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A quick tale 98

One busy morning at the railway station

He is charging down the platform, weaving through the crowd that has gathered to see loved ones off. His legs, unaccustomed to such frenzied aerobic activity, are doing their best to carry his bulk towards the train that is gradually pulling out of the station. One final burst and he's nearly there. He grabs hold of the cold metal handle of the train carriage, drops his suitcase inside and heaves his body up the steps. Pausing to catch his breath, he turns around to wave to the fast-receding throng of bye-sayers. It is nice to pretend that some of them were there for him. That some of them were crying into their handkerchieves, unable to look up and see him go. That some of them were wiping their eyes for the tears made it hard to see. That they wanted to keep waving and keep looking at him until he became a tiny speck in the distance. That some of them wanted to come running along with the moving train as far as the platform would allow, for his sake. That they kept repeating their goodbyes and their promises to keep in touch with him until it became a meaningless chant. He likes to think they played out the drama, all for his benefit.

For, wouldn't it be sad that he was going away and not one friend or relative or neighbour or neighbour's dog could come to see him off and tell him how much they were going to miss him? He turns around to look at others in the carriage. And smiles the smile of one who was given a fond farewell.

Comments

?! said…
Just been through a quick selection of your efforts.

Rock!
blackdatura said…
There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall
And the bells in the steeple too
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird
Is popping out to say "cuckoo"
Cuckoo, cuckoo

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu
Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu
me-unplugged said…
Quite similar to the Kumar story... 'Pretences' being the underlying theme... reminds me of people who eat alone at restaurants... typically carry a book with them and hide behind it..
Eroteme said…
:-) Very well told... the kind of drama we conduct in our lives to dupe ourselves and others... I liked this one.
Lowry said…
It's nice for people to think that the world is there for them, to make them feel better, missed, loved, cared for.

That's how it should be for everyone.
Amrita said…
hmm, your stories are increasing in length. nice development. finally a move away from women related topics.
Santosh S Kumar said…
98% of your "A quick tale"s have a sad ending...come on change the way you write, write something which will pump up some energy in your blog readers, try not be another brick in the wall.
Usha said…
very touching story well narrated.

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Bio-data

Married for 31 years, 2 months and 17 days
Six cups coffee a day, brewed everyday of marriage
Three meals a day,
At least two dishes cooked, each meal-time
One snack for every Sunday
Big basket of clothes ironed every Tuesday
Average 18 items of clothing washed per day
Three children
1 miscarriage
One mother-in-law suffered
900 sq metre of floor space mopped, once a day
One caesarean endured
3 chicken poxes, 2 measles, 2 fractures, 8 diarrhoeas, depression, conjunctivitis every summer, 1 tonsilitis and countless common colds and flues
1 job held for 29 years
6 hours slept every night
Sex tolerated every 2nd week
Religious rituals everyone of them, carried out
Not one of them, believed in
Lived 52 years and some
Died exhausted

Overheard, “At least she had the satisfaction of having lived for her family”


http://jikku.blogspot.com/2005/02/quick-tale-3.html#c111042815438237631

The Saturday Poem

Found this in yesterday's paper. Again, I wish I'd written it.

-a

Now and Then

"Now that I'm fifty-seven",
My mother used to say,
"Why should I waste a minute?
Why should I waste a day

Doing the things I ought to
Simply because I should?
Now that I'm fifty-seven
I'm done with that for good."

But now and then I'd catch her
Trapped in some thankless chore
Just as she might have been at
Fifty-three or fifty-four

And I would say to her
(And I have to bite my tongue)
That if you mean to learn a skill
It's well worth starting young

And so, to make sure I'm in time
For fifty, I've begun
To do exactly as I please
Now that I'm thirty-one.

-Sophie Hannah

Lost in Post

To a little boy

It cannot be easy being you. A follow-up act to your more devilishly charming, flamboyant older brother. Before you were born, I was convinced that no child could ever take the special place your brother had come to occupy in my life. I used to argue with your father you would always be a second-born. A runner-up. A bridesmaid (or a best-man, as you turned out to be). That you could never be the prized, cherished, celebrated apple of my eye that my firstborn child was. But how easily you tore down my flimsy little conviction. The minute I saw you, I knew I was gone. What was worse, I succumbed willingly.

My fears that you would be overshadowed by your brother have proven unfounded. Over the past year, you have come into your own as a person. Your brother demands and challenges our love and attention. You, on the other hand, are much more accepting of our distractions with him. It is almost as if you understand that he is used to being the star of the show for much of his…

I ask, you write

Okay, here's the idea. I ask you a question and you write a short story explaining it. Let me give you an example.

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Annon's story

One morning when Padmavathi was drawing water from the well, she found Pettai Rowdy # 1 Govindarajulu inside the bucket! She dropped it at once and Govindarajulu went down and down and hit the bottom of the well with a Nung sound. His upper and lower teeth fused together and since then he has been fed intravenously. Pettai Rowdy # 2, Ragothaman Iyengar, who suggested this to Govindarajulu, now rules the roost.

After marrying Padmavathi, he is inviting all of you to a water drawing ceremony at the new well they dug in their house.

Jai Ragothaman Iyengar! Jai Padmavathi! Come one, Come all!

-

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What happened that made young Meenakshi change her mind about the parrot green saree she had originally chosen and go for a …