Chapter 10 by TandemTensome: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
"thedocndiva" is participating at Blogadda #celebrateblogging "game of blogs" competition! There are many different teams of ten bloggers, who were given five main characters by #blogadda. Teams have been weaving story based on them! Can't imagine how creative people could be with the same five characters! This is the 10th chapter of the story from our team, #TandemTensome. Please follow the links below to read previous chapters and to know 9 other amazing bloggers!
Tara never felt this way for a long time. After she came back from her meeting looking for Shekhar and Roohi, they were no longer in her office and when she asked her secretary, it seemed Shekhar left without even leaving her a message. She called Shekhar to find out what happened that ledRoohi being missing for several hours. Shekhar hung up so abruptly that she kept on pondering why and was that a young woman’s laugh at the background? It did not occupy her mind more than a few seconds.
“Who am I?” she thought herself, “I have better things to do in life than be like a typical wife and be a paranoid freak!” She tried to shrug it off her mind and tried to delve into her ‘must do today’ list of work on the desk.
That evening while getting her bag and phone off her desk after finishing the day’s work, Tara paused for few seconds holding a ‘Hello Kitty’ hair clip in her hand that Roohi must have left on her desk. Suddenly a rare softness appeared on her face and it was gone even quicker. On her drive back home she started thinking about the early days of their marriage. Although she had always been very career oriented, and professional minded, still she used to look forward to the end of the day when she would be reunited with Shekhar after all the hurdle of the work. The birth of Roohi and afterwards was
both a fulfilling and a very taxing time for Tara. She was happy but could never put her family life before her career. She has always been the girl with attitude who could say the most bitter truth if need be. She had to prove herself everyday and compete with her peers to achieve the career point that
she is at now. She could not let it be. Work has always been her religion and success the God. She has always been well known at her work place as the one who gets it done, every time. Her work ethics has been known as exemplary. Despite all the thick and thin of work versus home life, Tara would like to
believe she tried working with Shekhar together for their family life. However, Shekhar has always attempted to belittle Tara’s contribution in Roohi’s life and in the home front.
“Why marry a professional woman if all you want is a housewife?” Tara shook her head thinking this while driving the car.
If at all, Shekhar was the one with irresponsible attitude. Soon after moving into their expensive new home in Malabar Hill, one fine morning Shekhar decided to give up his well-paid job as a journalist and became free-lance writer. She was okay with that too. However, when she was at his farewell party at the English News daily’s office, she learnt a harsh truth about him. Although she never confronted him regarding this, she could not accept the fierce unprofessionalism that she discovered accidentally in a piece of work that Shekhar did around that time. Being the ethical professional that she is, she was simply put – disgusted! This bitter discovery just widened the distance that was already in making between them. They started living in two different mind zone and time zone, as if two distant stars on the sky millions of miles away – just twinkling at each other.
Tara was already near home. She started thinking how to bring up the discussion with Shekhar that she needs to go to a client’s project meet tomorrow night and probably will be pretty late coming back home. The passive aggressive person that Shekhar is, he is likely to stage a drama to substantiate how detached she is from Roohi’s life and how she should spent more time with Roohi instead of her work.
“Well that’s what you should be there for Mr Freelancer,” Tara thought with a stern face, “Let someone else do the job as a professional and keep paying the hefty mortgage for the lavish house that you enjoy staying in!”
“This is beyond crazy!” Cyrus muttered softly while all alone roaming on Marine drive in the evening with iPhone as his only companion. “Five phone calls and 50 text messages and not a single response? How long does it take to reply with just a text message to say that she is OK?” He exclaimed.
Life was much simpler when Apple and Blackberry were mere fruits!
“Even the luring lie could not get her to reply!” He thought. “And here I am the hopeless victim of cyber seduction, wandering around in a semi-unknown city after leaving my studies and exam-preps in search of a girl I have not even met once!”
“She seemed so perfect, she sounded so passionate and sound of her laugh.. to die for. Who knew she would turn out to be a whimsical mess?” Cyrus kept thinking.
The night sky had a full moon today and despite the glares and gases of the Mumbai city, the glory of the moon was picturesque from Marine Drive, however he could only see a few stars in the sky for the bright lights of the city.
“Who does she think she is?” Cyrus kept talking in his head.
“There are plenty of fish in the pond for me to catch.” He tried to rather console himself. Unfortunately, he knew that the presence (or the absence) of Jennifer in his life seems to have muted the other possible
‘fishes’ from his life same as the bright moon of the sky has muffled the rays or the mere existence of distant twinkling stars.
He was now getting more and more convinced that, despite telephone, internet, social medias and the modern gadgets and gizmos of our era, nothing can beat the essence of face-to-face communication and personal interaction. He started feeling pity for himself and was getting ready to put Jennifer out of his mind. Suddenly his iPhone started ringing, it was so unexpected that he dropped the phone from his hand and the call got disconnected. He frantically looked up the number, it seems a Mumbai landline
number, but not from his mom.
Roohi studied in the 4th grade in a private school that was regarded as one of the best in South Mumbai area. She was well known to be a very smart and obedient student in her class till her second grade. The teachers loved her, the classmates enjoyed her company, and everybody wanted to be Roohi’s friend. She was good at reciting rhymes and actually won first prize reciting the “Twinkle Twinkle little star” in her school. She has been growing up without the closeness with her mother that most
kids of her age crave for. Shekhar tried his best to make up for the obvious absence of her Mom in her day-to-day life, but certain things in life cannot be substituted, unfortunately.
The regular tussle and heated conversation between her parents that mostly started about couple of years ago made her sad, very sad. She often used to cry at night hugging her Doll in bed, she started becoming aloof from friends at school and started showing an unusual short temper. At home, it seemed Mom only came home from her office to fight with her Papa and her Papa only spoke to her Mom when he needed to argue with her. Her little life was falling apart, her soft sweet little heart was breaking everyday seeing her parents float away from each other in front of her eyes.
She was ecstatic when her Papa one day declared that he is going to stay home and would no longer need to go to office.
“That is awwwwsome!” She said.
Despite all her happiness, she remembered, her Mom did not fail to set up turmoil on this issue that evening with her Papa. She did not understand why her Mom was so unhappy with the news. Instead of being angry, Mom should have joined in, she thought. Her father was successful to a great extent to fill the great void that was developing in the young mind of Roohi for lack of liaison with her parents. Time spent with her Papa healed a lot of tender scars in her little heart – but she continued to feel the absence of a mother figure in her life. Today, at school, everybody was supposed to bring a gift that they received from their Mom and was told to say a few words related to that. When her turn came, she just stood there and could not say a word. It is not that she had never received any gift from her Mom, it was actually quite contrary to that. Some of her classmates were giggling, some were taken aback for her act – till the teacher asked her to sit down and moved on. After the school, she wanted to avoid riding the bus with her classmates and wanted to spend some time alone – she crossed the road and went into the park to sit down for sometime. Before she realized, she had missed her bus and finally was very scared and started crying while sitting on a bench in the park. That’s where Cyrus found her and finally reunited her with her father. When she went to Mom’s office with Papa, she asked “Papa, can Mom come home early today and can we go have dinner together?”
Shekhar did not answer her, just smiled and patted on her head.
When Shekhar asked Jennifer today to join them for Pizza and ice-cream, she was very excited to have a third person during their same-old father-daughter outing.
She immediately fell for the caring gestures of Jennifer and even started fantasizing her Mom, Tara in that place, enjoying Pizza and ice-cream with them and giggling with her with all the sweet little tantrums that she likes to do. She almost discovered a motherly abode in Jennifer during that short meet up. After coming home, Roohi freshened up and came back to living room to sit with her Papa and watch TV.
“Papa …” She shouted, “I had an awesome day!”
“We should have days like this everyday.” she declared with an impish grin.
“I already told you, if you love your Papa, never ever do such a thing again.” Shekhar said softly while flipping through the news channels.
“No, no ….” Roohi jumped up on the sofa, “I am talking about going out with the aunty and having fun.”
Shekhar suddenly felt a little uneasy, he could not figure out why.
“May be we should not tell Mom all about that.” he suggested. Roohi nodded with a giggle.
“The uncle was too funny.” She added. “He was telling me fabulous jokes when we were waiting for you to come and pick me up.”
“May be we can invite the uncle and aunty for dinner with us at home one day, What do you think?” Shekhar loosely asked.
“That would be awesome Papa, please please pleeeeeease …!” Roohi shouted.
It is at that moment Shekhar realized he forgot to take Jennifer’s number, yet again! “But I have Mr Daruwala’s number, he seemed a very nice young man.” Shekhar thought.
“Who knows, may be he actually likes to drink ‘daru’ and can give me some company!” Shekhar chuckled in his mind.
"Papa, did not we forget something?"
Shekhar remembered about their plan of getting a pet puppy! He promised his little bird he will get her one puppy dog as soon as he can. Shekhar felt very content after a long time...