Friday, November 11, 2011

THE WORLD OUTSIDE- A story

LOL, It is very rare that I write stories. This is one of my "Rare Creations."



“The World Outside”
-       Prerna Subramanian

“You always tell me not to go to her house, his house, don’t go there, don’t do this, don’t do that.  Just because you birthed me, doesn’t mean that you have to dominate each and every step of mine.”

Ranjika slammed the door and walked out. Trishla, her mother stood dumbstruck. “Did she just say that”- she wondered. 

Ranjika, a 16 year old was a blasé girl and had newly shifted to Delhi, originally hailing from Benaras.  She hadn’t seen her father, since she was born. Her mother had told her, that he died when she was small. And Ranjika never questioned or probed her back.

They had moved because of some financial problems, to their ancestral house in Delhi. Ranjika, thanks to her full scholarship for being the All India Topper in 10th, was admitted to one of the best schools in Delhi. There, she made many friends, and now she started syncing in with the city life. Though, her mother did not.

Today she had asked, whether she could go to her friend’s birthday, and Trishla gave a cut and right no. Ranjika was infuriated due to the bugging over protective behavior and shut the door on her mother’s face and darted outside. Tired of staring only at the four walls of her house, she wanted to explore, go out and enjoy with her friends. But her mother always said, “The world outside is bad, you need not go.” She felt like Rapunzel, who was not allowed to see the world outside. 

Everything was fine until today.

Trishla stood there, stunned. “Am I really not letting her live properly? Am I that bad? Rudhweer, why aren’t you there to support me, I don’t have any one to talk to! Oh! Why did I!!?”- She dropped down on the floor, whimpering and crying, remembering her husband. Suddenly, the door opened, and Ranjika entered.

“I am sorry Ma.”- And she came down to her mother and gave her a tight hug. “I was wrong, I should not have screamed at you.”

At the end of the day, she was a teenager. She knew, how much her mother had done for her, and today her behavior was despicable. But, her heart went out for her mother. Her mind usually fluctuated, but she ended up listening to her mother. She knew that whatever she says, will be right no matter what happens. She knew, like any other daughter that she is the ideal person in her life. She realized this, and tried to cover up her mistake. 

“No dear. I know what you are suffering through. Just because your father is no more, I am scared that if at all something happens, how I will reach out and help, if you are far away! And you are 16, beautiful; every eye follows you when you walk the streets. And this is not Banaras, Ranji. Ye dilli hai. Yahan kab kya hoga, you never know.” (This is Delhi, you don’t know what will happen next.)

“I know mother, I was just carried off by some strong emotions. I am really sorry. By the way, I am very hungry. Will you just keep the food on the table? I will get fresh and come.”

“Sure, Ranji.”- She kissed her only daughter’s forehead, and Ranjika wiped her tears and kissed her back.

Ranjika went inside her room when the phone rang. Before Ranjika could pick it up, her mother took the receiver.
“Hanji, this is Trishla Chandra. Aap kaun?” (Yes, this is Trishla Chandra, and you are?)
“Achchca Namaste. Yes, she is my daughter. Oh, Congratulations. Achcha, aisa hai kya?  (Oh Namaste!, yes she is my daughter, oh is it?)
*Long pause*

“Mai aap ko thodi hee der me phone karti hoon. Can you give me your number? Nahi, caller id waali phone nahi hai. Achcha aap hee call karenge? Haan 15 minute me kijiye Theeke ji thank you. Haan haan,Namaste.” (I will call you in a minute, can you give me your number? No I don’t have a caller id, oh you will call? Ya call in 15 minutes. Ok, thank you. Yes Yes, Namaste.)

“Who was it?”

“Ruchir’s mother.  He got selected for representing India for Chess. So they are throwing a party. They live next door, they said. Is it?”

“Yes, in Raj Real Estates”

“Oh, that is like 3 houses away.  And the party is in the hotel in front of our house. So, err…”

“You don’t want me to go, I won’t.”

“No beta, I don’t do all this to hurt you purposely, but then ye to ghar ke samne hee hai. ( Its in front of the house!) It’s okay. Plus his mother will be present there. So there is no issue. Bas SMS karte rehna.”(Do keep giving a SMS)
“Really mom? You don’t really have to do this.”
“No beta, I need to give you space.”
“I am sorry; I slammed the door and rushed outside. I really didn’t mean to do so.”
“Don’t be. At least tumne bola. Tumhare papa ko tho bina bole…… (At least you said something. I didnt tell anything to your dad before….....)
The phone rang again.
“Hello ji. Black? Ahchcha theeke ji. Haan wo aayegi. Ji, Dhanyawad.” ( Ok, Ya she will come. THank you)
“Was it her again?”
“Bade bade log, badi nautanki. Before confirming whether you are coming or not, she told me the ‘dress code’. (Big people and their flamboyance.)
“And w hat were you saying before, caller id nahi hai?”
“When I asked his mother her number, she was surprised we don’t have a caller ID. Leave that, all this is ostentation of the high class. Black, you have that Patiala no? That will be black and decent. Wear that.”- her mother said. Ranjika felt a sense of hesitation in her mother’s voice. And she was right. Trishla wasn’t really ready to let her go. But then, she wanted to give it a chance.
“Okay mother. I will.”- She hugged her tight and then ran off to the table to gobble.
While eating, she was much exited. Ruchir was the “Cool” guy of DPS, and her first crush too. She felt out of the world just wondering about how he will talk to her. He was the son of a big business man of Delhi, and a bright student too. 
“Why are you smiling? Eat properly. You are nibbling.”
“Sorry mom”- she figured that she was lost in his memories.
After eating, she went out to sleep.
The next day, when school ended, Ruchir met Ranjika and said-
“Would be waiting for ya.”- He winked and bade a bye. Her heart sank and knees felt weak, as if they will powder and get buried under the ground. Her heart beat was so loud that she could hear it without a stethoscope.
She reached home, and he mother had kept her dress ironed and ready. She took out some black bangles, earrings. She wore the dress, and her white face got more beautiful when she applied kohl in the eyes and a hint of gloss on her lips. Just perfect- she thought.
When she came out of the room, her mother was awestruck when saw her. “You look beautiful, Ranji.”
She remembered those days, when people used to call her beautiful. She had never thought, that she will have a daughter who looks so beautiful, so pretty and who is so caring and concerned. But she regretted, she had no one to share her daughter with, no one to make ‘my daughter’ to ‘our daughter.’ Ranjika’s words startled Trishla and she came out of her reverie. 
“It is because I am YOUR daughter.”
“You are just being nice. Here, take this 500 rupee envelope. I wasn’t able to buy him anything. So, give it to him as a token.”
“Oh mother!!!! How I behaved with you!!!!”
“Just bury the hatchet and go, enjoy the party. Mobile liya hai?” (Have you taken your mobile?)
“Yes mother. Don’t worry. I will bug you by messaging incessantly.”
“DO that. OR I will bug you for life.”
Ranjika went towards the hotel. Her mother was outside.
“Hi Ranjika! How are you???? Go, go! The party has started!”
“Aunty I am fine. Yes Aunty. I am going inside.
Whe she went inside the party hall of the hotel, she saw Ruchir, and a couple of girls and boys. 
“Hiiii Ranjika!!” – Everyone stormed towards her and started giving hugs and girls- their kisses, as if they had met after a century. 
But Ruchir stood there, gazing at her.
“Why are you staring at me like that?”
Everyone coughed on the question.
“Nothing. You look, err, amazing.”
“Thank you. You don’t have to stare at me and frighten me for saying that. By the way, here, a small gift from my side.”
“Uh-huh. I didn’t need this. Keep it with you.”
“Shut the hell up. Or my mother will kill me if I don’t.”
“Pfft, okay. Thanks. Come on in.”
To Mumma <3- Reached 
Mumma<3- THeeke. Achche se khaana.
“We are playing, Truth or Dare, allright? Spin the bottle!”- said Ruchir.
“Truth or Dare? What is it? Sorry, I am primitive when it comes to these things.
“The one who gets the bottle cap facing at him, starts the game by asking player two, the player who faces the base of the bottle-: "Truth or Dare?" If player two chooses "truth," then player one poses a question, usually embarrassing, and player two must answer. If player two chooses "dare," then player one poses a task, also usually embarrassing, which player two must perform. After answering the question or performing the dare, player two takes player one's place, asks "Truth or Dare?" of another player, and the game proceeds as before.
If the queried player fails to complete their dare or answer their question, they are faced with an even more challenging dare or question. A player cannot choose truth three times in a row or they have to do two extra dares. “- said Ruchir.
“Interesting. Start then. I am game.”
The bottle spun. Many dares like dancing, truths like first crush or ex girlfriends were asked. Ranjika’s chance never came.
But then after sometime, it was Ruchir who got the bottle cap and Ranjika the bottle base.
“Truth or Dare?”
“Truth”
“Will you be my girlfriend, Ranjika?”
“Dude, you should have chosen some other time to tell this. Truth me aise question nahi puchhe jaate yaar.”- One of his friends screamed. (You don’t ask these types of questions in truth, dude.)
“What did you just say?”- asked the stunned, Ranjika.
“Will you be my girlfriend?”- asked Ruchir, not paying a heed to anyone.
“This is so sudden, and I think we are not old enough…
“Yes or No.”
“Ruch, its been only 7 months..How can I…”
“Haan ya naa?” (Yes or no?)
“Haan.”
Everyone screamed their throats out.
“KISS! KISS! Kiss! Kiss!”
“No, I won’t do that. Seriously, no.”
“Come on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KISS you pig!!! KISS!”
Ruchir took her hand, held her tight and started kissing her. And in 40 seconds, Ranjika reached hysteria.
“That was awesome.”
But then, she felt that she was betraying her mom. But, at the same time she was attracted to Ruchir. 
Everyone enjoyed, and then it was time to say bye.
“Meet you tomorrow babe.”
Babe. That felt so awkward and awesome at the same time.
“Same here. Bye. Good night.”
She reached home; her mother asked her how was the party, and how the people were.
“IT was awesome, perfect. Thanks mother, you made my day”
The next day, everything was perfectly fine in the class. She enjoyed every period, often looking at Ruchir, who looked at her back and gave a big smile. Everything felt perfect.
When she reached home, after getting fresh, she sat on the internet. She had got an email.
“YOUR FILE.”- From an anonymous email address.
She opened the attached file. And she was horrified.
It was a video of Ruchir and her kissing, in a pornographic background. Somebody had made a porn out of her kissing. With some computer tools, somebody had undressed them too. She screamed out loud and her mother rushed in. Her mother saw the video and screamed, and fainted on the floor.
“Mother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”- 
“What happened beta? Why are you screaming?”
She suddenly saw, that it was all a nightmare. The day of Ruchir’s party had not come. It was a nightmare.
“Nothing ma, just that, I won’t go to the party tomorrow.”
“Why beta! You need not think about me. Really!”
“No ma. Nothing like that. I just, just…… don’t want to.”
“As you wish.”
“I love you, ma.”
“I love you too.”
The next day she went to the school, and Ruchir was there, in her class. 
“I am sorry, Ruchir. I won’t be coming to your party.”
“What party, Ranjika?”
“You got selected in the Chess Tournament right? Your mother called yesterday?”
“Somebody has played a prank on you I guess. There is no party, but yes I have got selected.”
“Really?”
“Yea, I don’t know about my own party, will that be ever possible?”
“I know. I am sorry. By the way, Congratulations.”
“Thank you. By the way, when was the “prank party” due?”
“Today, evening.”
“Ha! I am leaving today afternoon, straight from school to Chicago, along with my mother. Someone has just played with you.”
“All right. I am sorry. All the best.”
Who would do such a thing??? Why? How? - Questions boggled her mind. When she reached home, she poured out everything to her mother.
“Arrey, I think that is why she never gave me her number and called herself, right? Let me see who called by contacting your uncle. He will ask the BSNL office.”
She called her brother and after some time, they had the number.
“It was from a PCO.”
“Shit.”
“Best is, we can go there with police, right?”- said Ranjika.
Trishla’s face expressions changed. The word police horrified her.
“We don’t really need to. Err, okay. Okay. Yes. I will call the police.”
They called the police and explained the whole situation. The police agreed to send two policemen for their security.
After some time, Ranjika, dressed in black, as instructed, along with her mother, and the police men hiding nearby, reached the hotel. She went inside, and the receptionist asked.
“Are you Miss Ranjika Chandra.?”
“Yes.”
“There, that man is expecting you. Let me direct you there.”
When Ranjika saw the man, she didn’t recognize him. When Trishla saw- “Rudhveer, at last!”- she uttered.
And then, Trishla sat next to Rudhveer. She acted normal.
“What is happening here?”
“Ranji, this is your father.”
“What?? How can you be so normal? You said he left me and…...”
“Beta. Sit, sit. I will explain. I am your father. Your mother called me to meet you and make you understand some things. I live here; I had left your mother because ... I never wanted to leave you, but society…”
His father broke into tears.
“I do not understand a word, what are you people trying to say???”
“When I was 18, I met him in College. After 7 months of knowing each other, I pestered him to….I got pregnant, and I got horrified. I had not expected this. I was a fool; I was in my teens. But at the same time, I was ambitious, and he wanted a family. And at the same time I didn’t want to abort you. His parents were orthodox, huh! The whole world was orthodox, but then, that doesn’t polish my mistake does it? And I didn’t want to break the news to them. I told him, and he was ready to accept you. But I didn’t want the world to curse him for my mistake. He was never ready, but I made him do so. I left him, without informing him. I came to Banaras with your grandma, and grandma died, she had cancer. And my news had made her health worse. I was left with no body. I had still some time to decide whether to birth you or not. But then, I felt that you were my reason to live. Two years of struggling, I joined my friend's mother's cookery classes. And then, I managed to get a job in the bakery and brought you up. When I decided to come to Delhi, your mama (uncle) broke sudden news. He revealed that he had been hiding something. And that was, he was in a thorough contact with your father since I left him. He said he was living in Delhi, and I should meet him. I was hesitant but eager at the same time. And then, you started pestering me to let you go out. But freedom, freedom had made me commit mistakes. I feared you will do the same too”

“Mom, I don’t feel anything bad about this. You are my mother, and I am proud of that. He is my dad, I am proud of that. I don’t really care about your past. I don’t have any right to decide whether you were wrong or right. I am glad we are having this conversation. And because both of you had no bad intentions, even God has supported me all along. That is why he showed me the nightmare, yesterday.”
“What nightmare?”- asked her dad. 
She explained about what she had seen.
“Then that is why you said no to the party. Good that you did. See, even God knows what is right for you. The world is bad.  The thing you saw can actually happen, you know? You should not trust anybody. Trust yourself the most, because your soul never leaves you. You cannot defy your soul, your mind and your conscience. Well, now past is past. Our aim got fulfilled. You came here. I had always waited for your mother to come, and to see my beautiful child. I am feeling out of the world.”
“Are you married, dad?”
“No. I never married. I had always known I belonged to your mother, but even I was a partner in crime which she calls hers, and I wanted to live in the mistake. I knew, one day I will meet you both, and here I am.”
“And what about the police, the party, Ruchir’s mom, caller id crap and everything?”
“It was your father only, on the phone. It was all planned, but then he wanted to know whether you will guess who it is through caller id. And you had told me about Ruchir’s selection in Chess a day before. I wanted to see whether your heart tells you to go or not. I wanted to see whether you were decisive enough, concerned or keen enough about my hesitation. And you were!
“If I had ended up deciding to go to his party, then?”
“You would have told Ruchir that you were eagerly waiting for the party. Then also you would have got the same news he broke to you in school today.”
“Now leave all that. Lets eat something. I am starving.”
“Dad.”
“yes?”
“Will you marry mom?”
He stared at her. Then Trishla and Rudhveer both looked at each other. Rudhveer took out a registration letter. It was signed, sealed and confirmed.
“What is it?”
“A statement that says we are married.”
“You got it registered? When did this happen?”
“Today morning, when you went to the school!”
“Why did you do it without me???? I wanted to see it! This is so bad! I won’t talk to you people!”
“There are some rules of life, some mores to follow in the world. People would have uttered ill. That is why.”
“Plus you had booked the hotel table already, hai na papa? I think that is why..”- Ranjika said, giggling.
“Daughter knows Father all right!”- giggled Rudhveer.
“I was just joking, papa. And papa!”
“Yes?”
“I thought that people tell me I look good because my mother gave me her beauty. I was wrong.”
“No! You weren’t! She is beautiful!”
“No dad.”
“What?”
“You are more handsome.”

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