Payal looked at her mehendi adorned palms with tears in her eyes. Most of the girls in her place would be happy. It was her “big day”, she was getting married to a settled, good looking guy but she was heart broken. She had her own dreams and aspirations, she wanted to complete her education , work and fall in love with the guy in her dreams. But all this was now just a dream, reality was awaiting her outside.
She went through the ceremonies and bade goodbye to her family. She came from a modest middle class family. When her aunt got this proposal her parents were overjoyed and they waved aside all her objections. Within a matter of 1 month everything was decided and finalized. She hardly even got a chance to get to know the guy before they got married.The guy was settled abroad and wanted to marry before leaving for London.
Ajay was a simple and sensible boy. He has broken up with his girlfriend of 5 years and though not entirely in favor of arranged marriage he was willing to give it a try. When he had first met Payal he loved her zest for life and he thought he could settle down with her.
They spend their first night in a plush five star close to the airport. They were to leave for London the very next day as the Ajay had exhausted all his leaves. Ajay tried his best to make Payal comfortable and have a small talk but her discomfort was visible.
In London life settled in routine soon. Ajay used to go for work in the mornings and come back late evenings. Payal hated the weather and the city. She sorely missed her home and her friends. Ajay tried everything to make her feel at home. He used to take her to see sights every weekend. But Payal remained in her own shell. In her mind she blamed Ajay for all her sorrows and she maintained her distance from him emotionally as well as physically. Try as he might Ajay was not able to cross this barrier.
He encouraged her to pursue her studies, take up courses which will help her meet new people and make friends but she refused to leave the house. He knew she loved singing so he even asked her to pursue that but she was as unhappy as ever. It was almost close to an year since their marriage now and Ajay was feeling frustrated & maybe even a little angry. But he was still very patient with her.
Payal had only one friend with whom she kept sharing her feelings and thoughts- Pooja. She was her neighbor in London- Pooja was everything Payal wanted to be smart, funny, beautiful, bold. She and Karan had love marriage and their love was so visible in everything they did. Pooja was living the life Payal had always imagined in her dreams. Of course Payal did not share the fact that she had no relation with Ajay even with Pooja.
One day Ajay came home with movie tickets and asked Payal to get ready. She was her usual morose self. She refused saying she had a headache. Suddenly something in Ajay broke down, he said I have tried everything to make you open up but you seem to refuse to come out of your shell, please tell me what you want but I can’t live my life like this anymore. He said if you want to opt out of this relation , I will give you divorce. Payal remained silent and Ajay slammed the door and walked out of the house.
When Pooja knocked the door she found Payal in tears. On prodding ,Payal told her entire story. She told Pooja that she had always dreamt of falling in love with a guy who was kind, funny, sensible and loved her deeply and before she could realize her dreams her parents had married her off to a strange man in a strange country.
Pooja had a smile on her face as she wiped Payal’s tears. She asked Payal to wait as she went to her house and came back with a jewelry box. She asked Payal to open it and inside there was a huge solitaire. She also handed Payal a envelope. Inside were tickets to Maldives. Pooja said its your anniversary next month and Ajay has been planning this vacation where he intended to propose to you and confess that he had hopelessly fallen in love with you. Pooja said “You have been waiting for your dream man when he was patiently waiting for you to wake up from your dream and see him”
Payal had tears in her eyes. She realized now that her attitude had been responsible for her miseries and not Ajay. She wished she had seen this simple truth earlier but it was too late and Ajay was gone. She tried calling him but his phone was switched off.She cried herself to bed that night. As she opened her eyes next day morning, she wondered what lay in store for her. Her eyes searched for Ajay but all she got was blank walls staring at her. She again tried his phone but it was still switched off.
Suddenly she got a call from police station saying that they had found a dead body with Ajay’s wallet in it. Payal was too numb to move.Just as she opened the door to tell Pooja, Ajay walked in. She hugged him and kissed him and tears rolled down her eyes.She confessed her love to him and he promised her she would never leave her again.
Both had finally found their heaven. It was their anniversary – the one both would remember forever.
Reflection: If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.~Wayne Dyer.Sometimes it needs a change of perspective from our end to see the most obvious truth. Love is a massive emotion but it manifests itself in small day to day moments which we spend with our loved ones.