They were waiting at Sewri docks by the old boat. If the it wasn’t moved soon, decay would set in. Meera looked at the sky; the monsoons were fast approaching. She ran her hand along the grounded boat before she sat down on the floor next to it. Somehow being close to the boat made her feel like she was close to him. Meera closed her eyes. She couldn’t help but think of her first journey on the Kaanchan Nauka all those years ago.
“Come with me fishing,” the trawler man had said to his wife. “It’s an early start, but why not?”
“I don’t know,” came Meera’s feeble reply, as she studied the detail on the hem of her kurta. “It’s not the done thing; for a new wife to go out on a fishing trawler.”
“Since when have we started to live like people expect us to?” Pattu asked with a wink. He walked over to his wife, pinched her bottom and then put his arms around her.
“Okay, okay,” Meera said with an aprehensive smile, as she released herself from his grip. “I’ll get changed and pack a picnic.” She crossed her fingers and hoped that no one would see them out on the waters.
But what fun they had had that morning. Her husband had been right; the neighbours didn’t matter. They laughed; they joked, they even caught fish. Plenty of fish. Nobody could spoil their day.
“Mama!” Pinky’s screams brought Meera back to reality. “Is that the man in the yellow shirt?” Pinky asked, her eyes widening.
Meera stood up. She looked at the beaten old trawler and with a dull ache in her heart she sighed. Her eyes flicked back to her three hungry children and then back to the boat.
“Yes,” Meena said, wiping her brow with her shawl. “That is the man who is going to buy baba’s boat.”