top of page

JHUMKE | Anjali Dombe


Dear reader, fear is what resides in her, she’s fearless, but can’t claim to be so. It’s a state of mind people say, yet she has got this usual notion of getting blinded by the kindness that she sees and witnesses around her, that she loses track of what kind of a person she ought to be in this world. She for once looks out of the window and glances at the blurred skyline above the tall buildings. For your knowledge, she stays on the sixth floor and the world seems not-so-tiny from there. The birds seem to call out for her as they fly from across the skies to the horizon where the sky meets the land. She for one reason likes to have people around her, and even when she’s all by herself, she talks aloud, like she’s narrating a folklore. People who know this part of her, find it astonishing. On the contrary, not many really know her. She’s the sort of open-book which is open, yet mysterious. Besides, it’s for you to find out whether she suits your judgments, isn’t it?


The first glimpse of the ray of sunlight fell on the unwashed utensils in her kitchen sink and travelled on to the pile of clothes that lay on the dining chair close by. The rays smuggled themselves across the window pane and fell on her eyes, finally waking her up. She woke up rubbing her eyes, leapt out of her bed, fiddled with the sheets in an attempt to fold them and walked out of her room at last, after settling for the mess. Looking at the unwashed utensils with annoyed and fussy eyes,she began walking in the direction of the sink, just when, the doorbell rang. Her feet tip-toed in a haste to answer the door; it was Geeta didi, her domestic help. She let her in and greeted her with a frown on her face. Scanning the house for the mess that was awaiting clearance, the domestic help stuttered, “Um, uh.. M..Mm..Meera didi, you should get someone.. to live with you. Doesn’t it get lonely?”



Meera launched herself with alarm, “Lonely? Who on earth said I feel lonely? Meera never feels lonely. If at all she thinks that way, she has herself as her own company.”


“Okay didi. I was just concerned about you. Should I make tea for you?”


“Yes, please. I’d like that very much. Also, please get it to my room itself.”


“Okay, didi. I’ll get it.” And in haste, she went to the kitchen to make tea for Meera. Meera went to her room and opened her cupboard. She ran her fingers on the surface of the first shelf below her pile of clothes to find the keys to the drawer in the cupboard. A few more attempts and she found them. She pushed the keys into the keyhole and opened the drawer; there were a few jhumkas, nose rings, three fountain pens, a peacock feather and a dried rose. She rolled her eyes from the rose to the jhumkas and picked up one of them. The oxidised jhumkas shone in the sunlight and she looked at them with glittery eyes. She then shut the drawer and the cupboard and sat on the chair by the window, lifted her diary lying on the table near-by and opened it to write:


“Dear you,


I’ve been staring at the jhumkas you presented me with. I felt like my tears slid down on its dome and their shine wrote letters to you on my soul. Letters, I can never post, but will reach your soul when I’m with you next. I remember how much you loved dry roses; I always keep one with me. Your love in the dead rose never dies. In it, your words live like art does, in me. Di, I paint you crimson some days, saffron some others and on some days, just black and white. But what you will always be all colors in the rainbow and I’ll dance with you in my memories in the rain just like I promised.


Yours,

Chhoti”


She placed the pen down along-side her diary, closed it and tears rolled down her cheeks. Running her fingers on the pages of the diary, she thought, “Guess, it’ll rain today.” And it rained in the evening.

By night, it had stopped raining and Meera was on her bed, sitting, wanting to lie down and fall asleep. She had a long day to forward for tomorrow. After all, thoughts of meeting her friend with whom she grew up in the orphanage, were stirring in her mind. She dragged herself from her bedroom to the kitchen to cook something, but turned to face her fridge to find leftovers instead. And when she couldn’t find anything worth relishing, she resorted to making macaroni for herself. It was nearly half past ten, she was staring at her phone within intervals of watching T.V.; awaiting her friend’s message. About in a minute, she received a text which read:


“Hey Miyu! I’m so sorry for texting so late at night :(_

I’ll see you tomorrow at 10, okay?”


Meera typed a message which read:

“Hey Ria! It’s okay! And yes, I’ll see you too.”


She walked to her room, leapt into her bed and slept in no time. It was Sunday and the sun was up by half past six and Meera was up too. She went on to take a shower, plucked a rose from the flower-pot in her balcony and sandwiched in between the pages of her diary muttering, “Di, you are loved,” she grinned maliciously.

She finished doing her chores, got dressed in a chikankari kurta and jeans. As usual, she didn’t wear her jhumke. She budged to find an auto. She reached the mall where she ought to meet Ria, paid the auto-fare and began scanning in the crowd for Ria. She came running to her from behind and tapped Meera on her shoulder. She turned and almost shouted exhilaratingly, “RIA! OH MY GOD!” She then hugged her.


They together stepped inside the mall. Meera bought herself a short kurti, while Ria was looking for a tank top to buy. Meera helped her choose one and try it out, as she finally chose one and bought it, they went to buy ear-rings for themselves. Ria looked at Meera’s ears and said, “I so knew you wouldn’t wear a jhumka today as well. Here, I’ll buy you a pair. It was my turn after your di, wasn’t it?”

Meera responded in a feeble and resentful tone, “Um, yes, it was..”

“Oh come on bugger, I’m buying you these, have a look!” Ria nudged her and showed her a pair which were the most fetching pair, she had ever seen. She was engulfed in joy, “Ria! Oh my god! These are so beautiful!”

Ria grinned. They then decided to go home. “Ria, you’re coming to my place as decided.”

“Of course sweetie, I am tagging along.”

They reached Meera’s home, just in time before it began raining. She asked Ria to make herself home and that she’d get her chai to warm up. Meera paced towards the kitchen and turned to have a glimpse of Ria; when she did, she smiled with spiteful eyes. She then made chai and when it was ready, she served it to Ria with a smile,

“Here you go, babe.”


“Thank you!”


“I’ll just go and clean the platform, okay?”


“Sure Miyu, take your time.” Meera went to the kitchen and got hold of a knife and hit it behind her. “Ria, stay for a few days, na? I really miss you.” She said, hostilely. Ria was watching the T.V. and began speaking to Meera without looking at her, “Miyu, you know that I can’t for now, right? I’ve got work to do and have other things to look out for..” just when she was about to conclude, she turned to look at Meera. She gasped and held her throat and in about seconds, lay still on the sofa. Meera had slit her throat before Ria knew what was coming her way. Meera’s clothes had sprinkles of Ria’s blood on them. Her palms too were full of blood. She bent down at the level of Ria’s body and began speaking in a hostile tone,


“You, di, Aisha and all those who claimed to love me, DID NOT! YOU ALL WERE BLOODY LIARS!” She breathed heavily.


“You knew I was lonely, didn’t you?”She rose and scoffed. “Do you want to know where the rest of them are? Come, I’ll take you there.” She dragged Ria’s body to her room and rested her on the bed and she tried to push her wardrobe. There was a door behind it. She opened the door and it was all very cold in there. There were a pair of gloves lying on the ground, she wore them and dragged Ria’s body and placed it on the floor. There were about 4-5 other bodies inside a glass chamber, preserved in ice. One of the bodies was of her di’s.


“This is what happens to people when they lie about loving me. All you ever gave me was jhumke, but I long for your presence. Yours was a painless death. Mine is a painful death. I die every day reminiscing of your memories. You refuse to stand by your words, you die! And here of course, I’ll speak to you all everyday. You’re going nowhere.” She laughed hysterically.


“Chhoti-si, pyaari si nanhi si, aayi koi pari..” She sang in an intimidating tone. She got out of there and got hold of her diary that was lying on her bed. She now opened to write:


“Dear you,


I’ve been staring at the jhumkas you presented me with. I felt like my tears slid down on its dome and their shine wrote letters to you on my soul. Letters, I can never post, but will reach your soul when I’m with you next. I remember how much you loved teddies, I always keep one with me. Your love in the teddy never dies. In it, your words live like art does, in me. Ria, I paint you crimson on some days, saffron some others and on some days, just black and white. But what you will always be all colors in the rainbow and I’ll dance with you in my memories in the rain just like I promised.


Yours,

Miyu”


She turned the pages of her diary to peek over the other addressees; the pages of her diary were once again stained with blood. She closed the diary while she said, “Chhoti-si, pyaari-si, nanhi-si, aayi koi pari..haina di?” She laughed hysterically again.


Anjali Dombe

Guidelines for the competition : https://www.fanatixxpublication.com/write-o-mania-2023


12 views2 comments

Related Posts

See All

2 Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Guest
May 14, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Nice!!✨

Like

Guest
May 13, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

totally blown with the twist that came in the way! definitely a masterpiece for the plot you have set anji !!

wishing you the best 🥰

Like

WHEN ARE YOU STARTING YOUR JOURNEY?

Check Out our Plans and Publish Your Book Today

Featured Books