February 14 was just another day for 49 year old Anil. It had been special once, aeons before. It had been his wedding day. Divorced from his wife just 6 years into marriage, he had been by himself all these years. He had never had the thought of marrying for a second time. One reason was he was still unable to get over his first love even after divorce. Yes, his marriage was a love marriage that was not very much well received at that time. He never thought divorce would be possible in their healthy relationship. Secondly, there was Ananya. He didn’t want to create a bad image of himself, especially in her ‘growing up’ years. The problem all started with his addiction to alcohol and he wasn’t responsible enough. His wife took the hard decision and got married for a second time – to a rich industrialist. Ananya had a teenage stepbrother. As expected, apart from monetary support, there was no real love between the step-dad and Ananya. The second marriage hurt Anil badly, though he had never expressed it in the open before.
But he had something worth waiting for, every month. He got to see and spend quality time with Ananya every month which was the only soothing, positive and joy giving thing in his life. He knew that Ananya still loved him. Even after all the nasty fights, the divorce, the bad mouthing from his wife, she still loved her dad and visited him. It took less than 2 years for Anil to recover from his alcohol addiction and depression. Quickly realising his mistake, he found a new job – the pay from which was more than enough for him. He was determined to take part in the parenting process, in whatever little time he got. More often than not, he found Ananya sharing scenes and problems in her life with him the most. He doubted that she ever told about it to her mother. He always listened patiently and came up with solutions. He took her camping, bowling, walk on the beach and to the movies. Though the time spent with Ananya were in mere days, the meaning and sense of purpose was immense to both of them. Ananya was now 25 and had been working in a firm for six months.
His sombre mood completely changed when Ananya had called unexpectedly and told she was coming there shortly.
“PAPA!!”, Ananya exclaimed in joy as the two hugged it out in the threshold.
“Ananya. . .This is a very pleasant surprise.”, Anil said, grinning.
“Haha . . . I’m full of surprises. Just wait for some more time. There is more. Now get ready. We are
going to Amethyst.”, said Ananya.
“Alright. Just give me a few minutes. I’ll get ready.”
They were now nearing the cafe when Anil asked, “What more surprises are you having, darling?”.
“Patience papa. . .Patience. You have taught me so. Have you forgotten? ,”Ananya mocked.
“Haha . . .Ok, as you say.”
After parking the car and as they were entering the cafe,
Ananya asked in a mock-serious tone, “Papa. . .I hope your heart is healthy enough for surprises?!”
“Ok, That’s too much teasing for one day. I am sure my heart is good enough to take in surprises.”
They were now strolling down the path to one of the corner tables. As Anil neared, he stopped in his tracks suddenly in complete shock. His heart was pounding and mouth opened wide in surprise.
The funny thing was his wife also appeared to look very shocked.
His wife was seated on one of the chairs. Her face had become pale and aged.
“What is she doing here?”, Anil asked.
“Yeah. . .Just wait for it. Come on.”
As soon as they were seated, Ananya called the person in charge and ordered their favourite Rose Milk. Both of them turned in surprise.
“Yeah, Yeah. . . Like I said, I’m full of surprises.”, Ananya said.
As soon as the waiter left, Ananya said, “Okay, I know neither of you are going to start talking and it will only end up being an awkward session, which I don’t want. So I’m going to break the ice and get to the point. This day is a big day for me as it was for you guys, once and I hope everything turns out good. Neither of you are going to back reply me. I’m not going to take it anymore and for once. . .LISTEN”
“Mom . . .Dad is not what you have thought all these years. . .not anymore. . .He has given up alcohol completely and is now the man you knew once. Only I saw it long before.”
“And papa,” turning to Anil, “this lady here has apparently not forgotten you all these years. She never wanted the divorce to happen. She chose this only to give me a better life. She did hate you for your irresponsibility but not you as a person. To make matters worse, Rahul has been having an affair with one of his colleagues and is not giving a rat’s ass to anyone at home. Even Sanjay. All these years, her ego and the fear of going back kept her from approaching. I saw her weeping one night a month back, when I came home early. Only after repeated questioning, she gave in. I was shocked. All this time, she was indeed missing you. Look, both of you are important for me and it is never too late to start again. A new beginning.”
Taking a deep breath, she paused for some seconds. Then, she took two identical golden boxes from her handbag and gave one each to her dad and mom.
“I bought two new smartphones yesterday. Asus branded. I know it will be like pushing you if I ask you to live together now itself. So I want you to start gradually, romance in the modern way,” winking at both of them.
“It is not like you don’t know each other. But your feelings and emotions have become dormant. I think this is the perfect way to restart the relationship. There are tons of features in this phone. Besides texting (which can be done even with gloves), you can also do voice and video calls, make schedules for dates, play games together online, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Skype, Viber, go to the perfect romantic spots using zomato, book taxis or movie tickets (OLA , BookMyShow). You can also share selfies and update your statuses in facebook. I understand that you don’t understand most of what I just said. Don’t worry. I’ll be taking individual sessions teaching you all the things about these applications.”, thus finishing the long monologue.
There were tears in both of their eyes.
“Aah, I should have mentioned in the beginning itself. No tears and no drama. Now I want you to romance. And dad,” turning to Anil, “I want Sanjay to come live with us. He deserves better than Rahul. He is a sweet kid.”
A NEW BEGINNING!
//Phrases inside brackets are not actually spoken.
This post was written for the Indi-happy hour campaign for Asus Zenfone in collaboration with Indiblogger.
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