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21 June 2009

Sold everything

Every lower middle class woman dreams of a loving husband, who brings home handsome salary, enough to rent a roof, feed two and save a little for the future. I always tried to make the most of whatever the fate offered me.We weren’t well-versed. I had quit school after seventh class, so that my brothers could study and I nursed a neighboring baby, while his mother went to work. In return, she bought books and uniforms for my brother, paid my mom hundred rupees every month and fed me once a day. When, I returned home, I helped my mum cook dinner and wash vessels. Dad was a drunkard and died few years ago, because of the same.

I married Rajiv, after a year. He worked in an iron molding factory. Thankfully, he didn’t booze and even he believed in making the most with whatever we had. He too saved a little for our future, but not much as he sent money to his old parents. I supported him by nursing neighboring children. Their working mothers paid me for the service.

I delivered Karan and Kiran after two years. The twins brought not only loads of happiness along with them, but also immense responsibilities. Kiran was a smart girl and Karan was also quite intelligent. They topped the class every year and Rajiv worked harder to meet their requirements.

After nine years…

Rajiv fell sick suddenly. Doctor asked him to quit his job, as he had asthma. Dust wasn’t prescribed when your lungs were allergic to it. He had to continue working for a while before he found another job. His job hunt didn’t bring home sugar, but the dust worsened his asthma.

After few days, he stopped going to work, because his lungs stopped obeying him. I continued with my nursing, but it was difficult with a bedridden husband and two children to take care of. I spent everything we had saved on Rajiv’s medicine and groceries. There still were hospital bills, school fees and rent to be paid. I wrote a letter to my in-laws asking for help, but they were in no better condition than us. My mother-in-law had to take care of her handicapped husband. She did laundry in neighbor’s house to support herself. Even, I followed her example, but it didn’t fetch enough dough.

Karan and Kiran came home with notice from school. I still hadn’t paid their fees. The landlord had visited twice asking for rent. Finally, he considered our condition and gave a months time. Rajiv had to be hospitalized as his condition worsened. I sold every possible thing in the house to pay the hospital bills and buy him medicines.

I explained our condition to the twin’s principal, who also took pity on us and asked me to pay the fees next month. I had no idea from where I would bring money to pay rent and school fees by next month but was happy I had another month to think about it. Groceries were subsiding and I couldn’t nurse the neighboring kids anymore, so all the means of income stopped. I did laundry occasionally and tried to manage as much as possible.

A month passed by, though Rajiv came home from hospital, his condition hadn’t improved much. The twins were asked to stay home unless the fees were paid. The landlord said he could no more afford to take pity on us. He warned that he would make us leave if he doesn’t get the rent in a week.

None of the neighbors were ready to lend money. They did not believe I would ever return it. I sold every last thing at home that could be sold, but I was still lost and penniless. I couldn’t figure out how to arrange for money. I phoned my brothers asking for help, but they refused.

Rajiv had to be hospitalized again and this time I didn’t have a rupee to pay his bills. I begged my neighbors but no one showed sympathy. When I was wondering what else to do other than let Rajiv die, Navin came to our rescue. He was Rajiv’s manager in the molding factory. He agreed to clear all our bills until Rajiv could go to work. He also bought groceries. In return, he wanted me to do something for him. It was either accepting his conditions or letting Rajiv die. I had to become his mistress, until Rajiv recovered. Though it was humiliating and the last thing I wanted to do, I had no other choice than selling my body. My brothers and neighbors had turned their backs. There was nothing left at home that I could sell, except my body.

School fees and rent were paid. Rajiv was responding to the medicines and treatment, positively. Everyday, after kids went to bed, Navin came home and I surrendered myself to him. Neighbors started talking behind my back, but I ignored them because all that I wanted at the moment was Rajiv to get well soon.

Rajiv came home after two weeks. He didn’t question about anything, but started losing his temper for silly things. I understood that he had been listening to the neighbors when I wasn’t home. He recovered completely after a month and by then I had bought back half the things I had sold to pay the bills. He got a job in a textile and I stopped going to Navin.

Rajiv did not speak to me properly and never met my eyes. I wondered whether he was angry with me for I had sold myself or was he angry on himself for making me go through all this. I understood he needed time to think over things. Days passed but nothing changed. We hardly spoke to each other and he made sure he stayed away from me.

I couldn’t tolerate the silence, so I tried to talk, but he didn’t respond properly. He left home early and returned very late. Even kids noticed the changes between us. My neighbors, who had been so helpful to me when Rajiv was bedridden, were again being helpful by asking their kids not to play with either Karan or Kiran. I wondered how more utile one could be.

I again tried talking to him but it didn’t work. I believed he didn’t want me anymore. Probably he didn’t appreciate whatever I had done for whatsoever the reasons were. I wrote a letter apologizing for everything that had happened. I didn’t want to bother him by my presence, so decided to leave.

I packed my bag and left, leaving the letter on the table. I did not even bother to check which train I was taking. I bought a ticket to farthest stop from here. When I reached inside my purse to pay for the ticket, I found a piece of paper. It didn’t look like a bill. It was a letter. I paid the change and sat in the train. The train would leave in another ten minutes.

I opened the letter and recognized Rajiv’s handwriting. He was very sorry for he had let me face such ugliness, all alone. He had never imagined that I would make such sacrifices for him. He was guilty for he couldn’t do anything special for me. He was sorry for he couldn’t even defend me from our neighbors.

I returned home and was glad he wasn’t home yet. I decided we would leave this freaking place and live elsewhere, where no one would interfere with our life.

16 comments:

  1. the story is nice .. the subject is pretty old and a bit predictable though ..the starting and the middle parts were VERY good .. but the ending part i felt .. it was as if u were running out of time and good words and hence u finished off in a hurry .

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  2. Comments i had already made in Community IAW.
    if had time pls reveiw

    neelonfire.blogspot.com

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  3. typical indian story..hehe..but really a good appreciable work..!climax was obvious..but hats off re.!

    "I had to become his mistress, until Rajiv recovered."
    hmmm..was really touching..tat part..anyways gud job buddy..!

    do check my blog too :)
    www.d-bucks.blogspot.com

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  4. good effort. Since it seems fashionable to leave a link her, do check http://www.bigfishmag.com/ a youth magazine of the non-serious kind...Hope you like it!

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  5. Gr8 blog....
    the story is well-written. But try some tragedy. A happy ending is so cliche.

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  6. I usually dont read books nor novels apart from studies.You are one of the best writers i have ever read in my life.Continue the same Nethra, you will surely succeed

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  7. Good flow and narration but the story line is so typical of a bollywood film.Too predictable.

    http://cutestangel.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/the-last-dance/

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  8. Inspires true love,care and affection.....

    Good narration..... :)
    Keep posting... :)

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  9. Same Indian Story. But well written. Keep going.

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  10. its same old story....try 2 use sum creativity....it wud become more interesting

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  11. nice writing style. you have a talent slighlt similar to Harold Robbins if u have read his works. he is reouted to be such a writer that in one page, u will b in tears and also u will get a hard on. keep going

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  12. Read all of your stories with Love Story tag...they are splendor, captivating..but yeah, i do feel that something was missing at the end of this story..I thought She gets a note, where her hubby says ki he is leaving her..or I thought ki to manage the money she might have to take resort of ppl's corporal hunger..or might be something else..!!
    Over all, all of ur stories portrays the real scene and emotions required to make it alive..Great Work !!

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  13. Chandan
    First of all thanks for reading the story and the ending part, I didn't want to make it too dramatic. Anyway, thanks again! Visit the blog, again if possible. :)

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  14. Came across your blog and your writings are truly splendid :)

    http://envisaging-heaven.blogspot.com/ This is my blog and its my first post. I would like your opinion on it :)

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