As she scrolls down the News Feed page of Face book on her laptop, Dema comes across a photo of her friend at the intermediate school with her lovely husband married recently in their best attire with Khadars (white scarf) all around their shoulders. “Oh! Perfect matching” envies Dema. She pictures herself into that frame but sees a big shadow, she sees the pain instead, a big doubt, because she knows in her own sense that her future is but a bleak. A cold gust of guilt and haplessness runs down her nerves. She tries to forget but the picture provokes her. The more she sees it, the more she becomes edgy and sad. “Why is there impartiality in love? Why can’t we have our own choice? Why stereotypical norms and caste system in the society? When we can love why can’t we continue forever?” She wonders.
She enviously presses the Like button below the picture and scrolls down the page. She comes across a status update which says: “Yesterday is but a history, tomorrow a mystery while today is a gift, which is why we call it, the present”. This beams Dema’s face, because the lines reassures and consoles her bitterly wounded heart. It takes away the pain and shallow future she was picturing herself a moment ago. Why should I brood about the future, for it is but uncertain? She then thinks of her past which has been wonderful, (at least) after Arjun came to her life; she is taken back to the good times they shared which they still do (for the moment though).
The first time Dema bumped into him was on her way to the academic hall one afternoon. Then they met in person during the dance practice for the annual cultural festival of the college. Arjun was then in second year while Dema herself was in first year. Arjun was a cool and smart guy. So many college girls were after him. And Dema was one of them. It was love at first sight. He was everything a girl could ever desire and dream of.
Arjun was born and raised to a typical Indian family of caste and creed. The family respects the age old tradition and culture. His father in particular- a prominent and respected figure of the town maintains and strictly expects the family to keep up their name without disruption. He is strongly against the marriage of any of his family member with outside community of theirs. This necessitates Arjun to be abided by the ethics and codes of his own after all it’s a family. As for Dema, the so-called Love has blinded her very priorities and realities. Her family may not be totally against such harsh conditions for ultimately it is her life, yet it all comes with so many social disgrace and difficulties.
And Love neither has creed or caste, nor distinction of any kind like country, culture or haves and have-nots. Fortunately or unfortunately Arjun also couldn’t resist his feelings for her after a month of dance practice with her. He was overwhelmed by the beauty and simplicity of Dema. He never missed a day for practice that was held daily in the evening after the class. That was how their feelings for each other bloomed with each passing day until they became inseparable. This makes her smile and reminds of how much she finds peace under Arjun’s arm and how a beautiful life can be for two perfectly matched hearts.
It is almost three years now that they have been together. Together they have sailed both good and bad times, together they watched movies, had meals in one plate, went shopping, studied, laughed and even cried together knowing the uncertain and clouded future as one. They can’t imagine the life they will lead after the college life; separated by miles of mountains and valleys knowing not even if they will ever meet once. Sometimes she even wishes if she can stop or amend the tick of time and the typical norms of this real world.
As the days of college knocks the end, Dema can’t think of the future that waits, because she knows in her heart that even if her parents accept, Arjun’s would never. She knows that her time with Arjun will just be a chapter of her life. Therefore she is into living the present trying hard not to think of the future. Of course she is afraid to accept the realities of life that will unfold; she is ready to face it.
Meanwhile the bottom left bar of the Face book page is popped with several ‘Hi’ and ‘Hellos’, some are her friends and others are strangers; she ignores them all, logs off the Face book and asks herself: “Will I ever fall in Love again?”