Walking in the market area of Mumbai, trying to hold multiple bags she had, and bargaining with the shopkeeper for Diwali lanterns, Maya was a messy delight to watch. After winning the bargain, she walked towards the main road to get a rickshaw and felt someone was following her. She turned back and was flabbergasted to look at her ex from 5 years ago. “Sid?” He smiled and said, “How are you?” She had a weird feeling in her tummy, the feeling of being excited and nervous. 5 years of no contact and here he was.
She noticed that he had changed, changed a lot. She smiled and said, “My hands are packed or I would’ve hugged you.” He still gave her a half hug and said, “Come, let me drop you home.” She didn’t hesitate as she knew the rickshaws are a problem in Mumbai. He helped her with the bags. She sat on the front seat and he started to drive and asked her, where are they going? She said, “Bandra…” He said, “Oh you have shifted to Bandra now?” She said, “No I have come to Mumbai for an official visit and thought as Diwali is round the corner, will buy the Diwali stuff from here.” He asked, “So where are you based now? Where do you work?” She replied, “I work for this Publishing house as the Chief Editor and I am here from Bangalore.” She asked, “What’s up with you?” He said, “I work for this Minister as his secretary. I get all the perks from them and earn more than what an average person ears in a month.” She smiled and said, “That’s good.” He asked, “Are you still single or married?” she looked at him and said, “I am single.” He asked, “Now you can date me, right? Now I am not poor.” She smiled looked outside and said, “I didn’t leave you because you didn’t earn well. I left you because you didn’t respect me.” She continued, “I can’t date you as I am committed to my 5 year old daughter.” He stopped the car and said, “So are you divorced?” She said, “No, the child is mine. There is no man involved in my life.”
He smirked and said, “Your craze for sex landed you in a bad position, didn’t it?” She stopped the tears from flowing and asked him to take a left from the road. There was her hotel. She took out her bags and asked him if he would like to come upstairs for tea. He didn’t deny and parked his car in the parking lot and walked with her to the hotel room. The hotel staff helped Maya with the bags.
She opened the door and her daughter came running to her, “Ma, you know what…?” She stopped talking and looked at Sid who was staring at her. The hotel staff kept the bags on the couch and left with a tip that Maya handed him. She also ordered for two teas and chocolate milk for her daughter. Maya closed the door and asked Sid to sit on the couch and said, “Sid, this is Rudrayani, my daughter. We call her Paakhi.” She looked at Rudrayani and said, “Paakhi, this is Sid, he is an old friend of mine.” Sid said, “Hi Paakhi?” Rudrayani replied, “Rudrayani Chatterjee is my name.” She ran to the other room playing with her ball. Sid sat on the couch and Maya opened the door when the room service got them tea and chocolate milk. Maya gave a cup to Sid and asked Rudrayani to take her chocolate milk.
Sid asked Maya, “You are actually unmarried? Who is the father?” Maya replied, “Yes I am unmarried and there is no father. There was a man with whose sperms I got Rudrayani, he isn’t the father. He never took the responsibility of hers.” Sid looked at her blankly and asked, “Hey, how old is she?” Maya looked at him and said, “5 years old.” He asked, “Hey, please tell me she is not mine.” Maya laughed and said, “She is mine.” Sid took a deep breath and said, “Thank God!” Maya asked, “When we were together you wanted kids!” he said, “Frankly, I still want you, you are the only one who understood me, but now that I know you have someone else’s kid, I can’t be with you. This means that you slept with someone else and I can’t be with you.” Maya took a sip of her tea and said, “True!” He continued, “I can still be with you, but your daughter… That will keep on reminding me that…” Maya stopped him there and said, “I don’t want you.” He said, “I am rich now. You sure do want me…” She said, 2I left you because you didn’t respect me. I will not choose you again because you don’t respect women even now.” She continued, “I earn more than you can even imagine. I don’t want money. Tomorrow if your minister boss throws you out, you will have no skills to earn again. For me, I am the chief editor, publication houses want me to work for them. I don’t need your money. I need respect. This is one of the reasons; I kept my daughter away from her father, he didn’t respect women.” Sid went before his tea was over and Maya sat on her bed with tears in her eyes.
Rudrayani walked up to her and said, “I know that was baba but he is not my baba, he made you cry. You always cry because baba didn’t respect you. Even today he left you. Don’t worry ma, I am there with you.” Maya put Rudrayani to sleep and stood by the window and told herself, “I thought I knew him!!!”
Some love stories end for the best.