Anuradha is a pandora’s box,bristling with stories to be told, to be heard and in my lonely hours, she is my solace. So when she walks in authoritatively and takes her place in my front room, pushing a cushion here and a magazine there, I smile indulgently. It’s our soul space, mine and Anu’s. We know it and somehow the universe is willing to let us conspire and connives to bring us these moments of togetherness…
Anu is in a mood to reflect, she is agitated at her inability to react, to respond. Why is it that I am unable to give it as good as I get ? She asks me. I try to answer when she continues, its because , I have never voiced my opinion openly. I am always afraid of hurting, of using words carelessly.I tell Anu,it’s ok to speak up and cause hurt at times. But she nods saying , some where I picked up this idea of weighing words, of not causing hurt. That’s so good, I chip in. She says its not.
She tells me of how she got married, of how her parents in a frenzied moment, fancied a grand old man and decided to hand her over to the grandson. She tells me how her brother said she was being fuzzy when she objected and how she gave in.Has she always been so helpless,I ask concerned at her inability to exert her will. Perhaps,she looks down, until maybe recently…
Anu tells me that inspite of her misgivings, she gave her love,care and respect voluntarily. Then when her brother fell sick, she somehow felt small, it didn’t help that her parents considered themselves so too. It broke her heart to see them look after her brother in those 10 years of his suffering, on their own, without rest,with out care for themselves, anguished, worried ,perturbed. Even more so,it was difficult to see the boy lose his control of his limbs one by one, yet continue to dream of a normal life, of marriage, of having kids of his own, of going to work and then feeling frustrated at his inability. She told me she hoped to set up a comfortable life for her parents and her brother and how his death was such a shock for her.
Anu looks at me and smiles when she says how she was reading aloud a matrimonial ad in the newspaper. Well-placed nurse,willing to marry anyone, age, caste, colour no bar..and how her brother chirped, I am ready.. write to her .. didi now..
That was one cheerful fellow,she said.
Anu looks at her mobile,gosh, my son is back from college.Catch you later!!! Off she goes,the busybody!
I sit thinking of Anu. Where is she heading?Good luck in sorting out your life,Anu.
One thing I know, Anu is not alone. Its a rare soul that is not perturbed by life’s surprises!!!