Love Story Of A Different Kind
Love Story Of A Different Kind8 mins 17.8K 8 mins 17.8K
She was always deep in her thoughts, pensive, whenever he looked at her. One fine day he asked her the reason behind the look of melancholy on her face. She questioned him in return, “Vidit, I am fine. I am happy, really! Why do you always think I am not?”
Vidit was speechless. He thought to himself, “She is lying not just to me, but to herself. I need to find the real reason behind this sadness!”
A few days later, was Vidit’s and Anuttara’s first wedding anniversary. He decided to surprise her. Three evenings before the D-Day, he came home early. But the door to his house was locked. He was surprised. As much as he knew, Anuttara never went out anywhere. And in this new city, she had no friends either. All the shopping happened online or on calls. Where was she then? He wondered.
He dialled Anuttara’s mobile number, but it kept ringing without any answer. He decided to drop her a message and wait for her to return. It was 5 pm. When she did not return home till 7, he was worried, irritated and exasperated. He dialled again, but in vain. His message was unread too! He was growing impatient.
Just when he was about to call her again, the lift opened, and Anuttara stepped out. She looked as if she had cried. But she faked a smile the minute her eyes fell on her husband. “Vidit… you are early today!” she exclaimed. He forced a smile. “Yeah… just came. Didn’t know you had a planned evening!” She nodded, “Yeah! Just went out for a walk. I wanted some fresh air!”
Vidit decided not to pursue the matter now. They entered their home. Anuttara quickly got him a cup of tea. Then she announced she is going for a quick bath. Vidit stole this opportunity to scan through her mobile to see if he could find something. He found nothing fishy. He let go the matter for then.
The next evening too, Vidit was home by 5.30 but again he found the door locked. He was not too sure why but he was starting to suspect another man in his wife’s life… The same story repeated when Anuttara returned. Vidit asked her why she did not pick his call. She replied saying she did not hear it ringing. Yet again, Vidit ran through her mobile but found nothing.
Anuttara fixed dinner. They ate in peace, as always. Vidit said, “Anu! I have something in mind for the anniversary.” She looked up in surprise as if she had forgotten it was their anniversary in two days. She stammered, “Er… er… yes… yes sure. Tell me!” Vidit said, “Well I had planned a trip to Bali and Indonesia. But…. Looks like you are not too interested!” he let that settle. Anuttara looked at him thoughtfully… “Er… No! That’s not true, Vidit! I would be happy! Really!” Without any excitement on her face or body language, it was tough to believe she was happy. Anuttara’s parents had always maintained she was a very reserved person. She hardly ever spoke to them. Yet, something did not seem to be fine. Vidit wanted to know what that was. He decided to make this holiday memorable and break the ice with his wife, his beloved wife!
They started packing for the trip. Anuttara’s choice of clothes was simple; Vidit suggested they shop some holiday-relevant clothes. They both agreed to do it the next evening after Vidit’s work. He subtly said, “Where do you go walking every evening… Do you always go or have you just begun?” Anuttara was caught off guard. She was struggling to answer. Vidit was not happy seeing this. Yet he waited for her reply. She said, “Er… Vidit… I….” He nodded to motion her to continue. She said, “Vidit… I … Actually… I …” Now Vidit was impatient. “Say it Anu!” He almost yelled.
Anu trembled and said, “Vidit… I am sorry but without your knowledge… I have been… I have been working part time with an orphanage during afternoons. I… I go to this Baal-Aangan ashram on the link road. It’s been about two months now!” She was staring at her own lap. Vidit was totally confused. “Ashram? Why? And why didn’t you tell me?”
“They needed a helping staff. The salary is too less. They pay me only 8k a month. I thought you wouldn’t like it, being at a managerial position. And those kids can do with a little extra love. And I being a lone cloud, decided it may bring me some peace. I am sorry, Vidit!” She was apologetic.
Vidit felt like a loser. He said, “Is this all you have understood me? Come on, why will I not allow you? And who the hell am I to decide for you? You are my wife! Not slave! I feel I have failed to make a good impression on your mind!” He was sad for real.
Anuttara was sad because she disappointed Vidit. Vidit said, “Anu! You always stay so quiet. I always feel something is eating you up inside. But you never open up! I feel like a failure of a husband! I am sorry, I let you down!” He walked away from there and stood near the window. Anuttara was sad too. She decided this was the time… To open up and build that friendship. But she was worried if she will lose it all. She asked very softly… “Vidit, if I tell you something.. will you be able to take it?” Vidit just nodded. He added as an afterthought, “if you say something and it solves some mysteries about you, about the melancholic personality you have, and if it helps me understand you better… please say it! Bring it on, I would say!”
That boosted Anuttara’s confidence. She said, “I was 13 years old, Vidit. I had just started getting my periods. And this uncle of mine, one day, raped me! I didn’t even know it was rape. I didn’t know what it meant, what it would bring, what it stood for! Until after a few months when Mom started to worry about me! She asked me a hundred questions about boys! Finally I said that daddy’s brother had done something with me when Mom Dad had been out of town for two days! That day my mother and father beat me up ruthlessly. They also hit my uncle. I did not understand why I was at fault. They took me to a doctor who said some miserable things. I don’t know what she said, but I know it was miserable because mom and dad kept crying every night for several days.
Later, we moved cities every few days before we finally settled down in a remote town on the outskirts of Madhya Pradesh. That is when mom explained to me what had happened and that now I was going to deliver a baby. And then she said we will have to throw the baby wrapping it in a polythene bag. I knew nothing about rape, pregnancy, or babies, but I knew for sure that this was a wrong thing. So I asked her if we can give it to someone who was in need of a baby. She ridiculed my idea. But I was sure I wanted to do something.
A few days later, I met some doctor from a government run hospital. She was supposed to be handling my delivery. I spoke to her about my mother’s idea of throwing the baby. She helped us understand the concept of adoption and orphanages. That’s when I agreed and so did my parents. A few days later, I delivered a baby girl. As soon as she was born, I was not even shown her face. They took her away and someone adopted her immediately from the orphanage. To this day, I know nothing about her. I always am tempted towards orphanages. I have offered my voluntary services to more than eight orphanages so far! And back then, I was taken back to our hometown and I resumed my studies and everything. But all of this left a permanent scar on my heart and soul, Vidit.
When my parents thought it was time for marriage I met three people. Two of whom rejected me. And the third one was you. I had no say. You said yes, and the elders decided it was fine. I never thought I would open up with anyone about this. But somehow today… I felt like … I am sorry I have hidden such a big thing from you.” She concluded.. She had tears in her eyes. Before she wiped them off, she stole a glance at her husband. She was surprised he was not angry or upset, but sad. He had tears too. That meant he empathised with her. She stared at him for an answer. All he did was opened his arms for her to come and settle in his embrace. No words were exchanged between them that night. Only tears, and a lot of hugs.
The anniversary holiday to Bali and Indonesia, was more like a honeymoon because now the couple had finally struck a chord of friendship. It felt like a blessing for Vidit to have met someone so deeply thoughtful as Anuttara, and for her, it was as if an angel had been sent on earth.
All love stories do not begin with smiles, some begin with tears too!