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Shikha Mishra



Shikha Mishra


That Night At the Bus Stop - Final Part

That Night At the Bus Stop - Final Part

13 mins 221 13 mins 221

Aniket replied at Ratlam bus station yesterday in the night, while I was waiting for my bus.

The housekeeper said to Aniket - Beta, I know you loved Meera however, she has gone far away from us. She got shattered after you stopped all communications with her. She learned later that you got married; she started keeping sick, so her uncle decided to move her to Bangalore for some time. We tried so much to convince her to get married, but she was adamant not to. Post moving there slowly her life, came on track. However, when she returned to Jaipur again, she found a new purpose in life, she started her own NGO that took care of the orphans.

 It was only later that her Uncle told her the truth about the letter, she had cut off all communication ties with him, it took a lot of time to forgive him. All I can say is she loved you, more than I could put in words. She made sure to keep a distance from you always, to ensure that it does not impact your married life. Though she kept track of all your success, awards you achieved, there was a sense of pride in those innocent eyes. Even after losing everything, she always had an amazing smile and happiness on her face. She dared to put past everything behind her and looked forward to spreading happiness in other’s life.

She told me once, Aunty you see one-day Aniket would be looked upon as an amazing and loving son, husband and father. He is so full of life, love for others, optimistic, happiness, he has that Midas touch, whatever relations he‘ll touch it would blossom like anything. I do not blame him for what had happened, we had our plate of misunderstandings, but above all, he is and always would be the most amazing and wonderful person of my life. God has blessed him with an amazing wife and twins, he is extremely fortunate to have them in his life. I wish he does not let the past stop him from enjoying his blessings.

I was lucky enough to find a new purpose for my life in those orphans and I hope Aniket shall also find happiness in his new family.

Wait a minute that means she never got married? Aniket was shocked to learn the latest updates.

Tears rolled down from his eyes, he did not know what to say, even when he met her yesterday, he could not say anything to her.

The housekeeper further continued its high time you move you and be happy in your life. Even Meera wanted the same for you. If you met them yesterday, am sure there must be a reason for the same.

Thank You –Aniket told the housekeeper and rushed out of the house, so many thoughts were running in his minds. It would take a lot of time to process the information he had just received.

When he reached his house, Pallavi greeted him with a beautiful smile, happiness was visible on her face; Lakshith and Lakshya ran to give him hug and kisses, they missed him badly. His parents too were happy to see Aniket returned after 1 month of continuous travel.

He was standing right in the centre, surrounded by his wife, kids and family. It was only today did he realised his family loved him deeply, irrespective of the fact he had not given them the love and care they deserved. He was indirectly punishing them for what has happened with him 10 years ago.

His thoughts were interrupted when Lakshith and Lakshya told him “Papa, see we made drawing for you. He was moved to see their drawings; both have drawn a picture of their family.

Lakshith had a sparkle in his eyes, as he showed his drawing to Aniket and said “Papa, see this is you, Mumma, Lakshya, Dadu and Dadi and me our sweet family”

Lakshya was not behind than his brother “Papa, see my drawing you, Mumma, Lakshya, Dadu and Dadi and myself and this is our sweet little home”

Aniket was so touched seeing their drawings as if they have expressed their love on paper. Even before he could applaud her kids, his mother said, “Beta, your kids are incredibly talented like you, these drawings are special, they have won 1st prize in school for this.

They had “Family Day Celebration” last week in their school, they had drawing competition as a part of this event, your kids made us proud by winning this competition, not only this they got the prize of Rs 5000/- each for winning this competition.

Pallavi got tea and snacks for Aniket, as both kids hanged around him. She had prepared the tea exactly how Aniket has always loved it. There was no change in the taste, irrespective he was having this tea after month. Each sip of the tea gave him a blissful feeling him.

As he enjoyed the tea and the snacks, it was the time for the grandfather to fill in Aniket about his kid's success stories, ”Son, they might be younger, but I can proudly say “I see a younger version of Aniket in them”. No wonder not only they are in their teacher's good books but even their Principal is amazed by their talent to be it in studies, sports, extracurricular activities etc.

He further continued. We must say the credit goes to Pallavi for taking good care of the kids. We are blessed and proud to have her as a daughter in law.

No, she is more like a daughter to us; his mother proudly told Aniket, as Pallavi was standing right next to his mother, all smiling and touched by their words. Beta, she has converted this house into a home, by her love, warmth, affection care. Not only kids, but she also takes care of us, as if we are her parents.

Pallavi interrupted now “Papa and Mumma, you are my parents also. You both have loved me more than I could have ever imagined. I cannot put in words to describe; how fortunate I am to be part of this lovely family.

As Pallavi hugged her mother-in-law, Lakshita and Lakshya hugged their Dadu, to show their emotions

How could he have not seen and experienced this? Love was right in front of him, yet he was blind enough not to see and feel that. He allowed hatreds, grudge in his life to suck the happiness from his life, more than Meera’s uncle or Meera, he was the one accountable for that.

It was now his responsibility to make amends for the wrong he did to them.

 ‘Aniket, where are you lost, Go, freshen up, you must be really tired we’ll go and prepare your favourite lunch today, “Rajma, Rice, Roti. Mumma has already made your favourite kheer. Go and come soon. Pallavi told Aniket as she rushed towards the kitchen with his mother-in-law to prepare the lunch.

His father said “Beta, you get ready I’ll go and get some fruits and vegetables for salad in the meanwhile. Shall take the kids away so that they do not disturb the ladies of the house. Come, kids, let us go out for some shopping. As the kids followed their grandfather, Aniket moved to his room to get freshen up.

He could not stop thinking about what happened with him last night, on top of this a visit to Meera house, learning about her whereabouts had changed his perspective. However, after coming home, seeing his family, there was a different feeling in him today.

He never had this feeling around them, so what exactly has changed today? Why did he feel a sense of change in him today? Was it a chit chat session with Meera’s (dead) uncle or visit to Meera’s place and knowing the truth?

 There were too many answers to find, however, he thought “a nice-hot shower” was more important than anything else.

As he started taking out his wallet, phone, bus ticket etc stuff from his jeans pocket, he realised there was a small envelope in his jeans back pocket along with this stuff. His hands trembled as he saw it was written “To Aniket” from “Meera”. He almost dropped the letter from his hands and it felled to the ground.

“Did Universe have picked him deliberately to witness everything leading to Meera?

Knowing the fact that she is no more in this world and that he saw her yesterday at the bus stop, his love for her could be the only reason which propels him to open the letter. 

The letter read as follows,

Dear Aniket, Good to see you at the bus stop yesterday and sorry for taking off from there in a hurry without giving us a chance to meet properly and maybe fill in the details for you, because I wanted Uncle to talk with you. I know it is too much on your plate to take, but we could not find a better way to reach out to you. He always wanted to make amends to you but could not reach out to you out of guilt and I guess he got the courage for the same, only after death.

Hope it was a meaningful talk for you; this was the least he could do for you.

 I wanted you to know that I have always loved you for what you were a person full of love, warmth, care and a happy go person before we messed up your life. You were the sunshine and source of inspiration for my life before our ways parted. It was you who taught me how to live life!!!

You remember how you use to keep reminding me this quote “Life can never always be fair to you, make sure to get the best out of what it offers you" Why did you stop living the Life?

 Even I went through this immense pain that I cannot even put in words; I got lucky enough to find my way of happiness. Though I was not part of your life, let me tell you I am so proud of your achievements. But in that journey the Aniket I knew got lost.

Aniket holding grudges against anyone, it brings more pain to you, do not let this un-invited guest make a permanent place in your heart. Life is too short for long term grudges. It hurts more to hold grudges than to forgive. The anger you hold inside has done enough damage to you, no one else. Release yourself from this imprisonment of grudges and start living your life.”Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future!!

And for your record your wife Pallavi is amazing, I met her incidentally at my NGO. She came with one of her friends looking to adopt a baby from here. I later came to know she was your wife, let me tell you I have not met anyone with such a pure soul before.

She later revealed to me how she was always keen to be part of the NGO, however, she was not confident to take up this job. She was not sure if she would be allowed to take up the job. She is amazing with the kids or for that matter, she is good with people. Irrespective of the fact that you have never shown the loved she deserves; she loves you a lot and has high regards for you and your kids they are just angels landed on this planet.

We became good friends in such a short time. However, it took me a lot of courage to tell her about our past since I did not want to jeopardize my relationship with her. It took some time for her to accept it, yet she told me she will never talk about me to you until you approach her to talk about me.

“She is the best thing which has happened in your life, preserve it”

Aniket with me gone now, I would like Pallavi to take care of the NGO. I am sure she is the best fit for my role. Do not worry about the job, the Board of Directors will unanimously elect her; only if she shows interest to be part of the NGO.

Help her to spread wings, give her the happiness and love she deserves, more time you spend with her, you will be in love with her head over heels.

I want you to go and talk to her and tell her everything. Do not deprive yourself of her love for you. She has always supported you by taking care of you and family, now it is your time to be her supporting pillar. Let her achieve her dream.

Last show this letter to her and get closure for yourself. Please do not retain this letter and tear it off immediately. I do not want you to again hold on to the past, that you stop living the present.

Bye Aniket, Take Care of your family and love them as much as possible. Meera

Tears rolled down his eyes while the letter was still in his hands, he did not know what to do next. Right then Pallavi entered the room and saw Aniket sitting on the edge of the bed with tears in his eyes and a letter in his hand. She ran towards him to wipe his tears and hugged him; it was only then Aniket gathered the courage to hand over the letter to her.

 As Pallavi started reading the letter, tears rolled down her eyes too. She felt too weak to stand anymore and was almost about to collapse when Aniket held her in her arms.

Aniket said to Pallavi “I am sorry Pallavi that you have to go through all this alone. You deserve an explanation for all this, please sit we need to talk. He told her everything about the past, even what happened last night, his visit to Meera’s place and the letter.

Pallavi was too stunned to say anything, she got up, looked at Aniket and picked the letter and handed it to Aniket. What do you wish to choose Aniket? Whatever you choose I am always there for you.

Having said that she was about to leave the room Aniket called her “Wait, Pallavi I choose this. He tore the letter in pieces, he ran towards her to hug her and for the first time post their marriage he finally said” I love you Pallavi, I apologise for not being there for you, but not anymore, I promise you to be there for you and love you always.

”Can you forgive me and give me another chance to correct the wrong I have done not only to you but to our kids, my parents? I have chained myself to the grudge, hatred for a long time, I want to get released of it. I know no amount of sorry justifies what I have done to the entire family.

Would they ever forgive me, Aniket asked her?

Aniket, get hold of yourself, your kids, and parents love you to the moon and back. Yes, I agree you have created a wall between us and you, but with that wall gone there is nothing now which could hold back happiness in our life.

And Yes" I love you too" Pallavi blushed as she said these magical words to him.

 As Aniket kissed her on her forehead he told her,” Pallavi, we need to talk about your joining the NGO too”. Let visit the NGO tomorrow to discuss your job opportunity. I am sure Mumma and Papa would be happy to know about your interest in working with an NGO.

While Pallavi was in Aniket’s arm with eyes closed, she felt this was a dream; she had got her husband’s love, she was getting an opportunity to fulfil her dream of working in an NGO and top of it Aniket finally had freed himself from the grudges.

Aniket too felt light today, as if some burden has gone from his chest. His eyes were too close, and it could not be a mere coincidence that both at the same time slowly whispered: “Thank You Meera for everything you did for us”.

Somewhere up in the sky the two souls looked down at this lovely couple and said “Mission Accomplished”

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