There he sat on his bed, sipping his cuppa coffee which she had carefully made for him. One spoon coffee powder and two and a half spoons sugar. She exactly knew what he wanted, even without him mentioning it. He saw her walk around his room, with her light orange saree neatly draped and her hair left free down her shoulders. He thought to himself how she always adored herself clad in a saree.Suits her well too. Elegant and simple were words to describe her.
He saw her walking close to him, she stopped and bent to kiss him on his cheek. She still smelled like a mint-fresh and cool as she muttered “Take care Sweet heart”. She hasn’t changed much in last three years, he mused.
He heard her footsteps getting feeble and the door getting slammed and the keys being turned by her to lock the door. He took a long breath and put his legs down the bed corner thereby touching the carpet mat. He didn’t feel the softness of the carpet. He dragged his wheelchair which lay close to the bed and swung to the wheelchair which has been an integral part of his life in this last three years.
He drove his wheelchair to the living room and switched on his TV-his second best companion after her. As the power went off, he moved his wheelchair closer to the television and switched off the plug below it and that’s when it caught his attention- his wedding picture, where she was dressed in her beautiful red saree with all smiles and he in his wheelchair looking at her chocolate brown eyes.
He wheeled himself to move towards the window as he stared outside lost in his own thoughts of how his life changed in the last seven years.
Meera… she was as beautiful as her name. She was like a breeze that silently swept me off my feet. I met her first in an interview, where we were two random candidates waiting for our call to enter the interview hall. Fortunately or unfortunately, both of us did not get through the interview. We decided to exchange our phone numbers with a hope to let each other know if any other interviews came up.
Time and technology thickened our bond. We were virtually connected every minute and were just a call away. Eventually both of us got our jobs in two different companies and started our work life. At one point of time, without her I felt handicapped. She was everything I wanted. She was not all the fall-flat-on-first-sight kinds, but someone who would never fail to mesmerize your heart on having a few conversations.
She understood me like a book. She understood my mood just by a few words I spoke or just by the look at my face. We fought crazily yet we returned back to each other faster than a frisbee. My best friend and my love-was her. I felt incomplete without her and desperately wanted her for the rest of my life. To ask her for marriage was the top most thing on my head then and decided to get her a ring.
Bottom of my heart, I knew she also felt the same and that my love would be definitely reciprocated . After a week of ring hunting for her tiny fingers, I found a perfect one to adore her small soft fingers.
I mustered all my courage ,also called every god I knew of when I invited her for dinner at her favorite Chinese restaurant. It was not a romantic proposal. I did not get on my knees or did hold a bouquet of pink roses to prove her my love. I simply placed the ring for her to easily notice in the momo basket while she was busy placing the napkin on her lap.
I waited every second for her to notice the ring, but she was happily enjoying every piece of momo dipped in the special chef made sauce.
Casually as she was about to help me with a serving of momo-she finally saw the ring. Call it innocence or stupidity, her first reaction was to think that the chef had mistakenly lost his ring in the momo basket. But only when realization hit her she spoke “Arvindh?” with a very baffled expression on her face. The next instant her lower lip began to tremble, happy tears filled her eyes and she had the longest ever curve on her face and shook her head up and down vigorously expressing her consent.
I took the ring from her hands and put on the ring on her tiny finger. Since then on, we started dreaming of a life together, we dreamt of having babies and raising them. Dreamt of cuddling together every morning in the bed and also dreamt of growing old together. Little did we know of what future did hold for us.
We broke the news to our family and it was all rosy with no nataks/drama from both our families and it was an easy path.
As destiny had written it, that morning I collected my wedding invitation proof and ignited my car engine for it to start. As I drove the straight road ahead, I had an itch to double check if the Meera’s initial was printed, since I did not remember seeing it on the card in the invitation shop. So I drove with one hand on my steering and the other trying to find the invitation amongst other things in the front seat. I somehow found it and before I could open it, I saw a speedy truck on the opposite side. Before I could react to the situation, it was too late. The damage was done already and I went blank.
It must have been days, when I finally woke up. All I felt was pain. I was told that my spine had been intensely damaged and that I would be motionless for a whole life time. The gravity of the situation hit me only when I did soil my bed sheet the other night. All I could feel was my helplessness, nothing beyond that.
I was vulnerable and not strong enough to face any of my friends sympathetic look in their eyes. I avoided to see anyone and felt alone in this whole new world. I was told that my wedding was called off cos I knew the reason and forced myself to believe that was the best for everyone- especially for Meera and her parents. For some vague unknown reason, Meera had not called me or visted the hospital after the injury. I did not want to ask this to my mom or my sister which would hurt them on asking.
I was home on my wheel chair the only one who would remain with me for the rest of my life. I spent countless days lost in a blank space. I wanted to revisit that day and change everything that happened. I cursed myself for my stupidity. What if I had not received the call from the wedding cards shop to collect the invitation? What if I had started late from home? What if the initial of Meera was printed in the wedding card? A lot of What-if’s remained unanswered.
The landline rang and my sister picked the receiver from its cradle. I sensed hesitation in her voice when she called out “ Arvindh” Pause.“Its Meera on the call”
I felt a pang of guiltiness burdening me heavily that could ground me to the floor. Maybe cos I messed it up all. That I burst her happy bubble without any caution.
A:“Meera…sshhh don’t cry… I am alright”
M:“Am sorry Arvindh. I did not have the courage to meet you all these days”
A:“It’s okay Meera I perfectly understand”
M:“Can I take you out for dinner today?”
I was sitting there in the same Cascade Hotel in our same comfort spot, except that this time I was on my wheel chair. We ordered our all time momos again and sat there in silence ,not ready yet to exchange words. I adjusted my wheelchair closely to the table and opened the momo basket to find a ring with Meeras name carved on it.
I gave her a blank stare and she took my hands on hers and gripped it with firm as she asked “Arvindh, would you marry me?”
That evening Meera came home holding a bouquet very dearly and gave it to him with a warm hug as she whispered in his ears” Happy Fourth Anniversary Sweetheart… Want to know what’s the surprise today?” and winked at him….