This is the first in the Series of the Guest Posts that are coming up. Neha is my first guest blogger, and we have a bet going on, whose details I cannot divulge but can only say, it will be the outcome of the reactions of the readers of this post, and the consequences are going to make the difference. And you know Neha, I’m going to win this one, hands down. About Neha: She is girl who tries her best to be rude but has a heart of gold, a writer who doesn’t believe she is good enough, who is insightful and a good judge (err, she is a lawyer, tho’). And most of all, she is a beautiful blogger and a sassy blogger and a great friend! Love ya, girl! G.
“Ma, I want to have curd-rice. Can you make it for me?” Shekhar asked me.
He had spoken with me after almost three months. I couldn’t hide my tears; tears I had controlled for a long time, tears that were always there, but never came out in front of my only son, who for a long time was my sole support system. My husband had died when Shekhar was three months old. I brought him up alone; fighting with loneliness, helplessness and poverty. His only goal in life was to complete his studies and start working so that I could retire at the earliest. I was the most important person for him; until Aditi entered in his life, rather, in our lives.
A girl with so much of confidence, intelligence, persona and liveliness; she instantly made Shekhar fall in love with her. Shekhar now spent more time with her, coming home late and increasing my worries and loneliness. Maybe it was a mother’s possessiveness, or a jealous heart that couldn’t see her son loving another lady, or very strong instinct; I didn’t like Aditi a bit the moment I saw her. She was a pretty girl, but something about her was disturbing. I tried to convey this to Shekhar, but he was blinded by love he got from her any person would die for at his age.
The bond between Shekhar and I was not like before; for we hardly ever spoke about anything. Shekhar was enjoying the company of an equal more than this old lady who disapproved of Aditi. After showing my concern a few times, I stopped doing so with the fear of losing my son forever. To win my son back, I started pretending that I have indeed started liking Aditi after her last visit to me on my birthday.
That evening, Shekhar was very happy, as Aditi had assured him that she would soon take him to her parents. But her eyes conveyed something else; there was some kind of coldness in her eyes that Shekhar had failed to notice. Her eyes left me frightened that evening, but my fear of losing my son was much stronger than my gut feeling about another woman. Dinner that night was a very awkward affair for me, sitting in between Shekhar and Aditi; I felt like an intruder on the dinner table in my own house.
Many days passed; with no sign of any meeting happening between Shekhar and Aditi’s family. I was somewhere praying that Aditi’s family rejects Shekhar. My heart still had not accepted her; I still was not convinced about her, reasons best known to my heart.
One evening, Shekhar came home with bloodshot eyes and went to his room without talking to me. I ran behind him, but he had already shut the room door. He had inherited his father’s temper; it was best to leave him alone when he was upset or angry. A sleepless night passed by in the sitting room; waiting for him to come out to eat something or for some water; but the door remained shut.
Next morning, the morning after the next and so on, the days passed by without a single word from my son; I was dying to know the truth about what had happened to him. I thought about Aditi; maybe she was the reason behind Shekhar’s behavior. There was no way I could have found that out.
I prepared the curd-rice I always made for my son whenever he was unwell. He always preferred me to feed him. I did feed him; tears couldn’t stop from my old eyes. He looked at me and told me that everything was over between him and Aditi. There was a smile playing on his lips, but he was not happy; and I did not have the guts to ask him the reason behind it. And the selfish mother was so very happy to see her son coming back in her life; and Aditi was out.
One Year later:
Today is Shekhar’s first death anniversary. I still remember that day when he told me that Aditi was out of his life. I fed him with the curd-rice and he left for the office. He had given me a peck on my forehead that day before leaving. There was something strange about him; his behavior; but I had conveniently ignored it. He left that day and his dead body came back that evening.
People say that a woman is stronger than a man emotionally. But I am not proud of being strong if the meaning of it is to see my husband and son dying and asking me to fulfill their last wish – I have to lead a normal and happy life. How can it be possible if a mother discovers her son’s last letter that he left for her; but never told her what he had gone through in those three months after he had found out the naked truth about Aditi – the person he had loved more than his own mother.
I am sorry. I have to leave you alone in this world and go. I know you are going to be all alone in this world after my death; but I don’t have any other option ma. I can’t bring myself to come to terms with this reality that Aditi betrayed me. She is already married ma, she is married to a guy who is of her father’s age. She married him for his money; and she pretended that she loved me to fulfill her other needs. She used me ma; and I thought she loved me. But I did love her, totally and truly.
I am not able to get her out of my mind. Every time I think about her – her smiling face, her voice, her eyes full of love for me – I lose myself completely. I hate this life ma, where she cannot be there. I can neither live with her nor live without her. I know you need me, but I am not as strong as you. You took the blow of father’s death; but you never had to face the betrayal. Father loved only you, he never had anybody else in his life; but the person I love, loves someone else. I cannot imagine her as someone else’s wife.
Ma, please promise me; you won’t end your life for your loser son. You won’t ever take this coward step that I have taken. Please forgive me for my shameful act.
I wiped my tears. For me, life had brought me to the same point again. My husband who had only ever loved Prerna, committed suicide after three months of Prerna’s death, leaving me alone in this world to take care of their son. Prerna had died giving birth to my Shekhar.