As part of my blog’s first anniversary I am hosting a ‘blog party’. Today my guest is Natasha Sinha. Natasha carries sunshine on her shoulders and wisps of magic in her heart. She’s a nature and animal lover, communication consultant, fitness enthusiast, avid biker, dog mom, home diva, spiritual Buddhist, with streaks of crazy. She also juggles time parenting and learning from her two gorgeous girls – 9 and 19. Her DH is the wind beneath her wings . She spent twenty-one odd years in Advertising-PR and the Development sector and in late 2016 gave it up to pursue her calling and passion for writing. She has authored a book, Travel Epiphanies that is a compilation of her personal tales of travel, adventure and awakenings. Here she wrote a short story involving complex human emotions. Enjoy!!!
Insya’s dream house is no longer a dream, but an incredible reality. It’s a quaint, old Portuguese cottage that stands overlooking the endless Arabian Sea, in South Goa’s pristine, Betalbatim beach. Away from the hum-drum of the city life that Insya is used to and the adrenaline buzz of North Goa, this little haven of her’s has given wings to her dreams. The day she bought the cottage she realised, “Some dreams do turn into reality sooner than you expect them to.”
The earlier owner, Mr. Fernandes who has migrated to U.K. has been very kind and generous. He made sure the four bedroom cottage was renovated and touched up to precision, before he handed it over to Insya and Akram, Insya’s husband. Every tile in the house was changed to special hand painted ones. Insya has shelled out quite a fortune (her life time of savings, actually) to buy this stunning property, surrounded by coconut mangroves, amidst the soft, golden sands. Her twenty-four year long, dazzling corporate career and hard earned savings have come handy, as Akram a free-lance photographer never has had any savings to call his own, as they all go on his travel photography projects and also isn’t just the saving kinds. His philosophy in life is to, “Live for today, plan for today and party tonight.”
Insya is thrilled to leave her corporate career behind and revive her passion for writing. And what perfect place to do so, than by the seaside, under the azure sky, heels dug into the soft, warm sand, Pina Colada in hand.
Insya and Akram moved in just a week back, and have spent every evening watching the golden sun sink into the vast, expansive sea. Their four-legged children, two Tabby cats, Pixel and Dixel, a pet tortoise, Izzy and their Cocker Spaniel, Destiny are also there to give them company.
It’s a Sunday morning and barely 7 A.M. when Insya’s phone starts ringing. She is still fast asleep, hungover from last night’s party at the shack in Majorda, with her school friends who were in town.
Insya mumbles and curses herself for not keeping the phone on silent mode, before turning in last night. “What’s the point of Sundays if you can’t sleep in late,”she thinks to herself groggily.
The cell phone continues to ring, and so does her Apple watch at the same time. She sleepily glances at her wrist and realises it’s Ma.
“Gosh! Ma won’t even let me sleep in peace on a Sunday,” thinks Insya, as she reluctant accepts the call on her Apple watch.
Shona, Kemon acheesh? Ekta phone projonto koreeshnee, notun badi ta tey giye! (“How are you sweetheart? You haven’t even called once, ever since you shifted to your new home”)
“Ma, I was just so busy settling in.” Neeshash phelar projonto shomay nayi.:)“No, time to even grab a breath,”)says Insya, partially lying.
Baba aar aami bhabh cheelam, keechu din tor kachey eshey, ektu goch-gachey shahajo kore de. Akram o to tour ey thakey. Tui ekla koto korbi: (“Dad and I were thinking we should come help you settle down, as Akram is also mostly traveling on work. After all how much can you manage on your own,”)said Ma hopefully.
Insya almost chokes for a moment. Her head starts to throb harder. No, it’s not the hangover anymore. She and Ma-Baba never got along. Even when they met for a day, there were fireworks. It left everyone with a bad taste in their mouths. Slowly but surely Insya had pulled away and had limited her interactions to the barest minimum. It wasn’t easy, but it was better than being in a toxic relationship.
She had, had a difficult childhood. Baba always the over-strict variety and Ma trying to groom her into a Miss Goody Two Shoes. But Insya had a mind of her own. She started rebelling from the time she was nine. Being the only child, Ma tried to make peace by giving in sometimes, but not without Baba giving her strict timeouts and a thrashing or two.
“The timing is so wrong,” thinks Insya. Just when she had acquired a peaceful surrounding and a dream home in Goa, to call her very own, her parents wanted to come and stay with her.
“Ma, it’s ok. Don’t worry. We are managing pretty well. In fact Akram and I have already unpacked and done-up the house mostly,” says Insya sweetly, trying to convince Ma otherwise.
“Oh! So you don’t like us coming over?! Eta bola…: “Say that,” says Ma heartbroken.
“Na, na, Ma! That’s not the point. Stop getting emotional always,” retorts Insya.
“What emotional? Do you even call and ask how your old parents are doing, Insya?” Baba has had that Sciatica pain all over again and he could do with some fresh air, change in environment and love from, his only child. But then, tor kachhey aamader jonno shomay kothay!”: “But where do you have the time for us.” says Ma sounding disappointed.
“Oh! Ma please! You know that’s not true. I love you and Baba a lot. It’s just that I’m afraid we will end up being at logger heads if we are together. I fear our mental peace and our interactions to end in outbursts and negativity,” blurts Insya.
“I understand Insya. Totally understand what you are saying. Its high time we do something about it.” Shaara jeebon ta raga rage korey katia kee Labh?!:(“What’s the point spending our lives being upset at each other!?”)says Ma thoughtfully.
“You are right Ma. Chalo, I’ll hang up now. The Bai (house help) just came in. I’ll call you soon. Love you,” says Insya hanging up cheerfully.
Insya is sitting on the beach inhaling the freshness of a bright, new morning, by the sea-side. She texts Ma, who is pretty tech savvy. “Ma you’ve got mail.”
“Ok, Shona, I’ll check in a bit,” replies Ma, after she has poured the tea into Baba’s favourite black mug.
O go, shun cho! ;(“Sweetheart, Are you listening?)Insya has sent us a mail. There is a surprise for you.” Ma informs Baba.
Kee holo ta kee? :(“What happened?”)said Baba looking up from his newspaper nonchalantly.
“Insya has sent us tickets to visit her new home in Goa,” says Ma ecstatically. “And also a little note for you.”
I’m sorry I always misunderstood you, but then I have always loved you dearly, and always will, so what if I never told you so.
I’ll always be your little Insu, loud, arrogant, but a softie at heart. I’ve done well in life, only because of the values you taught me, though I know I fought them tooth and nail then. This day onwards I promise to change the hands of time and make things better between us, only to fill our lives with unconditional love and acceptance forever. My new home is as much yours and Ma’s, as it is mine and Akram’s.
Please forgive me for the pain I may have caused you.
Lots of love
Baba’s eyes continue to well up as he reads the note, again and again.
This post is part of ‘Thursday Tales’. If you have a short story/anecdote/memoir to share do link up. Link your post to this post and just leave a comment with your post link and I will get back to you.