The ceiling fan looked too tired to move at the pace it should rotate. The hot loo and the humid climate made it difficult to feel at ease. The room had an uncanny vibe to it and felt like a remorse cabinet. There was bare minimum furniture in the room that consisted of just a bed and a side table with a calendar and jug of water. There were charts that depicted the parts of a human body and some motivational quotes that were hung on the wall. The bright sun rays pierced through the translucent window screens that were in the color of aqua blue making the room well lit.
The lousy face of the nurse, administering the saline onto Nalini’s wrist added to the entire vibe of debilitation that one can feel only in a hospital. The feeling of being trapped in a cage was making Nalini restless. Even though one is not in a position to move, the heart constantly tries to find the escape route from such a situation so that the body can leave the dreadful site instantly, much against the advice of the doctors to take complete rest.
Nalini had just met with a minor accident today while driving to work. Her car had hit a rash motorcyclist on her way to office and she had taken a wrong turn to hit the pavement divider. With a bruised right elbow and a ligament fracture in her right leg, she was in immense pain only to be rushed to the nearby hospital by a few passersby at the accident site.
Being an independent lady, Nalini worked in the advertising world and enjoyed her freedom more than anything in the world, The pain of the wounds from the accident had slowly started to subside due to painkillers medically administered to her. However the pain of lying still in her bed was getting on her nerves with each passing moment.
She had made her career in this Metro city just by sheer devotion to her work coupled with the madness of keeping it all under control in her life. This madness made her work late, take up every possible assignment and give her best possible effort. Her aim was clear, to reach the zenith in the advertising world which demands one to be at your creative best and sometimes can make you act a little crazy in your real life as well. She had envisioned that her considerable sting at Ogilvy & Mather would help her one day create her own best in class marketing firm that can provide marketing services including advertising, public relations and public affairs, brand creation and brand identity management along with customer satisfaction services. Her long dream of working towards becoming an entrepreneur had slowly converted Nalini to become a workaholic, who prioritized work beyond all. Marriage, having children, and being tied down just seemed worthless in her eyes. She had long decided to never have her own children much to the dislike of her parents. They wanted their daughter to own the world but never go beyond societal norms. Nalini seemed to have just broken every glass ceiling that came her way making her parents proud and gradually redefining the societal boundaries during her journey as a naïve small-town girl to an articulate top management professional who dreamt of making a mark of her own. Her parents had now left it to their daughter to live her own life the way she wanted.
The phone beeped:
Ratish: What happened Nilu? Which hospital are you at right now? Let me know ASAP.
Nalini: Nothing serious. Chill. City Hospital.
Nalini managed to type on her WhatsApp with her left hand with much difficulty. Her madness and passion had made Ratish, her classmate ,during their MBA studies fall in love with her immensely. He loved the fierceness with which Nalini approached each situation. Ratish was now a top HR professional and they both were known as ‘The Fire & Ice Couple’ by everyone who knew them. Nalini had her outrageous self to win every situation and Ratish as always had his calmness quotient intact while dealing with any issues. Both had very unique perspectives towards life and they both were successful in their corporate careers as well. Ratish, though calm from outside, was extremely determined in his attitude and this quality had made Nalini accept his proposal of courting each other.
It had been around eight odd years of completing their degrees. They had eventually got their job offers, sometimes got posted in different cities, spent most of their time at work; yet they somehow were always together. Marriage …well, they had never really thought about it. It seemed unnecessary now that they were already in a live-in relationship for past couple of years.
Nalini, seemed restless on the hospital bed tossing and turning as if she wanted something. She kept checking her message on the phone every few minutes. No message arrived . She went to the Facebook page and clicked on the profile picture of Mohit. She zoomed in and stared at it for a while with a smile on her face.
Mohit, a swanky & a handsome hunk had been Nalini’s colleague for just a couple of months now. He had been handling the coordination with the Indian office from the headquarters at the New work-based British company of Ogilvy & Mather. He had joined the India office to have a better understanding of the problems and to study the emancipation of many operations, to look into certain aspects of mergers and acquisitions so that there can be inorganic growth and spearhead organic growth as well. His magnetic personality, his razor-sharp intellect, his suave dressing sense coupled with a ferocious attitude of a go-getter had made Nalini develop a liking towards him. This attractiveness had only grown over a very short period.
Nalini who had always been on top of everything had been swept off her feet when Mohit had proved himself to be much ahead of her in every aspect. The aggressiveness that they both had , made them share many similarities and Mohit had also started spending time with Nalini beyond office hours, not that advertising firms ever have any specific work hours, but they both clicked together in many aspects. Nalini had become a little distant from Ratish as their long-term relationship had already entered a phase of monotony. There had been frequent arguments and Nalini would many a times bang the door on Ratish’s face and leave the discussion open owing to her immodest personality that she exhibited in a state of anger.
Nalini, checked her phone to at least get a message from Mohit. Strangely, she had called up Mohit when she met with the accident and not Ratish, reasons still unknown to her. She had just sent a message to Ratish. Over the call ,all she heard was how sorry he was to hear this tragic news. Nalini had been anticipating him to visit her now that they had been so close as collogues and sharing everything on a daily basis . She was disappointed all this while not to even get a message from him but she was still hopeful. She closed her eyes and all she could see was the charming smile that Mohit displayed with his dimples that made her heart skip with her bandage on.
Just then, her phone beeped again.
Ratish: Which Room No, Nilu? I could not continue my meeting and took an off on the emergency grounds from work. Just reaching in few minutes.
Nalini: Room 204, Second Floor.
She had anticipated a message from Mohit and not Ratish, which never came.
In about 30 odd minutes, she found Ratish in her room, consulting with the doctors with a grave seriousness on his face. With his sleeves folded till his elbows, he took charge as a perfect man signing all the required documents and fulfilling all required formalities at the counter. After all this, he came and sat beside Nalini, held her hand, and kissed her on her forehead.
“I have ordered from your favorite restaurant. I know you just can not have this bland hospital food. The doctor said it’s okay to have food from outside and we just need to be two days here. Rest we will manage from home. I can’t handle your crankiness in this hospital. At home, you can create any nuisance as you always do and it’s okay for me.” He winked after saying this.
At that moment, in spite of feeling at ease, Nalini felt uncomfortable. She looked at Ratish for a few moments to remember the young lad that he had been during their college days and how even after every bitter fight, he was the first one to make their relationship come back to normalcy. If this is not aggressiveness, then what was? Was she taking Ratish for granted, her biggest blessing, all this while ? She felt sorry for not being with Ratish with all her heart even while staying with him under the same roof. Her heart understood the meaning of love that means falling in love with the same person again and again . It demands conviction and a strong will to accept each other even with all the humane flaws intact . Her mind was now crystal clear as the blue sky with only the Sun that continued to shine brightly. Her inflamed feeling of infatuation, that had no reasoning behind it towards Mohit died a natural death . A feeling that had started instantly without logic had finally ended similarly without any basis. She continued receiving the best possible care from her love to regain her strength during her phase of recuperation.
One fine morning ,she held Ratish’s hand, with her fingers entwined between his, and said,” Don’t you ever dare let me go, even if I lose myself somewhere !Just find me, Ratish. I may seem bold from outside but, you are my only anchor. Do not leave me alone to drift away in my own whirlwind of confusion, Do you understand?”
Ratish, smiled, patted her back and squeezed her hand into his, and made a silent promise that just the two hearts understood.
What is that love has, that infatuation lacks? Have you ever lost a meaningful relationship due to infatuation?
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