This happened about 25 years ago, on one rainy evening, which pretty much changed my life. I was over at Amit's for a party. I have never been a party person. I dislike crowds and detest loud music. But I was still there, to greet Amit on his 25th birthday. I had had my Chevas Regal, a peg too many and I was out in the balcony to get that "fresh air" in. Parties can be claustrophobic, or that was the explanation I gave to get some space. I just wanted to be away from the crowd, especially with that extra drink.
Its funny how life changing events occur in one’s life mostly when one has had that extra drink. I was looking at the street below, the to and fro motion of cars' lights in the rain which was kinda psychedelic in itself and I was lost in transportation I think when I heard a female voice, that sweet voice that I have never been able to forget till date. I fell in love with Deepti at that instant and it has never changed ever since.
My life changed after that evening. Not just mine, ours. Deepti and me have been together ever since. We had decided to get married, but we faced the usual issues. First it was my mom, who thought living together before marriage was outrageous. Once she was convinced that there was a wedding on the cards, it was her Chennai bred tam bram dad who disapproved me because of my caste. But as time passed we stopped caring for others and slowly everyone started caring less. That’s the best thing about time. As it passes, people get busy and start caring less. And we never really got married per say, but as romantics would put it, we were married in our hearts.
Life has been wonderful ever since that rainy evening tho. Every day, I come back from work to find Deepti waiting for me with a bright smile on her face, irrespective of the time I walk in. I give her a gist of whatever happened in office and she has the patience to listen to anything I have to tell her. It doesn’t matter if I am talking about office politics and how that ridiculous Mr.Khanna became the Vice President ahead of me, or if I talk about the reason for profit in our company is directly dependent on the labor laws in the US.
Sundays are the best. I make it a point to wake up early on Sundays to cook breakfast. Once I am done, I bring out the morning news paper, and over a cup of coffee, I read it out to Deepti, carefully avoiding the crime and accident sections. She never reads the news paper herself, and I suspect that she does that because she hates hearing about accidents or crime. When my mom visits, she says I need to have a more social life, but I am mighty content with the life I have with Deepti.
Deepti died in a car crash about a year after I met her. All that is left of her is that beautiful photograph on the wall, always smiling. But then, I don’t miss her, because she is always there for me. Always there, to greet me with a smile everyday I come back home.