Posts Tagged ‘Under The Wings Of A Falcon’

It was 11 but I couldn’t close the book ,few more chapters were eagerly waiting to be read. “So you are not sleeping?” my husband asked me.”you go to bed darling, I want to finish this one, good night” I said kissing my husband on cheek. Switching off the light I walked in the hall and picked a spot near the bed lamp on the couch. I never liked the hotel rooms but today I really didnt care.I flipped the next page.

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

Sankirthi never imagined life would be merciful and filled with color. She was finally enjoying her life with Leeroy beside her, this time as her husband.

Sankirthi and Leeroy had knocked on her parent’s door hoping to take blessings from her parents after the court marriage. With her heart pounding louder than the drums of a heavy metal she held Leeroy’s hand for support wondering how her parents will react. Her father opened the door, she could see her father’s jaw tighten and fingers curl into fist. Without saying a word he went inside, leaving Leeroy and Sankirthi glaring at the half opened door. She risked a quick glance at her husband who winked at her and kissed her hand which was trembling in his strong firm hand.

When George asked them to take blessings from Sankirthis parents Leeroy’s had glared at his father open mouth

“Seriously dad, after all this you expect us to take blessings from them. Are you kidding me?”,Leeroy was being reasonable

“Trust me son, that’s the right thing to do. Like it or not they are Sankirthis parents. When a girl marries she leaves behind her parents who took care of her, loved her since her birth. She expects them to bless her on her new beginning with her new family. You do the right thing; let them decide what they want to do”.

Result of which, Sankirthi and Leeroy were standing in front of Sankirthis half opened door. First time in her life Sankirthi was not scared. With Leeroy beside her she knew she doesn’t have to worry. Her mother never loved her so she expected to be rude but it’s her father her heart wept for. He was always around when she needed her mother. When she bruised her knees it was her father who wiped her tears and tended her wounds. When she had nightmares it was her father who held her trembling body in his assuring everything will be alright. Her eyes filled with tears with every memory she spent with her father.

When she heard somebody walking inside she wiped her tears preparing for the moment to pass. Her father opened the door and dumped the packed bags in front of them.

“Everything in there” he said pointing out the bags. “Never ever come back”; there was only hatred, pure hatred.

“Would you at least bless me father..?” Sankirthi took her courage and said in a low voice which she couldn’t believe was belong to her.

“Don’t call me father!!!. He spat at Sankirthi, glaring at her ferociously “Blessings!!!! over my dead body, you can never live in peace. Trust me, you never going to get the blessings from me. Every time you smile think about your parents who suffer because of you. You will be never happy.”

Sankirthi couldn’t hold back any more, tears were rolling staining her cheeks. Leeroy wrapped his hand around his wife’s shoulder. When he was about say something to his father-in-law Sankirthi stopped him. He looked at his wife who looked so miserable and sad. His features soften; he picked the bags lying in front of them

“Thank you for packing Sankirthis things, it saved our time and energy, isn’t it Love” he winked at Sankirthi with a grin. Even she was feeling miserable she wanted to giggle at Leeroy’s nerve. When her father was cursing her, there he was making her laugh right under her father’s nose. When they were kids, he was beside her like a true good friend but now he was beside her like a loving husband. She wiped her tears and helped her Leeroy with remaining bags. She looked at her father for one last time in the door way and walked away with hope someday he will understand her

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

George waved at the newly married couple on their way to honeymoon when they pushed their trolley with their luggage and walked into the Bangalore International airport. Leeroy and Sankirthi hand in hand boarded the flight to Spain. One royal week they spent exploring the beautiful place, trying out their cuisine, enjoying the sun rise on hill top, watching the bird fly back to their nest at sun set, making love in the night.

They watched people dive from a bridge, individuals, couples, screaming their guts out, enjoying.   Excited it looked but Sankirthi was scared thinking about the jump and height.

“We should try Ki”

“Are you crazy?I don’t want to, if you want to go ahead please” Sankirthi said swallowing the rising bile.

“Fight your fears Ki, let them vanish, don’t let them dominate you and scare you. I am here what you have to worry about”, Leeroy said assuring her and wrapping his arms around her.

“Fighting fears is one another thing, jumping from this crazy bridge is other thing. Dont compare them”

“Come on Ki, do it for me” he said boyishly and Sankirthi’s heart melted

Sankirthi didn’t dare to open her eyes scared that she might die if she does. Bile rising, adrenaline pumping she held to Leeroy tightly.

“You are crazy Roy, total crazy” she muttered eyes still closed. It happened in fraction of second before she knows she was falling with Leeroy.

“Open your eyes Key, live the moment, make it your. Let go of your fear” Leeroy whispered in her ears

She opened her eyes and saw the Leeroy smiling at her with his hands spread out like a falcon and her fear vanished.  She let go of her arms which were still wrapped around Leeroy and slowly spread  wide open, enjoying the moment, living it, capturing it and sealing it. She wasn’t scared anymore, never till Leeroy is beside her. As their head hit the surface of water she felt as if she is born again.

“It’s your new beginning. You are going to write every chapter of your life with your own hand” Kissing his wife Leeroy said.

Sankirthi smiled content to be under the wings of a falcon

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

When they boarded their return flight back to Bangalore Sankirthi snuggled closer to her husband, leaning her head on his shoulder.

“Thank you Roy,…”

“For lending my shoulder?“ He raised his eyebrows questioningly his wife who was getting comfortable on his shoulder him; there was a smile on her face for a change

“Don’t interrupt Roy, let me complete. Thank you for being there for me always, when I was small and when I grew up, thank you for trusting me when my own parents didn’t, thank you for honoring me by making me your wife, thank you for teaching me to fly”

Leeroy pecked his wife who looked so peaceful, head on his shoulder “you don’t have to thank your husband, Ki”. Leeroy said closing his eyes and drifting to sleep.

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

To give the newly married couple some space George flew to Dubai to his relatives. Sankirthi and Leeroy enjoyed every single minute in each other’s company talking, listening, and arguing about every little thing. When they didn’t talk they sat on the couch beside each other watching TV or reading books in silence.

Every morning Leeroy would drop Sankirthi to her office; stand and watch till she reach the main entrance of her office , turn back and send him flying kisses. Instead of pretending to catch her kisses he would just stand and watch that million dollar smile on her face. She then turned her head making weird angry faces at him for not catching her kisses and run waving at him. She had been through a lot of ups and down, now it’s his responsibility to keep her happy always. Heaven is what he intend to gift her on a platter.

Once Leeroy reached his office he would call Sankirthi asking how she is doing, whether anyone is troubling her, what code she’s is writing; breaking her head, noon Sankirthi would ring Leeroy telling him how much she miss him and how sleepy she is, evening before Leeroy would leave office he would call Sankirthi telling her to be ready for her pick up, followed by n number of “heart”, “kisses” and “Love” emoji’s in what’s app, infinite times. Out of two days of weekend, one day was meant for cleaning the house and grocery shopping. Whose turn to put the clothes in washing machine, whose turn to change the bed sheet they argued all time. So to avoid the confusion and Leeroy’s lies claiming last weekend he was one who did the whole cleaning, Sankirthi maintained a sheet; displayed on the fridge which used to disappear on every Friday night. Sankirthi would watch Leeroy, who would be busy watching TV sipping his beer, unaware that his dirty deed is discovered. One look at him, who was almost inside the TV with the soccer players, jumping every time a player made a mistake; her heart would melt and she would fall in love with him all over again. Especially when he cursed, throwing his hands in air, stamping the floor with frustration. Then Leeroy would call out for her, biting his nails “love, can you pick a beer for me” Sankirthi would scream back “pick it yourself Roy, you are not their coach for heaven sake, move your ass from that damn couch.”

Seconds later Leeroy appear in kitchen with beer can in his hand and sexy smile on his face. He would open the beer can and then scratch his stubble and wink at her asking lazily.

“Need any help Love?”

Sankirthi would glare at him like a bull with kitchen knife in hand dead tired cooking.

“You should learn from me how to be nice…….”

“Get out of the Kitchen Roy, before I start chopping you….”

He would place his beer on kitchen counter and walk to her slowly with that sexy smile on his face. With his gentle finger he would massage her stressed neck and shoulder. Sankirthi would lean back against his chest making purring sound in her throat like a well petted kitten. With his skillful finger he would turn off the gas and pick his dear wife in his strong arms and walk towards his room. Food and soccer game long forgotten, along with the half chopped vegetables.

Sundays were meant for long rides, exploring the new places in and around Bangalore. It’s during those ride Leeroy taught Sankirthi riding his beastly royal Enfield. Her knees and elbows still bear the scar of bruises

It’s not that they had only good day’s, sometimes they would argued about whose turn it was to throw the thrash in the morning, or pick clothes from dry clinic. Leeroy being pampered always forgot his turns. Early morning Sankirthi would argue telling how he need to be responsible and how tired she is reminding the old man suffering from Alzheimer living in the young body. Angry and furious Leeroy would get ready to office, pick his helmet just walk away without even caring how Sankirthi would go to office.

They would stay angry whole day with no calls, no message’s, not even single smiley crossed between the two ends of an angry bridge. As the night drew closer Sankierthi go crazy unable to bear the silence. She then try to make the amends by keeping flowers and sorry cards in front of Leeroy, who blindly ignore them. With her all tricks down the bin, when she felt her defeat is near she used her last weapon, which is very handy when its men who are involved in the war; “Seduction”. If he wouldn’t budge Sankierthi would shower his face with kisses apologizing million times for being pain in ass. She would blame her monthly fucked up hormones, her nerves and they would forget the whole thing lying in each other arms, happy again. Life wasn’t bed of roses as it was real but with Leeroy it was magical every moment

Sankirthis father walked away whenever he encountered her, ignoring her existence. Sankirthi would ask politely “How you doing father?” and he would walk past her without answering her. She never bothered to acknowledge her mother, she tried but she couldn’t. She didn’t hated her parents anymore she felt sorry for them for being blind and being so bitter at their old age.

George came back after 6 months stay in Dubai. He looked old and lone. Sankirthi tried her level best to bring smile his face; she could never fill the empty space created by Lydias early departure. Leeroy took his father along when he went to gym in the morning to keep his mind occupied. Leeroy tried his level best to humor his father who seemed to be lost in the past.

It was one morning Leeroy and George were getting into their car when they saw Sankirthi’s mother collapsed in the garden. Leeroy rushed her to hospital and stood beside her when she lay unconscious in the hospital bed, after informing Sankirthi and her father. Minutes later when Sankirthis father walked in to the hospital Sankirthi was already there seated outside the ICU with Leeroy and George. With his grey hair, unshaven beard he looked old and devastated, it was Leeroy who consoled him and informed him that due to low sugar level Sankirthi’s mother fainted. They need to be careful in future. After seeing his wife, lying unconscious on the hospital bed, he came out and sat on the bench outside, shaken to the core, Sankirthi walked to her father and sat beside him. As she didn’t know what to say she sat beside him in silence

“Tell thanks to Leeroy on behalf of me Sankirthi, your mother is alive because of him” he said after a long killing silence.

“You can tell him yourself father, he wont bite” she said slowly

Her father looked at her then walked to Leeroy, who was seated beside George. Sankirthi smiled at him when he looked up seeing her father approach him

“Thank you Leeroy, My wife is alive because of you”

“That’s what family do right, take care of each other” he said hugging her father.

Sankirthi was so proud of Leeroy, he didn’t let the bitter past spoil his present relations. She wondered how he can do that so easily. She never imagined her father will talk to Leeroy but there he was thanking him from bottom of his heart.

Couple of weeks passed; Sankirthi’s mom was still recovering. She was discharged after a week in hospital; with strict orders from doctor to be cautious. It was Leeroy who completed the hospital formalities and drove her sick mother and father home. George insist she go and visit her mom but Sankirthi couldn’t bring herself to visit her mother; she needed more time, time to forget the past and move on like Leeroy. On the other hand Leeroy visited her mother every day. Sankirthi could never understand how easily Leeroy can do that. Out of curiosity she asked him one day when he was just returning from visiting her home.

“How could you do it? After they abused you so badly you still find it easy to visit them”

Leeroy held his wife’s hand in his gently

“Remember what I told you Ki, you can never win hatred with hatred, but you can with Love. Don’t worry I will help you”

He pulled Sankirthi gently into his arms

“I know love it’s hard for you, but give it a try. Don’t be bitter about them, they are your parents, they need you”

For a moment or two Sankirthi felt content in Leeroy’s arms; loving her mother who never loved her and father who never trusted her. Her eyes filled with tears, it’s not easy for her.

“I cant Roy, I cant. They never trusted me; you know how much it hurts to know your parents  doesn’t trust you.”

Leeroy rubbed her back lovingly

“I know love, but what I am saying is don’t be bitter about the past, give them a chance, whatever they did it was in pit of anger …”

“Anyhow Roy, I cant right now, it’s hard for me. Don’t push me, may be when my wounds heal I will think about it”

Leeroy kissed the top of her head and crushed his wife to him in his strong but loving arms.

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.