Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ek Chutki Sindoor

....continue of Run-away Bride took my Boyfriend along....

It was our first night after marriage. My heart beats were probably increasing as the night was deepening. I was literally trembling…..when I heard someone trying to open the door of my room at around 11 pm.  Some girls, boys and ladies were asking some bucks to the man I got married to. One aunt came an hour ago and kept one glass of milk, a water vessel and big bowl in my room. She instructed me to wipe his feet with that water, dry up with my hair and after that, offer that glass of milk to him.

Didn’t know how I passed the last two days of marriage ceremony. I even did not look at him for a single time, though we were under the same roof most of the time. I saw his photograph when my parents showed me long time back as my would-be Jiju (brother-in-law). Now, I was not sure whether I would recognize him.

After paying money to all the guys and gals at the door, he entered the room. I stood up from the ground where I was sitting. I was not allowed to sit on the bed, as he had to sit first and inaugurate our wedding bed. Some girls and boys came in the evening and decorated the bed with marigold, roses, rajnigandha petals. The aroma of the room became quite mesmerizing after that, by the way.

He came towards me, “I am sorry….It’s all destiny. Don’t know what should I say, but yes, I totally understand your situation.” His voice was gentle.

I took the water vessel and the bowl and I said, not even looking at his face, “Please sit on the bed, I need to do the rituals.”

We were just standing front facing.

He came closer, and whispered, “I wanted my life partner. Not a slave. I believe in equality.”

“You must be extremely tired. Have a good sleep now.”

Saying that he took one pillow and made his place on the mattress on the ground, where I was sitting almost all day long.

I didn’t know what to do now. I was standing still.

“Hey, that’s your place, please proceed. Otherwise, I will jump and occupy the queen’s bed.” He pointed towards the bed, and perhaps wanted to make the ambiance a bit lighter.

I first sat on the bed; then, gradually lied there in ‘L’ position, with some mixed feeling, “what if he comes to my bed at night?”

“Hey Junu, sleep comfortably! I am not a ghost or moster.  The bed is all your’s….and I promise, you can feel yourself fully secured.”

Eyedrops started disturbing me again.  Jyotirmoy’s face was as if sticking badly in my eye-lids.

After sometime, I heard some snoring sound. Yes! That’s from Ranjit’s nostrils, my so called husband. Probably, he was also tired.  

I had a sound sleep, probably because, I was damn tired, eyes had been dying for some rest.

Seven days, I spent somehow. Hardly, I talked to Ranjit, though he tried to impress me with some light deeds. My mother-in-law was sweet enough. Nobody talked about my sis. I had to go back to my hostel, as I had taken 7 days leaves only. When I did not return, my Mom said, one girl and one boy called at my home landline. My mom didn’t tell anything to them, by the way.

My in-laws wanted my husband to accompany me till university. His plan was to reach Guwahati by evening and stay in some hotel for the night. And next day morning, he would take me to the hostel and travel back to Sivsagar by overnight bus services.

I did not want to stay with him in the hotel. “I want to go to the hostel directly.”  I declared in the bus itself.
“Sure, no issue. I will drop you in the hostel today and would take a room in Paltan bazaar and stay a day there.” He accepted nicely.

We took an auto from ISBT and reached my hostel in the evening. I got down from the auto and told him that he could leave immediately, if he wanted.

He asked the autowala to wait for sometime. He carried the bags till my hostel entrance. I just tried to go inside, while he called from my behind, “Hey Junu! Just one thing I wanna tell you!” I turned. He continued, “I will never pressurize you to accept me as your better half till the time, you won’t feel by yourself. But, just one request, it will be really great if you give me a chance to prove myself that I have aptitude to be your life partner. I am not so bad person, by the way…”

I did not say anything…..He moved away like an obedient lad.

All of my hostel mates were shocked to see Sindoor on my forehead. I just cried and cried. Next day, Jyotirmoy came to meet me when my roommate informed about my arrival……He was waiting for me in the guest room. I did not want to face him….

But, at last, gathering courage, I entered the guest room. His eyes and ears were red, his lips and hands were trembling. He was just sitting there on a corner seat silently, probably with a question mark on his face “Why????”. He got totally shattered. I just went to him, sat on my knees near to him. I could not help crying loud……I pleaded, “I still have not have any husband wife relation with that man, Jyoti! I am still your’s……I love you. Let’s elop…….Please take me somewhere.”

Jyotirmoy was silent, but eyedrops were relentlessly flowing to wet his cheeks and shirt. He was not talking at all. We stayed like that for hours.

“We will have to think of some ways….I too can’t live without you.” He broke the silence.

“I will do something, my love. No worries! Have patience.” He kissed me on my forehead and bid adieu as the time was over for the guests.

I didn’t know why I kept putting Sindoor every damn day. I would cry, but did not have enough courage to violate customs…..My Mom and Dad’s faces, and mantras chanted in the wedding night kept compelling me to continue with this.

I stopped going out much as I had to face lots of questions from my peers. I would go to class and come back to hostel directly. Jyotirmoy would meet me outside the classroom, walk with me till the hostel gate. We stopped going for date like earlier.

A few days passed. Our exam was approaching. We decided to study for the exam and not meet everyday. Suddenly, one day, I saw him in the Versity market with long beard. I scolded him, when he just smiled, “I am not getting time at all as I am drilling myself in planning how can I make you mine again… My plan will be my Valentine gift for you, my love.”

Meanwhile, I received the first letter from Ranjit, a ten pages letter, depicting his feelings, thoughts, expectations, and ending with – “Can you be my friend at least?”

I did not reply to him.

Ranjit kept sending letters to me, every week at least one letter of minimum 10 pages. I kept reading the letters, gradually my heart started feeling what my sister had missed. With rolling of time, I developed some sympathy, empathy and good feeling for Ranjit.

However, Valentine day was nearing. My excitement kept increasing as Jyotirmoy promised me to present the final plan for our relationship that very day.

Just a day before the Valentine day, I received a Big Card, saying “Happy Valentine Day Junu. Will you be my Valentine?” with a box of chocolate. This parcel from Ranjit somehow made me a bit more softer towards him, by the way. But, the thought of Jyotirmoy faded away that feeling in a moment. 

On the D-Day, I got up early, wore my favourite pink dress, with the matching white pearl long earrings that dangling and playfully touching my shoulders. I saw myself in the mirror again and again. I was struggling myself to be determined that I would not put Sindoor that day on my forehead. And, finally, I didn’t. Leaving all thoughts behind, I kept waiting for Jyotirmoy.

I could see Jyotirmoy from far, he was walking towards my hostel with a bunch of red roses. Oh my God! He was looking damn handsome….I was about to move forward to receive him, if possible to hug him too, but then only, I could hear Rani’s horrified voice, “Junu! There is an urgent call for you…..Someone wants to talk to you immediately.”

Bad timing, but I had to run to the telephone room of the hostel. The phone was on hold. “Bou! Ranjitda went to Guwahati by night super yesternite, to give u a surprise…..” It was my sis-in-laws’ phone……..crying loud and louder…… “…but he met an accident, he is in GMC right now, his condition is critical……..We are heading from here now……Please take care of him Bou!”

I saw darkness everywhere….. just sat down on the ground for a while……shattered, confused…..

I ran to my room as fast as possible, to put some Sindoor on my forehead immediately……

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