“My mom also used to narrate stories from this book”
“Yes, whenever I got fever, all the night she sat beside me and read from it. But now I don’t have this book for my own child”
“Then I am gifting it to you,” he handed book toward her.
“No. it’s ok”
“Have it. I’ve lots of book. He will enjoy it”
She reluctantly took the book and after that they discussed some stories that were written in that book. For the first time, they chatted for that long time, laughed together and shared that they always wanted to. They had not realized that in just an half an hour they got so acquainted.
“Isn’t it too hard to handle everything alone?” his voice was tensed.
“Yes, it is” her heart clenched and again streak of sadness ran over her body.
“Did you miss him?”
She lifted her eyes and directly glared in his eyes as if she knew that there is nothing to hide from a person to whom she is feeling linked soulfully and also who know how its feel to spend a life when your better half leave you alone. Perhaps this is the time to unchain all bag of pain that had remained closed till now inside her.
“Initially I missed him a lot. But now I’m used to and feel ok,” only she could reply.
Then she paused and looked at him as if she was letting him to read everything that was scribbled on her inside walls.
Silence of the night wrapped them into its lap. They did not speak a word and stared into each other eyes like they were telling their stories. She felt content that there is a person who could understand her and feel her pain without uttering a word. They both knew what was happening at that time.
Both were happy to share their part that released them from the grip of dark sadness after years.
This time raghav beat the silence and winked as if he had confirmed that now she does not need to worry more. He had come here only for her, to remove her loneliness and fill her life with zeal. Now, she won’t be the only one to care about ravi. Now, there is a person who would care about ravi and her.
“I think I should probably get going,” he said and went out the house with a stern belief that next time he would come for forever.
After his exit, she went to ravi’s room, sat beside him at the edge of bed and clasped his hand to caress it. When she took the book in one hand she felt raghav presence and she smiled. But breeze of fear slapped on her face conveying a major question that quivered her mind.
Being a mother of one 10 year old child, how can she think about other man? It’s sin. She cannot betray her husband to whom she pledged to stay forever for seven lives, to live together in every happiness and sadness, to fight together against all odds and turn the stumbling blocks into stepping stones and to never tell a lie and be loyal forever. She cannot break the promise and become sinner, he won’t forgive her. And also what other people would think about her? That being a mother she married to another man after her husband death and what about her and her husband family? Would ever they allow her to do this?
She cannot do this.
Apart from all these social anxiety, she also thought what about me? Did anyone care what she wants? Should she spend her whole life tied to the shackles of tradition, customs and manners or should she give her life a second chance? She cannot nurture ravi alone. She is human and she also needs affection, love and care. She also wants a man who would love her more than herself, to whom she could share her all grieves and merriments, to whom she could talk about her problems all the night, to whom she could discuss and plan for ravi’s future. She also needs a man to fill her with energy and hope when she’ll be weak and low. This society, people and family cannot provide that happiness and fulfill the desire that a widow woman always wish for. She doesn’t want to be caught in the cage of society.
That night she really missed her husband very much. After a long time, watery cloud hovered over a barren land to spatter a water drop and whiff of fertility floated in the deserted surround. She cried and wailed all the night but he was not there to listen and to give his cozy shoulder over which she could put his head and weep constantly to vent out all pain and feel light. He was not there to give her advice to what to choose. He was not there to cuddle her, love her, and offer her safe and staunch arm. She was all alone there to take further decision that what she had to choose.
Next day, raghav again knocked the door. She opened it heartedly and welcomed him by passing a broad smile that pronounced that she had given her life a second chance.