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In The Lap Of Chail – 7


A fortnight had passed since Kaisha arrived. Beeji’s life had changed and so had Kaisha’s. Kaisha had settled down at Chail. She woke up to the vande mataram on All India Radio on Beeji’s radio that was ages old. Every morning she set out into the deodar and pine forests and the tapered and hilly streets of Chail to capture life at its best.

On her return she would water the rhododendrons, the bougainvillea and the china roses with Beeji. She was now used to the exclusive heavy breakfast of varied parathas made by Beeji which she relished with white butter or makkhan as Beeji called it. Before lunch she took cooking lessons from Beeji as her abstinence from the kitchen was caught by Beeji.

They spent the afternoons basking in the sun on the terrace where Kaisha showed Beeji her daily photography. The pre evening time was spent at the supermarket or with Beeji showing Kaisha to make best out of waste or at Rani Devi’s ashram, Beeji’s spiritual guru. At dusk they sipped tea from the large porcelain cups that they had painted and watched the stereotyped soap operas.

With the fall of the night they had dinner and Kaisha didn’t find eating early unusual anymore. After dinner Beeji narrated one of her several amusing tales and almost every day they slept late into the night listening to K.L.Sehgal on the records.

A month and a half swept away on the sands of time. Kaisha had yet not returned to Delhi though she had returned back to her childhood and this time she had a grandmother there to shower all her love. Kaisha had to go back to Delhi to appear for her final exams.

Beeji’s health was on a decline and Kaisha didn’t want to leave. Beeji assured her that she would be fine and that she would wait for her. The night before Kaisha was to leave she saw Beeji writing into her diary. Beeji had been writing into it all the events in her life. “Beeji your diary can be made into a documentary. It is a bundle of enchantment!” said Kaisha as she packed her clothes into the suitcase.

“You want to take it?” asked Beeji. “Do you plan to give it to someone else?” smacked Kaisha. As morning dawned Kaisha stood at the porch, hugging Beeji tightly and absorbing the warmness of Beeji’s love. “I am leaving Beeji.

But I promise I will be back soon”, sobbed Kaisha. “Kashu dear never say that you are leaving. Oh! It’s a matter of a few days right? I will wait for you sweetheart”, said Beeji. Kaisha kept looking out of the window till the car drove off far and Beeji’s figure faded into a silhouette.

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