The home that never was.docx

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THE HOME THAT NEVER WASONE- get aside!!- what happened?- get aside! You idiot!!A very excited voice entered hurriedly pushing a stretcher on which a jacketed woman was lying-completely bloodstained. It was evident that the dress of the lady was some kind of uniform but of what we knew not. It was assumed that the woman was between 27 and 33 and the person pushing the stretcher was one close relative of the wounded person.Blood was coming out from the sides of her curls and the scarlet fairness would be an inspiration to the artist. But the time was not to make her alive in a portrait but in the real biological life. Handing the wounded woman to the ward boys, the person went to the reception counter. What has been previously assumed, did not come out to be true. He was no close relative, not even of any acquaintance of her. From his narration, it was understood that there was a traffic jam on the road and he found the wounded woman was the centre of attraction. People were there to look at her and feel sorry and give expression as to how sad it was but none were ready to give her any medical assistance. He came forward and took her to this nursing home. First, the lady in the reception was arguing about filing an FIR but he convinced her and later the police were called on to this nursing home. TWO- who are you? The duty inspector asked.- Im a student.- what happened, anyway?- so far as I saw, she was lying on the road bleeding profusely, there were people around.- was it an accident?- may be, I dont know.- We may need you any time, thank you.- thank you, sir.The duty officer went away along with the co-staff. The person sat on a nearby bench. Very clearly, he was now a little relieved. He covered his face by the palm of his hand, ran his fingers through his hair, got his mobile out of his pocket, dialled some digits and went on-I will be a little late, Ma No, no, dont worry; Im okay yes oh! By 8:30 okaybyeHe kept the mobile back into his pocket and just then he noticed his shirt was bloodstained. It must have come when he picked up the woman from the road upon his shoulders, made her sit in his bike by his support and brought into that nursing home. Now he will have to tell his parents everything. He will also have to His train of thought was interrupted by the nurses call. Since he was the one to admit her and lodging the FIR, he was asked to sign some papers and buy some medicines which were urgently required. He signed the papers and went out.He was seen back on the corridor after ten minutes with a pack of medicines in his hand. When it was about 9:30 at night he was allowed to see her. Out of inquisitiveness, he had a very close look. She might or might not be beautiful, it was hard to say since she was bandaged, but she had a very robust figure that is generally seen in the athletes. Through a little gap of her jacket, the end of some rectangular laminated card could be seen. He took it out. After a moments hesitation, he picked it up and put it in his own pocket. He went out- out of the nursing home, started his bike and drove out.THREEFourteen hours have elapsed and she was yet to recover senses. The visiting hour was on but none was there to visit her. After washing, her face was clearly visible. It does not require any mention that she was not an Indian citizen. But strangely enough, she had no bags, no articles and nothing was to be known until she spoke or from that card. At about 1:00 P.M., her eyes started to quiver and she was able to feel that she was alive, and in pains and in some sort of hospital. For she herself did not know how she got there, she was eager to know about everything that has happened from the time of accident. So far she could recollect was that she was coming out of an ATM and three boys, very desperate looking, got hold of her. She kicked one in the belly but in the meantime one of them hit her on the head by some heavy object. As she was in a nursing home, she asked a passing nurse, who admitted her there. It was some Mr. M. Aryan. She became impatient to meet that person. She was also feeling the pain in the skull and at the back, she received when she fell on the ground. FOURAryan was busy in his own work. He is a research fellow and he is working on the modern trends of language usage and the changing patterns from that of the last century. His room is jam packed with books, articles, manuscripts, magazines, journals, paper cuttings, notebooks, diaries, CDs, DVDs, and one big flat screen linked with the PC. He was a work alcoholic. When he works, he has the rare talent to forget to sleep. Naturally, when started working from 4 A.M. after some sleep, he forgot everything about the nursing home and the woman. He was analyzing the word anatomy. He remembered last nights incident. He hurriedly got up, washed himself, had some lunch, and took the card from his pocket. He had a close look at the card. No doubt, it was her picture and she was a first class cadet of the International Red Cross. He was surprised. He made up his mind to visit her. It was already 3 P.M. The visiting hours are likely to be from 4-6 P.M.On reaching the nursing home cabin, he found her asleep. He was determined to talk to her. So he waited inside. Shortly after that, she opened her eyes.Well, this was Lia Susana.FIVELia was feeling pain while talking. She could only speak English and Spanish and her native language. To be plain, she spent her childhood in central Africa. Her father was a doctor and mother an artist. Both passed away in a road accident when she was 12. One of her fathers distant relatives took her to his house. She continued her studies. The uncle was an influential officer in the state medical department. With the passage of time, she grew up and had an attractive physic. She was very tempting. One day he lost his nerves and assaulted her sexually. She was helpless and fell pregnant. Using his influence the uncle got her admitted into a hospital and after the abortion she was denied access to his house. Besides, she had no intention of going back there. She now had nowhere to go. At this time, one of her school mates came to her rescue. Lia told her so far she could and was taken to that family. She continued her studies up to the age of 18. Since she studied well and was meritorious, she got a job of a personal assistant of a teak wood business merchant.She was very sincere at work. She stayed with her friend and took admission in the night college in accounting. Meanwhile, the host family was to shift permanently to Argentina. They would not part with her, so she accompanied them. There she found another job. She started studying medicine. Her friend and she were studying very hard. After the completion of the final year, they were to pass out. Lia got hold of an advertisement in the International Red Cross. Their results were out and as to their expectations both had very handsome report cards. Both were, at the same time, selected for the Red Cross. They were a very good family now and the Lady of the house was a mother to both. To celebrate the occasion, they were going one day to a restaurant. There was a car accident and all were badly injured. They were hospitalized. The two girls survived but their mother was no more.Indeed this was a tremendous shock. But they could not deny it. They joined service and were roommates now. But after completion of the second year, only Lia was promoted to the first class Cadet rank and sent to serve in Vietnam. Efina was sent to Columbia. SIXWorking in Vietnam was a real challenge. It was her first outing in a land where Spanish is very little used. She knew no Asian languages except English. But there was problem of accent. The people of Vietnam use a different type of pronunciation. So she was moved to India after her request. Comparatively it was much less problematic. Many understand her and she understands many in India. She had a vague knowledge of the fact that her mother was of Indian origin when Lia was very little. Lias mother was very reserved and knew almost nothing except painting. Her name was B. Indu Kumari. Her father Dr.Mambo Olatidy was a very fine person. She never wanted to discover her root but the desire had always been there within. Now, in India, it became indomitable. Lias second name Susana is not a parental derivation; it was Efinas mothers name. Out of her love for Susana, she adapted the name. In her college days, she used to write Lia Susana Olatidy, but now she writes only Lia Susana. SEVENThe doctors take Lias advice in treating her. She is more efficient than most that are engaged in this nursing home. It was almost twelve days that she was there. She was likely to be released by the next three days. Aryan insists on releasing her as soon as possible.The greatest trouble to Lia is that the three thieves have taken Lias bag. It contained her visa, service papers, passport, report papers, driving license and many other important papers besides her dresses and other important articles. Now she had no money. Aryan was only a student and was not willing to take up much trouble for her but conscience pricks him to spurn her away. He released her and took her to the Red Cross Bureau. She was asked to stay for three days while the necessary papers are prepared. Aryan insisted her to stay in his house. EIGHTAryans mothers maiden name was Karuna Kumari Bhadra. She was passionate for athletics in her early days. She neglected her studies for a career in sports. She represented her state in the National events in 100 and 200 meters sprints. She was preparing herself for the Olympics. Having only the mother and one sister, she was determined to make her career economically prosperous. Her sister was Indu Kumari Bhadra. She was very much engrossed in her studies and her aim was to become the Art Professor of her own college. Indu and Karuna were Mother Kumari Bhadras body and spirit. Her existence was hardly possible without any of them. With all sorts of problems, she managed to bring up her children with the best possible care. Though there was a scarcity of money, she provided for sports materials, gym expenses, dresses, canvas, colours, paintbrush and the lot. It was really tough to maintain those expenses and the family at the same time but she had a vicarious fulfillment through her children. Her only satisfaction was that the girls worked sincerely towards their passion.

NINEIndu was recommended for the art teacher for a number of art schools and she could economically support her passion. Karuna was faced with a number of problems like medical tests, good diet chart, which were tough to maintain. Besides, finding a good coach was necessary. One new foreign physical trainer had been staying there those days. However, he was ready to train her seeing her potential. With the passage of time, Karuna developed a liking for him. He understood but avoided her infatuation.But nature will have its own course. The one sided infatuation became a mutual relationship and as its side effect, Karuna conceived. But he was as passionate as he was irresponsible. He spoke to mother Bhadra. She convinced him to marry her. But that trainer could not be trained. He made up his mind to escape. He came one day to bade good bye and fell in love with Indu. Indu was exceptionally handsome and could appeal to the Buddhist monks. Karuna was rather very muscular and strongly built. She had little to attract at the first sight except her robust built. The trainer forgot his plan and decided to stay with the family. Economic crisis came to its peak as Karuna needed double care. Things went on somehow but just before the delivery she slipped in the bathroom and received a back injury. Immediately she was rushed to local hospital for medical assistance.TEN- excuse me maam, please sign this bond.- whats this?- regarding the state of your daughter, we must say you shall have to choose between the baby and its mother. Saving both may not be possible.- oh! No, it cant be true! KILL ME but save them! Here take my life! - please maam, dont get excited. Relax and hurry up. The situation is likely to worsen.Mechanically, she signed the bond in favour of her daughter. But its not the worst till we can say this is the worst. Mother Karuna felt a pain in the left chest. She heard a passing doctor say, both may die or the mother may permanently paralyze. Well, this was indeed rude enough for her cardiac arrest. It so happened that she was found seated open eyed, lifeless. We know a dead body cant breathe, dont we?ELEVENMan proposes but destiny may not always accept that proposal. The operating doctor performed the operation of his life. After a marathon operation of four hours, both the mother and the baby were safely separated. Alive! But Karuna had to sacrifice her sports career. Because of the injury she received at the back and complication at childbirth, she would not be ready for tough physical exercises any more. Even if she did, it would be nothing less than a suicide. Whatever wealth could be accumulated from all the available sources, they paid the bill of the hospital and the crematory expenses. - let us make things clear. What shall we do?- you mush support Karuna and the daughter.- How can I?- why can you not?- I have no job now.Why dont you find one? You must have got one had you tried enough. You are a physical trainer; it is a very promising career aspect. It is only that you are a coward, an escapist, a dreamer, and most of all a parasite!!- perhaps you are right. So am I. but I cannot support them. - then who shall? Where shall she go?- I shall go to Africa; I have some land and an ancestral house there.- so take her with you.- Indu, will you allow me to tell you something?- well, what is that?- the matter between Karuna and I was an accident. I would feel replenished and true to say I loved you the moment I saw you.This was the perfectest line to appeal to her. She tried her hardest to be unpleasant to him, to suppress that she also loves him very much. But now the cat was out of the bag and even an infant could read in her eyes what was going within. She had a few things in common with him. She was as charming, as irresponsible, as passionate, as self-seeking, as soft spoken and as escaping as he was. As if these two were made for each other. Silence became more eloquent than speech and things were decided between them that they would escape.TWELVEThe bubble of passion would give way to sense and humanity when the overflow is over. The state in which they would be leaving Karuna pained her. She meditated and decided that she would take the child with her. It would relieve Karuna a little. On a stormy night Indu took the baby from the cradle and as per the pre-decided sound signal, went out, never to see Karuna again. Now Karuna was alone, in pain, penniless, sad; had lost her mother, daughter, sister and the person whom she needed the most. She was desperately in need of some means of sustenance. She was not weak enough to commit suicide. She visited a number of schools and clubs for jobs but as there was a limitation against hard physical labour, she was not given any job.But this world still produces pure gentleman. Still there are some that work selflessly and uphold the SAMURAI spirit. We would be looking forward to meet one such to save Karuna henceforth.THIRTEEN-madam, please stop.Startled, Karuna looked back. She stressed her memory. Perhaps it was Zia. Yes, so it was. Zia was one of her admirers. She felt sad that she would never touch the track again. But she had no idea as to what had happened to her.- I can help you if you wish.- How?- you train us in our club.- but I cannot labour hard now.- your presence itself would be stimulating to us. Please do come. The boys and girls of that club were trained under the guidance of Mr. Anand N. Aryan. Zia was his sister and the best athlete of this club. They needed one good female trainer and if demonstration is not indispensable, Karuna would be a good option. Zia introduced Karuna to the club. Anand met her before in a number of contests. He was rather appreciative of her spirit of the game. He recommended her as the assistant coach of the club to the authorities. Since Anand recommended, she was gladly appointed to that post. Excepting a number of specific demonstrations, she was not required to run or jump or such like painstaking exercises.In the beginning, Karuna was a little careful about her limitations and with the passage of time she grew well loved of all the boys and girls of the club. The manager was also very happy with her work. They raised her salary to make it easeful for her. Zia found occasional delight in teasing her brother linking Karuna. Her brother showed annoyance. But Zia enjoyed. Soon the club became a leading one and Anand became an icon. He stood for the club and Karuna was the sheet anchor. Both were indispensible. Zia proposed her mother about Karunas marriage with Anand. Not that the mother disapproved of it but she feared Anands silence. He was somehow avoiding the question of marriage since he was little out of tune with the opposite sex. FOURTEENOne day Mrs. Aryan proposed Aryan to marry Karuna. He went out for the club without answering. Actually he wanted to suppress the blush which was there in his face. He could not concentrate in training on that day. Whenever Karuna came to him to discuss anything on that day, he could not look straight into her eyes. It was something very unlike him. He was not confident to talk to her. Karuna sensed something strange. She came over to him and asked him:- whats the matter with you?- ya! no.. nothing, thank you. Im okay- well, okay thenNeedless to say, Karuna did not accept the answer. It must be some trouble he was in. she worked that day on her own. Thereafter things continued to be so for a few days. So one day Karuna asked Zia what was wrong with him. Zia loved Karuna very much so she said everything to her. Now the problems started with her. She now could not concentrate. One day she visited Mrs. Aryan and explained what has happened to her and was very sincere in her narration. Mother Aryan was quite stunned to know all and thought perhaps Anand would reject her. But contrary to everyones expectation, Anand said:- I have heard every syllable of it and would be bold enough to say, you are a very nice person. Seasoned with the passage and test of time, you are now one concrete and seasoned timber. I would be willing to know whether you will marry me. If you are willing, I will be the happiest to marry you! - I dont want to have my ominous presence in your happy family. I have no right to- I dont know the art of pleasing proposal. I had never been in that business before. Please be brief and say yes or no.There was a long silence until mother Aryan put an arm on Karunas shoulder and asked whether she will accept her as her mother.The matter was settled. There was a marriage fixture date.The news rapidly spread like a wildfire in the club through Zia. From top to bottom, all were excited with their marriage. Some even started speculating on their forthcoming issue. The club was divided with their opinion on the issue being male or female. Now things started changing. They became a concrete family with Mother, Anand, Karuna, Zia and their forthcoming issue. In due course of time, their boy was born. FIFTEENWhen Lia and Aryan entered their house, Mother Karuna could not take her eyes off her face. There was something stunning in her face. Neither Lia nor Aryan could understand anything. Something happened within her but what was that she knew not. However, Lia entered the house and washed herself. It was a very strange house. The ground floor had five rooms, kitchen, bath and dining space but in the upper story it was only a hall and a washroom. It was Aryans kingdom, his own utopia. Here nobody was allowed to enter without his permission. Lia was also very meritorious but Aryan was beyond her reach and up till now he is the only bookworm of her acquaintance. Efina loved studies but not to that extent. He can read twenty hours at a stretch, and that too, regularly. One spare room was given to Lia. She was given some of Karunas dresses. But she had problems with food. Her food habits differ much with that of these people. But there is no way out. SIXTEENOne significant change was noticed in Aryan these days. He would have to be called at least ten times to come to the dinner table or breakfast. But he is now busy almost all the time with Lia. She was also very happy and felt quite at home with them. Anand Aryan is a bit too tough. But Aryan is a bookworm. Mother Karuna Kumari is the exact counterpart of Susana. Anand is all the time busy with his club. He is now the Manager of the club. She has quit the club. In her spare time she comes to Lia and gossips with her. They use to talk of the old days when she used to be a sprinter, when she joined club, when she had Aryan etc. Lia also told her about her childhood days, Mother Susana, Efina but there was no mention of Indu or Mambo Olatidy. Karuna also did not consider them worth mentioning.From her experience Karuna knew how the senior Mother Aryan seized upon the opportunity of marrying Anand with her. Similar thing was not certainly impossible with Aryan and Lia. Karuna was sure that Lia was a very good-hearted person. She knew Lia was there for only three days and the opportunity must not slip away. Anand Aryan was consulted and he was also interested in the matter. He convinced her, it would take place if possible. On the second night of Lias stay in that house, the dinner table was ready. Food and candles were awaiting all. When they were on with their dinner, Mother Karuna ventured to ask Lia:- my dear Lia, what you think of Aryan? Hes good?- yes, of course.- you like him then!- well, yes. But why are you asking all these auntie?- dear Aryan, what about you?- what, Ma?- about Lia.- what about Lia?- how is she?- she is tall, fair and muscular.- oh! Youre the same idiot that you used to be. I want to know whether you like her. - well, yes. I do. But what of that?- well, Anand, you want to say something?- yes. Lia, my dear, Karuna fancies you to be the next Mrs. Aryan.Even in that dim candlelight one could observe the blush in Aryans face. He had a mixed feeling of delight and surprise. He was completely unable to raise his face for the rest of the dinner.- NO!For a Moment, her emphatic and sudden no stopped their breath and blood circulation. She went on to say: - it cant be. Besides, you know nothing about me. Its a disastrous chronicle with me. Wherever I go, I carry destruction. You must abstain yourselves from any such drastic idea, if youre serious.- well, my dear, if anything is left to say, we would be inquisitive to know that. - okay then, I was onlyLia gave a very dull and factual narration of what had happened to her right from her childhood, particularly emphasizing the fact that she was an ominous personality. But the Aryans were very strong people. Their human and ethical values were strong enough to discover the genuine person that Lia was behind the disasters that stormed her. The direct question was thrown whether she would marry Aryan if they are ready to take her. Lia was stunned. Aryan was as silent as a corpse. The parents were waiting owl-eyed for her answer. But no words could come out. Dont we know when the heart is full, words are few?It was assumed that they have no objection. But Anand Aryan would not let it go thus. He insisted on their clear reply. There was still no response. They were given the night to talk over the matter and decide it mutually.

SEVENTEENBoth Aryan and Lia had some attraction for each other but they did not recognize. When the chord was touched, music was there to be produced. They were trying very hard to suppress it. But who can stop the tsunami to come, the fish to sail, the lion to roar. They are unstoppable. They just happen and will happen.None of them could trust themselves to speak to the other. They allowed time and nature to decide. Aryan entered into his study but for the first time his faithful host of words seemed to dance before his eyes. They had never been so disobedient before. No, how could he concentrate?Same was the case with Lia. She needed something to control her mind. She must employ it to some business. But nothing was found. It was a turbulent passion that was dancing within her. She tried to sleep but that too betrayed her. She kept lying on the bed awaiting the morning and the call from Mother Karuna.Last night she could not sleep. She was all the night engrossed in the thought of her married life here in India and their future issue.Toward the dawn, she fell asleep and dreamt of a buffalo with two cubs with it. One woman, very beautiful, was milking it and one strange looking person was standing by her side with a drum.Lia started thinking, the last two days were the most beautiful days of her life. She recollected every person associated with her but only Efina and Mother Susana were comparable to the Aryan family.- Lia dear, where are you?- good morning, auntie. Here am I.- come to my room, we will have our breakfast here.Things were settled. By the consent of all the parties concerned, they were to marry within the coming fifteen days.Eighteen Lia had never been like that. This is the only time that she smiles for no reason; takes delight in house hold work, waits for someone who has gone out of door. Her rosy thoughts provide a blush in her cheeks most of the time. It was strange to note how one that has spent her almost entire life outside Asia, could be so easily Indianised. Now she was as if in a lotus pond sailing at her own sweet will. But nobody should expect a lotus pond without the lotus serpent. That serpent bites; its bite gives the death pain but not death.Mother Karuna was showing Lia their old pictures. It was a very small collection. It contained a picture of Mambo with Karuna Kumari and another in which Karuna was seated with Indu Kumari by the side of their mother. Lia jumped out seeing them. Very eagerly she asked how those two were related to her. The response gave that lotus serpent bite. It gave her the death pang but there was no death. The second bite was to Karuna when she got to know Lia was their only child. Lias date of birth conformed herself to be Karunas first child. Hence, Aryan was her younger brother. Both were dead silent. The expression cannot be expressed in words. It was something like the neurotoxin tearing the nerves. There were quite a number of issues to be glad and sorry about.Let them decide things on their own now. MASTER ATANU. ----------------------------------------