Decades of Love – Love never Dies
14th February, 2017.
It was a cold and breezy morning. The door of the villa was slightly open. A lady entered in swiftly. She was dressed in a cotton sari, pastel pink with a white blouse. Her hair was loosely tied in a bun. The little dangling earrings looked pretty and elegant. Her forehead was decorated with a big red Bindi. She was in her mid fifties, but still looked quite young and beautiful for her age.
She smiled brightly and said, “Anuradha Bose. I have come for a tarot reading. I called up last evening to confirm my appointment.” Rashmi made her sit on the cane chair placed in the living room. Rashmi was a young tarot card reader and counselor. It was not only her profession, but her passion. She had been conducting tarot sessions for people. Though tarot is majorly about fortune telling, she believed in listening to people’s problems and counseling them.
Anuradha seemed happy and cheerful. Rashmi sat on the chair opposite to her. The table in between had a red cloth, with the tarot cards spread on it. There was a cool silence in the living room. Rashmi smiled to break the ice. She asked about Auradha’s profession. Anuradha explained, “I am a Professor of Philosophy in the university. I have been teaching in for thirty years now. I am born and brought up in Kolkatta and had been living here all my life. I have a daughter, who is settled in Bangalore.”
It was time to address the elephant in the room. Rashmi asked her about her problem and her questions so that they can begin with the tarot session. Anuradha walked down the memory lane.
15th November, 1981.
I am talking about the days when I was young. I was studying in college. I met this man while I was returning back from a study tour. I got separated from my classmates at Durgapur and missed the train. I was weeping on the station alone, when I saw a man dressed up in army uniform, tall and handsome. Shirish Kelkar was an army officer. He brought me back to Kolkata and dropped me up till my doorstep.
A few days later I received a letter in my name. It was Shirish. A few months rolled by. We exchanged letters regularly. I received a letter from him, which had only one line, “I Love You. Now and Forever” I realized that I was in love too. Shirish was posted in Assam those days. He came to meet me once. I can still sense his touch on my fingers.
My family came to know about us. My father didn’t approve of him because he was not a Bengali. We had to cut off our communication.
I was married to another man the very next month, but I failed to rub off Shirish from my memory. My husband died in a car accident a decade later.
Rashmi was engrossed in the story. She asked, “What do you want me to do in that case?” Anuradha said, “Last month I came to know through a friend that Srirish is in Kolkata. She met him at a wedding. He is retired now. He has still not married. My friend had taken his number. We have talked for a few days. He didn’t marry because he was always in love with me. I am going to meet him today. I want to know whether it is a right decision.”
Rashmi took the cards and put them in the box. She said, “Love rarely comes in our life. You are lucky that he waited for decades. More than my cards, you can help yourself. Go and meet him. Don’t hesitate to embrace love because nothing can be more fulfilling.”
Anuradha got up and left the villa to meet Shirish.