Chasing Gauri chechi……………

 

Achan did not come and Indu never discussed this with Amma.She infered this as Amma’s tactics to configure her according to her whims and fancies…

Occasionally she fantasized Achan coming and moving to delhi,to relive the days which marked their existence as memoirs in her heart……………………

Finally the D-day arrived when Gauri chechi exhibited the offwhite saree……..her self…..bedecked with jewels,her long tresses swiveled in the fragrant jasmine flowers,the fringe glued behind her ears,wriggled to coil on her forehead,long checkered golden forehead ornament graced her partition,her waist belt made a jingling sound as she walked……

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This is not Gauri chechi she thought………………..her Gauri chechi,who smelt of henna leaves and rice batter………..was lost….

The little heart whimpered…letting out the mutest shriek,the village ballad hummed in her ears……….she could sense the longing……

It was her day of  severance………..or………?

She desired,fantasized,made solemn request and marveled at the thoughts of her Achan coming back and then moving over to the capital city…….but she also felt that there was no reciprocative love from the other side……from Gauri chech’s side……..

She (Gauri chechi) was in her own fairy land,where she was the reigning queen and Indu was a non-entity there…..Her cynicism left Indu bereft…

“How can she just quash those memories?”Indu pondered……

Gauri chechi departed without a parting present or a hug or even a smile…she just disappeared in the swarm of people that had come to bless the newly wedded couple….Gauri chechi receded from Indu’s sight and her life…

And so did her giggles,her effervescent demeanor subdued,cowrie shells disowned,henna leaves discarded,lines that had little feets hopping between them faded,mango grooves bowed down for Indu to catch hold of their tender branches laden with mangoes as if repenting their earlier abhorrence………………

The coconut orchard had a desolate look………

life went back to normal….but Indu…..

Her life was sketched by Gauri chechi with her earthy flamboyance…. her lessons learnt in between the squeaks of the squirrels,her sums solved in the hum of the hymns from the nearby temple,answers mugged up in the backdrop of sacred evening chants……………

Dullness shrouded her and Amma got apprehensive….her grades had dropped….

Indu could hear Amma whispering into the phone…….indisputably to Achan……………

“Indu desperately needs you….I believe”She overheard Amma whispering into the phone one day…………….

Indu…..darling,see what a pleasant day it is…..she felt a very familiar touch………..Indu opened her eyes………………TO BE CONTINUED

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