While I sit reminiscing
All the memories of you and me
And on what used to be.
Despite the miles between us
Whenever I think about us
I’m a lush.
Exactly one year completed today since the last time Amar had seen her. Standing at 5’10”, medium built not fat and not thin also and dark complexioned Amar was not exactly a looker. If you saw him in a crowd you’d probably ignore him and walk past. It was only when he would open his mouth to speak that you would notice him.
Abhilasha was coming to meet him and they were to have dinner together. This was the first time he’ll be meeting her since the day they had parted after her surgery. It was a difficult decision to be made but destiny helped him as he was transferred to Mumbai after that.
She was a beauty. The first time he had seen her he could not but help staring at her, but she didn’t seem to mind and then he realised that she wouldn’t have known if he did. She was blind. Blind in a sense that she couldn’t see but acutely aware of her surroundings and her senses worked overtime.
“Do you think I will be able to see doctor?” she asked haltingly.
“Will the corrective surgery be successful?” she continued… and these questions suddenly jolted him back to the ground reality that this was no romance but a normal OPD and that he’d better behave and get back on track.
“Yes why not!” he quipped in. “What is your name?” he asked, eager to make her comfortable and proceed further.
He wove magic as he spoke. Abhilasha couldn’t help wondering about his voice. So stable yet so velvety and with a deep baritone.
“…the device, called the Argus II, is just one of a growing number of bold new approaches to treating blindness, offering hope to the millions in danger of losing their sight…
“…a telescope implant manufactured by Vision Care will be inserted into one of your eyes….” Amar continued to explain, “Just like a stargazing telescope, the tiny device magnifies a small area and projects the image across the whole retina, allowing healthy cells to make it out.
“It will change your life,” ended Amar trailing off not sure whether she understood what he said fully or not.
“Excuse me… Ms Abhilasha, do you understand what I’m saying? You do have a chance a very good chance in fact…” She had that funny smile on her face that indicated that she was clearly not with him… at least not mentally.
Somehow she just enjoyed listening to him and wished he went on speaking forever. Not a mushy girl by nature she was pleasantly surprised at herself for wishing so… Blind for more than two decades from an inherited eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa, Dr Amar Chauhan was her last hope.
“Ah, yes doctor…” Abhilasha replied somewhat sheepishly but could you explain again. She gave him such an innocent smile that Amar had no alternative to start explaining the procedure to her again.
“Are you married?” Abhilasha asked him suddenly throwing him off guard.
“Well, no. Haven’t found a girl who would like me”
“Cool,” Abhilasha clapped her hands in glee, “Can we meet over coffee and you would describe me the whole thing in detail? This disinfectant smell of the hospital scares me and the noises are distracting,” she concluded.
“Sitting by your side
I wonder. I daydream. I love.
In my little perfect world,
I find escape from reality
My heart stirred
By my exalted dreams.”
Much to his surprise, Amar had found himself agreeing with her, and thus started their bond of friendship. They had been friends for four months now, with him guiding her all the way to restoring her eyesight. And then she dropped the next bombshell.
“How do I look to you?” she asked as they were enjoying a coffee break.
Well…beautiful I would say.. by my standards,” Amar blurted out thrown off guard.
“What colour are my eyes?” she asked, and before he could answer hurled another question at him, “What do you think of them?”
“They are grey and I think they are beautiful,” replied Amar confused at what was going on in her mind. Just as he was still wondering she bowled another bouncer…
“We have known each other for four months and have progressed from ‘Ms’ and ‘Dr’ prefixes to first names and are pretty comfortable with each other which gives me the liberty to ask you, Amar… Do you love me? Because I love you and have loved you from day one I guess only that I realised it a few days back when you spoke to me of your transfer.
“If you don’t then also it doesn’t matter because that won’t change our relationship. But it’s important for me to know for my sake…
“Do you love enough to marry me once my vision is restored?
“Answer me honestly, for I have played the biggest gamble of my life, Amar,” she concluded.
For once Amar was glad she couldn’t see. There was pin-drop silence. They deliberating slowly he started and couldn’t miss the smile that flashed across her face. He realised that that was what he ultimately wanted for her… to be happy always.
“Yes, I do. He replied in all seriousness, “I love you a lot and marrying you would be the happiest moment of my life. But,” he continued after a heart-stopping pause, “But I would prefer you wait till you vision is restored and then ask me the same question again. If you still want to marry me then I’ll be the happiest person on the earth.”
“As the shared memories
Of your scent fills my nostrils
I hurl your name at the echoing winds”
Abhilasha was excited like hell. Today she was going to meet Amar, the love of her life. He was a famous ophthalmologist now and an author of many journals. To her, he looked roguishly handsome. The only thing missing was his voice that she had fallen in love with since the day one. She wore the red gown that he had gifted her before leaving. Initially, his decision had left her heartbroken but then gradually she realised that this would give them both the much needed time and space to evaluate their feelings and commitment towards each other. After all, it wasn’t just an affair they were interested in…it was their whole life at stake.
Her love and respect for Amar had grown many folds in these past 12 months and now finally the day had come. Today was the 14th of February, Valentine’s Day. A day most lovers profess their love for each other. She remembered how she had proposed to Amar a year ago. She wished she could have seen his expression then. But today she’ll set everything straight. She’ll propose to him with all the love that she has stored in her heart for him.
“Good evening ma’am, how can I help you?” the receptionist at the Taj lounge greeted her breaking into her thoughts.
“Good evening. I’m Abhilasha and have a dinner date with Dr Amar Chauhan who has booked a table for two and is waiting for me,” she replied as she introduced herself at the reception and requested to be announced to Amar as this was the first time she was meeting him. She just loved the expression on the girl’s face. This was her favourite pass time now after her eyesight was restored… reading people’s expressions and matching them to the tone of their voice.
‘We’ll be happy to assist you, ma’am, please take a seat till then,” and she was escorted to the huge comfortable sofas in the lounge.
Those ten minutes seemed an eternity to her as she waited. Suddenly she heard soft footsteps and the all familiar voice call out behind her, “Abhilasha?”
God…!! How much she had waited to hear this voice and now she was seeing him in person. Her heart was almost ready to jump out of her mouth. She jumped up and waltzed around. Her happiness overflowed as she couldn’t control her tears, “I love you, Amar,” she muttered as she dissolved in his open arms. She needed no answer, no affirmation of his love for her.
The bear hug that Amar reciprocated with gave her all the answers and dispelled all her fears. “Love you too my darling, have missed you like hell each day this past year,” he whispered in her hair as he hugged her tight kissing her as if he’ll never let her go.
She’ll propose to him again later but for now, she just wanted to savour this moment in the arms of the man she loved the most in her life.
Wishing all my readers a very Happy Valentine’s Day
© All Rights Reserved.
©Ranjeeta Nath Ghai, Atrangi Zindagi Ka Safar, 2016.
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