Take my hand: Then and now...
Seema mentioned to me that over the past couple of months she'd been in touch with Ashfaque, her ex-fiance, on email and chat.. Seema also told me, she hadn't told this to Giri. What was I supposed to do with this revelation? I wasn't sure. I told her Ashfaque being her ex, probably it was better out between them, than kept secret. G, he's not a jealous possessive type at all. Seema stared at me for some time and asked if I shared every little thing with Anish... you know give him the daily bulletin. Oh!? I suddenly wondered if this was about me and G? If it was, it was masterfully placed. I tried to think if anything particular had passed between me and G recently that could've triggered this. I drew a blank. I thought Seema and I had this burried long back!
E: "I try to share what I think Anish needs to know. That said, I do use my discretion. If you think G doesn't need to know, you are the best judge. Why did you tell me?"
S: "You are my friend! If I suddenly cut Ashfaque off, what would he think? His wife is ill he says. Perhaps he needs to vent. And bringing this up with Giri.. I feel embarrassed, is all... probably because I've waited all this time."
E (haltingly): "Hmm.. you'll think of something. I mean you could always tell him a noncommittal 'recently' or something.."
Seema gave me a half smile at this suggestion. Comm'n! Its better than keeping mum altogether!
S: "You know, I wonder if Ashfaque's wife suddenly died or something (please dont think that I want her to..) just wondered.. I dont seem to be as angry with him as I once was."
E (shocked): "Goodness Seema! Giri loves you so much! And I thought, you,... " I did not finish the sentence.
S: "You will always be on his side, isn't it? Despite the fact that he broke your heart"
E (stricken): "He did not. Oh Seema, you got it all wrong. I forbid him to see me after you know what."
S: "Do you think I am stupid? Credit me with enough intelligence Ev to understand both of you better than who said no first."
That shut me up. I mean, what can I say to that!
E (resignedly): "Ok, yes, I was disappointed.. "
E: "And it was pretty onesided, to tell you the truth. Giri is my friend, not my lover. He did stand in for a bit, but never wanted the job. "
E: "But that is neither here nor there. We are talking about you and G. Why am I suddenly figuring in this conversation?"
Seema did not answer.
S: "I have broken someone's heart before.. This time may be easier."
E: "I cant believe I am hearing this. S, you gotta talk to G. Talk to him. You guys will figure this out. What is wrong with you? You are perfect for each other. Why are you playing with fire?"
Seema thought Ev's outburst was typical! She was half in love with G and yet not enough to stake a claim. And claim she had. S felt it was a matter of patience and timing for the two. They were both more comitted to each other than either realized, about themselves, and about the other. And now there was Anish and there was her. Seema was surprised in the beginning that Anish did not mind E's obvious attachment to G (and vice versa). She'd minded. Interestingly, it was Anish's attitude that had ultimately helped Seema relax around Ev. Anish obviously knew his wife well. Ev wasn't capable of duplicity at least for duplicity's sake ... and probably his male ego would not allow him to cower at the other possibility.
S stared at me in an intense way and I was getting the feeling that she was trying to get inside my mind, ignoring whatever it is that I am saying.
E: "Listen. I know somewhere there you are also asking me something about G? Please... whatever there was (if) is over a long time ago."
S: "I dont believe you. I am not accusing you.. but I dont think its over between you."
E (becoming really agitated): "It is, it is. Dont draw nonexistant parallels. I am not considering leaving Anish, for god's sake!"
S: "No, but thats because for all your hustle you are a coward. Dont fool yourself."
E: "Shut up! You are.. I love Anish! "
S: "Yes, but I dont love G with your intensity. Why does this bother you? Isn't it right that I do what is right for me? If it were to happen, I dont think it will hurt Giri that much either."
E: "It will destroy him. As it is, he has waited far too long to start. These relationships, they need to start early... I... Seema, dont you want to start a family? You are not getting any younger."
S: "I dont want to have kids now. Children as solution to problem relationships is not my idea of responsible parenting."
I came home that evening feeling depressed. I told Anish what had passed, for a change, not glossing over some of the more embarrassing details. Anish wrapped his arms around me and told me not to worry. He told me to leave Seema and Giri alone for a few days.. let them figure things out. He categorically forbid me to bring this up with G. G must have gotten wind of something. I saw him couple of times at work, but we haven't spoken. I am dying to talk with him.. but.. I am waiting for some sign, I dont know of what. Seema hasn't called me once, since, either.