A Beautiful Day
A Beautiful Day7 mins 23.7K 7 mins 23.7K
It was the year 2008 and the Orkut storm had swept India like a widespread infection reversing the earlier known boundaries of communication. I too could not stay away from this little revolution happening on our computer screens. The initial impulse was to search for our first and closest school friends. The shere excitement unwrapped as we found the whereabouts of our 'chuddy buddy' friends, their careers', their families and got reunited with them after decades. Somehow, it took back to the old treasured memories of our school days, our white washed classrooms and our transition from childhood to youth together.
Friend requests started pouring in and slowly a chain connected to the old bunch of DAVians we used to proudly call ourselves. Mostly, all of them were settled after marriage. I, however, stood out being single. As a surgeon in one of the most reputed hospitals in New Delhi, I lived a happy & a content life as Dr. Manav Bhutani. One fine day, I was poked by one of my school mates, Dr. Reema Wahi. She had continued with me through the medical college in our small town where we graduated as doctors many years ago. Back then, we were good friends but had lost touch as we went ahead for our respective specializations'.
Reema had shared her number. She was now a reputed gynaecologist, also settled in New Delhi. We decided to go the traditional way to meet over a cup of coffee rather than messaging endlessly. Finally, we were at my favourite place-Cafe Lota at the Barakhamba Road. Reema was still that charming, affectionate and radiant girl. I must say she wasn't picture perfect yet her intelligence and confidence set her apart from other women. I was awestruck to see her after years, from short hair she had transitioned to long tresses, her eyes submerged in dark kohl made them look wide, a nude lipper painted into her perfectly shaped petal lips, her cheeks needed no artificial colour, she adorned a natural radiance of her inner feminine beauty. Dressed in a simple fab India kurta matched with a floral print long skirt, the scarf around her neck made her look ethereal. When she spoke, her long danglers moved like waves. She had a vibrant persona. We had been classmates for almost 19 years, it was however, on that day I noticed her as being a beautiful woman.
We chatted over an overfilled cup of coffee, with a splash of chocolate sauce floating over artistically. Before we could start our conversation and share our lives this far, Reema burst into unexpected laughter. I was a little startled, yet the man in me was bowled over by her giggle that lit up her big kohl eyes as if leaving a magic on my mind. She spoke sarcastically, “Dr. Manav Bhutani! I can't believe, you are one of the best surgeons in India today. As friends we always knew you will excel in life. Do you remember how our Hindi teacher Mrs. Kohli would scold you over your poor marks and once taunted that she fears her son who shares your name does not becomes a complete nut like you.” Reema chuckled. Her smile was magical, her face sparkled like thousand stars. I replied, “Yeah! I remember. I am sure Mrs. Kohli won't believe today that this nut is a surgeon who opens and closes many hearts.” We both laughed.
What began as a coffee date, turned into dinner as we chatted endlessly. The sun set, giving way to a glorious moon watching over us secretly. As we finished our dinner and walked slowly towards home, to my surprise, Reema proposed to me. I was bowled over. It took me a while to realise what was actually happening. My first response was 'yes', in fact a very very loud 'YES'. I asked her to rethink for one more day till she was sure that I was the right man for her. However, I danced my way back home. Although I told her to reconsider her decision, inside I felt fearful that incase she says 'no' the next day, I would be ruined! I must confess, I had an anxious sleepless night. I came out of my slumber only when she messaged the next morning. I still remember the text. It read, “Hi Doctor. You may be a famous heart surgeon, but believe me, from now on, your heart is mine for a lifetime!” Another text followed, “Manav, we have known each other from our ABC to the human anatomy days, so there is no room to rethink. Meet me at 5PM. Let’s go ahead stitching our lives together”. She further added, “I have always admired you as a friend and yesterday after spending a day with you, I completely fell in love with you”.
We met the same day. The Adam in me had finally found my Eve! There wasn't any point in delaying. We both were already 32. Mature, single, settled. Though Orkut breathed its last soon, it gave both of us a lifetime connection. Within a month, we were Dr. Reemaand& Manav Bhutani. It was so easy to relate to Reema. Same school, same medical college, same friends, same profession and similar memories. There was no point of conflict or struggle whatsoever.
What a blessed life we had. Both reputed doctors, in the most sought after hospital in New Delhi. After two years we planned our first child. There was no point in waiting further. And soon we both welcomed our cute little son. We named him 'Manveer' and life suddenly opened a gateway to sleepless nights, diapers, giggles and lullabies. Manveer completed our perfect life. I often wondered, what else could one ask from God. Gratitude was what I uttered 24x7. People struggled for happiness and here I had a home full of heaven. It always transpired that I must have done some nice karmas, that I was blessed with the most beautiful women as my wife, the best profession and a lovely son who filled our hearts.
Life went on. Four years passed blissfully. Manveer was in a preschool. He was my heart, my source of light. Reema took a 2 year sabbatical due to some health issues and was slowly turning into a short tempered and frustrated women. I understood how she wasn't able to balance her career and her biological clock together. Being hot headed and an over ambitious women, she couldn't handle her break. The atmosphere at home slowly started changing. The love songs got replaced with frequent arguments and sometimes, many days of silence followed. Yet I understood it was a difficult phase for Reema. She had more responsibilities than me.
One day, as we put Manveer to sleep, Reema brought coffee and we sat on the lawn. It was a moonless cloudy night. The frequent sound of insects filled the gap that was now between us. Reema shared that she had applied for further studies and received a call from US. She wanted me to accompany her and settle abroad. All these years, I always listened to her and never got angry as I loved her and understood her emotional turmoil.
But this was unexpected. I spoke, “Reema, we have the best careers here, a beautiful home, loving families, what more do we need. There was no point in leaving the country and start afresh at this age, when we have a son to think of and nurture him with the values and culture that we are so proud of. I have never felt the need to seek more in life, especially abroad; when we have the best of everything here.” Yet, Reema was adamant and stubborn to the extent that she wanted me to either accompany her or leave her. I was gutted. I had no strength to argue and agree with her over this matter. I tried hard for months to change her mind. But she was too reluctant to listen and looked determined to take a call between the opportunity and me.