img_20170108_151652916Bath is beautiful place which one shouldn’t miss. I wasnt so lucky because the bath museum was only on was on my fate.

img_20170108_152046130

img_20170108_152104272

img_20170108_152614087

img_20170108_152705416

img_20170108_152805728When Roman’s invaded UK(When I heard I was happy, at least someone invaded their privacy like they did others. Sadist of me, dont blame me, blame the history). they constructed this open hot bath. The architecture is so mind blowing I am sure no one could have imagined about it

img_20170108_153806477

img_20170108_153948586All I wanted to do is plunge in to the pool from first floor. It was their warning “Do not touch the water its not clean” warning stopped me.

img_20170108_154045571

img_20170108_154152410

img_20170108_154311100

img_20170108_154800640

img_20170108_154811571

img_20170108_154842771

img_20170108_154848830

img_20170108_154916053

img_20170108_154950189

img_20170108_155107142

img_20170108_155112837

img_20170108_155153361In those days many people used to visit bath to get cured of their diseases. There was saying if they could not get healed in Bath they could not get healed anywhere

img_20170108_155243139

img_20170108_155424554I love Romans.

img_20170108_155612031

img_20170108_160301904So Fascinating!

img_20170108_160310155

img-20170108-wa0186this little light of mine, I am going to let it shine….

img_20170108_160404345

img_20170108_160722083

img_20170108_161530558

img_20170108_161546621In that quiet evening after seeing the spectacular bath music was so soothing I couldnt stop humming the song. I heard there was a secret call…..Aleluia, Aleluia

img_20170108_161558970And yeah Bath is always about BATH

img_20170108_161601215Roman Baths

img_20170108_161605429

img_20170108_161658781

img_20170108_161728226And there far away in Bath I found a Indian restaurant:)

img_20170108_162140119Its mind blowing. May be I should find a guy from Bath and settled down in Bath enjoying Roman Bath

img_20170108_162235203

img_20170108_162335950  img_20170108_162424795

img_20170108_163410155

img_20170108_162817401

img-20170108-wa0036  Some locks are closed forever and can be opened only with key named loveimg-20170108-wa0193She looks familiar, oh yeah that is me busy capturing the moment rather than living them. Stupid me. I am disappointed as I couldn’t explore Bath, very very disappointed.

img_20170107_094720564Pouring rain, bone chilling wind  I dont care. I love my freedom but i am deprived of love

img_20170107_094810367

I sit on strangers foot step when I am tired with hope

img_20170107_094828312

So what I am orphan I dont know a single minute which is not exciting

img_20170107_094835062

Hope I had a loving family

img_20170107_094852218

bowl of warm milk, slice of tuna, tiny dry spot more than that a loving home is all I need

img_20170107_095008435

Let me in, I am a nice cat.I wont purr, I wont whimper I will just sit at the corner out of your wayimg_20170107_095016822

Can you please let me in.img_20170107_095019965

Humans, let me in I am Edna, the stray cat of your lane!!!img_20170107_095045461_censored

I am not fortunate but I am lucky because the small heart inside me still beats. I wait like always until the door to my fate to be opened, and picked up by loving arms ocean full of assurance “It is going to be alright, I will be always there for you. It is ok”. Its  not the time it matters it is the patience which counts.

Sankeerthi was running through the steps, ready for her morning jog wearing her track suit. She just reached the ground floor when she heard the familiar whistling sound floating from behind. She smiled and sat pretending to tie her shoe lace so that he could catch up with her. She looked back, exposing his long hairy legs in shorts, hoody covering his face and regular Nike shoes he looked so gorgeous to her she forgot her shoe and lace and sat glaring at him. Tugging her neatly tied hair he ran with challenge in air to catch him. Sankeerthi got up and started to chase Leeroy with all her might. With his twinkling smile on his face he ran with all his will just few meters ahead of Sankeerthi, gradually she reduced her speed, enjoying the moment after a long time. It has been so many days since she saw him this carefree, laughing and irritating her every chance he got. He might have masked his sadness from outside world but he couldn’t from her.

With his eyes on Sankeerthi who was chasing him he failed to see the nearby lamppost and banged his head to it. With one hand to his just bumped head he collapsed to ground with pain. Sankirthi tried to hide her laughter but when she failed to do so she laughed so loudly her eyes started to water. Lying on the nicely trimmed lawn he glared up at Sankeerthi moaning with pain. Her laughter was replaced by concern when Leeroy closed his eyes holding his bump on his head. She knelt beside him examining the bump saying it will be alright, she is there but when she realized he is pretending she chuckled “Too small for your big body”

“I think I have hurt my head badly, my head is spinning, I can see two of you. I feel like puking, I think I am suffering from concussion. Holy cow!!”

“That’s why they say keep your eyes on the road while walking, Concussion my ass!” She said extending her hand smiling at Leeroy who was still lying on the grass. A board written in bold letters “walking , sitting on lawn is prohibited” was mocking at them.

He looked at her concern face even though she was smiling and then at her extended her hand. He slowly held her hand pretending to get up and slowly he pulled her down. Sankeerthi who was un-expecting Leeroy’s wicked game fell to the lawn behind him. With eyes focused on the clearing sky she lay there for a moment ignoring the people who were looking at them as if they are making love in public place. Forgetting all her worries about her future, her mother, she just lay there beside Leeroy living the moment glaring at the sky, rising sun. How she wanted the sky to absorb her from this world for eternity. With her forefinger slowly raised towards the sky she kept staring. Leeroy held her finger in his

“Did you do it for me ?I know you didn’t like when your mother lectured you on spending time with me….”

Sankeerthi tried to free her hand from Leeroy’s hand and get up. She was not ready to talk to him about the ordeal she went through not now not ever, she wanted to tell him that on his face. But instead she said

“Let go of my hand Roy, I rather jog then sit and talk about my boring past” without looking at him.

Once on her feet she looked at him and said “I did it for myself Roy, myself nobody else”.

With her head phones on she started to run without looking back whether Leeroy followed her or not. With her project work almost done she was looking forward to her new job. With her friends all excited about graduation day she didn’t give much attention to it. She was desperately waiting for the day when she will officially join the new job, other things bored her already. If she performs well they might send her to client location, another country and she can finally leave her home, her hating mother, her boring home behind. She increased the volume of her Ipod when “knocking on heaven door” started to play.

Leeroy pulled her to nearby bench and stared at her with concern.  With arm around her shoulder he moved bit closer to her hoping she will broke her silence. Sankeerthi tried to concentrated on anything but Leeroy, with those eyes filled with concern and worried look he looked so tempting to her to tell her pain, her crazy act which left her partially paralyzed her till her last breath .She thrust her hands in her pockets scared to death that she will touch Leeroy in broad day light with people glaring at them and kept on looking at the trimmed plants in front of her as if they have some precious plants from another planet, inhaling Leeroys mind fucking sweat smell. When patience’s seems to be running out Leeroy pulled her headphone and waited, counting every second

“If you run from your past it will haunt you till your death, so stop running and face it with all your might”

“It is easy to tell Roy, its damn fucking easy when you are on the happy end with loving father and understanding mother. If my past will haunt me then let it haunt me anyways I am life without soul”

With her voice shaking and eyes filling with tears Leeroy held her hand and sat there saying nothing. She could see his hands all set to pull her in his embrace but for some reason he stopped may be he was scared his action will cause her trouble later on. Saying all the things he wanted to say in silence Sankirthi sat next to him getting all the comfort from Leeroy in silence. It is magical when mere presence brings out the peace and solace you longed for without saying a word.

Sankeerthi had expected questions after questions to fire from Leeroy like bullets, but when he chose to stay silent she just gazed at their locked hands.

“All the years I just waited for the opportunity, now opportunity is knocking at my door with ocean full of promises and I have to walk away. “.

She turned so that she was face to face with Leeroy

“But you love USA, it was your dream to settle down in US, Roy”

“Sometimes we have sacrifice Ki”. He looked at her palms as if he is reading them and said “Mom has cervix cancer”. He paused for a while as if he is carefully choosing his words.

“She is dying, I never told you because she was recovering, and never imagined situation will be so out of control.” It was Sankeerthi who pulled him in her embrace absorbing all the catastrophes of the just dropped bomb. That’s how she wanted to be her back to the people and face to Leeroy when he needed her the most without caring about the bystanders and the curious neighbors. With his face pressed to her neck she stroked his back saying she will be always there for him and Lydia will be alright. He held her more tightly like a kid hugging his teddy bear while having his nightmares in the lone dark nights. When she felt him relaxed she let him go but held his hand in hers.

When she felt somebody’s stares on them she held his hand more tightly and looked around. There was her mother standing and staring at her with disgust and her facial expression screamed her hatred. Sankeerthi stared back hoping her hatred reflected clearly on her face. With eyes still glued on her mother she pulled Leeroy and started walking out of the park holding his hand. Determined, she walked with wicked smile on her face to burn her mother’s body alive.

. Her mother hated him since childhood for no reson, after her elopement drama with other guy her mother still didn’t believe it was not Leeroy who was involved.

“Why don’t you take me for a morning ride on your girl, suddenly I feel suffocating here”. Leeroy who failed to noticed Sankeerthi’s mother was surprised to hear her request. It was so unlike her, she never asked for a ride. Happy to take her around he started the bike.

Sitting on the pillion seat Sankeerthi observed the almost empty roads. With street dogs getting up from their sleep, yawning and stretching their legs, she wondered why roads cant be the same whole day. With her body shivering to the merciless morning breeze she leaned forward to get some warmth from Leeroy.

Leeroy stopped his bike near a crowded tea shop and looked at Sankeethi questionably. When she just glared at him with “WHHAt” look he said

“What is with your sudden interest with ride and all?”.Sankeerthi ignored him and walked to the tea shop.

Sipping her hot smoky tea she looked at Leeroy who was busy examining his bike’s wheels “you should go back to US Roy, that’s your dream, chase it, live it and own it. You will be at peace at least with yourself. Don’t worry about you mom, I am there and even your dad is there she will be alright”.

After a minute which seemed like a hour, he smiled; which didn’t reach his eyes and said “I wont be going to US Ki, mom needs me, she may not tell me but I know her, I just cant leave her in this situation. Well achieved dreams are void if you don’t have the people you love around you to celebrate. I will get ample of opportunities to dream and live them but I got only one mother and she may not be around all time”

Sankeerthi took a sip of her tea and said nothing. She was touched to see the strong bond between a sick loving mother and caring son. She didn’t force him because she felt he is doing the right thing

Leeroy slowly stepped forward and pulled back her hair covering her scar from her forehead and stared at her face. She knew it he wont let go of the things which bug him so easily. When she tried to turn away he said holding her hand “What you did was stupid stunt Ki, couldn’t you just talked to me about it before acting upon it. I thought we were good friends. You being crazy, acting in pit of anger to teach a lesson to your mother; I understand but why any other guy? I would have been happiest person to play the role in your fake eloping drama.

Sankeerthi stared at him with surprise wondering how he knows the truth.

“Don’t look at me like that, I am not a fool like your parents and those stupid cops. I know you from almost 11 years Ki and I also know your instincts. And I also know I am the only guy you have kissed so far”. Saying he winked at her

Sankeerthi stood there wondering why her parents were not like him, to trust her in spite of her cooked up story.

“Even though you didn’t do anything you were punished, if you think you have tortured your mother well then you are wrong. You went through hell to prove your hatred towards your mother. Relations don’t work that way Ki. You can win hatred with love but you can never win hatred with hatred”

Sankeerthi pulled her hand and walked away keeping her empty tea glass cup on the table so fast that Leeroy had to run to keep up with her.

“I don’t want to talk about my mother Roy, not now, not ever. Sometimes I wonder why I was not born as orphan; at least I wouldn’t know what it is to have mother who hate you from the day of your birth. Having a mother and being an orphan is unbearable thing Roy, you will never understand that, you are so lucky in that case”

She looked at her watch as if she really cared about running time and said “we better hurry up”. Ride back home was quiet; lost in their world both were busy wondering about each other.

**********

Lydia was recovering, with Leeroy taking care of her every needs, she seems to be happiest and strongest person. Sankeerthi visited her every day, taking some fresh flower or some novel she picked for her from the library. They talked about new residents, watchman’s love story of 10 years with neighbor building maid. There was not a thing which they didn’t talk about. While Lydia sat there changing the channels listening to her, Sankeerthi sat beside her turning the pages of some business magazine on table, talking nonstop all the time. Its not the topic which mattered it just company which they loved; each other’s.

One fine evening they were talking as usual when Leeroy joined them. With their talk traversing every corner of the world Leeroy lost track and buried himself in sports channel.

Lydia who was bored watching men in one color chasing the ball,other men hitting the ball and her son who was almost jumping from couch, biting his nail. After focusing her eyes on Sankeerthi who was lost in some page of business book fascinated by their successful story said

“So what you wearing for your graduation day?Sari? Salwar may be a dress?”

Sankeerthi threw the magazine on the table

“Don’t know Lydia, will wear something old. Anyways nobody can see your dress beneath that black bat man costume”

“Why don’t you buy a dress, I can help you to pick one, our driver Leeroy can drive us around.

Sankeerthi smiled at Lydia and said “Thank you but that’s ok, you see I am keen on getting my final marks card rather than throwing that black hat in hair”

Leeroy whose ears suddenly became alert on mention on graduation day asked curiously “Your father is attending?”

Sankeerthi laughed out so loud that her eyes were watering

“Last thing my father wants is to show his face in my college. I am cool with that so nothing to worry”

“When is it again? May be me and mom can make fun of you in your bat man dress”

Sankeerthi threw the newspaper at him, after telling the dates she said “I am not sure of myself attending the ceremony so forget it. Why waste time on some boring speech and ceremony”. She changed the topic as easily as changing the dress

************

Darkness was overpowered by the brightly lit lights. With the announcer calling out student’s name who were graduating and family members cheering, it looked like a carnival but boring one without the Samba dancers. Sankeerthi was waiting in a queue to be her name to be called when her phone started to ring. When Leeroy’s name displayed she wondered why on earth he is calling in the evening that too probably its gym time. She said “hello” closing her one ear, with little hope she could be heard over the screaming speaker.

“Hey bat man how long you going to stay in that queue?”.

Sankeerthi held her phone and started searching for Leeroy. If few minutes ago she was sad soul, her worries were drifted out like clearing of the blue sky after dark clouds. It could be some ceremony she is not interest to attend but there were people to watch her climb those steps and graduate.

“Turn around Batman”. When she turned she saw Lydia and Leeroy waving back at her. She gave them a broad smile and waved back. At least there were people wo were happy to see her graduate.

When her name was called she walked those steps proudly, received her degree from the chief guest and looked in direction of Lydia and Leeroy. So what her parents were shamed of her but there were people who were proud of her.

When finally ceremony got over she ran towards Lydia and Leeroy. She hugged Lydia who was looking stunning in sari and said “Ohh Lydia, thank you, it means a lot to me”.

Lydia hugged her back, wiped her tears and said “We wouldn’t miss it girl, smile it’s your day”

Leeroy pinched Sankirthi’s cheek and said “you did it batman, you did it”.

Sankeerthi beamed with smile. She was climbing the steps of her success one by one she thought

Lydia said “come on Roy, drop me home and take the girl out for a fancy place to celebrate”

Leeroy eyes were focused on the road while Bnagalore’s evening traffic was driving every driver crazy. Lydia gave gift wrapped box to Sankeerthi and said “Your graduation gift Sankeerthi”

“It was not necessary Lydia, but thank you.”

“Call your father and inform that you will be staying at your friends place tonight. “

Sankeerthi looked at Lydia surprisingly not understanding what she is trying to tell. Lydia patted Sankeerthi’s back and said “US return guy going to take you for a party, buckle up gal for some shooters, gin and tonic, but before you go, wear that dress “

“Mom, you spoiled the surprise” Leeroy said changing the gear

Lydia dramatically covered her mouth with her hand and said “ohhh, I was not supposed to tell you what is there in that gift box,..”

Sankeerthi laughed and said “Its ok Lydia , thank you again”

After dropping Lydia home, Leeroy turned his car in direction of Indiranagar, never sleeping place in Bangalore. A Place Pubs are more than the traffic signals

Leeroy said “open the box, mom picked it for you. Her excitement was driving me crazy. Even for my graduation day she wasn’t so much excited.”

Sankeerthi started to un-wrap the box slowly, lifted the dress from the box and held in front of her eyes for examination. With made for each other white flowers on black cloth it was elegant dress. Sleeves cut short till shoulder blade, length shortened to match the sleeves till the knees she loved the dress. The thick black belt was lying back in the box , waiting to be lifted up for same admiration.

“It’s lovely Roy, its beautiful. Thank you again”

Roy laughed and said “I just paid the bill, it’s my mom you should thank. She is with good fashion sense”

Leeroy just smiled, focusing his eyes on the road.

Sankeerthi shocked him by kissing him on his cheek and then sitting in total silence zipping her lips.

“What is that for?”

“For being nice to me”, Sankerthi said looking out of the window. She still wondered how lame her life would if not for Leeroy and his family

Rest of the way the silence ruled majestically but it was sweet. When you have ears to listen silence it becomes magical.

Sankirthi was just coming out of the washroom now dressed in her black and white dress, red stilettoes, lightly applied red lipstick and hair left free to enjoy their freedom while Leeroy stared at her holding his ground, too nervous to comment on her appearance. She smiled and walked towards him with her bag hoping he would make fun of her but to her amazement he just guided her holding her elbow. The dress marvelously fitted her lean body and she looked beautiful, she was sure about it but when Leeroy just walked without uttering a word she started getting her doubts. She made a move towards the washroom and said “maybe I should change,…..”. Leeroy held her hand and looked anywhere but her and said”Let’s go Ki, you look just fine, I feel suffocation I need a drink”

It was open terrace, with crazy crowd dancing to some rock music holding beer bottles like there are no worries she started to enjoy it. Sankeerthi was standing near terrace eage, waiting for Leeroy, ad was watching the minute world below.

“Spectacular view isn’t it?”

She turned towards a total stranger who was glaring at her with twinkling eyes.

What’s with these men, cant a woman enjoy her own company for a little while

She chuckled cursing Leeroy for taking so much long time to get their drinks.

“I am Saurab” he extended his hand expecting Sankeerthi to take it in her hand and shook it.

But to his surprise she stood there glaring at his face and then his hand. Then she  gave one of her best smile in his direction still not taking his hand in hers

Thinking fish is in his net the man took a step forward towards her when Leeroy said with a firm but gentle voice “There you are darling, I thought I lost you in this crowd”.

There was a twinkle in Leeroy’s eyes which was hard to miss. Sankeerthi giggled and walked towards Leeroy and said “Oh darling, there you are, I missed you already, what took you so long…”. With the lone stranger disappearing in midst of other strangers they both laughed together sharing their joke. He handed her a cocktail glass and said “It is time for a toast”. Sankeerthi took her glass and waited patiently.

Leeroy looked at her “In any moment of your life don’t ever feel alone, if you could take the pain of turn around you will find me just behind you smiling. It is not because you need me it is because I want to be there for you” Sankirthi’s eyes were filled with tears. Leeroy pulled her in his embrace for a brief moment. Then he raised his glass and said “To the hard, stubborn ass woman who wont budge no matter what”

They clicked their glasses and sipped their drinks, people were enjoying, dancing living the moment lost in their mortal happy world. So what it did not last forever at least they had the moment in their pocket. Leeroy pulled her to the dance floor and said “Let’s dance Ki, night is raw, we are young, time is golden…..” Sankeerthi followed Leeroy to the dance floor in midst of strangers who were shaking their hips and laughing. How Sankeerthi loved the surrounding, nobody cared who you really were, all were lost in their own world, all thanks to the alcohol for its magic. How she wished her life was like that, so carefree, so wild

Sankeerthi danced to very tune they played drinking cocktail after cocktail, telling Leeroy how grateful she is for bringing her here, and how she is enjoying every bit of it.

Leeroy pulled her towards the corner and said “you have to eat something Ki, booze with empty stomach is not good”

Sankeerthi giggled and said “come then Roy, I will eat you, once I am done with you I can eat my mom”

Leeroy smiled and said “yeah, swallow that mom of yours”

He fed her some food while she sat whining all time like a kid. He was caressing her hair and was telling something she looked at him and burst into tears.

Holding her in his arms Leeroy assured her everything is alright, he will be there always whenever he needed. Still sobbing in his arms she said “what would I have done without you Roy. I would have been a mass of living meat with no soul and life”. She hugged him more tightly and said

“Promise me you will never leave me”

Leeroy held her even more tightly and replied “Promise love, I will never leave you, you know that”

With her eyes still watering she looked at his assuring face, promising eyes and her hands automatically moved to touch his cheek

Slowly she moved closer till she could hear his heart beat and feel his breath on her face. She lifted her lips and kissed him slowly wrapping her arms around his neck. She hung on to every little second, kissing him scared that if she let go of him her he might vanish.

Her eyes were watering, remembering the every single moment they were together; hugging Leeroy more closely she hoped for the night to never end

Leeroy kissed her back showering with her all assurance. He slowly said “This is the second time you kissed me, you may not keep the count but definitely I am”. Sankirthi chuckled wiping her tears, he always had the knack to make her laugh even when she was all weepy .Leeroy held her close in his arms saying nothing then again its Leeroy whose actions spoke louder than his words

Arms all wrapped around each other with her head still resting on his chest, listening to his heart beat she felt so happy and content.

When the music stopped for a while he said “I will be back, and don’t go on kissing some punk thinking its me.” Saying he winked at her and vanished in the crowd

Sankeerthi stood wondering what made her kiss Leeroy, the mind sinning  liquor or her true love for him. She liked him and even he liked her in his own way but he wouldn’t love her. She had seen his high level female friends glaring at him. By kissing him she made the things complicated for both of them she felt.

“Hope you are not thinking about that kiss!!” saying Leeroy handed over a small glass with rim coated with salt and piece of lemon.

“Remember this day Ki, the day you were graduated, the day you kissed me for the second time and you had your first tequila shot”.

Leeroy pulled her to dance floor while Sankeerthi was still recovering from gulping the burning liquid. “Tequila always brings out the best in you” he whispered in her ears. Sankirthi let the music guide her and danced like never before. She closed her eyes and felt redemption. She could smell the freedom just few yards away from her annoying mother, home.  She opened her eyes and felt like freedom she just found is slipping away. With fear of losing it, she started to run, to catch the freedom, her freedom, her dear freedom, which she longed so dearly. With head hitting the pillar, Sankeerthi blacked out from rest of the glorious memories, passing out on the floor with a big bump on her head still looking cute and innocent in her newly worn graduation dress.

img_20161104_085452036

As I wait for the bus in the morning I see this old lady walking ,dragging her shopping trolley and a burning cigarette between her mouth. Same old purple hat on her head, not so fancy glasses resting on her nose she walks watching her foot steps carefully. With her mouth always semi open in shape of “O” is smiling at all the strangers passing by or missing teeth makes her difficult to close her mouth I dont know for sure. But I want to assume the first case. When she reaches her spot she stops and looks around opening her bag and taking the packet of the bread.

img_20161118_090100816

As she opens the bread packet;sometimes half used and sometimes untouched the hungry eager pigeon’s fly down  from the top of the building where they have upper hand of watching whole town. As she breaks the breads and throws around pigeons dig in not worrying about tomorrow, enjoying the moment.

img_20161118_090105734

Once they are full they flutter their wings and fly with rocket speed all together in a group. While some still peck on the bread others go on their regular rounds flying high around the town center eager to live the new day, pooping on strangers head, passage. I stand still with broad smile on my face bus long forgotten along with my  8kg laptop. Lost in the spectacular view, hand on my head to prevent from free falling poop from above my adrenaline pumps seeing them take off like mass of charging war flights.

img_20161206_085534500

Once they are back from their round few fly down to finish their breakfast while others sit on the top of the building watching the world pass by.

img_20161216_085547083

Old lady waits watching all the magic in slow motion still smoking the cigarette. When she see the bread disappear she walks away with the trolley bag, throwing the cigarette bud in the waste bin after stabbing.

She is not the occasional feeder who takes handful of grains and throws on the street whenever feels like. She is generous old lady who doesnt miss a single day feeding the Pigeons. Coldest cold day she would be still there head to toe covered in warm clothes,with same purple hat on her head and pulling her trolley bag with her gloved hand with burning cigarette stuck between her lips.

img_20170102_132312948

I am street cat named Edna not Bob. I will be glad if someone writes a book on me too.

img_20170102_132315888

He is Ginger Cat while I am black and white but still stray. Irony mate!

img_20170102_132333286

I am glad people feed me. May not be lucky as Bob but still something is better than nothing

img_20161218_082418593

Edna, That is my Brit name. I dont have permanent address but I have regular stops. This one is my favorite.

img_20170102_112125139

I found her on the street busy with her regular rounds. I called her and she followed me till the door step. So what i stay in midst of strangers in foreign country, there is someone who recognizes me and my voice enough to follow me. Animals they have several ways to make you fall in love.

 

 

She sat on the bench in the park and tried to catch her breath. Today she had run for 1 hour nonstop. With her heart still beating like a crazy drum against her rib-cage she watched the morning walkers. She smiled at the known faces and ignored the unknown staring faces; time taught her a lesson. When the January’s cold wind hit her face she shivered and pulled her hoodies sleeves and thrust her hands into pockets. Closing her eyes she lifted her face to feel the cold tickling wind. With sun rays kissing earth and her face darkness was swallowed by the light. How she wished for a magical sun rise in her life. She used stay awake till late night watching the dark sky with occasional stars and sleep during the day. It was recently she started to love being early bird, getting up before sun rise from his mystified sleep and wake the whole world. With hoodies cap covering her ears, head phones bursting heavy metallic music she felt relaxed and fresh. It is been a week since she started to listen to heavy metal as it seems drain her pain with every beat. Leeroy loved heavy metal; she smiled when she remembered him, after all he was the one who pestered her always to listen to his favorite genre. It’s been almost a month since he is gone to US. He had called couple of times but Sankirthi let the phone ring staring at his displayed image on her phone; the e-mails he sent were still resting in her inbox untouched. With a deep breath Sankirthi let go of Leeroy’s thoughts like other million times. When she felt she’s ready for her second round of her run she pulled herself together and started to run with her mind recalling the incidents happened last week.

When Sankirthi heard someone unlocking her room door next morning she was surprised that she was still alive. When her torn, blood clotted skin stopped her from getting up she lay still on the cold floor wondering who was on other side. With her mother’s swollen eyes stared at her with “you deserved it” look she ignored if nothing has happened. Her mother walked away not even caring to help her sit.  She wondered whether she was really her mother or hatred in her heart made her so cruel. It was her father who helped her to sit without with zipped lips. With great difficulty she sat on the bed. With her eyes feared to shed the tears she fought the cyclone of pain with her last thread of will power. After helping her he watched her for quite some time. With her torn clothes, scared face and tears stricken face she would have looked pitiful to him. He disappeared for moment to return back with water and cotton. She drained the bottle in micro seconds, quenching her thirst finally. Her father cleaned her wounds; she shivered every time torn skin screamed when it was tended. Even though her father lashed her at the pit of anger he still cared for her. She felt guilty for lying to him, the only one who loved her since her childhood. Every time she made a sound with pain his hands stopped for a minute and two to blow some air. It was her mother behavior made it clear she never loved her and never will. Its then she said it slowly “Sorry father forgive me”; if not for her already shed infinite tears, she was sure her eyes would have shed fresh ones. With her father’s eyes filled with tears he touched her head with love and said “forget your past, you have your future ahead of you think only about that”. For a fraction of second she was tempted to tell him the truth to save him from his misery but she didn’t wanted to be merciful towards her mother. Wounds will heal but not the hatred in heart.

It was on second day after lashing someone was knocking on their door. Her father hesitated for a minute before opening the main door. With her mother shut herself in her room, Sankirthi was still in her room wondering who it was when her father opened the door and invited the guest inside. With rumors travelling faster than the light she was sure by now all their neighbors would have known about her eloping with her lover boy, so as they were forced to believe. Sankirthi waited for the person to talk patiently. It was Lydia, Leeroy’s mother who was in the hall talking to her father. Definitely Leeroy would have sent her to talk to her as she have ignored her phone calls and emails. Her father apologized for blaming her son without knowing and causing all trouble. Being a nice understanding person she talked to her father as if nothing happened. With her wish to meet Sankirthi expressed she was knocking at Sankirthis door. When Sankirthi sat on her bed staring at the door Lydia slowly turned the door knob and walked in. When she saw Sankirthi in pitiful condition she walked toward her and hugged her gently, close to heart making sure she’s not hurting her. Sankirthi held her tightly and hugged her as taking all warmth and love. How many times she longed to hold her mother like this she doesn’t know. To be honest she didn’t care anymore, she hugged Lydia even more tightly even though her wound were raw, screaming with pain. A love filled hug is million times worth going through any kind of pain she thought. She thanked Leeroy in mind for sending his mother to her. That punk knows her so well; she smiled forgetting all her misery for a second.

After what it looked like 10 minutes Lydia let go of her and touched her cheek “why didn’t you tell me love? I thought we were friends”. With fear of she will start crying she sat there watching her toe. Lydia pushed her hair from her face and was stun to see the wound on her forehead “Jesus!!!!”.

“That’s fine, it doesn’t hurt anymore” Sankirthi said

“Leeroy may not like when I tell him” Lydia said.

“Please, don’t tell him anything. Scar will heal, past will be forgotten soon I don’t want to spoil his present time with my sad story.”

Lydia looked at her for some and said “You love him, don’t you?”.

She replied “He was always there to protect me, when I was small, even when I grew up. If I say no then I will be lying. I do love him in my own way and always will in spite of our differences”.

“He’s lucky to have someone like you” saying Lydia held her hand with compassion. “If you want to talk you just have to walk a floor below, I will be always there darling.”  Saying she kissed Sankirthi on her forehead and walked out closing the door behind her. Why Lydia was not her mother she wondered.

With passing every day the hatred towards her mother was multiplied. Silent tantrums her mother threw on her face made her laugh sometimes. She was so used to them she stopped caring about her mother.

When in a small company she got an opportunity to do her final project he was very happy, how her fingers itched to call Leeroy and share the good news. Every time she walked out of her house she could feel the stares and hear the whispers from her neighbors. With her mind full occupied with project work she ignored the people like commented lined in a finely written code.

Every evening she spent fistful of hours with Lydia talking and helping her to cook. Even though she was suffering through some kind of illness she looked so happy and energetic. She never talked about her disease and Sankirthi made sure she never talk about it. Sometimes when she felt terribly lonely she would visit Leeroys room and sit on his bed glaring at his things hoping the terrible feeling to be with him ease away. His neatly made single bed with two puffy pillows, thick dark brown blanket, motionless glaring basketball, huge red color bean bag near the window adjacent to table filled with thick books, massive wooden plank, riding jacket, helmet fighting with books to stay on table and finally the bandana; which she had gifted him was tied to the bed post. She would sit on the bed crumpling the bed sheet hugging a pillow hoping to inhale his sweat smell. When the disappointing detergent smell hit her nostrils she would grumble. After loitering some more time she used walked out of his room. Whenever Lydia found her in Leeroy’s room she used to pretend like searching for a book.

One evening she was knocking on Lydia’s door with broad smile and Lillies in hand which she picked for Lydia. With George still at office Sankirthi thought Lydia will be busy preparing evening meal. When nobody answered the door she became curious and started calling Lydia’s name loudly hoping to get some response. With her ear to the door she tried to listen praying all time to keep Lydia safe. She dialed Lydia’s number with her shaky hands, when it went unanswered she was sure something bad has happened to the only one woman she adored so dearly. She called Lydia’s name again and again when she didn’t get any response she decided to open the door with the spare key. She moved the flower pot hoping to find the key; it was Leeroy’s secret spot for hiding his key. When she found the key she was happy as well furious; happy for she can open the door; furious for Leeroy’s ignorance for not keeping the key inside when he left to US. After opening the door when she switched on the light; she almost screamed to see semi-conscious Lydia lying on floor with her hand holding to her stomach. Even in that condition she tried to smile at Sankirthi and Sankirthi’s heart ached for her. Sankirthi ignored her tears and helped Lydia to sit on the floor hoping to do something before it is too late. After emergency call to ambulance she informed George about Lydia’s condition and told him to directly come to hospital. Hands still held around her stomach Lydia said “if anything happens to me you take care of Leeroy Sankirthi. I know he cant cope up with his own, he might need some help and I know only you can help.” “Don’t say such things Lydia, please”; with tears flooding Sankirthi cursed the delayed ambulance she had to save Lydia no matter what. She was not ready to loose Lydia whom she loved so dearly.

After shifting Lydia to the ambulance she sat by her side holding her hand saying all possible prayers she knew. How she hated herself when she couldn’t recall her prayers properly. By the time they reached hospital George was there waiting there with stretcher. As long nurse allowed Sankeerthi walked by Lydia holding her hand assuring her everything will be alright. Sankeerthi sat with Geroge outside ICU praying for Lydia’s safety.

When doctor came out and talked to George Sankeerthi jumped out of her seat and stood there to listening to doctor. When doctor assured them that Lydia is doing fine she let go of her breath which she was holding.

George thanked her and told her to go home, with his face masked with worry she couldn’t read his face. That sweet smile played on his face was replaced by worry; how Sankirthi hated to see the people she loved so dearly worried and scared.

“you better go home Sankeerthi, I can manage” George repeated

Hospital with phenyl smell and mosquito’s with loved one around is far better than her house; she wanted to stay beside Lydia.

As she didn’t want to argue she said “ok, call me if you need anything”.

She walked out of hospital with heavy heart hoping Lydia will recover soon.

**********

Next morning Sankeerthi was walking on the hospital corridor searching for Lydia’s room. Geroge had called her in the morning with news that Lydia’s was shifted to ward and doing well. Sankeerthi was so lost in Lydia’s thoughts she didn’t realize a tall figure approaching her and staring at her. When she spotted him her heart started to beat fast she was scared that she might get heart attack. With goose bumps on her neck, familiar pupa trying to fly in her stomach, she walked directly towards him, eyes glued on his face.

Was Sankeerthi was happy to see him after long time or sad to see him in this condition she does not know. With uncombed hair, unshaven beard, swollen eyes he looked distressful and pitiful. Dressed in blue faded jeans and one of his old sweaters he looked like a man fighting a battle on his own. When he looked impatient he walked towards her with eyes watering and lower lip shivering. She was so shaken to see always controlled, jubilant Leeroy so sad and scared. He crushed her to him in his strong arms. With his tears falling on her neck and his body shivering Sankeerthi hugged him back hoping to give all comfort in the world. How she wanted to fight the whole world for him. He was crying saying something which she could not understand; holding her all the time. When she needed him he was always there holding her; now he needed her the most and she made sure she stood right next to him holding his hand.

Edna

Posted: December 14, 2016 in My Silly thoughts
Tags: ,

It’s been few months since I set my foot on this land of romance, tea and countryside. My accent is still same with burger’s and beer’s “R” RRR’ing all the way down my throat unlike other Indian’s who pick up the accent from the airport as my dear friend Sneha say, but I am still the same, in and out. Some hard ass Indian I am who wont budge to fancy English wind and culture.

One day I found this UK born and bought up, black and white furry stray cat in the backyard and I just walked out totally ignoring her. For a dog person that I am, I could do that with a cold heart, totally ignoring her like most of the handsome guys, who have all eyes for babes just walk pass me without even looking. Ouch! That hurts .Their nonstop meowing, demand for pat, rubbing body against leg and sharp pricky tongue gives me indigestion. The scar on my nose left behind my last cat always warns me to stay miles away from cats. Don’t get me wrong, I am not heartless person, I love all animals but not Cats. I love them at a distance, few miles away to be precise.

My land lady was having her breakfast with her family, 2 kids and her husband in the kitchen with Edna sitting quietly. I looked at her questionably for which land lady said “She is stray cat, she used to visit us all time but then she stopped now again she started to visit us. It is cold outside so we let her in.”

“Nice” saying I walked out. In this country where everything comes with pounds here was a lucky cat that was enjoying the warmth of the heater for FREE.  Is she potty trained? doesnt she shed her fur? the usual questions were already revolving round my village head like earth revolving around sun.

edna9

It was just beginning of our love seed that was about to sprout. One morning when I walked into the kitchen head to toe covered in warm clothes, shivering with cold, cursing the weather when I saw her silhouette sitting outside the kitchen door, waiting all alone. Something in my heart tighten, the winters are bad, terrible in UK. Sometimes you want to scratch you bottom but when you think of taking out gloves and scratching your bottom with almost frozen fingers you give up the idea of scratching and look out for a place where you can rub your bottom. I couldn’t help myself from opening the door and letting her inside the warm kitchen.

edna1

The Brit cat walked in with head held low, with tail moving with a rhythm, from left to right to match her graceful walk. She looked harmless but beautiful.

ednab

“I am not gonna fall for that look, one scar on my face is more than enough to maintain my distance” I said to her and heating up the milk. She curled herself into bundle and sat by the heater without meowing. If you may wonder how I got my scar on my face here is the interesting story.

 

Many years ago when I was all small and alone,

With my siblings grown up like coconut tree

I longed for a company of another living creature

With a leg or two, luckily my mom found one with four

I took care of her, fed her, played with her

For she was my best friend whom I loved dearly

In spite of her infinite scratch mark on my hands and legs

Fur in my mouth and on my clothes

And a tetanus injection on my bottom.

It was one fine summer morning

I opened my eyes when sun rose

Before brushing my teeth I yawned in front of my dear cat

“Good morning Billu” I said with love

She clawed my nose, looking at me

While I cried and my mom laughed

Years are gone with Billu long dead

I neither love cat not I hate them

But when I see one I remember the scar on my nose

I kept on looking at her, there she is all alone in the world, no one to care and love and here I am far away from my home, trying to adjust in midst of strangers, love from my dear one expressed only through phone. Unlike the humans who bore you with their stupid talk she just sat doing nothing. First time I felt her silent presence comforting.

ednac

“I think I like you” I said opening the fridge and picking the milk can. Pouring the milk into her bowl I said “How you manage yourself Meow?” ignoring my question she drained her bowl. “Brave you are” I said scratching her head, she looked up when I stopped. “You like it, I can see that” I said scratching her head again. It’s the day I fell in love with Edna aka Meow. (I don’t know her real name, as she is Brit I thought Edna will suit her nationality, it is classy, elegant and lovely).

We Indain’s have history with Indianizing every single thing which we could lay hands on. From pasta to toilets, we didnt even leave the underpants on its own. Rich with Creativity we slayed every single thing invented by some intellectual foreign guy, over and over again with a broad smile on our face. The Indian in me surfaced and I thought of giving little bit Indian taste to Edna. I mixed the rice with egg and said to Edna who never tasted anything other than cat food and milk “This is yum, we eat all time”.

She smelled her bowl and looked at me and I screamed at her “Eat that Meow, eat, its yum, eat, eat”. But the Brit cat didn’t budge.

Our love was blossoming under the UK winter and cold; with her waiting every morning by the door and me opening the door and wishing the good morning, asking her where she slept the previous night.

After couple of months one weekend I walked into kitchen and found my land lady having her breakfast with her family only difference was Edna was sitting outside the door waiting with hope the door to be open

“She is not potty trained, twice she peed inside and she sheds her fur” land lady said to my questioning eyes. My heart was torn into pieces seeing her, all wet by rain waiting in the chilly winter. Like the crazy parents who try to separate their kids who are madly in love with each other, there was already a villain in my love story.

It was raining and cold and she had nowhere to go. People are always mean, we treat dumb animal according to our wish, when we want we love them and when we don’t we just throw them out just like a thrash. I couldn’t blame my land lady who fed Edna daily, she also prepared small cardboard house for her in which Edna never set her foot(I always laugh looking at the house and Edna’s ignorance towards it)I am sure she had her reasons but I didn’t like them at that precise moment as it was winter

It was the time I decided to find a forever home for Edna. I made a mental note of the things she needed immediately, a nice bubbly bath with fragrant shampoo, fur trimmings and a vet visit. For a person who I am who couldn’t find a Mr for me, I was on a mission to find a home for a stray cat in the foreign county. Crazy, definitely I am. When too much of cold air goes inside those two ears this is what happens.

I couldn’t anyone have her just like that specially without backyard which she loves the most, you see she loves to stretch after having her food and kids so that she can play. I started asking my colleagues, my manager. When some bachelors said they can take her home I said “Edna wont go to a house filled with bachelors, she needs a family, kids”.

ednae

When I told Nisha and Loly about my mission they were full of suggestions. “Stand with a board in the mall or may be sing Smelly Cat or may be stand with Edna”. I said “I am not sure whether Edna will be adopted or not but I will be. And Yeah I will be living laughing stock for my colleagues”.

“May be you can send her to animal shelter” Nisha said. “Someone will defiantly adopt her, she is a cutie”.

Sending someone you love, you care to shelter is heart breaking. They might take her in but who knows till when she have to wait with hope, happiness and freedom all lost in hope of better future. Her jolly rides, joy of climbing neighbors compound wall will be all gone. I thought for a while of Edna who was born and bought on the streets, who love to visit her neighbors, their patting with complimentary food, she may not like her new life.

“You are better this way, you have survived so many years and will survive few more I am sure with all the love and care in this world” I said her filling her empty food bowl.

It is been couple of months now, I meet her almost every day sometimes in the morning and sometimes in the evening. If I am lucky she watches me leave to office meowing all time.  Its god to be in love especially with a dear cat like Edna

ednad