Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Our Bin Tughlaq Days

 


.A year or two after our wedding. We were invited by one of my ex-colleagues, Richa for dinner. We were living in a 2bhk flat in crowded South Delhi and Richa was living in a villa of a posh society at Faridabad.

 

It was winter time. The month of February, I think. We went pretty early as we had a plan to have a good appetizer time with nice chat.

 

Grand entrance, greenery surroundings, built in a piece of land with groves of some fruits and flowers, elegantly crafted landscaping. The villa had a lush green backyard, and the contemporary interiors were enhanced with refined finishes collected from all over the globe. The house featured superior craftsmanship and details such as genuine fieldstone foundations, a wood fireplace, an attached small plunge pool. The location of the society would appeal to anyone seeking to get away from the hustle and bustle, but maintain easy access to all the conveniences of urban living.

 

Richa’s husband had interest in cooking and so, he kept a huge barbeque maker in the backyard. The warmth coming from the mild fire, gentle touch of fog, soft Kenny G music and the hot barbeque with cold wine – all were trying to mesmerize me totally.  Me and my hubby were so impressed with the starter, dinner, ambience that Richa took us to show the society briefly – the swimming pool, squash court, club house, waiting lounge etc. The swimming pool was dry though, because of some repair work.

 

After having an awesome time, we bid farewell with a promise to meet them soon.

 

On our way, we were silent, but had a telepathy. I developed a desire to own such a house. And, he understood my silent desire. As this kind of house would cost many crores, it’s just not only out of scope, but not even near to our dream. He tried his ways, tricks to make me understand that wherever we had been these years, was not a bad place.

 

But, something was cooking in my mind. I found another way to get a bit of this kinda luxury. I thought - why can’t we atleast take a flat in rent in the same society! The island kitchen and the library were haunting my husband too as he loves cooking and reading books. Though he was not in full agreement, couldn’t say me “No” any more! Yaayyyy!!!

 

And, next day, I called up Richa. She was extremely excited and promised me to get a nice, rented flat for me.

 

We got one 3bhk with study flat at almost the same rate that we were paying in our current flat in South Delhi, just few thousands more for amenities and maintenance fee.


I was so impatient that immediately we shifted, within a month. In few weeks, we threw a housewarming party. I invited some of our close friends and south Delhi neighbours. They were awestruck by the facilities and large sized flats available at cheap rates. You know what? Two of them took the property agents contact number and shifted within the same month, another two families followed.

 

Wow! In no time, we had a good gang in few weeks.

 

In a month or so, the Faridabad summer started. It gradually became unbearable. We installed an AC, but there were long hours of power cut. Generators could not take the load of ACs. Water pumps stopped working. Slowly, I started realizing that there was a huge hair loss. I began my investigation and came to know that we always used to get tanker water and thus, the society service charges were more in summer. The distance from my home to office almost tripled while we shifted, earlier it was 8 km and now it was 22 km in one side. Icing on cake was, there used to be huge traffic jams because of Badarpur border flyover construction.

 

Come our anniversary. Month of July. Many of my friends wished to visit us and have a party. My husband also planned to cook so many dishes. We did all the shopping the previous day – chicken, mutton, fish, fruits, vegetables, eggs, sweets.

 

The D Day. We got up late as we had a disturbed sleep because of intermittent power cuts throughout the night. I went to the washroom, started brushing my teeth. The tap poured no water. I went to the kitchen, no water. Thank God, I kept few bottles of drinking water. Cleaned my tooth-pasted teeth to show my wide smile to husband while giving this news.

 

He almost jumped from the bed, wondered what to do!  We decided that in worst case scenario, we would order food from the nearby restaurant. I just tried to open the fridge to see from where to start, oh… inside the fridge, it was warm enough… we understood that because of the fluctuation of power previous night, some technical failure happened.

 

"Ting. Tong."

 

Our door bell rang. I knew that Dilruba was on time. I opened the door.

 

“Happy Anniversary, Didi!” And, she went straight to kitchen to wash her hand.

 

“What to do didi, no water?” I saw one muffled smile in Dilruba’s face.

 

“Just broom the house. Rest, I’ll see.”

 

Dilruba sat on the floor for half an hour after the dry sweep of the rooms. No TV, no radio, no water, so, she left promising me to come when I would call her once the water come in.

 

There was a fight between our society and the tanker owners regarding some price increase. Time was running...... our stress was increasing….

 

It was noon time, I opened the freezer, a brown drop of chocolate fell on my hand. Hmmm, yes, all the icy stuff melted…. I opened other sections; some weird smell started coming in….

 

I kept the brown bread on the island kitchen. Looked at the library which was standing tall.

 

I heard my hubby talking on phone loudly, “Sharma jee, do you have any flat available for rent, we want to come back…”

 

Sharma jee is the owner of our previous flat in South Delhi!

 

My heart and mind felt as if the society is singing>>>>>>>> 







Happy Anniversary to US!!! #MyWeddingDiary


                                                                             ...........

 


Saturday, July 10, 2021

A Higgledy Piggledy Story


The sophisticated 5 bedroom home was approximately 4,500 square feet, located at one of the most coveted and beautifully tree-lined blocks of the luxurious society. Natural warmth and charm abounded in the light flooded four stories home.

 
I ranged the doorbell. A huge well-crafted face of a tiger was well embossed on the door to dignify royalty. A well dressed maid opened the grand door. She took me through the garden floor, an entry foyer, into a charming double-roof heighted sitting room. The fragrance of Rajnigandha flowers suddenly hit me sweetly, but severely. I could see an open eat-in country kitchen complete with a wood burning fireplace, featuring sunlight pouring through glass doors which open out onto a beautiful foot landscaped garden. She took me towards a restored and elegant mahogany wood staircase which led to the library in the first floor and upper four floors, while there was a capsule elevator just off the entrance.

 

There was a library in the corner with built-in bookshelves and few cosy chairs. Southern light poured in through floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the garden. 


The maid asked me to sit on a comfy chair near the bookshelf. I thought of on-looking at the books beautifully stacked in the shelves.


The maid brought a glass of smoothie along with a few delicious cookies. 


“Ma’am will take a few more mins to come. Please feel home.” The maid stated with a nice smile.


“What’s your name?” I could not help asking her.


“Rameen!”


“Such a lovely name…You look like from North eastern states! Are you by any chance?”


“Yes Ma’am, I am from Assam.” 


I just saw Lalitha coming from the opposite side.


“Heyyyyy Zitaa….the charming lady! How are you? Thanks for coming……Sooo happy to see you!!” Lalitha hugged me softly. 


Lalitha was wearing a light pink lenin saree and a big bindi, opening her straight hair to the back. I thought how lucky she was, possessing such a beautiful house in the prime location of Bangalore.


We had met in a Social Media conference a few weeks back and then onwards talked on phone and on whatsapp a few times. She told me that she had a beautiful terrace above her house, which she wanted to rent for some cultural programs. She was in search of an interior decorator. While she came to know that I had an experience of ten years in interior designing, she asked me if I could give it a try.


Lalitha took me to the terrace. Quite a wide space! In a corner, there was a small garden with a green cloth roof, having few outdoor cosy chairs, hanging lanterns, terracotta decoratives etc. I was quite excited to see the space, so much could be done.


“Lalitha….I can’t find any reason to say ‘No’ to decorate this space. I would love to start the work ASAP. I am really excited now, looking at the place.” I instantly said.


“Awesome dear……. So great to feel that you will be doing the space. Now we have another reason to be connected.” Laitha’s bright words… 


We came down to the leisure room. With a 75 inches TV, home theatre and a low height 6 seater warm sofa made me feel almost sleepy. We had coffee and started discussing what could be done. We planned for the base design and post that, discussed how to do marketing about the space.


Almost an hour and half flew away so quickly. Lalitha’s 8 yrs. son – Niyor was back from his Piano class. 


“Ma’am, food is ready.” Rameen came and invited us for brunch. 


It was almost 11:30 AM, on a Sunday.


We went to the dining hall. Wow! Such a gorgeous dining hall. Beautiful fresh red roses and a big bunch of Rajnigandha flowers were increasing the beauty and elegance of the eight-sitter dining table.


I have a different connection with the Rajnigandha flowers… it makes me nostalgic for a while whenever I see or smell it, takes me to the days when Shyamal used to send me Rajnigandha bunches regularly as teens.

 

“I can see Rajnigandha flowers all over your home. The fragrance is really mesmerizing….” I just wanted to appreciate.


“It’s my hubby’s favourite flower. He loves the fragrance. Along with him, we are also falling in love with this flower.” Lalitha replied with a beautiful smile.


Requesting me to sit for a while, Lalitha went inside a room to call her husband. She wanted me to introduce with her husband, though I was a bit hesitant, shy, but anxious about how he would be…. how he would behave, being such a rich person, top-notch entrepreneur. I missed enquiring about him in social media, nor I asked Lalitha his name. 


I was talking to Niyor, telling him about my 5 yrs. old son. He was quite excited to meet my son. Niyor was asking me many questions regarding my son’s choice about legos, hotwheels etc. etc.


Lalitha was back. A tall man with kurti was following her. 


But, why my eyes suddenly started blinking faster, sight became blurry…..My nerves became weak…. I stood somehow….


I could not believe my eyes. Yes! He looked almost the same, might be,he gained some extra kilos. I felt like as if he still has some questions in his eyes….Yes! He was Shyamal.


I heard from someone long back that he became a big business man, started his own technology company. He was my first boyfriend in college and university for 4 years. I dumped him for Rahul. I still remember the day when he came and cried in front of me that he won’t be alive without me. But, I was not listening to him. I was firm and clear that we won’t be able to carry forward the relationship. Rahul was far more energetic, naughty, vibrant than Shyamal. He was carrying a bunch of Rajnigandha that day too…


“Meet my husband – Shyamal.” I was back to reality with Lalitha’s words.


We shook hands, neither he nor me revealed that we knew each other. We talked little. But, I came to know that Lalitha used to work in Shyamal’s company before their wedding. 


I came back home with a mixed bag of feelings, confusion whether I should proceed with the project. But, I was in need. I decided to be realistic and practical. I decided to carry on my project.


I was lying on my bed in the evening. My son was still playing with his friends in the field. Rahul became very different. He was yet to return from his regular weekend party. Probably, he was a bit frustrated as he was still struggling to accelerate his corporate career.

 

Time was running fast. I started thinking about what to cook for dinner. 


Suddenly my phone rang. Probably, it would be a phone call from the Pub manager or Rahul’s friend, saying that someone needed to pick Rahul as he was fully drunk.


Oops! It was an unknown number.


“Hey Zitaa! It’s Shyamal.”


I was speechless. I didn’t know what to reply…..


“So nice to see you today at my home….. Sorry! I could not talk to you in my wife’s presence.”


“That’s okey Shyam!”


“I stole your number from Lalitha. Please don’t let her know…. And I just wanted to compliment you, you still looked the same Zitaa, my Zitaa. Hope to meet you soon.”


I felt like I was falling deep through a dark tunnel…..didn’t know what was waiting on the other side – darkness or brightness.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

A tale of 102 Roses on my First Wedding Anniversary




4 PM. 28th July, 2008. I was in a mood to finish my work very rapidly. My colleagues, Arathi, Ritika, Subha, Amit, Aaraj, all were puzzled what happened to me that day….wondered who had pushed on my SMART BUTTON.

At 4:30 PM, I rushed to New Friends’ colony flower market, straight from the office. I was at max speed at shops. Could not accelerate more than this, no space to waste even 5 mins. Quickly bought a cake… pineapple cake, his favourite.

Picked up a few colourful papers and chocolates from nearby stationary shop. I already had bought a Titan Watch last week from South Ex.

My unconscious mind was continuously ringing a bell that I would have to reach home by 6:30 PM at least, as he might come home anytime after 7 PM.

But, oh…suddenly, it started lightening, and I could sense as if there would be a heavy thunderstorm… Gradually, the sky became murky, dark, and the wind eventually taking its speed to be stormy…

Luckily, I reached home exactly at 6:28 PM. Took all the stuff carefully from my car and kept all of them at my secret corners.

In few minutes, it started pouring cats and dogs. For few minutes, there was a hailstorm too. I dialed his number. He was still in office, could not talk to me; Disconnected the phone after conveying the message that he was busy in a meeting and would be little late.

Finally, most important task remained, was to copy the long poem on a colourful paper, which I had written for the special occasion. I penned it down quickly, put it in a lovely envelop and kept under the mattress. I kept the Titan watch, wrapped in a glittered box, under the bed. The cake, I put inside the wardrobe very carefully, along with a  beautiful candle and a match box. Two red roses in a flower vase, I kept behind the dressing table.

It was 8 PM. The kitchen time for the belly service for the special dinner! I bought Cheetol Maas while coming back from New Friends’ colony community centre. And, food was ready by 9 PM.

All set as per plan. Everything, I was doing sooo fast….Thank God, it was Friday!

It was still raining heavily. I switched on the TV. NDTV, Zee News, Aaj Tak, all were showing that there were heavy traffic jam everywhere in Delhi because of the rain.

9:30 PM. I called him up. He told me that he had just started from Connaught Place.

11 PM. The calling bell rang. I opened the door. He took almost two hours to travel just a 10 km distance.

“It was heavy traffic jam! Hey….I am extremely tired and hungry…..Is dinner ready?”

“Yep….everything…. I mean, all set…”

Quickly, I set up the dining table. He freshened up and started grabbing the dinner as if he was hungry for many days…..

“How is the Cheetol maas?” I had to ask as it was his favourite fish.

“Oh…was it Cheetol maas? Sorry, I didn’t realise..”  Aaah!!!...My effort went in vain…But, I wondered being a Bong and a pro in recognizing fishes, what happened to him. I tasted the fish once again, it was fine and tasty.

He quickly finished his food and in no time reached the bed. It’s really an unusual scenario, as he always helped me in settling the kitchen after dinner.

I finished my kitchen chores and went to the bed room, where I could see him snoring…..

I consoled myself ….”No worry, Madhu…. you got good amount of time to arrange everything. He might had a bad and busy day, and the heavy traffic made him extremely tired….. Madhu, Empathy! Empathy! Sympathy!”

I put one bright table-cloth on a movable table.

Suddenly, the calling bell rang. I looked at the wall clock – It was 12 Mid-night!

Another bell!!!

I maintained silence…

Another bell…

He got up from the bed, an expression of wrath was clearly visible in his face…

Went to the living room, opened the door without peeping through the door hole.

“Are you Mr. Das?”

“Yes, tell me..”

“This bouquet is for you”

“No, no, I didn’t order any bouquet… Sorry! Wrong address.”

Mr. Das was almost to close the door…

“No Sir, this is for you… from your wife, Happy Anniversary, Sir!”

“OK…” He took the bunch of 100 roses from the guy, closed the door, kept it on the dining table and came back to the bed room with empty hands…

“Happy Anniversaryyyyyyy!!!!!” I wished him with my 32 teeth smile… with full excitement. I was ready with the Cake and had lit the candle too. I thought to give the gifts one after another after cutting the cake….

I could see his red eyes…undoubtedly, even in the candle light…

He somehow managed to stand for a while, he hold the knife and was in hurry to cut the cake. I hold his hand, we hastily cut the cake, and I put one piece into his mouth. He took the bite and fell on the bed immediately….restarted his snoring within half a minute.

I ate one piece by myself….kept the cake in the refrigerator. Didn’t find anything to do other than sleeping.

Next morning.

He woke me up. I saw him sitting next to me with a euphoric smile, holding a tray with two cups of tea, two pieces of cake and the bouquet of 100 roses which he had received from me last night.

My eyes fell down on those 2 roses I kept on the table while cutting the cake previous night, as if they were giving a sarcastic smile on me…..

Now, it was my turn- THE DRAMA QUEEN, closed my eyes again to show as if I still felt sleepy, actually tried to figure out…… what should be my next reactions and actions…..

To be continued in my next wedding anniversary…… ;) 


Saturday, May 16, 2020

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining






Quarantine, the new household term
Social distancing, work remotely are the new norms
Chain Video Challenge steals the trend
Economy is falling down, tough to quickly mend

Hygiene gone global
People are connected, but happily local
All getting an opportunity to be kind and noble

No beauty parlour, no lipstick, no hair dye
All are in similar state, so no need to be shy
Mask is mandatory, demand is high

People panicking, doing grocery hoarding
Zoom-ing, Skype-ing and socially isolating
Spring is blooming, Monsoon in the offing
Lockdown days, all are counting

But, talents are flourishing
Popularity of Tiktok, YouTube live videos are soaring
Rainbows, landscapes, kids are drawing
Reviving memories are making the relations warming
Special dishes what kitchen are hosting

Chaos everywhere, a blend of peace, pain and panic tar
Pandemic is sweeping the places near and far
Changes bring agony, however
But, every cloud has a silver lining….
The brightness still await us in future!


Regards,
Madhumita

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Happy Mother's Day





“Arre! Get up! It’s already 9 am. Who might be sleeping at this hour, really wonder!!!! Go and check with Reena, Meena, Leena…! I have never seen such lazy girl like you in my life….

(pause for 1 or 2 mins)
….Have you seen Pinky? She gets up at 6 am, such an expert girl she is!!! Go, and see Dimpi, how she might be helping her mom in household chores….

…And look at you…

(another pause of few seconds)
God knows who is going to have you as the wife, God bless that guy…”


An everyday sermon during my teenage, regular few lines in the morning which used to hit my ears like arrows, getting released from my Mom’s bow.

“Plzzzzz Mom! Plzzz! Let me sleep for another 10 mins ….plz! plz! plz!” Saying that I used to hold the pillow on my ears tightly….trying to dream those ‘sweet dreams’ once again…

After a gap of 10 mins, the similar sentences would be repeated….and the arrows of the sharper words would invade the soft, fluffy cotton of my pillow and hit the ears so hard that there would be no way left other than getting up from the bed. Lo and behold, the clock was still stuck at 8 am, and she was shouting -- it's already past 9.

“I hate you Mom! I hate you!” I used to become furious, irritated….but, get to see “No Reaction” on my Mom’s face….and she would continue her chores...

While I lazily dragged myself to look for the tooth brush, the breakfast would be ready in the dining table by that time……with a lovely smile awaiting me.

It’s just a slice of uncountable similar circumstances ….But, I wonder, what material Mom’s mind is made of!!!No matter, how badly your kid reacts or say something to you, you still love them the same way!!!  How come mother can have so much selfless love for the child?

And…..now, I think you are not exceptional, Mom!  ’Coz, since the ‘Mom’ was born in me, I have started feeling, doing the similar stuff…..

Only a Mother can have Arms of Everlasting Love…
Only she can have an Unconditional Love beyond compare….Love which can never Die..,
Only a Mother can have shoulders on which you can lean on in any trouble
She is the one who really cares, always there..
You are always special for your mom, no matter why or how!!
Mom! I just want you to know how special and fortunate I feel myself, to be blessed with a mother as loving, caring and wonderful as you.




 Happy Mother’s Day!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

The Other side of Corona effect!





Beep! Beep!
Asha sprang up with the WhatsApp alert! She glanced at the alarm clock, which was lying lazily in the bed side table, because of the lockdown for couple of days.

It’s 8:30 AM.  Tridip was still snoring.

Beep! Beep!
Another alert. She casually looked at the screen…150 updates! It would take some time to read all these messages. So, she thought of looking at the score* first.

2027 positive cases in India, 180 recovered, 55 deaths….

It’s going from alarming to scary with each passing day! 
She lite up the stove to make two cups of red tea with ginger and cinnamon. Went to the balcony to see if there any leaf left in the Tulsi plant. Her mom had been insisting her to drink tea, boiling ginger, cinnamon and Tulsi leaves together. Some panditji opined that warm water with this trio can keep corona away.

Oops, no leaf left. She quickly watered the plant, taking a mug of water from the wash basin in the balcony. Birds’ chirping was so clear…. Many new birds were visiting the nearby park these days. Infact, in two previous day calls, her colleagues were enquiring how the sound of the birds could be so prominent.

Asha took the cups of tea to the bedroom, wake up Tridip to have the morning tea together.

He quickly got up and sat next to her in the cozy chair.

“Numbers are soaring…” Asha started the conversation, opening the WhatsApp.

“You know, someone in our society stole 408’s milk and curd packets….long discussion going on this, in our Ladies group. How can someone do that! Disgusting!!!”

“Is it? Really? Lockdown is there, but people can go to this low level, even in this kinda affluent society! Embarrassing! Strict actions should be taken against these guys. ”  

“Stringent action should be taken against this kind of people..” Asha quickly wrote in the group to join the conversation.

Tridip got up now, to do his routine work. First, he needed to put the waste in the dustbin outside, then he would broom the house.

He opened the door.

“Whaah!!!! One milk and one curd packets are lying here. I didn’t order.”  He rushed inside like a frightened mouse.

He quickly opened his WhatsApp, started looking at the men’s group of his residential complex.

Discussions around the missing milk and curd packets were taking precedence in the WhatsApp group since morning. Phase I of investigation was almost to start.

Now, writing a line in the group about finding this missing stuff became an uphill task for Tridip…..because their flat number is 308. The delivery boy mistakenly kept in front of their apartment, instead of 408.




*Using the word ‘Score’ casually, not to hurt anyone’s sentiment.


Thursday, February 13, 2020

That Unexpected Love




It was New Year time! I wasn’t seeing anyone at that time, but I received a big box of chocolate. Those were actually my favourite! I spent many hours trying to figure out  who had sent me those chocolates. My ex from a few years ago? The guy I went on a few dates with but petered out? A secret admirer? And I didn’t want to call up any of these people and ask. Uhh….what a suspense!

After wondering for the whole day, in the evening I received a call from my best pal – Zubeen, who was studying in Delhi.

“Did you like the chocolates, bestie?”…..and now, I got to know who is the person behind my favourite chocolates.

“What is this yaar? You wasted my whole day… I kept thinking who has sent these to me.. kept wondering who could be my secret admirer…..”

“Arre, without admiration how can I be your best friend? This is just a trailer dear,…..wait for few days, a lovely surprise coming with me on the Valentine Day. Can you come to receive me on the Valentine Day at the airport?”

Huh??? What he was saying??? He had been my best friend for many years. It’s been three years now since we are apart, as he had taken admission in Delhi University. 

Zubeen’s dialogue stirred up my mind, excitement and emotion, distracted me from my study, enlivened my soul, and enthused my eagerness to meet him soon. I started doing self-introspection – did I admire him, like him, love him, did he really like me, love me, did he resemble with my dream boy, could I accept him as my boyfriend if he would propose me on the Valentine day…….And, and… what’s the surprise he would bring with him on the Valentine day! I was in a confused state, but, I was getting ‘Yes’ in most of the answers.

Two days left for the Valentine Day….my exhilaration, yet turmoil in my heart and soul was accelerating. I bought one bracelet and his favourite candy with my pocket money. I went to the parlour, did facial and curled my hair as he used to like curly hair. I planned to go to the airport to receive him in the morning. 

14th Feb.  8:30 AM. I was waiting for him in front of the arrival gate. I didn’t know why I was there. Why I was wearing my most favorite, beautiful pink dress…why I was wearing the matching crystal long earrings that dangled and playfully touching my shoulders. Why I tried to make myself beautiful as much as possible!!!! I saw myself in the mirror at least hundred times before coming out from my home.
Excitement. Excitement. Excitement.

It was 9 AM. Oh…. I could see him from far….. He was approaching towards me with a wide smile….. He was looking bright, fresh…. Yes! I wanted this kinda guy as my boyfriend, my fiancĂ©e, my husband. My heart started beating fast and faster….. I could see him in a new avatar.

“Heyyyy…….” I couldn’t realise when he reached me. He hugged me…

“Thanks so much dear…. You have come. I have a surprise for you….”

He turned back, extend his left hand to hold the hand of a beautiful girl  with long curly hair, who was walking behind him….

“Hey… meet my Valentine.  We are going around for one year now…. I wanted to introduce her to you as you are my bestie…”

For a moment, I felt like Sita (Ramayana)…as if I will plead Mother Earth to open the ground and take me in her lap…..

But, Voila!!! I realized next very moment that there were two basement parkings down the airport…..No no no no….



Happy Valentine's Day, anyway!!!!

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