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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Madhouse


Hoping against hope

Hope you are so near yet so far away;
The day begins with you until it fades away
Into the dark shadows covering my dreams
I wake up with sweats on my face and drums
Beating in my heavy heart- in the middle of night.
Hope, each day I try to come closer and you run far away
Your golden rays forever eluding me.
The evening approaching with its pink eyes looks so soft
In the western sky fascinates me- and my heart again
Starts hoping may be tonight you will come my way.


I used to dream about him quite frequently- and to my delight ' they ' my dreams were so happy. Those were the days when he was trying to draw my attention and slowly but steadily my heart was floating towards him. I was feeling guilty but I could not resist liking hem.
The fool that I am ' I went to Miss Barua and asked whether it is wrong to find somebody, other than my husband attractive. She said it is quite Okay, because the mind can be as young as 25 even at 50 but she also said something vague about not taking it too seriously or crossing the limit. I wander how can such uneducated and foolish woman run a professional clinic.
I dreamt that night a barbed wire fencing dividing my space into two halves. I was standing on one side where steps were going down to an ocean like river. On the other side of the fence Bittu in his school dress was sitting. I asked for his hand, he said ' I will give it to you after I finish my job'. So I thought I would wait, in the meantime, bathe in the river water. I was feeling apprehensive if the river suddenly turns rough, if huge waves drown me. But no, to my relief the river was quite calm.
In the morning I was wondering if the river symbolizes mother, what does the other side indicate. But I did not go to Miss Barua for explanation.
But from then on I was coming into closer proximity and our eyes met several times, with several emotions clearly visible, to me. I used to stay awake at night, wondering about those naughty, affectionate, determined to win over like expression in his eyes. It is true I was falling in love but why should he try it on me. Obviously, he was young, much younger than me. My suffering started. So the caution of Miss Barua went like straw dusts with high wind and I was flying like a gas balloon- full of coloured dreams.
.
This was a kind of feeling, I just could not suppress , nor could I let him go away, without letting him know how much he meant to me so I wrote the poem.
When silence is the only mate/ distance is dear/ A lonely voice looses string/ A heart is broken here
Well, why was he asking me those questions, are a mystery. He wanted to know about my married life whether we are happy. I did not tell him that day. Actually he was asking questions in such a guarded way, and I was so ashamed of myself. I tried to remain cool and be careful not to expose my softer side, I was not in control why should I be emotionally tortured thus. Why can't he just leave me alone?
Day before yesterday again I dreamt that he was calling my name- twice. I was sure it was him. I woke up and could not go to sleep any more. Yesterday in the afternoon again he came into my dreams, I saw him with wife in a semi dark room, asking me to tell about my life. I was having a mixed feeling. I wanted to tell him but was feeling hurt and humiliated . so I said I won't , then he vanished with his wife and I was calling after him frantically, please come back. I want to show all my wounds, I want to tell you every little thing that happened to me that hurt me how much I suffered in silence all through my life- but he was gone. So I thought I would write him a letter telling him everything but I could not come out of my bed. I could not break my dream, after a brief struggle, I was awake, and started to look for papers to write my life story and mail it to him- suddenly it dawned on me that I do not know his address- no, I know his address but I just cant send it to him for he so clearly told me to get lost with my foolish notions.
. I was so happy like old times. My marriage to Bittu's father was arranged and there was nothing between us than adjustment . My husband was twelve years my senior, a widower without issues, a man I never could love. May be the fault lies with me as I was in love with Ramesh my childhood friend and had to bow to the wishes of my orthodox father by way of sacrificing my love and marrying somebody I never could love. I found him repulsive, a hairy sort of fellow with a habit of blowing his nose and clearing his throat throughout the day. May be because he was a chain smoker and also addicted to snuff. But he did very well in his business and monetarily I felt secured. When my youngest sister married her boyfriend , who like Ramesh belonged to a different cast, I confronted my mother ' why is this discrimination, only to learn with disgust that being the eldest, my marriage to a Kayastha would jeopardize marriage proposals of their other issues. How selfish of them .
My husband lived in a different part of the country than my parents, with the passage of time and the birth of Bittu, Ramesh became a thing of the past, a sweet dream that once filled my heart. Bittu¦ Bittu¦Bittu¦..all round me- he was my world, I doted on him from the very first day I set eyes on him. My Bittu, my own son has grown into a handsome young man, I feel proud of- very much a mama's boy.
Then Hemen came to my life like a gust of wind that has traveled through lands and oceans over years and years from time immemorial. He was my husbands doctor- my husband was dying with cirrhosis of liver, was in extreme pain and I tried in every possible way to make his death as painless as possible, may be to atone for my inability to give him love. I arranged for everything that an institution could for a patient and that included Dr Hemen Basu, the most sought after, young and versatile doctor in town.
When , how and why it happened I do not know but it was too late- already I was upto my nose under water- I wanted to be rescued but there was no one that I can turn to Hemen, Hemen and Hemen, I craved for him, his tall stature, slightly stooping, loomed over me, his deep eyes penetrating mine, trying to drag out the truth. It was like my girlhood days, I kept forgetting that I was a mother of a grown up son, a wife of a husband who is in his deathbed and I plunged into the sea of sin. It is true I did not go into physical relations, as I was that typically hypocrite pretending that going to bed with Hemen is committing adultery but, craving for him, dreaming and imaging are not - a sad and degrading notion that women are taught from their childhood. Instead I waited on him with lust and servility neglecting the cause of his being here, pumping authority and confidence into the already arrogant soul. I was living in a make-believe world, full of nonsense romantic ideas and started attributing things that existed in my mind to Hemen, making him someone bigger than life. He kept on trying to nab me, whenever he would be at our place, with Bittu away in Bangalore and my husband in deathbed. May be he was not sure of me and did not dare force it on me, the fool that he was, I would have loved being forced into it, in that way I could have a clear conscience but nothing like that happened and one day death came silently and took away everything that I possessed.
After the funeral was over, Hemen came and bade us farewell. I felt as if a part of me was going away and I looked at him with panic ' Hemen appeared so aloof, so indifferent. Bittu and he shook hands and I sat there , with a burning heart, for a very different reason that a new widow may suffer from. Hemen had been coming to attend to my husband for the last one year during which period I never had the occasion to call him. He had always been very punctual very unlike doctors, and then there was that nurse who looked after my husband who might have contacted him in emergency. I dialed his mobile number- ring, ring, ring¦ and no answer. Once, twice , thrice. I thought it was entirely possible, he being a doctor, that may be he was busy with a patient. But I was impatient, I must reach out, I must talk to him, I must hear his voice, right now. So I dialed his home number. Someone else, a lady answered "No he is not home.. any message? May leave with me, I am his wife. Ofcourse, so foolish of me, how could I be so naive, never thought of his wife, his family, there was no reason at all to take it for granted that he was a bachelor, no reason at all. But it was a kind of a blow that I could not take smoothly- I put down the receiver slowly.
Bittu was reclining in a sofa with the newspaper in his hand when I told him that Dr Hemen Basu was married. Bittu reacted strangely. So what ' are we going to find bride for him and he laughed callously. "But Bittu Hemen loved me all these months, he cannot have a wife, it is unjust , he cannot do this to me. I talked some more about my feelings about Hemen when I read hatred in Bittu's eyes- " You bitch, you cheated on papa in his deathbed.. How could you ? have you gone out of your mind. " But Bittu you don't understand Hemen was mine , how can he have a wife, please son, call him, I will talk to him, I will die without him, please Bittu¦. I begged of him.
Everybody thinks I have gone mad but they don't understand how wrong they are. I looked out of the small high window to the night sky. I could see the full moon with its golden halo and a part of me wanted to be with Hemen. 'Hemen where are you' some one cried inside! Are you too looking at the moon Hemen? It is impossible- how could I be so knave? The way he looked at me. Was it all imagination. Did he only played with my feelings. My head throbbed violently. I so vividly recalled the innumerable occasions that I felt his presence, that our eyes met and the current that passed through. Can it be true that Hemen is not really married. Should I have made another call. But no they all said the dcc is married. The son of ¦¦. If only I could cry but it seems everything inside me have dried up. Oh Bittu, my child, my only son. Don't anybody care for me ? What is my fault? Will some one give me a glass of water! Is anybody there! I want to go to sleep. They have put me in this mad house but why, why can't I love someone of my own choice, why should I not satisfy my hunger, the burning desire, that my husband did not or could not. Why should I be a sucker, why could I not use Hemen for my satisfaction and throw him away- why?


Love!

I want you near me, I want you love
Are you in the empyrean, blowing with the winds
Floating in the ocean water or in the streams
Or have you been scorched dry
Can you hear me cry?
I want you dear me, I want your love
Echoes come bouncing back from the concrete world
The vibes I desperately send beyond your skies
They keep coming back
Can’t you hear me cry?
Desire that was secretly hiding in my soul
For the love in your body, unconquered unknown
Come to me oh Love , oh Love
Come to me as a boon !

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