Ignorance is a Bliss- Short Story
She saw herself in the mirror and admired at what she saw. It was her Wedding Anniversary today and she hits a silver with 25 years of marriage. It was a rock solid bond that she cherished from many a years. She never thought that she will come so far, she was happy that she reached so far. So what if it was not smooth in the begining. It was worth all.
Dressed in all royal finery with matching silver jewelries, Mrinalini Rajeshwar Pratap was a pretty picture. She turned back to glance at mirror for that final check before leaving for the party. Sari- Check, Jewelry- check, Make up- Check, Hairstyle- check. Nothing seems to be enough today, it seem. She gave another touch up to her glowing make up and prim her sari for the nth time. "I want Raj to look at me and only me at the party" she thought. Her phone beamed and it was a SMS from her Husband Kunwar Rajeshwar Pratap. He was waiting for her arrival at the beautiful garden where the party was hosted to welcome the guests. She replied back in confirmation and started walking towards the venue. Each step was as if she is walking on cloud. She was full of cheer and confidence.
Her joy seem no bound when she reached her drawing room to find dozens of red rose bouquet waiting to greet her. She profusely thanked everybody in her heart, for sending them. "How thoughtful of them to send all my favorite flowers" she thought. Suddenly her eyes stopped at a lovely bunch of beautiful looking bunch of 25 pink roses, fine wrapped in a silver ribbon. Beautiful she thought and reached out to read the card it bore. It read-
With Great Admiration,
Meera? That name rang a historical bell in her mind. It was a name that she tried to bury deep in her mind, a name that she struggled for years to wipe off her mind. She gasped a breath as she went down the memory lane. She had buried those memories somewhere dark and deep. Meera, the name that kept haunting her for years, has come again to disturb her peace of mind. Meera, the first love of Kunwar Rajeshwar Pratap, her husband. How much he said he loved her. She still remember that lump in his throat and moist in his eyes when he first mentioned her name. It was their wedding night when they were chatting up to open with each other, to know each other better. She insisted to open up about their past relations so that they can be transparent with each other and move ahead. He was not interested and asked her to skip as he was afraid that digging old graves makes no sense. She however, insisted to know and he gave in to the insistence of his lovely new wed wife.
Kunwar Rajeshwar Pratap, son of Deveshwar Raj Pratap was an avid polo player and photographer during his early 20's. During one of his photography stint, he came across a lovely Meera who was student of anthropological science and met him in regard of her research. Sparks fly and their interaction blossomed in to a beautiful friendship which in turn lead to create a very soft corner in Raj's heart for Meera. He wanted to marry her and approached his father to convey his feelings. Kunwar Deveshwar Pratap was not against Meera but refused all his son's desires to marry her as he had already promised his old friend Veer Bhadra Narayan to marry his daughter Mrinalini with his son. This broke Kunwar's heart and all his wishes to marry Meera but he gave in to his father's word and married Mrinalini.
Mrinalini was a picture perfect beauty and had all the qualities that a girl from a cultured family has. She was soft, kind hearted and honest. Raj was a dutiful husband. He had closed Meera' chapter from his life for good but it was Mrinalini who couldn't take her mind off her. She insisted to know more about her. He first refused to further bring Meera in their married life but soon gave in to insistence of his wife.
Mrinalini was no lesser beautiful than Meera but she was taken aback with Meera' beauty and that left her heartbroken. For years, she compared herself with her. She tried to dress better to impress her husband. She was running an undeclared, non required competition with Meera in her own mind. It was not that she was less beautiful. But somewhere in her heart, she was filled with innate sense of comparison with Meera. She tried to gather as many things about her so that she can immaculate that in her life and win her already sincere husband' love and admiration. She was chasing a shadow that never existed. She realized this much later only when it left their marriage on verge of splitting. Good sense dawned on her and she stopped living in ghosts of her husband's past. She actually rued the day when she insisted her husband to open his past and know more about her.
She battled for years with herself to draw Meera away from his and her life. It was Raj who forgot Meera post their wedding but how his single confession ruined her personal life. For years she fought in her mind to withdrew Meera' name. It took Mrinalini 2 years to bring their marriage to stabilize. At one ocassion she felt if she had never asked Raj more about Meera. The damage was done. It was a self inflicted damage.
She was again reminded of her today and once again she couldn't help herself thinking about Meera again. She went back to her room and reached to her almirah and opened a small box that she had stacked behind her old stuff. It was a box that pictures of Meera. Earlier, she often use to take them out in Raj's absence and indulge in her self created comparison with a virtual word with Meera. She found herself talking to Meera again. She was afraid if Meera comes back to Raj's life.
She was in deep thoughts as her phone rang. It was Rajeshwar Pratap on other side, worried about his pretty wife's whereabouts. It seems the guest started coming in. She avoided his questions on pretext of getting ready. He laughed and said that she is still the most beautiful woman for him and she need not waste her time unnecessarily on perfecting what is already perfect. She smiled and promised to reach within two minutes. She reached the lawns to admiring eyes which still couldn't make her stop thinking about Meera. She threw a glance around to check if Meera was there. She was afraid if Meera comes there and ask about the flowers that she has sent. The flowers that Mrinalini just stashed away in dustbin before reaching garden so that Raj do not see them again and is reminded of Meera.
"Ignorance indeed is bliss", she thought to herself while she hid back that picture in her Almirah and walked down at the party lawn to meet and greet all those who have come to wish them on their silver anniversary. Her memories of Meera were ignited again and soon she found herself thinking about her more than living her present. Rajeshwar Pratap, clueless about his wife' sudden remote behavior. "You are not being your usual self, is all ok"? he inquired again and again. She rubbed it to her nervousness but couldn't hid the sudden insecurity that surmounted her still beautiful countenance.
"Ignorance indeed is bliss", he thought to himself as he walked up the hall stairways and accidentally stopped to see a torn card near dustbin and pretty pink flowers inside it.