Aakash felt lost, his surroundings looked bleak. He had lost his wallet, again.
This was the third episode in the last two years. Like the last two times, the week following the mishap was a complete whirlwind: wandering around the spots where he might have dropped it, suspecting every other unknown person who he met on the road, making desperate calls to the bank to block his credit cards, multiple visits to the police station to register his complaint, struggling at the government offices getting his duplicate identity cards issued, etc.
Carelessness always has its price. But this time it was too much for Aakash to swallow. With the wallet he had lost the photo of Niloo- his last remnant of her. A few months ago, when they broke up he had erased all files, e-mails and social media links which connected them and had promised her that he would never revive them.
“I have moved on”. Niloo repeated three times, to herself. She had been following this ritual whenever she was alone in their bathroom.
It was she who broke the relationship. She was ready to cross over the boundaries of caste, status, food habits and language for Aakash. But she was not ready for Aakash’s decision to join an NGO quitting his investment banking firm. She broke all ties with him and deleted him from all aspects of her life. In the very next month, she chose to marry Sharan who seemed to be the ideal husband for her. Sharan worked in a multinational software company and matched her profile and ambition. But her mind was still stuck in the past, with Aakash.
‘Should I tell this to Sharan?’ Hardik was in a great dilemma.
Hardik tried convincing himself again. Sharan was not only his colleague, but one of his closest friends. Sharan’s wife must be cheating on him. There was no other way her photograph could be in this wallet! He had discovered the photograph while trying to find the identity of the owner of the wallet he found on his way to office. He could have directly gone to owner’s address, but the striking resemblance between the picture in the wallet and Sharan’s wife puzzled him. He came straight to his office and rechecked the photographs of Sharan’s reception party to make sure that his eyes weren’t playing tricks on him.
‘The person in the photograph and Sharan’s wife are the same, unless she has an identical twin.’ Hardik said to himself, and stormed into Sharan’s cabin.
Aakash woke up to the doorbell. He had slept off on the sofa with his shoes on.
To his pleasant surprise, there was Niloo at the door.
“I am back Aakash. I can’t live without you.” Niloo embraced him and sobbed incessantly.
“But…” Aakash was speechless.
“He only brought me to you.”
“No. It was your lost wallet, which united you both.” Sharan smiled and walked away wishing them best.
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