Day 1 at the Himalayan writing retreat. We had to center ourselves and write for 20mnts. Without thinking we were to let the story flow. Here is my 20 mnts.
The twenty minute exercise.
Beige salwaar, rather untidy, her back towards me. I could see the loosening of the juda that would have normally stayed tidy. Earring they were forgotten. But what surprised me was the dupatta wrapped round her instead of elegantly flowing off, her like it normally did. Oh! There was the edge held between her teeth. She must have heard my footsteps, for she looked over her shoulder inviting me to join her. I stood by her, she still did not turn. But her body slumped, declaring defeat and exhaustion.
She took a deep breath, as if to collect her, and declared,”He is gone”
I knew more was to come. 30yrs of medical practise stood in good staid. There are some non-verbal clues ones picks. She was definitely at a breaking point, Kangana Kilmora, here was a woman who one knew yet did not know. She did appear like the auntie next door which she wasn’t for the moment she was just a battered woman, very much like the much clichéd wounded animal, she could bite the hand that was held out to help.
The silence was creating the bridge for communication.
I have seen her around, I know her name is Kangana besides to being Mrs.Kilmora because she told me so. Yet the woman in front seemed so unrecognizable, the pain was visible, the help she was seeking …I am clueless about it too.
“Who is gone?” I asked tentatively
“Maria sent me” was her reply.
Okay, Maria, another amazing woman, who works for Village Times a sister concern of Hindustan Times. With a lovely oval face, denuded of any make up, occasionally an eye-liner or a lipstick. She organized the children’s creative workshops on behalf of the Village Times. The only flaw in public persona was her chain smoking.
But we are not here to speak of Maria’s story. It was Kangana Kilmora in front of me. I waited. It was difficult to open up and show the wrinkles in your face for the first time. It is usually easy with to talk to a stranger but I was a familiar stranger.
“can I get you a coffee” I asked.
Well I thought to myself,”its not oh! I drink only green tea” today. I got Maya the housekeeping staff to get the coffee.
Over coffee she said, ”He is gone”
“Andy” Andy Kilmora I knew was Kangana’s husband a rather well known man.
“Just like that, the bastard didn’t have the courtesy to tell me directly.”
She was sheathing.
“ He was to take the morning flight to Delhi, he calls me from the airport to tell me, that he is leaving me. He wants to give up this rat race and reconnect to with himself. So he was going to this spiritual retreat. After which he will decide how to go about things.”
It was an 2hours since she arrived at my office deprived of sleep and shattered. She didn’t need my pity, she needed to sort herself out and go through the process of dealing with life.
This was written in 20mnts. I invite you to add to the story.