I have known Meenakshi from the time I stopped using nappies. The friendship which prevailed between our parents was the reason for our homes to be in the same apartment. We were inseparable like the Siamese twins and were as close to an extent that we never missed the other one’s company. She was part and parcel of my life and there was no childhood memory where she wasn’t a part of.
We were fortunate to be in the same class from Kindergarten till the secondary stage. We went to school together, played together, fought together and most of the times our thoughts coincided too. Togetherness seemed to be a word found just to describe how we were. We also went to the extent of asking an extra gift for the other person when someone gifted us something in singular.
Let it be a dream, let it be a reality, I have had my life completely with a girl whom I fondly called “Meenu”.
Every story has a turning point and my life also had one.
This happened when Meenu joined another school for pursuing a different stream of studies and I was completely left alone. I had never been without her and every time I looked around to share something, she wasn’t there. I used to wait for the bell to run back home so that I could spend some time with her and to my disappointment, she used to be late every day. I made it a point to spend the few minutes which we used to get in the night to share what we had to. The life without her by my side became tougher as days progressed.
One fine day, I saw her with a guy who she introduced to be her friend from the new school and I couldn’t bear the feeling of her with someone else. I realized that day, that it was difficult to imagine a life without her and assured myself that I had fallen in love with her.
Time passed like a whirlwind and we had enjoyed the time which we got every day, during those years in which we were engaged in graduating ourselves.
Everything ran so fast and my love for Meenu was known to none except me. I had refrained from expressing my love for years and I felt I might even lose her if I delayed further. I decided to express my love on her 24th birthday. Her first birthday wish had always been from my side and this time, some other guy had already wished her before I could. This was one of the dreadful moments of life and before I could say a word after wishing her, she told me to come home the next day, as she held some surprise for me.
I was early to her house the next day and was talking to her parents with a smile on my face concealing the tension I had. She came down like an angel, got us all together in the dining table and said that she was in love with a guy named Fabien Pinto. I was shocked and her parents hugged on to her in agreement despite her lover being an Anglo Indian. I had a smile on my face and my heart was pushing me to tell her that I loved her. I controlled my emotions and the inner pressure of expressing my love to her.
A few days Later…
A role of a family friend was too tough to play during the days leading to the engagement helping them with the arrangements. It required a lot of heart to do such a thing with a smile on your face. I did it for my love, for our parents and to say the least I did it for “Meenu”. She even forced me to design a dress for the function and Meenu was moving all along the lawn in the costume which I had designed enjoying the engagement with no traces of regret.
Still, I was amazed that she never understood that I loved her so much and for so long. It was disappointing and I felt I was too late in expressing myself. When she could understand every movement of mine, why couldn’t she understand the love I had for her????? Life went with a lot of questions in mind.
A few days after engagement, she came home with a wedding card and wanted me to accompany her in inviting all our friends for the wedding at the Cathedral, the following month. She forced me to be by her side while she did all the shopping for the marriage and I was constantly telling myself that I did it for the love I had, I have and will have.
(The day of reckoning)
It was the first time I visited a Cathedral and I had to do it for Meenakshi. I saw her dressed in a white bridal costume and getting ready for the prayers before the wedding. I was just looking at the clock for all the customary rituals to get over and that’s when the Priest announced to the gathering that Meenakshi and Fabien would exchange their rings.
I couldn’t wait anymore and I just did what my heart said. I went close to Meenu, brushed my lips against hers and said “It would be unfair on my part to conceal my love anymore. I love you Meenu”.
She gave me a tight hug and replied “Me too Fabien.”