Sunday, May 9, 2010

Premonition

He saw her walking down the street. She was dressed in her favoured attire of jeans and a kurti. Her white kurti stood out in the dark street. She was nearing home. Her strides were long and relaxed, with a slight spring in her steps. He was familiar with this walk of hers. He instinctively realised that she was feeling happy and relaxed and pleased with her day. She was humming a tune under her breath, swinging her handbag rhythmically. Her long legged strides were bringing her closer to the place where she stays.

Looking at her walking down the long street made him realise how much he missed her. His house no longer felt like home without her in it. He missed her happy greetings when he returned home from work. He missed seeing her frowning with concentration at her laptop. He missed goofing around with her over trivial things. He missed her nagging him to buy shampoo for her on Sunday mornings. Now, looking at her walking towards him, his spirits lifted. He started feeling happy that she is coming back...back home and back to him. But then, a distant chime brought him back to the present and made him furious all of a sudden. He frowned with displeasure. It was getting late. Why is she coming back home only now? She must be safe in her bed by this time. He felt like shouting some sense into her with a good measure of ‘this is why I don’t want you to stay alone’ thrown in.

He stood there, waiting for her...watching her. She was coming closer and closer, near to the door of her apartment. His skin suddenly prickled with unease. Danger! Yes! Acute danger was lurking in the dark – waiting her...awaiting his baby. He can see her pushing the door open. He tries to warn her, save her. He starts calling out to her, but no sound emerges from his throat. Frustration and fear grips hold of him. She pushes the door open and a figure leaps at her out of the dark. It smothers her scream with a rough calloused hand. He could smell the alcohol reeking out of the nightmare that was pressing itself against his precious baby. The scream that died in her throat rose in his.

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He woke up with a scream on his lips...gasping for breath. It was a dream...again. with his baby in danger. His wife peered down at him, a bemused smile on her face. “She is safe. What was it this time? Accident?” He scowled at his wife. “This is precisely why I didn't want her to go stay alone in another city. Why did you let her go?” Now she started laughing. “Why you didn't want her to go? so that you won’t have bad dreams? Understand this clearly now! She is no longer a baby. She has to live her own life, make her choices. At this stage, it is essential for her to lay a good base for her career and that is precisely why she has gone there. Now go sleep!” With that, his wife – the mother, pulled the covers over her head and turn to her side.

The wife smiled beneath her covers. “You miss her a lot don’t you? So do I, but from now on, it is her life and it will not be fair to have her tied down to us.” she thought to herself. Their daughter became the centre of his universe the moment he held her in his arms 22 years ago. And in his mind, she had always remained that baby. If he had had his way, he would have always kept her within his sight, his domain and always with him. But now, her work has taken her to another city and the separation was making him very – to put it mildly, pouty. The wife remembered all the silly reasons that her husband gave to their daughter in an attempt to dissuade her from moving to another city. It ranged from ‘you don’t know how to cross the streets properly’ to ‘you are irresponsible’. From ‘you will stay out with friends’ to ‘you wont get good food’. The daughter had just smiled at all these, hugged him tight and happily went about making preparations for the travel. The mother had watched this all with a kind of patient amusement. It had been a lot easier for her to understand her daughter’s ambition to make it big, the need to be alone, the excitement to explore a new city and ultimately, respect her choice and decision. But, it has not been that easy for the father and his irrational fears about the safety of his baby often took the shape of nightmares and tormented him.

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The last vestiges of the nightmare were still clinging on to him. He reached out for his cell phone and looked at the time. 11 pm. He speed dialed his daughter and held his breath. “Why the hell is it taking her so long to pick the phone?” he muttered under his breath. “She must be sleeping”, called out his wife. He just glared at her and dialed the number again and heaved a sigh of relief when she answered. “Where are you? Why didn't you pick up the phone?” he asked. “I was watching a movie in the laptop dad. Didn't hear the mobile ringing.” She answered. “Oh...ok ok. Go sleep now. It is getting late. I just called up to check if everything was ok.” He said. She laughed and said “Am fine dad. Go sleep now. Good night!”

She ended the call and rolled her eyes. But then, she couldn’t stop the slow smile spreading on her face. She felt that she was the luckiest daughter in the world, to have such a loving father. She continued walking her way home. She was returning back after having dinner with her friends. Ofcourse, she couldn’t tell this to her dad. That will only make him worried.

She was dressed in her most favoured attire of jeans, and her white kurti stood out against the darkness. There was a slight spring in her steps. She was feeling happy and relaxed and pleased with her day. She was humming a tune under her breath, swinging her handbag rhythmically. Her long legged strides were bringing her closer to the place where she stays...

19 comments:

S said...

I can say this from the bottom of my heart - 100%Un kadhai than ithu.... correct ah? I am Sundeep... It struck me when u had written stating to work in a new place, 22 years of age, only daughter. blah blah blah and not to mention - Jeans and a kurti... :P. Anyhow, it was good

Praveen said...

long strides :P .. although i knew from the first line that this is u leaving for b'lore story it had an element of suspense to it which continued til the end.. loved the ending para .. i have one complaint though .. write more frequently ..

slowhand said...

This is my first comment on scribblings i guess...first of all the post was really good...kudos...but pls for ppl like me to understand introduce ur characters so that i am not lost who is who...after reading the first 3 paras i had to read it again to get the whole point cos i didnt think the baby to be literally "baby"...anyway lots of mokkai put....write more often and keep up the good work.

mathi said...

well written , suspense lam build pannanum nu alattikaama suspense aarambicha udaneye scripta mudichutu leaving it to the reader... different style attempt for you eh? A good one at that. asked ur dad to read this?:-)

Ananth.. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ananth.. said...

If S.Shankar makes a documentary based on dis scrpit it will be like...
Starring

SUPERSTAR
ARUNA

ALL time best comedian(first time in a serious role) N.MAMA

Jus luuuvd d script d last para n d pace of it...
maja a gaya

aswin jayaraman said...

Neat Presentation..Liked the ending more than anything else..Could see that this was indeed an episode of your bangalore stay.

Deepthi said...

Knew it was ur story from the very beginning.....loved the way u've crafted the whole thing.....!! Good job...!!! :)

P3 said...

NICE.. the mark of a good author of fiction lies in prompting the reader to visualize the happenings in a vivid manner.... and this write-up for sure scores high on that...
another thing that i personally liked about this narrative is its open-ended climax... leaves the reader craving for more..
written in an admirable way... nice pace, neat flow, clear words and good detailing... beautiful..kudos :)

the father character reminds me of actor prakashraj's role in the tamil film "Abhiyum Naanum"...

a small request... plz write more..! :)

Radhika said...

kudos chitthi....
i reallly loved it....the introduction was jus the indication that it was u........
so writer chitthi.......
wat was n. mama's response????

i really loved it....
congratulaton's...........

anusha said...

hahah.. apdiye un kadhai eh dan!! good 1 boss:)

Vikram Kumar said...

Wow Aruna!!

I think this is the first story you are writing of this genre. The anxiety and malevolence which prevailed throughout the entire story made it gripping. It tugged me to an eerie disposition when I started reading the last paragraph after completing the one before. The insecurity and perturbation were very well expressed.

Its been so long since you posted ur last article..I should say it was worth the wait.

Keep writing. Cheers..

Intricate Labyrinth said...

And then it happens, she reaches for the door , a big drunk real gorilla from african forest has creeped into her house and had flicked a bottle of old monk from a nearby pub.

The gorilla jumps onto her, just to notice she resembled his ex-girlfriend whom he lost to another chimpanzee.

He stops , he moves towards her slowly and starts speaking, she was amuzed, her white kurti shined like a moon , aah! she thought! , let me hug the gorilla.

Voila, the gorilla becomes a prince.

Eppadi indha ending :P

Subramaniam said...

This one is most certainly on a different note! I actually got a little confused if the father was talking about his daughter or wife! lol. Beautifully narrated. And it wonderfully culminated with the last para.

PS: Though i can really relate to you in the girls position and say, "Welcome to my genre of writing", I guess i dont want to do so because of lack of certainity. :P

Great job.

rats said...

a very amusing tale of love, misery and greed. if only we all could find ways to quench this fire of lust. thats how i interpret me. btw i am a man

abinaya said...

Hey machi very nice description of daughter and dad relationship :)

abinaya said...

And the way u have written is also very nice and interesting

Aravind Ravi said...

The scream that died in her throat rose in his.

killer line:)

way to go..seriously consider writing more stories..

Krishnan A said...

Realy amazing it is not a story its a real life fact.

In this movement i want to remember one quote "A daughter is the happy memories of the past, the joyful moments of the present, and the hope and promise of the future"

aruna rocking again and again. I wish all your success