Screen

Nita sat straight and then looked around. She was sitting in the garden bench, her favorite place. When did I come here?’, she thought.

‘I am getting old, but is 42 old?’, she thought. Of late she was forgetting things. Like sometimes she forgot where she was driving to, sometimes she forgot what she was doing…..

But to forget why she was sitting there was strange. Then she saw the front door open to welcome some guests and then she remembered. Her husband Ashish a small-scale industrialist was forever entertaining friends. He said it was a business need. And that day he had a party planned and had forgotten to inform her or had he informed her and she had forgotten?? She really didn’t remember.

And so he comes in and says, ‘What…… are you not ready? Guests will be arriving any moment?’

She asks, ‘Which guests?’ And then they argue. She gets angry and asks him, don’t they have a life of their own? It’s always his business and parties. What about her and the children, don’t they need some time too?

Ashish replies that they can argue later but guests are about to arrive. SO can she get ready and order some food from somewhere. She said she will do neither and leaves the house. Oh yes, she had taken the car and gone to the beach, so when did she return and sit on the bench?

But wait, Ashish had said that only 20 people were coming. But ….there seems to be a never-ending stream of people. Ashish………wait till the end of the party…we will have a looong talk, she thinks.

Tired of sitting out she slips in through the back door. Why is the house so silent, she thinks. Why is there no music? Anyways let them do anything, she thinks and slips into her room.

There is something in the air.Β  A sadness. Maybe it is my imagination, she thinks. Doesn’t Ashish always tells me to be real and not imagine. Suddenly she glances at the desk calendar. Ashish has this habit ofΒ  tearing off the date sheet as soon as he gets up in the morning. But what is this….today is 24th November isn’t it? Why is it kept at 28th? Did Ashish tear off additional sheets in an act of fury because she had left home or….has she forgotten which date it is?

Suddenly she glances at her picture taken some years back. When her eyes still twinkled with innocence and hair were jet black. But….why is there a garland on that picture??

The side table has a collection of newspapers. She glances at them to see that it is dated the 25th…headlines scream…’Industrialist Ashish’s wife dies in a road accident.’

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