Saturday, October 22, 2016

Who will sleep on my safe shoulder?

“How will I give the letter to her?” This thought has been compelling me to have many sleepless nights.

It’s 4:30 am now. Aruna is sleeping peacefully on my shoulder. Her earring is pinning me a bit, but I don’t have enough courage to ask her to move. May be she would hug me more tightly then, removing her earring. It’s been almost 10 years of our marriage now.

I could feel some roughness in her fingers while she kept them on my chest. Why they will not be rough? Since morning 5 am till 11 pm, her hands and feet are continuously on the move, doing soft and rough, all tasks. I will have to do a hats off, how this lady manages everything so nicely without me.  Doing all household chores, cooking, waking up children, feeding them, sending them school, then going to school by riding her bike, doing all her official tasks, shopping for home, teaching the children and serving her parents-in-law etc……it’s really commendable! …..My mom is also old enough to help her in cooking or other works.

…I will have to agree and confess that I am a top government officer now only because of her. She was the only one who brought the application form to fill up for State Civil Services and pushed me hard to study, do perseverance, even after 5 yrs of our married life. Her hot tea in the middle of the nights used to make me refresh during those days.

And, I got selected. Aruna was extremely happy. Initially, we were upset while my first posting was a bit far away from home, in Nagaon. It’s almost 300 km from Sivsagar. Aruna could not leave Sivsagar because of her Teaching job, Children's school and my old parents. So, I used to travel by morning 5 AM bus on Monday and come back on Friday evening 4 PM bus. Gradually, many faces became familiar in the bus, who were regular travelers like me. Mamta was one among them. She works in Nagaon court. She had to bear the pain of staying far away from her family because of her husband’s local business. She is just 3 years younger to me, a matured personality, with beautiful smile. I still remember the day, she for the first time lean on my shoulder to drain out all her mental pain. 

With rolling of time, Mamta and I became close and closer day by day.  We took our rented houses near to each other. If there is any Assam bandh, we used to invite each other for lunch and dinner. It’s been almost 5 years now, we are travelling together, staying nearby. Without knowing, we were entangling each other emotionally…and somehow, someway a bit physically too. Mamta has a daughter, who is 5 years old and she is quite adjusted with her grandparents.

I got a Transfer letter, last month to Dhemaji. Dhemaji is in the other corner of the state. Mamta was continuously crying, confessing that it’s not possible for her to live without me. Now, we had planned to get her transfer to Dhemaji too, and we were successful with some good amount of bribe.   

Yesterday, we both came to Sivsagar. But, this time, in a different mode, different motive, different plan. We both have one letter in hand with each one of us.

Generally, once, I reach home, it’s like festivity welcomes me. Aruna becomes restless…she cooks my favourite food, drapes herself with beautiful cloth, sits with me to tell her whole week’s stories, probably expects me to talk to her for the whole night too. My 8 yrs. daughter produces a long list of her requirements, and my little son tries to impress me with his naughty thoughts so that I buy some cars for him, next day. My parents also have their own share of stories about relatives, neighbours…etc. 

I am restless…...since I entered the house. I have been looking for an opportunity to hand her the letter since yesterday…..

It’s 5:30 AM now. But, Aruna is still sleeping peacefully. Her face is looking innocent, blissful……probably she is thinking that she is lying in the safest place in the world.  I am wondering what Mamta doing right now, is she too sleeping on her husband’s shoulder…..!!!

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