The big dinning room was packed with round white lamps, which spread the yellow hue all through the space. It was the time of the day when the weary body and mind sneak out for respite after the day’s toil, which is more mental than physical. The aura of the lights seemed concentrated, gathered together like the multi-shaded bunch of lilies. Bonnie looked at the lights as she was setting the table for dinner.
Bonnie was a 40-year-old woman, short and stout in stature. Age had formed wrinkles on her face and dark shades all over the body, a darkness that hid the gloom of her mind and soul. Beauty had left a scar of old age on this round figure, which had never boasted of her self-possessed inheritance of beauty.
“Ma I’m hungry,” cried little Toya who had just come from her daily routine of park trip and finished her slot of hand wash and warm exchanges with baba as the bathroom door slammed harshly. “Quietly, dear,” exclaimed Bonnie while she served the food. Food is the driving force of existence in this existentislist world, a world of changing norms and values.
‘Values are valuable to the growing generation depending on how we value these values in our children,’ thought Bonnie looking at Deep as he helped the family with the glasses of water. Three plates and three glasses were peeking at one another on the rectangular table until it was seated by three homosapiens on three chairs. The scene offers a recollection of a similar picture of the repetition of three plates and bowls of the three bears in the story “Goldlilocks and the three bears”. The story was one of little Toya’s favourite as she would flip through the pages of the books several times in a day.
The usual North Indian dinner at table would evoke similar engrossing glances that usually rover around the table on 300 days of the year as the remaining are kept for outings and parties.The lady of the house had been trying to accentuate the culinary skill of her husband’s choice, but while her eager eyes waited for little smile, the entire attempt seemed meaningless as it was barking up the wrong tree. It was always little Toya, who would break the ice unknowingly.
The conversation begins and ends at the wink of an eye. Luckily this time the strong slender fingers peck at the food silently, while reviewing the family drama on the TV. Deep,was the middle aged man of 45, stout and sturdy who often generated his masochism in his docile duties. The crisis of middle age often troubled him as it did Bonnie who strove to overthrow her daily drudgery. The crave for novelty eats up everyone walking through the drudgery of life.
Dinner was quickly finished by Deep and Toya, but Bonnie was still nibbling the final morsels of chappati and sabzi. Suddenly, the ‘grrrrrr’ sound buzzed through the ear until the whole house crushed down in darkness. “What happened?” the rueful angry question reveberated the room, coupled with the light and quick steps of Toya as she came running from her room.
“Mama, why is it so dark?” questioned Toya too.
“Suddenly the electricity has tripped off, a power cut while I was trying to fix the table fan,” ushered Deep with an indignant note.
Power cut in this part of the world was an unusual event like a fish trying to swim without water in the pond. The city is New york, USA, which is always surrounded with light and delight, racing and running with time and space, while the people are craving for money and fame. Deep had been settled here for the past 15 years with his family, but never had he faced problems like this. The robust condos linking the city to the countryside were among one in which Deep was the resident, which he bought after clinching a top notch position in the company. “I must call the security immediately,” rushed in Deep while he was groping for mobile in the darkness.
“Don’t you have any candles,” he shouted at Bonnie while she was still munching the last bit of dinner. Rummaging the nook of cupboards, Bonnie and Toya gathered few candles and after lighting them kept one each in every room.
The darkness that was prevailing in the room seemed endless but divine silence seemed eternal and blissful to Bonnie, a momentous ecstasy rippled through her heart as she recollected those days in her old house in the suburbs of Gujrat, India where the newly married couple had just started their lives. These moments of blissful darkness often conjured up the unison of two souls.
Little Toya was very excited with this sudden change of environment; she rushed from room to room, measuring the wick that was burning and the melting wax of the candles. The wax dropped slowly and strongly, just like the relationship of Deep and Bonnie.
“There is suddenly the same warmth of touch,” Bonnie felt from within. Looking beside,she saw her husband searching for the mobile in the darkness. The darkness that returns the same gush of feelings as their hands touch each others. Deep slouches back at the same couch, his eyes are expectantly raising few questions.
The sudden knock on the door broke the trance. “Security uncle has come,” exclaimed Toya. Even few minutes without light was making her restless. While Bonnie was seated on the sofa she felt a figure pass by the dinning table.Was it real or illusion?
The light had been fixed, a temporary short circuit was caused by faulty appliance which also had been fixed. But had the illusionary existence of someone been fixed or was it an unreal figment of Bonnie’s imagination which craved for moment of loneliness and togetherness with Deep. The darkness of desire let her own soul transcend the self and merge with the vast entity.