You are Insecure
By Swami Chinmoy Ananda
You are insecure because
Your belief is not sustained
by the inner faith.
You are insecure
Your faith is not sustained
by the unconditional surrender.
You are insecure
Your surrender has not
Breathed the life of oneness supreme
He watched her pray with her hands folded in front of the deity. She had the air of serene tranquility on her face. He realized that is what attracted her to him in the first place. She was the reason why he changed his ways; the waywardness in him was tamed by her peaceful nature.
Human nature always perplexed him. The frailest person displays such amazing strength of character while the person perceived to be the strongest displayed weakness at the most inopportune moment. He knew that in the past few weeks his air of confidence dissipated with Nachiketh's disappearance. She was a pillar of strength that stood by him, against Bernali's accusations.
The petite woman in front of him also had the steel that could across a rock hard stone. Not only did she defy Bernali and Jigyasa, she gave him hope and optimism that Nachiketh will return one day, and he should continue employing detectives search for him in the meantime.
"Do you realize that I am a different person since I married you?"
She raised her eyebrow and looked at him quizzically.
"They say that when some one loves another, they become strong and weak at the same time." He laughed when she rolled her eyes.
"Some one is very philosophical today? Don't you have to go to work?" she looked at his casual attire curiously.
"You make me strong by being there for me everyday. But just the thought of something happening to you makes me weak." He rubbed his neck self-consciously.
"Can I ask you what made you come to this brilliant conclusion?" she smiled gently as she put a tikka on him.
He reverently touched his head taking in the divine light from the prayer plate and took the offerings from the God.
"All these years, I kept wanting to be the protector of this family. Every one looked up to me as the head of the household. I neither had the faith in my abilities, nor did I have faith in the oneness of the family. I always had these insecurities about my father who was the head of the family and how he failed us all. Because of him, I thought I would follow the same path." He paused as she set the lighted lamp back in the prayer room and walked out with him.
"Jai, you are being excessively harsh on your father! You don't know what went on in your parents' marriage. While it may be true that he cheated on your mother, there could be reasons that you are not privy to." Bani looked troubled.
"Do you remember the time you were really angry with the Singhanias and with your grandmother?" he countered her.
"Yes! It did take me a long time, but I came to know that not everything is black and white. I always blamed everything on my grandmother. The truth as I know now is that she tried to rectify her mistakes, but my father was too proud to let her. She loved my mother too much and when she eloped with my father, she was too hurt to understand that my mother was not betraying her. Mother was following her heart, but she loved both my father and her family. Your mother was ill for a long time and it could be that you father was too weak to accept her impending death."
"So you think that dad committed adultery because he couldn't stand mother's illness?" He derided her.
"When Nachiketh disappeared, suddenly there was a distance between us. Even though, we both knew that it was not our fault, we both felt temporary rift in our relationship." She reminded him gently.
He closed his eyes with remembered pain. "It was not a one time offense with my father. He did it over and over again."
"So, he is not the strong and infallible man that you thought he was. It doesn't make him a bad father." She kissed him softly on the top of his head and sat next to him.
"I forgave him a long time ago. He entrusted the future of his younger son to me and I failed him." He leaned his head against her shoulder.
She sighed. She knew that Nachiketh's disappearance would be the invisible elephant between them. He hid his face against her still narrow waist and hugged her slightly.
"Bani, I have always lived my life vicariously until I met you again. Now, I can't even imagine my life without you. I want to warn you that things will not be easy for you, for us when the news of the baby comes out. Jigyasa and Bernali would not hesitate to hurt you, I won't be there always to protect you." He hesitated. "Tarun called when you were in the bathroom, Bernali has filed a case against me in the police station that I may have had something to do with Nachiketh's disappearance."
The hand that was combing through his hair stopped in the middle. "What did you say?"
"You heard me." He sounded bitter. "I have given this family everything. I lived for them all my life and it hurts me deeply that they think that I could be greedy enough to hurt my own brother for the sake of money."
Anger burned through Bani's heart. She withdrew her hands from his hair and hid them in her sari. He turned his head in her lap to look at the fire in her eyes. Suddenly he grinned. He remembered the thirteen year old who fought against her family to stand firm in her beliefs. He could feel the tension in her body; she had the most expressive eyes he ever saw anyone.
"Now, don't go about trying to protect me. I want you to promise me that you will take care of yourself and will not think about this mess. I want the baby to be born in a healthy environment. I want you to go and spend some time with Aparajit and Pallavi until this gets resolved."
She pushed him out from his lap, not listening to his protests. "No way, Jai! If you think I am going to Kolkatta now, you are out of your mind. My place is with you, through thick and thin. At the first start of trouble, I am not going to get up and leave. You should know me better than that." Her bosom heaved agitatedly.
He sighed again. "I knew this would be your reaction. But this is for the best. If not for me, please do it for the baby. We don't want the baby to grow in this stressful environment."
"But I will be more stressful if I am away from you! Please don't make me go!" she hugged him tightly.
"You are making this difficult for me." He gently removed her hands and walked to the window.
"This could take forever to sort out! You are being very unfair to me. Jai, I am not frail, don't treat me like I am made of porcelain. I may look petite and fragile, but I am really strong." Even as she said it, the tears started accumulating at the back of her lids.
"If it doesn't sort itself out in a month's time, I want you to come back, and I will come and visit you in between. Please, think of it as my early birthday present."
"Your birthday is one month away!" she looked peeved.
"How about we go away together for my birthday? Make a trip somewhere..." he wanted to strike the iron when it was hot. She was getting mellow and he wanted to take advantage of it.
To everyone's delight, Jigyasa ripped Bernali apart and came to her brother's defense. Adi was pleased with his wife's reaction and so was Jai. If Jigyasa was unhappy about the impending fatherhood of Jai, she concealed it well. She congratulated Jai and Bani with a poker face and wished them the best. Jai was relieved as he didn't want to fight against his own sister about her insecurities.
Rano and Pia were elated about the baby. They both sided with Jai about Bani going to Kolkatta. Unfortunately neither could take time off to go with Bani to Kolkatta because both of them started new jobs and it was tough for them take off. Bani often worried about Pia because she seemed to be thwarting all the efforts of suitors pursuing her. Bani knew that Pushkar and Tarun both seemed interested in Pia, but seemed to have no success with her so far. Pia was adamant about Bani and Rano staying out of her affairs.
Saraswati Devi said she would come to visit her granddaughter and great grand- daughter in Kolkatta along with Ranveer. She also wanted to seal the fate of Ranveer and do some matchmaking. She was taken in with Aparajit's cousin Rashi and she also thought that Ranveer was interested in Meera, a friend of Pallavi.
Pallavi and Aparajit welcomed the company. Pallavi was only too happy to see Bani again and was excited about her child having a playmate soon.
Nachiketh sat in the dark room, his thoughts were as dark as the room he was in. When he ran away from home, it was only to scare Jai into submission. He didn't know that it would turn into a nightmare. He accepted the offer of a refuge from his so called friends, who were his seniors, but it turned out their intentions were sinister. They locked him up in a room and were planning to get ransom from his family. He realized how gullible he was and how he played into their hands.
They brainwashed him that his brother did not care for him and that his mother filed a case against his brother. For a boy of sixteen, who never believed in himself, it was like adding fuel to the fire. Day and night he plotted against his captors, trying to think of ways to get out the imprisonment. His defiance only rewarded him with punishment. They starved him most of the time, made fun of him verbally, abused him by taking away small necessities like frequent bathroom breaks. He started getting nightmares and his mental state started deteriorating. He started talking to himself and unbalanced state made things worse for him.
Three weeks later,
Jai appreciated the help from his friends like Tarun and Adi. Much as he wanted, he knew he could not be the ubiquitous person he wanted to be. He needed help in running the business and Adi was there at his beck and call. Tarun proved to be a great lawyer, arguing the case against Bernali. He said the money is in a trust fund and could not be embezzled by any one until Natchiketh reaches a certain age and becomes the rightful owner of the fund.
Even though, there was no police case against Jai and there was absolutely no proof of wrongdoing, no evidence that there was foul play, the flawed judicial system took its course. The newspapers and media had a field day, reporting half-truths, and blatant lies.
Jai tried to conceal most of the information from seeping to Bani, and he succeeded somewhat with the help of Aparajt and Pallavi. He missed being with his wife and thought about his baby constantly.
When Pushkar brought him the news about Nachiketh's seniors asking random questions about his wealth, Jai was shocked. He wondered what took so long in getting a ransom note, but it looked like the boys were planning things out carefully to make their move.
Jai called up the commissioner of the police, informing him of what he learned. It was not very difficult from that point to follow the boys to the warehouse where Natchiketh was kept. When he was rescued, Nachiketh had a nervous breakdown.
Jai embraced his brother as he came out of the police station, and received no reaction from him other than a blank stare. Jai took him to the hospital and they insisted to keep him at the facility for further observation.
With reluctance, Jail left Nachiketh with Bernali in the hospital. Even though there was a lot of bad blood between him and Bernali, he could not keep the boy's mother away from him. Even though his own child was not yet born, he knew how hard it was to be apart from the baby and its mother.
Edited by Sheena_Row - 10 June 2008 at 1:35am