is quite young, objectively speaking. And she is also quite attractive
. In fact just a few years ago, you would kill
for her with no moral
hang-ups, and that's what she would have liked about you. But not anymore, she has had a tough life as a teenager
and a young girl in a big city
, and over past couple of years, she has gained a bit of extra weight, lost that figure, and she also looks cold and unwelcoming.
She's getting ready for a special moment, dressing up her best and making herself up to look as best as she can. And she's doing this after 'ages'. She's seeing R today evening, he has returned two days back from States after almost two year, and would be 'returning' in another week. To be very objective, it is not a 'special' moment in absolute terms for Vishakha, such things keep happening. You keep meeting old friends in markets, on a bus, at a party. Places you least expect then to turn up and ask - "Hi! Remember me from www.your-past-life.com?" and you at times just want to pendulum-shake your head and say "No - I don't even remember the name of my birth-place, or my first lover, I keep forgetting my e-mail account password, I don't even remember who I really am, or why am I here or what in the world has come over me? I think I have amnesia, but even if I didn't have it, I would pretend having it and would tell you I don't recognize you"?
But you don't do it, it is against the laws of social courteousness - but as R realizes already and you would with time, Vishakha is not the most courteous girl you can get to see this side of universe, she can almost be the least. So especially for Vishakha, it is not an 'occasion' to have some old friend call her and ask her if she can spare some time in the evening and see him. He's not even an old flame.
Although they would both have tough time disagreeing that the time they have spent with each other in their life is the best they have spent so far, but they would both disagree. And in such disagreement, for all you know, Vishakha might be speaking her true mind, while R would surely be lying.
But R remembers her, after such a long silence between them that started over a trivial matter, he still remembers her. That's the first thing she asked him over the telephone when he called a few hours back ? "You still remember me?". Rishabh kept silent for a moment, she could picture him open his lips to say something, close them, think for a moment and say "Yes!". A single word and nothing more... He used to be so voluble, this is strange for Vishakha, but it's still music to her ears.
She's been lonely for past many months. Almost soon after things started getting cold between them, Vishakha got engaged. Almost soon after she had got married two years ago R left for US. Almost soon after R left, her life started cracking. First she got pregnant within two months of her marriage. She didn't want that child so soon, she was just 25. Her husband and mother-in-law didn't even want to hear the word abortion. They had a lot of heated discussions over the subject. Her family was also involved and it joined in the pressure. Finally she gave in to them and agreed to give birth to that child. But a few months into pregnancy, she had a severe abdominal pain, and was rushed to hospital, it was a miscarriage.
Her husband, his family, her family were all mum for some time, and then the blames started, he blamed her, they blamed them, they blamed them and she kept silent. She was estranged from her husband for some time now, for reasons similar and different to that mishap. R never tried to contact Vishakha all this while and she couldn't.
She doesn't even remember the last time they had met each other. How did he look then? What was he wearing? What was she wearing? How did she look? Did she know it's the last time they are seeing each other? Did he?
There once was a time she told him everything about her life. What did someone tell her, what did she say, what happening around her, she even told him about the boy she loved and the one who loved her. And, as would had been case with any other normal young guy his age, he nurtured a notion that Vishakha actually secretly loved him. But he never usually tried to explore romantic possibilities with her. He was nonetheless happy about the fact that she shared her most intimate secrets with him.
She looked in the mirror after she was dressed up. She looked in the eyes of her image and was a bit surprised. She didn't look like her own mental picture to herself anymore. How many days have passed since she last looked at her face in the mirror? She looked at the mirror daily, but she looked only at mirror, looked at her dress, her hair, and her eyes - all in parts. Its been a while since she last looked at her face as a whole. And it looked strange to her. It wasn't at radiant as it used to be. There were shadows on it. But she was barely 27, she was young by every measure, and so this face in the mirror was all the more scary.
She felt a bit of a stranger to herself. What would R's reaction be? She thought. He has not seen her for a very long time, what would he feel when he meets her - would he act strange? Would he say "Hey - look at you - you look terrible??". Maybe she shouldn't go. She should call the meeting off. What does he want to call her for anyway? Discussing old days? Discuss his disappointments in her? She started to feel her irritation at the thought of revising the past again. She hated to do that. Friends and all she never really needed. She's been socially turned off for a long time now, anyone coming over with "Remember-Me"s was a burden on her. No, she doesn't remember, she doesn't want to remember - now Get Lost !!.
All of a sudden her excitement at getting back in touch with R turned to an irritation, a burden, an obligation she didn't want. She got up from front of the mirror and closed her eyes standing up.