Love that Stifled

“Happy Anniversary Love” the fondant twinkled back from the deep chocolate surface of the cake. Of course, ‘dark chocolate’, his favourite flavour. Twenty years of public profession of love amidst dazzling annual parties, yet I await at least one cake of my favorite flavor.

Rohit announced the culmination of two decades with a masquerade party. The dance floor shimmered from both the glow of lights and the glitterati. I was center stage yet the music seemed boisterous, the chit-chatter seemed like rumbling. Everything felt like gradually receding as does the last speck of dusk before the starry spectacle takes over.

My insides growled, but it wasn’t hunger. My body ached but I wasn’t sick. The multitude of emotions then welled up high in the mascara-laden eyes. Tugging my hand away from him I rushed away from the crowd. Tears wouldn’t stop. It felt like I was being sucked into a vacuum. I was done smiling and posing when an emptiness spread its tentacles deep within.

Soon I heard Rohit’s baritone as he shook my shoulders, “What is wrong with you Manya?” He grumbled, “I am looking for you all over. The guests need to be attended to.”

Here he was. The façade lifted as the show lights distanced from him. Peering through the veil of tears, I struggled to reconcile with what was happening. His demeanor was different. Had I noticed it earlier? I was doubting myself.

“Isn’t it OUR twenty years Rohit? Am I not the one in focus here?” I heaved.

“Yes…yes it is” he stuttered. Steadying himself he helped me up. The look in his eyes a couple of minutes back was something that I couldn’t get over.

“Everyone is awaiting the cake cutting. Don’t take too long. Whatever it is we will discuss at home.” He dropped my arms callously and walked away.

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This moment felt like a realization. The tears had washed away the layers of grime on this relationship.

As the deep maroon lip tint glided across my lips, a sudden rage spread. I felt my eyes turn bloodshot and sweat beads trickle down the temples.

I wanted to end it all…… anger raged, a tiny voice within asked me to wait.

“Take the next steps on your terms and not your anger.” I swirled around alarmed.

There was no one else there. My thoughts spoke out aloud.

I skimmed through what was left of the party, noticing the finer nuances of Rohit’s behavior and realizing that his actions were greatly influenced by societal needs. The vivid realization that he never encouraged my socializing was upsetting. And soon the missing pieces of the puzzle began falling in place.

Silence hung heavy during the drive back home. Except for the occasional remark on the food, choice of dress of a guest, or the gifts, there was nothing. Rohit made no mention of what he witnessed……the meltdown, the why, or what of it.

This night was big, with realization and discovery. Realization of the façade that had shielded the true reflection of the person I thought I knew for the twenty years of being married. Discovery that the only role I played was the caretaker…… emotionally manipulated to give up my identity, my likes and wishes.

“What a wonderful gathering!! You can’t miss some of the gifts Manya!”

That was the casual end to his day. I remembered the day I told him about my pregnancy test. “We will lose our freedom, especially if you birth a child.” How could I give in? Recollecting hard about the fun that he had implied was the fun he wanted to have.

Looking up to the starry sky, I resolved to make amends.

No way was I going to expect anything from him. At the same time walking out wasn’t happening especially after I had given up precious productive years of my life. So the first decision was to get back to painting, the love of my life, and the second was my desire to be a mother. It was going to happen and nothing could stop me. Rohit’s definition of love that was stifling my aspirations and happiness had to be unstifled.

I walked back to the guest bedroom while I texted the gallery that was displaying my unsold paintings.

Actions will always speak louder than words…….! I was out to prove it now.







About the Author

Saravjot Hansrao

life has always been about waking up with a renewed passion each day. I owe my inner strength to blessings of the eternal truth God, my bringing up amidst real heroes of the Indian Army read more...

10 Posts | 1,600 Views

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