|Image Courtesy : Google Images|
She sighed. The rain rapped at her door panes like memories were tapping in her mind. She couldn’t stop but remember all the moments they spent together and all the moments they didn’t. She opened the balcony door and let the rain drench her. The force of the incoming rain was in rhythm with the force of her nostalgia. She remembered rain more differently before when there were still reasons to smile, reasons to love and reasons to enjoy rain.
Words of their conversations kept coming back to her in rapid speed. She remembered every moment. The day he proposed ….
“My Dear Sanjana, my love. I never thought I would ever meet a person in my life who will be center of my thoughts, desires and dreams. And then I met you, I fell in love with you and I am happy with you. And I want to spend my whole life trying to make you as happy as I am. Will you marry me”
He had gotten down on one knee, in a crowded dining room and said those beautiful words of love. She cried from joy that day while she accepted his proposal. They were married in few months after that.
She sighed and closed her eyes. She lost count of the tears which spilled out of her and mixed with the rain. She took a step forward, allowing the rain to fully engulf her in itself. As if she is challenging the rain to wash away all her memories and make it a clean slate. So that she can’t suffer any more from the memories bombarding her consciousness. The coldness of the rain was no match to the chill which ran through her spine remembering all those fights, all those hurtful words which they hurled at each other without any regard. The times when he was unreasonable.
“This is ridiculous, I can’t keep up with this. Are you seriously suggesting that your friends are more important for you than me Sathish. Is that it, is that the place you give me in your life…
Am not talking ridiculous Sanju, it’s you who is talking rubbish; I didn’t demean you in any way. But I have already made plans with my friends and I just can’t change it at the last minute.
Sameer am not asking you to go on a shopping trip with me. Tomorrow is my parent’s anniversary and I want you to be here so that I can invite them to dinner…..”
But her mind was not biased as her heart so it reminded her of the days when she was unreasonable.
“Oh my god, I cant believe you are the same person I married. You know you have changed a lot, there were times when you used to go out of your way to make me happy and now you cant have a romantic dinner on Valentine’s day with me???.
Sanju, please understand its not that I don’t want to do all that. But I really have a very important meeting today and I cant be home before 10.
You know what Sameer why do you bother to come home, stay at your office only. Happy Valentine’s day”
That day Sameer had stayed at his friend’s place and didn’t come home. She remembered after that Valentine’s Day was always a sore spot for them.
The rain had mercilessly drenched her from head to toe like her memories. Things escalated to such a degree that after 5 years of marriage, there finally came a day when he had walked out of the house with his things saying he can’t stay with her anymore. And she didn’t stop him that day. It was another Valentine’s Day. The day when the whole world forgot their complaints and expressed love was the day when her marriage broke into pieces.
It had been a whole year after that day, but both had not leaned towards each other to talk about themselves or talk about each other. Finally their friends and family had urged them to consider either reconciliation or divorce.
She walked back into the house and sat down on the dining table chair, held her head in her hands and thought “Divorce??”. She didn’t know how did she start to cry, but in sometime gut wrenching sobs were being pulled out of her. She didn’t know for how long she sat there crying her heart out. Like her body was physically trying to push out all her memories from her. By the time she revived enough to look up and realize where she was, the rain had dulled and so had her nostalgia.
She got up, but it seemed like all the life energy from body had seeped out. She felt like she had no will, energy or reason to live or love. She dragged her feet towards her bedroom, changed her dress and started to dry her long hair. Her hair, the first thing he had said when they met for the first time was ..
“Excuse me, I am sorry to bother you, but I had to tell you. You have got the most beautiful hair I have ever seen”. His eyes had a naughty twinkle in them, but his face was serious. When she smiled at him, he had smiled back and his smile was radiant. It lit up his whole face and made everybody smile back at him.
As soon as she smiled, he had sighed dramatically and had said “Oh thank god, I was convinced you would slap me for that comment. You see all my friends who are standing there told me not to approach you and say it” he grinned back at her. She had looked at his friends, who were still wondering what was happening and she had said “Well every girl likes compliments. Thank you”. When she turned to leave with her friends, he had called again “Hey, this may be totally inappropriate but would you like to have coffee with me??”
She had looked at him with surprise and said “See am here with my friends and I don’t even know you.. so….”
He immediately saw her friends and said with a wishful voice “Oh your friends are also invited. Please have coffee with me.. I mean us.. lets all of us have coffee together”
That was their first meeting. An impulsive coffee with a total stranger had led to the greatest experience of her life.
She was sitting on her bed lost in the thought, she started to dry her hair again and walked over to switch on the TV. The presenter with the chirpy voice was wishing everybody Happy Valentine’s day. As soon as she heard it she sharply turned towards the TV and thought “Today is Valentine’s day??. Oh my god.” She sat down with shock and realization. She didn’t want to hear anything more on Valentine’s day so she switched the channels and Lata Mangeshkar’s melodious voice wafted through it
“Tere bina zindagi se koi shikwa toh nehin… shikwa nehin
Tere bina zindagi bhi lekin zindagi toh nehin .. zindagi nehin…”
She just sat there in trance listening to the song, as if it was directed towards her. Like somebody was singing the song which her heart was humming all along.
As the song ended, her mood was getting much better. She urged herself to calm down and see positive things in her life. But for every good thing in her life, the loss of her love seemed much bigger.
She thought about all those lovely times they had with each other, the way he pampered her with midnight ice-cream treats, the way he used to order her favorite appetizer without fail every time they went to that Italian restaurant, the way he hugged her before walking out of the door to go to office. All those small small things he adjusted in his life to make her more comfortable, now there seemed like the things which she should have given more importance.
That small, reasonable voice inside her which she had silenced two years back was gaining its voice again. It was saying her to see all the good things which made her fall in love with him in the first place, it made her see that all the "irritatingly" were the same which never bothered her before. It was forcing her to face the other side of the looking glass and to realize that, all these days what she thought she felt was incomplete without the knowledge of the other side. She got up with a new thought. Her eyes were twinkling when she thought. “Love is not meant to be conquered, it is meant to be shared. Who said Valentine’day is only about expressing love, it is also about regaining back the lost love.”
She knew she had to try once to forget all the bitter moments and urge Sameer to see the love they always had for each other. Because she realized that no matter how much they fought with each other, they never stopped loving. And she was realizing this now. She thought with a smile “Better late than never”.
She didn’t want to lose the love of her life and she knew for sure that he was the love of her life. No matter all the small small things which irritated her about him, but she was sure there were hundreds of those in her to irritate him. She wanted to give one try to gain him back, then she thought with conviction, “no, not once, I will try till he sees that he also loves me as I love him”
With every new thought, there was new spring in her step. She got ready at breakneck speed and opened her door to walk out and she sighed.
There he was, Sameer walking from her gate to his car, still trying to decide what to do, how to do. Tears sprung from her eyes of their own accord. She was not alone in wanting this to work and in the coming years she swore that at that moment she loved him more than ever in her life.
She pulled the door to close sharply behind her and he looked up at her at that noise and he sighed with a smile. After that nobody kept track of who took the first step towards each other, they only knew that they were hugging each other saying sorry and I love you.