A Short Story
Mrs. Ragini Podar looked out of the car into the night. The city was shining in the street and neon lights. The car slowly made its way to the venue, the marriage venue. As the car stopped in front of the venue, she could see that the marriage hall was decorated from the gate. A steady stream of people made their way in and out of the decorated gate. She was still not sure if she could go in, alone.
“Gaadi park karo” She blurted out to the driver and opened the door.
The car slowly made its way to the parking lot as she stood there looking at the large decorated gate. Marriages had changed over the year. Now they were professional decorators making a simple marriage hall look like something out of paradise. She hadn’t seen paradise atleast they build it close like a dream sequence in a romantic movie.
She got down hesitatingly and looked around. She did not expect to see familiar faces. She was there to meet her, just her, the bride.
As Ragini walked toward the hustle bustle of the wedding, she couldn’t help but remember the first time he had talked about her.
“Since when?” She had asked him
“Around two years” He replied eating his breakfast with the same coolness he had told about her
“And why to tell me now?” She was visibly upset. He told her everything and not this one news which affected her more
“Because I know you will like her”
“What her name?”
“Megha” He replied just as cool.
She huffed and walked away. Three days later she did meet her and it was quite an interesting meet.
“Oh! Mrs. Podar” she was brought back to reality by an elderly gentleman.
Ragini sensed he was a little uneasy receiving her but he did what every good host does. He received her with folded hands and a smile on his face. She looked quizzing at him
“I am Megha’s father. She would be so happy to see you. She knew you would come even though your flight was scheduled today”
“Oh it got delayed by 8 hours. Fate! I must say. I had to attend the marriage”
“Yes!” Her father managed a wry smile.
The flight! If it wouldn’t have been delayed, she would have been on a flight to London keeping all this behind, her past, him and her, everything. She had waited 1 hour at home before she finally decide to attend the reception. She looked at the elevated stage all decorated with flowers. She was there standing among the flowers, looking all the more beautiful, much beautiful than the first time she has seen her.
“So, Do you love him?” Ragini had asked Megha looking at the young girl seated in front of her
She nodded a yes.
Ragini smiled and looked at him. She nodded a yes to him. Megha looked up to see both of them smiling at each other. She still managed a nervous smile.
She walked toward the stage. She wanted to make it as quick as possible. Megha was her only connection with the past, with him. She knew she could never forget him but forgetting her was a little easier, at least that’s what she thought. After all both were in love with the same man, maybe they still are in love with the same man.
She climbed up the stage and Megha saw her. Ragini smiled and Megha smiled back. She came toward Ragini leaving the groom behind.
“I am glad you came” She smiled at her and the next moment it looked as if she would cry.
“Don’t” Ragini warned her “You will spoil the makeup”
“I can’t forget him” Megha eyes said it all.
“I know” Ragini tried to cajole her “But he is gone and that’s the truth. I would have loved to make all these preparation and take you home but maybe fate had other things in mind”
“But mom….” She started “I still love him”
“Yes dear and he would like to see you happy all your life, with him or without him and you know that. You know he is not coming back and he does not want to delay your happiness. Its about time we all start being happy” Ragini looked into her eyes. She nodded a yes.
Megha looked back at the groom. Taking the cue, he stepped forward and both touched Ragini’s feet. She gave her blessing to the girl who was once destined to be her daughter-in-law.
The photographer came forward to take their photos but Ragini signaled a ‘No’ with her hands. She did not want to leave any memories with Megha. Ragini walked out of the hall as silently as she had come. She felt a strange satisfaction inside her. Losing a son had left her devastated and seeing Megha unable to cope with his death was even more painful. It had taken her months to convince her and Megha had finally agreed.
Ragini knew that Megha would take time to cope after his death. But an understanding spouse could help her do that. She will survive and Ragini knew that just as she survived on her son’s memories.
She knew that’s what her son wanted was to see Megha happy. She thanked god for the delayed flight. If the flight wouldn’t have been delayed She would have left forever with a feeling of incompleteness with her. Ragini called for her car and got in. She signaled the driver to move toward airport for her delayed flight.
She was finally moving away from her past and she was hopefully giving someone her delayed deserved happiness.
Note: I got the idea while dozing of in the company bus while commuting to office. I don’t know why. The story is a part of trilogy which I was supposed to write long back and which started with “Arrived“. Although it does not have the plane as the central character but it does act as a trigger to the events.
Also this is my 51st fiction. It was supposed to be my 50th story and 650th Post. I miscalculated somewhere.