It had been more than a month after their marriage, yet Shankhar and Gauri couldn’t talk much to each other. They hardly shared words, rather lingered on syllables. Unlike other arranged-marriage couples, they didn’t enjoy the art of jabbering, even after their engagement. Gauri was the daughter of Retd.Col. Devadatta and Dr.Malathi, both of whom took utmost care, that their daughter never got exposed to the men folk, during her academics. This might be one of the reasons why she fought with Prof.Balakrishnan, her colleague, just for simply praising her beauty. Her feminist mind couldn’t stand such things. On the other hand Shankhar was no less than a traditional male chauvinist, parented by Adv.Achuthan Namboodiri and Devaki Varasyar, who was a home maker. It had always kept Shankhar, the project leader at Infopark, in wonder, as how Achuthan Namboodiri chose his daughter-in law to be a working woman, which Shankhar never preferred. Both the families were happy to have the new comers, except the newly wedded pair, both of whom were ardent lovers of late marriage, and to get married in their 20’s was never their cup of tea.
Just after their marriage, they shifted to a 3 bedroom furnished apartment in Kochi, as their job locations were equally accessible from there. Both were busy with their pile of works, and they never found themselves dependant on each other. The teachings of Dr.Malathi had always helped Gauri to prevent her feminism overrule her mind, so that she woke up early, and by the time Shankhar was on the dining table with his newspaper, he got his Bru-Coffee, with just a pinch of sugar. She was a good cook, which always kept Shankhar’s tummy satisfied. Every morning, Shankhar used to drop her to the college, and always took special care, not to get late in the evening. It was for the first time, that Shankhar brought eggs home, just for Gauri, who had her heart on it. The first week was terrible for Gauri, who used to sleep with her parents all her life, now had to sleep with a man who is known to her parents more. Shankhar too felt an uneasiness and lack of freedom, but he never disturbed Gauri. Soon Gauri felt the silent company comfortable enough. The only thin, they never forgot to give each other was a smile.
It was on a Friday, that Shankhar informed her about the change in his working hours and that from the next Monday, he would be on night shifts. Before she could speak, he also told her that he had already arranged Malathi Chechi to come and stay with her during nights and that Murukesh will pick her home in the evenings. She had nothing more to get concerned about, but felt some unknown restlessness inside. On the Monday, she woke up much earlier, and by the time Shankhar was on the dining table, besides the breakfast and his Bru-Coffee, even the lunch was ready. On their way to the college, they went to Anchumana temple. As he drove back, he felt an immense loneliness. He felt the house to be very quiet and empty. He went to the bedroom, tried sleeping, but then woke up and took their wedding album from that wooden cupboard. As he skimmed through the photos, he smiled at the seriousness on the face of Gauri. For the first time, he saw her that close, and found his wife to be very beautiful. He engaged himself in the household duties, and when got tired, slept for a while. A ring on the door woke him up. It was Murukesh, the driver. Shankhar hurried to dress up. He found the lunch to be more delicious. He locked the door and handed the key to Murukesh and asked him not to be late in the evening at any cost. On the way he called Malathi Chechi.
As Gauri stepped out of the college gate, she found Murukesh waving at her. As she sat on the back seat for the first time, she found the vehicle to be extremely void. She found her favourite cousin Malathi Chechi waiting for her, on the steps of their apartment. As they entered, she found the room to be tidier and the floor dust free. As she went to the kitchen to get Malathi Chechi some tea, she found all the utensils washed and neatly arranged. She handed over the cup to Malathi Chechi and went into the bedroom, and found all clothes washed and ironed. She sat on the bed, and the tears on her cheeks surprised her. She always loved to sleep with Malathi Chechi, who was her world during her childhood. She used to listen to everything that Gauri spoke. Malathi wondered why Gauri was silent on that night. Gauri felt insecure even in the presence of Malathi. She felt incomplete.
Love develops from silences....
(Linking this to Ultimate Blog Challenge)
(Linking this to Ultimate Blog Challenge)