Companion

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic


A widow mother of 2 daughters living abroad happens to like a matured, understanding single man.

Submitted: September 11, 2018

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Submitted: September 11, 2018

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"kousalya supraja Raama poorva.." Renuka turned off her alarm and checked for the time, it was 5.30 am IST, she checked the wall clock for ET ,NY , it showed 7.30pm, she sprung from bed, looked around for her headset and opened skype, dialed in shylu's number, she attended the call, " ma, good morning, can u give me 1 hr ma,Iam jus out of Indian store, will reach home and call you?," Renuka asked : " How is shruthi kutty, is her fever down? ,Icould not sleep well all night, jus after 3Islept " Shylu loaded her truck boot with groceries and vegies , gave the phone to shruthi , Renuka exclaimed and asked" shruthi kutty, how are you now" shruthi answered "Iam good Granny, u did not go for walk? , I will go home and show u my new paintings" shylu pulled back the phone and said : " ma, she is fine, jus normal flu, this weekIhave ped appointments will take her, now goanna drive will call u by your 8 ma" . Renuka bid a bye and walked to kitchen, she turned on the kettle, and took out her coffee filter, tapped some powder added the hot whater and whent for her routines, her usaul salwar were left to wash, she took her walking shoes and socks, changed to a normal cotton saree and put on her shoes, she found it very odd and laughed to herself, everyone in the park is going to laugh at me, she took her thyroid pills, locked the door and put her headsets on and began to walk to united colony's park , Mylapore. Jose mathew, walked ahead a bit faster and wished her, " morning.., thoughtIwas late " panting.. he stood with a white sports tees, a sweat shorts, tennis shoes and his cleanly combed thick dark hair, and bushy mush. He was fair and had very good healthy physic , Renuka found it too odd to walk in saree n shoes beside him. They finished 3 rounds of walk and sat in their usual bench, Joe asked : " so, madam u spoke to Shruthi, she is all good?Isee some smile today" Renuka smiled and said : " hmmm, its been a year since I met shruthi, this august Iexpect them to be here for a week then go to Coimbatore, this time shylu wants to plan it along with Swetha, Swetha needs her leaves to get approved" Joe listened her without interrupting , once she finished Joesaid : "This time,Ireally want to meet all of them too" Renuka n Joe had their green juice in usual shop where Joe gets his Malayalam new edition and walked back. In the street that divides, they stood for a minute and Joe said : " next weekIam going to Cochin, my maman is unwell will visit him and be here by 10th " Renuka said : " hmmm, better that u bring him here" and walked a front and got jasmine flower strand and got back home. She kept those flowers before madhavan's potrait and stood for a minute lost. Renuka checked ET time, she had half an hour to get the call from shruthi kutty, she whent for a bath, prepared her filter coffee, sat with it in the couch, the living room had a beautiful portrait of shruthi in her Bharatanatyam attire, Renuka saw herself in it , Shruthi was a photocopy of her, Renuka got back the glimpse of her dance attrite on her, those bright red bindhi and thick kajal which she always loved, she touched her empty forehead and gave a grin looking at Madhavan's half wall potrait. Her phone gave a ring, she did nott see who it, put on the headsets in hurry, realised the phone was Arizona number, it is Swetha, " ma, u finished Your walk? , coffee? , hmmm am missing it so much much” Renuka said : "did you have your did notner da, its too late y are u awake"? Swetha replid : " ma,I have my project review tomorrow, ma plz go to Parthasarathi temple and do a pooja for me ma , plz,Ireally need this to go well" Renuka said : " hmmm sure,Ihave my classes till 7 pm, will somehow make it, did shylu speak to u?" Swetha : " no ma,Icut her call thrice,Istill could not tell her a decision on this August plan, will speak about it later" Renuka said : "ok , then u sleep soon, talk to me when u have time, say my hi to jen" Renuka looked at shruthi on wallpaper and thought , may beIshould talk to Arvind on it. he is more like my son than a son in law, may be he will understand, it jus 1 year for them to return for good, why can't they leave shruthi with me till then?Ican pretty well take care of her, not sure if Aravind will be ok for it, his parents is here as well. need to think on it, may bIcan discuss with Jose too. Renuka sent out the group sms to all student's parents that today's dance class will be between 4pm to 5pm only.she planned for the temple visit. she sent out an whatsapp to Jose, today evening lets go to temple . without a delay she recieved an yes. shylu did not call , may be shruthi slept a little early, two more months to see them all. everyday is a countdown. she took her old cd of her dance and played it, she paused and looked at her closer on TV, may beIwas beautiful , big eyes, think lips, sharp nose, long eyebrows , hmmm yeah, thats why Madhavan liked me, isint not sir? she spoke at the portrait and grinned to herself. she played the cd and continued to watch, her whatsapp msg came up from Jose, Renuka, this time whenIam at Cochinn,Iwill be telling my family about us. but you did nott tell me a thing still.. Renuka said : "may be this time I will come with u to Cochin?, is that fine?" shocked at the same time, very happy ! Jose said : " sure,Iwill book tickets for u too by 2 rd evening wewill start " Renuka said : "an yes, cut the call and sat, brushing her memories, how did this Jose andImeet? how did we begin to speak.... ? “ It was around 10am in bharath laboratory , mandaveli, Renuka was sitting in the patient's waiting lobby, all of a sudden everything whent dark and she slided down from the chair, after sometime , certainly not sure if it was hoyours or minutes or even days, she woke up in a near by nyoursing home, where beside her a tall, fair, thick hair n mush man was holdid notg her handbag was standid notg, wwagely he remembered his face, sitting next to her in diagnosis lab, he came forward and said, "mam,Iwas sitting next to you, and u fainted down,Ihave seen u few times in the park,Iknow where u reside, adhe,Icame forward to help u" Renuka got back to concious and said : " oh god,Icame for my regular, thyroid and diabetes test, thoughtIll give fasting blood sample then have my breakfast, was so hungry and don remember what happened" Jose said" ohh.. no problem mam, your sugar levels whent too low and your bp as well, thy gave you saline and asked : "u to have this juice once u r awake" Renuka was constantly looking at her handbag and Jose said : "sorry and gave her back, in an instinct she opened to check her belongings, Jose laughed and said : " mam iI am not kallan, Ipaid the bills here as well " Renuka hit her head and smiled at him like a child “ she got up from couch and smiling, its been 2 years since I know him, both sswetha nd shylu knew him over phone, this time atleast thy all should meet. Renuka went to wadrobe, picked nice ivory and white base cotton sarees and packed , iits been 20 years since I visited kerala ,she thought to herself. The very beginning of the married life in her 18 , her life began in kollam where Madhavan was given military quartress. The green flashes of Kerala and her early life whent back n forth , she happened to see her wedding saree in the wardrobe. she kept on her shoulders and looked at the mirror .it was only 5 years that it lasted, for which all these were spent on so lavishly, in 80s it costed them 5 lakhs for their wedding in Madras. I am not sure what this 5 years gave me, but it took off a lot from me.. she sat alone, left only with tv .. mobile . music system . and loneliness. Renuka packed her baggage for her Cochinn trip. she turned on Tv for her usal soaps and began her simplest cooking for her, broken wheat cooked with veggies and a glass of butter milk. She thought about her Cochin trip every now n then, told to herself , its llike a school trip for me, off from responsibilities, and nowIdon have anyone to ask permission too , may be I should keep Shylu and Swetha informed on it. let me see. she had her lunch , .checked on her whatsapp, Jose had his status messages on a beautiful quote on love and relationship, she smiled to herself, hmm I thought, it is only me who uses Facebook and whatsapp a lot in the age of 45 but Jose is much more than me , and why this Jose is teaching world on love and relationship when he could not win one ? she turned on her FM and napped a while on the couch. it was 4PM by then and heard her calling bell ring. Janani and 3 of her batchmates were there for their dance class. Renuka got into her classical mode of teaching and began her classes, before kids leave, its her habbit to serve them all a glass of badam milk , she loves seeing them happily gulp it, every girl child's face brougjt her shruthi . she whent to Parthasarathi temple as planned, while she came around the praharam, Jose was standid notg in a neat bright n white dothi and a your kadhi shirt, he said : "a boo , and Renuka laughed out, quickly realised iits temple, either we sit n speak or walk out. He made a place for her on the floor leaning on a pillar. Jose said : " its raining in Cochin, we may miss a beautiful boating experience,Ialways wanted to take u thr" Renuka said : hmmm, when I was 18 years I was in Kerala, till I turned 22 we were there, then 1 yr in training academy conoor" Jose was silently admiring her , when she speaks her flash back she aapears extra calm n composed, Renuka turned and asked : " and Jose,I will share the expense for train and stay " Jose laughed and said : " stay? u going to pay me? , haaan okok yeah,Iam bankrupted and soIlend my own house for guest and make money " he smiled and pretend like begging,Renuka could not stop her laugh and said : " Jose,Ilose 20 years whenItalk to u, how come u r so playful n energetic, and come on don tell me its because u r single" Jose laughed and said : "its because I am like this,Iam ingle, will this be fine?:) " They laughed together and walked out of temple, where Renuka saw her neighboyours and she could certainly visualise and hear their mind voices on seeingg them together. Jose noticed her expressions change, he asked : "Renuka " are u cconcerened on what they would talk on seeing u n me together? " she said : " no Jose, they are Neighbours, nothing more thats all.I have never taken them for enemies, their kids learn dance from me, but for some reason they don get along with me,I certainly dont know why" Jose smiled an said : " jealous, yes they are jealous about you, an independent mom, indeed a proud mom of two beautiful well educated daughters , you brought up them so well without any support that " she smiled and said : " Jose, u see everything positive !, thats the reason I stand beside u :) " he smiled and said : " naah,I told positive about u , about them I Still stand negative" she interrupted and said : " forget it, tell me what all have you planned for this trip" he said : " a lots,I want u to meet my mama, two important people there, my ammachi's sister and Sheela" Renuka was hearing this name for the first time , she wanted to ask who is that at the same time she knows, Jose is very good at readid notg her face, he might take it different or something , she kept the question with her Jose came in front of her and blocked her way, keeping his hands on his hip said : ", now u should ask me who is Sheela, y did nott u? Renuka madam? she smiled as tho she was caught readid notg her mind. He iinterupped before she opened up abd said : " hmmm Sheela...., my dream girl, semeen Sheela alle, she is much prettier than her" and he laughed. Renuka did not kniw how to react , she fumbled, stammered and said : ", ohh.. great to know,I mean, happy to know you are ,no more single. Jose folded his hands , kept smiling still reading her. she asked : " Jose, should I really come?!" he stared at her and said : " pinne,Ihave arranged 50 elephants from Guruvayyour for welcome parade, wont it b wasted?" she smiled and they reached the junction where they usally part, she bid a bye and opened her home, unusually she felt something weighin so heavy sitting on her throat, she felt so empty, dark , she instantly turned on all rhe lights , still she felt the home dark. It is not dark outside Renu, its dark in u , she said to herself, she went near madhavan's potrait, she began to speak " madhu, wen i fell in love with u , I was too young to begin a life, now I am too old to begin any? , I seriously don understand wat is this madhu, I did love u so truely, deeply, fell for ur hair, smile ,care wat not, I thought noone else will ever replace u, now wat is this happening to me? , Iam liking this jose, i wish he is near me, i cook and give he says it is nice, tasty, i sit and warch tv discussing with him , i wish someone tell me this saree is nice on me, guide me wen i want to learn something , am i wrong? should i ask anyone? , my parents ur parents noone beside me now, they did this marriage for us and for their pride they kept it so massive, wats the use? , not even my brother stood beside me, i came across everything possible, u know how it feels having 2 grl children alone and bringing them up, still i havent given swetha married, should i handle everything all alone always? , obviously not ur mistake, not mine either, but will correcting it become a mistake?, i seriously don remember wat jose wore today , i mean , nothing nothing physical i expect or i need, i need a companion Madhu, i even thought abt having Shruthi with me, but wat if aravind tells a no? ,i will b hurt more, maadhu.. i need someone beside, tat someone can be jose.. " she forgot shez talking all alone, she began to cry too.. loud.Till her mobile rang up she never realised she is weeping alone , it was usual skype calls from shylu and swetha. The bext 2 days went quite normal with her routines, she never questioned on sheela , still met him at park both the days. Chennai to Ernakulam train at 7.45 pm, his watsapp reminder !! , she packed his favourite idly with tomato thokku and took warm milk in flask too . They boarded the train, it was 2 tire ac , side berth. They spoje for a whole till TT checked their tickets, she gave her disposal boxes of dinner , he loved having it. my smallest contribution to this trip she said, serving him a cup of warm milk tat she brought. he said :” Bijju my uncle's son will pick up us from Ernakulam, we go by car to cochi. Renu asked on his uncle n bijju, she remembered his uncle wasn't married as well. He said, bijju came to work in my uncle's farm wen he was 10 yrs old.my uncle gave him food, shelter and education too. now he is looking for a bride for him and tats wen he fell sick, i may hv to continue tat, of which iam very bad at, he said and laughed loud “ everyone turned to them , but renu din see anyone giving different looks, obviously they thought they are couple. May be . They had a pleasant sleep in train, reached Ernakulam at 6.30am, Bijju picked them as planned, took them to cochi. The house was very authentic very well furnished, it had a jackfruit tree, could not actually count on the coconut trees, it must have been built in 60s , she was astonished with the beautiful interiors.Jose showed the potraits of his parents and took her to a room. he said, ur breakfast will be served on half an hr, vasu yetta will take care, he showed hands to his cook. feel home, get ready, w will visit sheela, she is half and hour from here. All dressed up, awesome breakfast was served, it had puttu and kadala curry, kappa sauted, half bananna, elai adai. vegetable stew and paalapam.she was full to the max , she changed thrice among the 5 sarees she brought. she wanted to look better.Bijju came on time, they moved on the roads between a green, they reached a town like place, took ups n downs and got down in yet another authentic house. A woman of late 40s opened up the door. She was wearing a night dress lose and short. she was very weak, sharp featyoures very beautiful face, to renu's suprise she was completely shaved , Jose spoke to her " hey, why are you opening the door, noone around?" before Jose completed a girl in her early 20s ran and came and held Sheela from her back.

The girl said : "I was at kitchen, chechi came and opened the door beforeIdid " , she invited us in, and made Sheela sit comfortably , she placed a cushion at her back, adjusted her night dress, also gave a cushion to keep on Sheela's laps. Jose's face whent pale and dull, Sheela looked at Jose, they both conversed a lot over eyes, which renu could not follow .Sheela spoke in her low voice" meenumole, get them tea with less sugar for Jose" meenu went in. Sheela waa sitting head down , tears rolled down. Renu thought they would need some time alone, she stood up and whent near the show case saw tbe frames pictures there. Sheela had , 2 sons of age 18 and 20 , they must be studying ifIam wrong thought ro herself. Sheela's weddid notg potrait showed who her husband was. yes, was. she immediately saw the portrait of sSheela's hubby with born n expired dates, hardly he could have been 35 years when he passed away. Renu almost saw herself in Sheela. Sheela and Jose were talking, renu was confused, should she join or stay few feet away?, meenu walked in with tea and biscuits. meenu called renu and served the tea together . mmeenu brought a thin soup for Sheela and helped her have it. They finished their tea, jJose took out his cheque book, signatured it blank and opened Sheela's palm and pressed it. she did not allow Sheela speak any. Jose to Sheela "Iknow you will tell a no again to me, but plz,Iam not insisting u to use it for u, if u don want to use it for u plz use it for your sons. plz. " Sheela still remained with tears. meenu collected the cheque and placed in the bible nd kept it in front of the big display of the Christ. Jose stood up, he did not look at Sheela, he said : ", " plz take your medicines, ask me any help you need" andvwalked out. Bijju waited out and he started the car seeing them. For next 20 mins the car was all silent. Jose asked : "Bijju to stop the car, he called renu out. It was a cocunut farm they stood in the little shade. Bijju was still in the car. At a distance of 500mts, people were counting the cocunuts and loadid notg to sacks and sacks were moved to small trucks. Jose tuned to Renu, this farm is mine. 10 such farms are here in Cochin for me. we also do chemeen exports from here.Iown a lot in this land. A lot that my parents earned, left it to me andIexpanded , grew it a lot, made a lot of properties. The house that we are staying now, is whatImentioned to you and still waiting for an yes from you, to change it to your name.Igave off everything to my father's brothers in a dispute, but this house means a lot to me. It has my parents breathe in it.Iwant it to be inherited by someone.Ithought you should. thats yIwanted u to take it. All the money earn , more than what I need, my closest family needs which my uncle and Bijju,Igive it off to the Marudham trust. It is run by me.It is through this teust,Icame to know about my Sheela again. “Sheela and I were college mates, we studied in Trivandrum, we met in a bus. we fell for each other in a very short span. The college called us as love birds. All the 3 years we were inseparable. Her parents came to know about this, my parents too. But my family was ready to get us married, but , but.. her family was completely against this, it was because we had a lot of money " he stopped and laughed, still wept. He continued " it was believed that lower middle class will not be treated well by business class people,Idon know tge logic of it, but they kept telling the same again n again, they locked up Sheela,Iwhent with friends, fought like a rowdy ,Iwas in police sthation for few days too. They thrashed me down., within a week's time Icame to know Sheela was married to another guy,Iwas broken completely,I was helpless, still tried approaching her, from her mouthIheard , plz get lost Jose !! , thats when I got lost , he smiled.,Imoved to Chennai after my parents passed away,Imanaged all business with my managers, thid trust is believed to be run by my manager, many don know thatIrun it. thats how Sheela's son has approached us, with all medical records of hers, she is in stage4 of malignancy, in simple terms cancer, she underwhent a lot, their family isint much wealthy, they decided to stop the treatment if there is no fund, my manager sent me all the background verifications, and thats yIcame here to see her in person , still she hesithates to see me. thats absolutely fine.Ineed to do this, else my guilt would kill me,Ihad a word with senior oncologist in Trivandrum and even in Chennai, reports are giving very less hopes. So I decided to meet her, may be one final time. " Jose finished and looked at renu, she was completely dubmstruck. Jose said : " hey, renu its ok, u don have to be upset, its over , we will visit Sheela one more time before we leave if possible, ok fine, did shylu Swetha call u? " Renu stood unspoken .Jose shook her shoulders " Renuka, come back to world, did they call u? or did u call them?" Renu stammered , fumbled and replied " could not reach them, may be its n roaming ISd and internet isint working, will talk later" They walked back to car. From there, they visited Jose's uncle in hospital, his uncle insisted jJose to finalize an bride for Bijju, he also asked : "on Renu's acceptance for property inheritance. Renu still could not say an yes for it.she smiled and remained quite. For lunch they returned home. Vasu yeta sseved them , the best ever kerala feast which had, rice, thoran, olan, papadam, 2 payasam, mix veggies sambhar, moore kuzhambhu and avial. Renu asked for mmatta rice and she enjoyed the food, Jose spoke " hmmm, suprised that u like mmatta rice, not everyone from tamilnadu prefers, usuallyIdon eat without fish curry, vvasu yetta is best at it,Iam sacrifing it for u " she smiled and said : "to vasuyetta " when u r done with yoyour work, plz teach me how u prepare it" jJose gave a smile on suprise and did nott question why. evening they visited beach, few other friends and relatives, 3 more days whent by, renu almost became very foodie. she loved the green and whater together. The house had contemporary furnitures and wood works all over, it was certainly irresistable to possess, still without a commitment she doesn want to take it. They did not visit Sheela again, jJose somehow did nott want to. On the fourth day , They boarded the mid noon train to Chennai. It was a calm 3 tire ac , They sat oppisites , Jose asked : "her so renu how did u like this trip? this place? ,Idon prefer coming here by flight,Ilove this ecstacy of, waiting to reach hometown, flight finishes it soon , so as my retyourn to Chennai,Ilike to recall all the moments sitting in train , ok tell me how did u feel?" Renu smiled and said, after so many daysIam out from home, the last trip was to Newyork an year back.Ifound some good n fresh air, awesome food n people. what not ? " Jose continued " Renu, canIknow y u never thought about getting married again? , u r such a strong women, obviously u don need a male for a support, but u could have right? " Renu looked deep into his eyes and asked : "so as u Jose, u did not prefer marrying once right? " Jose laughed loud and said : " after Sheela, my family did look out for lot of brides,Ialways felt the matches were made only with financial balances, something wasnt thr,Idon know it " Renu said : "mine was different,Ihad 2 daughters, trust on anyone was less,Idid not need one,Idid not prefer one" Jose got down in nearby sthation and got her pazhampori , Renu enjoyed it. she said : "Iwas very fond of it,Iam having it after many years" . Jose asked : "Renu " Did u speak to shylu n Swetha? ,Idid nott see u speak much to them in all the 4 days " she said : "Icould not skype,Istill spoke to them, on n off " They spoke on lot of topics, like kerala politics, cricket, laletta and mammukka clashes, his college stories, more of his days with Sheela. Renu said : " This trip means a lot now,I came to know Jose more than I could " he said : "Iam jus a transparent glass renu, but handled with care, u see" he said : "and laughed. something renu wanted to tell him, wanted to ask him but she did not prefer to. By early morning they reached central. Jose said, .I will drop u then go home. They reached renu's home. As soon as she got down from cab, she saw the light on at her home, initially she thought she forgot to tyourn off, but then saw the house unlocked. she began to shiver. she started fanting, jJose took her luggage and followed her. The main woodeb door was nit locked, she said : "let's call police, Jose replied, let's open and see first. He slowly pushed the door in. Shruthi came running from stairs and hugged her, renu was almost about to faint. Shylu, Aravind, Swetha everyone walked shouting suprise. Renu hugged them, wept , kissed, then asked : " hey, how did u make it like this? " shylu came to her shoulders hugged and said, "ma, we had it planned before a month, instead of August this year july we should come n suprise u, obviously the set of keys u gave as helped and this 4 days helped much, Jose sir knows it all " Jose held his ears and said : "sorry, they got a promise from me not to tell u" Swetha began to speak " ma, u know y we came when u r not here? , we had a work here to do. when u r not here, now u should jus say yes and get ready" renu said : " oh god what is this, what, where shouldIget ready, " Swetha said : " your Parthasarathi temple" renu said : " sure we should , all should but y so hyourry" shylu replied " because, we already delayed, delayed more than 20 years ma, it is oyour mistake, we shouldn't have left u alone, but llets not regret, lets go with it ma, u and Jose sir should be together, in the same house in the relationship named husband n wife , plz ma" Renu was dumbstruck and she looked at Jose " he came forward and said, Renu, neither of us can repair oyour lives, but it is ok to be with a companion and talk about it right? what say" He laughed out . Renu hugged shylu, and could not speak anything , Aravind spoke " aunty, after this wedding plz come with us for 6 months, later u may feel free to come back to Chennai or kerala whereever u feel ok to ,I already told about this to my parents nothing is wrong aunty" Renu felt her headspin, still she knows , its companionship that she needs and her daughters were able to understand it better than she could. Jose tied a knot, they exchanged rings too, Aravind took on legal registrations required , Jose took a break from his business They flew together to New York .


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