Muses are ghosts, and sometimes they come uninvited.. Like they did today,
Manda stood listening to all the eulogy that the parish had created for Mukesh her estranged husband; it was like they were speaking of another person all together. More she pondered about it, maybe they were right, maybe he had moved on to become another person.
Musing over things, she could recollect the early days when Mukesh a promising surgeon had given her attention. From the little town in the backyard of Manipal, this flamboyant South African paying attention really made her feel great.
Then came their marriage, the birth of Kavya, they were still in India, and Mukesh was with a hospital in Mumbai doing his masters, she remembered the riots in Mumbai, despite of being a doctor they could not save Kavya who died of aspiration. Then came the birth of Aditya, and Ananya they moved to Durban and something went bad. Mukesh started dabbling with stock market.
No matter how much ruminated over things she could figure where she went wrong. Giving up job, focusing on bring up kids, working her butt out as store and housekeeping in charge in the hospital, times she did the cleaning herself if the staff caused trouble. But slowly he moved away.
“Mrs Duggal” the voice had asked her, when affirmed she was, could you come over to the clinic please?
Manda had rushed down, to her horror the door was closed, and blood streamed out. Mukesh had tried to kill himself. It is was only then she figured, that for the past 7 years that he was drifting from her Mukesh was having an affair with Suraiyya the receptionist. Suraiyya had just decided to quit as she was moving to Cape Town with her boyfriend. And Mukesh was devastated!!
Mukesh and she had parted ways, though returning to India was option, Manda didn’t want it yet. Aditya had a job in a bank, while Ananya was studying and Manda had slowly turned to Ubuntu that opened doors for her.
it was Christmas eve and Manda was at her prayer group, they were to meditate on the year that was. This was the third message, first one from paresh; second from Kaushik now the third from Aditya all asking the same question where Mukesh was.
Alarm bells rang through Manda, at Mukesh’s flat the light were ablaze, the faint rumbling of the TV could be heard. A hint of dead rat came through too. A bit confused Manda asked his land-lady for a key, when she entered, there he lay.
His bag set for departure, clothes neatly laid out like a true OCD person, and Mukesh on the floor, maggots had emerged….
Now as Manda was listening to what the parish had to say, she wondered if the Mukesh she married passed away when he tried to commit suicide and another soul took his body over…
- the words in italics are synonyms for muse.
- This is written for write over weekend series of blog adda.