Monday, February 18, 2013

A Loaf of Bread

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Rishika went to the store just at a walking distance. She did not have much time to go to the mall. She was going to bake croissants for the very first time and went to pick up some instant yeast from the nearby store.

As she entered the store she saw a young boy maybe 8 years old holding a loaf of bread in his hands. She also saw the store owner yelling at the top of his lungs."Were  you trying to steal this bread and go off without paying ? Glad we caught you red handed. You  thief !!! I know your types." 

The boy was shaken and trying to explain. "I'm sure I had money in my pocket and now I don't see it, maybe I lost it on the way. I was going to pay for this". Rishika's heart went out for the little boy and she told the store keeper that she would pay for the bread, It was alright. Why would a boy steal a loaf of bread. Maybe he lost the money or maybe he forgot the money at home. Its only a loaf of bread. The boy thanked Rishika and left the store.  

As Rishika stepped out of the store , she saw the same boy waiting for her.He had tears in his eyes and he was so transparent that Rishika immediately knew that he did not have money in the first place. "Why did you do this ? " she asked the boy.

 He said he only took this bread for his little sister who was home sick. His father who was an alcoholic had abandoned them just as his sister was born. He and his mother were left to fend for themselves. His mother worked as a maid but she recently lost her job when the family she worked for moved to a different city. So now they lived from day to day. He ran errands for people and got some money. Today he did not get any work at all and it was almost evening. He said, "My younger sister who's 3 cannot be hungry for long like me and my mother. She hasn't eaten anything yesterday and that's why I took this bread. I'm not a thief. I wanted to somehow repay the store keeper back for this bread. But I cannot let my sister starve to death. I would like to pay you back, the moment I find some work". Rishika's heart sank. She stood there speechless and with unstoppable tears.   

This is my entry for week 7 of the fifty-2 weeks of 2013 Project. This week's theme is that we should begin our piece with  "He was so transparent that..." or include it in our piece.    

Monday, February 4, 2013

A love story...

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Pooja looked out the window. The sun was trying to peek through the clouds.  The landscape outside was a sight to behold. Everything covered with a beautiful white blanket of snow.  As the sun hit the snow it glistened like beautiful diamonds.

Pooja always woke up a little earlier on weekends. She had a routine. She loved to enjoy her hot cup of ginger tea first thing in the morning and loved her quiet time. There were no kids to get ready for school, no breakfasts to be made this early,  no packing lunches and not in any rush to get ready for work. She loved the slow pace of the weekends. She was a nature lover. Today she was just content looking out the window from her dining table since it was a cold and chilly winter morning. Though during spring ,summer and fall, she loved to sit out in the patio and admire the beauty around. The beautiful foliage, colorful flowers in their blooming glory and the birds singing their beautiful tunes was always something she looked forward to.

As she's going through whats to be done for the day,  she realizes its February already. This is her favorite month, because Valentine's Day is in this month. She got married on Valentine's day. As wedding plans were being made the only thing on her wish list was to be married on this day. She got what she wanted. She was always a girl who believed in love stories, in love, in fairy tales, in happy endings, in prince Charming. Would even cry in the movies if  the hero and heroine were separated. So in short she was hopelessly in love with the very idea of LOVE.   

Pooja came from a very loving but conservative North Indian family. She finished her post graduation and landed a job in a prestigious software company. A month later Raj who is a South Indian joined this company as well. They soon  become really great friends. They knew intuitively what each other was thinking, could even complete each other's sentences. They were happy when with each other and confided in each other. Around this time Pooja's family were looking for marriage alliances for her. Pooja somehow knew her conservative upbringing  demanded her to go for an arranged marriage. She was still a dreamer nevertheless. But she had a desire to work on a project outside India before she was married and  settled down.        

Soon Pooja gets an opportunity to work in Paris. Around the same time Raj gets a great job offer in the US .They still keep in touch via email and frequent phone calls. Then the moment comes when they realize they really miss each other and had feelings for each other. As they say, Distance does make the heart grow fonder.

Now the big question was to convince the parents and the extended families. Two different cultures, different languages, so many barriers. Though both of them were raised and brought up in Mumbai. Now the people were watching, people were talking, some disagreements. Some excited, some not sure. But the good news was the parents on both the sides agreed eventually as more than anything that mattered to them was their love for their child. So Pooja and Raj get happily married on Valentine's Day.  Their love marriage had a happy ending. 

I wish and pray that all the love stories have a happy ending, which I know unfortunately do not happen. It's because people are so concerned about "Log Kya Kahenge" (What will people Say ? ) or 'Log Dekh rahe Hain !" (People are watching) .Wishing and hoping I get to see the day when the headlines of the national daily(TOI)  doesn't  talk about honor killing yet again. As you are reading this I wonder how many more stories are about to turn into tragedies or the girls/boys forced to get married against their wishes. 

I'm sending this entry to the "Fifty-two weeks of 2013" project. This week's theme is " People Watching" .