“What do you keep in this old trunk Mom?” asked Shrishtee. Her sister Riddhi too had a quizzical look in her eyes. A big lock on it prevented them from seeing the treasure their Mom had hidden.
“Some sweet and some bitter memories”, replied Priya.
“Can we see it?”
“Not now. It is study time”, said Priya.
Priya kept the trunk in the attic, away from the reach of her kids. Some truths need to be hidden.
Priya sat alone in her room. Her daughters had gotten married. The time had finally come, the moment she had been waiting for, since ages. She called up her daughters to visit her.
The trunk looked brand new, adorned with colours and motifs. Everyone waited with bated breath to know about the treasure eluding their curiosity for years! Even Priya’s husband, Raj was quite anxious. What was that which Priya wanted to share in everyone’s presence? Priya took out the contents of the trunk one by one.
Out came her daughter’s sweaters which she had knitted for them at their birth. Riddhi and Shrishtee smiled as they looked at them. Priya handed them over to the girls. Nostalgia gripped them hard.
Then Priya took out her law certificate.
“Ma, when did you do law? You were just a graduate?”
“A few years back Riddhi”, replied Priya with a gleam in her eyes.
Raj looked shocked. His wife had never told him anything. Or had he never paid any attention to her after that incident?
“Wowww Mom! We are so proud of you”, and the daughters hugged their mother.
Priya now took out a set of papers.
“What is this?”, asked Shrishtee
“Divorce papers”, replied Priya.
Everyone was flabbergasted.
“Is this a joke?”, asked Raj
Priya replied, “My life has been a joke with you. Under this veil of lie, I feel suffocated. Everyday, I have fought with helplessness. But not any more”.
Priya looked at her daughters and said,” I never told you but your father has been having an extramarital affair with his secretary. Ten years back, when I discovered his secret, I was completely shattered. I requested him to leave her but my pleas fell on deaf ears. I even warned him that I would divorce him but he was not at all moved.
“Will you be able to survive without me? Who will give you job? And how will you protect our daughters?” He only mocked me. I succumbed to destiny. We played our roles perfectly in front of you but we became strangers living together in our bedroom .I completed my studies and now working as a partner in a law firm.”
There was pin drop silence. The daughters looked at their father in disgust.
Raj was silent.
“Ma, please stay with us”, said Shreya.
“I have been dependant till now, my dear. But, now I am fully capable and want to feel how independence tastes like. Like this trunk, my life too needs a makeover!!”, replied Priya.
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