He will be home, always

by Rajes Bala 

Geeta was angry. “Why can’t Latha see or understand the situation she is in?” Geeta asked the question many times to herself about her sister.  

Geeta was an honest person and did not care much about her looks or money. She did she what she wanted to do and had with no hesitation saying exactly what she thought about politics, books or art. But she was worried about her sister.   

Latha was a beautiful, tolerant, smart, dutiful married women with two lovely small kids. She was married to doctor Ravi, who was an excellent dermatologist doing very well with private practice in London. There were no problems with him regarding money, managing the family or loving Latha. 

According to Latha, they were very “suitable partners” and “very good parents” for their kids. They had expensive family holidays in fascinating faraway places. Both their parents visited them alternately every other year. They visited and invited family members for celebrations such as birthdays or Divali and had parties with friends.  

“We’re a very happily married couple,” Latha would beam with the widest smile spreading on her face when she saw Geeta’s questioning face. 

Geeta did not see them as perfect nor suitable. Because she knew and practically everyone close to Ravi knew that he had a ‘bit on the side.’ The Eastern way of saying, “we knew but we did not see IT.” 

Geeta thought that she should do something about her brother in-law’s affair. She didn’t want her sister to be taken for a ride by him. “Ravi I’m going to tell your wife!” she wanted to scream at him when she saw him in central London. He was coming out of a posh restaurant with an exceptionally beautiful and elegant young woman who was holding his hand as one does when in love.  

That day Geeta was coming out of a women’s rights meeting. For their own betterment, “women must come out and express their problems within their marriages. They’re often prevented from doing that because of societal norms.” Geeta was a writer, dedicating her life to equality and fairness in the world. It broke her heart to see her sister being taken for a fool.  

When Geeta saw Ravi with the young woman, she was confused for a minute or so. Then she was shocked, upset and angry. How could he? He was the father or her niece and nephew. 

Her blood boiled. She looked at him, angrily and wanted to insult him publicly but she saw one of the women at the meeting coming towards to her. She walked away from the couple.  

When she went to see Latha at their expensive house in Chelsea, Latha was busy organising a dinner party. Geeta told her sister what she had seen in central London. She was in tears when she described the scene where the couple in locked hands.  

Latha did not seem to react in shock or anger. That confused Geeta. “Aren’t you going to ask him?” Geeta yelled. ‘No,’ Latha said calmly, not looking at her sister. Busy arranging plates. “We’re one of those couples who don’t ask a lot about each other.” Latha continued as though nothing had happened. “But.,” Geeta wanted to shake her sister.  

“My dear, whatever he does out of this house is none of my business, as he always comes home on time unless there’s an emergency. When he’s here he does whatever a father and a husband should do. We are happy. What more do you think I want from our marriage?” 

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