ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്


A night soaked in Moonlight.
Through the small window, Devayaani Amma looked at the full moon. How many full moons I have seen in this life, she wondered. How long is my life now, she heard herself asking. And someone within her replied that her days are limited. As if it is all very near.
She felt as if someone called her.
“Devoo*, won’t you come? Are you not yet satisfied with living here?”
The words entered into her as a deep sigh. It was her Devettaan**, she was sure. Devettaan, who was the personification of her happiness and pleasure. But she had never thought that she will be so lonely when death takes him in its fold.
And the words which he often said, passed through her mind.
“Devoo, we are lucky. God gave us everything. A happy family life. Three children who love us. And we taught them and arranged good jobs for them. And they have their families and children. What else we need as their parents?”
“Yes Devettaa” She said to herself,as if he was within her. “We are lucky. But when you left me…”
A sob interrupted her thought. Tears filled in her eyes.
“I am sure that you see everything, although away from me. Our children? They loved me only for their benefit. And they forgot us, when they achieved all that they wanted. No, they forgot me. The children, whom I gave birth and brought up, do not need me now. I am an unwanted burden to them. Devettaa, they even detest to hear my voice.”
Rivulets of tears flowed on her shrunken cheeks.
Her thoughts shifted to her own childhood.
The only daughter of her parents. They were ready to fulfill each and every desire of their daughter. Father always supported her even when she did something wrong. He always sided with her even if he had to quarrel with mother. He never let mother scold her.
A child who was the darling of her parents.
Being a bright student, she was loved by her teachers too. And she had a number of close friends in school. She can never forget those happy days. She passed S.S.L.C. Examination with very high marks.
And then began the college Life. It was there in the college that she met her Devettaan first. A bright student he was. And he was also the kalaaprathibha (Top male artist) of the college. In the beginning, It was merely a hero-worship, but gradually turned into love. What an irresistible feeling it was, she mused.
Her first and last love.
And Devettaan was also very keen on her although she did not know it in the beginning. A love affair which lasted for years!
And at last, he entered into her life as her husband.
She had disclosed it all to her father and he took up the matter with the parents of Devettaan and the marriage was settled. Her dreams became true. And she became the queen in Devettaan’s mind. A small happy family consisting of the two alone. And their parents were always there to help them if there was any need. Those were the days when she had felt that she was the luckiest in the whole world! Although the income of Devettaan was very small, it did not prevent them from creating a heaven of their married life.
And then, making the pleasant familial environment perfect, came the first baby. It was the happiest day in her life. The day when she became a mother.
But when the life blesses with petty pleasures, it gives deep sorrows too.
First it was father. Then mother. When they hid behind the curtain of time, I could only send them off with acute pain and tear filled eyes, she thought. But Devettaan wiped out her tears and embraced her and said in her ears to calm her down:
“They fulfilled their duties and the purpose of their lives. Am I not here now for you?”
He filled the vacuum created by the departure of parents in her mind. With love and affection. Creating a feeling in her mind that he was not only her dear husband, but her father and mother too.
And the passage of time gave them three children. Two boys and a girl.
Although it was very difficult to bring them up with the meagre income of Devettaan, he never let any of their desire remain unfulfilled. He was a kind and helpful father to them.
“We are lucky. Our children are smart.” She remembered his words.
They grew up. Got good jobs. Got married.
Satisfaction of life at its peak, it seemed.
Taking her in a deep embrace, he had said once:
“Devoo, God gave me every happiness. A good wife. Smart children. Within my limited salary, you made this house a heaven. You could take my life and my dreams to perfection. You were a good wife to me and a good mother to my children. I pray to God that if he gives me another life, let it too be with you. I still yearn to be with you, to live with you. For ever. If I had one more chance? To live with you once again?” Tears flowed from his eyes.
“Why do you say all this? Now forget it all.” She said, wiping his tears.
 
“No Devoo. I am telling the truth. Even if I leave you, our children will look after you well. Nobody in the world will get such a good mother. You are a mother who looked after them, knowing their thoughts and feelings fully. Like a Goddess.”
“Enough.” Devoo covered his mouth with her hand. “Now try to have a good sleep.” And she hid her face on his chest.
And she realized it only in the morning. That her Devettaan had left her. Left her, left the children, left the whole world behind.
Never to return.
He was her father. Her mother. Her husband.
And with his departure, she felt quite lonely.
As soon as they learned of his death, the children came running. Although crying themselves, they tried to quieten her down.
And they left thereafter. To the privacy of their own lives.
In the begging they used to come now and then. Then that too stopped.
Gradually, their need for mother vanished. Instead, she became a burden to them. A life, without any meaning, only a burden to children, and in-laws and grandchildren.
She felt that the moon was looking at her thorough the window. Only at her. With acute pain in sightless eyes.
“Devoo, won’t you come? Are you not yet satisfied with living here?”
It was as if someone murmured the words in her ear.
No. Not someone. It was her Devettaan.
Her lips trembled. “Devettaaa. I am coming. I can no more tolerate it. Our children do not need me anymore. I am only a worthless liability to them. It is enough to me.”
She had almost roared the words. Yet the noise could not come out.
A soft breeze entered through the window searching for something. The grey hairs of the mother moved slowly.But she was beyond it all.
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*Devoo : The short form for Devayani.
**Devettaan: The method of telling the name Devan with respect.
 

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