A surge of emotion swiped through Rakesh everytime he saw Suchita’s expired wedding invitation. He wasn’t exactly happy for her happiness, neither was he too upset about losing her. He had resigned himself to the fact that she no longer belonged to him, belonged the way she once did when he could manipulate her feelings to his advantage. She no longer brooded for him or begged him to be back. She was now married to someone who would love and care for her the way she would in return. She was cured of her sickness for him, was fully free and shining in spirits with all due help from her husband.
Suchita, as he knew her back then was a quick-witted clever female with the reputation of being the prim and prom ice princess. She was good-looking, smart and amiable which naturally made her enticing to the youthful lads of her college. Yet, there was that impenetrable stone wall she surrounded herself with and dared not allow anyone to penetrate. Whatever the reasons, it was safely concealed beneath her masking confident grace, enhancing her dignity.
Rakesh was too proud to be aware of her vulnerabilities when he first courted her. The very fact that the unattainable ice had melted to his charm had baked his ego to un-proportioned magnitude. Ego – well, that was his something! He always projected himself as a martyr, a big brother, a this, a that, that he finally ended up in having no identity of his own. He was always a gentleman and succeeded in creating first impressions. It was the maintaining of impressions that became a problem for it never was his in the first place. Weakness, doubts and double-facedness would give away one time or the other. However, Suchita’s smartness crumpled before her fluttering infatuated heart, that she made excuses to herself for Rakesh’s misgivings, yearning for a love that she seldom got from her family. Rakesh on the other hand wore her like a crown, used her head for ideas and his mouth to advocate advices to his mates that he was soon acknowledged better than he had expected. He became more conceited than he cared.
Conceit it was but that didn’t stop him from loving her; He loved her because she loved him. Precisely, he loved himself. He had drawn Suchita into an abyss through his pretences like Satan alluring Eve with the forbidden apple. Already troubled in other ways, Suchita didn’t pose much of a difficulty to his expertise. When he had finally triumphed as her emotional ring-master, he had started exploiting it gradually. She had to agree to what he said happily and if she didn’t, he accused her for not being understanding. He would make promises that he wouldn’t keep and still expect her to accept him as trustworthy. All said and done with an oh-so-goody-good accent. Her skills scaled her to heights better than Rakesh which skidded on his ego. What started as a swirl soon became a cyclone. By the time she saw him through and through, she had already lost her heart to him painfully.
After many hurtful arguments and neglected isolation in needy times, Suchita finally realized that she was pointlessly trying to resuscitate an empty one-sided relationship. Given sometime, she understood her follies and decided to go on with her life. When decisions were made, her determination took in charge and there was no going back. Fortunately, the stars favored her when her stamina was exhausted and bestowed her to her true beloved, who went on to become her husband. He helped her help herself and restored her to the princess that she was, the ice replaced with warmth.
This nagged Rakesh. He had got accustomed to Suchita’s pleadings that he couldn’t come to face the fact that she was fine without him. He now had no one to show himself off or to borrow her cool as his to administer. Besides, he had loved her himself and even though it was selfish, it still hurt. Rakesh knew that the moment he takes the so-sad approach, she would melt down again and become his puppy. He called her back to his life, not realizing the transformation that a spurned heart can go through. Pent up anger boiled though Suchita like a volcano when she heard him in the same sorry tone that he always used on her. She erupted out with fury, sending his egos to ashes. He can never pretend a martyr after crucifying her soul. She was someone else’s then and packed him off with his pretences.
Time as it always does moved on unhindered. If anything, Suchita‘s unfortunate experience with Rakesh only made her appreciate her beloved’s true love for her all the more. She was happy and peaceful, with life returned back to her manifolds, letting away all the grudge and even forgiving Rakesh. She knew that she was happy off without him and thanked heavens for her realizations before it was too late. After ages of no contacts and with no beguilement, she had sent out her wedding invitation to Rakesh, not really expecting him to turn up but glad enough if he did.
In the meantime, Rakesh had tailored a sacrificing story to win his friends’ sympathies, transcripts borrowed from the senti movies across all languages. It was when Rakesh received the invite that the surge of emotion swipped through him the first time. With many false smilies, he offered his wishes and congratulations, promising to be there on her wedding. How would he ever miss her wedding, his pretended personality beemed in his reply. She inwardly grinned at his wishes and pitied him for his disguises that had become his second self, too late now to let go. She let go of him with a smothering answer, knowing that he was suffering from a nagging ego that hadn’t altered a single bit. She was sure that there wouldn’t be another meeting. Rakesh never turned up at the wedding.