Shikha looked at the wall clock nervously, “Ishita will be here any minute and this house looks like garbage even after all the cleaning. I can never compete with her mansion.” She said to no one.
“You said Ishita is down to earth even after everything. There is nothing to worry about.” Aakash consoled
“Yes she is very modest but… here they are” Shikha ran to welcome her friend.
Aakash had to force himself to stop staring. It appeared like 17 years passed by without touching Ishita. She looked exactly like the pictures in his wedding album, just a lot more confident.
“I am marrying Aakash this November” Shikha was too happy to set up the context.
“And I am killing Osama this November” Ishita replied with the same excitement as she turned to face her friend “Why are you smiling? You look so happy.. O Goodness, you aren’t joking.”
“Now, that’s the reaction I was looking forward to” Throwing her handbag aside, Shikha pulled the chair.
“But.. Why? Why are you doing this?”
“Getting married, why?”
“Wow! You sound like I am committing suicide.”
“It is a career suicide.”
“Why would you say that? Aakash and I have been together for almost 3 years and he isn’t asking me to quit job.”
“Sure, he isn’t but ultimately you will have to or you will end up with some mediocre profile.”
“I am not getting a word that you are saying. Can’t you just be happy for me?”
“I am worried for you. Marriages demand a lot of attention. Now, you just have to focus on yourself but it will all change. Scheduling work hours as per the other person, vacation depending on kids’ holidays. It’s almost impossible to manage.”
“That’s not true. Many people manage everything pretty well.”
“It looks like that but you won’t believe how frustrated they are every day. Trust me; I have seen my parents go through all of it.”
“Are you telling me you will never marry?”
“I am not sure about never but not until I am earning the amount that makes it impossible to quit. Then, if I find someone who is OK to be second priority of my life and doesn’t want babies.”
“Babies are adorable.”
“Babies are demanding, selfish and irritating. You can talk some sense into a husband but when kids come, you are over.”
“I don’t know. Things that are appealing to me are the ones you want to avoid. I guess it’s about preferences, which change with time. I will talk to you 25 years from now. Let us see, who is happier?”
“And the one who is not owes something to the other one.”
“And that something would be..?”
“You know.. it can be anything.”
“Fine but for now you are coming to the wedding.”
After 17 years of marriage, Shikha met her friend in the most unexpected circumstances. Her elder daughter was excited for a seminar in school by Ishita Sahani.
After hours of talking and dinner, Ishita was ready to leave.
“It is really good we could reconnect. Time has flown” Shikha said
“Not for me..” Ishita pointed towards the mirror
“Of course, so what do I owe you? You were right in every sense.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I had to quit job after my first child. After that, Aakash, three kids, their demands and no time for self. I can hardly recognize this fat lady covered in sweat and baby drool when I look into the mirror.” Shikha laughed balancing the baby in her left arm.
“You look wonderful as always.” Ishita smiled.
“OK. You clearly won. Why should we wait for another eight years? What do I owe you?”
“Are you taking that conversation seriously?”
“A promise is a promise.”
“Well, I have a lot of time.. all to myself. Your baby is not even a year old and she won’t remember anything. Can I adopt her legally?”