Team name: Vijeta
Roohi sat sulking and whining in a corner watching her parents fight yet again. She had just been given an earful along with a ringing slap by Tara , her mother, for being stubborn.
Roohi was a healthy nine-year old daughter of Tara and Shekhar. Since she was a single child, she was the pampered princess of her father and a notorious one at that, seeking attention through screaming and throwing tantrums. She, even at such a tender age, preened in front of the mirror and was rather very proud of her fair complexion looking down upon her lesser fair neighbourhood girls. She would frolic around in her frilly frocks and two long pigtail teasing and hitting other children in the gated society’s park of posh Mumbai suburb.
“Why can you not just teach her to be little respectful while talking? Look how demanding she has become because of all your pampering!” Tara accused her husband Shekhar as usual.
“Oh! Why can you not do the same? Look how you speak…Mothers are the first teachers of a child. Of course she will pick up what she sees!But you don’t have time for her….you are not at home to teach her manners.” retorted Shekhar.
“Why, You sit here all day with your lofty dreams of being a best-selling author one day. Can you not pay a little attention towards her. I work all day to pay the bills and you expect me to be around her too? If we both sit at home where will the food come from Mr. Writer?” lashed out Tara.
The blames kept piling till all three were so tired that they slept off without dinner.
Eleven years ago,Tara and Shekhar had come close to each other due to similar dreams of making it big in the publishing world. They were both passionate about travelling, writing and responsible journalism.
Shekhar Dutta, with an average height and fair complexion was an easy-going and soft-spoken man who always wore a smile on his face. His lean looks were more accentuated with his loose t-shirts, track pants, french beard and thin frame of spectacles. Post his marriage to Tara he had chosen to work as freelance writer so that he could work on a story of a political thriller.
Tara, a tall and fair woman, however was a practical career oriented person and wanted to make it big as a media professional. She had joined a publishing house as an intern and later got absorbed as a staff member of the same firm. She was a no fuss woman who kept her hair short to avoid early morning delays and was always prim and properly dressed. She was an ambitious woman and loved the idea of power-dressing in formal and high heels. She did look intimidating to her juniors.
The idea of staying at home after Roohi was born did not appeal to Tara so the onus of taking care of the baby fell on Shekhar as he was already there at home. Shekhar did not mind at all the stay-at-home-dad tag.
After eleven years and many rejections from publishers, Shekhar had begun to become impatient and little frustrated. Though he still wore a smile but now had developed a bald patch on perfectly round head. He had little success as a freelancer but he hung in there to keep his self-respect and to keep himself sane.
This elusive success had become the cause of bitterness and constant fights between Shekhar and Tara. But Shekhar, really hoped and prayed for a big story a dazzling idea to bring change in his status.
Next morning when Tara woke, she was surprised to see a gloomy Shekhar sipping tea in the small balcony by the bedroom. She saw tears streaming down his eyes and immediately felt guilty for the earlier evening. She moved towards him and hugged him tight.
“I am sorry, Shekhar. I really am! I have felt responsible for Roohi’s deteriorating behavior since many days now and yesterday when you also reiterated the same, I lost my temper. I want to bring in some change in my schedule and have quality family time….I have missed out on it so much…I feel tired Shekhu.” sobbed Tara.
Shekhar folded her in his arms “ I too want some change Tara….I want a little success and I feel frustrated at not being there to pitch in financially. I will stop this futile dream from ruining our life and pick up a job may be!”
“No, Shekhar…don’t please! You will succeed…just hang on.I know you are good at fiction, you will get some bright idea.”
Tara started fixing some breakfast. Everyone was hungry from the previous evening and Tara wanted to make it up for her outburst. A thought crossed her mind.
“Shekhar, why don’t we take a break and go on a vacation somewhere outside Mumbai? After all that was all what poor Roohi asked for and it will be a much-needed change for us. Maybe you will come across some inspiration with fresh perspective when we travel. What say?“
Shekhar warmed up to the idea…He needed a fresh outlook and a time away from home. Yes! they needed a change….They started planning a surprise for Roohi….a big long vacation!
Unknown to them……Fate too conspired life changing itinerary for them. They knew not what was coming towards them…..
Read the next part of story at http://bhaktimotta.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/a-web-of-fate-2/