Sunday, 24 July 2016

My Wanderings - 38. Short story No. 20. The Woman

It was a sullen morning of rainy season with clouds still hovering over the sky adding gloom to the already melancholic atmosphere near a two storey house in a congested locality. A body of a woman covered with white sheet of cloth was lying in a pool of blood adjacent to the compound fence surrounded by police personal and people from neighbourhood. The police was busy in collecting evidences on spot and trying to preserve them. After listening to the rumours of surrounding people it transpired that victim had perhaps fell down from upper storey of  her house in  mid of the night  and died instantly. She had however,  left a suicide note absolving her husband from any criminal charge which could point a finger towards him. The police was still interviewing the husband who was the only person present in the house at the time of accident as the couple had no children. The husband appeared very meek and distraught.
She was a woman, a woman in real sense with all woman like virtues  and devoid of any womanish disqualifications. She was very beautiful and fair  always adorning a smile on her bright face exhibiting  sparkling white jewels in her mouth. She was very lively intelligent and quick witted. She was ambitious and articulate emanating an  aura of positiveness through her personality. It appeared as if she belong to this whole universe and vice versa. She got married to her husband twenty years back  to the jubilance of  one and all and it was an arranged marriage. She was a working woman and very popular in her office due to her lively and helpful nature. She helped in providing every thing to her family a good house, property etc.  except a child.
Her husband was a little introvert type of man and he never liked the admiration of his wife by others so often. He began to feel a sense of inferiority complex in front of his wife because he was not worth to match her qualities. In order to overcome his shortcomings he began to dominate and torment his wife oftenly. He was always trying to find a pretext to hurl abuses on her. He often boasted of his manliness that he knows how to control his wife. But it was not his manliness,  it was male ego and lust that possessed him. He could never realise the true value of his virtuous wife.
His wife tried very hard to maintain the relation and reconciled on every step which lessened the friction between the two and saved the relation for a long time. But he always criticised his wife and never admired her good work.
On the material day he had a good fight with her on some flimsy ground and he addressed her as a 'whore' and a 'bitch'. He  spared no adjective of infamy and noterioty to insult and humiliate her that day. She felt very much dejected and with out saying a word went to sleep in another room. He could never guess that some misfortune is going to fall on the house that night as these fights had become  very common between the two. But no body can forecast the vagaries of fate, time and mind which topsy turvy the whole situation.
In the midnight she awoke and could not reconcile with the insult and humiliation which her husband had inflicted  upon her. She wrote a suicide note and jumped from the window of her room.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

My Wanderings - 37. Short story No.19. One day in the life of Niranjan

Niranjan  was  a very disciplined person  right from his childhood. His father died when he was  very young, barely a small boy of fifteen years  and being elder than his other siblings, who  comprised of  two sisters and a brother, he was forced to leave his studies only after completing  matriculation and look out for a job. He started with many menial jobs  such as a domestic help, shop Assistant  etc. and finally he got job as a clerk in Govt. Department, which eased his tension of looking after his family with an assured income. He allowed to continue the study of his two sisters and a brother. He would take all family decisions in consultation with his mother who was very practical and sagacious lady.  With the passage of time his sisters completed their education and after looking out for their jobs, he married them.  As his brother could not do well in studies, Niranjan helped him to open a provision store with Bank loan. Niranjan was a role model for his other siblings as they loved and respected him very much. Finally after much persuasion of his mother, Niranjan also  got  married to  a nice and homely girl. The wife of Niranjan was very dedicated person like her husband. She helped much in keeping the family sanctity intact till the  wife of younger brother of Niranjan arrived at the home, who appeared not be  a  very good lady. She left the house within a year of her marriage to live in a seperate dwelling with her husband, who by now had become a very shrewd businessman.
In the meantime Niranjan's wife had given birth to two children a son and a daughter. When they were small kids, their mother died of cancer which shattered the life of Niranjan once again. However,  his old mother helped him a lot to bring up the children.   Then the migration of his community from Srinagar to Jammu due to turmoil added many difficulties in his life. After the death of his mother at Jammu,  Niranjan had to rear his children singlehandedly. It is an old saying that fortunes and misfortunes are the order of life which everyone has to face with a fair mix . But misfortunes always overweighed the fortunes in the life of Niranjan.
However, Niranjan brought up his children with great difficulty but left no stone unturned  to give them best education and never compromised with their carrier. His son became a Doctor and his daughter an engineer. With the passage of time  both got married as per their choice. But his son and daughter in law both being Doctors remained  with Niranjan at Jammu in a house which latter had constructed. After some time Niranjan retired from Govt.  service as Section officer. As Niranjan had worked overtime at home and office throughout his life, he began to feel gloomy and lonely after retirement. Moreover, Niranjan never found any  time, through out his life, to  cultivate in himself,  a hobby  to pursue after retirement.
Then one day, while strolling in a park early in the morning, Niranjan had a chance meeting  with a middle aged woman. By talking  to the woman, it transpired that she was a widow living alone in her house situated near by. She was having only one issue, a son married and living outside the country, who had virtually snapped all links with her.  The meetings with the lady increased day by day and they began to like the company of each other. Niranjan began to feel a new thrill in his life due to her presence. The lady in question, whose name was Kamala also responded well to him. The marriage  proposal was made by Niranjan and Kamala agreed to it reluctantly.
It was really  a big shock for the family members of Niranjan, when he announced his decision to marry Kamala. They began to show their true colours by  insulting and humiliating Niranjan. They called his daughter and sisters to dissuade him from marrying Kamala. But he had made the decision and that one day in the life of Niranjan arrived, when he left his family and home for ever to join the place of his love. In old age company is the main criterion behind such relationships but marriage provides them a touch of  legitimacy. The family and children of Niranjan never reconciled with this   relation but   newly created couple lived happily ever after.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

My Wanderings - 36 Short Story No.18. Family Life is indeed a bliss

Rohan recently retired from his  service. He was a journalist by profession and retired as  Chief Editor of a leading magazine. Journalism was his passion and he sacrificed a lot to remain attached with this profession. As a young man like all  his other contemporaries, he was ambitious and possessing   a streak of rebellion. After completing his education with top grades, he choose journalism  as profession which  required much patience and struggle to get hold in the field those days. Although he could have choosen many other jobs which required less efforts and assured monthly salary. But due to his passion with journalism he choose the difficult path and started his career as a freelance journalist contributing much to stray magazines and newspapers and getting petty  renumeration in return. But the job satisfaction which he derived from it kept him alive and addicted to the profession. Moreover, his simplicity and honesty hindered his progress in this field. He even postponed his marriage proposals several times with the pretext that he will marry only after striking a foot hold in his field of profession . In the meantime his younger siblings got married. His parents were also eager to see him settled  in life. It is an old saying that with the perfection of art, artist becomes old. Rohan also achieved   success in his  field  very late after joining a leading Newspaper as Asstt. Editor with high package. But he could not find a suitable match of his age at that time.He also purchased a seperate flat for himself. His parents also left this mortal world one after another leaving Rohan alone. But his professional involvement and quest for perfecting his art kept him busy and  never let him feel lonely.
It was only after his retirement that Rohan began to feel the pangs of loneliness which made his life miserable and gloomy. Though he tried to keep himself  busy in cooking, reading and occasional travelling but still he could not keep himself happy with out company of someone and communicating with some body else.
One evening  while looking out side his window, he could see black dense  clouds hovering profusely over the sky. Within a short span of time it started raining heavily. He noticed some human figures  covered with rags from head to heels taking refuge under a small covered space opposite his house. He could recognise the figures. It was the family of a blind beggar who used to beg near the corner of lane. The wife of beggar immediately started kneading the  floor after mixing some rain water with it.  Stove was made of two stones kept apart and fire was lit within the space by igniting few small pieces of wood which they had brought under their rags. Then few breads were prepared  by them on a piece of metal plate kept on the stones. Thereafter, whole of the family relished these breads with pieces of broken onion laced with a pinch of salt. Finally they all slept in company of each other with much satisfaction.
Rohan closed the window of his bed room and laid his body on his plush bed in much agony and desperation, brooding over the bliss of family life and  deseperately trying to overcome his newly acquired disease of insomnia with sleeping tablets.