She is forty-five now, a wife, a mother as well as a professional. She has come to Delhi to attend her niece’s wedding. Today, the marriage ceremonies made her leap to a seventeen year old night in Delhi, very similar to this night. She was young then, very charming. She entered the wedding hall with an invitation in her hand and sat down on a couch leaning her head down. She was disappointed, rather she was regretful. “Shalini” A bold voice yelled out her name. The voice made her to shudder; she looked up searching for that familiar voice. It was Rohan, a Thirty-one year old tall young man and the star of that night, the bride groom. Shalini gazed at him with the teary eyes. She replied in her crackly voice- “You look amazing in this sherwani, Best wishes to you and your lady.” She stretched her hand to shake with him, he caught hold of her hand and gently pulled her to the balcony of the hall, it was all glittery with colorful lights, and so were her eyes in the dim light. Rohan looked into her eyes. Tears trickled down her cheeks. He took her hands into his.
“You love me… right?
She looked up, her eyes wide open.
“Why didn’t you ever say?”
She looked away trying to hold back those tears.
“I have always loved you, and I will love you. I waited for you so long and now it is painful to see love for me in your eyes which I had craved for since the day I met you. It pained then, it pains today.” They stood silently.
“Speak up Shalini. I am talking to you.” He shook her as if she was a petrified corpse.
“It’s too late Rohan. I lost you… in the battle of love and luxury. I… I disregarded your love. I overlooked my feelings……. You …..”
“Hey Rohan! What are you doing here? Everyone’s looking for you. C’mon; your beautiful bride’s waiting (giggling).” It was Sahil, Rohan’s friend who pulled him away into the hall. Shalini looked into Rohan’s receding eyes. They knew that it was probably their last meeting. Incomplete words of her incomplete love froze into her eyes.
She never met him again nor did she contact him. Remorse was a part of her life. She had stabbed true love at the cost of transient material comforts which pricked her even more now.
“Shalini …Shalini!” It was Satish, Shalini’s husband.
“Come and greet the young couple.”
She wiped her tears, smiled and walked to greet the newly wedded couple.