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One Sky - Chapter 6 : House of Sand and Snow

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  • ridgeet roy
    House of Sand and Snow “Look into the mirror every morning and tell yourself that you are strong, confidant and beautiful. Before going to bed, remind
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2005
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      House of Sand and Snow



      “Look into the mirror every morning and tell yourself that you are strong, confidant and beautiful. Before going to bed, remind yourself that tomorrow is a brand new day. Think of something happy when you lie down, and then there will be no more restlessness, just peaceful sleep. Breathe with your eyes closed, body stretched out…”


      Sometimes I feel that my mother really deserve the credit behind sending me those awful sessions of yoga and meditation on Sunday afternoons, when the rest of the boys used to play football. I hated the thought of not being the spectator in those times, wondering with whom would Roro, my first crush, pick up a fight today? Instead I was stuck with a bald old guy who kept a big smile on his wizened face and said, “Breathe in! Breathe out!” Well! Patience is a virtue, and now it pays.




      “Hey Sajan! Do you know any other cool meditation tricks that can help me take my mind off things.”


      “Well, Nigel! I know only a few – not sure how many are quite COOL.” The trendiest and sexiest sports correspondent of the station gave me a naughty grin. I understood the jest, and decided to play along.


      “So what kind of things you want to keep your mind off?”


      “Oh you know – the usual!!”


      “You mean humping.”


      Kiran and Maya started giggling from a nearby cubicle. Obviously people need some training on eavesdropping, but then we were also quite loud. Anyway …


      “Oh come on, Sajan! I mean to keep my loneliness, that quest for the right girl, that need for…”


      Oh dear! I thought. Whom is this character now trying to impress. Nigel Andrews, a 27 years old, 5.11 gym-toned dusky sharp featured smart and suave, never takes any chances. I have never known him to be without a date, and apparently, he is fishing for someone… someone new – Of course!


      I must have said that aloud as everyone seemed to turn and look at me. Nigel was a little taken aback at the sudden outburst, but quickly hugged me and said,”Thank you! Thank you Buddy boy! I knew you would help me out.”


      Oh dear! What have I promised to help him out with?


      As I turned towards the elevator, I saw the new countdown show RJ, Molly, walking towards the blending machine. I smiled at my perfect calculation, guess Mr. Andrew is all set for the weekend.




      “Mom, I told you a hundred times that I did what I thought was right.”


      “And just who gave you that authority, Aayush?”


      “He is my brother!”


      “He is my son. And as the bread-earner of this family and parent, I deserve to be told first about the whole situation. I am so ashamed of the two of you. While one has spoiled not only his, his family and the honour of a young girl, the other have added more fuel to the fire by picking up a fight with the brother.”


      “And just how do you know it was Manish’s fault? The girl had her consent about having sex too …”


      “Stop it Aayush! I am your mother. I am not ready to discuss your brother’s sexcapades with you.”


      “Of course you wouldn’t! After all, you wont be paid be paid by the hour for it.”


      “Get out! Get out of my house right this very instant!”


      “Of course I will! This is your house. But this is our life. And you cant rule it.”


      “Really! Then get money for your thunderbird’s fuel from elsewhere. Or cash for your parties and booze and clothes. Ask that father of yours to sponsor. Why stick to me then?”


      “Mom! Leave bro out of this …”


      “Shut up and go to your room! Hope you are happy to hear that you are suspended from college. With great difficult Neil have convinced that girl’s father not to hand you over to police. And do you know what money I have to spend for that…”


      “I will give you back your money!”


      “Oh really Aayush! How? If I may ask?”


      “You just need the money. And you will get it.”




      It had been raining constantly for the past couple of days. Everything is wet. Puddles everywhere. A six feet two inches shadow aimlessly walked through the muddy roads of Indiranagar. Little did he realize that a Hyundai had been following him slowly from a distance? Gradually, the two-wheeler increased its speed. As Aayush Sehgal carefully jumped across another puddle, the driver quickly picked up his speed. A quick movement of knife, and there was blood everywhere.


      “Now it’s that fucker’s turn.” The rider muttered to himself as he watched the senseless body bleeding amidst the brown muddy waters.




      “Hello Sweta! Welcome and how are you doing this morning!”


      “Hi Sajan! I am not doing good.”


      “Why what happened?”


      “Sajan, I am in big trouble. Can you please help me. I listen to your show every afternoon during lunch break. You help so many people. Please please help me.”


      By this time I am used to people crying on air. As Urmi signaled me that time is passing by, I moved closer to the microphone and said as softly as possible,”Please stop crying Sweta! Tell me whats wrong.”


      “Sajan, I think my parents are heading for a divorce.”


      Dr. Rehan: What made you feel so?


      “What made you feel so?”


      They are constantly fighting. They don’t smile or talk to each other. They are spending more and more time away from the house. I have even heard that they are having affairs with some other people. Last night, my dad came home drunk and threatened my mom that he would kill her if she doesn’t control herself. My mom has asked me and my brother to start packing our bags.


      “They are always fighting, Sajan. I don’t think the love each other any more. They don’t love me any more. They are always busy with their work, and their parties. They sleep in separate rooms. And they use me as a communication medium. I don’t know what to do Sajan.”


      Help me Doctor.


      “Well! Why don’t you talk to some other member of the family who is close to you and your parents. And now that you are a grown up girl, why don’t you try talking to both your parents separately, or better together in a presence of a third party. You can also suggest couples counseling. You can check up the directory or internet.”




      “Do you think couples therapy helps?”


      I looked up at Jai. His stubble is now gone. He must be working late. Dark circles. What is he upto?


      “If done with a proper certified counseller and in the right spirit, it does.”


      Jai leaned towards me and gazed intently into my eyes. For a moment I just didn’t know what to do. My heart was beating like a Zulu drum.


      “Are you certified to do it?”


      As I burst out laughing, I noticed that he was obviously embarrassed.




      “How are you feeling now?”


      “Hi Dad! When did you come?”


      “Luckily the wound was not deep. I have already asked my friends in the ministry to take action against this. However, tell your brother not to go out for revenge.”


      “How are you Dad?”


      Harsh Sehgal looked at his first born. How happy he and Madhavi had been when he was born. For a moment he had thought he had now found the perfect happiness. But…


      “Try to get some sleep. You need strength.”


      “How is Mom, and everyone else?”


      Harsh Sehgal stood up. He knew if he doesn’t leave now, he will never be able to reach the airport on time.


      “She came this morning I was told. You were sleeping. Your brother and sister was with her.”


      Aayush smiled. Harsh Sehgal headed for the door.


      “I meant Nikki, Rohan and their mom.”


      Harsh Sehgal stopped and looked at his son. He was a fine young man. When he left him and his mother, he was only 8 years old. But he turned out fine, he thought.


      “They are all praying that you recover soon. Good bye son.”


      “Good bye Dad!”




      “Mummy! Ma! I am missing you so much…”


      “Ya right! That’s why you haven’t called.”


      “SORRY! SORRY! SORRY! Just was caught up with some work. How are you and hows Daddy?”


      “We are all fine Sajan. We are all missing you very much. When are you coming back?”


      “As soon as I can squeeze in a vacation.”


      “Dad is asking about the ratings of your show.”


      “Ha ha ha. Tell dad, its number 1.”


      “We all miss you Sajan. Both us. We miss you all day long.”


      “I miss you too Ma. Both of you.”


      Dr. Rehan: Every marriage has its ups and downs, Mr. and Mrs. Grewal, but please understand that there is a child involved in this. Are your egos and personal aspirations so important than the happiness and well-being of your children? The choice is yours. Do you want to build a house that would be as dry as sand, or as cold as snow? Remember, you might build sand castles or snow igloos, but at the end of the day – can you really live in it? Can you call it a home for your children?




      “Sajan! Hey whats  up? Why are you calling so late? Is everything all right?”


      “Hey Urmi. Sorry to bug you so late. I just needed one help. Did that girl give you any contact number?”


      “Which girl?”






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