Keeping quiet in a beautiful marriage

They say home is never a place, but a feeling. It’s that feeling of being alive, full of life rippling through your veins. 

They say home is never a place, but a feeling. It’s that feeling of being alive, full of life rippling through your veins. 

What has this city life done to me? It’s been sometime after marriage and I look at myself to see the same sparkling soul entangled in a different reality. “What is it?” I ask myself. For all the love my husband pours, I’m happy, but why is it that I feel disengaged about the world around me?
Marriage is beautiful. It’s a gift wrapped in colourful wrappers and shiny knotted ribbons. As I unfurled it, the pieces came out, some sweet, some sour and some salty. Living our life in my husband’s house in Kochi, I’m simply clueless and feel like I have lost my ability to make sense of my vicinity.

The only space that evokes the feeling of home is a small round portion beside the gate where the soil is visible and free from yard blocks; there stands a Cassia fistula with breathtaking beauty. Some nights, when the lights are turned off in the kitchen, I spend time sitting in the balcony simply looking at it.

As I close my eyes, I feel my mother’s palm around my eyes and her warning, “Don’t open your eyes, for it’s Vishu.” A little girl, I walk in front of her, while she covers my eyes with her palms. I feel the roughness of her bruised palms around my soft cheeks. Before dawn, we march towards the puja room, where my sister and father would already be. She slowly withdraws her palms letting me see Lord Krishna’s idol decorated beautifully.

There it is, a beautiful bunch of Cassia fistula flowers, the primary offerings made along with flowers, fruits, coconut, for our Krishna. After a quick prayer, my sister and I turn towards our parents for their blessings in the form of ‘Vishu Kaineettam’ (money elders give as blessings on Vishu). Thrilled with the pocket money and plans about toys or chocolates, we light up in impish glee. My husband’s bedtime call drags me back to reality. 

One evening, as I came back from office, I noticed that the tree had vanished! Quiet I was. As quiet as I had been every time comments popped up on the little gold I wore; as quiet as I had been when the daughter-in-laws were compared; as quiet as I had been during the theatrical and deceptive conversations at family functions; as quiet as I had been every time I wrote in my heart, that one day I would find my way home where my soul dazzles in ecstasy.

Neethu Arun


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