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Aaditya and Me by Aditya Joshi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Love thy neighbour

Note: Not completely imaginary, not completely real.

Vijaya sat on the sofa as Shalini got her some tea. Vijaya smiled and took a sip.

"Aah, it's the same taste, Patelbhabhi", Vijaya said. Shalini smiled in reply.

Ten-year old Jignesh peeped through the door from behind the curtain.

"Arre.. Jignesh, come here!!", Vijaya said.

Jignesh was only waiting for the call. He ran towards Vijaya and hugged her nearly spilling her tea on her sari...

"Jignesh!", Shalini scolded him, "Did you see what you did? Did you have to come running like that? Go inside and sit!"

Jignesh interrupted, "But Baa, I want to talk to Kulkarnikaku..."

"Go inside, I say...", Shalini shouted. Vijaya adjusted her fingers that were wrapped around the cup.

"Uhh.. sorry, Kulkarnivahini.. did he spill the tea?", Shalini mellowed down.

Vijaya nodded and took another sip. In the fumes rising from the tea, she remembered the days. Jignesh had come home one day with high fever. When he saw that his mother Shalini was out to a relative's place, he came to Vijaya. Vijaya had looked after him for nearly four hours before deciding to take him to a hospital where he was admitted.

Vijaya remembered standing in her balcony and talking to Shalini who would be in hers. They would talk for hours - about TV serials, about elections, about recipes for different types of cakes. In fact, Shalini was the first person in whom Vijaya had confided about Vishakha. Vijaya's daughter, Vishakha was in love. The love was unacceptable, if not blasphemous, for the people in the locality.

Vishakha's love was not discussed in public but hushed-hushed about in private. Vijaya's husband and her could not take the way the neighbourhood looked at them - they moved out to another place.

Vijaya came back to the present. She was staring into the cup now. The love that the neighbourhood had for her family had condensed - like the now-cold tea with a layer of condensed milk floating on the top...

1 comment:

  1. hmmm..... hail JESUS..... God bless u Aditya... nice 1