Beyond The Sunset-chapter-8
by Tanuja Chatterjee
Back to - Beyond the Sunset-Chapter 7
Anubha lay in her bed, beside Anubhuti, reflecting on the day that just melted away. Life’s callings are weird or is it… that they seem to appear weird! She pondered. Though they may be so but there is always some learning in it. No wonder it is called “A Mystic River of Life!” she thought. This reminiscence was cut short by the buzz of her cell.
“Abha! Can’t get you off my mind!” Came the soothing voice of Roy.
“Oh Roy! Still awake! We’re meeting tomorrow, I promised you! So?”She replied.
“I’m sorry. It was a wrong decision. Forgive me Abha. Will you ever!” he replied.
“Try and get some sleep, you’ll be refreshed. Besides, there is no use complaining. You know that…don’t you? She asked.
“I am full of remorse for what happened. I’m sorry.” He repeated in apology.
“Oh come on ! Don’t linger on in that painful street any longer.It’s no good, Roy! Instead lets work towards our friendship and make it eternal. Can’t we! Let’s keep the bond alive. Why not smile back at those haunting memories! I’m sure given a closer look, you’ll see, it hadn’t been that bad after all! ” Anubha replied knowing perfectly well how hard she had to fight all these years and its just the same even today.
There was an absolute silence from her for a second and then she replied “Oh me! Yes, awake still… but with a difference.” She lied “Haven’t heard from Onir today, so thought of waiting for his call, just in case…”Anubha stopped suddenly without completing what she had in her mind and then went on to say “You take care. Good Night Roy!” and she hung the phone down without hearing his concluding remarks.
She could hear the rainfall outside or was it her heart weeping! She couldn’t tell. Lost days fly away as vapours, they disappear. She prayed for courage to brave through the mystic downpour. The cell buzzed again and Anubha was hesitant in picking it up. After a slight skirmish with her own self she extended her arm and picked it up murmuring “Oh not again! Just when I’m trying to relocate myself…”but stopped. The call this time was from Onir. Anubha quickly cleared her chocked throat and said “Oh Hi Onir! No news . What’s up!”
Then as the voice on the other end of the line spoke she listened with all her heart.
“Oh no! She is sleeping like a log. Remember that Beatles’ song!” she tried to present a cheerful self and continued “ But how do you know she’s here? Hope all is well!”
Anubha ignored the issue and moved on with her conversation casually.
“Why did you call at such an odd hour,quite unlike you?” she asked.
The voice replied and Anubha listened forcibly.
“So another week! Why?” she replied.
The voice of Onir began to get stronger and firmer with each of her resistance.
“What!.... A week in Europe!... Why?” she spoke disappointingly “You know how lonely it is without you around. Moreover, without me in Europe! I mean, you know,… how much I want to visit Europe. Why don’t we go together later?” she pleaded.
“I want you to sit down calmly and listen carefully for I’ve something important to tell.” The voice from the other end said.
“Enough of your concerns…!... You know how much I wished to see Europe!” Anubha repeats the beaten record and refuses to sit down.
“Remember Priya! “ he asked.
“Oh that bundle of energy! Sweet little girl from S.O.S Village! I think she graduated sometime back…. Now, what’s become of her?”she asked hesitantly. “Hope she is happy and fine!”
“I’ll be visiting Europe with her. She’s worked for days together nonchalently so I thought of…I mean ….you understand what I mean!” answered Onir with hesitation.
“What? She works for you? You never told! When did your company employ her?Besides, what is she doing with you there? You never told that she would be along with you ! And why are you so hesitant Onir?” she bombarded her fearful
“Look! I wanted to tell you… but…but couldn’t get to… somehow! It’s about… us, Priya and me that I want to talk about to you.” He disclosed slowly.
“Oh stop it ! Enough ! Just Enough!” she mustered all her strength to vent out.
“Why do you think I must listen to your crap! Do you have any idea what you are talking about? She’s slightly older to Anu! Come on, don’t jump on to fry pan. What about the children! One such decision can make their lives go topsy-turvy. Right now, your son needs emotional support and your daughter….! She’s of marriagable age. Can’t you see? Can’t you understand? Your mother is old and fragile, do you have any idea how much hurt she’ll be in her final moments! Is this being dutiful? Is this filial piety? “ she stopped to breathe deeply.
“I want to assure you that you won’t be affected. In fact, no one will be! I’ve…” Onir was cut short by Anubha’s fuming words.
“Just stop. It’s time for you to listen.” She remarked.
“What do you think?....They don’t know! Everybody knows. The children love her.It’s been two years now …two years! In fact, I never wanted to keep you in the dark but for them I had to.” He replied like a thunderbolt. “They wanted to be sure.”
“Sure? Sure of what Aniruddh? …What ! two years! How can one do this to someone of your own….your very own, for two long years! “Anubha dropped on the couch as she spoke.
“I’m sorry Anna! I never meant to…but…” He said
“Aniruddh, for so many years….for so many long years….you stayed silent just because you valued my feelings! Do you want me to believe it? In spite of knowing that your new found relationship is not socially viable still you say it had been accepted by the children…How could you still…! So,… that’s the reason for Anu’s visit…to hold me if I go berserk!” Anubha breaks into a rustic laughter and that’s why Bhuvan keeps his distance…! So, all of you have found an escape route. Haven’t you?” breathlessness strikes once again but ignoring her physical limitations she continued “ I wish I could ….but that’s not me, instead I pray that you all get liberated out of your sufferings and I’m happy that you found someone to love. Love her Aniruddh always love her… but please don’t leave her!
“I’ll return and settle…” Onir was once again stopped.
“Oh, you have enough to worry about now….so don’t bother about me anymore! I think this is the least I can do for you, right now! Have a nice time and Happy Days Ahead. Bye!”Anubha disconnected the conversation.
Onir had many things to say, perhaps! Many future plans for her, probably! Anubha damned everything. She refused to hear or say anything on the matter.
“Life is like that. There are somethings in life that must be kept unheard and unsaid.” She thought.
She returned to the bedroom. Anubhuti in deep sleep looked as cute as she had been when she was a little child. Anubha gently stroked her hair but in those deeper dimensions of life, Anubhuti felt nothing. So, quietly she unlocked the window. The spray of broken raindrops come rushing in, hitting her hard all over. She could feel the furious poundings of the bitter pains of lost moments heaped in her heart and with each breath something died within. She felt like a destitute, despised and forsaken for good. It had been an emotionally abusive life which left no visible bruises but her inner realm, she knew lay in tatters. Betrayed and lonely she stood feeling ashamed and discouraged. Her inside shriveld up into a black uncertain nothingness and she murmurs again “ Yet again, I retreat at the end of the day in tears! Yet again I want you to see, my soul, how rich my condition is! Yet again I urge you to wait in patience – for tomorrow will be another day!”
To be continued..... Back to - Beyond the Sunset - Chapter 1 Back to - Beyond the Sunset-Chapter 7