It had been an arranged marriage. The initial years had found Kalpana and Dheeraj in love with each other. 
The cracks had started showing when Dheeraj's business had started falling and Kalpana had given birth to yet another daughter.
Her mother in law, Shanta had been supportive till the time her first daughter had been born. But after the third daughter, she had shown her true colors.
But at heart, Shanta was a good soul, albeit she could not balance the household politics. She would sway from one side to the other like a pendulum and over the years had become spineless.
When Kalpana could not take it any longer, she moved out. Occasional meetings went on in the name of the children. Over a period of four years, the meetings lessened and so did the love.
But Shanta missed Kalpana and her granddaughters a lot. She would call up sometimes to enquire about their well being, whenever she would get a chance. She did not have the courage to tell anyone this.
Time passed and Kalpana and her daughters settled in their lives. In the struggle for existence, they never did remember Shanta.
Kalpana did come to know through some external sources that Shanta had lost her husband and now lived alone. With her growing age she had become ill and now was bed ridden. This news melted Kalpana's heart and she had a desire to meet Shanta. A desire that she squished the moment it arose. For the complications would be many.
Not knowing what to do, Kalpana sat in her prayer room and changed her mantras for Shanta. Sincerely and without any malice.
Today Kalpana realized that there was not much of a difference between her and Shanta. Both were women and both were mothers. 
Kalpana had had the strength to move away from the oppressor whereas Shanta could not gather that will power. 
She wished Shanta a peaceful end from her miseries and wished her well, forgiving her from the core of her heart.
The next day received the news that Shanta had passed away in her sleep, with a smile on her face.
We may not talk to each other physically but we can talk to each other internally. For the outer world is our own creation. And only we can clear the air.
By doing our internal dusting and cleaning.

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