Sunday, December 03, 2006

My Second Story - The Appointment

The Appointment

Mahek was talking to someone on phone and was writing something on a piece of paper. She was in hurry to leave for office. She went in the room to take her purse, said bye to you and rushed for the office. Having stayed back late last night, you were going to leave a little late for office today. After sometime you noticed that she forgot that piece of paper near that phone only. You could read, “Dr. Shah – 5.00pm”
You wondered why Mahek has taken an appointment with the doctor. For last whole week you have been too busy with your work and hence you could hardly spend any time with her during these days. This was not happening for the first time though. You both are in software industry for almost a decade now. A tight schedule around project deadlines is part of your lives and both of you have developed enough understanding to cope with this lifestyle.
You called Mahek on her cell and she disconnected the call, which meant she was busy in some meeting. You left for the office. It is 11o’clock in the morning and your car is sailing smoothly on the road - You are using the accelerator more than the break unlike everyday when you leave at 8 in the morning.
You reached office, checked your mails and the mail from your onsite counterpart about successful deployment of the system ensured that you will not have much work today except routine meetings in the afternoon.
Just before lunch time, you got a note from Mahek informing she won’t be joining you for lunch as she was going to be busy in a meeting. She also informed that she might come home late today. You didn’t get a chance to talk to her and hence could not ask her about her appointment with doctor. You thought it will be better to talk to her in the evening.
You reached home at about 6 in the evening, made tea for yourself and came out in the drawing room. You started searching for the TV remote and your eyes fell on the photograph of Mahek, on the same cute smile you fell in love with, which as usual, prompted a smile on your face. You switched on the television and first thing you saw was Nida Fazli, your favourite poet, reciting his gazals. You started watching this program and there came one of your favourite gazals; something, that took you about 5 years back in your life.
* * * * * * *
That day when you went to Ashi’s desk, she was explaining some technical stuff to her friend. You listened to Ashi for a few minutes and then interrupted by reciting this poetry of Nida Fazli,
कभी कभी युं भी हमने, अपने जी को बेहलाया है;
जीन बातों को खुद नहीं समजे, औरों को समजाया है.
It was immediately followed by a chuckle from Ashi’s friend, Mahek and that sweet smile caught your attention that day.
“What’s so funny about it?” roared Ashi at Mahek. Ashi frowned at you and before you could talk to her, she locked her computer and got up from her seat to leave. “Hey Ashi, Wait.” you said. “We will miss our bus, Bye…. Will see you tomorrow.” She left and you laughed out. This was routine reaction of Ashi whenever you teased her.
Next day, at lunch time you asked Ashi, “Hey, who was that girl? The one who was with you yesterday?” “Hmm…. Why you are asking?” she asked with her devilish grin. “Nothing serious…. Just found her cute, you know!” you replied. She laughed and said, “So??? Are you expecting me to help you flirt with her?” “Hello ma’m!!! I just asked who she is!” – You argued back. She laughed again and said, “I know you very well, Mister” She paused for a while then said, “She is Mahek, my roommate. But sad news for you – last night she left for a two-week training.”
After this day, quite a few times Mahek became a topic of light hearted discussion between you and Ashi. Many a times Ashi tried to pull your leg. It was before a couple of days Mahek was going to come back from training. You got a mail from Ashi saying “Hey Ishaan, Forgot to tell you at lunch time. It’s Mahek’s birthday today.” You mailed Mahek wishing her for her birthday. Mahek replied saying, “Thanks for the wishes Ishaan. Ashi informed you, is it?” You forwarded Ashi’s mail to her, in reply to her question.
By that weekend Mahek was back from training and Ashi had planned a trekking trip for the weekend. You were least interested in going but as usual, Ashi dragged you into it. It was group of 5 people in trekking including you, Ashi and Mahek. You and Mahek were walking together and rest of the persons were walking ahead of you two.
“So…. How was your birthday? Party-sharty?” You asked Mahek. “Nothing big, a small treat to friends – that’s it.” She replied. “Actually I was wondering why Ashi mailed you about my birthday. We hadn’t even met properly before.” She looked at you with a grin, expecting an answer from you. You laughed and said, “Well…. You want me to tell the truth or is it ok if I lie?” She laughed back and said, “Let’s see…. First tell me what you will say if you want to lie?” “Hmmm…. I will say, you know, Ashi is mad. You never know what she will do” you replied and she laughed out.
Both of you walked for sometime without talking. Then suddenly she stopped, looked at you and asked, “And what’s the truth?” You looked back at her, smiled and started walking again. Again, both of you walked for sometime without a single word being spoken. You said, “The day you left for training, I asked Ashi about you.” “About me? What did you ask?” She asked. “Nothing much. As I saw you with Ashi the day before, I asked who are you and all.” You replied. She asked back, “So?” You were sort of dumbfound, “So nothing…. May be that’s why she mailed me about your birthday. And as far as I know Ashi, she would have told you all this – everything I asked her about you and all - right?” It was her turn to get jumbled now but before she had to answer, Ashi came to her rescue. Ashi shouted, “Come on guys, you two are too slow. We are waiting here for both of you.”
That was beginning of a new relationship between you and Mahek. After about two years of courtship, you and Mahek got married.
* * * * * * *
It was already 7.00pm. You again remembered Dr. Shah, the appointment at 5.00pm. You got up, took that piece of paper again, read the same words again, “Dr. Shah – 5.00pm” You flipped the paper and noticed that it was visiting card of Dr. Shah, the gynaecologist and obstetrician.
After that you went to your bedroom and on Mahek’s drawer you saw a couple of books on childbirth and pregnancy. You were pleasantly surprised, “Is Mahek pregnant? But then why didn’t she tell me?” You picked the books in your hand and something fell down from the books. It looked like a cover. You picked it up and opened it. It was a greeting card. Next day is going to be your wedding anniversary. Now everything is getting cleared up in your mind. Mahek is planning to give you a surprise on your anniversary. It’s been 3 years you and Mahek have been married. You both have been waiting for the ‘good news’. Before some months you had taken the fertility test, something that Mahek doesn’t know, and the reports were normal. You could never gather courage to ask Mahek to go for the test just out of the fear that you might end up hurting her.
You decided not to mention anything to Mahek about her appointment with the doctor. You decided that you will let her give you the news. It was good that your anniversary was on Saturday and both of you will be having whole day to spend with each other. Unlike everyday, you woke up before Mahek today. You prepared tea for both of you. It took 3 efforts for you to cook ‘good’ breakfast. Not that you never cooked before or that your first two efforts were bad, but today you wanted everything to be ‘the best’. You yourself were feeling that you are behaving in a childlike manner. When you went to your bedroom with tea and breakfast to wake Mahek up, she was surprised to see this sudden change in your behaviour – positively, of course. She replied to your ‘Good morning’ with ‘Happy wedding anniversary’. Huh…. You smiled and thought - Even this time you missed out on being first to wish anniversary.
You were mentally prepared for her to break the news. You were anticipating it any time. You decided to prepare lunch today. Unlike other weekends when Mahek was used to prepare lunch and you were used to help her; today you were preparing lunch and Mahek was helping you. It’s just that ‘the helper’ was playing more important role in this case and may be that was the reason that the food was good enough to eat.
In the evening, you both went out for dinner. You had already planned for a beautiful evening together. This was not very unusual for Mahek. It was something you did every year…. rather on every possible occasion but she could feel a difference in your behaviour this time.
On the other hand, you were getting impatient. You both reached home at about 11.30pm and just when she started planning to go to sleep, you couldn’t hold back any longer. You asked her, “Mahek, you went to see the doctor yesterday?” “Yes” she replied. You waited for sometime expecting her to say more. “Is everything all right?” “Yeah everything ok” she replied. She took a book in her hand and started reading it as if she was trying to avoid the topic.
The situation was becoming highly frustrating for you. You snatched the book from her hand, she looked at you and you raised your eyebrows as if you are waiting for her to elaborate. “Ok ok, it’s just that I didn’t want to inform you so early.” You thought the long wait is finally over. “I took an appointment with Dr Shah for Ashi. As Shishir is out of town, she wanted me to go with her. She is pregnant and she wanted to inform this to Shishir first, once he comes back next week. After that she was planning to inform this to everyone.”
“But what about those books in your drawer? Those are not yours?” you asked. “Ohh that. They are also for Ashi.” She laughed a little and said further, “Why would I need those books? I am not….” Her voice trailed. Suddenly she stopped and looked at you Ishaan. She could clearly see your face agap with utter disappointment. Now she realised what was exactly going on in your mind and now she could relate this whole discussion with your today’s behaviour. There was a silence in the room for what seemed like an eternity. You both drifted off to sleep; rather you both tried to pretend to be asleep. Turmoil was going on in your minds. It was almost an unbearable feeling for Mahek.
But there is one thing you are not aware of Ishaan, that just like you, Mahek had taken ‘the tests’ a few months back and the reports were normal for her as well.
One more thing you both are not aware of is that you are hardly a few days away from the long awaited ‘good news’. The ‘life’ has already taken shape and it’s not going to be long before it announces itself. It is just a matter of time before both of you come across one of the happiest days of your lives....

....Link to My first Short Story - The Diary

- Sarang


Anonymous said...

hey sarang
this is really good yar....
i just love the way u present the topic i mean so delicately....but still without any overreactions....
this is so simple but stil so touchy......
keep tht i get to read good stories.....

NaynaKanabar said...

great stuff sarang!! keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Wow Sarang! Good one.
Great style of writing ... the reader feels he is a part of the story!
Why are you wasting your talent in the IT field? Or atleast keep writing more often ... and if ever I start writing short stories, you'll be my inspiration!

Anonymous said...

It's all about samll emotions of life which we ignore normally in our day-to-day life...whic we shouldn't we don't know what that can mean to someone else...
Keep writing...
-Rachit(somehow forgot the password so commenting as anonymus...:-))