Apsara

tumblr_mzm1v6fVCQ1qaagcno1_1280

She felt like crying. She understood that tears would come out of her eyes within the next few seconds, so she swiftly walked towards the restroom. Restrooms are like one of the best friends for girls. They just watch you and give you support till you calm down, they don’t judge you or give you those free advises. Tears burst out uncontrollably and thoughts were running through her mind. “Do you know that feeling when you have to pay for something without doing anything wrong ?” That’s exactly how she was feeling. “How do I deal with it ?” has been the chronic question of her life.

Apsara is 26 years old, kindhearted and soft spoken. Right from her childhood she always tried to be a good girl and keep everyone happy. She was disciplined at school, studied well and never vexed her parents or teachers. Every time she looked at the mirror, she understood that something was wrong and disturbing. She asked her mother about it who used to fend it off casually by saying that she shouldn’t be worried. Days went on, she reached that age where we come to know about new things. Something was wrong again, she observed boys paying attention to other girls in the class where she felt left out. Since she was studious, she never waited late after school for regular gossips. In fact she hardly had friends besides her bench mates. She didn’t think too much because the society around her made her believe that if you study well and get a good job, you are destined to get a good partner. Moreover mingling too much with boys was considered bad.

After reaching college she could clearly differentiate between herself and her friends. She never participated in extra curricular activities like dancing, singing or skits. Why didn’t she ? She kept thinking. No one ever encouraged her to even try such things. Who would want to even see a girl like her performing on the stage. She felt sick. She was like a remote and cornered girl who talks with only two to three girls. Even those conversations were just about normal stuff (mostly studies). She hardly had any intense conversations, those kind of ones which build strong and lasting friendship. This has been the repeating pattern of her life. Just when things looked bleak, a guy said Hi and started talking with her. Ankit was a very sociable person, above average in terms of looks and was also her lab mate. He gossiped a lot with her and they became friends very quickly. They used to text regularly and she took care of all of his lab assignments. She explained all the subjects to him during exams and thanks to him she made good friends with others as well and for the first time in her life she was really happy.

Was that feeling love? It is obviously but to what extent, Marriage? She felt very apprehensive. She can never tell him what she feels about him. Rejection is too big to swallow. He definitely doesn’t feel the same for her. How to change that? She decided to make it obvious without admitting it. She talked more than regular, started writing all his class assignments even without him asking it. Occasionally she used to buy him stuff like T-shirts, watches and accessories. Ankit knew this. He neither wanted to lose all that care shown by her nor feel the same way about her. Which boy would? Beauty is like a prerequisite factor when you have to love a girl. Did you ever see a guy chasing after a girl who isn’t good looking. There might be rare cases but just to give you an idea, Apsara’s looks were beyond repair. Facials and make up would only exacerbate it. One fine day during a casual talk he referred Apsara as his caring and lovable sister. That was a sting in her heart and calmly replied in a low voice “Well which boy doesn’t think of me as his sister“. Ankit didn’t want to acknowledge it and so hastily changed the topic. Her name sounded like an irony which meant beauty in Sanskrit.

She slowly faded out from Ankit, and he too never bothered much to talk with her expect during exams. All the other friends too distanced from her slowly and even she doesn’t know why. What was meant to be her heyday of elation turned out to be a temporary euphoria. She was badly hurt but not broken. She topped the college and landed in a prestigious MNC with a good starting salary. She worked hard, sometimes even did the work of others without complaint. Perhaps that was her innate quality or perhaps that was the only way she would get attention. Years passed, her parents created a matrimony profile for her and consulted their relatives. Nothing worked. Good education, thick salary, good family, her kind attitude, nothing mattered. All the requests she got on the matrimony website were of low education profiles and demanded hefty dowries. She felt upset because her parents were not that financially strong. What a burden she is being for them. One day she attended a wedding of one of her relatives. How much fun were they having, what wrong did her parents do for not deserving it? They asked everyone in the function hall to pair up with a partner from the crowd to dance beside the groom and bride. Naturally, no one chose her. So, she was strangled between the questions posed by the elders about when was she planning to get married. Did they ask out of formality or sarcasm? It was too much of an emotion to handle. She felt like crying. She understood that tears would come out of her eyes within the next few seconds, so she swiftly walked towards the restroom.

Beauty is a bitch !! It masks people from realizing that everyone deserves love. Do you know that feeling when you have to pay for something without doing anything wrong ?

 

Advertisements

The God of Small Things

Author: Arundhati Roy

My Rating: 3.4 / 5 the-god-of-small-thingsIf you ask me to summarize the entire book into a single line, I would say it as ” An ugly story written in a remarkable style of writing. “ As if like the author is trying to entertain us with tragedy weaved with innocence by introducing us to a woman who could not resist her sexual desires, an Indian who marries a foreigner against the dislike of his parents, a paravan ( a sect of backward caste ) who could not realize his limitations in the society and most importantly two twins: Ambassador Elvis Presley and Love in Tokyo who represent themselves as “we” and “us”, as if they are one soul residing in two bodies. I would like to mention the highlights of the book.

1. Siblings affinity: Truly,things can change in a day. Separated and united by destiny, the author illustrates the love between two twins of opposite gender who knew each other even before they began life. I loved a particular line in the novel where Rahel opens the door for Estha though he didn’t knock the door. Strange and almost difficult to understand how a person can realize the presence of other, when they come close to us. I felt a little uneasy when I came across such lines or like a white moth spreading its wings on my heart, if I had to say in the style of author. Because I never had or seen someone else experience love to such an extent !!

2. Indians of 80’s and 90’s: Or perhaps I should mention as Keralites specifically. Right from childhood I always loved Kerala due to its low population growth rate compared to other states which I personally believe as a good factor in the growth of India. Let it be the influence of Christianity and its education or the history of the world’s first democratically elected communist government or the oppression of people belonging to backward and scheduled castes or the Plymouth car or the tangerine radio, Roy gives a brilliant narration of all the tangible and non-tangible things of the late 20th century which are adored by a reader of early 21st century, someone like me.

3. Needs vs feelings: Sex, perhaps one of the most uncontrollable desires of mankind, the root of many wars and casualties, the reason for many pages in the books of history finds its way into our story too. A young teenager who lusts a Christian father and expects him to satisfy her, an woman, most importantly a widow and mother of two children creeping through the shadows of night to quench her desires, a divorced man who uses the special door of his house for his secret visitors or his man’s needs are all real characters in the world just represented as a fiction in the book. But, astonishingly you will also find this natural desire making its way between two twins when they meet after years of separation !! Where all the above cases were needs, this one was a feeling and where all the above cases were sex, this one was a way of expressing love !!!

Who can buy this book ? If it wasn’t for Roy, I would have rated this book much lower. If you are a kind of person who enjoy a good storyline ( unless you admire tragedy ), you can move on without looking at it. But if you are a kind of person who fancies the narration of an author and the way he/she uses the language to picture the characters and their inter-connections, or the beauty of story-telling as to simply put it, then definitely add this book to your cart for a literature sized hole in your heart !!!