The Keyboard

“Chandan, do you need more coffee”, shouted Rashi in the loudest tone. “You are not helping me in setting up the house, and what do you do near your laptop whole day. Chandan I am talking to you, I will not be able to do all this alone. See, the cable TV is still not coming, and the internet connection is terrible in this area. Why have we shifted from our old house? I know you always liked serene, calm and airy apartment but in midst of woods. I mean I don’t want to retire so early. We both were doing satisfactorily in our professions. And you only told me that you would be going to Sweden, what you call that… yes exchange the thoughts program”, Rashi said it all in almost one breath.

There is no change in Chandan’s expression. The evergreen smile is decked on the face from his lips to eyes. Chandan started his career as an investment banker in a reputed bank. He achieved what he wanted from his life, right from selection in the elite college, then jobs in great firms and finally converted all his ideas to a start-up. His firm was at its peak and the multiple rounds of funding proved that his ideas attracted many intellects. The life was no less than a fairy tale for Chandan and Rashmi. They met in college, both filled with aspirations and their thoughts always complimented each other. It was the month of October a decade ago when Chandan proposed Rashi and she couldn’t ask for anything more. Everybody in the circle knew they make a perfect couple. The life progressed and Chandan achieved the heights he dreamt of and Rashi, she proved that her presence was always a compliment in Chandan’s life. Her passion for theatre demanded her to leave the law firm she was part of, but she was happy with her decision and Chandan equally appreciated her. She was at the peak of her theatres when they both shifted to the new place leaving behind everything.

It was Chandan’s decision and for the first time in life he didn’t ask for Rashi’s consent. They shifted to the new place, miles away from the city amidst woods in tranquility. It was a big house for just two of them but Chandan always wanted to live near the nature, where when the sun rays kiss the dawn the chirp of the birds alarm the morning. The cool breeze when hit the chimes, symphonize the entire house and the water hitting the rocks in the backyard should mark its presence the whole day. It was the perfect hermitage for the two fledglings in the new world.

“Chandan stop smiling now and help me in the kitchen. I am not going to make anything for the lunch today. We have shifted just days ago, and you have called your friends for the evening party. I am warning you, this will not work in this jungle. Somu also didn’t come back.  I asked him to bring the staples but this lubber of no use.” The complaint box of Rashi is not ending. She was never complaining before but settling in a new place, far away from family and friends has triggered the silent volcano.

The day passed, the shine of the sun diminished, and lot of lamps are ready to glitter the sky. The chirp of the birds mellows. Rashi switches on the lights. The garden in front of the main door is filled with the fragrance of jasmine and the cool breeze when enters through the windows fills the room with redolence. The sweet evening silents the burning volcano and Rashi settles after finishing the remaining chores. This is the time of the day when Rashi has no complaints about Chandan’s adamancy of shifting to the new place. Rashi calls for Chandan who was still in his room only. She had called his name almost every hour in the day and cursed his decision almost every minute. The calm Chandan didn’t react because he knew by the evening with the glitter of the brooches the anger of Rashi would sublimate. It has become a routine for them.

The twilight knocks and the fragrance from the flowers has covered the house. The evening grows and Rashi has no complaint now. “Time for the coffee Chandan, I am making one for me. Do you want to come out”, asks Rashi. Chandan is still busy in his work, the strokes of the keyboard are audible with the instrumentals in backdrop. Chandan as usual didn’t reply but Rashi knows he will never say no to coffee. Rashi heads for the kitchen when doorbell rings. “Must be Somu, I am going to kill this loggerhead today”, mutters Rashi and opens the door.

“How are you doing Rashi”, asks Rajeev as he enters into the room. Rashi smiles, Rajeev settles on the sofa. “Do you want coffee Rajeev, I am making for us. Chandan is still working, can you hear these non-stop strokes coming from his study. Sometimes he behaves as I am the only one living in this house”. Rashi’s complaint box for Chandan was about to open when Rajeev interrupted, “We will go for second round of tests tomorrow. I have spoken to Dr. Sinha, he wants to meet both of us.” “Why it’s all needed Dr. Rajeev, I trust you”, says Rashi while coming out from the kitchen with three mugs of coffee.

Rajeev sips his coffee and his eyes continuously stare at Rashi when she keeps third mug near the photo of Chandan. The strokes of keyboard still hit in background from the records…  

~ Aniket S Sharma

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