inside out

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 27, 2016

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Submitted: May 27, 2016

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Inside Out

It was a fine sunny Sunday morning. Reena was relaxed since she didn’t have to go to work on Sundays. She wriggled herself out of the cosy bed and made herself a big mug of coffee and looked out of the bedroom window sipping the hot nestle coffee and wondered at the marvel of nature—“how beautifully God has created the universe!” She said to herself. Golden yellow sunrays generously falling on the big plantain leaves in the backyard made them look like golden leaves; beautiful multicolored butterflies hopping from red roses to white roses and from jasmine flowers to sunflowers made the scene look heavenly and the beautiful sparrows hopped around the cherry plants pecking the fruits completed the scene. She was proud of her small backyard flowers cum vegetable garden and a smile of satisfaction appeared on her face as she took the last sip from the melamine cup looking at the dark orange tomatoes and green brinjals that were ready to pluck. She went into the garden and plucked some tomatoes and brinjal and beans and planned the lunch menu in the mind. She most certainly had everything that a human being would want in life.. a pretty cottage in a posh locale, a house maid, a well paid job, she herself was very pretty with a great figure… On the outside, one would think she is a most happiest, single, lucky person who had no pressures or responsibilities of running a family like others. But true to the saying things may not always be what they seem like, she was feeling empty in the heart… a sense of loneliness… a sense of disappointment.. a sense of failure.

 Just then the big bell outside the cottage rang. She always was fascinated by traditional equipments and simple ways of living which is evident in the house she lives that had clay-tiled roofs, huge black metal bell outside instead of inbuilt door bell, bare essential furniture, simple interior, earthen pot to keep drinking water cool instead of fridge bottles, earthen utensils for cooking, traditional mortar and pestle for grinding and making masalas in the kitchen, home grown organic vegetables, curry leaves, green chilies from her own garden while rice and dal would come from a nearby organic farm, she believed in eating healthy and staying fit. On the whole she was simple, yet exotic; open, yet a mystery!

She opened the door to find a middle aged bespectacled man smiling at her. She looked at him inquisitively. The man appeared to be a gentleman wearing blue denim and a white casual T shirt holding a big bag in his hand.

“Are you courier boy?” She enquired. “Give the parcel.”

With a sheepish smile he said.. “hey no no no. Myself Aman. I am your neighbor one house apart just moved in today for my job with a multinational company in this city. I must say you have a very pretty…”

Before letting him finish the sentence, she interrupted in a hoarse voice – “what have you come for?”

“Oh sorry, I just came to ask about a maid, he said. Could you send your maid to my house when she comes today for work? By the way I am alone and it will be great help to me if I get a good maid to do house hold chores including cooking.”

“Ok, I will tell my maid about you.” She said without letting go off the seriousness in her face and closed the door on him without even waiting him to say bye.

The man slowly departed and got out of the small gate. She just peeped out whether he was gone. She saw him looking back at her house with a grin and then a playful smile probably thinking how boorish his neighbor was!

That day when her maid came, she told her about the new single occupant in neighborhood looking for a house maid. The maid was happy to have got an extra source of income. She said, she will go and meet him and fix the time and payment. While brooming the floor, she also planned it out talking to herself; “since both of you are working people, I will first come here half hour before the usual time, around 7 am and then go to his house at 8 am and should be able to finish the cooking and cleaning work everything by 9:30 am”. And from the next day onwards she started going there for work, and would come and tell Reena about him like “ didi he is so rich; he has so many furniture in the house mostly glass items, in his kitchen he has all modern cooking vessels, dishes, glasses and other utensils along with triple door fridge and a huge dishwasher which he has not installed yet. I am seeing a dishwasher for the first time in my life and I opened it and saw, only to get surprised at the machinery. But he says he prefers hand washed dishes than those washed in a dishwasher, but has kept it to use in case of emergencies”.

Reena would half listen to the maid’s praises and ramblings about her new master.

A week passed. She never saw him during week days. Next Sunday arrived. As usual Reena stood at the bedroom window with her dose of hot coffee which she relishes on Sunday mornings and was breathing in the fresh air and aroma from her garden. The bell rang. She kept the coffee mug on the dining table and went and opened the front door to find her single neighbor again at her door in a track pants and T shirt with a small chit of paper in hand.

Her inquisitive look again asked him the purpose of his visit again.

He fumbled for words looking at her serious face and slowly words came out of his mouth –

“Err…thank you for arranging the maid and kept looking at the chit held in hand.  Errr could you give me the number of the plumber and electrician? I have err…some maintenance work to be done.”

She asked him to wait and got her mobile from which she gave him the numbers of plumber suresh and electrician sudhakar. He jotted it down in the chit he brought and stood there looking at her as if he wanted to ask something else also.

But before he could say anything, she banged the door on his face and went in.

This kept repeating Sunday after Sunday. He would come to her house with the same cheer on his face under the pretext of something or the other and as days passed, she began to look forward to his visit though she never loosened a bit in her approach of dealing with him. She was as serious and as boorish with him as always. Meetings of hardly two minutes span began to look exciting for reasons unknown to her even though there was not a single extra word that was personal from both sides.

Months passed and one Sunday Reena was sipping her coffee and waiting for the bell to ring.

The bell rang. It was Aman as expected. He came but this time only to say good bye to Reena as he had got a transfer to the headquarters in a metro city. He was all ready to go and his taxi was waiting outside. His face lacked the usual cheer. He was glum .

He said in a soft voice– “Goodbye Reena. Your maid told me your name. I am moving out. Luckily there are no shifting hassles as the house was fully furnished. I enjoyed my stay in this city. I liked everything about this locality” and he repeated the word “everything” and continued, “well, the maid has my number just in case you…”

Before letting him finish the sentence, keeping with the tradition, she banged the door on him and he slowly moved out and got into the car.

And she was stealthily watching him walk away. He looked back at her house many times probably wanting to see her face once again. His face said he was sad to go. While watching him go, tears rolled down her cheeks. And she didn’t know why!


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