Woman's Era - - Contents - – Shub­ham Saha.

With the smell of the per­fume she wore With the colour of grief en­liven­ing the shore Fret­ting the monotony hang­ing in the air In dearth of mo­ments to re­lax and stare. She came.

Knock-knock! She waved her hands Clear­ing her throat for in­tro­duc­tion. Ar­ro­gant ants – black and white Mem­o­ris­ing rules and reg­u­la­tion.

But she came and the voice of the ra­dio wa­vered.

Dis­patch­ing a let­ter of in­vi­ta­tion; Slid­ing a dead leaf – Yel­low and dry – the world out­side, Through my win­dow-slit.

I heard a few doors slammed; Pairs of shut­ters drawn down. House­flies buzzing over the rot­ten rub­ber; Frogs carous­ing around.

So yes, she came!

Halt­ing the rush­ing world Who al­ways ran late. Fin­gers and palms came out Of the chil­dren and the aged.

“Roll No.78?” Shaky voice said, “Present”. “Roll No.81?” Si­lence meant ab­sent.

Re­gret in their eyes – vivid, Last few drops of tears, For wast­ing the en­tire life With­out test­ing the fears.

Now, she moved on! A char­iot pulled by the wind; To wa­ter the poor souls and the saplings on them. “Tell ‘em your story, old man! Lest they follow the same.” Remember what you promised me in bed? You will kiss me ev­ery night on your pil­low till we meet again. Are you keep­ing your prom­ise?” “Renu, I love you a lot…. “By the way, have you told your par­ents about us? Or are you still afraid that they will not ac­cept our child who will see the light of the world in eight months. Please don’t feel afraid dear. Af­ter all they are your par­ents. They will un­der­stand that we had no other op­tion since our child is breath­ing in your womb. Your par­ents will for­give us I am sure.”

“Renu, I have a great news for you. I have rented a new apart­ment for us here, in Lon­don. It is just by the river in the lap of na­ture. I have fur­nished it just the way you wanted it. For the next two months we will en­joy our hon­ey­moon here be­fore you re­turn to the US to join your new job. I am re­ally look­ing for a job change so that I can come to the US and we can start our new life, in a new way. Renu, I can­not live even one day with­out you now. “Come back soon dear…““Yours love “Ashish”

The Sun had set at the hori­zon. Tiny sil­very stars ap­peared in the sky. The chirp­ing birds had re­turned to their nests.

Guests had al­ready started ar­riv­ing. I could hear Renuka laugh­ing and talk­ing to her friends. Vinod was busy at the bar counter. Tin­gling sounds of glasses and crock­ery echoed from the liv­ing room.

Sud­denly Vinod no­ticed I was not there.

“Diya… Diya…. Where are you?” He came into the room look­ing for me.

“Diya, I am so happy to­day. Ev­ery­body is prais­ing Renuka. They are say­ing that we are the proud par­ents of such a ta­lented, beau­ti­ful young lady. But, Diya, I know what­ever Renuka has achieved to­day it is just be­cause of you. You have sac­ri­ficed your own ca­reer, your own hap­pi­ness to bring her up. You have guided her at ev­ery step, you have pulled her up when she failed, you have in­spired her when she lost courage. You are a mother from whom ev­ery wo­man should learn.”

“No, Vinod, no. I have lost. I have failed. Please for­give me. I am ru­ined. I don’t know where I went wrong. But if I get an­other chance I wish I could start all over again.” I fell at his feet and wept.

Vinod held me in his arms and lifted me.

“Diya, what is the mat­ter? Tell me. What has hap­pened.”

But I had noth­ing to say. I looked out of the win­dow at the dark sky. The tiny stars had dis­ap­peared. The sky was en­gulfed by dark clouds. Roar­ing wind was sway­ing the trees vi­o­lently. Any mo­ment it would rain. Per­haps rain would pu­rify ev­ery soul on this Earth, heal ev­ery bruised mind, wash away ev­ery sin and show a new path, a new way to follow to reach the eter­nal, the in­evitable, the ul­ti­mate. We

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