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Last eight hours had been pretty strenuous for Nalini. Finally, she held the paper she wanted all this while. She understands that her parents will be shattered to hear this, as it has completely been her decision. She hopes someday or the other, they might be able to appreciate her stand on this, but for now, this news for sure would bring tears in their eyes. Past two years have been a sort of roller coaster ride for her. It has been kind of highs and lows throughout. Last night after a long time she spoke at length with her Mom thereby making her curious…
“I think, there’s some good news”, quipped Nalini’s Mom.
For Mrs Mishra, it took seconds to judge the mindset of her beloved daughter.
Indeed, Nalini was happy and she wanted to celebrate. Life had given her one more opportunity to smile and she wouldn’t let it go. After two long years, she was free from this unhappy relationship which was going nowhere. 2017 was a year which she wanted to erase from her memory as on this fateful year she made the worst decision of her life. Yes! tying the knot with Satish. She still goes into a shell remembering those days of her life. Nobody forced her and it was completely her decision to choose Satish as her life partner. She fumes with anger remembering the ill-fated day when she first met Satish at his office. A banker by profession, Nalini was given the NPA list to recover money from people who were long-standing defaulters. Despite repeated calls, she was not getting through the number of Satish Sharma. She had to prove to her Manager that she has been doing her recovery job well, so she left no stone unturned and finally caught hold of this new office address of Satish.
“Satish Sharma, A -22, M.G Road, Pune, sounds good,” she thought and without even the slightest hesitation landed up at Satish’s office.
She knew Satish was a defaulter and would be ready with his hundred lies to escape payment, but then she was a pro in handling such type of people.“Hi, I am Satish…” As soon as Nalini looked up, she saw a tall, dark handsome guy standing next to her and smiling. Nalini was confused. This was for the first time she was facing a defaulter who didn’t think twice before meeting her. On top of it, he had the looks to die for. Nalini too smiled casually and immediately came to the point, “Mr Satish, unfortunately, you have dues outstanding on your card account. Let me know when you are going to clear them.”
Satish smiled, shook his head in affirmation and said …….“Don’t worry Mam, there was some personal problem but I assure you that payment will be done by tomorrow.”
There was a strong genuineness in Satish’s voice which Nalini couldn’t ignore. Never ever, had she met a defaulter who sounded so nice and decent. She was taken aback by his charm in this first meeting and immediately agreed to Satish’s words. She left Satish’s office but couldn’t take him off her thoughts. Next morning, when Sandhya Mam, confirmed that payment has been received in Satish’s card account, Nalini was all smiles. Not only because she had done her recovery job well, but in her five-year career she had never come across a person who had been so genuine and prompt. The liking that had germinated then turned strong when Satish visited Nalini’s Bank the following month to make payment. With Satish’s multiple visits, their mutual admiration for each other increased and without thinking twice Nalini said Yes!! when Satish asked her hand in marriage.
Though Nalini’s parents were not pretty happy with her choice, still they gave their consent to this inter-caste marriage. Nalini was the happiest person on earth and couldn’t thank her stars enough to have got Satish as her life partner.
She had made so many preparations for her first night. Had frequented parlour thrice adhering to all possible regimes to get ready for the night of her life. For the first time, she didn’t dither spending a whopping five thousand bucks on her lingerie and nightdresses as she felt this is going to be the time with her hubby which she is going to cherish forever. A virgin till now, Nalini had been eagerly waiting for this day all her life. But her thoughts got a jolt when Satish seemed disinterested and confused. The first night was sort of a bizarre as Satish went to sleep immediately after giving a hug to Nalini. He expressed his tiredness and Nalini couldn’t do anything other than giving a sly smile.
“How can someone go to sleep so early? only a hug…Maybe, he is really tired” she wondered.
But night after night this routine continued and there came a day when Nalini lost self-control and threw herself on Satish. Satish lashed out at her for being so impatient and that very moment a thought got triggered in her mind, that something is not right with her husband. She couldn’t ask Satish but, in her mind she felt the pain every second. The worst came when on their honeymoon too, Satish kind of refrained from establishing any physical intimacy with Nalini. The marriage which had given her thousand reasons to smile was suddenly turning to be the cause of her immense sorrow. Every dawn would bring her hope and every dusk would shatter that.
One day leaving all her inhibitions aside she popped the question to Satish “What’s wrong Satish? Don’t you find me beautiful?” She stood stern and looked into his eyes. Taking the handkerchief in his hand and wiping the sweat from his forehead, Satish answered: “I love you Nallu, but don’t expect more….”
Before Nalini could react, Satish walked off… With tears in her eyes, Nalini took her purse and locked her home to start for her office. All through she kept thinking about Satish’s strange behaviour, “How can he behave like this? Am I lacking the charm? Have I done something wrong?” All sorts of unwanted thoughts were undermining her self esteem and she didn’t know what to do. Unknowingly though she fell into a routine where her expectation from her husband, decreased with every passing day.“Maybe this was all in my fate” she wondered. Gradually they were like two strangers staying under one roof. It was killing Nalini to the core. Still, she hung on to it as she felt “What will the world say?”
But the summer of 2018 got a surprise for Nalini. It was a bright sunny day and to escape from her chaotic thoughts Nalini decided to clean the terrace, upstairs that was hardly frequented by anyone except Satish. Rolling the dupatta to a side and tying a knot, she took the trash can in her hand thereby throwing off all the unwanted stuff that has been lying there since long. Suddenly her eyes fell on a pink diary, pastel pink shade with purple flowers on top of it. “SS” initial was engraved with red ink. Nalini grew curious, her heart started to beat fast. The reality from which she has been running all through was coming out in the open for the very first time. The hard truth about Satish was getting unfolded with turning of each page. Each sheet was expressive of Satish’s love for his friend Pankaj. Nalini was inconsolable. “Why did Satish do that? Why did he play with my life?” The matured lady had started to become intolerant.
The calm and patient Nalini was not ready to take it anymore. After knowing the truth about Satish, it was becoming difficult for her to even speak to him. She very well knew that love is love irrespective of one’s sexual orientation or gender. She didn’t want to question him, neither punish him but she definitely wanted to be free from this closed cage.
Today when she held the divorce papers in her hand, she felt happy … She doesn’t want to judge Satish nor does she want to spend her life brooding over this relationship. Past is dead for her, and all she can do is walk towards a new dawn with tears in her eyes. But this time these are tears of JOY…
Image is a still from the movie Vicky Donor
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