Monday, September 15, 2014

Entangled Lives – Chapter 8 - #GameOfBlogs to #CelebrateBlogging

Entangled Lives – Chapter 8 - #GameOfBlogs to #CelebrateBlogging

We are Team #PotliwaleBaba who are playing the #GameOfBlogs initiated by to #CelebrateBlogging


Before you read chapter 8 of the story, let me share with you the links to all the previous chapters. There have been 7 chapters – mine is the 8th – and a grand finale chapter, whose link will be added at the bottom of this post (8th chapter) once it is published tomorrow. If you have come straight to this post, I suggest you read the first 7 chapters 'in order' and then read this post. If you have come from the 7th Chapter … WELCOME to Team Potliwale Baba's story – Entangled Lives !!


Entangled Lives – Chapter 8
"Why would you do that again?
Didn't I tell you the last time around that this is dangerous and you could hurt yourself? 
Climbing trees is not for little ones. You should just play in the park … ON THE GROUND."

Each line was said with slow deliberation and there was an extra emphasis on those last 3 words which were said very slowly and loudly. An attempt was also made to show anger through the eyes, which was pretty difficult when you were looking at someone so small and so cute.
Cyrus, who was sitting under the shade of the tree with a book, was pretty surprised when he heard these words. He wouldn't have been surprised if those words had been said by a father to a little child.

He was surprised because these words were being said by Roohi who was looking straight up into the tree and she was addressing the little kitten who seemed to have perched herself up there. Cyrus couldn't help the smile from appearing on his face but stopped himself midway and chided himself for being childish and soft. He steeled his heart and reminded himself that he had come to Mumbai with a purpose and he should not get distracted.
Roohi was completely focused on the little kitten who was looking back intently at her. She had the feeling that if she broke the eye contact, the kitten would just start looking somewhere else and might even climb higher. She was wondering how the little kitten even got up there on the tree. She was so so so little. But then, the little one had practice. In the past two week, Roohi had 'rescued' the kitten several times, with the kitten managing a new height record each time.
"The way you are learning to climb, soon you will climb out of my reach and we will have to call a fire brigade to bring you down … you naughty little one," said Roohi wondering if the fire brigade would actually come for a little kitten.

Cyrus continued to watch Roohi with fascination from behind the tree as she continued to talk to the kitten. He was intrigued and there was even an urge to go and help her but he checked himself, reminding himself to focus on his own work and and not get carried away.
Roohi was half-way up the distance to the kitten when a gush of wind blew some low hanging light branches towards her and she yelped while simultaneously tightening her grip on the tree trunk. She looked down and her tiny pink shoes on the ground seemed too far away. She began wondering if it was already time to consider the big red truck and the men in black uniform but as she turned around and looked at those innocent eyes of the kitten, her resolve to do it herself simply became stronger, and she began to feel for the next branch to hold and climb up.

 Cyrus heard the yelp and thought it was time he had to intervene but with no sounds following the yelp, he realized that Roohi was safe-n-sound and he could continue watching her.
In almost a minute, which seemed like ages, Roohi reached the kitten. This time around Roohi was careful, reminded of the scratches from last meeting with kitten darling. The kitten on the other hand was just glad to see the now familiar Roohi and casually walked over to her on the branch and nestled her head in her outstretched hand.

Roohi felt on top of the world and looked down only to realize that she was indeed on 'top of the world'  and the climb down seemed like an even greater challenge. As she began to climb down, it became more and more difficult and awkward considering she had to hold the kitten also and fight gravity which was trying to speed up her descent.

"All is Well, All is Well" – Roohi murmured into the kitten's ears – saying it more for herself than for the kitten. She was completely terrified now realizing how far the ground actually was and any slip or fall would be 'cat'astrophic. (how ironical)

Distracted by this thought, Roohi lost her footing and slipped. She screamed and wildly flapped her hands on the tree and managed to get a grip but not without badly bruising her feet and arms on the rough tree bark. The kitten slipped from her and hand and plummeted towards the ground.

The scream got his attention and as he turned to look up, the only thing Cyrus actually saw was a kitten flying straight at his face getting 'bigger' every moment. He managed to catch the kitten in time and placing it on the ground, he looked up to find Roohi dangling from the tree trunk.
He didn't really have to climb. He was tall and she was just about 8 feet off the ground. He extended his arms, called out to her. Roohi turned her head to see the hands. With relief, she tried to smile and just hopped into the arms of the smiling man.

That's when Cyrus noticed the blood oozing from Roohi's forehead. A pang of guilt drilled his heart. He should have acted earlier. He managed to retain his smile as he took Roohi in his arms. The girl was holding him in a tight embrace which made him uncomfortable. He gently placed her down on the ground and then noticed the numerous scrapes on her arms and legs.

Cyrus asked, "What is name?", to which Roohi politely replied 'Roohi. Thank you, Uncle' and began walking towards her building but Cyrus could clearly see that she was having difficulty in walking. He reached out and held her hand and walked along with her, and gently asked if she wanted to go home first or visit the doctor whose clinic was right next door outside the society. Roohi asked for her father but Cyrus showed her the blood which was on his hands (from Roohi's forehead) and the expression on Roohi's face said it all. Cyrus offered to carry her and after a slight hesitation, Roohi agreed.  

With the same awkwardness which Cyrus felt earlier, he lifted her gently and took her to the doctor. To her credit, Roohi did not cry though Cyrus felt her shaking, still reeling from the shock of the apparent fall.

The Doctor was a young lady who saw Roohi and the blood on her forehead and asked them to jump the queue. The other patients in the waiting room saw the sweet Roohi and did not mind. In her own jovial way of talking, the doctor changed the mood and within minutes, Roohi was all bandaged up and smiling once again, feeling much better. Cyrus thanked the doc and paid the assistant on the way out, carrying Roohi.

At the gate, Roohi suddenly turned her face to him, put a peck on his cheek and said "Thank you, Uncle. You are sweet and saved my life and saved my kitten's life too. You are very good. Come to my home with me and meet my dad. Now I am fine and I can walk"

Cyrus couldn't help but smile. She was back to being herself. The cheerful bundle of energy.
When Shekhar opened the door and was greeted with enthusiasm by a bandaged Roohi, he was shocked to say the least and he immediately shot a barrage of questions ranging from what happened and how and when …

Roohi just laughed and looked at Cyrus motioning with her hands, asking him to come in. Roohi continued to giggle at her father's reaction while Cyrus told Shekhar what had happened. Shekhar thanked him and called out to their maid, "Naina, get some tea for us and haldi-wala-garam-doodh (hot milk with turmeric) for Roohi"

Roohi made faces at the mention of 'haldi' and insisted on chocolate drink. Cyrus gently told her that yellow milk is better than brown milk to get all that lost blood back in the body. To Shekhar's surprise, Roohi agreed.

Shekhar asked Cyrus to have a seat and it was then that he recognized him. They had met earlier, just a few days ago and all Shekhar could remember now was his own rude behavior towards this gentleman.

"I am sorry for that day's behavior," he began, "I was kind of stressed for some reason and did not even realize that I was being rude," Shekhar thought quickly and fired the excuse. "Let me just make a quick phone call to my wife while the tea arrives"

Shekhar dialed Tara hoping she would pick up and not be in one of meetings. She picked up the phone and before she could say 'I am busy, I will call you later' which usually happened; Shekhar simply and very quickly said "Roohi is badly hurt. All bandaged. A stranger has brought her home. Come soon". He knew that would get her attention and that much is all he had to say.

Naina got the tea and the hot milk. Cyrus looked at the glass of milk and then at Roohi and winked. Roohi smiled and came over to pick the glass and sat in Cyrus' lap. Shekhar just looked on with surprise at his little girl's bonding with this stranger and remembered that psychology as well as Hollywood movies taught us that accidents bring people closer.

They sat down and began sipping on to their tea. A few minutes later, Shekhar saw the empty glass of milk slip from Roohi's hand who was now sleeping calmly with her head on Cyrus' shoulder and legs in his own lap.

For what seemed like another 10 minutes but in reality was only one, Shekhar just looked at his daughter with a serene smile on his face. Cyrus did not utter a single word and watched at Shekhar looking at his daughter … mesmerized. He was reminded of the absence of his father from his life and imagined himself lying in his father's lap, calmly dreaming of distant lands and chocolate houses. This thought brought a smile on his face but bitterness in his heart.

The serene calm of the house was only broken when the doorbell rang which woke up Roohi too.

Chapter 9

Chapter 10 - End of Round 1  


Me and my team 'Potliwale Baba' are participating in 'Game Of Blogs' at #CelebrateBlogging with us … Wish us luck !! 

Our Team for the #GameOfBlogs to #CelebrateBlogging with is named "Potliwale Baba" and it has the following superb set of very enthusiastic and diversely talented bloggers - Deepak NareHemantkumar JainNirav ThakkerRitu PandeyShameem RizwanaShoumik DeSindhu Priyadharsini SankarSneha BhattacharjeeSrilakshmi Indrasenan,  Tushar - in simple alphabetic order J  - you see the dominance of 'S' named people – half the team :)

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