Sleep was like the golden strands of dawn, slipping away even before one could notice their subtle presence. Almost anything could steal her sleep away from her, even the soft footfalls of the approaching breeze. So when her phone screamed shrilly into the silent drunkenness of the night, it startled her sleep into disappearing. She rubbed her eyes once again and checked the display on her cell phone, it was three am.
“Hullo?” she answered sounding wide awake. The last vestiges of fatigue beat a hasty retreat out of her body as she stretched into a sitting position.
“Did I wake you up?” she asked. Why is it that people ask the most obvious questions when they wake others up at alarming hours?
“No! Not at all,” she said tapping her foot on the cold floor in search of her slippers. “ I was just lying awake thinking of sleep!”
“Heeheeehee,” she giggled nervously. Her voice was heavy, which could only mean two things; either she had been drinking heavily or she had been crying. Either ways, the phone line was booked till the early hours of a restless morning.
“Mom had called from
She stopped mid-way through the act of sinking her feet in her puppy brown slippers and asked, “Everything Ok?”
“NO! Everything’s not OK!” she bawled. Hearing her bawl, she hurriedly grabbed her dressing gown and donned it over her pyjamas.
“Hush! Calm down! What happened?” She asked heading towards the kitchen. Coffee always buffered a shock.
“Its ma,” she sniffed at the other end. “She has finally found the perfect guy to marry me off to!”
She banged the coffee kettle so hard on the platform, that she almost cracked the glass bottom, “this is the tragedy?! Raina!! You are calling me at three in the morning to bawl over an occurrence which takes place at least thrice a week.. Unfailingly!”
“No!” Raina hastened into the conversation, “No! It’s serious this time. It’s a son of a friend of Dad’s Elder Brother!”
Realizing that she had no choice but to hear this out, she reached for the coffee beans and spooned them into the coffee maker.
“So?” she asked switching the coffee-maker on.
“So.. he has apparently done his law from Harvard and has a successful practice in
Point to be noted. How could such a guy be any wrong for ANY girl? “So.. why is he still single?” she asked peeping into the fridge to see if she could manage a midnight snack.
“See?? Exactly my question! I am sure he has a defunct testicle!” Raina sniffed again
She rolled her eyes to an unseeing audience and pushed the bowl of fruits aside to reach for the peanut butter. Fattening and highly comforting.
“Oh wait! And he has a name!” Raina was saying
“Of course he has a name!” she said balancing the phone between her shoulder and ear and slicing the bread into thick slices.
Raina laughed, “ he is called love!”
“What?” she said laughter shaking her voice, as she cut the banana into thin slices.
“Yeah I know, so totally weird!” Raina confirmed, “Love Kuru.. Kul.. shesta or something like that…”
“Lav Kulshrestha?” She asked holding her breath.
“Yes! That’s it!” Raina celebrated. “Wait! Do you know him?” she asked
“Umm..heard of him,” she agreed and then, “ you know what girl? Let me just call you back in five? I really gotta go…”
“Pee break?” Raina wanted to know
“What else” she laughed and hung up.
But no it was not a pee break that had made her run. It was the topic of their conversation – Lav Kulshrestha. It cant be, it couldn’t be! Could it? But he was married. He had married last year.
She still remembered the wedding. It was a spectacular affair, of ribbons and roses and the perfect band, playing the perfect music, for the perfect couple. Yes, the perfect couple. She still remembered them standing in the garden, drenched in the moonlight as conscious of each other as two forlorn teenagers, yet each brimming with love for the other.
Her heart still ached with a raw pain, as if somebody had mercilessly pulled the bandages off a healing wound and ripped it further open in the process. Her heart had been torn into a million shreds as she had watched her love crumble on that moonlit night. She had somehow made it to the wedding, but she remembered nothing of it. All that the name brought back to her were crushing emotions.
So what was he doing out on the marriage market again?