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what it is short fiction

What You See Is Often Not What Is

Ram and Shruti had been married for 10 long years. Theirs was a strong and loving bond. Their wedding had been quite an adventure, with both of them eloping against the wishes of their parents and the society at large. They were madly in love with each other and their steadfast commitment to each other was often the talk of the town.

But over the last year or so, a little something had started pinching the bond. They had been trying to have a baby of their own. It had been two years since then and the efforts were now taking a toll on their relationship. Initially they had thought there was some medical issue with either of them, but even after visiting a couple of local doctors, nothing much came of it. As they entered their eleventh year, they were hoping that they would now be blessed with a baby of their own.

As days passed, frustration and sadness started clouding their daily conversation. They began to get impatient with each other and little things started to creep in.

One day, Ram was sitting in a balcony sipping his morning cup of tea, when he saw his wife walking down the road with a man he didn’t know. A little seed of suspicion was planted that day in Ram’s mind.

When Shruti returned, Ram asked her about it, but she brushed it saying it was no one important.

A few days later, Ram was returning from his work when he saw his wife walking down the road with the same man. The man had his arms lovingly wrapped around Shruti and they seemed busy in a highly animated conversation as they walked down the slope. Ram didn’t want to bring it up to his wife that he had seen them walking down, but it bothered him.

For the next whole month, Ram followed Shruti around. And to his dismay, the man kept popping up many times. Sometimes he would be visiting their home, other times he and Shruti would be walking down the same slope.
As Ram was walking up the stairs to his home that evening, the same man caught him unawares…as he brushed past Ram, somewhat in a hurry.

This is it. Thought Ram. I need an answer. What is going on behind my back?!

Two days later, after a busy day at work, Ram sat down in the living room with a glass of water, when his wife’s mobile started buzzing. Shruti was busy in the kitchen so Ram picked up the call. The unknown number said from the other end,

Hello Shruti dear, I’ll be coming to your house this evening to see you as promised. Hope things are okay at your end?

Without answering, Ram hung up the phone. He was sure it was the same man. His hands began to shake in anger and the glass fell to the floor with a loud noise. Shruti came rushing in to check what had happened…

Is everything okay?

In a fit of anger, Ram pushed her away…and she fell on to the floor. When he realized she wasn’t moving…he bent down to check on her…he saw a large shard of glass had poked by the side of her ribs and she was writhing in pain. Immediately he rushed her to the nearby clinic…

As he sat there waiting for the doctor to finish the stitches…he realized that in his right hand he was holding on to a crumpled envelope that had fallen down from Shruti’s hands as she fell to the ground.

As he opened the enclosed letter, his heart began to thump rapidly…

My dear Ram, words cannot express how I feel so I am writing it down. I have been going to see a doctor for the past few months and I wanted to be sure before I give you the news.
The doctor has just confirmed it that I am pregnant and its two months in already! A month back I had come across a cousin of mine. We met after almost a decade and I realized that he was a Gynecologist. As I confided in him, he assured he will help with our problem. Since then he has been visiting and guiding me and the result is for you to see!
He has promised to have dinner with us today as a token of our gratitude!
Your dear wife,

As the letter fell from his hand, tears started welling up in his eyes. He was horrified at the thought that he could have hurt her when he pushed her…for no fault of hers! As the doctor came out to say all was well, Ram rushed by Shruti’s side…

As if on cue, the very man he had in his mind, accused of bad intentions, rushed in.

Ram meet Sujit, my cousin! If it wasn’t for him…Shruti began…

I know! Said Ram in an apologetic tone. I am sorry Shruti and Sujit! I gravely misunderstood the two of you. \

And suddenly, all was well in their world again!

Sometimes being too quick to judge brings nothing but pain. Love is not love if it has conditions. When you love, you also trust and keep faith.



Author: Neha Khedkar

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