Sharada, a regular girl is reconsidering the decisions she had taken earlier in life to get a perfect life, for her life does not seem perfect to her now rather it suffocates her.
Sharada had chosen the career of an Event Manager. She was great at it; due to her marriage she took a break for almost a year. Mr. Ghosh, one of her old clients had asked her to arrange the Diwali Party for him and she had willingly agreed. She was working after a long time and was even more careful about the arrangements- the flowers, stage, performances, fire crackers, dinner, all had to be perfect.
Sharada was looking at the arrangement of the chairs that looked just perfect, when she let her mind float back into the decisions she had taken in past that now does not seem that perfect. She had married Ashwin because he was loving, caring, funny and most importantly he could provide her with security and stability in life. He was the most suitable match but the problem now was she did not feel love for him neither did she enjoy the stability he provided. Ashwin calls every now and then to talk to her, to make sure that she is fine yet she felt that a cloud of dullness had encompassed her life. She thought joining work would give her respite. She felt that she had wronged herself.
She remembered the incident when she had dressed up for a birthday party and Ashwin had praised her whole heartedly. She thanked him and said that she was flattered. But deep down it had not touched her heart. No matter what he did and how genuinely she failed to reciprocate his feeling. Deep down she had a sense of betrayal. Aswin did not want to anything about her past. He had accepted her as she was and she had done so too but now she failed to keep up with the promises she had made to him and to herself. The cool October breeze was hitting against her face.
She as a girl had loved to feel the cold wind against her face but now she felt the cold, dry wind was taking life away from her.
Just then the florist called and informed that there was a lack of yellow orchids so he sent some purple orchids in its place. Sharada was pretty fine with the change. She had handled worse situations. She decided to decorate the entrance and the corridor with the purple orchids and the dinner hall with yellow ones. Within two hours the decoration was done. She was pretty confident about her work. But the way flowers had appealed to her before did not appeal to her anymore. Before whenever she used flowers to decorate she made sure to put some on her hair but now nothing made her happy. The Diwali lights no more lit up her life. The ghee filled diyas no more curved the corner of her lips to a smile.
The sun had set the guests would start pouring in soon. She stretched her hand and felt the soft velvety petal of the orchid. It reminded her of a Teacher’s Day in college. She wore a light blue saree and was carrying a bouquet of purple orchids. As she walked towards the hall practicing in her mind the speech she was going to deliver, she tripped. The bouquet fell on the ground. She was both shocked and embarrassed. Before she could collect herself and pick up the bouquet Suraj picked it up and gave it to her with a smile. She had liked him from the first day of her college. His handsome looks and sense of humour had charmed her. This incident did not mean anything to her. But it meant a lot to her.
She never let out her feelings to him or to anyone else. She was very conscious of her image. She was afraid that people would judge her. They would question her why he and she would have no answer; as she thought handsome and humour were not convincing enough qualities for others. Moreover he had a girlfriend who was more beautiful and smart. She had no chance against her. Whenever she looked at them be it in the library or corridor her heart hurt and she from then on avoided them.
She had no idea if he knew about her feelings or not but she was sure that if she let her feelings out she could no longer protect her image of a perfect student.
She had always been image conscious. She also thought that the expression of her feelings would bear no fruit as he was already with someone. She never dared to take a chance for if he said no, of which she was sure, would break her heart. She was not only protecting her image but also her heart. She sometimes consoled herself by saying that he did not perform well academically and did not stand a chance to bright future. He must be avoided. Thus she ended up marrying Ashwin.
‘Sharada’ Mr. Ghosh called out. ‘Your arrangements are perfect as always. I see the break has not brought any change in you. The dinner tastes great, the flowers look beautiful, the sweets as diwali gifts are ready and the firecrackers are creating beautiful imageries in the sky.’ Sharada was very happy. She could keep up to her title of a perfectionist.
People had started coming in. The performances had begun and people seem to enjoy it. Sharada looked towards the entrance and saw Suraj coming in. Their eyes met amid the performance. Sharada’s heart drowned in remorse.