A/N: I don't speak Hindi - so please forgive me as I might get some of the nuances of the language wrong, especially since I was watching the movie with subtitles. Sous-titre. Always wanted to use that word whenever I say subtitles. But please read and review! It is muchos appreciated.
She Sees Him Everywhere
Taani was furious with Suri. Utterly, utterly furious. How dare he – how dare he try and win her heart that way? She was not daft, she knew exactly what he was doing. And why.
Taani fought the tears that beckoned unwanted to her eyes as she rummaged through the kitchen cabinet looking for a first-aid kit. Suri said it would be somewhere in the kitchen cabinets, he was not quite coherent after the beating he got from Mr. Sumo.
Idiot. Why was he trying to win her over? Why could he not just be a dull boring man with no love at all? Why could he not just beat her – why did he have to try so hard? It made it all so much more difficult – it would be easier to hate him.
Instead, Suri looked at her with puppy eyes when he thought she was not looking. It was much easier to ignore his love when they were hushed. The small gestures – paying for her dance lessons, the movie nights – she could easily write them off as obligations and the duties of a good husband. Suri was a good man, that was what he did.
Taani slammed the door of the kitchen cabinet. She could see from the corner of her eye as Suri jumped, startled by the sound and her anger. But he remained seated, like a child being reprimanded by a parent, the little sumo statue on his lap. He cast his eyes to the floor, he dared not look at her.
She marched up to him – God, she was so angry – it would be much easier if he did not do this. It was harder to ignore that he essentially loved her whilst she…whilst she did not love him. How does one ignore so much goodness and kindness? How does one ignore his unyielding love for her despite her promising that she would never love him?
She yanked out the antiseptic cream from the kit, and the little plaster and cotton. She was less than gentle when she disinfected his cuts, he winced but she took no notice. How dare he? How dare he do what – she struggled to even think of his name – essentially Raj would do?
She was seeing Raj everywhere; stupid, stupid Raj. Stupid Raj and his loud ways. Stupid Raj in his stupid attempts at wooing her. She was seeing him everywhere, how was she going to be a good wife, to settle and accept her life when all she could think of is Raj, and the excitement and the love he would bring.
She berated her husband as she worked on his wounds. He was an average working class man who led a boring life with the most boring existence.
'You sit in a 4 by 4 cubicle, in front of your pc. You're not some sort of hero,' unlike Raj, her mind supplied. 'You are an average working class man,' unlike Raj, her mind chanted.
And then Suri, her husband, looked at her, his mournful brown eyes to her own. She had never wanted to look at Suri really. He was a stranger to her, it was easier to pretend that this was a bizarre arrangement, a housemate, a stranger that she lived with as she mourned the passing of a life that could have been.
But as she returned his gaze with a hard stare, for that second she was floored and thought the room was spinning – they were Raj's eyes. Raj's hopeful eyes when he declared outlandishly he loved her. Raj's confusion when she gave him a dirty look at his hapless attempts at flirting with her.
Taani was suddenly more furious and upset than she thought she was. No, it was not enough she lost her beloved father on what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life. She lost the boy she wanted to marry and now she was going to lose Raj, who made her smile and laugh when she thought all was lost. All for Suri, a man she did not even know.
If only she could resent and hate Suri. And even then she was denied, the good fortune of hating him. He was a good man.
'Please!' she implored. 'Please don't do anything for me. It's a debt I cannot repay.'
Because I cannot love you.
And with her plea, she fled out of the dining hall and into the bedroom.
She sobbed. She sobbed harder than she did on the day her father and fiancée died. It was a combination of so many losses, the loss of a father's love, her beloved's love. Now she was about to lose Raj – she could not possibly just leave Suri. Not when he had done so much for her and loved her in his own quiet and sweet way.
The only plausible and rational solution was to just forget Raj. Forget how he made her feel, how free she felt with him.
Papa said that logic and rationality were not her strongest suits. Rationally, she should stay with Suri. But she would rather lose herself to Raj, to his strong arms, to his vivacious antics than be with Suri. She needed to forget Raj, be with Suri but, as she choked on her tears, her chest heavy from a broken heart – she knew it to be impossible.
For how could she forget Raj when everything reminded her of him? She thought she could smell his cologne on her husband's clothes as she washed them in the morning. She could hear his voice at times when Suri greeted her as he returned home late at night.
But they are not the same person. If only they were, if only the vivacious Raj was the ever dependable Suri.