Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Box

Source: www.pinterest.com

She touched the little box in her pocket and smiled. Running a finger against the contours that crisscrossed forming colorful motifs all over, she felt relaxed. She had cautiously kept the box away from everyone’s sight, lest it be taken away from her. She did not trust anyone, not even the kind lady who swept her room everyday. The box was precious to her, more than her life, more than anything else; it was the tiny little wooden container that she had heard so much about from the Russian masseuse at the salon years before.

“Place a thing gifted by or belonging to your beloved in it and he will be yours forever” she had said with a dreamy look on her face and gone on to tell her how this tiny jewelry box had helped her find her better half. Helped many in her village back home get their love. The conviction in her voice and the belief she saw in her eyes, had made Anjali resolve to find one such box that she could call her own - To use if a time came when her love would be taken away from her…If Satish would be taken away from her.

***

It had been love at first sight for her. Right from the moment she had seen Satish walk into the classroom, holding a helmet under his right arm and a suede jacket casually slung around his left shoulder. Wearing a tight fitting shirt that shamelessly showed off his well sculpted muscles and boot-cut trousers that fit easily over his formal shoes, he had looked like a Greek god who had just descended from the heavens. Wavy black hair that fell on his dark grey eyes completed his chiseled face to perfection. He was the handsomest man, Anjali had ever seen. Time seemed to have come to a stand still; she had thought. Looking around she had watched fifty minds switch to overdrive, all wondering just like her who this god-like being was. The silence had been filled with extremely visible sharp intakes of breath when he had turned towards them and said “Good Morning! I am your new Mathematics teacher, Professor Satish.”

For Anjali, it had been a dream come true. She had always imagined falling in love with a teacher. Her friends had found her fantasy to be weird, but she had never cared for what they thought. For years she had patiently waited, for the day to arise when she would meet her Prince Charming. For years, she had been disappointed, by the grey haired, bespectacled, about-to-retire teachers and professors who had taught her. Not being one to give up, the day had finally arrived when the man she had visualized ever since she had understood Love, had walked into her life. It was only till the end of the first class that she had waited. Once the bell had rung, she had pursued him, with queries that she never had and problems that she had already solved. She always ensured she was dressed in her best, that she was as beautiful as he was good looking had only made matters easier. She had made him notice her; everything about her; right from the shimmering darkness of her almond shaped eyes and the kohl she wore in them to make him lose himself into, to the light shade of strawberry on her lips, the slight plunge in her neckline to the tan line on her shoulders. This pursuit continued till the day she saw a glimpse of the same love in his eyes. They had become the talk of the college; never in its history had a professor dated his student. She was elated, her fantasy had become a reality; she had made her friends eat their words. Despite the rolling eyes and the raised brows Satish and Anjali had become inseparable. Bets were placed on the time they would be together; stakes were raised every now and then. But they always had the last laugh.

With a lot of enthusiasm she had told her family about Satish; both the shock and the anger they had reacted with had shaken her beyond measure. She couldn't think of anyone beyond him. She couldn't love anyone besides him, how could they not understand that? Her family had become strangers for her; she had left the house and moved into the hostel. Satish had paid her fees and told her they would be married as soon as she finished College. He had even bought her a silver ring which she wore on a silver chain around her neck. She had given herself to him, mind body and soul. He was all that mattered; he was her life; her being.

Three years went by and she graduated. Satish’s parents had been yearning to get him married through that time, after all, the fifteen year gap between them meant he was considered well past his age to find a suitable bride. But he had delayed the process for her. On the day of her graduation ceremony he had taken her home and introduced her to them. He had introduced his student Anjali Thomas to Vidyashankar and Lakshmi Iyer as his choice for their daughter-in-law.

The aftermath that had followed was not one that either Satish or she had expected. Subject to cold treatment, she was offered nothing but water, in a glass she realized that was meant for the helps and vendors who belonged to ‘other castes’. In the house filled with Tanjore paintings and the fragrance of incense and camphor, she was made to sit in the corner farthest from their Puja room. A cup of coffee had been hesitantly placed in her hands by his mother who took utmost care to not let her “madi” (pure) sari or her hand touch her bare skin. The awkward silence had been cut short by his father who had decided they had appointments to keep, thus making her take their leave.

Their opposition was evident, but she had faith in Satish. She knew he wouldn't care for what his parents felt, just like she hadn't for hers. She had been disowned by her parents and the entire Protestant Catholic community, but it hadn't mattered just as his parents views shouldn't matter to him, she thought. Her conviction had been sealed when she missed her cycle that month. This, she knew would bring them together for eternity. She hadn't felt happier.

A week after the episode with his parents, they had met. She had sensed something was amiss; they had never been apart for more than a day before. Whatever it was, she knew her news would make it all go away.

“I have something to tell you” she had said with glee, ignoring the tensed look he had given her.

“Wait. I have something of a lot more significance to tell you” Without waiting for her response, he had continued

“Amma-Appa are not fine with our relationship. I did try to talk them but…. They both have threatened they would walk out of my life if I marry you. Amma…she… she went to the extent of saying she would take her life” and he had broken down.

“So?” she had been confused.

“Can’t you see? I can’t let that happen. How can I just let them walk out? How can I be the reason behind my mother ruining her life?” he had started crying by then.

“But, didn't I leave my parents? My entire community has disowned me! What about that?” she had screamed.

“I didn't ask you to do that, did I? You had already walked out and come asking me for help. I had to help you, that does not mean I approved of what you did! And just because you don’t care for your parents, it doesn't mean I don’t either!” Satish had begun to sound angry.

“But… but… I am going to have your baby, this is the news I have been wanting to share with you!” This she knew was her trump card, Satish would now melt down, take her into his embrace and whisper sweet little nothings, his anger would fade away, and his parents would be forgotten.

“What! Haven’t you been taking those pills? How irresponsible can you be? I come from a very illustrious family; do you know what such a thing would mean to my parents? How cheap could you be? Left your parents already and now giving birth to an illegitimate child! Characterless you are; Amma was right when she said that about you! Amma has found a suitable match for me and I intend to marry her. I had been wondering how to break this new to you but your news… well that did it for me! How shameful can you be?”

“But, we could get married-“she had run after him but he had already walked away.

***

“Characterless… cheap…shameful” those words kept playing on her mind as she felt for the box again; hidden away in the folds of the housecoat she was made to wear everyday. She looked around the bench she had been sitting on to check if anyone was looking. In a distance she saw the hazy image of a few month old baby held close by an elderly lady who was quietly walking into the room opposite. What a sweet baby it was! “If Satish and she had one, it would look just like this baby” she thought, a distant smile plastered over her face.

Then seeing the coast to be clear, she carefully removed the box out of her pocket and opened it. Lovingly she caressed the silver ring she had so carefully kept away from everyone else. Then she picked up the strands of wavy black hair and kissed them“Yes, he would be hers forever” she thought, just as the masseuse had said. Her love was her’s forever.

Clutching the box tightly she was lost in her own world when a policewoman walked up and roughly pulled her up “Get up, Anjali! The Satish Iyer murder case is next, your trial is about to start”.



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47 comments:

  1. Nice...Kahani mein twist? :) Always, eh? Nicely done Seeta. And Welcome back. Glad to see that you've shaken off all that tarnish and that the majestic gold is shining through ! We demand more :)

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    1. Yup as always :) I need to work on a simple and straightforward plot but didn't have the courage to till now. And I am back (really am i??) because of your push, thanks a ton for that :)
      Will work on more, I promise!

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  2. Love has the power to bring out the wise, the foolish, our best and the worst in us.

    Lovely story.

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    1. Absolutely, I wonder if we will ever realize the power it holds over us. Glad you liked it Purba.. :)

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  3. Seeta, I wish I could reach across and hug you now! That was awesome, jaw dropping! Wow wow wow! So glad that Satish got what he deserved :) Anjali is a strong woman, I'm sure she will come out of this shining ;)

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    1. Oh here's a virtual hug for you :) He def. was not worth it but whether he truly deserved that I don't know.. Is anyone worth squandering your own life over??

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  4. And so agree to Sid, pleaseeeee write more! You are amazing :) xoxo

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  5. Love makes us do soany things we never knew we were capable of. Brings out the best and the worst, the strengths and our weaknesses. This is amazing and that twist in the end. Wow.

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    1. Thanks Jaibala for stopping by :) I was hoping to have that effect :)

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  6. Superb tale, Seeta! And, again, NOT horror :)

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    1. hehehe.. you know what? I have been intentionally been staying away from horror for some time now :P

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  7. A good twist in the tale. Not a usual desi love story, though it starts out as one and continues like that for the most part...until of course the unexpected twist :) Very nicely done!

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    1. That was the idea Beloo, wanted to give a feel of a typical story yet drop a subtle hint here and there of what extreme's Anjali can go to. Glad you liked it :)

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  8. loved the twist.. I had made up my mind of the end but you had something different in mind..

    teaches me right not to RUN AHEAD.. :) Thank you

    BAD MAN.. and deservedly got what he got

    Bikram

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    1. :) I try not running ahead too whenever I read fiction.. because I have come to realize that one can never tell what will hit you in the end :)

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  9. The twist made it different and I so loved it. My visits here never disappoint me. Thumps up Seeta..:)

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    1. Thanks Preethi! I hope not to disappoint you on any of your visits here :)

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  10. Hey Seeta.. loved the story..

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    1. Thanks Reema. Glad about that.. made my morning I tell you :)

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  11. Wonderful Seeta.. Absolutely wonderful.. You made my jaw drop in awe..

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    1. Thanks Salesh. It always feels good when I hear that from you. And thanks for the share as well :)

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  13. That last line was absolutely jaw dropping Seeta. Loved how you slowly built up the story, gave some flesh and bone to the characters and how you let is all build up to the crescendo that the finish itself was.

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    1. Thanks Jairam :) I was hoping the ending would throw off the build up finally. was a bit unsure of whether it will work.. but seems like it has :)

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  14. You narrated the tale well, Seeta. But why did she need to put her life on line for him? Could she have moved on and not become a murderer who would spend most of her remaining life in jail?

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    1. If it were you or me, we would have moved on and not wasted our lives.. but Anjali Thomas didn't really see things the way we did.. She was someone who wanted to turn her fantasies into reality, she was a person who could walk away from her parents in the spur of the moment, she was someone who was perfectly fine with her boy friend paying her fees... She couldn't be called rational as per our definition of the word... We might not know such people in our immediate circle, but the sad part is that they do exist out there...
      And at the end of the day this was a piece of fiction, fortunately with no reality (that I know of) interspersed in it. :)

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    2. True, Seeta! It is just that I feel so helpless when I see girls falling for crooks and then completely destroying their lives. I know it is a fictional tale :). Sigh, haven't we seen so many girls in real life being so naive and then duped and discarded :(.

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  15. What a nicely-woven story, Seeta!
    Just when I was wondering how she got his locks of hair, the climax answered it :)
    We have to be wary of trusting as some people aren't worth it...

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  16. Fantastic ! Really liked the build up and the finale !

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    1. Thanks Ash! As I mentioned above, I was a bit skeptical about how it will turn out :)

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  17. Hi Seeta,

    Since your posts are super awesome and I love reading them, I have nominated you for the Liebster Award. Congrats! Keep blogging :)

    http://awanderingmindofabookaholic.blogspot.ae/2014/06/i-got-nominated-for-liebster-award-by.html

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    1. Thanks Athira for the honour :)

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  18. That was a well narrated tale. And unexpected twist in the end.

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    1. Glad you liked it :) Btw when is the next of the faraway type series coming out?

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    2. Well, Seeta - Glad you are still following it. Really stressed out at work.Hopefully I can find time this weekend to work on it.

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  19. The end was a cliff hanger!!! :).. He he, nice one Seeta :)

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  20. Wonderfully narrated! The end has it all!!

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  21. The twist at the end is great ! wonderful story...

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  22. Wow...this is absolutely brilliant.

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