Rohan was convinced that marrying Stella was the best decision of his life. He thought of informing his parents about his intentions next time he talked to them and had lightly discussed his affairs with them. They seemed to be open to the girl of his choice but he had never had a steady relationship and Stella was proving to be his anchor.
When he realized that his parents' wished he married their favourite, he was repulsed by the fact that anyone else could be as close to him as Stella. Even though Rohan wasn't sure of his total feelings for her, he didn't want this change. A woman whose presence was a thorn in his side threatened the life he had imagined with Stella. He had to tell Stella and soon garnered enough courage to do so.
"How dare you Rohan!" shouted Stella. "Haven't you told your parents about us? Why did you hide it?" Knowing very well how much Rohan respected his parents, she didn't utter another word about them but she was extremely angry and hurt.
After a moment, she added, "Go tell them you can't marry some bimbo when I'm the one who loves you. Tell them you love me, I'm sure they will yield to your wishes."
However, Rohan knew very well the marriage would take place; he was wearing the engagement ring. Stella saw it and tried to pull it off of his finger. After roughly pulling on it, she managed to and instantly threw it on the floor and watched it roll away.
"I am not going to tolerate this Rohan, break off this engagement. You used me emotionally in the office and now you marry someone because your parents ask you to?" She glared at him and continued on with her angry questions. "Didn't you know this was going to happen? Don't you have a spine?"
For Stella this seemed like five months of her hard labour going down the drain. She chose this boy so carefully and now an unknown person had ruined her plans! It took the entire evening for Stella to calm down but she was still angry and hurt.
Rohan didn't want anything to do with Sneha for she was being forced upon him. At first, Rohan didn't think she was very appealing. She had a wheat coloured complexion, she stood about five foot, six inches tall and did have a great looking figure. Long black hair, beautiful fingers on manicured hands and lovely pedicured feet gave an impression of refined elegance. Rohan had to work extremely hard to ignore these qualities and maintain his dislike.
Rohan was a graduate from an elite engineering college and worked at a software firm. He drew a handsome salary and used to have a small two-bedroom apartment provided by the company. However, right before his marriage his father had insisted he rent a bigger apartment with a separate dining and drawing room. The new apartment was on the twelfth floor of the building and he loved the great view of the city and ocean. His wife had decorated it tastefully, but he didn't have the patience or the interest to notice. Coming from a well-off family, Rohan didn't need the items Sneha brought along with her after their wedding. However, Sneha had saved tons of money to buy all the furniture she wanted once she moved in.
She had laid out her life's plans so perfectly. Everything had been going so flawlessly for her…
Sneha was a doctor. She had not only excelled in her medical career but was also a national level swimmer. She represented the country in several competitions abroad before she entered the medical field. Always a brilliant student, she was her teachers' favourite. She was held up as an example by envious parents to their kids for whom they wanted to compete beyond all odds in the ever so competitive entrance exams.
After completing her MBBS, Sneha went on to do her Masters in Surgery. She didn't get a chance to do her super-specialization as her father and father-in-law were hell-bent upon getting her married. Well, no problem thought Sneha, 'I'll do it after I get married!' She just couldn't ignore the wishes of these two old men who had been friends for an eternity. She just wished Ma was here to help her out in such issues…
Sneha's father, Mr. Raj Khanna was a good-looking gentleman and wasn't too ambitious, just wanting the best for his family that fit within his means. He lost his wife when his kids were just teenagers. It was a horrific incident and the memories still haunted him. He took care of Sneha and her brother in the best possible way he could after his wife's untimely death. His work was in the private sector and he retired at a high post and his only ambition now was to marry Sneha into a family he trusted.
When his best friend Sumit Nayar, a high rank police officer offered his son's hand for Sneha, Raj was so overwhelmed with emotions that he didn't realize the water flowing out of his eyes could be so salty.
Sumit Nayar was an honest policeman who had helped Raj in his case when Raj's wife Mala had died so tragically. After the case was solved, Sumit and his wife Ramona frequented Raj's house to see if the kids were alright.
Raj had two kids, Ankur and Sneha. Raj's son Ankur was a special needs child and was their first-born. The family was in a festive mood when he was born. During the first three years Ankur would speak few words. He used to make eye contact with people while talking to them, however, when he was four he started withdrawing from the world. He didn't interact with his friends and his teachers found it difficult to teach him anything. He would go and sit quietly in a corner looking at empty space. Mala became concerned and took him to a paediatrician who immediately recognized his condition and informed Mala that Ankur was autistic. Mala's world fell apart. Both Raj and Mala took him to various doctors but all recommended behavioural intervention. With time, Raj and Mala learnt how to cope with Ankur, for them it became a normal routine.
Sneha was born three years later. Her presence compensated for Ankur's unusual childhood…a childhood that was sprinkled with laughter, naughtiness and affection.
With Mala's demise a few years later, it became difficult for Raj to look after his children. He tried to coordinate his professional and private life but wasn't doing well.
At this time Sumit and Ramona made it their responsibility to help him bring up these kids. Over the years they started liking and loving Sneha a lot, she was a brilliant child. They even started boasting about her achievements to their friends and family as if Sneha was their own sweet child; the daughter they never had.
With Rohan staying in a hostel and always in the city he worked in, Sneha filled up their lives. It was only natural they asked for her hand for their only son. They had so many expectations and knew the marriage would be very successful. Ramona was especially convinced her son couldn't have a better wife.
They didn't listen to Rohan when he said that he wanted to marry someone else. Their son was burning in the flames of his budding romance with Stella. When he confronted his parents about his love, they had a heated argument.
"I'm not going to marry someone I barely know," argued Rohan.
"What nonsense! You've known Sneha since she was fifteen," barked Sumit.
"Knowing is different than loving, papa. I can't stay with someone I don't even love. I love Stella; we've been together for the past five months."
Sumit knew well of his son's string of affairs. They lasted about three months at most so he was pretty impressed when he heard this one had lasted five months already.
Ramona was a well-groomed woman who knew her son and she knew Sneha would bring harmony to her son's life. She was sure this girl would act as an anchor to this stray boat that often loved the adventures of life in the wildest of ways. She put her foot down.
"If you marry Stella, you will never see my face again!" Ramona started crying after saying this. Both father and son knew this act but found they were helpless when confronted with this situation.
It was impossible to make his mom relent so he surrendered. Once he agreed to it, Ramona and Sumit didn't waste any time in arranging the engagement ceremony. It was all done very quickly.
The marriage took place a month later. It was a grand affair with lots of fanfare and all the important dignitaries of the city were present. While Sneha thoroughly enjoyed her wedding, Rohan seemed lost. He appeared too grave for what should have been one of the happiest days of his life. 'Perhaps he is tired and trying to look serious for the occasion,' she thought.