The day of the Willows
Nothing was going well in her life; in fact nothing ever went well in her life. She was the bud of the joke in her friend’s circle. They knew very well why she never got married, still whenever they got the opportunity they could ask all over again why she did not.
She was sixty now, she had her own reasons for staying single and the only reason why we did not became a part of that institution was because she was a victim of her imagination, she fantasized about being wooed by the most perfect man, who would be handsome, tall, rich, generous, loyal, caring and the list went own. She could not be blamed for her hobby was reading, reading romantic novels. Her heart ache whenever she saw young people in love, when she watched them say sweet little nothing in parks and in coffee houses.
She grew up hearing that in love age does not matter and that age is just a figure but that was so ridiculous, age did matter and love looks good when one is young. She lived everyday with the thought that she was born alone, would live alone and would die alone. She has slept all the days of her lives with pillow in her arms. It was not that she had never been kissed, she did had experienced the pleasure of what cranial lust could bring but it was just that she was meant not end up with any.
She had her own share of admires, one of them had been pretty close of making her decision change, but at the very last moment she had to give up loving him for he loved her but did not respect her. She loved kids; she always wanted a son but never had the opportunity to have one. The most treasured thing in the whole of universe was her grand nephew, who was bright and talented but never knew that he was one.
By the way, talking of kids, she had to admit that she had never met anyone as annoying and spoiled and miserable like her neighbour’s twenty two year old daughter. If there was anything as instant karma then she could be the first one to be bombed. She knew that she could be a kind girl only if she tried, which she did not.
In one of the dinner parties, the young lady had accidently poured mustard sauce on her favourite cushion, and did not even have the courtesy to wash it, there could be many reasons for disliking her but she could not remember much that day. Anyway, all these years of living alone have thought her that the best medicine to kill your enemy was indifference; it has proved to be useful. She was not good in cursing people and even if she did it never worked.
Every day she looked herself in the mirror the laughter lines of twenties had turned to wrinkles. She was tired of looking at her youthful pictures and getting the nostalgic feeling of being young all over again. She grew tired of living a life unappreciated, she knew that she could die alone and even if alone she could die in peace but before she died she wanted someone just to walk up and say that she was appreciated for being a constant healer. She waited for the day. That day there was a knock at her door.
The day of the final goodbye
She ate her breakfast, wished her daddy a good day; help her mom in watering the plants, called up her boyfriend of five years just to say the three golden words. She was so happy; the earth was such a perfect place. Just then she remembered that her interview results were to be out. She switched on her computer recollecting the details of the job. There were only five slots, hundreds have applied for it, twenty were called for interview; fifteen candidates have to accept their fate.
She had a gut feeling that she will be selected, and if there was anything called luck then surely she was always lucky. She typed the password of her mailing address, and quickly opened the mail in her inbox. She tried to relax but failed, she hurriedly read it, again she read it, until she memorized all the lines, until she realized that she was one of the fifteen candidates. It was frustrating. The interview meant a lot to her, she thought that the board members liked her; she had noticed on the interview day that she was the most suitably dressed candidate, even her mom who see her off till the waiting hall had said so. She was always appreciated for her charming personality. Her friends had told her that she emitted positive energy everywhere she goes.
“To hell with the interview board,” She switched off her computer.
She tried calling her boyfriend, but all she got was a busy ring tone. She went straight to her mom, who was engrossed with her favourite serial.
“Mom, I am not selected for the job.” She doubted that she heard it.
“Why? I mean how? Where did you go wrong? Don’t worry dear. Everything will be alright. Let’s have lunch. Warm up the chicken. It’s in the fridge.”
She could hardly hear what her mom was saying, the television spoke along with her; to hell with the television, she cursed. She went to her room, shut it hard.
She wanted to talk to someone; she had her list of good friends but did not want to bother them. Each and everyone have a life of their own, why should she worry them with her problems, and she was always the problems solver, they were the ones who always had greater problems. She tried calling up her boyfriend, but it rang busy again.
“What! Is he having an affair behind my back?” She suspected hard.
Her mom tried to console her but to no avail. All the words she said were so political in nature. She wanted to take rest; she was in no mood to accompany her mom for shopping. As soon as she reached the room, she dusted off her CD player and busted the volume to the fullest; her room was about to blast. Then, she got a call from her neighbour, a spinster, who believed ‘spinster’ was a very crude and rude word so it should be replace by the word ‘continually unmarried woman’.
Please, she could have told her to minimize the volume, but no she started with her definition of good neighbour, in between she talked about respect for elderly people specially those who loves to sleep, then on noise pollution, and ended with her sister who died of cardiac arrest due to her grand niece’s love for rock music.
She wanted to die; she knew the ways to die. But, the greater question was who would be blamed if she died. She jotted down the reasons. It started with- her over confidence in herself but she objected; after all individuals should have certain degree of confidence in stored. Then the mail in the inbox, poor mail she thought; a product of technology; she was tired of using technology and her computer was a technology, her cell was a product of competitive technology, her mother’s television was a technology, fridge, micro wave, her CD player….she lived in a technological world. Blo*dy!
Who invents this technology? Who reshapes, refines it? Who makes rules to use this technology? Why are they bought? She cursed the inventors, the innovators, the policy makers- whoever wherever they were, the market and the advertising agency. Still she was not satisfied. She had to find something to take the blame or her dead would be just a piece for obituary column.
She started again; she blamed the interview board who did not select her. Who gave them the right to decide that I am not fit for the job? They got right because of the power of their job; and they got the job because of their meritorious education or excellent networking, either they worked hard or they had parents who invited all the ‘who is who’ to their homes for dinner. Does not matter, they all will die. Thankful! The ways of dead may be different but everyone has to die. Men are mortal
The next day, after a good sound sleep; she sat to write on her dairy:
“So it brought me to the conclusion that in this busy world after I commit suicide, no one will be interested in penning down the details to hunt down the reason unless they are paid, and I cannot imagine my parents being robbed due to a nonsense reason. If I die I will be remembered but not for long. So, Suicide plan cancelled.”
She decided to buy a bouquet of flowers for her elderly neighbour, all these years she had hardly seen any visitors knocking her door. And all these years she had been really a very aloof neighbour to her; she just wanted to be nice to her.
A Grey Day
It is often heard that for a student one hour in school is like a year in jail, and that it is only when we come out of school that we realise the best part of our lives are spend there. He hated school; it was a living hell for him. Not that the infrastructure was bad, not that the teacher and their teachings were bad, it was because his hours spend in school was like a concentration camp for he was a victim of harsh bully.
He was the shortest guy in the class, but the brightest of all, he was teacher’s pet too. He was scared like a country chicken that if he said a word about the bullies then he could be tortured, his skin could be peel, and his body will be cut into thousand pieces, and will be thrown in a gunny bag. Many a times he could put the slice onion under his armpit; and make the excuse of high fever just to skip his classes. Life to him was a burden; he could hardly wait to grow up for he was under the misconception that there were no worries and burdens once he had passed that age of his, he wanted to grow up fast to be a part of the adult world.
He could not explain how exactly he felt, all he knew was that whatever he was feeling should not be felt by any children of his age who respects school and its environment. He had heard stories of the great leaders who had read their lessons under a street light, he envy them for atleast they were not victims of school bully. He wanted to enroll himself in martial classes for he thought that this would match up with the skills of the brute. All he wanted was a place where he will not feel sick by thinking what the next day could bring. As he stepped out from the school gate that day with blood spots in his white shirt, he knew where he wanted to go; he wanted to meet the woman who was always nice to him, he wanted to meet his aunt.
Pot-Pouri of Comfort
As she attended the door, there stood the little one with bruised lips, and a nose that narrated the story of how he had spent the day in the school. After she was done with the nursing, she sat beside him to hear what his troubles were. She listened with a heart that matched her wide opened door; she caressed his hair, and laughed when he jumped to support his urgency to grow up. When he was all done with the talking, she suggested that they should meet the Principal of the School and to this he said,
“What if they gang up against me?”
She lifted his chin and said, “They won’t and if they do then just remember their names.”
There was a knock at the door; there stood the mostly unlikely guest with a bouquet in her hand. She looked very more like a lovely young woman rather than the neighbour she so fondly disliked. As, she handed over the bouquet, her smiled made the receiver of the bouquet every good reason to invite her inside the house.
“Come in,” She said.
Minutes later as they were about to have their first sip of tea, they saw the golden fish splashing out from the glass bowl. They hurried to pick it up but it was lying dead.
“What happened to you?” She picked it up; it was her favourite out of the three.
“Aunt, I guess it had its own reasons,” The little boy added.
“We can arrange for a grand funeral.” The young girl stretched her arms to her.
She sadly concluded, “Something must have troubled my Goldie, such a poor soul, it could not even express what was ailing her.”