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Amaresh

by Geetashree Chatterjee
(New Delhi)

Continued from page 1....


Mrs. Gupta had left the van too. Her office had shifted to Connaught Place. She alternated between a Chartered bus and the Metro. No, she was not in touch with Mala and Mohini.Mr.Rathi had shifted base to Mumbai while Awasthiji was planning to move to Jhansi on his superannuation next month.

“And Amaresh?” I asked hesitantly.
“He is still fighting it out…the expenses are bearing him down. But he persists. I met him the other day. He says it’s a matter of prestige now. I think he’s kind of enjoying the game…like the cat and the mouse.”
And that made me wonder…

***


It was over crowded in the Metro. I managed a seat and was about to doze off when a familiar voice jolted me up.
“Mr.Sanghvi, we must give a strong reply now. No compensation and no compromise…”
Amaresh?
He stood right next to the door. I could see him as the crowd dispersed a little at Inderlok. He looked gaunt and pale. His hair showed flecks of grey. I wanted to wave at him but checked myself at the nick of time. Perhaps he wouldn’t like the intrusion,not now, when he was talking so animatedly on the mobile!

The conversation continued. Amaresh seemed quite unaware of his surroundings…the people around who could hear him just as clearly as I did. There were loud retorts…once or twice he snapped angrily…an adamant, unrelenting stance.
I sighed.

At Kashmere Gate Junction I lost sight of him.

***


Two years later.
Another chance meeting but this time it was Amaresh who spotted me in the Mall.
“So, how’s life?” I asked.
He shrugged his shoulders. I invited him for a cup of coffee.

Settling down in the cafe, I asked him about his job.
“Oh! I have been promoted.” A weak smile flitted across his lips.
I congratulated him.
“What about Nisha?” The question slipped out involuntarily.
“She has come back.” A colourless reply.
“And the case…”
“Dismissed…”
“Wow! What a turn-around! A triumph for your indeed!” I exclaimed.

“Yeah! I guess so…” Was the terse reply.

“So how do you feel now?” My excitement was child-like.

“I don’t know. I am still coming to term with it. When she left me I was broken. Completely. But now that she has come back I don’t know how to take it. I suppose it will take some time. It’s like knowing each other all over again.”

Understanding slowly dawned on me. It would ever be a mystery why Nisha left him so suddenly,why she slapped a divorce notice, why she took back the case as abruptly and what made her come back after so many years. Perhaps she realized the futility of rashness. Perhaps there was more to it than Amaresh would like to divulge.

“All’s well that ends well” I concluded.
But Amaresh was not listening.

“I was leaving for Kanpur for the next hearing when she called up and begged me to accept her back. At a time when the case was positively taking a turn in my favour! Now, no more trips to Kanpur. No more battling and bargaining with lawyers. All over! ” He almost sounded defeated.
He misses the old rut.I squirmed at my own thought.

“I think he’s kind of enjoying the game…like the cat and the mouse.”Mrs. Gupta’s words echoed in my ears.

And they lived happily ever after… would it happen for Amaresh and Nisha?
We had finished our coffee.
“Why don’t you two take time off for your second honeymoon?” I suggested.
“No, that will not be required. Too late now.”
On that resigned note we said good bye.

The End



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Mar 22, 2012
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Thanks Lakshmi
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

For being on this post. We all pray the same for Amaresh and Nisha who are fictitious characters in the story but may find resemblance in the real world around us too.

Mar 19, 2012
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Beautiful story..!
by: Lakshmi

I wish at least now Amaresh and Nisha discuss each other and try to solve their problems together, rather than fighting alone. Past is past now, and can't be undone. At least they can now look forward to enjoy a beautiful life together, forgetting and forgiving to each other, and loving each other.

Geeta, a beautiful story well told.

Mar 08, 2012
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Right You Are Sneha!
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

And then the ego comes in between! Don't overlook that...the menace which twists, tampers and tarnishes a relationship to the extent of defacing the happy picture.

As Mathur Sahab says Amaresh is the consequence of faulty upbringing to which I agree. He also manifests the clash of tradition and the contemporary, I wouldn't say modern.

Nisha, on the other hand, is neither angel nor vamp. Why typify? She is just a human being of flesh and blood, not a tailor-made customary bride but a woman with her own ambitions and follies.

When the two come together, a rosy picture is hard to paint...

Divorce is not the issue, but I was more interested to know what would happen if they re-unite. Will it be all sun-shine and easy forgiveness...no, the situation will be more complicated. I am intrigued by that complication, inquisitive,prying soul that I am.

Incidentally and interestingly, the real Amaresh is still fighting it out...

This is not to hurt anybody's feelings but the story that I have outlined speaks of the post modern social dilemmas and complexities.

Life is not that easy. It never was!

Thanks for reading and your take Sneha! Giving my story the stature of "literature"...highly honoured.

Mar 07, 2012
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Your story
by: Sneha

I have had an "Amaresh" in my extended family, Geetashree. I wouldn't go all down to blame characters like these, but they sure tell us how men haven't been able to 'strike a balance' between traditionalism and modernity. It's not a vicious circle at all, if they start taking sides, without prejudice.

If a man wants to work, it is absolutely fine and just. But, if a woman demands the same after marriage, it becomes totally unfair - or so it is inferred. If you've seen the movie Swades, you'd remember how the woman let goes of the 'prospective groom' after he "disallows" her to work after marriage. Women have the same needs as men, pity they don't understand.

And women are either the "angel of the house" or the "vamp". Can't we do better?

Well, not to forget, the short story follows a highly interesting structure. Very post-modern literature, this!

Mar 07, 2012
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Analytical Comment
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

Amaresh represents men caught in the transition of society while Nisha is the by-product of contemporary society - a go-getter. She is the shadow behind to identify and understand characters like Amaresh who are caught in a dilemma of convention and continuance.

I appreciate very much the depth of your comment which indicates that you read my stories with great concentration and minute attention to details.

Thanks for sparing time to read my writes.

Mar 06, 2012
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I can empathize
by: Jitendra Mathur

Geeta Ji,

I can empathize with the character of Amresh and understand his anguish, anger, frustration and pain accumulated in his heart. Outer behaviour is only a symbolic manifestation of whatever is lying deep within.

Your story, true to its title, brings to fore the character of Amresh only and not of Nisha. Who is she ? An opportunist who ditched her husband and came back years later only to deprive him of the victory in the lawsuit ?

Can they live happily everafter after the so-called reunion ? I don't think so. People like Amresh are the product of their faulty upbringing and negative life-experiences and as a result they become prisoners of their own detrimental personality traits which coupling with their misfortune turn them into perennial losers.

Touching story it is.

Jitendra Mathur

Mar 06, 2012
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Thanks Isabel
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

Your comments are always so encouraging.

Mar 06, 2012
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Thanks Vimala
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

Based on true incident, the character sketch and its interpretation are my own.

Mar 04, 2012
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Story
by: vimala ramu

Story of a simple man told very interestingly,Geeta. You really have the flair for sketching characters.

Mar 03, 2012
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a child hiding in...
by: isabel

Ah, what a character Amaresh is... I guess he portrays the child within us. That we are still a petulant child hiding in a grown-up body. Unsure, unsatisfied and unstable as the weather.

Enjoyed this story so very much... Every words are alive, no boring moments. Few great writers can keep their reader's attention aflame.

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