New Beginning - 4

New Beginning - 1 | New Beginning - 2 | New Beginning - 3

After a while Anita joined them in the living room.
“How are you feeling?” Anita asked Grishma as she sat next to her.
“Fine, but tired. I need to take some rest” saying so, Grishma got up to go.
Both Anita and Sameer stood up to support Grishma
“Come on guys, I am fine and I can walk alone to the room”
As Grishma went to her room to take rest, Sameer reached for the remote to switch on the television but decided against it.
Anita picked up the magazine she had brought with her and started reading. Sameer got up and walked to the window.

Anita lowered the magazine and looked at Sameer as he spent time lost in his own world. There was something about Sameer that attracted her towards him. She could not lay her finger over it but she knew there was something strange about this man. Something secretive and she loved secrets.

As the day advanced Sameer offered to help Anita in cooking. The more time she spent with him more she learned about him. She knew that Grishma’s decision to allow Sameer to stay in the house was a safe decision. Anita realized that she was happy to be able to spend time with Sameer.

The next day when Anita left for her office Grishma turned around to look at Sameer who was reading a newspaper.
“You do not have to go anywhere?” she asked
Sameer looked up. “I am searching the newspaper for advertisement and if I find someone who wants a paying guest, I will go and see the place.”
“No, I did not mean that” Grishma said sitting on the couch. “I meant… what about your practice?” she continued.
“I quit practice.” Sameer said and once again buried his face in the newspaper. He did not want to face Grishma.
She realized this and got up to go.
“Something happened that made me quit practice” Sameer spoke all of a sudden still not taking his eyes off the newspaper. Grishma sat down again.
Sameer could not believe he was doing this. He told her everything. Told her how he had been happy to know that he was going to be a father. How his wife wanted him to be there during the delivery. How things had taken an ugly shape as he had tried to use forceps to help in the delivery. Suddenly, everything had gone blank for a moment and the next thing he knew was that the baby was dead. He told Grishma how his wife blamed him for the baby’s death and said that he was not worth being a doctor if he could not save his own child.
Grishma looked at Sameer. Though he was not crying; his eyes were red because of the tears that refused to flow.
Grishma placed a hand on his shoulder and tears gathered in Sameer’s eyes. He dabbed at the corner of the eyes and continued speaking. He told her how he could never regain his lost confidence because of which he had to quit his practice.

Grishma was silent. She did not know what to say. After some time Sameer walked to the washroom and Grishma could hear him crying.
Each person has his own story, Grishma thought and she found her own eyes brimming with tears. Since the time she had entered the house after being discharged from the hospital, this was the first time she thought about Yash.

She got up from the couch. Before Sameer could walk out of the washroom and see her crying she walked to her bedroom closing the door behind her.
She looked around the room for traces of Yash’s memories. She remembered every moment she had spent with him in this room but she could not feel his presence.
“This is not fair… you cannot leave me… just like that” she whispered looking around the room before finally walking to the window. She opened the window and allowed the sun to bathe her room with its light. Her skin glowed in sunlight and eyes sparkled as tears gathered in her eyes and then one by one jumped out of her eyes to kiss her cheek. She remembered how Yash kissed her tears whenever she cried. Now, as the tears trickled down her cheeks and dropped down from her chin she felt as if crying was not worth anymore.
She wiped her tears and reached out to close the window when there was a knock on the bedroom door. She opened the door and saw Sameer standing with his back towards the door.
“You are going out somewhere?” Grishma asked as she saw that he was wearing jeans and neatly pressed shirt.
Sameer turned around
“Yes, I read an advertisement in newspaper, I just thought of checking out the house” Sameer said with his eyes glued to the floor.
Sameer turned around and walked away. Grishma walked behind him and saw him walk out of the house without turning around. Grishma looked around the house and decided it needed some cleaning. She thought of making herself a cup of coffee before starting the work. As she made her coffee she looked around for the cup Sameer had given her day before yesterday. It was not there. She poured coffee in another cup and walked to the living room.

Sameer had not unpacked completely. His bags were kept in one corner in the living room and just a few things were scattered over the couch and the table. She felt sorry for Sameer.
If she had realized all about the pain, a little earlier, Sameer would have not come in the picture and she would have not hurt him like this. She understood what it meant to be homeless. She did not want to hurt anyone, not even unintentionally. Grishma brushed aside the thoughts and finished her coffee.
After finishing the cleaning she took bath and entered the kitchen to cook. Lunch was almost ready when the doorbell rang.

”Hi, I am sorry, I am late” Sameer said as he entered the house.
“No, you are just on time. Lunch is almost ready” Grishma replied.
“That’s what I meant by being late. I never wanted you to cook”
“I am not a bad cook, trust me.”
“I know; I can smell it … in fact anyone passing from the corridor can say that you are not a bad cook at all.”
“How was the house?” Grishma asked
“Which house?” Sameer asked and after realizing what she had asked, he added “Oh that house, the owner is asking too much”
“You did not go to see any house, did you?”
Sameer sighed. “No”
Grishma looked at him and then turned around to go to the kitchen.
As they had their lunch in silence, Grishma knew that Sameer would tell her the truth; it was just a matter of time. And, according to Sameer the time had come.
“I had gone to see my wife” Sameer said as he swallowed the bite he was chewing.
Grishma looked at him. Sameer did not say anything after that. They finished their lunch and Sameer washed the plates asking Grishma to relax in the living room.

She was not sure how to ask him about it but she knew that there was something more to the statement that he had been to see his wife. In first place, Grishma was not sure why she wanted to know about it. I am just being nice to him because he has been nice to me, that is all, she concluded.
Sameer finished the kitchen work and walked to the living room. They both sat silently staring in different directions. Spending one day together was becoming so awkward and difficult; both of them wondered how they would spend few more days, weeks or maybe months together in the same house. Everything depended on how quick Sameer managed to find another house.
“Do you mind if I switch on the television.” Sameer asked, still remembering the way Grishma had reacted when he had turned on the television for the first time.
“No, go ahead” Grishma said as she got up to go
“Just do not leave it on when you are not around” she said as she walked to her room.

She understood the reason behind Sameer’s question and that is what had upset her. She knew Sameer was taking utmost care that he should not remind her of Yash and that is what irritated her. To be reminded of Yash, she had to forget him in first place. On one hand she admired Sameer for not using ‘that’ cup anymore but on the other hand she was frustrated and wanted to tell him that merely keeping the cup out of sight would not help her forget Yash. She failed to understand, that was what she had done earlier. She had packed away all his belongings hoping that not seeing those things would ease her pain.
Grishma closed the door of her room. She could hear faint voices from the living room and then suddenly she could hear them loud and clear.
“Why do you always have to keep telling me this?” Yash complained.
“Because I do not like it”
“It does not mean that I have to listen to you all the time!” Yash screamed above the voices of the supporters of the game he was watching.
“Please reduce the volume of the television; you are giving me a headache!” Grishma said closing her ears with her hands. Silence.

Grishma looked around, she was not in the living room and Yash was not with her. The faint voices from the living room were muted too. Sameer had obviously heard her scream in her room.
“Oh God” Grishma whispered as she sat on the bed. She did not walk out of the room till evening.
Anita returned in the evening and as Grishma heard her voice she decided it was time to walk out.
“How are you?” Anita asked as Grishma walked to the living room.
“Fine” Grishma said and looked at Sameer. Their eyes met and they both silently agreed to keep Anita out of what had happened in the afternoon.
Days sped by and apart from walking out of her apartment in search of a house; Sameer spent most of his time idling around in the living room. He spent time working on his laptop and when he was not doing anything else he was busy making delicious dishes for Grishma.

Grishma had to admit that he was a very good cook, contradictory to what he had told her earlier. Though there were times when she felt bit awkward about this cooking thing, most of the time she enjoyed it. At times, she even requested him to make her favorite dishes and Sameer obliged.
“Your wife’s a lucky woman” Grishma said as she tasted one of his first time attempts of making a dish. Sameer gave an awkward smile. That was the moment Grishma realized, there was more to his story than what she knew.

She offered him a bite from her plate and Sameer tasted it.
“Not bad” he said as he took another bite and then walked back to the kitchen.
“One more serving?” he shouted from the kitchen.
“Sure” saying so, Grishma got up and walked to the kitchen.
As Sameer filled her plate she stared at him.
“What?” Sameer asked.
“Nothing.” Grishma was not sure how should she tell him what she wanted.
She had to tell him one day but she had to say it in such a way that he would not say no to it.
“What is it? Tell me … you want to talk about something. I am all ears.”
“And … would you say yes to what I ask from you?”
“Depends on what you ask” Sameer said wiping his hands with his apron.
‘I want you to start your practice.”
Sameer was silent. Grishma was waiting for an answer.
“Maybe one day I will, but I am not ready for it now.”

Grishma did not insist further. She had made up her mind, taken a decision. She would tell him when the right time came.
“Ok, so what are we having for dinner?” Grishma asked enthusiastically thus changing the topic.
Sameer stared at her “You just ate! Looking at your figure no one would say that you eat so much!”
Grishma smiled shyly “I am not eating so much, my baby is”
“Oh right … so what does your baby want for dinner?”
“I will ask and tell you” she said as she walked out of the kitchen.

Initially Anita was surprised by his cooking skills but as days sped by, she was convinced, just like Grishma, that Sameer was indeed a very good cook. Both the ladies loved trying out new dishes and Sameer loved cooking for both of them.
Sameer tried to find a house for himself without any luck. Sameer was getting frustrated. Not that, he did not love spending time in Grishma’s house but then he was well aware that it was not the right thing to do. There were few awkward moments when neither of them knew what to say or how to react. There were times when suddenly Grishma drifted back into the past, times when she cried as she spent time with Yash’s memories. It hurt Sameer to see Grishma still thinking about Yash. Why? He did not know the answer.
One night, while having dinner, both Anita and Grishma jokingly told Sameer that they secretly hoped that he did not find a house so that they could enjoy his cooking. Sameer looked at Grishma and smiled.
“If that is what you want” he winked
Three of them started laughing.

Days turned to weeks, Sameer still did not find a house and he had still not made up his mind on starting his practice again. One evening as Anita returned from office there was a sad look on her face.
The moment she entered, Sameer asked her what was wrong and she said that she was tired.
“I will get some coffee for you.”
As Anita sipped coffee she exercised her neck and tried to relax. Sameer walked closer and offered a neck massage, which Anita willingly accepted.
As Sameer massaged her neck Anita closed her eyes.
Grishma walked out to the living room, “What’s wrong?”
Sameer turned around and placed a finger on his lips signaling Grishma to keep quiet as Anita had fallen asleep.
He stopped massaging and walked towards Grishma.
“What’s wrong?” Grishma whispered.
“Don’t know. She says she is tired but I think there is something else.”
After half an hour when Anita woke up she was surprised to feel so fresh. She was alone in the living room. She walked to Grishma’s bedroom and found Grishma reading a book.
“Listen, I have a bad news for you.” Anita said taking Grishma’s hand in hers.
“What is it?” Grishma was worried.
She then told Grishma that she was meant to go out of town for a few weeks for her office work, which meant that Grishma would have to live alone with Sameer.
“When do you have to leave?”
“Tomorrow morning”
“Ok’ that is all Grishma could say.
“Where’s Sameer?”
“He’s gone for a walk”

Part 5 (concluding part)