The Mushroom Widow – Part II (Week 15/52)
The Mushroom Widow – Part II (Week 15/52)
Continued from last week…
Sashi will be back any moment now. He makes it a point to come over every now and then just to check if I am fine. He used to love Mushrooms. I am making it for him today.
He’ll be here and we both will have a simple dinner with some red wine.
I don’t usually drink unless it is with Sashi. His presence is very comforting, and, safe. And, I drink just enough to get relaxed, not a sip more! That’s when I start rambling and those are the moments Sashi loves. He is crazy! He says while I am otherwise quite composed and prefer to speak in English, when I am slightly high, I start speaking in my mother tongue and I can’t stop giggling over these observations that he makes. He’s one drinking pro I must say!
It's starting to hurt me again. My breasts. There’s some diagnosis underneath, I think. It’s been hurting oddly for about four years now and I have been complaining about it for more than seven, but to no heed. It’s so suffocating, the earthy smell of these mushrooms. Many a time I wonder what will happen if this pain does not subside permanently. Will someone ever be able to hold me that close… Will I feel loved?
I expressed this to Sashi the last time he came to see me. He just smiled. Apparently, that means yes. He is very reassuring that way. That’s the reason I miss him so much. Probably. I can’t be sure. I think no one can ever be sure about anything in a marriage. Especially things that are ‘said’.
Words are empty I think, actions matter. Marriages are like an illusion that we create and then we learn to adapt to those, change accordingly, until one day something helps us realize what is the reality. Maybe, but not always.
My grandmother lived a marriage of illusion. I refrain from doing that. I am not sure if I can. Guess I am too independent as Sashi had once said.
“You are a very independent woman. You are not going to need me.” Those were his last words.
There are times I reminisce about this and feel like asking him, “Do independent people don’t need other people? “
It’s strange Sashi said that. But that’s Sashi. One could never know what went on in his mind. I would not venture to understand him and rather depend on what he says verbatim for what he wishes to express. It’s way too exhausting to be that way but I had no other option because he hardly speaks and I never wanted to be in a marriage that is a set up for failure because of miscommunication you know. I also threw away the odd-looking mushroom. Not only was it bitter, but, it was also rotten. When I separated the stalk from the head part, I saw some small flies coming out.
Now I am gonna batch the lot into two. One for a stir fry for this evening and the rest for a curry; later.
I don’t think I was happy in my marriage with Sashi. But there were a lot many things about him that touched me and those memories have stuck with me. I miss those, sometimes. I realized while washing the mushrooms that they have a slimy texture of sorts. It’s like the recent work of Pettigiani tethered around Dunaliella salina, in Camargue, France. This time he has captured a special type of algae that can survive very salty environments. It's beautiful. The sea is smothered pink on one side and green on the other and I can only imagine the extent of the slime. The sticky slime.
I am having a tough time focussing on the details of what is going on around me. It happens they say with these medications that I am taking for this breast pain. That’s precisely why I make it a point to stay active and do everything on my own.
Sashi was always conservative in his ways. I am not sure if he had a difficult childhood like me, but he propagated the idea of respecting one’s parents. I respected that about him although I could never fully get myself to do it. I did it until he was around, for him, with a full heart. But eventually, I grew out of it. It’s beautiful how love can make you do the most impossible, improbable, and unbearable things with so much grace and ease. But now I feel it is important to find myself. I am sick and tired of losing myself to him or anyone else for that matter.
What I find more challenging is being able to reconnect with his and my own parents. Now, that he is gone and I have no reason to be nice to people. It was as if me being nice to everyone around me was a reciprocation of he being nice to me. As if, he fuelled my happiness, quite unknowingly! And now that he isn’t there I feel as if the world has collapsed on me and I am buried under a broken building that has recently succumbed to a massive earthquake. There are times I can’t feel my breath! There are days when I cry only because I am scared that if I don’t, I will break, and, I don’t want to. I think it’s also because of my health, but largely because he is not around anymore.
I don’t know what would Sashi have done had he been here. It’s as if I have grown used to no one being there for me after Sashi. It’s not what I would have preferred, I think. But before I had met him, I was all by myself and was doing just fine. So why get affected now.
“Ah! Sashi is here.”
We both will have dinner now. I hope he does not leave all the food on his plate as always. Ever since he slipped from the Mitre cliff last summer when we were on our trip in New Zealand, he does that. I was so hesitant to go there. Something just didn’t feel right to me the previous night. But he insisted, and we went.
I don’t know why he troubles me.
I am now going into the bedroom and pretend to be sleeping. I know he will not come to make it up to me. He never does.
It’s been a year and a half now.