Fire that silently burns

 “Ms. Sanjana Dash, Ms. Dash …. Please welcome on the stage!” The announcement had been done.

The spotlight was on her now. Sanjana, today looked radiant in her amber-colored saree with a black border. With a neat french bun and a big red bindi on her forehead, she could easily turn a few heads towards her ;an aura that is not common for a 56 year old to create !

Sanjana, came back from her lost thoughts after the announcement.

“We are delighted to announce that we have with us today, Ms. Sanjana Dash, winner for Women’s Achievement Award of the year for making a social impact. Please grace the stage , ma’am!”

 “We are thrilled to have Ms. Sanjana Dash who has not only made herself stand out in life but has also made so many women change their narratives for good. Ma’am we want to hear from you today, how did you come so far, announced the Master of Ceremonials while the other dignitaries graced the front seat of the hall.

 She was handed over a cheque of the winning amount amidst applause and was directed to the podium where a mike waited for her to make her winning speech. 

Yes, People would hear from her! She was going to speak and there was an audience! It felt surreal. With a warm smile , she slowly walked the path thinking that it was probably a dream. She faced the hall full of people seated around round tables that were arranged in a zig-zag manner looking at her with eagerness filled eyes. Her heart beat faster and she was nervous as it was her first public speech in so many years. She looked at the two sets of eyes , from the back of the hall that were fixed on her giving her all the fuel that she needed .  It was her friend Madhavi!

 After a pause, she started saying ” I am Sanjana. I am happy to be here today and I am truly honored that my small steps were recognized and this felicitation means a lot to me. Probably it has given me a boost to give more focus towards my dream and work with more zeal. Thank you for this respect and I am deeply touched today. It was not easy for me to reach where I am today . All I can say is my unhappy days propelled me to seek happiness and I was blessed to be able to do what I wanted to do always; to be able to have my own identity. I wanted to be known by my name, not just as someone’s daughter, wife, or mother. I am thankful to the almighty and few well wishers that I did not give up. Well, you have all known my life through interviews and articles. So, it was not easy.”

 There was a big round of applause from the audience.

 “Ma’am , so how are you going to celebrate this achievement?”, asked the host.

 “I have planned to go on a trip with my beloved on a trip. There can be nothing better than spending time with the one you love! Well, he is my one and only son, Ayush, she said with a bright smile and a sense of pride.” The spotlight was now on a gentleman sitting on the last table and was grinning. The entire crowd looked back and there was a thunderous round of applause.

 Sanjana, came home with her son. 

 “Maa, I am so proud of you. Can you imagine you gave a speech today? How cool is that !! You always wanted that , remember? I am so happy. I took so many pictures of you. I am going to upload all on social media handles now.” 

  “Do, whatever you want just have dinner first. See what we have today.”, Sanjana said.

“Maa… Puri and Alu dum .You are the best ” he kissed her mom’s hand and Sanjana planted a kiss on her son’s forehead. 

 Ayush bid good night to her mother and retired into his room.

Sanjana cleaned the kitchen. It had been a long day today for her . Feeling tired she made herself a cup of tea . She added some ginger to make it strong and went into the living room with her cup of steaming hot tea , turned the TV on, muted its sound and sat on the sofa with her legs stretched out on the Tea-Poi. She felt different today. The day had been a mixed bag of emotions. She sipped on the hot beverage and her mind was lost in thoughts. Her life flashed in front of her.

“Sanjana ,First Prize in extempore Inter School Competition Third time in a row !!” The announcer had announced and Sanjana, with two pleats and a big grin, had jumped from her seat and had rushed to grab prize and had posed in front of the camera for the photo that got published in the school magazine.

She had been a bright child from the start. As a disciplined child, Sanjana had always obeyed her parents and was an ideal child who had not expected much in life but probably wished her life to be normal without any dramatic twists and turns in it. This is the reason, probably why she had agreed to go for arrange marriage. She had always thought that as parents always understand us better and should be in charge of choosing the right kind of life partner for us.

She had married a doctor from a reputed family. She was satisfied that she will at least have a life that is secured and even her parents were relieved that their daughter’s life was in order as per social norms. Little did she know that the phrase “man proposes and God disposes “ would be her life story so soon. Rajiv was a heart surgeon who knew how to identify the pulmonary artery and pulmonary vein and dissect the chambers of the heart if need be but had no clue about the feelings that resided in it. He was a person with a lot of ego and was a frustrated soul. He seemed to have married Sanjana, only to fulfill his carnal desires and nothing beyond that. It took some time for Sanjana to understand that her life could be anything but normal. She had discussed this issue with her close ones and everyone suggested ,”Have a baby, Sanjana. That will ignite some bonding in Rajiv. It would be wonderful if a son is born.”

When Ayush was born, Sanjana had elated, not just because she was a mother now but she had probably gotten the key for a happy married life and her life would now be ‘normal’. Little did she know that Rajiv , was not even fit to be called a man. He had no affection for his son as well. His behavior had worsened over the years with his increasing work pressure. His entire attention was on his career and he had a dual personality who gave his best smile to the strangers and outsiders while passing on his fiercest frustration at home. This frustration had become a part of Sanjana’s life as well. Rajiv had also started hitting and behaving roughly behind their bedroom door to prove his insecure masculinity. Whenever he was at the receiving end at work, he would make Sanjana suffer to feel good about himself. Bruises, scars, dark patches around her eyes, scratches on the skin had become a part of Sanjana’s life. Her energy to stop Rajiv was always met with more aggressiveness from him. She had quietly drunk all the poison for her only son, whom she loved beyond any parameters. Mother’s love is boundless. and probably this love is not always direct. Mother’s love is also hidden in the difficulties undertaken silently to protect her offspring, which remains a mystery to others. What would Ayush do without a father, she would think whenever the thought of escaping her marriage knocked on the doors of her mind. And then, quietly resolve to continue putting up with Rajiv but not until she discovered that Rajiv had an illicit affair. A woman probably can tolerate anything but not the backstab or the humiliation that her husband sleeps with some other woman and pretending to be her husband back home.

She did not know, from where she had gathered all the courage, the day she had slapped Rajiv looking into his eyes. She had taken Ayush in her arms and had just left. She did not return to her parent’s place, for somehow she had quietly resented them for choosing Rajiv and ruining her life. She did not bother to file for divorce nor did Rajiv ever bother to look out for her or their son. The life that Sanjana experienced after this decision was full of twists and turns. What came to her rescue were two things. Her ability to cook delicious, aromatic, and unique recipes and her college friend Madhavi , who had supported her financially and emotionally to start her life afresh. 

 Sanjana, realized that her tea was over. She looked at the watch. 11:10 pm . She went into her room and after a small prayer tried to sleep. She could not, her past life danced in front of her. She saw it all. She saw everything, the pain of being abandoned was more than the punches in the bed room, the fear of bringing up her son all alone was more fearful than the fear she carried when she was abused verbally and physically by her own husband, the stress of meeting her ends meet was far more as compared to the stress of living under the protected roof of her abusive husband. But still it felt dignified. She kept the fire of passion in her burning and kept working on building her catering business. Slowly over the years it had become profitable and she had been able to employ many women who became part of her journey. Slowly, Social media gave her the recognition and winning Cooking competitions as if gave her an identity that she had always craved for. Being felicitated and being invited for a speech was nothing less than a miracle. When she was behind the mike today, she felt as if she was that little girl with two pleats who used to win prizes for debates . Life , as if had come one full circle for her ! She burst out crying , tears that said many emotions that were difficult to decipher. They had everything in them; happiness, sadness, relief, anger,frustration everything.

Let us keep the fire of passion burning for it might help burn the evil named frustration in our lives.

    I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z -2021 

E- Emphatic Engagements

Love,

Chinmayee

37 Comments Add yours

  1. Wizardencil says:

    Short stories are my favourite. I would like to point one point which you have been well put. “Have a baby and rekindle affection” This advice ruins so many lives. A baby must be brought to this world when the parents are ready. No, people do not change overnight. Good for sanjana she could rekindle her passion rather than affection of a worthless fellow (husband).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally agree with you and that’s one statement I really don’t agree. Nice story Chinmayee

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much. And glad you liked it 😊

        Like

    2. This is so beautifully summed up that she rekindled her passion than the affection. I am glad my thoughts resonated so well. Thank you immensely for your interest and your kind words of appreciation.

      Like

  2. Harjeet Kaur says:

    Sounds similar to my life but I didn’t have a bad husband. But right now the fires seem to have died. But I am glad I cud support both my kids and see that they stand on their own feet. I am struggling for an income. Let’s see what the future holds. How do u come up with such wonderful and touching stories?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have always said this and will continue to say that I look upto you and your resilience. Tough times don’t last but tough souls do. I am sure this temporary tough phase too shall pass.

      And about stories….I don’t know myself, I am still a novice and there is a long way to go. Thank you so much for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Matheikal says:

    Frustrated people are the most wretched creatures. They make life miserable for themselves as well as others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely agree Sir.

      Like

  4. An inspiring story. In spite of being ill treated by supposedly her own people she could get over it and focus on helping herself and others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words of appreciation 😊

      Like

  5. Such an inspired story. Frustration is always distructive and can do no good.

    Like

  6. Harshita says:

    all the ills of society are being brought out in your stories and yet so subtly. kudos to Sanjana for being strong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 💞 And I am glad my character could send across the message.

      Like

  7. Women always find courage to go on even in domestic abuse due to their children. You showed her courage and determination. A lovely heart touching story
    Deepika Sharma

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Deepika . This means a lot 😊

      Like

  8. Pr@Gun says:

    The fire helped her to get over the evil of frustration. The sad thing is this frustration is killing many from insides, who are not able to that one step. A nice story filled with happiness, sadness, anger, and relief at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 💕 yes frustration has become so evident in today’s materialistic world.

      Like

  9. Ruchie says:

    This is such a beautifully written short and inspiring story !! I loved this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 🥰

      Like

  10. Once again you have touched my heart. Sanjana had guts but not every women has. There is so much of learning from this… Women is no less.. If she wants she can win the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with you ❤️

      Like

  11. Dr. Surbhi Prapanna says:

    Domestic violence is sad reality of our society. we need more women like Sanjana who believe in following her passion and remove all obstacles from life with hard work and determination.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Truly appreciate your support ❤️

      Like

  12. Anita says:

    So happy for Sanjana. You have etched a strong woman.
    May women lead such dignified lives, rather than being at the receiving end of violence & loveless partners.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Being women ourselves we can wish that we, women always get what they deserve. Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Like

  13. aditi says:

    Another beautiful story, Chinmayee!
    Women are caged in a set of rules and they are supposed to stay in. Good to see that some women gain courage and get wings to fly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you dear for being able to connect with the struggle and strength of Sanjana❤️

      Like

  14. Archana says:

    So Glad Sanjana found her way out to grow and shine from hell. If a woman can live to the depth of patience, she can also show the heights of courage, especially regarding her own self-respect. Brilliant Chinmayee!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true ! Women suffer so much from domestic abuse quietly and this tears my heart. So happy that you liked Sanjana and her struggle!

      Like

  15. So Soulful Chinmayee. There are so many women like Sanjana in India today and how I wish all of them stand up for themselves as Sanjana did.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. It truly means a lot 😊

      Like

  16. Only when two people love each other , there is a point in having a baby. It doesn’t work the other way. I don’t know why people give such insane advices to spoil lives for years.
    Loved the narration

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by Sindhu. Absolutely agree, a child is a big responsibility and should be planned when a couple is completely ready.

      Like

  17. Mayuri6 says:

    Success is always the best revenge and glad Sanjana achieved it. Awesome writing, as always, Chinmayee.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting 😊💜

      Like

  18. purbajune says:

    What a moving and inspiring story! I love the way you create your characters and bring them alive in front of us through your writing. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and appreciation 💕

      Like

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