I feel cold, extreme cold. Or probably chill would explain it better. He is going to come back soon, with red roses in hands and a box of chocolates, my Christmas gift. It will the same ritual, I will kiss him on his cheek, he will let himself go through that, we will sit and sip tea together, like the English men and women of 18th century. We will sit and chat, and he will go out again. Work, of course. Work that takes up the night, work that leaves stains on his shirts and pants, work that involves a woman of his liking, Laila, and him. Hard Work. I will flip through the channels, staying awake till he comes back, serve him dinner of course. Cold chapattis with cold vegetables. It is cold in here, always. Dust on furniture feel like snowflakes, pretty and white. Sometimes I do not clean them, sometimes stealthily I sneak into the store room where there is a monster layer of snow and I lie in it, making shapes in dust, sometimes a child, sometimes two people holding hands, sometimes hearts and sometimes Laila. Most of the times it was Laila. Sometimes with horns, sometimes like a snowman, with cold frozen heart. Today I am running ahead of time, watching frozen. ‘For the first time in forever’; I had a sister too, he never liked her, never let me talk to her, until the year back when she died. He cried buckets then, and I hushed him to silence. My sister died, and yet I look at her every day in the mirror, in my brown eyes, full of tears. Today I am ahead of schedule, prepared. I did not prepare the dinner today. The door is already open. My eyes find it’s way to the TV, Almost making a choice between the open door of my house and the shut door of palace in the movie. My heart flits too, absentmindedly I walk and lock the door, only to open it again. It’s 6, he is going to walk in at 6.05 and I will kiss him on his cheek at 6.07. My life has been dictated by the silver watch of my mother, that she gave me on my marriage. A titan watch of old design, her only prized possession. My father gave him a car, a flat and a TV, he asked for nothing of course. But it was this silver watch that was given to me, from a woman to another, a mother to a daughter, a burden of time that she has to carry all her life. Elsa leaves the palace, 6.05, he walks in. He doesn’t notice the break in my ritual of my kiss, the break that weighs upon me like the rock of Sisyphus. Only this time Sisyphus will let the rock roll, sit on the mountain top and let go. “Together” I mumbled; he didn’t look at me, “We cannot be together anymore”. He looked at me, went back to his shoes. The silence between us that has lasted for more than 2 years now, celebrates it’s anniversary as our marriage does. I smiled. For him it’s one of my other times, the times I have tried to be free. I go back to my movie, Elsa has opened the doors of palace for everyone, she is the princess, the rightful princess. He carries on with his ritual of drinking tea like an English man, and moves out again, to attend his work, Laila with horns. I locked the door, as the palace doors closed on Elsa. Locked the doors to never open back, locked the doors of my heart, of the flat my father gave, of my palace, to the world and society that kept me chained here for two years. I let it go, let him go, and warmed myself up in the cold of the room, the cold of the empty house and free heart. Elsa sang, the “cold never bothered me anyway”. The cold never really bothered me anyway. A smile, the stopped watch, my palace and the cold.
– Parboni Bose