I am still a complete woman
I whistled happily as I turned off the start of my car. The thought of a long weekend coupled with two casual leaves and a Sunday washed away my day's gloom. A full shower under running water and a night out with my favorite pasta and an old school romance novel- even in my brain it sounded heavenly.
As I paced up the stairs, two at a time, I saw the ladies.Like every other day ,both of them were there , with their usual night time chitchats. Before they could say anything, I flashed a brilliant smiled, greeted them and went up.
I could feel their glaring stares behind my back.Its been two months I've shifted to this apartment and I've gotten somewhat used to the behaviors of most of the residents here. Or in other words, I was compelled to.....
I have remained a steady source of gossip and hush-hushed topic since day one. A young beautiful woman of thirty-two, earning a handsome salary in one of the reputed MNCs of the city, living a life of her choice in a 3 BHK apartment with her golden retriever Puglu as her sole companion definitely invited attentions and unnecessary interferences. Moreover I had another feather to my shining crown....
I was a divorcee....
I still remember the day when I walked into the residential meeting of the complex. The men were taken aback by my opinions whereas I could feel the fume of jealousy burning in the ladies' hearts. May be they considered me as the future threat to their happy,cosy homes. An established young divorcee in the apartment.. what if their naïve and loyal husbands are charmed by her acrobatics?
That day I understood that I would never be welcomed to the ladies' club wholeheartedly.Not that it mattered much to me. I was happy in my own world with Puglu, my demanding job and my passions...
Still one thing that caused pain to my logical mind was that.. every time I engaged in conversation with someone, my estranged marital status popped up out of nowhere. Yes I had a divorce...so what? Does that belittle any of my achievements which I've claimed so far in life and career? Or does that make me any less of a woman? Not all of us are lucky enough to experience a happily ever after...how difficult is that to understand?
I was a happy go lucky girl, engrossed in my own world. Being a meritorious student since childhood books were the only things that attracted my attention. So when I felt the need of a partner, I was twenty-one years old. I had a dreamy notion about love and dreamt about men who were only found in the pages of literature. So when Raktim's family approached us,I wanted to give it a go.
Our family astrologer matched our horoscopes and said that we were " Rajjotaks,"much to both the families' excitement. Within a month, we were married.
Amidst the celebrations, my sixth sense told me that something was wrong. Raktim and I didn't get many chances to know ourselves...his family was in a hurry to marry off their son .I wondered why!
The reason became evident on our first night. As I sat on a gorgeously decorated bed,annoyingly decked up in a benarasi and tons of jewelries while my heart went into arrhythmia, Raktim came in with a calm and composed face.
" Adwitiya, there's something you need to know."
I knew that...My mind's radar never fails to catch something that's not on the right track.
" Go ahead .I'm all ears." I adjusted my position.
"I've been forced into this alliance. After my parents came across your profile, they made my life hell until I gave in. I have someone else in my life. And l can't deceive you as well. My partner got repeated death threats from my relatives , courtesy to my police officer father. I had no other choice ..."
I looked at him." Who's the girl?"
" It's a HIM" .Rakim said slowly.
" So it seems that I'm the only person who can help you now." I stepped down from the bed,furrowing my eyebrows. Raktim held my hand,his eyes apologetic. I smiled as I said,
" I'll make sure you are back to the one who you belong to.Give me some time."
What followed was a nasty chain of events.I was back to my parents the following day.I cited the reason of sexual dissatisfaction and was tagged shameless and characterless by my own parents.Raktim was bombarded by questions and sly remarks from his acquaintances.Both of us remained strong and beared the wrath of a normal society.
We were divorced within a year and shortly after,Raktim ran away with his partner Sukalyan and settled in Canada.We are still in touch through social medias and I feel proud of myself every time I see their happy and contented faces.I was smart enough to save three lives,though it came at a heavy price.I was tagged a " divorcee" forever. I immersed myself in job,reached new heights each day and was awarded best employee for three times in a row by my company,but everything my life was discussed in public, being a divorcee attracted all attention.I was shown the door by my orthodox parents following which I landed in this apartment...My own house..!
I jumped up as something cold brushed my hand.It was Puglu..Ah! That burning smell says it all.The pasta's been reduced to ashes!I ruffled Puglu's furry head and sprinted to my kitchen.
As I hurried to prepare another dish,I smiled again.I n society's eyes...I was a divorcee. But in my eyes,I was a sensible human who realised the power of love just in time.I am still a complete woman sans my marital status,contented with wherever I've reached today.And yes !I still believe firmly in love and want to be loved and adored by a worthy human. A piece of court paper can never be an impediment to that.
I still have that much faith on this universe.....
Rajjotak- Bengali term for "a perfect match"