Read the story written on some similar fabric ‘Like June in March‘
– Sudhanshu Gupta
It is the month of March. There is still romance left in the season. He has woken up. But he hasn’t left the bed yet. After waking up, he has always liked to lie on the bed for some time. Everything is looking great for him at the moment. It is ten o’clock in the morning. The newspaper job lasts till late at night. come home late. Sleep late and wake up late. She found that she is happier today than on other days.
Today is his holiday. In the newspaper, only lucky people get a holiday on Sunday. It is Monday today. Its weekly off. But he is not happy because today he is off. The reason for his happiness is something else. He has to meet a girl today. This is the reason for his happiness. He got up hurriedly, washed his face on the wash basin and came back and lay down on his bed.
The voices coming from the kitchen are telling that the wife is making tea. He saw the clock hanging on the front wall telling the time. He still has plenty of time. He has turned his back to the wall. Now there is a window in front of him. Window that is always closed. Some books are kept randomly at both the ends of the window. There is a mesh in both the doors of the wooden slats. There is another door outside which remains closed. There are mirrors on both his sides. There is no possibility to open the window. Yet the outside world is looking beautiful to her. Looks romantic. do not know why?
‘Tea’, the wife said while keeping the cup of tea on her bed. He turned and saw first tea and then his wife. Their eyes met for a moment. Don’t know what the wife kept looking for on his face.
‘What are you seeing outside the window?’
Looking outside the window, he said, ‘I am wondering how this window can be opened?’
‘This window cannot be opened, it has been closed for years. It’s jammed now,’ the wife said confidently.
He then started looking at the romantic world outside the window.
‘Where to go today?’ Wife asked.
‘Yes, have to go to meet someone’.
The wife did not ask whom to go to meet. She went inside to the kitchen. He was greatly relieved by this. If the wife is straight then it has many benefits. She doesn’t ask much questions and answers. Blindly trusts her husband. He can be deceived by saying anything – he can be cheated. For the first time she was happy at her choice as a wife. He left the world outside the window and came in. He looked at the clock. It’s a while before eleven o’clock. Even if he starts getting ready at eleven o’clock, he will be ready by eleven o’clock.
It will hardly take half an hour to reach Mandi House. The time to meet him is twelve o’clock. Today will be meeting him for the first time. Do you know if a new window of love will open? He has known her for some time. Beautiful, intelligent.
‘What will you eat for breakfast?’ I do not know when the wife came from inside and stood beside him. The only meaning of understanding for the wife is to provide breakfast, lunch and dinner to the husband at the right time.
‘Make anything,’ he felt bad thinking about breakfast at this time. The wife went inside again and he got up and started preparing to leave.
He got ready after exactly fifteen minutes and stood in front of the mirror. Black colored pants and blue colored shirt. He looked at himself in the mirror. For the first time he thought he was smart. He once said, the combination of black and blue is good. He looks good. Everything was going according to plan.
Today for the first time he had given his approval to meet somewhere outside. He set his hair with a comb. He sheds his hair backwards. The hair is a little less on the left side and more on the right side. Then he sets the hair on the right side in such a way that the hair rises up. Just like the hair of movie heroes. Everything else was fine but the hair on the right side was not getting ready to rise up. He turned the comb upside down and ran it on the hair in such a way that the hair gets set and the part of the hair on the right side rises up. But even after many efforts this was not happening. He realized that he had been in front of the mirror for a long time.
It’s not a very old thing. He must have been 18-19 years old. Then there was no dressing table in his house. He had to make hair with a small mirror in his hand. Once he was making hair like this. I do not know whether he was late or not, but the father had asked with a voice from another room, what is the matter today, to go to a special place. He understood that the father understood where he had to go. Father’s eyes were very sharp. To answer to the father would have meant getting caught in his trap. He remained silent and started playing a grin on his father’s face. But now the father is no more.
Now there is no one who can catch his cunning or cunning. Wife and he is alone in the house. He looked to the right by turning his neck. The wife is cutting lady’s finger by laying a newspaper on the ground. immersed in itself. He combed his hair for the last time, looked at himself once again in the mirror and came out of the room after finding everything was fine.
Tea and a sandwich were kept on his bed. He started eating quietly. He looked at his wife carefully. The wife first takes out each bhindi from the water, then cleans it with a cloth and then cuts it in a separate vessel.
‘Who do you want to meet today on a holiday?’ The wife’s entire focus was still on cutting the ladyfinger.
He was amazed. How are wives able to meditate in two or three places simultaneously? This means that she must have been watching him making hair in the mirror for a long time or at least he must have guessed that he is spending more time getting ready today.
‘Where are you lost… I am asking whom to go to meet?’ The wife asked again. This time she was looking at him.
Don’t know whether it was the heat of the question or the feeling of love for the one he is going to meet, his face turned red. Still, while handling himself, he said, I have to meet some girl.
‘I have also understood that you are going to meet a girl only, but for what?’ As if the wife was adamant on knowing the reality of this meeting.
He wondered why…is he going to meet her…who is she and what is likely to happen to him. He once again looked at his wife. There was no tension on the wife’s face. It seemed that cutting lady’s finger was the most important thing in the world for him. It came to his mind that the wife would be asking like this, nothing would happen in her mind. After all, there must be some benefit of being erect to the wives. I don’t know what came in his mind, he said, I am thinking of falling in love once again… you are not interested in love.
The wife remained silent for some time. It was not that she was thinking of the answer. One of the ladybugs had gone bad and she was probably upset because of this. To add to the matter, he said again, ‘You did not love before marriage, nor after getting married… and now the question of loving someone else after marriage does not arise…’
For the first time, the wife turned her attention away from the ladybugs and looked at her. Without any excitement, without any complaints. He said very simply, don’t live in any such misunderstanding…..
She again started cutting okra as before. Maybe the ladyfingers were completely cut. The wife got up and went to the kitchen. He was left alone in the room. I don’t know why all of a sudden his enthusiasm had vanished. He looked outside the window. He could not see any kind of romanticism outside. It was 11.45 minutes on the clock. It was not possible to reach that girl in fifteen minutes. This sentence of the wife is ringing in her mind, do not live in any such misunderstanding. He did not know why it seemed as if someone had talked like the hot sun of June in the romantic season of May. He didn’t feel like going out. He changed his clothes and came and lay down on his bed. The wife did not even ask why are you not going?
After doing journalism for three decades, Sudhanshu Gupta is now completely immersed in literature. He has published three short story collections ‘Empty Coffee House’, ‘Last Cup of Tea with Him’ and ‘Smile Please’. Your stories, articles and reviews on social fabric have been and continue to be published in magazines like Sarika, Weekly Hindustan, Naya Gyanodaya, Navneet, Kadambini, Dainik Hindustan, Dainik Bhaskar, Jansatta, Haribhoomi, Jansandesh, Janvani etc. Many of your stories have been broadcast on the radio.