At some point of time in life, blocked by bricks of fear, insecurity, inefficiency or lack of purpose, we stand still, dejected and despaired, looking at the high wall, which is blocking our way.
We refuse to meet people, we refuse to smile, we refuse to cheer, and we refuse to socialize, concealing ourselves into a dangerous sphere of worry and anticipation, demotivating ourselves,
August 21, 2016, 9.00 P.M
“Harini, please,” She heard Sai’s voice, which she ignored.
“Bhaiya, tukada Puri deejhiye, ” Harini demanded an extra piece , as she relished the last piece of Pani puri.
“Bees rupaye ke lie chhah tukade.” The golgappa wala insisted. “Harini, please don’t argue with him. You already had six right, come on let us leave.” Sai almost pulled her by her arm. “How much hai?” Sai tried to show her lingual prowess, by stressing on the last word, making an English statement sound like Hindi. Harini burst into laughter. “He told you. It is twenty bucks,” she spoke as she removed a crisp note and gave it to the shopkeeper.
“Harini, do you really understand why we are here?” Sai asked, as they walked back.
“I know. Dileep is coming to meet me day after tomorrow. So Mom and dad had asked you to take me for a walk and advise me on how important it is,” she spoke as she played with her hand bag, tossing it to the right and left.
“Harini, now stop playing. Do you even hear me?”
“Sai, it is always important to keep the little girl/boy, alive within us. Don’t let your chronicle age meddle with your happiness.” She winked.
“ Uff! Let us stop your stupid philosophy. Now back to reality. Do you know how important it is to create a good impression day after tomorrow?”
“Sai, I know. This is the fourth alliance for this year and seventieth alliance since 2012,”She spoke, shaking her head to the song that was being played in the road side tea shop.
Harini was a fun loving, 28 year old woman, from an orthodox south Indian family. Harini was the happiest in her family. She was happy the way she was. Her mom and dad took turns to have gloomy face every alternate day, worrying about their daughter. They wanted to get their daughter married very soon.
Her father started searching for horoscopes, after registering his daughter’s details in a famous matrimonial site.
Several did not match with Harini’s. Out of the horoscopes which matched, she rejected few, and the rest rejected her. And that was why they were there, in the night, as her father thought that another girl’s advice would help.
Sai was Harini’s cousin, mother of a two year old, living just few yards away from Harini’s house.
“Harini, I want you to take things more seriously.”
“See, I even remember the numbers, what more do you need?”
“That does not matter. You have to understand, you are already in your late twenties, and you have to get married, have kids as soon as possible and …”
“Give me a minute Sai. Is it mentioned in any of the religious books or IPC that a woman should marry at the age of 25 and have her first kid before 30? Sai this is not something I can force. If I am not willing to get married, your piece of advice holds good. But, I am interested, just that I am not able to find one. “
“Your father looks for a well settled guy, with a good family back ground. What more do you need to find?”
“I am going to hand over my future to that guy. I want my instincts to tell me that he is one, once I see him. If I cannot tolerate a guy for even five minutes , how do you think I can live with him, waking up in his arms, seeing his face, every day?”
“It is on the emotional side Sai. Numbers can’t control it. I cannot train my heart to like someone, just because it has been pumping for 28 years and 10 months. It should come from within; a feeling which, could be felt by those two hearts alone. All of us love someone. But is the love same? No. Love is unique. Everyone has a different way of expressing it, but still, at the end of the day, we love. I cannot love my future husband, as you love your guy. It is unique in its own way.” Harini paused to smile.
“Harini, these are good for creative writing. But we are here on the 1st main road, walking past a lamp post , wearing cotton salwar, hair pinned up with a butterfly clip. In short, I am asking you to be practical.”
“I am just telling you that it is not happening for me. I cannot marry someone just because my parents like him. I should like him. If this is called impractical and complex, I don’t know what else is practical and simple.” Harini shrugged her shoulders.
As they reached home, Harini bent down, to remove her slippers. The unfastening sound of the Velcro disturbed the prevailing silence.
“Sai, come,” her mom greeted. Harini sighed.
“Sai, will this salwar do?”Her mom showed a sequined red salwar.
“Aunt, Harini is already a little stout. Such heavy salwar will make her look fatter. That lemon yellow salwar will do,” Sai spoke pointing to her wardrobe.
Harini turned on the television, switching channels. She did not want to peep into her room. She waited for the irritating drama to end. Of course, none of us like our wardrobe being raided.
It should have got on her nerves, but she was calm. She sat there, shaking her head.
“Poor Sai. Common sense is a luxury, which she cannot afford,” thought Harini, smiling at her own thoughts.
It was almost 45 minutes past 10. Harini locked her room and sat on her bed.
The conversation with Sai made her ponder.
“Where would he be? What would he be doing now?” She shook her head , smiling at her own thoughts.
August 22 2016: 6.15 A.M
He was lying down, wide awake, in his bedroom. His mobile showed it was 6.16 A.M. He slowly slid the window pane, to look down from his flat, which was located on the fifth floor. He always loved the early morning view.
He heard the cling of the metal door knob. Aadvika dropped the test kit into the trash bin, with a doleful look. She expected two pink parallel lines, indicating that she was pregnant. The kit always showed only one, every time she took a home test.
The 31 year old woman, felt her fate throw a contemptuous smile at her, making a snide remark at her ineptitude of bearing a child for the past six years, as she saw the kit hitting the bottom of the metal bin, still showing only a single line.
“That’s ok, dear.”, Manoj consoled her, wrapping his arms around her shoulders, able to read the result of the test in her eyes.
She sat still in silence for a few minutes. She was not ready to face her in laws. Her mom-in-law, Sujatha, would ask her, for sure.
“How would I answer mom?” She looked at Manoj.
“But we have to face her. What is wrong in her being curious?” Manoj replied.
Aadvika shook her head.
“There has been a couple of days delay. Why don’t you take a test?”, Sujatha embarked on the topic as she saw Aadvika walking from her room to the kitchen.
Aadvika knew the question was coming; yet, she did not have an answer. She pressed her lips together, fumbling for words.
“Sure, I will take the test,” She swallowed hard, as she lied.
“Buy one , while you come home today. Take it in the early morning,” Sujatha insisted.
Aadvika nodded. Sujatha never knew that Aadvika had a test kit, ready in her bag, whenever her dates skipped by a day or two.
“And while you do it, keep thinking positive. The doctors might have given a report telling that everything is normal physically and you can bear a child naturally. But did you ever wonder what is causing the delay?- your hesitance towards everything. Don’t tell me you are a shy person. A shy girl would not go for a love marriage,” She heard Sujatha say.
Aadvika fought back her tears.
Yes, it was indeed a love marriage. Manoj knew the struggle he underwent to bring Aadvika out of her nutshell. He gave her the confidence to face the world and announce about her love. He made her understand, that love marriage was not a sin.
But where was that Manoj now? wondered Aadvika.
He was the one who interpreted that she was an introvert and brought out the huge reserve of the latent love she had for him.
He waited patiently for her, to take her time in expressing her love.
Why was he not so calm now? Six years was a long period, to wait for their first child. But what could Aadvika do about it? She wished to become a mother, more than anybody else, around her. Repeated doctor visits, loads of tests, tons of tablets, every step she took went in vain, creating more void, insisting more on her incapability.
The moment he came to know that Aadvika had difficulties in conceiving, she sensed the differences. He started justifying his mom’s mistakes more, he started shouting more, he started asking her to comply more, he started expecting a lot out of her, just because a single thing was not happening out of her.
Aadvika thought she was imagining it. But she was not wrong. She sensed a difference in Manoj, which she could never share with anyone, Manoj himself.
She loved him more than anything. He loved her too. She did not have a doubt. But, off late, he was less supportive.
Heated arguments, sleepless nights were more frequent.
She was hurt. She could not cry aloud. It was a silent cry.
She controlled her emotions, to move on with her busy weekday. She prepared breakfast and lunch for the four of them. She wrapped the rotis in foil for Manoj. She stuffed three of them in her lunch box and strode towards her room.
She stood in front of the mirror, caressing her lower abdomen. She pressed her tummy hard in search of a life inside,her fingertips casting bright red spots against her fair and slim stomach.
Aadvika came out in a crisp green cotton saree to board the taxi, which was waiting for her, to drop her at the high school located in the Ramdas Nayak Marg in Bandra. Needless to say, she was a teacher.
Manoj was buttoning the cuff of his full arm shirt. Manoj drove to Fort from Matunga, every day, as he worked for an IT firm in Dadabhai Naoroji Road.
As she hurried to step out, she caught Manoj’s eye. He was instructing something. She could not decipher what it was.
She realized in a moment.
“Bye, Mom. Bye Dad.” She forced a smile. Her in-laws acknowledged her by shaking their heads.
Faking the misery with a smile was the hardest thing for her. As she descended the stairs, she wondered where she was going. In an attempt to save the entity called ‘Family’, she was slowly losing herself.
She closed her eyes and let out a sigh. She wanted a shoulder to cry. She boarded the taxi. She looked at the bright sky.
She caressed her stomach again. ‘Where are you my child? When would you come to your mother?’ She thought.
August 22 2016: 7.45 A.M
Lodhi Road, New Delhi
Her stop watch showed 22 minutes and 38 seconds.
The old lady in her Chanderi cotton saree pressed the ‘Stop’ button hard, wasting 5 more seconds. She was panting as she looked for a bench to rest. She held the armrest of the garden bench firm, as she attempted to sit, after one and a half kilo meter walk.
She slowly stretched her legs to effleurage her calf muscles.
The historic scent from the domes at the center of the Lodhi garden and the herbal aroma from the lush greenery filled Meera’s lungs and heart.
She did not have a medical necessity to be there every day for a walk, but she did not miss to.
The young, brisk joggers, whom she always glanced from head to toe, made her wonder, if she had not lost her son, he would be of the same age. The aged couple, who practiced meditation, gave her the memories of her lost husband, who left her behind, financially secure, but emotionally secluded. Her child, at 6, and her husband at 65, left her, with a significant lesson – No one shall stay forever; for life, one day, must be taken up all alone.
“Dhadi ma,” Khanak came running to her, as she approached her colony entrance, after her walk.
“Meera Aunty, completed your morning walk?” Payal asked her. The mom and the daughter duo had come down to send off Goutham.
“Bye, Papa.” Khanak waved her hand.
Goutham was Meera’s husband’s junior at work. Goutham had mammoth respect for Raj, which took the shape as concern and care for his wife Meera after Raj’s demise.
Meera and Goutham’s family lived in adjacent flats in Block 20 of the Lodi Colony.
“Maa, R.. R..” Khanak jumped in excitement, as she pointed to Meera’s hands.
“What is that dear?” Meera bent down as she placed her cold hands against Khanak’s little chin.
“Aunty, she had just started learning alphabets and numerals in school. So if she sees an alphabet or a number, she gets excited that she is able to identify it. “ Payal smiled.
“Oh, you are so brilliant.”, Meera exclaimed as the three of them got into the lift.
As Meera keyed in the door, Khanak came running behind.
“Sonu, come. Dhadhi ma needs some rest. Don’t disturb her,” called Payal.
“That’s ok dear.”Meera smiled.
Meera placed her wallet on the table and walked into to the kitchen, to get a glass of water. She ignited the stove to brew some Adrak ki Chai .
“Aunty, the.., ” She heard Payal’s voice, which was cut short. She peeped out to find Payal’s face red in fury.
“Khanak, If you are not going to stop this habit, Maa is going to be extremely angry with you.” Meera saw Payal warning her daughter.
As she approached, she saw her wallet in Khanak’s hand.
“I am so sorry Aunty,” Payal apologized.
“That is ok dear. She is just learning now.”
“She did the same thing to Goutham’s sister the other day. All of a sudden she grabs wallets and starts digging in. I feel so embarrassed. “
Khanak had a sober face, tears brimming.
“My sweet child, now don’t cry.”Meera held her close. “You have to listen to mom. If you don’t, people will laugh at you, calling you a bad girl. Do you want to be called a bad girl?” She looked at her tiny eyes.
Khanak shook her head, “Nahi”.
“Ok, so now, time for school. Dhadi ma will have bath and do some Pooja. Khanak should have finished breakfast by then.” She gently patted her on her back.
As she saw Khanak and Payal leaving, she zipped her wallet and looked at the key chain.
The letter ‘R’ shimmered in beautiful wooden carving with a fine polish finish.
She held the key chain close to her chest, thinking about her children, whom she lost. She did not cry, she was amazed how a drop of tear did not emerge from her eyes, she wondered whether her tears were dry.
Her eyes crinkled in misery.
It has been one year since Raj had left her. It was a heart arrest, doctors confirmed. It has been one year, since she has been this way. Alone, with just memories, her family gave her.
She remembered his smile, the most beautiful smile, her son had, every time she stroked his hair strands.
“This side mom.” She remembered the way he turned his head, to run her fingers through the hair on the other side of his face.
On the day, she lost him, all that she could remember was his sweet chuckle as she tickled him, while helping him wear his favorite blue round neck t-shirt. The t-shirt, which was over sized for him, a couple of months ago, fitted him perfectly. He grew rapidly, crossing her shoulders, while he was just 6 years old.
“Just like his father.” Her eyes beamed in pride as she saw his son.
Her eyes glistened with tears as she thought about him.
Why should there be birth, why should there be puberty, why should there be a man, why should there be a wedding, why should there be a parturition, why should there be aging, why should there be desolation. If all of the above was inevitable, so is death. When all of them had happened to her, why has the hindmost not happened? She wondered.
There has to be a purpose, she thought. I am here for a purpose, she nodded her head.
The split ring of the key chain had cast a deep impression on her wrinkled wrist. She looked at the letter ‘R’.
“Where are you? Why did you leave me so early?” She spoke aloud.
August 23 2016: 5 A.M
Frankfurt , Germany:
The automatic trains were busy dropping people from one terminal to another. The shopping mall inside the airport was filled with the aroma of chocolates and scents.
A smartly dressed five foot ten inches tall guy, who wore a black coat, yellow shirt, sat under the board ‘Lufthansa inquiry’.
He got up and walked to the inquiry desk to get to know about his flight. He nodded as he got the information and took his seat.
He sat in the Airport lounge, wearing a blue round neck t -shirt, tapping his feet to the music in his ears.
The sky was clear with eye-squinting brightness at 5 A.M . ‘Beauty of Europe’, he thought.
He took a sip of the steaming Coffee which he had just bought for 7 Euros.
He stretched his back a little, to relieve the strain due to the travel from Philadelphia, USA to Germany.
He made sure the data connection was on.
“Uncle, I have landed safe in Germany; waiting for the flight to India.” He typed the text and sent it as an e-mail, as a chat conversation and also as a message through a Social networking site.
Raghuram , the handsome man in his early thirties , sat there a little worried than usual.
Ever since his fate separated him from his parents, his Uncle took care of him as his own son. He took Raghu, off to USA where he found livelihood.
As Raghu grew, he understood that the man and woman taking care of him were never his parents and the little boy was not his own brother.
They loved him as their own son, but they felt, he needed to know the truth. “You were very young, when they left you.” He remembered his uncle words.
His uncle never failed to fly down to India every year, to visit parents. Raghu accompanied them.
‘This trip, to India, is not a visit,’ he thought. ‘I was born there, that is my country.’
He decided to seek a job in India, with his bachelor’s degree from Boston and an eight year experience with a famous SEO concern.
Raghu remembered the conversation he had, before leaving for India.
“So strange, Raghu,” His Uncle’s family friend, who was now his friend too and his only point of contact in India, repeated.
“Today’s reality is actually the reverse, “his friend replied.
All that Raghu could reply was with a ‘Wink’ emoji. “I want to be there man,” Raghu continued.
“That is fine. But why after so long?”
“Well, I just thought I shall give my Uncle’s family, a prize, as a token of thanks for bringing me up and aiding my studies. He did not ask for any. I thought it was my duty to pay him back. “
“What did you..” As his friend typed, he saw a picture message from Raghu.
A picture of a new house, with Raghu and his uncle standing in the basement. His friend understood with what Raghu had recouped. He was seated comfortably in the Lufthansa Aircraft, as he recollected the conversation.
It was almost 12.30 A.M IST, when Raghu saw the Air hostess appearing for an announcement.
He took the headphones off his ears, which were provided as a part of In-Flight-Entertainment and he paused the movie that ran in the T.V Monitor, exclusive for him.
As per the announcement the flight was about to land in another half an hour.
“Good. It is on time.” He smiled.
Forty minutes later Raghu was at the conveyer, spotting his baggage at a couple of feet’s distance. As he took them, he turned to leave.
His friend stood there, smiling, waving hands as he saw Raghu.
Raghu hugged him.
“Hey, buddy, how are you doing?” Raghu shook his hands.
“Hey, Man. You sound so much like an Indian. And you look like one too,” his friend exclaimed in surprised.
“That exclamation is an exaggeration. Come on. I am one,” he glared.
“How was your travel?” he asked.
“An evening followed by an afternoon, with no morning in between and finally a midnight, in short it was good,” Raghu laughed. “Hey, my friend. I am so sorry for disturbing you at such odd hours. Hope your family back home is not mad at me.”Raghu added.
“Not at all.” His friend smiled.
“I have booked the cab. It is waiting outside. Come let us board. Welcome to India.” His friend smiled.
It was almost 2.00 A.M when Raghu and his friend reached his apartment.
They stood, waiting for the door to open.
“Hey, hi. Please come in.” Payal smiled.
“Payal, this is Raghu. Raghu, this is my wife Payal,” Goutham introduced.
August 23 2016: 9 A.M
Harini looked at the lemon yellow salwar. She smiled. ‘How much our life is influenced by others? You know it is time to wake up, if others start to decide even what must be worn,’ she thought, smiling.
She heard the sound of the door knob as her mom came in.
“Mom, If you are in coming for advice, please, I have had enough.”, she wanted to say but there was no use. Her mom would definitely advise her more.
She just smiled.
“Harini, please behave properly. His parents might have insisted in meeting you outside, just to know about your social behavior. Don’t smile at the waiter. “
“What is it Mom?”
“No, generally you smile and thank the waiter, when he gets you the food, right?”
“Mom, that’s called manners. When someone helps us, it is a basic humanity to thank them. You mean to say that a guy will reject me, if I thank the waiter?”
“I am really concerned that even the smallest thing should not go wrong,” her mom paused. “He might tell you something, which you are not comfortable with. Just nod and pretend that you like it. At times, it is ok, not to have an opinion on everything or at the least not having it said.” came in the curt reply.
‘I can pretend for a day. But I cannot pretend for the whole life.’ she thought. “I will take care of it Mom,” She replied.
She dressed herself, took her sling bag and searched the key holder for the two wheeler key.
“Car is washed and the driver has parked it outside. It is ready for you,” she heard her dad’s voice.
She took her two wheeler key.
“I will ask him to park it inside. If knowing too many things and having an opinion on each, will make a guy reject me, owning a car and knowing how to drive, is no way an exception,” she said as she walked out, not waiting for her father’s response.
She chose the corner table, in the ground floor. The golden, pellucid glass walls, through which she could see the road, the canorous saxophone that was in the air and the scented décor flower in the center of the table were gladdening.
“Madam, order please,” the waiter approached for the third time.
“Sorry, I am still waiting for my friend.” Harini shrugged her shoulders.
She waited for another fifteen minutes.
“Mom, it has been more than an hour. Is he coming? I tried his number. He is not picking up, “she called her mom. She became querulous.
“Harini, actually he told us, he will be there by 12. I just thought it is better to be early.”
“Early by two hours? “ She asked almost mewling like a baby.
“No, Harini. It is always important..,” as she heard her mom speak, something on the road caught her eyes.
“Just a second mom, I will call you back.” She cut the call.
She panicked. She took her bag and moved swiftly out of the restaurant.
“Hey, you!” she screamed. She bent down. There was a pair of blue eyes, looking into hers. She took him in her arm. He whimpered.
”How dare you abandon him?” she yawped in an attempt, to stop the car, which disappeared into the moving traffic, marking her attempt futile.
He sniffed her arm. She gently caressed his neck. He looked not more than a month old.
People gathered around. Few of them tittered, while few admired his cuteness.
“Excuse me, Harini?” a voice from behind startled her.
She turned to look at Dileep.
“Hey, Dileep.” she smiled, extending her hand, managing to hold him on the other.
She sensed his reluctance in extending his hand. He pointed to the puppy, she was holding.
“Well, I thought you were waiting in a restaurant. I did not expect to meet you in the pavement, shouting at someone, carrying an animal in your hand,” Dileep’s repugnance at the animal, obvious in his tone. “Did you even realize there are a bunch of people looking at you?” he added.
“I am sorry about it but he was abandoned,” she replied. She bewailed about bringing in an animal, on their first day-out together.
“He? Who?”, Dileep looked around.
“I meant him.” She showed the dog.
“Oh, this one?” he threw a weird look.
“I am sorry about this. But I did not anticipate this one coming. He is too vulnerable to leave unguarded. I will have him, just, for the next couple of hours. I shall contact the blue cross and hand him over, or shall find a person who could adopt him,” she assured, which failed to procure Dileep.
“Oh yeah! Take care of him. We will catch up some other day.” Dileep walked back.
“DIleep, please. I mean, I can..,” she was interrupted.
“No, you can carry on.” He bade a bye to her dismay.
She stood there, abashed.
August 23 2016: 1 P.M
She stood there, abashed.
She turned to look at Manoj, who sat silent on the couch.
“Aadvika I am telling you again. Both, you and I will be there by 5 AM. It is so sacred to attend baby shower rituals. It is a belief that you will have a baby soon. Manoj and his dad will be there by 8 AM for breakfast.” Sujatha spoke in single breath.
“Ma, please do not force me. I would feel embarrassed.” Aadvika shook her head.
“What is so embarrassing? Tell me,” demanded Sujatha.
One of their family friends had left home few minutes ago, after inviting Sujatha and her family for their daughter-in-law’s baby shower.
Aadvika had a function in the school, while Manoj had a delayed meeting. They had planned to leave home by 1.30 P.M
“I am not comfortable going there.” Aadvika replied.
“I cannot encourage this Aadvika.” Sujatha’s voice was louder.
“Suja, if she is not interested, do not force her. “ Her husband spoke in a gruff voice.
“Oh. That is wonderful. “She gritted her teeth.
“Suja, please don’t create a scene. “ Her husband ordered.
“Oh, why would I? Aadvika, you shall not know it now. Keep ignoring the good things, later when you really feel you need a baby, you shall never get one.” Sujatha snapped.
Sujatha was brash, aggressive and almost always sweet, until it came time to deal with the topics related to grandchildren or pregnant daughter in laws or babies.
Aadvika, who did not expect a curse coming her way, sank into the chair. She fought back her tears. The last thing she wanted to do was breaking down into tears in her living room.
She looked at Manoj, who stood there, as a silent spectator.
She looked into his eyes, with numerous questions.
“Just ignore.” her father-in-law consoled, which did not help her.
As she saw him leaving the room, “Dukku, I need to talk to you,” she turned towards her husband.
That was how she started calling him, ever since they fell in love. She was not sure why, but she loved calling him that way.
He looked at the clock.
‘Can it wait until night?’ he wanted to ask, but her eyes, which were brimming with tears, stopped him.
“Fine. “, he took a deep breath. “Don’t take a taxi today. I shall drop you at school. We will talk, while we are on the way,” he replied, as he walked to their bedroom.
The pressure cooker had ceased to fizzle, a couple of minutes ago. She had to take out the rice, and let it cool before packing.
A heap of clothes had just come out of the washing machine. She had to put them in the balcony for drying.
She had to get ready.
She just had fifteen minutes. She had no time; even to cry.
Twenty minutes later, as she locked the car’s door, she turned towards Manoj.
“You wanted to talk something?” Manoj spoke, looking at the road.
“Manoj, I am not going to attend the early morning ritual. Let your mom be there. We three shall join for breakfast.” Aadvika spoke in a low tone.
“If you are not comfortable with it, I am fine. But why?” he asked.
“It will remind me of something, that I am incapable of.” She blurted out.
“Mom is giving an idea to overcome the incapability, right? She just believes being around the votive ritual will bring us some goodness. It is definitely not for bad. No harm giving it a try.”
“This is not the first time, Manoj. I have attended seven such baby shower functions so far.”
“It is still not fruitful. No harm trying the eighth time.”
“Why don’t you think the same in my perspective? No harm missing the Eighth.”
“Don’t put words just to argue.”
“Why would I argue if you understand or acknowledge something, the first time it is said? You are too much biased these days.” Tears swelled up.
“Listen, Aadvika. I am more on the neutral side these days. “
“Ok, in that case, Do you think, what your mom spoke was right?” Aadvika’s voice broke.
“What?” he asked.
“Manoj, do not pretend. Don’t you understand what am I talking about? It is about the curse your mom showered on me this morning.”
“What do you want me to do Aadvika? I cannot stop her. It is her way of expressing her grief.” He shrugged his shoulders.
“You curse others when you are sad?” Aadvika uttered as she looked at the road.
“You blame others when you are impo…,” Manoj stopped as Aadvika’s eyes met his’.
He knew he was wrong. He should not have spoken those words.
“Yes, I am impotent. “, tears ran down her cheeks. “Stop the car, Manoj,”she spoke in between her tears.
He slammed the brake to park the car in a shade. Aadvika was still looking at her husband, who rested his elbow on the steering and held his forehead tight, with both his thumbs.
“Aadvika, I…, “ he tried to speak.
“I did not expect this from you Manoj.” She covered her face, weeping.
The rest of the travel was silent, except for the sobbing sound.
Her school arrived. Aadvika got down and walked straight.
Aadvika turned towards the car. She expected him to throw a second look at her. He drove fast, skipping the glance.
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