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Posted: August 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

The Present

 

1

 

 

Mr. and Mrs. Nath were as opposite as people as a deer is to bear. Mr. Hari Nath was a lean long faced tall, limp and clumsy man in early fifties with over the top generosity and shyness while Mrs. Shakila Nath was 50 years old and fat like a foot ball, very manipulative and cunning with an inherent evasiveness. They lived in Sector 5 of a Delhi suburb in a middle class apartment block where scenes of Mrs. Nath getting mad at Mr. Nath for bringing the wrong stuff from the market and philanthropy towards street children whom Mrs. Nath had labeled as thieves and rats.

 

Despite all the efforts of Mrs. Nath to contain her household on her terms and quell the goodness inside Mr. Nath, things most of the times went out of her hands like when Mr. Nath disappeared into the nearby forest ridge. One time Mrs. Nath had to call police and a rescue team to get Mr. Nath out of a small well deep inside the forest ridge.

 

It was a raining on that winter night when a major fight happened between the couple. Mrs. Shantanu who lived right beside The Naths heard Mr. Nath blubbering and Mrs. Nath swearing at him. She came out of her cave slowly and saw Mr. Nath running downstairs and Mrs. Nath at her door.

“Don’t come back you swine, I don’t want a moron like you.. you loser.” saying this Mrs. Nath turned towards Mrs. Shantanu, in a second Mrs. Shantanu gave back a smile and went inside while Mrs. Nath waited there for a moment and then receded back into her flat.

 

The rains were mad at Mr. Nath that night as he was making his way through the forest ridge. Soon he reached his spot-the well and started abusing Mrs. Nath as if the well was made to accommodate his profanity and disgust for his spouse. As he was doing this, someone was looking at him from behind in the bushes. The thing short and stout approached him from the back and nudged him , Mr. Nath surprised and fear struck moved his eyes sideways and from the corner of his eyes, saw a child about 5 years old all naked staring him right onto his eyes.

 

“What are you doing here?” said Mr. Nath wiping his spectacles off the water.

“Am ungry … lost, help me you?” said the child.

“Yes, I will, what is your name?”

“Samura ….”

“Ok,Ok, come now, its getting quite uncomfortable here.”

 

They reached the apartments and went upstairs .The child quickly took the stairs and was quite excited and ecstatic and Mr. Nath shared the mood as well .He noticed that child was light brown in complexion with big black eyes and curly hair, he looked gifted and absolutely enchanting.

 

 

 

Mrs. Nath had left the door open in hope of his husband getting back and she was quite right. Some dinner was kept on the table steaming hot and appealing. One could hear her snoring loudly and that made the background score of the whole scene. Mr. Nath humped through the hall and brought a clean and dry towel and wrapped the child into it. Samura was feasting the dinner with his eyes and then out of control and now fully wrapped in the oversized towel asked Mr. Nath with a gesture of hand inside mouth.

 

“Yes, off course its all yours come here.”

 

Samura hopped on the dinning chair and started enjoying the delicious food.

 

“Is it good? My wife is a great cook.” murmured Mr. Nath.

 

The boy was not even half way through is feast that the snoring stopped and Mrs. Nath started coming out her room.

“Is it you ?” asked Mrs. Nath still yawning.

 

Dressed in bright red gown she now stood right behind Mr. Nath as he was still seated.

 

“What is this? Are you mad?”

 

Mr. Nath caught red handed and astounded stood up and turned towards her.

 

“Why are you eating like this? It’s all so messy here, and why the dish is opposite to where you sit?” said an angry Mrs. Nath.

 

“I’ll explain you everything, please pardon me please.” said Mr. Nath trembling with fear.

 

“I want this clean right now, enough of your dinner, clean it right now.”

 

Mr. Nath started picking up the utensils and placed them into dish wash basin. The table was all clean now, but Mr. Nath was wondering that where the boy had disappeared .

 

“Ok, nice job, lets go to bed and bring an extra quilt from the almirah.” commanded a peaceful Mrs. Nath. She went back singing softly as if all was well now.

 

“Shhhh Shhee, where are you?” asked Mr. Nath from everything that was around.

 

“Shhh Shhh, …I here.”

 

Mr. Nath looked up and found that the boy has climbed up to the fan.

 

 

“Come down its dangerous there.”

 

The boy jumped off the fin.

 

“Wow, you are amazing, come now, sleep here on the sofa, I’ll bring you a quilt.”

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