Friday, August 14, 2009

The brewing storm

Saroja 12 year old had not run away from her home .Her mother had brought her from the village and left her in the care of Suneetha who was on the look out for a domestic help.Saroja hailed from the same village of the previous maid who had worked for seven years in Suneetha’s house. A young girl with good features, she looked pleasant. Suneetha assured the mother that she need not entertain any fear about the well being of the girl and that she would be taken care of like the other children in the house. It was a small family of husband and wife with two children besides Suneetha’s old mother-in-law.
The two children in the house were disciplined, tidy and methodical. They would wake up early in the morning, have their bath, put the used clothes in the washing machine, finish their breakfast and will be off to the school. The rooms would always be spick- and- span. Saroja would also be up early, clean the front side and sprinkle water. She learnt to operate the washing machine. After washing the utensils, she loaded them in the dish-washer. Thereafter she swept and swiped the rooms. The work was not heavy and she was more of a handy help to Suneetha to fetch things, answer the door bell and phone, collect the clothes from the clothes line, fold them and put them in the respective cup boards. The girl was very quiet and efficient. Everyone was happy with her. She even joined the children in the board games on holidays.Suneetha never stinted on food or clothes for Saroja.Her mother-in-law had a special liking for the girl and in the afternoons spent time talking to her or asking her to massage her aching limbs. The old lady often used to regret that her daughter who was also in the same city did not have a good maid and frequently had to do all chores herself.Suneetha made sincere efforts to locate one for her thro Saroja’s mother but failed to find one..
About six months later the old lady went to her daughter’s house to stay for a couple of months. It was only in the evening that Suneetha noticed that Saroja was not to be seen in the house. She searched hither and thither in the colony in different neighbouring flats but could not find her.Saroja never went out without telling her.Suneetha became very nervous wondering how the girl’s mother would react to the incident. The girl was nearing 13 and good looking. The news about the abduction and killing of girls after rape in a northern city were very recent with bodies being discovered daily.Suneetha’s imagination ran wild fearing all sorts of dangers to the girl.Infact she had grown very fond of the girl over this period. Her mother-in-law was also not there to comfort her. She rang up her husband Sekhar who was in an important meeting. He felt that the girl would have gone somewhere nearby with her local friends and assured Suneetha that they can report to the police if the girl did not return by 8pm.
The girl did not turn up and Sekhar returned only around 9pm. They felt that it was late to go the police station and that it would be advisable to make some more efforts before approaching them. The whole night Suneetha remained awake and was crying unable to get even a wink. She prayed to several gods that she would visit their temples and donate money if only the girl was traced back safely without any problem to her.

Early in the morning there was a telephone call that Sekhar’s mother who was a diabetic and heart patient had left behind her medicines inadvertently requesting him to bring them immediately. When Sekhar went to hand them over, his sister asked him whether he would have tea. When he agreed, she called “Kutti ponnu (Little girl) bring the tea in the tray”. When the girl appeared with the tray, Sekhar was rendered speechless. It was the missing Saroja.He raised his voice in anger and asked her “How come you are here without informing my wife? Who brought you here? Don’t you have common sense that we would all be worried?” The girl started sobbing.Sekhar’s mom intervened ”Sekhar, why do you raise your voice? I only brought her here. You very well know that your sister’s health is not good. She cannot work for long hours. She has no maid. I brought Saroja to be here with me till I stay here. What is wrong? I should have informed Suneetha but the decision to take her with me was taken at the eleventh hour when the auto rickshaw had already come and was waiting.”
Sekhar was upset but kept quiet and informed Suneetha immediately of the discovery. On his way back he was thinking of the hurricane storm brewing in his household.

12 comments:

  1. hmmm..MIL shd have informed her..:(

    nice drama :)

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  2. Good Post :D Heart Touching Thatha :D

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  3. truly a drama created due to negligence..MIL should have atleast told them later when she reached her daughters place...but then again , life is full of should haves and would haves !!!

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  4. Dear Partha,
    Happy Janmashtami!May Lord Krishna bless you with health,happiness n properity!
    i really liked the concluding lines...........''the hurricane storm brewing in his household''.to cause happiness there should be some sacrifices.anyways,any working house wife will lure and take kutti ponnu away.............[By the way we had a tenant by that name].
    wishing you a great day ahead.........
    sasneham,
    anu

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  5. Ouch! Wouldn't like to go back to that house anytime soon.. haha..

    Nicely written.

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  6. Nice one, Sir... A little more complex than usual..

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  7. Simple and beautiful story. I liked Suneetha's character, her love for the girl was touching.

    Well done sir :-)

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  8. Good narration sir!

    Like Alfred Hitchcock's movies. Takes us till the end. At the end makes us feel like a trivial issue.

    :)

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  9. Hahaha, The strom brewing line made me laugh :)
    Nice Story

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