The next morning, Reema and Ashish are sitting with the host couple at the dining table for the breakfast. Reema’s mind is still racing fast, trying to figure out how she should start the conversation with Mohan about healing. One moment she thinks that she should simply tell Mohan her problem and plainly ask him how he could help. The next moment, she thinks that they are scheduled to start their return drive in another couple of hours and even if she started the topic with Mohan, there was not enough time to discuss the topic at length or may be to conduct a healing session. Struggling with these thoughts, she noticed that everyone was through the breakfast.
Everyone is now seated in the drawing room, chitchatting just about anything. Reema tells Sheena and Mohan how much she enjoyed their company and the conversation with both of them. She insists that both the families should plan a vacation together and stay together for a few days at some holiday resort. The idea was agreed by everyone and soon everyone was talking about various options of destinations and the schedule of holidays. After some time, it was decided that the two families will go to Lance Downe, an idyllic hill station in North India next month. Mohan and Ashish both were ordered by their respective better halves to apply for leave at their offices as per the agreed itinerary. Ashish also agreed to make bookings for the resort. With this plan almost in action, Reema, Krish and Ashish leave Chandigarh for their return drive. Reema has a reason to be relieved in her mind as she is now staring at the chance of seeking Mohan’s help for her healing.
While Ashish was driving, Reema’s mind just wandered off with the thoughts of how urgently she needs some healing intervention. She recalls the incident when she was just married and was trying to settle with Ashish in a new house. Like every other newly-wed girl, Reema was dreaming about a romantic and perfect start of her married life, loosing her entire being to her love, Ashish.
They both had an arranged marriage, where families of the bride and groom meet each other first to evaluate if the other family suits them socially and economically. If positive, then the families again meet, this time with would be bride and groom accompany the families and get to meet each other. Both Reema and Ashish coming from educated, well-off and liberal families, they both were given some time to meet each other in private, so that they could speak to each other. After this meeting, if things remain positive, then the families decide on the wedding event and schedule. During this period, the couple tries create opportunities to meet each other without letting the families know about it. Largely, the couple remains almost unknown to each other till the time they get wedded and start living together. This unawareness about each other is also a key reason of a strange feeling – a mix of excitement, fear, and uncertainty – which the couple goes through during this courtship period. This often makes the couple imagine various things about the would-be. Reema and Ashish were also subjected to this feeling.
Just after the marriage, Ashish had taken a two-bedroom flat on rent in a decent apartment. He moved his and Reema’s stuff to the flat. While, the stuff was still packed, Ashish had to join his office after his wedding vacations. So, he left Reema to unpack the stuff at the flat and left for the office. Upon returning from the office, Ashish was shocked to see all the windows of the flat covered with the old newspapers. He felt choked and asked Reema, who was unpacking in the other room, why she had sealed all the windows. He got some explanation in response, which he never listened to, or he could not digest. He almost felt like running out from the flat. After controlling himself a bit, he removed the newspapers from the windows of one room and settled himself there. Seeing Ashish’s frustration, Reema kept herself busy in work, avoiding possibility of picking an argument on the first day of their togetherness. Over the next few days, as the stuff was unpacked, curtains were given way by the newspapers on the windows, the cold war was eased.
As the time passed, Reema got to understand Ashish better and found a loving, caring and understanding husband in him. While the bond amongst them grew stronger with time, the issue with curtains and windows still remained beyond the realm of Ashish’s logical understanding. He just could not understand how an inch of curtain being aside could elicit an almost irresistible reaction from Reema.
Gradually, as Ashish’s family members interacted with Reema and got to know her strange habit of keeping herself closed indoors, they started reacting with some random comments, which would make both Ashish and Reema uncomfortable. Reema felt that may be unintentionally but she was getting prototyped negatively in Ashish’s family. This impression was also getting bigger and bigger with passage of time.
Ashish: Where should we halt for lunch?… Reema?… Re… Reema?
Ashish: I said where should we halt for lunch?
Reema realized that she had been lost in her thoughts for over two hours and it was 1:30 PM.
Reema: Lets halt at the first good restaurant we find on the highway next. I am also feeling hungry.
Reema can not stop looking forward to the holidays she planned with Sheena and Mohan. She is keen to try out healings which Mohan was talking about as she feels overburdened, not only by her fear, but also by her souring relations with her relatives, who could never accept her with her fear – unconditionally, the way she was.
(Picture from Tilting Tripod – https://www.facebook.com/tiltingtripod/)