Sneha felt safe now for Sujay. Happy that he got to see his grandparents; happy that he had family. And she??
Little things bothered her. But were they really little? Like now Sujay had become stubborn. It was difficult to discipline him. he knew that if Mamma did not give him chocolates, granny would. If mamma did not take him out on weekdays Grandpa would. And the fact that she felt that she always under surveillance.
If she was dressed up well,’So did you have a party at office?’
IF she was making something elaborate at home ‘Are you expecting guests?’
Little things that irked her. Was she becoming paranoid or had she become accustomed to a ‘free’ life.
So on Thursday evening her m-i-l looks all perked up. ‘Have dinner with us tomorrow, we have guests ‘.
‘Sure, I wil come early to help you.’
‘No, not a problem but do dress nicely and come’
Now that sets alarm bells ringing and she gently probes the matter. Then she comes to know that some old acquaintance is coming with her son who has had a divorce too which means that her ex in-laws are match making. Which makes her angry, very angry.
‘Did I ever tell you that I wanted to marry again?’
‘No, you didn’t. But what about your future, Sujay needs a father’
‘I can take care of myself very well, thank you. And I can be both mother and father for Sujay’.
‘And what about your physical needs’, she retorts.
‘For a moment she is stumped but then says, ‘Your son has destroyed all my dreams and my needs’, and walks away.
Later her f-i-l visits her and Sneha says she regrets her behaviour but she does not like such interference. He says he understands but then tells his and his wife’s story.
‘We were married very young and lived in a joint family. i did not know how to behave and bossed over her but she obeyed. Rarely were we allowed to talk, rarely did we go out. When she miscarried continuously for three times, she was rebuked by all and I could not do anything about it. Luckily I got a job offer in another city and I moved out with her. Luckily we were blessed with a son after ten long years of marriage. And we spoilt him by giving him whatever he asked for, never asking anything from him. Never giving him any responsibility, never making him responsible. Today we realise our mistakes and we see your loneliness. So we thought if you could get a partner and if you had another child then all problems would be solved. You would have a partner and if you had another child, Sujay would learn to share.’
Sneha was dumbfounded at the revelation. And then said, ‘I have learnt to live alone. There is no need for a partner to dissolve loneliness. Sometimes even with a marriage and a husband, a woman is alone. I agree that an only child can be sometimes selfish but there can be solutions to that’
‘What solutions’, he asked.
She thought and then said what had always been in her heart, ‘I always wanted a daughter, I will adopt a girl and then my cocoon will be complete’, she said and smiled. Finally she felt at peace with herself