“Sweetie, I will call you later, I have just reached.” Rahul disconnected the phone with his girlfriend and press the button of the door bell. He waited there for next 8 mintues to be specific, before the door opened.
He hugged the lady at the door and said, “oh..I knew that, my lovely young lady, you will never cross my waiting limit of 10 minutes”
She patted his back and said with a smile on her face,”enough of calling me with this name Rahul baba. All my hairs are white and my face is full of wrinkles now and moreover I am tired now.”
He sensed the sad tone in his grandma’s voice and he said, “oh common grandma, you are still an inspiration to me, so energetic like any 20 years girl. Trust me yaar.”
“Oh shut up. And one more thing, I need some concession in that 10 minutes threshold beta. I literally need to rush to the door. At least for senior citizens , it should be 15 minutes waiting for outsiders”
“Ummmm ok we will settle down for 12 minutes, I really hate waiting beyond that Maa.”
When she heard those words, she could not stop her tears, “I really love when you call me ‘Maa’”
“Ok ok…no emotional drama Maa. I am tired now, give me something to eat.”
“Ok. wait for some time and I will make neer dosa with coconut chutney”
“Oh wow… ”
“are you going to click the photo of my dish and put it on instagram ? like last time”, grandma asked curiously.
Rahul laughed loudly, “you want me to do that? Or afraid of that?”
“Why should I get afraid? I just felt that you should have informed me in advance, so that I could have used the nice plates instead of typical steel plate.
I have a nice dinner set, it was gifted by your grandpa’s friends on our 40th wedding anniversary”
He hugged her again, “Maa, you are so innocent, last time no one observed the plate in the photos, all comments were for the dish you prepared.
It looked so delicious and the way you presented it with sprinkled grated coconut and coriander, a lemon slice aside..was too damn tempting for anyone. Seriously !”
“Oh. Give my thanks to all your friends. One day, please invite everyone of them who commented on my dish, I will prepare the whole lunch for them”
Rahul could not control his laughter.
“Oh my young lady, just now you said that you are tired and need more time to just open the door than earlier, and now you have so much energy to prepare lunch for my 50-60 insta friends??”
“Yes, and there are two reasons behind it. One that you will only understand when you will grow my age and if there is no one around you and you are all alone for days, then you will understand that it would be a bliss if your home fills up with actual human beings around.”
“Maa… I tried last week to come here but my exams were going on”, he tried to convince her .
“I understand beta, at least you have some love for me to come and visit me, my own son and….” she used her tip of saree to wipe out her tears.
“Dad, also wanted to come, but he is very busy these days in his work maa. He has a lot of pressure at office. Please understand.”
“Oh… now you are going to teach me? don’t tell me about your father. I know him very well’ ,she was getting angry now.
“Ok maa… I am not teaching you, just trying to tell you the facts. And why do you need anybody if I am there?”
“Oh?? My child,don’t forget it’s 12th day since you met me. Please understand me also sometime. I am all alone here. I need people around me. ”
“Maa, please stop all these. I have some assignments to do. I am starting my laptop and you go to the kitchen. When you are busy in cooking , you forget all the world. Isn’t it?”
“You are the only thing which your parents have gifted me till date, else…”
Rahul thought for a second and then understood that the conversation would go on the track of his mother. So he said nothing.
Grandma stood up and went to the kitchen..
Rahul opened his laptop and started working. He was very nervous then. He always had a dream to make all his elders together, he tried his best to convince everyone. But no one agreed.
After some time, grandma came out of the kitchen with dosa plate in her hand.
Rahul was very busy in his work.
Grandma kept the dish on the table. “ today is a rainbow day for me, as you are here.”
“Hmmm” Rahul was too busy with his work to respond.
Grandma was looking at the window . It was a zero in front of her eyes. Rahul finished his dosa while working. For the next almost half an hour, nobody talked.
After another hour of time Rahul finished his assignment and finally took break from his work. He looked at grandma and asked, “Maa, what are you thinking?”
“About my dead daughter ”
“What?” he was shocked.
“Yes Rahul, I had a daughter before your father; but she was very weak and couldn’t survive for one month also. It was the biggest shock for me. I gradually forgot the sorrow when your father came to our life. But somewhere in my heart she had a special place. She’s still there. Her tiny hands, little eyes and her tiny face is something which is printed on my mind. My grandma used to wrap her in her old cotton sarees. I still feel that she is sleeping on my lap. But I know the reality too. The thread is broken a long time ago. ”
Rahul was listening with heavy heart. He felt pity for his lonely grandma.
“You know Rahul baba, if she had survived then,I would have never faced this loneliness”
Saying this she closed her eyes and tears rolled down her face.
Rahul was reading her face. He felt the desolation faced by her grandma.
Suddenly Rahul stood up and went inside her bedroom.
Grandma was lost in her thoughts after that. After some time she saw that Rahul was not at is place.
“Rahul baba… where are you?” she called.
There was a silence ..
She got afraid. Where might have he gone now?
Se stood up and was going inside, and suddenly Rahul came out of the bedroom.
To her surprise he was wearing her saree.
“If your daughter had survived, how would I have come to your life?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean the tread was not broken ”
“Oh…” grandma was surprised.
“Maa, you are a beautiful soul and my parents are beautiful souls too. If you are missing your daughter, don’t forget there’s a theory called rebirth.”
“Rebirth?” grandma said with shine in her eyes.
“You have to believe Maa, it’s your daughter came back to you, whom you call Rahul baba. Isn’t it?”
Grandma started crying. She started observing her grandson. Now with a different vision. And she found that his nose, his hairs, the shape of his fingers was similar to her daughter whatever she remembered. And a sudden ray of hope came to her life.
I am not lonely, my kids are still around.
“Maa I have to go now… will you please show me your cho chweet smiling face?”
“Rahul baba, please come frequently to meet me. I miss you so much these days. And moreover it’s better to have human beings around. And now I am going to cook many pending things for you, which I never got a chance to feed my daughter.”
“Wow…but for now I need to rush. And don’t forget, I am always there. I am ready to behave like a girl if you wish me to do.” he started laughing.
“No Rahul. Its more than enough for me at this stage of life.”
Rahul felt his eyes wet. He changed the saree hurriedly and closed the laptop immediately.
He was crying from inside for his grandma.
He reached near the door and said ,”good bye Maa. your dosa was nice.”
“You didn’t clicked a photo.”
“Anyways, when will you come again to meet me?”
“Can’t tell you now, but I will try to come soon. Ok?”
He hugged her tightly.
“Bye and I love you darling”
Grandma started laughing. “yes”
With wet eyes she said, “I always felt my life is a burnt toast, bitter and black, but today I found that the burnt toast can have a silver lining too.”
Just like grandma, our ilfe may seem hard and bitter, we always have to believe in ourselves, have positive self talk.
and remember that there will always be a silver lining to the burnt toast !