Love is not that which professes passion from rooftops,
Love is not that which will claim to bring the moon and the stars.
Love is that which will hold your hand when even the light abandons you in shadow,
Love is that which will sacrifice its own today for your tomorrow.
“Meera, phone for you! It’s Ranjith. Tell him that the groom and bride are not supposed to talk before the wedding”, teased Sangeetha, my cousin, as she handed my mobile to me.
“Hey Ranjith, what’s up? Couldn’t you at least wait for few more hours? I know you are such an impatient man”, I giggled as I inspected the intricate mehendi design on my hand. Today was the day I was getting engaged to my sweetheart, my love. I was on cloud nine. I waved distractedly towards Sunil, who was standing with the flowers for decoration in his hands. I was elated that my friends and my family had come down to celebrate the happy occasion with me.
“Hey Meera, listen I have something important to tell you. Our family priest came down today morning from Varanasi and he looked at our horoscopes”.
I could hear the alarm bells ringing in my head. This did not sound good at all but I did not respond.
“He informed my parents that your horoscope is not favorable for our marriage. In fact if we get married, then there is a possibility that I may die. My parents are now opposed to this marriage, Meera.”
“What? Are you joking? You cannot be serious”. I felt like I was in a bad nightmare and anytime I would wake up now. But after a few dreadful, silent minutes I realized that Ranjith was not joking.
“Ranjith, what are you saying? Today is our engagement day! Can’t you convince your parents? This horoscope thing is all hogwash. I mean who believes in this nonsense?” I was on the verge of crying.
“My parents do believe in it and I’m sorry I cannot go against my parents. They are all I have. I’m extremely sorry Meera, but we have to cancel this engagement. I hope you will forgive me”. As Ranjith dropped the call, I could feel the fat tears flowing down my cheeks and mingling with the fresh mehendi on my hand.
Sunil caught me in his arms just as I was about to fall down. ‘This cannot be happening to me’, was the last thought I had as my mind blanked out and my body fell limply against Sunil.
6 months later
As I sat in the promenade overlooking the sea, the cool sea breeze fluttered my hair and some stray strands brushed against my eyes. I pulled them back and took a deep breath. More than 6 months had passed since that day when Ranjith had called to break the devastating news. For the last few months my life had come to a standstill. I did everything in my power to get Ranjith back. I cried, blackmailed, begged him to take me back, but he remained adamant that marrying me would bring adversity to him and his family.
Then suddenly yesterday when I woke up I realized that he would never come back in my life. Ranjith’s chapter was over in my life. And it felt great to accept the bitter truth.
But I couldn’t have accomplished it without the constant support of Sunil, my best friend. He was there beside me when I cried. He was there when I threw things around in anger. He was there when I wanted to speak to someone at 2AM in the morning.
“Hi” said Sunil as he sat down beside me now. I had called him and told him the happy news that I was finally finished mourning over Ranjith.
I hugged Sunil warmly. I was thankful for his presence in my life because without him I don’t know what I would have done.
We were silent for a long time. We just sat there, holding hands, drowned in our own thoughts.
“Will you ever fall in love again?”, Sunil asked suddenly shattering my reverie of random thoughts.
I looked at him but I was shocked to see that he was crying. His eyes spoke of a hope, desperation, a longing that I was too familiar with. It was the same hope that shined in my eyes when I prayed to God to bring Ranjith back into my life.
I did not speak and Sunil understood. I heard him sigh as he stood up. As he was about to leave, I held his hand and stopped him.
“Yes, I will love again but I need time. Time is the greatest healer of all”.
And we knew that we would be all right. We headed back home, as the sun faded into oblivion over the horizon.