World is Watching

Friday, February 28, 2014

A Day With Single Mother

Posted by Chandan Sharma on 11:40:00 PM with 1 comment
“You know how much I liked you when were in college, you were agile and energetic. I never thought that you will choose writing as your career; it is so damn slow…you know what I mean…right? I thought you will join army…I wanted to meet you when your book was published but never knew where you were.”
Indian single motherShe poured the tea in two cups and slowly kept the kettle near the wash basin. She wiped the base of the cups with her ‘duppatta’ and kept the cups in a small plate and then the plate in a big tray.
“And all of a sudden, you decided to show up today. So, how is all?”
She carried the tray and kept it on a stool. The stool was interesting. Names of different people written all over it with pen and I could also see heart made by a red pen with an arrow piecing across it (I still wonder that how that brutality can represent a message of ‘I love you’). That stool perhaps belonged to some school which was most probably was sold to a scrap dealer and then to a second hand furniture dealer and finally was here.
“Well, so far it is good. The sale of book is picking up slowly. I got your address from Pankaj. What’s up with you?”
She picked up the cup of tea and handed over it to me, as if wanted to tell me not to question her about anything.
“As if you don’t know.”
“Mr. Sharma, you could be an author but you are not a good liar. I can see in your eyes that you know everything and perhaps that’s the reason why you decided to meet me. And secondly I can’t believe that Pankaj didn’t tell you anything?”
I didn’t know that she could read my eyes. I took a sip of tea and swallowed a huge amount of saliva which was stuck in my throat. I looked at her. She, with her usual naughty smile and witty eyes, was gazing at me.
“What happened?”
“He left me…asked for divorce…I gave him.”
Nandita Mukherjee, one of the most juvenile girls of my college, was sitting in front of me with anguish in her eyes and disgust in her words. I remember the days when she used to pick her valentine amongst as many as 15 boys to choose from. It used to be controversies and fights over her decision then, and she used to say pompously that she had every right to choose or reject whomever she wanted. She used to have very elaborated logical reason behind it. And now, after almost 6 years, she is divorced, and she couldn’t manage even 10 words to say about it.
“Ah! I am sorry. I should not ask this to you at all…this is none of my business.”
“Right…your wish.”
“Ya…amm…however, I know almost everything already…Pankaj told me.”
“Yeah…that asshole…”
“Why you say so?”
“Just like that…did he also tell you that he wanted to sleep with me to fulfill my sexual needs…how substantial…”
“I hope you are not here for the same reasons…are you?”
“O…no…why would you think that…it’s so awful.”
“What?...sleeping with me?”
“I…mean yes. Ok, just let it go. Why are we even talking about it? Do you think I am such a man?”
“Well, I have been hearing to such countless proposals since Vivek left me with a 4 years old kid. Everybody thinks that a single mother needs it…and there are no strings attached as well.”
She took the last sip of tea and gently placed the cup on the small plate.
“Where is Arya?”
“You work…right?”
“Yeah…BPO stuff…you need to keep yourself alive…don’t you? I took leave though…exclusively for you.”
She smiled again. I was not able to decide whether she was already flirting with me or it was a general friend’s stuff. Had she been single and not married, I would have termed it as leg-pulling. But her current situation made differences in my thought…I could not understand why.
“Oh! Thanks…By the way, what about your parents?
“What about them…they live in Banaras…I stayed with them for a month and half but they were too embarrassed due to me…a young girl, divorced, then the usual character assassination by small town public. I wonder why people never blame the man for it.”
“Even if they do, would that be of any good?”
“Nah!...just a sadistic satisfaction.”
She took the cups to the wash-basin and poured some water in both cups from the tap. She did the same with some other utensils. While doing it, her ‘duppatta’ slipped from her shoulder, revealing her v-neck suit. Her well build cleavage made me feel their presence. I had seen her cleavage or may be something more than that, as many as thousand times but today it was more attractive. I didn’t know whether her relationship status had anything to do with it.
“So, did you get any share from your husband…I mean any monitory help?”
“Are you researching on me and trying to make a story?”
“You should…” She smiled…same familiar naughty smile.

“I will definitely think about it.”
“Ya…that thinking…it never gets completed, anyways, will you have breakfast?”
“Amm, no I guess, I need to travel a lot.”
“So, having no breakfast will shorten your traveling distance, isn’t it?”
I looked at her in anxiety; she was busy in arranging her hair. She grabbed her hair from front and made a knot in such a manner that it seemed mounted on her head. It was pleasant to see how she was trying to keep her body covered with the ‘dupatta’, unlike old days when she used to flaunt her assets. My gaze traveled from her breasts to her face and back at her breast.
“What?” Her voice was a bit rigid than all of her other sentences.
“So, will you have breakfast?”
“I can”
I know I was a stupid in conversation but atleast I was not asking her about her Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram or Whatsapp accounts. She stood up and went straight to the kitchen which was attached with the living room. I remember that the kitchen used to be a very discreet place for ladies. The food and other edible items kind of used to appear in the living room directly, no guest would know where exactly the kitchen is? It was a private place for ladies. If there is something they want to laugh about or cry upon, the kitchen used to be the perfect place for that.
Now I mostly see kitchen attached with the living room with no privacy at all. The ladies can cook and chat with the guest sitting the living room. I think it has more to do with the contagious culture of nuclear family. The guest is often known to both husband and wife and ladies don’t need to disappear in kitchen.
“So, what would you like to have Mr. Sharma, Bread…Maggie…or chapattis?
“Anything would work I guess.”
“You have not changed at least in this case…from the canteen of our college to here, you are never sure that what exactly you want to have. Anyways I am making sandwiches for you.”
I smiled.
The bell rang and after a few seconds of silence, Nandi rushed to the door.
“I am going to kill these rascals, I know they are kids who ring the bell and run away.”
She was right. There was no one at the door. She slammed the door and rushed towards me.
She took me to the windows and pointed towards the gate of the apartment. I tried to see what she wanted me to see, but I could figure out nothing. Usual moving cars, some playing kids, few office going people, a hawker fighting with the guard to get in. All seem ok to me.
“What exactly should I look upon?”     
“You see that middle aged man, with a black bag on his shoulder?”
“He is the man who rings the bell almost every day.”
“How you know? You said they are kids who do this.”
“About kids…just like that…I saw this person twice doing the same from the magic eye I have on the door. He does it and walks away.”
“So, why don’t you say anything to him?”
“He wants me to say him something…stupid. He wants to talk with me…thharki budha.”
I looked at her with hint of amazement in my eyes while she continued.
“I don’t know…from class 6 to now…I have seen people thinking just one thing for me…Chandan, you are a writer, can you explain what possibly be the reason of such thinking? Being girl is bad…being a girl without father is even worse and being a single mother is atrocious. Sucks…I feel suffocated here. Everybody wants to know that what I do for our sexual life? What the fuck man, let’s just say that I don’t get time for this and I am too busy looking after my kid and other responsibilities.”
“I am sorry about all these, but you need to get out and fight if you want to stop this.”
“Nah, I don’t need any trouble on this…I don’t want somebody threatening about my son or something else…I think I will pass on this.”
“It will only increase the daring of this man.”
“Where do you live Chandan? If I say something against him, he will allege me of being a characterless woman. This is a man’s society, he will get support and ultimately I would need to leave this apartment and move to the new one. There I will get 3 of such scoundrels…then what? Life is neither a movie nor a book.”
The bell started ringing again. Nandi moved to the door and after rearranging her dupatta, she opened the door, it was Pankaj.
“Talk of the devil and here it comes. I was telling Chandan about men like you.”
“I am sorry. That was a misunderstanding. May I come in now?”
“Yeah, you are not welcome though.”
“Ya, whatever….”
Pankaj forcibly made his way to the chairs and after formal ‘hello’ sat down. He looked at me and asked me in signal whether everything is ok…I said yes.
“Ok, so it seems that you ladies need some privacy here. I would now make tea for all of us and sandwiches. For you too, rascal.” She pointed towards Pankaj.
Pankaj said nothing but held his ears with both of his hands and made a gesture as if asking for forgiveness. Nandi winked at me and went to the kitchen.
“It has increased.” He whispered to me.
“Yes, she is now completely out of control….what should we do now?”
“She needs to be admitted Chandan.”
I said nothing but stood up and moved to a corner of the room, where Nandi could not see from the kitchen. Pankaj came towards me and kept his hand on my shoulder.
“I know, it is hard but you need to accept this that Nandi, your wife, is not doing well.”
“I don’t know what to do Pankaj? I remember the days when we were in college. It was so nice. She has the memory of those days somewhere inside her head…I know…she has the memory of our marriage, and our days of love and peace. How could she forget it?”
“I have told you Chandan that since her elder sister had passed away, she had been acting like her. Because of their tremendous closeness, Nandi went in a shock where she is living the life of her sister.  She is implementing everything which she had been told by her sister. The way she used to get tortured by the society and everything which happened with her…she is even imagining about Aryan, her sister’s son.”
I closed my eyes and drops of tear rolled out from the corners of my eyes. I tried to wipe out the drops of tear but they were constant. I applied pressure on my tongue with teeth and kept on increasing it…so that the physical pain can bypass the pain of my heart. But even the taste of blood could not cover the agony of losing everything despite of having it right in front of the eyes. I could not hug her and tell her that how much I miss her…love her…need her. When Nandi’s sister committed suicide with Arya…Nandi forgot who she really was. She died with them leaving me alone.
“How could she forget the immense love between us? How could she forget the promises we made that we would not stop loving each other even after death? How could she forget the plans we had for our future? How could she forget me?”
I felt my legs shivering and sweat running all over my body. My heart beat was fast, as if was about to stop forever. I felt no power in my legs and my body oscillated towards ground, Pankaj held me. 
“She has not completely forgotten you. You can still be in her good books and eventually marry her again…perhaps it will also restore her memories slowly. Our plan is working as well…she likes you.”
I looked towards him with dismay of becoming unsuccessful on this. He also had tears in his eyes. He signaled me to be normal as we heard Nandi coming.
“Well, I am sorry that it took a while. I am not too good with this so you both will have to excuse me for that. And I need to go and get Arya…so try and finish the breakfast quickly.”
I took a sandwich in my hand. They were well stuffed and well made. It was perfect just like everything about Nandi. She had a perfect figure, perfect height, and perfect eyes. Her curly long hairs were magical and smile was infectious. She again arranged her duppata before leaning towards the table to take the cup of the tea.
The door bell rung again.
“Sale tharki buddhe”
Nandi fiercely rushed towards the door and opened it. There was no one.

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