The happy memories and the sad ones all rained down on Sanaya at the same time. The mild showers slowly turned into heavy downpours. She looked at the picture tucked away at the corner of the mirror. It reminded her of another rainy day. She had just got back after studying in the New York Film School for a year, the best opportunity of her career. Yet, Sanaya was so eager to meet them. So despite the rain Sanaya took the picture and keys to her car and decided to go for a drive. She knew they will be there too.
Sanaya was raised as a single child and even though she was an only child, her parents never wanted her to only get married and lead a domestic life. She was taught to dream, learn and pursue her ambition. Sanaya had her entire life planned and her plans had no place for much else. Sanaya thought that she was so lucky when she found Harish. When Harish and Sanaya’s paths had crossed, she had just passed out and was interning as the AD of a famous Director. Harish had joined the company as an Account Manager. And when they met for the first time at the shoot it was just like the romance novels, eyes met, sparks flew and love bloomed in the hearts.
Life was perfect for both of them. It helped that both of them were on the same page, dreams took precedence over rationality and ambitions ruled their destinies. Neither of them wanted to settle down, just for the sake of society and they were the biggest enablers for each other. Family was never more important than career, and life always came first. Harish was unlike the misogynists found in the society and they had a clear understanding about what they had committed for. In short Sanaya’s life was perfect and she was happy with Harish.
Sanaya took a sharp turn on the road, bringing back memories of that rainy night. That was the night they both grew up a bit, and they realised that life can change at a moment’s notice, and the change can hit really fast.
The news of Di’s accident came like a shock to both of them. Di was Harish’s only family, he was raised by his elder sister. Sanaya loved Di just as much as Harish and she had an important place in Sanaya’s life too. To Sanaya, Di was the elder sister she never had, and she had filled a void Sanaya did not know had existed. They were extremely close and Rati, Di’s daughter looked up to Sanaya and imitated her at every step. When the doctor announced that Di and Jiju were no more Sanaya’s heart broke for Rati, Harish and herself. She could not explain her loss to anyone.
Rati’s custody was Harish’s, she had no one else to call her own. And Harish took his responsibility really seriously. Sanaya helped out whenever she could. Their romantic dates turned to family outings. Sanaya doted on Rati, Di’s Daughter deserved the best and Rati looked up to Sanaya as a role model. The day Sanaya got her first short film to direct, they drove to this spot outside the city to celebrate. IT was raining that day, and the three of them had a memorable day soaking up the rain and some fun and happiness along with it. Harish though had seemed lost that day, a fact that did not escape Sanaya’s attention.
Sanaya looked at the picture again. In hindsight she guessed that was the day when things changed. In the short time that Rati was with them, Harish and she had grown up to be different people. Sanaya saw her destination up ahead. It was the quaint little picnic spot where she had spent the happiest day with Rati and Harish. While parking her car she noticed another car parked there. She got out and slowly walked towards the tree. She was not surprised to see two figures there standing in the spot her picture was clicked. She wondered “No one else would drive up here in the rains”.
She looked at herself and smiled. She wondered how they would react as she walked up to the man and the girl. Rati was the first to turn, hearing Sanaya come up from behind. She just ran into her arms, and it was just like that moment 2 years back.
“Oh my you have grown up”.
“Well I am almost a teen now”. Rati started chatting happily about her life in the past two years.
Sanaya gathered that Rati was doing well in school and travelled with Harish whenever his assignments and her school allowed. In short they had a happy life. Harish and Sanaya were both smiling at her stories.
“Sometimes what we think is wrong in the moment turns out to be for the best, isn’t it?” Harish asked.
“True, I am glad we followed our hearts and not what was right”, Sanaya smiled “We would have ended up miserable and ruined such a spirited child”.
Sanaya walked away to her car knowing her life could not be more perfect. As she sat in the car she recalled the day that changed their lives.
Harish informed Sanaya that he had been offered a promotion, but would have to move. So he had passed up a promotion opportunity and quit the job, to find something that would make it easier to take care of Rati. “To be around for her”, he said
“I will find some freelance work. The money will be lesser but I will get to be around for Rati whenever she needs me. I will be hard but I have decided that I am going to give Rati everything that Di wanted to give her, everything that she deserves”.
Sanaya smiled, she knew this was coming when Rati walked into their lives. She knew Harish would want to do the right thing and this was the right thing for him.
“And what about us, have you thought of where we are headed. Harish, this will change everything”. She knew the answer, Sanaya knew what was about to happen. It was the writing on the wall, but they had to talk about it.
“It does not have to”, Harish was not even trying to be convincing enough. It is as if he knew she would not change her mind.
Sanaya loved the child a lot but she could not be a mother, she was not ready for that responsibility. Harish had grown up and changed, he had decided to take up the responsibility and be Rati’s family settle down. Sanaya could never support him, or this decision. She had to choose to between being true to herself and the decision to live as someone else for the rest of her life.
Sanaya knew what her answer would be. Deep down even Harish knew the answer. “It’s not the end of the world Harish. Not everything is meant to last, its better we move on when right now, rather than us hating each other and me resenting that little girl for no fault of hers. Because if we stay together I will be unhappy and all that will happen”.
Harish had moved on and his life was one of contentment. Sanaya had had created a whole new world, and she was content and happy – no regrets.