Mixing a brew of freelancing and writing in the pan of social media
Kabir picked up the phone. It was ringing for 20 seconds now. The name flashing on the screen was ‘Ankita’. He was not ready to pick it up. He had not picked up her phone the last five times too in the past five days.
Kabir could not focus on his work in the office because of her calls. He knew what Ankita wanted and he was not ready for it. She wanted marriage. How could he think of marriage when he had to focus on his career? He had not got the promised promotion for the past one year. Ankita was being foolish. And why did she keep messaging him to pick up the call? He would not pick it up, or reply to any of her messages.
Ankita kept calling Kabir for five days. There was no response from him. Ankita was beginning to wonder whether Kabir had lost interest in her. But how was that possible? Only last week they had met for dinner. Agreed, they had not parted happily after dinner due to the argument over the ‘marriage’ thing. But not picking her calls or answering her messages was rude. Why was Kabir suddenly being so unreachable? And why was he ignoring Ankita this way?
They had laughed at it when they had got this idea while they were chatting and walking hand in hand one evening in the park. Ankita said they should use a pink envelope. If everything else failed, then a pink envelope would be used as a last resort. Kabir had laughed hard at this saying that it sounded quite idiotic and childish, but agree to go with Ankita on it.
The Pink Envelope would be used only, when in the highly unlikely situation, all communication between Ankita and Kabir had broken down. If the calls were not picked, or messages not answered, then a blank Pink Envelope would be sent to either of them, by either of them. On receiving it, whatever the state of the mind of either of the two, they would meet in the same Gandhi Park at 5 pm on the first immediate Sunday.
Kabir had laughingly agreed to this silly idea that day. Both had forgotten about it later. But this Thursday, when Ankita saw that Kabir had not picked her call for the fifth time, she felt lonely. Had they grown apart? Were they not made for each other? She had to know and meet him at least for one last time, if it was to be the last time. And then she remembered the Pink Envelope.
Ankita immediately went to a shop, bought a pink envelope, glued it closed and wrote down Kabir’s address on it. As she dropped that pink envelope at the post office, she felt tears welling up in her eyes. There was a sinking feeling in her stomach. Will he come? Or, would he simply ignore the envelope and toss it in the dustbin.
On Saturday evening, Kabir saw a pink envelope lying inside the front door of his apartment. He picked it up curiously and opened it. There was nothing inside. He kept looking at it for two minutes and then he too remembered in an instant. Ankita had sent it to him. He had to meet her tomorrow in the park. He did not have to go, but then he thought that if this relationship has to end, then it might as well end in the park tomorrow.
It was still sunny when Ankita met Kabir the next day. She wanted to smile when she saw him, but she stopped herself. He just raised his eyebrows when he came towards her. He handed the pink envelope back to Ankita who took it quietly. This may be her last meeting with him. She had to be open and vulnerable.
“I will not deny that I wanted to marry you Kabir. I have always wanted it. I loved you. But I don’t think I mean much in your life now.”
A surprised Kabir said, “I loved you too Ankita. I too wanted to marry you. But I have to focus on my career now. I need to be something. I need that confidence. Without this confidence, I feel I am nothing.”
Ankita didn’t say anything. She took out a pen and a small paper from her purse and wrote something on it. She put that written note in the same pink envelope and handed the envelope back to Kabir. She looked at him for a second and then walked away.
Kabir kept looking at her in a confused manner as she went out of the park. The pink envelope kept dangling from his hand for a few seconds. Unable to contain himself any longer, he opened it and took out the note. A single line was written on it: I am pregnant