Store Full Of Stories: #3 Three People, Four Plates

Store Full Of Stories: #3 Three People, Four Plates

Three People, Four Plates Part III  has been edited by Rushi Bhimani.

I couldn’t believe it. Antara aunty? Why was she acting like this? She was mom’s best friend. Something has to be wrong. If she does know something, why wouldn’t she tell dad? I am going to go, meet her tomorrow. Enough is enough. I need to get answers. I cannot live with this mystery all my life.

It’s Sunday afternoon and dad is fast asleep. It is as good a time as any, I decided. I sneak out quietly. It is time to clear this mess up.

I knock on the door but no one answers. But I wasn’t going to give up so easily. I kept knocking, until a middle-aged woman opened the door. Her eyes shone while she looked at me, and her face portrayed a warmth that reminded me of my childhood. Other than a few wrinkles, she was the same Antara aunty who used to come to our house with lots of chocolates and teased me a lot while she pulled my cheeks.

Those days are long gone, but when I think about them, I get a little nostalgic. It is always there, a constant companion.

I couldn’t help but wonder, does mom look any different now? Would I recognize her? Would she know it was me? After three years, how much has she changed? How much does a person change in three years anyway?

“Where is mom, Antara aunty? Is she with you? Why hasn’t she bothered to contact us in all these years?” I blurted as soon as I zoned back in. I stared into her eyes, waiting for a reply.

She looked at me, and a tear rolled down her cheek as she opened the door to let me in. There was a pot of tea on the table surrounded by a sofa and some arm chairs. I sat on one of them, still trying to figure out what was happening. She said, “Your mother and I have been best of friends. Be it good times or bad, she always stood by my side. She was a really good friend, a friend everyone would love to have in their life.”

As she spoke, tears continued to roll down her cheeks. She got up and went to her room. I didn’t know what to do. I sat down and waited for her to come back. She came back down in a few minutes with a diary in her hand.

I saw an envelope tucked inside the dairy. There was something written on it. As I had a closer look, I instantly recognized my mom’s handwriting. I stopped my attempt to read and was trying to curb my overwhelming emotions as I realized it was letter by mom. I could hardly breathe.

Breaking my silence, Antara aunty said, “I hope this provides you with some answers. All I ask of you is that you do not think any less of me for hiding this from you for so long.”

I couldn’t speak. All the answers were finally in my hands, and I didn’t know if I really wanted them or not. I was not sure whether I wanted to disrupt my hopeful nights and days.

Without uttering a word I ran out of there. Out of the lobby, out of the building and on the street.

I kept running. It was when I reached the park that I realized nobody was chasing me. I went and sat on a bench. With a blurry vision and trembling hands I opened the envelope.

“To my dearest Sid and Ved,

In case, you missed the first and the second part of ‘Three People, Four Plates’ do read it!

To read more by the author of Three People, Four Plates Part III, click here.

Parth Bhatt

Parth Bhatt - Capricious | Samaritan | Anti-Photogenic | Selective Procrastinator | Occasional Psychic | Especially Gifted Napper | Spreading Smiles since ’96.