Love Will Keep Us Alive
It was quiet outside, unlike the storm in her mind. Letting her feet feel the moist grass, she let out a sigh, the morning dew soothing her.
Basking in her short-lived freedom, she let the breeze clear her thoughts. He would be awake soon, and so would her demeanour of make-believe. Her life had taken a turn for the worse, ever since the man of her dreams shook her faith in fairytales. Yes, she loved him – maybe just not enough.
Since her childhood days, Tara had learnt to put herself first. A rebel at heart, the teenager within her questioned the essentials of society that surrounded her. Her passionate eyes sparkled brighter when they met Kabir’s, their love blossoming in the sunsets of spring.
An anchor to her wild spirit, he was all she needed to tame her fire as it fused with his. In him, her heart found its haven.
In his ancestral home, the love birds found their cage.
Her sense of “them” eclipsed her sense of self. It wasn’t in her nature to devote herself, her very existence to anything apart from her ambitions; yet she confined herself to boundaries to live in their happy place, only to find herself in a no man’s land. The tides of time took a toll upon their marriage, staining her conscience while his indifference masked his ignorance. Somewhere amidst the carousel of her daily routine, her love for him seemed to fade away, repressed emotions taking its place.
The youngest wife amongst a family dominated by males, she often felt like a meandering river that had lost its course.
The sound of the grandfather clock made her realize she needed to get back inside. Locking the doors that led to the yard, Tara sped to the kitchen, engaging herself in the morning chores.
Preparing his lunchbox was once her favourite thing to do, back in their college days when they shared a room and some dreams. Kabir would wake up, engulf her waist with his strong arms while his lips wished hers a good morning.
Like a puff of smoke, her daydream vanished when he met her at the table. Breakfast was served. The lunchbox was ready. Tea, check. Tie, check. Laptop, check. Smiles : not found.
Swallowing her pride, she set to her work in the house while he left for his. She wondered why she compromised with her life to be a part of his, why she chose to hold onto bitter nothings. While her mind questioned itself, her heart knew the answer.
As night fell upon her little world, she heard the sound of his footsteps.
The alarm set for 6 a.m,
She was all set to sleep after a tiring day.
“I’m hungry,” he grunted under his breath.
Dragging herself to the kitchen,
once again, the demon of duty made her serve her self-esteem on the platter.
Curled up in bed, her thoughts embraced her.
Her love for him had turned to self-inflicted pain. She hated herself for hating the little things that fate brought to her life. More than being his wife, she wanted to be “his”. She wanted to feel the belongingness, to relive their memories. She wanted to cleanse the layer of dust that enveloped their bond, just like the photographs she wiped every morning. She loved him then, she loved him now. A love that felt like an obligation, time and again – yet a love strong enough for her to wage wars with her inner self.
Wearied by her own demons, she looked at his sleeping figure next to her, studying his features. Some things never change, she thought, while she felt the wind play with his hair. Her lips parted into a smile.
Deep down, she could feel the rays of love warming the dew, her heart thawing. She fell asleep to the rhythm of his heaving chest, their breaths in sync, heart beats uniting after yet another day of separation.
– Vrutti Joshi | Edited by Farrokh Jijina