Neha wasn’t a girl who’d be up for a change. Everything was going well for her. She had a family that loved her, friends that adored her and Suraj who was crazy about her. Suraj was the man she was fated to marry, her childhood sweetheart, her knight in shining armour. Everything that a girl could ask for. She was struggling with her career, but then at the age of 25 who doesn’t?
Neha had the odd habit of taking off on her own on sultry hot afternoons. On one such afternoon she met Meer at a quaint coffee junction. You know the type inhabited by artists yet to be found, stories yet to be told and people yet to be discovered. It was a poetry jam and Neha loved listening to amateur poets. She thought they had the potential to bring about a change.
The exciting older guy
Neha met Meer and immediately they hit it off. A man older by eons it seemed. Meer was everything that Suraj was not. Suraj was her forever, except Suraj never had time for her idiosyncrasies, her quirks or her bursts of sudden excitement. He was busy making a future for them. Working overtime, going to boring afternoon lunches with his clients, all the time focusing on the next big surprise for her. Suraj was too mundane. Maybe being too close to a person makes one lose perspective. Meer was a breath of fresh air.
Neha was surprised she could talk to Meer so easily. They had nothing in common. She, the proper convent bred girl with proper education and cultural background and he, educated but crude in his ways. It wasn’t long before she realised she had started to spend more time with Meer and wanted to see less of Suraj.
Then they kissed
And then one fine afternoon, it happened. It might have been the cocktails, the ambience, or just the magic of that one moment when they were caught up talking about some song on the roadside. Neha ended up kissing Meer and it was unlike all the kisses she had had so far. It was spontaneous and electric. The kiss, however, was followed by panic. She was absolutely happy with Suraj. She knew she had done Suraj wrong. He did not deserve this. She decided to meet Suraj and tell him everything.
The following day when she met Suraj she tried to speak, but he was too excited. He went down on one knee asking for her hand in marriage and for some reason she couldn’t say no. Maybe she was being selfish, maybe it was actually too late. Whatever the reason, Neha realised that this man, vulnerable and willing to jump mountains for her, was all she had ever wanted. Maybe the glitch with Meer was a blessing in disguise. It was only after she’d stepped into that world of crazy rush with Meer that she realised it was Suraj she wanted to be with, Suraj that she loved and she wouldn’t put Suraj through pain to efface her own guilt.
Suraj, the boring corporate guy, was her safe haven, the only thing that kept her rooted in a fickle world. It took her a few bad decisions to reach the same page as Suraj, but when she did she knew she couldn’t have done better. They got married in a year and as for Meer he remained a friend.
Happily ever after
It has been 5 years since their marriage. Neha and Suraj have a year-old daughter. Meer is still a part of Neha’s life. After all, he keeps her company at all those poetry jams! He and Neha never spoke of that afternoon again. Suraj knows Meer; they are cordial. They occasionally hang out for drinks. Meer is dating a friend of Neha’s and if things work out they might even get married.