Tuesday, December 9

Stalemate: Chapter 1 - The Queen Escapes.

"I wonder the limits of the skies above,
None too much than the skies inside,
I often find myself looking back in the past,
Its then, that I realize, I've been a good teacher to myself
- Tanishq Sharma"

Stalemate - Captive Of Thoughts

He refused to stay with her, and walked out of her house, and her life simultaneously. But, it was his old habit – to fight, shout, abuse and go out of the house and come back in the evening. Out of her life, she had thrown him a long time ago but the roof, remained intact. She had adjusted to that kind of living, she couldn't do anything to make the situation any better. Perhaps, which wife does not want peace in her life, wherein she dreams of evening walks with her husband or a blissful morning talk over a cup of tea? Dreams of the support she presumes from her husband, when she tries to scold their children, over a nasty result at school. These situations, form a crust of a normal household every wife dreams of. But, it was something which was not supposed to be a part of Natasha’s life. Within a span of 4 years of her marital life, she was on the verge of ending it, or perhaps, merely accepting the decision taken by her husband.

She was always a joyful girl, among the brighter ones in her academic life. Being raised up in a middle class Indian family, she was taught to respect family values more than anything. It was, therefore that she did, all she could to save her marriage, to remain in the boat which sailed with the winds which she herself would have never accepted to be felt. She endured, she learned, but everything has a threshold. Sooner or later, it all seemed coming. It was an arranged marriage, one which is done at a risk of allowing each other to understand oneself, and moreover, to adapt to the situations they will be contracted in. It was as comfortable as a breeze in the first year, but things started to break down there after. Call it the misunderstandings in her in-laws or the mutual bonding never rising above the bar of insecurities, whatever it was, it lead them to a place where they never wanted to end up at.

If there wouldn't have been a reason, she would have left this home a long ago. It was not because she didn't want to make things right, but because continuous tries of making it better had taken up all her energy, all her compromises in vain. If she was still here, enduring the pain, her non-interested husband gave her, it was because of the same voice, which clutched her suit from below, and nudged her asking, “Mummy, papa kahan gaye?”. Her three year old daughter had asked with utter silence following her words. Those quiet and childish words had looked Natasha straight into her eyes, which then traveled deep into her soul, asking her various questions about why had she landed up in such a situation, and why is her daughter being punished for the same, for the mistakes they were making. If there was something she could convey to her daughter, it was mere silence. It conveyed messages to her daughter, the ones she couldn't convey, with her words. Her daughter, without asking anything more, went to carry off her own tasks.

Standing there still, in a position and looking at her daughter, she knew something had to be done. A strong step out of the fears might end up improving lives of just not one, but many people around her. In the numb state, which now seemed homely to her, she dialed a number, Advocate Amish Shukla’, her mobile displayed. “I want to file a divorce case”, she said. Her daughter heard, but could not comprehend it. Natasha didn't make an effort to explain her.


She had befriended time, not only because she habituated the change in which it travels, but because it had seen the tears she had shed, the smiles which struggled through tough times. It was also a spectator when a gist of happiness came in her life – her daughter, Neha. It was a time of life when worries weren't a part of scheme she had opted for. Probably, time had also witnessed her endurance of married life, and the pains she had gone through. Perfect for befriending, it was now covering up the wounds inflicted by the battle, she had long fought back. There were countless moments, when she was silenced by her own voice asking her various questions. One such day, Neha came home crying. 

Natasha hurrying towards her, worried that she might be hurt, asked her, “What happened beta?”
Neha refused to answer, and to eat. Upon asking her several times, she opened up. “Today, my friends were talking about their fathers, about the gifts they receive from their dad, about their family picnics, Mummy, why don’t I have a daddy like them?” It was an innocent question from someone who had less knowledge of the world which resided outside her six years of experience. Natasha repeated what she always said, “Aapko mumma ne bola tha na, papa ache nahi the, toh mumma ne unhe apni gudiya se bahut door bhej diya”. There is something about pain, it strikes you back when you are the weakest. It was something which was easy to feed to a six year old, but deep inside their bonds both the generations realized, it was a fact, they had to accept. With eyes reflecting the silence of still water, Neha went to complete her school’s work.

It was often, that Natasha had to overcome situations such as this one. Situations like, when she was called in for Neha’s parent teacher meeting – but always turned up alone, without her husband. No one notices much, but the tender hearted Neha, must have asked million questions so as to why it had to be her. Who can explain a heart as soft as hers, that it was something which fate decides, because it doesn’t see circumstances, situations and the life which is left behind? The hardest part of all was the occasions when Neha might overhear her aunt talking about her mother’s someone. And, without much words, would understand, that it was the same one, who was not good, and was sent very far away from her – her father.

Natasha was a businesswoman, who had started most of her work after her divorce, with some help of her contacts. With time, she understood, that it was not Neha whom she had to take care of, but it was she herself, as Neha complimented her mother’s sadness with a rainbow of joy. For Natasha, her daughter was everything. A reason why she woke up every morning, reason why she worked, took all the pain, and was still alive. The mornings had started to bring back their gleam of happiness, and nights retreated with their treasured stories.

Evening had dawned upon, Neha was busy painting her artworks while Natasha prepared the evening meal with her domestic help discussing household issues. It is something – irrelevant of age, culture, or profession, every woman discusses. Neha, with her face as bright as the morning sun – came running towards her mother and showed her, her little creation. Standing vividly in a center of the picture, were figures of a man, a woman, and a little girl. The imagination conveyed a simple message, it was a family.

What fumed in Natasha’s conscious, no one might ever know but she tore the drawing apart, and shouted on Neha for drawing such a thing. Her words, loud and clear echoed twice in Neha’s ears, “Your father is dead, he is no more – do not ever think about him. Others might have theirs’, but you don’t. You only have your Mumma, and that is enough.” Neha had uninvited tears. She ran down to the living room, to hide her tears like every time. The land-line, placed in the room rang. Neha, went to pick it up. “Hello”, said the cute little voice of Neha. 

It looked like there was no explanation needed when Neha heard the voice from the other side of the receiver, a voice coming from a place very far, a place called past, as the manly voice replied, “Beta aap kaise ho?”.
to be continued...
Tanishq Sharma

Thank you for reading, it surely does mean a lot.  There are too many people for me to thank, they know who they are. Please take a moment to share the story, it will be appreciated.It gives us motivation to write more, and better. The chapter 2 will be announced soon, until then keep reading. Once again, a big appreciation for taking out time, and reading it.


  1. A touching first half where a sweet little child like Neha have to undergo severe pains at her best and most enjoyable part of life"Childhood"
    Anxious for the next :)

    1. Thank-you bro, that means a lot. I will try my best to make the other part even better :)

  2. Captive of thoughts, is indeed a place of spellbinding beauty. Sheer literary brilliance brother, I am proud of you. :)

    1. Thanks a ton bro, Your review makes it more valuable :)

  3. Twas a good write,kept Me connected...quite emotional too...

    Those four lines, before the starting of the story,..loved them..

    Waiting for the next part...Keep writing...;-)

    1. Thanks Akshitha, glad that you liked it. Will hope that the next part would do so too. Thank-you :)

  4. If this has to be described in a word, the word will be 'Beautiful'! :)


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