The Rise of the Better Half
Week 5: The Journey of a Lost Girl, Hustling her way through Life
Continued from last week.
Later in the evening, as I am clearing up the kitchen counter, I hear Ayush brawling. A honey bee starts buzzing near the table lamp and curious Ayush leaps to catch it with both hands. My poor baby, why is he always creating troubles?
I feel karma attacking him for creating the “Faeces Façade”. At this thought I doubt myself, what kind of a mother am I?
Anger, frustration, disbelief, heartache. These four emotions erupt from all corners and merge into a giant whirlpool in my head. Unable to take it anymore, I kneel on the floor and start crying in despair.
With the mother-son crying, Shouvik is the only one left to our rescue. On his first reflex, he picks up Ayush and rushes into the kitchen. I can see him turning into a superhuman. Holding Ayush on his left forearm and pushing the ice pack on his baby palms, he gets me a glass of water and hugs me tight. For the first time in many months, I feel a kind of relief.
“It’s okay Prerna, I got this.”
He then dials up our paediatrician and arranges a call on WhatsApp with him. Within minutes, what seems to be an emergency turns into a sweet adventure? I cannot help but admire him for pitching in, for the first time, right when I needed.
Even when all is finally settled, I don’t feel quite okay. I feel I am about to cry again. But I don’t see any reason for crying now, everything is taken care of right? Shouvik clearly understands.
“What happened, Prerna? You seem to be very upset these days. Is resuming work getting very taxing for you?”
I don’t want to admit that getting back to work is actually a big escape for me. A magic drug.
“No-no, nothing like that…” I try to cook some excuse, but Shouvik continues probing.
“Something is not okay. I am unable to understand what’s going on. I really want my bubbly Prerna back. Can you find her?”
“Shouvik, honestly, I am myself searching for the bubbly Prerna. I don’t feel good at all. I don’t feel love towards my baby, I mean sometimes… I feel I am not a good mother.”
“I can recall you saying this so many times. You are already doing your best Prerna.”
“But then my mood is always so low, that I feel like — like running away from home.”
Shouvik is lost in deep thought. He comes up with an idea.
“This is an emergency. Can you call off from work tomorrow?”
“What emergency? Wha…”
“Let’s consult a therapist.”
Often in married life, time to time the couples are tested, not together, but individually. The test is for one spouse to hold the fort and guide the other under test. Unaware while going to a therapist, I am going to approach a moment when I will be grateful and fall in love with Shouvik once again. As he literally drags me to the therapist, I am quarrelling with him with my loudest voice possible.
“I DON’T need a therapist.”
“Yes, I know. Let’s just take an opinion.”
“I DON’T need an opinion.”
“Ok-ay, ok-ay. Then take it just as a suggestion.”
“Uff! Uff! Shouvik…”
“Just trust me, please.”
His words leave me with no answer. I am not happy. I am very defensive and obviously in denial. I feel exactly in Lady Chaplin’s shoes today… helpless, minus the hope, which I triggered for her in our discussion.
I think Shouvik is trying to be my Prerna.
“You’re crazy.” I let loose a little smirk.
“Yes, I am crazy. Now, c’mon go.”
“You won’t come?” I cling onto him like a kindergarten on her first day to school.
“Don’t worry. I am here, sitting outside. I’ll be waiting.”
No resistance this time, I comply; welcome myself to a new strange world. I have never been here. I wonder how I got myself here. To an extent, I pity myself.
Welcome, Sonakshi Mathur, my therapist.
I wonder who this woman is. I should have at least Googled her. All my admiration for Shouvik briefly evaporates.
“Uff, Shouvik, uff! Why did you leave me like this?” My heart is yelling at me.
“Hi, Prerna. Nice to meet you. What brings you here?”
Sonakshi starts the session with a bright infectious smile. Her teeth are whiter than my chapati rolling marble slab. Something is radiant about her. I feel an immense sense of calm. But, there is a problem. How can I trust her? Why is she being so overly nice to me?
My eyes fall on my watch, only 5 minutes have passed! How am I going to survive the rest 45 minutes? I shift in my seat, wiping the beads of perspiration on my upper lip.
“Prerna, would you like more cushions… perhaps lie down? Make yourself comfortable.”
I wonder, did I come here to lie down. It is such a silly thing to say.
This therapist is clearly going to waste my time.
To be continued…next Wednesday.