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Silent Love

By Anjali Punia

Lost in thoughts of Arpita the girl whom he found to be the most beautiful on this earth Shekhar walked towards his home with a beautiful bouquet of white roses. The scenes of last complete month he spent at his home flashed in his mind. There were mixed emotions in his heart. He who was always considered to be harsh strict army officer had fallen head over heels in love with Arpita a deaf and mute girl who worked for him as a housekeeper. No, she wasn’t merely a housekeeper she had become a housemaker. He had fallen for her simplicity, her innocence and her care for him.

Though she could not hear but she would always be at door before he rang the bell as if she could always sense him coming. No she was not disabled she had overcome her disability as she could easily read lips and understand signs. He always loved how she set her beautiful deer-like eyes on his lips to understand what he was saying. There was not a single thing which he didn’t admire about her, be it her weaving skills or cooking skills. She had woven a beautiful sweater for him and the food made by her was always delicious. He loved the way she changed the dark and dull interior of his house. Numerous times he felt like taking her in his arms to feel her warmth but he stopped every time thinking it as wrong to fall for her and they were not meant to be together. However, today he had a determined decision to tell her that he no longer finds life meaningful without her especially after the incident that had happened with them a weak back. He still could not believe his own brother would steep so low. While he was out for some work his elder brother who had come to visit him had tried to take advantage of Arpita while she was alone at home. It was just God’s grace that he had reached in nick of time or else he would have never been able to forgive himself for his entire life. He had kicked his own brother out of the house before he did any harm to Arpita. However he had not spoken a single word to Arpita post that incident because she ran away to her room and he had to immediately leave as he was called by his army seniors. He had been regretting for leaving her alone at this point of time and in that painful state of mind.

All the while thinking this he realized that he had reached his house. Strangely today Arpita didn’t come out .He rang the bell but no response. “How foolish of him” he thought “as if she could hear the bell”. His neighbor came out and gave the keys to him and said that Arpita had left it at his home. Strange, he thought, Arpita never went out alone. Shekhar opened the door and rushed inside her room. To his shock all her stuff was gone. What he feared had happened .She had gone but where possibly he would never be able to find out. He was extremely disheartened. .For the first time he had brought something for her but could not give her and now he was regretting. Suddenly his eyes fell on a thing under the bed. Curiously he took it and found it to be Arpita's diary. He initially could not believe that she had left it behind and for him Arpita keeping a diary was a shock. He was in a dilemma whether to read it or not when suddenly a photo from the diary fell. It was his photo all smiling of his which had gone missing a few days back .He was now more tempted to open and read Arpita's Diary.

As he opened it he saw beautiful designs by colors on some pages initially which were growing more attractive as he was turning pages only to look at those beautiful patterns but then suddenly when he reached near  middle of diary the patterns disappeared .All he could see that Arpita had written in Dark black ink and now he grew interested in reading as on previous pages she had written with a mix of Red and purple ink and now she used a dark black ink which was unusual .He looked at the date.

Date: 12/08/2014:  (The day when his own Brother had tried to molest Arpita) Today for the first time I had cursed Lord for snatching away my voice. I had felt so helpless that I am still shaking in fear. Perhaps today's incident will become a nightmare for me and will haunt me for the rest of my life. I had wanted to shout to save my dignity (Shekhar did not want to read ahead he was so guilty of his brother’s doing but he wanted to know what Arpita’s feelings and reason for her leaving and now only this Diary could help him reach her). People say women should raise their voice against such things, I tried, but could not because I actually had no voice unlike those who had voice but still kept quiet. It was not for the first time that someone had eyed me like this. Even at my home in Punjab several men had eyed me. (Shekhar clinched his fist) but there I had a voice in my Grandmother who would always be there  to return those guys ugly stares with her firm ones . She would always be there ready to fight for me. (Shekhar sighed in relief).

At certain times some of our so called well -thinkers also came to rescue me but not for a genuine concern but because they pitied me just because I didn't have voice and I could not hear (
Shekhar could feel ink was a little spread here perhaps Arpita was crying when she wrote this, he thought).Today however I found another voice in the form of Shekhar when he came and hit his own brother for me. I could see he had genuine concern for me in his eyes and not mere pity. He had really understood my pain and tried to soothe me but he was at a loss of words himself. I don't blame him for that anyone would be after what had happened. I had really wanted to cry then and there in front of him as a child as I used to cry in front of my Grandmother, I don't know why may be because in this whole new town with new people I somewhere felt him to be a friend of mine. I really never had any. (Shekhar had tears in his eyes now. He understood somewhere deep inside her heart Arpita too had developed feelings for him). But I stopped I don't know thinking what may be I didn't want him to see me as someone who needed merciful words because I really hated when people said those words to me  and I really hated being seen as a helpless disabled person.(Shekhar turned the page hopefully to learn about her whereabouts.)

Date :13/08/2014:  A letter had arrived early this morning for me from my village in Punjab. My grandmother is severely ill and may be breathing her last breaths so I need to be by her side in her tough time.  I wanted to meet Shekhar before leaving to talk to him about yesterday’s incident, but he is not around.

Story continued here.....