Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Monsoon ends:a short story

had written it long time back.deleted it frm my other blogn reposted it here.

Monsoon ends.

Their love seemed to have ended…like an end to an unpredictable monsoon and the imminent arrival of autumn of life...

It was raining. I wanted to go out but she wouldn’t hear of it. It’s such a joy to get wet in the rains. But lately we haven’t gone out anywhere. I don’t know yet.
Last Sunday he had come for dinner. Perfunctory greetings exchanged, we sat down for the home made Chinese Mom excelled in.
‘So how’s school Phil?’ he asked.
I wished he would call me Phyllis and not Phil, which sounded like a boy’s name.
‘Fine Dad’, I replied.
‘I’m leaving day after. We are first going to Paris. From there, as our roads lead us....’
Mom just sat there nodding absent-mindedly.
I could never understand his sudden whim to see the world now. Now, when you were married a good 18 years, had a well-paying steady job in a bank and seemed perfectly at peace with the world. Mom and Dad had been together since school, which seemed like forever to me. And now Dad has been living separate from us for the past 3 months. Away at his own small dinghy which I called his penthouse for it was certainly larger than our own 3-bedroom apartment. Mid-life crisis? He wanted space, he had said. Wanted to explore the world, and live out the experiences he had missed out in his days of youth when he was busy making a career. But then, so had Mom. Yet I don’t see her packing her bags for a world tour and demanding her “space”.
‘…. Then maybe we’ll go to Venice. You know Phil its known as the City of Canals…’ he was going on.
‘Are you going alone or with somebody?’ I asked unaware of what he was talking about.
‘Er--with an old school friend. He and I had been thinking of such a trip since high school.’
Ok. So it wasn’t any ‘other woman’ case. Thank God. I couldn’t bear that. But even this growing distance wasn’t any better. Families are supposed to be together. If he doesn’t care, then neither do I.
‘Er—I’ve got to complete a school assignment... So... Goodnight Dad.’ I said and hastily excused myself.
Dad stayed for an hour more or so. I couldn’t care less about what they talked.
A week has passed since dad had come for dinner and... Goodbye. Moreover, it has been raining for 2 days now.
The doorbell rang. I waited for Mom to open the door but she was lost in her own thoughts. Grumbling and leaving my favorite seat by the window, I went to the door.
Standing on our mat, drenched in rain shivering all over was Dad.
He tried to smile. Failing miserably he just came in.
Mom was still in her own thoughts. Dad gave me an enquiring look to which I gave him one of those ‘its-all-your-fault-look’ and went away to resume my window seat.
‘I came from Paris’, he said.
Mom just sat there looking at him.
‘I went where we had gone 15 years before. You remember Café Farmville in Les Halles.?’
Mom nodded. I couldn’t understand what was going on.
‘Phyllis is still there. Would you believe it.?’
Both Mom and I shook our heads though I guess Mom understood something that I did not.
‘Must be very old now?’, said Mom.
‘Very. Has lost sight, partially though. But still remembers everything. Asked me if we had named our girl Phyllis….’
I did not want to know any of this. Both of them were looking at me and I was surprised how they could look a good two decades younger in two minutes.
“She still makes the best coffee. And is still waiting for her Armand”, Dad was saying.
He walked towards mom and crouched down beside her chair.
‘I wanted to see the world I thought I had missed in my youth. I wanted to explore it on my own. But as I traveled, all I could think was what we had done there when together... how we had watched the sun sink on the river Seine and made a promise to always watch the sun go down together.
After every two steps, I would stop and think about how you used to whine about walking long distances and I would offer to carry you in my arms instead.
At every monument, I recalled how you pestered others to click our photographs.
In every crowded street, I’d remember how you would grasp my arms so tightly that it hurt. At every shop, I’d smile at the memory of you buying the cheapest thing to save money for the rest of our trip.
Everywhere I went, all I thought was about how we used to fight and bicker, get tipsy and used to do all sorts of crazy things and how much I was missing it. How much I was missing you…I went exploring but it wasn’t complete without you. I set out on a journey of rediscovery... but all I rediscovered was the love I still have for you, as silly as it seemed in school, as mushy as it seemed in college, as demanding as it seemed when we slogged 20 hours a day, and as deep and strong as I see it now….’’
He didn’t complete what he wanted to say. Mom had taken him to our terrace and they stood watching the rain holding hands. As they had stood, 18 years back for their wedding picture on a rainy August day.
Now I know. I know why I love the rains. I know why my name is Phyllis when my Mom and Dad are Arin and Asha. And why Dad had come back.
Love is a journey that may seem too difficult at some time and you would like to go another way… but all roads lead to your love at the end of the day. Love goes on in all seasons... Even after monsoon is long gone and autumn is arriving.

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