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How a naive/gullible Housewife was treated in USA !!

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by trueloveseek, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. bookworm55

    bookworm55 New IL'ite

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    Aww :) Thank you Ansuya! :banana
     
  2. Visasri

    Visasri Platinum IL'ite

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    Akanshaka,
    Please continue the story
     
  3. Akanksha1982

    Akanksha1982 IL Hall of Fame

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    All, Here is the complete story. This is the first short story I wrote in english. My preferred language is Hindi and Gujarthi. I have written short stories in Gujarthi for a friend. She had a deadline to meet for the weekly edition of a newspaper in India. I write poems in Hindi.

    Please note I didn't write this to mock OP. Just got inspired by his situation and then the mind took over. This is all fiction. However, the development of the story did change my perspective on many things that i did.

    “More than it meets the eye”
    Narrator introduces the protagonists.
    “Meet Ravi, a software engineer working for ABC Corporation, earning well and living a peaceful life. He lived with his wife Pia and daughter Ria. They were a very loving family. Everywhere they used to go together from grocery to hiking to shopping. Ravi used to pick up and drop his daughter. Pia used to be stay at home mom. Ravi’s life was great until one day….. His company has asked him to travel to London for work and he needs to apply for the visa. He is not able to find his passport and is searching.”
    Ravi, murmuring, “Where did I keep the passport”. He is going through closet after closet. Hidden below in one of the closets, he finds a bag. He gets the bag out and opens it. There was a blue jacket. The jacket his mom had given him when he went to Delhi IIT for his engineering after completing his junior college. He felt happy to see the jacket and started smelling it. Then he wore the jacket – remembering all the moments of his college days at IIT. The sun never set. Days went running after professors, spending time in labs, library. In the evening reading, preparing for GRE, partying with friends, going out for drinks, earlier days of getting ragged, and then in later years ragging other juniors. Remembering all those days he started laughing. His hands went into the pocket of the jacket. In the pocket, he found a crumbled paper. He opens the paper. There was something scribbled on the paper. He reads it and suddenly his face became serious – murmuring, “when was this? How did this happen?” He puts the paper in the jacket and then the jacket in a hanger and hangs it in the closet. He then goes and checks all the doors and windows are closed and house alarm is enabled, a routine he used to do daily. The scene fades on his serious face.
    The scene opens on a wall clock stuck at 3:30 am. Ravi is on his bed –awake. His wife, Pia, is fast asleep next to him with her back facing him. Ravi murmuring, “When did it happen? Who is he?” He goes to the closet and gets the paper out of the jacket. He goes to the study room, turns the light on and opens the paper. The paper had hindi film songs scribbled.
    “Pia, for you
    Jabse tumko dekha, dekha hi karte hai, tum hi kuch batlao isko kya kehte hai – L O V E…. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpDBkjVXEFA)
    P P P P Pia, G G G G Gia, Pia tune mera jia le lia (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aWCsOJX04s)
    From yours and only yours“

    No name nothing. Ravi murmuring, “Who is this guy?” He turns the paper. The paper was torn, only he could read in a big letters was the word “zoo”. The name and the address were cut off. It seemed to be coupon for the zoo ticket. The part below of the expiry date and the bar code was cut off. Just some info about the zoo was there. Zoo has the rarest animals in the world. He starts thinking – When was this? Where did this paper come from?
    Can’t think of any answer, he goes to the kitchen. From the cabinets below, he gets a bottle of whisky and pours it in a glass and drinks it neat, something he never did before always had it on the rocks. He then strolls around thinking. He goes and checks all the doors and windows to check if everything is locked and the alarm system is enabled. Then he takes the paper and puts it in the jacket in the closet and goes to bed. He tries to sleep, turning in bed, but can’t sleep. The scene fades on his face.
    Scene opens with alarm ringing. Ravi is awake and closes the alarm. His head is heavy and eyes popping out with no sleep. He wakes up and goes to bathroom to get ready. Ravi then gets ready to go to office. He comes to the dining table. Pia had made his cereal, bread toast and tea for his breakfast. Ravi just takes tea and gulps it down, ignores the breakfast and takes his bag and goes towards the garage to leave.
    Pia calls, “Ravi aren’t you missing something?” Ravi looks at her questioning what?
    Pia rushes to him to give a hug as usual holding him tight. But there is no response from Ravi. He quickly releases her and without the goodbye kiss, turns and goes to the garage and drives his car on his way to office. In the office also Ravi is not able to work. Heavy head and mind in tension. He removes the paper and is staring at it once again.
    Days pass like this with no clue as to where the paper came from. One night, on his now usual stroll in the study room, his eyes meet a photo frame of his wedding to Pia. His mind goes into flashback on those days.
    After completing his engineering, he had returned home and had got a job at a reputed company – Kata Consulting Services and earning well. Soon his parents started talking about his marriage and started looking for girls. Ravi wasn’t interested. One Friday, evening his parents said, a girl and her family is coming to see him on Sunday, so be in the house. The parents had seen the girl and had known the family and liked the proposal.
    On Sunday, Ravis sees Pia and is mesmerized by her beauty. Pia had worn a red sari, with light makeup and was very fair and beautiful. She was also an engineer, had learned classical singing, dancing. They met privately for about 10 minutes for formal talks.
    Two days later, both the families agreed and the wedding was fixed.
    After the wedding, they had gone on honeymoon to Mauritius. Both started to bond well, nonstop talking, enjoying the beaches and loving the time together. Once, during dinner, Ravi asks Pia, “You are so beautiful; there must have been some admirers in college?” Pia said, “Not sure of that, but used to receive many roses during rose day”. Ravi continued, “So any moved further”, Pia said “None, my brother was in the same college, senior to me, so may be no one dared.” Ravi starts, pushing, “Was there someone you liked?” Pia thinks and says, “yeah there was one handsome guy whom I liked. But he was very shy and never talked to me or gave me roses. But he made sure that he made eye contact many times during the day”. Suddenly, she starts thinking and says, “Yes, I used to find a note on my desk frequently, it had some hindi film songs scribbled on them but no name. Never got to know who wrote it. My friends used to tease – it must be him, but I doubt it”
    Suddenly, the flashback ends and Ravi starts thinking – Could it be him. He goes to the kitchen and gets his whisky bottle and starts drinking. – “It must be him”, “It must be him” “How do I find him?” Then on his way to his bedroom, he stops by the bedroom of his daughter – Ria. Ria, is 4 years 3 months old. Ria, combination of Ravi and Pia, a sign of their love. Ria had gone on Pia. Ria loved dancing, singing hindi songs and also looked more like Pia. Ravi goes to Ria and gives a kiss on her forehead and then suddenly he realizes that over the last 4 years, he has been to the zoo 3 times with his daughter and then thinks, it must be one of those zoo. He goes back to the study room and finds the credit card statements to find when they went to the zoo. He finds all the dates. Then his mind is thinking – Now what?
    Again he makes another drink and starts thinking. He then searches for cell phone bills of Pia and searches calls made during those dates. Most of the numbers he could recognize except one. He notes that number and murmurs, “This must be it”.
    Next day, he calls the number, but there is no response. He spends the whole day in office restlessly. Finally, he goes home and starts talking to Pia about Ria and that they have not gone to zoo for a long time. Slowly approaches the topic about the last visit and finally questions about the number. Pia, thinks of the day and says quickly, “Yeah that was Seema. She had gone to the mall and on her way back had a flat tire. Her husband was out of town, so she called me to help her from a public phone. Her phone battery was down. So I went to help her with our AAA account.”
    Ravi starts thinking. This could not be him then. Yet he had to check it out. Next day, he calls Seema’s husband and he eventually gets the story collaborated on the pretext of him needing to change his tires. So again a dead end, - who could this person be?
    Again on his nightly routine in his study room, trying to solve the puzzle, drinking, he thinks hard. Again goes to the closet and takes out the bag that had the jacket and starts searching the bag. In one of pockets of the bag, he finds a crumpled paper. The paper is a receipt of the “Townplace Suites, Greenville, South Carolina”. Suddenly, his mind goes into flashback of the incidents that happened 5 years back.
    Ravi has been placed in Greenville for a project at a customer site for a year by his company, Kata Consulting Services. Pia joined him after a month and they were living in Townplace Suites in Greenville. They spent their weekends traveling to nearby places and were enjoying the freedom from the lifestyle in India. Pia loved US as this was her first visit and above all loved the freedom of staying alone with her hubby. The maids cleaned the room daily, neatly made up the beds. There were movie channels on the TV so she spent her time with coke, chips and movies while Ravi was at work. In the evening, they used to go for a walk or a drive for shopping. The room had a kitchenette. So she used to cook with Ravi helping with the dishes and also for cutting vegetables. Sometimes, Ravi used to come during lunch as well. In the morning, once Ravi was ready, both Pia and Ravi used to go for the breakfast served by the hotel. Then Pia would be back, catch on her sleep. Then she used to go for either swimming or gym. She used spend some time talking to Brenda, the receptionist. Brenda was very friendly and was interested in knowing about India and Indian cultures etc. Pia used to spend some time with her.
    One day, Ravi was on his way to his car to go to office, he hears someone calling from back, “Ravi!” Ravi turns around and sees Jigar. Jigar also works at KCS. Jigar is tall (5 ft 11 in), fair, well built, broad shoulders, long hair. He had worn a blue/white checkered shirt and black plant, leather shoes and was very handsome. Ravi calls him back, “Hi Jigar, How are you? I knew you were coming here on an assignment. When did you come?” Jigar replies, “I came two weeks back to work for Pinnacle bank. I have come here a couple of times, this time they want me to stay for a year.” Ravi says, “Yeah I am also over here for a year. So we will meet sometimes.” Both leave in their own cars are on different routes for work.
    One day in the evening, Jigar and Ravi meet in the elevator. Jigar has few coupons in his hand. Ravi asks, “What’s that coupon for?” Jigar replies, “Oh year, this is for the Greenville Zoo. In the break room, there were some coupons lying around. So I got a couple. You can keep it, you guys can go.” Jigar gives one coupon to Ravi.
    One Sunday, Ravi and Pia are entering the Gym at the hotel. Ravi sees Jigar at the threadmill. Jigar had worn a grey sleeveless T-shirt and black jogging shorts. He was sweating. Sweat was pouring from his chiseled face dripping from his sharp nose and also running down his cheeks and down his stubble. Ravi and Pia walks to him. Ravi introduces Jigar to Pia, “Pia, this is jigar. He also works at KCS and Jigar, this is my wife”. Pia and Jigar shake hands. Jigar says, “Sorry I am all sweaty” and quickly offers his towel. Pia says, “it’s ok” and wipes her hand using her towel. Ravi then tells Jigar, “Jigar, come to our room tomorrow evening, we can meet and go out for dinner” Jigar says, “If I come early, I will come by otherwise you guys carry on. Maybe sometime later we will go.” Jigar continued on his treadmill. Pia got a treadmill next to Jigar. Both were running, in between they exchanged smiles whenever their eyes met.
    Flashback ends. Ravi is in his study room drinking. “Yeah, it must be that bastard. I remember Pia telling me that he came to the room in my absence, touched her, and asked her for a date. I remember the smirk that Brenda gave when I inquired about Jigar entering his room. I remember telling HR at KCS about Jigar’s conduct. This must be him. This must be him. Now everything is falling into place. But how could Pia do this to me?” He finishes his drink and then gets up to go to his room. He again checks all the doors and windows to ensure that everything is locked. On his way to his bedroom, he stops by Ria’s bedroom. Ria is sleeping. Ravi sits beside her. Ria is looking like a mini Pia. Ravi caresses her head with his hand. Then he bends to kiss her on the forehead. Suddenly, he stops.
    Ravi is thinking, Ria is 4 years 3 months old. The Greenville incident happened around 5 years back. So is Ria Jigar’s daughter? His mind goes in a tailspin. He looks at Ria. Ria didn’t have any of his traits. Ria loved dancing, singing like her mother. Suddenly, Ravi realizes that Ria likes Hindi songs and she sings hindi movie songs all the time. Ravi murmurs, “Oh my God!!” The scene fades on his worried face.
    Ravi’s life is more distressed now. He is thinking what should I do now? Should I confront Jigar? Should I ask Pia? Should I go with a Paternity test? I should have handled it then and there. He is stressed out. He is in his study room and drinking. The strong drink was too much to handle for him and he is about to throw. He runs to the bathroom and throws. He goes to the kitchen, gets a glass of water and goes back to the study room. To divert his mind, he starts reading Time magazine. There was an article about Michael J Fox and his journey with Parkinson disease. There was a quote of Michael that got his attention, “One's dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.”
    He decides then I will not surrender. I will confront Jigar and find out the truth.
    The next few days, he tries to find out about Jigar. He finds Jigar is now a VP at Pioneer bank. He calls Jigar and after casual talks asks him whether he can meet for coffee. Jigar agrees and says that he can meet today only as tomorrow he was to travel for a month for a business trip.
    Ravi gets ready for the encounter that will change his life forever. An encounter that may upheaval his life and he will lose everything that he worked for all his life. All the moments he lived with Pia and Ria goes through his eyes like a flash back. How could Pia do all these so swiftly without me not knowing anything? She never gave me any indication. She was totally dedicated to me. How can she be like this?
    Finally, Jigar and Ravi meet at starbucks. Ravi orders Sumatra Espresso, Jigar orders a decaf coffee. Both sit down. After more casual talks and talks about KCS days, Ravi finally removes the coupon paper from his pocket and puts it in front of Jigar. The paper had the songs written. Ravi says, “Remember this?”
    Jigar looks at the paper, he is shocked. He looks at the handwriting and says, “yeah this is my handwriting? How did you get this paper?”
    Suddenly, there is a fire alarm in the building and everyone has to vacate the place. In the tumult, Ravi loses Jigar. He tries to find Jigar but he is nowhere to be seen. He returns home. He then suddenly realizes that the paper is now with Jigar. He remembers the shocking expression on Jigar’s face and his asking as to where he got the paper.
    His life is now torn apart. He has to wait for a month for Jigar to return. Pia also had been worried for a long time and was constantly querying about what is going on. Ravi had been totally ignoring her all the while. Their talk had nearly stopped except for essentials. Ravi had nearly stopped eating. He just didn’t like anything. He even forgot Pia’s birthday in between. Something he had never forgotten before. All these years, they had a secret ritual on birthdays, anniversary and valentine day. Both used to buy greeting cards, sometimes funny ones, and place it under the pillow of the partner the night before. Next morning they used check the pillow and read the greeting cards. This time Ravi had forgotten the ritual on Pia’s birthday. Pia was sad but didn’t say anything to Ravi.
    Finally, Ravi gets a chance to meet Jigar again. After casual talks, Ravi asks, “did you remember the paper I gave you last time?” Jigar says, “yeah, and thanks for that paper. It was my wife Pia’s birthday. She was in India. So I had written some songs that I wanted the radio station in India to play for her. So I had noted that down to give to my friend in India to pass it to the radio station. That song, Piya tune mera Jiya…. is a very near and dear to me. It has name of my wife, Pia and my daughter Jia. Jia, a combination of Jigar and Pia”. Ravi is flabbergasted. He does not know what to say.
    Next few days, Ravi is thinking as to what happened. Finally, he meets his doctor uncle Paresh. Dr. Paresh is a psychiatrist. Ravi tells the doctor everything that had happened. The doctor listens to him carefully and then tells Ravi to see him in a month. He gives him some anti-anxiety medicine and anti-depressant medicine.
    After a month, Ravi meets Dr Paresh. Dr. Paresh tells him.
    “Ravi I have a diagnosis for you. You are suffering from a combinations of phobias, Agoraphobi, Anthropophobia, Pistanthrophobia and also some OCD. However, the good news is that these are reversible disorders. People with these disorders have a fear the people are trying to hurt them. They do not trust anyone but themselves. They are always thinking about worst. Sometimes, a sentence or even a word would make them believe that the other person is trying to hurt them.
    Over the last month, I met all the people that you told me about. Pia has been quite upset with your untrusting behavior. She feels like being captive in heaven. You control everything. She noticed this during her stay at Townplace and she even discussed this with Brenda.
    There was no discussion with Brenda about Jigar as you mentioned. That was part of your imagination of your fear. When you were with Brenda and Pia, you inqured about Jigar and was most interested in knowing about him and his habits. Brenda smirked at Pia as they had discussed about your controlling nature.
    There was no discussion with HR as you mentioned. But you did discuss with HR at that time regarding Jigar getting promoted and not you. You felt that your manager is conspiring against you.
    People with this disorder get over protective of themselves and their families. You also over insure everything – house, life, car etc. While going on long trip, you always drive the car and not let Pia drive the car even for part of the trip. You accompany Pia and Ria everywhere. All decisions are made by you and you never consult them. Your OCD syndrome makes you check the doors and windows multiple times at night even after the alarm system is enabled.
    Pia has been suffering all these for a long time. She has been staying with you for Ria. She is trying to live her life in Ria. So you see, Ria is becoming more like Pia.
    Coming to the incident where Jigar came to your room, you had called him to come to your room and then you forgot about it. Jigar came to the room and knowing you were not there, he was going to leave. Pia also knew that you had told Jigar to come so she asked Jigar to wait as you may be coming. So Jigar came in the room. He found that your wife’s name is Pia and his wife’s name is also Pia. So they both started talking about how they each met their spouses and how they got married. Pia made tea for Jigar and as she was placing it on the coffee table, her thumb touched the cup and she was about to take her hand away and the cup would have fallen. Jigar caught the cup at that time and their hands brushed. Jigar waited for 15-20 mins and then decided to leave. He mentioned to Pia to talk to you to fix a date when both you and Pia and he and his wife Pia (who was to join Jigar in a few days) can all meet and go out for dinner.
    Pia had told you about the incident. Years later, you remembered only part of the conversation and your phobia took over.
    The guy that Pia liked in college is now a famous playback singer in movies. Jigar grew up and studied in a different city, different college.
    See Ravi, just like two sides of a coin, everything in life has two sides, one side has the dare and opportunity and the other side has fear and failure. If one always takes the dare side in hope of opportunity, then sometime they may fail miserably. Similarly, if you always be fearful about failures and negativity, you will lose on good opportunities. There should always be a balance in life. Sometimes you need to be daring. In your case, you were always on the side of fear, leading to not trusting people, always feeling that everyone is trying to hurt you. Fear is the greatest enemy of humans. Everyone has one fear or other. When it gets excessive, it is called Phobia. Once it gets to Phobia, a person’s thinking and behavior becomes irrational.
    I recommend that you read the book and also watch the classic movie, “The Wizard Of Oz”. It describes how to overcome one’s fear. I also recommend you to meet my friend Dr Peter. He is Psychologist. Have some sessions with him and also continue on the medications I gave you.”
    On his way back home, Ravi turns on the radio, the song, “Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hai joh makaam….” Is playing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyZ6mv5y5mE

    Two years later….
    Ravi, his wife Pia, Jigar his wife Pia, and Ria and Jia are all at a restaurant to celebrate Ravi’s wife Pia’s birthday. Over the two years, Ravi’s wife Pia had got her masters and had recently got a job in a reputed company. Ravi came out of his fears and now is a director in his company by taking risky decisions, delegating and making his projects successful. To let go his fear, he even did sky diving.
    Jigar started a karoke club. Jigar, Pia used to sing duet songs. Ria and Jia used to do dance performance. Many of their friends were part of the club and they used to meet once a quarter for a performance.
    They all lived happily ever after.
     
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  4. mithra3412

    mithra3412 Platinum IL'ite

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    :wow what a write Up

    You should write in fictions loved the way u established Ravi's character and the way narrated
     
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  5. Akanksha1982

    Akanksha1982 IL Hall of Fame

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    Amazing no likes, comments, or encouragement? Looks like my maiden journey into writing in english has ended. May need to focus on Java, at least i get paid.
     
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  6. mithra3412

    mithra3412 Platinum IL'ite

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    nope Akankshaa may be this thread and the story missed by some of our IMP members
     

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