8th of December 2015. It is her wedding day. Sandy was helping Divyakshi to wear her white and golden embroidered “pat-mekhela-chador”. She looked serine as the first ray of sun-light after her bath but, her eyes were restless. They were searching for someone. I asked her, “Divyakshi what’s the matter? Is something bothering you, dear?” Sayar’s Divya just looked towards us and shook her head in dis-agreement. But her mirror (the eyes) witnessed her lie.
With trembling fingers Divyakshi placed “sindoor” the symbol of her transformation from lady to womanhood over her forehead. I left the room & saw the dark handsome guy with an average height, waiting eagerly. He was sitting all alone and so I joined him.
“I cannot wait. Can you manage Joy?” he said. Placing my right hand over his shoulder I said smiling, “Will give it a try”.
“It’s getting difficult for me. Will you please?” saying so he took my hands within his and warmly pressed them. His head still bowed down. I stood up and left the room in silence.
We had been friends from the first days of our graduation. It has almost been 10 years. We all have gone separate ways, but still today when we meet it seems nothing has changed in between us. It feels like a complete time-lapse.
Sayar had made a complete arrangement of proposing Divyakshi. Being the first relationship of our batch the complete batch was super excited. Finally, when they were left in the midst of the island “Umananda”, Sayar kneeled on his knee and proposed Divyakshi in a full filmy manner with his famous sayari rehearsed by him thousands of times before us, “ Mera dil ek mandir hai; sTum uski murat ho; Khuda kassam tum bohot khubsoorat ho- My heart is a temple, You are the idol within ,By God’s grace you are the most beautiful.”
A roller coaster of excitement pounded in every heart of the college for Divyakshi took almost a month to reply to Sayar’s proposal. Meanwhile, the rumor was spread ‘Sayar” leaving the college for unknown reasons. This news didn’t take long to reach Divyakshi’s ears. She decided to reply the proposal.
Our batch’s fresher’s meet day. After the team’s dance performance on “A.R. Rahman’s Vande Mataram” Divyakshi & ‘Sayar’ were left alone in the green room. No one knew what was going on within the room. Finally, after ten minutes ‘Sayar’ came out with a gloomy face.
“Hey did she accept your proposal?” we asked him eagerly.
He remained silent and just surpassed us without uttering a single gesture. Taken as a dis-approval of the proposal disheartened we left for our hostels.
We felt defeated as the “jugad” done for Sayar & Divyakshi in the past 1 and ½ months done by us had gone in vein.
Within the next few days puja vacations were to start. Among all the excitement of leaving for home after a long time somewhere the proposal story of Divyakshi and ‘Sayar’ was forgotten.
Breaking news from our college campus after puja holidays, “Sayar & Divyakshi hitched up”. It was party all around. “Cutest Couple” was the name adored to them. All around the campus the only gossip was about this couple. They were teased by seniors adored by juniors and loved by batch mates.
A year passed by. It was Divyakshi’s birthday. We the “Gang of Eight Evilest” hanged together at the restura “La Fista”. Sayar was to throw the party for his better half. The food was ordered.
This long pause of food’s arrival is the most tempting thing always. So, in order to kill this unappeasable time the oddest game of all, “Truth & Dare” was played by us. A beer can was used to nominate the turns. Some chose dare & some the truth. At one moment of the game we got so involved that we started choosing only truth.
It was my turn now. The question was for Divyakshi, “How do you look your relationship with Sayar? Is it love or just mere attraction?” The only reason behind asking the question was Sayar. He was a lucky go happy guy who shared every tit-bit with us and was very serious about his relationship with Divya aka Divyakshi .Whereas Divyakshi shared only room with us not her emotions.
Divyakshi was darn upset with my question. Some of my friends were with me & some against me. By the time we returned to our room each one of my roomies were dead against me except Sandy who thought that although my question was brutal yet it was true.
This incident was buried somewhere in the deserts of the past.
Sandy and I returned completing our Post-grads. We decided to have a get together of the “Gang of Eight Evilest” at our famous “adda place” “La Fista”.We reunited again. Everyone was happy & excited. Divyakshi & Sayar came too. We all were meeting after almost five long years. We had grown more matured but the madness prevailed. We talked laughed and quarreled. Time lapsed back.
As evening passed, Sayar was requested to spell one of his sayaris. Although at first he didn’t want to but then he spoke, “App meri zindagi me thi to meri bagon me ful hi ful the, Par jab se aap ruth gaye mano bahar hi humse ruth gaaye, Gairo ne to chor hi diya tha; Aapne v saath chor gaaye…Kante to zindegi me kam nahi thee Ki aab Rab v hamare duwayon se ruth gaaye, Janemaan jabse aap hamse chuth gaaye- When you were in my life there were beautiful flowers in my garden, But from the day you got angry over me even the flowers are angry over me. The unknown people had left me long ago and even my near & dear ones had left me. There were no fewer thrones in my life that even The Almighty has stopped hearing my prayers, my beloved from the day I had lost you”.
It was then we realized “Sayar & Divyakshi had a break-up”. The situation turned tensed and sensitive.
Suddenly, Sayar got up to leave.
Divyakshi got up too & holding Sayar’s hand said, “Wait, have loads to talk about”.
Sayar hesitated,” No, I am getting late, must leave”.
Divyakshi replied smiling, “This must have been my line”.
Through the severe pain of emotions a smile escaped from Sayar’s lips.
He didn’t turn back and said, “Some other time dear, not today this isn’t the right time and situation. You look beautiful wearing my favorite color blue & my life is still in Blues”.
Sayar left and Divyakshi stood watching him leave. Tears escaped her big beautiful eyes as if they had been waiting to fall.
Sandy helped her to take a sit & I forwarded a glass of water which she finished almost in between the tears & gasp of deep breathes. After a long pause we started talking again.
Her eyes now turned to the best mirror to show how deeply scared she was as if something had ripped off from her life.
She spoke, “I never wanted to leave him .He was the one who had taught me what love was. Yes, Jazz you were right at first it was just a time pass sort of thing but then as time passed by I just couldn’t think my life without him”.
She heaved a deep breath and continued, “But then everyone has got a breaking point. He tried the best to keep our relationship alive. It was I who back stepped. Yes, yes I who stepped back”.Divyakshi was fueling with emotion. It seemed to me she was angry with herself. But we kept quiet and.
“I was selfish. Yes, I am selfish because I cannot dare to go against my family. My family who too means a lot to me even though it’s not perfect likes others. Yes, I am selfish because still today I miss him in every moment of my life. Yes, even today I want to feel the same with the partner whom I had chosen .Yes I am not afraid to say that I shall miss him all through-out my life.” Her anguish gushed out.
She cried aloud. She wept hard as if she wanted to repent for everything. Without thinking of the crowd she shred herself free from the shackles of gustiness. We watched her silently.
For the first time in these years of our friendship she had broken down. Tears rolled from her eyes and she re-spoke, “But then I had to choose between the two- my family & my love.”
She quivered with emotions, “I, I, I am not so bold to choose love. It, it, it was still in starting phase. God knows if I had taken the right decision”
“Throughout my life I have seen my mom & dad fight like animals who had also done love marriage. My childhood has gone through nightmares. I, I, I used to sleep with cotton plugged in my ears so that I cannot hear them quarrel.” She stammered.
“If love marriage means to fight everyday like my mom & dad then I don’t want that love. If love means insecurity everyday then I don’t want love. I face the brutality of love marriage everyday & I just don’t want that to re-happen in my life. I need security. Yes, if money is the security then I need that security.” She choked.
I passed a glass of water to her. With shivering hands Divyakshi somehow took a sip from the glass and respoke, “But, but I cannot leave without Sayar. Yes, Yes I am selfish damn selfish. Hope someday you all forgive me for what I have done with you dear friend Sayar. I pray he gets the best girl in the world who shall heal all scars I had given to him and he forgets me for good for always.” Speaking her last words she left the restra hastily without waiting for us. ”. It was then we understood the depression which our friends had passed through.
Our re-union had taken place almost two years back and today is 8th of December 2015. Today is Divyakshi’s marriage. Sandy & I have arrived with Sayar to witness the beautiful event. She is dressed ready to be someone’s bride but not Sayar’s. As promised to Sayar by me I brought Divyakshi.
Without saying a word Sayar embraced Divyakshi tight, kissed her softly on her forehead & whispered in her ears, “You look gorgeous, really gorgeous. Have a beautiful life ahead. Shall miss you, always and forever.”
Divyakshi hugged him back and said, “Don’t worry we shall meet again”.
Sayar didn’t answer but whispered, “Come with me. There is still time.”
Divyakshi hugged him more tightly and sighed; “Not now it isn’t possible.”
Somewhere within my heart I wished, “Go girl go, just disappear with him.”
Sayar heaved hard. Leaving Sayar’s embrace and adjusting her bindi with a fake smile Divyakshi said, “Do come to my new home”.
We started to leave & Sayar turned back to have a last look of his Divya. Sandy & I left them alone.
When he finally arrived to join us he said, “The last look of her is damn driving me crazy mann. Her silence has always killed me. I could never get through the tough block of ice behind which she always hid her emotions. Hope she took the right decision.”
We trio, I Sandy & Sayar strove down to a long drive and after a long pause Sayar spoke, “ It’s not love anymore. No, no, no, I don’t want her in my life anymore but still I cannot see her with someone else.”
“You know she accepted the proposal of this guy with whom she is getting married the very next day we both broke our relationship. If she didn’t love me then why did she play with me for four long years?” This time too I and Sandy were the listeners.
Sayar swallowed a lump of emotions and re-spoke, “But then can one be into a relationship for four long years without being in love. Is it possible to carry forward an act for such long? Yes, I agree I made mistakes but then I, I tried hard to maintain the relationship. I was ready for sacrificing everything but then why did she step back. I do understand her limitations and her duty towards her family but how will she live in the drama she has got entangled into? God save her”, he prayed.
After a moment he smiled and said, “For he has saved me from her”. Sayar laughed hard but we knew it was just to cover his pain.
Within my mind some lines of Rabindranath Tagore started murmuring, “ Shokhi vabona kahare bole, Shokhi jatona kahare bole, tomra je bolo diboso rojoni valobasa valobasa, Sokhi valobasha kare koi , se ki keboli jatona moi,Se ki keboli chokher jol, Se ki keboli dukher aash, Loke tobe kore ki sukheri tore aamono dukhero aash-Oh my dear friend what is tension? Dear friend what is pain, you all sing all day & night about love and love, Oh my dear friend what is love. Is it so painful? Is it only tearful eyes? Is it only pain? Then why do people being in so much comfort want to get the taste of that pain”
And we trio drove along in silence for long. We stood by the road side of the national highway to Khanapara. It was around 12:30 a.m. Sayar brought three cups of tea for us and we tossed, “For a happy married life to Divyakshi”. Sandy added, “And Sayar get the girl with most beautiful heart as his life partner”.
Sayar whispered with damn gravity, “Pyala adha bhara hai ya adha khali, Pyala adha bhara hai ya adha khali, Yeh to dekhne wale ke upar me hai. Bus itna hi baan paya yaroo aage ki line banne waali hai”. Saying so he laughed & we both joined the group trying to help him soothe his pain a bit.
How much I wished that day the “Cutest Couple” gets hooked back together. Who was responsible for this Divyakshi or Sayar? Who had betrayed the emotions of the other?Were they not bold enough to break-off the social barrier, the communalism or was it mere luck oriented? Why everything wasn’t picture perfect just like a movie? Why was I so helpless for not being able to support both of them soothing their pains? Why? Who was to be blamed? Why even being detached each wanted the good of the other? What is the name of this relation?
Sayar as if had listened the conversation of me with my soul whispered in my ears, “It’s Undefined, dear. I can never hate her neither can she ever forget me”.
Sayar continued, “I have realized that nothing can be picture perfect. Because, hopefully the greatest director of our lives has thought what should be the perfect in ones life’s cinema & still thennn”. We hummed together, “We have long long way to go before we say goodbye”.