Karthik looked fondly at the ‘radio’ bubble-wrapped lying along with a lot of other things on the loft.
He got it down and unwrapping it, used a soft cloth to wipe the dust collected on the queer-looking analogue radio.
Immediately his mind reminisced him of the days he used to listen to the radio and listening to it in the late hours of the night, till the last song of the day and had to shut it down. It was a favourite pastime of his till, the fateful day.
He slowly recollected the day had a long fight with Anamika and didn’t know how to put her troubled mind to rest.
He lovingly looked at it, as he stroked off the dust, he remembered where he picked it. An antique shop at the corner store, he had fallen in love with it at first sight and had looked at Anamika, who was standing next to him, with a questioning look, meaning to ask him, ‘What is it this time? When will you stop buying these things?’
For days when it was at home, it was always tuned to the airwaves, playing him songs of yesteryears to which he listened in great earnest and drifted to his secret world, with loads of memories bundled.
Anamika, used to always wonder what was with him? She had conjured up a dream-like situation in her mind and almost thought he had a secret past that he was unwilling to share even after 15 odd years of marriage. She had secretly promised herself that she will not let go of him without unravelling it.
A particular song brought a splendid smile, she had never seen it. He used to be glued to the radio, as long as the song lasted, lost forever into the song.
She fought with him and made fun of him, how he used to become numb to the surroundings when that particular song played and would not listen to anything, she uttered.
Though he wrapped and stacked the radio away into the dark corners of the loft, her mind didn’t rest and that strained their relationship, it went from bad misunderstanding to worst scenarios and the thought of betrayal took her away from him forever. How much ever he tried to convey or comfort her to make believe there was nothing he hid from her; he couldn’t win her confidence back.
Shuddering from the thoughts, he couldn’t wait to switch it on, even while wiping it, he had his own doubts, he didn’t know what to do.
His thoughts got caught in the whirlwind, a voice ON-AIR spoke, and slowly faded to ring the song aloud and clear in the living room… – “Kora Kaagaz Ka Dil Ye Mera”, the girl Aardhana, with big dark brown eyes came in front of his vision and slowly swayed to the tune, giving him glances that ringed erratic heartbeats, a sly smile formed on his lips, without he releasing it.
* AKMG: Aap Ka Manpasad Ganna – AIR program in the 80’s.
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