“His large eyes are just like mine. You can’t doubt he’s got all his cuteness genes from me! You’re jealous!” He teased her trying to keep his voice straight suppressing a chuckle.

“Oh yeah, and who’s he got his cute lips from?” She asked sharply, knowing it was only his provocation and yet falling for it.

“Alright, to be fair, his 5% cutitude does come from you. His runny nose is your genetic gift?” He could no longer suppress the grin as his hand covered it, but the mischief still overflowed from his eyes.

“Ranjit!” She rolled up the newspaper and hit it on his head.

“Domestic violence! Stooop!” He shouted. “So now you want me to get physical, huh!” He puffed up in mock anger.

The blow was harder than intended. “Sorry…”

“What sorry! You remember, the last time we’d got physical this way, we ended up getting so wild, I’d to call my office telling them Diarrhea God was preventing me from attending? Too bad, boss has turned atheist as far as Diarrhea God is concerned.”

“Ranjit! Stop!” She blushed and laughed. “You’re funniest. And the cuuuutest. 100% of his cuteness comes from you! Happy?”

“Hey no, it’s unfair. I was just joking. I want a fight, not compliment. Just like the last time, I wanna get physical! I’m feeling horn…”

“Shh… I can’t fight you. That’s your punishment for being sooo adorable.” She placed a finger on his lip as she kissed him on the cheek…

She felt the same warmth in her cheeks today that she had 13 years ago. She smiled as she looked at young Ronit’s large eyes peering from the photo in her hand and remembered their mock fight.

She wondered how strange memories were. She had never imagined she could muster enough courage to revisit them after their divorce. But here she was, revisiting those very memories, and yet they filled her with a glow. She wondered if Ranjit still remembered her. If he still looked at the old photos and smiled.

She decided the question was redundant. Memories were shared, but happiness was hers alone. After all, he was the one who had abandoned her. Happiness borrowed from memories was no less real, she realized today.

With fears now dissolved, she decided not to warn Ronit of pains of love. She smiled looking at his silly grin, lost in his own fantasies, and wondered how to ask him about his first crush who caused that grin, as he turned 14 today.

Yes, love was worth it. She decided as she shut the photo album.

19 thoughts on “Vacillation

  1. Awww…this is so tummy-aching bittersweet. As in, I really loved the part where she decided not to warn him against falling in love. And how Ronit grins and she wonders who's causing that grin. Seriously, thats…really, really sweet. Wait, I hope I've got THIS one right…'she' and Ranjit are divorced and they have a kid Ronit and she has gone to revisit them on his fourteenth birthday.Right?

  2. @ Srishti:I'd thought you'd like the exchange between Ranjit and the female better. 🙂 Anyway, you got the entire story correctly, except that she was merely recollecting an incident because Ronit's eyes in the photo reminded her of it.Also, Ronit had been with her all along.She was apprehensive about Ronit falling in love and getting hurt just like her. But a sudden realization made her take it "easy"!Now, I've made somewhat significant changes in the narration and things are clearer. So, please read the updated version, too. :)It's not your fault at all this once that you misunderstood. Thanks – because of your pointing out I realized there was a lot of ambiguity, and I got to correct it.Thanks for reading and commenting, too! :)TC.@ mgeek:Even I didn't know that… a few years back. 🙂 Thanks a lot!TC.

  3. "happiness borrowed from memories is no less real " :-))I don't know if its a personality defect, but somehow the mock fight seemed a bit Too Cute to me. Hats off for the subtleness thoughIt did remind me of a quote from The Inheritence Of Loss too :"Could fulfillment ever be felt as deeply as loss? Love was the ache, the anticipation, the retreat, everything around it but the emotion itself "

  4. TLOP,Thanks a lot for the praise!Yes, I hardly write mushy romantic stuff, as somehow I would not want to write about it without sincerity with an eye on manipulating readers' emotions. This one was very spontaneous, indeed.Personally, fortunately love I had experienced itself was as intense and fulfilling as the lost I had felt on 'losing' it. Guess, have been lucky that way. But yes, I can totally relate to the paragraph you quoted, and I might call that feeling more an infatuation rather than love. :)Thanks for the beautiful paragraph, too.TC.

  5. You are a very romantic fellow man. Frankly I'm pretty drained out today. So physically I'm tired but mentally I'm tired but still a bit active. Please pardon me if I don't sound very enthusiastic! So, yes, lovely story. Reminds me of that familiar emotion. I just hate when people part ways. I'm talking about real people. People with an average job and a usual life. Not our celebs who 'break up' just to attract media's attention. They lack soul. I don't like them. I'm drowsy. Good night Ketan. Really like the story. Cheers.

  6. This is so sweet. Good to see you writing stories, too!My eyes detected two things in this story which conform to my thoughts. First – Divorce is not an abnormal phenomenon; marriage is. And – falling deeply in love is worth all the pain that it's sure to entail.Nice read!

  7. @ Vishwas:Thanks! I hope, you feel alright real soon. :)TC.@ Darshan:Well, I wouldn't go on to call marriage an abnormal phenomenon. To call something 'abnormal' we have to set a standard, which is 'normal' and then COMPARE the two.That standard cannot be what happens in lower animals. Because in other species, the young ones become independent pretty soon, whereas humans' children take almost one-fourth of their life-span just to become independent. And quite possibly, children like to see the same set of parents together till they grow up. :)Also possibly, parents might care better if they know the children are 'genetically' theirs. :)So, whether normal or abnormal, if children's welfare is to be considered, longevity of marriages is desirable and divorces undesirable. And nature 'selects' those traits which give rise to fitter children. But neither would I proscribe divorce for relations gone irreparably wrong. And if children have not been 'produced', then there is little harm in separating with mutual agreement.And finding memories of a loved one – now estranged, happy, happens only on very rare occasions, rather, they are much more hurtful.Don't expect fiction to faithfully reflect the real life. 😉 It might merely be an attempt at self-consolation! :DThanks for the compliment and observant reading. I really value the kind of feedback you gave. :)TC.

  8. @ TUIB:Thanks for the compliment! :)And I can totally relate to the part of you that agreed with – "love is definitely worth it", this story is not to be taken as a most faithful representation of the actual situation. As I told TLOP above, part of could've been self-consolatory in nature. ;)TC.

  9. Its mushy and romantic….all roses kinda thing. And then, realizing that they were thing of the past gave me a jolt"Happiness borrowed from memories was no less real"Old memories such as this can bring a smile; but only for a split second. Somehow, one end's up feeling sad unconsciously. Tears flow out involuntarily, your soul yearns for those days. It could never accept "had those share of happiness then, so its ok" kinda thought. We expect the moment to stay forever. I loved the way you abruptly got the present form; there was continuity. But touching story it is, it would affect me 😦

    • Insignia,

      Sorry for the delayed response! In fact that I’m responding here at all is an accident.

      Yes, I’m aware you’ve told me in the past that such stories disturb your, which to your possible discomfort, I take as a compliment. For what is good writing if it does not touch and affect.

      Perhaps, the take-away from such stories is the consolation that the sad things in such stories are just fiction, and that we’re luckier in real life. I guess, that should be sufficient to cheer us. 🙂

      Take care.

  10. I really don't understand why emotions were rolling down from the corners from my eyes after finishing the reading…a bit lost and again thinking..M I weak or strong ? or was just flowing with it like a Floating river..may be it was latter…. B-E-A-utiful ….

  11. I really don't understand why emotions were rolling down from the corners of my eyes after finishing the reading…a bit lost and again thinking..M I weak or strong ? or was just flowing with it like a Floating river..may be it was latter…. B-E-A-utiful ….

  12. Okay I did end up reading at this time of the night it seems….and I must say I’m glad I did.
    This story had a lovey-dovey beginning but went on to become a sad tale with a note of hope in the end.
    I fully agree with the message conveyed through this piece of fiction. Love is indeed worth it. It may lead to pain and heartache but like they say it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. 🙂

    • Samadrita,

      Welcome to the blog!

      I wouldn’t say I wanted to endorse the idea of “love is definitely worth it” through this post. It is just what the character in the story feels. 🙂 If the readers were to interpret what the characters in my stories speak quite literally, there would be too many problems! 😛

      I’d tried a few situational devices also. E.g., I’d expect the reader to visualize zooming out and seeing a middle-aged woman staring blankly at a photograph in the photo album. Plus, there was some symbolism, too when the story ends with her closing the album. And of course, I had intended the transition from mushy to somber to be shocking – to give the reader a novel experience.

      Don’t know how much could I succeed. 🙂

      But despite saying all this, I too believe in your last line. 😀

      Thanks for reading and the commenting!

      Take care.

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