A Promise to Smile

Kriti was on her way to the office in the metro train just like any other day. It was Friday and Kriti was in the afternoon shift which starts at 2. She had been traveling in metro from the past 5 years. It was as crowded as any other working day. Though, not many people board the metro from Chandni Chowk station but its being Ramzan month, flock of them make their way towards the largest Mosque of Delhi,Jama Masjid, for the afternoon Namaz which has been keeping busy this station also from the past three weeks. It is last Friday of Ramzan and expectedly hordes of people boarded the train from Chandni Chowk. Kriti was standing taking support doors of the opposite side with her ear phone on listening to music. She was looking outside the window and turned her head to have a usual gaze at the crowd. She couldn’t believe what she found out. She found somebody very unusual in her usual gaze. It was Anas standing amid lot of people with difficulty holding the handle. She was actually able to see his head only so far because he was very tall. Anas had yet not seen Kriti. She had never ever imagined that destiny will make her meet again with Anas, whom she loved more than her life. Seeing him after two years, her mind went through a sudden flash back of her two year relationship with Anas. Everything with Anas had been beautiful except for that day when they met last. It was painful for both, Anas and Kriti, to get apart but that’s how it was meant to be and they knew it from the very first day. Their fear of loosing each other grew deeper as their relationship grew stronger. Knowingly that it was more than impossible to even think of them having a future together both being from different religion, they had decided not to annoy their families, run over their wishes for their own happiness and get separated the very day Anas’ marriage will be fixed. The day came sooner than they thought would come since Anas was well settled in his career.

They came, seated for an hour but none of them had been able to utter single word.

Finally Anas broke the silence and said, “Kriti let’s promise each other that we will not mourn for our separation”.

“We will only cherish the moments spent together and never shed tears thinking those memories”, Said Anas with a complete hold over his emotions.

“We will smile back to each other if we ever meet. Huh?”

Kriti nodded with heavy heart without looking at Anas and having an apprehension in her mind if she will ever smile without him?

That was the last memory of Anas which she took back with her.

Announcement of next station brought Kriti back from the past to present. She noticed that Anas was smiling to somebody. By this time doors had opened for the next station, emptying the metro to very extent.

Now Anas and Kriti could see each other clearly they were standing in such positions. As she made a hurried movement towards Anas with number of emotions she was going through, she stopped. For a while, she thought her eyes were deceiving her. There he was standing not alone but with a tiny toddler in his arms. As Anas moved a little inside, he was stunned to find Kriti standing right in front of him. Their eyes met. Anas was so surprised that he wasn’t responding at all to what the kid in his arms was trying to say in his half spelled words. Kriti shifted her eyes to the baby in Anas’ arms which made Anas also look at the kid. Baby, almost a year old, was a carbon copy of Anas with long face and big eyes. Kriti, in her amazement, kept shifting her eyes from Anas to baby and baby to Anas.

That kid, look alike of Anas, made her realized that it’s not her Anas anymore. He is not the one whom she parted with; he is now a husband and a father. She went ahead, stroked the cheeks of his baby and moved on to the door.

Announcement came “next station is Rajiv Chowk”. Anas, Puzzled at Kriti’s indifferent behaviour, kept standing where he was while looking at Kriti whose back was facing Anas now.

Just as the doors opened, Kriti turned back his head, looked at Anas and smiled as broad as she could and disembarked the metro to get merged into crowd in fraction of seconds.

Kusum Kanojia

[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/colodio/198306790/]