Rajesh feels wet near his chest, he notices that the kid has fallen asleep and the saliva dripping from her lips has created a wet patch on his shirt. He takes the kid in his arms and takes her to their bedroom, maya follows with the other kid. They walk back to the balcony the rain has stopped by now, the electricity is still out. They could see the thick black concrete jungle ahead of them with dim lights shining from some of the houses.
Rajesh lights another cigeratte and blows the smoke towards Maya, she clears the smoke by waving her hand..
Rajesh continuing the story,
then he keeps following her for a week he guesses that she has not got married yet and thanks god for that, he had been worrying if she had got married.. he found no sindhur, nor mangalsutra or any new ring which could be a sign of being married. On that day he takes the same bus that she takes, she was already in the bus and he boards the bus from the next stand. The seat beside her was empty he goes straight and sits beside her, she didnt notice she has been busily looking out at the window and reading all the hoardings and shop names, she has developed this habbit since she had come back here. She was aware some one was sitting beside her but she didnt care to look at, she suddenly recognises the perfume which she hadnt smelled for a long time, slowly she turns to look at his face, he is smiling looking at her she has got the shock of her life, she was not sure if it was a dream or if its real. Her shock turns to anger, he knew she would be angry, she turned her face back towards the window and started concentrating on the hoarding, but she realised she couldnt read it any more,, the only thing she could see is the continus stream of past thoughts popping in front for her eyes… she gets down at her stop and starts walking towards her workplace, she doesnt look back and gf(grand father) knew she wouldnt look back..
Rajesh puts the cigeratte stub into the ashtray, the thin snaking smoke comming out of it makes beautiful patterns, maya is drawn by the various patterns made by the smoke and keeps looking at it and subconsiously asks THEN
they never meet again is it?
Rajesh continues,, the next day gf takes the same bus again from the same bus stop and again goes and sits besides her, some day he wouldnt get the seat and he would just stand looking at her hair flowing with the wind, and she would some times look back to accertain if he is still there, their eyes would meet for some second and all the anger and all the apologies would get exchanged. One day he got a seat beside her after a long time, she was already missing his faint touch of shoulders and the warmth that got exchanged when their bodies meet, he gave her the same chocolate that he used to give her in baroda, she didnt accept, he kept on trying to give her in the following days and one day she accepted. One day when they unboarded the bus he held her hand and pulled her, she followed, they caught a rikshaw and went to the beach. He didnt leave her hand all the way to the beach, they walked thru the beach hand in hand, the waves washing their feet. She pulls her hand from his and finds a good place to sit, he goes and sits by her side. They just sit there for some time, she mindlessly drawing some vague figures on the sand he is absent mindedly digging a hole in the sand, suddenly the both stop doing and they both look at each other, she slides to his side and holds his hand. He suddenly gives a small kiss on her cheek and turns his face to the other side, she is shocked and only after a moment does she realises what he has done.. she smiles shyly.. They stand up and both head towards the bus-stand, they didnt look into each others eyes after that, they both were blushing. He was thinking about what kind of kiss was that and why did he do that, atleast he could have done in a better way and she was thinking about the same and blushing..
Maya declares if i were her, i wouldnt have let him come near me after what he did. How could he go without saying anything and after all these years come back in her life.. and i still cant belive if this is a true story, tell me now does your grand father marry this girl.. and when did they first speak.. And better this be a real story, the first thing i m going to do tomorrow is ask your father if its a real story, and if i find out this to be something you made up then i m not going to cook for a month and you will have to do the whole household work and dont expect any exceptions to this.. after saying this she slides back some hair which had fallen on her face..
Rajesh looks at maya and just smiles..and wonders how beautiful his wife looks when she is angry.. then he realises how bollywoodish it is, what a fucking common dialog of bollywood “gusse me tum aur bhi sunder dikhti ho” he shrugs him self out of those thoughts..
As he lights another cigarette maya looks at him in expectation, she waits for sometime then realises that he wont forward the story unless she is to prompt him.. she angrily says THEN
Rajesh stands up and taking the support of the balcony railing looks towards the sleepy city and continues..
They started meeting again daily, he would take the longer route to his office so that he could meet her daily.. One day he for the first time saw a worried look on her face, she didnt had to say anything he understood all she would have said. He just holded her hand and nodded. That evening he declared to his parents that he is going to marry, and he want it fast. He tells them about the girl he wants to marry and where her house is. They get hold of a marriage broker who happens to be gf’s uncle, the girls parent had already been looking for suitable boy’s for marriage and that was worrying her which gf understood without her having to say anything.. They decided coming sunday to be the date when my grand father and his parents would be going to meet the girls parents. It was then that he asked the broker what was the girls name, the broker laughed and gf was kind of taken aback by knowing her name.
Maya : and why is that he got shocked by knowing her name.
Rajesh: they both had the same name
Maya: Now, you are making this even more un believable, anyway i will listen, what was their name?
Maya: what! how can a girls name be rajesh
Rajesh: i was just joking, kiran was their name.
Maya: rajesh u know i dont belive you, but still u can continue..THEN
The girl didnt knew it was him who was going to visit her, and she was pretty much pissed off by having to get ready every time and take tea and other eatables to them.. thou she hadnt spoke anything to gf yet but she was a smart, strong and independent women.
As the eatables were being made, she on purpose added salt in one of the tea-cup instead of sugar, she would have put in all but she didnt intend to disrespect elderly people.
Gf and his parents arrived and they started small talk with the girls parents, now it was time for the girl to come. She kept the salt wala tea in such a way that the first person that she would give will get that, she walked straight to the boy and gave the tea its just when she looked up she realised who it is, she stood there in shock by the time he had took the tea and already tasted it, girls father said hows the tea kiran made it, he looked at her smiling “its nice uncle”. As he was drinking she snached the tea back and gave him another one. Everyone sitting there was shocked and he was smiling..
After some more talking they begin to leave, she looked at them thru the window as they were leaving, they had decided the marriage day after 2 months, as they were leaving gf was turning back again and again to look at her.
Maya: So didnt they give that time when the couples could speak in private,
rajesh: Maya in those days there wasnt any such system..
Maya: so since they are engaged at least now they would speak rite?
rajesh: No, they wouldnt, not even after their marriage, not untill they die.
Maya: This cant be real, u have just made up this story, there is no logic in this story, this cant be possible. How could they live without speaking, what if one wants some thing and have to ask the other.
Rajesh: they didnt have to ask anything, after all these years of silence, and after they had kids they used to communicate thru them.. like gf wud say to my dad to tell mummy not to cook what she c0oked yesterday, its was all very bad tasting.. its just an example i am giving, she had cooked all this years for him and knew what he liked and not; just by looking at his face, and neither there was any extreme circumstances in their life where they couldnt have lived without speaking with each other. They arranged their life in such a way that they wouldnt require to speak atall. They were quiet happy without speaking with each other and they loved each other a lot. And i myself think that a couple can live easily wihtout speaking. If you want we can give it a try for a week..
Maya: Are you serious,
Rajesh: yes lets start from tomorrow morning.
150 years later: some place in bambai year 2175.
Rajesh’s grand son abhimanyu was narating the story of his grand father and great-great-great grand father to his wife.
abhimanyu narrates: So after narrating about my great-great-great- grand father my grand father rajesh and my grand mother maya decided to not speak for a week, but after a week they realised they were much happier and they loved and trusted each other more than ever before so they decided not to speak for the rest of their life and they didnt speak. they never felt any need to speak.. As my grand father told me “its one of the most addictive and satisfying decision that they took on that night”
Abhimanyu’s wife: so should we try?
In the comming alternate generations of this family there always would be a speechless couple..
SILENCE – CONTINUES
P.S. Inspiration for this story has been the movie Pushpak, which i consider to be the single indian film that has created a very deep impression in my mind..
I thought of making the story a bit longer narrating how they coped without speaking even after their marriage charting all the way towards their death,, but i realised it would make the whole thing quiet boring.. Views of readers with suggestions as to what would have been a better way to end or how would have they liked the story to move forward would be highly appreciated..