October 24, 2008

The Touch – by Vasundhara

Posted in Stories at 6:59 am by kailash

I am now a lady in my early teens, fair in complexion, have a beautiful face and maintain matching figure. I am very careful about my diet even at parties though I lose control at the sight of beestings1 custard, my favorite dish.

 

The dish, called junnu in my mother tongue – Telugu, cannot be prepared as and when desired; availability of beestings is a prerequisite. Unfortunately, none other than me in our family liked beestings custard. The dish was first introduced to me in my childhood by Mrs. Sujata. Living in our neighborhood that time, she and her husband Mr. Rao developed a special liking for the little girl in me. Realizing that I was crazy for the item, Mrs. Rao used to take all the trouble to procure beestings, a difficult job indeed. Mr. Rao, a singer poet, wrote a song especially for rendition by me. I did sing the song on many occasions and won accolades. I was fascinated with the Rao couple and spent considerable time with them till the day of my father’s transfer. When we moved to a new town, I did miss the Rao couple for some time. With the passage of time their memories slowly faded away.

 

Only recently we came back to the town of Rao couple but none of my family members including me made efforts to contact them. We may have to admit that they were not in our mind.

 

Nowadays I became increasingly conscious of my appearance and keep looking for fans or admirers. I try to draw their attention by being different in make up, hair do, attire, etc, besides acquiring artistic talents. I knew a bit of painting, had learnt music, recite poetry and narrate jokes. I have many tricks up my sleeves for a wide range of audience. All this for the touch of appreciation, which takes me to fun-filled and enjoyable new worlds. I had a considerable number of good days providing such experience. But that day had a different touch in store for me.

 

I was invited for the ‘happy birthday’ of a 5-year old. Usually, I do not miss such parties as I draw more crowds there than even the hosts. This party was no exception either.

 

The birthday boy was certainly drawing some attention but surely not more than me. About twenty people surrounded me. A majority of them were males, and sizable among them were youth. All of them had only one common intention of impressing me through showers of appreciation.

 

Some called me a stunning beauty.

 

“Ï knew it. Tell me something different,” I suggested proudly.

 

“Your smile is devastating,” another admirer competed.

 

Nothing new. The very intention of my smile was to create the feeling of devastation in my surroundings. 

 

As the downpour of tributes continued, I pretended embarrassment while enjoying at heart.

 

Suddenly the birthday boy called me. After all he too craves for attention that too on his occasion. I obliged and went to his side to the desired effect. Many eyes turned towards him but he was not contented. Intending further attention, he asked me to sing a song. I agreed as if to meet the occasion. And then I had a song for the occasion. I might have forgotten Mr. Rao but not his song. The song had something special in it. It brought me laurels on several occasions. That day was no different. People were spell bound and the place roared with clapping and applause as I completed the song.

 

I moved away from the birthday boy to accommodate space for people to surround me. While my voice, choice, and singing talent were the targets of appreciation, the lyrics too drew some attention from one and all. I was looking beyond the surrounding crowd to see if more people were keen on similar mission. Then I could mark a middle-aged man making hectic efforts to pierce through the crowd to reach me.

 

I was flattered. I knew that admiration for youthful female beauty was natural for men of any age. Curious to know the intentions of that man, I requested the close-by fans to give way. They not only obliged but competed to bring him to me.

 

The person came near and stared at me as if for dissection. I felt embarrassed but before I could react he shouted, “Are you not Pinky?”

 

Yes, I was Pinky. From the tone, I also could recognize him as Mr. Rao. Probably the song helped him recognize me.

 

There was excitement in his eyes. I was not excited. My immediate concern was whether he would steel away the credit for the song. I was thinking of ways and means to get rid of him quickly.

 

Mr. Rao also was in a hurry. He had some important appointment elsewhere. He quickly gave his address and told me to visit his house the very next day. It was almost like an order. I exhibited some artificial excitement to match his feelings and promised to visit some other time.

 

“No Pinky” he shouted, “Today beestings is available and Auntie thought of you immediately. And then it is not sheer chance if I located you here. The beestings is meant for you. You know that beestings does not stand beyond tomorrow. So you should come tomorrow and we will enjoy the beestings custard together. No excuses allowed”

 

He insisted on his order, took my consent for granted and left the scene.

 

I was touched. I should also admit that the touch was real. Superficial appreciation, motivated admiration, etc are all part of show business where touch has no relevance. And all these days I mistook that as touch. Now I understood that one would be touched only through touch!

 

 

1Beestings: the colostrum2 especially of a cow

2Colostrum: milk secreted for a few days after parturition3

                   Characterized by high protein and immune body content

3Parturition: the act or process of giving birth to offspring

3 Comments »

  1. Really this short story carries lot message in a small
    incident in life.This is not easy to give impressive life’s message from small incident.
    This is thrilling experience to read this.
    Thanks to vasundhara for share the enriched knowledge through their writings .
    with regards,
    va.ramarao.

  2. Bhamidipati Phani Babu said,

    The short story is very nice and ” touchy” about the value of a touch !!!

  3. AMBALLA JANARDAN said,

    The story while it exposes normal human behaviour, it also warns us not be carried away by one’s success. After all one would be touched only through touch!


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