Thursday, 18 February 2016
Getting to a place of comfort can be uncomfortable who would have known, thought Rashmi. It was the same place where her life had started some 40 years back. The memory was quite vivid in her mind even after so many years. She had worn a red sari as customary even for a church wedding. She had told her mom that she hated sarees and wanted to wear a blue dress. Sarees had never been her thing. She had always been in love with long fitted dresses. How pretty her friend Cherry had looked at her wedding she had thought. But obviously who would have listened to an 18 year old then. She had worn the red saree and the heavy makeup, against her wish. She was told what to do and she had done it. Everything had gone as planned. She didn’t even remember looking at Prateek during the whole wedding ritual. It was not important. Where she was looking was important. She was told to look down, so she had looked down. When she was leaving her parents house, she was told by her mom to follow her husband’s orders like she had followed her parents’. She was told that the house she had grown up was not hers anymore. She had soaked up every word like a sponge.
That is what she had believed for next 22 years. She had a good marriage. She had followed Prateek like a shadow; hardly ever did she speak up. They had a picture perfect family, till the day of the accident. Prateek was crossing the road when the truck came from the wrong side. He had no chance. He had left behind a successful business and two kids who were living abroad. They had come and left within a few days.
Suddenly Rashmi was all alone for the first time in her life. She was 40 years old and she had never stepped out of her house alone. It was a tough fight after that. She took her time. Of course she was scared. Everything was new but everything was exciting. She took charge of the business. People around her were surprised at her business acumen. Within a few years the business was making more profits than ever before. She had wings. She was flying. And that’s how she met Raman. He was working with one of the competitors. They met during one of the pitches. She immediately liked him and had her HR poach him to her company. This was some 12 years back. They had been working together since then. She didn’t remember exactly when she fell for him, especially because he was 11 years her junior. Only thing she was sure was that they were perfect together; like two pieces of a puzzle who belonged together.
And after living together for a decade they had decided to take the leap of faith. Now she was standing at the altar, waiting for her cue. Soft breeze was blowing; it felt like heaven was singing for her. The white of orchid around her was filling her with a sense of tranquillity she had never felt before. Her fitted, long, blue dress was something she had fallen in love with at the first sight. It was just right. Everything was just right. It didn’t matter if her children were against her decision. They were living their lives and she was living hers. It didn’t matter if more people were against it than in favour of it. It didn’t matter that she was 58. Nothing mattered except what she felt in her heart. She knew this was just the first day of the rest of her life. And suddenly the church band started playing “here comes the bride....”
This was her cue. Her cue to get busy living or get busy dying!
Monday, 2 November 2015
It is the 9th night. She had counted. This is the place; this is the exact spot where she had lost everything. This is where her life was. Chitra walks on her foot prints again. She likes doing that; walking on the same footprint again and again. It feels like she is living in her past again. Like everything is the same; nothing is changed.
What has changed anyway? The moon is still effervescent, glowing in love. The soft waves are still touching her feet. She wishes she could feel the soft, warm touch of the waves again. The sand castle that they had built was not there but the memories of it were still fresh. Her hands over his, his hands over her’s, their laughter mixed with the fresh scent of salty water. It is all fresh in her mind. She remembers how it was and how it had all changed. That day was as beautiful as this night is. It was full of promises. They had walked hand in hand, laughing, playing and talking about how wonderful their future would be. The two souls lost in each other. They had built a sand castle, their dream home. It was the starting of a dream; a dream both of them were sure would come true.
Lost in her dreams, she had walked towards the ocean. Lost in her thoughts, she had ignored the warning sounds. She didn’t see him yelling and coming towards her. She just remembers he was calling her name. And then she remembers floating on water, feeling light and light and then feeling formless. The feeling was surreal but she knew it was true. She had seen her body; the body that had betrayed her. Each and every part of her body had betrayed her except her heart. Her heart is still throbbing in love. It now shines red and blue. It is red when she sees him and blue when it weeps. The red and blue both glow, reflecting her love for him. There are days when the blue completely engulfs her and there are days when she bleeds red in love. This beach has seen it all; the red and the blue. The past and the present. It bleeds and throbs red in her love and it cries and weeps blue in her pain.
She had tried leaving the beach a few times but she keeps coming back here. Her life or her afterlife is here. Her soul is still entwined with his. She can’t go anywhere, for her dream home, her heart; a piece of her soul is here. She can’t leave without collecting all her pieces. She can’t leave without feeling complete. She can’t leave without him.