Arranged Love - Final Part ( A short story)
The story ahead:
‘Koel did you just see that…..’ Sudha gasped as Koel was walking towards her. ‘What?’ asked Koel completely clueless about whatever she was referring to? Sudha could just manage to point at the television screen mounted on the wall. Koel’s eyes became wide with shock as she read the headlines on the screen – Terrorist Attack at Taj. Guests held as hostages. 20 feared dead on the spot in the firing.
Koel collapsed on the sofa nearby. She covered her mouth thinking she was about to scream but no voice came out of her throat. She looked at Sudha for some respite, who was frantically making calls to people she knew to inquire about their safety. Without wasting any moment Koel tried calling Siddharth’s number but as all the networks were jammed she was unable to reach him. This caused her worry to increase manifolds. Noticing the panic the news had created Sudha immediately shut the TV off and held Koel as she was panicking. Sudha made Koel sit on sofa and got her some water to drink. Tears started rolling down Koel’s face. All the anger she had till now suddenly vanished as for now the only thing she wanted was Siddharth- safe and sound. She was willing to do anything to just hear his voice once and know that he was fine.
How wavering human mind is… till few moments she did not want to even speak to him and right now the same mind wanted to know his safety. All this while unknown to Koel the love she had was very much there well hidden inside her heart while she thought it was all over. She never valued him when he was around and today every moment was like a dagger piercing deeper and deeper in her heart.
She suggested going to the location and finding out about him. Sudha refused moving out of the house because of the chaos in the town. Sudha asked her to be more patient and wait for some time. ‘There is nothing that we can do right now but pray….just pray for his safety and wait.’ Koel screamed at her, ‘Everything will be over don’t you understand….. I cannot sit here and wait..I need to be there…. Do you get me?’ After a lot of argument Sudha finally relented and said,’ Ok...wait will get the car keys and take you there.’
Koel absentmindedly got down the stairs as she was constantly chanting the gayatri mantra, praying for his safety. Her tears refused to stop as she cursed herself for each moment she had wasted in hating Siddharth and fighting with him. She was mentally promising to God to mend her ways if Siddharth came back safely. All of a sudden big light fell on her face. She could not see any further. She raised her hand to shield her eyes when she saw a taxi stopping near the main gate. As her eyes got adjusted to the lights she saw the silhouette of someone getting down from the taxi. She tried to adjust her eyes to that light when she realised it was none other than Siddharth….. Koel let out a scream as she ran and hugged him. She started crying as she continued to hold him tightly. Siddharth was aghast as he tired to figure out what had lead to this reaction. He said softly,’ Koel…what happened? Can we please go home and talk?’
Koel seemed to not hear anything that he said. She was in a state of disbelief. She was constantly crying and mumbling ' I am trying to reach you since such a long time... you know how worried I was for you? Can't you call or send a message ? You will not understand ever...why will you understand? Just like that mail...' Siddharth was taken aback, ' I sent a message na... that I will be late as I have a client meeting. And which mail are you talking about? I never got any mail from you.'
Now it was Koel's turn to be surprised. All this while as she was angry on him he actually had not received the mail at all and she thought he was doing this deliberately. She broke down into fresh bout of tears as she realised how much she had hurt him in the last few weeks due to this misunderstanding. The thought of what could have happened to him today made her feel worse. Unable to control himself Siddharth asked her, 'What happened will you please tell me?' Amidst sniffles Koel could barely manage to say, ' That Taj.....there.....you....'
Meanwhile Sudha had come downstairs and seen him. She dashed towards them and asked ‘You went to Taj na.. are you all right? How did you come here?’ Siddharth was a bit shocked as he did not know what both of them were talking about. ‘She is crying hysterically, you are asking me all this. What happened? Can anyone please explain? I don’t know what you both are talking about?’ he asked both Sudha & Koel. As Sudha explained to him the reality of the possible hurricane dawned upon him. He replied,’ My meeting got cancelled. So I took a cab from office and came home. I did not even go to Taj.’ Koel could only manage to say, Thank God! And hugged him once more.
Relationships are very delicate. In today’s world we are all used to our own space and in taking that space we create way for things like misunderstandings, arguments, ego etc to enter. Love as a feeling seeks reciprocation. And in case denied it dies a quiet death. In this case while both of them got their space, misunderstandings and ego entered which suffocated love and he made a quiet exit. We need to ensure that love as a feeling never leaves our heart no matter what. Value what you have today and never let a bad incident make you realise the true value of things you have. After the jolt these nasty incidents give you, you are never ever the same.