The day has been very gloomy since morning…it’s raining intermittently and everytime washing away a part of the colourful rangoli in front of sneha’s house, while Ravi sat in his first floor veranda and watched the streams of red blue and green washing away.

The rain is sogging up the muddy lanes, while the departing tunes of the sahenai being played from sneha’s house is tearing up Ravi’s heart inch by inch.

Sneha got married last night, and she is moving to her in-laws today afternoon. The overcast sky and the sound of conch shell coming from sneha’s house has already created a Hugh crater in Ravi’s heart…may be this is the final time Ravi is seeing sneha, her husband might not allow her to visit him anymore, these thoughts clouded the subconscious of ravi, as he tried to get one last glimpse of sneha form his first floor veranda.

The rain had taken a halt and the distant noises of women crying is all Ravi could hear now. Ravi put his head down and cluttered in the thoughts in his mind, he fell asleep. The thud of the ambassador door woke him up as he could sense that sneha was already in the car and he missed it… he missed it once again…for the very last time he thought he won’t, he did.

Ravi was very upset with himself and broke into tears, every single memory of him and sneha growing up together came to his mind… he remembered the time sneha used to steal pickles from the Ravi’s mothers kitchen. The time sneha wore a saree for the first time during the saraswati pujas, it was on of Ravi’s mothers. The time when sneha used to bring her maths homework and made Ravi do it, as she indulged herself in the glossy and colourful pages of the weekly child magazines. The time when sneha used to spend her summer vacation afternoons rolling on Ravi’s bed and chatting for hours. The time when Ravi first proposed sneha and she rejected, citing the reason that their friendship was much more valuable to her than any other relation she had with Ravi. The time when Shena took her first puff of a cigarette in Ravi’s veranda, snatching the cigarette from Ravi, taking a deep puff and ending coughing her lungs out.

Ravi smiled with water running down his nose and eyes, he picked his head up and tried to see if the car had left.
The shower was strong and the visibility was low. Ravi wiped his tears off and was about to turn to return to his room. He saw sneha standing in front of him, dressed like a princess. The bright red vermilion on her forehead, the glittery gold ornaments, the red Banarasi saree and the thick white garland hanging from her neck.
Sneha came closer to Ravi and said ” whish you a happy life ahead.”

Ravi’s eyes filled with tears and he thought to himself, if she had really meant it she would had not married another guy, and said ” you too…”

There was a moment of silence in the room for a while, the Ravi said “Do you really love him?”
Sneha said ” I would learn to..”

Ravi turned his head away and said “does he love you?”
Sneha said ” yes…”

” But not more than me Shena, I know he might give you all the pleasures of the world but one thing I also know, he won’t be able to love you more than I do…” Ravi said.

Ravi handed over the pickle jar to sneha and said ” this is for you…every sweetness, sourness, bitterness of this pickle will make you remember the time we had together.”

Sneha took the jar and broke into tears…
The abrupt honking of the ambassador dictated that it was time for sneha to leave, as her reality was waiting downstairs…

She ran downstairs and tears came running down her cheeks, she got into the car and and placed the jar between her and her husband.

The car engine started and it started moving, it had travelled no more than fifteen feet as sneha’s husband asked her “what is this jar? ”

” My true love…” said Shena

While Ravi rolled his wheelchair into his bedroom from the veranda…

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