Falling in love with her was never his plan. Yes, he had adored her way of standing up to what was wrong. He had treasured her little mischiefs. Those little innocent smiles of hers. Her full-blown cheeks which manifested her anger. Her obsession with Ek badam wala rasgullas and most specifically that soft pati babu calling of hers, a nickname which he had once shunned but later had come to terms with to entertain his little bride. But it had always been “adored” never “loved”. At the end of the day, she was still just his responsibility, a result of a moment of his angry young man impulse. There had been days, days when he had regretted this decision, days when he had wished she was not tied to him. But then again, one small questionable glance from her and her faint Pati babu would be enough, enough to drive such thoughts to the back of his head, as he would turn to answer yet another of her endless questions with a faint smile on his face. “It will all be worth it, Anirudh” he would always convince himself in reply to his inner turmoil as the lazy afternoons passed with him listening to her recitation of multiplication tables.
Then, she left.
It had been inevitable. It was also his chimera, after all. A desire to set her free. A fantasy where she was known as Barrister Bondita, a dream where her arguments would bring about a change, a new revolution to this ruthless patriarchal society. The price for which was being estranged from her, his Bondita. Days would pass when all he could wish for was just a sight of her. “It will all be worth it, Anirudh” once again he would ascertain himself while closing the door of the room where he had preserved her memories after his daily visits.
Finally, one fine day, she had returned.
or so, he had heard. Does she still like badam wala rasgulla? Does she still blow up her cheeks when she was upset? He would wonder as he sat gently swirling his coffee. “I just adore her anyway. I just want to see the bud I have nurtured. I just want to know if she is still the same…” such excuses would roam rent-free in his head throughout the day. “We can’t meet her, Anirudh” he would remind himself each night to silence his desire to face her. As he was dealing with these dubious fervors of his heart, Vayjanti came by. Quirky, witty and a bit over the top to be honest. But he did enjoy her company, as her friend. Anirudh found a new freedom in her endless talks. A reason to smile in her confident personality and was always left amused at her antics. However as the pressure of marrying her began looming on his head, a memory from his past knocked at his heart once again.
Anirudh realized that what he had truly cherished eight years ago, was not his dream but the person with whom he had shared this dream. The person who understood relationships better, was by his side like a rock and had unknowingly become the center of his universe. His fake marriage to Manorama. That boys vs girls competition. Everything was for her. For her better life. Oh how he had spoken that day. Each word having been uttered from the depth of his heart. That day it was neither Barrister Anirudh nor Anirudh Roy Chowdhary. That day there was just Anirudh, the Anirudh who had finally put words to the matters of his heart.
Vayjanti is Bondita!?
He remembered getting transfixed. How could not recognize her? not recognize that same smile? that gentle voice? The following months had been hell for both as they kept getting estranged. Each passing day would pull them further and further apart from each other.His disappointment. Her rejections. But Anirudh, knew he wont give up. He had already given up on her, far more times to leave her now. If the universe wanted them apart, then to hell with universe. He loved her and that’s all he knew he needed. It is what it is.
OM Mangalam bhagwan vishnu …
Anirudh smiled as the priest chanted on and stole a glance from his gorgeous bride beside him. Today, their life had completed a full circle. The journey which had began with a forced marriage was now being re vowed as a true connection between their souls. Thinking about their story, it suddenly dawned upon him, that if he was given another shot to rewrite the story, he would pen nothing else. He had enjoyed those. Those sleepless night. Those wretched emotions. That pain of parting and everything else that had come with it. Their ups and downs too. Because it had been these sad and joyous times which had brought them closer made him truly understand his other half. His Bondita. Afterall, hadn’t they always been what people quoted to be imperfectly perfect.
” It will be alright, Anirudh” he repeated to himself with a smile, as he filled her Maang with the sindoor of his name. “It will be alright because she is there. Your Bondita, right by your side, forevermore.”