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Breakable Strings

Unnati Khanna Unnati 

I was the last one in my family of four, two brothers and two sisters. They named me Bobby. We all were playing and Sundays were awaited by me, Ginni , Mini, Mobby and Tobby as we could be out of sight from the eyes of our parents.
At the tender age of five, I told Mobby "Hey, I want to be in the backyard of the house and help my sisters in the kitchen".
SIBLINGS : They all were astonished.
TOBBY gasped and said " Why cant you be with us?"
BOBBY replied that "I prefer cooking and experimenting with new ingredients. I cherish these duties of cleaning the utensils and being with girls."
With this behaviour my siblings marked me out. I was called out as a " girlie boy". Even Minnie said "Why do you imitate us? You even walk and dress like a girl."
Hearing this Ginni says to all the siblings :"In fact you behave like one, Bobby?”.
After the jokes I with wet eyes and state of vulnerability exclaimed "There was pain, but I didn't know the proper language through which I could communicate my feelings. And that is one of the concerns. As I was in a constant state of confusion of keeping silent and not saying in the fear of getting scolded. Or if I vocalise they will laugh again". My nanny, my mom's mother, told her that "Bobby will outgrow this phase".
And I in my childishness understood that maybe our tasks are fixed. But when I grew little more, I enacted the role of Shakuntala by wearing a white off shoulder gown with a flowing tail, with floral jewellery and was walking down with shyness. It made me feel beautiful.
It pleased me when the audience welcomed me with huge rounds of claps, they said
"You look like a real woman, it doesn't seem you are dressed like one", Bobby’s cheeks turned pink. Faintly a friend touched my chest in a silent voice asked , "What's inside?" The crowd roared with jokes and laughter all around. I felt elated, dizzy with happiness. Yet I continued to be fearful from the thrashing of my father. I was in doubt. I lived with perplexing thoughts that I wanted to be like this, but my grandma told me " We scold you for rectifying, as this is wrong". The first experience made me realise that I had no choice because I had to act, dress and talk the way my parents and neighbours considered "right". I had those brutal remarks imprinted upon me. And as a little child I felt vulnerable. I was crushed into my deep thoughts and feelings. I was losing myself as I couldn't score excellent grades. It felt like my mind is being controlled by bouts of anxiety. I wasn't a free human but I was being tied down to the ground by a monster who didn't let me break the shackles . The darkness entered into my life since then. And when everything seem to fall apart.
ANNA, the only friend in my school days( worriedly asked) : "Hey, I noticed you don't look normal these days?
BOBBY: "No Anna, I am perfectly fine".
ANNA: " Don't you make a fool out of me, I did lose the contact as I was forced to study as my parents wanted me to soar high by passing with flying colours. But I'm still close to you, distances is just a perception".
Bobby is comforted by the words of Anna and he says,
“Dearest Anna, I gaze at the corridors for a single glance of him. His eyes communicate his affection towards me. His touch is magical, he with his soft touch on my forehead is capable of healing me from the critical headaches. Not only this when I'm knocked down in fear he is able to vanish that fear with his childish acts full of innocence. I have fallen in love with him. I'm the original me in front of him."

ANNA :" If you try to resist a natural process , you're never going to get out of this spiral of depression. I didn't resist and neither should you. Let life surprise you in its own way, in its own time and then you'll be free from all your pain. But don't pause living before that ultimate moment of total freedom arrives". My interest was peaked by the sense that her words were making. I listened with more attentive ears.
I for the first time looked up the sky and saw clouds are visible in the sunny sky which enhanced the beauty. Similarly clouds in the rainy sky inform us about the thunderstorms. This realisation germinated a new bud within me.
ANNA replied: “Soon you'll blossom into a new flower now.”
I was dumbfounded how Anna is so confident. Because he wasn't aware that she went to Andy and told him my emotions. But soon to my shock this Valentine's , Andy didn't offer roses to the beautiful girls passing by his side. And suddenly in a flash of second it touched me and flooded my mind with vibes of positivity. Ever since that event, the tragic life is now transformed to a life full of happiness.
Bobby proclaimed this event was the day Andy proposed to me. Our love story began.
Anna congratulated them and said that just like you opened your heart to me and communicated without any boundaries, I hope that your relationship escalates the boundaries. Andy was triggered by Anna's words, but told Bobby with a slight smile on his face I'm yours, we both hugged each other secretly in the corridor and fled before we were discovered as we were the bestest friends.
But we always craved privacy, we always searched the crannies of our college , and one day when Andy kissed me the world fell away as it was passionate, intricate and soft. His hand rested below my ear , his thumb caressing my cheek as our breath mingled. He ran his fingers down my spine, pulling me closer and I could feel the beating of his heart against my chest. This kiss was an eternal bliss. We deep down knew that being together is scary but bidding goodbyes would be scarier.
This is the day when we both promised each other to unfold those scars that halted our growth. So Bobby decided to talk to his parents as Andy was still holding back his desires and feelings.
Bobby: I talked to my parents to let me marry you".
Andy: I knew what uncle and aunt must have said. They might be ridiculing you.

"Nope! Something more severe" said Bobby in a quiet voice. "Mom raised her hand on me and I was threatened to leave the house immediately". Next few days were busy. Landlords weren't willing to rent out their house. Finalizing the monthly rent amount to be paid. Buying the necessary furniture. Some kitchen utensils and related stuff. The most difficult part was announcing that I left out the family. The gasp that suddenly came out from the Andy mom was actually heart breaking. Uncle played too well in hiding his emotions but the way his stance got rigid told us what he is feeling. Next few days were quite nerve- wracking. Calls from relatives, eve- teasings from colleagues, harsh behaviour from teachers, emotional blackmailing from society and what not. The news spread like wildfire. But it's been months that the news has become old for everyone. And today we're finally getting married.
Andy replied that he was nervous but happy, jumpy yet in high spirits. The feeling is miraculous because I was getting married to the love of my life. I looked at my image in the mirror embelly with the rich, lustrous ,wedding gown flowing like the cascading pristine waters. A little touch up was what was required before I proceed for the actual proceedings. What will Bobby think about my bridal look? I thought loudly when I was trying to predict his reaction. He would be surprised for sure because a few days ago I underplayed my bridal look. My expressions were lucid enough for him to understand that I would be going for a more elegant look that stuck to basics and was pleasing to the eye. But a fire within me told that this is my day, the day I have been waiting for a new beginning, a section that will complete us. My thoughts were disrupted when I heard a knock at the door. It was Anna who was the truest friend and the only pillar of strength. Her incessant showering.of love and counsels debauched the dark clouds of sorrow that enveloped us.
She called Andy and me and asked us: " Are you both ready for this"?

Andy and Bobby replied , We have the same life goals and we will make each other stronger and far more balanced. And today 7’th September we are happily married and settled. And we realised that life did indeed take me by surprise very soon, bestowing us with a golden opportunity to manifest these wishes into a beautiful reality.

Bobby finds kites eerily beautiful, how they soar so high in the sky but are bound to Earth by a string. Alas he wishes the string would break so the kites can soar the skies ever so freely.


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