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Happily Ever After….


Pradip was supposed to reach Hyderabad today. He must have reached by now. A flight from Delhi is not supposed to take more than two hours, three at the max. Then what is keeping him from calling me? He should have reached well over two hours by now…mused Aradhana. Pradip was gone on an official trip with strict instructions for her not to call him suddenly. He would take time out and call her. But that was no excuse for making her worry so much. Aradhana picked up the phone a few times then kept it back. She feared making him angry. Maybe he was actually busy and not getting time. She would wait… what other option did she have?

Aradhana was sipping her tea and stared hard at the scenery outside the staff room window. A Biology teacher at a reputed school, she hardly got time for luxuries like this on weekdays. Her weekends were also packed to the full, both her children were appearing for the Board exams this year; Aarti was in Class X while Arun was in class XII. In order to keep them in a tight schedule, she herself had to adhere to a strict routine and constantly keep track of their studies. But today, no matter how much she tried her thoughts kept meandering away from work and took her back to her past and her memories. Tired at last, she kept the glasses down from her eyes and started staring outside the window to welcome the unabashed flow of memories.

It was sometime in their college days, Pradip and Aradhana were the most-talked-about couple in campus. They complimented each other like a ship and its anchor. They were the favorite students of their professors too. The college fests seemed colorless in the absence of Aradhana and Pradip’s duet songs; they were talented in the true sense. Enjoying each other’s company and competing for grades they reached their final year. Love between them was evident and they had taken that fact for granted. A week after their final exams they sat at the college grounds sitting back to back with each other, so that neither could see the face of the other. 

‘Now that I can’t see you…you don’t need to be shy with me….tell me something… what are your plans for us?’ questioned Aradhana playfully. ‘What plans? There are no plans…. Let’s see who bags a job first’ replied Pradip’ 

‘That and all are fine….but what about marriage and plans about us in the future? You do have some plans…right?’ This question jolted Pradip from behind her, and he sat straight facing her with surprise in his eyes. ‘Wait…wait…you are going too fast…what marriage? When did I ever tell you any such thing?’ 

Aradhana was clearly embarrassed at the question, she somehow managed: ‘You never said any such thing… but isn’t it evident? I mean after we get jobs you do want to marry me…Right?’ asked Aradhana with a lot of doubt clouding her eyes. Pradip was caught off guard. He swallowed hard and said: ‘Look…. I love you a lot but I am not ready for marriage….. I have to look after my parents and family…. Get a job…buy a Flat then a car maybe….I don’t know what exactly…but marriage is certainly not there for at least five or six years’ Aradhana looked defeated…it was, as if, someone had hit her hard. 

‘All that is fine with me… if you tell me so…. I will wait for you…. But you don’t want to marry me…..right? And there is no concrete reason for that…..isn’t it so?’ she replied with tears choking her voice. All her friends had warned her that she should clarify their relationship status before proceeding but she had always thought that their relationship was way ahead of all these things. She too had an ambition; she also looked ahead to a secure future but with Pradip. Without him, all her dreams were incomplete. She looked at Pradip and saw how helpless he was looking, trying to conjure up a reason why he couldn’t marry her. There was actually no reason behind it. In that one moment, she realized how wrongly she had interpreted all his actions and their relationship. She realized that as a guy he was a little immature and felt sorry for him. She tried to ease the tension: ‘It’s ok….you don’t need to look so guilty…. Stay normal please….. I understand….’ she assured holding his hand in hers.

That was then and this is now. Life had taken so many unexpected turns. Now she was married to one of the most wonderful and understanding persons and had two lovely children. She was even successful in her career. What more could a person want? She had found friendship in her marriage like she had never thought before. She could not ask for more, her husband was actually her friend. They shared all things small or big, good or bad in life.

She had never felt the need to hide her relation with Pradip from him. Although they led separate lives they could not let go off each other. Aradhana had reconciled her fate of living without Pradip as her husband but they had never lost touch with each other. Abhay, her husband now, came into her life through a marriage arranged purely by relatives and family. On the first day itself, when he had come to see the prospective bride, Aradhana had told him about Pradip and how she cannot bear to severe her friendship with him. Although certain, that this confession would scare away Abhay, like all his preceding suitors, Aradhana was stunned when he did not object to any of it and rather agreed to marry her happily. That was perhaps, the best thing that could happen in Aradhana’s life.

Up until her marriage, she did not feel how much she needed to be loved and cared for. Abhay was all that Pradip was not. Over the years her relationship with Pradip took a more maternal turn, her love for him changed from that of a lover to a good friend, who cared for him like a parent or an elderly relative. On the other hand, Abhay slowly seeped into the cracks and crevices of her life and held her strongly like the roots of a Banyan tree on a dilapidated wall of some old house. Pradip never married, but he did remain a part of Aradhana’s life, Abhay welcomed him as a friend into his life too. With time, Aradhana became a happy wife to Abhay and a loving mother to his children.

Her phone beeped. She picked it up to receive a mono-syllabic text from Pradip saying ‘Reached’! She was about to reply to his text when the phone rang again. It was Aarti calling, she picked up without delay and her daughter’s voice hurried on:

‘Ma, where are you? I’m waiting for you in front of the school? Have you left?’ Caught off guard, she hurriedly replied: ‘I’m on my way…. I was caught up in some work. Don’t go anywhere…I will be there in a minute!’

Suvanjana Ghosh
About the Author :
I am usually interested in writing short stories that highlight some intricate aspect of human relationships. Being married for some years now, my intrigue about the institution of marriage seems to increase each day. I love weaving stories around everyday characters and incidents.Get a glimpse of my writing on my blog at " Riding The Rainbow Of Life".

4 comments so far..What are your thoughts?

  1. Replies
    1. thank u...but its Suvanjana not Sulekha... :)

  2. This one's really interesting Suvanjana.I love the way you create stories out of everyday life, Very simple but meaningful. :)

    1. Thank u Abhishek for such a nice comment...everyday life I feel is full of stories of different kinds and types.... :)


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