The breeze is light and refreshing. The waves are pleasant. But my heart is not still. I am so eagerly waiting for him at the Juhu beach at our favourite spot. I sit on the warm sand and feel the sand with my fingers. My eyes are roving and searching him desperately. Only my heart knows how much I miss him..how much I long to see him. I will be seeing him after the month long exams of my final year of Graduation.
Ravi was my senior at college and he is into his family business after he finished his studies. He proposed his love to me a year back. I did not take much time to accept and express my feelings as I too love him. He is so handsome with a naughty smile to die for. He was very popular in college, he participated in dramatics. I was head over heels when I saw him enact in a cultural event. He has the capability to stand out in a crowd. He has a dashing personality.
Last one year has been so wonderful for me. Loving someone and being loved is an awesome feeling. In love we are more happy, we smile more, we rethink the loving moments, re-read the romantic messages, we are more expressive. Overall, one lives in a different world.
“Hi baby..” Ravi gave me a light squeeze on my shoulder and sat near me. I was all smiles and hugged him tight.
“Asusual you are late by 30min Ravi.” I tried to be little annoyed, hiding my desperateness to see him.
He kissed on my cheeks and smiled looking into my eyes. I just melt and lose myself in him when he does this.
“I missed you so much Ravi, so good to see you”, I hugged him again.
“Hey, how were your exams baby? And what plans further?” Ravi asks me in his stylish accent. He likes to be very stylish in his clothes and in accessories too. He is from a very well-off business family. I love what he wears, how he walks, talks, his perfume, his cool attitude, in fact I am awestruck by everything he does.
“Oh leave about exams..I did my best and my results will tell how I fared.. And my immediate plan is to introduce you to my parents. You are always postponing it..this time you must come.. no excuse my dear!”
“Hey , cool.. what the hurry. I will surely meet them one day.” Ravi didn’t take my words seriously. He is always in a care free mode.
Later we chatted hand in hand till its dark and returned to our homes carrying the sweet moments in our hearts.
Finally the day came when I took Ravi to my home and introduced him to my parents. Apparently my parents managed to speak well with him, but I could sense that being a very conservative family they did not like me for bringing home a “male” friend..infact befriending him.
My father asked him about what he does and about his family. Ravi elaborated about his family and business. He stayed for little more time and left after having tea and snacks.
“Is Ravi just a friend? “ my mother nailed the point directly. My father was looking directly into my eyes as if he too demands an answer for this. I gathered lots of courage and said “we like each other and would like to marry”.
My parents were extremely furious and were trying to explain me how from different backgrounds and caste me and Ravi are and how difficult it will be to adjust.
I just said, “Where there is love, there will be adjustment.”
My father sarcastically said, “ Whether Ravi is also ready to adjust? Because love and adjustment has to be from both sides.”
“No doubt “, I said vouching for Ravi.
“Ok , I will give a chance. Tomorrow talk to him and invite his parents home. If they are ok with this, I will also rethink. Otherwise, you have to marry as per my choice. “,my strict dad stepped down a little .
I am sure he will convice his parents and no one can stop us from being united. Night seems to be unusually long. I want to talk in person and tell all this development, so I refrained myself from texting Ravi. He will be too excited to listen from me directly. I just message him, “5pm Juhu Beach, at our favourite spot, excited to share something with you!” He replied, “Sure..Can’t wait..” I tried to sleep somehow.
I jumped with joy when I spotted Ravi walking towards me in the beach in the evening. I was on cloud nine. “Ravi, after you left yesterday, I told my parents that we love each other and we would like to get married. My father kind of agreed but he wants your parents to agree for our marriage and meet our family. Isn’t this too exciting ..I couldn’t wait to tell you. You will now have to talk to your parents and convince them. And I am sure you would. Wow Ravi.. our life together would be so loving!”
“Hold on dear.. whats all this about marriage? I have not yet thought about it. I am too young for marriage and all. “
“I know Ravi. Once you convince your parents, I can wait for you.”
“Oh plzzz.. I don’t like to marry..it’s a sticky bit..what’s wrong in being like this?” hissed Ravi.
“But..you loved me.. we loved each other..our love has to progress a step further and we marry. That’s what happens and that’s what everyone does.“
“So if I don’t like marriage, you mean I can’t love too? It’s your fault to think that love and marriage are a sequence”, shouted Ravi red with anger.
I did not understand his logic. In fact now I feel I have never understood him. His words ‘It’s your fault..it’s your fault’, echoed in my ears and involuntarily I was murmuring, “yes it’s my fault..yes it’s mine” and I was already walking away from Ravi. Words fail beyond a certain point. No point in arguing further.
I was walking mechanically, my legs involuntarily leading me home. I felt betrayed, cheated, humiliated for my love. I directly went inside my room, bolted and fell on the bed. I am trying to assimilate what has happened and am unable to come to terms with it. My stomach is churning and I feel a deep hollow inside. Tears roll down and I dug my head in the pillow and cry the loudest.
I had to wipe my tears and open the door when my mother sensed that something wrong happened with me and knocked. “What happened? Why are you crying? Look at your swollen eyes and face.”my mother panicked. I narrated sobbing what has happened between me and Ravi.
“We come from a very conservative family and you never even once thought of us and our family repute. You loved and wanted to marry the guy from another caste. Do you realize how difficult is to deal with these marriages? What will we say to the elders in our family? Whatever happened..has happened for our good. Now just marry whomever we chose for you. “
I wish my mother consoles me and helps me get over my grief. But instead she was the harshest ever. Evening after my dad came from office, mother narrated everything. My dad came to my room and said, “ In one glance I could sense that he is not marriage material. How blind were you all these months? Couldn’t you sense that? Now enough of all this love and nonsense..do what we say.”
Next few days, I was mostly in my room, trying to overcome the agony. My parents see me as the culprit who never bothered about their feelings and family honor.
More than the pain Ravi gave me, my parents behavior hurt me. What wrong have I done? I loved him sincerely, wanted to marry. But Ravi faultered, not me. I am the victim. Not the culprit. Love is above caste and religion. That’s what I felt. But my parents don’t feel so. I just feel all alone in this hour of pain. I just want to run away from all this. But where? The only option I have is to say Yes to the alliance I got yesterday. My parents put his photo and details on the table and asked me to see.
I opened the envelope and saw his picture. His name is Sumit. He looks ok but not as handsome as Ravi. How in the deepest of my thoughts I still have Ravi. I am unable to forget him. My mind repeats the memories of our togetherness. I am extremely angry on Ravi now. He has not contacted me after that. How easily has he moved on in his life? I too will move on. Why I must waste my life sulking? Somehow I want to take revenge on Ravi by moving on and being happy.
That night I said yes to marry Sumit. Not that I liked him but I felt it was my way to show Ravi that I damn care him. It’s an illogical and baseless feeling as Ravi will not care nor know about my life.
My parents are very happy that I agreed and the marriage ceremony went on well. It’s been few months to our marriage. I observed that Sumit is a nice man, simple man, very affectionate and loving. I started liking him ,loving him for the way he is. He has a romantic side too. He listens to music a lot, sings a line or two apt to the situation. He loves to express in a song rather than mere words. He writes romantic two-liners which have much deeper meaning. I enjoy listening to them.
I tease him by asking “which song is in your mind right now ?” I know his fondness for songs and lyrics that he has a song in his mind always and can start from anywhere. When I asked this after a month of our marriage , he immediately sang this for me..
“kabhi kabhi mere dil mein..ye khayaal aata hai..
Ki ye badan..ye nigahein.. meri amaanat hai..
Ye kesuvo ki ghani chaav hai meri khatir..
Ye honth aur ye bahein meri amaanat hai…”
I was floored by his love and hugged him tight.
Once he messaged from his office.. “pal pal dil ke paas..tum rehti ho..” It’s his way of telling that he missed me.
I replied “ tu ..tu hai wahi..dil ne jise.. apna kaha..”
In all these months we had our share of disagreements too. He always excused me for my impulsiveness and emphasized on healthy way of expressing our views. He is my friend, philosopher and guide. He is everything to me. My wounds are healed now. Ravi’s chapter is now buried deep. Its only Sumit in my mind and heart. I long for his presence. I await like a child for him to return from office. I love him so much.. so much so that this one life is not enough for me to express it .
I take out my cell and message him..
“itna madir..itna madhur..tera mera pyaar..
Lena hoga janam hame kayi kayi baar..”