Being Women

The Metamorphosis: A Short Story On Choice

A short story on the how the life of a young married woman changes after the death of her husband and the choice that she has to make.

“It’s your thirtieth birthday. Has to be special.” Kunal insisted. His excitement was building up soon after Diwali festivities turned mellow. This year every festival had appeared dull. Of course, I missed him. But whenever I felt low, I was reminded of the promise made to him soon after we were married.

“Welcome to my life Mohina. Henceforth you will carry many roles. You are a soldier’s wife, the force behind him. You are an inspiration to other soldier’s wives. You are on a different pedestal than me.” He had squeezed my hand tightly.

The warmth and resolve were palpable while a long pause followed.

“Mohina, for a soldier welfare of the nation and the men he commands, comes first. Always and every time. His own comfort and family come last. Always and every time. You have to be okay with that. This is a big ask. Since you were rushed into marriage, consider this an option now.” I was numb.

Taken aback by the brevity and straightforwardness, I managed a nod and a faint smile. “I’m in this forever now!” We continued sitting with fingers intertwined and emotions playing hide and seek through misty curtains of eyes.


“Mohina, Mohina………can you hear me…….!”

“Didi…..didi…..are you ok?”

“Bhabhi…..get up Bhabhi. Can you hear me?”

These and several other voices mix into an unpleasant cacophony, forcing me out of the visualization I was lost in.

The colourful drape on my head is swished away and replaced by a stark white one. The red in the parting is demonically wiped away. My head spins as the wailing women leave me listless.

Nudged, shoved, and finally, the limp arms are let go.

“Why don’t you cry Mohina? You have to.” A heavy voice demands.

“I just can’t!” a feeble whisper barely leaves my lips.

I remain slumped in a corner as people come and go overpowering me with force. Soon the wails are louder. My brother-in-law informs the mass that Kunal’s mortal remains are here.


Of course, I know what happened. I was the one who answered the door to the officers from his battalion. Their heads hung low and tears fought the stoic demeanour.

“Maam with great sorrow we wish to inform you that Major Kunal made the supreme sacrifice and attained martyrdom valiantly fighting insurgents at dawn yesterday. He leaves an unimaginable vacuum yet raises our heads with pride.”

It felt like doomsday! Seemed like my heart stopped beating. Darkness engulfed me like an impending storm. Sweating profusely, I remember hitting the floor.


A tearing jerk in my body brings me back to the present.

“I can walk by myself” I calmly inform the escorting women as I loosen my arms from the prisoner-like clasp.


“Mohina…..salute me with a smile and a resolve not a tear-stained face…..if I return wrapped in the tricolor.”

The last sentence of the last conversation reverberated through my head. A difficult promise to keep but I have to.

The day finally ends.

I rush to the room, locking myself in to be with him, his memories, and the lingering smell of his clothes. I finally let go and howled into his uniform. Oblivious to all consolations and urges to open the door, I clenched the uniform to my chest, how could I let go?

Three Months Later

Time flies they say and it did. A lot changed around me and within me. I refuse to ‘move on’.

“Mohina, what is wrong with their suggestion? Life has to be lived. You have to move on.” No amount of coaxing by my mother would change my mind.

“I’m committed to him. He is a part of my soul. I cannot. I will not.”

Mom raised her hands upwards saying, “God only save you then. Without a child, nothing binds them to you. Please say yes to the marriage.”

I felt my ears turning red. “My connection is to the man, Kunal. I don’t care what the in-laws feel. His younger brother isn’t him.”

Walking towards the door, I look over. “Stop pestering me. It is a NO. It is my choice this time and no person or pressure can change that.”

“Don’t you walk away! Otherwise, only regret will remain.”

“How long will you keep threatening me to go against my wishes?” I said without tears or fear and walked out.

Sitting behind the driving wheel brought back memories of warm, romantic drives. I smiled as I could feel the steely resolve within me. I was on my way to let Kunal’s parents know of my decision.

The family is seated in the living room as I enter. Sitting cautiously facing them, the air is heavy with unease. I and Kunal were married for a year with a separation of five months. However, despite the distance we were ‘one soul’.

As I prepare mentally, my brother-in-law speaks up first.

“Bhabhi, you are under no pressure to this alliance.”

“This decision isn’t yours to make.” My father-in-law intervenes abruptly.

“Yes. It isn’t my decision to make but is definitely hers.” He looks at me and nods.

This was the wind beneath my wings. The surge of confidence within is comforting.

“You have to either agree to marry your brother-in-law or be on your own.” Father-in-law couldn’t have been more vivid in the expectation.

The ball is now in my court and I am prepared for the closure.

“You all are family. I want to be here, with you all, to brave this time, and to live with the memories of Kunal. I however cannot agree to this alliance. If you still insist I will move away.”

“Yes, you should. “My father-in-law is crisp and curt.

So are my steps. That fateful evening. Exactly three months and eleven days after Kunal’s going, I walk out into the world, to carve my identity. To stand on a different pedestal, as my husband always wanted. I was different he had told me. That is what I chose to be.


Facebook Comments


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Veda's Exclusive

Get Ready to Turn Heads with Our Stunning Sarees!