At the crack of dawn, Siya left for her morning walk. She appeared odd with unkempt hair, sulken eyes as if she hadn’t slept at all. A few steps later, she heard some strange sound of chains clanking. She stood still and the sound diminished. Clank, clank, clank… she heard it again as she moved. She looked around to find nothing. This could not be true. Was she hallucinating? She was still recovering from the trauma of the previous night. She clomped down the road but the clanking increased further.
She was at the verge of breaking down when a car screeched near her. The door opened and a grey-headed woman politely asked her to get in. “Madam, I see you are carrying a lot of load with you. I insist you get inside and I will drop you at your destination.”
Siya was emotionally drained and gave in to the woman’s request. “Wait! Why did you say that I am carrying a lot of load?”
“Well Madam, I could hear the grating sound of those chains from far and could no longer tolerate them. I see a lot of them have names of your family members. Some of them appear very old from their rustic look. But I see a brand new shiny one just recently added to the collection.”
“I don’t understand a bit of it. What are you talking about? Who are you and where are you taking me?”
“You won’t believe me if I told you that I am your soul. And don’t go by my looks. I am as old as you just aged a little early due to all the pains you have endured on me. Huff..puff..huff..puff. I feel suffocated. You need to get rid of all this hullabaloo.”
Within minutes they reached a hilltop. The picturesque view took her breath away. The chirping of birds was interrupted by demeaning bawls of accusations, high expectations and judgements. Siya tightly closed off her ears and let out a scream which echoed in the valley. And she started speaking.
“All my life, I was taunted by my aunt for my skin color. My grandmother ill-treated my mother for not bearing a son. I proved them wrong by earning a Master’s degree. But what did my mother do? She didn’t approve of my love and forced me into an arrange marriage. I should have taken a stand that time. My best friend stole my project idea. I should have confronted her. My in-laws don’t approve of my job. I should openly talk to them and explain them. But last night my husband shouted accusing me for giving preference to job over family.”
“You need to let all of this go, the chains of opinions and relations will strangulate you one day. If you trust your decisions, go by them. Live your life.”
She cried inconsolably. When she looked up, she found herself all alone in that green expanse.
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