Sakhi's Laghukatha

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Mrinal inhaled deeply, she loved freshly baked cake aroma. She peeked from the transparent oven door and sniffed again. This one was his favourite, chocolate cake. She was sure he would love it. She smiled to herself. Today was their “friendship anniversary” and she wanted to surprise Saaras on their special day.

“How time flies…” Mrinal thought wistfully. It was two years since they first met at the contemporary painting exhibition. They hit off instantly. They were different and yet there was something special that bound them. After that first meeting they met again at a few more shows and their friendship deepened. For Mrinal he was a wave of fresh air. She loved listening to his ideas. It was not that she agreed to everything that he said but Saaras’ passion for art and culture drew her closer to him. She loved their good natured banter. Sometimes Mrinal’s husband too would join them but mainly he was happy to see his wife getting a friend with whom she could share her love for art, who understood her world of colours. Mrinal loved spending time with Saaras. There was something magical about their togetherness. It was difficult to give a name to their relationship. Friendship was the milder and more acceptable term. Though their feelings ran deeper than mere friendship, there was not even one instance where anyone can point fingers at them.

Mrinal was awakened from her reverie with a beep from oven indicating that the cake was ready. She took it out, looked at it and smiled again. She looked at the clock and rushed to get ready. She wanted to be at Saaras’ place before he was back from work. She wore a beautiful peacock blue saree, looked at herself in the mirror and was happy with what she saw. A small bindi between her brows made her babyish face look even more beautiful. There was no other make-up needed.

Saaras was already home when she reached and was surprised to see Mrinal. She enthusiastically wished him “Happy Friendship Anniversary” and smiled broadly. Saaras smile at her childish exuberance but he seemed miles away. Mrinal sensed that there was something wrong but shook the doubt out of her mind and went on gushing about how happy she was. She proudly showed the cake she had baked and went on to get the knife. She had even got candles for them to blow together. She set the cake on the table and called Saaras to cut it with her. Mrinal offered him a piece of cake out of her hand and hugged him with childlike ebullience.

Instead of his usual friendly hug, his arms tightened around her waist. He drew her closer and held tightly. Mrinal looked up into his eyes and was taken aback at the emotions that lurked there. She tried to wriggle out of his embrace. She freed herself and looked at Saaras with a questioning look, almost accusing him.

“What happened Saaras?” Mrinal asked more for herself than him.

Rather than answering her, he went and sat at the edge of sofa with his head in his palms. He looked miffed. Mrinal was surprised at his reaction and went to sit beside him. He got up with a jolt and looked at Mrinal again with unfathomable expressions.

“What happened Saaras?” Mrinal asked again, a little scared.

Something snapped in Saaras.

“What is all this Mrinal? You are a married woman. All these talks of friendship and platonic love are nothing but bullshit. This is nothing but lust. And when I hold you, you look at me as if I have committed some crime!” Saaras shouted.

Looking at Mrinal’s mortified face, Saaras regained his senses. He swore under his breath and went to Mrinal, to hold her, to appease her, to ask for her forgiveness for his callousness. Once again she looked in Saaras’ eyes with her own moist ones. She got up and went out of his home, without looking back!

“If only you knew, how much I love you, Mrinal!” Saaras sighed longingly after her.

May be one day they will be together again, like old days… may be not!


Posted on: June 15, 2009

There was fire in his eyes…

Fire of love, fire of jealousy, fire of betrayal…



She was his friend, nothing else, or so he said, time and again!

“Congratulations!” he said, with fire in his eyes and bouquet in his hands!

P.S. Tried 55er for the first time. Haven’t used all 55 words though. Hope I haven’t disappointed you guys 🙂

Their life changed and how!! Baby’s laughter, cries and antics filled their days with pleasure. They named the baby “Khushi”, for she brought them happiness. As the days passed Kaushal forgot all about her birth problems and things fell into routine. Preksha also resumed her work after a few months.


Khushi was very timid and looked like a porcelain doll. But as she grew up her parents noticed that her milestones were delayed. The paediatrician asked them to wait since certain children took time. But as the fate would have it Khushi never became “normal”. She remained a slow child! Her physical capabilities were also compromised. Preksha and Kaushal were heart broken to see their only child in such a state.


They tried to search for the reasons, was it because of the late pregnancy? Was it because of the delayed oxygen supply to the brain at the time of delivery? They wanted reasons; they wanted to blame something, somebody…


Over a period of time they came to term with the situation. And all said and done, Khushi was their only child, their precious princess and now she needed them more than anything else. In spite of her delayed growth, she was a happy child and loved playing around. She needed more care, a cautious supervision and special attention.


“I want to be with Khushi… I want to leave the job.” said Preksha at dinner one day.


Kaushal had never forced her for anything. He was happy with her happiness. And he also knew that Khushi needed her mother’s care and attention. But he also knew that Preksha would go bonkers if she stayed at home full time.


He was right. Being a full-time mother of a slow child was taking toll at Preksha. She needed an outlet.


One day on internet, she came across a site which helped people put up NGOs and the necessary training required for running such an organization.


Preksha looked at Khushi and thought,


“There are so many mothers like me who are in the same position and might not have enough capability or resources to bring up their “special” children. I, anyway, have to look after Khushi, so why not help others also!!”


Kaushal was more than happy with the idea.


And the ball started rolling.


Isn’t it said, “When you desire something, the entire universe conspires to realize your wish”?


The journey was not easy, not easy at all! But the smiles of the little angels kept her going. Initially the finances were tough, but as the word spread, donations came pouring in and also the volunteers. Young boys and girls took time from their studies to donate their time.


Slowly but steadily her dream took shape and today Preksha is a proud founder of “Khushi’s Paradise”; a paradise where Khushi and her “friends” love doing finger painting,  listening to stories, getting scared of puppets, eating sloppily and then sheepishly smiling at “aunties”, “Didis” and “Bahiyas”. Still, their favourite is “Preksha mamma”.


Preksha started with one child but now she was a proud “Mamma” of 60 such Khushis…


Epilogue: Khushi is now 6 years old, still passes urine and sometimes stool too, without realizing. She still needs attention and constant watch so that she would not lose balance while walking. She has to be looked after while eating so that she would not get chocked since her cough reflex has not yet developed properly. She has a lot of other problems but her smile is intact.


And she still brings happiness to her parents’ lives!!

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Sakhi's Laghukatha by Sakhi (aka Dr. Dhara Shah) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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