Joined: 13 June 2012
Joined: 13 June 2012
Joined: 13 June 2012
Joined: 13 June 2012
Two days later Sugni was in her kitchen making dinner. Shanti was in her room doing homework. She was dog-tired, from her day running up and down the stairs for her boss lady. Mrs. Flam. Mrs. Flam was nothing Sugni discovered but a slave driver.
She distrusted people and was always looking at you funny. Taking a break was not allowed unless it was lunchtime.
Living in a house that large should be a crime, Sugni thought for one person. Mrs. Flam was a middle-aged widow, whose husband left her a wealthy woman, but she was very bitter. She needed a domestic and Sugni needed a job. Since beggars could not be choosers, she stuck with it for now.
Five years ago when she left with nothing to her name except her clothes and a few hundred dollars he Mami's felt sorry to give her she had no idea where she was going to go or what she was going to do.
She did not want her child being caught in the cycle she was in and swore the day she was born she would not. Sugni had only one reason to live and that was Shanti. She named her Shanti, which meant peace, because with her birth she brought to Sugni's heart some peace.
She moved to a neighboring village, picking up odd jobs where she could get it which was not easy being pregnant. Staying at a shelter because letting a young pregnant girl sleep on the streets did not rest will with them.
After she had her baby, she was looked after by some of the women at the center, paying her way by helping with the work load to in keeping the place cleaned. When she was well enough, it was back to looking for jobs.
Until one-day luck was with her as she was helping at a wedding for a Thakur's daughter, it was a week where they needed extra hands to help them clean prepare and decorate. They provided room and board for the workers. Unknowing to her the Thakurs eldest daughter was observing her work and was impressed by the way she juggled caring for her baby and doing her task efficiently. She offered Sugni a job as a live in domestic, which she gratefully took.
The Thakurine was a kind woman, and Sugni finally had a place to rest her head and an income to get by. All of her energies were now driven into taking care of her little one and keeping her job. If at night, she would dream of her past, cry about what could have been, and what was lost, she learned not to dwell on what could not be.
Yes he would pop into her head from time to time, she would see something and think I have to tell Thakur Mallick about it, until she remembered, there was no Thakur Mallick anymore. It took a long while for that to happen
It took longer for her to admit to herself that underneath all the hurt, pain, and tears she still loved him. He was the only man she ever did and the only one she ever would. She herd he had moved away shortly after her Sardakhi, Vijay Singh was loud in his celebrations about showing the great Vickram Singh who was the man.
Sugni had no idea what all the enmity was about with the two, but Vijay nothing but a life sucking leech to all around him . When she found out that him winning that auction was a way to show up Vickram and she was nothing more than a prize he took from his enemies camp.
It mattered not to him that by the time she got to his place, some of her good sense had returned and she realized she made a huge mistake by agreeing to the auction. Vickram was right this was not her. She hoped and prayed he would be one of those understanding ones, but after she told him she was willing to give him back all his money . He laughed in her face and asked if she was stupid to think it had anything to do with money.
He wanted what he paid for and that was her, although he was mildly surprised that Vickram had not touched her after so long. In all his drunken glory and to Sugni's utter humiliation he got what he paid for, regardless of her feelings on the matter.
Then she found out she was pregnant. Vijai's initial response to that news was he did not want any illegitimate children and she should get rid of it. To her getting rid of it was a sin. She begged him saying that she would not ask him for anything for this child and would leave and never mention it to anyone.
Since he already got what he wanted, and had moved on to other women, knowing all he had to say was he knew nothing of her spawn, he agreed with her leaving.
Then a few months ago the Thakurine told Sugni that her husband got a job abroad and they would be moving. She told her her husband had an aunt in the city who needed a domestic maid, and although she was weird a bit she would pay her and after talking to her she agreed to allow Sugni the hours off when her daughter was out of school. Although she needed to find her own place to stay as Mrs. Flam did not like other people in her house.
Sugni agreed to the deal, and with the Thakurine help she found a school for Shanti and a small apartment that was with in her budget. So here she was in the city, starting over, and who should she find here...Vickram. What were the odds of that? She thought.
Sugni was stirring her pot when there was a knock on her door. Must be Rita, her landlord. Ever since Vickram showed up Rita had been curious to know more about him as she felt he stayed extra-long. Sugni kept avoiding it but she would not give up. Sighing she contemplated not answering but was stopped when Shanti answered..."Coming..."
"You're back!" She herd Shanti say excitedly, as she turned off the stove. Instead of the high pitch voice of Rita she heard a baritone voice that she knew in her sleep. "It can't be..." She said as she walked into the living room.
Vickram was standing there with bags in his hands, as her daughter was looking at him excitedly.
"Mummy look what I got...new story books!" she said almost dancing with excitement.
"What?" Sugni said as looked.
"Hey..."Vickram said as he looked at her. "I was just passing by and I thought I'd see how she was doing...you know..."
Sugni walked over to where they were in a daze. She was just thinking about him and here he was.
"These are for you." He said holding out the bags, smiling.
It took Sugni a moment to realize that he was bearing gifts! Did he feel sorry for her? Was this some kind of guilt thing? And he gave it to her child knowing she would not be able to refuse him. Suddenly she felt angry. He was wrong. Was he trying to buy his way in back into her life?
"Shanti you can't take that honey. Give it back to him."
"But mummy this..."
"Shanti, no arguments." She said.
"Sugni it's ok...It is for her..." Vickram interjected.
Taking the books form her daughter she said. "Shanti go to your room please...Now."
After she left Sugni walked up to Vickram and handed him the books
"What are you doing here? Thakur Saab What is all this?" She asked
"I just thought I'd stop by and ..." She cut him off
"And what? Help me out?"
"No ..No you don't understand..."
"Oh I do understand, you are just going through some kind of guilt trip and trying to somehow make up for all your wrongs? Is that it?" she said.
"Look Thakur Saab, I told you I don't blame you . As you can see I am fine. I have all I need. I don't need your sympathy, and your help, I do not appreciate you coming here and using these gifts on a little child."
"I wasn't trying.."
Sugni folded her arms and looked at him with raised eyebrows pointedly looking at the books in his hand.
"Ok maybe I was ...I' am sorry." He said. "I just had to see you again and I couldn't think of anything else to do." He admitted, with a look of guilt on his face.
Sugni looked at him...she was not expecting him to agree with her.
"Please I did not mean anything bad with this, and I swear it's not some guilt trip." He said, "Don't take it from her." He held the books out to her.
Sighing Sugni took the books "Fine but only the books. And only because you gave it to her before I could see it. Why are you here?" She asked.
"I wanted to see if you were really here or I was dreaming you up again." He said, as he sat down on the single chair.
"Umm..." She looked at him.
"Please have a seat..." He said. She sat, realizing too late that she was the one who was supposed to be offering him a seat.
Sugni sat awkwardly as he kept staring at her almost as though he expected her to disappear or something. She kept averting her eyes around the room afraid she might do the same thing. Behave yourself Sugni! Her brain kept shouting.
"So..um...what is it you wanted to see me for?" She asked.
"I - I just I wanted..."He paused. Vickram closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "Sugni...I know there is a lot we have between us and our past. For the past two days I have been thinking of what to say to you and what not to say...what'll sound right , what is appropriate and I came up with nothing except..." getting up Vickram sat next to her on the couch.
Sugni looked at him in shock. Oh no he was not going to ...she recognized that look in his eyes...she saw it before. She was about to get up when he held her hand.
"No please!...Sugni I know I hurt you in the past. I know I have no right to ask this. But Sugni I love you, and for the past five years there was not a day, a moment I don't think of you. Worry about you. Every night I pray that you would forgive me one day...
Seeing you again so unexpectedly just a shock to me, but I have to wonder is this fate. Maybe this is a way for us to..."
"STOP...Please..." Sugni said removing her hands from his and standing up. She turned away from him. Wrapping her arms around her middle. Haai Sita Miya don't do this to me. She prayed. Don't play with me like this. I am happy as I am, keep it this way. Taking a breath she gathered her thoughts as she tried to deal with this situation as logically as she could.
"Thakur Saab...stop it. Five years ago was a long time. A lot has happened in my life , a lot has changed. I am not the same girl I was back then. Who had stars in her eyes! I understand things now. I am a mother, who is responsible for a child...a child who is my world. Things like love, relationships, none of that is for me. You wanted me to forgive you. I do. Don't feel guilty. You can move on. But please don't do this. Don't come here with some sort of whatever this is...Whatever we had five years ago it's over. Bringing it up will serve no purpose." She turned to look at him.
"Please ...it would be best if you left." She said.
"Sugni ...don't say that. I am sorry I came on to strong. Sugni staying away from you is as impossible as stars staying away from the sky. I know, I know a lot has changed but what has not is my love for you. And that never will..." he said earnestly looking at her.
"Thakur Saab." Sugni said as she blinked her eyes trying her best not to cry. She had to harshly remind herself she fell for his words once before, thinking there was some sincerity in them. And once again she was feeling that sincerity.
But she had to protect not only herself but her child as well, and no longer could fall for his words no matter how much she wanted to...No no..cause her actions affected Shanti and she was not about to do anything that would hurt her daughter.
" first you say you are sorry, then you say can't stay away." She scoffed. "You say you love me, what do you want from me?, to say Ohh I love you to, let's pick up where we left off? Forgive and forget? It does not work that way. I did not know you were living in this city, believe me if I did I would have refused the job. After five years you saw me two days ago and suddenly you come here bearing gifts, and saying you love me and expect me to agree to that?"
He shook his head
"What are you trying to do here?, embarrass us both, humiliate us. Look. Forget it ok. Think of it as a dream ...hmm you never saw me. I am not here. All I want is to have a quite existence no drama...and I am begging you do not do something we will both regret. Please leave." She said.
"You're right. I am sorry again. I messed up. I did not mean to pressure you. How I feel about you is me, and I don't expect you to return it. I will leave you. And if you never want to see me again you won't." Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a call card. Taking a pen he wrote his personal number and address onto the back.
"If you ever need anything, any time, you can reach me. I'll always be here for you Sugni, no matter what." He held out the card to her but she refused to take it. She shook her head. Sighing he laid it on the center table.
"Good bye.!" He said as he walked out the door sadly.
"Dman Damn damn!" Vickram said as he hit his palm on the steering wheel of the car in frustration.. "What did you expect Vickram? Her to welcome you with opened arms. Thanks to your foolishness you will probably never see her again!'
Vickram had no idea why he said that. That was not his intention when he came here. All he wanted was well talk to her, maybe find out if she would accept his offerings as a friendly gesture and maybe they could start a fresh as friends.
One look at her and all his plans flew out his head, and he blurted out he loved her without any forethought. But he was not one to play games, he said what was in his heart.
What was in his hear, however was not necessary in hers. Why should it be? Oh damn it what did he do here. Oh he messed up this time. Now what? Vickram looked at her door wondered what she was doing. How did he make it up to her.
Starting his car Vickram went driving around. In his head, he kept hearing Sugni's words. Talking about her life being different now , her responsibilities , her child. Her practicality. He also knew she was alone and he would bet anything she was doing it all with help form no one.
Ok ...all right... he moved to fast to impulsive. He let his emotions cloud his judgment. Time to regroup. Boy he was out of practice with this. He needed to take things slow and not push her. He needed first of all to somehow get her to allow him back in her life somehow.
After this stunt that was going to be a task. He faced challenges before he could do this. All he know is that he loved her, and at one point in time she loved as well. The fact that she did not chase him out of her house with a pitchfork , well he took as a sign she no longer hated his guts.
He just needed to find a way in. Vickram smiled as he went home. This was the closest he came to feeling alive in the last five years. He knew it was a tough road and he might be on a path that would probably break his heart again. But he decided he would make things right for her somehow, and if it took him his life time to achieve that he would If he was lucky she would accept him back in her life , if not well he would make sure he did all he could to see that she was happy and comfortable.
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