I haven’t cared for him. I never loved him. I never had an emotional bond with him. In fact,I never allowed myself to have something, not something, a relationship with him.All these days,he was just a person whom I’m sharing my home with. Sorry, I’m living with him and he is sharing his home and salary with me. To the family and to the world,we are married and leading the most blissful life. But the truth is we are a cute couple only outside the house and inside the house we are strangers, COMPLETE STRANGERS. I always tried to be a stranger to him and also tried to make myself feel him as a stranger and I’ve succeeded in it.
All my emotions and feelings were folded ,wrapped, packed tightly and were thrown some where deep inside the heart so that they never even try to come out. But these days they are coming out forcing me to move much closer to the truth…..
“Naina”, with the calling of Karthik I just came out of my thoughts and turned to him.There was a file in his hands.He kept the file in my hands and said, “Here is the most awaited file by you” and rushed to his office.
Without opening the file I understood what it was but didn’t dare to open it. I just kept it on the bed acting as if that was not mine and moved from there. The whole day I tried to keep myself busy so that my mind would be diverted from the file but that didn’t happen. I never do anything at home because I don’t have any work to do.
We live in a big house in Bangalore which was gifted to us by his parents on our wedding . The house is a luxurious one ,well furnished, well designed and equipped with the latest gadgets and yet modern. It also has a small garden in the entrance with full of flowers and a lawn in the middle of the garden with refreshing green grass. Its a double bedroom house with a living room,kitchen, a small dining hall and a small pooja mandir. Karthik has arranged a maid for me. She comes home, cleans the entire home,does dusting, whichever food I say she cooks that for me because he always have his breakfast and lunch from office and when he comes home at night either he already had his dinner from a hotel or he gets some food for him from a hotel…
Karthik came home at night ,directly asked me whether I’ve gone through the file and whether I’ve signed it or not. I told him no. He asked why? I lied him that I was busy doing all the household work.
“Why did you do all those work?Hadn’t the maid come today?” There was a bit concern in his words . I remained in silence.
He asked in surprise,”What would be so important to you other than this file?” And walked towards bedroom.
I couldn’t fall asleep that night as my thoughts were flowing and my mind and soul were completely disturbed. I don’t know why I was thinking all these too much. Afterall, this is what I wanted and may be I didn’t want this.I don’t know when I had fallen asleep sitting on the couch and when I got up it was 9 in the morning and the maid had prepared some breakfast for me and went off. With a coffee mug in his hands Karthik came near me and I stood up from the couch.I took the mug into my hands.
“As you were sleeping the maid asked me whether to make coffee for you or not. She told me that the flask’s cup was broken.So I said don’t”
I was quite confused thinking that where did he get this coffee from.
“I made the coffee for you”,he said. I had a sip of it and said,
“Its nice.Though this is your first time,you made it really nice.”
He interrupted me,”This isn’t the first time. I’ve already made it for you thrice when the maid was on leave.”
Yes he was right. Even when the maid was on a leave, I used to find coffee in a flask on the coffee table but never bothered about the person who made it.
“Thank you Karthik”, I said. Without listening to my words he said,” Naina, please sign those papers fast” and even without waiting for my reply he rushed away
.”Please don’t do this to me Karthik” I cried inside and tears started shedding from my eyes without my conscious. I walked towards the bedroom and took the file and opened with trembling hands. The very first page of the file was titled in some Indian constitution related words but all those words went blur to my eyes and they could see only the letters DIVORCE.
(Though I was aware of this,don’t know why my heart couldn’t take it). I collapsed literally on the floor and my mind started recollecting the past….
I’m the only child to my parents belonging to a conservative family. I was a happy go lucky girl outside the house.Though I used to be friendly with everyone,I had only a few good and best friends. But I never opened my personal life to them. And after going home, I was a girl who literally shut herself within the closed room and comes out of the room only when needed…
I never had thoughts of engaging myself in love, marriage and relationships.Infact I hated those thoughts.I never had a good belief in these relationships. Because, I had never seen a successful married couple in my family.After coming home from school, I always found my mom and dad quarrelling, arguing even on little things. They even fight in front of me. When I was a kid, I used to cry in front of them so that they would stop. It never happened. Later,I started silently moving from that war area and used to shut the doors of my room and close the ears so tight in such a way that I couldn’t even hear the crying of myself.. .Not only my parents, but also I haven’t seen any couple leading a happy and blissful married life…I grew up, the fights of my mom and dad also grew up and my hatred for love and marriage also grew up…
Then I was 21, a Science graduate and just like other typical Indian parents, my parents started looking an alliance for me in which I was not at all interested and the thoughts of which make me frightened. But I was aware of the fact that my conservative parents will never allow me to stay single through my entire life. If I put my decision in front of them nothing else happens except a war breaks out on the topic of my upbringing. So,I kept quiet instead and allowed life to flow in its way.
One day I was informed by my mom that they had set an alliance for me and the people are coming to our house that day. She gave me an envelope and asked me to open and see it. I understood, it was the guy’s photo. Mom said, he is really handsome,a perfect match for you. I didn’t open it and I threw it somewhere. They came that evening and said that they liked me and my family. All were talking about the alliance but the entire atmosphere seemed utter clumsy to my eyes. The guy with whom my alliance was fixed hadn’t come. He will come on the next day as he arrived from U.S.that day. No one asked me about my opinion.
The next day in the morning, mom asked me to get ready and informed me that he was coming. I got dressed in a light pink casual suit. I didn’t know any of his details except his name,Karthik. Finally he came home and in the living room, we sat in two chairs opposite to each other but spoke nothing. Mom called me from the kitchen and asked me to serve him coffee. I didn’t see him standing behind me and he asked,
“Aunty,can I take your daughter for a coffee to the nearest coffee shop?”
Both mom and dad said,”yes, go ahead”.
I was shocked and confused and thought how could my conservative parents send me with an unknown guy.We came out of the house and got into his car and for the first time I saw him but not particularly. I didn’t feel him as a handsome hunk.An above average looking guy that’s what I felt and we reached coffeehouse. He ordered two coffees for us. The waiter served two hot coffees on the table. I didn’t even sip the coffee and we didn’t even spoke. His phone rang and he told his mom that he was ready to marry me.
I was in an utter shock. How could he say like that without even talking to me and even without asking my opinion but I remained in silence. He paid the bill and we got into the car and when we were just a few meters away from my house he spoke,
“I don’t know whether you liked me or not and I don’t say that I liked you. Meeting you was just a formality and I would have said yes to this alliance even without seeing you. I know you are feeling strange. The truth is I loved a girl more than my life and was serious about my relationship with her. May be she wasn’t that serious about our relationship and so she broke up with me for someone else and got married. This happened 2 yrs ago but even today I couldn’t come out of that trauma completely. I don’t want to hurt my parents so,I said yes to this alliance and I met you because I wanted you to know my past and even after marriage I couldn’t get closer to you and I really need much time to become normal.”
Car stopped at my house.Without saying a single word and not even turning back I got into the house and told my parents who were waiting eagerly to listen my answer that It’s an equal yes from both sides. Both my heart and mind felt completely relaxed because I was thinking that he’d be living in his own world and I’d be in mine. At least there will be peace at home and no quarrels,no argument,s only silence.
Soon we got engaged and married . We moved to Bangalore. As I expected, everything was going fine. No one was ruling the house except SILENCE. Now,It’s been six months we got married and we know only our names nothing else. Everything was fine until we were invited for his cousin’s wedding. Karthik’s family is a sweet one but really big. It’s a joint family and his family is into a construction business. They are very rich, powerful and most reputed family in the city. But Karthik was not interested in construction section so he was not into the business. All the cousins stay together in the same house. Every member in his family likes me a lot and are really affectionate to me. Finally the big fat wedding was over and all this happened during that reception night.
I don’t know dancing but as we were forced to take part in that,Karthik and I started to dance….we both held each others hands and moved to the floor where all the couples were dancing to the sooth melodious music….He placed his right hand on my shoulder-blade and I placed my left hand on his and we started moving slowly according to the rhythm. At first it was very uncomfortable and a little bit embarrassing to us especially to me, but to come out of that feeling we started looking into each others eyes…
That was the first time I looked into his eyes and could see the depth in them.I couldn’t say what I found in his eyes but I could only feel them.They were saying something which I could only feel but couldn’t understand.There was much beyond the words I could explain…The music,the crowd,nothing was bothering to me except karthik. I couldn’t resist myself falling for him.All those feelings and emotions were trying to unwrap themselves from that tight packing.I was staring at his eyes and I was completely out from this world. The music stopped and I was still holding him looking into his eyes. Suddenly,his phone rang and I came out into this world.
My sister (Karthik’s sister-in-law) came there and asked me to join for the dinner with them so I moved from there….The dinner was over and the entire family returned home…The morning in the very next day, we had flight for Bangalore. So,we got up early in the morning, got fresh, had breakfast finally after seeking blessings of elders rushed to the airport.
We came home and it was a Sunday, so a day off for him. He was busy watching cricket match on TV and got a phone. After answering the call he directly came to me and told me that his boss was throwing a party that night and we shall attend it. I was tired after such a long marriage function and he found that tiredness in me and said,”Sorry Naina, I’m troubling you. I know you are very tired and your face is completely jaded but we need to go its important”
In the evening I got dressed in a full sleeved black colored floor length Anarkali suit which has got some classy work with matching dupatta hanging down my right side and with big golden jhumkas complementing my outfit.I came out of the room and when I entered the living room Karthik stood up and to my surprise he was wearing a black blazer and black trousers.Unknowingly we complemented each other…..
It was really a big party organised in a grand hotel and when we entered the hall Karthik’s boss appeared first so we wished him and then his colleagues and friends came greeting us and I felt lil boring and I hardly know only a woman out of all of them. She is Karthik’s colleague’s wife. She is a chatterbox but very kind at heart and mingles easily with everyone. She noticed me and came to me like a storm and took me a side where all the newly married wives were sitting, chit chatting, cracking jokes and complaining about their husbands.
Soon she introduced me to them and we all greeted each other and they complimented me that I was beautiful and even my suit was nice too.They complimented that god made both of us for each other and even we both were wearing same colored clothes. They were talking that Karthik was the most handsome of all the husbands in the company and we both were lucky for being in each others life. I just looked at Karthik who was standing at a 20 feet distance straight away from me, talking with his colleagues. yes,they were not wrong. Karthik is really a handsome guy.Not just because he is my husband but its true.
He is a tall guy with dark hair,good physique, fair skin, charming face and absolutely the guy that a girl would dream of….For the first time I was watching him and felt this…..Soon as the party was over we came home and it was 11 but I couldn’t fall asleep.So, I came to the living room and Karthik was sitting in the couch watching a comedy channel. I sat on a chair opposite to him and started watching.We laughed our hearts out to the comedy shown on TV and there was a power cut.I lit the candles and opened all the windows of the room to get some air.After looking into the sky from the window,both of us realized that it was a full moon day.We both followed the lawn, sat on the grass next to each other looking the moon and galaxies….
“So,Naina do you also have this habit of watching moon and galaxies on the full moon day??”
“Hmm,not only on a full moon day, everyday I watch the moon and those twinkling stars to refresh myself from all my sorrows.After all,this moon and those stars give me energy to start every tomorrow with a cheerful smile on my face.”
There was silence for few seconds….
“How was the party?It seems you really enjoyed there and I guess you made many no,no,at least few friends out of them.”
“The party was utter boring and I didn’t like it at all”,I retorted.
I was expecting something he would ask me related to my earlier answer but he diverted the topic asking about the party.
“Hmm,but you enjoyed my cousin’s wedding right!”
“Yes, of course. I really enjoyed a lot.For the first time, I enjoyed someone’s wedding that much.And your family was really awesome.Every member of the family had involve completely in every wedding ritual and the entire family was together all the time.They were all having fun,cracking jokes,laughing and even helping each other and everyone cared me so much. Not even a single moment they left me alone. They made me involve in almost all rituals….”,without a pause I expressed my happiness.
“I love my family so much Naina.My family comes first then every thing else…I never wanted to hurt them but I gave them pain unknowingly,even I was in an utter pain then” he paused.
I know what was his pain…He lost his girlfriend for someone else no,this is not correct to say.She ditched him for someone else….
I didn’t understand what to speak but I couldn’t bore that silence which was turning the entire happiest atmosphere into a grief one.So,I started speaking
“Rahul and Meera are a cute couple na, I found a good understanding between them.”Even I didn’t find any cuteness in them but to continue the conversation, I spoke that.
“yes, not only Rahul and Meera but all the couples of my family are damn cool and cute.I mean just look at Vikranth bhai and Vinati bhabhi,they spend almost all the time together and even today after 7 yrs of their marriage,bhabhi intentionally makes bhai to say no on her demands and stays in pout mood to make bhai cajole her.”
“That’s so sweet.And even mom and dad are really sweet.”
“Yes, they are also similar to bhai and bhabhi and even today they engage in silly fights with each other and gets closer in the very next moment.”
“Silly,then its OK but what if those turns out into serious ones?”,I tried to open myself in front of him but,
“They are the ideal couple to the couples of this generation “,he praised.
“Not only to this generation but also to any couple of any generation.I’ve never seen someone like that.I,” again tried to open myself but he interrupted me saying,
“Life shouldn’t be like this Naina.I’m bored of leading this life.” That moment I understood how boring I made his life from the past 6months.
“Yes Karthik, life shouldn’t be like this.But do you feel is there any thing in our hands to sort it out”
There was silence for few minutes.And I understood there was nothing in his hands to sort it out.He asked,”So what do you think someone has to do?”
“When you are completely tired of living with someone who has nothing to do with your life and your feelings just leave them.If its love just brokeup, friendship leave them on their way and if its marriage,get a Divorce”, I gave him the answer and the power came on…
“Oh!Finally you’ve signed these.why did you take such a long time to sign these papers?” He took the papers from my hand.”Naina, what’s this? You haven’t signed these.Look Naina,divorce is not an easy process and I’ve already applied for my visa and at any moment I’ll be leaving for U.S.and I can’t visit India every now and then for this divorce.So,please make it fast”.
He walked towards the living room and consciously I followed him and sat beside him on the couch and then followed him to the fridge and he kept the bottle in my hands and moved to the lawn and I followed him.
“What’s the matter?”
I burst into tears.”Hey what happened? Why are you crying?”
“It’s been a long time I’ve seen my parents.I miss them deeply”, I lied to him.
After a few minutes when I was in the bedroom crying,he called me to the living room. He arranged a video call with my parents and I had a casual conversation with them….
The next morning,I was about to sign the papers because I don’t want to see him in pain anymore and I found him showing much interest at our separation. Then the bell rang.A courier boy gave me a packet.On the packet it was written”to my dear wife” and I opened the packet and my eyes dropped on to a small chit and in that it was written “open my wardrobe and please go through the letter”.
I hurried to the room and searched the entire wardrobe but found nothing. Suddenly, my eyes dropped onto a crushed paper ball in the dustbin.I picked it up and read.Karthik has kept all his feelings for me on the paper.He came out of the trauma and had developed feelings for me but still waited to see my feelings for him.Yes, he loves me and that night while we were dancing I saw his love for me in his eyes but couldn’t recognize it.I love you too Karthik,I jumped in joy.I put on the pendant from the box and followed the lawn.He was standing in the lawn facing away from me.
” Hm,so,give the papers.” I gave him. Without turning to me he said,”What!you tore these papers.Why?”
I turned him towards me and asked, “Why are you crying Karthik?”
“No,I’m not.And why do I?”
“Don’t ever lie to me.”
“I’m not crying. Can you find any tears in my eyes.No”
“I can find those tears shedding in your heart.Why are you doing this to me?I’ve fallen for you. I love you Karthik.That night, I tried a lot to tell you about my past,about my parents and about the negative impression of marriage on me but all the time you diverted the topic. After marrying you and after coming into your family I understood about the importance that relations hold and for the first in your family I saw the happy couples. And the time we spent in Rahul’s wedding made me develop feelings for you.But I delayed telling you.”
“I love you too Naina.I’m sorry.I had hurt you so much.I never tried to look into your heart.That night,I understood that you had a painful past but I didn’t want you to recollect all those and get into pain again.So,I diverted.”
Suddenly,he noticed the pendant and asked,” I cancelled the courier.How did you get this? ”
“I don’t know but I was about to sign those papers then the bell rang and I received this courier. If it wouldn’t have happened I’d have missed you and it would be the greatest mistake of my life.”
His phone rang and it was the manager of the courier company from that side.He apologized for not being able to cancel the courier.Karthik said,”please don’t apologize. I should say thanks to you.you saved my life.”
We smiled at each other and rain started falling marking a happy beginning to our new life.