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Sunday, 26 October 2014

October Read Meet In Khar

Some read from their laptops,
some from their android phone 
Some recite from their memory 
while some from their written notes, 
but the stories that they share are 
their original work 
written with great care

When the read meets are on Saturday and the venue is closer to my house, there is no reason to give it a miss. This was #22 readmeet and the theme was interesting too. Writer friends brought their naughty work because that was the theme…’Inverse Bowdlerisation’…inserting naughty bits to the respectable ones without altering the real script. They said ‘it was not easy’ but they did it well. Their work was so good that it was difficult to differentiate the original from parody. 
I did not write on the theme, because I was not sure what I was expected to write. I took my story that I had written during #CelebrateBlogging organized by Blogadda. We had to create a story with our team members. There were 30 teams who had participated in this event and our team had reached 12th position. I read the part that I had written during the event.
Here is what I read:
Immaculately dressed, Cyrus made an impressive presence, as he moved with authority in the crowd, his smile plastered perpetually on his face, and a drink goblet held loosely in his hand. He had lots to celebrate, as ‘Play Deo’ his ad company, was the new talk of the town. It took over the turntables and was enjoying the success.

The celebrations kicked off in full swing when the bare chested Bollywood star Akhay Khan made his appearance on the stage gyrating his pelvic on the hottest electronic music tracks.  Rhythm of oohs and aahs blared from loud speakers. Akhay Khan was spinning, his wet skin shining under blinking colored lights. The Olive bar’s stunning cocktail beauties showed up next to Cyrus and presented him with two glorious gold plaques for his achievements.

Flashing his gold tooth smile, Cyrus held his plaque up high for his guests to see while everybody raised a toast and gold confetti shot up in the air.

Cyrus kept the party going all night, spinning all the way until the early morning.  Throughout the evening, heels clacked against hardtop dance floor as dancers gradually overcame their shyness.

Tara was exhausted. She had not wanted to participate in Cyrus’s achievement. But the world was watching and her absence would be felt in the Ad world. Although they worked together and created terrific ideas for their clients, she hated his insensitive personal comments.  Lately she had been deeply offended when Cyrus had asked her if she suffered from the disease called Munchausen syndrome by proxy or MSBP. She didn’t know what he meant but she had felt hurt that he had mentioned it. Somebody has been gossiping for sure, but who??

MSBP was the behavior pattern that she had grown up seeing her mother suffer from it. Her mother would systematically fabricate or exaggerate the symptoms, and even once induced her with wrong medications when she was unwell. Her dad had explained, telling her that people who suffered from MSBP were willing to fulfill their need for positive attention by hurting even their own child and then appearing to care and save their so-called sick child.

Münchausen syndrome by proxy

The words played in loops in her mind. A hundred times. Revolving round and round till her head began to spin. No, it cannot be true, she held the most responsible post in an ad company, she could handle the most difficult situations. How could she bring harm to anybody? Bring harm to her own child. Never.

“Maybe I should pick up Roohi from school today” she said under her breath as she removed the mobile from her purse and started to dial.

“Hello Shekhar” she whispered into the phone, her fingers pressing hard against her left temple, “I will pick up Roohi from school today.”

“Are you okay?” said Shekhar, shifting uncomfortably in his wheel chair. “Come home directly, she will come by school bus, like she always does.” There was a ring of concern over his voice.

“No, I am fine.” She said. Her mind drifted towards her 9 years old daughter. A flash of pleasure swept over her.

Spending time with Roohi always changed her moods. In worst of situations, a happy chatter and her bright smile lifted her spirit; she needed that at this moment the most. She could come later to work and maybe work late nights, but right now she needed to go someplace with her daughter.

She flung her handbag over her shoulders, plucked the keys from the key stand and emerged from her cabin.

“I will be back soon.” She said to no one in particular as she strode at an easy pace towards the parking lot.

She revved up the engine; it rumbled, gave a soft jerk and then began to move.

She had had the presence of mind to call the mechanic and get her car repaired. It was just a spark plug issue and it was resolved in no time. 

Roohi had just emerged from her school gates, when she recognized her mother’s car parked behind her school bus, hazard lights blinking, and car position a bit skewed. She looked closely. A wave of happiness enveloped her when she saw her mother standing next to the car. She blinked, turned swiftly, her gaze not leaving her mother, her shoes grinding against the sandy ground, with her both arms swinging in air, her school bag thumping against her back, she walked swiftly, reached Tara and circled her arms around her mother’s waist.

“Mamma! So nice to see you. Ooh! I cannot believe it. What a pleasant surprise!”

“Yes, my pretty Rooh. Today, I decided to spend some time with my baby” Tara bend down to kiss her daughters forehead.

“Really? Are we going someplace?” Roohi walked towards the other side, threw her school bag at the back seat of the car, opened the front door and plopped herself in the front seat.

“We are going home, baby!” said Tara, as she put the car in gear and pulled out of the parking lot. 

“No, no, Mamma please, I don’t want to go home, can we stop for an ice-cream, please?” said Roohi, her voice lingering on the word ‘please’ and her eyes rolling in excitement.

“Hmmn, only ice cream then, okay?” said Tara, her eyes focused on the busy road ahead.

Tara parked her car outside an ice-cream parlor, hand-in-hand, Roohi and Tara walked inside.

With an interior design that looks more like a clothes shop than an exclusive ice cream parlor, this place had more than fifty flavors of ice cream, some of them truly amazing. In winter they also served chocolate delicacies and pastries.

Roohi chose the combination of vanilla and strawberry ice cream, topped with small chunks of chopped strawberries, two tiny kiwi rings, black grapes and broken pieces of walnuts and pine nuts.

While wolfing down her ice cream Roohi looked up and asked:

“You and daddy don’t go out nowadays, do you feel sad?

“Yes, sometimes, but he will be fine.”

“Will he ever walk again?”

“Yes, baby, he will.”

“You know, mamma, daddy is always on skype.”

“He is working no?”

“But he spend so much time talking to uncle Sunil on Skype.”

“Oh, they talk business.” Said Tara, wondering if Sunil was a new friend that Shekhar had found on the net. She would ask him later she decided.

“But I don’t like him.”

“You don’t have to talk to him.”

“I don’t want to talk but daddy asked me to.”

“Just say ‘hello’ and go back to your room.”

“He said he might come to Mumbai and stay in our house.”

“Don’t worry, he must have just said so, daddy friends always stay in hotel. No?”

“Mamma, he said he might come home.”

“Okay finish your ice-cream, I will drop you home then go back to work.”

“You will go back to work?”

“Yes, baby, Mamma has work to do.”

“Please, stay at home today, please, please.”

“Okay, lets go home first then we will decide.”

They drove home with Roohi chatting all the way, telling her stories about her school, friends, teachers, food, games…

Tara was already in good spirit when they entered their building compound. She inserted her house key into her main door and walked in.

She could hear soft murmurs coming from her room.

“Go to your room and change your school uniform Rooh, I will just be back” she said, nudging Roohi's shoulders to steer her towards the other room.
She decided to surprise Shekhar

She walked into her room. Shekhar was in the front of the screen, his back towards the door, deep in conversation. A shock wave travelled from her foot to her heart, as she focused her eyes to look at the face in the screen. She shivered, her nerves pulsating against her temples.

“What-the-hell!” she screamed as she clutched the mouse to switch off the Skype call.

Shekhar turned and looked at Tara in surprise. 

“You know him?” Asked Shekhar

“Yes, he is Cyrus’s brother.”

“Wait a minute, how well do you know Sunil? Have you been gossiping about me??” 

Read meets are always interesting, and every meeting I attend, I always learn something new. An evening well spent

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