Story of two women

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


 

The bus was running on the way to Mussoorie and Meeta was enjoying natural beauty through the window. She was going to Mussoorie to meet her cousin sister named Sheela who was not only her cousin sister but also her friend. She was going to Mussoorie after a long period of fifteen years and in this period, almost everything had been changed in their lives. Meeta took a trip down memory lane. She did not forget anything. She could recall that how her uncle and aunt used to invite her to spend her summer vacations with them in Mussoorie, how she and Sheela became fast friends, how she and Sheela used to play indoor and outdoor games.

In those days, Meeta had lived in Jaipur with her parents. Meeta's uncle who was the father of Sheela used to invite Meeta to his home in Mussoorie during summer vacation Mussoorie is a hill station. Meeta's mother liked to spend summers in Mussoorie away from the heat of the Jaipur with the family of her brother.

In those days, Sheela's father Rajkumar was an officer in a government department. He was a generous man and her mother was a teacher in a school. Sheela was the only child of her parents. Being the only child of her parents Sheela was too much pampered.

Meeta came out of the memory lane When the bus stopped at the bus stop. She looked around and found that many things had been changed in the city. Everything changes with time. Even social and moral values change with time. She didn't know how much more she would change with time. She found herself helpless.

She saw a woman was coming towards her. She strained her eyes and looked at her. Within a moment or two, she recognized that woman. The woman was none other than Sheela. Sheela met her with a warm smile. She embraced her.

Sheila took her to her home. The home once was new and filled with happiness, but now was old and empty. She saw the same old furniture. It appeared that Sheela has no interest in purchasing a new one. Nobody lived in this house except Sheela.

Meeta asked her, "where is Sonu?"

Hearing this question, Sheela got emotional and after some movement said, "I admitted him to a special school for autistic children in Delhi. Where he lives in a hostel."

Sheela's eyes filled with tears. Sonu is autistic. She was worried about him. She said to Meeta, "What will happen to him after me? Who will take care of him after my death?"

Meeta had no answer to her question. She got emotional. After divorcing Sunil, she was filled with a sense of being alone and insecure about old age. She avoids thinking about her old age.

They cooked lunch together. After taking lunch, they came out on the veranda. They were face to face after a long gap of fifteen years. They had a lot to tell each other.

Sheela lit a cigarette. Meeta felt bad and asked, "from when you began smoking?" Meeta said, "After divorce from Mahesh. I was in great tension and was alone with Sonu. I got addicted to smoking and drinking."

Meeta got surprised and said, " so, you take wine."

Sheela said, "no, I gave up drinking long ago. Now I like only smoking."

Meeta remained silent for and while and Sheela went on smoking. In the pleasuring sunlight of the winter season, they started walking down memory lane.

It began when Sheela got a job as a software engineer in a prestigious software company. She was happy to get a high salary package. Her father was against her doing the job. Bit her mother was happy because the job was a matter of improving her social status. Her father was worried about her marriage. One day they got a decent proposal from a wealthy boy. The proposal was suitable in the opinion of her father but Meeta and her mother were against this proposal. Meeta refused to marry that boy saying, "I don't like that boy. He is a joker. He is not worthy of marrying her."

In those days, she was living alone in Delhi in an apartment where she was alone and free to do what she wanted. No one to advise her or stop her. She was a self-centered and high-handed woman. She was in looking for such a man as her husband who was rich and subservient and who would be under her control. Her search came to an end when she found a young man Ajay who also was a software engineer. He was a soft-natured, intelligent, and handsome man having an attractive physique. She fell in love with him. He took his time to began to like her. After dating for about a year that decided to get married. During this period, Ajani remains ignorant of her real behavior.

Ajay's parents had no objection to this marriage. Sheela got successful in getting them impressed when she met them by her good looks and sweet-talking.

When her father heard that she was going to marry Ajay. He got furious and rebuked her hard. He was against this marriage. But it was her mother who came forward to help her daughter. Sheela and Ajay got married. They went to her father to get blessings but he refuses to confer it. Both were happy. Their real characters were to uncover in the coming days.

After honeymoon time, their married life began. There is a great difference between the two situations when one is in love life and when one is in married life. Sheela's real behavior gradually began to reveal before Ajay. She began to show her bossism. She disliked his parents. She was not ready to listen to Ajay. All this was unexpected for Ajay. One day she began a quarrel with Ajay over a trivial matter and in anger, she slapped him. The slap hurt the man ego of Ajay. It awoke the sleeping sadism inside him. He began to show his real character to her. After this Sheela's every day spent with him became a nightmare for her. And one day, Ajay beat her savagely and throw her out of his home. She somehow managed to reach the home of her friend and from there she somehow reached Mussoorie from Delhi.

Seeing her condition her parents understood what happened to her. She was shocked. Her dreams were shattered. She got depressed and she had to get treatment from a psychiatrist. Ajay neither called her nor came to take her with him. Later it came to know that Ajay returned home leaving Delhi. And Sheela didn't know what happened to him later and she never tried to know what happened to him.

Meeta, in those days, was in Jaipur and was busy with her studies. Her mother was unhappy over what happened to Sheela. When Meeta heard all this from her mother she felt sorry for Sheela. Her mother advised and warned her against making love affairs with men. She was a traditional mother.

It took Sheela several weeks to recover from depression. Her parents sent her to Meeta in Jaipur. Meeta's mother was angry at Sheela but Meeta and her father gave her support. She stayed at Jaipur for a year and then she tried and by luck got a job as a lecturer in a college in Mussoorie and returned to her home Mussoorie.

After some months, Meeta, too, got a job as a teacher in a city near Jaipur and got busy with her job.

Two years after, one day, Sheela phoned her and invited her to her marriage ceremony. Sheela's parents were worried about her and were trying hard to find a suitable man for her to marry. Fortunately, a businessman from Delhi named Mahesh got ready to marry her. He was a widower. He had lost his wife in a road accident. Meeta attended her marriage ceremony and wished for her happy married life.

Mahesh deals in groceries and earned sufficient money to maintain his family. He had a younger sister and a brother who helped him in business. He began his married life with the hope that her wife Sheela would manage the household chore. His all hopes shattered when, a month after their marriage, Sheela said to him that she could not get along with his siblings. She claimed that his siblings were lazy and did nothing. Hearing all this from her, Mahesh tried to make her understand. But she was not ready to understand. She did not learn a lesson from her previous mistake and began to show her bossism. Mahesh had to put up with her behavior. Their marriage lasted for about two years. During this time, Sheela birth to Sonu. Unfortunately, Sonu was autistic. Mahesh tolerated her and her behavior as much as he could. When he fed up when resorted to getting a divorce. Sheela had no objection to divorce. After divorce, she returned to Mussoorie with Sonu.

Here Meeta after college studies got a job as a teacher at a school in a city near Jaipur. Her mother always kept an eye on her and always asked her to keep from men. She didn't want her daughter to destroy her life as Sheela did. But one has no control over destiny. Meeta was a young and charming girl. Soon she got attracted to a young and handsome man named Sanjay who was an engineer. After dated for about six months, they decided to get married.

When Meeta told her mother about her affair with Sanjay, her mother got furious and slapped her. She was completely against this affair. But it was too late for her. Meeta Marry Sanjay against her parent's will.

Meeta was an ambitious and self-centered girl. She wanted control over her husband. She asked him to separate from his parents and live with her. He got agreed to do so. She did not stop here, she told him to quit his friend circle too. She was too bossy and expected him to follow every order and suggestion given by her. Whenever he refused to do so she quarreled with him. Once or twice she raised her hands on him. Being fed up with her, he decided to get rid of her. They got divorced after two years of marriage. Since then nobody came into her life and she, too, did not want to go near to her.

Sun was about to set when they came out of the memory lane. The night was sleepless for them. Memories haunted them all night.

The next day when Sheela and Meeta were shopping in the market, they came across one of their old common friends. Her name was Sunita. She took them to her home. There she introduced them to her husband and son. Sheela and Meeta saw and feel that her home was small but sweet. Sheela felt Sunita and her family were so happy. A notion of comparison between her and Sunita came into her mind.

When Sheela and Meeta were returning home, Sheela said to Meeta, "how happy Sunita is, isn't she? How happy her family is!"

Meeta said, "and her son is so sweet! We can't get all these things in life."

Sheela said to her, "you know, how simple Sunita in those days. I used to call her simpleton. Other children used to call her by different nicknames but she never took this to heart."

She remained silent for a moment and then said, "it was her simplicity that made her life happy. It was our complexity that made our life difficult." And both of them returned to their complex life.


Submitted: June 03, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Sumit Kumar Arora. All rights reserved.

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