Simple Pasta to heal the heart (for Chalks and Chopsticks)

She looked at the clock for the 30th time that hour but it did not seem to move fast enough. She sighed, picked up a magazine and absently flipped through few pages but her mind kept drifting back to the clock and the phone. The doctor would call her anytime now and she could feel a tight knot developing in her stomach. As much as she dreaded the call that was the one she had been waiting for days now. The weeks and weeks of waiting would be finally over and she would know if her life would change forever.

 She paced through the house nervously from the foyer back to the family room.  Few rounds later she felt weak and she sat down when her gaze fell on the family picture; a beautiful family portrait of herself along with Rajesh and the beaming kids.  She gazed lovingly at it and her tens face relaxed as she thought of him and the kids. Rajesh her husband of 12 years, her rock, her constant companion through the ups and downs and pillar of strength throughout this ordeal. 

(image source )

Their two precious kids who were a source of joy and laughter had meant the world to them. But during the past 2 months the avalanche of gloom had swept away their innocence while snatching away their cherished childhood.  They seemed to have matured beyond their age and she hated every bit of it. She felt helpless and now for the first time in her life she felt that she was losing it. She choked as her eyes welled up in tears. 

She was a strong person and one who was composed and in control. “You have a picture perfect life with everything going your way, Raagini” her friend had said. She felt that tinge of jealousy when her friend said that but she simply smiled and shrugged it off; of course, she knew that well but instead chose to focus on the positive that life offered while counting her blessings. 

And then a week or two later it all started first with a discomfort in the abdominal area, followed by chills, nausea and weight loss. Three weeks later, the pain had become so intense that she was bed ridden and had to be hospitalized; slew of doctor visits followed but they were still left with unanswered questions. It was like peeling the onion, layer by layer, the more she peeled the deeper the stink and deeper the tears. Battery of tests followed and the final blow was the MRI scan did suggest a potential unintended growth of mass. And now she would finally know if that growth was malignant tumor.

She looked at the clock again. The kids would be back from school in an hour and they would be hungry. Even though she had no stamina or the mood to cook, she did not want to keep the kids hungry. She dragged herself into the kitchen and heated some water to make simple bell pepper pasta. The kids loved it and it was the easiest thing to do. She dropped some pasta into the water and chopped some onions and bell pepper. Just as she was done draining the pasta the phone rang. The silence of the house was shattered and she came back from her reverie. It was the doctor calling.

Her heart started pounding and she could feel the sweat on her forehead as she went to pick up the receiver. She barely heard herself say hello when the doctor on the other end said “Ms. Raagini, this is Dr. Langley, I have some good news for you. The test results indicate that it is not malignant tumor as we suspected ……..” The doctor went on with his analysis for a while and told her about the next steps, none of which were difficult or drastic.

It was an intense feeling of relief and she silently said a prayer of thanks. At last they knew the reason, but it was not as serious as they had feared. For her what mattered was that her life was back and she had been given a second chance. She sat down and wept inconsolably, tears running down her cheeks only this time with feeling of relief and gratitude. The long ordeal was over and now they could piece their life back together and bring it to normal.

She arose, wiped her tears and went back to finish off the Pasta. It was now time to dry up those tears and heal the heart. She had to call Rajesh and convey the news; it was finally good news after a long long time. 


Disclaimer & Credit: This story is a work of fiction and a figment of my imagination; it is a contribution to food fiction event. This is my first ever entry to Of Chalks and Chopsticks an event started by the talented Aqua and hosted this month by Jaya at DesiSoccerMom. I cannot explain how excited I am to participate in this event and be a part of this group. I have been an admirer of Jaya, Sra, Aqua and BongMom for their writing skills and their way with words. Reading their post makes us feel as if writing (including fiction) is as easy as peeling an apple, but then trust me, it is not! (At least for me)

Finally, special thanks to Jaya for suggesting the title and doing edits to this story; cheerful and positive she has been a source of inspiration to me in more ways than one. She has also ‘excused’ me for not using the photo cue. She has gently nudged me to try things which I otherwise would not have tried by myself, including writing this story. I am so glad we became friends via this medium of food blogging.

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  1. Bong Mom says:

    Loved it RC. I too was relieved with the final verdict. If your first attempt is so good your second is going to be a blockbuster.

  2. Desisoccermom says:

    Even though I had read it before, the story still kept me tense till the end.
    Like Sandeepa said, your next attempt will be a blockbuster.
    Thanks for the kind mention but I didn’t have to do much edit. You did all the work! Happy to have you join us. 🙂

  3. sayantani says:

    beautifully written story and I agree with others that the second one is gonna be a blockbuster.
    only if the end was so good for everyone.

  4. aqua says:

    And this is your first attempt? You have talent, real talent. What a lovely read this was, I had my fingers crossed, hoping that you would end it on a positive note and am so glad that you didn’t disappoint 🙂

  5. redchillies says:

    @ Priya Sreeram: Thank you glad you liked the ending 🙂 I am all for happy ending too.

    @Tadka Pasta : Glad you liked it as well

    @ Lataji, thank you, glad you liked it as well

  6. redchillies says:

    @ Jaya; thanks and happy to join you folks (at least this time).

    @Priyanka: thanks so much.

    @ Sayantani: thank you, you are too sweet.

    @ Sukanya: thanks, I like happy ending myself.

  7. Jayasree says:

    Until I read the disclaimer, I didn’t know this was your first. You have maintained a good flow and I could visualise the whole story as I read.

  8. Harini says:

    A beautiful and sensitive piece of writing! I like how tight the writing is and that makes it very effective. Jaya is right, the next will be a blockbuster. I could not make out this as a first attempt.

  9. redchillies says:

    Thanks Jayasree for the support and the encouragement.

    Thanks Harini, coming from you it means a lot 🙂

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