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“The house is looking so vacate. It seems just like yesterday.” Dida said thinking about Pallavi Mashi’s marriage.

“Yes Ma. All guests are gone too. It was such a grand gala for the last two weeks. Now it seems empty.” Madhavi replied.

“We will be going too by tomorrow. “Surabhi added.

“You could have stayed a few days more Didi?” Madhavi said.

Na, Re. Not this time. Your Jamaida cannot afford any more leaves. You come down if it is possible.” Surabhi said.

“How can I, in this condition? I will go home straight from here.” Madhavi said.

“Why are you girls discussing on leaving home? I am already upset with one married off recently.”Dida cried.

“Oh Ma! We didn’t mean too. We miss you so much.” Madhavi hugged her.

Sitting of the bed Misry saw the entire Ma-daugter drama. She started laughing.

“Hey you little girl! Come here and give me a hug.” Dida said to Misry.

Misry hugged her back.

“You naughty girl! What made you laugh, huh?” Dida patted her.

Dida, all Mas are the same. When their daughter leaves, they cry.”

“Not just your Ma sweet heart, you will cry too, when you are wedded off like your Mashi.” Dida said teasingly.

Nah. I will not cry.” Misry replied.

“Why?”

“Because I know whom I will marry.” Misry replied.

Ke re! Now only you have chosen the man you want to marry?”

Misry nodded with a smile.

“And who is that lucky chap?”

Ke Abar! Superstar Amitabh Bachchan. ” Madhavi revealed the secret.

“Oh My God! Misry….” Dida said teasingly.

Misry smiled shyly.

***

Sunday evening

“Come on guys hurry up. They all will turn up in a minute.” Soma said to the girls.

“But Ma. I cannot eat it so fast.” Dia Ria answered.

“Finish it now! I don’t want to hear in the middle of the program, that you are hungry. Okay?” Soma snapped.

Both the girls nodded and giggled.

The excitement was all about the Sunday movie on Doordarshan, T.V channel. Since the time T.V moved in the house, evenings were quite fun especially the Sundays.

The neighbors joined in with their families to watch the feature film together in the house. It was a similar evening and Raja’s family along with few more families from the colony had come down to watch the movie which was about to start.

Sitting arrangements were made like the cinema hall with the elders taking the chairs and the children sat on a rug on the floor.

The movie started at its stipulated time and there was pin drop silence in the hall. No, not just the hall it was the house too and the neighborhood too.

None could take their eyes off from the T.V set as long as the film continued. It was Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore super-dupper movie, Aaradhana. People were watching it on T.V for the first time. Many had watched the film in the movie theater but it spins the magic every time it is watched.

The duo had some lovely song pictuisation in the movie and the numbers are a hit even today. None uttered a word or flicked their eyes while watching the movie on T.V. Everyone was mesmerized by both movie and T.V.

Couple of hours later there was half an hour interval break. It was also the time for evening news broadcast. So more or else people were limited within the hall of the house.

Only ladies went to the kitchen to prepare some evening snacks for the guests and others.  Luckily they had prepared everything beforehand and it just needed little frying and dressing before serving everyone. Children loved munching during the interval break. Tea was also served along with the snacks.

The movie resumed in time.

***

In the neighborhood

Horiya had all hopes of laying his hands on something big today. With the winters set in people were generally indoors by early evenings and the streets deserted by late evenings. He was sure he wouldn’t have to wait till late night to steal anything.

Horiya was a thief who stole petty things like fishes, poultry, eggs and all that. He made good money selling them in the market for his livelihood. Since it was dead winters, working late nights was difficult and moreover, evenings were good enough to complete the job. That would give him enough time to catch upon his sleep at night too. And maybe he could grab something good for dinner as well.

With that in mind Horiya had jumped over the wall of Dadu’s house. His eyes were on the hen pen and the earthen pot hanging from the date palm tree. That would easily fetch him good money to live at ease for few days.

He had already decided to climb the date palm tree when he heard the song from the movie,

“Kora Kagz Tha Yeh Mann Mera……”

Die hard Kishor Kumar fan as which he was, he forgot what he had come for and walked straight towards the source of the music, the house.

He saw the music coming from a box kept in the hall and surprisingly it was also showing Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore movie. Of course he recognized them but he could not believe his eyes. He had always watched them on big screen in the cinema hall and here they were in black and white in a small box. He peeped inside and saw half of the colony sitting inside the hall, glued to the T.V.

He thought whatever that box was called, it was magic and he was drawn towards it too. He neatly spread his gamcha on the verandah outside and took his seat from where he could get a clear view of the T.V in the hall. He enjoyed the movie without anybody’s notice. He had completely forgotten that he had come to steal.

In the interval when everybody was served snacks and tea, Misry noticed that one person sat unattended in the verandah. By that time the movie had resumed.

Misry told her Dida about it who in turn thought that it must be some servant from the neighborhood watching T.V sitting outside.  The lady went back to the kitchen and brought tea and snacks for that man.

When Dadu saw her taking the cup outside the hall, he asked, “Where are you taking it?”

“There is a man sitting outside, watching T.V.” Dida replied.

“Who is there?” Dadu asked.

“Hoojor, I am Horiya!” The man replied.

“Horiya?? Who Horiya?” Dadu asked.

Horiya come to his senses. He knew if he was caught now, he would be handed over to the police. He raced for his life.

Watching him run Dadu shouted, “Thief thief!”

The men ran after him but could not catch him. They returned shortly and checked if anything was missing in the house.

Dadu was glad that nothing was stolen. They resumed their movie. When it finally ended they were all praise for the T.V for averting the mishap and Misry too for noticing the man first.

Madhavi thought with pride, “Don’t GROW UP MESSY!!”

*****

Glossary*

Na, Re- No                  Ke re- what                 Ke Abar- who else

Gamcha- traditional cotton towel

 

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