Guest Story – After The Rains – Short Stories Online
Sid could hardly buy any sleep that night. He was 30,000 feet above sea level seated in the business class of the country’s best airways. He felt as if he was actually flying still higher as he was heading home to see Madhu, his two year old kid. He could still feel the touch of Madhu when he took her in his hands when she was born, her harmonic cry, her tiny feet, her twinkling eyes… He remembered it all!!! He felt himself to be a proud dad! But this was all two years ago. His job didn’t permit him to stay more than a week with her and he had to fly off to London.
But this time, he had 10 whole days to spend with the little one. He had sent the shopkeeper crazy in finding the best gifts for the kid. He wanted to get the best for her. He had of course bought something for Megha, his childhood sweetheart and his wife. He had been so lucky to have married her. Despite the few tears she shed every time when he left to London after a week at home, she was always happy and smiling. Sid felt lucky as he thought about her.
The loud buzz of the speaker announcing the landing of the flight woke him from his day dreams. He got off the flight and hovered around to collect this luggage. He unintentionally picked up a local newspaper while he was waiting and quickly grabbed his luggage as it came into sight and rushed to get a taxi to get a ride home. His home was an hour by road from there. He quickly got into the first taxi that came into sight and jumped in with the newspaper still tucked under his hands.
He could hardly make himself sit throughout the ride. He started gazing through the newspaper he had brought along. He hastily went through the Sport column which featured Sachin and India’s world cup glory throughout. As he flipped pages, the ‘Career Chronicle’ section followed up. He thought this section was for unlucky bunch. Sid’s job fetched him millions. He had a job that paid him for his brains and a job that took him around the world. Just as pride mounted the smile his lips wore, rain began to pour from nowhere. He generally loved the rains but nothing could beat Megha and Madhu today.
As they neared, he could see his home even behind the curtain of rain. The car finally came to a halt. Even the lashing rain couldn’t stop him from rushing to the door. He felt it took forever for Megha to open the door even though she was quick enough. As soon she unlocked, he gave her an everlasting smile of love and reached out to little Madhu who was tucked into Megha’s hand then. He got hold of the kid and hugged her. She looked more beautiful and innocent than what he had seen over the video chats. He pampered her as Megha brought in all his stuff out of the taxi. Sid couldn’t wait to hear Madhu talk. But much to his dismay, Madhu began crying loudly and ran off to Megha. She went over and innocently wrapped her hands around her mom and asked, “Mama, Who is this? Is this the daddy you were talking about all day?”
It thundered and lightning struck with all its might on Sid. But his rains had died. He was taken aback. All those 8 years that he had spent in solitude and suffering to earn those dollars suddenly became worthless. Those dollars looked like worthless papers. He had left behind everything just for the sake of earning money and glory. But his own baby, who was nothing short of Godliness in age and innocence, had shattered his world apart by her few words. But every single word of Madhu was as pure as the rain that fell that day from the skies. Megha shook him to senses and taught Madhu her manners.
Megha quickly sensed the situation and served food. Sid ate the food silently. He complained of a head ache and went to bed. After a while, he suddenly sprang out of the bed and hurried over to his luggage. She silently went and stood behind him. He quickly found the newspaper he had brought in that day and started reading from where he had left behind, the ‘Career Chronicle’. He slowly started highlighting the jobs in India. Megha’s eyes welled with tears as she saw what he was doing. Sid turned around to her and pointed outside the window and uttered, “The rains have ceased”. They both smiled and went over to cuddle Madhu.
It was just the sound of laughter and joy after the rains.
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