Bards Of the Blogosphere: Chapter 2 - The Weekend Brunch. #Celebrateblogging

Please Note: This is the second chapter in the "Game of Blogs" for the team "Bards of the Blogosphere." #CelebrateBlogging

Read the previous part of the story here

As the phone rang Tara looked at it and let out a sigh of exasperation. It was a busy day at the office with news flying like paper rockets, zooming from one corner to another, made by the people and hitting people. There were the usual scams, murders, rapes and the news of a minister's death. Tara sometimes; in her lonely wantonness, thought what was wrong with the world but then the face of Shekhar flashed in front of her and she smiled subconsciously and felt that all was well with this world. She remembered Roohi growing up in the posh flat of Nariman point and she remembered her childhood in the lanes of Hedua, Kolkata where the colonial charm refused to fade away and the love of "Ma" along with "Parar Mashimar" (Neighbourhood Aunt) increased every year. She sighed and remembered bargaining on the footpaths of Hatibagan for the 'kurta' she just wanted to have to flaunt at her alma mater, Bethune College.

"Hey Tara! It's Jennifer. How are you doing and how is your princess?" As Tara picked up the phone this was the first thing she heard. A clear, confident voice of a lady and Tara could not recognize her. She was in her office and being the workaholic she was she was it was probable that she would not  be able to tell her own name if someone asked her while she was working.

"Sorry, who is this?" said Tara, giving up the attempt to recollect.

"Hey it's me Jennifer. The lady who photographed you and your family at the aannual function the last week, remember?" continued Jennifer with the same enthusiasm. The fact that Tara had not recognized her did not act as a deterrent to her zeal.

"Oh! So, sorry Jennifer! I was so tied up in office work that I couldn't recognize you." said Tara, in earnest.

"It's OK. It happens. In fact I, myself should be sorry for disturbing you. Anyway, cutting a  long conversation short, your photos have come out amazingly. They are so life like. True, happiness and love shows. I would love to share the photographs with you people. So, if you are OK with it I can either mail the soft copies to you or can courier the hard copies, if you provide me with the address."

"Why dear, that's so sweet of you! You don't have to do either of the two. You can join us for a weekend brunch on this Saturday, if your schedule permits you; at our place or any place of your preference and do bring your daughter along with you."

"That's a wonderful gesture Tara, but then,  I do not want to trouble you people on a weekend where you intend to spend some quality time with your family."

"Please, Jennifer, trust me, it will be our pleasure to be your host and my two kids are quiet a handful so, you, my dear, will be a welcome infusion in our weekend brunch ritual." Tara said, with a tender laugh.

“Tara , wow! you have another kid? Great! How old is....Oh, I got it...your husband."
And they both had a short laugh before hanging up and fixing the Saturday meet.

"Good job Jennifer, Decent first impression on the lady of the house." said Jennifer to herself and smiled after she hung up.

Later that day Shekhar called up Jennifer and gave her, a formal invitation for the 'Saturday Brunch' as the 'Man of the House'. It was a ritual in their little household all those who came as guests were always doubly invited.

That Saturday, Jennifer reached to the Duttas' resident. Dressed in a casual jeans and kurta with her trademark beads as neck-piece and armlets. and holding a basket of chocolates. It was 11 a.m. on a relatively laid back Saturday breathing easy in this Ciy of Speed.

Mr. Dutta opened the door he was wearing his crisp white cotton kurta, he brought when he last visited Kolkata and a pair of blue jeans, this was an exception from his T-Shirt and Track Suit routine. Tara met her in the drawing room, wearing a parrot green kurta with beautiful Lucknow Chikon embroidery and white churidar. Jennifer rushed to her and touched the corner of the kurta to feel its texture.

"Beautiful embroidery! Where did you buy this from?"
"From a sale in North Kolkata." said Tara taking pride at her bargaining skills while stealing glances with Shekhar who started to whistle turning his face sideways and looking at the joint of the wall and ceiling.

"North Kolkata Raiders..." said Shekhar as if singing a song.

"South Kolkata Oh-I-am-so-trendy-at-Gariahat intellectuals." said Tara in her best mocking avatar.

"What's all this?" enquired Jennifer half laughing, half confused.

“Don’t worry Aunty it is a regular thing over here. You come in and see my car collection." chimed in Roohi while running towards Jennifer and pulling her by hand to take her to her room.

"Wait, Princess, look Aunty has brought something for you." Jennifer said as she put forth the basket of chocolate.

Roohi was about to pounce on it when Jennifer removed it from her reach.

"Roohi will get the chocolates only if she says sorry to Mamma and Papa for speaking in between." said Jennifer playfully.

Roohi turned to her parents and said "Sorry Ma. Sorry Pa" bowing each time as a ballerina.

"She is such a drama Queen!" said Tara in an apologetic but motherly tone.
"This part of her is completely your gene." said Shekhar.
Tara glowered at her and Shekhar glowered back which made Tara giggle.

“What was the need for the basket of chocolates” said Tara earnestly.

“Oh yes, it was such a trouble to bring it and I am so hungry because of it. So, where is the brunch? I can only smell delicacies and can’t see them.” said Jennifer in good humour giving the basket to Roohi.

“Oh please do come in, I must say my wife is an excellent cook, my choice afterall.” said Shekhar preparing himself for a tender punch on his arm which lands right at the spot.

“So, how did you two meet?” asked Jennifer while sitting at the chair.

“Well Her Highness was bargaining at this footpath in Hatibagan, Kolkata and I was there just chilling with my college mates from St. Xaviers and when she turned we bumped into each other and my glasses fell and broke. She apologized and promised me to pay for my loss but I said it can be compensated only by a cup of coffee at the Coffee House in Kolkata. She said that is not possible as she studies in Bethune and then she just walked away with her friends, giggling.”

“Nice, what happened then?”

“Nothing, I just bunked my classes and roamed in front of her college for two weeks and on Friday she comes to me and asks me whether the attendance is compulsory in my college or not to which I say yes and she scolds me saying then do not bunk classes like a fool and stop waiting for her here, instead tells me to be there at 3 pm on Saturday at the Coffee House.”

“Then, what happened?” Jennifer leaned forward placing her elbow at the dining table and her palm resting at her cheeks with curiosity in her eyes.

“Then, my friend. all is history, and I am the prisoner….oh no pinching please!” said Shekhar moving sideways to save himself from the expected assault.

“What about you Jennifer? Where is your Princess, you could have brought her here.” said Tara.

“My Princess, well, she got into a boarding school in Shimla. We were trying it for her from the beginning of the session. We had given all hope of her admission there, but then, the second list came out last Monday and she got selected. I left her there last Tuesday and came back on Wednesday because I had some projects over here. My husband stays in the Middle East and I, being a photographer roam around the country. So, we took the decision to put her into boarding.
My husband and I were childhood friends and all in the family knew that we would marry one day.” Jennifer grabs her back pack and fishes out the photographs. She has a photograph framed in black ebony. "Here you go! Moments captured in the lens!"

“Oh, this is precious! Thank you, so, much!” said Tara squeezing Jennifer’s hands softly with tears in her eyes.

It was 7 p.m. when Jennifer finally left.

“I told you she is a nice lady Mr. Snob.” Said Tara to Shekhar who was doing the dishes.
“A genius can be wrong sometimes.” Shekhar winked.

“Yes, whatever.” Tara rolled her eyes as she dried the plates with a towel.

“So, Jennifer ebony always does the trick...” thought Jennifer entering  the dark room where she lived.

She switches on the light and fishes out another bigger back pack. She closes all the doors and windows tightly.
“Enough of fooling around and now, we get back to work.” Jenny says as she sits, takes out her camera and tripod and the lenses and puts them in the back pack. She hurries out of the room, locking it, leaving the lights on, rushes on the road hails a cab and gets in,  “To the railway station.”

On reaching at the station she buys an unreserved railway ticket. “My ticket to stay anonymous, no reservations made, no names flashed...” she thinks as she rushes towards the platform.  

Read the next part of the story here


Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us.


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