Edited by- Kiara Lakdawala
I’d like it if you listen to this as you read (P.S. It’s also a cute video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om0RGEnWIEk
Somdev blinks awake. The once taut white bedsheets, crinkle as he shifts his weight to his side. Somdev had been unable to sleep for most of the night. Even as sleep descended upon him, memories flooded in and shook him awake once again. Now as the sun is up and pouring into the room, he closes his eyes. Finally deciding it was time, he got up. Supporting himself on shaky palms, he sits up on the makeshift bed.
Tired eyes flutter open and he heaves a broken sigh. Outside, the cuckoo is cooing away to the beats of teenage boys, with their bats and balls, drumming down the hall. The bustle from the market place is heard, as hawkers hoot loudly. A medley of noises echoes through the walls of the old building. He feels yesterday return. These days are much the same. It’s a comfortable feeling.
Shuffling through the room, he searches for a coat. It is an oddly cool day for Bombay. Even with the sun bursting into the room. He wonders if it were time that he installed a heating instrument. The dust on the floor itches at his feet, and it tickles as he dusts it away. Hobbling round the hall, he shakes the feeling. Stomach grumbling, he enters the kitchen.
It smells heavenly, as the percolator puffs up coffee decoction. Somdev looks at his wife- Anandi and finally feels his morning of crankiness fade. She is sliding across the marble tiles, in a rush to prepare a decent lunch. Chanting Suprabhatam out loud, she takes a momentary break to wish a good morning to her husband. Meanwhile, the whistle shrieks loudly, signaling the end of her cooking marathon.
Cracking open a pair of eggs, Somdev turns on the radio. It’s his turn to dance around the kitchen. As he is done, a sweet melody floats through the halls alongside the delicious smell of omelet. As quickly as he picks up the plates, his hands are all over the food. A ravenous hunger overcomes him.
TRING! TRING! The doorbell rings through the house. Anandi stumbles and runs to the door, pulling it open. Three big smiles greet her. She envelops her daughter and the two mischievous midgets that are her grandchildren. The little girls run along towards their grandfather. Shrieking as he lifts them up one by one and hands them each a butter toffee. Her daughter- Vibha with her daughters is home for the Sunday afternoon.
Anandi, softly enquires Vibha about her and her family’s health and affairs. Always getting the same reply- that she mustn’t worry at all. Telling her that everything is going great. As they are speaking, Vibha follows her mother to kitchen. She sits up on the kitchen platform, watching her mother prepare a tumbler of steaming filter coffee. A soft smile dancing on her lips, she tells her mother that tomorrow she will be promoted to a general manager. Anandi squeals and hugs her daughter tightly.
Outside, Somdev is tending to his garden. His granddaughters running around and fetching him the spade and water sprinkler. Questioning, the why’s, how’s and what’s about everything. Squatting down near the rose plant, they are in awe of the beautiful flower. Tenderly touching the soft petals, they ask him how they could grow one. He cuts out a branch and hands it to them. And, they let out a gasp when he says “you just need to plant the stem, the roots and branches shoot out of it.” With utmost caution they carry it to their mother and grandmother, showing off their exquisite new possession. Soon after, running away for a new adventure.
Soon, Somdev and the children are called to the dining table. The table has been laid, with the golden rimmed china dishes out to serve Anandi’s special lunch. They sit down excitedly, all talking at once. It’s a cacophony of sounds, happy sounds. The lunch is done in no time and the children jump around with a renewed excitement. Somdev smiles, he can finally feel the warmth of the sun.
The chatting carries on for about an hour, before Vibha exclaims that it is time that they left. The traffic across town is crazy on a Sunday. As they leave, Anandi bids them a tearful goodbye. Somdev and Anandi each hugging both the girls closely.
In the evening, as Somdev and Anandi settle for tea, she talks about the day. How big a success the lunch was, the big news and the excitement. She looks very happy. As she goes on about her granddaughters, they started reminiscing about the days their son and daughter were young. Her face falling, with each passing moment as they talk. She says, someday she wants her son to visit her too. How that would be her happiest day.
Somdev, looks at his wife with a sad smile. He says “Anandi, do you remember what day today is? Today is that someday you had been talking my ears off, for the past few weeks. An elaborate preparation of lunch, your favorite crisp red saree that you have on, and every other effort you made into making today a beautiful day. Remember this, for this day will soon pass. Today is someday, my dear.”
Anandi, looks up at Somdev, and smiles.