“It was the right turn at the last intersection, Raman. If only you’d listened to me and not acted stubborn for once!” Sheena cried exasperatedly.
Raman stopped the car and looked around.
They were clearly lost, with nothing but tall trees in sight. Not a single person was in view. Even with the headlights on, they could hardly see a thing.
Taking off to an offbeat homestay for a fortnight, away from the hustle-bustle of Mumbai’s hectic life, was Raman’s plan to win back Sheena’s affection. Sheena had decided to call it quits after their 4-year-old live-in relationship had lost its spark and both wanted different things in life. This trip was his last-ditch attempt to rekindle the love they had for each other. Lost in the wilderness was definitely not what he had envisioned.
Sheena came out of the Jeep and stretched herself. They’d been on the road since morning and Raman’s ‘Mr-Know-It-All’ attitude had landed them literally in a spot. The stifling tension and discomfort between them on the way back were apparently evident.
When they saw a signboard of the cottage, excitedly, both in unison said, “Finally!”.
The cottage pictured on the booking website and the actual reality in front of them were miles apart. Raman looked sheepishly at Sheena and didn’t dare say a word. Quietly they unpacked the luggage, as there was no porter or help in view and entered the cottage.
At the reception, a table and chair with a notebook, no gadgets, and a traditional table bell to ring on their arrival greeted them.
Raman pressed on the bell, and it shocked them to see an old couple in front of them.
The owners, Mr and Mrs Sahaney, had sublet their home for vacations at the behest of a very persuasive agent. When Raman showed him the booking and the picture of a seemingly different cottage online, they were shocked and clueless.
Embarrassed at the state of affairs, the couple tried to make Raman and Sheena at home with their hospitality and home-cooked food. Sheena spent time with Mrs Sahaney and learned about their life. Mr Sahaney had built the house in the midst of nature, after putting in all his savings of 10 years. The house was a labour of their love. Having settled their children, the couple preferred to spend their last days together in their love abode.
Mr Sahaney and Raman set the table and arranged the rooms for the night. He told him tales of his youth and how their love had withstood all the odds. He good-naturedly laughed, “I’ve fought the world for her, fights with her wouldn’t ever deter me. I knew she was the one, the moment I laid eyes on her.”
Time passed in a jiffy lost in nature, learning from the wisdom and anecdotes of the couple, rediscovering each other.
En route, both Sheena and Raman were lost in their thoughts. They longed for the love they’d seen the couple have for each other. They’d also been blissfully happy since the last fortnight.
Sheena looked at Raman reminiscing, and thought, maybe, maybe, their love still had a chance.
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