The phone started ringing a bit earlier than usual today. There was a sense of urgency to it. I picked it up to hear a very familiar voice on the other side. "Amma , how are you today?", the voice asked. I was bemused. Who would dare to call me amma? Is it some kind of a joke ? "I do not know what you are talking about!" I barked through the phone, quite emphatically. I was about to slam the receiver down when the voice at the other end, very pleadingly, told me "Iam your son Karan" ! "Karan??", I thought. Who is Karan? I don't know anyone by the name Karan, I thought. For a few seconds my mind was racing. It seems like I know this voice. I know this person. Karan? Where have I listened to this voice before?. I was lost in my own thoughts. I don't know for how long I have been holding the phone in my hand. Suddenly I snapped out of my reverie and was shocked to see the phone in my hand. Hesitantly I said "Hello". There was no response from the other side. I kept the phone and walked away. Why was I holding the phone? Did someone call me? Why can't I remember anything? I need to call my friend Sarita. She will know what is happening to me. But I do not know her number. I frantically searched for her phone number in whatever books and diaries that I had in the house. Finally I found it in one of the innocuous looking small pocket diary. I dialed the number but the call was not going through. Iam fed up with all this. I need to rest. But before that I need to have some food.
I traipsed to the kitchen to find an odd looking lady making something on the gas stove. "What are you doing", I asked. "Making lunch for you aunty, she said". Lunch? "Iam yet to have my breakfast and you are talking about lunch" , I said. "Aunty, I served your breakfast at 9 am today", she said rather annoyed. "No, you did not. Iam hungry now. Please serve my food immediately", I told her. With a resigned look on her face, the lady served me a plate of idli and chutney. "Why is the food cold "? "Cant you at least do your job properly?, I asked her angrily. She just mumbled something and left the room, to fend the food for myself. "What arrogance!", I thought. I need to talk to Sarita about this. Just as I was about to take my food the phone rang again. The lady from the kitchen hurried to take the phone , but I said I will take it . When I took the phone I heard an agitated voice rambling, " Amma , its me Karan !. Are you ok ?". I just stood still for what seemed like eternity. Karan? Is that the same person who called me earlier? Why is he calling me Amma ? I don't have any son by the name Karan. Wait a minute! Iam yet to be married, then how can I have a son! Wish Sarita was here to help me out. I just stared at the receiver and kept the phone very delicately. The lady from the kitchen was watching me all this while. She had a resigned look on her face. "That's your son aunty! Karan is your elder son". Why did you keep the phone down? For a moment I stood still. Is the whole world conspiring against me? "For the last time, I don't have a son"! I shouted to kitchen lady.
As I was storming out of the room, I saw a picture kept on the TV stand. It was a picture of me with two other men. They were hugging me and I had a bright smile on my face. I picked it up and looked at it for what seemed like eternity. Flashes of memory came rushing to me. My birthday celebrations. The photo shoot after wards. Karan and Vishal. My sons. Tears started rolling down my cheek. I tried to remember when this picture was taken. I was not able to recollect. For a second my mind became blank, as if time stood still. I felt trapped in my own distorted reality. I did not know for how long I stood there. I looked around and couldn't make out what I was doing in that room, holding that picture in my hand. A picture of me with 2 unknown people! I kept it back on the TV stand and walked away cursing to myself.
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