baggout Blogging Contest

Monday, October 22, 2007

The outsider

Malati came out of the Doctor's chamber, her heart pounding with joy. Five years of their marriage were barren in the true sense of the word. It was an arranged marriage and Malati could never accept Biman. They were seas apart in character. There was no bondage of love between them at least not from Malati's side. After the third year Malati went to see the Doctor but the doctor found nothing wrong with her. Her proposal that Biman should go for a check up was phew phewed by him.
"What if the doctor says that I am infertile? Would you divorce me? If your answer is yes, I am ready to go for a check up. Otherwise there is no point Malati.Every month she would wait for a certain date hoping for the sign and every time she cried broken hearted.
Biman was busy with his laptop as usual when Malati came and sat by his side. Malati sat quietly studying his profile; a blunt nose, thick and deep brown lips darkened by heavy smoking, thick and bushy eyebrows and a head full of coarse and curly jet black hair. Malati despised the beard that he has grown to cover his receding chin ."I have been to the doctor today Biman. I missed my periods this month.Bimal turned towards her , gaping . His unusually bright and deep set eyes gleaming behind the spectacles.
"You did what.!! Tell me again is it true. Oh Malati,my darling I am so happy. Biman jumped like a child and collected Malati in his arms.
Malati removed herself from his clutches and looked at him with hidden scorn for a long while. Biman was unable to fathom what was going on in her mind as her eyes reflected no emotion. What a woman ' so beautiful, so desirable yet so cold. Biman felt for the umpteenth time.
Biman changed his routine. He became so attentive to all the little things that might affect Malati that it amused her. And the day she was born- the joy that Biman experienced was so obvious. He looked so radiant, almost handsome. What a fool. He thinks he is the father. Never suspecting that she could be unfaithful. But Malati would never forget the night at the beach .
It was a whirlwind affair between RD and Malati, both students of the Art College. That too after her marriage to Biman. It was their last year in college and there was an art convention at Puri that the students attended. It was a night that the two of them stole from the rest of the group.
She is a dreamer. She floats in her dream like a fish in the deep sea. It was a starry night, clear and dark hanging over a dark sea. The waves came bouncing on the shore, a very rough sea. A mystic night, far far away from the mundane world; far away from Biman. He had shattered all romantic dreams that Malati nurtured so lovingly for so many years. Malati stroke lightly the scar on RD's right arm. RD was playing with Malati's hair, long , straight and silky.
"Malati, my Malati- he whispered.
Malati looked up into RDs eyes full of passion desire and love, RD missed a heart beat."Don't look at me thus- I loose all my self control. "
RD spoke in a contrite voice. He missed his canvas, colours and brush. He wanted to catch her in this mood for ever in his drawing.
"But RD I am real and your canvas will only be a shadow.
Malati whispered. RD was startled. Can she read his thought? Again Malati smiled and drew him near.
"Yes I can read your mind. Let's forget everything. Lets enjoy the night; lets go into oblivion- you, me and the sea.
"But Malati, he took her hand in his hands and said, "we cannot keep this going. Think of your husband. I have still not settled in life. I have to go a long way and I am committed to my profession .We will go down the drain Malati- do you really want that. " RD sounded panicked.
"You don't have to think about me and my family. We will not go down the drain RD. Never utter such words. We love each other, like the ocean and the beach, like moonlight and the sky, like the golden sun and the morning that it brings with it. Our love is clear and pure RD. Keep it in your mind and I promise I will never call you again. The art convention will end tomorrow .Let us not waste this night. Let us be one tonight. "¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦A bell was ringing somewhere. Malati came back to the present with a jerk. Jhumpa has come back from school. It is almost 5 in the afternoon. Jhumpa ran past her into Biman's room like a storm, her blue and white school dress fluttering. Papa, papa¦¦¦¦.. She has gone after her mother, the same eyes, same nose and the same heart shaped face. A fair and pretty girl of 12. The joy of the house. But even at this young age she is much more attached to the computer as to her father. Papa's girl, Malati sniggered mentally. What a fool
What an utter fool . Many a time Malati felt like wiping the smug look from his face, but for the sake of her daughter she kept the secret to herself.
"Jhumpa ! go and change your clothes. Take off your shoes and wash your hands and face. You are spoiling the bed.
Malati stood at the door glaring at the duo.
"Why should it bother you ? It is not your bed and papa is happy if I spoil it. Are you not papa?The girl tugged at his shirtsleeves. Malati felt like she has been slapped. Although it is nothing new still it hurts. Malati watched helplessly.
At the dinner table Malati was unusually quiet while father and daughter went on chatting."Stop it, will you, I have a bad headache.
Father and daughter exchanged glances and it did not escape Malati's attention.
What an intolerable situation. Why should her own child go against her? Malati has seen hatred in her daughter' eyes. Malati could not remember when the situation started going out of hand. Malati has always been stern with her but never failed in any of her duties. She has always been particular about all her needs. She considered herself to be a perfect mother. Jhumpa was always close to her father papa. But that she dislikes her was not so apparent earlier and she would not go out of her way to show that she prefers Biman to Malati. The day Malati proposed that Jhumpa be admitted to a drawing class , Jhumpa flared up. "Why do you try to impose your decisions on me! You may like fine arts but I don't. I would rather be a computer wizards like dad. Jhumpa had jumped into his bed.
"You want to be like what ! Your papa! Malati laughed hysterically.
"And what is so funny about it?
That day Malati almost came out with the truth. It was with inhuman control that she put up with the deliberate disobedience shown by her own daughter. But she decided that one day she is definitely going to shatter their world of fantasy. How insolent her child has become. As if she does not know, who is indulging her? Have patience Malati, have patience. She tried to console her very own injured soul.
A small news item in the paper caught her eyes. Bijan Dutta, the famous painter and his wife Sefali adopted a girl child from Mother Teresa. True to their promise they never met after that night although Malati somehow managed to keep herself abreast with his news. She knew that RD married Sefali, one of his students from the arts college. She had a tremendous urge to go and see her but had to restrain herself. That was five years ago. After his marriage Malati stopped collecting news about him but this is interesting. Why should he go for adoption? On an impulse she looked in the directory for his number. More than 12 years has passed.
'Hallo who is there¦the voice sounded impatient.
'Hallo, may I speak to Mr Bijon Dutta, please?'
'Speaking.'' RD, It's me, Malati'. For almost 20 seconds there was no sound and then "Yes Malati , what is it
"RD I would like to meet you. It is very urgent. Please don't say no.
"Okay Malati. 7 in the evening . Same place. Wait for me if I am late.¦¦."Are you happy RD ?
"More so Malati.
"Why did you go for adoption?
"But, that is very personal Malati?
"Sorry I did not want to hurt you. What would you give me if I tell you that you have a daughter of your own?
"I ¦ What¦. Are you mad?
"Why? Have you forgotten the night on the beach?
"No. But I wish I had.
"Don't be rude RD
"Okay, okay. What has that got to do with my having a daughter.
"The next month I got pregnant.
"You have also been sleeping with Biman, Malati
"Stop being an idiot. I was sleeping with Biman for 5 years before that without any result.
"That does not prove anything.
"But I know RD. She is the fruit of our love. For these 12 long years I have seen your daughter blossoming before my eyes like a flower and drifting away from me . She has grown more attached to Biman than to me. Can you imagine RD, my daughter, my own flesh and blood! Who is Biman. He is not even her father. Do you realize the pain I am going through.
"I understand. But it is quite natural; daughters tend to be more attached to their father.
"He is not her father RD.
"Please stop living in a fool's paradise. And stop spoiling your own life. There is still time Malati. Life is not a dream. Go back to Biman. Go back to your home.
"But I can't help hating him. He is so crude, so unromantic, so ordinary.
"In that case you should have gone for a divorce.
"How could I, I was with child, your child RD. You were not prepared for marriage. So I had to stay married to Biman. My child needed a father.
"And Biman is the father of your child. Wait, wait, and listen carefully. You asked me why we went for adoption? It is because I am infertile. Yes Malati, we have visited doctors all over the country. Nothing is wrong with Sefali. The fault lies with me. Sefali is so understanding, poor soul, so loving, so gracious. I love my wife, and I do not want anything to come between us and that includes you. Please do not try to contact me in future.
I am infertile.. infertile. .infertile , love my wife, love my wife, my wife, my wife, do not try to contact me ¦contact me, contact me¦¦.the words echoed all round her, far an near, inside and outside.
What an incredible situation to be in. Who could she turn to now? She felt like a fallen leaf after a storm that cannot go back to the tree.Malati felt as if a heavy stone was lying in her bosom for 12 long years which has been lifted all on a sudden. She felt light and free like the breeze. So she is Biman's child! Let them be. Malati does not belong to that house..Malati heard the sound of waves- the deep sea was calling her again.

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