The Helium Balloons
Payal Chakravarty, Workshop 10
“Mama is so beautiful, right Daddy? Do I look like her?”, asked Jiya sitting on her dad’s lap flicking through his photos on the phone and looking at her mom’s glowing picture in a pink gown.
“Yeah she is indeed and yes you do”, Ayush said, looking distracted waiting for the nurse to come out anytime.
“Can you tell me the story again?”, Jiya asked, her eyes twinkling.
“Not again Jiya, I have told you this story everyday for the past three years”
“But one more time please”, Jiya started to pout.
“Ok , ok .. here you go , one last time”, said Ayush seating Jiya on his lap , brushing her away from her face. “It was the day you were born. We were getting ready for the baby shower that your mausi and bua had arranged. I was in the car putting all the stuff in while Mama was walking out of our home.
Your mommy had told me several times to tie the helium balloons so they don’t fly away. But they did .. a cluster flew away and your mommy forgot for a minute she had you in her tummy, she rushed and in an attempt to stop it she tripped on her gown and fell on a rock. We had to rush you both to the hospital….”
“And thankfully you got me home but she is still here … on that bed in there…” Jiya chimed in with the same question mark in her eyes and completed the story.
Ayush nodded and hugged Jiya. It had been a rough three years raising his first child and taking care of his wife who was in coma.
Based in San Francisco, Payal loves spinning tales about ordinary people. Her favorite short story authors are Alice Munroe, Roald Dahl and Jhumpa Lahiri. She is a techie and holds degrees in engineering and business. Her blog: https://yarnsofimagination.blogspot.com/