I was the only one I knew who was looking forward to getting married. I had had girlfriends, two or three maybe and I had been in love several times. But the idea of marriage, of living with one person for your whole life, with immense love and commitment was so pure and nerve wrecking that I wanted it. I found Maya when I was attending my cousin’s wedding. Her father introduced me to her and after some weird mumbo jumbo, I was ready to marry her, I had said yes. I remember Mother asking me during those minutes of unconsciousness, if I was willing to marry a girl I had barely met but I had absolutely no doubts about it. I was confident. Now, you see, Maya was really beautiful, she had the most amazing eyes I had seen and her hair danced when she walked. I remember the moment she said ‘Hi, I am Maya’ to me, I was floored. There was no way I could say no to her.
So, we got married.
Days went by, and then we changed months in the calendar and finally some calendars. Life was as usual, boring and mundane. Maya had put on a tonne of weight and I had started showing signs of baldness and decay. We were nothing like the partner we selected on that day. We had grown out of each other, even hated each other. Sex was no redemption as well, and eventually we stopped searching for love there too. We knew, we were not a good fit. I had seen a beautiful young woman who wore exciting clothes and wouldn’t embarrass me in front of my friends in Maya and she saw a man who came from money and was very attracted to her in me. Recipe for eternal happiness?
Well, our marriage was in shackles and it held no importance in our lives anymore. Our lives had no importance as well. Dreams we had squashed and all the motivation to put a dent in this universe was lost. We were so distant, we felt bad for the bed when one of us got sick. We hated each other’s guts and there were numerous name calling in our fights, private fights. Out in the public though, when we were with relatives and friends, we were easy going, we seemed like we were in true love and the only reason we didn’t have any kids was because we wanted to explore the world first. That facebook caption we put years ago, during our Kashmir Trip. ‘First, we will see the world, then we will create our new world.’ But the reality was this, my reality, because fuck knows what Maya wanted. I could not have kids, even if I wanted to. I had a Vasectomy done early on in the marriage without Maya’s knowledge. I was childfree my whole life.
This all stupid excuse for a happy married life went on for a while. It went on till the date I decided to lose some weight.
There was a gym nearby and there was a girl there. Ananya. She was 23. I was 31. I wanted to run away with her. I wanted to leave Maya to her own and run away, start a new life and search for my happiness. I told Ananya everything about my sad life and how much she meant to me. It took me ten months and 12 kgs to finally convince her. She said yes. She loved me, and she loved me with all her might. We started hanging out more, and going to cafes and bistros and fancy places. Ananya liked all those and I had no problem doing what she liked. We set up a plan. There was no plan really. We would just run away. I had a property in another town, nobody knew about. We’d settle there for sometime and see how that goes.
I remember that day, I went home and hugged Maya. She looked a little scared of the sudden influx of love. We made love that night, I knew it was the last ever. I hated Maya but she was a habit. And it’s never easy to break habits. I felt a little tinge of sadness for her.
In the days that came, we had become friends sort of, and we talked more about general things and life before marriage. We shared our dreams and passions. But I knew how it’d end up. I didn’t want to take a chance when I had Ananya. I wanted out. I was just glad it was not ending on a very bad note. I was sad for Maya, leaving a girl at this stage, it was not considered right, even in my moral books. But I had no option. Maya had become lovely and she did a lot for me, but I knew how all that would end up. In ten years, we would start hating each other again and there’d be no Ananya to save me then. I wanted out.
On that fateful day, I came home from office and I got hold of Maya. It had been a month of honeymoon phase, but I knew I had to do this to her. There was no other way.
‘I have something to tell you’ I said in a very serious tone.
‘I have something too’
‘You go first’
‘No, no. You tell me what is it? I have the most amazing news.’ Maya was excited beyond comprehension. It only made me more guilty. My resolve was crumbling, maybe I would tell her later? Maybe, I shouldn’t leave her. She is sweet. I have been at fault too. I’ve cheated on her. I’ve called her names. I’ve done things that married people don’t even think of doing.
‘Maya, tell me your news first, I am a gentleman.’ I smiled.
‘Pakka na, buddhu?’
‘Yes, I am sure.’
‘So, Vineet, I am late.’
‘Late for dinner?’
‘I’m late, as in, you’re going to become a father. I am so excited.’
(Picture Credits: VS Studio. Picture owner: Komal Ji)
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