“Anisha, Veena, come on, get up quickly! Dinesh mama will be joining us for the breakfast today. You have to get ready before he comes, or he might get annoyed”, said Disha as it was the third time, she had come upstairs to wake up her darling girls. It was the month of April and summer vacations naturally meant more sleep. So, waking up at 8.00 am was a challenge for both the girls. Nevertheless, seeing their mother so rushed up, the girls woke up and got ready immediately.
Dinesh mama, their mother’s only brother was a strict disciplinarian, extremely punctual and was outspoken in nature whereas Disha was extremely sweet, soft-spoken and kept her feelings to herself, the only way she expressed them was through her artwork. One day during their early twenties, Disha had met Shankar, Dinesh’s friend when he had come home to discuss about the job interview slated for the next day. Seeing Shankar that day, stirred a whirlwind of emotions in her, for she fell for his charismatic personality, his sense of humor, his intelligent conversations with Dinesh and not to forget his handsome looks.
For the first time in her life, she let the feelings take the better of her. So, when the first marriage alliance came via an acquaintance, Disha confided with Dinesh that she loves Shankar and would like to marry him and be his consort like Ma Parvathi. Dinesh too, for the first time was calm and understood the yearning in his sister’s voice and happily agreed to play cupid in his sister’s life. What followed was a grand wedding with more than 200 guests, who blessed the couple with longevity and togetherness and feasted to their heart’s delight before leaving the venue.
Disha and Shankar moved to Mumbai and as the months passed their family grew with the birth of the twin girls – Anisha and Veena. They lived happily until that fateful day, when Shankar’s car got crushed under a collapsed bridge killing him on the spot.
Disha’s happy abode turned gloomy and it was only the girls and her artwork that gave her the life purpose. Four years had passed since Shankar’s accident, and Disha was now, an arts and crafts head in a reputed school. She also sold her paintings and handicrafts in auctions, and they were sought after by the elites, specially the NRI’s who loved her unique blend of traditional artworks with modern techniques. Disha’s paintings were beautiful, and brought serenity to the mind of onlookers, Only if one looked closely enough, they could spot the pain and void behind her artwork. Disha gradually took control over her life and became a confident provider to her family. Anisha and Veena were proud of their mother’s success and loved her very much. Although the girls missed their father, they never uttered a word to Disha.
Today, however, Disha was frantic, dreading the results of her answer on her children’s life.
‘Ting-Tong’, rang the bell, jolting Disha out of her thoughts. Dinesh came in with a big smile, which was rare and gave a big hug to his sister and her kids. Overjoyed by seeing Dinesh mama and his gifts, the girls were on cloud nine today. It was at moments, like these when Disha missed Shankar who would have loved to see his girls so exuberant.
Shortly after the breakfast, the girls were excused off to their rooms and Dinesh brought up the topic of remarriage again. It was this topic that Disha seemed to have successfully avoided past four years. Her girls were six years old now and she knew the girls missed their father, especially when they saw their friends cuddling and playing with their dads.
Although Disha felt a pang of guilt for her daughters, she also knew that her heart would never love any other man like she loved Shankar.
Today, Dinesh had come in to seek the final answer from Disha on Raghu’s proposal, a businessman from Ahmedabad who had fallen in love with Disha, after seeing her artwork on an online platform. He had immediately brought it and hanged it on his living room wall. Since then, he had followed Disha’s work, learnt about her life, seen her posts in Instagram with her daughters and gradually envisioned Disha and his daughters his family. Luck came through when Raghu attended a business conference where Dinesh spoke about Art Therapy in Workplaces and introduced his sister Disha’s paintings. By the end of conference, Raghu had befriended Dinesh and had expressed his interest in marrying Disha.
Dinesh, who was apparently furious at this unexpected request, calmed down eventually when he saw the sincerity in Raghu’s words. Since then, a deep camaraderie developed between these two, and Dinesh had been relentlessly pursuing Disha to meet Raghu at least once.
Reluctantly, Disha had met Raghu at a children’s park last week and witnessed an unique connect between him and her daughters. Seeing his earnest and genuine approach, his bonding with her kids, Disha had a long conversation with him. She had told him that she would never be able to love him or have an intimate relationship with him, but will be more of a companion one would ever seek in life. Raghu, although a businessman, believed that Love is pure and needed no validation. He had told her that he shall be patient and wait for her to accept him. Disha, however was disappointed that Raghu had accepted all her terms and now she had no reason to rule him out.
Dinesh sat at the dinner table watching the myriad expressions on Disha’s face and waited for her to speak up. He gently squeezed his sister’s hand and brought her to the present. At that moment the children came running downstairs and hugged her from the behind, proudly showcasing their scribbled drawings with the colors, Dinesh mama had given them. It had several instances of their daily life, which brought a smile to Disha’s face. Tears Rolled Down her eyes as she saw a drawing in the corner where two girls were swinging and waving kisses to a man. In that moment, she knew that she had lost the battle with her heart but won the war with her life!
This story has been a humble attempt in creating a fictional story for the prompt ‘Tear Rolled Down’ and where 43 of us bloggers have interpreted various prompts and weaved a story around it.