People and their lives

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

I have decided. Today is the day. I shall definitely give it to Sir today. It has been a week now. And I have not been able to do it. Now, Why?! It ain’t a crime. I have not plotted a plan to blow up the building or anything…!

Today is the day. I shall definitely give it to Sir today. Okay now wake up, its five.

Waking early was a habit I gathered long ago. Today there isn’t pretty much to be done, waking this early. Sharada passed away eleven years ago. Our daughters are both happily married in their own homes. And I am here, all by myself. Those days it was a joy to wake with Sharada, and give her a hand at her chores. Those days when our little daughters were growing up, going to school, lerning to read and write. I sent them to school. It was difficult, but I believed that is what my life was meant for. My daughters should bloom into well read young women. Sharada had never seen the steps to a school. I could study only until the third form. But our daughters are going to college. They will, I had decided the day they were born.

I used to be the better cook at home. I still remember the face of young Lakshmi as she licked her fingers after a hearty breakfast of Idli soaked in the Sambhar I had prepared. She would say, ‘Yumm! Acha! You cook so well! Amma, learn from him!”. Sharada would smirk.
Those were days! Now, when on a holiday, the silence in the house gets depressing, I wish Sharada was alive. The clutter she made of utensils in the kitchen. I used to scold her for the nuisance she caused. But today, as I long for the buzz of a honey bee to break the quiescence, the memories of that nuisance play a melodious symphony in the depths of my heart.Sharada used to be very fond of the radio. The radio station started their programmes at six in the morning. It was a pleasure to watch Sharada restlessly wait for an hour for six ‘o clock to come. She never said anything, but I always knew. She would go about, sweeping the floors, cutting vegetables, cleaning raw rice checking the time every now and then. Never did she sigh at the time that went so slow. Maybe it never did with her, because she couldn’t afford to sit simply until six. She was always at work.

At 5.55 AM, she would leave whatever she is doing, wipe her palms at the tip of her saree pallu and switch on the radio. She would then wait for the last minute to pass. She would wait for that voice to say, ” Akashavani Kozhikkode, 684 KHz lekku swagatham”, meaning, Welcome to Akashavani Kozhikkode. And I would wait for the sight of her face brightening as and when she hears those words. At that point, my pride knew no bounds.

Today we have FM channels. Apart from Akashvani’s FM channel, there are two other FM channels. FM channels have an amazing clarity. But I have always stuck to the AM channel of Akashvani. I find it difficult to understand the music they play in those FM channels. They are too fast, too loud for people like me. It doesn’t feel like music at all. Sometimes the singer just speaks the lines, and I wonder, is it over? Have we finished all the different combinations of the seven music notes that we have no other go but speak those words as they are? And what words.. that have no meaning too. Music, for me, is the soft, melodious light songs on the radio. Meaningful words strung together, explaining feelings anyone can understand, I can understand, and I can relate to. Had she been here, would Sharada ever approve of the music in the FM channel? Or would she broad mindedly embrace and sink into the modern era of music? Who knows? I know I can never ditch the radio station that gives me my food, that has enabled me to educate my daughters and send them to good homes.

Today is the day. I must definitely give it to sir today. I need to find an envelope now. Maybe I’ll get it from Raviettan.

***********************

Tring, tring… “Hello…….yes sir….um, biscuits only, other snacks are over. Okay.”
“Krishnankutty, two cups of tea and two biscuits to room 303”

Room 303? I must give it to Sir today. “Ravietta, can you give me a brown cover?”

“Brown cover? Let me check. Here Krishnankutty take this.”

“Thank you Sir”.

Two cups of tea? Sir must be having some guest; will it be alright if I give it now?

Knock knock.

Mmmm.. A young girl is sitting at the table opposite Sir. She looks a lot like Sir. She surely is his daughter. She is writing something at the table. Sir has turned down the radio volume , maybe because she is studying and he doesn’t want to disturb.
I extend the tray in my hand, with the cups of tea and biscuits.

“Sir, Tea.”

“Ahh yes. There, you take it. Give the biscuits to her.”

The girl smiles lightly as she takes the tea and biscuits from me. I keep the empty tray on a stack of files and registers on Sir’s table. I put my hand into my pant’s left pocket, fetch the brown cover and give it to Sir.

The girl looks up from her tea and whatever work she is doing.

“What is this Krishnankutty?”
“Its a song sir, I wrote it. Sir, you must please read it.”
“Ah shall read it.”

And he puts the cover under the open file in front of him, with a smile. The girl smiles too.

I have heard them reading out the names of the composers of the song before it is played on the radio. I don’t know if Ashok Sir will like my poem and give it to a music director to make it into a real melodious song. I don’t know if the song will once be played through the radio and the entire city will smile listening to it. I don’t know if I will hear my own name spoken through Sharada’s favourite radio.

But I know one thing for sure. You read this story because the young girl was stirred by the tea server at the radio station who dreamt of hearing his own song being played on the radio. And wrote about him.

 

Image: Saving pages for ages #radio;

Smeet Soni (https://instagram.com/inthemoment0106)

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