The Purple Couch is a true story of a bisexual woman who struggled most of her life to get acceptance and dignity in our society.
I couldn't find my place in a society that only accepts conventional love. I am a woman who struggled most of my life to define my love choices. Am I going to be accepted as I am?
Here is an excerpt from The Purple Couch
Tina was on cloud nine after meeting Sameer, the love of her life as she called him. Shruti was right, she told herself. The world loves a boy and a girl in love and accepts them, not a girl and a girl. This is normal.
Her happiness made her forgive Shruti for everything she had done to her.
Tina and Sameer were inseparable, sharing every little detail of their daily lives with each other, and meeting each others’ parents. Sarika and Jayant found him to be an intelligent, thoughtful person and good for their daughter as he helped her with studies and cheered her on if her performance in exams faltered.
Shruti knew about Sameer and though she and Tina did not communicate with each other she wanted to meet him. The fact that a person she no longer liked had found a grounded, nice human irked her no end. She was envious of Tina and also unhappy because she had been fighting with Karan and he had tried to hit her. Tina had been right when she had seen her exhausted and miserable the last time she had come over to her house. Shruti was beginning to wonder if she had chosen the right person.
So when she bumped into Tina at a shopping complex one day, Shruti apologised to her for her behaviour, though it did not come from her heart. “I miss you, you know. It will be good for both of us if we forget what happened between us,” she said.
Tina, soft-hearted as always, melted. “Yes, you are absolutely right, Shruti. I have already let go of the negative memories.”
Tina’s voice reflected happiness and confidence. Something that had been missing before when she was with Shruti – which had allowed her to manipulate Tina.
“Can I come over to your school and have lunch with you in the cafeteria?” Shruti asked. “Let’s talk and give our friendship a fresh start.”
Shruti knew she was likely to meet Sameer if she went. So a few days later the three met up. Sameer already knew about her as Tina had told him they were friends, without going too much into the details.
Shruti looked stunning in a carefully chosen white dress. “Why is she dressed like that?” wondered Tina before she introduced the two of them. Soon, Shruti was chatting animatedly with Sameer, playing with her hair and giving him come-hither looks. Tina could not help but notice it, even as she and Sameer kept up their regular and humorous banter.
“How’s Karan?” Sameer’s question surprised both Shruti and Tina. They had no idea that the two knew each other. Shruti went pale and mumbled about Karan being busy and having no time for her.
Observing Shruti closely, Tina now knew for sure that something had gone wrong between her and Karan. To cover up for her discomfort, Shruti now started flirting subtly with Sameer, laughing extra hard at jokes and asking him all sorts of personal questions.
“I hope you are having a good time with Tina. Hope she does not irritate you much,” she changed the topic suddenly. Both Sameer and Tina felt awkward.
“Why should she do that,” Sameer retorted angrily. “She is a lovely person.”
“No, Tina gets insecure at times. That’s why I asked you,” Shruti laughed.
Now it was clear to Tina. Shruti was playing dirty games and could give away their dark secret. Getting up from her chair, she told Sameer, “Let’s go. We have a test tomorrow.”
“Yes, you are right,” he agreed, understanding from her disturbed look that something was wrong.
Shruti realised Tina did not want her to talk to Sameer and decided to create more trouble. “Don’t worry, I’m not going to disclose anything.”
That provoked an already tensed Tina, who yelled, “What do you mean by disclose? What are you talking about? Do you think I’m afraid of you?”
As everyone in the cafeteria turned to look, Sameer was embarrassed and surprised by her sudden outburst. He had never seen Tina so angry. Her face was red and eyes tearing up.
Moving in for the kill, Shruti was all sweetness suddenly, asking softly, “What happened, Tina? Why are you shouting at me? I was just joking, you know me.”
Sameer too took Shruti’s side: “Yes, Tina. What happened? Are you okay? What did you think she was saying?”
Unable to handle the situation Tina stormed out.
Sitting there, Sameer wondered why she was reacting so angrily. He had known her for a year and was familiar with her maturity and sensitivity. But she had never been so, as he thought, unreasonable.
Shruti was now ready to add fuel to fire. “I am really sorry. I have really no idea why Tina behaved so strangely. Everything was said in jest, you know. Sorry again,” she kept apologising.
Thinking she was being sincere, Sameer said, “No, please don’t hold yourself responsible for her outburst.”
Sunaina Sindhwani is a clinical nutritionist and an internationally certified skin specialist in Canada.
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