Wednesday, 17 September 2014



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Chapter – 09

“Here is The Starlet… Finally”, Shekhar exclaimed as he smiled widely and pecked on Tara’s cheeks.

It was almost midnight. But, this wasn’t new to the couple. As Tara climbed up the ambitious career ladder, the time that she could devote to her loving family ebbed. In order to compensate for Tara’s absence, Shekhar took charge of their house and started freelancing.

“Someone looks very happy today. What is the matter?” asked Tara as she walked into the living room.

“I am a happy man Pari. Tell me, how was your day? Asked Shekhar as he led her to the kitchen.

“Long Shakes. Really-really long. I compiled the photos sent by Jeans and presented it to the client. They were impressed. But, the questioning that followed was tiresome” Tara said.

“Isn’t it a long time since meeting Jeans? Time is really flying fast! How is she?” asked Shekhar.

“Um. Good. Not changed a bit. You know what, she has got a tattoo in her right hand - a beaded thread bearing holy cross.”

“Sounds interesting. Yet very painful” Shekhar said as Tara examined the kitchen.

“OH-EM-GEE!!! Are you baking a cake!?” Tara squealed. Shekhar nodded and winked.

“You spoil me Shakes. Always.” Tara teased and took a bowl of grapes. As Tara started munching them, Shekhar hugged her from behind and whispered in her ears,
“A dozen years has passed
Since you and I vowed to be one
To share tears of grief and happiness.
You complete me
You are not only wife, dear lady;
But, also my world.
Thanks for coming as a star;
In my otherwise dark life.
Thank you;
For being the guiding light.
Many-many thanks;
For the dozen happy years and umpteen happy memories.
Let many-many more follow.
Love you…”
Tears of joy started to roll down Tara’s cheek. She closed her eyes and thanked heavens for being so generous towards her. She hugged back and said, “I love you too”. Moments of silence followed.

“I am so sorry that I forgot our anniversary. Sometimes, I wonder whether I deserve so much happiness and love. I am so bad. I take you for granted. I…” Tara was interrupted by Shekar’s kiss on her forehead and then on her quivering lips. He carried her to their bedroom. That night they made love. Unhurriedly, yet passionately.

As always, Shekhar fell asleep in no time. Tara rested on his evenly heaving chest and caressed his balding head. She missed those silky hair he once had.

She couldn’t believe that they were married for twelve years. So much had changed. However, with each passing year, love multiplied. And, his eyes continued to drench her with love and always ushered her to his heart.  

Tara tried to fall asleep. She had another long day at office. Yet, she couldn’t stop herself from thinking about the difficult first two years of marriage was and the magical years that followed. She couldn’t pardon herself that she forgot their wedding anniversary.

Slowly, old memories reeled in the back of her mind.

Shekhar’s birthday followed soon after their wedding. Tara was confused. She couldn’t decide about the gift. After a lot of thinking, she decided to sell a land that she owned and to buy a house. She went in search of a perfect house where they could build a nest of their own. A villa near Bandra awed her. It looked perfect. She bought that house and named, “Cocoon”. She personally decorated the interiors and ensured that it looked trendy and cozy at the same time. She adorned the walls with their photographs and Shekhar’s love notes.

On Shekhar’s birthday, she blindfolded him and took him to their new house – their cocoon. When he opened his eyes, he noticed a thoughtfully designed nameplate that read, “Mr & Mrs. Dutta”. He couldn’t believe his own eyes as tears blurred his vision.

Tara hugged him tight and said, “Let’s build a world of our own”. Shekhar, who otherwise expresses poetically, found it difficult to express.

In spite of working for a well-known newspaper, his salary was only handful. Apart from a fixed amount diverted to conservative saving plans like insurance and mutual funds, he could not invest much. Definitely, not in something as magnificent as Cocoon.

That day, he felt small in front of Tara. He was overjoyed. But, he also envied her. As Tara toured him through the home, he was preoccupied. He was thinking of some way to at least equal her, if not outgrow her. He never believed in competition and bank balance. His expectation from life had always been basic – Happiness and Peace. But, that day, he realized that Tara deserved much more. He concluded that he had failed her; failed himself.


It was almost dawn and Tara was still awake. Their house, Cocoon, was s storehouse of several memories. “We must weave at least ten memories per brick” a philosophical Shekhar used to tell Tara. That night Tara wondered how many bricks they would have covered.


PS: Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

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