Alter Adapt

It wasn’t a very fancy setting. The street lights and the highway where I had been waiting for the bus, was my routine. Two old ladies and a man in khakis were waiting with me at the bus stop. It was the month of June and the heat had been scorched up too much while the men awaited rain. The dry air made me uncomfortable because the saree I was wearing had started to itch. The clouds made intricate patterns in the sky as the setting sun spread a sprinkle of orange and pink all over. The red darkness that spread across the city of Mumbai was magical. It sent a wave of mystery and longing in each heart. Then there was some loud thudding of the clouds and the drizzling of rain followed. Before I knew, it rained cats and dogs and there was nothing left to do but find a shelter as the bus stop I was waiting at, had no roof. Then I ran to the nearby tea stall along with the two other women and decided to wait there until the rain calmed. My phone rang and my husband asked my whereabouts. I simply answered and ended the conversation. There was no love. It was a duty and we did it well. I got a cup of tea and while sipping it I saw a young couple sitting across me. The girl was wiping the guy’s wet hair with her scarf while he fed her bits from his plate of food. It reminded me of the time I was in the same situation; back in my college days when this one guy was my world. The people around blurred out no matter where we were. With a pinch in my heart and tears I didn’t let out, I realized how much I missed HIM.

***

I sat at my desk looking at the raindrops playing on the window pane. The workload was too much to handle but I didn’t care anymore. The smell of rain arose a sense of nostalgia. I remembered how I had first seen her six years ago. A few days later, she walked into the class looking flawless in her long red skirt. The bangles made a clinking noise with every step she took. Her eyes deep brown, so enchanting that anyone she ever looked at would get lost in them. I remember how I used to drop her home every day even when she insisted to go by herself. I just wanted to spend more time with her always. I remembered how she had told me she loved the way the raindrops ran down on the glass, competing to see who goes down first. The memories put a smile on my face. It was silly and for a moment I felt guilty I wasn’t thinking about my wife but the girl I loved in my college days. I was embarrassed; hiding my tears from my colleagues I realized how much I missed HER.

***

The husband and the wife met for dinner. The kids were happy; mommy had made their favourite dish. Neither the husband talked nor the wife. The rain now washed away the layer of nostalgia and exposed them to the reality. The reality of being married and being with someone they didn’t love- anymore. Beneath the guilt, they sobbed in their hearts for they missed each other as lovers. The reality of marriage had changed them.

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