Tarun gets sometimes cranky when he does not get the attention from Radhika the way he wants. And this is not the point that Radhika does not have Tarun her first priority but sometimes she has to manage her job related commitments, her friends and her parents. Tarun very well understands this but the child in him doesn’t try to understand. This doesn’t imply that Tarun is childish, immature and over possessive human being. It is more of like if anything is going wrong in office he wants Radhika to just hear, it’s sufficient to him. If he gets stumbled and gets some minor bruise, he wants Radhika to know though he knows Radhika cannot do anything when she is thoudands miles away (when she is at her mother’s home). Radhika understands all of this. Tarun has an irritating habit of asking questions. He is too inquisitive. That again doesn’t mean that he does not have faith and trust on what Radhika shares to him. Trust and faith are two big words which Tarun and Radhika have more on each other than they have on themselves. Radhika is pioneer in cat behavior whereas Tarun is the leading man in dog behavior (sometimes closer to a pig when she is away and he teases her while eating her favorite pie). She is more of a practical cat. You cannot say that she hides things from Tarun, she just waits for the appropriate moment. Whereas our poor doggish Tarun wants to know everything then and there when he gets just hint of a thing. Radhika unlikely to Tarun is, pragmatic. For the things that she love and adore to, she behaves to be rude, uncaring and detached from (including Tarun himself before marriage) things just not to put a jinx on them. Well, this has worked for both of them and the funny as well as irritating side of the thing is that Tarun back in his mind knows this approach of Radhika. Radhika too learns from Tarun on being optimistic after all the life’s recipe is made up of being optimistic and pragmatic in equal proportions.
It was April his birthday month. The weird point of their love story was that things in life were never smooth around their birthdays. Sometimes due to pragmatic approach of Radhika and sometimes due to some immature behavior from Tarun. But somehow they managed to pass those dark days due to the love and understanding they shared. So it was his birthday. But there was no wish from Radhika this year. “Has she forgotten…???”, question banged in his head. “How can she…??? Is she in her kitty mode again…? If she has forgotten, then I’ll too not remind her what day it is?”, his childish brain cells generated series of questions. Anyways he woke up with big yawns and headed his hand to the toothbrush stand to pick his toothbrush in bathroom. With half opened eyes he picked up a toothbrush and tried to put toothpaste on it. He felt somehow the toothbrush was too small for his mouth. This was weird because this never felt till that day as he was using that brush regularly. He woke from his sleepy mode and found out that it was some other tooth brush may be some kid’s. He thought Radhika might have brought it for some cleaning of the bathroom cabinet. He ignored the brush, took out his regular brush and continued.
“Radhika….???”, Tarun called out from the bedroom. He came out from the bathroom after the shower and asked, “Where are my socks…”. “Look carefully, they are on the other side of the bed where your shoes are kept.”Radhika replied from the kitchen while making the breakfast. Tarun looked and found the socks there. To his surprise there was a pair of the small socks along with his socks. He teased Radhika in a playful mood,” It seems you have kept your socks too along with mine and I did not know your feet shrunk tiny like a kid.”. She came into the room to see those small socks,”These must be some bad quality socks that shrunk after the wash”, she responded and went back.
On the table of breakfast, Tarun was sitting in anticipation that may be now Radhika will wish him. But no, it seemed that his birthday has been completely washed away from Radhika’s mind. He had the breakfast and went to office. While driving to the office he was thinking the same thing. “How is this possible that last week she was happy that his birthday was coming and now she did not even wished him?”. He reached office where his colleagues flocked around him to greet with birthday wishes. He sat in his cubicle and checked his Whatspp which was having few birthday wishes only. His mood was off since the morning. His birthday this year was again going to be colorless and the one who was supposed to make his birthday special was sitting at home and has completely forgotten about it.Somehow he passed the day in the office and returned home with low spirits. He knocked the door. Radhika opened the door. He was surprised as she was dressed up in the apparels he had gifted her. The whole living room was decorated with the birthday wishes. Heart shaped red balloons were spread across the floor. The aromatic candles were creating an artistic imagery in the room. The laptop bag fell from his hands. She pulled him towards him and kissed on his cheeks. “ Happy Birthday Piglet”, she wished him cutely. He held her tight and whispered in her ears “ Thank you Bhaalu. I hate you. I thought you have forgotten.” She held his hand,” How can I…???”. They both smiled. “Ok you go and freshen up then we will have the dinner and today I have made your favorite cuisine.”, she pushed him to the washroom.
He came back to the dining table and was getting his mouth filled with water on the aroma of the food. “By the way, where is my gift…?”, he teased Radhika while smelling the casseroles. Radhika brought the jug of water from the kitchen. “Tarun there is a guest who will be joining us today on this birthday dinner.” “Who…??? Have you invited someone?, he asked her inquisitively .
Radhika with a pleasant smile looked towards Tarun and gestured from her big eyes to look on the other side of the table. Tarun looked on the other side and saw a small kid size plate, bowl and spoon. He looked back towards Radhika. There she was standing with her hands on the chair of the dining table with eyes down with a pleasant smile on her face. The whole day now recapped in his mind. The baby toothbrush in the washroom, the tiny socks in the bedroom and now the kid’s utensils on the dinner table. He damned himself and rushed towards Radhika,” Is this true…???, he grabbed Radhika from her shoulders in ecstatic joy. All day Radhika had dropped clues for Tarun. She looked towards him with tears of joy in her eyes with happiness on his face,” Yes”. He jumped in joy as if all the happiness of the world has been laid on his feet by Radhika. He lifted her in air in his arms, “This is the best gift you have ever given to me Radhika. I cannot forget this moment, this happiness, this wonderful feeling of becoming a father that you have showered on me”, he told her with the choking throat. He kept her down and kissed on her forehead with a never before kiss of care and affection.
“Last year when you said you will marry me on my birthday. I thought no birthday can be better than this one. But I say we celebrated my birthday last year but you gave me the gift today. And trust me this is the best gift you have ever given to me. It feels that we are celebrating three birthdays on a same day. Yours’, mine and the little angel who is coming to light up our life, our love. And do not forget me once the baby comes”, he jovially said and hugged her with tears of joy in his eyes. “You too”, she replied with a pleasing sigh.
The very next day the doggish (playful) behavior of Tarun started. He was googling up the stuffs for kids: the toys, baby care items, etc. Radhika told him there is still time for shopping all this stuff but there were no brakes on his enthusiasm. She smiled from the distance on his love for the coming “one”. The family was now getting complete.
Statutory warning: Beware of cats. They can sweep you off your feet with the surprises.