A cool breeze rushed past her hair, caressing her cheeks, just enough to bring her back to her present. She looked around to see, as if someone had walked past, or silently wishing there was someone. Damayanti’s mind has not been with herself these past few days. Wandering off in silence whether or not she is alone or with someone.
“It has not been easy” her mother, Aradhana, watching her on the balcony from the adjacent room inside. She was sitting with Damayanti’s bua,“Don’t know how long this will continue.”
“Let her be”, Kavita bua said,”she will get over it in her own time. You force her, she might just trip. Just ensure she does not sit alone too often. That might lead to depression.”
“Haan…that would get difficult”
Damayanti was oblivious of the surroundings. Her mind was drifting far into her past…it made her smile…that has not been coming spontaneously enough nowadays.
“Such a happy-go-lucky person and look what life has given to her. I had never seen here without a smile” said Bua, “God has been unkind.”
“I had told her, she is going to regret her decision one day. I told her not to marry him, but she would not listen”
“Ab chhodo bhi…don’t bring it up again, its been so long. And don’t say it in front of her, ok” Bua partially rebuked her sister-in-law Aradhana.
“Haan, Haan...I just hope she gets back to being normal soon, it is difficult, I know, but she has to”
Aradhana went down to see off Kavita bua, Damayanti walked in with her memories. Her eyes wandered to the nearby dressing table where she saw a small box. Something pulled her towards it. She picked it up with a confused effort, opened it……and she let out a breath of surprise, of anguish!
Memories gushed in like an avalanche, and she got consumed completely, her eyes started to moist, and with every heart beat, it only increased her pain. She was now broken, and started to cry profusely, howling so loudly it brought everyone from the house over to her room. Even Bua, who had almost sat in her car, came running. They all entered the room together.
Every one had tears in their eyes. This is what they were all waiting for…at last the realization!
There she was, sitting on the floor, sobbing away to glory, clutching the medallion from the box, a Maha Vir Chakra, awarded posthumously to her husband, Major Vinod Pratap Singh, for his supreme sacrifice in a pitched battle with the terrorists in the valley.
- bua – father’s sister
- Haan – yes
- Ab chhodo bhi – leave it alone
- Haan, Haan – yes, yes
- Maha Vir Chakra – Second Highest Military Decoration in India