Priya and Rajesh made sure that they meet Vijay’s mother once in every three or four days, so that they could convince her about the treatment and its benefits. This was one point agenda of their lives now-a-days. As a result of their persistent efforts, Vijay’s mother got ready to support them and convince Vijay to go for treatment. Actually she also needed some time to recover from the shock. And such frequent meetings with Priya and Rajesh helped her all the more to do so. When she was fully convinced about the solution to this problem, she became keen to help both of them.
Vijay’s mother proved to be a strong catalyst for him to go for sittings with Dr. Nadkarni. First Vijay was reluctant to accommodate. Doctor suggested some medicines for him, but exercising the medication was a trouble, as he denied the gravity of the problem. Vijay’s mother only could do that by giving it through some drinks or in food etc.
Medicines were very important as they showed quick results as soon as the dose was started. Gradually Vijay’s aggression and impulsive behavior came very much under control. He could prevent himself from becoming violent. Previously, he frequently used to be irritated or anxious without any reason. But now his behavior was quite controlled and predictable. Now he used to sleep or sit silent for a maximum time in a day. Probably it was spell of the medicines.
One day, Vijay was engrossed in his thoughts, sitting in his house. At the same time, Rajesh entered and handed over an envelope to Vijay. Then immediately he turned and headed to go.
Vijay, trying to stop him, called him, “What’s this?”
“You only open that.” Rajesh answered and left.
Probably Rajesh wanted to avoid speaking to Vijay, as this could have led to argument between them. Now-a-days Rajesh used to come to Vijay’s house, but he made sure to avoid speaking with Vijay, as their normal chatting also led to a quarrel. Today Rajesh was perhaps quite sure of an argument; hence, he opted to be silent. Vijay looked at that envelope.
What was there in the envelope? Vijay was thinking.
Probably it must be a call letter for some interview. But how did Rajesh get it? Possibly he must have referred me somewhere. Or Priya must have given this to Rajesh. I am, any which ways, not speaking to her.
He slowly opened the envelope. It was someone’s marriage invitation card.
“Whose invitation it would be?” Vijay was anxious. He started reading the card without wasting more time. Suddenly his mother came from inside.
“Whose invitation card is this?” Vijay’s mother asked.
Vijay did not speak anything; he just gave the card to his mother.
“Whose card is this? Please read that out to me.” Vijay’s mother requested.
Vijay looked dejected. He tried to hide it and said, “Its Nayana’s marriage invitation card.”
“I told you…. now wake up. Get rid of your feelings for that girl…. We are nowhere close to them… We should know our limits…. You overlooked Priya’s feelings, who is madly in love with you. Had it been some other girl, she would have left such an insane boy like you.” Vijay’s mother went on speaking.
Vijay was already in a shock. Over that his mother also taunted him like this.
“Mother… I am not insane… at least you trust me.” Vijay could not control his tears.
Vijay’s mother realized that she has been very brutal to her child.
She went near Vijay and kept her hand on his head. She said, “My child… it’s bitter but it’s true. We can’t ignore the truth… What have you done to yourself… just look at you. Your father is always drunk… all the day… your sister is mentally disturbed… and now you… if you also behave like this… who should I look up to?” Vijay’s mother was weeping.
Today Vijay also vented out and he rested on his mother’s shoulder. He remembered the day, when he was in sixth standard and one day his father had beaten him up without any reason. That day also he cried like this. Vijay’s mother was caressing him like a child and she was also into tears.
She remembered her old days… when Vijay was born… after which her miseries came to an end.
She got married and later she gave birth to her first child… a girl child. Her mother-in-law wanted a boy… and hence, she started harassing Vijay’s mother. As if this harassment will make her give birth to a boy. She looked up to her husband for support. But her husband was also not at all compassionate. Though he did not drink previously, but he was not a caring husband. He used to spend his entire day outside. When Vijay’s mother was pregnant the second time, she feared whether the baby was a girl or a boy. However, her husband was not at all bothered about this.
But when Vijay was born… his mother could breathe freely. That day the hell came to an end. Her mother-in-law also changed her behavior completely. She was not the same lady, as she seemed after the daughter’s birth.
Suddenly Vijay’s mother came out of her trance. Someone was there at the main gate.
“Go… go in… freshen up a little bit.. I will check who’s there.” Saying this, Vijay’s mother came outside. Vijay wiped his eyes. He felt light after a long while. For all these days, he was feeling trapped and suffocated, and today he felt like before.
Probably I am changed… I was not this weak before… and I could not be so fragile to cry like a child.
Then what’s wrong with me? It feels as if I am getting more and more entangled in a trap. But I should accept that something is wrong somewhere.
And I should do something to get back to normal… as in my old days… I should set myself free.
And now… he had truly decided.
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Mugdha Apte