Previous- My Ganshu Darling
I stayed at a rented accommodation on 2nd floor in Malviya Nagar, E- Block then. I owned the whole of the floor. They were one of the very nice Landlords’ that I have come across. Ajay bhaiya (as we are supposed to address elders but not so old) and Kavita Bhabhi (only a few months elder to me) were like two very understanding should who would answer to the ringing my door- bell. His widow old mom, 2 younger brothers and a younger sister stayed on 1st and 2nd floor with the rest of the family. It wasn’t a PG (paying guest); but the main entrance was common. I was to vacate that place after 3 very beautiful years of my stay. I still kept occupied and tried running the idea of staying there after we were married; an idea that was killed even before it could breathe.
I had told Ajay in December of my stay only till January, 2003- 17th to be precise. They had not asked me, not even once of where my parents were, not even the day I walked clad in red- with vermillion smeared on my face and a garland sitting around my neck. I married My Ganshu Darling on 1st Jan, 2003. Now I was to marry Hemant, no not My Darling- certainly not.. He was being a far cry from being one. What had happened to me- was my Destiny calling so hard on me to become a failure in establishing my 1st Human Relationship and even the last of any? Why had I become so pigeon headed myself that I had closed my eyes on the sight of a predator believing, that would make the predator not exist anymore; only in my view. In reality, it would- in much uglier and cruel way. I know; so far it may not have been as bad as I am referring to be. You would have to follow it up closely till a few more posts to conclude. I assure you of the fact that you would be equally bitter about the whole affair if not more.
I was to shift my belongings a few days before my Wedding Date and go and stay at Ruby’s maternal home. Incidentally, her marital and maternal home is on the same floor of the building. Packing was done by the evening of 17th. Fog had begun to condense by 8 in the evening, and as if it was a bad omen, the electricity went off no sooner I had started loading my stuff. I ignored that when I should not have. By the time we had finished loading the truck, it was quarter to 10 in the night. It was pitch dark as if to mark the approach of my dark period. To even think about that, my mind helplessly tries to turn back and stop the events from occurring; that had anyways very soon became the ugly reality and had happened long time back to be unwound.
Past participles can’t be changed upon; neither can be the simple past. Here, it is Past Perfect and is still in continuation.
We reached Saket in next 15 minutes. Hemant’s younger brother had gladly and very actively joined in for unloading; I felt good seeing that my stuff would be taken care of even when I may not be around. I went upstairs and waited there for another 10 minutes at the 2nd floor; where “we” were to stay after the ceremony, and then started to come down. His mother, who was watching the unloading from inside her Gate Grill at the 1st floor, quickly closed the gate on seeing me. I tried to greet her and she ignored. I was running out of time both for traveling to Rohini then and otherwise also. It was THE last chance for me to stop that mis- happening from happening. It had to; and it did, for I didn’t stop that from happening.
I gave one last look before walking away in displeasure and disappeared in the foggy veil. I had to walk down till PVR from Saket- L- block to catch an auto- rickshaw. There were no arrangements made in advance for my travel. How could I have overlooked the fact that a man who didn’t care about my travel at night in winters would fail to travel me any further anyways? I was little short of reaching PVR, 10.25pm by then when I heard someone calling from behind. It was Hemant. He tried to take me back to his flat saying I could travel the next day. My patience had worn off, I kept walking. If only I had walked a little farther and walked out of the whole menace to-be. I walked so fast that he had to run to keep up the pace. I told him what had just happened and didn’t stop. He looked surprised. 2 years back, I was walked back to my house, when I was not well; and Hemant had wanted me to stay over at their place. They lived in Janta flat (they still live in there- now re-constructed), and had just enough room for me to spend the night. I had passed out that evening and was like in trans- world. I had been a patient that evening and had wanted someone to care for me. Atleast that’a what my boy- friend had thought then.
Recalling the incident, I again started my mini marathon. I had stopped abruptly trying to recall how I was sent back since I was a girl and what if something may have gone wrong. Like what; wasn’t auntie too a woman in that house? Very well then, I guess I was an idiot to have not SEEN and register or understand what was happening in front of my 2 of these eyes. I had said that it was only a matter of 2 days and then, he could keep me in his house for all times. He would then not have to seek any permission, not of his parents for the same. Then, he would not have to let me go anywhere. I wish, I had better words to describe my pathetic blindfolded attitude. Why couldn’t I conclude that anyone making me walk and travel alone in pitch dark foggy night, could make me do so again anytime or worse even in messier times. They did so, after three years of felicity.
I looked for an auto and found one. He agreed to reach me Rohini but for 250/- bucks; a mere amount- right? It was not back then- I could have hired a taxi for that amount and traveled without having to brave that cold. Does anyone remember how badly it used to get foggy in January of 2003? Boarded the auto at 10.30pm and reached Rohini at 1.10am. Technically, it was the next day. It was so bad to have traveled that way. Rohini was worse; being an open area then, one could not find the sole of her own feet there..!! The driver kept walking down a few steps to see the road ahead and then ran back; and drove the vehicle a few yards then. Since, I had been traveling to Rohini for the past over 10 years on my own (who else other than to Ruby’s place), I knew the area like the back of my hand. I didn’t own a cellphone then. So, the question of co- ordination was out. What humor- I worked in cellphone Company and didn’t own one yet!!! I was only dependent on a man.
I wonder, why am I not getting into the Weekend writes like I have been since last few weeks.. For crying out loud, its a FRIDAY!! What is it that I am trying to produce here? Alright- Cheers!! My vodka sits here and stares at me happily. The surface of the drink is dancing if overwhelmed to see me not into it anymore. Some mountain dew; and the sparkling gold color reflects on my recently found status.
Endless metaphors have been written to describe all about life; here, I am beating this black and white keyboard to describe mine.
Has it hit me so fast? Am I getting high? Has the drink taken over me? Alas, but only for some time.. No matter however drunk I get, the hangover is bound to limp itself flat. Completely opposite of what was soon going to happen to me then- in the next few years to come. The hangover of that 1 shot is still on..
I rang Ruby’s home bell at 1.15am, they were equally pale to have received me then. Nobody could eat in anticipation and had waited eagerly for me to reach safely. He had called them up a few times by then, trying to inquire about me. They had figured out that something had not gone quite right. Chhabi, Pintoo and her mother father were sat watching Ruby’s marriage CD. I had joined in silently. No questions were asked; no information was shared. I had only called back at his place to convey that- I had reached safely. The table was laid. I went for a wash and had counted the number of hours left to get married.
The following evening, the 3 of us had sat arguing pretty loud upon “to-marry-or-not-to-marry; that’s-the-question.” I had concluded “To certainly not”. Ruby’s Mom hushed us all since we were off- tangent. What else can a loving parent want for her child? Ruby’s parents have been my mother and father ever since. 2 days later, they had given me away; and I got floated away.
The next two days went by, being occupied in preparing for the D- day; arranging for the last few matching accessories, shopping in Kamla Nagar. He had come over to handover the Bangle Box that I had accidentally left behind. He had waited for too long, but we couldn’t meet. Chhabi Pintoo insisted that I complete the shopping and only then head home- wards. He had to travel from Rohini to Saket in bus. Nevermind.. So what if we didn’t meet that evening, we met after 1 and half days; only to run off from each other after 3 years, make that 4 years. I had suggested them for Court Marriage arrangement and it was completely blotched. His parents had wanted a social function as if making a social spectacle out of the entire situation. They had offered to spend for the wedding; a favor or debt that I was neck deep soaked into till I eventually look .
I am swimming hard to get back to the banks, to walk out of that icy- chilled and boiling hot water. Want to dry up and never ever look back.