*Sometimes, we read a story, we feel related to it and it so happens that we fall in love with the story. The obsession, however, comes from a point where we see ourselves in it.*
I didn’t understand what was making her say those words, but I sure knew that something was wrong that was making her say those things. She continued and I kept listening.
*You know how weird it gets, you come up, read a story and there it is, the words just happen to narrate your own life. Someone, in some corner of the world, sits down to write all their thoughts down in ink on a blank white paper, hoping for people to like it when they read, feel related to it, but, not even knowing there exists a person out there, whose story they are narrating, flawlessly.*
I somehow started joining the pieces together and made the puzzle come together. It made sense to me now. She was just standing there, leaning over the railing, with her cup of coffee in her hand, right next to me, when I was holding my iced tea in one hand and touching her hand by the other one now. The next moment, she looked at me, smiled, kissed me on the side of my lip and took a sip of her coffee to resume to her thoughts that were doing some disco dancing in her head.
Later that night, when we came back downstairs, she went off to sleep after she was done with the regular chores. Unimaginably, I kept thinking about everything she had said. It took me back in time. Not too far but it was still an unpleasant sight. The night was right in front of my eyes when I had seen her there, in the bar, drunk. Her hair was long then, the dress she was wearing was no longer than that it touched the back of her knees. A matter black dress, tube, fitted till her belly button and flair down to her knees. I still remember the exact picture of her, shouting at the bartender to pour in the vodka shots again. Not later than a minute was she holding a bottle of vodka in her hand instead of the shot glass that was supposed to be there.
I had walked up to her and found out she was there all alone. No friends or a guy were accompanying her. It was weird to think of a girl, dressed like that, looking happy enough to have had a heartbreak as an explanation for the lone presence at a bar at midnight. As I said the first word as I stood at her side, I was taken aback the moment she looked at me. Boy! Was she beautiful? The eyes that were smoked with mascara looked at me and they were clearly very drunk. Her lips, having a little pinch of glossy pink, were so perfectly shaped. It seemed like god had carved them with a 4B highlighting sketch pencil and painted them in such a beautiful oil painting color. No one could tell if the reality looked more like a mesmerizing painting or the flawless painting had all the reality instilled in it. It was her to break the silence, evidently enough.
“Chose a line other than buying me a drink, for as you can see, I’m drunk enough to get annoyed at that since I can evidently, buy myself another one too.”
“Oh well, then how about just a ride back home when the vodka’s done doing its lovemaking with you.”
“You know how to do this, you know it well. After the last shot should be good I think.”
“Well yes, definitely yes.”
I was quite sure she’d doze off the moment I’d take her to step into the car but I was pretty sure I was insanely in love with her. I had just driven to my house instead, for I had seen this girl, for the first time ever, I did not even know her name, and there I was, taking a drunk lady, home with me, making her comfortable in the guest room while I covered her with the blanket and took her shoes off. She was so pretty, even the little Cinderella would have been so jealous to see her. I looked at her and after a few minutes, went to my room to have a good sleep. That sleep, I never remembered how beautiful it had been. The next morning was such a gorgeous one, I did not believe anything of that sort to happen. I woke up a little late and the first thing I did was to check the guest room. She was gone but a note had been left behind.
“Thank you for the generosity stranger. I’d still like you to see a sober version of the vodka girl you met last night. Ernie’s at 8:00.”
I was extremely happy. Things were expected to go extremely well and they did indeed. Reaching exactly at 8:00 was nothing more than a step to impress the beautiful woman. As I stepped in, I took a look around and saw her sitting at a table, with a book in her hands, clearly, waiting for someone. I walked up to her and greeted as the first gesture.
“Hi. I’m Aarav.”
She looked up from the book, made a contact with my eyes and stood up to make better gestures. She greeted me by putting a hand forward for a handshake.
“Hi, I’m Aleen.”
The voices inside me were shouting how beautiful she looked that day as well. We moved into the conversation and the dinner started. Before we knew it, we were talking deeply about each other.
“So, Aleen, are you a Muslim?”
“Well, it so happens, yes I am.”
“Oh! Well, I consider it’s amazing we met in a country when it won’t be much of a problem if I fell in love with you, being a Hindu.”
“You don’t believe in all that stuff, do you?”
“Let’s just say I’m fortunate enough for this acquaintance for it so happens that I already am, breaking the rules.”
That was a night I would never forget. Everything about her was so intriguing. Not only did that particular night turn out to be such a memorable one, but, it made tables turn forever. The lives of both of us started changing. Every day was a new adventure with her. It was extremely unbelievable to imagine in what weirdness of the entire world, we met and came together. Everything was so utterly beautiful, I could make pictures out of it that would still work better than the videos filmed out there. Nothing seemed worthy enough to be traded for what we both had. Every moment was so full of life with her. The running, the cycling, the swimming or even simple talking was so much different with her. The way she’d cook at the end of the day and eat the entire spaghetti by herself, the way she’d just take an entire day out and not click a single photograph but would have an endless photos-hoot the moment she’d come back home and change into her pajamas. Not a thing was wished to be changed about the way she was. Probably because that was what I had fallen in love with, in the very first place. We did not even know when it happened but soon we were both living together. The day we decided to inform our parents about it, it turned out mine were not a part of my life as such, for after they got divorced, I lost contact with either of them. Hers were naturally the only option to go with. As a result of not having much choice, we stepped on to our flight back to India. Days kept passing and we kept trying to convince them for us to get married. It was us, we believed, who should have been in love and agreement to be getting married, which was pretty much fulfilled in our view, however, that was certainly not the way it worked in the practical world. There came a day we lost all our hope, the dreadful day when her father gave us a deal to make, a deal which would have cost her, her life. The deal that clearly, vividly, asked her to make a choice between me and her parents.
I could never feel what she exactly felt since I could not even imagine myself in her shoes. She still dealt with it. She announced the wedding anyway. She announced that on December 1st, the wedding would take place according to the Muslim tradition, and on the same night, as per the Hindu traditions. The wedding cards reached her parents as well. The difference in their envelope from those sent to others was that theirs had a letter, handwritten by her. It didn’t have much written in it, then just a simple message.
Mom and Dad,
I wish to see you two there for I wish to wish you your 25th anniversary along with celebrating my path to be celebrating loads of those, in the years to come.
I love you two. I love Aarav too. I don’t wish to lose either of you. I’d consider myself to be blessed if I can have you both with me, on the most special day of my life.
That letter, indeed, made a difference. They were, consequently, a part of the big day. I did not know what made them do that, but they were there. Not only in the day time but until we were done with every ritual my religion required, as well. The day had been made a beautiful one. As we got done with the rituals, we proceeded for our home. As we went in there, we found that her parents reached the place in a few minutes after we had reached. As we welcomed them in, sat with them and started talking, they came up to a much more serious issue, which turned out to be the ready divorce papers, which they had got us, as a wedding gift.
I looked at my wife, my newly wedded wife and found her looking at her parents in a state of shock. I knew that her beautiful eyes were suffering from a tsunami at the moment, however, mine were no less than the high tide of the night for the sea. She took a while to gather herself back, but she did that soon. She was extremely strong to be doing that. She took her strength in her hands and stood up, walked towards her parents and took the divorce papers from them. That moment had been a heart wrecking one for me. I did not know what she’d do next but I knew that she loved her parents more than anything in this entire universe. I stayed quiet. I watched her and she tore those pages down. She literally ripped those sheets off. I got some strength back and was smiling in no time. The next step she took was to take a notepad out of her bag, along with a pen and noted something down, handed it to her father and told him to read it.
You’ve taught me the realities of life, all these years, but the one ho taught me the real meaning of it, has been none other than Aarav, if divorce means a word that rips relationships of heart apart, I announce, with all my heart, that I divorce my Ammi and Abba. I thereby release, that this divorce, today onwards, states that my relationship with my parents has been ripped off and gives a new beginning to someone who can respect and honor the love and bonds of the heart.
Divorced daughter to parents,
……………..that is a night, I can never forget. It reminds me of how much, the woman sleeping right by my side, loves me. She still misses her parents though and visits them secretly to find out if they’re doing okay or not. If something ever turns out unusual, she does everything possible to make life happy for them. I still can’t find reasons enough to love her, but she just keeps getting better.