It was 4 in the morning and Prerna was wide awake. Still cuddled up in her quilt, she was looking at the ceiling fan which had not been used in months due to the extended winter this year. Somehow she felt a close connection with that stationary fan. She too, like the fan, had been out of practice for a long time; out of practice of being in a domestic environment. She was just 23 when she had become a widow; just after three months into marriage and that was a long time ago. Prerna, now 38, was apprehensive about going into the same setting again. Not sure how it would end this time. After her husband’s death, she had immediately joined a big school as a teacher in her hometown Pune. It took her many years to get back to normal life, but she did eventually.
It was almost 5 years that she had been living alone in her small rented flat in the small town of Sawanpur. She was a teacher at a primary school there and was very good at her job. She had a good rapport with her students and was by far the best science teacher the town had.
Leaving behind a good salary and the happening life of the city was not easy but she wanted to live a simple life. Every day was a struggle for her as she molded herself for the simple life she always wanted. She had started finding joy in small things and suddenly one phone call changed her life completely, once again. Her father was severely ill and wanted her to settle down. He wanted her to come to Pune and meet a guy and get married to him.
Although she did not want to do that, the idea somewhere appealed to her and hence, the frustration of the double mind. The wakeful nights and the constant self talks were a regular thing since that call. She knew that she did not want to get married, yet some unknown factor was pulling her towards the other side.
Prerna had already lost her mother when she was quite young. Her father was the only anchor of her life after that. He had supported her throughout her life. He even did not interfere with her decision to shift to Sawanpur, on the contrary he was very supportive. He visited her quite often and enjoyed the company of the simple people living there. Lately, his visits had become scarce as his health was affecting his travels. Prerna’s pleas of him shifting with her were refused every time and then she stopped talking on that matter. He had become worried about her lately and so he insisted her to get married.
After many arguments that she had with her father and herself, she finally decided to give the idea of meeting someone a try. She booked a ticket on the next train and was now headed to Pune.