That time of the year- the chill has resided to a comfortable cool, the sky is of the brightest blue, birds chirping almost throughout the day, sweet scents of the blooming flowers flirting with the air, the breeze comfortable and cool. It is Lakkhi’s favourite time of the year. The rejuvenation that nature shows seems to reverberate within her. She feels peaceful and elated-both contradicting with the economic conditions of her family.
However, for Lakkhi, that particular morning started with a sunken note. She opened her eyes and witnessed the beautiful day, yet she felt a sinking sensation in her stomach. Her mind’s turbulence was in a great paradox with the peace outside. She felt the urge to run out, hide herself and sit quietly where no human intervention was possible, but such executions were not possible in the condition she lived. The burden of the sorrows she suddenly seemed to be carrying became too much for her. She stuffed her mouth with her fist and wetted her face. Her mother, who was already up at dawn, came back to the room after finishing half of the household chores. She silently watched Lakkhi crying but said nothing. She has witnessed a lot of this unnecessary crying for the last three years and somehow she has become stoic to all these.
“Get up Lakkhi. Finish the washing and the cleaning. Tend to yourself; remember they will take more interest in you than in us. This is the fifth proposal your father has managed to get, please let them not reject you this time. Live up to your name, girl, at least for our sake. ”
Lakkhi wiped her face, got up mechanically and started with her morning routine. Her head started throbbing painfully, eyes watering now and then and ears ringing with her mother’s last words. Lakkhi went on to make herself “look” appealing.
Luckily her efforts got acknowledged this time and the twelve year older groom liked her very much. Needless to say, after few months, Lakkhi started her marital life with full enthusiasm. Her husband turned out to be a very soft-hearted gentleman and he tried everything to keep Lakkhi happy. The latter tries her best to keep her enthusiasm up, however, what goes asunder-beyond Lakkhi’s control-is her occasional onslaughts of a wide spectrum of hopelessness, of a sorrow that has no roots. On these days, she feels giddy, her head throbbing incessantly. She wants to lie down throughout the day, the tears rolling down constantly for no apparent reason. At first when such days hit her, her husband became extremely worried. Throughout the day he took care of her, he even skipped his office. Lakkhi would hold on to him like a hungry being holding on to a piece of bread. She made him sit down and listen to her pains, which half of the time remained unclearly expressed. He would console her without comprehending much but with full empathy. This would be their routines on these days during which Lakkhi made a mess out of herself. However in three or four days, everything became perfect and the household reflected the exuberance of a happily married life.
Very unfortunately, with the passing time, Lakkhi became more prone to her sorrows. Days went by as Lakkhi would remain subdued in herself, crying silently, often not understanding the reason behind her grief and thus crying even more. Her husband, who left no stones unturned in keeping her happy, started becoming perplexed and perplexion gave way to resignation. Resignation gradually turned into irritation and indignation. In the course of the time, the relatives came to know and the neighbours witnessing such wilful behavior, labeled her as a misfit. But Lakkhi seemed to be completely unaware, she started talking less, her husband’s cross demeanor brought into her a fresh source of tears and her grief overcame her. Mornings seemed grey to her and although she went about with all the household activities, she resigned to the relentless grief that was slowly devouring her up. Her happy days eventually became meagre. Her husband’s growing insensitivity somewhat shook her even more. She started feeling that she was losing her only confidante and thus to get him back, she used her friable weapon of tears. To her utter despondency, it only drifted them apart.
The declension of their relationship became veritable. Now, Lakkhi has actually developed a foundation of her sorrow but she did not take into cognizance the fact that her paradoxical attitude is the reason behind it. She started blaming her husband for being inconsiderate, her grief often turning into burning hatred towards him and her own family for being so aloof to her. Their stoic resignation to her degenerating condition made her frenzied with anger which brought on more tears. Her life became monotonous, her will to live becoming completely null. Her behaviour became unintelligible to people around her. She was ignored almost by everyone due to her pessimistic attitude. Her husband started coming home late with no desire to be with her. Interaction between them became sparse-when she cried, he turned up the volume of the television. Lakkhi remained quiet, slowly receding to her oblivious self. Days passed like this and Lakkhi’s life was engulfed by loneliness. Her oblivious position in the household stood in sharp contrast with the high volume of the television. With nobody to talk to her skill of speech started diminishing, her quotidian life mechanical and joyless.
Now it so happened that one night Lakkhi encountered a searing headache and a constant vomiting. At first her husband mistook it to be her contrived effort of creating sympathy but when Lakkhi fainted, he took real notice. The next day they went to a doctor. The doctor scribbled some regular medicine, paying little heed to what Lakkhi had to divulge about her problem. On their way home, Lakkhi’s eyes caught sight of a young couple with their newborn. Her barrenness seemed to be accentuated by the newborn’s shrill cry and the couple’s conjoined efforts to cool it down. The grief made way to Lakkhi again. The headache again came back, tears started rolling down. When the silent tears changed into sniffs, her husband made a grunt in response to them. When they finally reached home, Lakkhi’s unfathomable sorrow gripped her in a tight embrace. She felt herself to be a failure in life. She was plain, she was poor and now she has suddenly realized the pain of not tasting the joy of motherhood. She could have had a child if her life was not so dissipated in her sadness and although it did not bother her until she saw the sight of the newborn but since she has got a new reason of being unhappy, she clung to it. She felt very miserable. She turned towards her husband to blurt out her inner pain but he turned a deaf ear and walked out the house.
In the evening when Lakkhi’s husband returned to his unilluminated house, all he could make out in the last light of the evening, was Lakkhi’s lifeless body lying in the verandah, a pool of blood flowing from her slit wrist to create a halo round her head.