A Fairy Tale


A fairy tale. 
“Atleast while cooking… be alert dear witch. Don’t know.. if a mad dog had bitten me 10 years back that i allowed Ajay to marry you ! Only God can save my family now. 10 years over.. you couldn’t give a child to our family. I had warned Ajay a million times not to go behind you. But all invain ! He was lost and mad in your love… a Christian girl’s love ! I guess you had done some black magic on him then.. Even now you do the same. My son sees nothing beyond you. He is blind folded by your love ! If you can’t give a descendant to take my family’s name further then atleast have some mercy not to bring your dirty face to me daily morning. Get out of the kitchen !” The mother in law screamed these ruthless lines while entering the kitchen. 
Before the silent tears start forming the wet lines on her cheek.. Ajay rushed inside the kitchen with “ Mom ! How many times i have told you to stop blaming her for everything. She is my wife mom.. Don’t insult her daily with your rude lines just because we couldn’t gift you a child yet ! Look mom.. am sorry. But its my heartfelt request to stop such harsh words. She can’t talk. But mom.. does that make you speak and cross the line everytime ? Please mom. Don’t do this. ”
His mom screamed back ,“ Yes yes yes… who am i to say ? You are bilnd in your wife’s love. i am the culprit, if i speak out the truth. A wife’s puppet.. Am leaving. Let her die in hell. ” She left the kitchen spreading the negative fumes all over as she does all the time in her routine life. 
After all the hard efforts.. he still failed to stop the tears roll silently from his wife’s eyes. He dragged her to his chest and hugged tightly. Allowed her to cry out her inner pain. This has become a regular morning scene since their marriage. His mom insults her for everything. Her inability to talk and her caste has been the prime reason for the non acceptance in Ajay’s family. But she faces all the torture with grace. Always flaunts a smile and bear all the pain silently. Ajay is her strength. His support and love has made her cross all the stress and blames of the society. 
10 years back when Ajay had gone down on his knees and had proposed her, she straight away slapped him back. Who would believe the topper of the batch was seriously proposing a dumb girl ! She thought Ajay was mocking at her inability like the rest of society does. But life had different plans. It started their beautiful love story like very much a fairy tale way and blessed a dumb girl with her dream prince charming.
After 10years of their marriage, She still struggles for acceptance in Ajay’s family. Ajay ‘s unconditional love has been the only reason she still bears all the pain silently. But the mock from people and Ajay’s family members has reached a different level since few years as god cursed her with a new tragedy of incapability to give Ajay the descendant of their family. 
Day by day.. months by months.. time rolled on.
Today is their 12th anniversary. The couple were ready to start the beautiful day with a pious visit to church and then to a temple. No wishes from families.. no smiles around.. lusterless faces everywhere.. Among all these joyless surroundings, she gave a paper slip to her husband. With a glance of surprise when Ajay unfolded the paper, it read “ Honey… You are going to be a dad soon ! Am pregnant ” A moment came he was unable to balance himself to the floor.. He leaned to the wall.. Tears rolled… Shivering lips started the unheard songs… Silent waves started the melodies around.. He lifted her chin and asked ,“ Sweetheart..! You are not joking.. right?”She smiled and her teary eyes spoke the rest. He shouted like a mad person, “ Am going to become a Dad !!!! ” The loud tears were screaming out the long hidden million pains.. His family came running. Suddenly the heartless people started huming the congratulation notes ! Her mom in law flashed a line of smile after a decade. Putting an acceptance hand on her head the long awaited words came from the mom in law’s mouth ,“ Am happy. Both of you visist the temple soon and pray for my grand child’s arrival in a healthy way !” The wife’s innocent smiles were giving Ajay the feel of satisfaction he longed to see on her face from the time of their marriage. Euphoric mind of a would be Dad knew no boundaries where to limit the joy ! Passing through the endless smiling echos.. the couple left for the prayers. 
Time went by. Ajay has become more responsible these days. Comes from office early. Daily a gift for the wife to pass a bunch of happiness to the little life inside. Sit here.. Walk slow.. Eat these… Don’t climb the stairs.. Stay out of kitchen.. Did you take the tablets.. Why you didn’t have the fruits.. And zillions more such possesive words had become Ajay’s routine lines for the pampered wife. He has always been a caring husband. But the new responsible side was an adventure view for his wife yet to explore. He thanks the All mighty in every of his prayers for all the happiness he has showered on his family.
8 months over.
The wait was approaching the climax. The couple’s joy and excitement was painting their life with tiny colours. The shining rays of happiness had removed all the black clouds from their life.
Night 2 am.

Ajay got up with a shock by a screaming voice. It took him one minute to believe that her wife is lying on the bathroom’s floor. Her helpless eyes were calling Ajay to save their child. She was trying to lift her hands and call Ajay.. Her eyes rolled up and she lost her sense. Ajay was still on the bed. He was seeing her lusterless wet eyes and shivering body to realize what is happening in real. He was stunned. He was unable to gather the guts to run near his wife and lift her up. He got up from the bed… walked slowly to the bathroom. Sat on the floor. Took her head in his hand and asked ,“ Honey… honey… listen. ” galloped saliva in his dry mouth and continued, “ Honey… listen. tel me what happened… honey tel me what happened” shook her head and shouted , “Honey… Open your mouth and speak. What happened !”

A rude cry came from his mother ,“ What the dumb lady will speak ? She has slipped on the floor. What wil happen to my grand child now !! God save us ! ”
Ajay was dumb struck. The ambulance siren and the blue light on the van was appearing to him as if he is falling to hell. He sat inside the van with his wife’s head on his lap. He was unaware of what’s going on in his life. When the ambulance van once jerked on a road hump.. she screamed in pain,“ Godddd ! Save my child ”. Ajay looked at her silently for a while… and bursted out, “ Godddddddddddd …… goddd….. goddd !” 
The van reached the hospital. The nurses rushed near the van. Ajay made his wife lie on the stretcher. The nurses rushed to the operation theatre. Ajay kept running behind the stretcher like a mad person. His tears are breaking all the boundaries. He was in his vest and trousers. His white vest is now red. He is screaming some meaningless words looking at the roof. They took his wife inside the operation theatre. He fell down on his knees and kept striking his head to the wall.
She has come back to her sense. Her eyes are awaiting the unexplained fear and ears are listening his husband’s scream from outside. Her heart is screaming to run out and hug her love and say ,“ Honey. Don’t cry… ”
30 minutes passed. The doctor came out and asked ,“ Who is patient’s husband ? ” Ajay was murmuring some scoldings to god with his closed eyes. He ran to the doctor and said,“ Am her husband doctor ! What happened to them. How are they… Everything wil be fine? doctor..? Doctor… doctor. take me inside! ”  
The doctor calmed him down and sat with him on the bench. Gave him a glass of water and said ,“ See Mr. Ajay. Situation is very critical. To be frank.. i can save either the mother or the baby. You decide and tel me the way soon. Time is too less”
She was able to listen the conversation from inside. Her heart was pounding and skipping some beats. She was touching her baby bump and consoling silently ,“ i won’t let anything happen to you my baby ! I am there to protect you ”
Ajay lost all his hopes. Wiped off his tears. Looked at his mother. Life had stopped for him. Fate had played the cruelest game with him. He made himself sable. 
He got up from the chair. Took all his strength and ended the conversation with ,“Doctor ! Save my baby. ” 
His mom came runningly and hugged him as if he has taken the best decision of his life. Doctor made him sign the paper and left to the OT.
A minute later.. Ajay got up from the chair as if he got a lightning shock. Doctor was about to close the operation theatre door, Ajay ran like a mad to him and said ,“Doctor! Did you understand what i said ?” he continued ,“ At any cost you have to save my baby ! I meant Mrs. Baby Fernandez. My wife. ”
The doctor nodded with a smile and closed the door.
    – Dr. Rajkumar Patra

            21/04/2017.

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The Paper Chit


The paper chit 

Newly wedded. Yesterday she entered the new house with the sprinkle of colours and flowers with her love Avinash. New house.. new people.. new crowds.. new parents.. and a new life to step in. Fear filled excitement, a new feeling she is yet to explore.
Overcrowded surrounding, Non agreeable in laws and never ending rituals have somehow made Aditi already to miss her home which she had bought and gifted her parents. Aditi’s parents have only one motto in life, to give world’s every happiness to their only daughter Aditi. She is their world. The only world. From LKG to Medical.. her every little wish was fulfilled before they had even appered in her lips. The day Avinash said “your parents are my responsibility” was the moment she surrendered her life in his hands and agreed to tie the knot to her 6 year’s love as she knew it clearly that he would take care of her parents more than she could ever do.
Avinash.. a gentle man. only son of his parents. Man of words and a doctor as well. He supported aditi in every moment of her life irrespective of all the odds that his parents had created raising the caste and status issues before their marriage. A billionaire’s stubborn son and a teacher’s simple daughter and their humming warm love story.
Since yesterday she is inside her red veil. Heavy jewelries. 15 kgs red saree. Twenty people are always around. Every hour there is a new ritual ! The suffocating atmosphere and knee length veil has forced aditi to check her own pulse a couple of times to know if she is still alive ! 2 days are down. it seemed as if the rituals wil take 200 more years to finish… The hazy red scenery of the surrounding people through the red veil was the only view she has been seeing for the last 30 hours with her empty starving stomach. Not eaten since more than a day. Nobody even asked once if she is hungry. Same situation for Avinash as well. He is too starving and veiled with the customs and rituals. His helpless face and dull smile from far were the only diving strength Aditi was stil sitting with a smile and trying to cope with all these unwanted, unpleasant and unpredictable situations.
But now the hunger has started to poke her patience. Foodless stomach and heartless traditions were at their best form. Same with Avinash as well. But the helpless couple were trying their best and hoping the hunger storm to pass soon. They have not talked to each other even once since their marriage. The silent, grave and guilty eyes from far were conveying zillion feelings to the red vailed eyes at the other end. 
Suddenly came a harsh voice ,“Now the couple should go to the worship room together !” The crowd started fading slightly. She was made to proceed with bells and flowers to the worship room. She sat there silently. Other relatives came out to work on the next ceremony.
Suddenly… like swirling cyclone Avinash rushed in and locked the door. Ran to aditi and hugged her tightly with his guilt filled heart. Removed her vail.. looked to her teary eyes and said, 

“ Am sorry aditi. I really don’t know how to…. anyway forget it. You first eat this halwa. ” He made her sit on the chair. He sat on the floor. And started feeding her the halwa he had got from kitchen hidindly in his golden kurta. She started eating without even uttering a single word. But her eyes were speaking what the halwa bound lips couldn’t. Unstoppable tears were endlessly rolling silently from HIS eyes.He was lost in a heavenly pleasure while feeding her new bride. She was smiling. He was crying. No words. No talks. Yet a priceless silent conversation was getting witnessed by the walls.
Both finished the halwa. Empty plate on hand and priceless smiles on face were the evidence of a world war won recently ! Before he opens the door she leaned on him and said , “ Thank you Avi. Only you could understand my hunger.” Somebody already started knocking the door. While opening the door he replied,“ Aditi ! I was just the mediator to get the food. Someone kept the halwa in kitchen and left this paper note”. He gave her the small paper chit. It read “Give Aditi the halwa fast ! ”. He continued ,“ I just grabbed it and ran honey. Don’t know who is this Godly person to do this unforgettable gestute .” Though his heart was not agreeing but stil he doubted ,“May be its Mom. Don’t know but….” 
He opened the door to the ruthless crowd which ran inside with their limitless enthusiasm to start the next ritual…
With a confused mind he left with the doubt within “ Did mom really start caring for aditi ? She hates her for no reasons. She was the one who opposed their marriage to the maximum. No….. it can’t be her. Then who it is? ”
The confused brain was about to rest… suddenly he rose to the thought of ,“ Is it Dad?” He started feeling the joy of HER acceptance but his well experienced brain straight away rejected saying ,“ It can be anyone but not Dad ! ” His ego and his arrogance had once made Avinash to leave his home for a couple of days reason being the friends he is close to are poor. 
He sat on the sofa. Simi was smiling at him. His younger sister Simi. But way apart from his brother. She had demanded once if Aditi comes to their house she would stop tying rakhi to Avinash forever. But her innocent smile was leading him to a hopeful landing. Before he even conveys the confused brain’s confusing logic to her, She said ,“ What dear brother ? Heard you locked the door from inside? Wait… wil tell mom tomorrow… Not cool haan ! Guests are all around. Be in your dignity..” Gave him a cunning smile and left. He immediately came down from the emotional hang over which mistakenly had occupied a small place in his hopeful brain.
The lost mind tired from the emotional stress now started ignoring the matter and tried searching for a long lost piece of peace.
But the euphoric brain was not ready to settle down without solving this mysterious puzzle. The pleasure of feeding his new bride was so rich that his restless mind was not getting consoled without saying a thanks note to the person of credit. The matter kept swirling rounds and rounds within.
Then… Like a surprise… His curious mind started feeling the presence of Aditi’s parents around. His exhausted eyes started essencing the presence of his in laws. He has always been showered with endless love and affections by Aditi’s parents. Their unconditional love for him and Aditi has started to bias his heart to make him believe that they are somewhere around and such lovely gesture could only be possible by them. His anxious eyes started searching for them all around. He got up and ran from room to room. 

“ Papa mama.. are you here?” … “Were they supposed to come today ?”…“Did anyone receive them? ”

He was lost in such confusing thoughts.The mobile started ringing. The display read Mom-in-law calling… “Abhi! How are you ?Hows Aditi ? We wil come to meet you after 3 days. It seems like a year since….” .So it was not Aditi’s parents who kept the food as they are still states apart !

Then who is this mysterious person ???
Some hours went by. He was stil lost in this unsolved puzzle. Suddenly.. he got up and screamed,“ Oh…my..God !” He ran to the worship room. Aditi was surrounded with relatives and some ritual was already on. The paper chit was lying on the table. He took the chit and read it again. His pounding heart was confused to Whether drop tears or shine smiles on lips ! He read the chit again and again ! How did he fail to recognise the handwriting of the person who has been writing him love letters since 6 years ! It was Aditi’s handwriting. 
That was the moment when he realized that eighty percent of the halwa what he had brought was fed to HIS hungry stomach ! When he was busy showing his unstoppable emotions to his new bride with the halwa plate in hands, Aditi was busy feeding her love’s hungry stomach ! His teary eyes were peeping to the smiling eyes through the red veil. The smart woman had succeded to fill his husband’s stomach amidst all the unfavorable situations. Putting all the fear aside… Keeping all the rituals behind… Going against his mom’s wish yet again.. Ignoring the crowd.. He screamed, “Everyone please leave for a while. My wife is hungry .”
– Dr Rajkumar Patra

        17/04/17.

He demanded “No am not jealous… but keep a distance when your so called best friend hugs you.” She smiled.

 

He called “Did you reach office? 4 km is not a short distance. ” She smiled.

 

He scolded“ How many times have i told you to keep a distance from stove when you wear silk cloth and cook ”She smiled.

 

He panicked, “ Office tour at 700 km distance ? Travel by train, its safe ” She smiled.

 

Every time she smiled as she knew each of the word “Distance”from his mouth,

silently conveyed “ I love you .”

– Dr. Rajkumar Patra

         7/sep/2016.

Dad shouted, “ Sneha’s amma ! Come soon. Your 3 months of non-stop hard work is paid off finally. Your continuous stress for watering.. trimming… compost.. gammaxene..and what not..?! The plant blossomed with its first rose” 

The mother came running, plucked the flower and disappeared.

A smiling voice resonated, “ Sneha’s appa. Come here and see… Our Sneha looks like a little Princess with this Red rose on her hairs. ” She continued back to her kitchen work.

The Dad saw. And removed the rose from the golden hairs of the doll and kept near Sneha’s photo.

– Dr. Rajkumar Patra
18/aug/2016

–PASSING THROUGH–

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“ Oh God ! Already 8 .30 ! Today again i have to face the humiliating harsh words of the stupid manager ” murmured Mrs. Kalpana while lifting the cooker whistle to fasten her speed. Breakfast is cooked. Lunch is half way. Sharp at 9 am, The inconsiderate manager wants all his employees to appear in bank. Kalpana is the only working person to income for her family. Never wants to risk this bank job, keeping the future of her two daughters in mind and the dreams, she has dreamt for them.

Preethi in class 7th and Keerthi in 6th.

The cooker blows out 3 loud whistles. Being irritated by the pitchy sound, her husband drags up the blanket and shouts, “ kalpana ! Please keep closing the kitchen door  when you cook.” And tries hard to nap back to already 10 hours long sleep.

Ignoring the voice as  if she has listened none, Kalpana kept increasing the cooking bowl’s  hubbub sounds and yelled, “ sweethearts ! Its 9. Your boxes are done. Are you both ready? School bus wil horn in a while.” Racing between kitchen and hall, She continued, “ Hurry up gals ! Do fast with your uniforms and rush out  !” Bringing out their school bags to table, she shouted again, “Keerthi Have you worn your socks? ”

Struggling with her socks the little demon growls, “ Mom ! You know i cant wear socks  and you stil roar at me.” Ordering Preethi to help Keerthi with her socks, the swamping mother smiles and says, “ If You had once asked your Dad to help you out, then today this simple deed would not have bothered you this much.” Both the girls frown and scowl at a time, “ Mom ! Are you serious ? Do you really think Dad wil help ?”

Now, the made silent mom leaves to kitchen. the girls to school. And unbothered by all these disagreeable situations, the Dad peeps out of the blanket and rests on the sofa. Pretending to be unaffected by his kids comments, he looks through the window and mumbles, “ What’s my mistake? Why do my kids percept me wrong ! Unlike Kalpana.”

Kalpana comes out hurriedly  being ready for the bank and says, “ Tiffin and lunch. Both are on table, Sameer. ” while taking the scooty keys, She ties up her white saree to be away from mud spill, takes her boxes and repeats,“ wil be back soon honey.”  She leaves. Stepping down the stairs, she stops half way. Returns back. Locks the door from outside and races back.

5 pm.

Exhausted Kalpana returns home . Unlocks the door. Gives a smile to Sameer. keeps her vanity on table. Dumps the uneaten breakfast and lunch lying on table into the bin. Makes hot coffee. Keeps a cup near Sameer. And takes a sip herself.

Bell rang. Jumped in, the two little girls. Threw the school bags. While removing her socks, Keerthi repeated her daily question, “Mom. Did Dad come out of his photo and eat your food ? Then why do you keep for him, daily ?”

While lighting the Incense sticks (Agarbatti),Kalpana smiles and says, “ Yes baby. Your Daddy eats daily.  You just need to feel it. ” She cleaned the photo. Put the sticks infront. Repeated,“ He PROMISED me. He wil be there with Me Forever… til I die. And i TRUST his PROMISE.”

Confused kids grin.

Sameer smiles. Gets up from the chair. Gives Kalpana a tight and long hug. As usual, She ignores and passes THROUGH him to the kitchen to prepare dinner for Four.

The spirit disappears and reappears in Kitchen, to hug her again.

– Dr. Rajkumar Patra
7/july/2016.

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Directly pressed off the main switch on switchboard without shutting down the computer and said the student in a frustrated and helpless voice while moving to his two wheeler  “please please don’t force me to computer.  It seems gruelling tough  and am done with it.”

Racing after him with a toffee,  said the 32 yrs old calm and patient teacher in a cheering voice, “But am very sure you wil master it soon ! just give me few more days, Dad. ”

The CANDY bribe could suceed to stop the already moving wheel chair.

History smiled and recycled.

Dr.Rajkumar Patra
16.06.16

—Bean’s fry—

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The 30 years old  white striped  sunmica, is the witness for their countless silly fights over beans fry, as Mr. Joshi had the wacky habit of eating only the seeds, leaving the outer skin for Mrs.Joshi.

Today… Trying to drag-open her floppy wrinkled eyes from anaesthesia, had Mrs. Joshi ever thought that her darling beans eater would compensate her not eating seeds, with one of his two biological  beans and would make her ready again for the next 30 years to fight over many more beans fries..

Mr.Joshi glows with smiles and tears, from the near bed.

Dr. Rajkumar Patra
14/june/2016