This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 14; the fourteenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
I thought of Sameer. My fiancé. Decent guy. I mean course. Why else would we be getting married? He was as perfect as they get. Come to think of it, I had never even seen him informally dressed. The same colors, the same talk of finances, politics and weather. He was nice. Really nice. Annoyingly, disturbingly and irritatingly nice. The problem? I didn’t love him. Not even close!
I had relentlessly told my family that I wasn’t ready for this kind of commitment. But nobody seemed to care. Instead they went into lengthy queries of the whole ‘There’s someone else right?’ and not succeeding, just sealed my fate with Sameer. Lack of love in an arranged marriage is apparently pretty fashionable. ‘Don’t worry beta, once you get married na, automatically you will love him.’ How can people automatically love each other? How can you train yourself like that? Just keeping my case as one in million, suppose I didn’t? Then what? My life’s wott to lag hi gayi. Still worse, Sameer’s life would come toppling over too. We would both be stuck together, me doing the sunte ho ji part and he doing the haa bolo bhargwaan part. The thought made my heart sink.
No I would not let it happen. And I did what I thought best in that instance. Sometimes you can’t choose between right and wrong. Sometimes you just need to focus on the present and avert the immediate disaster at hand. And that’s what I did.
I ran away. No letter, no explanation, no pangaa at all! Mumbai ko goodbye!
That was 3 years ago.
Now I have a successful career in Delhi. However, today all of the past seems to suddenly boil up inside me as I am going to visit Mumbai for the first time after three years. The thought of coming back brings in me a sense of guilt. I had fought tooth and nail with Jatin, my boss, to keep me out of this client meeting trip.... but it hadn’t worked. And there I was......RETURNING TO BASICS.....on my way back to the place I once called home....Mumbai!
As the meeting ended and our team of colleagues headed for lunch at the hotel, I came running and collided head on into a big burly guy.
The same face. Phitte muh!
I could tell that face any time of the day. The same serious expression. But something was different about Sameer. He seemed sprightly in an almost boyish kind of way.
He looked at me, and for a minute we just stared. He, with a hard stony stare. Me, with a guilt ridden God!- let- the-ground-split-open kind of stare.
And he said ‘Hi!’
‘Hey!’ I mumbled with a beet red face.
‘Here? How come! I thought you had moved to Delhi!’
‘Oh meeting and stuff’ I wanted the conversation to end right there and walk away, never to remember this moment again.
‘When are you leaving?’
‘Ok then how about we meet up tonight!’
*Panic alert.....Puhleeez pick a good one from your list of excuses Mileeeee*
‘No, all of us office folks were planning to have dinner together and go to Nariman Point as well...Some other time maybe.’
*Tried my best*
‘Fine. You have dinner with your friends and I will take you to Nariman Point. C’mon, I think you owe me at least this much.’ He sounded rather wry but the last part of his sentence had a sad edge to it that made me feel worse than ever.
And there I was. Accepted to be on a walking and talking date with someone I had never wanted to meet and for the most part of it, didn’t even have the courage to face.
Later that evening, he picked me up at 9pm and we went to Nariman Point in his car, which meant roughly 15 minutes of rock silence. I was already starting to think of it as a stunningly bad idea. To think I had almostttt married this man! Who couldn’t say a syllable to a girl who had taken intensive labour upon herself to look nothing short of smashing!
And finally we got there.
The company may be bad but the location undeniably was awesome. *Sigh* What a waste! There is something about this place. It’s magic. Like all the world’s sorrows are left behind. All the vengeance of the tide comes crashing on the rocks and all that remains is a sense of pristine, pure, innocent freedom. And all in that moment, looking at the water gushing, I wanted to end this guilt. I wanted to apologise, but before I could, he suddenly asked the question for which I had mentally prepared a million answers, ‘So, why did you go?’
And I was blank. Somehow everything that had seemed right then, went to scrap now and it all came out in a spurt of tears, that had been pent up for so long,
‘I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. I didn’t love you. I wasn’t sure about anything. I told everyone but no one listened to me. I didn’t want to do this huge mistake and so I thought it best to go away.’
‘And leaving me like that to face so many judgmental eyes?’
I couldn’t bear to look at him. His voice gave away the humiliation it had been through and I felt miserable.
‘I’m sorry’ I said and looked in his eyes.
He said nothing. And then he put his arms around my shoulder. ‘Chalo chodo. Let’s forget it all. Come let’s walk.’
He had made it all so smooth! Made it disappear like something unimportant. I felt my heart reach out with warmth. Well with respect. Someone whom I had wronged for my selfishness was being gracious enough to let go of all scars from the past. In that moment, looking at him, I felt something in my heart flip. A new found admiration. More than admiration. Love maybe?
And we walked and walked and walked into the night. Balancing on the ledge of Marine Drive, took off our shoes and walked into the sands of Chowpatty, eating pani poori of God knows what unhygienic water....but we didn’t care. He laughed at my PJ’s and I teased him on what an awful.... that is to say, worse than Himesh Reshammiya singer he was.
‘Running race’ he said, ‘Let’s see who runs faster to that white line.’
‘Aaah!!! I got hurt! Wait, waittt!’ I shouted.
He turned to look back.
And I ran past him as he realised my brandist nautanki.
He ran after and boy did he run fast or what! He reached the line before me :(
‘Huh! Dekha cheating karke bhi haar gaye!’
‘But I won na!’
‘No you didn’t. I got here first!’
‘You got there first but I am the winner. Special advantage of being a ladki!’
That priceless smile!
And then it was time to go.
Which is when I realised....This was what I had wanted. Always! Here he was. I had him once. I let him slip away. I wouldn’t do it again!
‘I really liked being with you this evening. If I had seen this side of you, I would have never let you go’ I said, and almost choked.
He looked at me for several seconds.
And then, in the midst of all that kachra, he picked the least ugly looking sea-shell, went on one knee and said two simple words, ‘Be Mine!’
This time round, I didn’t mess it up! :)
Sometimes I used to think destiny is the term people give to justify a compromise. Maybe we think we are choosing it by not settling for lesser than the best. And whe we return to look at it, sometimes, just sometimes, maybe destiny already knows what needs to be chosen for us.
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