She was striding towards washroom, exerting the full force of her anger in her long steps. She entered the washroom and was relieved to see that it was empty. She immediately locked herself in a stall and let go of her calm face.
“That evil #$#%#$^$%& woman, what does she think about him. Clinging to him like a parasite. I am going to kill her this time, stupid %^&^*$%@$#@$#%.”
Once her anger had come down a bit, she walked out of the stall and turned towards the mirror to adjust her makeup. She stood there and scrutinized herself. She was good looking enough. At the age of 36 she didn’t look bad at all. Okay agreed she was not 20 or 25 anymore but, she was not bad. The designer black saree with a lacey design suited her. Her haircut was chic according to new fashion, she had attitude to carry off her status and style. She drooped her shoulders with the over looming ‘but’. But, she thought, she was ordinary, she was not extra ordinary beauty, she was sharp but not intelligent, she could easily be unnoticeable in the crowd. No matter which designer saree she wore or what her hair style was. She Shalini Sachdev was an ordinary woman.
Shalini said that out loud to her reflection in the mirror “You, stupid woman are very ordinary, how will you ever compete with that red dress, model figure stupid &%*^*%&%*^ woman”, Shalini let out a huge depressing sigh at this declaration. But she knew she had to face these women in her husband’s life, her husband Samarjeet Sachdev, the whiz of the corporate world. He built his fortune and developed his consultancy company on the whims and fancies of share market. He was a genius in that arena. And he was one of the most handsomest man Shalini had ever laid eyes on. At the age of 43, he was still capable of drawing the eyes of every woman in a room. He had maintained himself very well, and he suited the tall, dark, handsome man of romantic novels. He exerted an aura of power and strength, which inevitably drew everybody towards him.
Shalini let go of her pondering, drew up her shoulders and walked out of the washroom, her head held high and ready for facing (glaring down) every woman who saw her husband.
As soon as she entered the party hall, she spotted him talking with a group of friends (mostly woman). Did he even miss me, she wondered. She put on her calm expression and serene smile and walked towards him, touched his forearm to indicate him that she was there.
He turned towards her and gave her a heartwarming smile, his eyes told her that he missed her, but she was not ready to believe those expressions.
By the time the party ended and they reached home, Shalini’s annoyance had blown out of proportions and was at the brink of a full-fledged anger towards her husband. She thanked god that kids were spending the weekend at her mom’s house. Because today she had to shout, she had to crib, and she had to empty her anger without any restrictions.
Samar had noticed that something was wrong, Shalini was very quiet, he felt like a storm was about to come and hit him hard. She would always get upset after these kind of parties. He wondered, after all these years also, why she still had not gotten used to these outings. It was part and parcel of his business world.
Shalini walked inside the house, threw her purse on the sofa and sat down on it with a humph. She leaned her head back and closed her eyes tightly. Samar thought she looked very tired today, more than usual. He removed his jacket and came to stand behind the sofa facing her and started to press her forehead.
“Shalu, are you alright, you look very tired”
Shalini removed his hands from her forehead and stood up. “Yes samar, am very tired, very very tired. Am tired of all these things going on with you.”
“About your behaviour in these parties, you let those skimpy, stupid women to cling to you. You enjoy it don’t you. I know am not beautiful like them, am not even well matched in conversation like them. But all I ask is you to notice me once in a while. Did you even know when I went to washroom and when I came back? No. I know what I am Samar, am not them, but am your wife. I have a right on your time and attention.”
Shalini was breathing hard after shouting so much at the top of her voice. Samar was watching her intently with anger and sadness in his eyes. Shalini sat down again crying “Am sorry Samar, but am tired to trying to compete with them all the time. Am always afraid that I wont be able to keep your interest forever. I am so so ordinary compared to them. “
Shalini looked up, and saw that Samar was looking out the window with his back facing her. His shoulders were bunched up in tension, he was holding his hands back and stood like he was ready for combat. She knew she had crossed the line this time, maybe made him very very angry. But she was not ready to let go of her pride and ask him sorry. He deserved it, she thought.
And then as if some heavy weight lifted out of his shoulders, Samar let out a breath and his shoulders relaxed but they drooped. She had never seen his shoulders drooping, he always had a steel core in his spine. He was a very proud man and today he looked defeated. She berated herself for accusing him like that, but she was still not ready to let go of her anger, because she was right she reasoned.
That sentence hitched her breath, she always knew that, but coming from his mouth it felt like she was sentenced to death.
He didn’t stop there, he continued.
“You are very very ordinary, you are so ordinary that 16 years back it just took one look at you for me to fall in love with you. You are so ordinary that, on the same day I had asked your father your hand in marriage and if he had not agreed, I was ready to go down on my knees and beg him for you.”
He turned towards her and she saw sadness in his eyes and something else.
“You are so ordinary Shalu that I never noticed that you didn’t even finish your degree, because you are so sharp and capable that you could just do anything and I have let you rule not only my home, but my soul too. You are so ordinary that till today I can’t sleep without hearing your voice. You are so ordinary that when you leave a room I don’t have to see that you left, I just know that you left and I can pinpoint the exact time when you enter a room. You are so very ordinary that when you smile, it lights up the room for me. And even today when you come alive in my arms, I thank all the stars for granting me you as a gift. You are so ordinary my dear dear wife that, compared to you everybody else seem so so less than ordinary”
Shalini couldn’t react for a minute, because she was not able to believe what she heard. And after seeing the truth and love in his eyes, she had to believe. When she went eagerly into his arms and cried her heart out, she berated herself for making this proud proud man to virtually go down on his knees to convince her of his love.
And that night, while she was about to fall asleep, Samar kissed on her forehead and told in the most soft voice “Sleep well my so so ordinary angel”