Raindrops - Usual and Unusual Stories of love by Dr. Navniit Gandhi

Dr. Navniit Gandhi
Sunday, April 29, 2018

Dear Readers,

Dr Navniit Gandhi has penned a collection of 19 true, usual and a little unusual love stories titled Raindrops.

Every experience of love is a story… and usually, an unfinished one. There is never: The End. What we may perceive as a happy or a sad end may actually be the very beginning. And the colours in each story are not bold or clear; rather, subtle and of varying hues. A feeling that pierces painfully right through the core of our being can ironically also soothe us and put us through the gamut of emotions.

Presented herewith is one story from the Book Raindrops.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

Together in Separation

Maya was a housemaid from Nepal, working in Doha, Qatar for a prosperous native Qatari family. Shadaab was a technician from Pakistan and worked for a private construction firm in Qatar.

She was a dark, short young girl—very warm and loving. He was a generous, though a little short-tempered young man. During those days, Shadaab was deployed as the Supervisor on a road construction project and for a week, work had been going on just outside the Qatari villa where Maya was employed. Every day, Maya regularly came outside in the mid-afternoon to offer water, tea etc to the workers working on the road. Her Madam had instructed her to do that work of Sabab*.

After about a week since Maya came out every afternoon with the beverages, they cast a serious look at each other and very soon, they were exchanging flirtatious smiles. The work on that stretch of the road was completed in a month’s time. They were in love, by then. They had spoken to each other on several occasions during the tea-breaks and shared their details of family, work, and life in Doha. She was a Christian and was unmarried. Maya had lost both her parents at an early age, and following her other siblings she had landed in the Gulf nation to do menial jobs from a tender age. She had attended school for just five years, before being transported to Qatar. He was a Muslim and had a family in Pakistan—with a wife, three children and parents. Shadaab loved his wife and children but had not met them since four years. He felt lonely most of the times and struggled to sustain himself in the strange land.

Not many could understand their kind of love? Was it merely a set of needs manifesting as love? Life as an expatriate, particularly when one is at the lowest rung of the social ladder, is not easy. There is a whole range of physical, security, financial, mental and emotional issues that one finds oneself persistently grappling with. It is but so very natural to seek solace, companionship and convenience. Thousands of miles away from the comfort of one’s own world, men seek the convenience of company and home-cooked food; while women seek companionship and security. And, of course, who would not be happier with a little care and affection too. Those few, who came to know of their affair, reacted differently. Some expressed outrage; while some others thought it was a silly temporary affair, nothing more than a bubble. For most, it was just yet another mutually convenient arrangement meant to last till either did not go back home, for good.

Maya’s Madam adopted a patronising attitude and decided to bless the affair. Maya and Shadaab were both married in Qatar in the presence of two witnesses.. She was twenty one years old when her marriage took place with Shadaab. Despite the hard work, she had not yet lost the spark; the mischief and the twinkle in her eyes. With Shadaab in her life, all the struggles and hard work seemed further worthwhile. They rented a very small mulhaq* for themselves and though she was legally required to stay in the house of the Qatari household, her Madam had allowed her to complete her work and leave by late evening and report early next day.

Although Shadaab could not let anyone in his country know of this second marriage, he had decided to give his best to it and take good care of Maya for as long as they were going to be together in Qatar. He had a generous heart that was sensitive to everyone’s needs and concerns. She maintained her faith, despite the technicalities on paper, and continued her Friday visits to the Church.

Both did not know what future held for them. She could not take a husband from a different religious faith to her own folks in Nepal. And he too could not let his family or friends know of this marriage. They decided to love and live, in and for the present. While she cooked delicacies for him, he shopped for her and brought her little trinkets, clips, and many other things. Over their meals, they both spent hours sharing their dreams and fears; joys and little troubles.

Years flew by, and they lived happily together…

Twenty years have passed since Shadaab and Maya had entered into wedlock. Maya has taken up a part-time job with another Indian family residing in Doha. She continues to take care of her Madam’s family though after her Madam’s death a year ago, the grown-up children do not need her for the entire day.

At the end of the first week with the Indian family, her new Madam asked her: “Maya, are you married?”

“Yes Madam,” Maya replied softly, after a brief pause.

“And kids?”

“No Madam, no kids”.

“Did you get married here, after coming to Doha or he came with you from Nepal?”

Maya smiled shyly. “Madam, he is from Pakistan and we met here”.

Maya’s Madam shot a quizzical expression at her, obviously not expecting such an alliance between two nationalities.

“What are you saying? Really…?”

“Yes, Madam…”Maya replied with an amused look on her face.

“Is he good?” Maya’s new Madam was concerned.

“Yes Madam, very much so... He is very good and is unlike other men”.

“Does he take good care of you?”

“Yes, Madam… He does”.

Maya’s Madam recollected all of a sudden that Maya got a call every day in the morning at 9 am, and she assured the caller every day that she was fine and had eaten her breakfast. Must be him-- Madam told herself.

She asked Maya: “How many years now since your marriage?”

“Twenty years, Madam”.


“But then, what is your future? Will you go to Pakistan? Or will he come with you to settle in Nepal? After all, we cannot stay here in Qatar permanently”.
Madam, I cannot go to Pakistan because he has a complete family there.”

“Then, will he simply leave you and forget you one day?”

“It will not be fair… Why should he leave his children and wife? Only to be with me? But they were there in his life before me and they are dependent on him”, Maya calmly replied.

“Well, don’t you have a problem with this? Once he goes there, he is not going to remember you. You will regret it when he will finally leave you and go to stay with his wife?’

“No, Madam. She is also a woman, and a good woman. She too cares deeply for him.” After a moment’s hesitation, Maya continued: “Madam, it has been three years since he has left Qatar. He now lives in Pakistan. He lost his job and could not stay on”. There was no trace of agitation or regret on Maya’s face.

“Oh! God! He has already left you? What will you do in your old age? How are you going to manage it all by yourself?” There was a note of concern in Maya’s Madam’s voice.

“What to do, Madam? He had to leave and we always knew this separation was going to happen. He still calls every day, and cares. He panics every time there is a dust-storm here or there is any other security threat that he comes to know of.”

Maya paused for a moment and wiped the tears welled up in her eyes. And then with a smile on her tired face, she continued: “I was happy for seventeen years… We married for the present, not the future. God is kind! He brought in my life a caring person. I lived happily. And Madam, life is like that only…”

========================================================================
*sabab: for a good cause
*mulhaq: outhouse
………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Raindrops is available at all leading book stores in India and can also be ordered at:
https://www.amazon.in/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=raindrops+by+navniit+gandhi
http://shop.storymirror.com/_/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=295

The Kindle version is also up for grabs!!!

Those interested can get a copy in Kuwait for KD 1 and may call or whatsapp at 97692149.

Dr. Navniit Gandhi is an academic, an author, counsellor/trainer and a freelance writer/columnist. She writes extensively for several newspapers, magazines, web-portals and academic publications and has authored six Books till date. Raindrops — a collection of usual and unusual short love stories— published and released in Feb 2018 is her latest literary endeavor.
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Express your comment on this article

 
syed Qamar minto
Posted on Friday, May 4, 2018

Dr Navniit always create feeling among readers.Allah bless her.

Ram
Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A well narrated tale, covering many aspects of life. Family, attachments, adjustments, magnanimity, helplessness etc. Though the story is a fiction, we heard such real life incidents. Author was successful in leaving a different feeling and fragrance in minds of the readers. But names such as Maya in Nepal are used by Hindus only, and they are generally very fair in complexion. Language and presentation are excellent. I would certainly own a copy..

Reshmy
Posted on Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Beautifully narrated touching story Navniit... Love is not always "making him mine"... at times it is all about understanding, and giving away... So happy for your new publication my dear friend...

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