Dew drop, Sunshine and a Blade of Grass..! (Episode -1)

Chapter 0

The Confession

Love-Breakup-Status-Quotes-02

Present

‘What’s the most difficult thing in the world?’, a VJ running her street show had asked me once.

“To propose your love in front of a girl whom you like”, I had replied. I was seventeen then and my friends had a good laugh on hearing my answer. Of course they were laughing at my profound silliness.

Now, after ten years, I was facing the same question. This time I was in the middle of my self-confrontation exercise and the answer was in stark contrast with the former.

 

‘You are engaged to a young and innocent girl after having exchanged rings in front of your family and relatives.

Now, with a week to go for the marriage, you want to tell her that you want to call off your engagement.

Yes, that’s the most difficult thing to do- calling off your engagement and thereby breaking her heart.

The poor girl would have started building those colorful dreams, dreams filled with you and you are about to crush them’

 

I took a deep breath, trying to supply some more oxygen to my lungs, hoping it would prevent my heart from beating fast and loud.

The traffic signal went green and even before the orchestra of horns could begin; I shifted gears and moved my car.

**********************************************************************************

I could see her college from distance. On the left side of Karanth road was ‘Bangalore Institute of Engineering’ -one of the finest engineering colleges in Karnataka. She was a BE undergraduate there, studying in her Sixth Semester.

Sentry dressed in a grey uniform waved towards right as I approached the entrance. I parked my car in the visitor’s area and went to the security gate.

“Name?” the security personnel sitting in front of the monitor asked.

“Siddarth”, I replied.

“Whom do you want to meet?”, he asked again.

“A student”

He threw a questioning look at me.

“Amulya, Amulya Prakash. Sixth semester, Information Science”, I had to tell her name.

“Purpose?” he asked and this time he was attempting to conceal his smile.

‘She’s my Fiance’, I wanted to reply. But, thirty minutes from now, she would be my ex- fiancé.

“We are engaged”, I chose the right combination of words.

He smiled and looked at the ring finger of my left hand. I wasn’t sure if he was looking for evidence or checking the design.

I went past the gate after collecting the visitor’s pass and dialled her number. She cut the call on the first ring.

After about thirty seconds, my cellphone flashed her message.

‘ Me in class 😦, it read.

‘Can we meet? Now?’, I replied.

‘Aww.. wru’

‘Near your college canteen.’

‘omg.! Omg.! OK. ll b der in ten minutes. Sorry for keeping you waiting’

‘No problem. I will wait.’

‘cya :)’

She was in deep love with me. God, how could I ever tell her that I don’t want to marry her!

But, I had to!!

**********************************************************************************

Amulya was about eight years younger to me and had far superior looks compared to mine. She would talk less to strangers and formal acquaintance. But with close ones it was difficult to keep her mouth shut.

Topping the state in the class 12th Exam and 3rd rank in the State level Engineering Entrance Exam was also something that she had easily managed.

When we had been to her home for the first time, her mom had even shown us those laminated newspaper clippings from leading dailies of Karnataka, which had her photo and exam scores as headlines.

She was blushing then, asking her mom to stop showing off.

I had then felt like asking why she hadn’t managed to get a seat in either an IIT or NIIT. For obvious reasons, I didn’t.

I was not sure if it was her beauty, her innocence, her academic achievements or those delicious pakodas that she had prepared, but she had managed to impress my parents.

***************************************************************************

My thoughts were brought to halt when my phone started ringing.

“Where are you Sid? Can’t see you”, she said as soon as I answered her call. I could sense the excitement in her tone.

Even before I could give her the latitude and longitudinal coordinates, she exclaimed “Saw you!”.

“Stay there”, she followed it up with an order.

I turned towards my left. She was dressed in green colored kurti with matching ear rings. With her hair tied loose, she was looking adorable.

Her wide eyes shone bright as she smiled in excitement and greeted me.

“Hi.!” She said and sat in front of me.

“Hi”, I said and “Coffee?”, I asked.

After about ten minutes, they brought us our coffees.

In those ten minutes, she had given me a brief idea on what she will be wearing for the marriage, fluctuating gold rates, new dishes that she had learnt, places that she wanted to visit after the marriage and the way her friends tease her with me.

It’s not that she was talking a lot; it’s just that, I was way too silent and she was trying a build a conversation.

All that I was doing was waiting for the right time to bring up the topic.

“Shall I show you around my college?”, she asked me in excitement.

“Yes” I said, in a hope that somewhere in the campus I would find a place with the right ‘vaastu’ that would instill in me enough courage to spill the beans.

*******************************************************************************

“And this is where we used to sit and study during our first semester exams” she said pointing at the tree. Like a tourist nodding in amazement after hearing the guide speak about historical significance of Tajmahal, I faked a nod.

It was almost twenty minutes since we had started exploring the campus, but I was not able to tell her the purpose of this meeting.

“And we used sit there by holding our umbrellas to shield ourselves from those crow droppings. My god..!” she started laughing.

Either the situation had brought down my receptors for humor or the joke wasn’t funny- I struggled to laugh.

She continued to laugh. God..! Such a sweet kid, how could I ever break her heart?

Ok, no more waiting and no more wasting of time, I decided.

“Amulya”, I pronounced.

She looked at me while trying to bring her laughter under control.

“There’s something that I need to tell you”, I spoke with a mild tremor in my voice.

“What?” she asked, with a faint hint of shyness.

Did she get a wrong idea? Is she thinking that I am going to tell her that I love her?

She dropped her eyes. Yes, she was blushing.

“Amulya, I can’t marry you”, I said in one breath.

There was a sharp change in her facial expressions. Laugh faded from her face like the drop of water does after falling on a red hot pan.

‘What are you telling?’ her eyes asked me.

“Yes.. Amulya. I want to call off our engagement”, I made it clearer to her.

Her beautiful eyes turned moist and looked at mine. Again, she didn’t speak but let her eyes do it on her behalf.

‘Why?’ they asked me.

“Come on Amulya. You need to speak. You should at least scold me, yell at me. I know that it’s a shocker but please don’t be silent”. I wanted her to speak. Silence can be suffocating and here was an example.

Her facial expression changed instantly, yet again. And this time she frowned and smiled and finally spoke.

“Ah god.! I didn’t realize” She said.

“Realize what?”, I was confused.

“My dear hubby, you are trying to pull of an April fool prank, aren’t you?” she laughed and pressed my hands with hers.

‘Dear hubby’ sounded odd and so did her ‘hand touching act’. I felt uncomfortable.

“It is 2nd of April Amulya. And people won’t fool others on 2nd. They do it on 1st”. I was trying to teach her fundamentals of April fool.

“But, we used to do it” she replied. Yes, like a kid.

“They don’t Amulya”, I said. Somehow, I felt that the debate on the fool’s day was not so important.

“Ok listen to me. It’s true, every single word that I have spoken. And you have to trust me on this”, I tried to make her understand while slowly taking out my hands from hers.

“Oh.!” Her face dropped again.

“Why?”, she asked.

“I don’t want to get married right now”

“But you are already 28”, she spoke innocently.

27 it is, I wanted to correct her.

“No. I mean it’s like you are younger to me, by seven years”

“Oh. God.! You are simply being concerned. You are worrying for me isn’t it.? I know you look little older. But, I like you. And so does my family. So stop thinking too much. And trust me, you look handsome”.

In a span of fifteen seconds, she had made me feel low by telling me that I look older and made me feel flattered by telling that I look handsome. But the whole outlook was to call off the engagement and I felt that I should be concentrating on that.

“You are still studying. You have one more year to go. Exams, moreover placements. It’s also a question of your career, you see”, I came up with one more excuse.

“But, your mom told me that it’s fine with her. And moreover, don’t get worked up thinking that it would difficult for me to cope up with my studies. I can manage” she replied. Yeah, I do remember that you are a topper.

With hardly any false excuses left, I had to find resort in giving her the right reason.

“I am in love with someone else..!”, I revealed my best kept secret.

Her reaction suggested that it came as a deep shocker to her and her silence meant that she wanted to know more about the girl.

“It’s this girl. Her name is Anahita. We have been seeing each other for the past five years. I was forced into this marriage by my parents”, I said.

Tears reappeared in her eyes. She started looking for a shoulder to rest her head on, or probably a chest to hide her face in. She had appeared to have accepted the fact that I would be able to lend her neither of those.

“I love her a lot Amulya and she can’t live without me. It’s very important that I don’t marry you. I don’t want to live my life with guilt of having cheated both of you”, I spoke fighting my emotions.

There was a brief silence. For about a minute neither of us spoke. I looked at her while she continuously stared at the grasshopper which was fighting its way out of a spider web.

“I am sorry”, I broke our short silence as we had both watched the grasshopper giving up. It stayed still; motionless, signalling that it had lost hope- hope to live.

She looked at me, into my eyes.

“But, you could have done this earlier right?”, she asked. A simple question and I had no answers.

She stood up and turned her back against me.

“Good luck”, she said and walked towards her classroom, away from me and without looking at me.

“Thank you”, I said in a faint voice that got lost in the thin air even before it could reach her ears.

I stood there, for about a minute, all alone. I was feeling sad for breaking her heart.

How difficult is it going to be for her and her family? Every single person would keep quizzing them about this.

It’s a stigma that would stay for long.

She might fight hard to escape silent stares of her friends, the same friends who are now teasing her with me. My heart sunk thinking about the aftermath.

The chaos in my head lasted only for a minute and then everything changed.

My head which was feeling heavy and occupied for all these months, felt empty with no thoughts. I could discern the flow of air in my lungs, notice the color of the sky and feel the mild breeze brushing against my skin.

I sat inside my car. First thing to do was to fly Kolkata and tell Anahita that I had broken my engagement.

She hadn’t spoken to me since the day my engagement was fixed. She had refused to answer any of my calls or messages. I couldn’t reach her through her friends.

Four months and that’s a really long period. This is popularly referred to as ‘break up’.

I started my car and turned on the radio.‘Phir le aaya dil..majboor…’, it started singing.

I was breathing life after months, and this song resonated with my emotions.

Slowly, my mind turned back the pages of the memory book. And it had to start with the first chapter- ‘My first meeting with Anahita’.

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-To be continued

[Click here to read the second Episode]

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