A Statue of Eros

This morning, Sangeeta woke up feeling rather exhausted and dull. It was a gloomy Sunday morning. Weather was rainy and the room was dull with procrastination. She woke up feeling rather lackadaisical, a weird thing to feel at such an hour. But our moods are affected weather nonetheless.

Sangeeta thought it a lazy morning. Sunday meant holiday for Mrs. Gupta next-door. Sunday meant a Monday for a housewife like Sangeeta.

Mrs Anjali Das Gupta was a 27yr old beautiful young wife of Mr Gupta next door. A gorgeous young ambitious woman with dark eyes. She was an object of jealousy for every woman on the block. Everyone, except Sangeeta.

Her jealousy was only directed to Mr Gupta. Something unusual for a woman, so she religiously fought it every day while watching Mrs Gupta drive back home from work. Heart apparently is capable of love and pleasure even when it’s brimming with guilt, she discovered. Strange, she thought. Two good reasons for your heart to stop beating altogether and yet it just won’t. Not a pleasant thought when you have a husband on his way back home.

Guilt takes over easy on rainy mornings, yet she somehow managed to get out of her bed. She glanced at her husband sleeping on the bed. He’ll probably sleep till noon, she thought.

She put on her gown and her slippers and went out in the kitchen. A hot cup of tea would be nice at this hour. Mrs Gupta was probably not up yet, she could see through her window which opened in front of Mrs Gupta’s mansion. The doors were closed, and so were the windows.

Sangeeta stared at her brewing red tea and marvelled at its rich red color. Anjali would look beautiful in this color, she thought. Her thoughts now made her angry. She felt angry at her other self for not having any self control. It’s called other self for a reason. The reason being it is not yours, atleast not consciously. It is an another. So she could pass on some blame there. Maybe a chronic disease or a genetic mutation perhaps. That’s what they said in the papers. But Anjali would look Gorgeous in red nonetheless.

Tired at her own failure to exercise self control, she turned to perform her daily chores.

Sunday afternoon went by quite swiftly. There wasn’t much to do though. A tv serial binge saved her from having to converse with other fellow beings. She wasn’t one to share her thoughts or feelings or to banter about things that people generally like to banter about. She enjoyed her peaceful self critical existence. What could she share even if she decided for it? Nobody could understand, much less empathize. Her pain had overstayed its welcome and yet wasn’t ready to leave, so she has let it stay under her stairs. Being a woman, you cannot a love a woman. But how could she not?

Evening fell and Sangeeta could no longer feel comfortable in her chair. She walked out into the lawn and sat next to her husband.

“What are you reading? “She asked, trying to start a conversation.

“It’s a novel”, came a brief reply.

One mustn’t disturb others while they are reading, but Sangeeta felt too uncomfortable to worry about making others feel so.

“I can see that”, she said, “what is it about?”

“About a girl.”

“I thought you didn’t read that kind of books.”

He looked up from the novel and raised an eyebrow at her.

“What kind of books?”

“Romantic ones. I thought u didn’t like them.”

“No I don’t.”

“Then why  are you reading this one?”

“It’s better to read some crappy novel than to sit in front of tv and watch your stupid serials.”

“It’s not stupid”, she retaliated,”if you try and sit through it, you might even like it.”

“I wish I could believe you.”

He looked down and started reading again. That was her cue to leave.

“Listen”, he called back.”

“Yes?”

“Could you make me a cup of coffee?”

“Sure”, she replied and headed to the kitchen.

This marriage isn’t going to work, she thought. But don’t be ridiculous, she told herself. Men watch sports, drink coffee and complain about women. Its their thing. The thought didn’t linger long enough to bother her through the night.

Next morning, Sangeeta woke up feeling irritated yet again. She complained about the weather for a whole 15 mins before getting out of bed. But there was a silver lining.

All Monday morning she could stand in her kitchen, cook and look at Mrs Gupta’s mansion. Anjali could be seen running around the house , getting the children ready for school, bidding goodbye to Mr Gupta and then finally getting ready and off to her office. Monday mornings were pleasant for this exact reason, she had the peace she needed to accommodate both guilt and pleasure.

May be it is simply sexual, she thought. It could be a meaningless attraction that would eventually fade away. It must fade away. For how long she could go on living like this? Her pain felt fresh like the first heartbreak. “What monster is locked in my rib cage? How can it be a heart.” This isn’t natural. She felt her thoughts slowly drifting into extreme guilt. A voice from the hall shook her from her stream of thoughts.

“Sangeeta, my tea?”

She went out to get cups from the shelf and saw her husband reading the newspaper.

“What are you reading?

“Can’t you see?”

“No, I mean, read me the headlines”, she said, desperate to get her head off things.

Well, the big news is from USA. Yesterday, the US government legalized homosexuality in all its states. So same sex marriage is valid now. Its all over the social media too.

“Really?” She felt lighter suddenly.

“Yes.”

“Well what do you think about it?” It didn’t matter what he thought, but she was curious anyway.

“I think its stupid” he said, “Its clearly an anomaly, something against nature and social order. Probably a genetic disorder or something. Such people should be denied relationships or marriage. Its better if they are simply eliminated or, fixed.”

“You believe so?”

“Yeah.”

His words lingered in the air for a minute before she turned back and started walking towards the kitchen.

A smile crept on her lips. She was glad her husband wasn’t the president of America or any other country for that matter. She looked down at the brewing red tea and thought of Anjali in red. She let the thought stay for a little longer. This time, without any guilt. Her husband will never understand. Maybe she won’t understand it either. But it was real irrespective of it all and without the need of comprehension. She mused over the thought and decided to let it linger a bit longer and closed her eyes. Wrong some would say, but she closed them anyway.

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