Lord Ganesha’s idol adorned a holy corner of Ganga Ram’s humble abode. His wife Geeta would forget to eat sometimes but would never forget to feed her Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.
Ganga Ram’s faith, on the other hand, fluctuated. Sometimes, Geeta’s dependence and total surrender to the Lord amused him but then again there were times when he would seek shelter in ‘can you pray to your Ganesha for Shaloo’s quick recovery?’ Shaloo was none other than their favorite cow.
One day, Geeta found the Ganesha idol missing. She sat in the empty corner, crying, all day.
There was a huge celebratory cry near her home in the evening. Geeta saw Ganga Ram celebrating with her Ganesha raised shoulder-high.
Just as Geeta was rehearsing her soon-to-be-delivered speech to her careless husband, Ganga Ram interrupted ‘Your Ganesha is famous and much-in-demand now. He presided over our gathering at Birju’s house and we won the neck and neck India vs. Pakistan match today. Can I take Him out on Tuesday again?’
‘I am so sorry, I had almost forgotten that you were allergic to perfumes.’
‘And, I would be sorry for not knowing how much salt you may prefer in your curries or what memories might a setting sun stir in you or how you may like walking barefooted even when its freezing outside and you have no heater on. We are so close yet so far – like the chopped and scattered pieces of a tree.’
‘Such a tragedy that I know and understand my friends better’.
‘We can strive to mend it, now that we miss the missed years’.
Sometimes, memory is a liability. Memories of a house buzzing with people, of fragrance of royal food assembled by skilled cooks, of echoing laughter, of the grateful smiles of tons of day laborers at my gardens and farms and the pungent memories of my arrogance and heartlessness.
The house is crumbling down and so am i, heading towards a slow, painful demise. It reverberates solely with my agony.
My faint vision fails to recognize the tall silhouette heading towards my rocking chair, until he is close enough.
It’s still hard to utter a ‘sorry’. If only, I could!
Word count – 100
Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by the talented author and artist Rochelle Wisoff-Fields . Many thanks, dear Rochelle.