Friday, August 9, 2013
Flirting with friendship: Smile Distributions
Chapter 13: Smile Distributions
Whatever happened last night, I didn’t want to carry forward the next day and spoil my mood. As we departed from the Shiva’s Land, I bid adieu to His glorious seashores and welcomed His revelation of bitter truths about Anusha. I was strong enough to digest this fact, but I prayed hard to give a lot more courage to Vikram.
“Are we going to Divya’s home?” I asked mom.
“Yes Abhi. I called her. She’s cooked lunch for us.” Mom replied with a smile. It was 6:00 am and the sun had risen on the other side of the sea. I wish I could have seen another sunset. I just threw away a wish staring at the glowing skies.
“Abhi. What happened? Why are you so dull today?” Sakshi asked with a concerned look in her eyes.
“Nothing... It’s just that everything got over so soon.” I said, without a smile.
“Did Anu say something?” she whispered as she captured my fake expressions in a jiffy.
“Let’s talk about it later sweetheart.” I gave away a consoling smile.
Nobody spoke a word while we were going back home. Shrushti was numb with humiliation and she was plugged into her earphones, Anusha still had a sobbing look in her eyes though she didn’t speak much, Sakshi was worried about my mood and I was trying to get out of this entire melodramatic situation.
“Amma. Can you pass me your bag?” Sakshi asked mom. Sakshi unzipped the bag and started to make a crumpling sound of polythene bags.
“Shhhhh....” I asked Sakshi to stop whatever she was doing.
“I am searching my bracelet.” She looked at me with a sad face. “I am not able to find it. I’d kept it in this bag only.”
“You can go home and search Sakshi.” I said. “Was it a costly one?” I asked to make sure if she talking about the actual golden bracelet which mom had given her.
“Naah... Plastic du...” she smiled and gave a nod that it was just an imitation gold bracelet.
Sakshi was sort of allergic to gold as she was never used to wear expensive jewellery. Anything heavier than wooden or fibre accessories, was an irritation to her and she always kept herself away from them at a mile’s distance.
“Why don’t you wear the real ones and look really beautiful?” I made a comical comment and expected a similar reply.
“Why? I don’t look beautiful now?” she looked at me with a drooping face.
“Well... You look gorgeous now.” I rolled my hand over her cheeks and was about to peck my lips on them.
PHATTTT. Mom slapped my arm tightly. “Behave!”
“Titanic sank because of lovers. You know that?” mom cautioned me not to distract the driver. I got the cue and comforted myself by holding Sakshi’s hands. I felt her warm blood running through my veins and soothing my cold hands.
It was high time for me to get serious about life. I played around too much and I’ve been working just for the company. I had to do something for myself and my family. I made a strong determination to talk this entire stuff with Divya and we finally reached her place.
“Mallu ajji...” Ankit came running from the living room. He called Mallu ajji not because mom Mallu (Malayali), but we stayed in Malleshwaram. My sister stayed in Yeshwantpur, not far from Malleshwaram, the distance was never a concern though.
“Gaggu...” my mom held him in her arms. Though his name was Ankit, we all called him Gagan.
The 7-year old, 3-foot, short and smooth haired, broken-toothed kid leaped in his grandmother’s arms. They had a great bond with each other and he loved his maternal grandmother more than paternal.
Anusha rushed to the washroom and I knew for sure she wasn’t in a hurry to pee.
“Can you check on Anu please?” I asked Sakshi while she was busy unloading the bags off mom’s shoulder. I took mom’s bag and hanged it on a wall-hook in Divya’s bedroom. Sakshi swiftly paced towards Anusha and grabbed her hands.
“Everything okay Anu?” Sakshi asked.
“Yeah! I just wanted to clean my face.” Anu said hiding her eyes. “I think a speck of dust got into my eyes.”
“I can see everything Anu.” Sakshi held Anu’s hands with a firm grip and consoled her with enduring blinks.
“Don’t give up so soon.” Sakshi hugged Anu and said, “You’ll need it later in your bedroom when Vikram takes you to task in different positions.” Sakshi said with a wink to lighten the situation. Anusha rushed into the bathroom with a shy smile and Sakshi came back to the living room. Well done.
“Lunch is served...” Divya announced after setting the dining table. Here we go again. I said to myself. The legendary dining table and its memories.
“Hmmmmm.... Puliyogure....” The aroma of fresh tamarind juice, curry leaves and asafoetida mixed with cooked steam rice, garnished by dash of lemon juice and coriander leaves minus the groundnuts, brought me back on the ground while my nose was taking off along with the steam when she unlid the box. The tangy taste of lemon and tamarind instantly hit my taste buds and I made a clicking sound with my tongue blended with a smile.
“Eat properly.” Mom scolded. “Don’t behave like a kid.”
All of us silently had our lunch and Anusha didn’t seem to be in a very pleasant mood. I got in a playful mood and started playing with her toes under the table. She was unmoved. I got confused and looked down gradually to check. It was Sakshi’s and she was constantly smiling looking at me. I signalled Sakshi to pinch Anu and Sakshi did so. Still there was no reaction.
“Gaggu...” I called Gagan and whispered something in his ears. He ran towards Anusha and pulled her hands asking her to bend over him. Gagan quickly pecked her dampen cheeks and said, “I love you Anu Aunty. Please marry me...” Anusha was smiling like, forever. Though Gagan got a great reciprocated lip service from her, he still didn’t understand what he said and why she kissed him. All I did was bribed Gagan. I told him, “If you say this to Anusha aunty then I’ll give you two Dairy Milk Silks.” Gagan came running towards me asking for the reward for his gallant performance.
“Nann kiss yelli???” I asked Gagan for a bonus kiss to me and gave his reward. He silently walked towards the refrigerator and kept the chocolates safely. This guy will surely rank on top of “The Marshmellow Test.” I felt really happy about Gagan’s controlled urge.