The last paragraph


Okay! And here’s the last paragraph (well, not exactly one para…) to the story of The Old Armchair.

I did try my best… to wriggle out of writing the conclusion to the story ๐Ÿ˜‰ but you guys/girls kept close watch ๐Ÿ˜‰ So here it is. As always, please let me know what you think….

——————————————
Priya noticed her mobile flashing as she unpacked her suitcase.

‘Gues wat I found 2day? – Lav’
‘Er..wat?’
, she sent a text back.
‘Wooden armchair!!! Exact same thing!’
Priya smiled. She instantly knew what Lavina wasย talking about.ย ‘Wow! 1 4 me pls?‘ she typed out on the phone.
‘Done!C u soon!’ – pat came the reply.

She smiled again. Eight years had passed since they had graduated. She still remembered the day they left Mrs.Marathe’s apartment. She and Lavina had been in tears. They were both overwhelmed with emotion. It was all too much to handle. Bidding farewell to a wonderfully carefree college-life…to freedom.. and to Mrs.Marathe.

‘God bless you!’ was all she had said. Mrs.Marathe. Along with her blessings, she also gave them a little idol of Lord Ganesha each. ‘You will call when you have time…?’ she asked eagerly, butย trailed off without waiting for a reply.ย She hobbled back slowly,ย to her favourite arm-chair. It was time for her daily siesta. She didn’t stir as the taxi came to take them to the station. She didn’t open her eyes as the girls touched her frail palms to bid farewell. If she did find it hard to swallow that lump in her throat, she didn’t let them notice it.

————–
The girls moved to different metros. A lot happened in those eight years. Priya built a successful career, travelled a lot on work, was engaged to be married. Lavina on the other hand, chose to build a family. She had two beautiful cherubic girls. They reminded her of herself and Priya. And the happy days they had spent in Pune.

Priya and Lavina had both called Mrs.Marathe regularly for the first couple of months after they had left college.ย They called her every Saturday, as they knew Mrs.Marathe’s sons would call every Sunday.

‘Hello Auntyji! How are you?’
‘How is your health?’
‘Are you eating properly?’

As they became busier with their lives, however, the phone calls gradually became less frequent. In a year’s time, they had almost entirely stopped.

Over the years, they had even forgotten the old telephone number. When Priya finally moved to Bangalore, where Lavina now lived, they met frequently and whenever they reminisced the old times, they couldn’t help thinking of Mrs.Marathe. They would feel a surge of warmth. And of guilt. They never spoke about it aloud. But it was there.

They didn’t try to look up the old address. They didn’t try to contact her again. They didn’t expect to see her again.
——–

A week later, Lavina had delivered a beautiful arm-chair at Priya’s house.

‘Wow, Lav. This is beautiful Nearly the same thing as what Auntyji had!’
‘Yep! Bought a pair, one chair for each of us’,
Lavina replied softly, and smiled. Priya smiled back.

As she gazed at the chair, a tear rolled down her cheek. ‘Lav…‘ she whispered, her voice trembling.

Lavina did not reply. She stifled a sob instead.

They stared atย the arm-chair that had been placed in the verandah. It was a beautiful mahogany colour. Standing there. Simple. Sturdy. And silent. Silently observing the world whizz by. Just like Mrs.Marathe once had. Probably still did!

‘To Auntyji!’ she said suddenly, and raised an imaginary toast.
‘To Auntyji’ Priya chimed in.

———

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20 thoughts on “The last paragraph

  1. Well let me say this sequel was a master stroke …. it moved me even more the original story … perfect ending ….beautiful…. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. @ Shilpa – Absolutely!! Infact that’s the ONLY thing we carry ๐Ÿ™‚

      @ Aathira – Couldn’t agree more ๐Ÿ™‚

      @ Dhiman – Thank you SO much ๐Ÿ™‚

      @ Uma – Thank you! Memories are precious ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. @ Swaram – Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ Credit goes to you for pushing me into writing the ending ๐Ÿ˜‰ When I left this in draft, the ending was quite different.. rather filmy I think. This one is more realistic, no?

      @ Deeps – Thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚ A toast indeed ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Read the full story in one go.
    Loved the emotional touch to the most beautiful aspect of life- memories ๐Ÿ™‚
    loved the wonderful way it ended ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

    Keep ’em coming Pal ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cheers!!

    1. @ Indy: Thank you so much! The trouble with writing in two parts is that its a lot of pressure to ‘live up’ to expectations. At the same time, it also gives more time for thought.. to explore possibilities ๐Ÿ™‚

      @ Chatterbox: Thank you very much. Will do ๐Ÿ™‚ And you’re so right.. when you say ‘the most beautiful aspect of life- memories’ ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Lovely Pals! ๐Ÿ™‚
    It’s so true though… we have people as part of our memories… and we do things which remind us of them, but we seldom actually go back to staying in touch with them… as our lives move on, we hold on to the memories rather than the person.
    Very well written ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Ok finally I read it… when i saw it first time your warning told me to read it later when am in relaxed mood ๐Ÿ˜€ so now was the time!

    And now coming to the story – wonderful one. Thank God! you shared it with us and not buried it in draft ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Some good memories can be heavy with guilt – nicely written.

    Thanks very much, LR ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Beautiful end to this beautiful story… So much reality in this story… Loved it pals… Please write more of this ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚
    Sorry for visiting late pals… Got held up with lot of things ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Thanks a lot, K ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. This is the story of life. Perfect ending.

    You know we have an armchair too. Very similar to one that people in Kerala have-traditional wooden ones. It is ‘Made in India’ but we bought it here. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I was always fascinated by this chair (the traditional kind) on the porch of most tharavads in Kerala whenever I visited. I always wanted to own one. Though no one really uses it here much, Peanut finds it cozy to cuggle with her Dad and read stories. I know some day it will be mine (when it’s time for me to relax—we will surely take it to Kerala, if we plan to settle there). May be we will buy one more so that the old couple can sit side by side, sip some Margaritas and wait for our daughter and grandkids to arrive. ๐Ÿ™‚

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