Rohan started observing that mom and dad were not comfortable with Soumya in the house. Mom used to complain a lot about Soumya and at times, he saw tears in Soumya’s eyes. Dad never bothered to interfere and watched everything silently just the way he watched TV.
He felt bad that Soumya had to face all this after marrying him. And yet, true to her word, she loved him as always. She never told him about his parents’ behaviour towards her. He had to do something. He could not allow his wife to suffer in silence like this. He felt like he was making a big mistake and it was time he rectified it.
This time when he went to meet Ritesh, he took Soumya along with him.
They had a great time together and during the conversation, Soumya asked,
“What about you Ritesh? Aren’t you planning to get married?”
“Well, actually I had been planning to tell you both for some time that there is a girl who recently joined our band and I have sort of started liking her. Her name is Geetanjali Rao. I am serious about her and would like to marry her but I am worried about my parents. They will definitely not allow me to marry a singer! So well, I am stuck and wondering what to do. I hope my parents don’t ask me to marry a girl of their choice or that Geetanjali doesn’t marry someone else.”
“What man! What is this? If you love her, why don’t you propose? If you delay, maybe her parents will fix her marriage elsewhere or maybe she will fall in love with somebody else. Have you given her a hint or has she in any way hinted that she likes you?”
“See Rohan, you remember what had happened during the annual day function? If I disobey them and bring a girl of my choice, I really don’t know how dad will react. I am truly worried about his reaction. I would rather marry a girl of their choice.”
Ritesh turned to Soumya and asked, “How are your in-laws adjusting to you, Soumya?”
“Mom and Dad are just the way they were. I am learning to adjust to them and there does not seem to be any problem as such. It takes time for a girl to understand the ways in her husband’s house and well, I am taking my time to do so. Rohan and I are very happy though!” she replied with a smile.
“That I can see!” exclaimed Ritesh.
“Seeing you both, even I feel like proposing to Geetanjali. I feel she might say ‘yes’. She too seems to like me. But then I think of Dad and his reaction, and I back out.”
On the way back home, Rohan saw that Soumya was very silent.
“What is it Soumya? Are you upset about something?”
“Am I doing something wrong, Rohan? Am I failing in my duties towards your parents? Please tell me if I am going wrong anywhere. I don’t want you to feel disappointed for having married me. You are happy with me, aren’t you?”
Rohan parked the car on the side curb.
“My dear darling wife, I love you more than anything or anybody else in my life. You are the best thing that has happened to me. You are doing your best. Please don’t take unnecessary stress. You be the calm and beautiful girl that you have always been. My parents are like this only.” Rohan tried his best to pacify her.
He continued, “I have observed that they have been behaving a bit differently of late. It is like they don’t want us in the house.”
“That is exactly the same feeling I am getting, Rohan. It is as though they dislike my presence in the house. I find it so awkward, you know. So I wondered if I was doing something wrong.”
Rohan sighed, started the car and drove it to the café near the beach.
“Let us walk for a while on the beach, Soumya.”
He didn’t know what he should do to change the situation at home. What could he do to make dad and mom happy? Under what circumstances would they accept Soumya? He looked at her walking beside him lost in her own thoughts.
“Soumya, you are the girl of my dreams. You are perfect. I married you because you were the girl who always appeared in my dreams…
Suddenly he couldn’t speak. He sat down on the sand and held his head in his hands.
“What happened, Rohan? Aren’t you feeling well? Why did you stop your…”
“Soumya, it has been a long time since I have seen that dream. I was wondering what was wrong in my life. I have you and my best time is spent with you. Yet there was something missing. Then I thought it was mom and dad’s behaviour. But now I realized that my dreams have disappeared. In the last few months, I had observed that my dreams were not regular. At times I saw the dream only once or twice a week. But now for some weeks, I haven’t seen the dream at all. No wonder I am feeling somewhat strange, as though a part of me has gone missing somewhere.”
“Rohan, I don’t think I am the girl of your dreams. It is not even a year since our marriage, and your dreams have disappeared. I feel like I am the reason for this. I have not been able to bring any happiness in your life. Earlier at least you were happy because of your dreams and now see, you are sad and feel incomplete as a person.”
Rohan wiped her tears. He had no right to make this beautiful woman cry. He took her hand and kissed it. Her hands were so soft. He remembered the touch from the first time he had held her hand. Even in his dreams her hands were so soft. Almost like the petals of a flower. He looked into her eyes.
“Soumya, please remember one thing. You are my dream girl. You have been able to give me happiness beyond your imagination. Just the way you promised me one day that you will love me just the same way whatever happens, I too promise you that my love for you will increase more and more and nothing can change that. My dreams have gone because somewhere I have taken the wrong path.
Marrying you was correct. After that, I started hoping that the happiness and the place that I saw in the dream was all to happen here in the house. And when it didn’t happen like that, I started feeling disappointed. My hopes were shattered and I have been dwelling on it. Soumya, do you believe in me and this dream of mine?”
Soumya nodded. She felt so much love for Rohan she felt her throat constricting and no words came out.
“I think we need to go and find that place. I am sure it exists somewhere. Just the way I found you, I will find that place too. It has got to exist somewhere in this world. Though I saw you so many times in my dreams, I never imagined I would actually find you. But I always felt that someday I will set out and find that dream place of mine and in that place, I would find you. But I was lucky that I found you first. Now both of us together could go and search for that place. You will join me Soumya, won’t you?”
Soumya thought for a while. She looked at the waves coming towards the shore. It was like a race. One wave after the other, as if they were running after each other and racing to touch the shore first. She had decided to marry Rohan because she loved him. She would stay by Rohan’s side all her life. She would go along with every decision of his. She loved him and he too loved her. She felt calm now. Now when she looked at the waves, they seemed to be dancing and waving. And when the waves touched the shore one after the other, it was as though they all were merged together in Mother Earth’s lap.
“Rohan, whatever decision you take, I am with you,” said Soumya. “We both will go and search for this place. I am sure it exists somewhere.”
Rohan was very excited after hearing her reply. He knew that with her by his side, nothing was impossible and he felt positive now that he would soon find his dream place. He started making plans.
“We both will have to leave our jobs. We will not inform anybody that we are leaving. At your office, you tell everybody that I have got a transfer and that we might be moving soon. At my office, I will say that I have got a better job offer in another company. That way we both will get our dues which will amount to quite a large sum. We will deposit the amount in the bank.”
“Rohan, my apartment is lying vacant. Let me sell it off and deposit that money too in our account. That way we won’t feel stressed even if it takes longer than expected to find this place of yours,” suggested Soumya.
Rohan did not want to take away the basic security that Soumya had.
“No need to sell the house. Just lease it for three years. You will get a considerable deposit and that you can keep in another account for our security. Is that okay?”
Rohan had substantial savings and he knew that at any point of time, he could easily get a job wherever in the world he was. So he would search for the place till his savings lasted. As he made plans, he started feeling more and more confident that such a beautiful place existed and it was not just in his dreams.
Rohan decided not to tell Ritesh about his decision. He knew that Ritesh would feel bad later on when he would come to know. But as of now, it was his secret and he did not want to share it with anyone.
During the month that it took for both of them to resign from their jobs and collect their dues, they did not inform anybody about their decision. He did not tell his friends, colleagues or parents.
At home, mom would speak rudely at times with Soumya. Mom had started complaining openly and grumbling about Soumya. Rohan felt good for having taken the decision to leave.
Soumya felt bad when mom would speak so rudely to her. She did not want to answer back or hurt mom, so she listened to everything quietly. She thought of Rohan’s dream and that gave her the strength to face mom’s harsh words. Now, even she had started feeling that the dream place existed somewhere. After hearing Rohan describing the place, she too felt like going and searching for it. It had become her wish too to find his dream.