Sunday, 18 February 2018

Ameena

This is the first of a series of stories (hopefully) which I like to call 'Flutter'. I believe you can gauge the intent of these stories once you read them.

Love,
Anand.

***

Ameena would lie down in her balcony on days like these, wondering where she came from and what her purpose was in life. Aluva river, in front of her, peacefully flowing onto the Arabian Sea would reflect starry skies above. She felt intimately related to the celestial peace which descended around her; moon in the distance, lights from the airport, and the ever benevolent silence. She could imagine the farthest extents of Universe right here in this negligible point in a negligible Earth, for that she was thankful.

The chicken curry her husband threw on her face still burned her eyes and nose, it was spicy alright. He used a word to describe it specifically and her existence generally, she couldn't help but think about it. How would he know what that word means to her, how would he know what that word means to humanity. This was not the first time he reproached her using words she considered pure, but then she was aware of how present parlance brands her puritan words as derogatory.

Ameena.. She loved her name, but then twenty seven years of married life made her forget the tunes of those syllables - jumping up, sliding free and hitting a sudden stop! Ameena.. Her eyes watered when she tried to remember how her Umma would call her 'Ameenakutti', it was so long back that it seemed non-existent now.

She grew tired after a while and tiptoed her way back to bed. The air conditioner in the room made a cranky noise as it threw cold artificial air into the room. She remembered how disturbed she used to be when her Vaapa would buy her leather bags and costly deodorants, she would smile and accept it all the same, she barely knew another way to behave.

Once in bed Ameena twisted and turned for a long time; she tried burying her face in her pillow, she tried pushing her head towards her breasts, she tried singing herself lullabies. There was an eruption of something uncontainable inside, she had to find vents to release it. How pitiably he used that word, she thought.

"Khaled.." she called. "Khaled.."

Khaled usually detests when his sleep is disturbed, but then Ameena never did a thing like this before, he was as perturbed as he was angry.

"What is it?" he shouted.

She got up and switched on the light, looking him sternly in the face, her eyes held fires that devoured any words he had to offer. He sat transfixed.

Ameena wanted to be precise on this, she didn't want to hold anything back or shout anything new. She wanted it to be clear and certain, while making sure it portrays the uproar inside. She knew she shouldn't make it too stern so that she burns herself out completely or too soft that she may seem magnanimous. She gathered words in her mind and slowly brought it out of her mouth.

"You and I were born out of a vagina too, my love.." she said and gently walked back to the balcony.

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