[I wrote this story almost four years ago! I am posting the story as it was, four years ago. Please forgive me for any errors that might have crept in. Hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.]
Shramana and Arijit had completed fifteen years of living together; they had faced so much during this time, but it was nothing compared to what they’ve come across in the past. In fact, they met under completely disastrous environments, but something no short of a miracle happened and they fell in love…
Again, call it luck or something divine, their 15thanniversary fell on a Sunday. So, Arijit got some time to unwind with his two favorite people, his wife and his son Nirbhay. Nirbhay was studying in class 6 and Arijit had seen him grow up, like the tiny plant amidst his garden which he planted on the day his son was born. What Arijit loved the most about kids was their curiosity and inquisitiveness, the way they always question about everything that catches their eye and Nirbhay was no exception. He had his mother’s eyes, ever shining and full of life.
Nirbhay was the apple of Shramana’s eye, and though there are instances where Nirbhay needed to be reprimanded, Shramana not only did not rebuke him but turned a blind eye to her son’s mistake. The years had been passing rather fast, it seemed only the other day that Nirbhay was born, but now he’s growing up steadily and it may be only a matter of months before he crosses his papa’s height. Arijit was against this, and there have been several instances where…
Nirbhay: Papa, papa, tell me how you and mom met?
Arijit’s continuous thoughts were interrupted by his son’s intervention, as he was flying his toy airplane with his hands. Obviously the thought must have occurred to him as all random questions do and before answering, Arijit asked Shramana,
Arijit: Dear, could you come here for a moment?
Shramana was cooking for her family, she hated the idea of going to a restaurant or bringing home a five course meal from the takeaway; she liked cooking for her family.
Shramana: Yes? What is it?
She was visibly angry as did not like being disturbed while cooking; but nevertheless, she decided to go…
Arijit: Our son has some questions for us, don’t you little guy?
He smiled at his son and then at his better half, expecting her to give an ear to the interesting conversation.
Shramana: Okay, but let me first dim the gas a little bit, which would buy me enough time…
Nirbhay: How did you guys meet? My friend Rituparna told me her parents met when they were in college and had fallen in love!
Shramana: Oohh! The kids these days! Dear, what do you think? Is he old enough to listen to the story?
Arijit: Gee, I was afraid such a time would come, was rather anticipating it coming in my direction!
Nirbhay (chuckles): Could you guys get on with it? I’m getting impatient.
Arijit got all serious and began; Shramana was feeling somewhat uneasy as it would revoke old memories, unpleasant memories. Nirbhay was observing everything and could not contain his excitement. “Begin already dad!” he blurted out, barely hiding a smile. Obviously he was not prepared for what he would hear after some time and which is why Arijit gave a message to Nirbhay before beginning…
Arijit: Remember son, life is not a bed of roses, and when you grow up you’ll realize how un-romantic it actually is!
I was going through a bad time back then, the time was when I was about to give the semester examinations for my Honors degree. The break up with Namrata had broken me and left me dilapidated, and without repair. We lived in Nainitaal back then, before shifting to Dehradun. You might know, I may have told you before, our house was right by the valley and I would stare every day, watching the sun set and coalesce everything into darkness. It was around that time the BSF jawans would complete their daily tour around the area. Nevertheless, I was depressed. Soon enough, I got visible warnings in the form of declining attendance, poor grades and my sudden interest towards alcohol.
Nirbhay: What happened then? How did you meet mom?
It was surely visible, how much exhilarated little Nirbhay was. After all, he was hearing the story for the first time. Arijit had been contemplating till now how to approach the topic as this needed to be dealt with. His son was slowly growing up and some day or the other he would demand an answer. Maybe not seriously, but nevertheless, it must be dealt with. So he took a long breath and began, Nirbhay…
Arijit: Nirbhay, listen to me carefully what I’m about to say…
Nirbhay was startled by the sudden rise in his father’s voice. His father had rebuked his son on several occasions, and like all of those he knew he had to heed his father in times like this. So he stopped fidgeting and sat straight.
Arijit: Your mother and I met under grim and malodorous situations. And you must know the truth, nothing more or less of it.
Shramana, at that instant, stopped Arijit from further intervention by signaling him to stop with her hand; she wanted to tell her son the incident herself it seemed. Arijit too decided to hand over the reins of storytelling to his better half.
Shramana: Nirbhay, your mother was going through a bad period at that time…
Before she could continue, Nirbhay posed a critical question,
Nirbhay: What is a crisis, mom?
(to be continued)…
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