Rolled Monk

Archive for December, 2011|Monthly archive page

The Otherside

In Singaara Chennai! on December 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm

It was a bad day for Ria. She wouldn’t quite agree with me though, for in her own terms, bad was an understatement and she would not be entirely wrong.

The alarm in her phone had not gone off in the morning and she got up a whole one hour late. From that moment on, it had been a series of disasters.

It was a very important day for her career. She was on the verge of a major sign off with a client and today’s meeting, for which she was now running late, was the last stage in a carefully worked out process that had spanned and consumed the last six months of her life.

A lot more than her job, the financial benefits and the promotion, which she was sure to get if the deal came through, depended on this one meeting.  This sign off was her answer to everybody who had chided her for her independence and had patronizingly told her she could never make it without a man’s support. It was a long list of people, on top of which was her mother and two sisters who had married into money.

This was her chance to prove it to them that she can lead a better life than them. There had been too many failures before and she was not sure her ego could handle another one. And thus, she was almost crying when she was stuck in the traffic on the way to her office. She prayed like she had never prayed before and she had actually never prayed before.

Her prayers were not answered. The clients were not happy. And the deal did not come through. So when her car wheel got punctured that evening as she was coming home, she broke down sobbing. After about ten minutes, she composed herself and headed to the railway station contemplating her lonely life.

Nitya had had enough that day. She had been suffering in silence for so long now, but not anymore.

The problem was her husband. He had come home drunk once again. He had promised so many times to kick the habit. But it kept coming back and he spent almost all the money he earned on alcohol. She had to do petty household jobs to make ends meet and to top it all, they had a two year old daughter to take care of.

That day was especially bad. He had never hit her before and today he had. Physical abuse on top of the mental agony was too much for her to take. She smacked his head back with the dosa-pan and he, already in his drunken stupor fell down unconscious.

She made sure she had not killed him. She left him a note saying she was going away. Leaving him for good and that she was taking the child with her. And she took the girl, some food to last the overnight journey to her mother’s house.

She knew she had to fight her parents who would send her back to her husband. She must not go back to him for as long as possible. She had made up her mind to give him one last chance, hoping that he might miss her and get rid of the habit. She was scared for herself. She was scared for her daughter and her future. She was scared of the world itself in general.

But the thing that scared her the most was the thought that her husband might not miss her. That he might enjoy the freedom, get another woman and forget about her. ‘I must not have hit him’, she thought over and over again.

These two women were sitting opposite each other in the train. Each lost in their own worlds, each unaware of the other’s presence. Their eyes met for a moment and they sized each other up. The other’s life seemed so much better and tempting.

All Ria saw was a beautiful child and a settled family life while Nitya saw independence, freedom and happiness.The thought “Oh how I wished my life was more like her’s” echoed simultaneously in both their minds.