It was raining heavily. Little Arpan had just gone off to sleep. It was going to be a late night and I needed a coffee boost. To keep me awake. My diary beckoned me, as it did every Saturday night…
I settled into my cosy corner near the window. I settled on the beanbag, a notebook in hand. No, it was not the digital notebook but a simple little notebook, the sort used by school children. Don’t know why, but I still prefer writing the old fashioned way, and yes, I use the fountain pen too.
Fountain pen…it always brings back the memories.
“Radha, why do you still insist on using these implements of a bygone era”, he would say.
“Fountain pen and notebook! Why are still living in the antique world, my Shakespearina. I will present you with the latest iPad”, so saying he would hug me…
He…my Arvind. Arvind Swamy, I would tease him. He looked smart in his uniform.
Aquiline nose, sharp features, a short mop of cropped hair. And those eyes…a little innocent, but quite naughty.
It was an arranged marriage, but those eyes flirted with me…flirted right there, in the living room where we sat facing each other in the presence of our parents when he first came to see me. It was love at first sight.
“Are you sure, beta?”, asked my father, concern writ large on his face. He was racked by afterthoughts.
In answer, I just hugged him. “Papa, I feel so proud that I will be marrying an army man. You should be happy, Papa”
It was raining heavily in the evening. Arvind, home on a short vacation, was sprawled on the beanbag. I snuggled against his bare chest after keeping the tray, holding two cups of steaming coffee, on the floor.
I held up his hands, crossed them around my waist, and enveloped myself in his arms. Comfortable, I reached for one of the cups.
Ummm…this was bliss, the invigorating smell of coffee mixed with the heady fragrance of my man.
“Shakespearina… either I hold you or I hold the cup of coffee. When you are in my arms I can never hold anything else”.
Then he added teasingly, “unless, it is a glass of Rum”
As I slapped his hand mockingly, he reached for his steaming cup.
That drenched night he wrote the most exquisite poetry on my notebook leaving me asking for more.
Early morning, Arvind received the call to report on the border immediately.
It had to be those infiltrations across the border, though he never divulged anything. Neither did I ask.
Arvind left…never to return. His body…He was given a 21-gun salute. People thronged to pay their respects.
I felt helplessness…I felt pride…but what exactly did I feel? I never understood.
I only had a wordless conversation with the life growing inside me, as the visuals were but, a blur…
I left my diary entry unfinished. It usually happens on such rainy nights…