I choose to Love you in Silence, for in silence I find no Rejection.
I choose to Love you in Loneliness, for in loneliness no one owns your Heart but me.
I choose to Adore you from a Distance, for distance will Shield me from Pain.
I choose to Imprison you in my Thoughts, for in my thoughts, Freedom is for me to Decide.
I choose to Kiss you in the Wind, for the wind is Gentler than my Lips.
I choose to Hold you in my Dreams, for in my dreams, You have no End.
“Ma, just listen to me. Give me some time and I’ll talk to her. I promise you she’ll agree to this. Srishti is very understanding and she loves this family very dearly. I am sure she herself shall agree to this upon listening to your request”, he tried explaining to his mother, yet another time.
“Understand what Akash?” Srishti couldn’t make any meaning out of the puzzled exchanges between the mother and the son.
“Srishti, am sure you do realise what we are going through at the moment. We need to acknowledge the delicate situation in the family. Mom and Dad are very disheartened at what Suraj and Pooja have done. You....I mean we, we need to stay by them”, Akash mumbled nervously, trying to avoid any misunderstanding or heated conversation between the two women.
“What do you want me to do, Ma?” Srishti silently asked her mother-in-law. She was too tired, not just physically after a long day at work, but also mentally, to bear more responsibilities and emotional pressure. She had suffered enough. If possible, she would just run away, far from all the people she ever knew and enjoy the freedom and independence she once did.
Srishti had changed a lot after marriage. The eyes that once twinkled were permanently filled with a void. Her thoughts, forever clouded with a strange pain. Her face held a smile that never reached her eyes. Well, obviously because it was fake. She had mastered the art of faking a smile that seemed genuine to the world. But her heart always yearned. Yearned that her Akash would spot her pain. Realise her state. Share her grief.
Alas, it never happened.
Akash had been the most supportive and caring husband in the initial days of their marriage. What had changed? There sure had been a lot of problems, but never did Srishti imagine that she would lose her loving husband in the process of supporting their family. In front of his family, she never seemed to be noticed. Neither her pains or worries. Still, this never affected Srishti from being the ideal daughter-in-law of the house. She had still followed all her duties perfectly and took care of her in-laws with utmost care and respect, being on terms with Akash. She was as ideal as their own daughter.
However lately, she had become mentally depressed. No matter her efforts in keeping her in-laws happy and satisfied, their curt and sharp comments stabbed her heart. She depended on Akash to hear her out during such times, only to get further agitated when he asked her to adjust, instead of bringing up issues within the household. Over the due course of time, Srishti stopped sharing her problems with Akash, realising it to hold no value. She had only two things by her side that gave her the necessary closure - her job and her pillow. The job of being a professor, following her passion of teaching and the pillow in which she would cry her heart out every night. Akash had changed indeed. Lying a mere few feet away, he had never for once heard her muffled cries. Or noticed her swollen eyes in the morning. It pained Srishti. A lot.
Brushing the same old thoughts, she looked at her mother-in-law waiting for her to say something. Srishti hadn’t missed the nervous look on Akash’s face. She was clever enough to understand that something big was coming her way. And it definitely wasn’t going to be any pleasant. Just as she mentally braced herself for what was to come,
“Srishti, I want you to resign your job and stay at home. It is very much necessary at the moment for the happiness of the family.”
Shattered. Well, that was a very small word. Why? Cause it was not her mother-in-law, but her very own Akash, who had managed to say these words. The Akash who once was excited when she got the job and insisted on dropping and picking her up from work daily, had just asked her to give up on it, despite being very well aware of how much she loved teaching.
She felt a deep pang in her chest as tears involuntarily filled her eyes. She stood rooted to her place, at the doorstep of the house.
She had once stood at the same spot, claiming to be “on the brink of FALLING in love” with Akash. At the present, she certainly knew she was in a similar position. The only difference - she was “on the brink of FAILING in love” with Akash.
Does this mark the end of their journey that had hardly even started? They say marriages are for a lifetime. Is it so? Will Akash ever realise what he has done? Or will it just be too late?