old emotions and now it seemed like there was no escaping it, she could feel the wet trail of tears dripping down her chin as she resigned herself to the immense sadness she felt. 
Regret for the loss of years of happiness that she had spent with him. The fond memories, filled her with sadness. 
The man she had once loved had been reduced to this.. this figure.. in front of her..

Monday, October 17, 2011

Once Upon A Dream - 1

“Are you ready?” His mother asked.
She wringed her hands, she wasn’t ready. “Yes.” She nodded.
“Don’t be nervous.” His father instructed. How had he known? Maybe, his father was as intuitive as he had been.
She nodded again, her speech abandoning her temporarily.
She pushed the door open and there he was, sitting on the bed. Physically, he looked well but she knew what was hidden under the smiles and the normalcy.
 “Hi!” she said, forcing a cheerfulness that she didn’t feel. It was hard not to look away from him. She was afraid her face would betray pity. Carefully hiding her face from his parents, she said again, “Hi!”
She could hear some sound come from him, slow and painful. “Muhh..” he said, struggling to look at her, trying to turn his face so that his good eye could look at her.
“Remember me?” She asked, feeling a hopelessness that welled her eyes with tears.
She wished he would shout out “I remember you!”, but all he could say was “Muh!”
He could see her moving away from him, almost recoiling with sympathy.
“Mmmmh!!!” he struggled more vehemently.
She turned away, after ten years, all he could manage was “Mhhh!” She couldn’t understand what he meant.
“Don’t you remember her?” his mom asked, looking at her son with utmost tenderness.  She held his face lightly so that he could focus.
“Muh!” he repeated.
“He remembers you..” His mother reassured her but how could his mother know for sure? Maybe it was just something he said all the time. It didn’t have to mean anything.
She feigned politeness and sat in front of him as his mother fed him slowly. Breaking pieces of chappatis into small bits so he didn’t have to chew too much.
Maybe I shouldn’t have come, she thought, I don’t have the strength to face this.
She admired his parents for the brave face they put on, but honestly, they were doing such a good job of it. The laughter, the smiles, the easy flowing jokes, it was all genuine. Some people were just blessed with the strength of a thousand elephants. His family was one of them.
She had heard that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Never imagined that she would get to see it. She kept her distance from him, just looking at him was upsetting her. She could only imagine how his parents dealt with it every day. Maybe with time, the hurt and the disbelief had diminished.

Once Upon A Dream - Introduction

Sometimes, the briefest of encounters can leave you with the greatest of lessons. Some lessons teach you patience, some kindness and some just make you understand that there's more to life than materialistic goods and superficial joys.
This one is going to be incredibly short and even as I write it, I know I have not done justice to it and the incident behind it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My family and I - Chapter 27 - The End

I know there are many who like to skip the drama and just get on with it. But honestly, what’s life without a big dollop of drama thrown in to add that little hint of zest. So I thoroughly enjoyed the chaos that followed. Parents frantically trying to reason with Sona. Samrat’s folks coming down having a serious chat with my folks while Sona and Samrat sat near the sidelines watching the whole show, glee written all over their faces. Truth be told, they were least bothered with what conclusion the parents would arrive at. In that moment, I think they were so involved with each other that they didn’t even care.
 I played my part, the chirpy kid who everybody thinks is too young to understand what’s going on. So I also managed to get a chunk of the gossip before Sona and Samrat. The parents were mighty concerned that this was a phase and they wanted to take things slow.
“They’re so young!” Samrat’s dad had said, echoing my dad’s thoughts. The mothers had nodded in agreement. Of course, there were other serious discussions about the hows, whats and whens but I didn’t need the details. The summary was that there was going to be a long wait before anything happened. At least I would have time to get used to this new person who was hanging around in my room as if it was his.
I eyed him suspiciously as he rummaged through my books.
“Ummm, I would rather you didn’t.” I said primly.
Samrat turned a little, “Sona mentioned you were possessive about them.”
“She did?” I asked, despite myself. Sona spoke about me? Suddenly I wanted to know more. What did Sona really think about me?
Samrat smiled at me, “Oh yeah, she talks about you all the time.”
“She does??” I was stunned. I mean, I know I used to talk about Sona all the time. But that was only because I thought(despite repeated attempted not to) that she was incredible. I wanted to be more like her. Hearing that Sona spoke a lot about me implied that either I annoyed her to no end or that the feeling was reciprocated. And I was really hoping it was the latter.
“Why are you so surprised?” He asked, placing the book he held in his hands, back into the shelf.
“Something I never knew.” I said honestly, “She’s pretty great isn’t she?” I asked Samrat, smiling to myself having recently discovered that my sister didn’t hate me.
“Yes she is.” He said smiling at me. In that split second, I knew I had found someone who shared some of the awe that I felt for Sona.
“What’s going on here?” Sona entered the room, probably realizing that we were talking about something serious.
“Nothing!” I said immediately. Samrat winked at me and repeated after me, “Nothing.”
“That was definitely not nothing!!!” Sona protested. She snapped her fingers at me, “I’ll deal with you later. Samrat, we need you in there.” She pointed at the room where all the “adults” were sitting.
“Okay, let’s go. I’m ready.” He ruffled my hair as he walked past. “Good talking to you kiddo.”
I smiled back at him and then again as he casually took Sona’s hand into hers and guided her into the living room.

I wish I could look into the future and see how it all turned out. But life’s like that right? You take what you get, one day at a time and see how things go. The door shut behind Sona and Samrat and I was left to speculate about the discussions.
Even as all the grownups sat around trying to make sense of what was happening with their kids, I mentally prepared myself to add one more to my family. You know, moved the cousins around a bit, erased some bad feelings and voila I had some space for Samrat. I had a feeling he was going to be around and it didn’t hurt to be prepared. Breaking someone new into the family is an uphill task and I felt bad for the poor boy that he had to deal with my family!
So that was all the jargon up till now, the door has been locked for eternity! I don’t know if I’ll ever understand why I started off a whole rant about my family encompassing firmly around my sister. Maybe the people who matter the most are the ones you take for granted. I think we’re all a little guilty of that. I sat around for a long time wondering how this change would impact “the family” and heck! It wasn’t even me getting hitched! I mean, we were as close knit as possibly could be without being creepy. No wonder Sona had decided to come clean. It was important that we all got along.

As the door opened a little and everybody started stepping out, I found myself praying a little. A little that everything turned out well. A little that we could be one happy team, My family and I and hopefully +1

Friday, October 7, 2011

My family and I - Chapter 26

Once dinner was over, I rushed to the room and threw the sheets on to Sona’s bed and landed on the bed just as Sona walked in. She made a face at me as she started folding the sheet, avoiding my eye.
For a moment, I stayed silent, willing her to say something. She was a hard nut to crack! Finally, I tried some desperate tactics.
“Sona,” I said softly, half nestled under the blanket, “I heard from Samrat. And I think it’s great.” I watched her carefully.
She acted very cool I must say, “Oh yeah, what did he say?”
It was my turn to go on the back foot, “You know” I said ominously.
“He told you?” She asked giving me the suspicious eye.
“Uh huh..Didn’t you see us talking??” I said, trying to sound convincing.
“I did. Really, how fake can you get Pinku?” She had a crooked smile on her face.
Desperate to salvage my sinking situation I tried to feign innocence ,“What? I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
She laughed at my predicament, “Just as well, you’re too young to get into such things anyway.”
“Hey! No fair! As if you’re one old maid! Whatever you can talk about, I can talk about it too!” I protested vehemently.
This being the younger had its advantages and disadvantages. I kept fluctuating whether I wanted to be referred to as the youngest one or to be treated as a grown up. I mean being the youngest got me out of trouble most of the time and I was pampered and given the first preference whenever Sona and mum went shopping to pick out stuff.. But on the other hand, I was also coddled, expected to stay out of grown-up stuff, explain to my parents all the time that I was no longer a kid.
Triumphant Sona was walking out, her secret still a secret when I made a last ditch attempt.
“You’re my sister and I don’t know what’s happening in your life.” I said in a soft sad voice and turned over on the bed. When all fails, go in for emotional blackmail.
I closed my eyes but kept a keen ear on Sona’s movements in the room. For the longest time I thought she wasn’t bothered. I was just about to give up when I felt her settle down next to me and tap my leg.
“You are my sister.” She said reluctantly. “And you’re right, you should know what’s up. So.” She paused.
I sat up on the bed, I had never expected emotional blackmail to work on her. Mum maybe. Dad was a sucker for emotional stuff. A few drops of tears and a emotional “Daddy!” was enough to melt my dad. They say that daughters wrap their fathers around their little fingers. Whoever said that, was a very wise daughter.
“So Samrat and I.” Sona started clearing her throat, looking pointedly at her palm.
“Yes? What about you guys!” I asked impatiently. My mum used to say that when God was distributing patience, I was probably hiding behind the barn door.
“Wait! Don’t rush me!” Sona glared at me.
“Sorry,” I apologized meekly. I somehow resisted the urge to shake her hard to make her talk faster.
“So, we’re in love. We want to get married.” She declared calmly and then glanced at me to see my reaction.
I raised one brow, “Really? After one date? What’s wrong with you?” I asked cynically.
“I told you, you are too young to understand! Besides, Samrat and I dated before you joined college you know. We split after 3 years and now..” She sighed wistfully.
I could see why my parents were so freaked. Their daughter, the smart, pretty, intelligent, ambitious daughter was talking about settling down before she even finished graduating.
I wasn’t too impressed with her confession. I had hoped it was something more dramatic than this. “So what did mum and dad say?” I asked, trying to show little interest.
“Flipped a lid.” She said as a matter of fact.
I had to laugh, “Did you expect anything else?”
She smiled back at me, “Actually, mum and dad are much cooler than Samrat’s folks. They blew a gasket.”
“Oh! You’re really serious about this?”
“Are you even listening to what I’m saying? You’re useless!” Sona turned away from me exasperated.
“Sona. You’re way too young!” I spoke putting on my grown up act.
“Legally, I’m old enough.” She said.
“You’re crazy! What’s wrong with you!” I couldn’t believe my sister didn’t have any ambitions or dreams she wanted to fulfill before getting tied down.
She smiled at me, “We’re in love, what can I do?”
I rolled my eyes, “Cut the drama. Mom will shoot you.”
“Yeah, you have a point there. But!!” she said, getting all hyper, “Not like I want to get married tomorrow! I was just declaring my intent.”
“Oh!” I settled back down. Now I was confused. What was all the fuss about then? Not like Sona was planning to do something drastic.
“Yeah, you’d think they’d be happy that I am telling them such things!” Sona exclaimed indignantly.
I suppressed a laugh, “Maybe you just caught them off guard.”
“Hope so. The way they are reacting, it’s almost as though I’m getting married tomorrow. Really, I have some dreams and ambitions of my own!” She shook her head a little as she turned off the lights.
I offered her some advice before sleep claimed me,“This too shall pass dear sister.” 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My family and I - Chapter 25

I didn’t know how to react. I didn’t want to assume anything, but let me tell you, my mind was racing like crazy! I tried extracting the information from dad, but I think he was on to me now. After failed attempts of trying to distract me, dad picked up his briefcase and walked out of the house.
“I think I’ll just go to office and spend an extra hour there.” He said as he walked out. I could tell he was really desperate to avoid me. I didn’t have the guts to ask my mum. She would just accuse me of nosing around. But was I ready to ask Sona directly? Actually it depended on her mood. As I thought, an idea started formulating in my head.
Maybe, I could get her to volunteer stuff to me. I just needed to be a little careful and smart. If she caught on to my act, she would probably crucify me. But hey! What’s life without a few little risks.
I decided to put my plan into action after college hours. I was going to take advantage of Sona’s curious nature and supreme ego.
I got ready and pushed to college without arousing any suspicions. My room door remained shut.  
A niggling doubt entered my head. What if Sona had decided to stay back at home? All my plans would go down the drain. I prayed feverishly that Sona would come.  Lunch hour came and went and I didn’t spot Sona.
As it turned out, I wasn’t the only one looking for Sona. Samrat caught my eye in the crowd and called me over.
“So..” He asked nonchalantly, “Where is your sister?”
“I don’t know.” I replied honestly.
“And did she,” he hesitated a little, “Did she say anything?”
“No.” I said shortly. “She just swooned and collapsed on the bed.”
I looked up to see Samrat’s face but he wasn’t looking at me anymore. I turned around to see what he was looking at and a diabolical smile appeared on my face. Sona!
Time to put my plan into action.

I made a surprised face and turned towards Sona. As though Samrat had told me something shocking. Eyes wide open and mouth O shaped, I grabbed Samrat’s arm and said “Really???”
I was loud enough, ensuring Sona could hear me.
Samrat glanced down at me, a confused expression on his face. “What are you doing?”
I threw my head back and laughed, “That’s brilliant! Wow!”
I saw Sona from the corner of my eye and noticed the line appearing on her forehead like it did when she was confused about something. Plan seemed to be working.
Samrat probably just thought I was mad, but it really didn’t matter.
“Thanks!” I said chirpily and walked away, flashing a brilliant smile at Sona who smiled back hesitantly.

Now there was always a risk that Sona would ask Samrat what all that was about. But knowing Sona, I knew her ego wouldn’t permit her to. And even if she did, I doubted she would believe poor Samrat when he said he had no idea what the conversation with me was about.
Of course Neeta thought I was being an idiot and I should just keep at my dad and eventually he would break. But honestly, there was no challenge in that. Besides, this seemed like fun.

I kept that idiotic smile on my face every time I spotted Sona. I knew she was definitely getting suspicious. Once home, my smile became a little subtle, but by that time Sona was so conscious that she refused to look at me.
Dinner was a quiet affair. Nobody spoke, which was quite unnatural for my family. And to think I was the only one who didn’t know!! The disadvantages of being the youngest!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

My family and I - Chapter 24

I stayed up that night, waiting for Sona to come home. I didn’t have to, she had the keys but I just had to know how it had turned out. Of course sleep beckoned and I tried to sleep, getting up every ten minutes to see if Sona was back.
At around 11:30, Sona entered the room. She stumbled around in the darkness trying to touch and feel her way to her cupboard.
“Why don’t you just switch on the lights?” I asked curiously as her leg hit the bed for the umteeth time.
“Oh God! Pinku! You scared me! Why are you awake?”  She switched on the lights making me cringe my eyes.
When I opened my eyes, Sona was in the middle of a swooning twirl. She landed on the bed  and sighed deeply.
“That good huh?” I asked propping myself on my elbows.
She looked at me lazily, “You have nooooooooooooo idea!”
She refused to elaborate further. And I didn’t prod her for details either. I didn’t really see the need to know what all happened. It was enough for me that she had a good time. Anymore information would probably be reserved for her friends where they would dissect and over analyse Samrat’s everyword and come to the same conclusion that I had after one sentence.
Only time would tell.

Sona kept tossing and turning the entire night. I know she was excited, but I really wished  she had taken her excitement to the couch outside! The next morning, both of us were grumpy and red-eyed due to lack of slep.
“What happened to the two of you?” My mum asked as she struggled to wake us up the next morning.
I grumbled and glared at my sister, “She didn’t let me sleep!”
“Pinku make your bed!” My mum ordered me around as she hovered around my sister eyeing her carefully. “So, what happened?” She asked Sona, shooing me out of the room. Very nice, I was being kicked out of my own room.
“At least let me take my stuff.” I protested.
Sona and mum sat around in silence till I picked up my stuff and walked out of the room. Sheesh! Families I tell you!
The door slammed shut once I had walked out. My dad, who was sitting at the dining table reading the paper looked up as I walked by.
“Well don’t you look glamorous today.” he said commenting on my disheveled hair and dark circles.
“Leave me alone, I’ve hardly slept.” I snapped at him, half yawning my way through the sentence.
He laughed a little, “So, do you know this Samrat fellow?”
I picked up my toothbrush and glanced at him suspiciously, “A little. Why do you ask?”
My dad put down his newspaper, “Don’t tell me you don’t know!”
“Don’t know what?” I settled down in front of him, trying to focus.
My dad had this incredulous look of disbelief on his face, “I’m not the last one to know?? This is great!”
“What! What’s going on!! Nobody tells me anything! I’m always the last one!” I vented.
“No, no, I can’t tell you.. ” My dad put up his newspaper to cover his face.
“Dad!!” I pulled it away and observed him critically. Now my dad is terrible with secrets. He can’t keep stuff to himself. At least not with us. The very fact that he was trying to hide it from me, told me it was something serious.
“Is it about Sona?” I asked tentatively. My dad glanced at me with a “I’m never going to tell you” look.
“Is it about Sona and Samrat?” I took his silence as a sign that I was closer to the truth.
“No, no! I’m not saying anything!” My dad got up and started walking away.
“At least tell me whether she’s in trouble?!” I called out after him.
No response.

Sona-Samrat-Parents freaked.