Life Beyond Love, a Novella, Chapter- 16, Groping in the Darkness
For some days everything worked just fantastic. Again I started flying high up in the sky, unfurling my feathers in full plumage. Everything seemed so beautiful, and meaningful despite the cryptic apprehension of inevitable peripeteia always creeping up my back keeping my furrows alert and my gut cramped. As usual all day I waited for him and he never called me in the daytime- no message, no call, no ring back, nothing, an irritating, humiliating silence. And at night we met, chatted and hoped. I hoped that one day he would be serious and his vacillating feelings would get a solid ground of reliability allowing me to sleep at peace, expunging all those demanding nagging questions whose answers I wanted to avoid. I started living in fear, drinking my potion from a poison tree of confusion, and self-flagellation.
“Hi! had your dinner?”
“What have you taken?”
“Roti and curry, no sweet. you?”
“Roti and chicken.”
“Isssss, this call just makes me crazy.”
“Hmm, now promise me a gift.”
“I want something from you.”
“Akash I’m only yours. You can ask anything from me.” Oh gosh! What a melodrama was going yr.
“What are you wearing now?”
“Just my night dress. why?”
“I like you to wear a saree and I want to see you in a saree Aatri.”
“What? Akash, you got such freaking ideas.”
“No. I like to see you in a saree. You will appear too sexy you know.”
“No, it’s a weird idea and I’m not going to encourage you”.
“Just once. Please.”
I loved to do what he demanded always but only when I felt secure in love, not in this confusing, staggering situation when my heart bleed every day with thousand thorns in anguish and demolition, and in myriads of jumbled emotion whose identities were not clear to me. I liked to be beautiful in his eyes but not now when the grace of my soul got slaughtered now and then. I always preserved the notion that beauty went with love; pure love could embalm one in real beauty. But now I felt like I was harrowing my path through darkness to measure the fathomless bleakness of it. My soul was at stake and I could not stop till I found my answer. When you got wrapped in the cloak of abysmal gloom no sunrays could pierce you until you become the sun. So I gave up myself to this dark demon of despair to reach the saturating point from where no path could sprout only you had to turn back and find a new one.
“Ok, I’ll get a saree, but give me some time. Mamoni has not gone to bed yet and if she comes in my room and finds me draping a saree she will just get a heart attack.”
“Let her get. Do hurry, close your room and lock it. I cannot keep patience Aatri.”
“Akash, don’t say so. Mamoni will be offended. Please wait. Just half an hour”.
“Ok, dear. I’ll call you later.”
Akash was offended. But I was sure I would wear a saree of his choice and make him happy. I waited until Mamoni went to bed and then I locked the door with great caution. I select a saree of bright scarlet and black. I never use lipstick or any make-up. I did not know how to use them and did not feel comfortable with them. So I got a messy ponytail, kajal and bindi. I blushed within myself several times and finally took the courage to appear in front of him.
I called Akash with my heart full of love, happiness and expectation.
“Beep beep, beep, the number you are trying to call is busy.”
It is already 11.40 how one can be busy at such a time, except for the love birds? Ok, maybe any important call. I again gave a round near the mirror, watched myself with a scrutinizing eye and being satisfied tried Akash.
“Sorry, the number you have dialled is currently busy in another call. Please try after some time.”
I waited for some time and then try again. But the same mechanical voice slapped my ears.
My brows tightened automatically watching the time. I just waited and waited till 1 a.m. Then there left nothing within me, except deep deep agony and humiliation. My heart was collapsing in tears and anger when I tried for the last time and find him busy.
“Akash, what have I done to you dear? You are busy in the dead of night, and not with me. Akash, I tried so much, texted you, but you gave no reply. Why Akash?”
No reply came. I changed my dress and tried to sleep. My pillow was getting wet in silent tears. I could not sleep for the whole night, just looking at the phone again and again with desperate frustration.
The next day when I woke up my head was tossing literally and I felt uprooted.
There came no response. I engaged myself in household chores though I was nowhere but in the deep peril of anguish and frustration. Days went on through agonizing turbulence. I waited eagerly for a cordial sorry from Akash. Maybe he was in a serious case, maybe someone call him in urgency. Maybe he was so badly disrupted that he behaved so rude and cruelly, though fake reasoning did not work well till it consoled me a bit. I waited for the night to find Akash online.
I bit my lip, trying hard to conceal my anger, my desperation. I must wait for his reason. But he showed none.
“What are you doing baby?”
My anguish and frustration made me dumb. I could not believe it.
“Why are you silent?”
“Oh! Come on baby, don’t spoil the mood.”
I could hold no more.
“Akash I’ve waited for you till 1 a.m and your phone was busy continuously at that time of night. I wore a saree for you, but you care nothing. You broke my heart. And now you are telling me that I’m spoiling your mood. What the hell ‘mood’ have you possessed Akash? Why did you behave so rude and heartlessly? Why?”
“Aatri don’t be silly. I was busy on another call. You are just overreacting.”
“Who has called you?”
“One of my friends.”
“Why at that time?”
“Why? Cannot anybody call me at that time except you?”
“No Akash, if it is a case of emergency anyone can. I just want to know the reason what happened that you cannot take my call, or answer my messages for about 2 hours. I was anxious.”
“Nothing to worry Aatri it’s just a friend after a long time so we had a lot of gossips.”
“Ok, then take care. Bye.”
I understood that Akash had lost his so-called ‘mood’ or might be he was trying to escape from me, irked by my investigation. I was also not in the mood to talk to him as I was tired of being cool. I wanted to scream at the top of my voice not like a coy girl ignoring all my assertions in fear, fear to lose my love. But was it love?
I tried hard to cope with my life.
My puzzling thoughts and my arbitrary bafflements remained plunged in the deep silence of wondering at my clashing passion and reasoning till I felt tired, exhausted, and fighting with myself. And finally, I surrendered allowing myself to drown in the self-demolishing passion and blinded love. Oh! Shit! I could live hating myself, but how could I live hating him.”
I did not want to fret about this stuff any more. I was not strong enough to live without Akash, even the thought of leaving him hurled my existence, making me panicked. What was wrong with me? What was wrong with our relationship? Oh god, I could not take it anymore.
Hey, I am Munmun, the phoenix fabulist who wants to tell you stories. I love to read stories and I love to weave stories. I feel life is an amalgamation of multiple stories, colourful threads, and threads of pain, pleasure, hope, and hopelessness. We just need to pick those hues and arrange them, knitting them with our own emotions and perception. So let’s celebrate the stories of life.