Being Women

Shohini – The Unconditional Love For Oneself

We always seek unconditional love. Love beyond boundaries and expectations. Love that stays with us always. Love that never gives up on us. Maitabi writes about one such love story where Shohini found that love ultimately, but the hard way.

The sun was beating down. 

The hues on the ‘uthon’, (courtyard), were myriad. The breeze was throwing the dry figs here and there. An unusual tangy aroma of mustard paste was in the air, which was doing the tango with the small firewood burning at the side. 

And amidst all this, soft sobs were heard. 

The body was lying in the middle of the uthon. The alpona now hid underneath the lifeless. On the borders, the white camouflaged. Shohini sat near the feet. Grazing her fingers precariously on the nails, which now looked barren. Her eyes were blank. The hair is tucked in a long braid. Lips dried and cracked like a desert, yet held an uncanny faint smile. 

Perhaps, she was mocking her fate. 

This was not how things were supposed to be. He had promised he would be back to be with her. But no, he left. Left forever and left without warning. Without telling her how much he loved her. Without rubbing off all the dreams, they had dreamt together. And then, without teaching her how to live without him, perhaps. 

The day unfolded with bizarre things, in a daze. She remembered being pushed, pulled, held, and made to do weird things. Words fell into her deaf years, yet, she remembered some strange words being uttered. But Shohini did everything she was asked to do. Quietly. She was always that all abiding girl, you see. 

Then, the men and the women left one by one. She saw, yet most of it went unseen. After a while, she stood alone. Very alone. 

The sun, too, didn’t stay longer to keep away the darkness. Ah! The cruel nature! It became dark sooner than she thought. She clutched her saree, wrapped it over the shoulders, and took small steps out of the house. On the banks of Padda river, where she stayed, Shohini stood holding her belly. It cramped oddly. She felt sick to the pit of her stomach. The fireflies played around her. The faint light of lanterns on the boats that floated on the river painted an enchanted picture. Once, she loved this sight! She looked far and beyond in the oblivion. Her mind, numb. Her toes abruptly curled. Her feet moved half into the slush. She looked at the moon above and suddenly burst out in inconsolable sobs. So much so that after a while, she couldn’t hear her lament. Oh…the pain!

Noone around to hold her. Soothe her. Tell her that one day all is going to be alright again. 

That night, Shohini stood alone and with herself by her side. 

Amidst the mayhem in her heart, she realised, that night, for the first time, that she needed to begin a new relationship soon. Very soon. Something that she never envisaged. It was alien. It was untold. But now, that’s the only hope she has to live with.  A renewed relationship with herself. Only herself.

Read out the other story by Maitabi Banerjee on The She Saga :

By Maitabi Banerjee
Co Founder of Writer’s Collective
Author/Editor/Book Consultant. She can be reached at

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