Thursday, 15 August 2019

One shot (AR): Grudge within Husband and wife

Just two years after their marriage, Armaan brought up the idea of asking
mother to move from the rural hometown and spend her remaining years
with us. Armaan's father passed away while he was still very young. Krishna endured much hardship and struggled all on her own to provide for Armaan, see him through to a university degree.Could say that she suffered a great deal and did everything you could expect
of a woman to bring Armaan to where he is today.

Ridhhima immediately agreed and started packing the spare room, which has a balcony facing the South to let her enjoy the sunshine and plant greenery. Armaan stood in the bright room, and suddenly just picked Ridhhima up and started spinning round and round. As Ridhhima begged him to put her down, he said: "Lets go fetch mother." Armaan is tall and big sized and Ridhhima love to rest on

his chest and enjoy the feeling that he could pick her up at any moment put the tiny me into his pockets.

Whenever they have an argument and both refuses to back down, he would pick her up and spin her over his head continuously until Ridhhima surrender and beg for mercy. She became addicted to this kind of panic-joy feeling.

His mother brought along her countryside habits and lifestyle with her. For example; Ridhhima am so used to buying flowers to decorate the living room, she could not stand it and would comment: "I do not know how you young people spend your money, why do you buy flowers for? You also can't eat flowers!"
Ridhhima smiled and said: "Mum, with flowers in the house, our mood will also become better." Krishna continues to grumble away, and Armaan smiled: "Mum, this is a city-people's habit; slowly you will get use to it."
Krishna stopped saying anything. But every time thereafter, whenever  Ridhhima came home with flowers, she would ask her how much it costs. Ridhhima told her and she would shake her head and express displeasure. Sometimes, when Ridhhima come home with lots of shopping bags, she would ask each and every item how much they cost,  Ridhhima would tell her honestly and she would get
even more upset about it. Armaan playfully pinched my nose and said: "You little fool, just don't
tell her the full price of everything would solve it."
There begins the friction to their otherwise happy lifestyle. Krishna hates it most when hubby wakes up early to prepare the breakfast. In her view, how could the man of the house cook for the wife? At the breakfast table, Krishna's facial expression is always like the dark clouds before a thunderstorm and Ridhhima would pretend not to notice. She would use her spoons and make a lot of noise with it as her silent protest.

As Ridhhima is a dance teacher in the Children's Palace and exhausted from along day of dancing around, she do not wish to give up the luxury of that additional few minutes in the comfort of her bed and hence she turned a deaf ear to all the protest Krishna makes. From time to time,
Krishna would help out with some housework, but soon her help created additional work for Ridhhima. For example: Krishna would keep all kinds of plastic bags accumulating them so that she sell them later on, and resulted in the house being filled with all the trash bags; she would
scrimp on dish washing detergent when helping to wash the dishes and so as not to hurt her feelings, Ridhhima would quietly wash them again.
One day, late at night, Krishna saw Ridhhima quietly washing the dishes, and "Bam" she slams her bedroom door and cried very loudly in her room. Armaan was placed in a difficult position, and after that, he did not speak to me for that entire night. Ridhhima pretended to be a spoilt child,
tried acting cute, but he totally ignored her.... Ridhhima got mad and asked him: "What did I do
Armaan stared at her  and said: "Can't you just give in to her once? We couldn't possibly die eating from a bowl however unclean it is,right?" After that incident, for a long period of time,Krishna did not speak to Ridhhima and you can feel that there is a very awkward feeling hanging in the house. During that period of cold war, Armaan was caught in dilemma as to who to please. In order to stop her son from having to prepare breakfast, Krishna took on the "all important" task of preparing breakfast without any prompting. At the breakfast table,Krishna would look at Armaan happily eating his breakfast and cast that reprimanding stare at Ridhhima for having failed to perform her duty as a wife. To avoid the embarrassing breakfast situation, Ridhhima resorted to buying her own breakfast on her way to work. That night, while in bed, Armaan was a little upset and asked me: "Ridhhima, is it because you think that mum's cooking is not clean that's why you chose not to eat at home?" He then turned his back on Ridhhima and left her alone in tears as feeling of unfairness overwhelmed her. After some time, Armaan sighed: "Ridhhima, just for me, can you have
breakfast at home?" Ridhhima was left with no choice but to return to the breakfast table.
The next morning, Ridhhima was having porridge prepared by mother and she felt a sudden churn in her  stomach and everything inside seem to be rushing up her throat. She tried to suppress the urge to throw up but she could not. She threw down the bowl, rushed into the washroom, and vomited everything out. Just as she was catching my breath, she saw Krishna crying
and grumbling very loudly in her dialect, Armaan was standing at the washroom doorway staring at her with fire burning in his eyes.. Ridhhima opened her mouth but no words came out of it, she really did not mean it. They had our very first big fight that day; Krishna took a look at them,
then stood up and slowly made her way out of the house. Armaan gave her a final stare in the eye and followed Krishna down the stairs. For three days, Armaan did not return home, not even a phone call. Ridhhima was so furious, since  his mother arrived; she had been trying my best and putting up with her, what else does he want her to do? For no reason, Ridhhima keep having the feeling to throw up and simply have no appetite for food, coupled with all the events happening at home, she was at then low point in her life.

Finally, a colleague said: "Ridhhima, you look terrible; you should go and see a doctor." The doctor confirmed that she am pregnant. Now it became clear to me why her threw up that fateful morning, a sense of sadness floated through that otherwise happy news. Why didn't
Armaan, and his mother who had been through this before, thought of the possibility of this being the reason that day? At the hospital entrance, she saw  Armaan standing there. It had only been three days,but he looked haggard. Ridhhima had wanted to turn and leave, but one look at
him and her heart soften, she couldn't resist and called out to him. He followed her voice and finally found Ridhhima but he pretended that he doesn't know her; he has that disgusted look in his eyes that cut right through her heart. Ridhhima told herself not to look at him anymore, and hail a
cab. At that moment, Ridhhima have such a strong urge inside her to shout to Armaan: "Darling, I am having your baby!" and have him lift her up and spin her around in circles of joy. What she wanted didn't happen and as she sat in the cab, my tears started rolling down. Why? Why our
love couldn't even withstand the test of one fight?
Back home, Ridhhima lay on the bed thinking about her Armaan, and the disgusted look in his eyes. She cried and wet the corner of the blanket. That night, sound of the drawers opening woke me up. She switched on the lights and Ridhhima saw Armaan with tears rolling down his face. He was
removing the money. She stared at him in silence; he ignored her, took the bank deposit book and some money and left the house. Maybe he really intends to leave me for good. What a
rational man, so clear-cut in love and money matters. Ridhhima gave a few dried laugh and tears starting streaming down again. The next day, she did not go to work. She wanted to clear this out and have a good talk with Armaan. Ridhhima reached his office and his secretary gave me a weird
look and said: "Mr. Walia's mother had a traffic accident and is now in
the hospital."
Ridhhima  stood there in shock. She rushed to the hospital and by the time she found Armaan, Krishna had already passed away. Armaan did not look at me, his face was expressionless. Ridhhima looked at Krishna's pale white and thin face and she couldn't control the tears in her eyes. My god, how could this happen?
Throughout the funeral, Armaan did not say a single word to Ridhhima, with only the occasional disgusted stare at her. She only managed to find out brief facts about the accident from other people. That day, after Krishna left the house, she walked in dazed toward the bus stop,
apparently intending to go back to her old house back in the countryside. As Armaan ran after her, she tried to walk faster and as she tried to cross the street, a public bus came and hit
her...Ridhhima finally understood how much Armaan must hate her, if she had not thrown up that morning, if we had not quarreled, if....In his heart, she is indirectly the killer of his mother.
Armaan moved into mother's room and came home every night with a strong liquor smell on him. And Ridhhima, buried under the guilt and self-pity and could hardly breathe. She wanted to explain to him, tell him that we are going to have our baby soon, but each time, she saw the dead look in his eyes, all the words she have at the brink of my mouth just fell back in. She has rather he hit her real hard or give her a big and thorough  scolding though none of these events  happening had been her fault at all.

Many days of suffocating silence went by and as the days went by, Armaan came home later and later. The deadlock between them continues, they were living together like strangers who don't know each other. Ridhhima was like the dead knot in his heart.

One day, Ridhhima passed by a western restaurant, looking into the glass window, she  saw Armaan and a girl sitting facing each other and he very lightly brushed her hair for her, Ridhhima understood what it meant. After recovering from that moment of shock, she entered the restaurant, stood
in front of Armaan and stared hard at him, not a tear in her eyes. She has nothing to say to him, and
there is no need to say anything. The girl looked at Ridhhima, looks at Armaan, stands up and wanted to go, Armaan stretched out his hand and stopped her. He stared back at Ridhhima, challenging her. She can only hear her slow heart beat, beating, one by one as if at the brink of death. She
eventually backed down, if she had stood that any longer,she would have collapse together with the baby inside her. That night, he did not come home; he had chosen to use that as a way to indicate to Ridhhima: Following his mother's death so did our love for each other. He did not come home anymore after that. Sometimes, when Ridhhima returned home from work, she can tell that the cupboard had been touched - he had returned to take some of his stuff. She no longer wish to call him; the initial desire to explain everything to him vanished. She lived alone; she
goes for her medical checkups alone, her heart breaks again and again every time she sees a guy carefully helping his wife through the physical examination. Her office
colleagues hinted to her to consider aborting the baby, She told them No, I will not.. She insisted on having to this baby, perhaps it is her way of repaying Krishna for causing her death.

One day, Ridhhima came home and  saw Armaan sitting in the living room. The whole house was filled with cigarette smoke. On the coffee table, there was this piece of paper. She knows what it is all
about without even looking at it. In the two months plus of living alone, Ridhhima  have gradually learned to find peace within herself. She looked at him, removed her hat and said: "You wait a while, I will sign." He looked at her, mixed feelings in his eyes, just like hers.

As she hang up her coat, Ridhhima keep repeating to herself "You cannot cry, you cannot cry..." her eyes hurt terribly, but she refused to let tears come out from there. After she hung up her coat, Armaan's eyes stared fixed at her bulging tummy. Ridhhima smiled, walked over to the coffee table and pulled the paper towards me. Without even looking at what it says, she signed her name on it and pushed the paper to him. "Ridhhima, are you pregnant?"
Since mother's accident, this is the first time he spoke to her. She could not control
her tears any further and they fell like raindrops. She said: "Yes, but its ok, you can leave now." He did not go, in the dark, they sat, facing each other. Armaan slowly moved over to her, his tears wet the blanket. In her heart, everything seems so far away, so far that even if she sprint,
she could never reach them.She cannot remember how many times he repeated "sorry" to her. She  had originally thought that she would forgive him, but now she can't. In the
western restaurant, in front of that girl, that cold look in his eyes, she will never forget, ever. They have drawn such deep scars in each other's heart. For Ridhhima, it's unintentional; for Armaan, totally intentional.Ridhhima had been waiting for this moment of reconciliation, but

she realized now, what had gone past is gone forever and could not repeated.

Other than the thought of the baby inside Ridhhima that would bring some warmth to her heart, she is totally cold towards him, she no longer eat anything he buys for her, she don't take any presents from him and she stopped talking to him. From the moment Ridhhima signed on that piece of paper, marriage and love had vanished from her heart. Sometimes, Armaan will try to come into the bedroom, but when he walks in, Ridhhima will walk out to the living room. He had no choice
but to sleep in mother's room. At night, from his room, she can hear light sounds of groaning, she kept quiet. This used to be his trick; last time, whenever Ridhhima ignored him, he would fake illness and she will surrender and find out what is wrong with him, he would then grab Ridhhima and laugh. He has forgotten that last time she cared for him and was concerned because there was love, but now, what is there between us?v Armaan's groaning came on and off continuing but she continuously ignored him.

Almost everyday, he would buy something for the baby, infant products, children products and books that kids like to read. Bags and bags of it stacked inside his room till it is full. Ridhhima knows he is trying to use this to reach out to her, but she am no longer moved by his actions. He has no choice but to lock himself in his room and she can hear his typing away on his computer keyboard, maybe he is now addicted to web surfing but none of that matters to her anymore. It was sometime towards the end of spring in the following year, one late night, Ridhhima
screamed because of a sudden stomach pain, Armaan came rushing into the room, its like he did not change and sleep, and had been waiting for this moment. He carried her and ran down the stairs, stopped a car, holding her hand very tightly and kept wiping the sweat off her brow, throughout the journey to the hospital. Once we reached the hospital, he carried her and hurried into the delivery suite. Lying on the back of his skinny but warmth body, a thought crossed her mind: In her lifetime, who else would love me as much as he did?

He held the delivery suite door opened and watch her go in; his warm eyes caused her to manage a smile at him despite her contraction pain. Coming out of the delivery room, Armaan looked at their son and Ridhhima, eyes tear with joy and he kept smiling. Ridhhima reached out and touched his hand. Armaan just looked at me, smiling and then he slowly collapsed onto the
floor. Ridhhima cried out for him in pain... He smiled, but without opening that tired eyes of his...Ridhhima had thought that she would never shed any tear for him, but the truth is, she had never felt a deeper pain cutting through her body at that moment. Doctor said that by the time Armaan discovered he had liver cancer, it was already in terminal stage and it was a miracle that he managed to last this long. Ridhhima asked the doctor when he first discovered he had cancer. Doctor said about 5 months ago and consoled her saying: "Prepare for his funeral."

Ridhhima disregarded the nurse's objection and rushed home,she went into his room and checked his computer, and a suffocating pain hits her. Armaan's cancer was discovered 5 months ago, his groaning was real, and she had thought that...the computer showed over 200 thousand words he wrote for their son: "Son, just for you, I have persisted, to be able to take a look at you
before I fall, is my biggest wish now... I know that in your life, you will have many happiness and maybe some setbacks, if only I can accompany you throughout that journey, how nice would it be. But daddy now no longer has that chance. Daddy has written inside here all the
possible difficulties and problems you may encounter during your lifetime, when you meet with these problems, you can refer to daddy's suggestion....

Son, after writing these 200 thousand words, I feel as if I have accompanied you through life journey. To be honest, daddy is very happy. Do love your mother, she has suffered, she is the one who loves you most and also the one who loves me most..." From play school to
primary school, to secondary, university, to work and even in dealing with questions of love, everythingbig and small was written there.

Armaan has also written a letter for Ridhhima:
"My dear, to marry you is my biggest happiness, forgive me for the pain I have caused you, forgive me for not telling you my illness, because I want to see you be in a joyful mood waiting for the arrival of our baby...My dear, if you cried, it means that you have forgiven
me and I would smile, thank you for loving me...These presents, I'm afraid I cannot give them to our son personally, could you help me to give some of them to him every year, the dates on what to give when are all written on the packaging... "
Going back to the hospital, Armaan is still in coma. Ridhhima brought their son over and place him beside him. I said: "Open your eyes and smile, I want our son to remember being in the warmth of your arms..." He struggled to open his eyes and managed a weak smile. Their son still in his arms was happily waving his tiny hands in the air. Ridhhima press the button on the
camera and the sound of the shutter rang through the air as tears
slowly rolled down her face.... A fatal misunderstanding and the person who loves me the most in this world is gone forever..."Cruel misunderstandings one after another
disrupted the blissful footsteps to our family. Our originals intend
of having Mother enjoy some quiet and peaceful moments in her
remaining years with us went terribly wrong as destiny's secret is
finally revealed at a price, every thing became too late."........


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