With her nose tip red, anyone could tell she was very upset at that moment. Outside the window, orange blooms on the ‘Gulmohar’ smoldered.
Fighting against her discomfiture she came out on the terrace. The city was spread out in a beauteous panorama before her.
Padma pressed a few buttons on the Galaxy Note. The friendly app. ‘CONFIDANTE’ popped into service.
App - Hello friend!
Padma clicks- Salman’s lost. No Facebook, SMS, or e-mail in those days. The price my generation has paid.
App - Salman?
Padma -......... In his memories, I love to escape. The one who soulfully loved me. Salman still tranquilizes me.
App- Does Armaan, your husband, not love you?
Padma lifted her head. In the corner of the terrace, a pigeon was cavorting as its impressed partner perched on a low brick wall cooed.
Padma -We had to attend Mr. Swami’s housewarming today. Armaan has gone and taken the kids with him. I have not been taken.
App- Why so?
Padma’s breath fell, and then she responded.
Padma - After I became a mother, my body behaves as if it has a mood of its own. I have grown so plump and flabby. What do I do of this bodyweight? So many times, I’ve seen Armaan ogling at those hourglass beauties.
The despair had rocked Padma to the core, and she wept unabashedly. From her seventh floor, no one could hear her. Her loud sobs reached no ears.
Padma- ….because I am no more beautiful, I have been left behind. Since 5:00 in the morning today, I’ve been gathering the household, arranging dresses and readying up the kids... I ruffled up the breakfast and even fixed the dinner table because I too wanted to go. Armaan sat on his laptop, deaf, mute and blind. Especially for me. Over the years he has only grown more uncooperative and insensitive.
App- Why don’t you try shaping up yourself then?
Click- My body shape is like this! I was never truly lean, and always a healthy and hefty person; ever since I began observing myself in front of the mirror. I have stressed out enough with diets and aerobics. Is being stocky a crime? Besides with hormones doing their bit, in years to come, I anticipate putting on flab sooner than I can lose.
Padma’s brown eyes slithered helplessly, and she felt stress grabbing her breath. Gulping down a glass of cool water and nursing her craving for love, again she returned to the search engines of Facebook.
App- Would you confess your attachment to Salman if you find him today?
Padma flung back, stunned.
Padma’s eyes widened. She hadn’t imagined this app, to be so smart! reading her thoughts, scanning right through her heart!
“I need peace! I want to be alone.” Padma dictated.
App- But you are not alone. You are with Salman in your memories.
“I have become a melancholy deluxe servant in the garb of a wife.” Padma stewed. “Salman is still comforting, anytime I think of him.”
A red Bougainvillea creeping over the wall was in full bloom. Padma’s musing took her to another pleasant and much-frequented memory lane.
App- Yes, Salman must have adored you Padma…and why not? You are so nice! But why did you not marry him?
Padma- The time and my age were not compatible. I was still studying in school, harboured great dreams and promises, while he had all that a bachelor is eligible for. A respectable job, good house, and a tall, fair, healthy, and handsome appearance. He was truly eligible while the thought of marriage was untenable for me.
App- Padma, according to my algorithm, I can envision you capable of doing more. Why don’t you explore your life? think about something different? You are blessed with a bright mind and an education girl! come out of that befuddlement now. It is in your power. You can make things as simple or as complex as you think through them. It’s your life. Make it beautiful.
The app. was imploring Padma.
App- Your spirit still remains gift wrapped inside pink cellophane. Use your education; trust your talents.
Padma felt buoyant in a long time. The good words were doing their magic.
App- I am just a coup doing my duty. The world needs its women to liberate their spirits. Enrich your days with health, happiness, contributing to societal issues, figuring out the problems of the world…Can’t you?
Far from feeling capable, Padma felt miffed. The idea seems satirical.
App- Be optimistic. It’s not absurd. Success is earned through hard work, helping and receiving help from others, and upholding your basic rights to be independent and secure in your own skin. When you love yourself, people accept you as you are. Your birth is not deceit. The universe is grateful to you, that you took birth. Go, and claim your part of the sky….
Yonder an assortment of sounds was floating in. Somewhere a 'neta’ was giving a speech, a ‘pundit’ chanting in the neighborhood temple, the vegetable seller calling out his prices. A breeze blew inside, and her hair catching the wind flew in every direction.
Padma was out of breath with an awakened thrill. she quickly tapped some more buttons, and out flashed a ‘walk-in opportunity’. 8 MARCH. “TODAY”! Money, post, independence, security, respect ....all waiting to be hers soon.
App- These are the seeds; you can turn them into fruits.
In a frenzy, she zipped up all the vital documents. Grabbing the mobile and riding her spectacles she was soon off to set her foot into a new world. There she would get back the lost pieces of herself. There she would never need to withhold her breath.
“Another world is not only possible, she’s on the way and, on a quiet day, if you listen very carefully you can hear her breathe.” An automated data report was transcribed from the app interface.
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