I am going to turn speechless as I type this blog post as I talk about the different events that unfolded during the last Summer. Firstly, my beloved wife Shama ditched me for a solo trip to Europe. It was a few of those depressing days of my life when I saw things seesawing between the past, present and the future. Future seemed bleak without my wife. Shama left me like a fish floundering on a drenched floor. But little did she know that it was time that could decide the fish’s fate and heal the pain.
15th February 2017
Shama waited for me as the clock struck 11 at night. Being an executive in a top FMCG company, I traveled to many places across the world. Many envied me because of my achievements at a very young age. Those were the early days of our marriage. Shama would prepare scrumptious meals for me for dinner. She was a good wife and she showered all her love for me through her food. But unfortunately, my work demanded more attention. Shama was India’s top industrialist Jagmohan Kapoor’s only daughter. All that she desired from me was my time and my love. During one of those days, she asked me about my favorite travel destination. I would jokingly say that my travel bucket list was long. My life as a Senior Executive offered me free business trips to Australia, South America, and the North American cities but I had a dream to travel to Europe. The Euro trip had been a distant dream for me. I always wanted to visit Berlin, Paris, Zurich, Brussels, Amsterdam, Rome and many other famous European cities but my work demanded my time and attention.
After listening to my list, Shama would insist and pester me to plan a travel but I would blatantly refuse. She would remain upset because of my work.
I entered my house and sat on the couch.
“Shama, would you get me some water?” I asked my wife. Before I could complete my statement, she handed me a tumbler of water. I gulped the water and smile at her to which she grimaced. She beckoned me to come for dinner to which I immediately obeyed her instructions and followed her to the dining table.
She sat next to me after serving the food. She had cooked delicious Chole bhature and she knew it was my favorite.
“I was thinking that we should spend some quality time together,” she said and continued, “Maybe we should plan a vacation.”
“I agree, baby, but we have an international business audit that is scheduled to happen in the upcoming days,” I said.
“So, how does it matter?” she replied.
“It does matter because I am assigned the responsibility to head this,” I added.
“Fine, I see no point in this marriage,” she said, “I have sacrificed all my dreams and goals for you. JUST YOU.”
“You won’t even let me work. I am a MBA gold medalist and I am cooking food and washing dishes at Mr. Siddharth Singhal’s house.WOW!” she said, tears copiously rolling down her cheeks.
“Yar, you could hire a maid,” I said to her. “Well, that’s not the point, Sid! I am tired of staying at home all alone. I need a break.” she replied.
“But, work is important too and this is what pays all the bills,” I said and followed her to the bedroom.
She lay on the bed, her face red and swollen because of excessive crying. I wiped the tears from her cheeks and rubbed her eyes.
“I miss the good old days, Sid!” she said, her voice low.
“I understand but I can’t leave my work or take a break for a vacation with you,” I said brusquely to which she got mad at me. She quickly got up.
“Okay fine, this marriage isn’t going to work.” she said and continued, “I am going back to my house.”
“This is your house,” I said.
“My dad’s house,” she corrected and packed all her bags.
All my attempts to stop her from leaving me seemed futile. All that she demanded was my time and my unconditional love. I was the brightest shining star in her life and she was my world! And I saw my world crashing in front of my own eyes.
I spoke to her dad and Mr. Kapoor didn’t want her daughter to suffer in this unfruitful marriage. Maybe I had taken all her love and affection for granted. Like any other woman in this world, she had all rights to grab her man’s attention and love. But unfortunately, I was a bad workaholic.
The next few weeks and months were the most depressing days of my life. Her absence started to haunt me badly. She would refuse to pick my phone calls and never replied to my texts. Days were getting bitter and lonely. Her absence was hitting me hard.
I could not focus on my work those days because of this and this distraction was getting noticed at work. The fiasco had cost me big. At work, I was not promoted to the Assistant Vice President role during the appraisals. My boss was kind enough to provide me a long break and he asked me to return when I got better.
29th April 2017
Two months later when I logged into Facebook to divert my thoughts, I learned about Shama’s trip to Europe. She dreamt of togetherness with me and desperately wanted to go for a Europe trip with me which I had neglected. I had completely ignored her feelings, emotions and most importantly her love for me!
“Berlin indeed is a very beautiful city. I am here all alone missing my life! Here for another 2 days before I head to Brussels,” read her status message on Facebook.
I quickly contacted my travel agent after learning that my wife was in Europe. I asked him to book a flight to Berlin. He gave me a list of airlines to select from but I preferred Lufthansa as per his recommendations based on its services.
I boarded the flight from the New Delhi International airport and reached Berlin in the next 8 hours. The airline services were incredible and highly commendable. I booked a room at the Renaissance Hotel. I sauntered across the streets of Berlin and stood visually stunned because its beauty struck me hard. Though my real intentions of visiting Berlin was to meet my wife and let her know how much I missed her! But I was impressed by the city. Berlin beckoned me with its magnificence and rich heritage. I had subscribed to my wife’s Facebook notifications so that I could reach her quickly through the Facebook alert messages.
While I was busy admiring a German couple lost in their thoughts, I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket.
‘Shama Kapoor-Singhal is feeling loved at Brussels,’ read a check-in status.
I quickly booked a train to Belguim.
I saw a series of quick mini statuses from her.
“Who wouldn’t love such a pleasant weather?! With Greeneries around, I am munching dark chocolates,” her status read with an image of a Belguim premium dark chocolate.
I reached Brussels in the next 4 hours. I tried hard but I couldn’t locate her. It was like we both were playing a game of hide and seek.
Days passed and I got to meet many exciting new places but not her. It was a much-needed break for me. My wife had indirectly invited me to Europe to explore it. I couldn’t meet her but I got to see so many amazing famous cities. These cities were once in my to-see list but I had seen them by now. It was an unexpected trip that I enjoyed the most.
Berlin exposed the magnificent,
through museums and gardens I treaded
Amsterdam unleashed the zest of my life
Walked through the lavish green,
nature’s mattress at Budapest,
Walked miles in search of my love
Vienna walked beside me hand in hand,
While Rome grabbed me through its beauty,
My taste bud delighted by Prague’s street food,
Brussels offered me its rich,
large heritage of dark chocolates,
Athens showed its ancient legacy,
Swam through the lakes of Oslo,
Buried me under the Zurich snows,
Threw tomatoes in Barcelona,
An enriching experience,
With just Paris left,
will I ever meet her again?
Zillion butterflies flutter within,
Waiting for love!
I was sitting on the promenade near the Eiffel tower in Paris. Visibly shattered and disappointed, I was cursing myself for not dividing the time between my loved one and my work.
Shama was very important for me. Tears rolled down my cheeks. At the same time, my phone vibrated. It was her Facebook status.
“Done with Berlin, Barcelona, Prague, Brussels, Vienna, Milan, Rome, Oslo, Amsterdam, and Budapest. And guess what? I am at Paris next to the Eiffel tower and guess whom I saw? That’s my crybaby hubby waiting to see the love of his life 😛 Hahahaha!” I read as I saw an image of me sitting on a promenade.
I rubbed my eyes and checked that it was indeed me. She had discretely clicked a picture of mine. As I saw the photo, a familiar hand wrapped around my shoulder. Their head rested on my shoulder and I was taken aback when I saw my wife. Yes, it was Shama!
I kissed her and hugged her so tight that no earthly power would separate us again. I had missed her for so long. I traveled the various cities of the European continent but only to find her in the city of love – Paris.
“Thanks, Shama!” I said.
“For what?” she curiously asked.
“for coming back to my life,” I replied.
“Thanks to you too!” she said.
“why?” I asked.
“I thought you would never come ..thank god you got my updates,” she said,” my sole intentions were to bring you to the places that you wanted to visit someday and were not able to because of your work!”
“Yippie, my plans worked well and you were trapped,” she said and danced in joy.
I smiled and said,” Shama, from now one you are my top most priority and not my work, Okay?”
She smiled when she heard those words from me.
She wanted to see the old Siddharth Singhal, the jovial, funny guy from the IIM who loved her truly, deeply and madly. Gladly, I had realized my mistake and now I got to know her worth in my life. Her worth was more than diamond and gold. She was precious to me!
“The world has invited you, Sid!” she said with a smile.
“It’s you helped me in fulfilling my dreams of visiting these places,” I said.
“Again it’s not me, its the world!” she reiterated.
“Shama, you are my world, my main and my everything!” I said and our lips locked again.
“We need to find the real meaning of our life. Life needs a break at times and that’s when one should keep exploring the world.” she said and continued,” We need to fall in love with the different things and places around us and say yes to the world whenever it invites.”
“You talk of falling in love with places and I have already asked my travel agent to plan for our next Singapore – Malaysia vacation,” I announced.
She was very excited.
“How could you even think that I am leaving you, Sid?” she said and laughed.
“Look at the way you were crying.” She laughed again and said, “I am definitely going to narrate this story to our kids!”
And then we lived our life happily!
Also, check the below video