Samaira watched her husband,Raghu as he pretended to be absorbed in the morning news. His eyes though were following Rakhi’s movements as she played with 2 year old Prithvi.
Rakhi was a blessing! It has been a month since her sister had come to stay with with them and Sami could feel the difference.
Life had settled into a comfortable rhythm. While Sami continued to cook and keep everything ready for her children, Rakhi would see to it that they were well taken care of . Once back home from work Sami still found time for everyone, kids, husband,Rakhi and managed to face another day with a smile on her face, thanks to her younger sister.
Mom, coffee, Sirish commanded from his room. Now that he has grown taller and fatter,Sirish took himself very seriously. He was his father’s photocopy. He liked it when things came to him, wherever he was.
Sami could not say no to her Sirish, he was her pride, the future, MBBS.. Sami held on to the wall to get up and walked slowly to the kitchen shouting, Your order is my command, Sir. You will give your wife a tough time!
Raghu worked in a small company. His inflated ego led him into disputes with the management at his workplace till they finally chuck him out. This was a routine. Nowadays though, he is a little more stable.
Sami had every reason in the world to cling to her job as if it were her dear life.And she did just that.
When Ani and others spoke about spotting her husband and Rakhi in the park, at the cinemas, Sami dismissed the news as figments of their imagination. Yeah , he was fond of her,so what? Last Deepawali, when he went out of his way to get Rakhi a new salwar, Sami was surprised. Raghu said, she works for us all the time. We have to keep her happy.
Later that year,Raghu got a transfer to Mumbai.He told her that he could not go without Rakhi. And Sami was stunned, was it really so? God! Why did she never notice? What about her children?Was she blind,naive or plain stupid? She had no clue.
The next day, she firmly told her husband not to return home if he continued his affair with her sister.In a hurry to get away from her, he did not stop to argue and they left while she and her kids stood watching. Sami put her life energies into nurturing her children. The sense of humiliation, of being cheated and unloved drove her to put more and more hours at the work place. As if to compensate for what she lost on her personal front, her professional life was a great success.
She grew in stature until she was heading the branch and was recognized as a great team leader. The two boys meanwhile grew up swiftly. They had become independent too. While she managed everything ,the boys never troubled her with outrageous demands and continued to excel at school and college.Once in a year, her husband dropped by to visit his boys, bringing them presents and before flying back to his new nest.
Often, Sami was advised by her friends to go for divorce. She too thought of it but in the humdrum of bringing up her boys and managing her work, she had no time to do anything about it.
Her mother who had conveniently given Sami to her sister never cared enough. Her aunt who took the place of her mother, never loved her enough to care. Sami did not know who to turn to and well, she didn’t really miss his absence. She had no desire to find another partner for herself. So she left it at that.
Sirish and Prithvi grew up, found jobs and partners and settled in the US.
One fine day after his retirement, Raghu returned and stayed on .They lived like strangers in her house. Rakhi had gone to live with one of her cousins it seems. She never asked.
Could she have turned him away? Yes,of course. But she did not, all she felt was a painless indifference to Raghu and every body else.
Sirish sometimes talks to his father to manage an investment, to meet some one, to buy a plot etc. Of his mother, he has no use. Prithvi finds time to pay an annual visit and ask about her welfare once in a while.
When Sami looked around, she saw that there was no one of her so called family with her, all she had was a handful of friends.
Perhaps it was her zen like calm that helped her through the pain. Perhaps it was learning Reiki, then yoga, then meditation or the satsang or the numerous charity events that she participated in.
Sami has no complaints. Whatever happened, happened. Life’s experiences were meant for just that, to be experienced…
Though late in her life, she met many interesting people who valued her presence. This is her achievement, her joy and her pride, the recognition she earned as a Reiki master, a yoga expert and a practitioner of healing therapy.
I am a karma yogi,she said proudly, I worked when I worked, I loved, when I loved and when I served, I served with my whole heart.
What happened to me,was never because of me.It happened in spite of me. There is no room for sorrow in my life. She smiled.