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Game of Blogs — Midway through the heart. Week 2

September 24, 2014

 Team: Qissa

 

Read the previous part of the story HERE

 

Reaching Beyond

 

Standing in her balcony Roohi was watching boys and girls of her block play cricket down in the small space left between two rows of parked cars in the apartment campus. It was once again one of those days when there was an argument between Tara and Shekhar on a trivial issue that had spoiled Roohi’s mood too.

On such moments she found herself very miserable and lonely and did not go down to play. Otherwise, she loved playing with the children and participated in all the activities that were organised by the RWA (Residents’ Welfare Association) of the society. It was only through her that Shekhar and Tara used to get snippets of information about their neighbours that these children shared with each other while playing together. Children were a common link among most of the residents as elders remained occupied with their works.

‘Do the parents of other children also fight like my parents do?’ was the thought that came to her mind again.

This was the question that always troubled her young mind. Though she was just nine years old she knew that asking other kids such a question would definitely make them guess that her parents also fought with each other.

‘Hello Roohi! You are not playing today?’ the booming voice of Aryan Ahuja brought her back from her thoughts.

Ahuja was standing in his balcony with a cup of tea in hand. He had just returned from his office. Their balconies were adjacent to each other.

‘No’, answered Roohi in mono syllable.

‘Why?Not feeling well?’ asked Ahuja, showing concern.

‘I am alright Ahuja Uncle, just did not feel like going,’ answered Roohi trying to hide her nearly teary eyes.

A little sympathy and concern had made her heart overflow with emotions. She did not want to share the state of affairs at her home with anyone. Not even with her best friends at school. Not even with uncle Ahuja. She felt that sharing her personal concerns would make her an object of unwanted sympathy and attention.

Little did she know that their next door neighbour Ahuja knew that her parents argued and regularly fought with one another. When Tara shouted at Shekhar at the top pitch of her voice, anyone could make out what was going on between the two.

Mr Aryan Ahuja, the next door neighbour of Dutta family,had recently taken over as the Secretary of the RWA and was actively involved in his RWA activities. Quite often he would stop while returning from office and play for a little while with the children. He would listen to their demands for more facilities for various leisure activities and for organising more events for them very patiently. His patience to listen to them and his nature of mingling with the children made him popular among the children. Children would innocently share the stories of their homes with him. And that’s how he got to know most of the inside information of most of the residents. However, other residents felt that it was Ahuja who tried to sneak information from children.

Roohi had never spoken about her parents’ fights and discord to anyone let alone to Ahuja.

So she was somewhat taken aback when Ahuja asked, ‘Mummy and Papa argued for something again?’

Tears rolled down from Roohi’s eyes already swollen with tears. She could not hold them back. 

‘Ahuja uncle knows this! He may tell other children too. What will they think of us then?’  Roohi’s mind could not help these thoughts coming to her even when she was disturbed.

‘Please don’t tell anyone about it Ahuja Uncle’, she almost pleaded in a choked voice.

‘No, dear not to worry at all’, assured Ahuja reaching out to her and patting her head.

‘Are you alone at home? Where are your Mummy and Papa?’ asked Ahuja.

‘Mummy is not yet back from her work. And Papa is busy with his writing work’, answered Roohi trying to compose herself.

‘Okay’, said Ahuja and added, ‘Why don’t you come over to my house? I want to have Maggi but don’t want to have it alone’. Ahuja wanted to cheer up Roohi. He knew that Roohi liked Maggi very much and would not be able to resist the offer.

Ahuja, being a lawyer, was aware of the human psychology. He had been handling divorce cases too. He knew the trauma the children underwent when parents fought with each other.

He did not initiate and ask anything about the fight of Roohi’s parents from her. He wanted her to start the topic.

On the other hand, even while enjoying her share of Maggi, Roohi could not help thinking how her Ahuja uncle knew about her Mummy and Papa’s fights.

She could not resist for long and finally asked, ‘How did you get to know about Mummy and Papa’s fights? Hope you have not told anyone about it?’

She was anxious and fearful too. She could not hide her worries and concerns of others being aware of her parents’ disagreements. Normal human psychological fears of ‘what will people say?’ had overpowered her thoughts too.

‘No, Roohi, I will not tell anybody. Don’t worry. Nobody will know. It is our secret.’ Ahuja said in an assuring tone.

‘I had heard your parents arguing one day and your mother was shouting at your father. She had perhaps forgotten that she had not closed the door behind her when she was back from the office. I had just come back from my office and could overhear the voices’, explained Ahuja.

‘If you remember I had even come and rung the bell that day and had asked for milk for my tea. I had thought it might make your Mummy and Papa to stop fighting. I know what it is like to be for a child of your age when parents fight’, continued Ahuja in a sad tone.

‘But don’t worry, Roohi, there may be some solution to all this. We will try to sort this out together’, said Ahuja trying to cheer up Roohi.

‘Yes’, said Roohi thinking of being a part of a big responsible work that was to be carried out.

Thereafter, for sometime Roohi narrated in bits and pieces to Ahuja all that she could remember, understand, and assimilate about the arguments and brawls between Tara and Shekhar. From Roohi, Ahuja got to know that the frequency of these fights had gone up over the few months and whatever Shekhar and Roohi did to please Tara backfired. Tara remained irritated and annoyed with Shekhar most of the time. However, recently her office work and frequency of parties had also increased. And that she gave hardly any time to Roohi too. Roohi was again almost crying while telling Ahuja about the recent incident of their marriage anniversary. She was visibly upset as she had made the card for them and Tara did not even acknowledge it.

So far, Ahuja had been listening to Roohi patiently. He did not interfere or enquire anything additional. He just allowed her to offload the baggage of her disturbed emotions and thoughts. He knew that it was important for Roohi to have a friend to share her grief and to regain her composure.

Seeing Roohi again on the verge of going back to her gloomy state, Ahuja then changed the topic and asked, ‘Which ice-cream would you like to have Roohi, Butterscotch or Chocolate?’

‘Wait, wait…let me guess… your choice’ continued Ahuja before Roohi could answer.

‘Chocolate’, he said after a few seconds, ‘Am I right, Roohi?’

‘Yes’, answered Roohi excitedly for chocolate flavour was her favourite.

‘How did you know I know that I like chocolate flavour?’ Roohi was confused but thrilled too. Her thrill was obvious.

She was liking the attention she was being given and the fact that there were others who cared about her choices too.

‘I can read your face Roohi!’ joked Ahuja.

They had their ice cream together while watching Roohi’s favourite cartoon channel till the maid from Roohi’s house came to call her for dinner.

‘Thanks for Maggi and ice-cream uncle. Good night uncle!’ said Roohi and left cheerfully leaving Ahuja to think about some strategy to bring peace between her parents.

 

 

Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.

 

 

Read the next part of the story here

 

 

Sangita Passey
24 September 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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