Tuesday, December 31, 2013


The year that just went,
A lovely and eventful one,
Both ups and downs,
Complaints are none.

A big family, trip to kerala,
My little one started school,
A super duper vacation,
Its all been so cool.

Started a blog,
A contest I won,
Read a lot,
Started driving again.

Rhymes and fairy tales,
Are swimming in my head,
In company of Parents and grandparents,
Nothing more need be said.

Lovely relations and friends,
Both old and new,
near and far, kept in touch,
Facebook, Thanks to you.

Now, what is new year?
Another passing day?
Another page in the calender?
Why this hype, I say?

What changes in that one day?
Finance, state of things?
People, family, circumstances?
What does it bring?

The change may be in the year and date,
But not in the physical world,
The change is within us,
A change unseen and untold.

A change of heart,
A change of mind,
A new hope,
To life it does bind.

What are resolutions?
But an attempt to change oneself,
In a hope to change things,
Starting with thyself.

To make a difference,
The first step you must take,
Don't wait for the change,
For your own sake.

A new year is about hope, change and new beginnings that "we" initiate.  Here's wishing you all an awesome 2014!!

PS: so sorry about not replying and reading for sometime. explanation in my next post. sorry again.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


She sobbed. He left me and went to her. "Its ok junior" Tara said. "He is Tigger's pup" she told me.

"What happened?" I asked. 

"He got bitten by a stray dog during one of our walks. It was bad. Tigger was quite old by then. Evidently the dog had rabies. It was the worst time of my life. I did not leave the hospital. He suffered a lot. In the end we had to let him go, not let him suffer anymore. It was a painful decision." Tara sniffed."Tigger junior was brought home a pup a few months after that." she said.

I was at a loss for words. We sat without talking for a few minutes. She sat stroking junior's head as he fondly looked at her and whined. 

"You will come to my convocation on Monday, right?" Tara suddenly asked me."You can get a press pass. Please. I would really like that."

"Hmm...Ok. I have to leave tomorrow morning back to Mumbai. But I will be here on time on Monday. That's a promise. " I said.

"Thanks Kavya. I have begun to like your company a lot. I have had a great time the last 2 days," she said.

I, as always, not knowing how to reciprocate, squirmed uncomfortably and said "Me too". She was so direct and honest. 

We went to bed.

Good byes are never my thing. This time it was just tougher. I left with a heavy heart, home made sweets om Meghna, lots of advice from Paati, a hug from Tara, and an open invitation to drop in and stay from Aakaash. Junior stood by and wagged his tail furiously.

Today ,as I stood watching Meghna and Aakaash as the audience applauded Tara on stage, I felt so much a part of the family. I was honored to share this moment with them. A strong and independent daughter. Loving affectionate parents. Amazing grandparents. And a bond of trust,
friendship and commitment that holds them together through the toughest of times. 

We all stood together at the post convocation event for students and parents. There was food everywhere. I wanted to run. Some entertainment by the students was in progress on stage. 

Suddenly, Tara stepped up to the microphone. "Appa Amma, this is for you" 

She said and went on to sing in her lovely voice.

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.
It must have been cold there in my shadow,
to never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that's your way.
You always walked a step behind.

So I was the one with all the glory,
while you were the one with all the strength.
A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.

Did you ever know that you're my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I've got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.

Did you ever know that you're my hero?
You're everything I wish I could be.
I could fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

Did I ever tell you you're my hero?
You're everything, everything I wish I could be.
Oh, and I, I could fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

Oh, the wind beneath my wings.
You, you, you, you are the wind beneath my wings.
Fly, fly, fly away. You let me fly so high.
Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings.
Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings.

Fly, fly, fly high against the sky,
so high I almost touch the sky.
Thank you, thank you,
thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings.

- song by Bette Middler

Everyone stood in stunned silence at her amazing performance before breaking into applause. Tara spoke. "Dreams are today's answers to tomorrow's questions. My parents knew all the answers to the questions my future would pose even before I started walking.'

"Amma and Appa. I know you don't like attention. But please humour me this once." Smiled Tara. "My parents were with me at every step, every juncture, every fall, every achievement, every failure. Not so they can catch me when I fall. Not so they can stop me before I make mistakes. Not so  they can raise me up on their shoulders every time I achieved something. Not to offer a hand to pull me up. But stood behind me to push and cheer me on. To try. Not to give up. To get up. To trust. To believe. To work harder. To make choices. To fail. To try again. To succeed. To be independent."

"What I am today is not what they wanted me to be, but what I chose to be. Therein lies their victory.  Cheering me on at every choice that I made, they have happily accepted my choices. I sometimes think, had I been a normal child, would my parents dreams and hopes be different for me? Nah...not a chance." She smiled.

"I know that I have a been a test for their patience. I know that life had not been easy. But not once have I heard them fight or grumble or complain about how things were. My mom gave up her career for me, she loves to cook. She wanted to have a business of her own. My dad loves to travel. I call it sacrifice. They call it love."

"All my parents want me is to be happy, independent and be a good human being. I truly appreciate that you have given me the most precious and expensive gift... the gift of education. And I assure you that I will not get it go waste. I have made a proposal to my old school(for the blind) and in collaboration with them and whatever help I can get, I plan to make this education available to as many physically challenged children, whose parents cannot afford it for them. Help to the parents in the form of counseling and monetary help to those who deserve it. Resources in the form of books, lab equipment, special training for the teaching staff and much more. This is just a idea in the making. I do have to find a job first." she laughed.

"But I will make it happen.I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, i will not refuse to do something that I can do - Helen Keller."

Meghna and Aakaash stood, looking sheepish. Feeling shy about getting all the attention. And proud of Tara at the same time. I for one decided I was going to do what I can to help her. I had contacts you know. All those years of toiling away from my family, its going to pay.

Flanked on either side by her two best friends, Shabana and Srinivas, Tara pointed to the audience and said, "I see my future clearly. Do you?"

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th - 14th December 2013. Today's prompt is dreams.

Friday, December 13, 2013


The room was all set. The extra mattress had been made into a comfortable bed. Water was left for me on the table. I changed into my pj's and sat down.

"You can sleep on my bed Kavya. I will sleep on the mattress." said Tara, as if reading the fear I had in my mind of sleeping on the floor with my almost "friend" mr.whirlwind. "Thanks Tara", I said, unreasonably agreeing to her, for fear overcame my manners. And I was feeling comfortable with the whole family, especially Tara. She was wonderful company and I missed spending such time with my sister and family as I lived alone.

Tara played music on her computer. I asked her what it was. "Its A.R.Rahman's compositions for the movie "Maryaan"", beamed Tara. I sighed. I seriously never had time for music, let alone for Tamil movies.

As we sat down to talk, Mr.whirlwind trotted by and sat at Tara's feet, as if expecting to be a part of the conversation. "He loves to talk" laughed Tara, reading my mind again. woof!! he said.

I smiled. I was getting used to having him around without that familiar feeling of fear.

"So tell me about everyone" I said.

"Hmm.. where do I start?" Tara mused. "Ok. I will tell you first about all those people who really stood by my parents always. First of course are my grandparents, both paternal and maternal. They are the best. You met one Paati. My thatha(grandfather) did not turn up with her because he does not believe in god and in temples. They have been arguing forever on this topic. Irony is they stay in Madurai, the temple city." she laughed. "My maternal grandparents and really sweet people, hardly talk, but do visit often. They stay in Thanjavur."

"My mom and dad both dont have siblings. So there the only other relations are through my grandparents and they dont live in chennai."

"I do have to tell you about our dear neighbours and well wishers. Cherian uncle and aunty. They have helped mum and dad forever. Aunty taught me all the christmas carols. They cook vegetarian specially for us on christmas, and we have dinner with them every year. They come over on diwali, pongal and every other festival, birthday and anniversary. They are another set of grandparents to me." she smiled fondly.

"My music teacher, Mrs. Kaadambari, My karate instructor, Ramesh sir, my first teacher Alamelu ma'am, she taught me braille as well. My teachers at school and college."

Mr.whirlwind slowly moved towards where I was sitting. I stiffened. But he did nothing.

Tara passed me some chocolate. "I love chocolate. dont you?"

"I do...but I try to cut down on them. I eat too much." I put a piece of chocolate in my mount mentally making a calculation of my calorie intake today.

"My teachers were all very considerate and helpful. But the best thing about school and college are my friends, Shabana and Srinivas. Shabana and I are friends from school. She is the one who accompanies me to college everyday too. Srinivas became friends with us after we joined college. They both are amazing. We do have a whole gang at college, the music team, the choir, but they are special. They have supported and helped me through college."

Through the corner of my eye, I could see he had moved a little closer. His eyes were fixed on me. Or was it my imagination? I could see a tiny wag in his tail.

"MY friend Shabana is the best. I tell her everything. She loves the idea of love. Silly kiddo. Always reading romance and tries to get me to read them too. I heard she dances beautifully. She is in the dramatics club as well. I have attended each and every one of her performances. And she, mine. Her father was the one who found tigger for me. He introduced us to tigger's vet Dr.Padmanaban, who also helped us a lot. He brought home Tigger's trainer, Ganesh Anna(brother)."

"Shabana, Srinivas and I had a great time at college. Our roll numbers were almost next to each other, because it was in alphabetic order. so even during exams we mostly sat behind each other. They came over quite often and I have visited their houses several times too. We have had several "study" sessions, that did not turn out as educational as we expected." she laughed.

"There is one more person who has been with us throughout and still does keep in touch. Mrs.Lalitha, a counselor, who had in the beginning helped my parents."

"All these people form a very important part of my life. Its kind of sounding like a vote of thanks, right?" she smiled.

"More chocolate?" she asked and I denied outright. No more food!!

"Maybe the dentist played an important role in my life too...I have terrible teeth!!" she laughed.

He had now crawled right up to me, and put his head on my knee. I put my hand on his head. He whimpered and wagged his tail furiously.

"He likes you." Said Tara.

"First dog in the history of dogs to like me" I said, and we laughed.

"I don't have to tell you how important my parents are to me. You have heard from them and from me what they have done for me. There are no words that can be used to describe their love for me. They don't expect a single thing from me but for me to be happy."

                                                        Image courtesy
"There is one other person in my life, may not seem to others, but to me he is a person. He has been with me each and every step of my life, literally!! Tigger. Love him to bits. He understands my every mood and used to sit by me whenever I felt down or lacked confidence, as if to reassure me that he is there for me no matter what. He would never leave my side when I fell sick. He was more than just a companion to me. I really dont know how to explain it to you. He protected me vehemently when we stepped out of the house, picked up anything I dropped, opened doors for me, and never left my side for a moment. All this may seem very ordinary to you, but to me his presence was reassuring."

"I was distraught when he passed away 3 years back." she said.

I jerked my hand from the top of Mr.whirlwind's head and shuddered. This was not Tigger??

To be continued...

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th - 14th December 2013. Today's prompt is people.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


It was 4.30 in the evening. Meghna asked, "Amma, what shall I make for tiffen?"

Tiffen? I thought. I have to enrol into a gym the minute I get back. Tara unknowingly came to my rescue.

"Paati, its time for my walk. I dont want tiffen."

"Tara, you are not going out alone. Appa(father) cant go to walk with you today." said Meghna.

"I agree, its not safe. Is almost evening. Meghna's right" said paati.

"appa?" Tara said.

Both Paati and Meghna looked expectantly at Aakaash. "Uh...' he stuttered.

Tara quietly pointed at me. "Kavya can go with Tara. There wont be a problem. Tara knows her way. she has been going there for years now. I think it will be fine. You can go Tara" Aakaash smiled.

Paati grumbled something inaudible and walked into the kitchen followed by a very quiet Meghna.

We got ready to go on the walk. The whirlwind was put on a leash that was held by Tara, along with a white walking stick.

Paati came running. "Tara, do you have money with you, your phone? Don't be too long. Be back before 6.00. Before the evening puja. Its friday, remember?"

                                                                Image courtesy

We rushed out of the house. Tara said, "I thought you might want to know how I move outside the house. How I travel to college everyday. How I go for a walk every evening."

I smiled. I was getting used to Tara figuring out what I Thought. 

As we reached the gate, she said "Turn left"

"I walk with dad every single day. Its our time together everyday. Watch out for that ditch kavya." she said. I had almost stepped into it. I was quite amazed. "I know this route pretty well. And how well our corporation works too. We need to take a right at the small tea stall in the corner. I travel to college every day by bus. My dad used to walk me to the bus stop every day till I got used to the route. I take the same bus every day and the same time. My best friend comes with me every day. The days she does not turn up the regular people at the bus stop help me out with the bus numbers. The driver and conductor know me too. I quite popular don't you think.". she laughed.

Our whirlwind seems very well behaved. He walks with us quietly, not distracted by all the movement and chaos around him. 

"I love the ride. The wind on my face. I hear both familiar and new voices every day. People who take the same bus every day just like me. The sounds of the market as we cross by it. The voices of the vendors selling there wares, women bargaining, school children chattering excitedly as they go to school and the weird smell of damp vegetables."

We reached the park gate. Tara stops. "Here we are. come on in."

And we enter a not very large park but a neatly maintained one nevertheless. There are several people walking already. Few kids playing in the play area and their mothers sitting by on the bench watching them chatting.

"The bus then stops at the junction. When there is a whole lot of car horns going off, I know the signal turned green."she smiles, "We take a right at the junction around the fountain. I can hear the water and feel the bus swerve. We then cross a hospital zone where the no one uses the horn. My college is not very far off fortunately. Its just two stops from the junction."

"Hello, Anand uncle, on time as usual?" Tara asks a gentleman as he crosses us.

"Hi Tara..of course..never missed a day! how are you doing today?" he asks.

"Fine as always, say hi to aunty for me." says Tara and we move on.

I see a bunch of guys with their motorbikes laughing. I feel uncomfortable walking towards 

them. As Tara and I cross them, one of them says, "Hello, ma'am'

Tara says, "oh, hello rahul, you guys were not here for the past few days"

"College tour, just got back, we had an awesome time." Said another.

"That is wonderful..good for you." smiles Tara "Bye guys, got to go"

"Bye', holler for us if you need anything" Rahul says.

"What was that about?" I asked.

Tara laughed, "They used to tease me till I showed them a small demo of the karate I knew"

We both laughed. We passed by the play area. "Hi Tara' Called one of the ladies sitting on the bench. We walked over and all the children came over to pet mr.whirlwind. And to my surprise he was quite the gentleman. Tara let him off the leash and play with the children. 

We sat down.

"I have not traveled out of town much. Paati once did take us to Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple. It was a wonderful experience. The station, the train, the ride to my paati's house, and the Temple itself was just amazing"

"The aura in a Temple is second to none. Its simply divine. The chant of the mantras. The smell of camphor, fresh flowers and holy ash. The feel the granite as we walk around the temple. The heat that it radiates. The taste of the prasad. The only thing I did feel bad about was that I could not take tigger inside the temple. I felt an elephant for the first time at that temple. It was exactly the same feeling you had when you touched him yesterday" she laughed as the whirlwind ran back to Tara, put his head on her knee wagging his tail furiously. 

She takes a bowl out of her bag, puts it down, opens a water bottle, felt and put a finger in the bowl while pouring out the water so she knows when to stop. He laps up the water urgently and Tara gives him a few biscuits. She then packs the bowl and bottle in a plastic cover before putting it back in the bag. The then uses a sanitiser on her hands. I am impressed.

"Lets go, Paati panics perpetually, poor paati." she sniggered, making fun of me.

I laughed. We walk back home after a number of good byes. We laugh and talk all the way back. As puja gets over, I request to go back to my hotel room.

"Not a chance. you cannot leave on a friday. That too at evening after the lamp is lit in the house." said paati vehemently.

After much discussion and bargaining, it was decided that Aakaash would drive me to the hotel to pick up my stuff. 

We were back right in time for dinner. I sigh. Paati is worse than Meghna. I overeat. We then sit down for a game of anthakshari. I had a beautiful time. Paati was brilliant with songs of yester years while Tara seemed to know songs from several languages. Time passed easily and it was time for bed. There was some confusion about the sleeping arrangements and I offered to sleep in the hall so Paati can sleep in the room I used.

"Amma, Kavya can sleep with me. It will be fun. We can listen to music. We can talk all night Kavya. I will tell you all about school and college. About all my friends and everyone. It will be like a sleepover. We'll have great fun." Said Tara.

"That is a good idea. Let me get out the spare matress."said Aakaash.

I sat down dreading the idea of sleeping in the same room as him. He was watching me as always. This time his tail wagging.

To be continued....

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th - 14th December 2013. Today's prompt is travel.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Lunch. My life has become all about food. I stuff myself as usual. We watch the news as we eat. This is the first time since I came here, the television was turned on. 

As we listened Meghna said,"It really scares me to watch the news these days. There is always some news about kidnapping, rape or likewise. Its just not safe for girls these days."

"Amma", Tara said, "It does not matter if you are a girl or a boy to be kidnapped. Human trafficking does not know gender. Only the purpose is different."

"Whatever you say, I cant just sit coolly while you go out on your own sometimes. It scares me to no end." Meghna said.

Tara smiled. "Kavya, amma is always concered about me going out alone. But I think they have prepared me well enough for it. First I have him with me, (i heard a low woof!) second, I learnt karate..and then.."

"You know karate?" I asked, interupting her, totally in awe.

"Yes. I learnt it solely for the purpose of self defence. And I never go out alone. My best friends are always with me." said Tara.

"I am still not convinced" Meghna grumbled.

"Was it tough to learn?" I asked her.

Tara smiled. "Nothing is tough if you set your heart to it. My parents taught me that. I work with sounds and rhythm. I use the sounds around me and how they resonate, to estimate distances and presence of objects in my path. The same goes for defense, in predicting moves based on sounds. And everything has a rhythm. Listen to amma's foot steps. There is a specific rhythm to it. To her chopping vegetables. The dripping water from the tap. The carpenter hammering a nail. The mailman running at the sight of Tigger..ha ha.."

"So how did it all start? How did you learn to do all that?" I asked.

"I could not possibly learn rhythm, without knowing music. My parents played loads of music when I was a baby. Taught me to identify places with sounds. Check this out. My dad used to sit and play with me in the sandbox outside. The left the windows open and my mom always played that radio in the kitchen, next to the service area, so I could know in which direction the house was. From within the house, I can find the dining area from the sounds of the wind chimes at the window. The puja room plays my favourite chants all the time, if not, the lovely fragrance of the flowers, camphor and insence sticks help me."

Meghna stopped her and continued, "Tara hated toys that make noise. So we bought her toys that played soft music and left them around the house so she would move and find them. And she did. That's the way we got her to explore the house. But the best was when Tigger turned up. We put bells around his neck. But he ran all over the place and it was very confusing." 

Tara laughed at the thought. "I have a big collection of music. I prefer soft music to hard rock and jazz. I learnt carnatic music and trained in Hindustani vocals as well. I was in my school and college music team and choir. I made so many friends there. It was so much fun."

"All that said, I feel the safest when Tigger is around me. I have never been without him. Except at school and college hours. But he is trained to help me. Only after training did he become a little obedient." Smiled Tara.

                                                    Image courtesy

"You mean he became probably 1% better than the mischief maker he was", Said Meghna and we all laughed together. I saw a tail wag. 

"How is it he reacts to your every statement? Its just amazing. Its as if he knows what you are thinking." I tell Tara.

"He does assess my moods beautifully. You should get used to him. come here. You can start by petting him." She called.

I froze. "That's a dangerous and disasterous proposition" I said.

"Dogs are like A.R.Rahman's music. You have no idea when you first listen to the song. It sound vague and confusing and not too great. But the more number of times you listen to his music, it grows on you and never goes away. It stays in your heart forever." She said, I could sense the passion for music and her love for Tigger in her voice.

I moved over and sat next to..rather close to Tara. She called him over. He jumped up excitedly and ran around a few times before he sat at Tara's feet. Why can't he just walk over. I thought. I was shaking now. My heart rate increased and I was sweating. Am I going into cardiac arrest?

Tara put her hand on mine. She picked it up and placed it slowly on his head. It was soft. He looked into my eyes. I was focused on my hand. I patted his head a few times and slowly removed my hand. Looked like he loved it. He put his head on my knee. I pet him again. Not bad kavya...I thought. And the door bell rang. He barked, jumped up and ran to the door. I was definitely going into cardiac arrest the next time that happens.

"Stop him!!" I heard a new voice.

"Amma, he won't do anything. He is just excited to see you." I hear Aakaash's voice.

"Paati(grandmother), come here, i want you to meet someone." Called Tara.

Tara's grandmother walks in and hugs her. I stand up. "This is kavya, the journalist who is writing a story about me Paati" says Tara.

"Namaste" I say folding my hands and touch her feet.

"See, there is a good girl. Tara I have taught you to say vanakkam(namaste in tamil) so many times. You never do it. And why have you let your hair loose? Its Friday. Its not good for the house. Meghna, why cant you tell her?" Paati said.

I sat down and watched fondly as the family sat down together and talked. I have to talk to Paati too. I thought. Evidently she was back from a pilgrimage of all south Indian temples and was explaining each visit as she handed over small packets of vibuthi(holy ash) to Meghna. 

As I sat there, I wondered, had Tara ever Traveled? How would that experience be for her? I would have to ask her that next. 

I just then felt a soft head on my knee. I smiled as i gingerly put my hand on his head.

To be continued....

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th - 14th December 2013. Today's prompt is music.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I woke up to the lovely chant of the Suprabhatham, in the voice of the everygreen M.S.Subbalakshmi, as I wondered where I was. Surprisingly, I slept really well and peacefully after a long time, I may add. 

woof! woof!

I was fully alert now. Knew exactly where I was. As I felt that familiar feeling of fear, I noticed that fresh clothes, a towel and new toiletaries have been laid out for me. I smiled at Meghana's thoughtfulness.

Breakfast was lovely, both food and the company. Tara left for her room after breakfast followed by that same whirlwind. 

"Does she always stay in her room and keep to herself?" I asked.

"No no, she is working on her speech for Monday." said Meghana as she begun to clear out the table. I got up to help. 

As I helped her with the dishes, I asked, "So what happened when you brought Tigger home?"

"Chaos" laughed Meghana.

Aakaash laughed at the thought too. He said, "Oh yes, I remember vividly those first few days, All we hear was screaming, barking, screaming, whining, crying, barking in different order. Tara was petified of the soft moving object that was as curious about her as she was about it. Then all calmed down slowly. She got used to having him around. She loved it when he tried to cuddle up next to her. One fine day we found them sound asleep next to each other. Tara had her hand protectively over him. It was a sight we could never forget."

"They became inseperable, except when she had to attend school. He became quite a menace when she was not around. So we called in a trainer."

                                                                      Image courtesy

"Why the name "Tigger"?" I asked.

"This was one bouncy dog..you should have seen him. All he did was jump up and down on everything he could climb on. It was really funny, actually..hence the name." said Aakaash.

As we moved to the hall, I asked "You have quite a collection of books in your living room. I see an amazing variety of subjects too. How does Tara...?" I let the question trail, not knowing how to continue.

Meghna came to my rescue,"We read out to her as a kid. As she begun regular school, she learnt braille. We got her a braille typewriter. And as years passed more and more audio book were available. It started out as CD's and now we can download books through several sources online. Tara loves books. She would keep asking us to read story books over and over."

She paused and thought for a minute...Interrupting her thoughts, I asked,"may I go up to her room?"

"Ofcourse you may...the first door on the right, upstairs." said Meghana.

"upstairs?" I asked.

"She thinks we fuss over her too much when she had her room downstairs. She believes that Meghna will not be able to climb the stairs too many times. She underestimates the power of a concerned mother." Aakaash says, grinning. Meghana gives him a friendly jab in the rib.

I smile and walk upstairs. 

I reach the door and knock. "Come in" Says Tara.

As I step in she says, "Hi kavya, welcome to my room" and smiles.

"How did you know it was me?" I ask.

"Well, My mom never knocks, my dad stomps up the stairs...can't miss that, and this fellow never leaves me, so that leaves you." says Tara.

I smile and look around. Unlike any 20 year old's room, there are no pictures of movie stars, rock stars or sachin tendulkar. surprisingly well lit, the room is simple. A bed at the far end of the room, A computer on a desk that is lined against the wall, next to which is a typewriter. There are several shelves on walls that are filled with Cd's. I step a little closer to see what CD's they are, wary of black beady eyes watching my every move. There was something different in the way they were labelled. As I took a closer look..I realized they were labelled in Braille!!! wow! 

"so, what do you like to read" asked Tara.

I turned around surprised. I was going to ask the questions. I nervously sat on the corner of the bed. "A bit of this and that. Though getting time is tough, I try, as I travel..." I said.

Tara chuckled.

"What?" I asked.

"You dont have to be nervous. He won't do anything to you. He is a really sweet dog. Why are you terrified of him?" Tara said.

"Is it that obvious? its a complicated culmination of catastrophic events created by one creepy canine" I said.

"HA HA HA..."Tara burst out laughing. "To me he is that particularly precious pet and person on this planet, who is precious, playful and passionate. HA HA HA"

                                                          Image courtesy

"Perfect" I sighed. And we both laughed.

"On a more serious note" Tara said, "He loves me unconditionally. I don't know what I would do without him. I am really thankful my parents brought him into my life." As if he knew she was talking about him, he walked over and put his head on her knee. I cringed.

"Ok..ok..let's not talk about that. Let me tell you about what I love. Even before I could understand anything, my parents read out books to me. I grew up on stories and the life my parents gave the stories through their voices. To me books are like a source of not only information but my personal link to the entire universe. I love to listen to audio books, any that I can lay my virtual hands on. I love mystery, medical thrillers, courtroom novels, horror, autobiographies, self help books and books on general knowledge too. I love quizzing. Was on the school and college quiz team." She beamed. "Somehow i was never drawn to romantic stuff. My best friend loves reading such stuff and always tries to dump such books on me." She says affectionately.

As always, time passed easily. It was almost lunch time. The clock struck one. Tara said, 

"one ...two...three...and viola"...

I heard Meghna's voice from below. TARA...KAVYA...come down for lunch. Tara grinned and said, "Better get down immediately. She is tougher to handle than him."

We walked down together laughing, as the whirlwind brushed past my leg. I held my breath, put one hand on Tara's shoulder and as I walked down I felt so much a part of the family.

This is the best assignment I ever had.

To be continued...

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th - 14th December 2013. Today's prompt is books.