Zoya was sitting against the railing of the balcony of her new bedroom, trying to lay her hands on her mistakes in this entire political facade. She seemed a total misfit in this high action life of her husband, who had now signed the papers for joining the party officially. His glowing but tense face was displayed on the television channels for the whole afternoon. She had been watching him; giving a vote of thanks to the locals of Najafgarh district for their continued support to the party and expecting a similar fruitful association in the future; also celebrating with the youth of the party, cracking firecrackers in front of the party headquarters.
The morning incident was still fresh in her mind, where her father-in-law scattered her whole being in the dust of his feet. She knew she was the daughter of their employee. Her father was a mere servant of the haveli. But she hadn’t expected that someday her father’s identity would make a dot of dirt on her bright forehead. She hadn’t anticipated that someday her beautiful dreams would reduce to the harsh and dreadful reality of her life. Her dream of becoming the wife of Shahzeb Khan had become the most horrible nightmare of her life; where she had to rip her self-respect to shreds and stay on her place just for being his wife.
The last four years of her marriage, almost five, had been nothing less than a tale of self loathing for her. But she had retained a tiny hope, lighted in the deepest depths of her heart, that one day Shahzeb would accept her as his wife and her life would become easy thereafter. But she had been wrong, totally wrong. After becoming his wife, in the true sense, her identity had become the most unfortunate thing for her.
In fact, after last night’s blissful moments, it had become more painful to hear that she still retained the identity of the daughter of a driver. She had always loved her father more than anything in this world. He may have been poor and a low class servant of the haveli, but he had provided her everything which she could have asked for.
After shifting in the small quarter of the haveli to live with her baba, her life had changed exceptionally. That’s when she had tasted the luxuries of life; and more importantly the undivided attention of Shahzeb Khan; the man who had been her strength, the man who used to paint her dreams with colors of reality, the man who had promised her that he would never let anyone hurt her.
She didn’t even remember when she had fallen in love with him. She had known only one thing, that there was no Zoya without her Zaiby.
Hot tears were drenching her cold pale cheeks as the memories of her teen years, her beautiful past with Shahzeb, kept stabbing her heart.
The events of the last 24 hours had been nothing but an emotional turmoil for her, which had turned her life upside down and made her even more vulnerable than before. First her husband manipulated her to the limit of self submission, and then after giving her some memorable moments, he insulted her by calling her ‘hopelessly emotional’. Then her father-in-law insulted her by calling her a driver’s daughter and what not. Yet more painful for her was that Shahzeb was reluctant to even see her face.
When she had followed him to their bedroom after the episode in the living lounge, he tried to leave her without giving her a second glance. She had tried to grab his kurta from behind and hold him at his place. “Shahzeb, please listen to me, at least let me explain.” She fisted his crisp white kurta in her palm. Holding him on his track, she spun around in front of him and stood just some inches away from his raged and heated demeanor. “I didn’t utter a single word to…” He cut her down in the middle of her sentence and pried her away from him. He just looked in her eyes for some moments and stomped out from the bedroom. She collapsed on the ground, rejected once again.
After crying on her fate’s cruel assaults, in the vast balcony of her dear husband’s bedroom, Zoya gathered herself for taking a much needed hot shower, hoping to reduce some of the burden off her weak shoulders. As she entered her bedroom again and was about to walk in the washroom, a light knock made her stand rooted on her place. Glancing at the wall clock, her eyes went wide in realization of the amount of time she had taken to restore her shattered soul back to show it normal in the eyes of the world around her. She hurriedly opened the double door to find one of the maids standing in front of her, gawking at her pink nose and puffed eyes like she had grown two more heads.
“What?” Zoya asked roughly.
“Woo bi bibiji, ammaji is asking for you,” the maid answered nervously, fazed by her mistress’ sharp voice. “She said she is waiting for you for supper.”