The Jute Bag

The Jute Bag

“May I?” He was polite.

 She gave an awkward smile and allowed him to take over.

 The jute bag was kept between herself and the co-passenger. Oblivious to the mischief, she had continued to stare out of the window. And now she was quite surprised to find the handles of the bag, cunningly, knotted to her saree pallu!

She knew at once that it had to be the teenager who had just got down. She couldn’t help but smile at the ingenuity of the mindless youth.

“I ought to have been alert,” grappling, she chided herself.

The gentleman in question did the needful. With a meek “thank you,” she alighted.

Her husband picked her up every Friday. Hopping into the car she rattled off the incident.

“What is new, Reet? Anyone can put you in a spot!” Her husband teased. She laughed heartily.

One evening, a voice accosted her.

“Do you stay close by? Startled, she turned. He was there.

 She smiled a “Hello”.

 It turned out that they lived in the same neighbourhood.

 Adheer, spoke about his wife and daughter. She, about her husband. He travelled by bus as a contribution to the environment. She, as there was no other option.

Two individuals who met due to an obstinate knot developed a harmless bond. 

They discussed each other at homes and soon became family friends. Most of the times they were not in the same bus, but that did not deter them from thinking and gradually missing each other as the months went by.

They shouldn’t have but they did! Love manages to find hearts to blossom in. Love happens not because of a lack, elsewhere. It manifests at the right time to people it desires.

 It troubled her. So one evening, she confessed.

He was pleasantly shocked to hear her speak his own feelings.

 “The weight is lifted off my chest, I wouldn’t have mustered the courage to express it!”

They went home happy, shaky and guilty.

 It has been established for centuries that extramarital affairs are prohibited. Yet it draws couples to this kaleidoscope of life’s stark colours, aspirational celestial shapes and bold intricate designs, made with shattered symbols. They forget, nothing is permanent inside.

  These stories have unpleasant ends because fragmented karmic souls yearn to play risky roles, becoming oral sources of history for generations apart from spicy accompaniments to gossip sessions in the present times.

The inevitable happened!

That silent night was capped in misery and enclosed in disgrace. This indiscretion was not something Reet could handle. 

“How could I cheat Amar? Her magnified remorse brought intensified shame. The otherwise calm shadows on the wall danced as though under the spell of witchcraft.

Adheer watched as the policemen brought her body down.

They were struggling with the rope.

 He felt the pain of those abrasions. His grief was not going to be brief. 

In a stoic voice he asked one of them, May I…?


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