“What if our lives were like TV series?”, Ritu asked Raj.
She took a sip of coffee from her favourite mug, a plain blue variant, gifted by her ex boyfriend. She waited for Raj to answer. Raj sat opposite her at the table trying to get another paratha from the far away casserole. They were having breakfast. It was Saturday, both of them did not have to go to work. The house, a one bedroom apartment was a mess. Ritu had plans to clean it today and Raj had promised to help. It was 9 AM, a rare site for both of them to be up this early on a Saturday. The cook had woken them up today by ringing the door bell at 7 AM. She had forgotten her keys so she couldn’t get inside the house in silence without disturbing the young couple she worked for.
“Which one?” replied Raj grabbing that paratha he had set his eyes on.
“I am not sure, maybe Mike and Molly”
Raj munched on the paratha and waited for his mouth to be empty before he could talk again. Ritu noticed it and drank another sip from her mug. She was done with breakfast, but Raj was a heavy and slow eater. There were so many times that Ritu just had to wait an extra half hour before Raj would be ready to order desert at a restaurant. It wasn’t all bad, because they were always able to make conversation. That kept Ritu engaged. She was never bored with him. They were never bored of each other.
“No, Mike and Molly is a story of 2 people who thought they can’t find anyone. You and I on the other hand, we knew we are out there to find someone. Maybe you and I are like Ted and Tracy from How I met your mother. Besides Mike and Molly are both out of shape, whilst here, it’s just me”
Raj and Ritu had been together for 4 years now. They were living together in the apartment for 1 year. It was a tiny apartment, enough to fit all of their stuff. The only source of their entertainment in the apartment was a TV. They had strict mobile usage policy inside the house so that they can give time to each other. They watched the same shows, they loved the same movies, and they also had a matching taste in music. Their work however was quite different. Raj was a consultant for an insurance company and Ritu was an IT professional. They would be home together everyday for dinner and spend quality time on weekends together.
“Who’s Tracy?”, Ritu was clearly confused.
“The Mother!”, Raj threw his hands in air in astonishment. Both of them were fans of How I met your mother.
“Ohhh, sorry the whole world knows her as ‘The Mother'”, Ritu replied with air quotes.
Raj loved how animated Ritu could get. Infact it was his favourite thing. He would just say things to her to make her mock them and enjoy while she did it. Ritu looked behind Raj, the pile of clothes looked ugly. She made a mental note of fixing it first. As Ritu took another sip of coffee, Raj said, “It makes sense, you and I are ending up together after you almost married my best friend”.
Raj looked at the mug Ritu held. It was a gift from Raj’s best friend to Ritu when they dated each other. Ritu and Arav had been seeing each other for 2 years when Arav popped the question. Ritu wasn’t ready for marriage. She wasn’t even sure of Arav. What could go wrong if 2 good friends married each other?, Ritu had thought to herself and said yes. On the night of the ring ceremony Ritu gathered the courage and confessed to Arav that she wasn’t ready. Arav understood. He called off the wedding to save Ritu’s family any embarrassment and moved to the states for better career prospects. Ritu and Arav remain friends till date. Besides the both of them there is only one person who knows the real story. It is Raj.
Ritu knew Raj as Arav’s roommate. They seldom talked to each other beyond the customary hellos. So when she had gone to Arav’s to return his things, it was Raj who comforted her and told her that they had both done the right thing. He also asked Ritu to keep the blue mug as a memory of Arav. Months passed as Ritu and Raj became good friends. The night Raj’s girlfriend broke up with him was the night Ritu sat by him as he cried his heart out. They both knew they liked each other. They never confessed. Not even then. They would laugh about it atleast once a week since then.
What could go wrong if 2 friends started dating? Raj had asked her when they met a week later. Let’s give it a shot. He pushed. Ritu hadn’t seen anyone since Arav. She worried about Arav, what if he didn’t approve. Turned out Arav was soon getting married to someone in the states and he couldn’t have been happier that his 2 best friends were hooking up. The moment was picture perfect for Ritu and Raj.
“Wouldn’t that make me Robin?”, countered Ritu after a long pause.
Raj went numb. He hadn’t thought it through. Ritu becomes his Robin if he is Ted and Arav is Barney. He fumbled for a comeback. Nothing came back to him. He gave up. He stood up, picked up the plates and walked to the kitchen.
“Maybe we are not characters from How I met your mother”, he shouted from the kitchen.
Ritu laughed. It was her win this time. She took the final sip and joined Raj in the kitchen. As she walked she looked at the pile of clothes like it was her mortal enemy. She vowed to destroy it today. She saw Raj cleaning up the kitchen by dumping all the plates in the sink. That was his way of cleaning. Dump everything in the sink and the maid will wash it, as he would often say. Ritu knew she loved Raj. She just didn’t feel like saying it at the moment. She walked closer to Raj and held him by his arm. Leaned forward and went in for a kiss. Raj obliged.
After about 5 minutes of romance, Ritu said “May be we are the stars of our own story, we are the RituRaj ki lovestory”
“Maybe we are”, Raj leaned in and kissed her again before she could say anything else.
The pile of clothes had to wait for a few extra hours that day.
Cover Pic: Pixabay