It was a regular night at Hard Rock Café. Ashish and Rehan were hanging out. Every Friday these two would catch up here (except ofcourse when they were with their girlfriends). Ashish had been dating Sanaya for the past 10 months.
She was a single mother with a nine-year-old daughter.
“So where is Sanaya this weekend,” asked Rehan.
“She is travelling to Delhi for a wedding.” Said Ashish.
“Oh, so no action this weekend!” winked Rehan. “When are you telling her about Avanti?”
“I will now, once she is back”.
“Hahha, hope she doesn’t get clingy and start blackmailing you,”
“Nah, I never promised to marry her! If she expected something more, her fault!”
For the first time, Ashish’s life was going perfect. He was settled in his career, and had just been promoted to Senior Project Manager. Ashish was always the geek in school and college. He envied other guys as they went out with the hottest girls with the shortest clothes in the biggest cars.
It took him a decade since then, but here he was living the dream! A good house, a good car and a girlfriend his friends drooled at. Somebody has said it right, women are like wine, they get better with age. At 41, Sanaya had the body to die for. Ashish had joined the gym to get in shape to impress women. But how did he get lucky enough to woo the gym owner, the most sought after Sanaya Sarin, his friends still wonder?
Ashish’s parents were visiting from Dhanbad. He must get married by the end of this year, his mother had announced. He was turning 32, high time. Ashish had told his mother he wanted a girl who is fluent in English and well-educated but not career minded. She should be able to bend as and when required for family. Avanti was perfect. Fair and slim, 23 year old with a degree in sociology. Avanti and Ashish had been talking on the phone for over two months. When he had met her in Dhanbad along with her family, he knew she was the one. Young, innocent, pretty, traditional small town girl just the way he liked. Always marry a girl who is much younger, so you can mold her your way, his mother would say.
The Roka had been fixed for November. It was still three months away! Ashish had been showering Avanti with presents. He loved pampering her. Avanti never confessed her love for him, though. Must be shy, he thought. Unlike these confused, Westernized city girls with no values!
Back in Bangalore, Sanaya had been hounding him with her phone calls and texts.
“Please Ashish, come back. I really love you!”
Ashish had never promised to marry her. Where did she get the idea that this would be something long term? All women are the same, he thought. He did not want things to end so nasty with Sanaya but she was behaving like a needy psycho now.
“I am not the first man in your life, anyway so don’t tell me you can’t handle this!”’ He texted back after some more ugly exchange of messages.
Sanaya was eating up so much of his time and energy that he did not even get time to buy an outfit for the Roka. He selected a blue sherwani, Avanti’s favourite colour. He also bought a necklace for her.
Finally, it was the big day. Even though it was not such a big function, some of his friends had still made to Dhanbad. Ashish was looking just like Hrithik Roshan, his mother said. His friends were already drunk and dancing. Avanti’s family was late much to their surprise. The girl’s side is supposed to host, how can they arrive after the groom?
Avanti was not picking up her phone. She must be still at the parlour. Ashish’s father got a call following which there was a lot of commotion. Ashish’s mother almost collapsed. What the hell was going on, did something happen to Avanti?
“Beta, Avanti has eloped with her boyfriend!”
Three weeks had passed. Ashish was back to Bangalore. To say that he was shocked was an understatement. How could she? He was so good to her… If she did not want to marry him, why did she talk to him, meet him, and agree for the Roka? She was playing with his feelings all this time. He was heartbroken and humiliated.
He had been wanting to contact her, but had restrained himself. But today as he saw her whatsapp DP, smiling as if nothing had happened, he could not hold himself back.
“You, bitch!” he typed and pressed send.
He kept waiting to see when the ticks would turn blue but she did not come online. He does not remember when he passed out, the drinks were too much.
Next day at work, there was a flash on his phone. Whatsapp message from Avanti:
“Mind your language, you idiot.
And FYI, I never promised to marry you!”
Ashish was fuming. Look at the nerve this woman had! Another notification came. What else does she want to say?
It was a message from Sanaya.
“You are such a loser! I deserve better.”