Anita ambled to the dinner table and set her customary afternoon tea in front of her regular chair. She put a glass of water next to it for her husband and gingerly got seated. Her eyesight had faded, both her knees had been replaced, and eating was now a boring exercise of gulping down without chewing. All wasn’t lost though. A music lover, she could now listen to any song anytime, anywhere on numerous mobile apps. Oh, how had the world changed since her younger days! Thanks to her granddaughter and technology for paving the way. She browsed a bit before settling on the one song that always evoked nostalgia. “Jaaneman jaaneman tere do nayan, chori chori leke gaye dekho mera man…Jaaneman…”
“Ji, you remember this song?” She called him out.“It has been so long but feels like yesterday. I was a quiet girl in college, either pouring over my books or listening to songs on my brand-new Sony Walkman. Everyone thought that I was a show-off, khadoos type. Was it my fault that Pappa gifted me that fancy thing on my birthday? But you saw me for who I was; a shy introvert. And what a sneak you were too. If you didn’t tell me later, I would never know how you followed me around and eavesdropped while I often hummed it.” She looked at him smiling and shyly smiled back. The togetherness of over five decades but he could still make her heart flutter.
“Sach kahu, I always liked you but feared showing it. So handsome and popular you were, girls sighed at even your mention. When I saw Choti Si Baat, I felt like I too needed a love guru like Amol Palekar. Haha! Glad we came together without one though. You sang this song on stage in our college gathering proclaiming your love for me through it. Somehow everyone knew it was for me. I went red in the face with embarrassment while other girls with fury. It was hilarious!” Anita gave him a naughty glance and laughed her heart out while the tea lay forgotten and went cold. The song played on repeat while she relived those beautiful memories.
She got up with some effort and slowly walked up to him. His bright eyes and innocent smile added to his charming personality. “You were so jealous when I said I liked Dharmendra. You didn’t have to, you know. You were no less good-looking than him, if not better. I knew how puppy-eyed you went every time you saw Rekha. Yes, I did. Don’t deny it. However, all that doesn’t matter in real life. We promised to be with each other and always will be. You didn’t keep your end of the bargain though.” Anita’s eyes suddenly went moist and she dabbed at them with the corner of her sari pallu. Her husband watched her, speechless.
“Jaaneman jaaneman…” still played in the background but the mood in the room had changed. Anita picked up the golden photo frame kept on the side table and looked at it indulgently. Her husband stared back at her while she lovingly touched his face through the glass. It had been a year since his demise but she still felt his presence around her. She spoke haltingly, “Ji, I’m sorry. I had promised you that I’ll always remember you with a smile. Par kya karu? This song…” and she broke into fresh tears again.
This post is a part of Blogchatter Blog Hop
© This site A Vibrant Palette is the property of Varsha Bagadia. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Varsha Bagadia and A Vibrant Palette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.