Before Lunch

Will you marry me?” he asked his best friend.

She stopped short and a soft smile broke out across her pretty face.

I don’t know…um…are you sure? I mean come on, we have just known each other for twenty years, that’s such a short period”, she said seriously.

I know we are supposed to know each other for a hundred years or more, but I don’t think I’m going to live that long”, he replied with a grin.

Okay…but first let us have lunch, I’m starving!” she said with a laugh as they crossed the road to their favourite cafe.

New Year

 

She looked at herself in the mirror, her face was pale and drawn. The effects of radiation were beginning to show. She sighed audibly and watched her reflection fog up in the mirror. She had to tell them soon.

“Mom, come on out we are going to start with the fireworks”, yelled Ritu from the front yard.

“I’m coming”, she called out. She splashed her face with water and stepped out of the bathroom.

She could hear her children counting out in the front yard “6…5…4…”

“3…2…1… Happy New Year”, she exclaimed with her children, Ritu and Rohith. She hugged them tightly and watched the fireworks erupt in the night sky; bursts of green, red, and yellow cascaded down and faded into smoke. She had dreaded the new year and all those nasty changes it will bring to her children’s lives. She had to tell them.

”Not now…”, she told herself.

Crow’s Feet

 

“What’s this? You have got crow’s feet …you are becoming old mister”, said Eva after looking closely at her husband’s face.

“Well.. What can I do? I’m not getting any younger am I..? said Sam tiredly. He had just returned from an office party.

Six-year-old Tina was playing with her new princess doll when she heard her mother’s words. It was past nine, time for her bedtime story. Sam scooped his daughter up in his arms and laid her on her bed in her room.

“Aren’t you sleepy, Tina?” he asked as he tucked her in.

No, dad….Why did mom say you have crow’s feet? Your feet look alright to me.”

Sam chuckled.

“The crow’s feet your mom talked about was about these marks at the corner of my eyes”, he said as he pointed to them with his hands.

“Oh.. How did you get them?” she asked sitting upright on her bed.

“That’s the story I’m going to tell you about…”, he said with a smile.

“Do you remember the day when dad went to the old farmhouse last Saturday to clean it up and and returned home dripping wet?”

Tina nodded.

“I was busy tidying up the place, throwing away the old hay and wiping the windows, I was sweaty and my hair was all over my face. So I went to the river that runs behind the farmhouse to wash myself. I bent towards the water and I saw something strange in my reflection. I saw that a crow was seated on my head looking quite ready to lay eggs. She had spread her legs and planted her long feet on either side of my eyes! I tried to shoo her away. I ran around and jumped about to get it off, but she remained stuck. That was one adamant crow! Finally I jumped into the river and she flew away cawing crossly. And I was left with the marks of the crow’s feet….”

“Will I be able to get them Dad?” asked Tina seriously.

“Not now, after some years… but I don’t think you will like them then..”

“I will… I really will..”, she replied as she drifted off to sleep.

“Okay.. you will… sweet dreams, kiddo”, he said and closed her bedroom door.

“Really you told her a story about that…?” Eva asked as Sam plopped on the sofa beside her in the living room.

“Parenting is tough, wife. You have to think on your feet.. So watch and learn”

“Okay, I will tell her the story of how you became bald tomorrow”, she replied.

“What? No, not that”, he exclaimed.

The Movie Star

“Will you stop pushing… I barely have any space to stand here”, said a long-haired teenager to a middle-aged man behind him.

“Don’t yell at me… who do you think you are? I can’t help it.. it’s not like I want to stand pressed against you!”, the man replied.

It was a warm evening and there was a raucous crowd before the movie theater. Fans stood waving glossy posters of their idol as they chanted his name “ Rajkumar.. Rajkumar..Rajkumar..”

Rajkumar had shot to fame after just one film. His rugged looks, husky voice, and great acting had charmed everybody. People had gathered to catch a glimpse of the actor before the screening of his latest movie at 6:30 p.m. A procession with drummers and dancers were arranged to welcome the star and the excitement was mounting with each passing second.

The big ornamental clock hung above the doors of the theater struck 6:30 p.m But no movie star appeared in a smart suit on the red carpet. The hub-bub lessened for a while but soon peaked up with renewed vigour. The fans continued to wait, at about 6:40 p.m an old man wearing a bloody shirt came running from the direction of Greams Road gasping for breath.

“Somebody please help ..my truck collided with a car on Greams road. I managed to pull the driver out. I need help to pull out the other person..”, he said after he regained his breath.

“The Great Rajkumarl might come any time.. I don’t want to miss his grand entrance”, said a bespectacled teenager to his friend.

As people hesitated, the old man pleaded somebody to help save a person’s life. Soon three men joined him and they quickly ran to the site of the accident.

One of the men who had gone returned ten minutes later. His face was pale. “That was Rajkumar’s car…”, he announced.