Sunday, September 15, 2013

Flirting with Friendship: The Art of ‘Surprises’

Chapter 15: The Art of ‘Surprises’

It was almost one year since Sakshi and I fell in love. I wanted to give her a very big surprise this time apart from the monthly expected ones. She was accustomed to almost every form of surprise of mine. So, this time I thought of something totally out of the world, out of my mind.
“Divya. I am going to Mumbai for some days.” I told my sister while we were having our brunch after a lazy morning.
 “I want to give a surprise to Sakshi. Just nod to everything I say.” I whispered in Divya’s ears because Sakshi was sitting right in front of me.
“What???” Sakshi too asked with a startled voice.
“Why are you going all of a sudden?” Sakshi was eager to know.
“Just some official work I need to finish.” I said. “I’ll be back within a week.”
I knew that Sakshi was expecting me to talk to my parents about fixing our date for the wedding, but my procrastination made her a bit weary.
After an hour, while I was pretending to pack my bags, Sakshi came to my room.
“Are you up for another surprise Abhi?” she asked with a suspicious frown. I let out my deep breath and said, “YES!”
“You don’t have to hide anything from me darling.” She smiled and planted a gentle kiss on my cheek.
“Happy Valentine’s Day” she said. Her hands were garlanding my neck and her fragrance of the deodorant spread like wildfire and bewildered my nervous system.
“I love you too, Sakshi.” I too reciprocated holding her waist and tightening my grip. I dropped the backpack which had my laptop in it.
“Oh! Shit!” I bent down to pick the bag up. “My primitive laptop must have died.” I murmured.
“Will you marry me Sakshi?” I uttered looking down.
“What???” She was shocked rather than surprised. I held a platinum ring in front of her as it was her dream of wearing one on her wedding. I was still holding her hand as she stood awestruck.
Divya, mom and dad were standing right near the corridor because they knew about it.
“Keep it rolling Dee...” I said while I still locked my eyes with Sakshi.
Sakshi turned around and she saw that Divya was recording everything. Sakshi’s eyes were moist and wasn’t able to control her joys.
“Yes. I do.” She finally said those three magical words. While I got up from my knees and hugged Sakshi, everyone came along and gave us a group hug.
This was the moment I waited for my life, and it finally came on this day.
“We’re getting married on your birthday.” I announced the wedding date to Sakshi.
She was speechless even now and wasn’t speaking a word.
“Are you okay sweetheart? Or you want me to splash some water on your face?” I smiled at her and I tickled her invisibly.
“I am so happy Abhi. I can’t believe you made my dream come true.” She finally broke the silence.
“Then what else? If not me then who would? My neighbour’s grandmother’s cousin brother would buy you a ring?” I sarcastically pulled her legs.
“Shut up Abhi. I am lucky to have you.” She rested her forehead on my shoulder and cried for five long minutes. I stood like a statue of blotting paper doing nothing other than absorbing not just her tears, but her pains, worries and some extra pounds of fat.
“One more drop of tear and I will turn into Yokozuna.” I said.
“What’s that?” she asked wiping her tears as if I am giving her another surprise.
“He was a wrestler, you idiot.” I grumbled. “A Japanese Sumo wrestler”
“But I don’t see you wearing any Japanese Langoti.” Sakshi too mocked me.
“Oh! Don’t provoke me.” I said. “I can pick you up and slam you on the bed and do realy bad things.”
“Not now you despo!” Sakshi gently slapped my cheeks.
“Are you still rolling it Dee?” Sakshi called out for my sister. When I turned around, Divya was still recording it all.
So, Sakshi too has learnt to surprise me using my own tricks.
“Dee... Come here... delete it...” I began to chase her while there were cheerful laughs all around. I’ll never forget this day.
The day wasn’t over. Sakshi wanted to prove her friends that I wasn’t that kind of guy who’d squeeze the juice from the fruit and forget about the tree.
“Please upload all the pictures on facebook.” Sakshi was asking me while I was checking the pictures from the camera.
“Are you okay Sakshi?” I asked. She was the one who always restrained me from doing it whenever I wanted to upload any pictures. Now she’s eager to do so.
“I want to show my friends that....” I interrupted her in between.
“You know who William Shakespeare is?” I asked.
“Yes. Why?” she asked with a surprise. Divya too came out of her kitchen to listen what was it about Shakespeare that I was about to tell.
“Shakespeare wrote a play, King Lear. Have you heard about it?” I asked.
“No.” Both Divya and Sakshi said in unison.
“Anyways, in the play, the king asks his three daughters to express their love to him. And one who loves him the most, would get the major chunk of his kingdom as their wedding gift.” I said.
“Oh! What next?” they asked.
“The greed of power and authority made his two elder daughters to fake their love and eventually they got the maximum share, but his youngest daughter didn’t talk fancy words to impress the king and hence stayed with the king as his servant. (Something like that)”
“What happened next?”
“His daughters turned against their father to snatch his kingdom and the youngest daughter died to save the dying king, but in the end, the king realizes that the youngest daughter loved him the most.”
“So?? Why are you telling this story now?” Sakshi asked me out of her impatience.
“All I am telling is, you don’t have to prove your love to anyone.” I said. “That’s what Shakespeare tried to say in that play.”
“You could have said the same thing directly. Why narrate the whole story?” Divya patted my head with a cooking spoon and went back to kitchen.
“The curry would have been burnt by now.” She hurried her way while I continued surfing through the images. I came across a picture where Sakshi was crying and there was a drop of tear on her cheeks. The picture looked so heavenly as if a professional photographer had taken a candid picture. The afternoon sun had tilted slightly towards to west and the reflection of the window panes was diffracting through her teardrop like a diamond on her cheeks. Sakshi’s subtle smile when I kissed her left side of the cheek made it look as if I was swallowing the huge diamond of teardrop. Picture perfect!

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