Priyanshi, 27, was now a qualified Gynaecologist; she had been promoted to the post of senior doctor, gynaecology department in the hospital she was associated with since the last five years -since she had qualified her MBBS.
It was a fine Saturday winter noon and there was not much work at the hospital, so Priyanshi called it a day. On her way home she decided to visit the neighborhood park. She was a regular visitor to the temple at the park since childhood, she also liked to sit on the bench and stare lazily at the floating clouds. But these moments had now become rare, almost a luxury, since her promotion. Now while relaxing she again glanced at the message which Kavita had texted her in the morning, at the hospital she couldn’t quite take it in properly.
The message said “High Priyanshi! Heard from Aunty you become a great gyno at Prithviraj, please admit me to your ward for my delivery!”—Most of her friends were now married or engaged.
Priyanshi stared in front of her, a toddler was playing in the sultry sun of the winter noon, while her mother was sitting with other ladies in the warm sun, knitting, —-‘Good for Vitamin D intake’, thought Priyanshi—-‘This sitting in the Sun’. She was a doctor but ironically she was missing out on her walks and this warm winter sun. The toddler was running about, now after a puppy—–suddenly Priyanshi felt exhausted—but no there was another feeling-a sinking feeling of loneliness.
Priyanshi did not flinch did not seek escape but let the feeling sink in—-deep down her heart—closing like a drop from the sky within a sea shell —and turning into a pearl which shimmered within her soul and created a soft glowing aura of self containment. This ability of self containment —this ability to absorb pain was integral to her personality; she could do without exultation but could not identify herself without this sense of sweet pain.
Her mother often said “So when do you want to get married, the biological clock is ticking away, —-should we search for you?” Priyanshi had often given a thought to this proposal. During the course of her life several of the opposite sex had tried to approach her. On those occasions her heart would set a flutter for a moment or two by thinking of the possibilities of marriage —of children—of having her own family—but what of love?, not once did these occurrences made her feel as if there was love.
Sometimes she even thought of having a child asexually or freezing her eggs —-many in developed countries like Britain, USA, even India were now conceiving this way—without a sexual relationship, after all progress of species was also an important consideration—-but again what of love?. You can wish for love but cannot forcefully make it exist for you if it is not in your destiny. She felt that she was not normal, every other day people were falling in love then why couldn’t she find love?
But there was truly a beautiful time, a very short time, in her life when she had been in love and that was about ten years ago, sometimes thinking about that strange feeling made her feel that drop of pain that went deep down in her heart and so she would carry on with her life in her usual self contained manner.
Ten years ago she had been like what she was now, self contained, poised, except for that one instance when Bhuvan had walked into the class, cupid had struck her right through her heart, she could hardly believe that of all the girls she-a 93% scorer in class X board exam-was capable of love at first sight—well how little we know our own selves! Her friends Kavita and Sonia had exchanged glances on seeing her sitting in the low forked branch of the Imli tree, their favorite lunch time spot, staring dreamily at the clouds. Kavita quipped “Isn’t Bhuvan so dashing!” and Sonia replied —“You bet!”— and so these remarks brought Priyanshi Awasthi back into reality, ‘so’, thought she ‘Bhuvan is generally attractive to females and she was no exception’.
She would have got over her feelings had it not been for Bhuvan, sometimes when she would be stealing a glance at him, he would suddenly turn back and smile at her—and well she would spontaneously smile back. Once during a badminton game suddenly Bhuvan came up to her and said “Priyanshi please give me the racket, I want to play now’ and while taking the racket from a dumbstruck Priyanshi he just held her fingers for a few seconds, it was as if they were under a magic spell only to be broken by the period bell. It was like a dream for Priyanshi which did not last long as strangely Bhuvan started distancing himself towards the end of the session and after final exams of class XI he left, as per Kavita, for another school in another city as his father had got transferred. Bhuvan had never really talked much with Priyanshi, that something between them, if anything at all was mostly unsaid.
Priyanshi’s brain told her to dismiss the happenings as a passing fleet and even suggested negatively about Bhuvan’s intentions, it told her to take heed of her mother’s nerve wrecking concern over her surprisingly low grades in XI and come back on track, she obeyed her brain yet her heart told her that she would never be able to fall in love again.
Another text message from Kavita called her back to the present from her past reflections. What it said nearly made her jump out of her skin “Guess who is in town-Bhuvan-also getting treated at Prithviraj for something-he asked me for your number”. The information, though a thunderbolt, made Priyanshi just take off her glasses and press her eyes with her fingers. She did not actually need those glasses, now, after her Lasik Lazer operation but earlier she could not do without them and had had to wear them since she was a child. A few days after the operation she had gone around without glasses but she had found an enhancement in the glances she received especially from her men peers, this had made her somewhat uncomfortable as she found it difficult to conduct herself with her usual poise so her glasses were back albeit with zero power.
She had hardly been able to regain her control when she saw a man-a dashing man-standing and smiling in front of her—-Bhuvan! He just came and sat down beside her as if like a ghost from the past. He said “High Priyanshi! Saw you at the hospital, followed you till here. You are so beautiful and even so without those glasses”, said he with an impish grin.
Something had dried up in Priyanshi’s throat she could hardly speak, she was literally stuttering while attempting to speak. He didn’t speak either just kept watching her intently, smiling. Suddenly his cell played the caller tune, he said in it “Okay right away”, to Priyanshi he said, “Got to rush now—work call, Sending you a missed call, do save my number” and he vanished like the way he had come.
Priyanshi’s world was topsy turvy she texted to Bhuvan ‘Where are you?’—no reply, she once called but his cell was unreachable. Why does Bhuvan go away from me again and again? — thought she—-Is he flirting with me? This time he appears before me I will really throttle him!
The next few days were terrifically demanding. Priyanshi had to ask her pining heart to shut up and her cool brain took over. Bhuvan soon sent her a smiley as a message, this time Priyanshi didn’t reply immediately. Another smiley saying sorry—Priyanshi thought of texting back something—another message, no not a smiley this time but text—but what the——the message said ‘My gynecomastia treatment was successful—lucky me was not affected so badly after all!
Gynecomastia — Bhuvan? How could that be possible? Bhuvan so manlike and dashing affected by an unwanted feministic kink? There was a knock at her rest room door and Bhuvan came in —he stood watching her for some time and suddenly said “Doctor needed your second opinion” and with this he bolted the door and pulled off his tee shirt and stood before her like a figure of Apollo.
Priyanshi said in a chocked voice “Is this some kind of a joke Bhuvan?”
Bhuvan pulled her towards him by her waist with his strong arms, their eyes met and she almost sank in them, he said firmly but quietly “No, its true”.
She felt unable to move as he held her and kissed her lips—the cell rang and they had to let go, Bhuvan said ‘Got to go, can you come to my place tomorrow noon, we can have lunch together-will text you my address” and with that he left leaving her exulted but at the same time pained.
It was not a work call, it was nothing very important, in fact Bhuvan had kept work at bay for some time so as to completely recover from the after treatment. Yet he could not retrace his steps back to Priyanshi’s cabin. He had not brought his car to the hospital and decided to walk to his place of residence. His heart was palpitating so fast that he feared that passers buy would hear it. After reaching his apartment, he reached for a chair. He had wanted to reply Priyanshi’s earlier message but didn’t, he wanted to look into her eyes and tell her that how happy he was to see her after all these years—-he wouldn’t have separated suddenly from her had it not been for all those problems. By nature Bhuvan was a person who shared joy but kept his sufferings to himself.
He hadn’t meant to behave the way he did with Priyanshi, in her cabin, right now. He had just gone to have a friendly chat, but one look at her—at her longing eyes—yes she loved him still! Yet it was a matter of a gap of ten long years—so much could have happened in that time. People do behave differently on the spur of the moment but considerations of the present time take precedence later. Just then his cell buzzed with an incoming message, he opened the message and smiled.
While coming back from the hospital Priyanshi finally made the much postponed visit to the beauty parlor. On her way home she texted Bhuvan ‘Cant we really meet today?’
The reply was prompt ‘Please drive carefully to my house’.
The drive was short as Bhuvan was residing nearby, yet it seemed like ages. The door was ajar when she entered and Bhuvan said “Lock it”. He pulled her towards him with an intensity which was since long entrapped and they melted into one.