contd from Almost faltered into an explanation-Part 21
“Yes darling she likes women. She is a lesbian. But does that change how you see her?” Radha spoke softly.
Radha waited patiently for Arti to perhaps say something. To bring up more queries because her angel like face did contort into various expressions.
“Mumma what happens to such people? Can they be cured? This must be a disease because they cannot live a normal life. They cannot get married and you know do things humans like to do,” Arti started her question with some hesitation.
Radha was surprised to see how Arti’s questions resembled many of her own doubts in the beginning of her friendship with Sangeeta. She too before being exposed to Sangeeta as she is always thought this could be cured with professional help. Its a mockery of her own maturity, she thought that at twenty seven she had the comprehension of a thirteen year old.
“Love. Arti in life many things will change for you. Your goals, the journey to reach them your values but you know what will never change? Definition of love. Love is what equates us all as human beings. It nullifies us in all aspects. No poor, no rich not even woman or man. I love you a lot if you had been a son perhaps I would have loved just as much. All sorts of discrimination are man made. We decide what’s right or wrong. But then does the heart know that honey?” Radha spoke very calmly. She knew that Arti needed time more than words to understand this new way of thinking.
“Can I tell you something mumma? Will you not judge me?” Arti spoke haltingly.
“I don’t like Sangeeta aunty any more now. I feel she is evil,” Arti replied with tears in her eyes.
Radha had no idea what could bring about such a change in her daughter’s behavior. She was always quite a loving person, such statements unnerved Radha but she knew better than to say anything to Arti.
* * *
“I wonder why you people never joined us for safari. It was great fun,” Sangeeta exclaimed at the dinner table.
“It was Arti, she was feeling sick from the long road trip to the hotel and I thought some rest might do her good,” Radha spoke courteously.
Sangeeta only had to hear Radha’s voice to know something was not right. She had an inking of it the moment Radha had cancelled the plan but now all her doubts were coming to be true.
“Its alright she is after all just a child. She might have gotten more sick if she accompanied us,” Kavita cut in with a sharp remark.
Radha noticed how Kavita hadn’t left Sangeeta’s side ever since they had come to the resort. She was consistently finding reasons to sort of guard Sangeeta.
“Here let me pour it out for you,” Kavita took the jar of milk rather abruptly from Radha’s hands.
* * *
Radha was sitting quietly in the porch outside her room. She wondered what her life had in store now. Divorced at forty one and perhaps deemed to be a single mother for life, she could see many roadblocks. Bringing up a child was easy but the loneliness that accompanies it was preying on her mind. She hadn’t thought this through, she thought. The divorce was an impulsive decision. Shikhar had been a great husband and more importantly a fabulous father. Why did she happen to rush out of the marriage so soon? His affair was like a welcome break for her.
“No matter how many times you think about that question, the answer will not change over a minute,” it was Sangeeta’s usual saracastic voice that cut across Radha’s thoughts.
Sangeeta drew a chair next to her and settled down slowly.
The place was completely dark, it was a moonless night.
“The beauty of a place is either in full moon light or in absolute absence of it,” Radha remarked.
“I wonder which one you prefer?” Sangeeta replied.
“Would you believe, absolute darkness. Something about not knowing the obvious works out for me. I don’t like to know the truth. Why do you think my marriage worked for fourteen years? It was the sudden moonlight which did the damage,” Radha spoke smoothing the tone of her voice.
“I wondered where you would be, what would you be doing. Whether you are happy or not? Do you think about me? Have you forgotten me? There wasn’t a day I never thought about you,” Sangeeta spoke in a rush.
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