Excerpt from ‘Hey Dad! Meet My Mom…’

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There was nothing special about her, and yet she was special to me. There was nothing about her face to adore, and yet she was adorable. There was nothing in her to love, and yet I loved her. It was all, a kind of déjà vu for me. I saw all this in my dream.

She had a little round face; adorned by long, black, well styled hair. She looked ‘cute’ rather than pretty. Her lips were naturally pink and complimented her cute face. She had a black mole just above her upper lip at the right most corner. She had big eyes, full of depth in them; full of secrets or full of love, I didn’t really know.

I was stunned to see her. Not because of her beauty but because of the awkwardness of the moment. That was not the time I wanted to meet her. Though this did not mean that I wanted her to go away and sit somewhere else. She was busy with two tasks simultaneously; one, getting ready to eat her sandwich and the other, messaging someone on her mobile phone using her fingers. I loved her nail art too. I was continuously staring at her with my mouth open. I was about to drool when she caught me staring at her.

“What?” She said and brought me back to my senses. “I…. ah…. nothing… just…. you came and….” I was trying to frame a proper sentence but as always, I failed. It always happened with me whenever I tried to talk to someone I liked, not to mention, ‘only in front of pretty girls’.

“Oh…. Actually the café is pretty crowded today. There’s no other chair left, so I decided to sit here.” She said in a very jolly manner and then suddenly she sounded low, “Hope, it’s not a problem for you.”

“Huh…. No, not at all.” I said and sunk my face back into my coffee mug. I was trying to say something to take this conversation further, but my mind turned blank. I could be such a dumb ass when it came to conversing with someone. Even I couldn’t fathom how I ever became a bank manager!

 “I saw you in the bank yesterday.” I said with full confidence.

“Ah… now I remember, you are the one who was staring at me in the

bank. You fucking stalker!” She said.

No, I didn’t think that was the ideal way to start our conversation.

Well thankfully, our conversation slowly picked up, thanks to her. I just had to give her a topic to speak while our conversation and than keenly hear her beautiful voice.

“Who’s your favorite superhero?” I asked her.

“Shaktimaan; our very own Indian superhero. I still hope that someday one of our channels will announce the arrival of Shaktimaan’s second season and I can finally watch ‘evil’ getting defeated. I want to see Kilveesh dead.” She took a bite of her sandwich and while chewing she started talking again, “You know what, when I get really bored, I pat a random guy’s back and whisper in his ear.” She came forward and whispered in my ear, “I want to tell you a secret.”

I joined her in this creepy act, “What?” I too whispered.

“The secret is…… Gangadhar hi Shaktimaan hai!” She said and then laughed like hell. I loved her laughter. It was like the sweet ringing of temple bells on an early morning, coming from a remote village. Her teeth were the whitest and the most perfect, I had ever seen. I wondered whether she was the girl that featured in toothpaste-advertisements.

She kept on talking and I kept on looking at her. I was living every moment with her to the fullest. People say that when we die, a slide show of all the happy memories flashes before our eyes. I knew that this very moment would be the first moment to appear in my ‘death ceremony slide show’.

I had definitely seen her before, seen her in my dreams, her smile, her hair, her…… her…. name? What was her name?

“What’s your name by the way?” I asked her when she was describing to me her dog’s choice of meals.

“Sorry…… Oh! Yes, my name…. See, I think that’s why all my friends tag me as ‘the most talkative person of the group’. I have been talking to you since an hour and I haven’t told you my name.” There were two missed calls on my phone, which I had totally ignored, to hear her name. But finally I decided to take the call rather than waiting for her to come to the point.

The frequency of the calls indicated that the matter was urgent. I took my phone out from my trousers and saw the screen which was flashing, ‘Mom calling.’

I swiped the screen to take the call and signaled to the ‘The Talking Machine’ to stay quiet for some time.

“Actually my name is……..” I missed her name.

“Hello.” I said and heard my mother’s words, filled with utmost urgency.

“Beta, come back home quickly. He is here.” Her voice was firm and had a hidden message that quite clearly said, ‘Leave whatever you are doing and come back.’


Order your copy of ‘Hey Dad! Meet My Mom’ at just 99 from Rediff Books and read a ‘NEVER HEARD BEFORE’ story of Puneet Shrivastava.





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