Of filter kaappi and maakkolams, of pookalams and kaineettams, of madisar and settumundu, of mangaacurry and mysorepak, of books and words, of pens and colours, of steps and rhythm...
To the good at heart, I offer a feast ;
Mess with me, and I'll be a beast :-D
It's been a week since mom brought me that envelope.
Today, I open it slowly, excitedly thinking what I shall find inside.
He smiles happily at me from the photograph. A smile of contentment.
The young girl next to him looks strikingly pretty, her coy smile making her face glow in anticipation of a wonderful future.
Both of them are dressed in the traditional wedding attire.
A beautiful moment of happiness, captured for eternity.
“ Me and her, for you to see”, there’s a signed note inside the envelope.
Crisply written, with his signature at the bottom. I can sense vengeance oozing out of every word.
I look at the photograph once again and close my eyes in memory of that day.
The day he had come home to meet my parents and seek my hand in marriage.
I can see myself sitting on the sofa in the drawing room. He’s sitting directly opposite to me, and his eyes are fixed on mine.
I can see they are hurt.
I have just denied my love for him, signifying the end of our relationship.
I’m doing my best to blink back my tears, and my eyes are growing tired with the effort.
He’s still looking at me , numb with the shock of having to believe that I’ve been fooling him all these days in the name of love.
“Is that all, Riya ?”, he whispers after a while.
I nod in the affirmative, wishing he would look away, get up and go.
I don’t want him to see me go weak at my knees and cry my heart out later. I can’t do that if he keeps looking at me like this. I am powerless to look at his eyes anymore.
Oh ! If only I could tell him how much I would love to be his wife !!
But no, I can’t. I need to end this.
I need to shut him out of my mind and my life.
I get up from my seat and speak to him.
“ Look, Sanjeev. You’re no more than just another guy for me. I can never imagine being tied to the vows and woes of wifehood. Don’t expect me in your life. And I’m least bothered about what you feel or do with your life. Please go out of my home. Now. My parents are about to return from their evening walk.”
I don’t tell him that they love him like their son and but for my compulsion, they would’ve never let things take such a turn.
I ignore the ‘why’s and ‘how’s that are writ large on his face as he looks at me with sad eyes.
I turn back and walk into my room.
I choose not to hear the footsteps and a vague ‘Riya, please listen’ behind me.
I enter the room and slam the door shut.
A small colourful card , my younger brother’s handicraft, hanging at my door handle, seems to scream at him . Do Not Disturb.
Inside the room, I cry and cry as the whole scene plays itself before me, shredding me to bits, torturing me, threatening my sanity.
When I open the door after a long time, my home is quiet, but two pairs of sorrowful eyes are looking at me from the far end of the hall. Mom and Dad.
They’re aware of my break-up with Sanjeev.
I break into a run and hug my mom tight.
“ Dr.Viswanathan wants us to reach early next morning,” she says with surprising calmness as I start sobbing again.
“ Don’t cry, child. We know it’s tough. But you’ll be brave and handle it well,” Dad says as he strokes my hair lovingly, as he used to do to put me to sleep when I was a child.
Iopen my eyes as the doors to my room open, and my nurse Martha comes in with a tray full of medicines.
“Is it time already ? ”, I ask.
She nods a yes , smiles and says, “don’t worry, dear. You’ve been brave so far. You’ll have all the strength in future too.”
“Hope so,” I manage to say, and laugh lightly.
“Your mother’s waiting out there,” she says, helping me put on the green coloured robe that I’ve grown to detest.
“ Haven’t seen her for a whole week, now that you've put me in isolation for so long,” I reply with a mock cringe, as I try to imagine how emaciated Mom has grown over the past few months.
“ Who’s that on that snap?”, Martha asks, as I unsuccessfully try to hide it.
“ A friend of mine, she’s sent me her wedding snap”, I grin.
“ Dr. Viswanathan is waiting. Shall we go ? ”, she asks as she opens the door.
I can see the Do Not Disturb board that she has put on the door on my request.
It’s the very same board that had hung on my door that evening, as I shut Sanjeev out of my life.
Mom must have given it to her.
As Martha wheels me out of my room to go to the Chemotherapy centre, a lone tear escapes my eye and there’s a flurry of emotions in my heart.
I’m happy for Sanjeev ; he’ll always be special to me , in every way.
I’m not sure how much the chemo session will extend my life.
As I turn back and glance at the ‘Do Not Disturb’ on the door, I promise to myself that I’ll come back to this room, at least once.
This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.
Every weekend, we give out creative writing topics for the love of writing.
This time your entry must contain, ‘Do Not Disturb’.