Thursday, January 21, 2016

To marry or not to marry

IndiBlogger - The Indian Blogger Community To marry or not to marry

Rishaaan as a rule was a very practical man not easily given to sentimental feelings. He had learnt from his boyhood to take everything in his stride. Some of his associates saw him as an insensitive person incapable of experiencing soft emotions which are eternally celebrated in all arts and literature the world over. Extremes of sorrow or joy were unknown to him.
He accepted whatever that happened in his life with astonishing equanimity. He remained unruffled under all the stormy waves of untoward incidents in his life. The few friends he had regarded him with awe and admiration. They recognised an ascetic’s stoicism and maturity in his poise and composure. It cannot be said with surety whether it was in his genes as an inherited wealth or just a unique characteristic of his personality. Christ or Buddha or Mohammed with whom he shared a resemblance of nature is a rare birth with rare qualities.
He was unafraid to face challenges life frequently threw at him. His admirable sense of acceptance of all the blows that fate dealt him endeared him to all his friends and relatives. He was a role model, an inspiration to many. He made bold decisions and wise choices refusing to be crushed by adversity which visited him in various forms.
He was the only son of very wealthy parents who were also well educated and highly cultured. He was only twelve as his twin daughters Kaira and Diya when his father suddenly succumbed to massive heart attack. His mother silently and efficiently shouldered the double responsibility of managing his father’s business empire and preparing him as its next successor. She excelled in both being a lady with grit and dignity.
After took over the business responsibility she chose a wife for him suitable in all respects to their family. When the twins were born the family’s joy knew no bounds. But his marital bliss was cursed to be short-lived. Even as the couple were happily watching the little girls grow up with sparkling beauty and brilliance fate reared its ugly head on the tenth birthday of the daughters.
After the birthday party was over his wife Thara complained of severe headache. Paracetamol tablet and a good night’s sleep failed to relieve her as everybody expected. When the nasty headache aggravated and became unbearable she had to see the doctor. A series of elaborate tests taken revealed the presence of a full-grown tumour in her brain.
Rishaan was stunned by the news. Even before he could fully grasp the gravity of the situation he saw with a sinking heart his beloved wife slipping into coma. The diagnosis of the disease received in its advanced stage left little hope or scope for any medical treatment.
Can we call it God’s mercy that Thara had never become aware of the knowledge that her days were numbered and that she was going to leave her dear family very soon? Living in the lap of luxury, watching the beautiful process of two lovely buds blossoming into radiant flowers of pride and glory, filling her days and nights with colourful dreams of adding more and more glitter to her golden life, expressing her creative imagination in ever so many ways, Thara was rightly delighting in the feeling of being on top of the world till that awful onslaught of a headache. Her life was a brimming cup of joy. And exactly in that state she had gone into coma except for the brief consciousness of excruciating pain caused by the headache. What a blessing it is to die without the slightest taste of any disappointment, disagreement or disillusionment!
She was also spared the anguish of seeing her dear kin suffering the pangs of sorrow at the imminent tragedy. In this hour of family crisis Rishaan’s mother rose to the occasion as usual and stood as a pillar of concrete support to the family. Rishaan swallowed his sorrow and remained at her bedside with utmost devotion. Thara passed away peacefully much earlier than the time the doctors had allowed her malady to take away her life.
Unlike Rishaan his daughters Kiara and Diya were shattered completely. The impact of the loss of their doting mother was devastating. No amount of father’s love or grandma’s care could alleviate their grief. They were hysterical and struggled to cope with such a huge tragedy. Time seemed to take time to heal them.
Rishaan’s mother resorted to the only age-old solution in such a situation. She convinced her son of the necessity of his remarriage. He trusted her sagacity. She used her discernment again to choose a bride for him. Sona, their distant relative living in Goa was her choice. The elders had come to an agreement about the alliance. But it was a very delicate and difficult matter to make Kiara and Diya see the advisability of this arrangement.
 About to enter the portals of teenage the precocious girls were a bundle of mood swings and temper tantrums. A herculean task it was to make them believe the vacuum left by their bereavement can be filled only by the entry of another woman. It was impossible for both of them to imagine another woman in the place of their dear mother. In the midst of their peeves and prejudices the little girls did not fail to realise the fact that their grandma ruled the roost and her decisions were final.
Kiara and Diya were identical twins. They looked alike and dressed alike. But the similarity ended there. They were both very different in their tastes, temperaments, attitudes and reactions. At times they behaved like the most affectionate sisters on earth. Very soon they would be at each other’s throats fighting like fierce cats. It was highly unpredictable what might spark off sibling rivalry.
Thara had been a wonderful bridge between them and she beautifully sorted out their differences. The girls were very fond of her and obeyed her implicitly. They missed her so much that they felt blinded by a pall of darkness which made them grope pathetically to find a way to come out of the emptiness filling their hearts. Desperately they looked upon the remaining parent to alleviate their pain.
After they were told about their father’s remarriage they turned more aggressive than ever. They vehemently resisted the move. The very idea was odious to them. They found it impossible to come to terms with the prospect of sharing their dear father, the sole remaining parent, with a new woman who will be vested with unlimited authority over them all-father and daughters.
Irked by the proceedings hastening towards the next horrible misfortune in their life both the girls evinced their feelings differently. Kiara became more possessive towards Rishaan and literally clung to him like a vice. Diya, on the other hand, glowered angrily at her father and kept aloof. She drew herself away from him in vengeful hatred. Rishaan being the matured man that he was easily understood the feelings of the little girls and spared no effort, missed no chance to show his unchanged, unchangeable affection for them.
By way of paving the way for their amicable acceptance of Sona into their home Rishaan’s mother arranged for a meeting between Sona and the girls. From his knowledge of Sona Rishaan was hopeful of her winning over the hearts of his rebellious daughters. So he boarded the plane with the girls with optimism in his heart and tried his best to spread cheer. But the clear manifestations of their rancour filled him with trepidation. He was increasingly conscious of growing ill-feeling from the way they behaved.
In the middle of the flight, Kiara woke up to go to the washroom. When she returned, she was too lazy to push her way into the middle seat. And with Rishaan readily offering to shift seats, the seating arrangement changed. With 20 minutes still remaining for the flight to land, a sleep starved Kiara took another power nap, this time holding Rishaan's right hand more firmly. Rishaan's other hand, though, nervously moved to touch Diya's. Her heart skipped a beat. Diya pulled her hand away. But a defiant Rishaan held her wrist again, this time firmly and more reassuringly. The changing behavioral dynamics between the three perhaps gave out a foreboding of what was to come in Goa.

When the flight landed at the Dabolim Airport, Rishaan felt uncanny...his excitement seemed replaced by an unknown fear that he found very difficult to decipher. Nightmarish scenes of his jealous daughters coming out with all fangs, claws, nails and teeth to injure Sona flit across his mind. Was it unwise on his part to take the grieving girls to meet a woman in whom they saw a potential enemy? He was horrified to think of the possibility of ugly scenes taking place in Sona’s house.
Rishaan who was a nonpareil manager in his business world felt diffident of the success of his present mission. Was he underestimating the force of antagonism burning in their bosoms? While one wanted to be glued to him the other recoiled from him. Though paradoxical was the exhibition of their animosity it was unmistakably there deeply rooted in their hearts.
Will his positive outlook and sincere involvement conquer the negative vibes and war signals his daughters sent? It is no wonder then that a strange sense of foreboding swept over the father flanked by two live dynamites ready to go off any moment.
The signs of emotional trauma the girls showed were ominous. What fiendish drama was waiting to be played? Are we not all puppets in the hands of Fate? Is there anything anyone can predict with accuracy in this world? The supreme suspense continues to kill with thrill.

(A contest entry for TOI –spinning a yarn around a given passage from another author.)

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