Harish looked at his watch. It was 7: 30 pm. He knew that this time nobody would accept his lame excuse for coming late once again. He was known as “Mr. Late” in his group. Sometimes he also felt that there must be some connection between him and being late. He stepped in his college when all of his friends had graduated. He got his job when all his friends got settled in his life. And he was getting married when almost all his friends’ children were going to school. And it had been happening because of his laid back attitude. He had literally struggled for a small small success starting from passing the school to getting admission in college and then getting a job.
Since childhood he was a bit introvert. He enjoyed things from the distance. He never used to share feedback with anyone upfront but observed the characters very deeply. His father wanted him to compete in government service but he did not live up to his father’s expectation also. He was at his late thirties. Luckily he got the job in a Pvt firm and based on which his marriage proposal was accepted. It was like a life time achievement award for him.
He shut down his computer, wrapped up his belongings, shoved the bag and came out on the road to catch the cab. In Kolkata getting cab in office timing is not the easy job but he got the same within a few minutes. He reached to restaurant “Mogambo” where all his friends were waiting for him. Before getting inside the restaurant he combed his hair, wiped his face and settled his shirt so that he could look decent and formal. He scanned the sitting area to find them. Since there was a dim light in the area so anyone coming outside would find difficult to locate the people sitting inside. Suddenly a voice came from his right hand side “Harish !! We are here”
He turned towards the voice and saw the full gang was waiting for him.
By now people had embraced technology so they prefer to invite through internet or face book or any social media and Harish was also not different from others. He had also done that but his friends were adamant to get invited through a small get together party and Harish would have to pay the bill. He could not refuse the same and agreed.
“Harish…we knew you would be late today again” Navdeep dropped his comment as usual in his heavy voice.
Harish’s ear was waiting for another such comments. He smiled feebly.
“No problem friends. Since Harish is late as expected so we have added one more item in the party….” Jhimli giggled.
Harish was silent but at the back of the mind he was sincerely calculating the expected bills.
“Oh..my God …just see his face….don’t worry we will not make you spend much..” Smita pulled his leg.
“No.. no.. it’s okay…Anything for you all..you are my best friends….” Harish hid his concern under the artificial philanthropy.
He perched on the chair which was reserved for him. Harish had the beliefs that God has allotted certain no of words for every individual and the more you spend the words the quicker you die. That was the reason he did not take actively participate in any debate or discussions. He dropped the comments only which he could not control or the same was very important for conveying his message to others.
“How many times have you met with Bhabi….” Jignesh asked in a dramatic style with uplifting his one eye brow.
“He is a bloody mummy of Pran….He has been carrying that style since college days…” Vinay interrupted Jignesh.
Likely the gang started pulling his legs as everybody knew that he was introvert and shy. His married friends were teasing him with a double meaning questions. Female friends did not join in their non-veg jokes directly but were approving them by laughing. And every time his face became red and he found difficult to cope up with the situation. And at last the party came to an end. Everybody dispersed carrying Harish’s last sentence “Don’t be late on 21st Jan. After all you people need to manage the show”
The Big day had arrived. Harish had to wake up early since the rituals started from morning. Guests started pouring in his house. Close friends and relatives were busy in carrying their self-taken responsibilities. Elderly people started reminding for taking out Baraat whereas youths were busy in their own irrelevant agenda. His house seemed much busier than ever. His father was busy in welcoming guests wherein his mother was engaged in performing rituals. At 12 pm they were all set to take out Baraat to the bride’s house.
And finally the Baraat reached at Bride’s house at 3pm. They were received with huge warm welcome. People started exchanging hugs. It was really a great moment for Harish but he seemed little bit nervous. He was very quiet. Harish and his bride, Mimi, showed up on the stage. In Hindu Marriage the wedding lasts for an hour. It lasted almost 5 hours and by the time almost all the friends and close relatives were exhausted. It was around 11 pm when Harish reached back to his home finally with his bride. It seemed that he conquered his bride after fighting tooth and nail against all rituals and orthodox customs.
Now Mimi was his property. But she was surrounded with women and close friends. Harish wanted to spend time with her alone but being introvert he was finding challenge to convey his wish. He wanted to throw out all the people from that house who were just wasting his time in superfluous discussions. Mimi was s silently listening their talks.
His heart beat was running at double speed. Every minute passed seemed passing like an hour. And at last his wish came true. After wasting his valuable 2 hours the relatives and close friends were trailed off from the room. Mimi stood up and went to the bathroom which was attached with his bedroom. Till Mimi came back from the washroom he engaged himself in other activities. He opened Google in his mobile and typed something on it. Dozens of news and so many illicit videos came up. He started seeing the video one by one and buried himself completely. He did not realize when Mimi came out from the washroom and reached near him.
He was so engrossed in those videos that he did not realize when Mimi became the silent spectator. Suddenly he realized her presence. He could not hide his abnormal behaviour. Mimi was looking at him with an expression “Have I got married to the right person.” Before she could reach any conclusion he turned towards her. His eyes were red. His facial expression was completely changed. He was scanning her from head to toe.
Mimi was trying to look normal but she was so much scared from within. She had very different perceptions about him. By the time she could ask anything from him he pushed by her shoulder. She could not maintain the balance and fell back on the bed. Harish did not wait for a second and jumped on her. It was like a tiger pouncing the deer mercilessly and not giving chance for survival. She tried to resist up to her maximum strength but all went in vain. Within a couple of minutes she felt helpless and her dream was getting bruised. It seemed that the bricks of her dream were falling one by one and she was unable to hold any of them. Like others bride she had also so many untold desires which were burnt on her first day of marriage.
Harish even did not realize that when he dozed off into sleep. It seemed as he was waiting to fulfil his wildest dream only. He emerged out being so selfish.
On the next morning Harish woke up and squinted at the clock. It was 8: 35 am. He turned towards her. Her eyes were closed. He shook her lightly. She opened her eyes slowly and got up on the bed. She waited for a while and then moved towards washroom but her wobbling movement raised the concern in his mind. Suddenly his eyes caught the blood stain on the bed cover.
“My God! What is this?” he murmured.
He quickly recalled last night incident. The incident was so malignant that he himself shrugged off his memory before completing the entire incident. He put his both hands on his head and cursed himself for doing such acts. He was behaving completely different from the last night. He could feel the mental trauma of his wife.
After couple of minutes Mimi went out of the room without saying or asking anything. He did not have the courage to ask for such behavior. He followed her and reached to the dining table where his parents were waiting for them. He was more concerned about his image which could be torn apart after noticing the swaying movement of her. Luckily nobody asked anything about that. Where most of the people were busy in their talks Harish was silent observer of his wife. She was plastered with a wooden expression on her face. She was talking very less almost silent. She replied only when someone insisted her to reply.
Harish could understand the behavior but consoling himself with an expectation that the same could be lingered for couple of days and then slowly and gradually it would go off.
Harish wanted to start his marital life once again but he never got any participation from his wife after that incident. After every night Mimi used to do the same thing again and again. She just went out of the room without complaining anything or showing any grudge to him. It was almost six months passed by but the behavior of her did not change.
Now Harish developed a sense of incomplete and unsatisfactory happiness which he was unable to handle. He was under the impression that her behaviour would change in course of time but it did not happen like that. He decided to consult Dr. Tanveer Arvi who was an established psychiatrist. He took an appointment for the next week so that he could share the same with him.
As per the appointment, Harish reached to his chamber. He sought permission before getting into his room. Dr. Tanveer saw him over his spectacle and signalled him to sit on the chair which was kept opposite to his desk.
“Yes Mr. Harish..tell me your problem” Dr. Tanveer asked.
“Sir…I don’t have any problem but I wanted to meet you for your guidance” Harish said in a low voice.
“so you are not a patient….”
Harish could not understand how to handle this question and blurted out “My wife is a patient.”
“So where is your wife?”
“Sir before I take my wife here I wanted to discuss something:
And then Harish narrated the entire incident from the first day till then. After spoken out everything Harish was looking relieved. He had a hope that Dr. Tanveer would definitely help him out.
Dr. Tanveer was fidgeting with the paper weight while understanding the case history from him“ Okay Mr. Harish. I would like to know from you that what do you think was the reason of such behaviour on the first day of your marriage”
It was not easy for Harish to be honest in his confession but he wanted Mimi to come back in his life so he did not have any choice.
Harish stalled for a moment put his head down slowly and then said “Since childhood I am an introvert. I find challenges in expressing my thoughts as well as desires. When I reached to my teenage I witnessed all my friends used to share their desires or more precisely their fantasies among them and I had just been a silent observer. I never used to participate in their creative imagination. That is the reason till now my friends used to pull my leg. They know I am a person whose interest is directed inwardly rather than outwardly.”
He stopped after sharing some secrets about himself.
Dr. Tanveer acknowledged his confession em pathetically and said “ Okay….I can understand your mental status currently but if you would not help me with the relevant information then it is difficult to help you out. It’s imperative to understand the reason of your unpredictable behaviour. I suggest do not suppress anything from me and be transparent to me at least.”
Harish continued his secrets “This is the one side of the coin. The other side is that my father wanted me to prepare for competitive exams. All the time he pushed me for reading newspaper. As per him that was the most critical source of current affairs. According to him one has to be very good in current affairs for competing the govt jobs. But I don’t know whenever I used to hold the newspaper my eyes started scanning for the news which was not at all relevant for the preparation of my exam but quenched the desire of my hormonal changes. And the same practice was not confined to the newspaper only but I was exploring different avenues also. I did not realize when my sexual appetite had changed my character and finally it got explored on the first night of my marriage. My capricious behaviour has played a significant role in assassinating my character. I know it’s not easy for her to forget everything. Here I need your guidance so that I could win her back.”
There was an eerie silent. Dr. Tanveer did not realize when he finished his story.
Harish broke the silence and said “that’s all”
Dr. Tanveer looked at him and said “Thanks Mr. Harish….I must say that it needs lots of guts to come up with the truth and I would definitely give my best to solve your problems”
Harish eyes were welled up with tears and his facial expression was grateful to him.
“Bring her on next Saturday at 5pm. I need to sit with her” Dr. Tanveer suggested.
Now the next challenge for Harish was to convince his wife for this appointment. He was straining his brain hard to create a situation where his wife could not refuse to meet with the psychiatrist.
But unlikely Mimi did not resist and agreed to meet with the Doctor. They went to Dr. Tanveer’ Chamber on the scheduled date and time. Harish was asked to wait outside the chamber as Dr. Tanveer wanted to speak with Mimi alone. After couple of minutes Mimi came out of his chamber.
Dr. Tanveer called Harish in to his chamber and said “It’s a simple case of mistrust and shock. In this type of case one becomes apathetic towards the partner… You have to deal her patiently”
Though Harish shared all his problems with Dr. Tanveer but still he felt awkward when the doctor shared the current mental status of her wife. His head was down as if he was examining the design of the floor.
“Mr. Harish you have to play a very significant role in her treatment. However I am prescribing some medicines but it will work only when you play your role perfectly. She needs someone whom she can trust.”
Harish looked at Dr. Tanveer.
“Just keep me posted her improvement” Dr. Tanveer said.
“Sure Doctor” Harish confirmed.
A month passed by but there was no sign of improvement. Harish was worried. He took an appointment with Dr. Tanveer again. He visited his chamber and shared his observations.
Dr. Tanveer asked him to send her for counselling sessions which consisted of 4 sessions in a month.
As per doctor’s suggestion Mimi started attending counselling sessions. After couple of sessions Harish could observe the improvements. Harish was happy after seeing the change in her behaviour.
Harish could not believe when Mimi shown her interest in resuming her study which was left incomplete because of her marriage. He did not think twice and agreed.
Now Mimi remained quite busy in her study but still she managed time for attending counselling sessions. There was a remarkable improvement in Mimi’s behaviour. Harish could feel the change in her behaviour.
One day Harish came back home from office in the afternoon. He pressed the doorbell. Coincidentally Mimi opened the door.
“You…at this time…everything is okay nah?” Mimi questioned with a surprise.
“Yeah…I was not feeling well so I took half day leave. It’s good that now we can spend some time together” Harish said.
She stalled for a second and then said “But I need to go to counselling class. It’s important for me…”
Though Harish wanted her to attend the sessions but the preference to the counselling class over him made his mood upset. He remained silent. He wanted her to realise his upset mood but she simply got ready and went out for the sessions.
First time Harish realised that Mimi had other priorities in her life also. He felt bad but he suppressed his anger beneath the surface of his feelings which grew for Mimi in course of time. He wanted to come back on Mimi very heavily but actually he did not react when she came back from the counselling class.
Mimi was looking very happy. She dropped her bag on the bed and perched on the sofa. Harish also came and sat beside her.
“What happens in the counseling sessions…I mean I would also like to know the reasons of your happiness?” Harish asked.
“Nothing as such….”
“So why you do you require to continue it..leave it now..”
Within couple of seconds her mood changed. She looked at his eyes and said bluntly “I have never asked for it. It is you who had asked me to attend”
“Yeah…but now I am saying ..drop the classes..you don’t require the session any more..tomorrow I would inform Dr. Tanveer also.”
She did not utter anything but her behaviour negated his decisions.
On the next day Harish informed Dr. Tanveer about the discontinuance of counselling session.
“It’s your decision Mr. Harish but being a responsible doctor I would never suggest you to take such hasty decisions”
“She is perfectly okay Doctor..She has resumed her study and I feel that now these counselling classes are becoming the hindrances to feel her normal. She believes that her treatment is still going on..”
Dr. Tanveer interrupted him and said “Exactly..her treatment is not over yet. She is still under the treatment. Rest is up to you”
“Okay” Dr. Tanveer cut the phone.
He did not like Dr. Tanveer’s getsure but still he was grateful to him.
In course of time Harish actually grew feeling for Mimi. Now he wanted to spend more time with her. He wanted her attention towards him. But Mimi’s improvement in her behavior was deteriorating day by day. She was going back to her apathetic condition.
But Harish was also adamant that he would not send Mimi to counselings class again. By the time he understood that counselings class was not the solution. She responded positively till the time she was attending the classes and after that her condition went back to square one. Harish was spending his unsatisfactory life with an expectation that one day he would win her.
One day when he was busy in his office received a registered post. He was surprised to see that the sender was none other than his own wife. He opened the envelope and felt a hammer shock in his mind. It was a divorce paper against him. He became restless. He could not keep his anger under control and called Mimi. She did not respond. Might be she did not have the courage to face him. He called at his house and asked to pass on the phone to Mimi. His mother informed that she was not at home. So many irrelevant thoughts were squirming in his brain. He wondered that how one could take such extreme steps on stopping to attend the counselling class. Now he assumed that there must be some psyche problems with Mimi. He had been calling Mimi fanatically but not getting her number. Her phone was still ringing.
Harish was an image conscious person. He would never want his goody goody image to be tarnished in front of the world. Suddenly Dr. Tanveer’s feedback floated in his remembrance “Her treatment is not over yet. She is still under the treatment. Rest is up to you”.
He immediately dialed Dr. Tanveer but he did not take his calls. He could understand that Dr. Tanveer did not want to entertain him as he took decision against his advice. But now he was the only person who could help him out. He was next to God for him. He tried his landline no. It was ringing but nobody was receiving. Suddenly the phone was picked up.
“ Hello…hello” he said but there was no response. Possibly the receiver kept the phone on the table to avoid the disturbance. He was about to hang up the phone in disappointment than he heard the female voice. His ear could recognise the voice. It was none other than his own Mimi’s voice. He was astonished after hearing her.
“What is she doing there? ” he murmured.
He put his ear on work and tried to hear the conversation attentively.
“Tanveer ….I can’t stay with that person anymore. He is a bloody libertine who is always in a chance to satisfy his wildest dream” Mimi’s voice.
He became dumb after hearing the statement but held back himself and mustered his courage to hear the venom which was being spitted for him in his absence.
Harish could hear the voice of her sobbing. He received another jolt when he heard Dr. Tanveer’s voice saying “Darling…you are too impatient. You do everything in hurry. That’s your problem. I can’t put my career at stake….”
“So whatever you used to say me was just like that only and you don’t have any feelings for me..right”
“Have I said this?”
“But it sounds like that..”
“No Mims…it’s not like that..You know very well that how much I love you but I can’t go like this..People will never accept our relation. It has to be rational and situational so that the society empathies with us and approve our relationship..”
“I can’t wait for so long…want to know your reply”
“You know very well..”
“Look….It’s not so easy..our relation is just the outcome of my sheer frustration towards my wife. I can’t take decisions in haste. And by the way the court asks the reason for divorce then what you would say”
“Section 375… Based on this ACT have already prepared the ground for divorce”.
Harish cut the phone and immediately typed section 375 in the Google. He could not hold back his tears while going through the details. Now he could understand that why Mimi was so adamant for counselling class. Why Mimi resumed her law class. Why he failed to generate any feelings in her heart. He could have realized all his mistakes but that was irreversible. He looked around himself and found alone in the office. Nobody was there in the office except the security personnel and courier boy. He composed himself, wiped his tears and signed on the divorce paper. He handed over the envelope to office courier boy and said “Send this doc tomorrow positively and confirm me”.