Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Employment

Part 8

While returning home Ramchandra casually asks Veena as to how is it that she prepared the refreshments at that house. On that she returns with a laugh, Charu kaki (aunty) told a lie and keeps on laughing. On that Ramchandra looks amazed and also somewhat perplexed but does not show it on his face.

They return home where Veena’s mother was waiting to hear the outcome of the meet. Ramchandra tells her that Ramnath was very pleased at that and shows relief about the loan matter. He exclaims, “Things are in control Veena’s Aai”! After Veena goes to see her friends Yashoda, Ramchandra tells Veena’s mother about the strange but pleasant behavior of Ramnath and his wife Charu. On hearing that, mother putting her palm on her mouth, with a corner of her sari in it begins to smirk. Pushing her husband a little she whispers something in his ears and on that both of them join in smile.

She whispers, “Charu wants our Veena for her son and we all village women know about it. Anyway one day our Veena is going to get married; Vishwas is a good boy and I have no objection for the proposal if it comes at the right time, of course, this is not the right time, our Veena has to do something on her own and after that when she is satisfied we shall be ready to accept it”! Ramchandra only smiles on hearing that and moves to their sitting room.

Veena returns home from her friends and tells mother about the marriage engagement of her friend Yashoda. Mother knows about it, they talk about it for some time, and at that instance mother gives a hint that soon she will also get married! On that Veena tells that she has many things to do before even thinking of marriage. And finally to stop her mother from keeping on the subject, she tells her to serve food as she is very hungry and the food is served. Her brother Shree Nath has come from the farm; he is told that the first installment of the loan has been paid by Veena out of her savings and that makes him very proud of her. They sit together for the super; and as Veena has joined the super after a long time the super was more interesting. They were chatting on many subjects from the city life to office work and she was telling them about her exciting experiences of the city life how the time passed they did not know, the super was finished, Veena collected her wares packed them in her bag and made it ready for the go! She told mother that she has to catch the very first bus to city since she will have to attend office directly. She told mother that tomorrow she has to attend a very important meeting with a customer and more she kept on talking to her mother and was listening to that blabber of Veena, even though she could not understand any of the things, purely out of appreciation that her daughter is now somebody.

The day was over, Veena went to sleep with the rest of the family only to get up early and she saw that her mother was already up and was preparing some breakfast for her. It was already late for her and so she hastily prepares for her and gulps the brunch as hastily and says goodbye to mother, mother lovingly blesses her, in the mean time father comes out of his room and blesses her, Veena has no time for any other formality and she rushes out of the house, tramps out in the gully and disappears in the darkness of the early morning. Her mother and father are standing on the verandah with a smile of satisfaction on their faces. Slowly they also move inside the house.

Veena almost runs to reach the bus stop. House of Ramnath the moneylender come shopkeeper is almost in the front of that bus stop. Veena sees a lone figure of Charu kaki standing there with a clothe bag in her hand. Charu calls Veena and in those quiet hours her call was very clearly audible. As Veena overhears it; she is drawn to her and simultaneously Charu also comes walking to her and hands over the bag in her hand. “What is it”? Veena inquires spontaneously. “These are ladoos; I have prepared for you specially, keep and eat them”. The way Charukaki spoke Veena could feel her emotions and quietly accepted them with smile which, Charu could not see due to darkness. They were about to talk some but the horn of the bus blows and Veena almost jumps towards the bus. She gets inside the bus, the bus driver, the conductor knew her as the daughter of their teacher, and so they greet her, the good morning, bus slowly moves out of the stand with only a few usual passengers and Veena looks back to where Charu was standing, she sees the figure of Charu standing there and waving to Veena. Veena waves back and now the bus have taken a turn and takes up some speed. Ghatla village is left behind and Veena is now busy thinking about the scheduled meeting.


This Story continues in the next posting.
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