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Soma's Tales

The Accidental Note

A Message from Maa

The Accidental Note

Sagorika imagined her mother in a flight to Jaipur: a 30-something Mohona looking radiant despite jitters about a classical performance.

In the flight, Mohona met her favourite author, Anupam. Mesmerised by her ethereal beauty and finding her reading a novel written by him, Anupam struck a conversation with her, telling her who he was. Mohona was thrilled like a child to meet her favourite author. She invited Anupam to her concert in Jawahar Kala Kendra.

That day, with her superlative classical singing, Mohona made a deep impression on Anupam.

As chance would have it, the two met again in Mumbai—accidentally. Sinister forces were bringing them together: two people that seemed to be married happily. Perhaps life brought them together because they genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. Their bond was too strong to ignore, and they started meeting frequently—not by accident.

Together, they went to poetry sessions, to movies and even for shopping and dinners. Once, while her husband was away on an official tour, Mohona went with Anupam on a long drive outside Delhi, spending the whole day with him.

Sagorika felt uneasy reading about her mother’s blossoming romance. She felt guilty for feeling uneasy. Surely, Mohona had all the right to make the choice of love, and Sagorika was determined not to judge her mother for it. But as she read on, she also discovered that her mother had all the reasons for loving outside of marriage.

Sara, I’m sure you remember that your father was a Vice President in a telecom company. Soon after our marriage I figured that Sameer was a workaholic. Telecom was a sunrise sector in the late nineties and your father, being in Marketing, was immersed in work all the time. He hardly found time for you and me. He would travel twenty days in a month, and I would be left to manage everything on the home-front totally by myself. He would shower us with the best things that money could buy, but other than that he had little to offer his family. His responsibilities probably ended with that. For Sameer, family was kind of taken for granted. And that was precisely what distanced us emotionally.

Mohona was sad also because she missed her parents, quite as much as she yearned for the city of Varanasi. The glitter of Mumbai’s tinsel town with its Arabian Sea could never make up for the tender lap of the Ganga that she had left back home. The beaches of Juhu or Marine Drive could not impress her because she had grown up walking on the steps of the ghats. She also missed the ringing of temple bells, the devotional ecstasy of the evening aarti, and the call of the morning aazan coming from the Gyanvapi mosque. Mumbai was a very busy city, but so was Varanasi. The difference, however, was in the people, their warmth and their bonhomie.

Photography: @focusraghu_photoartist
Location: Varanasi, India


ghat: steps leading to a river.

aarti: A Hindu ritual of worship in which light is offered to the deity.

aazan: the Islamic call to prayer.