I looked in the mirror and just kept observing how much I had changed in these 3 years. My face has lost innocence. I smile with my lips but never with my heart and eyes. I stared at my watch, “I should leave now” I thought. I picked up my friend from his house and handed over my car to him and asked him to drive. Well, this is the guy who has seen our relationship from start to end. I went into nostalgia mood.
Let me fill you in on what happened-
He went for a Thailand trip with his friends for 10 days. We used to speak daily. But we spoke less than usual. I could not complain because he had gone there to enjoy and relax. Those 10 days when he was not there, I started reminiscing all the moments we had spent together.
I remembered how he had once asked me “Will you do anything for me?” I was reluctant and said “I will if I can”. Then he told me “Join the gym”. We started going to the gym in the morning together, it was fun.
Once all of us friends were sitting for lunch, he suddenly said in front of everyone "I love you" and asked if I loved him too. I just said “I love all of you. So you too." He then said, “But I love only you”. I started blushing and everyone started laughing. I recalled how I had written his name on each finger of mine with Mehendi and I visited my hometown with that on my hand. When he saw that, he kissed my hand and kept looking at me adoringly. I was dying for him to come back and push strands of hair away from my face like he used to do. Our love song that I always sang was “Stay back with me for a few more minutes”. Somehow those 10 days were finally over. On Monday he came back. I wore a new top. I was excited to meet him. At the same time, I planned a prank on him. I threw attitude. When I met him, he seemed a bit upset. I executed my prank and then at lunch I started noticing something had changed. We were not talking like we used to. In the evening, he did not call to meet me. I went to look for him in a place where he used to practice.
He said, "I can never be in a serious relationship with any girl. I can never marry you. By the way, when did I commit to you? When did I propose to you? I never promised you anything. Be logical. Don’t be an emotional fool. Just strike the opportunities you get."
For more than an hour, I was crying in front of him, nothing or nobody could have consoled me. He was scared to let me go home alone. When his friends came, I just ran away. That night, I was alone in the room. I called home saying I was not feeling well. I switched my phone off and threw it, its screen broke.
I always had the tendency to hurt myself. I took a sharp object and almost cut my veins but could not as I remembered that my whole family was waiting for me.
I went to the terrace and sat on the edge and tried to just jump and end my life there. But I could not. Next few days were spent in being confused about why I could not get him. He used to give mixed signals. Sometimes he used to send sweet texts, other times he didn't care. He went to a client location for work and didn’t bother telling me. I came to know of it through a mutual friend. But between all this, we used to meet every weekend and he told me I was the reason why he was not changing jobs and his location. He did not inform me about moving to a client's place because he didn't want me to get hurt. He said he did not commit because of family issues and because in the long run, he didn't want me to get hurt. But casual dating was fine for him. He had started looking all jobs outside Bangalore.
Only thing that bothered me was that I had no idea what went wrong. He went to the client location. That one month, I was in depression.
Then I met her - Lavanya. She was part of his friend circle. But she was the only one with true heart and emotions whom I could relate to. I found solace in her. She asked me whether we were together or not. I still remember how I could not answer that because even I did not know. It is said that the partner who loves less leads the relationship. Of course, everything was going his way. He made me fall for him and at that point, he knew that I would accept him even without a commitment. He was probably having a girlfriend just for fun. Through her, I came to know that he had told all our friends that I was pestering him and he was not interested at all. So, he claimed, that was why he ignored me. She disclosed that during the entire Thailand trip, he was roaming around with a foreigner girl.
That one month she tried her best and did everything to recover me- swimming, dance, and hanging out with her family on weekends. Lavanya surely hated him for what he did and told me I could get better. But I knew nothing could be better for me except his presence.
I was broken, shattered or maybe beyond that. Maybe he felt I was not well suited for him and he could get a better option. Where was that nice guy whom I fell for? That guy could never do all this. This was not my guy. That dream guy who had a kind heart, who suffered a lot and knew what it meant to get hurt, who could never see me upset, who is way too intelligent and at a higher position but is still down to earth. During that time, he came to the city but did not even inform me and asked his friends not to inform me. We used to talk but things had died out. He always wanted to know if I got a new boyfriend. But I did not and could never think of someone else. During that time, I tried getting a makeover by changing my wardrobe and getting a haircut.
“Anju, we have reached”, my friend said waking me from my nostalgia trip. “Oh, cool” I said and took the gift. We parked the car. I adjusted my saree, the South Indian saree he had loved to see me in, and walked towards the hall.
The hall was quite grand, decorated with lights and flowers (dark blue elements in everything, his favourite). Of course, he was tall, dark, handsome and well-settled so he could get any girl. While entering, we met mutual friends. All his friends whom I had stayed away from because of him. All of them I hated because these were all the people who promoted casual relationships. So, I just had a fleeting casual conversation with these casual people. I went and sat in a chair on the front row. I was just looking at the heart-shaped poster “Abhiram Weds Shraddha”.
I couldn't help but think of the time we had together. I remember how we discussed about marriage and I told him, “My parents and I are already looking for a guy to get me married to- a nice guy”. He had asked “Not me?” “But you won’t get married soon, right?” I asked. He said “I love you yaar. But I have a fear of commitment. I don’t know my future. I just hope it goes fine.” I had told him “Never invite me for your marriage because I won’t come and I won’t invite you for my marriage.” He said “Why yaar?” I said to him with teary eyes “Because I won’t be able to see you with any other girl.” He said, pulling his arms around my shoulder “Listen, If at all I get married it will be only you. If not, either I won’t get married at all or I will marry only after you do. Even if we part ways, we will be always caring towards each other. Bangalore will be our meeting point. Make it a point to not end it on ugly terms.”
Now months later, that same guy had become like this. He had become so damn rude and careless towards me. We used to playfully fight and in one such fight, he once held me so tight that it left a wound on my hand. It was going on without any direction. My gut feeling had told me something was not right and I should break up with him. But, how could I? I didn’t want to hurt him. I had a strong connection with him, wherein if he had come to my city, I could sense his presence instinctively. When he was not well, I used to get a gut feeling and when I would check up on him, it would turn out be true. But I just wanted to be with him. Time flies.
After three years, he may not even remember he said this. The reality is that he is getting married before me. I have come to attend his wedding from so far.
We all were waiting for the bride and groom to enter. He came. I saw him exactly after 2 years. He was wearing those classy specs of his, a nice white on white dhoti kurta, the kind which I always wanted to see him in, while we were dating. But fate had it all planned like I was meant to see it now. I could not stop thinking about that spark in his eyes which made me fall for him. He saw me and smiled at me. His eyes told me “Thanks for coming.” He went on the stage.
When the wedding mantras and music started playing, I realized I was getting the closure for my relationship. I went to the washroom because I could not control my tears.
There was a time... We used to meet every morning in the gym. Once after a training session, we were returning with a mutual friend, he passed a vulgar comment on a girl and pointed it to me. I got so pissed off, I told him “Go and ask your sister”. I know it was rude. But he had crossed all limits. I apologized. For one week after that, we seemed fine. But then we had a big fight, wherein he told me, “Who invited you to come with me for breaks? Who are you to say that? Keep your feminist attitude with you. Have I ever commented on your parents?”. That was it. For 10 days we did not speak at all. We broke up. I did not want it. But I was in a toxic relationship where I never got respect”. We tried to remain friends. He took a transfer to another city but he still flirted at times. I acted pricey. I went on a trip and did everything I could to move on. Lavanya helped me a lot and tried to keep me motivated. Little did I know what will happen. The new year came. That night I drunk dialled him. We both started blaming each other. Highlights of the episode - I ended up saying “You always say 'be logical'. If I was logical why would I have fallen for a dark guy of another community and lower caste? You are not suited for me at all. You made me fall for you. You used me and wasted my time and ruined my first love.” His reply was classier, “I kept on ignoring you. You did not get it that I never loved you. I never gave a commitment to you, I was just casually dating. Feelings should be mutual. Yours have one-sided feelings. So many girls are behind me. You are just one of them. Just Move on.” I blocked him from everywhere that night. Despite being drunk, I could not sleep and got a headache that whole night.
That morning while I was going to buy medicines for my headache, I fainted. At times, when I would get angry, I would hurt myself and faint. Whenever this continued, I consulted a psychiatrist. He diagnosed me with anxiety disorder and explained that these are panic attacks.
I started medication. I cursed him daily for taking me to this edge. During this time, one guy fell for me. He was already engaged. I was actually looking for a shoulder to lean on. I liked him but did not love him. I could see myself in him but I did not want him to suffer like I am. So before anything could happen, I just blatantly ignored him and he got married within few months. I just wanted to tell this to Abhi, that I was also in his place but I did better. My phone rang and “Lavanya calling” flashed on the screen. I came back to reality again. Lavanya said ”Gal, why the hell did you go there? Are you crying?” “No. You know well that I am strong” I tried to sound normal. Lavanya asked, “So how’s the Majnu doing? Did you see him? How is the bride?” I said “I could not see her properly. I came to the washroom to adjust my saree. You know na, how difficult it is to manage.” Lavanya said, “Yeah I know. I wanted to be there to support you. But you see we are now in Switzerland and he did not get leave. Anyway, you send me pictures and enjoy yourself.” “Goodbye,” I said.
I went back to the hall. The bride had had come - Shraddha. She was quite a pretty girl, prettier than me. This was the very first time I was seeing her. She was wearing a Red Kanchipuram saree.
They looked like quite a nice couple. Who thought that he would end up settling down before me, and that too in an arranged marriage. This was the same guy who never wanted to get married. He clasped the mangalsutra on her neck. He is married now. Everyone rushed to have food. I am a big time foodie but that day I did not feel like eating anything. I was just staring at the couple. I took the gift and went to the stage. I looked at him in the eye while congratulating him. He had either lost the spark he had in his eyes for me or for the world in general, I could not tell. Something in his eyes seemed dead. I was going to pose for a picture when I thought to myself, “Finally I have a photo with him.” He asked me, “I didn’t expect you to come. Thank you. When are you getting married?” I softly said in his ear “Never.” I could see that look of shock or maybe regret on his face.
Because of this one guy... Every week I was going to the psychiatrist. New friends, exercising regularly and a new guy friend kept me occupied enough. I became close with this guy friend who after hearing my story told me, “This guy has wronged you. You don’t want him back but at least make him realize that he did wrong, so that no other girl becomes a victim.” “But how can I do that when we don’t even talk?” I thought. But fate had plans. Suddenly, one day, he called and apologized to me. I acted fine. It was not at all easy to forget how my life was ruined. I had become like a patient. I put on a whole new fake face, smiling in front of all, while crying inside. My family life was ruined, they were not happy with their own daughter. I had stopped talking to my friends. I texted him, blaming him and told him that I want to talk to him face to face. He agreed to come after a week and I prepared myself. We spoke for two days and I made him realize his mistake. I blasted, shouted, and broke down. After I calmed down, we spoke like we did before. We understood that we both suffered in different ways.
I was taking medicines and he was taking drugs. I could see a broken heart in his eyes. He asked me “I am confused in life and always in a dilemma. I have no goals. How can I marry you? Will you wait for me as I need two years to settle? Will your parents agree?” I said “I don’t trust you. I am not interested.” Even though my heart was screaming, “Two years is nothing, I will wait for you for my whole life.” He even begged me to not block him and to stay friends with him. I rejected this plea of his, too. But afterwards I felt that maybe we could be friends and support each other, he could take me away from my disorder and I could take him away from the drugs. But then again he messaged me, “We will not talk and be in contact anymore.” I called him up. A big fight started which ended up in him again shouting at me big time, and me confessing about this mental disorder of mine. I disconnected the call and switched off my phone. Then finally after his requests, I spoke to him on the phone. He cried and apologized but nothing could have melted me down. We spoke for two days after that. Then he blocked me from everywhere after a few days. Then I got to know that he had fallen for a girl, in the same way I fell for him and she did to him what he did to me. So now, all of sudden he had only apologized to me to wash away his sins. Two years passed. He had blocked all contacts that led to me including my close friends. I wanted him to be happy even if it was without me. I had left my job and took up a restaurant and event management business. My parents are aged and I had the pressure to get me married.
My constant rejection has led to society speaking nonsense about me and so proposals have stopped coming. My panic attacks are under control now. Nobody could touch my heart till now. I don’t feel like getting married, neither is it a mission for me.
After two years, he called me to tell me his marriage had got fixed. While coming back, in the car I was thinking how a person who was so important to me once upon a time, and about whom I knew everything, became merely a stranger one fine day. When this happens, your entire world falls apart just because of this one person. The difference between us is that he thought of me when he was free, and I made free time for him. I failed to understand that we both loved the same person “Abhi.” People always go in search of a better partner and miss the best in that search, and then going back is not possible. Maybe moving on is still possible or perhaps easier. But different people deal with things differently.
I had already considered him my life partner, and imagining somebody else taking that place is not possible. No regrets. No grudges. Just pain. I am actually paying the price of his mistake. Is it fair?