“Karan, if you are not coming then I am not going to get married…bol deti hu… haaa!!” yelled my first cousin from the other end of the phone.
“Oh come on Simmi, I have a business meeting out of Delhi on the same day but I promise that I will be present for your reception” I tried justifying myself.
“You are not coming for MY wedding?? Galat gal ya veere, tu apni Simmi de vyah vich nai aaunga? Aive ki kaam hega tinu?? Simmi was almost in tears.
“Sorry Simmi, I will have to go. It is very important”
“OK. But as a penalty you will have to give me whatever I ask for!!” demanded Simmi.
“Promise! Now cheer up and save some tears for bidai”
“Veere, you have promised me, yaad rakhiyo..!! Hun meri bhabhi da haath chadya te aa gal galat hougi… das deni ya haa..!!!
“Simmi.. now why are we talking about your bhabhi?? Don’t you know that I don’t like to discuss this?”
“Karan, trust me, all I want is to see you guys happy with each other. It kills me to see you going through a broken marriage.”
“There is no point Simmi. She loves someone else.”
“Shut up Simmi, don’t ask stupid questions. Chal I have to rush to office. Talk to you later” I banged the phone without listening to something that Simmi was still saying. I never liked the fact that ever since childhood Simmi could read my mind.
My broken marriage had become a talk of the town in Delhi. An alliance that was fixed only because our kundalis matched so well was hitting the rock bottom. I wonder why kundalis play such an important role in fixing marriages??
Each time these thoughts crept into my mind, I would find it very difficult to control the rage in me, but there was nothing I could do otherwise. After all, it was my decision to agree to my parent’s insistence of choosing Preetam over Nisha because Nisha’s and my kundali did not match.
Finally the day arrived! I was travelling to Delhi airport in Uber cab and was all simmered in my thoughts. I still failed to understand why I was so desperate that I lied to Simmi, so much so that I was ready to forego her wedding for this visit!
“Dude, I know why you are being so desperate. It’s because of Nisha…” said my inner voice.
“Shut up, it’s got nothing to do with her. Nisha is my past and one can’t live in the past.” I said to myself.
“Abe ye Nisha ka hi asar hi. Itne saal baad wo tumhe zara bhi bhav nahi dene wali. Ab tak to uski shadi ho chuki hogi aur shayad bacche bhi!” poked my inner voice. I it – same like how I had done when I had firmly told Nisha about parting ways.
I was not sure if Nisha would attend this wedding but I had a strong gut feeling that I will meet her there and it was just an impulsive decision to follow my heart! I didn’t make any effort to find out the probability of correctness of my heart. There was no way I could connect to Nisha because she had changed her mobile number long time back and I had deleted my account from practically all social media sites. The journey of moving on was though and these small things, like checking Whatsapp profile pictures, Facebook wall would make it even more difficult. And hence, I decided to cut myself from all the social media. Because of this I lost contact with most of my friends but I did manage to keep in touch with some of my buddies from MBA College at a personal level.
It was still dawn when I stepped out of the cab and walked towards the entry gate of the Delhi airport. The early morning February air was pleasantly cold. I was travelling to Bengaluru to attend a college friend’s wedding. It had been four years since we graduated from the same college. This wedding was also going to be a reunion of our batch mates. But what I didn’t know was that the reunion would begin much ahead of time; right in the queue in front of the airline counter.
I was almost sure it was she. Same height! Same long hair! Same complexion! Curiosity had my eyes glued to her. And then about 60-odd seconds later, when she turned, she proved me right. My ex-girlfriend stood two places ahead of me in that queue. We had never met after the college farewell.
“Nisha…” I meekly called out. I wasn’t sure whether I was calling her out really or I was talking to myself. But she heard me. She turned. OMG, she looked so gorgeous, just like she did back in college. Milky fair, brown long hair tied in a messy bun, strands of hair falling smoothly up to her left eye, sharp nose with a peacock blue stud… Beautiful..!!!
“Karan??? Oh my God…!” Nisha said pressing her hands on her cheeks. She seemed happy to see me.
“MAM.. YOUR CHECK IN IS DONE. HAVE A SAFE FLIGHT” the airline staff said very loudly, to gain Nisha’s attention. Nisha stepped aside and gestured that she will wait for me near the lounge.
I was waiting outside the lounge to compose myself before facing Nisha. My heart was thumping at a speed of 1000 beats a minute. I could see Nisha pacing to and fro in the lounge while biting her nails. Some things never change! Nisha still bites nails when she is anxious. I couldn’t believe I was going to talk to Nisha… after four long years!
“KARAN” called out Nisha loudly as soon as I entered the lounge and before I could understand she came running towards me and hugged me so tight!
I so much wanted to hold her as tightly; I wanted to run my fingers through her hair and wanted to kiss her on the forehead, like I always did.
Suddenly Nisha composed herself and said “Sorry…!”
“Hmm.. Actually I was so happy to see you that I didn’t realize…”
“It’s alright.. No need to justify.. I liked what you did” I said winking at her.
Nisha blushed and she looked even more beautiful.
“So what brings you in Delhi? The last thing I knew about you was your campus recruitment with Citibank for Mumbai location!”
“Looks like you are still annoyed that I didn’t tell you until the day of farewell that I am moving to Mumbai. Well, I was here to visit my parents and now I am heading to Bangalore.”
“Office work?” I enquired
“Nahhh… Dimpy is getting married. Don’t you know?”
“I know I know… and guess what I am going for the same wedding!!”
Both of us could not believe that we are heading to the same place. It meant we were on the same flight.
“So… How’s life?” Nisha asked me munching on to the breakfast served in the flight.
We had managed to convince airhostess to make some arrangement and let us have the seats next to each other.
“Not bad.” I replied, not knowing what more could I tell her.
“So, how’s your wife?”
“How do you know that I am married?”
“Oh come on, the reason you ditched me was to marry a bitch whose kundali matched yours…” said Nisha little angrily.
“Nisha… you still use foul words? Well, and for your kind information, it was our mutual decision to part ways!”
“You didn’t give me any other option, did you?”
I could not answer that.
“Chalo koi nahi… honi ko kaun taal sakta hi!” Nisha said trying to settle the pensive mood.
“Nisha, are you married?”
“Yes.” I could feel that the question perhaps upset her, and I decided not to probe her further.
“Dude… she still loves you” declared my inner voice. And I ignored, as usual!
Within no time we reached Bangalore, the three hour journey seemed as short as three minutes. There was so much to catch up on and there was so much to tell each other, however both of us made conscious efforts to not discuss about our personal life. “Where are you located in Bangalore, Nisha?”
“Mercury Villa. It’s very close to the wedding venue. And you?”
“Millennium Avenue. So see you tomorrow at the wedding!”
That night was the longest night of my life. I couldn’t wait to see Nisha again. I was so anxious that I was tossing left and right in the bed and could not catch an ounce of sleep. All the time that I had spent with Nisha four years ago flashed in front of my eyes. And first time ever, I cried. I terribly missed her. Perhaps it took four years and one meeting after that to realize that I never stopped loving her. Never!
Next morning, I took reasonably more time than usual to get ready. I was wearing traditional attire and was curious whether Nisha would appreciate me. I reached the venue well on time. First thing I did was to scan the entire venue to find Nisha, but no luck!
Some things never change!! This girl was late that day too… like she always used to be..!! I went and greeted Dimpy. Dimpy was so happy to see me… little did she know what brought me to her wedding!! Soon I could see lot of familiar faces around. Many of my batch mates had arrived. It felt so good to meet them. Some were exactly as they were in college some other had changed a lot. After exchanging greetings, under the pretext of having a smoke, I made my way out of the wedding hall.
Bangalore was quite chilly and it felt wonderful to soak in tender sun and cold breeze at the same time. The moment I was going to light a cigarette Nisha arrived.
I missed a beat of my heart. She looked as beautiful as ever. In fact, four years that went by and perhaps marriage had brought in more maturity in her looks. Dressed in red lehenga, she looked even fairer. One thing that struck me was that in spite of being married she was not wearing sindoor, mangalsutra or bindi. I felt strange but thought that may be girls these days do not like to sport it.
“KARAN… idiot.. You still smoke!!??” yelled Nisha throwing my cigarette on the floor.
“Sorry… But what took you so long???”
“Did you miss me?” Nisha said with a naughty smile.
Ohhh… how I loved her!!
“I did… all these years” I said seriously.
“Hmm… did you meet any of our batch mates?” asked Nisha changing the topic.
“Yes, come let’s go join them.” I said sadly
“Don’t lose your heart. She loves you.” Said my inner voice. How I wished it was true!
This was the most beautiful day in my life. Wedding was fantastic and Nisha and I toured around the city later during the day. I had spent almost 12 hours with her. And now were walking down the quiet street to Mercury Villa. I was going to drop Nisha back to her hotel but how I wished I could take her with me instead.
It was late in the night and the city was in a slumber mood. Moon lit street, serenity all around, and Nisha and I walking so close to each other. Our fingers touched occasionally! It felt wonderful. How I wished that this moment could freeze forever, but good times end soon. There we were, standing at the gate of Mercury Villa. It was the time to say Goodbye. The last goodbye may be.
Innumerous thoughts were running around in my mind. Will we meet again? Will she let me stay in touch? Does she still love me?” but I had no answers to them.
And that very moment Nisha said something totally unexpected.
“Would you like to drop in for a cup of coffee?”
For a moment I didn’t understand whether Nisha was really asking this or I was dreaming! After an awkward pause, I said “I would love to.”
How could I lose this opportunity to spend more time with Nisha? Who knows if we were to meet ever again!
The room was cozy and was dimly lit. It made a great ambience for a heart to heart talk. Nisha quickly made coffee for both of us and we sat by the balcony overlooking the night sky and a city that was sleeping.
“Nisha, I am glad we met. I always had this tiny hope to see you again. I was insane to make that decision. I know it doesn’t make sense any more but I still love u Nisha. It’s going to be very difficult to say goodbye once again!”
“Why do you want to say a goodbye?” Nisha asked somberly.
“You mean you don’t mind if we stay in touch?”
“Karan, I don’t mind staying with you all my life. That’s the only thing I ever wanted. But I guess destiny had other plans for us.”
“Nisha, I don’t want to disturb your personal life by being in touch. I don’t want to overpower you emotionally. You belong to someone else now. It’s incorrect to poison your life with my love.” I said regretfully.
“I belong to no one Karan. I am all alone. Karan I need you.”
“Nisha, you said you are married.”
“Yes, but my husband died in an accident two years ago. And ever since then I am living this lonely life. So many times I felt like reaching out to you but I always stopped myself thinking that it is incorrect to do so. I did not want to disturb your married life. I didn’t want to make you unhappy. Hope you are happy with your life now!” Tears rolled down Nisha’s cheeks.
“What are you saying Nisha? I am so sorry to hear this.” I took Nisha in my arms to console her. I was feeling my girl after four years. This was an amazing feeling.
“Do you have children?” Nisha diverted the topic.
“No. And it’s better like that.”
“Nisha I am going through a divorce.”
“WHAT???” Nisha said in disbelief.
“Yes. Preetam married me against her will because of family pressure. She loves some other guy. She doesn’t want this marriage. And maybe I lacked to be a good husband too. I could never give her the love of a husband. I could never keep her happy. How could I when I only thought about you and loved you all this while??” I said controlling my tears.
That night both of us cried our heart out in each other’s arms. After a long time it felt like love does exist!
It was the best reunion of my life.
I trust destiny more than ever now! If you are meant to be together, sooner or later you will be!Today I am married to Nisha with a beautiful daughter. And we have decided that we will not let kundali over power our daughter’s love!