Mira was feeling atrocious and sad; slowly she gained her conscious back to the small world, for a moment she felt guilty as she has always hated her father and never respected him or talked with him nicely. During her teenage days she always thought why he had to come to their house? She many a times questioned her mother, “Maa why does this man come here and why do you allow him to come again and again. If he really cared for us he would have stayed with us and not with that other woman of his.” Mother would always shout on this saying, “Mira do not forget that man is your father and one day you will understand how much he loves you and your brother.”
Mira’s eyes were closed; all the images of the past when her mother was alive and the time that they spent in this house started floating in front of her eyes. One such incident when her father wanted to talk to her and she responded to him in a negative gesture back then, suddenly became visible in front of her eyes. Her father took her to that little garden of their mother’s; he wanted to spend some father daughter time with her. Mira still remembers her father’s words, when he said, “Mira your mother and I are so proud of you. You are growing into a beautiful woman like your mother and this makes my heart fill with worries for your future. Like any dutiful father I want you to live a happy life. For you I dream of a loving and caring husband who will love you more than us. When I will fulfill this duty a great responsibility of mine will be over and I will be at great peace”. Saying this he had put his hands on Mira’s head but Mira retreated back with a negative gesture saying, “ If you really were so dutiful you wouldn’t have left us and mother here in Kalewadi, you could have taken us with you and or stayed with us here. I don’t want your courtesy and keep your fake love up to yourself; there is no need to suddenly shower it on me.”
Everything became alive in front of Mira’s eyes and she suddenly felt as if someone has put a huge amount of weight on her chest and she was not able to breathe. She took long deep breathes but this burden of guilt was now weighing more than her emotions. Mira’s heart was crying but she was a strong woman, her mother has taught her to be a woman always keeping control on the inside emotions. She consoled herself and took the dairy in her lap; she saw that very few pages were left, so she began to read again.
………Something strange happened in my life after the birth of Mira, I suddenly became this demanding woman who wanted her marital rights to be fulfilled at any cost. I again and again started feeling that I need to talk to Vipin about us. I wanted him to marry me because I felt very ashamed of the fact that I have two children from a relationship which still doesn’t have any name. I started becoming stubborn now and then and more often my discussion with Vipin on our marriage turned into heated arguments. He wasn’t at all willing to marry me and I could see the agitation on his face every time I raised the discussion. This caused our relationship get more strained and there came the turn that made me realize that I wasn’t his love, never a wife, nor his soul mate, I was just a woman he kept for having children and grow his family who will take his name to his coming generation. On the other side I always knew his wife Sugandha Shinde hated me and it must be the most painful fact of her life that her husband kept a mistress. I knew how she might have felt for sharing his husband with another woman, but I never hated her rather I always found great respect for her because she never left Vipin even after knowing the bitter fact….
Mira’s mind got more and more confused, before now she was burning in the feeling of guilt now suddenly a spark of rage fired within her. She didn’t stop and continued reading. The next page read.
……… After my repeated efforts of molding Vipin to make him agree for marrying me and his constantly saying “No” in answer, finally made me understand that I was never Vipin’s true love, but she was. Sugandha his wife was the true love of his life that he never left and she didn’t either. At times I felt like a used puppet that was used till it was required and when its role was over it was thrown into one corner. My life became a burden on me, I never expected it would be like this but there was no escape, seldom had I felt like making an end but I couldn’t leave my children behind alone in this world. I am their pillar of strength, and I will persist till they have their own wings to fly away from this nest. I am seeing them growing and one day they will ask for answers that why my whole life I have lived alone? Why their father didn’t stay with them? I might not be able to answer them in words, but I have faith when they will know the truth they will forgive me.
Mira was getting shocked with every page that opened a new truth in front of her. She was battling with mixed feelings going inside her at times pity, anger, sad, and mostly she felt pain after knowing the hidden story of her mother’s life. Everything now became so vividly clear, why her mother always cried and often got lost in the world of her own. Her mother’s heart was open all in front of her and she saw her mother’s face in the diary and tried to feel her lost tears by touching the pages with her hand, she tried to understand her deep sorrow which she had hidden for so many years and took it away all along with her. What are left behind are her words written in black ink on the white pages of her diary which Mira very well understood that mother had left purposely. She turned the next page and saw that it was the last page of the dairy and it was addressed to Mira so she hastily began to read.
………I have seen many a time two curious eyes sneaking at me from behind the doorway of my room, my sweet darling daughter always wanted to know what I wrote in my red diary. Mira one day you will grow up into a beautiful woman and get married and will have beautiful children and I will be grandmother to them, but somewhere deep inside I strongly feel that I will not be around much long. I am keeping this diary as a souvenir for you, I know that there will be a day when you will feel guided from within to read my diary and that shall be the day then. I have faith that after reading the diary you will surely not hate your father, the way I have seen the hatred in both of your eyes. Your father was a good man at heart and he loves Aarav and you more than anything in this world. My fate was written in a different manner, but I accepted the things in my life they were. When you will read all the pages of this diary and the time you will reach to this page here Mira, I am sure you would understand why I always disguised myself like a married woman. In my past I did what I did, but I was not a wrong woman with bad intentions, I always saw love in Vipin’s eyes for all of us and he supported me throughout. Sometimes people are tangled in relationships from which they are never able to come out, Vipin and I made such relationship and we both tried best to maintain it with dignity and respect. His presence around me and arrival often to this house saved me from many cunning eyes of Kalewadi, though with time he visited less but he never stopped coming. I was not his wife but he treated me well, it was my expectation which made me more demanding and slowly I distanced myself from him and felt less attachment for him. Though I have always loved your father, my world began with him and it will end loving him and both of you my precious children. I have written this diary for you to know everything that I could not have ever spoken from mouth and when I will be gone I shall not carry any baggage with me there.
Mira I want you to understand that grown up people sometimes make mistakes that become irreversible and it becomes a compulsion to live with it, I know by the time you will read this diary you will be understanding enough to accept the truth and forgive me and your father. I only want you to love me forever like you always did…..
Mira quickly turned more pages, she wanted to read more but the pages were empty and the diary ended. Mira’s eyes were wet again, but this time she didn’t feel any anger, sadness, or burdensome, her tears washed away every feeling she went through while reading the diary and she felt more light hearted and relieved. She stood from the bed and went towards the photo of mother that hung in the room and looked at it for a while, cleaning it with her own Sari she bowed her head and putting both her hands together against her chest she paid her homage.
Unknowingly the night ended and it was time for Mira to leave, she looked at the watch, it showed 7.00 a.m. in the morning, the whole night went away reading the diary. She had to catch her train at 12, 0’ clock noon; quickly she changed and packed her small bag. She went to the mother’s garden to give it a last look, it was dead long ago along with mother, there was no trace of rose plants anymore. Mira came inside and looked all around the house like a child who was getting parted with her mother. It was time for her to leave, she took the mother’s diary kept it inside her bag and came outside the doorway. She locked the main door and sat in her taxi which was already waiting for her outside the house, she sat in it, and Mira one more time took the last glance at the mother’s house. Deep inside her she knew that it might be her last visit here in Kalewadi. She reached the station on time and boarded on Pune to Indore Express, by 4.00 p.m. the next day in the evening she reached Indore and she was delighted to see that her husband was already waiting for her; they came back to their house in their car.
On her way to home Mira’s mind was restless, there was something that was constantly bothering her, she wanted to do something and after thinking a lot, she took a decision. She decided to publish her mother’s life story and after three years of hardship and constant visits to many publishing houses, the diary got published as a novel. Mira named it “The Ingrown Sapling”, it was published as a fiction based book and the author’s name was prominently visible on the cover of the book “Ramya Prabhakar”. The book became the best seller and on the last page of the book Mira’s last note was there it read, “Her heart was of ocean, her soul was divine, she was our mother she was our Goddess”
Mira was now at great peace and thankful to her mother that because of the diary she has been able to erase all the differences between her and father. They have become more attached now sharing quality talk often on telephone, but Mira has kept the diary a secret from her husband and her brother Aarav. Perhaps it will never be required to reveal it anymore to anyone.