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Mystery

Meena observed that her mother was late in returning home. Yet another day of late coming, long waiting. Of late she had been coming home late. Mithun, her brother, comforted her. ‘After all, she was working hard for our sake and we needed to empathise with her and not pester her when she returns home.’

“We do not know about her workload at her office. At home also she is working for us without complaining. Have you ever seen her fretting or getting angry with us? There could be some reason for her to come late. Don’t worry. She had taken care of all of our requirements. She did not leave any room for us to grumble.”

“No, no. I am not complaining. I am saying that I am missing her.”

Just then Meghna came home. Though deadly tired, she did not show off her fatigue. Even if she was not listening to what her children were talking about, she knew they would be waiting for her anxiously. Despite her problems, she had to show that she was cheerful so that they would not be dull and sulky. She patiently listened to her son and daughter. It was part of their daily routine to share what they did and how they spent the day. If anything was needed to be attended urgently same day or the day next, she could take action accordingly. Otherwise there would be a lapse and it would be missed.

Meghna told them that her late coming would continue for another fifteen to twenty days. She said she had taken up a special assignment and unless and until it was completed, it would not be possible her to come home in time. Mithun wanted to know if it was linked with her promotion. Also, whether it would fetch additional income. Meena said instantaneously, “Amma, please tell your office that ‘there is a small girl waiting for me at home. Therefore don’t’ give me additional work. No problem if I don’t get promotion or extra income. Send me home soon. That is enough.’ Please tell them that Meena said so.”

Meghna hugged her and told her that the new assignment was not at all connected with her promotion, neither it would fetch any extra income. She had voluntarily agreed to help her friend and so it was inevitable for her to stay back and pay full attention to the work undertaken. It was just an honorary service with no expectations attached. Purely for personal satisfaction.

Both Mithun and Meena did not appreciate such an honorary offer which was at their cost and comfort. ‘Who was that cruel friend and why that friend wanted Amma to share his / her burden and more than anything, why should Amma favour him / her and accept such a demand’ --- such details were not relevant to them. It was beyond their outlook. All that they were bothered about, was somebody was getting benefitted at their cost.

Days rolled on and Amma started coming on time. Both Mithun and Meena were very happy to get back their mother and enjoy their quality time with her. They did ask about the person for whom she happened to work hard resulting in her coming late. She told them with a smile. The ‘so called’ beneficiary of her honorary service expressed his desire to come home and meet the two personally and say thanks. He might come after a few days. She did not tell them that she had cautioned him as they were not keen on receiving him as guest. She advised him to wait and till their mental blues subside.

Meghna told them that the person was responsible for giving them the names, ‘Mithun and Meena’. Mithun’s facial expressions changed visibly. He became red with rage. He came and whispered in her ears, “Are you getting that ‘Scorpio Scoundrel’ to our home to see us?”

Both said in chorus, “We don’t want to see anybody.” Meena too joined Mithun without understanding what he said to Amma in her ears. Meghna immediately corrected them. “No, no. Your father is not coming here. He has nothing to do with us. He will not dare to come. He was responsible for your birth and that was all. Not for your names. When he chose to desert us and chase his paradise, I severed all our connections with him and sought voluntary divorce. I am a divorcee and you both are fatherless children.”

“I was telling you about naming a person. We all have our names as per our zodiac signs. I was born under ‘Mesha Raashi (Aries) so, Meghana. Mithun under Mithuna Raashi (Gemini) and Meena under Meena Raashi (Pisces).”

Mithun instantly said, “So the scoundrel falls under Scorpio sign?”

Amma answered, “Yes. Sanjay was born under Vrischika Raashi. Somehow his birth stars misled him and he drifted away. Less spoken about him much better for us.” The children retired to bed without knowing who was to come home. In a way the boy was relieved Amma was not working for that fallen guy. Her honorary services would certainly be for a noteworthy person only. May be her office colleague. But that was less likely. How an office colleague could help Amma in naming the children by knowing their zodiac signs at the time of birth and that too for both of them! Just not possible. He wanted to confirm from Amma and clear the mystery as to who could be the guy.   

All of them got grounded in their routine schedules and they almost forgot their expected visitor. One fine morning, Meghna told her children that while coming from office, she would come along with the person who was keen on meeting them. She also told them that he was not her friend, nor her office colleague. She said that she accidentally saw him with a servant, entering the hospital which was close to her office. Later she went there and met them and found out what was he suffering from.

The servant said that the old man was suffering from high fever. But coupled with old age and loneliness, it got aggravated. Fever was not the main cause of sickness. The servant tried to contact his master’s son but to no avail. He could not be traced. Upon enquiry they came to know that the son had gone abroad. While in India also, he seldom visited, now that gone abroad, what to say of him!

Meghna could not resist herself. She told the servant that till the old man gained normalcy, she would visit him and offer her valuable time and service. The servant with tear-filled eyes and folded hands simply thanked her. He had never seen a lady who had no necessity to show up, then also, would voluntarily offer to serve. That too when she had her own pile of personal problems.

Meghna said that it was that assignment which she undertook voluntarily. Because of her presence, he was soon out of danger and bounced back to normalcy. The servant kept on saying that medicines did not cure the patient. Surely her personal care and comfort did that magic on him. He never expected his daughter in law, though divorced, would come to see him. It was something, not known so far. A very uncommon practice! She simply said that she had no inhibitions nor ill feelings with her father in law. It was his son who wanted to have relationship with some other woman, which she could not tolerate. That too after giving birth to two children.   

Mithun could guess very well who was that old-man coming. He had no ill feeling towards that ‘unknown’ guest. In fact, he had his innate feelings for that man. He decorated the house with balloons and greeting cards to welcome the guest. The waiting was over. There they came! Both Mithun and Meena ran to their mother and greeted the guest. The old-man was visibly moved by their overwhelming response.

Meena wanted to know who was the person. She had no idea. Mithun said ‘our grandfather’, Madhavan thaatha. Meena did not have memory of having seen or been with him, while Mithun had spent a few years of his childhood with his grandfather. She innocently asked, “Who? Father’s father?”

Mithun retorted “No. Only grandfather, our grandfather.”

Meena still continued, “What is his zodiac sign?”

Madhavan said, “My dear Princess, it is ‘Makaram’ (Capricorn). I know you belong to Meena Raashi and that is why I named you as Meena.”

She replied, “Thaatha, all of us are under alphabet ‘M’ ---

Meghna, Mithun, myself Meena and you Madhavan. Isn’t it strange?”

Madhavan said, “You all ‘Ms’ stand for magnificent personalities. I am proud to join your ‘M’ group. Will you take me in?”

All said chorously, “YES. Of course yes.Meena observed that her mother was late in returning home. Yet another day of late coming, long waiting. Of late she had been coming home late. Mithun, her brother, comforted her. ‘After all, she was working hard for our sake and we needed to empathise with her and not pester her when she returns home.’“We do not know about her workload at her office. At home also she is working for us without complaining. Have you ever seen her fretting or getting angry with us? There could be some reason for her to come late. Don’t worry. She had taken care of all of our requirements. She did not leave any room for us to grumble.”

“No, no. I am not complaining. I am saying that I am missing her.”

Just then Meghna came home. Though deadly tired, she did not show off her fatigue. Even if she was not listening to what her children were talking about, she knew they would be waiting for her anxiously. Despite her problems, she had to show that she was cheerful so that they would not be dull and sulky. She patiently listened to her son and daughter. It was part of their daily routine to share what they did and how they spent the day. If anything was needed to be attended urgently same day or the day next, she could take action accordingly. Otherwise there would be a lapse and it would be missed.

Meghna told them that her late coming would continue for another fifteen to twenty days. She said she had taken up a special assignment and unless and until it was completed, it would not be possible her to come home in time. Mithun wanted to know if it was linked with her promotion. Also, whether it would fetch additional income. Meena said instantaneously, “Amma, please tell your office that ‘there is a small girl waiting for me at home. Therefore don’t’ give me additional work. No problem if I don’t get promotion or extra income. Send me home soon. That is enough.’ Please tell them that Meena said so.”

Meghna hugged her and told her that the new assignment was not at all connected with her promotion, neither it would fetch any extra income. She had voluntarily agreed to help her friend and so it was inevitable for her to stay back and pay full attention to the work undertaken. It was just an honorary service with no expectations attached. Purely for personal satisfaction.

Both Mithun and Meena did not appreciate such an honorary offer which was at their cost and comfort. ‘Who was that cruel friend and why that friend wanted Amma to share his / her burden and more than anything, why should Amma favour him / her and accept such a demand’ --- such details were not relevant to them. It was beyond their outlook. All that they were bothered about, was somebody was getting benefitted at their cost.

Days rolled on and Amma started coming on time. Both Mithun and Meena were very happy to get back their mother and enjoy their quality time with her. They did ask about the person for whom she happened to work hard resulting in her coming late. She told them with a smile. The ‘so called’ beneficiary of her honorary service expressed his desire to come home and meet the two personally and say thanks. He might come after a few days. She did not tell them that she had cautioned him as they were not keen on receiving him as guest. She advised him to wait and till their mental blues subside.

Meghna told them that the person was responsible for giving them the names, ‘Mithun and Meena’. Mithun’s facial expressions changed visibly. He became red with rage. He came and whispered in her ears, “Are you getting that ‘Scorpio Scoundrel’ to our home to see us?”

Both said in chorus, “We don’t want to see anybody.” Meena too joined Mithun without understanding what he said to Amma in her ears. Meghna immediately corrected them. “No, no. Your father is not coming here. He has nothing to do with us. He will not dare to come. He was responsible for your birth and that was all. Not for your names. When he chose to desert us and chase his paradise, I severed all our connections with him and sought voluntary divorce. I am a divorcee and you both are fatherless children.”

“I was telling you about naming a person. We all have our names as per our zodiac signs. I was born under ‘Mesha Raashi (Aries) so, Meghana. Mithun under Mithuna Raashi (Gemini) and Meena under Meena Raashi (Pisces).”

Mithun instantly said, “So the scoundrel falls under Scorpio sign?”

Amma answered, “Yes. Sanjay was born under Vrischika Raashi. Somehow his birth stars misled him and he drifted away. Less spoken about him much better for us.” The children retired to bed without knowing who was to come home. In a way the boy was relieved Amma was not working for that fallen guy. Her honorary services would certainly be for a noteworthy person only. May be her office colleague. But that was less likely. How an office colleague could help Amma in naming the children by knowing their zodiac signs at the time of birth and that too for both of them! Just not possible. He wanted to confirm from Amma and clear the mystery as to who could be the guy.   

All of them got grounded in their routine schedules and they almost forgot their expected visitor. One fine morning, Meghna told her children that while coming from office, she would come along with the person who was keen on meeting them. She also told them that he was not her friend, nor her office colleague. She said that she accidentally saw him with a servant, entering the hospital which was close to her office. Later she went there and met them and found out what was he suffering from.

The servant said that the old man was suffering from high fever. But coupled with old age and loneliness, it got aggravated. Fever was not the main cause of sickness. The servant tried to contact his master’s son but to no avail. He could not be traced. Upon enquiry they came to know that the son had gone abroad. While in India also, he seldom visited, now that gone abroad, what to say of him!

Meghna could not resist herself. She told the servant that till the old man gained normalcy, she would visit him and offer her valuable time and service. The servant with tear-filled eyes and folded hands simply thanked her. He had never seen a lady who had no necessity to show up, then also, would voluntarily offer to serve. That too when she had her own pile of personal problems.

Meghna said that it was that assignment which she undertook voluntarily. Because of her presence, he was soon out of danger and bounced back to normalcy. The servant kept on saying that medicines did not cure the patient. Surely her personal care and comfort did that magic on him. He never expected his daughter in law, though divorced, would come to see him. It was something, not known so far. A very uncommon practice! She simply said that she had no inhibitions nor ill feelings with her father in law. It was his son who wanted to have relationship with some other woman, which she could not tolerate. That too after giving birth to two children.   

Mithun could guess very well who was that old-man coming. He had no ill feeling towards that ‘unknown’ guest. In fact, he had his innate feelings for that man. He decorated the house with balloons and greeting cards to welcome the guest. The waiting was over. There they came! Both Mithun and Meena ran to their mother and greeted the guest. The old-man was visibly moved by their overwhelming response.

Meena wanted to know who was the person. She had no idea. Mithun said ‘our grandfather’, Madhavan thaatha. Meena did not have memory of having seen or been with him, while Mithun had spent a few years of his childhood with his grandfather. She innocently asked, “Who? Father’s father?”

Mithun retorted “No. Only grandfather, our grandfather.”

Meena still continued, “What is his zodiac sign?”

Madhavan said, “My dear Princess, it is ‘Makaram’ (Capricorn). I know you belong to Meena Raashi and that is why I named you as Meena.”

She replied, “Thaatha, all of us are under alphabet ‘M’ ---

Meghna, Mithun, myself Meena and you Madhavan. Isn’t it strange?”

Madhavan said, “You all ‘Ms’ stand for magnificent personalities. I am proud to join your ‘M’ group. Will you take me in?”

All said chorously, “YES. Of course yes.

May 22, 2020 19:44

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