It was grey darkness all around, with numbing drowsiness she got up to have some water, even in the darkness she sensed the distance of water jug. She moved to have it but the gap inched, then it went beyond her reach. Juggling with surging discomfort of restrained muscles, perspiring she woke up. “What was that a nightmare or reality?” It took a while for her brain to settle in the realization. She swallowed the saliva to soften her dried throat. “Why everything was so dark?” she switched on the night lamp and glanced at the water jug kept on the study table just few feet away from bed. Rakesh was contently sleeping.
Involved in the chores of kitchen, Keya’s mind was still engrossed in the recent development of work. Though a bit tired with recent commitments and deadlines finally she was feeling comparatively at the ease after completion of the job. Switching off the stove, she collected the extra stuff to put back in the refrigerator
The greenery was lavishly thrown in all around, she liked the landscape intriguingly. A loner and an introvert since childhood it was her passion to own a place amidst nature. After years of planning and investment at last she realized her dream. When she visited the place she found everything over there was above the expectations.
“Why are so many guards at every nook and corner?” she thought standing at the balcony. When she opened the door she encountered a lady guard standing at the entrance. For the moment she hesitated then she glanced to her questioningly. The guard withdrew her face to other side and moved aside.
She moved ahead towards the fence. A lovely kitten jumped from the side bush, her heart pounded for the moment but soon it got replaced by the loving smile. The kitten straightly went to her mother who was lazily lying under a bushy tree. “A strange place indeed” she sighed, “there are no people in sight. After all the people belonged to high strata always love their anonymity”.
After having the breakfast Keya peeped through the window, few sprawling bungalows in the sight, those would be of worth crores, so pricey, she thought. A tinge of pain in the head she had been feeling since morning it was still persisting. The maid came with a tray of medicine; she simply obeyed her as a child. “When Rakesh comes from work she will go for a walk” she decided. In living room sitting on the sofa, she watched the water fountain near the entrance. Last evening when they were coming the fine carving of water fountain were scarcely visible. She felt heaviness in her eyes, now they were refusing to obey her. Struggling with uneasiness she lay on the sofa over there.
The house was really big and dexterously built. While crossing the lounge she admiringly halted with her towel in hand. A big full size mirror was fixed on the wall over there. It was reflecting the view of kitchen garden. She saw a plump lady of forty plus, “who is she? What is she doing here? “Perhaps Rakesh has hired her.” There were enough white strands on her head. She always abhorred plumpness. She remembered her dashboard tummy; a pride gleamed in her eyes. She coughed lightly to clear her throat. She had to cook lunch before 1.30p.m. But before that she must take bath….
She watched the sunset from her bedroom’s window. The street lights were all lit up. The smoky light of the street were lowering on the path drenching everything outside in the engulfing grey. She compared the progressed time with different version of lights on the streets.-the tube light then vapor lamps and now these smoky lamps- she tried hardly to chalk out the name…. She wanted to switch on the light but failed to put on with enough strength to get up.
She could not exactly recall, when and how a void started appearing in her heart despite all material success and blissful life. Whenever she would look back she felt that while acquiring the success she had exhausted herself to a great extent. “Is she paying the cost now?” She mused. “Is she lost her liveliness somewhere during her grinding routine?” Gripping in rising tiredness she felt that whatever seemed difficult to achieve was not always the best.
She would see blankness in the eyes of Rakesh these days. His fair complexion sometimes seemed pale. Last evening when she had pointed his white strands behind ears, in return he smiled upon her blankly.
In the evening when Rakesh came she stared him, she wanted to cross him for several queries of hers. He gently clasped her hands to shift her to bed. Why most of the time she felt her movement so restricted. She wanted to ask that too. She would certainly do that –but again the drowsiness fell so heavily upon her. She clasped Rakesh hand feeling his presence. The darkness silently grew in the room draping everything else in that. She wondered whether someone else present in the room. She listened the growing faintness of footsteps inside the room, soon the silence prevailed all over.
“Why does the maid wear the chic white uniform?” Keya would get puzzle. That spotless white uniform would force upon her some familiarity to something that seemed difficult to recall.
Feeling thirsty she pressed the buzzer to call her for water. While she was holding the glass her hand jerked meantime. She felt something wet on her feet. There was a panic on the maid’s face. Why didn’t she bring her water? She felt a lump of dryness in throat. She swallowed the saliva to soften it. She wanted to make a call, but how--.
She felt warmth upon her hand with familiar odor. She turned her eyes to encounter an anxious looking Rakesh standing near her. He was wearing an impeccably clean white shirt. There was not a spot even after a day of long work. She tried to place her hand upon his shoulder. Her hand jerked again. That time for better Rakesh clasped her hands tightly and brought on his chest.
-----“Mr Rakesh you can take her home, there is not much improvement in her state, but she is cool and silent. It is a bit late to recover. Get her examined regularly”. That white approned man smiled and gently patted Rakesh’s hand. “Why is he listening that after all”? She wondered. “Come on”, she gestured him with gleaming eyes, in return Rakesh stared him with hollow eyes. “Work load is increased too much for him. She is too not giving proper attention to his food”, she thought guiltily. “Come on”, she smiled again-----.