Friday 1 November 2013

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 221

 Jail Diary 21
29.10.2013, Mumbai    

In Sanjay’s long absence at home a forlorn Manyata had many a times fantasized that when she wakes up she will find her husband by her side, smiling. It has happened today. There is so much to share, so much to tell and when one feels so intensely about expressing somehow one is not able to express anything. Perhaps it is no longer important - just being together, breathing the same air, experiencing the  the routine domesticity – door bells, phone bells, breakfast, children crawling around the apartment is what makes the morning and evening aromatic.

Yes there are vulnerable moments. The sisters, Manyata and Sanjay break down separately at different moments but there is joy as well of being together in the present. Sanjay prefers to listen more than talk. He says he wants to bottle memories so he can think about it in solitude in his cell later. The family does not coerce him to share his experiences, they understand it is painful.  Often, at moments least expected Sanjay gets teary eyed and shares moments – then as suddenly switches off, prefers to discuss a favorite dish or listens to his favorite music. Sometimes he sits by the window, watching over the garden and thinking. Perhaps of the time he will have to leave all this and depart perhaps something else.

Manyata wants Sanjay gets to meet all his loved ones and invites them over from time to time. The kitchen fires are burning overtime – serving all the delicacies Sanjay loves. She tells a friend, “If Sanjay is home it is Diwali, if not how can all the kandeels of the city light my life?’’At night before going to bed Sanjay tells Manyata that if there is heaven ‘This is it’. The family has asked for an extension of parole to conclude the pending medical tests and treatment and as luck would have it, the extension is granted too.

Bhawana Somaaya / @bhawanasomaaya

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