Friday, May 2, 2008

freedom without peace?



Prerna kept the telephone down, tears coursing down her face. She had just heard her little boy on the phone. She had heard the unspoken plea in his voice, begging her to come back.

Prerna leaned back against the wall, remembering her family.

“My dear child”, there’s nothing in the world I want more than to have you near me, believe me. But I have to do this, i HAVE to do this, for you, for your father and for me. Forgive me, Pawan… Someday, you may understand”

She hoped he could hear her and understand her, more importantly, forgive her

She walked slowly back to her one room flat where she would be alone, cooking her frugal meal and thinking of the warm house she had left behind. Was it just 15 days ago that she had left everything and come here? Was finding herself worth it?

***********************************************

Prerna had been planning this for quite some time now. She never knew when the idea had planted itself in her mind and when it had germinated into a goal. It grew steadily, watered by the daily episodes of rejection she faced. Fifteen years!!! fifteen years of giving her time to the family had taken its toll. She had lost herself among the myriad roles of daughter-in-law, wife, mother and friend.

"How easy it is to get deluded by all the social obligations these roles force us to play," she thought wryly. She had allowed herself to get carried away with the responsibilities of motherhood and home, waiting for that day when she would be free, to explore her dreams. Till the day she realized that she would never really be free. She was expected to fulfill all her roles responsibly but Viraj had clearly missed his duties. Living in a joint family had chaneged him. He was never there for the family. Taking care of the family business had made him a slave to time.

Everyone thought that her part-time art class was a way to spend free time, it was just a whim that could be indulged. No one realized that it meant an unrealized dream.

It must have been the time when she was showing her old albums to her class that this idea must have struck her. Her college photos where she had won the best artist award. The awe on her loyal 20 students, who were sent more by bored mothers, than to learn any serious art. Was it then that she knew what she had been missing? Or was it when she chanced upon the article which praised the quaint little painting village which had come up?

That’s when she made up her mind and broke the news to Viraj. Viraj, her husband looked at her sadly…”where did I go wrong? Why are you doing this to me? “

“You never went wrong. I am responsible for this. I let my dreams die. For once I’m asking for the right to be selfish. To do what I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve given you 15 yrs of my life …is this so much to ask for? That you look after our son for 6 mths and help me out?

He had raged ”Dreams? What dreams?!! Am I not slaving for the family too? How can you tell that you are not contented? You want to pursue art now? You have everything!! What more do you need?

Prerna replied sadly, “Would you believe my identity? You wouldn’t understand, Viraj” and left the room, leaving him puzzled and perplexed.

That evening, when the family sat down to dinner, she said, “There is an art school where I want to go. It has a residential program for 6 months. i’m planning to enroll

As expected when she broke the news, there were fireworks. They all tried to dissuade her, worrying about what people would say. But she had made up her mind. It was now or never.

Her parents-in-law were aghast. She knew they did not approve but she was beyond caring this time. Her parents too had tried to reason with her, her closest friends tried to dissuade her. She heard them out and just smiled. She gave no explanations because she knew no one would ever understand. She was doing it for herself and that was the very thing which troubled them.


*To be continued....

sunday scribblings prompt - family
writer's island - Identity

16 comments:

shyam said...

Interesting... am waiting for Part 2! :)

jadey said...

awesome post. Good for her. We all need to get caught up with who we are and time has to be allowed or we do get in a rut. Nice job.

paisley said...

oh this is very good... i do want to read more so please follow up next week...

gautami tripathy said...

Next part..I await for it....

dog and (wo)man

Granny Smith said...

I'm also waiting for part two. While I understand her frustrations, I wonder if she couldn't have waited until her son was a little older.

Good, thought-provoking post.

Greyscale Territory said...

Social obligations are certainly an absolute killer of "real" identity.

Write some more!

Gemma

Leonard Blumfeld said...

I also look forward to read how you progress with your story.

Prats said...

Lovely post. Everyone has to reach out and realsie one's dreams....why should they keep it aside...
Now i'm waiting for the next part...

Medhini said...

The emotions of the woman are well captured in this piece. waiting to read the next one....

shubd07 said...

Very well written Suma .

A woman does often engross herself in a life that requires her to don many caps..and leaves he wondering what she really is ..

Would love to read more on the journey of self realisation .

ratanaong said...

You've got good conflict going. The woman's wants and needs versus her relative's wants and needs could be torturing if not handled properly. Interesting to see how part 2 goes. Great post!

Rambler said...

some times what we want does come with some sacrifices..would be interesting to see the second part

Kool kat said...

Hey, Suma! Dat sure is a nice piece and juz like the rest I'm waitin' for more....

one more believer said...

...ahh, the customs of motherhood... yes, i too look 4ward to the next chapter... i applaud her courage, but every dream has a price...

Sumana said...

Wow nice story. When is the next release???

Joy said...

Wonderful. Waiting for part 2.

 
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