Space – Part – 1 – Muse India the literary e-journal, 6 Sept. 2021

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Space – Part: 1

I woke up late despite going to bed late last night. I could sense the rhythmic sound of drizzle outside the window. The room was cool. I pulled the blanket over to feel cosy. Somehow, I don’t like clinging onto the bed after waking up. Nitya’s presence in the next room made me uneasy. The very thought was prompting me not to get up from the bed. But I had to get up! There is a special class for Std. X despite it being a Sunday. I had to finish all the routine chores by 7.30 and leave for school.

Murali must have come home late at night. He is sleeping on the diwan in the drawing-room, probably he didn’t want to disturb me. For the last four days, the house was looking dull, missing his lively presence. Today being a Sunday I have to compensate for his absence. I turned my gaze towards Nitya’s room, controlled my sigh and jumpstarted the household chores. While I was busy working, my mind was busy too, pondering…why should I worry about a thirty-year-old daughter??

There is distress in every phase of life in this present generation putting brakes to the so-called smooth sailing. “Is this smooth sailing?”, Nitya was asking last night.  To which I said ‘’we were obliged to parents in childhood and later in life to in-laws”.

She retorted that we never knew that we needed “space”!! I felt like laughing at that thought…SPACE!! True, we always believed that the elders advised us for our good. Does this generation have that sense??

Sanjana came out rubbing her eyes and made a proposal, “It’s raining, I won’t go to school”. Her only problem is that!!! She is not even three. She should have been playing at home at this age. But Nitya says, ‘’We should have put her in school long back”

“Today is Sunday, you have no school, go sleep in grandpa’s bed”, I sent her off.
  After patting Sanjana to sleep again, Murali came to the breakfast table while I was arranging.

“What, Special class?? It’s raining, does anyone come?” he asked with sleepy eyes.

“Yes, they will come if it is your wife’s class”, I said teasingly and suggested, “you can sleep for some more time”.
 He said, ‘’I will drop you at school”.

“No, no it’s not raining that much, I will happily go by bus. Wet roads, half-open tea stalls, hubbub near the temple in the main road, do you know how thrilling it is to see the city in drizzle?!” said I. On hearing that he went inside to continue his Sunday morning sleep.

I personally feel travelling on a bus is romantic with new acquaintances and a journey with strangers. These daily experiences remind us that man is a social animal. How beautiful these experiences are!! Isn’t it necessary to have conversations among people?? At least once in a while sit back and enjoy the surroundings without bothering to drive, especially in my own “space”! haha, what Nitya will say if I tell her? Will she give me an annoyed look??

After getting ready I came to the verandah and thought I can go after ten minutes. It’s not a big rain but drizzling continuously. It’s not “Beating rain” which Purna aunt used to say always. Rain reminds me of Purna aunt. She was a late offspring to her grandparents. She used to plead not to send her off to in-laws’ house. I remember it very vividly. I also used to tell granny not to trouble her.

 I remember granny telling dad, ‘’she has no freedom there either to sit or stand, that’s why she came back ditching her in-laws’ house. Please tell her to go.”

I know dad reprimanded her lovingly, ‘what is the freedom you are talking about? Where have you learnt? What is it you are lacking there? How can you come home crying, leaving your husband and his family?

”Aunt used to plead,’’ ok, I don’t want any freedom. Please let me live here. Somehow I am scared to even sleep or eat there.”

(Translation from Telugu/ Original published in Andhra Jyothi, Sunday Magazine, 13th Nov. 2016)

Translator: Ms. C.Seshu

Very interestingPVKDPrasadaRao, Hyderabad, Sep 07, 2021

Very good story. Also happy to know it was originally written in Telugu. From our human perception we live in fluid spaces with joys and sorrows.S Abburi, Bangalore, Sep 07, 2021

Prasadarao ji and Abburi ji,
Thank you for your encouraging words.

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