Ananya and the Reunion

By Anuradha S. Bannore

A very cold winter day it was when it was decided to have a reunion in a remote village. Invitations were passed on via WhatsApp, email…and also published in a newspaper. Invitees were told to contact Subash for any queries. There was a lot of excitement and messages were rushed to and fro as there wasn’t much time left for making all the arrangements. It had been a sudden decision to meet each other and have a lot of fun. The invitees eagerly pulled out their computer to book their tickets for the grand day. Prashanth too got busy. He would every now and then be on the phone talking to someone in a ‘hush-hush’ tone. Ananya had no idea whatsoever regarding all this and wondered what was going on. Suddenly Prashant seemed to be full of life and energetic but he hadn’t confided in Ananya as it was a top secret only his batch students were invited, that’s what he had been told and he wasn’t supposed to take his wife. This she came to know by chance when Prashant blurted it out in a moment of excitement.

Somehow Ananya did have a sneaky feeling that something was going on when her hubby had asked her for telephone numbers of certain common friends a few days before.

She said to him, ‘Why do you need them after so many years? You have never ever even talked to them/ or about them since years, so what’s up?’

Prashant avoiding giving a straight forward answer said in a very stern irritated voice, ‘That doesn’t mean I never thought of them. I now wish to speak to them so you just give me their numbers without arguing’

Now Ananya was sure that something was being planned about which she wasn’t supposed to know. She had always known that Prashant was quite secretive about his family and friends. She didn’t unfortunately fall in either of the categories. This behavior of his hurt her very much, she felt humiliated although she should have got used to such a treatment that was meted out to her by him and the members of his family right from the beginning…but now she could take it no longer after fifty years of their marriage. She called herself stupid and the biggest fool for not having divorced him way back when she was accused of a number of concocted baseless stupid things. It was a sickeningly tormenting experience for her especially because Prashanth just sat there silently while his relatives hurled harsh humiliating words at her. It was as if he agreed with everything that was being said to her. No one was ready to listen to her. She wondered, ‘How could highly educated people like he and his family be such liars and mean minded’. Anyway she calmly said, ‘You have their phone numbers and not I’

He somehow couldn’t find them so he told Subhash, ‘I’m sorry I don’t have the numbers and Ananya refuses to give them to me’

Subhash replied, ‘Don’t bother. I’ll make all the arrangements you just come but all alone as it’s our batch’s reunion’

Prashanth was very happy about the whole thing and a lot of secret planning was done. Ananya was kept in the dark. As it was, her husband had never cared much for her right from the beginning. She was a member of his family only in name. She was neither loved nor respected by anyone mainly because she belonged to another community…though they pretended that she was one of them in front of other people. She was a complete ‘outsider’ in that family. She underwent a lot of mental torture under their roof.

Anyway finally the great day of Reunion arrived and Ananya wasn’t much surprised to know that not only other’s spouses had gone for the reunion but their children, grandchildren, great grand children and many others had joined as special invitees. She immediately realized she had been labeled as an ‘outcast’ not only in her husband’s family but in his friends’ group too. This was so because she never took any nonsense quietly but stood up for herself. They couldn’t make her their doormat hence she wasn’t a likable person. What bugged her the most, was that these so called highly educated people didn’t have the guts to tell the truth when Prashanth was asked, ‘Where’s your family? I don’t see your wife too? Where is she? Why hasn’t she come?

Prashanth stood speechless as was his usual habit when he couldn’t tell the truth, so Subhash shamelessly interrupted and said, ‘Oh, she couldn’t make it as she had prior engagements.’ A blatant lie it was but Prashanth kept mum endorsing it as truth by his silence. All this Ananya came to know from one of her very good friends. She wondered why some people were always ready to blame others for their own doings. She spoke loudly to herself, ‘Why of course it was because if they spoke the truth their reputation would be at stake and I’m sure no one would want that to happen, would they?’

So even after fifty years of marriage she had only her maternal and paternal relatives as her family besides her children. She was happy that at least there were people who not only loved and cared for her but accepted her as a member of their family with open arms. She thanked God for His kindness.

Those who think in terms of only ‘I, Me, My and Mine’ can unfortunately never ever help in bringing people together wholeheartedly ie they can’t ever help in uniting the people by beading them together in a single string. Until and unless we free ourselves of these egoistic chains we will always be tethered to such mean minded selfish behavior and think of ourselves as above any one and everyone. Who is to be blamed for such a disgusting human behavior? Our up bringing, our culture, our own thinking or is it that education has completely failed in inculcating a sense of love, acceptance and responsibility towards our Nation and people in general?

“Jai Hind”

About the Author: Anuradha S. Bannore is a prolific writer and an alumni of Jabalpur University with M.A in English. She retired as a teacher and currently lives in Vadodara India. 

 

 

One Comment

  1. it’s a matter of shame that even after 50 years of marriage Ananya is so rudely ignored by her in-laws who though being highly educated are still bound by stupid ideas that reveals their low and mean mentality. congrats ASB for opening the readers eyes towards such indecent peoople who deserve no respect

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