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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


He screamed in joy as India scored the final required runs against England. It was the second game in the series and India inched closer to winning it. Santosh has always been a fanatic of the game, be it to play or to watch, and Ganguly and Tendulkar are Gods he worshiped, and he felt they delivered more frequently than the unknown almighty. It was close to midnight, and Nura had slept, curling inside a heavy woolen sheet. He was furious. His definition of marriage was the union of two souls in perfect tandem.

It was 5 AM and the whole group had been walking for two hours in rough terrain. It was still an hour away from the temple and Nura looked pale and tired. His agnostic upbringing made him wear shoes and thus the whole trip seemed like a long walk, while Nura's feet ached, her hands trembled and her body cried due to lack of energy. He had tried many a times to change her, not to accept anything without questioning, be it religion, science or anything in the world. 'Do this and your marriage will be happy and your husband would do great' a famous astrologer had said, and anything that would make him better would be her commandment. He saw her look, her longing for his support, and immediately removed his shoes, threw down the valley, and walked with her. She started to tear.

It was 4 PM and the sun was tasting her skin. They were moving from Dallas to Atlanta for he had gotten a great promotion and she was happy to follow him. The battery was bad, the music player and the air conditioner lay worthless. She was sweating. He didn't want to stop as he had to meet his friend for dinner. Atlanta was two hours away. His obsession to keep up his word was taking a toll on her, and she did not complain. No words were exchanged for five minutes, and he began singing 'I got my first real six string', then came the Meatloaf's 'I'd do anything for love' and she joined him. It was long time after they sang together, a year since they played the game of 'anthakshari' in which people sing songs that begun with the letter that the earlier one completed with. He always joined her and she returned the favor. When he sang the sixth song, she stopped him, and sang 'yenna thavam seithanai', the one she sang during their engagement, the one which gave him a joy he hadn't experienced before, the one when he met her eyes, he knew for sure he had made the best decision of his life. He stopped singing, held her hand, knew not even a drop has been lost in their ocean of love.

Tendulkar was given the 'Man of the match' while Dhoni received the winning trophy. He listened to each word that was spoken during the presentation ceremony. He knew every word that would be spoken by the winning players, yet hearing it again made him feel patriotic, an extreme one he was. When he opened the bedroom door, it was cold, the way he liked it. The air conditioner was working well, correct humidity and 18 degrees to give him the right sleep. He saw Nura, sleeping happily, not caring to join his joy. 'She is growing selfish of late' he thought. He switched on the lights and saw her leg move. He wanted to disturb her sleep, she had not talked much since the evening, and not sharing his love for cricket was one sin she had committed. He moved the books loudly, closed the restroom doors loudly and made moves to disturb her sleep. She moved to the right corner, with her face still buried under the wool. He became angrier and decided she was not going to get the goodnight kiss tonight. It was only twice before that he had slept without kissing her, and both were unavoidable due to the travels his job required. He lay and when he was about to unwrap his woolen sheet, he felt the bed was hot. He at once remembered her look, the most beautiful eyes in the world was shine less that evening. He remembered she sending him around ten messages in the afternoon, took his cellphone and checked them all. His hands started to tremble, he uncovered her, and saw a face drenched by tears, a chin that had tasted sadness, upper arm still fresh from the bleeding due to medicine injections, and her two hands tightly holding a frame of their first photo together, in which she kissed him. He turned, switched off the air conditioner, cleared her face, hugged her tightly, kissed her repeatedly, and whispered apologies feebly in her ears. She smiled, turned off the lights and slept happily, knowing no drop was lost in their ocean of love.