The question he could never ask her!


He thought he was late. The not-so-busy restaurant looked busy today. He thanked himself for booking a table in advance. He didn’t see her anywhere in the restaurant and sighed with relief that he wasn’t too late. Beautiful garden on the fifteenth floor of the building was lively with the restaurant diners and wonderful musicians.  The clear sky full of stars added to the beauty of the pleasant evening. The waiter showed him their table by the parapet. He had specifically asked for that table. He liked watching things from heights. The waiter poured the wine in the glass in front of him for him to kill time till she comes and disappeared behind the door. He was waiting for the moon of his life. He then started checking and rechecking of everything he had planned for. Her favourite cuisine has been ordered, he has worn her favourite shirt, her favourite flowers, music, everything. Though the restaurant was his favourite. She didn’t like such fancy and plush restaurants to dine in. But, today was something special that her dislike of big restaurants didn’t bother him. His second glass too is finished. She still hadn’t arrived. He didn’t want to call her and make her hurry. He wanted her to be perfect too. She doesn’t know what the specialty of today’s dinner is. All she knows is he has thrown a party for his friends and loved ones for the success of his travel show. He is desperate to see her reaction when she gets to know that it is only she who was invited for the party.

*ten hours ago*

It is ten in morning and he is sitting in her house. He made sure that she has reached her office and then he went to her house to meet her father. Before he asked her, he wanted to ask her family. Before this, it was very easy for him to converse with her family. Not that he met them very frequently, whenever he did, it was fun for him. But. Today. It was all different for him. He felt like he had returned to his college days where he went for an interview on campus. Three interviewers sitting in front of him and judging him and making assumptions on the basis of his every move and every word he spoke. Unlike his on-campus interview, here the panel didn’t knew that they were being asked to gather here to interview him. He waited for them to stop asking questions to each other about what’s going and started.

“Uncle, I love your daughter. And I want to spend the rest of my life hanging out with her. And if she says yes, I want to marry her. You know me since I know her. Her happiness is my happiness, so the question whether or not I would keep her happy after marriage doesn’t arise. Before I ask her, I wanted to ask for your permission.” He stood up and pulled out the solitaire ring box in his pocket and knelt on his left knee showing the ring to her dad.
“Can I marry your daughter, Sir?”

He saw them all smiling and felt that they all were glad about it. Her father didn’t speak for a while. He was losing his balance in this position.
“Sir, please say something. I am losing my balance. I…” they all started laughing then. He got up to sit on the chair back.
“Wait, I didn’t ask you to get up” her father said suddenly like a strict teacher. He got scared and sat again in the same position. He wasn’t this nervous when he was going to jump from that tall cliff, or living a night in a jungle for the first time. Her brother who was sitting silent till now got up laughing and went to him and hugged him.
“I was wondering what took you so long to come up for this!” her brother said while hugging him. “Don’t be so nervous dude. We are family now!”

“Welcome to the family” her father said. Saying that he was happy was an understatement.
“But…” her father’s voice brought him to reality “I have a condition!”
“She will live her life the way she wants, I wouldn’t be the reason behind any tears, her happiness is mine, her problems are mine, my happiness is hers, my problems are hers, she will accompany me on my travel tours, I will make sure that she never gets bored of her life, she will never….”
“Stop…!” her father didn’t allow him to complete. “Listen to my condition first!”
“Sorry sir.”
“She has to say yes whenever you plan to ask her.”
“Oh.” He got confused. He wanted to know what would be her probable answer. “What do you think… will she say no? I plan to ask her today evening itself.”


It was half past eight and he got a bit worried about she being late. She was never late. He called her two to three times. She didn’t answer. He thought she might be driving. He waited patiently for her. Practising his lines with the guitar guy. He wanted it all to be perfect. He felt like he suddenly has got obsessive about perfections. It was quarter to nine. She still didn’t turn up. Now, he was losing his patience. His practise was out of his mind now. Just then his phone rang. It was her photo on the display. As he received the call, he didn’t allow her to speak.
“Where are you Aarzoo? What is making you so late?”
“Is this Taran?” with this reply he realized that it wasn’t she who was calling him. ‘But wait, why is someone else calling me from her phone?’

Pic courtesy :


Love you too, Lish.

Love you too Lish.

Special Thanks to Abhik for the idea.

She was waiting for his reply. He hadn’t replied for long. She assumed that he must be in the meeting about which he said in the morning. He was going to have a long day over and above that he was ill. She just wanted to make sure that he is fine. She knew, calling would be of no help so she waited for him to reply.

A few years ago.

“What is it Ankush? We are getting late for our last exam today.”
“You are leaving for a vacation for 20 days today night.”
“So? Ankush, it is ten minutes to go. And you said you had to revise. Revise first, we’ll talk about it after the exam !” Lisha gave Ankush her book to read and she started driving her white rodeo to the school. Ankush had to forget what he wanted to talk and concentrate on reading. In no time, they were in the parking of the school. The parking was filled with parents and students. Parents had come to drop their children at the examination centre.
“Are we going to some Kargil war, Lish?”
“I wonder! For those parents Board exams are like Kargil war.”
“Yeah! I am done with revising. Do you want to revise?”
“Nope. I am done too. Come then let’s go to the class.”
“All the best.”
“All the best to you too”
Ankush was waiting for the exam to finish. He wanted to tell Lisha, that he loved her. He wanted to remind her that they had planned a career together. He didn’t know whether she too loves him or she just thinks him as a best friend! He had made his mind, that day he will know it all.

Ankush finished his paper sooner than expected, He was practising what he was going to say to her in his mind and was waiting for her to complete her paper. The bell rang and the students rushed out of the class. It was their last day as high school students, though. All were excited about their holiday plans, finally as adults and lots.
Lisha held his hand and rushed him to a secluded place in the huge school. It was a football court. The place was empty. Lisha said.
“Now say. what were you saying?”
Ankush was now blank. He forgot all the lines he had practised.
“I … w..wanted…” he stammered.
“I love you Ankush.” She cut him and confessed.
“Are … ss…sure?” He again stammered.
“NO.. it is lust. You know hormonal changes and chemical locha of the age. Silly”
“I love you too.” was all he could say. And they hugged.
And then, their graduation years were like bliss. Always in love. Quite different from normally committed couples on campus. They had their friends, their rivals, their fans too. They had even won a couple of the year during their first year. They had rivals from other colleges too, for they won most the cultural activities prizes in many inter-college events.

It was during their second year when Ankush proposed her for marriage. Lisha always wanted to marry him. She wanted her parents’ consent before saying yes. She asked her parents and they wanted to meet him. They were going to meet him on the next Sunday.
The rivals now started trying to break their unity. At first, they didn’t succeed in breaking them.
On sunday morning, Lisha’s dad received a whatsapp message from an unknown number. The message had a screenshot of a FaceBook page. The page had images of Lisha and Ankush close, intimately. He got very angry.
“Lisha…” he shouted for his daughter angrily.
She got scared at once.
“What happened, dad?”
“What is this? After all, this you have the audacity to ask me what happened!” he shouted her showing the image. She having a single glance realized that those were morphed images. For they had never been so close!
“Dad, these are morphed. This is not true. We…” She tried to explain him.
“I don’t get this. We are not meeting this Ankush. And that’s final.”
“Dad, why don’t you trust me. This is not true. And I will marry Ankush and no one else. That’s final too.”
“If you marry him, you are dead for us!”
She knew he was angry. Very angry. She had never seen him like this. He usually took decisions after thinking and knowing the full scenario. This time, she didn’t know what went wrong.
“Dad, why are you doing this. Listen to me first. Why aren’t you trusting me with this? Something like this never happened with us. We have never been this close.”
Lisha asking calmly melted him. It cooled him and he explained…
“I know Beta. And I trust you. And I am sure these are morphed images. But the people talking about it don’t know that they are morphed. I don’t want people talking about my daughter like this. Please understand. Next week my best friend’s family is coming here. They are coming for an alliance of his son with you. I want you to be married to him. And stay away from Ankush!”
“But dad, how is it possible. I can’t do this. I..”
He didn’t allow her to complete and left the room. She was dumbstruck. Didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t even break down. All she did was called Ankush and explained the whole story.
What could Ankush do!

Next week her father’s friend and his family arrived. Lisha was pale and lifeless. She tried to be a bit cheerful. His son, Bunny, his father calls him, was not that bad. But, she yearned for Ankush. His warm smile, his soothing voice, everything of him. Her father asked her to show their house to Bunny. She didn’t want to, she had to.

Once they were in her room he said,

“Beautiful house.”
“Thanks.” she replied coldly.
“Is anything wrong with you now?”
She was confused with his this question. She gave him a confused look.
“I mean, you look so cheerful and happy in all your photos here, and now, that smile isn’t there. All good?”
She was surprised that he noticed it!
“You can say it to me, as a friend at least.”
She didn’t know whether to trust him or not. She did. And told her and Ankush’s story. By now, she accepted the fact that she has to marry Bunny. So she didn’t say her wish to marry Ankush.
After a long silence, he said,

“Lish… can I call you Lish?”
She just gave him an allowing nod.
“Lish, I like you. very much. Only if  you want to, we can marry. And off course, you can stay friends with Ankush. Once a friend, always a friend. But, only if you want this marriage. No one is forcing you. I will talk to your dad if you want to”
She was speechless listening to this. She didn’t know what to say.
“Talking to dad would be of no use. He wants me to marry you only.”
Bunny… for him, Lisha was love at first sight. He saw a pale smile and wanted to know why. And make the smile a cheerful one anyhow. Yes, he hated her father now. But then, he liked him more… it was only because of him that she would be marrying him. Yes, he could convince her father to allow her to be with Ankush, he didn’t want to. Still, he didn’t want to be selfish. So he offered. And she didn’t want to!

She wanted to talk to Ankush. Couldn’t reach him. The voice note said he is in a flight and asked to leave a message! She didn’t know he was flying to somewhere!
Lisha and Bunny’s marriage was fixed on next month’s 14th.

She received an email from him saying that he was going to some city for studies. He will stay in touch with emails! She was not able to understand what was happening.

It was after their marriage when Ankush found out that the image sent to Lisha’s father was morphed. There was no such Facebook page. No one was talking ill of them. The rivals managed to break them this time. Ankush took this as a lesson. He decided to be the top advertising persona. And love Lisha from far. He never met her after that, though they spoke many times and exchanged emails about their life and milestones.


It is six in the evening. Bunny just returned home.
Lisha was standing on the balcony watching the beautiful view of the city from the fifteenth floor of the building and thinking about Ankush, his illness and his meeting. He hugged her from behind and whispered in her ear

“Good evening, Wifey”
The tinge of sadness on her face faded to a beautiful smile.
“You’re home.”
“Yes.” He kissed on her temples.
“Now I know, why you loved Ankush. He is so awesome. What a person he is. I envy him.”
“You met him? When?” was all she could ask him.
“Today. He was to give some presentations to our company. I was at his office today. He is a gem. Everyone in his office respects him, loves him in fact. And at a very young age, he had reached the heights of success. You must congratulate him. I know it would be difficult for you. But he misses you.”
“I wish I could. He doesn’t want to meet me!”
“I will invite him. I am sure, he wouldn’t refuse me.”
“I love you Bunny.” she confessed and hugged him.

Picture Source : Google
“Love you too Lish.” he hugged her tighter.