Soliloquy (fiction)

by Anita Menon

As Ananthnarayani slumbered lazily on her more than comfortable couch, her mind was far from being rested. She was thinking of the times before she had got married. Her name, however retro it sounded, had nothing to do with the carefree times she had spent during her college days. She believed in being free and always fought for her space. Coming from a large family of six siblings, space was something that wasn’t something she could take for granted.  Her siblings were a inquisitive lot and always wanted to invade her privacy and her space. She tried to guard herself fiercely and would not let them take her space for granted. Its then during those formative years she made a solemn promise to herself that she would marry somebody who respected her space and in turn she would his. Then she met Nischay through a common friend and a good friendship turned to love and now companionship for life. She felt at that time, she was in a good place in life. Nischay was everything she had hoped for in her life partner. Somebody who knew how to indulge her and at the same time knew where to draw the line.  After a few years into their marriage they were ready to have a baby in their life and so here she was, a good eight months into her pregnant life.

“If , I were to leave him today, I do not think, he would have any qualms at all!”

”What are you blabbering yourself pretty? For if he left you for someone else, would it matter to you?”

”You might be correct when you say this but isn’t it a bad thing in a marriage, when both the husband and wife are in such a place where both of them wouldn’t care less if the other walked away.”

”Yes, its sad, but its true and you know it too.”

Just as you must wonder what these dialogues mean anything in the story, these are nothing but musings going on in Anantnarayani’s head.  When were these voices born, she had no clue but it was definitely a recent development.

“No, there has to be some reason as to why you feel like that” said one voice…

“Over time, we gave each other so much space, we hardly fought and even while being away from each other because of our respective careers, we didnt bother much about keep in touch emotionally!”

“Whats keeping in touch emotionally? When you are in touch, you are in touch, whats so emotional about it?”

” Well when while you are away, if you are tuned into each other, eager to know what your partner is feeling, sharing all the good things at that precise moment and a bad ones too! That is what emotional keeping in touch is all about, because this is all you can do when you are not with each other.”

” Don’t you think you are asking for too much, first you want space and now you want closeness.”

”When I said, I wanted space, it meant that my partner should respect me, should respect my decisions, should’nt question me unnecessarily and have unshakeable faith in me”

”Isn’t this what he has done all this while – never questioned you, accepted you as you are! Then why are you complaining!”

” But over time, this got ingrained into our lives so much that now there is nothing but a lot of space and so this hurry to have a baby to bridge the gap” ” But will the baby help you bridge this so-called-gap?”

” I know, this is not the right way but what choice do I have, everytime I confront him about this emotional distance, he gets on the defensive and says, I have done all that you wanted and even then you don’t seem satisfied! What is a man to do then?”

”Hmmm so the poor baby would be the answer to your emotional distance? and by the way I haven’t still understood emotional distance as a term in itself,”

”Emotional distance is when you no longer feel the need to explain, or express your emotions to a person anymore. You think its self explanatory and it would be equivalent to wasting breath by wasting words on such trivialities such as feelings is when Emotional Distance starts to creep in.”

”So what have you thought, would you leave him?” “I have thought that I might leave him because leaving him would not leave me emotionally stressed in anyway”

”What would happen to the baby , wouldn’t it need a mother and father both?”

”Yes, that is definitely a worrying factor for me as I thought the baby would help us come closer but now I think differently and feel it would be bad on my part to use a baby to do it. Its just not fair!”

” So you have actually made up your mind to tell him that you are leaving him, are you in that state of distress?”

”Yes, I feel an emotional void and it is not going to be filled if I keep things the way they are! After all, I too have just one precious life! I don’t want it to be wasted. Maybe I can find someone else who can fill this void or something else to do which is so much more satisfying!!” “Aren’t you being really selfish?”

”Well who isn’t? Even Nischay wants his space and so I shall give it to him forever as I am going to speak to him about it today” ” I should warn you that life is not going to be easy as you think it would be once you leave him. You haven’t even thought about the baby!!” “The baby shall remain with me and I shall bring him or her up in the best possible way, ofcourse Nischay would have visiting rights!!” “Gosh!! you have really made up your mind” ” O yes! “

The door bell rings and Ananthnarayani stirs from her slumber and shakes out the folds of her sari and moves a bit awkwardly ( because of the weight she’s carrying) to open the door. There she finds Nischay and her heart skips a beat when he gives his typical Nischay smile. The voices begin their prompting and she shuts them up as she notices that he looks ruggedly handsome when he leans to kiss her on her cheek. As he asks her how she’s been doing while he was away and has the baby started kicking yet, she feels the voices drown bit by bit.  Shocked by her sudden change of mood and heart, she feels a laugh stuck in throat as she lays down the lunch table for him. Looking at him enjoying his fish curry and complimenting how well she makes it, she feels a sudden joy with his being around and a sense of triumph that he is in her life. The voices die  natural death for now, atleast for now.