This was to be the first chapter of my first novel, but it looks like it might just be the only one too. So before I shelve the entire idea of the book, I thought I will publish it here and see what the reactions are. Please be honest. 🙂 And , this was waiting for a chapter 2 since the 1st of August this year. 🙂
Chapter 1: The Waiting Period
The laced curtains came flying over her face as she stood looking out through her window. The off white lining of the curtains was as per Akhil’s suggestion. “You can still let the light in while you conceal the happenings of our home from our neighbours”, he had said with a gleam in his eyes. Those were fond memories.
It was an unusually cool morning for a rainy day in Kerala. The monsoons don’t always bring along such low temperatures around here. So Nimisha’s initial reaction to the cool morning was that of a pleasant shock.
Nimisha looked into the cup she was holding. She realized that she had let that cup cool down too. Her mind was pre occupied. What was it that bothered her? She failed to recall her line of thought of the past few minutes. This happened to her frequently these days. Forgetfulness. If she was as smart as she used to be she would have realized that there was something wrong.
She had promised Sona that she would prepare her favourite Prawns Curry for lunch today. If there was one thing that Nimisha hated to do, it was to disappoint her daughter.
The windows got shut, the sofa dusted and cushions placed in perfect positions, Nimisha started humming along with the “Golden Oldies” show playing on the radio. She was not a perfectionist, but she liked her home clean. There was a time not long ago when she would have left the mess as it was. She was glad that phase of her life is over. This was a new beginning for Sona and her. A frown started to form on her face, which she quickly replaced with a smile. She was good at that. Masking out unwanted stuff. No place for such unwanted thoughts in her life anymore. She had won her freedom.
Her kitchen was huge. At least as compared to most houses that she had seen. She had wanted that. Her idea was what had realized this house. It was more or less her plan. It was she who planned the positions of the rooms and planned this home according to her knowledge of Vaastu. It was Nimisha who designed the interiors as well. It had taken two years to build and it had been three years since it was built. Those times were different. She was a working person, and it was in fact her salary that paid off most of the EMI’s on the house too. This was her sanctuary, her home; she deserved to live in it.
The prawns were cleaned and ready to make. She was just about to peel of an onion when the phone rang. She reluctantly drops everything and goes to pick it up. When she saw the name flashing on it, she puts it on speakerphone.
“Hello ma, how are you today?”
“Fine Nimi, how are things there?”
“Things are ok ma, Sona left for school. I am preparing her favourite prawns curry.”
“Good. Are you feeling ok?”
“Yes, ma. I am feeling fine today. Isn’t it a lovely weather?”
“Yes, dear. Do keep sipping hot water all the time. These days, sore throats should never be taken lightly. There are so many types of fevers going around.”
“Yeah ma. In fact I was sipping hot tea before.”
“Good. Any news from Akhil?”
“No ma, none yet.”
“Its ok, don’t worry. Everything will be fine .He will be back soon. He must have got stuck somewhere.”
“I know ma. He likes playing these hiding games. He will be home soon.”
“Hmm… you continue with your cooking, I’ll call back to check on you later.”
“Ma, I will call you when I get any information. “
“Ok dear, take care, bye.”
Nimisha had already managed to slice the onions, chillies, ginger, garlic and tomatoes, in between her conversation with her mother. She picked up the saucepan. Placing it on the stove, she waited for it to heat up. The phone rings again. She was slightly startled to see the name flashing this time. It was her sister.
Nishita was older than Nimisha by four years. She lived in Delhi with her husband Shantanu and son Rohan. It’s not everyday that Nimisha gets a call from her sister. She works in the IT dept. of Mutlitach Corp. in Gurgaon. She was the youngest Project Manager in the company. A position she earned through her dedication and hard work.
“My my…to what do I owe this pleasure Di?”
“Nimi? Are you alright? “
Hmm… So Ma has already informed her.
“Yes, Di. I am fine. Akhil is just late by a day. I am sure he will be home soon.”
“Why is his mobile switched off then?”
“Maybe, out of battery life or something. Di, it’s not a big deal. You know Ma. She just likes to worry for no reason.”
“Yeah, that’s true too. I am sure Akhil will contact you by the end of the day. Or he might just ring the doorbell anytime.”
“Yes Di. You don’t worry. I don’t want Multitech Corp. to run on loss because my husband forgot to call and tell me that he will be delayed on his official trip. Love to Shantanu Jeeju and Rohan.”
“Ok. Nimi. Don’t let Sona panic. Give her a hug from me ok?”
“Love you, take care.”
“Take care Di.”
As she sat down on the sofa, Nimisha saw smoke from her kitchen. She had forgotten to switch off the stove! She goes back in, switches off the gas and opens up all the windows to let the smoke disappear.
She smiles at the narrow escape she had just had. I am glad these Villas don’t have smoke detectors like in California. It would have been embarrassing in front of the entire neighbourhood.
She cleaned up the mess and placed another saucepan on the stove to continue with her lunch preparation. She was not really worried about Akhil. She knew exactly where he was.
**** Nimisha’s Nemesis is a work of Fiction******