The sound of my laugh

The sound of my laugh, where was it all these years? I realize that I am in love with myself, the immaculate nature of me. The lost self. It was this that brought me the life back that was lost all this while. There is a person that I am in love with. That very person comes to me with cheerful eyes when I have witnessed something beautiful. Yes, my name is Sara, the other name that I always use to introduce myself to a book and a pen. I hope that people like my name . It is a figment of my imagination. The one I created when I was in those moments of joy. Sara was everything that I wanted to be. She was the perfect, impeccable one that one wishes to be all the time. The life that one seeks for. Yes, that is her and that is who I want to be.

Her name brings joy to me. Like how Vladimir Nabokov brings forth Lolita to his readers, I bring forth Sara to you. It begins with the hiss, like the snake you say.. oh yes!! And ends with the name of the sun god, “Ra”. How perfect to introduce you to my muse.

To begin with my story, my part of life is just about bragging but I decide to share my story with you. A clear story that I have always been wanting to share it with someone. With a lot of thought and patience , I put forth to you , my dearest reader, the story of my life. A sneak peak about the life that people keep wondering about.

It started when I was six, a cheerful little dumpling I must say. That is how I looked and people kept pinching my cheeks because I looked like a rice dumpling. I kept running all the time, I kept running for a glass of milk and running to just get things done as quick as possible. I was in a hurry to grow up. To reach the age of 30 to wear stilettos and flaunt my dupatta wherever I went. I started to wear the slippers of the guests who had left them behind the door to enter into the house.

I was immature and that is what everyone told me but I didn’t make an effort to listen to them. “Why should I”? I kept asking myself but I did not receive an answer. Even today, I think of the same question and ask myself all over again. I am still left with no answer. The only image that I have about myself is this, running around the poles in the park, plucking out the grass with so much strength that my small palm and fingers could grasp and run around chuckling with the laughter that still haunts me. Who in the world would even dream of a life that I would lead.

When I was ten, I was much more a racist than I could remember. I did not want to mingle with the Muslim children who lived ten blocks away. I thought of them as impure and had the audacity to tell the other friends of mine not to mingle with them. This was what I had learnt from various sources that I don’t remember now. I want to go back and change everything that I once witnessed. Every small second, split into two, modified to make a whole new story of my life. And today, I go back to these deep valleys where my true self resides and all I can do is just ponder over them and stare at them, unable to make any amends.

You are expecting for the climax, and I can read your mind, dear reader. I am coming to it and I wont hesitate to tell you what happened. Why would I? When I have made a choice to reveal my darkest fears and secrets. I was sixteen when I met him. He was tall and dark with thick eyebrows and the tender moustache growing above his lips was what enamoured me the most. I made an attempt to rub it with my thumb when I was alone with him on the terrace of his house. Amit’s shoulder was hard and yet soft due to the muscles that overlapped with his shoulder bone. It served as a comfortable pillow for a year until I was seventeen. It was then I saw him grow up like I did, in a hurry to be thirty and take on the responsibility. “But we are just seventeen”, I kept reminding him. I could see the resentment on his face and I repented myself for being with him. I could have walked away from him when my friends had called me to join them for a movie but I didn’t. “Fool that I was”, I keep saying this to myself but I knew none of what was going to happen later. Amit had finally given up on me and I could sense it but he tried his best to cover it all. I never knew one thing when I saw the resentment on his face and that was what he was capable of doing.

“AMIT and SARA, how wonderful it sounds”, Kumar exclaimed when he saw us together going to tuitions and that was what made Amit to believe in us all over again. Who knew till how long it lasted, but we were happy all over again and that shoulder of his kept growing into a more comfortable pillow. I should have known about it but I ignored it since I was just a “fool”. Kumar kept meeting us then and now and I could very well see Amit replacing my position in his life with Kumar. I said nothing then too and you know why. Kumar knew everything about me by then. He could have been another Amit but I was in love with the idea of just loving one person for the rest of my life.

Kumar met me at the bus station on a rainy day saying that Amit was stuck in a horrific traffic jam and couldn’t make it t pick me up at the station and that Kumar was asked to the honour of picking me up from tuitions and dropping me at the tution. I agreed since it was just Kumar. We drove till Lajpath nagar and Kumar suggested that we park the car two blocks away where there was ample space for it. I agreed to that too. Once he pulled the breaks, and switched off the engine, he laid his hand on my thigh.  Was disgusted by this and told him to let go of me. He did not, he pushed his hands and groped to my insides. I had a flush of tears by then, I kept trying to scream but there was no one and I had come to a stage that I couldn’t hear myself anymore. I kept wriggling like a small creature but it made no difference at all. He went inside me and tore up my flesh , I still didn’t feel anything because I was almost dead with the fact that I was being raped and nothing else was happening to me. I could only relate to the women who cover their faces on TV when asked to describe the horrifying experience. How could I be that woman? I was just Sara who had everything laid out on a platter, a silver platter. How could I stand in front of cameras with a veil covering the shattered self? I had lost everything precious, my own life and my own self. People think of Sara as a perfect being. My husband does too. He loves me more than I can ever put together in this world. But I don’t, I don’t love the very part of me that was defiled and left to the dogs to scavange upon. How can I love the man who has believed the pure self in me which was shattered long ago. He leaves me with no answers and I am glad that I cannot find any because I have nothing to offer anymore, not even to myself.


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