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Part 5- THE LETTER

The next morning changed Javed's life forever. He found a letter with his name written on the envelope and read it-
I still remember the day I first saw you and you became my most special 'someone'. When we got married, it was the happiest moment of my life. I left my dreams, my world, my happiness- ME because all I wanted was your world, your dreams, your happiness- YOU. 
It didn't feel bad about leaving everything because I thought love was all about sacrifices and adjustments. But, I don't know when those sacrifices turned into efforts. I struggled behind closed doors, doing nothing. I wasted the past two years of my life for love, not realising that I was losing myself in the journey. The happy and bubbly Aria started banging doors and stomping around the house because I was frustrated. I didn't know what to do because I wanted to run away where I can find the real Aria, but never had the courage because I wanted you also. 

Surprisingly, you gave me that cour…

Part 4- WET PILLOWS

Silence made its way in the house. For a moment, they could hear each other's breath.

"Javed? What is the matter? Aren't you happy for me?" Aria asked with deep wrinkles on her forehead. Her pink gloss was shining way too much. 
He took a deep breath. "Do you really think I will be happy about this news?" His voice was stern.  "How can you expect me to like the idea of us staying apart?"
Aria was even more confused. "Javed, I am willing to do this job not because I don't want to sit at home. I can do that, like I have been doing for the past two years, if your love demands. But, this job is my dream. Even I have worked hard in my life just like you and I also deserve to work...."
"Are you in love with me or do you want to compete with me? What about my dreams of living with you? Why did you even marry me if you don't love me enough to give up on your dreams?" he shouted. A drop of sweat trickled down on one side of his…

Part 3- SURPRISE

...continued from part 2

Everything ran fast in Banglore. The wise men wearing suits and the metros that carried them. The tireless housemaids and the life of the houses they managed. The words and the air they hung on.

Only Aria's life had been at a standstill since she moved in the city months ago. While Javed went to work, she would spend her aimless days at home; reading the books already read, cleaning the dishes already cleaned and doing everything pointless to avoid 'nothing'. Sometimes, when frustration took hold of her, she would stomp around the house and bang the doors. Going to the writing club every day was the only thing she was proud of.

It was not long before dangerous thoughts began creeping into her empty mind frequently.

"I am just 25 and I am doing nothing in my life" or "I studied just to be reduced to a housewife!" But at the same time, she would think "Stop! Just stop, Aria. You are doing this for Javed. You love him. Don'…

Part 2- BITTER HONEY

Two Years Ago 
With weariness from last night and smeared kohl in the eyes, Aria lay squeezed between suitcases stuffed more with memories than clothes. Her bangles clinked as she wrote-

Dear Diary,
It's been long since I last saw you. My life has dramatically changed in the past few days and I want to tell you everything tonight.
Do you remember Javed Iyer from my college? I told you when I started falling in love with him and I disclosed my deepest secrets- that how I want to run my fingers through his messy hair, how I want to feel his vein running down the collar on one side of his neck and how I want him so close to me that the world can see our two souls as one. My intense love remained a secret for not so long. Friends nudged when we passed and teased when we talked. While I rolled my eyes, he laughed it away. But every time our eyes met for just a second, we both always knew it was love.  

He proposed about a month ago and yesterday, we got married. Can you believe it? Everyth…

Part 1- TEARDROPS

It was a busy Saturday night for Javed. Hunched over his computer, he sipped hot coffee intermittently which had turned cold. Everything was silent except the blaring of raindrops falling against the window pane and chasing one another down to form puddles of water. His room smelled of wet soil and stress. A knock on the door stopped his fingers running over the keyboard.

"Aria! I thought you were asleep" he went over to kiss her. 
"Did you think about what I asked?" she raised her eyebrows, pushing him off. Her long earrings stretched down her earlobe and dangled as she moved her head. Her eyes were wide and looked strong as they stared right into Javed's. 
"I already told you. My answer is still 'No'. We will never have a conversation about this again. Okay?". He searched for 'Yes' in her face. 
It took a second for tears to form in her eyes. "I can't believe you ever loved me." she cried out.   "I wish I never me…

#MeToo

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He came home at twelve that night.  I opened the door and served him dinner. While he ate,  I stayed there, just in case he needed water or some extra beans.  We didn't talk. He didn't ask 'Why are you up so late?' The only sound breaking the silence was the spoon clicking against his plate. Later, I would sleep only to find him gone the next morning.  This had been my daily routine for I was his spouse,  living as a stranger in his house. 
But something different happened that night. He moved and lay right next to me;  flung his arms around my waist  and kissed my neck. I shrugged and  tried to wriggle out of his tight embrace. 'No, I am tired', I whispered. It didn't matter for he was tired too;  in need of some leisure  and so my body for him was a pleasure.
I shared with my family and they laughed it off.  Some said 'You are young, married and a beauty' while some told that it's my duty. I filed for divorce, but a counsellor was appointed w…

DARK ME, DARKER YOU

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It was hard to leave that place. Where I steadily grew, where I danced and swirled,  where freedom had the sweetest taste.  But, I had to of course. They pushed and I squirmed out, finally said goodbye to my mother's womb.  As the nurse held me, those wrinkles on her forehead and a straight line  on her lips, couldn't tell me what was she sad about? Did I pee on her? My confusion solved soon when some terrible words  were served to my mother. 'Apologies. It's a BLACK girl'
I was thirteen and I remember my crazy love for aircrafts. Dreaming of flight attendants, how passionately I imitated actions  emergency exits, seat belts and oxygen masks. You said 'Shh shh sh..'. Do you remember? You said 'Beauty works here and you are not beautiful' Shushed my actions, my dreams and now they are lost somewhere in the dark, darker than my skin. 
In the late teens, I wanted to taste love. What is it like- sweet, sour or bitter? While boys roamed holding those fair-skinned creamy han…