She boarded the Delhi Metro from Qutub Minar station. She knew she had to get down at Rajeev Chowk which was atleast 7 stations away. The ladies coach was barely empty but she managed to get a seat for herself and her daughter Rushi. Dressed in purple Harem pants and a sleeveless grey T shirt she looked nothing like a mother of a 3 year old. Her matching purple accessories and a fine sequined purple Gota work handbag showed her admirable fashion sense. Yet, there was something missing; her eyes looked pale despite the bright color she donned.
She kept fretting for some reason. She opened her handbag and checked her cell phone expecting someone’s call. Then put it back inside. Closed her eyes, thought something and again opened her handbag to check her mobile.
Thoughts started reeling in her mind. She thought-
–Of the first day in Chennai’s MBA college when she met Rubir for the first time. He was undoubtedly the best looking guy in her class.
-Of how on the fresher’s night she had to walk the ramp with Rubir. She thought it was a pure stroke of luck and thanked her fortunes.
-Of their statistics exam day when Rubir forgot his calculator and asked her for help.
-Of those prolonged calls with Rubir during their hostel days.
-Of their evening chats and post- dinner late night walks during internship days in Mumbai.
-Of their weekend trip to Goa.
-Of their night of togetherness.
-Of countless kisses and warmth of hugs.
-And finally of that moment when she lost her virginity.
She opened her eyes and checked her mobile again. Rushi was at her playing best. She was unaware of her mother’s plight, her confusion. She kept herself busy playing with all other girls in the compartment. With her innocence and animated talks she hardly took any time in catching people’s attention. She saw some teenage girls sitting all decked up and immediately complimented them about their lipstick. Her animated talks made everyone in the compartment happy except her mother. She was excited about meeting her father. After every station Rushi would ask her mother if her father was there waiting in the next one.
Her mother dint answer. She closed her eyes again.
–She thought of their subsequent nights together, of Rubir’s promise to stand by her come what may.
-Of that fateful Friday when she found herself pregnant.
-Of them eloping and secretly marrying in the court.
-Of attending her final exams with a 6 month baby in her belly.
-Of answering those million questions from interviewers.
-Of giving reasons to her parents to make them not attend her convocation.
-Of her moving in to his flat.
-Of all the love he showered on her and pampered her.
-Of the excruciating labor pain and Rubir by her side.
-Of that out of the world feeling when holding Rushi in her hands.
–Of them spending those long nights, watching Rushi sleep, holding her tight.
-And of their first fight.
She thought of the day when Rubir said that he got a better offer in Delhi and decided to shift there even though he knew that Delhi was her home and her folks were all over the city. She thought of how he promised to keep her safe in the city, of how he promised to take care of them.
She thought of the day he left her when she refused to join him.
-Of her plight while confessing everything to her parents.
-Of her moving out of Chennai with baby Rushi in her hands.
– And finally of that phone call today morning after 3 years. It was him. It was Rubir!
He wanted to meet her and Rushi.
It was the first time she had an answer for Rushi’s question about her dad. All Rushi knew till now was that her dad was in the office. Today he would be back finally. No wonder the lil kid is jumping in joy. After all, it’s her dad coming back after 3 long years in office.
She thought about the whole dressing up and getting dressed process since that phone call.
Of what she explained to Rushi about her dad.
She had so many questions. Questions, whose answers were important to her. It was something that had been bothering her for so many years.
Why did she meet him, why didn’t she use contraceptives, why did they get married, why did he leave her, why did he call her and finally, why is she meeting him ?
Maybe it’s love or was it?