Black Rose

Chapter-1

 

 Clock strikes 4 in the evening and Meera goes to the kitchen to make coffee for her father and herself. She reminds that her paternal aunt family has arrived from Calcutta and they are sleeping in the other room after a long tiring journey. In fact, she is tired too because she has just come back from the funeral of her mother Suhasini. Yes, she is dead. She remembers the memories of her past and her soul aches. Although, she wanted to sleep, but she knows the moment she will close her eyes, will see her mother and it will be more difficult for her to accept that she has become a part of her dreams now. This thought makes her cry again and she wipes her tears and prepares to make coffee. When she begins to mix milk with coffee suddenly remembers how her mother made coffee and she stood by her side and used to ask Mumma, do you like coffee as much as dad likes? And her reply was always same, ‘I love your dad’ so I like coffee too because when we are in love, we start accepting the likes and dislikes of our beloved. Meera puts back the coffee jar and asks her maid Rani to bring tea pack from the market. Rani is surprised that no one drinks tea in this house but seeing the situation she keeps mum. Meera makes tea for her father and herself and goes back to her room. He gets little confused when he sees tea on the tray. Meeru, my girl, you know that I don’t like tea. I know dad but Mumma liked tea and she has left us. We both love her very much so we must also try to accept her likes because now she is no more with us and starts weeping. Oh Meeru, he wipes her tears and takes a sip of tea but his face expressions changes as if he has drunk something bitter. He keeps the cup aside and leaves for bathroom.

 Meera notices every move of her father; he doesn’t cry but upset. He is missing Mumma but his expressions confuse her. She wants that her dad should share his grief with her but he is avoiding, But why? I know he is a man. But he is a husband and a father too and he can share his grief because now only father and daughter are left for each other for the rest of life. Meeru! her aunt calls. I asked Rani to prepare bhindi and dal for dinner. And right now I am preparing sandwiches for Pihu and Shyamu. Come and have some. Her Chachi says without noticing Meeru’s weird expressions and she replies rudely ‘do whatever you like I am not feeling hungry’. She leaves and goes straight to her bedroom and calls her fiancée Raghav. Raghav consoles her, and says that she was your mother and what you feel for her, don’t expect your relatives to also feel the same way. For them she has passed due to medical illness and it is an acceptable reason for them. I will join you on the chautha ceremony of Suhas aunty till then take care. He hangs up and deep inside she realises that he is right.

At the time of dinner, she only takes dal and papad and sees her Chachi family enjoying dinner. She has cooked fried bhindi, Arhar dal, papad, salad, raita and pickles. Suhas Didi makes excellent pickles she says while tasting khatta meetha achar, her father also eats like a normal routine dinner. Seeing her Chachi serving pickles to dad, she goes in the past when her mother served pickles and how her father used to say. “Suhas, why do you waste your time to make pickles when you know I only like my maa’s made pickle’’. Jitu, I am trying to make her way. You only know how to cook the food he replied rudely. I am a great cook she laughs. Meera notices water in her eyes and comes back to the dinner table. ’Mamta, don’t serve me pickles, I don’t like them and then Chachi sits and concentrates on dinner. Meera finishes her dal and goes to terrace. Jitender her father notices her but says nothing.

 

Chapter 2

 

She thinks that her father doesn’t even give an inch of importance to the things her mother did for him till she died. She calls Raghav but his phone is busy, looks at stars and her mother face appears to her between the clouds, her black colour, small brown eyes, thin lips and a colourful Bindi on her forehand. She was not a beautiful woman, but her beauty lies in her motherhood and companionship. I miss you mummy and she cries.

A few people attend Chautha ceremony including Raghav’s family, her father friends & relatives. Because her mother was only child of her parents and long back Meera’s Nani and Nanu died. Pandit ji tells good things about her mother Suhas. She wonders that how Pandit ji better knows her mother than us or this is his duty to praise every dead soul. At last, he ends the rituals by saying that she is very lucky as she died ‘suhagan.’ Is my mother really lucky? Raghav and his family meet my father and he hugs his son- in- law and greets his parents nicely. Her Chachi confirms her tickets to Calcutta because she has an excuse of Pihu final exams of graduation. Suddenly, Raghav comes and hugs her tightly. She breaks up in tears again. He wipes her tears and even her mother-in -law hugs and says, ‘Don’t worry Meera, I am your mother now so never feel alone’. She tries to smile hearing this but fails to do so.

When they were going back from temple, two neighbours come to her and says,’ Meeru, Suhas was an amazing person. You look like your mother but your complexion is better than hers. Meera gives them a cunning look and they embarrassed leave from there. Chachi goes back, her father gets busy with his office work. Few days have passed and she is trying to overcome the pain and keeps herself busy with the office work. Suddenly, doorbell rings and when she opens the door, a good-looking woman in her forties stand on the door. So, are you Meera? Yes, but I don’t recognize you. I am your mother’s friend and your father colleague Supriya. Is your dad at home? Yes, she replies. She goes straight to her dad’s room. She wonders that her mother hardly had any friend as far as she knows.

She goes to her father’s room to talk to her but stops when she hears Supriya says,’ will you never tell your daughter how her mother died’?  Don’t be stupid she died because of a cyst in her breast. Her death is natural, she hears her father saying. You cannot lie to me; I came to know how she died from her doctor. She took an extra dose of medicine to end her life. Meera legs shake and she says,’ Oh my God, my mother committed suicide, but why? It is not necessary to tell Meera everything whatever she knows is enough. Her father answers Supriya. I feel pity for you Jitu and hugs him tightly and her father hugs her back.


Chapter-3

 

Meera gets shocked to see this. She returns to her room and his father calls her, ’Meeru come here I want you to meet aunt Supriya’. I am busy dad some other time she replies in a choked voice and looks at her mother’s smiling photo hanging in the drawing room. Yes, she always smiled it was her nature.  After half an hour Supriya leaves their house.

After few minutes Rani serves dinner and they both begin to eat and he notices Meera not eating. Her hunger is gone. She eagerly waits for her father to finish his dinner so that she can ask him about her mother. Phone bell rings and he immediately leaves dining hall to attend the call. Yes, Supriya! I have dispatched the papers. Hearing her name again she bursts in anger. She rushes to her father’s room. What happened Meeru? Why didn’t you eat nicely? he asks. Please take care of your health. Dad, you do very nice things she taunts him. What do you mean beta?  Is that true my mother committed suicide.? Jitender gets astounded to hear this? Who told you this? No one. I heard your conversation with Supriya. Meera, that was not a suicide in fact she took an extra dose of medicine due to illness, depression without realising what she was doing. Who is Supriya? Are you having an affair? What! No. she is a good friend of mine and your mother. My mother didn’t have a friend like her as far as I know. It seems she is only close to you. I saw you embracing her. I think mum caught you both together and feeling of betrayal made her do this.

Meeru, don’t plant your own stories. It is not true. Your mother was suffering from depression due to her illness, please accept it. Dad, I notice that you are not missing my mother and your wife at all. Do really love her? Of course, I do, that’s why you were born. By giving your sperm doesn’t prove your love for a woman. Meeru, hold your tongue. You know I love you more than your mother. She was the one who send you to a boarding school at the age of fifteen. I respected her decision. I think you should concentrate on your speech which you have to give as cultural and heritage head of the country. You are a gold medallist in Indian cultural and you are going to represent your country. So, concentrate. You need to fulfil your mother dream and mine too. So don’t stick on to this topic. He completes his sentence and cares her cheek and goes to the bathroom. Meera, understand there is nothing to talk.

Mumma,’ why are you sending me to boarding? I don’t want to go’. Meeru, you need to make your life and trust me you will never regret going. I will call you every day darling. Meera remembers her mother words and switch off the light and tries to sleep because in her dreams she wanted to see and ask her was she really sad because of her illness that she took her own life.

 

 

Chapter-4

 

Next morning when Jitender leaves for office, Meeru searches for her doctor number. She wants every inch of details of her mother illness. She finds some medical files but no paper related to her mother’s illness. She finds the name of Dr. Renu Gulati who prescribed medicines to her mother.

She takes an appointment to visit her. After a wait of two hours Renu Gulati calls her inside. You look like Suhasni, she smiles. Meera smiles back and asks,’ how the treatment of my mother was going’? Was she really in some sort of depression? Why did she take extra pills? After two minutes of silence Dr. asks her,’ what do you know about your mother disease’? She had a cyst in her breast. Meera replies straight. Listening this Renu face looks serious. Your mother was brave and strong. I am pretty sure that she was not in depression but yes, I think she decided to give up.  But why did she leave like this? She was getting better? Meera asks again? Dear, your mother knew that after her death, you will come to find the reason of her death, so, she took promise from me to not to tell you anything. Either ask your father or you can meet Mr Jagdish Mathur who he is also my patient. Renu gives his business card to Meera.

She comes back home empty -handed. What are you hiding Mumma? She says while laying on bed. Just then Rani comes to her room and gives her courier. She sees name Jitender Mathur written on the top. She put it aside but after few minutes she opens it with curiosity. She reads the letter and fainted. Meanwhile, her dad comes in and snatches the letter from her hand and shouts, why did you open it? So, you were divorcing my mother and you said you love her. Now I know, why were you so cold on her death because you had an affair. She shouts back.

I don’t have any affair but yes, I like company of Supriya. The truth is your mother had affairs and she was fond of not only one man but many men. That’s why I wanted to divorce her but she died herself. Understood Meeru? Jitender screams. I don’t believe you? She was innocent. Innocent my foot, she was a slut and she died due to Aids. He says in one breath and Meeru shocked and her mouth wide open, fells down. You have to live with this truth and I was protecting you from not knowing this but you were provoking me for so many days. Jitender leaves her room in rush and she lies down on floor. Mumma, is that true? If it is true, I hate you, listen I hate you, she shouts and cries constantly.

Next day, Meeru looks at her mother photo with hatred and goes to Jagdish Mathur. Jagdish is of her mother’s age. He asks her to sit and gives her manuscripts to read. Meera reads manuscripts and tears begin to fall.

 

 

Chapter-5

After two weeks, she stands in front of thousands and sees her dad and Raghav sitting in the crowd. She says, I am here to glorify our Indian culture and values. Look at our scriptures like Ramayana when Sita arbitrarily crosses the line was abducted by Ravana. In Mahabharat Draupadi said few words to Duryodhana and she had to sacrifice her dignity. What have we learnt from these episodes? If women do not follow the rules, then teach her a lesson. Why do we ignore Bharat’s sacrifice or Karan’s kindness? Although we live in a male dominated society.

I lost my mother few days back. She had dark complexion and thin lips. She looked ugly and even was not educated but a good housewife. My father married her because my Nanu paid debts of my grandfather. She always dreamt that her husband would adore her in every way but her dreams shattered the very first night when she comes to know that her husband is fond of red roses. She tried every way to win his heart but failed. One day she was watching a porn movie because of unfulfilled desires,her husband comes close to her and she wasn’t shy and he thought her to be a shitty woman who is eager for sex.  After my birth he distanced himself. She sent me to a boarding school so that I don’t notice her loneliness. She gave me the best education to make me independent. I look like her and she was afraid of it because men only like fair colour, she always asked me to apply some creams every day. One day, she met a man name Suryakant, they liked each other. She fulfils her heart and body’s desire. Soon, he broke up with her. She again met another man named Jagdish Mathur. He liked my mother very much but one day my mother comes to know that she will die of aids but she had no regrets because for some time she lived the way she wanted to. When my father came to know about her disease, he decided to divorce her. He even asked for DNA test to know that I am his blood or not and by God’s grace I belong to him only. Her husband tortured her for not being loyal to him. Finally, she decided to give up her life.

In our country values are different for men and women.

Firstly, Men need women who is fair, tall and beautiful and if she is successful and rich then it is an advantage.

Secondly, she should be hesitant with her husband when she physical intimates with him otherwise she is shitty and bold which is not acceptable.

 

Men never accept the flaws of women. He set his own rules for them, why?  We expect women to accept the imperfections of men but we didn’t accept Sita and asked her to leave Ram to prove her innocence. We still don’t consider Draupadi a sati because she had five husbands. We punished Ahilya for mistakenly having relationship.

Our culture is like red or pink rose, who is beautiful is acceptable but the truth is there are thorns too. We never look at black rose which stands ignored and lonely in the garden. My mother was a black rose, so I am. Raghav, I got cosmetics surgery done on my face and lips and I am not a virgin. I lost it at the age of seventeen. You like me because I am successful and ambitious. Meera in tears when says this and looks at chief guest. Sir, I think you should appoint other person to glorify Indian values and culture which are biased because I have failed to do so. Unexpectedly, a big round of applause heard in the hall. Her speech gets billion views on you tube. She started a foundation with her mother’s name to help ignored and non-acceptable women in the society due to any reason.

Her father feels guilty but it was too late. Meera left her home. Raghav asking her for marriage but she refuses.

 Before Jagdish Mathur died, he published Meera’s mother autobiography named “Black Rose”. Her mother story motivates every woman to come forward and be brave to live life in her own way because beauty of our culture is to treat every individual equally.  

 

THE END