Thursday, February 06, 2014

The Birthday Party

Source: www.teddybearcollection.blogspot.com
She yelled at him. It had become a daily ritual. “Raj! For Pete’s sake, why can’t you keep an eye on Kuhu once in a while? She has crawled under the bed!”

The day had started for Reena, like it always did. With a lot of chaos interspersed with the mess Kuhu created, accentuated by her heavenly gurgles. She went about, tripping over a fallen book as she cleared the toys and got ready to leave for work. With the mess cleared, she rushed into the kitchen to get breakfast and her lunchbox ready, throwing a stony stare at Raj as she went by. “I am going to get late again today” she muttered under her breath, as she spilled the warm milk onto the floor and saved the feeding bottle from crashing into pieces. As usual it was past nine when she left the house with Kuhu in tow. 

It was but a fifteen minute drive to work. Quickly she dropped the obliviously happy munchkin at the day care center and stealthily entered her office, hoping fervently that her boss Mr. Mudit was not around. “Reena! This is the third time in a week that you are late, and it is just Wednesday!” she heard the devil scream from behind. She turned around with an apologetic look plastered on her face which she knew would melt Mr. Mudit’s anger. “Sir, Kuhu ….” “Yeah, I knew it had to be that” he cut her, but in a much calmed tone. “Try not to repeat this ok?” he said, giving a warning look like he did every day. “If only Raj would help her with the morning chores” she groaned as she made her way to her desk. 

The morning went by in a jiffy, save her lunch visit to check on Kuhu, she hardly got a minute away from work. The kiddo was busy gurgling, making a mess of everything around her. Things were normal. Heaving a sigh, Reena suddenly remembered the chores she had to get done. Buy groceries, pick up the laundry and get Raj a couple of tees. His wardrobe seemed so outdated these days! That sealed it for her, she had to steal an hour away from work and run to the closest mall. 

As she heaved the bags, Reena’s phone rang. It was her mother-in-law calling. It must be three, thought Reena; it was the same time every day.  “Beta, how are things? How is work” asked Sheela. “Hectic as usual Ma, I just stepped out to buy Raj some clothes, he still has those faded tees, can you believe it!” After a pause Sheela replied “I understand beta, but did you have to take time out of work? It could have been done some other day…” “It has been long overdue Ma… you are coming tonight right? And baking Raj’s favourite chocolate cake?” Again there was a pause… a much longer one this time. “Yes Reena, we will be there and I’ll get the cake”. Happy, Reena cut the call, only to hear it ring again. This time it was Raj’s and her college mate and best friend Neil calling. She discussed the surprise birthday party she had planned with him. It was going to be a small gathering, all of Raj’s closest friends and family. He would be pleased she thought.

It was five by the time she picked up Kuhu and made her way back home. On reaching, she got Kuhu settled in and went about cleaning the place, to get it ready in time for the party.  She felt Raj’s eyes smiling as she went past him. “It’s just too messy” she said quickly, hoping that he wouldn't guess what she was up to... An hour later she and Kuhu were ready, in time when the door bell rang. Ma, Pa, Neil and his family were all there.  She knew Raj would be happy. The morning irritation was forgotten.

Sheela gave her a tight hug and placed the cake on the table. Slowly, she looked up and saw her eyes glisten in the reflection from the photo frame. Her son looked back at her with a smile, as he always had ever since that ill fated day, six months ago. Turning around, she saw teary eyes trained on the wall behind her…she was not alone. A loud yell from the kitchen broke the silence; Reena was jumping up and down ecstatically “Raj! Kuhu just said her first word, did you hear that??” her screaming was interjected by Kuhu’s babbles “Mamm Mamm”…. 

We tell ourselves stories in order to live… in order to come to terms with the emptiness the loss of a close one leaves behind in our life, thought Sheela. This, was Reena’s story. 



This post was written for Women's Web's Muse of the Month writing theme for January 2014.

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

51 comments:

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    1. Thanks Suresh! Coming from a published author, that means a lot :)

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  2. Wow! what a twist in the end! I never expected it. Pictured Raj as a self centered individual! Superb Seeta!

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    1. That's how I tried to portray it, glad it worked :)

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  3. Lovely story, Seeta, really moved me.

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  5. Nice ending to a nice narrative :)

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    1. Thanks Jairam, glad you liked it :)

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  6. Ah! Ending took me by surprise. Beautiful story, Seeta.

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    1. I was hoping it would do that... thanks Saru :)

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  7. SUCH a touching post. An unexpected ending!

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    1. It was based on a prompt, " we tell ourselves stories in order to live"... glad you liked it Red.. :)

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  8. Kya twist hai!! Lovely read, Seeta !

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  9. How terribly sad! :( :(
    You have narrated it beautifully.

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    1. Thanks Pixie.... you know, I sometimes feel this might be true for some :|

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  10. Wonderful story, Seeta :) I had written a somewhat similar one where a lady grieves the death of her beloved husband and refuses to accept the truth. Great mind thinks alike ;)

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    1. Oh absolutely! What's the link to yours??? :)

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    1. The prompt was such that I just couldn't think of a happier one..... "we tell ourselves stories in order to live"

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  12. Nice take on the prompt Seeta.. a very good one..

    I failed to submit my story by the deadline as I was extremely busy..but mine has somewhat the same flavour....

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    1. The prompt was such that it made us all think on these lines didn't it? do put up your story on the blog :)

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  13. This is a really moving story, Seeta. Very well-written. Wiping my tears...
    Sad that we have to tell stories. Sad that our lives are not fairy-tales with lived-happily-ever-after endings...

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    1. Thanks Anita... we all tell stories in some or the other aspect of life..

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  14. An interesting post that I enjoyed reading.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  15. Well-written story, with a superb, totally unexpected twist at the end.

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  16. Excellent narration! The ending really was moving!

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    1. Thanks Rachna! Glad you liked it :)

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  17. I quite enjoyed the pace of it and the narrative was wonderful!

    Richa

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    1. Hadn't seen your comment come in. Long time babe, how are things?

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  18. Wow.... I got goosebumps reading this! Such a beautifully written story... Keep going Seeta :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by A, glad you liked it :)

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  19. Very gud Seeta... seems like climax is your baby.. :-)

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    1. Wonder if unexpected is becoming the expected now :P Thanks for stopping by Pallavi!

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  20. Wow! Had been going through your blog - you are good! And this story in particular was really well done!

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    1. Thanks Radha! Coming from you its a huge thing for me :) Btw, has your blog been moved? I haven't been able to locate it for some time now. Blogger says page not found :(

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  21. Beautifully narrated..the twist in the end was the clincher. Great take on the prompt!

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  22. Hi Seeta

    Once gain a good narrative and a twist in the end..Bravo

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