Tag Archives: marriage

Breathe.

Her husband sat her down at the bed. She’d just taken a hot water bath. She placed her towel on her shoulder to soak up water from her wet hair. She inhaled deeply. This wasn’t the first time she had to answer the questions. This wouldn’t be the last.

“How did it happen?”

“What did he say?”

“How does it feel?”

“When exactly did it happen?”

“Did you see it all?”

Once again she closed her eyes and recalled the moment. In a flash, it was all over. One second she was at the pavement, the next she was on the road, the head of a dying man on her lap, blood drenching her clothes, tickling down her skin, shock overriding the bile building up in her stomach.

She opened up her eyes again. She was ready.

Her husband instead said, “It must be difficult for you dealing with the accident. Do you want to eat outside or should I cook?”

She breathed again!

Graciously Yours!

The Rose.

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“Ouch,” she uttered, pulling back her finger from the rose stem. A thorn had pricked her and a drop of blood lay on her finger, perfectly placed like it always belonged there. She smiled.

“Got yourself another prick, did you now?” her husband asked, as he sat in the hall, immersed in the morning’s papers on his iPad.

“Why can’t he just buy those traditional newspapers?” she wondered. She wasn’t an e-paper girl.

“Why don’t you hire a gardener for your plants?” he asked, the umpteenth time. “You keep pricking yourself.”

She didn’t answer. The umpteenth time. He wouldn’t be able to come to terms with it.

The first time she’d pricked herself was when her first lover had brought her some from his own garden, ten years ago.They’d never gotten married. But her love for him had not died.

He loved her rose garden. He was coming for dinner tonight.

The first prick had made her squirm. Now it made her smile.

Graciously Yours!

The Hope?

He sent his father away for breakfast. It was ticking 10 AM. She would be coming over  any time to the shop now. And there she was, clad in a sari, hiding all possible parts with the six yards of cloth. She had a beautiful body, one she should have been flaunting had it not been marred with red, blue, purple and brown. Her eyes showed what the clothes hid.

His eyes lit up and smile broadened whenever he saw her. And when she looked at him and smiled, his wings fluttered to fly! She handed him a list of groceries required. Their hands touched. Neither pulled away. They both knew they wanted it. It was her console and his concern.

 “How are you today?” he asked, while slowly picking out items from the shelves. There was no hurry. There never was.

“Same as yesterday. Same as every day. Existing.”

She was morose today. Anyone in her shoes would be.

“You’ll start living soon.”

“Will I now?”

“Yes,” he said with a conviction she admired in him. He was the reason she had more purple than red.

“He touches you again and it’ll be all over, okay?” he asked her, handing her the packet.

He took the money she gave him and put it aside in a drawer his father knew nothing about.

“I’ll give him a week at the most. He’s a rotten fellow.”

“A week it is then,” he said, looking at her. Her sad smile spiked a pain in his chest. He knew she wasn’t an infatuation. And he let her know. Every damn day.

“I love you,” he said, his parting words.

“I do, too,” she said softly, her day already feeling better and brighter.

He watched her walk away. She was married. She was elder to him. Theirs was a match the society would frown upon.

But he had taken to her like salt to sea. He was her only hope and she his beacon of light. Together they would alight the horizon.

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Graciously Yours!

The Ideal?

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.

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To be contd…

Graciously Yours!

Picture Courtesy : Pinterest.

A Suitable Boy.

A suitable boy – now we know what defines a boy, but what defines suitable exactly? A boy who loves you passionately but is from another religion by birth is unsuitable? A boy who believes in pursuing his passion for writing over his profession of law is unsuitable? Or a boy with whom none of the girl’s choices, views, and even interests match while also being torn over another female whom he couldn’t marry is suitable? And why?

Well, for starters, no, I am not getting married or being appraised by future mother-in-laws. This is the result of reading the book which shares the same title as my post.

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I don’t know about the world in general, because no one can claim to know or speak on behalf of the world, considering we are a big, fat group of 7 billion people and counting steadily every second. But I can speak for what I have seen. Why try and define suitable? Why put people in boxes and categorize them away like they are files to be indexed and filed away? Why can’t we invest time in building relationships and understanding people rather than checking off their ‘suitable’-ness off a checklist? Why do parents feel the need to thrust their opinions on us all the while expecting us to listen and abide by it because we were borne into this world by them? Now, now. Don’t get me wrong. The opinion and blessings of parents are an absolute must – because they have seen your faults and frailties and still accept you lovingly.

To quote John Green, ” Whenever you’re furious with your parents or you think they’re terrible, just remember, you vomited on them and they kept you”.

John’s right. But I am concerned when parents who are generally free-spirited, open minded and modern turn into society-fearing, tradition-abiding and decision-thrusting parents – and that generally happens when it comes to marrying off their offspring. Of course, you want the best and the most suitable boy for us, but what scales are you using to weigh ‘best’ and ‘suitable’?

I doubt anyone’s getting answers to these questions any time soon. But if someone does, please let me in!

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : Without any disrespect to Mr. Vikram Seth, I am quite disappointed with how his story turned out to be. Or maybe he meant to write it as a satire. Then it would make more sense, yes. Because when he’s casting a web of love, passion, lies, deception, extra-marital affairs, incest, prostitutes, (along with politics, religion, cricket, shoe-making and poetry) and then telling me that an arranged marriage of a bold, talented, intelligent and strongly opinionated young lady with a man who’s heart lies with someone else but a steady job and good management skills make him a suitable boy, then I’m mighty disappointed. Because your web has a lot of loose ends that need tying up.

Oh and let’s not discuss the length. A mere one thousand four hundred and something pages. With possibly as many characters and plot points. Beautiful but a tad unnecessary. Enriching but not satisfying.

P.P.S. : The P.S. seems to be half as long as the post! Vikram Seth after effects! 😉

Happy anniversary, indeed!

The last piece of cake was smeared on his face!
“Twenty years of marriage! What’s the secret?” asked a colleague in jest!
“You agree more than you disagree. And you learn to shut up!” Sameer replied at once.
“At least there’s someone who can shut Sameer up,” they joked!
Only they didn’t know it was a joke.

Like every night, that night too he went back from office to find his dinner laid at the table. Hers was however missing. He checked his text messages. An unread message from her said she’d return late after dinner.

Post dinner, he returned to his room – his part of the house.

Normally, he’d have slept after reading a book for an hour or so but he’d expected today to be different. He’d wanted it to be different. Probably he should have made it different. By his bedside was their picture. From one of the early vacations in their marriage, when they were still young and so much in love! Time and tide waits for no man and didn’t wait for them either. They both took each other and time for granted. Constant fights and tiffs led to so much disagreement that they found it easier to live in separate rooms. Yet, surprisingly either didn’t want to leave because they still enjoyed each other’s company. It was a strange situation. And had been for more than a couple of years now.

For some reason unknown to him altogether, he walked over to his wife’s room today. Her room was so much neater than his. He could smell her in there. Nandini’s bedside had a picture of theirs too. A more recent one. In front of it, lay a slightly wilted rose. Surprised, he went and picked it up. A note lay beneath, “Wait up for me today, will you? Happy anniversary!”

***

She came home an hour later. He was barely managing to keep his eyes open, but the minute she walked into the hall, sleep left him for the night. And for good! Her tired eyes smiled on seeing her husband waiting.

“How did you know?” he asked, as she came and sat beside him.
“I was hopeful,” she said, barely meeting his gaze.

She nestled herself in his arms and every single fight that they’d had over the years seemed to melt away in that moment.

Probably, this was their second chance.

Night smiled as it fell upon the two souls. It pushed them to a closeness that not even dawn could penetrate!

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Graciously Yours!

Picture Courtesy : Pinterest

Fire.

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I could see the flames of fire leaping in his eyes. The hungry flames leapt higher trying to fly away with the winds to destinations unknown, on journeys more romantic. The gleaming eyes sent a chill down my spine even as the heat from the flames was making me swelter. I walked away from the man quivering, his words repeatedly playing in my mind. “I will burn you like those leaves if you ever see that boyfriend of yours again. I’ll forget you’re my wife.”

Smoke

He fumbled in his pant pocket. Nothing but a kerchief. Coat pocket. A gum wrapper. Irritated, he threw it away. Inner coat pocket. He found a stick finally! Wiping his brow, he keep his kerchief in his pant pocket again. He lit a match. He saw the flames lick the lips of the stick. The orange embers lit up the stick. He took a drag! Leaning against the pole, he let out the smoke. He felt his anxiety slipping away finally.

stove

She lit the stove. Blue flames leapt up. She kept the match box aside. Placing a pan on the stove, she added a little oil to be heated. Her son was coming back after a good, long six months! He had called her this morning and told her. She wanted to make his favourite food – at least one of it. A trickle of sweat ran down her neck. It was getting hot in here. The Sun was scorching outside. She wished her one room house had a fan that worked.

Corn Cob

They stood together in front of the corn cob seller’s stove. Time had wrinkled their skin, but couldn’t wane their love. Thirty seven years ago, when they’d gone out on their first date, a roasted corn cob was all he could buy her. Thirty seven years later, when he could afford to give her so much, she still wanted to celebrate with just a roasted corn cob and him. “It reminds me of where we actually come from,” she says. The air was chilly. She pulled her shawl tighter. The seller saw her movement too. He silently squatted on the ground and continued roasting and pushed his chair towards the lady. She sat on it and warmed her hands from the heat of the bright and shining coals as her husband lovingly looked on.

Graciously Yours!

P.S.: Would any one of you be gracious enough to come up with another word I can work on?

Of Darker Alleys (Part 2)


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She started walking faster. She had to get to the house early to make use of all the time she could get. She wanted to get away from them. She was desperate.

She reached the house. She could see the men standing outside impatiently. Bowing her head, lowering her eyes, she walked past them silently. She felt their eyes piercing her back. An involuntary shudder passed through her as she walked in through the wooden door. It was the last time she was going to do it.

It was a beautiful house. Much better than what she had been brought up in. The elders of the house had built it with much love and money. Latticed windows, carved doors, floral designs adorning the middle of the courtyard; she fell in love with the place when she saw it. She used to imagine how she would one day take care of it. Little had she imagined anyone could be as unhappy here as she had become.

Her mother-in-law was walking towards her. She muttered instructions to her. All she caught was the confirmation that they would be back in some time. Possibly half an hour. She didn’t listen to anything else. Not anymore.

The minute they left the compound to attend the neighborhood wedding, she ran to her room. She didn’t want to attend the wedding. It was a trade. The girl was being sold and she wouldn’t know it for a while. That is how the village was surviving. The current generation had almost no girls. Who would the boys marry? They killed their own daughters and bought daughters of other parents only to sell them off as commodities once their utility was over. Higher the demand, higher the price. She preferred the dried grasslands over such fake lushness. At least back at her place, they treated humans as humans.

She had put together a few of her clothes. She was still in two minds if she should run away with her baby or alone. She knew if they found the baby missing, they would not leave any stone unturned to get to her. But if she alone went missing, they might not even bother. With a heavy heart, she picked up her little cloth bag and crossed the length of the house to leave.

She stopped right at the main door. Her son was wailing. Her only son was wailing! She opened the door. She tried ignoring his cries. She could see her freedom waiting down the road. She could hear a hungry heart and an impatient stomach calling out to her.

The mother in her had decided. She had decided to remain human. She closed the doors on herself again. Clutching her bag to her chest, she ran up to his room. Her baby wanted her. Her freedom would have to wait today.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : I do not know about other countries but I do know that such practices are rampant in India. How rampant, where, since when ~ I wish I could answer those questions with surety, but I cannot.

Picture Credits : Ishita Shah.