Flat number E 43/1 , Dream Homes, Kolkata - The ambiance of the Flat spoke volumes about the owner , the floor of the drawing room was decorated with carefully chosen colorful tiles, those along with the vibrant sofa set oozed warmness , and the same reflected the vibrancy of the owner . The Flat had a huge Balcony which faced North, thus the entire house was always breezy, and this was the reason why Harsh had paid a whooping 75 lakhs for the flat , within 1 year of completing his MBA(Finance) from IIM(A)
The Door bell rang, Harsh looked at himself for a long time, The time had come, or has it not? the next few hours would stand a witness to a untold story or perhaps it would be just another evening with purva.
The bell rang again,Harsh rushed to open the door , Purva hugged him, and kissed him, they stood like one, for quite a while. Their relation dated back to the IIM days, a week back they got engaged to each other, it was a grand ceremony , a day which would be in the minds of all those who attended, and specially in the mind of the couple for time immemorial . There were snapshots of the grand day hung at drawing room. As the couple entered the drawing room, clanged to each other , both of them looked at the pics and kissed each other passionately and proceeded towards the balcony .
"what happened? harsh ! think something is disturbing you .. " Purva looked at Harsh, he looked really worried, his forehead had the lines which she last saw when he had proposed her , but today she could not find any reason for him to be upset .
She went and sat near him and put her head in his shoulder, " what happen , is there something you want to tell me.. ".
Harsh hugged her, " I love you a lot.. Do you think we should know everything about each others past..? " . Purva was not expecting such a question, she could not understand what was going on in his mind," why do you ask that harsh."
Harsh looked into her eyes, " I need to know the answer, please do not think I am doing anything that will hurt you, I am not, but " . "Harsh what's wrong ? I do not care about your past , All I know is that you love me and that is enough .."
Harsh, couldn't help but smile , he kissed her forehead, " I love you too. but I think I really need to tell you something , something .." .
A conglomeration of thoughts raced through his mind, his entire life flashed back in a couple of seconds, he had to tell her everything , he just had too, but he was not sure where to start from . This was one of the most precious moments for him, his love in his arms, he had all the time, he wanted, the weather was perfect, it was dusk, the sky had shades of red,birds were flying home, it was picture perfect. He took out his phone and clicked a photo of both them hugging each other sitting in the balcony . He was not sure of her reaction, and hence wanted to enjoy every moment prior to the second he told her his mistake.
Harsh got up and brought 2 beer cans, he took Purva's hand in his, " Sweetheart , I am going to tell you something, which is not pleasant , things which may make you angry, things which may make you hate me , but I really have to tell you else I would not be honest with you ." Purva was not sure what this meant, All this while she thought she knew him in and out, but what was this ? She was getting uncomfortable now, she picked up the bottle of beer had few sips , and sat sown on a chair in the balcony .
Harsh knew he had to start, he walked some distance away from her , turned his face the other side , "You know when i was a kid, both my parents used to work , and they had to ensure that I was safe alone at house , so they had hired a guy whose primary duty was to "keep me safe " , We used to live in Alipore then . I was the kinda kid who wanted to be pampered, and somehow ,my parents never did have the time to do so. This guy's name was Nikhil." All this while Purva was trying to understand each minutiae detail . "Purva ,He that Bastard abused me - in the pretext of showing affection , he used me as a object to fulfill his hidden desires" . Harsh paused, he was getting agitated, whenever in the past 20 years, he thought about that it infuriated him, he used to lose his peace of the mind , he recollected the countless nights he had spend crying.
Purva was dumbstruck , this was something she did not expect . She walked up to harsh, hugged him , "Sweetie you don't have to continue, You don't have to tell about your past , you just don't have to . It all over ." She could feel him getting restless, his breathing had increased , he had started perspiring .
Harsh stood still , looking at the open sky he said , " I didn't realize what he did to me, till i was in adolescent . I actually enjoyed those ghastly acts, All my childhood I kept thinking what Nikhil did to me was normal, and it happened to everyone else too. I hate myself for being ignorant. He was there in my mind long after we shifted from alipore - I used to crave for him. Now I realize that all I wanted was affection and care and I had only one source to get that- Nikhil. He ruined the innocence of my childhood". Harsh was having trouble continuing what he had started, he was stammering , he was shivering .. He freed himself from Purva's arms, and went towards the open space, He wanted to be free, he wanted to turn back time and erase those ghastly acts. He was cursing himself for allowing him to go through the pain of remembering everything, but he had to, he had to tell her everything, he had to tell her the impact of Nikhil on an innocent mind.
"Purva, Now I realize that when all the other kids were busy with cricket, I was left to crave for a hug, small bit of affection from anyone, and this came only in the form of Nikhil. For a long long time I adored Nikhil , I used to wait for him. When my parents put me in a boarding school 2 years after Nikhil came into my life , I used to actually miss him . ". Purva did not want to hear further, tears were coming out from her eyes , this was not how she had planned the evening. She went to the side where Harsh was there, and just stood by him . and said ," its OK Harsh , everything is over . I am there for you, you don't have to think about it , you really don't " .
Harsh ignored all that he heard, " The impact of Nikhil was such that , my entire childhood and adolescence was spend thinking about sex , I was exposed to it , without my fault a bit too early, and I found it so curious that , it was all that went in my mind. When I was 12, I though men are suppose to have sex with men , this thought occupied my mind long enough to push me into homosexuality." He sighed for what he had just said, He had though he would never tell it to anyone but purva was an exception . Purva had already lost her peace of mind after what he said about his childhood, but this was not what she though her to be husband would be , this was not her Fiance, She was not sure how she should react , she wanted to yell at him and hug him at same time .She drank the bear in one go , and was staring at Harsh, "then why did you propose me? why did you get engaged to me ? why I have nothing in my mind against sexual preferences ,its a personal choice, but why me? why did you have to make me feel special ?" .
Harsh knew this was coming, " Purva I really do love you, and please No I have not broken you trust , I really have not". Purva did not let him complete, the lady who till minutes back , was feeling sorry for him , now was angry at the same person, " Loyal - Do you know the meaning of it ? You had been sleeping around with other men and you call yourself loyal ."
Harsh took her in his arms , she resisted , he looked into her eyes , " whatever I told you , was before I met you, yes I did sleep around with men , but that was before I met you . I sway to god, ever since I met you at IIM, I have not betrayed your trust. I love you purva , I really do ." Purva freed herself , " How do I believe you , I mean , I am sorry about your childhood I really am , but that does not give you a license to sleep with men, for heaven's sake . How am I to know that you would be loyal and not get swayed by another man . ", she could not believe herself what she had just said , she was pacing in and out the balcony. " I am sorry harsh I really did not meant to be so rude. " She went inside the flat to the bedroom, harsh was not sure if he did the right thing . He had asked himself umpteen number of time before finally deciding to tell her everything . The evening had changed colors petty fast , it started with a romantic note, all was red then , soon after the mention of his childhood , it had shades of sympathy and love, and amidst these anger in his eyes , but now he was lost , everything seemed dark to him . The evening had transformed now to a dark night, even the lights were stitched off , he wanted it to be dark. He sat amidst all the dark moments of his life, he wandered what went wrong , was it his fault to seek affection when he was a child , or was it his fault that instead of his parents cuddling him , Nikhil played with his innocence , or perhaps his fault was that he gave in to his desires when in school, it seemed perfectly fine then but ,yes this could be his fault , but then why did he have to meet purva, He was living a great life- being happy and gay before she came. Purva had transformed his entire life, He had fallen in love with her , the moment he met her and from that moment he did not feel the urge to do anything else but love her . He was questioning all his actions , perhaps he shouldn't have told her everything , all was going fine after all, he need not have told her , but he though she loved him, and she should know everything , perhaps he was being too naive or maybe he was totally in love with her .He was not sure of what would happen next, he did not really plan her reaction. Suddenly his phone rang.It was a SMS, from Purva, " Harsh , I am not prepared for this, I still love you, and I know you love me too, but some doubts have been raised in my mind , and I need to seek answers for them before I decide about anything, I am going back to my apartment, please don't call me now .. "
Harsh, certainly did not expect this before, but as he sat there in darkness, he realized she was not wrong , she had every right to complain. A strange fear captured him , he was shivering , he questioned his sanity , his love , his very existence .
Purva was not sure of anything she was still distant from accepting what she had come to know . She was not sure of anything ,life seemed dark in front of her . Harsh realized he was not made for the happy things in life , he assured himself that he had to fight his entire life , just like he fought his sexuality when he fell in love with purva, but he was happy that he discovered his true self . he had realized years back that the divine happiness he experienced with purva was something he did not experience, any time else. He realized the damage Nikhil had done to him, he realized NIkhil was the reason he had been living a life of duality , a life into which he was forced into, a life which sadly he was beginning to enjoy , but when Purva came he realized he had been living a false life , and in no time he had transformed completely .
Harsh picked up his cell and typed , " Purva, I just wanted you to know that I have never betrayed you except for the fact that I did not tell you my past, but today I am telling you my past, and trust me I regret it completely, you are the best thing that happened to me, I know you did not except this in you wildest dreams, but that's how it is .. If you decide to come back I can assure of nothing else but love and in case you decide that you would not be able to live with me because of my past, I totally understand, and I would be happy for whatever you do ..." . He send it to her . He was sure that she was not coming back, after all why would anyone in their right senses want to marry a guy who had a homosexual past . He decided to spend some more time in the balcony looking at the stars, the stars reminded him of his childhood , in hostel, there were days when he used to go to terrace and sleep there, he missed his ma there, and at times he also missed nikhil. This flashback of his hostel days always made him melancholic . He got up and was simply walking to and fro the drawing room, he was not sure of what he should do now . If this was the case before he met purva, he would simply log on to social networking sites , find a local guy and go for a one night stand, but today was different, he did not want to do that anymore, he had decided that was not the real him .He decided to go back to the balcony , and win over his fear - the stars , just like he fought the other horrors .
Purva was lying on her bed unable to sleep for the past 5 hours, last four years flashed back in her mind like a short movie trailer,. She recollected how on more than one occasion he had displayed his love for her, in the most romantic way .He had supported her in all her decisions, she knew that she loved him, and that's what made her sad, she wanted to help him ,but was not sure if she still wanted to marry him . What if he still continues to live his dual life after they got married . The mobile rang ,it was a SMS, She wanted it to be from harsh, she wanted him to help her with the decision just like he helped her for the past many years .The SMS made her smile, but she was till confused, she did know what to do . She just had one thought in mind , Harsh.
It was 3 am, Purva went off to sleep , with a snap of Harsh in her hand, suddenly the phone rang ..
Purva picked up the phone ,
"Hi Purva Di, lipika here .."
"Hi Lipi how are you? What happen its 3 am .. is everything OK .." , Purva could sense something was wrong , Lipika was sobbing , her voice was heavy .
"Di, I am coming back to kolkata, I am catching the first flight out of Mumbai , I really cant take it anymore, not anymore.."
Purva, knew that Lipika was having a troubled marriage , but the exact reasons were not known to her , by the stress in lipika's voice she could sense something must have been terribly wrong.
"Lipi where exactly are you now ? and what happen??" . Lipika,"was having difficulty speaking ,"DI i am on my way to the airport, Amar is not how he used to be.. all has changed, he has changed .."
In the next half hour, Lipika narrated the horrifying things which she was subjected to . Lipika had got married to her sweetheart Amar a year back . The problem started soon after the marriage, He started beating her , and started having a series of extra marital affairs , and at times he used to bring his mistress home, and would disgrace lipika in front of everyone.
Purvi was already distressed with her own life , all she could say to Lipi, is " come back dear, I am there, we would teach him a lesson, you just be safe and come back ." The moment Purva she kept phone , she was left wandering what had gone wrong , lipika knew Amar for 5 years before they got married, the family seemed nice , he had a handsome job , what else could one verify. She soon came to the conclusion that at the end its all destiny . Before Lipika's marriage all seemed perfect, but now everything has turned sour, who is to be blamed, whose mistake was it?
She had no answer , but she soon realize that there are certain thing which humans cannot control ,and simply have to bear them. She wandered what if Harsh did not have the horrifying past, what if he had a normal childhood just like she had. She wandered, what was the probability if he was not what he was, that he would be loyal. was there any assurance then ? that he would not betray her in future ?
She realized in all the best of circumstances she had to go by her instincts and the love she had for him . It was 5 am, and she just realize how stupid it was for her to leave harsh alone in the depressing state he was in . She rushed out her flat with the same pace in which she had left Harsh's place .
She had a duplicate key, once inside she went straight to the bedroom , she did not find him there. She didn't search for him anywhere else , she knew him well enough to know that if at the odd hour of 5 am , he was not sleeping in the bedroom he must be in the balcony.
He had gone asleep there, with his body on the floor and torso resting on the chair. She saw his phone lying next to him, she picked it up, It had their picture . The one harsh took just before he broke the news, was selected as wallpaper , it looked all so beautiful, ironically moments after the beautiful picture was taken things had turned sour .
She looked at harsh, he had that amazing smile on his face which always enchanted her , she sat down on the floor beside him , and was admiring him , for what he had done, it definitely required courage to share the darkest corner of one's past.
Harsh opened his eyes soon , only to find Purva staring at him. He looked at those amazing pair of eyes, eyes which captivated him , eyes whose shine reinforced their love , eyes which he adored.
He realized that she had come back to him, she had not uttered a word, but he knew his love was back to him. A tear dropped from the corner of Purva's eyes, Harsh went close to her , kissed her , and then hugged her and said , " Thanks a lot , purva, I love you ."
All Purva could say was , "I love you too ".