Somewhere in between
Nadira adjusted her necklace one last time in the mirror before rushing out of her house. It was 7:30 and she was running late already. Ayesha, her best friend would be waiting for her and here she was, couldn’t even decide what to wear, as if that was going to matter. Today Ayesha was the occasion and the celebration; no matter how many pains Nadira took to get ready she would barely get noticed. After all it was her first wedding anniversary to a man for whom she meant the world!
Nadira smiled as she entered the lift. She was really happy for her friend, for she deserved all the happiness in the world. She remembered their last conversation few days ago when Ayesha was shopping for this occasion, the joy in her voice so evident. Jostling through the traffic Nadira somehow managed to reach the venue on time. The decorations and all spoke of grandeur mixed with celebration. But her eyes were searching for that one familiar face which would dampen all the twinkling lights around with just one smile of hers. And there she was!
Dressed in a shimmering pink saree Ayesha looked every bit the newlywed she was exactly a year ago. Dripping diamonds, her flawless skin shone in the light radiating elegance. Unable to contain her excitement Nadira ran to hug her only to have a very cold response. Nadira couldn’t understand it first but she got everything when she looked into her eyes. There lay hidden behind those carefully kohl lined eyes loads of tears, veiled so that no one could see them. But Nadira could feel them, like a dark cloud waiting to burst into rains.
Gradually as the crowd around them decreased she pulled Ayesha in a corner and asked her if everything was ok. Before she could finish Ayesha broke down into tears. Amidst sobs she narrated how her mother-in-law had come a few days back and began insisting on having a grandchild soon now. When Ayesha tried to express her disagreement on this she was very harshly rebuked by Manan, her husband and since then there was a cold war between them. Too difficult to digest such a reaction from him, his silence was gnawing her from inside. To top it all there seemed to be no end to this as he seemed to be in no mood for discussion. If only, he would understand that she needed time!
Standing in a distant corner Manan eyed Ayesha with a longing in his heart. Their argument few days back was something that wasn’t going out of his mind. He had never spoken to her like this ever. But he didn’t know what took over him that day. He tried so much to speak to her in the last couple of days but somehow it didn’t happen. How he wished he could make her understand the reason behind his behaviour that day.
Though Manan’s marriage with Ayesha was an arranged one he had fallen heads over heels in love with her in their first meeting itself. During their courtship period after their engagement, Manan tried a lot to open up with her and share his life. But Ayesha always said what matters is our present as that will determine our future. And hence the past always remained where it was, behind them.
Manan’s parents got married very late and hence had children late due to which his mother had to undergo lot of miscarriages. And finally when Manan was born he maintained a very ill health and struggled till date. His only fear was not being able to have a child of his own, which he could see come true that day which resulted into that outburst. If, only she could understand his fear!
Neither was wrong, neither was right and somewhere in between these rights and wrongs existed the ultimate truth of life.
My reflections: Somewhere I felt things could have been better maybe with a small conversation. But at times we are so held up with our thoughts and beliefs that we fail to see the other aspect as well. She being my friend I obviously connected with her more and almost had hatred towards her husband till I came across this prompt. This prompt made me wonder that perhaps he also has a reason to have behaved like this, maybe just maybe it wasn't anger but helplessness. How often do we do this life, conclude something based on what our loved one is going through without ever wondering what the other side could be all about!
P.S: This post has been written as a prompt by Project 365. We were asked to narrate an experience of our own. This is a true incident but I didn't want to narrate it in first person and hence the names and the description has been changed to make it look like a piece of fiction.