‘Character is what you are in the Dark’. I read this line written on the side walls as I stepped inside my office building.
“The stocks look good sir, they may pay good and a purchase of ₹ 200,000 would be fine enough.” I was on a call with my client, Mr. Tandon and being a stock broker I have to confront and brainstorm on calls like these.
“Make it ₹ 300,000” Mr. Tandon answered, talking out his big pockets.
“As you say sir.” I said conforming his purchase order.
“I will be at profit, correct?” he asked, making sure that his money is safe.
“Yes sir, conditions now truly favor you.” I comforted him with a lie. C’mon it’s a known secret that when you deal in the stock market you have to deal with the risks, always. But still people tend to ask such questions.
I checked and marked his purchase twice before completing the transaction and heard the receptionist literally yelling out my name out of the commotion.
“Aakash Singh. There’s a call for you on line number 3,”
“In a second.” I replied.
I went up to the phone and heard a loud scream of a guy, “Akki bro. How are you buddy?”
“I’m fine. Sorry to say sir but, Who are you?” though it was a familiar voice but still I did not hesitate to ask.
“I am Sameer. Sameer Sharma, don’t you dare say that you don’t remember me.”
There he was. Every batch has a good looking guy who has made out with almost every other girl of their batch and a batch before and after theirs. I can never forget this guy; cigarettes, weed, one night stands, whiskey, vodka, rum and a mixture of them, just name it, he proves out to be an expert.
Though I got who was there on the call but still I acted like I didn’t.
“Who? I didn’t get you sir.” I said, like a struggling actor stammering to deliver.
“Ohh okay, Aakash, remember we made out the last time we met? you even wanted to have sex but I refused because of your ugliness and remember you got angry after the refusal?” he said, provoking the inner me to resist.
My joke crashed like always. I am here with billions and single, waiting for the perfect lady to come and have me and this guy here on the other side of the phone touched that little nerve of anger in me.
“Fuck off Sam, don’t you dare say that again.” I said, expressing more on the word ‘Fuck Off.’
“Ahhh sorry, so now you know me? right?” he smirked, probably.
“Yaaaa I know you,” I replied with a low bored voice. “Don’t ever repeat that again.” I added.
“Okay bro,” he said giving a laugh.
“So, how are you?” he asked screaming ‘How are you?’ louder than before and that made me add some distance from the receiver.
“Slow, mad man, you hurt my ears.”
“I’m good. What about you? How are you? Where are you?” I asked.
“Dude, too many questions. I’m fine, I am in Bangalore and getting married.”
“What? Why? Guys like you should never marry.” I protested as I knew that he can never be a one women man and would probably end up destroying his partners life.
“No brother, I guess this is the time, I need someone and Radhika is a nice girl,” his voice took a serious turn and you know a guy is serious when he addresses you as ‘Brother’ instead of ‘Bro’
“Love marriage or an arranged one?” I asked.
“Lovingly arranged, I met her on a matrimonial site,” he answered.
“Are you serious? why would you do that, why?” I am not a guy who would check for girls on internet or probably I will be needing one too, if I don’t get a girl sooner.
“I just felt like going for it after I saw her picture there. I don’t know why, but as they say, it’s right when it’s right.”
“Anyways, atleast you are settling down. Probably this is the right time” I said, as if I have done it a couple of times.
“Yes, and you too should get married, get a girl have children’s and live with them to the fullest.” the boring overrated suggestions.
“You are not even married yet, so stop giving such suggestions.” I said.
“Anyways Aakash, Marriage is in Bangalore after 3 days on 25th of this month and I know you are a busy man now but your Sam is getting married, please be there for me.” he said, tad emotional.
“Sure man, I’ll be there.” I said.
“Okay then, see you soon. Bye.”
“Bye.” I said and the telephonic conversation ended and an email from Sam beeped on my laptop, asking me to send the flight details so that he can pick me up from the airport.
Within a minute the recap of full four years of my engineering was in front of my eyes. Those canteen bill fights, friends, professors, bunking and many more, these memories brought me a smile. Today after a long time I got a real reason to smile. I am happy. Better if it continues forever.
I searched for a good and decorous wedding gift from a huge number of shops and finally found one. Booked my tickets and went straight to my sweet home, packed my bags and dumped myself on the bed after a long working hectic day. The flight was next day early morning.
It was still dawn when I stepped out of the cab and walked towards the entrance of the Delhi airport. The early morning February breeze was pleasantly cold.
I was travelling to Bangalore 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 batchmates. 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 Sneha. 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 never met after the college farewell, so, I tried to ignore her but could not resist myself from being noticed. I still had the same feelings for her as I used to have four years ago. Her turn came to the counter and she searched of a pen, she turned back and asked for the same to the man behind him. We had an eye contact. I looked straight into her eyes and after a second she took her eyes off from me with a blank and shocking face, It was like an ignorance but no words came from inside to say or even to react. Yes, we were unknown to each other. People often get unknown like this and that’s the part I hate about existing. I don’t blame her as she’s still the prettiest.
I completed all my airport formalities and turned to gate no. 5 to get in the flight and during all this time of airport formalities the only thing I wished for, was to, at least once I get to see her again, just a glance would do. But I didn’t get any so I sat on my seat after arranging my bag properly and took out a magazine and found an article on Narendra Modi. As I started reading, suddenly I hear a voice from behind saying, “He really has a vision for this country, don’t you think Aakash.” a sweet voice of a girl came from the back seat that made my heart skip a beat.
I turned back and there she was, My ex-girlfriend Sneha Singh,
“Yes, he’s pretty good. A man with a vision is the need of this country.” I replied and started reading further.
“So, where are you going?” she asked.
“This flight is going to Bangalore and so, I am going to London. Wanna come?” I cracked a joke and surprisingly, this time it worked. She laughed.
“You remember Sameer? He’s getting married and I am going to give my attendance.” I replied.
“Shall I mark your proxy then? We did that millions of times during college, remember?” she laughed on her joke and I smiled a little, not because the joke was bad but because my back was hurting as I was half twisted to face her in the seat behind me.
“So you are going for the same?” I asked.
“Same.” she said.
I asked her to exchange her seat with the lady next to me and now my ex-girlfriend was sitting next me, whom I still love, somewhere in the lost corner of my heart.
Some talks, some jokes and now there was a dead silence between us. It’s pretty awkward to get normal with a person with whom you had an big history. She felt sleepy and my mind was overflowing with our memories as a couple.
We were not just a couple but were the best of friends. We got into designating ourselves as a couple during the fifth semester. We both were just crazy when together.
Night out’s, party, alcohol, smoke and lots of Sex. We fell deep for love.
But things went from awesome to good and then to worse as the eighth and final semester ended.
It was time for the college placements. Sneha was going for MBA so she did not have to worry for the placement thing but I needed that job to support my family and to be financially secure.
One day Sneha came to the library where I was already occupying a chair and started babbling out, “Can we go out? I’m bored.” A tone of frustration was riding over her voice.
“No, we can’t. I have to prepare for my interview.” I said turning the pages of an old rugged book on Networking.
“Why are you so busy with it, the interview is next week.” she complained.
“Yes, exactly. Next week!” I said, eyes still on the book.
“Why are you doing this? I don’t understand. I’ve been noticing this since many days. I know It’s the end of our college and we would be apart in some days.” she said.
“So?” I asked, eyes still glued to the pages of that old book.
“Okay, I’ll be clear, but just look at me.” She said and I finally turned my face, “I think you want to break this relation because I’m of no use now, Right?” She said with a serious face. I kept that book aside and focused on Sneha.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Now as the college ends so, we’ll not be together that means no fun, no night outs and NO SEX, that’s why you want breakup, Right? and that’s why you are behaving this way.”
“No. No Sneha,” I shouted and protested against to what she said.
“Fine. Bye’ She said and walked away throwing out the anger.
I was somewhat habitual to this type of attitude she threw now and then on me, and felt, as if it was one of those angry moments where she denied every other thing I say, so I tried focusing more on what was there in front of me. But now I wish that I should have stopped her. I regret.
It was the last day of our college farewell and the last function of the college that we would be attending. I noticed Sneha sitting alone at some distance. I waved at her and asked her to come with the rest of us, but she denied, so I ran and held her hand to which she jerked and loosened the grip and started saying the things I was least interested in. She was still in that imaginary thought that I used her and now I don’t care. I tried to convince but she was angry and was on her denial mode and I don’t know how but, I lost my temper and I did the biggest mistake of my life, I slapped her.
She fell three steps behind from where she was standing and then gathered herself and ran out, away from me and that was the last time I saw her since today when she’s sitting next to me on a flight to Bangalore.
I was still horsing over the thoughts until I heard an announcement from the attendant of reaching our destination. We were near the gate and I saw Sameer standing there, surprisingly came to receive us, on time. I dumped my bag in the car and turned to ask for Sneha’s bags but then I saw her getting into an another car. I asked Sameer about this and he said that her family came to receive her and by family he meant her daughter. For a couple of minutes I looked at him dumbstruck, I didn’t say anything and after some odd minutes, I waved at her and she waved back but then something special happened, I saw those small little hands waving at me, I smiled and waved back.
“She’s married?” I asked, “When?” I added.
“4 years. You don’t know about this?”
“No.” I shouted, “Why didn’t you tell me this before?”
“Leave it bro. Her husband died last year in a plane crash while on his way to UK.” he completed his sentence with some dramatic pauses.
I didn’t respond to his “This” sentence and we reached our hotel without uttering a single word after his “That” statement.
I really love her and she has suffered a lot which she didn’t deserve, she deserves happiness. I never thought of being with any other girl just because I still had that stable love for Sneha and her memories stopped me from being with someone else.
I will talk to her at the wedding ceremony, yes I will. I thought and motivated myself.
I saw her at the wedding, She was wearing a green net sari adorned with bright golden border and sari tied two inches below her navel, she definitely looked sexy. Neatly done hair with bangles in her hands.
“Hey, Anyone’s with you?” I asked.
“Nope, All alone.” She replied with the same innocence she carried all her life.
We went inside to complete the purpose of the visit, the wedding. Sameer was happy, Radhika was happy and I was also happy as I was standing next to Sneha.
Ceremony ended and I asked Sneha for a walk. It was evening by now and the orange flares shining over her glossy skin made her look adorable.
“Such a nice sunset.” I whispered. “Makes a bit nostalgic.” I added.
“Nostalgic?” she asked squeezing her nose and eyebrows a bit.
“Yes, we used to take these walks. Back then.” I said and waited for an answer gazing at her lips, but nothing came in reply.
“Sneha, I still love you.” I said and blocked her path to make sure that she answers this time.
“I was expecting this.” She said and laughed.
“Ohh, okay.” I was confused.
“I have a daughter and a family to look after.” She was justifying her ‘NO’ and I stood there looking for those lips to curve into ‘YES.’
“Anyways, I don’t make same mistakes again.” She said and turned her face to walk back and looked for a taxi. This time she left without waving and I simply enjoyed the last glance.