12th September – DD, it was raining outside and the aroma of my filter coffee spread in the house when our new neighbors moved in this society, one month and no one knows much about them. It’s very unsettling to be around random mysterious people….Sleepless

15th September – I got a glimpse of the “new neighbors” today just as I dropped my kids off to school. A young lady held hands of the older one and led the way towards her car and an old man unhurriedly followed them.  I envisaged them to be grandparents and a granddaughter with the sigh of relief….Worriless

19th September – As part of the festive celebrations in our society we performed three days Pooja of Lord Ganesha Moorthy. On the last day of it, I finally met the alleged “neighbors” and invited them to our home out of customary greetings; which was politely declined as “some other time”.

1st October – I bumped into the young lady of the neighbor clan today. She enquired about my family and kids…seemed decent.  She was a doctor!

5th October –Society organized a meeting for Durga Pooja celebrations soon to be embarked on 10th. I looked through the corner of my eyes at the old couple sitting amongst the rest of the members and waved which was courteously acknowledged by them. Post the meeting, I went near them and as a matter of fact asked her, “Your granddaughter must be busy in her clinic…I’m glad you could make it to this cultural meeting today” pat came her reply “No…no…she is not my granddaughter….she is my “would be” daughter-in-law!”  As if she read my flabbergasted face and continued to speak “my son is Captain in armed forces. He is very ambitious and brave. I’m extremely proud of his achievements.

My would be daughter-in-law and son love each other and decided to marry. We are done with their shopping now…” and just then the old man interrupted “she is so forgetful…my son is a brave martyr of this country…just 4 days before the engagement the news of his demise came to us…my daughter in law and I didn’t shed a drop of tears then…our hearts swell in pride… we lost our only son but when we see many happy faces of other men of his age, we thank almighty for opting my son for this cause! My daughter in law doesn’t wish to marry someone else and says ‘I learnt to devote myself to love from your son’…today she is our son!” …Speechless

18th October – Loud conch sound and sindoor khela made the air virtuous of the Navami pooja. I stood there soaking myself in the smoke of Dhanuchi and bowed down to maa Durga. I opened my eyes and saw the doctor daughter-in-law’s face on Durgama’s moorthy…serene…reminding me of the fact that an ordinary woman amongst us can be a Durga too. I closed my teary eyes again and promised myself to raise my daughter just as Durga!… Fearless

*****

 

Written by Prajaaktha Kulkarni

Praajakta Kulkarni is a working professional and writes to keep herself sane. She lives in Delhi with her army of 2 kids, husband and in-laws. She promises to write often to be able to work on her skills. Wish her goodluck!