Siddarth called me in the morning. He wants me to meet someone. He invited me to the dinner today. As I am getting ready, I see in the mirror. Not bad for a woman in early fifties. The wrinkles around the eye are not much. The face still has glow. I look matured, confident, my smile radiant. I can easily pass of for a 40yr old, yet something was missing. The inner peace!! Trying my best to be calm and composed from the day Mayank left me. Even today I wonder what made him to go away from me.
Those days when we were in college, he could never leave me for a moment. Our passion for movies, books, music and politics had brought us even closer. I was mad about him and so was he for me. Early days of marriage were bliss. Then we had Sid, the never ending happiness. If our lives were to end at that time, I could have said, “We lived happily ever after”. But things changed.
One day when Mayank asked me “what would you do if I leave you??”, I thought he was joking and I said, “ I will kill you” and laughed at the very thought as if it is a joke, but there was a tremor in my heart. The day when he told me we can no more be together, I felt sky falling on me and my world went blank. I cried, begged him to give ourselves another chance. Asked him what was wrong, he said he had no answer. ‘Was it another woman’, he said none. And I knew there was nobody. But what made him to come to this decision, I wasn’t sure. Things didn’t work out even after few months I tried to hold on to him. Even the presence of Sid couldn’t help to hold our marriage. Finally Mayank moved out of the house.
We stayed in touch for Sid. I could hardly understand what that kid was going through as I myself was devastated. I hardly meet Mayank in past few years. Today when I look back, it almost took me 15+yrs to look into my eyes and say “Yes, I finally moved on”.
I was happy for Sid, he has found someone special. I wish from the bottom of my heart that my son should live happily ever after.
Cab is waiting for me outside. It’s time for me to leave for dinner. I don’t want to keep Sid waiting on this special day.
I entered the posh restaurant. It was full but not crowded, great ambience. I have always appreciated Sid’s choices. As I walked towards the table, I could see Sid sitting with a girl and Mayank, absorbed in a conversation. The sight of Mayank caused butterflies in my stomach. It was almost years I had met him. It was a strange feeling. Also, I had never seen him this happy since we parted our ways. After all he is a father and I could see him happy for his son.
I went to the table, Sid happily hugged me and I could sense, Mayank was not at all expecting me to be there. His expressions made it clear. I hugged Mayank as a ritual. I looked at the girl. As I said, I have always appreciated Sid’s selection. She is beautiful, radiant. She looked great in that black dress. With diamond studs on her ears, a single diamond necklace she looked very elegant. I was impressed and she reminded me of myself when I was of her age. I couldn’t wait to strike a conversation with her.
“You are ..?”
“Nice name. So where did you both meet”. I looked from her to Sid.
There was an awkward silence. Nobody talked. Everybody was looking at each other’s face. I sensed something was not right. And I didn’t want to guess anything. I couldn’t. After a second or two, Sid hesitatingly said, “Mom, that’s dad’s fiancée”
I was shocked beyond any words. It was too much for me to digest. I couldn’t believe my ears. She was hardly of my son’s age and now marrying my husband, I mean my ex-husband, the one who abandoned me for no reason. I was sad, horrified, angry and jealous, all at the same time. Should I congratulate them or should I kill this bastard right here!! I will never forgive Sid for putting me in this situation. How can Sid accept this? How he can be happy for the man who ruined us for his happiness? I want to hold Mayank by his collar and ask him, is this a cruel joke he is playing with me. Mayank was silent. He was not even looking at me. I looked at him and wished my stare should burn him alive.
Nobody spoke. Everybody acted as if they are eating. Just couple of hours ago I was proud of myself being calm and composed and now it’s a far cry. I am nearly hysterical. I couldn’t control myself and I asked her.
“What if he leaves you as he left me for no reason??”
“What if he leaves me or you want him to leave me as he left you?”
I was taken aback and was flushed by her sarcasm. I didn’t answer.
She said, “I am joking, I will just move on”
She was not cynical when she said that. She continued.
“When one loves somebody, one should also be ready to leave them, if that’s what makes them happy. I love him and if he wants to leave me I would leave him. That doesn’t mean I stop loving him. I will always love him and he will be part of me and my life. All I want is his happiness. If I truly love him, I should make sure he is happy.”
Her words were matured and she meant every word as she spoke. I didn’t know what to respond. I was surprised, if that maturity was because of the generation or of wisdom. I could never think like that. The very idea of going away from someone you loved was alien to me. I didn’t ask anything after that and there was no need.
I don’t know what happened later and how I came back home. As I lay on the bed, with all obvious questions bugging me but one particular question was killing me.
“What is true love and maturity – is it holding on to a relation even when it doesn’t work or moving on from that relation!!”