“No, you listen to me Shikha! Don’t make excuses. The fact is you preferred to talk to a male colleague and didn’t pick up my phone. My phone; your fiance’s phone!”

It had been a bad weekend. No amount of clarification seemed to justify her action. Dev just didn’t try to understand that she was talking to a colleague, because they were working hand in glove on an important assignment, and the deadline was very close. Eventually, feeling utterly defeated, Shikha had to cajole him with an expensive gift and a dinner date.

Dev and Shikha had been engaged for six months now. Both were from well to do families and this arrangement was set up by their parents. The initial few weeks after they exchanged rings were really rosy and Shikha was delighted to have a life partner like Dev. He would shower her with gifts and compliments and spend every free hour with her. “I love your smile Shikha. I’d do anything to see you keep smiling all the time.”

Such eulogizing would make Shikha beam with joy when she was with him, and she would find herself grinning from ear to ear, even when she was thinking about him. In fact she was so over the moon that Shikha started dreaming of a bright and colourful future with Dev.


Then……..? An eclipse cast its dark shadow on their relationship and her happiness. Slowly and gradually, Dev’s demeanour changed. He began to doubt, question and judge every action of hers.

“Why did you come late?”

“Who was that guy you were talking to?”

“Where did you get so much money from?”

“Today you didn’t tell me I love you.”


Dev’s interrogation was increasing by the day, which automatically accelerated her exasperation and disappointment. She was literally fed up of giving explanations round the clock. So much so, this was the only way they seemed to spend their time together. Shikha failed to fathom his role reversal. Why on earth didn’t he trust her? She was a mature and educated woman. Moreover, she was responsible and knew what to do. Then why this cross-examining day in and day out?!?


This morning, dropping her purse and laptop on the desk, Shikha headed straight to the office pantry. She badly needed a coffee to refresh her mood and get started. The sulk on her face was clearly visible and her best friend cum colleague Nisha asked jovially, “Shikha madam, suffering from Monday blues?”

Shikha puffed and rolled her eyes. Leaning on a table behind her, with the java mug in her hand, she was about to reply to Nisha, when her mobile buzzed.


The caller brought a grimace on face. Trying to stifle her agitation, she answered the phone carefully, “Hello Dev, good morning.”

“Shikha, I’m in a hurry, don’t have much time to talk, but I want you to do something.”

She stood up straight, becoming alert. “Yes, what is it?”

“We have a new opening in our company. I want you to send in your resume. I’m sure you’ll get the job, then we can work together.”

Shikha was dumbfounded. Taking a deep breath she replied cautiously, “Dev, it’s been five years and I’m well established here. I’ve just got an increment and most importantly, I’m very happy in my company.”

“Shikha, that’s not the point. I want us to work under one roof.”

“Dev, you are not understanding. In your firm I’ll have to begin all over again. Your line of work doesn’t even come under my job profile.”

“Don’t you love me? Can’t you do this much for my happiness?”

“Dev, now you are going on the wrong track.”

“If you really love me, send your CV to the email id I’ve texted you.”

Without waiting for her response, he cut the call. For a few silent seconds Shikha kept gaping at her mobile screen. Dev’s behest was outrightly unreasonable. Feeling extremely frustrated, she threw the coffee down the drain and marched off to her cubicle. Nisha was hot on her heels and pulled a chair next to Shikha, when her friend flopped down with hands clutching her hair.


Keeping a hand on her shoulder, Nisha asked with concern, “Shikha, what happened? You were already in a bad mood when you came in the morning. Now what?”

Shikha wiped her tears, held Nisha’s hand and they scurried away to the building terrace. She didn’t want to give other employees any food for gossip. Once they were up, she poured her heart out and told Nisha everything. Regardless, Nisha was aware of Dev’s previous behaviour. Shikha complained depressingly, “He never appears to be pleased. All my efforts always seem to fall short and then he comes up with a new demand. In the end if nothing works, he blackmails me by saying, “Don’t you love me?” Now I don’t even know how to move forward in this relationship with him.”


“You don’t have to move forward in this relationship with him.” Nisha declared and Shikha was astonished. “What? What do you mean Nisha?”

Her bestie elucidated her opinion, “Shikha, if love needs to be proved all the time, then that person is not worthy of your love. The best proof of love is trust and I don’t think Dev has any faith in you.”


As Shikha kept listening to her friend’s insight, her mind was racing on its own rollercoaster ride. Nisha continued. “Moreover, this is just the beginning. Can you imagine your entire life with a man like Dev; who doesn’t respect your wishes, doesn’t appreciate your feelings for him and keeps asking you to prove yourself all the time? I mean, does he even really love you?”


Nisha had opened her eyes. For several days, Shikha went through all the events of the past. As she tried to visualise her future with Dev, to her horror, she realized that the coming days would be as hopeless as today.


Nisha’s words kept ringing in her subconscious mind. “If love needs to be proved all the time, then that person is not worthy of your love.”


Shikha did not wish to live this one life with regret and sadness. Decision taken. She removed the engagement ring from her finger and put it in the drawer. The following weekend she would announce her resolution to Dev. Till date she had given plenty of meaningless gifts to him, but now Shikha had decided to present herself with the gift of freedom; to cut off all ties with Dev!!


Shamim Merchant,


Author’s note


Hello my dear readers,

There’s no point in staying tied up in a relationship if it doesn’t give you peace, happiness and security. It’s definitely a give and take and only efforts from both sides can make a bond successful. Otherwise it’s best to part ways on good terms.