“Neev! Will you come home early today?” She asked , her beautiful kohld eyes gleamed with affection. “What’s today? Anything special?” He said, not noticing any of it. ‘Why do they always need a reason’, she thought. “Oh nothing, just we haven’t really spent time with each other since a long time.” She was hoping her reply would be enough to indulge her husband for a coffee date. However, her answer did not really strike a chord as he replied, “I will try but not sure as there’s a meeting lined up with my boss, in the later part of the day. “No problem! Thanks for trying”, she replied thinking he would guess the sarcasm in her tone. But to her utter dismay, he picked his bag and left for work and Anisha kept gazing at the door, wondering he would just come back and say, “Guess what! I changed my mind, let’s go now”.. Ah! but that was only what she thought, for so many days, he had been avoiding to spend some quality time with her.
The phone alarm rang! ‘Oh my God! It’s time to pick up Yohan from his badminton coaching.’ She mumbled and quickly dressed up and left the house. On her way, she thought of calling her Mom as she was still upset with all that happened in the morning. After several rings her Mum picked up. “Finally, you have the time to answer my phone!” She said without even waiting to hear a ‘Hello’ from her side. “Ha, tell me Nisha, what is happening, all well?” Maa said, guessing the hitch in her tone. Mother’s are so telepathic, they immediately sense the reluctance in your voice. “All OK Maa! Just need a break from all this routine”, she said with a sigh. “Then why are you not going for the college reunion party which they have arranged for your batch, it would be fun.” Said Mom, encouraging her. “Don’t know Maa, it’s been so many years and then who will look after Yohan?”. She said as she wanted to avoid going there. “I will take care of him, it’s just for a day, don’t worry, you will have a good time.” “OK Maa, will try, bye now have reached the stadium” and they hanged up. ‘College Reunion! Should be fun’ she thought, reassuring herself as she picked up Yohan.
“Renu, you are coming today evening for the college reunion right?” Anisha called Renu, her college best friend and asked. “Yes dear! What time are you coming, we will go together.” She answered. “OK then, see you at our college meeting point at 6”, she said trying to control her excitement plus anxiety of meeting everyone again.
Soon her bed was covered with clothes, which she thought of wearing and was unable to decide on the perfect one. Trying every dress, she finally got hold of the one she was going to wear, a lovely pale blue dress. She hastily put on the dress and gazed herself in the mirror thinking ‘this is Neev’s favourite colour, I really miss our conversations and getaways so much. But he is least bothered, always piled up with work and clients. No time for me at all. I am also going to do the same, will dress up my best and just forget all about him.’ She cribbed like any other nagging wife.
“You look gorgeous Anisha, just the way you were in college days!” Renu said with awe. “Are my earrings fine? Is my lipstick ok? Hows my dress, does it look too dull?” She asked Renu, trying to check on every detail as the nervousness was curbing in. “Everything is absolutely perfect, why are you worrying so much”? Renu was surprised the way Anisha behaved.
As they reached college, Anisha felt like no time had passed and she was the same timid, shy girl entering the premises. The whole college looked the same except for a few changes, yet there was a sense of awkwardness that engulfed her.
Everyone was present, all her teachers, all her batch mates and also the peons of their time. The whole atmosphere was nostalgic and evocative, Anisha was glad she made it and also secretly thanked her Mum for coaxing her into it.
“Hi Nish!”, she heard a familiar voice from behind. She turned to confirm who it was and a streak of panic ran inside her. It was HIM. “Sammy?” she blurted, trying to reconfirm what she just saw! He said, “Yes Sammy! Samuel, from your batch, remember?” She froze, it was him. Oh God! After so many years, she saw him again. She wanted to hold him tight and slap him hard and ask him why did he not call or see her after graduation? Also for not replying to any messages, which she left with his friend. Was it just a fling for him or did he ever love her, like she did. “Anishaaaa! Are you listening?” He said interrupting her thoughts. “Oh yaa! how are you doing?” “Yaa all well, what about you? Hows your husband and kid?” ‘He knows about my husband and son?’ She thought as she was amazed to hear that. “Yaa all good and what about you? married or still single?” She said. “Ah yes! Happily married and also have a daughter named Nia.” He said, stressing on the ‘Happily’ . “Oh that’s great! I am glad to hear that.” Although, she felt just the opposite right now and wanted scream and yell at him but was alarmed by the sound of footsteps.
“Here you are and I am searching you everywhere, come Prof. Sharad wants to see you”. Renu said and pulled her away. Anisha simply looked at him and then rushed with Renu.
Later they all had dinner, followed by some wine and dancing along with endless chat. Anisha did not see Sammy the whole time. And just when she was about to leave, he stood in front of her and said, “Sorry! I know it’s a very small word for all that you have gone through, but I am extremely sorry, please will you forgive me?” Anisha smiled and unknowingly hugged him and said, “don’t worry I have moved on and so have you, let’s keep our past in the past.” She walked away without looking back again.
Anisha opened the house door with her keys, as she knew Neev would be fast asleep at this hour and Yohan was at her Mum’s place. She entered the dark living room and sat on the couch, thinking and trying to digest all the things which happened that evening. Suddenly, the lights were on and Neev was in front of her holding two mugs of coffee. She was stunned. Unable to react to the situation, she said, “Neev what’s this?” “Oh! I wanted to do something special for you and my work has been taking a toll on our “WE” time, I thought of surprising you with a cuppa coffee made by me. So, how did you like my surprise?” He asked and placed the mugs down. She hugged him tight and kissed him on his forehead. She was very touched by his gesture and tears rolled down her cheeks. “You are the best Husband I can ever have Neev”, she said sipping her frothy, aromatic coffee made by her beloved husband.
I guess each one of us, self doubt our relationships and keep complaining about everything. However, I believe “Optimism” plays the trump card in any relationship and helps us stay positive.
Hope Anisha’s story inspires everyone, to stay optimistic in every approach of life, no matter how hard things get.
Choose to be Optimistic, It feels better!