Changing colors

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

Submitted: June 04, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 04, 2016

A A A

A A A


Changing colors

This is another chapter from Reena and Aman’s life.

Months and years passed since the birth of their child Human in Reena and Aman’s life. Aman is now busier than ever and he travels almost 30 days a month.. mostly abroad. And Reena, having fed up of fighting with him for his time, has now found solace in a new found passion, that is, writing. She scribbles small stories and poems for her child—sometimes witty, sometimes informative and some other times pure brainless stuff.

Human is in 3rd standard now. He is a brilliant child beautifully brought up and always well behaved. Everyone says his IQ level is way too high for an 8 year old kid. He has a strong interest in the universe and nature and keeps asking Reena questions about the sky, the moon, sun, stars, butterflies, animals, flowers and the list is endless. His questions are like:

Why the sun goes away at night?

Why the moon changes it shape?

Why roses in our garden smell good and why bougainvillea flowers don’t?

Why can’t we touch the stars?

What does ....?

Why does..…?

How does …? so on and so forth.

 Reena, being with him all the time, is supposed to give satisfying answers to his never-ending questions, but never once feels angry that he asks sooo many questions.

One evening Reena was sitting with Human in their lawn when he saw a bunch of butterflies hopping from flower to flower. He inquired.

“Mamma, why butterflies have nice designs on them?”

Reena thought for a few minutes weaving the answer in her mind and said -

“Because the God wanted to bring a big smile on the face of children like you who love butterflies. So he  decided to give bright and different colors and different designs to butterflies. When they are hungry, they hop from flower to flower because their food is the honey produced by flowers. And you know butterflies are the biggest wonder on earth. Because they transform from a caterpillar (pointing towards a worm - caterpillar looks like this) to a beautiful butterfly and that is amazing. You love butterflies, so you should also turn into beautiful person when you grow up spreading smile and happiness to the people around you”- Reena said with a smile.

Human looked satisfied with this answer and jumped on to his mother’s lap. Reena kissed him on the cheek.

While sitting there with him Reena slipped into her world of thoughts--Aman has no time for his wife and child! Why does he travel so much? His business is everything for him??? If it is, then why did he invite me to his life and why did we bring this child into this world? He loves us to death, no doubt, but this is not fair to me and esp. Human because he wants to go out with his dad, wants his dad to drop him school, and wants to play with his dad….poor child. I am trying my best to make up for all that by  ____

Just then her next door neighbor called out her name and the chain of her thoughts broke.

 She got up to see who it was. It was Madhavi aunty at the gate, her nosy neighbor who all the time gossips about anyone and everyone. Reena doesn’t like to talk nor hear about others behind their back, but what to do! You cannot make neighbors your enemies! So she silently listens to her nosy neighbor.

“Oh! Hi Aunty! Come on in. You have been away, or what? Have not seen you for long.”

Reena, how are you?  My daughter delivered a baby girl two weeks before and I was at her place with her. It’s a beautiful child, you know, like you, baby”. She said fondly pulling Human’s cheek and placing a box of ‘Jalebi’ in his little hands.  

“ Oh, Congrats! Just a minute, aunty” – Reena said and looking at Human she said - “Human, you go and ride your bicycle around the house and may be upto Kiran’s house. But don’t go so far. Call Kiran also to play with you, ok? Before that keep this Jalebi box on the dining table and eat some if you want and share with Kiran also when he comes.” (Kiran is Human’s friend and lives in a nearby apartment. They are both in the same class in the school.)

Human nodded and ran inside obeying his mother’s instructions and then ran out to call Kiran. Human is like his dad. Both of them do not like sweetmeat stuff. An ice cream or a chocolate bar is fine. But not sweetmeats.

She turned to Madhavi aunty who by then started to tell her about Vanita who is getting a divorce from her husband for cheating on her with his secretary.

“You know Reena, he and his secretary travel together for business trips, and situation is such that it is easy for such things to happen. What will happen if you keep a matchstick and fire together? That Sasi is a fraud. What was his public display of affection towards Vanita! As if he was the only husband in the world. And vanita believed him blindly until she found out his secretary’s undergarment from his suitcase! Can you believe it. How cheap! As they say, you cannot make fools everyone everyday and every thief will be caught one day! Poor Vanita! But her life is secured financially, you know, she is claiming a bomb as alimony” – Madhavi aunty went on.

Reena was not listening to her. Her thought was completely channelized towards Aman, whether he hasa secretary and whether he travels with his secretary or not. Her mind became restless.

“Acha, Reena, I better go now. Aman is still not back? It is almost a month, no?”

“huh, what.. aunty?”, she came to her senses. “err.. Ya, ya, he is coming tomorrow”. Ok aunty, see you later then”.

Madhavi aunty left and Reena went inside her house. Her mind was now a battle field battling her own thoughts. She doesn’t interfere in his work, nor asks any questions, nor does he say anything about his work. He compartmentalizes his professional and personal lives and he never mixes both.

Aman travels quite a lot and I must know his travel plans and itinerary in detail. Next time I will ask. He travels alone or someone accompanies him?  Does he have a secretary? Secretaries are normally females…. God, am I being insecure? Am I jealous? No, no, no..it is not insecurity or jealousy.. its just the fear of losing him. He is my precious possession…I cannot lose him..- she was talking to herself.

She checked Aman’s whats app ‘last seen’. He was Online. He is soo busy, but he has time to be on whatsapp? - she thought.

She sent a message – Aman, what time will you call me?

He went offline. Her face fell. She waited for his reply, but he didn’t respond. She was very upset and her mind dozed off to wander away in the thick forest of unproductive thoughts.

“Mamma”, I am hungry!” – Human’s voice woke her up.

She looked at the clock. “Oh! 7:30 pm” – she exclaimed. They make sure they eat dinner early between 7 to 7:30 pm. They believe in healthy eating both in terms of food as well as eating time.

“Sorry, my little sugar. Go, wash your hands and come”.

Reena fed him . But she didn’t feel like eating. There was lot of noise in her head. She checked the phone again. Aman’s whats app last seen is just a minute ago. But still he didn’t respond to me.

Next morning was a Sunday. Aman would come around 10 am. Reena didn’t have the usual over enthusiasm this time, but Human was ecstatic as usual.

Its 10:30 am. And a taxi at the gate. Its Aman. Human was looking out from the window since 8:30 am for his papa. He ran out at the sight of the taxi and clung to him. Aman carried him in his arms and walked in giving instructions to his domestic help for the luggage.

“Oh my little sugar. Papa missed you a lot.  And where is mamma?” - He asked human looking around for Reena in the living room.

“Mammaaaaa….” he called out and in the same breath asked Aman – “how long will you be home, papa. You will go away again soon? I miss you a lot. Mamma also misses you.”

Aman felt guilty of not spending enough time with him.

Reena came with a glass of water.

“So, Ree,whats up?

“Say, WHATS APP, Aman”- she said tauntingly.

Aman sensed something amiss.

He said to Human - “Papa is not going anywhere anytime soon, because he wants to be with his little sugar. Don’t you want to see what all I have brought for you. Ask Raghu kaka to open the blue bag for you”.

Human slid down from his lap and ran towards the portico. After Human has gone, he turned to Reena. They would not argue or quarrel in front of their child. That’s a rule.

“What happened, Ree” – Aman asked. She didn’t respond. “Ok, let me change my clothes and come. And then you tell me the reason why you are upset” -  he went into their bedroom.

And when he came out, Reena was making coffee for him. He prodded again – “tell me what happened?

“You don’t have time for us, Aman. And if you don’t have time for us, me and human will go to Chennai and live there with my Parents. I w’apped you yesterday, but you didn’t even reply even when you were on w’app many times after my message. I was checking on you”. – Reena said with a frown.

 “Oh, Na, don’t be silly. What nonsense is this. Why should I wapp you. I would rather call you and hear your heavenly voice when I can and when I am not surrounded by people. I go for work, not anything else. And I don’t do chatting-vatting, ok. And don’t you dare doubt my character”-  He was irritated.

Reena didn’t budge - “And who all travels with you? why do you travel so much? Do you have a secretary in the office? “ - the questions went on…

“Oh come on, Ree. Are you suspicious? Whats wrong with you. Don’t do this to us. Yes I have a secretary. Whats the problem. Sometimes if most necessary, I take the secretary with me. But most of the time I travel alone”.

Reena’s face turned red. She was boiling hot on the inside and outside like the coffee she was pouring into a cup for Aman.

The clock struck 12. It was noon. Aman was watching a cartoon movie with Human inside. Reena was sitting in the living room fiddling with her mobile, restless and still boiling inside. A few minutes later, Raghu Kaka came in to say there is a visitor from office. She asked to let the person in.

An old man in his late fifties came in with some papers.

“Hello, mam. Myself Anthony. Aman sir’s secretary. Am travelling tonight with these papers and need his sign on them”- he said.

Reena’s eyes widened in surprise and she heaved a sigh of relief-- “Aahhh!”

“Aman darlingggg….my sugarrrr… look who is______” - she called him out.

A thunder storm is over? May be, until it happens again? But one thing is clear -- Only Reena can give a chameleon a run for its money - you bet!

 


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