PIECES:Young Ill-omen

“You be here, I will be back home by evening. Pray.”, said my mother leaving in a hurry with Lakshit.
“But …”

“Your aunt … I don’t know… just wait for my call.”

And she left me asking me to take care of my little cousin sister. As I closed the main door, so heavy- in my heart too, I remember I was thinking about her face. It seemed all her veins had directed blood to her face. Eyes were red like she had cried, white with the sense of confusion and hope, cheeks were noticeably pink on a pale yellow background of her usual skin tone. Her lips were trembling to find words for her ocean of thoughts whereas mind was still lost in woods of memories, feelings, facts and hope.

“Didi, where is mummy ji?”, Vaibhavi asked without taking her eyes off of awful cartoon creature on T.V.

“Ummm… she will be back. Market.”

“Hmm…” , she hummed as I stared blankly at her, it reminded me of that encounter which had left me paralyzed.

A devious judge-mental stare from my granny at my maternal aunt was a disapproval to all “young” widows, as she herself is a widow of an “old” man, to lead their life however they want, to be happy with whosoever they want, to wear make-up, to wear colorful “flowery” dresses, to wear jewelry, to wear a smile, in all- to wear womanhood and LIFE; even after six years of struggle on that crucifix of her in-laws weathering her soul. For so many years before marriage she had lived with her parents, preparing to be donated as it is usually done, so now she was a wealth of somebody who had promised to be with her in every thick and thin not knowing days might be counted in number of breathes left. “ Ill-omen” she was named after he was gone, though before that she was known as Rimple. Rimple, a lively- young -petite woman with beady eyes sitting below trim eyebrows, straight pointed nose, goldilocks brownish lips, curly locks though with split ends to which silvery voice added charm. I remember her from the days when she became a mother and was yet pursuing studies for some bachelors’ degree. I used to be in-charge of “take-care-baby boy” days during my summer vacations whilst she had to take examinations, well who doesn’t like elderly bossy days when you are youngest in your own home. And rewards were sweets, chocolates, toffees and some scolding for not getting him to do his homework. 
There used to be days, “I-don’t-like-her” days, when my bossy days used to get over and I were told to learn multiplying tables, forms of verbs, word-meanings etc. which were used to be the signs of my “home coming” for my mother. Well, childhood is supposed to be hypocritical, ain’t it?

But I couldn’t change even when I grew up. Not until this day when her projections on that white sheet showcased tableau of our shared past leaving treads on dust of her presence.

Coming up!

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PIECES: Encounter

And the realization has struck me so hard that the pieces of that shattered tempered glass can be seen painted blood red reflecting the true sense of my presence. The fact that I am not merely a meat bag injected with cold and condensed emotions running into my blood but a fierce art canopied with skin and yet to be revealed. The truth that they have her enveloped in that white sheet seemingly so white and clear yet these stains invisible with naked eyes are so visible on the soul of her kids as it is raining tears washing  joys off their childhood, has set the canopy on fire. And now we all are watching her projections on the sheet for the last time as wind is blowing in rhythm with the spark finally setting her ablaze. 

And they say she should have left them,

Left them when their father died,

And should have moved on, 

Moved on to live her life.

Though, it all seemed logical and realistic,

Yet, she was a mother and that defines it all,

She lived, she died and in between she struggled so far.

Her funeral proved she struggled it,

Struggled it to live, live for her children

As people laughed even at her corpse-

Lying there silently and waiting to be torched.

“Save me, I want to live for myself now”, she pleaded.

“Start afresh leaving everything behind”, my mother suggested.

“I have left it behind but devils from the past- they are dragging me back every now and then, save me.”

“Pack your bags, now!”

“What about my kids?”

“Pack theirs too, obviously.”
At 6 P.M. under the orange-bluish sky of a windy evening, I saw a skinny woman equipped with bags, dressed in suit-salwar with flowery imprints in blue and white shade, face veiled with dupatta, climbing the ramp of our house with a pace faster than her children’s following my mother. I ran towards the door to welcome them. Not giving a chance to ring the bell I opened up the door and as soon as she stepped inside I could sense the fear, nervousness and trace of comfort filled with anger. 

“Mausi ji (aunty), Namaste”, I greeted.

“Namaste.”

Her six year old daughter, Vaibhavi,  followed by her eleven year old son, Lakshit, both carrying one bag each entered the house giving a perfect comfy smile and rushing towards main hall to get rid of that luggage. And that was the moment I saw those devious eyes which had followed aunt even here. Sitting on the porch, my grandmother was staring at her in the most devious manner she probably could. Those three seconds of encounter with the world my aunt was dealing with paralyzed me. 

Society will always have an impact on your life, no matter you made your choices yourself or they were imposed.

You may be a free-will person but society will clutch you, drag you, tear you down to pieces in the very moment it gazes you with those devious eyes.

The shattered bloody glass had not always been so. It was a reflector of my being, always, so it is for you. And now it is painted red with blood of my people. Being judge-mental towards anyone may provide you with some gossips but it adds one more demon to haunted house of those who are suffering. They may never say it to you, they may pretend to ignore you but you are clutching them, dragging them and tearing them to pieces. You are epitome of society. 
Who is she? Why devious eyes followed her? What wrong did I do?

Find out when you read next chapter!