Monday, March 16, 2015

Being together

This post is for https://housing.com/ #together

It was Esha's birthday. Like each year, I dialed her mobile number to wish her on her birthday. Irrespective of the fact that we could rarely meet after our tenure in the same job and being room mates, we remained good friends. Post two years of quitting job, she got married. I was still working in Delhi, trying to make something out of my career. We were physically apart but kept in touch throughout. We made sure to call each other at least on our birthday, if not at regular intervals.  It was 11:00 am and I thought to call her as I was not loaded by work that day.
I expected to hear a bubbly chirpy voice at the other end. The time that I spent with her brought a smile on my face. As the call got through, her number was not reachable. I was disappointed, wondering why she had switched her phone off. Leaving a message on social account was not an option, as she was not active on social media, and had discontinued her profile of late. After trying her number thrice,  I called on her hometown's land line.

"Hello?" the bubbly voice received the call.

“Happy birthday moti!” I wished her in excitement.

“Thanks SD! How did you know I am in Chandigarh?” (She often abbreviated by name to SD)

“Idiot! Your mobile is not reachable. I thought of calling your parents to give me alternate number of yours if any. 

Why is your phone off?” I scolded her with a concern in my voice.

“No, its not off rey! I have discontinued my Delhi number” she replied with a hint of melancholy in her voice.

“Why the hell? So who will update your number to me? What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Things are not quite well at my end. I am going through a rough patch in my life sweety. Will tell you later.”

I had no idea what had happened, but I was concerned and worried for her. Why did she discontinue her Delhi number, why was she in Chandigarh, was there a problem in her marriage…thoughts wrung my head as I tossed on my bed that night. I felt guilty of not being to talk to my best friend for a long time. Amid my own struggle and work life balance, I had almost forgotten Esha. Post my broken love relationship, I was never myself. That night I kept thinking how life had made a joke of me. More I thought about my past relationship, more I felt hurt. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I felt that void within me again.

The next day at work, I was informed about an official visit to Chandigarh to one of our clients. I felt happy and was eager to visit Esha during that visit.

I bought a box of chocolates for her and headed for her house on Saturday afternoon. As I pressed the door bell, she opened it for me. We hugged each other. She rushed to the kitchen and returned with two glasses of watermelon smoothie and home-made cookies. I was touched. She had not forgotten my favorites. After a brief chit chat about job and family, I asked her about her marriage.

She smiled. “I knew this would come. Well SD, I have filed a divorce from my husband. The case is still pending.”

I ran a blank at her in shock. She was married one and a half years ago. What could have possibly gone wrong!
“This alliance was brought by one of our relatives who had woven lies to us. My family fell for it. I trusted my parents and got married, hoping for a good life ahead. But all that shines is not gold. The good looking guy had an extra marital affair. Plus, he had lied to us about his education, job & salary. Financial condition deteriorated. When I offered to help by working, his family refused. Big ego you see. They can die hungry, but will not allow the bahu to work. Things went terribly wrong when he started to return home drunk and physically tormented me. I kept mum and tried my best to save the marriage. When my parents came to know about it, they brought me back. They keep feeling guilty of not doing a background check that brought my life to a standstill.”

Esha’s words pierced into my heart. I was disturbed and angry at the same time. How dare could a man hit his wife? Why did he marry if he was into another relationship? My eyes welled up. It should have been my turn to hug her. But she came to me instead, and hugged me.

“Why are you crying silly? I am fine. See, I am out of a bad marriage. I was wrong when I stayed quiet. It’s worse to accept wrong more than doing it. Now I am free from his clutches. I will start working very soon,” she said with hopes in her eyes.

That moment I compared myself with Esha. She had braved the odds with maturity and is so much calm. I felt like a fool who was crying over a broken relationship of six months! I learnt a big lesson from Esha that day. 

Optimism is what I was missing in my life. How well did Esha put her broken pieces of life together deserved an applause. My meeting with her that day filled me with hopes, optimism and courage to move on. Her story helped me get over my broken relationship and I was my normal self. She gave me the strength and motivation to go on with optimism and look up.

(Image in the post is my copyright, clicked my me via Samsung mobile)

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