“Will you two make it fast? It’s getting late and it’s going to get crowded.” Hariharan shouted from outside the wooden door of his bedroom.
He had been waiting in the hall for almost an hour now, switching channels one after another. From BBC to CNN to Animal Planet to Cartoon Network to Sun TV. Whenever he happened to pause at Sun TV, two female voices would emerge from the adjacent room asking him to pause so that they could at least listen to the dialogues or the song. Damn! Nothing had the power to disinterest him as much as listening to cinema stars giving an interview in their palatial homes, hugging their dog throughout the show. He was a movie freak himself, but his interest in cinema lasted nothing more than those 3 hours at the theatre. He found it funny to explore the personal life of the stars. It’s a celebrity thing; he finally told himself.
He heard giggles from the neighbouring room and went closer, leaning his ears on the door.
“Shuuuusshhh! He’l be listening to us through the door.” One voice spoke out.
He knew it was her. She always seemed to know what he was upto. He wondered if his male aura was powerful enough to send waves of information about him to her. She was an expert at guessing everything that went on in his mind, right under his nose. Was it serendipity? No. It was like shoplifting. He had always blamed her for stealing a part of his mind along with his heart.
The ladies he fed in his house were nothing short of a notorious pair of females who gave him all the trouble in the world and tested his patience much more than his manager did. They would tease him whenever he spoke to his mom over the phone, as if he were a cry-baby crying to see his mother. The three of them would physically fight over the tv remote - the two ladies pulling it from one side and he, the solitary fighter at the other end who would always give up.
His life at home seemed like living in some kind of a battlefield, only that he was fighting against the two best ladies of his life and he enjoyed it. As much as he whined about all their pranks, he loved it. He loved the laughter that vibrated all around him, the mischief that stood an epitome of liveliness and the happiness that made the four walls of this house a home.
“I’l wait outside. If you two don’t make it in the next 10 minutes, I’m leaving you behind.” He threatened.
He knew those words would hardly get past the door. They giggled once again. Whenever they did this to him, he felt like venting all his anger at them when they got out of the room. But he had never succeeded in that mission till date and he knew very well, that he wouldn’t win it this time as well. Pitying himself, he walked out of the house to dust his car.
One of the chores he never gave up, even after rising up the ladder in his professional and personal front was dusting and washing his car. He seemed to enjoy the whole process of cleaning up his car. It was like taking care of a kid. Driving a neat sparkling car was so much of a relaxation for him.
After what seemed like 15 minutes, while he was bending down to dust the headlights, a tiny finger knocked him on his shoulder. He recognized the touch and forced himself from turning around. He was making a pathetic attempt at feigning anger. He was in fact grinning, looking at the headlights which were now crystal clear and reflected a cute image of the girl behind him. Suddenly the small hands held his and pulled him right towards them. He turned around only to be face-to-face with the angel of his life.
His 5-year old daughter stood in front of him, holding her mother’s hand in one and her long skirt in the other. She was wearing a blue silk skirt and blouse that her grandma had gifted her for diwali. Half a dozen blue bangles jingled in each of her thin hands. A tiny bhindi shone in the middle of her thick black eyebrows. A neat line of kaajal accentuated her big, round beautiful eyes. Tiny gold earrings dropped from her ears and a pearl pendant adorned her neck. What stood out most were the two ponytails that stuck out from the top of her head, each of them held with a blue rubber band. From one of the ponytails hung a string of jasmine flowers that came all the way down to her eyes.
He kissed her on her tender cheeks and lifted her up in his arms. “So, this is what took my two-horned devil so much time to dress up huh?” He said, winking naughtily at the little girl.
His wife stood beside him waiting to be noticed in the new sari.
P.S.: Happy Diwali :)