Confidence : A Major Ingredient
---------------Franklin D. Roosevelt
Pulling her dark curly mane into an untidy bun and securing it with a thin rubber, Shruti answered the door bell.
She gasped at the person standing on the door.
A bit scared, too much nervous and a huge amount of disappointment surged into her.
Keeping mute, she got aside to let Govind enter.
Govind who had dark circles under his eyes which promised that if Shruti was miserable, he wasn’t good either.
“You guys are leaving?” He asked shocked and worried as he noticed huge bags with pile of clothes around.
Shruti gulped the huge lump in her throat, her eyes glassy and voice too croaky to reply.
So was Govind too choked to say something instead they did what mature adults do.
They pulled each other into a hug.
When Shruti cried bitterly, Govind too let his tears fall soaking Shruti’s yellow tunic and staining it with a wet patch.
It was only after Govinds sniffing that Shruti realised that he was crying.
She tried to pull away. It broke her to see the person she loved the most, her rock of life sad, upset and now in tears but he pulled her deeper into his embrace, never letting her go and spoke into her ears “sorry”.
Shell shocked to hear what Govind had to say, Shruti stood froze as her gripped loosened
Piu’s reaction was as visualised by Shruti earlier as she jumped into Govind’s arm when he went to pick her up himself from school with Shruti accompanying her, he wouldn’t have left her away from him even for a minute so they both drove to Piu’s school together.
The drive though was either filled with silence or Govind talking over to his clients on phone through his blue tooth.
Govind was successful enough to hide that drop falling from his eyes as Piu blessed his face with multiple kisses.
“Papa why didn’t you come earlier?” Piu asked making Shruti sigh and roll her eyes both at her baby’s innocence.
How could kids ask something so easily while she couldn’t or she was scared for what he’d reply.’ Shruti thought.
She’d been hurt enough to hear anything else so she chose to keep that part away till now but when Piu started the topic she couldn’t help but give full ears to what Govind had to say.
Govind knew that he needs to clarify the same to his love too so he looked at Shruti straight in the face while he answered apologetically “papa was in some business quandary and was trying to solve it before it troubles my little family. So I had been to Dubai regarding some construtions. And once I was back first thing I did was to pick mama and Piu back home.” He nodded at Shruti asking if she was confirmed.
Shruti nodded back wiping the stray tear from her eye.
Govind however had deleted the part in which Rita came over to their home early in the morning showing her and Shruti’s conversations last night.
He need not do that but one thing was sure that he respected Rita more than anything else.
The family celebrated their united time by baking a chocolate cake at home which could never be defined as a cake for it was hard enough to be cut with a saw. Thanks to Govind who in excitement along with Piu went every five minutes since Shruti put the batter in the oven to check if the cake was done.
Then when he was sorry and volunteered to help Shruti cook, Shruti did not stop cursing till she cleared all the mess the father daughter had made in the kitchen.
From the door of Piu’s room Shruti watched as Govind cradled a now overgrown to the act Piu in his arms and then tickling her and making her scream in joy, the pillow fight to continue making the sweet bells of laughter ring in Shruti’s ears.
Shruti enjoyed the reunion but another fear engulfed her mind.
She went to the only place that she thought was hers; into the kitchen and started scrubbing the already clean tiles of the kitchen shelf.
All negative thoughts endearing her brains “What if Govind was here or came because he missed Piu?
What if he still believed in the manipulated photograph?
What if he was only pretending that everything was normal to save his family?”
Shruti was struggling in her own thoughts trying to feel confident that everything will work out well when two arms stretched from behind pulling her from her waist and embracing her into a known touch that was warm and that shouted love and comfort.
She tried to relax in the same feeling when Govind pulled the knot of her house coat throwing it on the floor, soon his lips started moving around her bare shoulders, Shruti wasn’t aloof getting turned on by his closeness but she couldn’t do it, not now.
She had her sanity to defend.
Balling her hands into fists trying to control the sensation that his lusty wet kisses were dominating her body in a bitter sweet way she pushed him a little hard as she shouted his name not too loud though “Govind wait please”
Perplexed and Govind turned her around trying to read the confusion and question in her face.
He looked at her intently, lust written on his forehead but he knew Shruti too well to decipher something was troubling her a lot…
“About the pic” shruti managed to mumble hiding her panic if he ever believed in them.
Govind cupped her cheeks in his palms looking directly into her darks and apologized “I am so sorry” as he kissed her on her cheeks wiping her tears with his lips.
Govind was scared to loose her again and held her tight again “I know I have been a jerk, letting you go. Please I am sorry. I was blinded. I saw what was sent to me by that idiot” Govind cursed that guys name in his mouth “but I am the one who is to be blamed. Though depressed with the downtrodden business I should have thought logical, I should have known Shruti is mine, she’d never cheat on me. I should have confided on my love” And with those word, he let his emotions flow.
Forgetting whether he was the male or the dominant head, or he was the stronger one, he did evitable and washed off all the bitterness in their relationship.
She enacted so dubious that he wondered if he could continue where they’d stopped as he took her to their room
But Shruti had missed him too much to let that night go in darkness.
Both of them succumbed to each other’s desires forgetting the rough last two weeks that they had leaving all the negatives behind and looking forward to a positive and bright future.
But Before Shruti could finally drift to a sound sleep as she yawned snaking her head on Govind’s shoulders sweet words of Govind “You are tired. Sleep till late and I will take Piu for skating early morning tommorrow” making Shruti smile as he kissed on her forehead.
“I am so glad that I could drive with you.” Sabu sir said when he was seated on the passenger seat of SUV that Govind was driving to the venue.
“It’s our humble pleasure” Govind added.
He was glad that even though everybody in the skating rink knew about his and Shruti’s mini separation but didn’t bring up the topic.
They were all like a family and kept delicate matters of the family in secret check.
“You remember I told you that I have an ace of spade?” Sabu sir asked inviting Shruti’s full attention.
Shruti stiffebned. She did not want to do anything negative or against Simi. She simply didn’t have any bad bone in her and did not want to win under canny circumstances.
“Can I have Piu’s skates please?” Sabu sir asked breaking Shruti’s train of thoughts.
“Umm.. Umm. Here they go” she reluctantly handed the bag of skates to sir wandering what he was up to.
Like a dancer performing the best of her strides in a closed room enjoying herself and the music, it’s closeness and melody, Sabu sir started working on the skates, it s bearing, cleaning and rolling hearing the swoosh sound and mentally tapping himself for the masterwork he’d done.
“This will increase the speed for already 25 micro seconds for sure.” He mumbled for himself to hear.
Then working through his bags, he proudly removed a dirty pink colored plastic bag and then straightening his shoulders proud of what he was doing he removed blue colored cylindrical pieces.
Govind too couldn’t hold his anxiety which was clearly visible for the side glances he kept on hiding to Sabu sir.
Tired of early morning hectic schedule of skating practice Piu comfortably rested on Shruti’s lap having her peaceful resting nap.
‘Thank god. She is out of it’ Shruti thought. She was keeping Piu out of any anxiety or stress; not good for a sportsperson.
“What are these?” Govind couldn’t help asking.
“I told you my ace of spade.” Sabu sir smirked proudly. “Piu’s wheels need to be changed. They aren’t up to the mark. These are going to bring a massive change in the speed and you’ll see”
“But sir” Shruti interrupted restlessly “she hasn’t ever practiced in the new wheels ever. What if she is not able to skate?”
“Relax ma’am. Confidence is something I have on Piu and yes my coaching. And I will take care of it. She is my personal responsibility. I’ll make sure she gets enough time to try on the skates before she goes for tournament and again, these wheels are very short lived. You cannot wear them to practice. They wear off.”
He showed the layering of the acrylic material, “the thin layering decreases the weight thus increasing the speed and therefore it wears off faster so pro players always keep their pair of rink wheels in safe.”
Shruti and Govind couldn’t help but form an ‘o’ astonished about the knowledge and quotient level of Sabu sir in his respected field.
“Also” he added “these wheels are very rare. Best quality’ he stressed on two words.
“Why didn’t you tell us to buy these earlier?” Govind queried more to Shruti wondering whether she knew feeling a little guilty as he pulled her making further purchases for the sports.
“No sir” Sabu sir inundated “these wheels are best but as I mentioned earlier that aren’t easily available. And they aren’t mine either. I borrowed it from my ex student.” He huffed taking a deep breath “I have used 95percent if the techniques I knew for Piu.
I am feeling confidence now as I have really worked hard for the tournament not to forget your little baby was always there ready for any challenge.
Again parents like you are a rare specimen who are even ready to sweep the floor for their children.
“I wonder if Sabu sir is in his right senses making us drive three hours to get us here” one of the parents complained on their trip to a remote area where they had the skating rink to match the international standards like the one they would have in the forthcoming tournament.
“I am confident that it is in our best interest” positive Shruti answered as she walked holding Piu’s skating bag on her shoulders.
Piu had already left running ahead enthusiastically for the pre warm up session.
“You and your positive atitude” the parent cussed as they moved ahead.
The frowning faces of the skaters weren’t missed as they reached the skating rink. Each and every student running towards their parents having their say.
Piu too mimicked the elder skaters and pouted as she folded her hands “How are we going to skate here? It’s so so dirty?”
Shruti smiled at Piu and glanced a look at the huge bentrack rink in front of her.
Huge. It was really big almost 700meters long elevated like mountains around the turns. She’d seen such tracks during Olympics the ones they use for lap races in bicycle. The only bad thing was it was littered with food packets and the shredded leaves of the trees around spring season….
“I will see what I can do. You just get ready with skates on.” Shruti directed Piu with her bag.
“Nobody is wearing skates. Mihir says the travel was a waste and we won’t be able to skate.” Piu explained in her sweet speech.
Shruti wrapped her hands around Piu’s tiny shoulders and asked “You want to skate?”
“YESSSSSSSS” Piu answered excitedly.
“So you remember where there is a will, there is a way?” Shruti asked Piu.
“Yes” Piu nodded in acceptance.
“Then my girl you get ready I will give way to your will power.” Shruti stood straight and charged ready to take command.
“The place is not maintained” Sabu sir whined “what a waste!”
Shruti looked around for the gardener or the person incharge but in vain. She tried to look for the warehouse trying for mops or brushes but no luck.
Shruti was not the one to give up.
While others mocked and denied Piu not to wear skates, Piu showed her confidence in her mother’s words as she shouted aloud “Where there is a will there is a way” and kept on fiddling with the laces of her skates that she knew she’d never be able to tie tightly but tried.
Piu’s trust on Shruti made her sigh and look at god upwards in the sky for help.
And there was God; mother nature smiling back at her.
The tree in the top was flourished with thick branches.
Shruti went to tall Govind “Govind can you stretch and get that branch for me?”
“Shruti are you sane?” Govind mocked “Normally wives would ask her husband to pluck flowers from restricted areas.
Only Govind could find humor in such situations!
“Govind please.” Shruti gavce a warning glare that she rarely used on him but Govind knew that she was stern and determined and quickly jumped to get a thick bunch of leaves with a hard branch for Shruti.
Shruti tucked her tee inside her denims and jumped from the railings on the rink.
Obviously she earned attention from all other parents who had accompanied them at the rink.
A big swipe of the bush of leaves and a huge portion of the rink was cleared of the mess.
For a micro second Shruti might have thought holding her stiff back for bending long that the rink was too big for her to swipe it clean; then all the parents joined her each with a set of new branch ready to clean the rink floor.
What stunned her the most was even Govind and Sabu sir too jumped in to clean the rinks.
Within half an hour all the skaters were in the rink fighting with the wind as they skated with full speed.
Soon there was crowd gathered amused at the little kids running with wheels on their feet.
The two hour session was a major success.
I pray to my dear lord that Sabu sir prayed “she wins, Piu wins”
I am confident Sir added “Piu will win”