Lost and Found
‘Oh no! How many times have I told him to keep the books in the almirah.’
She begins to hum a song and starts cleaning the house. The books scattered all over the house are now arranged immaculately in the rack. The newspapers are strewn on the bed, the study table and the sofa. She arranges them neatly and proceeds with her next chore: Vessels. The humming continues as she washes the dishes.
It is time for clothes. She hangs the laundry to dry and prepares a cup of tea for herself.
‘Next, the bedroom’. She changes the bed-sheets, cleans the writing desk and sprays room freshener. The two hands of the clock are about to meet at the center and it is time for her favorite T.V soap.
Nothing interesting happens in the episode and that bores her.
It has been a long time since she last read a book. Today, instead of taking a short nap, she looks through the classics section of her book shelf, hoping to find a nice one to read.
A photograph falls out from a book as she flips through pages. ‘Ah. I found this, finally’. It was a picture taken in Shimla by the chaiwala near the hotel where they had been staying twenty years ago. It was the time of her cheerful honeymoon. The smiling faces in the photograph help her recall the whole magical experience.
She remembers watching ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya’ with her hubby for the first time; the Kulfi they shared, those long walks, the thrilling boating experience and so many cherished moments of togetherness! ‘They were wonderful days,’ she thinks, silently.
‘I should not have snapped at him today. Should I call him?’
She decides against it and plans to surprise him by cooking his favorite dessert for dinner.
‘When he returns home tonight, I know what I have to say.’
She writes ‘Thanks for the memories’ with a red sketch pen on a piece of paper and places it on the dining table.
Her husband comes home at 8pm. ‘Dinner is ready, come soon,’ she says.
He says that he has finished his dinner and is now off to sleep. The coldness in his voice tells her that he is still not in the mood. ‘At least give me company at the dining table. I was waiting for you’… her voice is heard from the kitchen.
He ignores the call and gets ready to sleep. She sleeps on the sofa in the living room, crying secretly.
He wants to know if she has eaten or not and pretends to go to the wash room. He sees that the food is untouched. Next to it, he reads the note and smiles.
‘Ahem,’ he clears his throat and asks her to join him. She hesitates. ‘At least, read my reply. I am waiting for you’. She gets up and reads, ‘Welcome and thanks for being grateful. And Sorry! – I lied, I am hungry, too. Serve me.’
They hug each other tight after the dinner, and re-create a moment from their magical memories.