The Sharp Hones of Dilemma - contd
by Poonam Saha
(Jamalpur, Bihar, India)
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As I gained stability, I noticed a year old boy on her back. Undoubtedly, he was her child and she was married. But the sober yellow sari in which she was dressed was not revealing its sign. Her face was beaming with the usual confidence but there was an unusual maturity. It was indicating something ominous to me and I was getting curious. My head was spinning. I couldn’t forgive myself for even allowing those terrible thoughts to happen. I wanted to sit beside her in the flight and ask her everything but I couldn’t. I had to wait till I reached Bengaluru. And to my shock, I found that my apprehension was correct. She had lost her husband in an accident last year leaving behind him a child of just two months in her lap.
It was terrible. Not only me but God had also been very harsh on her. A cheerful life was left alone to face the deadly world and its daunting challenges.
She showed no signs of complaint from her life and mingled with friends in the function with the same old energy. But the world inside me was in sharp contrast with that of outside. Deep inside, I was feeling myself responsible for her fate. If I had shown little courage in the past, our life would have been something different that day.
To look at something different as though we had never
seen it before requires great courage. And I had that courage that day; I was then a different man; I was an IAS officer; I was independent; I no longer feared unjust societal pressure; I didn't care about convincing my mother. I wanted to rectify the mistake which I had committed long back in the past; I wanted to revive my feelings for her; I wanted to marry her and adopt her child as well. But the only hurdle that I needed to cross was to face her.
The ceremony ended in the morning and we had a whole day left before we leave the place. I gathered inner strength and initiated talk with her. Starting from how my professional life was, I tried to move on to topics pertaining to her life. But she was only listening. Still I kept hopes and continued the conversation. After some half an hour, she broke down and slightly pushed me back. And she herself sat down on a chair with her teary drops rolling down her cheeks. Silence prevailed in the atmosphere. She kept looking at me for several minutes as if she was trying to read my mind. And when she spoke, I was awestruck. She asked, “When are you coming to take me home?”
Wow, what a feeling it was! This time, there was no confusion in my mind. I hugged her tightly and whispered into her ears the three golden words: I love you. ***