It was their wedding anniversary. For a change, he decided to stay away from alcohol, just this day. He wanted to take her out; she had been secretly craving for that toe ring – the ring he had seen her eye so wistfully, at the display window of the renowned jewellery store around City Corner. He had been hastily adjusting his pants, tottering on the road, when he had spotted her looking disdainfully at that display window. He had quickly hid behind the corner shop for the fear of being spotted and had continued to observe her, while his insides still squirmed with the pleasure of having witnessed something so covertly sweet. Although the outcome of that hadn’t matched the peaks he had originally anticipated, the experience had been exciting nevertheless, to get him through the next couple of days before his cravings gushed back, forcing him to return to the same old dilapidated building behind him.
She remained lost in the world of her thoughts, for her face still registered a bewildered expression. She wasn’t able to register that it was all happening; for one, he had said something that sounded like we are going out. For two (and for reasons she was still unsure), he seemed to have taken her to the very jewellery store she had passed by some days back. And for three, not only did he ask her to look around, but also encouraged her to make a purchase of her choice. Was it possible that he had seen her staring at the display window that day? How could it be though, when she clearly remembered him telling her he was going to be out for the night? She quickly pushed these thoughts aside lest he changed his already fickle mind.
She clearly knew what she wanted. Unartistic enough for pretentious tactics, she promptly chose the toe rings that still hung about on display. As the salesman retrieved the box from the shelf for a closer look, the silver pair looked all the more beautiful. The metal gleamed under the pale spotlight that shone from the shop’s ceiling, and the encrusted stones glimmered, exhibiting a tiny rainbow as they reflected off the spotlight. Without second thoughts, he requested the salesman to pack the box. He failed to notice the happiness erupting inside her; as indifferent as his attitude may have been, he needn’t have looked beyond her eyes.
Meera quickly traced her steps. She didn’t want to be late for her appointment. In the rapid strides she took, the fleet of her golden-bordered sari flung at an angle revealing the ring on her middle toe she had acquired just that morning. She was proud to flaunt those; after all, it was a present from her spouse. For a somebody who was barely home, she felt she had to credit him for remembering their wedding day, staying home (though it was for just a couple of hours) and pampering her. The steps to the office jolted Meera back to the present.
As she climbed the steps, her mind went flash backing once more. She had submitted a script in response to an ad she had seen in the newspaper for the post of a Junior Editor. Much to her delight, she had received a call from the agency. The Editor wanted to meet the creator of the script, given the work was not only elaborated eloquently, but also there shone a natural flair of creativity, something that wasn’t readily available on the streets today. Meera traipsed through the steps, and entered the office. She was asked to await her turn by the receptionist.
Read part 2 of the post here.