An Enigma – Short Story No. 4

It was all over.  That’s how long a dream lasts. As I sat there near the banks of the Souparnika, a strong breeze ruffling my hair, my mind wandered off to when Vishwa had proposed to me, right here…

A perfect summer day it was. Mini and I were taking photographs, while the boys were setting the picnic table. The trip had been incredibly fun all through. At noon, Vishwa came towards me and led us a into the shallow rivulet. Crisp, cool water surrounded us.
He held my hand and took out a ring from his jeans pocket. I was overwhelmed! At that moment, my mobile bleeped. “You know what the ring means. Awaiting your reply! :)”, read his SMS. I nodded with a wide grin.

That was 5 years ago and it’s been a year since we separated. Seems like an eternity now. Continuous heartache can drive a wedge through any relationship; can erode even the deepest of loves.
How could this place, with its calm backdrop and lush green forest line, be the very place where I feel this agony?

There weren’t too many people here. In fact, less than the usual really.
A man stood near a thicket, a few yards behind this woman, from whom he couldn’t remove his gaze. She was a picture of beautiful melancholy; a simple maroon cotton salwar she wore, her hair fluttering with the breeze and her feet grazing the running water of the river. Lured by her lonely disposition, he walked towards her.

From the corner of my eye, I could see him approach me. He came upto me, “Hello, mind some company?”. I felt a spark of connection, something I had missed for a few years now. There was something soothing about this man and the air he carried. It was more like meeting a long-lost friend and not a mere stranger near a river-side.

He led me to a quaint little restaurant nearby.
5 years ago I was here, sharing the best lunch I ever had. No more than distant memories now.
We talked random at first. The weather, the beauty of the place and people here. It was weird, how hesitant we were, considering the instant connection we had earlier. I had removed my wedding ring and was fidgeting with it on the table. The food soon played it’s loosening effect and against my better judgement, with my head down, I decided to pour my heartache out and the myriad emotions I went through that led me back to this place again.
The hectic Mumbai life never really suited us. For 3 years, my marriage with Vishwa was swell. His textile business was doing well and my work as a journalist for a reputed magazine kept me occupied.  Things changed when I was given more responsibility as a Senior journalist. Suddenly, we hardly saw each other. He worked when I slept and vice-versa. Vishwa had said that our wedding vow, ‘I’ll always be there for you’ seemed a mere farce. As my career dreams grew stronger, our relationship got weaker.
Amidst complaints of no time spent, I told him I had to go to Ladakh for a year. A fight began, blew up and I left home the next day. Now, divorce formalities were to begin.
Since then, my career successes dwindled and I regretted my actions everyday. But  I couldn’t face him anymore. I couldn’t force myself to apologize.

As I lifted my head, I could see the pain reflected in his eyes. My loneliness vanished and I felt lighter and warmer. I felt maybe, just maybe, I still had a future, perhaps with this man here, sharing her tears from his deep blue eyes.

I had come here to throw the ring into the river. The diamond wedding ring he had given me that day. I wanted to cut all ties to that marriage.
He took the ring lying on the table, “I think it’s time we renewed those vows. Past is well,  past. Let’s start fresh. What say?” he said, as he slipped the ring back to where it belonged.

There was an uncontrollable gush of outright euphoria at that moment. Everything had finally fallen in place. Everything went right after ages. As we were wading through the rivulet, holding hands, helping him onto one of the many rocks, I could feel the grin, a fresh tattoo on my face.
As we sat there, with the majestic hills behind creating a surreal shadow on the crystalline waters of the Souparnika, a thousand memories flickered with each blink. Each like a jigsaw puzzle, each bonding with the last, all forming the perfect portrait. Of us.
Tomorrow, we shall make new promises. Tomorrow, we vow to make no more mistakes.

Life, Love and Faith are strange forces. A mathematician’s dream; they aren’t constant, nor do they seem to follow any pattern. Perhaps it’s that unpredictability that intrigues all of us.
And that’s why they’ll always remain a mystery. An enigma.

~>Sreedeep Sreekanth

This was my first tryst in conventional romance. Please leave your comments and suggestions! 😀

‘Nuff said 🙂
Peace out \/
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