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A Husband, A Lover, And A Woman Torn In Between

04/05/2015 8:07 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Dear B,

You might be slightly surprised to see this letter. After all, we haven't spoken in almost four years, since that muggy afternoon when I left. It is not that I have forgotten you, in fact I remember you very often -- and very fondly -- but I have not had the courage to write to you. I have been afraid that talking to you again might reignite my love for you.

Do you remember when we first met? It was a beautiful drizzly morning with a deep grey sky looming large. The breeze played with my hair, the raindrops tickled my cheeks, and I had instantly fallen in love. Sometimes, though, I wonder if it was really love or just a fixation with the new and novel. After all, you were completely different from anything I had known until then. But an infatuation cannot last three years, can it?

By the time I saw you again, a few months later, I was head over heels in love. In you I had found what I had always been looking for. You were good looking, you were kind, you were intelligent, and you had come in like a breath of fresh air in my stale life. What else could I ask for? I remember telling everyone about you.

"As I started to know you better, I found out things that I did not quite appreciate: your occasional indifference, your frequent mood swings, your apathy."

They say love gives you confidence like nothing else. And with you, I experienced that. You gave me the courage to let go of my demons, you gave me the confidence to walk out of all the negativity that surrounded me, you motivated me to turn my life around completely, you helped me discover who I truly was.

In the months that followed we spent a lot of time together, most of it quietly by the large tree that peeped into my balcony. Those were hard times -- mother was ill, child was young and my self-esteem was at an all-time low. And yet, I was happy and content.

But familiarity, as they say, breeds contempt. As I started to know you better, I found out things that I did not quite appreciate: your occasional indifference, your frequent mood swings, your apathy. Your inability to change, even for me, had started to make me increasingly uncomfortable. It is then, in those doubtful, lonely moments that I was reminded of D.

D had been my friend and confidante for seven years. My relationship with him, which had begun when I was a young and naive small-town girl, became a stable marriage. We had our issues, but we accepted each other with our shortcomings. My enchantment with you however had created a rift and I had mercilessly left him for you. Now I had suddenly started to long for his familiar embrace.

I am not a person who believes in frivolous relationships, and so, even though I missed D dearly, I would have happily stayed on with you: so what if the passion was dying, the love was still there. But your apathy to my kids was something I could not tolerate. The most important thing for a mother is the well-being of her children. She can go any length to ensure they remain happy and healthy. It was the mother in me that forced the woman in me to step away from her lover, into the familiar company of her husband to ensure her children were safe and secure.

"It was the mother in me that forced the woman in me to step away from her lover, into the familiar company of her husband to ensure her children were safe and secure."

You did not show any sign of anguish when I told you I was going, just as you had not shown any excitement at my coming to stay with you. The afternoon I left was most unlike the afternoon I arrived. I was relieved that I was leaving.

Back home, life slipped into its familiar routine like nothing had changed. We lived the same way, we laughed the same way, we loved the same way. It seemed as if those three years had not even occurred. But every now and then I was reminded of you -- the way you played with my hair, the way your cold fingers woke me up every morning, the warm sunny afternoons we spent together, and, most of all, the rainy evenings.

I know it is impossible for us to be together, but is it also impossible to meet up once in a while? After all, however much a woman might love her husband, she always preserves a soft corner in her heart for her lover.

Wouldn't you like to see me too, B? Would you not, like old times, like to stand with me in a shady balcony for hours without saying a word? Wouldn't you want to play with my curls, or pull my cheeks? Tell me B, do you not miss me at all?

A.

The letter is dedicated to my dear Bangalore, who I miss very much. D, in this case, happens to be my home, Delhi.

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