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The Dining Room

About Bishakha Moitra

An amateur artist, I am a fulltime mother of a six year old. I also have 10 years of sales and marketing experience. Painting and writing are my passion. Writing to me is expressing my emotions, thoughts, opinions and views and presenting it in a way that others can feel the connect. My preferred language for writing is hindi and english. I use “a gypsy soul” as pen name for writing as I believe it describes what I truly am.

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Introduction :

The dining room was spic and span. All the crockeries were neatly kept in the cupboard. The dining table was all set for six people with mats, plates, fork, spoon, knife, cloth napkin laid all in their respective places. The dining chairs were looking very comfortable with cushions and silk cover without a single crease on them. The decor was impeccable with two flower vase and the fragrance of the flowers filling the room. The ceiling lamp was complimenting the decor and the lighting was perfect for the room. If anyone entered the room, he would have got an impression that the dining room was all set and waiting for some special guests.

Part 1

She enters the dining room from the kitchen with serving bowls in her hand. One by one she places them on the table. Whole day she is busy preparing delicacies which the guests prefer to eat. She checks everything and checks the time; it is exactly 1.00 pm. “Lunch time,” she announced. She then pulled the chair, her usual place to sit at the other end of the table across the place where the head of the house sits. She serves herself some of the food prepared by her takes her seat and tries to bite a morsel. Instead she breaks down and starts crying unconsolably.

The room which was completely silent just few seconds back was now filled with her sobs and moans. After a while she pours herself a glass of water and takes a few sips to control herself. The sobbing stops, she sits back with one hand on another and eyes closed. Tears still roll down as she goes down the memory lane.

Today is Pohela Baishakh, the first day of the month of Baishakh as per the Hindu calendar and marks the beginning of a new year. One of the most auspicious days for Bengalis. The day is all the more special as it is her birthday too.

The dining room is filled with aroma of delicacies cooked by her. The food is served on the table and the table is all set. She announces lunch time. The man of the house comes in from the garden, where he was busy planting some new plants and trimming the hedges, his way of spending his day after retirement. Along with him he also gets a trail of dirt and soil in his shoes staining the floor. She shouts at him, “Can’t you leave your shoes out”? Irritated, she announces again that lunch is served “Come fast.”

From the other room comes out her eldest son talking to someone, probably his colleague from work, on his cell phone. Along with him also comes running her younger daughter and son who are twins. The sister is running behind her brother shouting and trying to catch hold of him. Apparently, the brother has broken her favourite earring. The boy trying to escape from her sister, jumps and lands knocking the flower vase down with him. Flower and water spreads everywhere. The girl starts laughing and teasing him. Now its the boy who is angry. Before that another round of Tom and Jerry chase begins. She asks them to sit down for lunch. Both of them take their respective places.

The elder son is still on the phone not bothered about what is happening around. The last member is still not out yet. She goes to a room and knocks the door and then opens it just to see her elder daughter, the second in line of her four children, as usual on video call with her fiancee. She greets her would be son-in-law and then asks him to excuse her daughter for lunch. The boy obliges but both of them are a little embarrassed. She along with her daughter comes out and everybody is finally sitting together on the table for lunch.

Then begins the fun. They start eating together, chatting, sharing jokes, pulling each others’ leg, laughing and making plans for the remaining half of the day. She is showered with compliments over the food. All her efforts have paid off and her heart is overwhelmed with love and happiness.

After the lunch is done, everybody except her goes back to their routine and she sits there deciding where to start the cleaning process from. The floor is stained, there is food and water all over the table and floor. In short, the dining room is a mess.

 

Part 2

It was always a similar story whenever the entire family was together for lunch. They had as a family, decided that every year they will be together at home on Pohela Baishakh, wherever they might be placed for the rest of the year.  Then they would go for a family vacation together. They used to meet in between too but this was like a family tradition now.

The following day they were going for a family vacation to Himachal Pradesh. Everyone was quite excited about the trip and were planning and packing and arranging last minute stuff.
The next morning when she got up, she had a terrible headache which in no time shot up as a migraine and she has a vertigo attack. She took medicines but after an hour also she was not in a position to fly in the airplane. The flight would have worsened her condition

They all decided to cancel the trip but she insisted and forced all of them to continue as usual. She ensured that she would be stable in a days’ time and join them. Reluctantly they all left for the trip. She was missing them already.

The next day she felt better and booked her flight tickets. She had an early morning flight and was supposed to join her family by noon. She slept early that day only to be awakened after sometime, by constant ringing of her phone. She picked the phone. The person on the other side was some stranger. He introduced himself as a sub-inspector from Himachal Police Force and before she could understand anything he informed her that the SUV, which her family had hired for travelling within Himachal, have met with an accident! The driver lost control and the vehicle, with all the passengers in it, fell down in a deep gorge and there are no survivors. There were six people on board including the driver. After that, whatever he said she was not able to comprehend anything.

Since that day her home which was full of fun, laughter and life had turned into an empty, lifeless house like her heart.

She gets back to her present with the sound of someone knocking the door. She reluctantly answers the door only to say “no” to the salesman who was trying to sell some kitchen appliances. With the salesman gone she was about to get inside when she notices a bunch of kids playing on the ground, a little far from her home. She starts watching them playing, fighting, laughing with each other. Suddenly a lady comes and she observes that the kids reluctantly following her to the orphanage, a few blocks away.

She decides something, and goes out of her house. After sometime she is back with the matron and those kids from the orphanage. She offers them the lunch she has prepared and serves them food. The kids are all sitting around the table and few even occupy the floor. They are relishing the delicacies cooked. They are chatting, having fun, sharing stories and fighting over to get the best share of food.

After an hour the lunch is over and the matron takes the kids back to the orphanage. The kids go back reluctantly only after she assures them that from now onwards they will be enjoying lunch everyday at her home. They then leave happily, with their faces lit up, looking forward to the next day.

She is sitting on the same dining chair deciding where to begin the cleaning process with. The floor and table are stained and there is food all over the place. Tears are still rolling down her eyes but there is a smile on her face. The dining room which was immaculate just an hour back is now a complete mess. She liked it that way.

The dining room was spic and span. All the crockeries were neatly kept in the cupboard. The dining table was all set for six people with mats, plates, fork, spoon, knife, cloth napkin laid all in their respective places. The dining chairs were looking very comfortable with cushions and silk cover without a single crease on them. The decor was impeccable with two flower vase and the fragrance of the flowers filling the room. The ceiling lamp was complimenting the decor and the lighting was perfect for the room. If anyone entered the room, he would have got an impression that the dining room was all set and waiting for some special guests.

She enters the dining room from the kitchen with serving bowls in her hand. One by one she places them on the table. Whole day she is busy preparing delicacies which the guests prefer to eat. She checks everything and checks the time; it is exactly 1.00 pm. “Lunch time,” she announced. She then pulled the chair, her usual place to sit at the other end of the table across the place where the head of the house sits. She serves herself some of the food prepared by her takes her seat and tries to bite a morsel. Instead she breaks down and starts crying unconsolably.

The room which was completely silent just few seconds back was now filled with her sobs and moans. After a while she pours herself a glass of water and takes a few sips to control herself. The sobbing stops, she sits back with one hand on another and eyes closed. Tears still roll down as she goes down the memory lane.

Today is Pohela Baishakh, the first day of the month of Baishakh as per the Hindu calendar and marks the beginning of a new year. One of the most auspicious days for Bengalis. The day is all the more special as it is her birthday too.

The dining room is filled with aroma of delicacies cooked by her. The food is served on the table and the table is all set. She announces lunch time. The man of the house comes in from the garden, where he was busy planting some new plants and trimming the hedges, his way of spending his day after retirement. Along with him he also gets a trail of dirt and soil in his shoes staining the floor. She shouts at him, “Can’t you leave your shoes out”? Irritated, she announces again that lunch is served “Come fast.”

From the other room comes out her eldest son talking to someone, probably his colleague from work, on his cell phone. Along with him also comes running her younger daughter and son who are twins. The sister is running behind her brother shouting and trying to catch hold of him. Apparently, the brother has broken her favourite earring. The boy trying to escape from her sister, jumps and lands knocking the flower vase down with him. Flower and water spreads everywhere. The girl starts laughing and teasing him. Now its the boy who is angry. Before that another round of Tom and Jerry chase begins. She asks them to sit down for lunch. Both of them take their respective places.

The elder son is still on the phone not bothered about what is happening around. The last member is still not out yet. She goes to a room and knocks the door and then opens it just to see her elder daughter, the second in line of her four children, as usual on video call with her fiancee. She greets her would be son-in-law and then asks him to excuse her daughter for lunch. The boy obliges but both of them are a little embarrassed. She along with her daughter comes out and everybody is finally sitting together on the table for lunch.

Then begins the fun. They start eating together, chatting, sharing jokes, pulling each others’ leg, laughing and making plans for the remaining half of the day. She is showered with compliments over the food. All her efforts have paid off and her heart is overwhelmed with love and happiness.

After the lunch is done, everybody except her goes back to their routine and she sits there deciding where to start the cleaning process from. The floor is stained, there is food and water all over the table and floor. In short, the dining room is a mess.

To Be Continued in Part 2….

It was always a similar story whenever the entire family was together for lunch. They had as a family, decided that every year they will be together at home on Pohela Baishakh, wherever they might be placed for the rest of the year.  Then they would go for a family vacation together. They used to meet in between too but this was like a family tradition now.

The following day they were going for a family vacation to Himachal Pradesh. Everyone was quite excited about the trip and were planning and packing and arranging last minute stuff.
The next morning when she got up, she had a terrible headache which in no time shot up as a migraine and she has a vertigo attack. She took medicines but after an hour also she was not in a position to fly in the airplane. The flight would have worsened her condition

They all decided to cancel the trip but she insisted and forced all of them to continue as usual. She ensured that she would be stable in a days’ time and join them. Reluctantly they all left for the trip. She was missing them already.

The next day she felt better and booked her flight tickets. She had an early morning flight and was supposed to join her family by noon. She slept early that day only to be awakened after sometime, by constant ringing of her phone. She picked the phone. The person on the other side was some stranger. He introduced himself as a sub-inspector from Himachal Police Force and before she could understand anything he informed her that the SUV, which her family had hired for travelling within Himachal, have met with an accident! The driver lost control and the vehicle, with all the passengers in it, fell down in a deep gorge and there are no survivors. There were six people on board including the driver. After that, whatever he said she was not able to comprehend anything.

Since that day her home which was full of fun, laughter and life had turned into an empty, lifeless house like her heart.

She gets back to her present with the sound of someone knocking the door. She reluctantly answers the door only to say “no” to the salesman who was trying to sell some kitchen appliances. With the salesman gone she was about to get inside when she notices a bunch of kids playing on the ground, a little far from her home. She starts watching them playing, fighting, laughing with each other. Suddenly a lady comes and she observes that the kids reluctantly following her to the orphanage, a few blocks away.

She decides something, and goes out of her house. After sometime she is back with the matron and those kids from the orphanage. She offers them the lunch she has prepared and serves them food. The kids are all sitting around the table and few even occupy the floor. They are relishing the delicacies cooked. They are chatting, having fun, sharing stories and fighting over to get the best share of food.

After an hour the lunch is over and the matron takes the kids back to the orphanage. The kids go back reluctantly only after she assures them that from now onwards they will be enjoying lunch everyday at her home. They then leave happily, with their faces lit up, looking forward to the next day.

She is sitting on the same dining chair deciding where to begin the cleaning process with. The floor and table are stained and there is food all over the place. Tears are still rolling down her eyes but there is a smile on her face. The dining room which was immaculate just an hour back is now a complete mess. She liked it that way.

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12 Response Comments

  • Aparna Mondal27/03/2019 at 10:45 AM

    Bishakha you have written beautifully. The description is so vivid that I could literally see the dinning room in front of my eyes. Waiting for the next part .

    • Bishakham27/03/2019 at 12:24 PM

      Thank you so much Aparna di. Hope you like the second part too 😊

  • Swetha Amit28/03/2019 at 8:02 AM

    A touching story. Showcases the importance of dining together as a family and finding a purpose to live your life. Well articulated.

    • Bishakham28/03/2019 at 1:03 PM

      Thank you so much for your appreciation.

  • Advait Berde28/03/2019 at 8:50 AM

    This story immersed me in a vivid imagination of the room where I’d like to stay for a while.. Great narrative.

    • Bishakham28/03/2019 at 1:05 PM

      I am glad that you liked “The Dining Room”. Thank you so much.

  • Aparna Mondal28/03/2019 at 12:07 PM

    Bishakha read the second part! It’s a beautiful story!you have written it so beautifully.
    Very touching but yes the lady found solace and the reason to live by treating those children. A beautiful and noble ending. Lovely. With your writing you were successful to keep us gripped till the end.The elements of a good short story is present in abundance . 👏👏

    • Bishakham04/04/2019 at 12:55 PM

      Thank you so much di. I am really glad you liked it. Your words of appreciation means a lot 😊😊

  • NANDANA DASGUPTA29/03/2019 at 11:03 PM

    Even tragedy has its own beauty! Even though she lost her entirely family & has to live with that pain through out her life but with the orphans she seemed to find the kind of solace & happiness that she had before with her family. Maybe even after losing everything, God gave her back bit of happiness in form of those kids! The vivid description in the entire story helped the reader to feel the same as her. Thanks for crafting out such a wonderful storyline, keep up with the good work.

    • Bishakham04/04/2019 at 12:57 PM

      Thank you so much Nandana. Yes every tragedy has its own beauty. Well said.

  • Preesha Reddy04/04/2019 at 12:12 PM

    It was a really beautiful story , with an noble ending. Kept me glued to the screen till the end. The way the dining room was described I could imagine it clearly. ❤️

    • Bishakham04/04/2019 at 12:58 PM

      Thank you so much Preesha for reading and appreciating “The Dining Room”. I am glad u liked it.

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