(Holding the receiver close to my ear) “Nandini refuses to go to school today. I have told her several times that you need to be away for a few days longer. She thinks I am lying. All this space and writers block is tough to explain to a four year old. Yesterday she wanted to learn how to write an email to you. She thinks the computer is your best friend and hence her messages will reach you, while I will only talk about how the bai did not turn up today’
Nandini watches from a distance. Kaalu our dog has come up with a new trick. Sometimes I feel he tries to keep her company as you are not around. He has been pulling her frock and making her run around the house. They look happy for sometime.
At the dinner table Nandini insists we should have four plates laid out. One for baba and kaalu. She talks as if baba is there. She complaints to the empty chair as if someone is sitting there and talks about the lunch box and how I picked the wrong color of chart paper for her school project.
I watch Kaalu run around the house and think of the day when he would sit right next to you as you typed your script late in the night. Nandini was a year old when you decided to take the first photography trek. That’s where you discovered your first film. I had read the first few pages and told you that it was a sure hit. But you refused to make it. You said that scene four did not convince you.
This is the 8th script that you are writing now. I am glad you have found peace in writing finally. Nandini keeps talking to ur desk. She says, ‘baabu, I will stand in the first row and clap when the curtains open and read ‘misti – our sour truth’.
I hope by then she has made peace with the sour truth of our lives and space for her still remains a word that means freedom and not being away..