Another chance?

Trupti absent mindedly picked up her bag and left, somehow her mood today was glum, maybe because it was cloudy.

Some people felt good when it was cloudy maybe the anticipation of rains made them happy. But not Trupti. Clouds saddened her, all her latent sorrows would surface with the clouds and her shoulders would sag as if it carried all her woes.

And woes she had plenty.

She and her husband had been thrown out of the family business and the family home five years back. Reasons unknown.

The only thing they knew was Sudesh’s elder brother wanted the entire chunk of business and its profits and so somehow he had managed to manipulate the father-the karta of the business and manged to throw them out.

Yes they could have gone to court but they didn’t. somehow they didn’t want to wash their dirty linen in public.

Sudesh’s mother had try to amend, had given them a one bedroom house and some Rs 50000 as compensation. 50000, huh as it was apt compensation for toiling our youth, our energy for the business, but she did what she could. To give this much amid so much opposition was commendable.

Since then they had struggled to make ends meet. Sudesh’s brother had seen to it that they didn’t get job elsewhere. And so she started giving tuitions and he some odd jobs.

The only bright spot in their lives was Chaitanya, their son. Last year he got seat in MBBS, it was a merit seat so at least the fees were less, but still ………

It was while she was lost in her thoughts that she started to cross the road and bumped against a Chevrolet.

‘Hey are you blind?’ a man screamed.

‘Huh sorry, I was……..’

‘What sorry,’ the man screamed,’ if I had hit you, you would have created a scene and demanded a compensation’ and saying so he stepped out of the car,’ and…………..hey aren’t you Trupti?’

‘Yes, Akash?’

‘Yes come I will drop you and we can catch up.’

Akash, her classmate from college she had heard that later on he had done Phd and had joined some Pharmaceutical company. Yes, she had been impressed by his intelligence and his looks but those times were not like now.

Dutiful girls from middle class families married those whom their parents chose and so the sparks which could have flown had died before ignition.

And so they talked while he drove, Mumbai traffic helped them too and normally Trupti who used to reach home at 8 pm reached at 930pm.

They exchanged mobile numbers and Akash promised that he would be calling her up the next day.

Sudesh was pacing the floor,’Where had you been Trupti, have been calling you up. ‘

Trupti usually kept her mobile on silent mode and with the journey and the conversation, she had not felt its vibrations.

‘Oh Had met an old friend, so..’

‘You know there has been a bomb blast near the airport and I was worried’.

‘Airport? Sudesh I had been to Parel, why are you so paranoid?’

Sudesh since his ouster from the business and his lack in getting any job had lost his confidence and his vigor for life. Slightest variation in routine would panic him.

Trupti could not sleep that night, Akash, his charisma, his money his appeal everything beckoned her and she felt like a teenager in her first crush.

Morning She finished her ‘housewife’ duties and dressed up for work, it was still cloudy but she felt good. She dressed up in bright colors, combed her hair nicely, applied some perfume. Today her steps had a spring to them.

‘Trupti have you taken your vitamins,’ asked Sudesh.

”Haan haan, she said

‘Your mobile, your umbrella, your glasses?’

‘Yes why do yo act like a ………….,’ she was about to say like a woman but what she saw amazed her.

Her husband of twenty years, the dashing, enterprising Sudesh, had aged more than his years, what she saw was his dependence, his love, and she saw how much she meant to him.

If today she left his side, he would crack up.

It was 3 pm when Akash called

‘Trupti can we meet in the evening?’

‘Aaah, no Akash I can’t make it. I have been ignoring my family for some days, I mean to go early and cook up something nice and watch some movie. Sorry maybe some other time.’

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