Sakhi's Laghukatha

Posts Tagged ‘women

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.

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His eyes turned into saucers when he saw her for the first time. And when he saw what she was offering him, he was on cloud nine. He simply loved candy-floss! But the moment she kissed him on his cheek he wiped it clean.

Kush didn’t like girls kissing him, yet! In his entire life of nine years he had allowed only his mother to cuddle him and kiss him. He loved being held by her. Oh, how he loved it! But it was more than a year now since she did any such thing. He blamed himself for being naughty and requested God often to send his mother back. He promised him he would behave himself and never, ever upset his mother. But God never listened to him. Now it was only him and daddy. And daddy too had changed since mom went away. He rarely smiled and was keeping himself busy all the time. Though he played with him and also told him stories at night, Kush’s young brain analyzed that his father was also missing his mother the way he did!

But for the last couple of months, daddy had started smiling more often. Yesterday he even whistled while making him the breakfast. Kush felt good. He missed his mother but he wanted his daddy to be happy, very happy!

Daddy said that one of his friends was coming home for dinner tonight and so he had to complete his homework earlier. Kush loved guests. And the attention they showered on him.

And true to that this sweet aunty got him candy floss. He loved candy floss, but that I have already mentioned earlier.

She seemed to be sweet and talked and laughed a lot. And daddy, too, was laughing a lot. It’s been so long ago that daddy had laughed like this that Kush didn’t even remember.

He sat there with them eating his candy floss and sulking. Usually he would not sit with his daddy’s guests for long. But today he refused to budge. He didn’t know why he was suddenly feeling so low and why his eyes were brimming with tears.

“That Lady”‘s visits became more frequent and Kush started feeling alienated. His temper tantrums increased. Daddy was at lost. He didn’t realize what was wrong with Kush suddenly. He was getting worried. He tried to talk to Kush, he tried everything possible but it seemed as if Kush had shut doors. When Kush didn’t light up while watching “The power rangers”, daddy couldn’t take it any more.

“Kush, I want to have a talk with you, a man to man talk. Can I trust you?” daddy asked.

“Man to man?” Kush looked at his father, a bit confused, but intrigued. This was the first real response daddy got from Kush in weeks. He got strength to go on further.

“I am in a dilemma. And I need advice from you. I think you are the only person who can help me.”

Kush didn’t know what to say but he was all ears now and felt very important as his father thought him to be his confidante. He looked at daddy intently and urged him to go on.

“You know Jui, the friend of mine!”

Kush got tensed at the mention of “That lady”. Daddy felt the reaction and was now doubly sure about the problem. He had hit the bull’s eye.

“I am thinking whether I should continue my friendship with her. I do like her company but… you know, I am not really sure. She is a girl, you see!”

Kush’s face lit up. Daddy felt a tug at heart.

“I like her a lot and she seems to be the best friend I had in a long time. But I am not very sure. What do you say?”

Kush was in a dilemma now. He had not anticipated this.

“I think you are the only person whom I can talk to and can rely on the opinion. Do think and tell me.”

With that daddy bade good night with a peck on his forehead.

Kush’s little heart went into topsy-turvy. He sat there for a long time and thought “hard”, as hard as a nine year old could think.

But before he went for the sleep he had made the decision.

After a long time Kush slept with a big smile on his face.

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How many years have passed!! 10? No, it was exactly 12 years since she last saw this sea. She used to love coming here. When Maanushi was a toddler, her parents used to bring her here and she would giggle and laugh and loved riding on her father’s back. As she grew older, parents’ place was taken by a bunch of friends and they used to hang out here. Sometimes till wee hours debating on anything and everything! How many times had they saved this world from economic crisis, from terror attacks and even UFOs!!!

It felt like home coming. She inhaled deeply as if to keep the essence of the sea within her. She was elated and way too nostalgic!!

It was getting darker and she decided to head to their “once favourite” café. Maanushi felt as if nothing had changed in these years and yet, so much had changed.

That applied specifically for her friends, Ketki and Manan.

Maanushi was to stay with them till she got her accommodation from office. She tried to convince them to stay in a hotel, but they would not hear of it. In a couple of days she could make out that Ketki and Manan were not whom she remembered from her past. They had grown to be different people.

Ketki was not as bubbly and Manan has become considerably quieter. In all those years they talked on phone or kept contact on chat, she never felt anything amiss! She attributed this soberness to the hectic work schedule they followed.

Though Ketki was happy to have her, she seemed aloof; not only with her but with Manan too. Something was seriously wrong. Both were tight lipped and she too didn’t want to prod.

As the days passed, her friends’ drift was the last thing on her mind, as something else was eating at her heart and mind. In the last few weeks she realized that Manan was popping in her head way too many times than needed. His thoughts kept Maanushi occupied even at night. Just a thought of Manan sleeping in the adjoining room gave her a warm feeling. She kept going back to their conversations, replayed them in her thoughts and kept staring at her laptop screen during work hours.

She knew, Manan was not to be blamed for the state of her heart. He had never, ever given any hint in that direction. She tried reasoning to herself saying that this is just a physical attraction since it’s been a long time since she had a male company.

But that did not change the fact that she had fallen head over heels for her best friend… and best friend’s husband!!!!

She wanted to be held by Manan, not like his usual hugs. Not a friendly hug but a hug of a lover. She wanted to be close to him, close enough to hear his heartbeats. She wanted to be the part of his being.

She had dated a couple of men earlier but she had never felt this way for any of them.

She was confused with her own feelings. She did not feel guilty. And, yet, she knew these feelings were not acceptable to the society and probably will not be acceptable to Manan too!

But who is going to tell him, anyways!!!

No, she will not run away from him. She can’t even think of doing that. But she can’t tell him and risk the rebuke. Also she needed to understand her own feelings, whether it was temporary attraction or pity or what???

No, she won’t run away. Instead, she would test the waters. Who knows what is in store for her! 😉

Name has been changed to protect privacy!

Name has been changed to protect privacy!

Scene # 1, 26 June, 2008

5:45 am

Alarm goes off. Swati wants to snooze it badly but she knows, she can’t really do that. Springs on her feet and she is up and about! With a whirl wind, she freshens up as soon as she can and is already in the Kitchen by 5:55 am

Cooker is on the first burner of the gas stove, milk on the second, vegetable on the third!

The alarm goes off again! (She keeps multiple alarms so that she doesn’t forget to wake her child up!)

6:15 am

“Please, bachchaa, get up! Its 6:15 now…” she cajoles her 5 year old to get up for the school.

As she makes her ready by giving her a bath, brushing her teeth, suddenly she remembers… MILK….. runs in the kitchen……thank God, it has not spilled over!

Runs back to her baby, makes her ready for the school!

“Drink your milk fast, sweet heart!” She coaxes her child. Suddenly the alarm goes off again! (Bhaago……..! Time for the school bus!)

Packs snacks for the lunch box and kisses her child and waves good bye!

7:00 am

“Come on, yaar, get up! It’s already seven!” wakes up husband…

Cooker has cooled, now the “daal” can be prepared!

Veggie is done by now. The burner is now free for the tea for the hubby and the in-laws!

Daal on the first burner and tea on the second!

Prepare dough for the “rotis” by the time tea is done.

Served everybody, had a cup of tea standing at the kitchen platform looking at the daal so that it will not spill over!

Prepares “rotis” for the whole family of four!

It’s already 8:30 am

9:00 am

Punches at the office sharp at 9:00 am.

Deals with the superiors, subordinates, juggles the managerial role with that of many others.

6:00 pm boss lets her know about the urgent work which just came in.

7:15 pm

Reaches home. Prepares food for the family.

8:00 pm

Dinner with family.

9:00 pm

Helps in homework of the child.

10:00 pm

“Mom, pleeeeeeeeeease, one story!” she couldn’t refuse her sweet heart.

10:30 pm

“Hey how was your day?” asks hubby sweetly while giving a peck on her cheek. He wanted more! She wanted it too! She smiles at him… he goes to put the light off!

When he comes back, she is fast a sleep!

********

Scene # 2, 26 June, 2000

Swati receives a gold medal in Skating competition. She keeps her medal with others she had won in the past in various competitions.

Her parents were proud of her as not only she was good at sports but excelled at acaedemics, too. Why, this year only she completed her MBA from an reputed university!

*********

She is everything that is expected of her… a good wife, mother, bahu, successful professional…. everything!

Everything but herself!

Recently, very frequently, Swati has started asking herself, WHERE HAS SWATI GONE?

Shuchi!

Posted on: June 21, 2008

Name and certain charcters are changed to protect privacy!

Name and certain characters are changed to protect privacy!

I don’t know why but that day I was missing Shuchi a lot. It was almost three years since I last saw her or talked to her.I went back three and half years back in my thoughts when I had received a call from my sister. She wanted me to find a suitable job for Shuchi as she had already completed her post graduation. I was more than happy to help my beloved niece. She was the “Jaan” of our family. Very intelligent, helpful, polite and always smiling. She was the apple of everyone’s eye. Shuchi was warm heartedly welcomed in our home. Within a short period she got a good job in a prestigious company. (Everybody thinks that I helped her, but she never needed any help. She was bright enough to get through on her own.)

Time passed and she got settled in her new job. Because of her good nature she became favourite with her colleagues, too! Her mother was now after me to find a suitable boy for Shuchi. When I told her this, she shyly mentioned about Ishwar.

Somehow, Ishwar gave not-so-good vibes!

Against our wishes, she got married to Ishwar (not one trait of his was anywhere near to his name!). She was so happy about the marriage that we all kept our doubts aside but still kept our fingers crossed. Suddenly after one month of the marriage, she called one day and told me that I should not keep any contact with her! She said this and “thuk” the line went dead. She never tried to contact us and I couldn’t as her number was no longer available. I got her news from my sister time to time. I tried to get her contact number or address from my sister but mysteriously she always denied stating that was what shuchi wanted. My sister was also worried but never told anything (I am not sure whether she knew anything herself!).

This was three years back. I never knew what happened to Shuchi or why she never kept contact, nothing!

That night I couldn’t sleep properly. Shuchi occupied my thoughts for no apparent reason.

At 6 in the morning the bell rang. I was sure it was Shuchi (don’t ask why, I myself don’t know!). I almost ran to open the door. As I opened the door, I got rooted. I was shocked to see Shuchi. I couldn’t recognize her. Her once beautiful face was scarred; she was so thin that even toothpick would look healthy! I asked her to come inside, almost as an after thought. She limped inside!

“I am not going to that hell again!” she said without any emotion.

I wanted to kill that bastard who did what I saw to my beloved child.

There were so many questions in my mind. What actually happened? Why did she keep up to this brutality for so long? When did all these start? Why she never informed any of these to us? Why she never ran away before?

But looking at her, I did not have heart to ask her anything. I slowly inched towards her and gave a hug. She started crying. Slowly initially, and then copiously, relentlessly! I let her cry…

She needed medical attention immediately for her physical as well as psychological trauma.

As weeks passed she started showing some colour on her face.

Today I am very happy. Shuchi gave her first smile today! Ah, that lovely smile!

I wanted to know many things which are still unanswered, but I am in no hurry.

P.S. Have not told Shuchi that I and her mother have filed a case against her husband. He is in police custody and the case is in the court. The court has agreed to call Shuchi as a witness only when her condition stabilizes.


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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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