blog post of Akshata Shanbhag

THE PHOTOGRAPH

THE PHOTOGRAPH

Vyshali and Sharan had completed five years of their marriage. They were just back home from their vacation. After all the unpacking was done, Vyshali wanted to get some rest. It was a Monday afternoon and Sharan had gone to work. After Vyshali had completed her work, she was lying on the bed gazing at her ceiling. Suddenly a thought had occurred to her. She got up and walked towards her wardrobe. Vyshali unlocked the wardrobe and took out her marriage album. She wanted to go through it as it had been a long time. 

 

She slowly flipped through the pages.  The album was heavy and big. A lot was spent on it and new graphics and technology were used in photography.  As she turned over the pages, it was like she had relived those moments again. It had brought a smile to her face. Vyshali was happy to see her friends, ex-colleagues, extended family members – all of them. She recollected her school and college memories, her office gossip, functions she had attended of her family members. Her eyes were damp. After her marriage, she had not met many of them. She realised that time had just gone by so quickly. Suddenly, her eyes fell on a photograph which she hadn’t noticed before. 

 

Vyshali muttered to herself  “Tarun was at the wedding?.” She took out her cell phone and checked out for him on social media. He wasn’t there. She had tried all the permutations and combinations. But her search was futile. Vyshali picked up the phone and called her friend Sherya. 

” Hello Sherya, how are you doing?”

” I am fine darling. How about you? How have you been doing? Saw your vacay pictures on social media. You both look great together. How was the trip?” 

” It was great. Sherya I called to ask you about Tarun.” 

“Tarun?? Office Tarun? Suddenly today after so many years? What’s the matter?”

” I was looking at my marriage album, and I noticed him in one of the photographs. I don’t know how I missed it earlier. Today I was carefully looking at each of the pictures and I saw him. I wanted to check with you because you were there next to him standing in the picture.

He never met me at the wedding. I was surprised when I saw the photograph.” 

Sherya had paused for a few seconds.

 

” Yes, Vyshali. Tarun was at your wedding.

All of us even requested him to come to the stage but he refused. ” 

” Refused? Why did he refuse?” 

” Tarun liked you Vyshali. He wanted to tell you this. He had come to me once and told me about it. He was nervous. He wanted me to convey it to you.

I convinced him to do so and he agreed too. 

You remember, once when we both were sitting in the canteen – you came to us and told us that you have something important to share. 

Then you told us that you were going to get engaged shortly.

Tarun and I were discussing that how he would go about telling you that he likes you.

He was devastated when he heard about your engagement. He did not want to ruin it for you. 

Tarun was finding it difficult to work in the office and hence he had asked for a change in the department.

” Why didn’t you tell me this earlier Sherya?”

” Because Tarun had asked me not to. I had promised him. You looked so happy and I too thought that it would be best not to tell you about it. You never mentioned that you had any feelings for him. Then what was the point of telling you at that time? ” 

 

There was silence from both ends.

” Where is Tarun now? ” 

” I have no idea Vyshali. You quit your job after marriage and Tarun also resigned from the company. Since he was in a different department, never got to meet him often. 

On his last day at work, he did come to meet me. After that, I have not heard from him. I had even called him but his number was disconnected. 

No one knows about his whereabouts.” 

Vyshali and Sherya chat for a while before they hang up. 

 

After Vyshali had finished her conversation, she looked at the photograph again and recalled the time she had spent with Tarun in the office. Tea breaks, canteen time, meetings, team outings- everything. Vyshali did not have even the slightest inkling that Tarun had liked her. She stared at the photograph for some time. She was sad. She wondered as to why she disconnected from him. As she was lost in her thoughts, she heard the doorbell. Vyshali closed the album and answered the door. It was her husband.

 

” What were you doing darling?”

” Me? I was looking at our wedding album. ” 

” By the way, a new employee has joined the company today. He says he knows you.” 

“Who is that Sharan?”

” Hmmm… He said his name was Tarun.” 

” What? What did you just say?” 

” Tarun. When he introduced himself he mentioned where he had worked previously. When I asked him if he knew you, he said yes.” 

” You must be knowing him?” 

” Vyshali was shocked. Yes, yes. She smiled.” 

 

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