Samay was scheduled to depart by 4 am flight to Canberra on Sunday. He had promised to spend Saturday with Barkha. It was going to be the longest they would be away from each other since they met. But the pre-engagement ceremony had brought them closer, overshadowing all the fears which loomed in Barkha’s heart.
The day passed promptly than ever and a sense of dispiritedness engulfed Barkha’s inner self. Somewhere within her heart, there was something indescribable happening, some melancholic thoughts were constantly bothering her, as if Samay is being taken away from her for longer than it seems. But she consoled herself, assuming it all to be a human reaction to parting.
Barkha : Can I come to leave you at the airport?
Samay : You know I would love that. But I cannot go any further if I see you in tears, which I know you wouldn’t hold back. Stay home. I will write to you. Let’s be the old-time lovers. I don’t believe in text messages and emails, let us write letters. I want to be able to touch the words written by these hands that I crave for. Would you?
Barkha burst into tears and Samay held her in his embrace for a long enough.
It was time to leave her home and to gather his belongings and head to the airport.
Samay : Promise me to be your lovely self always. I will see my wife to be soon.
Barkha : I love You Samay!
Samay : I love you too Barkha.
And he left.
The next day Samay called her from Canberra as soon as he landed, and she was all smiles on hearing the sound of his voice.
Raghaven : Barkha, please come downstairs, breakfast is ready.
Just then Raghaven’s phone rang, it was Mr Bhaskar Razdaan.
Raghaven : Hello Mr. Razdaan ! Good morning! I was just thinking about inviting you and Mrs. Razdaan over for dinner tonight.
It seemed as if someone dropped a bomb on Mr. Raghaven. He looked pale and kept mum while hearing out what Mr Razdaan spoke. He simply looked at Barkha and without saying a word, came and hugged her, as if some fear gripped him.
Barkha : What happened papa? Is everything okay?
Anjum : What happened? Is Samay okay?
Barkha : Yes ma, I just spoke to him.
Raghaven : Will you two just sit down? I don’t know how to say all of this. I don’t know how this has even developed into such a disaster. Mr. Razdaan has called off the marriage.
Barkha was out of words. She was barely able to form a dialogue. Anjum couldn’t bear to see the state that her daughter was stepping into.
Barkha : (barely murmuring) But everything was fine. We just spoke. All was okay. What happened? Why this? Does he know? No. No he doesn’t. I must talk to him. I need to call him papa. I must call him.
And she just ran off upstairs to her room, trying to hide her tears and restlessly trying to dial Samay’s number. But it was switched off. She recalled, he had told her that he would be available only around evening, owing to his official procedures there.
Gautams were left with an unrest which was beyond definable, more so, because they had not even the slightest idea of what caused such a random and harsh episodical twist!