“Mom, they are coming this evening to our house. Uncle will be leaving for an office tour tomorrow, they want to finalize the dates quickly’’ my daughter Rohini informed me. I could easily comprehend that she was quite excited. Anil is a perfect match for Rohini. They had come in close terms through an online matrimonial site. It has almost been eight months and I think they have understood each other quite well.

I was the one who had shortlisted Anil’s profile among thousands of eligible grooms. And Rohini soon understood that her mother has not disappointed her. My husband, Argha has also talked with Anil over the phone and he seemed to be quite impressed with the boy. Anil’s family has also consented, and they are planning to come over our place to finalize the marriage dates. Anil has bagged a job abroad and he will have to join there in two months. Thus his family is urging us to quickly make all arrangements.

But I did not like this since Rohini is our only daughter; I want her marriage to be perfect. But it is very difficult to make all these arrangements in such a short period. Moreover, both the families have not yet met with others. Our conversations were only restricted over the phone. We had earlier requested their family to visit us but Anil’s father was quite busy with his frequent business trips. At last, he is available today and finally, they are coming today. I was busy making all the preparations for the evening.

And just before the fixed time, our doorbell rang as I proceeded to open it. But I was stunned. Akash was standing in front of me and I hardly took notice of Anil and his mother who was standing beside him. I was transfixed for a few seconds but then I recuperated my senses and motioned them to get in. It took me quite a while to compose my nerves as the others had started conversing. Akash was also quite startled to see me. It was a kind of encounter that we never anticipated even in our wildest dreams.

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I and Akash had been in a relationship for four years. We were college friends and their friendship soon turned into an intense relationship. We were quite content with each other. Akash belonged to a very well to do business family. We were head over heels in love and the days have passed like a never-ending dream sequence. But soon after graduation, my family started pressurizing me for marriage. I narrated the entire situation to Akash. He promised me that he will soon convince his own family and they would soon come over my place. But his parents had some serious reservations about our social background.

Akash was hell-bent and he stood up against his family. But things soon took unexpected turns. His father threatened him to throw out of his house and business if he did not disconnect with me. His father had already fixed his marriage to one of his friend’s daughter. Akash was livid and even wanted to leave his house, but his mother intervened. Akash soon started ignoring me. I realized that he has succumbed under pressure and I disconnected from him. I was distraught since I never imagined that Akash would do this to me.
And after some time, I got married to Argha and soon my life completely changed. But I cannot let Rohini marry Akash’s son. Anil would be no different from his father. He would also succumb under pressure and won’t be able to stand up for my daughter. My daughter can never be happy with Anil. I was completely engrossed in my thoughts and could faintly hear the chitter-chatters in the room. Suddenly I came to my senses when Akash asked, “So when are we fixing the dates?’’

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Argha was about to answer this but I interrupted “We will have to consult our family astrologer first. He is out of town, let him come back and he will decide a date’’. Both Argha and Rohini were looking at me bewildered. They had no idea about the existence of such a family astrologer but fortunately, they chose to be silent. After a few more words, they left. I could from their expressions that they were a bit dejected.
Rohini asked, “I did not know about such astrologer mom. Why didn’t you inform me earlier? Then I would have delayed this meeting.’’ I just said, “Our families hadn’t yet met, so I thought we should meet first and then discuss these things.’’ Rohini was silent for a while and she then ambled her way to her room. Argha was silently observing me. I felt quite relieved after venting out all my feelings.

Argha listened carefully and then said, “I can understand your feelings. But I do not think that Anil won’t be able to keep Rohini happy. He loves her; trust me. And Akash was helpless at that moment. You had told me about Akash earlier, also. I always had the opinion that he loved you, but sometimes our hands get tied up. We have to take some stern decisions. Just think about it, if he had abandoned his family, would he have done the right thing? He was in such a grave dilemma.’’

I interrupted Argha, “I already know your opinion about Akash. But I can’t agree with you. I am against this marriage that’s it.’’ Argha was silent as he knew that I was a bit agitated with all these unexpected events. I was flipping through a magazine and Argha was busy watching an old movie on his laptop. Suddenly Argha’s phone rang. I overheard a few pieces of conversation and realized that it was Akash.

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They went on with their conversations for a few minutes and then suddenly Argha handed over the phone to me. I reluctantly took the phone. Akash began, “I can understand your feeling, Aparna. It is just like divine intervention. Who would have thought we could meet like this. But I know that you still have grudges on me and it is very natural. I had broken your heart. But Aparna it’s no more about us. It is about our children. They love each other. Rohini will be very happy Anil. Please don’t bring our past into their present, Aparna. It is my ardent request, Aparna, Please.’’

I listened to him silently and then hung up the phone. But after some time, I realized that the suffocating pang of uneasiness has suddenly disappeared from my mind.

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