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Beauty Was All He Wanted…

Beauty Was All He Wanted…

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What inspired Ajay to marry Saundarya? Was it her beauty or something else? Read this story to find out.

By Rhituparna Chakraborty

Saundarya loved taking care of herself. The first thing she would do in the morning, would be drinking 2 glasses of warm water. Then she would cook breakfast for herself and her husband Ajay. She would always avoid oily food. Breakfast would comprise of plain parathas, veggies and a cup of black tea. She never had tea with milk and sugar because that might make her look bloated. After breakfast, she would pack Ajay’s lunch box which would include some steamed rice, lentil soup, salad/veggies. She would save some for herself as well, so that she did not have to cook lunch separately for herself.

Before leaving for work, Ajay would kiss Saundarya and say, ‘Take care my pretty lady. See you soon after work.’ Saundarya would blush. Ajay would then say, ‘If you blush, I won’t be able to go to work. Shall I stay back?’ Saundarya would push Ajay gently and say, ‘Enough of flirting now….go to work….’

After Ajay would leave for work, Saundarya would apply face pack. Every day of the week, she had a different face pack routine. Mondays, she would apply a tiny amount of cream of milk on her face, leave it for 15 mins to half an hour. She would then clean the house. After 15 mins she would wash her face with lukewarm water, pat dry and would resume her household chores. After her household chores, she would bathe and apply some moisturizer and massage her face with gentle strokes.

Tuesdays her face pack would comprise of a mixture of honey and curd. Wednesdays would be egg white face pack, Thursdays would be a scrub face pack made of gram flour and sugar and, Fridays would be ‘hair care’ day, when she would apply homemade henna paste on her hair. On Saturdays and Sundays she would tend to the flower pots and make good meals.

And all of this, she did for her Ajay. Yes, Ajay, her love, her soulmate. Ajay had met Saundarya when he had come to this city in search of work. Whenever Ajay went to work, he would see Saundarya watering the plants or putting washed clothes in the clothesline outside to dry. He would hear Saundarya’s mother calling her and the moment Saundarya replied with her soothing voice, Ajay would feel his heart longing for Saundarya. Eventually, Ajay introduced himself to Saundarya and he began meeting her often. The moment Ajay had seen Saundarya, he knew he would marry her. Meeting and talking to her every day, made his decision firm. One fine day Ajay told Saundarya, ‘I love you and I want to marry you.’ Saundarya was surprised. She asked, ‘And why so?’ Ajay replied, ‘I don’t know. If I had known, it wouldn’t have been love, would it be?’ Saundarya blushed. Ajay went close to Saundarya, caressed her right cheek, and said, ‘You are beautiful Saundarya, you stole my heart. Marry me. I promise, I will keep you happy.’

Saundarya’s family was somewhat skeptical about the marriage. They met Ajay’s family. Ajay’s family did not have much to say because Ajay had made up his mind. However, Saundarya’s father asked Ajay, ‘I don’t believe in love. I never believed in love, rather. Hence, I want to know the truth, Ajay. Why do you want to marry my daughter?’ Ajay replied, ‘I wish I knew why. But there is something in Saundarya that attracts me. I don’t know….’ Saundarya’s father asked, ‘What is that something?’ Ajay replied honestly, looking at Saundarya’s father’s eyes, ‘Your daughter is beautiful. That’s all.’

The people in the small city knew Saundarya. However, Ajay was new to that place. They tried to coax Saundarya’s parents, ‘There is something wrong here. Just check the guy’s background.’ Saundarya’s relatives living in the same city were also not happy. They too told Saundarya’s parents, ‘Ajay does not seem like a genuine person. It was necessary to get a thorough background check done. It was the question of Saundarya’s future.’

Saundarya’s father did speak with Ajay’s employer and tried to find out more about Ajay. There was nothing fishy so far. Finally Saundarya’s parents agreed and the marriage was solemnized.

Ajay was elated. Saundarya felt she was in a world of bliss and only bliss, nothing else. Every day, Ajay would tell her, ‘You are beautiful and I love you.’ Sometimes Saundarya would wonder, what if I did not stay beautiful? Would Ajay leave me? No no! I should take care of myself.’ Saundarya never disclosed her insecurities.

One day Saundarya’s elder sister Nalini visited her. Ajay had already left for work by then. When Nalini arrived, Saundarya was busy applying a ‘multanimitti’ face pack. Nalini asked Saundarya, ‘My my, you get time to apply face pack at this hour? Don’t you have to write?’ Saundarya exclaimed, ‘Nalini Didi! When did you come?’ Nalini hugged Saundarya and said, ‘Just now.’

Saundarya: So sweet of you to come over. Come, let’s have tea.

Nalini: No no, you must write and complete your novel. See Saundarya, never ever stop chasing your dreams……

I had these fresh mangoes delivered to my home yesterday. So thought of giving some to you guys. Hence came. I don’t want to waste your time by chit chatting. You better finish your novel.

Saundarya: But di, please, stay back for some time. I need to talk to you.

Nalini: What is it baby? Are you alright?

Saundary: I am fine, but…..

Nalini: But what?

Saundarya: Di…..I am tired……

Nalini: Tired of what?

Saundarya: Tired of taking care of myself and following my beauty regime…..

Nalini: Saundarya, you don’t have to follow a strict beauty routine all the time…why are you doing that?

Saundarya: I don’t know……..I feel, Ajay’s love for me will diminish if I don’t remain beautiful.

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Nalini: Sweetheart, Ajay loves you. He does not care about your beauty routine. Did he ever say anything of this sort to you?

Saundarya: No! Never! It’s just that…. I don’t understand why he married me. He keeps on saying that I am beautiful. I feel….probably that’s the only reason he married me. And if I don’t take care of myself, what if his love for me lessens?

Nalini patted Saundarya’s cheek and said, ‘Ajay loves you for who you are. Whether you follow a beauty routine or not, nothing matters to him. We all know him well, Saundarya. It has been 10 years ofyour marriage with him. He loves you. So, you can forget your beauty regime for a while and focus on your book.’

Saundarya said ‘yes’, but deep down she still felt, perhaps beauty was the only reason why Ajay still loved her. She must take care of herself. It had been 10 years of marriage and she had not been able to conceive. She felt, what if Ajay longed for a child and, since she was unable to conceive, what if Ajay sought love elsewhere. Every day Ajay told her that she was beautiful. And it seemed beauty was the only reason why Ajay loved her.

Nalini told Saundarya, ‘Focus on your book and stop doubting Ajay’s love. I repeat, he loves you for who you are. Stop this difficult beauty regime of yours and put more efforts on your book.’

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

As for Ajay, Ajay was a writer. He had once portrayed a character in one of his stories. The name of the character was ‘Naina.’ Ajay had described Naina as a simple girl with very average looks. Naina was around 5 feet 1 inch tall. She had a round face with a plump nose. She had acne marks all over her face and was overweight because of hormonal issues. Naina had ambrosial eyes. They were very beautiful.

There were two traits in Naina which were rare in others. No matter what, she could never say ill about anyone. And second, no matter how the circumstances were, she would always be patient and calm. These two traits of Naina had made Ajay fall in love with her.

Never in his wildest dreams did he ever think that he will meet a real ‘Naina’ in his life, in the form of ‘Saundarya.’ Yes, Saundarya resembled Naina right from looks to nature. For Ajay, Saundarya was the most beautiful person in this world, because he had fallen in love with her, even before he had met her……………..

Today, while coming home from work, he stopped at a store to buy a stylus and a slate for Saundarya. Yes, just like ‘Naina’, Saundarya had beautiful eyes, but those eyes could not see. Saundarya loved writing and used Braille to write. Saundarya’s older slate and stylus were damaged yesterday, hence Ajay bought those today, so that his love can complete her story. His story was already complete. He had his ‘Naina/Saundarya’ already in his life. Now, he wanted to know Naina’s story

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  • Rhituparna never fails to surprise you with deep thought provoking insightful stories with juicy bends which is manna for the soul of a reader.. She celebrates the essence of human existence in the promise to empower this chaotic human existence in us to see beauty everywhere, to become a better human being inspire of the flaws in us.. The narrative leaves a lasting impression.. The heart leaps with joy..

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