Meet your aunty. (Story)
M. S. Verma | 29 Jan 2008

To do or not to do, that is the question, says Hamlet in Shakespeare's play Hamlet. Ankush acted like Hamlet and faced the music.

To do or not to do, that is the question, says Hamlet in Shakespeare's play Hamlet. Ankush acted like Hamlet and faced the music.
They were serious, sitting across the coffee table in the restaurant.
 “I love you more than anything else in the world with my heart of gold.”
“Oh yes, I know. In fact I have learnt this assurance by heart. I trust you. But what about some real gold?’
“You are impossible, Richa. You know I have heaps of plans. I am just waiting for the right opportunity and you will see we shall have everything one can wish. You will have all your wishes fulfilled. Just allow me a little time. The miracle shall happen and then you will be flabbergasted.” Said Ankush.
“Sure, what else can we do till then, I mean till the miracle happens.” Retorted Richa, shrugging her shoulders.
“By the way Richa, the world is a funny place, isn’t it? I mean a place where the uncle is younger than the nephew.”
“Yes, you were saying something about your eccentric uncle, who is younger than you and has been staying alone in a big bungalow with a good car and lots of money in the bank. But you never added more details to this information. Sometime I feel this uncle of yours lives on some other planet. I wonder when the conclusion of the story will come.”
“These bungalow, money car etc. are not that important in the story about my uncle,” said Ankush a few days later when they were again sitting in the same restaurant. “It is the earlier days that sometime bother me and make me think and despise my uncle. My grandfather loved him very much as he was his youngest son. My father was married very early and that is why I am older than my uncle. I hope you understand what I mean. Grandfather left the house, the car and money to uncle’ the lion’s share so to say and the uncle lives alone. But the share left to the other members of the family isn’t enough for all of us. My grandfather too was eccentric, you know. Still my uncle and I are sort of friends and he doesn’t much like being addressed as uncle either. He never feels homesick too. I couldn’t help keeping my secret from him that I have a girl friend and he congratulated me whole-heartedly. He now and then asks me when I intend to get married. Only yesterday I received this letter from him” and Ankush tossed the letter to Richa.
“What do you tell him then?” asked Richa, toying with the letter without opening it.
“I tell him to wait for the surprise.”
“The surprise of your plan getting translated into reality, you mean.”
“No, the surprise of our marriage, simpleton.”
“Oh! The great event, an excellent function and all that, perhaps.”
“Why perhaps? This is going to happen very soon, even sooner than we expect.”
“When do you expect this great event, anyway?”
“Well, why not keep a secret a secret, even from us?”
“By the way Richa, you mentioned you were going home on along leave. When do you intend to proceed and when should I expect you back as every minute of my life minus you will be a burden.”
“Well, I too would like to have a little secret. But I give you a hint , when I don’t turn up for the coffee here, it would mean I am on leave and have gone home.”
Time just decides to fly now and then. Richa had been gone for almost a month. In the humdrum of life Ankush found to his surprise that he only occasionally missed Richa. But he was irritated a bit. She could have at least written a letter, a love letter, as email doesn’t have that magic of a romance in it. But no letter or email came. One day he came home in the evening and his mother handed him a letter. It was from the uncle. His mother didn’t say anything. She just sat morose and with a frown. She continued with her knitting and didn’t look up. Ankush opened the letter. A few lines informed him that some circumstances beyond uncle’s control had compelled him to do something unusual. He had married without inviting anyone from the family. But he planned to arrange a grand reception at his native place and Ankush would have to organize the reception. Uncle had enclosed a cheque for two lakhs as an advance. So that was the reason mother was morose. Ankush was to receive the uncle at the station.
Ankush couldn’t analyze his feelings. Uncle who was shy of girls had married and he himself was still waiting for the miracle. Lost in these musings he reached the station. The train arrived in due course. He looked at the queues of the passengers. Finally he spotted him coming out of the exit. He approached him. Uncle came to him with open arms. Ankush embraced him. Then he ventured to ask where the bride was. Uncle smiled shyly, took him by the hand back to the waiting room. On a bench looking at some poster sat the bride. At their approach she got up smiling to greet him.
“Meet your aunty Ankush.” Uncle pushed the bride towards him. But Ankush stared stupidly at the bride. Richa was smiling at him mischievously. From the letter of the uncle shown to her by Ankush she had made a mental note of his address and the rest was just simple.