Memories Of Love
Finally, the day was here. Today I would have to sift through all the old papers, diaries and the odd paraphernalia from the many different stages of my life which I had locked away. I had to do it today; it had been put off for long enough already. Tomorrow we were moving away; going to a new city to begin our life together.
I sighed and pushed the covers off me. It was chilly, it being winter, so I quickly threw a shawl around myself and slipped my feet into warm slippers. After brushing my teeth, taking a shower and drinking a cup of hot coffee, i was ready to tackle the stuff waiting for me in the storeroom.
Once in there, i went straight to the cupboard in the farthest corner. It was where i had stored all my important things - unnecessary but having too much sentimental value to throw away- mementos, letters, diaries, photos, greeting cards, even the odd soft-toy. Taking out everything from the cupboard, i spread it out on the floor and sat down in the middle of it all.
The first thing I noticed was the plastic bag containing the photographs. I took them out and began sifting through them, pausing on every photo and remembering the moment. Me (sixteen-year-old) with my school friends, all dressed up for the farewell function. Me and Mrunmai, my bff, staring at the photographer,Tejas, in shock (that was when he had told us that he had been dating Deepa since the last summer hols). The two of us again, this time smiling angelically (nobody had noticed yet that the Fanta being served had been spiked- with vodka. We had to face hell the next morning though). Deepa and Tejas hugging – I had captured that lovely moment perfectly. Mihir, Saurabh, Kanad and Neel- standing with their arms around each other and grinning idiotically at the camera. The party scene with most of the people drunk and dancing. Me, with Tejas on one side and Mihir on the other- quite woozy- winning the four-legged-race. Mayuri, Deepa and Ketki passed out on a table. I laughed, remembering each scene, then moved on to other photos – my childhood, my parents, my siblings and other friends.
Then, keeping these aside, I turned my attention to the other things. I came across rough drafts of my poems and short-stories, which I decided to throw away as I had the final drafts written in a notebook.
Finding one of my diaries, I flipped it open. 'Ishita.V.Apte' it declared and under it, written in in big, bold letters, ' PRIVATE!!!'. Going through it I realised that it was my 12-year-old self's diary. I kept it aside and looked for the others. Before long, I had all 6 diaries stacked in front of me. Skimmimg through each one quickly, I paused when I came to my 16-year-old self's diary. It was the most precious one; in it I had written about my first crush, my first boyfriend, how it felt to be in love, the break-up, and about many more things. I had also stapled my first adventure camp's guide cum notebook to the diary's last page. Taking out the staples, I read through the book. I remembered how much I had loved that camp and why I had loved it as I looked at the photos I had glued in it and read the words I had written in it all those ten years ago.
I closed my eyes instinctively, remembering and reliving the sights, sounds and smells of the entire journey. Especially that of him, Ranveer. We had met at the station. While the camp instructors had been busy with the train arrangements, I- with nothing better to do than gaze around- had smiled at him randomly just because he was from a different state. He had smiled in response and mouthed a 'Hi!' to me. I'd 'Hi!'ed him back and he came over to introduce himself. “Hi,” he had said once again, this time extending a hand. “I'm Ranveer. What's your name?”
“Ishita,” I had replied,shaking his hand.
“Nice to meet you Ishita, see you around”. And he'd gone back to his group from Delhi.
I had been bombarded by questions from the people from my group from Maharashtra. They had begun already to tease me and it – ridiculously – had made me blush. But then again, he was quite handsome, with fiery, orange hair (a nice change from the hundreds of black and brown heads). His eyes were a greyish brown and mischievous and his lips were always turned up in a playful smile.
After a few hours on the train, everyone had mixed with everyone else. As the night wore on, I could see some people turning off their lightsand going to sleep, while others sat in groups, chatting.
I made a few more friends in the next few hours, and passed my time talking and having fun.
After awhile, Neelesh, Akki and Shu-bum had slept, Kanu had been listening to songs and I'd been reading some book when Ranveer came and sat beside me. Keeping my book aside, we had chatted away telling each other about many small and big things. When my eyelids started drooping, he had put his arm around me and I drifted off to sleep with my head on his shoulder.
At the camp, we had grown close, become fast-friends. Getting up every morning before sunrise, sitting on the wooden log-bench side by side, sipping cups of hot tea and watching the sunrise had become our special thing to do together. The rest of the day had been filled with other camp activities and being in two different groups, we had only been able to meet at lunch-time and dinner-time.
Aishwarya, Akki's friend had liked Ranveer and (as typical as it gets,) had caused us to fight. After Ranveer hadn't spoken to me for three days, Shu-bum made me realise that I had fallen for Ranveer.
But even though we decided that we had had enough of not talking to each other, it had already been too late for that was the last day of the camp and we were to leave in the afternoon.
Sitting in the train Ranveer and I were determined not to waste even a single moment of our last night together; who knew if we would meet again or not ? Long after everyone had nodded off to sleep, we had remained awake, holding hands and talking.
Out of the blue, Ranveer had told me that he liked me, that Aishwarya had been nothing. I remember feeling happy – incredibly happy. After I'd told him about my feelings, we had just sat there looking at each other and when the time finally came to say goodbye, he had taken me in his arms and said, “ Ishita, don't ever forget this night!”
'And I haven't' I smiled and thought as I came out from my reminiscing.
“Honey? Are you up there?” he called up the stairs.
“Yeah, I'm here!” I yelled a reply.
There was the clatter of footsteps as he came up the stairs and the door was flung open. He came striding in. “If you're done here, we should leave in about thirty minutes. Hey, where did you find that?” he took the camp guide out of my hands and flipped through it. We shared a smile.
As I smiled up at Ranveer , I couln't help but think of how, after a few months post the camp, we had lost contact, only to meet eight years later through my brother, Gaganjeet. The two of them were, Gaganjeet had told me, in the same squadron and had become very close friends as they shared the same room. Gaganjeet had introduced me to Ranveer at a family function, not knowing that we already knew each other. From then on, it had not taken much to rekindle our romance.
Two years into the relationship, Ranveer proposed and I, happily, accepted. Our wedding was in a week's time.
Sorting through the rest of the things from my cupboard, with a little help from Ranveer, I packed up what was important.
I stood up and quickly pecked Ranveer on the lips and he held me close. Pulling back, I looked up at him. Everytime I looked at him, all I felt was love.
As we carried the boxes downstairs to the car, I caught myself thinking of our wedding and how our married life would be. I smiled in quiet anticipation of our future together as we got into the car and zoomed away.
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