Rajdeep was a lonely man now.Ever since he signed the form signalling the end of his relationship as husband with Barnali he changed.His life changed, his approach toward life changed and he didnt know if it would be the same again. But he knew one thing he would never ever again share his heart with a girl.
This was something he had to bear twice in life - once when he had to part ways with his chilhood sweetheart Ritu and now with his wife. But somehow deep down it was not the divorce or the fact that he was now all alone that haunted him. He seriously started doubting himself doubting if it was he who was at fault for not having been able to sustain both the relationships.
Although his marriage with Barnali for 3 years was not turbulent it lacked something.It was spontaneity.Rajdeep tried hard to keep the relationship going and it was going smooth too but then it wasnt what he wanted.It was nowhere like the life he had imagined before marriage. Barnali was a sweet girl and also tried and played her part to please Rajdeep but it never pleased Rajdeep deep down. He never felt the same attraction towards her as Ritu.Or to be frank it was Ritu whom Rajdeep always searched in her. Her actions, her likes dislikes, her traits her way of just looking at him her everything was etched in his heart for ever. He never came to terms with the fact that there really cannot be another Ritu.
Ritu and Rajdeep grew up together.They went to the same school and had been the best of friends. They used to spend most of the time together on holidays, during vacations and even in school. Although most of the guys and girls in high school suspected that they were in an affair it was never discussed between the two. They shared a special relationship which even they were probably afraid to give a name.But it did come up a week before Rajdeep was leave for hostel to take up college. And it was obvious - both of them loved each other.They decided to be together for the rest of their lives.Rajdeep was the happiest man that day. It still remains his happiest day of his life.
The first year at college was pretty depressing for Rajdeep.Staying away from home,ragging and the pressure of doing well all took their toll. But staying away from ritu hurt him the most. He would spend hours on the phone talking to her telling her what happenned in college - how he was ragged or how he forgot his sessional work or how he was blown over by a "hot" girl from Delhi.It was just for talking to Ritu he had bought a mobile - much to the disapproval of his parents.
But the next year Ritu had to join college and so she did. Although Rajdeep was happy that she had joined a good college he didn't like it totally.This would mean less contact and it was something Rajdeep didn't want to compromise on. But then he consoled to himself - their love was much too strong to overcome these physical barriers.How wrong he had been.
Six months later he called up Ritu quite concerned. He had been trying to reach her for a month but couldn't. He only had her hostel number which was very difficult to get. But his persistence and tenacity got him through - but Ritu wasn't there. Some times she was not in her room, sometimes gone out with her friends or sometimes was in the canteen doing her assignments. He always left messages for her to call him back but the call never came. He thought that all the irresponsible girls might not have passed on his message to her. But that day he was lucky.He not only got the line through but got Ritu in hostel too.
Her voice ...ahhh he had been longing to hear it for soooo long.But then what she said sent his whole world into a frenzy. "I dont want you to keep in touch with me.I know it diffiult and so it is for both of us but i dont think our realtionship has a future. Nyways i have met someone whom i like very much and i urge you to find someone too.... "The rest of the words he heard but he cant recollect them till today. He was soo shocked and dazed that he could not even ask one thing "WHY?" It took him another year to come out of the mental coma that he went into after that day.But he knew one thing from that one year. People say that time heals everything - but he could never forget Ritu.
The flight landed at Minneapolis-StPauls international shortly before sunset. Rajdeep had carefully chosen to be away from his home place. He kept travelling places never settling at one place. Well the nature of his consulting job helped him in this regard too. He checked his watch - he wanted a to get to the hotel fast and then take a shower and have a good night's sleep before the conference he had to attend the next day.He paced himself to reach the cab teminal and just as he boarded the walkway he saw someone that really shook him up. Wasnt it Ritu??
She was on the same walkway about 50 metres ahead of him. Although she looked a bit different with a new haircut but he was sure it was her. She was looking at the tarmac through the transparent fibre walls oblivious of the two eyes which were watching her dazed. All the memories all the moments they spent together flashed through Rajdeep's eyes in an instant. All of those emotions suddenly resurfaced from deep down in his heart. It was as if his whole life had been replayed just in front of him. By this time he was following her to terminal 3 instead of the way out to get the taxi. He felt the overwhelming emotion to ask her just - "Why?" and "R u happy??" A guy rushed out from his seat in terminal 3 and hugged Ritu - Rajdeep stopped dead in his persuit. He had probably got the answer to the second question but he understood he would never know the answer to the first.