The 7th Cross
The 7th Cross5 mins 110 5 mins 110
Shaila hurriedly boarded the bus, taking care that nobody could see her. She was still doubtful if anyone could have seen her, she turned back and sighed relief as no one known to her had seen her boarding the bus. She asked for the daily pass from the bus conductor and kept it safely in her handbag. She had a bad habit of dosing off on the bus, she fell asleep soon as she had, had her breakfast too.
While still asleep, she remembered her husband and the first vow they both had taken during their marriage, that her husband, Vignesh would provide her with welfare and happiness throughout their lifetime, but that happened only till the kids were born and Shaila found happiness in the welfare of their children and somehow managed the household as Vignesh used to be out most of the time on the job duty.
Shaila woke up with a jerk, the conductor was calling out the stop name, as she was feeling drowsy, she closed her eyes again. Her husband was repeating after the priest, that he would protect his wife and children and she could hear the priest telling her to repeat, that her husband would be loyal to her, which indeed he was, but to her dismay, she was not. She was going back to her old boyfriend who had proposed to her in her college, and she had refused it bluntly at that time. Somehow, her boyfriend, Karthik, had come in contact with her, and taking advantage of her helpless situation, he became so close to her that she had stepped out of her own house because of Karthik though all that had happened over the phone. Shaila was shivering badly that too in the winter. She took out the water bottle and drank half of it and wiped the sweat off of her forehead.
She could not recollect the third vow and vaguely remembered that her husband would provide her with wealth and she, in turn, had to be loyal to him. Tears rolled down Shaila's eyes. She quickly wiped it off so that no one on the bus could see it. If it was not for Vignesh to be there for her when in need, she wouldn't have thought of leaving the house.
Fourthly, the vow was asking both the bride and groom to give respect to each other and uphold the family values, which Vignesh did to a certain extent, but then, he had to take care of the family business, leaving behind his wife, Shaila all alone to manage the family. This was the testing time for Shaila as she found it difficult to manage the family in his absence, especially his coming home late and tiredness played a big role in her drifting away from him.
The fifth vow of the wedding beckoning the importance of loyalty and dependency on each other wherein the groom expresses his gratitude and calls the bride his best friend, whereas, the bride, in return, promises to love and cherish their relationship forever. Vignesh had kept it up, but only until the birth of his children. He had neglected Shaila unknowingly as he got busy in his work, however, Shaila missed his presence, both physical and emotional presence.
Shaila was eagerly waiting for her stop, while she recollected how Vignesh had expressed the depth of his happiness to be able to find her. The bride affirms her affection towards the groom promises to stand by him forever. This vow also beckons the importance of health, peace, and prosperity in one’s life. All this lasted only for a few years of their marriage.
Shaila asked for the next stop to the conductor as she did not know much about Bangalore City. On hearing the stop's name, she got up. The bus stopped at the signal. Shaila tried hard to remember the final and the seventh vow wherein the couple promises to stand by each other and be true in their relationship always. The oath of loyalty and the willingness to spend a life with not another human being but with a friend, are the things that make the last vow a special one.
Shaila was full of anxiety looking forward to meeting her ex-boyfriend, Karthik and while moving towards the bus door, her mangalsutra ( a sacred string tied by the groom to the bride in Hindu tradition) got stuck in the bag which was carried by a grandmother who stood right in front of her. The grandmother helped her in removing it, but the chain broke off and the grandmother told her to be careful with that since it was a bad omen. The grandmother told her that her husband maybe would cheat upon her in the future and that was the reason why the chain had broken. Shaila started crying very badly, because, only she knew that it was she who was cheating on Vignesh not in the future, but at present. Grandmother wiped her tears and told her to go home and light a lamp in front of God and that everything would be alright.
Shaila heard the conductor saying "7th cross," she had made up her mind in these 7 bus stops to get back to her better half. Karthik was eagerly waiting at the bus stop but was disheartened to see Shaila going away on the bus without getting down. He thought of following her, but then he knew that she would not come back.
Shaila hurriedly reached home and prepared snacks for her children. She lighted the lamp in the evening as told by the grandmother and thanked her immensely for she came as a turning point in her life.
She prepared Vignesh's favorite food and put children to sleep. Ignorant of all this, Vignesh came home and was surprised to see his favorite dish and asked Shaila if he had forgotten their anniversary. Shaila gave him a yellow string and told him to tie it as her mangalsutra had broken. Vignesh took the yellow string in his hand and tied it around Shaila's neck and held her close to his heart and whispered, which only Shaila could hear......