She was painting her nails wondering how long she had for herself until the child woke up and started crying. No power in the world could separate them. Or so she thought when they were dating. Even in the year they spent happily married, no one who even remotely knew them could think they would separate.
But they did. That is fate.
She never thought he would leave her for a "hooker" type gal.
But he did. That is fate.
And years passed. She must have forgotten the details of togetherness by now.
She could not. That is life.
Slowly tears trickled. Glancing back to make sure the child was not up. And hastily rubbed away her tears. Getting up to switch on the fan, she noticed that CD. The one he had gifted her a week before he left. She loved every single song in it. She out the CD in and switched it on. Particularly the "Ya Rabba" by Kailash Kher. She would listen to it every night. And cry herself to sleep.
That song held a very special space in her life. That was the song he sung for her when she didnt accept his first proposal. All filmy, together with his "friends-made" band for chorus. First it was funny. He had that grin on his face.
"Ya Rabba! De de koi jaan bhi agar! Dil bhar pe ho na, dil bhar pe ho na koi asar...!"
She walked away and they followed. But towards the end, when she didnt even give a whiff about the song, he broke down. And fell down crying.
His friends converged on him stopping everything and she turned back wondering what to do.
They left. And the whole night she was distracted enough to sleep.
Well, next day she met him and thus started the 7 year saga. One of the very few college romances to culminate in marriage. And a baby.
And then one fine day after two years of marriage he comes with a 'dirty gal' and tells her he loves that gal. Yes that gal must have been good in bed.
After having the baby, she had not been really caring about his needs. 24*7 behind the baby. But she had not foreseen this consequence.She begged him to remain. And did anything and everything she could. He left. Somewhere in America. That is where he is now in. With that gal. Painted nails, lipsticky lips, scanty skimpy dress, high heels and sexy body. She still remembers the flowery dress the gal came in. She could not believe he left her for that gal. May be if she had tried being sexy for him, it would have worked..
The child woke up. Crying. She was dragged back to reality by the baby. Not that he had not done anything for them before he left. Alimony of all his savings till then and the lil wealth he amassed while he was here. And bonds and deposits for the child's studies and a decent life. All planned and set for her. But she would have any day traded her life, to be with him now. She thought as she lifted the baby into her arms.
Years passed. Life was the same for her. Yearly mails which she replied to, every day. Life revolving around a child who hated his dad. She tried. Initially Adi didnt quite mind liking his dad. But later of course, he threw tantrums asking to see dad then she had to reveal the whole story. For a day he didnt eat anything. For a week, he didnt speak anything. And from then on, he hated his dad.
He is now a Programmer. And took care of her with all love in the world.
She was slowly aging. And nursed a need to see him again. If just once. But she didnt dare tell her boy. And she could not go to America all alone.
One day amassing all courage she ever had in life, she asked her boy,"Can I go meet him? Will you come with me?"
The boy didnt say anything. But that evening, when she served dinner, he said," Ask him if you could come. And exact address. We will see."
So very like his dad, she thought with a smile. That night she mailed him asking for his address.
And waited for the next day.
And the next. And the next. No reply.
She almost knew no reply was coming. But hoped against hope something would come.
When she mentioned this to her boy, he was enraged.
"How dare that man ignore you! After all these years you only asked a glimpse of him. @#@^^*%^&! And he has never wanted to see me. What kind of a dad is he?!"
She started crying.
"No amma! Dont cry, for all it takes, I am tracking him down and we are meeting him."
He set to work. Tracked back the mails to somewhere in Dallas, Texas.
And took the next available flight to Texas. On the way to the mentioned address in a hired cab, he had to admit, it was a journey to see his dad. The one who never cared. But he secretly wanted to meet that someone his mom loved so much.
The cabbie left him in the middle of the town, on a busy roadside.
Inquiring about the address, he was pointed to a tall building.
He walked inside and asked the asked the security for address who sent him to the 4th floor.
Reaching the fourth floor, he found the door number and was surprised to find it being an office.
He entered hurriedly and asked for his dad. He was lead to the lounge after the lady checked out his name on the computer she had.
While he sat, he contemplated on what he should first say to his dad. Shout? Scream? Hug?
And then, a fat Indian fellow comes in.
"This cant be the man I saw in amma's pics." was all he could think of.
"Are you the one who came asking for Mr. Sharma?"
"Well, we have had directions to redirect you to this address. You can get more info there."
"But the mail came from here. He has to be here."
"He is not. He has never been. Please go talk to the person in this address."
When he left, he glanced back to the office door and took in the place his dad must be in.
As he got to another address in Dallas, a lady opened the door. An Indian lady. Old. But painted nails. Red. Must be the female, he thought with contempt.
Whatever, he just came to see the man. Not this female.
When he mentioned his purpose, she looked taken aback. And surprised. And worried.
- Of course, she would be worried!, he thought.-
She invited him inside. And told him a story.
His dad's story.
Then he remembered the Office door again and what was printed on the door, "LetterMeLater, scheduled email services".
His dad had passed away a year after he left her, of prostate cancer. But remained with her, a life long, after he left.
On the way back, he cried and kept thinking about what he would tell him mom about the angel he missed. And how, he was going to hide this truth forever.
Unconsciously he called out to heaven "Ya Rabba!".