The Recurring Storm
The continuous chime of the alarm clock woke Dr.Suchitra with a start. She gave a lazy glance at the clock, it was just 6 am, "why should I get up so early", she thought, "another dull and dreary day to pull on". Then she recalled, it was her Shastipoorthi, (60th birthday). She has witnessed sixty chains of seasons; in this glorious World. She has to go to the temple that day. "What for?" she thought, "To thank God for sixty precious years of life, or to seek solace for misdeeds." Her eyes fell upon the telegram lying beside the pillow, she hadn't slept well reading and re-reading it the previous night. She heaved a deep sigh and looked at the blank wall of her room, No! It wasn't blank anymore, it was adorned with three huge photographs to reminiscence her pathetic past. Two was of her parents, and another of her husband's. She looked at her husband Ravi's photograph; she felt that he was giving her a helpless nod. He had come into her life like the intoxicating spring spreading fragrance, carrying her away in a delirious state and when she believed that life is really gorgeous and a silky bed of roses. He passed away making her feel to be left-out amongst thorny bushes, with her ten year old daughter Lakshmi to thrive and Lakshm's future was her only aim in life henceforth.
A semi-cold October breeze blew inside the room chilling her feelings further, the birds were busy chirping as though they had to recoup the twelve slept hours. The sky spread a white and sparkling carpet to welcome the Ruler Sun to its throne.
Suchitra looked at the photographs of her parents, her glance lingered a minute longer upon her mother's face, she saw a strained and sorrowful expression, a scene of guilt draped her "why didn't I feel this whilst when my mother was alive? So that I could have begged her pardon. Why didn't my grey-matter function to be practical and not selfish then? What's the use of creating marble tombs upon skeletons?" She had only thought about herself, her husband and their sprouting life then, she had never given a second thought of her mother's plight. Oh! What a silent sufferer she might have been. Suchitra realized it only now. Her mother had undergone the same state without any complaint as she is undergoing now. Her mother being widowed at an early age with the insufficient salary as a teacher had over-strained herself with tedious tuitions at home to mould Suchitra into a medical practitioner. The over strained work took its toll; her mother looked double the age when she was just forty. Her crooning words still rang in Suchitra's mind. "Suchi dear, come here, let me see whether you have dried your hair properly. Suchi have this cup of milk while it is still warm, Suchi don't overtire yourself by studying whole night, have some hours sleep." So goes her caring. It was during her final year that she started responding to Ravi's advances and soon after their studies they got married and away they flew to Calcutta for settlement. Suchi now remembered the grave look of her mother when she revealed the wish to marry Ravi and settle in Calcutta, "Ma, I am sure you will like Ravi, he is such a gem of a man." Her mother had given a silent nod, but how she might have suffered the gnawing sensation of foreseen separation. The busy hospital life at Calcutta never permitted her to make frequent trip to her mother, but always Suchitra got letters of anxiety and affection from her mother. But she couldn't under-read the lines of loneliness hinted, and very soon she passed away silently without troubling anyone. The clock struck seven; Suchitra was startled, for the past one hour she was ruminating the past. The telegram sent by her daughter Lakshmi was still clutched by her, it said "S0RRY WE CANT MAKE FOR THE DAY". She deserved this. The pangs of loneliness hurt her so much, after Ravi's death Suchitra had dedicated her entire life for Lakshmi's sake. Lakshmi was not interested in medicine and opted for law. Lakshmi was an extrovert like her father, so law suited her, but when she told her that she was going to marry the boy of her choice, Suchitra objected, but Lakshmi was adamant in her decision, finally Suchitra had to give up. Lakshmi went to live with her spouse now settled in USA. It was after so many persuading letters and phone calls that they had agreed to come for her Shastipoorthi, and now the sudden change has crushed Suchitra's dreams. Suchitra felt quite numb without any emotions, for she felt it was the recurring storm that incurred in her mothers life, slashing once again.
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