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One thing was clear to him, Avni loathed the “allowing” word. “But what on earth makes it so offensive?” he was still thinking.
Avni rolled on her bed, fighting to sleep, discarding the memories of the day for the umpteenth time. Sleep was a thousand miles away. She could not fathom the logic behind Ansh’s behaviour earlier that day.
Avni recollected what just transpired between her and Ansh a few hours back.
“I am allowing you to be with your friends however and wherever you wish, but, not allowing you go to this party late at night that too in Delhi!”
“Excuse me! What do you think you are? Keep your “allowing” business with yourself. I am neither asking your permission nor assistance. I just informed you of my plans out of habit. Don’t you dare come up with this “allowing” business anymore!”
By this time, both were fuming with rage.
“But don’t you remember I am your fiancé?!”
“Yes. I remember very well, which is why I am trying to keep my temper. But that doesn’t mean I am letting you decide my life on my behalf. You may give your suggestions, but, I warn you, your “allowing” dialogues will be turned down right at your face. I do not entertain this behaviour at any cost!”
Ansh could not react anymore. Avni’s outburst was incomprehensible for him. With all his best intentions, he was just trying to be a responsible fiancé, which he was already. Both Avni and Ansh left the place and parted ways without any other word.
Avni was still struggling to sleep. She has always avoided overprotective guys like plague. She had always opined that subtle sexists are more notorious than the outrageous MCPs.
She still tried to think rationally on the situation at hand.
For her, Ansh had always been a sweet person. Though it was an arranged marriage proposal, Ansh had never taken anything for granted, and had always been serious about mutual respect. He cared for her the most and put her priorities in the first place, except at times when his OCD behaviour interfered, curbing her craving for street food and roadside shopping.
These things freaked him out always.
Otherwise, he was very understanding. Avni had said many times that she was still not sure about the marriage, and he has constantly assured her that she could call off the wedding if she wanted to, and he would never be judgemental about that.
The more she thought, the more confused she became. “What is with guys and their ‘allowing’ dialogues? Do girls even speak like that? What makes them so audacious?” she thought. She really wanted to sort this out. She could never risk being ‘allowed’ all her life.
Knowing Ansh very well, she was sure he would never call or text first when there was a fight. She was the first one to make the move, always.
Avni wanted to have a civil conversation with him over this. “Should I wait till morning or call him right away?” she evaluated in her head.
Knowing full well that sleep was the last thing to happen this night, she called him. There was a long ring and no answer.
“He must have slept.” she thought. “I am breaking my head here and he’s having a sound sleep!” Avni was annoyed, and kept calling him. Only when he picked up on the fifth try with a sleepy hello, was she convinced.
“Hello! Are you sleeping?”
“What kind of question is that?”
“I mean, how could you be so insensitive?”
“Can we please talk tomorrow?”
“But I really want to put an end to this now.”
“Avni, this half-baked conversation might just worsen the situation. Can you please rest it for a while and discuss tomorrow.”
“You are impossible.”
“Trust me. A good rest will reduce half our problems.”
“I hate to say this but, Good night.”
“Good night dear.”
Avni thought that she did not hear it properly. Nobody would be in the mood to voice endearments in this situation, or at least she wasn’t.
Having tried to unburden the emotions off her chest and Ansh’s composed way of handling things sure had its magic as she drifted off to sleep after some time. She was woken up in the morning by her roomies chatting in the living room. She simply closed her eyes and continued to sleep. “Sundays are the best thing to happen to anyone.” she thought.
She remembered the conversation between her and Ansh. “He was right.” she thought. The previous day’s issue did not matter that much now. Of course, the “allowing” line still irked her. But the rage was half reduced now. She was able to think without getting carried away by overpowering emotions.
“I am not calling him myself again,” she thought, sipping her coffee. She went on with her chores, expecting a call or text from him every now and then. Avni was really worried. “What if he continues being like this for the rest of our lives?” the thought bothered her deeply.
Finally, at 1.0 P.M he called. Avni tried her best to hide the excitement that had built up in her.
“Are you free today evening?”
“Yes. But why?”
“Thought we must go for some shopping for our wedding.”
Avni was irritated now. She wanted him to restart the conversation he had deliberately postponed yesterday night. But now he was acting all innocent as if nothing had happened.
“Don’t you remember I called you yesterday night?
“Yes, I do.”
“Then why don’t you talk about it for god sake?”
“Avni, whatever I say, you might just overreact as if I am trying to control your life. So I don’t want to talk about it.”
“So you want to act like nothing ever happened. I am sorry, I cannot and I will not do that. Bye.”
Even before Ansh could respond the call snapped.
Ansh threw the phone on the bed and went to the fridge to grab a drink. He was thinking about how curtly Avni cut the call. He still could not figure out why this was happening in the first place.
He recalled the events of the dreadful evening. One thing was clear to him, Avni loathed the “allowing” word. “But what on earth makes it so offensive?” he was still thinking.
He remembered the times they spent together.
She was nothing less than a bundle of energy. She was everything he could ask for, a no-nonsense woman with a mind of her own. There were times when she was the only person arguing against a bunch of people opposing her views. Even at times when Ansh felt the argument was being very sexist, Avni was the one to keep her head high and put her points forward without indulging in mudslinging.
He had always admired her for never emotionally succumbing to the ways people hijack a decent conversation. She always loved to do things the way she liked, yet she had been very understanding and adjustable with his OCD nature. He thought about how he had always kept her from such things, and how she had hid her disappointment underneath a smile. “I have never seen her that enraged against anyone, or even against me when I was wrong, then what made her blood boil so much?” Ansh was confused now.
As a more mature person in dealing with things and people, he understood that she must have had some valid reasons, which he could not figure out having a discussion with her.
Ansh drove to Avni’s place. The stereo played the same songs it played while they were in the car together, giving Ansh some really light moments to reminiscence, “OH boy! I miss her badly” he thought.
By the time he reached her place, his head was clear. He wanted to understand her. More importantly, get her back and clear things. He hated the distance growing between them.
Avni was shocked to see him at the door.
“Would you mind letting me in?”
“Yeah. Of course!”
After they made themselves comfortable on the couch. Ansh initiated the conversation.
“So, you missed me?”
“Because I did.”
“Good for you. How was it missing me?”
“Terrible. Can you not see it in my face?”
Avni tried her best to hide the crimson red blushes forming on her face.
“OK I will not make it difficult for you anymore. Can you tell me why you were so mad at me? I have never seen you like that before. I am worried.”
Avni was glad that he is finally coming to the point.
“So Mr. Man, you need to understand you cannot boss around people and that is what annoys me.”
“Well! I don’t boss around anyone, especially you. I was just telling you to not do things that bothered me and be considerate about that.”
“Exactly! What mattered to you was it bothered you, not how much enthusiasm I have put into it. Did you care?”
“OK listen. Do I not have the right to tell you so? Won’t your parents do that to you?”
“Ansh, First of all, you must understand that we don’t gamble our safety. We, women, know how things are in this country as we are directly at the receiving end. Hence our planning is always after considering the risk factors without compromising our needs. You could have asked me about my plans, but you chose to trigger me by audaciously telling that I am “forbidden” from doing so-and-so things! Secondly, my parents have the trust in me to send me far away to work because they know I am a responsible adult, to live my life on my own, and don’t poke their nose in my business. And even if they tell me not to do certain things, it is in a civil way. They don’t enforce their authority on me. And very importantly we have a 25-year bond to distinguish dos and donts. Do I have that with you?”
Ansh was slightly disappointed by the way she finished it. He felt as if she didn’t feel the same way he felt towards her in the relationship they share.
Seeing his long face, Avni was quick to step in and mend her words.
“Sure, I have deep feelings and respect for you. But you see we are in the process of building it. What I look forward to is a more friendly relationship. You are special to me Ansh. You know that right?”
These words sure had the desired effects on him. He was beaming with joy in the inside, but, gave away only a simple yet charming smile.
“OK. I understand and I promise to be more careful in my choice of words hereafter. And I get that you are a grown woman equipped to take care of yourself just the way you were before we met, and my sense of protectiveness cannot be inconsiderate to the fact that women know better to plan and deal with their own safety. Deal! So friends?”
“Are you friend zoning me now? We are partners.” Avni finished with a peck on Ansh’s cheek.
“OK my partner, please don’t be mad at me for a long time anymore OK? I just miss you damn too much!” Ansh said pulling her for a hug.
“Missed you too, Ansh!” Avni hugged back.
Ansh took her hands and lead her to the door, very much to Avni’s surprise.
“Where are we going?” she asked.
“To the golgappa shop at the street end. Treat is on you for getting me back!” he clasped his fingers with Avni’s signalling to be more understanding thereafter.
Author’s note: The premise and characters are based on the fiction Wedding Pickle by Neha Sharma. However, the story and turn of events are completely changed as per the author’s own perspective.
Wannabe optimist. Argumentative. Dangerously impulsive. Expert idiot. Yet a spirited versatile.
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