View from the other side
It was one of the longest wait she was had ever undertaken. Though she was prone to waiting for him, but today every minute was passing like a generation. Every seconds passed hurled at her thousands of thorns reminding what she is about to do. But she had already decided it, lock stock and barrel, and she will have to do it.
The place was brimming with activity. Heavy rains had lashed the place and weather was romantic, but she cannot allow herself to be moved by the weather. It was not just possible. Her head was heavy with the words she was going to use. Words she never used before him. Words, which she never thought even in her nightmares, that she would use. She had had them rehearsed a thousand time at her home, even after putting a heavy burden over her heart, she used them in his absence. But she knew it she won’t be able to speak them in front of him, no matter how many rehearsals she’d had done. These words just weren’t true.
She met Pranav at her college, but it wasn’t the case where the cupid had stuck at the first glance. But she noticed, as days passed, Pranav was different from other guys. He only wore few pair of dress and there no jeans in them. Unlike other guys, he never combed his hair in different styles; there was only one standard style, his hair pushed towards right. He only had one HMT watch. And unlike other, he kept thing mostly up to himself and whenever he talked, he only talked to the professors or few other guys sitting with him. But the more surprising thing about that she noticed that after college hour he never headed home, he goes to work. One could only find him after college hours at the library or at his work. She first crashed on him at the library, almost 3 months after she first noticed him. As she began to strike up a conversation, this shy guy first tried to avoid her invasive questions. But as days passed, he began to respond to her glances and hellos, and sooner she became his friend.
She knew that she has to do a hard work with him. He was talented but somehow muted. Sooner she discovered the cause when he told her about his family background, about the sacrifices he has to make, about the love he always craved. It took her some time, but she was able to convince him to come along with her and meet other people, to make friends to talk. Even though she knew that they both belong to different social strata, she promised herself that she will never make him ever realize this. The love, the attention she showered on him worked wonders on him. He got the dose the self-confidence which he desperately needed to have. When the college was over, the friendless Pranav had made more friends than his entire life, however he reserved a special place in heart for Sanjana, even if he knew he had to travel miles to become eligible for her.
After her college, her love for law wane away as she came to know she it wasn’t her piece of cake. Business ran to her bloodlines, and ultimately she has to join business. She told this to Pranav and he was dumbstruck, she can’t imagine facing another college without her. But she was able to convince him to continue, she gave him the confidence that he could face the world alone now, that he could now interrogate people. She convinced him that he could do it even while he is holding up his part time job. She assured him that she will meet him regularly, at the same place she was sitting now. Years passed and the meetings continued, and when the affection became love, nobody knew.
She checked her watch; she wished the time to stop. She wished the turmoil in which she was living in for last few days would sweep away her life. It is the time, she said to herself. But she just couldn’t bring herself to the fact about the words she is going to utter, and utter them convincingly, with a real devastating effect. She was feeling like an artist who has being asked to destroy his works. And then she saw him coming, coming with flower. A faint smile appeared in her face, weather was romantic, but her words weren’t. The smile disappeared in a whisker.
She was mechanical in delivering what she’d thought, the amount of rehearsal she did was still unable to make it dramatic. She was straight, direct and brutal. Within matters of minutes she was able to break down a relation that they spent years in making. She couldn’t stand the look in his eyes and she rushed out of the café. She knew that she would break down a single moment she stayed there or looked back, if it were some other guy he would have caught her folly, but Pranav was different, he was far too honest in relationships. She hid herself from his eyes; she wanted to capture the last glimpses of Pranav.
She saw a broken man; a man she knew once existed 8 years ago. The boy, rather than man, present in her college; a person who chose aloofness and alienation. It took a lot of hard work and patience to melt that that hesitant and re-mould him into a man. But now she can’t stand the sight of her what she’d done to her own work. She saw him looking at window display, it was a Music shop, and she knew what was displayed there. He was crying and so was she. She left for her car contemplating what make her life come to this point.
Her joining of business was not purely a choice resting upon her businesswoman veins. It was rather a necessity accentuated by the failure of her elder siblings, two sisters and a brother, at her father’s business. She could have easily afforded 3 years at law school but her father was in disarray. His elder children were not only spendthrift but also lack basic business acumen. Lastly, he’d to turn to her younger daughter to help him through. She was first placed in an outsourcing company where her father was a promoter; she rose in ranks and continued her MBA. And even with these entire preoccupations she was able to spare some time for Pranav who equally playing the jugglers act. But even with her salvation of her father’s company, dangers still lurked over his business. Her siblings, even after getting married and producing children, were useless and they were writing cheques, takings decision without even bothering of the implications of their actions; for which she paid a heavy price. She pulled her car in front of her bungalow.
Her family was waiting for her; everyone wore a look that was different from others. Her father was distraught, her brother tensed, her sister detached and her in-laws worried. She told them what happened and shut herself out in her room. But the voices that she heard from her closed doors she can make out what others felt. Her father went dumb, her brother was relieved, her sisters were jealous and whined and her in-laws were saddened. Her decision she knew would conceived multitude of emotions in her family. She hid her face in her hands.
She’d agreed to marry one of the creditors of her father’s business. The person was twice her age and has a son about her age. He was from the north of the city, and was one who is not called nouveau riche. The old money ensured that he always avoided publicity, even if he is an unrepentant Casanova. He promised her father that in case of him marrying her, he won’t bring forward the suit of foreclosure and insolvency against his companies, a decision which could wreck her family homeless. Her brother was undoubtedly relieved as he could still have the same standard of living, her sisters were jealous because the guy was very rich, for her in-laws it was the worse this little girl could more endure and for her father it was the hardest bargain he’ ever done. Within a week she married him in the local registrar.
The reception of her marriage was both opulent and sinful. As the night began to set in, sin began to accompany opulence, before anyone could know they became the sides of same coin. Men lasciviously threw money at semi-clad women. Women did the same with the young men available there for their entertainment. There were boys with boys and girls with girls. There were also few kids tucked away in the dark corners of the bungalow. She was in a world that she knew existed but she’d never been. But now it was choking her. She went to sleep, but she hoped it was only a bad dream.
© Tarun Mitra