Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Can I Sleep Alone?

She smiled at the hush hush smiles of her kids, making cards for "Women's Day" for her. Her kids thought that she did not know. It was quite impossible to keep anything a secret in her small apartment. She knew every corner and every corner knew her. 

She spent considerable time cleaning, sprucing and decorating it. Her house had to be perfect. Everyone who came to their house had compliments to give her. She was the reason of envy for many women in her society. 

Her husband was romantic, good looking and doted on her. He brought her gifts and generally supported all her endeavors. His sense of humour and adventure kept their lives constantly alive and active... 

He too in some corner was secretly hiding a gift for her which he had carefully kept hidden. A sleeveless dress perhaps or shorts. He knew her well. Her tastes never ran into jewellery or expensive demands.. She knew her home budget and finances well to expect for more... 

She sighed... Obedient and loving kids, adorable husband and lovely home. She was the Queen... Or was she? 

To maintain the house in the time constraint and financial limitations was a struggle she hid skilfully. 

Her beauty regimens and many such needs had to be shelved to meet demands as and when they arose. Sometimes the bill was high of Electricity or fees of the kids were due. Some relative's ceremony needed funds as Gifts to be purchased. Inlaws coming over for a full week stay. 

They managed somehow, working together. She had taken up work at home which paid her but just about to tie the ends.She did not particularly like her work. It brought her money and so she continued. Imitation jewellery, mechanical and economic option for women who make believe and cannot have it real.  She remembered giving up so many of her aspirations and workshops she longed to take. Either finances or responsibilities impeded the process. She saw all those independent women who made headlines and wrung her hands silently. 

She looked around her. Docile environment greeted her. "Is it not enough?" she would ask. It should be... But when she wanted to so much as eat something of her choice.. She could not.. One of the family member does not like it.. Too much of effort to cook separately! Just when she would open the book to read, a kid would come forth with a homework to handle.  Just when she took the tea cup to her lips, someone demanded her attention. If she desired to catch up a programme on TV, her hubby would get a film ticket, he may enjoy... She would just get along and enjoy. Was she pretending? Was she fake? 

She just thought if it kept peace in the rosy bubble, why burst it?  All is well, why jeopardise with demands and grouses? Hell, she never gave opinions on social situations however strongly she may feel... She served and listened while family debated... 

Just yet she knew, she would have to carry out yet another function, guessing from the sexual looks her husband was sending. He was waiting for kids to wish her and sleep. 

She knew, she will participate. Why create a fuss over a matter that will like get through in few minutes?  He will sulk and feel hurt rest of the  day. Kids will go on to feel "What is wrong?" If she however co-operated all will be smooth and hunky dory. She enjoyed Sexual encounters but there were days when she did not really feel like it. Today happened to be such a day. Her husband was as sexy as ever. She just felt no desire today. All day she had felt crowded and bombarded. All she wanted was to wrap her favourite blanket and sleep "Alone" 

"You are the best woman I have met, Ask me anything and I will give you My Queen! ", So declared her husband with a long Sleeveless Summer Dress. 

" Can I sleep alone? " remained unasked! 

She had wanted it from quite some time. She was thrilled. She took it Gratefully... 

Her kids danced around her," Yes Mom.. Chance of a Lifetime! " 


Really.. Her heart asked.. Can I sleep alone... Just for a night.. Without anyone fussing over me? Can I voice it? Can I do it, even if I am not unwell? 

 Her husband had come pretty close and kissed. It was a delicious sight for her children. It filled them with security and happiness. All was great in their world. 

Her world... Sometimes longed for a mental space when worries did not crowd her... Insecurities of finance did not surround her... Heavy workload of home and work demands leave her... A time when her body muscles do not ache... A time when she can state her mind's and  heart's desire to just be left alone with nothing to do... 

Her husband had picked her up to take the kiss to its logical conclusion and headed to their bedroom. 

She sighed. Everything was perfect. She was just being philosophical and tad bit ungrateful. She shrugged and looked into the eyes of this man who had given her this perfect world. So many women would love to change places with her. 

Simply greedyand illogical,  she was being. 

"Tzzzz Tzzzz.. " rang the cell phone! 

Her husband frowned and set her down reluctantly. 

" Hello, Ajjubhaiya.. Yes.. When?? Ohhh! Yes Yes, ofcourse... I will join you. "

He looked at her." Renumaasi from Pune, she is no more... Ajjubhaiya is on his way. Mom and us will have to go. Kids have exams, so they will understand if you and bhabhi don't come"

She went to the Cupboard and fetched the travelbag and kept few clothes. Rest all will be provided in their family home in Pune. 

He left... 

She turned and looked at the Sofa.. Her blanket... Children off to sleep... Silence and Solitude for few hours... But she did not want her husband to go!

Should she be happy or not with her predicament... She got what she asked for...? 

Women's dilemma... Merge or separate...? 

Where lies her wholeness? In dependence with others or being Independent? 

                                        -Sonnal Pardiwala

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