Vijay was stunned by chitra's reply, as he didn't expect it....
The picture of his mother holding his hand in his childhood crossed his mind for a second...
He was speechless for sometime... that dolly angel is a fatherless kid- the thought hovered him like a cloud...
In the meantime, chitra finished her kitchen work, came and sat across the table.
"I can't believe this... she seemed too young", Vijay mumbled referring Ramya here.
Chitra understood and agreed, "but it's true...".
"Where are the others, I mean her parents, in laws?!"
"Everybody else were dead in due course of time..." Chitra seemed to lost to the day in which Ramya unfolded her past life to her in a weak moment.
On that day, Ramya's face was too pale and her eyelids were swollen, as a result of previous night cry, when chitra asked gently, "what happened Ramy ma?"
"My father used to call me like that...", She started to say.. "ours was a small happy family, myself, father and mother. Everything was good until my father lost everything in his business.....
Me and my mother didn't know where it went wrong, he was completely broken inside and suddenly left us abandoned one day, we didn't even had a clue where had he gone... after that he never turned up..
I was only 10 years old at that time, I remember well even I couldn't handle the shock, I can't even imagine what was my mother's state..... we lost all our property including our house in order to settle the amount which was barrowed by my father in purpose of business.
Inspite of my uncle's compulsion, my mother's only elder brother, to come and stay with his family, my mother refused to do so. She didn't want to be a burdon to others.
Then she fought in life's battle as a single woman, crossed much more hurdles to raise me.. when I was in my school finals, she fell ill due to unrestrained work done by her in all those years... without no other go, we shifted to my uncle's house, where I joined my first year of college.
My mother didn't get better any afterwards, her health was going down and down at which a point of time, all the doctors lost hope. She wanted to secure my life, before her last breath. My uncle came forward to accept me as his daughter in law by tying me the knot with his only son.
Soon after my marriage, my mother gone to live in other world, leaving me behind alone in this world. I felt so lonely after that and still I am....", tears were pouring down like water fall from Ramya's eyes, it seemed it couldn't be stopped at all, she didn't care to wipe them out.
She continued then, "I didn't even know he, my husband, was whether interested in our marriage or not, hardly a year we had been together, until he was diagnosed as having a fatal blood cancer. I was carrying then, within 3 months of his diagnosis, his life had ended like a leaf was swiped in a single blow of wind".
"After that Adhira was born, even though my aunt hated me eversince I went there, my uncle supported me a lot. Both got depressed a lot because of their son's demise, mental stress in that old age brought health issues to them. She, my aunt was suffering from stroke, since I was taking care of both, my aunt and my new born baby, I couldn't go out for work or study. As most of my uncle's savings were spent for his son's treatment, my uncle worked hard in that old age to face the family's extra expenses, that brought his life to an end, he had a major heart attack from which we couldn't be able to save him.
In due course, aunt also passed away. In short period of time, I lost everybody, even there's not enough of time to cry and grieve. After that It became habitual, my heart turned out to be a solid Rock in extensive frustration.
Then there was needs to be taken care of, I have to look after my baby, so I started searching for a job, since I am only a college drop out, I couldn't get a job with decent income, then I found this one, as now a days nursery Schools having only kindergarten are getting opened up every where like rainy season mushrooms, they don't much bother about the qualification and all.
I trained myself, contracted all the expenses, to live a balanced life within this meagre salary. This flat which I am living now is owned by my childhood friend, since she is living in abroad with her husband after marriage, she allowed me to use this one for free.
Some people said, it's a curse which had brought my family to this stage, some of them said, it's all due to our karma. Some said, our forefathers had committed a sin, for which we were paying now. What ever it is, now I am all alone with my baby, she is the only reason still I am living this life and she is my life.."
When chitra finished Ramya's story, a heavy silence occupied the space completely, it didn't allow them to talk any further.
"You are my life" Vijay remembered his mother's words, she used to tell him often in his childhood. He haven't had memories of his father's much, since he lost him at an early age. It's only his mother who had filled each and every inch of his childhood.
Time being past midnight, he was lying in his bed, looking at the ceiling. Sleep had gone far away from his eyes today because grief sat on his heart like a heavy rock.
"At one point of time, if they found there is no point in living this life, then their kids are the only reason for them to continue this life", he thought.
Ramya reminded him of his mom, 'the picture of her holding her baby' in their first meeting reminded him, the mental picture of his mother holding his hand in his childhood. He found a common resemblance in both of the beautiful faces, "the eyes...." which appeared lost its life.... the empty look.... devastated....
He would do anything in this world, to bring life in those eyes...but he missed the chance, as his mother gone in his childhood itself....
"If I get a chance now......"
To be continued.....