Updated: Sep 14
Quite often, it isn’t easy to cherish the present, but even when it is, many of us are stuck in the past or speculating an uncertain future. The simple realisation to live in the present isn’t apprehended until a well-wisher pulls us out of the memories and insecurities.
“Her Resolute” by Pooja Jonnalagadda tells the story of Anjali consumed by so much pain that she has no happiness until one day. Find out what happened.
Sipping the hot coffee as tears rolled down her cheeks, Anjali tucked a few strands of hair behind her ear while thinking about how her father kinda predicted her future years ago. When she introduced Anil to her family, she thought nothing about him could lead to rejection but she never anticipated that they would reject him based on astrology. She recalled her disbelief when they declared that he wouldn’t survive even a couple of years if they got married but nevertheless, they did. Now, on a Sunday morning, Anjali was reliving her past all alone in a dark, double-bedroom apartment.
Whenever she didn’t work, Anjali would stare at the dark sky at night or the white ceiling in the mornings while trying to accept the reality that her ill fate had snatched away her future from her. At times, her friends from work visited her and except for them, there was nobody she had now. No calls, texts, or visitors. Only doctor appointments and the cook who brought her food every day.
One day, Anjali heard a lot of disturbance while she was working from home. When she opened her door, she could see men shifting things. She soon saw a sweet couple walking towards her, holding hands.
With a smile, the lady said, “Hey there! I’m Siri and this is my husband Venkat. We bought your neighbouring house recently. So sorry if the movers were too loud.”
With a soft smile, Anjali replied, “Hey! I just got curious. They were not too loud and welcome to the community!”
Noticing Anjali’s baby bump, Venkat asked, “When are you expecting?”
Anjali perceived a sense of pain in Siri’s eyes and hesitantly answered, “In eight weeks...”
Cheering herself up, Siri replied, “Take good care sister and don’t forget to reach out whenever you need any help. Don’t even think twice.”
Bidding goodbye, Anjali got back to her work and later that night, when the cold breeze gave her chills, she sat near the window looking at the sky and thought she might have held Anil’s hand just like Siri held her husband’s hand. If only Anil was not taken from her through that unfortunate accident.
In the next few weeks, Anjali and Siri spoke often and as their bond grew, both of them started sharing their past. Siri told her how she and her husband were delighted when she got pregnant about a year ago. However, soon, she continued with her eyes filled with tears, as to how she had a miscarriage.
Her experience struck Anjali and in the following week, she opened up to Siri by telling her about her marriage. She told her how their marriage made both the families reject them and then how an unfortunate accident killed the man whom she hoped to spend her entire life with. Though Anjali felt a lot of pain reliving the experience, Siri was very supportive and hoped her friend would finally get closure by talking to someone about her haunting past.
Both women were dealing with their own losses that the other hadn’t experienced. However, Siri still had a life partner to help her deal with her pain. Sensing the void that Anjali must be feeling, one day while having coffee together in the evening, Siri hesitantly asked, “I’m not sure if I should ask this question but I would like to know if you intend to ever get married again?”
They sat silent for a moment before Anjali replied, “I don’t have any intentions to marry anyone else, Siri. Why do you ask?”
Her answer made Siri even tenser. She didn’t know if their bond was strong enough to have such a discussion yet but not giving up, Siri said, “Ever since we have moved here, I have always seen you being gloomy and depressed.”
While Anjali thought she told her what happened, Siri continued, “I know you have lost everyone who cared for you but I’m sure after knowing a few things, I must tell you to experience the pleasure of holding a baby within you.”
Holding her hand, Siri said, “I don’t want you to relive your past every passing moment while forgetting to live a moment that might never happen again. I’m certain, Anil would want you to do that.”
Out of the numerous conversations they had, this is the first time Siri made Anjali realise how beautiful and powerful it was to carry life within her. Hoping to be a mother someday and having had a miscarriage, Siri knew the feeling more than anyone else.
That night, Anjali thought about what Siri said. Looking at the dark sky, she recalled how Anil always spoke to her about living in the present. She recalled the time when they deliberated over whether they should get married or not, Anil straight-out said, “I will not leave you based on a speculative future.”
When he got to know that Anjali was pregnant, the first thing he said was, “Please let her be a little demoness like me and both of us will never stop teasing you.”
Thinking about it, again and again, Anjali realised that she needs to accept the past and grow beyond it. With a new addition coming into her life soon, she realised that she shouldn’t regret anymore about not listening to her parents because her loss was not because of predictions. For once, she told herself, she shouldn’t let the past hold her or fate beat her down. Instead, she should cherish her present while always continuing to love her first and only love.
No matter how things kept on falling apart in her journey, she promised Anil that their souls will be together forever and in this new beginning, for his loss might have left her lonely but not alone. She resolved to be grateful for every passing moment and hoped to live a life filled with love and hope while being wrapped in positivity!
This flash fiction is available in paperback & ebook.