I double checked myself in the mirror. The matching earrings were too long for my pink anarkali Kurta. In fact, my Kurta was long enough to make me look like a behenji(illiterate and lousy woman). I cringed my eyebrows, I didn’t liked myself at all in this attire. I looked at the clock, I still had two more hours. Without wasting any more time, I opened my closet to find something more simple and smart to put on. But to my horror, for the first time in five years I came to realize my wardrobe had nothing but kurtas and that too all falling way far below my knees. I wondered since when I transformed into such a boring person. Suddenly it striked me , why sanjay didn’t wanted me to join him in his office party. And, why Anna didn’t asked me to come to her annual function. Anna was my little girl. My breath of fresh air.
Suddenly I froze as a wave of terror passed through me, shaking every bones within me,.. every part of my body ached, every strings within me vibrated . When did it happened? Why didn’t I realized? Did being 33 years meant old enough to lose all colours in me, around me? What happened? Why everything seemed black and white suddenly? These 8 years of successful marriage felt meaningless to me in a minute of time. I went near the mirror to check myself thoroughly. No, there was no sign of any wrinkles yet ,. …..
“Tinggg tonggg…….,” …I jumped out at the sudden sound of the door bell .I looked at the watch, it was 12 noon. Anna went to school and satish office. No one is expected till 4 evening.
I went to answer the door only to find some company boys trying to sell something. I quickly finished their queries and headed back to my room.
My Mobile screen was flashing an incoming message indicator light.
“Hi, neha. My flight is one hour late so I will see you in 3 instead of 2, hotel Vedanta. My treat. Dying to see you. And as usual don’t be late cat. TC, bye, see you soon….sangeeta”,
I threw the phone in my bed. I didn’t wanted to meet her or anybody, right at this moment.. I felt all drain out, so low, so lifeless. But most of all, I felt so worthless. During these 8 years of married life, never once did I thought about myself. I went so busy taking care of my husband , my daughter, my home that I completely forgot myself, just to remember today when I am to meet my bestest friend after 10 complete years, in about three hour. I have become so dumb, so tasteless. And she, a smart independent single woman. Why did I ever get married at the first place? Why??? Jealousy started to burn me inside out and my entire body ached. Hot drops of tears began to roll down my cheeks.
After ten long minutes I hold myself promising to rap up the date as soon as possible and never ever to see her face again. Keeping it in my mind, I finally decided not to change the dress I already wore. Just changed my earring to a more sobre one.
It was ten min past 3, I finally entered the dining area of the said hotel. My eyes scanning the entire hall. Suddenly, I caught a woman in peach colour formal business suit, flashing out her sets of white teeth into a big grin, wilding waving in my direction. Was she sangeeta? She looked fair and way too young compared to me. Again, I cursed myself to have come here..I could have done with any excuses not to come here.
“It’s sooo nicceee seeing you. After 10 years, finally we could meet. I am so happy, Neha. Tell me, tell me everything about you. Your marriage…Anna.. Everything… Can’t wait to hear.”, Sangeeta cried in one breath.
“I am doing fine. You look young.”, I regretted at my last sentence. I should have enquired about her health instead.
” I am absolutely fine neha. Its just, life have thrown me in such a cycle where though I am earning enough money, but I don’t get the time to enjoy spending it.” , Sangeeta eyes suddenly felt sad by her blunt confession .
But I didn’t buy it. Why can someeone so independent like her, go on complaining about her life. After all, freedom matters most. Before I could stop my mouth, it vomitted words;
“What are you saying? Just look at yourself, working for the best company, getting a dream salary , single. What else can a woman ask for? You are free to do whatever you want to. So successful in such a young age. I wish, I could be you. ” , a wind of jealousy blew past me,as I rebutted her statement.
Silence followed for continuing five minutes, as we ordered for our coffees and sandwiches.
After that, sangeeta, being a little thoughtful, opened her mouth again, but this time her eyes met directly mine, ” Neha, are you happy in your married life?”
I spilled my coffee in the table, at hearing her blunt question.
” Wh…. What do you mean? I am perfectly happy in my life.” I tried hard to lie but her fixed eyes clearly revealed my unsuccessful attempt.
” Neha, I am ….was your best friend once. I know you quite well. You can’t hide your feelings from me. Come-on …Out with it.”, Her eyes were kind enough to make my tears flow. I cried like a baby forgetting I was making a show out of it inside a posh restaurant…….
…………………………………………………..To be continued….