Monday, October 12, 2015

I Am Not A Bad Mother - Part 2/2

'Pasta is not yet boiled. I should wait for another ten minutes or so.' Malini thought. 'I should get the red sauce ready, it should be like Italian Den.' She was standing in her spacious kitchen.
"Maa!" She heard Arjun calling her.
She looked around but Arjun was not there. 'I must have heard it wrong.' She started stirring the red sauce. 'Pasta is perfectly boiled now, I should mix it with the sauce. I will ask Abhay to taste it, he will be able to confirm whether it is like Italian Den or not.' She took one bite. It was delicious.
She started setting up the dinner table when she heard someone call her name
'Malini!' She thought she was again hearing voices. She ignored it.
'Malini!' This time the voice was louder. She looked around but no one was there and then all of a sudden she felt like she was being pulled.
"Malini get up!". It was Shreya and they were still in the train.

"What?" Malini jumped off her berth as soon as she heard Arjun was not at his berth. Both the upper berths were empty. Train was at a station and it was 2 o'clock in the night. Almost all the passengers were asleep.
"He must be in the toilet. I will check this side, you go and check the other side" Malini hurriedly instructed Shreya. Malini's heart sank when she saw Shreya at the other end of the bogey signalling in the negative. Arjun wasn't in any of the toilets.
Malini felt like shouting and waking everyone up but she couldn't do it. 'Let me check outside' She thought. She signalled Shreya to get down. They went in the opposite directions to check.
Station was almost deserted. Malini asked a few people if they had seen the child but no one had. She checked some of the bogeys but all the lights were off, there was no sign of Arjun. Tears started to well-up as dreadful thoughts started coming to her mind. She remembered Arjun's face and his request if he can sleep with her.
'Why did I say no?'
'Am I a bad mother?' As soon this question popped in her head, a tear rolled down her cheek. She turned around and ran towards her coach. She was mumbling to herself  "I am not a bad mother...I am not a bad mother" and her tears were hitting the ground beneath with every step.
She saw Shreya standing there but there was no sign of Arjun.
"I have asked TC to check, he is bringing the railway police" Shreya told Malini.
"Where is he?" Malini's voice was almost choking.
"Inside" Shreya answered.
Both went inside the coach. Partha along with a policeman was standing there.
"Don't worry Mrs. Kumar. I have alerted the railway police, we will find Arjun." Partha assured Malini.
Policeman was switching on all the lights, because of which a few passengers woke up.
"Switch off the light" said one of them.
"We are looking for a missing child" said the policeman
"I don't care, switch off the light" replied the passenger.  Malini heard that. She wanted to rip off that person's heart. Shreya sensing Malini's anger, grabbed her hand and said "It's not worth it!"

Policeman came back to their cabin after checking the entire coach.
"Where was he sleeping?" He asked. Malini pointed to the upper berth.
"We were sleeping on the lower berths" Shreya said.
"Whose berth is that?" Policeman asked, pointing towards the other upper berth.
"That's mine" A short old man came from behind. Malini looked at him and realized he wasn't the man she saw earlier.
"There was someone else sleeping on that berth" Malini said.
"Yes, Mr. Sinha got down at this station and you must be Mr. Thakur" Partha interrupted after looking at his charts.
"Yes! Sahil Thakur" He showed his ID card to Partha
"Did you see a child getting down?" Policeman asked Sahil
"No Sir, I didn't see anyone getting down. I came a few minutes back and put my luggage"
All kind of thoughts were coming to Malini's head.
'Did Mr. Sinha abducted her son?'
'Is Partha involved in this?'
'How can you blame others, you were the one who told him to sleep on the upper berth' Malini's conscience replied. Her head was spinning, she was seeing all the faces dancing before her eyes. Arjun, Shreya, Partha, Mr. Sinha, Policeman and in the end Abhay's.
'How will I tell him?'. Malini was about to faint when Shreya sat her down.
 ' Shall I call Abhay? I have to tell him' Malini thought.
As she wiped tears, she noticed a piece of newspaper near her feet. She picked it up and turned it to see the headline Another train derails, 15 children dead. 
'Where is the rest of it' She thought.
"Whose luggage is that?" Policeman enquired about the luggage below Malini's berth.
"That's mine" Mr. Thakur replied. Malini saw a bit of newspaper stuck underneath the bags. She started to pull out the bags.
"What are you doing?" Mr. Thakur almost shouted.
Malini wasn't listening. She pulled out two bags and looked underneath.
Arjun was sleeping on a neatly laid out layer of newspaper. "Arjun!" Malini spoke in a low voice.
Arjun opened his eyes and said "Maa, Can I please sleep with you?"

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

I Am Not A Bad Mother - Part 1/2

"Thank God! This train is much better. You know the train we came in was so crowded that few people were sleeping on floor and that too in 3rd AC. That's why I prefer Flights" Malini said, while settling down on her berth.
"Try this pasta, it's really delicious, I got it packed from Italian Den". Malini offered pasta to Shreya who was quietly listening to Malini; giving her an occasional nod.

"Arjun loves pasta! Don't you sweetheart?" Malini asked her 5 year old, who was sitting by the window, looking at the villages passing by.

"There was some major festival because of which there was so much rush" Malini said before having a spoonful of red pasta.
"Good that Abhay was with us. He kept me calm and you wouldn't believe what he told me. He had also travelled  like that during his college days and probably why he didn't complain to the TC. It wouldn't have mattered because that TC was so corrupt that he took 500 bucks for allowing people to sleep on floor.
Don't you think it is unsafe to allow so many people in train without any reservations"

"Train journey is any ways not safe yaar! Just check the headlines in today's paper. Some train got derailed in Punjab" Shreya passes the copy of The Times to Malini.
Malini glanced at the headlines and responded "One more reason to travel by air". She put the paper aside which Arjun picked  up and started reading.
"Arjun, have some pasta dear" Malini asked
"No Maa I am not hungry" Arjun said without taking his eyes off the newspaper which had the image of badly mangled train bogeys with headlines Another train derails, 15 children dead


"Mrs. Malini Kumar!..Mr. Arjun Kumar!" man in black coat interrupted Malini & Shreya's discussion on their experience with various shopping portals.
"I am Arjun, what's your name?" Arjun quipped.
Smile broke on TC's lips. "I am P.K. Ghosh" he said pointing to his name tag.
"What does PK mean?"
"Its Parthasarthy Kumar Ghosh, you can call me Partha"
"Ok Partha, how I can help you?" Arjun gave a missing-tooth smile to Mr. Ghosh
"Mr. Ghosh is here to verify our tickets sweetie" Malini handed over her PAN Card to the TC.
"Thanks Mrs. Kumar! Miss Shreya Bansal?"
"Here!" Shreya handed over the ticket print-out along with her PAN Card.
"Thanks! Nice to meet you Arjun, Bye!"
"Bye Partha! Arjun waved to Partha without looking up. He was busy playing game on his Dad's iPad.

"Now we can sleep" Shreya said
"Shreya, you know ticket print-out is actually not required in train"
"Arrey I know yaar, I got it booked through an agent so he sent it to me"
Malini wasn't impressed. "Ok, let's sleep now" she said.

"Arjun, you are sleeping on the upper berth"
"No Maa, I will fall down" Arjun said in a low voice, putting his tongue on the gums of his missing tooth.
"Don't do that! and No, you won't fall down. See you are taller than the gap"
"Can I sleep with I did with Dad"
"No sweetie, this way it will be comfortable for both of us."

Malini prepared both the beds, Shreya was on the lower berth and some man was on the other upper berth who was sleeping since the time they boarded the train.
"Ok, here you go" Malini picked Arjun and tucked him in on the upper berth. She laid on the lower berth.
"Good night Shreya, Please keep an eye on Arjun!
"Sure, Good night!"
Malini remembered something and got up. Arjun was wide awake. She kissed his forehead, "Goodnight sweetie. Don't worry you won't fall. Try to sleep and call me if you need anything. Ok?
"Ok Maa!" Malini again kissed him.
As she turned, she saw the man on the other upper berth smiling at them. He looked a little disheveled. She gave a half smile before returning to her berth.
We will be home by morning! She thought closing her eyes.


"Malini get up!" This time Shreya grabbed Malini's arm and shook her.
"What?" Malini slowly opened her eyes trying to see who interrupted her weird dream.
"Arjun is not on his berth!"

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Make a Wish!

He kissed her...he was happy
They got married...they were happy
He was successful...he was happy
His family was healthy...they were happy

One second ago, she picked an eye-lash from his cheek, placed it on his wrist and said "Make a wish!"

Monday, March 30, 2015

Stories Of Our Times - "Love Store"

He entered the hypermarket with a big smile on his face. He knew she would be there. His eyes were looking for her. There she was as he expected. She looked more beautiful than what he remembered from last Wednesday.
He first saw her around a month back and was falling in love since. Till now he wasn't able to muster the courage to talk to her. 
Today was different. He was confident. Weather was appropriate. Rains always brought out the romantic side in him. He had made up his mind that no matter what he will talk to her today and if he finds some more courage will ask for her number. He had seen enough signs to conclude that she was interested in him. He was confident.

She caught him looking at her and his confidence vaporized. As soon as he looked away, a smile broke on her lips.

Does she like me?

He hoped that she would understand the unsaid. Wished more than hoped. He started putting things in his trolley, he had to finish shopping in 20 minutes as there weren't any bus after that.
He would pick up an item and would look at her, hoping that she would be looking towards him. She was busy, but as always she noticed him. The first few times she ignored him but then decided to communicate back.

He picked up a bottle of Nescafe coffee and looked at her. She had a pack of Taj Mahal tea. Their eyes met and both looked at what other was holding; a big smile broke on both the faces.
He picked up Axe deodrant with a grin, she had a pack-of-3 of Pears soap and a proudly raised chin. He picked up 2 litres of Pepsi with a twinkle in his eyes; she had a 1 Litre pack of Tropicana 100% Juice and a raised eyebrow. He sheepishly picked up frozen parathas against which she had a 5 kg pack of Aashirwaad Aata and an angry stare. He then put Maggi in his trolley; she had Maggi Aata noodles and a warm smile. Last item in his cart was couple of small Parle-G packs whereas she had a big pack of Parle-G and a heart melting smile.

He was standing in the queue for billing, waiting to see her. The moment arrived when he had finished putting items on the billing counter. He was about to say something funny when his phone started ringing; it was his employer for whom he was shopping.

He answered the call and she started the billing.By the time she finished scanning all the items he had finished his call. He looked at her and with a sheepish smile said
"vo Pepsi rahne do party cancel ho gayi" (Leave that Pepsi, party got cancelled).
She modified the bill and as soon as she said the amount he was ready with the exact amount of Sodexo coupons. She mischievously asked "jaldi me ho?" (Are you in a hurry?) He foolishly grinned, nodded and grinned some more.

He knew he just blew the chance.

He stepped out of the hypermarket, cursing himself for acting like a fool. He decided that he will never come to this place as it was anyway far from his place.

She doesn't like me

He cursed some more and was about to throw the bill away when he noticed something written on it

Coffee? 983XX98XXX

She found him adorable from day one!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

ज़िन्दगी है खूबसूरत

ज़िन्दगी है खूबसूरत...जो इस करवट हो तुम

ज़िन्दगी है खूबसूरत...जो तुम बैठी हो पास में
एक हाथ पकडे मेरी बाहें..लगता की तुम मेरे साथ हो
एक हाथ थामे मेर हाथ...लगता की मैं तुम्हारे साथ हूं

ज़िन्दगी है खूबसूरत...जो उस आइने में हो तुम
घुंघराले बालों को संवारती
मुझे उन बडी बडी आंखों से डांटती

ज़िन्दगी है खूबसूरत
तुम्हरा अहसास है हर लम्हा
तुम्हारा है हर लम्हा

ज़िन्दगी है खूबसूरत
ज़िन्दगी में हो तुम
ज़िन्दगी बन रहे हो तुम

ज़िन्दगी है खूबसूरत...जो इस करवट हो तुम

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


आज शाम बितायी देनवा के किनारे
दो प्याला चाय और चंद नमकीन बिस्कुट के साथ
पश्चिम में ढलता सूरज
भर गया सिन्दूरी मांग देनवा की
वो पंछीयों का झुंड और वो नाव लौट रहे हैं अपने घर
और इन पेडों के पीछे से आती रोशनी मे आस है एक नये दिन की
नये सूरज के साथ...पूर्वी के साथ
एक शाम और यहीं देनवा के किनारे...

Monday, January 19, 2015


ये रंग है तुम्हारा
पूरब के सूरज सा लाल
किताबों में दबे गुलाब का लाल
माथे पर लगा लाल
मांग में भरा लाल
सर को ढांके चुनर का लाल

ये रंग मुझ पर भी चढने सा लगा है
मेरा दिल कुछ और लाल धडकने लगा है

ये रंग है तुम्हारा
पूरब के सूरज सा लाल...