Life ~ its Ups and Downs

Shyam walked into the veranda and sat on the comfortable chair that had been his companion since his childhood. He had spent most of his student life sitting on this wooden chair, specially crafted by his grandfather. Today as he sat there holding a magazine in his hand his thoughts curled down into one of those days when he was holding his history text book. The door in front was left open to let fresh air from the lush green bushes fill in. Perfume of the Parijatha flowers that was about to bloom that night, lingered all over the veranda.

Kaveri came in and held out her hand to offer a brass cup of foam lathered filter kaapi filled right upto the brim. It was piping hot, so she held it with the end of her saree pallu. Shyam had taken the coffee from her hand as usual but his gaze was still fixed on the road that was opposite his chair. Kaveri went about her usual rant of the overdue bills in the household. She mentioned "Ranganna had come home today asking for the money we owe him. He wants it to be cleared by tomorrow", she said with a frown as she sat down on the wooden slab placed on the floor. She continued " see we need to buy ration next week, also the milkman will have to be paid. Since you've not got your payment this month how will we manage?".

Shyam still remained in his own thoughts sipping down the coffee. Shyam worked as a clerk in a local bank in his town. The bank was not doing good in terms of business and so there was a merger being planned with the big names in the industry. His job was at stake and the staff had not been paid salaries for the last two months.However they had been promised of job continuity after the merger. The families had to deal with no payments for the next two months or more, exactly till the merger is official and the staff had been moved to the new firm's payroll. It was matter of time, however there were many like Shyam who kind of lived paycheck to paycheck.

Kaveri said " Tonight I'll make lemon rasam. The lemon tree in the backyard has given us few lemons this season." Shyam came back to present when he heard about the lemons. It was his dad who had planted the lemon tree in the backyard about a decade ago and it had been fruiting since then every year. Shyam loved the rasam Kaveri made with those juicy lemons. Immediately the frown on his face faded and a smile landed on his lips.



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