Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Indirect answer

Jana watched Naresh smiling at her in the photo hanging on the wall as she lay in the bed. Tears trickled from her eyes. She loved him dearly in the three years of her married life. She was just 28 and needed him with her very much. But fate had been cruel to her. A reckless truck driver had smashed all her hopes of a happy life one evening when he dashed against Naresh’s car from behind. It was a lonely life for her without Naresh. The photo was on the wall above the dressing table showing him in his casual kurta with his broad smile. They were a loving couple and each one anticipated the other’s wishes. They were planning to have a child when the cruel destiny took him away from her forever.
Life would have been unbearable but for Sanjeev, his colleague and buddy, who had been very protective and supportive in the months that followed the tragedy. He got her a job in Naresh’s office, had the financial matters settled and spent a lot of time daily in lifting her from her moods of melancholy. Though a bachelor, he behaved with her as a gentleman and never took advantage of her leaning on him totally. He took her often to malls or on different errands that she could not avoid. It was one Sunday evening. He had not seen her for a week as he was away on tour. There were also no calls from her. He dropped in at her place unannounced. The house was dark with no lights on in the front side. The door was slightly open. He heard some sound from the kitchen. When he went there, he saw the maid cleaning the vessels. She told him that Jana was in bedroom and had not taken food since morning. He told her to get the supper and that he would ensure that she took it. When he went to the bed room, he saw her curled up in a sofa with unkempt hair and crumpled dress. Evidently, she had been crying. He saw the photo of Naresh removed from the wall and lying by her side. He took it and hung it on the peg. He coughed twice to announce his presence. When she did not get up, he gently touched her shoulder and nudged it. She woke up with a start and muttered her apologies. He sat by her side and pushed the hair from her face backwards. He gently caressed her arm and asked in a sharp tone” What is all this foolishness of remaining hungry all through the day? I have asked the maid to bring your supper and I will see to it that you finish it before my eyes.” When she protested saying that she was not hungry, he silenced her saying he will have none of such nonsense. When the supper was brought, he himself fed her initially making her eat. He kept on nudging her to eat when she slowed down. He asked her to wash her face, change the dress and come for a drive. After strolling down the sandy beach, they sat down on a bench. There were not many in the beach as it was past 8pm.
After some pleasantries, he remonstrated with her gently telling ” Naresh is not going to come back. There is no point in hurting yourself like this. True you are unlucky to miss him. But you will have to move along with your life”. She sobbed and told him “True I miss Naresh. More than that, this lonely atmosphere is killing me. I cannot enter the house with none to look forward to. It is scary to be alone sometimes.” When they walked back to the car, Sanjeev put his arm around her shoulder and said, “I was hesitant to talk to you about this so soon after the tragedy. I think you need a male company. This just cannot go on. I like you immensely. If you too are attached to me, we can get married. I can wait for your answer as long as you wish to take. I will not talk about this again till you broach upon it yourself”
As she lay in the bed recalling the incident in the evening, kindly face of Sanjeev, his immense help to her during her dark days and how he had always been decent to her, she knew that she was drawn to him. Still the memories of Naresh were fresh in her mind that she refused to think along romantic lines towards Sanjeev. .But she knew, she had to move away from Naresh and get a new life for her. The warmth of Sanjeev’s hand on her shoulder and his gentle caressing her in the afternoon and feeding her the supper made her yearn for him. He had also expressed his love for her and willingness to marry her. She was in two minds. After tossing in the bed restlessly, she prayed to God to show her the way. She looked at Naresh’s photo hanging on the wall for a long time and muttered “Naresh, please suggest me a way. I know in your abundant love you would wish me to marry Sanjeev.Please leave some clue that you really wish it so.”
The sun light broke into her room as she woke up a bit late. She instantly looked at the wall. The photo was missing. She searched for it and found it lying on the dresser with face downwards. She was startled and jumped with joy telling ”How sweet of you Naresh in giving the answer to my query. I can never forget you and you will always be in my heart ever.” She rang up Sanjeev and asked him to come home immediately telling she had an important matter to discuss. When he came soon thereafter and found her standing at the door wreathed in broad smile in a fine dress, he knew the answer. He pulled her into his arms sighing in happiness “I knew you would marry me.” He however forgot to mention about his asking the maid on his way back the previous evening to remove the photo of Naresh, after Jana slept, from the wall for hanging it elsewhere.


  1. sir, you made me emotional? is that the right word? anyways, a very touching story, and reading this was a much welcome break for me from books :) its all positive its all everywhere :) and a well said story :)not into any details of it, but i liked it.

  2. Quite a stirring tale with a happy ending. Shows that one needs to learn to move on even when struck with the worst of tragedies.

  3. that's with a lot of ease i guess sir you have put it .. and yet the story in no way loses it s taste until the line ...

    just wondering if it is kind of a follow up previous one!

    i got to come back on this later...

  4. Well.. that he thought of hanging the photo elsewhere was like a blessing in disguise..

    Life is full of mystery.. we never know what future holds..

  5. wow! nice story ,,hey Thanks for the comment2 my blog