Seema sipped her morning coffee, her lips curled and a smile on her fair face. Her thick black tresses flowing over her slender neck and soft shoulders. Rahul couldn’t take his eyes away from his beautiful wife.
The conference hall was abuzz with smartly dressed corporate executives engaging in greetings, hugs and handshakes. Beneath their smiles lied curiosity, excitement, hope.
The keynote speaker, Rahul Deshpande, had generated much interest and eagerness among all those present.
Rahul’s oratory skills mesmerised the audience.
The plenary session was followed by awards for distinguished performances.
The final and mist awaited award was announced:
The Manager of the year award goes to Seema Sawant …..
As Seema walked up to dais to receive the award amidst a standing ovation, Rahul was overcome with almost a magical spell.
Seema and Rahul had a fairy tale marriage.
The love story had a happy ending or rather a new beginning.
Life took another new turn for Seema.
A small-town girl had moved into a vast urban space on her merit. But now it moved her to a higher space.
A sprawling, tastefully decorated house in a prime location of the city was a dream come true for Seema.
Rahul showered Seema with love, attention and was the most caring husband.
Both soon got busy in their professional life. But their busy schedules did have leisure moments.
Rahul often took Seema out for dinner; movies and his most favourite outing was visiting art exhibitions.
Rahul was always an art lover and a good artiste himself. He had a collection of paintings, his own and some by renowned painters.
He had planned to make Seema’s portrait but wanted it to be unique.
“Seema I am working on an important assignment and will be late. You have dinner and go to sleep”, Rahul called up that evening.
“The whole team is here so dinner is arranged for us, don’t worry”, Rahul’s affectionate tone never changed in any circumstances.
The whole fortnight was a busy one for Rahul who came home late and left early the next morning.
“Hey Seema”, Tina, her close friend called up.
“Been a long time that we have not met. How about meeting for dinner tomorrow”, Tina’s cheerful voice asked.
They met at their favourite restaurant. Seema was glad to see Natasha and Preeti too.
They had a sumptuous meal over giggles and gossip.
“Has anybody met Sonal, haven’t heard from her for long”, Seema said.
The group became silent for a moment.
“You know Sonal had got married to that rich guy”.
“You yes she was very happy and leading a luxurious lifestyle”.
“They went globe trotting and things were very good”.
“I met Ajit few days back. Remember him….
Sonal had approached him for a job, her husband is living with a colleague and has thrown Sonal out of the house.
The joy of the evening died down after this conversation.
“So, Seema, how are things going for you. What with your success at workplace and the best husband by your side, I am sure you are on cloud nine”
Seema smiled at her friend and blushed a bit.
As they passed the newly opened restaurant Seema saw Rahul standing near his car parked just outside the restaurant. She blinked her eyes to make sure that it was Rahul.
But who is that tall girl impeccably dressed girl standing next to him.
They seemed to be having a candid conversation.
“Hey Seema, guess what. Our project is approved and implemented. We are going for a long overdue holiday” an excited Rahul hugged Seema.
He did not feel her unusual coldness.
They both left for a long Europe tour.
Seema soon got immersed in the holiday mood.
The Swiss alps, Vatican City, Eiffel tower oh so many wonders.
Rahul gave her memories of a lifetime.
The most memorable being visit to the museum at Birmingham.
Rahul spent the longest time admiring glorious artwork of legendary artistes.
One painting in particular caught his eye,
The innocent face of a woman with a bowl tugged at his heart strings.
His heart and mind made a decision at that moment itself.
After the enjoyable holiday, both Seema and Rahul went back to their busy professional life.
“Rahul, please open the door, what are you doing inside for so long”
Seema was curious to know why Rahul spent so much time in that room and behind closed doors.
Seema opened the bedroom door but held herself as she saw Rahul talking over his mobile phone. The hushed tone conversation filled her mind with suspicion. Her mind played the film of Rahul and the tall girl in conversation.
The house was filled with silence as last of the relatives had left.
Rahul’s sudden death of cardiac arrest, as certified by the doctor, had shaken up the entire corporate world.
“Didi, Yeh mila us room me”, Sheela, the house help brought out a carefully packed parcel.
Seema was numbed as she saw the painting
It had her portrait holding the Performer of the year trophy, which she had that day received at the hands of Rahul
“ The Love that lights life, and makes death self stingless
You, and you only, have awakened that.
Sweet are all women, you are the best of them;
After each fancy has sprung, grown and died,
Back I come ever, dear, to your side.
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