a stranger

Nimi's window

Nimi was sitting quietly near the window of her small house, watching people come and go. Silence in the room was broken by a bell. At first, she ignored but when it rang again and again, she got up to open the door.

“Were you sleeping Auntie? I have been ringing bell for so long.” Kaushalaya enquired.

“No, I was just sitting there, pointing her finger on the chair lying besides the window”. She replied.

“Auntie, bhaiya has requested you so many times why you don’t you settle there?  With everyone, you will feel better.” She asked again.

“ I can’t Kaushlaya, I started my life here with your uncle  and wanted it to end here . She explained  to her, ” You don’t worry and get me bread from the market, I am feeling hungry”.

a new life

Her health has been deteriorating  day by day.  Her loneliness was killing her.  After her husband’s death she  lost interest in life and prays to God every day for his call.   She spends her time sitting beside a window of her room sometimes even at midnights where you could hear her talking to herself, sometimes cry and smile without any reason.

One day she noticed that an old man was smiling, looking at her window. At first, she thought his smile was for someone else but when this started to happen every day she assumed it was for her.

Her confusion was broken by a bell again.

“Auntie, give me the money I will bring milk from the diary?” Kaushlaya said.

“No need, I will bring myself.”

“You will go”!!!! She was surprised but said, “O.K.”

She locked her apartment and went down taking her purse and a bag. Her reason of getting down was to enquire about that man.   She went to the same  place where that man used to pass daily.   After a while she saw him coming from a distance, her heart beat started to pound heavily.

When he came near she asked, “Do I know you”?

“Yes, it’s a small world, we all know each other.   But before I further give you my introduction I am getting very late, can you again come tomorrow?” asked he.

“No, my health doesn’t allow me to move so much”.   She replied very rudely and went.

But next day she came down at the same place where he was waiting for her and has brought something with him.

“Hello, thanks for coming. I am Ret. Lt. Col. Khurana. We have shifted to Expresspuri just a month ago; I came to know about you through Kaushlaya. But before we talk further I have brought something for you.”

She was surprised to hear that he has brought a gift for an unknown person but something inside her was pushing her to take that gift. She accepted the gift.

“Open this now”. He said.

When she opened it, she found a stick in it.

“Can we walk till that coffee shop? I love having my morning coffee there.”

coffee shop

She agreed without knowing who this man was and from where he belong.  While walking  he told her  about his family, army life and many more things.  She listened to him  quietly, it’s been long that someone has  so much to  say to her.   At first she felt awkward but later she started  enjoying  talking with this man. When  they reached the shop, he ordered two Coffees.  While sipping their coffees,  he asked her, “Will it be possible for her to come tomorrow again?”

She immediately said, “Yes.”

She waited all day for the next day to come.  As  soon as the clock struck 6 she got down with her stick to walk with the stranger. After that they started meeting each other every day.   Their friendship grew stronger and they started visiting other’s houses too. After some day  Mr. Khurana’s family stared liking her and in fact they became  fond of Auntie and her dishes which she cooked all by herself.

Days, months and a year passed and their friendship grew stronger. She slowly started living again, doing all sorts of things like cooking, cleaning and of course smiling.

happiness

It was Sunday morning as usual, she quickly locked her home to get down. Then she reached  at the same place where they regularly met. She waited and waited for him but he didn’t turn up. She moved back and all sort of bad things were whirling in her mind. Then, suddenly the door bell rang, she quickly got up to open the door.   She was relieved to see, it was Mr. Khurana. She welcomed him with her famous smile asked, “Is everything alright? “

“Oh yes! But I must apologized first, that I didn’t came in the morning.”

“Please, don’t bother I completely understand. But I was worried for you.” Said she.

Actually we are shifting to Mumbai next month as Ramesh transfer has been done there.  She stays there listening, unable to react.

In order to cheer her up he said, “I will make coffee today.” She was shocked unable to respond. Then he came back with two cups of coffee and said, “It been 5 years since she left me but I hold myself  and decided not to  break.  But actually, it was not easy for a 65 year old man when his wife left him alone when he needs her  the most  but I decided that I will live till I am destined to live and now you can see the changed person, as I am.  Promise me that after I will leave, you will continue meeting people and never stop going for a walk.”

She started crying hearing this but she promised him that she will.

Months went by, Mr. Khurana  left  -the town and Nimi but she kept her promise.

Morning walk

Now Nimi always make sure to go for a walk everyday but not alone as she  inspired lots of people like her to live life. Sometime she even visited his son’s place to spend some time with them.   But, she still  waits for him  sitting beside the same window to come.
Lt. Col. Khurana

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a surprise….

a surprise

“Why don’t you go to your mom’s house for some days, she might be alone”, said Raj.

“Why should I go, let’s finalize the things in a formal way?”, shouts Jaya.

This kind of argument can be heard every evening,  once Raj was back from work.

Initially, it was not like that, theirs was a love story which everybody would dreams of. It all started 7 years back, when he was the General Manager of a chemical and fertilizer Company and she was appointed as a Personal Manager. Their work profile was such that they have to accompany each other.

Her endearing qualities and her charming nature could win anybody’s heart so how could he be left out.  He started liking her secretly and a little later she too was in madly love with him.  Raj was actually a married man and she was aware of that but still that can’t stop her from liking him and one day  he told her his story.

He told her that it was not the first time that he has fallen in love, earlier also he has an affair with his co-employer that ended up in a marriage. But their differences starts when she aborted her first child as she didn’t want to bring the child  or take any responsibility ever. She wanted to make a  name for herself in the corporate world.  Her focused in life was just career that led to late nights in office without bothering about him. He tried his best to make her understand the importance of family but she was adamant. Their difference started growing day by day and later the situation became worse and they stopped talking to each other. They were together but just for the namesake otherwise they were two different people living two parallel lives.

Raj finds Jaya very homely as well as a smart girl, her unconditional love for the people around, her idea of surprising people with gifts or happiness that could be by making homemade cakes on his birthday or by bringing homemade food for him. She has a very endearing quality of listening, so Raj can any time speaks his heart out.

a surprise

Later they made both their way by agreeing their parents for their marriage though they belong to totally different cast but still things  worked out accordingly and he managed to divorce his first wife.

Initial years of their marriage went beautifully but problems started cropping up when she was unable to conceive after repetitive trying and that led all the problems starts. She wanted to bring a child but things were not working at all. That led to arguments between them. It was not easy for her either as she was alone at home all the time because she has already left her job to bring the pieces of Raj’s life together. Raj started coming home lately and it was difficult for her to spent all day alone.

“O.k”, she said, “I am going home and I will send you paper from there”.

Jaya

Months went by and no communication was made between them, she didn’t even send any papers either . In between Raj started missing her, her non stop gossip, smile, surprise gifts and just everything was so magnetic that he decided to bring her back.  Raj has realized his mistake that because of him and his family she left her promising career but if things were not working out, it was not her fault.

He decided that he will bring her back . He took the keys of his car and went and in between he bought a bouquet for her.

He rang the bell.

She opened the door and let him come in and made tea for him.

“So, how are you?”, asked Jaya.

“I am sorry Jaya, I want you to come back home.  I need you and nothing else.

She too took no time to pack her bag as he was driving she took his hands and put on her tummy and said,  “you didn’t say hello to your kids”.

a surprise

He stopped the car in between and started crying when she told him that she was expecting twins.

This time too, she didn’t fail to surprise him. But this time she has gifted him the world.

 

a new beginning…..

“Sheeba, is this possible on Saturday?”, asked Shweta.

“No Shweta, it’s already been booked, please make it on next Saturday.”,  replied Sheeba.

“Alright, make it on Saturday 24, April at 7 p.m.”,  confirmed Shweta.

This became a routine in her life, whosoever visited her little home restaurant would not want to go anywhere else. They find that place so relaxing and simply out of the world. It was a place where you were not crowded with many people, just one family  is served at a time.

a new beginning

This was a unique concept, which she designed keeping in mind the comfort of the host and the guest. It opened only for a day, that it Saturday.

It all started just a year ago. She was happy serving her family different cuisines of the world, which she learnt, during her summer holidays in her school days. After marriage everything was going smoothly, her loving husband and one child, she could not ask more from life but later she found that her child needs a company. She talked about this with her husband, who was not in favor of this because of his financial boundation.   It’s not that they were deprived of any comfort in life but still he was not sure of giving the same comfort to the second child as well. But later he agreed and they brought a beautiful child in their loving world.

Years went by and one fine day she decided to open this restaurant in her home to help her husband financially, but the main question arises that how she will manage her small children, so there came an idea of opening it on one single day, Saturday.

 a new beginning

Soon it became a hot favorite amongst all because the ambience she provides, the décor and just everything was so inviting. Slowly it became so popular that the booking has to be made in advance. Her customers kept on asking her to open it on another day as well, but she kept sticked to her decision because of her children. Everything was going above her expectations. But, a storm was waiting to happen and there came the news that her husband has died in a road accident.

Suddenly everything comes to a halt.

Years went by and her small restaurant has taken a new face, new popularity, and new achievements.

a new beginning

But somewhere in between all this, a distance was created between her and her eldest daughter. Her behavior was troubling her the most and she made no stone unturned to made her mother feel bad.  One day she insulted her mother in front of her hotel guests and that made her cry all night alone with no one to share her sorrows.  At one time she wanted to get up and hit her badly but later thought, if I don’t have any one to share my sorrows,  she too have no one except me.

Next day she cancelled all her appointment and dropped her youngest daughter to school then she took her eldest daughter for a movie and later for lunch but that day too, she behaved in the same way without even a hint of guilt about her yesterday’s behavior.

Sheeba has decided that  she will cut down some work to spent some time with her daughters. To her amazement situation really improved and one day while she was sketching some work plans, she came to her and asked, ” Mom can I help you in some way, in your hotel work on every Saturday because that day is my off ? But promise me that you will continue to spent time with me every day.”

Her that sentence was enough to drop something (Tears of love).

Ray of hope

Ray of hope

“Where were you, Kritika?” I have been ringing bell for so long.
“Oh! Sorry I was in the kitchen.”
Seeing her sad face, Ramesh said, “please don’t start that again. You must try to overcome. I know it is difficult, but you must learn to live without Koel. It’s been difficult for me  also but we have to move ahead in life.”
“Yeah!” Said she.

“What have you prepared for dinner?” Asked Ramesh.
Ramesh, I have just started to look in the fridge, to see what vegetables were lying.

After Koel’s death, it’s been a regular story,  she has lost hope in life.

“Is that Quick Pizza Service?  One medium vegetable Pizza at 28 B, Expresspuri.“  He ordered and went straight into his room, picking a novel from his book shelf. She too lied with him.

It’s been 5 years since Koel  left them. She had cancer and died at very young age. It all started when she was two,  with regular stomachache and doctor has told them too, that she will survive  two more years.

When she was told about her condition her world come to an end but somehow she made her mind and decided to leave her high profile job as a Personal Manager in a multinational organization. She left no stone upturned to make her feel like a princess, it could  be dresses, toys and even she makes very  small things big like cutting her hair in different styles or it could be going on long drive with her and enjoying the street food in between. She became her world .
After her demise Dinesh tried every other method to make her feel happy but failed. Everything reminds her of her sweet memories. It’s been 5 years but still the memories were unable to fade.

Is anybody home.
“Arrey! You, after so many years,” said Kanika.
She was Mehar, her old buddy. She was aware of her condition and was in fact called by Ramesh to help her come out of the situation.
“Mr. Mehta was asking me about you, and he was very keen, in joining you his company again  so I had fixed an appointment today at 3 p.m. so get ready,” said Mehar.
“Why? I don’t want to go, I have lots of work at home,” said she trying to make excuses.
But she managed to took her to meet him and it was finalized that she will join from tomorrow.

Ray of hope
Time goes on and a year passed, now she got busier day by day  but the emptiness was still there once she reached home, though she was putting every efforts to bring  pieces of their life together.

Next day.
She opened the door of her flat with the keys and found room was all lit up and decorated beautifully with balloons.
She was surprised to see Ramesh at home so early. She asked whose birthday is today.
He took her hands in his hands and took her to the room where a small baby was sleeping
See Kritika, Koel is back. I have been trying very hard to get this baby from an orphanage and now I managed.
She took that small baby in her hands and her tears were  have made the baby face all wet. She hugged her tightly and said, “ this time I won’t let you go, Koel.”
ray of hope

Aunt Raksha

“Madam, shoes are ready,” said Keshav.
Ronnie steps down the stairs to collect shoes. “How much Kaka,” asked Ronnie.

“Just Rs. 20,” said he. She handed him the money and some ladoos to eat. Today was a lucky day for him, as it was just 2 p.m. and he already earned Rs. 140.  He took the money and thought today I will have idli at Swaraj South Indian restaurant.  It was his favorite restaurant, so whenever something extra comes to him, he treats himself there.

Idli
He came to Expresspuri to earn big money leaving his wife and son in his ancestral house in a village with his parents.

Keshav' Shop

But as we all know fortune never came easy and the ratio between hardwork and luck is 80:20.   After trying his hands here and there, he finally works as a cobbler on Jami Street.  He decorated  his small shop with lots of  calendars and God’s photos, wall hangings, statues etc. which he might have taken from scrap dealers or somewhere from the garbage. He had done everything to make his shop look beautiful.

He also  laid some broken chairs and stools for the customers to sit, if there is delay in repairing their shoes. Sometimes Shyam, scrap dealer of Expresspuri and various other household workers came there after finishing their work to have a word with him.

Residents of that street have a soft corner for him, they have even saved him from paying monthly money to policemen for occupying some space for shop without any authorized license. Aunt Raksha, a religious and kind hearted lady take cares of his meal. So he saved whatever he earned as a cobbler and send his monthly income to his family.

One day he noticed that after giving dinner to him, she quickly walked somewhere.  For two-three day he didn’t pay much attention but he noticed that same thing is happening every day. So one day he decided that he will follow her and while following her he found that she went inside a beautiful bungalow. He waited there ftill she came out and after 15 – 20 minutes she came out and took rickshaw. He wonders why rickshaw for such a short distance. He decided, he will ask her.

“Aunti Ji, I know I have no right to ask you a question but I am a little concerned, if you don’t mind I want to ask you a question.”

“What happened, Keshav?”

Every day,  I saw you rushed somewhere after giving food to me, is everything all right?”

At first, she tried to hide from him but later she decided to tell him the truth, fearing that he will tell Mr. Chopra about it. She murmured in his ears that actually everyday she goes to her sister’s house;  they both were organizing a grand birthday party for Mr. Chopra. She has invited lots of people. She goes there every day to make the plan and make some arrangement as uncle is a retired army man and stays all day at home, so at this time of the day I came out of the house saying that I am going to give food to you.

He felt ashamed to himself of doubting this religious women.

“Keshav, be careful and keep this as a secret. His birthday is on 4 March. You must come at 4 p.m at Bhatnagar Banquet Hall, “said she.

happy Birthday

Finally the big day arrived and he visited that beautiful decorated Hall. He was amazed and his wet eyes were saying something to that special man that you don’t need any gift because you have a gift of God, “your wife” and he handed him a gift, “black shoes specially made by him”.

Aditya and his theme party

Garland and goggles

Aditya come up, “don’t you want to study, and yours exams are near?”

“Mom, just two more rounds.”

His “two more “extended up to many rounds and his mother has to come again and again to call him.

Even after coming upstairs, all sorts of excuses are ready with him to postponed his studies further.  Ultimately his mother has to shout.
This was a routine in their house.

“Bring your computer book, and start reading first two chapters,” ordered mother.

“Mom, tomorrow is our theme party,” announced Aditya.

“What is the theme?”

“Hawaii” said Aditya.

“And what you have to wear?”

A floral shirt, black trouser, a floral wrist  band, a garland and goggles,” explained Aditya.

flower wrist band

“When did you have this information,”  asked she, unable to listen anymore things and completely angry with him.

“A week before.”

“And you are telling me a day before and that too in the evening, now take leave tomorrow I can’t arrange all these things”

But seeing his son’s face, she starts calculating that except floral shirt all other things can be arranged.

She was really confused because his father will be at home after 1 hour and she has to cook dinner too.
She immediately took her purse and asked Adi to come.

She spend 2 hours in the market but could n’t find any shirt with floral print because floral can be seen more in summers and this is the peak winter’s time.

Reached home empty handed.  She called her neighbors, his friend’s mom to check if they have any such shirt, so that she can borrow from them for the day.  At last she consoles his son that he should take a leave tomorrow and they will go somewhere, to lift his mood.  He didn’t say anything because he knew that it was his mistake and doesn’t have choice.

Next morning his mother asked Adi to get up and get ready.

“Why Mom?  You asked me to take holiday today.

“Yes, but you must experience this kind of parties.  Wear some other shirt, nobody will say anything, I know because I too have gone through such experiences.”

Half heartedly he got up and took bath, and then he saw a gift lying on the bed.

He asked his mom, “What is this?”

“Open it yourself.”

“Wow! A floral shirt.”

gift

He kissed his mom and asked from where she got this.

Yesterday after I could not find it, I called your father to check in the market near his office and luckily he managed to get one, but it is little smaller in size.

“Don’t bother mom, I   love this,” said Aditya! He immediately went to thanks his father too.  They really made him happy.

The story doesn’t ends here.
He won the crown of “Mr. Hawaii”.

Aditya, got selected

Aditya was happy to get the seat, next to Shyam in the bus.

Shyam was his best friend.  He enjoys talking  to him most in the school. He too like his company.

Aditya was a friendly and very charming boy, who loves the company of his friends but never make the first move to talk.

“Our group photograph might be taken today”, said Shyam.

“Yes, it was postponed for today because the bell rang”, said Aditya.

“Have you ever played pokemon on computer?” and their non-stop talk on their favourite topic starts..

aditya and his friends

In school Shyam, who was the head boy and popular amongst his friends, went busy with other friends,   Aditya felt leftout.  Then Diya, her seatmate came and said hi to him.

“Hi.”

“Have you completed your English work?” Asked She.

“Yes.”

Suddenly children started singing a famous song, “Good Morning Ma’am.”

“Shyam and Rohit get ready, you both have to go Old Age Home today”, announced Ma’am.

Aditya too wanted to go,  but as always, they were already selected.  There were five top students in the class, who always get the chance to participate in debate, competition or going somewhere. Aditya too was a brilliant student but blame it on his shy nature because of it, never got the chance in any activity.

He came home, a little depressed.

His mom has somehow got the idea that something has happened in the school.  So she immediatedly served him a chocolate brownie, which she has made today.
Brownie

“What happened Adi?”

Mom, I too want to go to Old Age Home but never got any chance.

Adi, these things never come easy and you have to show, how capable you are and you must express your desire, to participate in all such activities?

Coincidently next day an announcement is made about a G.K debate. He recalled what her mother has taught him yesterday, he came forward and asked his teacher about allowing him to take part in this debate. The teacher thought for a while and then said you can participate but I will take a test to select students. He was very happy and very excited. He prepared for the test very well.

The day of the test arrived and he got selected. The teacher announced the date of the debate. He again worked very hard. At last, the day arrived and he stood first in that debate.
certificate
After this whenever a competition is held, he was always considered by the teacher.