Joined: 17 March 2011
Joined: 13 May 2011
Joined: 27 September 2008
With lowered head nakusha was plucking spinach leaves, she dropped the leaves in one bowl and the shredded stems were placed on an old newspaper kept next to the bowl. A week later he had been discharged from the hospital, throughout that time she was at home, didn't go to visit him even once. Although she wished to see him but then didn't know whether it would have been appropriate to ask supriya to take her along. Moreover her mind was forbidding her from getting emotionally attached to him, her mind constantly reminded her the actual purpose for being in his life and that was only to give him a child which she was doing perfectly, beyond that there was no place for her in his life and vice versa. Throughout those long seven days and seven nights she continued to battle with her new found feelings, she couldn't actually figure out the real reason behind her uneasiness or probably she'd kind of figured it out but her mind wasn't letting her acknowledge it. Whatever it might be but to quite an extent she'd succeeded in controlling her emotions, several questions used to pop up in her mind like, how was he doing? Was he still feeling weak? Had his pain subsided? Was he eating properly? Etc etc But she didn't attempt to seek answers to these questions from supriya, not only that she didn't even ask supriya when he'd be coming back home? She didn't have to because one fine day she saw him walking down the hall way and then all her self control, the strong wall that she'd thought she'd built around herself to restrict him came crashing down just at the sight of him. In one moment her heart got all the answers, the heavy bandage was still covering the area where he'd been shot, she got a glimpse of that white swab as the upper two buttons of his kurta were undone, her eyes travelled to his fractured arm which was in a sling so that it could be positioned correctly and he himself looked quite pale, she cursed the hospital staff under her breath for making him so weak even though they saved his life, still they should've taken better care of him, no wonder he had come back home so quickly. Suddenly it struck her, again she was worrying about him when his wife was there for him. She turned her head to the other side instantly however couldn't control her wandering eyes from going back to him again. He was slowly climbing up the stairs, his face scrunched with every step he took, oh it must be hurting him a lot, she thought.
" nakusha..nakusha" supriya called her out. She dropped the spinach leaves and looked at supriya who was busy on her cell phone.
" apni dawai li?" supriya asked her while making the person wait on the other side of the call.
" nahin..dawai kal khatam ho gai." Nakusha replied and began plucking the leaves again. Supriya glared at her, this irresponsible attitude would definitely not be accepted by her, if the medicines had run out of stock then she should've told her. supriya instructed her to go to her room and take out a fresh pack of medicines from the drawer. Nakusha's fingers stopped what they were doing, she wanted her to go back to that room? The room that she'd dared not stepped in ever since that fateful night which she'd spent with him. No, she definitely didn't have the courage to go in especially when he was around. He would butcher her into pieces.
" taayi mein baad mein kha legi."
" maine kaha na abhi ja." This time supriya's tone was firm and clear. She couldn't afford to take any chances with nakusha's health especially now when she was carrying the baby. She continued to glare at nakusha till she stood up and walked up to her room. Nakusha's palms began to sweat and her heart raced as she started approaching the room, all the time hoping that supriya would stop her in the middle but she didn't. She remembered the times she'd been insulted and thrown out of that room, though he had his reasons but still those reasons couldn't prevent her from getting nervous. She halted at his door step and gulped the lump formed inside her throat. Closing her eyes she recalled his blood shot red eyes and heart piercing words. He is rude, he is brash but he would definitely not eat her up especially when she was clearly not at fault, her heart tried to instill confidence in her. More than being scared for herself she was worried over his reaction, he never ever appreciated her presence in his room and she didn't want to upset him unnecessarily but how would she explain all this to supriya? Opening her eyes for a moment she thought of going down without the medicines, she could handle supriya's temper however just before leaving she peeked inside the room, it was empty. The coast was clear, what if she just grabbed those medicines and ran out without him knowing? Yes she could do that. With that she finally stepped in, her eyes quickly scanned the room in search of what they desired. Which drawer was she supposed to look in? dressing table drawer? Bedside drawer? Or drawer inside her cupboard. She approached the bedside drawer and opened it, thanking her stars she picked up those medicines and was about to exit when her gaze fell on that bed. That was it, the entire sequence of events of that night flashed across her mind. The confrontation between supriya and him, his anger, his banging the door shut and what followed next, was all so fresh in her memory. In the past she'd spent numerous nights with numerous men but her mind always managed to block all that happened in those nights. In the beginning those events used to disturb her, haunt her however with the passage of time the pain, the agony subsided as she turned into a lifeless piece of meat. But this time why couldn't she remain unaffected? Why were those moments so clearly edged out in her mind? Why couldn't she erase that night from her life like other nights? Why could she still feel his pain, his anguish in this room?
Dutta looked at his reflection in the bathroom mirror and brushed his free hand on his week long grown stubble. He surely needed to shave however it was not an easy task as his one hand was hung in a sling. The pain in the arm was manageable due to the medications that were prescribed but every simple chore was taking almost three times the amount of time. He rubbed the shaving cream on his stubble then picked up the razor to shave. He was succeeding in his task but not without getting cut here and there. Its always best to be independent rather than being dependent on others for such minor things, no wonder he was hell bent on getting discharged as early as possible. He has forever been a free man so being confined to the four walls and that hospital bed was surely annoying him. He couldn't for long breath in the smell of sanitizers that hung in the air and bear the sight of two extremes of life within the same space, a family crying with the joy of a new life and a family crying with the grief of a life lost. Not that life and death affected him, he had himself seen death from such close proximity many times before but the whole atmosphere made him feel trapped and bounded. For his smallest of things like sitting, walking, eating he was being helped out by the hospital staff. He wasn't as weak as they were making him feel thus he ordered to be discharged soon.
He turned the tap on to fill a bucket then carefully took out the sling. Lifting his kurta he tried to pull it down first from his fractured arm, the stitches on his back pained him and he shut his eyes tightly. To his utter surprise the pain stricken face of nakusha came before his eyes, he remembered how her face had wrinkled when he'd returned home. Her green eyes had examined him carefully and had turned worried as they moved from top to bottom. He'd felt her wanting to take a step towards him but something had stopped her. He pursed his lips and thought good she'd not shown concern, he didn't need her sympathy. He roughly removed his kurta, not caring how much it hurt him then washed his hair in the wash basin before heading to have a sponge bath.
Drying himself with his scarlet towel he once again stood before the mirror and carefully peeled off the bandage on his chest then lifted his right hand to reach the bandage on his back, it was quite difficult still he managed somehow to remove it in order to change the dressing. Clad in his pyjamas he came out of the bathroom only to be greeted by the sight of nakusha who was standing near the bed lost in her thoughts. When he came and stood behind her she didn't know. Clearing of his throat startled her completely and she turned around in a hurry. Her eyes became the size of saucers on seeing, from where the hell had he dropped she wondered. The same question ran in his mind as well and he stepped towards her before asking," tu yahan?" on her own accord her feet moved back in response and hit the bedside table. She was about trip when he wrapped his right arm around her waist and pulled her to himself to steady her. His hard masculine body crashed against her delicate form, sending current down her spine. Her breath hitched, heart raced and eyes shot up. His hair hanging loosely around his forehead was dripping water ever so slowly on to her nose and lips. She darted her tongue out and licked the droplets fallen on her pink lips, she inhaled his woody scent and despite breeze coming in from the window she felt warmth spread across her body. This warmth was familiar, she'd felt it during that night as well. Her eyes automatically shifted on recalling that night one more time. That's when she realized that he wasn't wearing his kurta, her cheeks turned a deep crimson on their own. She didn't know why she felt shy, this was not the first time that she was seeing a man in this form in fact she had seen many in much more embarrassing positions and only felt disgusted but with him it was different. He always managed to stir those emotions inside her which she believed to have gone dead. He loosened his grip around her and brought his hand down, she too moved aside creating a distance between them. She parted her lips and replied," main..woh ..dawai..lene.." she showed him the medicines in her hand while replying however she couldn't complete herself as her gaze fell on the stitched up wound on his chest. He noticed her face lose color as distress spread across it. She bit her lower lip on seeing for herself how closely the bullet had missed hitting his heart. She flinched on thinking how much pain he must have gone through not once but twice, the cut was deep though it was well stitched still she couldn't stop her hand from raising to touch it. He caught her wrist before her slender fingers could touch his wound. He glanced into those soft innocent eyes, the same concern, the same anxiety which was there when she'd come to see him in the hospital lingered in her eyes even now. Her fingers curled as she too continued to look back at him, he wasn't annoyed or disappointed to see her in his room and blinked his eyes slowly, indicating that he was fine. She lowered her head and freed her hand from his grip then started walking out of the room.
Opening his cupboard he took out the first aid kit. Picking up the antiseptic bottle he tried to apply it on his chest by holding the bottle in the fractured hand and cotton ball dipped in antiseptic in right hand , he then moved to clean the stitches on his back. Till now he'd brushed, shaved and bathed with the help of his right hand but dressing up the wound single handedly and that too on the back was appearing tough. Nakusha still standing out side his room saw him struggling to reach his back. The thought of helping him out went back sooner than it entered her mind. She stood at the stairs and found supriya walking in the hall still talking to somebody on the cell phone.
" taayi ..taayi." supriya looked up in the direction from where nakusha was calling her out. She lifted her head once asking her what was it?
" sahab ke pass jao..abhi." nakusha replied urgently. Without disconnecting her call supriya climbed up and went to her room. Dutta was now standing in front of the dressing table after applying an ointment on the cut near his heart, he couldn't manage to clean the stitches on his back with one hand so thought of applying the ointment directly. Supriya came and stood before him, she took the ointment from his hand and squeezed out some on her finger.
" main kar loonga." He didn't need any help
" dutta ji.." supriya said in between her talks and balanced the cell phone between her tilted head and shoulder. She began rubbing it on his back," haan baba ..main samajhti hoon mera campaigning mein hona zaroori hai..par." dutta pursed his lips as unknowingly supriya's long nail scratched his cut slightly. She was too engrossed in her discussion to notice that she was rubbing the cream a little too roughly on the stitches. As always he hardly complained or shared his pain with her. His wandering eyes scattered the room before stopping at the mirror. With furrowed brows he gazed at nakusha's reflection. She had still not left and was looking at how supriya was dressing up his wound. Her face wrinkled seeing how quickly supriya was applying the ointment then covering it with a patch of cotton as if doing all this was no big deal for her.
" baba lekin do din ke liye main dutta ji ko chod kar kaise aa sakti hoon?" supriya said coming in front of dutta while her hands finally taped the cotton on his chest.
" tumko jaana hai jao ." Dutta said hoarsely, it didn't matter to him if she was not around. Supriya smiled at him and replied on the phone," theekh hai baba ..main aati hoon." Saying so she began opening her cupboard to pack her things leaving a struggling dutta behind to wear the kurta on his own. His face creased in pain as he wriggled his left arm through the kurta. He turned around to get the sling from the bathroom and found those worried pair of eyes still staring at him, his muscles tensed on seeing her concerned. Firstly he thought that she would've already left by now and secondly it amazed him to see his pain reflecting in her eyes every time, be it his emotional, mental or physical pain all managed to find a place in her eyes and leave an impression on her face.
Nakusha felt his intense gaze piercing through his body, attempting to unnerve her but wasn't succeeding. His eyes raised several silent questions, sadly she didn't have any answer, she didn't know why she couldn't bear to see him hurt? She didn't know why her heart twisted whenever he was distressed? She didn't know why she lost all control over her feelings and emotions whenever he was around?
The more she stayed close to him, the more it became difficult to remain unaffected by him, thus she finally moved out of his view.
Thanks for reading
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