After wedding night the girl should wake up early and get ready for pooja(ritual) with her mother and mother in law.
When I woke up the clock showed 5 am. I closed my eyes again rolling on my bed without wanting to get up. The bed was so soft and comfy. I rolled on to my other side and then my mom’s image flashes on my mind, shouting at me for not getting ready on time. I lazily tried to get off the bed, and then suddenly I realized that I am on the bed making my eyes go wide in shock.
I looked around to get some clue about how I got there from the floor. And then I remembered everything that happened last night, tears were filling my eyes and blurred my vision on thinking about it and then I also remembered that my husband carried me to the bed and his apology.
I wiped my tears away and found him sleeping beside me. Even people who have lots of problems in their life tend to sleep peacefully. Sleep is the only escape for everyone from reality. Only when we sleep, we can forget about everything and lie there peacefully. But when I looked at him, it was different. He seemed so unsettled even in his sleep.
Suddenly I realized that I was staring at him unusually long, so I got up and went to get ready for the ritual. I was on time when my mother and mother in law started the ritual. We were joined by my sister in law. Her name is Bharathi. She is 24 yrs old. We became friends on our wedding day. She was so sweet and friendly. My mother in law’s name is Padma, and my father in law’s name is Ramakrishna. They were married for about 30 yrs.
(In the ritual they used to apply the bindi on the girl’s thali wishing for a long life for her husband.
Bindi: Religious red powder applied on the forehead.
Thali: Wedding chain made of yellow rope and gold pendant.)
The ritual went on for about an hour. After the ritual, my mom left saying goodbyes. It was my first time staying in someone else’s home without my mother. I already miss her. I felt blank without her being here to guide me. I didn’t know what to do next. My mom was my moral support until she was here. Everything and everyone was new around me.
After sending off my mom I went inside. I passed the hall where my father in law was reading the newspaper with coffee in his hand and then I went to Bharathi’s room thinking maybe she will be with me as she was the only person I know in that house.
I was disappointed as soon as I entered her room. She was getting ready for going somewhere.
“Bharathi, are you going somewhere?” I asked her. She was startled to see me. She should have been thinking something deeply as she didn’t see me coming inside.
“I am going to my friend’s home. Her mother is sick and got admitted to a hospital. She is scared, and she wanted me to stay with her.“She seemed to be worried about her friend.
“oh...ok,” I replied blankly. Suddenly I felt I was left all alone. When I was about to leave the room, “Anni”(sisters call their brother’s wife Anni.) Bharathi called. I turned back to look at her.
“You will be all right, don’t worry too much.” She tried to cheer me up. She must have guessed my thoughts. I smiled at her and left the room.
I went to the kitchen where my mother in law was cooking. She welcomed me saying “come dear” with a warm smile.
I smiled back and hesitantly asked her, “Can I call you Mom?”
She placed her hands on my cheeks, smiling at me, and said “You are like my daughter, so you can call me however you want.” and then handing me over a coffee cup she said, “Go and give it to Kutty.”
I learned that everyone close to my husband called him ‘Kutty’ from his childhood.
“He hasn’t woken up yet, should I wake him up and give the coffee?” I asked her unsure.
“He is such a lazy one in our house. He can sleep the whole day if we don’t wake him up.“She said laughing playfully and told me to wake him up and also added that it was going to be my job from now on. I rolled my eyes mentally.
“Don’t be afraid dear, hit him hard if he doesn’t get up. We don’t question you if he complains.“She said winking at me. I chuckled and left with the coffee in my hand thinking she was nice, and I don’t think I need to be worried about her.
When I was going to our room my father in law raised his head from the newspaper and saw me.
He smiled at me and asked teasingly, “So no coffee for me? Only for your husband huh?”
I stood there contemplating what to say to him. While I was confused about what to say Mom came to my rescue, “Why are you teasing her? Just now you finished your coffee right?“She scolded him playfully.
“Hey, I am talking to my daughter in law. I am not talking to you, you know?” he teased her back winking at me. I chuckled and walked towards our room thinking everyone in this house is nice except him.
I opened the door and entered the room. I stopped right there with coffee in my hands remembering last night’s happenings and afraid to go near him. My legs were clumsy, and my heart was pounding like crazy. I felt like a sheep entering a lion’s den.
I didn’t want to go anywhere near him. ‘Should I go back and ask Ma to give him coffee? No ...no, she will mistake me.’ He hasn’t woken up yet, so I came up with a plan. ‘I will keep the coffee on the table, tap him on the shoulder for waking him up and then I will run out before he sees me and go stand near Ma, what will he do when I am with her? Oh god, why am I thinking like a 10 yr old girl? Okay, whatever happens, let it happen...be a strong girl.’
After motivating myself I started walking towards him. My anklets made so much noise even if I tiptoed. ‘What if he wakes up and shouts at me? Oh god please help me get through this...please don’t wake up...please don’t wake up...please...please...’
I left the coffee on the table, and I turned to wake him up by tapping on his shoulder, but I hesitated and withdrew my hand. At least two or three times I would have done that, reaching for him and pulling away. Even for calling out his name from distance, I should know his name. ‘Yep... I didn’t have the chance to know his name yet and I don’t think I can call him Kutty.’
While I was thinking, standing near the bed, suddenly he turned towards me in a jumping action and said, “Like what you see?”
I was shocked but couldn’t hold my laugh. I knew it was silly of me to laugh but the way he turned back made me laugh. He tried to scare me like a child does that to the parents. It was kind of cute. And then realizing I was smiling at him I changed my facial reaction and looked at him questioningly thinking how did he know I was here.
He should have understood what I was thinking, so he told me “Your anklet... that’s how I know you are here.” I didn’t say anything back. I just gave him the coffee and turned back to leave.
“Hmm...what is your name?” I can feel that he was asking half-heartedly.
I was tempted to leave without answering his question but then I hesitated and turned back to look at him “Aadhirai...you can call me Aadhi” I told him and tried to leave.
“Just wanted to say that you look beautiful when you laugh,” He said hesitantly. I didn’t reply nor did I turned back to look at him. I just smiled myself and walked away.
After that, Mom and I worked in the kitchen for lunch, chatting. That was when I knew my husband was running a business, and his friends were partners in it. My father in law got voluntary retirement from his teaching after his son had got into the business. I wanted to ask what was his name, but I hesitated. So I decided otherwise.
My husband went out to see his friends in the afternoon. The day went pretty normal. He came back home after we finish our dinner. I was waiting for him to come home. Mom and Dad went to sleep. I started feeling nervous again when I saw him. Since we were all alone I was more than nervous. My heart was pounding that I could hear my own heartbeats.
I tried to serve him dinner without showing my nervousness. He finished his dinner and went back to our room. He didn’t speak a word or look at me when he came home or while he was having dinner. ′
When I finished cleaning, I went back to our room. He was looking at his phone and doing something. He didn’t see me coming. I didn’t know what to do next. I stood there looking at him expecting him to say something. But he didn’t, he was sitting there as if I am not in the room.
Annoyed by his actions, I started picking my bedsheet and pillow deciding to sleep on the floor. I didn’t have the heart to sleep beside him after how he behaved on the first of us together.
My actions caught his attention. He looked at me and asked, “what are you doing?” I didn’t mind him, I continue spreading my bedsheets on the floor preparing to sleep.
He asked me again annoyed by my unresponsiveness “Aadhi, I am asking you what are you doing?”
I thought to myself and lied down showing my back to him. I was really annoyed by how he treated me from the moment I entered this house. It was all too much to me.
He called me again ” Aadhi?“. Even then I didn’t answer, but he knew that I was listening so he continued, “I don’t know about you but this marriage happened without my interest. So I was thinking about getting divorced after a few months. You don’t have to worry about your family or mine. I will take full responsibility, I will tell them I am responsible. We will come up with the reason when the time comes. You just need to sign the papers. What do you say?”
Wow... even I didn’t expect this plot twist in my life.