She was 16, and in love.
She was about to leave town along with her parents. Her father, a banker, got transferred to another town and here she was in a coffee shop sitting opposite to the boy she loved. She excused herself out of the home, told her mom she had to gift her school teacher the paintings she made. Gathering courage, he looked her in the eye and with a low voice asked her to stay in touch. Faint-hearted, as he was, he fumbled and gave in to tears that his eyes could hold no more. She looked up at him; he looked away. She extended her hands to hold his, and said:
“I will love you for a lifetime”.
A lifetime of which she had only seen 16 years.
She was 21, and in distress.
Five years had passed in a hurry. It felt as if it was only yesterday when she got admitted into engineering. For four years in engineering, she was well known in college for her beautiful blue eyes and her extremely modest demeanour. Guys wooed her all the time, but she remained naturally aloof to their unsought attention. It was only in the last six months of engineering she fell for a guy who had not shown the slightest interest in her. He was just a friend, studying at another college, in the same branch. They casually exchanged notes to help each other out during exams.
She was bold enough to ask him out instead of making innuendoes so he could do the same. One movie lead to a series of them over the course of three weekends, and mobile inbox got filled with texts so they were to be deleted to clear storage space.
She was in love, again. The guy took good care of her, and they almost never fought to the disbelief of their mutual and couple friends. It was like she was living a dream. In the last stretch of engineering, they both landed themselves job offers. And the stage was set for them to shine in the corporate world outside the college gates.
Just when things looked well settled, an unfathomable upheaval awaited her on the next blind turn in her destiny. The guy while on an adventure trip along with his friends met with an unfortunate accident leading to his demise. She called him that night; the phone couldn’t connect. Next morning, in a moments time, her world crumbled down like a dream coming to an abrupt end all at once. She secluded herself, cried in isolation, wrote her feelings down in her diary of how cruel life had been to her.
She read the last text he sent her hundreds of time. The text read ‘Goodnight, love you.’
She wrote a reply she never sent — “I will love you in this life and the ones that follow”
Many lives of which she had only seen this one life.
She was 26, and in a dilemma.
Two years working for a software company, followed by two years for masters in management in a foreign land and one year into this job of HR administrator for an FMCG company. She now lived in the fast paced life of the financial capital of India, the city of dreams and Bollywood movies. She stayed, hung out with independent young women of roughly her age group. Life was monotonous, and there seemed nothing to look forward to, everything was predictable and incredibly boring. During a weekend, chilling out with her friends, a friend introduced her to a new fad of a dating app.
Hesitant at first, she downloaded the app, made a profile, swiped left multiple times and then finally swiped right. There was a match. Dressed in black she went out on a date the next weekend, followed by another one, two weeks later. She ended up spending time at his place, and somewhere a spark got kindled. She found his charm irresistible, the more they came close, deeper their bond grew.
Before she could even begin contemplating prospects, her now matured-self, made her act prudent. The guy was a struggling actor, with little stability in life, she sought a financially stable better half. She decided to kerb it then and there.
She left him a note, asked him not to bother her again, without giving him a reason as to why she’s breaking up with him.
The note ended with a word — Always! (a reference to his favourite movie The Fault in Our Stars)
An always of which she had just seen a fraction.
She was 31, and in doubt.
Two years more in the same company, getting married at the age of 28, and now a mother. Life had taken her on a ride through twists and turns. She couldn’t believe she settled for arrange marriage. It was like she’d been given a gift, that could be unravelled slowly and to know if it is good or bad would take time and can only be truly known post tying the marriage knot. She took the risk, compromised and waited for things to work their way around. But the relationship with her spouse remained the same. He remained a nerdy geek predisposed into writing meaningful software code.
She couldn’t help it and thus put a full stop to her long search for true, everlasting love.
She wrote in her journal — “I will never be able to love anyone.”
The ‘never’, she had not even seen.
The very next morning her baby spoke his very first words.
That night she opened her diary to strike-out the entry from last night.