“Congrats great news, Arsh must be elated. Finally he bagged the responsibility. So Alpine holidays or English breakfast by the Thames?” exclaimed Sheetal to Snigdha over call. Sheetal, Arsh and Snigdha were college mates . After completing their college, Sheetal went abroad to pursue higher education while the other two stayed in Mumbai, worked and finally tied the knot.

“None, other plan, will let you know. You won’t believe, he planned for a candle night dinner today.” Snighda said excitedly. Snigdha and Arsh were married for around a decade. Arsh worked with a renowned construction firm as a legal adviser while Snigdha was a home maker .

Same day , evening – –

Arsh and Snigdha at the dinner…”Sweetie! I’m so happy today. Finally I nailed it. I’ll fulfill all your dreams…just speak.. I’m too happy today to crib for anything.”

“Really! OK so… what’s your special plan for our upcoming Anniversary. Baby, this will be our 10th year and so I hope you have planned something grand to celebrate it.”she remarked anxiously.

“Ya.. I…I have thought about it..ummm…since its a weekday we’ll celebrate it with a special dinner at Mainland China and… uhh…weekend we can have our close friends at home..”he suggested.

“Are you crazy? Have you lost it..I thought we’ll go on a short trip!” she smirked.

“ok,then you suggest..where to?” he replied smiling.

“Ka…sh…mir…if you pleaseeeee.”she said in a requesting tone.

After a brief pause of around a minute Arsh nodded, smiling.

That evening Snigdha felt on cloud nine, her desire to visit her fantasy land is going to be fulfilled very soon.

For the next few days Snigdha was busy packing their belongings. She even made a list of things to buy from Kashmir. Suddenly, she remembered something and called Sheetal…

“Neither Alpine nor English breakfast, it’s Kawaah by the Jhelum.”

“Oye-Hoye! great…Chal….finish packing.” saying Sheetal hung the call.

Later that night an exhausted Arsh returns home. In a tired tone he responds,”Snigu…unpack these.”

A bewildered Snigdha looks up at Arsh and with a wrinkled forehead she gestures,”Are you serious or a prank? “she yelled.

Arsh stood speechless for few seconds, then in a soft husky tone he regretted,” sorry Snigu dear…I tried..believe me I tried.. but finally couldn’t..”

“Please explain it.. I am simply not getting.” she sounded furious.

Passing Snigdha a chair he gestured to sit, as she relaxed herself he continued,” See Snigu, life is a bumpy ride.. sometimes there is no happy choice, Snigu, only one less grievous than the others, yet we have to accept that.” Snigdha was losing her temper and she screamingly said,” Dont beat around the bush..state it”.

“We have to cancel Kashmir trip. There’s a dispute regarding a land in Lonavala and boss wants me to solve that issue urgently. So… either you have to stay here alone or you accompany me and celebrate our ‘ 1oth Anniversary’ at Lonavala.. ”

“Lonavala..” flabbergasted,she continued,” we’ve been there 100’s of times….Ag..ain??”

With a sigh Snigdha looked at the baggage,”Ticket to Paradise- Cancelled”, she thought.



The above story is an entry into #TheChoice a Five00-6 entry.
Check out event guidelines here: https://artoonsinn.com/five00-6/

Check out Sonali’s space here: https://artoonsinn.com/author/sonali-bhattacharya/


Photo by Arnel Hasanovic

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