Into the wind – PC – pexels.com, Keenan Constance
Into the Wind – A bag, a diary, a shawl, and a silent Lake…..
A faint breeze from across the lake rippled over the placid surface and died halfway to the wooden pier. Rina’s rucksack, shawl, and diary didn’t feel that breeze, though they lay like silent witnesses to a Shakespearean tragedy on that pier, close to the water’s edge.
The last words written in that diary, in Rina’s cursive scribble said – ‘Just because the clouds have covered the stars, doesn’t mean their light has been extinguished…’.
In the rucksack, along with her iPhone and some papers, was a USG report from the local diagnostic center, confirming that Rina was 13 weeks pregnant, again!
That is how the Police found everything at the Lakeshore when they came looking for Rina…
Into the wind – 2
When Neeraj came home the day before, he wasn’t surprised to find Rina away. After all, their relationship had fizzled out over the last eight years, especially since Rina’s failure to bear children – after three miscarriages.
Rina had taken to solitude and her writings as a means of coping with her ever-increasing depression, and would often take off for her lakeside retreat to write, and in general, to mope.
Neeraj had silently blamed Rina, and his family had also opined that Rina was defective. Rina was distraught, pulling apart from Neeraj, little by little.
The dream that two fresh-faced graduates had visualized – about their future, their career aspirations, a family that they would build on the foundations of granite-like bricks of love, hope, and care had slowly crumbled at the altar of reality.
Harsh facts had slowly but surely, overcome their romanticism.
Into The Wind – 3
Neeraj assumed that Rina had once again gone off to the Lakeshore, to write and vent her frustrations on the wrinkled pages of her decades-old diary.
But when Rina didn’t return till 9.30 pm and wasn’t even answering her phone, Neeraj started to worry, she’d never stayed out this late.
When he reached the Police Station to file a missing person’s report, he was still a little skeptical and hopeful, that at any time, his phone will ring and Rina will be back.
Even when the Duty Officer languidly told him to go back and wait for his wife to come back, he almost believed him.
Still, his growing sense of panic prevailed and he insisted that his report be noted, though he knew that nothing would be done that night.
Into The Wind – 4
As morning dawned, Neeraj was sure that Rina had either deserted him or had committed suicide…. He desperately tried to remember their last conversation, whether he’d said anything that could push Rina over the edge… but no… nothing other than tired responses to boring questions.
Was there another man in her life? No, he didn’t think so… Then? Could she have found out about him and Jess? Not likely, he’d been very careful about that.
Would he have the courage to tell Rina that he was planning on separating from her? Maybe, he’d have to wait some more….
The whirlwind of conflicting thoughts wracked his mind.
Into The Wind – Six Months later…
The Police never found Rina or her body. Among the other papers in Rina’s rucksack, they had also found two Boarding Passes and a bill from Le Meridien, Delhi for a Double Room.
This was dated for the weekend when Neeraj was supposedly attending a seminar in Mumbai and his phone remained switched off. Nobody followed up on that and Rina became another statistic on India’s missing persons’ list.