The Heart and its Secret Chambers!

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“I am not going back, that’s it!! I have had enough ! I can’t tolerate being controlled . He knew it from the beginning but he does not understand me anymore. It is over, it’s all over ! I will file the case tomorrow itself.” Nisha said this while entering the house and banged her bag on the floor. She sat on the sofa with a thud while ordering a glass of cold water. Mili, the house help ran quickly to the kitchen to obey the orders. Nisha angrily removed her magenta colored dupatta, that she had gracefully paired with her sparkling white Chikankari anarkali and threw it to one of the corners of the living room.

Charulata came and sat near her daughter after switching the AC on.

“What happened ? Can you please let me know the details , Nisha?” ,Charulata said.

“I can not!! I just said, what I had to say! It’s over , Mumma! And no , you will not brainwash me this time again! I will not be a fool and please do not cry as that is your only weapon when everything else fails!”, Nisha declared.

“Okay, I won’t. Come, let’s have lunch! Call it a coincidence, but I have cooked your favourite dish.” Charulata said and winked at her daughter.

“Chitau Pitha !!!!” Nisha jumped from her place like a little kid and ran towards her mother and hugged her while placing a kiss on her hands.

Charulata smiled and hugged Nisha back and kept her child within her embrace a little longer to calm her down . Mothers know it all ! She already knew Nisha was in tears and took out her saree pallu to wipe the moist eyes of Nisha! Nisha, could not hold back and cried unconsolably in her mother’s arms.

“I love him Mumma , I love him very much that I can not imagine myself away from him. But it’s so difficult to stay together as well! I can not explain …. Ahhh !! I.. I …. do not know….”, Nisha was saying this while her voice started to quaver.

“Shhhh…. Its okay my child , Shhhhh. We will talk later”, Charulata consoled.

Nisha followed Charulata into the Kitchen. She jumped on the kitchen slab , sat with her legs crossed while wiping her tears and signaled her mom to pass the ‘Chitau Pithas’ in her favourite plate! Yes, Nisha had her favorite utensils and whenever she visited her mom’s place, she made sure to eat in those set of plates no matter what! She relished the sumptuous ‘Chitau Pithas’ with honey on top of it just like the pan cakes dipped in maple syrup , but it only tasted better !That night, Nisha slept next to her mom, snuggling cozily, keeping aside all her worries .

Next morning was a different affair when Nisha woke up to a pleasant morning. Mili had prepared her coffee with an extra spoon of sugar , just as she liked whenever she had a breakdown like the last night. Nisha freshened up and ran upstairs where her mumma was watering all the plants that she had planted herself. The bright pink Roses and the bright yellow Dahlias danced elegantly welcoming the beautiful and chilly winter mornings .

“Wow mumma, the terrace garden looks so beautiful ! When did you add so many varieties ? I never knew !”, Nisha said while capturing the pictures with her smartphone .

“Over time, one by one, with patience and by taking care of each twig that seemed to be wilted, spraying disinfectant where I found a tiny little trace of damage by external factors ;with patience, attention and effort,” Charulata answered while tending to the plants with all her focus.

Nisha took her cup of coffee and sat on the swing that was installed on the terrace. She basked herself in the morning sunshine and looked towards the horizon. The azure colored sky looked pure with few traces of white clouds floating across in patches. It looked blissful and Nisha felt calm. She looked at her cell phone. Neither did it blink nor did it vibrate. Nisha looked away with a sigh!

“Mumma , you never open up to me! Why? Why did you not revolt when papa… How could you even allow whatever has happened over the years? What made you stay back with a man who cheated on you? Why, Maa ? Why?”, Nisha blurted out in one breath.

“He did not cheat on me ! Stop saying that! He loved me and your chotti mumma much like me. May be more but he never cheated !”, Charulata replied back.

“You are too naΓ―ve!! That man just enjoyed all his life and made you do all the work! This household , this identity that you have created with your character and strength is all because of you Mumma! What did Papa do ? I don’t think he ever loved or understood me too , like ever !! They all say fathers and daughters share a special bond . Well that was never the case in this household! We were always at loggerheads. Why could he never understand me like you do? It’s all because you gave me birth , Mumma , nourished me in your womb for nine long months and baby fed me! It’s just that which makes the difference, Mumma!”, Nisha declared.

“Nisha, will you stop blabbering, now? Don’t use your frustration towards Dipesh to curse Papa! You know you are hurting me too while doing all this. Papa left me alone since last three years and you too married off last year. All I have is my loneliness and few memories that give me the inspiration to survive every single day. It’s not easy but I choose the happy thoughts tirelessly every single day so that I live with courage, for myself , for you, for your Papa !” Charulata replied in a stern voice.

“I am sorry, mumma. But ,you got to tell me the truth today. I am no more a child , you see!”, Nisha insisted like a child with eyes full of questions that demanded answers.

Mili, the house help arranged chairs adjacent to the swing and Charulata sat on the arm chair that her late husband always adored. The olive green cotton Sambalpuri Pata Saree that she wore made her look elegant even though she was tired from completing all the morning chores . She drank a glass of water that Mili handed over to her . She then asked Mili to leave and prepare Upma for breakfast. She slowly closed her eyes and rested her head on the back of the chair.

Charulata started saying , “I was married to your father at a very young age . It was an arrange marriage but I fell in love with him, with all of him and so did he. We enjoyed our blissful phase and I conceived my first pregnancy soon. I was on cloud nine and we were busy in our own little world. As the saying goes, when everything goes right, then expect a change ! That just happened and your father had to get transferred to a different city while I was three months pregnant. I had to stay back as the earning at that point in time, was not enough for us to leave our native and settle in a new place starting life from scratch. I and your father had to lead separate lives for the very first time. I handled my first pregnancy without him. Though my in laws were there, yet I missed him at every step. His care, his touch , his support and his voice… I longed for every little thing ! We used to write love letters to each other just like teenage lovers!” Charulata smiled and blushed while saying, “When you find your true love, you can be just yourself and I was me , just me with your Papa! I took up a teaching job at a nearby primary school to keep myself engaged and may be to miss your father a little less. But then suddenly everything changed when I lost my first born to brain malaria! It was as if the disease claimed two lives including one mine!” Charulata, struggled while saying this and her heart chocked !

“But Mumma, that was not your fault. You did everything that you could ! “,Nisha said .

“That was not the case back then! We belonged to a typical household with not so modern thoughts. The gaze of every soul around me changed. I was blamed for my own child’s death! Reason, I was working! I wrote to your father. I wrote to him describing every single thing and he had visited me as well. He took a leave for almost two months and took care of me with all his heart ignoring all the hatred , all the gossip , all the judgements. I had turned into a stone . I could not cry . I still went to the school regularly and taught while he waited for me at home! Then one fine day, while I was standing in front of the mirror getting ready for the school, I cried and I cried as much as I could . He took me in his arms, kissed me on my forehead and just let me cry! I don’t know if I healed but I started to live again , probably!!” , Charulata narrated her memories clearly to her daughter.

“I have heard about Bhai in bits and pieces! Maa, tell me about choti mumma, na? Why and how?”, Nisha interrupted the flow with her questions.

Charulata took a long pause before narrating again and had another glass of water,” Your father had to go back to his place of work and again we both were separated! With time, I had also learnt to be away from him, though only physically ! He was always in my thoughts, always! Your papa and choti mumma met as their fates were entangled in some previous birth , I guess. Your father was posted out of the state and that night was a night of calamity when an otherwise soundless neighborhood suddenly saw bloodshed due to Hindu -Muslim riots that were common in those days! Choti mumma was muslim and lost all her family members in front of her eyes. She somehow escaped the tormentors who wanted to rape her and unknowingly entered your Papa’s place through the open window, that dreadful night. She and Papa , both petrified and clueless spent the night together sitting under the bed, hiding their existence. In the morning, when the news spread like wild fire, the maddening crowd wanted to kill choti mumma at that very instant. Had it not been your Papa, who instantly decided to protect her by promising to marry her, an innocent would have lost her life ! Choti mumma pleaded mercy from the crowd to spare her life. She promised that she would pray to their Ram now and not to her Rahim anymore ! They both got married according to Hindu rituals. Your father wrote me every single thing ! The lover in me resented, felt despised but the partner in me sympathized with him, understood him . Exactly the way , he had understood me when I failed to save my first born! Your papa and choti mumma stayed away for few years. Your papa used to write to me regularly, though I had stopped communicating . People in our locality said whatever they wanted. But I could not stop loving him, for reasons beyond my comprehension! Almost after two years with your papa ,choti mumma gave birth to a still born. She could not survive the blood loss and succumbed to the delivery complications.” Charulata wiped a few tears that had unknowingly escaped from their deep seated place.

She continued, “I and Papa came together again because, we were always meant to be together, may be! Events of life, the unpredictability factor of the destiny and the survival instinct had made me see things differently by then. Probably this is how you mature; to own up the consequences of your decisions, whether good or bad, you face it even if it gets scary many a times ! Then you, Nisha, blessed us with your presence and our life became complete again!! So, your Papa never cheated on me and he loved me with all that he had till the very last breath !”

Nisha, had her jaw dropped while hearing the whole narrative ! It was the first time that her mom was opening up as a woman to her . Never before !

Tring Tring. The door bell rang. Mili came running and announced with a big grin, “Di !! Bhaiya is here !! Bhaiya !!”

Nisha suddenly stood up and was about to rush down when she hesitated and stayed back. Charulata was noticing everything. She stood up slowly and pulled her own necklace out of her neck with a locket having letters “CN” engraved in a floral pattern on it. She slowly put it on Nisha and kissed her forehead and nodded looking into her eyes!

Dipesh came running upstairs , touched Charulata’s feet, and said,”Maa… I couldn’t inform …. as…Maa…”

“It’s your house ,Dipu!! No need to explain anything.” , said Charulata with a smile and patted Dipesh’s shoulder as a gesture of assurance .

Charulata took the stairs down. In her mind she said : “CN– C for Chabbi and N for Nisha. Nisha is Chabbi’s but more than that ,she is mine . CN!”

“Why ? Why? Dipesh , you know I can’t stay without you !! Then, Why?”, Nisha was saying.

“I am sorry!! Now come home ! The house looks like a coffin without you and your silly pranks. Let’s restart Nishu!! I adore you and you know that!!”, Dipesh replied.

“Ok now wait Dip… not here … wait… Mumma might come back…”, Nisha was suppressing her laughter while saying this.

Charulata could hear the voices fade in the background . She smiled brightly .Magic , I have seen it happen, she said to herself!

PS:

1- Chittau Pitha- an Odia delicacy which is prepared on special occasion of Chitalagi Amabashya and loved by all age groups.

2- Sambalpuri Pata Saree- Handloom Saree from Odisha

3-Chabbi- Choti Mumma’s name.

This post is written for StorytellersBlogHop FEB 2021 by Ujjwal & MeenalSonal.

The prompts used for this Blog Hop is : Magic, I have seen it happen

Love,

Chinmayee

68 Comments Add yours

  1. Your post is fabulous

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a ton for stopping by and commenting πŸ˜ŠπŸ’œπŸ₯°

      Like

  2. Sivaranjini Anandan says:

    Wow, a blissful story of understanding and accepting our loved ones without judging them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. So happy that you liked my writing πŸ’πŸ’

      Like

  3. Romila says:

    Your story made me get knowledge of somethings Odia of which I had no idea about earlier. Not judging people is a great quality and this was a wonderful story reflecting that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am happy that I could leave very few traces of Odia culture and glad you noticed them . Absolutely agree , being judgemental has become the norm without knowing the reality !

      Like

  4. Prerna Wahi says:

    The message conveyed through this piece is beautiful. We should love people for what they are!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely Prerna, we judge without being kind and knowing what the other person is going through!

      Like

  5. Beautiful story, loved the emotions and all characters portrayed. It took me through a rollercoaster of feelings. Accepting certain things can be really tough sometimes. Loved the last thoughts of Charulata
    Deepika Sharma

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad that you liked my piece of writing!! Thanks for your kind words and appreciation πŸ’•πŸ˜Š

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  6. Alpana Deo says:

    Charulata seems a very sorted woman. She understood her husband’s act and shown maturity when it was needed. Result was she should save her relationship. Only such sorted and deep thinking person can guide her daughter the way she did. Loved her dialogues that she said while nurturing her plants. β€œOver time, one by one, with patience and by taking care of each twig that seemed to be wilted, spraying disinfectant where I found a tiny little trace of damage by external factors ;with patience, attention and effort,”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Alpana for your kind words of appreciation πŸ’•. I am so happy that you could connect with the characterisation of the protagonist. Thanks for stopping by ☺️.

      Like

  7. Dr. Surbhi Prapanna says:

    first I would like to say that narration was so crisp and engaging dear that I could not stop to read this in one flow to know what happen next? I felt that indeed Charulata has a big heart and I was little surprise with the way she has handle that incidence and accept choti ma as a part of her life. all and all a great tale with many shades of empowering emotions. loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot Dr. Surbhi for stopping by and commenting πŸ™. My heart is all filled with happiness to know that the story was engaging because that is what I wanted it to be ! Thanks 😊

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  8. How cute this story ending is. A wide smile was my face was wearing! Love the narrative! Written well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by and I really appreciate your support and glad you could resonate with my thoughts.

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  9. Archana says:

    A golden heart, rare to find, and that’s defined Charulata. A key size secret revelation point in the locket of Charulata, for me a scene that stole the show. Brilliant piece of fiction Chinmayee.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Archana, So very happy the twist that I so carefully hinted has caught your eye. It feels my heart with happiness that you liked my writing πŸ’ Thanks a lot for stopping by!!

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  10. aditi says:

    A lovely story told wonderfully. Keeping relationships is much difficult than breaking them but it is worth their value. The truth of life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Aditi, I am glad you liked it 😊. Thanks for stopping by and commenting πŸ˜ŠπŸ’œπŸ₯°

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  11. Charulata has been portrayed as one of the finest woman and her thoughts are to be praised. I liked how the narration took over and how she explained all her life instances and presented as an example to her daughter Nisha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I am glad I could convey the feelings of my protagonist and it was appreciated by you. Means a lot 😊

      Like

  12. Neha says:

    This is the story of mature love. You have woven a wonderful story around the prompt. Circumstances can be difficult and the world might be against you, but it is true understanding and trust that triumphs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much forward stopping by and commenting 😊 .I am glad you liked my writing and connected with the charactersπŸ’

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  13. Understanding our loved ones and accepting them inspite of their flaws I fact with their flaws is so important. You’ve weaved a great story with this message. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I am glad you liked the story and the message behind it.

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  14. Love should always be with out any conditions and your story conveys this message so beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot for your kind words πŸ€—

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  15. Vasumathi says:

    That was a unexpected twist at the end. So Nisha was actually the 2nd wife’s child but never told that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes ! I am so happy you noticed the subtle twist at the end . Families sometimes thrive on many such beautiful lies !! Thank you for stopping by and commenting 😊

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  16. daisybala says:

    Interesting story!! All’s well that ends well!! Sometimes revisiting the past clarifies many myths and stirs a clarity inside us. I was literally drooling on the peetha that you mentioned in the story. Well done πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Daisy for your beautiful remarks ! It means a lot 😊 . Wish I could offer the sumptuous peethas in reality …may be sometimes…fingers crossed !!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. daisybala says:

        Absolutely dear πŸ€—πŸ€žfingers crossed πŸ’•hoping to meet you somedayπŸ₯°the pleasure will be completely mine!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I too wish for the same Daisy !! Aameen 🀞

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Beautiful piece packed with emotions. Loved your story telling skill.
    PS: I am definitely going to try my hand at Chittau Pitha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nitisha Thanks a lot for your comments and feedback. I am glad that you liked the story !And I so want to hear from you if you liked the Chitau Peetha after you prepare them ! Would be waiting to hear from you πŸ₯°πŸ€—

      Like

  18. Mayuri6 says:

    Chinmayee, you are so, so good. Love how your writing shows us a different perspective each time. Such a beautiful narrative and heartwarming story. Loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks my blog buddy πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ. Hearing from you is always special because I adore your writings a lot and this time it’s all the more special because we got paired ! It’s like School Days and I feel happy to have a supportive partner. Thank you for stopping by and commenting 😊. Your kind words motivate me every time !

      Like

  19. jainnehas says:

    Chinmayee I can’t tell you how much I loved your story. I can’t stop reading till the end. It is a beautiful and touching story. True love is surely not easy to understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by Neha ! I am so happy that you liked my writing. absolutely, there is no justification to many emotions that we encounter !

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Love has its own rhythm and often doesn’t follow societal norms! Beautifully penned!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Grateful for your lovely words 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Amritha Srinath says:

    What an endearing story. I loved how you have weaved the relationships in the story. For me, it was as if I am watching an hour of movie that I could watch again and again and learn something everytime. Absolutely marvelous way of storytelling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amrita, I am touched by your words. I am so so happy that you connected with the emotions that I wanted to convey.

      Like

  22. Varsh says:

    This is love in its purest form; open, accepting and accommodating. You conveyed a wonderful message so easily here, Chinmayee. Every relation needs tending to and we must do all we can for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely agree Varsha ! And thank you so much for stopping by and grateful for your encouraging words πŸ€—πŸ’.

      Like

  23. Unconditional, pure, and non-judgemental love! What a lovely narration Chinmayee. So happy to read your story with a message πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Priyanka for your lovely comments 🧑. I am happy to know the story resonated with you 😊

      Like

      1. My pleasure❀

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Every relation needs some space and time so never ever try to quit in early phase – the summary of this story. Close to reality. Kudos to the writer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words πŸ€—. I am glad you liked my writing πŸ™.

      Like

  25. An independent and open minded take of relationships. Glad to have you on the hop.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement.❀️❀️

      Like

  26. Shamik says:

    Lovely story. The majic indeed happened

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  27. judy morris says:

    This was a heart saddening tale towards the mid of story. but in the end the story gets a happy ending. Very wonderfully you have used the like Magic I have seen it happen.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. So happy that the story was engaging for you ❀️

      Like

  28. Ruchie says:

    This story is so nicely written and shows the actual value of acceptance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Ruchie for your kind words πŸ€—πŸ€—

      Like

  29. The azure colored sky looked pure with few traces of white clouds floating across in patches. – WOW! Simply LOVED the picturesque story-telling style.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words,dear !! Means a lot 😊 . Glad you liked the story.

      Like

  30. Mummasaurus says:

    charulata – the epitome of the vastness of the ability to accept! great read!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I am glad you liked the story.

      Like

  31. Anita says:

    Touching story, Chinmayee.
    Well narrated.
    So, Nisha was the daughter of chhoti mummy, and not Charulata’s child?
    Great characters and description.
    I love the Odisha references πŸ™‚ My story too has some glimpses!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dr. Anita it was overwhelming to read your response and the fact that you liked my writing !! Yes, Nisha was the second wife’s daughter and that was the twist at the end. Your story, I adored every aspect of it and the protagonist, kali Jai Prasad was my favourite.

      Like

  32. That’s a lovely plot indeed, I could feel the sentiments and how story twisted was beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Dipika for stopping by and commenting. So glad that you liked it 😊

      Like

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