Posted September 14, 2009on:
“Aadi, will you see who is at the door?”
Aaaditya’s mother called out to him. He stood gaping as he looked at the visitor. He had never seen more beautiful girl before. He stood there awestruck. After a while he realized that the visitor was asking him something.
“Is this Mrs. Bally’s place?”
“Who is it Aadi?” his mother asked from the kitchen.
“Someone’s here to see you, mom.” still standing at the door, he forgot his manners to ask her inside. He stood there looking at her as if he had seen some “apsara”, making Nidhi conscious. The blush on her face made her even more beautiful, or so Aadi thought.
“Yes?” asked Mrs. Bally to the visitor and looked at her son quizzically for the dumb look on his face.
He couldn’t know from his room what the duo were talking about. How he wished to be there, with her! He felt his face and ears getting red and hot.
Two days later when he came home in the evening, he saw her again. She looked more beautiful than he had remembered. She smiled at him and his heart skipped a beat. He gave her an awkward smile and scurried to his room. Once in his room he flopped on the bed and tried to look at her through the eyes of his heart. Her dark, midnight sky colour, hair in long braid, big vermilion bindi on her forehead, her “Kajal” lined eyes brought a smile on his face. He went back to the other room just to get a glimpse of her but his mother was already packing tabla and she was gone. He sighed.
Their encounter became routine since Nidhi came to his place at least thrice a week to learn tabla and Bharat Natyam from his mother. He would make sure to come home early on her scheduled days. He loved it when she smiled at him. He loved her grace when she danced to his mother’s directions and she looked fabulous when she played tabla. She tried to talk to him couple of times but he would feel very shy and embarrassed. She became his passion. He would get agitated the day she did not come.
Aaditya got restless when Nidhi didn’t come for her classes for a week. Today was her scheduled day too and he decided not to go out of house, lest he miss her! She did come. But she had this “lost” look on her face. He waited for them to start the session but they just sat and talked. Mrs. Bally got a glass of water for Nidhi and seemed like consoling her. It then occurred to Aaditya that Nidhi was crying. He couldn’t get what was going on between his mother and Nidhi but something was seriously wrong. He tried to stress his ears but couldn’t know the reason of Nidhi’s distress.
At dinner he heard his mother tell his father about Nidhi’s marriage to someone whom she didn’t love; a person a decade elder to her.
“She is just 23… imagine! Poor girl! So talented! Tsk…” commiserated Mrs. Bally.
Further talk was lost on Aaditya. He felt as if the earth had given away and he was spiraling down some bottomless pit. He was completely lost. In a daze he managed to go to his room. Mr. and Mrs. Bally were surprised at Aaditya’s sudden change in mood.
“Might be due to the exams. Let me go talk to him”, said Mr. Bally to his wife, patting her hand.
When Aaditya did not respond to Mr. Bally’s knock he peeked inside his room. Aaditya was sitting at the window and was lost to the world. He did not hear his father approach.
“What happened Aadi, any problem in school?” asked Mr. Bally lovingly to his only child. Aadi shook his head but his eyes started brimming over. One look at his dad and he lost control. He hugged his father tightly and started crying openly. Mr. Bally stood there transfixed not knowing what was wrong with his adolescent son. But he let him cry.
He just wished that whatever was causing so much pain to his son had a remedy.