From Storm to Serenity by Dr. Ritu Kamra Kumar
Updated: Apr 6
The ever increasing yearning in Nitika’s heart was to renounce the world, to shun its materialistic manifestations and to become nun of sorts. Seven years of frenzied corporate life had left her utterly disillusioned with the world and its shenanigans. She knew that her family and friends will be aghast at her decision but she was determined to go ahead. The only person she confided in was Avi. He had been her childhood buddy and now her husband. Immersed in her internet vortex she had been falling deeper and deeper in whirlpool of corporate chaos where her morning began with texting and scrolling e-mails and ended with taking calls, sipping umpteen cups of coffee. She had become a gadget worm.
At night looking into the mirror, she got immersed in her childhood memories, the Pajama parties, and the morning musings at her home with parents in a small town. She had dreamt of becoming rich and famous. She slogged to get a seat in an IIT. She got it with sheer dint of diligence and dedication. College days flew quickly; she then secured a seat in IIM. Her parents were proud of her and as she got placed in one of world’s top most MNC, gifts galore and celebrations poured in. With stars in her eyes, spring in her steps and butterflies in her stomach, she joined the company as a team leader. First salary that she got was her prized possession, and the sari she bought with that money for her mother was her treasure trove. Her rise and popularity was increasing day by day. Sky was the limit for her and then Avi, who too had cleared his IES, had joined a decent Job. So the families met and a wedding date was fixed.
How quickly wedding ceremonies took place! Shopping done hurriedly as there was hardly time to spare; a beautiful pristine resort was booked at Goa and wedding ceremonies performed amidst fun and festivity. A short honeymoon and then both of them rushed to their grueling work schedule. Family bliss always evaded them as their working hours didn’t spare much time to be spent together. There was pressure to begin a family, but who had the time and inclination. They slogged from Monday to Friday, slept like log on Saturday, binged lazily on Sundays, troubled by the blues of Monday again, often forgetting that life is short, there is a need to pause and appreciate little moments of togetherness.
Avi’s wintry demeanor due to professional commitments further eclipsed her life till one day; she decided to call it a day. She threw her agonies and anxieties to the wind and resolved to sing glory of her heart, befriend harmony and happiness. She talked to Avi, who was initially shocked at her impulsive decision but gradually as she reasoned with him, he realized that two of them had been leading a life being externally busy and internally hollow. With their office files as their props, they had no time to stand and stare the beauties of nurturing nature and ravishing relationships.
Avi prodded Nikita to know the reason of sudden change of mind to which she replied that the other day one of her young colleague who was workaholic suddenly collapsed on his files, stress and strain being the reason for the same. She said to Avi, “It was scary, it was an eye-opener. We need to plug the hole from wherein creeps the avarice to accumulate wealth” She felt hysteric in the consoling arms of Avi who said, “I’ll make our families understand the tumult and trauma you are undergoing. You leave the job and just be yourself.” Avi too felt urge of going far away from the maddening cosmopolitan commotion and chaos. In a small apartment on sixth floor of a posh society, he too felt suffocated.
It was evening when they reached their parental home, she found her parents sitting in lawn sipping evening tea. Without any twist and turn, Nikita informed her decision to leave the job and her inability to live life like Robots. Suddenly she could visualize herself playing in the lawn wearing pink frock with white dots, hand in pockets, exhibiting her new dress to her friends. A child in her is alive! She thought. Here one enjoys steaming cup of tea not the machine coffee. Her parents took her to her favorite restaurant. They had dinner in an old fashioned multi cuisine restaurant. She felt the experience beats every five star meal she had till date since her corporate life. She felt revitalized and rejuvenated. Back home, she saw her father’s diary on the table. On the very first page words from Bhagwad Gita were written, 'Yathecchasi Tatha Kuru’. These Sanskrit words were the final words of Krishna’s long sermon to Arjun, “Do as you desire". But now she understood after all those million words of instructions, Krishna confers humanness on Arjuna. "I have given you knowledge. Now you make the choice. The choice is yours. Do as your desire". As the meaning of words seeped into her, she tied her hair in a knot with a resolve in her mind and Avi’s firm hand in her hands she wrote her resignation and mailed it.
A new dawn beckoned her and she looked relaxed as her car moved towards the mountainous region to reach her horizon, live a life of her own. She moved towards the ultimate by slightly re-chiseling her perspective; a serene and sublime life. She intended to work for some NGO or teach vivacious and versatile kids to follow their heart. But before that she needed to unwind and prepare herself for an onward journey. Nun she didn’t become but her journey towards a new sunshine won hearts of many! She could feel wings of desire spread wide apart, like an innocent maiden singing to start. To start a journey within and without, without the fear of losing out, fighting till the end for that life ethical, taking her along to a victory unbeatable!
Dr. Ritu Kamra Kumar is working as an Associate Professor in the Post Graduate Department of English, Mukand Lal National College, Yamuna Nagar, Haryana since September 1987. She did her M.A., M. Phil. from Kurukshetra University with distinction securing 2nd position in University Merit List. She got her Ph.D. Degree from Dr. K.N. Modi University in the year 2016. She has to her credit, several articles and research papers published in the leading National and International Research journals and anthologies published in India, has delivered extension lectures in various colleges, guided M. Phil students for their dissertation. She has published several write-ups/critical reviews on articles and poems in leading National daily News Papers ‘The Tribune’, ‘The Daily Post’ 'The Daily World' & ‘The Hindustan Times’, including magazine like ‘Women’s Era’. Her area of interest is Feminism, Gender Studies and Post Colonial Studies.
Her Notable Works:
● Configurational Coordinates of Woman’s Space in Select Novels of Shashi Deshpande (Sarup Book Publishers Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi)
● The Priceless Petals – A collection of Middles and Essays (Authorspress, New Delhi)