Ravi was already decided on breaking up with Nisha, in Something Forgotten # 1, while she waited for him to call on her birthday. In stead in Something Forgotten # 3, he ended up going to Pooja’s place.
. . .
It was still dark when Ravi found himself looking out of the window into the calmness of the early dawn. A still invisible sun had turned the sky pale-orange at the horizon and painted the rest in different hues of blue that seemed to be changing every moment. He thought about his life, that too was changing too fast for his comfort.
He turned sideways and looked at Pooja who was sound asleep beside him, her body rising and falling with her breath. She was lying sideways in a way that a bang of hair covered half of her face. Her porcelain skin gleamed in the early morning light, making her look surreal, like a part of some long-forgotten dream. She looked beautiful.
He had met her only a month back during the annual Sales-executives meet in Hongkong. He was named the ‘Sales-person of the year award’. Something he had worked hard to achieve. But instead of celebrating, he was having yet another shouting-match with Nisha over phone.
His mood completely ruined that night, he sat alone, gulping down one more glass of whiskey, trying to calm his nerves. But however hard he tried, the bitterness of the fight still lingered in his head. He wished he hadn’t picked her call.
Nisha was becoming more and more gloomy about life, a possessiveness about their relationship that bordered on mania.
Her love for him was turning into an obsession which he was finding it difficult to handle. He signalled for yet another glass of whiskey.
It was at that moment Pooja had come and sat in the chair in front of him. He had met her a few times before, in office, and had found her extremely smart and beautiful. But that night, in her white tunic and a long black skirt, she looked stunning.
And they hit it off instantly.
Soon they were cracking jokes about office-acquaintances, and sharing stories from their past. For once after a long time, he felt good talking to somebody. Recently, his life had become sandwiched between managing gruelling work-hours and dealing with Nisha’s insecurities about their relationship.
This conversation with Pooja came as a fresh of breath air for him.
They ended up spending hours talking at that table. And by the time they said goodbyes and exchanged each other’s phone numbers, both felt as if they had known each other for a long long time.
. . .
‘Wake up Ravi,’ Pooja called out him as she entered the bedroom. Ravi opened his eyes, his head still groggy from the intermittent sleep last night.
‘What’s the time?’ he asked, pulling cover over his face.
‘It’s ten-thirty.’ She removed the cover from his face and leaned to kiss him on his lips. ‘Get fresh Ravi. Breakfast will be ready in fifteen minutes.’
He dragged himself out of the bed and went to wash his face. As he looked at himself in the mirror, he thought about the events of the last few weeks. After that night in Hongkong, he was spending more and more time with Pooja. And last week she had confessed that she too had feelings for him.
Get things sorted out, she had told, if he wanted to things move forward between them.
Splashes of cold water on his face had calmed his mind a little. He picked up his mobile and sank into the couch in the drawing room. He accessed Facebook to check for the updates and after scrolling down a bit, he found a photo update of Shruti, Nisha’s friend. ‘Shit,’ he said out loud, the moment he realized it was from Nisha’s birthday.
He felt a stab of pain inside his chest. It was her birthday, a voice rung in his head. What kind of person forgets the birthday of his girlfriend and breaks up on the same day. And considering how vulnerable she was becoming, he should have been careful how to tell her of his decision.
Was it really his decision or just a knee-jerk reaction to Pooja’s presence in his life? For the first time he doubted his actions of the last night.
He would see her on his way to office, he told himself.
After ten minutes Ravi sat at the dining table, half listening to the morning news. A stack of papers lay in front of him. He tried to read one of them, but his mind was racing from one possibility to another. This wasn’t how things should have panned out. Breaking up over the phone, and then spending the night with Pooja. He didn’t love Nisha anymore, but she deserved better, maybe one last shot.
The morning news was a mishmash of one bad news after other. One more politician caught in a bribery scandal. India lost again to Australia. There was a suicide in the city. He wanted to listen to something good.
People taking their own life and politicians hell bent on ruining others was the last thing he wanted to hear.
He took the remote and changed it to another news channel.
‘Coffee or tea?’ Pooja’s voice from the kitchen broke his train of thoughts.
‘Tea,’ he said his mind on the TV in front. ‘No make it coffee.’
The same type of news was playing on this channel too. Showing the accused politician smiling unabashedly as if nothing has happened.
‘Coffee or tea, mister?’ Pooja asked once again craning her neck outside the kitchen.
This time, there was no reply.. ‘Coffee or tea? Ravi, are you listening?’
But Ravi wasn’t listening. His eyes was glued to the channel.
A little angry she stomped out of the kitchen, into the drawing room and found Ravi standing, his back towards her. ‘What happened?’
‘Nisha,’ he said, his voice barely audible.
Ravi didn’t need to reply, Nisha’s name and photo were flashing as the breaking news at the bottom of the screen.
. . .