I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where, I love you simply, without problems or pride:I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.
Avita walk into a dilapidated shelter. Arpita gently helps him sit down and looks at his wound anxiously, her face tight with concern. Without a hesitation she tears of a bit of her sari and makes a bandage....Avdesh slowly opens his eyes, face pale and exhausted, his strength at its last ebb. His eyes focus on his wife,lingering on the beloved features..watching as she took care of him....their eyes lock repeatedly, as she carried on with the ministration.
You have to bear so much pain because of me...His face soft and loving as he looked at her...then he turns away face screwed in pain as he brought forth the words eating him up...you have not had a day's happiness since you stepped into that house...Arpita gently lays a hand on his mouth, to stop more words from coming out...She smiles, her eyes full of love as she brushed his hair away tenderly, caressing his face with her hand...You are with me... she brings his head down on her shoulder, he leans forward willingly wanting the rest, peace and love she represents...She continues stroking his face lovingly, he closes his eyes finally at ease...this is my biggest joy...my life is with you, nothing else matters...Arpita continues to hug him to her, her eyes teary. Avdesh looks up and their eyes meet and cling together, poignancy and regret over time lost strong between them.
Avdesh manages to ease away, his mind on his enemies..Arpita reassures him..don't worry, I won't let anything happen to you..Avdesh manages a faint smile at her words before the loss of blood overtakes him. Arpita holds her panic at bay but unable to revive him, she hears a temple bell and goes running to beseech for divine help. The dark, the forest nothing matters to her. At the temple her prayers were for her husband, none at all for her. She comes back guided by a diya...once inside she arranges firewood to provide warmth before sitting down and lifting Avdesh's head on her lap. Her hands once more resumed their stroking of his beloved features, the silky hair as she tried to bring him back to her with her touch....I will save you from all danger, I won't let anything happen to you...I love you so much..At last giving in to the fear and grief inside her, Arpita doubles over Avdesh, sobs shaking her body...rising up, she continues to touch him and promises him all the love in the world..Nothing will worry you, as long as I'm here with you..I will bear everything first before it even touches you....Her words fell on the empty night.
Avdesh finally regains consciousness and Arpita is relieved...I knew nothing will happen to you! my love is right and just...nothing will happen to you!...She presses a kiss on his forehead, and then offered thanks and yet her eyes remained worried and haunted. She helps him sit up and he looks at her wryly, eyes full of love..how many times have I told you? your tears pain me very much. So why are you crying? stop your tears. As long as you are with me, nothing will happen to me...their hands join together tightly, their eyes on one another..Arpita touched by his love, leans forward into his hug and he claspes her tightly in return...they hold onto each for a moment, their shelter and peace within themselves only.
As Arpita stands up to go and search for some food, Avdesh holds on to her hand firmly...their eyes meet, Avdesh's face relaxes, his need obvious as he twines his fingers with hers. Arpita acknowledges her husband's needs and sits down next to him again as he looks at her..stay close to me, that is enough for me..you in my life for always means nothing will happen...Avdesh's hand cups her cheek, her own lifts and covers it, to hold him close...You are my everything..He tells her tenderly, still cupping her cheek...my hunger, my thirst, my life, my breath....
They draw close to each other, eyes locked on the other...memories played between them...that first meeting, the fire blazing in the market also ignited inside them as they behold each other for the first time...the need to see one another, unexplainable and yet as urgent as the air they breathed...that giddy moment in the temple, first love and first rush, her love blessing Avdesh as she walks on..in the present, Arpita and Avdesh draw closer and closer until they could feel each other's breath, hot and heavy, on their skin..They merge into a hug, their needs growing by the moment..Arpita caresses the bare skin of his shoulder, Avdesh for his part finally lets himself sink into the arms of his love, finally gives himself the right to enjoy his wife...as they hug and touch one another, more memories tumbles out..the first time he put a sindoor on her, her tear of happiness, the joining of their hands symbolising one soul in two bodies, Avdesh proudly walking her way from that mandap, their suhaag raat...and the drama that followed. Avdesh frowns, his peace disturbed..as much as he tries he could not evade the his oath. For a moment he freezes and then his eyes open wide with horror...he gently pushes her away...his face still one of horror and fear...that he had come so close to breaking his oath when his enemy still looms large...I can't do that!..he tells Arpita.
She looks with with tears shimmering in her eyes, so close to paradise and now further and further away from it...her tearful eyes remains on her husband, sadness and betrayel written on her face.
This was one episode where everything was quite clear cut. I had been saying for days that Avdesh would understand Arpita, that he would realise the depth of her sacrifice... and he showed that today. He gave back her the gift of love, telling her she was his everything. No other words were necessary, his every move full of tenderness and love for this brave girl who without hestitation followed him wherever he led. He was her everything, so how could she not be his?
His life is hectic and full of pain and danger. In this moment in time, they are cocooned in and it seems time has stopped for them. So Avdesh gave back what had been locked inside him all this time, only emerging here and there, but showing that Arpita's faith in him had been right and just. As she said time after time, he is a good man just on the wrong path. Indeed he is good and decent and all that is love....For he has Arpita as his guiding light, to show him the way. All he needs to do is now follow that star.
Yet I was also very aware of dark undercurrents, the heartache just waiting around the corner...the repeated avows by Arpita that she won't let anything happen to him, that she will face everything before it even comes close to him. It makes me sad, for I detect tragedy..but I hope I am wrong, and that the only tragedy is that their time together alone in the forest is cut short.
The first step to unlocking Avdesh's love for her has been taken, poignant memories played their part in unleashing the dam...yet it also reached it's logical point, his pratigya. If he overlooked that and gave in to the need he so wanted to then he would not be the man Arpita loves (and us). Even he was horrified at how he had forgotten that, which shows his love and desire for Arpita is very strong...wihtout anyone running interference (bhootni) their marriage would have been a true one. But I remain reassured that the desire eating at Avdesh will be burning him away. And the love that has once more regained prominence in his heart will remain as a beacon of hope for Arpita. In the days coming, we will see how much Avdesh loves this wife of his. Even Arpita will be surprised at the depth and strenght of it.
So what did you think of it?
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