And before I knew it, I had hit ‘Send’.
I never wanted to send that mail, but was just pouring out everything to help me feel better.
I was preparing for my SSC examinations when Mridul first visited our house. He had just joined Baba’s office.
He used to take tuition for board exam students in his locality. He had lots of books with him and he had shown the courtesy to lend me a few good ones for Mathematics and Physics. He also helped me on weekends with my doubts. He was well-accepted by the entire family, including Bhai (Big Brother) who was not easy to mix with.
I cleared the boards with a 91% aggregate and apart from Maa, Baba and Bhai, I had one more person who was genuinely happy about my success. Though I scored well in the boards, I could not clear the entrance exams to get into an A category engineering college. Through his network, Mridul helped me secure a seat in one of the best colleges back in my home town.
Four long years and occasional meetings during my visits to Maa-Baba. He was almost a family member now. But to me, he was like God.
Bhai was never aware of what he wanted in life. He had somehow cleared his Boards through National Open School and Dad through his connection got him admission in one of the colleges . He dropped out in the first year itself. Upon his insistence, Dad got him admitted to GNIIT, but to no avail. Within months, he left that too and one fine day, he left us without any information.
I completed my B.Tech and wanted to pursue M.Tech, but Baba lost his job to retrenchment and couldn’t afford my education further. Mridul offered financial help, but I refused because I could see the pain in Baba’s eyes. With all this, I had to forego my dream of higher studies and had to help Dad run the house. I accepted an offer from a not so known software company.
After a few years, Mridul called me up one day at office and asked me to meet him at the temple at 6 p.m. I took permission and left 2 hours early to make it to the ‘special meeting’.
It was in months that I had been to the temple and I was overwhelmed by the peace and serenity of the surroundings. I sat down on a bench beneath a Peepal tree and was lost in my thoughts.
Mridul was there with the usual calm smile on his face. He sat down next to me.
“Priya, this might come across as a surprise, but I don’t have a choice. I won’t waste your time and I am going to straight away tell you the reason why I called you today.”
“Go ahead, Mridul. Do we need such an opening statement between us?”
“Priya, I love you and I wish to marry you.”
I sat quietly. I didn’t utter a single word throughout the conversation after that.
“I had some soft feelings for you since the very first day I met you. I never told you because I didn’t want to disturb your studies. But now, there’s not much time for me. My parents have received a proposal and are waiting for my response to accept it. I have to inform them within a week.”
I couldn’t do much but stare blankly at the Ganesha statue underneath the Peepal Tree.
“I am 30 now and they too are getting old. They want to see me settled down as soon as possible. They have asked me many times if I have any feelings for you. I didn’t inform as I didn’t want to reveal it to anyone then. I could have gone straight to uncle and sought your hand. But I wanted to know your decision. Be honest and do not respond in haste. Please understand that there is no compulsion. A negative response will not affect our relation. I promise.”
After this, it was pin-drop silence between us for the next half an hour. He then offered to drop me home and I didn’t muster the courage to accept or refuse. He dropped me home. Baba was sitting in the courtyard and offered him tea. He had tea with Baba and left after bidding bye to Maa and Baba. All this while I kept looking at him sitting on the window sill of my room hiding behind the curtain till his bike got out of sight.
A week full of turmoil. May be for both of us.
“Priya! So, what’s your response?”
After a long pause, I gathered courage and replied,
“Sorry Mridul! I don’t think I ever had any feelings for you. I hope you won’t mind and our friendship will remain unaffected.”
“Priya, are you sure?”
Day after tomorrow is Mridul’s engagement. I sat down in front of the PC for the whole night yesterday typing this.
I too had some hidden feelings for you which I had suppressed for long.
I would have been more than happy to accept your proposal. I am sorry I didn’t muster the courage to tell you this earlier. I was scared that my decision might affect Maa and Baba, who are now my responsibility. But Baba asked me this morning, if I ever had any feelings for you and I broke down. He was upset that I didn’t tell him about your proposal. I told him that there’s no point now, as things have gone beyond control and at this point it’ll affect another family too.
I know this is wrong, but I wish to ask you, is there a possibility? Can I be a part of your life?
Please don’t feel bad if it’s too late. I promise I’ll be fine.”
And before I knew I hit ‘Send’. I never wanted to send that mail, but was just pouring out everything to help me feel better. But it’s gone now. It shouldn’t have.
After dinner that day, as Baba was about to retire to bed, the phone bell rang. After a brief one-sided conversation, Baba handed over the phone to me.
“Priya, why did you have to do this? Why didn’t you tell me earlier? Wouldn’t I have supported you in your responsibilities? Why did you do this? Why? Everything’s finalized now. A poor girl unaware of all this, is weaving dreams of a happy life with me. Her parents are excitedly arranging for the engagement and wedding ceremony. Do you think at this stage, I should get out of it?”
“Mridul! I was about to call you. We won’t be able to make it to the engagement ceremony tomorrow. When do we have to reach for the wedding? I need to make the bookings based on the dates. Convey our wishes to uncle and aunty.”
***************This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda This weekend your post should begin with, And before I knew it, I had hit ‘Send’.