Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Red Balloons

Holding the balloons, she stared at the black overcast skies. All she could see was the gloom and pall. The last time she had seen her, the little one had waved gleefully at her, sitting on his lap.He...the man who was the hero of her dreams. The man who held her hands through those days of struggle. The man who stood by her side whenever she was down. The man who wiped away her tears of remorse and regret. Yet...who is now a total stranger. Will he turn up? She almost pulled out her hair in despair trying to think of one rational solution to the problem on hand- the starry eyed two year old baby- their baby.

When they met...

Today was the Our Lady Of Snows Festival and he was elated. Happy to the core, a beaming youth brimming with energy and love for adventure, he set foot in his best pal's house. The street was teaming with people and that is when he spotted her amid the crowd. Bargaining with the balloon seller there she stood- all of childish innocence and content writ largely on her cherubic face with baby fat still showing in her cheeks. The red saree she wore showed no justice to her tiny figure and she looked straight from a fairy tale- Alice in a red saree. He chuckled to himself and steered through the crowd to pull her braid. He loved doing that, scaring her and making her angry...he loved those two eyes go red with anger...creases forming on her forehead and wished he could kiss those trembling lips- some day. He would marry her, by God. He would convince his best pal to get the hand of his loving sister...the little red balloon lover.


Few months later...

The bus screeched to a halt and she got down. She had already called him and her searching eyes felt relief the moment she saw him. There he stood,awaiting her, his face masked and troubled. "You shouldn't have ran away like this...", he hissed under his breath and saw tears swimming in her eyes. He felt instantly sorry. " We are not so rich to support us. Nor do i have a proper job", he explained, as silent tears rolled along her cheeks. He hated to see tears in her eyes. " Tell me you don't want me. I shall find my own way", she blurted out indignant. Firebrand, he chuckled to himself. Holding her hand, looking at her eyes, all he could say was, " Come, let us go home".

Few months later...

Life had never been so terrible, she thought as she rinsed the clothes one last time before hanging them dry. Life was so miserable it could get, she wrung the clothes in angry desperation. He leaves every morning for his driving job at early mornings and comes back home late at nights, when she is half asleep. She hated the long days when she had to cook, clean and run for the bus that took her to the supermarket where she toiled twelve hours a day, standing with her legs weighing her down. There were no light in her eyes. No love in her life.

 Happiness had long left her and sleep had deprived her. She still wished to play with the red balloons. Red...reminded her of that day when she lay in a pool of red, at the landing, having hurtled down the stairs. He discovered her five hours later...unconscious and the fruit of their love lost...Pain shot through her as she shut her eyes to that painful thought and turned to face the next customer with a smile.

Few months later...

The sound of her crying baby woke her and she looked at the little angel. Contentment filled her as she hugged the little one. He rarely stayed home, toiling for bread and she respected his commitment for family. Now that she had left her job, all she had was her baby to care for and her mobile phone to play with.

Few months later...

He was their mutual friend, much younger to her husband and she welcomed his frequent visits home. Her husband never seemed to find the time for small talks and little kind gestures. Unknowingly, she was falling for this new man in her life. It was all wrong, it was all confusing, yet she was falling down. The loneliness of days and the loveless nights were getting on her nerves. She found comfort in the wrong hands and before she knew what was happening...she was astride a bus, holding her baby, with the wrong man.

Life is one cruel game. Her husband stood at the threshold of her parental home, the same place where she had played with the red balloons. After an hour long cajoling and pressurizing from her relatives, she handed over her baby to him. The look of plain hatred and anger that her husband shot her, would haunt her till her death. 

Little raindrops fell on her red balloons. She sat still, a statue bathed in the rain. Her husband had promised to come. To show her the baby. To show her what she lost. To show her how dreadful a guilt she carried. Yet, he did not come. She had waited for hours. Silent and lost. All she had now were a bunch of red balloons and a bundle of guilt. Tears streamed down her face as the rain washed them away. The red balloons drooped down, yet she clutched them tight. She might play with her girl, some day, with these red balloons...

p.s.: Read the past in red and present in black...in case you are confused
p.p.s.: This is definitely not fiction
p.p.p.s.: Had a great Valentine's Day...thank you darling L!

3 comments:

  1. This is such a haunting post. How life plays with you in cruel ways.

    THE P.P.S is haunting me too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the regular visits, Red!

      Delete
  2. Victim of circumstances. Tragic.

    Loved reading.

    Updated my blog. Do drop by.

    Cheers
    CRD
    www.scriptedinsanity.blogspot.in

    ReplyDelete

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