In this poignant short story, Barnali Ray Shukla captures the complexities of human relationships and the fragilities in her words showcasing how they can alter lives.
Shantanu was married to Fiza. His tweet declared his marriage of fifteen years to be the best feeling in his life, ever. It even had a hashtag, I scrolled on but with a small yelp. My morning tea had spilled not just because of my short laugh on recalling Shantanu’s string of women, but because Posto had jumped onto my lap. Posto tends to feel lost sitting on my shoulder on Monday mornings looking at the smartphone. This purr was her reminder to get me to start my day.
I had first seen Shantanu in Goa just after the turn of the millennium. Lanky, long-haired, desperate. He was chasing my roommate Sheeba and had chased her to Goa, where she and I had to come to finalize a venue for her upcoming wedding. I was there for no particular reason except that she wanted me to be there for her. I had come to be a part of her life in every possible way but I wasn’t there when she slashed her wrists. It had barely been six months after meeting Shantanu. The same day he had married Fiza, Sheeba had died with Shantanu’s child in her.