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Life's mysteries (Chapter 9)
They did not talk much after that but their eyes reflected a thousand emotions. There were a series of events and actions – Rewind, Fast Forward, Pause and finally a Stop. This conveyed the intended message. From now onwards Shekhar decided that he would get back to writing and come what may, he said to himself, “I will not stop till I reach the goal”.
Shekar had recovered very well from the accident. Being discharged from the hospital, the family started their journey straight back home. Kochi would have to wait. Tara and Shekhar along with Roohi had boarded a train back to their beloved metro city, Mumbai. Their small apartment back in the quaint colony at the heart of the city was calling them.
As their old yellow taxi inched through the chock-a-block traffic, innocent little Roohi sat cuddled besides her father, looking out of the window. The taxi screeched to a halt at yet another signal and Roohi watched the sight rolling past her slow down and come to a stop too. The pleasant evening sunset had sent a pink hue through the skyline. The familiar sight of dirty, crowded roads and bus stops, shops,etc, for once, seemed welcoming to her.
When their taxi arrived at their small building apartment, neighbours flooded towards them, sending a volley of questions towards them. Tara and Shekhar somehow managed to alight from the cab, unload their luggage and simultaneously answered some of the questions. Pushing and shoving through the crowd they managed to reach their home.
Shekhar was too tired to even try and figure out what was happening around them. Tara held Roohi close to herself and cried her eyes out. After she had calmed down, Roohi quietly started assisting her with clearing the mess they had left behind while leaving for their Kochi holiday.
The bubbly,pony tailed Roohi within no time was back to living her old life, as if nothing had happened over the last couple of days. She, in fact, was unaware about what her parents were going through.
Roohi picked up the remote to surf her favourite cartoon channel and she spotted a cookery channel. She stopped by it and started watching the show. To her surprise it was a "Kid's Cooking series" where the Chef taught little ones to make quick and easy recipes with bread. A thought suddenly struck her and she ran to the fridge. She hunted for the ingredients and shouted ," Mama ,is there any bread at home?".
Tara replied," No baby, I'm yet to stock grocery and other eatables ".
Roohi then quickly ran in to kitchen pantry to check for something she could find there. Luckily she found a few packets of her favorite instant noodles which her father made for her, to calm her sudden food cravings when her Mama was out. She took them out and broke them into pieces, as she'd seen Papa do. She added it to a big dish, poured water and masala from the packets given in it. She put it on the flame and waited for it to be done, thinking her parents would be so happy. Suddenly there was a scream from her parents’ room.
What could it be?
Roohi rushed towards the source of the screaming. It was Shekhar sitting with his laptop. He was smiling but his eyes had tears. He drew Roohi, who was still shocked at her Papa's behaviour, in his arms. He was excited. Words were not coming out of his mouth.
“Let me show you something” he said to them.
It was mail from a renowned publisher, congratulating him for his collection of writing they had selected to publish.
Shekhar could not believe his own eyes and screamed with utter joy. Tara who was busy in the other room heard the cry and came rushing as she was worried that something might have happened to her husband. Then she had found out that it was not the cry for help but the cry of joy.
They all were happy. But life had still not opened all its cards. Life is unpredictable. Just when one starts to believe everything's fine now, there comes a new twist. The Duttas didn't know that their miseries were still not over. Some shocking revelations were still to come, which would be more painful, more devastating, more shocking than they'd experienced still now.
Cyrus had also been discharged from the hospital. Jenny took him to Bangalore. They had developed a bond, a strange one. They were together. But why they didn't know. But they would know it soon. Let us wait for life to reveal its layers.
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