Short Story: The Sign

“Yes mom, I’m coming home, I’ve taken a week’s off. So I’ll stay there, Yes…OK. See ya” I pressed the End-Call button. After a long time, I’m going back home. Work has ruined my personal life badly. I never found time for any other activity apart from slouching in front of the monitor staring at the chunks of codes. I had informed my manager about my leave. I packed my bags and started towards the station.

I did not book the train tickets, so I had to leave for hometown in the unreserved compartment. The worst part is I have to switch two trains to reach my place. I was wondering if I’ve to go for such an option. I could have very booked the tickets later, but I was so desperate to go home.

I reached the station at 9.30 PM. The station was still crowded. The people are swarming here and there. The train had already arrived. The announcement said that the train number 6203 Mumbai superfast express is going to depart in another 15 minutes.

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Short Story: Yours Lovingly (Madras Day)

I was alone in an isolated, dark and dim lit room.

I opened my laptop and placed my finger in the fingerprint sensor of my Sony VAIO, to login to Windows. My eyes were drooping and were heavily loaded with tiredness. I opened GMail and started typing …

Dear Mom,

How are you? I know it’s been long time since I wrote to you. I hardly get any time to sit and write and today I’m writing to you to show that I miss you all & Chennai a lot. I would like to tell you something which will soothe your mind. We are coming back to India this month end with Akash. He is turning 5 this month.

I still remember how you used to teach me Thiruppavai in the terrace early morning. The image of the flock of pigeons, dispersing from the Gopuram (Tower) of Kabaleeswarar Temple, when the Bell tolls ting tong is still fresh in my memories. I’m finding it a herculean task to teach him a line of Thirukkural now-a-days. Akshara is taking care of imparting spirituality to Akash. I’m happy that he is learning it fast.

He eats only French toasts. Yesterday, I suddenly remembered how thatha used to get Idli-Sambar from the Saravana Bhavan nearby when you get up late and pack my lunch bag for school. I started hating pizzas and burgers. I wish to taste the Pongal, hot with dripping ghee, the day we reach there. The Narasus Coffee shop which will be opened near our house with those conical containers grinding the Coffee Beans always excites my olfactory senses. Filter Coffee was nectar than the Cappuccino and Latte.

We have GYM at home and I used to walk for an hour in the treadmill, but the joy of breathing fresh air early in the morning, strolling in the pathway of Marina beach was an eternal bliss. I can enjoy those from next month onwards.

How’s our rickshaw mama, who used to ask me, “Naastha Thunniaa” (Had Breakfast?), in his Madras Slang whenever I leave for school in his Rickshaw. I still wonder his flamboyant vocabulary of Tamil words which he uses eloquently. I’ll get him a pair of shoes which he wanted from me when I go to US.

I rem’ it’s the Music season & I promise we’ll go for the Kutchery (Concert) in Music Academy this time.

Yours Lovingly,

Vijayaraghavan

***

Tears rolled down when Kumararaghavan read this mail in his Computer. He is receiving this email for the 30th time in this month from his son, who has been admitted in the National Centre for Mental Health Rejuvenation. He was the only one who survived the plane crash which happened last month. His cranium has been ruthlessly damaged and he has recovered with only memory of returning back to Chennai with temporary conscious!

***

I could feel my head spinning, heavy with pain. I lay back on the bed in the hospital room slowly losing my consciousness….


P:S –There was a Madras Day Celebration @ Office. As a part of the events, there was a Short Story writing contest and this story won the First Place !! 🙂 The Theme given for the story writing is “Madras to me”