Monday, July 28, 2008

Beyond It All

by Ayesha Parveen 15 Sep 2008
Category: LifestyleThis story has been read 83 times.

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Jyoti went to visit her friend Neha when Krishna, Neha's son, called to tell her his mother had terminal cancer. Both the women, being octogenarians, could not now meet often, but had been close friends for over seven decades.

Neha hugged Jyoti and her eyes said she was glad to see her friend. Although both had lost near and dear ones, it was difficult for Jyoti to find the right words for Neha and there was awkward silence as they clasped each other's hands. Then Neha started talking. She talked about her dead husband Rajiv and about her school days that she had shared with Jyoti. She said how much she had loved Rajiv and how her industrialist father was disappointed when she had decided to marry Rajiv, a struggler then. Neha had been only nineteen when she had eloped with him.....

Jyoti knew Neha had not been happy with Rajiv and their having or not having money had nothing to do with it. Rajiv did not love Neha. Theirs had been a passionate affair which soon after marriage turned cold. Things became worse when tragically, their ten year old daughter Pushpa, was killed in an accident. Rajiv, who had been out of town on a business trip, had blamed Neha for it. Unable to come to terms with the loss of her child and feeling alienated from her husband, Neha withdrew into a shell. Rajiv focussed his attention on making money and over the years, became a successful businessman, highly respected in his community.

It is a mystery how sometimes love survives even in a neglected person's heart. Now Neha, on her deathbed, was asking Jyoti if she thought Rajiv had loved her after all. Jyoti knew he had not, but lied to her friend. She said, Rajiv, though unable to express his true feelings for his wife, had loved her all along. If Neha was in denial of the reality of her marriage, she would be shattered if Jyoti gave her the harsh truth. This realisation had made Jyoti lie and she was heart-broken herself when she heard Neha say, "Then, my life has had a meaning inspite of all the agony."

Had Jyoti done the right thing by lying to her childhood-friend? She was very uneasy in her conscience as she said goodbye to Neha and returned home. That evening as she sat in her verandah, with the soft wind blowing her even softer silver-white hair, she remembered her own marriage.....

Dhruv was only twenty-two when Jyoti, almost thirty, had married him. Love-at-first-sight worked magic for them. Even though both sets of parents were uneasy about the match, ( they thought he was too young to shoulder the responsibility of marriage and she, too old for him ) Jyoti and Dhruv went ahead with it. They went to the marriage registration office and became husband and wife, avoiding the traditional ceremony with the marriage vows of their communities which they considered unequal.

Dhruv and Jyoti had had the good fortune of having, what their family and friends called, a "rock-solid marriage". They had been there for each other all along. Dhruv died when he was sixty-two, but to Jyoti, even fifteen years after his death, it seemed that he had gone for a walk in the garden and would return soon.....

The next morning was unusually bright and warm for a January day in Kolkata. Jyoti opened the Geeta and turned to the last chapter. There were tears in her eyes as she read :
" Sarva dharmaan parittyajjya maam ekam sharanam vraja
aham twaam sarvapaapebbhyo mokshai shyaami maa shucha".

(Bhagwad Geeta: mokshayog; shloka 66)
She took refuge in the Lord Himself and knew she had nothing to fear or mourn.

Jyoti put back the Geeta on the table and closed her eyes. The sunlight flooded her verandah ( Dhruv had loved this part of the house very much ) as her grandson Manoj saw her asleep in her armchair near the door of her bedroom. She smiled at the child and walked to the verandah, knowing what to expect.

Yes, Jyoti's Dhruv had come to take her. Together, husband and wife went Home.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com


8 comments:

Palash said...

Great writing, only read the first story. I will definitely read the rest today evening . keep writing !!!

Ayesha Parveen said...

thank you Palash for your kind comment. I will be very happy if you read my other posts as well.

nabadipa said...

you have expressed a lot in this post;love,pain,social reservations faith and hope. great writing once again.

KParthasarathi said...

A very nice story as usual from the author.Dealing with the fisrt part of the story,Jyoti did the right thing in not speaking what she considered as truth that rajiv had no love for Neha.A sloka in Sanskrit

Sathyam brooyath priyam brooyath na brooyath sathyam apriyam,
Priyam cha na anritham brooyath esha Dharma sanatanaha.

This emphasises the need of telling Truth in a pleasant manner without hurting anyone.
No doubt, one should always tell the Truth,but it should be spoken in a pleasing manner.
If the truth is unpleasant,
better to avoid telling an unpleasant truth.
But on no account, one should speak falsehood for the sake of pleasing someone.
This is an eternal value to be followed by one and all.
The author has brought out this message in her post very clearly.

Shilpan said...

Ayesha -

This is your best writing so far. I'm seeing your life as a blogger turning out quite elegantly.

You have depicted a blend of emotions in a colorful way - love, pain and sorrow. We all have these elements in our lives.

Tomorrow is another day, a brighter day and a dawn of new beginning.

Keep up the great work.

--Shilpan

Ayesha Parveen said...

Nabadipa,
Thank you. Yes, I have tried to express many things in this post; but the final message is positive: faith in love.

Parthasarathi,
Thank you for this beautiful shloka.I needed to know if my readers think Jyoti did the wrong thing. I personally feel what she had done was more an act of compassion than anything else.

Shilpan,
Thank you for your kind comment.As you have put it, the "blend of emotions" expresses the hope: today is the dawn of a new beginning.

rantissa said...

what can i say, it is truly the best post among all the other writings and indeed the most matured one. the part where the soul leaves Jyoti's body is described wonderfully, it could not have been expressed in a better way. best of luck for the next post...hope u will be posting it soon. :)

Ayesha Parveen said...

Rantissa,
Thank you for reading it carefully and for your encouraging comment. I plan to write again today.
best wishes
Ayesha