One Small Moment Of Happiness..!!

(Sorry, it turned out to be a long post. But couldn't help it. Read it if you are patient enough. No issues otherwise. And it's been a long time. How have you all been, drop in a comment. :) )

Present……

I was getting drenched, but for a change I didn’t care. I dragged my foot along the wet mud, got into my grandfather’s old car. Again, for a change, I had the key, so I slid behind the wheel and shut the door after me. The windshield, translucent due to the relentlessly beating rain, showed me a big vehicle parked ahead; a hearse. My grandfather was sleeping in it; it was supposed to be his final journey. The door to my left, made way for my grandmother. She said to me as a tear ran down her cheek- “Follow the hearse to the cemetery.” I put the car onto ignition, clicked the wipers into action and waited to follow the hearse. The wipers danced themselves into wiping the tears off the windshield leaving our eyes craving for company.


Recent Past…..
Firing ‘hate-beams’ over the slices of bread waiting in his breakfast plate, “How can I miss you if you don’t leave…..” my grandfather managed to sing with his broken voice. My grandmother, who stood against the ‘Dressing table’ applying some kind of cream across her face, retaliated by hurling a comb at him. “Thanks for the song, hero!” he waved at me and shoved some more bread into his witty mouth. My grandmother stared at me, and I could notice that fire-balls had replaced eye-balls. So, in an attempt to please her, I said to him- “You are lucky to have such a nice wife, remember.” His mouth was full of bread, so he grunted and coughed.

A few minutes passed by, and I made a face expression suggesting it was getting late and we must be moving.

“Will you have breakfast, or will you keep painting your face?” he asked grandma.

No Reply.

“We have to get going.”

No Reply.

“Dear, can I bring the breakfast and coffee to you?”

“Yes, please.”

He stood, winked at me and said- “I’m learning. I’m learning.”

I drove along, following the hearse, across the wet streets on a cloudy afternoon. The rain had reduced to a drizzle; the world around seemed to have muted itself from us; the silence slowly pinched us into reality. As the drizzle trickled out, I put the wipers to rest and turned to my grandmother. Those tears were much harder to wipe out.



In a few minutes we were ready to leave. My grandfather sat in behind the wheel and blew the horns wildly. I had to rush grandma to the car as she fed my ears with- “What a crazy man your grandfather is!” We got in, and within two blinks, he hit the accelerator and we were cruising along the main-road.
“Do you want directions?” grandma enquired as she emptied a bottle of water.

“Do you mean, in life?”

She chuckled. “No. To the…the..…… never mind.”

My grandfather drives his car like in the American movies, where the hero is running against time to save the world from mountain sized gorillas. I observed, when in the car, grandma sits very silent. I recollect grandpa once giving me this advice- “That’s how you keep women silent. The faster you go, the silent they would be.” Though I took the advice, in this case though, it was my grandpa who needed the plastering. My grandma, on the other side, wasn’t the one to shy away. I remember her telling me- she felt much closer to God when she was in grandpa’s car than during her morning prayers.

Anyway, as he drove along like a rich, reckless teenager, me and grandma sat quietly. In front of us, a school bus made steady progress. The children in the bus made themselves busy by waving at strangers, and cheering when their bus over-took other vehicles and exchanging high-fives. I saw their expressions change as we proceeded past them; I could hear them boo’ing us. My grandfather disappointed my expectations by not waving out at them. Sometimes I exaggerate his childishness.
Anyway, we had to stop for petrol, so we pulled up at a Petrol pump. “This petrol pump is like this car’s own mother. It’s never been fed anywhere else. Ask your grandfather about this, he’ll have something stupid to say about it” my grandma whispered to me. I got down, and as I saw the petrol being pumped into the car, I had a few silly thoughts running through my head. Anyway, once grandpa completed his joke filled conversation with the petrol-guy, we were set to leave. Just about then, the school bus sailed past us, and the children screamed their lungs out cheerfully.

The road was empty and that meant that there was nothing stopping grandpa. It took less than a minute to overtake the bus. For those children, it was like their ‘Games’ period being replaced with ‘Moral Science’. This time, my grandfather waved at them. If I was in that bus, I would be so pissed off that I would have frowned and skipped my evening glass of milk. Anyway, my exaggerated assumptions about grandpa proved to be right, and I dint know if I should feel good or bad about it. Just when I thought my grandfather emerged Mr. Victorious, the car started losing pace. In a few seconds, the car coughed itself to the side and grandpa got down for the surgery. He opened the bonnet, mulled over it and later kicked the grill in disgust. I didn’t want to see those school children dancing over the aisles at our pathetic defeat. None the less I could hear the cheer as their bus whizzed past us. I got out and asked grandpa- “You said your car never gives a head-ache?” He didn’t reply, rather he just closed the bonnet, asked me to sit as he slid into his seat. He put the car into ignition and it roared without a glitch. “This is my car. I maintain it. It neither gives a headache nor a typhoid.” He released the clutch, steered the car along the road to his left and headed along.

My grandfather is not the greatest person since mankind nor did he intend to be one, but that day he exhibited traces of simple humanity. My grandfather, he gave those children some disappointment, then some thrill but ultimately a little moment of happiness. I thought maybe I was making too much of it, but I just couldn’t resist thinking that way. I began liking him; in fact I liked him a lot. I turned to grandma, and we exchanged a simple smile. That smile, somehow I could never forget. It had a story to tell.

Somewhere along the route, it dawned to me that I was driving my grandfather’s car; the one which never gave a headache; the one which he never let me touch. My grandma, next to me, sat too silent for comfort. As I threaded along, following the hearse, which had my grandfather’s body in it, I was flooded with thoughts aplenty. I craned my neck and saw through the rear view mirror something which was the last thing I wanted to see on that day. It was a school bus approaching from behind, full of children involved in their regular activity of cheering and boo’ing. Call it ‘co-incidence; call it whatever, I hated it. I was worried for my grandma. Even as thoughts ran by and emotions ran high, the school bus steadily moved ahead. The children waved at me and signaled a ‘thumbs-down’. The bus moved ahead, now right parallel to the hearse. I don’t know what went through those young, innocent minds, but I was taken aback. They realized there was a dead body in the van; they lost the smiles on their faces, motioned their hands from head to chest in such a way as to offer a prayer, then turned around and maybe started off another game or so. At that very moment, I turned to my grandmother. Amidst all those tears, she gave me another unforgettable smile. This one had a bigger story to tell.

28 additions to the crap:

Saurabh Panshikar March 4, 2010 at 5:36 PM  

Just read the first line... I gotta go right now. So will read and comment later...

But glad that you published after a long time...

Ria March 4, 2010 at 6:25 PM  

loved the post!! :) And so good to see u post after such a long time. I love the way u encompass emotions so well.

Saurabh Panshikar March 4, 2010 at 8:14 PM  

Beautifully woven. Finely written and expressed.

Loved the last para...

Pavitra .... March 4, 2010 at 9:23 PM  

Brilliant..!!! So many emotions....well narrated!

Anu...:) March 4, 2010 at 9:46 PM  

Beautiful! :)
Subtle and soft ! :)

Btw,sorry to be saying this but you used too many "Anyways" all along :P

Arjun March 4, 2010 at 11:04 PM  

@Saurabh

Thanks bro. :)

Glad u still remember me and my blog... lol :)

Arjun March 4, 2010 at 11:05 PM  

@Ria

OMG.. hehe.. Thank you. :)

Missed your comments and your blog too.... Will drop in soon. :)

Thank u so much. :)

Arjun March 4, 2010 at 11:05 PM  

@Pavitra

Thank u so much. Nice to see after a long hiatus. :)

Arjun March 4, 2010 at 11:07 PM  

@Anu

Thanks Anu.

And you are wrong. I used 'Anyway' not 'Anyways'... hehe.. lol

Anyway, i kind of use it a lot. This counts to minimum ya. :P

Oh god, did i just type another anyway? :P

Anyway Thanks..!!

Cheers..!!
Anyway... oops.. Arjun

lachu March 5, 2010 at 7:05 AM  

u made me wait so long
bt u kno wat
it was worth it dear
super story
jus love ur stories
i never had the luck to kno both my grandad
it mus b gr8 2 hav tem na :)

Arjun March 5, 2010 at 10:44 AM  

Thanks Lachu... :)

I've spent my childhood with them, then lost them.... Yeah, it's kinda nice. Just hoped they lived longer. :)

And yeah, glad u liked it. Wrote it just for u.

Swetha Padakandla March 5, 2010 at 11:41 AM  

nice!
and so so touching..

i miss ma grand parents.. expecially ma grand pa.. he was ma hero!
u made me miss him now.

and such a lovely post! u r born talented to write such stories in a thrilling way.. toooooo gud.! :)

and nice to see you after a long time.. :P in blogsville i mean.. hehe

cheers

Arjun March 5, 2010 at 3:47 PM  

Thanks Swetha..!!

Forget abt me, do u even remember that u have a blog??

Cheers..!!
Arjun

Arun Kumar March 5, 2010 at 7:05 PM  

LOVED the story man... simple n poignant giving more importance to the story... :)

Well worth ur blog's wait !! :P

Liked it better than the snow for me is gray - which i thot was one of ur best works.. :)

mona March 5, 2010 at 9:10 PM  

arjun, man... this is such a master-piece... beautifully written... such a lovely saga of emotions... loved each bit of it... !!! it sure left a smile on my face... :) !!! keep writing :D

Arjun March 5, 2010 at 10:57 PM  

@Arun

Thanks macha... Thats big...:)

ANd u.. Man u''ve changed ur blog yet again... yevalo vaati da??? :P

Arjun March 5, 2010 at 10:57 PM  

@mona

Thanks Mona... So glad u liked it. ! :)

Arun Kumar March 6, 2010 at 10:02 AM  

@arjun he he.. chumma time pass ku :P Bore adikuthu holidays'la !!!

Matangi Mawley March 6, 2010 at 10:34 AM  

That was beautiful Arjun.. loads of memories of my grandpa flashed in my mind... as i was reading through...

Inty swetha March 6, 2010 at 12:10 PM  

Nice post Arjun..u always move my heart..... :)
keep posting....

Swetha Padakandla March 6, 2010 at 12:36 PM  

arjun,

:P : P :P :P :P
at the same time X-( X-(
for ur reply on my comment..

cheers! :D

Priya Joyce March 6, 2010 at 4:31 PM  

this was so touching a post Arjun...

I thot it ws true...I still hav doubts...
The above comments dun clear my doubts..neither ur replies to them...

Arjun March 6, 2010 at 10:47 PM  

Its a fiction PJ :-) .. See the tag .. :-)

Thanks ya. Glad you liked it. :-)

ki March 9, 2010 at 10:33 AM  

I had tears in my eyes by the end of this post. Wow. It made me think of my grandparents... :)

Anonymous March 12, 2010 at 5:08 PM  

Good evening

We do not agree with this year BRIT awards 2010 decision.

Please come to see our little web survey

http://micropoll.com/t/KDqOnZBCWt

Lady Gaga can not be better than ?????

Poll supported by BRIT awards 2010 sponsor femmestyle
[url=http://www.femmestyle.li/brustvergroesserung/op.html]brustvergr├Â├čerung op[/url]

Do you have a burning question we could ask all the stars at The BRIT Awards?

Priyanka March 13, 2010 at 6:09 PM  

i m here..i m here... had lost my way..back... :D

brilliant one fan..amazing narration...touching.. :)

Pavitra .... March 28, 2010 at 12:35 AM  

I'm glad to be back!! happy to read your posts again!!

Stuti June 2, 2010 at 5:03 PM  

We at Cedar Books, an imprint of Pustak Mahal encourage budding fiction writers. For more details check our website www.pustakmahal.com.
We have read your blog and found the fiction part really interesting. Do you have any unpublished manuscript of your's in hand? If yes then we would wish you take part in our ongoing contest.
Cedar Books is running a Fiction Writing Contest and invite authors to
submit their manuscripts (fiction). The first among the first 50 entries will get Rs 5000. Similarly, 1st among the next 30 entries will
be awarded with Rs 3000 and the 1st among the next 20 entrants will get Rs 2000. We will also publish the manuscripts of the winning entrants.

Apart from that many well written manuscripts will be acknowledged by us as we'll publish their manuscripts into a a novel. So hurry up and
send in your entries to stutimala@gmail.com, stuti@pustakmahal.com.

  © Blogger templates Romantico by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP