Sunday, May 05, 2013

Mother's Call~




This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 39; the thirty-ninth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is "Break"



It was 1.00 am, and Monica was still wide awake. She was traveling to Mumbai. The light was eerie; blue-mysterious shadows were hovering here and there in the coupe-- she sat up, folding her legs beneath her, took out her appointment letter and heaved a sigh….

  She got a big break in acting; but, it was for a X-rated movie! Premonitory shivers tickled her arms…Slut! The word came in her mind, and startled her into silence…Her sluttishness had to be evident in several ways; she had to look like the whores in petticoats that hang around the balconies of the red-light district of towns. Monica cringed, and cleared her throat….

Monica had the reputation of being a humble, kind and charming person, who lived the philosophy of putting others before herself. Her father passed away when Monica was just eighteen. Monica did a lot to bring comfort to her mother and family. She was ranked as the Miss.Queen at the Inter-Collegiate Fashion Show.  After graduation, she resorted to acting in theaters, mostly in supporting roles- mainly to make money so that her mother would not have to work menial jobs to support her. The impact of these times shaped her values.

A tiny station appeared- the hurtling Super fast Express rushed through a strip of platform and flung away the station. A cocooning speed was cushioning, cradling, and swaying her mind back and forth. A new beginning was beckoning, so instinctively she turned her mind off, lay down on the bed – and the train lurched on!

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Chai-chai-chaiii…!!

A tea-sellers voice woke her up in the morning. Monica was pensive. But, she had intentionally set aside her sentiments to neither aid nor deter her decision.

The train was slowing down. She looked outside—the monsoon-wet signboards were gleaming on both the sides of the train, rain water poodles were all over the ground- slum children were playing next to the tracks. Plastic-sheeted hutments with laundries hanging down in vivid unabashed colors showed that the train was approaching a big Junction … She looked in a hand mirror, brushed her long hair, smiled returning love to the mirror. Monica glared at the co-passengers creepily, then looked towards the door….Suitcases were thumped at the exit point; passenger were all set to disembark. 

'Mumbai- here I  come!'--she whispered, sighing happily.

The train stopped at Victoria Terminus. Tumbling and shrieking with other frantic passengers, she got down and surged forward—and came out of one of the legendary gates of Central VT. The hint of the aberrant, the mystery of the unknown ascribed worries to her mind-- however, she controlled herself, and called for a Taxi.

After freshening up in the hotel, she went around church-gate, and walked into a parlor to alter her hairstyle; cut it shorter and with a fringe covering her forehead...rough winds whipping at the fringe thrilled the small-town girl. She closed her eyes, let the breeze wash over her—at twenty, she was so full of possibilities, and so determined to live her own way; she was ripe and ready to be an actress! A glimmer of sky, a lungful of life, a breath of escape…that was all she had dreamt of in this life ….and today everything was at her feet.

In the evening, she attended a cocktail party organized by the Producer, where everybody from the crew to the journalists were present. Her heart was beating faster in asthmatic excitement. Oh, the moment of glory and the fast flutter of her heart eased all the previous  pricks of her conscience. And her feet gently stepped into a celebrity’s alley...

She looked around her and picked up a Bloody-Merry, and walked out to the open-terrace- ran her tongue over the salted rim of the glass and looked skyward, felt the stars falling on her face. She whispered to herself: ' Ah, What a break I got! It's really rare for people to have a successful start-up in this industry like this' ....

Soft music was revolving around her. Her thoughts slowly drifted to the darkness outside. As she stared into the dark, her mind rested on her Mother….love…lullabies…sleep.

Monica paused; and suddenly her face flushed with a color of shame. She had told her mother about the film, but, gave her no hint of the x-rated films---she was too wild to drop everything for money! 

The crowd was getting nastier now--- a group of young people were heavily drunk and were hissing, crawling everywhere. Some wild eyes were lapping at the contours of her body—her mind was awhirl with suspicions, fears…Firm realities seemed artificial; made her uncomfortable.

The phone rang.It was her mother.

She did her best to ignore it. Nine missed calls, ten, eleven…each ring got louder, more insistent. On the twelfth she placed the cell against her ear.

“Hello?”

“Yea.. Ma.”

“I called you to say goodnight, shona.”

“Ma…G’nite ma, can you give me a flying kiss”, she said drily

Mother made a kissing sound.Her fingers tightened.

Arjun, her little brother came on line.

“Didi, are you ok? We’re missing you. Finish your work and come home soon. Ma cried the whole day, yesterday….” The phone disconnected. And Monica was relieved. Tears began to roll down her cheeks. She was now debating whether to inform her mother of her offer-letter clearly.

Monica left the place.

At night, while changing, she looked through the half opened lavatory window of the hotel; saw the blemish free moon ---it looked beautiful on the midnight-blue horizon. She thought how calm, how constant the nature was….a bougainvillea-festooned gate at the bend of the lawn reminded her of her own house-- of her mother, who was a god fearing, clean and a noble soul. Monica had never been a religious person, but she always admired her mother’s connection with Krishna—everyday her mother used to wake up before dawn, bathe, then sit for two or more hours in front of an assembly of tiny idols on her puja table….

The image of her mother gently rocking back and forth in the incense-filled room, counting beads…opened her eyes. She felt a sharp pain in her heart. 

She hicupped, her voice breaking,' Maa, I'm coming home straight away.'

 Her little eyes blinked tearfully. The kind of devotion her mother nurtured day after day, year after year definitely deserved a gentler, wiser closure. Integrity must carry with it a certain pride, it must never hurt the spirit of a mother....






The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Introduced By: Jaish, Participation Count: 11


60 comments:

  1. Gripping narration till the end!! Very nicely told :)

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    1. FiF !! Good to see you after a long time. I am so glad you enjoyed this effort.. Thanks for the visit n comments... :))))
      I must have missed a couple of posts, I am sure..shall be in your space soon.
      Many thanx!

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  2. Reading your stories is always like watching short films! Lovely!

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    1. Deepak...You really made me so happy with that wonderful comment. Thank you!!

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  3. A very absorbing story. I read it in one go. Then re read it . Awesome narrative. Your writings, whether prose or poetry are always fascinating !!

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    1. Usha, Your comment has delighted me completely...A zillion hugs...:)) Coming from you, it means sooo much :)))
      Thanks a lot!

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  4. This was....asolutely...beautiful...
    a mothers call, heard just in time :-)
    All the very best for BAT!

    Best,

    Shreyasi

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    1. Welcome aboard, Shreyashi!! Perfect....! You've got it exactly...!! It gave her the strength to carry on and live the life she was not willing to live....at some point.
      Many thanks. Hope to see you more on these pages...

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  5. Its the values that nurture us that hold us close to life! wonderfully narrated. I love the art with which you narrate human emotions, everyone can relate to, wonder and ponder only to connect again and again!

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    1. Akila...absolutely!!How well you have summarized what I was trying to say...! I feel so pleased... :))) Thanks...

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  6. Wow! great writing with dramatic twists.

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    1. Thank you, Rajesh for the inspiration:)))

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  7. Your narration made me to visualize the story. Hats off..!

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    1. I am so glad you enjoyed reading this story, Ranjana. Appreciation from you means a lot to me :))Thank you.

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  8. An emotional read, with grpping narrative, loved it. Conclusion is very apt!
    Monica took the right decision! :)

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    1. Kislaya!! Good to see you here! Thank you for such a lovely comment... and for coming by... :)))I am absolutely gratified :D

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  9. superb narration! values instilled by the mother are what shapes up their children, and upholding these values is the finest tribute we can pay to our mothers!

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    1. How beautifully you have summarized the whole story, princess...! I feel so pleased... :))) Thanks...and I'll be in your space soon :)
      Many thanks!!!

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  10. Loved it...sometimes...people give up to circumstances and then there is no looking back and as i always believe it's always better to earn less while keeping your integrity and soul intact then selling these off for all the money around...At the end it's not the richness a person is remembered...he/she is remembered for the person he was...the way the story ended made me a lot happier...because if a person withdraws from a path from a brief memory of her mother...no wonder what she could achieve under her guidance...!!!

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    1. Anjan, Perhaps I was influenced by what my readers would make of it... and how much. Perhaps that is the reason I humanized the writeup.....Thanks for that meaningful comment. I appreciate it very much!:))

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  11. Nice story, beautifully crafted.Like your inimitable style that is simply superb.

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    1. Oh, thanks a lot, Eashwar for your visit and feedback. I appreciate it very much.... :))

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  12. Great dilemma well described Panchali!! ..... and the solution you thought out at the end was charming!! I really heaved a sigh of relief or my heart would have been broken if it had to end the other way!!

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    1. Good to have you here, Nanka. I am so happy you enjoyed this. Life is indeed not rosy... not always... not for everyone...I am also happy that I gave it an appropriate ending :)))

      Thanks you for your visit and feedback... :)Hope to see you more on these pages:-)Thanks...

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  13. Very gripping,narrated so beautifully.I could visualize every scene.And the best part is-how a mother's normal,non-interfering daily routine was impactful enough to retrieve Monica from the brink of an abyss.Charming thought Panchali-love you!

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    1. Indu!! As always...you have grasped the point exactly as I wanted it to be grasped... and that makes me feel I did manage to convey my thought.

      Thank you.... glad you liked this... Love you too! Many thanks.

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  14. Loved the twists! Cool post Panchaliji :)

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    1. Thank you, Bushra. I am on cloud nine :D

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  15. Very good narration ! I liked how you ended it. The feeling of relief when you step away from the precipice and thank your stars at not having taken the step !

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    1. Yes... I am very happy that you liked this and I could give the story a decent ending.
      Thank you for dropping in and the feedback... :)))

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  16. A happy ending is what I always love! Even the owls in the corner are nodding their heads in approval! ;)

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    1. awww..Rumya. That is a lovely pair of owl I have on my page. Aren't they gorgeous and cute??? Wonder, why constant nodding doesn't give them headaches...LOL!!
      Glad you enjoyed reading this!

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  17. The sequence of narration is appealing with an appeasing conclusion.

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    1. What a lovely comment...! Thank you so much, Latha.. :))

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  18. Well written... Touched the heart...

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  19. What a narration . Truly engrossed .

    Travel India

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  20. Life isn't always black and white. Very well portrayed, Panchali di!

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    1. Roshni!!! Great having you here after ages!! Thanks a bunch....! I am SO pleased you liked the story...thanks:) This is why … society demands black and white when real life has so many shades...!!
      many thanks♥

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  21. I am speechless, such a gifted writer you are Panchali Ma'am. Your beautiful narration and gripping tale is sure going to linger in my mind for a while now. When are you writing a book? Please do it soon :)

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    1. Awwww...I am what I was always... still aspiring to be a writer. No change there..so have no desire to get published at the moment. I write for pleasure, Arti...and of course, to keep myself ticking .
      Thanks for that fabulous comment...means so much ♥ :))
      Thanks a lot!

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  22. a nyc story with happy ending. nicely written keep writing and visiting

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    1. Delighted to know that you enjoyed, ajnabi. Shall be in your space soon...:) Thanks!!!

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  23. Santa Claus is here and Santa Claus loves the story. :)
    One for all the lovely girls who come this way, eh. Now everybody would want to do what Monica did at the end.

    Very engaging read, Panchali di.

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    1. Yay!! Santa is such a wonderful.. flavorsome friend...!! Good to have Santa back :-D:D
      What a compliment...! Wow...! ... truly proves your kindness towards me!!! Girls...make your best efforts to follow Monica, and makes Moms happyyyyy:)) he he...

      Thanks a lot, Divya!!xoxo

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  24. Wonderful narration indeed.Loved the way you portrayed the inner turmoils of the protagonist. ATB for BAT :)

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    1. You comment has pleased me immensely, Rinaya...!! Thank you :)))

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  25. very well narrated,nice ending

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    1. Thanks for the appreciation, cifar... :)))

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  26. हमेशा की तरह आपकी कहानी जिवंत हो उठी
    चित्र उभरने लगे आँखों के सामने
    बधाई स्वीकारे

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    1. Thanks Shashi, for that wonderful comment :))

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  27. "Smiled returning love to the mirror."........ wonderful expression. :-)

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  28. Nicely told story - as usual :-)

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    1. Thanks aativas...btw, did you participate in BAT39 ?? I think, I missed your story...:(

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  29. very engaging writing style. Nice.
    All the best for BATOM :)

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  30. Congratulations Panchali for winning 2nd position in Blog a Ton

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