The Wind Beneath Our Wings

The Wind Beneath Our Wings

8 mins

Adya looked at the two grim faces on her either side in the lift. One was that of the gorgeous Ira who was an airhostess. Though her features were perfectly carved and her face was one of the most stunning ones Adya had ever seen but right now its charm was marred by dejection and agony. Even though, she was in her mid-twenties but the gloomy look on her face made Ira look much older than her age. Then Adya's gaze shifted down Ira's slender shoulder and shapely arms to her wrists. Both her wrists bore grotesque cut marks on them. They were the tell-tale marks of her suicide attempt last month. If Adya hadn't banged into her apartment and rushed her to the hospital right away, she would have lost Ira forever.

Adya sighed as flashes of that dark night danced before her eyes. She thought of the pain and agitation she had been through all night long as she waited outside Ira's room in the hospital while Ira was battling for life. Her suicide attempt left, everyone in the housing society where they lived, in utter shock. Their neighbors pondered hard over the probable reason that had made a girl as beautiful and successful as Ira to end her life. As they couldn't find any, all those eyes turned quizically towards Adya as she was Ira's neighbor and close confidante. Adya was well aware of the reason behind such extreme step. It was Sahil. He was a pilot and they had fallen in love with each other during the long hours they had spent together on the flights. But the bubble of their rosy dreams burst when it hit the hard ground of reality. Sahil's parents didn't approve of their relationship and forced him to break off. Their break up tore her apart and she couldn't think of anything but suicide as a remedy to the situation she was trapped in. Its been a month since Ira was discharged from the hospital but it seems like she had lost her zest to live.

Then Adya's eyes turned towards her left where Ekta stood posing as a perfect figure of despair and doom. Ekta was a 35 year old housewife. Her husband Aditya had a well paid job and the two were happy in their marital relationship. The only problem that they faced was they were still childless even after completing 10 successful years of their marriage. But no marriage is considered as successful by our society untill a child is born out of it. Having a child is the only evidence that proves to the world outside that things are going on well for the couple. Otherwise the marriage is a doomed one just like Ekta's life has turned out. As doctors and medicines couldn't help them have one, Ekta wanted to adopt a child to complete their family. But Aditya was strictly against it. The reason was again the society they were living in. The society would never accept a child, who was not born from their own blood, as theirs.

Adya rolled her eyes as she found both her best friends sinking deep in the swamp of depression. The trio were friends and neighbors since last 3 years. Every morning, Adya used to drop Ira at the airport and Ekta at the market on her way to the hospital where she worked as the HR manager.

"Enough is enough!" Adya muttured under her breath as her friends sat silently in her car, lost in their own world. "I have to act quickly otherwise I'm going to lose them soon."

As the car moved on the road laden with heavy traffic, Adya smiled gaily at Ira who sat by her side and then turned to look at Ekta seated behind her. Both the ladies reverted with a rueful smile that tore at her heart.

"Guys!" Adya said in a vibrant voice, "we still have time to report to our post of duty. Let's stop by the coffee shop and have a steaming cup."

Adya didn't wait for their reaction and quickly turned her car towards the coffee shop while her friends gave a silent approval to her proposal. Adya was determined to pull her friends out of the cocoon of gloom they had themselves wound around them.

"Let's get it straight!" Adya said as the trio took the first sip of coffee. "You can't go like this forever. You have to fight with your miseries and get out of this doomed life of yours."

Their reply was exactly as Adya had expected - silence.

"Look, Ira," Adya's avid eyes pierced through Ira's gloomy ones, "you have no right to ruin your life for a man who isn't worthy of you."

"Then what shall I do, Adya?" Ira's eyes filled up, "I still love him. I can't forget him. My life has no meaning without him."

"No, Ira!" Adya thumped her fist on the table, "don't be so weak. Your life is very precious. If he really cares for you he will definitely marry you even if he had to battle against the whole world. And if he doesn't, just move on. Do things that you love to do, hang out with your friends and enjoy life the way it comes to you. And please, wipe those tears first."

"And you, Ekta," Adya turned towards her, "if Aditya isn't willing to adopt a child, that doesn't mean its the end of life for you. You can still enjoy the ecstasy of motherhood."

"How?" Ekta's dazed eyes stared at Adya.

"Instead of bringing a child to your home why don't you spend your time at an orphanage after Aditya leaves for work. There are many kids in there who crave for mother's love and care."

Both the ladies looked at Adya as a new ray of hope touched their soul. Her words motivated them and inspired them to start their life all over again.

As the flight took off Ira shed her usual glum look and greeted everyone with a warm smile. She cracked jokes with the crew members and they all laughed merrily at her witty remarks. She chatted jovially with the handsome co-pilot Arun while completely ignoring Sahil who was sitting next to him. To add insult to his injury, Ira flashed a flirtatious smile at Arun while waving him goodbye after the flight had landed. The fire of vengeance burning within her waned out only when she saw Sahil burning with rage.

"What the hell do you think you are doing?" Sahil hissed at her when they were alone.

"Why?" Ira glared back, "do you think I'm going to mourn our break up for my entire life? You are mistaken, Sahil!"

"We are going to get married right away," Sahil held her hand tightly.

"And what about your parents?" Ira smirked.

"I'll convince them." The fear of losing Ira to his colleague Arun was evident in his eyes.

Aditya had been seeing his ever- depressed wife glowing with happiness since last few days. At first, he was astonished as what had brought such a tremendous change in her. But then surprise transformed into suspicion. He started suspecting her of having an affair behind his back. He decided to keep a watch on her activities after he leaves for work in the morning. He followed her everywhere untill he discovered the secret of her happiness. After she was done with her house hold jobs, Ekta spent her day at the orphanage. Aditya, who was watching her stealthily, was overwhelmed when he came to know that it was the affection showered on her by the children that made her happy. He realized that nothing mattered to him more than the happiness of his wife and finally made his mind to adopt a child even if he had to fight with everyone in the world around him.

"We are going to get married next month!" Ira screamed out of excitement over the phone.

"And you know what," Ekta screamed back, "Aditya has agreed to adopt a child!"

"Wow! That's great," Ira said, "let's meet Adya and share the joy with her. It's because of her inspiration that we were able to get over our grief and found hope and happiness."

"Yes, she is the wind beneath our wings," Ekta nodded. "But have you seen her lately? When I went to break the news to her yesterday I found her apartment locked. And, she wasn't answering my calls as well."

"Maybe she is at her mother's place. Let's go there." Ira said and hung up.

A small crowd had gathered at Adya's house when Ekta and Ira reached there. All the people were dressed in white and bore a dull look. They made their way through the crowd and stepped into the house as their mind became clouded with doubts. Their heart skipped a beat as their eyes met something terrible. Right in the middle of the central hall, Adya's photograph was placed with a garland hung over it. Both of them held their breaths for a while and stared at the photograph in utter disbelief.

"Excuse me," Ira asked a lady who passed by them, "what had happened to her?"

"Don't you know," the lady said, "she was suffering from cancer. She had rented an apartment in the city so that she could undergo treatment for the ailment. But her condition worsened a few days back and they brought her back home. She passed away last night."

Both Ira and Ekta looked at the lady with a pale face. Adya had never told them about her illness. She had never let them know that every morning she went to the hospital to meet her doctor and not for work as they were told.

"How do you know her?" The lady asked as she stared back at Ira and Ekta. "Was she your friend?"

"She was the wind beneath our wings," they both said in unison.

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