This is a story of our 25th anniversary. I am Vikas aka Viks, who got married to his college best friend turned girlfriend Akansha, lovingly nicknamed as Aks after a long drawn struggle with our parents. We had a good life, kuch khatti kuch meethi, an imperfectly perfect life.
This year on our 25th anniversary I decided to play it large and take Aks on our second honeymoon; ek accha sa second honeymoon toh banta hai yaar!
Google was searched aggressively, suggestions from friends poured in, relatives suggested names of international destinations using it as a tool to show-off. Thailand topped the list of suggestions. Nothing seemed to work out.
Akansha always dreamed of a perfect honeymoon but back then I wasn’t earning enough and to add to our woes we were still hiding away from parents who weren’t quite ready to accept us.
But today, I would go to any length to make her dream come true.
I wanted it to be a unique experience. Something that was close to our hearts.
Aha! What better than to relive our love story in a larger than life style and surprise Akansha who always complained that she misses her boyfriend and hates the boring husband avatar.
So to bring back the nostalgia and to recreate our magical moments of love I chose Malaysia, the destination that has all the ingredients to make a perfect honeymoon.
Experience 1- The Malaysian Rainforest
Beginning of our friendship
It was our college trip to Jim Corbett National Park where the story began and friendship kindled. We were in the same group and had to complete an adventure treasure hunt. She wanted to win at any cost and I just knew I had to be with her. We were perfectly paired. Though we came second in the race but we won the match of friendship.
Malaysian rainforest in Sabah and Sarawak reminded Akansha of that night. Adventure trails in the midst of wilderness, mountain hikes holding hands, exploring limestone caves and cruising through the twists and turns of River Rajang to be greeted by varieties of snakes, crocodiles, birds and fish. Finally, we finished our day with the stay in the longhouse right in the middle of dense Malaysian rainforest.
That night we made a promise to be best friends always and thereafter husband-wife, parents and grandparents.
Experience 2 – Malaysian Street Food
Blooming of love in college canteen
Needless to say being a Bong she is a complete foodie and college canteen was our adda. We would sit together for hours with our group and chatter away endlessly. She was the magnet of our group and I, the silent observer. It was here that my love for her started to bloom. I loved the way she smiled, the way she flicked her long tresses behind her specs and titled her head back to laugh, the way she would mischievously lower her voice and hunch forward to plan a prank, the way she would eat a samosa and find pleasure in asking for extra chutney. I knew I was in love.
So next stop had to be the food haven of Malaysia – the street food of Penang was ideal to remind her of those teenage love days. Nyonya, a peculiar dish that made her contort her face, followed by realization of spice and then eureka she kind of liked it. It’s like when you eat golgappa for the first time! Hakka noodles, hot curry laksa, rice paper wrapped fish, prawns in spicy curry…the items on that street were endless.
We ate, we chatted, and we got nostalgic.
We made a promise to have fun all the way through life because seriousness is a bimari. No matter how tough the times might get ahead we will sit back, relax, find ways to enjoy and get back to fighting life again with renewed energy.
Experience 3 – Top of the world at Petronas Twin Towers
Proposing at the top of library building
One fine day after five long years of friendship and quietly loving her all through, I decided to propose. It was a tough call. If it goes wrong then it will be a case of misunderstanding friendship for love leading to loss of friendship as well. But I loved her and somehow my gut feeling said she loved me too. It had been since past 2 years I was practicing how to propose and calculating the risks. Enough!
We were at a party and it was around 11ish in the night. I was a bit drunk and decided agar aaj nahi toh kabhie nahi (If not today then never will it happen). I asked her to come with me. I held her hand and took her to the college central library, the tallest building in the premise. Dodged the security guard and climbed up the 9 floors to reach the top. I was sweating profusely not because I was climbing stairs; I used to be stick thin back then. I guess she sensed I was upto something and followed me without any resistance. Right at the top of the building, I looked into her eyes, took a deep breath, closed my eyes and said; I love you. Silence.
I was shit scared to open my eyes. I could feel some warm air around my ears. She whispered, open your eyes because I want to tell you that I love you too (sounds straight from 3 idiots movie but where do you think these guys get ideas from? Real life stories). I felt like I was on the top of the world.
So today at the real top of the world, Petronas Twin Towers I propose her once again. This time with my eyes open.
I promised never to stop loving her.
Experience 4- Malaysian Beaches
A namesake honeymoon
We decided to marry but our parents were just not upto it. Caste, the main impediment! In fact now I have come to believe that it was more of parents not accepting that we challenge their dominance and didn’t involve them in our life’s biggest decision that pisses them off and caste is just another excuse to garb it.
Well, we were not taking it lying down. Resistance began to build and Akansha’s father threatened to break us off by calling her home on pretext of illness and locking her up. This was the last straw.
I made a plan and managed to run away with her. We stayed at a friend’s place for 3 days while the papers for court marriage were arranged. We got married and went to Digha for a quick honeymoon which was just namesake as she wasn’t happy from inside. She was reminded of all the hypocrisies. She idolized her dad and that was broken.
So this time on our 25th anniversary I wanted to give her honeymoon back. We went to the best of Malaysian beaches, enjoyed sunset together, lazed on the beach and walked holding hands as if we were newly married.
Experience 5 – Malaysian Spa
Give me a break, I need to relax
Akansha is a sucker for spa. It was her dream to enjoy a full day at the most exotic spa. Amidst hectic office and household chores schedules she would often blast off saying, “ I need a break, I need a message”.
Today I will give her the world’s best and most exotic spa experience in Malaysia. She deserves this pampering. All through her life she has taken care of the family with a smile on her face. I can never repay that but can surely make a small gesture to say, Thank you.
We spent a complete day at a spa. It was a private beach, under open skies, we sat on a Jacuzzi bath tub with a glass of champagne in our hands. We knew; we so deserve this.
Thus, Malaysia made my love story come true. It made me feel young again and relive my love story that started 25 years before.
She was very happy. Her eyes were full of love and life. Her dream had come true and that too in such a beautiful way. Akansha laughed and said, “Promise me that we will come back to Malaysia on our 50th anniversary”.
How I wish I can keep this promise. Tears welled up in my eyes.
Akansha said then let’s make one last promise to live every moment like it is our last for we never know when it will actually be our last.
Akansha was stage 4 cancer patient.
Note: This story is a work of fiction written for a contest on Blogadda – Malaysia jao
Images were taken from creative commons Google.