Elegy sung by the Rain


Rimi opened her eyes slowly as the sound of lightning and thunder grew louder. Looking towards the rustic old clock by her bed-side she realized it was 2 in the afternoon. It was the fifth day that week she had overslept; she sighed. Slowly and reluctantly she removed the blanket still rubbing her eyes while her heart yearned to go back to sleep again to wander off into a world different from hers! She gently put on her robe wondering all the while about where Sunny would be. He was her husband of five years; her socially christened ‘Soul mate’! But after the fight they had last night she knew finding him in the same room let alone the same bed was a miracle which could never happen.

Rimi and Sunny had been together for five years; or were they? Being in the same house every night; does that amount to being together? If it was yes they were a couple in that sense and nothing more! Theirs was a match arranged by parents and as is always the case in such alliances they took time to know each other. But how did that work out for them? Not good in any sense as things went haywire the moment they realized the differences in their temperaments! Things went downhill; fights and ego clashes made things worse. The result was a strained relationship.

Rimi made her way to her veranda that overlooked the beautiful Ward’s Lake; one of the may wonders of Shillong. It was a small hill station; a well guarded secret of nature. While Rimi was an arts teacher there; Sunny was a well established lawyer. She was creative whereas he was only the brazen advocate even out of the confines of the court of law. Rimi liked singing and socialising while Sunny liked silence and solitude. They were different in every aspect; a match made on earth certainly but not in heaven!

It was raining very heavily the patter even louder on Rimi’s tin roof; yes it was a typical cottage; the characteristic of Shillong. Rimi loved the rain; the fact that it could pour any moment was one quality of the hill station she absolutely adored. But something was strange that day; the rain seemed melancholic and menacing. An uneasy feeling crept into her heart and she just couldn’t shake it off. She turned back into the house and gradually made her way through it. Entering every room she thought of again confronting Sunny but he wasn’t there.

Rimi wanted a divorce while Sunny wasn’t for it. He would rather suffer than go through divorce as that in his view would bring shame to his family name; a thought process hard for Rimi to digest. She wanted to be free and loathed this life. She didn’t want compromise to be the basis of her existence although that seemed to be perfectly acceptable to him. This was the bone of contention between the two and the reason behind countless fights and arguments.

The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.  ~David Russell

Things had deteriorated since Sunny announced his decision to move to Guwahati alone but still not concede a divorce. So much so that last night he refrained from uttering a single word while Rimi continued with her onslaught. It was eating her up; this life of suffocation and she burst out at every opportunity provided. But Sunny was always the quieter one. Did that mean he wasn’t affected or that he was too distressed to engage in a war of words?

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.  ~Flora Whittemore

Just as Rimi managed to freshen up the landline buzzed; it was Andrew; the Commissioner of Police; a friend of Sunny; on the line. It wasn’t unusual Sunny being a lawyer.

‘Rimi, I would need you here at the station immediately’ said an evidently disturbed Andrew.

‘What is it Andrew? Is everything alright?’ asked Rimi.

‘Walk down to the station please’ was all he said and hung up.

It wasn’t the weather to walk out of one’s home and Rimi just didn’t want to venture out in the downpour but she had to. As she walked into the station; soaked and wet; Andrew without uttering a word led her behind the station and pointed to a car at the corner. It was crushed and in a deplorable state. Whatever caused that; one thing was for sure nobody could have survived the impact. There were bullet holes on the car; it was gory to even look at it. But why was Andrew pointing that to Rimi?

As Rimi took a closer look she realised to the horror of horrors; it was Sunny’s car! But where was he? What happened she thought and looked towards Andrew expecting answers but like hers his eyes too seemed blank and confused?

Police had found the car in a gorge on the Barapani- Shillong route which was a dangerous one; especially during the rains. With the deep Barapani Lake on one side and steep hills on the other; the blinding curves on those roads had resulted in several fatal accidents over the years. It was Sunny’s car but he wasn’t in it which was good news but for the fact that there were bullet holes in his car. Even if Sunny had survived the crash; it was unlikely he escaped who or whatever put those bullets through his car. 

Andrew wanted Rimi to throw some light on where Sunny was headed to or if there was any threat to his life. He wanted answers from Rimi to help find out where Sunny was or what happened to him.

Andrew looked at Rimi for answers but she didn’t have any. She was so busy blaming Sunny for ruining her life that she hardly knew a thing about what was going on in his! She had no idea where he went or whom he dealt with. He was always quiet so she didn’t even notice if he was worried or troubled. Even if he seemed aloof she assumed it was due to the tension at home. She had no clue; she was as good as Andrew with guesses about what he must have got himself into.

For the first time in five years; she felt responsible for the mess. Perhaps she could have been more attentive towards him. She hated the fact that Sunny wouldn’t listen to her whereas she herself hadn’t paid even the slightest attention towards him. What if he was gone forever; what if it was Rimi’s constant poking that lead him to take that road in such inclement weather straight into the arms of death?

There are no second chances in life, except to feel remorse. - Carlos Ruiz Zafón

With questions in her mind Rimi walked out of the station crying. She drenched herself in the rain. Her tears merged into the raindrops while her worries and guilt surged. The rains sounded like the wails in her heart; a dirge she despised to sing. Andrew was left flabbergasted but decided to give Rimi some time to get herself together.

‘Chains do not hold a marriage together.  It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years’ said Simone Signoret; possibly overcoming this adversity Rimi would give another try at understanding Sunny ofcourse if he returned safely. Perhaps Andrew would be able to find Sunny in time and maybe a door would open in Sunny’s heart too for Rimi and he would make an effort to change for her as Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate; again only time would tell!

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