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The Road Not Taken – A Tale of Missed Chances and What Ifs…

Did he love me...did he not? This puzzle was solved years later, but...

Did he love me…did he not? This puzzle was solved years later, but…

I have had several romantic liaisons none of which reached the stage of fruition, culminating in matrimony.

This is yet another incident in which I had no inkling whatsoever regarding what the other individual felt. Had I got a clue things would have worked out differently.

During the summer of that particular year, many moons ago, I met this young man, a pen-pusher like myself. Those days I worked for a local city magazine. My colleague Sunil, who was a close friend of this guy (let’s call him Rahul) introduced us.

He was polite well-mannered and affable. He would often drop in at the office with Sunil .Our conversation generally veered around current affairs, politics and story ideas for upcoming articles.

Eventually, I turned to freelancing. Around that time I would meet Rahul many times. In fact he was employed in a newspaper office on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg (Delhi’s Fleet street) which was close to my office.

He helped me a great deal by connecting me to editors and supervisors of several publications. I can’t thank him enough for his kindness. Let me confess I had no romantic notions about Rahul though he was fairly attractive with a massive stature. He also displayed no signs of special feelings, messages, notes, or starry eyed looks as far as I could gather.

This camaraderie would have continued uninterrupted, but it so happened that I met ‘my husband’ via matrimonial ad. Since he agreed to a simple unostentatious civil wedding the deal was clinched.

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Meanwhile, unaware of this development, Rahul invited me home for lunch during one weekend. (Now looking back, I guess he probably had planned to propose). Over a sumptuous lunch when I broke the news of the impending event and handed him the invitation card , he was taken aback. His facial expression changed. But recovering quickly he began to behave normally as before. (Women have a sixth sense that’s never wrong; so I guess he was disappointed).

Rahul came to our wedding reception where he gifted me a huge bouquet comprising my favourite roses and Rajanigandha/tuberose. I now faintly recall how despite repeated requests made by parents and self he managed to wriggle out of eating dinner, helping himself to only a cup of coffee.

On being introduced to my partner he was cordial as behoves a gentleman. Much later, when we were fairly settled in our married life, the husband mentioned observing how, throughout that evening, Rahul hadn’t take his eyes off me wherever I went – meeting friends greeting guests, posing for photo ops. These, he said were sure signs of unrequited emotions.(Incidentally, the hubby is a major in psychology, so he knows.) Or was it love? Who knows?

Post-marriage our friendly ties continued, since we were in the same profession. We bumped into each other at press conferences, libraries and other social do’s. His tone of light banter continued unabated.

That my hunch or conjecture was accurate came to light when, one day during a casual conversation, Sunil disclosed that Rahul had secretly admired me. He was just too shy to pop the question!

I was stunned. Three years later, about the time I had my baby, Rahul tied the knot with a Tamilian lady and a fellow scribe.

Soon after, they were blessed with a bonny daughter. For a few years thereafter, we grew out of touch . About ten years ago fate brought us together again. By  sheer coincidence he joined the private television channel where I was already working. Here too, his characteristic bonhomie was unmistakable. We worked together for a few months following which he opted for a more lucrative offer.

Personally I am glad that there was no bitterness or bad blood between us. As they say “whatever happens, happens for good.” I am sanguine he must be leading a blissful life wherever he is.

Also, knowing myself thoroughly well, I am sure he has found a far better spouse than I could have been!

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About the Author

RUCHIRA GHOSH

Am a trained and experienced features writer with 25 plus years of experience .My favourite subjects are women's issues, food travel, art,culture ,literature et all.Am a true feminist at heart. An iconoclast read more...

42 Posts | 234,406 Views

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