She was my little parakeet. That’s what comes to my mind every time I think of her.
I met her on a train journey. I was going on a usual business trip and she, a student, on her way to visit her aunt. We were sitting next to each other. Her chatter is what caught me. Initially, she wasn’t talking to me. But to herself, which were rather loud. I was little confused who she was speaking to…Was it for the sole benefit of her or her fellow passenger too?
Later, I learned that it was my corporate attire, which made her nervous and vocal. Nevertheless, I was amused by her chatter and the innocence in it. By the end of the journey, I was smitten by her. Luckily, she turned out to be much older than I had initially assumed her to be. Was it her naivety or mine? Don’t know. Before long, we found ourselves united in matrimony.
That was during the initial period. The novelty soon started to wear away for people. Including me. I started finding faults in her parakeet nature. To start with she was too verbose. Every time she had to speak something, that too in the most verbose manner. She never knew the beauty of brevity. Soon, I started longing for brevity. Among my friend’s circle, I was a joke. People called me the aftermath of a cyclone or a verbal diarrhea.
I stopped taking her along with me to parties. I thought that will reduce her verbosity. But I was mistaken. She would narrate the smallest incident that took place at the supermarket and that too with most of the details. Soon she realized I was loosing interest in her and that increased her insecurity along with her verbosity. She would recount every incident and conversation that took place while she went out with the finest details and in verbatim.
Days went by. My silence grew and her chatter too. We no longer talked to each other. She talked to herself aloud. But as days went by, she looked like a withered flower. The melancholy in her eyes and voice were too much for me to bear. I made attempts to talk to her but the moment I talked, she withdrew herself into silence.
I realized that this can’t go on for long. It was the same time, I got a foreign assignment for 2 years abroad. After a lot of thinking, one day I presented her the divorce papers and broke the news that I am leaving the country and I wanted to set her free before I leave. I expected her to break down. But nothing happened. There was a strange calmness and without any delay, she signed the papers. I told her that she could stay here as long as she wanted or until she found an alternative place. I didn’t linger on. I went to office. I made my travel plans for the next week. During the week, I saw very little of her. I was mostly at office and even when I came home, I didn’t get to see her. She was still there, I knew.
The day I left, I waited for her to come out of her room. For a final goodbye. But she didn’t. Instead, I slipped a note under the door and left as I couldn’t wait any further.
These two years I didn’t think much of her. Yes, my initial concern was -will she stay in that house forever??? But after two days I got a call from my neighbour saying she handed over the keys. I asked where she went, to which I didn’t get any answer.
Now, back in my home after 2 years. I feel weird. The silence is somehow resonating and I long for my parakeet’s chatter.