Episode 40: It’s a week since Tulasi joined college and she was syncing well with her new routine and new people. She couldn’t go to her house since there was a heavy rain and Grandma promised to meet her the next weekend. “Very colorful! You draw very nicely” – Samyuktha aunty said as she looked at the Kolam(Rangoli) at the entrance. “Come in aunty! Thanks” – Tulasi got up from the chair. “My grandma use to teach me! She has 5 big notebooks and she is a pro” – Tulasi laughed. “Ha Ha! That’s nice! I use to draw. But don’t know why I stopped. Its years since I did that” – Samyuktha “If you don’t mind, Shall I do that from tomorrow? I enjoy drawing colourful Kolam(Rangoli)” – Tulasi “I am not going to object, if you are going to enjoy!” – Samyuktha aunty. “Thanks aunty! I will start from tomorrow” – Tulasi smiled “And heard about your sun prayer and all” - Samyuktha aunty. “Oh! Ashwin told you is it?!” – Tulasi “Yes! They share all the stories to me!” – Samyuktha “Oh…!” – Tulasi smiled “Why don’t you come down now?! Its boring to be all alone in that big house” – Samyuktha “Yeah I will come aunty” – Tulasi said with hesitation “Come on” – Samyuktha took Tulasi and both reached. “I will prepare some juice for you!” – Samyuktha said as she entered into the kitchen and Tulasi didn’t want to stop her. As she was waiting, she saw the photographs on the wall. The three boys were looking similar and their facial features showed that they are brothers. “nice pic aunty” – Tulasi said as she saw the picture. “Yeah! That’s my all-time favorite! My Lovely boys” - Samyuktha Tulasi saw Vamsi’s smiling face and it was kind of new. “They are very close with each other! Though there are these many rooms in the house, they share a single room just to be with each other" - Samyuktha. “Oh…..!” – Tulasi said as she sipped the juice. “Tulasi! Are you interested in cooking?! The other day you guessed the ingredients correctly?” – Samyuktha aunty asked as she sat beside Tulasi. “Interest? I really don’t know. And regarding the ingredients, my grandma used to prepare it the same way. So I guessed correctly” – Tulasi. As they were talking, Ashwin and Arjun came in. “Hey Tulasi!” – Ashwin said cheerfully and Arjun just smiled for courtesy. “Hmmmm! You would have had nice food at your Grandma’s place na….” – Samyuktha “Yeah aunty. But you cook really good that I am getting reminded of my grandma…!” – Tulasi smiled “Ashwin! Where can I get Tulasi plant?!” – Tulasi “Tulasi asking for Tulasi! Ha Ha Ha” - Ashwin laughed and Arjun chuckled “Very funny!” – Tulasi “Why do you want Tulasi plant?” – Ashwin “I am getting reminded of my house there! We have a huge plant in front of our house!” – Tulasi “Oh! I will take you to nursery tomorrow morning!” – Ashwin “Thanks!” – Tulasi “Hey! You wake up early right?! Shall we jog?” – Ashwin “Jogging?! I can walk! But I am not interested in jogging!”- Tulasi “No problem! I will jog and you will walk! Let’s start from tomorrow! I never got company all these years!” – Ashwin "Ashwin! Get one more plant for us as well! I remember my childhood days at home...." - Samyuktha aunty “Ok then!” – Tulasi smiled and Arjun didn’t like it. "So be ready at 6 Arjun!" - Tulasi looked at him "Arjun waking up at 6?!!! He and Anna(brother) are not early birds! No way Arjun will join us"- Ashwin "See you tomorrow at 6" - Saying this Arjun left. Saravanan was sitting in the balcony gazing at the sky. Mom and son were busy in their own ways and Veni is yet to reach home. “Shall I talk to her today?” – Saravanan asked himself. “But what was my mistake?! Being protective is wrong? Am her father after all!” Its years since she spoke to me. Stone hearted she is. Doesn’t she miss me?! How can she be so cruel? Even after me pleading…she didn’t… She didn’t even inform me about her new hobby. Only through her mom I came to know. What’s actually going on in her mind…. As Saravanan kept thinking, Veni pressed the calling bell. “Hey sis! What’s your creation today?!! Show me” – Nivin jumped “Come on! It’s just a one-month class!” – Veni said as she removed her bag. “Show na!” – Nivin insisted and she showed him a beautiful glass painted flower. “Its very nice Veni!” – Veni’s mom smiled as she looked at the flower. “Hmmm” - Veni smiled gently “Let’s frame it and hang it on the wall” – Saravanan tried to join their conversation and Veni walked away leaving the glass in the table. “Its very colorful sis!!! You will draw more like this?”- Nivin was eager “Tomorrow is my last class! I can extend if I want!” – Veni said as she walked in to refresh. Finally! Something to makes her happy – Saravanan sighed It was next day and as she woke up, the whole family was standing in front of her with flowers and smiles. “Happy Birthday Veni….!” – Everyone chorused and Veni smiled. “Thanks everyone!” – Veni replied sleepily. “Sis! This is for you! I made this along with mom” – Nivin showed her chocolate muffins and Veni hugged him instantly “Thanks, Nivin” – Veni smiled “This is for you dear! A new dress” – Saravanan gave her and Veni was quiet. “Please!” – Saravanan pleaded and she got it from him finally. “Happy birthday my dear!” – Saravanan wished her and as everyone expected, there wasn’t any response from Veni. With heavy heart, Saravanan left the room and Veni started her day with the blessings from her grandma. Veni was wearing a Lavender colored salwar suit. Her French braid and a big single stone stud made her look very pretty on her birthday. She started early in order to visit the nearby temple. She walked and in another 5 minutes, she stepped into the temple with flowers in hand. She offered those flowers and joined her palm “Don’t know what to say! Today is my 20th birthday and am not happy. Don’t know what to complain or how to…. I know am hurting my dad and he hurts me as well by not saying sorry. Don’t know how to keep a full stop to this. Just this one thing spoils all my happiness at home. And regarding my college, its dry and the same. Life is too dry and soulless. Please show me some light. Am struck completely! Anyways! Today is my birthday! Bless me” - Veni prayed and sat quietly for another 10 minutes. Time was 5 when she reached her glass painting class. That was the last day of the package and Veni thought of taking a short break after that. Since that was the last day of class, Veni was busy competing her previous creations. It was 8 when she came out of the class. Her mom has called her and she responded back. As she walking with her phone on hand, she saw a guy dressed in formals, talking over phone beside her. “Maa…..!!! Please….I really cant bear this…” – His voice trembled. “Yeah I understand….But I don’t think I will be able to handle this” – He tried to be firm this time. As he spoke, his phone got disconnected and he was disappointed seeing his dead phone. “Excuse me Sir! Can you please give your phone! Its an emergency” – He asked someone. He was denied and he looked at Veni who passed by that side. “Can you please give your phone?!” – He asked Veni and she looked at his worried face.