“Yes. I am. And you know I met my husband for the first time at a seminar I was attending. It was love at first sight and we got married soon after.”
“Then you will know how important it is to give and take in a marriage?” she questioned earnestly.
“Of course, it is one of the important qualities required for a healthy relationship.” I responded just as strongly.
She looked at me intently, deep in thought. For a moment I felt I was under a microscope.
“You seem to be a good person and easy to relate to.” She rushed on, “look, I hardly know you and I have been confiding my deepest fears to you but I feel comfortable talking to you. There is something about you I like. You are composed and smart, and you give the impression of being in control under any circumstances. I bet any man would be proud to be married to you.”
I laughed, feeling much older than my thirty-seven years. “Thanks, you have been very generous with the compliments. You were saying something about Dinesh’s wife?”
“Yes. Dinesh says she is a nag, mean and selfish.” She spitted out angrily. “Anjali just doesn’t know how to be a good wife; she is self-centered and has made his life unbearable.”
“Oh, that’s not a very comfortable situation to be in, poor Dinesh. But you know, sometimes a marriage does work out to be quite successful even if there is lack of give and take and one sided understanding between two people.”
“Oh, but that’s not all, Anjali is boring, she does not know how to enjoy life and bickers about everything under the sun. Dinesh just does not love her anymore; he has even told her so.”
“Then, since there is no love between them anymore, it will be easy for her to let him go?”
“That’s what I can’t understand,” she admitted. “She doesn’t love Dinesh anymore, but she won’t gracefully move aside to give him a chance to be happy with someone else.” She exclaimed puzzled.
“And until he is divorced you can’t marry him.” I quoted.
The girl sighed, “Can you imagine anyone being so mean?”
“Perhaps, Anjali does love Dinesh after all and feels he can’t be happier with anyone else,” I suggested.
“But Anjali doesn’t love him! She just does not understand him or his feelings.” She cried out in desperation. “She is downright cruel and is out to ruin his life and mine.”
“Does she know about you and Dinesh?
“No. I don’t think so. Dinesh is going to tell her soon though.”
“Are you sure you could give him all that Anjali didn’t and make him happier?” I asked her after great deliberation.
“Of course I do and I will make him happier than he has ever been. All I want to do is to erase the seven miserable years he’s had with Anjali out of his mind.”
I smiled wearily thinking to myself, love could be so blind, so strong and so promising in the beginning.
“So you have decided that he’s the only man for you that you and only you could make him happy?” I asked.
“Yes, I am sure. In fact Dinesh is going to slip away from her today and come over to my place for dinner. We are going to discuss his divorce and our life together.” Her eyes lit up at the thought of being with Dinesh.
“I’ve got everything planned out, a candle-light dinner, wine, red roses, soft romantic music. He just loves the time he spends with me. He says, he feels like a free spirit, relaxed and happy.”
She rolled up the paper bag that had held her sandwich. “You know, I don’t mind if there are no wedding bells for me, its being together and being happy that counts.” With a toss of her head she smiled, getting to her feet, waved a goodbye and walked off tossing the paper bag in a dustbin.
Just before she turned the corner she called back, “Thanks for listening. I’ll remember this chance meeting of ours.”
Chance meeting! I smiled to myself as she disappeared from sight. You are right, happiness is all that matters my girl. Anjali also feels the same way, only you don’t know the facts.
I’d known all along about you and Dinesh. I also knew that Dinesh wouldn’t make it today, because of the seminar he had to attend. And on many such earlier seminars he had to attend I have had lunch on this same bench with other young starry eyed girls, listening to their story… touching and amusing, and react in much the same manner as I did today.
There is a little secret between Dinesh and me. You see, my dear, your Dinesh has got Seminaphobia, if I can call it that.
When he meets a young girl ready for love and attention he just can’t resist the fling. But then, when the pressure begins to build for a permanent relationship he gets tired of the situation and that’s when I come into the picture, and you’d be surprised to know my dear that I am the same nagging and unloving wife. Being a coward that he is, he does not have the courage to end his affairs.
I am sorry dear I could not be honest with you when you poured out your heart to me. Please forgive me. And sorry to disappoint you, Dinesh will not be seeing you tonight.
It’s time for me to play my part in this drama. Tonight, the black lacy negligee which has been lying neatly folded in its box since eight months will come out of its closet.
Who knows the night, could never come to an end. A bottle of red heady wine and his favourite food tantalizing his taste buds, with soft romantic music, dim lights and scented candles arousing his senses will give a new meaning to our relationship.
Surprisingly this has been the story of my life. I have lived the past seven years hoping that one day he will realize my worth.
I love him too much to let go of him, even though my heart bleeds every time his heart beats for another.