Sitting in her room, she gazed at her image in the mirror. She smiled at her self and wondered what feature in her attracts Shekhar the most. She smiled again and made a note to ask Shekhar about this tonight and let him answer.
Tonight was a big night. Shekhar was taking her out for dinner and somewhere deep inside she was sure that he would propose her. She wanted to look the best tonight. She opened her almirah and ran her slim fingers through all the pairs of clothes that hung in front of her.
"Naah", Anushka exclaimed. She had to look special tonight. "I should rush to the market and go get something exclusive to wear", she thought.
She glanced at the White and Gold coloured clock which Shekhar had gifted her on their 1st anniversary of togetherness. Anushka was amazed at how time flies. She wondered how 7 years had gone by. She couldnt help but smile when she remembered how Shekhar used to trouble her when they used to sit together in Class 10th. They never got along well and Anushka always used to curse her teachers for making the so called 'rascal' sit next to her. Little did she know that she would fall in love with the guy whom she hated the most.
"Our story is like a typical Bollywood movie", she said loudly and then bit her tongue realising that she was too loud. After 7 years of knowing each other, they would be getting married soon. She jumped with excitement. She again looked at the White and Gold clock which struck 4. Shekhar would pick her up at 8:30. So there was still a lot of time left and she had loads of work to do.
She picked up the phone and dialled his number. Shekhar's manly voice greeted her.
"Hi baby, I was just thinking about you", said Shekhar.
"Shekhar, Are you still in the office?"
"Yeah, but if you want then I'll come right over". Shekhar let out a funny laugh.
"No sweetheart", said Anushka. "You stay in the office and complete your work. I was thinking that i'll go to the market and buy something to wear tonight."
"Again..?? How many clothes do you girls buy? Oh man, your almirah is too full"
"Oh please, you wont understand"
"Hmmph...I agree, we men can never understand you girls"
"Chalo then, I better go now. Mummy will kill me if I tell her that I am going shopping. I have to think of a bahana as well."
"HaHaHaHa, you wont change. Ok sweety, you go ahead. Will pick you up around 8-8:30"
"Bye honey. And listen.." Anushka was silent and then she said after a pause, "I love you"
"Love you too, Bye"
Anushka smiled. What a relief she gets after hearing Shekhar's voice. She felt that she was again charged and she could go on for forever. She picked up her purse, ran a comb through her hair, applied a smack of lip gloss, grabbed her car keys and rushed out of the door so that she could escape her mom's eagle eyes. She ran in the driveway and unlocked her 2 year old rust coloured Honda City. She looked at her watch again. It was 4:45. She had to hurry up.
She drove till Greater Kailash 1 M block market and her eyes looked for a parking spot. She found one near Cafe Coffee Day. She neatly parked her car and sheepishly smiled and thanked her father for teaching her how to park cars nicely. "Girls can't drive", Shekhar used to say when they were in school. Anushka proved him wrong and still Shekhar was proud of her.
She locked her car and looked through the lanes of the market. Clueless, where to start from, she entered the first shop she saw. After a series of trying the clothes on, making a sulking face, disapproval followed by extreme confusion she came out of the store and wished that she had gone to south-ex instead. There was nothing exclusive that she could find. But then she was short of time. Anushka quickly calculated in her mind how much time she had. "Shekhar will pick me up at 8, so I need to reach home by 7. For that I need to leave from here by 6:45." She looked at her watch and thought "So, I have a total of approx 70 mins left."
She decided that she would enter a max of two shops and get done with it. She quickly ran the names of all the stores she knew and picked 2 names from the lot. She entered into United Colours of Benetton, tried a few dresses and then came out. One last store to go to and she had to pick up the dress positively. While she was entering Esprit, a red and maroon knee length dress worn by the mannaquin caught her attention. She liked it instantly and asked one of the salesmen to show her size in that dress. It fitted so well on her and she looked dazzling. "Shekhar would love it", she said to herself. She asked the sales guy to pack it up for her. She paid and left.
Anushka was all smiles. It was a nice day. She loved every moment of it. Everything was just going perfect. While, walking towards the car she started humming the song "lets make a night to remember" by Bryan Adams. And suddenly she heard an extemely loud noise. She saw people running here and there. There were about 50 people inside the levis store that she was crossing. All of them rushed out and left no room for her to move. There was a total chaos and Anushka realised that there was something really wrong. She stood there trying to figure out what to do and then there was another bang. The next thing that Anushka noticed was that she was thrown several feets up in the air and she landed on the ground with a large thud.
Anushka lay there unable to move. She couldn't see clearly.
She wanted to call Shekhar but her muscles hurt her. She couldn't move. She just lay there thinking. "You look amazing honey, I wish I could hold you tight in my arms", Shekhar would have said. Then she would give him a heart melting smile. They would leave for the restaurant in Shekhar's car and she would rest her head on his shoulders while he drove the car. Shekhar had told her that he had booked a table on the roof top where they would be all alone. And suddenly while they are eating Shekhar would bend down on his knees and take her hand in his hands and say, "Baby, I want to live with you, I want to have kids with you, I want to spend my life with you. Honey, Please marry me" and she would close her eyes and nod. She would open her eyes to find herself in Shekhar's arms but all she could see were people lying on the floor covered with blood...
The serial blasts in Delhi on 13th September 2008 took us all by surprise. The first blast took place at gaffar market in karol bagh, the next two exposions were in connaught place at Central park and Barakhamba Road. And the last two blasts were in GK 1 M block market. It is a really sad sight. The story written above is fictitious but my heart bleeds when I think that something of this sort may have happened to somebody. If only we could do something...