Sunday, May 26, 2013

Loneliness . . .

After she tucked-in her children for the night, she came and lay down on her bed. Her husband was already asleep, snoring softly next to her. She stared at the dancing shadows on her bedroom's ceiling unable to shake her mind off from focusing on the disturbing turn of events in her life. she wanted to share this strange development with someone, but no name came to her.
she turned and faced her husband. she could see his rising and falling chest following rhythmic mechanical breaths.
you should talk to your parents.
She smiled sarcastically at her heart's suggestion. she knew it was no use calling them up. hasn't her mother been telling her since the day she got married that from now on her husband's house is her home, his family is her family. She felt her maternal home was no longer her own. seven rounds around the sacred fire and she had become a guest in her own home, a stranger for her own family. Someone who is spoken to formally but all the decisions that she was a part of before are not shared with her anymore. she had made peace with it. what else she could do?
you can talk to your in-laws . . .
This suggestion made her laugh inwards. how can she talk to her in-laws, when for them she was still an outsider. Almost ten years and two grand kids later, her mother-in-law never forgets to mention that she is not her own flesh and blood. at first, it pinched her but now, she had learnt to choose her battles and this one was certainly not worth fighting for.
What about your friends? you have hundreds of followers on facebook and twitter.
Friends. Did she have any genuine ones left? Anyone with whom she could share what's happening in her life ? anyone who would listen patiently and offer sound advice? she didnt think so. Since the day she had got married, the delicate thread of communication had been stretched to its breaking point. she had made conscious efforts to be in touch with many of her friends but after her wedding, her priorities had considerably changed. weekends were no longer spent gossipping with friends, but instead in grocery shopping. Slowly everyone got busy with their lives and BFFs turned to just a name in each other's smartphones. she couldn't even remember when was the last time she had chatted with a friend over the phone. lately, it has just been pings on whatsapp or birthday wishes on FB wall. she had tried to tie up the broken threads many times but with knots in them, they were not as strong as they once were. the only friends she was in constant touch with were the mothers of her kids' friends.  I cant share intimate details of my personal life with them. its not appropriate. 
She took a deep breath. She kept staring at him, sleeping peacefully unaware of the storm raging inside her.
You can talk to him.
Her heart suggested tentatively. This suggestion made her sob inconsolably. She got up and ran inside the bathroom. she turned on the shower at full blast and stood under it, fully clothed.
why don't you talk to him?
Her heart repeated again. she could talk to him. after all, he had always managed to make her feel secure. he had always held her hand and assured her that it will be okay. but, she knew, this time he will not be able to help.
how can i talk to him when he is the reason for my anxiety? how will he say that everything will be alright, when he is the part of the problem.
Her salty tears mixed with the water and made zig-zag lines across her face. She closed her eyes, willing herself that she will not cry. but, the tears came down strong and hard. she had found the flight tickets in his suitcase. she knew that his business trip was more personal than he cared to admit. she knew that he was cheating on her. she knew that he had been lying to her. She looked at her hand, where a large diamond glistened in her wedding ring.
he was the centre of my universe. he was my everything. i never felt alone, because he was there. i gave him and this house the best years of my life and this is what i get in return. Now, what am i supposed to do. 
The same ring that seemed like a bond of their love, looked like diamond studded shackles from which she needed to be free. Forcefully, she yanked it from her finger where it left a light mark behind. Still crying, she sat down on the bathroom floor clutching her wedding ring to her chest, getting drenched in her own tears.

 
'Drifting aimlessly in the ocean of life,
No hope, no land, no savior in sight.
Surrounded by a deafening silence,
Her only companion - crippling loneliness.'

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Grass is always greener on the other side . . . or is it?

It was seven in the morning. she was standing in her bedroom window staring at her neighbor. Dressed smartly in a grey skirt and white shirt, her friend was off to work. She felt a pang of jealousy.
This could have been me. 
She sighed. she knew she had left behind the competitive corporate world for a life of quiet domesticity. It was her decision to get married and stop working. It was her choice but, sometimes, when she saw her friends going to work with their smart phones and their Mac Books in tow, she felt envious. When she heard them talk about their work, their travels and their every increasing paycheck, she always felt a twinge of regret. It was not that she wasn't happy in her own life but there were days when she couldn't stop her mind from questioning her heart.
Is this it? Is this my life now? 
Today, standing in her bedroom, framed by the window she felt claustrophobic. she longed to leave the shackles of domesticity and sour high in the sky. she wanted to not think about the grocery shopping and laundry but wanted to worry about figures and presentations. She was lost in her thoughts when she felt someone tug at her pyjamas. she looked down and saw her two year old standing beside her groggily rubbing his eyes.
"Momma!" he said happily and motioned for her to pick him up.
she smiled and bent low.
"Good Morning."
She turned and looked back at her husband. he came towards her smiling, carrying a tray with two cups of tea on it. he placed it on the bed and handed her one cup kissing her lightly on the cheek. her son rested his head on her shoulder and heaved a content sigh. she couldn't help herself, she smiled broadly.
"What's with the smile?" his husband asked, sipping his tea.
"Nothing." she took a sip, "Good tea."
she looked back at her friend who had climbed into her new car and waved at her. she waved back with a smile on her face.
Life is not so bad.
She put the cup on the window sill and hugged her little boy tightly.  

Sitting in her new car, she waved at her friend, smiling tightly. A wave of jealousy swept over her.
Here I am all dressed up and off to work and some people are still in their pyjamas!
She started her engine and reversed her car from the parking lot. Her phone started ringing. She glanced at the screen. it was her assistant.
"What?!" she barked into her smart phone.
Her assistant told her that the meeting has been postponed by an hour. she listened, with her temper rising, and then threw the phone on to the passenger side seat.
This is just perfect.
Involuntarily, her eyes again went to the window on the third floor where her neighbour was standing cuddling her two year old son in her arms with her husband by her side, sipping the morning tea. she looked at herself in the car's tiny rear-view mirror.
Is this it? Is this my life now? 
She had decided to pursue her career going against her family who wanted to get her getting married. Now, five years later, she was the youngest manager in her organization with an impressive bank balance. She was happy with her life . . . she liked her work, she liked going on dates, she liked her independence. But, then there were those days, like today, when she couldn't help but think about her life, about how lonely it sometimes felt to be on her own all the time. There were days when she felt like giving it all up and getting married and having a brood of kids.
Where I don't have to worry about profits and losses and just think about my kid's grades. 
Her beeping phone brought her back to reality. She picked it up, frowning. it was an email from her boss. As she scanned her mail, her face lit up.
Another promotion! 
She pumped her fist in the air.
Life is not so bad after all!
She started the engine and drove to work, smiling broadly.

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