A Rainbow in Another s cloud

Anjali parked her car and walked towards her flat. She was tired and was eager to just get home and put up her feet and enjoy a hot cup of tea This was her favourite part of the day when she had the house all to herself.  It was the time she was just Anjali the woman, not the wife, not the mother, not the boss, not a daughter in law, just Anjali, the woman.

As she settled down into her comfort corner of her room, a light drizzle had started – the constant pitter patter of raindrops served to calm her frayed nerves after arguing all day in the office about a project she had been working on.  She was lost in her own little world when the phone rang. She glanced at the phone – it was Uma, her best buddy from her MBA days, one of the few friendships from her youth that had survived everything, their shifting to different parts of the country, being married to people who barely had anything in common. It was less intense a friendship than  it was 20 years ago, but the bonds were still there, unseen but always felt. Always there. Yet, she was surprised today. Uma did not call often except on New Years’ or occasionally, on birthdays.

“Hi, Uma”, she said, warmly. “All OK?”

“Yeah, all IS well”, came the reply. But Anjali was not fooled. There was something on her friend’s   mind. “Hey Uma, what’s bothering you?”, she persisted. A few more minutes of similar conversation later, she asked, “Can I just call you sometimes? Just to talk? “

“Yes, Of course”, was her immediate and spontaneous reply. “Okay, thanks”, said Uma and hung up.

That was the beginning of a series of phone calls almost every other day. Uma gradually opened about the problems with Amar, her handsome, successful, banker husband of 12 years. She was fed up and at the end of her tether. They were strangers living under one roof, she confessed. Only the thought of the children was keeping them together. There was no intimacy in the relationship any more. To the outside world they were the ideal couple. He, an upcoming CEO of one the most successful advertising firms in the city and she, an equally bright corporate star on the horizon. The children were in the best schools available and young achievers. What more could one hope for?

A lot, according to Uma. Amar came from a sophisticated family than hers and his mother constantly looked down on her down to earth dress sense and lack of societal niceties. Amar and his mother seemed to be doubting Uma’s abilities every time she set out to do something new, which undermined her self-esteem. Nothing she ever did was right. Nothing she did or said was ever good enough.

In a house where the morning tea was still served in a Silver antique tea set, Uma felt out of place and out of depth. Her successful career, her ability to put together a home with well brought up kids seemed to count for nothing. She felt was always picked upon, she was always found coming up too short of expectations.

Anjali listened most of the time.

Peace seemed to be eluding Uma. She had deep insecurities now which were manifesting as panic attacks. She felt trapped. Trapped in a life she no longer wanted, let alone loved. Trapped in a place where she contemplated just ending it all, the easy way.

Anjali was worried and wanted to help any way she could. “You cannot let life just pass you by, Uma” said Anjali “You cannot give up – you have to fight to keep the love and life alive”

Uma was averse to meeting doctors, but Anjali was firm. She knew an old school friend who was now a psychologist in the same city and she finally managed to convince Uma to meet her. She was evaluated and found to be suffering from moderate depression.  She was started on medication. Anjali kept a constant watch on her friend – she would arrange seemingly impromptu meetings over the weekend. Go out for meals, or arrange pot Luck lunches with their old batch of classmates, catch  a play or movie, go for treks  keep in touch through mails, messages and phone calls over the weekdays.

Gradually there was a change in Uma, imperceptible at first, she began focusing on the positives rather than the negatives in her life. She began to take pride in her work and children, the mainstays of her life.  One day, Anjalii asked her, “Do you still write? I remember those beautiful poems you wrote especially when you were engaged to Amar.”  “No, not much, any longer. “was the reply.

Anjali suggested that Uma start a blog, mostly as a hobby she could focus on, but also as an outlet for her thoughts. She suggested a popular blogsite, created an account, and asked Uma to make a start. Slowly at first, then more confidently, Uma began blogging. She had an easy conversational style which seemed to endear her to the blogging world and her readership grew.

A year passed. Uma rarely spoke of her problems now. Her problems with Amar and  her mother in law and seemed less intrusive and abrasive as she created a world of words. She found common areas of interest with Amar as well her mother in law and took more interest in creating togetherness and harmony in the home they had made. Amar was happy and to Uma’s delighted reciprocated whole heartedly to her efforts. They had found love once again. She also understood her own limitations in dealing with people and consciously improved her communication skills under Anjali’s watchful. indulgent guidance.

Uma had been blogging almost every day. One day, Anjali had a brainwave. Why not compile it all into a book? I don’t have the time or the energy, replied Uma. So, Anjali converted everything on Uma’s blog into an E book. Every week she would fill up book proposal forms of different publishers and await their reply. Finally, a firm agreed to accept the book. The next few weeks were spent in a flurry of activities, of editing the final version, choosing book covers, writing acknowledgements and promoting the book among friends. family and finally the public itself.

Uma’s book was published almost 2 years to the day, after that fateful call Uma had  made to Anjali. A Bollywood actor, Anjali’s acquaintance, a senior police officer released the book and friends and family graced the occasion.

The brightest smile that day was Anjali’s. She was a little lost among the people close to Uma among who, Uma was glowing and smiling and accepting wishes and congratulations on her achievement. Amar was constantly by her side, nodding and smiling and interacting with all the guests. Her mother in law and children had also attended the function.

As Anjali stood on the side-lines, forgotten in the excitement of the book release function, she flipped open the book. The acknowledgement on the opening leaf made her smile even brighter.

It read:

To my friend Anjali.
Who taught me “To never give up!”
Thank you, Anjali for helping me find my rainbow and never giving up on me, even when I had.
This book is as much yours, as it is mine.

 

Originally published on Women’s Web

http://www.womensweb.in/2017/11/a-rainbow-in-anothers-cloud-short-story-motm-shortlisted/

Egg

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How orange is your sky?

How orange is your Sky ?

Orange enough to make you cry? 

How orange is your sky tonight?

Does it make your thoughts more bright? 

*

Mine has a darkish reddish hue 

Perhaps a reminder of whats due! 

Will my sky ever be bright again

Will I ever laugh with you again? 

*

Hey, how orange is your sky today….? 

We see the same piece of sky each day  

Yet one of us sees it bright and orange 

The other sees it as dark and strange!! 

*

Where did we miss the bus ?

When did we cease to be us? 

When did the friendly orange 

Become so very dark and strange?

orange sky at Andamans 

In response to Daily word Prompt 

Orange

Loyalties

Did You Tell her?? 

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Did you tell her you
came to me with broken wings?
Did you tell her you
were heartbroken n told me things?

Did you tell her that I
tended to that broken mind n heart?
Did you tell her that I
listened to you and opened my heart?

Did you tell her you
learned to laugh, learned to love again?
Did you tell her you
learned to see the colors of life  again?

Did you tell her that I
brushed the cobwebs away,
Did you tell her that I
made you smile, come what may?

Did you tell her that you
now healed and sealed, went right back
Did you tell her that you
left me hurt n broken, in my lil shack?

Did you tell her that I
still cry myself to sleep
Did you tell her that I
now have a lifetime to weep?

In Response to the One Word Prompt

Loyal

GENIUS?

  does it take a genius 

to know whats wrong and right 

does it take a genius 

to make her smile a little bright

does it take a genius 

to respect what was once a refuge 

does it take a genius 

to not need to resort to subterfuge 

does it take  a genius 

not to hurt a heart that loved you so

does it take a genius 

to  hold on tight and not ever let go 

does it take a genius 

to not shatter a dream

does it take a genius 

to hear the silent scream ??

john-adams-president-quote-genius-is-sorrows 

in response to word prompt

GENIUS

Warrior of Life

Keening inside maybe, but stoic and sturdy

You, Woman of Steel, are seen everyday!

In a workplace, in an office, in a bank or hospital,

In a home, in an airplane cockpit or in a school!

*

You are the woman balancing a kid on the pillion,

Trying to beat the clock, parting smudged with vermillion,

Oil in your hair, waiting for the light to change to green

Not the one on the Billboard or the one on the TV screen…

*

Avid for life, averse to strife,

A mother, lover, sister or wife

Avid for love, averse to any bend

A daughter, a guide, a life-long friend !

*

Avid for love,

Avid for life!

A warrior of life ,

A warrior For Life!

When a Greek pirate ship sails in to loot the wealth of the Cholas, it is brutally defeated by the navy and forced to pay a compensation. A payment that includes a twelve-year-old girl, Aremis. Check out this new historical novel Empire (http://bit.ly/DeviEmpire) with a warrior woman, Aremis at the heart of the novel.

Savage Life

they met, they loved 

they parted, they cried

they met again, they smiled,  

they were one, a whole again…

  ~*~

there was magic in the air, 

the tender hand on her hair…. 

time went by,

life was a blur

of hugs and promises

smiles and stolen kisses….

      ~*~

yet there came a day 

when he did pull away!

 savage his words

I no longer feel love

savage his action 

of final retraction 

savage his love

forgetting his vow

savage his heart 

tears hers apart

Savage is love,

Savage is life !

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In response to Daily Prompt :

Savage

The Peak Tourist Season For Awe Inspiring Ladakh Is May-September. Here’s My Experience Of It

http://www.womensweb.in/2017/07/awe-inspiring-ladakh/

From my QUILL