It was a typical tuesday morning, I was sipping coffee on the living room couch with the morning Times for company, when my wife came downstairs into the hall and said," I may not make it to dinner tonight, dont wait up, got an important news to cover." I had barely said O.K. when she picked up an apple and was already out of the house. She worked in a news channel and I was a freelance writer, working from home. She was a perfectionist. She had the perfect job, perfect house, perfect marriage and believe it or not, a nearly perfect husband!!! But all that seemed like a distant past now. Looking at the sorry state of affairs, I just wish I had a time machine to go back in the past.
I think the difference of opinion that we shared was what attracted me to her. In pretty much every aspect of life, we were poles apart. I was a shy, young, struggling writer. On the other hand, she was a dynamic, freeflowing, spontaneous lady. But our love for art, literature, travelling and adventure brought us together. Introduced by a common friend, we dated for about 2 years before getting hitched. Ours was a picture perfect marriage, as if she completed all my shortcomings and vice versa. We wanted to complete our family and so we decieded to have a child. everybody was so happy when she broke the news. It was the perfect little cherry on top of the cake. But, as the saying goes, you cannot have the cake and eat it too.
In an unfortunate series of events, we lost our baby... I rushed to the hospital to see her, but she was unconcious. She had met with a road accident. I should never have allowed her to take the cab. I had to deliver a guest lecture that morning in the university and she insisted me to take the car. I should've dropped her to work. Oh God! why didnt I?? she was 5 months pregnant... wht was i thinking?? My mother in law was already there, looking at me as though it was all my fault... Offcourse it was....
She was in a complete state of shock after she recovered. She didnt even cry. I didnt know what to say. At times I thought talking about it may ease her pain but then I thought, it will also bring back those painful memories of our anxiety, anticipation, expectations and preperation of parenthood. She joined work o the 10th day itself. Her mom stayed wit us for 4 weeks to help us with the household work but eventually, she had to go too. Our home was becoming like a dumping ground. everything out of place, so unlike my wife. Friends stopped coming over, we stopped going out. Everyone was afraid of saying something wrong. We talked for the bare minimum. She stopped cooking. Most of the times, I had to forcibly nake her eat. Life had become mechanical, as if, someone really was pulling the strings.
I was jolted back to my senses by a knock on the door. When I opened, no one was in sight but a pamplet was sticking out of the door handle. It said-- ELECTRICITY WORK going on, POWER CUT for 2 hrs, every day 8pm - 10pm, for 1 week, starting today. Power cuts were fairly unusual in this part of the city, so we didnt have an inverter installed. I went to the store to get some candles. I was preparing dinner whn she arrived at 8.15pm. She read the notice lying on the dining table and said,'' so, you had to buy candles and stuff." I said," Ya, we didnt have any. You wont be able to take a shower the geyser wont work. Would you like to hav dinner while it is hot?? I just made it." she replied," O.K, since we have nothing else to do." I dont know whether it was the yellowish tinge of the candle light or the beautiful saree that she was wearing, she seemed so beautiful... yet, so sad. Wrincles were visible on her forehead, eyes were puffy... I knew she had a hard time sleeping... so did I. We both pretended to be asleep everynight.
We finished dinner and she went outside onto the porch and sat on the front steps. I too, joined her to get some fresh air. Mr. and Mrs. Roy and their children were passing by. Mr. Roy, who lived just a few blocks away, looked up to me and said,"going for an ice-cream. Nothing better to do at home." Mrs. Roy looked at us and asked," Would you two like to join us??" I looked at her when she smiled and politely declined the offer. We just sat there, silently, untill the lights came back. she said," I am going to take a shower and turn in. I am dead tired. Good night." "Good night." I replied.
The next day, we were again sitting on the front steps after the dinner, when she suddenly said,"Lets do something to kill time. Let us play a little game we used to play at my granny's place. each of us will tell something about ourselves that nobody else knows till now."
"Fine," I said, "But lets start with you."
She started thinking and said," O.K, wht I havent told you... O.K... when we were in college, we went to this fancy restaurant for a friend's birthday dinner. We were all chatting, when a friend of mine, came running up to me and said that one of friends is choking and he cannot breathe. I just ran with him, not caring where i was headin to. When we reached our friend, he was lying on ground , coughin, i sat besides him and asked him to open his mouth. Suddenly, he looked at me and started laughing. I looked around and saw that everybody is looking at me and laughing. It was a whole minute before I realised that I was actually in a men's washroom. GOD, it was so embarrasing! After we sat down, everybody in the restaurant kept looking at me wnd laughing.." We both started laughing. she always looked so lively when she laughed. "O.K, now its your turn." , she said.
'' Last year, when I told you that I am going with my friends to have dinner, actually I was with a publisher. her name is Radhika. I didnt tell you because I thought it will make you upset but I wanted to confess, so, thats it." I looked at her and saw her face, deep in thought. After quite som time, she said," I never had any prolems of your asociations with females. I dont think I will ever have. Your work demands it and I m fine with it. NO big deal." Just then, the lights came on and we both retreated into the house.
Next few days went by in a flash of lightning, each day , I had this wierd sense that I am going on a date with someone I have never met before. It was so surprising that we still had so much to know about each other. I told her about forgotten birthdays and aniversaries, silent crushes in college and lots of other things that I guess we never thought were worth mentioning to each other. She told me how she had arranged a party for her college friends when I was out of town and how these people hd got drunk and did rowdy things. It was so much fun! she said. She didnt tell me because I never touch alcohol and she is quite fond of it, but I got no problem if she drinks.
All of a sudden, I realised, that it was the last day of power cut and some part of my heart just wanted this to never end. She insisted on cooking that day...... after such a long time. We were having dinner, when she commented on her own food,"Oh God ! This tastes aweful... I am so sorry you have to eat that. I looked at her and said, Not at all, you just lost your touch, dont worry, you'll come back. Or it might be due to the fact that now you are used to eating some fabulous food cooked by me!!!! She started smiling... Her beautiful smile... like a ray of sunshine.. Oh God I missed it so much.... She had put on my fav saree, I got some scented candles from the store and the radio was playing a beautiful romantic number. And I couldnt help but wonder.... she was so gorgeous... even after all these years of marriage. I had the urge to grab her hand lying there on the table... but I couldnt.... I just couldnt.
We went on to sit on the porch and she started abruptly," The day before our marriage, I was really, really nervous. I guess I had cold feet and I seriously thought of walking out on you." I just looked at her in complete disbelief, unabe to utter anything. She continued,"But please, let me explain, I was just insecure, I thought, maybe, I am not ready for such a big responsibility. Eventually when I did it, I am really really glad I ttook that step. It would've been foolish, not to marry you. Seriously." She was looking at her feet, as if ashamed of herself.
I dont know whether it was her startling confession about the lack of faith she had in our relationship, or was it the fact that I so wanted to remove the burden off my shoulders, out of the blue, I blurted out---" IT WAS A GIRL". Instantaneously, she looked at me and I was staring at n ocean af sadness in her eyes. Her face was expressionless, but as always, her eyes said it all, and more. For months I was debating with myself whether or not, to tell her this. The doctor had told me when she was unconcious. We had decieded not to determine the sex of ouy baby. But we both wanted a girl, she more than me. Tears were streaming down her cheeks. I grabbed her hand and moved closer. Before I could say something, she hugged me and we both started sobbing uncontrollaby. She muttered, "I am so so sorry. I am sorry." I tried to console her by saying it is O. K but deep down, we both knew it wasnt. It was my fault too. I just managed to say," Welcome back to life daer. .. Everythings gonna be fine, we are still here for each other... let us start all over again."
The lights came back amidst all the hooting and cheering. The Roy family was walking past our home. Mr. Roy looked at us and said," Thank God, the power cuts are over,.... It was one hell of a week...." And I thought, indeed it was , a hell of a week . It was about time we moved on........
Thats all for now.... untill next time, chow!!!!!! hope to write sumthing soon.... take care.....