Saturday, September 15, 2007

The emerald eyes

Kya aapko unse nikah kabul hain?
(Are you ready to take her as your lawfully wedded wife?)

Lights and laughter scattered everywhere. Guests howled to get themselves heard. Ladies in their colorful attire look vibrant. The flowers & colors all around. Gift packs swamped the place. The settings for a perfect marriage; was it?

The piece of glittering transparent clothe separated me from the girl who would be soon called my "wife." "Are you ready to take her as your lawfully wedded wife?" The maullavi asked me again. I looked up, to see the one on the other side of the subtle obstruction. My eyes somehow didn't stop there. They traveled to the other eye which looked straight into my eyes, penetrating deep down into my soul, probing me the question I didn't dare to ask myself. I feared to look into those eyes, yet I could not break the spell.

Those were Neera’s eyes. I met her for the first time at a party. The moment she turned up every eye was on her. The lime colored sari complemented her emerald eyes. Soon a nebula of admirers surrounded her, mesmerized by her sparkling eyes, her infectious laughter. Very much aware of the effect she had created she appeared to enjoy every bit.

As for me, I stood far away restrained, watching the queen bee while I wished to be one of the swarming bees surrounding her. But she was out of my bounds. I would be married within a few months. I was already engaged. That didn't stop me from drinking the sheer honey that seemed to flow out of her at every glance I gave her.

That night when I returned home, I had her in my mind. I laughed it off. All of us in the party had her in our minds. But then life often plays odd games with you, at a point when you least expect it.

There was a new recruit in my marketing division for the new product launch. Neera. Shocked, I saw her entering the conference room. She wasn't the sweet lady in the party. Her hair tied into a tight knot, not a single lock of hair could find its way out. She wore light makeup. In black trousers and a lilac shirt she looked as beautiful as ever, yet she carried an air of "don't mess with me".

Working with Neera was an experience in itself. Not that she did everything right and perfect. Neither was she free of vices. I summarized her as ‘. Sharp in thoughts, cunning in action’. Yet her perspective towards life broadened my view as well. Our occasional flights of fantasy immensely accompanied by her outrageous ideas would embark us onto exorbitant adventures, while we sat within the confines of the closed walls of our office.

That is how I got to know Neera .Those experiences cut an inerasable niche in my life and enriched my life with values hitherto unknown of. My initial intentions of sharing just the company of an attractive visage was replaced by a longing to be with be with a beautiful human being. The longing was so strong sometimes that I wanted to overcome all the restraint I had to exercise on myself.
One day she asked me," What about your girlfriend?"

"My girlfriend! Who?"

"Ahh, so you don't have one. That's nice". My heart skipped a beat as I saw her lips curve into a smile. I wanted to tell her the truth, yet I refrained. From that time onwards I saw a very different Neera .The soft, subtle vulnerable Neera that I had previously never seen. I was drawn towards her like a fly towards fire. I knew I had to tell her the truth, I knew that she was not for me. Yet I wanted to have as much as I could have of her.

Selfish! You would call me, I agree to that. I could not let the only person go away so soon who had made me feel so complete. Yet I knew I had to let go of her.

The day came sooner than I anticipated. It was the fateful day. I had forgotten my phone and left for a meeting. When I returned back, Neera was sitting with her laptop. She didn't look at me, didn’t speak with me. "There is a message for you. Your fiancee had called. She asked you to call her back." She stretched her hand to give me my phone and then looked at me straight into my eyes.

These were the same eyes, accusing, penetrating deep into my soul. Showing me how petite I have been. I did not have the courage to look back; I didn't have the strength to look away from those bewitching eyes at which, I was perhaps gazing for the last time.

The maullavi asked again in somewhat louder voice "Do you take this lady to be your lawfully wedded wife." I looked into those emerald eyes , I had so much to say, I had so much to explain, yet what came out from my mouth was 'Kabool hain' (I do.)

A drop of clear liquid fell silently somewhere, a crash of something broken and she closed her eyes.

A part of my soul whirled out of my body, lost forever.


Tracy said...

amazingly written...

Anonymous said...

Well written.The guilt yet the helplessness of the man is well potraited

Chandra Sekhar said...

Good, well written, nice topic.
But does it necessary to add "tears" to make the brief important.