An Accidental Meeting

I was walking down the lane minding my business,suddenly I heard a loud screech, it brought me back to reality. I turned around to see who was making such an ugly noise, and there a few yards from me was a giant monster. He resembled Sasquatch.My heart was pounding fiercely thinking this creature would take me by my neck and kill me. I turned and kept running and breathing hard, fear  made me run faster without looking where I was going. There was a loud crash! I bumped into a trolley carrying fruits and vegetables. The contents went flying and I was hit by a flying potato . Before I opened my mouth,I heard  a shrill voice.

“Hey you stupid moron where do you think you’re  going so fast,Use your eyes, look what you’ve done, all my produce is scattered everywhere, it’s hundreds of dollars worth of fruits and vegetables I was going  to the market to sell.”

“I’m  sorry miss, I thought that giant beast would kill me.”

“What giant beast are you talking about, I don’t see anything here?”

“I swear I saw it,  it was only a few yards from me, I had to save myself, so I ran.”

“Are you hallucinating,  what kind of drugs are you on?” She said.

I never take drugs,why does she think I do,immediately I remembered  my friend Harry  gave me a cup of coffee ,I drank it and was on my way to see my aunt. As I was walking  I felt uneasy, I had no idea what was happening to me, I hope Harry didn’t intentionally add something in my coffee, could he, nah he wouldn’t, last time  he pulled a gruesome prank on his sister,he was grounded for a week . I told myself maybe the excitement to see Aunt Hilda after so long is the reason.

“Listen here buddy stop daydreaming and help me pick up whatever we can salvage,” she said.

“Okay, I really am sorry,  I am Kevin, what’s your name?”

“My name is Sangita, I live close-by, my Mom sent me to the market to sell these,How will I tell her more than half of the produce is ruined,come with me so you can tell her it’s your fault.”

I had no choice I agreed to go,I thought I’ll  apologize to her mom. She turned out to be an exceptionally kind lady, she wanted me to   have lunch with them, she cooked some delicious vegetables and served it with Naan. After lunch I thanked them before leaving and  promised  to see them soon.

Months passed after that incidence I forgot about Sangita and her mother.

I met them again in a shopping mall, where I went  to get something  for my  aunt. After checking in at the drug store, I bumped  into  the mother and daughter , I  made excuses why I didn’t visit, but my voice didn’t sound convincing enough, Sangita’s mother came to my aid, she said she understood kids like me have a million  things to do and he only met them once,it was too much to expect him to remember them.

Her sweet words made me feel guilty, I at once volunteered to go to their house. Sangita’s mom was happy, but her daughter was not. I went with them to their house, Sangita was  quiet I wanted to win her over and talked about my latest invention, the black hole. She was not interested.

An hour later Sangita’s Mom brought a tray full of samosas for me.  These tasty treats made my mouth water. I had an urge to grab the tray and start eating,I checked myself this was only my second day I should not be greedy.

Sangita sensed how eager I was to eat she brought the tray close I was about to take one but she turned around so fast the tray with the treats flew from her hand and struck her mother who was coming with a cup of tea, the cup with the hot tea fell on the floor, the broken pieces and the tea made a mess on  the floor her Mom slipped and fainted . I called the ambulance within minutes the paramedics came Sangita’s mother and I were on our way to the hospital.

Sangita sat on the floor. She waited for someone to tell her what to do next.

This is my submission for speakeasy #150

word count: 733

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The Escape

Her family finished  packing their clothes to leave her Dad was in no hurry to go anywhere he was relaxing with his newspaper Mom was busy giving finishing touches to her cooking. Suddenly neighbors from the left side of the wall told them to leave that instant or there was danger of getting killed.

The food and the luggage were left untouched as they were getting ready to leave, Mom wanted to put on her long garment,she’d be walking on the street she wanted to cover herself, the minute she picked it up to wear it, Dad said.

“You can’t wear this , they’ll kill us, they’d know we are Muslims.”

Reluctantly Mom put down her new garment, she was uneasy there was something else she wanted to take with her, she turned around and saw her little suitcase, she picked it up, inside was all her religious books.

They left the house from the back door, as they were walking along on the dusty street  a man in a bicycle hollered.

“Take away everything from this house.”

They kept walking they were afraid to call the rickshaw puller, they’d have to say where, if they named the place they’d be killed, it took a long time to get to their destination,when they reached there the man inside who knew her Dad  showed them the part of the tent where they could rest.

They stayed two days in this place as refugees. On the third day they were informed arrangements had been made to take the train to their place of safety.

The compartments of the train was overcrowded, her little brother cried of heat exhaustion he was thirsty too, there was no water there, a man wanted to strangle him when he cried,he said.

“It’s better to kill the child instead of endangering all of our lives. The enemy must not know there are people in this compartment.”

Her Mom  cried  and held on to her baby. It was a bright night,she saw a bright star and prayed to God to help them  get to their stop safely.

When the train reached a few hundred miles it was stopped, the train tracks were covered with trunks of trees,  there was firing going on between the army and the rebels . The shooting continued for several hours, the army managed to get rid of the rebels.

The train tracks were cleared and the train was given the signal to move.They reached another hundred miles where there were friendly faces distributing food and water, they were smiling and praying  they said they hoped they’d be able to cross the border to their country safely.

Early in the morning the family arrived at the station from where they were to take another train,they got off and were advised to rest in the waiting room.

While they were waiting in the lounge, there were trains coming in one after another. There were fewer passengers in them.

The last train was completely empty that train was supposed to bring the sons and fathers of the people waiting all they saw was blood stains and empty seats. No one could ever know what happened here.

Her  family waited for two more days to go to the city where her father was supposed to work.

This is my entry for Speakeasy#148

Word count: 555

Mubarak (Lucky)

There was a time when things were different. These were the times when I met this family of three: husband, wife and one son. The wife was a very generous woman. She was always ready to help anyone who needed it. Their son went to boarding  school.

Her brother-in-law died at an early age. There was no one left to look after his three kids. She and her husband took  them home. They were spoilt and like their father weren’t interested in getting education. The uncle and  aunt  devoted all of their time helping these kids. Soon it was apparent they were not interested to  study.

The two boys and the girl did nothing to better themselves. The aunt became ill. She was unable to do anything for them. Instead of helping her,they cursed her all the time.

A year later the aunt died. The uncle had to shoulder the responsibility of the kids. The boys loafed around and the girl had a new boyfriend every week. This went on for some time. Call whatever you will,the luck of the girl was soon going to change.

She met a new boy friend,they spent their time having fun. The father of the boy found out about his son’s girl friend.He wanted to meet the girl. The son was nervous,he was actually planning to break up with her. He was raised in a very wealthy and  religious family.  He was afraid to tell his Dad about his girl friend  he knew he wouldn’t approve.

On the insistence of the father. The son brought his girl friend to his home. His father met them in his living room and asked both several direct questions.

Father to the girl: Do you love my son?

Girl friend:  (extremely nervous) could not say, Yes or No.

He turned around and asked the same question to his son. The son was  shaking,he could not say anything either.

Next he asked both, “How long are you dating?”

Both answered ,’one week’, their voice was barely audible.

The father announced ,they’d have to get married within a week. Preparations were made to have a big wedding.

He told the girl to forget what had happened in the past. She will have to begin a new life. Her name Bulu, was changed  to Mubarak.

Within a week they were married.

She was a Bengali and her husband’s family were from Uttar Pradesh, India,they moved to Bangladesh after the partition of India.

Soon after  Mubarak gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She stayed home and only went out with her husband and in-laws. Months turned to years and the baby girl was five years old. Mubarak was a changed woman she devoted her time  helping her new family  . It was a transformation no one thought was possible. She surprised the doubters.

Mubarak helped her mother-in-law with household chores,she herself  learnt to cook  and took  care of her family. Besides helping her in-laws, she spent a lot of time with her little girl . One day the girl saw some guests in their living room. She was excited. She ran to her mother, she took her by her hand and told her there were some new people she should meet.

Mubarak noticed some male guests. She explained, “Darling your Dad and Grandpa will be with them soon.”

“I want you to go and talk to them,” she said.

Mubarak told her quietly, “I don’t go in front of male guests.”

Little five year old did not give up,Mubarak took her to the next room and explained why it was so. Little Faria was growing up to be a cute kid. With her mother’s help,she learned to read and write. Soon she was memorizing poems. One day she recited one of her poems,she asked, “Mom do you like  my poem?”

“I do, Mom said but It sounds like a parrot.”

” Parrots can’t learn poems,can they?

“Yes if you teach them.”

Mubarak’s job was to teach the poems with expression. Then she explained the difference. She told Faria about the parrot they had. It learned a sentence and would always repeat it, “It was khoka Babu’s here.” It didn’t matter who came in.

Faria burst out laughing, “You sound funny Mom!”

.

This is my entry for SPEAKEASY #147 Word Count:716

Memories

I grew up in a family of five, Mom,Dad , me and my two brothers. We were a happy family. My parents loved us and helped us when we needed them. My Dad was a surgeon and Mom was a teacher.

Our school was near our home,we were able to walk to school. My mom taught in the same school. Everyday we gathered together and watched TV shows . Mom and Dad loved the children’s shows.

We’d sit and do our homework in the evening, Mom helped us if we had problems.

We lived in a small town,there were seven thousand people. Most of the people knew us because of my parents jobs.

On week-ends we helped Mom with baking breads and cookies. We helped by tasting and gave our opinion.

Then something terrible happened. My Dad agreed to bring in his cousin’s children. He thought they’d get better education here. Mom had to work extra hours because of the two addition in our family.

We grumbled, Dad ignored us. I noticed my Dad was giving them more attention than us. I told my friends how these two have taken over our house. They sided with us, they said, “Get rid of them.” I know it was easy to say it.

At the end of the school  year those two cousins went home to spend summer holidays with their parents. We breathed a sigh of relief at least we thought we’d have peace for two months.

At the end of three years,they graduated and left. I was  glad because now I thought Mom and Dad would pay more attention to us.

One day I told my Dad let’s watch the comedy show, I taped , it seemed funny I wanted Dad to watch it with me. A guy was showing off a book he published. His friend didn’t seem to be interested. I tried hard to understand what he  was saying I thought he spoke with marbles in his mouth ,it sounded like Audrey Hepburn in ,”My Fair Lady.” Good gracious I thought at least in the movie the professor repeated the sentences, here I thought it sounded like a whole lot of gibberish.  I was curious I went  and played the tape a  few times, I got it I told my dad,” He said anaseptic frasmotic, pericombobulation.” 

“Really, what does it mean?”

“It means  , I’m sorry if I said anything to upset you.” It was a light hearted comedy. We enjoyed it.

Time was passing faster than I wanted. My brothers  left. I missed them. I found myself hanging out with Dad. Sometimes we played board games or listened to the news. My Dad’s favorite show was watching news. I’d spend half hour with him, then move on to do some work on my computer.

Life was good. One day  Dad asked, “What would you like to do after you finish your education?” I had no idea, what would be best. While I thought about it  he said, “You should work as a programmer.”

“Programmer? No Dad It’s a boring job, besides sitting in front of a computer is tough, I want to do something else.”

“Like what Dad asked?”

“Acting I said, I like it ,my teachers told me I’d excel in it.”

Dad was quiet,I saw his facial expression changing. I could not tell  what he was thinking.

Next day he told me, he knows what I should do. “Tell me now”, I was excited.

Well he said  , “go to medical school, You’d be a perfect physician you’re kind and thoughtful, the world needs you.”

I was unhappy I didn’t like Dad’s choice. We decided to take our time and  decide what was good for me.

The months that followed  were stressful. Dad became very quiet,  I often wondered what was going on in his mind.

One day he came dressed and sat beside me. I felt Dad would tell me something. He only said, “let’s go for a walk .” I was overjoyed I thought Dad wouldn’t push me to  medical school. We walked to the park,he told me to sit on the bench and wait, he’d be back soon.  I sat there and waited,but he never came back.

This is my entry for SPEAKEASY #146

Word count: 707

Jewel

I have spent years chasing the tail of my darkness.  Although my name is Jewel, I was anything but a Jewel. I laughed sometimes and thought I am not a nice person,why did my parents choose this name for me.   My parents died when I was a very young boy. I never enjoyed my childhood.  Early on I was into all kinds of trouble. I stole to satisfy my hunger. I envied the kids my age who were leading a better life than I. I never knew what love was. I grew up hating and cursing anyone who got in my way.

I was not proud of myself. I didn’t go to school. I could neither read nor write. I was tired of this dark life I was leading. I made up my mind to leave this darkness behind. I looked around to see which path was appealing. Suddenly I saw a giant oak tree. It caught my attention I followed  the path that led to the tree. I felt the cool breeze.  Nature was calling me. Humans didn’t comfort me. But nature was giving me the comfort I longed for.  I sat under the tree  and began thinking how to feel peaceful. I started to relax, this type of feeling was rare for me. I felt groggy and fell asleep.

Next thing I knew someone was calling me to wake up. Who could it be, I opened my eyes, staring at me was a lady in white. I’ve never seen angels but the word angel came on my lips. I uttered the word softly. She smiled and said, “I am Sara,I live close by, every day I come here for a walk,  then I sit under this tree and meditate.”

I asked her what she meant by meditate, she said,  ” to meditate is to practice,  training our mind to focus to reach a higher level of consciousness. You can meditate anywhere at anytime.”

I was happy to know I can really become a better person,if I learn to meditate.

I said, “I am Jewel, I am a very unfortunate man, I lost my parents when I was very young,I’ve spent a larger part of my lonely  life loafing around. The things I did to fill my stomach will terrify you. It seemed this tree will lead me to the right path. I fell asleep hoping to find something or someone  who will turn my life around when I’m awake. Maybe you can guide me to become a better person. This will be a miracle for me.”

“What kind of miracle are you looking for Jewel?”

“I want to come out of my dark and ugly life and become a good person. Do you think you can help me Sara?”

Her face brightened up when she heard my plea.

“Of course I’ll help you ,come with me. I live with my painter husband,he’s a good man, he and I will do what we can to make you happy.”

Thus started my life of happiness.  Sara and Gregoire changed my life. I learned to paint from Gregoire ,and Sara taught me how to meditate. We were happy.

I put my heart and soul to attain happiness. Whenever Sara thought I needed to relax,she’d invite me to play a game of cards. I’m embarrassed to admit I knew nothing about cards, with Gregoire and Sara’s help I learned the basics.

Now I think I am worthy of the name  Jewel. I know now when we try hard enough we can achieve happiness.