Harish and his wife Shreya have not stopped fighting ever since they got married. They argue over everything. They tried their best to love each other. But, love never happened between, or they assume. They had a baby boy, Kabir, one and a half year after their marriage. When Kabir was born, Shreya blamed her husband Harish for not planning things properly. So, they started fighting again on this new topic.
Kabir was two years old when something interesting happened in their lives. Harish is an avid cricket fan. He is so mad at cricket that he bought an apartment very close to a huge sports complex that houses a huge outdoor sports stadium where international cricket matches were held almost every other month.
It was the cricket season of the year. An international league was being held. Harish was too excited. The league schedule got announced. The stadium near to his apartment was scheduled to host at least one match every week for the next three weeks. Harish was hopeful at least one of the semi final matches will be held there.
Harish’s sister, Chetna, came from Delhi during her vacation. She wanted to spend some time with her nephew Kabir and also wanted to watch one of those cricket matches live.
As Harish hoped, one of the most awaited semi final cricket matches was to be held in the stadium the next day. He was all excited for the match as he wanted to go to the stadium with his wife, son, and sister. He waited for this moment for a long time.
A day before the match, Shreya said, “If you want us to go to the match at the stadium tomorrow, you have to listen to some of my conditions.’
Shreya actually wanted to tease him a bit and did not intend to fight with him. She wanted to tell him to take them out for every tournament and also wanted to discuss their vacation plans with him on this pretext.
But, Harish did not like the way she sounded. He did not want to have any argument or fight on this topic. He was prepared and geared up for any fight on this topic. He said, “Sure sweetheart. Tell me your conditions.”
Shreya was surprised. This was the first time he addressed her as sweetheart. She thought that he would do anything for the sake of cricket. She said, “Are you being sarcastic? Or, are you calling me sweetheart for the sake of your stupid match? You are so hopeless. You can go to any extent to do the things that you want to do. Why are you so self-centered? Did you ever think about my desires, hopes, and aspirations. You are always lost in your world. I have been waiting to hear you address me romantically since our marriage. And, after three years you call me sweetheart just because you do not want to have any fight before your favorite cricket match. You are so mean and manipulative.”
Harish tried to remain calm. He said, “I meant it when I said Sweetheart. Please don’t misunderstand me. It is true that I did not want to pick a fight with you. But, that has nothing to do with tomorrow’s match. You have been so understanding of late. I have started liking you because of the way in which you were taking care of my sister. I did not expect you to treat her so well. Ever since then, I started falling for you.”
Shreya got very angry. She said, “You did not try to understand me at all. If I was angry on your sister, you would have left me. Wouldn’t you? Tell me the truth. What is this? Some kind of examination to prove that I’m a good woman. I’m tired of your mind games. Please give me a break. You are so manipulative. I thought you have changed in the last few days ever since your sister came. But, now I realize the truth. You were nice to me because you wanted me to be nice to your sister. That is so sick of you. How could you think of people like that?”
Harish hated her logic, always. He knew she could connect the most irrelevant of dots and make a mess out of any situation. He could not control his anger any more. He shouted, “You are the hopeless one. You know that my favorite match is on tomorrow and I’m all eager for it. And, you want to ruin my mood before the match. You want to pick a fight at any cost. You don’t like it when I try to enjoy the moment. Apart from giving me Kabir, which was of course accidental according to you, tell me one thing you did for me out of love. Did you ever show me your love? I thought that my life has changed. But, now I know, you never change. Why did I ever hope for change? My life is doomed with you.”
Shreya got so agitated she threw the utensils down.
Chetna was hearing their arguments from the other room. She decided not to disturb them until things went awry. Her father told her not to intervene if they were hitting each other. But, she was worried about her brother. She looked at Kabir and noticed that he fell asleep beside her. She closed the door and went to the their room.
She walked in to see them angrily looking at each other. They had the fierceness of two enemies who are all geared up for a bloody war.
Chetna said, “Harish, please go out now. Kabir is asleep. His sleep will get disturbed if you shout like this.”
Chetna was worried Shreya would shout at her. But, instead, to her horror, Harish shouted at her, “I know I how to handle my son. He is used to all these fights and arguments. He cries also sometimes. You are too young to understand these things. Get away from here.”
Shreya said, “Look at your brother. He does not know how to treat women. He has been rude and mean to me all these days. Now, he is being rude to you. You go and grab some sleep before tomorrow’s match.”
Chetna was glad Shreya understood her. Chetna went to her room and slept beside Kabir. She looked at Kabir and felt sorry for him. She prayed to God to let this kid have a normal childhood. She knew it would be difficult for any child to live and grow in such a hostile atmosphere.
Meanwhile, Harish shouted at Shreya, “Who is going to take you to the match? I’m going all alone.”
Shreya replied angrily, “I was trying to be nice that innocent girl. I’m not going with you either, after all this. I hate cricket. But, I wanted to go just to make you happy. But, now I realize you don’t deserve it.”
The next morning Harish threw the remaining tickets on the sofa and left for the match all alone.
Shreya looked at the tickets and ignored them for some time.
Later, she dressed up Kabir and called Chetna. Shreya said, “You’ve come here to have fun. Go and enjoy. Take Kabir with you. The seat numbers are there on the ticket. Your brother will be at his seat. I don’t want you to get bored because of our fights.”
Chetna thanked her sister-in-law and went to the match.
Ten minutes after Chetna left, Shreya’s mobile phone started ringing. Shreya checked and noticed that it was Harish calling her. She ignored his call. He called again. She ignored and kept the phone on silent mode. Harish continued dialing her number. Shreya felt odd about it. She knew that Harish would never call after the third time. She thought something must be wrong that he kept calling again and again.
Finally, she picked the call. Harish said, “Hey Shreya. Thank God you picked the call. Thank God you are safe. I was so worried about you.”
Shreya said, “Why are you worried? Did you think I would commit suicide for some small fight?”
Harish said, “No, I’m talking about the bomb at the stadium. I’m glad you are at home and did not come to the match. I ran out of the stadium in time. They are searching for the bomb. It is a stampede situation in there. I’m glad you and Kabir are fine.”
Shreya was frightened. She was worried about her son and Chetna. She said, “Hold cow. I sent Kabir with Chetna for the match a few minutes ago. Go inside now and search for them. I’m coming to the stadium right now.”
Harish shouted, “Why did you send them?”
Shreya was silent. Harish realized his mistake. He said, “I’m sorry. I will go and search for them. You, please, don’t come here. I can’t afford to see you hurt. I’ll take care of them. I’ll find them. I have to run.”
Shreya had mixed feelings for a moment. This was the first time Harish said sorry after their marriage. She liked the way he cared about him. She started falling for him too.
Harish ran inside and started searching for them frantically. He tried calling Chetna’s mobile phone but it was switched off. He was sweating profusely out of anxiety and tried to get near the seats where they got the tickets. But, the stampede did not allow him. The panic in the stadium increased by the minute. Many kids were caught between people’s legs and some people fell on the ground and were being stamped by the others because of their fear and desire to get away from this stadium.
A couple of cops warned Harish from going inside and they blocked the place with barricades barring any entry into the place.
Harish felt all alone. He wish he had someone alongside so that he could somehow manage to find his son. He continuously prayed to God to save his son and his sister.
Harish’s phone rang. Shreya called him. She said, “I’m here outside the stadium. Where are you? Did you find them?”
Harish said in a dejected tone, “I could not find them till now. The cops are not allowing any further entry. I don’t know what to do.”
Harish expected Shreya to shout back at him and scold him for being so useless. Instead, she said, “Don’t worry Harish. Please come out. I had a word with my uncle who is the police chief, if you remember. He sent some people out with the photos of Kabir and Chetna to search for them everywhere in the stadium. You, please, come out immediately. The bomb might go off any moment. I’m worried about you. Rush out immediately.”
Harish felt glad his wife dealt with the situation smartly. He stepped out of the stadium. As soon as he went near Shreya, they heard a huge explosion. Their hearts stopped beating for a minute. They both started crying. Shreya tried to run inside. Harish stopped her this time. They heard another bomb blast from within the stadium.
Shreya started crying inconsolably. Harish cried too.
Harish’s mobile started ringing. It was a call from an unknown number. Harish answered the call.
The voice on the line said, “Brother. Chetna here. I’m calling from the public phone. My phone is switched off. I could not find the stadium. So, I stopped here to ask you for directions. Kabir is with me.”
Harish could hear his son’s blabbering words. He thanked God and told his wife about the call.
They immediately rushed to the place from where Chetna called. They both hugged Chetna and Kabir tightly.
Harish said, “I’ll never fight with you again Shreya. I’m very sorry.”
Shreya replied, “It was my mistake. I’m sorry.”