You might want to read the previous chapters of Falling Apart before reading this chapter.
Nayan was able to join his wife only in the afternoon on the next day of her father’s death. As soon as Shreya saw him, she came running to him to his arms. Nayan had no words to console her. He just stood there with his wife in his arms till the sobbing stopped. He himself had been extremely fond of his father in law. Having lost his own parents at an early age, he had accepted his in laws as his own parents.
He quickly got himself busy with greeting the relatives and helping with funeral arrangements. Since Shreya was the only child, there was no else they needed to wait for. The body would arive from the hospital shortly and his father in law will be made to lie down in the hall with his feet towards the exit. A lamp was lit up and so were quite a few incense sticks. Very shortly after the prayers, the body would be taken to the crematory.
He met him a warm hug when he found Ravin already discussing the details with the family members. He had known how helpful Ravin had been to his wife. He was glad that someone was there to support her during such a difficult time.
He next went to see his mother in law. Usually when he comes to his in laws house, his mother in law would be fussing over him the entire duration of his stay. She was indeed more like a mother to him. He found it difficult to look at her now. There she was on her bed with her cousins and friends sitting beside her. Pale and blank. That’s what came into Ravin’s mind. How much she must be holding inside that expressionless face, he knew too well.
She greeted him with a warm hug and a forced smile. Words needn’t be exchanged to have a conversation during such times. A nod, a hug, a smile , a loving gesture are all equivalent to words then. She was already getting used to that new language.
Nayan got back into the hall were Shreya was sitting on the sofa which had been dragged to the corner to make space for the body. Beside her was Ravin trying to get her to drink a glass of water. She was grief stricken and was oblivious to the happenings in the house. Or maybe she chose to be that way. Something about Ravin struck as odd to him at that point. But he couldn’t quite place it.
He was to fly back the next day. That evening after the cremation and after everyone else had left, it was Shreya, her mother and himself at home. The neighbour ,who had accompanied Rama to the hospital , had prepared and kept dinner ready for them on the table. Nayan somehow managed to get them to have their dinner. Shreya was clinging on to her mom and finally both mother and daughter fell asleep in her mom’s room.
The next day, Ravin had come to take Nayan to the airport. Nayan was holding on to his wife when Ravin came in through the door. Ravin’s expression had given him away. He had tried to hide it , but it was quite obvious. He didn’t like to see Shreya in Nayan’s arms. The reason was quite understandable too. Anyone would fall in love with Shreya. She was indeed one of a kind.
To be Continued……
I am planning a 31 part story this month. (God bless me and my readers) 😀
Please wish me luck….
Picture Courtesy : healyourlife