Life is not about making choices; it’s about going down the path we have chosen for us and I had made my choice before the choice even came before me. When the whole world was engulfed in celebrating the new year, I was already out in the memory lane traversing irregular paths, jumping one lane to another, seeing faces of all my loved ones – mom, dad, bro, sis, friends, that special smile while falling freely down my 13th floor apartment.
Now, allow me to start from the very beginning. The person falling at an acceleration of ‘g’ is me, and people who know me would not believe that I would ever do such a stupid thing but this story starts from a date few months ago. It was the most special day of the year - my birthday. I was awake early and was being impatient for the most awaited call of the day. She didn't keep me waiting for long and that sweetest Good Morning made my day. We had plans to spend the whole day together and have fun. We went for a small hike, spent the evening watching movie and playing games in the mall and had a lavish dinner. Finally, the day was over and I went to drop her at her society.
It has been 2 years and I don't even know when Riya became an integral part of my life. My life would start with her sweet good mornings and my day would end with her good nights. Every day I would long only for seeing her beautiful smile. Office hours seemed like eternity without her and evenings were a bliss when we would be together. It sometimes feels strange how time flies by so fast. "Where are you really taking me mister?" - her voice brought me back to reality and I realized I had crossed her apartment a couple of minutes ago while being lost in my chain of thoughts.
I made a U turn and returned back to her society. We hugged to say goodbye and it was a little longer than usual. The time was 12:01, my birthday was over. I asked her if she was ok and as suspected, she was not. Her face had no emotions and I knew I was about to hear something serious which I dreaded not to hear. She said her parents were finding a match for her . . . "but you don't even smoke, what would you do with a match???" I cut her sentence in between, there was a moment of shock in her face and the next moment I received a solid punch on my shoulders. She continued that she was not ready for marriage yet, not even with me(and neither was I). I consoled her that our parents think like that only and we will figure a way out. I could not sleep the whole night and even thought deeply about this whole marriage affair. I finally concluded that marriage was not on my list yet, not even in my wildest dreams.
Next 4 months were the hardest to cross. Every other week, her parents would make her meet someone and she was able to dodge them cleverly(we planned too many ways to do this). Finally, we decided to let our parents know about our relationship. My parents reluctantly accepted it but her parents didn't even want to hear her out. Tension of our parents passed on to us and even we had occasional riots over this issue. Nothing was going our way and we were completely helpless in our situation. It felt like having a ton of pressure on us and our brain and heart had stopped functioning.
It was New year's eve and she had gone to her hometown for the week. I had no plans and was sleeping peacefully in my apartment when my phone rang. I picked up my phone to see Riya calling. The time was 9 PM and there still were 3 hours before the calls would start to flood in. Her hello lacked the usual cheerfulness and had too much gravity in it. I jokingly asked - "Why so serious, teri shaadi set ho gayi kya?" She didn't reply for a moment before breaking into tears. I realized the bad timing of my joke and apologized numerous times but it was too late. After 15-20 minutes, she became a little normal and said "It is all over now and it is better to end our relationship with the year. Let the new year be for new beginnings, whether we like them or not. Forget me and move on . . ." I knew she switched to English only when she was not comfortable in speaking something but her abrupt ending of the call was too much to handle for me.
I called her non-stop for the next 2 hours but she didn't take any of my calls. None of my messages were proving of any use. I was unable to understand the situation that why she was avoiding me like this. It was killing and frustrating me at the same time. Whatever was between us, be it friendship or love, we could at least talk about our situation. Even if she wanted to break up, we could discuss it sensibly. I think our relationship had that level of maturity, but something or rather she changed in a day and I was unable to accept this.
In these 2 hours, my frustration and her avoidance led me to anger. My anger and helplessness to do anything to make her talk to me led me to depression. All of our 2 years started to flash in front of my eyes. My depression combined with these memories made me anxious and may be this anxiety killed my rationality. It was 5 minutes to midnight and I was walking furiously, thinking unstably in my balcony. I called her one last time and she didn't pick up. At that moment, I lost everything, I lost even me. Next moment, I was standing on the edge of the balcony. Rockets started to fly in the sky, there were noises(must have been merries) from all parts of the building and I felt weightlessness. Physics says it would take me less than 3 seconds to hit the ground but the speed of thoughts is much faster than light. I saw millions of memories flash by in that little time when my phone rang . . .
I was holding my phone too tightly and it was ringing. I was still delusional if I was still in my dream or had woken up. The time was 9 PM, it was still 31st December and I was still alive. I chuckled a little on this new sensation. I finally paid attention to my phone call - it was displaying Riya calling. I cheerfully attended the call but her hello had too much gravity in it. I was starting to feel deja vu when my natural instinct asked her - Why so serious, teri shaadi set ho gayi kya . . .