She will join with him or not?....
I reached her hostel and saw her waiting near the hostel gate in a pink dress and she looked like a fairy. I said, "You are looking like an angel in this dress"
She smiled and said, "Thanks".
We reached home around 5.15 pm and as soon as my mom saw her she hugged her and kissed her on her forehead and said, "Welcome Nethra" and took her inside the house. Adithi and My dad were sitting on the sofa watching TV. Nethra and my mom sat on the sofa as well and mom said, "I'm Arjun's mother and you are looking pretty" I introduced my sister Adithi and my dad. She said, "Hello" to everyone and somewhat perplexed she asked, "Arjun said there is a party but there is nobody else here" My mom said, "It is a small party for the five of us.
Looking at my dad, my mom said, "I'll prepare dinner by the time you keep playing carom with the kids. Adithi said, "Good idea mom we are four of us and looking at Nethra she said, "We'll be a team and dad & Arjun the other team" Saying this she ran to her room to get the carom board. We played around 3 to 4 sets and we (Dad & I) made them win most of the games. It was fun.
Nethra and Adithi become friends soon. Adithi took Nethra to her room to show her teddy bear collections. Her collection had teddies of all colors and sizes and she had arranged it neatly like a showroom display. She really gets excited when she has to show her collection to someone who comes home. Along with the teddies she had a play station, toys and an amazing collection of photos that would be interesting to watch.
As they left the place my dad said, "Arjun, I have some important business mails to respond and will be back in an hour" and left the hall. I went to my room and switched the system and as I was browsing, Adithi brought Nethra to my room and said this is Arjun's room. She looked all around and fixed her eyes on the table where I had placed her refused birthday gift.
She went near the table and looking at me she asked, "Can I take it?"
I said, "Yeah, it's for you, you need not ask me you can take it"
She took it and said, "I'm sorry I hurt you very badly that day"
I said, "I was hurt, but it's okay. Please open it and tell me if you like it"
She opened the wrapper and took out a Peach colored teddy bear; she became so tensed that she nervously dropped it on the floor while taking it out of the wrapper. As soon as the teddy hit the floor a recorded voice said, "Good day, keep smiling" After hearing that smiling she hugged the teddy and said "Thank you. It's lovely" I felt so happy and said, "You look beautiful when you smile"
Dinner was ready and my mom called us to the dining table. Before the dinner I cut the cake. Nethra said, "Happy birthday" and gave me a pen as birthday gift. After dinner Nethra and I started to her hostel. There is a beautiful park on the way to her hostel. I asked her, "What is the in-time deadline in your hostel?"
She said, "9.00 Pm"
I told, "its 8.00 and we still have an hour shall we sit in the park for some time?"
She said, "Okay"
We sat on a bench in the park and the scene there was beautiful. Children swinging, running, playing, making noise etc. As we were watching a child who was running fell on the ground and started crying. Nethra stood up to help the child and before her the child's mother reached the child and took him and hugged him and pacified him.
She said, "The boy is blessed. You're blessed with good parents too"
I said, "All are blessed with good parents"
She said, "No, there are parents who hate their children" I asked, "Why would parents hate their children? It is strange and I can't believe it"
She said, "When the parents hate each other they hate all that came out of that relationship; it includes children too" I asked, "Why would they hate each other?"
She said, "Lot of reasons like ego, money, material, extra marital affairs, misunderstandings, lack of love and affection, hatred etc"
I asked, "How do you know all these things?"
She said, "It was and is a part of my daily life"
I said, "I didn't get you"
She said, "My parents hated each other and kept on fighting all day long and due to misunderstanding they are living separately for the past 6 years; after they got estranged my mom is our guardian. My sister Mithra and I stay in the hostel. They just send us money for our needs that's it. They call us or visit us very rarely"
Her voice portrayed the pain and grief in her heart. She continued, "As people say daughters love their fathers and sons love their mothers, Mithra and I love our dad very much but my mom says dad is bad and we should not talk with him. We called him secretly many a times and begged him to come and visit us. He didn't turn up even once till I joined the college. We hated him for that but still deep down my heart longs and yearns to see him even now. He addresses me as "Neethu" and sometimes in my dream I hear him call me. When I wake up I find myself alone and cry sorely without a soul to console me"
She asked me, "Arjun, Do you know what the most shameful thing on earth is?"
Not Knowing what to reply I asked, "What?"
She said, "Meeting your dad in the bus stand, street corners, shopping malls, restaurants etc. People give us a weird look and it's so awkward for loved ones to meet like that"
I interrupted and as asked, "Why can't you meet him in the hostel?"
She said, "The hostel's visitor timings does not suit his work timing and so he asks us to come to a common place. You know what, my dad does not know my 10th scores too, it was 90% and everyone but my parents congratulated me.
She asked me, "Do you know why I behaved so badly on my birthday?"
I shook my heads and said, "No idea"
Hugging and caressing the teddy she said, "It's the dark day in my life. I regret being born on this earth. I haven't celebrated even a single birthday in my life. My parents are too busy quarrelling with each other that they forget our birthdays. This year on my birthday, I called my dad but he forgot it was my birthday and just enquired about my health and studies and disconnected the call.
I felt bad that's why I behaved badly with you. Later I regretted for my behavior but of no use. My parents are good people individually but when they are together no one can be as bad as them. (Her eyes dampened with tears but she pretended as if she was not crying and said)Arjun, after seeing your parents I long for such parents. You are truly blessed. I am not as fortunate as you are" I felt very bad and said, "I'm sorry, don't feel bad. Shall I do what my dad does when I'm depressed?"
She just looked at me without a clue.
I wrapped my arms around her shoulder, pated her softly and said, "It's alright, everything's gonna be fine soon, cheer up" as soon as I told this she leant on my shoulders and started to weep. I continued, "I know it comforts and consoles. It's alright Nethra, everything's gonna be fine soon. It's time up. Let's move"
We started from the park; on the way she said, "I feel so relaxed & light since I emptied myself of this burden that had controlled me for so long. Thanks. But I think I spoiled your day with my stories.
I said, "You were always aloof and I knew there's something wrong with you. That's why when everyone in the class hesitated to talk to you, I kept on coming back even after you insulting me. I feel happy that you trusted me and let out your frustrations. Life will be good Nethra, don't worry. You can come home anytime you want. Just buzz me, I'll come and pick you"
We reached her hostel. She smiled and said, "Thanks a lot. Bye. Thanks again for this lovely gift, what shall we christen her?"
I asked, "What name you like?"
She said, "Shall we call her Cuckoo?"
I said, "oh lovely name, good choice. Bye Nethra, bye cuckoo"
She patted cuckoo on her back and the recorded voice said, "Good day keep smiling" she smiled, waved her hands and cuckoo's hands together and said "bye Arjun" and left the place.
She walked lightly like a butterfly but I felt heavy like, like hmmm I really don't know what to compare to this burden to. My heart was so heavy and I realized the mystery behind her sadness is her separated parents. Poor little girl she has so much of pain.
On this birthday I learnt a few valuable lessons of life - the value of a family, the need for love and people to share it, the importance of understanding, love and affection of parents and most important lesson is not to tease people with abnormal nature and characteristics. Some people are abnormal due to some medical condition or psychological factors. I took an oath I'll never tease or mock my fellow beings but to treat them with respect and dignity.
As soon as I reached home I went and hugged my dad and told what happened. As usual my dad wrapped his arms around my shoulder and said, "It's alright dear. Everything will be fine with her soon" My mom was also there, listening to what I said and she said, "Poor girl, that's why she was sad. Till the vacation is over bring her home daily, she might feel bored in the hostel"
The next three weeks she came daily to my home and I could feel the change and happiness in her. Adithi, Nethra and I used to play video games, chess, carom, shuttle cork and watch movies. We had nice time together. One day we were watching a movie with my Mom after lunch and there was a rap e scene in the movie and the sound effects made the screaming of the girl a terrible one to listen.
Nethra started to shiver and sweat a lot. Adithi screamed, "Mom, look at Nethra, she is shivering" My Mom switched off the TV immediately and made her relax and she asked her to take rest. Nethra stayed in Adithi's room and my Mom took care of her. My Mom did not allow her to go to the hostel; hence she stayed with us that day.
After this incident Nethra and my mom become very close. She came to my house without my help. One day there was a mangal sutra sentiment scene in a movie that we were watching. Nethra asked my Mom pointing her mangal sutra, "Aunty, what does this mean to you?"
My mom thought for a while and said, "I haven't thought about what it means to me at all. I can't say anything more than this. Okay, what does this mean to you?"
She said, "Precious metal, beads and stones beautifully made and neatly arranged in a thread or a metal"
My mom asked, "That's it"
She said, "Yes aunty, how can a metal bind two hearts? I wonder how people are clinging on to relationship just by a thread. Is yours a love marriage or an arranged marriage?"
My Mom said, "Let me see if you'll say the same thing when you have one. Ours is an arranged marriage"
She said, "My parent's marriage is a love marriage. I really can't figure out how people with love marriages break and people in arranged marriages stay together. A stratagem cannot be defined as both the marriages work out and breaks out too. I'm not gonna get married at all. It doesn't make any sense to me. Moreover with these kinds of parents and family situation no one is there to think about it or put in efforts to organize one. Marriage is a mirage to me"
My Mom said, "I'll do it for you. I'll find a perfect groom for you. Don't worry okay, just concentrate on your studies alone leaving all these thoughts apart. You know we had misunderstandings and quarrels too.
But after every misunderstanding we used to talk about it and took efforts to understand each other. The doctors and psychology counselors say that it takes a minimum of three years for a couple to understand each other. We need to be patient and have an open mind to accept others with their flaws and imperfection as we have our own flaws"
College reopened and we became close friends, I would miss her if she doesn't turn up to class even for a single day. We spent the weekends together studying, playing, watching movies etc. Though we're good friends she doesn't talk much and is always reserved.
Days went like this we progressed to the second year of the college. One evening I received a call from her mobile saying that she had fallen unconscious in the hostel room and is admitted in the hospital. I got the details and went to the hospital with my Mother. The hostel warden told me that her mobile had only my number in the contacts and that's why she called me and I was shocked to know that she had attempted suicide and her condition is critical.
About an hour later the doctor called us and said that, "She has swallowed a heavy dosage of pills. But she is being treated and is safe now. This might her affect her intestines; hence she needs to be under low fat and non-spicy diet for some time. Please come for review after two day" We went to her room she was awake and lying on the bed. As soon as she saw us tears flooded from her eyes and she turned her face from us.
My mom went near her and asked how she is feeling and if she wants something to drink or eat. She said, "No. Just leave me to starve and die" My mom said, "Calm down Nethra, calm down. Everything will be alright soon" I was very angry with her and hated her that moment as she didn't tell me what's troubling her.
I yelled at her asking "why you did this?" Sobbing and with anger she asked, "Why should I live, nobody wants me and for whom should I live?" Her response kindled my anger even more; I become wild and raised my hands to slap her but I was shaken by my mom's voice as she called out "Arjun" controlling myself, heartlessly I yelled, "For me you idiot, for me" Astonished, she and my mother looked at me.
Sternly I continued, "You have become a part of my life. I want you near me always. I don't think of myself or anything else but I think of you and you alone all the time. I don't know if I love you or not. If this is love then I love you. If I say its love you, I don't know if I'm seriously in love with you or not; but one thing for sure is I cannot live without you" Saying this I left the room unable to face both of them.
What happens now?... any guesses!!!....