Radhika and Manoj decided to walk together for the last time.
“Do you think we will ever meet again? I mean, like, accidentally or we end up at the same place coincidentally. Would it ever happen? Not that I want it to happen,” asked Radhika.
Manoj replied, “I’d definitely want it to happen. So, if it is after ten years and you gain a lot of weight, I can pull your leg. I will continue to go to gym, so, I can tease you when we meet badly.”‘
They both laughed as though nothing wrong has happened and everything is fine with their lives.
Radhika spoke, “May be, I will not be able to control my tears…I mean…tears of happiness. It’s nice to meet an old friend after a long time…”
Manoj added, “And, we have been more than mere friends. We know more about each other than anyone else ever does. We had that awesome chemistry that many were jealous of.”
Manoj tried to control his grief. He felt sad for a few minutes. But, as they decided to break up cheerfully and not to reminisce the wonderful times they spent together or worry about their future after parting ways.
Radhika tried to divert the topic. She said, “You might want to be careful with your driving from now on. Be punctual. I was so tired of waiting for you every time. In the corporate world, it’s going to put you in trouble if you are always late.”
Manoj was caught unawares. He got completely lost in her words and replied, “Look, who is talking. You take ages to get your make up done. You never came to any movie in time. You made me miss the titles and the commercials at the beginning of every movie that we saw together. And, you talk about punctuality. You’re such a hypocrite.”
Radhika said, “Yeah right. And, talk about hypocrisy. You are a champion there.”
Radhika and Manoj deliberately recollect all the odd things about each other to argue for some more time. There were times earlier when Manoj told her that he loved those little arguments.
They did not weep. They did not sigh. They never turned back to look at each other. They just walked away as though they stepped out of a meeting and were waiting to get out of that meeting.
It took a great amount of effort for Manoj to stop himself from looking back. He had to control himself from crying. He never cried earlier. He had to walk for a few minutes to reach his car. Those few minutes seemed to be the most painful minutes and he wanted that time to pass away as soon as possible. But, each step seemed to be like eternity and he yearned to run back to her, hug her, and ask her to marry him. But, that would not happen.
Radhika cried incessantly on her way back to her house. With utmost difficulty, she controlled her grief when they met for the last time. It was one of the most difficult times of her life. She was so angry at God for putting her in this situation. She decided she could not go home with her eyes full of tears. She needed some more time. She went to meet her friend, Jaya.
When Radhika knocked the door, she tried to wipe her tears and talk to her friend as though nothing has happened. They decided to avoid telling anyone about their separation and the reasons behind them.
But, Jaya realized that something was very wrong as soon as she saw Radhika. They have been friends since childhood. Jaya immediately took Radhika to her room. Jaya knew exactly how to deal with Radhika at this situation.
Jaya said, “Don’t tell me anything, if you don’t want to or if you can’t. I’ll understand.”
Jaya’s idea worked and Radhika cried out so loud. Jaya was thankful to God her parents were not at home at that time.
Radhika hugged Jaya and cried for almost ten minutes. Jaya did not interrupt her. She knew that would only make matters worse.
As she expected, Radhika opened up after some time. She said, “I broke up with Manoj just now.”
Jaya could not believe what she heard. She said, “What? Did I hear it right? Why would you break up with someone you love so much? Did he cheat on you? I think there’s some misunderstanding. He is a nice chap. He’d never cheat on you. Let me talk to him, wait.”
Radhika stopped Jaya from calling up Manoj.
Radhika said, “He did not cheat. We did not fight. It’s not us. We decided to break up for some valid reasons.”
Jaya said, “Holy cow. Valid reasons? You talk like an old woman. What happened?”
Radhika said, “Will you please stop judging us? We did the best we could do. It’s very complicated. My parents and his parents hate each other. So, we cannot get married. We thought of running away. But, you know my dad’s condition. He had heart attack twice. I did not want to be the reason for anything bad to happen to my Dad. You know how much I love him. And, we have a same problem with Manoj and his mother. She is an asthmatic. He tried telling her about us and she had an asthma attack. It was terrible. She had to be admitted to the hospital. After she recovered, she told him that she does not like me or my family and cannot live to see him married to me. Both of us thought about it. We discussed for a long time. And, then decided that it is better for us to part ways. We do not want to blame anyone. It’s just destiny.”
Jaya got angry and said, “Your lack of logic irritates me. What happened to Manoj? When did he become so emotional? If your parents are not happy with your love, let them learn to be happy. Remember that you cannot find another person like him. What if you never get to find the love of your life again?”
Radhika replied, “I’ll stay single for the rest of my life.”
After reaching home, Manoj had a similar discussion with his father. At the end of the discussion, Manoj said, “If I cannot love anyone again, I’ll stay single for the rest of my life.”
Five years passed by. Manoj did not get married. When he asked his friends about Radhika, he came to know that she got married. Some of her friends told Radhika that Manoj was deeply in love with some other girl and will marry her shortly. Radhika, too, did not get married.
When Radhika’s younger brother married a girl from another religion and came home, her father suffered from heart stroke once again. After one week of struggle, her father passed away. Radhika did not allow anyone to blame her brother. She supported him throughout the ordeal. Her brother asked her to get back to Manoj. She told him that it was a story that ended long ago.
Manoj and his parents went to a hill station, Darjeeling, to check out a bride for Manoj. Though he did not want to go, he listened to his mother and went with them. A day after they reached the hill station, his mother could not cope up with the weather conditions in the hill station and had a severe asthma attack. They rushed her back to their home town. After one week of struggle and signs of recovery, his mother breathed her last.
Manoj’s father asked him to find Radhika and get her. But, he told his father that she is already married and lived happily somewhere.
Manoj and his father accidentally came across his mother’s diary. On the day they reached the hill station, his mother wrote, “I hate myself for putting my son through this. He came to see the girl for him. But, I can still see his love for Radhika in his eyes. I should not have stopped him, then. I hate myself. I feel so guilty.”
Manoj’s father said, “She died because of her guilt and not because of the weather.”
Without letting them know, Jaya has been continuously keeping in touch with both of them to know about them. When she came to know about Manoj’s mother and her diary from Manoj, she decided to reunite them.
Jaya sought Manoj’s help to baby sit her daughter as her husband is out on tour and she had to be attend her mother’s surgery. She told the same reason to Radhika and asked her to come to her house.
Later that evening, Jaya came home to hear the good news that Manoj and Radhika decided to get married the next day. They did not want to wait for one more day.