ArHi OS l Mere Papad ka Tukda

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Posted: 7 years ago

Banner and Title and Hand Holding Credit: Jigs (Chokri_ASR) Thank you my darling Heart

"Toffee se meethi hai, churan se khatti hai

Khatti meethi hai teri kahani"

I am sitting gazing blankly at a lifetime of memories strewn around me.

Glossy, laminated pieces of me stare back mutely. Some smiling, some grumpy, some indifferent, some bored. I peer into guileless, innocent eyes searching for a glimpse of myself in them. I stare at the beaming smile and feel oddly disconnected with the person in the photograph.

She reminds me of halcyon days spent being happy, simply because she knew of no other way.

Summers spent running free around the lawns and orchards surrounding her house. Stuffing falsa in her mouth uncaring of the stains left behind. Clambering up branches to grab the lowest hung amrud and never ever stopping to do any such mundane thing as washing it before making short work of scoffing it. Attacking the tomatoes and cauliflowers and driving the maali mad. His threats falling on deaf ears because she was, of course, her Dadaji's ladli.

In all of this, firmly by her side, was her partner in crime. Her able helper, her pesky little brother. He who wanted to do everything with her, and he who also wanted to do everything for her. Her real live moving crutch. There, determinedly holding her hand, always.

There to help her hobble away from the thrice a week torture that came in the form of Masterji. Masterji would arrive, armed with a harmonium, hoping to introduce her to the joys of Raag Desh, while all she wanted was for him to go off to his Desh! Her Mamma had always wanted to have a daughter proficient in the art of classical dancing and singing. Dancing was out, so singing was the chosen form of persecution. Masterji would arrive, a servant would be sent to call Babyji, and Babyji would make a dash for the summer house gazebo with loyal brother by her side and servant in hot pursuit, closely followed by said Masterji grumbling at his fate.

But brother dear was also there to steal her katori of amras from the dinner table laid out in the garden during summers. Wickedly indulging himself with her share, every single evening. Before going on to quickly drinking his own, lest she get to it! Her screams of outrage having no effect on Mamma's ladla. The sneaky kid always, but always, did this before the rest of the family arrived at the table. "Koi baat nahi beta, tum badi ho" being their unfailing rejoinder to her complaints. "But I'm always going to be badi!" she would say. "Will he always get away with everything?!"

Where did those carefree summers go?

How did everything change so quickly?

My Dadaji's hands, which never failed to lift up to bless me and to shield me from my mother's wrath, are now just a distant memory. My Mamma's hands are no longer there to plait my hair into two neat twins interwoven with red ribbons. Nor to run them over my forehead as I lay in her lap drowsy with sleep. My Papa's hands aren't there to swing me up to jump across little rivulets caused by the monsoons. Nor to hold me tight when I wake up shivering from being pursued by imagined raakshases.

Nor to protect me when the real raakshash came.


All swallowed up in the relentless passage of time. Leaving behind whispered memories of days when I was young and untainted by the ways of the world.

Waqt badal gaya hai ... Sab kuch badal gaya ...

The only thing that hasn't is my partner in crime.

He who still hasn't let go of the hand he was clutching in all of the glossy laminated pieces of paper scattered around me.

"Kuch nahi badla Di, meri zindagi ka sabse important hissa aap thi, aur rahogi"

Mere papad ka tukda, my brother Arnav.


For all of Anjali's faults, both real and perceived, her adoration of her brother was never in question. He had been the one constant in her life. Unstinting in his support. And yes, unforgivingly crossing the line in his blind devotion of his sister.

I wanted to show a glimpse of how Anjali's childhood may have been. Carefree, secure, loved. Her affected leg a mere irritant coming in the way of fun, and not a "handicap".

Thank you so much for reading. Please do feel free to let me know what you think :)

Love always,


ArHi Drabble l  Wistful Reflections

OS l The Kindness of Strangers

Edited by Arshi67 - 6 years ago
Posted: 7 years ago

"Sisters and brothers are the truest, purest forms of love, family and friendship, knowing when to hold you and when to challenge you, but always being a part of you." - Carol Ann Albright-Eastman

This to me was a tribute to a relationship we can all relate with... one of a brother and sister.  And as she recalled those memories, I found myself recalling mine with my brother. 

But then I am taken back to a childhood these two siblings have had, one filled with happy, mischievous memories then to have taken away. That part brought tears to my eyes. And you are correct, Arnav was the constant in her life. As was she... that is why their bond was so strong. It's one of the reasons I fell in love with the show. Just loved how you have given us that glimpse of their childhood.

Anytime I read your writing, I find myself mesmerized with your words. I can clearly visualize the scene in front of me, but more I can see you reading them out loud to me. It's elegant poetry, Ruchi style. And with just few words in a one shot, you leave us with a long, lasting impression filled with a myriad of emotions... one that we can't forget but at the same time are left with wanting more.

So my love, when I can I get more? A talent like should not be kept locked away... it needs to be shared. 
It was absolutely brilliant!

Your darling Hamesha!


P.S. I am never letting go of the hand that is always by my side... Love you so very much!
Edited by Chokri_ASR - 7 years ago
Posted: 7 years ago
For the sweetest blessing HeartHug

Oh Ruchi where do I even start? 

Your piece has flooded me with memories of my own childhood with my little brother. Your ability to hypnotise and paint scenes with such an elegant language, has me captivated in the sounds that your words create. I can hear their laughter, the rustling of the leaves in the branches of the trees, the way they bite into the fresh fruits and vegetables, the exasperation of their poor servant and the frustration of the teacher, the singing and the tantrums.  Have they eaten all the tomatoes that had just rippened? Is that their mother calling to scold both of them? 

Your rhythm is magical! It soothes our fears that they might have lost that carefree childhood innocence. Your flow lures us to see where are they now after the following tragedies, it tempts us to check their bond. And it is as unbreakable as then. They might be more fallible and flawed, but they still are each other's shield and safe place.

As we hear her sigh, wondering what if things were different, his voice of assurance warms us.

I have always found Anjali the most resilient out of the two. She has been through the same sufferings but has kept the warmth and the trust in people. She is the antithesis to Arnav's bitterness. She still wants the best for everyone, making her fair in all her dealings with the people around her. Her smile is borne from her inner strength. 

The girl with red ribbons has grown. She is now suffering from what her two most important people have done to keep that smile intact, through rashly and unquestionably unforgiving deeds. She needs to draw that strength again to put things right whilst her brother is standing next to her.

Where do I join the petition for you to write more? The language you use, the imagination of your pieces,  the inspiration and the discipline of creating them,  the confidence to bring forth something so spellbinding, the honest emotions you make us experience, the style and overall presentation is so magnetizing, that I can't help but crave for...a few more drabbles, OSes,  flash fiction, or can I be brave and push for a short story...
Edited by albmum14 - 7 years ago
Posted: 7 years ago

Ruladiya! Heart

Your words, your language, your writing - It is so evocative that it moves emotion in your reader in ways I cannot explain. I was reminded of this...

There was so much angst, longing and so  bittersweet..It was about all that she had and all that she lost - that innocence, that carefree curiosity and childhood naughtiness. But it was also a reminder of what she still had - her Chote's love and loyalty.

Kya bolun ab?

You have always had this uncanny ability to sneak under the writer's skin and psyche and gauge what she intended to say but came up short. And your comments highlight those that have been lost, hidden... They are studies unto themselves Ruchi. And why am I not surprised that you would evoke emotion in your writing? Because that is what you do every time you have something to say.

I wish that your heart continues to sing through your fingers.
I wish that you will share in plentiful coffers of tears and watery smiles.

Please write more so that this world has an opportunity to read your words. Heart

Edited by Mirabell - 7 years ago
Posted: 7 years ago
Sometime thinking is overrated...

You asked what I think
The truth is I cannot - i.e. think
I could wish, wholeheartedly wish
I had a 'papad ka tukda'  to relish

For all of Arnav's arrogance
His love for his Di shined through
For all that is his life's essence
His devotion to his Di rang true

It was fun to imagine with you
Such a beautiful and carefree childhood
It was easy to imagine Chote too
Such a naughty and mischievous boyhood

Such an apt phrase - 'partner-in-crime'
They are that always, aren't they?
So complete is his protection every time
There is nothing beyond his Di, anyway

Thank you Ruchi, for this re-awaking
Seems, their childhood is pretty normal
Thinking of Anjali screaming is charming
Seeing Arnav being annoying is optimal

You asked what I think
The truth is I cannot - i.e. think
I could wish, wholeheartedly wish
I get more writing from you to relish
Edited by Heavens_Flower - 7 years ago
Posted: 7 years ago
awesome one shot
Arnav and anjali were adorable together
Do write something for payal and khushi. 
Posted: 7 years ago

Brother and sister share a unique bond that can never be forgotten or replaced by any other relationship(s) that we embark in our life. Those childhood pranks, silly fights and many more are etched as fond memories for lifetime.


I really enjoyed reading this OS as much as I liked Anjali and Arnav bond in the show. Ruchi, the way you took off this OS, Anjali looking at  old photographs and fondly remembering those golden days of childhood and family time is outstanding.  I loved reading this POV of Anjali, how her life changed  during  these years. I am looking forward to read many more OS/SS/FF stories from you.

Edited by jduke - 7 years ago
Posted: 7 years ago

Big sister and little brother, Toffee se Meethi Di and her Papad ka tukda Chotey... they are such a special pair... They laugh, they play, have fun, have fights all day long with energy to spare...They, believe in one another and admire deeply, protect fiercely, watch quietly and listen attentively to each and every nuance, love deeply and they know it too... for Raj Kumari, he is her protector... For Raj Kumar she is the Queen Regnent... You have captured the essence of this sibling bond beautifully Ruchi... Loved it...

Thought I'll comment in leisure but that doesn't seem to happen soon... Thanks for writing this memorable piece... Your quiver has started to fill up! Good for you! Good for us too...Wink

Edited by rulama - 7 years ago

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