Saturday, 10 March 2012

Pink, magenta and a betrayal

As the last of the onlookers and sympathizers trickle out of the house, all i can feel is emptiness. Father has remained strangely silent these few days. And the stoic silence paired with hushed whispers all around the house have been driving me mad. What more can a nine year old comprehend from a whirlwind that has transpired in a few days? All i can now understand is Mother is dead. As in DEAD AND GONE...

The sheets on my bed still smell of her, the closet where her sarees are neatly arranged hold a wisp of her perfume. Her sarees...How much i love them. That pale pink saree with magenta flowers strewn all around like tiny stars...How could she do it? She had used that saree to hang herself on the ceiling fan...I tried to shut out that image of her, but it comes cropping up again and again. I am having a nightmare again, i thought. One moment she smiles at me, her eyes filled with love and the next moment, she vanishes in thin air. As the curtains play hide and seek, i can see her and not see her. 


The little one is panting hard, his thin lips drawn, cracked and his brows sweaty. In a swift movement i sit beside him. The ceiling fan circles in a known rhythm above and i dare not look at it. I place my palm on his hot forehead and he snuggles closer to me. His face is all cherubic and angelic in sleep, just like his father, i think. Thoughts of his father who has slumped in a cot in the next room flashes in my mind and my fists roll on rebound. I grit my teeth, every pore of my soul oozing with anger. How could he do that? He has played a wicked game, separated my little one from me. As the little one moans "Mommy...mommy" in his half awake half asleep trance, all i can feel is bitterness.


I love my grandmother a lot. She is a kind woman encased in a reed thin frame, big brown eyes full of warmth and a loving cuddle always for me. She has forever lived with us, so far as i could remember. My grandfather had died when she was twenty two and from then on, it was she and my mother. Mother showered all her love on Grandmother and i couldn't understand why she fought with her so bitterly on that fateful day.

 Whenever i broach the subject to Father or Grandmother, they both refuse to talk any further on it. Why did Mother leave me? Was i not behaving well? I had scored excellent marks in this exam, sure, mother would have been really happy, if only she was alive. With both the adults of the house withdrawn and silent, all i could do now is hallucinate...I feel mother is at home. I can hear her tinkling laughter echoing in the hall. I can feel her warmth fanning my cheeks. When friends at school insist on play and games, all i do is intently feel her, think of her, wherever i am...

My son would understand someday...Why had i hung in that favorite saree of his. He is silent and withdrawn, a shadow of what he was. My mother never touches him or goes anywhere near him. Is that guilt? Remorse? I can never find out. The man of the house, my husband, is distraught, aloof and sad. I can see the worry lines on his forehead. How much would i give to ease those wrinkles...Despite his betrayal, i love him. 

I regret the quarrel we had that day. I must have listened to him. God, how much did he beg me to forgive his drinking habit? Why did i turn a deaf ear? And why did i leave him alone and slept in the other room? And why did i have to listen to those erotic moans and whimpers? Why did she sleep with him, of all men? Her own son-in-law? How could she do that to me? Her one and only daughter? Above all, why did i decide to hang myself? Questions...All i have are questions...Day after day after day, as i look at my little son's grief stricken face and lifeless eyes, all i can feel is remorse. Emptiness. Regret. Loneliness...Some day, my son will understand. He will know Mother still loves him...

18 comments:

  1. OMG, what a tragic story and how uniquely and deftly it has been narrated.One can understand her impulse to end her life at this gross unthinkable betrayal though under the influence of liquor but the thought of the young child left alone amidst the two struck with remorse and guilt makes the eyes moist.
    It is a fantastic but sad story

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    1. Thanks for the comment, KP. Mushy mushy story, making everyone sad...true.

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  2. Water tight narration; you had me ready and bursting with almost a dozen hunches as I began the last paragraph but the mis- direction was brilliant.

    Had a ball reading this one.

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    1. Thanks for the comment, AS:) Happy i kept you guessing;)

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  3. This is sad. All we can expect that no one goes through this. Beautifully written but sad.

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    1. Ah, CD:))) Cheer up. After all a story:)

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  4. Dear God! what a tragic climax!

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    1. Very tragic, Purba, but this story is based on a true incident:(

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  5. I was just startled reading the last paragraph !!! Damn..so shocking! Pity the poor boy.. for one day he will know the reason for his mum's death !

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    1. Hey Arthi, welcome to my blog and thanks a ton for the comment. True, some day he will know why he was left alone...

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  6. OMG! That ending was totally unexpected! Fabulous read, this was..
    fresh and painful.

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  7. A beautifully written sad story. Cant imagine to loss of mom, moreso when one is so young.

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Krupaa. Loss of mother- unfathomable!

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  8. Great. Nice Narration !

    The mother should have thought about her child.
    All she thought about was revenge. If her priority was the child then suicide is not the solution.

    I feel sad for the child, not for the mother

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    1. Hey Anonymous, thanks for the comment. I agree with you, she could have been brave enough to move out of the house with the child and moved on. But, not all are that brave, you see!

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  9. Scintillating fiction again...engrossing as it is moving.

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    1. Thanks for the sweet comment, Alka!

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