Like any fresh graduate, even I had a dream of working for a reputed organization. I had always dreamt of earning lots of money and establishing myself in this competitive industry. I joined Sutherland in 2004 as an associate. Little did I know that Sutherland will change my dream.
When I was around 6 months old in the organization, there was a new batch of 10 employees who joined my team. In that batch, there was this tall, muscular guy with light brown eyes caught my attention instantly. He had broad shoulders, dusky skin tone, sharp eyes that could pierce through and stubbles which added more charm to his face. He was a typical ‘manly man’ any girl would love to have.
The following Monday morning, I was excited to go to work just to see that handsome dude. As I was sitting and working on my system, I saw two people walking towards me through my peripheral view. When I turned to see I was in awe, as it was that same guy with Nisha.
Nisha said ‘Hi Priya! He is Kumar who has just joined our team. He has two years of experience and will buddy with you to learn the process.’
My heart skipped a beat and my eyes widened with excitement, but I concealed my expressions. We shook hands and I noticed that his hand shake was very firm. He wore a confident smile as he shook hands with me.
He was budding for a week, where we got to know each fairly well. He came across as a reserved, adamant and egoistic person. I was all the more attracted towards that guy, as he looked like a typical Indian man with a lot of attitude.
My love for him started to grow day by day without any reason. Whenever he was around me, I could feel my heart beat very fast and loud. I almost forgot the world around me and kept basking in his thoughts almost every time. I could see a lot of changes in me and it really surprised me as I never had such a feeling towards any guy for twenty one years. What I felt for Kumar was so unique, complex and weird.
I was very careful not to display my emotions overtly. I had always tried different ways to grab his attention like; I used to talk so loudly on the phone, called out someone’s name who sat near him, passed by his desk multiple times etc. All these things might sound silly, but it made me extremely excited. Sometimes, I was successful in getting his attention, sometimes he did not bother at all. Even a simple look or a smile from him meant the world to me. Crazy was just not the word, I would say.
After I completed a year in Sutherland, I decided to join GE Money for better remuneration. Initially both of us were upset that we might not be able to see each other regularly, but he promised that he would talk me every day.
We started chatting continuously even during working hours and we called each other frequently to talk.
Every conversation that I had with him was quite useless, yet very precious as I was bound in love with him. Looking at the way he was messaging and talking to me, my friends said ‘think he is madly in love with you’ which made me feel so delighted and I was in cloud nine for the next two days. Sometimes, even I felt that he really liked my company and found me interesting.
After talking and chatting over the phone for a few days, he decided to meet me. Excitement was an understatement, as it had been quite a long time that we met. I was pretty sure that even he was excited equally. It was ethnic day, so I had worn a thin black sari with black metal earrings. I was eagerly waiting to see how he would react as it was the first time ever he would see me in a sari.
From afar I spotted him in dark blue t-shirt and blue denims and he looked extremely handsome. As I was walking towards him, I could see that he was just staring at me without a smile on his face. His stare made me feel so uncomfortable, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
We continued meeting almost every day post our shift. He used to travel from Velachery to the Beach station just to spend time with me. Every day looked bright, fun-filled and unforgettable and it got us really close to each other.
His manly voice, physique and looks made me go wild every time when I was with him.
As days passed by, we were so comfortable with each other and we almost shared everything with each other.
One fine day he called me and said ‘let’s meet today I have something important to tell you’. So, we agreed to meet at the usual spot. A lot of thoughts boggled my mind as we were sitting on a park bench at the beach station. He said he wanted to tell something important, but did not know how to start. I couldn’t contain my curiosity, so I looked into his eyes and said ‘just tell me’. He smiled and kept walking up and down and I was still sitting on the bench and wondering what he was going to say.
After few minutes, he got close to me with a fair distance and said ‘I think… (Dragged) I… (Took a pause) I looked into my eyes anxiously. He mustered courage and said ‘I love you!’ Everything within me started jumping with sheer joy. It looked as if the world came to a still for a few seconds. I was completely frozen and did not know how to react, so I just laughed in a weird manner and asked ‘really?’ He did not really expect a reply, as he knew I was definitely in love with him.
Our love journey started right there and both of us of knew that we loved each other limitlessly. Everything was going fine and we were very happy being together. After 6 months of our relationship, I got an offer in IBM Bangalore, so I shifted to Bangalore for career sake.
Ever since the time I moved to Bangalore, our phone bills shot to several thousand every month, as we used to talk for hours together. I could feel that he was missing me terribly and wanted to at least hear my voice every day.
We were going steady and fine, until I realized there were some noticeable changes in him after he got promoted as a process trainer. He had no time to call or chat with me. Whenever I called, he kept saying that he was training or sleeping or getting ready etc. I did believe him and gave him a lot of space to breath, but little did I know the truth.
On one of the weekends when I called him from a local phone booth, he sound irritated and said ‘why are you torturing me like this can you just mind yourself’. I was terribly alarmed by his reaction and I knew something was wrong somewhere, as I did not fight for anything and I called him after a week. I could sense some level of disinterest in him.
None of our common friends knew about our relationship, so I checked with one of his roommates, Dennis about his whereabouts. What I heard put me in a state of shock. He said ‘he is very busy with his new friend Sridevi. I think they are close physically and spotted together everywhere’.
I couldn’t believe what I heard and I felt I was paralysed for a sometime. He also said ‘I don’t know why Kumar doesn’t want to marry her, though he doesn’t have a girlfriend. Think she is forcing him to get married to her, so he deleted her number and stopped meeting her’. That was a sigh of relief, but I couldn’t control my tears.
I recollected, Sridevi and I were friends during my stint in Sutherland, however we were not close friends. She was a slim, tall, fair looking girl who had a lot of admirers. I had always thought of her as a traditional girl with lot of dignity, but I realized that I was wrong as she knew about our relationship, yet pestered him to get married to her.
I called Kumar the same day and I asked him about what I heard in a very casual way and said ‘I trust you more than anyone’. He denied everything and said ‘if you love me you need to trust me’, so I obliged. However, those thoughts haunted me as I felt that he was simply lying through his teeth.
I visited Chennai on one of the weekends and we met on the day of my return to Bangalore. We went to the nearby food court to have dinner. When he was away to wash his hands, I kept fiddling with his phone casually and there landed an SMS. Since it was from an unknown number, I just opened it to read and my eyes turned red when I read the message ‘Hi Kumar, this is Sridevi! Hope you remember me! You should know that I’m truly, madly, deeply in love with you. I don’t want to fight with Priya and I wouldn’t want to be your second choice. If you have decided to be with her I have nothing to say. I will always wait for you. Love you loads! Etc.’
By the time I finished reading the SMS, Kumar arrived and I pretended as if I never saw anything on his phone. He took me to one of his favorite spots, where he used to smoke. As he was lighting a cigarette, I asked ‘I think I saw a message on your phone, could you explain what that is.’ The argument went on for a while, till he agreed that he just smooched a few times. But, I knew he had gone beyond that.
He had no regrets at all which made me feel like I’m the most unworthy person ever. I couldn’t stop my tears rolling down and I was just crying throughout my journey back to Bangalore. It was hard for me to digest, so I shared it with my friends and they got extremely furious as well. They somehow sneaked into my phone and took her number and called her. Apparently, they tried to be little sarcastic to her which I was not aware of, until Kumar called me and blasted me.
His harsh words pierced my heart like a sharp knife. He said ‘your cheap, I have never seen someone as bad as you are, why your friends called her? Who are they to talk about these things? etc.’ I instantly agreed to apologize to her on my friends behalf, but he never listened to anything what I said.
I just kept quiet and asked him ‘you support someone who knows about our relationship, yet forcing you to get married, but you don’t want to support your girlfriend who has not done anything wrong and you want to hurt me with such demeaning words?’
He did not listen to anything what I said and he kept blasting me, post which we did not talk for two weeks or so. I couldn’t bear the pain anymore and as always, women are more sensitive and true. So, I reached out to him, but he was extremely rude and said ‘I don’t want to talk to you anymore’.
I froze by his harsh words. I was helpless and I asked him, ‘is it a break-up?’
He just said ‘I can’t say anything now’.
His words hit my head like a hammer. I felt so cheap and that moment I decided that I’m not going to be a coward and I can live without him.
3 months past, there were no calls and no messages from him. And on one fine evening, I got a call and I was blown to see ‘Kumar calling’ flashing on my mobile. I was reluctant to pick the call, yet I did. With a firm voice I said ‘hello! Who’s this?’ and he replied ‘it’s me Kumar’.
I said ‘I don’t know anyone by that name’.
He sounded little annoyed and said ‘come on Priya, it was just a fight and I said things out of anger’.
For a moment, I thought whether I should just let go of my dignity and start the relationship all over again. My heart said yes, but my mind said no. So, I decided to stick to what my mind said. I was still confused as to what to say and how to react, but I realized that people who cannot be truthful in a relationship and who do not have values in life are not good to be with.
I recollected all the incidents which made me happy and vulnerable, it went in my mind like a movie. I took courage and said ‘Kumar, I’m done! I don’t think you deserve to be in my life. I have had enough and would like to live a life of my choice’. He was startled for a minute and was trying to convince me. That day I decided to be a strong woman.
I was stern in my decision, though he called me multiple times and cried like a baby. I never felt sympathetic towards him even when he cried. That made me realize that I was hurt more than words could describe. My heart was hardened and his emotional talks did not bother me. I remembered the time when I cried along with him, but those were the days gone and now I am new, strong, determined and free.
It took around 3 months for Kumar to realize that it was all over. He tried his best to convince me in every way possible; threatened, begged, cried etc. Nothing moved me from my decision. I saw a new Priya in me and I was happy for myself.
After 1.5 years, I got a call from an unknown number. I recognized it was Kumar by the way he said ‘hello’ and I asked ‘is it Kumar?’ and he was so delighted that I recognized his voice even after years.
We were talking very casually and he asked me something that I couldn’t believe even now. With absolutely no hesitation, he asked ‘I want to check if you still love me. If you do, I would like to wait for you till eternity’.
I completely froze and then I just laughed loudly and said ‘are you serious? I have no intentions to get back to you. What happened to your so called girlfriend?’
With a very saddened voice he said ‘she is forcing me to marry her and I have no interest to marry that woman. I never loved her, it was purely lust and I can’t marry her. I know I have slept with her multiple times, but it was just for sex and nothing more than that.’
I was quite disgusted with the way he said it. So, I asked ‘do you want me buy what you’re saying? You ignored me completely and you were so happy with her for so many months. But now, you realized that you don’t love her and it was all lust? I don’t think I can listen to this anymore, so please stop’.
He was dumbstruck and did not know what to say. I continued ‘you ignored me for someone and now you’re in a situation where you have to marry that someone which you never wanted to. So, the punishment for you is to marry someone whom you don’t want to marry. I think it is a punishment for her as well, as she might think that she has achieved something big in life. But in reality, she is getting married to someone who doesn’t truly love her.’
He did not give up. Two days before his wedding he called again and said ‘one last time I want to know, if I still have a chance in your life and if you say ‘yes’ I would leave everything and wait for you. All I need is your presence. You don’t need to do anything with me, just be around me that is more than enough. I won’t even come close to you and I will be like a dog around you.’
Though I was happy to know that he wanted me desperately and he regrets his life for it, I just said ‘at least be truthful to her’ and disconnected the call.
Now, they are married for 8 years and he genuinely feels that his life is ruined just because he is married to her and he truly believes that his only source of happiness is his girl child. He still messages me on Facebook and tries his best to meet me whenever he gets opportunities. Even now he confesses that he still loves me and he can’t erase my thoughts and I still hold a special place in his life.
All I could do is to feel pity for him for what he is are going through now.
This is what I call as ‘karma a perfect punishment’.