Thursday, March 19, 2015

Together, they started a new life

This is second part of the story A new beginning-A new life.

They began meeting again, in Mumbai. It was more than hard staying away from each other, even a single day. This continued for a couple of months. In the meantime, Neelima completed her graduation, and as she had already decided, she had to study further. For this, she had to shift away for a couple of years to Bangalore. But she didn't want to go, leaving Nikhil here. But, she couldn't tell about him to her parents too, as she knew that they were very conservative and wouldn't like her being in such a relationship with anyone. She had to go. Nikhil, since he loved her, didn't stop her pursue her dreams. They loved each other, so much so that they knew that irrespective of the distance and time, their love for each other would only increase. They kept in touch with each other for the next couple of months. Whenever Neelima had vacation for a couple of days, she used to come back to Mumbai, and Nikhil used to be on the lookout for chances to visit to an offsite location, which meant, he had to go to cities other than Bangalore as well, but whenever he had the of chances to go to Bangalore, he would sieze the opportunity to reach out to her. They talked over phone everyday, and if one somehow missed calling up, the other one would give a call, and they talked for hours.

While they both used to click their pictures, they were careful enough not to upload any pictures on their social networking profiles, which might create suspicion among the family members or relatives. No one except, a couple of close friends of both, knew about their relationship. They were awed by the way they met, and seeing their love for each other, and their dedication for each other. However, when events turn, they can turn for both, good and bad. It was just around a year since Neelima had been to Bangalore for her further studies. One of her friends, inadvertently uploaded a picture of both Neelima and Nikhil, on a social networking site, a photo she clicked while they both met the last time in Bangalore, with both of them unaware of that photograph. The photo was up, and just a single line - "Awww... Cute Couple." wreaked hell in both their lives. The news spread like wildfire among the friends, relatives, and finally to their families. Both their parents were furious about this. While Nikhil's family wasn't that conservative, the same was unfortunately not true for Neelima's family. Both Nikhil and Neelima got a lot of restrictions levied up on both of them. Neelima's family's next move was sending Neelima's mother to Bangalore, to stay with Neelima to check out her moves. All their communication stopped all of a sudden. They couldn't talk to each other on phone, neither could they meet each other. Nikhil's parents had warned him about going to Bangalore on any assignments. Neelima's phone was changed all of a sudden, so she no longer had Nikhil's phone number. None of them had any way to reach out to each other.

Both of them were separated. The only person to have a soft corner for them was Neelima's younger sister, Preeti. She was the only one with whom Neelima shared her emotions. Finding no way out, Neelima asked her sister to go and meet Nikhil. Afterall she knew which bank and branch Nikhil worked in. This way, she could pass on her message to Nikhil and also get news about him, without raising suspicion for her parents. As Neelima asked, Preeti went and met Nikhil in his office, told him all about what was going on and gave Neelima's message. All Neelima wanted Nikhil to know was that she loved him a lot and that she would try to convince her parents and asked him to do the same. They exchanged their numbers, and again, thanks to Preeti, both got a way to talk to each other. Neelima used to call up Nikhil during day, from her college, so that her mother won't know about it. Nikhil did the same. Afterall, all they wanted to do was stay in touch.

Months passed by, Neelima's study was completed, and she was back to Mumbai. In the meantime, she managed to get her mother on her side. She had agreed to their relationship, but she still wouldn't go ahead to talk with Neelima's father about them. This task, she handed over back to Neelima only. Every day Neelima would try to convince her father about her and Nikhil's relationship, and everyday he declined to listen. This continued for days, and neither Neelima would give up trying nor her father agreed. Gradually, he felt that all the members of the family were in support of Neelima. They all tried convincing him in their own ways. He gave up! Still he didn't speak up. He decided to write a letter to his daughter. A small one, to tell his daughter how much he loved her and how happy he was to know that his daughter has found someone who loved her more than him and she too loved him that much. He wrote it, and silently slipped it in her diary. This was the first time he opened his daughter's diary in his life, not to read, but to tell her what he felt. Today, again, Neelima came and pleaded, trying to convince him, he didn't listen, and went away. Disappointed, Neelima went back, to give another try again, the next day. When she went to write her diary, she found the letter. Just a couple of lines were written.

"Beta, I know I have pained you a lot. Earlier, I was angry, because, this wasn't something anyone has done in the family before. You can say, I was afraid of the society. In the last few days, seeing your perseverance, to try and convince me, against all odds, I think I must give up now. I love you a lot, and I know you have found someone who loves you more than I do, and I can see that in your eyes, everyday. So, I guess it's time I should give up the fear of the society. When should I expect Nikhil to come and meet us at home?"

Reading through the letter, Neelima was in tears. She ran out to look for her father, he was sitting in the drawing room, waiting there, knowing this was about to happen. As he felt Neelima entring the room, he stood up, with both his hands stretched out, and Neelima just got her loving father back. She went and hugged him as if she was meeting her long lost father. And this was it. Neelima had achieved what she's been trying for months now. She had her family standing beside her, in full support of her decision. She joyously called up Nikhil, who too was overjoyed, and so was his family. The very next day, Nikhil was at Neelima's home, to meet her father, as he had asked in the letter.

With both the families now completely supporting their children, both Neelima and Nikhil were together, for rest of their lives.

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