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SHE - Episode 5

Discussion in 'SHE - Serial Story' started by varalotti, May 25, 2007.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    SHE
    A Serial By Varalotti Rengasamy
    Episode 5

    Just remember,my dear, that everything is a matter of choice – your marriage, living in Captain’s house, living with Rishi, your job, your daily chores, even your life. You have made some choices; but that does not mean that you cannot change them.”

    “Simple. I killed the woman in me pretty early to let the mother in me live. But the pity is, Shalini, even the holiest of mothers has to live only in a woman's body.”

    The words of her father and her schoolmate Sumathi continued to ring in her mind for the rest of the day.

    Could she change her choices now? She had personally chosen Rishi, this life, this job and life in this house, which was monotonously becoming more like the military barracks. If she chose to change now, what would be her cost? Would that be affordable?

    Looking back on that day, Shalini felt that the day reckoned in terms of events that had happened,was just another day in her life. Like the hundreds that had passed by and would probably pass by without significant alteration to their dreary schedule. But in terms of her thoughts, in terms of her emotions, she was sure that the day would have a special place in her life.

    Instinctively she glanced at her mobile. It was still switched off. ‘

    Oh, sugar!’ She swore to herself, a luxury not provided in the Captain's house. She smiled to herself as she thought of how she always called it the Captain's house and never her home.

    She had switched off her mobile as soon as she and her father were in the car. She did not want anybody in the world to disturb her when she was with her Dad. She had forgotten to switch it back on.

    Now as she activated her mobile, messages started flooding in. The first sms was from her colleague, the COO of her company, Sundar. ‘Please Check Mail.’ She smiled and read the next message. It was from Rishi. “Call me. It’s urgent.”

    She immediately placed a call to Rishi.

    “Where the hell have you been? I have been trying to reach you since <st1:time minute="30" hour="12">12:30</st1:time>.”

    Given the days happenings Shalini was not in the mood for one more show-down with him. She patiently explained what had happened. Rishi did not seem to care one way or the other. He was keen on his work.

    “Whatever` he said nonchalantly. “Can you please pack my clothes for two days and give it to my assistant, who will come there now?”

    “Are you going out of station,Rishi.?”

    “Yes, I am. I need to rush to Tuticorin for an important inspection. I will be back in two days. Pack my stuff in the green suitcase. My train leaves around <st1:time minute="30" hour="17">5:30</st1:time>. So be quick.”

    Shalini was deeply hurt by the way Rishi informed about his travel plans, by the way he almost ordered her to pack his things.

    Shalini could not help visualsing the same scene had the person involved been a really loving husband.

    “Hi Shal, have been trying to reach you since 12 30. You are all right, sweetheart?”

    “Thanks for asking, Rishi. I am fine. Was with my Dad for lunch. I switched off my mobile to ward off disturbing calls from my office. I’m sorry, I forgot to switch it on.”

    “No problem, honey. As long as you are safe, it is okay. I just missed hearing your voice.”

    “Is it anything important, Rishi?”

    “Not really so, baby. I have been asked to go to Tuticorin with my boss, The Chief Engineer for an inspection. Kind of emergency. Do not have time to come home to pack my things. So if it’s not inconvenient for you…”

    “No problem, Rishi. Shall I pack for two days?”

    “Thanks, Shal. Two days at the maximum. But will try to be back within a day. I can't stay away from you for too long. And then, my friend has given me the address of an exclusive jewellery boutique.

    “They have exquisite sets of artificial pearls over there. I know how lovely you look in pearls, I want to get you a salmon pink set. And I will buy you your favourite – cashew macroon. Low fat biscuits for my slender, tender wife.Gosh, how will I survive two days without looking at you, hugging you, kissing you---”

    “Thanks a lot, me too, I can't wait, Rishi. Have a nice trip. I will take care of things over here.”

    She remembered her Hindi teacher explaining a simple word in Hindi “khaash”. She murmured the meaning of the word in Hindi itself. ‘kitna accha hoga, agar’. ‘How good it would have been, if.’

    ‘Khaash’ – she sighed.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2007
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  2. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 2!

    After delivering the packed case to Rishi’s man, Shalini opened her laptop and hooked on to the net. As expected there were dozens and dozens of mails in her mailbox. Sundar had apologised for his rudeness.


    She knew this would happen. He would have taken up the matter with the MD of the company. The MD knew Sundar only too well to listen to his charade. He might have given a piece of mind to him which had prompted the brat to apologise. She gracefully accepted his apology by a short mail.

    She read all her mails and replied to those which required her immediate attention.

    Then she again drifted into a state of numbness caused by her marriage, and her present relationship with her husband. There were no immediate, visible problems, as such. Rishi was not an alchoholic. He was not a wife-abuser. But for the sharp arguments (which had now become their style of conversation) Rishi’s language was not abusive.

    With regard to money matters Rishi was a gem. Though Shalini was financially independent, Rishi was a generous provider. During the last five years of marriage Rishi never asked her how much she earned and how she spent her money.

    He was a perfect gentleman who had never asked her to contribute towards running the family. Shalini, like a typical accountant, was carefully investing her savings in good shares, well-performing mutual funds and safe bank accounts. She had a sizeable nest-egg now.

    But the problem was now with the nest itself. Having a large nest egg but no proper, safe, harmonious nest to put it on is the pathetic state of many professionals today, she mused.

    Rishis sterling qualities, strong character and simple habits made him a good human being. They also made him very reliable. But they were not enough to make him a good husband. Nor were they adequate to ensure that their marriage worked. If one does not relate to one’s spouse in any possible area, then what was the big deal in living together? Rishi and Shalini were actually living together separately.

    She went into a website which was touting some psychometric tests to assess the status of a marriage. Shalini registered herself and honestly answered all the questions, some of them were like:

    a) What was the last time your husband brought you a gift? (never)
    b) When was your last outing together? (Honeymoon – 5 years back)
    c) Name the activity you do together. (None)
    d) Does he ask you, ‘How was your day?’ (No)

    She answered a hundred questions like that. She had scored abysmally low. The test screamed at her, “Go to a marriage counsellor right now before it is time to go to a divorce lawyer.”

    Going through the test only served to depress her further.


    Her mobile rang around <st1:time minute="30" hour="19">half past seven</st1:time>. Her father. Shalini was quite surprised to receive a call from him at this hour, and that too after the long lunch they had together that afternoon.

    “Shaloo, I want to talk to you. Badly. It may take some time. But if you are not free now, I’ll call you later.”

    A puzzled Shalini told him that she would be summoned for dinner with the Captain. And she had some chores to finish. Can he call her around nine, if it is not that urgent?

    Her father agreed.

    She was summoned for dinner at five to eight. The Captain was very courteous. He enquired about her health with the kind of concern which only a parent can have. He also briefed about Rishi’s trip. They discussed about the climate and the Television serials. And they fell silent, finishing their meal in peace.

    Shiva called his daughter exactly at nine. Shalini had changed into a cool, cotton nightgown and was relaxing with the same Jeffery Archer book with not even a page completed since morning.

    “Dad, is anything wrong with you? Are you all right, Dad?”

    “I am fine, dear. Was just thinking about what you said this afternoon.”
    “ “
    “I’m sorry, Shalini. In a way, I’m responsible for this mess.”

    “Dad, I don’t get it.”

    “I should not have pushed you into this marriage. I should have let you make your own choice.”

    “But Dad, my marriage was my own choice. You just showed me Rishi's’s picture. And you let me decide.”

    “I know Shaloo, what kind of reliance you place on my words. Even before prompting you with Rishi’s picture I should have done the homework.”

    “But Dad, you did the homework. You enquired about the groom and found out that he did not have any bad habits. And he is a person of character. I think you even hired some private detectives to snoop on him. You did not want your little girl to suffer.”

    “Shal, that’s what every parent does. But for you, I should have run an extra mile or two. I love you so much, dear.”

    “I know Dad.” Shalini’s voice was choked.

    “Shalini, I checked Rishi’s antecedents. I checked about the family. I even ran a check on Captain’s life after his wife’s death. Everything was flawless. But having brought you up as a free person, I ought to have checked whether you will get the same kind of freedom there also. I could have found that out in a couple of visits to the house.”

    “ .. .. .. ”
    “I have known the Captain for the past 10 years, but only as another member of my club. I knew about his addiction to military discipline. I naively thought that in the background of such a regimentation your free spirit would shine by contrast. I even thought that you would reform the Captain and induce some spontaneity in his life. I am now afraid that it is working the other way round. I know how you feel dear. Please forgive your Dad for his negligence.”
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2007
  3. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 3!

    “Oh, Papa, don’t be so hard on yourself. It is still a matter of choice, Papa. And you said it today. This marriage, Rishi, my father-in-law, my job, my life everything is my choice. You also woke me up today by saying that I still have time left to make a change.”

    “That’s true dear. But just imagine the emotional price you have to pay. Changing the choice in a restaurant will cost you some more money and a little more waiting time. But in life, the emotional cost will be too enormous. Many times we cannot even afford that cost. And if the emotional price is unaffordable, your life will become a wreck.”

    “Dad, leave it to me. You have done your part well. Rather too well, I should say. If only all the girls in this world had a father like mine, the world will be a far better place and the women would have a happy life. There wont be any need for the feminist movement.”

    “Thanks, Shalumma. But still I have a nagging feeling that I cannot shake off. You know I had been to the temple this evening after several years. Not been there since your mother died. And my only prayer to God was ‘If I had made a mistake in pushing Shalini to marry this guy, then I am in the wrong. Give me any punishment you like. But just leave my little girl alone.’

    Tears welled up in Shalini’s eyes.

    “You know for the first time in my whole life I entered into a deal with God. I have vowed to God, ‘If my little girl becomes happy again, I will fast on Sundays and come to your temple every day.”

    Shalini took extraordinary efforts to avoid breaking down.

    “Take care, Shaloo dear. Will talk to you tomorrow. Good night.”

    Shalini’s ‘Good night’ was barely audible.

    Shalini woke up the first time the alarm went off. She felt distinctly uncomfortable. The alarm tone, mimicking a cock crowing, sounded very jarring and omnious today. It was not a ``rise and shine`` call for a new day. It sounded like a distress call as if the cock had seen its predator.

    Shalini had a sinking intuition that something was wrong. Seriously wrong. Tears welled up in her eyes for no reason. It was then her mobile phone rang.

    The maid working in the ground floor heard Shalini shrieking. “OH NO, NO, IT CANT BE.”
     
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  4. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    dear sridhar,
    this time it is all about the way one is brought up in society, in india u find this sort of regime, in railways, army, and airforce, and many government officials and their group who follow this system of keeping time with breakfast and dinner, as the men folk are at home, even the drawing room gets the best attention with cut flowers and acquired artifects and so on, so a civilian finds it hard to adjust along with it, even u need permission to smile in this sector of time maintenance, so what u have projected is the difficulty to manage into a house hold from a free civilian life to a sector of regularised government establishment and house hold. sorry to say sridhar ur hindi needs a little tapping "kaash, agar aisa hota" is what should had been there. Pl let us peek into what rishi is actually, u r not touching the innercore of that man, may be his approach is rugged in comparison to a tender father like shiva, but the faults have to come out soon. I await that moment...regards sunkan
     
  5. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Dear sridhar,

    I am already going crazy thinking of what happend. The suspense is killing me:bang . So i am trying put myself in your shoes and think about what happened. Did you do away with Rishi and set Shalini free or now it is the turn of the dad to go.

    I just loved the way you brought out the tender feelings of the dad. praying to god to take away all the daughter's pain and punish him instead. Just reminded me of my dad. even today he cannot bear to see me suffer. My mom and I had a tough time trying to pacify him , when i was due with Jay , and ofcourse everyday nearing the due date used to suffer alot with false pain etc.. he just could not take it . he used to cry so much and yes indeed he made so many prathanais during that time for my " painless" delivery. yes i could totally identify with Siva in my dad in those lines.

    Still waiting to see the true nature of Rishi. How could he have gone a 180 degree transformation from the early days of marriage to now? Has he no love for his wife? At least thats the way it comes across.

    Oh well. let me go and see f i can figure out what is up your sleeve for next week. :mrgreen:

    rgds
     
  6. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, Sunkan!

    Dear Sundari,

    Yes regimentation at the living place is quite stifling. If you had seen the movie Ullathai Alli Tha, the hero Karthik would run away from his home because of his father Jai Ganesh's military regime.

    This time the discussion starts with language, and that too of a language which is neither your mother tongue nor mine.

    kaash is a very pregnant hindi word. It is something unique to Hindi. And precisely because it is pregnant it is capable of different intrepretations.

    But Sundari my Hindi to say the least is half-boiled. But as a lover of languages and unique words in them (you know that in the langauge called Amerindian Noodka there are no nouns only verbs and adverbs. Thus a temple is 'housing religiously') I beg to differ from you.

    "Agar aisa hota" may refer to an alternative situation to the current one, which may be better or worse. But that is not the implication of the word. The word is uttered when some thing that happened is bad and the speaker wants it to be good. It expresses the longing of the speaker to have something good. And so kithna acha hoga agar seems to be more relevant as it confines itself only to the good whereas agar aisa hota refers to good only by contextual implication. For example I am driving a small, dull car. I want to drive a Ferrari. So I can say kaash, (if only I had a Ferrari).

    I owe this explanation to my Hindi Teacher Dr.Chandramohan who taught me the language some 30 years ago. That I am able to repeat his explanation after three decades only shows how good a teacher he has been.

    I am yet to touch the innercore of Rishi. Left to myself I can make SHE into a magnum opus touching the inner core of all the characters involved. But that would turn it out into a long drawn serial running into 500 episodes plus like Chitthi or Selvi. So within some time frame definition I am trying to go as deep as possible in to every character. So I may not even fully touch the inner core of my heroine, let alone Rishi or Captain.

    Thanks for being the first to comment, Sundari.

    regards,
     
  7. AGR

    AGR Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar(ji)

    Oooph…...the story is searing now…..But one thing I cant understand is, how come Shalini is keeping silent abt her emotions………like not retorting back to comments of Rishi or not abiding by Captains order……..I mean when u really get irritated u tend to give replies (u may be right or u may just be wrong)……. The person to whom u r giving replies may be ur hubby, in-laws, boss or colleague…..probably this is the behaviour of the upper class society (no offence meant)………….because what I feel is sometimes when you pour out your feelings or even fight it would actually give u mental relief that u have conveyed whatever u wanted to tell the other person and there are more chances that you will come up with a solution also……so why not speak to captain or even her hubby itself straight away about her problems……….
     
  8. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vandhana,

    Sorry to have bothered with you that kind of suspense. But in a serial, my senior writer friend used to say, where you decide to stop at each episode, determines the quality of the story, as much as the core story itself.

    I was rewriting B&B in Tamil. In IL it was in 12 episodes. But they were quite long. So I had to cut it up into 30 episodes. I spent three days deciding where I should draw the line for each episode. With SHE I break my head every time when I have to decide about the ending of an episode. Now I have a technique. I write more than 2500 words for each episode and decide to break the episode anywhere between 1900 words and 2400 words. I am now happy (though it is a botheration to you) that it has borne fruit.

    It is very moving to know about your father's concerns during your pregnancy. Fathers are all made of love, Vandhana. (This is patting on my own back, I know) They cannot afford to see their girls suffer.

    Well to be frank I could bear to stay in the same room when Indhu was about to deliver Preethi. I made my parents stay there and ran several blocks away from the hospital where I could not hear her shouting. I returned only much later.

    When Preethi is in labour, I plan not to be in the same city. For I cant see my girl suffering, even if it is for childbirth.

    I remember to have read a joke about such a father. His daughter was in labour. His wife is with her. The father is in a hurry to rush his daughter to the hospital. But his wife tells him, that time has not come. They should wait for a few more minutes.
    Then the father blurts out, "Well, I cannot wait any more. I am going to the maternity hospital right now. You can come whenever you want to."
    That's father's love.

    Rishi's change is something typical that happens to many people after marriage. Especially after the novelty of the partner wears out. It may look unrealistic but that is the harsh reality. And the change is more dramatic in love-marriages and arranged ones.

    Now let me tell you what's the shocking news all about.... Oh.. no.... ILites dont want me to spoil their suspense.
    So, please, Vandana, let's wait for another just 168 hours. It will fly off in a jiffy.

    regards,
     
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  9. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar,
    Where Hindi Is Concerned, Pasand Apni Apni Khayal Apna Apna Is What I Think..each One Their Own In Taste And Thought..regards Sunkan
     
  10. Malathijagan

    Malathijagan Silver IL'ite

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    {"Shalini was deeply hurt by the way Rishi informed about his travel plans, by the way he almost ordered her to pack his things.

    Shalini could not help visualsing the same scene had the person involved been a really loving husband.

    “Hi Shal, have been trying to reach you since 12 30. You are all right, sweetheart?”

    “Thanks for asking, Rishi. I am fine. Was with my Dad for lunch. I switched off my mobile to ward off disturbing calls from my office. I’m sorry, I forg
    “No problem, honey. As long as you are safe, it is okay. I just missed hearing your voice.”

    “Is it anything important, Rishi?”

    “Not really so, baby. I have been asked to go to Tuticorin with my boss, The Chief Engineer for an inspection. Kind of emergency. Do not have time to come home to pack my things. So if it’s not inconvenient for you…”

    “No problem, Rishi. Shall I pack for two days?”

    “Thanks, Shal. Two days at the maximum. But will try to be back within a day. I can't stay away from you for too long.........}

    Dear Sridhar,
    The story is moving in an interesting manner. I am sure most women would go through the same feelings as Shalini, i.e. the one's after her husband's phone call. But after long years of experience we realize that the husbands are just their natural selves.They are made that way. They do not try to learn how a woman's mind works. If they really try to do that I am sure, they would get more loving wives who would be loving to do anything for them.
    Like Vandana, I would also like to see a little bit more of Rishi before I start judjing his nature and behaviour.
     

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