RE­TURN OF THE EX-BOYFRIEND

On Face­book.

Woman's Era - - Contents - Jy­oti Gal­ada

He taught me that mind­less ac­tion can hurt oth­ers’ feel­ings and rep­u­ta­tion. He taught me to stick to one’s cor­rect de­ci­sions even if ev­ery­thing else is against you. He made me be­lieve that our lives are des­tined and free­dom, trust and re­spect are the most im­por­tant things in life. Jas­mine opened her Face­book pro­file and showed Puja the friend re­quest of Vikrant and his pro­file pic. She then said that “this man taught me a lot in life. He taught me that mind­less ac­tion can hurt oth­ers’ feel­ings and rep­u­ta­tion.”

Like every day, Jas­mine, 35, fin­ished all her chores to leisurely check the lat­est up­dates on her Face­book ac­count. Her hus­band had al­ready left for of­fice and son for school. There was a friend re­quest. She opened the link which men­tioned ‘Vikrant Bhan­dari sent you a friend re­quest’. Jas­mine was stunned and her heart­beat be­came faster. For a minute or so she was mo­tion­less with eyes fixed on the friend re­quest. The only thought that crossed her mind was, ‘Is he’ ‘him’?’

With trem­bling hands she opened his pro­file page. Yes, it was him with a French beard and mous­tache. ‘Looks very dif­fer­ent,’ she thought. She scrolled through the other pics to see his wife, who was beau­ti­ful, and a young son. She got cu­ri­ous to know more about him, so she opened each and every pic­ture and post which Vikrant had up­loaded in the last 10 years. She saw his fancy bun­ga­low and

He sat un­der my house for days and nights and played loud mu­sic. He wrote his and my names on our so­ci­ety walls for all to read. He kept ring­ing my land­line phone con­tin­u­ously even at odd hours. He would con­tact all my friends and ha­rass them too to ex­tract all my in­for­ma­tion.

ex­pen­sive car. ‘Al­ways fond of boast­ing. Else who up­loads pic­tures of car and bun­ga­low?’ she thought. As she saw the im­ages her mind got pre­oc­cu­pied in her olden days when Vikrant was her boyfriend and both were very much in love. But that was 15 years back. All th­ese years she had for­got­ten him some­where. But to­day mem­o­ries struck her mind as if it was a mat­ter of yes­ter­day.

Time passed in thoughts and sud­denly her door­bell rang. It was her son back from school. Her son started nar­rat­ing all that hap­pened in school but she was not lis­ten­ing. Her son shouted “Are you giv­ing?” “What?” in­quired Jas­mine. “Where are you, mummy? I just said, I want money to buy choco­lates for my friends.” If it was any other day she would have in­quired thor­oughly about his de­mand but to­day she felt men­tally drained to talk any­thing and sim­ply gave him money. Jas­mine was liv­ing a com­fort­able life with Ak­shat, her hus­band, who was eco­nom­i­cally sta­ble. He was a sim­ple guy who loved Jas­mine. That day he smelt some­thing wrong in Jas­mine’s be­hav­iour as he found her lost in her own world though Jas­mine pre­tended to be fine. But he did not dig in much.

Jas­mine was not okay for the next few days. She again and again kept star­ing at the friend re­quest think­ing why Vikrant af­ter so many years re­mem­bered her. She avoided talk­ing to her best friend Puja who knew al­most ev­ery­thing about Jas­mine ex­cept her episode with Vikrant. But Puja was a cu­ri­ous lady and on see­ing Jas­mine’s be­hav­iour de­cided to have a chat with her. Af­ter coax­ing Jas­mine a lot she de­cided to open up.

Jas­mine opened her Face­book pro­file and showed Puja the friend re­quest of Vikrant and his pro­file pic. She then said that “this man taught me a lot in life. He taught me that mind­less ac­tion can hurt oth­ers’ feel­ings and rep­u­ta­tion. He taught me to stick to one’s cor­rect de­ci­sions even if ev­ery­thing else is against you. He made me be­lieve that our lives are des­tined and free­dom, trust and re­spect are the most im­por­tant things in life. And it’s be­cause of him that I was able to un­der­stand the worth of my hus­band. This man is re­spon­si­ble for my in­com­plete mas­ter’s de­gree and dis­con­nec­tion with all my col­lege friends.”

Puja cu­ri­ously kept star­ing at Jas­mine. “He is my ex-boyfriend when I was 20 years old. For 15 years I have not been in touch with him and un­der­stand why he sent me a friend re­quest af­ter all that he did to me,” said Jas­mine. “I want to know ev­ery­thing.” “Maybe I can help”, said Puja.

Iwas a bright stu­dent in col­lege. Vikrant was my class­mate, a back-bencher but from an af­flu­ent fam­ily. We were gen­eral friends. I never re­alised that he had a huge crush on me and that he kept fol­low­ing me ev­ery­where. One day, find­ing me alone in the class­room, he came up to me and said “Can I hug you?” I stood stunned there. He sim­ply hugged me and left. But it felt nice to me. He had pro­cured all my de­tails from the col­lege of­fice. Since then I started get­ting calls from him and mostly he talked as I was still ner­vous. He de­clared his love for me but I was un­sure and he did not bother about my re­sponse. I con­tin­ued to be with him as his pres­ence gave me a high and com­fort­able feel­ing. Very soon I started feel­ing the mad­ness in his love. My de­mands were al­ways ful­filled and his only mo­tive was to keep me happy. When I laughed he laughed, when I cried he cried. I never felt this close to any­one in my en­tire life. I was en­joy­ing all this and who does not like to be loved? All this sounds per­fect. Right?

“But as it is said the bright­est flame casts the dark­est shadow. Vikrant grew very pos­ses­sive about me. He sought con­trol over what­ever I did. He al­most dic­tated to me. He as­saulted all my male friends phys­i­cally as he did not like my talk­ing to them. If I was un­able to an­swer his calls he would im­pa­tiently keep ring­ing the phone with­out think­ing about the dis­tur­bance he was cre­at­ing. He fol­lowed me ev­ery­where even to my tu­ition classes and when I was at home kept talk­ing to me on the phone. I was stu­dious and se­ri­ous about my ca­reer. He had no ac­tiv­ity in life. I was an in­de­pen­dent girl and loved my free­dom and he was dom­i­nat­ing, short tem­pered and, at times, vi­o­lent. His be­hav­iour started ir­ri­tat­ing me. I had a few ar­gu­ments with him but in vain. Very soon, I re­alised that we were not com­pat­i­ble but if I broke the re­la­tion abruptly, he would go mad.

“I thought of do­ing it grad­u­ally. So I stopped go­ing on dates with him cit­ing fear. But there was no change in his feel­ing. He kept talk­ing to me on phone and fol­lowed me ev­ery­where. As his love had reached heights, the feel­ing of jeal­ousy and pos­ses­sive­ness too had reached heights. So I de­cided to tell him di­rectly. Over the phone I cited all the rea­sons that made us in­com­pat­i­ble and that I did not see my fu­ture with him. He did not re­spond or com­mu­ni­cate with me that day. I was sur­prised that he ac­cepted my de­ci­sion eas­ily. But I was wrong!

“That night he came to my house for the first time and nar­rated our af­fair and phys­i­cal close­ness to my par­ents. He ex­pressed his de­sire to marry me. When my shocked par­ents asked for an ex­pla­na­tion from me, out of fear I said we were just friends. But

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