Today I’ll be getting married to my best fried Sneh.This is perhaps the most memorable day of my life. Relatives from far and near have begun to arrive since two days. Our house,the little green one at the corner of the lane has been decorated with marigold garlands in brighter hues of orange and yellow. Certainly”All’s well that ends well”.
God has finally rewarded me for all those sacrifices I once made. I still remember the day when Sneh came running towards me in the airport shouting loudly “Shree I love you”
I heard the announcement been made in the airport for the destined flight I had been waiting for. I stood up ,arranged my trench coat over my left hand and headed towards the runway. It’s been two long years that I haven’t met Sneh. Yes, we do talk over the phone at least thrice a week and video chat on Skype almost every other day. But seeing him in person after so long means a lot to me.
Sneh has always surprised me. Sometimes I feel quite lucky to have him by my side.He has always tried to make me feel special,very special indeed. He often comes up with such stupid solution to some serious problem and when you find that his solution actually worked out, you hardly believe it.
I figured him at the airport. He was running. He stumbled over some suitcase. But that couldn’t stop him from running. He was facing difficulty running with his heavy luggages. I waved at him and made signs at him indicating him to reduce his pace. Instead of that he began to run faster crying out loudly”I love you Shree”.
I was spellbound. I stood there for a moment absolutely motionless. He succeeded in surprising me. As always.
He reached me by that time and hugged me tight. How long had I been waiting for that comforting hug. It seemed time had frozen there. Forever.
We took a cab.Sneh told the driver to take the way towards Southern Avenue. Surprised, I asked I queried him.To my amusement, he casually replied”Don’t you think our first date should be in somewhere special?”
“Date?”,I asked him in a confused voice.
“Did I mention a yes to your proposal?”,I mentioned playfully.
“No,but you will.I know.”.His voice was firm and confident. Certainly, he knew every bit of me. Yes,I was madly in love with Sneh, and that too since the past twelve years.
Sneh had been my best friend since the past two years but it seems we know each other since birth.We met in Anaoshka’s birthday party. Anaoshka is one of my friends and Sneh is his cousin brother. Sneh and I became friends first which led us to be best friends.
One day,during Durga puja(that’s one of the chief festivals of Bengal) we went out together. At the end of the day,we entered “The Roof Top Coffee Shop”which was the most favourite hanging corner for teenagers..We ordered two coffee with extra cream for me and a pastry. We chatted nearly for an hour. Suddenly Sneh asked how I wanted my man to be. It was unexpected question from a boy who always talked about Manchester United , Real Madrid and the absolutely recent version of Road Rash or Hit Man. But considering it was Sneh, anything could be possible. I gave a reply which I thought to be smart enough.”I want my man to surprise me”.
Sneh held my hand and spoke in a serene tone”Shree ,would you let me be the man of your dreams”. His words were chosen very carefully. Not to mention”I was surprised yet again”.
I was the more matured of between us, more responsible, more studious, more career centric and more practical. Perhaps this was because my family conditions compelled me to be one. I belonged from a lower middle class family.I realised very early that somehow I had to get some job after completing my education to support my family.
Sneh,on the other hand belonged from a rich familly. His father was a rich businessman.
Life went on quite well when one day Sneh called me. He told me that his father was planning to send him to California for further studies and that he put down his fathers proposal because he can’t live without me.
Hearing this,I was both happy and sad. Happy,because I knew I had a shoulder to lean upon and sad because I would be the only reason for his future getting spoiled. I did not want that. I decided to move away from his life. For him.
I have considered myself matured enough to cope up with this situation. I somehow made myself believe that our love was nothing more than another ‘puppy-dog’ love.
Sneh was annoyed at me. Neither I took his phone calls, nor would I met him or talked to him. I ignored him for the past couple of months. I didn’t even hesitate to insult him in public.
I knew Ankhee, a rather skinny girl from his golf club liked Sneh. I manipulated her, convinced her that she was in love with Sneh which made her propose him.Though I felt like shattering inside, I put a such an attitude like nothing matters to me. I guess that compelled Sneh to accept Ankhee’s proposal.
After a few months,when I knew they were together, I told Ankhee that once I had a crush on Sneh and that he must not know about that . I told her a lie because she suspected something about us. If she had asked Sneh, he would have told her everything as Sneh is bad at telling lies and that would create just another misunderstanding. I could not watch my perfect plat plan to ruin.
One day I heard Sneh had left for California with Ankhee. Again, I had the mixed feeling of being happy and sad at the same moment. I was sad because Sneh failed to recognize my love and happy because I had made my love’s life better. Although it’ll remain a secret,forever.
Years passed.I grew up into a responsible young woman .I managed to get a job which pays fairly well to support my family. But I could not forget that charming young boy who once had won my heart. Sneh still lived in my dreams as the careless,clumsy young lad. I imagined him to be happy with Ankhee and had the satisfaction of making him happy.
One day I received a call.The number was not from India. I picked up the phone. A contended, polite yet with a heavy vocal tone spoke on the other side”Is it Smriti?”.
It was Sneh. My Sneh. From then on we talked almost every other day. I was glad having him back in my life.We renewed our lost friendship. I learnt Ankhee had cheated on him and left him since three years. Somewhere I considered myself guilty for that.
……………. We went to “The Roof Top Coffee Shop”.Things have been changed a lot.It has become more of a modernised cafeteria.A Coffee machine has been set up at a corner.The one page,handwritten menu card has been replaced by a five page leaflet.But somewhere in between I could get the smell of my teenage days.
I was having my usual cup of coffee with extra cream. I didnot know how to thank Sneh, for bringing me here after so many years. Since he left,I did not come her. Just as I was going to thank him,he whispered in my ears,”Will you marry me,Shree?”