From: Khushi K.Gupta <email@example.com>
To: Arnav Singh Raizada ASR@ardesigns.com
Date: Thu, Feb 22, 2014 at 8:04 PM
Subject: Aap Theek Ho?
It has been two days. You must be thinking that I have relapsed into silence again. It is not so. I have been thinking, thinking a lot, trying to make sense of what you said.
Lekin sach kahen? Aap burra toh nahi manoge? (But shall I tell you the truth? Will you mind?). I am unable to understand it all. Some things I do. I try to put myself in your situation and see, but I can’t. Humme abhi bhi paise ki baat samajh nahi aati. ( I still don’t understand all this talk about money). Perhaps because there are other truths about us …truths that we cannot ignore; truths due to which we never got along in the past, and may not even in the future.
Sabse bada sach yeh hain Arnavji, ki aap or hum ekdum alag duniya se hain. (Because the biggest truth, Arnaviji, is that we belong to different worlds.) We think differently, we react differently. I am an orphan from the middle class and the very idea of middle class and its people was so abhorrent to you once.
My thoughts are different, my values are different. For me, relationships, happiness of people around me always came over money. And just the way you did not understand that, I do not understand you.
Since we are being honest and admitting mistakes, I might as well admit mine and apologise for it, thought it is too late. I should have told Shyaam’s truth to you or Anjili di as soon as I discovered it. I even came to do that. But the idea of giving so much pain to Di, you, your family, the thought that I would be the reason behind your suffering, I could not face that. Like a coward I gave up and preferred to live in a fool’s paradise. That Shyaam would change; that once the child is born he would mend his ways. I should have known that he never would. But I had convinced myself to live in denial.
I am not saying that my way is better than yours. It led me to errors of judgement. I would like to think that I have becme more careful, more discerning. I am not sure. But I am a middle class girl; a girl who even lived through poverty in the last one year. I might have fallen down then, had my friend not kept me afloat. Paison ke liye nahin, Arnavji, par un logon ke liye kuch bhi kar sakte hain. (Not for money, but for the sake of those friends, I can do anything). It was same with me then. It is so now. Perhaps I will always be middle class.
Khushi sat back, re-reading the mail. She wasn’t satisified. But even when thinking and wiritng, it was a difficult conversation. They would never have made it, had they been face-to-face. Passion, anger, sadness and tears would have taken over long ago. Perhaps that wouldn’t have been so bad, her heart whispered stiltedly. He would have put his arms aournd her and she would have sobbed on his chest. Perhaps that would have been enough to finish it all. Perhaps she should give up this stubbornness, give in and return. It would not be so difficult; even now those harsh scenes of the past were losing their sting. They did not pierce her as they had done weeks ago. She had been truthful. She would never understand things that drove Arnavji. But she often felt that those motivations were no longer important.
Her musings was interrupted by Lavanaya hwo sat on the oppsotie chair with a thud, showing off her manicured and polished hand. She would be a bride soon. Her face glowed with happiness.
‘Poor Aman ji. He is going to fall in love some more and there are still two weeks to go.’ Khushi teased.
Lavanaya blushed as she rolled her eyes, and then glanced at the laptop. ‘Writing to Mr.Raizada?’
Khushi nodded and turned serious. Lavanaya had been a great friend, giving her space but of late, she was being rather pushy when it came to her.
‘You are still not ready to call and talk.’
‘Not yet. There are some more answers that I need.’
‘Hisab maang rahi ho, Khushi?Are you asking him to account for all your suffering?’
Khushi felt her hackles rise. ‘Not you too, Lavanaya? You think I have no right to these answers…that I should tow the line…’
‘No, you shouldn’t. In fact, if you were dead set against the man, then I would have been fine. Absolutely. But I see that you are not happy. Neither would he be. If I remember him correctly, he would be missing you terribly. His heart would have burst with hope with your mail, he would have laid bare his heart when he wrote to you. Tell me if I am wrong, Khushi.’ Khushi sat silently, Lavanaya’s words joining along with NK’s. ‘And then the days you spent thinking over it (Yes, I do watch over you Khushi), think how he would have suffered? Thinking that the mail he sent might have repulsed you, waiting day and night for a word from you. The extent to which he went to get you back, anyone can see. He loves you, Khushi. No one can deny it. Not even you.’ Khushi nodded. ‘And you love him too. I see that you miss him. Terribly.’
‘Khushi, its okay if you want more time,’ Lavanaya continued, sighing at Khushi’s silence. ‘But be honest and admit. Don’t withhold hope from him. It is not like to punish someone like this. That too a man who loves you so.’
Khushi nodded silently and Lavanaya left her at the that, hoping that she had not said too much.
Khushi watched Lavanaya’s retreating back. Perhaps her friend was right. LAvanaya, who Arnavji had thanked for looking after her in such a heartfelt manner, whose wedding he had arranged, for whose happiness he had done all he could. Why? Because Aman Mathur was his friend, and Lavanaya who was her close friend. For you, her heart whispered. For you, because he knew it would make you happy.
‘I am not saying I am changed man Khushi. That is for you to decide.‘ Words from his letter came back to him.
Khushi added a small postscript to the mail and sent it.
Arnav’s phone beeped. Was this it? The message he ahd been waiting for days, afraid that his mail, his admitting that he had no answers for the past, might have put her off. The letter asked for more from him…but the postscript. It warmed him, it promised nothing, but it was generous enough to give hope. If it was possible he fell in love some more.
PS: Ek sach aur bhi hai, Arnavji. (there is one more truth). That I miss you terribly. Day and night. Jeeji asked me some days ago ‘tumhe kya faraq padta hai, Khushi.’ Lavanaya too told the same thing to me just now. Let the bygones be.
Magar baat apki hai isliye faraq padta hai. Whatever may be the outcome of all this, I know that as long as I live, you would always dominate my thoughts, my memories, my heart. Laad Governor!
Here it is! I feel like giving myself a pat on the back. It is not even that short!! 🙂