Friday, July 17, 2009

Just Two Wishes..

It was raining like its never going to end and the air was cold enough to make trees shiver.

Man 1 - Sitting in a strong and sound, interiors outrageously designed, larger than requirement house worth about 1 and 7 zeroes. He watches the rain, lying lazily on his suede couch. The room fills with the aroma from the steaming cup of tea brought to him by his 8000 p/m salaried maid. He takes a careful sip of the Britain manufactured health tea. An icy chill breeze sends a shiver goes down his spine and the hot tea produces goosebumps all over his arms. He turns his head back to the 40 inch Television with Home theater and plays a lousy Hindi movie. Half watching, half listening, half drinking, he thinks about that hottie he spent last night with. 'Wow! she was some company. I should ve called her over for the day!'
'Sunoo' calls out his decked up, vertically small and horizontally broad wife. He continues to stare at the TV like he cant care any less for anything she has to say. 'I am going off with my Kitty Party friends. I wont be home tonight. Its Sheena's (4th mmm nah 5th) hen night. See you around tomorrow. Love you honey. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmuah (she blows out a kiss from the door and bangs it close) 'Love u too honey. Have fuuuun, he says to the closed door and sighs. A sudden villainous smile brights up his ugly face. aha! He quickly picks up his i-phone and taps those 9 numbers to reach heaven!

Man 2 - An icy cold wind hit him on the face and he swears out loud. The rickshaw hits a bump and his back cries out. His 70 year old spine is not his best friend anymore. It makes him grumble everytime he sits, everytime he stands, everytime he sleeps and everytime he wakes up... Arthritis has been an unwelcome guest on his knees for over 10 years now. His fading memory doesn't let him remember the time when he dint have any of these pains -- when his body was robust. He cant wait for this annoying rain to stop from wetting his self everytime a wind blows into the rickshaw.
350 rupees should be given to the owner of the rickshaw, he remembers. Sigh. Its been a bad day with no good trip in hand. He worries about how he will get the money and suddenly remembers his wife telling him about the newspapers she has collected from the neighboring big houses -- they could sell it and earn a decent 100 rupees. Great! 100 from the old newspapers, 50 from the lady sitting behind, 250 from the first half of the day. Sigh. Rent can be taken care of. He will be left with 50 rupees. Hot hot Jalebis for his wife!! His face lights up. The leaking ceiling of his house can wait. He coughs out loud and feels a killing pain in his throat. Aah! this cold! Heat emanates from his body. Fever! Bad! Another bump. Ouch!

Everytime the vehicle hits a bump, the woman sitting behind him pulls up her tube top. He wonders why this young woman is even bothering to wear something like that. The piece of cloth doesnt really serve its purpose.
'I am coming sweetypie.' she sings over the phone 'The car u sent broke down. Am coming in a rickshaw. Ah! I know baby. Its too bad to travel in this godforsaken vehicle. Don't know when the roof will fall on my head. I ll be there in ten minutes honey'
'Children these days!' the old man sighs...
He thinks of the son he and his wife doted upon, saving every penny to give him a decent life. A life way better than what he had. His son succeeded in his life. But failed his parents, terribly. 10 years ago was the last time he saw his son, walk away with her - a rich father's only daughter. Words cant come close to what he feels when he sees his wife cry every night thinking about their only son, only hope, a hope long lost. His princess is what he calls her jokingly. But both of them know how much he means it every-time he says that. His wife! the best gift god could give him. Nothing could equate the pleasure he gets when he goes home and she tends to him the best way she can with the very little he manages to give her.

'Arrey... stop the vehicle. This is where I have to get down' yells the woman. The vehicle jerks. Some water from the potholes in the road flows into the rickshaw.
'Silly man!! Look what you ve done. My shoes. Arrrrgh! do u even know how much these cost. Shit! I thought atleast your brain was stronger than this.. this.. stupid vehicle of yours. Arrrgh! My feet is full of dirty water. Yuck!'
The old man stares at her feet as he listens to all the insults. The huge gate of the humongous house opens wide. Somebody comes out.
'What is it Honey?'
'Baby... this man. This man here... look my shoes.. aarrgh!'
'These auto-drivers. Let my driver get back home. I ll fire him for not taking better care of u. U shud ve called me. I would ve sent u another car. Rickshaw.. cha.. such a mess!'
'Awww! Its ok honey. Lets go in' she gets closer to him. As close as can. As odd as can.

The voice sounds too familiar and the old man looks up. Tears swell in his eyes as he sees his son hug that woman, no, not his daughter-in-law. What a shame!

Ranting on how he wants to fire his driver, abolish all the rickshaws and the rickshaw drivers in the city, his son leads the slut into his house. The gate closes and a skin piercing wind blows onto the old man's face. aaah! he groans... As tears wet his face, he asks his Allah to grant him two wishes - One, his wife should never ever get to see this form of their son. Two, he should never ever get to see this form of his son, again.


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  3. Hi Sowmya, good job done, congratulations for such a brilliant start. I gave quite a big piece of my time for this story. I am writing all my feelings and observations in the following :

    What I liked: Your subject is really good. You took the subject which is there in the very roots of India and as you have represented this under two columns, it become more realistic. The story passes smoothly across the thoughts and incidences of a rich pamolian ( with cup of that health tea and big television ) and a poor yet human being. It almost came as comparision between the two insights for different races of society. The son of the rickshawwala presents an awful face.

    I compare that son wid those who go outside the country and leave their mother india ( rickshawwala and mother ). Their jobs are just like rickshawwala's son's wife who are not permanent. For all this, only country suffers (rickshawwala and mother).

    What I didn't like in the story: In the last paragraph where the story was coming to the conclusion, it was more expected to leave a message, it happened yet it could have been more exciting. Both the wishes of the rickshaw driver are same. As it is also the title of your story I was thinking that the second wish would be different and there it killed the ending. So, this was not as exciting as desired.

    Its a stuff to be called overall good and nice start. Carry on. Congratulations.

  4. Hey good story indeed... i wonder how you weavw the story.. is it a fact you came across or your imagination?. well this is what we see around us day in and day out.... very sad!

  5. Thanks poo... its fiction. The other day came in an auto and the driver was arnd 70 yrs old. I started writing about the line between the have's and have-not's in the society. But, it just grew and became like this :)

  6. I see tht the accolades have been pouring in... So I shall honestly say this deserves a solid "Well Done, Sowmya" and leave it at tht..

    The plot has too much resemblance to an Anita Nair/Madhavikutty sort of style, which has been done to death.. Wuld be nice if it evolves into a something unique.. :)

    P.S. Any nit-wit can give opinions, its upto the creator to decide.. :-P

  7. I do respect reader opinions (if thy dont annoy me too much :P). And hmmm.. on second thoughts... maybe its kind of a used plot. U r right. I haven't read Anita Nair or Madhavikutty though. I will try my best and keep it unique. Thanks for ur comment!

  8. a very touching reality!!!! its beautiful

  9. well... I'm not sure i was too engrossed in the story. But waiting for the next story to surface:)