I wrote in my diary sarcastically calling it 'the gift that keeps on giving'. It had been several months now that he is binding me from all sides. Be it profession, personal life, dreams, hobbies, emotional and physical well-being, he seems to be appearing everywhere around.. I know that the skeleton would fall out of the cupboard any time sooner than later. Finding a soul-mate! I smiled to myself.
I cursed Shankar for having come in my life very late. But with a spouse who is around me all the time, I still managed to get time with Shankar. Going on long drives, sharing a silent candle-lit dinner, sitting on the beach and watching children play football, little dare-to-do kisses and hugs in the privacy of the car, walking around holding hands on the highway and further more, driving down few hundred miles to the privacy of a new town for the unimaginable ecstasy of romance that had a special cupid touch. I felt all my essential emotional needs being met when Shankar is around.
What started as a meeting 'over a cup of coffee' , soon became frequent. Without knowing, friendship bloomed into a physical relationship. 'Paru! Paru!' - Shankar called me back to the present world.
'What are you thinking so deeply dear?' - He asked with all concern.
I replied rather sternly - 'Will you introduce me to the client as your wife?' Shankar took back for a moment from holding my hand. I could see a sense of discomfort in the way he reacted.
'Why should I introduce you as my wife?' He asked. I said, 'because I am your WIFE! " stressing the word Wife!
'You are my wife. You are my everything dear' - He confessed holding my hands.
'Then tell to this world the same thing Shankar' - My voice shivered in pain and I could sense the fury, anger and desperation to myself. I know he cannot. I also know that he will not leave his wife or child for me. Sametime, I am also aware that he will not leave me. I know he loves me. But I am confused. I am lost.
'Trust me Paru! Please'. We are living happily as we can. You know that I will do anything for you. I am happy with you and you are also happy with me.' I can hear Shankar trying to convince me.
But my mind is racing against the facts...the reality which is far from the indulgence of my extra marital affair. I know that my husband will be hurt and feel terrible and respond with challenges that I cannot handle if he comes to know of this relationship. Yet, I am asking him the questions to which I myself do not have answers.
The health of my relationships within my family, friends and the community is largely happy and respected one. So does his broad circle of life he has outside my relationship in his life.
'Go tell your wife, that you are cheating her. Tell her that you want to leave her and marry me! ' I shouted at him in the car when he tried to hold my hand and pacify me.
'What happened to you Paru! You are never like this. Why are you becoming a stubborn horse?' - I can see pain in his eyes and care in his voice.
'I want to be your pregnant.' - I told him bluntly without a second thought. I know what he would respond as well. But I really did not know what I wanted to hear from him the night I decided to really introspect my indulgence with him
'Don't be a fool Paru. You know you cannot go ahead with the decision. You also know that you will not welcome an illegitimate child to this world? Still do you want to be a pregnant with me?' - This time, I could hear his anger and frustration.
'See, See, I told you. What ever it may be, I am still your KEEP. I am not your wife. Had it been the honesty of me being your wife, you would have loved to hear me with what I wanted.'.
I could hear the warning bells ringing inside me not to provoke his anger further. But my words are not getting under control. My thoughts are racing against my rational judgement. The lies of the relationship is hurting my self-esteem and causing a deep sense of insecurity. I want him to understand that I need a recognition. Recognition as his wife.
'Paru, I will do that when time comes. Finish all your responsibilities and then we shall decide'- He promised
'Shame on you Shankar. What the hell do you think of yourself?. It will take me a life time to settle my children and complete my responsibilities and you will want to give me what I want today after I complete my life? ' I was furious
I know it is all going wrong. Horribly wrong. I have no guarantee in this relationship which I honestly want to be ever lasting. Instead of trying to save it by defusing the situation, I am actually infuriating it towards a forever damage. My primary relationship of marriage needs all my attention and probably may never end. If at all he tries to end his present marriage, that may well take several months and not going to end any sooner.
'I am not able to take this anymore! Either you marry me and give me a social recognition or just leave me and go! " - I shouted.
Paru! - I felt a sharp pain on my face as his hand hit me hard. 'Stop the nonsense. Do you hear me! Just stop and go home now!'- Shankar shouted back on me and came to my side of the car and opened the door.
I could not get down. I am still in the state of shock. I felt totally trapped between the 'wants' and the 'should's' of my life. I felt torn and didn't know what to do! Just felt broken. Tears floods down my cheeks as I hid my face in my palms and cried. He left me to cry.
'I love you Paru. Do what ever you feel is right. Just let me know what I should do. If marriage is the only thing you want, I will do everything possible to make it happen. First, you go home and talk to your husband about this and initiate your divorce. I will wait for you.' - Shankar told me softly.
'Leave me Shankar!'. I told him firmly. This time, the words came out of my mind than my heart. 'I am tired of this battle between my life and my love. I know I will be in pain. Pain for longer time than I can imagine. Healing will take time. But I will heal within!.
I took my bag from the back seat of his car and walked away. I felt terribly shaken. But I know I have evolved.
Evolution from an indulgence that was not easy. Time will give me the strength. My needs may change over time, as I re-evaluate both of our lives. Tomorrow our children will be happy for the decisions I made today. They can continue living in the unbroken families.
Shankar stood there, watching me walk away. As I turned back to see him for one last time, I saw him leaning over the steering wheel hiding his face in his hands. I know I have hurt him. But I also know he will heal.
At the end of time, we are all alone in our journey into awareness, rethinking and reevaluating the decisions made in our lives and who we are becoming. In the evolution of consciousness, leaving behind a relationship that doesn't work, forced me to look into who I am. Perhaps for the first time, I have come to understand my short comings and started to work on myself.
I have one life to live. Let me make the most of it. Without giving it a life long trauma in the name of non-existent extra marital affair. Yes, I am happy I ended it. It is the end of my indulgence.