Short Story::Bitter Half

He stormed out. And the door shivered banging continuously. She barged into her room and dropped on the bed. Hugging the pillow, she wept. Inconsolably.

Rubbing her running nose and wiping her tears, she remembered her mother’s words “There will always be a difference between a boyfriend and a husband….”

She had coolly remarked “Abhi is not like Nana, Amma…”
“Priyamavada.. “ her mother screamed, as Priyamvada Rao was packing her clothes to live a blissful life with Abhimanyu Tripathi, her college sweetheart and now, husband.

“mind your tongue. You’ve gone mad … when you begin to live together, you will know the pain..Money is important too.. Love will not buy you things..” her mother advised before Priyamvada left the home to live with Abhi.

She remembered the innumerable advices that poured in when she decided to leave her home and get married to Abhi. One of her school mates had advised “Aiyoo.. Priyu.. why do you want marry North Indian re? They only look fair and nice re.. Even Akka loved my neighbor but luckily Amma had saved her.”

Priyamavada laughed and had brushed all the thoughts, aside then. She knew Abhi too well and all these were mere foolish comparisons.

But, why did she think of it now? She wiped her tears and looked for her phone. She looked around the one BHK flat. Finally, she found her phone, lying near the stove. They had purchased it and most of the essentials mortgaging her gold ornaments.

She had taken it while leaving home for buying the essential items for survival till Abhi and she secure a job.
In haste, she dialed his old number. When the electronic message read. She realized that they had changed their numbers.

She searched for his new number and dialed it. Her heart beat faster and the phone rang.
Tring.. Tring..
It rang.. Abhi took a last puff and finally threw the cigarette. He ignored his phone which rang incessantly. The phone vibrated again. It was a message. It read “I am very sorry.. :(.. Come home.. I miss you..” He messaged “In a while. I love you!”
She replied “I love you a lot..”

He purchased the third cigarette at the Pan Shop and paid 3 rupees to him. The Pan shop owner said in a monotonous tone.. “Four rupees..”
And, he handed it over to him, after searching his pockets thoroughly. He reminisced the Pan shop wala near college where his account was still due, and smiled. His friends and he used to purchase packets and go on long drives.

He consulted his friends when he he decide to go against his family’s wishes and marry Priyamwada. His friend Prajwal had suggested, “Don’t worry yaar..We are there for you… My uncle works in a company.. and we can manage a job..His term is about to end but we can manage… ”

“you leave your home and another one BHK flat is ready for you.. You earn and you can even pay for your college fees..” Prajwal encouraged

After a lot of contemplation, Abhimanyu decided to move out of his home. He had convinced Priyamwada too. She was skeptical in the beginning but eventually agreed. After all, they felt they were inseparable and nothing could separate them. In the beginning, they tried convincing their respective parents . Their denial and their fury, forced them to take the extreme step of revolting against them.

After a lot of melodrama at Priyamwada’s home, she left the home. Taking her father’s curse and her mother’s advice against the wedding, Priyamwada Rao walked out. Abhimanyu’s family refused to even talk with him.

Abhimanyu and Priyamwada finally moved out to make a life of their own.
But by the time, they had decided to move out, Prajwal’s uncle term had end and the management had changed. They had decided to recruit only candidates with an year or more of experience.

Prajwal’s uncle had tried but failed to help Abhi. When Prajwal broke the news to Abhimanyu, he was shattered.

Prajwal said “No worries yaar.. we will manage..” “But still, it would take time!” Abhi thought
How would they complete their education? How would Priyamwada pursue her ambition? How long would the mortgaged money last? Their friends were still in college too! How long would they help them? And how much would they help?

That evening, the battle of “I told you so..” “We should have listened to our parents..” followed and for the first time, they felt the harsh pinch of reality.
Abhimanyu walked back to his home, kicking the stone that lay on the road. He could not think anything. He went to the flat and found the door still open.
He went in to see Priyamwada still crying. He hugged her tight. After hours of incomprehensible silence,
each of them had a glassful of milk and slept.

The next morning, Abhimanyu was still lying down on his bed. Hoping the day would be better, Just then, he heard Priyamwada scream ..”Abhiiiiiiiiiiiiii… “
He jumped out of his bed.. and ran to her.. she cried “My jewellery is missing..”

[Please let me know what you think, “honestly”] 😀

Short Story::Ganpath Rao

The Bazaar rose to life as he entered it. “How are you today?” 80-year-old Ganpath Rao asked Venkat, the Vegetable Vendor who was draped in sweat.
“I am fine, Saar” Smiled Venkat, wiping his sweat and narrated the incidents of the day to him, in his atavistic style. Ganpath laughed at Venkat’s rustic wit.
“I cannot be as comical as you..” Ganpath Rao said.
“It’s Okay.. Saar” And Ganpath shared his routine too.
As Ganpath and Venkat laughed aloud, busy men and women walked past. Some of them disturbing their conversation by asking Venkat about the value of his produce and the economy’s effect on it. Suddenly, Ganpath’s phone buzzed. “Oh my wife is calling” he announced. After the brief call, Ganpath said “Venkat, I will walk down the Bazaar and come. I have to buy Vegetables. But we will have pani puri today…Ok?”
Venkat smiled “Ok, Saar” and picked out the juiciest tomatoes for the lady who ordered for a kg of tomatoes.
Ganpath walked down the Bazaar, each shop, decorated with their produce. Some with flowers, in certain shops, beetel leaves were hanging from the wooden plank which served as the roof for most of the shops. Only the affluent shop keepers managed to cement their shops.
Venkat recently cemented his shop too and as a treat to this achievement, Ganpath Rao and he had pani puri. After the sumptuous treat, Ganpath Rao, waved Venkat a good bye and walked towards home.
Ganpath Rao, a short man, wore a broad smile. He lived with his wife, Shantha, a kilometer away. His smile faded as he walked home.
An year ago, a family dispute had uprooted the entire family.
Days passed in reminiscing the memories of his family. The mornings would remind him of the breakfast they together had, sharing the details of the day that lay ahead. And afternoons, memories of his grandchildren, with whom he played in the parks after their return from school, would haunt him. Evenings would remind him of the conversations with his children.
The empty house embellished with gloom had changed Ganpath Rao. He hardly spoke to Shantha too. He disconnected the landline and his mobile phone. An avid reader and a voracious speaker, Ganpath’s speech would often be confined to basic needs.
His friends, who were earlier jealous of his happy family were now concerned. Soon, Ganpath Rao became extinct in their conversations.
Shantha was worried about his deteriorating health . She missed the Ganpath she had married.
But an opening in the newspaper which wrapped his favourite Idly Sambar caught Ganpath’s eye. Wanted: A journalist with a Degree in Economics. No age bar.
Ganpath Rao who had been incommunicable for so long, announced “Shantha..Found it” Before Shantha could reply, she saw Ganpath running towards his bedroom. He opened the almarah where he placed all his belongings and gingerly plucked the certificate from his academic certificates folder “MERIT STUDENT IN ECONOMICS” in bold red it read.
Euphoric, he prepared a glittering resume and walked to the address mentioned in the Newspaper. His confidence, academic background, and his unmatched energy had made him the most suitable candidate for the job.
Ganpath Rao, at the age of 80, now began life afresh. He wrote coloumns for the new newspaper and in a short span of time, the newspaper had achieved commendable success. Still there was something amiss in his life. The walk back home after a day at work was filled with despair. Memories of the dining table filled with his family members always haunted him.
One day, for a coloumn on Rising Prices, Ganpath visited the Bazaar where he met Venkat, the Bhajiwala. While others’ refused to speak, Venkat boldly spoke about the market situation. Since then, he had grown fondness towards Venkat. He would visit the Bazaar every evening after that. Sometimes he would take Shaantha to the Bazaar.
Venkat would keenly observe people. He had learnt Marathi, Bengali, Gujrathi, Sindhi, Telugu ways of demanding Vegetables and he imitated it with perfection.
One day, Ganpath offered a huge sum of money to Venkat to shift his shop to a better place and make more money. He was afraid of Venkat’s loss in his life.
Venkat politely refused and said “If I had to go to a bigger place, I would have done it long ago.. Saar.. But why should I go? Where will I get people like you.. Saar”
Tears rolled down Ganpath’s cheeks. He invited Venkat home along with his family. Shantha and Ganpath were amused at their strange camaraderie. After years, they ate a meal with a dining table filled with people.
Their gloom was lost in the chuckles of Venkat’s comical acts and the warmth of his family.

Bazaar – Market
Bhaajiwala – Vegetable ManT

Short Story

Short story:

“Drape your Saree like this” Amma said, holding the cotton saree embellished with golden craft.

“Can’t it be done with a Salwar?” Gee enquired, standing like a statue as Amma instructed.

“I got this especially for you, Gee. Why Salwar now?”… Amma said acknowledging her frown.

“Amma..Don’t get me wrong but this whole thing is getting on my nerves now! Salwar is more comfortable” Gee moaned, holding her head.

“Aiiyooo..Kanna.. Don’t say like that! Saree is traditional Na? Your generation wants it easy” with a pin between her teeth, she mumbled.

“Now, hold this pallu” she instructed

“See….You look so nice, see gee” smiled Amma, proud of her creation.

Gee smiled back. She was looking beautiful. Her hair up to her waist. She had visited the parlour a day before to curl her hair. Her aunt had suggested that after watching a Telugu movie. Aunty told Amma “Gee will look stunning.. Nobody can reject her! Take her to nice parlour. I know where they go”

Nodding her head, Amma agreed and took her to the expensive parlour as Aunty suggested. Gee chuckled to herself. Amma was a woman who would fight with the Bhaajiwala even for 5 rupees. And, here she was spending a whopping amount to style her hair with those unseen curls. Gee just enjoyed the show.

Today was the biggest day of Amma’s life. Her daughter would walk in front of a huge crowd. Amma was already sweating and panting in the air conditioned room. Would her daughter pass this test? What will happen to future? Geeta or Gee as they called her was a stubborn but then when Amma told her something, she would listen without questioning. She was honest and frank. Amma was afraid of that.

Her honesty would cost her life maybe, Amma wondered. Clasping her hands, she told Gee’s Nana that she would sit inside until called upon. So that her aunty can counsel her and give her last moment tips. Nana agreed.

Geeta sat in her room but aunty did not come on time so she waited alone. She switched on her system but the Internet would not work. Argh! She tried reading a book to calm her mind. Darn it! It did not work. She was stuck at the same page. Flipping through the pages, she found a picture: She and Avijay, smiling and posing like two happy kids. Where did it all go wrong, she pondered.

..to be cont’d

Amma – Mother

Nana – Father

Bhajiwala – Vegetable man