The Girl In His Dream
The Girl In His Dream9 mins 366 9 mins 366
She calls him “Shyam” because she feels it is easy and rather awkward calling his husband’s full name every time as Shyam Sundar. Her name is Karthika, but she likes to be called as Karthi, which sounds better. She has a penchant for calling every guy by a name that fits naturally to him / her. She is a voracious reader and fond of traveling. She carries with her dreams of visiting whole of Europe during her life time, but exclusion of United States of America in her exploration list, is still a mystery to Shyam. She always asks him, whether Chetan Bhagat has come out with his latest book after the publication of “Half girl friend” since she has finished reading of all other books of Chetan. Shyam wonders, sometimes, whether there is any co-relation between the character of a person and the name given to him / her by their parents, since in most cases aberrations are more pronounced rather than any similarity; however, Shyam finally finds solace in the famous quote of William Shakespeare in his play “Romeo and Juliet”–
“What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
She was married to Shyam in a pleasant winter evening, two decades, back and their life goes on peacefully, except for some turbulent days. Shyam is fond of talking to her on any subject under the Sun, all along these years, as if she is married just in the last week and never felt boring. Though she always gets irritated or resists in the way Shyam talks about silly things, without any relevance, like the subjects he dreamt in the previous night, never disregard his talk. She insists everything to be done in the right manner as she thinks right, or in her own style, right from cooking to all house old chores of upkeep of the home, including arrangement of small antiques in the show-case, may be the old daily news paper or flower pots. This has deprived Shyam of the cooking experiments he wanted to test and lost interest in such things; as such he has to contend with what has been cooked by her, every time and has to see the things “as is where is”. There are petty quarrels amongst them, lasting for five minutes every now and then, as he neither tries to keep the things in the right place nor venture into cooking zone. She often says that everything has its own place, but he also does not deny it, but seldom does it, in the way, she likes. By seeing the travelogues in the Television, which are quite routine in almost all the channels, she often tells Shyam that she has to explore many places in this world, in this life only, perhaps she may not believe in the next birth. He politely promises to take her to the places, every time. Then she retorts – “I know you will not take me, I know you are such a miser…traveling is a costly affair, it will reduce your bank balance and it is your last priority ! ” and all that sorts- which will finally result into an unnecessary argument. Sometimes Shyam asks her “ Why are you deliberating on an issue which is already agreed by both of us. “You want to go, I promise I will take you there”. Alas, she is like that because Shyam is not a miser in promising things but in reality he spends little money in traveling!. Nevertheless, he finds it difficult to spend a day without her- she also knows the same, that is the reason why she does not like to leave him alone even to visit her aged parents staying far away from the city, unless he is accompanied.
But on the other hand, she tells him that he always goes on arguing on petty things and may be hereditary. In fact, it is very difficult to defeat him at any point of time of the talk and ultimately she has to surrender deliberately, just to avoid any unwanted prolonged dialogue and infinite argument. Like all other husbands, Shyam also used to tell her that his mom’s cooking is so great that even a curry with a few ingredients will taste like a wonderful dish and can be served as one of the main items in any feast. She has got a ready made answer “even now you can go to your mom and get the same cooked, if it tastes better than what I cook” To make her more irritant, he used to tell her that his mom used to make him sleep by telling stories and lullaby in his childhood days and to feed him in the moonlight, in those days, where electricity was some sort of luxury in his rural village where Shyam had grown up. It was his deliberate attempt to tell such things so as to get her immediate reaction, which he enjoyed every time. As the argument goes on as usual for hours and once it gets subsided, he tries to cajole her, which makes her more irritant than ever before. Though these recreations go on every now and then, he wonders why it is happening again and again, for which he has not found any conclusive proof so far.
One day Shyam told her. Shakespeare has drawn the picture of Cleopatra in his famous novel, “Antony and Cleopatra” so well that the beauty of Cleopatra cannot be explained in words because she had such a marvelous beauty. Shyam remembered the college days when his English Professor, while teaching the play, stunt the whole class, narrating Cleopatra’s entry in the stage, in her elegant attire. Shyam also told her –“She was so beautiful that Mark Antony had become mad after her and forgot everything else”. Then she said- It is true that Antony was mad, that is why he ran after her. “What is so special about Cleopatra just to say that she is only one and all ?”. She asked him, “Have you or your Professor ever seen Cleopatra any time so as to describe her that she was the most beautiful woman in this world”. Here again the matter ends with same old story of arguments and counter arguments, without any final decree. That is Karthi.
It is still a mystery to him that what she had done with his 55 letters sent to her during a span of almost six months after their engagement but before the marriage. Almost an equal number of letters or less numbers, were also received as reply from her which he claims and retained for months, as a valuable treasure, till one fine morning he could not find not even a single piece of any such letter. It is his firm belief that she might have destroyed them all, leaving no trace of it. Shyam still remembers the wordings in one of those letters, she had written to him “You came, You saw and You conquered” about their first meeting. Whenever he thinks about the same, feels what she conveyed in her letter was apt and written in true spirits. He felt whether this was the girl he dreamt to marry.
It was also a terrible experience when Shyam came back home after one month, on deputation to a different city, in connection with his job. He could see her tears falling through her cheeks, but could not help himself weeping and brush aside the tears coming down from both of our cheeks. The scene used to end with an embrace and sipping the tea, together after a few minutes and then searching the suitcase for the glance of the special gifts every time he brought to her.
Sometimes, it is funny that he used to shed tears sitting at the corner of the room without any reason, weeping, just to get her attention, just like a child. On seeing him, the usual comments she passed were – “It is good for the tear glands to shed some tears, so that others can presume that your tear glands are working fine”. By hearing those comments, he suddenly stops weeping and used to laugh aloud, as if he is insane. It is to be noted that Shyam used to do all this tricks when their daughter was not in their home.
It was a sudden thought came into their minds that they should go for a small trip, especially when their daughter had gone on a picnic to Goa, along with her colleagues. Within no time, journey tickets were booked for Mahabaleshwar, booked hotel for the stay, bags were packed with clothes, of course with some eatery items, which she carries every time we go on a trip. A bottle with full of water is an unavoidable thing she carries, even for a journey of one hour duration. Everything completed in four hours for the next day morning trip by train. They boarded the train on the next day at 7.00 a.m, from Mumbai. Both of them were browsing the daily news in their laptop in the train. After some time, she took a novel from her hand bag and was immersed in reading. She always carries at least a book for reading while traveling in the train. He switched off the laptop and put it into the case and kept dozing for some time and had a small nap, for not having a good sleep in the previous night for getting ready for the next days’ journey. He is always like that, he can sleep anywhere and anytime if the circumstances permit. He knew that she was noticing him going to sleep, simultaneously reading the book and almost after one hour she kept him awake, telling that they have already left “Shivaji Nagar” station and had to get down at Pune soon to catch the next available bus for Mahabaleshwar. Shyam had a good dream during the sleep and was a little bit, uneasy to wake up. She told him that he would have had a sound sleep and might have dreamt as well, which was exactly true. She always tells what is going on in his mind and he admires her for the telepathy she always shown. When Shyam told that the dream was about his childhood and a girl had also appeared in his dream, whom he never met at all, she could not believe him. When he tried to elaborate about the dream she did not allow him to speak further. He could make out from the smiles of Karthi that she could understand what was going through his mind then, of course about the dream. She ordered Shyam to come out of the dream and to alight from the train, as the train has just arrived at Pune station.
This is the kind of relation which exists between both of them, for the last twenty five years, which is nothing but true love.