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In retrospect

It was a bright Sunday morning. Anamika sat on the porch overlooking the garden. Lilies, daisies, and petunias were in full bloom. And at a distance, Avin was playing frisbee with their twins and pet pooch.

He had just gotten back from a business trip last night. He was exhausted after a long-haul flight. Yet, he had gotten up early. He had even made breakfast for her and the kids.

From a distance, she saw him smiling. She knew he was happy. They were happy.

They had met as strangers in a yoga class but had soon become friends, bonding over Elvis Presley’s music and their mutual interest in science. She had spent her days looking forward to those classes where they could spend time together, even if only for a short while.

In retrospect, life had not been kind to her. She was bound to an abusive marriage, and she had been a victim of infidelity. Afraid to speak up, she had spent days and nights crying helplessly, to no avail. Every day she spent with him was a nightmare. Days began with arguments and ended with her tending to cigarette burns on her body.

She had not wanted to marry him but was left with no choice. Her parents had forced her into it and she had had no say in it. She had hoped things might improve. Alas, if anything, it had gotten worse. The last time she had been away on work, he had taken another woman to bed. When she had questioned him about it, he beat her to a pulp.

And that had done it. She had walked out of the house and had vowed never to return. The days ahead hadn’t been easy. She had a choice to make, a tough one. But she knew it was only right; she had to divorce him. After a year’s battle, her divorce had come through and she was finally a free bird.

In an attempt to find herself again, she had joined the yoga class. She had struck up a conversation with a stranger in the class, become friends with him, and was now his wife. But the path to marriage hadn’t been easy, given the baggage she had come with. The past wouldn’t leave her easily. She feared her own shadow and it had taken her over a year before she could actually get into a relationship with Avin. But the gem of a person he was, he had not only let her take her time but had also managed to instil confidence in her.

She was finally able to believe in herself more than ever before. Things had started to look bright with each passing day. Slowly but surely, she had taken charge of her life. All through this, Avin hadn’t rushed her. They took their time as friends, getting to know each other and soon, it had blossomed into something more. Two years later, when he had asked her hand in marriage, she had said ‘Yes’, without a shred of doubt.

Now, as she sat there, watching Avin play with their children and dog, tears of joy trickled down Anamika’s face. He was tickling the kids, as he glanced at her.

“Anamika, is everything alright?” he asked.

“Everything is perfect,” she told him, looking deep into his eyes.


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