Anandi waited for Swati to take the call. It must be morning there she thought.
A sleepy voice answered “Hi Anandi”
“Did I wake you up I am so sorry but I must be morning there right?”
“Yeah but my sleeping pattern is decided by your niece not me. She sleeps and wakes up according to her whim I barely slept last night”.
Swati was in US and got married there. She had a baby daughter just 3 months back.
“Awww that’s so sweet. Send me Sparsh’s new pics soon”
“Yeah sure anyways wats up with you. I know something is bothering you”.
“It’s a long story. Shiv is back “.
“What!!! Back As in?? And how come he is back?”
Anandi told her the whole story.
“WOW!! So are you already sleeping with him?? or you called me for permission to do that?”
“Swati!!! It’s nothing like that. I am not sleeping with him and why would I?”
Swati laughed “You will eventually. Anyways so he wants to start where you left off? Did you tell him where he left off….he running off leaving you pregnant?”
“No I haven’t”
“When are you planning to do that?”
“I don’t know. I am not sure if I should. I mean it’s over so what’s the point in hurting him”.
“You are worried about hurting him!! what about the way he hurt you?? You forgave him for that?”
“No Swati else I would have agreed to his proposal. I have hated him for last four years I can’t let go everything so suddenly…Although…”
“It’s hard to resist him. I just want to get back to him but my other half pulls me back. I don’t know when I will trust him again”.
“I don’t understand what to do with both of you. Your two are perfectly matched emotional fools. It’s quite apparent that 4 years made no difference to your passion. You’re both madly in love but are victims of circumstances. You both failed in making relationships with others. And like opposite ends of a magnet no matter how far you go eventually you both will end up at same place. Either by fate or by your own effort”.
“What are you trying to say Swati?”
“Well I better tell you now that he did come back for you”
“After you left Pune. One day he was suddenly back looking for you. He literally begged me to know about you. He told me about his problems and why he left. How he left Amisha at the alter because he couldn’t go through the wedding. I told him that it was too late. You had already married Jagadish. Anandi I will never forget the defeated and shattered look he had that day. I told him he was too late. That moment even I could feel his pain and know how much I hated him”.
Anandi’s eyes welled up. She had this urge to rush to Shiv and hug him. He had suffered as much as her.
She could feel an lump in her throat “Why didn’t you tell me this before?”
“Because he asked me not to…he didn’t want to create any problems in your married life nor did I. I didn’t want you to regret you decision to marry Jagadish although it didn’t help much that cheater did leave you after all and after that there was no point”.
“Swati Jagadish didn’t cheat. Our separation was mutual”.
“Oh yeah he realized that after taking fancy to that Ganga”.
“Swati everything is not black and white there are some grey areas in everyone. I was equally at fault. I never gave my 100% to our marriage. My heart was not into it. Infact I felt bad for runining Jagadish’s life. I was really happy when he found his real love. Ganga will give him everything which I couldnt”.
“I know where your heart lies Anandi……..It’s with Shiv. You never forgot him and seems like nether did he”.
“So what should I do?”
“Just follow your heart. I can’t advise you. You are the best person to take this decision”.
“You are confusing me Swati”
“Let him earn your trust. Test him and see if he is worthy of your love again once you are free of your insecurity and misgivings you will know what to do”.
Anandi was thoughtful. She heard baby’s cry from the other side.
“Sparsh is awake now. I will talk to you later Anandi” Swati said.
“Sure Swati and give a kiss to Sparsh from me”.
Anandi smiled Sparsh was one of the cutest baby she had ever seen. Had things turned out differently Her child would have turned 5 this year.
She closed her eyes to dispel those painful memories. It was strange she felt such strong connection to something which barely existed and when she came to know of its existence it was already gone. It’s not that she was the only woman to have a miscarriage but somehow she had never forgiven herself for that. She held herself partially responsible for not realizing and not taking good care of herself.
Perhaps she felt so heartbroken because it Shiv’s baby. It was his essence and she had failed to protect it. She was feeling varied emotions, guilt mixed with anger and sense of betrayal.
Shivraj Shekhar was a happy man these days. Everyone had noticed the change specially his long suffering staff. His PA, The secretary, and The HR manager they felt relieved. It was not that he had become slack in his expectation where there was marked difference in his attitude. He was happier, chirpier, and more forgiving Khadoos was not khadoos anymore.
Anandi was in the lift when she encountered Shiv’s PA. She had never interacted with him but she had often seen him with Shiv. She gave a customary smile to him .He grinned back in genuine happiness.
Just before getting out at his floor he said “Thanks Mam”
She looked puzzled “For what?”
“For changing Sir, Ever since he has met you he is a changed man. In my last 4 years with him I have never seen him happier than now”.
He left leaving Anandi gaping open mouthed. “Shiv was not happy before?? What happened in last four year I must find out” She thought.
She decided she would broach the question to him at the right opportunity. But that opportunity never came. It was impossible to talk in office and they both had a busy week.
“And why do you want to go to Mysore with me?” She asked him over coffee.
“Because I am bored. The only places I have seen in Bangalore is electronic City and the traffic jams. I have not even seen the famous Brigade road”.
“We went there for dinner last week Shiv”.
“Oh is it?? I didn’t notice”
She rolled her eyes “You will notice if u look at anything else other than food”.
“I don’t notice anything else when I am with you”. He grinned.
“yeah whatever. So why do you want to visit Mysore?”
“I am thinking of buying few elephants and the Mysore Palace. I need a bigger house and elephants are excellent to counter traffic jams. You see they will scare away everyone from the road”.
She burst into laughter “Have you lost your mind”.
“You tell me what kind of question is that?? Why do people visit any place? For sightseeing of course. I want to look around Bangalore and other cities”.
“Ok fine. Why are you dragging me along?”
“I don’t fancy going there with my PA and the manager. You are the only person I know here and as a friend you should accompany me”.
“What if I refuse?”
“I am your boss’s boss’s boss you can’t refuse me” He smirked
“I can and what will you do fire me? I don’t care” She gave him a naughty smile.
“If you say one more time to fire you I will…”
“Yes?” She asked.
“I will kiss you in the middle of the office. Later you can sue me for sexual harassment or whatever I don’t care”
“Shiv!!! you have gone nuts. Why are we bickering anyways?”
“I am not quarrelling. You are doing it. All I am asking is that you come along, As a friend of course. You have to simply say Yes”.
“Shiv! you are not making this easy”.
“We will take it slow don’t worry. I really want to look around and we will get time to talk and maybe sort out our situation. It’s too hectic here we barely get time to talk”.
He was correct to some extent. They barely met for few hours every week.
She relented “Ok I will come along as a friend” “If that is remotely possible” She thought.
He gave a wide smile “Good. I will let you know when”.
To be continued………