I looked at the clock striking 12 noon, more than 30 hours had passed since Shashank had stopped responding to my calls and messages. Shashank, the man I thought was mine, the man to whom I had given everything but… Yes, there was a ‘but’ in our relationship. When this word enters love, you know things are not like they used to be. After some failed relationships, I had lost all my confidence. I was tired and shattered to the hilt. At that point of time, the sudden arrival of Shashank in my life made me unload the burden of sadness I was carrying. I didn’t know whether he was the right man for me or not, all I knew I could confide in him and I was hell in need of support. I knew I was nearing death and he was the only man who had helped save my life. So when he proposed, I accepted his proposal without giving any thoughts. I had lost the power to reason out with myself. How could I? I had been deceived by men even when I had thought over situations. All I had in my mind was he was my life saver and plus, both of had been deceived by our partners so probably, we would understand each other and the true meaning of trust, honesty and care.
It was a long distance relationship and I knew the baggage it came alongwith. There’s so much of hullabaloo over LDRs, they say it doesn’t work out and stresses the partners. Long distance relationships have always come with the ‘Handle with Care’ caution. When I told a few of my friend, they did warn me about the same reminding me about my past. Somehow, I was too determined to let go off things this time. I thought I could do it, I could put in all my efforts into our union and bring out the best. I wanted people to know that even long distance relations could work out. But I do believe now that there are certain things that just work out as per the society. For instance, we talk about women empowerment and safety for females but the improvement in the situation is too meagre, don’t we? Similarly, I have started to believe that long distance relationships do not work out even if both the partners love each other. That is because even though my story is coming to an end it did have a beautiful phase which I want you to know. You might be wonder why? I will tell why, so that you do not commit the mistakes I did and I guess I am doing even now, so that if there’s someone in the same turmoil you know can take action, so that you can advice me on my life because frankly speaking, I have lost the power to take decisions for myself.
For the first few months things were amazingly good for both of us, he gave me all the affection I had once craved for. Even though we were 1000 kms away from each other, it didn’t feel so. We could talk on phone or Skype whenever we wanted. But our connection was deeper and that is because we were connected through our heart, feelings, emotions. Not even for a second did I feel I would want any other man in my life. Watching me happy erased the apprehensions of my friends too, they were happy since I was smiling all day. He asked me to stay away from a few men and I did thinking this was just for the moment and he was just protecting me. In any case I didn’t care for any of those guys, reason being I knew their true intentions and I loved Shashank a lot. I could do anything for him. In my one year of relationship with Shashank, I had experienced heaven. He would come and meet every month, shower me with love and small surprises. There was nothing to be worried about in my life because I knew I had him with me.
All of a sudden things began to change for me, him and us. He had to talk to me even when I was working or studying. I started bunking classes just to talk to him, I stopped taking work assignments because Shashank wanted me but then I would run out of my pocket money (all thanks to the money spent in recharging my balance) so I worked after making him go to sleep. There were times both of us would talk till one or two at night and even though I’d be tired standing in the balcony, I would go back and work till the wee hours of the morning only to be woken up sharp at eight. I didn’t have the stamina to talk, hell I couldn’t even wake up but Shashank wanted me. I couldn’t say NO because he got horribly irritated. With time, I started giving up everything for him. He didn’t like my talking to almost every male friend I had, he would want my Facebook and Gmail password and would ask me to be back to my place by six. He didn’t like my roaming around with friends in short he wanted full control over my life and for that he kept calling me and my friends to check out. I had to take every step with his permission. We would have a lot of arguments but eventually, he won. In between all this, I learnt the art of lying. I somehow started feeling that whether I speak the truth or not, I would always be blamed so why not do the wrong deed.
This one thought changed my life forever. Our relation was nearing the second year and I was totally frustrated with the turn of events. With so much of tension around I started confiding stuff to a friend of mine and in a short span of time, I could sense my feelings drifting away from Shashank and walking towards Kartik. He was the only person who would listen to me and not judge me for anything because the rest would keep telling me that I was a fool and I shouldn’t be tolerating Shashank’s nuisance. Even after stopping ourselves for long, I shared a kiss with Kartik and in some time I knew Kartik was the man I was meant for. They say good times don’t last and so do the bad times. Happiness was entering my life but in the most erratic way, something I had never ever imagined. However, I was enjoying the times mainly because I was hungry for joy.
The month of December last year was undoubtedly the best month of my life. I would keep those times even above every achievement of mine. However, reality began to strike us and Kartik understood he couldn’t be with me like this. He didn’t want me to ditch Shashank, he had been dumped by the girl he had loved so he knew the pain. In fact, even I did not have the courage to break the news to Shashank. Realizing all this, Kartik went away from my life. I couldn’t stop him because he didn’t give me a chance. He knew the only way to stop me from distraction was he getting involved with another girl. So he got involved with some girl and I knew I wasn’t needed in his life anymore.
I was so upset that day that I blurted out the truth to Shashank, each and everything. I just opened up my heart and told him that the bruises that exist here can never heal and that is why I was going away. I wasn’t meant to be with him and in any case I had cheated on him so I should better leave. He went red with anger listening to all this but after some time, he asked me to stay. He told me he would be a better man himself so that I wouldn’t have to suffer any more. He reminded me of the promises and the good old happy times, he tried to make me happy every time I felt low. He did everything to help me recover from the pain I had been through. In a way I was really thankful to him and I felt I was so lucky to have him around with me. But try as hard as I could, falling in love with him again was getting way more typical for me.
Months began to sway away and I could see time doing the healing. Shashank had certainly changed slightly but he couldn’t himself totally. Everyone has his/her traits that can not change and we were back to arguing some times but then, we both knew we were tired of all this. he wouldn’t call up to know if I had left office even on the times I actually wanted him to do. Things were just moving, the time was ticking and we were going along with it. Sometimes we would talk, sometime we wouldn’t, it was love one day and the other day, all we did was stay away. It was all going in the most hap-hazard manner but we couldn’t do anything.
The ringing of my phone just brought me back to my senses. It was Mum calling me to know if I had packed up all my stuff and was ready to come home. I answered to her queries and hung up. I really don’t know if I was ready to go home or not. I checked Whatsapp and saw him online, I thought I should ping him. I asked him if he was free to talk to me. He replied positively and we talked about a few matters, I guess we just communicated, we weren’t talking, we were just passing on pieces of information to each other. Finally, he said he couldn’t take this relation any longer as he didn’t feel the same for me. I didn’t know how to react, it was shocking for me. Even though things weren’t the same but since the past some time all I had tried was to bring things back on track. I couldn’t let him go now, even after all the hurdles that had come in our lives I just couldn’t let him go. That one sentence by him had made me realized how much he meant to me. I knew I couldn’t let him go, I wanted him. No, he couldn’t leave me like this. I had tears streaming in my eyes like never before. I tried my best to make up things with him, I reminded him out first Valentine’s day and the day we had decided our marriage date and all the sweet nothings. But he adamant, he said somehow the past stuff didn’t let him be with me as he was once. He tried to explain that he wanted a break, not a break up but I knew what breaks meant. It was he who told me that breaks worked as a catalyst towards break-up. I said the same to him and he said he doesn’t want to think over and went offline blocking me from everywhere.
With tears in my eyes, I managed to reach the railway station as I had to go home. It was Diwali, my favourite festival but it wasn’t going to be this time. I looked at my phone, it hadn’t rung since long. I looked up and asked God to bring him back to me. I was crying even then, the boy sitting next to me in the train looked at me a lot many times only to find me crying. Finally, Shashank called up to tell me that I shouldn’t be crying and he would be there for me as a friend. I said I didn’t want his friendship, I wanted him as a whole, as my man. He kept on ignoring but talked to me asking me to cheer up as it was Diwali and nobody cries on such an auspicious time. Talking to him made me feel better and I reached home with a heavy heart.
Two days were left for Diwali and I was in mood to go for shopping. Mom and Dad had to coax me really hard to get myself new set of clothes for puja. The night before Diwali I sent him a message saying I wanted to talk to him and if he doesn’t I might not even celebrate Diwali and go back. My phone rang and my heart skipped a beat. I picked up but couldn’t speak as I had a big lump in my throat and within minutes, tears had welled up in my eyes.
“Hello!” he said.
I didn’t reply.
“Priyanka, I want you to speak.”
“I love you,” that’s all I could blurt out.
“I love you too,” he replied.
“Please don’t leave me,” I said.
“I won’t ever do that,” he said softly.
“Ssshhh! Don’t say anything, come close I want to hug you.”
And I found our Platinum Day of Love. Deep withing my heart, I knew this was meant to be forever just like platinum and Diwali would always be special for me.