“I used to give him missed calls, believing he would call back to know who would be disturbing a celebrity like him every day. It became a routine for me-walking to nearby tea stall early in the morning before my son wakes up and dialling Aadi from the telephone booth to the number that I had for almost 6 years back. I would wait there for couple of minutes in hope that he would call, but it never happened. May be he has changed his number—-maybe he is too busy looking at his mobile screen—may be so and so; I would console myself.
Four years of separation; he must have forgotten me. Last time when I saw him was when he came to Mumbai two years back for receiving the best debutant director award and I was there in hope to surprise him and cry a bit when he would say thanks to me for supporting throughout his tough times. But unfortunately he didn’t. And I wasn’t sad, neither I was surprised. He was at the peak of happiness, receiving his first ever recognition as a director—-his dreams were coming true in front of my eyes and what else I wanted!
After a year of nomadic life I came to Mumbai three years back. I had to settle somewhere to look after my son; Aryan. So I knocked every possible door to get a job and finally managed to enter into a local channel as a reporter. I was scared if Aadi would find me out when I’m reporting in the channel, so I changed my look—got an hair cut he would never agree of—put a specs and moved on. That’s it.”
“What!” Richa exclaimed.
She thought I would go for a very lengthy and detailed story. I was smart enough to put it precisely, but failed to convince her with that.
“You can’t just do this to me. I drove all the way to your home and you treat me with this shit! Oh come on Shikha.”
“That’s it sweetheart. It’s all past and it’s over. What is so interesting about this?” I asked.
“Well, well. I find ‘Shikha is Ex-wife of the famous movie director Aaditya Krishnan’ to be the most interesting part” She tossed her wine glass with mine and started laughing and cheering.
“Whoa whoa…come on. I’m not his Ex-wife okay? We are not legally divorced yet. So that makes me still his wife.” I interrupted her and stood up from the couch to take my diary from the cupboard just above. I sat down with the diary in my hand, lost in thoughts. But I could smell Richa trying to snatch the diary from my hand.
“Here you go. It’s just 12 am. You have enough time to know my story. Go through it bookworm.” I gave the diary to her and went to Aaryan’s room to check whether he is asleep or still playing with his favourite Ben Ten toy. He was very much asleep and I went to my room while I gave a look at Richa whose eyes were deep dogged into the pages of my diary and her eyebrows showed how seriously she was into it.
“Good Night gal!” I said. Richa waved her hand to go away without even giving an eye to me. I closed the door and went to my bed.
Six years and I was trying to forget all those. But suddenly this girl comes up showing interest in my bitter past and I started feeling like falling apart. The night, I couldn’t sleep. The pages of the diary flipped like in front of my eyes and I could read them. All those memories flashing and I suddenly started thinking about “Why does all this happen? Was it just about me being selfish or something else?”
I sat up on the bed. Looked around the walls and they had him everywhere framed in white borders. I framed every picture of him that I had. He smiled so beautiful. I was too bad in them. All I could do was to keep looking at them and think of those days we lived and loved together.
I remember the day when we met for the first time after a long gap— six years back. He was wearing a black shirt and blue jeans and he very well knew that I would burst at him for wearing that. I have warned him many times not to wear it ever again since I have seen him in photos, wearing that at other occasions consistently like he was so poor and had nothing else to try out.
Instead of hugging, I gave him a punch in his arm for having that black on him again.
“It just reminds me so much of you” he said with a smile. I couldn’t resist but to hug him next.
It was so beautiful with him. Even though I don’t feel the same now, I could sense it in these photographs on the wall.
I had no tears in my eyes, like the day when I was hanging all of them up. But I felt a pain of regret; something that I shouldn’t have had after all that I did to him.
I woke up hearing Aaryan’s giggle. It was eight in the morning and Sunday. I got up from the bed, put on my specs and went to the living room. Aryan was sitting on Richa’s lap and they were playing with his Ben Ten.
“Good Morning Kids!” I said.
“Ha ha…very funny…Good Morning Mama” Richa mocked.
Aryan ran to me and jumped up into my arms and rested his head on my shoulder.
“Mma, I’m hungry” he said.
“Did you brush, Pinku?”
“Then go do that first. By then amma will make you sandwiches. Okay?”
We hi-fived and he left to brush his teeny-tiny teethes. Aryan was going to b five years old next month. This year, I was thinking to admit him in St John’s school in Mumbai. But he has got something like Aadi. He likes to pose for photographs.
As Aryan went to bathroom, I turned to Richa.
“Did you read it?” I asked her.
She just smiled, took her jacket and keys off the couch and went to the door. She was leaving. She walked past the door. I waved her bye. But I couldn’t resist.
“Hey Richa…You didn’t say anything…I mean about the diary”
She walked back to me and stood staring into my face. I didn’t know why but I was feeling nervous like she was about to say something worse and— I was right.
“You know, you were right about all the things you thought at that time. But what you did to him for that was too wrong. This all thing that is happening between you both was just not suppose to happen at all. It was you Shikha. It was never him. But I may be wrong. I can’t judge your decisions by just reading a diary.” She said.
I stood numb for a while. Richa hugged me and walked out of the apartment corridor and left. Her words echoed in my ears.
“You’re right dear. It was me. It was never him. He was the best thing that has ever happened to me. But sometimes we all do things, sometime, some things right in a wrong way.”