Mrs. Sharma was sitting in her balcony and feeding the birds. This was her quotidian routine. Her grandchildren Akira, Riya and Aarav were playing hide and seek in the house. It was Aarav’s turn to find others. “Okay, I start counting now, 1,2,3,….” exclaimed Aarav. Riya and Akira were trying to find places to hide themselves. Akira entered her grandmother’s room. The room was well kept; everything was at its place. The walls were adorned with beautiful handmade paintings. Mrs. Sharma was very fond of handicrafts and her room was filled with many artifacts which she had bought from different regions of the world. A large part of room was solely dedicated to books. Mrs. Sharma was an avid reader. Also she was someone who liked to pen down everything related to her. Akira scanned the entire room. On one corner stood a huge bookshelf, Akira hid herself behind that. She was always fascinated about the books. She was so engrossed in checking out the bookshelf that she forgot she was hiding there from her brother. And then her eyes fell on the diary which she had often seen in her grandmother’s hands.
She tried to get hold of the diary but it was kept too high so she jumped to reach out to that but she slipped and fell on the ground. A shrill noise pierced through the house. Mrs. Sharma, Aarav & Riya ran to see what happened to Akira. She was lying on the floor. Riya and Aarav helped her to sit. “Oh! My child! Are you okay?” asked Mrs. Sharma in a saddening tone. Akira’s left leg suffered a bruise. Her grandmother immediately rushed to do first aid. She washed her wound with an antiseptic and put a bandage over it. “So, what would you like to eat now? Tell me.” asked Mrs. Sharma. Akira said, “I don’t want to eat anything. All I want is to know what is written in that diary. I have often seen you with that diary, smiling to yourself! So I want to know what is there in it. At first, Grandma was reluctant to tell anything but when all the kids kept nudging her then she said, “Okay, okay! I’ll tell come and sit.” So, all of them sat in a circle and grandma began her story.
There was a girl by the name “Meera”. She used to live in Dalhousie with her parents and two lovely brothers. Meera was a very sweet girl. She was the apple of her parents’ eyes and brothers’ pillar of strength. She was a very lovable person. Meera was a very bright student. She used to excel in all her exams. She was an ambitious girl and she had always dreamt of becoming a successful entrepreneur. She was pursuing bachelor’s degree in business administration. It was the final year of her graduation and she had planned for taking admission in post-graduation after it. But her parents had some other plan. They wanted her to get married. Meera’s parents told her that they have found a suitable boy for her and that they want her to meet him. Upon knowing about her parents motives, she was saddened. Her mother said, “Meera! You are my only daughter; I want you to get married in front of my eyes. Please don’t deprive me from experiencing this pleasure.” These words pierced her heart but she couldn’t do anything else other than accepting her parents’ decision. She was such a kind-hearted girl that she couldn’t even imagine to do anything which hurts her parents. She kept thinking about it the whole night. And in the morning she told her mom-dad that she was ready to meet the boy. Her parents were delighted to know this. Her mom hugged her saying, “You are our pride and we love you.”
All the three kids kept listening to their grandmother with complete interest. Such was the aura of the lady that whenever she used to speak, everybody used to listen to her without uttering a single word.
“The meeting was fixed.” Mrs. Sharma continued. Meera met Gaurav. He was a nice guy who was very soft-spoken. He was truly a gentleman and Meera started to like him. After their meeting she was satisfied that her parents had found a good match for her. Meera said yes to the proposal, wedding date was fixed. And Meera got married to Gaurav.
“Meera was a very selfless girl. She sacrificed her dreams for her family’s happiness.” exclaimed Aarav. “Yes! You’re right, Aarav.” replied Mrs. Sharma continuing her story further.
Meera and Gaurav shifted to the city where Gaurav used to work. She was very happy to begin a new chapter of her life. Everything was going merrily but then you see not everything which seems good on the outside is good from the inside as well. After few days of her marriage, Meera started to notice unusual habits of Gaurav. He wasn’t the same as he was 30 days ago. He used to come late at night. He was into smoking and drinking. His friend circle was full of atrocious people who were always drunk. When Meera objected to all this, Gaurav thrashed her. Such kind of confrontations became more prevalent. Situation was getting worse day by day. Then Meera decided to tell everything to her parents. She narrated everything in front of her parents. On hearing their daughter’s plight, her parents were very furious. They filed a complaint against their son-in-law. Meera filed for divorce as well. Gaurav was found guilty of mentally and physically harassing his wife. Meera and Gaurav got divorced and Gaurav was put behind bars.
“Good lesson was taught to him.” said Riya in anger as if Gaurav was in front of her she’d have beaten him up to ashes. “Yes, my angel he got a good lesson.” exclaimed Mrs. Sharma.
Meera’s parents brought her back to their home. She was left broken, now she wasn’t the same chirpy girl who used to live a carefree life and carried a smile all day long. She had become quiet. Now she kept herself locked up in her room. Her brothers and parents were concerned about her. They wanted to resume her life. Her elder brother suggested that they should get her admitted to college. So they enrolled her for post-graduation. Meera wasn’t ready to face the world again but her family members helped and motivated her to begin a normal life.
“Such a beautiful family it was.” exclaimed Akira with a smile on her face.
******First day of Meera’s PG course at ‘St. Sebastian’s College!’******
“Excuse me! Where is the MBA’s first year classroom?” asked Meera from a girl passing by. “Go straight and then take second left.” replied the girl. “Thank you so much!” said Meera.
Meera entered the classroom, found a suitable place for her and took a seat. The classroom had many students. They were all busy in talking and sharing laughter with each other. Meera sat silently, the girl next to her asked her name, she answered and then again kept quiet. She was not interested in talking to anyone. Then came the teacher, he introduced himself and then asked everybody else to introduce themselves. Everyone gave introduction one by one. After all had finished Mr Parker began to teach. That day he had decided to analyze his students so he asked many questions. Most of the answers he received from Meera. Mr Parker was quite impressed by his student Meera. So, this way Meera started her new stint. Meera used to spend most of the time in studying and making notes. Ample of her time used to go in the library. She was not someone who would spent time hanging out with friends. All of her classmates used to think that she was arrogant and had an ego problem. But there was one boy who didn’t think the same. He had an opinion of his own. Somewhere deep in his heart he had this feeling that there is something else which had made Meera like this. From day one when he had seen Meera for the first time, he developed a kind of liking for her .
“What was the name of the boy, Grandma?” asked the li’l inquisitive Riya. “Oops!!!! I forgot to tell you earlier. Pardon me my little angels.” said Mrs. Sharma. “The boy’s name was Rudra.” she replied and continued the story further.
So, one fine day Meera was sitting in library making notes. There came Rudra, he wanted to talk to her but didn’t know how to approach her. He was looking here and there, trying to find some way. Then an idea struck his mind. He gathered the courage to go to her and said, ‘Hi’.
“So, did she reply back to him?” Aarav asked. Grandma: “What do you think, my boy?”
Aarav: “Amm… Meera was so silent. I don’t know whether she talked to him or not.”
Grandma: “Yes, she replied.”
Meera gave a blunt reply to him. Rudra said to her, “You are very good in studies. Can you please help me in Financial Accounting? The exams are approaching and I don’t have much idea about that subject, it’s so tough! So can you please help me out?" Meera remained silent for a moment and then shook her head in agreement. She was always ready to help people that’s why she couldn’t refuse him. Now everyday for one hour Meera used to teach Rudra in the library.
As the time passed, Meera & Rudra became good friends. One day, Rudra and Meera were just chatting when one of their classmates came and invited them for his wedding. Both of them congratulated him. Rudra could sense that Meera wasn’t happy. He said, “Meera, can I ask you something?” “Yes, of course! You don’t need to ask before questioning me.” she replied. Rudra: “What is it, that troubles you so much? Why are you always so silent? Why don’t you smile? I know you can, I know you were not like this earlier then what made you like this.” Meera was someone who didn’t open to anyone so easily. But Rudra was her good friend so she told him everything. Meera: “You want to know everything, right?” Rudra: “Yes, I want.” A moment of silence then Meera answered. “Three months ago, I got married to a boy. Earlier he seemed to be a gentleman. But he wasn’t the same as he looked. He was a spoilt brat, a drunkard, a gambler. He made my life a living hell. I wasn’t the same as I am today. I was a very cheerful and fun-loving girl. But that devil, he snatched away all my happiness. I loved him but all he gave me was hatred. I got divorced from him. But all the wounds which he has given to me are all afresh in my heart. I don’t trust men now. I don’t believe in the concept of marriage. I hate that phase of my life. I wish I could erase that part of my life.”
Having said this, Meera burst into tears. Rudra was shocked and angry after knowing the truth. At the same time he was feeling sorry because he made her best friend cry. He wiped her tears and calmed her down. It was evening so they both returned to their homes.
The next day, they both were sitting in the cafeteria when Rudra expressed her feelings in front of her, it wasn’t a very cheesy kind of proposal. It was just so simple and sweet. Meera had to some extent anticipated this. She was left numb. She didn’t know how to react. She was happy and sad at the same time. Meera asked him, “Are you okay? What made you say all this? After knowing everything about me, you are saying this to me. Have you taken leave of your senses? You can’t love me. You know I am not ready for all this. You know my condition.”
But Rudra knew very well what he said and he was firm in his decision. He said, “Yes, I LOVE YOU, I know what I am saying.” Meera didn’t listen to him anymore and she went away. She reached home and that whole night she was thinking about Rudra. She knew that Rudra was the one whom she had always dreamt about. He was nice, caring, sweet, a good listener, motivator, someone who respected women a lot and a person with a golden heart. The next day when Meera came to college, her eyes were trying to find Rudra everywhere but she didn’t find him. Then she went to the cafeteria where they both used to sit. She sat there and a waiter walked upto her and handed a letter to her. The letter read, “I am not expecting you to say that you love me too but I want to tell you that you are very precious to me. Your smile means the world to me. I want that smile to adorn your face forever. If I say, ‘I Love You’ then I really mean it. I don’t care what your past was. I just believe in present and my present is ‘You’. All I know is, from the day I saw you for the first time, I fell for you. I knew you were the one for me. You are simple, elegant, intelligent, sensible, helping and above all my kind of person who understands me more than anyone else. I love you, Meera. For me you are my ‘Guardian angel’. The moment you entered my life I got transformed into a better person, even my family members have noticed this change and they are loving this new me. And all the credit goes to you. I want to live my entire life with you. Now, it’s your wish. Take care and keep smiling always because remember that there is an idiot who can’t live without seeing your smile. You are my oxygen tank and if it withers then I will also bid goodbye to this world. Yours Rudra.”
Reading this, tears rolled down her cheeks. A sudden outpour of emotions overwhelmed her. Rudra was hiding and watching all this from a distance. He came running.“Meera, please don’t cry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. Please wipe your tears." said Rudra, his heart sank seeing her sweetheart crying. Meera turned to him. She said, “You love me this much. You are the one who has given new meaning to my life. You have…” Her throat was choked she couldn’t say much so she took that letter and wrote, “I LOVE YOU MY BAG OF HAPPINESS”
Meera and Rudra got married after completing their post-graduation. Rudra started to work in a company and Meera began her own venture as she had always dreamt. Two years later, they became proud parents of a lovely son. Now, it’s been 60 years of their marriage. Meera and Rudra live with their son, daughter-in-law and three grand-children. They both were blessed with a sweet and caring family.
“Wow! What a sweet story! Loved it! Grandma, Is it a real story?” asked Riya and before Mrs. Sharma could say anything pat came the reply from Mr. Sharma, “Yes, it is!” “Oh! Really, Grandpa?! Who is Meera, then?” asked Aarav. “There she is, sitting in front of you.” said Mr. Sharma with a huge smile on his face. All eyes were on Mrs. Sharma now. J
“Yes, he is right. My Rudra is always right.’ Mrs. Sharma said blushing. “Awwh! My God! You both are the cutest pair! Our lovely Grandma and Grandpa!” exclaimed Akira
All the three kids hailed in a single voice. “LONG LIVE OUR DEAREST GRANDMA AND GRANDPA! LOVE YOU BOTH!” and “we LOVE YOU MORE OUR ANGELS” replied the grandparents. And everyone burst into laughter. Smiles and giggles filled the entire home.