Unfinished Memories..16 mins 11.6K 16 mins 11.6K
The last sip of my coffee is over. It actually went cold.
I am still looking at the crimson sky. The small patches of dark clouds are appearing as kohl over the scarlet sun. The chit chatting kids returning from school and the cooing sound of train from a distance seems soothing. After a while these silent roads will be full of artificial light of helium masks and noisy, fast running traffic. I am more of a peace loving person.
After the day’s taxing work, I prefer sitting here when the day falls, with soft breeze sweeping across my face; enfolding nature’s immense fragrance, the dusky sky at its best, the golden sunrays promising another morning; a yet brighter one, the birds returning to their nests hastily and of course their younger ones waiting for food; restless, the newspaper vendor now appears tired but satisfied after a long day’s work. I often ponder... How the almighty has decided the role of every individual; each carrying its own uniqueness and winsomeness.
Suddenly I feel an electrifying touch in my belly. Oh! This is the savvy touch which comforts me, the very own for which I was waiting, the one which releases whole day’s pressure. I gleefully turn back and embrace him. “You're back darling! I was waiting for you,” I whisper.
He plants a soft kiss on my cheek and utters, “Hectic day, it was.”
“I’ll get you some coffee,” I say, as he loosens the hug. “By the way Captain, even after a frantic day you smell erotic,” I naughtily murmur in his ear.
“And you are always charming baby,” he smiles, carefully placing a strand of hair behind my ear.
I love the way his touch appreciates every single inch of my body.
Instead of lying on the couch and resting he follows me to the kitchen. He has always been like that; a sweet, loving and caring guy of mine.
“How was your day sweetheart?” he asks softly.
“Hmmm..Some huge tenders are waiting, it seems. Had a word with my new partners today. Let’s see,”I reply, adding sugar to the scalding milk.
“Oh honey! You really don’t need to work that hard, we already have everything and I am working, isn’t that enough?” he says calmly.
“I work because I love to. Let’s not go over there," I say handing him his coffee mug.
Silence. I can see his changing expression.
“Why on earth can't you have coffee with me?” And he is back again. Huff! I never wanted this issue to spoil our beautiful evening again.
I smile and plant a soft kiss on his lips. "Because I don’t want to!” I giggle, teasing him.
“Oh there! And how is my li’l baby doing?” he says placing his hand on my belly.
I am blushing again and my tummy tickles like a butterfly.
“Your li’l baby is too young to feel your fondling,” I shyly reply. Mmmm...I love his fondling.
“I must say you don’t appear like you're carrying a two months old baby,” he says with the naughty smile again on his face.
“Hey! Concentrate on your coffee,” I roll my eyes.
“As usual a perfect coffee by my perfect mate,” he says as he takes the first sip. He kisses me softly on my forehead, “And this one is for making my life so perfect.”
“You never leave a chance,” I say with a wicked grin.
“Chances!! Aahaaa I never leave ‘chances’” he giggles. And he kisses me again. I admire his smarmy lips and gentle touch.
"Jay!" I roll my eyes again.
Jay, yes I call him Jay. Captain Arjun Bhargava-tall, confident and handsome with a classic smile enlightening his beautiful sculptured lips. His wheatish skin tone, neatly cropped hair and a perfect shaped body makes him the real 'Prince Charming'.
"I love you," he says softly in my ears.
I look at him fondly. I love his chin while he smiles. Light beard has grown on his face. He shaved yesterday. He smelled fresh of the aftershave when he kissed me before leaving for his daily drill. His rough look mesmerizes me. I am still looking at him. He holds my hand and we walk towards the verandah.
It gets dark early in winters. It’s still quiet outside. I look at the li'l saplings we planted together in the rains. They are young now. He adjusts himself comfortably in the couch and carefully pulls me in his lap. I enjoy him being bossy and sweet simultaneously. I silently rest my head on his shoulder and he brushes my hair with his utopian fingers. It feels so heavenly. I feel so secure in his arms.
"Did you take medication on time?" He asks concerned.
"Hmmm," I say. His care towards small things make me overwhelmed.
"Gudiya, you are responsibile for two lives now. You need to take due care of yourself. Right?"
'Gudiya' I love the way he calls me Gudiya. He calls me Gudiya out of care and over protectiveness. Once again I am overjoyed. "Sure Captain!" I smile and he gives a broad smile in return. I can spend my life watching him smile this way.
"Oh! So Mrs. Tanya Bhargava, you are flattered again," he says. A raunchy smile sweeps across his face and he softly caresses my arms. I close my eyes. “You are beautiful,” he murmurs.
I shyly smile. I am lost in his fragrance. “Ummm…you know your job keeps me worried,” I say, my head making an effort to concentrate on my words. Right now I want to be lost in his arms.
“Oh baby!” he says and hugs me tightly. “I work because I love to,” he says teasing me.
“Now that’s my line. Cheater!” I say naughtily nailing him. I want this moment to pause right here.
The buzzing cell phone breaks the spell. "Its Papa," he says.
He helps me get comfortable on the couch and walks towards the study. I wait for him in the verandah; a chain of intimate emotions still running on my head. He talks for a while and returns back. The easy going smile is missing from his face. He looks skittish.
Number of questions running over my head.
"Mumma's sugar level has increased suddenly and her joint pain is more persistent now," he says looking worried.
I gaze at him, blinking, and feel the blood draining from my face as I absorb this news. "What now? Can you take a day's leave or two? We should leave for Delhi as soon as possible,” I say anxiously.
"No honey. Her condition is stable now and Papa and Aashu are there. They have even hired a nurse who would take care of Mumma but I insisted Papa to shift here as soon as possible," he says.
"Yes Jay, even I have been insisting Papa. Aashu would live in hostel and hardly a year of graduation study is left. So it’s not an issue. Papa would be relieved too," I say comforting him. But my head and heart are still worried about Mumma's condition.
He is worried. I can read the expressions clearly on his face. I fetch him a glass of water. "Mumma would be fine soon, you don't need to worry." I hug him. He hugs me back. We both are quiet. I can feel his heart pounding. I just want to comfort him right now. I can give away my everything for that.
"Will it be possible for you to manage honey?" He asks. He is still hugging me.
"Of course Jay! What is there to ask?" I ask.
"Hmm," he is quiet.
It has started getting cold outside. Jay cannot bear the hawkish clime. We walk inside. He makes his way to the study, I follow him. He prefers solitude whenever he is stressed. I watch him serenely.
"What do you think about your work now?" he asks, breaking the silence.
"My work??? What’s there to think about it?" I look at him puzzled. A chain of mixed thoughts running inside me.
"Sweetheart you are pregnant; you don't need to work so hard,” He looks angst. "And now Mumma-Papa are also coming, you’ll have more responsibilities. It would be really hard for you to manage with everything and especially for now, when Mumma is ill," he tries to explain his point.
"Jay, I can manage and it’s not a job, I have my own firm and that too at our place so it’s not a big deal. Moreover, I am not bound under any stiff routine. I'll manage,” I answer. I want the discussion to end soon.
I own a company operating in the field of power electronics. Jay belonging to a typical middle class family and he himself being in officer's rank in one of country’s most reputed post never wanted me to go for something like business. But in spite of his unwillingness, he supported me. Now after three years of extensive work, my company is doing well.
"And we can hire a maid if needed,” I add.
"It’s not about routine sweety, it’s about your health. And right now it’s just two of us. But after Mumma and Papa come here, you’ll have to take care of three people along with you and our baby. Days would be hectic then. Of course, we would hire a maid but honey what's the need of working when we have all the luxuries. I just want you to take proper care of yourself and take adequate rest,” he elucidates affably.
"Jay it’s not the first time that Mumma-Papa are coming to live with us. Have they ever complained?" I ask polietly, trying to keep my anger on check.
"But then things were different honey. Why don't you understand?” he says, his voice expressionless.
"I understand, I understand everything Jay. What do you think I should do?” I ask him dryly.
"I want you to stop working now. Enough of work sweety," he says.
"Okay, I would explain the work to Sheena. But don't you think 7-8 months is a long time,” I reply sweetly; my head and heart not in a position to take a hot argument right now.
"By stop working I mean STOP WORKING Tanya. Enough of work darling. And afterall, this entire business thing is just a diversion from your boring life. See, it was your field of interest. You started a company and took care of it for three long years. Now enough Tanya,” he is irked now.
"Stop working??" I frown. I am taken aback by his reply.
“Jay what do you mean by stop working? Jay you know what this company means to me. It’s like my baby. It’s the only thing I had ever dreamt of. I have worked day and night to make it and bring it to this position. And now, when I have started living my dream you simply say that I should stop working!" I groan in frustration.
"See Tanya, you wanted to start a business, I supported you; Mumma papa wanted a house wife for me but I stuck with you; I wanted you to be a house wife because I needed you but you declined; I never said a word. I am earning isn't that enough for you?? I always wished that we would have a peaceful life but your work does not allow me to live peacefully,” he says at once. All the grudges assembled inside him came out suddenly. He is utterly annoyed now.
"Is it you or your ego speaking? I have never mingled my professional and personal life. So don't you complain that you are not living a peaceful life," I ask him frustrated.
"It is not about ego Tanya! Why the hell are you being stubborn???!!!" he shouted.
"I am not being stubborn Jay. See, I understand that you care," I say trying to be as calm as possible.
"No, you are being stubborn." he interrupts suddenly.
"Mumma was always right. You are a highly career oriented, aggressive and adamant girl having no place for emotions and relations.” He yells and leaves the room.
I watch him stunned. He enters the bedroom and bangs the door hard. I can feel his antagonism. I have never seen him this angry. Tears roll out of my eyes. I sob. My head and heart went off in discord to make any judgments. I want to cry, cry hard.
"Tanya beta," Mumma's voice breaks the spell of past recap. Oh! I was lost in thoughts again. My head feels a little bumpy. Tears fill my eyes. The coffee mug is still in my hand. I look at the scarlet sky. The saplings we planted together have started flowering. A sweet fragrance fills the verandah. I get up from the chair and walk towards the study.
Oh my! I feel a touch in my belly "Oh Arjun! You are back", I smile and turn back. My little champ, my little Arjun is hugging me with his small arms.
I kneel down and hug him tightly. "How was your day baby?"I ask, brushing his hair. He looks tired but sweet. I kiss him on his forehead.
"It was good. But I missed you Mumma," he says innocently.
"Aww, I missed you too my baby,” I smile and hug him.
"Come on, let us change and then we can see papa," I say cuddling him. Arjun likes cuddling and so did his Dad.
"And what about Kriti and Khushi? When would they come back?” he asks.
"By the time my little captain gets ready, they would be back from their dance class,” I reply ensuring him.
"Mumma, I love Papa and I’ll be like him one day,” he says proudly.
I smile satisfied. This is what I have waited for. I watch Arjun changing his school dress; his beautiful wheatish color, his perfect lips and his comforting smile just like his Papa. Sometimes, these days, I wish he would appear more like his dad, so that when he grows up, I can see Arjun in front of my eyes, always.
Kriti and Khushi come shouting inside the room and hug me. "Mumma we are back,” they say chuckling.
"Yes my babydoll and my princess. Let’s go and see Papa,” I say and kiss them. I love the positivity and energy on their faces. They start running towards the corridor.
While walking through the corridor, I am lost in thoughts again. The memory tape recorder plays in front of my eyes.
We, the ‘happily married couple’ was disturbed. Jay did not come out from the living room that day. I wept the whole night. It was the worst fight of my life.
The routine went chronic the very next day, but Jay was not talking. He had made his decision and was very firm about it. I tride to fill the grievances between us, but nothing worked. Jay went discordantly quiet. Stress prevailed.
Meanwhile Mumma –Papa moved with us. I started giving more time at home. Things were getting back to place but the alchemy was still missing. I desperately wanted my happy days back. It had been eight days since the nasty fight but Jay kept himself preoccupied. He had this tendency to keep mum if he is angry or hurt. He never gave explanations to me for anything. He just kept quiet.
Jay left early that day. After nine long days, he hugged me and kissed me saying, “I love you my life. I’ll be back soon. Take care.” I felt heavenly. He was in a hurry. I was about to hug him back and tell him how badly I loved him and how desperately I wanted things to be alright again, but he left.
After three hours I was informed that an emergency was declared and Jay had an encounter with enemy soldiers and he lost his life fighting for the country. I wept, shouted, yelled but Jay had gone. I wanted my love back. I would have given up my life for bringing him back. I would have died for another chance to mend every little fight between us.
I went hysterical. I blamed myself for everything, those fights. I knew Jay loved me so much that if I ever went against him and did something, he would not have stopped me except murmuring a little. He was such a sweetheart. He cared for me every second of his life. Even while we were in fight, he used to put my medicines on table after dinner quietly because I used to forget having them in time.
Jay left suddenly but I had to be strong. Apart from Arjun junior inside me, I had the responsibility of Mumma and Papa too.
Jay always wanted to have a baby girl. On Arjun's first birthday we decided to adopt Kriti and Khushi. So, these beautiful twin dolls were brought home when they were a month old from an orphanage.
All of us stand in front of Jay's photo hung up on the wall in the drawing room with CAPTAIN ARJUN BHARGAVA engraved in black on a golden plate below the photo. The kids close their eyes. We are supposed to pray for him, closing our eyes.
I open one eye and look at Jay. Jay looks handsome wearing his naughty smile. I feel numb watching him. My body still aches for his magical touch.
“I love you,” I whisper.
“Baby, I love you too,” I hear his voice inside my head.
I feel like crying hard sometimes. I can’t take this anymore. I can’t handle the pre-recorded expressions of love to play inside my mind again and again. I want him in real. 'I need you Jay,' I scream in my head.
Anger and love are two extreme emotions. They have no limits. Anger, most of the time, gives us momentary pleasure of hurting somebody but later, we regret for our actions. Choose to love and have a beautiful and lovely life, because sometimes life doesn't gives you a second chance.
Mumma is fine now. We had her knee replaced two years back. Aashu settled in US after completing his graduation. He is pur suing a fellowship research program in NASA and often calls me up. He misses Arjun so much. Our son Arjun is six years old now and Khushi and Kriti are five years each. My company is doing well now, with a decent 50 crores turnover. I concentrate mostly in new research and innovation division. And the pension which government provides is being utilized in bringing up Kriti, Khushi. I want to provide them every amenities needed to grow well.
I walk towards the verandah. Arjun, Kriti and Khushi follow me. Arjun prefers to sits on the couch, like his dad and Kriti and Khushi are playing. Arjun holds my hand. I look at him. His inculpable face and alluring eyes leaves me spell bound. I kiss his little fingers. He reminds me of his dad, every second. That’s the reason I named him Arjun, in unfinished memory of my Jay.
I still spend my dusk sitting at the verandah waiting for the passionate touch, the innocent smile and the secure arms of my hubby. My body, soul and mind now feel impatient and sometimes insatiable to be in his arms.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if we had a premonition of our future. What would it be like if I knew what was going to happen to me afree I marry Jay, or what if Jay knew what was going to happen to him once he joins his job? What if we all knew our future discreetly? Would living this life be mysterious at all?
I developed a belief later, that Jay knew what is going to happen. The way he used to love me, the way he used to miss me, the way he arranged a living for me and supported it, only indicates to the fact that he knew his future. It was all a master plan of him in joint venture with God to keep me safe and happy in my rainy days.
Jay always used to say 'Everyone is sent to earth with a reason. You just need to find that reason and make your life worthy'. I desperately look at Kriti and Khushi's naive faces trying to find out the reason..