This is the last boarding call for the flight number…..

This is the last boarding call for the flight number…..

The voice had trailed off and faded long ago. Amongst the milieu of strangers she could only hear her wailing, holding his limp hand, ‘ don’t leave me Aru, don’t leave me alone.

The brightly lit corridor was stark and bereft of any life, quite antiseptic. The faces mouthing routine apologies had long receded inside the closed doors leaving her alone to her miseries. Her tears had dried and left streaking marks on her face, a face aged but still beautiful, any blemishes carefully covered up by well applied makeups, now horribly gone wrong by all her tears. She took out the cell phone from her bag. Who should she call first? Does it matter now?

**

Years ago, in a different time and a different world, these same words had been music to her ears opening the doors to her dream world. Aru was holding her hand as they slowly proceeded to the opening leading her to a new world.

‘Aru, you will never leave my hands, will you?’ She was apprehensive as she was about to leave all she had known in her life till that time and was about to step into a world that she had only read about and heard from Aru during the last few days.

‘I shall never leave you’, said Aru.

‘ Aru, you promise? Promise Aru.’

‘ I promise my darling. I, Arun Dutta, hereby solemnly promise that I shall never leave the hands of Mrs. Anuradha Dutta as long as I live. Now let’s go, otherwise the flight will leave us behind.’ Arun said with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.

‘Oh, if I only had known to read your eyes then as well as I know now, I would have known you left yourself a wiggle room. You always did’, Mrs. Anuradha Dutta dabbed the corners of her eyes with some kleenex as tears started rolling down her cheeks again. What is she going to tell the kids?

***

Anuradha Miri, better known as Anu to one and all who knew her, grew up in a bucolic village by the side of the river Subanshiri in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas. A brilliant student, she didn’t have much option of schooling at her village and against her father’s wishes she was taken by her maternal uncle to the nearby town, where he lived and worked, with a promise to continue her studies. She hated the town. Not that her uncle didn’t enroll her in school, he did, but with household chores helping her aunt and taking care of her young cousins, she didn’t have much time in her hands for studies. Her teachers loved the sincere student and because of their constant inspiration and her own hard work she shined in her matriculation examination. All her teachers urged her to go to Guwahati, to Cotton College in particular, the premier educational institution of the state. Her father was extremely reluctant, her mother didn’t have much say but due to the push of her teachers and well wishers her father ultimately relented. She was accepted to Cotton and as she was awarded a scholarship, the financial burden on her parents was not that high. However, moving from her village and the small town where she studied to Guwahati was a shock for Anu. She felt lonely and mainly confined herself to her studies. Due to her friendly nature, she was loved by her hostel mates but they more or less left her alone. Her loathing for big cities grew and she often became homesick, crying herself to sleep many nights. After four years, she graduated from college with high honors but this time her father was adamant. No more higher studies. It is time to get Anu married to a suitable groom. Anu was getting mentally ready to a life of teaching in the newly established school in her village. She was happy to be back home.

And then the miracle happened.

****

Arun Dutta was a brilliant student all throughout his studies and after finishing his masters from Delhi University in Mathematics, he was pursuing his doctoral studies in a prestigious university in the USA. He had already finished his coursework and was well into his research when his family wanted to solemnize his wedding. Being from a middle class family, they were looking for a suitable mate for their son. A simple but educated girl with good looks would fit the bill. Arun’s sister Mitali had exactly the most suitable girl for her brother in mind. Anu was her classmate in college and she always had a soft corner for her studious but sincere classmate.

It was mainly due to Mitali’s push and recommendations that Mr. and Mrs. Arun Dutta had flown to USA that day long time ago, hand in hand, to start a new life.

*****

Much water had flown down the Mississippi from the time Arun and Anu had landed in the small university town. Arun had to curb his ambition to go and work for a big name university that he was well capable of doing because of his educational career. Being deeply in love with his newly wedded wife, he was disturbed to see her slowly going into a cocoon of her own world. He initially didn’t realize that big cities frightened Anu. He was busy in his research and Anu kept herself confined to their small one bedroom apartment in the big city. The glow had vanished from her face. Most of the time she would keep to herself, rarely talking to Arun, answering only when Arun asked her some questions.

And then Anu was pregnant with their first child. Arun was happy beyond belief but Anu became more gloomy. One day when Arun came back home from the university, Anu was lying on the bed unconscious with blood trickling down her wrist. She had cut the vein on her wrist.

******

The psychiatrist had talked to both Arun and Anu separately and together many times. Arun, who promised never to leave Anu’s hands till death, had by that time decided to move to the small university town rather than risk another episode of depressive bouts.

Anu was happy again with the wide open spaces of the small town, the house with a big front and backyard and the small rural community. She gave herself completely into bringing up her son and the daughter that they were blessed with after their move to the town. She was a good mother. Many times when Arun felt a tinge of regret thinking of what could have been, it would evaporate the moment he would hear the laughter of his wife and children and contently he would go back to his studies.

*******

The kids had grown up and flown the nest long ago, the boy to the west coast working for a multinational company and the girl to the east coast working for an investment banking farm. Both were married, though Arun and Anu had no way of knowing whether they were happy or not. Though they tried to come home during Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays, it was either one or the other as their spouses had to visit their side of the family too. The grandkids would come sometime during summer but as they were growing up those trips soon dried up. Too many other commitments, rural towns were boring, nothing much to do etc. etc.

Through all these Anu was happy. She was a village girl at heart. Though her heart yearned for her kids and the grandkids, the thought of moving either to the east or the west coast filled her heart with great fear. She had visited both her son and daughter many times with Arun. The clogged roads, the skyscrapers filled her heart with anxiety. She just wanted to come back home to her little corner of the world.

********

‘ Anu, I booked the tickets. Brian will take care of Ruff, Rose and Billy as usual when we are not here’, Arun had said. Ruff was their cocker spaniel, getting there on age. Rose and Billy were her cats. They were family. They were flying to Los Angeles to attend the high school graduation of Mit, their grandson. Mit was Ajit’s, their son’s eldest. Diti, their daughter along with her kids were flying in from New York. After a long time the whole family would meet. It would be a joyous occasion.

On the cell phone keyboard, Anu pressed the numbers one by one. She called Ajit first. She didn’t know what she was going to say? Where is Arun when she needed him most.

*********

She waited till Ruff died. Ruff was Arun’s baby. He wouldn’t have liked giving up Ruff for adoption. Who would anyway adopt an old dog though Ajit and Diti were insisting on it and make the move at the earliest. Brian had taken in Rose and Billy. Brian was sad to see her move but he understood. Everyone may have to go through something similar one day or another.

Anu went through the list meticulously. The house was given on the market some six months back. Properties move slow in small towns. She had made a trust and the sale proceeds would be deposited there. The trust and the will were explicit so nothing would go into a long probate process.

She went to the backyard, picked some flowers and placed them on Ruff’s grave and bid goodbye.

She locked the front door and opened the realtor’s lock and put the key inside and locked it. She would drop the envelope with the spare car key and instructions addressed to the charity where to pick up the car on her way to her destination. Then she called the realtor. The house no longer belonged to her.

**********

As Anu walked down the long stretch of sand, she realized that she had finally overcome the fear that had dogged her all her life. It didn’t matter now. The doctor’s report had come in after she had decided to move. She never wanted to be a burden on anyone. Why did Arun go back on his promise? Did he think she would be a burden on him in his old age?

The pressure on her ears was unbearable. Her eardrums were about to burst. She thought she was hearing someone announcing ‘This is the last boarding call for flight number ….’. She was not bothered at all. This is the first time she had chosen her flight and it was not going to leave without her.

A small bubble rose from the bottom of the lake and spread out in concentric circles. And then there was silence, dead silence.

***********

At the same time Fiona, Ajit’s wife, was frantically trying to call Ajit that Anu didn’t arrive by the flight as was supposed to be, a park ranger, some thousand miles away from LA, shone his torch light through the windows of a car by a lake shore. Finding no one inside the car, he looked around. A set of footsteps on the sand led him to the lakeshores where the footsteps had vanished. Frantically he called the headquarters for backup help.

Wrap-Up

Wrap-up my journey today
Really thrilling while it lasted
Alternating euphoria and depression
Prodding me to continue on
Under self imposed deadline
Posting a poem before midnight every Wednesday

Web of stories with warm and warmth
Why worry when it’s always we, not I
Wish I could fulfil all want and need
Wonder sometimes the wisdom of continuing
Weekend warriors or wimp
Wounded hearts bleeding for women’s rights
Wildfires destroying weeds and wildflowers alike
Wedding bliss marred by bulging waistlines
Within us all is an insatiable wanderlust
Wait and waiting for wind of change in this world
Wheel of fortune never translates to winning
Walk in the woods thinking of what’s wrong
Weary wife keeping wake for family well-being and welfare
Writing in the wall of perils of climate change ignored
What do we know about
Wrong or right, wise or fool
Welcome to a world where fake news make us drool
Woven fabric of humanity stretched thin
Winter of the human race may be beckoning
Warning me that it is wrap-up time for
Wonderful fifty two weeks journey to come to an end


Write Anything Wednesday

Wrap-Up:Week Fifty Two of My Fifty Two Weeks Journey with the Letter ” W”

Well, that’s it,  culmination of my fifty two weeks journey with the letter “W”.
While reading Wacky Wednesday to my kids, I never thought one day I will be traveling with W
Was it a whim that started this journey of posting to Write Anything Wednesday ?
When I started, I was not even sure that I will be able to complete this journey.
Whatever may be the reason, this was a fantastic journey.
Week after week, for last fifty two weeks, I had fun playing with a word starting with W
Wonderful friends I did meet during this journey, encouraging me to keep on posting.
Worthwhile it may not be, but I gained self confidence that I can stick to a goal.
Write Anything Wednesday  will continue, I may drop in from time to time.
Who knows, I may write about witch hunt in Washington DC next time.
We all know all good things must come to an end one day.
Whether I like it or not, today is that day.
Wrap-up time my dear readers and a big thank you to you all.


This post is in response to Write Anything Wednesday-Jan-25-2017 sponsored by Writerish Ramblings

WordPress:Week Fifty One of My Fifty Two Weeks Journey with the Letter ” W”

It’s wrapup time. One more week to go and I am done with my yearlong journey.  But before I wrap up, I must say my thanks to WordPress.

WordPress opened a window through which I peered into a world that was hidden from me before.  I had no idea about blogging, did not know anything about posting a blog.  Wordpress gave me a platform to express my feelings. It allowed me to explore a medium that was dormant in my heart for a long, long time.  I made many friends across the seven seas, friends unseen or unheard but very near and dear to me.  Their words of encouragement have kept me going on my year long journey with the letter W.  Looking back over fifty one weeks, I think I must have been a fool to take my first step in this journey.  But there was WordPress at every step of the journey providing me with the much needed confidence to carry on.  Varieties of stories, poems, articles, the plethora of knowledge, each contributed something to this journey.

So here I am today, on the penultimate week of my journey, looking for a word that starts with W for my poem.  Where can I find a better word than WordPress for week fifty one of my fifty two weeks journey with the letter W to start my poem.  Hope my dear readers will agree with me.


This post is in response to Write Anything Wednesday-Jan-18-2017 sponsored by Writerish Ramblings

Wise

Wise are those not distressed by defeat
In failure stepping stones for success built
Spring will definitely follow winter
End is never till one quits

Wise ones will not digress
Instant gratification is not their goal
Sure and steady will they move
Ensuring final victory theirs to behold

Wise men keep their own counsel
Insulting others not their creed
Silent when required, secretive not
Engaged they are, withdrawn not

Wise and worldly
Ingenuous and informative
Serene and strong
Endears the wise to one and all


Write Anything Wednesday

Wise:Week Forty Nine of My Fifty Two Weeks Journey with the Letter ” W”

I remember reading a poem in my childhood that extolled the virtues of going to bed early and rising early.  Early to bed and early to rise; makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.  It has been a long time since I had gone to bed early though I had been getting up quite early from bed to go to college or work.  Maybe that’s why I am not quite healthy, wealthy or wise.

Is it the same reason that we do not see too many wise people in modern society nowadays.  Recent happenings all over the world clearly demonstrate a lack of wisdom all around us.  Increase in wealth, sure.  Lot many people are filthy rich in today’s world compared to bygone eras.  For sure more people are healthy today compared to a century ago.  But do we have more wise people?

That made me think about what are the qualities of wise people.  That thinking resulted in the poem starting with the word “Wise” and that’s my post for week forty nine of my fifty two weeks journey with the letter “W”


This post is in response to Write Anything Wednesday-Jan-4-2017 sponsored by Writerish Ramblings

Web

Web of lies that I spun
Entrapping people in its deadly grip
Berating my enemies to death

Web I spread far and wide
Ensnaring my victims
Bleeding then slowly till they die

Web world wide helped me spread
Empire that I could not have dreamt
By means ethical to grow full to the brim

Web so devious and bombastic
Empty with false promises trumpeted
Bewildered poor souls bamboozled

Web of mine is attracting new victims
Encircling like a vulture I survey
Bedazzled fools coming to play

Web so strong I weave
Enter at your own risk if you dare
Beware, once in, exit closed forever

Web of steel it is not
Entrapped in it one day I may
But till then time to enjoy and make hay


Write Anything Wednesday

Web:Week Forty Eight of My Fifty Two Weeks Journey with the Letter ” W”

Growing up, only web that I was aware of was spider webs.  As a child, with many of my friends, I had spent endless hours destroying spider webs and was mesmerized by the constant efforts of the spiders to rebuild the destroyed webs.  It fascinated me to see spider webs attracting insects to to the webs and the lightning speed that the spiders would come to kill the entrapped insects.  Majority  of the time, spiders were able to overpower the entrapped insects though there would be a few instances where beetles or bees would free themselves of the web and fly off.  Somehow, and I am not sure if it was learnt from the elders, I always felt the spiders and their webs were helpful to us in keeping unwanted insects in control.

However, even with my best try, I could not teach that same love and respect of spiders and their webs  to my daughter.  Several readings of Charlotte’s Web during her infancy and while growing up did not help. She has a unhealthy fear of spiders and webs.  Maybe it was a premonition of the damages that the new technological wonder of wold wide web could cause.  Don’t get me wrong.  Like the real web, I still have a healthy respect for www.  Without it I could not have been able to connect with my readers using WP.  However, I also have a dubious healthy respect to the damages being caused by this new web.  The web of lies spreading at the speed of light is causing irreparable harm to the modern human society.  We are being slowly entrapped in this new web and being stifled and strangled to death by the manipulating spiders.

So, in this last week of year 2016 and week forty eight of my fifty two weeks journey with the letter “W”, I dedicate the starting word of my poem to “WEB”.

Wishing all my dear readers a very joyous and prosperous NEW YEAR 2017.  May we all have peace in the coming year.


This post is in response to Write Anything Wednesday-Dec-28-2016 sponsored by Writerish Ramblings

Warning

Warning clouds rumble on the horizon
Anxious citizens play wait and see game
Rich are getting ready to get richer
Never in doubt about the outcome
Insecure dreamers dread doubtful future
Not knowing what will happen with their lives
Greed is getting ready to trump good for ever

Warning to all of us who chose to ignore
Are we now ready to pay the price
Risk of a nation divided by ugly vitriolics
Novelty of change will wear out soon
Immigrants are bad unless wives of POTUS elect
Narcissist nabob will make the people dance
Great hyperbole will trump common sense

Warning message to those who did not care
All’s not lost yet if you dare to oppose
Russian puppet shows ruining your life
Now is the time to come together
Insure that you won’t be rolled over
Need to be vigilant to preserve hard won rights
Get ready to trump their evil designs


Write Anything Wednesday

 

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