It was 4 o clock in the morning, still dark and it rained cats and dogs… Veera woke up to him practicing music every morning….
Uttering a short prayer, she woke up… Blurry eyed, she walked into the hall where the electronic Tanpura played “SA PA SA” octaves of Carnatic music.
Abhi must have gone for a coffee break… Let me go to the kitchen and ask him to make a cup of coffee for me also….
Abhiram wasn’t there in the kitchen… Veera looked for him all over the house… She took the stairs from their sitting room, that lead to his study room, which was his personal space, that was on their terrace…
It rained very heavily, the loud patter of rain, the red sky, the ghostly looking guava tree and it’s scarily swishing branch, the continuous lightning, the flying white curtains of the constantly battling window panes and the lizard trying to catch its prey, scared Veera a lot….. Taking all courage, she closed the window and prepared to run down…
Thuderbolt struck her, when she read a note that was addressed to her….
We need to talk, Veera…
with Abhiram’s signature…..
She came downstairs holding the note… She picked up her phone and found that there were 12 missed calls, all from Abhiram’s number… There was a WhatsApp text for her, which read
We have to talk Veera, this is serious
Veera dialled Abhiram’s number , only to find that his mobile phone was switched off…. Various thoughts engulfed her mind already… Abhiram, being a private and reserved person, hardly had any friends.. he also, was not in touch with any of his relatives…. Veera called up all his friends and a few close cousins one after the other, only to find that he wasn’t in any of their house….
She walked to the dining table to drink some water… On the table, was a sealed envelope…. She tore it open and found a printed paper, which was a bus ticket from Bangalore to Mangalore, on which was written “Mr. Abhiram- male 32 yrs +1, Female 28 yrs” . To the ticket was pinned a letter which read as
“Hi Veera, I am going away with her to Mangalore… I know I was supposed to tell this to you, but I never got a chance… Ok bye”
Veera’s eyes were red, tears flowed on her cheek…. The sound of the electronic tanpura was now irritating to her… She rushed to the room to switch it off…
She sat on the floor cross legged, with her head bent… She cried aloud…. Not knowing what was happening with her all of a sudden… She sat down wondering what went wrong between the 2 of them from day 1, that he went away with another woman….
2 years ago.. Hyderabad… 1 pm
It was a lunch party hosted by Veera’s friends, at Dialogue in the dark restaurant…. She, along with her friends, was guided to take a seat, by the waiter…. As goes the speciality of the restaurant, it was pitch dark and the girls talked an giggled…. On the same table, opposite to them were a few men who silently had lunch and talked nothing much…. As a part of their conversation, Veera’s friends asked her to sing a song…. The guy sitting opposite to Veera also joined her in singing the Carnatic number…. His voice sounded very familiar to her….
Abhiram Kaushik isn’t it?
Wow! Abhiram I am your fan… I’ve attended many of your concerts and I also have your CDs…. Infact this song is also from your album “Shwethambara”…. I am sorry, I have spoilt the song by signing it… Can you please sing this song for me ..
Sure mam…. I shall…
Veera could not believe that she met her favourite musician, YouTube’s sensation , yet a very humble person and could talk to him for 2 hours and listen to her favourite songs from him….
As they came out of the restaurant, she realised that she had actually caught Abhiram’s hand tight….
Abhiram was a 6 footer, average built man with deep eyes, clean shaven face, that revealed his dimple on the right cheek every time he smiled… He wore a white t-shirt , teamed up with a beige coloured cotton shorts… He wore a pair of black leathery flip-flops…. Veera scanned him from top to bottom and could not take her eyes off, nor could she leave his hand…
Madam, we are out already, may I go?
You may, but before that share with me your phone number…. We shall keep in touch….
I am sorry mam, I am a private person… I cannot share my details to any stranger… But to you, I will… Only with a condition that you would continue playing violin and never leave it….
Ofcourse… Anything for you…. Veera noted down his number and saved it with his name….
All through the day, she proudly showed off to everyone on Facebook and WhatsApp and all the social media, the selfies that she had taken with her favourite singer earlier that day….
Everyday, she’d type a long text message to Abhiram and end up saving it in draft, rather than sending them to him…
One day, she received a message from Abhiram stating about his concert in Hyderabad…. she excitedly replied to him that she’d attend it for sure….
She eagerly awaited for the concert…. More than the concert, it was to take him to her place, as per the promise she had taken from him….
On July 25th, at Hari Hara gana sabha was held his concert…. Veera, along with her father, patiently waited for the crowd to leave…. She then waved to Abhiram, excitedly….
Please join us for dinner, Abhiram
Yes yes, you have promised to me…. Come home no….
Accompanied by Veera and her father, Abhiram went to Veera’s place…. After dinner, Veera took him to her room…. She picked up her violin and played a tune… Shuddha Saveri he said…. Very good…. Now sing along as I play the raga…. “Paripalayamam… Sree Padmanabha murare” he sang, as she played Reethigowla raga on her violin….
You play the Violin so well, Veera… You must be a professional violin player….
Yes, that she is… All these trophies and certificates are hers, Abhiram….
That’s so great Veera…. You must pursue this is what I feel….
They spoke for a very long time and as Abhiram started to leave, Will you marry my daughter? I think the two of you make a great couple….
Well, sir, please talk to my parents….
The talks were taken further, Abhiram’s voice was complemented with Veera’s violin…. At their wedding, they did a concert themselves…. Since that day, every concert that Abhiram sang in, Veera was his violinist…. They were not just musicians but also, Abhiram was a scientist and Veera was a lawyer…. Abhiram was placed at Bangalore IIScT and Veera joined a firm and practiced her profession there….
They had a happy marriage and lead a very harmonious life, with a few small fights which were solved easily… They were a matured couple….
Few months ago, a 28 yr old woman joined as a junior research scholar, under Abhiram…. She was a violinist too…. She grew closer to Abhiram and would visit their place on a regular basis…. They often went on short research trips to the nearby villages to collect some specimen….
Oh My God! I totally forgot… Abhiram has a concert the day after tomorrow, at Mangalore…. May be he took her for that… But I did not agree to play violin for him because I have some filing and compliance work and they are just not letting me take a leave…
May be that is why he took this as an advantage and is taking her along with him to Mangalore…
Scenes of Abhiram and his junior cuddling and singing romantic songs played in front of Veera’s eyes…. She was thoroughly irritated…
She saw the ticket, which had a boarding time of 6:50 am…. She saw the watch and it was 5:45 already…. She freshened up and sped her car to the bus depot….. There was no much traffic so she sped as fast as she could….. It took her almost 45 min to reach the bus depot…. She parked the car carelessly, enquiring about the buses to Mangalore, she ran as fast as she could….
Veera…. Ohhhh Veera…..I am here…. Abhiram was sitting with his luggage at the window seat , in the Airavat bus…. She climbed in and slapped Abhiram….
Why are you doing this to me?
Here, drink water… Listen carefully…. We shall talk about it….
The bus started moving…..
Where is she, your junior?
She is there at Mangalore already…. Anyway, her ticket was not cancelled…. You are traveling in it now…. I am glad, my money isn’t being wasted….
How can you do this to me?
Sshh, people are watching… Veera got up in a rage and swapped her seat with an old man… He sat beside Abhiram and Veera sat in the man’s seat, looking out of the window, she began crying silently…..
They reached Mangalore by evening…. Abhiram and Veera got down… There was a man waving at them, to pick them up…
Where are we going?
To the guest house…
She must be waiting for you there….
Abhiram smiled and struck up a conversation with the driver…. They passed through some mountains and ghat roads.. it was almost 9 pm by the time they reached the guest house….
Sir, your honeymoon suite is ready….
You booked a honeymoon suite? This is the limit Abhiram…. I need a separate room… You enjoy with her…. I never expected you’d ditch me this way…. It was all my fault…. Sorry sir, I will leave tomorrow morning… You spend as many days you want, with her… But be ready for the notice that I’ll be serving you soon… GOOD NIGHT!
The next morning Veera heard someone knock her room’s door… She woke up tired and sleepy eyed… She had nothing in mind about the previous day’s happenings… As per her routine, she went and sat beside Abhiram and leaned on his shoulder… Abhiram smiled and cuddled her…. Happy birthday to you… He sang for her…. She hugged him back, still not in complete consciousness….
Come, let me show you something… Abhiram lifted his wife and took her into his room, locked the door, opened the blinds of his window and embraced her warmly from behind…. Veera, isnt the view so beautiful? He sang a song for her in malayamarutham raga, as the cool breeze carrying tiny droplets of rain fell on their face….. Do you know what, we are in deep forest covered with thick greenery… We are on the mighty western ghat mountains… We are in Agumbe forests…
You said you wanted to talk something to me?
Oh yes… I want to talk to you, spend time with you and celebrate your special day with you, in a place that you wished to be…. We have been busy for the past 2 years of our marriage, with our work and concerts around… We never got time to spend with each other…. In order to give you a mini stroke, I planned this risky surprise…. Just like malayamarutham ragam, i wanted it to haunt you at the start and make you feel loved at the end…. I am sorry about the tension you had taken for me…
It’s alright Abhiram… As long as she doesn’t come in our life, I am happy…
She has finished her dissertation.. she left to Goa , her native long back…. I knew you doubted her and me a lot…. Honestly speaking, she is more of a sister to me… She is married and has a kid too….
Abhiram, don’t you think we need to have a baby too?
The Mangalore concert has just begun 😉