|She picked up 'Hamlet', her one-time favorite|
she went through the line again and again
"To be, or not to be?"
She read again and again-
'TO BE' it is
This post has been published by me as a part of Blog-a-Ton 58; the fifty-eighth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. In association with Saravana Kumar Murugan, the editor of Shades Of Life book series.
His strong voice roared in the house, echoing in her ears. She quickly wiped her hands with the kitchen towel and ran as fast as she could. She couldn’t afford to get him angry.
“Yes,” she said panting.
He looked at her with those giant like furious red eyes. She felt the heat and braced herself for the incoming assault. His palm waved in the air and fell across her cheek, leaving angry red fingermarks. The impact was so strong; she instantly hit the floor in a blink of the eye.
“Is this how you press a shirt? There are creases every where. You will ruin my reputation some day. You useless lady. You are no good. I don’t know why I married you in the first place.”
She stayed at the floor, not daring to look at him. The tears in her eyes were shining at the brink, threatening to fall. She held on to them and waited with breath held. He stomped and left. She breathed and relaxed a little.
Marriage with Vineet has been a disaster, more of a hell to her. Neither she nor her family had any clue about his temperament. He seemed cool, quiet, romantic and down to earth in the few meetings they had. But it took just a day before he unveiled his true self.
Swapnila almost had a heart attack when Vineet had hit her for the first time, the next morning of their marriage. And that was because the tea wasn’t the way he liked. She talked to her mom who advised her to stay put. She had no choice but to bear the pain. Every second he is around, she would feel the shiver of fear running down her spine.
She was lost in the thoughts with the cup of her favorite coffee getting cold in her hand. The eerie sound of her mobile ringing made her jump. She didn’t have to look for the caller’s name. She instantly received the call.
“Hello,” she said with a shaky voice.
“ I have a packed bag in my cupboard. My driver will be there to pick it up in an hour. I am going on the trip for a fortnight.”
Although she said it in a low voice, she felt the butterflies in her stomach. She is going to have full fifteen days of freedom from this hell. She will be her queen, doing whatever she feels like. She couldn’t wait.
After the driver picked up his luggage and she was sure he was not going to come back for another fifteen days, she began to live. She cooked her favorite food and enjoyed her favorite film with a tub of popcorn. She slept in complete bliss. She couldn’t remember when she had slept so peacefully last.
Next day, she went to her favorite place in the house, the library. She hadn’t been there in a long time. She looked at the cardboard boxes in the corner of the neatly set room. Her books have faced the similar rejection like her. She walked to them and began opening them one by one. The familiar smell filled her heart with the kind of content and happiness that she had not experienced in a very long time. The crates were full of fantasy fictions, romantics, and love stories. Looking at them she realized how far she has come from her fantasies, her dreams.
Among her treasures was her most prized possession, the Love Story by Eric Sehgal. She picked it up and cleared the dust from the cover. It has the word ‘Nirvaan’ signed across it in small and neat handwriting. She lovingly ran her fingers on the name. This was her first gift from her little brother. He had said that this is how he thinks her life would be, full of love and happiness. And when she was going through the book, she had dreamed of all those beautiful things in her life. And now it was a dream broken, piercing her heart and making it bleed. She had lost all her dreams and all her hopes of escaping this hell.
Her phone rang again, making her jump out of her dreams. She felt her heart racing. It wasn’t him. She picked up the call, still cautious.
“Is it Swapnila?”
“Yes, who is it?”
“Swapnila, this is Neha. You remember? We have been in the same school, same class, same bench,” “Neha Sinha.”
She was surprised, and it showed in her voice. It had been ages since she had been in touch with her.
“How are you?” Neha asked.
“Good but how did you ever find me?”
“I have my sources. You vanished, just like that, from the face of the Earth.”
“I got married.”
Though she laughed at her joke, the mere mention of him or her marriage sends fear running down in her blood streams.
“Okay. I called to invite you on the get together of our batch. We are meeting in your city, and we expect you to come. No denial and excuses.”
She laughed at the familiar authoritative tone of her friend.
And with that, she was glad that Vineet was on his trip for another fourteen days.
The party was great. She was feeling high after meeting her school friends and also a little tipsy after drink. In some other time, she would not have dared to do what she did today. She changed, turned off the lights and slipped under the sheets. She closed her eyes and saw Akshar’s face. She had not been able to get him off her mind. The whole school had known back then that he had a huge crush on her, so huge that he had even gotten her name tattooed on his wrist. When she and one of the friends went to drop the very drunk Akshar in his room, she noticed a fancy tattoo on his wrist, a little different from what it used to be. But those who had seen his previous tattoo could easily make out the initials of her name in it. She looked for a wedding ring and didn’t find any. Later she came to know that he had not married yet.
The days turned close to the fortnight. It was the time for Vineet to come. After the party, she and Akshar somehow stayed in touched. Their conversations gradually getting longer, and later converting to texts as well when they couldn’t talk. Vineet returned, as so did the hell of her life. But somehow, she had started feeling a little peace along with the fear. She continued to stay in touch with Akshar. Her husband was too busy with himself to notice any change in her. Even she herself remained cautious of giving away anything. Now the slaps stung a little less than before and the pain began to ease out soon. With every passing day, she felt strong. With every passing day, her connection with Akshar grew strong and with every passing day, she felt ever more ready to move out of her hell. Akshar asked her to marry him, told her she had never been over her and was still waiting for her. Although she was ready to move out of her marriage and thanked Akshar for being her strength, yet she was not yet ready to get into another marriage. She had been deceived once and was not yet willing to get into another deceit. She wanted to be sure before she makes a move. Before Vineet could notice anything, Swapnila filed for a divorce finally. He pulled stunts, tried to scare her but she stayed strong, and Akshar stood firmly by her side. Vineet threatened to give her a long troubled fight. But she was ready. It was going to be a long battle ahead, even after divorce. After the law, it will be the society, but beyond that, there was a life, her life, waiting for her. And for that she was ready to fight any battle. This was the beginning of a new sunrise for her, the return of a dream, may be.