The parent..

Chapter 1


Mukeria,Hoshiarpur {Punjab}



“Thak thak!!!”

Rano could hear the knocks getting louder at the door with the time she was taking to finish her prayer.Her hands were joined together while her lips were busy reciting “Jap ji Sahib” in a slow voice .She opened her eyes after finishing the last verse,as she bowed her head in reverence before large portrait of “Guru Nanak Dev”.

“Coming“..She yelled sprinting towards the kitchen to fetch a vessel before attending the milkman who was at door since last ten minutes.

“Sat sri akal masterni ji”..

Milkman greeted her in a trembling voice due to blood freezing winters.

“Sat sri akal veer ji..”She greeted him politely. An amused smile was lingering on her lips as she heard him calling her “Masterni ji“.She was not a teacher.Her husband Mr.Mohinder Handa was a Maths teacher in “Guru Gobind Singh Sr. Secondary School” and being his “better half”,She was fondly called “Masterni ji” by all the denizens of Mukeria.

“I am sorry veerji..I made you wait so long in such a chill..“Rano exclaimed with regret as her eyes noticed the chattering of his teeth.

“Its Ok masterni ji..Its my job after all..“He answered filling the “vessel” with milk.”Waheguru knows when these winters would end…”He exclaimed further getting back on his “Rajdoot“{Bike} after closing the lid of one of milk drums hanging on each side of the bike

” Just two more months veer ji..”Rano answered securing her shawl with one hand.

“Actually its really hard to ride the bike in such dense fog..“Milkman spoke gesturing with his chin towards the other end of the narrow lane as he revved up his bike.Rano came out from the door  to take a look around.Visibility was near to null.Fog had curtained each and every object around them.

“hmm you are right veer ji…Drive carefully”..

Rano exclaimed with a worried smile .

“Ji masterni ji..I would be careful…Sat sri akal.ji..” He greeted her once again before taking her leave.

Rano watched the bike getting lost in clouds of fog at the other end of lane leaving behind the mild smell of “petrol” and smoke. Rano felt the slight warmth of the smoke tantalizing her toes as she came back to her house.Enthusiastic chirping of the sparrows in the open verendah of her small house caught her attention now.

“Winters has not spared the birds even“Rano exclaimed with a smile giving a glance to sparrows who were gathered and jumping around the “Chulha” seeking the warmth of “burned coals” and “ash”. Rano preferred to cook “Makke di roti” on chulha rather than “Gas stove” for bringing that special flavor and sweetness to the “Rotis”. Ash in “Chulha” was still hot because Rano had used it for cooking last night. 


Her husband’s voice brought her out from her musings.”He must be waiting for the “tea”..She thought,forwarding her steps hurriedly towards the kitchen.


“My morning does not start till I get this tasty ginger tea,Rano..Only you know the “secret recepie” for this special tea” Mohinder said adjusting his spectacles on his nose as he took his seat on his favorite easy chair.

“I know it very well ji..There is no need to flatter me..”Rano answered with a smirk keeping her cup on the small wooden table.She liked to have her tea a “little less hot”.She used to spend this “mean time” till her tea gets little cold,in making bed.

Her hands were busy smoothing the creases of the bedsheet  however her entire attention was on the bundle of ” Maths Test papers” kept on the study table near the bed.

Mohinder smiled as he sipped his tea before speaking,”You want to know your “Chidi’s” marks???”

His voice startled Rano.

“Have you checked all the test papers???“She asked moving towards the study table.

“Yes and your “Chidi” has got 70 out of 100″..Mohinder replied.

Disappointment could be seen clearly on Rano’s face as she searched for “Geet Choudhary’s “Test paper in the bundle.

“Chidi’s performance is getting poorer day by day..I am sure you don’t teach properly in the class..”Rano exclaimed sadly taking a closer look at geet’s test paper.

Mohinder was amused with his wife’s statement which screamed of her “endless” love for her best friend’s daughter. Rano and geet’s mother “Daljeet” were best friends since Childhood.Destiny and their bonding brought them to same place “Mukeria” after marriage also.While Rano got married to “Mohinder”,Daljeet found her life partner in Karanveer Singh Choudhary,younger son of Dar jee”Sukhdev Lal Choudhary”,who was “Sarpanch” of Mukeria. Daljeet was blessed with a beautiful daughter “Channi” just after one year of her marriage,however Rano had to wait for this “blessing” for quite a long time.

Daljeet’s happiness was doubled on her second pregnancy after five years because this time her best friend was also “expecting”.But very soon destiny snatched this happiness as Rano suffered from a miscarriage during 8th month of her pregnancy.Along with her unborn kid,she also lost the chance to experience motherhood in future too because of certain medical complications.”Trauma” afterwards was the worst time for Handa couple.Mohinder tried his best to keep his wife happy but “their loss” was too big to forget.

What Rano’s husband could not do,was done by her best friend “Daljeet”..Mohinder saw his wife smiling after two months,when Daljeet kept her second daughter “Geet” in her lap.Since that moment,Rano was Geet’s second mother.Rano’s love for her “chidi” was endless and it was increased beyond limits after sudden demise of geet’s parents in a road accident two years ago.

“Yes,you are right Rano..I don’t teach properly..I am really surprised how some of my students got 100 out of 100 then..???“Mohinder exclaimed in a sarcastic tone.

“I know you are the best “Maths teacher” ..“Rano answered picking her cup of tea from the table…” I am just concerned about chidi’s performance..Why she is lagging behind???”She asked with furrowed eyebrows sipping her tea.

“She is a quick learner Rano ..Its just She is distracted very easily..Her silly and careless mistakes in calculations has prevented her from getting full marks..”

“Hmm..I know..These days her entire attention is on Channi’s wedding..”

“When is channi’s wedding ???”Mohinder asked handing Rano the empty cup.

“Its next week only..“Rano answered as her feet moved towards the window.

She looked outside only to find not any sparrow near the “Chulha” anymore..”These daughters are like sparrows,Mohinder ji..You never realize when they would fly leaving behind your “empty” courtyard..After few year,my “chidi” would also fly ..”Rano exclaimed in a sad voice as she wiped her eyes with the corner of her shawl…!!


 Continuous Buzzing of the alarm clock made  14 years old geet open her droopy eyes to check the time.Her breath stuck in her throat as she realized how late she was today morning.It was 7.30 am already.Sleep left her system completely as she ran outside her room with the speed of air,without caring about her clothes and morning chill.Her skinny frame was trembling and teeth were audibly chattering as she looked for fresh copy of “Ajeet Samachar” in vast courtyard of Choudhary haveli..

“News paper is already in Darjee’s room,Chidi..You are late today” Balwinder spoke with a teasing smile watching his late  brother’s daughter busy in searching newspaper in such cold weather, without any “wollens” on her.Once newspaper was gone into Daarji’s room,noone in the family could muster the courage to bring it out till the next morning.

“How I can be late on Friday taya ji…I missed today’s “Bollywood masala .“Geet exclaimed with sullen face.

Balwinder tried to control his laugh watching his niece mourning for a mere “News paper supplement..”..”Oh yes chidi..How can you miss today’s bollywood masala..You know there is a large poster of “Sharook Khan’s” new movie in it..”

“Really Taya ji..There is a poster of “Kuch Kuch hota hai”????“Geet’s regret for sleeping this late was touching its peak now as tears brimmed in her hazels.

“Yes chidi..and “Sharook Khan” is looking very handsome in that poster..”

“Oh ho..Taya ji..Its Shah Rukh Khan not Sharook Khan…“Geet corrected his uncle in a teary voice as she hugged herself because of freezing air.

Before tears could trickle down her pink cheeks,Balwinder preferred to give his niece her most prized possesion,”Fresh copy of Bollywood masala”..

Geet could not believe her eyes as Balwinder handed her the paper. She was literally jumping in the air now.

“You are my favorite Taya ji…“Geet exclaimed hugging her uncle dearly.

“I know it very well chidi..”Balwinder answered kissing her head.


Pammi’s strict voice coming from geet’s room startled both of them.

“Your tai ji is calling you chidi..”

“hmm taya ji..and she seems quite angry..”

“She is always angry chidi..”Balwinder exclaimed with a wink as he gave a hearty laugh,soon to be joined by geet’s musical laughter.

Another angry “call” from tai ji broke geet in to run.

A serene smile lingered on Balwinder’s lips as he watched geet jumping over the small plants in the courtyard while running towards her room.Her one hand was holding her “salwar” little upwards from the knees where as other was busy holding the paper.Chime of her anklets with extra “ghunghrus” could be heard in whole house”

She indeed was the “Chidi” of Choudhary Haveli…!!!!


ps- “Chidi” means “Sparrow” in punjabi..