REVATHI BHASKER

Drama Others

4  

REVATHI BHASKER

Drama Others

The Solace

The Solace

5 mins
379


Since morning Srimati's head seemed to spin. She could not sleep the previous night ever since she came to know that a new residential community would soon be coming up on the large plot of land which had hitherto been deserted. The plot was bang opposite her house and the developer had laid a road to the new site which passed through their colony. For more than a decade, the plot could not be sold as there were technical glitches in its title. Nobody had any hopes that dwellings could come up since it was very difficult, if not impossible to acquire the land legally.

Apparently, the present owner was quite influential as he had made POSSIBLE the IMPOSSIBLE. Just a few days back Srimati had seen a couple of JCBs working on the huge plot and today plots had been demarcated and an office set up to handle enquiries and bookings. The average size of the plot was between 1.5 to 2 cents, which created tension in everyone’s mind.

The plot was adjoining a village and it was taken for granted that as the plots were very small, people from the economically weaker sections were very likely to buy the land and construct their houses on it. Srimati’s peace was disturbed hearing this and her imagination ran wild. She started ranting that she would now have to face drunken brawls every night with the wife being bullied and the husband screaming and  children stricken with fear. There could also be pocket pickers in this group and one would have to be more than cautious to prevent any unpleasant episodes. So far Srimati and other residents lived a secured comfortable life free from any worries, but now they would have to put up with noise,  vehicular traffic, family squabbles, dogs and cats straying into their community, children with running noses running about unattended…. Srimati could vividly imagine what would happen in a few months’ time once the community came up.

Before it would come into existence, they would have to put up with all kinds of pollution when the construction work would start. She even contemplated moving elsewhere to overcome this hurdle. As days passed by, the hopelessness of the situation sunk in. Nobody can ever stop any kind of development and the residential complex coming nearby was just one of them. To escape from this scenario, Srimati booked her tickets to Singapore to spend some time with her sister, hoping that by the time she returned, some change for the better would have taken place.

When she returned home after six months, she found the whole place had changed. The road leading to her home was no more a distinct broad main road, but had become a forked road with the main road opposite her house. To her consternation, she found that the first row of houses were ready and at least half of them had been occupied. Just as she had imagined, she saw some kids with running noses running around, pulling up their slipping shorts and bawling away to glory. The cackling of geese and crowing of cocks provided the background music.

The serene and calm had been disturbed. She popped in a tablet of paracetamol after a light supper and went to bed. She tried her best to forget that she had new neighbours, but in vain. In the middle of the night, she woke up panic-stricken. Where was her handbag? She tried to recollect. It did not definitely remain in the taxi because she had paid the fare from the clutch purse which was in that handbag. She remembered that while her suitcases were being unloaded, she had kept it on the sit-out in the verandah. She unlocked the main door and switching on the lights started searching for the handbag which was her life-line! It contained all her debit and credit cards, driving licence, Aadhaar, PAN and all identity cards. More importantly, the bag had her mobile! She had intended to note down all the numbers in a notebook so that if a need arose, she would be able to refer to it in an emergency, but kept postponing it and now she had landed up in a soup! Though it was well past midnight, the opposite house lady was washing the dishes outside and she asked Srimati what the matter was and if she could help her. 

In her frustration, Srimati rattled a number of abuses blaming the newcomers for having stolen her bag. The lady realised that this was not the time to ask her anything, because she was stressed as well as in a very foul mood. She had also finished washing the vessels and was about to go inside when she heard a big thud. Srimati had slipped off the ramp and fallen with her head hitting the iron gate. Durga (that was her name) hurriedly called out to her husband and both of them tried to make her sit up and drink some water. In the meanwhile, somebody had also called for an ambulance and a few neighbours of Srimati came forward to help.

Durga accompanied Srimati and stayed by her side in the hospital. Fortunately, the injury did not require any stitches and she was discharged early the next morning. Durga was with Srimati throughout and on reaching home, took her inside and made her comfortable on the bed. As she pulled the comforter to tuck her properly, she felt that something was preventing her. She ran her hand over the comforter and realised that it must probably be the bag Srimati had thought was lost. She held it out in front of Srimati and asked her whether this was the bag she was searching for.

At once, Srimati realised her blunder. She had brought the bag inside and kept it on the bed and had unnecessarily created a ruckus. She profusely apologised to Durga, who brushed it aside and asked her to take care of herself.

Durga left, but not without creating a change in Srinidhi’s heart. What she thought would be a nuisance, turned out to be her solace. Since then, you guessed it - Durga and Srinidhi bonded very well and both enjoyed each other's company.  It was not uncommon to see Srimati help Durga's children with their school work and Durga, on her part would treat her to all the new recipes she tried.  


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