TWO INDIAN LOVE BIRDS BY ROMMEL FERNANDESDisclaimerThis is a work of fiction and any resemblance to events or actual people – living or dead– is purely coincidental.
DedicationToMy Grandma Florina who is now in heavenFor teaching me what selfless love is through the life that she livedRomance after marriageSamuel and Sandra finally get married. Her folks are strong Pentecostals (people whodance in church and speak in tongues) and his attend a Brethren Assembly (a churchwhose members dont move their bodies while singing hymns and believe that the gift oftongues passed away after the apostolic period).But their love for each other is too strong to allow religious doctrines to get betweenthem. They reason that they worship the same God (Yahweh) after all.
Samuel likes all things Russian (he always admires their brilliance) so Sandra lovinglycalls him Samuelski.DAILY LIVINGCharacters:Samuel: FatherSandra: MotherReuben: Son (7 years old)Charlotte: Daughter (5 years old)It’s 6:55 PMSandra: Children, papa will be coming anytime now. I dont want you to make noise,okay?Charlotte and Reuben: Okay, mommySandra looks at herself in the mirror again and adjusts her saree (A saree is a garmentworn by women in India). She thinks, “I have to start my diet again. After I’ve had thekids, I’ve become Mrs.Chubby! Have to impress my husband. Hee hee hee.”Ding DongShe rushes to open the doorIts SamuelSamuel: Hello sweetheart (embraces Sandra and gives her a warm peck)Charlotte goes running to him. Reuben is still watching cartoons on TV.Samuel: (Lifts her up and gives her two pecks) How is my baby?Charlotte: Fine papaSamuel takes two bars of KitKat. Tells her one is for her and to give the other one toReuben. He puts her down.Sandra: Oh Honeeeey don’t give chocolate to the kids. You know how bad it is for theirteeth. Shall I make a cup of coffee for you?Samuel: No honey. I want to take a shower first. It was really hot today, wasnt it?Sandra: It was(Samuel goes to the bathroom, takes a shower and as usual, in 4 minutes, he is outfresh. He wipes his hair with a towel. Sandra asks him if she can gather the kids forfamily prayer. Samuel says yeah)Sandra: Okay children. Its time for family prayer.The four of them sit in the living room. Samuel starts with a word of prayer. They sing
two hymns. Sandra narrates the story of Zacchaeus. After the narration is over sheasks, “Why did Lord Jesus tell Zacchaeus to come down from the Sycamore tree,Reuben?”Reuben: Mommy, my friend Andrew told me once that the actual reason was becausehe was not wearing under wear.Sandra looks at Samuel in disbelief. Listening to the humorous reasoning of the kids, hetries to suppress a smile. Then he tells Reuben to believe only what the Bible says.Sandra concludes the time of family prayer by praying for the family. Charlotte andReuben say amen. Samuel smiles while listening to their childish amen.Sandra goes to set the table for supperSamuel is sitting on the couch stroking his cat.Charlotte goes to him with her right hand behind her back.Charlotte: PapaSamuel: Yes, my babyCharlotte: I have something to show youSamuel: What is it?Charlotte: (Brings her right hand forward. There is a piece of paper in it.) See, I havedrawn a picture of you.Samuel: (sees it) Thats not me (laughs) Thats a goat! Why did you say that that goat isme? (laughs again)Charlotte: Because I saw a picture of a goat today and it had hair on its chin like yours(Samuel laughs again)Samuel: (Puts her on his lap). What did you learn in school today, baby?Charlotte: I learnt Piggy on the railway and Jack and JillSamuel: Baby, can you sing them right now?Charlotte: Yes, papaSamuel hears the rhymes and enjoys listening to them in her sweet voice.Reuben comes running to SamuelReuben: Papa, today there was a spelling test and I got 10/10.
Samuel: Really? Thats nice Reuben.(Thinks to himself, "Well, who do you think you got those genes of intellect from, junior?From your dad, of course!")Reuben: And papa, today in a football match I scored a goal.Samuel: Very good, my boy. I am proud of you.(Thinks to himself again, "Ah, you got that talent from your mother the athlete. Ive neverkicked a ball in my life even!")Reuben: Our team won 3-1. I wanted to tell you this when you came but mommy told usnot to make noise as soon as you came inSamuel: Did she? (laughs)Sandra: Ok everybody, dinner is read. Today I have made mashed potatoes, since Iknow how much my babies love them.(She has also prepared her favorite - lady finger and because she knows that her fussyhusband doesnt like it she has prepared his favorite prawn curry too).Samuel: Wheres that smell coming from?Sandra: (embarrassingly) I just heated the dry fish I had prepared in the afternoon.Samuel: Oh, smelt like a rat had died somewhere in our apartment.(He has strange taste buds. He hates fish but likes seafood like prawns and crabs. Helifts Charlotte up and carries her to the dining room. Sandra wishes he carried her likethat).They all sit at their usual places. Charlotte opposite Reuben and Samuel oppositeSandra. Samuel says graceThey start to eat and talk (only when they have finished chewing food particles andnothing is in their mouths. Sandra is good in coaching her children about table manners)Charlotte: Papa, why dont you like lady finger?Sandra: Because hes a man, Charlotte (smiles)Reuben: Mom, do I really have to have the salad?Sandra: No questions about it!
Pussycat comes and jumps on Charlottes lap. Charlotte tries to give her a small pieceof dry fish from her plate.Sandra wants to scream, "PUT THAT CAT DOWN!" But because she doesnt want tooffend Samuel she says nicely, "Charlotttttte, dont do that."Charlotte: Mommy, pussy needs to eat something too.Sandra: Ill give her something laterCharlotte: But Mommy, shes hungry right nowSamuel: (says in a nice way) Charlottttttte, listen to Mommy. If you feed pussy and usethe same hands to eat, you will fall sick. You dont want to miss school, do you?Charlotte: No papa (Charlotte loves going to the nursery. Everyday, she wakes up earlyin the morning by herself - like father like daughter - and puts her bag on her shouldereven before breakfast all set to go to school. He wakes up to read the Bible and to havehis quiet time with God).She puts pussy down.Samuel wants to take pussy on his lap and feed her himself but he doesnt want toirritate Sandra so he denies himself that pleasure.Reuben: The prawns are nice, mom(Sandra is pleased)Sandra: Thanks, Reuben (she says it loudly so Samuel can hear and praise her cookingtoo)But the fellow is busy emptying the bowl of prawns onto his plate and not saying oneword of appreciation. They all talk about school, general knowledge and just as they areabout to get up Samuel opens his mouth.Samuel: The prawns were really tasty, honey.(Sandra is pleased as punch)Sandra: Thank youSamuel gets up, takes his plate to the kitchen and washes it himself.Sandra clears the table, and tells the children to take their respective plates and leavethem in the sink, AFTER clearing the contents.Since it is his turn today, Samuel takes the rubbish bucket outside and dumps
everything into the big bin in the neighborhood. After that he goes and wipes the tablewith a damp cloth and rearranges the chairs.Sandra finishes up with the kitchen, cleaning it and scrubbing it all neatly. She comesout all tired and goes to Samuel.Sandra: Baby, can I get a massage? PleeeeeeeeaseeeeSamuel: Okay. Stand still and close your eyes.Samuel massages Sandras neck, while the children watch TV.After 10 minutes of bliss she says...Sandra: Your turn. I can’t be selfish you know.Samuel: Ha ha ha okay, Im all yours.Sandra massages Samuels neck and shoulders carefully and lovingly and ends thesession with a little peck at the back of his neck.Sandra: Kids, an hour left before bed time! (Bed time for the kids is at 21:30). Let’s readsome books now.Samuel goes to the bedroom to type the thoughts that had gone through his mind thatday on the computer before he forgets them (He sits on the computer for at least half anhour everyday, blogging). He selects his favorite reggae songs on the WinAmp playerbut plays them softly because Sandra doesnt like reggae music.Sandra removes some of Reubens books from his bag and makes him do hishomework. Charlotte is busy playing with her dolls.Its 21:20Sandra: Time is up, go brush your teeth, kids!She tucks the children in bed.For the next hour, Sandra & Samuel talk about what they both came across during theday and about current affairs and political issues that are going on TV.Sandra: Honey, I am tired, let’s go to bed.Samuel: I know! Let’s listen to some music.Samuel puts his favorite reggae track: Lucky Dubes, "Soultaker”Sandra: Ohhhh, I am going to sleep. Good night.
Samuel: (smiles) Oh no, okay waitChanges the music to Lobos "Faithful"Sandra sits on his lap and he strokes her hair lovingly.Sandra: You know what Samuelski? What did the trick when we were getting to knoweach other before marriage? What the magic was behind you all the time?Samuel: (smiles) What?Sandra: Your amazing heart! Your poetry and your godly behavior. How much youtouched my soul! All I’d want was to be anywhere near you. You cast some kind of spellon me, Sir!Samuel: Well Im glad it worked, Madame (He usually calls her ‘Madame’ when they arealone. That’s his pet name for her).Sandra: Really, you know, I was dying to be in your arms. I never told you this before...but that was my hope and dream! Just to be in your arms, and feel your heart beatingright next to mine.Samuel smiles and a nice long French kiss follows. Then they thank the Lord and go tosleep.Romance after marriage - Part 2SANDRA IN A HOSPITALCharacters:Samuel: Husband of SandraSandra: Wife of SamuelMrs.Naidu:Their neighborDoctorNurseCatering guySandra is 7 months pregnantSamuel is in his office when he gets a call.Samuel: Samuel speaking
Mrs.Naidu: Mr.D’silva, Mrs.Naidu hereSamuel: Hi, Mrs.Naidu. What can I do for you?Mrs.Naidu: Sandra is in a hospitalSamuel: WHAAAT? What happened?Mrs.Naidu: We were talking in your living room when she suddenly fainted.Samuel: Oh no! Is she okay?Mrs.Naidu: She is. But she is still unconscious. We are in the Pai Nursing Home.Samuel: Oh Lord! Ill be there soonSamuel tells his boss that he has to leave immediately. He takes a cab, reaches theplace, goes to the reception and finds out where she is. Goes to the maternity sectionand sees Mrs.Naidu. She tells him everything.She has to leave as her husband will be returning from work soon and he doesnt havea spare key.Samuel thanks her for being there. She tells him not to worry and that she will comeback in the evening along with her husband with some food. Samuel thanks her andtells her not to take the trouble as he will eat in the canteen.Samuel paces up and down outside the room and prays ferventlySamuel: Heavenly Father, if anything happens to my Sandra, Ill be a crushed man.(just then a doctor comes out)Samuel: How is she, doctor? Can I see her? Hows the baby?Doctor: She is in a critical condition. But the baby is fine. You cant go in there right now.Samuel: Please let me go in. She is my wife. I want to see her. Please. Just for aminute.Doctor: Okay. But you have to be quickSamuel: Goes and sees her with her eyes closed (gets emotional)Samuel: Touches her neck to see if its warm (As if he is a doctor). Kisses her forehead.Then he kneels besides her bed, keeps his hands on her tummy and says a prayer forher and the baby. Then he kisses her tummy.
Doctor: Mr.D’silva you have to leave nowSamuel keeps looking back at her till he reaches the doorDoctor: Mr.D’silva, we have done all we could. Everything is in the hands of God now.Samuel sits on a sofa there. He skips dinner and fasts (even though he never practicedit before. Perhaps this may please God he thinks) and prays...Samuel: Heavenly Father, when you took grandma away I didnt say anything. Whenyou took my pussycats away I kept quiet. But if anything happens to my Sandra itll betoo much for me to bear. Please Father, dont do this to me. Please heal her fast. Bringher back to consciousness.Finally at 4AM he lies on the sofa and goes to sleep.At 6AM he is woken upCatering guy: Sir, a cup of chai? (chai is the Hindi word for tea.)Samuel: Yes, please thank you. (Gives him a note and tells him to keep the change.)Samuel remembers the lovely times he had with his sweetheart and cries (He normallydoesnt cry.)At 9:25AM a nurse comes outNurse: Good news Mr.D’silva. She is out of danger. She just opened her eyes.Samuel: Can I go in?Nurse: You may. But dont make her talk. She is weak.Samuel: Rushes inside to see her. He is extremely happy to see her with her eyesopen. He sits on her bed and holds her right hand with both his hands and kisses it.Samuel: How are you feeling honey? (Touches her neck again to check if it is warm)Sandra: (In a faint voice) Okay. (Looks in his eyes) How are you?Samuel: Im fine, honey. (Kisses her hand again, withholds a tear and thanks the Lord)Dont worry, everything will be fine (smiles)(She gives him a faint smile too. He strokes her hair lovingly)Nurse: (not happy with the public display of emotions)Mr.D’silva you will have to leave now.
Samuel: Im sitting outside, honey. Dont worry.He thanks God for healing his wife.Romance after marriage - Part 3A DAY IN THE LIFE OF SAMUEL AND SANDRASamuel: HusbandSandra: WifeThe kids are away vacationing with their grandparents in Salcette, Goa.After coming from the office in the evening Samuel is tired. So he takes a shower. Afterthat he sits on the sofa and starts reading a book. Sandra comes from the kitchen andsees dirty socks lying scattered on the floor. She had taken great pains to clean thehouse in the morning so she is very very angry.With the socks in her hand and with fire in her eyes, she goes to him, holds them infront of his nose and asks…Sandra: What are these?Samuel: Socks, honeeySandra: (angrily) I know what they are. Why did you throw them on the ground?Samuel: Er, I, er...Sandra: Dont they have a place? How many times must I tell you not to do this? All daylong I have to slog here to keep this place spick and span and you come in the eveningand throw things here and there! You untidy fellow! Do you care for people at all?Seeing her that angry, peace loving Samuel apologizes and tells her that he wont dothat again. Then he gets up to kiss and make up but she says in an acidic manner …
Sandra: Dont touch me, you monkey. I wont tolerate this anymore. Understand???Dirty pig!!!She then storms out of the room and goes to the kitchen to finish cooking supper. Afterthat she goes to set the dining table. When everything is ready she calls out to him…Sandra: Suppers ready (No response. So she says again) … I said supper is ready.Samuel replies …Samuel: I am not hungryShe knows he is hurt and feels bad about the words that she used earlier andfortunately today she knows what can repair the damage done.Sandra goes to him and says softly …Sandra: Honey, I forgot to tell you somethingSamuel: What?Sandra: Our pussycat has delivered three lovely kittens.Samuel: Whaaat? When? Where are they? How do they look? Quick, show me wherethey are. Is pussy okay?Sandra: Yes, my dear. They are under our bed. Come, Ill show you.They go to their bedroom. He stoops down to look underneath and sees pussy with herfinger long babies who are busy pulling her nipples. She looks at him.He talks to her …Samuel: Hey pussy, are you okay? Hope it wasn’t painful. You must be tired and hungry,right? With those hungry fellows sucking everything out? Wait a minute, I’ll get yousome milk and fish.Hearing him mention her favorite food stuff, pussy mews.Samuel lies on the ground, puts his head further under the bed and strokes the portionbelow her chin.Then he thanks God for the delivery of the healthy kittens. He also prays that pussy andher little ones may be safe from sicknesses.Then he tells the babies …
Samuel: Hey, little fellows, don’t pull that hard. Mommy will get hurt.Seeing him behaving like a kid who has found a box full of toys, Sandra smiles andthanks God for giving her a caring husband like him.After a while she tells him …Sandra: Honey, shall we go and have some food now? It’s getting cold.Pussy needs rest too.Samuel: Food? yes, honey, lets go and eat something. Im hungry.He tells pussy …Samuel: Take rest, okay?He gives Sandra a kiss for taking care of his beloved pussycat and tells her to takeextra care of her now that she has delivered kittens and to put extra layers of clothunder her and to call the vet the following day. Then he holds her hand as they walk tothe dining room.Just then...Sandra: Honey...Samuel: Yes, my dearSandra: Will you please forgive me for behaving like a bitch earlier this evening?Samuel: Alls forgiven
RomanceSamuel was not getting marriage proposals from the girls of his community. They likedonly boys who worked on ships and earned in US Dollars. So he listens to a friend andgets registered on an online matrimonial site called jeevansaathi.com He sends aninterest to about half a dozen girls and some of them accept it. But after emails go backand forth, he is convinced that there is only one girl he wants to spend the rest of his lifewith. She is Sandra. He asks God for a sign and gets a confirmation that she is indeedthe one.In June of that year, she comes to stay with an aunt in his city for her holidays. Shewants to see him face to face.Sandra is scared of lizards. Samuel had told her that he would get one on their firstdate.THE FIRST DATE - PART 1Samuel calls SandraSamuel: (After speaking to her for 10 minutes on the phone) Ill meet you at 12.30PMsharp. Bye.Sandra puts on her best churidar, not-so-strong perfume, a mouth freshner (smilingwhile remembering an earlier email of his in which he had talked about a girl at hisworkplace who had bad breath) and heads for the lift. Within minutes she is downwaiting below her aunts building.Its 1PM still no sign of himSandra starts to think, "Oh man, where is this bum?" She checks her hair in a mirror.Finally he arrives.Samuel: Sorry I am late. How are you?Sandra: (still angry) FineSamuel: Slept well?Sandra: YepSamuel: Still tired?Sandra: NoSamuel: Hungry?
Sandra remains silent and forces a smileSamuel: Lets go to that restaurant I told you about. The food over there is reallyexcellent. I tell you.They walk for 10 mins and still there is no sign of the restaurantSandra: (Getting irritated but not showing it to him, asks politely) Is the place very far?Samuel: Just round the cornerFinally they reach the place and are ushered to their table by a waiter. They sit down.Samuel: You didnt ask me why I was late. I owe you an explanation. While I waswalking on the road to get here, a crow sitting on a pole dropped something on my headand shirt. So it took time to take a shower and change. I tried to call you but the lineswere busy. They say that when a bird drops something on you it brings you luck.He laughs. Then he says, "You look lovely in that salwar kameez" (A salwar kameez is adress that is similar to the one worn by Pakistani women).That one sentence and his explanation make her forget that he was late and that shewas angry with him just a while ago.Sandra: Thank youShe gives him her million dollar smileSamuel: What a smile! What would you like to have?Sandra: Any recommendations?Samuel: Since you said that you like vodka, try Moscow Mule. Its a vodka cocktail.Youll like itSandra: Have you tried it?Samuel: Just once. Am not a Vodka fan.(Raises his hand to call the waiter).Samuel: Moscow Mule for the lady and Haywards 5000 for me please. Thank you.The waiter goes away.Samuel and Sandra look at one another.
Samuel: So, finally...Sandra: ... were sitting across each other.Samuel: YeaThey smile.Samuel strokes his beard. Sandra looks at it.Sandra: Samuel, because of your beard you remind me of Lenin, the Father of theRussian Resolution or should I say that you look more like Anton LaVey, the founder ofthe Church of Satan?Samuel: I admire Lenin. But, if you say that this beard makes me look like that diabolicAnton LaVey, Id better trim it first thing in the morning tomorrow.He looks at her hairSamuel: What happened to your red hair?Sandra: Swam too much and the color got washed away (smiles)Samuel: Hey, when are you going to give me those swimming lessons you promised to?(Samuel doesnt know to swim. There are some other things that he doesnt know but itdoesnt matter because Sandra likes him just the way he is).The waiter gets the drinks. Sandra tastes the cocktail.Sandra: This stuff is nice.Samuel: I told you. (He looks at her hair again) You have nice long hair. I like girls withlong hair.Sandra: Girls???Samuel: Er, I meant that girls look good in long hair rather than short.Sandra: Thank you. Why have you kept long hair? I liked it when it was short.Samuel: Well, these are the days when I have something on top. Who knows kal ho naho?Sandra: What did that mean? (Being a Tamilian, she doesnt know Hindi)
Samuel: I meant who knows if I’ll have hair tomorrow or not? Tomorrow I may becomeas bald as a coot.Sandra: Youre so funnySamuel: You think so?Sandra: I used to get toothaches after reading your mailsSamuel: I got mouth aches too.Sandra: You know I used to wonder how you would be in real life? Youre the same.Samuel: (Remembers something he has brought for her) I have brought something foryou. Your favorite... (Puts a hand in the inside pocket of his jacket)Sandra: Please tell me that its not a lizardSamuel: How did you guess? (laughs) It wont hurt you.Sandra: Pleease Samuel, pleeease dont take it outSandra is about to get off her chairSamuel: (still laughing) No, no, its not a reptile.Removes a rose and hands it to her. Only four petals are left because the others cameoff in the crowded train.He puts his hand in the pocket again and gets the petals that fell off. He getsembarrassed. Sandra is amused and embarrasses him furtherSandra: Just one? You stingy you. I expected at least a bouquet.Samuel: I did want to get you a bouquet but the roses would all have got crushed in thetrain like this oneSandra sniffs the fragrance coming from the few petals in order to make him feel niceSandra: Nice fragrance. Thank youSamuel: Just a thank you and nothing more? I need something from you right here(Points to the right side of his face) and one more on the left one for lifting that heavysuitcase of yours at the railway station, yesterday. Your aunt was acting like I was aporter, "Beta, isko jara dicky main dal do, peeleaze." I mean put this suitcase in thetrunk of the car.
Sandra: Youre so meanSamuel laughsJust then the waiter comes to take the order for lunchSandra: We need some more timeThe waiter goes away.Romance - Part 2FIRST DATE - THE FINAL PARTSamuel: Spinach Chicken is the best dish on the menu. People come from all over justto have it here. In the evening its very difficult to get a table. Because we have comehere in the afternoon its less crowded.Just then ..."Praise the Lord, brother Samuel"(Samuel sees two of his church believers walking towards their table)Samuel: Praise the Lord, brother! Praise the Lord, sister!(There are introductions)
(Samuel points to Sandra) Brother, she is Sister Sandra, a friend(Samuel points to them) Sandra, he is Bro.Roger one of our church elders and she ishis wife Sis.Cynthia.Sandra: (Looks at them and says) Praise the Lord!Samuel smiles because "Praise the Lord" is a term normally used only by people fromBrethren Assemblies. Pentecostals are more used to, "Halleluiah" and "Glory to Jesus"Roger: Brother Samuel, havent seen you in church for two weeks. We had tried callingyou up many times but your cell was always turned off. Were you sick?Samuel: Yes I was. Ill be coming this Sunday.Roger: Praise the Lord, brother. We all miss you there.Samuel: (smiles) Nice to know that.Brother Roger looks at the mug of beer and Sandras cocktail but doesnt say anythingbecause Sandra is there.Samuel tries to say something to divert his attention from the table.Samuel: I think people need to open better restaurants in Dahisar. We have to come allthe way to Kandivli, eh?Cythia: Yea, SamuelRoger: See you guys laterThey proceed to another tableSamuel: (Smiles embarrassingly) I think that next Sundays sermon at the youthmeeting will be for me and you can guess what the topic will be.Makes eye contact with the waiter to call him. When he comes he orders dry spinachchicken, garlic chicken gravy and chicken fried rice.Sandra: Do people do that?Samuel: Do what?Sandra: Preach to others when they spot them doing something that they "think" iswrong?
Samuel: Thats the job of a shepherd, isnt it?Sandra: Whats wrong with drinking? The Bible doesnt condemn it. Its only gettingdrunk thats wrong!Samuel: Well, we wont be able to convince the older generation that thats what theBible says (smiles). But, you know what?Sandra: What?Samuel: Ive been thinking that I should maybe give up drinking. Even socially.Sandra: But why? So the weaker brethren dont get offended? Theyll remain weak tillthey die if we dont teach them whats right and whats wrong.Samuel: No, its not them that Im bothered about. Its the non Christians in our country.They think that drinking is a vice. How are we going to have a good testimony amongthem, if we like the very thing that they despise?Sandra: Youre probably right. May be I should stop pleasing myself too.Samuel: I think that if we give up drinking for the same of others, then when we standbefore God one day, well realize that the sacrifice was worthwhile.Sandra: Me thinks the same too.Just then Samuels phone ringsSamuel: I have to answer this. Excuse me. Hi Rupali. Whats the matter? Number? Letme check if I have their card…Removes his wallet and searches for a business card. Sandra spots her photo in thereand is immensely pleased but she still wants to know who the girl who called him isSamuel: Okay, Ill come early today. Bye.Sandra: Who was she?Samuel: A colleagueSandra: Something important?Samuel: No, she just wanted the number of a placement agencySandra: You said youre going to meet her early
Samuel: (smiles wondering why women are so suspicious) I have to go to work half anhour early today. Therell be an important meeting.Sandra: I saw my photo in thereSamuel: Oh yeah, its been there for a while (smiles)Sandra: You make me feel specialSamuel: You are special, MadameSandra: Stop calling me that, will you? Or else Ill call you SirSamuel: At your service maam (laughs)The waiter gets the food and serves themThey get busy eating and talkingSamuel puts his hand forward to take another piece of chickenSandra: (from the corner of her eye notices Brother Roger staring at them) Why dontpeople have manners?Samuel: (thinking she aimed that dart at him) Because they are hungry, honey. I didnthave breakfast today.Sandra: (realizes that her sentence left her mouth at the wrong time) No, no, I didntmean you. Sorry. Brother Roger is staring at us.Samuel: (laughs) I think he likes your long hair. Indian men like long hair (laughs again)Sandra: (very irritated) So bad. Cant people mind their own business?Samuel: This is a public place, honey. People can look wherever they want. Let themenjoy their freedom and lets enjoy our meal, shall we? By the way, even thoughBro.Roger corrects us young people in church, he means well. Its so easy for us to goastray, you know. Hes just shocked to see me having beer. Being my shepherd, he hasto keep an eye on me.Sandra starts eating again. Then she starts talkingSamuel laughs after some timeSandra: Whats so funny?
Samuel: You remind me of my niece KarenSandra: Why?Samuel: She used to have chocolate stuck on her teeth and you have spinach stuck onyours.Sandra: (tries to remove it with her tongue) Has it gone?Samuel: It has (laughs some more)Finally they finish having dessertSamuel: I have something to give you before we leave(Removes a CD) This one has the world’s best reggae love songs on it. 150 of them, allhandpicked by me. I had to burn them on my PC. When you listen to them, rememberthat there is someone who is thinking of you.I have something else to give you.(Removes a tiny box from his jacket and hands it to her)Sandra: Whats in here?Samuel: Open itSandra: Right here?Samuel: YepSandra: Opens it and finds a nice looking ringSamuel: I dont know if itll fit your finger but if it doesnt no worries cause we can have itchanged tomorrow.(He puts it on her finger)Samuel: It fits perfectlySandra: (shes very happy) Ohhh Samuelskiii, thank you sooooo much. (smoooch shegives him a peck on his cheek).Samuel: Well, this is just a symbol of my love for you. Do me a favor.(Removes another ring from his pocket)
Slip this one on my finger, will you? This is to let people know that I now have someonespecial in my life(Sandra does that)(Samuel kisses her on her forehead and thanks her. He gets a bit emotional)He pays the bill and leaves a generous tip.They get out of the restaurant and find that its drizzlingSandra: Oh no, I dont have an umbrellaSamuel: No problem. Its the rainy season so I always carry one. And its large enoughfor both of us (smiles as he removes it from his shoulder bag)He escorts her back to her aunts apartment. Sandra is happy its raining cause they areunder one umbrella and his arm is now on her shoulders.Samuel wishes it rained before they ate cause after all the ale that has gone in, shySandra cant stop talking and the escorting trip is a torture for his sensitive nosebecause of the garlic-based gravy which she consumed.EpilogueSamuel: Father (64 years old)Sandra: Wife of Samuel (dead)Charlotte: Daughter (32 years old)Avinash: Son in law (39 years old)Grace: Granddaughter (6 years old)Charlotte is a gynecologist and Avinash is an airline captain.Grace is in Standard 1.They have come to Mumbai to spend their holidays with Samuel. Its been two yearssince Sandra has left him and gone up to paradise.Its evening and Avinash has gone to the street below with Grace to buy her a cone ofice-cream, despite Charlottes protests.Samuel comes out of his room to go to the loo when he hears a voice coming from theliving room."Samuelski" (It gets repeated) "Samuelskiiiiiiii." That was the pet name given to him byhis sweetheart.Samuel puts his face in there and sees his beloved Sandra sitting on the teapoy.
Samuel: (He gets excited) My Sandra, youre back. (He runs to embrace her but whenhe reaches the spot, she vanishes)Charlotte: (From the kitchen she hears Samuel calling her moms name so she comesout) Papa, is everything okay?Samuel: Yes(Samuel goes to his room and takes a photo of Sandra in his hands)Samuel: Sandra, why did you leave me behind? Do you know how lonely I am feelingwithout you? Everything here reminds me of you. When I sit at the dining table yourplace is empty.When I go to bed you are not there besides me. I miss you, my dear. How I long to hearyour voice. (Then he speaks to God) God please take me up there. I have lived longenough.Why are you keeping me down here longer? I want to come up there to be with mySandra. (Talks to Sandra again) Sandra, tell God to bring me up there soon.Charlotte has finished preparing dinner.Charlotte: (Enters Samuel’s bed room and sees him staring at a framed photo of hermom) Papa, dinner is ready.Samuel: You guys go ahead. I am not hungryCharlotte: Papa, you didnt have breakfast nor lunch. Youll grow weak like this. Havesomething at least. Papa, please.Samuel: Okay, Ill come. Just want a glass of warm milk.Avinash: (Hasnt seen his reclusive father-in-law all day) Hello, DaddySamuel: Hi, Avinash. How are you?Avinash: Fine, DaddyGrace loves grand-dad very much so she sits on his lap. He loves her too because herlong nose reminds him of his beloved Sandra. He pulls her nose with his fingers andremembers those days when he used to pull Sandras nose. There is a faint smile on hisface now. Grace pulls Grandpas long moustache and beard.Charlotte: Stop it Grace, will you?Samuel: Dont stop her Charlotte. She reminds me of your mom. Your mom used to pullmy beard to tell me that it was time to shave.
Avinash says grace and they begin to eatGrace: (Grace sees that grandpa is not having anything) Grandpa, have something.(She dips a piece of roti in sabji and puts it in his mouth). She reminds him of Sandraagain. Once, when he was lying down sick on a bed, Sandra had done that – hand fedhim. He takes it and relishes it. He smiles because this little angel is an exact replica ofher grandma - her words, features and mannerisms)After dinner...Charlotte: You know Avi I cant bear to see dad like this. He is missing mom very much.Avinash: Happens Charlotte, they loved each other very much, didnt they? When I die,you will miss me too, wont you? Or will you get married to another dude soon? (laughs)Charlotte: Sheeesh (that was her moms favorite word)Samuel wakes up at 4:30AM to have his quiet time and at 5:30AM just before dawnproceeds to his favorite place. Its the graveyard in Dahisar. He goes there everyday tosit on the grave, below which are the remains of his sweetheart. In his hands today arethe letters she wrote tohim during their courtship days. He goes through them. He remembers all the care andconcern she showered on him when she was alive and weeps.Then he lies there to sleep. A new watchman thinks he is a homeless bum because ofhis disheveled hair, unkempt beard and unwashed clothes so he pats his body with acane. Samuel says something to him in English and the guy goes away.Samuel goes to sleep again. He lies there all day going down memory lane. He findspeace there in that graveyard, close to the remains of his beloved.ABOUT METhe author arranges <a href="http://holidaysinsouthgoa.blogspot.com/">group accommodation ingoa</a>.