Love letter to my dearest - contd
by Sudha Chandrasekaran
(Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India)
Back to Page 1 of the short story
Aakash’s voice weakened and he could hardly manage a “Yeah.” Then slowly and warily he explained to her about the letter written by him several years ago hoping against hope that Tanvi could find the barest minimum iota of truth in what appeared even to him, as the most unbelievable story. In these several years of married life he knew homemaker Tanvi to be better than an unsuspecting simpleton. Tanvi, on her own, did not care much for the story... … she frantically needed something to have belief in. At least, Aakash was giving her some explanation, which even with all the hardened reasoning she had built in her depository, was unable to logically deny. “Now where are the other two pages?”
“Well umm… I might as well ring up Ma as she had put away the boxes in the process of de cluttering our home. So the whole drama shifted from the minds of this couple to the act of digging out the two fragments from yet another generation. Yes, it was just two pieces of paper on which rested honour, respect and love. Aakash rushed to the home of his perturbed parents. Enquiries generated grave “Not sure”. All present there were focussed on retrieving some long lost treasure. Finally, with the excitement of lost-at-sea seafarers came the frenzied “Ahoy”. Yeah.....finally Aakash had found the invaluable golden papers in a folder, much safer than he had imagined....!
As Tanvi sat down to read what promised to be the proof that lovely-‘if-indeed-true story ‘of Aakash, he heard a faint sigh … He at once knew that Tanvi had read the opening line “My Dearest Future Better-half,”… his innocence would continue to remain untainted, what a relief! .
In Tanvi’s mind, however, another war cry had taken root by the time she finished reading the paper, but with secret joy this time – that baleful third page… “So Aakash dear what happened to that old self of yours? And if you consider me your Bard… why don’t you make me feel like it? Did I do anything ...This is rather absurd… I have heard about people growing in love… you were dumbstruck and went dry… ”
Aakash, totally relieved and beguiled at this joke that his past self had managed to drag on him, now adorably looked at the woman pouring out her anxiety through a virulent earful. Then he perceived an almost inaudible crack in her voice. And, alas that familiar brightness in her eyes! And then happened the most incredible thing. That chubby countenance brought on by age and inadequate care to maintaining a “youthful beauty” started softening. All of a sudden the double chin and random streaks vanished. All that he could hear was just a muffled choke now. He touched her and it is that touch which a woman allows only to him with whom she feels the safest and most protected. He held her with gentle firmness in his arms while precious tears lugged away her own contrition at the mistrust and bitterness that she had felt. She held on to his shirt and looked directly into his eyes. With the same magic that Aakash had minutes ago rediscovered his young better-half, Tanvi once again saw her young Aakash of their honeymoon days! The love letter had managed to unify two lovers who with all the tiffs and boredom of mundane, undemonstrative family life, failed to know that they had always been in love with each other! xxx