Saturday, March 17, 2007

story 2 - Room for them

Room for them


The BEST Buses were turning around Maheshwari udyan at matunga ..and inside the children were playing with the balls. Their parents were sitting and discussing their family issues. One girl was talking in the cell phone . Some lovers not bothered about the others and closely sitting and reading the kamasutra.

Namasi sat on the stone bench and closed his eyes. He did not know how long he was there. The sound of the buses and children did not disturbed him.

Namasi.. Namasi.. kya ho gayaa?’

Narayan Shastri ‘s voice echoed on his mind. Namasi opend his eyes.

‘ Namasi.. Nowadays u don’t come to this garden..? Are you busy or what?’

‘Yes.. Shastri .. My daughter-in-law has come from native place with the little one.

And we are all busy with something or other.. .’

‘arre namasi.. That is happy news yaa.. how is she and the grand child? Congratulations namasi!”

“What is there to congratulate me, Shastri.?

“Look.. Namasi.. why such a depressing statement? Come on now, tell me what’s the problem?

Shastri’s friendly touching breeze changed Namasi’s tone.

‘No.nothing Shastri, sometime I feel what is there for us to live now?’

Namasi removed his spectacle and cleaned it with his handkerchief and put it again.

His reddish eyes .. were again covered with his thick glasses.

A ball was thrown in their direction. Shastri caught the ball and returned it to a boy.

‘Thankyou, uncle!” said the boy and ran away with his ball to his team.

Both Namasi and Shastri were quiet for two three minutes. A silent movie played in their memory screen.

23 years back, a small ball like this had started their friendship. Namasi’son hit Shastri’s little girl with his ball and Namasi went to him to ask for excuse. After that, both the families met here at least once in a month with their little ones and became friends. Both were thinking of those days and smiled at each other.

“Shastri.. are in a good position. You bought a two bedroom flat at chembur and your daughter and son-in-law do not think of you as a burden. You know Shastri, I think daughters are always better than sons. They take good care of their parents. Families want sons to do the religious rituals after our death.. but Shastri who wants all that after death..!”

Shastri started laughing at Namasi’s lecture.

“Shastri.. what is there to laugh at me?”

“Namasi.. u know, the grass is always greener on the other....”

“But Shastri.. do you remember how much I struggled to get a job for my son. You know how much money I’ve spent for that. But see me now.. in this December cold I have to sit in this garden to spend the evening. Shastri, I am not coming to the garden like you are. You come here for relaxing and evening walk.. but me.. I don’t have any other place to kill time in the evening ..’

“Namasi.. we are sailing in the same boat.”

“What Shastri.. how come? Your’s is a two bedroom flat and ur son in law agreed to stay with you after marriage.. all was well planned. Now what is your problem, Shastri?”

“Namasi, times have changed. We have to accept their life style. In my house, my son-in-law comes from office and sits with his lap-top. My grandson starts doing his homework. All are very busy. They don’t have time to speak to me. To avoid that loneliness, I used to switch on the TV news channels. My daughter strictly told me that I should not watch TV. Because it is disturbing the little one’s studies. And her husband is busy with his office issues and telephone conversations.. even he gets disturbed. Tell me where I will go?

Namasi was shocked. He started crying.

“Namasi this is life. We have to face these days Namasi..”

‘No Shastri I cannot accept all this life style ..You know what my daughter in law is telling my son.. ‘

Come on Namasi..

“No Shastri.. when he got married and my house was very small, I have made an arrangement to sleep at the medical store at night. Day time I will be there with them and try to help my daughter in law with her household works. U know shastri what she is telling her husband.. My presence in the house is disturbing her to feed her child’

Shastri was shocked with this statement. He took Namasi’s hands .

Namasi said, "Shastri let her say anything.. but my own blood, my son is telling me that I don’t have any manners . and he is blaming me for my small house status. Nowadays I enter my house only to eat my food. Some times I felt ashamed of myself and my stomach..”

“Namasi.. forget..’

How come Shastri, my wife Laxmi fed her three children and at that time my father and my two brothers lived in the very same house. How she managed , Shastri and now, her own son himself forgot all those. Whom to blame Shastri…. Big houses or small houses .. where is the room for us Shastri ..

It had become dark. They both got up from the stone bench and put on their muffler.

The green garden and the stone bench were waiting for their next day. They both were waiting for the signal to cross the road.


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