Do we see the reality or the obfuscate version of truth??
An intriguing short story, which will keep you thinking even after finishing it.
6:05 AMTananat Tananat Tananat Tananat Tananat Tananat
As usual, Suma dismissed the phone alarm in semi-sleep and saw the time with one eye open.Soon the milkman, newspaper boy, sweeper and maid would appear at the door one by one and she also had to prepare tiffin for Sunil. She folded her quilt and glanced of him.
She couldn’t believe that she’d married a guy she loved a lot. Yet life today was stand-still and unromantic in second year of her marriage. Why?Naughty hugs, love notes at places she can find, cute words repeating you are beautiful and I love you’ s. All long gone, sweet honeymoon year was over and second year also approaching to its end. He was not speaking much since past few days, as if hiding some secret or maybe he’d lost interest in her. An abrupt snoring broke her chain of thoughts. She adjusted her hairband and left to freshen up.
A sense of anxiety caught her. Her maid would be on leave for five days. It certainly was not a good start of the day.Milk, tea and a frying pan were each on the three burner cooking hob while she was chopping a tomato. Multiple things happened almost at the same time. As the index finger of her left hand suffered an accidental cut, warm blood gushed out while the doorbell rang at the same time. She washed her finger hastily and ran towards the door, trying to reduce the pain in her finger by sucking it. The Sweeper was standing outside. After emptying the dustbin as she closed the door, she screamed out in pain. Her toe had twisted while keeping her foot away from shoes on the floor. Sunil had forgotten to keep them inside the shoe-rack. What the hell, these men will never learn, how to keep things tidy, she cursed!
Limping, she inched towards kitchen. The scene was scary. The milk was flowing outside pot and the seasoning in the frying pan engulfed with smoke.6:15 AM
Tananat Tananat Tananat Tananat Tananat TananatSuma felt sweat on her forehead and thanked god. It was just a dream.
She adjusted her hairband and left to freshen up. She put milk, tea and the frying pan with seasoning each on three burner cooking hob. Unknowingly she had taken out tomatoes on the cutting board, but she was being cautious. The doorbell rang. She dimmed the flame of all three burners and left towards the door. She removed the shoes from her way and opened the door. The Sweeper was standing outside. She emptied the dustbin and closed the door. Peace.Sunil got up and left for a bath. She went to Sunil’s cupboard to take his tie, shirt and trouser. Something grabbed her interest, the swollen pocket of yesterday’s trouser. It contained tour details and receipt for couple massage package of a honeymoon suite booked in Goa. It was in the name of Mr. & Mrs. Sunil Mehta for this weekend. She could have danced and whistled for this surprise trip, but a honeyed smell of girlish perfume, emanated from his white shirt. It seemed as though a few drops of it was scattered all over his shirt. It definitely wasn’t a scent she was familiar. It could mean only one thing. Her suspicion might be true, after all. A drop of tear rolled down her face but she wanted to know the truth from the horse’s mouth.
A moment later, Sunil was out, rubbing his hair, with a Turkish towel.“This weekend, I have to go on a business trip to Mumbai. I am going with my Boss and his PA.”
“How old is she?”“She??? He is 50 years old.”
“No, I’m not talking about boss, about his PA.”
“Oh yes, Sarah, she is very young, in her late fifties. Ha-ha. Why you are asking, at first place? Don’t be a jealous and a suspicious wife. Trust me.”He got ready and left for office. Suma’s mind was turbulent, filled with grief and utter sadness. He had lied to her - it was plain and clear. She thought of packing her bags and leaving him immediately. She was particular about keeping her clothes tidy and always prepared for any occasion but this. Her cupboard was well arranged according to types of clothes, but something felt mistaken. On careful inspection she realized that her only silk night dress was missing. It was not there in Sunil’s cupboard too. Soon she found it in a bag inside the suitcase that he had packed for the weekend trip, fully soaked with perfume, the same one that she found on his shirt earlier. She now was sure.
Packing her bags, she saw a new nebulizer cartridge, on the dressing table. She remembered he had said that his nebulizer almost empty. Out of love, despite her broken heart, her hands crawled towards car-keys but she stepped back, thinking he deserved some pain.Few hours later, there was a call from Sunil’s office that he’d fainted and was in ICU.
At the ICU:“Suma, it is time, I know. I don’t want to leave you. I Love you so much.”
“Love? You lied to me. I hate you. I have seen all receipts of tour, massage and above all, that perfume on your shirt.”“Oh, Suma, Damn! This weekend we were about to celebrate our second anniversary. That was a surprise tour and perfume was spilled over my shirt, at shop.”
“What about my night dress soaked in same perfume?” – Suma asked in disbelief.“It splashed on the night dress too, which I was holding in hand for size check, to buy a new one. The bag is still there with new packed night dress and perfume bottle. Tell me, you had not checked it.”
His teary eyes rolled upwards, stared at roof and came to stand-still forever.A lightning struck in her heart and rain followed, a loud cry within.
6:25 AMTananat Tananat Tananat Tananat Tananat Tananat
She was totally drenched into sweat but she thanked God. It was just a dream again.She pecked a kiss on Sunil’s forehead and he hugged her tight.
“I must go, need to prepare tiffin” – She got up from bed and started her day again as a dutiful and a proud wife.While he was at bathroom, she found all things at same place and in same way as her dream. She nodded on his white lie and reminded him to take new cartridge for nebulizer.
Sunil was surprised to see her happy face, when she kissed him saying the most beautiful words.“I Love You”
He left for office with a happy mood.Few hours later, the doorbell rang.
Her ex-boyfriend was standing there.6:35 AM
Tananat Tananat Tananat Tananat Tananat Tananat“You will be getting late. Wake up for god sake!!!”
“I am awake, it is you, snoozing alarm in every 10 minutes.”6:45 AM
Tananat Tananat Tananat Tananat Tananat Tananat“Somebody stop that damn alarm, it’s a crazy weekend.”
“The sweeper is at the door. Please open the door and give him damn garbage.”6:55 AM
Tananat Tananat Tananat Tananat Tananat TananatIn deep-sleep, Sunil smirked, inside a private honeymoon suite at Goa.
"Dreams are the door to reality or another obfuscate version of truth."
***The End***PS - A very special thanks, to Amogha, for editing and grammar corrections :)
PPS - I'd taken a concept of lucid dreaming with end(s) to be guessed/perceived by readers. An experiment though, let me know if I am successful.