Love and Mother’s words
A short story by Monica Ingudam
It all started from a phone call I received from an unknown number one evening as I am walking from the laboratory to my hostel. After the initial awkward silence trying to figure out who is on the other side of the call, I realized he is one of the senior guy whom I had called “Da” (big brother). I saw him in some common friend’s gathering during my recent trip back home in Manipur. I never understood why he called me that day though he said, it was just to know each other (“Sum KhangNaSe toubanida“) as he was going around with a beautiful girl and I was going around with someone. It was a tiring day and I was in fact very annoyed with his call and tried to find out who shared my number with him. It’s irritating when your friends give out your number without informing.
Before I knew it we started talking everyday, chatting in whatsapp, skyping video calls. And I felt this strong attraction towards him, almost gave a high in me, a feeling which I never felt before. My moods started becoming good or bad depending on how our conversations went that day and he slowly became my world. It was initially denial, fighting with myself with these conflicting feelings as I was seeing someone else. It was the same for him with his girlfriend. I tried staying away from him, tried to make things work with my boyfriend. But I just thought about him even being with my boyfriend, I kept seeing his face, kept hearing his words. Though it was a painful phase, I broke off with my boyfriend. And he did the same with his girlfriend. And with time and healing, we were free to love. I continued calling him “Da” (big brother) and he became my lover, a form of addressing which is quite common in the place where I come from.
I was in Pune doing my Post graduation and he was in Kolkata doing PHD. We had this connection even though we haven’t met each other nor have gone out for a date. We had this virtual dates where we had walked together as it rained in Kolkata, looked at each other’s eyes via video chats melting my heart, he sang for me, said words that stirred me and made me feel like a woman bringing the best smile in me making me feel beautiful. This continued for months and we had to meet to see if it’s real. After multiple attempts of planning, finally we were to meet in Imphal, our hometown.
I was nervous and excited, planned every details on what to wear, when and where we will meet. I was not sure how we will feel about each other when we meet in person “Maybe this is all virtual”. I landed in Imphal airport and walked out trolleying my luggage when I saw him standing tall next to my brother. He looked at me and smiled and I could feel this strong thick attractions pulling me towards him. I felt like walking in a dream. We just exchanged glances, exchanged looks that said a lot but didn’t get a chance to talk to each other as I had to go home with my brother. We meet for our first date at Poana Plaza restaurant at Poana Bazaar, requested my favorite songs to be played, making me feel like dancing with him and be in his arms. He held my hands for the first time and it was bliss, just bliss touching every nerve in my body. We didn’t have any words to say and our eyes said everything. I felt so happy and thought to myself “Oh this is how love feels”. Our relationship took to the next level where we spoke of a life together.
I returned to Pune and he stayed back in Imphal for longer. He was very happy and he spoke of telling his family about me. I knew something was not right when he stopped calling me, wouldn’t answer my calls and have even blocked me at whatsapp. It worried me sick and finally when we spoke, I found out that his mother rejected the proposal. She rejected me and told him that he can choose any girl in the whole world except a girl from that family, my family. Upon digging there was some family history going back to my grandparents times which caused the rift and hatred. I was heartbroken with the rejection. And he was torn between our love and his mother’s words.
I had built this wall with my ego on this rejection thinking “I am beautiful, qualified and why should I go to a family who have rejected me, I deserve better”. I had all the good reasons to walk out of this relationship but my heart just wouldn’t agree with my thoughts. Some days I understood his situation being torn between 2 of his favorite woman and felt sympathetic but most days, I am angry, very angry that he wouldn’t stand for me, fight for me, do something, do anything and make me his woman. We have this phase of disappearing and reappearing in each others lives starting with a simple casual “hi” and ending with passionate talks. The disappearing phase seem so empty and painful making the reappearing phase irrestible making me give in just to hear his voice, read his words fighting my mind which echoed loud and clear “There is no future”. We see no future and yet we can’t keep away from each other. I don’t know how our story will end and how long this forbidden love will go on. I just know that I love him.
Collection of short stories written by Monica Ingudam. These stories are based on Life’s this and that focusing on Manipur and the people of Manipur.