Sakhi's Laghukatha

Posts Tagged ‘Separation

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It was one of those busy days at ER – Two MIs, one stroke and innumerable other patients. Peach was extremely tired and was looking at the clock for her shift to end and praying that there will not be any more cases. But as luck would have it, another case came in just as she was about to leave. She rolled her eyes and rushed to see her new patient.

There sat a very handsome man, with disheveled hair and visibly in pain. “Tall, dark and handsome”, Peach mentally noted and smiled to herself. It looked like he had fracture of the great toe with history of his heavy camera equipment falling on his foot. As she prepared his papers to be transferred to the relevant department and gave him some pain killers for immediate pain relief, she kept talking to him softly, explaining him the procedure and the next steps. As the drug effect started doing its magic, Joel started to take his surroundings in. He felt grateful to Peach and thanked her profusely as he was wheeled away to get his X-ray done. He was disappointed when he learned that he would next be consulted by an orthopedician and not by Peach.

Once home, Peach had hot dinner that her house help had prepared and flopped on the bed. She went into deep, dreamless sleep immediately. Next few days were as good or as bad as always. ER can be a maddening place. Peach was thinking of asking the hospital superintendent to shift her to some other ward. She mentally created a check list to be referred to later. As she cerebrally checked her list, she thought she saw Joel again, this time holding his tummy. She had to look again to check if she was dreaming. He came in a wheel chair as his foot still hurt and now, he was complaining of severe abdominal pain with diarrhea. He gave all the details of his medical condition and gave Peach a wide grin. Peach smile back, with a little confusion on her face. If he was so much in pain, why was he smiling as if he was a child in a candy store! Routine procedure followed, forms filled up and Joel sent for further work up out of ER. Next week, this happened again. This time Joel came up with sleeplessness and severe headache. Peach almost rolled her eyes at her patient but was cordial enough to do the needful.

Peach’s shift ended and she was dying to tell her best friend about this cute guy who kept coming to ER. She knew from his reports that Joel did not have any medical problem, except for the fracture for which he came for the first time! Peach and her friend giggled over dinner and Peach was teased endlessly. They felt that this was not the end of it and their feminine instincts came true. Joel appeared again, this time with complains of “heart ache” and Peach could not help but laugh at his dramatic presentation.

“You are getting creative”, said Peach to Joel in a teasing voice.

“Can’t help it. This is the only way to see you.”

“You mean you were faking all this while?” asked peach in mock horror.

He grinned sheepishly.

“Will you see me for coffee sometime?”

“Are you asking me out for a date?” she smile cutely

“Well, if you have an objection to that, let’s say I want to know you better, be friends. So, coffee?”

“Hmn… okay.”

“Saturday, 4 pm, Starbucks?”

“I work on Saturdays. Sunday?”

He thought for just a split second, mentally calculating something and said, “Done”.

“Do you still have heart ache? Shall I get the nurse to prepare for ECG?” winked Peach

With a loud laughter he excused himself out of ER. “Not very subtle,” thought Peach with a smile and rolling eyes at the same time. The nurse raised her eyebrows and asked her with a gesture, what was that about. Peach just shook her head and went about her work for the remaining of the evening. ER did not seem as busy after all.

One coffee meet led to another. Joel got to know Dr. Prachi was known by Peach among her friends and he loved the name. She was cute and chubby and super soft at heart, hence the name. He totally agreed! Both were busy professionals but took time out for each other. Joel traveled a lot for his photo shoots and Peach has weird working hours at the hospital. Peach made him laugh with her quirky medical stories and he loved listening to her. She brought the humane angle in his life that he felt lacked in his kind of work. He would not share too many details about his work with her but will not forget to video call her even if he had only a few minutes to spare or to ask for her picture just to see her or simply send a hello. When they met, which was not so often, it was magical.

It was almost a year that Joel had fractured his big toe. It was amazing how Peach had filled his life with colours and laughter and happiness. He wanted to take this relationship to the next level. Though they had pecked each other or held hands sometimes, Joel wanted more, and he had seen in Peach’s eyes that she wanted it too. Joel surprised her with flight tickets for a short get away with him during his shoot at Sri Lanka in a month’s time. He hoped that he had not read her emotions wrongly. She smiled, blushing profusely and letting him know that she will check if she can get her leaves cleared. Joel breathed with relief, he did not even realize that he was holding his breath.

As the time of going to Sri Lanka neared, their chats got spicier. All these talks made Peach to think about her body. She stood in front of the mirror and found innumerable faults with herself. She was always on the chubbier side, not so sexy with the current definition of the body sizes and right now those love-handles did not look flattering at all. She was used to looking at imperfections in her daily work and knew that there is nothing called as a perfect body, but she also knew that in Joel’s line of work he met the most beautiful, chiseled, lithe ladies every day. Even if there was so much as an extra blemish, he would remove it in post-production of the shoot and here she was having ugly stretch marks. She tried to reason with herself – he loved her and that’s what matters the most, but at the back of her mind there was this growing storm that wanted to seize her sanity. She thought about Joel and he came across as “tall, dark and handsome” just as she remembered him from when she first saw him. Suddenly, she started feeling that she was not a match for him at all, not the way they looked together. They might be great as friends and even something more but definitely not as physical partners, she cannot match his league.

Just a couple of days before they were supposed to leave for their first holidays together, Peach broke off with Joel.

Joel did not know what hit him. Well, neither did Peach!

“I loved him with all my heart, for years
Then one day I started loving myself too
And we separated!!”

~ Sakhi

Why?

Posted on: August 14, 2008

Nobody knew how Sahil felt or thought. He kept to himself. Kavita was exactly opposite to him. She was chirpy, bubbly and very talkative! If she was like waves of the ocean he was like an anchor, firmly rooted to the ocean-bed. Though Kavita had accepted him she missed sharing his thoughts. But whenever she had these kinds of thoughts, Sahil would do something very sweet and all her anger and disappointment will evaporate.

 

But these days Sahil was very happy and for a change, it showed in his behaviour too. In their marriage of two years, this was the first time Kavita heard him whistle! Well, she was happy too!

 

She was pregnant!

 

Kavita was pampered silly in those nine months. Sahil would drop her to her office and was always there to pick her up, he would see to it that kavita got the best of everything! This was to say the least…

 

Today was the D-day and Kavita was very scared. Her labour was induced in the morning at 7 but somehow the drugs were taking all the time in the world to act. Sahil was there besides her like a rock. She was writhing in pain and was totally exhausted. After a very difficult labour she delivered her child at 5 in the evening.

 

She looked at Sahil for the sign of happiness or any sign, for that matter! But she was not prepared for what she saw! She saw the veil coming down on his face, he grew completely rigid and then she lost him! He left the room without a second glance.

 

Kavita got scared. She didn’t understand what happened! She looked at her mother and saw tears streaming down her face.

 

She wanted to scream….

 

“Can somebody tell me, what’s going on here? Where is my baby?”

 

Nobody said anything. She was cleaned and taken to the recovery room. Her mind was about to explode.

 

Then the nurse entered with a little bundle in white. She could see the baby’s face. The baby looked absolutely cute and adorable. But as the nurse placed the baby in her arms she knew that something was wrong.

 

Not something, everything was wrong!

 

Her son was a stillborn!

 

She just looked at her son, kissed his forehead and caressed him lovingly. She asked for forgiveness for letting him down and not been able to take care of him. She just stared at him.

 

When the nurse came again to pick him up, she didn’t even protest!

 

But then all hell broke loose and tears would not stop.

 

She longed to be held by Sahil.

 

Sahil!!!

 

He was nowhere in sight.

 

“He had completed the formality and went straight home. To prepare for her arrival!” her mother told.

 

Kavita was discharged within two days and these two days were the toughest of her life.

 

She saw Sahil after two days when he came to pick her up.

 

When she entered her home she was in for a second shock. Her home, no now it can’t be called a home, the house was stripped off everything that bore any sign of their child’s arrival.

 

She saw Sahil drift from her and everything else, day after day. He had retreated in a cocoon.

 

They no longer communicated, in any sense!

 

She tried her level best but couldn’t cross the invisible wall that Sahil had erected around his heart. Now, it was getting difficult to bear the silence. She felt as if it was her fault that their son had not survived.

 

Last year on this date Sahil had lost his son.

 

Today he is going to lose his wife. For good!

Sridhar couldn’t sleep the whole night. It was his wedding night and he was tossing and turning in his bed. According to the rituals in his caste the husband and wife are not allowed to consummate the marriage until they have been to the “kuldevi” for “aashirvaad”.

 

Sridhar’s marriage to Pallavi was not a love marriage nor had they met each other before marriage for more than a couple of instances! But Pallavi’s dove like eyes, her soft smile and princess like demure had bewitched Sridhar. He had waited for this day, oops night, for so long! Damn, the rituals!

 

Everybody teased him in the morning as he went down to meet his new wife to take her to the temple. He tried show anger but the smile playing on his lips gave away his mood.

 

It had been six years since then. Sridhar and Pallavi were envied for their love and understanding for each other. They were inseparable and had become best friends.

 

Sridhar was very upset today. He could hear Pallavi screaming with pain from across the door. He wanted to be on her side in such pain but elders in his family restrained him from entering the labour room.

 

“Damn rituals!” he thought.

 

Suddenly the screams died down and the nurse came out to call the father of the baby. As he went inside the room he saw a little bundle in white with only a pink face glowing from inside. He would not forget this sight ever. His daughter looked so tiny and so beautiful, just like her mother! He wanted to jump around like a kid. Pallavi slept peacefully. The exhaustion didn’t show on her face.

 

Suddenly on the next day of the delivery Pallavi started bleeding heavily. She had suffered from secondary post partum haemorrhage and the bleeding was not at all getting controlled.

 

With a blow from the blue, Pallavi passed away, with the same softness sealed on her beautiful face.

 

Sridhar didn’t cry, didn’t cry at all! He was absolutely shocked.

 

He had not only lost the mother of his new born child but his wife, his best friend, his soul mate!

 

He kept starring at the photograph somebody from the family had got enlarged, framed and garlanded. He just kept starring at her. Suddenly he heard his baby cry and something broke lose inside him. Tears started pouring as he saw his wife being prepared for her final journey.

She looked even more beautiful than usual.

 

As he started to go along with his wife for her cremation he was stopped by his Tau.

 

Tu nahi jaa sakta, beta!

 

”But why? She is my wife!” Sridhar was bewildered.

 

Abhi teri ummar hi kya hai? Hamaare samaaj mein jiski shaadi phir se ho sakti hai woh smashaan nahi ja saktaa!

 

“What are you talking about, Tau? It’s only been 12 hours since Pallavi is no more and you guys have started thinking about my remarriage?” Sridhar was absolutely shocked.

 

“Damn rituals!”

 

“But, you have to think of your child also…” Tau trailed off.

 

“Whether I remarry or not or whether my child needs a mother or not is not the question at the moment. My wife has passed away and I am going to bid her the farewell and that’s all!”

 

“But, beta... the rituals says…”

 

“To hell with your rituals, to hell with everything….” Sridhar’s thunderous voice echoed in the large hall….


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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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