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Monday, February 21, 2011

Lusting after life

To her husband, she was Aabha. She was the only spot of balance in his volatile life. Him with his long hair, tied back with a rubber band that always pulled out hair. I have heard him screech at her, for not helping him out untangling. She stood laughing at him, while she poured out coffee for me. Extra sweet, and light. Just the way she hated it. Just the way I wanted it. 

He left her for months, but she always knew when he would be back. She re-painted their room, got a new haircut, threw out her running shoes, and waited for him. He came, and then he stayed. I have seen them together. And I could never call what they shared, love. At least, I was not prepared to do so. The last time I saw her, she had a cut lip, from a saucer her had flung at her. I had jumped up in indignation, rolling up my fists in anger, but then he came into the room; his face, well and truly scratched. She showed me her new nail paints. 

Once I walked in on them doing it. I hate to call it making love. He laughed at my embarrassment, threw his large shirt over her, and reached out for a smoke. I've heard her singing to him while she cooked, and he painted. I meant to hunt for those songs and learn to sing them, but I think they were just their songs. It was a world they knew, and I wasn't a part of it.

To Mukul, she was Neeyati. I don't know where they met, I believe it was at one of her husband's exhibitions. Mukul was a boy. Why, he must have been at least seven years younger than her, and he looked fifteen years younger. She took him with her on her library visits, and he got her second hand books which had inscriptions on them. She told me once that she had taught him to kiss. And that she was quite sure she was a good teacher. Would I know anyone who might be interested in him? The poor boy is too shy to find one on his own!

Neeyati was Mukul's idol. He got her flowers, though I'd told him that she was not one for clichéd daintities. I scoffed when he spent his monthly stipend of 3000 rupees on some fancy flower arrangement he'd seen somewhere. I told him to take it in his stride if he found the flowers waiting for him in the wastebasket the next time he saw her. I ate the flowers. When they wilted and shriveled, and decayed and blackened and stunk. I would have earlier, if she hadn't kept it in her room, on a new stool she got especially for it. 

She came to see me once, wearing his shirt and giggling like a teenager. I closed the door on her face, and din't open even when she screamed abuses I had read in books, and knew she was capable of, but hadn't heard it ever. I called up the watchman to take her away, she was crazy. She threw her shoe into my window. It broke my mirror. And I fumed.

When Mukul told her that he had to leave, his scholarship papers had come through and though he hated to leave, he had to. She wont forget him would she? She smashed the porcelain girl-boy ugly figurine he gave her as a "will miss you!" gift and spent a whole week drinking. I know. I was drinking with her.

To me, she was not Neeyati, not Aabha. She was something more, but what, I cant say. She hasn't told me what she is to me, or what I am to her. And if she hasn't put it into words, then there might not be any name for it. She was my yin, and I was yang. No we weren't the Chinese opposites. I just picked the name because every time she mumbled in her sleep, she went yiiiinnnn ymmmmm nyyyy yeeeee. 

Mukul dint know that Neeyati was Aabha. Her husband thought she was Aabha. I knew she was neither. I have seen her cry with rage, pull out each and every photo of her husband's, and burnt it to ashes. I have seen her run from studio to studio, retrieving the same, framing it and placing it on the wall for him to see when he came back to her. I have seen her wince when I touched her, laugh when I tickled her tummy, sleep with her specs tangled in her curls. I have seen her make omelette, and eat it with her hands. I used to lick her fingers clean. 

I have seen my yin read five books a day, seen her write for three nights straight, got slapped for walking on to her taking a bath, been teased for getting drunk on beer, shouted at for mimicking her. I have seen her looking lost, and shrug it away when I asked her the reason. I have had her wrapped around me at nights, the smell of medimix and coconut oil on her. 

I've been the jealous lover, (was I her lover?) I've asked her to leave her husband and come to me, and like always, after a fight, she walked away, only to come back later, with something new she'd written. And me the fool, read it, hugged her close and kissed her. Having her next to me was all that I cared. To hell with Aabha and Neeyati. She chopped of her hair once and gifted it to me. I painted her shaved head with tomato ketchup. 

I am leaving I told her. She was driving me crazy. It was not healthy I told her, for me to wait for her always, and for her to run away from one man to be with another. She did not say a word, kissed me hard closed the door softly and left.

Damn it! She kisses so well...


tumunathan said...

Wow! Beautifully written.

Anamika said...

@ Tumunathan

Thank you :)

crumbs said...

I think this was your intense best. Why did you pause?

rahul aggarwal said... good...luved every word!!!

would like to come bak to ur blog again now!!!

this is my first visit here.