“Jai…where are you?”, said Rishi loudly.

“Here I am. Here is your suit, ironed!”, beamed Jai as he handed the hanger to Rishi.

“Thought you forgot about it”, said Rishi with a sigh of relief.

“How can I forget about it?”, replied Jai as he helped Rishi in dressing up for his engagement.

“Jai, where are you?” came a call from the living room downstairs.

“That’s Rutu Masi. She had asked for an antacid tablet. Rishi bhaiya, you carry on. I will be back in no time”, said Jai hurriedly.

Running down the stairs, he answered, “In a minute”. Fetching the tablet from the first aid kit kept in the kitchen, he rushed to Rutu’s room. Jai was the only son of Rutu’s cousin. Having lost his father, he had taken shelter at Rutu’s house in the city to complete his graduation while helping the family in running errands.

“Where were you? Don’t let me down. I have trusted you with a lot of responsibility”, she said while taking the pill from him.

“Don’t you worry Masi. Just relax”, he assured.

“Jai, did you get my shoes polished?”, enquired Raghunath, as he entered the bedroom.

“There they are Masaji, near the dressing table”, replied Jai.

“You are a smart boy Jai. You are an expert in handling all the matters”, said Raghunath, impressed with Jai’s dexterity.

“Thank you masaji. But now I must go and check on Dada and Dadi. They should also be ready by now”, said he with a sense of responsibility. He made an exit from their room and dashed for Dada, Dadi’s room.

“Oh, wow! Dadi and Dada, you surprised me! You are ready! Have you used the new perfume? I doubt ”, checked Jai.

“Oh…Forgot that”, replied Dadi.

“Help us with that. It’s in my cupboard”, requested Dada.

“Sure. With pleasure”, replied Jai as he took out the perfume and obliged them.

“I can’t imagine how life would be without you. God bless you, beta”, blessed Dadi.

“Now go and get ready fast”, insisted Dada.

Within a short while Jai got ready and they drove up to the ceremonial hall. Soon the rings were exchanged in the presence of invited guests. Jai was on the toes as he was at the beck and call of everyone. At the end of the ceremony, after having dinner, everyone gathered near the car. It was time to return home. Jai was missing.

“Where can this boy be?”, wondered Raghunath as Rutu dialed Jai’s number.

Out came Jai rushing from the main door of the hall. “Took a last round to check if we had forgotten anything in any of the rooms”, he said panting and getting inside the car.

Once home, everyone settled infornt of the TV, to take a round up the eventful day. Jai joined in too. While checking the photos on the projector, Rutu said, “ Jai you are not there in any of the photos. What were you doing?”

For that Jai had no answer. No Jai, on Earth, like him, would have an answer. Jack of all trades is remembered only in times of need. And is always missing in the frames of glee!


Picture courtesy Pixabay
Explore previous stories at Stack of Stories
Categories: FictionShort Story

26 Comments

msjadeli · April 11, 2020 at 7:05 am

Jai has a mixed bag of it. On the one hand he is blessed to have a place to stay. On the other he’s a virtual servant to everyone. On the other he seems to enjoy his responsibility. On the other most of the family takes him for granted and doesn’t think of his feelings. I’m glad you showed one of the kids being kind to him.

alpanadeo · April 11, 2020 at 8:54 am

People like Jai are so humble and are often taken for granted. They take pleasure in helping other, being there for them and least care about taking due credit. They only know to give with open arms.

Operation Awesome · April 11, 2020 at 9:14 am

Gosh! Poor Jai is everyone’s slave, it appears. I understand that he’s grateful for a place to stay, but it seems like everyone in the house is taking advantage of him.

Unishta · April 11, 2020 at 9:47 am

It’s better to be like Jai and be the silent saviour than the gasbag who says that he is the best . God Bless him and his ilk

Neeta Brinder Kamboj · April 11, 2020 at 11:00 am

The importance of Jai captured beautifully in words . Loved the story, deep realisation.

Shilpa Garg · April 11, 2020 at 11:38 am

A subtle yet hard hitting message through this story, Anagha! Good one!!

soniadogra · April 11, 2020 at 1:28 pm

Wonderful Anagha. So many Jais around. Acknowledged only when found missing.

Jyoti Jha · April 11, 2020 at 1:56 pm

This is such a beautiful story with a hard-hitting message. Loved it.

Srivalli · April 11, 2020 at 2:10 pm

A very well written tale of people who are always helping others and aren’t thought of much otherwise. There are as many questions here as there are events. Food for thought for the readers.

Simon · April 11, 2020 at 3:32 pm

Jai… Jack of all trades ✨✍️ This is again a brilliant work of yours Anagha ✨🤗 I’m learning a lot from your writing! Keep up. Love this work✨🤗 Have a beautiful day ✨🤗💐

Dr. Jyoti Arora · April 11, 2020 at 4:23 pm

jack of all trades Jai !! People who actually are behind all the work, remembered only in the times of need, and not there in frames … so aptly put Anagha!!

Keith's Ramblings · April 11, 2020 at 6:56 pm

i’m sure many a JOAT could relate to this. Nice one Anagha.

J is for …

Durga Prasad Dash · April 11, 2020 at 7:29 pm

As you have rightly concluded that such people are usually go missing from the photos.

purbajune · April 11, 2020 at 8:27 pm

The last line was heart wrenching. My heart goes out to Jai.
Very well written.

nooranandchawla · April 11, 2020 at 9:43 pm

An important message weaved beautifully through your prose. Enjoyed reading it.

Swarnali Nath · April 11, 2020 at 10:26 pm

Last line was breathtaking. I often find this kind of person in any occasion at home. We feel sad for them, they’re the sole of the ceremony but we forget to frame them. Nice one Anagha. I promise, if I see any Jai around me, will take a moment to capture him in the frame. 🙂

Shubhra Rastogi · April 12, 2020 at 12:13 am

Lovely story. Jack of all trades and yet not boasting about it. This is indeed a gift

Namratha Varadharajan · April 12, 2020 at 12:29 am

Such a different take on Jack of all trades! There are some who are helpful to all!

Ira Mishra · April 12, 2020 at 1:13 am

Very rightly said Anagha…. At least I am glad they noticed Jai is missing from the snaps…. In my experience even that would go unnoticed!!

Dr. Surbhi Prapanna · April 12, 2020 at 2:16 am

Such an amazing story Anagha..and I love the ending specifically..it has touched my heart. I agree it happens so many times, when people take “Jai” of their lives for granted and forget to acknowledged their hard work and sincerity towards completing their responsibilities.

Pradeep · April 12, 2020 at 7:33 pm

Good one, Anagha. It’s very true!
Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the comments.

CRD · April 12, 2020 at 11:06 pm

I feel bad for people like Jai. Such people don’t get acknowledged unless they’re no longer there.

Cheers,
CRD

Episode 8 in the series ‘Idiosyncrasies of a Covidiot”

HELPING HANDS

Sumit · April 14, 2020 at 10:15 am

“Jai” is the right Representation of the set of people who believe in “Let your Work speak and highlight your achievements”. People will always remember you for the work you have done irrespective of you missing in pictures 🙂

jazzfeathers · April 14, 2020 at 3:06 pm

Aww, that is so sad. But it’s also very true. And we are learning it mor ethan ever in this times of Covid 19.

@JazzFeathers
The Old Shelter – Living the Twenties

Shweta Suresh · April 16, 2020 at 8:05 pm

Ohh, Poor Jai! That’s heartbreaking. Beatiful story, Anaghaji. 🙂

Shweta Suresh · April 16, 2020 at 8:05 pm

Uh oh, I think my comment went into spam!

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