“You don’t have to like him. Just go and meet him once.” My mom was persuading me to meet someone that weekend. Both my parents liked him and very much wanted this proposal to work out.
“Please amma..I don’t want to get married.” I moved the phone away from my face for her not to hear my sobbing. And I had been telling her the same from the time Karthik and I were together. That was no less than two long years!
“But tell me why ?” She tried not to show her anger because I was already upset.
The terms ‘marriage’,’love’,’family’ all these reminded me of last day’s goodbye. I was not sure if I wanted to be like this for the rest of my life but definitely my heart was not ready at that moment. Was it because I still love him? Or was it because I was sorry for him? Or was it because I was guilt-ridden? I really dint know. My thoughts ceased when I heard mom shout my name.
“Yeah. Hello.” I acknowledged.
“Is something wrong?” More than wrong, I said to myself.
“Sruthi, please try to understand. You’re 25 already. Your sister is 23 now. Your dad and I have this responsibility of….” She was seemingly angry at my adamance. I told her I’d think over it and hung up. As I leant back on my bed , I saw Neethu barging into my room.
“You ok?” Her happy face instantly put on colors of anxiety after seeing me. I put up a fake smile.
“Aah..I know why. Come, lets go for a drive”
“Not now Neethu.”
“You needn’t drive. Just come along please.” She pleaded like a kid.
“I said not now.” I was firm.
“I said right now.” She was equally firm and forced me out of my room without paying heed to my lies of not being well. I gave up and we were driving on the highway with windows down.
“So, you both met again.” She said as if she had seen it with her own eyes. I was not stupid to ask her how she knew it. Neethu actually knows me inside out.
“Yeah and I told him its all over.”
“But it doesn’t seem so.” She paused and said “At least from your face.”
“I need time to get over this Neethu. Don’t expect me to be normal when the wound is still fresh.”
“It’ll remain fresh till you get normal” She gave a sharp retort. “Who were you talking to?”
“Mom. She wants me to go and meet some stupid this weekend.” I murmured and I felt my eyes were ready to get wet any moment now.
“Hey, that is a good idea.” She continued before I could react. “You don’t intend to remain single for the rest of your life anyways , do you?”
“You know what has been going on in my life for the past few months” I lost my patience and wanted to censure her severely. Is life really that simple?
“I am serious. If you are certain that you have no plans of going back to Karthik, just move on.” She had a point. One contrast we both had was that Neethu had a brain and I had a heart.
“But how Neethu..Every time I think of the past, it hurts.”
“Why do you have to recall it in the first place and get hurt ?”
I had no answer. But I had tears in my eyes.
“Do you know there is one ride in which rear view mirrors are much clear than the windshields?” She asked. She had this habit of abruptly changing topic when I was down.
“Tell me. Can you think of any?”
I tried to think. How can one even drive when one cannot see what is in front? Rear view mirrors are just meant to see what is coming along and what just went past.
“I don’t know Neethu. What is it?”
“Life.” I was amazed. She nailed it. She paused for a while and continued.
“So Sruthi, enough of looking into the rear view mirror. Just because it is clear unlike your windshields, staring at it wont get you anywhere. It is just meant to see what we have been through! Trust me and move on.”
Needless to say, I decided to move on. The decision was quick for the impact it would have but I had given enough thinking to it. One comfort I had after making that was my parents were happy. The rendezvous was fixed and I was going to meet someone that weekend. The white lie I told Karthik was no longer a lie.
After all, destiny is something that ought to be only accepted. It can neither be justified nor simplified.