Friday, May 10, 2019

Have You Forgotten…?

Fiction Short Story

“Why have you brought me here…?” the man says.

“Do you remember this place…?” the man’s wife says.

“Of course I remember this place – we used to meet here…”

“Good. Let’s have a “Bun Maska and Chai” – for old times’ sake…”


“Why not…? You used to love this café – didn’t you…?”

“That was in those days…”

“And now…? You have become rich – and you have “status” in society. So – you find this place below your dignity…?”

“Okay. We’ll have a cup of tea here…”

They sit down.

The man sips his tea with distaste – he seems uncomfortable in this unpretentious café.

His wife is enjoying her “Bun Maska and Chai” – she dips the bun in her tea before putting it in her mouth.

The wife says to her husband:

“Do you remember…? Those days – you were so poor that this was the only place where you could afford to bring me on a “date”. Do you remember those days…?”

“I remember…” the man says, “but why are you talking about the past…? Why suddenly bring up unpleasant memories…? I have forgotten about those days…”

“Exactly…” the woman says, “you seem to have forgotten everything. So – I want to remind you of those days of struggle…”

“Let’s go…” the man says to his wife, “I don’t want to talk about those days…”

“No. I want to talk about those days…” the wife says, “Do you remember why my father was opposed to my marrying you…?”

“I was poor. You were rich. You were much better off than me…”


“You belonged to “high society” – the “elite” – the so-called “crème de la crème” of society. And – I was “riff-raff” – that’s what your father called me – “riff-raff” – he said that I was not worthy of your high “status”…”

“Is that all…?”

“Yes. Your father felt that I didn’t have enough money to meet your needs – and – there was a huge difference in our “status” – and – of course – I was “uncultured”. So – he opposed our marriage…”

“And my mother…?”

“She was against our marriage too. Of course – your mother was more polite – she told me: “the gulf between our backgrounds was too much and could not be bridged”…”  

“But I stood by you – against my father’s wishes – against my mother’s wishes. Both my parents were strongly opposed to my marrying you. But – I did not listen to my parents – and – I married you. Do you remember…? Or – have you forgotten…?”

“I have not forgotten anything. I remember. I remember everything. I am grateful to you for marrying me – okay…!!! Are you happy…? Now – let’s go…” the man says.

They walk towards their limousine.

“Girgaum…” the woman tells the driver, “take us to Girgaum…”

“What..?” her husband protests, “why are we going to Girgaum…? Let’s go home…”

“You promised me – do you remember…? You promised me that you will spend the evening with me – and – you will do as I wish…” the woman says.

“Okay – Okay…” her husband says.

At Girgaum – their limousine stops opposite Charni Road Railway Station – and they negotiate their way through the narrow lane which leads them to a decrepit old tenement building – a dilapidated old chawl which is almost crumbling.

“Do you recognize this place…? Or – have you forgotten…?” the woman asks her husband.

“Of course I remember this place…” her husband says, “my room was in this chawl…”

“After we eloped – we came straight over here – and we lived in your small room for the first few years of our marriage. Do you remember those difficult days of our life – when our relationship was severely tested…? At my father’s luxurious home – I had my own bedroom and attached bathroom – and here – there wasn’t even an attached toilet or bathroom – and I had to wait in the queue every morning for a bath in the common bathroom...” the woman says.

“I know. I know. But now – everything is fine. Let’s get out of here. This place stinks…” her husband says.

“I thought we’ll go and see our room – and visit the common toilet and bathroom – just for old times’ sake…” the woman says.

“Please stop it…” the man shouts at his wife – and – he starts walking away.

When they reach their car – the woman whispers to the driver – and they drive off.

When they reach their next destination – the man says: “Why have you brought me to the court…?”

“Do you remember what happened inside…? Or – have you forgotten…” the woman asks her husband.

“Your father had filed a case against me – for abduction – he said that I had kidnapped you…”

“And – I stood by you – I went against my father and supported you – I told them that I was an adult – I told them that I had eloped with you of my free will. I told them that I wanted to marry you. Do you remember…? Or – have you forgotten…?”

“I remember – I remember – I haven’t forgotten anything. But why are you torturing me by reminding me of those terrible days…?” the man says to his wife.

“Torture…? I though harking back to those days would evoke nostalgia in you…!” the woman says to her husband.

“Please stop. Enough is enough. I know. You sacrificed a lot for me. I will always remain grateful to you. But now – things are good – aren’t they…? We are doing so well in life – moneywise – status-wise – we are the “crème de la crème” of society now – aren’t we…?” the man says to his wife.

“Yes. We suffered difficult days for some years – those were testing times – but we endured them cheerfully because of our steadfast love for each other. And then – your fortunes changed – your business took off – and today – we are indeed the “crème de la crème” of society…” she says.
“I have had enough of “nostalgia”…” the man says, “Let’s go home…”

“No. We are going to the “Golf Club”…” his wife says.

“Golf Club…? You want to play golf now…? It’s already getting dark…” the man says to his wife.

“Let’s have dinner at the club…” the woman says.

“Okay…” her husband says.

When they arrive at the golf club – the wife says to her husband: “Come with me. I want you to meet someone…”

The woman walks towards the end of the parking lot – her husband follows her.

They see a young man standing there.

“Hello, Aunty – Good Evening, Sir…” the young man says.

“Hello…” the woman says to the young man.

Then – she turns towards her husband and says: “You know this young man – don’t you…?”

“Yes…” her husband murmurs, confused.

The woman looks at the young man and says to him: “Come home for dinner on Saturday. We’ll wait for you…”

And – before her husband can react – she pulls his arm and says to him: “Let’s go inside the clubhouse bar for a drink…”

They walk towards the clubhouse.

“What’s going on…?” the flabbergasted man asks his wife.

“Did you recognize the boy…” the woman asks her husband.

“Of course – he is a “caddie” – he carries my golf clubs…” the man says.

“He is also our daughter’s fiancé…” the woman says to her husband.

“What…? Our daughter wants to marry a bloody “caddie”…?” the man says, stunned.


“Has she gone crazy...? I will never allow her to marry this good-for-nothing bugger…”

“He is not a “good-for-nothing” bugger – he is studying – and he does golf caddying in the evenings to support his studies…”

“I don’t care – I don’t want our daughter to marry this guy…”

“Why…? Because he is poor – like you were…? Because he doesn’t have so-called “status” – like you didn’t have…? Because he is “riff-raff” – like you were…?” the woman says to her husband.

“Please stop it…” her husband says angrily, “don’t try emotional blackmail…”

“Emotional Blackmail…?”

“Yes. First – you take me to all those painful places I want to forget. Then – you want me to allow our daughter to marry a bloody “caddie”…?”

“Our daughter is 20 years old…”

“So what…?”

“Our daughter loves this boy…”

“So what…? She cannot marry this guy…”

“Do you want our daughter to elope with this boy – like we did…?”

“Please. Please. Please. You talk to her and tell her to stop this nonsense. We will find an excellent match for her…” the man says to his wife.

“They are in love – like we were…” the woman says, “try to understand – think about those days when we were in love…”

“We are still in love – aren’t we…? I am still in love with you…” the man says to his wife.

“If you are in love with me – then listen to me…” the woman says, “give the young man a chance. I have called him for dinner on Saturday. Talk to him. Be nice to him. Maybe you will like him. He is good boy. Our daughter is in love with him. He loves our daughter immensely…”

The man remains silent.

The woman holds her husband’s hand tenderly and says to him:

“Let’s not make the same mistake as my parents did. Let’s not make things difficult for our daughter. Do you remember the trials and tribulations we suffered…? Do you remember those terrible days…? Or – have you forgotten…?”

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All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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