(Not fake news!)
I am angry. Seething with anger, if I may so until I go on to the next news piece which arouses the same emotion in me. This probably has something to do with the click bait theories and algorithms being run by all social media outlets and even news agencies these days – all that they wish to do is get a response from us, mostly in the form of outrage, or surprise, or any sort of reaction. So here goes mine.
I understand not celebrating Valentine’s Day. A lot of people consider it a commercial gimmick, which it is, and they do not want to succumb to it. There are others who call out a day of love as unnecessarily famed, because they treat all days with love. Then there will be people who think a Western concept has no place to hold in a country like India, a concoction of cultures in itself. What I don’t understand is marrying a dog to a goat as a mark of protest against V-day?! What on Earth were you thinking? And this was not a thought which crossed across only one person’s mind. There were several others who agreed with the perpetrator of the idea and that led to a group protest, a mass protest more like.
What’s more – the media reported it, social media sites lapped it up and then like every action has an equal and opposite reaction, there came a protest group protesting against these protesters and filed a divorce petition for the marriage of A DOG AND A GOAT!!!
I am not even making this up. I don’t think I am this creative! I am just stating the facts as reported in the news.
My questions, the ones just off the mind would be – was the marriage even registered in the first place? And who really married them? And as per Hindu rituals, Islam or Christianity? And who’s going to be hearing the petition and awarding a divorce?
Also, did anyone care to ask the Dog and Goat if they want a divorce, because we in India sure as hell don’t ask if they wanted to get married!
As he laid back in his chair, heat exuding from his ears, he looked up at the fan. It wasn’t moving. The surface of the fan gleamed due to the light. He was having trouble breathing. He could feel his ears turning red. He rubbed his chest. The silence in his cabin was pounding at him. There was no one outside on the office floor. They’d all left for home. He could have gone home too. But to whom? And when had he last gone home for someone? Wasn’t it always because he needed food and sleep?
His wife had left him yesterday. The woman he’d been married to for 20 long years, who’d brought up two of his children, who’d never asked for a single holiday in all of those years, who’d been an idol of docile and submissive, left him. And he’d seen no change in her. Just like that, she left. How long had she been packing? How had he missed the change in her? When did his work take over his life? His kids had called him so many times since morning. He didn’t know what to say to them. He still hadn’t managed to call her even once. He felt too ashamed to. Instead, here he sat, staring at the fan, wondering if the sacrifice was worth it.
He was rummaging through old letters his deceased wife had written him during a long marriage and before. He also found his first and only Valentine Day card from thirty years ago.
Tears welled his eyes immediately when he read and re-read the sender’s name etched in crayons. He called her. This would be his first conversation with her in more than two years. “I want to take you out for dinner today. Will you be my valentine?”
She wasn’t sure if she should even receive the call but she did. “Me? But, Daadu. Also, today is the 21st of January,” said his recently divorced thirty eight year old grand daughter.
“I found the Valentine Day card you’d made for me years ago,” he said, not going into further details.
Eyes closed, she pursed her lips and barely managed to say, “I’ll pick you up at seven PM today,” before tears brimming with happiness rolled down her cheeks.
Her eyes teared up as she wrote another long, lying letter to her mother. A letter which would give away nothing of what was happening to her, which killed her bit by bit from guilt every time she thought of her mother.
Her mother had always been her best friend. She still was. But this time she couldn’t share her happiness with her mother. Or her pain. She looked at herself in the mirror across the bed. She saw her blurred self lying on the bed, papers piled up neatly on a hard bound dictionary. She covered her bosom with her saree. The red marks around her neck didn’t need a mirror as a reminder.
She was in love. With a man not her husband. She was in pain. With a man her husband.
To be contd…
Picture Courtesy : Pinterest.
He had no inkling of what he’d done. He’d prised her apart, promising to always guard her, and had at the end, left her open, wounds fresh and bleeding.
She couldn’t see how heavy a burden she was for him, how hard he’d been dragging her before he succumbed to his own magnanimous promises.
She was his best mistake, he, her worst.
Picture Courtesy : Pinterest.