That Evening

 

I was running on an empty lane outside my house, without any shoes, without a dupatta at 7:30 in the evening. My salwar being stained by the puddles caused due to heavy rain an hour ago. My kurta too was a bit torn around my high collared neck design. My hands were stained of turmeric and flour, which I had used to wipe my forehead twice. Blood was dripping from the cut on my cheek, neck and hand. And to top it all I was getting cuts on my legs too. My hair was not made properly and I had nothing with myself, not a penny nor a phone, only a hope and energy to run to my husband’s shop. My condition was such that I would not mind if someone would interpret me as a beggar.

The dark night and the empty lane did not scare me that day. It was too late for any woman to saunter around alone as expected by our esteemed husbands. However that day I was least bothered about anything except me. So I got myself a place to sit for a while and relax. I sat on a huge stone beside a locked house, the only safe place where no one would bother me for a while.

As soon as I sat my thoughts went back seven years ago, to the day I got married to my prince charming who was exactly the opposite to what I had thought in my dream, tall (just three inches than me), dark (actually too dark for me) and handsome (fairly less than me, even a bit bald). He was eight years older to me and I ignored even this. I am not boasting of myself but actually telling you the truth. I was never forced for this marriage but I knew how my parents worried about me not getting married till the age of 24. I bargained with his looks in the hope that everything else would turn to be perfect. And in actuality it was too perfect for the first two years.

I loved my husband, mother in law, father in law, two sisters in law and my dear brother in law (my favourite among everyone). We were almost of the same age so we used to jell up best. We used to bully each other, crack jokes on each other, spend time gossiping, he even took me outside when my husband did not have time for me even on Sundays. They all cared for me, loved me, and had no issues with me. How perfect my life was with them. It was just a blessing. I used to think that all the compromises, a sacrifice of leaving my house, parents, two brothers, three sisters and even my carrier proved fruitful. The happiness, the romance that filled my life was worth it.

But things changed after we got separated from our extra large family to form a smaller joint family. We left the place of my mother in law’s mother in law, her sisters and brother in law and moved to another apartment with my parent in laws, husband and my dear brother in law. By that time both my sisters in laws were married. Even our financial status deteriorated and perhaps that was the cause of frustration among everyone in our house.

Frustration reminds me that at present hour I was frustrated. I needed to start running again and isolate the place.

I then turned towards main road, extremely lighted for me to bear, too crowded for me to walk, either run and even too decorated where as I was in a condition too tattered. To inform you, in my place it is not less than a shock to see a woman without proper dress  (in my case a missing dupatta) to be called a whore in front of everyone.

I turned around to see a bike following me, when I just started running as an athlete who would run as if reaching just too near the finish line and see a competitor reaching behind. I complained to the traffic police that the bike is following me but he showed no reaction except amazement, as he knew both of us, me and my dear stalker.

In a positive hope that the traffic police would do nothing to save me I started running again towards my husband’s shop. On reaching the outside of the block of my husband’s shop, I turned to see if he was still following. Yes he was, but as I reached there he turned back giving me a murderer smile as if saying:

You are dead my dear, going to complain about me to your husband? Go, go! No one is going to believe you.

But you believe me that your being alive is difficult from now on. I promise that to you.

I entered the block and then to the basement, shop no 17, my husband’s shop. It was already 8 o’ clock and I was in such a beautiful condition that as everyone saw me they could not conceal their surprised looks. And as I said it was half past midnight for them and a missing dupatta made me look a whore to them and not a beggar.

I did not care for them now. What I cared for now was myself and my baby in my womb. But yes in this running I had forgot my pain. The pains of the cuts in my check, neck and legs, and the pain in my womb which was due to a kick by him (my bike stalker).

As I was standing outside the shop, my father in law came outside and took me into his arms and took me straight to our shop. My husband first completed attending to his customers as if nothing unusual had happened and then came to me. Till then I was painfully sobbing in my in law’s arms and was absolutely out of breath to say anything, only hoped that I was safe now. No one would beat me; kick me or even worst think of me as a whore.

I took a sip of water and recalled today’s evening at 7:15 in my house.

I was in the kitchen preparing the dough for chapattis and my mother in law was slicing onions. My niece who had come to visit me was watching television with my son. My brother in law came out of his room and without uttering a word switched off the television and showed both the children his anger in gestures. I must say my niece is quite daring and a bit too modern for our type of society. She took the remote, switched on the television and smiled cunningly saying:

Excuse me sir don’t you have that much courtesy to ask us before switching off the television

As we were watching that. Even we have that much common sense.

My brother in law wiped his hand ruthlessly across the centre table, too hard, which broke the flower vase on it and even cracked a part of it. listening to the sound we came outside the kitchen, at first unable to fathom what had happened, and even before we could do that my dear brother in law came almost running towards us, held my neck by his left hand, snatched the knife from my mother in law, put it under my chin and almost cut it. He then kicked me on my stomach. My mother in law tried to stop him but in vain. Seeing the children screaming and crying, he got a bit diverted.

I took the opportunity, pushed him hard enough to remove him till a distance from me, to run before he could get onto them. I took the children to my room and asked for a promise that they would not open the door till I would ask them to. As I came out of the room they locked it from inside.

Without another thought I slipped through the back door and ran on the empty lane at 7:30.

By then I was completely exhausted telling my husband all this in his shop and only after completing my story did I fell unconscious and regained it after an hour, still in the shop.

After another hour passed we went home hiring an auto rick-shaw. The devil was in his room and I ran to my room, politely knocked on the door and asked the children to open the gate. I saw them still crying. My son was of course as I had known too emotional and he was expected in the same state. But I had never in my life seen my niece in such a condition. I took them in my arms, hugged them, and kissed them. Neither I nor the children ate anything that day. We locked ourselves in the room and kept close to each other for the next two days. I knew that evening had changed everything in my life.

Regaining courage I asked my husband to book the first tickets he could get and leave my niece with her parent in the town. Eventually she came out of the scary event after a month, my son after about three months but I was never allowed to come out of it. Because that was just the first time the attempt to murder was attempted on me. From then on I faced regular attempts to murder, harassment, molestation, as well as physical torture of being beaten up by my dear brother in law, for years.

Only until, finally my husband had the courage to separate our houses which was not very soon. They still work together, in the same shop but at least I don’t have to see him.

PS: I know the woman was wrong to still live with such people, to go through such trauma. But before you start judging why the woman still lived with such people, why did she not leave them? For once can we think about how ruthless and unacceptable the men’s behaviour was? Even the husband did not do much to in favour of his wife.

The Special Bond

 

The bond that we share

Is really very special,

It is the warmth, the love, the care,

That exceeds all level.

 

Your unshared, unconditional love

Has still, never been enough,

The humane wish of always wanting more,

Has left me without you; hollow to the core.

 

I replay in my mind

The unintentional, inconsequential fights.

I laugh aloud,

With tears in my eyes.

 

Do you remember the reason of our squabbles?

I, for one can remember no such troubles.

All the memories that rushes through,

Pictures our happiness true.

 

Sweet savourings shared together,

Has not reached me this un-fateful year.

Would you have missed me today?

What a wrong question I have come to say.

 

It isn’t just sad

That this Rakhi, I am not with you,

Don’t get mad,

But I am still happy for you.

 

We have never settled

Not on a single thing,

But the love inclines,

That keeps us always stringed.
This may be a new endeavor

But my dear, always remember,

The bond that we share,

Is really very special,

It is the warmth, the love, the care,

That exceeds all level.

*

A little something for my precious brother who is not with me on this special occasion of ‘Raksha Bandhan’

I don’t say it, and I won’t say it, but you must know, that I do love you.

Anger Issues

There is a single question in my mind

To which my soul resides.

The question may have been artless

The answer to which for me is tactless.

 

Can anyone please tell me the truth?

How to deal with such anger disputes?

 

Hidden Inspiration

It was 3 am in the morning; my room was eerily silent, disturbing all my thoughts. Could silence do that? The only sound that pierced my ears was of the crickets hiding somewhere outside my balcony. I wonder why I even keep it open all the time. But that’s the habit I have grown accustomed to, I keep it open no matter what, even my parents are tired of that habit now.

So anyways, I was seated at my study, glaring deep into the bright light of my laptop screen, my fingers hovering above the keyboard, just hovering and not clicking. I had been doing it for a long time now, writing and erasing, writing and erasing, and I had been nowhere. The paper was due the next day, and yet I had nothing!

Creative writing, huh? Too easy? Now I know what’s easy and what’s not!

I stood, walking away, may be a walk could solve my problems? Who was I kidding? At 3, I would be scared even I type faster than usual; I would be scared even if my phone vibrated, let alone ring. I just stepped away from my table, and paced inside of my room, poking the pencil onto my head, as if it was a magic wand. I paced faster trying to exert myself.

Wait what? By walking? Of course not so I started doing stretches, jumping, lying down on the cool floor, anything, and anything that my crazy sleepless mind could set at work.

I stood up and refilled my cup of coffee, took a sip from the cup and rubbed my hand on my face. I even slapped myself the ‘wake up slap’. I mean common I had to do something.

I read a couple of articles on the internet then, I also googled things which were not required instantly, and which might be helpful, I read newspapers, believe me not just yesterdays’, the whole weeks. I went back to my novel diverting myself completely.

And yet, nothing!

And that’s’ when I realised that it was next day, it was already 6 and I might have missed today’s newspaper. I rushed outside, got the morning newspaper from outside and scanned it entirely in a hurry. And yet, nothing!

And then I kept flicking all the newspapers and articles in front of me. It was then that, an article entitled “Feminism bleeds blue” caught me and after reading it for three to four times I asked myself, why am I even reading it again and again?

I already knew what I had to write, and how and when? Then why was I wasting my time? I had none to spare.

What I wrote was not anything related to that particular article, really nothing about cricket, nothing about feminism, but something related to women. And as soon as I booted my computer again, opened the word file, words just came flowing by. And I was as stunned myself. Where were they hiding all night?

In no time I completed the paper and as soon as I hit send, I gathered that had my mind worked a little faster I wouldn’t have to be troubled the entire night. But no, it was waiting for some signal, I guess.

I still respect my beliefs: You do it or not!

I hate hose people who do not accept other’s views.

It’s okay if you want to be pessimistic, if you are of the belief that thinking negative all the while, makes you overjoyed when something good happens all of a sudden. It is okay. That is your way of living life; your beliefs, and I do not interfere with you. Okay, I do try and pull you out of that pessimistic zone, giving may be a lift to your mood, or a little positive thought, but I don’t just disagree with you. Do I?

Then why would you not just give my way of life a chance? I am not saying you follow them, may be just accept that I have a different way of thinking things.

Okay, even if you don’t want to do that, then in the least possible means, at least keep shut.

What gives you the right to take away my beliefs from me, my faith with such mean words?

*

I am sorry this may not a good post for reading but this is the least thing possible that my mind can rack through today.

 

Feeling of contentment

How often does it happen with you, that you wake up in the morning and feel guilty at something in your life, despite all the things you are doing?

For me it’s really often. I would wake up in the morning and just feel like questioning me “What the hell are you doing with your life?”

I mean yeah sure, I work, I study, I go about the day as usual, but what exactly am I doing?

May be the answer is in the question itself, but there for me is no sense.

So there are days, when I rack my brain with nothingness and with overburdening questions. And there are days where I just feel content. Sure, nothing changes overnight, but my feeling does.

Today I got up in the morning with an unnerving feeling of contentment. I call it ‘unnerving’ because I know, just when I start relaxing with the feeling, the sensation of guilt overpowers all my sanities.

So, before I lose this astounding emotion, I just wanted to write it down somewhere so that I do not forget, the gratified feeling of contentment.

There will be days of happiness

Days of sadness,

I need not worry because of them,

As it all shall pass.

Wondering why?

I don’t know why, but the darker the book’s plot, the more I tend to like it, so much so that I read it again and again.

So what is the darkest book you have read more than once?

Mine is:

A thousand splendid suns

-Khaled Hooseini.

Whispered mocking

She stood there, staring blindly at the silvery wall, with no engravings on it. She hoped she would change them one day to a brighter colour, never liking the dull, un-happening colour. After all it was her personal space, where no one had the right to bother her, except of course a knock every now and then, but otherwise it was her place, her space. And no one would burst in here without her accent.

Leisurely she turned the knob on to let the water cascade from all sides. She stood there calm, a battle raging within. And yet she smiled. Did the water cool her?

She shut her eyes, and sat down on the floor, letting the water reach her from all sides, leaving no escape from it. She seemed to enjoy it. The water was cold, but so was the temperature outside and so were the people that she just left in the middle of a movie.

Her face was wet, but she knew not, if it was the shower or were there some tears involved? It had been usual for her to be mocked at, and she had long lost the hope to make people understand that it wasn’t her fault after all, she needn’t be laughed at.

And now, just after a long shower, she was past it, she was the strong adamant girl again who would fight any one off, who would knock your nose if you misbehave, who would punch you in the stomach if you say something disgraceful.

Sluggishly, she got up holding onto the curtain. She did not mind her nude body, not her bulky stomach, not her flappy arms, least of all not even her friend’s mockings. Giving a bright smile looking at her reflection in the mirror she voiced herself, “I am a beautiful woman. I am strong and I am invincible.” Almost priding on humming to the song “I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman.” And suddenly the scoffing’s and scornful comments on her bulky body by her friends, or by anyone else did not matter.

She was well past that.

Turning the shower off, she came out of the room wrapped in a towel. Her mother asking her to wear a robe instead was waiting with some weight loss drink and a reminder of her workout session.

Silently, smiling at her mom, thanking her, she drank from the tall glass, and took out the tracks from the cupboard.

Just when her mother left, she whispered to herself, “Who cares if I lose weight or not, I don’t. I am not a fan of size 0.”

Being possessive

“I may seem sweet and nice but if you borrow my book and forget to return it, I will break a level of crazy that will make your nightmare seem like a happy place.”

 

Nothing that I wrote, but seems apt though.

 

It’s only sad that my friend who took my book would not read this. 😂😇

A tragicomedy: a play in 12 days.

“To (be able to) laugh at our misery is the only way we have found of coming to terms with it.”

 

Day 1:

Hey, so when are you planning to come?

What for?

Dude, I am getting engaged! We are having a grand party here. You have to be here. Don’t give me any reasons.

I know and I will be there, just send me the dates, and I’ll let you know how can I arrange things. I wouldn’t want to miss it for anything.

Day 2:

I will reach right before the day of your engagement. This is all I could do in such short notice. My work is all jammed up and any day before that would be really difficult. (And expensive)

Okay, no problem! All that matters is you’d be here on that day. You are my only girl, babe!

Day 3:

Since I am going so far I might as well visit my brother. He has just gone to this new city, and a surprise wouldn’t harm anyone. I think he’d be glad.

Day 4:

The stay extends up to a week long, making me return after Raksha Bandhan. What best gift for my brother than a surprise visit on this day?

Day 5:

Buying of gifts for this pretty “bride to be” and my brother.

Day 6:

Trying to finish all the work, literally all the work that could not wait for a week, and also everything that couldn’t be done by anyone else instead of me! And believe me the list went on.

Day 7:

A little bit of shopping for myself.  I wouldn’t want to look like someone not invited to that grand celebration of that lovely couple.

Day 8:

The rain persists.

Day 9:

Doubt of plans.

Day 10:

I am sorry darling; I don’t think I can make it on time. There is water everywhere. The streets are flooded, roads are jammed, there is barely any movement. The officials have warned everyone around not to get out of the house unless very urgent. The airport is almost submerged, and even if the flight takes off there are pretty chances that they’d land me on some other city altogether, if the situation worsens. I don’t think I can manage so much hassle now. It is really difficult to travel so far now.

Why do you stay so far?

I know, I understand but this is clearly not in my hands, it is an act of god. (Pleading my case as if in a court.)

I don’t know you have to be here. You always have reasons.

When have I last made a reason?

I don’t know, you have to be here.

I wish I knew how to swim, I would then surely be there. (I risked a joke.)

Okay, you don’t want to come, don’t come then, even I won’t attend your engagement.

Seriously, I wish I could come; it’s really not in my hands. After such disastrous delayed flights even my parents wouldn’t want me to travel. I am sending you the picture of airport, tell me if you still want me to come.

IMG_1639IMG_1638

Okay, I got to go now; I am getting a call from ‘him’.

Okay, take care babe; I am really sorry that I am not able to come. (Oh God, what about the money that I wasted on booking tickets and now cancelling it?)

Day 11:

Back to work, which I think I completed in advance. (Oh wow, for the first time running ahead of the deadline.)

Day 12:

Writing this and trying to get her to receive my call!

*

My brother being the only one who did not know what was to happen, and what never happened! (Saved, I guess from all the extra drama!)