The day it was…
It was still dawn when I stepped out of the cab and walked towards the entry gate of the Delhi airport. The early morning February air was pleasantly cold.
I was travelling to Bengaluru to attend a college friend’s wedding. It had been four years since we graduated from the same college. This wedding was also going to be a reunion of our batchmates. But what I didn’t know was that the reunion would begin much ahead of time; right in the queue in front of the airline counter.
I was almost sure it was she. Same height! Same long hair! Same complexion! Curiosity had my eyes glued to her. And then about 60-odd seconds later, when she turned, she proved me right. My ex-girlfriend stood two places ahead of me in that queue. We had never met after the college farewell.
She cannot attend Manjeet’s wedding and I cannot talk to her was the first thing that came to my mind considering the dark history she had, her addiction towards drugs and her anger which created ripples in our relationship and made headlines in college, however there was something attracting me and fighting with my thoughts. I listened to my thoughts, took my boarding pass and was moving towards seating area when someone tapped me from behind. I knew it was Kriti as I can still sense her, turned back and said “Hi” without showing any emotion but somewhere deep inside my heart I felt like holding her and kissing her passionately.
“I hate you” came as a reply. Within next minute she pulled me towards her and kissed me on my cheek, the same way we used to do when we were in college. I hold her tightly and was feeling her warmth when she pulled back.
I looked at her with tears in my eyes remembering the times when I used to hold her hands, shared her favourite chocolate ice cream, her childish behaviour and her never ending sentences which I liked the most. Coming back to my senses I sat down leaving a couple of seats between us when she came back and said “Sorry”. This time I hugged her as if I will never leave her. We both can see the tears flowing through.
Four years back-
It was our last exam and everyone was excited. The excitement was not because of exams being over but because of the farewell party and the crazy events lined up for the evening. Kriti was the most excited one and was planning everything crazy for farewell party and night out followed. When I went to her house she had packed everything she can and was preparing Alu parantha for me. Out of curiosity I checked her bag, taking out her clothes and everything one by one. In last pocket I saw a small packet having something like salt which she snatched from me and kept in her jeans.
An amazing scene awaits us when we reached party. Everyone was looking as if attending a beauty contest. Kriti was looking as beautiful as always in her designer saree. I was her proud partner, never ready to leave her hand which made many of her friends felt jealous. She wished to have a last look at the classes we attended for which I accompanied her.
We were alone at the top floor when I felt something naughty. I pulled her towards me and kissed her passionately for which I thought she was not ready but she was and was equally crazy. She pushed me on a bench, sat on me kissed me again when I tried to hold her from her curves. We kissed for over a couple of minutes when I put my hands into her blouse to which she reacts abruptly and said “Not now”.
Coming back to the party, I was talking to Manjeet when I realised Kriti is not around. I thought she would have gone to washroom, but when she didn’t return even after half an hour I started looking for her. I went to top floor again where I saw Kriti sitting with a girl in a very different position difficult to explain. When I went to them I almost started shivering when I saw both of them smoking and a salt like material on a paper. When she saw me she almost started crying and begging me not to tell anyone what I saw them doing. It was very difficult for me to digest that Kriti is a drug addict.
I didn’t know what to do after that but I decided not to talk to her ever, may be being a Punjabi I had obsession with smoking and drug addiction.
During our flight we talked about what we did in last four years. She had said sorry more than a dozen times for what happened in farewell party. During our talks she said something which gave me Goosebumps. She told me she is having cancer for last two years which is now into final stage. Her reason to visit Bengaluru is to meet a doctor referred by one of her relative. During that three hours journey I realised how much she loved me and how big a fool I am that I left her when she needed me the most. These thoughts gave me strength from inside and I decided to do something for her now. I had tears in my eyes which she noticed and hold my hand.
On reaching Bengaluru we took a room near Airport. I was so happy to see that we still trust each other so much that she is ready to share a room with me. We had long talks about our college, friends, dates, childhood. Yes, we knew each other since we were kids.
History of our relationship-
I reached my home after a cricket match when my mother told me about new Bengali family that has shifted to our colony as our neighbour. I had noticed a hot girl while coming back from cricket ground but never knew she will be my neighbour. Mom prepared some sweets for them and we went to their house. I was introduced to Kriti when I came to know that we both are looking for engineering degree and will soon be joining an engineering college. We shared our numbers and what followed next will always be remembered. Within minutes after sharing our number, messages starts flowing both ways which changed to long calls after a couple of days. We never thought our lives will change so fast. I was a kind of boy always surrounded by friends which now changed to just one. I enjoyed her company and wanted to love her all my life. I even started ignoring some of my good friends just to spend time with Kriti. At that time it was almost impossible for me to imagine a day of my life without her. We used to hang all around all day and company of someone else with us made us nervous. And one day we even decided that we will get married once our college gets over.
Present day at Manjeet’s party-
It was already 8:30pm when Simran called me. She had actually called me earlier to inform that we will be going to the party together as she was also not aware about Kriti. Also Kriti and Manjeet were always like two magnetic poles and no one can ever imagine Kriti attending Manjeet’s wedding. I didn’t tell Simran about Kriti, instead asked her to come to room. Kriti hid in the bathroom and when Simran entered the room, she came out like “Hooooh”!. Both of them met each other as if they are sisters. We all went to Manjeet’s party where everything was like a fat Indian wedding. I can see so many old faces there however my focus was never on anything else. I was looking at Kriti and her candidness. How can this happen to her. I cannot even imagine that she is having cancer and is in pain. Every second I spent with her was giving me strength. I was in deep thought when suddenly Kriti came to me, hold my hands and took me to the dance floor. Next couple of hours reminded us our college times, nights that we spent in discos where there was no limit. We danced to many Punjabi songs. Punjabi songs have something different in them which can make any person feel crazy. Also Punjabi songs with drinks make an amazing combo which can make even a lame person dance. That time I even had Kriti with me which made me remember a song sung by Pankaj Udhas. After a long time me and Kriti were so close that I can even feel her breathe which was mesmerising. I was so much lost in her that I forgot we are in a party where everyone knows us and I kissed her again to which she responded showering all her love.
Next morning Kriti had an appointment with a doctor and I accompanied her. I was a different person that day. We met her doctor who asked for some tests to be done. She gave me her wallet and went for tests. As always out of my curiosity I checked her phone. To my surprise there was not even a single social networking App. installed in her phone. I knew that Kriti is not used to social networking but I have seen her checking facebook once. She used to believe social networking makes a person weak and relations should be followed in person rather virtually on social networking. On the other side I was always on social networking which was kind of my passion.
Kriti came out with a smile on her face and I offered her some water. Kriti wanted to have Alu Parantha in a nearby restaurant. It was a small sit out area where some delicious varieties of paranthas are offered. Kriti had been to that place many times and it was her who did the order. We were sitting next to each other and it was then when we get discussed about her ongoing treatment. Initially she was hesitating to tell me all about her treatment but when I forced her, she told me all about her chemo sessions and problems she was facing that time. I was in tears and holding her hands I said the best line I have ever spoken “I love you and I want to marry you! Will you marry me?”. “You are mad” was the reply from her.
“I know it will be difficult but I am ready for any challenge. I love you and our love will definitely succeed”, I said. She was not ready for such discussion so she tried to move away from that topic but I insisted her. We discussed everything including her treatment and some short term plans. I knew that my parents may not be ready for our marriage but we also knew that we can convince them anyhow. We decided to call our parents before eating paranthas and let our parents know about our plans. I have always taken some important decisions of my life in haste, but the best part is my decisions have never gone against me. Also when it comes to Kriti, I knew this will be the best decision of my life as she needs me now and I will never be able to forgive myself if I leave her now. In next 30 minutes we had informed our parents about our plans to which they left it to us.
Me and Kriti today-
Last couple of years have been the best part of my life although we struggled a lot considering the situation in which Kriti was at that time. She has now conquered cancer fighting many chemo sessions and we can plan something now. Kriti now works for a leading investment bank and is a very successful lady. We have decided that we will be visiting that restaurant where we took the best decision of our life. Certainly it was the best day of my life or in my way of saying “The day it was…”.