Hearing some voices and footfall outside our hotel room, I put my eye to the peephole. I saw a bellboy opening the door to the room adjacent to ours; a couple stood behind him. The girl was all smiles and had her hand intertwined with the boy’s. They were young and vivacious. The boy rubbed his nose with hers and pecked her on the lips.
I puckered my nose as my forehead showed three wrinkled lines of disapproval. I turned around and walked away.
Almost an hour later, I jerked awake to the cacophony of my phone alarm. Not seeing my husband in bed, I sat upright. The door to the washroom was wide open. I frowned and picked my phone up to dial his number. The call went unanswered and my next two attempts to reach him were also in vain. He didn’t spare me a moment ever since we’d got here 3 days ago.
I opened the door and looked ahead at the empty hallway with eyes ready to leak anytime. Suddenly a slight creaking sound caught my attention. I shot a sideways glance at the neighboring door as it slowly opened and a thin and long frame emerged. It was the same girl.
I turned to look at her. She flashed a smile. I reciprocated.
‘Hi.’ She said as I was about to turn to go inside.
I stopped. Looking her up and down, I could tell she was no more than 25. She looked gorgeous in her red nightwear. ‘On your honeymoon?’ I asked, narrowing my eyes.
‘We aren’t married.’ She said and looked back as a voice came from inside.
‘Oh,’ I said with a sly smile, ‘fiance?’
‘Boyfriend.’ She replied, smiling broadly.
I was a little taken aback. Not by her response since it was pretty much what I had expected, but by the calmness in her voice and face. A sudden surge of anger and disgust filled my heart. My face had turned stern. I felt a strong urge to teach her a lesson for her disgraceful behavior. ‘Don’t mind but your generation doesn’t respect the elders, let alone the culture and values of the society.’ I said through gritted teeth.
The smile on her face remained intact. She took a deep breath. ‘Don’t mind but there’s this simple fact that respectable people like you fail to understand – this generation, like any other generation, is living life based on its mindset. It’s purpose doesn’t solely lie in disrespecting elders, letting them down or declaring war against the futile rules and principles of society. We’re much more than that.’ She paused. ‘It was nice meeting you.’ She added and disappeared behind the closing door.
I stood there like a statue. Yes, I very well understood her words but I convinced myself that she was wrong anyway.
Written by Chirasree Bose