Sakhi's Laghukatha

Posts Tagged ‘Nostalgia

Proposal

Posted on: August 28, 2019

fiction_stamp

Kshitij fiddled with his iPhone in nervousness. It was more than 10 years that he had last seen her in person. They have been in touch on and off through Facebook and WhatsApp, but he had never really expressed his feelings to her. He did not even know whether she considered him as one of her many online friends or just an acquaintance from past. Definitely, he was not on her radar!

Kshitij smiled at the memory of much younger himself waiting for her almost every morning to enter their office together. She did not have any inkling, he guessed, of his fluttering heart; she would give her cursory, cute smile and walk off or have a small chat but nothing much. This was the ritual for all the five years that they worked together. He could never garner any nerve to ever express his amorous dispositions. He tried once, feebly, which he now doubted if she even realized to be a proposal. He remembered her hearty laugh, sweeping the whole conversation aside like a pro who is used to such flirting in her everyday life. Contrary to his expectations, neither she acknowledged it nor harbored any ill feelings. Time passed, and they went their own ways as their respective careers took them to different companies and cities.

He tried to keep in touch with her with social media coming in handy. She was always friendly and nonchalant about their conversations. Catching up with her, once in a while, was like a breath of fresh air for Kshitij. Social media had its boons and bane. Looking at her changing DPs or the life updates from time to time was making it more and more difficult for him to forget her. Of course, he could just decide not to follow her or block her for his own sanity, but he could not do the obvious!

In these 10 years, both had grown in their respective careers and had families of their own. He loved his wife and son to a tee but there was this unexplainable void deep down in Kshitij’s heart that wanted him to reach out to her and at least let her know once what he felt for her. As age was catching up, he was getting increasingly jittery. He needed to get this weight off his chest. He was well aware that this confession was not going to get him anywhere. For all he knew, she would completely cut him off.

So that was it… he was going to do it… propose… via WhatsApp!!!

***

10 pm, Friday

Kshitij: Hi

Her: Hey, hi… what’s up? 😊 Been a while!

Kshitij: yeah… how are you?

Her: goooood… as always 😊

Kshitij: You still with A&Z?

Her: yeah… and you?

Kshitij: M&B

Her: Cool… so, what’s new? Howz life?

Kshitij: I wanted to tell you something

Her: shoot

Kshitij: I always wanted to propose to you… ever since we first met

Silence…

Kshitij: Hello?

Her: Are you out of your mind? What are you saying?

Kshitij: Nothing, sorry to have bothered you

Silence again…

***

That night Kshitij did not sleep well. He did not know what to expect. Or maybe this was exactly what he expected. He kept checking his phone to see if she was online or if she sent any messages.

Nothing…

It was 3 am and he dozed off.

Morning came with a brooding mood. Kshitij did not want to wait for something that was not going to happen. He did what he wanted to do, and he was contented about it. Although thought of now never going to be able to talk to her was killing him. Life goes on, thought Kshitij and went about his daily routine albeit with a heavy heart.

Two days later there popped a message on his mobile…

Her: Want to talk. Video call tonight at 10?

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Disclaimer: Use of “iPhone”, “WhatsApp” & “Facebook” has been done only to make story contemporary. Author does not support or promote any of these personally.

Shruti was surprised to see Krishna’s message on her mobile. They were almost inseparable in their college days but time and distance had drifted them apart. They still kept in touch but the calls and ‘sms’es had decreased over a period of time.

“Get ready to receive me tomorrow morning!” read the ‘sms’.

It was almost seven years since they last met. Though they no longer talked everyday or didn’t share each and every moment of their lives, she was still very fond of him. She was glad he was coming to Ahmedabad.

As she saw Krishna on the airport her heart swelled looking at her old friend. She almost ran to hug him the way she used to do, then she held herself. She no longer was an 18-year-old wearing tight jeans, long flowing curly hair and “kajal” eyed! He also had changed. Navy blue blazer, crisp white shirt with perfectly cut trousers had taken place of tight tee and ragged jean!

Both stood there in silence, somewhat awkward, and shook hands! She smiled tentatively and then suddenly they burst into laughter… the old musical laughter!

“So, how come I have a privilege to have your auspicious company?” Shruti teased Krishna as they were going back to her place.

“Its been a while since I met you and then I have a meeting with some officials in Gandhinagar tomorrow so thought of coming a day earlier and catch up on old times with you!”

The rest of the way to her place zoomed by with their non-stop chattering. There were so many things to be shared.

“Have you got a pair of jeans?” asked Shruti once they reached home.

“Yeah, But why?”

She didn’t answer but insisted him to change the clothes. He did (as if he had a choice!).

“And where is your SLR?” This time he was ready with it. He loved photography and still was passionate about it.

As soon as they finished the breakfast she almost dragged him.

It was the first time Krishna had come to Ahmedabad and Shruti wanted him to see real Ahmedabad, not the malls and shopping place or exotic eateries!

She took him around the old city on a heritage walk. Since it was Sunday, also took him to “Ravivari” (flea market held only on Sundays) at the banks of Sabarmati River and to other places where she knew Krishna would love to go. He thoroughly enjoyed the exotic “Jharokha” of the century old houses in “Pol” and came to know the way of living of people there. He was absolutely delighted to find some rare collection of books on photography at dirt-cheap price at “Ravivari”. He was awed by the fineness of workmanship of “Sidi Saiyad ni Jaali”. His camera was constantly clicking some of the most beautiful snaps of this dusty city! Shruti had made his day!

“Last destination of our expedition today!” Shruti announced proudly. “Jhulta Minara!

He was enthralled by the monument and was in awe of the great architecture and engineering which dated back to 15th century. As they were taking the tour they heard some commotion in the adjacent mosque and suddenly they found themselves pushed and shoved by a mob which seemed to have mind of its own. They didn’t understand what was going on and why suddenly so many people were running around shouting, And then Shruti heard somebody shouting, “bomb, bomb”!

Fear washed over their faces and they were absolutely clueless about what to do!! People were running in all directions and Krishna realized that if they didn’t get to a safe place they would surely die of stampede if not of bomb! He looked around and dragged Shruti to a small hiatus just at the end of the corridor about 5 feet away from where they were standing. They could hear their own heartbeats and blood pounded in their ears… They were unable to contemplate where so many people had suddenly come from and what really was going on!

They felt safe in that cramped up place. As the adrenalin rush came down they became conscious about being so near. Shruti could feel Krishna’s breath on her cheek and something stirred in her! As she looked up she saw Krishna’s eyes getting darker with… with what? Desire? Suddenly the whole world stopped around them as they stood their looking at each other, feeling each other with their eyes! They didn’t know how long they stood there like some awestruck teenagers.

Suddenly the spell was broken when they heard a whistle and realized where they were and what had just taken place. They came out and saw a lot of military people around. Things were falling into place. They were asked for the identity, some formalities were done and were allowed to go.

They walked back to the car in a daze. Dazed for what they had witnessed and also for what transpired between them… without a word!

******

“Sorry Krishna, I could not give you company today as something urgent came up. Hope you and Shruti had a good time.” said Akash, Shruti’s husband, good-naturedly at the dinner.

Krishna could not look into Akash’s eyes, nor could Shruti!

Ritu opened the drawer fifth time since morning and sighed again. A long, big sigh!! She remembered her neighbour’s comments and she backed off. Her eyes glistened. She knew she was over reacting but she couldn’t help but feel down.

 

She was the most beautiful girl of her batch when she was in college. And her beauty was even more endearing for she was totally oblivious to the fact that she stole a lot many hearts on the campus when she smiled and jerked her head back to keep her hair in place. Not surprisingly, she was the most sought after girl!

 

When she got “attached” to Kartik a lot of alcohol flowed in the boy’s hostel…

 

After 5 years of marriage to Kartik and a baby later now when she looked at in the mirror she couldn’t recognize herself. Well, almost!! She has put on at least 15 Kgs post delivery! She still looked charming and beautiful with that sweet smile and cherubic face. It was just that she had filled up a bit on her curves.

 

She had become a woman!

 

But every now and then somebody would comment on how she used to look in her college days and how she has changed now. Most of the time she would just smile but sometimes she felt bad, sometimes she felt enraged and sometimes she went into depression.

 

Kartik was always on her side. If he was around he would shoot his favourite dialogue,

 

“If you want a wife, your children’s mother, a best friend, a professional, a girl-friend, a cook; all wrapped into one and still expect her to be toothpick thin then probably you are asking for too much from a human being!”

 

But it was not always possible to make others understand how one feels when they talk without thinking.

 

Today was one such day. Ritu loved chocolates and she was gifted one by her best friend today. As she was about to open it, her nosy neighbour came and commented on how much weight she has put on and how it is not good for her to have chocolates and other high calorie food! She pushed the chocolate in the drawer but couldn’t push the thoughts which were rummaging through her mind!

 

“Was it her fault that she was genetically prone to put on weight?

 

Was it her fault that she was suffering from Hypothyroidism?

 

Was it her fault that even after taking regular treatment she was unable to shed weight?

 

Was it her fault that she hardly got time to exercise on a regular basis from her multiple duties of being a wife, a mother and a working professional?

 

Was it her fault that she could not diet as she needed those calories to keep her going?

 

Was it her fault that Indian females were made to be a bit voluptuous compared to their western and eastern counterparts?

 

Was it her fault that media was wrongly portraying toothpick thin models and showing that was the way Indian ladies are suppose to look?”

 

As she stood in front of her drawer, looking at her bar of chocolate longingly, warmth enveloped her from behind. Kartik had come home early with a gift for her – a beautiful skirt and a T-shirt from the “All size” store… He knew she would look beautiful, as always, in those floral clothes!

Though these days you keep busy

 

And its not that I don’t know about it

 

But my dear friend

 

Always remember

 

That

 

There’s somebody who

 

Still cares for you

 

Waits for you

 

Misses you 

 

So, dear, keep in touch!

 

 

These days I am missing my friends a bit too much! They all seem to be busy with life, family and career. This is my amateur way of letting them know I miss them.

Name has been changed to protect privacy!

Name has been changed to protect privacy!

Scene # 1, 26 June, 2008

5:45 am

Alarm goes off. Swati wants to snooze it badly but she knows, she can’t really do that. Springs on her feet and she is up and about! With a whirl wind, she freshens up as soon as she can and is already in the Kitchen by 5:55 am

Cooker is on the first burner of the gas stove, milk on the second, vegetable on the third!

The alarm goes off again! (She keeps multiple alarms so that she doesn’t forget to wake her child up!)

6:15 am

“Please, bachchaa, get up! Its 6:15 now…” she cajoles her 5 year old to get up for the school.

As she makes her ready by giving her a bath, brushing her teeth, suddenly she remembers… MILK….. runs in the kitchen……thank God, it has not spilled over!

Runs back to her baby, makes her ready for the school!

“Drink your milk fast, sweet heart!” She coaxes her child. Suddenly the alarm goes off again! (Bhaago……..! Time for the school bus!)

Packs snacks for the lunch box and kisses her child and waves good bye!

7:00 am

“Come on, yaar, get up! It’s already seven!” wakes up husband…

Cooker has cooled, now the “daal” can be prepared!

Veggie is done by now. The burner is now free for the tea for the hubby and the in-laws!

Daal on the first burner and tea on the second!

Prepare dough for the “rotis” by the time tea is done.

Served everybody, had a cup of tea standing at the kitchen platform looking at the daal so that it will not spill over!

Prepares “rotis” for the whole family of four!

It’s already 8:30 am

9:00 am

Punches at the office sharp at 9:00 am.

Deals with the superiors, subordinates, juggles the managerial role with that of many others.

6:00 pm boss lets her know about the urgent work which just came in.

7:15 pm

Reaches home. Prepares food for the family.

8:00 pm

Dinner with family.

9:00 pm

Helps in homework of the child.

10:00 pm

“Mom, pleeeeeeeeeease, one story!” she couldn’t refuse her sweet heart.

10:30 pm

“Hey how was your day?” asks hubby sweetly while giving a peck on her cheek. He wanted more! She wanted it too! She smiles at him… he goes to put the light off!

When he comes back, she is fast a sleep!

********

Scene # 2, 26 June, 2000

Swati receives a gold medal in Skating competition. She keeps her medal with others she had won in the past in various competitions.

Her parents were proud of her as not only she was good at sports but excelled at acaedemics, too. Why, this year only she completed her MBA from an reputed university!

*********

She is everything that is expected of her… a good wife, mother, bahu, successful professional…. everything!

Everything but herself!

Recently, very frequently, Swati has started asking herself, WHERE HAS SWATI GONE?


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Sakhi's Laghukatha by Sakhi (aka Dr. Dhara Shah) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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