Sakhi's Laghukatha

Posts Tagged ‘Anger

When Zoe first kissed Shrey, he wrinkled his nose and immediately wiped it off. Looking at his expressions Zoe giggled and went to kiss him again. But this time Shrey was ready, he crawled away as fast as he could. Zoe followed him steadfastly. Looking at Shrey’s plight both the kids’ mothers burst out laughing. The innocent chase of turtle and rabbit, as they were known as, went on for years.

They weaved a cocoon around them and nobody was allowed to penetrate it. Once, Shrey picked up a fight for Zoe when one of their classmates made a pass at Zoe. Shrey beat the light out of him. But when Zoe went up to him with a smile, he gruffly told her to behave properly. And his tone was such that Zoe’s eyes brimmed with tears instantly. Looking at her crestfallen face, Shrey sighed and hugged her. She just shrugged his hands off and walked down to their school bus. She did not talk to him for the entire time till they reached home, but by evening all was well again. Tiff forgotten, Zoe and Shrey’s were playing tennis by evening. This was not an isolated incidence, but eventually Zoe would forget her anguish and they would be together again, as always. Zoe and Shrey became inseparable, two sides of one coin, always together but never seeing eye to eye.

However, as they grew up it was evident that how much ever they loved each other or cared for each other they were not cut out to be together. Zoe was bubbly and effervescent while Shrey was a thinker and loved to read. Zoe would go on chattering away her thoughts while Shrey would just nod or give monosyllabic answers.   It was difficult to know what went on in Shrey’s mind whereas Zoe was an open book. Shrey would like to keep to himself while Zoe constantly sought his company.  So much so that she would expect him to shop with her too! Their adolescence being at peak, things started changing, or say, Zoe started realizing how much she was imposing on Shrey. She realized he needed space. His gruff behavior started hurting her more; she started reading more into his monosyllabic answers and felt left out. There was a time when she would drag him out of his bed just to go on a long drive or go window shopping. Now, she felt embarrassed or sometimes insulted when he would just refuse to be with her. Shrey’s behavior was probably the same, but Zoe was growing up and her natural vanity wanted to be pampered.

All her grievances went up like a smoke in the air the day she came to know that he was going to US of A for higher studies. It was just for a few days that they were together and the thought of being alone filled her with dread. She could not think of her life without him. She went to see Shrey and could not hold herself back when she saw him packing. All the wonderful years of their childhood came to her like a flash. She just stood in the door way looking at her best friend. Shrey sensed someone in the room and turned around to see Zoe’s crestfallen face. She saw the same turmoil in his eyes and the hell broke loose. She just threw herself in his arms and he held her tight, as tight as he could. Both were crying openly now. They never had any friend other than each other all their lives and now the thought of being without each other was killing them.  They sat on the edge of his bed, holding each other’s hands, caressing softly. Words failed them but they were not needed today.

“You be good, rabbit! Don’t go on hopping here and there.” Shrey said softly.

“And you pick up some speed, turtle. Else you won’t be able to find any girl for yourself.” Zoe tried to make their mood light.

“I am not going there to chase after some stupid girls. I am going there to study, got it!”

With that the spell was broken and they laughed together. There were no promises made, none were needed!

Time flew by and life went on at both the ends. Whoever said, “Distance made hearts grow fonder” was proving to be wrong in this case. The good natured sparring turned to tiffs and finally heated flare ups. Increasingly the feeling of not belonging to each other started creeping in. The joy of being together was turning into a dread. Zoe was getting possessive about him, while Shrey was feeling suffocated with all the love and devotion. He hated to be answerable. Zoe tried to keep tab on his online life, Shrey hated it to core. The final blow to their friendship came on the New Year eve when Zoe called up Shrey to wish, and made a passing remark about some hot young man in the party.  A heated and hurtful argument followed, and how much ever they regret it later, the damage was done.

That was a decade ago.

Fate brought them face to face again. Their eyes met and the world around them ceased to exist. They did not know how long they stood there, in that crowded room lost in their own world. After what felt like an eternity, Zoe noticed someone tug at her pallu, she looked down and Shrey’s eyes followed her gaze. A little girl looked up at her and Zoe smiled at her daughter. Little Zoe clung to her and shyly looking  at the man getting all her mother’s attention. Just then a little boy came bouncing and jumped into Shrey’s arms.  The boy looked at Little Zoe and asked his father,

“Dad, doesn’t she look like a rabbit!”

A happy, contended smile spread over their faces and the lost years fell by!

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Mom

Posted on: April 20, 2009

fiction_stamp2“Thud…” He was thrown on the bed so hard, he wailed, more from the shock than pain, which irritated his mother even more. And he got a tight slap again. Suddenly the bell rang and he was spared from getting strangulated. He was all of three months then.

 

Though he never had the memories of those incidents of younger years, he distinctly remembered when he wanted to sleep with his parents once. He was of four years. His father would have loved to have him with them but the look on his mother’s face told him otherwise. But a child that he was he tried to pursue her to allow him.

 

“You better sleep down there; else you know what I can do when your father isn’t there!”

 

Oh, he knew it very well. He urinated that night again in his bed. Of course one more punishment was waiting for him for spoiling the bed. He was stripped of his clothes and was made to stand in the balcony facing the road!

 

He never understood why his mother behaved the way she did. His father was always nice to him. And he had noticed that mother was a different woman around him. But he was scared to tell any of these atrocities to his father since he was threatened with more dire consequences if he ever dared to do so.

 

But for him the scenario became a bit more pleasant when his sister came to his world. He was overjoyed to have a little bundle of love. But he was horrified when the little baby was also thrashed the way he was! It was a pure miracle that the brother-sister duo survived.

 

Their love for each other was like a silver lining of the black cloud.

 

“Chinky, I have lost my sweater today at school. I went and tried to find it but I don’t know where I lost it!” He was almost in tears and was scared to go home to face his mother.

 

“Kuchh nahi hoga bhaiya, don’t worry!” Chinky tried to pacify her brother, who was shaking like a dry leaf.

 

Miraculously their mother didn’t say a word about the sweater and they both breathed sigh of relief. But it was indeed a short lived one. The next day when he was tying a knot to his pajama, his mother came and tied it so tight that it was difficult for him to even breathe. He was left that way the whole day and when he couldn’t hold back he peed in his pajama! Thrice, since he was not allowed to change his pajama!

 

He was 11 years then.

 

He always wished that some relative should come and stay with them since that was the only time his mother didn’t met out the “punishments” to the duo. He never understood what irked his mother. Everybody in his family and extended family praised him for his behaviour and he was in good in studies too. He always tried to please his mother. Somehow he never succeeded.

But recently his anger was brewing, especially when he saw his sister also getting the brunt without any fault of her. Yet, he was courteous in his behaviour lest something irked his mother!

 

But today when he came from school he saw his sister standing in balcony, facing the road… without clothes!!! Something snapped inside him.

 

He rushed up and covered his sister! His mother came menacingly. She had forgotten that her son was now no longer a young boy whom she can intimidate physically. But she did not stop and tried to remove the blanket from her daughter. He couldn’t hold himself any longer.

 

“Thud…..” with all the anger brewing for all these years he hit his mother.

 

“Try touching her once more and you can be sure that you will not live to see a new day in your life.” The thunder in his voice conveyed the message loud and clear.

 

He hugged his sister and took her away with tears running down his face. Tears of what, he couldn’t understand!

fiction_stampDhruti had some time at hand as her daughter had gone to a neighbour’s place for a birthday party.  She just relaxed and was flipping through the “Good Housekeeping” when the bell rang. She looked at Harsh in a hope that he would open it but he looked more intently in his newspaper as if he was doing PhD in journalism!!

She got up and opened the door and saw her daughter’s best friend standing there.

Bittoo: Aunty, is Krina home?

She: Arey, she has gone to Seema’s birthday party. Why aren’t you there? She called you too, isn’t it?

He: The party got over long back and Krina isn’t there.

Dhruti’s heart skipped a beat. Overhearing the conversation Harsh leaped on his feet and was besides her in a fraction of second. Their eyes met and they could see the dread in each other’s eyes.

In a few seconds thousands thoughts ran through their minds.

Where has she gone? She never goes anywhere with out telling us!

Somebody might have kidnapped her! Will she be forced to beg?

She is just of 5 odd years! There are vultures out there.

And many more horrid thoughts passed through their worried minds.

In those few seconds, they imagined the worst.

They ran in the street bare feet shouting out their daughter’s name. And then they heard her.

“Mamma!!!”

A joyous call to tell them she was with her friend in one of the neighbours’ place.

The look Krina saw on her parents’ faces made her feel uneasy. Dhruti almost slapped her in frustration and pulled her towards her. Hugged her so tightly that Krina almost couldn’t breath. Harsh’s eyes were glisteneing with unshed tears.

Again a look passed between them. As if asking each other, “Aren’t we getting paranoid?”

Were they really paranoid or is it a need of the day to be extremely vigilant and in turn suffocate a childhood!!!!!

fiction_stamp2Khyaati woke up with a start. She tried to get up but slumped down due to excruciating pain in her left leg and she was hurting all over too. She was disoriented and didn’t remember what happened and where was she. She tried to focus around her but couldn’t recognize her surroundings but could make out that it was some sort of a hospital. She just lied there and tried to remember something, anything but she couldn’t come up with anything. As if a part of her was erased from her life! A grumpy, middle aged woman came to her and gave some sort of a shot in the tube that was running in her right hand. She remembered that she was with Kenshuk on her honeymoon. But how did she come here? What happened to her and why was Kenshuk not with her? So many questions clouded her mind. She wanted to ask the nurse about herself; what had happened to her, how did they get her here? But she couldn’t form the words. She lay there and closed her eyes. She dozed off again.

*****

She heard a lot of hushed voices and she tried to open her eyes. There she saw Kenshuk and tried to smile. There were worried lines on his face as he stood there listening to somebody who seemed to be a doctor in his white apparel. She tried to call him but she couldn’t talk. Her eyelids felt very heavy as if somebody had put a lot weight on them. She dozed off again.

*****

She opened her eyes and saw Kenshuk sitting besides her reading something. Her mom and dad and in-laws were all there. She tried to look around but her neck hurt a lot. The room was different. Kenshuk saw her and was on his feet at once. He ran to call the doctor and within a moment the room was abuzz with a lot of activity.

*****

She wanted to know a lot of things. But right now she was just pampered. The aches and pains were getting duller and she seemed to be her old self again. But she felt something amiss since she didn’t know what had happened or how the accident occurred. About two months were erased from her life when she was in coma and nobody was willing to fill in for her. Today she was to be discharged and was very happy to go home after so long. Once at home she pestered Kenshuk about the accident and why only she was affected. What happened? How come there were a lot of stitches around her private parts and also on her hands and legs. There were a lot of questions and now she needed the answers. Kenshuk finally snapped.

“You were raped!!”

Damn, he didn’t want to sound so rude. He had rehearsed it umpteenth time in his mind. The words didn’t sink in at first. Kenshuk covered the distance between them in a stride and held his wife with all the love and affection he had for her. He had thought of this moment and thought he was prepared for it. But he was wrong. He just held her as she broke down in his arms. Suddenly she felt a lot of emotions; anger, shame, furious rage, guilty and much more… with in a few minutes. She didn’t know what to feel and how was she going to face herself. Once she stopped crying Kenshuk told her how she was found in a dump at the side road from where she was taken to the local hospital and the rest was history. Her family had tried their level best, pulled the necessary strings and the case of rape was not lodged with the local police and they were able to get her to her hometown. She felt numb, didn’t know what to think, how to respond! She stayed there in Kenshuk’s arms for God only knows how long. She felt blessed for her husband and the family. The next morning was the worst. Everything started closing down on her. She couldn’t look in her mother-in-law’s eyes. Had she tried she would have found more love than ever. She couldn’t understand her own behaviour. She was also angry at her violator and her family too for letting him (or them) scot-free to ruin some one else’ life. She was angry with God too. She was angry with Kenshuk for being so understanding. She hated her being. She knew it wasn’t her fault but still she felt the way she felt!!!

*****

She looked at her 7 year old and felt blessed. The horrid incidence is far behind her. She has come to terms with the life with lot of love from her family and a great psychiatric help. She still doesn’t trust people around her baby completely. But she tries, tries hard not to become paranoid. She has battled the demons in her own way and she has won most of them.

Sigh!

Posted on: December 22, 2008

“Hello!” Shree said in a huffed voice in to the receiver as she came running from the kitchen.

“Hi, Shree! This is Komal.” answered her best friend from the other end.

Shree was happy to hear Komal’s voice. Though they talked almost everyday, they never seemed to have any dearth of topics to be discussed or dissected.

“Hey, wait a sec, I will put off the gas and come!” Shree knew her conversation with Komal is not going to end before at least half an hour.

As they resumed their talk, Shree sensed that Komal was not in her jovial mood.

“What’s the matter Komal? You don’t seem to be yourself today.” Shree got worried.

“There’s something I want to tell you Shree, but don’t know how to!”

Komal was a chatter box and she never had qualms about anything in life. This was the first time Shree had heard her best friend in a dilemma.

“I am already worried for you, yaar! Don’t create suspense. Shoot!”

“You said Abhi was out of town yesterday, but I saw him in the late afternoon at CCD with a woman, in-fact a girl!” Komal blurted out. She didn’t know how to put this softly. She loved Shree too much to cause her any pain, but at the same time she didn’t want her to be cheated on.

Shree didn’t know what to say. Their conversation ended in less than 15 minutes.

She forgot all about her lunch and sat staring at the telephone. Shree was in a state of numb shock the whole day. She didn’t know what to do. She had trusted Abhi and loved him with all her being. And in their 5 years of marriage he too had given her everything or so she thought! Though theirs was an arranged marriage, she had fallen in love with this down-to-earth person from the first day they had met. And the love had grown deeper with each passing day.

Five years of their marriage went in front of her eyes like a film reel. And the more she thought, more she was resolved to save her marriage. She had trusted and loved Abhi and she still did.

Abhi was in for a pleasant surprise. It was a while since Shree took pains to look beautiful for her husband. And the gleam in Abhi’s eyes was worth the efforts. They went for the dinner and to a movie later that night. Abhi sensed shree’s nervous efforts to please him but he couldn’t understand the reason but he didn’t want the spell to break.

Shree too was basking in Abhi’s undivided attention and she forgot the afternoon’s incidence.

But when she talked to Komal the next day she suddenly remembered about their conversation and got a bit uneasy. Though Komal didn’t broach the subject, lest it would upset Shree!

Their conversation didn’t last for more than 5 minutes.

Shree didn’t want to offend Abhi but she wanted to know about that evening.

“I trust him!” she told herself, but the fact was that she was feeling insecure.

She didn’t know how to ask Abhi without looking like a nagging wife. Her task was made easy by Abhi himself.

“Arey, Shree, I forgot to tell you that I met that girl, what’s her name?”

 

“Which girl?” Shree’s heart missed a beat. She was all ears.

 

“The one who called repeatedly for the membership of that club!”

 

Shree sighed. She thought, he might tell about “that girl”.

 

“Unh… ok!” she had lost interest in knowing about some sales girl and her club.

 

“Actually, the day before, I came back from Baroda a bit early. So went to office and there she called again. They had planned some get together for the prospective clients at CCD. I had an hour or so at hand so thought of giving it a shot. But, you know, I was the only person who was on time.

She really tried to sell me the membership but I think it is quite expensive for us. Wasted my hour there!”

Shree couldn’t believe her ears.

“These girls and boys are very young. They study and do part time jobs…..” Abhi was telling Shree about the event but Shree was not there to listen to him.

She was on the cloud nine. She threw the T-shirt she was folding and gave Abhi a deep smooch to shut him up. Abhi was surprised at this sudden display of emotions. Of course, he wasn’t complaining!

Shree ran to the other room and picked up the phone to call Komal. Their husbands had to sleep alone till late that night!

Chatterboxes were chattering again!!

Ritu opened the drawer fifth time since morning and sighed again. A long, big sigh!! She remembered her neighbour’s comments and she backed off. Her eyes glistened. She knew she was over reacting but she couldn’t help but feel down.

 

She was the most beautiful girl of her batch when she was in college. And her beauty was even more endearing for she was totally oblivious to the fact that she stole a lot many hearts on the campus when she smiled and jerked her head back to keep her hair in place. Not surprisingly, she was the most sought after girl!

 

When she got “attached” to Kartik a lot of alcohol flowed in the boy’s hostel…

 

After 5 years of marriage to Kartik and a baby later now when she looked at in the mirror she couldn’t recognize herself. Well, almost!! She has put on at least 15 Kgs post delivery! She still looked charming and beautiful with that sweet smile and cherubic face. It was just that she had filled up a bit on her curves.

 

She had become a woman!

 

But every now and then somebody would comment on how she used to look in her college days and how she has changed now. Most of the time she would just smile but sometimes she felt bad, sometimes she felt enraged and sometimes she went into depression.

 

Kartik was always on her side. If he was around he would shoot his favourite dialogue,

 

“If you want a wife, your children’s mother, a best friend, a professional, a girl-friend, a cook; all wrapped into one and still expect her to be toothpick thin then probably you are asking for too much from a human being!”

 

But it was not always possible to make others understand how one feels when they talk without thinking.

 

Today was one such day. Ritu loved chocolates and she was gifted one by her best friend today. As she was about to open it, her nosy neighbour came and commented on how much weight she has put on and how it is not good for her to have chocolates and other high calorie food! She pushed the chocolate in the drawer but couldn’t push the thoughts which were rummaging through her mind!

 

“Was it her fault that she was genetically prone to put on weight?

 

Was it her fault that she was suffering from Hypothyroidism?

 

Was it her fault that even after taking regular treatment she was unable to shed weight?

 

Was it her fault that she hardly got time to exercise on a regular basis from her multiple duties of being a wife, a mother and a working professional?

 

Was it her fault that she could not diet as she needed those calories to keep her going?

 

Was it her fault that Indian females were made to be a bit voluptuous compared to their western and eastern counterparts?

 

Was it her fault that media was wrongly portraying toothpick thin models and showing that was the way Indian ladies are suppose to look?”

 

As she stood in front of her drawer, looking at her bar of chocolate longingly, warmth enveloped her from behind. Kartik had come home early with a gift for her – a beautiful skirt and a T-shirt from the “All size” store… He knew she would look beautiful, as always, in those floral clothes!

Name has been changed to protect privacy!

Names not mentioned to protect privacy

 

Suddenly Prithvi came jumping and her frown was transformed in a smile of a mother! In her daughter’s constant chattering she forgot all about them.

 

But can she really forget them? They were always there… in front of her, day in and day out! And she hated them from the core of her heart. She felt bad for these feelings; she had grown up with all the values perfectly in place and yet, she loathed them!

 

And recently these feelings were taking toll on her. She seemed to be cranky all the time whenever she was at home. She lost her temper unnecessarily on her daughter and felt like crying without reason or on a small provocation.

 

*****

She came from hospital and found her wardrobe to be open and her things were at display for the neighbours and relatives.

 

‘What the hell! ‘, she thought. But didn’t want to create a scene on the 3rd day of her marriage!

 

*****

When she repeatedly got hurt by their constant lies, she asked one day why did they lie so much, it hurts her.

 

“What can we do if you are hurt”, pat, came the reply!

 

*****

She and her husband were in midst of a crisis. They wanted emotional support from the family… They got it. From her family! She could not contemplate how parents could not feel anything for their own child now that he was married!

 

*****

Her child was just a couple of months old. And even though both of them were doctors, they were not paediatricians. They got scared when their daughter kept on crying the whole night without any reason. Nobody came from the adjacent room to even ask why their daughter was crying!!!

 

“What could we have done!” was the answer when asked why they didn’t come and help.

*****

 

One morning she opened the door and saw his mamaji and mamiji. She was pleasantly surprised to see them. Later that day she came to know that her parents-in-law had called them as they wanted to get separated from them and without her noticing they had packed all their belongings and divided the food and vessels into two so that they can take their share along with them.

 

“Where was I when all these were going on?” She thought bewildered.

 

They had even packed her husband’s childhood games and story books since they had bought it; never thinking about the child in this house!

 

Ultimately, as an anti-climax, they never shifted out. Apparently, they just were checking her integrity!!!

 

*************

 

These and so many other incidences over a period of eight years have changed her from an ever smiling, bubbly, sweet girl to a frowning, irritable and some what distant individual when she is around them.

 

When she thinks deeply, she agrees that now the fault is not entirely theirs. She also lashes out when she can not control herself. Now, after so many years, they have started looking after her daughter better than before. Outwardly things seem to be falling into place. She knows she should forget the past and accept them the way they are. But, somehow, she is unable do so! The very sight of them irritates her to the core. And, yet, she stays with them. Though she never feels that this is her home… never!

 

P.S. Her husband is always with her, but asks her to be more patient! It is his love and support that has anchored her to this house.


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Sakhi's Laghukatha by Sakhi (aka Dr. Dhara Shah) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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