Saturday, 3 December 2011


She loved to ramble.She just couldn't stop herself.She opened her heart to everyone she knew .No malicious intentions,no diplomatic strategies;what should be shared and what should be retained;she  just had no idea.
She  behaved this way because that's what she was.Away from the cunning,cruel world;her world was a world of freedom,of innocence,of trust,of complete lack of superficialities.

Once when she was seven,her father's friend visited them .His name was Mr.Iyer:a typical South Indian man with a thick moustache and a dark ,uneven complexion .He was doing a research on Twentieth Century Criticism .Her father who was a proffesor with The  Delhi University was this man's guide and mentor.

Every other fortnight he would appear at their home to show him the progress made in the research .His mannerism and language  were quite funny to her.She would peep through the drawing room curtain and found the two of them engrossed in  some sort of intellectual discourse.While her father dictatated notes ,Mr.Iyer muttered something in his own language  as if explaining the entire literary history to himself.

It was then once when she barged into the drawing room and questioned him innocently,"Uncle,why do you come here every now and then?Have you no house?Papa and Mummy are  so upset just before  you come .Mummy says that this idiot would again spoil my weekend.Papa says something else and then they start fighting.Why do you do this to my mummy?Everytime you come ,she is always in the kitchen and a very bad mood.Uncle , please go"She finally demanded.

The poor father was smiling sheepishly to curb the embarrassment she had caused."The man would think that I'm uxorious ,hen -pecked ,sissy of a man ",he thought .To save any image that was left ,he
announced,"my lil' girl is a bit stupid and cocky.She speaks what comes to her mind.I hope you don't take her too seriously.
"When the man finally left the next morning,the mother asked her to be presented before papa.She had still not realized what had she done.But when she did come papa said lovingly"My daughter is the epitome of truth and honesty.And mark my words Kanta ,she would always be like this."

Now another incident .

Dr.Bhardwaj ,her father was a man of great likes and dislikes.Teaching criticism and history of literature,he had slowly become a man of opinions.Their next door neighbours were some Mr.and Mrs.Dutt with five children(four sisters and one brother..That's how Indian families were then..hungry for male prodigies).

So it happened that her father had a disgustful  opinion for people who would do nothing else but show off their potted plants .He once announced with irritation,"These Dutts are just like malis,can't they ask their children to study or do something worthwhile.All the time they are just watering the plants -one child, then another- and chatter aloud when I'm reading something.On top of it they play their music as they are in some barber's shop."

The lil Binny was confused.To clarify her doubts,she straightaway went to Dutt aunty the next day and retorted,"Aunty ,aunty are you some sort of malis or  you have some connection with the  barbershop ?I am a bit confused."
She then narrated the complete incident to that four feet housewife who came rushing in as soon as Mrs Bhardwaj came back from her office.Another embarrasement and injury to the parents.After this episode of blatant truth ,Binny was told not to speak what was discussed at home to the neighbours.I don't think she understood why.

Once during the summer break ,Binny went to her mother's office in Cannaught Place.They were to attend an engagement ceremony .
 While meeting the prospective bridegroom of her cousin,Binny remarked,"Simmy,Is this the boy who used to jump dowm your balcony when masi was not there?"
Poor Simmy who was about ten years older than Binny just smirked and smiled at the angry hateful looks given by all the relatives standing there.What a shame,everyone commented in whispers who all had come to the ceremony thinking  it to be properly arranged by the parents and khaandaan.

This was not enough.She would quite easily be lured by all her friends into telling what they were bitching about each other.Binny would tell all,without ant deletions or additions to their scornful,envious remarks.
This was why ,she was loved  yet hated by all in the beginning.Slowly all her friends used to  realize her inability to be nasty and mean towards anyone and they would laugh it off.

Her heart was as pure as a free flowing stream of water.Her wheatish complexion glowed even more when she was sharing to someone. She had no malintentions towards anyone.Most of all she was jubiliant when she was not hiding any stuff.She couldn't.

                                                               * * *

Binny who was now getting ready in a parlour for her wedding was glowing with beauty and radiance.  
Her best friend Ruby who was with her asked her a question,"Hey Binno.Will you be happy with this man?He's so silent and you are so bubbly."Ruby who had met Binny's fiance many times had her doubts about the man."He seems so cold and distant."

"Oh! Ruby,come on.I know him for eight months now.I needed a man who could just listen to me.It's good that he's reserved.Atleast I 'll be the chattering queen of the house,"Binny expounded.

                                                                     * * *

"It has been a year that I met Binny."
Ruby rang the doorbell with a lot going on her mind.
"My bindaas friend should be happy."

A very feeble lady came at the door.She had dark circles under her eyes .What a careless,shabby sense of dress , thought Ruby.This dilapidated woman looked through the netted iron door and finally opened the door.

It was none other than our very own Binny : the carefree spirit,the loved  and pampered by all ,the propagater of truth and honesty;the lovely ,glowing charismatic Binny.
A year of marriage had transformed this chirpy ,rambling girl into a silent witness of things .Ruby hugged her darling friend and they both sat down in her bedroom for a little chat.

"Whats happened to you,Binny?,"Ruby inquired with concern".Does he not love you anymore?Are your In-Laws tormenting you in any way?Please tell."

After a few minutes of  unbelievable silence ,Binny spoke her heart out,"I can't be myself in this house.It's claustrophobic.I can't breathe if  I can't have the freedom of speech and expression .All I am is Mrs.Kaushik and no more.You know ,he loves me but he's always judging me.I can't take this anymore,"She finally broke down into sobs and wetted her friend 's crisp cotton saree.

Ruby was speechless for a while.She then gave Binny this huge lecture about compromise in every Indian wedding.She asked Binny to share all her troubles to her friend,to her.

She knew that Binny needed a listener all the time.May be her husband was not interested in her foolish,frivilous crap .May be he'll take some time to understand her like most of her friends.

                                                                        * * *

That night when Binny waited in the balcony for her husband to come back ,she  promised herself to be happy and give it a good try.At the doorbell ,she rushed smilingly to the door and embraced Lokesh .
"Can't you ever understand,you fool?I 'm not some Mills and Boon hero that you have been dreaming and reading about all your life.I'm tired and hungry.",he blasted her as usual.His pragmatic approach
had killed Binny's carefree spiritedness.

All the excitement  to share the nice time spent with Ruby just vanished from her face.Binny quietly moved towards the kitchen to make tea and some snacks  for her irked husband.

Again that night in the bed when Binny wanted to make the first move,she was pushed aside,"Can't you ever give some space to me?"
She failed to understand him.

He wanted her at his own convenience.
He listened to her when he wanted to.

 He loved her and hated her  and so did she.

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