Very Dear Vasanti,
I don’t know if I can address you as ‘Dear’. It is a very pleasant surprise to see your message with your new mail address. It is, five complete years since you blocked my number. That was the most disappointing time of my life. I lost my way, and in resentment, I reached and settled in America. I am not married and decided to stay a bachelor for remaining life. Before I write further I want to know about you. What is that made you send the message to me and want me to write back?
Last I know you were set to marry Venu, your cousin. As a contender for your partnership in life, I was dejected. But I could never get you out of my thoughts. I refrain from expressing further without knowing your condition.
I will wait for your reply.
Siddu, alias Siddarth settled in America, as a failed lover. He turned his focus on his career. One fine evening, he was surprised to see a message on his phone from Vasanti. He wrote the above mail with a measured emotional expression. Almost after a week of uneasy waiting, he got a reply from Vasanti.
I deliberated for a long time, before sending you the phone message. I got your number from your brother, whom I met by chance. I felt very happy, that you addressed me ‘Dear’. Yes, I am in dire need of somebody giving me some love, some affection and some cajoling.
About seven years back, I had a wonderful life. I was good-looking, and I was conscious of my attraction. I played with it to my advantage, rather I exploited it to promote my ego. I was not clear whether it was smartness or innocence. I was financially good, I got a good job. The life was nicely set up. By the time you know me as a colleague in our office, I had at least two more eligible aspiring men (friends) waiting for my acceptance.
In everyone’s life, there would be a decisive moment which would change the direction of life. It may be for good or bad. That was the time I made a wrong decision and walked out of our relationship. It was an impulsive and irresponsible act. But by the time I realized, it was too late and it would have damaged your life more than I thought.
Let me say a big ‘sorry’ to you. First, you should give me a complete feeling of “Excused”, then I want to clear my heart by telling all of you. In those two years of our friendship, you excused me for everything and showed me the full value of being in “Love”. Since we separated I could never get love the same way as you showered on me. Your looks were always filled with mystic passion. Your touch was just mesmerizing. Your conduct with me was so gentle that many times I was left wanting for more physical nearness to you. Oh! I was waiting to tell someone, what I missed all these years. My intention is not to give more pain by reminding you of our old times.
The very purpose of sending you the message was to get relieved of the guilty feeling, I was carrying with me for all these years. I was rather very cruel to you. Hope you will be writing a few words of comfort for me. Hope you have some time and space for me.
After having dinner Siddu opened the mail and read and reread many times. “Poor Vasanti”, Siddu felt that she was very emotional and felt that she would have acted under some pressure. Siddu already started creating reasons for her leaving him and justifications for those reasons for himself. Siddu happened to be in the USA. Otherwise, he would have travelled to her place and would have shared the needed comfort with her. The next day Siddu carefully drafted a reply mail.
My dear Vasanti,
Do not worry. I am always there for you. I felt very sorry for what happened to you. As you opened up our feelings that time, I want to add here, how I felt when you closed on me. For two years of our friendship, I felt that life got fulfilled with your companionship. Those days I was attending office to see and talk to you. I also lived in a lovely imaginary world. Most unfortunate aspect at any time is that I cannot convert all my feelings into vocabulary and say to you. As you said correctly, my touch or looks would have conveyed the depth of my feelings and obsession. That time the words did not matter for you or for me. Your communication and expression were beyond words. It was your gaze and movements that gave me all the encouragement to think and imagine a lot about you.
If you remember, you were taking my choice for your next day’s dress. It was a matter of pride and satisfaction to have tea with you, among two hundred and odd staff in the office. I think that was the time, we planned for the marriage and our future.
After all that, I am eager to know why you ran away from me. Now you can relieve me from this intrigue. I assure you from my side, that I am the same person as you left about five years back.
With all the love,
Siddu wrote in the mail, the most nagging question he had since Vasanti left him. Though he decided to stay unmarried, many times he would hope for some miracle to happen and change the situation. Like in movies, he would imagine that Vasanti, with that beautiful attire, would come running with the same sensuality and attraction. Within another week, he got the reply with the needed answer from Vasanti. It was the weekend and he could spend sufficient time to read and absorb the contents.
My dear Siddu,
I am very happy to note that you are the same person of affection and confidence as ever. Yes, it is time to reckon and face facts and reality. Exactly about five years back, I had a similar situation when I had to make my decision.
Just a few days earlier I went on vacation and spent almost fifteen days at my sister’s place. My sister was ten years older than me. My sister fought her way into the family for a love marriage. My sister fell sick and I went there to attend to her. My sister is my friend and philosopher all the time. A lot of deliberations happened about my proposal for a relationship with you. I had a very heart-touching feeling and narration from my sister. It was like a big revelation for me. My sister’s experience in her own words:
“When I was in love nothing mattered to me. We both understood each other very well. We thought that understanding would be a solution to all the problems of life after marriage. When we faced the world, like other family members, other social obligations, children, inherited habits of conduct, etc, our spirit of understanding fell short and demanded more. After a few years like two to three years of marriage, both would feel there was a great favor in loving the other and expectations rose above love. I found it difficult when I had to keep the harmony of our family and his family. When we had a child, our love for each other changed to responsibility. Another two-three in to serious family life, our physical appearances changed so much that we lost the initial euphoria and our relationship was reduced to mere duty.
You find all these problems even in a conventional marriage but there is no feeling of favor or obligation in arranged and conventional marriage. Love marriage is generally a reason for apathy from near and dear. It is only a reality check for you. I am not telling this to frighten you. “
I returned from my sister’s place and thought about our own future life. I doubted whether I would be able to handle a full life with such eventualities. I became timid and I backtracked. Really speaking I was worried for you more.
Next story was very much routine. I was married to a distant relation. Life was on a very established safe track with children and paraphernalia. I am enclosing my recent photo herewith. I grew fat and lost a good amount of hair in delivery. I don’t think I am fit any more for anybody’s love or interest. Many times, I hate myself and feel helpless. It is not to blame people around me. But many times I regret not choosing your love.
In one such moment, I sent you a message. After explaining my reason, I am quite relieved. Hope you will stand by me for moral support for my decision.
Siddu received the mail and got the reason for Vasanti escaping from his life. He got the message about love and its role. The recent photo of Vasanti was a big revelation of the realities of life. Siddu immediately rushed to his mirror and could feel, how awkward, he looked. He had grown bald with a bulging tummy. He laughed at himself and felt that the story of “Love” could unfold into a mirage or a fantasy. He took his photo and attached it to his reply mail with the tag “I always like you” He deliberately dropped the word “love” and used the word “like”.