Dark Circles

Dark Circles

Ritvik and Sonia got acquainted in college. They were the college debate team champions. Both loved and hated for their wit and strength, soon became good friends. Their response when asked ‘we are just friends’ lasted for two years. Colleagues matured into friends; friendship blossomed into love. The social media status changed to ‘In Relationship’ when Ritvik proposed to Sonia one delightful evening. In the midst of lovely flowers, a flute of sparkling champagne in hand, and her courter getting on one knee. Sonia’s ‘Yes’ with tears in her eyes made Ritvik’s day.

Soon it was time for the families to meet. It was arranged in Sonia’s house. “Sonia, beta, why don’t you show Ritvik our garden” was a hint for their children to leave the families alone to discuss. They both flew out, off the door and into the garden like butterflies. Almost an hour later, congratulations cheer was heard from the room. A never-before-seen pink color flushed Sonia’s face. Her doe black ever-watchful eyes now were alluring and dreamy. A traditional marriage followed by a lavish reception showed the families were affluent. Sonia’s parents were contended to see her euphoric and sent her off to her new family. The social media statuses were changed to ‘Married’. They become better halves.

The dream honeymoon was short-lived and the horror had just begun for Sonia. She soon realized, a dowry of ten lakh was promised by her family. She was scoffed at frequently by her in-laws; her ma and baba had only paid five. Paid! is that what it had come to? Was she a commodity to be paid for? Questions like these would not let her sleep. Dark circles took over her once luminous eyes. Ritvik started enquiring about it too. No, not the dark circles, but the unpaid dowry. Lovingly first which slowly turned to fights and abuse. The In-laws got involved. The abuse doubled and so did the dark circles.

One faithful night, Ritvik returned home. Already in a foul mood and ready to lash it out, he asked Sonia about the money. Altercations followed and then a fight. The night turned out to be a horror. 

The next morning Ritvik’s mom entered the kitchen. “You seem different”. Why is your face red and swollen? Why the dark circle around the eye? She asked, which she had never done before. “She slapped me back mom. She punched me hard when I tried to beat her up”. Ritvik sobbed as she looked on and listened with surprise. Sonia left us yesterday night.

The divorce is on its way and the relationship status is soon going to be ‘single’. Sonia continues to be the best judo instructor in her institute. Ritvik probably forgot that his wife was a judo champion too! Moral of the story, don’t forget who your better half was. Ever!
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