Shut up!” bellowed Amar.
“Get lost!” retorted Maher, banging her room’s door.
Krish was as usual in his room, quietly playing with his toys. His grandpa sat silently observing him.
“They are getting divorced. Aren’t they?” Krish suddenly looked up at his grandpa.
“No baby. What makes you think so?” Grandpa’s heart went out to his darling.
“Penny’s parents also fought every day and now they are divorced,” Krish replied teary-eyed.
“Come here”, Grandpa took him in a warm embrace. “At times the elders fight. That doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. When your parents were young, they were inseparable. We lived in Palanpur those days.” Grandpa recalled smiling.
He told Krish stories from their adolescent days until he dozed off.
Next morning at the breakfast table, Krish suddenly said “I want to go to Palanpur for my birthday this weekend.”
Maher almost spat out her tea. Amar looked at Krish in shock.
“Palanpur? Why do you want to go there? We are taking you to DisneyWorld and throwing you a party” Amar tried enticing his son.
“No. Palanpur.” Krish was adamant.
Unable to persuade their son, both of them finally gave in.
Bags were packed and they set for their road trip to Palanpur. Both Amar and Maher looked sullen. They had no wish to go to this village where they knew their work would be hampered due to poor connectivity. Besides, the thought of spending so much time with each other scared them.
They finally reached the village. The moment they got down, it was as if they had travelled back in time. Nothing had changed in the past decade. Thatched roofed huts, simple villagers and the familiar smell of mustard farms and cow dunks hit them. Kids played around carefree.
The caretaker showed them to their old cottage. They had hardly freshened up when Krish shouted “Let’s go!”
Amar rolled his eyes and the three of them headed out. Each place brought back old memories. It was getting dark but Krish insisted on going to the temple at the foothill. As they walked towards it, a sudden glint caught Maher’s eyes.
“Could it really be possible?” she gasped. Amar followed her gaze and stopped transfixed. The cairn the two of them had built in their youth, lay there standing the test of time. They slowly moved forward to verify it. Clearly inscribed on the top stone was ‘AM’ – their initials. They were both at a loss for words. It was at this place that they had promised to love each other forever, to be each other’s rock. Ten stones formed the cairn, each stone represented a promise they had made to each other back then. A tear ran down Maher’s cheek and Amar put his hands around her shoulders. Both just stood there reminiscing about the old days. They finally took Krish’s hands and together they added another stone to the cairn.
“To happily ever after” they shouted in unison.
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