Heartbeats . . .

(A different take on Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya. Two lovers meet after 10 years after their breakup)

 

“How are you Vishnu?” she asked.

I carefully avoided her eyes.

“Am doing well Maya, life is amazing . . . I had a baby girl recently” I replied.

She smiled.

 

“So, how is your WIFE?”

THE question.

Her words just sliced through my heart vessels, killing me instantly.

I shifted my eyes towards my feet and avoided her gaze completely.

“Ummm . . . she is doing good Maya” I faltered.

“Look at me Vishnu . . .”

I couldn’t. The guilt was just too overbearing.

 

“I got to go now Maya . . .” I said and jerked off my chair.

She held me by my hand and pulled me back into my seat.

“Sit Vishnu . . . ” she said. “Speak to me”

My eyes welled up with tears.

 

I glanced at her. She was still the same. My angel. My heartbeat.

 

The same eyes. Caring, soft and beautiful.

The same smile. Loving, tender and heartwarming.

The same hair. Long, silky and gorgeous.

The same voice. Deep, heavenly and mysterious.

 

“Am sorry Maya . . . I should never have left you” I sobbed.

Tears left deep salty trails as it flowed down my cheeks.

She held my fingers in hers and pressed them tightly.

“Its ok Vishnu ma, I don’t have any grudges against you at all” she smiled back through her eyes.

 

I looked at her. She smiled back in the same way as she did ages ago. The same smile that made my heart pound and attempt somersaults. The same smile that imprisoned me and held me captive in her love for five long years.

 

“So . . . how are you Maya . . . Are you married? Do you have kids?” I asked her.

“Yes and no . . . ” she replied.

“Huh?”

“Yes . . . I have a kid Vishnu . . .and no, am not married” she said.

“Huh?” I mouthed stupidly.

“I adopted a kid Vishnu . . . like we always dreamt of doing”

“You did?” I gaped in wonder.

“Yaaa, I did! Can you believe that? I always thought being a mother was easy!”

“It is?”

“No way! I pity my parents . . . It is simply the most difficult thing to do” she laughed, throwing her hair back and making my heart leap four feet in the air.

I laughed.

 

“I kept endorsing that you would make an amazing mother!” I looked at her with a see-I-told-you look.

“Hahaha . . . you always did! I don’t know for sure if I’m an amazing mother, but, I have an amazing kid!”

“Boy or a girl?”

“Boy . . . Vishnu”

“Oh . . . thats great! Whats his name?”

“Aditya . . . ” she said.

My heart skipped a beat.

“Aditya?” I asked her.

“Yaa vishnu . . . Aditya”

 

I looked at her sadly. Aditya. The name we promised to keep for our to-be-born-in-the-future-son during those innumerable night talks that we used to have. The nights when the world shrank to include just the two of us. Miles and miles away but always connected.

 

“He should have my beauty and intelligence” she said.

“You are intelligent?” I gaped.

“You little donkey! Don’t you think I’m intelligent?”

I laugh.

“You have a pea sized brain” I quip.

“You dont have a brain at all!” she shot back.

“No way . . . Argument dismissed due to misinformation!”

“Hahaha . . . ok! Atleast he should be as beautiful as me” she said.

“No way!”

“Hey, don’t be so mean ok? Why dont you want Aditya to be like me?”

“You dont want to hear it!” I tease.

“No I do!” she replied. “Tell me why!”

“Because . . . .” I smiled back “I dont want our son to look like a gorilla escaped from the local zoo”

 

Life’s vicious circles brought me face to face with Maya again. I didn’t want to meet her after our breakup.

I had fallen in love with another woman. Rich, beautiful, famous. She was the toast of the town. The daughter of my father’s best friend. Things had worked out smoothly. Our marriage was immediate. I had fallen for the money and the glamour and the fame associated with the wealth. After the birth of my kid, my wife and I grew closer to each other. I loved her more than ever now.

 

“Vishnu . . .?”

“Please get married Maya . . .” I tell her.

She smiled.

“I feel so guilty for leaving you alone without any reason . . .”

She comforted me again.

“Not your fault Vishnu . . . not your fault.”

“I need to go now Maya . . . please” I said.

Guilt ridden, I couldnt face her. I didnt have the courage to look into her eyes anymore.

She let my hand go.

I rose and pulled my chair back.

 

“Sorry Maya . . . ” I said.

I avoided her eyes again and walked past her chair.

I could feel her eyes following me in my unsteady path.

Suddenly, she shouted from afar.

“Hey vishnu . . . Whats your kid’s name?”

I stopped dead in my tracks.

“Whats her name Vishnu?”

I didn’t turn back. I had gone stiff.

“Vishnu?”

“Maya”

“Huh?”

I walked forward quicker now.

“Vishnu, tell me!” she screamed.

“Her name is Maya . . . Maya”

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