This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 13; the thirteenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
They all were having a wonderful time. Neelisha was watching from a distance, seated idly in her chair walking through the pages of some film magazine. It didn't matter to her what was written on the pages she was turning. Her eyes were looking at the horizon. Deep within, She was contemplating about something. Her face was calm & cool but there was something going on in her mind. She seemed to be in a different world completely oblivious of the surroundings. Even the noise the group was making in the Swimming pool didn't seem to bother her. Suketu had tried to get her involved but she wanted some time with herself & he had let her be.
She had been on lots of office picnics before but this group was definitely different. It was an interesting group. Hari,Soniya, Rakesh, Meeta, Mayoor & all others each one of them were a character. That had made the group so lively. The kids were enjoying every moment of the picnic. Generally the group would not leave anybody alone & would make sure everybody gets their share of the smiles. But presently they left Neelisha alone & let her be in her own world.
Suddenly there was a big shout of somebody scolding. Which broke Nileesha's daydream or whatever. It forced her to turn her gaze towards the shout. The shout of scolding was coming from a little girl. It was a wonderful sight. The little one was standing on the chair & most of the group were sitting in front of her on ground. Some of them had not even changed their swimming costumes. It being summer time they seem to be looking for an occasion to get wet & remain wetter.
She was scolding them, screaming at them with sweet instructions. She had turned into a teacher & the group were her students.
She was saying,'Just follow my instructions & if you behave properly each one of you would get a chocolate. I don't want to hear any noise. It should be pin-drop silence.'
Then she started calling them by names. & that brought an instant smile on Neelisha's face. Those were all new names, Mayoor was now Shubh, Nadir was Shaurya, Meeta was ChunMun, Sanjay the teacher's daddy was Shrivatsa Then she started reading a story from her imaginary book. The group was only supposed to listen to the story without making any noise. & they all seemed to be enjoying it. & anyway, they needed to be silent for a while since they had already made enough noise the whole day.
Neelisha got up from her cocoon & sat with the group. The teacher went to her & made her stand, why are you so late Gauri. Now the group couldn't take it anymore. Their smiles\laughs which were held for a long time, suddenly escaped. The group burst into a lively laughter. The little angel wondered what the fuss was about. Her scolding became bigger but now, nobody would listen to her. The teacher started crying. She could not understand that the students were back from their childhood. Shubh was back to mayoor, Shaurya was back as Nadir. They all were now back to being what they were........
Sanjay went to RimZim, the teacher & consoled her. Within no time he brought his daughter to cheerful ways. She went to the other kiddos, with the group. Soon they all got immersed in their own discussion of what game to play next.
The group of biggies had become nostalgic & started discussing the good old school days. Neelisha seemed to be with them but it was so obvious from her face, she was not there. She was still looking at Rimzim, her eyes were moist. It was so clear,there was some unspoken sadness on her face. Some old wound buried deep inside her had opened up. Her face had become so palpable, one look at her & one could not have escaped the goings on. After a while Neelisha started crying & rushed to their Room. Suketu who was just watching Neelisha till then had a word with Sanjay & calmly followed her with Surin, their little son. Others couldn't understand what had happened & started wondering. Sanjay normalized their wondering,'People do not worry, take it cool, they need some time with themselves'.
He was so right. Neelisha, Suketu & their little son Surin needed some time with themselves. For, they had to calm down Neelisha, who was trying to come to terms with the past. The uncompromising past which had compelled her to do things, to make choices which she would have never made.
It was rush hour at the Family court. Court wallahs were having a busy time. People waiting for Advocates moving around with the black blazers & the typical tie around their necks. It was summer time & really brave of them wearing those black blazers. Some of them standing outside the court building, looking for prospective clients, right below the sign board which read, "Please do not solicit customers here, it's against the ethos of the noble profession, Advocates doing so might be reported".
The courtroom was full of faces, one could observe around & make a list of different possible expressions, like those lists of smileys used in the Internet language. In the corner of the Bench Neelisha was seated huddled with her two children, accompanied by her old mother. The Judge arrived right at 11:00 AM, everybody stood up to greet the wise man, bestowed with the powers to decide the lives of other people.
Neelisha & Satish were a lovely couple, parents to cute twins. But somehow things had gone wrong. The possessiveness of satish which she used to love so much, was difficult to take now. He would not allow her to meet her parents. Even the lovely twins would not be able to meet the grandparents. It was a major bone of contention. Neelisha had made attempts to explain him but he would fail to see the point. For him, all relations had ended the day the families broke the ties. The rebel in him would not let the bygones be bygones. He would apply the same rule for his own parents too.
They would not see eye to eye. Small arguments would turn into fights & fights into uncompromising days & nights spent away from each other. It was a clash of personalities. Lately Satish had turned into an Alcoholic. Workoholic to Alcoholic, the transformation was seamless & fast.
There was nobody to blame. They had married against the wishes of both families. They had come together to give shape to their love, their long courtship & how sadly, life had taken a difficult turn, courtship culminated in a battle at court.
Presently, the judge was ready to pass on his judgement on the custody battle. Counseling had not worked for the couple,hence it was necessary to make a decision. The wise man had to make a difficult decision. He had to apply a simple rule of mathematics. 2 divided by 2 is equal to 1. But where would the two 1's go. Mathematics had no answer for that. The wise man had decided, the 1's would decide where they would go. Gauri & Surin had to make a difficult choice. It was a complex decision for the kids, so beyond their understanding, so much beyond their heart. For the courts it was a simple routine process. The counseller took the kids to a room & made an attempt to explain them what they needed to do & what was in store for them. The kids gave each other a peck on the cheek & whispered in each other's ear. Surin went to Satish & Gauri went to Neelisha. Satish was seemingly calm, atleast, whatever was going on in his mind was not visible on his face. Neelisha was inconsolable. The dam of tears had burst from within her eyes. It was a telling blow for her. Her world had fallen apart. She took Gauri in her arms & would not leave her.
The kids were meeting their parents one last time, for, after this day, Gauri would be with satish & Surin with Neelisha. The choices were made. It was clear,that's what the kids had decided when they whispered in each other's ears.
It was time to say Goodbye.............
Gauri was pulled away from Neelisha and after that day, she could never see or meet Gauri again. Satish had left the city the same day to some undisclosed location, nobody knew where they had gone.
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