Last Meeting at Platform

1
HE was anticipating at the railroad terminal for several breaths when he noticed a bright matron at the opposite head of the platform, in black goggles and unwaveringly advancing with a slight halt here and then and her right hand moving unusually amassing momentum to advance as if something tried to withdraw her steps towards the back . He knew that it was her.
This is a principal and bustling halt of the electric train in the times of his boyhood. Later the town discovered numerous expansions, adding fresh operations on travel, luxury and further, metro subways and even quicker means of transportation. However, in those primes, it was a dominant stop. And he picked this special point for that impending meeting he had been yearning for long.
He was born here. K—–M. In the state clinic only half a mile from this spot. His daddy was an operator in a publishing firm governed by an assortment of academics and artisans defending the freedom struggle. His mother was in government service. In this metropolis that claimed a culture of 1500 years or further. Not indisputable. The centre switched its name according to the rulers who owned and it was a major port for goods, in an ancient map of voyage, enterprise and cultural exchange. The modern name is according to the postulate of the novel regulatory body that has a majority in the contemporary times. but he knew the place very well. He had sat on the same concrete benches[perhaps] with his cousins, and quite recently in his last visit for the funeral of his uncle, his cousin brought him to this particular station, to catch the connecting train. In the days of his college, whenever he visited this city with his parents to see their old friends and relatives, he got down and caught the train from this particular station. Because his father had his dearest old friend, staying just close to the railroad station, in a one-room apartment on the upper floor before he married a wealthy lady and moved to a bigger place. His father’s friend was good to him and a good friend to his father too, but a different man of different values. He married for wealth and status. But his father married for love. Just that. And that was all and enough for which every living thing is after in every heartbeat of the day.

So he chose this scene, this station, this platform, which is moderately crowded with electric trains going to both sides. He doubted whether she would appear, but she came.
After arriving at this city, he had phoned from his mobile to her number and though he did not expect, she picked his call. She recognised him. She is a star, has been so for many prior years, and the papers carry the features of her itinerary. What was he? Not a headliner. For he played well often, but abhorred trophies and at the terminal moment, quit the show and the spotlight, That made him a very private person, to make him unfettered to enjoy his sunset at will. He cared more about the excitement of living, Yes sheer living than any of the prizes that people offer you for their own private ends.

2

She stood before him and he looked at her face and requested her to remove her sunglasses which she might have used to avoid the sun and also to filter the fans to give more room for herself. This is what stardom status is finally. You cannot walk alone on the highways without answering people’s questions.you have become what they strive to be, those folks who deem success in this world as the absolute end. She removed the lorgnette and he saw her eyes, though less fiery as in her youth, still glowing and retaining some of the fire. For a second, he could not help thinking about that. The fact that she was the woman he wanted to marry in his college and could not and his senior married and she agreed. They were classmates and she had that ‘Vellarankannu’,[vella=white; Kannu=eye.–Malayalam],the rarest of eyes, the blackish white one, similar to a precious stone.

He asked her about her private life and also, if she is what she trumpets to be. For that she gave a roundabout reply.
‘You see we are meeting after many years. And I am not conscious of all your changes so far and I cannot all on a sudden divulge my private sides. Who knows that some reporter bribes you and you reveal my story to him for money?’.
This response devastated him so much. Here is perhaps another one of that Lappwing, who ”flyeth with a false cry farre from their nestes, making those that looke for them seeke where they are not”.(Lyly)…..What a pitiable end to a happy idealist girl of twenties with whom he conducted the organ donation camp three decades ago. And also with whom he sojourned in a motel room together as best friends, near a Children’s Hospital and collecting money and medicines for cancer affected kids.
Seeing his dismay she tried to console him with an ardent smile.
‘You see …Times have changed less to our whims, though we have every right to expect the right outcome. My whole life has turned out to be a business. A give and take.Expectation and fulfilment.As an actor,what the audience expects of me. And I have not found anybody who loved me just for the pure act of loving’.

‘Me, your husband, and maybe…..’, he paused, so that she could fill up the vacuum.
‘You, maybe –though I am not sure….. My husband, he is caring and generous, and more so after my ailment, attending me as if I were his daughter-and since there is a family around, the topic of love is always shrouded in responsibilities and common goals that every family has, and though it is divine setup, we cannot expect the best always. The best results come at random, and many times, we only know the motifs much later, misunderstanding the good intentions as bad and gullibly accepting the bad as good ones, giving place to self-regrets and painful afterthoughts. But in my case, it worked well and that is how I am here’, she concluded her long outburst.
‘Did you tell your wife that you are meeting me today’, she asked in a hurried tone.

3

He said, ‘No, but I will tell her when I go to my hometown,’ he said.
‘Out of responsibility?’, she asked.
‘No’, he said, ‘Out of selfishness, ‘If not, I will miss my sleep.’
‘Oh’, she said in a glum fashion, but smiled heartily later,and was trying to fathom the good man who was all and everything in her life for many youthful years,and the days and evenings they spent amidst fishing boats and shrimping nets near the harbour, and the matinees at Shenoy’s ‘Vistarama’(theatre) and Chinese snacks and how he vomited after drinking his first Chinese soup that tasted like the feather of a bird.
‘Did you tell your husband?’, he asked.
‘His car is waiting at the station parking lot down, she said, ‘In fact, he told me to convey his regards to you, though he is not much interested in meeting you’.
He thought with a slight ache, how that senior at the Institute had conquered him in love-He probed further- No, there is no jealousy.

Who said that – ‘All is fair in love and war’. John Lyly? However, he did not know that in those years of innocence of youth. If it were, everything would have changed in life – Yes,have changed. Everything.
But he thought that it was for good, for his wife is quite unlike her, though less attractive, capable of great sacrifices, though not fair like her, she has the most ardent smile ever.
But who is this matron after all, whom he trusted once and finally who deserted him and married another man whose father had ten fishing boats whereas his father had only three?
She told him- ‘ I am sorry dear for whatever has happened,’
He had heard that old story from many sources.
Her father warned her that she would have to stamp over the old sire’s corpse before marrying him.it ought to be true, for his close confreres would not lie to him, and they were all happy idealists, the most romantic of the folks, who had many illusions of the world before some of them turned opportunists and later diving into the world of big cash and power. Not for the power to help each other but power to build their solitary empire and enjoy this story that only last a few days or leap years.

4

‘We will sit somewhere’, he said and she agreed, and they made a place at the end of a concrete bench, the other part of it occupied by college girl with a heavy satchel, who was in her churidar and pyjama and reading from the thick notebook and her lips slightly quivering while doing so.

He remembered now, how his father used to coach him to read without moving lips and once bought him a book on speed reading and taught him how to scan long divisions of profound thoughts quicker with a few shifts of the orb.
He viewed her body very closely now, this once upon a time damsel, with an artificial protrusion on her left bosom, after that malignancy that has been chasing her in recent years.
‘This conference, I wanted badly’, he said, because I am not sure if we will meet during the rest of our lives’
‘Yes’, she said almost supporting him. And added, ‘There is no certainty of life. We don’t, in fact, choose anything as such, we are all receivers even when we are making great choices in life. every coin has another side. Few people on earth can see both sides in a single look. Those blessed lot, unlike me’, she said. Finally, he wanted to hear that coming from her own mouth and he felt a great pity and subdued love for this unlucky woman, a star of the masses, seeing before his eyes less fortunate than him.

‘ I wanted to ask you this – but could not- Still, I think this is the best time ever-Did you love me then? …In those days –’, he ‎asked.
‘See,’ She said, ‘If a man likes a woman, there are several ways of expressing it, and words are the best means -But, if a woman likes a man, though there are several ways of expressing it, words are the meanest ones- the silliest of ways of telling that feeling.’
She continued, ‘ If I had not liked you then, do you think, I would have come now?’, she continued, ‘In spite of everything’.
‘In spite of what?’, he asked, in agitation.
She said-unequivocally,’In spite of my ill health’, and pointed feebly to the left side of her bosom, which he knew was a big hollow, and she had made it all for the viewers.
He felt sad. Immensely sad.never before he was so sad in his whole life,except at his mother’s funeral.–

Then he said something, that nobody heard.

5

‘Can I hug and kiss you?’, he asked her in a frightful tone.
‘No’, she said. ‘You were in the West, you might be used to that’, she said. here as you know well, is against the norm, ‘she said, ‘if you do so, a crowd will throng around you, and we will not be able to get out. ‘However, you can kiss my hand’, she said and offered him his her right hand, and he kissed it fervidly, as if it were the most darling present offered to him in this entire life and will be taken away any moment, because it is most treasured , a living presence with hopes and vibrant with a lot of covert horsepowers, a small slice of the universe itself with all its mysteries and kick. She stood up and in a flash caught his right shoulder and pressed so obdurately that it brassed him off and he knew that she was giving vent to an unsung sentiment that crossed her. Then she walked past him, past others and past everybody, and he hoped that she will look back but she did not and vanished in the last group at the exit. ‘A real princess,’ he told himself in emotion, and the last part of his utterance escaped him, ‘But of another kingdom’. It was loud with a great rush of waft from his mouth and the porter who passed with a bulky luggage on his occiput gave a gyration and gawked back at him in curiosity.
…………………………..
-[From a Work of Fiction in Making]

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ASTAPOVO-A NEW TALE [SHORT FICTION]

Section-1
This appeared to be his prime walk to this particular segment that inhabited folks he had not met so far. You know who he is. If not, I must introduce him to you first. He is a Tolstoy scholar. A man of slender build.Not only a Tolstoy authority but a Dostoevsky scholar too. Aside from that, he had other interests and one such was that he loved dogs, picking up the practice of his neighbours and directed these creatures to the Sunday appearances and absorbed several ideas from those canine breeders and the pooches too. This collop of his temper, I may reveal in due course… But his treatise in the multiversity was about the creator of ‘War and Peace’. And he gained a medal for it, and his cherished professor’s commendation also. This was after he wedded the professor’s second offspring by an arranged sacrament where his parents were present. So the caresses and cares he received from her cannot be deemed as his victory after his strenuous activities in the archives. These steady rounds caused him trivial griefs. The first one,-he began using glasses in the first cycle of his research. The second one, he commenced staggering gently from his leftward front, due to continued perching in the antiquated chattels that was set towards the ridge of the building. He had a discrete spot near the lattice, the royal one, that was the vacation locality of an old monarch and which was adopted by the later administration and housed the archives and rare documents.
His wife worked in these archives, a full-time post that gave a reasonably sufficient amount to maintain the family. And his bursaries were mostly spent on books. He also acquired titles from foreign libraries paying a regular amount as fees. He savoured the work and was forthright about it and the university bestowed him a foreign talk tour as their representative. A gesture of cultural exchange and his journeys and stay was easily met by the remunerations he got for the lectures, which the university agreed that he could keep for himself. That was a choice move and he only had to compose a few letters for that because he did not aspire anything detrimental to befall by transgressing the norms of the academics and producing a standstill to research.
But what animated him was that he gained a companion in the Continent, a songwriter and a critic and also an editor of distinction, who partook his energy to tour Astapovo and perceive the very scene of the author’s passing, the doomed platform chairs. He had learned how the author has fled from his people, his wife, their reciprocal disagreements(He learned that Mrs Tolstoy also wrote well, and had strong views) and unpropitious pneumonia that tormented the old sire and all that stuff.

THE OLD MAYOR IN OILSKIN

Bha athair Mhàrtainn air a ‘bhàta fad iomadh bliadhna. agus choisinn e mòran beairteas anns a ‘ghnìomhachas sin. agus cuideachd a ‘faighinn cothrom gu cladaichean agus dùthchannan eadar-dhealaichte agus ionnsachadh an cànan agus an cleachdaidhean. sa chumantas bha e math agus glè chofhurtail agus nuair a leig e dheth a dhreuchd gu baile a ‘phuirt agus a’ dèanamh taigh mòr san àite sin, bha e coltach gu robh mòran de a chàirdean fuireach còmhla ris no ri thaobh. bha aon co-ogha taobh athar athar ceangailte ris gu h-àraidh agus cha robh e ach beagan bhliadhnaichean nas sine dha agus ged a bha iad a ‘sgrùdadh bailtean mì-chofhurtail, bhiodh iad a’ coinneachadh ris gach saor-làithean, nuair a bhios na sgoiltean dùinte airson saor-làithean samhraidh sa Ghiblean agus sa Chèitean…………..Cha do cheangail athair an inbhe beairteach aige agus bha tasgadh aige ann an companaidhean agus stoc agus cha robh e na chall-chasach agus gun robh dòighean spartach aige agus biadh bòidheach bhathas a ‘taghadh an aodaich aige don t-seòrsa coinneamh a bha e an làthair, oir tha daoine mar as trice gam breitheamh le aodach agus seach gur e sealladh lèirsinneach a th ‘ann agus nach eil feum ach air beagan dhiogan airson a’ bhreitheamh a thoirt seachad. Cha do rinn e aodach a rèir shuidheachaidhean, nach èisdeas daoine ri do fhaclan, rinn e argamaid, agus bidh mi a ‘faicinn nach urrainn dhut a dhol dhan sgoil leis an èideadh agad , thuirt e. Agus ghabh athair Mhàrtainn grèim air na h-aithrisean sòisealta sin uile. Ghabh e champagne no fìon dearg uaireannan a ‘cruinneachadh na coimhearsnachd, ged nach b’ e an duilgheadas a bh ‘ann. Air sgàth a bheairteas agus an nàdur bu mhotha, bha e na thagraiche airson dreuchd ceannard a ‘bhaile ann an iomadh ràith agus bhuannaich e cha mhòr a h-uile taghadh. Bha cuid de dhaoine, gu dearbh, a ‘còrdadh ris, agus bha cuid de dh’òigridh ga mheas mar a ghabh e iomairt ann am pròiseactan òigridh agus foghlam àrd-ìre agus às dèidh sin a’ faighinn obraichean dhaibh. B ‘ann tro a bhuaidh a bh’ ann aon uair, dh’fhosgail companaidh riaghaltas stàite a phrìomh fhactaraidh sa bhaile sin a ‘faighinn raon de thalamh saor a dh’ fhàs an companaidh nas fhaide air adhart. A bharrachd air a ‘cheathramh airson luchd-obrach, thàinig e gu bhith ann, agus às dèidh sin bha sgoil rèile fhathast, agus na b’ fhaide air adhart, ged nach do stad na trèanaichean fada, stad an stèisean seo airson trèanaichean bathair agus cuid de thrèanaichean luchd-siubhail a bha glè gu slaodach gu ceàrnaidhean fo-thalamh, air falbh bhon phrìomh loidhne, chuir stad bathair an trèana an àite gu ìre eile agus thàinig e gu bhith na shreath eile de dhraibhearan làraidh eadar-nàiseanta, biadh ann am prìsean measgaichte agus taighean-fuirich cuideachd…………Dha na h-uile sin, b ‘e athair Mhàrtainn am prìomh adhbhar agus bha daoine a’ toirt spèis dha airson sin. càileachd eile de athair a bha eòlach air a h-uile crann agus oisean a ‘bhaile nach robh gu math mòr ach gu robh e eòlach air a h-uile rud. mar eisimpleir cia mheud sreathan airson an t-ìomhaigh ìomhaigh agus na clachan a thathas a ‘cleachdadh dha agus cò an ailtire a th’ ann. Cuideachd, ainm a ‘ghilleagach a bhios a’ cadal ann an ràithean na tuiltean fon chrann-mhòr aige a dh ‘fhaodadh a bhith an aghaidh frasan, eòlach air athair, agus dè an t-ainm a bh’ air a ‘bhreugach, a bha cuideachd eòlach air. Cha robh draoidheachd sam bith ann. tha an seann chailleach air bruidhinn ris an duine sin ann an dòigh chàirdeil agus bha e eòlach air mar dhuine. agus cuideachd dè an seòrsa flùraichean is lusan a tha air gach taobh den rathad, bha e eòlach. Agus bha fios aige air a ‘bhaile air fad le cridhe, a’ mhòr-chuid de na daoine a bha a ‘fuireach agus na teaghlaichean aca agus fhuair e cuireadh airson obair, gu cunbhalach agus air sgàth dìth ùine, cha deach e gu na h-uile…………..Ach chaidh atharrachadh mòr a dhèanamh mu dheireadh a dhreuchd, fear eile. nas òige dha ann an aois, ach bha beairteas na e a ‘strì an aghaidh e agus a’ buannachadh nan taghaidhean, agus thàinig e gu bhith na maor ùr. Chuir e tòrr airgead airson propaganda, agus tha e coltach gu robh e cuideachd na dhuine caoimhneil, ann an dòigh, ach ann an stoidhle eadar-dhealaichte agus bhuannaich e na taghaidhean. thug seo mòran ùine an-asgaidh dha athair Mhàrtainn na sheann aois, oir chan fheum e a dhol an sàs ann am pàipear trang agus obair an àrd-mhara. fhathast, bha e air bòrd comhairleachaidh na comataidh, ach cha tug an seann mhara seachad a bhotan. air a ‘mhadainn le seachd, chithear e a’ coiseachd ri taobh abhainn bheag a ‘bhanca a bha a’ dol seachad air a ‘bhaile aig dà chrann-rathaid air na cruthan-tìre nàdarra agus air a shlighe. Choisich e na oilscinn, cleachd a fhuair e bho làithean nan soithichean. Dh’fhaighnich e mu dheidhinn math nan daoine a bha mun cuairt agus cuideachd a ‘leaghadh cuid de fhlùraichean agus a’ giùlan feadhainn a bha a ‘tuiteam anns a’ phoca aige, a bha uaireigin a ‘fuireach air a ghualainn. bha am baile gu h-àraidh air a chuairteachadh le raointean paddy, agus b ‘e camadh am prìomh àiteachas agus b’ fheàrr leis an t-seann mhaighstir coiseachd leis an rathad tana eadar dà achadh. Gu dearbh, tha feum agad air mòran cothromachaidh gus coiseachd gu luath air na slighean lùbach seo, eadar raointean gadaidh, oir chan eil an leud dìreach cois no dhà. Ann an eagal, thàinig cuideigin bhon taobh thall, feumaidh fear a stad agus leigeil leis an neach eile a dhol
thairis ort gun a bhith a ‘toirt buaidh air do bhodhaig. Cha robh cead aig a ‘chrodh a dhol a-steach, mar a bha aig an doras, agus sheas fàgail an fhrith-rathaid dà phìos fiodh cumanta, is dòcha meuran de chraobhan. Chaidh a shuidheachadh ann an dòigh a dh’ fhaodadh duine a dhol a-steach le bhith a ‘togail a’ chas suas, ach chan e an crodh ….

—–[From a work of FICTION in progress]

MARTIN’S STORY

The tale of September months that I began to write in October and continued in November appeared an entertaining one to my aunt when she was helping me to recoup in a street accident. Perhaps I may expound on the mischance at some point later, yet the real fall of the year which kept me far from some of my significant obligations and diversions happened to be the event or condition for my further falls. I am Martin. Give me a prospect to show myself in a convivial if not the formal way. I am six feet and one inch tall and has bruised eyes since my dad is an Asian descendant. When he remained in Europe for a musical drama assignment, he fell in love with my mother and lived there for whatever remains of his life just before the most recent year, when he went to Cologne for treatment of his terrible liver. At last, he surrendered to liver growth. He was fifty-eight when he died….
Before his decease, he made two dwellings, one in London and the other in Delhi suburbs and he sometimes went to India, and he rented the estate to a few negotiators, and received the fabulous lease for properties were his obsession. You can backpedal for he gained this veneration for relentless resources and I found subsequently from different sources-I met one of his companions, however, this kindred was not close…[ a considerable measure of his lifestyle follows]. In actuality, I needed to discover more about him through his dear kinships yet these individuals were either dead or went too far away places. His dear companion was of innovative propensities, and he once additionally had a place with a nearby gathering of lascivious, however, individuals who took after some belief system of adoration, where they had behaved uninhibitedly, flouting usual social norms sharing their assets and they all disseminated in time, some went to spirituality,some moved toward becoming craftsmen and some others had callings of instructing or other businesses. I disclosed to you before that my mom may have been an individual from that gathering when he met him out of the blue. My mother was a writer who composed free verses, and she appreciated the poems of Sylvia Plath and composed a little, however fervent sonnets and she composed and a ton of five line poems , which they call limerick, with significance in a ridiculous frame, here and there extremely unobtrusive about her life and her encounters. She had tremendous rendezvous with individuals, a portion of the high positioning ones, and she was sometimes not exceptionally at ease, thinking about some enthusiastic disappointments or absence of alteration, and my dad was in way envious to an excess of possessive for her adoration, while she in any event in some period of her life was free winged animal, and however she later capitulated to society’s standards and settled for mediocre standards and was a principal of a young lady’s college in Calcutta and later passed on after writing two books, one her collection of limericks and the other a treatise on young lady’s education, and she believed that society was excessively crossed to the idea of the development of the female psyche, and this in way made them less strong yet more productive and creative in inconspicuous ways, and numerous have contributed inside the dividers of the family, some who revolted, at last, lived away from plain view, some in families an as decent moms and grandmas and so on.. My mother,I am not sure might have met my dad in an earlier phase.. But in the event that one can trust the some of the old letters I recovered from my dad’s steel trunk after his passing and before he gave me a precious ring as a legacy which he got from his own father as the primary male individual from his age in the house, which I pawned in the market of Hyderabad, yet couldn’t recover as I had no cash to get it, and after the notice of the pawnbroker, he sold it to some person and I never went to that territory after that…….

2
Martin’s ancestors had a place with the gathering of Portuguese mariners who went to the Indian drift for exchange and they remained in a waterfront town habitually while heading off to the places where they grew up of Lisbon, Oporto (Porto), Vila Nova de Gaia and Amadora, At last in serene periods when the wars were over a little band of Portuguese mariners remained in the Indian shore, some wedded the nearby ladies and some had European spouses from their places and a small vendor and angling group ascended in that town and eventually they raised a church for venerating and some took the final gasp in the Indian soil. What’s more, Martin belonged to the forward or fifth generation of that cruising assemblage which had in until stages associated with their original homes. Martin’s father acquired an enthusiasm for cruising pontoons, forest rides, his own particular sailboats and log watercrafts with his companions and went to the ocean, the kid’s dauntlessness and the interest for profound waters was remarkable from an early age and at school, he was known as a swimmer of outstanding talent and was incorporated into the varsity group that won awards. After he turned into a man he went to Europe regularly as he got an arrangement in the vessel that carried freight from the African and European coasts. The company selected more proficient mariners who were all around qualified and the subtitle of the ship was not particularly enamoured with him as he spent much energy in the transit lobby and night bars, to alleviate the pressure of the ocean. His close relative was especially partial to him, and once his uncle brought a proposition from his variety of relatives, yet his mom emphatically objected. She was, it appears to be especially intrigued by his going home and wedding there……

3
Now and again, she attempted to measure the family trees and the curious associations of race and shading, however, without much success, to respect a couple of unintentional disclosures. These coincidental revelations were talked about finally over the family table and the talk fixated on the possibility of going to Lisbon by and by. So Martin’s father Alfonso went to Lisbon and stayed there adversary a year. Alfonso stayed in Mafra for about a year. He came across tombstones, chantries, tombs, specie, cases, ceramics and glass from the Roman era and found his original house near the old Roman road connecting Sintra and Peniche, which crosses Mafra, intersecting the Cheleiros, Mafra, and Ericeira. He also found a distant cousin of him and later, both carried a long correspondence for fourteen years till the death of the latter. He was also present at the funeral….
This was especially before his arrangement in the transportation foundation and when he berthed the position on the ship he was tremendously exhilarated that he could pay for his supper without throwing his daddy who was an advocate of self-reliance. The sire .however, not cunning, but was very calculative in even lesser concerns and would not part with a penny pointless and this was to the girl of his significant other, Gaby who preferred the Wednesday flea markets and the legume shops. Be that as it may, Martin’s dad did not hold these side effects of his granddad and was tolerant and liberal to a decent degree. ….

4
He for some time went to his father when he was remaining in Lisbon simply the time of my mom’s separation. He was a decent person, a liberal person, yet by one means or another he couldn’t endure the autonomous ways of my mother who got pleasure by engaging visitors so frequently and had numerous tastes other than those of father, which she jumps at the chance to share, for some time she was occupied with the shooting of a film in France and that time was near another shadow. Someone from the film team and they together took numerous voyages. I don’t know exactly the kind of proclivity the mutual, perhaps it was just an innocent sort of friendship,but my dad who was very adamant in his ways and did not need anyone to overshadow him, particularly in his own family and this brought about a succession of squabbles between the two and on several events they smashed the significant glass pieces, they purchased together, some mementos of their prior association and none were in a position to budge, and after all what is marriage, I in some cases brood over that institution, regularly when I have much time far from work, a ton of alterations, for affection, numerous bargains and forfeits and now and again forgetting one’s own aspirations in life, just for the purpose of adoration, and on the off chance that that does not transpire… This was the situation of both my dad and my mother and they were obliged to pay a great deal for that while they isolated forever and the ones who endured most was my oldest sister and me.
5
My oldest sister had in the meantime met a mountain climber companion who was in an approach to overcome Kanchenjunga in a gathering and alongside my senior sister I was likewise selected for that. But our interest shifted to a lower range-Hardeol.
[note-Hardeol also called as Temple of God is one of the major mountain peaks of the Kumaon Himalaya located at the northern side of Sanctuary and guarding the Nanda Devi. The 7,151 m (23,461 ft) highest Hardeol peak is situated in the Milam valley of Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand. Hardeol peak lies very next to another Himalayan mountain peak called Tirsuli. HARDEOL reaches on the fringe of Chamoli and Pithoragarh districts on a pointedly cut vertical rock body growing from around 4420 m to reach its peak at 7150 m. It rested without a title until some 30 years back and was referred to as the south peak of Tirsuli. Locals in the Johar plain designate it Hardoli or Hardol and revere it as their supervising mountain deity.]…We got the aid, of Sherpas. We practised in hills and lower ranges to get confidence. then the practice became rigorous with steep mountainsides, and six months preparing for an organization. My future brother by marriage had climbed a couple of piles of lesser statures prior and was on a route acclimatized to the climate changes in the pinnacles, and the sudden changes in situations and furthermore the gear. I was a fresher and I had a companion with me who was from an indistinguishable town from myself and we arranged that on the off chance that it was not working in a sheltered way we will pull back from a lower post. It happened that way. When I was in the post no.- – I was grasped by unreliable emotions, a lot of tiredness as it was my first endeavor other than the little slopes I moved in the childhood years in the South, yet it was not to a mountaineer, but rather to see the magnificence of the Nilgiris, and the tea gardens and the spectacle of rain that fall all of a sudden on these provinces. I told my mate that I was pulling back from the endeavor, since I visualised my future in another style, and this was a wrong choice and perhaps I could be of administration to some halfway house in some other piece of the globe and serve the poor kids, with some affection which they lacked throughout everyday life, due to the conditions of their exceptional birth.and. In addition, the night prior to my withdrawal from the climb, a peculiar disclosure, came to me that I did not have the pioneer’s enthusiasm for such vanquishing and mine was a senseless ego trip and on the off chance that I fizzled I was not going to pick up anything profoundly, and for me it all of a sudden appeared to create the impression that life was the same in the statures and the plain fields and maybe I could be more upbeat in the fields with simple individuals whose lives are not tormented by aspirations of this sort. I told my companion of my internal ruminations, and he was additionally in a much comparative space and we both pulled back from the climb. After that, I had not climbed any mountains…
6
Yet, life for me was very little upbeat over the span of that period. My sister, in any case, discovered peace and bliss in a wedlock of her decision, however, not me as satisfaction and peace dodged me and it appeared to be perpetually as in that year my folks were isolated and I was appended to both, a sort of an emissary amongst them, and they were very sad for my destiny yet couldn’t maintain a strategic distance from everything. It was all outside their ability to understand how the emotional life vacillates throughout everyday life, and words, when they had gone from some individual’s mouth, has such a gigantic power, to the point that can influence connections forever. God might see the intention behind each activity, however stupid man sees just activities, and can’t precisely observe the aims of the practitioner and flops pitiably throughout everyday life, either by being duped or by not recognizing the other’s guiltless mind or by being too smart in interpretation. Typically, I ended up downcast and abandoned, and in my endeavour to discover love went straight into a low organization of young men and young ladies, who gave me what I needed, joy, the momentary bliss with a considerable measure of freedom without values and tastes. I turned into an addict to explicit medications and certain patterns of practices. These were the circumstance that I reached the haven of the prior depiction where people of my sort of aberration stayed…

….[From a work of FICTION in progress]

 

 

 

.

Senhora of Expectation-2

 

When he reached the cliff, he was close to debilitation and needed several minutes of gasping and huffing to come back to his old self. His children, both in the teens, were not the least bothered by the climb and instead, went on taking the well-shaped cobbles by the serpentine walkway and throwing them far into the canyon beneath. He ventured once to protest but abandoned, seeing the excitement in their spirit. For them, this was another occasion for jaunty adventure, that arrives once in a season. At the summit, the panorama was cloudless and bright and the sky was azure, and the rain that showered yesterday had mopped the valleys fresh. Every grime was scrubbed away from the front yard. On the side of the church, which was a blend of the foreign and indigenous architecture, stood several signboards in the local tongue and English, warning the guests to keep the site spruce. This is going to be a plastic-free zone in the future eras and is already listed as a national monument. Among the enormous natural boulders grew dense brambles and trees and the yellow flowers of Cassia fistula (Golden Shower, Indian Laburnum)at the distance gave the places a celestial tune…

The legend says that this was not the usual haunt of the saint many centuries ago. He lived in the small cave in the tiny range nearby and meditated and preached regularly his new religion. But on that special day of his passing, he was chased by the assailants and in an attempt to flee, he reached this mountain but was shot by one of the enemy’s weapons. But the legend varies…Finally, a monument came up.

He entered the shrine after removing the footwear, as it was the practice and his children accompanied him. There was a passage to the altar and on both sides, you see the depictions of the saints. And by the reredos, the relic of the martyr is kept for veneration along with the painting of the Madonna and the Child, he had brought with him from his country. The composition was reckoned to be done by a doctor who had contributed greatly to the faith. He kept silent at several instants in deep contemplation and reverence, and the air was quite solemn with pilgrims praying at several secluded corners. There were three masses- in the morning, noon and the evening.
By the other side of the shrine was a bookshop that displayed titles in several languages about the sacredness of the place and the cause to which the saints stood for. He bought a volume on the historical features of the site.
The children seemed famished and thirsty and pressed him for snacks, as the food packets he brought from the resort were consumed on the several stations of the tour. He proceeded to the only luncheon bar at the edge of the mountain and had to be satisfied by the scones of inferior quality and the bottled liquid that was of a new brand. With hesitation, he took those things, as the other tourists and folks. Many had brought the food parcels and are seen at private nooks under trees and emptying the parcels and then advancing with empty bottles to the drinking water tub…
Presently a fellow approached and chatted with him in the local tongue, which his children did not understand and he supplied the guy manifold replies and further engaged with him small conversation in the local tongue. His daughter who will be thirteen in the coming December went on staring at his face with great amazement by the style he spoke to him. When the person departed, as if in answer to her curiosity, he told her– ‘ I was born in this place’. She stood flabbergasted, but anyway not his son, who was in the pre-degree course and was hearing cricket commentary from his walkman. He continued- ” I was born in this city 48 years ago- To be exact, twenty-five miles from the place where we are standing now.” Then he told his tale in abstract- How his father and mother inhabited in this city before he was born, and after the independence of the country, when the separate states were created, his mother who was earlier in the British service, became an employee of the State government and how she accepted a transfer to the State of her mother tongue and took him along with her . He was only one and a half years old then. He studied in his native land while his father was hired in a newspaper press in this capital. But during each recess, he would revisit his father along with his mother and in those holidays, he gained many local buddies of his age and he used to converse that language like one amongst them. He even grasped how to read the alphabets and, yesterday he purchased a droll journal that was the rage of his youthful times [the founder editor, meanwhile deceased] and assayed to brush up his awareness in that semantics… But his son during this conference did not exhibit any awe as he had already comprehended this truth a couple of years ago when he had to fill up the application form for  the Youth -Camp he attended then- in the column of his father’s birthplace, he wrote the name of this city. The memory further transpires him to the stories of his parents of which he had only second-hand data mostly narrated by his own mama….

His mother and father belonged to diverse religions and his mother was the only educated member of her whole line and she came to this city when she was in her twenties. In course of time, she met with a bus accident and she was alone on the journey. When the disaster victims were evacuated to the hospital, she was the only passenger without a kinsman. Suddenly a young guy came to her rescue, discerning that she articulated his mother tongue, and got her in a carrier to the hospital. He waited by her side and informed her kin in the hometown about the mishap. – That was about 18 hours travel from there- He got the gashed dame, drugs prescribed by the physician and also food and fruits. Then they parted. The young lad was a social worker and a member of the National Movement. He, at times, had to seek the aid of some families sympathetic of the cause, and when he was in one such house, he encountered again for the second time, the above-mentioned accident-stricken lady, [now hale and hearty] and she was staying with that family as paying guest. The association soon matured into a fraternity and culminated in the marriage. The lady, for fear of her kinsmen, had to marry in secret, as she was bold enough to do that with an utter stranger, but had already given him the pass- grade at the clinic itself, seeing his sheer kindness to an unknown desolate woman.

The young man was assisted by his younger brother, as both regarded each other hugely and in spite of the disapproval of the other members of the line, the nuptials took place. The younger sibling stood as the witness for the groom, at the registrar’s office. The young lady’s intimate friend, Padmini Jackson, and another friend signed as witnesses. That was the marriage of his father and his mother. There was only one contract between them- You follow your religion. I will follow mine. You should not interpose in my sacred credos as I will not meddle with yours. They did likewise, till the closing shutters were drawn…
The sun was getting hotter and now he got a phone call from his wife, and it befell that she was almost free and could reach if necessary, by evening. But he informed her that their joint trip could be made at some other season…That instant his daughter announced that it was time for the midday mass and while they were, discussing, the chapel gong chimed…Suddenly he felt emaciated by a concatenation of thoughts and reflected for a while how he was unbecoming of the profound love of his spouse and the angelic smiles of his kids, recollecting his recent days in Saarbrucken.

–[To be continued]

 

Senhora of Expectation

Short story

He was chasing the steps that led to the mountain that was named after the martyr. On the 121- st step of the climb, he waited and took the limewater container from the kit and swigged two sips and scanned around to view the amazing flash of the city that stretched far and beyond. The spectacle that encompassed was once a center of trade and military and the Dutch, the Portuguese and the British competed for the supremacy and the British finally got it as a part of the Commonwealth. Nevertheless, the culture was hybrid, leaving the place to many traditions that are a conglomeration of the European as well as the native. From the 17th century, this part was populated predominantly by Anglo-Indians. He had in fact planned this trip a year ago and it was his wife’s urge that he scale these tracks in his salubrious frame and offer thanks to the Senhora of Expectation that was in the church at the top of the cliff for releasing him from the past malady.

Now in this very morning, his wife aspired to accompany him but in the end, hours was held back from it by a phone call from the head office, leaving the kids with him. Originally the journey was mapped in detail including all the four members. He thought for a while that if his wife were there, she would carry his hefty sack, and it will be comfortable for him to make this climb. These are the luxuries he enjoyed in her togetherness. In return, she will sleep on his lap in those long travels by night train, if they did not get reservation berth for both, as he could stay awake the whole night and postpone his sleep for the next day. A guide came and gave him some information, as he had earlier encountered him with the group of pilgrims at the base of the climb….

The Portuguese developed the shrine out of an old pious location. An Armenian merchant paved the granite steps till the end of the cliff, out of sheer piety, and the legends are that your expectations are fulfilled once you offer your prayer before the Senhora, and many believed in it and his wife was one among them. He had gone two years ago to see the Catalonian shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat with her because she was a great believer in and had her families near Barcelona…Our Lady of Montserrat or the Virgin of Montserrat (Catalan: Mare de Déu de Montserrat) that bore the inscription ”Negra Sum Sed Formosa” (Latin: I am Black, but Beautiful) and through his wife, he got much knowledge of these topics…

He met her two decades ago in Barcelona when he was the chief promoter of a text that was into its first Spanish edition. He went there with the book’s author and came back to his country with a woman. His wife. But that is an old story. During the last couple of years, he was not healthy due to different strains and then happened the ultimate bathos. He was coming from the office and waiting at the railroad station for the electric train. Suddenly the left part of his chest ached and he thought that it was a minor gas problem as he had experienced in the previous many years, but the catch did not sink and he took a seat on one of the concrete benches. He had reached this location every day at this particular course of the day for the office, but today everything seemed unusual, the terrains, his own perspectives. Quickly he swooned and when he gained cognizance, he was in one of the hospital beds with his spouse’s and children’s expectant casts around him. He later grasped that he had a heart attack. and further in the coming days, he underwent an operation and after several weeks of stay in the hospital came to his flat. When he was quite whole and commenced proceeding to work, in one of the fine mornings, his wife told him that she had promised to the ‘Senhora of Expectation’ on the mount and had sworn that when wholly healed, her husband will come and offer the thanks on this altar ascending the trails with his own limbs. And now he is here to accomplish her promise. He was not a believer at all. But in wedlock, you do plenty of compromises out of love and though he often suspected the pertinence of such thing, in his all-pervading integral life he yearned to lead[ though could not completely], and later when he viewed the bright smiling faces of his two children, his own more innocent versions, he is thrilled about the general outcome of it all.
–[to be continued]

THE HAPPY MAID

He was at close quarters. Dusk. The maid had just parted. Her name was Stephanie. Stephanie, an arresting figure. Tiger sharp with a whimsical look and an April sun like flash. A smile. And a few words on this brumous day. And a very few words. When September, came she gobbled up a lot of candy along with her stepfather who was very nice to her and considered her as her true daughter. Wear daisy. Borrow books. Eat Aranygaluska gulp Champurrado and sleep and at the end of the day few complaints, sing country music, snore, and sleep. She told to the west wind while taking food in the balcony-This is Stephanie eating lurid yellow cakes and dried chervil and sitting beside a foyer near Gramercy Park. The show has started. Marriage problems. Engaged once to a former wrestler. Now taking rest in the country with turkeys. All standard breeds- Black Spanish Turkey, Bourbon Red, Bronze, Narragansett, Royal Palm.Heritage breeds.Going to the Caribbean.Put her picture on youtube. Adventurer.staying summers at Hallandale.Wise Investor. Lazy husband.[Recently married]. Good dad.Weekly Shopper.carrot eater.old buddy.seasonal writer, philanthropist, the good neighbor, helper of outcasts and women, evening service in the public toilet, a free service and a good occasion to watch the life people. Not a body escaped without his scathing remarks. Life is flat at 32. What is that James Hukhin telling in situations like this? Did he see an emerald isle and suddenly vanish? maybe ‘no’.James Hukhin sputtered up the stairs and peered into the Byzantine oligopoly that cut through beyond the boulevards. A youth was looking into the feast hall inhabited by veterans. One veteran was rather hesitant to coerce to a lady who otherwise would have found elite company elsewhere. This summer he had found new ways of dealing with time. The maid had troubles at home. She was an adopted child and her original parents were living in the same town. Earlier when she was adopted there was an agreement that she would not see her original parents. Though her school was to a certain extent near her original parents’ house, she was not permitted to see them. As a child, she did not know about them. When she grew up, things became crystal pellucid. When she grew big, she requested the consent of her foster father to see her real parents. Because she loved his foster father, a kind man who was behind every move of her life, she did not want to affront him. Then, one day she went to see her original parents. They were so poor that they lived in squalor. Her father had a frail constitution and he often coughed. Her mother was sitting at the edge of the room which was dirty. There was neither fire nor wash space. Her father looked into her eyes and she saw a special radiation in his eyes, that he had never seen in her life. Her mother’s voice had a very guilty feeling. She felt confused. She learned from their conversation that they had a son younger to her but he has left home before some years and his whereabouts are not traceable. She did not know what should be told but was at loss of words. The happy maid saw that somebody was following her and she ran fast. When she reached Karakka, behind the culvert and the edge of a brook by which a road was passing by, and from where one can get a glimpse of the sunset, she looked back. No, the cat was not there. Not a hint of him. She looked down. The brook was flowing. A calmness that led her memory to so many fine twilights in the seaside retreat where she spent her time with her late husband.‘Miria’, somebody beckoned by her other name. It was like a whisper and a heavy truck rushed by. She is jinxed these days that she gets phantasms and maybe the noise she caught, or the one she was eager to hear was one of the countless items she yearned in life.
2
Now she walked past the overbridge and the junior seminary where her boss’s boy studied and she reminisced about his strutting and uncouth manners. When you lose everything you thought as estimable in life, what will you have that the others will appreciate in life? Stephanie was into all these solicitudes when her old boss called her and told that her service is needed for her son’s marriage that will take place after a fortnight. She was surprised. So soon. That strutting fellow of twenty-three- for a girl. She was irritated by his long soup-strainer and when she climbed the stairs, he also climbed down. Quite mannerless. Seems he studied in a famous college and has no deportment. Stephanie knew how to regard old people, people who are not hale and older than her. This made her quite popular in the repository and in the omnibuses when she came back with loads of vegetables, she bought for other housewives. She got a cut for her work. She used a chunk of it and deposited the rest in the cooperative bank. Since she has no children to take care of her, she thought that this will be of some worth in her old age when she cannot work. She may need medicine. She may need the aid of somebody to assist her. Then she needed to give that person cash.And so she deposited the bills, the savings from her commissions in the bank. Many personages appreciated her in this regard. Particularly the bank manager. She also canvassed for the manager to get some huge accounts for the bank. She is powerful in a way. When the polls came, the candidates approached her to work for their party, as she knew many houses in that sector very closely and also the psychology of those people who inhabited the dwellings. Elders admired her because she kept the secrets of the families. She was a good matchmaker and many ladies solicited her support for the wedlocks of their sons and girls. Recently she got a groom for a lady’s daughter who was not getting a good alliance so far after years of search. This spread her fame as a matchmaker. In a way, she liked that reputation. But she did not get a good match herself so far. one fellow, she liked and he too liked her. He was a camion tailgater and went to other states in the truck. this was a good fellow, but later she found that he was a big drunkard. She did not like drunkards. Her father was one and she recalls how he used to beat her after the drinking sessions. Moreover, he had many bad companies and they would come at wrong times to call her father and he will go with them and never bothered about the family. this was a major grievance in her childhood and her father died at an early age leaving her mother alone with her. She was not given good grooming and her father’s vanguard was that women need not study much and studying more will make the ladies proud and a proud wife is not suitable for a family’s peace. strange notion, Stephanie thought to cover up his lapses. So Stephanie thought she will better remain a spinster than marrying a drunkard.So years passed and she became older and the grooms started to take little interest in her and her hairs started to gray, one, two, many more. but Stephanie was hopeful. She thought she could still do something for the society. she once toured a nursing home. She went to the ward of pediatrics and saw the crying children and felt sorry for them. It was rainy season and the roofs were leaking and some of the water went to the beds of the children who were already sick. The hospital staff was a matter of fact people. she barely saw a soul who stay together in the hospital after the assigned time. When their time is over, they cracked some jokes with their friends and left the hall. Stephanie found it quite bad and she went to the hospital many days and helped the parents of the children to give bottled milk or wash their small linen.She did it as a good way of action that will bring some peace to her mind.
3
The maid did not like those people who stood at the Plaza and passed comments on her while she went out and came from work. the main reason was that they had a habit of gazing She did not want to be a stuff for mere entertainment, and she always thought of the honor of a woman. Sometimes she met her teacher who was a great salutatorian into philosophical subjects and was a topper in the university band, a rich and influential man’s son and who went into a mountain cave for three years in the prime of his youth when all many good parents were thinking of getting their daughter married to him. But he was a nice man and the only difficulty was that he had no time to spare for her. The maid was happy with him. He took her very earnestly and also taught her to read and write English in his additional time.the maid was smart.She made timely ripostes. She was a good matchmaker. This quality came to her by accident. As she was good at keeping secrets of the families she worked, many ladies told her many secrets which they even did not tell their husbands and children, she was good at it. keeping secrets. So she did not tell any family’s tearjerker to another family. And the ladies trusted her and also gave her some private fortunes they saved from their work to deposit in the bank. She also had gnomish savings which she hoped will be good sum when she is past middle age. Then she may want wampum to medical expenses. She may need a money to keep a nurse for herself, as she has no immediate kith and kin. She needed money to travel to some pilgrim centers which act she had postponed till then. Now she is not getting much time. She goes from work to work, scarcely rests for six hours a day, on a regular basis. On Sundays, she will not go to any house for work. In the morning, she would attend the shrine nearby and hear the speech of the speakers. It is an open garden at the entrance of the town, where all sorts of meetings are conducted, political, cultural., religious, even some theatre and folk dances and orchestra. she went to that open park on Sundays. there is a pool nearby and it has a facility for ladies to take bath. a closed enclave very private, to take bath . It was in the early periods used by princesses of a particular dynasty, that ruled these areas and there were beautiful granite marbles and brick stone walls and the granite boulders will lead to the tarn where fishes will be playing. Anabas testudineus of umteen colours and sizes. The fishes, will touch the bottom of her feet while she took bath and it will tickle her and she will laugh thinking of the vagaries of these creatures.
4
Though she is a good matchmaker, she did not herself get wedded. Once she had associated somebody very close, it was a truck driver who went on driving trips taking cargos from a different state and she liked him. He also liked her she wanted to marry her but knew from some reliable sources that he is a big drunkard. Stephanie did not like drunkards. Because she remembers how her mother suffered because of her father who was a hard tippler. And an irresponsible man. But he bought her ‘vada” whenever he came from work, and she liked ‘vada’ very much, and it was from a good South Indian restaurant, and she ate four or five at a stretch because of its taste. Later she knew that too much consumption is not good for arteries, as it contained oil. This is made in coconut oil; boil the oil in a curved pan and you mix the flour in a good round, disc-like small configuration and put it in the boiling oil. You have to be very cautious lest the hot oil would splash and injure your body she liked this snack. And about his other habits, she was not otherwise happy with him, especially his treating his puerpera, and his card games and his friends who came to the house at odd hours to call him for the game of cards and they played for kale. Though the game with money was banned by law they gathered clandestinely in a house or shed or the enclave of the public amphitheater and played.So Stephanie did not like drunkards and she took a private oath that she will remain a spinster than mating such a sponge and destroy the calm of her life.

5

The maid was now moving in a fast space passing the fields and creeks and she was about to enter the marketplace and suddenly it poured. She was in a way flabberghasted by the swift invasion of drizzles and somehow managed to enter the front lobby of a textile shop. She had come to this place a few times, but not in the time of rain. what a glorious earth to receive sudden showers so that the brambles and trees and berries and the plants and shrubs will get water to keep them nourished. Moreover, the torrent when it pours down and hits the roof made a sound quite similar to the trumpets and she remembered her visit to the festival with her friend Kutty amma and she was crazy of bangles in that season. She had bangles of various colors, red, purplish and violet and golden and claret and black and she loved the splattering sound it made on her body. they were practically giggling all their way when she went to market and housework. that was only a few seasons. Later she became fed up with that. Now she wears bangles, only a few ones to decorate her hands in a minimal way.
Now as she was watching, the rain fell profoundly and many people struggled to enter the shop and in a short time, there was a big crowd at the entrance. The shopkeeper, in fact, did not like this, still, he did not tell anything, and he showed the irritable grimace on his face. After all, these are not the clients to purchase his goods, but characters, vulnerable and drifting in the rain, who hoped too much on the weather that it would not rain. This is the rainy season. Any time it will rain. Stephanie was not interested in the new changes, and she kept on gazing at the rainfall. Let it pour more heavily. Now the water in small puddles seeps into the spaces where she was standing. But it did not touch her. It was so close. it became vehement and it had a special music and coolness and a beauty that cannot be compared. Stephanie saw the heavens still expecting for further showers. It was visibly opaque and a small lightning sound was heard somewhere in the distance. Not near her. It was plumb far. It was goodly. The rain fell stupendously and she grooved on every drop of it.
….[From a work of FICTION in progress]