( I posted this story about a woman's unconditional love for her husband for a contest a week ago. I shall be happy if it meets with your approval, dear reader.)
As I look down on you, dear Samir, my husband, I am overcome with the warmth of love, longing and kindness for you. Like I always was whenever our eyes met. Let me dig down into our love story a little deeper then.
Samir in the meanwhile is digging too. To have my statue installed near my freshly laid body. He is keeping a promise he made to me during my last hours at Appolo Nursing Home.
Oh, to talk about the promise - I made that request to you while I could cry, vent out my anger and frustration, swallow my ego and pride, just like you all do. I told you, the struggling sculptor that you were then, not to waste your time and try to make my statue instead. I firmly believed that his sculpturing of my statue would break the jinx of his bad luck and bring him instant recognition and fame. I should be dressed in a white gown, in a white gown because white, the color of bliss and purity, was my favourite color; I should have a white starstick, some kind of firework that sprinkles sparks of love and light, in my right hand. By looking at it in my raised hand, the viewer will get to know about my fondness for life and laughter, for fun and frolic. My hand should be upraised like the way I waived at you, from up right to down left in a curvy way, every single time you decided to distance yourself from me or had to go away on business. I wanted you to place my statue in front of my permanent place on the lap of Mother Earth. I did that thinking you would wish to see more of me after I am gone, but the tomb and the deathly silence and emptiness all around will remind you of how I tried to add colour to this otherwise colorless world.
Samir never trusted me because he found the whole world in love with me. Nor did any of his people either. I regretted having fallen in love with a rogue, who had made me lose my virginity with false promises every single minute. I regretted it even more after my marriage with Sam. For he was the most innocent grownup I had met in life. I regretted how less attached he was to the opposite sex, other than to his mom and sister, despite his striking handsomeness. I hated it when he lost his cool and made a scene when my cousin put his hands around me in front of the guests, on his wedding night. I managed to keep the smile on my lips while my heart was breaking into pieces inside with an unspeakable hurt.
I always had his best interests in my heart. I loved Sam as I fondly called him, for being my Prince Charming from the day we met. I remember how I hurled at my mom, bedridden for long, something bordering on near abuse when she tried to pinpoint Sam's faults. I simply couldn't stand the sight of people who criticised him, rebuked him even at the risk of being at the receiving end of his anger later as he always took their side. I loved it when he learned to add s green chillie to the lentil after marriage or finish the kshir I served him in a bowl with a contented relish.
I wish I was better, lighter, more mature than what I had been in life for him. Oh, all I wished to accomplish was to see him swallow his pride for once and put his strong hands around me to show his love for me intuitively, as if without a care about the reaction of the rest of the world regarding our bittersweet relationship. But he was so different from others. I was never ever in doubt about his love, despite all his efforts to befox me, all our silly quarrels, queer ways and months of childish quietness, I mean, trying not to talk to one another.
I want to wind up with another request, Sam. Please, please don't give me that lost, compliant look now. It doesn't suit you. I want you not to waste your life coming to this Valley of Death. There is so much to do. Sangita is still a child though she goes to college these days. She will be missing her mother. Don't let her, by being both her dad and mom simultaneously from now on. Please don't shout every time she comes back home late after partying or assignments. Don't tell her that she is lovesick just like you thought her mother used to be. She will need all your love, understanding and guidance doubly from now on.
And finally, do you know Sam, why Kaveri, our next door neighbour, has stayed a lifelong spinster? I guess you do. She has been head over heels in love with you all these years, even after our marriage. Though she tried to hide it from me, her love for you was so palpable to all and sundry. I like your childhood friend, though I could never admit that while alive. Sangita and Kaveri get along quite well. No, no, no. Don't give up on me with that ever-so-familiar, arrogant shake of the head, hubby dear. For I don't want Sangita to be deprived of the love of mother, though you will spare no efforts at mothering her. Kaveri will be good in that department too and a perfect foil. Marry her. Sam, for I don't want my husband to heave a long, lonely sigh every now and then some years down the line. I want you to be happy. And if it is any comfort, let me tell you, Sam, that I will always be with you, God willing. For in your happiness and Gita's as well, lies my true happiness.
So, look up now, embrace me for one last time and say “Au revoir” for the time being. If there is life after death, I wish to be yours again, for better or worse.