“Do you really have to go Boudi?”
Vishakha looked up. Everything around the room was a total mess. The bed was looking like a railway platform with piled-up dresses scattered everywhere. The floor was full of cosmetics and costume jewelleries of her daily use. Her official papers were staffed on the dressing table. Somewhere under the entire stack, she felt her phone vibrating. She was feeling horrible, when her sister-in-law, Simmi came at the door.
Vishakha could not gather courage to stare at Simmi’s eyes. She stood up and tried to look busy. The two large sized suitcases that Vishakha had brought with her were already stuffed with clothes and there was no place to accomodate other things.
Simmi started organizing the room. In this 17 month-old marriage with Shantanu, Vishakha needed Simmi in every moment of her married life. Even Shantanu used to feel jealous of their closeness to which the sisters-in-law would burst out of laughter.
Simmi started plaiting the dresses neatly and stacked them over each other. Within a short interval of time, all of Vishakha’s belongings, from the bed, floor and wardrobe racks, were inside the suitcases. Vishakha looked around the room. Twelve years ago, when she first came in this room, she was seventeen and Shantanu was eighteen. Little Simmi was just ten. Vishakha could clearly remember how Simmi hugged her with her little hands and kept smiling with all her teeth out. She clearly remembered how her best friend grew up from being the little Simmi to the caring Sampurna. When Vishakha was twenty-one, she realized that there was something special between her and Shantanu. Their relationship thus started.
Hearing Simmi’s voice, she suddenly broke out of her chain of thoughts.
“It’s a twelve year old friendship-cum-relationship, Boudi. Please think about it once more. Mistakes do happen but time does heal everything. Don’t go Boudi. Issues will be settled once again, just like before, but once this separation happens, everything will be scattered forever.”
“I know that very well, Simmi”, Vishakha mumbled, “This marriage was a mistake. I had mistaken our true friendship as love. I used to believe that best friends could become the best life-partners but I was wrong. This belief turned out to be the greatest lie of my life.”
Vishakha pulled out the zipped plastic bag with her wedding lehenga inside. It was Shantanu’s choice.
“I cannot take this with me”, tears surfaced her eyes.
Her phone vibrated again. ‘Anubhav’ splashed the mobile screen. Vishakha remembered the day she told Shantanu that she wanted divorce. Shantanu was shocked along with everyone in their family. Vishakha’s parents, in-laws, relatives, friends, everyone tried to stop her from taking the action but she was determined.
“What else could I have done?”, she said to herself, “I had cheated Shantanu by getting emotionally involved with Anubhav. And after being physical with him, there was no turning back, atleast for me. I had lost all attractions for Shantanu and our relationship had lost its magic too. I knew Shantanu so well that I could predict his every move, every sentence he was going to say. There was no more any conversation or anything between us. We knew everything about each other”
She finally looked at Simmi. The day she had returned late from Anubhav’s place, she was slightly drunk. To her surprise, Simmi opened the door for her. Shantanu was out on his office tour. She broke down before Simmi and cried her heart out. Burying her face into Simmi’s lap, she cuddled her like a baby and instantly fell asleep.
The packing was done. Simmi helped her to bring the suitcases out on the landing. Shantanu and her parents were outside. None of them uttered a word. Silence echoed in the drawing room.
“Take care”, murmured Simmi.
Vishakha wanted to hug her tightly. But then she could not, she didn’t have the courage to bid farwell to her best friend. Wiping out her tears, she put on her sunglasses.
Featured photo via inquisitr.com