contd from “Better times to come”-Part 17
“Why we didn’t meet? Or why we didn’t talk? Such questions really have no answers and we both know it so. Let’s just remember that today is what we have. A time well spent can be a great foundation for better times to come,” Sangeeta replied happily.
* * *
“Why are you so tensed Radha? Are the students giving you a tough time?” Sangeeta spoke in jest.
Radha didn’t respond. In fact she remained seated in the chair as it is.
“Mummy, I am going alright. Please take care of yourself,” It was Arti’s innocent voice that called for her attention. Radha looked at her child and suddenly started to cry.
“Please don’t cry. Its only two days. I will get back right? Now please be a good girl mumma. Sangeeta aunty will you promise to make her happy?” Arti’s expectant face had lines of hurt all over.
Sangeeta nodded vigorously and smiled at the child.
* * *
“Its the first time she is going away from me. Ever since she is born I have not left her side even for a moment. I have a feeling this will be tough on me. But then I cannot go against the ruling. Can I?” Radha continued to speak dejectedly.
Sangeeta could see that her heart was still not fine at the prospect of Arti spending two nights away from her. But then as she had put it, what did choice did she have?
“Radha, if you don’t mind what really happened? I mean I remember you being very happy with your decision. And Shikhar was a great man, I remember,” Sangeeta finally couldn’t hold on to her questions anymore.
Radha suddenly got up and quietly walked out of the dining hall.
Sangeeta had no choice but to follow.
* * *
“Its a full moon night. Do you remember how beautiful this building always looked in moonlight,” Sangeeta was staring at the structure bathed in white light. Shining like a pillar of illumination for those lost in realms of darkness.
“He loved me. He really did. For years I thought this is what I always wanted. But then slowly things started to change. There were always things like, ” you don’t understand” “you don’t get it” and then on a few days nothing. The silence killed me. Honestly I could have carried on but the moments where I had to pretend to be someone else had started to become endless,” Radha stopped speaking all of a sudden. In the same way she had jerked into an explanation she halted too.
Sangeeta knew there was more. She could sense it.
“Sometimes I feel his affair did a favour to me. It allowed me a guilt free walk out. I could finally say “its not working out” and let the blame be on his shoulders. He tried. He really did. I could see that he put in efforts and started to become a much nicer person. But well I never allowed things to be same. My escape path was chalked out. But Arti, its for her I feel the worst. I think I am selfish. I should have imagined her life as a broken marriage offspring,” Radha again stopped but this time it looked to be conclusively.
Sangeeta did not answer or offer any words for her explanation. She knew they would do little to amend things anyways.
* * *
“And at home? How did they take it?’ Sangeeta asked.
“Mum passed away last year. It was a huge jolt for me. But then I knew she will not be with me forever. Sometimes I feel that was the reason why I even got married,” Radha and Sangeeta had walked back to the hostel and were enjoying a cup of tea.
“And the sisters?” Sangeeta spoke in between the sips of tea.
“All married with kids. Whether happily or not, who cares! Not divorced thats what they say is their saving grace,” Radha spoke with a scorn in her tone.
Sangeeta only stared at her. She had still not deciphered whether the divorce had caused Radha the pain on her face or the marriage she survived.
“Another cup of tea?” Sangeeta asked.
“Yes. And since when did you start to have tea? Weren’t you always the coffee woman?” Radha commented.
“Its Kavita. She is always cribbing about making once coffee and then tea for herself. With time it became two cups of tea forever,” Sangeeta replied, with a hint of smile.
“Kavita. So it worked out between you two?” Radha spoke slowly.
to be contd. at “Is it love for you?” -Part 18
* * *
This is day 18 at:
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