Our flight has been delayed by three hours and we are stuck at Mumbai airport. How strange it feels calling him and me as ‘we’. He has dozed off at the nearby seat. I stare at his face for a long time. Never have I stared at him for so long, so closely. Never had I in my wildest dreams thought that I would be married to him. Not when I had met him briefly five years ago, not while on that trip with the group, not while talking to him on phone when he was crying on the other end and neither while sobbing profusely when he was consoling me.
But nobody ever said life would be predictable. And thus, we are a married couple now. A newly married couple. An inter-caste marriage for which we fought with our parents and coaxed them for months until we were finally successful. But you know what’s strange? That I convinced my parents to allow me to get married to a guy I do not love. Yes, I do not love him. And I know that he doesn’t either.
You would be wondering that if we didn’t love each other, then why on earth were we married. And it was not the typical arranged marriage. We had fought for being with each other. Yes, I would prefer calling it ‘being with each other’ rather than ‘love’.
Because ‘love’ was a feeling that I felt for just one person! The only person who I still call ‘mine’! The only person whose name still brings smile to my lips! Piyush. The person who taught me what love meant. But Piyush is no longer with me today. Though his memories are still afresh as dew within me! We were together for five years. Five blissful years! It was probably during our third year of togetherness that I came to know about Vikram, the person who I now call my husband. But at that time, he dated my best friend Riddhima. He stayed in another city and I heard of him briefly from Riddhima. We also had a couple of meetings formally where I met him along with Piyush.
A few twists and turns later, both of us had been torn apart from our respective lovers – first it was Vikram because Riddima’s parents didn’t approve of him, and then me. And I don’t even know till date why Piyush broke up with me.
Both of us knew about the times we were going through and called each other up a few times. Especially, when we were tired of holding ourselves in front of the world and needed a place where we didn’t have to pretend to have moved on, when we needed a place where we could cry for hours at a stretch cursing life for taking away the persons we loved so dearly from our lives. We talked and talked, each narrating his/her love story to the other. We told each other how much we loved and how badly we missed the love of our lives. We shared the happiest moments about our love lives, or rather our past love lives. We sometimes fought about whose love had been greater. Silly us! We shared similar thoughts about our inability to fall in love with anybody else ever again. Both of us knew we would never be able to love our future partners the way we loved our past.
It was during one such conversation where I cursed societal pressure of getting married, that he suggested about getting married to each other. 'Atleast that way, we wouldn’t have to bear the pressure of cheating our future partners or of trying to fake our love for somebody' - he had said. I laughed at the suggestion at that time. But somewhere it struck a chord within me.
I talked to Vikram later asking if he was serious. He was. We gave it a thought for few more days. And we found that it was the best possible alternative for our aching hearts. We could speak to each other for hours about our pasts because both of us knew that the other person would listen and comfort rather than judge. We knew that none of us needed love of any other person because we were happy reveling in the love and time we spent with our past. And that was the reason why we married each other.
My bag today still carries all the photographs, gifts and memorabilia from Piyush and Vikram still has everything he shared with Riddhima.
It’s been almost a year since we have been talking to each other. And during this entire year, there hasn’t been a day when our aching hearts have stopped aching or our memories have stranded us of our past. We have taken the constant hollow pain, that emptiness as a part of ourselves now.
The only comfort for both of us is that there is one more person who is sharing this void and that’s what makes this bond special. A bond of sharing emptiness, broken hearts and bleeding tears, a bond of cursing fates and hating society and a bond tied to pasts and uncaring of futures!
Written for Write...Edit...Publish. Theme of the month - Romance