22nd September 1998
Rinku flew away two days ago. That idiot Bimla didn’t put the hatch properly on her cage, blo**y illiterate. I will never forgive her even if god asks me to.
This dairy log of mine has a everlasting effect on my mind, it rekindles my memories of my childhood, our longtime trustworthy maid Bimla masi who adored me, my ever pampering mom and dad, and our beloved one and a half year old parrot Rinku. These memories also triggers a sense of regret . I was an above average student in my school, but procured good marks with consistency in literature subjects, did somewhat good in sports and was part of the most successful band in our school, that had a stupendous longevity until we are separated after school. My parents didn’t complain much about my educational front, they were rather proud about how I conducted my student life at school.
Obtruded by my parents I took admission in electrical engineering, my creative side got trapped between the folds of my books and soon suffocated to death. The boy who once regaled other with his created lush jingles and rhymes, became a simple mimicker of the success chain. No matter what, I crawled long enough through the semesters to land a job. Money flowed in bulk amounts, which brought respect from young and old alike, envy wasn’t that far behind, I became someone of importance not only in my circle of relatives and acquaintances, but also to my longtime girlfriend Aritri. At last after 4years of grinding through eight semester I had life which I liked, “We will marry soon, sharpen your cooking skills” I often pulled her leg with inane questions and discussions about marriage.
“Let the marriage happen first” she would always smirk.
“Careful not to back stab me, just say the word I will drift away from your life anytime. ”
Aritri and I have been together since school, though we were separated by college, we dated more regularly at that period, she was my much needed oxygen that helped me to see through my semesters, she kept me away from drinking and smoking, she gave me a vista of the future to work for. The job I procured suddenly made a gauzy cloud of insecurities to engulf us, but in the end Aritri’s presumption won.
“You will marry a school teacher” my parents argued “love doesn’t pay bills, nor they make good families.”
“Look at Meheta’s son, he did a love marriage and what happened, his daughter now goes to that mediocre school, at least meet this girl for once she is a MBA for gods sake.”
My resistance slowly washed away, her near perfect figure, speech that had a tint of intellect and a devil may care attitude disarmed my heart at bud. The stark contrast between subtle Aritri and my gorgeous date, didn’t made my choice difficult and dragged further to a sequence of dates and ultimately to matrimony. Aritri didn’t wait for my word, she faded to some unobtrusive part of the world, daunted I made no effort to contact her.
Our honeymoon in Rajasthan was a blast in the sea of sand, in this phase of my life I felt confidently arrogant, in a month we shifted to a apartment a few kilometers away from my residence and few kilometers closer to our offices, after we employed maids in our respective homes. Grinding five days in office and we partied on Saturdays and sometimes even on Sundays to freshen up.
“Oh hi, here comes the new couple ” joked Tridhi my wife’s friend, a regular in discos.
This is a rich man’s place which bled music and alcohol, a perfect place for lifting ones mood, the music beats vibrates through the crest and furrows of your brain, and when alcohol kicks in, you can be anything but bored or frustrated.
“How was the honeymoon, did you sleep at night or spend the night working hard.” cajoled one of my friends.
This place has a quality of making strangers into friends instantly, when my date with my fiancée is still in the early stages, it is then I debuted in the disco culture with my fiancée “We deserve to have some fun on weekends” was her point. Days kept flowing cutting through various curves, the little sapling of my creative side try to raise its head from time to time, but withered in adolescence by negligible nurturing, just like our first fetus abandoned in oblivion, “We have enough time to have a baby, lets cross 30, its now a trend to have children in mature ages ,I am not ready for this responsibility” were some of my wifes arguments.
Our first anniversary arrived at our doorstep, a huge party was organized, the thick guest list demanded for sumptuous arrangements. Sound system bellowed syncing with the Dj, barmen and barmaids poured drinks. Exotic foods and drinks disappeared quickly from plates and glasses, as the guest bathed in the music and fun. Amid of all this my eyes stuck on my wife “is she flirting with my boss”, “what no, she shared a laugh before with other men at clubs, bars and discos” I tried to push the thought away.
“But then I was with her, we are the guests, there’s a difference, she is one of the hosts of this party” my mind fired back, she often got attention from other men in parties because of her successful corporate job, but how close she stuck with my boss throughout our party brewed a storm in my mind. The guests made merry till late night, they danced with their partners, laughed, ate and drank, we fumbled home early in the morning.
“Did you have fun darling” I looked at my wife “I bet you did, you liked my boss huh”,
“What!” she looked back, twitching her eyebrows a bit.
“You looked quiet fond of him” alcohol intoxicated words lined themselves fast and loud.
“You are drunk Som, I told you to drink light, you men always drink like fish when you guys are off the shackles” she took her face wash from her cosmetics cabinet.
“You can bet I am drunk, if only my wife was at my side in the party instead, she was with my boss the whole time.”
“Oh my gosh you are loud! I was the host for gods sake, I am supposed to greet the guests, did your decency made off with your common sense. Are you suggesting…” she didn’t complete the sentence. Not there was any need, our fallout continued for a day, we abstained from talking to each other , but ultimately I bowed down and time blew away the rest of the dry leaves as we resumed with our normal life.
But normality is feeble when trust breaks, a sickness grew latching onto my heart and soul, I began checking her mobile every now and then, whenever it lay vulnerable out of her sight and clutch, I stalked her on facebook frequently, when the sickness bared its fangs I often took cabs and watched her in silence from the cab parked near her office when its time for her office hours to end. My eyes and ears were on constant vigil in parties, whenever she shared a laugh or conversed with other men too intimately something burned my heart. I felt caged,
“I caged Rinku too for my amuse, did I ever loved her, why didn’t I let her fly away early.” my thoughts ran through various alleys of emotions. “She might have her own family by now, she must be living happily with her children.” “Whats happening to me, am I over reacting.” “Do I need to see a therapist, perhaps get a counseling done.”
I started to hate going to discos and parties and her over enthusiasm made it worse.
“Come on whats wrong with you, are you going out of your mind” she argued,
“Whats so exciting about these parties, you look rather interested in all these sh*t than your family.” I pricked her back.
“Its your family too, did you forget that.” she countered
“My family, its always your decision to party, its your decision to abort the child, its you who had big plans for future that never happened or will ever happen. It is always about you and I was never there in the picture, there is nothing in this family for me .” a frenzy of anger clouded my mind.
“You blame me for your failures, you never insisted me on having this child, you agreed to this, you never even discussed about having the child you ba–rd. You always ran from problems. ” she retaliated.
“You are now happy living away from your parents, but when I suggested I am having problems living with them and that we should move away, you can’t face them, after things turned ugly its me who had to take the initiative, its me who made contacts and employed the maids, I never abandoned my humanity. Its you who ran from responsibility, you want problems to solve themselves, I am a working lady, I am financially independent and unlike you I intend to come up with solutions of a problem.” she hissed back.
Our marriage fell through after two years of conjugal relation. I felt battered as I did with Bimla masi, after Rinku flew away, a kid in his teens stung her so hard with a barrage of piercing words that, our old maid left the next day.
“Probably my karma come to a full circle” I felt remorse for what I did.
“Congratulations, “Toh Hum Chalte Hain” completed 8years. When I printed your book I never thought it will make this far, it seems I was wrong but anyways I wish you success with your work.” read the greeting card from my publisher of “Toh Hum Chalte Hain.”
I took to writing soon after my marriage failed, a thing that I always loved doing, “Toh Hum Chalte Hain” is my first book that got published, a collection of poems, I reworked my old poems and wrote some new ones, the book took some time to catch the wind, its copies are still in demand even after 8 years.
“Congratulations Mr Somnath Roy, we wish you a very successful creative career. May our working relationship flourish for eternity, we are eagerly looking forward to publish your next novel.” another greeting card read from Pen Pals publishers. The doorbell rang and after a minute my secretary comes in with another bouquet “here is another one for you from, Blue Bird publishers.”