Saturday, 12 April 2014


I looked at the innocent serene face of my son. In his sleep he looked almost divine, an unworldly angel from the heavens above to torment my soul. My heart desperately wished to acknowledge his presence; I wanted to let the world know that this celestial child was my own blood, fostered by my insatiable lust for the beautiful woman who had mothered him. But my courage failed me. Cowering under the shame of infidelity and betrayal, Sunita’s face swam unbidden into my mind. My love for her had died along with our marriage and now it was all a farce, a pretence to shield our family and daughter from the harsh gossips of society.
‘It’s late Rajesh. I think you should leave.’ Her voice intervened my thoughts and I turned around to look at Rita. How could she do this to me? Tear me away from my son and condemn me to the rings of hell. To never look at my son, to never touch him and feel the pride and joy of a father; his absence would burn me alive from within and rip apart my soul.
‘I don’t want to Rita. I want to be there for him, I want to see my son grow...’ Words failed me. The emotional upheaval within me was rendering me speechless. But it was too late. I could see it in her eyes; the finality and deadly determination to protect our son from the consequences of our affair.
‘You must Rajesh. I shall not allow my son to grow up under the shadow of infidelity. It is in his best interests. He deserves a secure childhood and I do not want him subjected to the insecurity that your infrequent presence in our lives shall incur.’
As I drove through the rain that night, tears rolled down my cheeks. The heavens poured down their grief relentlessly from above, the thunder echoing my silent cries. On reaching home, Sunita opened the door. But I walked past her as if she were a ghost and headed straight for my daughter’s room. My four year old daughter sat playing with her toys, her eyebrows screwed tight in concentration while her black curls cascaded down her shoulders, oblivious to the world around her. I picked up my daughter and looked at her face, searching for resemblances to hold onto the memory of the child who will never know of my existence. The eyes, soft and brown like her brother’s... like me.
And as I held her frail little body close, I tried to draw strength from my daughter. Both my children mingled into one as I kept looking at her eyes and as I broke down, holding her small hands in mine, I tried to make peace with myself, knowing very well that I had lost it for a lifetime.


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