She doesn’t know what her life would be if she had perhaps accepted his proposal. In her moments of loneliness she always sits and dreams of that life though. Every time it gets better and every time it is more hard to break away to reality.
* * *
He was nearly five foot ten inches, not exactly, Saraswat thought. There was a soft breezy feel to the air, despite the humidity. And he was peculiarly feeling cold in his half sleeves shirt today.
“Mr Saraswat the land beyond this village holds many wonders, perhaps you would want to shift there. I have many contacts in the city,” it was his mere presence which irked Saraswat so much.
And he could never quite say as to why? Whether it was his self righteousness air or the perpetual broaching of the subject of his daughter’s education? Or the fact that he almost eyed Saraswat’s wife like he owned her.
Now Saraswat was no love lorn husband in this case, but well she did mean something to him, he thought.
He slowly paced his steps towards home from the bus stop.
And then that odd night when he was found hiding under one of the tables in the garage. No one could understand why he was there. He of course, a master of words created some story and they all believed him. Except for Saraswat. He started to keep a close check on this man from then.
And that night when he suddenly heard his voice, Saraswat decided to see what he was upto.
But before Saraswat could find out more, he heard his daughter scream. And yes this time the five footer had gone ahead and simply died. No words of his could convince you otherwise.
* * *
Devyani was feeling a strong dab of pain in her head again. She quietly took out a tablet of dispirin and gulped it down with a glass of water.
“Are you alright?” Azhar asked softly, brushing his hand against her bare arms.
“Don’t touch me,” she suddenly snapped.
A sudden moment of silence engulfed them. What had I done to receive this reaction?Azhar thought out loud in his head.
He observed the distorted contours of Devyani’s face. She looked altogether a different woman to him in that moment. And then slowly her expressions began to soften. The end result seemed familiar.
“I am sorry, it is just that I am having a bad headache. Will you drop me home?” she spoke in a rather subdued voice.
* * *
Because every time she wanted to feel free from her past something came back to haunt. Her daughter was always there serving as an alarming reminder. But every now and then a postcard from Khandelwals also arrived as a knock on her head.
“We wish you a very happy birthday, Rajlakshmi. May God fulfill all your wishes,” a simple line added to a picture of flowers for personal touch. But the numbing scent of the village in the paper and the light rush of a signature at the bottom, transported Rajlakshmi back to those mind numbing times.
“Promise me that you will never ever leave me alone,” in her moments of weakness, she often rushed into his arms and spoke these words of desperation.
And the soft murmur of his lips speaking such deep words of endearment made her forget everything in those dismal times.
She realised that the light rush of the signature at the bottom was getting blurred due to the sudden flow of her eyes.