Friday, June 28, 2013

What Goes Around.....

Sanjay paced up and down, his face grim and his brain working overtime. How did I get myself into this mess? What should I do now? Thoughts such as these flew in and out of his mind. The 'mess' that he is alluding to, is something that would normally be a cause for celebration. And yet, the very thought of it filled him with dread. The thought, that he was going to get married in three days.

It had been just like any other love story. Sanjay had met Anita in college. He was then in his first year, a time when you are considered 'cool' if you are dating someone.Several factors, including peer pressure, led them into a relationship.

 They started with the night-call phone tariff plans and cheap early morning movie tickets. Gradually, they moved on to fancy restaurants and picnic trips. They enjoyed every minute of each others company. Anita seemed to be smitten and went head over heels for him. Sanjay, however, remained at level one. His feelings for Anita hadn't grown a bit, and he still saw the whole thing as a college-only gig.

Time flew by and their college life came to a close. Anita was seriously in love with him, and Sanjay was searching for ways to break it off with her. But, he could not muster up enough courage to confront her. Things went from bad to worse, when they got job placements in the same city. Anita was thrilled to bits, Sanjay simply cursed his luck.

A couple of years went by. Sanjay was hoping she will get the hint eventually. To his horror, she asked him to marry her. Tongue-tied and stunned, he could barely utter a word. Anita seemed to take this as a 'yes' and jumped with joy. Thus started the wedding preparations and Sanjay's misery.

And now, with just three days to go, he could not stand it any longer. He had to do something about it. Marriage is serious business. He would not only be ruining his own life, but Anita's life as well. No, enough is enough, he had to get to get his life on track. 'I will call her right away, meet her some place, and tell her the truth', he thought fiercely.

Just as he was about to convert his thoughts into action, his phone rang. It was Anita's father:


'Hello, Sanjay! Anita is missing, and I can't find her anywhere!'

'What?! Where did she go?'

'She went out with her friends to do some last minute shopping. It has been over five hours now. Her phone is switched off, and I cannot reach any of her friends! Oh, I don't know what to do!'

'Uncle, relax. I know where she goes for shopping. I will go out and look for her. I will keep you updated.'

Sanjay disconnected the call and rushed out with his car keys. He tried to call Anita and her friends, but their phones were switched off. Panic gripped him as he drove towards Anita's favorite shopping mall. He rushed inside and searched the entire place. She was nowhere to be seen. Neither were any of her friends. He then drove to a few other locations where she might be. No luck.

Unrestrained fear coursed through his veins. Where could she be? What had happened to her? His mind went blank. Bad thoughts kept flowing in. Delhi has a notorious history of being unsafe for women. He could not help but fear the worst.

And then it hit him. Guilt. He was about to marry a girl who loved him and cared about him a lot, and all he had thought about was how he was going to break it off with her. How stupid can one person be? How could he not realize that she had always be the one? What if something bad had happened to her, and he would never see her again? He could not bear the thought. He realized that his feelings for her had always been genuine. He had been a blind fool all his life. A coward.

He rushed home and prayed to God: 'Oh God, please let her be safe. I know I do not deserve someone like her. I have been a complete idiot and could not see the obvious. I promise to marry her, love her and take care of her, always. Please let her be safe, God!'

His prayers were disturbed by his mother calling out his name. He went down and saw his mother holding a piece of paper in her hand.

'This is for you, Sanjay. Some guy came to give it to you. He left before I could invite him inside.'

Sanjay took the piece of paper from her mother and went back to his room. It was a letter. His eyes widened in surprise when he recognized the handwriting. It was Anita's. He started to read:

Dear Sanjay,

I am writing this letter to you out of desperation. I am at my wit's end and don't know what to do. But you deserve to know the truth. So here goes...

I never loved you, Sanjay. Believe me, I tried a lot. I just couldn't. After a while, I gave up trying to love you, and started trying to break off with you. I am basically a coward. I could not tell you face to face. I knew men are afraid of commitment. So, I pretended to get closer, pretended to be serious about us, and pretended to be smitten by you. I honestly thought this would scare you and drive you away. But, you didn't flinch. That is when I realized that you were actually in love with me.

I panicked. Things got worse for me when we got placed in the same city. But I still kept up my act, pretended to be overjoyed. I really thought you would get the hint. But you never did.  Out of sheer desperation, I asked you to marry me. I was sure this would frighten the living daylights out of you and you would run away. But you said yes! I knew then that I was doomed. Oh, why did you love me so much? 

As the D-day grew closer, I thought of ways to get out of this mess. My parents were involved now and I didn't have the courage to tell them that this was all a big lie. See, how much of a coward I am. I am not brave and honest like you.

So today, I decided to run away from home. I know all of you would be worried to death, but I was desperate. Maybe I will come back soon, but right now, I need some time to gather myself. You can tell my parents not to worry about me.

I have ruined your life, and my family's. I know I may never be forgiven, but you had to know the truth. I am sorry I could not love you back. Thank you for always loving me and caring for me.

This is a final goodbye.


To say that Sanjay was stunned would be an understatement. His mind was in a twirl, and he realized the true meaning of the phrase 'what goes around, comes around.'

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