Sunday 1 March 2015

Prose 500 2015 Longlist, Arjun Mukherjee

Thicker than Blood

Yashika hated Sunaina from the very first day itself. It didn’t matter how she was and Yashika didn’t even bother to find that out. For her she was and will always remain the proverbial evil step-mom who took her mom’s place. 

Sunaina got married to Aditya last December after a year long affair. Sunaina was a dentist and Aditya’s perennial root canal treatment made there encounters pretty frequent. After the sudden demise of his wife Richa some ten years back, Aditya has set his world around Yashika. Then again love is involuntary. He didn’t realize in the process of surrendering his mouth in Sunaina’s hands and helplessly staring at her for days will make him fall in love. Everything good or bad has to end. It was the last day of the treatment and as Sunaina was putting the scary looking objects in his mouth, he tried to say something unclearly. ‘Want to say something,’ she asked. He nodded. Just as Sunaina took out the Root Elevators from his mouth, Aditya told her, ‘I love you’. 

Sunaina was a genuinely nice person and she tried her level best to gel with Yashika. She never ever wanted to take Richa’s place in her life. ‘Richa is your mom and will always be but can’t we try to be friends at least,’ she told her after a month long futile effort of seeking her acceptance in their family. ‘We cannot share any relationship whatsoever at least in this life time,’ was her answer.
It is often said that time is the best healer. However, at times time tested phrases fails miserably. Six months have past by but Yashika remained as distant with Sunanina as she was on day one. Aditya confronted Yashika finally. ‘She is your mom, why are you so rude with her.’ ‘The blood running in my veins is not Sunaina’s, she can be your wife but she can never be my mom.’

Yashika loved her dad too much and rarely ever has she spoken to him like this. She was really disturbed as she was driving back from collage and didn’t notice the turn ahead. By the time she reacted it was too late and she smashed the car on the lamppost. It was complete black out after that.
She regained her senses a couple of hours later in a hospital bed. The nurse assured her that she escaped miraculously and there is nothing to worry about. The only concern was that she needed blood immediately and there was a crunch of O- blood. Hasn’t she given blood at the right time, things could have been serious. As Yashika turned around to express her gratitude she was shocked to see Sunaina in the opposite bed. Yashika was all red with embarrassment and put her head down. ‘I guess, now you can’t say we are not blood related,’ quipped Sunaina. ‘I am sorry, mom,’ barely Yashika spoke she bursted into tears. She knew very well this was thicker than blood.

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