Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Life - A Bunch Of Significant Turns!
I gazed over the picturesque Mobor Beach, feeling the faint breeze against my face - eyes shut and the white sand warm between my bare toes. The place is beautiful beyond belief, but it is still unable to ease the grief I feel as I remember the last time I was here.
I married Fred right here on this spot three years ago to the day. Dressed in a simple white dress, miniature white roses attempting to tame my long dark curls, I had been happier than I ever was! Fred was even less formal but utterly irresistible in his creased summer trousers and a loose white cotton shirt. His dark hair slightly ruffled and his eyes full of adoration as his looked at his bride to be - me.
The justice of the peace read our vows as we held hands and laughed at the sheer joy of being young, in love, together and staying in a five star resort on the beach in South Goa. The resort was built in traditional grandeur and was designed to blend colonial extravagance with exotic surroundings. Life was taking a significant turn as we visualized the upcoming years blissfully stretching ahead of us. We planned where we would live, the travelling we would do together, babies-
I said, ‘Two.’
He said, ‘Four!’ So we compromised on three! (Two girls and a boy of course)
It was all so certain! But that seems such a long time ago now. A lot changed in a few years. Three years to the day and we have returned, though this time not for the beach side marriage but for one of its equally popular quickie - divorce.
What was I left to do? I questioned myself in pain and regret. Maybe, move on, find new dreams and start life afresh. How could this beautiful place, with exotic surroundings, an eternity of blue sea and endless sands be a place for my agony?
A man stood watching me from the edge of the palm trees. He couldn't take his eyes off me, he figured out my pain maybe and my far gaze made him guess that I was waiting for something - or someone.
He was attracted to me, I assumed. He was a photographer, the heavy DSLR camera hanging from his neck made me realize that!
‘It is my looks or my sheer loneliness that’s luring him?’ I thought.
I sensed him approaching me even before I turned around. I was aware of him standing there, staring at me all the while and for the first time I felt strangely calm about being observed. I looked at him and felt the instant spark of connection; I had only experienced once before. He walked slowly towards me and we held each other's gaze. It felt like meeting a long lost friend - not a stranger! Another significant turn!
Later, sitting at the resort bar, sipping cocktail we began to talk - first pleasantries, quality of the food and friendliness of the locals. Our conversation was strangely hesitant. Onlookers, however, detected the subtle flirtation as we mirrored each other's actions and spoke directly into each other's eyes.
Only later, after the alcohol had had its loosening effect, did the conversation deepen. We talked of why we were here and finally, I opened up about my heartache of the past year and how events had led me back to the place where I had married the only man I loved ever. I told him of things that had been locked deep inside me, able to tell no one. I told him how I had felt after I had lost my first baby.
‘I was six months pregnant and the happiest I had ever been when the pains had started. A significant turn life was taking. I was soon going to be a mum! I was staying with my mother as Fred was working out of town. He hadn't made it back in time. The doctor had said it was just one of those things that we could try again. But how could I when I couldn't even look Fred in the eye? I hated him then, for not being there, for not getting hurt as much as me but most of all for looking so much like the tiny baby boy that I held for just three hours before they took him away?’ I wept.
‘All through the following months I withdrew from my husband, family and friends. Not wanting to recover from the pain I felt - that would have been a betrayal of my son. At the funeral I refused to stand next to Fred and the next day I left him. Yes, I left him. A heartache that changed me and drove a wedge through my strongest ties, broke even the deepest love,’ I continued.
Looking up, I could see my pain reflected in the man's eyes. For the first time in months I didn't feel alone, I felt the unbearable burden begin to lift from me, only a bit but it was a start. I began to believe that maybe I had a future after all and maybe it could be with this man, with his kind eyes, wet with our shared tears.
We had come here to dissolve our marriage but maybe there was hope to relive our dreams again! I stood up and took Fred by the hand and led him away from the bar towards the beach where we had made our vows to each other three years ago. Tomorrow I will cancel the divorce; tonight we will work on renewing our promises. Yet again a significant turn to a happy future!